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June 23, 2011

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ELECTIONS ARE THE ECONOMY KILLER--

Here we go again. The President's main goal in the next 90 days: raise $60m for his campaign fund. Unopposed in his party the President is already off and running to raise maoney for his reelection. To me, that is an indication of a person who knows he is going to need to sell the country on the job he's done rather than do it. You see if you do a job well the country will reelect you. Presiding President's already have the advantage of political favors, unlimited TV time, no primary challenges to worry about,a weekly radio address, 3 State of the Union Messages and 4 years to make their points. If you are a liberal Democrat you also have the mainstreamm media and 99% of America's comedians on your side, promoting your case and belittling your opponents. So, what should a presiding President do? --Run the country. President Obama has now launched a "Win Dinner with me and Joe Biden" Lottery.Pay $5 for a chance to go to dinner. His promo for this lottery was filmed in the White House--some say an illegal act. Since that is where he lives I'll let it slide. However, if the camera's and people were paid for by the taxpayer I might insist the Democratic Party be given a bill for it. Did I say "run the country?" Last week he played his 74th round of golf since taking office in between basketball games and NCAA pools. Meanwhile Congress is trying to negotiate the most important bipartisan agreement of the decade to curb spending and cut the deficit. For a while that was delegated to a bipartisan commission. Their findings were discarded. Congressman Ryan led the Republican's to take a swipe at it but then the President called that garbage and insulted Congressman Ryan who worked on it while the President golfed,campaigned and gave us no budget for two years. Then it was turned over to the talented negotiator Joe Biden who was so successful that two Republicans walked out of negotiations. But, The President who seems to see governing as a series of speeches has now met with the Congressional leaders and today "told them to get to work on the debt ceiling and the deficit". Now that is leadership at it's best. Sort of like "I order you to fix this problem---I have to get to work on my campaign fund". And, perhaps stop by Iowa and remind voters that "we have some history together". I doubt they need to be reminded with all the Republicans in the area.

In the meantime on mainstream USA the energy cost increases, the inflation in food costs,the high unemployment rate,the lower housing rpices, the record foreclosures, the debt worries and the campaign debates 17 months before the elections are taking their toll on consumer confidence. The lower consumer confidence goes then the lower manager confidence goes and the higher goes the unemployment rate and the more money the President will need to convince us he has done his job. Unfortunately all elections negatively effect the economy. This is a debate we can ill afford to start too soon.

A NOTE ON CALIFORNIA---I noted, Bill, that California has raised taxes one more time on the rich. It's supposed to raise $4B more for the state. Somehow I think it is more likely to send some of them packing to other states.

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH----

For the nation we are fast approaching the moment of truth. In sports, sales, business, personal relations, etc there arrives a time at which proper action will have a positive effect on outcomes and delay complicates the issues to the point that the outcome is either negative or catastrophic. The nation looks to be facing that point over the next few years.

The USA has been blessed with tremendous advantages over the rest of the world and as a nation has acted as the world's protector at great expense since 1940. The defense department, CIA, NSA, border security, foreign aid, the UN, and humanitarian aid have all been funded by US tax payers and have provided a measure of stability and security to the world. I could do the research but have no idea the total cost of 70 years of this service to humanity but it is large. Today, we are in our 61st year of providing security in Korea. We occupy Iraq. We fight in Libya, Afghanistan,Somalia and Yemen. We provide Billions of dollars to military forces in nation's all over the world such as Pakistan and Egypt. We spend Billions on the drug wars in places such as Mexico and South America. We pay to fight AIDS in Africa. The list goes on.

At home we have instituted a similar set of social programs designed to support the needy. Medicaide,Medicare,social security,unemployment benefits,college loans and grants,worker retraining,free education through k12,etc. The list goes on.

We are a nation $14T in debt and adding $1.5 T a year to it. With the nation mired in a slow economy and facing the retirement of the baby boom generation over the next ten years the prospects for continuing to fund the double set of safety nets for our country and the world are slim. So the political box of damned if I do and damned if I don't now contains the President and Congress. They must now face the moment of truth.

My hope for 2012 remains - find a President who is truly in the middle. The Left will only vote for the Democrat and the Far Right will only vote for the Republican (given a two party race). It's the middle who will make the choice. The candidate who can run from the middle will win. That leaves out Obama and several of the current Republican candidates. Keep watching.

"A man who didn't get much done?"--He saved the economy that was bleeding under Conservate policies, after 50 years we have a national health policy, he got Bin Laden after 11 years of Republican hawks failed, he eliminated DADT--a particularly offensive policy in the land of the free, the stock market (the conservative barometer for success) has gone from 7300 to 12,000 --all the while conservatives actively try to tank the economy for political reasons. GM and Chrysler are profitable, when conservatives said government couldn't run a business. We are beginning to draw down in Afghanistan, finally--years after incompetent GWB issued his "mission accomplished" speech. Is everything perfect? No--but are we better off now than we were on Jan. 20, 2009--you betcha. wink, wink

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