Sep 29 2013
While perusing the news on the possible (probable) government shutdown I ran across this paragraph, which crystallized for me the long term implications of what the GOP is trying to do this week in the budget battles with Obama and Reid:
The two chambers are on a collision course, a standoff that could lead to the first government shutdown since 1996.
This is just the first round of an entire fall filled with fiscal fights. In just days, Congress must figure out how to raise the debt ceiling — Congress must increase the national borrowing limit before Oct. 17. A discussion over government funding for the next fiscal year will also sprout up again before the new year.
The GOP is trying to stave off the looming – and much larger – fiscal meltdown of the most successful country humanity has experienced
Why is all this coming to a head now? Simple, we – America – are on the cusp of financial ruin. We spend much, much more than we have, and what we spend on (domestic policy-wise) is pretty much wasted. Look at the 100′s billions wasted on The Stimulus – which never appeared. Or the money flushed down Green Technology sink holes. How about the War on Poverty? Where we are clearly losing the battle as the ranks of those on food stamps and other government assistance sky rocket.
A record 23,116,928 American households were enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—AKA food stamps—during the month of June, according to data released this month by the Department of Agriculture.
That outnumbers the 20,618,000 households that the Census Bureau estimated were in the entire Northeastern United States as of the second quarter of 2013.
There are Rred flares shooting off all around us, and the liberal media and big-government politicians feeding at the federal budget trough are mindlessly running towards disaster.
One of the biggest red flares to go off in the last decade was the city of Detroit. If people think Detroit is an isolated instance, and not the first of many cancerous tumors that are rising from liberal mindless spending, then they are in for a rude shack in the coming decades. The situation in Detroit is the direct result of not stopping the spending madness when there was time left to avoid disaster, as I posted recently:
Detroit is broke, but it didn’t have to be. An in-depth Free Press analysis of the city’s financial history back to the 1950s shows that its elected officials and others charged with managing its finances repeatedly failed — or refused — to make the tough economic and political decisions that might have saved the city from financial ruin.
Decades of mismanagement added to Detroit’s fiscal woes. The city notoriously bungled multiple federal aid programs and overpaid outrageously to incentivize projects such as the Chrysler Jefferson North plant. Bureaucracy bogged down even the simplest deals and contracts. In a city that needed urgency, major city functions often seemed rudderless.
When all the numbers are crunched, one fact is crystal clear: Yes, a disaster was looming for Detroit. But there were ample opportunities when decisive action by city leaders might have fended off bankruptcy.
Emphasis mine. This is a historically important article. It is post-event report by the media on what happened. It is not a real time political spin job trying to support the pols (as is the usual fare in the news media). Read the article and extrapolate the decision points in Detroit to those now faced by our nation. We are there now, at the point where we can avoid Detroit’s financial ill consuming this great nation. If we are willing to pay attention.
What happened in Detroit and our choices now are frighteningly similar.
Even the Feds have had to surrender to their impotence regarding Detroit. The problem is now so bad, the debt so deep, even the Democrats and Liberals are running away [Note, the pictures in this post are from this article, please go to the link and view all the damage in Detroit, there are 53 heart wrenching pics in all]:
The U.S. government directed more than $100 million in grants Thursday to help bankrupt Detroit tear down vacant buildings and spur job growth, but the help falls far short of the wider bailout some city leaders had sought.
But considering the Motor City is at least $18 billion in debt, it will take a far larger infusion of cash or historic deals with bond holders, insurance companies and other creditors to correct the problem.
“There is not going to be a bailout,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Carl Levin told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We have enough problems with the federal deficit. We need to be creative and look at existing programs. There are still some funds there.”
And what are some of the solutions being proposed? Not surprisingly, removing the gold-plating from government benefits:
In addition, Kevyn Orr, the city’s emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, has told the city’s two municipal retirement systems he wants to freeze Detroit’s pension plans and move to a 401(k)-style system.
Yep, got dump those over priced pensions and get back into market based investments. Duh!
It is not just some cute phrase or spin to state the private sector could never operate like a government bureaucracy and survive. It is a cold hard fact – and a life lesson for those who think government is more efficient and innovative that the private sector. It is also an important life lesson when it comes to massive global companies, which lose their efficiencies and innovative capabilities as they grow into bureaucratic behemoths themselves. Small and innovative created this country and drive its economic engine. If we forget this we will lose our way and our way of life.
Detroit (as well as other US cities now in bankruptcy) are warning signs for the federal level. This nation is up against the stops fiscally. After the liberals toyed with the Home Mortgage business in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, and destroyed the equity built into millions of homes to bring on the Great Recession of 2007, they are at it again. This time with Obamacare.
By all measures Obamacare is not ready for prime time and is causing enormous upheaval in the economy. Instead of low cost health insurance to go with good jobs, we are going to get high priced, government-run healthcare and a massive number of part time jobs instead:
Appearing on PBS’s McLaughlin Group, Zuckerman said, “88 percent of the jobs that have been created this year are part-time jobs. A large part of the reason for that number of part-time jobs which is unprecedented in American history is because people are apprehensive about the impact of ObamaCare on and the costs of ObamaCare on full-time jobs.”
This is one of hundreds of details we had to learn the hard way about Obamacare. No more full time jobs, no more career paths. All the while the cost of implementing Obamcare is skyrocketing. The only full time jobs being created are at the IRS to hound Americans into buying into the madness:
The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today.
The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law. The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare.
Not sure which is worse: the lost $67 million or the $1 billion slush fund for IRS harassment? Neither is good of course. The nation is going to part time work while the bureaucrats get paid full time to screw up as usual.
We at the Stratasphere are personally going to pay for any government shutdown – so this is not some theoretical issue for us. We are federal contractors, and will be ‘furloughed’ if the White House and Senate won’t give up on Obamacare and fund the rest of government. Given all the glitches in Obamacare, the roll out is premature and too costly to salvage. As I have seen evolving in my quarter century of work on government contracts, the focus is in government is on schedule – not readiness or maturity.
And this is why DC wastes almost all of its money. It throws out half baked solutions in an attempt show progress against schedules. The result is a mess which requires 10 times more money to fix (instead of doing it right, albeit delayed). Trust me, 80% of waste derives from this systemic problem.
The House is right on this issue. DC needs to stop wasting our money and stop deploying half-baked solutions that do more damage than good. Obamacare is turning a really bad recession into a potentially disastrous financial period of stagnation. Right now most African Americans and Young Adults are not in career level jobs. They are barely treading water. And Obamacare is going to make it much, much worse (and permanent).
Now nearly all new jobs are part time, which is why the future looks bleak for most Americans.
If the GOP wanted to play politics, they would let Obamacare role out and flop. That would allow each American to experience the disaster on a deeply personal level. But they are trying to do the right thing. They are going for the principle, not the ‘I told you so’. I think the GOP is right – do what is needed, let the chips fall where they may.
And that position is going to cost me dearly if the Dems decide to shut down government to save Obamacare.
Funny enough, if Reid and Obama win this round they will lose the war. 2014 will be the year of assessment on Dems. Are we better off than we were in 2008? Is the future brighter now? Is Obamacare helping or hurting?
Knowing how well the Feds execute these things, the fact is Obamacare will be an unmitigated disaster when it rolls out, and it will piss off Americans who were not paying attention or were fantasizing about how wonderful bureaucracies (like the DMV) are in terms of service to their customers.
Only time will tell if we are now a nation of boiled frogs – or not. Because we are neck deep in financial hot water right now, and we are being offered a ladder out of the boiling pot.