The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.
The political, social networking site that integrates politics with popular culture.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@djc91ua, let me start this off by pointing out the obvious. You can not run a successful business, town, city, state, or country by spending more than you take in, there I said it, out loud.

Plain and simple, this country, many states and cities have been spending way more than they ever took in, for decades. The country either prints more money to cover their spending or they borrow from other countries. Either way you’re dealing with negative money. States and cities borrow from the governments negative money when they run out, which makes them dealing with negative money. Now you have yourself in a big hole. You have to not only have to pay yourself back from what you’ve spent of your own money, then you have to pay back the negative money you borrowed, and you have enough to cover any increases in the next years spending. If you can’t do all of that, then the next year you’re back to borrowing negative money, again. It doesn’t work. Anybody who has run a business for more than a couple of years can tell you that it doesn’t work.

You said, “All of this leads to question, will the same happen on a national level?” OK, here’s the bad news. It’s already happening. The country is in such deep debt that it can’t pay its way out, not anytime soon anyhow, and the spending needs to be controlled, now. Look at how things stand, we owe China billions, if not trillions, we have a severely high unemployment level, the value of the American dollar is in the dumper, and we have politicians who are pushing to put the country further in debt. We have arrived at bankruptcy and no one wants to admit it.

You, however did make a statement that is somewhat backwards. We do need to control spending, but we need to “decrease” taxes, yep I said decrease taxes. If you look at a discussion I started a while back about the “Flat Tax” you would see how this could be accomplished.

With a simple 10% flat tax, with no write-offs, and controlled spending, we could pay off the national debt in as little as ten years, at least that’s the estimate. Within 15 years we could be running in the black.

If a person makes 50 thousand dollars, he pays 5 thousand in taxes. If a corporation, like Exxon, makes 6.8 billion, then they pay 680 million. The increase in revenue would be enormous but at the same time everyone would be paying the same, no one paying more or less.

Where I live the average worker makes about 350.00 dollars a week, how much would it mean to him to only have 35 dollars taken out of his check for federal taxes.

The current outlook is grim, but if the right steps are taken we could rebuild this country back to its former greatness.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@djc91ua
@jlriggs57aol-com

Damien:

“Is America going to go bankrupt?” Great question and the answer is that we have been bankrupt for several years; morally bankrupt that is, which often leads to financial bankruptcy. I was thinking about how to reply to your post and when I decided what to write I went back and realized that James had already replied and said half the things I wanted to say. So this reply will be short by my standards, but it is two-fold (two posts long) and the second post is lengthy, sorry!

I will try to expand on what James said and add some of my own thoughts as well.

Our states can declare bankruptcy but our federal government (the United States) cannot. The United States is constitutionally required to repay its debts. This can be seen in the main body of the constitution and very plainly in the fourteenth amendment.

The government can falter on many of its promises and as a matter of law there may be consequences, but so long as it is not the national debt there is no direct constitutional violation in terms of default. For example, Social Security is a promise, not a debt. If the government fails to write Social Security checks that would be bad but that would not constitute default on the debt and as such does not warrant a bankruptcy.

For the record, a default on the debt will never happen because it is specifically mentioned as a direct violation of the constitution. If things ever get to the point where we cannot make the interest payment on the debt, this country will cease to exist first because the constitution will have been obliterated.

Even federal bankruptcy law directs that the first person or entity to be paid is the creditors, or the people who loaned you money. These creditors take priority over all owners of the company. In the case of the United States, if the country could go bankrupt the very first dollar would go to those who loaned us money (for example China) and then if there is anything left AFTER all creditors get paid, the owners get to split that.

Again, in the case of a U.S. bankruptcy (which cannot happen) all available money would go to pay off the $17 trillion debt this nation owes. We don’t have that much money on hand so our assets, which include the country, would go to settle the debt. In other words, the Chinese and our other creditors would OWN the United States and could force you to move out if they wanted. Or force you into slavery.

That is the legal solution but the reality is that we would fight our second revolutionary war, this time without General George Washington. We would be at physical war with our creditors because the alternative would be to become slaves to their desires. “Live free or die” comes to mind here. In other words, this won’t ever happen and this is the very reason our founders put this in the constitution. Yes, the same constitution that EVERY government official/employee, to include the president and EVERY member of congress, swears an oath to support and defend. It is irresponsible of them (and I would say treasonous) to threaten this in an effort to scare the public into doing their political bidding.

Whoever is president if the debt payments are missed while there is even one dollar in the treasury will be impeached so fast that there might not even be time to pack their bags. In fact, due to the seriousness of the matter and the immediate need to act in a timely manner, if intentional default on the debt was imminent, before it actually happened you might see certain people being escorted from the building at gunpoint (it is that serious).

Bottom line: the ONLY way we will default on the national debt is if those with the power to cause that to happen actually WANT it to happen. For the record, neither the House nor the Senate has ANYTHING to do with this. It is ALL in the executive branch. Default on the national debt, considering how much money comes in to the federal government each day through taxes, would be intentional, it would be political suicide, and it might just be physical suicide as well. Let’s hope that those in charge are not stupid enough to allow this to happen, even though they use that threat every day to scare the American public (something which itself is un-American).

Notwithstanding the above, we could find ourselves in a situation where we have little money, although the national debt will ALWAYS be in good standing. Your solution to cut government spending AND raise taxes is half right and half wrong. I see James beat me to the draw on this one. Cutting government spending is paramount. Cutting taxes is also paramount. We give, through taxes, far more to the federal government than it needs to do that which is required of them by the constitution. Remember, because of the tenth amendment the FEDERAL government CANNOT do anything more.

If it isn’t in the enumerated powers, or cannot be justified by protecting yours and my right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” the federal government CANNOT DO IT, EVER. Quick example is education. How much money does the federal government spend on education? I don’t know either but whatever it is, 100% of it is illegal because education is not an enumerated power and therefore it is the jurisdiction of the STATES.

If the federal government all of a sudden stopped spending money on that which they cannot constitutionally spend money on (like Obamacare), all of that extra money would go to paying down the debt and we would be out of debt in about ten years, and that isn’t even considering that the economy would grow by leaps and bounds if the federal government did its job and nothing more.

In FY 2013 the federal government took in about $2.7 trillion (taxes, duties, tariffs, etc). We spent about $856 billion in defense. Considering that the ONLY purpose of government is to defend our freedom and you don’t have much more you need to pay for on a federal level (state level is different). Granted, you still need to pay for things like the judicial system and a few other things.

If you assume that the correct cost of running the federal government is $1 trillion, I don’t really know what it would be but that figure is considerably closer than the $3.7 trillion that was spent, that would leave you with an extra $1.7 trillion at the end of the year ($2.7t revenue minus $1t expense = $1.7t remaining and you didn’t borrow anything). Apply that to the national debt and it would be paid off in 10 years.

Obviously my assumed numbers aren’t incredibly accurate (except for the $2.7t revenue and $856t Defense) so you might need a total of twelve years to pay off the national debt. The rest of these numbers are used for illustration.

I think I could wait that long, but as to your statement of raising taxes on everyone, I don’t think so. Besides, EVERY dollar you take from the economy in the form of taxes reduces the size of the economy by one dollar, actually more because business grows money while government shrinks money. This concept is true even in light of the idea that some of the things government does, such as interstate highways, actually spur the economy. The question is does the benefit to the economy justify the reduction in the economy (hopefully short term reduction)? In the case of the interstate highway system I think we can all agree that it does. Taking money from the economy to pay for Obama-phones on the other hand – not so much.

As of July 2013 we owed $1.277 trillion to China (www.treasury.gov/tic/mfh.txt‎). We are inflating our way out of that debt which means that we borrowed that money over the years at a time when the dollar had a certain value. We have been printing some $85 billion per month for the last many months (thanks to Ben Bernanke) and that makes the dollar have less value so we are paying off that debt with less-valuable dollars than we borrowed.

This tends to piss off our creditors (such as the Chinese) so next time they either won’t loan money to us or they will demand we pay a higher interest rate. A more personal example would be why do you think the interest rates on a 30 year mortgage are generally higher than the rates on a 15 year mortgage? It is mostly because of the time-value of money which constantly goes down.

If you reduce the size of government, which in turn dissolves the extraneous regulations that choke the economy, the economy will grow because of free-market capitalism. This more vibrant economy will pay off the debt much faster than the current state of the economy

There is one other thing we could do to rapidly pay off the national debt. However, because this post is getting long and the next one will be even longer, I will start a new post on this same thread.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@djc91ua
@jlriggs57aol-com

There is another way to rapidly pay off the national debt. Unfortunately the last time someone with this idea got anywhere close to the oval office was Newt Gingrich when he was running for president in the primaries in 2012 and we know how that turned out. Due to our collective lack of knowledge of geopolitics we put our country in danger and did so just so we could re-elect a “cool” guy even though we already had witnessed four years of his constant failures. Fool me once, shame on me – fool me twice, shame on you!

This will take some background to set up but consider the following:

There is one reason we go to war and one reason only and that is because it is in our national security interest to do so. Intelligent people can debate what constitutes a national security concern but there is no other legitimate reason to go to war. That said we went to war in Libya for reasons other than our national security and that, in my opinion was an illegal war with dire consequences.

Syria, under Obama would have been the same in the concept of an illegal war although much worse with deadly unintended consequences. I have written extensively on this site about the Libya and the Syria debacles in the “International” category, specifically in the thread “Al Qaeda threatens, Obama closes Embassies. Putin ignores Obama threats!”

Real quick on Libya and Syria. Killing the enemy is considered an act of war but killing people when it is not required to do so in the defense our national security, some would say is not an act of war but murder.

Libya was a “humanitarian” mission. A humanitarian mission is not a mission to defend our country. How many bombs did we drop in Libya in the name of humanity? How many Libyans, who were not our enemy, did we kill with our humanitarian bombs? God help us if we do the same in Syria because someone will eventually figure out that we are killing people for reasons other than defense and we will wind up in court over that and it will get ugly.

The fact that congress only halfheartedly disapproved the Libya thing is probably the only thing that will save President Obama from impeachment proceedings over that issue. You might remember that congress disapproved the action but allowed the funding, Obama out-smarted congress on that one. If you want to impeach Obama over that, which you easily could do, you would also have to impeach everyone in congress who even half-heartedly approved the funding. Obama recklessly endangered our country over Libya and Congress sold us out.

Throughout history there have been many issues that threaten our national security that have caused and will cause us to make war to defend ourselves. One historical yet current example is curbing the spread of communism. Today, although checking the spread of communism is still on the list it is not on top of the list. So what is currently on the top of the list? How about this: 1) terrorism and 2) ensuring the free flow of oil on the international market.

We ensure the free flow of oil on the international market not only for ourselves so that we can have an uninterrupted supply (upon which our economy depends), but we also ensure the free flow of oil so that our trading partners, who also depend on foreign oil, can keep their economies going so that we may conduct trade with them.

In short, this means that if we produced all the oil we needed, and forbid the export of oil produced here at home as many would have us do, we would still consider the free flow of oil on the international market to be in our national security interest and we would still go to war to maintain that free flow.

Here is a solution and Obama is dead-set against this solution for reasons neither the common man nor the highly educated man can comprehend. First let me say that I intend to go to the extreme to illustrate my point and then I will offer a more practical means of accomplishing the same thing.

Many people, including the talking heads in the media will tell you that there are several factors causing the high price of gas at the pump. They cite the international market as being the largest single cause and I believe that is correct. This, in a nutshell means that OPEC is the single largest price setting agency on the international market.

Then you add to that the potential for the Iranians to, for example, block the Strait of Hormuz through which some 20% of the world’s oil travels, and now all of a sudden you have the potential for a massive supply/demand problem that today does not exist. It could exist by this time tomorrow – all it would take is for the Iranians (or al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization) to explode one of their own ships in the narrowest part of the channel.

Sinking one of our ships in the channel would be an act of war whereas an accidental explosion of one of their ships would be just that, an accident, something the United States Military cannot prevent short of denying Iran passage through international waters and that is also an act of war.

The world is estimated to use some 90 million barrels of oil every day. If the United States produced 90 million barrels of oil per day that would put OPEC out of business. As of just four or five years ago (I am sure things have changed since), it cost Saudi Arabia about 12 dollars to extract one barrel of oil from the ground. They sell that barrel of oil today for around $100 dollars. That is one heck of a profit even if you consider the cost to pump oil may have increased by 100% to $24 per barrel in that short time.

Using this example of $24 dollars (100% increase) cost to extract oil from the ground, the United States oil companies could then sell that oil on the international market for a tidy sum of say $36 dollars per barrel. A 50% markup from $24 to $36 might be nice for the oil companies, and it would be great for the consumer to pay $36 per barrel instead of $100.

We have far surpassed the limits of what I believe the Republicans have put into this as far as rational thought (notwithstanding the extreme case I made which I will deal with later), and unfortunately that means that we have left the Democrats in the dust somewhere back at the starting line. Newt Gingrich seems to be one of the few Republicans who both understood this and was willing to do something about it, like run for president. I think the others understood this to an extent but not as well as Gingrich. But that is water under the bridge.

Let’s take a look at what we have done so far just by producing and exporting our own oil. We have dramatically increased the production of our oil. This will put many unemployed Americans back to work but we need to cut a bunch of red tape regarding permits and other things that slow the process.

Oil companies pay royalties for oil they extract from public lands and waters. These increased royalties will dramatically increase revenue to the government and we could use that to ONLY pay down the national debt (another good thing).

Speaking of revenue to the government, all those unemployed workers who now work in the oil field and make very good money are now paying income tax (a good thing) instead of being on taxpayer funded unemployment or welfare (ending this is another good thing, in fact a good thing times two).

Please keep in mind that I am going to reduce my extreme example to a more practical solution in a minute but I have to make a point first.

All that is on the national level. What have we done on the international level? Well, we have made oil cheaper for our trading partners so the goods they export to the United States cost less for them to produce and less for us less to buy (that is a good thing). We have ensured the free flow of oil on the international market (that is a good thing).

Since we now have ensured the free flow of oil on the international market for not only us but for our trading partners as well, we are no longer hostage to people like Iran and their constant threats to block the Strait of Hormuz (that is a good thing). But there are yet more “good” things.

We can now bring one of the two carrier groups home from standing guard in the Persian Gulf area to ensure the free flow of oil. Yes, in a nutshell we have just taken one of the major reasons to go to war off the list (still another good thing, in fact a very good thing). Removing one major reason to go to war saves money and this is a good thing, it also saves lives which is another good thing, and the benefits of not having to fight a war are limitless. The good things keep adding up.

Now, what about the other thing on that list of reasons to go to war, which is international terrorism? What have we done here by exporting all this oil? First, what is it that makes terrorism work? Fear to be sure (this is the definition of the word “terrorism”), but fear of what? Fear of someone taking from us something we cherish, or need to survive, like oil. Oil = energy, energy = production, production = a vibrant economy.

Other than coming to America to kill us, or producing WMDs to kill us, what is the most powerful thing the terrorists have? The ability to, with a few sticks of dynamite or a few well placed IEDs, severely damage and interrupt the free flow of oil on the international market. And they know that as long as they threaten us with that they will have our undivided attention and we will fight to secure this. Think about why we even care about the Middle East. That’s where the world’s oil comes from – stop the oil and you stop the world! It’s that simple but Obama and the liberals can’t understand that.

If we solve the oil problem, as outlined above, we have just taken a big bite out of the effectiveness of international terrorism and the second reason for going to war. Please note, as long as there is the possibility of terrorists controlling WMDs we will always be engaged but at a different level (and a much less expensive level). Is this not another good thing?

By exporting all the oil the world can use we have just eliminated one of the two main reasons to go to war, the free-flow of oil on the international market, and significantly reduced the other which is terrorist’s ability to threaten that free-flow. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I think that is a very good thing.

I said I would go to extreme to illustrate my point and I did. My example included the United States producing all of the world’s oil and putting OPEC out of business. While it may be physically possible to produce that much oil, the reality is that it is not necessary to put OPEC out of business, nor would we want to do that.

Some people say that if we produced and exported 10,000 barrels more oil tomorrow, OPEC would just cut their production by 10,000 barrels to make up the difference and it would be a zero-sum game. That is probably true.

At $100 per barrel that Saudi Arabia gets for oil (slightly less today but tomorrow it could be $100 again), they live a luxurious life, at least the Royal Family does. I use Saudi Arabia as an example because they are the largest exporter of oil and I believe they are the richest member of OPEC. My point is that if Saudi Arabia cut back their production by 10,000 barrels per day to make up for the increase in U.S. oil exports (per the above example), the Saudi’s would still live a very luxurious lifestyle (again, the Royal Family, those who control the price).

However (this is the more practical approach I promised) if we exported enough oil that the price per barrel on the international scene dropped to $36 per barrel as in the above example, the Royal Family would not be able to maintain that luxurious lifestyle and at that point there is no way they would even consider cutting their oil production by even one barrel per day because that means even less money to live on. In fact, they would be looking to increase their oil production.

I see price competition (free-market principles) coming into play here and I am pretty sure that is another good thing because price-competition drives the price down which is good for the consumer. Have you noticed that the good things are starting to add up fast? The reality is that we would not have to produce 90 million barrels per day, maybe only a quarter of that will result in these benefits.

What about the oil-speculators, one might ask? The astute person who understands markets understands this – the thing that moves the futures market is supply/demand, or perhaps the perceived future supply/demand. If we drastically increase supply, the speculators will bail out, or perhaps even go short. For the non-market-wise, when people “go short” or sell short it drives the price down and who doesn’t love cheaper gasoline? As all speculators know, there is an endpoint to the short game so eventually the speculators would get out completely and it will be market forces that drive them out, not anti-capitalist government interference in the market-place.

One thing has held true on all free markets and will always hold true and that is that in a rising market, the first investor to get in stands to make the most money. This is like “getting in on the bottom floor.” The opposite side of that is in a down market the first person to sell out of his “long” positions stands to lose the least amount of money.

This means that if we make a serious move toward drastically increasing the supply of oil, those speculators will be tripping over each other to be the first to liquidate or sell their long positions. We all know what massive selling pressure does to the price of the underlying security, in this case oil. It drives the price down and can do it rapidly if the move is bold enough. This benefit would be almost immediate. Can I say it one more time, please? That is a good thing!

Need a relatively current example of how a market moves when drastic measures are made to alter supply/demand or the future supply/demand? Remember what happened to the price of gasoline when President Bush and congress removed the moratoriums on drilling? The price of crude and therefore gasoline came down quickly and that wasn’t even a bold move.

That was only a small increase (off shore drilling only) in the future supply of oil. What would happen if we had a huge increase in the future supply of oil? Some say there were other market forces at work, such as seasonal demand, and that might be true but it is undeniable that this was a huge factor.

One negative consequence of dragging our feet on doing this: Oil has a shelf life in that eventually green energy will replace most (not all) oil products. This may not be for fifty years, nobody really knows although Obama thinks it happened when he took office in 2009 but the reality is that he didn’t think this through. The real world caught up with him and instead of changing his agenda, we pay extremely high prices for energy and will continue to do so for a long time, especially now that the free-flow of oil is susceptible to serious threats by terrorists.

The thing to know here is that we have a chance to reduce much of our national debt, possibly even eradicate it, with increased revenue from royalties oil companies pay to the government on each barrel of oil they extract from public lands.

When green energy comes online, there goes our chance to reduce our national debt with drilling royalties. And there goes our chance to employ many people with good paying jobs too. If we want to take advantage of this opportunity, and we would be fools not to, we need to act now. The administration is fully aware of this so why are they not acting? Possibly a hidden agenda.

So, to come full circle (you probably didn’t think I could do it) we need a president who has thought deeply and thoroughly about this. We need a president who will get out of the way and get government out of the way and let the free market do what it does best and that is provide a good product at a fair price.

Until government realizes that they cannot force a market to function, commerce will continue to fail. If you want proof just look at how long Obama has been improperly using government influence to advance green energy by forcing it on us before the technology is ready. Think about how that is destroying the lives of the American people and will destroy this country. Sorry, the kids can’t go to college because we spent their college fund on unreasonably high priced gas that our government is trying hard to make even more expensive.

No, Obama has very little control over OPEC. He has considerable control over terrorism or our reaction to terrorism (which raises the cost of gasoline considerably) but he chooses to wait and watch while rogue nations build nukes which will increase tension which increases gas prices even more. He has control over oil companies but he only exercises that control in ways that further increase the price of gas.

This country has considerable control over supply/demand and at the end of the day supply/demand is the only true reason for high price gas. The government can control demand only by using dictatorial powers. How else can they tell you what YOU want? They can control supply through regulation (EPA, executive orders, etc). Yet our leadership either cannot correctly apply the concept of supply/demand or they have an agenda they are keeping from the public. I suspect that is intentional.

Two different games to play with energy hanging in the balance. One results in cheap energy and greatly enhanced national security, less cause to fight wars, and a chance to substantially reduce our national debt.

The other game results in high prices, increased leverage that terrorism has over us, and the slow but steady loss of our freedoms. It is obvious which game our leaders have chosen to force us to play. The question is will Americans vote to sustain the misery or will they use their voting power to change the course we are on?

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Damien Christian @djc91ua

@kevlar @jlriggs57aol-com Ideologically I agree with most points you guys made. I am, personally not in favor of higher taxes, but in this country we have to work and negotiate with people who share the complete opposite view point that we have. We need a plan that will cut the debt and deficit quickly that liberal, conservatives, and libertarian can at least somewhat agree with.

I like your energy idea, but the left will never agree with that in its entirety. So we need to find common ground that both side agree with. Now as for your idea of federal government on spending on what they have power to sped on, which I agree with to a degree, that will not happen because the citizen will have outrage. Take medicare for instance. If a presidential candidate ran in 2016 on the platform of “the feds don’t have the constitutional power to fund medicare so I will hand it to the states,” he will lose because the other side will scare seniors and upper middle aged people into believing that he will get rid of their medicare and social security. I just not practical or politically wise.

Ideologically I agree with you but politically and practically it can’t be done because an elected official has to pander to the people and work with the other side to be successful and to get good things done for the country.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@djc91ua
@jlriggs57aol-com

Damien:

Thanks for agreeing with me. You present the other side fairly well and that is that they won’t agree, compromise, negotiate, whatever term you want to use. As for things like Social Security and Medicare and even Medicaid, they are unconstitutional due to them being a state jurisdiction and not federal (fact) but I don’t advocate their removal because too many people have come to depend on them.

Then take drilling. The federal government cannot make it illegal to drill any more than they can force us by law to drill. Whether to drill or not to drill is something that does indeed warrant discussion, debate, negotiation, and compromise because as far as the constitution and ALL laws that find proper authority in the constitution are concerned, it is neither illegal to drill or not drill – the choice is ours to make and robust debate on the merit is how you make good decisions.

There is still one thing we can do though and that is to educate ourselves, which is why we are all here on this website (myself included), so that we can make an informed opinion as to that particular politician’s future employment in the federal government. The shorter that persons term in office vis-a-vie the next election, the closer that person is to the people. This is why the Constitution, in Article I section 7, requires all bills to raise revenue be originated in the House, because the Representatives know that if they act in such a way as to piss off the people they will have to face them again in a maximum of two years, instead of the Senators who only face the people every six years.

You are correct that politics is the accomplished art of negotiation and compromise. Where we the people fall short is that we will not enforce the boundaries within which they must act. If the politicians are outside of the constitution they don’t even have the authority to take a dump, let alone legislate.

Case in point – Obamacare. Should we, in an effort to be fair, give the people a one year delay in the individual mandate just as Obama gave to his union buddies and to business? Or perhaps we should debate with our friends on the other side of the aisle about the fact that Obama had no authority to give them a waiver because the only way to change legislation is with more legislation. Or perhaps we should negotiate and compromise on whether to just defund the law for one year or five years, or indefinitely?

I say ALL of that previous paragraph is a complete waste of time but it is wasted because we-the-people won’t do what we need to do. We shouldn’t even be having these debates and there should not be a compromise because how can you debate on something that is not even there?

Here is my point. Had we over the past 200+ years (not too late to start doing the right thing now) voted out of office those who did the “people’s work” but conducted that work “outside” the constitution where they had no authority to work on our behalf, Obamacare would NOT exist and we would not then be pissed off at each other and shutting down the government as a result.

Obamacare is unconstitutional and so far nobody has been able to convince me otherwise. If it is unconstitutional then it shouldn’t exist, period.

So what can we, you and I, do about it? We can educate ourselves on the constitution and the ONLY way to amend it. Know what it authorizes and what it forbids. Know the difference between a federal power and a state power. Then help educate others on the same material.

Then, with our new found knowledge we will be prepared to vote those OUT of office who usurp their authority. When the politicians fear the people again they will act within their authority and we will not be discussing things like Obamacare because even the politicians would not even try to pass it if they knew the voters would hold them accountable at the next election. I will go out on a limb here and state that I don’t think that even Nancy Pelosi is stupid enough to take on an informed electorate (I could be wrong, she seems dumber than a box of rocks).

So what do we do about the past? We start right here, right now by educating ourselves. We pick the fight we want to start exercising our integrity on and go from there. There is no better time to start standing up for your integrity than right now.

If our voter chooses Obamacare as his first foray into integrity, then vote against EVERYONE who voted for Obamacare, and that includes Obama himself. Next and very current, he should vote against ALL those who voted against repeal of Obamacare. Then vote against everyone who voted to NOT defund Obamacare. You will have very few people left standing but you can keep your integrity going.

Vote against everyone who, even if they had the integrity to vote against Obamacare when it first passed, now have the audacity to bad-mouth folks like Ted Cruz for standing up for his integrity against an unconstitutional program. I am not trying to steer you toward Ted Cruz or away from him. I am just using him as an example on one issue (Obamacare) to illustrate how deep this rotten decay of politicians constantly lying to the public and the public not caring until it is too late. The point is that not many will be left standing and possibly nobody. I’ll bet that if you picked a different topic you could probably rule Ted Cruz out as well.

It is wrong for the politicians to subvert the trust of the American people. It is even more wrong for the American people to be witness to this abuse and stand by and do nothing.

Just as it is wrong for the farmer to not take strong enough actions to protect the henhouse. But when the fox does raid the henhouse and eat the chickens, at least the fox can say (with the highest of integrity) that he did not violate any rules to which he is bound. Our politicians can’t even say that. Worse, our freedom-loving Americans don’t even know anything happened, let alone happened wrong.

Knowledge is key and it is up to all of us to become informed if we want to save our country. Unfortunately most people still don’t care. It is up to people like you and me and others who are willing to debate on the merits to bring this to the attention of those who are uninformed so they may be informed. This is not some kind of spiritual thing where I am trying to save the sole of the guy on the street in a town I have never been to. No, I really don’t care if he wants to be free or not. The problem is if he and his buddies give up their freedom, they also give up my freedom and that motivates me to do what I can to get him up to speed before the next election.

Sorry to rant, but it is not against you. Perhaps it is to motivate you though. You stated your opinion that you agree with me and I believe I am right more often than I’m wrong so your agreement is good. You also presented the other side well.

When we were kids and had recess we could do whatever we wanted on the playground, but we were held to two things. We had to play within the rules, and we had to remain on the playground. Not only did our politicians forget the rules, but they forgot where the playground is. We are the enforcers of those rules, let’s act like we know them.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@djc91ua, for some of the reasons you stated, is why the flat tax would be what is needed. No it wouldn’t be an immediate fix, but nothing would be, not with a 16.7 trillion dollar debt.

I believe that paying less taxes is something every citizen could agree to, whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent. Especially if you show that not only are you, the average citizen, are paying less taxes but also that the national debt is shrinking.

Now big corporations that make billions and use write-offs to pay very little would be pretty upset. Don’t get me wrong some of these write-offs are legitimate but a lot aren’t.
It’s like anything else it’s abused. However keep in mind that business is made up of people and each person only gets one vote. So you have millions upon millions of everyday citizens who want to pay less taxes and yet see the national debt go down while you have thousands of business owners who probably be against it. The numbers just aren’t in their favor. With an added bonus, you could eliminate the IRS or at least most of it.

With the kind of revenue we’re talking about there would be no need to get rid of Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.

I have never expected something for nothing, I wasn’t raised that way. But if I have paid into something for nearly 40 years, then yeah, I expect to get something back. There should be no reason that we should have to tell someone who has invested in something, that what they invested in for all those years won’t be available to them when they need it most.

There are a million ways that these programs could be slowly be phased out of the system after the people who have already invested in it are gone.

You can never please everyone, but I think a flat tax would the simplest, fairest, and easiest to get the majority of the people to agree on.

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Ron @ronc99

America’s economy is based on usury. Therefore, we are not bankrupt. In fact, if debt was ever made even, USA would fail.

This debt spin created by billionaires who own the GOP/media, must cease and desist. It’s of total hypocrisy, that a national party: GOP, spends America into debt & then when out of the White House, claims to be small gov’t conservatives. Not a conservative in the entire party. They are the big spenders who’ve always increased the size and scope of government. Vaginal ultrasounds, anyone?

What is required, today? What President Obama offers: pragmatism. Balancing spending with taxes. Realism over ideology. I’ve no use for the Far Left or Far Right. Both are anti-government Libertarians, who’ve no place in our government.

I am against reforming the tax code. As it will be written by lobbyists of billionaires, who will make their net taxes, even less (loopholes, anyone?). Which will force the middle class to pay even more. Pete Peterson’s plutocratic demands for austerity on earned benefits, must be rejected soundly!

A couple of solutions to all these “Sky is Falling, Fascists” worried about bankruptcy?,1) Levy a huge tariff on all goods being imported INTO America. 2) Bring to justice those corporations who’ve off-shored/privatized their profits & socialized onto the American taxpayer, their costs.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@ronc99

Ron:

All I can really say is WOW. That is the strongest anti-American tirade I have heard in quite some time. You are even more anti-American than the most liberal of my friends.

Usury? Really? You seriously think America’s economy is built on usury? Based on that statement I can see you didn’t even look up the word to find out what it means. That’s alright, the audience you speak to is probably less educated than you… if that is even possible. Guess you got that wrong.

Ultrasounds? No thanks, but I understand that scientists are working on logic circuits that can be surgically implanted into your brain and I encourage you to keep an eye on that. I could be wrong here because even if they perfect the procedure they can’t put it in something that doesn’t exist in the first place.

What President Obama offers? Haven’t we seen enough of this already with him systematically destroying the constitution? You may not care and in reality many people don’t care. Many people may not care about the constitution but most people in America enjoy their freedom. When that freedom is taken away from them and they get that confused look on their face, the only truthful thing you can say to them is that constitution that they cared very little about is THE ONLY thing that guaranteed their freedom. Shred the constitution – shred their guaranteed protected freedom. Guess you got that one wrong, huh?

Balancing spending with taxes? Really? Do you really trust a bunch of politicians to say “no, our money would be better spent elsewhere?” Your buddy Obama, whom you seem to believe is very good at this is actually very bad at it and you want us to trust him even more? Wrong again!

Realism over ideology perhaps because ideology is nothing more than an opinion and all opinions need to be either supported with evidence, which the liberals are unable to do, or scrapped. Yes I have an ideology just as most people who can breathe do, but I can’t even begin to discuss ideology until both sides decide to start playing by the rules, and so far neither side is good at it but the liberals are horrible at it. Realism over ideology? Aren’t you putting the cart before the horse?

Is it really that both sides are anti-government like you said? Or perhaps the left really loves government so much that they want to grow it at any cost. Gee, if they want to grow it at any cost that kinda makes your statement incorrect, doesn’t it?

How about the right then? Are they anti-government? I believe you might have heard that they want a SMALLER government. News flash – a smaller government is still a government. Here is another thing about the right. They love their freedom so much they are willing remind us daily why we even need a government. Those on the right are even so bold as to quote the constitution because that constitution is the only thing that guarantees the protection of their freedom. Yes, you are right, that is the same constitution that sets up and describes how the government will run.

One more thing to kinda cap off this thought. The right is willing to remind us every day about the Declaration of Independence. The third paragraph of that document starts off by saying “That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men…” If the right was so “anti-government” as you say, why would they cherish the only two documents that give meaning and substance to the government? I guess you’re wrong on that one too.

Just a suggestion, if you consider yourself an American and cherish your freedom (which is doubtful), you might want to read those documents.

Your reason for being against reforming the tax code is also full of hot air If you pay attention to what is going on around you, even just a little bit, you will see that the “right” as you like to refer to them, is actively trying to reform the tax code to a fair or flat tax.

This flat tax has even been discussed to great length on this very thread. Although by reading your rant it is obvious that you didn’t even put out the effort to do that little bit of home work. Another news flash – a flat tax keeps the lobbyists out of it (ah, the very purpose behind the idea). So maybe you got that wrong too. The left is a different story though so it is easy to see where you fit in. Need I say it again? Yes, I believe I will – you got that wrong too!

Levy a huge tariff on all imported goods? Really? You think that is a good idea? Do you think there might be unintended consequences there? Do you think that if we demand a huge tariff on imported goods that other countries might retaliate by putting a huge tariff on things they import from us? Do you think this might just be a zero-sum game? Do you think that we could actually lose in a global tariff war? Didn’t think that one through did you? Guess you got that one wrong as well.

Bring to justice those corporations who’ve off-shored/privatized their profits? You can’t seriously be that unintelligent can you? Ok, for the sake of conversation I agree with you. Let’s bring them to justice. I am an educated man and I have a pretty solid though basic understanding of the world, economics, and geopolitics but unfortunately if I am going to bring them to “justice” you are going to have to tell me what law they broke when they took those profits overseas?

Also, talking about those who took part of their business overseas because maybe they wanted to exercise their freedom to act in their own best interest and be responsible to their shareholders, you might have to tell me what laws they broke as well. I am all for bringing to justice all those who break the law, but if they didn’t break the law then they are already at justice and you are exercising a personal vendetta against them. Usually it is the laws passed by those on the left, raising taxes and such (just as you want to do) that drove them overseas in the first place. But by all means, if they broke the law, let’s bring them to justice. Please, lead the way, sir. Well, just maybe you got that one wrong too!

If by socializing their costs you mean passing their costs on to the consumer, you have hit on something that should be eye-opening to you (shocker ain’t it). If it costs you ten dollars to make a widget and you sell that widget for twelve dollars, I guess you have passed 100% of your cost on to the consumer and that remaining two dollars, well I guess you can just call that profit because after you passed on 100% of your cost you had some left. Good for you Mr. Businessman, and good for you Ron. You have just described entrepreneurship to a tee. I seriously doubt that you knew what you were doing though so I will just put that in the column of “you got that one wrong too.”

For the record I don’t usually treat people this way. I have no problem when some honestly gets something wrong. I do that myself quite often. However, when you walk in with an ax to grind and have nothing to contribute to the conversation except lies, I have been known to speak my mind without any sugar-coating.

Ron, I think you are out of your ever-lovin mind but I am sorry that I do not have any derogatory names to call you. One thing I like about this website is that the people who contribute here seem to use rational thought more often than not and if they don’t know something they might state their opinion but they usually don’t go off on a nonsensical tangent.

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Ron @ronc99

@kevlar

The verbosity of your Fox News Echo Chamber would be nauseating, if not typical of today’s “Debt Ceiling Deniers” *yawn* Which do your enjoy more? Your greed or your hatred. Choose one, as you can’t have them both, Bocephus. Further, I’m a Desert Storm veteran. So take your flag & shove it, as flags are like a-holes, everyone has one. Lastly, put away the “Grover Norquist” Thesaurus. It’s boring, outdated & irrelevant, like you!

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Kevlar @kevlar

@ronc99

Ron:

I would like to re-iterate my response from last time and that is “WOW.” I would also like to retract my previous apology for not having any derogatory names to call you. It seems that debate on the merit, granted even pointed debate when warranted, is far beyond your capability.

I did not consult Fox News for any of what I wrote. Actually I seldom quote Fox News. I have neither greed nor hatred but I see these are in plentiful supply in your heart and mind. Sorry, I have no idea what you mean by calling me “Bocephus.”

By the way, I will take a bit of your advice and look up this Grover Norquist guy because honestly, I have no idea who he is. The only thing I can imagine is that he must be someone of importance to be able to get under your thin skin as he did. Thanks for the tip!

You claim to be a Desert Storm Veteran and with the same breath you tell me to shove my flag. My flag and your flag are the same flag, just so that we understand that you are talking about the United States Flag when you utter your unpatriotic contempt for our nation. It especially tops off your disrespect for your country when you say that flag is equivalent to an “a-hole.”

I am a veteran who also participated in that venture, as well as OEF, OIF, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Provide Promise, Joint Guard, Uphold Democracy, Volant Oak, Coronet Oak, and a few others I’d rather not list. You are the only person I know who actively hates his country while at the same time tries to impress others with his veteran status.

For the record, I have nobody to impress by listing this stuff and it is truly rare that I even mention it. I listed it only to establish my credentials to call your bluff. In case you didn’t get that – I don’t think you ever served a day, at least not in honor. Certainly as much as you appear to hate your country you would not serve again.

You are only the second person ever that I have challenged on veteran status so I don’t do this lightly. Your claim to have served could actually be true except for the honorable part. To be clear you never actually said your service was done in honor (not talking about what your 214 might say). The whole honor part was my idea so please forgive me if I expected too much from you.

The first guy I challenged actually had a more flimsy story than you because he claimed to have served in combat yet he had no idea that combat was filled with dangers. At least you have not yet come across as being that stupid.

One last thing Ron, my purpose in participating on this website is not to fight with others. My purpose is to participate in rational debate based on the merits. I hope that I may be able to learn from others and that they might be able to learn from me.

While your attacks are unwarranted it is sometimes warranted to answer an attack with a counter-attack, as long as it is clean. This is what I did. My counter might have been pointed but it was clean. You then took it farther by making baseless statements and falsely (in my opinion) claiming veteran status in an effort to establish credibility for your meritless attack.

I will not follow you down this rat-hole of anti-patriotism. If you want to debate me in the future please do so but do it on the merit and whenever possible please provide supporting evidence for any contentious statements, and if you can’t find any supporting evidence but still believe the thought then go ahead and state it but make sure you state that as your opinion.

I have no problem with those who disagree with me as long as they are respectful. Furthermore if they can support their positions, I will listen all day long because this is how I learn (from rational thought that is supported by evidence).

Good Day sir!

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Gary @grand-vizier

WOW,this is like getting a free degree in civics/finance/law/political science from a lot of smart people (OK maybe not Ron,I have no idea what he’s talking about).
Lets sum it up.
Whatever’s bound to happen will!
Facts;
It is not possible to forever spend more than is take in.
The government can print all the money it needs. FOREVER!
Therefore the Government will either need to print more money until it has no value or reduce spending before that happens.
If enough money is printed the Government will ,in effect have confiscated all the money; see 50,000,000,000 Zimbabwe bills.
If money has no value how will goods and services be paid for?
No one will care how high taxes are,the money will be worthless anyway.
THE END!
Or sanity will magically return before this happens.
Place your bets.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@grand-vizier
@jlriggs57aol-com
@djc91ua

Once again, Gary hit the nail on the head. Excuse me, that’s Professor Gary and he will be offering a graduate degree in civics/finance/law/political science. No offense intended Gary, I thought your analogy was funny and I wanted to take it to the next level.

We are printing money to the tune of $85 billion each month with no end in sight and the newly appointed Fed Chairman (Chairwoman) appointed by Obama is not likely to stop or even slow this damage in the foreseeable future. This money is pretty much going to Wall Street and it is helping the millionaires turn into billionaires and trillionaires. I just heard that we are close to getting our first trillionaire.

Some of this printed money has eventually trickled back down to main street, if only in the form of bringing your 401K back to a semi-respectable value and that gives a psychological boost to the person who has been investing in their retirement for years. Too bad that is only a paper value though.

Gary is right, every dollar the Federal Reserve prints devalues the money you have in your pocket and when the dollar is devalued, the price of commodities goes up accordingly. So the dollar goes down in value but keep in mind that (for example) oil on the world market is traded in United States dollars because historically the U.S. dollar has been the most stable and reliable currency. Not so much anymore because of our printing presses.

For clarity, the Federal Reserve doesn’t actually “print” this money; only the Treasury can “print” money. It is all done electronically and it would probably be more accurate to speak in terms of “credit” rather than money. The United States Treasury sells Treasury Bonds to raise money to finance deficit spending by the administration, and the Federal Reserve “effectively” purchases those bonds with money (issues credit) that until now did not exist and they do so by manipulating the fed-funds-rate. Currently that $85 billion per month is generally going to purchase mortgage-backed securities (bonds). The entire process is much more complex than this example and if someone can shed some light here it would be appreciated.

This is candy for Wall Street and as evidence I offer the abrupt change in interest rates a couple months ago when Ben Bernanke (Fed Chairman at the time) just vaguely hinted at a possible reduction of that $85 billion sometime in the future. This was only a very vague thought but it made Wall Street freak out because the free candy store might possibly be closing. This knee-jerk reaction caused Wall Street to sell their bonds en masse and out of fear (no rational market-driven reason).

Massive selling of bonds decreases the price of bonds. In a complex but rational manner, when you decrease the value of bonds you increase the effective interest rates those bonds generate. Did we not witness a rapid rise in interest rates over the last several weeks? Are we not now seeing a slight drop in interest rates when Bernanke realized what he had done and basically took back his words?

Back to the value of the dollar. That cherished international status of our dollar is eroding fast and decays with the decay of the dollar. The cost of oil, and therefore gasoline at the pump is the result of three things. One is the actual cost of producing and transporting that product.

Two is the issue of supply and demand and the fragile status of that at any given time. Terrorists and rogue countries like Iran only have to threaten that supply and the cost goes up. One example of a serious threat is the closure of the Strait of Hormuz. I have written extensively about how we can solve 98% of this problem but Obama is dead-set against any solution that would benefit the United States.

Three is the devaluing of the U.S. dollar. I will use an extreme example here to illustrate my point. If that barrel of oil today costs say $50 and if the value of the dollar dropped by 50% tomorrow, that same barrel of oil would cost us $100. The Saudis (more accurately the world oil market), who sold us the oil, would receive no more or no less value for that oil as a result of this but it would have cost us twice as much.

The only reason this example is extreme is that the odds of the dollar dropping 50% in one day are very small, but over time that is exactly what has happened. In fact, depending on the timeframe you use to extract your data, the dollar has fallen in value by way more than 50%.

The real problem is that again the Saudis saw no difference between the $50 bill and the $100 bill because the value of the dollar decreased by 50%. However, that barrel of oil (or tank of gasoline) cost you twice as much because your wages did not increase a corresponding amount. In fact lately, for many their wages have decreased, perhaps because they were cut from 40 hours per week to 30 hours because of Obamacare so they were hurt by this even more.

Not only is this painful for the individual, but it can bring our economy to a screeching halt. Just wait until the international marketplace gets tired of trading goods denominated in the rapidly devaluing United States dollar (which is very near, at least by some estimates). When this happens you can expect to see things like $10 gasoline or higher – basically anything that is produced abroad OR has price influence from the international marketplace, will be substantially more expensive.

For this to happen on an already damaged economy could be devastating. The sad part is that printing that fake money is an intentional act and keeping the U.S. economy on its heels is also an intentional act. There is a method in this madness (actually many) and that is called “inflating your way out of debt” but that will destroy this country.

Had your wages doubled then it would have been a wash for you. It was a wash for the Saudis but not for you. This has a huge impact on everything we buy or sell on the world market and unfortunately for you and me, our oil and therefore our gasoline for our cars is traded on the international market, yes, even the oil we produce here is priced on the world market. If we opened up our spigots and flooded the international market with U.S. oil we could make a huge difference and the price would drop dramatically, but that is against everything Obama stands for. I have written extensively on this and will not go into it here. You want to fill up your tank – just reach deeper into your pocket because there is no end in sight, at least not until November 2016.

If there is a surplus of money (and credit because the difference between money and credit is not much) in the economy, probably mostly on Wall Street, this will lower interest rates. Low interest rates are good if they are low because the free-market sets them there. However, interest rates are low because of government manipulation of the money supply (printing money/credit) and that is bad for the economy in the long run because the potential for inflation and possibly run-away inflation comes into play. Run-away inflation is a serious matter because it has destroyed countries in the past.

Low interest rates, no matter the cause, are good for the individual if you want to buy a house, but the only interest rate that is good for the economy is a free-market-driven “real” interest rate. This upside-down money-supply is causing great concern among those in the finance world. Banks that now have the money to loan are reluctant to loan that money unless your credit is top-notch and then they are still cautious and the reason is that with government interference in the market there is no telling what might happen to their investment. Check out what they are trying to do in Richmond California with underwater mortgages that are still in good standing and that should scare the heck out of you.

Add to that the government telling banks that in some cases they MUST forgive some debt (on underwater houses, see Richmond California for example) and you have a banking system that is afraid to take a risk on anyone, no matter the credit-rating or amount of down-payment. So the excess money piles up in the banks and eventually they start investing it in Wall Street ventures and we set ourselves up for the next economic cliff (apparently we didn’t learn from the last one in 2008).

Many companies, including banks, are seeing that investing overseas is less risky than investing in the United States and this is due solely to government interference in the free-market. In case you are wondering, that government interference in the free-market comes in the form mostly of manipulation of the money supply (printing money) and excessive government regulations.

Those excessive government regulations include things that increase the cost of doing business (non-market-driven increases) like increases in minimum wage, penalties for emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which “might” cause global-warming (a mostly debunked-theory), Obamacare, higher taxes to support welfare for those who do not want to work, and a million other government intrusions into the once free-market, are killing our economy. When you couple that with the intentionally devalued dollar, the future looks rather bleak.

This is a complex topic and I invite everyone to comment and even correct my words where warranted. If you wish to point out where I might be wrong I encourage you to support your position with evidence and not just talking-points. This is how we all learn – myself included.

Don’t forget to vote!

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@kevlar, I get the feeling that @ronc99 doesn’t agree with you, it’s just a feeling you understand.

Ron, I do agree with Kevlar and @grand-vizier on this issue, not because we are typically of the same mind, but because they back up their opinions with facts, all of which can be found elsewhere with a little research.

I would like the opportunity to see your point of view, however, when you join in by saying that you think this or that, without any information that tells us why you feel the way you feel, we won’t understand. I would also like to give you a heads up on something and it is not meant as an insult. When a person is reduced to name calling and insults he has already lost his argument. It means you have run out of information to prove your opinion and you are reduced to criticizing the person.

This is a good forum for sharing your thoughts and the people here WILL listen to what you have to say, but you need to be calm and give some good information. Who knows with good information you might change a few minds. But be open enough to look at what others say, look into what they say. If they are wrong, show them how they are wrong, if you find they are right, be big enough to accept the information.

I look forward to more discussions with you all. Have a great day.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@grand-vizier
@jlriggs57aol-com
@djc91ua

I just saw something very disturbing on the news today but I know this has been around a while. It matters not what the news source was but it will become evident. You can dislike the news organization but you cannot deny what the video shows.

The video interview was of Dennis Kucinich, a former Democrat Congressman and a liberal one at that. He said in the interview (I won’t include that video here but you can Google it) that the fourteenth amendment section four states that the validity of the public debt shall not be questioned. He is correct here but this is the end of his adherence to the constitution in this regard.

He then goes on to say that President Obama could declare that the “debt-ceiling law” is invalid. He points out that this is a law subsequent to the constitution and therefore not explicitly stated in the constitution. What he failed to mention is that the constitution explicitly gives the House of Representatives sole authority to originate bills for raising revenue.

You can ignore the words “debt-ceiling” if you want to but the House (not the Senate and NOT the president) has the sole authority to originate bills to raise revenue, this is in the constitution. This debt-ceiling law even though made AFTER the constitution was written, has proper authority to exist (authority found in the constitution) and therefore is constitutional.

For the record, there are only two methods to abolish a law. If it is unconstitutional the courts can strike it down (but not change it in order to keep it as they tried to do with Obamacare) and the other way is for congress to write a new law abolishing that law. The constitutionality of the abolished law is irrelevant here because congress has the authority to legislate. The president of the United States has no authority to ignore a law (although Obama illegally does this every day).

Also it should be noted that the Supreme Court CANNOT strike down a bad or unwise law if that law is in accordance with the constitution. Example: prohibition was deemed to be a bad law yet a constitutional law (amendment is more accurate) and the Supreme Court, no matter how much the country wanted to abolish that law, was powerless to do it.

Only congress can abolish a law. However, in this case, since prohibition was an amendment even congress was helpless to abolish it because congress has NO AUTHORITY to change the constitution (this, by the way, is the most significant reason why Obamacare is STILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL). The only way to abolish the prohibition amendment was with another amendment.

This is exactly what happened. I say this to illustrate that even a bad law, if constitutional, cannot be overturned by the Supreme Court. To say that again, the Supreme Court CANNOT rule based on the wisdom of a law, only the constitutionality of that law.

This is contrary to the belief of many liberals who incorrectly insist that the constitution is a living document that can be changed by congress or by the Supreme Court. The amendment process, to include a Constitutional Convention, is the ONLY way to change the constitution. Even then, the word “change” is not technically correct, the correct word is “amended” (these are similar but different words in meaning and here the difference is important).

Kucinich incorrectly states that Obama can strike down the debt-ceiling law (which he cannot) and use as his reason section four of the fourteenth amendment.

He also states that congress is close to creating a constitutional crisis. The reality is that congress, in this case, is protecting the constitution and if Obama follows this pathway he will be creating a constitutional crisis, one that would justify not only his impeachment but his immediate removal from office.

In order for this to happen, where the DEBT of the United States is not paid, many things will by necessity have to happen first. Because these are not technically “debts” – Social Security would be completely gone to the point that all Social Security checks will stop, welfare checks would stop, ALL government paychecks, including retirement checks, would stop including the paycheck of Obama himself, All government operations would cease to operate with the single exception of defense (because that is also required by the constitution).

Ironically, foreign aid payments would not necessarily have to stop because in theory they are done to bolster our defense. We all know this is not the reality of these payments but this is how they were started and the justification, at least for many, can be made that they are still in our national security interest. Lest we forget, national security also known as defense, is required by the constitution whereas Social Security and welfare (and many other programs) are not.

Interestingly taxes would have to be dramatically reduced because we have substantially more money coming into the federal government than is needed to fund defense AND service the national debt. By the way, when you get to that level (all those payments have been stopped and taxes coming into the federal government substantially reduced) if there is no money left in the treasury AND you couldn’t print more, which the Treasury has the authority to do, then and ONLY then you might possibly have a constitutional crisis. Everything prior to that is political scare tactics.

By the way, no politician is going to allow these payments (Social Security, welfare, etc) to stop, although delay is possible, because it is political suicide. If this initial stage won’t ever happen then by definition the final stage, which is default on the national debt, CANNOT happen.

To advocate this is wrong in just about every way imaginable and I would like to present a video explaining why it is wrong, illegal, and impeachable. Unfortunately, even though a default cannot happen, talking about it in order to scare people into doing your political bidding is not illegal. It may be morally wrong to scare people but it is not illegal and Obama and his liberal supporters have mastered this art.

There are a couple folks on this site (one I have dealt with recently) who will immediately discredit this video and probably not watch it because it is a clip from FOX. Interestingly this is not from the Fox News Channel, which he apparently hates, but from Fox Business Channel. Not that this matters but I will bet that some folks (namely the individual I recently dealt with) don’t even know this channel exists. If that individual does watch this I would ask that he decide based on the merit of what is said and not the hated news organization (research on his part will support the video but he probably won’t do the research).

Bottom line, if Obama takes this route he will have added another very significant reason for his impeachment. I believe Obama is too smart to actually do this but he is bully enough to do everything up to, but not including, breaking these laws. He and his minions are using this as a scare tactic to scare the uninformed voter, and they are having success at pulling the wool over their eyes.

I am especially interested in any feedback you might have.

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@kevlar, you’re optimism is uncharacteristic for you. You said, if he does this “he will have added another very significant reason for his impeachment.” You’ve been following his tactics the same as the rest of us, is there really anything he won’t do?

He has shown an arrogance, the like of which, I’ve never seen before. We are mere mortals of whom he looks down upon from Mount Olympus. In my lowly opinion he would have everyone in the Tea Party and every Conservative killed if he could figure out who he could lay the blame on and not have to take any responsibility himself.

You said he was too smart to do anything like this, well I’ll just say that if he can do it in a way that he can claim ignorance later, he will do anything.

Good info, good video, and I appreciate the heads-up.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@jlriggs57aol-com

James, your point is well taken and I will be the first to acknowledge that people make mistakes. However, the President of the United States is presumed to be an extremely knowledgeable person, and if you consider that he was hired with absolutely zero executive experience you would have to conclude that it was his overwhelming knowledge that got him hired. Could be that we were lied to here as well.

Add to that his claim to have been a constitutional law professor and you can easily see how he would be judged to be in the “professional” class versus the “amateur status” class. In other words, his background establishes that he should know the constitution very well, even though it is obvious that he doesn’t.

Then add to that the fact that he has unlimited access to the most highly qualified legal advice in the world and you can see that there is not any chance in hell that he could make an honest mistake here. If he gets anything wrong as far as the constitution goes it is VERY CLEARLY an intentional act. To put it even more bluntly, he WILL NOT be able to use the excuse “I didn’t know.”

All thieves eventually get caught and so do all liars. Obama will be no exception. We might be able to cut some slack to his supporters because they are not constitutional scholars, although I will not cut slack to those who refuse to listen to rational thought based on the merit and present their case with supporting evidence.

Can he find someone to blame it on? Perhaps, but only if that person (or persons) accept that blame. The Republican Party is pretty good at accepting blame for things they didn’t do and that works to Obama’s favor. This is why I don’t place Republicans at the top of my list. I am an individual patriot first, a conservative second, and a Republican a distant third.

Yes, I say that he is too smart to do anything like this as a matter of a “mistake.” Does that mean he won’t do it? No, because he is smart but not wise. He is convinced that he is bulletproof (figuratively speaking), so would he intentionally do this in defiance of the constitution and in defiance of ALL the people of the United States of America? Yes, I believe he would but I also think it would be the immediate end of his presidency and coveted legacy.

He is smart in the same manner in which we call the serial killer “smart” when he evades the law for a long time, perhaps decades. Eventually they always get caught though.

Speaking of the Tea Party, have you noticed that Democrats will bash the group but they cannot debate the issues the Tea Party professes? Just an interesting observation!

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@kevlar, I absolutely agree, it will catch up to him, all of it. As far as the Democrats debating about the Tea Party ideology, if emotion and name calling would win the debate the Tea Party wouldn’t stand a chance.

I believe obama has shown himself to be a master of what I call “The Sidestep”, an accusation is fired at him he steps out-of-the-way. This is all done verbally. He always has an excuse why it’s not his fault (Bush did it) or someone else acted without authority. It’s always something. The Sidestep.

Given all the things he has done since he came into office there is only one thing I do not believe he would do and I do not think it would be possible for him to do and that is tell the truth.

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Damien Christian @djc91ua

@kevlar 2 days @grand-vizier @jlriggs57aol-com The truth is we live in a global economy, which means, as you know, that every country, company, and corporation are at least somewhat connected. We, as a country, owe several trillions to banks and other nations. As the world’s largest economy, although not the fastest growing unfortunately, others can not afford us to fail but if we are reckless and our credit ratings continue to plunge will some of these countries and banks demand us to pay? That is why we need to get serious about at least getting the debt manageable. If America is no longer a valuable or attractive place for other countries and banks to invest in and trade with then there is nothing protecting us from the debt anymore. Despite what some lofty politicians think we are not too big to fail.

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Kevlar @kevlar

@djc91ua
@jlriggs57aol-com
@grand-vizier

Damien, your analysis is great and your question is valid. We are all connected in some fashion or another through geo-politics and geo-economics. Other economies cannot really afford to have us fail but even more than they can’t afford to have us fail there is even less they can do to stop us from failing if that is what our politicians really want. Only the American voter can stop them in their tracks but so far not many of us seem to care about our country.

Other countries, whose economies depend on our economy are helpless to do anything about it with the single exception of running away from the United States dollar as being the world reserve currency as fast as they can. For example, oil on the international market is traded in U.S. dollars because the USD is the world reserve currency.

As the dollar goes down in value because of the actions of our liberal politicians, these other countries get hurt. Many countries are actively trying to stop the USD from being the world reserve currency and when they get it done we need to be prepared for $10 per gallon gasoline (just like Europe and other places) and higher prices on all other commodities as well. The sad part is that our incomes will not rise to meet the rise in costs and EVERY American will suffer as a result. This is a fairly well hidden gotcha that seems to be understood by only a few.

A credit rating is nothing more than an opinion of your ability to avoid default. It so happens to be a professional opinion though. You don’t have to actually default to have your credit rating lowered. One sure way to get the credit rating lowered is to have the only person in the country who has the power to direct that we default actually make threats of default WHILE we have more than enough money on hand to service our debt.

That person is none other than Barack Obama. He has the authority to direct the expenditure of previously appropriated money when that supply of money is less than required to pay EVERYTHING. An example of his ability to direct those funds was demonstrated when he shut down the National Parks but NOT his secret-service-protected golf outings. I don’t want to enter the fight over golfing but this illustrates his ability to direct funds. If golfing seems a poor example then consider the National Parks shut down which affected ALL Americans while the immigration rally was allowed to continue.

I have written about this extensively but not in the context of credit ratings. The bottom line is that the ONLY purpose for even having a government is to defend our freedom. So the expense required to defend our freedom is given a top priority (we can discuss the wisdom of $500 toilet seats in another thread). In addition to defense, the constitution, in numerous places but especially the fourteenth amendment REQUIRES us to be faithful to the national debt.

It is important to distinguish what is and what is not national debt. You have heard the term “unfunded liabilities” before. If unfunded liabilities were the same as debt then there would be no reason to distinguish the two and the term “unfunded liabilities” would not exist. Unfunded liabilities are things like Social Security, welfare, and almost all other government programs for which there is a “promise to pay” (salaries, pensions, etc). Our national debt is roughly $17 trillion but our unfunded liabilities are well over $100 trillion (depends on who you talk to).

In order to default on the debt ALL other “promises to pay” would necessarily be stopped first. If all those were stopped we would still have several times the necessary money coming in to the government in the form of taxes to service the debt AND pay for defense. In other words, and I have said this before, it is physically impossible to default on the debt. If you throw in the fact that the Treasury has the authority to “print” money without regard to having a value to back it up (we have been off the gold standard since the 1970’s) and you can see that not only is it impossible to default on the national debt but it is double-impossible (if there is such a term) to default on the national debt.

There is one exception and one exception ONLY. That is if the person with the authority to direct the expenditure of money, Barack Obama, actually wants to default, as an intentional and conscious act. As ridiculous as it might seem, an analogy would be for Obama to take ALL the money on hand this month and spend it on ice-cream so that there is nothing left to pay the debt-service. If you think that example is too extreme then how about taking all available money and throwing it at something like Solyndra (or whatever might be in vogue now) and having nothing left to service the debt.

The mere act of threatening this action, especially by the one person who can make it happen, can and will damage our credit rating. You might notice that we were downgraded last time Obama threatened default (we didn’t actually default but he did threaten it) and this time we are now under a warning of another downgrade.

The same would be true if say your mortgage was in good standing (not in default) and you went to the bank that holds that mortgage and told them you were probably not going to continue making payments on your mortgage. Then you asked them if they would loan you even more money. Your credit rating just took a beating solely because of your threats (not because of default because you didn’t default). I wonder how much more this country will stand of having Obama destroy our outstanding credit rating because of his idle threats.

Let me repeat that. We did not get this most recent warning of a downgrade because of anything the Republicans did. The Republicans want the United States to be more responsible with its money and spending, and that would make any bank or lender very happy. We got the warning of the potential downgrade because the president has no idea that the debt MUST be serviced BEFORE a single welfare check can ever be written.

This stuff is in the constitution and coincidently it is written in English, so you would think the president would know it. You kinda wouldn’t expect this idiocy from a president who not only was a constitutional scholar but has access to some of the most brilliant legal minds in the nation. OK, so I misspoke, Holder is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Default would ruin our credit rating for sure, but more importantly our country would cease to exist long before a forced default ever happened. Forced default is not possible whereas intentional default is possible. That said, there is a lot of political gain to be had by those with low-enough integrity as to use this to scare the American voter. Unfortunately it worked and enough people called their Representatives crying that they needed to cave in to avoid default, and sadly, many of the Republicans (RINO’s mostly) didn’t know they were being hoodwinked.

As we saw in the past and as we saw again last week, you don’t have to get even close to default to damage your credit rating. Obama has damaged it twice already just by making threats that only he can make.

Alas, you are absolutely correct that we are not too big to fail.

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natashia @racer79h

I tried to voice a lot of the same opinions which I agree whole heartidly with Kevlar on a liberals political social network site and got kicked out. I don’t understand how so many Americans are overlooking what not only Obama but the government in general is forcing on us. They (the other site) say that Obama is good for us and we need him to get us through everything we are going through. I don’t need him. And I don’t need obamacare. And I don’t need someone telling me what I need. I believe in making up my own mind using educated information. Are Americans being brainwashed? Am I wrong in thinking Obama is bringing our country to an end? Am I so nieve to think we can recover? I don’t see how if nobody will come to an agreement. I feel sorry for my children because of what Obama has started. I’m scared. Period…

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James L. Riggs @jlriggs57aol-com

@racer, what you ran into was a flock of gimmies. These are the folks that are trying to take over our country, why work, why try, just sit back and relax and let the government take care of you. They don’t want to hear facts, they don’t want to hear that there may be a problem with a gimme program, they don’t want to know that it could wreck our country. They deal in emotion only. Let’s not make a person work and provide for themselves, lets just give them what they want. When we run out of money to fund it all we’ll just use Pixie dust to make it all right. That’s the way they see it.

Are Americans being brainwashed? Yes. Can the country recover? Yes. How long it takes will depend on how deep we get pushed into this socialist pit.

Natasha, I share your fear for my kids and grandkids.

I wish more people had your outlook on things.

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John PharmD @epharmd

The facts are clear. We are going broke because of the military industrial complex. Pure and simple. Look at the numbers.

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Gary @grand-vizier

Well Hell, ParmD broke cover.I missed you PharmD.
I don’t agree with you but you’re entertaining.
We’re going broke because the Government is both bleeding the country dry of capital and giving it to non- producers and regulating business into insolvency ,all the while hiding it by printing money so ignorant people don’t notice it.
I am the first to agree the big Military robbers have their noses really deep in the trough and there’s no excuse for it. The waste is beyond imagination but it’s still small potatoes to the general graft and corruption that permeates the incredible vote buying system of welfare,union feather bedding and general political payoffs.
I’ve been traveling but in my absence I see Riggs and Kevlar have been doing a great job explaining the things to people generally unable or unwilling to comprehend the facts so I will be simple as before.
The Government is large beyond anyone’s ability to understand it,let alone control it.
It will continue ,unless dismantled into manageable size,to grow into an economic “Black Hole” Sucking everything into the void. There is no safe harbor.
Eventually the Government must devour everything or stop consuming more than it takes in.unless it stops spending.
Taxes can never feed it! Printing money only makes it need more money as inflation destroys the value of the money as fast as it’s printed.
Remember,spending is just future taxes. The political morons who think Government spending borrowed money “stimulates” the economy” have no clue and mindlessly cheer when in fact the Pols are actually just buying more votes from ignorant voters.
Those we have plenty of!

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Jack Felter @sitandthink

I’m not as concerned about the recent 25% of the nation’s wealth that just went up in smoke as the driving reason behind it. Ignorance on the part of the American public and utter negligence from the politicians. It’s kind of funny to watch. We could destroy, oh, I don’t know, another third before we had a “collapse”. And even then we’ve got nukes, our birds, and the oceans to protect us. There can always be a depression, but isn’t that the business cycle? As a college student, both sides look stupid. It’s my opinion that we should either stop spending our way into the next depression, or just make Kansas the dmz zone and have liberals on one side and conservatives on the other. Spend it all on weapons to take out stupid neerdowells and jack birds. =)

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Kevlar @kevlar

@epharmd
@grand-vizier
@sitandthink
@jlriggs57aol-com

John: Spoken like a true Libertarian, but I think you have enough liberal tendencies that you are probably not a Libertarian.

Gary is right about the military being expensive and that the “military robbers” sometimes have their noses really deep in the trough. But more importantly Gary is right that this is “small potatoes” in comparison. This is not an excuse to ignore the problem, but I don’t think we have correctly identified the problem and until we do we cannot correct it.

I am talking only about the waste on the defense side; a small problem in comparison but a real problem nonetheless.

I am a big fan of national security and defense, as anyone who has read my posts will know. The only reason we have a government is to guarantee our rights and freedoms. If we weren’t concerned about safeguarding our freedom we probably would never have got the colonies/states to come together to form a federal government. Meaning that if defense was not important to our founders, the individual sovereign states would have no need to band together to become the United States.

What does that mean? It means that no matter the cost of freedom, you pay it. If you have only one dime left and you are hungry, you spend that dime on defense if that is necessary. The motto “Live Free or Die” comes to mind here and the majority of colonists believed in that. This isn’t to say that we should accept waste of money in our defense system. We should not.

Some would say that we have bigger fish to fry at this time and a good and current example of that is ending Obamacare before it ruins our economy. I know we disagree on that but this is a good example of one reason why we put the “weeding out of defense waste” on the back burner. That said, the topic is absolutely valid for discussion.

Why do we fight wars? To secure our freedom from those who want to take that freedom.

If someone wants to take that freedom from us, is war always the answer? No. First you make your demands known using political means like the State Department. If the differences can be resolved there we have spent nothing on a war. Who knows, the infringement might have been an accident or honest misunderstanding so immediately jumping to war is not the answer.

If the political arm (State Department) cannot convince an adversary of our concerns, and we feel strongly enough about our concerns, war is the only answer. Quick example:

We were attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists on 9/11/2001. We knew that these attacks were planned, trained, and equipped in Afghanistan under the security, permission, and logistics provided by the Taliban (the governing body of Afghanistan). Using our political power, we negotiated with the Taliban to have them close the training camps, rid their country of al-Qaeda terrorists, and hand over any terrorists to the United States.

Had they complied there would have been no war in Afghanistan. I guess you know that the Taliban told the United States to “go to hell.” To the battlefield we went and we brought hell with us. Our freedom was successfully attacked and many innocent Americans lost ALL of their freedoms, the very freedom the constitution and the President guarantee to protect.

This is basically how all wars come to be (except for the illegal Obama war in Libya in 2011 and the Syrian war he tried to get us into, you might remember when his buddy Putin bailed him out of his irresponsible rhetoric on the world stage).

Another power has a difference with us and we try hard to settle our differences politically; diplomatically through the State Department. If that doesn’t work and the differences are such that they cannot be tolerated (such as the unprovoked murder of some 3,000 innocent Americans on American streets), war is the only solution because you have two sovereign nations and neither side is legally bound to budge, so force is the only real solution. The non-state aspect of terrorism adds a new dimension to the equation, and showing signs of weakness here is usually fatal (and forever fatal).

Long story short; as long as our enemies think they can successfully attack us and get away with it, they will attack. The ONLY way to reduce that (you will probably never completely eliminate it) is to have a strong defense and NEVER run from a legitimate fight. Benghazi on 9/11/2012 is a perfect example of the United States running from a legitimate fight; as is the unanswered attack on the USS Cole in 2000, or the attack on the Khobar Towers. There are many examples, mostly under Democrat administrations.

Running from a fight only emboldens our enemies and requires us to keep spending more money on defense. Giving up on the Global War on Terrorism like Obama has done is another example of running away from a legitimate fight. When our enemies see that we are no longer interested in defending our freedoms, they will attack us even more. I think we are seeing this every day.

Another way to guarantee that we will remain at war in the future is to cut our defenses. Every time the liberals get in control this happens and it weakens our country. When the country is weakened, it will continue to be attacked.

It isn’t just cutting a weapon system that can weaken a country; there are indeed some systems that should never make it off the drawing board. Obama and his liberal supporters took away all ability to use harsh interrogation on captured enemy. I am not a fan of torture for the sake of torture but “water boarding” for example is not torture. Also, if it comes down to either torture to get intel or losing my freedom as an American, that decision is easy – torture the bastard, twice. Seldom will it ever come to this. Without good intel you prolong wars, not shorten them. The war on terror was estimated by some to last likely fifty years. Without good intel it could last forever.

To add to that we use drones almost exclusively in order to (I believe) NOT have to capture enemy personnel. I am not against the use of drones but again, without good intel you fight with one hand tied behind your back. We add to that by sending the few we do capture on the battlefield to the criminal court system.

This deprives us of gleaning intel from them and significantly risks the exposure of classified information because the “accused” has rights. No, an enemy who is bent on the destruction of the United States has no rights, and if caught on the battlefield (which is really world-wide), has no rights even if he is a United States citizen. Those who want to take our freedom from us are not criminals; they are enemies of the United States and are to be dealt with using combat measures and NOT criminal court measures.

I mention all that to make a point. The reason we constantly spend so much money on defense is because those currently in charge, not of maintaining a military but in charge of using the military to defend our freedom, are incompetent in the use of a defense force and the ability to defend a nation. Benghazi 2012 is proof of that.

We will continue to spend more and more on defense and the more we spend the more cracks there will be for waste to happen. If we want to stop wasting money on defense, we need to get serious about defense and we need to get a strong leader in the Whitehouse who commands respect on the world stage, because in a perfect world, those wars will be avoided by strong and credible political leadership. A perfect world won’t happen but the stronger we are the less we will have to fight.

Obama “ain’t got it” so we will be at war for some time. If you are going to remain weak in leadership and credibility you must stay strong in defense and that means even more money. Liberals are famous for not being strong in any of those fields. Interestingly, the Democrats of old were good at it. Today – not so much.

If you can’t identify the problem – you can’t fix the problem!

We have North Korea with nukes and they do not like us. We have Iran about to get nuclear weapons and they hate us and publicly admit they want to kill Americans. We have Pakistan with nukes, they don’t like us and they have tenuous control over their nukes. We have Syria with known weapons of mass destruction threatening to use them on us if we interfere like Obama wants to do. Syria and Iran are both closely tied to terrorist groups who hate us with a passion and they would make an excellent delivery vehicle to bring those WMDs to America because unlike us who value life, they do not care about their death or the deaths of innocent civilians.

In this day and age, which do you think we need on the world stage, someone who is weak, and lacks credibility, and is clueless as to how to defend a country? Or would you feel more secure if we had a leader (President) who said what he meant and meant what he said. Perhaps a commander-in-chief who knew when and where to draw a line and was willing to stand firm on that line? Perhaps a commander-in-chief who saw the value in taking care of veterans, not just paying lip-service to them in some political campaign?

George Washington once said:

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”

President John F. Kennedy made the following statement in his Inaugural Address, delivered 20 January, 1961:

“For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed”

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