The Power Grab

31 03 2009

 

Authored by William Robert Barber

 

I have listened and read. I have watched as President Bush along with his sidekick Paulson urged Congress to hastily harvest billions of taxpayer dollars for a financial crisis they could not specifically define. Paulson and the president did emphasize that the credit market was frozen hence banks were not lending money. Certain congresspersons did appear on television to validate such statements. I noted that the treasury sidekick (prior to receiving the money) unequivocally declared the purpose of the billions (the purchase of toxic assets) – and then I saw the money go somewhere entirely different.

 

I practiced the same erudition and observation with President Obama and his sidekick Geithner; this time, billions for a stimulus bill with millions of pork barrel spending and the promise of a trillion dollar budget seeking congressional approval. All of this trillion dollar talk scares the living daylights out of me. It is also highly discomforting to note the complicit attitude of Democrats – it feels as if Obama put some kind of magic spell on them wherein they can no longer think for themselves.

 

I do not understand the economic theory or the concept of spending from borrowed funds with the specific intent of stimulating economic growth thus employing people and then creating an obvious conflict on business growth by raising taxes. The rush to disburse multi-millions on a yet-to-be delivered plan that drastically revamps healthcare, billions on the expenditures of establishing green energy products / services, the untimely and excessive burdening of every citizen with a costly inventive labeled cap & trade, the continuum of whimsically throwing money at education, and the preferential treatment of unions over non-unionized worker-companies; all of these costly projects are simply defined as necessary, naturally coupled with the standard administrative persuasion of haste and immediacy.

 

When queried as to details or counter arguments, the administration retorts aggressively with inheriting the Bush economic debacle followed by claiming the financial crisis being the greatest since FDR. This response of course does not address the original question. In fact, to my knowledge the question has never been directly addressed; instead, they and those will only answer by declaring the need for speedy congressional affirmation of their proposal, the constant reinforcement that billions to trillions are required, and that more government control of private as well as public entities is the sure footed measure of the future.

 

If the measure of what is needed calls for studious forethought, the sensibility of meritorious debate, the utility of thoughtful rational and contemplative reflection, then the Democrats are against even the consideration of such logical behavior. In this case the Democrats act as born-again contrarians, cavaliers of what otherwise would require prudent due diligence. They have debased their responsibilities to the nation and have become political ideologues of the faithful, all paying homage to the “way-of-Obama” as they vote on budget and tax bills of gigantic lawful consequence. These Obama disciples voted on hugely significant bills without even the pretence of reading them. I believe these toxic assets have been devalued by panic-ridden appraisers and regulators below market value. The third party appraisers recoiling from rendering AAA ratings on derivatives they did not understand and the wrath of a congress seeking to put the blame somewhere other than their Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac chest imposed on these firms by intimidation and coercive extortion the charge of being in league with their Wall Street clients. The regulators being the civil servants that they are simply lifted their index finger into the political wind and followed in complement. Of course mark-to-market accounting did more than its fair share in devaluing assets wherein the underlying worth was real estate.

 

As I have said over and over again, politicians are only interested in the retention or attainment of power. We have now established a political class of elected persons; some of them having been in office for thirty, forty, even fifty years. This kind of tenure, hold on power, is not in the best interest of the nation. But the people are weak and the politicians strong; regretfully, this forever hold on elected office is the very ethos of political corruption. 

 

This crisis is one of mythical ambiguity; it is an enigma, a conundrum of mystifying proportions wherein no one has sat down with a chalkboard to clarify the need, the reason for the need, and the solutions coupled with the consequences. And yet congress follows the bouncing ball as though hypnotized by the sheer enormity of the heretofore indefinable.

 

 

 





The Obama Elixir

26 03 2009

Authored by William Robert Barber

          The Obama doubt as to the tilt of his political leadership once elected has been removed; he taxes and spends. At best he is a devotee of the socialist doctrine; at worst he successfully boondoggles the American people into believing that he is anything other than the socialist his behavior evidences.

            This president believes that every citizen having more should automatically, as a matter of moral-behavioral obligation, share the more with those who have the less. Obama’s belief is that government defines what is in the interest of the collective good. His proselytism of what is righteous for America is in fact, once disrobed, a political theory in which the means of production and distribution is controlled ostensibly by the people (another way of saying the government) and operated according to the governing authorities definitive of equitable and fair. Of course inclusive to this philosophy, there is the Obama induced governing obligation that encourages government intervention as the cure for economic downturns versus the capitalist methodology of permitting market principles to decipher the differing of the economic and financial good, the bad, and the ugly.

            Obama’s credo of social, economic, political, and cultural righteousness of imposed sharing (known as wealth distribution) is arrogantly delivered as if it was the accepted mutual goal of the majority of the American people. He insists that such an endeavor (the Obama concept of life governing) can only be achieved by government intervention in all aspects of American life; be it community facilities or local school boards. He wants the national government controlling the generalities and specifics of education, health care, energy production, public works, and most importantly he wants to dramatically increase the power of the federal over the states. Within the Obama doctrine, as with all dictatorial governing, it is the federal government that decides and implements what is in the collective good.

            The financing of this ‘Obama concept of governess’ is paid for by taxing the people. Today the people do not possess the money to be taxed; so the Obama government prints the money for today’s use relying on future Americans, many of whom have yet to be born, to pay back the interest and principal in order to fund the ‘Obama concept of governess’.

            The struggle of government imposing its will upon the governed via the utility of taxation is as ancient as the first city states and as repetitive in result as the sun’s rising. The more the government taxes the taxable the larger in size and power is the government. Higher taxes as a percentage of income results in less money for an individual’s discretionary cash; the less discretionary income (created by the default of paying more taxes) the less options on individual choices; less choices, less freedom.

            A maxim of history records that the loss of individual freedom is in direct proportion to the largeness and power of government; whether a Republican or Democratic government, the result of taxation has always been the same.  The true and natural power of government is derived from taxation; the other side of the taxation coin is disbursement. It is the preferential (and all disbursement are intrinsically favored) disbursement of those tax dollars that renders to the giver (the federal government) real tangible control over the recipient.

            The power to tax is the omnipotent authority of governing; without the coercion of taxation government could not enforce its will or policies upon the people. Congress has the power of the purse and counter to its sound bites to the contrary has never cut the cost of governing; therefore, those elected will never lessen the tax burden on the American people.

            By tax, assessments, fees, the selling of rights coveted by government, or spending deficits Congress will always take the money from those who have it; they will take the cash in the present or in the future — Congress will grab the money. If Congress in itself was not enough to worry about, we now have Obama and his faithful. If the elected conservatives in government cannot stop the Obama tax-and-spend machine the sky will fall, destroying the American enterprise system and the Phoenix rising will be Obama Socialism.

 

 

 

 





Our Government’s Contagious Virus

23 03 2009
Bill Barber
A step beyond Kool-Aid
Authored by William Robert Barber

For the last four months, leaders of the federal government have been infected by a deadly contagious virus; this strain of virus infects the analysis sector of an elected representative’s brain.  The most noted symptom of this malaise is a dysfunction of the mind wherein, the infected person acts as if dumbfounded. Apparently, the process of effectual thinking is what this virus affects.  The virus eats these particular brain cells until the heretofore sensible, logical, and prudent elected representative, once infected, is now rendered foolish, illogical, reckless, and irrational.

The most recent actions of our elected representatives have all the initial characteristics of the virus.  Fits of confusion, befuddlement, and panic are notable signs.   How could the Bush administration, lead by treasury secretary Paulson and a more than willing Democratic-Republican congress, put billions of taxpayer monies at risk without sufficient due diligence?  And yet they did exactly that, surprisingly without too much resistance from the people, press, or leaders of the House or Senate.  Clearly, the virus is widespread.

Obama has followed the Bush tradition with a stimulus bill full of giveaways; the bill has passed in record time without anyone reading the contents, much less discussing or debating its merits.  Now this kind of conduct is an explicit symptom of the virus.

During the last election the democrats loved the concept of an economic calamity; the story fit perfectly into their electoral campaign’s agenda.  The republican candidate was lost in never-never land, therein he never missed an opportunity to misdiagnose the realities of the economic indicators nor the electorate’s concerns.

I am beginning to believe that this virus is fatal.  The Obama faithful insist on following the economic ideology of spending more of the people’s money on health-care, education, public works, and the new energy alternative.  Keep in mind that so far no specifics, only a panoramic descriptive of how wonderful the world will be once this new economy is in place, have been provided.

In time, I assume the virus will have eaten all the brain cells, causing our elected representatives to be diagnosed brain-dead.  Well, at least by the time this happens the behavior will be even more obvious:  The representatives will pass critical legislation without even reading the contents, all the while in lock-step, cheering on their Obama.  If this should happen, well, then the virus has completed its function and nothing can be done for the people that the infected represented.





Put the Blame Where Blame is Due – Political Irresponsibility

20 03 2009
Bill Barber
Authored by William Robert Barber
Political Kabuki Theatre

The manner in which congress and the executive office recently interfaced in regard to the AIG fiasco mimics the behavioral dynamics of kindergarten children. Senator Dodd initially, outright lies to the American people as to his direct involvement in his endorsement of the AIG bonuses, recanting, (once caught in a lie) that he was forced to so by unnamed treasury officials; the treasury secretary says (indirectly) they only found out about the agreement 10 to 14 days ago; the federal reserve is totally silent when in fact we now know, evidenced by sworn testimony, they were directly informed; and president is shocked as he leaves Washington to go campaigning for more spending.

These elected and appointed representatives of the American electorate, exampled by the AIG experience, wherein, they have mismanaged something as plain and simple as telling the truth; their most recent inability to tell the truth now have put into serious question all aspects of TARP, the president’s budget, and all further spending in the form of private company bail outs.

I found this article that really sums up my feelings regarding our government’s insistence on spending taxpayer monies.

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today urged members of the Congress to oppose a bill to tax the bonuses of AIG  employees. The bill (H.R. 1586), which is being considered shortly in the House, aims to tax the bonuses of employees at companies that received money through the Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP) at 90 percent. It is narrowly crafted to claw back a portion of the $160 million in retention bonuses that AIG paid to its employees. News of the bonus schemes has cause widespread outrage among taxpayers. “It is completely understandable for taxpayers to be enraged over the distribution of bonuses to employees at financial institutions that receive taxpayer bailout money, including AIG and Fannie Mae  and Freddie Mac ,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “However, taxpayers should be aware that this whole phony outrage performance on Capitol Hill and the White House is political kabuki theatre. Taxpayers should target their anger at Congress and White House officials from both administrations, since they are the real culprits. The Bush administration came up with the concept and Congress wrote the original TARP bill and rammed it through with no meaningful oversight and no enforceable limits on executive compensation. Then, the Obama administration and certain members of Congress wrote the so-called ‘stimulus’ bill, which contained language explicitly allowing the bonus schemes to go forward. Now the politicians are feeling the heat over their irresponsible behavior and are trying to deflect it by demonizing and punishing AIG. They should not be allowed to get away with it.”

Since the enactment of TARP, taxpayers have heard widespread reports of recipient banks using TARP funds to take their employees on spa retreats, hoarding the money instead of making consumer and small business loans to help unfreeze the credit markets, and buying up other banks with the funds. The AIG bonuses are just the latest in a series of embarrassing exposé on this behavior. However, it is becoming crystal clear that the AIG bonuses were given a green light by the U.S. Treasury Department. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) admitted yesterday that he inserted language into the massive $787 billion so-called “stimulus” package explicitly protecting AIG’s bonus scheme.

“Congress has lost its bearings. It is unconscionable and probably unconstitutional for them to enact a bill targeting a group of individuals for doing exactly what they were permitted to do by Congress itself,” concluded Schatz. “The TARP bill is a huge debacle. But it’s time to put credit where credit is due and stop insulting the intelligence of taxpayers. Congress and both administrations bear full responsibility for the failure of TARP and they should not be allowed to use the people’s House and the long arm of the federal government to shield themselves from accountability.  “CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

 





Populist Sword Rattling Over AIG

18 03 2009
Bill Barber
My Populist Credo
Authored by:  William Robert Barber

Populism from a political perspective is an ideology founded on the perceived interest of ordinary folks versus those of the privileged elite. Populism has an appeal that naturally gravitates to those who believe or are lead to believe that they have less. It is to those of the material lesser that the perpetrator of the populist ideology considers as the audience of interest. The populist eyes the possibility of taking from those who have more by enlisting conscripts from those who consider their material worth less than the more.   

The appeal of populism though at times well-liked has its ugly head. The leaders of the French Revolution who gained power by the utilization of the guillotine were populists. Napoleon popularized the revolution’s most populist of declarations, liberty, fraternity, and equality as his prompt to motivate his army to kill hundreds of thousands. Lenin was a populist. Hugo down in Venezuela is ostensibly a populist. What dictator of historical note did not boast his interest in serving the common people of the land? Populism has some nasty bedfellows.

In today’s news, populist are in an uproar over the dispensation afforded to the privileged few of AIG who earned, deserved or not, a bonus in addition to their salary via the terms and conditions of a definitive, totally transparent, legal employment agreement. There has been much ranting and raving from politicians of both parties regarding their disagreement over the payment of these bonuses. One senator suggested that congress tax the bonuses one hundred percent. Of course, this particular senator is a graduate of Harvard Law and surely knows that such a tax law is ex post facto and totally illegal. But what the hell, he is a politician before being sensible so I guess he can say anything.

Now the mongers of populist and populism — unleashed — are rattling their swords over what they’re going to do to those no-good rotten elitists who were awarded a bonus per a transparent legal agreement enjoined with the government’s representatives who, in perfect form and function, explicitly represented the interest of the American people in this transaction.

Why so much of an uproar? By Cracker Jack, look at the pork expended in the last stimulus bill. Didn’t Obama say that the pork’s spending and spending is stimulating the economy? If so, is not paying these legal obligations stimulating the economy by putting money in people’s hand?

Of course the bonuses are not the issue at all; the issue is that the very same Democratic senators, the president, the secretary of treasury, and only God knows how many staff attorneys drafted and agreed upon paying the bonuses. Was not all of this explicit language in the AIG funding agreement?  They (the government’s representatives) all knew it was in the agreement…Or didn’t they know that the incentive bonuses were in the terms and conditions before they affirmed? Now which is it — government overseer of the public interest?

The government’s oversight over the billions upon billions of taxpayers’ money is the material measure of everyone’s concern. This is only one of many of this administration’s missteps as it blunders its way through further damaging this economy.

 Government should get out of the way of the marketplace, let the chips fall where they may. Nothing is worse than the unintended consequences of governmental meddling. That is my populist credo.





The Next Election Will Be The Test

12 03 2009
Bill Barber
Will Good Sense Triumph Over the Destructive Force of Socialism
Authored by William Robert Barber

The socialist have won the election…end of story; well, not quite. The Obama faithful must follow-up their last electoral victory with the next, which is not that far away. Now if the Democrats do not loose seats in the house or the senate then I do believe Obama’s political, economic, social, tax, educational, and entitlement scheme has electoral acceptance and socialism is an inevitable American reality. In addition, if the Democrats are as successful in the next as they were in the past two election cycles, the Republican Party of today, the party of conservative influence on the political process of governess, will cower away and emerge as the centrist wing of the socialist-leftist Democratic Party.

Between Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emanuel and the other usual suspects of leftist persuasion, coupled with the rhetorical eloquence of Obama, the artful dodger maneuvering of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Charlie Rangel the Democratic Party will stampede their agenda thru any Republican resistance. The so called ‘Blue Dog’ sector of the Democratic Party has turned yellow; amazingly, but so politically fitting, not all of the Republicans are enjoined in a united defensive front, so until there is a swing in congressional majority the liberal-socialist have the power and they will abuse it.

As a conservative, admittedly, I am predetermined to a certain methodology of deduction; consequently, when my government enacts legislation or even contemplates actions that seem ill logical or darn right stupid; befuddlement enjoins with confusion resulting in consternation and disbelief. When Bush decided to “invest” via a “loan” to the auto industry I questioned the business sensibility of the action. The Bush administration explained that the taxpayer’s money was transferred so that the unemployment percentage would not be adversely affected…What! Well, the republican president explained, Obama is just coming into office and after all…What!

No investor of merit would risk capital in a failing enterprise; no prudent lender would extend a credit line to any borrower without sufficient collateral, as well as, the proof-of-means to repay the debt. No investor or lender that is except the federal government.

Presently, Obama’s faithful have returned to the liberal-democratic credo of tax and spend; resurrecting a socialistic cause and effect mentality that, obviously, only the faithful can fully comprehend. The casus belli of the liberal-socialist in their quest for dominance is now health-care. Utilizing a complicit media they loudly declare to all who listen or read: If only the health care issue could be resolved the average Joe-household and all of the current economic stress would abate into manageable form. Surely, solving the health-care crises is the untying of the Gordian knot; the remedy for what ails American’s financial woes, if only those republicans would see the light and the way.

The next election is the test. Will America lose its way for the foreseeable future or will good sense triumph over the destructive force of socialism? Obama has raised his flag, its colors are now clearly distinguishable, he and his faithful have chosen their path of governess; we conservatives must defeat them and regain the majority.





Marxist Socialism a Consequence of Government Largeness

6 03 2009
Bill Barber
Spend, Spend, Spend a Financially Devasting Plan
Authored By William Robert Barber

I comprehend the Obama agenda of implanting by whatever means socialism into the mix of America’s institutions; but, for the life of me I do not understand how hundreds of democrats, all educated in the finest of schools, could sit on their hands and pledge unflinching simpatico and fidelity to an omnipotent government that once established and entrenched even further intrinsically requires more control over all that fall under its dominion. Can these representatives of the people’s covenants not realize that the consequence of government largeness will lead forthwith into a Marxist-socialistic form and that such a form of governing will, eventually, infringe on the sovereign rights of its citizens?

The ingress of government control over all material transactions has been steadfast and constant; there have been periods of Franklin Delano Roosevelt type of government incursions wherein control and power by the institutions of the federal government was exponentially enhanced. Ronald Regan’s policy attempted to limit the power of government; Bill Clinton declared that the era of big government was over; withstanding, all such actions, the constant has been an ever growing government, an ever controlling government; by measures elephantine or infinitesimal government has eclipsed its original intention and via its largeness has blocked all efforts to the contrary. This Obama government is the ally of a large and evermore powerful government; if successful, Obama will thrust with pointed blade, he will deliver the coup de grace; limited governing premised upon a capitalistic economic system will be lost; a subject of historical record as the system of yesteryear. If the Obama democrats are successful, before our eyes, in plain view we will behold the greatest seizure of power ever attempted since the firing on Fort Sumter by Confederate forces.  

Heretofore, I have discussed the cause and effect of a political nature; but, there are other, possibly more damagingly consequential to the average American.

This nation is about to suffer the devastating effects of a financial implosion that will measure the current crises as moderate. The forthcoming is an ominous virus that has established itself into the vital organs of America’s operating systems.

State, local, private, and union pension funds are under ever increasing pressure to preserve not their earnings but their principle. These pension plans cover millions of American workers many of which with “defined benefit” attachments. The stock market crash has cut the value of these pension plans from 25 to 50 percent of its once appreciating value; for reasons foolish or downright imprudent, the manager’s of these funds have speculated the principle in certain ‘hopeful’ investment belief systems. There is roughly Two Trillion Dollars under pension plan management; The Pension Plan Act requires companies to keep these accounts fully funded, presently, for GM, as only one example, it means putting good money after bad, one fine day a corporation will need to decide whether to fund payroll or their pension plan. All of these rules and regulations were put in place, with the very best of intentions, by congress, the very same congress that regardless of which of the political parties that are in control consistently practice stupid. This is the very same government who created Fannie and Freddie, Medicare, enlarged Social Security beyond its original intent until revenue paid in does not exceed revenue paid out; I could of course go on and on.

Now if the case of pension plan viability did not have enough to concern itself with; many, with the very best of intentions, motivated by doing the right thing, a liberal prompt for funding in ‘socially responsible investing’ or perhaps encouraged by the insanity of greed; millions of pensioners are in for a rude and financially devastating awaking.

Now if one couples this forthcoming inevitable with the entitlement cost to the taxpayer I would say that the Obama answer to the current financial crises which is to spend, spend, and then spend some more, all the while creating a policy that discourages market growth by increasing the tax on the wealthy and profitable corporations is driving the day of financial reckoning to a finality of ultimate demise.

The answer to our financial crises is to decrease taxes and fees across the board, cut the cost of governing, eliminate the gorging on entitlements, attend to the obvious needs and fixes on Social Security and certainly do not give 900 million of our money to the PLO.