IS COMPROMISE A PRINCIPLE?

23 07 2011

Authored by William Robert Barber

Common folks are now concerned about the nation’s sovereign debt, specifically as such concern applies to the fire-breathing monstrous interest-only service on the outstanding debt. When one couples the penalty of interest with the unsustainable, ever increasing cost of governing, rightfully the focus today is on the prudence of raising the debt ceiling without lowering the cost of governing. Of course, this cost-of-governing question has always been answered by an affirmation of “yes” with a behavior of “no”.

Historically, politicians and the appointed of all color, shape, and size have with uncontested consistency found it easier to print money and trade votes for underfunded services than to address the specific challenge. With equal consistency they have created a top-down strategy that simply results in fiscally impaired programs that knowingly, beforehand, promise more than they can fulfill. With PR fanfare they have created departmental bureaucracies that are addicted to doubling down on stupid. These very same politicians, with no hesitation or concern, bank on the public’s acceptance that its issued fiat currency is non-inflationary. All the while, thoughtlessly, in the unending pursuit of raising capital for today’s expenditure, these elected and appointed leaders have inflamed the probability of inflation when they collateralize multiple tomorrows’ tax revenue. These politicians in league with ‘others’, who perceive benefiting from such policies, are very creative; for instance, in lieu of pledging real assets, these financial genies created the securitization of air. They have spooned into the Social Security Trust Fund by replacing the cash for use by the general fund with Treasury promise to pay notes. The Federal Reserve buys Treasuries from the secondary-market with printed funds. And everyday, Fannie and Freddie borrow more monies from taxpayers to satisfy their operational needs. Does any of this sound like a fiscally sustainable system?

They have done all of this while openly competing with private enterprise. The governments of this nation have legitimized, endorsed, and benefited from the distribution of games of chance, cigarettes, and liquor, and earn at least a third on every gallon of gasoline. Let’s agree that this government of ours is the most aggressively prolific of robber barons. And now they want the right to spend more because they have spent all of 14 trillion.

The current debt limit debate has come down to Obama’s pestering for the next election, the newly elected House members sticking to their promise, and the electorates interpretive of the very ethos of what defines America. It has been said by those in the know that “the debt ceiling, means unknown in the present, will be raised. The crises as described by the media will pass.” Withstanding all of that, this next election is a defining affirmation for our country. If Obama should win this one election, liberal progressivism will be validated; the effect of his victory, at a minimum, disabling the conservative momentum. At a maximum it will push the philosophy into dormancy.

This debt limit debate is aligned with a greater purpose. Obama “the great pretender” is focused on reelection. The main stream media, on this go-around, are not so much endorsing Obama as they are in support of liberal progressivism and against the Republicans. Truthfulness takes a backseat to fear mongering, demagoguery, and whatever it takes to win the election. This time compromise will not satisfy the beast nor the paladin.

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19 03 2011

Authored by William Robert Barber

These fiscal battles being fought from sea to shining sea truly do define the dragon from the paladin; of course, because of differing ideological perspectives, the dragon and the paladin are exchangeable.

From my ideological perspective the dragon is without question the liberals and their progressive agenda. For example, in the interest of serving entrenched special interest, the Obama administration has created multiple fiscal machinations; these variable machinations are so intriguing, so fantastically written and delivered, that one could, depending upon viewpoint, easily contextualize either a melodrama or a comedy.

Though delivered as if nonfiction, these progressives actually live in a robustly ubiquitous fiction. Wherein, despite the federal monstrous deficit, the taxpayers should, out of a sort of noblesse oblige respect for liberalism, finance NPR. They behaviorally suggest that it’s just fine that state public employee union pension obligations are in the trillions. The remedy is obvious: Raise taxes on the wealthy. If this were part of the nation’s progressive taxation policy, more entitlements would be fiscally manageable. Harry Reid, a progressive leader, says unequivocally that social security, respective of evidence to the contrary, is financially sound.

Remember when Barney Frank told us Americans that Fannie and Freddie were just fine — that what conservatives were trying to do was ruin housing for the poor.

The distinct premise these progressives are trying to publically convey is founded on a supposition of the rational and reasonable. Their approach to the formulation of fiscal policy is striking the right balance; that there really is a distinction between spending and investing. They are broadcasting to all that will listen the proposal that no rational and reasoned elected representative of the liberal brand, particularly considering the present state of economic affairs, could possibly, consider simply dallying, dithering, as if they were obsessively eccentric ideologically motivated nincompoops. Oh no, these liberal Democrats are not thinking of 2012; they are not dancing so to eat up time so that this year’s budget will be muted by the arrival of end of the year…

Certainly, the Obama government has a living breathing snapshot of what the collapse of a welfare state looks like; surely, it is aware of California. A state that faces an immediate $26.6 billion dollar shortfall, an estimated half-a-trillion dollar public pension obligatory, and unemployment higher than Michigan. The reality is that California has 12% of the nation’s population and 1/3 of the national welfare cases. Now how in the world did all of the highly educated all-knowing wonks allow this counter-to-deductive-sensibility manifest? Well, here’s how: They borrowed and spent the people’s money as if state taxes and fees were on a guaranteed upward path. Naturally, in keeping with the stupidity of enacting and implementing a policy of wish, hope, and disbelieve in the empirically obvious, they were elected and reelected by promising more to those who have less and less to those who have more.

We ideological counter engagers are fighting for a period; we then retire to our corners, recalculate strategy, tactics, and venture out into the middle of the ring. Compromise has become (as it should be) a nasty possibility that neither engager contemplates as a solution. The Republicans are searching for a superhero to save the day… and the Democrats have their superhero.





SOON, THE OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE I CAN BELIEVE IN!

7 10 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

November 22nd is nearing. The political parties are battling for positioning, the requirements of harvesting voters set aside prudence and truthfulness; all actions no matter how negative subordinates to victory. Candidates are persuading and the voters are advocating or deciding. Unions are nervous. And all the special interests are pitching their perspective. Contrivances dominate. The liberal progressives are begging for more time. The Republicans swear they have learned their lesson from the last period of governess.

None of the pundits believe the Tea Party influence will persevere — or I should say the pundits are hoping. Obama is talking, talking, and talking; Reid is scared. Pelosi is a cross of indignant and oblivious to populous sentiment. The Blue Dogs are striving to be a bit redder than their recent liberal vote’s evidence. The media is soaking up all the political advertising money and the average Joe is really pissed.

Naturally, I am pleased that the conservative viewpoint is at the forefront of electoral dialogue; but if, by the grace of God and a few Marines, the Republicans should capture the majority in the House of Representatives, I would like to see the present leadership regress into the Hinterland and fresh blood take on the reins of governorship. John Boehner had his chance to practice conservative governing; instead, he sided with the liberal doctrine of unlimited government, endorsed an unfunded Medicare with expenditures of over $449 billion, Medicaid as of 2008 at $351 billion. He voted for TARP and other such legislation, creating a policy result of spend, spend, and spend. That also should be the fate of Eric Cantor and all the other Rhinos that permitted the Bush administration to behave like liberal Democrats. An indicator of real change from the standard Republican appropriators like Jerry Lewis of California is whether Mr. Lewis will chair the House appropriations committee. He is senior. Now will Mr. “pork” be permitted to stand as chair?

The simplicity of truth-telling is still beyond the reach of congress’ leadership. No politician will directly address the dark and foreboding meaningfulness of pension fund obligations; the unsustainable federal and state entitlements, the fiscal deficit and its menacing probabilities, Fannie & Freddie still linger eating up billions of dollars as the housing crises continues to deteriorate. The nonelected-appointed are presently writing the consequences of the ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank legislation, tax law is in purgatory, all the while the business sector is contemplating instead of investing. And the liberal Democrats’ only response is “green energy” and” tax the rich”.

For years now I have been asking myself why these super-educated, lawyers, CPAs, educators, and community organizers – these elected representatives – why wouldn’t they sue their universities for fraudulent inducement? From my advantage point, I strongly feel that they should get their tuition money back; clearly, whatever education they received, did not prepare them for leadership. Hell – they can’t even follow! They can create legislation, tax and spend, and they sure work very hard spending millions of dollars to retain or attain office. Oh, they know how to dress nicely, say nothing in thousands of words or less, they are familiar with celebrities, know other important people — and they know how to dance.

Well, November is just around the bend… I am eager to witness change I can believe in!





THE PRACTICE OF STATUTORILY COMPLIANT CORRUPTION

20 08 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Be it civil or criminal, we all understand the meaning and consequence of breaking the law. When one speaks of corruption, normally the word applies to governments, organizations, or some closed loop entity. But not many of us have considered the meaning or consequences of “statutorily compliant corruption” (or SCC) wherein the perpetrator has not violated any civil or criminal statute… nevertheless, an injustice or circumvention of societal concurrence has been committed.

When congress submits its approved annual budget and then spends billions of taxpayers’ monies in off-balance sheet-in-addition-to budget appropriation, is this an overt corruptive act?

When federal immigration laws are selectively enforced, is this not a corruptive manipulation of existing law?

When a politician is elected because of the promise not to raise taxes and then touts legislation that does exactly that — is this betrayal NOT a pure example of SCC?

Barney Frank told us that Fannie and Freddie were financially sound and critical to the government’s obligation to insure a parity of fairness. Is it not true that Senator Frank and Dodd, with the aid and assist of the now President Obama, insisted on the veracity of obligation in the concept of government residential subsidy? Additionally, I recall that with purposefulness and premeditation these politicians, along with a majority of Democrats, sang the praises of Fannie and Freddie as they fought off the Bush administration’s efforts to wind down these entities. Clearly, Fannie and Freddie are not now – nor were these entities then – financially sound. It would have been prudent to de-leverage, impair, and rescind the authority and function of these quasi-government entities. Is the conduct of these three senators simply a matter of ignorance? Is it that they were simply too stupid to analyse the going ons? Or were these senators simply garnishing support within their base, not thinking all of the consequences? Did their actions fall within the definition of SCC?

Often enough false pretense is the actual ethos of the act of SCC. The motivations for extending these lies vary in degree and type. However, the disseminations of outright falsehoods seem to have the one motivational commonality: The perceived benefit of political or pecuniary gain. The process of implementing SCC includes a state government’s issuance of bonds without full and transparent disclosure, to the traditional tactics of government and corporate misinformation and disinformation. There seems to be no shame as to the lengths of such corruptive behavior and from time to time there isn’t even a discernable, rational, reasonable aim of the practice. Obviously, in these cases, logic and deductive reasoning are deleted by the lustful passion of ideological inspiration wherein malice is the intent and mischievousness the means.

All of us could, by simply reading the newspaper, easily find other instances of SCC practices within our governing and corporate systems. Our society has become very tolerant of malfeasant behavior; not just from our sports heroes, celebrities, or family members, but, most disconcerting, from our elected and appointed government officials. I am concerned with the ease pundits accept the less than stellar behavior of our elected representatives. Frankly, I am bit perplexed as to the reasoning and readiness of forgiveness for our elected officials ethical shortcoming. Maybe that is because there is no reasoning, but only the expectation of less.

The infection of “statutorily compliant corruption” has penetrated unevenly into the varied demographics of our society. Is it simply about the money? Does power have such sway that one is willing to lose one’s honor over the trivial of fame and cash? Why does one, a graduate of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and other such notable institutions believe that skimming close to the line of illegal is acceptable?

Possibly, one could draw a parallel between the numbers of law school graduates, the proliferation of legalized gaming, the number of divorces, fatherless families, the glorification of the flourishing illicit profession of selling cocaine, marijuana, and heroin, the number of teenage pregnancies, the outrageous number of abortions, the largeness of all governments, the permissive thus imprudent conduct of governing leadership in relation to government’s fiscal status, the commonplace of government deficit spending, and the immense expansion of federal/state socio-economic entitlements.

The evil that erodes the goodness from this great nation is a process of piece-by-piece deterioration of our moral ethos. When the cultural mores of the nation’s professional class determines that the object of winning trumps the means, as long as those means do not breach criminal or civil statutory requirements, America the exceptional will blend into America that once was.

The behavior of “statutorily compliant corruption” is much more dangerous to the veracity of this nation’s lawfulness than an overt criminal act. America is the shining light; we must maintain its brilliance by never compromising the nation’s spirit or moral ethos.





THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE OF IT

26 07 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Government is a tool; a utility composed of Byzantine arrangement wherein the reasoning of objectives and goal meanders between the original intent and the synthesis required for implementation. Forethought is not a legislative requirement of government, nor is prudence, deductive logic, or sensibility. What is compulsory of any government left unfettered is largeness over limited; that its representatives emit the rhetorically melodious explanation versus the plain and specific. And most importantly, by means variable and deliberate remain deceptive to one and all. Because government is captained by humans, it is inherently, by simply operating, resolved to conclude a significant portion of its conveyance of authority in ways and means corruptive. The result of such corruptive behavior, whether delivered within or outside of statutory compliance, breeds ineptness and such will always result, in some measurable way, to some unintentional consequence.

An excellent example of government inherent statutorily compliant corruption is the recent passing of the financial reform bill. Imagine passing ‘new laws’ and allowing Fannie and Freddie to remain intact? These two government sponsored enterprises have liabilities in excess of $5 trillion; they have already cost taxpayers nearly $150 billion, with no end in sight.

Another example is the $6 billion in federal subsidies to the Ethanol industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, it costs taxpayers $1.78 in ethanol incentives to reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by one gallon or nearly two-thirds of the current average retail gas price. This subsidy has been going on over four decades. What private company would continue to fund such a foolish use of cash, time, and resource?

Government is also, demonstrated by its coercive manner, decisively, omnipotent. Its behavior is often duplicitous, contradictory, and in the execution of its responsibilities and obligations costly of time and money. A common characteristic of government is its intrinsically insatiable requirement for more power. There are no exceptions to this definition of government.

Lincoln’s descriptive: “Of the people, by the people, and for the people” is a myth. The constitution is real enough but the interpretation is subject to persons of power. It is not institutions of power because institutions in the finality are managed, influenced, and dominated by persons. The only mitigation to the power of persons is not even the rule of law because that, too is subject to the persons of power. Hence, mitigation of government’s insatiable need for more power can only reside in the super active participation of citizens — and there is no such participation.

There has been no industrialized nation that has not been corrupted from within. Some of the time the corruption is uprooted or abated, sometimes it grows and blossoms under a different title or color; but in the eventual, by means legal or extralegal, the original design, usually in pieces and parts, is forsaken for the promise of better. Surely a rational person would conclude that the promise of better is a consideration of interest; but such a promise must be approached with prudence and certainty, or the penalty may include the everlasting loss of what was once so profoundly exceptional.

There is a moral consequence to government action; if such action is detrimental to the recipient, it matters not at all if the government is a republic or a totalitarian régime. Government has the capacity for moral sinfulness; such sinfulness would include a citizen’s loss of liberty, freedom, and most profoundly the citizen’s impairment of individual choice. All governments, regardless of type, have the innate capacity to deprive citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

I believe that the Obama government is pushing and pulling us citizens into a socialistic state wherein the law is some liberal progressive’s interpretation of social justice; wherein economic decisions and systems are constituted by some committee’s moral regard, and where the policies of individual liberty and freedom do not trump government incursion and ingress into the providence of societal governess.





TAX POLICIES ARE DAMN DUMB

2 05 2010

Authored by William Robert Barber

Tax credits for small businesses… hmm, sounds like a positive; of course the benefits of such credits apply only to those small businesses that pay taxes on a percentage of their profits. However, the overwhelming majorities of small businesses do not make a profit vis-à-vis their business; instead, adhering to the standard of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), most of these small businesses do not make a profit. Their gross profits are expressed as deduction under the line item “cost of business”. Small business owners report and pay taxes on their federal, and (where applicable) state, city, and county personal income statement. No tax credits allowed…

Certainly, there is a minority of small businesses that actually report profits. The Obama administration is offering — under certain restrictions, terms, and conditions — tax credits for these businesses. How very nice: the companies that need no tax deduction because they actually are profitable have a shot at receiving some tax credits. And here I thought the object of the tax code in America was founded on a sham of sensibility and fairness.

By far the largest employer in America is the small business owner; he or she must risk capital and variant resources in order to create an entrepreneurial opportunity. Most of these entrepreneurs fail. Suffering the loss of capital as well as resource, they lost their shot at good fortune. A few, very few, beat the odds by establishing a profitable business and thrive. Naturally, whether it can do so over a measured period of time, is another question of risk.

Business in the best of times is tough; in the worst of times it is almost impossible to harvest a living wage, much less demonstrate profitability. If the dynamics of entrepreneurial engagement was not challenging enough, the competition of much larger adversaries are enough to bury the most tenacious of risk takers. Big business has all the capital and resource advantages over small business and for the most part benefits from the unflinching support of governments. This is an economic factual, a truism, a conundrum for the small business advocates. If one considers that it is small business that sustains the overwhelming number of the employed, one would presume that government would acquiesce directly to the needs.

One would think that government would understand and directly aid and assist small businesses by significantly reducing their tax encumbrances, administrative & regulatory burden, and leave this dynamic segment of America alone. But it just can’t seem to do the simple and obvious; instead, government dances around the required with nonsensical rhetoric about tax credits and promises of loosening up bank lending standards. In other words, this current government’s ideas and action solutions, like the many that preceded it, just get in the way…

The Obamas of the world cry out that insurance companies, health service entities, and oil/gasoline distributors are making excessive profits. Of course no politicians can define excessive profits; besides, does it not follow that excessive profits must mean excessive taxes?

A little less than half of the taxpaying public pays no individual federal income taxes; 1% suffers the single largest percentage of our nation’s individual income taxes… How’s this for fairness?

From time to time I do wonder why we have Ivy League institutions. Considering the legislation passed by congresses over these many years since 1789 and considering the incompetence of regulators within the SEC, and the stupidity of financially enhancing Freddie and Fannie’s authority so to fulfill compliance with HUD directives, why did all these politicians attend Harvard, Princeton, or Yale?

Well, then there is the situation in Arizona. Imagine the audacity of a state acting because the federal government will not? When the federal government picks and chooses which laws to enforce, there is definitely going to be friction and in this particular, the willful discombobulating of facts. The coupling of the two federal government perversions of what is lawful will always result in a dysfunction of our system of governess. Either change the law or enforce it; anything other then applying one or the other will abate lawfulness.