The “B” Word

What doesn’t seem to make sense here?

At the behest of the Obama administration, the CEO of GM, Rick Wagoner, resigned.  He announced his resignation on Sunday.

Yesterday, President Obama had this to say:

Let me be clear: the United States government has no interest or intention of running GM.

What!?!?!?!?!  Now for the “B” word – bullshit.

I hate to say this, but it looks like the government is calling the shots at GM as well as Chrysler.  With GM tasked with getting their creditors to cut deals in 60 days and Chrysler to lock up their deal with Fiat in 30, is there any doubt that Obama via his task force is running both car companies?  I wonder if GM will stand for “Government Motors” at the end of this madness…

And Chrysler is going to be an orphan destined to the junkyard…maybe…

Fiat’s chief arrived in Detroit today to hopefully finalize the deal with Chrysler.  Here’s what the Detroit Free Press says:

Under the revised terms of a proposed alliance between Chrysler and Fiat, the Italian company would take an initial 20% stake in the U.S. automaker, down from a 35% stake under its January pact, according to a person familiar with the transaction. Also, Cerberus Capital Management will lose its equity stake in Chrysler as a condition of the Treasury Department’s bailout deal with the automaker, according to several people familiar with the matter.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – I think that Chrysler has not enough time or money to put any aspect of this deal to good use.  And if the deal doesn’t get signed, Chrysler will definitely be gone.

America the Socialist Nation?

This is a long post.  My suggestion is to pour yourself a drink & make yourself comfortable before sitting down to read this post.


The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. – Norman Thomas, American Socialist

But how can this happen?  The short answer is through government programs, and the dependence on the American public on those programs.  The current economic crisis is a perfect platform on how such programs can be implemented.

For right or wrong, the government is propping up Wall Street (banks & other financial firms), and to a much lesser extent, the automotive industry.  But there is a price – further intrusion of the government into the market.  We also have to realize that the government has manipulated not only the market, but has inserted itself into the role of a social equalizer with disastrous results.  And quite frankly, this is wrong not only from a moral standpoint, but from a governmental one as well.

Now before anyone starts to scream obscenities at their computer trying to burn my ears (or other body parts), bear with me.  Everyone, regardless of their race, religion, etc., should have the chance to achieve their dreams through their own hard work, resources, persistence, and talents.  Our Declaration of Independence stated:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Please note that Happiness by itself is not a right nor is it guaranteed, but the pursuit thereof is.  For leaders within the government to state otherwise is a corruption of what our government’s purpose really is.

Our government’s purpose is not to restrict trade or commerce, but to enable it to compete on a level playing field.  If a person or company comes up with a superior product or service that sets them above their competition, then that person or company should reap the rewards instead of being penalized or demonized.  This has happened countless times to the oil industry, software companies, and numerous other businesses.

Nor is our government’s purpose is to restrict the rights of the populace.  The incessant furor over the rights of the People to Bear Arms is a prime example of this.  Lately, the rights of people to verbally disagree with the current President has come under fire with the White House attacking a certain outspoken radio host calling him, among other things, a traitor, unpatriotic, and un-American.  What did another member of the same party say about speaking one’s mind about the activities of a presidential administration?

We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration. – Hillary Clinton

Last, our government officials are to represent the populace that elected them, and not set themselves above the citizenry.  But they do – all the time, and often with impunity.  All anyone needs to do is look at the automatic pay raises without regard to performance, their health care and retirement plans, and other perks of the office to realize that these representatives have benefits rivaling many of the corporate CEOs that they are targeting, berating, demonizing, and punishing.

Now I know that I’ve wandered away somewhat from the original premise of this post, but bear with me…

We have all watched with more than a cursory interest in the pains of the funding of Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and it seems that every couple of years that there is a threat of these programs going under unless additional legislation was passed to continue funding the programs.  And there are many people that have bought into the premise that the government would take care of them.  To which I wrote:

To rely on the government for anything long-term is stupidity at best and insanity at worst. – Equal Diversity

Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid are social programs, and while they serve their purpose of providing a safety net for people who have fallen on hard times or couldn’t otherwise make it, they are, for the most part, manageable from a financial standpoint.  But what helped cause our current economic mess was the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977.

To recap from an earlier post, the CRA was to help those people who would ordinarily not be able to afford buying a house to take out a loan to buy that house.  Those loans would be guaranteed by the quasi-government institutions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack.  Through creative bookkeeping, lack of government oversight (or Congressmen looking the other way), and regulations that allowed financial institutions to buy & sell mortgages like commodities, the number of risky loans & “toxic” assets grew to an unsustainable amount.  When the economy started to implode because the credit market could no longer bear the astronomical debts, the entire house of cards came crashing down, and took the rest of the country (and world) with it.

Enter the government to clean up the mess that they created…with your tax money…from the future…waaaaay in the future.

So now there is legislation and loans and God-only knows what else traveling through Congress at the behest of the Administration that I do not believe will help the economy recover.  Perhaps the following statement is all the more disturbing in light of our current problems:

I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody. – Barack Obama

So what I’m getting from this is that Government, i.e., Big Brother is going to give us all money without earning it.  This is called entitlement.  From a post by Brian Russell at WorldNetDaily.com:

Pervasive entitlement attitudes are harming Americans in a myriad of ways. Debt created by entitlement-driven purchasing decisions can lead to legal problems, bankruptcy and foreclosure, which, in addition to destroying one’s credit and placing one’s financial well-being in jeopardy for years, can cause a tremendous amount of stress, which in turn, can pervade one’s life and strain one’s relationships. Successful interpersonal relationships require mutual sacrifice, but people with entitlement attitudes often expect sacrifice from others without expecting to reciprocate. While this creates resentment in others, people with entitlement attitudes tend to harbor plenty of their own resentment. They’re likely to be jealous and resentful of others who appear to have more or better possessions, positions, or relationships. Neither jealousy nor resentment tends to facilitate the formation of healthy relationships or to improve existing relationships. Entitlement attitudes make it easier for people to justify satisfying their interpersonal wants through dishonest or hurtful means, such as marital infidelity, and depending on the depth of a person’s belief that his or her wants are deserved, challenging that belief could even provoke the kind of anger that leads to abusive behavior.

The entire article is a must read, and I can relate to the comments on the educational system because I have witnessed the actions of the schools first hand with my son.

The obvious question is “Where is the wealth going to come from?”  The answer is “From the working taxpayer’s pocket.”  And if you’re working your butt off trying to make ends meet, that answer should enrage you, because you know it’s true. I’m not of a mind to cover the bad debts of others, especially if they’ve knowingly put themselves in the situation.

But here’s the ultimate outcome of these policies – there will be a two class society, the have’s & have-nots, and those classes will be much farther apart than they are now.  The middle class will be driven to extinction by onerous taxes and the sense of entitlement via government subsidies to the lower classes.  Class envy will be rampant, and success by the efforts of individuals to succeed will be downplayed if not discouraged.  The Haves (our Congress, President, large corporations, and political insiders & parties) will rule the Have-Nots (everyone else).

And these policies are being implemented as we sit and read this post.  I would suggest that you read this post titled Communist or Liberal Agenda? along with the comments. If you want to keep your head in the sand after reading this post & comments, fine – just don’t bitch when your rights & economic freedoms are minimized or outlawed.

I understand that there are many Taxed Enough Already (TEA) parties being organized throughout the country for April 15 to protest Congress and a President who:

  • vote for a $500 billion tax bill without even reading it?
  • are spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying?
  • consistently give special interest groups billions of dollars in earmarks to help get themselves re-elected?
  • want to take your wealth and redistribute it to others?
  • punish those who practice responsible financial behavior and reward those who do not?
  • admit to using the financial hurt of millions as an opportunity to push their political agenda?
  • run up trillions of dollars of debt and then sell that debt to countries such as China?
  • want government controlled health care?
  • want to take away the right to vote with a secret ballot in union elections?
  • refuse to stop the flow of millions of illegal immigrants into our country?
  • want to force doctors and other medical workers to perform abortions against their will?
  • want to impose a carbon tax on your electricity, gas and home heating fuels?
  • want to reduce your tax deductibility for charitable gifts?
  • take money from your family budget to pay for their federal budget?

Participate, speak-up, and vote – those are your tools for implementing real change in our government, the political parties, and our lives.  The answer to our future is more with the American people to take responsibility for our lives, not looking to government to provide all the answers.

Golf Under Socialism

USGA MAJOR RULE CHANGES

Golfers with handicaps:

  • below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35% – between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees
  • above 18 will play for free and even get a check from the club/course played.

The $ amount put in for bets will be as follows:

  • for handicaps below 10 an additional $10 -between 11 and 18 no additional amount
  • above 18 you will receive the total amount in the pot and you do not even have to play.

The term “gimme” putt will be changed to “entitlement” and will be used as follows:

  • handicaps below 10, no entitlements
  • handicaps above 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts handicaps above 18, if on green, no need to ever putt, just pick it up.

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness in scoring so that the final scores of all players will be about the same. In addition, a Player will be limited to a max of one birdie and/or six pars. Any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par. Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player making the birdie or par, can that Player begin to count his score again.

The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes but the term ‘net score’ will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps 18 and above. This is intended to ‘redistribute’ the success of winning by making sure that in every competition the above 18 handicap players will post only ‘net score’ against every other player’s gross score.

These new Rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf. Golf must be about Fairness Only. It should have nothing to do with Ability.


I’m glad Obama bowls…

Politics, Government, & You

By now, everyone has heard of the bonuses at AIG, of a certain Senator writing in legislation the permission for said bonuses, and the complicity of a high-ranking government official for trying to look the other way.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, perhaps the following will graphically bring you up to speed:

The public outcry is loud, but will it be long?  With the public’s attention span approaching that of a gnat or goldfish, I somehow doubt it…

But what should be painfully clear is that the citizens of the United States are not represented by the people elected to office.  Instead, they have been bought & paid for by special interests.

I don’t take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House. – Barack Obama

Too late, Mr. Obama – their minions are already there and in Congress…

The incident at AIG is only the latest of selective help & hypocrisy from our elected “leaders.”  How is it that the Union contracts must be gutted & the workers pay & benefits slashed, and yet the bonuses of people who helped put AIG on the government dole be protected?  How does it benefit the country for the people who put real value into products to be penalized and yet the money-lenders that only skim off their percentage for shoveling paper around be deserving of saving?  Where does hundreds of Billions go almost unaccounted for, and yet a few Billion for an industry is scrutinized beyond belief?  This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Those who have the gold make the rules.

Unfortunately, it’s our gold that they are using to make the rules with.  And the problem is that the average citizen is looking for the government to clean up this mess when it was the government that got us into this situation in the first place!

Our politicians have taken great liberties in spending the taxpayer’s money, so much so that it will take future generations to pay off the current debt.  And that’s if future governments don’t borrow any more money from the taxpayers.  And how is that going to happen?

It’s not…

Our politicians have bankrupted this country, and are playing a shell game trying to keep us, the public, from figuring it out.  We are indoctrinated in the policy of buying now and paying later – why else is the current governmental policy focused on loosening the credit markets?  And unfortunately, we are buying into it, ready to ditch an industry that would build real value for the country for that of moving money around.

But what happens when the money runs out?  Print more?  Can you say “inflation”?

A few quotes in closing:

A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have. – Barry Goldwater

Democracy gives every man the right to be his own oppressor. – James Russell Lowell

For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery. – Jonathan Swift

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P. J. O’Rourke

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. – George Washington

If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’ what is the opposite of ‘progress’? – Paul Harvey

There appears to be a revolution brewing in this country.  The populace is becoming more and more aware of the destructive antics of our government, and for the most part, is extremely dissatisfied with the results.  I wonder what the tipping point will be:  People losing jobs, inflation, loss of rights, dependence on the government to live, onerous taxes…  The question in my mind is whether it will be in time to save this country, or destroy it.

Is This a Plan?

While I’m off, I’m starting to catch up on some reading & saw this on the March 10 Opinion page of The Oakland Press:

Let me see if I have this right.

Our economy is in a mess because: People borrowed too much money and spent too much money; bankers lent too much money based on too little value; greedy financial wizards created meaningless credit defaults that they swapped for more money (lots more); and consumers were encouraged to borrow and spend more money (lots more).

Now, to fix this crisis: Government will borrow more money (lots more) and spend it; government will give more money (lots more) to banks so they can lend more money to people (who now have even less value than they did before, because the economy is in a mess); government wizards will create meaningless earmarks and put more money (lots more) in them; and consumers will be encouraged to borrow and spend again.

Would someone please explain how this plan will fix our messed-up economy? I just can’t seem to figure it out.

Tom G., Rochester Hills, MI

I think there are a lot of people asking the same questions, and why the current Administration is receiving a failing grade from leading economists.

And no, I didn’t write it, although I wish I did.