Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jail Time

I’m a little upset, as I know most of you are about the state of the economy, and it has nothing to do with that fact that I find myself unemployed for the second time in as many years plus one. The economy runs in cycles. It goes up, it goes down. Just does. People who think they can regulate away economic cycles are as misguided as those who think they can stop cyclical climate variations, and in many cases, they’re the same people. Take a second to look at the national debt clock. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ The numbers are so large as to be beyond our understanding. But you don’t need to be put off by all the motion. There are a couple of them that are still within the understandable limits of us mortals. The national debt is so large that if every single taxpayer were sent a bill for their share it would be for over $111,000.00. You’re going to have to spot me on this one because I don’t have it this week. The picture’s a little brighter if you look at the per citizen figure. It’s only a little over $39,000.00. My 13 year old son was a little dismayed to hear this. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the sum of all of the goods and services produced in a single year. The ratio of national debt to GDP is over 85%. The yearly interest alone is nearing 50% of our yearly federal revenue. Think about this in terms of your personal finances. Let’s say you’re making $40,000 a year. You’re monthly pay is about $3,300. When you open your credit card statement you find that the interest this month alone is $1,666. Half of everything you earned gone just to pay the interest on what you owe. What would be your course of action in that situation? Just keep borrowing, and then go out and buy a new entertainment system? Ask the boss for a big raise. Or stop the spending and start paying down the debt? There’s only one thing that’s sure to work.

For many years I’ve been a proponent of putting the Congress on paid administrative leave. What we would do is meet them at the Capitol when they show up for the beginning of the session, swear in the new members, hand them their certificates, take the class pictures, hand them their paychecks and then send them home. They could go and do whatever they wanted for the rest of the session. Sell used cars or magazines door to door. Whatever. The object of the exercise is to get them out of the Capitol so that they can’t spend anymore of what the taxpayers don’t have any more of, and that’s money.

For years, the Congress has been involved in what can only be described as theft by deception and we, you and I, and all the rest of America, have been complicit. We watched as they took borrowed money from the treasury for projects that would make their constituents somewhere in another part of the country happy but we turned a blind eye because our own representatives got us a little something in return, with borrowed money again of course. And so it went in their little club of 535 souls, all working in a bipartisan manner to assure their re-elections and our nation’s eventual bankruptcy.

And so now it’s 2009 and the government induced collapse of the housing market and the subsequent collapse of the economy as a whole are met with what? More government intervention. First it was a $787 Billion “Stimulus Package” that had to be passed “RIGHT THIS MINUTE” or the world would come to an end. Not four weeks after the new President took office, two days after the 600 plus page bill was made available to Congress members and the general public the bill was approved (unread) by the House and Senate. The President promptly sat on it for three days before its signing.

In the midst of the economic turmoil that has become 2009 on the heels of their success with the stimulus came the “Cap and Trade” legislation gushing up in the House of Representatives like CO2 from a shaken hot soda. They passed it on a close vote (219 – 212). The Senate, heeding the Presidents own words that “my plan would necessarily cause utility rates to skyrocket”, and mindful that there are elections next fall, demurred, and has yet to take the legislation up.

And that brings us to the biggest, the most audacious, the most dangerous and the most expensive plan of all, and once again we’re being told that failure to act right now, at this moment, will lead to certain disaster. The plan is to re-form the entire health care system. One sixth of the entire economy. Not to fix what’s wrong with what we have, but to completely re-form it. The cost will be well over $1 Trillion and is paid for by accounting tricks and new taxes and fees. BUT, and this is a mighty big but. Democratic Senators, Representatives, and the President himself are still claiming that services will actually be better and costs lower. So here’s my plan: I propose an amendment to the bill that comes out of House / Senate conference committee that will allow the members of both houses, the President, his staff and cabinet the opportunity to do what the signers of the Declaration of Independence did, and that is to “pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” that this bill will universally increase the quality of health care services and lower their costs. If it does not it is my proposal that everyone previously listed be placed in a federal prison for a term equal to the number of years that they served in their respective positions and required to forfeit one years salary. This determination will be made not this year, or after the 2012 elections or the 2016, but in the year 2020. It’s time for our elected officials to be made to face the fact that when they make mistakes with huge amounts of our money bad things happen. We already know that they have no honor. Let’s see if they’re willing to put their lives and fortunes on the line.

And that’s what an average guy thinks.

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