About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sequester Provides The Catalyst For Needed Mindset Change

"I think we are derelict in our responsibilities to ignore the realities of entitlements. It is impossible to say we are defenders of Medicare & ignore the looming deadline of 11 or 12 years when it is going to be insolvent. We're not defenders. We're basically standing by & watching its demise." Illinois Senator Dick Durbin - last week
The above quote from Senator Durbin paraphrases a portion of FairTax presentations I make @ Tea Party rallies re the inhumane way our elected reps are letting Social Security & Medicare cruise to higher altitudes on automatic pilot before these programs run out of gas – "So what's not for seniors to like – except that these programs are not financially sustainable? How unkind is it for our elected reps to let this continue until total collapse of the programs? It is the elderly & people over 55 who are dependent on these programs who will be hurt the most when the programs collapse. Just what will these people do then?"
 click on graph to enlarge

Sequester cuts of federal government spending began on March 1 – a total of $85 billion of cuts in FY 2013 that ends on September 30 will be made as a first installment of the ten year sequester program. Over the past week it has become very obvious that there are different priorities regarding how to make these cuts.


Please contrast the following two approaches concerning implementing the sequester with regard to the best interest of the country: 1) On February 26 Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn wrote a letter to the White House Office Of Management & Budget detailing 1,362 programs accounting for $364.5 billion in federal spending every year that could consolidate duplicative, overlapping, & nearly identical jobs; & 2) BO canceled visitor tours of the White House during Spring break – he forgot that the tours are conducted by unpaid volunteers & that Eric Bolling & Sean Hannity have each offered to pay for whatever costs are incurred for a week of tours out of their own pockets.


The salutation of Senator Coburn's letter illustrates just how disinterested BO is in economic budget matters – the letter was addressed to the current Deputy Director of OMB because there has not been a Senate-confirmed Director of OMB for over thirteen months.  Click here to read Senator Coburn's letter & be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the list of programs just to get an idea of the nonsensical waste we the taxpayers foot the bill for each year.


BO's infantile games like canceling White House tours will continue until enough people see through his approach to make the sequester cuts as obnoxious, inconvenient, & hurtful as possible.  All of BO's overstating of the sequester's severity & now backpedaling on this may be putting a crack in BO's armor with some people – his approval rating has fallen below 50% with Reuters showing him @ 43%. 


The sequester remains our best chance to force some degree of financial responsibility on our elected reps.  This first round of $85 billion of across the board federal spending cuts in FY 2013 will be followed by a second round of $110 billion in cuts in FY 2014, & so on until the originally agreed upon $1,200 billion in cuts have been made.  Unfortunately while the sequester cuts are being made federal spending will increase by $7,000 billion in the next ten years so there is no real absolute spending reduction @ all.


Now no one can relate to the unfathomable magnitude of these numbers, but as dangerous as they sound they are still just a small part of the overall problem.  There are tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded Medicare & Social Security liabilities that never appear on the government's balance sheet – these are the realities of entitlements that Senator Durbin says the Congress is derelict in addressing – & he is so right.  The trillions of dollars involved is so large that it can only be paid off by the government purposely debasing the currency meaning it will take a wheelbarrow full of near worthless dollars to buy a loaf of bread or a postage stamp.  This will be reminiscent of 1775 when the paper money issued by the Continental Congress became "not worth a continental" – in fifteen years that paper currency lost 99% of its face value thereby prompting the gold & silver clause of the U.S. Constitution. 


But the implementation of the sequester, small as it is, can possibly effect an all important change in mindset for our elected reps as well as the citizenry.  Let's get our elected reps thinking about & actually performing some budget restraint even @ this lowly sequester level.  We must work up to the position Senator Durbin enunciated above regarding entitlements – the current entitlement liabilities (over the next ten years) along with interest on the national debt represents about 60% of federal spending – the sequester cuts are limited to programs in the other 40%.  The tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded entitlement liabilities are over & above these amounts. 


The above graph shows the problem with an aging America. Read it carefully.


Trying to actually make the sequester work by following the lead of Senator Coburn to effect meaningful cuts that will begin to reduce the size of government & its claims on earned income is the bedrock start that is needed.  In this sense the sequester is the spark or catalyst needed to change the American mindset.


This limiting of government may take hold & instead of small sequester cuts we could eliminate, off the top of my head,  the Departments of Health & Human Services, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation, HUD, the EPA, the National Endowment of the Arts, & the National Endowment of Humanities.


But even the elimination of all of these departments will not solve our gargantuan entitlement problem.  As RTE has pointed out several times the Medicare problem can be solved by going to a premium support system, preferably not indexed for inflation, & the Social Security problem can be solved by changing the determination of the initial benefit to one based on the CPI instead of the average real wage index. See Four Points Highlight The Needed Change In Mindset for complete details.  Please note how even the timid Ryan price indexing curve shown on this posting (bottom curve) bends down over time making premium support an extremely humane transfer away from the current Medicare system while returning to America's youth so much of the liberty that has been lost.


And there is one other thing we could do right away – like in the next five minutes. Replace the progressive income tax system with the FairTax.



  1. Doug – you are spot on in calling out BO’s shameless response so far to sequester. Peggy Noonan in WSJ extends your argument (link below). Regarding BO potential fraudulent sequester responses, Peggy stated:

    "He can decide on a steady drip of catastrophe—food inspectors furloughed on the 15th, long lines at the airport on the 18th, sobbing children missing Head Start on the 20th, civilian contractors pointing to a rusting USS Truman on the 25th. He can let them happen one after another, like little spring shoots of doom. And it probably won't look planned and coordinated, it will look spontaneous and inevitable. And you have to assume that's the plan, because that's kind of how he rolls."

    Therefore -- So let's do all we and call BO out on his shenanigan's and stop this madness. And where can this madness lead us to?

    Answer: BO end game is becoming more and more obvious. That may be to allow the economy to tank, blame capitalism, and then rebuild it in his Saul Alinsky version of a stronger command and control economy.

    Kudos to Doug and Peggy!
    1317 comments in less than 2 days so far.

  2. Doug,

    Can you think of a scenario where one of the FairTax cosponsors in the senate or one of the potentials (Paul, Cruz, Lee, Rubio, Toomey, Scott) could filibuster for the FairTax? Knowledge of the FairTax might make Durbin realize that he has the answer to his stated dilemna on entitlements.

    I know tax bills are supposed to originate in the House; but there is a senate bill S 122.
    This seems like the perfect opportunity to pickup another half dozen cosponsors. Saxby Chambliss should be all over this.