Thoughts that wake me up early in the morning

As usual, I am up early, I wake up and can’t get back to sleep from thinking, thinking, thinking. 

Like a tiger pacing in a cage, David goes to the front door every five minutes to see if Mohammed has delivered the Saturday papers.  Once more I tell him, “You know he sleeps in on Saturday.”  David began pacing at 5:30 AM. He wants to see the latest poll results. 

I am happy he is so interested in what is happening in the world of politics, but don’t want him to blow a gasket if his guy loses. David’s biggest concern at the moment is the military sequestration.  It was Obama’s idea to cut defense spending.  This means big cuts to our military budget. 

In all likelihood the sequestration will result in troop cuts, out-of-work veterans and a big hit on the labor force because vets have rights that allow them to precede others when it comes to jobs.  That is if the vets can find jobs to get preference in.  Things don’t look that good at present.

The big corporations like Lockheed and Raytheon have strategically placed parts of their business in key Congressional Districts.  Do you think the Congress people (both Democrat and Republican) with defense operations in their districts will approve the White House plan if it cuts Defense contractor spending? No, I fear the cuts will land on the troops, who are predominantly Southern boys and girls, although many come from other areas hit by the Recession. Troop cuts fall disproportionately on the less well off who actually fight our wars.

The dirty little secret is that there is no such thing as a Peace Dividend.  Our economy is so entwined with our national defense spending, that cutting it is almost impossible.  People lament the passing of the Space Program, but the Defense programs are far more important when it comes to our economic health.  For example, most of the telecommunications gadgets you use today are the result of Defense spending on research and development. 

How do we get out of the debt and deficit mess?  We will need to do it one small step at a time. It’s just like getting sober or losing weight, there are no overnight fixes. If you lose weight quickly, you will most certainly will either have a health crises or gain the weight back very quickly, or both.

If you stop drinking alcohol quickly, you can die without medical assistance in the form of drugs to ease you down from the drugs and/or alcohol.  I learned this when David worked in different drug and alcohol treatment programs around the city.  He also went through 3 drug and alcohol treatment programs before he got sober 33 years ago.  

Although some have criticized the Romney-Ryan plan for proposed cuts in entitlement spending, the point to understand is that their proposals call for cuts that take place slowly over time. These cuts are to be phased in so slowly, that some conservatives, like David Stockman, have complained the cuts don’t do enough quickly enough. But its the only way to reduce spending and not destroy the economy.

The so-called budget surplus of the Clinton years was largely an  accounting gimmick . Funds in the form of government bonds held for the Social Security Trust Fund were used to offset the budget deficits that occurred hidden from sight. The practice continued under Bush, but now the chickens have come home to roost under Obama.  

The long and the tall of it is that there is no free lunch.  We get what we pay for. Now that we seniors who are on Social Security  want our due in the form of monthly checks. The federal government is now buying back the bonds by printing money. That’s what Bernanke’s Quantitative Easing is all about. Of course printing money is what brought the Weimar Republic to its knees back in the late 1920s. 

Despite all the hype, the US government owes more to its own citizens than to China.  Both of us are about to be paid in inflated dollars. I knew I should have stayed in bed.

 

 

Three of my Aunts at a family picnic at a park in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. 

Above sister Shelly and me with 3 cousins (we are the tall girls); David with cousin Peter and his father Uncle Sylvester at the picnic.

7 thoughts on “Thoughts that wake me up early in the morning

  1. As for electronics/technology/defense/beginning space program as my bro worked for most of his life — wherever cuts are made legislators have strategically located those plants, as they protect the big cat financiers and in the process the consequence will certainly most seriously hurt the average person. (The same thing happens in the public schools — when cuts have to be made, they’re made in areas most visible to the public which impact the students the most — when raises are considered administrative business mgrs. set aside hidden monies for administrative staff raises and then plead poverty when it comes to raises for non-academic personnel and/or teachers.)

    Yes, I recall hearing and believing at the time the explanation about the Clinton surplus, that the chickens would come home to roost on that in the future. Probably, no one then (except maybe the neo-cons) had any expectation we would be launched into a senseless war by someone who played at being a jet pilot, became a President and thought he was doing WWII all over again when it was quite a different situation.

    I, too, think it would be a huge mistake to allow Wall St. to provide the safety net for seniors. If you want something more to think about to keep you from sleeping, consider this, that the duplicitous Wall St. geniuses of deceit have not addressed or resolved the issues that caused the most recent financial collapse and you can rest assured it’s only a matter of time and circumstances ’til we face more — no wonder they continue to be so anxious to grasp our SS $$$.

    BTW what exactly was it that Herbert Hoover was doing to get us out of the depression? My mother persisted in believing he didn’t get a fair shake but she could never really explain to me why. I’m serious, ’cause you know much more about the various historical perspectives than I do. 😉

    I don’t think FDR was any more successful until WWII happened. My mother believed FDR’s SS plan was just a sneaky way of taxation though unexpected life events and serious health issues turned her life on its head and she certainly benefited from that program and others. As the years went by she clung to supporting those whose programs were opposite her best interests and would have left her swinging in the wind had they had their programs implemented and the other dismantled — much like what is proposed now.

    I couldn’t agree more that we need to move slowly with cost cutting measures so as to not send this nation’s economy into a spiraling downward movement, but I don’t think the 2r’s have the foggiest notice what real life is like for most Americans. When push comes to shove their allegiance will not be to the ordinary citizen. I don’t hear any concerned way they’ll address the decline of middle income Americans other than warmed over versions of what we already know doesn’t work and was once referred to as trickle-down economics — another theory that sounds good on paper, but in practical application doesn’t happen, at least not on a big scale. Especially now, the greedy only want more and likely will have more interest in socking away offshore or elsewhere, (like I suspect one of the r’s has done to avoid taxes — no wonder he won’t share more of his income tax records — I know that’s speculation on my part) any money they can get their hands on — not start businesses, hire people.

    Put all this out of your mind and get a good night’s sleep!

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  2. You are due to have many more sleepless hours of thinking if politics does this to you. It won’t be over for a while yet.

    I have no wish to dabble in US politics, but most other nations in the west dread another Republican president. I also find it very telling somehow, that making war is the way to spend your way out of recession. War is surely not something to be welcomed?

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  3. Well, all those soldiers will get restless without a war to fight. But, let the better man win. We’ll see how both candidates handle the pressure from the debates. All I know is I like receiving SS money every month and being on Medicare, too. Would hate to lose either. I am no stock market genius, as I lost half my investments in the crash of 2008. Imagine if SS had been privatized back then!

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    • As it is the money “invested” in government bonds earned nothing. BTW the stock market is doing well these days, too bad you got out.

      I too need my SS which is owed to me. Like every other worker in my generation, I “bought” the OASDI promises. Medicare is the real problem, and the pittance we put into it via our paychecks does not begin to cover the outgo for our medical expenses.

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  4. If Romney doesn’t win, I’m starting a “Dianne in 2016” PAC. I will would willingly be your campaign manager. We are about to spend this country into oblivion.

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