By: Les Dunaway
Have you ever seen a child, when they just really didn’t want to hear what you were telling them, put their fingers in their ears, shut their eyes and go “Na na na na….”? I expect we all have. It’s somewhere between cute and annoying when done by a child. In my family, growing up I could not have done that without consequences; my sister could have. I was the “older kid” and she was “the baby”. But even my sister, when she kept on too long, got a smack on the butt to let her know it was time to pay attention.
What do you call that behavior coming from “adults” and “leaders”? And when will the swat on the butt be administered? And by who?
We have a massive social experiment coming to an end in Europe. It has proven, very conclusively, what has been proven, over and over down through history, socialism doesn’t work. I’ve written about what’s happening in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and, probably, France. I won’t focus on those details here. There’s some links below.
I want to focus on why and how this massive lesson in how not to run a country is being ignored by the people we have elected to run our country. “Leaders” in both parties have their fingers firmly in their ears and their eyes scrunched shut. They don’t want to see and hear what’s happening to our cousins across the Atlantic. You see, if they looked and listened, they’d have to excuse for their failure to act.
Have you heard about the fiscal cliff and Taxmageddon? Left unchanged, tax rates will increase, massively, on January 1, 2013. At, roughly, the same time the so-called debt limit will need to be raised – to allow our, totally non-credit worthy, government to borrow more money – more borrowed money to spend on structurally flawed social programs.
Various economists’ estimates of the impact on GDP range from 1 to 3+%. Folks, the first quarter GDP was 1.9% down from 2% in 4Q2011 with second quarter 2012 numbers estimated at 1.3%. Does anyone see a trend here? Quick! Get out a calculator and subtract 1.5% (taking an average of the guestimates) from 1.3%. How’s that going to affect your retirement prospects? Your children’s and grand-children’s life prospects? How’s it going to affect the percentage of total income that must be dedicated to debt service? Oh, lest we forget, that cost is about to go up as well. Because America’s credit rating will, again, be downgraded – for the same reason as before failure to deal with those structurally flawed social programs.
Another of those things that the fingers-in-ears-eyes-tight-shut folks don’t want to hear is that no amount of taxes will pay the bill for those programs as they now are! One hundred percent confiscation of the wealth and the production of every man, woman, child and business will not pay the bill. Oh and by the way, if you add up the same sort of unfunded liabilities that have been created by the states, you’ve got several more trillions that can’t be paid. [another link]
I think I understand why our leaders have and continue to fail to deal with these issues. It’s all our fault.
First, we elected people based on personality, looks, … rather than proven business ability. How many members of Congress and Presidents have been proven-competent businessmen? [link] Second, we have failed to school them when they’ve let us down. Happily, that’s starting to change – ask Dick Lugar and David Dewhurst. Third, we’ve failed to support them in doing what’s needed. How many of us wrote to Paul Ryan with support when the socialists were showing pictures of him pushing Granny off the cliff? How many of us wrote to the newspapers when the published b……t, talking points articles to further the attacks and to misinform the gullible useful idiots?
Ryan’s plan is a good example of this whole mess, which is a mess mostly because of lies and fools who believe them. The Roadmap for America protects people who don’t have time to make a change and enables those who do. Lookup the results of Galveston, TX’s decision to get out of Social Security. By the way, Galveston’s ROI is terrible. No offense to the folks who manage it, but the returns could be better and still safe. If you’d REALLY like to get annoyed, bring your Social Security earnings statement and we’ll calculate how much you could be drawing every month and leaving to your children! Hadn’t thought about that had you? Big vision question for you – what would our country look like today if, from the beginning, Social Security had been truly intended to live up to its name rather than being a socialist ponzi scheme intended to generate more and more dependency on government. Let me share some numbers with you.
- If Fred is receiving $1,000/mo from Social Security, that’s equivalent to having $240,000 paying 5%. The difference is the Social Security ends when Fred dies. The $240,000 in a personal account doesn’t. It keeps paying that $1,000 each month ’till the sun goes cold!
- Now, let’s think about Fred’s family. Let’s assume that Fred’s widow, Bessie, inherits his account and has the use of the money to spoil grandchildren for a few more years. Then, Fred Jr inherits the account. And so forth, …
How much better of would your family be in that scenario? What about your church? your town? our country?
Back to how we’ve failed to do what’s needed. Again, we’ve elected talking heads instead of businessmen, we’ve failed to rattle their cages when they strayed off the path and we’ve failed to have their backs when they were smart enough and brave enough to do the hard things. The things that need to be done are no more complicated at a national level than the level of your household budget. There’s more moving parts, but the principles are the same Don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t make promises someone else will have to keep.
People who can do basic arithmetic and understand the concept of fiscal responsibility are in the minority in this country, but are more than half of a majority. If each one who understands can talk to just one who doesn’t and help that person to see that there’s a choice between an America that’s growing and offering future generations even more than the past or an America that’s become what Greece is today, then that minority can become a majority and our country can be saved.
Here’s your opportunity to excel – will you commit to talking to someone or several someones? I have.