The Weiner Component #132 – The Iranian Nuclear Deal

During the second week of July 2015, slightly past the set deadline for the negotiations between Iran and P5+1 to end, the two sides finally came to terms on a potential agreement that now has to be sanctioned by all the countries involved in the settlement.

After a period of about two years of negotiations between P5+1 (The five permanent members of the United Nations plus Germany,) and Iran a potential treaty has emerged that will allow Iran to develop and utilize atomic energy to produce essentially pollution free energy in its country but stop her from being able to produce an atomic bomb.

The nations that have been directly negotiating with Iran are China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. They all have permanent seats on the Security Council.  The Plus 1 is Germany.  These nations have been negotiating with Iran to keep her from developing her own atomic bomb, which Iran has continually stated she is not doing.  But Iran has continually refused to allow inspections of all her possible sites.  The fear is apparently that if Iran succeeds this will start the other Middle East nations doing the same thing and an arms race will result.

In July of 2006 China, Russia, and the United States joined with the other permanent members of the Security Council to expand harsh sanctions on Iran.

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Under the terms of the agreement Iran will get rid of practically all its centrifuges that are used to enrich lower grade uranium and all of her enriched uranium and all regions within the entire country will be open for inspection.  The agreement is over one hundred pages, detailing every possibility.  As the treaty terms are carried out the sanctions by all these nations will be gradually lifted.  If at any point or at any time Iran backs off its agreement the sanctions will be immediately re-imposed.  This treaty is far more extensive than any previously agreement between nations during peacetime.

Among the numerous sanctions that will be gradually removed there is one that has been mentioned numerous times and that cannot be rescinded and that is the assorted Iranian government bank accounts that were frozen by the various industrial countries which Iran had originally dealt with.   On November 4, 1979 the Iranian Hostage Crisis began.  Sixty-six American diplomats and citizens were taken as hostages by Iranian students from the American Embassy in that country and held for four hundred forty-four days.  Some were released earlier but fifty-two were held until January 20, 1981.

Oil exports from Iran to the U.S. ended November 12, 1979.  President Jimmy Carter issued Executive Order #12170 which froze all Iranian assets in the U.S. on November 14, 1979 by the office of Foreign Assets Control.  It was eight billion dollars.  This money was in the hands of assorted banks and has gained interest since that time. Later the Iranian financial assets of many United Nation members were also frozen. According to Western financial experts the amount today is at least 100 billion dollars. The Iranian Finance Minister places it at 28 billion dollars.  Either way this much money could noticeably raise the standard of living of all Iranian citizens.  It could also be used to shore-up Hezbollah and other Shiite movements in the Middle East.

Another advantage, in this case to countries of the Western World, is that Iran rests upon ¼ of the world’s oil deposits. This resource would then be available to all the countries that had imposed sanctions upon Iran lowering the present price of oil that is currently under $50 dollars a barrel.  This could substantially reduce the price of gasoline in all the western industrial nations and upset a number of bank executives in institutions where the money has been stored.

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Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has opposed this treaty since its inception, calling it a bad deal.  In fact, well before it was completed, with an invitation from the United States Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, he stated so to a joint session of Congress.  He has, since the treaty has been agreed upon, reiterated this position, saying that the deal will enable Iran to develop its own atomic weapon.

Currently President Barak Obama has diplomats from the State Department in Israel reassuring Netanyahu that even with the treaty the United States is a closer ally of Israel than ever.  Not everyone in Israel supports their Prime Minister’s position.  I get the impression that Netanyahu would like to see Iran at war, preferably with the U.S., and certainly not with Israel.  And in this way, see her ability to produce an atomic bomb totally destroyed. Is his position realistic? Certainly not in the long run.

Many Republicans have vociferously denounced the treaty without reading it as soon as its completion was announced.  In fact many of them had done so well before it was completed.  Scott Walker, the Republican 2016 presidential candidate from Wisconsin, stated in one of his primary speeches that he is willing to go to war with Iran as soon as he becomes president.  The House of Representatives Republicans have threatened to pass a bill denouncing and invalidating the treaty.  Interestingly the Constitution only gives the Senate the “advice and consent” powers.  With the House of Representatives involved they would be stretching the Constitution and changing its definition of the government, changing the organization of the Federal Government by taking over a good percentage of the executive powers and making future presidents ceremonial figures.  President Obama stated that if this were done and the bill was passed in Congress he would veto it.  The Republicans do not have enough of a majority in either the House or Senate to override a veto and even if they did the issue would go before the Supreme Court and they would be forced to declare the law unconstitutional.

It should also be remembered that young Senator Tom Cotton, a Tea Party Republican who was elected from the state of Arkansas in 2014, and whose name sounds like that of a Disney character in a full length cartoon, wrote a letter to Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, that was also signed by 46 other Republican Senators, denouncing the negotiations and saying any settlement would cease to exist once President Obama’s term ended in 2016.  Lately he has stated that the Secretary of State, John Kerry, sounds like Pontius Pilot.

Ted Cruz, who is currently not ranking very high in the national poles as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has stated on Tuesday, July 27, 2015, to reporters in Washington, D.C. that “millions of Americans will be murdered by radical zealots” if the treaty is approved.  He also laid out a doomsday prediction that if Iran acquires an atomic bomb it will drop it over Tel Aviv. It seems that he feels he can clearly predict the future without any real evidence.  It also seems that he has not read the treaty which according to President Obama will hamstrung Iran’s nuclear ability to produce an atomic bomb.

And by not signing the treaty the United States would be accelerating Iran’s ability to make a bomb.  Also we have no control over the behavior of the other five nations that were negotiating with Iran and the probability is that some or all of them would go along with the treaty. The remaining sanctions would then be partial and frozen funds being held in these countries would then be released. There is also the possibility that the rigid boundaries imposed by this treaty would be relaxed if P5+1 is broken up.  This could place Iran fairly close to developing its own atomic bomb.

Mike Huckabee, the former pastor, former Republican governor of Arkansas, former Fox News anchor, and former presidential candidate, is again running for the presidency in 2016. Saturday, June 26, 2015, Huckabee stated in an interview with a conservative news outlet that the nuclear agreement would be a bad deal for Israel and will “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”  After facing intense criticism for this statement Huckabee refused to apologize for this remark.  He further stated, “This president’s policy is the most reckless in American history.  It is so naïve that he would trust the Iranians.  By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven  This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal.”  At a later date Huckabee the 2016 Presidential candidate stated that the Iranians cannot be trusted to ever carry out an agreement. He implied that they would never carry out any treaty.  I suspect that Mr. Huckabee would rather go to war with them.

Perhaps the greatest charlatan of the protesting Republicans is Donald Trump, whose father probable named him after his favorite Disney character.  He has said that when he becomes president he is going to beat-up the world so that every nation and group within those nations will do what he, President Donald Trump, wants them to do.  He has stated, among many other bits of idiocy that he feels sorry for ISS because of what he is going to do to them.  Trump called the Iran deal “terrible,” on Tuesday, July 27, 2015.  And he probably came to this conclusion without even reading the terms of the treaty.  After all, it is over 100 pages long.  He also said the President negotiated the agreement “from desperation.”  It’s amazing how much innate knowledge these Republicans have with no facts to back their conclusions.

Trump also stated earlier: “First of all, we’re giving them billions in this deal, which we shouldn’t have given them. We should have kept the money.”  Apparently he was referring to the gradual sanctions relief for Iran under the parameters of the agreement. “Second of all we have four prisoners over there. We should have said ‘Let the prisoners out.  They shouldn’t be over there.”  He also stated that any deal should also stipulate that inspectors have 24 hour immediate access to all nuclear sites in Iran.

Interestingly we’re not giving the Iranians any money.  These were Iranian funds that were frozen in the United States during the 1980s and have gathered interest since then.  The funds belong to the Iranians.  They are their monies, held and used by American banks for profit since that time.  This is also true for funds frozen in other countries.

One of the most important treaties in years, a document that could stabilize the Middle East and make the entire planet safer to live in, is being used as an attention-getter by Republicans, particularly by aspirants for the 1916 Presidential campaign.  A large number of Republican hopefuls are competing to see who will be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016.  To them nothing is more important than attracting Republican voter’s attention in the Republican primary elections and being chosen the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States.  Anything that helps them achieve this goal, even if it means further destabilizing conditions in the Middle East and bringing about a war with Iran, is okay as long as they get chosen to become the Republican candidate for president in 2016.

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It is important to remember that the current treaty is over 100 pages long.  President Obama has urged everyone in Congress, particularly in the Senate, to read the treaty before deciding what to do.  It needs a 2/3ds “advice and consent” vote from the Senate before it can go into effect.  The treaty also needs the concurrence of the five other negotiating countries and of the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian Parliament

President Obama has given the Senate 60 days to study the treaty and vote upon it.  It will take a 2/3 positive vote to pass. The probability is that if it is voted down the he will pass it as an agreement with another county by executive order.  It could then be kept that way or re-voted upon by the next administration in 2016.

The President has stated innumerable times for everyone to read the treaty before evaluating it.  He has also said that many of the Republicans who are loudly against it had very strongly advocated the invasion of Iraq to stop it from using its weapons of mass destruction that never existed.  The members of Congress and particularly those in the Senate have sixty days to read the 100 plus pages that make up the treaty and then make up their minds whether to approve or disapprove it.

Presumably they can then give reasonable reasons for their decisions.  Early in July of 2016 the major comments against it were: It’s not a good idea or a bad deal.  Those are very generic and meaningless reasons.  He has asked for alternative reasons.  Scott Walker has proposed war as his alternative.  Other Republicans have not stated this solution but have implied it in their rejection comments.  Is this what the Republican Party wants?  War with Iran?  I suspect the other five United Nation members, who also negotiated this treaty, have different thoughts about it.  The United States could end up standing alone against Iran.  I would suspect that that is a position that Scott Walker nor any other possible Republican president would want to be in a position to cope with.

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The one aspect of this agreement that no one seems to have made or considered is that with this treaty it will take Iran at least ten years to develop an atomic bomb.  Ten years is a long time.  Within that period, with no sanctions and utilizing its wealth in oil Iran will change or grow considerably.  Its people will have better lives.  Their standards of living and expectations will grow considerably. They will positively be connected to the rest of the world.  In essence they will have no need of having any atomic bombs.

Still another consideration is that if they were to use atomic weapons then atomic weapons would be used against them.  Even though Iran has four times the population of Iraq and is a much larger territory they could be totally destroyed as a nation if an atomic war broke out.  And it is an open secret that Israel has had atomic bombs for a number of years.  Also, perhaps the craziest nation in the world today that has atomic weapons is North Korea. They have not threatened anyone with their atomic weapons. North Korea having the bomb is the same as North Korea not having the bomb.  It is a weapon that cannot be used because using it would be an act of suicide.

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minis...

 

English: A group photograph of the former host...

English: A group photograph of the former hostages in the hospital. The 52 hostages were spending a few days in the hospital after their release from Iran prior to their departure for the United States. Location: WIESBADEN AIR BASE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Weiner Component #116 – The U.S. & the Federal Reserve

In 1935, Cret designed the Seal of the Board o...

English: Janet Yellen being sworn in by Fed Ch...

English: Janet Yellen being sworn in by Fed Chair Ben Bernanke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Friday January 9, 1915, the Federal Reserve had turned over $98.7 billion to the Treasury for the year 2014. In 2013 it was $79.6 billion and in 2012 it was $88.4 billion. All of this was the interest on the National Debt bonds, much of which the Federal Reserve had purchased since 2009.

In 2008, the last year of the Bush Administration, the country faced the explosion of the Real Estate Bubble that had been gradually building over the prior thirty years. The big banks had been going crazy with denial in 2007 with their abuses when the oncoming failure became obvious. In essence every dollar in circulation suddenly dropped in value to about a dime. The Obama Administration did two major things in 2009 and 2010. They were able to avoid through rapid action an economic crash potentially larger than the Great Depression of 1929 and they passed Affordable Health Care (Obamacare). In 2010 the country elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and thereafter nothing was done by the House to alleviate conditions caused by the Real Estate Bust. In fact Congress passed laws to exacerbate the negative conditions.

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It should be noted that the Federal Government has two major tools to deal with downturns in the economy. One, used by the Federal Reserve, is Monetary Policy and the other, used by Congress and the President, is Fiscal Policy. This is Macroeconomics.

Fiscal Policy has to do with Congress passing bills that add money to the economy. Keep in mind that all currency has nothing behind it other than the word of the National Government. All money is now a means of exchanging something of value for something else of value, goods and services for goods and services.

In 2011 or 2012 President Obama proposed a bill that would create jobs by updating the infrastructure of the United States. The electric grid across the U.S. is well over fifty years old, much of it predating World War II, and parts of it are in constant danger of breaking down. It has not dealt with the changes in demography or increases in population that have occurred over that period. The country has come close to power outages because of cold weather conditions or for other reasons. Many of the bridges throughout the nation are also well over fifty years old. A number have collapsed; many are still waiting to be refurbished.  Also many schools, some of which were built over one hundred years ago, also need refurbishing or replacement throughout the country. Many of the sewers in cities are well over one hundred years old; a few have collapsed in parts.

All of these and many other projects will have to be done at some point in the future. Maintenance is required to keep all aspects of society properly functioning. From 2011 on the House of Representatives with its Republican majority has tended to squeeze the society, downsizing government and adding to unemployment, in fact at one point it closed down the Federal Government by refusing to fund it. The present is an ideal time to do a lot of these fiscal projects as interest rates are at just barely above 0.

Monetary Policy is a tool of the Federal Reserve. It can be used to increase or decrease the amount of money in circulation. Ordinarily the Fed adjusts the money flow in the economy by increasing or decreasing the amount of money it borrows through the sale of bonds. What happens is decided by the rate or non-rate of inflation. The Fed is always cashing out and selling bonds. There are short term, medium term, and long term bonds, lasting from a few months to a number of years. The rate of sale is determined by the level in interest paid on these bonds. The higher the interest the greater the sale and the lower the interest the less the sale. These interest rates are determined by the level of inflation in the country. The higher the inflation the higher the interest. Here money is taken out of the national cash flow so that there is less available to be spent, thus gradually forcing down the rate of inflation. If the opposite is true then the Fed will sell less bonds than it cashes out and continually add currency to the national cash flow.

With no help from Congress during a period of recession or depression the Fed under the chairmanship of Ben Bernanke had to be quite innovative to pull the nation out of the Real Estate Debacle. This was done by the Fed buying $85 billion worth of bonds each month for well over two years: $45 billion in mortgage paper and $40 billion in government bonds. The effect of these two actions was to add well over a trillion dollars to the national cash flow per year; and also to essentially resolve the big banks activity in splitting up individual mortgages into well over one hundred parts. By my estimate it would have taken well over twenty years to straighten out the housing mess if the Fed had left it alone. The Fed did it in a relatively short time by buying most of the pieces. We again have new construction and older houses are being resold.

What is interesting to note here is that 40 billion was utilized on traditional monetary policy while 45 billion dollars was used to purchase mortgage paper from the assorted hedge funds which each owned fractional pieces of mortgages in each of their funds that had been very sloppily catalogued. For the Fed to collect or foreclose on any of these properties it would have to set up a table of all the homes on which it held mortgages within the 50 states and gradually build up its portfolio to the point where it owned over fifty percent of each particular mortgage. The cost of setting up this information bank would have been prohibitive even for the Federal government. The probability is that the Fed did nothing with this paper and a percentage of the population ended up living in their homes for nothing, in essence the government forgave these loans.

Of course the people living in these houses still had to pay property tax. If they did not the municipality would eventually foreclose on the property and sell it for back taxes. These people would suddenly have a lot of disposable income, which many of them spent freely, and they could not claim any home interest payments on their income taxes. This, in turn, added billions of dollars circulating in the National Cash Flow throughout the country.

The practice of adding money to the economy was ended in October of 2014. Janet Yellen, the new Fed chair left the ending of the policy tentative. It could be started up again if the need arose.

Interest rates had also been dropped to a fraction of one percent, practically giving the banks free money from all the savers and checking accounts which they could lend out at a decent rate of interest. Currently the Fed is considering when to raise interest rates. Meanwhile most of the larger banks have announced large profits for 2014.

What is interesting here is that the Federal Reserve used part of the National Debt as a means of positively controlling the amount within and the flow of national currency. They actually increased over time the flow of money by trillions of dollars and, in this way, diminished the effects of the Real Estate Debacle caused recession.

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What Bernanke did was to use part of the National Debt as a means of getting the country out of a serious recession. Since Congress would not act he used the Debt itself as the tool by which a large percentage of recovery was gradually brought about.

The National Debt is divided into two parts: public debt which the government owns and private debt which is held by private countries and by individuals. For example the two largest holders of U.S. debt are China which as of November 2014 held 1.25 trillion and Japan had 1.24 trillion.

All foreign holdings at that time were 6.11 trillion dollars. It should be noted that the National Debt currently is 18 plus trillion dollars. Who owns the balance? Private individuals and companies within the United States and elsewhere would hold at least another trillion dollars. The balance would then be held by the U.S. government and its agencies. For example Social Security has well over 2 1/2 trillion in government debt. All this means that the Federal Government holds well over 50 percent of its own debt and pays the interest on that debt to the U.S. Treasury.

It should be noted that Treasury securities are seen as one of the world’s safest investments. This has been the situation in the world and will, in all probability, remain so.

The 114 Congress, which recently met for the first time and has a Republican majority in both Houses, shows no indication that it is even slightly interested in fiscal policy. While unemployment is down to 5 plus percent for the first time in the nation since the 2008 Debacle it still could be a lot lower with fiscal policy.

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Another factor of importance here is population; it is always gradually increasing. According to the Census Bureau’s Population Clock: there is one birth every 8 seconds, one death every 12 seconds, and one international migration every 33 seconds. The result of all this is a net gain of one person every 16 seconds.

That is an increase in the population of the United States of 3.75 people per minute, 225 per hour, 5,400 persons per day, and 1,965,600 people per year, if we count each month as 30 days and do not allow for each leap year. The current overall number of people in the country is in excess of 350 million people.

Most of these new settlers will reside along either of the coastal areas. In order for standards of living to not decrease with this additional population the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has to increase one or two points yearly. If it stays at exactly the same point or decreases slightly then the overall standard of living has dropped for the bulk of Americans.

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What will happen with this new Congress should be interesting and economically uninspiring. From now until July 2016 when the Republicans hold their Presidential Convention there will be a lot of jockeying for the lead position in the Republican Party. The major issues like immigration, fiscal policy, job creation, plus whatever else comes up will be largely ignored. They will try forms of blackmail with the President in order to achieve some of their goals. This will be done by attaching riders that he will not approve of to necessary bills. That means that President Obama will probably have to veto the necessary legislation causing all sorts of economic and other problems. The question there is who will take the blame for causing all these disasters?

The Republicans will certainly not be creating any new jobs. Janet Yellen, the current chair of the Federal Reserve may have to restart the program of buying bonds for economic recovery to continue since the Republicans will be doing their dandiest to constrict the economy and inadvertently increase unemployment. What will probably occur between the present and the next presidential election is two years that the future historians will in all likelihood essentially ignore.

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow W...

Description: Newspaper clipping USA, Woodrow Wilson signs creation of the Federal Reserve. Source: Date: 24 December 1913 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Weiner Component #109 – Benghazi: The Question of Questioning

English: Photograph shows head-and-shoulders p...

English: Photograph shows head-and-shoulders portrait of Goldwater. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late in November of 2014 the Seventh or Eighth GOP led House Intelligence Committee issued its report on the 2012 attack upon the Benghazi embassy. All these Republican investigating inquiries attempted to place blame upon the Democratic President and his then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The impression that these committees initially gave was that the Benghazi attack occurred because the Administration and State Department were careless or irresponsible. The fact that the GOP led House of Representatives had earlier voted to decrease protective funding at U.S. embassies was never mentioned.  Also, in the House of Representative finance bill passed two days before the end of its final session embassy protection costs were further reduced.

From what I understand the attack upon Benghazi and a number of other places was generated by an anti-Islamic video made in the United States by a pastor of a fundamentalist church. It blatantly insulted the prophet and the Islamic religion. I wonder how this churchman would react to an Islamic video insulting Christ and the Christian religion.

Apparently the video was released on the internet and generated violent protests throughout the Islamic world, all aimed at the U.S. In Benghazi, Libya this protest was taken over by a terrorist group. They killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans at the embassy.

The Republicans in Congress, particularly those in the House of Representatives, which has a Republican majority, have been having a high time attempting to blame the Democratic Administration for the attack.

The question that emerges from all these investigations has been, what exactly were all these committees investigating over the two year period? The prospective on this issue kept changing. Basically the Republicans have looked at the issue from every possible direction in attempting to place the blame upon the President and his Administration.

According to the final committee report the Obama Administration was absolved from any responsibility in mishandling or covering up any aspect of the deadly 2012 attack upon the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The report was released by the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and had the support of all Republicans and Democrats on the committee.

The senior GOP senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, who was not on the Intelligence Committee, a few days after it was issued, called the report “garbage.” He said the House Intelligence Committee is doing a lousy job policing their own. Apparently Graham holds the House investigating committee responsible for not finding anything wrong with the actions of the Obama Administration. He seems to know innately that the Obama Administration misacted and that the Republicans didn’t probe enough to find the evidence.

Graham’s reaction reminded me of the time Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964. The slogan for Goldwater was “In your heart you know he’s right.” It seemed at that time that the Republican hope was that people would ignore logic and sensibility and just go by their feelings which would cause them to vote for the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater. Somehow it didn’t work in 1964, Goldwater lost.

The issue that emerges is why have all these investigations over a two year period? They took a lot of time that could have been used for better purposes.

What are they, the Republicans, really investigating? The answer, of course, is obvious. They are investigating the Obama Administration, trying to find something wrong with it, something possibly illegal, trying to blame Obama for Benghazi. And while all this is going on they are ignoring the basic needs of this country, particularly the need for legislative relief. Among other things they have even been too busy to declare war on ISIS. Although in their last minute bill to finance the government the Republicans included a section which funded the air raids upon ISIS troops.

By his statement on CNN’s “State of the Nation” on Sunday November 13, 2014 Lindsey Graham seems to feel, in his heart, that there is a need for another Benghazi investigation and if that one fails then still another and another and so on until the evidence of wrong doing emerges. They are to continue until what he knows to be the truth comes out, that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are guilty for the attack in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

It must be wonderful to absolutely know the truth about something that happened thousands of miles away from you. He must be precognitive, able to automatically know about everything or anything. And that is amazing because he was presumably trained as an attorney, not as a seer.

The majority of the Republicans, both on and off the House Intelligence Committee apparently feel it’s time to move on and leave the Benghazi debate behind. The report, as we’ve seen, was released by the Republican chairman of the committee and had the support of all its members, both Republican and Democratic. It was designed to be the definitive word on who was responsible for Benghazi. Everyone in the government was cleared of any blame or responsibility.

Actually it’s a good time for this final testament. A new Congress, with a Republican majority in both Houses, will be meeting after January of 2015. They will be facing all sorts of executive actions and vetoes by President Obama. In the 2014 Midterm Election campaign the Republicans have promised to block President Obama and also, at the same time, to ease Washington legislative gridlock. Probably one of their first actions will be to pass in both Houses, if they can avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, the Keystone XL Pipeline Bill which President Obama will veto. The Tea Party segment of the Republican Party wants to do completely away with Obamacare but has no alternative plan. Any bill that weakens the EPA or increases pollution will be certainly vetoed. The country still needs a declaration of war to legally continue its fight against ISIS.

Somehow the impression is that the 2015 Congress will be even more gridlocked than that of 2013-2014. That Congress holds the record for the least legislation passed in the entire history of the United States. Also, keep in mind that the current Congress between vacation days meets twelve months of the year. In the 19th Century or eighteen hundreds Congress only met for three or four months during the year. It was a part time job and they passed far more legislation than the 2013-2014 Congressional body.

Presumably Benghazi is behind us unless there is another investigation by the new House of Representatives but new screaming and frustration sessions will soon come into being. The House may even shut down the government again by refusing to pass an appropriation bill when it comes up in September unless the Administration does what they want. It should be an interesting and depressing two years!

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Weiner Component #107 – The Issue of Hospitalization and Care for the Homeless or Near Homeless

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the ...

Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A homeless man in New York with the A...

English: A homeless man in New York with the American flag in the background. Français : Un homme sans domicile fixe à New York. Un drapeau des États-Unis est visible en arrière plan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Social Security, Affordable Health Care, and assorted other health plans all have lapses in them dealing with certain medical problems. These lapses can cause severe problems for the individuals involved and for their families, if they have one.

In most families today both parents work, their children go to school; their house is empty for a good part of the day. If they are forced to have an elderly parent or parents living with them that person(s) stays at the home all day generally by themselves. This is particularly true if they can no longer drive and are no longer ambulatory.

Many elderly adults will eventually lose some control over their bodies, they may have to revert to diapers. If they can still walk, they can occasionally fall and seriously hurt themselves. This is particularly crucial in a two story house.

If they are left alone and fall this constitutes elder abuse. They need someone with them all day and even those times at night when they get up to use the restroom. For most families this is impossible to provide.

If an elderly individually goes into the hospital and has this tendency to occasionally fall once the hospital has done everything medically that it can do for this person then what happens? The hospital cannot keep this individual indefinitely, it will fill up eventually and have no room for patients who it can help. If the person is living with his children they cannot take proper care of him or her. Most of the nursing homes do not want to take in patients who will occasionally fall. They don’t have the manpower to watch them all the time and they could be liable if the individual falls and is seriously hurt.

If the individual is homeless he or she was picked up in the street. Are they to be released back there? Some of the hospitals in the city of Los Angeles were doing that, releasing these patients back to a homeless section of the city, leaving them out in the streets. This was presumably stopped when the city of Los Angeles sued the hospitals over this action. I’m not quite sure what they are doing now. Possibly releasing them outside the city limits. Seemingly there is a major homeless population in most major cities within the United States.

Another factor to consider is that a fair percentage of the homeless people, those living out on the street, have mental problems and are not really capable of holding a job. In 1967 in California then Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. It went into effect in 1969 and shut down the mental health system in the state and quickly became a national model, saving the states large amounts of money. In effect they released the harmless mentally disabled presumably back to their families but actually to join the homeless in the various cities around the nation. It would seem we are too poor a country to care for our mentally disabled.

What I find fascinating is that the United States today is the richest country in the history of the world but we cannot afford to take care of a goodly percentage of our helpless population. We are against Euthanasia but we are perfectly capable of allowing people to freeze to death while being homeless in the winter. We seem to have a superfluous percentage of our population that is non-productive and requires care for which the society does not want to pay or even acknowledge exists.

Is there a solution for this problem? Apparently not, according to the Republicans. To be Biblical:” As a man sows, let him reap.” Seemingly everyone is responsible for themselves. If they end up not able to take care of themselves and then undergo all sorts of suffering, then that’s their problem. A strange attitude for a group that professes to be Christian!

Of all the modern industrial nations the United States seemingly is one of the few that refuses to accept responsibility for all of its citizens. There is no real excuse for this type of behavior. We can easily afford a level of care for all the people in the country. There should be no homeless, particularly no homeless children who make up at least twenty-five percent of this population.

Why do we, as a nation, refuse to accept this basic responsibility? Is it individual greed? Is it a policy of letting the other people pay? Whatever it is this policy flouts the term hypocrisy over all our so-called decent values.

The point has been made in other articles that the distribution of the national income is blatantly unfair. Despite Republican protest that the upper twenty percent’s taxes being too high, these people do not pay their fair share of taxes. A person like Mitt Romney pays a lower percent of his income in taxes than the average middle or lower class individual or family. This is true for all the wealthy in the United States. They pay less in taxes, percentage wise, than everyone else.

Isn’t it time the principles of fairness were applied equally to everyone in this country? If that were done we could easily solve the problems stated in this blog.

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan

The Weiner Component #104 – Obama & the New Republican Congress

English: U.S. President Barack Obama meets wit...

The day after the 2014 Midterm Elections President Obama and the two Republican leaders of Congress were sitting down together, smiling at each other, and discussing how they could get along and get necessary legislation passed. This era of good feeling lasted for one day.

On the subject of climate change both the United States and China are the two greatest polluters in the world today. It is estimated that these two nations produce the bulk of the carbon emissions of all the countries that pollute the atmosphere. During a recent visit to China both President Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to lower CO2 emissions by 2025 for the first time and also to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. Will the respective countries succeed in doing that? Obviously we’ll have to wait and see. But this brings pressure on other industrial nations like India to act in a similar way.

Almost immediately after the announcement was made both Republican members of the current two Houses of the U.S. Congress and those who will become members in January came out with irate announcements denouncing Obama for daring to use what they consider the false promise of Climate Change to justify limiting business growth in the United States. Some apparently threatened to shut down the government rather than let this happen. It should be interesting to see what happens. Fox news in its non-intellectual fashion suggested possible impeachment. I hadn’t realized that this act by President Obama constituted “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

On the subject of immigration, President Obama is at the point has issued executive orders attempting, as much as he can, without the aid of Congress, to reform the system.

He returned Sunday, November 16, from his eight day trip to China, Myanmar, and Australia. His declaration with China’s president has upset the Republicans. President Obama has promised to take action on immigration before the end of 2014. This he has now done.  Just prior to the trip his senior aides gave him a list of all the potential actions he could order in regards to immigration without congressional approval. He will receive their final recommendation on Tuesday, November 18 and will unveil his executive order any time after that.

One probable reform would be to allow the parents of children born in the United States who are citizens to have some sort of legal status rather than being subject to deportation while their children stay in the U.S. This, I understand, will affect about three and a half million people of the estimated ten million illegal aliens in the country. There are numerous other possibilities of what the President might do.

It should be interesting because the House Speaker has stated that “We’re going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. This is the wrong way to govern.” Other Republicans have come out with more vicious messages about what they will do. Senator Jeff Sessions (Republican, Alabama) has threatened to defund any executive action of immigration. Sessions will be the new head of the Senate Budget Committee in January of 2015.

President Obama’s comment to the Republicans in Congress is that if they don’t like his actions then they should pass an immigration bill to supersede them. Approximately a year and a half ago the Senate passed an immigration bill. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, has refused to bring this bill up for debate and to be voted on. It is believed that both Democrats and enough Republicans would vote for this bill and pass it. The Far Right or extremist Republicans are against this bill and apparently they have been able to force Boehner to not act on it. The immigration crisis exists because of the will of a minority within the Republican controlled House.

On Wednesday, November 12, 2014 the House of Representatives by largely a strict party vote again passed the Keystone XL Pipeline bill allowing Canadian Oil Companies to ship oil slag from Canada south through the central United States to the Gulf of Mexico where it will be sent overseas to be processed. The bill came up the following week in the Senate where the Democrats currently have the majority until the end of December. It did not pass.  What will happen there in January is unknown. However the Republicans will be able to pass it in both Houses of Congress next year, when they have a majority there but the President will probably veto it.

The pipeline opens up all sorts of possibilities that can contaminate the water table in the areas under it. President Obama has stated that the United States will not benefit from the pipeline because the oil-muck will be processed overseas where the gasoline will be used. What happens should be interesting. Particularly the President probably will veto the bill causing inordinate levels of rage among the Tea Party Republicans as well as those who have already installed parts of the pipeline.

As I understand it the major problem with the Keystone Pipeline is leaks. Even in Canada where there are short stretches of pipeline there have been innumerable leaks and the oil containing muck that flows through these pipes is highly toxic, virtually contaminating the land upon which it leaks, poisoning the water table if it gets into it. The pipeline through the U.S. has been built by assorted entrepreneurs who see a quick profit if it is used and a loss if it is not used. It has been built as cheaply as possible with few, if any shut off valves in case of leaks. These people have contributed to the Republican Party campaigns and expect a return for the investments.

There is also the question of responsibility if or when a leak occurs. Is it the company in Canada that is shipping this toxic muck with the consistency of toothpaste or is it the owner of that particular section of pipeline that is responsible for the damage caused by the leak? I have the feeling that everyone will be blaming everyone else and that the local or federal government will end up being responsible for whatever possible repairs that can be applied. It could take years for the courts to determine responsibility and by then the person or group will apply for bankruptcy. Certainly no one who is adamantly arguing for the pipeline will take responsibility for their decision. It could take years for the courts to determine responsibility and by then the person or group will have disappeared. Certainly no one who is adamantly arguing for the pipeline will take any responsibility for their decision. Or to put it more simply it is the taxpayer who will in the last analysis foot the bill for whatever can be done to bring conditions back to where they were before the leaks.

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What I visualize from all this is a basic feeling of spite that a goodly section of the Republican Party has for Barak Obama. It and the rage that accompanies it is a bit psychotic. They blindly hate the President and strongly feel that anything he does or wants is wrong for no other reason than he desires it. Their opposition is based upon hate. How dare a black man oppose them since they now control the Congress! It will be fascinating watching the next two years unfold. Unfortunately a goodly percentage of the population will suffer needlessly.

There will be other issues over the next two years. The Republicans mostly will meet them with fury and frustration. In fact if they get incensed enough they may again shut the government down by refusing to fund it or they may actively try to impeach the President.

By November of 2016 I’m sure the general public will have had a stomach full of Republican gridlock. The 2010 Congress passed the least legislation in the entire history of the existence of the United States Congress. Even far less than when the Congress used to meet in the 19th Century for three or four months a year. The 2012 Congress, not only shut down the government costing the Federal Government several billion dollars but they also passed a fraction of the legislation that the 2010 Congress passed. How much legislation will the new Congress pass. From some of the statements made by Republican congressmen the implication is that the Congress will spend the next two years investigating actions by the Democrats to ascertain if they have broken the law. We would seem to be in for two years of investigating committees all chaired by Republicans.

There is also the issue of the Internet: President Obama backs rules that would force broadband providers to treat all Internet Data the same, regardless of who produces it. The Republicans favor the opposite position. The President also in terms of immigration has agreed with the Chinese president to extend the length of current visas for businessmen, students, and tourists currently in the U.S.

Obama returned to the United States on Monday, November 17. To quote former President Harry S. Truman, “The manure will hit the fan” at that time and continue for the next two years. It should be interesting or horrible to watch.

The Weiner Component #97 – Legislative Gridlock: The Non-Functioning of the United States Congress

Traditionally over the 200 and some year old history of the United States there have been two major political parties; sometimes for a short period of time there has been a third or even a fourth one. There has even been two very short periods when there was only one political party.   Interestingly the founding fathers never visualized such a thing.

These political parties have served as a check upon each other, sometimes working together and sometimes against each other. Their purpose has been to further the growth of the United States.

Today we are facing a strange situation, two major political parties, but so far apart on the political spectrum that they cannot even communicate one with the other.

The Republicans are controlled by the far right element (the Tea Party) and by the evangelicals, people who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. To them compromise consists of the other side giving in. Recently one of their members in the House of Representatives stated on conservative talk radio about there being a “War Against Whites” by the President, Blacks, and all other minorities. Even the conservative woman who was hosting the program was shocked by the statement.

It would seem that once a member of the far right gets elected to political office he becomes directly inspired by God. Without any awareness of economics or how the Federal Government works he has instant inspiration on what should or shouldn’t be done. Innately he knows he is right and everyone else is wrong. His idea of compromise is having the other side, generally the Democrats, accept his position.

How do you reason with a person like this? He will see a doctor and largely follow his directions but he is anti-scientific, knowing the scientists are wrong about most of their discoveries. He is also anti-intellectual, knowing what is right; reason and logic to him are instruments of the devil, used to trick honest people.

An example of scientific knowledge would be the beliefs of former Congressman, Todd Akin who believed that rape cannot lead to pregnancy. He stated that the body of a raped woman shut down during the act and she couldn’t conceive. Then following his fallacious reasoning: any woman who became pregnant during a forced sexual encounter had not been legitimately raped. Or one can follow the beliefs of another former Congressman, Richard Murdock, who knew that in a case of rape in which the woman conceived, God wanted her to have the child. To me and I suspect to a large percentage of the population, it is rather presumptuous for anyone to deliver direct messages from God.

The modern day far-right Republicans, or for that matter it would seem, the entire Republican Party seem to hold to these levels of non-intellectualism. The current House of Representatives and filibustering Senate, the 112th Congress, has done less to serve the needs of the country than any other Congress in the history of the United States.

If one looks at the placards held up by many members of the Tea Party, one of their major statements deals with the concept of the less government the better. One of their major goals since 2011, when they gained control of the House of Representatives, has been to shrink the Federal Government. And in this they have been largely successful. They are very good at not taking action on needed problems like bringing the early 20th Century infrastructure into the 21st Century, unemployment, the immigration problem, the young refugee dilemma, and climate change, to name just some of the problems this country needs that Congress should fix. Incidentally this also includes filibustering necessary presidential appointments like ambassadors to Russia and other important nations that do not presently have ambassadors.

If the House of Representatives were to authorize the President to utilize fiscal policy; that is, just begin the process of modernizing the infrastructure of the United States, we would end the unemployment problem throughout the country and stop having emergences whenever a part of the system fails. This happened recently in Los Angeles where a hundred year old system of underground water pipes collapsed causing extensive damage. We also faced a situation in the winter of 2013-2014 where extreme cold froze coal reserves so that they could not be used to generate electricity over part of the central United States. Luckily they were able to shift power from other parts of the grid. They may not be that lucky next time.

According to the majority of economists this country could reach a high level of prosperity for practically all of its population throughout the 21st Century. The poor could earn enough to live properly, the middle class could grow and increase their level of prosperity, and the rich could get richer. All it would take for this to happen is for Congress, particularly the House of Representatives to properly exercise their responsibilities. Will this occur? That depends upon the Midterm Election of 2014. If the Republicans maintain control of the House and they maintain 41 or more votes in the Senate the gridlock will remain for at least two more years. It will take an overwhelming majority of Districts voting for the Democratic candidates and a small number of additional Democratic Senators for the legislature to be able to pass progressive laws that would turn this country around.

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In 1944 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for the fourth time as President of the United States. Within a year he was dead and Harry S. Truman, his Vice-President, had succeeded him as the 33rd President of the United States. In 1948 Truman ran for the presidency on his own. He was perceived by many as a loser. The Republican candidate, Thomas E. Dewey, was expected by all the experts and pole-takers to easily beat Truman. Many Republicans announced that they expected to do away with most of the remnants of the New Deal shortly after the election.

Prior to the election President Truman recalled Congress, which had adjourned earlier, to a special session in order to pass legislation that he felt was badly needed by the country. The returning Congress did essentially nothing; and President Truman named them “The Do Nothing Congress.” He and the Democrats ran their campaign against the “Do Nothing Congress.”

The presidential election of 1948 is considered by many historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Just about every prediction and poll indicated that the incumbent President, Harry S. Truman, would be defeated by the Republican candidate, Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won. Both Houses of Congress acquired Democratic majorities.

While the 2014 Election is not a presidential one, it still represents a similar opportunity to the 1948 Election. In fact, the 2014 Congress has passed far less bills than that of the 1948 Congress. If the President and the Democrats in both Houses of Congress were to propose a series of needed reform legislation in September when the vacationing Republicans return to Congress and continually verbally challenge the Republicans they could get similar results with 1948. However shortly after returning from their September vacation and doing almost nothing, except authorize the President to bomb ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the House voted to take another break until after the November election.

One of the major problems faced by this Congress was the fact that the President and the Democrats in Congress proposed legislation and then when it was filibustered in the Senate and not even considered in the House. Also the Republicans never ceased verbally attacking both the President and the Democrats largely for problems they themselves caused.

What the Republican House of Representatives has done in September, when their members returned to Congress, was to again take up the issue of Benghazi for the fourth or fifth time in order to again attempt to discredit President Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. This led nowhere and did nothing. They ignored issues like war against ISIS, but did approve bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria. They are now busy, back on vacation, trying to get reelected so that for two more years they can continue the gridlock and blame it on President Obama and the Democrats. The Republicans approved the first step in a war against a terrorist group but avoided approving a declaration of war.

The country is currently in a sad state. We are engaged in the first stage of a war without Congressional approval, the infrastructure of the United States is continually getting older and less efficient and there are enumerable social and economic problems that need to be resolved. The inept Republican members of the House and Senate are campaigning to get reelected. The country is in deep trouble.

 

The Weiner Component #41 – Obama Care, Socialism, & the Free Market

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a jo...

English: President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was an article recently in the Wall Street Journal, which stated that a larger and larger percentage of the National Income is going to the top one percent of the population.  Consequently there is less and less available yearly for anyone else and standards of living keep going further and further downhill.  This is the Free Market in action, giving more and more to the top and less and less to everyone else.

Meanwhile the Republicans in Congress are keeping taxes relatively low for the top percentile and vigorously denouncing Obama Care, the Affordable Health Care Bill that largely comes into being in October of 2013.  They are, among other things, threatening to shut down the Federal Government by stopping all spending, rather than let Obama Care come into being.  There have been about forty separate votes over two different sessions of the House of Representatives defeating this law.  The Senate, which has a Democratic majority, will not even bring this bill up for a vote and the President, if it were to come before him for his signature, would veto it.

Looking over statements by prominent Republicans and others I find that there are only two reasons for discarding this law.  The first, which seems minor, is that it will bankrupt the government.  That is nonsense; the law, in the long run, will actually lower medical costs for everyone.

The second reason, which seems to be major, is that it is socialistic.  They are offering no alternatives for the millions who have no medical care; they just want to do away with the law, presumably because it is evil in their estimations.  Why is it evil?  It is so because it takes choice away from individuals by giving them medical insurance, something every member of Congress has. The Republicans are afraid that people will lose their self-reliance.

Actually, to paraphrase one of their more verbal proponents, Ted Nugent, it takes free choice away from many Americans by requiring them to have medical coverage.  It is therefore rampant socialism, which everyone knows is a bad thing because it makes him or her dependent upon the Federal Government.  Therefore it is bad.  While the Republicans in Congress do not tend to be as dramatic or as loud this is still their basic attitude.

My problem with all this postulating is that it overlooks the fact that socialistic practices already exist in our society.  For example there are Social Security and Medicare.  Shouldn’t these programs also be done away with to make people less dependent upon the Federal Government?  In addition aren’t subsidies and tax-breaks for wealthy individuals and some major corporations like oil another form of socialism since the government allows these industries to pay less or no income taxes and in some cases gives them subsidies for running their highly profitable businesses.

Aren’t people like Michelle Bachmann, whose families have received subsidies from the government for their farms and business, also accepting socialistic practices that, in turn, limit their competitive free choice and make them dependent up the government? 

It’s an interesting conundrum.  Basically if one looks at government activity across this nation, that activity is rife with socialistic practices, both on state and Federal levels.  If a state offers a particular corporation tax benefits to locate in their area, isn’t that a form of socialism?  That would make Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, guilty of spreading this ism.

Of course, if we look at the assorted Republican statements we find that one can draw a line across what they consider socialism and what it is all right to do.  When it comes to individuals, the working class, then that is socialism and those programs should be cut or done away with; but when it comes to the earning classes, the businesses, corporations, and high earning people, the activity is perfectly okay.  It is a view that could best be defined as “Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.”

I could respect the Republicans in Congress if they were at least consistent and actually stood for their principles but they are essentially hypocrites.  If they want to do away with the Affordable Health Care Law then they should also propose to do away with their own health care coverage and, for that matter, also everyone else’s.  That would significantly lower the price of most employment in the United States and make all those workers competitive with those in other countries.  Of course it would also sustancially lower standards of living.  If they did away with all tax breaks and bonuses that would significantly increase the amount collected in taxes.  It might even make the free market honest! 

But they do none of this.  The Republicans in Congress are largely dependent upon the large corporations and wealthy individuals for the contributions they need to run their political campaigns.  In a manner of speaking they have sold their principles, if they have any, for the financing needed to remain in office.

What is being asked of the people who support them, particularly those individuals who have no medical insurance, is to object to a law that will protect them by giving them medical coverage that they do not have.  They want to give the poor the right to die sooner than they might with Oboma Care.

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The Weiner Component #32 – Are The Republicans Their Own Worst Enemies?

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  English: Breakdown of political party represen...

The basic position of the Republicans in Congress is that the National Debt is out of control, being currently over sixteen trillion dollars, and that it must be reduced.  The current Ryan Plan is their general roadmap to achieving this objective.  They have generally ignored the 2008 Recession, the effects of which still exist and the massive problem of unemployment.  What they want to do is cut discretionary spending, this includes Social Security and Medicare, reduce the size and costs of government, raise military spending, not raise any taxes, this includes not cutting any subsidies, and reduce taxes on those earning  four hundred thousand dollars or more a year.  With the income from this they want to overbalance the National Budget, spend less that is taken in and thus help reduce the debt.  This to the Republicans will bring about prosperity in the United States. 

What would be the effects if they were able to achieve this?  The consumer base for purchasing goods and services would be decreased considerably lowering overall demand for much of what is produced and bringing about a shrinkage in productivity and a substantial increase in unemployment.  The money taken out of the economy would have a multiplier effect, beginning a cycle of economic shrinkage that would cause an ever-growing level of misery for a goodly percentage of the population.  Money, the National incomes, would have been moved upward to the upper few percent of the population leaving and ever decreasing amount for the lower echelons of our society and allowing far more to be stored, probably outside the country, because there would be far less worth investing into in the United States.  The level of economic misery among a goodly percentage of the population would continue to grow.  This is what the Republicans would achieve if they could successfully bring about their Congressional aims.

Because the Republicans have not successfully been able to achieve this we are currently dealing with a dysfunctional Congress.  The Republicans, with control of the House of Representatives and a filibustering Senate, have been successful in not allowing any fiscal (job creating) bills. 

The Federal Reserve, which is separate and not under the control of Congress, has continually and very creatively added money to the economy helping to bring about a slow recovery through monetary policy.  Government, on both state and Federal levels, has continually shrunk lowering both tax revenues and services but the private level has very gradually grown and continues to grow.  It has more or less offset a part of the public shrinkage. 

Today corporate profits are up; industries profits are continually growing, Ford Motors is currently in the process of expanding one of its plants and hiring two thousands additional workers to expand its truck-building capacity; CEOs and upper echelon executives salaries are growing exponentially but unemployment is still at a 7.6% level; many people are doing without.  The GDP is currently growing at the slow level of 2 1/2%.  Population, according to the Senses Population Clock is growing at the rate of one person every eleven seconds; that is 3,063,273 people per year.  The GDP has to grow enough to accommodate over three million additional people each year before any real growth can occur.

A large percentage of these increased profits are moving to the upper few percent of our society.  This money is not being invested in any form of economic growth because the money available to the consumer base is actually decreasing, continuingly lowering the base for consumer consumption.  Overall demand is decreasing because there is less and less money available for the purchase of goods and services.  The upper echelon is storing its ever-growing incomes, probably a goodly percent of it overseas where it can accrue a better rate of interest and be largely except from domestic taxes.  While consumption is up for the upper middle class and above, it is decreasing for the rest of the population.

While all this is going on the Republicans in the House of Representatives and in the filibustering Senate are working vigorously to shrink the government by reducing its expenditures.  They consider the National Debt, most of which Republican Administrations have created since 1981, too high and obscene.  They have all become, since Barak Oboma was elected president, fiscal conservatives.  Consequently they are attempting to limit government expenditures by decreasing Federal expenses.  The result of this is for the Federal Government to gradually employ less people and shrink the economic base, making less money available in the GDP.

It is difficult to understand the thinking of the Republican leaders.  Are they more interested in achieving control of Congress and the Presidency than in the welfare of the country, than in following their oath to the Constitution, in having a Democratic President fail even at the cost of large-scale human misery?  If they follow the logic of their thinking through to its conclusion it leads to endless austerity, intense economic shrinkage, recession and depression.  And while this is going on the military will grow and the upper echelon of society will become phenomenally richer with taxes that run the country being paid by the ever-shrinking resources of the bottom rung of society.  The nation would end up with privation, starvation, and probably violence.

Is this the Republican objective or don’t they understand that everything in the economy effects everything else, that seemingly minor changes can lead eventually to horrible disasters.

It would seem that the Republicans are their own worst enemies.  Their so-called reforms could eventually lead to ultimate chaos.

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