Striking a Nerve

Well, well I am glad that there is life out there after-all. Politics is not the main focus of this forum. But, let’s talk about it anyway since it does have major implications vis a vis the markets today. Whether you’re a Dem, a Republican or and Independent, one thing is for sure – we can all admit that this country (the US) is not where we want to be. It probably has not been for a long while. But, as Buffett said once, “we only find out who isn’t wearing a bathing suit when the tide goes out”. And, the tide is quickly receding on the American Era. Whether you want to admit that or not, is up to you.

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Can it change? Can we stem the tide? Can the American “dream” be reborn? Can Ron Paul be President?

America is changing as we speak. It is gaining momentum to the downside. First, look at our government. The people hate it with a passion. Regardless of party affiliation, the consensus is clear – it’s broken. It looks like a bad marriage on its last legs, just before the divorce. Blame is everywhere; dysfunction is the rule of the day. Ultimatums are thrown back and forth and the kids are powerless to do anything. It’s chaos with moments of sanity. The debt debate was a great example. These bozos didn’t just show up on Capitol Hill, we put them there and now it’s turned into a really bad “reality show” and the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of the electorate.

Take the Tea Party and the zero tax pledge. Well, that’s a really mature position. Never raise taxes again. Ever. Under any circumstance. If you buy into this and don’t complain when your social security check is halved and when you are waiting in line for three months for an MRI. It may not affect you, because you’re grandfathered in, but it will affect your grandkids. I’m all for reform of entitlements – Social Security was a safety net that was devised at a time when there were more workers than retirees. Today that equation is changing. It’s not politics, it’s math. So, if you like the Tea Party, be aware that their platform will eventually mean radical surgery to the entitlement programs as we know them. For those of you who want to comment on this, please be sure that you check your hypocrisy at the door.

Now, the Democrat Party has it’s own agenda. It wants to redistribute wealth through taxation and it wants to over-regulate. It wants to socialize medicine and eliminate “right to work” in favor of unionization. And, it wants to slice the defense budget in half.

The Republicans who are fond of talking up deficit reduction and tax reform are doing their part to spend us into oblivion as well. Two wars that cost in excess of $2 trillion dollars seem to be tidily tucked under the carpet, as is the future cost of treating the men and women who will return from these conflicts. Tax reform to them means lower taxes for everyone, a grand gesture, but one that will NOT pay for the very same entitlements that they are so fond of keeping whenever they are challenged by the very same constituency that claims they are in favor of cutting debt.

We live in a selfish country that wants cuts in spending…but for everyone else.

So, enter Ron Paul. He comes across as a sane individual who espouses a platform that for the most part makes sense. But, that is precisely the reason, as I stated before, that he will not get elected. Just one of his pledges, to decimate defense spending, will be enough to keep him off the ballot in 2012. Defense spending plays to the paranoia of the populace and it plays well and loud. Sensible politics left the Washington stage a long time ago.

Is there a solution? Yes, there is. But it requires sacrifice in the short-term and a major adjustment to reality. Something few people, other than the readers of this forum, are willing to make.

Entitlement spending must be cut through benefit reduction for those who earn a lot of money. Not just reduced, but cut completely. Social Security is a safety net for the greater good of society. To protect those who cannot afford, for whatever reason, to fend for themselves in their OLD age. The argument that we all pay in and we should all get back is great in theory, but in practice we cannot afford to get paid, but neither do we want to see OLD people, DISABLED people, and MENTALLY unstable people on the streets picking through garbage. If you want to see what that looks like – look no further than Russia today where more than 40% of the population wants to leave the country and where the people in all-caps above are doing exactly what people without any means of survival are doing. So, suck it up and let go of that $1,000 a month benefit if all that it’s doing is paying for your golf dues or that extra car.

Defense spending must be cut. Do we need to have military bases all over the world? Do we need to protect Europe and Japan? Do we need to re-arm the air force with new jets when we have already established over and over again that there is no superior military power in the air today than the US Air Force?

Cut the pork barrel spending that is put forth by lobbying efforts. Politicians are no longer looking out for the good of the people as a whole, but for specific constituencies that will pad their coffers and pay for election year spending. It’s not a secret that the politicians work for the lobbyists.

Tort reform should be part of any agenda to reduce health costs. Doctors make mistakes – everyone makes mistakes. People have accidents when you put them behind the wheel of a car. People make stupid errors in judgment and should be penalized. But, when lawyers have free reign to egg on lawsuits through infomercials aimed at people looking for a “free ride”, the system is broken.

Tax reform – real tax reform. Capital gains taxes should be tied directly to job creation. You create jobs, and your capital gains from that business should be lower when it is sold. Capital gains should not be able to be substituted as income tax as is currently the case when it comes to financial gains that are created through Wall Street and not helpful in creating jobs.

Savers should be encouraged by eliminating taxes on interest received. For long run financial security people should be rewarded for saving for their own retirement, not penalized.

There is so much more that can be done relatively easily to reform the current system. But, it will be painful for all involved as it must be when the patient is on life-support. We didn’t just find ourselves here over night and thinking that we will find our way out overnight is juvenile. There has to be balance and changes must occur over time or the shock to the system will make even the most ardent critics wince in pain. It’s easy to armchair quarterback and hindsight is great if you’re living in the past. The way forward is going to be difficult, make no mistake. But, if you truly want a better investment climate in the future for yourself and those grandkids everyone is always talking about then it’s time to walk that walk.

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4 Responses

  1. Bryan Blackburn

    When the ponzi scheme known as SS goes by by I will have paid in a ton to receive nothing. Fine if that gets government defunded from stealing money from the people but they can always print more. Ending the FED is a must and Ron Paul is the only one with that agenda and ending the state of perpetual war is also a must because we can’t afford to fight them and we are manufacturing new enemies by continuing to take on the whole planet which is what it looks like to the rest of the world.

    There are black ops technologies that make nuclear weapons obsolete. These weapons do not leave fallout and we can rely on these things to protect us from any invasion and the other side probably has them as well so it’s back to MAD stalemate. Nuclear weapons need to be outlawed everywhere especially for Israel unless you want to see the world sacrificed to war.

    Everyone needs to read the sourcefield investigations with an open mind. Black ops personnel who have known the true state of the art in science are using this book to brief politicians so they can know what the reality of the situation is. Then we can know that nuclear weapons are obsolete and the conventional weaponization as being perpetrated by the Military Industrial Complex is just being done to loot the public coffers since it is all being spent on more costly conventional weapons that are already obsolete.

    Total rip off is what the MIC is doing and people who fail for the fake war on terror and fail to understand this have no business voting because they vote to fund the criminals in Washington who have vested interests in stealing more and more just like Bush did when he owned a major stake in the Carlysle group.

    Wake up people they are stealing your money.

    The criminals on wall street need to be arrested and guess what they will be as elements within the military are already forcing them to surrender and the NWO is technically defeated and in it’s last death throws. We need to study and read sources of info that can prove this to us because the media is controlling the info you get in this country. Most of the world is not in a global depression only NWO/ Illuminati countries are experiencing financial hardship as the rest of the world is organizing to create a separate financial system and many countries are now not accepting dollars. Read news from other countries people it will enlighten you to see what their news sources will reveal when the NWO is not controlling what you can read. The Internet is international so use it and discover what is really going on boycott fox msnbc and all the rest of the MSM. Refuse to support to NWO resistance is working soon they will crumble and rumor has it they have already agreed to surrender to a peaceful coup created by the white hats of our military. Those earth quakes that hit the Washington and Denver area were due to underground bases that the NWO thought they could hide in being destroyed by very advanced technologies. We are far closer to being in a world like that portrayed in Star Trek than any of you can know. The military knows this and they have taken measures into their hands to make it that the NWO criminals are brought to justice and removed from power soon. Expect this to hit MSM no later than next summer maybe much sooner. Google divine cosmos for more.

  2. Garrett

    He has never been for cutting defense. What he has wanted to cut is militarism, this policing the world. He has always believed in a strong national defense and the right to keep and bear arms, the militia, etc. but not policing the world and getting involved in tangling alliances and having bases all over the world.

    We wouldn’t like it if it was being done to us.

  3. Bob Jacobson

    Good comments. Makes all the sense in the world.

    So how do we get rid of who is in office NOW?

    Voting doesn’t work – what Will?

  4. Alan B

    I’m just so tired of people ignorantly assuming that raising tax rates raises revenue. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!! LOWERING tax rates RAISES overall revenue! Do you actually believe that raising tax rates of ANY kind will encourage any of the activity that we all want? If you do then your entire argument is fundamentally flawed. Simply cut all gov’t spending by whatever percentage is necessary and lower tax rates to bring in the maximum amount of revenue. Please don’t give some ignorant response to this. Do some honest research on historical revenues. What I have stated about tax rates will be proven to you if you do.

    Kevin Raymond Replies:

    Thanks for sharing your comments. Yes, government spending should be cut across the board. I also understand that there is a point where increasing tax revenue becomes counter productive. Though are we at that point in the Laffer Curve? I think there is no proof that we are. Some conservative studies have shown that the ideal capital gains rate is around 20%. Currently long term is around 15%. As far as income tax estimates these vary wildly. Believe me this concept does not make me excited as I’ll be one of the ones paying this. Unfortunately, the hole we’re in is not an easy one to fix.


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