"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Real Life Experience

TheFundamentals describes real life experience (RLE) as activity meeting the following criteria: Employment in the private sector where your paycheck is subject to termination for either no reason, market forces beyond your control or your failure and screw-up’s. It does not include any time spent on any government payroll or any time spent in any form of education. Most humans have a lot of RLE. Do our political leaders? That is the question we are trying to answer. Please observe the following compilation of the 12 current political leaders of the USGovernment. They are listed by name, birth date, current age, and TheFundamentals review of their real life experience as defined above. The RLE default was 5 years. Each person started with 5 years RLE. If you add up the RLE for these 12 current political leaders, all members of the party in power, you attain a grand total of 90 years of RLE which, when divided by the 12 individuals, averages to 7.5 years per person and that’s probably a bit high because of TheFundamentals generosity in setting the default standard.

Henry A. Waxman – 9/12/1939 - 69 y.o.; RLE – 5 years

Charles B. Rangel - 6/11/1930 - 79 y.o.; RLE – 5 years

Nancy Patricia D’Alessandro Pelosi – 3/26/1940 - 69 y.o.; RLE – 5 years

Christopher J. Dodd - 5/27/1944 - 65 y.o.; RLERLE – 10 years

Edward M. Kennedy - 2/22/1932 - 77 y.o.; RLE - 5 years

Richard J. Durbin - 11/21/1944 – 64 y.o.; RLE – 10 years

Harry M. Reid - 11/2/1939 – 69 y.o.; RLE - 5 years

Barnett Frank - 3/31/1940 – 69 y.o.; RLE - 5 years

Barrack H. Obama – 8/4/1961 – 48 y.o.; RLE – 12 years

Joseph R. Biden – 11/20/1942 – 66 y.o.; RLE – 13 years

Steny H. Hoyer - 6/14/1939 – 70 y.o.; RLE – 5 years

James E. Clyburn – 7/21/1940 – 70 y.o.; RLE – 10 years

On November 2, 2010, it may make some sense for taxpaying Americans to ask that the candidates seeking their vote to have a minimum of 10 years of Real Life Experience. It is not possible to make better decisions when the richness of your life experience includes all or virtually all experience in a non competitive, non market based, non performance based environment! Taxpayers have the right to insist that their candidates have RLE. This means someone who does go or has gone to work at a real job. It is up to the taxpaying voters to enforce this requirement. Unfortunately, the founding fathers assumed that citizens seeking the privilege of elected office would have real life experience from real jobs and professions.

“What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” This is a current quote from John Conyers, whose name should be added to the above list. He chairs the House judiciary committee. Here are his statistics: Born 5/16/1929 – 80 y.o; RLE – 12 years. He has been in congress for 44 years! He doesn’t read the proposed legislation. Duh. If a novelist wrote this type of fiction, editors would reject it as begging credibility.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slam Dunk

The basketball playing community organizer saw an opening. The lane was clear. A few quick steps, up you go, slam the ball through the hoop and strut off the court with more adulation from the always adulating fans. So, it was late in the game and he got a quick handoff/assist from one of the news regulars from his home state. He took the ball and started to the net; the opening was not going to close in time; it was a sure thing; just get up in the air and guide the ball through the hoop. Two steps, three and then a smooth jump and release and, and…oh no, what happened, down on the floor, caught up in my own two crisscrossed feet. Oh no, now what? Where’s the teleprompter.

When Lynn Sweet asked about the Gates incident at the end of Wednesday’s press conference the community organizer got an even bigger softball than the previous six or eight tossed his way. He was ready for this one. This was a no brainer. An opportunity to look good, throw a bone to the 95 plus percent of blacks who voted for him, toss in the entire Hispanic population and remind everyone of how tough it is to be a minority in the US. To paraphrase his sidekick from the Chicago Machine, "A pandering opportunity is a terrible thing to waste." Show the folk that you know what it's like to be bullied. You can relate. That's why you're on their side. Spreading the wealth. Shipping out the reparations and voter paybacks under the disguise of health care reform, stimulus payments to protected unions and municipal employees, tax and cap, green jobs and free college for everyone but the taxpaying crowd. Plant some real seeds with the bleeding hearts. This is better than being interviewed on NBC or PBS. Take it. Run with it. Dunk it.

Oh no, what happened?

Teaching moment? You bet. The only question is who is the student? A few more of these missteps and you may be in for some unplanned transparency. Better stick to the teleprompter. That'll get you a few more months with the media at least. Doubtful that it will last that long with the taxpaying public. They seem to be catching on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Age of CZARs

The concept of representative democracy is that the people, in the form of qualified voters, pick representatives and senators to stand in their place in running the government. This concept is simple. The representatives and senators can be removed per the terms of the USConstitution and, of course, the people can elect a different person at the time of the next election. How do the people remove the bureaucrats that the senators and representatives hire to carry out their legislation? How do the people get the kind of working government that is accountable to them in this process? How do the people control the activities of the newly appointed CZARs? They need to depend on their elected representatives and senators. Are the CZARs accountable to anyone? Are the senators and representatives in charge of the CZARs and the bureaucrats or is it the other way around?

Mr. Obama has initiated and implemented a profoundly significant new level of bureaucracy. Here is a list of some of his CZARS and their titles:

WAR CZAR: Lt. Gen Douglas Lute (Has Obama heard of the Department of Defense?)

TARP CZAR: Herb Allison (or the Department of the Treasury?)

STIMULUS ACCOUNTABILITY CZAR: Earl Devaney (Ditto: Treasury?)

PAY CZAR: Kenneth Feinberg (Ditto: Treasury?)

HEALTH REFORM CZAR: Nancy-Ann DeParle (or the Department of Health and Human Services?)

INTELLIGENCE CZAR: Dennis Blair (What? NSA? DOD? CIA? And Hundreds more??)

CAR CZAR: Steve Rattner (Any fool who wants this job should be rejected based on the Groucho Marx test – "I won’t join a club that would have me as a member.")

U. S. BORDER CZAR: Alan Bersen (Anyone heard of the Border Patrol? ICE? The hundreds of thousands already working in the ridiculous Department of Homeland Security?)

This list could go on and on. There are CZARs for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, AIDS, Climate, Green Jobs (no, we are not making this up) and even a CZAR for Science and Weather. No CZARs have been appointed to reduce government bureaucracy or improve the respect and diligence of government employees when dealing with taxpayers. No CZAR to oversee the repayment of the US Debt. Why the new CZARs? This is not representative government with transparency and accountability. You can readily see that these CZARs are substitutes for various cabinet departments and other existing government bureaucracy. What on earth is the government doing creating new bureaucracies when existing bureaucracies already have the same stated responsibilities and job descriptions? The answer is transparent. Obama has concluded that the existing bureaucracies don’t work and he wants new people he can direct who are not part of existing, non working bureaucracies to get things done his way. One might even find some support for this position if he would take the obviously needed step and that is to close down the non working bureaucracies and fire all their non productive employees. Business, to remain competitive, does exactly this all the time. Nature in its very cycle of life does the same thing. It gets rid of the old and replaces it with the new (see Retirement - July 21, 2009.)

The old Soviet Union had czars and bureaucracies and state owned businesses and it all came crashing down for exactly the reasons outline above. It was inbred and did not permit a rejuvenation process. It failed because it was not responsive to change and the marketplace. Who wanted to shop in a Soviet department store or drive a Soviet car or fly in a Soviet manufactured airplane?

Government accountability must be the primary responsibility of the elected senators and representatives and the president. Accountability and transparency are simple concepts. Transparency means you can see what it going on – readily, easily, conveniently. Does anyone know what is going on in any of these CZAR FIEFDOMS? Accountability is getting the job done, on time, on budget and per specification. Does anyone know what is supposed to be accomplished and by what schedule or completion date and at what cost and what level of progress has been attained to date in any of these CZAR FIEFDOMS? The USConstitution does not empower the creation of CZAR FIEFDOMS. If Obama’s sycophants in congress and the senate will not stand up to this violation of the USConstitution, who will?

CZAR FIEFDOMS are de facto acknowledgment of existing government’s failure to do a job; on time; on budget and to an acceptable performance standard. Let’s leave the CZARS for Putin and his buddies. Obama has established his CZAR FIEFDOMS to get his program implemented. This approach will have the same outcome as occurred in the home of the original CZARS – the Soviet Union. Failure and collapse. There is no place for CZAR FIEFDOMS in America! There is NOTHING in the USConstitution that enables CZARs. Please remember this simple fact on November 2, 2010.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Retirement

The process of retirement has several motivations. One, best observed in nature, is the desire of the younger male/females to replace the older male/females. Animals tend to be a bit more direct than humans in communicating the “it’s time to go” message. This message is also a natural part of the aging process which is accompanied by a lessening of ability and interest in matters such as hunting, fishing, planting, harvesting, mining, working and procreating. So, out with the oldsters and in with the youngsters.

We humans also seem to reach a point where we know we can no longer compete and so we take ourselves out of the game. We become spectators and observers and critics. We become bloggers. Hallelujah for blogging. Blogging is an opportunity to use our years of experience and our ability to sum up the complex with magnificent simplicity and electronically blast out our solutions that only the foolish, stupid and young could possibly not see or grasp. This latter ability is best reinforced with a good single malt scotch whisky or a several times over filtered and over priced vodka – preferably from France or Holland.

Now, every once in a while we are given front row seats on a few fellows who either don’t grasp the message of “it’s time to go” or figure that they, unlike most of us, have been given a special talent to ignore the voices saying “go.” These folks usually have a position that is somewhat, or completely, protected from outside influences. It may be an aging movie star with his own production company and his own financing. This example is illustrated with what we shall call the “Clint Syndrome.” The Clint Syndrome is best characterized by this question: How many more times can one person scowl and mumble and sputter in a 110 minute production?

Another example is the “Lifetime Coach Syndrome”. This syndrome is quite fun because it usually plays out in real time, on a TV screen, and in front of thousands of enthusiastic, well lubricated supporters a.k.a. FANS. One of TheFundamentals favorite “Lifetime Coach Syndrome” fellas had the somewhat inappropriate handle of Woody. Woody had it all. Screaming fans, presidential friends, parades, microphones, adoring subjects and, an aging central processing unit that had burned out most of its self control micro chips. So, one bright and exciting day, Woody decided to become part of the activities on the field of play instead of restricting himself to the coaching sidelines. Uh – oh. Woody departed in a bit of ignominy shortly thereafter. Woody either missed the call or didn’t get the memo that it was time to go. Nevertheless, he went.

Which brings us to the aging business leader. What is with the aging business leader? There’s a network that parades Jack Welch, Hank Greenberg and Warren Buffet out every other week or so to ask them questions like, “Oh woe be unto us. What shall we do? Please share your great wisdom with us.” Jack is writing books with his third wife. Who buys this stuff? Greenberg is the master mind behind AIG (cost to taxpayers - about $200 billion (looks like $200,000,000,000.00.) How about an interview from jail? Buffet was a big stimulus supporter and then came out recently and said that the debt of the US was too high. Now he’s saying it’s about time for a second stimulus. Hello? Short term memory problem alert!!

Give us Eastwood or Woody any day compared to these fools. C’mon Welch, Greenberg and Buffet families. They must have retirement homes somewhere that will take these guys. Don’t let ‘em know they’re going in a home; just put a mock TV camera in their room and they will be quite content.

Retirement. Embrace it boys and girls. It is one of TheFundamentals!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Community Organizing: Coming to Your Neighborhood

Here come the tax increases. This is great. We are finally going to start spreading the wealth around and it is not a minute too late. If you make a lot of dough you are going to be taxed more on your income, your health benefits and you are going to lose your deductions for almost anything that you haven’t previously lost your deductions for. This is great. The solution to America’s problems – uncompetitiveness in world economic markets, lots of protected and overpaid union workers in private and public jobs, no real manufacturing left in the country, huge imbalance between exports and imports, really big time federal debt and government ownership/control of major financial and other businesses. The solution is taxes on the higher wage earners. Makes sense to TheFundamentals. We can tax our way to competitiveness. Tax increases coupled with the current really successful spending programs which are creating jobs and big time increases in output and income and exports. This is just too much to grasp. This is really good stuff. More government spending and more taxes and more of everything for everyone.

Here is how it is going to work. If we keep taxing the higher earners then they will become lower wage earners after taxes. They will say, “Oh man. This is great. The more I work and earn the more I get to pay in taxes.” Gradually a few may even start to work and earn less. This is the good news because then the ones who already work less and earn less will start to work harder and work more. They will start to make more and pay more in taxes because they will clearly want to get into those higher tax brackets. See this is how the spreading the wealth around works. You take it from the higher income workers and discourage them because this encourages the lower income earners because they suddenly see the opportunity to move up. We all know that when you’re hanging out with your friends you really feel good about bragging about how much in taxes you are paying. These economic fundamentals and programs are well discussed and debated at places like the Chicken Shack on the south side of Chicago. These programs may come to known as Chicken Shack Economics. Don’t be surprised if the next Nobel Economic Award goes to another graduate of the Chicken Shack curriculum.

So, we have to hand it to the community organizer for his wisdom and foresight to realize that the answer to creating jobs and making America more competitive in the world marketplace is to raise taxes on the higher earners who tend to be the job creators because they tend to own the smaller and mid size businesses that tend to be wealth creators and, therefore, job creators. Nowhere but in the rare and magnificent combination of community organizing and machine politics can you find this combination of good Chicken Shack economic policy, focused and value based government spending, competitive wage and benefit and pension programs and the really insightful leadership of academics and unemployed former politicians in cushy advisor jobs and running councils and committees and czarships. The czarships are something new. Boy have they ever produced spectacular results. Czarships are proven to be so beneficial that TheFundamentals may have to do a special czarship essay. Can’t wait to cover all the good news from those geniuses.

We are so grateful for everything, Mr. Organizer. Please sir, may we have another.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Feet of Clay on the Hudson and Potomac

PNoonan has been writing essays for the WSJ for some time. She also shows up on the cable and Sunday shows that are frequented by an inbred group who like to pat themselves on the back with their sense of being on the inside of matters that matter. They bestow themselves with the world view, the well read view, the big perspective, the ability to grasp what the common folk are either not up to or are just too busy with their mundane daily lives to embrace. Some of them, a small minority with their noses pressed against the window of the party in powers candy store, actually claim to be either libertarians or conservatives or both. The Noonan may be in this group. They are part of the self anointed who do little, talk a lot and hang out with each other and tell each other how insightful the last book or article or speech was. The Noonan does want to stay in this group.

So, she joined the childless Dowd and her sidekick Rich and did a chop job on SPalin. This act is intended to keep her group membership credentials in good order. By the way Noonan, how many children have your raised; how many challenged children have you nurtured; how many elected offices have you run for and held; how many personal attacks and non issue based criticisms have you responded to while trying to do your job and raise your family; how many times have you had to defend you under age children against attacks from the fools you pander to and fawn over in NYC and DC?

Here’s a recent Noonan quote on the dangers ahead and why Palin is not up to the job:

“Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.”

Let’s examine her fears. The crash was produced by the elected/appointed people she fawns over and the silly do nothing bureaucrats they employ. Admission of bankruptcy. What does that mean? The group she supports now has thwarted the bankruptcy process for political payoff purposes. The acceptance of bankruptcy would actually permit a healing process to proceed. Social unrest? Would you prefer endless deficits and debt? Let’s hope that someone throws some politicians out of office and unemploys a bunch of federal, state and local bureaucrats. That is social unrest that would also provide healing and a strong foundation for future growth. Weapons of mass destruction. Lady, you and Cheney. Let’s all stay inside. The sky is falling. Oh woe be unto us. Only more bureaucrats with guns will save us. Secessionist movements? How about a little respect for the 10th amendment? You may call that secessionist. Some might call it the law of the land. Some states are competing and growing. Is yours? Is your beloved DC? NY?

If we try to find logic in this woman’s words, we would never make a change. Each time the incumbents got us into a mess we would need to seek their level of familiarity with the problems they created in order to deal with them. This is the logic of the insane. Keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting, hoping, for a different result. This woman has sold out for a few cocktail party invitations.

Obama had one thing right last fall. The US desperately needs change. What we are getting is a steroid version of the lack of fundamentals that marked eight years of GWBush. There is no way to keep spending and promising and giving things to people who neither sacrifice nor contribute. The answer is quite simple and Noonan’s NY/DC friends would at least recognize the authors – “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” and “I’d rather be governed by the first 100 names in the Boston phone directory than the Harvard faculty.” Just as Buckley noted the problems of an inbred faculty, there are similar problems with Noonan’s search for leadership on the banks of the Potomac and Hudson. Open minds may also look to the banks of the Kuskokwim and elsewhere.

Judgment Day - addendum

One additional question that a reader suggests should be posed to Sotomayor (TheFundamentals, July 14, 2009.) “Judge, given your high opinion of Latina’s, what would you do if I, a white male, were to appear in front of you in litigation with a Latina? Would you recuse yourself based on your obvious and stated bias? Or, would I have to seek an impartial jurist on my own?”

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Judgment Day

“Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O'Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.” – SSotomayor, 2001

Senators, please ask the judge the following:

1. How many children do you have? Please explain how raising your children have increased the richness of your experience as a Latina. Does a woman with children incur experiences that are not available to a woman without children?

2. Do you have any experience in the private sector? Where people work and compete and try to survive? Please tell us a bit about how these activities have supplemented the richness of your experience as a Latina. Will this experience be beneficial to you in your judicial decision making?

3. Tell us about the issues related to meeting the payroll in your private sector experience and making your products and services competitive with others in the marketplace. Please tell us about your use of advancing people who are less qualified than others and how this activity has, more often than not, improved the competitiveness of your business or improved your judicial decision making. Do you support ignoring the results of bar examinations in licensing attorneys?

4. Balancing the family budget, acquiring health insurance for your children and family, setting aside funds for their education and college costs. All these must be part of the richness of your experience as a Latina. Please talk to us about some of these experiences and relate them to your judicial decision making and your great wisdom.

5. Talk a bit about your marriage and the valuable lessons you have learned in relating to your husband and his family and how this has added, more often than not, to the fullness of your Latina experience. Do you have any mirrors in your home?

6. Is it important that people know that they will be able to be promoted even if they do not test well but they can show that they are part of a group that should be promoted? Doesn’t this knowledge mean that people will, more often than not, do better in their jobs and that this knowledge will improve their self esteem which will make them better doctors and engineers?

7. It would seem to us that the importance of this self esteem issue can and should be extended as broadly as possible. Do you agree? Further, should we not immediately extend this increased self esteem and equal distribution to as many employment opportunities and professions as possible? For example, can we use the logic of promotion without regard to testing results to areas such as surgeons, airline pilots, nurses and nuclear engineers?

8. We are sure you have travelled extensively and this traveling has added to the richness of your experience as a Latina. Please talk to us about specific countries where affirmative action, promotion based on non testing results, local laws and just being a Latina have, more often than not, produced much better societal, cultural and economic benefits for the people of those countries?

9. Most of us on this senate panel are white males. Do you see us as a group, oh great wise one? Do you attribute group prejudices to us? If not and if you see us as individuals please describe at least one instance or example for each of us where your additional wisdom has, more often than not, produced a better conclusion that what we have reached. This is quite the softball.

10. Last, thank you for sharing yourself so generously and without any guile. Can you tell us about the many people who have benefited by the richness of you just being you and, perhaps, give us four or five examples of the many people who are indebted to your generosity and unselfishness and, particularly, your self- proclaimed wisdom.

Thank you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Liberals and Sarah - one more time









Boy, you would have thought that TheFundamentals was making jokes about some liberal's kid the way the comments came in. Remember the previous posting was a pictorial essay designed to raise a question and create some alternative thinking to the rabid and rather predictable stuff coming out of the sycophant columnists and Sunday/cable TV talking heads. So, let's try it one more time. What on earth could possibly explain why liberals......





.......are so upset with Sarah?









Thursday, July 9, 2009

Liberals and Sarah

What on earth could possibly explain why some Liberals......





.....are so upset with Sarah?






Vignettes

Casual observations on the American scene:

BHObama is making the biggest rookie mistake that can be made. He is pretending that the richness of his experience (community organizer and low level machine politician) is a substitute for on the job training and real experience. His trips and visits and get to know you gatherings should be simple listening visits. He needs to shut up and listen and then go home and shut up and be quiet for a while. That would not only be leadership it would be strategic. Keep quiet while you’re learning. Who does he think he is? A blogger. Proverbs: Do not speak unless you can improve the silence. America suffers from a huge absence of improved silence.

There is one simple question that the American people should pose to BHObama and anyone else who wants to support whatever his health care program is. This is the question. “Will you and your family be forced to participate in the program?” The only possible answer is either yes or no. Good luck.

Cap and Trade. Here the simple questions are two. Ask the electric companies to calculate the annual electric bill for each customer before and after the cap and trade program is instituted. Ditto for the natural gas bill and ditto for the gasoline bill. Ask them to use their computers (they can do this) and calculate the bills and present the information to each customer. Question two. There will be a difference and, guess what? The cost will rise. So, ask this question, “Will the cap and trade bill commit that those new funds paid by Americans will be used, dollar for dollar, to decrease the debt of the US?” If the answer is yes (more good luck,) then, if you are able to believe that commitment, ask your congressperson and senator to vote for it.

When a childless, perhaps barren, Irish woman with the richness of experience that compares to a fart in the New York wind uses her NYTimes megaphone to ridicule the richness of the experience of Mrs. Palin, it is time to say enough. Further, any male who attacks Mrs. Palin is a bully and should be treated as such. Real men do not attack any responsible mother of five children for any reason.

Fear and government. Since we as little kids were doing drills in the hallways of our elementary schools and hiding under our desks, the federal government has terrorized the US citizenry with threats of imminent doom. These threats have included: Nuclear attack, Soviet domination of space and technology, education gaps, drug abuse, tobacco abuse, Japanese domination of commerce and industry, biological infestations and other components of impending doom. Each time there is a new opportunity to wail about a new or improved threat the congress clicks their heels and passes new legislation that creates new bureaucracies that go on forever. FEAR is governments true ally. The next time a politician or bureaucrat tries to scare you, give him/her the finger. Even better, vote for someone else.

If and when you vote on November 2, 2010 and you vote for someone who will not commit to lowering the debt of the US in real, measurable terms – specific amount in a specific time period, then you are part of the problem; not part of the solution.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Face Facts

Mr. O. The campaign is over. Eight months ago. The problems are the same as they were then – Iran doesn’t like, respect or pay attention to the US; Israel intends to look out for number one; NKorea thinks that you are not quite the genius that NBC, PBS and you think; unemployment in the US is much higher than it was eight months ago and getting worse; tax revenues are going to be one heck of a lot less than your political, political appointees predicted; the debt of the US has skyrocketed and will continue at geometric increases based on your fiscal promiscuity and unchecked congressional support and you are well on your way to making every possible, conceivable rookie mistake.

The core problems in the US are a lack of competitiveness in a world economy (just as certain US states are competing and experiencing income growth so are other nations) and a wasteful access to the public treasury by a series of congresses and presidents who combine the worst of the human frailties – a lack of courage to do what needs to be done and a silly vanity that extends way beyond their meager vision. The game plan that you have brought to office is failing desperately. You are well into the first quarter and the score is home team – 0; other side - 35. If you had ever competed in a real marketplace you would have learned to change plans (even order takers at McDonald's learn to listen to customers) when they are not working. Notwithstanding the richness of the experience of being you, there is nothing in community organizing or machine politics that can prepare a person for real world events. There is also nothing wrong with a bit of deflation affecting health care, education and government costs. A little bit of deflation will save your community organizing behind.

Assuming you have a survival instinct, here are some facts worth facing and some changes worth making:

1. US policy does not support the economic fundamental of wealth creation. The following components are necessary: favorable tax/regulation/bureaucratic control for the basic wealth creating activities which are growing or extracting something from the ground and manufacturing something from that which is grown or extracted. Further, a fair balance between ownership/management of wealth creating businesses and labor is required. Right to work is a necessity in order for the US to regain competitiveness. Limitations on costly benefits are necessary. New business must be encouraged to replace the moribund and bureaucratic companies that have accumulated vast overhead and non productive obligations. Tax individuals aggressively if you need to satisfy your pseudo populism inclinations. Encourage wealth creation and you will be very successful with your tax revenue gathering schemes.

2. Recognition and limitation on vested public and private interests. The public interest limitation is term limits for elected offices. Politicians, more than any other group in the country, are responsible for the non competitiveness of the US in world markets. The private limitation is the prohibition of any payments to any candidates for office. No more pay to play.

3. Limitation of access to the public treasury. There is no faster road to hell than the unbridled access to the public treasury by politicians who will neither limit their own terms nor face their own frailties. So, a simple Constitution amendment limiting public expenditures to public revenues is required. Severe reduction of bureaucracies is required. The government you love just plain does not work. All public pensions must be restricted to defined contribution programs and, further, restrictions must be placed on the public portion of the contribution.

4. Tort reform and the general reduction of litigation and attorney involvement at all levels of normal life, happenstance and related claims is required. We can be a nation of law abiding citizens and not be a nation of litigators and litigation. Non economic damages must be eliminated; losing parties to lawsuits must accept responsibility for legal costs.

5. Public debt is now the millstone around the neck of American free enterprise. A commitment to commence the repayment/diminution of the debt is required. Even a small reduction would be a beginning. Think of a busload of lawyers going over the cliff – it’s a beginning.

6. A measurable (set specific objectives; report progress quarterly; independent audit) plan must be presented to America and the pain and sacrifice must be spelled out and equitably distributed. No more of this job creating/job saving BS and green energy is the solution and we can spend our way to health cost reductions. Higher income Americans will continue to fund a good portion of the public treasury revenue needs. Embedded union power players, enriched public employees and pensioners will be motivated to make their sacrifices if you communicate to them honestly about the real tax burden and taxpayers in the US.

7. Medicare can be expanded to offer a public choice. Deflation is the only real solution to rising health care and education costs. Deflation can be your friend. Figure out how to control it.

8. No more special groups of people with their cultural, societal, behavioral and physical differences. It devastates a country.

9. All Americans must learn the history of the US and show a proficiency in the English language. Tell the people about their heritage; quit apologizing for it.

PS: you do have one other choice. Stay the course. Keep up the spending. Pile up huge debt. Bankrupt the country. All on your watch. Remember, 35-0!

Friday, July 3, 2009

233 Years Ago

On July 4, 1776, The Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war for separation from England had begun over one year earlier. The words from these brave men ring with the same truth and applicability today as they did 233 years ago. TheFundamentals never tires of reading these simple and magnificent words.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.

(The Declaration goes on to detail specific claims of injuries and usurpations. It closes with this bold commitment:)

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these colonies solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.


Tomorrow we honor this commitment and the wonderful experiment initiated by it. We assemble and stand for the flag. Tears form in our eyes as we stand in awe at the magnificence of the gift that began 233 years ago and has continued with the commitment of many Americans, rich and poor, famous and not so, powerful and fragile, who have pledged their lives, fortunes and honor to maintain our right to be free and independent. FREE AND INDEPENDENT. It is seldom the majority that stands united against the challenges to our freedoms from unchecked government powers and deluded individuals. We must never lose faith with our commitment to make this stand.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

P O S

Point of sale? Pile of s__t? Piece of s__t?

TheFundamentals has frequently used this colloquial acronym to describe something that just doesn’t measure up to even low or modest standards. For example, if you bought a Yugo you probably owned a P O S. If you ever ordered something advertised after 10:00 PM on TV, you probably used it once or twice and then it officially qualified as a bona fide P O S.

So, what does this have to do with economics and fiscal discipline? Well, just about everything. Here is an abbreviated list of P O S’s which are spectacularly costly and non-beneficial:

1. AIG bailout. Ongoing. Today it’s cumulative cost to the taxpayer (no, not the citizens because many of them do not pay taxes and will never be expected to repay the money borrowed to bail these fools out) is $112.5 billion. In real numbers that’s $112,500,000,000.00. This bailout is perhaps the biggest P O S ever bought by anyone, anywhere because there was a viable alternative - bankruptcy. By the way, name the AIG executives under indictment?

2. Citibank bailout. Ongoing. Quite costly. Today its cumulative cost to the taxpayer is $220.4 billion. That’s $220,400,000,000.00 in real numbers. Big time P O S. How many Citibank executives have been indicted? Chalk this one up to the fools at the Federal Reserve.

3. Bank of America bailout. Another $87.2 billion. That’s $87,200,000,000.00. Indictments? This one has Bernanke and Geithner’s fingerprints all over it.

4. GM bankruptcy as manipulated by the US government to the benefit of the UAW. First class P O S. Ranks up there with the all-time rank government deals. Cost to taxpayers is $50 billion. In real numbers, that’s $50,000,000,000.00. Aren’t you glad to know that the US government has seen fit to hand you this P O S and then yap about it as if they did something good? Remember this sweetheart deal when you are next buying a vehicle.

5. Annual budget for the SEC is $913 million. That’s $913,000,000.00. Here’s their mission statement in their own words, “The mission of the Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.” That’s government speak. Real speak interpretation, “We show up occasionally, hideout when the going gets tough and make sure our pensions and benefits are protected. Screw the public.” The SEC is just one of many P O S government agencies you fund over and over again.

6. FNMA and FHLMC. These disasters warrant a special, future posting.

Now, let’s get into some of the really good stuff. This stuff is going to make the above P O S’s look like dump piles from a Chihuahua. Let’s lead off with the first big piece of legislative s__t (P O L S – Oh, what a coincidence. The abbreviation for piece of legislative s__t is P O L S). Here they are:

1. Federal stimulus program passed by the 111th Congress in Jan/Feb and signed by Obama on February 17, 2009. Cost? $787 billion. Or, $787,000,000,000.00. Now that’s real P O L S.

2. Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. Signed March 11, 2009. Cost: $410 billion. Funds many cabinet departments and included the following increases: Department of State – 12% (by the way, where is Hillary?); Congress – 10% and Agriculture Department – 13%. Frugality at work – no. P O L S – yes.

3. Waxman-Markey Bill just passed by the House of Representative. Close vote: 219/212. Basically a massive tax increase on energy with a thousand pages of special deals worked out for in-favor congressional districts. This is one of those P O L S that just keeps costing and costing. The Heritage Foundation estimates that this legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by Obama, could cost hundreds of billions of dollars EACH YEAR. There is still time to write your senator and ask him/her to “just say no.” Their email addresses can be reached by clicking on the links to the left. Be sure to send a congratulatory note to AFranken while you are at it.

The minority leader of the party out of power (poop) has taken to referring to much of the above described actions as P O S. It is difficult for TheFundamentals to not agree with him. On November 2, 2010, the taxpaying citizens of the US, age 18 and over, will be able to change this situation. It is time to insist that poop get its act together and muster candidates who will balance the budget, enact a program of debt repayment and stop the fiscal promiscuity that has characterized the eight years of GWB and the 104th to 110th Congresses and the first months of BHO and the 111th Congress.