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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rules of Attraction – in the New Era

Blacks, Latinos and white gals.  That’s America’s new ruling class.  All 51% of them.

Here is what we wonder about this gang. 

Just who will they attract?  Will they attract the investors who place their capital where it can grow, develop, multiply?  Or will they attract more consumers who now see more handouts and more stimulus spending and more adventures designed to irritate those who pay the bills?

We have looked around to find examples, or even an example, of a successful governance system either consisting of one or more of these groups or even a coalition similar to this coalition.  We need your help.  We can’t find one.  Is it us?  Or is there no living proof that this group is capable of running anything?

Back to the investors.  Does this group even grasp that they need investors?  Or do they think 51% coming together is an answer unto itself?  Here is a brief definition of an investor(s) – it is someone or some entity or some business or some bank or insurance company or pension fund that is run by people who oversee either their money or, more usually, other people’s money tasked to put that money to work to protect and increase the principal by measuring risk and seeking appropriate returns for the risk they accept.

Ask the coalition, this new era governing coalition, the 51%, if they have a clue as to what was just written and explained above.

Where is their evidence of the knowledge connecting the coalition and their needs/wants with the governance discipline to attract investors?

Does this new era; this new coalition; this new governance system not need investors?  Or do they believe what they put in the ads, their talking points, their communications to the media and the voters, particularly the ones they needed to turn out for their win?  Do they believe that government can provide better answers than can the marketplace?  Do they believe that taking more from the rich will build a better society for all?  Do they believe that money flowing to China and Latin America and the far east, where businesses are encouraged to form; where business managers are encouraged to operate as they deem most efficient; where taxes and rules and regulations favor the investor and not the union steward or the environmental meddler or the litigation expert – do they  really believe that the demands of their coalition, the coalition of the wanting,  will attract capital from those places and redirect it to New York or Chicago or Los Angeles or Detroit?

Either we’re nuts or they are off on the binge of their lifetime.  They are giddy over their win.  Do they have a clue what they have in store for them?  Do they grasp their governance responsibility?  Do the people they elect grasp it?  Do they know how to attract investors?    They haven’t been coming our way for some years now.  Will this new era gang bring them home?  And what will happen to those of us who need investors? 

Over the last four years, the number one investor in America is the Federal Reserve Bank.  Trying to prop up an output declining American economy by printing currency – no economic transaction needed – just place an order for currency production.  They are America’s new investor – and the results are horrible.

51% of us, just what it takes by the hair of our chinny, chin, chin, just asked for four more years of the same.  We are quite anxious to see what you who make up this new era coalition do with your win.  We think investors are watching you – very carefully watching you.  Winning is one thing.  Making things work is another.  You need real economic transactions to make things work.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Sophisticated Campaigning?

So, was it a simple contest between David Axelrod and Karl Rove?   And David won.  Did David jump to the lead early with his “tar and feather Mitt” campaign and Mitt just stood aloof and disengaged? For too long?  Did David get out the vote in Florida and Ohio and Virginia and elsewhere – whatever it takes – bus, train, automobile?  Donuts?  Small tokens of our appreciation?  While Karl just kept counting his money and moving his investments around?

Which was it?

A battle of the sophisticates?  Raising money – developing ads – showing up to talk, talk, talk – those well crafted sound bites – out of touch – cares only about the rich – job destroyer – life destroyer versus good guy – job creator – knows economics – successful businessman – works well with others.

It is clear that the winning coalition made it to 51% which means one won and one lost.  But in all that sophisticated campaigning do we really know what comes next?  Did anyone ever bring up, “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?”  Any talk of cutbacks?  Setting priorities?  Less spending to go along with those tax increases on the rich?

We didn’t hear it – not then, not today – doubtful they are saving it for after Christmas but who knows?  Maybe the 2013 surprise will be a boatload of pink slips for the federal government bureaucrats.  Can always hope.  Oh, but that theme was four years ago wasn’t it?

One of their height challenged minions is now calling it “sophisticated campaigning.”  We don’t buy that for a second.  Call it what it is – a few white guys with fancy computer programs crafting messages that are delivered at a very high cost to voters – over and over again and then, on the day of reckoning – who gets the most of them to the polling place to cast the votes the way they have been told to do so. 

Oh, one other thing – along the way – the two aforementioned “sophisticated campaigners” make themselves a fortune.  Not a “living wage” mind you – on a “level playing field" but a small fortune – measured in the millions of dollars.  Think about this point for just a second – these men didn’t pledge their fortunes to their cause – they made a fortune off their “cause.”

This is the new politics.  The new messaging.  The new guidelines for forming opinion and building support for legislation and forward looking governance.  You won’t see any of the old signposts – ask not what your country…; or balanced budgets....; or live within your means….set priorities….measure and account along the way…

Gone forever.  What they now call sophisticated campaigning, we call snake oil.  Slickly packaged – very media moderne – Madison Avenue branding and marketing – supported with statistics - but snake oil nevertheless.  To us, the new snake oil salesmen look just like the old snake oil salesmen – greedy, parasitical, and always counting their money.  It's propaganda folks.  Get used to it.

Every time we encounter one of these guys – and they are all over TV these days – we are drawn back to the words of our founders – those 56 men who chose treason over bowing to a king and his bureaucrats – those 56 men who pledged their honor, their fortunes, their lives to living free and we think what a small payoff many Americans accept today for this legacy of courage and sacrifice.  Does anyone think David and Karl would have signed that document?  Would you?

If you wish to learn about men who did  pledge their fortunes, honor and lives to a cause – really, not just in their mythological sound bite creating, money counting little minds, please go to:  http://www.usconstitution.net/declarsigndata.html  Here is a teaser for you – of the 56 who signed the declaration in 1776, most were lawyers; the youngest were just 26 years old – Edward Rutledge and Thomas Lynch of South Carolina – the oldest was a 70 year old fellow from Pennsylvania named Benjamin Franklin.   Do you think they were self described “sophisticated campaigners?”

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Coalition of the Wanting

What happened on November 6, 2012 is producing great media chitter chatter about “the Republican Party needs to evolve” and “Latinos are a growing force in the electorate” and “Oh what to do about the fiscal cliff.”   For now,  there is euphoria about how democracy works – the changing electorate – the future of the country with the old power structure (whites) declining and the new power structure rising.   

Let’s look at the election numbers, as we know them now:

·         Mr. Obama received 51% of the vote
·         Mr. Romney received 48% of the vote
·         121,000,000 citizens voted compared with 129,000,000 in 2008
·         Obama got 62,283,914; Romney got 58,905,252
·         In 2008, Obama got 69,456,897 and McCain got 59,934,814
·         So Obama won this time with 7,000,000 fewer votes
·         Romney lost with 1,000,000 fewer votes
·         Republicans control the house; democrats control the senate

What do we know about Mr. Obama’s 51% vote makeup; his coalition?  Quite a bit –  

·         Whites (72%) – 39% for Obama
·         Blacks (13%) – 93% for Obama 
·         Latinos (10%) – 71% for Obama 
·         Asians ( 3%) – 73% for Obama
·         (Notes:  the number in parentheses is the % of total voters.  We would show separate results for unionized government employees but we don't have them - many are already in the Obama numbers)      

Okay, that’s the statistics of his coalition but what do we know about what they want?  Why did they vote for Mr. Obama?  Not the campaign silliness about what a horrible and out of touch guy Romney is/was – what do they expect in return for their vote?  What does the government provide that they want –  

·         Health care for all (ObamaCare)
·         Social security
·         Medicaid (62+ Million in 2009)
·         Free “health care” for women – abortions and contraception, by HHS mandate
·         Federal support for state welfare programs
·         Laws/rules to enable lawsuits if one feels “discriminated” against (Lilly Ledbetter, voting rights, civil rights, handicap rights, etc.)
·         Federal education support
·         Public employees and public employee unions
·         Earned income tax credits
·         Food stamps (46+ Million now on them)
·         No federal income tax for lower half of earners

Let’s recap with one additional statistic – the current population of the United States is 314,788,331.  We think it is safe to suggest that those who voted for Mr. Obama, the 62,283,914 of the voters, did not do so because they either think he will cut back on anything listed above or because they want him to cut back on anything above.  To this date he has not, after almost four years in office, done anything but to increase the items listed above.  He does not talk, even now, about cut backs.   His focus is getting the high end taxpayers to pay more. 

So, if we take his voters – 62,283,914 and divide by the total population of 314,788,331 we discover that Mr. Obama has a coalition of 19.8% of Americans and that 19.8% coalition is setting the agenda for governance – for deficits – for debt – for America’s future.

Before you go running off any cliffs with your well thought out hand wringing over the demise of fiscal conservatism and its alignment with social conservatives, ask yourself this one question – just how much longer can Mr. Obama’s coalition of the wanting run a country with their agenda of expectation (see list above) and not encounter our founding fundamental principle:

Deficits = Debt = Destruction

When the loser – Romney – provides his analysis of the election results, don’t be too surprised if his analysis is not focused on the future of providing endlessly for the wants of the 19.8%.  He has been around long enough to see what happens when deficits accumulate into debt.  Just as we have.  And we both expect to be attacked for such a blunt analysis of the 51% coalition of the wanting.  There is a simple way to test those who defend the coalition - just cut back the goodies and see if the coalition goes along!

For our republican friends, if you really believe that supporting certain “social issues” will bring about a new awareness of the need to stop deficits, by all means give in or go along on those issues.   Just don’t be too surprised if you still find yourself in a debt ridden country run by the coalition of the wanting. 

America’s dilemma is not a social issue.  It is fundamental – if you are going to give everyone the right to vote then you must insist that everyone pays for what they vote for.  We used to grasp this fundamental.  Now we only have it half right.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Duty, Honor, Country meet the Hollywood Media

If you want to know exactly how many US dollars the federal reserve has printed and given to the US treasury or one of its many other currency manipulation schemes you had better be spectacularly patient; spectacularly good at searching and analyzing and probing into the most esoteric and camouflaged financial reporting ever conceived.

On the other hand if you want to know the most intimate details of the lives of twin sisters Natalie Khawam and Jill Kelley, just Google their names.  You will get court records and you will get 911 call transcripts and very specific dollar amounts for credit card balances and monthly interest charges and defaulted debts and on and on.

We would venture to guess that you could probably determine the sister’s brassiere size(s) and contents of their makeup kits with a little probing.  We already know more about their emails and their involvement with top military brass in the Tampa, FL area than we know about terrorist attacks on our embassies and other foreign outposts.

But we, at TheFundamentals, tend to focus on financial matters.  Here is what we learned about the gals who were the focus of much time and attention from our top brass military heroes:

·         She (Natalie) was more than $3 million in debt, records show. She had blown through four jobs in five years and sued a former employer for sex harassment. She had had three failed engagements, left her new husband and moved in with her sister where she quickly began hobnobbing with military brass and others in Tampa's elite circles.

·         Jill Kelley knocked on doors up and down Bayshore Boulevard, asking homeowners if their house was for sale. She wanted the prestigious address, and she got it. In June 2004, the couple paid $1.5 million for a 4,800-square-foot brick mansion with stately white pillars and a view of Hillsborough Bay, just six miles from MacDill Air Force Base.

·         Records show the Kelleys created a cancer charity in 2005. According to its 2007 tax return, The Doctor Kelley Cancer Foundation's primary purpose was to "conduct research studies into efforts to discover ways to improve the quality of life of terminally ill adult cancer patients." Natalie Khawam was also named as a director of the nonprofit. But of $157,284 raised in revenue that year, meals and entertainment accounted for more than $43,000 in expenses, legal fees more than $25,000, and automotive expenses more than $8,800.

·         Scott Kelley (Jill’s husband) was making just the minimum payment on a Visa Signature card that had accumulated a balance over $70,000 and was taking on hundreds of dollars in interest each month. According to a lawsuit filed this year, Kelley defaulted on that card in 2010, the same year Regions bank sued him and his wife over a debt in excess of $250,000. Chase sued for more than $25,000 and Regions Bank filed to foreclose on their Bayshore home. The bank said it was owed more than $1.7 million, and that it had not gotten any payments since Sept. 2009.

·         They (Kelley’s) defaulted on more credit cards and the lawsuits stacked up, but they continued to host parties and held tight to their friendship with Petraeus.

·         Khawam, who worked as a lawyer at the Tampa law firm Cohen, Foster and Romine, sued her employer, accusing the firm's business consultant of sexual harassment. The firm's founder Barry Cohen shot back with a giant stack of evidence to the contrary, accusing Khawam of "fraud." He presented Khawam's bankruptcy filing from April 2012, which showed she owed $3.6 million to creditors, lawyers and others who had loaned her money. The filing showed she owed a lawyer in Rhode Island $300,000, a man in St. Petersburg $600,000 and Scott and Jill Kelley $800,000.

Source for all these specifics – Tampa Bay Times website:  http://www.tampabay.com/

Just think what we could find out – what the electorate might learn about our government(s) – what the effect could be on America’s political process; our republic; our selection of elected officials; our massive bureaucracies and endless high paid bureaucrats, if the Hollywood media could devote this kind of attention to important matters rather than Hollywood matters.

Freedom of the press doesn’t guarantee good information anymore than one man – one vote guarantees a democracy.  Any freedom or right without discipline and responsibility is a waste – just as America’s Hollywood media is a waste.  And, in case you may be connecting the dots, those stars on the uniforms and those ribbons still walk around embellishing those bodies with legs that go in the pants one at a time.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why the Republican Party Needs Evolution

(Note - this guest essay was sent to us early Wednesday morning, November 7, 2012, and is being published with the permission of its author.)

I write this at 11 pm CST on November 6, 2012. The GOP is about to lose the presidency to Barack Obama for a second time. The first election can be explained easily enough; the republicans were on their way out after the Bush administration, and Obama was promising hope and change to a people hungry for it. After 4 years where that change wasn't effective in the way it needed to be, the time should be ripe for Mitt Romney to step in and lead this country. He won't get that chance. I've been a republican my whole life, and I'm part of a generation that has never voted in a republican president.

The 2012 presidential campaign should have been about debt and about the economy. Almost every poll indicated that much. Mitt Romney should have been the clear choice to deal with those issues-he was the candidate who knew big business and budgets, whereas Obama seemed to spurn managing the national debt at every turn and hadn't made sufficient progress with the economy. If those were the issues, and Romney was the better choice, how did he lose? There could be two explanations: the country didn't believe in Romney, or the country didn't vote on those same issues it professed to care about. Evidence suggests the latter.

The 2012 election couldn't have been narrower in the popular vote-a 50%-49% distribution indicates a very clearly polarized electorate. This has been a trend of the last 4-5 years, which has hit a peak during Obama's term and the coming of this election. The country is polarized, but beyond that is very clearly divided based on the values of individuals rather than a greater good. It is the saddest of realities: the greater good of the country, and the issues that are most important to our future, are being ignored in favor of individualism. It is no mystery, therefore, that the Democratic Party wins in this political environment; it has established itself as the Everyman party, and offers a candidate who identifies with a more diverse portion of the population than any presidential candidate ever.

At the same time the Democratic Party has capitalized on this schism in the American electorate, the Republican Party has alienated itself. This election should not have been turned on social issues, but it was. Republicans have seemingly bent over backwards to alienate women, to take offensive stances on immigration, and to ostracize gays. It is time for the party to enter the 21st century on social issues; until then, candidates like Romney stand no chance. Romney didn't lose the election so much as his party did.

I'm not advocating that social issues should take any sort of precedence in national politics, in fact I believe exactly the opposite. However, it is time that the Republican Party starts reevaluating their stance on these issues. If not because they believe in the social issues, then because it will again make them competitive for the presidency. The evidence that supports this necessary change in ideals is widely available-in conversations with women or minorities, in polling data, and in the beliefs of some of the inner party republicans. The Republican Party owes the American people a party that can seriously compete for a presidency, one that aligns itself with important social issues in a modern way but still represents small government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets. America desperately awaits a modernized republican party. It is time to wake up.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vote Democrat – Let the Grandkids Pay

Instead of the ubiquitous, “I approve this ad….” after each political lie, TheFundamentals would humbly propose that the following words be substituted –

“I think the kids/grandkids should pay for a lot of what we get today – vote for me – let the kids/grandkids pay.”

This simple line would bring substantial transparency to Mr. Obama’s campaign.  Here is a fact – the current population of the United States is 314 million people and the census bureau tells us that 24% of the population is under 18 years of age.  24% of 314 million is 75 million youngsters under the age of 18.

We have previously pointed out, using Mr. Obama’s own numbers, that the debt of the country has risen $5.2 trillion since he has been president.    Divide 75 million into $5.2 trillion and you get –

$69,333.33 per youngster

So, before these kids even get to consider going to college, your president has already levied sixty nine thousand dollars worth of debt on their backs. College can easily double that debt – we’re now at $208,000.00 per kid and their job prospects are not good to say the least.

You want four more years of that?

Apparently a lot do.  The least they can do is proudly display this bumper sticker as they vote for any Democrat – anywhere in the country –

By the way, we don’t mean to just pick on those who vote for Democrats.  Any of you who think you’ve earned something or you deserve something and someone else should pay for it – you, too, have earned the right to proudly display this bumper sticker.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

This Election is about Debt

On January 20, 2009, the debt of the United States was $10,626,877,048,913.08.

Two days ago, on October 30, 2012, the debt of the United States was $16,204,061,671,104.83.

Mr. Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on January 20. 2009.

He is a self described – community organizer.

There is no community organizer in the history of the United States who was ever concerned about debt.  By definition community organizers are about mustering government services to benefit their constituency.  These services are provided by others; paid for by others and the manner by which they are acquired and financed is of no concern to them.  Their viewpoint is simple – others have things – we want things – we have votes – we want ours – we will get ours.

Every day that Mr. Obama has occupied the white house, the debt of the United States has risen by  –


Mr. Obama has been in office 1,380 days.  Each day he has occupied the white house the debt of the United States has increased by Four Billion Dollars plus change.

Mr. Romney is a businessman – a calculating, cold hearted, devil may care, take for yourself, manipulative, me-first, I’ve got mine forget about the other guy business man as described by his community organizer, don’t care about debt, incumbent opponent.  The one thing we know about business men, at least the good ones, is that they care about debt.

America needs a president who cares about debt – not one who is not concerned about debt.

You may think this election is about foreign policy – or free birth control for the gals.  You may think it’s about jobs and the economy – fighting terrorists – who saved Detroit (have you noticed Obama has not set foot in the city he saved?) 

It’s not.

It’s about debt.  You may not know it but in 20 years your kids and others grand kids will know it – in spades.

America – wake up.  The incumbent is building debt that is destroying the financial and economic foundation of the country.  He is not smart enough to realize that debt also destroys the moral backbone of the country.  He thinks free stuff for his “community” is a good thing. 

We need a man/woman in the presidency who cares about debt.  The fact that Mr. Romney’s own children describe him as being “cheap” will benefit our own children and grandchildren.

Mr. Romney does not need this job – he is not seeking fame and glory.  He has been bitterly attacked by a group of people who don’t care about debt because they only care about themselves.  There is nothing in the American dream – our founding principles – our very character and accomplishments that glorifies debt.  Why do you think the fools in charge avoid the debt topic?  It is up to us to make this election about debt.

Our kids and grandkids know, or will know – this election is about debt.