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The wrong presentation

The BBC treated its readers half an hour ago to a segment where the title tells all and says nothing (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33646704), the title ‘Obama urges UK to stay in the European Union‘, we then get a few quotes that matter, even if they give clear voice to another direction. First there is “UK’s EU membership “gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union”“, then we get “the EU “made the world safer and more prosperous”” and it is followed by “the failure to pass “common sense gun safety laws” in the US was his biggest frustration“, which is nice to hear but to some extent pointless.

I wonder how he gets all these thoughts. Perhaps as I speculated in ‘Diary for a wimpy President‘ which I wrote in January 2014 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/01/18/diary-for-a-wimpy-president/), there I wrote “Did anyone consider how nervous certain people in Wall Street were; if their mobile information was known? What if certain links were proven? The accountability of certain people would mean that they could actually end up in jail. Yes, the Wimpy kid in the Oval Office is making certain that certain connections will never end up there (always blame the man at the very top)“, which is a reference not just to the president, but to his advisors, those who are behind the curtain giving voice to what keeps the high and mighty, high and mighty.

So let’s take a look at the quote “UK’s EU membership gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union“. I would oppose that thought, you see, the US requires the EU to remain in disarray, on the edge, because a better EU means a worse US and it should have tipped over the edge two years ago, this continuation can only remain as Germany and the UK are dragged down, if it was truly just about confidence, the US would have stepped forward regarding Greece 6 months ago, but they waited it out, only as Greece was about to get expelled did the President speak up, because a collapsing Euro means a collapsed dollar. I am not contradicting myself here, there is a difference between a collapsing Euro and a weak EU, it is a tightrope game which is partially enabled by the power players of what we would regard the ‘Wall Street gang’, because if the Euro goes, so does their combined 7 trillion dollar life. Now as we consider Greece again when we see the Quote in the Guardian Live “IOBE now fears that the economy will shrink by between 2% and 2.5% in 2015, due to the damage caused to exports, tourism, business investment and consumer spending“, now compare that to the issue I raised in ‘If at first you don’t succeed!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/06/13/if-at-first-you-dont-succeed/), so just in one month, we went from the revelation “the forecast of Greece is 0.5% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2016, I wonder how they got to it all and if such misrepresentation should not be a cause for liability?” to what we have now. Can anyone explain how a forecast has been off by 3%, the danger to tourism was already known, so as we have to go through iteration of managed bad news, we see that there is too much ‘miscommunication’. So reader, realise this part, even with the bulk of the fact known, the forecast was wrong not by 0.3% (which could happen in really bad predicted turmoil), the forecast is off by 3%, which is a massive failing. So, as we get pushed around and as Greece goes from minus 400 billion to minus 550 billion, how could any of the so far surviving members of the EU consider remaining in something that is dragging them all down?

The UK has a few massive problems and the EU is stopping the UK from dealing with them, all this is fine for the US as it needs to stop themselves from drowning, the issues in Japan are just accelerators to all of this. And the words chosen are they not interesting too? Instead of the European Economic Union, he refers to ‘the strength of the transatlantic union‘, is that perhaps an underlying NATO reference?

Now we get to the second part “the EU “made the world safer and more prosperous”“, which is a non-truth, the fact that the EU is now well over 7 trillion in debt counters the statement of safe and prosperous, the fact that only a few got out with loads of cash implies to me that the President is catering to those few, not the 25% unemployed in Spain or in Greece, neither does he take notice trough that statement to the massively rise of people below the poverty line, but perhaps for economic tainted America they do not count, hence they are ignored.

So now we get to the last statement where the president seems to get into emotional mode and refers to “common sense gun safety laws“, yes, that sounds nice, but again, guns do not kill people, people kill people. To illustrate, the latest event gives us three quotes “Dylann Roof, the man accused of a shooting spree that left nine people dead at a historic black church in Charleston on Wednesday night, should not have been able to get a gun“, “Roof was arrested and later charged with felony possession of Suboxone” and “According to his uncle, Roof received a .45-caliber pistol from his father in April for his birthday“, so common sense went out the window, because ‘moronic daddy’ bought his junkie son a gun!

In all this there is one possible upside, with the US president making blundering whoppers like that (decently possibly due to the advisors he has), there is every chance that the coming election will give the next presidency to the Republicans, in all this, they might win by default, because what will shine is that the President waisted so much time on common gun laws that he ignored (read: did not correctly change the power of) the number one killer, which is a 18 trillion dollar debt, a budget that is non-existent and absolutely no control on the government spending.

A mere travesty of the situation when we look at the given reasons to keep the UK in the EU. In the end the people will choose what is best for them and as such merry old England will raise its voice giving direction to parliament, as it should be, that is why the power players are so afraid of monarchies, because the monarchy considers all citizens, not just those with an economic value. In all that, I wonder how he will consider France, because the UK is not the only one who has had enough of all this.

So as I see it, a pleading President came with the wrong presentation, he should take a look at his advisors and the agenda’s that they have, because as I see it, at present his last 18 months seem to be about what cannot be done and who comes next, his current track could invite the event that he gets a beautiful bouquet of flowers as he exits the White House with a thank you note from the GOP, which could be a first in US politics.

 

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Biased Journalism on USA shutdown?

We have seen reports of all forms. We see information management in what I have called bad news managing. This has happened in the Netherlands. Is it Biased Journalism, or is this journalism based upon the information handed to them?

The second part would be fair enough, because the journalist is dealing with what is handed to them. However, when we look at the canons of Journalism and their codes of ethics some questions come to the front of the lines. Truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity are three of the elements and there are more than just these three. I am not willing to attack truthfulness. It is in my view an empty gesture to do so. This is all based upon information that the Journalist gets handed. Accuracy might be an issue. They might have passed on the exact information they were handed, yet how accurate was it? Was the information tested in any way? Then there is objectivity. I am not sure if that is a valid point. Let us face the fact that objectivity is in the eyes of the beholder and as such there is more than one viewpoint. In all honesty, any article would need to be viewed from more than one side and the news as we usually watch it on TV is actually not that equipped to do just that. Newspapers are!

I have illustrated in earlier blogs that some of the mentioned information seemed inaccurate to me. This happens, I do not claim to be correct, but it seemed too upbeat to me and as such I questioned it. I was not alone, but not too many public contributors were, and in more than one occasion my view was the correct one. So when I saw the NOS news today, more questions rose in my mind and it is time to ask a few more and some other questions.

The most questionable part was the news on the US Shutdown as that danger approaches within the next 24 hours. What I saw as an issue was the way some parties were illustrated. First of all, it is important to know that I am leaning strongly towards the republican view. Not stating so beforehand would be wrong in my mind. The issue I had was with the NOS newscast of the US shutdown. It was not incorrect, but there were issues that have not been mentioned, which were at the centre of it all.

I see this all as the republican move to stop the abundant of irresponsible spending by a democratic party run government. Yes, we know that this is not about the fiscal cliff this time, but the government budget is directly linked to this. The democrats have taken the debt out of acceptable proportions.

Let us not forget that the US has a 17,000 BILLION dollar debt, this comes down to 340 billion dollars per state. In addition, if we look back to the Californian change in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, former governor Gray Davis was confronted with a recall because the state shortfall was only 10% of the 340 Billion. That was directly due to the dot com boom collapse and a large group of companies were suddenly in a position no longer able to pay taxation, which meant that California, one of the richest states was suddenly without cash. Now the simple logic that follows, if one of the richest states cannot pay 10% of the outstanding debt, how can the others pay at all? This is the big cake that gets layers after layer of icing. With each layer it is presented as something that can be dealt with, but both democrat and republicans have no real solution. This is at the core of it all. So it is not just about the government budget, it is the issue that the budget is not realistic and that it is only adding to the debt. So when I see the part where Democrat Nita Lowey is talking about a compromise, then I end up splitting my guts with laughter. For two administrations there has not been any decent level of compromise. The republican view is that spending MUST go down by a lot. We could view the state by state comparison, especially against the Netherlands. Most states are larger than the Netherlands and none have a realistic approach to dealing with a 340 billion dollar debt. Now compare that to the Netherlands having to cut 6 billion and the view is almost complete. We all have to tighten the belt and within the USA this would last for no less three generations. The view I am proclaiming to be correct does have issues as well. It is however the view I behold. After Detroit, which already has gone bust, almost two dozen cities are facing the same problem in the US. Fresno, Compton and Oakland are three of them and they are all in California (one of the three rich states). If we would take a deeper look at the 50+ largest cities, then we see healthcare and retirement cost issues that make Detroit look like a joke. It is the healthcare part that is at the centre of it all. The Republicans are utterly convinced that Obama Care will not solve it at all. It will just add to the massive debts. What has been propagated as a solution to all, is in the realistic view of many a non-solution that will push forward debts and invoices that cannot be paid for in the end and as such people will face even more hardship down the line. Not to mention the fact that healthcare professionals might end up seeking greener pastures outside of the US.

The budget shortage is not new. This has been going on since 1995 (at least), however, in those days former president Clinton had two advantages. The first was that the government coffers had a cash surplus. Second was that the dot com boom was going nice. Consultancy firms were going strong, the incomes were really nice and consultants were making loads of cash by selling concepts. So, people were buying ideas and not an existing product. No matter what the reason was (like 9/11), it was the spending that the Bush administration started which gave the treasury such a negative jolt. It was nowhere near the spending that President Obama did, but he did not start this, so let us be fair about it. Against the current administration it must be stated that the no true legislation has been passed stopping Wall street the way it should, so there is no evidence that this will not happen again. And we are all aware that the economic thrashing started all with the Wall Street Clam bake ‘lets go hedge funds’ that was a huge part of the predicament we have now.

The question from the NOS ‘Is there no talking with the Republicans?‘ is not the only question and the one sided part of it is not correct. The linked question is ‘Can US overspending not be contained?‘ is the side the Republicans are dealing with. That part does not seem to be addressed by anyone. We see that side when we look at all the other places, including the Netherlands, the UK and Australia. They all have their own budget ghosts to deal with.

The Dutch government has its own cross to bear trying to find solutions to a 6 billion cutting spree. Too much talking and for too long no results. If we take all these sides (in all the talked about nations), then perhaps another method should be found. The first part is to cut ALL political incomes by 20% and no overtime payment at all (not sure if they get that to begin with). That should make a decent cut in the cost to the national treasuries and might make for quicker decisions. In my view I see no solution in any way to lower taxation. I think that this approach is an unrealistic one. What might be a solution is to change it all to a two tiered tax system with only 27% and 39%. That might work, but only if ALL tax deductibility’s are removed. This has two benefits. The system becomes simpler, and over all, with no deductibility’s left it becomes a clear approach. In addition there is a need to make all commerce taxable at the point of sale (the location of the purchaser’s keyboard). This must be where the buyer physically is. This is to take a stance on that Google, Amazon, et al approach, where on-line companies seem to be selling it all from an empty office in Ireland at taxation levels which should be regarded as a joke.

The system has to be changed. We have heard so many voices that a solution can be made, whilst ZERO results have been achieved for close to a decade. When we see administrations of entire cities go bust, it is time to just end whining about a solution that remains no more than a concept.

By the way, when we look at spending it all, what has been the end result? The fact that the US, the bulk of the Commonwealth and the Netherlands are spending way too much (compared to what is coming in though taxation) is out of proportions. That is why the republicans are putting their foot down and so far there is no evidence that they are holding the wrong position.

What is the right position? That is the question and I do not know whether the Republican position will be the correct one either. Yet, staying with the Democratic view whilst we have almost a decade of evidence that it is not working seems to be a flawed point of view. That view is reinforced by the Heritage foundation where it was quoted “While federal revenues are recovering from the recent recession, spending is growing sharply, resulting in four consecutive years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion.

So the US government has been spending more than a trillion more then it received. Consider that in 2011 the total revenue was set at 2.3 trillion, spending 43% more then you get each year is not a good idea. Consider that the recession is not done by a long-shot; overspending 40% annually will have long term consequences.

If we accept that a government is not a profit based organisation then we could consider that a government would collect taxation at 105%-110% of what it needs. When you spend money and then only collect 71% you are going to need guarantees that things will go wrong. So when I stated that it will take 3 generations to get rid of the debt I was not kidding. In addition, the 17 trillion was just the national debt. The total debt is set at 60 trillion (roughly). This means that every state in the US would have to come up with 1.2 trillion dollars to deal with it. (I know it is not fair, but I need to show an example).

If we consider the three richest states and considering the 2012 numbers (from http://www.census.gov/govs/statetax) we see the following:

The collected taxation from California was 112.3, New York 71.5 and Texas 48.5, all in billions of dollars. So whether we use either the 340 billion or the larger 1.2 trillion, only 3 of the 50 states have any chance of paying it to any effect. Viewing these numbers, do the math and we see that things must change (by a lot). The Heritage foundation is also showing that current entitlements are double the defence budget. How does this relate to Obama care? Will the info they state gives us that the additional costs by 2019 which was set at 100 billion, which is a little over 12% of all collected annual taxes. So, another 100 billion needed whilst there is no income against that. The slide states “Obama care imposes numerous tax hikes which total more than $500 billion over 10 years. Obama care’s higher tax rates on income and investment will slow economic growth, leaving hardworking American families and businesses worse off.

These are the issues that the republicans are fighting. We have seen enough ‘evidence’ to know that most economic recovery for Europe will not commence until 2015. So, as the GOP (Republican Party) is watching these developments, whilst they are watching the additional entitlement costs go up even further, costs, which are pushing their sense of humour all the way to the basement of Congress. This means that there are additional issues stopping the America from regaining its status of ‘economic superpower’. So these are some of the elements that are not too ‘illuminated’ as the US government squabble goes on. The only bonus I see at present, is that when the government shuts down, they should consider not paying any of the elected Democrats and Republicans for these days either. It might at least save the treasury a few dollars.

 

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