Posts Tagged ‘Obamaquester’

Captain Rick: The U.S. managed to crawl out of the GDP recession zone in its ‘final’ report for Q4 2012 to post a dismal 0.4% GDP, second worst since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. The first estimate in January reported –0.1% GDP, in the recession zone. 

GDP (Gross National Product) is the broadest means of quantifying the health of an economy.

In my previous GDP report, I stated: “If Congress gets tough and addresses the debt crisis head on, I suspect it will present a deeper, temporary plunge into negative growth territory. If Congress continues to ‘kick the can down the road’, I suspect we will see less of a dive in GDP early on…but will set the stage for a much deeper dive in a year or two…possibly as deep or deeper than the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008-2009”.

The U.S. Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation to “kick the debt can down the road” AGAIN as reported in my previous post. While these actions have no effect on GDP for Q4 2012, they will effect GDP for Q1 2013 and beyond.

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The red line in the chart above indicates the 3% level that the U.S. GDP must maintain to keep up with population growth. GDP has been far short of that for many years. In spite of the positive hype we are hearing in the mainstream news media, America is traversing extremely dangerous economic waters. Hype does not fix problems… credible action does. Unfortunately the world is seeing ‘zero’ credible action out of the politicians who represent the citizens of the United States of America.

Prognosis for the future…where are we headed?

I see several troubling economic factors that parallel the times leading up to the ‘Great Recession’. The world stock markets have reached a new high, passing those reached just prior to the stock market crash of 2008. Like then, I see no justifiable reason for the market rise. Today’s market reminds me of a bunch of gamblers in Vegas looking for a place to throw all of their dollars to bet it all. The market is again inflating into a balloon ripe for explosion. Real estate prices have been climbing at a fast pace, as is real estate speculation…similar to that witnessed prior to the bursting of the real estate bubble, prior to the Great Recession. I can not predict how much farther things can go before a repeat of 2008 occurs…or perhaps worse, but I feel that a down slide is coming soon. Much will have to do with congress’s handling of the debt crisis (very dismal at this point). It will be further complicated by the multi-trillion dollar cost of Obamacare (the worlds greatest socialized, welfare medical program). In addition, we must remember that multi millions of baby boomers are beginning to collect Social Security from a trust fund that has been totally robbed of funds to finance the U.S. Government and its politician’s thirst for deficit spending. It will all play out in a very ugly scene before the world’s eyes during the next few years.

I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

Info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

GDP: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gdp/

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Captain Rick: The March 27 deadline for the U.S. government shutdown has been averted by yet another stunt by U.S. lawmakers to kick the U.S ‘debt can’ down the road AGAIN until the end of the fiscal year in September … when it will all come back to haunt us AGAIN.

U.S lawmakers finally brought the 2013 budget fight to an end on March 21 by approving a bill that ended the threat of a U.S. government shutdown on March 27. It funds the government through the end of the current fiscal year in September. The measure now set to become law reduces the impact of the $85 billion in forced cuts — called sequestration — to only $59 billion.

It establishes stop-gap budgets for targeted departments and programs. It resets priorities and helps better manage the draconian formula as set forth by the sequestration spending cuts. Overall, the legislation locks in $984 billion in non-entitlement program spending — a tiny drop from the $1.043 trillion initially approved before the forced sequestration cuts took effect.

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I believe I speak for most Americans and many people around the world when I say … we have had enough of the “U.S. Capital Circus”. Its time for America’s president and lawmakers to unite and figure out a real solution to get America off of the deficit spending binge and balance the budget, followed by a way to pay back America’s monumental national debt of $1.7 trillion, which now exceeds America’s GDP. This is an extremely serious world economic issue … the world’s largest! Nothing else comes close in magnitude. Time is running short. Without real, credible action soon, America will fall over the real ‘Fiscal Cliff’ … a point of ‘no return’. It will take much of the world along for the fall.

I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

Info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick: That “debt can” that President Obama kicked down the road on January 1 by signing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, in an effort to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, revisits on March 27, 2013 when the federal government again faces a shutdown because it has again reached the debt ceiling, now set at $16.4 trillion.

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Funding for the U.S. government expires on March 27, 2013 unless Congress acts. If they fail, the federal government will shut down on March 28. All government operations would cease, except for essential services.

Since lawmakers will not agree to a real budget by this date, they will have to agree on temporarily funding the government for a few weeks or a few months … again. The Republicans are presenting a plan on Thursday to extending funding to the end of the fiscal years which ends is September, but it includes a $7 billion restoration of defense funds in exchange for cuts elsewhere. A big question remains…will Democrats go along with this? It will all unfold in coming days.

Boehner’s comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press”

It is evident that the Republicans will allow no more tax increases…made very clear by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) who said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he discussed the need to avoid a shutdown with President Obama at a meeting Friday between the president and congressional leaders.

Boehner said the House will vote this week to keep the federal government operating through September, when the fiscal year ends, and avoid a potentially politically damaging shutdown.

The move would be the second time since the election that Boehner has avoided a fight, desired by some House conservatives, in order to keep the GOP from possible blame. He led House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling in January to fend off a repeat of the 2011 conflict that led to the sequester.

“The president this morning agreed that we should not have any talk of a government shutdown,” Boehner said. “So I’m hopeful that the House and Senate will be able to work through this.”

“I’m going to say it one more time,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January the first. The issue here is spending. Spending is out of control. There are smarter ways to cut spending than this silly sequester that the president demanded. And so, we need to address the long-term spending problem. But we can’t cut our way to prosperity.”

“We had a very pleasant meeting, but it was also a very frank meeting,” Boehner said. “I made it clear to the president that again, a trillion dollars worth of tax hikes in Obamacare. And you have another $650 billion worth of tax hikes on January the first. You can’t tax our way out of this problem. We’ve got to deal with the spending side, just like every American family has to.”

Listen, every American knows Washington has a spending problem. Every American, in these tough economic times, has to find a way to balance their budget.”

Boehner said Republicans were done raising taxes after agreeing to the “fiscal cliff” deal in January that raised more than $600 billion in revenue. Any new revenue gained from closing tax loopholes, he said, should be put into lowering tax rates.

“The president got $650 billion of higher taxes on the American people on January the 1st,” Boehner said. “How much more does he want? When is the president going to address the spending side of this?”

Captain Rick’s closing thoughts …  will Washington avert shutdown again”?

I think most Americans are with me in expecting that Washington will pull off a circus act just prior to the closing curtain as it always manages to do. However, this showdown is not a done deal…especially concerning the defense appropriations. I think the Defense Department should endure the same cuts as as all others. I don’t think it needs special treatment. I believe many Americans believe the U.S. Defense Department could easily be cut without sacrificing America’s safety. I think many will agree that it is time for America to stop playing “Police of the World” …at American taxpayer expense.

I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

Info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick: Its time to take a breather from America’s fiscal calamities to enjoy a Fiscal Cliff…Sequester  “Cartoon Break”.

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I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

On the serious side … info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick: The U.S. Federal Budget has grown 40% larger since Obama became president. America’s thirst for deficit spending has has quadrupled since. Deficit spending has grown from under 6% of the Federal Budget in 2007 to a whopping almost 24% in 2013. At the rate President Obama is increasing the U.S. National Debt, deficit spending will consume nearly 50% of the Federal Budget by the time he leaves office. It is obvious he is leading America on a suicide journey to the edge of the Fiscal Cliff.

The Sequester Cuts, that begin to go into effect today, represent only a tiny reduction of America’s deficit spending as demonstrated by the pie crumbs left after a nearly quarter-sized hunk of pie was removed. The Sequester cuts represent only 2% of the Federal Budget and less than 10% of deficit spending.

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The Sequester Cuts are tiny contribution to begin to harness President Obama’s debt spending binge. Actually, the cuts will achieve little if deficit spending keep increasing during the next year at the same rate as the past four. A year from now deficit spending will have gone up by a much larger percentage than the tiny reduction realized from the Sequester Cuts. America is in serious fiscal trouble. The Sequester cuts are a start. Far more needs to be done to save America from fiscal destruction in a few short years.

It would have been better if Congress and the President could have agreed on which cuts should be made, but they could not, thus the previously agreed Sequester, signed by President Obama, went into effect today. I believe I speak for many Americans when I say that President Obama’s choice to free thousands of illegal aliens under the guise of Sequester cuts was politically motivated and used very poor judgment.

When will the Washington Circus end?

Americans are getting sick and tired of it … but then they are the ones responsible for electing the incompetents representing us in Washington. Perhaps the real problem lies on the shoulders of our voters … but then again … we often face ‘crappy’ choices at the poll. Intelligent voters in America are becoming a minority. I am doing my very best to help reverse that trend! I hope you will follow my blog and share it with your friends via the many social network buttons I have provided for you below. And please…don’t be bashful…share your comment with ANJ’s rapidly growing audience across America and around the world. Your voice is important!

I welcome your comments, likes and shares … below!

More info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick: On March 1, 2013 President Obama becomes the owner of the “Sequester”. He will shoulder the blame for this travesty of American government breakdown as a result of the Budget Control Act he signed into law on August 2, 2011.

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The U.S. Senate failed to pass both Republican and Democratic alternatives to head off across-the-board spending cuts, further ensuring Washington will blow past a Friday deadline to avoid or replace $85 billion in cuts that threaten economic growth, military readiness and jobs.

The Democratic alternative would have replaced the cuts, known as the sequester, through 2013 with a combination of a minimum 30% tax on millionaires and cuts to defense and farm programs. It failed 51-49.

The Republican alternative would have transferred sweeping authority to President Obama to force him to determine how to implement $85 billion in cuts instead of the across-the-board spending cut affecting most reaches of the federal government. The sequester exempts military personnel accounts and the social safety net including Social Security and Medicare. The GOP measure also failed, 38-62.

Both proposals needed a 60-vote super majority to pass, but either vehicle was dead from the start. The GOP-controlled House opposes the Senate Democrats’ proposal because it raises taxes. GOP lawmakers do not support using new taxes to turn off the sequester; rather they are seeking alternative spending cuts and entitlement reforms.

After a two-month sequester delay agreed to in a January tax deal, the cuts are scheduled to start kicking in March 1. There is about $85 billion in cuts scheduled through Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. In total, the sequester will trim $1.2 trillion in spending across the federal government over the next decade if left untouched.

The cutting mechanism is an unpopular budget tool that was included as a fail-safe in a 2011 budget law that required Congress to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction on their own. When they failed to do so in December 2011, they started a one-year countdown to the automatic cuts. In the past year, Congress and the White House have been unable to come up with an alternative to the sequester, or reach a long-term budget deal that would allow them to turn it off.

The president and congressional leaders will make a final attempt at a pre-deadline compromise at a White House meeting Friday morning, but top lawmakers conceded the prospects were dim for a deal in the short-term.

Captain Rick’s closing thoughts

I believe I speak for most Americans by saying … our government in Washington is totally broken. I welcome your comments below.  

More info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick: Republicans are calling it the “Obamaquester” … $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. $85 billion in 2013. Defense will be cut 13%. Everything else 9%. Officially called the “sequester”, its part of the “Fiscal Cliff” that was postponed on January 1, 2013.

The forced budget cuts were created during the 2011 debt ceiling debacle, passed by Congress and signed by the Whitehouse. It was a worst-case scenario, so bad that it would force lawmakers to make a deal. But, no deal was ever made and thus its become a poison pill that Americans will most likely have to swallow on March 1, 2013. The sequester was put in place 18 months ago to be a hammer, not a policy. On March 1, that hammer slams down.

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Sequester Spending Cuts taking effect after March 1 (partial list)

Head Start programs will be scaled back

Fewer meat inspections

Homeland Security cuts will mean longer lines at airports and scaled back cyber security

Furloughs and layoffs would effect civilian workers in the defense industry

IRS cuts will mean fewer tax return reviews and longer waits for tax refunds

Emergency housing for the homeless will be scaled back

Extended benefits for unemployed will be scaled back

National Parks may close campgrounds or reduce open periods

Little hope of compromise by March 1

Washington continues to play the “blame game.” Democrats are blaming Republicans for proposing devastating spending cuts.  Republicans blame the Democrats for getting used to being bailed out for their own lack of fiscal responsibility.

Optimism for a last-minute deal averting massive spending cuts is scarce. The buzz in Washington is that both sides actually want to let the sequester happen. Washington seems to be mainly squabbling over who will be to blame for the “meat cleaver” budget slashing set to take effect on March 1.

The latest national poles show America is leaning slightly towards letting the sequester happen…that it is time America stops “kicking its debt can down the road”.

The sequester is only a tiny contribution to reduce deficit spending. Those reading my earlier reports know that America must come to grips with its gigantic thirst for wild deficit spending beyond its means in order to save America from future financial ruin.

More info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/