Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Congress’

Why did the U.S. Congress allow America to reach a point where America needs to be made great again?
An excellent report by a fellow WordPress blogger …

AHUELON NEWS JOURNAL

There have been many changes in Trump’s world. Some make sense to me and some do not. He has been fighting an uphill battle from the beginning. I think he thought his party would stand behind him after he won, but they have not. Here is a partial overview of what has happened and my reasons why I am still in Trump’s corner.

The first head to roll was Mike Flynn over reports that he may have had improper  Russian meetings. Derek Harvey, a middle east adviser, who was appointed by Flynn, made it for more than six months. Tera Daha, Deputy chief of staff and former writer for Breitbart, who was appointed by Flynn, left before serving six months. Ezra Chon-Walnick, Director for Intelligence, part of the National Security Council and appointed by Flynn, left after serving over six months. K. T. McFarland, Deputy National Adviser, and appointed by…

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Captain Rick: The Senate and House passed a short-term spending bill that prevented a government shutdown at the end of the week. It has White House backing.

This legislation allows Congress to ‘kick the can down the road’ until after America elects a new President and new members of Congress. With a bunch of ‘lame ducks’ residing in congress at that time, you can bet they will again ‘kick the can down the road’ with another short-term spending bill to fund the government until after a new President and Congress take office in January. That’s when the excitement begins …

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Fights over raising the debt limit broke out between the Obama White House and ruling Republicans in Congress in 2011 and 2013, unsettling Wall Street and foreign investors. The two sides struck a deal in 2015 to suspend the debt limit until Obama left office. The federal debt limit has been suspended since late 2015, but the law is set to be reinstated on March 16, 2017. The current debt limit of $20.1 trillion will be breached and another funding emergency will be at hand to prevent another U.S. government shutdown.

Government shutdowns in the past have become a ‘joke’ in that certain federal employees are told to stay home without pay, until Congress passed legislation to fund the government, which often included increasing the national debt and awarded compensation for all lost pay … meaning their time off was really an extra paid vacation; an insult to hard working employees of ‘Main Street’ America. The ‘Shutdown Game’ can not continue much longer because America is coming ever so close to falling off of the real and pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’. Many federal programs like Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare and even Social Security are projected to implode in coming years without serious spending/taxation reform.

The U.S. National Debt has more than doubled since President Obama took office; from $9 trillion to $19.5 today. It is exploding at rate of $1.35 trillion each year. More than $10 trillion of ‘red ink debt dollars’ have been spent to keep the federal government functioning during the Obama Administration.

About 15% of money spent by the federal government has no revenue to support the expenditure and thus adds to the national debt. Much of this debt spending goes to states and cities in the form of federal grants. Our states and cities ‘drink up’ the grants like it is ‘free money coming from heaven’. Their philosophy is ‘if we don’t get the grant, some other city or state will’. What an awesomely greedy and fiscally reckless way to think. Shame on every city and state in America for slurping up these slush grants which add to the mushrooming U.S. National Debt. Our cities and states are a main contributors to the growing problem of America’s National Debt … debt which will be placed upon future generations to pay back … including our children and grand children. It’s a serious matter to think about.

I hope the next President and Congress will begin to balance the budget and curtail deficit spending. Saving America from falling off of the real and pending ‘Fiscal Cliff’, will not be easy. It will require ‘belt tightening’ by people, cities and states across America and most importantly by the U.S. Federal Government and our elected representatives in the U.S. Congress.

Captain Rick : I have watched every presidential debate since 1960 when John F. Kennedy was elected and became one of America’s greatest presidents. I will always remember the day I was eating lunch in the high school cafeteria and those terrifying words came over the school PA system that President Kennedy was shot and killed. It was a day that planet earth stood completely still, frozen in shock. That day had a profound effect on my thinking. It marked the day I became seriously interested in the candidates that run for President of the United States of America. 

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Fox News hosted the first Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015.  Sadly, it was only broadcast live to cable TV subscribers. Watch the official Fox News video rerun by clicking the image above.

As I have done for most presidential debates for decades, I kept score of how each candidate answered the questions. Each candidate started off each question with 5 points on a scale of 10. As they answered each question, I adjusted their score up or down based on what they said as it related to how I believe the mainstream voter would judge the answer. Their body language and audience reaction factored in. After the debate I averaged the scores for each candidate.

Captain Rick’s Scorecard of 2016 Republican Presidential Debate Contenders:

8.1 Donald Trump

6.7 Rand Paul

6.3 Mike Huckabee

6.2 Ted Cruz

5.7 John Kasich

5.6 Marco Rubio

5.2 Scott Walker

5.1 Ben Carson

5.0 Jeb Bush

4.8 Chris Christie

Donald Trump dominated the debate, in spite of loaded questions thrown at him by Fox News host Meagan Kelly, scoring considerably higher than all other candidates. Rand Paul came in a distant second, weaker than I had expected. Mike Huckabee’s third place performance was a surprise. I have a hunch we will be seeing more press on him in coming weeks. It squeaked Ted Cruz to a close fourth. The rest of the candidates all scored within a point of neutral 5.0. Scott Walker’s drop was a surprise. Ben Carson, with his excellent comment about the ‘brain of congress’ helped him fair a notch above Jeb Bush. Chris Christie came in last. I think he needs to excuse himself from the race.

I recognize that there is lots of commentary on how the candidates faired that is being broadcast across social media. I am honored to be one intelligent voice for your consideration.  

Captain Rick’s Closing Thought … I think America is sick and tired of both parties (Republican and Democrat) because of their poor ability to have a positive effect in the Presidency and Congress of the United States of America … which continues to ‘kick Americas debt can down the road’ for our grandchildren to pay for. They can not afford the bill of debt. Unless America begins to elect an intelligent president and members of Congress, America will soon witness the world’s largest catastrophe … the United States of America becoming a third world country. 

Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Posts, Categories, Links and Stats are presented in Left Column

Captain Rick : Today, if Dorothy met men with no brains, no hearts and no courage, she wouldn’t be in OZ, she would be in the U.S. Congress !

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These are definitely ‘Words of Wisdom’ for Americans who witness the majority of representatives in the U.S. Congress make decisions that continue to spend like drunkards on all kinds of things America can not afford, using dollars printed with red ink that grow America’s world record $18 trillion national debt … with no courage to produce an honest plan to stop it … and no heart to protect our children from inheriting an unsolvable pending fiscal disaster.

The U.S. Congress is today’s ‘OZ’ and President Obama is the ‘wizard’.

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

U.S. Congress

U.S. Legislature

U.S. Debt Crisis

President Obama

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Captain Rick: U.S. Job Growth has crawled upward to pass the break-even rate with with population growth. The trend is in the right direction. The jobs being added are mostly low wage. There is little hope of regaining the 8.7 million medium to high wage jobs lost during the Great Recession any time soon.

The chart below shows the new jobs added during each month of the the past year. 

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GREEN LINE: an average of 214,000 new jobs have been created each month during the past year

BLUE LINE: an average of 185,000 new jobs need to be created each month to keep up with U.S. Population growth of 0.7%

REAL JOB GROWTH: is represented by the difference between the Green and Blue lines … 29,000 new jobs each month that exceed population growth.

How long will it take to recover the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession: At the ‘Real Job Growth Rate’ of 29,000 new jobs per month, it will require 300 months … or 25 years. That is a long time, during which many other significant concerns will come into play … like the U.S. Debt crisis … on track to explode during the next decade.

Wages remain stagnated: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see wages rise faster than inflation so American households will have more buying power. That has yet to happen. I personally think Janet and the entire Fed are living in a ‘dream cloud’.

New poll show majority rating the U.S. economy as ‘Poor’: Many Americans still think the economy is not fully recovered. According to the results of a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday, 41% of people surveyed rate the economy as "good", while 58% rate the economy as "poor."

Perceptions about the U.S. economy will be a key factor in November’s midterm elections: More than a third of the Senate and the entire House are up for grabs. Both sides of the aisle are blaming each other for holding back the recovery. I blame almost all of them. I hope the American voters will exercise their thoughts and register their voices in the upcoming elections and vote out of office the majority of those now in office.

Captain Rick’s Prognosis: America is traveling into uncharted territory, which if not handled properly by the U.S. Congress (which is very unlikely, based on performance in the past decade), has the potential to drive America over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’ and reduce America to a ‘third world nation’.

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

Jobs

U.S. Debt Crisis

GDP

Economy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101

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Captain Rick: What should we do with people who rely on government handouts, but are too lazy to work? This cartoon sums it up perfectly. Kick them out of Congress.

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It is no secret that the majority in the U.S. Congress are very lazy and accomplish basically nothing of any benefit for the people in exchange for a very wealthy salary and benefits. I read today that the current US Congress is even more ‘do nothing’ than the record ‘do nothing Congress’ during the President Truman days in the 1940s. Perhaps Obama will go on record with Truman as being the two most ‘do nothing’ presidents (both Democrats) in the past 100 years. I should clarify that…Truman did achieve great destruction overseas. He gave the approval to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan. I have to agree with the cartoon…’Kick them out of Congress’. But then…we are still left with a ‘do nothing’ president…except for his countless ‘executive actions’ which serve his personal agenda at the expense of escalating the US National Debt.

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Humor

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Captain Rick: The U.S. Economy officially tanked big time in the first quarter of 2014…the first slowdown since early 2011. It is a ‘wake-up call’ that America is heading into ‘Recession’ in spite of the ‘it was just a hard winter’ hype that many ‘blind’ economists have been pumping. 

Last month I posted a report showing the US government’s second estimate of GDP dropped to –1% in the first quarter of 2014…a drop from the first estimate in April of a gain of 0.1%. This third and usually final government GDP report shows that the US economy plummeted soundly into ‘recession’ territory during the first quarter of 2014.

The weather had an effect…but perhaps not as much as other factors like the curtailment of ‘Quantitative Easing’ … the pumping of tens of billions of U.S. debt dollars into the economy each month to make the economy look like its doing OK, when in reality, it is not.

This severe drop of GDP into negative territory (–2.9%) is a sign that another recession might be looming.  A recession is generally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Overall, the U.S. economy continues in limp along in anemic growth…and now negative growth, as shown in the chart below.

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BLUE LINE: 3.0% GDP Growth is required to keep up with U.S. Population Growth. GDP above the blue line represents real growth that adds real jobs. GDP below the blue line indicates real economic decline that is loosing real jobs. GDP below the blue line, but above zero line (‘Recession’), is what Captain Rick calls the ‘Anemic Zone’.

RED LINE: 2.1% GDP Growth is the average of what the U.S. economy scored in the past 12 quarters (3 years). This demonstrates that the U.S. economy is stuck in the economic ‘Anemic Zone’…not mustering enough growth to keep up with population growth. 

GDP…What is it?

‘GDP’ represents ‘Gross Domestic Product’…a market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a year. GDP performance (increases and decreases) present a broad-based picture of the health of a country’s economy. High GDP growth is typical of a healthy economy. Low GDP growth (below 3%) is typical of an unhealthy economy. Negative growth is typical of an economy in recession. 

What does this GDP data mean concerning the future of America?

America is stuck in a land of anemic growth…actually declining in real growth because its economy can not consistently rise above 3% growth … a level required to produce enough jobs and income to keep pace with population growth. In reality, this means that America is declining in economic strength. In the coming few years America faces an astronomical increase in expenditures due to entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and welfare programs like Medicaid and Obamacare. America’s relatively level revenue will not be able to cover the mushrooming expenditures. Congress will not be able to address this problem by simply ‘kicking the debt can down the road’ as it has in recent years. At some point soon, the fiscal mess that is brewing will explode as America plunges over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’.  At the bottom lies America as a third world country.

What can be done to better America and other countries?

Lots can be done! Take notice of what our elected officials do. Vote them out…replace them if they do not perform to your expectations. You might even consider running for an office. The world is in extremely short supply of intelligent people who care about our lands and well being of our people. Go for it. Run for an elected office. Help our world from plunging over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’…before its too late.

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

Previous GDP Report

GDP

U.S. Debt Crisis

Economy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101