Posts Tagged ‘U.S Spending’

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 : 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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Captain Rick: The American flag…Old Glory…The Star-Spangled Banner flies proudly over my Arizona Oasis every Flag Day. It reminds me of the great land in which all Americans have the privilege of living in freedom. 

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Flag Day…a brief history:

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

On June 14, 1777, less than one year after Betsy Ross had received the order from General Washington to make the first flag, the Second Continental Congress passed a flag resolution stating:

Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.

The first national observance of Flag Day was on June 14, 1877; 100 years after the flag resolution was adopted by the Continental Congress.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation stating that June 14 shall be National Flag Day, and in 1949, it was made official by an Act of Congress.

Captain Rick’s inspiration: Your help is needed to keep the Flag flying

Do not take the American Flag and its representation of freedom for granted. The United States of America is entering very difficult fiscal times with the US National Debt approaching $18 Trillion…far greater than US GDP.  America is spending $1 Trillion more per year than it receives in revenue. Its going to get worse. Millions of ‘baby boomers’ are retiring that will result in sky-rocketing Social Security costs. Obamacare will massively expand the number receiving Medicaid and its mushrooming costs. Social Security and Medicaid will become insolvent in the next 10 or so years. Simply put, there is not enough revenue to sustain the United States of America’ spending binge indefinitely. Our President and Congress have demonstrated nothing but a ‘kick the can down the road’ approach…which if continued much longer will guarantee the fall of America over the pending real ‘fiscal cliff’…of which at the bottom lies America as a ‘third world nation’.

What can you do to help?

There are lots of ways you can help. Research the candidates running for office. Support and vote for those you feel will do a better job than the vast majority of do-nothing, ‘kick-the-can-down-the-road’, politically-motivated ‘clowns’ in the current ‘Washington Circus’.

Many states and districts have no credible candidate on the roster. Consider taking the noble step of running for an office. Do not worry about the money it takes to run. If you have a voice that deserves to be heard, I am confident there are ways to address that.

I do not have all of the answers of how to fix the gigantic mess that America faces. I urge everyone to get involved. Join one of a zillion Facebook groups discussing the issues. I recommend one that focuses on finding solutions, rather than just gossiping…such as Captain Rick’s WORLD THINK TANK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorldThinkTank/

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Captain Rick: Final U.S. GDP for Q4 2013 was a disappointing 2.4%, downgraded from the earlier estimate of 3.2%. Early estimates are notoriously optimistic. This GDP figure sounds a wake-up alarm that America is stuck in the GDP ‘Anemic Zone’ … a place between zero real growth and ‘Recession’. 

GDP (Gross National Product) is the broadest means of quantifying the health of an economy. GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders.

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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: 2.24% GDP Growth is the average of what the U.S. economy scored in the past 8 quarters (2 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. 

What caused the recent GDP decline?

Weakness in the housing sector is a factor. Investment in residential real estate slowed for the first time in three years. I see that as good, as the previous pace was heading rapidly towards another real estate bubble.  Real estate values have peaked and have begun decline in some areas of the U.S., like Gilbert, Arizona that led the value resurgence a few months ago.  

Perhaps the decline in federal QE (debt) spending played the biggest role as a result of the $20 Billion reduction QE (debt) spending per month. The latest GDP decline demonstrates the power that debt spending can have on the economy. If the U.S. were to curtail the remaining $65 Billion in QE debt spending per month, the U.S. might slip into recession. The bottom line is that the U.S. QE debt spending helps the U.S. economy look like its only anemic…when it is actually in recession. This will play out as the Fed is forced to reduce QE debt spending to keep the U.S. from going over the new U.S. Debt Ceiling, recently raised to $17.2 Trillion by the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Fiscal Reality Check

U.S. GDP: $16.1 Trillion

U.S. National Debt: $17.4 Trillion (already exceeds new ceiling), ($55,000 per citizen, $151,000 per tax payer)

U.S. Debt held by foreign countries: $6 Trillion

U.S Federal Spending: $3.5 Trillion

U.S. Federal Revenue: $2.9 Trillion

U.S. Federal Deficit: $0.6 Trillion

Source: USDebtClock.org

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.

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Captain Rick: The U.S. Senate gave its approval to raise the nation’s debt ceiling to $17.2 Trillion, allowing the government to continue spending like ‘drunkards’ by borrowing more money to pay its bills through March 2015.

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The politically charged issue cleared the chamber 55-43 after winning House approval Tuesday. The measure now goes to ‘debt loving’ President Barack Obama for his guaranteed signature. Approval removes the prospect of another protracted political fight over fiscal policy as Democrats and Republicans gear up for November’s midterm elections. How politically convenient is this?
It was a ‘clean’ bill…meaning there were no strings attached that would mandate new spending cuts. It gives approval to continue spending like ‘there is no tomorrow’. Our representatives in DC have kicked America’s ‘debt can’ down the road again for the N’th time. How much farther can it be kicked? I suspect…not much.

I wonder with dismay as to how Americans can stand for this total disregard of fiscal common sense? How can Americans continue to elect such fiscally reckless representatives to the U.S. Legislature. I see this tragic event bringing America one step closer to the edge of the real ‘fiscal cliff’. At the bottom…I envision America as a ‘third world country.’

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Captain Rick: Obama’s 2014 ‘State of the Union struck a new low among my unbroken record of watching every one since 1960. Obama’s meaningless hype, wishful thinking and the constant bobbing of his head from side to side to view the teleprompters…looking like he was watching a tennis match…almost hypnotized me. It was a nice try on his part…but it just put me to sleep. 

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Credits: Thanks Ken of California for contributing the above graphic

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Captain Rick: The Budget Act of 2013 kicks the ‘U.S. Debt Can’ down the road yet again. Passed by the U.S. House and expected to be passed by the U.S. Senate next week, I sense renewed concern for the fiscal demise of America. This act does not stop Americas insatiable thirst for debt spending. Debt will continue to rise at a reckless pace. The U.S. debt ceiling will again be reached in February 2014. I would wager it will again be raised. I would also wager that America’s train will plunge over the real fiscal cliff in the coming years. At the bottom lies America as a third world nation. The frustration I feel is well summed up by Matt Salmon, my Arizona representative in the U.S. Congress. Matt is a person that uses intelligence and wisdom to speak and vote … a very rare find in Washington DC these days.

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Salmon Statement on the Budget Act of 2013

Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Amendment to H.J. Res. 59):

“I applaud Chairman Ryan and our Republican Budget Conferees for working under difficult circumstances to negotiate a compromise with Senate Democrats, and I appreciate that this deal offers some positive items, such as helping to bring back regular order for the appropriations process, approving the Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement, restoring badly needed resources for our military, and making small changes to some mandatory spending programs.

“However, for me and most of the constituents I have heard from in my district, this deal falls short of something I could support.

“Unfortunately, this deal fails to even make modest reforms to our nearly bankrupted entitlement programs and it, once again, increases government spending  in the short-term with only a promise to make spending cuts in the long-term.

“If we are not willing to make tough choices now, then how can we expect future Congresses to stop kicking the can down the road?

“This was a grand opportunity for our nation’s leaders to reform and preserve the fiscal longevity of our entitlement programs, and this deal does not rise to that challenge.

“Furthermore, I have never believed that Congress should raise taxes or increase fees to justify more government spending. Sadly, this deal does exactly this by raising fees on air travelers.

“As we move forward under these new spending caps, my hope is that Congress and President Obama will finally recognize that our fiscal problems are not solved by raising more revenue and increasing spending, but by cutting spending and addressing our biggest crisis – unsustainable entitlement spending.

“We must make do with less government or our children and grandchildren will pay the heavy price as we continue to see a skyrocketing debt and runaway government spending.

“We must make big strides in the direction of a smaller and more efficient government in order to get our country back on the right path.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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