Monday, August 8, 2011

The Embezzlement of America

Barack Obama was first supposed to make his statement earlier today (Monday 8/8) on this past Friday’s S&P rating downgrade to the press at 1:00 PM ET. Then it became 1:30. Then, finally at 1:55, Barry hit the podium, looking like a child who was in deep trouble with his parents. And as he spoke, he kept looking to either side of the camera, as if he couldn’t look us in the eye. And all the time he spoke, the NYSE ticker the TV press so happily superimposed in the corner of the screen kept dropping as he spoke, going down 150 points in less than 5 minutes time. And I swear I could hear the collective gasps of millions of Americans as they all finally came to the same realization.

Our country has been embezzled. So how’s the “Hope & Change” going for you now?

Barry had all weekend to come up with something, but the best he could do was repeat the “balanced approach” to the problem. The problem is that our problem has been unbalanced for a long time, and it is too late for a “balanced approach”. This might just be the end of the credit “gravy train”, just like back in 1929.

For those of you wanting to blame Barry or his predecessor George W. Bush for this mess, you have to go back even further. Much further. Some may point at the Federal Reserve’s creation a hundred years ago. Some may point a finger at the “New Deal” during FDR. Others may say it was Social Security. Others Medicare and Medicaid. Some say the wars in the Middle East. No matter what was the actual start, our government has had the practice of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” for decades.

Embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Unlike other forms of larceny it has a time parameter where weeks, months or even years pass between the commission of the act and when it is discovered. For decades we have allowed the financial sector to operate at a profit…all at public cost. They have taken billions and padded their pockets while at the same time giving away trillions of dollars in loans around the world. Loans that probably will never be paid back. And now we are paying for it. We have a tumbling stock market, over 9 percent unemployment and a flight to gold with some investment advisers say it will be at $2,500 per ounce by year’s end.

The most ludicrous thing said about all this was past Sunday (8/7) on NBC’s “Meet The Press”. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said, quote, “The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default. What I think the S&P thing did was to hit a nerve that there's something basically bad going on, and it's hit the self-esteem of the United States, the psyche.”

Hmmmm. “We can always print money…” And what will this newly printed money be backed by, since it is not backed by gold like the old days? The only thing that backs the money in circulation is the promise of the US Government to pay. But, wait a minute? How can we pay on these “promisary notes” when we are trillions of dollars in debt? This is how we have “fixed” our economic woes over the past few decades…”print more money”. If I were to just “print more money” to fix MY economic woes I would be doing time in a Federal prison for counterfeiting.

Barry told us this afternoon that the downgrade of our credit rating was more a comment on our political dysfunction than on our ability to repay our debts. In part that is true, but only a part. Even though it will be painful, there has to be major cuts in spending and more revenue generated in the form of taxes. And the financial sector needs to be held accountable and have its “free reign” over the economy brought under control. And this will no doubt cause more gridlock, because nobody wants to give up “their piece of the pie”, especially the financial sector.

So what do we do now? It will be hard to reverse the effects of decades of bad fiscal decision making by our elected officials and the embezzlement of America by the financial sector.

Yesterday I listened to the original recording of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land”, a song we all learned as kids. However, listening to it I was reminded about the often forgotten last two verses of the song”

“As I was walkin' - I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side .... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!”

“In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin’
If this land's still made for you and me.”

It is time for America and us Americans to wake up and take control of our nation and its destiny. We need to hold Washington accountable by our votes and our voices to be tough and serve ALL of those who elected them to represent ALL of us…not just those who are in control of the economic sector.

We need to do this quickly before the term “American” becomes synonymous with the term “Sucker”.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Mike.

    What is ironic or sad I guess, is that Greenspan was an actual friend of Ayn Rand. This whole printing money out of thin air...well it would never fly with her! That's for sure!