A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

Mar 12, 2009

Tax and Spend is Back

My movie for the ABC/Family Channel and Millennium Films, “The Prince and Me 4,” is pretty much in the can. We have two more days of shooting in Bangkok and will be finished on Saturday. The last few weeks have been very hectic as we have been pretty much shooting in the jungle with all of the infestations that come with being in a jungle. I must say that I’ve seen more creatures that I never new existed during this adventure; all of them creepy and crawly.

But now we have a break for the first time in four weeks and I am ready to start thinking about the economy and politics again. After reviewing the news today and catching up on articles that were sent to me by my readers, it seems that the world truly is falling apart. Well, at least, that is what Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama would want everyone to think.

The biggest spending package in the history of the United States, in the guise of a stimulus package, is now law. Unfortunately, as I have said many times in the past few months, it is not working and will not work. Unemployment is up. California has just hit double digits in that category. The banks are still not loaning and foreclosures were up 30% in February. The economy is shrinking, although at a much slower pace than Obama and Pelosi want you to think. And, what do our friendly Democrats say they want to do to end this recession? What do you think? Spend more. Congress is already contemplating another stimulus package after spending 870 billion dollars of “fake” money a few weeks ago.

Let’s give more people more free money. That’s what I always say. Oh, I’m sorry, not me, the Democrats. Well, it seems to be working with the public. Obama’s approval rating after less than two months is at 60%. However, major economists are not buying into the Obama euphoria. According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, economists gave Obama an average score of 59 out of 100 on his economic performance. The majority sentiment from these economists is that whatever is being done is being done too late.

I beg to differ with these economists in one major way. I feel that too much money is being spent. This presidency is beginning to look like the traditional tax and spend policies of Democrats that go back to Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter. The old world Democrats are back to haunt us. Maybe I should go back to my cave in the jungles of Thailand. Am I mistaken or did the United States reject this kind of thinking by not electing George McGovern, Walter Mondale, or Michael Dukakis president?

Stimulus packages do not work. Japan in the 1990’s passed one stimulus package after another. Nothing helped. The recession and zero percent interest rates lingered. The only thing that ends recessions is the end of the cycle. Just leave it alone and it will get better. That is the right way to deal with this. Putting the country deeper and deeper into debt will just make the recession worse.

This recession, as bad as it is, is not nearly as bad as Obama and his cohorts are claiming. It is more comparable to the recession of 1981-82 than that of the Great Depression. Bradley R. Schiller, an economics professor at Nevada–Reno in a recent article entitled, “Obama’s Rhetoric is the Real Catastrophe,” makes a strong case that the numbers in this recession do not pan out with the Great Depression and that Obama is “turning fear mongering into an art form.” Isn’t this exactly what people blamed the Republicans for in the last eight years? After 9/11, all we heard was that Bush and Company were using fear to keep the American populace at bay.

I agree with Professor Schiller. Unemployment now is at about 8% nationwide. In the 81-82 recession it peaked out at about 11%. Both of these numbers are way below that of the Great Depression where it peaked at more than 25%. The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the economy will shrink by approximately 2% this year. That’s about four times less than the economy shrank for three years in a row in the early 1930’s.

Basically, Mr. Schiller is arguing that Obama’s words may be creating more of a catastrophe than the actual economic numbers are showing. If Obama does not stop, consumers will not purchase goods and services. Obama will have created a self fulfilling prophecy and we will be in the middle of a second Great Depression.

Wall Street seems to agree that Obama is failing as well. On February 10, Treasure Secretary Geithner unveiled Obama’s economic plan to the country. Since then, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is off almost 20%. In fact, other than the last two trading sessions, the Dow has almost completely collapsed. At what point will people start believing in the economy again? Maybe, they need a little pep talk along the lines of Ronald Reagan, instead of the catastrophic talk that is coming out of Obama, Pelosi and Reid’s collective mouths.

Senator John McCain has recently been quoted as saying that the 870 billion dollar stimulus package is full of earmarks. One of his recent TV appearances had him stating that Obama ran on a platform against earmarks and now he has passed the biggest earmark in Congressional history. I guess he forgot his campaign promise or just ignored it.

A careful look at this stimulus package proves McCain is correct. The biggest individual earmark in history, two billion dollars to build a power plant with zero emissions, is a guaranteed failure. Even the best minds at MIT say that this technology is not available yet. Maybe, Obama is just beginning to realize that this is how Congress works? Or, maybe he knew that all along and he should just tell the American public the truth. He is going to do whatever is necessary to get his Socialist agenda passed into law, including bankrupting the American government. In fact, some of the pundits are beginning to call him “Comrade Obama.”

Another wonderful earmark that was in the spending bill is a pet project of Senator Harry Reid: A beautiful museum for his home state of Nevada. I don’t care what kind of museum it is, the federal government should not be paying for it. But do not tell Harry Reid that. It is something he really wants. Maybe if he screams and yells loud enough he will get the Federal Government to pay for the high speed railway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles which is another of his pet projects. At least, I will get some enjoyment out of that. No more driving on Interstate 15 on Friday afternoons. However, I am sure the businesses along Interstate 15 would suffer tremendously. No more “Bun Boy,” “Barstow Station,” or “Peggy Sue’s Fifties Diner.”

A reader of mine, Tay Voye from Spokane, Washington stated to me in an e-mail that the, “870 Billion raid on the treasury is the biggest theft in the history of mankind and most people I know think it is just great…scares the hell out of me.” Right on, my brother. This, coupled with Obama’s recent budget proposals show that our Democratic friends do not care how much they spend, even if its borrowed money.

Obama’s recent budget proposal has an expected deficit of 1.7 trillion dollars. That’s right, trillion. Even in Bush’s worst deficit year, he spent only about 500 billion more than the government collected. President Bush may have doubled the deficit in his eight years in office, but Obama is going to try and double it in his first four. In fact, at the current pace, he may triple it if he gets reelected. Obama’s proposed budget deficit is 12% of the GDP. The last time we saw that number was in 1945 during the highest spending period in World War 2. Bush’s absolute worst number does not even come close. But, President Bush is one of the most hated men in the country and Obama is one of the most loved. I just do not understand this.
Another one of my readers, Lew Whitehill from Kentucky stated that Obama is, “On a dangerous path for the country. Wall Street is voting every day with the Dow as the ballot. . . .undisciplined spending and uncertainty keeps the Dow moving lower. This is just a bare bones starter regarding Obama who is most ambitious in attempting to dismantle the free market and discourage risk reward incentives. Those that I know have seen their net worth plummet without any real signs that their net worth is recoupable. In other words, I can’t stand him and what he stands for. Neither can most of the people that I deal with. So, I ask myself, where is the 50-60% of the populace that support him? Those idiots are out there somewhere.”
If Obama’s approval rating is still pretty darn high, at least, the majority of the country feels that Congress is failing. The latest average of polls has their disapproval rating at 55%. Maybe, we can get rid of them in two years and then Mr. Obama will have no more power. He may have to live with a hostile Congress that will not let him do whatever he wants. Although, his beloved Democratic Congress is not letting him do too much without their earmarking anyway.
I must state for the record that Obama is keeping some of his campaign promises. He is doing everything he can to keep the pro-abortionists and pro-death supporters happy. One of his first acts was to sign an executive order cancelling one of President Bush’s executive orders that was anti-abortion. And, just this week, he signed or should I say executed an order making stem-cell research more readily available in the country. I am sure this makes a bunch of Republicans in the south that voted for him really happy. Of course, I am sure he does not care about them anyway. He just needs to keep Illinois, New York and California on his side. They support him financially and that is all he needs. Maybe, they will abandon him as they see their pockets getting progressively emptier.

It’s time for me to close this week and in closing I would like to say that I will be back in the United States in about one week. I hope it is the same as when I left it. Of course, I am definitely a lot poorer than when I left. Shooting this film in Bangkok has been a pleasure and I want to thank all of my hosts in this wonderful country. You all know who you are. Now, it’s on to post-production.

© Copyright 2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. Permission to use excerpts will be freely given.

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2 Comments:

Blogger MetGuy said...

Welcome back (next week) to the USA, Frank. As you have written, it's changed since you left.

In contrast to you, the local liberal radio hacks (KGO-San Francisco) blame Bush for this economy. Hasn't it been proven that the free-for-all lending practices are the primary cause? Zero-interest loans to people with no means to pay back, outright fraud in lending, and self-serving bureaucrats contributed to this worldwide decline. As designed, Congress has more authority and oversight than the President. But simple minds want to pass blame to an individual; the closest individual is the President.

For instance, did Obama ever campaign for massive spending? Did he say at any time before the election that he will sign a bill in his first month in office that will authorize $800 BILLION in spending? Never! This spending is a concoction of a power-grabbing Congress. And now they want to spend another $410 billion?

I feel the same sense of frustration you do. Have a safe trip back.
Frank in Livermore

March 12, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Frank -

Would you still be calling for inaction if you had lost your ability to retire, or your job, or your life savings due to the absolute greed and arrogance shown by the past administration?

In my mind, both the executive and legislative branches of the past administration share the blame for this mess we are in. Their partners in crime were the wall street analysts who insisted on short term gain at the expense of long term growth. You and me also share in the blame by expecting our accounts to rise at rates that were just not sustainable. The country's decade long spending spree (financed by the banks that are now failing) had to end sometime too!

So, while I share your frustration at the scale and scope of the President's plan, I still think we cannot afford to just to wait and see. We need to do everything in our power to get to an inflection point and start the economy moving again. There are millions of boomers who are rapidly losing their retirement funds. The implication of this scares the shit out of me, and should you too.

Anyway bud, the boys and I will be visiting Disney in July. I'd love for you to finally meet them.

Have a safe trip home!
George

March 12, 2009 at 3:37 PM  

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