America’s First Challenge

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Washington Debt

We have turned the page on 2013 and stepped into 2014 with anticipation that the anxieties and uncertainties of the past half decade will magically evaporate and America will once again find stable economic footing and the politically ignited social divide will evaporate bringing back the long achieved and prevalent tolerance which until recently permeated the Nation.  We have turned the page, but here we are.

There is an old adage that says, “regardless where you go, there you are.”  A majority of voters across the Nation knew the nature of the Administration it had elected in 2008 when it re-elected it for a second term.  Regardless what the media pretends, and regardless what this Administration itself pretends with the denials, we know it is failing the America it wants to change.

One of the prominent headscratchers dancing around  Washington is the lack of “head-rolling” in the White House. No-one at the State Department has been chucked, and Clinton not only infamously barked, “what difference does it make?” at the Senate, but she now believes she is Presidential material.  Self-serving lies and dishonesty have been de rigueur on Benghazi.

The IRS was very effectively used as a political machine working for the re-election of Obama, and apparently so has the NSA. Obama’s pen is apparently quite capable of stepping all over the Constitution without much reaction, suggesting a lack of familiarity among most as to the content of the Nation’s most important document.   Even the Affordable Care Act disaster barely causes serious concern in the Fourth Estate.  Obama’s poll slide isn’t anywhere near the reaction we should be witnessing from a Nation staring toward Washington for leadership and finding none.

Real unemployment continues to rise regardless what lies politicians and pandering media persist on repeating. With no leadership in sight, the country remains in a state of stagnation.  In Washington, the Administration and Congress have not and will not make any tough decisions. The Federal Reserve is out of options, but big bankers control the game so their nests are safe. Yours? Not so much.

Dollars over Capitol

Half of America has lost sight of common sense as tonight, we witness another address from an anointed professional gladhander.  Is there doubt he is a liar?  No.  So it’s only a matter of how many lies he’s telling during his State of the Union address rather than whether or not he’s lying.  Sadly, although he’s a problem for the Nation, Obama is not the biggest problem.  The biggest problem, and one which  America has no mechanism in its system to fix — the “big money” influence which is exerted on Washington.

We have witnessed an explosion of financial authority from all corners of  the financial spectrum from lobbyists to PACs and SuperPacs, guiding actions of politicians. Washington lobbying has become an industry financed with cash from bankers, industries, foreign countries, etc. The billions aren’t being spent in Washington because they they don’t result in useful influence. That money works.  Those dollars end up in willing and pliable pockets owned by malleable minds and egos.  The past decade has seen a mushrooming in that pressure, but too many taxpayers have shrugged — after all, if one side of the political divide spends a billion promoting an agenda, shouldn’t the other side be allowed to do the same?  And so we witnessed history’s first billion dollar campaign energizing one candidate’s race to the White House.

The current Administration, cheared-on by the MSM and financed by the deepest pockets in the country, rhetorically beats the drums against the richest 1% which supposedly controls the wealth, as it pretends to care about a large percentage of the population it insultingly calls the American “middle class.”  Someone should ask these 1% haters about the fact that the 1% churns constantly as “life happens” to it, but let’s not let details get in the way of a good hate-on.

One inept gladhander and his cadre of handlers directing his administration cannot ruin the great Nation that is America, however, financial influence from the deepest pockets, buying influence and corrupting the mostly corruptible throughout Washington, has moved the country in a direction that it may not be able reverse.

Dollars Flying

Billions of dollars today seem inconsequential when our lexicon has so readily and quickly appropriated the term “trillion.” The billions spent buying political influence in Washington are now only “billions” — a billion here, a billion there, we’re numbed.  We don’t really grasp the meaning of the $17.3 Trillion National debt — we see it, but don’t really understand it.  Surely someone knows something about it and will make sure everything’s OK for our grandchildren. No?

Washington has failed America. Washington’s politicians have allowed the siren song of greed to guide their actions and have learned to achieve re-election by burdening the taxpayers with additional debt.

So while we listen to just another bought-and-paid-for politician we call President, tonight feeding us feel-good motherhood and apple-pie prattle, we should give thought to reigning in all financing of the active political process and lobbying.  Meaning, if you so much as accept a free apple from anyone while you’re on the public dime, you get life in jail — no excuses. If while in elected office, you, your buddies and relatives gain from feeding at the trough of the pork barrel, you get a life sentence on the dark side of the prison bars. No corporate financing of political campaigns.  So how do you fund  political campaigns?  Take it out of the public purse for those who demonstrate enough support and limit it to a specified allotted amount.  No outside money.  None.   Yah, but it’s expensive to run a campaign, particularly a Presidential campaign.  Tough. Suck it up.  We’ll limit your corruptibility quotient for you.

Money corrupts and Washington is now corrupted beyond repair, so only drastic measures will work.  Without substantial changes and severe reversals of existing trends, politicians like Obama will be able to use the pulpit to instill fear and loathing among those who don’t have time to research or learn.  The further the Nation “feels” divided, the more it will BE divided.

Bully pulpits have been used effectively throughout history by self-serving individuals who were able to warp divided and angered countries to their own wills.  The current great divide that is the prevalent narrative wobbling America could gradually tip the scale, or be tipped instantly by a calamitous event. It’s 2014, and time to implement an overdue “financing” clean-up, starting at the top of the political food chain, the distorted electoral process, and the overwhelmingly corruptible lobbying.

A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit. Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.

20 Responses to “America’s First Challenge”

  1. 1

    Petercat

    Or how about this?
    A clearinghouse for donations. Anyone, or any entity, foreign or domestic, can donate as much as they want to whomever they want. Through the clearinghouse. Which will be passed on to the intended receiver. With no identifying information. And just a generic receipt to the donor.
    The receiving parties will not know who donated what.
    Any donor could say, “Hey, I gave you a million dollars, now you owe me!”
    But the receipt will only show a donation of a million dollars, not who it was for.
    And the receiver’s books had better balance with only the amount that was anonymously passed on to them.

  2. 2

    bwax

    I’ve posted this before, but I think the answer is a flat tax with NO DEDUCTIONS for anyone or any entitity. If we could limit the power of the IRS to determine what is a viable charity or non-profit organization, all the problems in DC would evaporate. Congress could not use the tax code to punish enemies or reward friends.

    An added side benefit would be the complete eradication of the lobbyist organizations and tax lawyers. This step would also turn our economy around because the free market would prevail allowing businesses to prosper without considering all the tax laws required to operate a business.

  3. 3

    Skookum

    We could have a series of debates with an impartial moderator like Candy Crowley. The moderator could set up trick questions, with supporting evidence secreted in a podium. She could then clap like a trained seal to emphasize and support the candidate of her choice. The loser must accept the discrepancies and favoritism as being the tough business of debate and never mention the obvious con job.

    The great majority of brain dead Americans and through the fog pretentious bull crap determine who to vote for by the moderator’s flapping flippers. It’s a great system; one that will favor the candidate who can gather the most ignorant among us, and of course, the support of the earth mother icon we call moderator.

  4. 5

    James Raider

    author

    @Petercat: #1,
    That could be done, but the challenge would always be preventing leaks on who gave the cash with backroom deals being done in quid pro quo. You have to stop the graft completely. Obama’s payoffs started back in Chicago before we ever heard of him with such things as the house he magically acquired.

    The Clintons are the same — lived off the public or “influence-selling” teat all their lives.

  5. 6

    James Raider

    author

    @bwax: #2
    While I agree with “flat-taxing” — that alone would not prevent financing of political campaigns and the buying of political influence. Foreign governments like the Saudis slide billions into the coffers of politicians, for example.

    Remember the refusal to audit the Obama campaign received from “off-shore”? It will continue.

    These political campaigns, the Presidential ones in particular, have become cash and influence peddling machines. The Obama political machine just took it all to a whole new level with the ideologially blind left convinced that the “end justifies the means”.

  6. 7

    James Raider

    author

    @Skookum: #3,
    LOL. Skook, how come you come up with all the good ideas?

    I recently and mistakenly (honest) caught a piece of an interview with Robert Redford and couldn’t believe the evident lack of insight his answers demonstrated when asked about Obama, or anything political. This pretentious and obviously small mind showed not one grain of discernment or awareness. And apparently, it’s all Congress’ fault — whatever is wrong, it’s because of Congress’ refusal to work with the Gladhander-in-Chief. It was Bush’s fault for 4 years but now it’s Congress. And we shouldn’t be surprised, but these clowns really love wind turbines. I listen to these idiots and shake my head, then curl-up with my blankie and pretend I’m just in an alternate universe.

  7. 8

    James Raider

    author

    @ilovebeeswarzone: #4,
    Hey MsBees, I’m still recovering from the pain in my neck sustained when my head snapped as I heard the Gladhander-in-Chief right up front use the phrase, ” . . . it is you, our citizens . . . “ (probably had my Citizens in his first draft) — and from there it all went downhill into a blathering smog of nonsense.

    He added fuel to his divisive machine’s tank, like — Republicans are responsible for female income inequality and he will single-handedly come to women’s rescue. Plus he lied and misrepresented the differences in incomes between the sexes. And his claims of success on the ACA? Wow.

    He has no intention of working with Congress, not even the Democratic side of that crowd. He seems to still be able to get away with crap as the pandering media swoons with stupidity.

  8. 9

    bwax

    James,

    You are right, there will be back door deals, but at least they won’t get to write them off on their taxes. If they want to spend their own money, that’s fine with me as long as I don’t have to subsidize them via the tax code.

  9. 10

    mathman2

    Sorry, James.
    The situation has gone beyond any simple or reasonable repair.
    Drastic action is needed. See Mark Levin for one proposal. The States must call a Constitutional Convention and enact such items as term limits, State veto of unjust laws, and so on.
    It was the States who ratified the Constitution, after all. Until the 12 Colonies signed off, the Constitution did not yet have legal authority. So it is up to the States to do the repair. Elected officials cannot do so, as the elections are all rigged to favor the wealthy.
    It does not matter who is elected in November. It does not matter who is elected our next President. The massive federal bureaucracy needs to be pulled out at the roots, as we did to the British following 1787.

  10. 11

    71Grad

    Petercat’s suggestion is very good but needs to go further. No tax exemption for donations. All contributions received from anywhere are published on a web site belonging to the clearinghouse, and who the contribution came from. The law should state that any politician who uses any funds from a source other than the clearinghouse, even his own money, will be removed from office and face a minimum year in jail. The politician should also face the same penalty if any member of his staff violates the law, making him responsible for the actions of his staff. The Boards of Directors, unions administrators or anyone else providing material support to a candidate outside the clearinghouse, should also face jail time. There should be no ‘intent’ in the law. If we can convict people of drunk driving and a multitude of other offenses without having to show intent, it should not be a factor in this offense. The ideal of course, is to get rid of the income tax. Not going to happen. The first step is for voters to stop electing lawyers to to congress and the state legislatures.

  11. 12

    Randy

    @Skookum: I do not participate in many conversations here any more due to the continued failure of the liberals to debate issues on merit and facts. I do love your satire! Thanks for making me smile while millions of our citizens are either searching for a health care policy they can afford, searching for a doctor they can trust or looking for a job in this failing economy.

  12. 13

    Skookum

    @Randy: I am one of those people, who wonders what the future of our economy and freedom will be. I am glad I was able to live under the mantle of freedom before the country voted for the end of Liberty. Every citizen of the world, owes a certain amount of gratitude to the beacon of freedom that was once America; for without America and its concept of freedom, the totalitarian dictators would rule the earth with even more cruelty and their personal concept of self- serving socialist justice for all. Of course, making the hard decisions for everyone entitles these elitists to rule in splendor, while their people live in squalor. Yes, we are doomed to share in the misery of poverty to make things more equal, but our elites will live the high life as they should. It takes a hell of a man to sell out his country to fill his own pockets.

  13. 14

    ilovebeeswarzone

    RANDY
    YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO BE SILENCE ON THIS ONE, you are well respected and your word is trust,
    FOR THE SAKE OF OTHER WHO ARE TRYING THEIR OUTMOST TO LIMIT THE SPIT OF THE OTHER ALWAYS DEMOLISHING THE TALK OF THE CONNSERVATIVES, HERE ON THIS POST AND THE OTHER POSTS, ALL NEED YOUR OPINION AND KNOWLEDGE WE KNOW YOU HAVE FRO FIRST ROW EXPERIENCE,
    THE SOUR LOOSER WILL TRY TO BRING OTHER WITH HIM IN THE PIT,
    IT WON”T BE PRETTY, AND THOSE WILL NEED THE KUDO SUPPORT,
    FROM THE CONSERVATIVES WELL READ TO CHECK IN THE DIRTY BLAME GAME COMING TO,
    THE ONES PERCIEVE TO BE WINNING THE PRESIDENCY,

  14. 15

    Nanny G

    Remember when Dems from Obama to the media claimed that the Sequester would have a devastating impact on the economy?
    Seems they were totally wrong.
    2013 showed private components of GDP grew 3.9% over its 4 quarters.
    That’s the highest growth since 2003 – when Dems took over congress during Bush 43’s presidency.
    Hmmmmm……
    2000 = 3.4
    2001 = -0.8 (with 9-11 hitting hard)
    2002 = 1.6
    2003 = 5.0
    Dems take over congress…..
    2004 = 3.7
    2005 = 3.6
    2006 = 2.5
    2007 = 1.9
    2008 = -4.3
    2009 = -0.9
    2010 = 3.8
    2011 = 3.4
    2012 = 2.7
    Then the Sequester;
    2013 = 3.9

  15. 16

    Petercat

    @71Grad: #11
    I would go along with what you suggest, except for publishing the names of the donors and the amounts given. The idea is to lessen influence by not allowing proof of amounts given or to who.
    That way, people seeking influence through contributions could not prove anything necessary to gain that influence.
    After all, I can today provide a copy of a check written to you last month for one million dollars. I can even fake a receipt. But are you enjoying the money?

  16. 17

    James Raider

    @mathman2: #10,
    While it makes sense that Constitutional Convention be called, there is no will for it to occur, unfortunately. Power has clearly been centralized in Washington. The States and their leaders fear upsetting Washington from whence the huge cash gets alloted depending on “suppport” and quid pro quo is alive and well.

    The massive federal bureaucracy needs to be pulled out at the roots

    You’re right on. It’s a massive problem. It is in majority liberal and progressive and is doing its best to bolster the leftist agenda, as we’ve seen with the corrupt actions perpetrated by the IRS and company. The Big Government concept now moving full speed down the track is impossible to stop.

    Insecurity always wants to know that there’s a “Big Brother” looking after things. All that Big Brother has to do is LIE and the insecure will believe whatever line they are fed.

  17. 18

    James Raider

    @Randy: #12,

    “I do not participate in many conversations here any more due to the continued failure of the liberals to debate issues on merit and facts.”

    Randy, hang on a sec. It may be a complete waste of time to argue with the ideologically entrenched, but discussion and debate with conservative perspectives helps the community, in this case the conservative community, to better delve into and understand the more critical elements which inform our decisions.

    Your participation in the dialogue may not be useful to progressive socialist leaning minds, nor will you ever really change them, but your insights can be positive input for the rest of us.

    Minds which are ideologically entrenched require new experiences and maybe new friends or new careers, not a discussion if they’re ever to move along the political spectrum.

  18. 19

    James Raider

    @Skookum: #13,

    “Every citizen of the world, owes a certain amount of gratitude to the beacon of freedom that was once America”

    Amen my friend. I got lucky and have had a chance to visit some far corners of this globe and can attest unequivocally to the veracity of this very powerful statement.

    I can also attest in an annecdotal fashion that there is not a single person I have ever met who would not have moved to America if offered the opportunity. And that goes for people in Muslim countries. Behind closed doors, away from cameras and prying public ears, even govenment leaders and business leaders would answer to the affirmative.

    Meanwhile, the genius self-righteous leaders in Washington are dismantling this beautiful Nation brick by brick.

  19. 20

    James Raider

    @Nanny G: #15,
    The insinuation of government and bureaucratic influence into society can only negatively affect it. Even the corners of the bureaucracy which are intended to “safeguard” our better interests screw it up.

    Government has represented over 40% of new hires. How is that good for anybody, particularly taxpayers?

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