Photo by David Stewart
The Event, The Issues
This was a local skirmish, of a much bigger battle
I was out of town during this event:
original listing: http://venturacountyteaparty.ning.com/events/move-on-to-picket-gall...
pics: http://venturacountyteaparty.ning.com/photo/imag0181/next?context=l... ), but David Stewart told me that there were about 30 Obots and 6 Tea Party people at this MoveOn event. We only found out about it hours ahead of time, thanks to Don. Some of us actually have to work for a living.
One of Elton's people came out to do Q & A. There was civil dialogue among the two factions.
From what I understand, the protestors are concerned about losing Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare. They want to preserve entitlements intact and "increase revenues," by raising taxes. Our side knows that there is not enough taxing power to sustain promised entitlements, that we have not only a $14++ trillion national debt, but $120 Trillion in total federal liabilities, an amount that can never be paid.
Painful adjustments will have to be made. Currently, the spending "baseline " is expected to simply increase forever. Revenues cannot keep up with it, even if we taxed away ALL corporate profits, which would be disastrous for future business/jobs development. It will be necessary in the future to raise benefit eligibility ages, eliminate benefits for non-citizens and limit certain other benefits features and abuses. We simply do not and will not have the money.
In spite of propaganda from the left to the contrary, Republicans are not trying to end SS and Medicare. Obamacare is a whole different story, since it is a totally unsustainable lie and an affront to the Constitution. While SS anmd Medicare are also unsustainable and unconstitutional, nearly all Republians understand that they are too ingrained in our society to simply be terminated. However, they are trying to make changes it to help it survive and even exploring opt-outs for those who have better ideas about how to manage their own lives. A continual upward spiral in teh allocation of taxpayers' resources to do that is NOT part of their plans, nor should it be.
I keep on hearing from the left about how taxes are at record lows, but the percentage of GDP as taxes is higher than it has been since WWII. Why is that? A higher percentage of GDP is "Rich" people's money going to taxes. The Social Justice crowd thinks this is "outrageous" and that it should be redistributed, yet half of the population pays no income tax at all. In addition, more and more loopholes have been reduced or closed over the years, raising the de facto tax rate. Until I retired and my portfolio crashed in 2008, I was paying about half of my income, in some sort of tax, at all levels of govt. We have "Alternative Minimum Tax," which caused me to pay taxes on my GROSS income some years, rather than net, higher Social Security and Medicare taxes. There are upcoming new taxes such as a 3.8% national real estate sales tax for Obamacare, new fines for health care "abuses" not approved by Nancy Pelosi-- and more.
The Left has been conditioned to expect constant deficit spending, now rising geometrically, while export of jobs, business-hostile policies and destruction of incentives has taken its toll on national income and potential taxing power. Companies will simply cut back or leave, in many cases, if the alternatives provided seem unreasonable. The nation has never been held in check on spending, because politicians make promises, constantly expand the universe of entitlement recipients, who then demand more, forcing more taxation and or/higher borrowing. It looks as if that will no longer be sustainable. The Ponzi scheme is catching up with us-- with a vengeance.
The establishment (govt/banking) has been able to hold down interest rates artificially, but at a great cost. The implosion of the dollar and perceived risk of government securities WILL force up interest rates, not only for government borrowing, but for EVERYTHING. Between that and the mounting debt, total interest expense may rise to 10 to 20++% of spending. That will have a far worse effect on "Social Justice" than the evil Republican cuts.
It's Political Theater
Of course, all this was political theater, in conjunction with the debt ceiling, spending cut, budget battle going on in Washington, DC. The Democrats are maneuvering to hold the line and even increase spending, while attempting to vilify the Republicans, most of whom have been afraid of their own shadow. What's different this time are two things:
1. The Tea Party movement has helped to tip the scales to stiffen resolve in the House of Representatives more toward fiscal prudence, but the Senate and White House are still firmly in control. They will try to hold the line, in a show of deadline brinksmanship, freezing their huge gains since 2006 in place, even increasing them, while trying to fiorce the Republicans into a situation that will cause them to lose seats in the 2012 election. In spite of the "shellacking" adminstered to the Democrats in the 20110 election, they are holding out.
2. The cumulative effect of many years of financial abuse, spending/expansion of entitements, deficits, borrowing, export of jobs and business-hostile polices, has taken its toll, greatly weakening the nation, the dollar, the economy and put us in an untenable debt position. Cuts are now inevitable, with probable much higher rates, higher principal and higher interest expense, which will not then be available for useful and not so useful programs. It's only a matter of whether we do them sooner to reduce later great pain somewhat, or continue to delay that, with catastrophic consequences. My own research tells me that a financial collapse is inevitable. We might still be able to decide whether it will be a controlled crash landing or crash and burn.
At this point,m some sort of debt ceiling increase is inevitable. The country can't take the shock of an immediate 45% cut in federal spending which would have a secondary (negative) multiplier effect. A 15% annual REAl cut would be do-able and staty us in teh right direction, There is a very real possibilty that our ceredit line will dry up, forcing a steep, traumatic adjustment downward. The Republicans wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't force MAJOR concessions to get this done. A vague $2 trillion or even 4 trillion dollar cut wish is unenforcable without specificity and ironclad terms. In any case it is not nearly enough. $200 billion a year on a $3.7 trilion and growing budget? Too little and far too late. Coburn's $9 trillion isb what will be REQUIRED. to ever get back. Look for QE3 this Fall.
The Republicans will need to punch through the MSM wall of propaganda to make their points wth the public. We need your help to do that, by talking to others and calling your representatives. We need the Republicans to be tough enough to extract major spending cuts and get the Democrats to agree. That can only be done if Democrats are the ones perceived to be fiscally irreponsible and willing to trigger a default. Neither party has agood track record.
Member Regina Risolio was interviewed in part of this rather left-wing-biased VC Star article:
"End of an Error" T Shirts premiered in Ventura County, in honor of the MoveOn demonstration:
Regina has the shirts. Anyone interested, mail email@example.com and we'll alert her.