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It is such a great time. The cold front has passed, warm moist air flowing in, misty rain, not enough to get you wet, but enough to wake you up as it dances across the face. In it one can feel the snow coming two days early… For a weekend night, outside it’s peaceful… Those with money, have finished shopping. Those without, are waiting for that last check before the holidays…
The annual tradition of trading favorite YouTube’d carols over the internet, has begun in earnest… Strains of Mozart, Celtic Women, Cat Stevens, Bon Jovi, Metallica, and tons of favorite carols by assorted artists, have caused all the stress, pain, heart attacks, symptoms of short breathing,……….. to melt away somewhere into the distant future, as we float back into all those happier times as we remember fond memories of our past……..
Courtesy of All American Patriots
Courtesy of Pat Dollard
Courtesy of Theodore’s World
Things aren’t so nice for 100,000 plus Americans now fighting in Afghanistan. Things aren’t so nice for their families, friends, and lovers back home,… now that things have really heated up over there….
Take a second: Imagine you’re a Taliban fighting this foe invading from a very distant land. Imagine the hope, and shot in the arm a headline like this from the United States, would instill in you upon having it read to you. Imagine how quickly its words would resonate in your blood, and how less inclined you would be to throw in the towel against overwhelming odds? Imagine if you had rounds of waterproofed AK 47 ammo hidden in your well, how inclined you must now be to pull them up, and lay in wait for an American serviceman, any American serviceman, to come close enough to fire a killing shot.
Republicans Shoot Down $700 Military Appropriations Bill Funding War in Afghanistan. Bill Not Passed.
Republicans just aided and comforted our enemy…. Can you hear the Taliban cheering?
It’s the holiday season; I’ll be honest.
David Anderson: you served. How can you stomach supporting the Republican Party when they refuse to fund American servicemen in combat?
Frank Knotts: How can someone with your passion for all that America has stood for, still call yourself a Republican when they play games with Americans living and dying for our shared values?
Hube: What gives? Where is the line across which the Republican Party stops supporting America, and the Tea Party begins to represent the Conservative’s cause?
Tyler Nixon: How can any ex service man, support the party that is so self centered, they have no clue of how their vote to, not fund the war, emboldens our enemies?
Kilroy of Delaware: What kind of political party would play with funding for troops in active combat? How can that be tolerated?
Oh, well, it’s not skin off my teeth. It’s your party… do what you want. I don’t care… But I’ll tell you this… This nation needs a little old one horse Tea Party for this one reason alone: so conservatives have somewhere else to go without crawling on their knees to suck up to the moral backruptiveness of the Republican Party, that’s why…
Oh, well, I’ve said too much already. It’s not my problem. I just think that:
Our servicemen deserve better.
Conservatives deserve better.
Our republic, the United States of America, deserves better.
Conservatives: isn’t it way past time to switch your parties affiliation? It’s the holiday season! What better gift to your kids and grand-kids could you possibly give?
Just before the Fourth of July weekend, Dave challenged me on a comment I made regarding the loss of Federal Revenue that arrived into Delaware since Bush took office.
It was based on political talk that resonated through the Budget committees during the first and second years of the Minner administration. The political dialog complained that revenue was dropping and cuts needed to be made.
In my attempt to research for the “I told you so ” retort, I discovered that there was no such data. In fact, if one took the data present, more dollars came into this state under Bush than did Clinton. But then on further inspection one saw that Clinton brought in more dollars than Bush (41), who brought in more dollars than Reagan. Could the continued increase of these dollars be due to increase in the general growth as well?
I stumbled across some financial data that I thought could be used to clarify the issue. This data is published every year near tax time, and each year makes the front page of the News Journal. It is the data I call our “bang for the buck”. How much did Delaware get back from the Federal government for every dollar it spent? If we break even, we get one dollar back for every dollar we send. If we get more back, (whoopee) we are a receiver state. On the other hand, if we get less back, we are a donor state,
Delaware is a donor state.
However interesting trends appear when one watches the up or down level in just how much we get back. This is independent of growth.
Delaware taxpayers receive significantly less federal funding per dollar of federal tax paid than the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2004, Delaware citizens received approximately $0.79 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 11th lowest nationally, yet still represents a rise from 1992 when Delaware received only $0.72 per dollar of taxes in federal spending (then ranked 3rd lowest). Neighboring states and the amount of federal spending they received per dollar of federal taxes paid in 2004 were: Pennsylvania ($1.06), New Jersey ($0.55), and Maryland ($1.44).
Using the chart from the tax foundation I took the highest return of .90 cents on the dollar in 1999 as the base. The subsequent year, 2000 we paid .88 cents per dollar. To figure what we lost as potential revenue, a theoretical to begin with, I took the amount of federal dollars received, and and multiplied each of those dollars by the two cents we earned less back from our base level in 1999, which was our state’s highest return on our federal dollars,……ever.
That gave me a shortage of 117 million from what we could have received had we kept the ..90 return rate for every dollar we gave up to the federal government.
So applying the same formula to the Bush administration’s budgets, I came up with these theroitical deficits from what we could have received if we had again maintained the politically controlled .90 cents to a dollar from the base line.
As you can see my data stream stops at 2004.
So with even these preliminary conservative estimates which (since I have no data to prove it) showed no increase in the years following 2004, we approach over the lifespan of the Bush budget, a deficit of 4 billion from what we theoretically could have received had we continued at the rate we were on in 1999.
This compares to the 635 million dollars less that Delawareans paid into the Federal treasury as a result of the Cheney/Bush tax cuts.
I laugh every time a republican says “Deficits do not matter.” Obviously these republicans do not work in a bank. I don’t know about you but my bank hires hundreds of people to call and tell creditors the exact opposite every day. Outrageously, if banks followed Republican mantra, this country would be, not just between a rock and a hard place, but in a rock itself………..
Not to sound naive, but there is a propensity to use borrowed money in order to finance growth. Realistically, without borrowed money, economic stability would be a broken dream. Borrowing provides a framework to spread expensive costs over time and make those high ticket items, finally affordable. Translated to real time: one can buy a house much easier by getting a loan and making payments over thirty years, than they can by pinching pennies for thirty years and buying the house with cash. Plus they actually get to enjoy the result over the time they are paying it off, despite the fact that the total amount paid over time with interest, will be much higher. So borrowing is not “all bad.”
So in this capacity, when financial maggots crawl all over the federal budget figures, one can consider where this remark is coming from. It comes from Dick Cheney.
The average American in 2005 paid $3179.00 on something that doesn’t matter, if one takes the original author of the remark seriously. (Hopefully no one but E-ZPass Mike Castle is taking him seriously anymore). Let us hope we can all get our creditors to agree.
“I don’t care how much you say I owe! National policy under a separate entity (Vice President’s Office) of the Federal Government, dictates that whatever I owe,… doesn’t matter!….Go ahead! …Sue me!…..I’ll bring up that the very government you are using to sue me, itself doesn’t even subscribe to the principals on which you are suing me. It will never make it to court… …….”
So we are stuck with a deficit. Is that all bad?
Get this, and with tongue in cheek, I say this sounds so partisan it literally scares me…….. Deficits do not really matter under a Democratic president, but they do under a republican president! I am laughing even as I write this.
What? Is that not the most partisan statement ever written on a Delaware blog!……I can hear Dave now……”Got the facts to back that up?”
Now I know no republican will have respect for this person: Joseph Stiglitz, Professor, Columbia University and Nobel Laureate, economics 2001 for he has not been officially “approved” by “the party”, but the rest of you might…..
[W]e shouldn’t focus on deficits themselves. What really matters is the country’s balance sheet, its assets and its liabilities. Consider a company. You would never say, oh, this company is borrowing a lot and therefore, it is a bad company. You would always say what is it borrowing for? Is it for investment? You want to look at both its assets and its liabilities. You want to look at its balance sheet. Well, when we talk about the deficit, we’re talking about only one part of that balance sheet. We’re talking about what’s happening to the liabilities, what it owes, but not to what it’s spending the money on.
Now republicans…..that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Anyone who has ever looked at a balance sheet would implicitly recognize that the borrowing costs, or interest paid upon a debt, fall into the liability column. So using Stiglitz and analysing the Cheney Tax Theorum throught that programming, one can assume that the following is true:
$1.6 trillion in tax cuts? Doesn’t matter, and not just because of the revenues they bring in, but because, really, what is an extra GDP percent or two worth of deficit? A comma in history. No matter. Greater spending increases under this administration than any in the history of the country? No worries — we can borrow to pay for it and our credit is good (until it isn’t). The additional borrowing costs? They don’t matter (see Theorem).
So why are deficits good under Democrats and not good under republicans? It depends on what one spends the money on, stupid…….
Some of us are blessed with a spouse having a fine business sense. After we turn over our money to them, they invest wisely, and wow, we have done quite well…….Others of us, are less fortunate……..once our spouses have their fingers on our money, they spend it on stupid stuff. In both cases our income stayed the same. (“Honey, here’s my check.”) But there is a great difference between the two net worths over a period of time …..(We are how much in the hole?”)
So when money is borrowed for investments it is good. When it is borrowed for frivolousness, it is not.
Therefore in the current political environment — or until the next election — republicans like E-ZPass Mike Castle, or those who are deficit-indifferent, with much fanfare, applaud the leveraging our of our national resources to support the policy priorities of this administration!
And if you are borrowing money, which the United States has done, to finance a war in Iraq or to finance a tax cut for upper-income Americans, then the country is being left worse off. The balance sheet does look worse. You have a liability, but you don’t have any asset on the other side. But if you are borrowing money to invest in education, technology, or, say, the safety net, then you may have a stronger economy.
By the time he leaves office, President Bush under the Saruman influence of Dick Cheney, will leave us paying upward of $50 billion more a year in deficit financing costs than when he took office. And for what?
Hurts, (my fiscal conservative friends), doesn’t it…..
Based on what was heard before the House Armed Services Committee, our now famous embassy in Baghdad was built with slave labor.
“Mr. Chairman, when the airplane took off and the captain announced that we were heading to Baghdad, all you-know-what broke out on the airplane. The men started shouting, it wasn’t until the security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP5 in the air that the men settled down. They realized that they had no other choice but to go to Baghdad. Let me spell it out clearly: I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work at the US Embassy… I’ve read the State Department Inspector General’s report on the construction of the embassy. Mr. Chairman, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. This is a cover-up and I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to set the record straight.”
That was before Waxman’s committee on oversight of the building of the new US embassy in Baghdad. These men thought they had signed up to work at Dubai hotels. One man said he was excited to began work as a telephone repairman in Dubai. Once landed in Baghdad, they were loaded onto buses and smuggled past American security into the Green Zone. Whereas Americans lived one person per trailer, they lived 25 to 30 to a trailer. They worked on scaffolding without shoes or harnesses, and they could not leave….While there, six or some scaled the wall of the Green Zone. Why? They wanted to find better work. 1st Kuwaiti sent security out to find them, found them and brought them back to the compound. They were told that they were property of 1st Kuwaiti and could not be employed by any other construction firm……..
Understandably this is delegation in the Third World. Understandably it is abrogation. “We do not have to concern ourselves with that…..let 1st Kuwaiti do it.” We gave up our oversight. It wasn’t us; it was our hired help.
But more shocking was the reaction of the 2 Republican congressmen, from Va and Ca. Obviously they were under Cheney’s orders to shore up the failing defenses. They accused the whistle blowers of perfidy and treason. They were however totally unconcerned over human rights abuses. From their questioning all could see that they were solely concerned that Republicans were going to get blamed for this fiasco. You are damned right they are.
Watching them pounce all over the witnesses, churned my stomach like watching maggots swarm over a dead fish. Even had they just briefly shown an appearance of shock or outrage, that would at least offset their complicity in such actions. But no, they were unrepentant. They cared not that our country paid for the kidnapping of employees to build our embassy. They badgered the witnesses who fortunately, because of another court case, could retreat behind the statement “I am not legally permitted to answer that question.”
These poor Americans, shocked that the America they saw abroad, was not the same America about which they were taught in school, stood up and tried to do something patriotic. What was the result? The exposure to all the world, that the America represented by republicans in Washington DC, is also not the same America we learned about in schools.
“In essence, you Republicans are saying that it is ok for the United States, to be an enabler in the trafficking of human beings.”
And to think,…. our favorite son, Delaware’s lone Congressman, a republican, is one of them………..
Time for a change?
Wall Street Journal buried this deep within their pages: Banks Delay Sale Of Chrysler Debt As Market Stalls
In plain English it means that banks have decided not to fund the Chrysler deal. The deal will still go through, mind you, but the risk will be absorbed solely by those underwriting the deal, and the 12 billion will not be spread to investors as has been done in the past. “The market has dried up.”
This does not bode well for Newark. Why? Because the cost of money, or the interest rate for the twelve billion, has just risen. That means that all costs, supplies, labor, and facilities, must be tightened even tighter in order that corporate is able to pay for the increased financing.
Plain talk: their mortgage, which was already 200 million a year, just hit the ARM plan and may go as high or higher than 300 million!!
That money was sorely needed to invest in environmentally friendly and marketable vehicles. They do not have that option and will have no recourse but to buckle down, hold on, and hope to survive a financial ride as scary as the Ka.
One can only hope that Kia or Hyundai is interested in opening shop in Delaware…..It will be a new experience for the local UAW to be sure, but Toyota seems to treat Americans more fairly than does our own……..At least foreign autos are sensitive to America’s needs and do not foot drag when it comes to creating cars that American’s WANT to buy…….
Anyone who clicked on the above links saw a difference in profitability among all those manufactures. Delaware needs to send someone to South Korea today. Secure jobs are often found within secure companies.
So what does this mean to everyone else? A lot. Here is how it breaks down.
Cheap money is no longer available. It is what has been driving up the stock market. Next time someone tells you it was republican tax policy, bitch slap them. (smile) If borrowed money is cheap then one can afford to spend more in the acquisition of a corporation, because on the bottom line, the cost is the same. Similar to the housing boom which has now ended, the monthly mortgage is the same on a house costing 250,000 at a 3% rate as an 80,000 house at 9%. Just as house prices soared, so did the price of corporations, pushing the market upward……….
Well, ladies and gentlemen. That push has stopped, as of yesterday…….The Fed may react someway and save us from a crash similar to the last time money was not available…..1929.
The political implications are obvious. This could not have happened under a competent Al Gore administration. But I will leave that for someone else to expound. Right now my broker is shut down, off-line, and not answering calls………
I just hope I can shift everything over to “fixed” before everyone else catches on…………………….
Poor little Paris. She gets blamed for everything. But this time it is truly not her fault. Only the timing between the fulfillment of her punishment and the commuting of any punishment for Scooter Libby, has thrust her in the limelight on this issue.
Being a celebrity, Paris Hilton received a harsh sentence that no one else would get for the same crime. Scooter, on the other hand, due to his celebrity status with Dick Cheney, gets a pardon that no one else would get for the same crime.
Bush says the his Republican judge, that he appointed, gave too harsh a sentence.
Does anyone remember the woman who was put to death by lethal injection in Texas. The one who had become a Christian and changed her life. She was asking that her sentence be committed to life in prison, instead of death, so that she could continue to do some good with what life she had left?
Bush refused. He told her, ” you did the crime; the court set your time; I don’t give a dime.”
She took it like a man.
Apparently any decision made by the court of the United States of America, does not apply when it goes against the will of the White House. In other words, America is governed by two sets of principals: one set applies to Bush/Cheney; the other set to all other Americans.
We have our hypocrite.
One could argue this callous disregard for all laws of our nation has run throughout this administration since the day it took office. In fact, as evidenced most recently by Dick Cheney, they have actually said their office is above the law, in no uncertain terms.
If this premise is not challenged, then a major precedent is being set before our eyes. Whoever the next administration may be, will continue to push legal interpretions further and further, until the Divine Right of Kings is thrust upon us as fait accompli.
It is for this, we must start holding our Presidency accountable, starting today. Not for political stakes, mind you, but to define which side of royality we want our president on.
We can thank Paris Hilton for this. To see her exit her jail cell with her head held high, her punishment complete, her life back on track, and then compare it to an characterless administration that continues to refuse its acceptance of any accountability for the millions of things it has done wrong……………….
No wonder Americans paid more attention to Ms Hilton, than they did to this tepid administration. She deserves it…………………..
Likewise, the enablers like Delaware’s congressman Mike Castle, who stood by as this happened, and still stand on the sidelines and wring their hands, still vocally supporting this administration instead of calling for accountability………..they should take a page from Paris Hilton’s handbook as well……………..