The world turns a couple of times and the headlines change, or at least appear to, and there is more fodder for the thought mill. Let’s see if we can get some grist from the fodder.
Let’s talk some numbers and facts when it comes to whether or not the Democrats are indeed a party of tax and spend. BO is the top dog Democrat and he has issued his budget for the next ten years. We won’t list all the tax increases but there are many including the Bush tax cuts elimination, the Buffet Rule increase, upping the death tax and of course the restoration of the FICA tax and the increase in Medicare taxes and the increases in the capital gains and dividend taxes. The budget assumes that all these and more taxes will be implemented and collected for ten years. That is sure taxing the “rich” as they want. The result–the national debt after that ten-year period goes from the painful number of 16 trillion now to the ridiculous and astounding number of 29 trillion in ten years. It their numbers and their calculations and they obviously are completely happy with the national debt moving to a level that can’t be paid without serious pain or indeed revolution in the streets, a la Greece.
A couple of years ago we predicted that the interest rates for our debt would be moving back to historical levels or even higher–around 3 or 4% for the ten year Treasury note. I never dreamed the Fed would work in cahoots so closely with the WH and monetize our debt the way they have with quantitive easing. They have bought those Treasury notes out the wazoo to the tune of over a trillion dollars in the last two years and that is the main reason our interest rates have remained so low. Sooner or later that game will have to stop or the inflation rate will be horrendous. That is not just my opinion but check the views of at least some of the Fed board members and their comments regarding QE. If the Fed hadn’t bought all that debt of the government to fund its deficit spending do you believe that there would have been investors around the world who would have loaned us that money at that interest rate? If the average interest rate on our debt increases only 1% that will cause an increase of 160 billion per year just to service it without regard to the principle payments due. Either our interest rates will go up or the Fed will have to simply print more money and neither of those options are good for us.
Every time anyone including even Democrats like Senator Wyden propose any changes at all to Medicare the rank and file Democrats start screaming–“They want to destroy Medicare as we know it”. Let’s all hope someone will destroy Medicare as we know it because it and we are going broke with the current system. Those are the facts regardless of ideology.
Iran going to war with its neighbors is nothing new. They have been at it since the beginning of recorded history with no let up except for relatively short intervals of truce. Read your Bible for some early examples of this. Then there were the wars with the Greeks. Recall who Alexander the Great fought with in his campaigns. Then the Romans were more or less at war with Persia throughout most of its history. When the Prophet was first emerging in Saudi Arabia the Persian were again at war with the remnants of the Roman Empire in Constantinople. Heraclius led the Romans in years of war with them during the 7th century AD and then they fought with the Muslims as they rose to power. The Israelis are apparently more attuned to the history of their adversary than we are and believe their threats carry real danger.
Right on time again the trees and shrubs have put out their blooms in my part of the country. You can set your clock by it. They come out within 48 hours either side of Valentine’s day in the Dallas area and have all my life (70) regardless of how cold or warm the winter was. Nice to know some things are dependable.
If we ever get the chance to colonize Mars we will have to dig deep or construct some elaborate structures to protect those pioneers. Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field like the Earth. Thus the radiation of the Sun would be lethal. Our magnetic field protects us from the worst effects of solar radiation but that won’t be available there. Again something you never think about but which is essential for our existence. You think Mother Nature provided that just to make us happy or was there another guiding hand involved.
The current budget request 70 billion for the Department of Education. The Federal government has no Constitutional authority to have anything to do with education. That is strictly a State matter. Again, let’s totally eliminate that agency and get the Feds out of all education. Let the States tax their citizens as much as each may choose–they could tax up to the 70 billion number or not depending on the wishes of the citizens of each State and let them spend the money however they want on their educational system. It would be more efficient and produce better results. Why do we send our money to Washington and then allow distant bureaucrats to dictate how we spend our educational funds? What next– are we going to allow Washington to tell us what our real estate laws must be or whether we can have sheriffs or what our hunting laws must be?
Why have college tuitions risen so dramatically in the las 30 years or so? Student loans. Any time you have gazillions of dollars going out the door you will have price inflation for that product or service. Sure the colleges can raise their tuitions and just have the students apply for those government loans and that is exactly what they have been doing for decades now. Eliminate those loans and the tuition inflation will stop and there would not be a flood of qualified students dropping out of college. Yes, the operative word is qualified, those who realistically can manage a college education. It is ridiculous to assume that 100% of us are capable of a college education and there is nothing wrong with that. Any and all work is noble with or without a college degree.
Each of us should aspire to the advise of Kipling to the young man–“To walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch” www.olcranky.wordpress.com