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Why China and India Will Soon Dominate The World – Will The American Political Class Do Anything About It?

Why China and India Will Soon Dominate The World – Will The American Political Class Do Anything About It?

If you look at some statistics from the U.S. Census organization, the CIA Fact Book, and several other credible sources and put them together in a “what-if” analysis regarding the future economic power of Russia, China, India, and the United States, you can develop the following statistical measures:

– The current population of the United States is about 310 million people, the 2050 estimated population is expected to grow about 42% to 439 million, the current GDP of the United States is about .43 trillion dollars which yields a current GDP to current population ratio of about ,561 per person (.43 trillion divided by 310 million people).

– The current population of Russia is about 143 million people, the 2050 estimated population is expected to shrink 23% to 109 million people, the current GDP of Russia is about .24 trillion, yielding a GDP to population ratio of about 81.

– The current population of China is about 1.34 billion people, the 2050 estimated population is expected to grow about 9% to 1.46 billion people, the current GDP of China is about .8 billion, yielding a GDP to population ratio of about ,595.

– The current population of India is about 1.2 billion people, the 2050 estimated population is expected to grow about 53% to 1.81 billion people, the current GDP of India is about .1 trillion, yielding a GDP to population ratio of about 5.

Not unexpected, the United States is the richest country in the world as measured by gross GDP and GDP per citizen. However, the growth of the United States economy is pretty steady and conservative vs. countries like China and India. Let’s play some games with these base numbers:

– Let’s assume, and there is no reason to believe otherwise, that China continues to grow very quickly over the next forty years. If the Chinese are able to get their GDP to population ratio up to half of what the current U.S. ratio is, then the total size of the Chinese economy as measured by GDP (in today’s dollars) would be over trillion, almost two and half times the size of the U.S. economy.

– Let’s do the same thing with India but assume that the ratio is so low that they can only get their ratio up to one quarter of what the current U.S. ratio is, then the total size of the Indian economy as measured by GDP (in today’s dollars) would be over trillion, 50% larger than the size of the U.S. economy.

– We will not do the same analysis for Russia since given how fast its population base is shrinking, its economic impact in the world economy will be less and less over time.

Thus, the upside for both the Chinese and Indian markets are very high based on the sheer number of citizens in each country and their governments’ desire to aggressively grow their economies. Before we know it, both economies could be approaching and/or surpassing the size and power of the United States economy.

If you do not believe these calculations, consider a recent article from the Financial Times that was summarized in the July 30, 2010 issue of The Week magazine. According to the Financial Times, China is now the biggest consumer of energy, passing the United States last year as reported by the International Energy Agency. As late as the year 2000, the United States used twice the energy that China used. Now, China is using at least 4% more than us.

Another source. In a recent feature section in Fortune magazine, Goldman Sach’s was quoted as estimating that by the year 2050, the size of the Chinese economy will be about billion while the size of the U.S. economy will be only about billion and just barely ahead of the Indian economy. By 2050, Brazil, Russia, India, and China will exceed the greenhouse emissions of the rest of the developed world.

All of these numbers point to the same conclusion: namely that China and India will become much, much stronger in the coming years and much more competitive, both for raw materials, finished products, and markets to sell their products. The United States needs to take some long term strategic actions in light of the coming tsunami of stronger economic rivals:

– We cannot hope to compete in the future economic landscape if we do not find a way to better educate our children for this new reality. The United States consistently ranks in the bottom half of worldwide student testing and education. This will not make for a strong economy if our workforce is outsmarted by other countries that also have the advantage of numbers on their side.

– We cannot hamstring our own economy with Obama’s cap and trade policy while the rest of the world, including the bigger and bigger energy users of China and India do not agree to stringent and trackable carbon emissions programs. If the United States goes it alone in this area, our economy will suffer at the hands of these economies that do not, resulting in lost jobs, lost industries, and lost economic strength since any carbon savings we incur will be overwhelmed by these new economic powers.

– We cannot continue to police the world, draining our economy through our military budget. Better to focus on getting our own economic house in order rather than deploying troops around the world to protect against enemies that do not exist anymore, enemies that cannot do any direct harm to us, or enemies that are better handled by other countries or the United Nations. We need to bring home our 54,000 or so troops from Germany since the Iron Curtain no longer exists, we need to bring home the 90,000 or so troops from Iraq as Obama the campaigner promised to do, we need to bring home our 50,000 or so troops from Japan since Japan is not going to hit Pearl harbor again and 50,000 troops are useless in the face of 2,000,000 Chinese troops in the neighborhood, and we need to bring home our 28,000 or so troops from South Korea and let them handle their own security, their economy is strong enough to handle it. Our focus on defense needs to be much more narrow and much more focused on those that could actually harm us and we need to bank the savings and strengthen those areas that will enable is to better compete economically.

– We need to finally develop and deploy a sane national energy program that makes us as self sufficient as possible, given that the hungrier economies of India and China will start to compete with us for raw energy sources. The less we spend on energy, as with defense, the better and stronger our economy will be against the onslaught of the growing economic powers in the world.

– We need to start getting our national debt and government spending problem under control now. The more capital and investment dollars that can be funneled into American businesses, the better off we can compete with China and India and the rest of the world. If all of our available capital is going to the government, where it is used on wasteful, inefficient government programs or used to pay the interest our national debt, the less flexible and competitive American businesses will be and less economic health our citizens will enjoy.

Bottom line, what is needed is a long term strategic plan for dealing with the new world order in the areas of national defense and economic strength. Do we think that the American political class is ready for such a comprehensive analytical and strategic task? Consider what our politicians have been working on over the past year or so:

– A Congresswoman and her staff worked on legislation that would regulate the sound volume of television commercials.
– A Congressman and his staff worked on legislation that would ban the airing of ED commercials on television.
– A Congressman and his staff worked on legislation that would provide a tax break for pet owners who might have to give up their pets in these hard economic times.
– The entire U.S. Congress and the entire Federal financial regulatory network was completely blind sided by the biggest economic malaise since the Great Depression, not realizing what was coming until it hit them in the face.
– Politicians in both houses of Congress worked on a bill to regulate how Division One college football teams decide a national championship.
– The current New Mexico governor is working on whether or not to pardon Billy The Kid, who died over a hundred years ago.
– A Georgia Congressman, at a Congressional hearing, worried in public on whether the island of Guam could tip over in the ocean.
– At least two sitting Congress people are likely to shortly face ethics charges and potential trials in the House Of Representatives for numerous financial and ethics offenses.
– Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, has publicly stated the insane concept that unemployment is the best way to create jobs.

As you can see, we have not elected the most forward thinking, strategic brains in the country. They are so entwined in the daily political infighting and just absolutely trivial matters that time is slipping away while other countries are quickly growing their economies to compete with us, our companies and our citizens.

If long term, strategic thinkers were running this country, they would not be working on the above trivial matters but instead would be focused on the following:

Step 1 – start reducing the size of the Federal government by 10% a year for five years to get our national debt and spending under control and to leave more capital in the private market for investment against other economies.

Step 2 – find a way to finally  make us more energy self sufficient and to bring other nations into a world wide, trackable process that reduces carbon emissions equally, not allowing any economy to gain an economic edge at the expense of others and the environment.

Step 3 – develop a ground up approach to overhaul, improve, and revolutionize American public education processes to prepare our kids for competition in the new economic world order.

Step 4 – bring home most, if not all, of our foreign deployed forces to begin the downsizing of our military budget in order to get our national debt under control and to provide capital to grow our private sector of the U.S. economy.

Step 5 – end the Cuban embargo immediately. After fifty years, most sane people would conclude it has not worked and ending the embargo would open up a new market for American businesses just ninety miles from our shores.

Step 6 – the most important step, institute term limit for all politicians. Given that none of these needed strategic steps have happened to make us better able to compete in the new economic reality and that most of the sitting politicians have been sitting in the same seats for decades while nothing happened, we cannot assume that all of a sudden they will do the right thing. We need to continually refresh those serving in Congress and the government with new people that are more fully aware of what is going on in the world and are not tied to old ways of thinking and spending.

We can succeed, we just need some visionary thinker and leaders to make it happen. India has its own problems, a large part of its population is still dirt poor, possibly providing social unrest problems unless they somehow can bring more people into their economic growth. The Chinese population will age quickly, as a result of their one child per family policy, putting strain on their economy in the coming years. All is not lost. In fact, if executed right, a long term strategic plan, as proposed above, could make the United States even stronger since new markets would open up in these growth economies. I guess the political class will get to this strategic plan as soon as the fix that pesky college football playoff system.

Our new book, “Love My Country, Loathe My Government – Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class” is now available at www.loatheymygovernment.com and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our daily dialog on freedom in America can be joined at www.loathemygovernment.blogspot.com.

Complete video at: fora.tv Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discusses difficulties faced by women in positions of political power. This excerpt is taken from a roundtable discussion entitled “Women and American Politics,” and was recorded at the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival. —– Women and American Politics: A Roundtable with discussants: Rep. Jane Harman, John Dickerson, Sec. Margaret Spellings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sec. Madeleine Albright. and moderated by Andrea Mitchell. In this, its third year, Aspen Ideas Festival once again gathers scientists, artists, politicians, historians, educators, activists, and other great thinkers around some of the most important and fascinating ideas of our time. As these thinkers present their provocative ideas, they engage a sophisticated and highly motivated audience. Madeleine Korbel Albright (born May 15, 1937) served as the 64th United States Secretary of State. She currently serves as the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Madeleine Albright was nominated by President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, as Secretary of State. After being unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, she was sworn in as the 64th Secretary of State on January 23, 1997. Albright was the first female Secretary of State.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

More American Politics Articles

Down The Rabbit Hole and Ito The Surreal World Of The American Political Class

Down The Rabbit Hole and Ito The Surreal World Of The American Political Class

If they were asked to take a hard and honest look at the problems facing this country in today’s world, it is easy for most people to identify the five or six overriding issues that deeply affect the most Americans. I would bet that the following issues would make most people’s top ten:

– Two ongoing wars in the Middle East.
– A continuing battle against terrorism.
– Our failing public education system.
– An ongoing battle against the plague of illegal drug usage.
– Escalating health care costs.
– Both Social Security and Medicare heading for insolvency.
– Skyrocketing national debt and deficit spending.
– High unemployment.
– The lack of a national and rational strategic energy plan.
– Illegal immigrants and the problems caused by the lack of a national border security capability.

Wherever you fall on each of these major issues (e.g. against the wars or for the wars, against legalization of drugs or against legalization, etc.), most sane people would agree that if we could focus and solve just this small handful of issues, the real world would be so much better.

However, when you listen to politicians speak, you sometimes wonder what world and reality they are dealing with and living in. Have they fallen down the proverbial rabbit hole from Alice In Wonderland to a world that is different from the ones most Americans inhabit everyday? Could it be that these major problems facing the nation listed above, the same ones that have not been solved by the political class for decades, have not been resolved because the political class lives in a different dimension than us? Consider the following events relative to the American political class that have recently popped out of the rabbit hole of politics:

1) A county politician in Wisconsin, running for a political office, opines in a public forum and on camera that Arizona is definitely not a border state with Mexico.. In all of the maps of the country I have seen throughout my life, Arizona is shown to have a very long common border with Mexico. In this Wisconsin politician’s world, that is not the case, making it tough to solve the illegal immigration problem when we are looking at totally different maps.

2) When the Democrats took over both houses of Congress in 2006, the Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi, proclaimed that the Democrats would reign in the outrageous deficit spending habits of the Bush administration and the Republican Congress. She vowed that there would be no new Federal government spending unless other areas of the Federal budget were reduced in order to pay for the new government spending, her highly touted “pay as you go” approach to curtailing the size of government. She proudly proclaimed on her website: “While the President’s (Bush) budgets have turned surpluses into deficits, the Democrats’ budget takes America in a new direction, returning fiscal responsibility to Washington and the right priorities for our nation.” Given the fact that Federal government spending has grown significantly and budget deficits have skyrocketed (tripled) since this Democratic Party Congressional takeover and into the first two budgets of the Obama administration, it is apparent that Nancy Pelosi exists in a different universe from us. Most of us would agree that fiscal responsibility does NOT mean tripling the size of the deficit within four short years as it does in Pelosi’s mind. However, we would agree with her assertion that the Democrats’ budget is taking us in a new direction, the fast track to national bankruptcy.

3) Let’s stay with Pelosi for another trip down the rabbit hole because her world is so fascinating and different than ours. The Speaker recently announced that high unemployment is good, and that, in fact, high unemployment is one of the best ways to create jobs. You cannot make this stuff up, check out her press conference on YouTube where she seriously made this claim. Thus, in her world, the more people that are unemployed, the more jobs are created for those in need of a job. In her world, if we can get to 100% unemployment, everyone might have a job created as a result. Obviously, economic theory is different where she exists.

4) In Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson’s world, physical laws of nature are suspended. In a recent Congressional hearing, the Congressman expressed his worry that the U.S. island of Guam might tip over in the ocean. Again, you cannot make this stuff up, check the YouTube video of the hearing.

5) The Associated Press reported on July 15, 2010 that Federal prosecutions of illegal immigrants jumped to new high levels in the spring as the “Obama administration continued an aggressive enforcement strategy championed under President George W. Bush.” Apparently, in our world, 4,145 cases were referred to Federal prosecutors in March and April. This was the highest number of cases for any two month stretch in the past five years. The article also reported that deportations have also climbed significantly, from 185,944 in 2007 to 387,790 in 2009. So let me get this right: the Federal government is prosecuting and deporting more illegal aliens than ever but has the chutzpah to turn around and sue the state of Arizona for trying to reign in the same large wave of illegal immigrants coming into its state from Mexico? Seems kind of contradictory, at least in our world of reason. Apparently, it makes perfectly good sense in Washington, send home illegal immigrants with one hand and slap the state of Arizona with the other hand for doing the same thing.

6) On July 13, 2010, the Associated Press reported that over 100,000 pieces of children’s jewelry had to be recalled from retail shelves because the jewelry contained high levels of cadmium, a dangerous heavy metal if ingested. That’s the good news. the bad news is that in the world of government safety regulation (e.g. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission), one does not learn from past mistakes. Several years ago, U.S. government safety organizations failed to realize that there were many, many children’s toys being sold in this country that had high levels of lead, another substance that can cause severe damage to a child if ingested. After that recall, it turns out that the same manufacturers replaced lead with cadmium, resulting in another recall earlier this year, a recall that included millions and millions of products. One would have hope that after the lead scare, the safety organizations would have been more on alert about similar type products. No such luck. After we got through the first cadmium scare, we now have another one. In the product safety dimension, learning does not happen, disasters just repeat over and over again.

7) In the surreal world of the American political class, all Republicans are vehemently against homosexuals and Democrats are the only advocates for the gay way of life. However, in our reality, this is not the case. An Associated Press report from July 13, 2010, reported that a Republican gay rights group, Log Cabin Republicans, is suing the administration in Federal court over the refusal of the Obama administration to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military doctrine on gays serving in the armed forces. This will set up the surreal situation where a Democratic administration will be using taxpayer funds to defend a policy, a policy it also wants to see repealed, against a group that is traditionally been painted as anti-gay. Got that, makes no sense to me either.

8) And finally, lets leave this post with some Orwellian and otherworldly snippets from President Obama. George Orwell in his novel, 1984, was very precise when he showed how by manipulating how you say things, e.g. war is peace, freedom is slavery, etc., you can make the unreal become real. In President Obama’s world, getting our military out of Iraq means staying in Iraq, closing the Guantanamo Bay prison means leaving it open, not hiring lobbyists to serve in his administration means hiring lobbyists to serve in his administration, significantly reducing earmarks means increasing earmarks, being fully engaged in helping the Gulf Coast residents survive the BP oil spill means taking two vacations, playing seven rounds of golf, participating in several athletic photo ops with various teams, and taking at least two trips to California to campaign for other Democrats, and not raising taxes for anyone earning under 0,000 a year means raising the taxes for those same people’s kids and grandkids by allowing unprecedented government spending and national debt increases, increases that every American, present and future, will eventually have to pay.

The sad thing is that the political class lives in their own world, a world where the pay is very good, the benefits are great, you can almost never get fired since you have rigged the election process, and you don’t have to care what your constituents think and the issues they face. You also do not have to solve real problems like the war on drugs, failing public education, wide open borders, etc. even though these problems have plagued the nation for decades. That is why imposing term limits on all Federally elected politicians is becoming more and more critical, forcing them out of their worlds and other dimensions after one term, hopefully replaced by regular people that are grounded in this world and the major issues listed above. It is time to bury the rabbit hole once a fall all, stop wasting taxes and start tackling real issues and problems.

Our new book, “Love My Country, Loathe My Government – Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class” is now available at www.loathemygovernment.com and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our daily dialog on freedom in America can be followed at www.loathemygovernment.blogspot.com.

See Part 2 www.youtube.com Crumbling domestic infrastructure. A bored, undisciplined population, demanding ever more wasteful and outrageous entertainments. Production exported to less developed countries, who then demand a share of the productivity. Rampant inflation eroding purchasing power. Democracy devolving into a totalitarian, repressive state. Division of the population into segments of extreme wealth and poverty. Hard work and merit no longer provide social mobility. Demands by other countries for self-determination and shared wealth are interpreted as a threat to super-power control. The flow of goods and resources is ensured by faltering military campaigns. Rebellion by subject nations, as the benefits of membership in the empire disappear. Sound familiar? Watch this video and compare it to the evening news. No? Maybe I’m mistaken. Discovery Military Channel ran a three episode documentary on ancient Rome. This is part 1 of a summary of “The Fall of Rome” episode. I could not find a listing in their archives for this show. military.discovery.com See ioUSAthemovie, visit the YouTube site www.youtube.com Feasabilty and desirability of Electric cars, Pluggable hybrids and Biodiesel www.youtube.com Failing to Protect, Serve and Lead, Our Government www.youtube.com Impeachment, the Constitution, and the President, Pt 1 www.youtube.com American Doctor Saves Millions of Lives Around the World www.youtube.com You choose! US Health Care reform vs Successful Health Care
Video Rating: 4 / 5

2009 Year Review – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From The American Political Class

2009 Year Review – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly From The American Political Class

Throughout 2009, while the country and it’s citizens were facing a terrible economy, foreign wars, extreme Congressional partisanship and sniping, no improvements in the major issues facing this country such as the soaring national debt, high unemployment, failing public schools, wide spread drug addiction problems, rising health care costs, and other major issues, what were the politicians worried about? Looking back on 2009, there appears to have been three distinct categories of American political class behavior: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

By all accounts, 2009 was a rough year in America. The good news is that I could actually identify some areas where the political class did some good things. The bad news is I could only come up with three examples where the actions of the political class had taxpayers and fellow citizens in mind when they executed their actions:

1) The first example is based on personal experience. I live in Pinellas county in Florida and over the past four years my property taxes have gone down on a year over year basis. They have gone down so much that I now pay about 40% in less in property taxes today than I paid four years ago with a significant portion of that decrease occurring in 2009. There are probably a number of factors, both political and non-political, that have gone into this decrease but the bottom line is that they have gone down significantly. And here is the good news: I still have police protection, I still have fire protection, the schools are still open, the parks are still open, most of the libraries are still open and the roads and traffic lights are still in good shape. This is proof, that on a very local level, excess waste can be taken out of government without substantial reduction in essential protection and services. The primary word in that previous sentence is essential.

2) The second example comes from the U.S. Senate and it was a suggestion and formal proposal to the Senate from Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. His reasoning: since the Federal government paid about billion of U.S. taxpayer money to acquire a 60% share of General Motors and theoretically save it from bankruptcy, shouldn’t each American taxpayer get stock certificates and partial ownership of GM rather than the Washington bureaucrats? After all, since government is able to function only because it takes money from taxpayers, if government acquires ownership in a private company, doesn’t that mean that the taxpayers own the company since it was their money? Senator Alexander was the single politician this year that showed he understood the relationship between paying taxes and government spending. Giving individual citizens those shares of GM would ensure more interest in how GM performed going forward since each citizen would have had a stake in its survival, probably giving GM a better shot at survival than it has with government ownership. Unfortunately, the Senator’s suggestion was not approved by the Senate.

3) The final example comes from a small town in south Florida, Miami Gardens. In the past year, Miami Gardens city government took the following actions:

The city payroll grew. Most everywhere else in the country unemployment increased.
City employees still got cost of living raises and merit raises. Most everywhere else in the country salaries and wages were frozen or reduced.
The city increased its financial reserves by about 0,000. Most everywhere else in the country, local and state governments dipped into their reserves to cover operating costs.
The city upgraded 17 parks and 4 schools. Most other government entities were reducing or eliminating maintenance projects.

 

How was Miami Gardens able to do all of these positive things in light of a very, very deep recession and the fact that they are not a city of wealthy residents? According to interviews with city officials:

City employees share both personnel resources and other resources.
The city hires only those people they actually need to do the work needed to be done.
City officials claim they have the ability and backbone to say “No” to non-essential projects and programs, claiming that they cannot be everything to everybody.

 

Thus, much like the first example above, the Miami Gardens politicians have shown that running a lean, efficient government operation is possible if you are respectful of taxpayers’ dollars. All it takes is a little planning and the ability to just say No.

The Bad

In life you have to take the good with the bad so now let’s review some of the less than glorious antics that the political class served us with in the second half of 2009:

Ginny Brown-Waite, a Congresswoman from Florida, was actively investing in bank stocks at the same time she was sitting on the House banking committee to determine which banks got what levels of bailout money and support from the American taxpayer through the Federal government. This is a blatant conflict of interest. Ordinary Americans would probably have gone to jail for insider trading if they did the same thing, apparently conflict of interest and insider trading activities do not apply to Congressional members.
Senator Hillary Clinton apparently also does not understand conflict of interest theory. She helped pass a bill that allowed a mall developer in New York state to get preferential tax treatment, shortly after the developer made a significant donation to Bill Clinton’s foundation.
Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye’s staff helped a bank in Hawaii get bailout money from the FDIC after the the FDIC determined the bank was not worth saving. Turns out that the Senator had invested heavily in the bank and stood to lose a load of money unless the bank was saved by the American taxpayer.
Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut received substantial campaign donations from Fannie Me and Freddie Mac. Two things wrong here. First, Dodd was chairman of the Senate banking committee responsible for overseeing the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a clear cut case of conflict of interest. Second, how do two Federal organizations that exist now solely because of taxpayer support and bailout money get to use taxpayer money to support specific candidates for office? Shouldn’t government organizations remain non-partisan and not a piggy bank for the politicians who are supposed to oversee them?
Ex-Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana was convicted of taking bribes and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. You may recall that Mr. Jefferson was caught with frozen bribe money in his home freezer. This continues the hall of shame tradition of the political class who recently included Congressman Randy Cunningham who was sentenced to eight years in prison for taking .4 million in bribes, Congressman Bill Ney who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for taking bribes, Congressman James Traficant who was sentenced to seven years in prison for taking bribes, and the majority of ex-Governors of Illinois who are either serving prison time, have served prison time, or may soon face prison time.
60% of the Congressional members sitting on the House Armed Services Committee received campaign contributions from the very companies that they had previously earmarked pork barrel budget money for.
Congressman Charles Rangel of New York is being investigated for a number of ethics violations including, but not limited to, non-declaration of rental income, certain assets, and other income.
In the area of “who really cares about this bill”, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of California and her staff are working on legislation to Federally regulate the sound volume on television commercials. Never mind that TV watchers can mute the sound, change the channel, leave the room to get something to eat, fast forward on their DVR machines, or just ignore the TV for 60 seconds. Why work on Iraq, Afghanistan, soaring deficits, unemployment, failing public schools, etc. when the TV commercial sound volume issue is so pressing?
In the same vein as Ms. Eshoo’s contribution to America, Congressman Jim Moran and his staff are investigating whether certain television commercials alluding to a specific male health problem should be banned. I did not know this was so important either. As with Ms. Eshoo, let’s ignore real issues facing America and work on television commercial issues.
And it never ends. Congressman Thaddeus McCotter and his staff is working on legislation to provide up to 0 a month in income tax deductions so that the unemployed do not have to put their pets up for adoption. Maybe if his staff and he were working on how to get America working again, there would be no need for this ridiculous program that would never be able to be tracked and would be rife with fraud.
Worse than individual Congress people and their staffs working on trivial bills, how about an entire House subcommittee worked on legislation aimed at forcing the NCAA to go to a playoff format to determine the best Division One college football team? Where would this issue rank with the vast majority of Americans today? Probably not very high.
The fence along the border between America and Mexico was the work of the entire Congress. A 2009 report documented that the construction of the fence is seven years behind schedule, it will cost .4 billion to maintain the fence over the next twenty years (0,000 a day!), and there have been at least 3,000 breaches of the fence where illegal immigrants were able to enter the country despite this billion dollar fence.
The new Washington D.C. visitors’ center was completed but only after it overran it’s construction budget by about 50%.
California Congressman Henry Waxman was quoted as saying: “I certainly don’t claim to know everything’s that’s in this bill” in referring to the massive cap and trade legislation that is likely to come before Congress in 2010. The troubling aspect of this statement is that Waxman is the official co-author and writer of the bill!
Recently, who could forget the blatant bribes the recently passed health care reform bill required where a handful of Democratic Senators were able to get breaks for their individual states to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in exchange for their final vote in support of this bill.

 

If these actions were not serious and far reaching, they would be comical. Conflicts of interest, trivial projects, wastes of money, sad but true in 2009.

The Ugly

It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, it is difficult to find much beauty in any of the following Federally funded projects since they waste Federal tax dollars on local projects that contribute nothing to solving the major, national issues facing the country today. The only beauty is in the eye of incumbent politicians who waste these taxpayer dollars to support their re-election efforts:

Exhibits at the Teddy Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation – 0,000
Restoration of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Music Hall – ,000,000
Restoration of the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia – 0,000
Construction of the Monroe County (Kentucky) Farmers’ Market – 0,000
Restoration of the Murphy Theater in Ohio – 0,000
Restoration of the Slater Mill in Rhode Island – 4,000
Restoration of the Pregone Theater in the Bronx – 0,000
Construction of the Santa Ana River Trail in California – 0,000
Funding for the Myrtle Beach International Trade and Conference Center – 0,000
Funding for the Washington (state) Opera – 0,000
Funding for the Montana World Trade Center – 4,000
Funding for the Arkansas Commercial Driver Training Institute – 0,000
Funding to study and educate citizens about the role and importance of the U.S. Senate, located in Massachusetts – ,900,000
Funding for the Brown Tree Snake Program, funding that was embedded in the 2010 Defense Department budget – 0,000
Renovation of the Ritz Theater in Newburgh, New York – 0,000
Renovation of the Laredo Little Theater in Lardeo, Texas – 0,000
Widening of Bristol Street in Santa Ana, California – 0,000
Construction of a bike path in Port Sanilax, Michigan – 0,000
Funding for the Museum Of Aviation – 0,000
Funding for the World Food Prize in Iowa – 0,000
Questionable Medicare claims including such, as an example, paying for blood glucose strips for sexual impotence – ,000,000,000
Government waste due to improper payments across all Federal government departments – ,000,000,000
Conversion of 21 cabooses into a caboose motel in Pennsylvania – 0,000
Funding for a remote Pennsylvania airport that serves about twenty passengers a day – 0,000,000
Funding for a state of the art radar system for that remote Pennsylvania airport that has never been used – ,000,000
Funding for a remote Montana border checkpoint at the Canadian border that handles about three travelers a day on average and less than 0 of freight a day on average – ,000,000
Funding for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii – 8,000
Funding for the Forage Animal Production Research Lab in Kentucky- ,600,000
Funding for Swine Odor and Manure Management Research in Iowa – ,790,000
Funding for oyster rehabilitation in Alabama – 0,000
Support of health and economic development activities for the Arctic region – ,600,000
A loan to a California company to develop and build an expensive hybrid sports car…. in Finland – 9,000,000

 

These are just a couple dozen programs that waste hard earned taxpayer dollars. The 2010 budget bills have over 11,000 other such programs, even though President Obama campaigned to keep the number of pork projects like these well under 2,000. The reasons we have state and local governments is to handle state and local needs. It should not be the role of the Federal government to fund local bike paths, widen local roads, renovate theaters, etc. It diverts time, money, and resources from the truly national problems like the two wars we are currently involved in, soaring Federal deficits, high unemployment levels, Social Security and Medicare heading for insolvency, failing public schools, high drug addiction rates and the associated crime problems, the lacking of a national strategic energy plan, etc.

Then why does the political class spend/waste time and money on these clearly local issues and needs? It helps guarantee them re-election by attempting to prove to their own voters that they are adept at stealing money from other U.S. taxpayers and funneling into their home districts and states. Remember, the government pays for nothing, it funds programs with taxpayer money taken from all American taxpayers. Thus, the bike trail in Michigan is being financed in part by taxpayers in Arizona who will never ride that trail. The Polynesian Voyaging Society is being funded in part by taxpayers in Vermont who will never get any benefits from the Society.

A long time ago, the Statue Of Liberty, an enduing symbol of this entire country and its freedom, was in badly need of repair and renovation. The country rose up to privately donate enough funds to restore this national symbol. If the Statue Of Liberty did not merit Federal money several decades ago, why do farmers’ markets and bike paths merit such Federal support today?

This pilfering of national tax dollars possibly hides a more dangerous reality. It could be that this generation of politicians, and the ones that have come immediately before them, do not know how to solve the real national problems facing America today. In the 1960s, Nixon declared war on drugs but we still have a major drug problem in this country. In the 1970s, Carter was President when we lived through the energy crises but we still no do not have a national strategic energy program in place. In the early 1980s, the Reagan administration identified the danger of our failing public school systems but today many of our public schools are still failing. In the 1990s, despite numerous wake-up calls (first World Trade Center attacks, U.S. embassy terrorist bombings in Africa, USS Cole attack, etc.) we still do not have the terrorist threat under control, as witnessed by the almost catastrophic airline security breakdown on the Christmas day KLM flight into Detroit.

Thus, it could be that our current politicians work on useless and wasteful local spending programs and worry about the sound volume on television commercials because they are incapable of doing anything else. If they were, than many of our national problems would have been addressed and solved already. That is why the following steps need to be taken to start reducing “The Bad” and “The Ugly” and expanding the “The Good” from the political class:

Step 1 – start reducing Federal spending by 10% a year, for five years, in order to begin weeding out the wasteful, but politically convenient, local wastes of money.
Step 2 – allow only individual citizens to contribute to political election campaigns since many of the wasteful programs are really bribes, directing taxpayer dollars to companies, unions, and lobbyists in order to get reciprocal campaign donations for incumbents’ re-election campaigns.
Step 3 – hold Congressional committee and subcommittee members accountable for their performance, removing them from committee posts when their efforts are unsatisfactory and wasteful.
Step 4 – establish term limits for all Senators and Congressmen since allowing them to serve forever is not working. If the President, the most important elected official in the world, has term limits, less important Senate and House of Representative seats should also be limited in term length.
Step 5 – no Federal money could be spent on any program or project unless it materially affects a substantial number of residents in at least five states, i.e. spend Federal tax dollars on national needs, let state and local governments and private citizens handle the local needs.

While “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” made for a good Clint Eastwood movie, it does not make for effective and efficient governance. Let’s hope that 2010 is better and that somehow some of the steps listed above take hold this year, resulting in a 2010 list of wasteful spending programs and negative political antics that is far smaller than in 2009.

Note: only credible, well known news sources were used for the information included in this article. These sources included, but were not limited to, the New York Times, the St. Petersburg Times, CNN, the Associated Pres, The Week Magazine, and Reason Magazine and does not include personal opinions or information from highly partisan sources. For detailed information on the sources please refer to www.loathemygovernment.blogspot.com where all of these facts and figures have been previously identified and discussed.
 
Visit our website at www.loathemygovernment.com to learn about “Love My Country, Loathe My Government – Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class”.

Walter “Bruno” Korschek is the author of the new book, “Love My Country, Loathe My Government – Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Destroying The American Political Class”, a blue print for reversing the loss of freedom in America and addressing the real issues facing Americans today.

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