Obama: Leading the ‘Charge’ on the Economy

I’ve been at work all day, and did not have a chance to listen to President-Elect Barack Obama’s speech on the current status of and his future plans for the U.S. economy. I did, however, have a chance to read the transcript online.

To be honest, the biggest thing which jumped out at me was Obama’s apparent resignation that America will see at the very least a $1.2 trillion budget deficit each year for the coming years (I’d be willing to bet it doubles in 2010), that big government is undoubtedly a panacea, and that government spending is somehow the only prescription for economic recovery. From the speech:


There is no doubt that the cost of this plan will be considerable. It will certainly add to the budget deficit in the short-term. But equally certain are the consequences of doing too little or nothing at all, for that will lead to an even greater deficit of jobs, incomes, and confidence in our economy. It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the vicious cycles that are crippling our economy – where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.

Perhaps the best way to articulate my feelings on this subject, as I am by no means an economic genius (quite the opposite, actually), is to get a little more personal than I usually do.

My wife and I have a few credit card accounts. The last time we used any of them was about two years ago, long before the creation of this Web site, when our vacuum cleaner exploded in a mist of dust and dog and cat hair and I grew tired of spending $140 every year or so on a new machine — so we bought a Dyson (great, great product, by the way). Other than that, it has been years since a single purchase was made, and we have been working diligently to pay them off. Even now, I’m sure that our outstanding balances are nothing compared with the national average.

That being said, I remember exactly how easy it is to let that debt pile up when the foundations for it are already there. When you’ve got, in your wallet, a credit card that already has a $500 balance, or a $1500 balance, or a $7000 balance, it’s a whole lot easier to throw common sense to the wind and say “ahhh, what the heck” when face-to-face with that shiny new $700 flat screen LCD television or, for some of you ladies out there, when you’re face-to-face with that cute Coach purse or sexy pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes.

For us, our habits officially changed five years ago when we bought our house, too much house as it were. On the rare occasion when there were big purchases–I bought a $1700 52″ rear-projection TV within hours of signing the papers for our mortgage–they were done with cash, with saved-up “allowances” we provided ourselves so that we could live and eat and spend when necessary while still maintaining a common sense approach to our financial condition. For the most part, while at that time we were making a fair amount more than we were spending, we worked to pay down our credit card debt. After our daughter was born nearly six weeks premature, after we got saddled with the medical bills on top of the normal costs of raising a child, that payment plan became a whole lot less aggressive. Still, it was all about fiscal responsibility, and every decision we made was grounded in the effects it would have upon our lives for years to come.

See, the problem with building up debt through irresponsible spending is that not only is it difficult to pay off when you finally wake up and smell the stupidity, but once you’re in a little debt, it’s almost impossible to put a stop to the spending even while in progress. That’s why so many people have so many cards which are “maxed out.” That’s why so many people have no clue just how deep a hole they’ve dug until the phone starts ringing and the creditors start calling. People need some sort of artificial cap in order to force them to quit spending; it’s the nature of this new American spendthrift culture.

We’re so out of whack, after all, that the entire rent-to-own industry has grown because people are so desperate for shiny faux mahogany that they’d gladly pay thousands of dollars in weekly rental fees for a dining room table which, with a little patience and fiscal discipline, could be theirs for $600 in cash. We’re so out of whack, after all, that people go to payday lending institutions and gladly sign over 20, 30, 40 percent or more of their next paycheck just to have access to it quicker.

The American people are spending themselves into oblivion, and they’re taking their lead from what they see in Washington, D.C. With Barack Obama admitting that we’ll be seeing a trillion-dollar deficit each year, my worry is that the federal government will have every excuse to rationalize a little more deficit spending here and a little more deficit spending there–because, really, who’s gonna notice just a little more?–and will have as much difficulty slowing down that irresponsible spending as a 19-year-old college student with only a $2,500 balance on a credit card with a limit of $5,000.

The problem, however, is while that student will inevitably be forced to stop at his credit limit, there is no such cap for our federal government save for a tipping point when China no longer wants to lend us money, or when we’re printing more and more money, destroying the value of our currency just to make the interest payments, and nobody wants the American dollar anymore.

The answer to paying off credit card debt is fairly straightforward, but hardly easy. Simply maintaining problematic spending habits elsewhere while making only the minimum payments will not get you anywhere, so some changes must be made. Either (1) you must find a way to bring in more net income and route that extra revenue toward paying off your debt, or (2) you change the way you spend money, making sacrifices where necessary and cutting out non-essential spending, in turn routing your savings toward paying off your debt. Ideally, you do both. I don’t see the federal government doing either.

In fact, the one thing I haven’t yet heard at all from Capitol Hill, from anybody on either side of the political spectrum, is how exactly we plan on digging ourselves out of this hole. Nobody, Republican or Democrat or Independent or Socialist, wants to explain to the American people exactly how we’ll meet our debt obligations, how we’ll stay afloat with a $1.2 trillion deficit this year and God knows how much in 2010. Complete silence. All the talk is about the spending. And it has to stop.

Spending more to foster immediate and lasting economic growth is ludicrous. Economic growth is cultivated through tearing down the government-implemented barriers between business and prosperity. Lighten the tax burden on business and corporations, reduce or eliminate regulations. That’s the way to entice business to DO business in the United States. That’s the way to create jobs. That’s the way to increase revenue taken in by the federal government, revenue which should in turn be used to pay off our exponentially expanding debt.

Obama’s tax cuts are tempting by design, intended to woo short-sighted, lazy Republicans who haven’t learned or refuse to learn the lessons of the elections of 2006 and 2008–that moderate Republicans lose, and conservative Republicans don’t–and rely on the apathy of a woefully uninformed constituency to obfuscate their interest in political expedience at the expense of conservative principles. These measures aren’t so much a tax cut as a tax credit anyway, and at best are short-lived and absolutely dwarfed by the almost trillion dollars proposed for new spending, spending designed to fund government’s further incursion into our daily lives under the false pretense of infrastructure improvements, broadband dissemination and more.

Infrastructure improvements are fine, but resurfacing the driveway or putting in a stainless steel, six-burner gas range in anticipation for efficiency in the long-term makes little sense if the bank is calling and foreclosure is looming. Avoid foreclosure first, restore your credit, get some money in the bank, and then worry about the landscaping. Do that by ridding yourself of unnecessary expenses, and refusing to take on any more. Do that before the hole you’ve dug yourself becomes a grave.

All of this comes at a time when our friends in Europe are laying out plans for a new world order, decrying capitalism as it stands now and aspiring to inject more government involvement in the new global economy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for more regulation of financial markets, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair laments that profit–that pesky side effect of capitalism–is such a focus, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy advocated a global approach to the economy, said that “immoral” speculation has “perverted the logic of capitalism.”

“It’s a system where wealth goes to the wealthy, where work is devalued, where production is devalued, where entrepreneurial spirit is devalued,” he said, before providing a glimpse of his own aspirations for the world economy. “In capitalism of the 21st century, there is room for the state,” he said.

Merkel, Blair and Sarkozy seem to be holding up the faltering of the American economy and subsequent missteps across the globe as evidence that capitalism doesn’t work. The problem, however, is that we’re not allowing capitalism to work. At every turn, we’re looking for more government involvement, more of a government stake, building up our reliance on government, and brushing personal responsibility and fiscal common sense away as though time-tested economic laws just don’t matter.

We need common sense in these times. For the sake of the world, that common sense approach must start in America. The ideas articulated by the president-elect today, however, do nothing but countermand any approach to economic revitalization based upon common sense.

Low taxes. Minimal government involvement and regulation. Responsible government spending. Let business do business, let capitalism build capital, and get out of the way.

With any luck, my wife and I will finally have our credit card debt paid off just in time for more than $125,000 in law school loans to come active. Eventually, employing the tenets of fiscal conservatism in our own household, we’ll pay those off too. Unless we change our course in America, however, unless we do the hard things now even though such efforts may be neither politically expedient nor popular, no matter what we do under our own roof, my child and her generation will bear a financial burden unseen by any other generation in the history of the world.

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Comments

  1. JeffM says:

    My prediction for 2010:

    America is officially bankrupt. People blame the government, especially when they refuse to awknowledge our complaints against it.

    A revolution ensues because citizens have no jobs or money. Housecleaning occurs and everyone in Congress is removed from office.

    I didn’t say I liked it, but it’s clear that we’re heading down the road we did back in the 1760′s:

    1. Overtaxation
    2. Undervaluation
    3. No representation
    4. Corrupt government
    5. Preferential treatment

    The list goes on and on. Read up on your history folks. Because we’re doomed to repeat it.

  2. ForMySons says:

    Macaroni and cheese and hot dogs finance control……its the American way…Joe Citizen knows it well……….just not the American governments way.
    Back in 02, we had a slump here in Fl, a few businesses closed up, some folks got laid off, vehicles got parked/sold/repo’d..a few foreclosures took place…not to awful bad, but, bad enough.
    Our business wasn’t affected much at the beginning, because of the nature of transportation( we were in the Wrecker and Recovery Industry) but, over a period of a year, the market shifeted…..people became fiscally conservative, and the price wars began…..tow cheaper, stay in business, less profit, less ‘cushion money, etc etc. Everyone had to adjust, they did, and normalcy returned a couple of years later…less some competitors.
    The Governement doesn’t even bother to consider the “latent” affects ” of whats happening.
    With Unemployment reaching numbers we haven’t seen in decades, and a tax cut on middle class wages…whats the Tax revenue deficit going to be? 30% lower? 40%??
    That loss of Tax income will be HUGE. No matter what your financial condition, Cash Flow is paramount, governement, business or personal. Coupled with the Feds inability to undertand “Cash Storage” ( rainy day money) It spells a much larger deficit than is being projected. Add to THAT the ” this and that” spending which is going to take place outside of the “stimulus” and you’ll see our government in a tailspin.
    The saving graace is the American people, we, collectivly suffer, but we also collectivly respond in ways that make a difference. For instance, July Gas was 4.00/gal….driving habits changed( yes I know some of THAT was people losing their jobs and not going to work everyday) and the inventories of Gas shot way up, dropping prices. People will adjust, now if we can only get the Feds to……….wait……..will we be to poor to run another election???
    Cash is King……The Coffee Can and Metal Detctor Savings and Loan

  3. Seasoned Hoosier says:

    Over the past 70 years we have been conditioned to rely on our government to provide whatever need we cannot provide immediately for yourselves – Social Security, Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, “affordable housing,” etc. We have let our wants outrun our wisdom that tells us to save for what we want. FDR promised a “chicken in every pot.” Now, America has elected for POTUS a socialist who promises “change” and “hope.” We will all be equal – after all, it is not right that my neighbor should have a million dollars and I only have ten. Even if he did scrimp and save while I spent like a drunken sailor, he should share (redistribute) his wealth with me.

    Obama is showing that he knows NOTHING about how to run a household, a business, or a government. A typical Democrat, he tihinks that we solve financial problems by throwing more money at them. Sadly, it has never worked and it won’t work now. Our grandchildren will have to pay this off if there is a United States left in four years.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You are wondering how the Washington career politicians will get us out of this debt mess. Are you kidding? The debt mess is our mess (common folks, the serfs). Not their mess (the ruling class).

    Bill Clinton ignited the banking debacle with his role as “first black president” (read Community Reinvestment Act) The whole economy imploded because of that. Do you think Clinton cares?

    Clinton has about $1 Billion in his Pres Library fund, and his personal after tax worth is $100 Million. I guess he is not sweating the current uptick in unemployment.

    If Obama makes 8 years in the White House, he will create more millionaires (maybe billionaires) than Bill Gates ever did, but none will be anybody you know. Just the folks that Obama knows.

  5. Janet says:

    First, thank you, Jeff, for a clear-headed, logical, down-to-earth, serious discussion of how to get out of debt … in two words … STOP SPENDING!

    So Barack Obama, with his head obviously up his … excuse me, with his head obviously on backwards, says, “LET’S SPEND MORE THAN WE EVER HAVE BEFORE! TRILLION! WITH A TR!”

    Brilliant.
    Obviously he’s into the new world order. Obviously he’s into bankrupting America. And today our Senators and Reps voted a usurper into office.

    I am disgusted.

  6. Anonymous says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhZqGnpvKLw (8 mins, well worth it)

    Jeff(s) have you seen this? I am officially scared sh!tless,right now!

    Or how 'bout this? (very brief)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrctsKSdLD4&NR=1

  7. Anonymous says:

    No offense Jeffy boy, that’s what you get for supporting a retard who spends almost that amount of money on an uncalled for war LMAO. Stupid conservatives

  8. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the end times! There may not be a US government in 4 years. All the Obamanites are pushing for the New Global World Order. Read Ezekial and Revelations!

  9. gailbullock says:

    What's the deal with infrastructure? Why infrastructure? Why not the walls at our borders and border patrol agents? Why not smaller government?

    Folks, listen for the word "global" because we are still a republic to which we have pledged allegiance. We need to remain a republic.

    Good ol' Pelosi–with her new House Rules, we, who are being taxed to death already, will be taxed more without representation. Time for a Tea Party, I'd say!

    I was sent an email this afternoon with the words, "CAFR Federal, State, School Board, State Retirement Fund Government Shell Game Scam. There is no Federal Debt, no State Debt, no County Debt!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUGaO8ALZV8 AND

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqVF8VqHv7w&feature=related

    I'm going to bed. I've had enough for one day!

  10. gailbullock says:

    I forgot to mention that you can Google your state with CAFR and see for yourselves. I got tired of waiting for US CAFR to load.

    CAFR is Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, different from the Annual Financial Report.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had enough for the day as well, but I don’t think I will sleep much tonight.

  12. Kris says:

    Perfect Alinsky training – create chaos in the minds of the masses. Then in their panic convince them that they need more control … and here we have the perfect scam artist to do the job.

    I think we might just be approaching Washington’s 3rd “prophecy”:

    http://www.propheticroundtable.org/vision_of_george_washington.htm

    http://texasdarlin.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/the-people-of-america-and-the-us-congress-preparation-for-the-worst/

  13. Anonymous says:

    Careful conservatives, your biases in favor of the haves and against the have-nots (aka “kicking people when they are down”) are showing. (a) the author of “America’s Right” seems opposed to Obama’s middle-class tax cuts (or tax credits). Supposedly conservatives are FOR less taxes. However, Obama’s tax cuts, actually targeted toward the working stiffs of this country, are somehow objectionable. Hmmm.
    (b) Mitt Romney, the favorite of corporate America conservatives, in his resignation speech of Feb. 7, 2008, actually CONDEMNED his demonized liberals for–get this, I am not making this up, look it up for yourself in a google search if you don’t believe me–Mitt Romney the Voice of Economic Conservatives Par Excellence, CONDEMNED “liberals” for the shocking crime of wanting to “remove MORE AND MORE PEOPLE FROM HAVING TO PAY ANY TAX WHATSOEVER” [direct quote, emphasis added].
    The shocking crime to Romney, of course, was that people at the LOW end of the economy should have their tax burden reduced or ended. When conservatives claim they are against government intervention, some of them are lying. Some conservatives–Romney for example–want to keep confiscating taxes out of minimum wage paychecks earned by people who work very hard and do not earn enough to live.
    It was the principled, courageous, reviled Ralph Nader way out there on the left, who advocated the truly conservative, truly modest proposal that any working American earning less than it costs to pay rent and buy food for themselves, should be exempt from paying income tax at all. Very simple principle. OPPOSED by Romney. Opposed by other conservatives of Romney’s ilk. When Obama makes even the tiniest moves toward implementing direct tax relief targeted toward those who work the hardest and make the least in this country, watch some conservatives get their hackles up and find five hundred reasons to object. Its not tax relief in principle these conservatives favor. It is tax relief for certain sectors of society that these conservatives favor. The working poor of this country, in this worldview, do not matter. For those whose hearts are cold as stone, Romney’s statement, and the objections to any budding attempt by Obama to target tax relief to the ones who work the hardest and earn the least, will seem perfectly logical. For those who still have roots in a common humanity, think about it, think about what is going on, think about it, look up Dennis Kucinich’s impassioned five-minute speech on UTube at the Democratic National Convention when he screamed, like a prophet, to America to “Wake Up!”
    – Scroller

  14. Kris says:

    Scroller : tax/schmax You do go on.

    Fact is Democrats did not want any control on their bad loans scheme. Current “emergency” solution for their mess? More bad loans – building an impossible future for the kids. Again, consciously create chaos that inevitably spreads to the world. How convenient! Then we can have our own excuse to join the EU co-opted do nothings and believe in some “global” solution in some “new world”. Funny, but that “new world’s” foundlings are all debtor countries. Now then, ready for the New Compassionate One where only those agreeing may apply? The rest who object can only then be seen as interfering blockers – to be “dealt with”. And you started it all by voting for one of their minion darlings!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, very clear and concise analysis. Unfortunately for American patriots, BHO would like to bankrupt this country. The more the masses feel they “need” big government for survival, the more power he grabs.
    Sad but true.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, I agree with you. Saving, debt and planning is something that has to be taught to our children. Learing to wait and the gratification that comes from waiting and buying ‘it’ yourself.

    I was a divorced mother with 4 kids and I know what it is like to get into debt and struggle. I don’t ever want to be there again!

    In the words of the late, great Ronald Reagan…the 9 scariest words you will ever hear…..”Hi, I’m from the goverment and here to help” :)

  17. Daniel F says:

    I just posted my predictions for 2009. I said that the US Debt ceiling will be raised to 15 trillion dollars which would raise us from 27th to 8th on the list of nations listed as having the highest Debt to GDP ratio. At this rate we would not take over Zimbabwe’s number one position until 12-31-2011.

  18. Anonymous says:

    TROUBLESHOOTER HERE…
    Earlier today I watched the dog and pony show in DC: the resident aliens
    read their scripts, smiled way to much for matters being as they are and in less than 35min. completed the tally of the states electoral votes. This activity was interrupted from time to time by applause…I wonder if any written objection was tendered?

    REF. monetary matters: how about the constitutional requirement being reinstated? Oh I forgot…
    the rule of law no longer applies: forget the history of the organic law altogether!

    Time to find some yard-birds…and get them greens to go’n.

  19. goddessdivine says:

    Once again, brilliant piece. Debt scares the bejeezus (sp?) out of me and I avoid it like the plague. Interest never sleeps; it is there every single hour of the day to haunt you and hang over your head.

    You make an excellent point in that our leaders have not even figured out how we are going to get ourselves out of this mess. Completely irresponsible.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hear This…

    The US is technically bankrupt.

    If you or I had such a balance sheet as our government, we would be in Chapter 11 Reorganization to say the least.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not sure what to make of this but make sure you see the 3 links at the bottom too. Book burning on Feb 10?

    http://c3library.com/2009/01/05/cpsia-and-libraries/

  22. Anonymous says:

    2012 cannot come fast enough for me – I hope instead of voting out these morons – I hope they all leave in handcuffs and instead of closing gitmo we put these asses in there. It just seems that this is beyond what treason meant back in the day our forefathers put together this gallant nation. They have forced this crisis and if we just do not give in to them and freak and just stay and hold we may have something of a country left. God Bless America.
    “We in government should learn to look at our country with the eyes of the entrepreneur, seeing possibilities where others see only problems.”

  23. Matt says:

    I’m having a very bad feeling…

    what would happen to any of us citizens; when we live beyond our means, and can not pay our bills? People and/or Collection agencies come and want money…

    Who will come and say Pay up? China? Will it cost $1000 for a loaf of bread because the dollar has been devalued, due to the government printing so much?

    This is not the time to through caution (aka money) to the wind.

  24. rrobin says:

    Jeff, why do YOU think that VP Cheney did not even ASK for any objections yesterday after the electoral vote count/certification?
    Thanks.

  25. Stupid says:

    So let me see IIRC,
    1 Kissinger “opens” china
    2 Clinton gets suit cases of chinese $
    3 We buy junk from china -
    4 Our industrail base is so eroded we have a major crisis.
    So now:
    BHO wants new spending without stressing capitalization of new US industries. Ain’t it great to have a non-business guy for “prezelect”?

  26. Anonymous says:

    All of this because we have become a greedy, self-centered, immoral society!!! When God was removed from our schools and abortion became legal….so went America as our founding fathers wanted it to be. I think we have just stomped on our Constitution for the last time!

  27. Carlyle says:

    Whoa, boy. That horse already left the barn. Only a fiscal conservative could get close to making the country better. But, no, we elected the least conservative and least capibile President possible. We have now tipped from a gentle slope to economic hell to a freefall. And with the “bullet proof” majority in congress, it is hard to see how anything can stop it. You are just pizzing in the wind.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Guys, it's really simple. Capitalism has but one moral – the maximization of profit. Left unregulated, capitalism will subordinate all other concerns to that of profit.

    The CRA didn't spike the mortgage industry; the bulk of subprime mortgages were issued by firms NOT subject to the CRA. The drug companies don't all "suffer" from regulatory costs; when Merck can spend six times as much on marketing and promotion as they do on R&D, they aren't exactly hurting. We have profitable, billion-dollar companies outsourcing jobs, not from a sense of urgency, but simply because they aren't happy with their current level of profit.

    It's absolutely true that one can over-regulate a given industry, but we've been shown, in graphic detail, the harm that comes from the lack of regulation we've seen in recent years. For instance, the SEC allowed Merrill Lynch to assume a debt-to-net-capital ratio approaching 40-to-1 soon before it failed. What rational person believes that a financial house should be allowed to sign up for 40 times as much debt as it can satisfy via net capital?

    Jeff, your points about fiscal conservatism are well taken, but they must be applied to the business sector as well – and history has shown us, repeatedly, that they simply won't do it themselves.

  29. Anonymous says:

    But with everything you have said Jeff, you have the same mindset of Obama…spend spend spend, especially when it comes to your education loans!

    I'm 42, unable to go to college, because I never had the money when I was younger. For the last 8 years I had to take a night class (while working and raising a family) here and there and finally received my two year degree. I recently quit my job, so I could go back to school full-time, it's only now at 42 years of age where I can now AFFORD to go to state college full-time (without loans) and not work. It was always my dream to go to law school but never could afford it. I'm hoping I'll be able to get into CUNY in three years, if not, ALL DOORS, are closed for me, pretty much.

    My daughter is grown and now in college herself and she too pays as she goes…no loans, and we are the struggling middle/lower class, its not like its easy for us either.

    Do you recall early on in American History where poor immigrants were allured into coming to America so that they can get a job and a "better life", well, it sounded good but the kicker was these men were poor with no money and to come over from Europe with, so the companies over here would give the immigrants a "loan" to pay back once they had their job. But it was a vicious cycle. They never could keep up with the debts you see once they got here, now they had to be fed and clothed and housed, but the immigrants still had no money and the companies offered MORE loans, well, what happened to these men, they worked night and day, day and night trying to pay the debts, they could never get ahead, and essentially died servants. There was no better life, it was a false promise, they died as "slaves".

    This is the same ideology with the student loans. YOU (Jeff) may become successfull when paying off your loans, but trust me most of college graduates are finding it harder and harder to pay the loans because the jobs are not there or not paying a "living" wage. More and more STATE PROGRAMS offer loan forgiveness, yet another way for STATE to control the citizens, to indenture them to work for the state.

    It's sad that we have reverted back to the 1800s, promising a brighter future with handing out loans that are impossible to repay without becoming that indentured servant to the state.

    I have zero debt, except for my mortgage & car, no credit card balances, no other types of loans.

    If a great depression came within a few years or even tomorrow, I would be fine. Because I do own a modest house (besides the one with a mortgage) that is not tied down to a mortgage, so I wouldn't be homeless. Many people lost their homes during the depression of the 1920s because of outstanding debts.

    With Obama coming into the White House with his ideology of spend trillions of dollars every year in the red, scares me…scares the s*** out of me.

    I don't know the outcome, but in my gut it doesn't seem right. Spending your way out of debt has not worked for the individual, has not worked for the cities around the country, has not worked for the states around the country, and has not worked for the federal government thus far. Why in the hell, do they think it will work NOW?!!!

    What is about to happen to America is unprecedented, it will be the catastrophic descend of sovereignty in the United States (and the individual) as we know it.

    I've paid attention to history, and I've lived accordingly and modestly…I am ready for the storm.

    Just my own opinion, if the economy crashed tomorrow, people need to be aware that "goods" are more important to have than "the dollar", the dollar will be useless. Buy canned foods and similar foods now, because they will be far too expensive in a crisis. And the 2nd Amendment (for protection in your house) is always a good constitutional right to exercise when in a crisis.

    ck

  30. LibertyFreak says:

    Jeff,

    Your quote….
    “In fact, the one thing I haven’t yet heard at all from Capitol Hill, from anybody on either side of the political spectrum, is how exactly we plan on digging ourselves out of this hole. Nobody, Republican or Democrat or Independent or Socialist, wants to explain to the American people exactly how we’ll meet our debt obligations, how we’ll stay afloat with a $1.2 trillion deficit this year and God knows how much in 2010. Complete silence. All the talk is about the spending. And it has to stop.”

    Actually Jeff, there is one person who does talk about how to get us out of this mess. Ron Paul. But nobody listened to him during the primaries and the MSM made him out to be a crack pot.

    I voted for Ron Paul and I did not waste my vote. John McCain would be doing just about the same things that BHO is doing now.

    Funny, I am hearing and seeing a lot of comments that sound just like Ron Paul. Only he’s been saying them for years, way before the “credit crisis”.

    Do some research about what Ron Paul said in the debates and how he was treated.

    Also, I think you should correct the quote above on your main page because it is incorrect.

    Respectfully,

    LibertyFreak

  31. Jeff Schreiber says:

    But with everything you have said Jeff, you have the same mindset of Obama…spend spend spend, especially when it comes to your education loans!

    Actually, ck, I’ve maintained a decent credit rating so that I wouldn’t be a high risk to private institutions that felt like loaning someone money which, for them, will be paid back with interest.

    Good loans work.

    It’s the same thing as an investment in the stock market, ck, only here, instead of banking on the performance of others, I’m banking on my own hard work, my own dedication, to pay off in spades.

    Responsible investment IS responsible spending.

  32. Dee says:

    I don’t see any of the politicians sacrificing their big homes or huge bank accounts. When Nancy Pelosi gives up her jet and the others move to smaller homes and buy one for the welfare recepient, and give a huge portion of their money to the poor neighbor, then I will “share my wealth”. It is amazing that no one has a clue as to how this will be paid for. Obama wants to invest in roads and bridges and put alot of people to work. How many of the unemployed would be eligible to build roads and bridges? I might be able to apply for the position of flag holder. It also worries me that he is in a big hurry to pass this plan. I do think some time is necessary to come up with alternatives.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, we live in different times.

    Historically speaking, buying a house was always safe, but the tide is changing and now not necessarily buying a house is wise in today’s market, same with stocks and other valuables.

    Taking out school loans in the 80s and even early 90s was a good investment because the cost of education was lower and many graduates were able to get jobs and pay down their loans.

    For about 13 years, I’ve worked in the law firms. I’ve listened to the complaining of the new lawyers straight from law school and their fears of how they were going to pay their loan. And, I’ve listened to the old-timers worried about how long they can stay in business with the ever increasing cost to do business.

    One lawyer I will never forget. A woman 26 years old and just graduated college. She told everyone, or shall I say she complained to everyone that her loans amounted to 110,000 dollars! (this was back in 2001). She had sticker shock when she had to start making her payments of $800.00 a month, well, as if this wasn’t enough, this woman starts to worry how she is going to pay for her wedding shortly after leaving law school…bill over 50,000. Hmmmmmm, I simply stated to her, why not just elope? Boy, that was the wrong thing to say?!!! She had a vision of the “princess wedding”…oh well, we all have to live and learn…let her do it too.

    A year later, I left that law firm and she was still up to her neck in unrelenting debt, no way out. I don’t know how things turned out for her, but she’s from a small town, she works in a small town, the odds are she is still swimming in that debt. And when I say “small town” I mean small community on Long Island, NY.

    I’ve heard the arguement of “good investment” before, it is not knew to me and yes there ARE SOME, but you MUST put them in historical context!!!! If you do not, then you will fail. Just like the billionaire who lost a billion dollars on his Ford investment this past year. Stocks are good investment, historically speaking, but not in today’s market. Same with outrageous school loans. Not good in these tough times.

    Now is NOT the time for any student to take on such massive debt WHEN there are no guarantees of employment that can properly pay the loans.

    These are desperate times. The jobs that were never created here because of mexico, china, india, and other competing slave labor countries. The jobs being lost are grossly misreported. Unemployment is high, the dollar value is low. This concotion is nothing but poison for an individual’s economic freedom.

    All I am saying is we must look at investments in the historical and current context of the times.

    Not to be a downer, but YEP, YOU ARE SCREWED…lol.

  34. TexasCowboy says:

    I agree with many of the comments you point out. As a single father, it was not easy raising my son. Years ago I was in credit card hell, so to speak. I finally decided to use my tax refunds to pay them down, and I did just that, eliminating all my debt in 4 years.
    As we are in such difficult times, there are many suggestions on how to resolve the crisis in this country. I support Obama, I do firmly believe the ‘trickle down’ economics initiated under Reagan and fostered by every GOP administration since, have significantly lead us to where we are. CEO pay is 364 times the pay of average US workers. Wall Street regulations were all but eliminated. The sad thing is these power people disdain the average American. Roosevelt could have cared less about what peopole thought of his New Deal, it costs a lot, but it put millions back to work over time, and restored the American Dream. It will take someone special to do that again and Obama appears to me to have the wherewithall to do just that.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    Will you respond to LibertyFreak?

  36. PattyW says:

    I just saw a report on Fox news that the unemployment numbers for Oct and Nov are worse than originally thought. Is it me, or has anyone else noticed the correlation between the timing of this worsening unemployment and the statements made about taxes ( remember “Joe”?) and the apparent inevitable victory of Barry to become President?
    Could it be that businesses are a little more forward looking than the Dems think? I know that the recent talk about giving back a dollar amount of your with-holding without changing what is eventually owed in taxes has prompted us to change our with-holding for next year to cover it!

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