Archive for July, 2011

It is Immoral that OBAMA is “Passing the Buck” to Young People to Pay for Illegal Immigration

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah

President Obama’s plans to legalize illegal immigration reminds me of the TV game show “Pass the Buck” which premiered in 1978:  It relied on luck, instant decisions under pressure, and players risked losing everything.  “Pass the Buck” lasted only 13 weeks and dissolved into the long-running game show, “The Price is Right”. 

Let’s hope Obama’s shortsighted vision to pass the buck to young people with illegal immigration will also fizzle and get the boot by voters, so that we can return to “The Price is Right”.  Otherwise, the same young voters who put Obama in office will ironically pay for his folly, forfeiting family income that should go to improve their quality of life to burdensome taxes to pay for the past generation’s free ride.   

Economic Impact of Passing the Buck to Our Kids and Grandkids is a Moral Issue

It is immoral to pass the buck to our children and grandchildren to pay our debt and steal their quality of life even while they are in diapers and before they grow up to earn their first pay check.  It is our duty to protect our children and grandchildren in every way – including their economic future and freedoms.

How narcissistic and reckless to force our children and grandchildren to forfeit their future family income, that should go to improve their quality of life, to burdensome taxes to pay for our generation’s free ride! 

Even as the federal government is debating NOW how to avoid an immediate debt default, we’re talking not about reducing the principal of our debt that will pass to the next generation, but about defaulting on the interest payments.  Interest payments on the U.S. debt is $29 billion a month.  There is no plan and no way in sight to start paying down the $14 trillion debt (which does not include trillions more in unfunded liabilities).

Consider the Tragedy This Generation is Forcing on Young People

Let’s face the tragedy that this generation is forcing upon our children and grandchildren by considering this scenario.  A 30-year-old daughter’s parents are retiring.  The parents have worked hard and scrimped all their lives to live their last 20 years in retirement in comfort.  After all they deserve it!  They’ve been fiscally frugal their whole lives and have sacrificed to give their children more than they had growing up.  Their children are now grown and on their own.

Now that the parents have retired, they decided their money has been reduced in value by inflation and while they can live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement, they decided they’d like to live a more luxurious lifestyle instead.  The parents have a great credit rating, so what’s stopping them?  After all, America has become an entitlement society, so why should they not have everything they want even if they can’t pay for it when so many other people do?  So they buy their dream by borrowing far beyond their means!

This Generation is Passing the Buck

In this scenario, when the 30-year-old daughter’s parents die, she expects to live a similar comfortable lifestyle as her parents, but she discovers to her dismay, her parents passed the bills for past pleasures to her.

Alarmed, she wrestles with the reality that not only will she not inherit money from her parents, or be able to have the freedom to pursue her dreams with her own money, or be able to provide for her basic needs without considerable sacrifice, or to help her children achieve more than she did or give her children the benefits equal to what she had had growing up.  Instead, she is worse off than her parents were and will have to spend almost every penny she earns to pay off her parent’s debts.  Horrified, the daughter wonders how her parents failed to see through the high-falutin’ illusion of their retirement while there was still time to change the outcome.

This is analogous to the entitlement mentality of illegal aliens and those who support them.  Illegal immigrants are not entitled to other people’s money and to put our own poor people as well as future generations at risk financially.

Today’s Young Generation will face this dilemma unless enough young people and their parents slow down the gathering storms that could overshadow the future adult lives of today’s young people.  We, the Older Generation, are the guardians of the American Dream and of our children’s well being, and it’s our responsibility to safeguard our children’s future.

How can people sleep at night and suggest that government borrow more money we don’t have?  We must pay back money hundreds of billions of dollars every year in money we don’t have to give to people who break our law; who throw the balance of our immigration law out of whack and make immigration work against us, not for us; who take money intended for the poorest among us; and who run up our indebtedness that our children and grandchildren will have to pay, while enjoying none of the benefits?

How can President Obama’s conscience allow him to continue to talk about more borrowing and more spending while passing the buck to today’s young people who will have to deal with his reckless spending?  He has in three years raised our national debt by four trillion dollars.  If he succeeds in giving amnesty (a path to citizenship) to 11 million illegal aliens, he will borrow and spend another additional trillion dollars every year forevermore — of someone else’s money:  our kids and grandkids.  This is immoral!

SHOWDOWN ON DEBT CEILING: Is Obama “The Great Pretender” to Seniors?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah

The Great Pretender” is a much nicer phrase than “con man,” so I recall the catchy Rhythm-and-Blues tune of the 1950’s that would imprison my brain without escape as I write about President Obama’s attempt to manipulate Republicans to raise the debt ceiling – while he pretends to care.  I will do so, in part, with parody.  

Obama pretends he cares about how expanding entitlements grow the deficit, but what he really wants is for Republicans to lay out a plan (which he won’t do) to cut entitlements (which he knows must be done) so he can attack Republicans and gain political points. 

Oh, oh, oh, yes, I’m the great pretender
Pretending to seniors that I care
Their need is such
They’re blind to my touch
So lonely they’re easy to scare

If Obama really cared for seniors, he’d be truthful with seniors and work with Republicans to ensure that those currently on Medicare will not lose benefits while shoring up Medicare for future retirees, instead of:

  • using scare tactics like MediScare,
  • using ObamaCare to load up and bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid at a faster pace,
  • appointing a health advisor to ration their health care,
  •  putting new taxes on medical devices that seniors depend upon heavily,
  • stripping $500 million from Medicare, and
  • appointing a health czar that has repeated stated that the Hippocratic Oath should not be applied to seniors – or anyone else for that matter.

Oh, yes, I’m the great pretender
Creating a world of my own
I play the game but to my real shame
I’ve left seniors to fend so all alone

Too real is this feeling of make-believe
So real is my power to so well conceal

Oh, yes, I’m the great pretender
Just laughing and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I’m not you see
I’m wearing my ego like a crown
Pretending that I care when seniors ‘re around

DEBT REDUCTION: Alternative To Break Deadlock

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah

In his less than three years in office, President Obama has asked that the debt ceiling be raised three times.  Now he’s asking for the debt ceiling to be raised for the fourth time.  The last time Obama asked to raise the debt ceiling in February 2010, Congress voted to do so with the condition that the Government Accounting Office (GAO)  find ways to cut federal spending to cut the deficit.  This provision was inserted on the request of Representative Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma).

Negotiations to find ways to cut $2 trillion in spending are needlessly churning, as both political sides draw lines they won’t cross.  There’s an easier way:   Take from the table the fixes to Medicare and Social Security, since the President and Democrats prefer to put off solving these problems, and STOP the outrageous expenditures that American taxpayers are forced to fund that deal with fraud, waste, and duplicative government programs.  Several ways are listed in this short article.

President Obama promised when campaigning in 2007 that he would address similar issues, so he could not “spin the story” to keep from doing nothing in hopes of blaming Republicans for not raising the debt ceiling. 

Since a condition was placed on the last debt ceiling raise that ways be found by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to cut spending to reduce the deficit the third time Obama requested additional borrowing, it would be appropriate to use the suggestions GAO identified in a March 2011 report to cut spending as part of a negotiated settlement to raise the debt ceiling this time

The GAO report is the first of several reports on ways to cut spending to reduce the deficit.  The March report “uncovers billions of dollars in wasteful spending by the U.S. government due to duplicative work done by dozens of agencies.”[i]

GAO identified between $100 billion and $200 billion in duplicative spending

It has been estimated that there are 1,000 duplicate programs which waste billions of dollars annually.[ii] The GAO report “could serve as a template for lawmakers in both parties as they move to cut federal spending and consolidate programs to reduce the deficit.”[iii]  For example:

  • 15 different agencies oversee food-safety laws
  • 20+ separate programs deal with ways to help the homeless
  • 80 programs involve economic development
  • 82 federal programs focus on improving teacher quality
  • 80 programs help disadvantaged people with transportation
  • 47 programs deal with job training and employment
  • 56 programs help people understand finances
  • 18 programs on food and nutrition assistance

The GAO report states “Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services.”  There are many other ways to cut spending other than entitlement programs. 

$150 billion every year is spent on fraud in Medicare and Medicaid

Fraud in government healthcare runs 15% (versus 1% in the private sector). This outrageous waste of tax dollars by government through fraud in Medicare and Medicare should be stopped now!  This would save $150 billion a year[iv] – and help shore up both healthcare programs at the same time.  President Obama promised to do this when he took office. 

Cancel unspent TARP funds (up to $396 million)[v]

Cancel unspent Stimulus funds ($266 billion)[vi]

Reduce government employment by hiring one person for every two who leaves civilian government service until workforce is reduce to pre-Obama levels ($35 billion)[vii]

Freeze government civilian pay for one year ($30 billion)[viii]

Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($30 billion)[ix]

These are just a few way to cut spending by billions of dollars to cut the deficit without dealing with entitlement programs and could break the deadlock.


[i] The Wall Street Journal, “Billions in Bloat Uncovered in Beltway,” by Damian Paletta, March 1, 2011

[ii] “National Suicide:  How Washington is Destroying the American Dream from A to Z” by investigative reporter Martin Gross, released in September 2009

[iii] The Wall Street Journal, “Billions in Bloat Uncovered in Beltway,” by Damian Paletta, March 1, 2011

[iv] Cal Thomas “Deficit has gone far beyond being our children’s burden,” August 26, 20009

[v] H.R. 3140 introduced by Rep. Tom Price of Georgia

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] H.R. 5348 introduced by Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming

[viii] Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

[ix] H.R. 1294 introduced by Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas; H.R. 4653 introduced by Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey

HOW TO BREAK THE DEBT CEILING IMPASSE: The President & Congress Should Take the Same Medicine They Force on Seniors

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah

 I have a unique proposal to solve the debt ceiling impasse: Take off the table fixes to Medicare and Social Security, and ask President Obama to take the same medicine he forces seniors to take: ObamaCare.

Money saved could go toward the deficit and this would show the “good faith” that the President asks of others. Neither the president nor Congress is affected by the health of Medicare or Social Security; therefore they have no stake in them and are in no hurry to fix them.

Politicians Should be Held to the Same Laws They Force on Seniors

Listed below are a few suggestions dealing with healthcare costs that politicians have legislated for themselves but which are not available to seniors or other citizens.

#1 Recommendation: The President and Congress should be covered by ObamaCare the same as seniors and have no better insurance coverage that the rest of us.

#2 Recommendation: The President and Congress should pay for their own healthcare. Currently, taxpayers, who cannot afford health care themselves, pay 75% of politicians’ insurance premiums.

#3 Recommendation: End the taxpayer subsidy for extra health care perks (their own pharmacy in the Capitol, including a team of doctors, technicians and nurses), which costs taxpayers an additional $2 million a month.

#4 Recommendation: Repeal the generous tax break politicians gave themselves but not seniors which subtracts their health care premium from their income before taxes.

#5 Recommendation: Revise the Medicare Reform Act of 2004 which prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower prices with pharmaceutical companies.

If the President and Congress are not bound by laws they pass, they have no stake in them.  It’s time they had some skin in the game!

How does Obama’s Economy Compare with Greece? Both Use the Keynesian Economic Model

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah
July 9, 2011

Obama believes that “spending money is the same as making money.”[i]  This is the same type behavior that got Greece in trouble.  President Obama’s profligate spending reminds me of the movie “War of the Roses,” where the self-indulgent behavior of a married couple (played by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) exacts a terrible price upon their children.  Michael Douglas says to Kathleen Turner:  “It’s a lot easier to spend it than it is to make it, honeybun!”     

This misguided behavior, which our children pay a horrific price for, is followed by “some so-called economists [who] are left-wing ideologues.  Most, however, are simply victims of someone described colourfully by Thomas Woods in Meltdown as ‘one of the twentieth century’s crackpots’: John Maynard Keynes.”[ii]

The Keynesian Economic Model

“Keynesians believe that economics are driven by demand.  If private sector demand is insufficient they believe that it must be supplemented by government demand to ensure full employment …. [Keynesian] satisfies a worldview that capitalism needed saving from itself by big government ….  The debt crises in Europe and in the United States makes it evident that big government is the problem and that Keynesianism is part of that problem.”[iii]

Obama’s 2009 stimulus copied the Keynesian Model

“The Obama Administration has emphasized the Keynesian theory of demand management in defense of its 2009 stimulus package and continued high government spending …. The Administration’s stimulus program was a textbook application of Keynesian economics, and the largest deliberate Keynesian experiment in history.”[iv] 

The Stimulus did not Help but Hurt the Economy

  • In January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%.
  • Obama claimed his stimulus plan (big spending increases and tax rebates) would cap unemployment at 8% and decrease it to about 7% by late 2010.
  • Instead, unemployment climbed to 10.1% within one year.
  • “In six of the last eight recoveries, all the jobs lost below peak employment were regained within two years of recession’s end.”[v]
  • “In this recovery we are still seven million jobs below peak employment in 2008, and about two million fewer than if the $830 billion 2009 stimulus had worked as advertised and held unemployment below 8%.”[vi]

If Keynesian policies worked, the government’s fiscal and monetary policies should have generated a roaring recovery.  (Of course, if Keynesian policy prescriptions truly worked, countries like Greece would be economic dynamos because of their spendthrift ways.)”[vii]

“The Keynesian model was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but was discredited by the stagflation of the 1970s when inflation and unemployment both worsened, a combination that the Keynesian model predicts cannot occur.  A generation later, though, many people have forgotten past lessons, and Keynesian theory is again popular.”[viii]

The 2011 U.S. Debt will be 100% of GDP

“The most recent projection from the Congressional Budget Office put the total [U.S. debt] at over $15 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and said that was expected to total 100 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) for the year.”[ix]  This insanity must end, and the solution is NOT to continue to spend, raise taxes, and raise the debt ceiling.

While the War of the Roses movie is a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and fall of a marriage, the belief by Obama that spending money is the same as making money is a real-time tragedy that must end to protect our economy and our children.


[i] ECONOMICS: Time to Topple Keynesian Economics, Quadrant Online, http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2010/9/time-to-topple-keyneisan-economics, by Peter Smith

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Wall Street Journal Editorial:  “The Jobs Double-Dip,” July 9010, 2011

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, “Past Recessions Offer Perspective on the Federal Government’s Deficit and Debt Problems”, July 6, 2011, Advisory No. 276

[viii] ECONOMICS: Time to Topple Keynesian Economics, Quadrant Online, by Peter Smith.

[ix] Ibid.

DEBT CEILING DEBATE: A Case for Cutting Government Spending

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah
July 9, 2011

AN OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESSIONAL FISCAL HAWKS

Congressional Fiscal Hawks, Don’t give in!   It’s insane that President Obama grew the deficit by $4 trillion in less than three years and now insists that the deficit can only be cut by $4 trillion in 12 years – long after he’s left office if he’s re-elected in 2012!  It’s insane that Obama would dare try to stare down fiscal hawks and demand that they raise taxes while asking them for a favor to raise the debt ceiling!

Don’t sell out!  After the $830 billion 2009 Stimulus Bill and a $4 trillion debt increase under the Obama Administration under three years, more voters are understanding that greater government spending does NOT grow the economy. 

Government Should Cut Spending Back to where it was when Obama took Office

The  IRET (Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation)[i] notes that the current level of federal spending is primarily responsible for ratcheted federal deficits not realized since World War II, and   states that “The huge deficits of recent years, and the consequent mushrooming of debt, are not long sustainable.  The debt crisis that has engulfed Greece illustrates the danger when a government incurs outsized deficits and debt without a credible plan for reducing them.”[ii] 

Congressional Fiscal Hawks, it’s up to you to stop the spending binge of this President who put us in this situation.  It’s up to you to stop this cycle of borrow-and-spend and save America from becoming another Greece.  Do not cave in to President Obama’s threat to not raise the debt ceiling unless Fiscal Conservatives give him election cover and raise taxes. 

Experience has shown repeatedly that raising the debt ceiling fuels more spending and creates more debt.  Instead of caving in to bullying, turn the tables and insist that if President Obama wants the debt ceiling raised, he can do it by agreeing to spending cuts, starting now!

The Private Sector is more Responsive and more Efficient than Government

“Experience in this and other countries shows conclusively that the private sector is more efficient and responsive than the government.”[iii]  Reasons include:

  • Politicians are swayed by special interests and influential political groups.
  • Lobbyists secure expensive government subsidies and handouts and shift costs to taxpayers.
  • Governments fail to sunset inefficient or outdated programs due to their taxing power whereas private-sector businesses must weed out inefficiencies and outmoded operations to protect their investments and stay in business.
  • Governments use laws and regulations to force consumers to use certain products while private-sector business must make products that people will voluntarily buy. 

Why Should Government Spending Be Reduced and Taxes not be Raised?

  • Government control does not grow the economy, it sucks the oxygen out of private enterprise.  The private sector grows the economy and sustains growth through efficiencies, innovation and job creation. 
  • Government should not pick winners or losers, as it always does, since political considerations guide government decisions.  The private sector, on the other hand, must respond to desires of the public since its motivation is profits and it must compete in the marketplace or fail.  
  • Over-bloated government hurts the economy and should be trimmed back to help the economy.

Hold Obama Accountable for the U.S. Fiscal Mess he Created by using Discredited Economic Theories

The Obama Administration’s economic policies have failed because it used discredited Keynesian theories to rationalize its coveted high government spending.  (For elaboration, see the next article.) 

Congressional Fiscal Hawks, Don’t back down!  Hold the Obama Administration accountable for using the Keynesian theory that didn’t work in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s; for growing spending and debt to historic levels not seen since World War II; and for not providing a budget or the leadership to control spending. 

If necessary, call Obama’s bluff.  Do what’s best for the next generation, not the next election! 


[i] IRET:  “Past Recessions Offer Perspective on the Federal Government’s Deficit and Debt Problems,” July 6, 2011

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

SHOULD RAISING TAXES BE TIED TO RAISING THE DEBT CEILING?

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

By Elois Zeanah
July 9, 2011

The bill for the binge spending spree of Washington politicians is due.  The credit card is maxed.  Taxpayers want relief.  They’re tired of the hangover from government spending and of the IRS taking more and more of their money to pay for politicians’ addiction, while they must sacrifice and do with less.  But does any of this matter?   Borrowing has bumped against the debt ceiling.  Emergency!  Emergency!  If government isn’t given even more borrowing-and-spending authority, bills won’t get paid.

Who’s fault is it that the federal government spends on the average $118 billion a month more than it gets in revenues?[i]  It’s not the fault of taxpayers.  But does this matter?  Politicians who borrow and spend and fail to budget responsibly never hold themselves accountable; and the public to date hasn’t held politicians accountable.  But the debate to raise the debt ceiling may be different this time.  Taxpayers are tired of being rolled and are paying attention.

Borrowing More and Higher Taxes Hurt Young People

Young people are beginning to realize that it’s their future earnings that politicians are spending and their future quality of life politicians are stealing!  For what purpose?  To buy votes for the next election using bribes of entitlement programs. 

Should taxes be raised as part of the package to raise the debt ceiling?  Emphatically not!  It’s time for politicians to sober up and curb their addiction to spending.  It’s time for politicians to do what’s best for the next generation, not what’s best for their next election!  More government spending on entitlement programs is the crux of the problem, not the cure!

President Obama Says Taxes Must be Raised

The Obama Administration insists that tax increases be part of any negotiated agreement to raise the debt ceiling.  What’s wrong with this picture?  The President needs Republicans to raise the debt ceiling; yet he’s demanding that Republicans break their pledge to not raise taxes to do so.  In fact, the President pushed for a clean-cut vote to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts and without a plan to pay for it.  Thankfully, voters placed Tea Partiers in the House of Representatives in November 2010 and this didn’t pass muster.  Even if old-timer Republicans would have gone along, new Republican Representatives would not.  They seem to be backed by voters. 

Cure the Hangover and Sober Up

Let’s hope the Republican leadership doesn’t let itself get rolled by a President who needs them, yet has the gall to make demands while asking for a favor.   It’s time for Republicans to plant their feet in principle and fairness to the next generation and tell Obama:  “No more taxes!  The emergency is to cut spend


[i] CNNMoney, May 18, 2011