Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Ok, what we know is that Congress needs to vote to raise the debt ceiling of the United States of America by August 2. Our debt will be $14.29 Trillion at that time and we still need to have room to take on more debt!

Why do you think we need to have room to add more debt? Well, the answer is simple. 18% percent of every dollar the government spends goes to interest. Yes, that is right; it goes to pay interest on the existing debt. So what is happening is that the debt never gets reduced; it only goes up because we don’t have a surplus of revenues over expenses.

To put this in simpler terms; it is just like the mortgage loans that were made to help create our current economic crisis. They just paid interest and in many cases did not even pay enough to cover the interest so the balance of principle went up. That is where our country is right now. To put it in even more simpler terms; no economic unit can continuously spend more than it takes in. That is the road to bankruptcy!

Now the parties are arguing about how to fix the current mess that they and their predecessors created. The Democrats want to cut some spending and raise taxes by eliminating the Bush tax cuts among other things. The Republicans want to cut a lot of spending and leave taxes alone. All this is in return for raising the debt ceiling, which is a conceptual problem all by itself. So they have been at a standoff.

Before I go any further, do you know that all the income taxes paid in this country are paid by only 50% of the people? What, how can this be? Well, with all the entitlement programs and all the tax breaks for low earners and low tax brackets themselves that is how it all works out. Now, I will grant that much of this is needed. But, taken as a whole, 50% don’t pay any taxes? The burden of running our massive government (a problem in itself) falls on only one half of the tax paying public!

Now back to the question of how to get everyone off dead center and make something happen by August 2 because if nothing happens by then do you have any idea of the economic turmoil that will be created? The bond market goes crazy and interest rates sky rocket because no one has confidence in US government bonds. The stock market probably craters due to the anticipated effect on our economy. We will see a recession like we have never seen before both in terms of degree and length!

We currently have grown adult Congress people acting like children; not just the Democrats but the Republicans as well. In fact, our very own (I live in Virginia) Eric Cantor is leading the way in childishness.

What is the right solution? Seems kind of easy doesn’t it. Only agree to raise the debt level if substantial expenses are cut (3 to 4 Trillion) and ok, yes, let’s close a few tax loopholes (there are many to choose from). While we are at it; let’s pass a balanced budget amendment. Also, let’s take the payroll ceiling off Social Security Earnings and make the cost of living formula more realistic. Make some changes in Medicare to reduce costs. Most important, if we close some tax loopholes, some of those must be to increase the percentage of people actually paying taxes.

Lastly, we need to make some changes in how Congress works. For example, they don’t have the same health care plans as we do, they don’t have to abide by insider trading rules (nor does their staff), they get a full pension after working in Congress for only 4 years, they vote themselves raises when they want to, they take advantage of overseas travel for themselves, their spouses and their staff, etc. All this needs to change!

What can you do? Several things. First of all you can write or email your Congress people and tell them to quit playing games and get something done. Second of all, if they don’t, vote them out. In fact, until they quit acting like children on all issues, we should keep voting them out until we get some people in there who want to do good things for the country instead of trying to get reelected 24/7!

Nuff said!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Did you see “Meet the Press” on NBC this past Sunday? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was one of the guests. He was interviewed by David Gregory, the host of the show.

One of the questions had to do with the Tea Party. No, they were not talking about the little play party that the Obama girls had the other day. And no, they were not talking about the Colonists throwing barrels of tea in Boston Harbor several hundred years ago.

So, unless you have been living in Outer Mongolia for a couple years, you know that the Tea Party Movement had a profound political effect on the makeup of our Congress in our recent elections. It had a big part in making the Republicans the majority in the House of Representatives and getting closer to majority in the Senate.

Old Harry was shaking in his boots as he was in a very close election and barely won, as was the case with many incumbents. But many other incumbents went down to defeat. Many of these defeated Congress people were Democrats but some were Republican as well.

The question put to him was: do you think the Tea Party will be a lasting part of our politics in this country? Reid’s answer was that the Tea Party emerged because of the country’s economic problems. He went on to say that the Tea Party will no longer exist when the economy improves and that it is getting better every day.

Harry, you are not listening to the people. You are not paying attention to what just happened. Are you so senile that you can’t see what is going on?

This is the point. The Tea Party is neither Republican nor Democrat. It is American! This is the point that Harry Reid is missing. The people are tired of their Congress people not listening to them. They are angry that their Congress people do not have the same rules as they do. For example, they don’t have the same health care plans, they don’t have to abide by insider trading rules (nor does their staff), they get a full pension after working in Congress for only 4 years, they vote themselves raises when they want to, they take advantage of overseas travel for themselves, their spouses and their staff, etc.

This is why so many incumbents went down to defeat and why it will happen again in the next election. If the incumbents don’t get the message, then someone new will take their place. The people want to be heard and they want to be really represented by their Congress people.

It is not just an economic issue. The Tea Party will be here as long as our Congress people do not listen to their constituents!

This is the point Harry, do you now get it?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


You know what they say; don’t knock it until you have tried it. This applies to many things: to food, to athletics, to events, to places, etc.

In our case it applies to the Auto Train. In case you don’t know, the Auto Train is an Amtrak train that runs north and south between Lorton VA(near Washington DC) and Sanford FL (near Orlando, FL) almost every day of the year. As you would guess they call it the Auto Train because you put not only yourself but your auto on the train.

Thus, you avoid the distinct pleasure of driving south and north on Interstate 95. I95 is a concrete and asphalt slice of Americana: in this case and at this time of year, it is a slow moving parking lot most of the time. Every RV and every slow moving elderly driver is in their car going south.

Wait, that is not exactly true. There are almost 500 old drivers on the Auto Train. My wife and I, while not spring chickens, are on the young side of the Auto Train population. Believe me, if you are driving South at this time on I95, you better be thankful that these almost 500 people are not on the highway with you. I am telling you that they can hardly move about on the train, much less navigate a car. But, when they arrive in Sanford, watch out because these people saddle up and drive their car out on the highways with you and me!

Will we do this again? Since it is now 1:20 in the morning and I am typing this posting after trying to sleep, you can answer that question most likely. The daytime atmosphere was ok. We could see out the windows and then after dark, dinner was pretty good. After that, all Hell broke loose. Most people went to sleep or at least tried to. The snoring is pretty bad. The track noise is pretty bad. The on again off again lights from outside are pretty bad. Do you need a little extended bathroom time? Forget it as the rest rooms are few and the knocks on the door are many, not to mention that some of these people apparently have trouble hitting the commode. The floor was wet and messy. Are you getting the picture?

Well, we had to know what it was like. Yes, I am glad we did it, or are doing it since we have another 6 long hours to go. But, will I do it again? Probably not. I am going to be a zombie today; or will it be tomorrow, or this morning, or whatever the rest of the trip will be. I have lost track.

Give me the heavy traffic and slowdowns any day; at least we will stop somewhere and spend the night in a hotel with a real bed and real food and wake up rested.

Update: it is now the evening of the second day and we are at our destination. Both of our eyes are heavy. We had to take showers just as soon as we arrived, not to mention shaving and brushing teeth. Am now looking forward to getting a good night sleep tonight!