April 15, 2011
Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions.
Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she
ran for elected office in 2010.
An accumulation of thoughts about a few different topics.
Well, I am very disappointed in the House Republicans and how easily they folded and agreed to an inconsequential amount as a budget cut. After all their big talk, to only cut $38.5 billion in the remaining 6 months of the fiscal year is pathetic. That is not even 1% of the money to be spent. Then came the really severe disappointment when the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) said it really only amounted to $352 million in actual cuts. That is 1% of 1%, or to put it another way, it is 0.001% - this is a pathetic performance by the Congressional Republicans.
In March alone, the Federal government ran a deficit of $188 billion dollars. That brought the deficit spending for the first 6 months of this fiscal year to $829 billion. And our Representatives and Senators could only “cut” $38.5 billion? This does not bode well for the coming debates about the debt ceiling or 2012 budget. The Republicans in DC need to man up.
Do you realize that over 40 cents of every dollar (actually 43.1%) spent by the Federal government has to be borrowed? How long could you run your household if you had to borrow 43 dollars of every 100 dollars you spent?
"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning
knife." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to Spencer Roane, 1821.
Instead of a proper pruning, we got an itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny paper cut.
Paul Ryan's suggested budget for 2012 is a good starting point. It is good in that it actually addresses the deficit spending and plans to eliminate it – in a few years. Also good is the fact that it addresses the problem of entitlements and their ballooning costs. A problem is that it does not address the actual debt our country has. Think of it like a credit card – we borrow money and pay it back by paying interest on what we borrowed as well the amount we borrowed. The amount we borrowed is the “debt”, the interest is the “servicing” of the debt. In order to get out of the red ink, we need to pay both the servicing and the debt. As far as I can see or find out, Ryan's budget proposal only includes servicing the debt – not repaying it. (In 2010, to pay only the interest on our debt costs $143 billion!)
So, even Paul Ryan's “extreme” and “unacceptable” proposed budget (words Democrats have used to describe it) leaves America in a huge financial hole. The Republicans say they want a balanced budget amendment. Good. That would take care of the annual deficit – it doesn't touch the debt repayment problem. This debt level jeopardizes the financial standing of our country, the “full faith and credit” value of the dollar, the use of the dollar as the international monetary exchange unit (which is actually important even if most of us don't
think about that), and the interest rate the country pays on it's debt.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote a powerful column for the Wall Street Journal explaining why he will oppose the debt limit increase. Senator Rubio writes that "this may be our last chance to force Washington to tackle the central economic issue of our time." He's right.
The anti-drilling agenda of the administration is having ripple effects that are very costly. An analysis from Louisiana State University reported 19,000 lost jobs and $1.1 billion in lost wages.
About 1/3 of the lost jobs are located outside the Gulf region. The deliberate delay in issuing permits for both deep and shallow water drilling has already caused 1 company (Seahawk Drilling) to go into bankruptcy. Unless this changes soon, businesses in several states will also have significant negative economic consequences. Representative John Sullivan (R–OK), “Continuing to keep American sources of energy under lock and key by failing to issue drilling permits only serves to place American jobs at risk, drives up costs at the pump and deepens our dependence on foreign oil.”
In the meantime, while delaying issuing drilling permits for shallow or deep water drilling in American waters, Obama has arranged for $3 billion of our tax dollars to go to Brazil – for them to do deep-water drilling! The Wall Street Journal reported that, "The U.S. government's export credit agency has authorized $3 billion in financing for Brazil, including $2 billion for the Brazilian government-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras." (I'm sure that the fact that George Soros is a primary investor in that company has nothing to do with giving our tax dollars to Petrobras.) Obama said it would help create jobs (We could use that here.) and that "We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers." (Wouldn't that be foreign oil? Didn't he just promise to reduce our use of foreign oil? If Brazil, Mexico, China and Cuba can drill safely in the Gulf of Mexico, why can't we?)
Bet you didn't know that here in America, we have the largest energy reserves in the world. It's true. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, America's combined energy resources are “the largest on earth”. They exceed Saudi Arabia, China and Canada combined – and that's without including our shale oil deposits or the potential of methane hydrates. We have literally hundreds of years worth of energy sources in America. (Check it out, the 28 page report was released by the CRS on 11/30/2010.)
Speaking of energy sources, there is an interesting book called The False Promise of Green Energy written by four economic and legal scholars – Morris, Bogart, Meiners and Dorchak. It shows how “green energy' can only survive economically by having government mandates, regulations and subsidies. They say green energy will cause much more expensive energy costs. These costs will raise the prices of all goods that use energy directly and indirectly. (We already have big inflation coming because of devaluing the dollar. Add these cost increases and that means a big increase in the cost of living!) Further, they state that “the concrete results of following these policies will be a decline in living standards around the globe, including for the world's poorest; changes in lifestyle that Americans do not want; and a weakening of the technological progress that market forces have delivered, preventing us from finding real solutions to the real problems we face.”