Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lords and Ladies

If you would like a clear demonstration of where the policies of the Obama Administration and the Congress are taking our nation, you should read an article from the Associated Press about California. Here are some highlights interspersed with my running commentary (emphases mine):

The crisis is a sort of political comeuppance for Schwarzenegger, who took over a state with a projected $16 billion gap in 2003 and promised to end California's "crazy deficit spending." (I guess he didn't succeed.)

The gap has two primary causes: The state has been living beyond its means for years by spending generously on all sorts of programs that the voters, the politicians and the special interests wanted. (Hmmmm... where have I heard of this being done before? Oh yes, our Federal lawmakers have been doing this for the past 9 years, and from the looks of things they have finally figured out how to do it right!) And the recession has hammered California's economy....

...The governor's cutbacks could include ending the state's main welfare program for the poor, eliminating health coverage for about 1.5 million poor children, halting cash grants for about 77,000 college students, shortening the school year by seven days, (At least this one is likely to make someone happy and isn't likely to hurt the kids' education.) laying off thousands of state workers and teachers, slashing money for state parks and releasing thousands of prisoners before their sentences are finished. (Looks like the gravy train done left the station.) ...

...The drastic cuts that appear to lie ahead will, by accident, accomplish the stark reduction in state government that many Republicans have long advocated.

"We should have been limiting the growth of government for years," Villines said. (He's a Republican. Too bad they didn't do it. I wonder if anyone in Washington is taking notes? Not likely. Hey, isn't Nancy Pelosi from California?) ...

...A separate commission is expected to release a proposal to rework the state's tax structure, which is vulnerable to booms and busts in California's economy because it relies heavily on high-income earners. (But wait! I thought wealth redistribution was supposed to be a good thing. This must be a mistake! You mean the President was wrong about that too?) The state also has few limits on what state government can spend and a small rainy day fund that can easily be raided by the politicians. (You mean like Social Security?) ...

Let the hand wringing begin. And that is exactly where our nation is headed if the Federal Government doesn't reign its spending in HARD. You can't pass the largest stimulus bill the world has ever seen, add tons of pork to every bill, finance a war, and fly every senator, representative, staff member, and cabinet member everywhere they go and not see this happen on a national level. You want a warning? LOOK AT CALIFORNIA!!!! This is where we will be before the Obama administration has finished this term if something isn't done quickly to establish some restraint in our government.

Ask Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Brazil how much fun it is to face hyperinflation. Our nation could very well lose its influence in the world and its ability to project power if this is allowed to happen here. It scares me to think of what we may resort to as a nation to defend ourselves in that hour should it come.

The article also said that the state is approaching the Federal Government about a bailout. Great. Just what we need. (Crap, Nancy Pelosi IS from California. What are the chances she'll turn down the chance to throw some do re mi at her peeps?) And if one gets it, you can rest assured that every other state will have to line up for it. It won't matter anyway. All the states that try to exercise some fiscal restraint will likely be sucked down in the vortex created by the states that rush to grab the money first.

North Carolina is apparently in no better condition than California. We are about to close prisons, cut all state employees' salaries (except for our dear legislators and elected officials, bless their hearts), lay off teachers and a whole bunch of other stuff, and yet we have one of the higher tax rates in the nation. Ah, the utopia of the liberal agenda!

Am I the only one who is wondering where all the money is going? I mean we have a lottery that is apparently selling lots of tickets. (The powerball is up to 192 million dollars as of Wednesday night.) The roads aren't getting fixed. They've been bleeding the universities since Easley was governor. Where the crap is all the money going?! I think we need to get some IRS auditors in to audit the government. There's a hole in the boat somewhere.

I'm glad to hear that they have started investigating former governor, Mike Easley, for misappropriation of public money while in office and examining the audacious contract between his wife and my alma mater, NC State. Apparently they are paying her nearly $1,000,000 over the course of five years to arrange a few speakers to come and speak at the university. Bless her heart! I'd gladly do it for half that. Maybe even ¼ of that if I could telecommute. I'd be willing to bet she doesn't do $50,000 worth of work the entire five years. Well, the university need not send me any pleas for money while crap like this is going on.

I am so sick of people being payed far more than they or the job they are doing is worth because they are "connected." I am tired of the Mike Easleys and Nancy Pelosis of this world thinking that they deserve preferential treatment and perks on the public dollar when all they know how to do is serve themselves and run a nation or a state into the ground. I'm tired of CEOs making millions every year whose only skills are to take a viable, healthy company and bleed all of its assets off and know when to jump ship before the effects hit the balance sheet. This junk has to stop.

Our nation was never supposed to have an aristocracy. Where did we get all of these people who think that they are lords and ladies? I can assure you that not one of them works as hard as any of my grandparents did, and my grandparents probably never made as much in their lifetimes as these people make in a year - maybe even a month. I'm pretty sure that they aren't any smarter than my folks either. So why would these "aristos" be entitled to any more than my hard-working grandparents got?

And that is another thing. Why is it that when President Bush was in office his intelligence was constantly slandered, and yet when President Obama finds himself reversing what he promised in his campaign and doing and saying some of the exact same things that President Bush was doing that he is refreshingly intelligent? I am utterly sick of people who are not as smart as President Bush or Sarah Palin belittling their intelligence. Most of the people who are doing so are totally on board with all of the President's left wing policies and believe all of his, er, nuanced answers. How intelligent is that?

When this Administration and this Congress manage to put our nation in the situation in which California finds itself (for I have no hope that they will do otherwise) I am sure that there will be lots of blame casting between the Republicans and Democrats. I'm sure that this will all somehow become President George W. Bush's fault. But the bottom line is that it is "we the people's" fault because we failed to hold our elected officials, educators, and corporate leaders accountable for their malfeasance, self-serving attitudes, and incompetence. (I am not suggesting that all elected officials, educators and corporate leaders are guilty of these things. Certainly there are some who are doing a good job, but sadly the tide seems to be flowing hard against them.)

Regardless of what anyone thinks, all governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed. It would seem that as a people we have decided that it is OK to sell the freedoms and liberties and true prosperity that had been won and defended for generations, for a figurative bowl of stew - a little short term gain. Looks like there were lumps in the gravy.

I leave you with a selection from the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Look to your foundations, America. They are crumbling. Think on that this Memorial Day weekend, and remember the many people whose blood helped to establish and protect them. Don't let their sacrifices be squandered. They deserve more honor than that.

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