Monthly Archives: October 2013

Baby Boomer Debt

The Baby ‘Doomer’ Generation?

In my continuing quest to ‘fight for truth, justice, and the American Way,’ just like Superman did on television in the 50s, I have finally figured out who is responsible for all the fiscal problems of our Federal Government!

Without a doubt, this group of individuals, subversive as they were, have created and willingly partaken in the fiscal cliff, the government debt, sequestration, and every other event that is causing the fiscal demise of our great nation.

I will take credit for being the first to publically identify this group.  No other news or media source has done so. I, with my limited resources and abundance of common sense, have outdone them all!

Who is this group that should be brought to justice?

Any guesses?  Republicans? The Tea Party? (The media would like you to think that!) Democrats?  Supreme Court?  Congress? Jane Fonda? (I know she is not a group, but I wanted to see if you were really paying attention.)

The real group that has caused our fiscal demise is———-drumroll please, the BABY BOOMERS!

Yup.  I am convinced that generation, my generation, is responsible for all the financial woes of our great country!

I know you want me to explain.

The baby boomers were the direct result of World War II.  Like a cocktail, you mix about 6 million horny servicemen that have been away from home for one to five years with roughly 6 million waiting women and you had a population explosion not seen since then.  That was the baby boomer generation!

Life was good being a baby boomer.  Our parents were strict, but fair.  These parents  had expectations and aspirations for their ‘baby boomer’ progeny.  Our parents had survived the Great Depression and fought in World War II.  That made the ‘Greatest Generation’ a rather tough bunch.  None of these parents wanted their children to face the same hardships that they had experienced during their lifetime.  I heard my own parents say that on numerous occasions.

So now, that glut of humanity known as the ‘boomer’ begins growing up.

We go to school.  Some of us go to college.  We get jobs.  Then, just as we are entering our late teens and early 20s, this bump in the road called the Viet Nam War came along.  Many served and fought.  Too many died.

It was a ‘blurry war,’ fought in a changing America.

We were in the midst of, and grew up in, the Cold War.  A war with billions of dollars spent to deter the perceived military threat and expansionistic designs of Communism.  Viet Nam was the offshoot of what was termed the ‘domino theory.’

In 1960, the Federal debt stood at $286.3 billion.  There was no concern about our economy or debt- even during the height of the Viet Nam war or the Cold War, because America was on a roll!  People were working, corporations were thriving, and taxes were being paid.  Woohoo for Washington!

America survived and thrived.  Our economy was chugging along nicely.  Unemployment was low.

The 60s were also a decade of turbulence.  We had the Viet Nam war.  The Cold War continued.  We saw racial demonstrations and anti-war rallies.  We endured the assassinations of two Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King.

But through all of this, our country enjoyed prosperity- so much prosperity that during his term in office, Lyndon Johnson originated his ‘Great Society’ program.

The program specifics are not important.  What is important is that it allowed a large part of our population to become dependent upon the government for financial support and assistance.

How many people in their 20s are concerned about retirement?  The Boomers were no different.

Even though the working ‘boomers’ were not concerned about Social Security, we all knew we had it coming.  Why would we ever believe we would not receive it?  We were paying for it in every paycheck.

We did not realize that we were the base of a Social Security pyramid.  A pyramid that would come back to haunt us later.

From the government’s standpoint, it was a great and solvent program because there were many paying contributors with very few recipients.

The 60s were the Baby Boomers’ rebellious years.  We became both independent and a little self-centered.  The 70s, 80s and 90s were our productive years.

During those productive years, we bought houses, cars and appliances.  We took vacations.  We paid our taxes.  We also got Medicare and Medicaid.  Woohoo for Washington!

But the one thing we did not do enough of, as a generation, during our productive years, was save.  We did not save enough for our retirement future.  Why should we?  Spending was patriotic!  The Big G in Washington was going to take care of us.  We knew how to spend.  For many of us, saving was not a priority.

Our economy became the largest in the world by being a ‘consumer- driven’ economy.

Our Baby Boomer relationship with the government had developed into a macabre symbiotic relationship over our lifetime.

The Boomers’ role in this relationship was to earn money, pay taxes, and spend money to drive the economy.  The government’s role was to ‘take care of us’.

The Boomer generation enjoyed and drank the government Kool-aid.  Our problem, and now the government’s problem, is that we got older.  We retired.  The pyramid turned upside down.  Now that it has, the government cannot afford to continue in its role in that symbiotic relationship.

When Social Security began, there were 17 workers for every recipient.  That number is now three workers for every recipient, and by 2030, it will be 2 workers for every recipient.

The same is true with many of our socialized programs.  When we were working and contributing – no problem.  Now that we are retiring – big problem!

I certainly remember that during the 90s, there were some wise people in Congress that foresaw the future problems with many of these socialized government programs.  The solution?  There were some short term solutions, but it appeared that the prevalent solution of choice was to ‘kick the can down the road.’

That brings us to today.  Our government now has a federal debt of $16.7 trillion, and they want to raise the debt ceiling!  This debt is approximately 60 times what it was in 1960.  (I find this ironic, as I am almost 60 years older than I was in 1960.)  But here is a real clincher that most people are not aware of: there is another $6 trillion in debt that has not been addressed because of the financial failures of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac!  Our federal debt, as I am writing this, is realistically $23 trillion!

Should there have been a government shutdown?  Absolutely not!  But that would have to occur in a perfect, non-existent, non-political world. There are some very astute individuals in Congress that foresee the problem of ‘kicking the can’ down the road without some semblance of fiscal sanity and spending cuts.  The ultimate political solution is apparently to leave the problem for the next Congress.

How are these astute individuals being treated?  You see it every minute of every day.  They are being hammered by the media and in the media by their political counterparts, who try to crucify those ‘mean, unpatriotic Conservatives.’  The biggest argument is that we, the United States of America, cannot possibly default on the debt.  I have some startling news for you— WE ARE BROKE ALREADY!

Both the Liberals and the media are extolling the virtues of a ‘clean bill.’  A clean bill is another way of saying ‘unrestricted spending without limitations!’  Aren’t these policies the policies that got us into this quagmire in the first place?  It appears that last night, Congress did pass a funding bill that does not contain any restrictions on spending.

So, to all my fellow Baby Boomers, I lay the blame at our feet.  As a generation, we caused and allowed most of the problems in our government today.  We were naïve.  We believed the government could always afford the socialized programs they passed, without negative effects.  We were wrong and we continued to elect representatives that pandered these programs.  Today, we have elected representatives that continue ‘buying votes’ to get reelected by using public funds.  As a result, we are now passing down a federal debt that our children and our grandchildren will never be able to repay.  At the expense of our hedonistic, self-centered lifestyle, we have mortgaged the future of our grandchildren!

We demonstrated against the Viet Nam War and lived through the Cold War, but we did nothing about 20 million illegal aliens that invaded our country and depleted our government of resources for which we funded.

We fought in Viet Nam and fought against Communism.  Communist – a word that we were brought up to despise and dread, yet now we’ve allowed our bloated government to enable us to become just that—Communists.  What do you think of that, Comrade?

Bi Partisan Bickering

Compromise, Debate, Democracy – Vanishing Concepts in Washington, D.C.

Are you following what is happening in Washington, D.C.?  Perhaps more accurately stated, have you noticed what is not happening in Washington?

Much like the convergence of relatives to a free meal, Washington is experiencing the convergence of three big items simultaneously: approving a federal budget, raising the federal debt limit and the continued funding for Obamacare.

Why am I writing about this on a Sunday morning prior to my religious practice of watching all the NFL football that I possibly can?  Well, it is because yesterday, there was a mention that the Democratic Party was going to run commercials during my beloved football games to place the entire blame of the Washington shutdown on one person, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).

I am upset!  Rather than watching commercials about over-powered, gas guzzling pick-up trucks, or about blue jeans cut to a man’s torso, or an occasional spot with Danica Patrick in it, I will have my escapism interrupted by commercials by political wienies!  Don’t we get enough of this during election years?  They will no doubt be crying the blues about what is not happening in Washington because one man, John Boehner, is responsible for his senseless manner in dealing with Washington politics.

Let me inform you that researching for my blogs is more difficult than one would imagine.  Yes, there are many, many search engines available to find out anything about everything.  The problem is that oftentimes these ‘sources’, (in particular, media sources) are so biased as to be incredible.  They rely on the fact that if they say something often enough, and with enough conviction, that most people will soon believe it.  Let’s be realistic.  Many people cannot separate fact from fiction, and the media uses that to their advantage.  Put something in print or on television, and it is assumed to be true.

Back to Washington, D.C.

The latest polls indicate that only 39% of the public approve of Obamacare.  It is the most unpopular piece of legislation since Prohibition.  As people become more aware of the nuances associated with this bill, they have become more disillusioned by its purpose and content.  Its unpopularity has increased as time passes.

The Liberals are extolling in a recent poll that 59% of the public approve of the Affordable Health Care Act.  But, in a very biased way, the poll question was stated as such, “Should the federal government be shut down at the expense of Obamacare.”  Like most voters, I feel it is a travesty that the government has a shutdown occur at all.  I am not in favor of a government shutdown.  Most people do not approve of a government shutdown.  That is exactly how this question was interpreted.  There should not be a government shutdown.  This was said even though most people do not approve of Obamacare.  But because the two items were linked together in this poll question, the Liberals are flaunting that this indicates that the majority approve of Obamacare.  Not so.

What it indicates to me is that we have an inept Congress.

At the end of 2012, our federal debt exceeded our GDP for the first time in the history of the United States!  To provide comparison, during Gerald Ford’s tenure as POTUS, the federal debt was 36% of the GDP.  During the George ‘Dubya’ Bush presidency, the federal debt never exceeded 74% of the GDP.

Our federal debt now exceeds over $16.7 trillion.  Our GDP for all of 2012  was $15.8 trillion.

Here is how our current POTUS described the national debt to a group of distinguished business professionals at a Business Roundtable held on September 19, of this year.

I quote, “Now, this debt ceiling – I just want to remind people in case you haven’t been keeping up – raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is, it says you got to pay the bill that you’ve already racked up, Congress. It’s a basic function of making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved.”

You have got to be kidding me!  Obama, who has never run a lemonade stand, or any other business for that matter, is telling a group of business professionals that borrowing does not equate to debt?  That is beyond absurd!  Additionally, he patronized this group by insulting them with, “In case you haven’t been keeping up.”  I would say that the majority of the people in the room are so far ahead of the POTUS in understanding business practices that he is, in NASCAR parlance, being lapped!

Here is a simple way to test his theory about ‘borrowing not increasing debt’.  Hand out one hundred no-limit credit cards, for which you are responsible, to one hundred teenagers.  See how that works for you.  (This is what Congress is doing, but without the attachment of responsibility!)

Now let us address one more item in the President’s statement.  He referred to the bills being racked up by Congress.  Blame whoever you want, but there has not been an approved budget since our current President took office.

Can you imagine any major corporation in the United States not having a budget?  Even as a small business owner, I had a budget.  Budgets will always change, but at least it provides a framework for effectively running a business.

Most households have a budget.  If it is not a formalized budget, at least it is a budget by which most people understand that they cannot spend more than they earn.

Our government, the largest in the world, has not had an approved budget since the POTUS came into office.  It is apparent they need a super-sized set of the Quick Books program.

Are you frustrated and bewildered by the US Government shutdown?  Are you looking for someone to blame about your frustration?  Do you ever wonder why our political system has come to this juncture, resulting in the shutdown?

Here is the Grandpa T opinion as to why this is occurring in Washington.  (I need to get this done as kick-off is in 2 hours!)

I believe all of the problems can be attributed to the following:

1.  A clash of oversized egos.

2.  Too many self-interests at the expense of the public’s best interests.

3.  Lack of common sense.

4.  Leadership that relies more on blame than accomplishment.

John Boehner is, by no means, solely to blame for this mess as the Speaker of the House.  Both he and the House of Representatives have forwarded bill after bill concerning this particular government shutdown and federal budgets in the past.

What has happened to these bills?  Well, from his position as Majority Gatekeeper in the US Senate, Harry Reid (D-NV), has not presented any of these bills for vote or for debate.  Yup.  It is one of those events that is conveniently overlooked by the media.  Harry Reid has not allowed one budget bill to come before the Senate in this administration, and he has not allowed any proposed bills concerning this shutdown to reach the floor of the Senate.  I suspect this is because he is afraid some of his fellow Democrats might vote for passage.

In simple terms, the House of Representatives have proposed to fund the federal government and raise the debt ceiling, provided there are spending cuts, and Obamacare is defunded for a year.

This is unacceptable to the Democratically controlled Senate, so Reid has not allowed these proposals to hit the senate floor.  What he, and the POTUS want, is an open checkbook without restrictions (Remember the 100 no limit credit cards to teenagers?).  AND, they are going to blame John Boehner if they do not get it.  The media has once again proven to be a willing co-conspirator in the blame game.

Common Sense dictates we cannot continue government spending at its current levels.  We are now borrowing and spending money (budget) against a depreciating asset (US GDP).  This cannot continue!

Remember the Syrian crisis of two months ago when we were going to bomb and drone the Syrian regime into submission?  Did it go away?  Has the fighting ceased?  One thing is for sure.  It is no longer on page one.  One critic, during this crisis, pointed out that the Syrian crisis would profoundly affect the Obama legacy.  Legacy?  Legacy?  What Obama legacy?

I believe that the POTUS believes that his legacy is going to be the Affordable Healthcare Act.  Even he refers to it as Obamacare!  His ego and stubbornness are unwilling to allow his prized program to be suspended, even for one year.  Why?  Because next year is a mid-term election year.  The Dems could lose the Senate.

In summation, I blame the US Senate, and, in particular, Harry Reid, for the government shutdown and for our current government fiscal crisis.  Reid has assumed dictatorial powers concerning our government with his iron-fisted control of the Senate, and has done so during the entire tenure of this administration.  So who is really running this country?  I blame Obama for allowing Reid to continue stonewalling the democratic process.

Let’s get to the Fox NFL pregame show.  Danica could being coming on any minute.