Really considering ‘investing’ and interest payments

Oh the joy of watching polispeak spin in action. Aside from an election, the State of the Union may well be the most spun event that can be predicted. Which is a good thing since spin like what is currently engaging Washington D.C. is a vortex that drags the nation with it.

It’s not important that President Obama mentioned jobs 20 times in his 2011 speech, as opposed to the 2010 speech with 30 mentions. It doesn’t matter that ‘jobs are the #1 priority of this Government’ – in all it’s variations – has been the rally cry of the Obama Administration since before the inauguration.

What is important is that the White House writers must think that the public are stupid. The writers believe it, President Obama believes it, and pundits backing the President believe it. That is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the reference of continued Government spending being called “investment” and equating a spending freeze with spending cuts.

At this point in the “broken” recession, more than the 16% underemployment rate understand spending cuts. If anyone has not cut back spending yet, with the consensus of thought that unemployment will remain over 9% this year, and even more mortgage foreclosures than in the record breaking 2010, spending cuts will become familiar. EXCEPT for the Government, which spent $104,700,174,845 in interest on the national debt in December 2010 alone.

Big plans and big dreams require a big checkbook. Sadly, not even the United States has a checkbook big enough for what President Obama and the far-left want. The CBO now sees the current fiscal year costing $1.5 trillion (a new record), with 2012 costing at least another $1.1 trillion if everything is more moderately positive than the abovementioned projections foretell. It will cost far more if the rosy picture is even slightly out of focus (like if interest rates increase even 2%).

In the face of such crushing debt, a debt that is equal to almost ALL the money in the WORLD combined, and an interest rate of roughly $4 billion a day President Obama has proposed to freeze 40 billion dollars a year for 10 years. It won’t even make up the interest of 1 month a year. In other words, President Obama will eliminate 10 days of interest payments each year going forward. Anyone have a cookie?

Only an idiot would think that such a system would help prevent America from falling off the financial cliff the nation is dangling upon. Yet in providing that very idea to the American people in the State of the Union Address, it clearly is assumed that math is beyond the average citizen and thus such a plan will sound credible and rewarding in political polls. If true, then surely the end of American greatness is near.

Speaking of greatness, who would not wish to invest in America? The Chinese have done it to the tune of $900 billion, with the Japanese not far behind. Obviously they believe us to be the greatest consumption force in the world, and they are profiting from the fact. But the monetary investment with a monetary return is not what President Obama means. Again a fact that is meant to be beyond the intelligence of Americans.

In 2009 President Obama asked America to ‘invest’ in infrastructure, high-speed mass trainsit rail, education, and mortgages. If you wonder when that ‘investment’ took place just change the name to Obama Stimulus and you have the same event. $814 billion (and counting) has been spent to create or ‘save’ 3.5 million jobs. What is a ‘saved’ job? No one has ever figured that out, nor do they have the balls to ask the President. Theoretically, every job in America is a ‘saved’ job.

Moving forward, in 2011 President Obama wants to ‘invest’ more. Costing hundreds of billions of not trillions more money that will come from China, if we ask really nicely. What have the prior ‘investments’ earned?

Amtrack loses $1 billion a year. High speed rail (bullet trains) will not improve this because there are just a single set of tracks through most of the developed parts of the nation, thus high speed is nullified. So since people do not like to spend the price of a plane ticket for a trip at least 3 times as long, they won’t spend more than the price of an airline ticket for a trip 1.5 times longer than a plane.

The Post Office. Is anything else truely needed to be said?

Education. The Obama Administration spent $100 billion on teachers and education, so that jobs would be ‘saved’ and kids could learn. In 2010, all the money from the year prior was used up, teachers were being fired and resources lost in education. Another, “Emergency”, $26 billion was spent just for teachers – more than a few of which still lost their jobs. It is projected that before the end of 2011 yet another $25 billion will be needed to maintain teachers.

Infrastructure. Roads and bridges. Shovel ready jobs. The brunt of the Stimulus power. A complete failure. By even the most optimistic and myopic view, the number of jobs created has been abysmal. The cost to create a basic $30,000 job, for 1 year, regularly costs over $1 million though the average nationally works out to about $220,000.

Making Homes Affordable. A program designed to help homeowners keep their homes. $75 billion was set aside, over 1.2 million people signed up to get help. In the first year less than 150,000 were given help. To date more than 50% of the 1.2 million that enrolled have dropped out of the program – most of those losing their homes.

TARP. The bailout of the banks at a cost of $700 billion in borrowed funds. So far some 65% of the original bank loans – forced on many banks – has been repaid. 11% of that repayment has come with interest. To date, none of that money has gone to pay the national debt – A vital and REQUIRED part of the legislation that created the TARP.

At the same time, since 2009, mnortgage forclosures have gone higher. There was an increase of 14.2% comapring 2010 to 2009. With virtually all time low interest rates the expectation is for an aggressively higher mortgage foreclosure rate in 2011. This is the dreaded double-dip in the housing markets.

Given the success of the ‘investments’ so far, understanding that there is no Department or Agency of the Government that is more efficient or less costly than the budget the year prior in the last 4 decades, why should anyone invest?

The truth is that no one with the ability to add and subtract would invest in the Government. It doesn’t matter if the Government is America, China, Russia, Greece, Sweden, or whereever. Governments are invariably wrong and plodding in their actions. But people are innovative and brilliant.

President Obama expects the nation to follow his plan because he is brilliant. His belief in Government supercedes historical fact, and even recent events. Given time, of some inordinate amount, the citizenry will eventually realize the greatness of his actions and the miraculous dexterity of the Government in resolving every ill. Such was the summatioon of the State of the Union Address.

But in the land of reality, spending is spending no matter what name it is given. Debt cannot be paid with IOU’s or even greater debt. The Government can’t make individuals exceptional, though it can impede the exceptional nature of many. Lastly, bad ideas remain bad ideas even if they come from a charismatic, idealistic, accomplished, person of color.

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About the Author

Michael Vass
Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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