Thursday, January 12, 2017

January, 2017, Part 7, Political Class Insanity: A Nobel Peace Prize Warmonger, Out of Control Debt, and Out Of Control Politicis

It is the beginning of another month which means it is again time to review the latest political class insanity from Washington and around the world. Political class insanity takes many forms including the wasting of taxpayer wealth, criminal fraud within government programs, inane and stupid political quotes and actions, the inability to create and implement effective and efficient government programs, stupid and ill performing economic policies and strategies, and other forms of insanity that continue to evolve and surprise and shock us. 

Today and for all of the insanity posts this month, let’s start off with a welcome piece of honest political dialog. It comes from a State Department spokesperson. Mark Toner, who is about to start the daily State Department press briefing. In a joking matter, he makes the following quote: "Welcome to the State Department. I think we have some interns in the back. Welcome. Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy." 

He then burst out laughing at his own quote, indicating he also knew what a joke the Obama administration has been, especially Mr. Toner’s State Department, when it comes to cover ups, lack of transparency, denial of Freedom of Information Act requests, the prosecution of whistleblowers, etc. But at least it was a little refreshing to finally hear some actual honesty out of Washington as we see from the actual clip of the news conference:

With that context of honesty, let’s see what other insanity has been going down:

1) Shortly after Obama’s first election victory for President, he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for no valid or rational reason imaginable. He then proceeded to become the only multi-term President to have U.S. military forces actively involved in combat for the entire length of his Presidency. 

How badly did Obama act contrary to his "Peace” plan award? According to Rob Garver, writing on January 8, 2017 for the Fiscal Times website, research done by Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations organization and research associate Jennifer Wilson, added up the number of bombs dropped by our commander in chief over the past year.

Their findings? Based on public data from the Pentagon, think tanks, and news organizations, they calculated that the U.S. military dropped 26,171 bombs or other armaments in 2016. This means that, on average, we dropped 71 bombs every DAY in 2016. Even worse, these U.S. bombs were dropped by the Nobel Peace prize winner in seven different countries:
  • Syria: 12,192 bombs
  • Iraq: 12,095 bombs
  • Afghanistan: 1,337 bombs
  • Libya: 496 bombs
  • Yemen: 34 bombs
  • Somalia: 14 bombs
  • Pakistan: 3 bombs
These numbers do not include the U.S. bombs and missiles that were sold to countries like Saudi Arabia that used those U.S. bombs to bomb targets throughout Yemen. So many things wrong with these realities:
  • Obama campaigned against the Bush administration’s military intrusion into Middle East affairs and yet is bombing targets across seven different Middle East countries.
  • Pretty difficult to not think the Nobel committee, that selected Obama as a peace plan winner, is having second thoughts with the Obama administration dropping over 26,000 bombs and missiles in one year.
  • How many innocent civilians, children and adults, in these seven countries have been killed by U.S. attacks and the munitions we have sold to other countries? Other sources outside of this article estimate that hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians, have been killed by these bombs.
  • Constitutionally, why is Obama not in gross violation of the Constitution and War Powers Act, unilaterally involving the country in serious military engagements in Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria without getting Congressional approval, as required by the Constitution and existing law?
I would hate to see how warlike Obama would be if he had NOT won the Nobel Peace Prize.

2) We have already often reviewed the fiscal insanity Obama has imposed on the country, both short term and long term, by almost doubling the national debt and adding a whopping $10 TRILLION to the national debt. Not only has he added a brutal $10 TRILLION to the debt but he has exploded a key fiscal measurement, the debt to the national GDP ratio, a ratio that has historically been around 60% or so and driven that to over 100%, a level that is very scary and unheard of.

In the past eight years, the Obama Presidency has incurred more annual debt each year than any other Presidency ever, incurring over $1 TRILLION in annual debt for the first four years of his Presidency. And yet, over the past few years he has bragged how he cut the annual Federal spending deficit in half. This is like the old Mafia joke: they break your kneecaps and then offer to sell you crutches at a discounted price. If they had not broke your kneecaps to begin with, you would not need to buy crutches.

Same as Obama. He drove annual spending deficits to over a TRILLION dollars a year, and then congratulated himself when he got the deficit down to about half a TRILLION dollars, a level that was still much higher than the annual deficit of any previous President.

Well, it seems that he cannot even make that claim anymore. Despite being six years into the Obama economic recovery and the claim that unemployment was at or near a “full employment” level, the 2016 Federal government spending deficit again jumped over a TRILLION dollars, $1,054,647,941,626.91. This comes out to about $8,400 that every American household would have had to pay to cover the Obama administration’s new $1 TRILLION annual deficit in 2016. 

To cover the total amount of debt that Obama has added to the national debt burden, every household would have to pony up an additional $75,000 or so to balance the deficit spending books of the Obama administration. Since the Obama administration basically doubled the national debt, than simple math tells us that every U.S. household would have to write a check for about $150,000 to get the Federal government out of debt.

And as we have pointed out many times before, if we had gotten anything for this massive amount of debt you might be able justify at least some of it. But our roads and bridges are still falling apart, our public education processes still stink, we have not had any breakthrough research to reduce deadly diseases, we still do not take care of our veterans, etc. The Washington political class has spent a lot of money and we did not even get a tee shirt for financing it today and for generations to come.

3) We have always maintained that our election processes and the political parties that drive those processes are out of control, wasting a lot of time, money, and attention while never resolving any major problem facing Americans. How obnoxious has this mess become? Consider an interesting math analysis by the New York Post in early December, 2016. 

The Post reported that Hillary Clinton and her supporters had spent an obscene $1.2 billion on her Presidential campaign. The Post then cited data from the World Food Programme, an international charity that tries to feed hungry children around the world. They claim that the can feed a poor child on $.50 a day. If you do the math and believe the World Food Programme organization, than the money spent to try and elect Hillary could have fed over 6.5 million hungry kids a year. 

Given that the average teacher in this country earns about $56,000 a year, the Hillary political money could have funded over 21,000 teacher positions for a year or over 2,100 teacher positions over ten years, certainly a better use of that money. This is how out of synch our national and political priorities have become.

That will do it for today's insanity: a Nobel Peace prize winner that is a warmonger, a President that is an out of control spender, and political processes that cost too much for so little in return. More insanity tomorrow.

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