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home : letters : letters November 26, 2015

1/8/2013 9:58:00 AM
'The day the music died ...'

To the Editor:

“The Day the Music Died…”

Call me pessimistic … dispirited … bearish on America … whatever. 

Don McLean’s 1971 hit “American Pie” brings to mind the phrase “The day the music died,” which was a reference to the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (the “Big Bopper”) in a 1959 plane crash. 

Fast-forward to modern day and the day the music died for me, was Nov. 6, 2012, with the re-election of Barack Obama and then reinforced with the great “fiscal cliff” compromise of this past weekend. 

Another four years of the Obama administration plus the ineptness and indifference to this country’s debt situation that was displayed during the fiscal cliff talks of the past two months will result in the slow death of America as we know it.

The last-minute deal reached by Washington negotiators lifted taxes on the wealthiest Americans and didn’t do anything to cut spending. That’s right, no meaningful spending cuts but more spending (extending unemployment benefits) and tax increases … a ratio of 41to 1 in tax increases versus spending cuts.  What a deal for America – our leaders have saved us from going over the fiscal cliff! This country spends just under $10 billion each and every day and takes in just under $7 billion per day – it’s been going on for the past four years … we went over the fiscal cliff a long time ago! We could have survived four years of this madness, but not another four.

Had Obama got his way with increasing taxes on those making more than $250k per year, it would have generated about $85 billion – which runs our government for about eight days. Now that the limit has been raised to $400k through “bi-partisan compromise,” the amount of revenues raised by this new tax is even more inconsequential – it’s completely symbolic and simply fits Obama’s ideology.

In a few months, the next battle will be raising the government’s debt ceiling – again! I can hear it now … Obama will say we’ve got to do it otherwise we’ll have to lay off firefighters, police officers and teachers. Veteran’s benefits and Social Security checks won’t go out. We’ll have to close our National Parks … blah, blah, blah. 

The mainstream media will be all over this – every newscast will portray the Republicans as the bad guys because they won’t agree with Obama on cost cutting and it’ll be their fault if the government shuts down. 

Until the Matt Lauers (new $25M/year salary contract), Brian Williams, Dianne Sawyers of the world feel the pain, we’ll always hear the same biased rhetoric on the evening news.

I guess Obama’s strategy is to just keep spending so Americans get used to “big government.” Then in a few years when we’re facing Greece-like calamities, everyone will have to agree to massive tax increases because we’ve got to keep the government gravy train coming. 

It’ll be the “New America” with what will no doubt be well more than 25 percent of our Gross Domestic Product spent on government and related programs. 

Yes, Obama is transforming America just like he said he would in 2008. Financially, the USA will be the weakest country in the world. 

When will people wake up in this country? 

I guess it has to get so bad that even those interested in the whereabouts of Kim Kardashian – or perhaps the latest episode of Jersey Shore – will finally feel the pain. Just wait until some day in the not-too-distant future, when the USA tries to sell its bonds (i.e. debt) to China, Saudi Arabia, etc. What will happen when these countries tell us that they don’t want to be paid interest on those bonds in U.S. dollars because our dollar is almost worthless – they want to be paid in gold. 

Or, the Soviets and the Chinese lobby the World Bank to have gold as the world reserve currency standard (versus the dollar). That will rock the financial markets in a way that’ll make us think fondly of the “good old days” of 2008 when the Dow “only” dropped by over 30 percent (people will argue that the market came back from those lows and everything is now fine – we’re still about 1,000 points below the high of 14,000-plus in the fall of 2007).

As the saying goes, “the chickens will come home to roost” … it’s just a matter of time. There are consequences for everything in life and this will be no different. The fiscal malaise that the Obama administration currently endorses – and will continue to endorse for the next four years – will bring the music to an end in America … maybe even for the liberals.

Michael Heppe

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