Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Change is Coming


People are worried. More worried than I ever remember. If they’re not out of work, they know others who are. Highly skilled tradesmen are taking on whatever comes their way - jobs they never thought they’d do - because the phone isn’t ringing like it used to. They don’t see an end to it and they don’t expect it to get better. They expect it to get worse - a lot worse. That’s what worries them. And these are reliable people, those who have always taken care of business, of themselves, and of others, have always paid their taxes, have done everything above board.

Others who have hidden income in the underground economy, who have relied on government for unemployment checks, for free health care, and many other government programs, are still doing that, but their phones aren’t ringing at all. They’re calling others in search of work but not finding much. They’ve hired on occasionally with the reliable ones, but those occasions are fewer and farther between. Lately they’ve had more time to stand around with their hands in their pockets listening to anxious talk from those who pay attention to the wider world and understand it a bit. They don’t like what they’re hearing and now they’re worried too.
Then there are those who have never taken care of themselves, who have depended totally on government. They’re still going along as they always have, but they’re noticing the world is slowing down. Businesses are closing. Others aren’t open as much and shelves are empty. They don’t know it yet, but their lives are about to get harder.

Anybody who pays attention has seen it coming for a long time. Political leaders though, acted like it would all go on forever and most voters believed them. A growing number depend on government for everything and don’t know any other way, but with illegal immigration and refugee resettlement, we’re supporting tens of millions of foreigners as well. Some think we can support the whole world. Citizens want to seal the border, but government refuses. Republicans refuse because business constituents like the cheap labor and Democrats refuse because illegals will vote for them after amnesty. Ordinary citizens steam as their government sends so many checks to so many people it can’t cover them anymore. Rather than cut back, it has borrowed from foreigners who don’t want to lend any more. So the Federal Reserve is printing money.

The gravy train is derailing. Some of us know it. Other sense it. Most remain oblivious. Cities and towns can’t pay bills and can’t get help from states that are bankrupt. States can’t get help from a federal government in debt $14 trillion. There’s no backstop anymore. We’ve reached the end. Yet the president and Congress are still pushing health care “reform” for $2 trillion and trashing Senator Jim Bunning for asking where we’re going to get $10 billion to extend unemployment benefits. Because he pointed out that things simply cannot go on like this anymore, Bunning was trashed by Republicans as well.

The dollar is collapsing. The Euro is collapsing. It’s all going to collapse - and very soon - unless we cut everything and cut it deeply. It’s an election year and we should be hearing candidates tell us to cut government back hard now or disintegrate into anarchy, but we’re not. In bankrupt California last week, spoiled college students took to the streets over a raise in fees that will make it difficult for them to buy kegs of imported beer. Imagine what will happen when we raise retirement age, stop cost of living raises, cut entitlements 10% a year, seal the border, impose stiff fines on employers of illegal immigrants, and lay off government workers. It’s either going to happen methodically or everything will just fall apart at once, but it will happen.

Just as animals sense an earthquake, unease is spreading. The new president’s honeymoon ended when people began to realize that his plan to spend us out of recession has only hastened a collapse into depression. States now talk openly of nullification, of resurrecting the 10th Amendment, even of secession.

Change is coming. Not the kind for which people thought they were voting in ’08, but big change nonetheless. Hold on tight.

26 comments:

GBA said...

I don't know what you're worried about. I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. Plus, he doesn't speak with a Negro dialect. All we have to do is pass a second stimulus. Since Joe Biden did such a good job overseeing the first stimulus, Obama can put him in charge again. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Just curious - what poll did you see that said Americans want to seal the borders?

Anonymous said...

I agree, our financial situation is a complete mess. And it is not getting better with banks and wall street resorting right back to their crappy practices that got us in this mess to begin with. All I can say is thank goodness that at least these weasels hit a little bit of a road bump with Obama and his efforts to at least put up a little fight against some of these crooked fat cats. I can only imagine the disaster if Bush-like corporate whores continued to run things! We surely would not have the fighting chance that we do today.

Ralph said...

GBA, you a racist little pathetic dweeb!

Anonymous said...

Mr. McLaughlin - as usual, you stated the situation very clearly. It is a crime that our elected official will not seal the border to protect our economy and our culture from the illegals that are sucking us dry.
Obama is complicit in the demise of our country.

Please keep up the excellent commentary.

Stephen said...

And if Republicans have there way we will not be getting out of financial trouble soon. They seem way more concerned with "winning" political battles and trying to make Obama look bad than in making a genuine effort to help the American people. This is from the websit "leadercall":

To anyone whose sense of history extends beyond last week, what’s truly radical is the Republican Party’s effort to annul the 2008 election results by using the Senate filibuster to prevent the Democratic majority from passing anything of substance. Last year, they forced a record 112 cloture votes. The total two months into 2010 is already 40, a rate that puts them on pace to triple the previous record.
In the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Depression, the GOP has chosen to paralyze government in the hope of blaming the Obama White House and Democratic Congress for getting nothing done. It’s a brazen strategy that depends upon news-media complicity and widespread public ignorance for success. Only 26 percent in a recent Pew survey, it’s worth re-emphasizing, know how many Senate votes are needed to end a filibuster.
To justify themselves, some Republicans have tiptoed perilously close to the lunatic fringe. Several, including newly elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, made sympathetic noises after a lone demento flew an airplane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, killing himself and a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran who worked there. The madman’s big gripe was that the agency denied his effort to evade taxes by declaring himself a religion.
Fox News guru Glenn Beck has started using eliminationist rhetoric about eradicating the “cancer” of “progressivism” from American politics. His growing enemies list now includes President Theodore Roosevelt as well as Woodrow Wilson. If Beck’s rapt followers get their way, I guess we’ll need to dynamite Mount Rushmore.
Supposedly, the Founding Fathers were all about rugged, Ayn Rand-style individualism. Americans abhorred alien concepts like “community” until the proto-Marxist Bull Moose Party introduced them.
Seriously, that’s what Beck tells his millions of viewers. Evidently, his copy of the U.S. Constitution lacks a preamble. You know, the part that goes, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty ... “
“We the people”? “General welfare”? What were they, a bunch of pinkos?
As with the economic stimulus, people tell pollsters they oppose the healthcare bill, although for very different reasons (liberals because they think it’s basically a Republican-style bonanza for insurance companies; conservatives because they’ve bought big lies about “socialism,” “death panels,” etc.).
But also as with the stimulus, when asked about the bill’s constituent parts separately, Americans support them by strong majorities. Passing it over unanimous GOP opposition, therefore, most Democrats see it as good policy and, eventually, good politics, too. It’s a gutsy play.
Will “eventually” mean November 2010? Maybe not. Much depends on the economy. Once enacted, however, Obama’s healthcare reforms would become a permanent addition to the nation’s general welfare – like Social Security and Medicare, whose enactment also evoked temporary hysteria on the right.

Anonymous said...

We have met the enemy and he STILL is us.

Sami Brady said...

Anonymous said...

Just curious - what poll did you see that said Americans want to seal the borders?

Probably the same poll that Tom (and the rightwing radio ranters whose words he regurgitates in this blog) says proves Americans don't want health care/insurance reform. 'Course, Tom is satisfied with his health insurance, which is totally paid for by taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

You don't need a poll to be aware of the prevailing sentiment re. border protection.

After 38 years in law enforcement in a SW state, I have seen first-hand how its deteriorated.

"OTM"'s (other than mexicans) have increased, to include middle-east males.

About four years ago, I attended a justice department intel briefing in Phoenix. We learned of a large group of middle-eastern males that had been "target practicing" with several different weapons(illegally-possessed firearms) in the Oracle, Az. area-desert.

Evidently this group, ostensibly UA "students" were then put under surveilance. They eventually left for parts unknown.

A Tombstone newspaper, around the same time, quoted Border Patrol officers as knowing that "OTM's" from Arabic countries were infiltrating among the Mexican groups.

This is not reactionary or hysterical. The border security as mandated and enacted has been ineffective, non-existent, or a farce. "catch and release" as practised for many years is plain ignorant of the problem.


Show Low Yaqui

Anonymous said...

It is all working towards a final goal, someone to lead us out of this mess. A promised messiah we read about.

Only problem, this fella is the Anti-Christ and the sheeple of the nations will bleat blindly after him like lambs to the slaughter.

Yes, it is coming and soon. Good news is, we don't have much to go after that.

Anonymous said...

I still gotta ask, who pays for this new health care plan the US is talking about?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

'Just curious - what poll did you see that said Americans want to seal the borders? "

Tom has shown over and over again that he has no qualms about making stuff up if it helps his agenda, so my guess is the poll is only in his head.

Anonymous said...

"I still gotta ask, who pays for this new health care plan the US is talking about?"

Here are some facts from AmericanProgress.org

"Our nation’s long-term federal budget deficit problem is almost entirely a health care problem. Ten years ago, 17 percent of the federal budget was devoted to the two largest health care entitlement programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Over the past decade, that share
climbed to 21 percent and is expected to reach 25 percent by the end of this one.
After that point, if we do nothing, Medicare and Medicaid will continue to swallow up a larger and larger proportion of the federal budget, while simultaneously pushing overall government spending to new and unsustainable heights. The Congressional Budget Office projects that, under current policies, spending on Medicare and Medicaid in 2030 will exceed $3 trillion, close to four times as much as is spent today. The health care path that we find ourselves on will lead to a budget that is permanently and dangerously unbalanced.

The health care reform plans that are currently before Congress take the first step toward getting off of our current path and onto a more sustainable one. They do not solve the entire problem, but the plans do offer tens of billions of dollars worth of direct deficit reduction plus the promise of billions of dollars more in savings as the efficiency and modernization provisions kick in.

The health care reform package currently under consideration by Congress offers both tangible direct deficit reduction as well as the very real potential to significantly reduce overall health care costs over the next several decades. Both will be required to substantially alter our present budgetary course.
Estimates vary as to the precise amount of deficit reduction that we can expect from health care reform. On the low end is the estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, which does not take into account any efficiency improvements stemming from the legislation.
CBO’s “score” (budget lingo for an evaluation of the budgetary costs of a piece of legislation), which only includes direct changes in spending and revenues, has health care reform reducing the deficit by between $920 billion and $1.7 trillion over the next two decades.
Harvard University health economist David Cutler suggests, however, that the savings are likely to be much larger than that once the efficiency and modernization improvements contained in the bill take hold. He estimates that the total budgetary savings from now until 2030 will total around $6.5 trillion."

Frank said...

Tom, in your little "about me" blurb you mention you are "thinking about slowing down so Obama won't spread my wealth around."

Are you claiming that your income taxes have gone up since Obama took office or is this just another example of your mindless and dishonest verbal diarhea?

DAWN said...

Change isn't coming so much as it's here already.

Our culture, our religious beliefs and our future are under threat like no other time before.

The radical lawmakers in Washington are creating what can only be described as civil unrest. We see the signs of unrest in many areas of our life; politicians retiring or resigning, lack of sound decision making, lack of leadership on both sides of the fence and a lack of respect internationally.

We see more than ever bribes to get votes, moral laxity and managment policies that would get one quickly fired in the private sector.

Our country is being divided by the actions (or inactions)of our elected officials.

Surely this is not the change that voters were looking to come to pass less than two years ago.

The only change that can come as a result of all this is a change to undermine this once-great Republic unless America wakes up and takes action.

Anonymous said...

Yes, tough financial times indeed for the USA. Yes, I too am worried, but not as worried as I was two years ago.

When Dawn says "Our country is being divided by the actions (or inactions)of our elected officials" what that really means is that our country is being divided by we, the people, who elect these officials.

Sasha said...

Our country is being divided by people like Tom, who go around publicly painting all those who do not agree with them as villianous cretins. Nevermind that a majority of these people are actually good, hard-working people who Tom would probably like if politics were put aside. Nevermind that it would be much more effective and beneficial to our country having polite, constructive discussions. Our country is being divided by people who have to group everybody into "us" versus "them" and have a no holds barred conflict where anything goes - lying about facts, trying to spin everything their way, name-calling, etc.

We are in this world and this country together. Everybody will never reach a perfect agreement and neither "side" is going to leave. It is obvious things need to be worked out together. It is also obvious that things can not get worked out with the mean-spirited attitudes and ugliness that people like Tom spit out.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON—Organizers of the Tea Party movement, a group opposed to the federal government’s attempts to alleviate the ongoing financial crisis through increased spending and taxation, announced today that their members have split down reactionary lines into those who are apoplectic in regard to the Obama administration and those who are merely enraged. “This rift is absolutely irresolvable,” screamed red-faced events coordinator Daniel Hume, head of the movement’s apoplectic faction. “We believe that now is simply not the time to be irrationally furious about unprecedented economic policies that have had little more than a year to start showing any signs of effectiveness. Now is the time to be foaming-at-the-mouth, incoherently livid about them.” A third camp of angry protesters had reportedly emerged from the recent upheaval, but its entire membership tragically died from massive brain aneurysms shortly after the group formed.

From "The Onion"

Peter said...

I agree with Sasha. Dialogue that does not resort to petty nastiness and juvinile name calling is much more effective in reaching people and geting them to take what you have to say seriously.

There was a great example of such effective writing in the letter by Roger M. Clemons in Wednesday's Daily Sun. He strongly railed against what is going on in Washington in such a way that even those who did not agree with all his points were apt to consider their merits instead of dismissing them offhand as the angry partisan rantings of a narrow minded idelogue.

I wonder exactly what Tom's intentions are in writing his columns. In mimicing the "I'm right, you're a moron" attitude of such people as Rush, Coulter, Hannity, etc he will never have an audience that will change their viewpoint because of what he has to say. Instead he will continue preaching to the choir and doing nothing that actually helps his cause. Sure, he will always have his little group that laps up his rants, as well as a seemingly larger group who post here to point out his twists of the truth and his other absurdities. It seems clear that much of what he writes he does not fully believe himself, or at least he knows he cannot back it up with any real facts or substance. Thus the very frequent posts refuting his comments that he does not even attempt to stand by.

I can honestly say that I think his columns actually help the side that he rails against. I think that his attitude turns off "on the fence" readers, and the letters that are written back to the paper set the facts straight in a much more thought out and reasoned manner, that they actually win over people who had been contemplating the issue.

Anonymous said...

DAWN said:

"Surely this is not the change that voters were looking to come to pass less than two years ago."

That's your opinion. Here is another opinion from the Washington Post:

A healthy majority of American voters elected Barack Obama to change the world. Which is precisely what he's doing. Like many people who desperately want to see the country take a more progressive course, I quibble and quarrel with some of President Obama's actions. I wish he'd been tougher on Wall Street, quicker to close Guantanamo, more willing to investigate Bush-era excesses, bolder in seeking truly universal health care. I wish he could summon more of the rhetorical magic that spoke so compellingly to the better angels of our nature.
But he's a president, not a Hollywood action hero. Most of my frustration is really with the process of getting anything done in Washington, which is not something Obama can unilaterally change, nimbly circumvent or blithely ignore. One thing the new administration clearly did not anticipate was that Republicans in Congress would be so consistently and unanimously obstructionist -- or that Democrats would have to be introduced to the alien concept of party discipline. It took the White House too long to realize that bipartisanship is a tango and that there's no point in dancing alone.
Step back for a moment, though, and look at Obama's record. His biggest accomplishment has been keeping the worst financial and economic crisis in decades from turning into another Great Depression. Yes, the $787 billion stimulus package has been messy, but most economists believe it was absolutely necessary -- and some believe it should have been even bigger. Yes, Obama continued the Bush-era policy of showering irresponsible financial institutions with billions in public funds. Yes, the administration bailed out the auto industry -- and we actually heard the president of the United States reassure Americans that General Motors warranties would be honored.

Responding to the crisis required creating an enormous fiscal deficit that Obama will spend years trying to reduce. But not even the most conservative economists recommend attacking the deficit before the economy is stabilized on a path of growth. Only Republican demagogues think that's a good idea.

On national security, Obama moved at once to categorically renounce torture -- a big step toward removing the ugly stain that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney left on our national honor.

Obama should have supported a full-blown investigation into apparent Bush-era violations of national and international law. And, at a minimum, he should allow the limited torture probe ordered by Attorney General Eric Holder to follow the evidence wherever it might lead.

But at least the administration is on schedule in withdrawing combat troops from Iraq. I don't think Obama knows the right answer on Afghanistan; I'm not sure anybody does.

Obama's months in office have been so action-packed that it's easy to forget some of the historic steps he has taken: nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. Going to Egypt and speaking directly to the Muslim world about cooperation rather than conflict. Embracing multilateralism as the template for U.S. foreign policy in the new century. Accepting the scientific consensus on climate change. Investing in "green" jobs and education reform as key engines of economic development.
And then there's health-care reform. I've been impatient with Obama's strategy of letting Congress take the lead on writing legislation, but he's brought us to the brink of truly meaningful reform much faster than anyone could have imagined a year ago. We still have some fighting to do but still quite a record for 287 days: All that, and a Nobel Peace Prize, too.

GBA said...

Thank you Ralph for taking the bait in a little game I played called, fishing for idiots.

The first quote, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" was said by Vice President Joe Biden, and yes he was referring to Obama.

The second quote, "he doesn't speak with a Negro dialect" was said by Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and yes he was referring to Obama.

Your comment directed towards me raises some interesting questions Ralph. One question being, are Joe Biden and Harry Reid "racist little pathetic dweebs" too? Or are they off the hook because they're Liberals and I'm a Conservative?

DAWN said...

Ralph: you're busted!

GBA: Good one!

Anonymous: Way to put a spin on things! If it's as rosy as you believe then why is the Democratic Party disintegrating right before our very eyes?

In one year he's brought more Americans back to Conservatism than anyone since Reagan.

As far as "action-packed" goes, have you ever heard the phrase "love is patient but lust is in a hurry?"

That's what I think of everytime I see him working fast and furious to get things done.

I can hardly wait until the next set of elections later this year to see exactly how much he's destroyed his own party with his "action packed" change!

Tom McLaughlin said...

An email I got today:

Mr. McLaughlin,

I read your article 'Change is Coming' today, and well- I felt obliged to reply to it. It's unfortunate that most people in the valley can only understand the economics that is told to them, by people like you. I'm sure a majority of the area read your article and started panicking, thinking that 'anarchy' is coming, and our entire government is going to collapse. Come on, Mr. McLaughlin. I'm a junior at University of New Hampshire and I know well enough that the 'scenerio' you speak of is far off in the distance... and we won't be going into a depression anytime soon. Un-employment is remaining stable at 10% (in NH, it's arounbd 5.6% btw); which means, 90% of our population is working.GDP grew by 5.6% this quarter, and above all, the U.S. bond is still the safest investment any country can make these days. So countries like China, much to peoples belief, will not be selling off all of their U.S. bonds.

So please, stop talking like the world is falling apart, because I fear that most people who read it believe it. Yes, I'll agree with you- our economy is in tough times and our government is in a lot of debt. But debt is something that can be managed, no matter how high it gets- and the U.S. government simply cannot, and will not go bankrupt. Any economist will tell you that.

It will take years to rebuild our economy, maybe even a decade. But above all, people will get by- and we'll be alright. SO once again, I ask you, cut it out with the 'armagedon articles' and have a little more optimism in our economic situation.

Josh Newall

Tom McLaughlin said...

And my response:

Josh,

The interest on our debt exceeds our defense budget and is going up faster than it ever has. China sold off what US debt it could to Japan. Chinese generals are pressuring their government to call in the loans. India is dumping dollars and bought 200 tons of gold in January. The UN is looking to establish a world currency and dump the dollar. There is no social security trust fund, no lock box. Medicare and Medicaid are closer to bankruptcy and nothing is being done to forestall it. Indeed, Obama wants to raid it for $500 billion as part of the Obamacare bill. The Fed is printing dollars hand over fist because nobody is buying US bonds you claim are so safe.. When those dollars go into circulation, we're looking at spiraling inflation with stagnation far exceeding what the Carter Administration produced. California, with the worlds 12th largest economy, is bankrupt and issuing IOUs for paychecks. States are delaying income tax refunds for months at least.

Meanwhile the president and Congress are pushing a $2-2.5 trillion health care "reform" package that 3 out of 4 Americans don't want. They want to follow that with Cap and Trade to "prevent" climate change, as if that were possible, based on fraudulent science and "armageddon articles" (to use your phrase) written by environmental whacko greenies. It will raise the average family's energy costs by $1500-2000 annually and put more people out of work.

Want to see what's in our not-too-distant future? Look at Greece. Looks like anarchy to me. That's the path we're on. I'm sure you're not hearing any of this from insular academics in university la-la land, but it's happening nonetheless. I'm calling them as I see them.

Tom

Ralph said...

Sorry GBA but bringing up race when it has nothing to do with the discussion still makes you STILL a racist little pathetic dweeb!

pinko said...

Dawn - you may want to live in a theocracy, but those of us who do not share your beliefs should not be forced to endure them.