Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Borrow, Spend, Collapse

Gas prices are going up. Food prices are going up. Unemployment is going up. The national debt is going up. Earnings for most Americans are either going down or are stagnant. There are fewer and fewer high-paying manufacturing jobs because the federal government has allowed companies to move factories overseas where people work for less, then ship their products back without paying protective tariffs. Nice for them, but tough for working people here. At the same time, feds look the other way while millions of illegal aliens pour over our southern border to either work cheap and drive down wages, or to go on every form of public assistance and drive up government spending still further.From Gateway Pundit

This is serious. Most people know it cannot go on much longer or everything will collapse. Some voted for President Obama because they believed the “hope and change” rhetoric, but regret it now. Many formed into Tea Party groups all over the country and took over the US House of Representatives. They’re looking for a 2012 presidential candidate who has courage enough to tell the American people that we have to put all this into reverse and that it’s going to be painful for millions of us, but that there’s no other way to avoid complete collapse.

Trouble is, there are millions of other Americans who have allowed themselves to become dependent on government handouts of one form or another. Some of them know the gravy train cannot go on forever and entitlements must be cut, but they’ll only support cutting the programs other people use, not the ones they use. Few would support politicians who would cut across the board. Do these government addicts comprise a majority? It’s close, and we’ll just have to see. If they do, America as we’ve known it will cease to exist. The country our children and grandchildren grow up in will be vastly different. The “can-do” America will have irreversibly transformed into the “I-can’t-do-it” America that expects government to do it instead.From Joshua Kennon

The federal government spends three dollars for every two it gets in taxes. It has already borrowed so much that interest payments are about as high as our defense budget, and most of those in Congress want to raise the debt limit and borrow still more. When our Chinese creditors balk at lending any more money, government just prints it. The US Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke has increased the money supply by well over a trillion dollars in the past few years. Every dollar it prints makes the ones in all of our wallets and in all of our bank accounts less valuable. This “quantitative easing” as Bernanke calls it, is just another way government takes money from us - and from everyone else in the world whose assets are in dollars. That’s why other countries want to abandon the dollar and use some other as a base currency.From Washington Post

At supermarkets and gas stations, most people use credit cards. If they can’t pay off their balances each month, they realize they’re going further into debt and they have to cut back in some way or the interest will kill them. Either it’s driving less, getting a smaller vehicle, changing the way they eat, or whatever - they must cut back or their household will eventually collapse.

We’ve all known irresponsible relatives and neighbors who have ignored this reality and fallen apart. Now we see our government - and many of our states - doing the same thing and taking us all down with it. If a credible candidate shows up on the scene with the courage to run on a platform of drastically cutting government - including entitlements - he or she will move into the White House.

If not, we’ll continue on the road to ruin.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even a liberal like me agrees with you - spending must be cut back. Starting with getting rid of the billions in tax breaks that Big Oil is getting would seem to be a great start, but unfortunately they areprotected by their conservative pawns in power.

btw, unsurprisingly, does not agree with your silly graph attempting to show that Obama has tripled the defecit.

"The simple fact is that Obama inherited a federal deficit of $1.2 trillion on the day he was sworn in last year. That $1.2 trillion projected deficit — the result of bills signed by Republican President George W. Bush — grew substantially after Obama signed his stimulus bill and submitted his own budget. But even so, by the time the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the actual deficit was $1.4 trillion"

But who needs facts when you have spin...

5/18/11, 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Alan W said...

Media Matters agrees with FactCheck:

Fox Nation falsely attributes entire FY09 deficit to Obama

The Fox Nation falsely attributed the entire fiscal year 2009 deficit to President Obama, using the headline "Obama Triples Budget Deficit to $1.4 Trillion" to link to an Associated Press article reporting on the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) most recent budget review estimate. In fact, only a small portion of the fiscal year 2009 deficit is due to Obama's policies...

Too bad truth does not matter to Tom...

5/18/11, 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again we are majoring on the minors. Who cares whose watch the bomb went off---the house is coming down! Yes, cut the subsidies for oil AND wind, corn, electric cars, etc. BTW, who voted for the 1.2 trillion deficit under Bush? Obama! Who put the current deficit in place? Obama! Who was going through the budget with a fine tooth comb? Obama! Our politicians (all of them)don't have the stomach to fix this problem. The pain is too great---but deathly if they don't.

5/18/11, 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

Indeed...America is no more. We have been sold,out by corporate cronies. The federal reserve is simply evil. They print fiat money and lend it to us at interest!! superfluous.. That simple. There is no reason for the fed. Period.
Also, letting wall st get away with destroying this country while we invade multiple countries is insane. Barak. Obama is a joke. Bush was a joke. The two party system is not working . In a true democracy it is anathema. We have no manufacturing base. We can't take care of the sick and elderly properly. Our food is poisoned by companies like monsanto.. The electoral college is outdated and silly. We will never geta this country back from them with the current system . They own both parties and the media. They have you believing in a never ending war on terror that is costing us billions as we sink further into debt..they have raided pensions and seek to destroy the middle class!!! And they have convinced fools who side with one of two parties that the rich are unfairly taxed and should be left alone!!! And you believe it!!!! They purposely let illegal aliens into this country to further kill the working man and the middle class. Not to mention the drug war on our door step. What? We can't defend our own damned border!!!
It is truly sickening what the corporate cronies have done to this country...what we need is to realize that the average american Joe,like you and me, wants the same things basically. We need transcend the two,party system. Obviously it does not work... Let's end the left vs right circus and come together in order to stop them from further ruin of this country . After all, don't they want us to just keep vainly arguing while they keep robbing us?

5/18/11, 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

Hey fellow posters!!!! Do you realize the child-like bickering and blame games you take part in ARE the problem!!!!

Demcrats and republicans are bought and sold...didn't the last election prove that????

Get over yourselves and stop playing the game. It's that simple. How do you not see that dualistic paradigm only works to keep us all distracted??

5/18/11, 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Alan W said...

I'm with you on this, Winston. Corporations have taken control of the country and laugh as we squabble about which "side" allowed the defecit to get so bad. We NEED to break up the two party system and find a way to bring big corporations under control. Our problems have almost nothing to do with people wanting the government to provide for them, and almost everything to do with Big Business and Wall Street being provided for to such an extent that they cause recessions while they (the upper 1%) get more obscenly rich.

5/18/11, 12:23 PM  
Anonymous mr ed said...

Winston well said.

I watched an interesting interview on the Keiser Report.

Now how much truth to it who knows but essentially the interviewee was saying that there are essentially three major powers. the US, The EU and China.

All have major problems, the EU and US with major debt and China has some major inflation going on and problems again with its currency and dependence on getting paid back by US and EU and keeping its industrial base employed as consumers evaporate.

He was saying that it is a race as to who collapses last. The last to collapse will get the world's investment flow for they will be assumed to be the winner and strongest and the money will flow there.

It was an interesting perception and one that has merit. I would like to think that Americans regardless of our past stupidity can buckle down and outlast the truly socialist Europeans and I'd like to think that we Americans could get our chit together to defeat a completely totalitarian commie economy even if there were billions of slaves behind it.

That race to the end will not be done with bullets and bombs, though I imagine the bastards in DC have that planned quite nicely.

I hope that we as a nation can do this as how we have done so far, muddled through no matter what the bastards in DC and the world throw at us

5/19/11, 9:36 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

A race to see who collapses last. Interesting perspective.

China is nominally communist, but moving away from communism as government allows more privatization. Hence, they're growing very fast.

We are nominally capitalist, but moving away from capitalism as government takes over more and more, whether through increased regulation or outright takeovers with GM, healthcare, etc.

China's problem is trying to manage too much growth - growing pains. Our problem is managing decline. We're getting arthritic.

Europe? It's got an identity crisis. It uses crony capitalism in some ways and socialism in other ways. Can the EU work? Can the Euro survive? They, too, must either change or collapse.

Thanks for the insight Mr. Ed. Food for thought.

5/20/11, 6:39 AM  
Blogger gaffer said...

It is apparent the no one in Washington can stop the financial bleeding that is going on. The companies that so many like to blame only got on the band wagon after the politicians acted. Two examples are NAFTA and the sub prime debacle. Both were initiated by government and then the companies and Wall St. joined in.

I believe we can overcome the financial disaster but I am not so sure we can overcome the entitlement craze more than half our citizens are on. As a retiree I would give up some of my social security to save our nation. Although SS is not the same as the other entitlements. I was forced to pay into it and had I been able to put those monies into my own retirement I would be getting double back by now as SS gives me.

5/20/11, 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

The federal reserve act was passed in 1913 during x-mas recess. Previously there were attempts at similar cons but congress held the bankers at bay. Until 1913. Thomas Jefferson warned against a central bank printing the nations currency. The fed is basically a conglomerate of the old big banking families---rothschilds, warburtons, rockefellers, etc.. Who control us and manipulate the economy to there's like some sick Ayn rand fantasy come true. and we let them get away with it!! People will actually argue for the fed because they do not realize the superfluous nature of such an institution. It is wrong. And, as of now, Ron Paul is the only one who seems to ge that the fed is evil and needs to go. No more fiat currency. That is good and a step. In the right direction. In fact, the only answer at this point. We cannot keep enabling the fed to get away with murder. I would never imagine backing a guy like Ron Paul in the past. And he has his flaws and I am not sure he will survive the impending smear campaign from the banskter owned corporate media who will undoubtedly push Obama. But hey, that's where we are. No better time to throw the old two party system under the bus and take tthis country back. No fed. Bring back manufacturing to this country. Get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc...

5/20/11, 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, still refusing to ackowledge that the vast majority of the 2009 deficit on your graph is the responsibility of Bush? Typical wimpiness on your part. Do you EVER write a column that sticks to the truth? Your photography columns, perhaps? But I bet your compulsive lying even gets the best of you there.

5/20/11, 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link for Tom:

5/20/11, 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooops, the whol thing didn't show:

5/20/11, 2:32 PM  
Anonymous mr ed said...

well last poster seems again it is all about bush vs clinton vs bush vs obama vs some damn R stooge

Winnie had it right, there ain't a dimes worth of difference between the presidents, if you can't see it its time to open your eyes

5/21/11, 3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why blame the last poster, ed? What about Tom trying to claim that it was Obama who "tripled" the defecit?

Tom seems convinced that Obama and company are horrible and"his side" is great...
I love it that Tom can't make that arguement without resorting to lies!

5/23/11, 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please watch the link.

5/23/11, 8:31 PM  

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