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American Bamboozle

Updated on May 7, 2014

By: Wayne Brown

Watching the political pandering play out in Washington over the debt ceiling debate is painful for it is the shining example of what we have come to in America from a political and ethical standpoint. Disinformation and outright lying have become the rule of the day and the focus of either side of the aisle is simply on winning the day for political purposes. This is not what was envisioned by the Founders of this great land and this behavior is certainly not something that I hope Americans look back on in historic and describe as heroic.

The President again took to his bully pulpit and used national television to send threats to the senior citizens on Social Security and those who depend on Medicare. He conveniently made the potential outcome sound as though the debt ceiling must be raised or we have no choice but to default on the debt service of this nation. His only alternative cited to that was to suggest that possibly the funds of Social Security and Medicare would have to be withheld in order to meet our debt obligations as a nation. This is a very poor portrayal of the facts and leaves those uniformed believing that those on the right side of the aisle are interested in nothing more than undermining entitlements with spending cuts. This nothing but cheap political maneuvering at its finest by a President who seems to have little credibility left with the majority of the American people.

The President suggests that compromise has been offered and turned down. He portrays himself as then grand compromiser leaving out the fact that after reaching an agreement with the Republicans he essentially violated it by adding another four hundred billion dollars to the spending pot. In effect the President is saying that he is there to compromise as long as he gets a long-term debt ceiling increase of over two trillion dollars and he can continue to spend without restriction at his discretion. The President goes on to quote Jefferson saying in effect that we don’t get everything we want all the time…apparently a lesson he has not taken to heart himself.

Harry Reid continues to demonstrate his appreciation of democracy and the democratic process. Although the House has passed legislation associated with Cut, Cap, and Balance, Reid refuses to allow the bill to even come to the floor of the Senate for debate. I ask you, who died and made him king? The Democrats hold the majority position in the Senate…what is there to fear of a debate on this bill coming before them? Could it be that the discussion just might not reflect too highly on the past actions of the Democrats populating the Senate and House? Reid’s political tent should have been folded long ago. Those who would shun the democratic process of debate to cover the antics of their own politics have no place representing the American public in any position. It is past time for the Gemini twins…Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to depart Washington politics.

The right side of the aisle needs to rethink its position. Reducing real spending is important but holding the line on the short-term debt ceiling and demanding long-term cuts may not fly within the compromise. The majority of Americans are looking for a commitment to change directions. Taking some first steps with some “real spending” cuts as opposed to the imagined ones conjured up by Harry Reid and company would be a welcome orientation. At the present, if we can find a way to hold the short-term debt ceiling in place and agree on some level of cuts in both discretionary and mandatory government spending which would cover our debt service obligations, most Americans would be pleased. This step does not have to endanger entitlements and cause anyone to miss receiving their funds on the short term.

No doubt the question of the future status of programs such as Social Security and Medicare must be addressed and soon. This debate over debt ceiling is not the proper ground for that debate because it confuses the issue with too many other factors. At present, our government receives more revenue from these two programs than it pays out. In effect the programs are solvent for present day circumstance. Unfortunately, thanks to LBJ and the Democrats, all funds from these programs go into the general funds as opposed to a trust. Since the days of LBJ, all the surplus money in either fund has been spent on other areas of elective government spending. That figure amounted to over $70 billion dollars in surplus money in 2010. Eventually, due to shrinkage in the workforce, the payout will exceed the inflow of revenue and government will be faced with an overwhelming problem which in effect has all the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme. The future of these programs must be adjusted to offset these future problems but this is not the time and place to accomplish that important task.

The fraud and improper pay outs associated with the Medicare program are estimated to be in a revenue range which would exceed the cost of our current national debt interest service yet there seems to be no aggressive action on the part of the government to address this problem and eliminate it. It is absolutely amazing that our government can detect a leak in a barrel this large but cannot identify effective methods to eliminate it. Maybe the primary obstacle is desire or the lack of it. With the advent of Obama Care, obviously there is no one in the Obama Administration interested in securing the program. Remember, this is the program which Obama just gutted financially to initiate his national healthcare effort.

The latest Rasmussen Poll rank President Obama’s approval rating with the American people at a level of 21%. This figure has been on a declining trend since this President took office. The approval rating for Congress is even worse coming in at a dismal 18% approval rating. America is stating loud and clear that we have no faith in those in Washington DC who were elected to serve us as a nation and take care of our financial well-being for the future. Given this trend, the outcome of the upcoming 2012 elections will likely surprise many of those currently in office who are touted as unbeatable. One can only hope that is the case.

The left side of the aisle in Washington wants to blame the rich and large corporations for our financial misery. Many of those in the category of “rich” have made it quite clear that they are more than willing to pay more taxes but, at the same time, they would expect to see a change in the approach to spending in Washington by our elected officials. They quickly ask the question, why should we provide more money for them to waste on unnecessary and inefficient pork-barrel programs? It’s a good question and has not yet been answered. Others rant about how corporation slide by on taxes in America ponying up approximately 9% of the revenue stream in 2010. They rant for more taxes on these entities not realizing that increased taxes on industry simply means increased shelf prices on goods to the consumer. Taxes stifle competition in the marketplace by driving out producers and those who endure the taxes simply embed them into the price of goods and services and pass them on to the consumer…in effect increases taxes on middle income Americans once again.

Closing tax loopholes and increasing taxes will not grow the economy, especially at a time when the economic engine is barely running with any steam. The job market will shrink to an even greater degree. Companies will give up on the American market and move elsewhere not only taking jobs but also leaving a less competitive market where prices are more easily raised to the consumer. Spending, on the other hand, especially spending for which there is no revenue stream only grows the debt and the interest service on that debt. Eventually, the government has a greater demand for the available money in circulation than the private sector which tends to devalue the currency and feed the fires of inflation in the economy. Spending also has a tendency to grow government to even bigger levels. That fact is apparent when one looks at the spending of the current administration over the past two plus years and the 17% growth in the federal monster.

It is time for some effective bipartisanship in Washington. The President is not willing to lead it and has demonstrated that he cannot do so effectively with his recent actions. Those in Congress must act and do so in a manner which serves America and its people in the most honest and effective manner. It is past time that recognition is given to the fact that we have a debt ceiling for a reason and that reason is not to hold a debate every six months over raising it. At the same time, the solution to that dilemma is not to hand the keys to the piggybank over to the President to spend at his discretion. Congress, the House in particular, is charged with affecting an operating budget for this country on an annual basis. That duty has been neglected now for far too long. Let’s see Congress roll up its sleeves and go to work on the spending issues in this country to identify those that we can do without or minimize in order to free up some of the hard-earned money paid in by Americans in taxes. Then, let’s pay our bills and agree that we need to continue doing so without increasing our growing debt load to even higher levels. We have the opportunity before us at the present. At some point in future borrowing, that door will close and there will be no options and at that point Americans will realize just how badly we have been bamboozled by our own elected officials.

God Bless America! WB

© Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @TPC...Washington DC is the one place in America where 2+2 no longer equals 4. That's not to say it is the fault of any particular party or orientation. It is to say that those we have sent to represent us have employed a whole lot of voodoo math to scheme and basically bilk this nation in to a state of atrocious debt. Continued spending is simply a furthering of that process and eventually will end in disaster with no alternatives the the public that has been victimized. If you choose to allow a blank check liberal viewpoint to blind you to that fact then I suspect that you will be among the ones most surprised by the outcome. The present drama which is playing out has no purpose but to give the public a sense that all people on both sides of the aisle are working hard to maintain the status quo. There is a bright side to it all in that the only two times the Congress is engaged in anytning that amounts to good for the publis is when they are either deadlocked or in recess. There was a reason the founding fathers did not see these positions as full-time jobs and it had everything to do with keeping government at the federal lever small. Unfortunately we now have a government infested with career politicians who do nothing but complicate what should be simple common sense processes. They don't do it out of ignorance, they do it out of malice. The American people, regardless of orientation, should want this cleaned up and soon. WB

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 6 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      That last sentence may sum up the mentality of the 'Tea Party' and it's corporate handlers,

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas Founding Fathers did not always agree but they had the dedication and the sense of responsibility to work it out and find some common ground. At the same time, they were there because they considered it a high honor to serve the people of this country...that attitude has shifted to one of opportunistic greed. WB

    • profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      I worry that maybe American's are just to dumb and immoral to vote in the right poeple. When you continally hear the ignorance of the left from so many poeple it can be very depressing. A major spiritual awakening is the only thing that can turn this nation around.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Stu From VT...Thanks Stu, I appreciate it! WB

      @RealHousewife...Sounds like a appropriate response! LOL! WB

      @Becky...Just hold on to that anger until Nov 2012. WB

      @James Watkins...Hey, quite a compliment, Jim, coming from the guy that I consider to be a master communicator. I really appreciate that one! WB

      @drbj...Doc, I would expect better from a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law so the process of explaining the attempted deception is really no big feat on my part. I just removed the blame, the double speak and the political intent...what's left is the basis of a Dick N' Jane first grade reader. WB

      @caltex... Thank you for reading and commenting. The Republicans are becoming splintered within between their moderates and the hardline tea party crowd. They need to get in unison and get on message then deliver that message as clearly and as factually as possible to the American people, again, and again, and again until folks get it. If my mother does not receive her SS check on time in can bet I will be blaming Obama and I will be telling everyone else that fact. The only reason those checks would not be paid is that Obama illegally directs the treasury not to make the payments. The elderly of this country need to remember the speeches this man has made in the past two weeks and probably some he will make in the next few days. He is the root of the problem in this equation and he needs to bear the burden of the responsiblity at the poll for it. WB

    • caltex profile image

      caltex 6 years ago

      Wayne, thanks for writing about it. I hope many will get to read and see the reality of all this as we can no longer rely on mainstream media.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      You have the knack, Wayne, of separating the wheat from the chaff (crap) in Washington to help us decipher what is really going on in D.C. (District of Confusion). Every move Obummy makes is predicated on his perceived potential for re-election. He does not lead; he just campaigns. Thanks for this literate, knowledgeable hub.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Once again, you have made plain and clear the complicated issues that face our nation. You have a real gift for this. I appreciate your diligence in keeping the People informed. Well done!

    • profile image

      Becky 6 years ago

      I would be more likely to chop off his feet instead of washing them.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Oh I don't do feet Wayne - especially his! LMAO I might like to whip him upside the head with a wet towel though.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @Stu From Vt.......Thanks much! WB

      @RealHousewife...I am guessing we'll all be poor together but we will still have comaraderie of washing Mr. Obama's feet! LOL! WB

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ha! That is if I'm not out selling matches by the time this administration is over!

    • profile image

      Stu From VT 6 years ago

      Wayne - great analysis, expertly presented. Can't add a thing. Great job. Stu

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @RealHousewife...Remember, Washington is more afraid of a conservative well-informed woman than anything on the are well-positioned! WB

      @breakfastpop...Very true, Poppy. Political manuevering should not come at the threatened expense of the nations elderly or veterans and I don't think the majority of the public will stand for it before demanding that the President prioritize spending in a manner to avoid it. Obama and company don't want to do the hard work of cutting in the spending does not buy votes and that's why the money is so necessary. We don't have to worry about Congress pork-barreling at the present...the President does enough of it on his own. If we handed him 100 billion dollars right now, he would find a way to give it to either the unions, planned parenthood or ACORN. His transparency is extremely apparent and real ugly in terms of the well-being of most Americans. I hope he will be available for community de-organizing work again real soon. WB

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      If the best interests of the nation were at the heart of this issue, it would have been solved a long time ago. This is politics at its ugliest. Common sense actions could solve the problem and get us on the road to recovery. When politicians care more about the country than their careers we will find our way out of this mess. Great intelligent and common sense piece. Up useful, interesting and oh so awesome. Send it to Washington!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thank you. If it isn't completely impossiblbe it seems like he should give it a try. Ok I'll be quiet now:) lol

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @RealHousewife...Yes, I think he could and should do it but he knows the Republicans cannot muster 60 votes in the Senate out a possible 100 to push it to the floor. WB

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I know I'm not very smart when it comes to politics (I did take poly sci in collge but you learn the text) anyway I wondered if Reid wanted to bring it to the floor even without the necessary vote, could he? You don't have to answer if it is in depth but I was just curious. (I know I'm a pain.!) lol

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @The Frog Prince....Thanks Frogman, hope we can keep the right from caving. WB

      @poetvix...You humble and inspire me with your kind words. WB

      @RealHousewife...The "House" which is Republican controlled did pass such a bill and sent it off to the Senate. Reid will not let it come to the floor for debate because it does not have the necessary 60 vote support in the Senate thus it will die there. Still, the Republicans gave it a try and that's what we want to see...make the others turn away from a good idea and explain why when people ask. WB

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      @ladybluewriter...Thank you, I appreciate the read and the comment. WB

      @Old Poolman...There was a time when disagreement took place and the office of the president became the consensus builder and the problem solver...not with this guy...he loves issues that divide and tear down. WB

      @marellen...It is getting harder because your dollar buys less and less all the time and your government is out there telling you that inflation is not a problem..maybe they are not measuring it properly. WB

      @CMerritt...The lies are coming home to roost as are the bills from the past two years of out of control spending and all they can do is ask for more like children begging for cookies. WB

      @TeaPartyCrasher...That's right TPC, it's the right who has spent all the money in the past 2.5 years and functioned without a budget or a direction. It is the evil old people of the right making Obama, Reid, and company spend away Americas future. Possibly a socialist government would be more beneficial for the poor middle class so we could take all that the most productive make and redistribute it to those waiting for handouts from a government who has raised them on freebies. We grew this country out of freemarket capitalism and that is the way we will save it...all the socialism in the world will not change that fact. WB

      @Becky...notice the President is set to meet late today with the Veteran's Administration to brief them on how their payouts will be affected...more staged drama. He also has his talking heads going around to anyone who will listen spreading more disinformation...Shameful. Believe me, this man cannot afford to let the SS dependents and the veterans go down coming into an election year...he will be the one who pay for it. He should be the one who should pay for simply suggesting it as a possibility. WB

      @TimBryce..Amen to that, Tim. Thanks. WB

      @Hypenbird...Washington would like to think we are all stupid but they would be very wrong and the next electins just might prove the point. WB

      @Dardia...Then they could demonize me as they have done with Palin. Shamefully, the Republicans let in happen by watching their own political asses instead of standing up for a woman who did a dang fine job as Governor of Alaska. WB

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I can't add - except a weird thing happened while I was reading this - I had to back track because I could have sworn you wrote "...the house has passed legislation associated with cut, crap and balance....". Now what kind of Freudian Slip would that be?

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      As per usual, you've done it well again. From your mouth to God's ears. Up, awesome and shared on Facebook.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Great analysis Wayne and nothing I can add that you didn't hit squarely on the head.

      Good writing and great thoughts.

      The Frog

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 6 years ago from Michigan

      Are you running in the next Presidential Election? You have my vote! ;) We need someone in there that cares about the people. We need people in the Senate and House who care about the people. Of course there is no one who cares about the people who will run.

      Great hub, voted up, and shared on facebook.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I am glad my source is not the US government. I have no desire to depend upon unstable, crazy politicians who cause this kind of chaos. Great Hub Wayne.

    • profile image

      TimBryce 6 years ago

      Wayne -

      No matter how you slice it, this is about Socialism versus Capitalism. Obama is now desperately grasping at straws as he knows time is running out.

      All the Best,


    • profile image

      Becky 6 years ago

      Scary situation. I am still dealing with my husband, who is convinced we won't get the SS. He has now decided we will probably get his VA disability. We have advanced a little in his thoughts. Thanks for the reassurances about the SS.

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 6 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      marellen: Likely because a lot of them have been convinced to vote against their economic interests.

      It's a tactic that Right-Wing movements have relied on for ages. Convince people to support a 'Corporate State'.

      But what happens when something like Wisconsin or Ohio happens, and folks wake up?

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      When the POTUS made the statement ... "the republicans can come along for the ride, the just need to move to the back and stay out of the way"....well, I think his "leadership" role flew right out of the window.

      Excellent hub Wayne and you have broke it down very well...and just lay it all out there.

      Up, useful, awesome and interesting...

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      I don't know Wayne, its getting real scary...the good old middle class, like me, have kept this country afloat for years and now that is getting harder each day. Why did I work all those years to end up with nothing.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 6 years ago

      Wayne, an excellent piece of writing, as always.

      My take is that little or none of this debate is about what is good for our country, it is all about the 2012 elections. When they proclaim budget cuts, do we not have a right to know exactly what was cut? Without this knowledge we have no way of knowing if anything was cut, or it is business as usual.

      The ultra rich claim they are willing to pay more, but only after the wasteful spending is stopped. Nothing wrong with this statement.

      This entire debate is showing us just how it really works in Washington, it doesn't.

    • ladybluewriter profile image

      ladybluewriter 6 years ago from United States

      It is very bad when today that CSPAN just cut short the voice of one american on social security, because he chose to make a comment about the deception before the public and their own party members exposing them. So you get cut saying we run out of time, and you sensored the caller. I wonder, if we have a voice anymore. I am sorry I like your article. I totally agree.