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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

2/28/2008

The Real Inconvenient Truth

David Walker 1.jpg

David Walker, Comptroller of the United States

When I began this weblog in May of 2006, my intent was to focus on the fact that America’s leadership has betrayed its duty to our Founders and its allegiance to our people. In the nearly two years that AADB has been in existence, that betrayal has ramped up dramatically, to the point at which its connotations are nothing short of deadly to the sovereignty of our republic and the safety of our people.

Nearly all of our ‘leadership’ in all three branches of government, on the federal level, consists of men and women who bear little or no allegiance to our Constitution or the men who sacrificed so dearly to ensure us a sovereign republic, individual freedom, and limited government.

In Congress, I suspect that far more than ninety percent of those ‘leaders’ seated in the house and senate can anymore be accurately described as ‘public servants’. The large majority of our ‘leadership’ is nothing more than a well-heeled group of self-serving, agenda-driven elitists, convinced that they know better than we do how we should live, and that government should have the power to dictate those parameters.

In the White House, the vision of a united North America, and the needs and desires of the business class, dramatically outweigh this administration’s perceived duty to the average American citizen.

Our courts are filled with activist, left-wing agenda-driven societal architects, whose familiarity with, and reverence for, their Constitutional powers is minimal, at best.

God bless the James Inhofes, Antonin Scalias, Clarence Thomases, and the other perhaps dozen or so federal legislators and judges who still hold fast to their Constitutional callings. They are an honorable, but dying, breed. And I wish them well in what will prove to be their futile battle to reclaim America from the scoundrels.

Over the past five decades, the leftists among us have led us down a path that they insisted on painting in garden-like hues, but the ominous black destination that lies at the end of that path is becoming increasingly clear to right-thinking Americans.

The majority of Americans, when asked what they believe to be the most pressing issue facing America this election year, invariably respond ‘the economy’. And yet I sincerely believe those same Americans have absolutely no idea what kind of condition the American economy is in. The average American, simply put, defines the economy in terms of the cost of a loaf of bread, or whether or not he has a job.

Yet the American economy is a many-tentacled organism, whose health is directly tied to the sovereignty and security of our republic. And the American economy is in shambles.

The reason for the economy’s ill health is that the American ‘leadership’ of the past fifty years (the Reagan years excluded) has thrown fiscal responsibility out the window, and has used economic power to buy votes, and to surreptitiously and premeditatedly destroy every foundation upon which this republic began.

Ayn Rand was uncannily prescient in her description of this sickening evolution:

The goal of the 'liberals' as it emerges from the record of the past decades was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus, statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rot -- by a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli.

That fait accompli is close to being accomplished, but at what price?

Below is a transcript of an interview with David Walker, Comptroller of the United States. Mr. Walker is not an elected government official. He is, put simply, America’s chief financial accountability officer.

America’s Comptroller is head of the Government Accountability Office, and, as such, his duty (according the the GAO’ mission statement) is to help improve the performance and assure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. Over the years, GAO has earned a reputation for professional, objective, fact-based, and nonpartisan reviews of government issues and operations.

Yet Mr. Walker is aghast at what our government is doing to our economy, our security, and our children’s inheritance – and no one in Washington is listening to him.

Why? Because no one in Washington anymore considers himself accountable to anyone (least of all the American people), or anything … except the realization of an elitist agenda.

I urge you to read his words. They are candid, and not motivated by political concerns. They simply scratch the surface of the ocean of fiscal, moral and political corruption in Washington. The tentacles from the governmental irresponsibility he describes reach into every aspect of American life – the most frightening of which will be our deteriorating ability to continue to exist as a free and sovereign republic.

Interview with David Walker
(Mr. Walker’s words in italics)

When the stock market plunges like it did this week, everyone pays attention.

But short-term losses aren’t that important to the man you are about to meet. David Walker thinks the biggest economic peril facing the nation is being ignored, and for the past year he’s been traveling the country, like an Old Testament prophet, urging people to wake up before its too late.

Who is David Walker, and why should we care? He’s the nation’s top accountant – the Comptroller General of the United States. He’s totaled up the government’s income, liabilities and future obligations, and concluded that our current standard of living is unsustainable, unless some drastic action is taken.

And he’s not alone. It’s been called ‘the dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows’ -- a set of financial truths so inconvenient that most elected officials don’t even want to talk about them.

Which is exactly why David Walker does.

I will argue that the most serious threat to the United States is not someone hiding in a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan, but our own fiscal irresponsibility.

As Comptroller General of the United States, he runs the Government Accountability Office, The GAO, which audits the government’s books and serves as the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.

I’m gonna show you some numbers. They’re all big and they’re all bad.

So bad that Walker has given up on elected officials, and taken his message directly to taxpayers and opinion-makers, hoping to shape the debate in the next presidential election.

We’ve been to thirteen cities outside of Washington. The American people are absolutely starved for two things: the truth … and leadership.

He calls it ‘The Fiscal Wake-Up Tour’ and he is telling civic groups, university forums, and newspaper editorial boards that the U.S. has spent, promised and borrowed itself into such a deep hole that it will be unable to climb out if it doesn’t act now.

As Walker sees it, the survival of the Republic is at stake.

What’s going on right now is that we’re spending more money than we make, charging it to a credit card, and expecting our grandchildren to pay for it. And that’s absolutely outrageous …

We’ve gone from surpluses to huge deficits, and our long-range situation is much worse.

The fact is that we don’t face an immediate crisis, and so people say ‘What’s the problem?’ The problem is that we suffer from a fiscal cancer. It is growing within us. And if we do not treat it, it could have catastrophic consequences for our country.


The cancer, Walker says, are massive entitlement programs we can no longer afford, exacerbated by a demographic ‘glitch’ that began more than sixty years ago – a dramatic spike in the fertility rate called the ‘baby boom’.

Beginning next year, and for twenty years thereafter, seventy-eight million Americans will become pensioners, and medical dependents, of the U.S. taxpayer.

The first baby boomer will become sixty-two, and be eligible for early retirement or Social Security, January 1, 2008. They’ll be eligible for Medicare just three years later. And when those boomers start retiring en masse, that will be a tsunami of spending that could swamp our ship of state, if we don’t get serious.


To illustrate that fact, Walker uses a PowerPoint presentation to show what would happen in thirty years if the U.S. maintains its current course, and fulfills all the promises politicians have made to the public on things like Social Security and Medicare.

By 2040, if nothing changes, the federal government is going to be able to do nothing more than pay interest on the mounting debt, and some entitlement benefits. It won’t have money left for anything else: national defense, homeland security, education … you name it.

Walker says you could eliminate all waste and fraud, and the entire Pentagon budget, and those long-range financial projections will barely change.

What’s shaping up is an actuarial nightmare.

[Not having enough wage earners to pay Social Security benefits] is part of the problem. But the real problem is healthcare costs. Our healthcare problem is much more significant than Social Security. The Medicare problem is five times greater than the Social Security problem.

But instead of dealing with the problem, the president and the congress made things much worse just three years ago when they expanded the Medicare program to include prescription drug coverage.

The Prescription Drug Bill was probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s. We’ve promised way more than we can afford to do: eight trillion dollars added to what was already a fifteen to twenty trillion dollar underfunding.

We’re not being realistic. We can’t afford to keep the promises we’ve already made, much less to be piling on top of them.


With one stroke of the pen, Walker says the federal government increased existing Medicare obligations by nearly forty percent over the next seventy-five years.

We’d have to have eight trillion dollars now, invested at treasury rates, to deliver on that promise. And we have zip.

Walker says we have promised almost unlimited healthcare to senior citizens who never see the bills, and the government is already borrowing money to pay them.

The system is unsustainable. It’s the number one fiscal challenge for the federal government. It’s the number of fiscal challenge for state governments. And it’s the number one competitive challenge for American business. We’re going to have to dramatically, and fundamentally, reform our healthcare system, in installments, over the next twenty years.

If we don’t, it could bankrupt America.


You’re probably expecting to hear from someone who disagrees with the Comptroller’s numbers, projections, and analyses. But hardly anyone does.

He is accompanied on the ‘Wake up Tour’ by representatives from the conservative Heritage Foundation, left-leaning Brookings Institution, and the nonpartisan Concord Coalition.

The only dissenters seem to be a small minority of economists who believe either that the U.S. can grow its way out of the problem, or that Walker is over-stating it.

Unfortunately, they don’t get it. I don’t know anybody who has done their homework, has researched history, and who’s good at math, who would tell you that we can grow our way out of this problem.

Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, validated much of Walker’s take on the situation at congressional hearings this year (’Economic growth alone is unlikely to solve this nation’s fiscal problems’) -- and so did ranking republicans and democrats on the senate Budget Committee.

This is not just about numbers. We are mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren at record rates. And that is not only an issue of fiscal irresponsibility. It’s an issue of immorality.

link to interview

As comprehensive as this interview is, Mr. Walker did not even touch on the issue of America's mirage-based monetary policy (fodder for another essay, at another time).

Below are just four, of countless, telling charts that exhibit small snapshots of the true nature of America's economy, without spin or fudge factor. I hope to elaborate on these and other economic indicators in future essays, and hope that some of you will contribute your knowledge as well. Thanks for the steer to the charts, First_Salute.

Money Supply Growth.gif

Money GDP Annual Growth.gif

Money Financial vs Trade Weighter $.gif

Money Annual Consumer Inflation.gif

source

The American people have always been, and still are, a good and decent people. But our leaders are dishonest, immoral and self-serving. The honest and decent among us had better soon awaken from our apathetic stupor or the seeds that our criminal leaders have sown will grow into choking weeds more powerful and ugly than we can imagine ... and they will have stripped from us the power to cut them down.

~ joanie

22 comments:

lori_gmeiner said...

Very well written Joanie, about a subject that disgusts.

gretahoffman said...

It's pathetic that the Comptroller has to hit the street trying to convince the citizens about the wrong things his own "employer" is doing! I give him a lot of credit for trying to sound a wake up call though.

John Cooper said...

I guess everybody knows that Walker quit in disgust, effective in two weeks.

marcus aurelius said...

Walker, 56, will step down as GAO comptroller general on March 12 to take over as president and chief executive officer of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Peterson, senior chairman of The Blackstone Group and former Commerce Department secretary, has pledged to contribute $1 billion over the next few years to the foundation, which is to focus on such national sustainability issues as entitlement program and health care costs, trade and budget deficits, energy consumption and the education system.

"My new position will provide me with the ability and resources to more aggressively address a range of current and emerging challenges facing our country," said Walker, who was previously a partner with Arthur Andersen LLP and served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,330918,00.html

This is just another example of one of the good guys being forced out because he's trying to make the government accountable. Pretty soon there will be no white hats left in Washington.

trustbutverify said...

They simply scratch the surface of the ocean of fiscal, moral and political corruption in Washington. The tentacles from the governmental irresponsibility he describes reach into every aspect of American life – the most frightening of which will be our deteriorating ability to continue to exist as a free and sovereign republic.

You can say that again.

Deborah Skinner said...

The "science" involved (economics, in this case) sounds strangely like the "science" involved in the theory of global warming. The real economists are on Walker's side and the flakes are running around saying he's exaggerating.

I also agree with Marcus Aurelius. The truth tellers don't last very long in this day and age. Walker will be replaced by a yes man and the economic scams will continue.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like they wouldn't let him do his job. His advice and warnings fell on deaf ears. So now they will hire someone who does exactly what they want, and who is just as dishonest as they are. It gives me incredible confidence in my government. Ha!

arlene albrecht said...

"....government of the people, by the people, and for the people...."

Lincoln must be spinning in his grave.

Gary Burgess said...

.....To hear Walker, the nation's top auditor, tell it, the United States can be likened to Rome before the fall of the empire. Its financial condition is "worse than advertised," he says. It has a "broken business model." It faces deficits in its budget, its balance of payments, its savings — and its leadership.

From the political left and right, budget watchdogs are warning of fiscal trouble:

1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, dispassionately arms 535 members of Congress with his agency's stark projections. Barring action, he admits to being "terrified" about the budget deficit in coming decades. That's when an aging population, health care inflation and advanced medical technology will create a perfect storm of spiraling costs.

2. Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, sees a future of unfunded promises, trade imbalances, too few workers and too many retirees. She envisions a stock market dive, lost assets and a lower standard of living.

3. Kent Conrad, a Democratic senator from North Dakota, points to the nation's $7.9 trillion debt, rising by about $600 billion a year. That, he notes, is before the baby boom retires. "We're not preparing for what we all know is to come," he says. "We're all sleepwalking through this period."

4. Stuart Butler of the conservative Heritage Foundation projects a period from now until 2050 in which tax revenue stays stable as a share of the economy but Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending soars. To avoid big tax increases, he says the government has to "renegotiate" the social contracts it made with its citizens.

5. Alice Rivlin and Isabel Sawhill of the centrist Brookings Institution put their pessimism into a book titled Restoring Fiscal Sanity. Rivlin, who became the first director of the Congressional Budget Office in 1974, says it will take an "economic scare" such as the 1987 stock market crash to spur action. Sawhill likens the growing gulf between what the government spends and takes in to a "Category 6 fiscal hurricane."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-11-14-fiscal-hurricane-cover_x.htm

This article is more than 2 years old. Things have gotten even worse since then.

kathymlynczak said...

The Prescription Drug Bill was probably the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s. We’ve promised way more than we can afford to do: eight trillion dollars added to what was already a fifteen to twenty trillion dollar underfunding.

If we ran our households the way Washington runs the country we'd all be out on the street or declaring bankruptcy.

LouBarakos said...

In Congress, I suspect that far more than ninety percent of those �leaders� seated in the house and senate can anymore be accurately described as �public servants�. The large majority of our �leadership� is nothing more than a well-heeled group of self-serving, agenda-driven elitists, convinced that they know better than we do how we should live, and that government should have the power to dictate those parameters.

"Public servants" are rare these days. It looks like Walker has to go out on his own to serve the public because as a government employee such people are told to "get with the program" or risked being shunned.

Anonymous said...

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 29 Feb 2008 at 06:24:27 PM GMT is:

$9,333,137,394,187.45

The estimated population of the United States is 304,493,331 so each citizen's share of this debt is $30,651.37.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.59 billion per day since September 29, 2006.

danthemangottschall said...

America’s Bubble Economy

Review: WORRIED ABOUT THE HOUSING BUBBLE? You should be, but don't let it monopolize your agita. There are four other bubbles also deserving of attention, according to America's Bubble Economy: a stock-market bubble, a foreigner-supported-dollar bubble, a consumer-debt bubble and a U.S.-debt bubble. When the five collide in a "bubblequake," the book's authors predict, the air will rush out of the pumped-up U.S. economy, deflating the average American's assets and standard of living.

But not to panic. America's Bubble Economy has a subtitle: Profit When It Pops. Eric Janszen, one of its four authors, suggests keeping 100f your assets in gold, which he sees rising "to a peak price of $2,500 to $3,000'' an ounce.

Janszen et al. also recommend eurobonds and euro-denominated exchange-traded funds, because most of Europe isn't as indebted as the U.S. and its main currency should outperform the dollar.

A former venture capitalist and founder of the financial Website iTulip, Janszen says the U.S. is repeating errors of the Nixon era, including massive government deficits, under-funded entitlements and an unpopular war the government can't fund with higher taxes or special bonds.

Throw in today's growing global demand for commodities, and "... all roads still lead to inflation, whether due to energy costs, unfunded deficits or dollar-currency risks," he says.

Janszen, who was rightly skeptical of the Internet craze early-on, tells Barron's that the current stock-market bubble is "a reflection of monetary inflation" rather than future earnings. A more normal trendline, he says, would put the Dow at about half its present level, or 6,000. Now, that's something to worry about.

—Susan Witty (Barron's, November 13, 2006)

John Cooper said...

Saving our Future Requires Tough Choices Today by the Honorable David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States.

The charts and graphs tell the story.

First_Salute said...

My own humble opinion - these charts (and statistics) are probably much more true than what is fed to us by the Fed:

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data


***

First_Salute
Feb. 29, 2008

Anonymous said...

They did some major stories on CNBC today about the outlook for the markets and it ain't rosey.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this.

calbrindisi said...

Joanie, I heard today on Fox that large numbers of Pennsylvania Republicans are crossing over and registering Democrat for the April primary. The deadline to do that is March 22. Are you considering doing this?

First_Salute said...

Estimated decline in purchasing power over 25 years:

http://tinyurl.com/2ak52x

Article at SeekingAlpha, explaining same:

http://tinyurl.com/2g9wjp


* * *

First_Salute
March 2, 2008

Anonymous said...

The market is treading water right now but a major correction is just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

It's a great time to own your home, without a mortgage, have no credit card debt and have a year's worth of money for necessities socked away someplace.

3timesalady said...

I remember just 2 or 3 years ago when gold bugs were predicting that gold would hit $1,000 within the next few years and most people were laughing at them. What's it they say about "He who laughs last?" ;)