Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Israel...

An open letter from our President, to the people of Israel.
Your on your own.

Barack Hussein Obama

Read this story. Absolutly horrible statesmenship on the part of the President. You wouldn't treat the prime minister of Burma like this. Shameful.

The Resentment Zone

Some NY Times blogger wrote a piece talking about how people with reworked loans are getting different payments out of the deal, depending on their income and he called the posting The Resentment Zone. What a pile of malarkey. This was my comment on his thread.

How about being a renter, who was priced out of the market because these same fools who are now receiving my tax dollars, directly or indirectly, in order to keep them in their ill financed, over priced homes. In essence this program and others like it are using the renters’ tax dollars against them by artificially preserving absurdly high and unsustainable prices. Write a piece about that. That is resentment! The person who has to pay more because they make more should just count their blessings that they aren't being tossed out in the street, like how the system worked before we elected a socialist President and Congress.

I used to be a pragmatic voter, but that was before my government started punishing me for saving and making good financial decisions. I am sad to have voted for Jim Moran and Jim Webb. I will not be making that mistake when they are next up for election, even if they were running against the likes of David Duke.

In nearly every piece of significant legislation that has been passed in the last 15 months, people who made good choices are being forsaken for their neighbors who took every short cut available to them. When I was busy making good grades, my friends were messing around. When I was in college taking tough classes like physics, calculus or symbolic logic my friends were taking psychology, art or theatre. When I was busy saving, my neighbors were filling their ill financed homes with big screen TVs and furniture, all bought with loose credit. I knew the housing market was going to cave in and I didn't buy at late bubble prices, instead I waited for the crash, it came, but government has been busy subverting the free market at nearly every turn. The banks got their bailout. My neighbors got their bailout. Where is mine? I don't actually expect one, but it sure burns to watch BHO, his cronies and Congress drive a stake through the heart of my American dream, all because I made good choices. There is something wrong when stupidity and ignorance are repeatedly being rewarded over prudence and intelligence.

There have been 3 housing bubbles in the last 100 years, prior to our current bubble. In the 70s and 80s, the bubble completely collapsed, with prices returning to historic housing price trend line that essentially parallels inflation and personal income growth. The post WWII bubble did not return to the trend line, because it was fueled by the advent of the 30 year mortgage, which still exists. The current bubble will not behave like this because hyper-loose credit and ultra exotic loans no longer exist. Artificial measures which prop up the market are not going to work. The laws of economics are like the ocean tides. They can be held back for a while, but sooner or later, the tides take over and often very aggressively.

Roughly 30% of this nations home owners, own their house outright with no mortgage. Nearly another 30% own their home with a traditional mortgage that they can afford. Close to a third of this nation rents their home, which leaves less than 10% of the population in over their head with a bad mortgage on a home they cannot afford. A disproportionate amount of money is being spent on a small percentage of the population while forsaking a significantly larger portion of the population.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black Monday

I sit here utterly disgusted, but I need to stay focused on my job, because I and many people like myself are on the hook to pay for Congress's largess. I'll offer this, from Davy Crockett and his time in the US Congress ...

One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:

“Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.

Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”

He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.

Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:

“Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown . It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

“The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.

“I began: ‘Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and–’

“‘Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett, I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’

“This was a sockdolager . . . I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

“‘Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. . . . But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.’

“‘I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.’

“‘No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown . Is that true?’

“‘Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.’

“‘It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown , neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life.

Monday, March 01, 2010