Concern for America’s Future – Getting “Stuck”

I was recently challenged by some Facebook friends on a post I shared called Food Stamp Users Near Record High Despite Low Unemployment Rate which basically notes that even though there is supposedly such low unemployment (4.9% at the time of this posting) there has been no drop in food stamp users.

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The challenge I received was to post something positive for a week that was not anti-Obama and did not just confirm my biases.  In other words expand my mind and stop thinking like closed minded myopic conservative tea party type.  I am often accused of being a tea partier type thinker in some of the more heated political conversations I have. Which I will address shortly.

Below is my somewhat cleaned up posting that also includes some supporting links.

Do you want a summary of why am I pessimistic?

1. The Republicans and Democrats have been basically the same for 25 years. Republicans love of big government is only smaller than the Democrats by a few degrees – they still love it.

2. We have a “apparent wacko” in Trump winning and a Democratic Socialist who is actually getting traction – e.g. there is no true free market conservative – there hasn’t been one since Reagan. The electorate is mad and sick and tired and going to anyone other than the main stream.

3. We are trillions in debt with nothing changing that on the horizon. The fault of both Reps and Dems.  The current debt is $16 Trillion and by 2024 projected to be 27 Trillion (details here and here).

4. The Bureau of Labor consistently makes people believe we have low unemployment when every single economist will tell you that we have a massive underemployment problem – many people have quit looking, many are working less than 30 hours due to ObamaCare, many are working in jobs below their education level. Our economy needs to add at a minimum over 200,000 jobs each month to keep up with the growth in the labor force. The 4.5% unemployment rate is a total joke.  Gallup projects the real unemployment at 9.9% which matches the U-6 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rate.

5. I have had my taxes and health care go up significantly in the past few years. I work harder to stay even. My health care premium has tripled and we are on a much higher deductible plan.  My taxes have increased as well.

6. Real income hasn’t increased for the middle class since somewhere in the early 2000s – via CNN in a Sept 17, 2015 article – “This was the third year in a row that median household incomes stagnated, following two years of declines.”

7. To add onto it we are adding in hundreds of thousands of illegals to the working population to compete for already scarce jobs and government resources. Of which I am sure I will have to pay more taxes at some point.  Several economists have done studies showing that illegals are taking most of the new growth in jobs (here and here).  To quote the last link — “Government data show that since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.”

8. Our government is budgeted by an automatic increase in all department budgets every year by 2 to 3 percent – and due to other factors is often closer to 7% – well above inflation. If you try and “cut” that percentage growth you are called evil and a hate monger. I am not talking about an actual reduction cut in spending, just a reduction in the growth. Even the military shouldn’t have this kind of budgeting.  Any business run this way would be go out of business.  Its crazy.

9. There are now so many rules, regulations, departments and entities in the federal government that there is no single group of people, including Congress who has control of it. There are many articles and commentaries to be found on this – this one is a good example.

10. The recovery is the first one ever where growth has never been over 3%. The number of people dependent on government support has only grown during the recovery.

11. Our nearly unaccountable federal reserve has spent trillions in quantitative easing which has primarily benefits wall street and the billionaire class and not main street where most jobs are created.

12. No one wants to talk about it but ObamaCare significantly front loaded the spending to subsidize health insurance companies to provide health insurance plans. Read about the Risk Corridor subsidies. Read about how most major health care companies in the exchanges have significantly under priced their plans compared to when the subsidies go away. Its a joke about to be played out on the American people right as Obama leaves office.

Article here on risk corridors and the failing of the co-ops.

13. An issue close to my heart is race relations. They have only worsened under Obama. I had high hopes in this area at least he would work to bring healing. That he would live out that speech he gave at the 2004 Democratic national convention. My kids have to grow up in a country with so much racial strife. He never seemed to care a whole lot.  Obama never really lived out his words from his speech “Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”

I could go on and on – we just keep building up our house of cards of debt, unaccountable government and every growing dependence on government. No I am not optimistic in that part of my life.

As a Christian I am very optimistic each day. Its a fallen world – none of this is unexpected. Its just frustrating.to see where we are headed.

I have thought more about this since posting.  Many “conservatives” are unhappy with the direction of LGBT issues and the court and many “moral” issues.  I will be posting on this in more detail at a later date but as a Christian the moral issues aren’t in my mind a political issue.  The politics reflect the state of the American Heart.  Its a fallen world and we are a fallen people.

My concern is we as a nation are going to basically get – for lack of a better term – “stuck” in the following ways:

  • Stuck in federal debt payments that will limit our ability to do anything but service our debt
  • Stuck with a health care system that is mired in federal bureaucracy and unable to make changes that will be necessary
  • Stuck with federal budgets that if you try to change one dollar of allocated money the demonization will be keep anyone from making serious changes
  • Stuck with a federal bureaucratic maze of departments, codes, regulations, unaccountable workers and more that will be nearly impossible to unwind or control
  • Stuck with two parties that are so beholden to special interests and their own bureaucratic supporters that they are unable to enact any changes or reforms
  • Stuck in a cycle of blame between the races for their problems

These are major structural issues.  If someone like Bernie Sanders gets elected the fundamentals that are leading us down a stagnant path will only accelerate exponentially.  An “establish” candidate such as Clinton, Rubio or Kasich will only continue the current trends.  Sure the Republicans might keep us from getting there as fast – but it will continue.

Will Trump or Cruz really change things?  Who knows with Trump – he probably does not even know.  Cruz talks a good game and has made some serious attempts but will he get side tracked by moral legislating?

Its hard to see how things get better anytime soon.  As a Christian we have to be positive in all situations.  We certainly are better off than most of the world.  And if America declines or takes off like a rocket -we are called to be salt and light.

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