Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 3 of 3

Back to the question that I asked in Part 1—why has it been so easy for the GOP to fool so many adult Americans into believing that President Obama is responsible for the growth of the national debt since he took the oath of office?

I think it has to do with adult literacy skills where one cannot understand what he or she reads, and those adults turn to some other source for information—for example—Fox News; Rush Limbaugh; Sean Hannity; Glenn Beck and others just like them who spew misinformation cherry-picked from facts that mislead fools.

In the United States, 43% of adults read at the most basic level and only 4% read at the highest level of literacy. … [the 43%] is a class of adults who, although not meeting criteria for functional illiteracy, face reduced job opportunities and life prospects due to inadequate literacy levels relative to the requirements of contemporary society.

And these people are eligible to vote. In fact, ten of the eleven poorest states in the US voted for McCain, the Republican candidate for president in 2008. In addition, the top 15 most educated states voted for Obama while 82% of the least educated states voted for McCain. Source: DailyKos.com


Bill Maher: most Americans are Dumb and Uneducated

My conclusion: if your literacy skills are so low you have no idea of how to find the facts to check what your favorite conservative claims is the truth as he or she cherry- picks the facts, then you are easy to fool.

And if you are among the 4% who read at the highest levels and you believe that President Obama is one-hundred percent responsible for the increase in the National Debt since he took the oath of office, then you are lazy because the facts are there—from primary sources—for anyone who wants to spend the time to discover them just like I did for this series of posts.

If you have read this far and want to learn more, you may want to read about discretionary spending versus mandatory spending at Keeping America Great.org. And if you read this short explanation, you may notice that the word “President” doesn’t appear anywhere. But the word “Congress” does—over and over.

Here’s my first recommendation for spending cuts: cut the Department of Defense by 50% and stop fighting wars with countries that never attacked America. Vietnam never attacked America. Iraq never attacked America.  And it could be argued that Afghanistan never attacked America. The attack on 9/11in New York was caused by al Qaeda who was operating out of Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled that country.

Al Qaeda is made up of terrorists who are scattered across many countries but rule none. They are hunted criminals, killers and outlaws and the Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan during the war and now are no different than al Qaeda.

Do we really need to spend $700 billion annually to fight these terrorist gangs who have no country?

Abraham Lincoln was right. There will always be some people who will be fooled all of the time.

After reading all three of the posts in this series, if you still believe Obama is responsible for the increase in the National Debt while he has been in office, prove it by showing us where he increased discretionary spending without approval of the Congress.

Return to I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 2 of 3

If you read Part 1, then you might understand that the annual federal budget is a complicated process and no President or Congress can be held responsible for all of the Mandatory and Discretionary spending. By that, I mean, can we blame President Obama for Social Security; Medicare; the VA, the Department of Defense [formed in August 1949], etc.?

Have you ever asked what would happen if the President and Congress had to cut discretionary spending and stop borrowing money to fund government, what would have to go? Mandatory spending cannot be cut because it is funded with specific taxes. For example, Social Security cannot use other taxes to fund that program. Social Security has to be funded by the Social Security tax but Congress has used this tax to fund other departments and programs. To understand this better, I suggest you read Social Security and Medicare’s impact on the national budget = ZERO!

To—hopefully—give you a better idea, I found this information at The Heritage Foundation: In 2012, there was $2.501 trillion in total revenues; Mandatory Spending was $2.073 trillion, and Discretionary Spending was $1.313 trillion.

If the government was not allowed to borrow, that would leave $428 billion to fund Discretionary Spending, and then $885 Billion would have to be cut—for example— from the Department of Defense’s [DOD]; the VA’s Discretionary budget; the Department of Transportation’s budget; the Administration of Justice’s [the courts] budget, etc.

I’m sure criminals would love to see Justice cut.

Now, who decides how to divide up those cuts and how many millions of people might see their retirement incomes shrink so drastically that they wouldn’t have enough money to feed themselves in addition to paying the electric bill and the rent. Soon the homeless population would explode like a nuclear bomb.

How would our military defend America and fight its endless wars?  How would the VA take care of veterans who were wounded in combat and the health care of retired military? How would the Food and Drug Administration make sure the food was safer to eat?


National Debt and Deficit Explained

Oh, and if you think all it would take is cut welfare from the budget and make those so-called deadbeats work [most people on welfare work long-hours at low-paying jobs and the rest are too old to work; are children, or are disabled], the budget for Food Stamps and other Nutrition programs for the elderly and disabled cost $114.9 billion in 2012 and that is not even close to the $885 billion that would have to be cut to balance the budget and stop deficit spending. Housing assistance, another form of welfare costs only $40 billion. Even with that gone, we’re still a long way from cutting $885 billion from the budget.

Maybe the United States could cut Farm Subsidies that are usually paid to wealthy corporate farmers, but that’s only $12.5 billion [this program cost $24.4 billion in 2002 so it has already been cut in half].

We could also cut unemployment benefits even though America’s workers and employers paid unemployment taxes to fund that government insurance program. That would cut $107 billion, but then there would be no unemployment benefits when a citizen lost his or her job. Without money, they would soon be homeless and starving along with the elderly, children and disabled who lost their food stamps and welfare support.

I think this must be repeated as often as possible: Entitlement programs like Unemployment, Social Security and Medicare all have their own special tax revenue source to fund them and that was and still is being paid for by working Americans.

So, who do you want to cut out of the budget? Remember, the cuts you propose must add up to almost $900 billion, and if we did away with Social Security and Medicare then the taxes that fund those entitlement programs would vanish too leading to even deeper cuts.

If you still don’t get it, maybe this will help: if we call Social Security Paul, and the discretionary slice of the budget Mary, then Congress has been legally stealing from Paul to pay Mary for a very long time but Paul can’t steal from Mary because the law that manages Social Security doesn’t allow that to happen.

For some fool to think that President Obama is personally responsible for the trillions of dollars that have been added to the National Debt while he has lived in the White House, Obama would have had to launch new spending programs and add more departments and agencies to the government that increased spending but he would still need the approval of the Congress. The only program we’ve heard the GOP complain about is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as ObamaCare—a program that has not increased the national debt one penny so far and may never increase it.

It has been estimated that ObamaCare will cost the federal government $1.36 trillion dollars by 2023. That means, ObamaCare—as it is popularly known—will cost an average of $136 billion annually to fund according to the Congressional Budget Office. But due to the methods/sources used to fund the program, it has been estimated that ObamaCare will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the 2012 – 2021 period. To discover how, click on the following link and scroll down to read How Do We Pay for ObamaCare Costs?

The only way President Obama may be held responsible for the increase in the National Debt is if he increased spending but according to Tax Policy Center.org, Obama has cut spending by 1.4% while he has been in office.

In comparison, G. W. Bush increased spending 4.5%.


What They Won’t Tell You about the National Debt

In fact, Bush’s 1st annual budget [2002] increased the deficit by $157.8 billion; the 2nd [2003] annual budget by $377.6 billion; 3rd [2004] by $412.7 billion; 4th [2005] by $318.3 billion; 5th [2006] $248.2 billion; 6th [2007] $160.7 billion; 7th [2008] $260.7 billion, and the 8th [2009—Yes, Obama was president but it was the last budget President Bush proposed to Congress] led to a deficit of $1.4127 Trillion. To explain, the first year a president is in office, he or she runs the country with a budget left over from the previous president and it’s too late to do over because the Congress already approved it.

By comparison, Obama’s 1st annual budget in 2010—the first budget Obama proposed to Congress—had a deficit of $1.2935 Trillion—$119.2 billion less than Bush’s last budget; 2nd [2011] $1.2996 trillion, and 3rd [2012] of $1.087 Trillion—all lower than Bush’s last budget.  Source: Tax Policy Center.org

Continued on November 16, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”