Darrell Castle talks about the concept of “lesser” evil.
Darrell Castle talks about the president’s jobs news conference:
In this podcast, Darrell Castle reviews the state of the American economy:
Last night President Obama addressed the nation in primetime concerning what he called “a debate we’ve been having in Washington over the national debt—a debate that directly affects the lives of all Americans.”
The president’s position as announced in his speech could be summarized by saying that he emphasized compromise and what he called a balanced approach over the position of the Republican House. He said that compromise is a good thing, and he mentioned Ronald Reagan as an example of one who agreed with him about compromise.
His balanced approach would trim $4 trillion from the deficit over 10 years. Assuming interest rates do not increase over the next 10 years, that would reduce the rate of increase in the national debt from a projected $10 trillion to about $6 trillion, leaving a national debt of about $21 trillion.
The president asserted that the Republican no-tax-increase position is based on narrow ideological grounds and is not a balanced approach.
He then attacked the Republican offer of a 6-month temporary increase in the debt ceiling. A six month increase, he said, would simply require that he and Congress have the same debate 6 months from now, and that would be unacceptable. He placed strong emphasis on the critical nature of the debt debate with mentions of possible job loss and cuts in Social Security and Medicare. If the debt ceiling is not raised, he told us, the US could lose its AAA credit rating and that would be a disaster for jobs, businesses, etc.
In response, the Republicans said that they will not impose a tax increase on the American people, not even on those “wealthy people” who make at least $250,000 per year. They offer instead a program they call Cut, Cap, and Balance, which is designed to cut the deficit, cap the rate of increase, and start the process toward a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.
The Senate has already rejected the House version of Cut, Cap, and Balance, leaving only the president’s insistence on a tax increase as the chief sticking point to prevent the debt ceiling increase from happening.
Both the president’s balanced position and the Republican position of deficit cuts, with a suggestion of a balanced budget amendment, are misguided at best and disingenuous at worst. Neither solution as proposed will solve the problem long-term.
The president’s position of labeling people who make at least $250,000 per year as rich and equating them with millionaires and billionaires must be intended to appeal to what he thinks is the desire of his base for the scalps of those people responsible for the financial mess the nation is in. However, a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report that came out last week put the lie to that position.
According to the GAO, the Federal Reserve has provided more than 16 trillion dollars to banks, corporations, and other financial institutions all over the world. Employees of the Federal Reserve, including the current chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, were given special exemptions from conflict of interest laws so they could keep their investments in companies being bailed out.
The president’s refusal to accept a six-month increase also rings hollow, as does the offer itself. It is obvious that the reason for not accepting it is to prevent the debt debate from continuing into the 2012 election campaign, and the Republicans proposed it to make sure that it does.
That is what this whole debate is about: power and the desire to keep it. I doubt whether the president or Congress really care how much we owe or what it costs us. What they each care very passionately about is staying in power. Their plan for staying in power appears to involve serious disagreement and debate, but in the end nothing of any substance is ever done and the root of the debt problem is never attacked.
What is the root of the debt problem? Borrowing is the problem that makes our entire monetary system unsustainable. You can’t solve a problem caused by borrowing by borrowing more; but the attitude seems to be “let’s do more of what’s not working – perhaps we just haven’t done enough of it.” The problem then is not just borrowing to pay bills and finance debt but literally borrowing our money into existence.
The national government of the United States – “the greatest nation on earth” – as the president described it, has to go to a group of private bankers, hat in hand, to beg for enough money to pay its bills. This situation is intolerable and should be stopped immediately. The Federal Reserve should be disempowered and the trillions of dollars owed to it by the US Treasury should not be repaid. The Federal Reserve created that money from nothing on its computers and it therefore seems appropriate to repay it with nothing.
The other thing that would have an immediate effect on United States Treasury debt would be to change our policy of making war to a more Constitutional one. Recently President Obama took the US military to war against Libya without even consulting Congress. That should never be allowed. Coming home, minding our own business, and fighting only truly defensive wars should be our policy. That would save trillions of dollars and countless lives.
Our current path, the status quo, leads to bankruptcy, social unrest, and disorder, but if we would do the two things I just mentioned I am certain the most dynamic period in American history would begin.
- Darrell Castle
The Republican victory on November 2, 2010, was a lot more comprehensive than taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and making gains in the U.S. Senate.
Here’s a quick look at some real numbers from the election:
- In the U.S. House, Republicans went from 178 to 240 and Democrats from 238 to 189, with 6 races undecided at this time.
- In the U.S. Senate, Republicans went from 41 to 47 and Democrats from 59 to 53.
- In the Governor races, the Republicans went from 24 to 29 and Democrats from 26 to 19, with Minnesota undecided.
- Republicans gained 675 State Legislature seats nationwide and now control a large majority of redistricting states. The State Legislatures reflect a more grassroots local flavor and are not so affected by national media.
It should be obvious that November 2nd sent a message, which should have been heard loud and clear by those in government: that the American people are very dissatisfied with the direction in which they believe the country is headed.
Have those in power heard them, and will they change direction? Will the Senate ultimately pass S.510, the Food Safety Bill, in a lame duck fashion, despite widespread opposition, just as they passed the bailout bill and Obama Care despite widespread opposition?
If so then the Senate and Congress have not gotten the message that the American people want to be a self-governing people again.
What about the Bush tax cuts? Should this lame duck session rescind the tax cuts it would mean that the current six income tax rates of 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent would be replaced by five rates of 15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent and 39.6 percent? The increasing rates and income reduction would strip points from the small amount of growth still in the economy and reduce consumer spending even further.
What about the new Congress scheduled to be installed on January 3, 2011? Will the new Congress concern itself with trivia or will it address the serious problems that confront the nation, such as the out-of-control spending, the increasing debt, the Federal Reserve, the wars spreading all over the world, the increasingly dangerous confrontation with China, and many others?
Perhaps this Congress will be the one that regains some of its Constitutional authority which was previously ceded to the executive branch. Thanks to George W. Bush’s assertion that the president is above the law and not subject to the subpoenas of Congress, and the meek acceptance of that position by Congress, impeachment is the only remedy Congress has left for an out-of-control president. When, in response to presidential admissions of violations of the international laws against war crimes and crimes against humanity, the speaker of the House of Representatives says “impeachment is off the table,” then Congress is toothless indeed.
Were the new Congress to seriously address any of these problems, I would be impressed, but there is very little reason to be optimistic. It’s hard to imagine any Congress rolling back presidential usurpations of Constitutional power or attacking the Federal Reserve. But until one does, nothing will change except to get worse.
Have the Republicans gotten the message this time or will it be more of the same? Time will tell.
- Darrell Castle
The four candidates for Governor of Tennessee participated in a televised debate Monday night at Belmont University in Nashville – their last scheduled debate before the August 5th primary.
The candidates are Democrat Mike McWherter, who has no opposition in the Democratic primary, and Republicans Bill Haslam, Zach Wamp, and Ron Ramsey.
The candidates themselves consider Haslam to be the man to beat. That is only my opinion, but I make it based on the way they “tore into him” according to a report in the Commercial Appeal. Usually the contenders feel the need to knock the front-runner down in a debate.
Here are some highlights of the debate:
Haslam was widely criticized for refusing to disclose his tax returns. “What are you hiding’” asked McWherter. Haslam insisted that releasing his returns would make public the returns of others and that all sources of income have been revealed.
Ron Ramsey criticized Congressman Wamp for his congressional vote in favor of the bailout bill. “How do you justify taking our grandchildren’s money to bail out Wall Street barons? ” Ramsey asked. Wamp responded by saying that the nation’s banking industry was about to fall “off a cliff” and there were fears that depositors would not be able to withdraw their money.
I must comment for a moment on Congressman Wamp’s vote and his answer to the question. His answer is complete nonsense. There were no fears beyond F.D.I.C. insurance coverage. He simply voted to transfer trillions of dollars of bad debts owed by large banking houses to the backs of U.S. taxpayers. He seems rather ashamed of that vote now, as he well should be.
My conclusion from watching and reading summaries of this debate is that it was a very good thing, because it revealed conclusively that except for Ron Ramsey, there’s not a bit of difference between the rest of them. Ramsey is the only one who at least gives the impression that he understands what’s coming toward us and how a governor should defend his people.
- Darrell Castle
By now the entire world knows about the devastating oil spill that began April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The magnitude and, more importantly, the potential magnitude, of what is happening there would be difficult to overstate. However, some people may not be aware of the amazing series of coincidences that happened prior to and after the spill. Let me give you just a few examples:
1. It has been widely reported that the Deepwater Horizon exploded because Halliburton, a company once headed by Dick Cheney, did not properly cap, or cement, the well. Just eight days before the spill on April 12, 2010, Halliburton closed a deal to purchase Boots & Coots, the world’s largest oil spill cleanup organization, for $240.2 million. Now that is one lucky company.
2. The spill sent BP’s stock shares plummeting toward the bottom. But just before that happened, Goldman Sachs, despite giving BP a buy rating for Goldman clients, sold more than 40 percent of its BP shares for between $250 and $300 million.
BP’s former chairman, Peter Sutherland, is now chairman of Goldman Sachs International. In addition, Mr. Sutherland sits on the Trilateral Commission, is a former Chairman of the London School of Economics, is a UN Special Representative, was the founding director general of the World Trade Organization, and was previously director general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
3. A few weeks before the disaster, Tony Hayward, the Chief Executive of BP, sold one third of his personal BP stock and used the money to pay off the mortgage on his mansion in Kent.
What an absolutely fantastic run of luck these folks had. That is simply amazing!
President Obama Being Briefed on Oil Spill
For three weeks after the spill, President Obama refused to do anything while millions of gallons of oil and toxic gases poured into the Gulf. The White House at first approved the use of the toxic dispersal agent Corexit, then, under pressure, ordered BP to stop using it. BP refused to do so and it is being sprayed by the millions of pounds from U.S. Air Force planes today.
For 70 days, President Obama refused all offers of international aid. The Dutch, a maritime people with the largest cleanup capacity in the world, offered the use of their ships and strategy without cost, but were refused. The Russians have experienced five major blowout spills and offered their help and expertise, but were refused.
What conclusions can we draw from all this? As we’ve seen, some corporations are very lucky. The military and private security have been used to suppress news of the magnitude of the damage. People have been arrested for taking pictures of the beaches. The president is using the spill for political purposes and so are Congressional Republicans.
Was this spill deliberately caused? I don’t know. I’m not a scientist. But in the comments to my letter to Governor Jindal about the spill, it was suggested that I join the Green Party, and that I am comparable to Hugo Chavez.
My answers to those comments are that I would be a lot more comfortable in the Green Party than the Democrat or Republican Parties, and I would rather be compared to Hugo Chavez than one of the heartless, merciless corporations that we’ve been discussing.
Until next time, thanks for reading,
Darrell L. Castle
The Tennessee state primary election is scheduled for August 5th, 2010. In that election candidates of the Democrat and Republican Parties will be selected to face each other in the November election for Governor of Tennessee.
One of the leading candidates in the Republican primary is Zach Wamp, and fortunately we do not have to search very long to find Mr. Wamp’s philosophy of government, as Zach Wamp has been in the United States Congress representing Tennessee’s 3rd District since 1995.
Let’s now examine a small part of Congressman Wamp’s 15-year voting record.
He voted to authorize the war against Iraq and has repeatedly voted to continue its funding. As a result of that war over 4000 young Americans have lost their lives and tens of thousands more have been physically and/or psychologically injured for life. Only God knows for sure how many Iraqis have been killed – perhaps hundreds of thousands or more. Millions more have been reduced to the status of homeless refugees; the infrastructure of their country destroyed; their land, water, and air contaminated by depleted uranium weapons. Keep in mind that Iraq was a country which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and represented no threat to the United States whatsoever.
Congressman Wamp states on his campaign website that “we need a balanced budget,” and “reckless spending cannot continue.” Those are noble sentiments, but his voting record does not indicate a genuine commitment to them.
He voted against the ban on UN funding, for the Cash for Clunkers program, for the banker bailout, for the Economic Stimulus Act, for the Peru Free Trade Agreement, for foreign aid, for the Oman Free Trade Agreement, for the Iraq War authorization and continued funding as previously stated, for various supplemental appropriations funding, and repeatedly for deficit spending and unbalanced budgets.
Those votes do not indicate a committment to fiscal responsibility or to the U.S. Constitution.
If that were all it would be plenty, but there’s more. He voted for warrantless searches, for electronic eavesdropping, for criminalizing legitimate dissent through the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, for military tribunals for those designated unlawful enemy combatants, for Patriot Act reauthorization, and against an amendment to deny funds for implementation of the National Animal Identification System.
These votes do not indicate a commitment to the U.S. Constitution and the Bill Of Rights.
Congressman Wamp’s voting record as a whole indicates a firm commitment to the congressional leadership of the Republican Party but a weak commitment to the best interests of the American people. For those reasons I cannot support him as a candidate for Governor of Tennessee.
- Darrell Castle
The Constitution Party is unique in American politics today because our candidates across the country do not compromise our core values as reflected in our platform. The first question I ask someone who expresses a desire to become a Constitution Party of Tennessee (CPOT) candidate for public office is, have you read our platform and do you agree with it.
What do I mean when I say that our candidates do not compromise our core values as reflected in our platform? The platform is a statement of the issues, values, and policies that we in the Constitution Party consider to be core or central. We don’t expect a candidate to agree with every single line of the platform, but we do expect complete agreement with its core values.
The core values of the CPOT platform are those that would best serve the interests of the people of Tennessee and our nation if enacted into policy. We believe, therefore, that it is essential for our candidates to read, understand, accept and be able to defend the platform.
This may sound like a simple concept but it is apparently beyond the grasp of most Democrats and Republicans. Remember Bob Dole’s infamous statement in 1996. When asked if he agreed with the Republican platform he said, “I don’t know, I haven’t read it.” In other words, the platform means nothing except an exercise in futility for those who draft it.
One could say that respect for civil rights and human rights in general are a core value of the Democrat platform, but President Obama obviously gives those values nothing but lip service.
The actions of Democrats and Republicans do not match their words and that is something the Constitution Party is determined to avoid.