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How the U.S. Government Has Mismanaged the Country

Politics / US Stock Markets Aug 10, 2008 - 02:38 PM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock

Politics The U.S. Government has brutally mismanaged the country. Sadly neither candidate is willing to take a stand on fiscal prudence. I asked Senator to Obama to take a stand, and to pick someone fiscally prudent as his Vice President in in my Open Letter To Obama .

I did receive a response, but only to inform me that he could not use the Senate Email system for such purposes. Instead, he asked me to re-send the Email to his campaign address.

Doesn't the Senator have a private email address that he could have used for such purposes if that was such a big concern? And as long as he was going to respond, couldn't he at least responded to the questions about the economy I asked?

I did send the original email to the campaign, but I knew full well in advance what would happen: It would not get passed on and I would be bombarded with requests to donate to the campaign. Indeed that is what happened, both by email and regular mail.

However, I cannot support Obama because the policies he espouses are more fiscally reckless ever day. Nor can I support McCain, for many reasons: The war, abortion, military spending, and for that matter, spending in general.

If I had to choose one of the two I would vote for Obama because he is going to waste money in the US where we will at least get something out of it, instead of ramping up a war machine where we get nothing out of it.

However, I am not forced to make that choice. So, I am either going to write in Ron Paul, or vote Libertarian. In regards to the latter, I need to do more homework on the Libertarian candidates.

Disgustedly, but not unexpectedly neither candidate is being honest about the fiscal mess we are in.

Alfred E. Neuman For President

The Boston Globe has an excellent article on the candidates that expresses pretty much how I feel. Please consider, What, them worry?
Alfred E. Neuman isn't running for president this year, but he might as well be. The United States is speeding toward a fiscal cataclysm, and the leading presidential candidates treat the subject with a nonchalance worthy of Mad Magazine: What, me worry?

Last week, the Bush administration increased its estimated budget deficit for the coming fiscal year to $482 billion, an all-time high. The deficit could climb even higher, it conceded, since the new projection doesn't include the full cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan or the potential drop in tax collections if the economy continues to worsen.

Unsurprisingly, the political class reacted to the news politically, mostly by upbraiding the Bush administration. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, South Carolina Democrat John Spratt, declared that because of George W. Bush, "the largest surpluses in history have been converted into the largest deficits." Spratt's Senate counterpart, Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota, predicted that "Bush will be remembered as the most fiscally irresponsible president in our nation's history." Neither mentioned that presidents can only spend money that Congress has appropriated, or noted that their party has had control of Congress for the past 19 months.

The two members of Congress running for president likewise jumped on the bash-Bush bandwagon. The new deficit numbers, said John McCain, are a "striking reminder of the need to reverse the profligate spending that has characterized this administration's fiscal policy." Barack Obama slammed the "reckless" policies that have "busted our budget, wreaked havoc in our economy, and mortgaged our children's future on a mountain of debt."

Too bad neither candidate used the occasion to speak seriously about the looming fiscal crisis. What they - and we - should be urgently focused on is not the budget deficit in any given year, but the crushing national debt that all those deficits cumulatively add up to: currently $9.6 trillion, and climbing rapidly. Just paying the interest on that debt will cost the government nearly $250 billion this year, making debt service the fourth-largest item in the federal budget.


But where is the presidential candidate who will talk honestly about this? McCain insists he will balance the budget and "provide the courageous leadership necessary to control spending." Yet his economic plan is devoid of details, offering little more than windy promises to "stop earmarks, pork-barrel spending, and waste" and freeze nondefense discretionary spending for a year while spending programs are reviewed.

Obama won't even go that far. His campaign touts a "Plan for Restoring Fiscal Discipline" that is as vague as McCain's, but he rules out balancing the budget - "because," he told reporters last month, "I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families."


We are awash in a sea of red ink, and the tide is coming in. Alfred E. Neuman isn't worried. Are Obama and McCain?

How the U.S. Government Has Mismanaged the Country

Knowledge@Wharton has an excellent interview with professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak on How the U.S. Government Has Mismanaged the Country .
America has been failed by its government and the nation now faces catastrophic consequences unless that government changes its ways, Wharton management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak concludes in his new book, The Mismanagement of America, Inc. Among the biggest problems he sees: A looming explosion of government entitlement payments for Medicare and Social Security that could bankrupt the nation as its Baby Boom generation heads into retirement, and an uncoordinated band of intelligence agencies that are no better equipped to avoid another September 11 disaster than they were before those terrorist attacks. Hrebiniak spoke to Knowledge@Wharton about what the nation must do to avoid economic meltdown.

Click Here To Play Mismanagement Of America Video

Hrebiniak likens America to that of a giant corporation with multiple layers of redundant management, overexpansion, and corruption. It's a stunningly good video. Please play it.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at .

© 2008 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

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