The State of the Union – 2013

Broken.

Yep.  Broken.

That’s the state of the union as viewed from my homestead.  No raise or cost of living adjustment for me or my wife in I don’t remember how many years now.  Of course, the cost of living has gone up, which actually means less money to spend on anything other than necessities, like gas, food, clothes, etc.  So, effectively, we’ve had a couple years of pay cuts.

At least we have jobs…which is better than about ten percent or so of the country.  No, don’t believe the ‘unemployment rate’ that has been hovering around eight percent.  That does not include those who’ve run out of unemployment benefits or those who’ve given up trying to find work.

There are jobs to be had, but often it would require relocating, a near impossibility if one has a house they need to sell first.  Moving also has a cost associated with it that most employers wouldn’t cover in better times, much less now.

The stock market is gaining a bit and big banks haven’t folded (or been bailed out) in a while.  That’s a plus for those with money in them, but at what cost to the taxpayer?  The auto industry appears to be making money again, but there too, the taxpayer paid a huge sum for that.

Congress hasn’t passed a budget on time in who knows how many years and we again face the “fiscal cliff” as lawmakers only kicked the can down the road back around New Year’s Day.  The President hasn’t even attempted to submit a budget since he’s been in office, much less a balanced budget.  That’s tough to do when you’re throwing money at big businesses and banks to keep them from failing.  How bad would failing be?  No one knows.  It’s all speculation, but if we (the government) keep spending as we are, we’re going to find out, except it won’t just be banks and big business, it will be the government itself shutting down.

We’re heading for partial shut down already.  If Congress doesn’t pull its collective head out of its fourth point of contact, we’re heading into sequestration, with DOD bearing the brunt of that.  How exactly can we continue to fight in Afghanistan for another year and any other places we’re committed to by the Commander in Chief while losing billions…lots of billions…from the defense budget?  Drawing down the force, withdrawing from a war, resizing and reshaping our forces to a different profile…it all takes money.

At least we won’t have to worry about spending money on an armed conflict with Iran.  In the last four years (and years prior), Iran has continued to work on their nuclear program while we stand back and rattle our daggers (yes, daggers…we haven’t done anything nearing the magnitude necessary to be considered sword rattling), yakkity yakking about how we won’t let them get nuclear weapons.  Iran is so confident now that we’re not going to do anything, and that we’ll discourage Israel from doing anything, that they said quite bluntly that they will have no direct talks with the U.S.  Wow!  We must have them shaking in their boots.

Illegal immigration reform or amnesty or path to citizenship or whatever you want to call it will take millions, at least…and many of the plans don’t include a realistic plan for securing the borders which will also cost money.

I’m sure tonight’s address by the President will be a cautiously optimistic speech.  We have problems, but the economy is improving, we’re safer today than four years ago, blah, blah, blah.  Preach it to the masses that think you can do no wrong, Mr. President.  They’re ready to follow you into the ruination of our government and society, because rappers and rockers and actors and news (?) media think you’re swell.

The truth is that if Congress and the President can’t stop spending like they have unlimited bank accounts, there won’t be a debt ceiling high enough to cover it and we will never pay it down.  It may already be too late.  If we aren’t careful, it won’t be long before the State of the Union Address is delivered in Chinese.

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