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Health Care & Environment
News Media Matters
08.18 Climate change will likely wreck their livelihoods – but they still don't buy the science [a willfully ignorant people? or a public conned by oil-industry subsidized news media distortions?]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
08.19 Living with Trump
08.18 GOP Senator Drowned Out By Cheers for 'Single Payer' at Town Hall [might our 'representatives' understand better if we took their free healthcare away?]
08.18 The United States was never immune to fascism. Not then, not now [2:54 video; “Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.18 Trump's evangelical panel remains intact as others disband. Who are his religious cheerleaders? [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.17 Stranding CEOs Too Slow To Quit, Trump Disbands His Own Business Councils [could a wider boycott accomplish resignations or positive change?]
08.16 Indiana prosecutors want to incarcerate the opioid crisis away [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
08.18 Buses in Seoul install 'comfort women' statues to honour former sex slaves [immoral crimes are hard to forget]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
08.19 The long read: Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world
08.15 Why Are Drug Prices So High? These Politicians Might Have The Answer [especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, BIG money corrupts & controls U.S. government to the public’s detriment]
International & Futurism
08.17 Investment Bank Report Predicts the Cost of Electric Vehicles Will Match Regular Cars by 2018 [pressure is building for electric utilities to become 100% renewable or we'll die]
The Words of the 'Profits' Are Written in the 'Congress Halls'
No way do the numbers being released to the public pass the “straight face” test.I’ve been thinking about stewardship. Actually I’ve been thinking about Matthew 25: 14-30, the 10 talents, elections, truth, February, the costs of war, and the sounds of silence. Last Thursday our Senate voted to once again raise the ceiling on our National Debt to almost $9 TRILLION. Yes, $ 9 TRILLION! The vote was 52 to 48 in favor of the increase—strictly along party lines. The House of Representatives had already approved the increase when it passed a 2006 budget blueprint bill. Is this good stewardship? Who deserves to continue in their offices?
You see, the Matthew 25 teachings deal with stewardship and the parable of the 10 talents. A master entrusted three of his servants with his money—one received 5 talents, another received 2 talents, and the third 1 talent. In his absence, the first two worked diligently and doubled the master’s money, while the third merely returned the one talent intact. Upon his return, the master rewarded the first two for their diligent stewardship, but cast the third out into the darkness. Now... think of voters as “the master” and our elected officials as “the servants” (of all the people). How would/should we, the master(s), react in knowing that what we had entrusted to our servants was all gone, and that we now “owed” even more?
Truth is hidden from US/us out in the open because the truth is “protected” by a palace guard of lies. We are told that the economy is going great guns and that tax cuts will generate more revenue. But be aware of this: Uncle $ugar is on a cash basis of accounting; recognizing revenues when received and expenses when paid. Normally in the first months of the calendar year there are “surpluses” because payments are coming in anticipation of the income tax filings due on the prior year’s income. February 2006 numbers just released showed a $119 BILLION deficit! No way do the numbers being released to the public pass the “straight face” test. Does THAT show us that the economy is booming and that tax revenues are increasing?
Last week, we learned that the projected costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will increase from $6.8 BILLION a month to $ 9.8 BILLION a month—a jump of 44%. Will this really prove to be enough? Given the present saber rattling toward Iran, can we truly afford yet another invasion/war? Trust me when I say that peace and diplomacy are a heck of a lot cheaper in terms of both dollars and lives. Immediately after raising the debt ceiling by $781 BILLION—the fourth MEGA increase during the Bush Presidency (with almost two-and-a-half more years to go); Congress authorized another $92 BILLION more for the wars and Katrina/Rita relief. What kind of stewardship is that?
The very day the debt ceiling was increased, the outstanding debt jumped by $1 BILLION to $8,271 BILLION from the $8,270 BILLION, where it had effectively “languished” since March 2. The game being played with the “cash basis accounting” and “honoring the sanctity” of the debt ceiling precluded Uncle $ugar from paying the bills. At the old ceiling of $8.2 TRILLION, $3,460 BILLION was already “misappropriated” from accumulated Social Security surpluses and other trust/retirement funds under Uncle’s "stewardship," and spent elsewhere. To honor those obligations, we will be told that we must “re-fund” that which was already paid for by us.
In all the states, there are good candidates/stewards out there who understand the madness of the profligate spending and the wanton misuse of debt. Find them, support them, and vote for them.
We the people can no longer remain silent in our disgust over their “stewardship.” “The words of the ‘profits’ are written in the ‘Congress halls’... and the visions that were planted in my brain, still remain... echoing the sounds of silence.” In all the states, there are good candidates/stewards out there who understand the madness of the profligate spending and the wanton misuse of debt. Find them, support them, and vote for them. And... HOLD them to their campaign rhetoric. Do not accept excuses from incumbents for failing to deliver on their prior promises; cast them out into the darkness. Make it clear to ALL candidates that they will be held accountable and that the coming “Election Day” in November will become the “Judgment Day."
I'm Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2006 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on March 22, 2006.