Local Gov’t Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
05.20 Global Study Shows Americans Dying from Preventable Causes at Shocking Rates [“What a country!” —Yakov Smirnoff]
05.20 China claims breakthrough in mining 'flammable ice' [might greater release of methane to our atmosphere become a larger problem?]
05.18 Trump Wants to Cut Energy Dept's Renewables Budget. Big Time. [“Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forrest Gump.]
05.18 Pesticide that Trump's EPA refused to ban blamed for sickening farm workers [fact-free 'emotional' government can have very high costs. this is a warning to change conduct before its too late.]
05.18 'The pill mill of America': where drugs mean there are no good choices, only less awful ones [governments must unleash research hospitals and pharmeceutical companies to design and manufacture safer and non-addictive recreational drugs to stop illegal drug trade's crime's social, health and prison costs]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
05.21 The small Texas city fighting to remain a ‘safe haven’ for immigrants [morally right & courageous]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
05.20 The Malta Files: How the smallest EU country became a haven for global tax avoidance [why can't we play nice together?]
05.19 America's geography of wealth: the shrinking urban middle class visualised [animated bar chart] [tens of millions of families are living in increasing financial stress–Hillary ignored it and Trump made alt-promises (a.k.a.: lies)]
05.22 Big game hunter is crushed to death when an elephant he was hunting in Zimbabwe is shot and falls on top of him [a fitting death to an elephant killer]
05.21 UK needs more immigrants to 'avoid Brexit catastrophe' [who benefits from bad "conservative" policy?]
05.21 THE LIGHTS ARE GOING OUT IN THE MIDDLE EAST [we suggest enticing a solar panel and battery manufacturers to locate in your countries to diversify economies and create jobs. use solar to empower yourselves...]
05.21 Budget analysis shows some Australian women hit with effective marginal tax rates of 100% ["conservatives" are cruel to the poor and desperate everywhere, to protect themselves from higher taxes]
05.21 Venezuela: 50th day of protests brings central Caracas to a standstill [who does interventions for countries? could the UN help more?]
05.21 Brexit and the coming food crisis: ‘If you can’t feed a country, you haven’t got a country’ [fear-based nationalism will become a costly problem]
05.20 Let’s Skip the War Part—and Go Right to Reparations [powerful writing!]
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.
To “audit” this column and to learn more about the subjects discussed, please check out:
Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on March 22, 2006.