Local 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
06.19 Engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% [Trump fires scientist. It would be far better to enable their good work.]
06.19 We’ll Never Solve Immigration If We Don’t Solve Climate Change [Why is our President so willfully stupid?]
06.18 The Worst Patients in the World [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Navy Contaminates Local Groundwater and Sewer System in Maryland [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.17 Hopes for climate progress falter with coal still king across Asia [Governments must subsidize very rapid installation of renewable energy to displace all fossil energy—aka DEATH ENERGY—power plants that must be made illegal ASAP]
06.17 Oil companies double down on plastics as public outcry grows [Obscene!]
06.15 So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]
06.15 We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]
06.15 This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
06.19 America has never gone this long without hiking the federal minimum wage [The poor would spend every penny and help the economy and decrease health costs. Only dummies don't understand the costly effects of penury.]
06.19 When migrants arrived in droves, this poor New Mexico city opened its arms [A good example for us all: This is the way we must respond to human suffering]
06.18 It's A Horrible Idea To Privatize The Tennessee Valley Authority And Other Public Energy Assets [Is THIS the dumbest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell [His immorality is in complete control]
06.17 Climate change leadership would create a new 'American century' [We must incentivize the strategic good, again, before it's too late.]
06.17 Drug Cop Worth $400 Million After Bets on Brooklyn Real Estate [A better role-model than Trump or Kushner!]
06.15 White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]
06.18 As promised, Trump slashes aid to Central America over migrants [Is THIS the cruelest thing we can do? Then let's do it!]
06.18 ‘The Saudis couldn’t do it without us’: the UK’s true role in Yemen’s deadly war [If you act psychopathic you are psychopathic; 3:40 Video: Where have all the flowers (and morals and young men) gone, long time passing, sung by Marlene Dietreich]
06.17 'Blatant Theft': Netanyahu Unveils Illegal Settlement Named 'Trump Heights' in Occupied Syrian Territory [Great deal: the U.S. gives Israel $Billions every year, and they name an illegal settlement—to be built on Palestinian land—after Trump]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
06.15 'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion [More equality or bring back the guillotines!]
International & Futurism
06.19 Trump Enabled an ‘Act of Organized Crime’ in Guatemala [Trump and other mafia-dons cause refugees and migrants as much as global warming]
06.19 Madrid’s new rightwing council suspends low-emissions zone [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
06.19 Donald Trump’s reckless Iran policy casts doubt on the US as global leader [America's reputation has plummeted more speedily since Trump's dubious election, with professionals willfully replaced with less competent appointees or left unfilled in many federal government agencies]
06.18 'If This Is True, They Are Even Bigger Lunatics Than We Realized': UN Officials Reportedly Believe Trump Planning 'Massive' Bombing Campaign in Iran [Never underestimate the stupidity of the Trump Administration]
06.18 Iran will not wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani [Economic sanctions are cruel punishment to innocent civilians causing hate for generations. We will reap what Trump sows.]
06.17 Saudi Arabia May Execute Teenager for His Protests — Including When He Was 10 [America's “best ally” is psychopathically insane]
06.17 Why Venezuela Is the Vietnam of Our Time [Powerful, clear writing!]
Thinking About Spending
We are wallowing in a global crisis of debt and our fine upstanding public servants are adding more debt as the solution to this debt-initiated crisis. It ain’t gonna work.
I’ve been thinking about spending. Actually I’ve been thinking about Uncle $ugar, the National Debt, the Social Security Trust Fund, Illinois, British Petroleum (BP), and those Gulf of Mexico oil mishap victims. Spending is the “solution” to everything. Spending will fix things. Spending truly makes us complacent and happy. Being owed money is the same thing as actually having it, right? Sorry but the current situation is all smoke, lights, and mirrors. After all, the number one item in the three biggest lies is “your check is in the mail...” You may die waiting to get what you think you are due!
You see, we are all the victims of “the sizzle instead of the steak” which characterizes the bait-and-switch being foisted upon US/us. The last time Uncle $ugar actually ran a true fiscal year surplus was when Nixon was President in the early 1970’s, and that was some FORTY years ago. Uncle and his government(s) have been very profligate—playing fast and loose with the checkbook. (“Hey, I can’t be overdrawn, I’ve got plenty of checks left”?!) Thirty years ago Dick Cheney said “the (Reagan era) deficits, don’t matter...” It was during this time frame when our National Debt took off at Star Trek warp speed. The National Debt stood at just under ONE TRILLION in 1981. It took us 190 years to get our first TRILLION of debt. This debt now approaches $13.193 TRILLION. We are adding a proposed $1.6 TRILLION in the current fiscal year. Now a TRILLION doesn’t even buy us a year of OVER-spending.
We are being undone by “the system” itself. Spending (make that debt-financed spending) may keep the public satiated for awhile, but buying friendship and loyalty is never long-term in the public (or private) realm(s). The public circuses of the Caesars, Caligula, and Nero may have kept the public drunk and happy for awhile, but things didn’t end very pleasantly for them, did they? It won’t for US/us now, either. We are wallowing in a (global) crisis of debt and our fine upstanding public servants are still putting forth, adding more debt as the solution to this debt-initiated crisis. It ain’t gonna work, but, what else are they going to do, cut spending and be responsible? How is that going to fair with the recipients of the largesse and governmental programs’ generosity? How will that get the pols re-elected?
Uncle $ugar is different in that he and his partners in crime at the Treasury and the Federal Reserve can “legally” print more money. (How could this be illegal when the government is doing it and the government makes the laws?) This scam game will go on for Uncle $ugar, though, because he is still issuing checks to the disgruntled masses. The situation is so much worse than it feels because Uncle has used prepaid surpluses elsewhere. From the time of Lyndon Johnson (make that Vietnam), roughly $4.5 TRILLION of Social Security surpluses and other pension trust monies have been co-mixed in the general kitty and spent elsewhere. The huge escalation of taxes paid in since Reagan were supposed to keep everything solvent until 2037. Well guess what? These surpluses now will become shortfalls in less than five years. Those who paid in will be forced to pay Uncle again, in order to be able to pay themselves. How does that work?
By the end of this fiscal year, Illinois will be behind a full year’s worth of payments (plus what is owed in arrears to the pension funds). The legislature plans to address all this in November—after the elections.
Illinois, where I live, is now regarded as the worst-off of the fifty states. When they ran out of bucks, they just stopped making payments. They owe everyone. Springfield is obligated to have a balanced budget, so on the cash basis of accounting they just stop cutting checks when the cash runs out. They could borrow some in anticipation of coming revenues, but the Land of Lincoln now has a worse than “junk bond” rating—at the bottom of the 50 states. This will greatly raise the cost of borrowing. It is projected that the state will run out of the current year’s cash this coming December. Thus, by the end of this fiscal year, Illinois will be behind a full year’s worth of payments (plus what is owed in arrears to the pension funds). The legislature plans to address all this in November—after the elections. We are told not to worry, but where are they going to get the money (if not from us)?
The media is ripe with hype and spin for the BP $ 20,000,000,000 ($20 BILLION) trust fund set up to reimburse the financial victims of the Horizon Deepwater nightmare in the Gulf. This will fix and restore everything. But, where is the money? Just last week, there were at least six major news stories about victims getting less than they are owed, or nothing at all. BP is accepting calls, but not returning most of them. Money is clearly being spent, but on advertisements telling us what BP is going to do—kind of like “Don’t worry, be happy... we are on top of the situation.” It is now day 82 and counting...
We clearly have our priorities all out of focus by giving any concern whatsoever to what is owed on the Federal, State, and corporate levels. Let’s face it, the debts will all ultimately fall to the taxpayers in the end. So... this all is money we just owe ourselves. Hey, “we’re” probably never going to have to fork over the cash anyway, so big deal! What’s $ 13,193,000,000,000? What’s another $1,600,000,000,000? What’s a $4,500,000,000,000 prepaid (trust) fund that no longer exists? What's a year-plus of unpaid bills in Illinois? Who cares about what is due the Gulf of Mexico victims? They all said that they are gonna pay up, right? It is only money. I mean... it is only paper.
Not so. What I really MEAN is that our so-called assets are LIABILITIES!
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2009 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.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.
This story was published on July 12, 2010.