These are ominous and concerning times

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

These are very disquieting times.

North Korea is believed to be conducting hydrogen bomb testing and has successfully launched a missile capable of reaching the United States – breaking many U.N. Security Council resolutions in doing so. Islamic terrorists murdered a U.S. ambassador with impunity, and rather than comprehending what that means, those in charge sought to spin the ‘optics’ of the murder for political purposes.

An Islamic nation-state has very publicly humiliated U.S. forces with no negative consequences. That same nation-state is now free to develop nuclear weapons and has access to much more money to pursue nuclear weapons or to fund terrorist organizations – thanks to the U.S. The current agreements to stop the development of nuclear weapons for that country are meaningless – just as the 1994 nuclear deal with North Korea was meaningless and failed.

Our ambivalent and hands-off approach to the Middle East has resulted in that region further spinning out of control. It has led to the rise of ISIS and a mass migration out of countries like Syria. The rise of ISIS and mass migrations have in turn have resulted in carnage in places like Paris and San Bernardino, as well as some major and disturbing clashes of culture in Europe.

The weakness and lack of resolve we are exhibiting as a nation are very dangerous signals to a very dangerous world.

China is acting increasingly aggressive. After a U.S. Navy ship recently sailed through disputed waters, a spokesman for the Chinese defense ministry said the move “may cause extremely dangerous consequences.” Alarmed by the Chinese, even a fickle Philippines is now welcoming back the U.S. military.

After successfully invading Ukraine and seizing the Crimea with nary a whimper from an impotent West, Russia is growing its sphere of influence in the Middle East vacuum and continuing to intimidate its European neighbors.

In the U.S. political sphere, rational thought seems to have fallen from favor. It has been replaced by anger or entitlement.

Staggering proportions of our U.S. population appear to be living life heavily medicated.

Our federal spending is irresponsible and not sustainable.

The national debt recently topped $19 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal debt “is now equivalent to about 74 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP)—a higher percentage than at any point in U.S. history except a seven-year period around World War II.”

Around six percent of federal spending now goes to just paying the interest on the debt. Federal net interest on the debt was $229 billion in 2015. Federal corporate income taxes collected for FY2014 were about $330 billion. That means that the equivalent of more than 2/3 of corporate income taxes collected went to just paying interest on the debt! And federal interest costs on the debt are projected by the CBO to triple in the next decade to $808 billion.

We are blithely spending trillions of dollars we don’t have – in effect taxing Americans who are still too young to vote and even those yet to be born. That is irresponsible and unethical, and it’s not sustainable.

America is at a crossroads. We have serious decisions to make about our future.

It is my prayerful hope that we overcome our current predicament, that we embrace rational and mature approaches to problems, that we find constructive outlets for our anger and frustration, and that we elect leaders who call forth the best in us. Leaders who inspire us and who truly call us together as a nation.

To read more from Dan, visit www.dan-lucas.com

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Benghazi, Federal Budget, Iran, Iraq, ISIS, North Korea | 18 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I am wondering if drones could not be used as part of a strategic defense system against missiles like those being developed by Iran and Korea. Maybe you have a barrage of drones with magnetic or other factor which clamp to the missile projectile with ability to electro magnetic pulse it out of orbit. Probably the smart pants at Skunk works are already on such novice idea. But I’m not hearing much about it.

    Just think if interest rates were anywhere near normal what the federal government would have to come up with inorder to pay interest on the national debt. The incentive clearly is in keeping interest rates low by keeping inflation low, in turn, by outsourcing labor costs, and robotics. Otherwise, the return of inflation would be a difficult fight for the Federal Reserve, pitting its fight against inflation against federal government solvency. I think the latter body can bend the former body to its demands. Folks should maybe think of having at least a modicum of hard assets to help counter inflation risks at the personal level.

  • GObill sizemore

    I have been seriously involved in politics for 36 years and every presidential election since Jimmy Carter’s presidency I have believed that the upcoming election was the most important in my lifetime if we were going to have any hope of turning this country around – any hope of saving it. I have sincerely believed that to be true every four years and here I am in 2016 and believing the same thing, only in spades.
    I consistently blamed liberal Democrats for most of our downward spiral, so I understandably believed that if we could just elect a Republican president while we had a Republican Congress we could really fix things and undo a lot of damage. Then we did that and didn’t fix anything. All Republicans did was slow the rate of our descent. They never fixed anything. After much deliberation I finally concluded that Democrats play to win and Republicans play to be liked. The latter are so afraid of getting a bad editorial or having some talking head call them heartless or lacking in community spirit that they capitulate when push comes to shove.
    To be perfectly frank, I still believe Republicans could turn things around if they ever had control and that control was comprised of enough votes that were not just Republicans but truly conservative Republicans. That has never happened. I have watched the same thing happen in Oregon as at the federal level. There was a time when Republicans dominated the Oregon House and Senate, including a supermajority in the Senate, but there was at the time a Democrat in the governor’s office. That opportunity was wasted because Gordon Smith was elected senate president and he used the opportunity to catapult himself into the U.S. Senate. I spent most of one session and two special sessions killing Senator Smith’s $3.4 billion North/South light rail boondoggle and eventually had to collect the signatures to put the question before the voters after he finally passed it in the legislature. (We won that referendum, but the liberals eventually built it anyway, though noticeably absent the $475 million property tax increase and $350 million lottery investment they had originally planned.
    After seven years of steep decline (on many fronts) under President Obama, I am looking at the 2016 election through pretty much the same lens Dan Lucas lays out in today’s piece. As serious as the past several elections have been, this one is easily for the highest stakes. We are in trouble. Big trouble. If the credit bubble doesn’t kill us, and that yet remains to be seen, the spending/deficit spiral will. The tipping point is upon us. The political class may not see it, but many in the public do and are so desperate that they are looking to someone as looney as Donald Trump to save us – or at least do something, even if it’s wrong. That is a scary place and in my opinion leaves Republicans in danger of nominating the one candidate Hillary or more likely Biden/Warren can defeat.
    The world is the scariest place it has been since the height of the Cold War. One miscalculation and there may be no turning back. President Obama’s foreign policy or lack thereof has resulted in leadership vacuums in critical parts of the world and we either remedy that immediately or there is no predicting where things will end up.
    As young as he is, I think our best bet to win in the Fall may be Marco Rubio. Cruz is a bit more conservative but is less likeable and thus less electable. I would be happy to see either of them win the presidency. If on the other hand we nominate Donald Trump I believe we will be forfeiting what may be our last good opportunity to save this country. And I felt that way before the death of Justice Scalia, which is comparable to a 9.0 political earthquake, if he is replaced by another liberal.
    In the past, I have been deeply concerned about the future of this nation. Not this year. I am scared. Yes, I have faith in God and believe His will eventually will be done on earth. My anxiety is always tempered by my faith. But there may a lot of pain ahead for Americans if we blow it this time. Elections have consequences, real consequences, and this time the stakes are the highest I have ever seen.

  • Dave Lister

    You can bet we have a Trident nuke sub parked in the south china sea that can turn all of North Korea into a cinder in moments. Their leaders know it too.

  • Connie Kosuda

    well, you are upset, certainly, but it is not clear how you link all the ‘data’ in your monologue to any particular conclusion.

    the republican candidates are a clown’s car , with Trump the most heinous , the most virulent, and heartless of the bunch.

    none have the temperament, the soul, the compassion, the intellect, or the will to bring about beneficent change for America.

    I’m voting Bernie , as Clinton is a repub in disguise.

    • Granola girl

      So you would rather be taxed at 50% of your income (or more) and live in a socialist society like Russia. Maybe you should read the Constitution and see what liberties you would be losing first.

      • thevillageidiot

        why do you think she evens has an income?

        • Connie Kosuda

          aptly named

          • Wake up Tokyo prose

            Its takes a pilliage by Hitlary to become misery you seemingly conned Kosuda, nimrod in facilitating.

          • Connie Kosuda

            that’s the best you can do, huh? sorry the truth is so troubling to you.

          • Roger Enout

            Norman Schwarzkopf, bless his veracity, wills to you a label to hang around your vernacular neck, “Sheeza Fulla Bovine Scatology” – and that’s the toot, tootsie, goofy ally.

          • Connie Kosuda

            nothing on point / nothing truthful / nothing factual / nothing logical / this is what Repugs do.

          • Roger Enout

            Bebong with ewe’s sheeple establishmentalia, relatively invited to go up in smoke your drawers and udder jackass dementia hanging off what fall aft off your emobodimentia

      • Connie Kosuda

        well, that’s a document folks study in law school for years / and then study it some more. a bit more involved than your cereal box.

    • Benghazzi that’s spot on

      Yugo Grilla, Vote your grind and when the results are in, let US pray the bad guise such as the DNC and ISIS have fallen back into the twallet zone of their Gnu Whorld Odor of secular reckoning.

  • thevillageidiot

    Our ambivalent and hands-off approach to the Middle East has resulted in
    that region further spinning out of control. It has led to the rise of
    ISIS and a mass migration out of countries like Syria. The rise of ISIS
    and mass migrations have in turn have resulted in carnage in places like
    Paris and San Bernardino, as well as some major and disturbing clashes of culture in Europe. We have not had an ambivalent hands off approach to the middle east since we kicked the pirates hard enough to make them quit pirating US ships. (Marines, Tripoli, what is now Libya) We have been meddling since oil was discovered.
    So what to the nuclear missiles. as Dave Lister pointed out we have enough to incinerate both Korea and Iran if the Chinese or the Israelis don’t do it first.Pakistan has nucs does any one care? have they lost control of them? India has Nucs does any one care? I really don’t think the leaders of Iran are really that stupid. at least no more so than any leaders of the worlds nuclear powers. I agree with the crazy out of control spending but the correct solution has dropped out of the presidential race. It will not matter one bit who is elected now. The current regime is the same as the next regime. skip the national circus. focus on the state and local governments.

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