Saturday, 21 May 2011

John Loeffler- Steel on Steel-The Conservative Global Education Plan-recent events Obama Netanyahu conference-

The Conservative Global Education Plan

John’s boralogue analyzes a number of recent events and examines
the troubling tendency of law enforcement to view American citizens
as the enemy, while proclaiming citizens have no rights.
Did you see the Obama/Netanyahu press conference on Friday?
The President looked like he had been taken to the wood shed by the
Israeli prime minister.
We do a Middle East update at mid-show.
We know the world is supposed to end today according
to some sources but we’ll do a show anyway.
Look at all of the conservative Republican governors promoting
their state education programs.
Wait a minute!

They’re derived from the same global education programs the progressives use.
No education reform there, no matter what the RINO-govs say.
Cathie Adams from Eagle Forum ( joins us.
This is the first in a series of programs on global education.
You’ve heard discussion on the show about the need to instruct Christian
youth in logic and critical thinking.
But former marine Mike Riddle from Creation Training Initiative
( churches must advance much further
by taking all of their education programs seriously.

This video is just a preview. Listen to the entire show by subscribing!

America's Moment of Truth with Former US Senator Alan Simpson

The wakeup call—will anyone listen?

Alan K. Simpson served as United States Senator from Wyoming for 18 years. While in Congress, Senator Simpson served as Chairman of the Veteran’s Committee, Immigrationand Refugee Subcommittee of Judiciary, the Nuclear Regulation Subcommittee, the Social Security Subcommittee and the Committee on Aging. Recently, Simpson was appointed as co-chair to President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with co-chair Eskine Bowles. During his time at the Fiscal Commission, he and fellow co-chair Erskine Bowles were able to garner a bipartisan majority of 11 out of 18 Commission members to support a final debt reduction plan.

Jim Puplava is pleased to welcome former US Senator Alan K. Simpson, Chairman of the National Commision on Fiscal Responsibility. Senator Simpson speaks candidly to Jim about the fiscal crisis and the plan to get us headed in the right direction.


Jim Puplava: Well, you've heard us talk on this program about the pressing issues of the national debt. Every single month we get reminded as the deficit figures get bigger and Congress squabbles over how to come up with the debt limit. The debt limit has now reached its limit at $14.3 trillion and we will be adding another $1.7 trillion this year and trillions into the future. Sooner or later, we’re going to hit a brick wall. Joining us on the program is the co-chairman of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Senator Alan Simpson. He's the former Republican senator from Wyoming. First of all Senator, I remember the day that you and Erskine announced the results of your Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Commission. And you had gored so many sacred cows that you immediately asked for protection in the witness protection program. So, are you in that program now and are you speaking to us from an undisclosed location?

Senator Alan Simpson: Well, I sneak out sporadically from time to time, just to take in calls like this and then retreat to this black cave where I reside.

Jim: Huh, huh, well ok. For our listeners Senator, I want to talk about the makeup of this commission, because I think it's important that people know that this truly was a bipartisan effort. As I understand there was an equal number—six Democrats, six Republicans, somebody from two CEOs, a think tank, and the unions. So it was pretty equally balanced between both sides. Is that correct?

Senator Simpson: It was. There were 18 of us. Six appointed by the President, among those a CEO of HoneyWell, Andy Stern of the Service Workers’ Union, and then 12 members of Congress. The six Democrat and six Republican from majority and minority, three from majority and minority of each house. We worked for a year and came up with a plan that was supported by five Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent, which was sixty percent of the commission.

Jim: Now the name of your report is called “A Moment of Truth.” When I open up this report and I look at a deficit graph, you have your proposal, you have a baseline proposal, and the fiscal alternative. If you look at that fiscal alternative graph that's a pretty scary scenario. So this is a problem that this country is facing, and it's not one that we’re going to be able to walk away from. It’s staring us in the face, is it not?

Senator Simpson: Yeah, and we never had a single witness to tell us that we could grow our way out of this. In fact, the consensus was you couldn’t grow your way out of this horrible situation with double digit growth for 20 years. So, you know with growth at two, three, or four percent, obviously it’s never going to happen. And the debt is fourteen trillion, three hundred billion and the deficit will be one trillion seven hundred billion, and people don't pay attention because they can't make a distinction between a billion and a trillion. Wherever you hear the word now that we should cut a billion here or there, change the “B” to a “TR” because thats the only way we’ll get out of the hole.

Jim: Now, as you open up on this report, you talk about this looming crisis where we've seen the national debt, the federal debt, go from 33% of GDP to 62% of GDP in nearly just one decade. So as you look at these numbers and you look at going forward, it seems to me that how are we going to grapple with this looming crisis without, I guess making an attempt to look at entitlements. Because as you look in your report, you take entitlements, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, you take interest on the debt, you take national defense, there's about 80% of your budget, discretionary spending is about 20%, so how can we realistically bring this under control without touching entitlements?

Senator Simpson: You can’t. And the sooner you listen to your next favorite politician get up on his or her hind legs, and say, “Look, we can get this done without touching Medicare, Medicaid, the solvency of Social Security, or defense,” just give them the old “heehaw” like a donkey from the audience, cause this is just fakery. Total fakery. You cannot get this done without touching every one of those. And if you do, I mean, you know, then you’re chopping the heads off seniors, you’re cheating the unions, you’re breaking the bedpans in the VA Hospitals, the babies are dying, I mean honestly. This is really—and you haven’t seen anything yet—they’re going to have to do something. They’re going to have to find some revenue. We suggested ways to do it and that is to get rid of all these tax expenditures which are just spending by another name. But you can go on and people will tune you out because they don't understand GDP. They don't know what a trillion is. The way I get to them is, I just say, “Here you are guys, if you spend more than you earn, you lose your butt. And if you spend a buck and borrow forty-one cents of it, you’ve got to be stupid. And that’s your government right now. Your Republicans, your Democrats, your White House. We are spending a buck and borrowing forty-one cents, which is stupid.”

Jim: And not only is it stupid or irresponsible, but here's the thing that concerns me, Senator, because in your report you emphatically say this is something we need to be doing now, not kicking the can down the road. And you’ve been in Washington long enough to know that any time that they come up with some programs, and they go and we’ll cut it and its 10 years down the road, that the so-called budget cuts take place. Now, you were commissioned to look at this and you had various objectives, and I'm just taking some your guiding principles here. Don't disrupt a fragile economic recovery. Cut and invest to promote economic growth. Protect the truly disadvantaged. Cut spending we cannot afford with no exceptions. And here's one that I'm sure is going to raise a lot of eyebrows, reform and simplify the tax code. Get rid of the inefficiencies, the loopholes. But here's something that really took me by surprise, you guys lowered the tax rates, but at the same time you're broadening the tax base. So let’s get into the specifics. How do you start cutting without disrupting a fragile economic recovery?

Senator Simpson: Well, ours didn’t kick in until 2013. We thought that would be a good little cushion. And then I think we were all stunned to get into the tax code and find over a hundred eighty things called “tax expenditures.” We finally decided to call them what they were, they’re “tax earmarks.” Even better than that, they’re called “spending” by any other name. And they cost one trillion one hundred billion a year and there’s no oversight. Nobody ever touches them. And they’re little things of course, like home mortgage interest deduction, a million bucks, which is absurd, five hundred would cover it. We suggest that. Take care of the little guy, give him twelve and a half percent of nonrefundable tax refund to take care of that, and then go in and get rid of them all, and then take the one trillion one hundred billion and give a hundred billion to deficit reduction and with the other trillion bucks set up three tax rates: 0-70,000 bucks you pay eight percent; 70,000 - 210,000 and you pay 14% taxes; everything over that they pay 23. And you reduce the corporate tax to 26 from 36, making it competitive with the world. And that's what people’ve been shrieking about now. Just broaden the base, lower the rate, get spending out of the code. Well there it is. That’s it, right there. Grab it.

Jim: You know, Senator, I think, correct me, but didn't Ronald Reagan at one time in the ‘80s, you were in the Senate at that time, didn’t he say okay we’re going to get rid of a lot of these tax expenditures, ‘cause I was in the industry and the amount of tax shelters that we had back then, you could zero out your taxes and he said in exchange for that we’re going to lower the rates. What happened to that?

Senator Simpson: One side cheated. In other words, Reagan said that and did it, and other side went the other way. But Reagan raised taxes 11 times during his eight years, and I asked that of Grover Norquist who seems to make a lot of money at terrorizing people by the simple message that if you are in congress, and you raise taxes one half of one penny, you will be toast. We will get rid of you. They proved up a bit. They got rid of Bob Bennett. They’re after Orrin Hatch now. Orrin Hatch now apparently is a commie because he suggested some realistic things. I mean, this is absurd. And if the world is in thrall, I love that word that Lincoln used in one of his addresses, that if we are in thrall it means in a mystical command and judgment by Grover Norquist and the AARP, this country hasn’t got a chance.

Jim: We just got through tax season. And my tax return is almost an inch thick. I think many Americans, including those listen to this program, would love a day where you had a one-page tax return. This is what you made, this is what your tax rate is, send it in. Verses the complexity, I forget, I think there's more pages in the tax code than there is in the Bible.

Senator Simpson: It may well be and it’s certainly probably more well read, sadly enough. Anyway, but it is a sad situation. The American public can’t use these charts, you can’t use PowerPoint, but they sure hear you. And whenever Erskine (Bowles) and I go out, we do a lot of speaking around the country, just give us 40 minutes or 45 minutes with any group, and let them ask any question they want, and we’ll get a standing ovation. I meant they hear us because people are lying. Let’s get right to the one that, that I given bellyful of it, and this, we’ll get at it. And that is Social Security. What in the hell do we think we’re doing, by doing nothing? By doing nothing in Social Security, in the year 2036, you’ll waddle up to the window and get a check for 23% less. And that figure changed last year. It used to be 2037 and now it’s 2036, they moved it up a year. It used to be 22% less, now it’s 23, and we say look, we’re going to raise the retirement age to 68 by the year 2050. Now if you can't get organized in your life, figure out what's coming in 2050, and the sad part of it is the law. You can't get around this baby. The law says that if the Social Security Administration can’t pay out the scheduled benefits, the thing you get the mail, that you will receive only the payable benefit. And the payable benefit, by doing nothing in 2036 will be 23% less. I think that's cheating on people. So we said, look what the guff? Here’s what we’ll do: we give the lowest twenty percent 125% of poverty, that will take money out of Social Security. We’ll raise that wage limit to 190,000, where you hit them at 190 instead of 108.6 right now. And we change the cost-of-living index to a more modern one. We take care of the guy who can't work, who’s exhausted, or working in the steel mills, or whatever, he doesn’t have to retire any later than 62. We do all those things, we hit the rich a little more than the wealthy, than the poor, because we set up the bend points, I don’t have the technical term, but it’s a distributional analysis to take care of the minorities, the people that don't have the funds, and we are very precise in our recommendation, and all we get from the AARP is that somehow this is savaging the Social Security. I mean these people at the AARP, the upper echelon, they’re are not patriots, they’re marketers and anybody that hasn’t have figured that out is out to lunch.

Jim: And you know, even when you talk about lowering the tax rates and getting rid of all these tax expenditures, which is basically deductions, you still have a reasonable amount. Now for example, I think you keep what, the mortgage interest about a half million, and you still keep charitable giving, and you can still put money in a retirement savings account. So you still leave some things in there that are very important to the American public, but if you listen to the way that your tax proposals have been demagogued, one would think that you're going to take everything away from everybody in that, I've heard people say you’re going cause another housing collapse. That's extreme.

Senator Simpson: Well there will be a lot more of that because don’t forget how this game works. You make your contribution. The real cancer out in America is, along with the debt, and don't forget what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said: he said the greatest threat to America's security is the debt. That’s quite a statement coming from a military man. I haven't been speaking about terrorism. But if you can’t begin to get together a handle on this stuff, or even just just stabilize things, or have a plan. We don’t have a plan. Germany has a plan, people might not like it. Great Britain has a plan, maybe they don’t like that, but they’ve got one. France has a plan. But we have no plan and that’s why Standard & Poor's said that if you continue this with no plan, we’re going to lower your rating. Now that's not just romancing and dancing, that’s what they intend to do because they will see that we don't have that cuts or the courage, or any kind of common sense to at least get a plan in place. Even even though you don't put teeth in it right now, get a plan.

Jim: Let’s talk about another sacred cow, and that’s health care. The President has proposed his plan which was passed. What would you do to Medicare and Medicaid under your proposal?

Senator Simpson: We’re very precise, and obviously you’ve read this. I think people need to know that this plan, we call it The Plan: the Moment of Truth, is only 67 pages long. And it is written in English, it wasn’t written for politicians or pundits or panderers. It was written for the American people. It uses terms like “going broke” and “shared sacrifice.” We couldn't even wrap our arms around Medicare. It is a monster of the midway and everybody knows that. All out of whack, whether you call it Obama Care, or healthcare, or care back to, you know, Medicare, clear back when they put on the books back in the 60’s. It is impossible. It runs on automatic pilot and so we recommended a cut of Medicare of about 400 billion. Which is not much. It sounds big. And triggers to enforce it and failsafe mechanisms that if you don't get there, you already described some things very clearly. There was a thing called the doc fix. We were supposed to lower physician’s reimbursement each year at a certain time. Well, every time that comes up, I mean, here comes the American Medical Association, the Docs, you think they do it? No. So we have to go in then and bale them out like the last time. There really is only one way to do anything with Medicare, and take a big spoon and put it in front of you and the medicine, and here it is, you reduce the payments to providers. Physicians. All providers. You raise the co-pay to the patient and you begin to affluence test the patient. If you have a net worth of 5 million bucks and get a heart operation that cost $180,000, and you only paid $1,800, those days are gone forever. And then you have hospitals keep one set of books instead of two or three, to see how much money they can get from the feds to keep alive. And you quit the game gimmickry of Medicaid with the states. And those are things that no one, no...they'll burn your house down. So, there we are, and the way that works is these campaign contributions through the years, where you try to change something, and you say wait a minute, pal, this group maxed out to you and your primary, the first time you ran, and they maxed out meaning they gave the full legal contribution in the general election. And they’re outside the door right now waiting for you to remember how wonderful they’ve been to you. And boy, you’ve got a government frozen in place with the god of reelection dangling in front of them like a golden orb.

Jim: You know, the thing that concerns me and our listeners, and we've seen this in the headlines, we've seen the problems in Greece, we've seen them erupt in Ireland, and you know they may not like it, and I'm sure many listening to this program would find it hard to believe that...I just interviewed the gentleman at independent research that has the US graded as a C on a scale from A to F in terms of our finances. And the only reason we’re given the C is because of our ability to tap the world bond markets because we’re the world's reserve currency. Senator we are heading into another election cycle. A presidential election cycle, where as you know I've seen it on both sides, saying "no we can grow our way out", "no we don't have to touch any of these things", "we could just tax this group, and we’ll balance our budget." We have all this fantasy—the politicians are giving us candy again. Here's the thing that I'm concerned about. We’re at 14.3 trillion and we’re going to add another what, 1.7 trillion this year. Next year we’ll probably add another trillion dollars. If we don't handle this now, whether it's Paul Ryan's plan, whether it’s your plan, or I don't even know if there's another plan out there that's credible, will we wake up one day and have our Greek moment when the bond vigilantes show up and force it?

Senator Simpson: Well that’s what my friend, Erskine Bowles, the co-chair says. He’s a businessperson, like you are, with a fine grasp of the realities of finance and investing and so on, as you are. And He said, I put it different way, I just say at some point, and I think it'll be sooner than later, especially if they just mess around and get rid of all foreign aid, and all waste, fraud, and abuse, all earmarks, and Nancy Pelosi’s air plan, and Air Force One, and all congressional pensions. That will get you about 6% out of the hole we're in. If that’s all they’re going to do, and it looks like that would be one where they can throw the sop out and say here’s what we've done, give us another hurrah. Then I think that the people with the paper or paper in their hands are going to raise up this piece of paper and say you didn’t do anything realistic, you didn't really even have a plan, you didn't even stabilize, and we want some money for our paper, or even better looks like you're still pretty good over there, we want more interest. We want more interest when we give you money, and at that point you're going to have inflation. And who’s going to get hurt? You’re going to have prices raised. Who’s going to get hurt the most in that? The rich guys? No, not the guys with all the bucks who move money around all day long with arbitrage, numbers, and all the hurrah that nobody understands...swaps, derivatives. No, the little guy is the guy to get hurt. What an irony.

Jim: You know Senator, you said that wherever you go around the country, you and Erskine, when you speak to a group of the citizens and taxpayers and you explain our situation, and you explain what we have to do, you get a standing ovation. Now let me talk and speak to another constituency. You’ve been in Washington. You know how it works. What has been the response from, let’s say key people? We have the so-called group of six, that seem to grasp what your commission was looking at. Can that group of six bring the others along and say, look if we don't do this we are shirking our responsibility and the day of reckoning is not too far off?

Senator Simpson: Well sadly enough, it is now a group of five because Senator Colburn threw up his hands and said look they won’t deal with the mandatory spending. They won’t take 140 more billion out of Medicare and the entitlements. And so there are 5 warriors now, plus the 2 who were not originally, well they are Chambliss and Warner, Democrat and Republican. Crapo is still there, and Conrad and Durbin. Give Durbin, you know, an award. I mean. But you see, we’re at a point now where you can tell that Senator Durbin, the assistant Democrat of the U.S. Senate supported this original plan, and they’ll say, “Oh, no, not Durbin. You don't mean he will, he’s a commie.” And then they’ll say now Colburn, Senator Colburn of Oklahoma supported this plan. “What? He’s a Neanderthal. What are you talking about?” I mean that's where you are in this country and it is the most disgusting thing to watch that I’ve ever seen. I mean stereotyping, crudeness, anybody who’s a Democratic is an idiot, or Republican who’s an idiot, or how can you screw the president, we don’t even know if he’s a citizen. I mean for God’s sake the American people see stupidity and conspiracy as a new art form.

Jim: It almost seems, and it started with Europe, where there was reluctance of, for example within Greece. They had generous pensions, bonuses to take holidays, but eventually reality sets in. And the title of your report The Moment of Truth as you state forward here, this is coming at us. I mean we’re in a freight train and we’re heading for a brick wall. So it's just a question of what I've seen come, I mean these guys arguing over 30 billion when we’re running at 1.7. Senator I would equate that to a freight train heading for a mountain at 125 miles an hour and they clap themselves on the shoulders because they just reduce the speed 124.

Senator Simpson: Yes I have various colorful ways of equating this stuff, but I won't share them. But it’s much like the mountain roared and belched forth a mouse. And other great phrases: this is like a sparrow belch the midst of a typhoon. And they say look what we’re doing for you and the American people aren’t buying it. They really know that this is stupid because if you tell them about the 41 cents you borrow for every buck you spend, they look around and say you’ve got to be kidding. But it’s true, and you can't get away from it. And to raise Social Security to 68 by the year 2050 so it will pay your grandchildren—beyond comprehension, how you could call that savagery, or evil, or all the ugly stuff and get a lot worse because the people who laid down the money for the campaign contributions haven't even started to tear up whatever the plan they come up with. They’ll come up with something. I don't know what it will be, but give them credit for trying. And that will be savage. Totally savage. And it will be beautifully hysterically poignant about the poor, and the children, and the seniors. And another thing we did with our Social Security recommendation, we took care of the older old. We added another 5% to people from 80 to 85. So how can you call anything we've suggested as draconian? It is just a plain damn lie.

Jim: Let me ask you about another culprit in this as I see it. Okay I read your entire document. It is straightforward and you put it in plain English, which is what I like. It wasn’t a 2000 page document that would overwhelm me. Why do you believe the press does not realize the serious situation, because they're helping with the demagoguery? They're not calling somebody out there saying, oh you’re going to throw seniors out in the street, the children are going to starve, and, and they let these people these demagogues get away with this. I think there's culpability here with the media. They know better than this.

Senator Simpson: Well, you see, they are preoccupied with Schwarzenegger and the IMF guy and Lindsay Lohan and these are vital things that we must, and how to get a picture of Biden with half, uh, Osama bin Laden with half his head blown away so that it will inflame all of the world, so people are trying to get us. I mean this is nuts. And don’t forget the media, and I always, always told them, I was, I was always taking them on... You know the the First Amendment belongs to me too. I don’t have to listen to their guff and this jazz about the public's right to know. It's about the public's right to know the truth, not gossip, and innuendo, and live drama, and salacious behavior. The truth. What the truth? So I've often said they’re interested only in conflict, confusion, and in complexity, and not clarity.

Jim: Well Senator, I have to take my hat off to you. I'm glad to see that in this country there are still people like yourself and Mr. Bowles that are doing a good job. And are you guys planning on continuing speaking? In other words, I think it's important that this story be told because I think Americans—was it Winston Churchill that once said that Americans will try all the wrong solutions first, but in the end, they finally get it right?

Senator Simpson: It was something like that. But eventually after trying everything, they’ll, they'll get it. But here’s yet another one. This is a very swift one. Someone slipped me one the other day. they said, “Simpson, gold is the money of kings, silver is the money of gentlemen, barter is the money of peasants, but debt is the money of slaves.”

Jim: Wow, so appropriate. We’ll Senator I wanted thank you for joining us on the Financial Sense Newshour. We are going to make available on our website the full report, The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, so our listeners can read this. Because I mean there's certain things in there that I didn't like, but you know what, I mean you're never going to get, when you have to tackle a major problem as you and your commission tried to, you’re never going to please 100% of the people, but I thought you guys did a dog-gone good job of the least putting forth a plan that says this is a reasonable way that we can get to a problem that sooner or later, you know, I just hope we don't hit a brick wall. So I take my hat off you and please keep up the speaking engagements and talking to the public because I think Americans in the end will respond to the truth. And that’s what your document is.

Senator Simpson: Well there’re things in there at pain me greatly and I voted for it. Think of, I mean I come from the biggest energy producing state in the world. If Wyoming were a country, we would be the largest coal producing country in the world. And I voted in that package to get rid of oil depletion allowance, line land reclamation money, some things that have to do with energy. Oh boy, oh boy. My pension? You bet, cut. Get in. Start affluence testing. I’m a G.I. I was in the military I didn't take the G.I. loan on my house, cause I didn’t need it. I took the G.I. Bill, because I did need it. But I mean, if we’re all just going to sit here and say “go screw that guy but don't touch me,” it's over. It’s been a nice run, but it’s over. The run is over. We won't disappear, we’ll just be a lesser country.

Jim: Well, that's the sad part. I’m a first-generation born American, and it’s really sad that we came over here during the 30’s to escape what was going on in Europe. And it's really sad to see a great country such as this with so much liberty, and so many things going for it, go into a self-destructive mode.

Senator Simpson: What is that name of yours? What nationality is that?

Jim: That’s Czech. My parents were born in Czechoslovakia.

Senator Simpson: Well, I’m Dutch. My middle name is Kooi, KOOI. They came here seeking the same things your family did. And here they are and I’m third-generation of that. But anyway we have work to do, but I think there're more patriots than there are panderers. More patriots than marketers. And hopefully more people with common sense which seems to the most uncommon thing running around America right now. When you pick up your paper everyday to read about all the goofy people they portray in ever more goofy fashion.

Jim: Well, I couldn’t agree more. Well, listen Senator, thank you so much for giving us part of your valuable day. And keep up the good work, and all I can say is job well done, and I'm glad there's people like you out there.

Senator Simpson: There are plenty of them. Thank you.

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