Facts on Fiscal Survival Facing Our Nation

 My classmates and others the notification of the following video was made by Hoyt Ambrosius, Class 21 via Gene Barber's Ancient Mariners Newsletter of 5/21/2011.

Words are free, opinions are cheap but facts are damn hard to come by, however, this video provides the facts completely devoid of political identitees and makes everyone who views it aware of the pending danger facing the very survival of Our Great Nation.reb



YouTube Video Produced by governmentgonewild.org

And this excellent article -
As I see it -- Who'll Rule the Rubble?


June 14, 2012

By Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF-Ret. Director, Government Relations  for MOAA

Everyone in the administration and Congress acknowledges the country has huge economic and other problems that will only get worse — in some cases, far worse — with the passage of time.

In the FY 2013 Defense Authorization Bill, legislators are trying to decide how — or whether — to cut nearly $500 billion dollars from the defense budget over the next 10 years as required by the budget law enacted last August.

All concerned acknowledge the multiple crises cascading at the end of this calendar year, including, among other things:

  • the sequester (also required by last year’s budget law, in the absence of any legislated alternative) that will cut an additional $1 trillion from federal spending (with almost $500 billion coming from the defense budget) over the next 10 years;
  • a mandatory 31-percent cut in Medicare and TRICARE payments to doctors that will happened Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress changes the law; and
  • the likelihood that the federal government will hit its debt ceiling, which will require an increase in the ceiling or national default.

And that’s not even considering that we’re still a country at war.

Surely in the face of such dire circumstances, one would think our legislators would be working to find solutions to try to avert the terrible consequences of these imminent crises.

Dream on.

Vietnam-era vets will remember when peace negotiations broke down because the negotiators couldn’t agree on the shape of the negotiating table. Those were the good old days.

In the current polarized political environment, the consensus among virtually all legislators is there’s no point in even starting discussions until after the November election. Leave it for the lame duck Congress, they say. Or leave it until the newly elected Congress takes office next year.

As if a bunch of lame ducks will be able to reach bipartisan agreement in a couple of weeks on all the tough issues multiple Congresses have been squabbling over for years.

As if there’s no problem putting off until next year the critical decisions that must be made now to let bureaucracies, states, defense contractors, and others plan and implement the vast array of complicated actions those decisions must drive.

Instead of serious discussions, we see political posturing — putting up partisan plans that have no chance of enactment, and whose main purpose is to try to make the other party look bad in hopes of gaining another fraction of a percentage point at the polls in November.

The logic here seems to be, “My party is good for the country. Your party is bad for the country. You should just agree with my party, whatever my party decides.”

And never mind that, in many, many instances, each party has swapped sides on major issues over the past years —usually based on who occupied the White House at the time.

What on earth has happened to the concept of working out bipartisan compromises to do the right thing for the country? The whole point of compromise is to acknowledge the likelihood that your political party might not have a monopoly on clear thinking and good judgment. It’s also an acknowledgement that it’s almost impossible for a single party to get anything through Congress without some support from the other side.

The current political thinking seems to be that working together to avert a national crisis, however dire or imminent, is less important than winning the fight to decide who’ll rule the rubble left in its wake.


Copyright Military Officers Association of America. All rights reserved.


James Willis
While I applaud you optimism in thinking there is a solution if politicians will only do the right thing, I am convinced that the form of government that our founding fathers gave us will not work. People cannot govern themselves. Have you not seen enough evidence of that? The great democracy experiment (actually the US is a Republic, not a democracy) is a failure. Career politicians driven by a never-ending need to run for re-election driven by special interests that finance their next campaign do not have an incentive to do what is "best for our country" only what will raise the most money for them. Try this: ask for an appointment with your congressman. Say hell-o to some third level intern. Donate $10,000 to his reelection fund (through a "legal" PAC) and ask again. Say hell-o to your congressman. Care for a cup of tea? Get the idea? Let's not be naive. We, my friends, are in a barrel that has gone over Niagara Falls. It is too late to fix it now. Prepare to hit the bottom and there's nothing you can do
Thomas O'Brien
Thank you, for your article "Who'll rule the rubble?" The phrase “tell members of Congress to do their jobs” is interesting. But, what do we expect them to be doing. Here is my take. I do not like the use of the word “compromise”. It is overused and it a copout. Our leaders must wrestle with how much money we have and what our priorities are and then get on with doing the right thing. Compromises are too damaging. Our first major compromise led to the 3/5ths person rule. That took a civil war and more than hundred years to correct. We cannot do “everything” and so let’s do the best we can with the resources we have. We cannot compromise our basic principles, and we cannot destroy our future with reckless spending just to placate political “wants”.It is Congress’ job to make the hard choices not to do the job half and half! Thanks to MOAA for taking the lead and keep sending positive suggestions to the President. Tom O’Brien, Lt. Col (RET), USAF
Roger Miller
The purpose of DoD is to protect American interest. What possible interest does an American have in protecting Japan, Germany, Korea, or China? The industrial base that pays for defense is gone. Pay for market based workers has been dropping for the last 12 years along with the taxes they paid. When you have a ruler who goes to war without a plan to pay for it (Iraq's oil? Afgan minerals?), the result is economic collapse. Why are Americans who have earned (not entitled) retirement and health care being charged with the economic crimes of the global financial elite. How many super carriers are in the world? Who else has a billion dollar airplane? Remember this was Reagan's plan to kill the New Deal programs. We are in for a really bad future.
Kelley Roberson
All the coming issues described by Colonel Strobridge are real and must be addressed. The real problem is that the federal government has become too big - has become an unbearable burden on the backs of the American people. We must dramatically reduce the size of government. We must reduce the number of people working for the federal government - I'd start by reducing the number of federal employees - including DOD employees, civilian and uniformed - by 20%, as soon as possible - meaning within the next 18 months - within the first year of the Romney Presidency. We need to reduce federal programs and eliminate a few federal agencies and departments as well. This can't be done with the current Democrats/Socialists in Congress. Replace them with conservative Republicans. Let's replace those two Democratic Party Senators in Washington State with Republicans who will vote for a balanced budget, based on reductions in federal spending and reductions in federal employees and reductions in departments and age
Donald King
Most of the comments I've read here, as well as the original piece by Col. Strowbridge, are essentially accurate, but they're all addressing the symptoms, not the problem. Has it occurred to anyone besides me that the rate of deterioration of our system of government is in direct proportion to the distance we, as a country, get away from God? The solution to the problem (which will take care of the symptoms) lies in getting rid of the ACLU and all the liberal judges and other entities that support their agenda, whose ultimate goal is the removal of God from every institution and every home in America.
Walter Paulson
Exasperation over the obvious is not particularly helpful. There is the little matter of principle, however, that makes compromise difficult. And an archaic, last-gasp party of old leftists and progressives who can't admit they are following Europe down a path of no return, and can't be truthful about their intentions. Their mindset is: "compromise" means agree with me. I wonder what the good Colonel would say if, for example, the compromise chosen to meet the sequester budget was to do away with the Air Force? No principle involved there, eh?
James Hamilton
I agree completely. I am residing in Washington State and the senators from the state of Washington publish newsletters unequivocally blaming Republicans for everything bad. I can quote them on several occasions starting with the words, " The Republicans have...". You can complete the sentence with any accusation you might conceive. I picture our politicians as children sitting in very big chairs, deciding our fate. It is tragic and disgusting. The lies, and misdirection I have witnessed in the past few years is appalling. Who will govern in this next administration is critical in the history of our nation.
Arthur Catullo
Perhaps I'm getting old (well I am), but if President Reagan and then Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill could sit down, have a beer and sort things out for the good of the country, then where is that same bi-partisanship between , let's say, John Boehner and one or two leading Democrats in the Senate (forget about Harry Reid I suppose)?? Talking to our president probably would not accomplish much, but waiting until January to face this fall off the cliff is simply unacceptable and in my view unpatriotic. You don't send the country down in flames simply to advance your own party's interests. Gee, I guess I COULD be wrong??!! :(
Richard Johnson
I submitted a review, don't know if it made it as no acknowledgement Richard C. Johnson, Columbia,SC
Jay Bagley
Our nation used to have some respect for our military members and some of those members even became members of Congress as Representatives or Senators. As more of our military became professional military the citizen soldier sort of went by the wayside, especially when considering positions in Congress. We need people in Congress who know what the military life entails for the member and their family. MOAA does a great job of trying to educate 520 plus members every cycle as it takes re-education to remind those that haven't had military in their family and especially the impact of multiple deployments for the citizen soldier who seems to pick up the brunt, anymore. DoD leaders, both military and civilian, don't necessarily have the same attitude and drive for our nation, as previously. Politics is important but taking care of people who defend our country from internal and external national threats is also important. Pulling the carpet out for both active duty and retired personnel has already taken so
David Sidwell
Priceless and oh so true. Now if MOAA would just package this so each of us could send it to our senators and congressman perhaps a few of them would wake up and do something about the stalemate that has lasted nearly four years.
David Broussard
This article hits the nail square on the head. 2 of the most accomplished Republican Presidents ot the last 60 years were Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Regan. Reasoned and responsible bi-partisan negotiatons in the best interests of the nation are what we need and what will break the stalement. They were leaders in both. We the citizens of the US, have to stop telling our congressmen what we want for our state and social programs (selfish goals); but to create a better America for all citizens. Stopping the feeding trough of special interests is also tantamount to leveling thr playing field for negotiating. I am retired (SSA) and Military. I will take a double whammy the way the penatgon and Congress are playing Polo with the benefits. But, if good faith negotiations can deal fairly with reductions and income tax allocation, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Lowell Brennan
Excellent,accurate and well written observations. We can be certain that Medicare and TRICARE are going to take it on the chin. LB
Philip Moore
The majority of politicians in D.C. are far more interested in the election than the survival of our great nation. I didn't put in 28 years in the US military just to watch us become a Socialist state - which is clearly the way the liberals want. One of my college professors said it right: "The road to Socialism is a one-way street". My wife & I have discussed moving to a 3rd world nation if Obama gets reelected. My son (soon retiring as a Lt Col) has also considering such a drastic move. Yes, it IS drastic & we don't want to give up on our beloved USA, but it's definitely not being governed like the USA we've known for decades. That's how desperate we see things becoming.
Peter Lorenzo
While I don't agree with all positions taken by MOAA I can always count on MY association to stand up for my benefits when they are under attack. I cannot say the same for my representatives in Washington. Thanks to CSPAN I have witnessed Steve Strobridge testifying before Congress and noticed that he was always very prepared and professional. I am very proud to be associated with him.
Rudolph Yap
COL Strowbridge, you just said what most of this country is thinking. The operative word is "thinking". There also is an ongoing movement, "STOP ORGANIZED CRIME! VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT!"
Michael Eckstein
Stating the obvious? Ugh? This country and its majority of hard working, patriotic Americans are going to reach a point where the "second American Revolution" is going to take place. What would happen if we stopped paying state, local and federal taxes, stopped serving our country in the military or civil service, and said that this would continue until we are in control of our destiny. Isn't that what our legislators are telling us? Isn't there an impeachment process for these carpetbaggers like there is for a president who commits a crime, a sex act, etc? Mike Eckstein
Gordon Brymer
Why are we surprized? In my opinion safeguarding the nation comes maybe in second place behind a majority of long time imbeded legislators concerns about their perks and reelection. It is simply beneth contempt....Having served for 34 years active...
Raymond Von Husen
What you have stated is obvious. But how do we force congress to change. I'm from Southern New Mexico. Our Congressman is a "turkey". But the alternative is a vulture! Congress is made up of a bunch of idiots but in kicking them out the replacements seem even worse. So how do we fix the problem besides staying on the backs of our Senators and Representatives. Thank you


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