The Government Plan to Hobble America’s Economic Strength

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Sen. Sam Slom - Photo courtesy of Mel Ah Ching Productions

BY SEN. SAM SLOM – A month ago, I wrote an editorial in Hawaii Reporter in opposition to raising the debt ceiling and conducting government business as usual.

Several professional people, including some friends, argued that I was wrong.  if we didn’t take action, we would face a lowered credit rating, a plunging stock market and higher interest rates, they said.


It was the same argument that was used to force passage of the failed TARP bailout in the last days of the Bush Administration and TARP 2 and stimulus subsidies and grants subsequently.

So, at the last minute, a bi-partisan political agreement on our debt was cobbled together. It pleased neither the right nor the left. In my humble opinion, it was a phony agreement with more promises and no meaningful reform. A “super” Congressional Committee? Really?

The ink wasn’t even dry on the new law when the President, true to his beliefs, authorized billions in new spending and more debt. I said publicly that our credit rating would decrease and there would be huge losses in the markets because we did not address the causeof our fiscal problems: excessive government taxation, spending and debt.

In spite of that “grand” debt agreement, or because of it, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating last Friday, from AAA to AA+, the stock market plummeted (again), and interest rates will increase.

Billionaire Warren Buffet responded to S&P’s action, saying  the US credit rating should be UPgraded to “AAAA.”

Over the weekend, the President’s men were quick to blame S&P, the Tea Party, Republicans in Congress and yes, President Bush. Today, President Obama added to the criticism of the messenger, S&P, quoted Buffet, and again called for raising taxes.

The gist of the attacks was that S&P didn’t know what they were doing, their accounting procedures are wrong, and besides, neither Moody’s nor Fitch downgraded the US credit.

I agree that ratings services are just that: ratings services. They don’t know everything.  They do make mistakes. Why didn’t all of them downgrade Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac years ago? Their comments are subject to debate. Kind of like consumer magazine ratings and movie reviews.

But S&P happens to be right at this time. They see no willingness to change government fiscal policies or to improve the investment climate.

In April, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner was asked if the US credit rating would be lowered and his emphatic answer on FOX Business Network was, “There is no chance of that.”  This knowledgeable member of the President’s Cabinet, who previously “forgot” to pay his own taxes, also announced he was leaving his position, but luckily (?), this past week, he was persuaded to stay.

Who are all these economic and business geniuses on the White House payroll? And the Federal Reserve? They are all in sync with President Obama’s view of the American economy and his absolute desire to redistribute wealth rather than maintaining or creating new American wealth. Most have never met a private payroll.

Everything Mr. Obama has said since ascending the Presidency was aimed at leveling Americans, dethroning America as the world’s number one economy, and a not-so-subtle attack on free market capitalism. The plan seems to be working.

A case can be made that the President has succeeded and that recent actions are neither a surprise nor disappointment to his world view.

During the past week alone, more than $2 trillion in assets have been lost in the market. Gold has surpassed $1,700 an ounce. Interest rates are likely to rise.

In Hawaii, while some argue we are exempt from major economic waves, we are particularly vulnerable to higher costs and government mistakes. More than most other states, we have been dependent on Washington, and affixed to the government trough.

But short term, there probably will not be a major interest impact on Hawaii or its government bond managers. Notably, the under funded Employees Retirement System, has flexibility to deal with a credit downgrade of this magnitude.

Our number 2 industry, behind tourism, is Senator Daniel Inouye. But even Inouye can’t deliver pork if there is no sow. We have overtaxed, over spent and under funded elements of our local economy. The current State Administration is attempting to deal with spiraling costs but they too come from a culture of government spending.

We are not creating private jobs nor improving our business and investment climate. But we can.  The futurist and author Joel Kotkin addressed the Council of State Governments—West Conference in Hawaii last week. His admonition was to talk to the private job creators—not government—about adding needed income producing jobs. We need to incentivise private employers to spend more, invest more and add jobs thus creating a bigger wealth and tax pool.

There is nothing wrong with the economy. The problems stem from political mismanagement.

As I remind people, no single Mom, no family, or small business has the luxury of continuing to spend beyond its means; none has the ability to borrow beyond its credit capability, or to impose taxes on their neighbor. And few have begged the government to keep on spending and borrowing.

All economics is cyclical. The markets can rise again. Our problem is with the political leadership in this Nation. It must be changed.





  1. I agree that Obama The Destroyer has been very effective in diminishing the stature of the United States. Fortunately, our country has the proven capacity to quickly rebound once his term ends next year. The damage he has inflicted upon us is reversible, with time.

  2. There is no question that Sen. Slom is right on this issue, but he glossed over the most important ramification of the debt ceiling agreement. After all, Congress has raised the “debt ceiling” over 70 times since it was first passed. It’s truly a meaningless concept.

    What the Senator glossed over is the “Super” Congressional Committee. This is not just a joint committee of Congress, it is the most fundamental change in our national government since the introduction of dual-citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment ratified in 1868. Not only is this law unconstitutional because Congress was never granted the power in the Constitution to delegate its power to introduce and amend legislation to a select group of congressmen and senators, this kind of change in the government requires a constitutional amendment that must be ratified by the state legislatures of three-fourths of the states to become the law.

    Not only did Congress delegate its power to a select Gang of 13, but it agreed not to amend legislation presented by the committee for a vote by both Houses. Amazingly, it also agreed that if the members of the House and Senate do not vote FOR the legislation presented by the committee, that the committee would have the power to implement the legislation as it saw fit. In others words, “tails I win, heads you lose.”

    The federal government has now, by law, become an official dictatorship of the Gang of 13, the thirteenth person being the President of the United States, who has veto power over any legislation. Let that sink in for a minute. The United States of America has now become the United Socialist/Fascist States of America (USFSA).

    As insane as this sounds, this is what they agreed to. It should also not be lost on any reader that both the Democrats and the Republicans were responsible for overthrow of the Constitution. The Democrats are the majority party in the Senate and the Republicans are the majority party in the House. Either party could have prevented this, but neither one did, making it abundantly clear that the Democrats and the Republicans have been acting as one party for a very long time. What’s the difference between one-party rule in a democracy and one-party rule in a communist state? … Not a single thing!

    It’s time that we all wake up and become aware that the Democrats and the Republicans knowingly conspired to overthrow our federal government, the Constitution that created it, and, through the TSA, BATFE, FDA, FTC, EPA, Patriot Act, Cyber-Security Act, CIA, NSA and the War on Terrorism, have violated our unalienable rights to liberty as declared in the Declaration of Independence. It’s time for Americans to reject the monopoly control of the Democrats and Republicans, and form new political parties at the state level which represent the interests of the people instead of the interests of the major multi-national corporations who owe NO allegiance to any country, only to their bottom line.

    The Council of 13 To Rule America

    Awake and Aware Hawai`i

  3. Submitted by Mike:

    Sam is right, but he glossed over the most important issue – the Super Congressional Committee. In plain view, the Congress of the United States amended the Constitution of the United States without ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures, as required by the Constitution. They, in effect, created a new form of government in the United States.

    They have, in effect, created a 13-person committee (6 from the House and 6 from the Senate, plus the President, who has veto power) to introduce bills in the House and Senate which can NOT be amended. Members of the House and Senate must vote “yes” or “no” without the option to modify AND if they vote down any bill, the Gang of 13 will have the power to implement the bill as if it was approved, representing a classic “tails I win, heads you lose” situation.

    Congress has, by law, now passed a bill that officially changes the United States from a democracy to a dictatorship of the Gang of 13. The reader should note that both the Democrats and the Republicans are responsible for this blatant power grab. The Democrats are the majority in the Senate and the Republicans are the majority in the House. Either party could have stopped this from happening and neither one did. Can it ever be more abundantly clear that both parties are effectively ONE PARTY.

    What’s the difference between one-party rule in a democracy and one-party rule in a communist state? There isn’t any difference. We all need to wake up to the fact that we have been betrayed by the congressmen and senators of both parties who voted “yes” on this bill, effectively changing the USA into the United Socialist/Fascist States of America (USFSA).

    It’s time to form new political parties to replace the Democrats and Republicans, who have blatantly betrayed the people. What used to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people is now a government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations. In this context, corporations means large trans-national corporations which have NO allegiance to any country, only to their bottom-line profits. It is their lobbying money which has corrupted our political process and our politicians.

    The Council of 13 To Rule America

    Awake and Aware Hawai`i

  4. “In their wisdom, the framers envisioned the House as a place of heated debate and the Senate as more staid place where rhetoric would cool down. It has its origins in the concept integral to our political system that the rights of the minority must be protected from the force of the majority. The idea and practice of a super Congress, a Committee of 13, puts an end to this tradition. It is a totalitarian steamroller.
    By voting for the so-called debt ceiling bill, both houses of Congress are voting to legitimize the Soviet-style super committee of 13 globalist grocery clerks. It is another step by the elite to throw the Constitution under the bus.”

    The Central Committee of the United Communist States of America

    The Freedom Information Center
    Pass Code: 2011-FreedomForce

  5. “The Constitution allows each house of Congress to set its own rules. Early on, debate and filibuster were added to the rules. The Committee of 13, however, will strip Congress of its power to filibuster. It will prevent the Speaker from stopping a vote in the House. It will fast-track the entire globalist agenda – from carbon taxes to the total destruction of the Second Amendment. It will end amendments to laws and only allow an up or down vote on legislation. It will turn Congress into a rubber stamp even more than it is already.”

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