Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Plans Repbulicans Make...regarding budget.

I'll work through the RNC website first. The Republicans like to compose very short documents so hopefully all this won't take longer than a day or two.

The fact their documents are short exposes them to corruption. The less specific a bill is when passed into law the more loopholes there are and the Republicans love to produce faux legislation to silence the public while leaving huge gaps of understanding in the law so lawyers can circumvent the intended purpose.

It is why Republicans hate the EPA. The EPA works with specific elements, compounds and specific measured amounts. When the EPA makes a ruling regardless of party affiliation it carries brevity because of the specific way in which the toxins manifest.

Republicans are horrible legislators and never really achieve anything for citizens. It is just a fact.

"And an alternative budget that cuts wasteful spending and reducing growth in the deficit."

Before I even go over their talking points as listed on their website, reducing the growth of the deficit (different from debt) is done by growing the tax base. This is the way things work. It is not an artificial propagandized methodology, it is the way things work.

Example: A family has two children with the birth of a baby. Up to that point the family consisted of two adults, a dog, a cat and a child. The income for the family provided for all those members and a savings to a bank account of $200.00 per month.

The addition of a second child was a welcome event, but, would absorb the $200.00 per month savings and require another income to the family as the child grows and fiscal requirements grow along the way. Therefore, one of the parents will seek an additional income to help support the family and to continue to save for college. They will invest in a life insurance policy with the new child and will seek to have a wider income base for the support of the the second child.

THAT, is reality. It is how things work. All to often, a home will have to be expanded or a larger one purchased as a family grows. That is reality. It is the way things work. While the federal or state governments have options that families don't necessarily have, it is clearly the way things work. As a population grows and has needs the economy surrounding those folks increase. The demand for services increase as provided by the governments from local to federal and the way those services are provided is by increasing the tax base.

The BEST way to increase the tax base is to increase those employed and paying taxes. What occurs over time is that as job growth takes place and the tax base increases it will out-pace the spending required for services rendered by the government. It is then that tax cuts can occur. If one recalls that occurred in the USA during the Clinton White House. There was a tax surplus. That was achieved when the tax base 'income' out paced the expenses of the federal government.

The surplus was not given back to the country by the Clinton White House because it saw bigger problems looming such as Social Security and Health Care and prescription needs of citizens. The Clinton White House also viewed issues with infrastructure seriously and that also included high emissions of carbon dioxide. So, before simply 'buying votes' and giving folks money back from the surplus; the administration would provide for the next administration to receive the treasury surplus and examine the best venue of change for the country before cutting taxes and/or building new infrastructure.

Well, we all know what happened there and look where we are today.

But, that is the way a government is suppose to achieve a balanced budget through widening a the tax base. That might include bettering the education of the average citizen, encouraging small business growth or all of it.

What always occurs in a household is a prudent look at 'the budget.' Often families can find better venues for spending their monies and achieving the same quality of life. Choosing a different college or purchasing a different car with better gas mileage are all legitimate ways a household would 'adjust' their budget while maintain the same or better quality of life. As children grow options in entertainment change and they don't need some of the toys they used to have, but, it has been my experience that children never become cheaper to raise as they grow up, but, they can be employed in part time employment if their grades in school are good. Those are all coping mechanisms that are part of a household budget.

The governments from local to federal often don't have those options. In the case of the federal budget, when spending is passed in legislation it has to be paid for, either immediately or over time. So, the federal budget, most state budgets and to some extent local governments are sometimes 'hard wired' to prior legislative commitments in spending. So, government budgets aren't always easy to wittle down and without prudent insight to the way tax bases can be expanded in realistic way, the spending can be a sincere burden.

The bottom line here is that as time goes by every budget needs to be examined for hideous spending such as "TV Marti" with removal of such spending. That aspect of the federal, state or local governments can be achieved through a legislative measure that maps out exactly what is prudent spending and sustainable spending and wasteful spending. Certainly an aspect of wasteful spending is when a program does not achieve its goals. TV Marti is a primary example of complete an abject failure of a program intended to bring American values to the people of Cuba. In all honesty, it is questionable as to it even causing diplomatic problems, so wasteful spending can be qualified in a variety of ways, but, when a program does not meet its goal it would be eliminated from the budget.

So, with that introduction I'll look at the Republican Website and read their talking points and I have not done that before now. I do have a life and I like to live it occasionally and not be fixed to a computer.

Republicans set forth a budget alternative that embraced fiscal discipline, lower taxes and smaller government."

Not a thing "W"rong with fiscal discipline the Democrats have been practicing it a long time and maybe the Republicans have learned something. The Democrats have embraced 'Pay Go' and they had balanced the cost of Health Care Reform that over time would not only spare cost to the national Deficit, but, also pay down the National Debt. Fiscal discipline should be a venue for all elected officials at all levels of government. Just because the numbers are bigger doesn't mean the spending is any less prudent.

Lower taxes are fine IF they are appropriate and not just propaganda. Lowering taxes has its place and doesn't always apply to the 'times' or 'circumstances' the USA finds itself. Tax cuts have TO WORK WITH fiscal discipline. If it is appropriate that tax cuts work with paying down the National Debt in a reasonable period of time that DOESN'T increase it unreasonably due to 'interest paid' on the debt' then by all means' tax cuts should be instituted. Tax cuts can add to citizen's savings, disposable income and has the ability to grow the economy. But, where tax cuts are actually harmful is if it prolongs the paying of the National Debt and the debt begins to double, triple or any other multiple because the country is not paying it down but accumulating instead high interest rates. Simply paying off the interest every year is NOT responsible government. It might delay default, but, it is irresponsible government.

I want to add something about a prior entry while I am thinking about it. The disability issue with the elderly. It has nothing to do with them already having Medicare, Medicaid or Prescription medications, it has to do with either living alone and independently, not seeing the doctor often enough which is all about the same thing, "Lack of oversight" of our elderly. In realizing the poor condition they are in, we have to address it by having local social workers, Bachelor level preparation, pay visits to 'at risk' seniors and that 'at risk' can be garnered from the study that was performed. It means expanding our government infrastructure to help better outcomes for the folks at home and alone. Where seniors are already living in assisted living or skilled nursing facilities THAT is neglect. It is due to very poor government oversight. There is absolutely no excuse for such abuse of our seniors.

Smaller government. Sorry, but, that is silly statement. It is undefined as to what smaller government actually is. When the Republicans can clearly state what they mean by smaller government and not simply use it as rhetoric, then they need to be specific. Smaller government can be dangerous to citizens and the emerging reality of our elderly is a specific example of how shrinking government for the sake of carrying out campaign promises can be dangerous. When candidates state they will make government smaller they need to be specific and provide information they have garnered through either examples of meaningless government as it sincerely exists or studies that promote downsizing government.

To simply state they intend to have smaller government is a meaningless statement of rhetoric and can ultimately cost citizens problems, including job loss and where it impacts on such services to the elderly it could lead to disability through oversight and neglect. It isn't enough to state a candidate believes in smaller government, it has to be specific.

The Republican plan borrows $3.6 trillion less than the Obama Administration's budget."

Here again that is rhetorical. The Republican plan borrows $3.6 billion less, but, where, what services will be effected, will that place citizens are risk or what? That statement is completely meaningless and maybe as I work through the remainder of the postings it might manifest a meaning, but, to simply make that statement is hideous.

If I were placing content I would be more specific. Example: The Republican plan borrows $3.6 trillion less by eliminating the USA military spending on nuclear weapon technology or on 'shield research.'

That by the way is still unattainable. The missile shield. Part of what the Russia get bent out of shape about is the successful shot the USA make to destroy a falling satellite. Remember that? Back in March of 2008, the genius at Raytheon actually was successful in providing a technology that shot down a toxic satellite over Earth. THAT is what has Russia all upset. They don't realize that 'targeting' one satellite is grossly different than targeting multiple warheads. But, they have a right to be upset I guess.

But, getting back to the trillions that the Republicans state they would not apply to the budget has to be clear and concise, not just rhetorical. Voters have rights. They have a right to specifics from their candidates and not simply 'one minute sound bits.'

"Total Spending:
Over 10 years, the Republican plan spends $4.8 trillion less than the President's budget. Also, spending falls to 20.7% of GDP--about the historical average."

Specifics. Not at all mentioned or is there a link to areas that are specific. It is my view as the debt ceiling is raised the historical average gets to be ridiculous. Currently the Obama Administration is stating, as well as the government budget office, that in that same period of time it is estimated the budget will be about 25%. That is understandable considering what we have just been through. Recovering from complete fiscal collapse is not a simple issue.

The economic collapse of 2008 effected the people of the USA far more than it effected the banking industry. People have lost their jobs. If President Obama didn't set the country on a different path to create new infrastructure we would still be floundering with where people would eventually find jobs. The infrastructure that the Bush administration supported was a false infrastructure and relied very heavily on building construction. That is gone now. What exists, instead of too few buildings for commercial and residential use, are too many.

Excuse me, I'll be back.

Now, let me see. There is also an inconsistency in the 'borrowing' statement and the 'spending' statement. Assuming, and there are a lot of assumptions to be made here, that the figures the Republicans are noting is annual fiscal year amounts, there is a difference in the amount of $1.2 trillion between those two quantities. The math is a little odd. The Republicans are stating their spending is $4.8 trillion less. but, their borrowing is only $3.8 trillion less. Hm. That must mean there is $1 trillion income somewhere. They make no assertions that $1 trillion income would be returned to the taxpayer, what they later go on to state is that they plan to suspend the capital gains tax through 2010, reduces corporate tax rates from 39% (second highest in the industrialized world - where is proof of that, I would like to look at that assertion as well and discern its accuracy) to 25%.

There is an issue here too, that leads to insensitivity to economic stability.

Let's say Republicans cut spending by $4.8 trillion for whatever programs or spending they deem unimportant. Whom, if anyone will be effected and what will that do to the economy at this point in time? We have already noted how the Department of Labor is targeting unemployment and spending on programs to retrain or stimulate employment with the folks that are jobless. What exactly is being cut out of the budget or simply not being spent that would NOT effect a poor outcome to that reduction?

In other words, if the federal government were to scale back its spending at this point what is that going to mean to the jobless rate and how do the Republicans intend to compensate for that. Out of work Americans are out of work Americans and we don't need to make it worse. I would think a slow transition to reduce spending at this point is a far better approach than abrupt changes.

"Discretionary Spending:
The Republican plan freezes nondefense discretionary spending in 2010-14 and allows for moderate increases through 2019."

Here again there are no specifics and the freeze begins with this year. Now, according to the complaints I have heard regarding President Obama's statements in the State of the Union address, the freeze was not a good thing. There were complaints to President Obama that spending cuts at this point in time would hurt the recovery.

Now, that says a few things to me. To begin those that criticize the President for these cuts actually do believe there is a recovery occurring. THAT is something we never hear from critics is that they actually recognize a recovery is occurring. That is an inconsistency in rhetoric the President's critics exhibit.

The other aspect to this is that in reply to his critics President Obama stated, the recovery was to continue with the freeze starting with the 2011 fiscal year. That isn't what is being stated here UNLESS, the Republicans are simply playing a 'slight of hand' and stating 2010 realizing the fiscal year 2011 begins in 2010. That is playing with semantics and it is a corrupt practice. Either state what is meant or get out of the game.

What also needs to be discussed in all this is what about lowering the debt ceiling. We have witnessed raises in the debt ceiling every year of the Bush White House and now it has continued because all that has lead to an economic collapse in the USA which required Congress to continue in that venue, regardless of their desire to halt the increases or roll them back. Currently, Congress is FORCED to raise the debt ceiling because of the HUGE fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration and Republican Congress. Like, when does that stop and when is the debt ceiling rolled back to Pre-Bush years while the USA treasury is returned its surplus?

Everyone complains about the bank bailout and how those monies have to be paid back, but, when does the wild spending of the Bush years get paid back and the debt ceiling reduced. There is nothing here that does it. So much for fiscally responsible Republicans. They would like to play another slight of hand here and leave the debt ceiling where it is so they can say they aren't spending more than before and continue to exploit the taxpayer as they did in the Bush years.

When President Obama brings the troops home there is no excuse for fiscal irresponsibility. For nearly a decade we heard, "We are nation at war," as an excuse for everything from invasion of privacy to spending, spending and more spending. At what point will the defense spending stop and the budget and national debt stop reflecting all this irresponsibility. Another thing the Republicans don't care about ARE our returning troops. One of the stark realities President Obama is aware of is the joblessness of troops after they have finished their service to the country. With all these cuts where are returning troops going to find jobs and/or training? I suppose they should just be dropped off in an abyss as well.

"Entitlement Spending:
While the Democrat budget increases entitlement spending by $1.4 trillion over ten years, the Republican plan slows the average annual growth in mandatory spending from 5.3% to 3.9%."

This is an illegitimate analogy. It states the Democrat budget increases by $1.4 trillion over ten years, YET, the Republicans are going to hold spending to 5.3% to 3.9%. Those do not equate. The Republicans need to express their spending in the same manner the Democrats are stated. If Republicans are stating their numbers in percentage (which is a very fluid dimension) then the Democrats need to be addressed the same way. If the Republicans are stating specifically the Dems are increasing spending by $1.4 trillion (a far more specific measure) then the Republicans need to make their spending statements in specific dollars.

US Entitlement Spending Chart (click here)

When the Republicans state they will hold entitlement spending to a percentage then what year exactly are they referring to? Is that 5.3% to 3.9% of the entitlement spending of 2008, 2009 or 2020 (which is ten years out) ? Because depending on what specifically the Republicans are referring to changes the amounts of monies these percentages represent. The 5.3% of the 2009 amount is $81.62 billion US or said differently is .08162 trillion annually, but, over ten years that would be $816.2 billion. The 5.3% of the entitlement year 2013 is $116.6 billion annually and over ten years that would amount to $1.17 trillion US (if it is rounded off). Then if that is extrapolated to 2020, the amount the Republicans would be spending on entitlements over ten years at a rate of 5.3% increase even tops the estimates of the Democrats.

The Republicans are manipulative. To be manipulative is to be dishonest. Their excuse frequently for being manipulative is that the electorate just can't understand figures that large and can't begin to understand how all that is spent. The Republicans NEVER state they are going to account for that spending either.

THAT is a huge issue with Republicans. They are untrustworthy. No different than the dishonest campaign Scott Brown ran in Massachusetts. He misrepresented himself by manipulating his image. THAT is an issue with Republicans. It is a manner of trustworthiness. If former Governor Mitt Romney can appear at the podium the night of Mr. Brown's election, then he should have appeared there long before that moment, but, he didn't. He didn't because it would have caused a liability to Mr. Brown. That is manipulation. No different than his 'aloneness' in his image to the electorate leaving his friends and family out. I already don't trust the guy. He give me absolutely no reason to. He stated, "I'll be the 41st no vote." He states that long before he is able to cast a vote and not even knowing what he is voting no for. Will he vote no for military funding? They lie and leave the electorate that placed them in office to figure out why they thought differently before he took office.

This is just another example of how untrustworthy they are as a party. They manipulate. 5.3 and 3.9 look far smaller than $1.4 billion. Yet, it isn't smaller at all. I simply cannot trust them enough to 'in good conscience' cast my vote their way.

And do I want to have to be doing this today? No. But, because they are as corrupt and manipulative as they are I am forced to 'deal with' their lies and deceptions. This is not the best use of my time today, but, I'll do it anyway, otherwise, who knows what lies ahead for me or my family?

"Long Term:
Under the President's budget the national debt exceeds 100% of GDP in 2030. By contrast, the Republican plan gains control of the debt, by never exceeding 75% of GDP over the next 75 years. It also begins reforms to ensure the federal government can meet the mission of health and retirement security, extending the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off."

I take issue with that statement. It is simply unrealistic and assumes nothing will change in the USA between today and 2030. It is simply a stupid analogy.

Country Comparison :: Public debt (click here)

The chart at this link shows 'public debt' of most countries on Earth. It is stated in percentages based on the 'native currency' of that nation. It is not stated in relation to one particular currency which would require 'an exchange rate' and exchange rates change daily if not hourly or more.

Kindly note, Japan has a national debt of 192.10 percent of their GDP. That is in yens. The USA has a more diverse economy than Japan, large population and more capacity to have an economy that can be less than nearly 200% of its GDP. Japan is still viable and still a part of the global economy of Earth. It isn't going away, nor is it so poor its citizens are starving. I just wanted to put a perspective on this mess the Republicans are trying to make into some kind of wedge issue. Japan is rated second on this list.

In the year 2009, the USA is ranked 66th on the list. With a debt percentage of 39.70. The zero after the 7 is important. I states the figure one is looking at is accurate to the last digit before the zero. So, that figure of 39.70 is completely accurate to 39.7% because of the placement of the zero.

France is ranked at 16, Germany at 17, Canada at 20, the UK at 22, India is 31, the world is ranked at an average that falls in at 42 (which gives perspective to each nation's ranking), the UAE is 53, Mexico is 64, Saudi Arabia is 102, China is 109 and Russia falls in at the least debt in GDP of all the majors at 124 with a percentage of 6.90.

The Russian people receive national health care, by the way. They also need to improve in their performance when it comes to their nation's overall health, but, the current President is making it more of a priority to work on social issues that contribute to ill health in Russia. But, to look at their health care system overall it was about 7% of the GDP
in the 1960s and that has dropped to about 3% now. But, percentages are tricky. Just because a percentage goes down doesn't mean spending goes down, it might mean the national GDP has gone up. But, it is a known fact that will decreased spending the nation's health care performance is not necessarily what it has been or should be considering its first world status.

Okay, then.

The point is that percentage of GDP is not 'all that.' We have just come through a horrible recession and we are still rebuilding to facilitate more jobs to the Middle Class and Working Class (which are not necessarily the same thing all the time). There is going to be a change in the percentage of the GDP for the USA. There was a huge drop in jobs and income from the 2008 global collapse which means a far smaller tax base. The remedy for that 'crash' of 2008 is spending. We have to spend our way out of the recession and given the fact the banking sector is NOT helping the USA with its regrowth, that increase in spending falsl right on the backs of the people and results in higher deficits to the federal government. Probably states and locals as well.

So, the issue of PERCENTAGES gets really interesting with a shrinking tax base and increased demand for spending. I would expect the percentages to change and perhaps change dramatically. But, I would not expect it to be a straight line graph of increase into 2030 and the statement by the Republicans regarding that issue is simply politics. It is stupid politics as no leader of the USA is going to spend those percentages and the only realistic way that would occur is if there is a return to stupid government policies that allows the 2008 recession to repeat itself. Well, wouldn't that be fun, huh?

To put this mess into complete perspective, I was reading before that the 'interest' we are now paying on our National Debt is about ONE PERCENT of the GDP. That was by the Government Accounting Office.

While President Obama's budget punishes investors by increasing taxes by $1.15 trillion, the Republican plan provides tax incentives to use private capital, not taxpayer dollars, to unlock credit markets and encourage private sector investment and job growth. The Republican plan also suspends the capital gains tax through 2010, reduces corporate tax rates from 39% (second highest in the industrialized world) to 25%, and produces 2.1 million more jobs than the President's plan in the fifth year of the budget."

President Obama is NOT punishing anyone. He is, however, trying to bring balance back to the American people when it comes to the tax structure. That statement regarding President Obama punishing investors is a really unfortunate statement by the RNC. It shows clearly whom they favor and whom they don't.

I know the people of the USA have a conscience. Regardless of their religious affiliation or the lack of it, the people of the USA are highly moral people. If they get upset about Haiti, then they get upset about people without health care. They also get upset to realize the Working Class is giving up more of their income to support their governments than anyone else. It isn't right that those that have wealth not only keep it but cost the average American the chance to better their status.

The moneys that run the governments of the USA have to come from somewhere. Money, unfortunately, does not grow on trees. The taxes paid to the USA treasury come from hard working Americans and those that also invest, but, the issue of who pays how much is fairly obvious. The more an entity makes in the USA the more of the burden of taxes they should carry.

"...the Republican plan provides tax incentives to use private capital, not taxpayer dollars, to unlock credit markets and encourage private sector investment and job growth...."

I wish the RNC would not insult the intelligence of the American people. Tax incentives means that is taxes not paid. Private capital is not the same as tax incentives. Therefore, private capital is implied to already exist in the people that would receive the tax incentives. If private capital exists already then why aren't they already investing it to create jobs? If a company or small business or individual sees an opportunity to grow their wealth by adding jobs to their bottom line, they would already be doing it.

Jobs, sustainable jobs is what the Obama Administration has as a goal. Not flash in the pan spending or jobs that occur because the National Debt increases because there are less taxes collected. A tax incentive belongs where it will achieve a national goal. Such as a tax credit for purchasing energy efficient appliances. The national goal it creates is Energy conservation and less need for power plants that burn coal and fossil fuels and nuclear fuel rods. That is a tax incentive that exists to achieve a national goal.

There is no reason to provide tax incentives to private capital to only create short lived jobs. Jobs BY DEFINITION should be more sustainable and increase the stability of the USA economy. Jobs should improve the lives of citizens, not degrade them. Jobs is not simply defined by a pay check , it has a dynamic and it needs protection and it is why unions are a good investment to anyone in the Working Class.

I have posted on this blog a study by Harvard regarding 'tax cuts,' 'tax incentives' or 'trickle down economics.' It is a known fact that this bastion of Republican ideology does not produce jobs or economic stability. It has its place, but, is not effective when the National Debt is increasing due to huge numbers while the tax base has shrunk. It is not appropriate at this time in the history of the USA to offer tax incentives to millionaires. Let me give an example.

Sound companies and investors don't need tax incentives to grow their business. Just last week we witnessed a USA company that didn't need a bailout and is now committing to more jobs in Chicago to expand their capacity to produce automobiles. That company is Ford. Ford didn't get a special deal or tax incentive. Ford took advantage of 'cheap money' and bought plenty of it when the time was right and they have come out on top.

That is the type of corporate leadership we want in the USA. It didn't take taxpayer money for Ford to expand their capacity and their 'bottom line.' USA corporations should be able to stand on their own. Tax incentives to produce jobs isn't guaranteed either. Somehow, the RNC and its ideology believes everytime there are tax cuts or tax incentives provided to investors 'Glenda the Good Witch' shows up and automatically corporations 'find the strategy to build more jobs in hopes their product line will sell more and their profits will increase.

Someone tell me that makes sense. It doesn't. I can understand how an entire industry might be looking at greater potential and ask the federal or state or local governments to provide tax incentives or tax cuts to allow them to expand when they know there is 'market share' that is not being tapped into. But, to have the philosophy that 'build it and they will come' to also allow for less income to the USA treasury is hideous. The Republicans always claim to know corporate needs better than the corporations themselves. It is nonsense.

Reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil is a main priority of the Republican plan. Unlike the Obama Administration’s budget that imposes a national energy tax, this plan opens domestic resources to environmentally sound exploration and development, and encourages the development of carbon-free nuclear energy."

You'll excuse me, but, family calls. I'll be back later.

So much for getting through this mess in a day or two. It isn't because Republicans write a lot, it is because I do.

Okay then.

There is no such thing as Environmentally sound exploration and development of oil. There just isn't. To begin the carbon dioxide produced by oil when used is a pollutant. The carbon dioxide in the manufacture of gasoline is a pollutant. The toxins produced while drilling for oil is very polluting. The idea that 'safe' exploration of oil and gas can occur off the Atlantic seacoast is hideous. The Atlantic seacoast of the North American Plate has a fissure. I remind that Haiti has been experiencing enormous earthquakes as well as the entire movement regarding the North American plate.


If those earthquakes result in a tsunami it will be just too bad for the Atlantic east coast, now won't it?

It isn't enough that the entire shelf may be shifting due to ice loss on the continent resulting in continental rebound, humans have to tamper with the fissure along the North American plate that causes more instability, more earthquakes and potential tsunamis.

Pollution. Hurricanes happen annually in the Atlantic as well.

Offshore Drilling Still Carries Risks Despite Industry Rhetoric

by David Ivanovich and Kristen Hays

Washington - When a Union Oil Co. well 6 miles off the California coast blew out in January 1969, an estimated 80,000 barrels of crude spewed into the Santa Barbara Channel - fouling beaches and marring the offshore industry's reputation.

With the nation now debating whether to open more areas offshore to oil and gas drilling, the oil industry can rightly claim it has avoided a repeat of that catastrophe, even as offshore activity has ballooned.

But offshore operators continue to spill thousands of barrels of oil, fuel and chemicals into federal waters each year, government records show.

"This is not a zero-risk proposition," said John Rogers Smith, an associate professor of petroleum engineering at Louisiana State University.

Offshore operators have had 40 spills greater than 1,000 barrels since 1964, including 13 in the last 10 years, according to data from the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which oversees exploration and production in federal waters.

Despite the industry's technological improvements and safety planning, offshore operators have struggled to cope with the hurricanes that blow through the Gulf of Mexico. Seven of the 13 recent larger spills were hurricane related....

The fact that the USA is moving away from gasoline driven engines doesn't mean there will be less oil drilling. It just means where the market for such products drops in the USA it will be sold elsewhere. So just because the USA consumers don't use the gasoline they at one time did, that doesn't mean they won't be squandering the natural resources that rightfully belong to future USA generations.

As far as 'foreign imports.' The 'idea' that the USA is 'at risk' because of imports from Arab nations is nonsense. It is all rhetoric and lies.

Canada (click here) remained the largest exporter of total petroleum in November, exporting 2.527 million barrels per day to the United States, which is an increase from last month (2.360 thousand barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 1.083 million barrels per day.

Two of the three largest foreign imports into the USA are our neighbors to the north and south of the USA, Canada and Mexico. Canada comes in first, Mexico third with Saudi oil coming in second.

The fact is we only receive about 16.5% of our oil imports from Saudi Arabia. At hair bit less than 30% of the USA oil imports comes from the Middle East and that includes Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait and Libya.

When alternative fuels including electric replace gasoline at the pump we won't need nearly that much oil and if we give 'favored' nation status to Canada and Mexico we'll have supported our neighbors which strengthens the alliance between all three countries.

So don't get caught up in the fact that drilling offshore of the USA is going to be meeting our domestic needs and replacing a lot of imports. That isn't the case. The domestic production will nearly be unnecessary in about 10 years when cars will no longer be around that need gasoline so much as hydrogen and electricity or an ethanol of some kind. Biodiesel will probably be the preferred fuel for semis.

All this mess the Republicans put out is simply to indulge the wealth merchants of oil cronies.

That is all that is.

Domestic production really isn't necessary.

It takes ten years or more simply to 'work' the investment and then once the investment is made and the leases sold, the oil has to be allowed to be pumped out of the ground in order to satisfy contracts. The oil that will be pumped out of East Coast oil deposits not only bring added danger of destabilizing the continental shelf fissure, but, also won't be necessary for the transportation needs or energy needs of the USA.

If the North Slope is drying up, so what. Oil is an antiquated fuel and it will definately be so in ten years.
There is nothing wrong with knowing the oil vats off our east coast, but, it is something entirely different when it is drilled that will destabilize the fissure, causing oil pollution and spills and it won't be needed in the USA about the time the oil companies will be extracting it. The entire 'idea' that oil production off the east coast as a good one is hideous in every sense of the word. So much for a smart Virginia governor.

And then there is nuclear energy. It is part of the American energy diet, but, it isn't safe if the depleted fuel rods issue can't be resolved. Talk about nightmares, if the people of the USA ever realized the maintenance problems of nuclear reactors in the USA it would make their hair stand on end.

Reactor Roulette (click here)

Fact Sheet on Reactor Pressure Vessel Issues (click here)


Reactor pressure vessels, which contain the nuclear fuel in nuclear power plants, are made of thick steel plates that are welded together. Neutrons from the fuel in the reactor irradiate the vessel as the reactor is operated. This can embrittle the steel, or make it less tough, and less capable of withstanding flaws which may be present. Embrittlement usually occurs at a vessel’s “beltline,” that section of the vessel wall closest to the reactor fuel....

Ahhhh, yep !

I love solar panels and wind farms. I really do.

And there is absolutely no living being happier that Yccca Mountain is defunded than the beef cattle that grave from fields of grass where potential water runoff is an issue.

If one reads about the "Wahmonic Spring" (click here - first paragraph below title on page 36) near Yucca Mountain it is obvious there have been upwellings of water from beneath the surface to cause gypsum bearing sediment. That means that if there are springs in the area of Yucca Mountain where water comes up above the surface there is a strong possibility the same can happen when the mountain is insulted and its geologic integrity is changed.

What the study below is stating is that with any climate change to the region of Yucca Mountain will result in increased water infiltration rate. Link that data with the information above and what is evident is the fact there will be radioactive water upwelling from the mountain, especially in Climate Change venues of unpredictability. The study below ALSO does not account for overland flow (runoff, etc.) in any of these determinations.

Climatic Forecasting of Net Infiltration at Yucca Mountain Using Analogue Meteorological Data (click here)

Boris Faybishenko*

Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., Berkeley, CA 94720

Results of calculations show that net infiltration rates are expected to generally increase from the present-day climate... neglecting the effects of vegetation and surface runoff and run-on on a local scale, as well as possible anthropogenically induced climate changes.

The nuclear industry has an issue. The American people do not, but, the nuclear industry does. I doubt seriously they will ever solve it.

"Defense and Veterans:
House Republicans increased the President's budget for defense by $5 billion, reserved a $50 billion placeholder for unmet needs in the Department of Defense and, and fully funded the House-reported level for the Veterans’ Administration ($540-million increase over the President)."

That is an interesting statement, but, THEREFORE what?

The Democrats are spending too much on the military? Is that what the statement IMPLIES. If that is what it implies then it needs to say THE DEMOCRATS ARE SPENDING TOO MUCH ON THE MILITARY and this is why. I refuse to comment on a 'statement' that has no conclusion.

Good night.