Tag Archives: guest article

Guest Blogger Matt C.: Obama’s Rookie Mistakes

Here is an article that Matt sent to me right before the G20 Summit.  I thought I had already posted this, but I just realized I didn’t.  Thanks to Matt for sending in this great piece!  And remember, if you want to send in articles as a guest blogger, please send all work to theconservativejournal@gmail.com!

In 1933, a month long economic summit in London failed to bring the world out of an economic disaster through international cooperation.  The result was a cascade of increased protectionism, devaluations and full-scale war. On April 2nd, eight leading industrialized nations – U.S., Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Russia (the G-8) and Eleven emerging market and smaller industrialized countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, plus the EU (the G20), are coming together, in London, for an emergency economic summit.  The goals and importance are similar to 1933 and the potential to end in failure has become a cause for concern in recent months. An increase in Transatlantic tensions caused, in large part, by Obama’s rookie mistakes and inexperience, are a majority stakeholder in the blame.

There is a universal belief that a severe outbreak of protectionism was a primary cause of the great depression in the 1930’s. Obama’s “Buy American Vote Obama” theme and protectionist campaign rhetoric, concerned world leaders, long before his inauguration.  A memo from a Canadian embassy official claiming that Obama’s top campaign economic advisor, Austan Goolsby, assured him that Obama’s anti-NAFTA remarks “should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” It was apparent that foreign leaders were wondering if Obama planned to bring the US back to protectionism.

In a matter of weeks, Obama’s transition team showed signs that Obama’s campaign rhetoric was more than just political positioning.  On January 2nd , Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama transition team, was quoted as saying, “We are reviewing the buy American proposal and we are committed to a plan that will save or create 3 million jobs, including jobs in manufacturing,”.  Psaki also told Bloomberg that the proposal could boost the goal to “save or create 3 million jobs, including jobs in manufacturing.”  On January 3rd, The Boston Globe reported that President Elect Obama’s advisors were considering a “buy American” requirement to be included in any stimulus legislation, which is expected to include a significant amount of public works and infrastructure projects. This prompted German Chancellor, Angela Merkle, to publicly warn Obama against the temptation to fall back on protectionist trade policies when faced with a worldwide economic crisis. Even the British Prime minister, Gordon Brown warned him about the dangers of protectionism.

Obama’s final stimulus proposal could not include the provision without confirming his true protectionist ideals and damaging our trade relationships.  So Congress attempted to sneak the provision into the stimulus bill hoping it would go unnoticed.  Their “Buy American” provision dramatically expanded an already robust “Buy American” policy.  The provision stated: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance or repair of a public building or public work unless all of the iron, steel and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States” unless it increases the project’s overall cost by 25 percent.  Obama signed the bill in spite of harsh rebuke from the EU, NAFTA, BRIC & WTO members and a G20 agreement to refrain from enacting protectionist policy for one year.  After countless threats of litigation and trade wars, Obama urged the Senate to soften the provision instead of removing it entirely.  The new wording is vague and only appears to exempt Japan, Canada and the European Union but ignores China, Brazil, India and Russia (BRIC).  Obama is sending a message that he is more concerned about furthering his agenda than with the success of the coming G20 summit.

Alienating the BRIC will only foster bitterness and rivalry and start an untimely trade war.  Which is the least of our worries after Prime Minister Wen expressed some unusually blunt concerns during a news conference at the end of the Chinese Parliament’s annual session.  He said he was “worried” about China’s holdings of United States Treasury bonds and other debt, and that China was watching economic developments in the United States closely. He urged the Obama administration to provide assurances that its investment would keep its value in the face of a global financial crisis.  The Chinese Government has already said it will be looking for more aggressive ways to invest sizable portions of its massive $1 trillion currency reserves.  China’s response was not with threats of a trade war, but a reminder that a mass sell off of US bonds will devalue the dollar and cause a complete market collapse.

In February, China’s National Energy Administration announced a possible fund for China’s three state-owned energy giants PetroChina, Sinopec and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) to purchase oil and gas companies overseas. They recently finalized an oil supply deal totaling $41 billion with Russia, Brazil and Venezuela & Xi Jinping signed a deal to lend $10 billion to Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras. These deals secured 20 years of oil for a bargain price of $20 a barrel & now they have their sites set on Australian natural gas and coal.  Looking for more aggressive ways?  The question is “How aggressive?”

About two weeks after a US Military Command ship was accosted by five Chinese vessels, the Pentagon released it’s an annual report on China’s military power.  It concluded that China continues to spend large amounts of money to upgrade its forces and give them high-technology capabilities.  It also says that China has increased the quality and quantity of it’s strategic nuclear missiles.  The report goes on to suggest that China is working to deter any US intervention that would follow a Chinese attack on Taiwan.  Press Secretary Geoff Morrell’s response was one of confustion. He said “The fact that the Chinese continue to build up their arsenal across the Straits is somewhat confounding, given the fact there has been a lessening in tensions between the two governments, post the elections in Taiwan”.  Maybe Morrell was unaware of the recent announcement that the United States government struck a major arms deal worth $6.5 billion with Taiwan.  Nor was he informed about China deploying three Jin-class (Type 094) ballistic missile submarines to it’s new base near Yulin on Hainan Island on the South China Sea. Could Taiwan be the Ferdinand of WWII?

To say that the future of the Worlds economy hinges on the success of the G20 summit would be an understatement.  One would assume that assembling a strong Treasury Department would be a top priority, after igniting outrage from the world’s top economic producers in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis. Yet not one Deputy, Undersecretary or Secretary Assistant has been confirmed, leaving the Treasury Secretary to fly solo.  Inadequate senior leadership to make decisions and represent the government in crucial conversations with banks and others, makes managing the disbursement of stimulus funds overwhelming at best.  Britain’s most senior civil servant was quoted as saying that the shortage of staff in Barack Obama’s two-month-old Treasury was making preparations for the summit “unbelievably difficult”.  Transatlantic tensions are directly related to the worry that Obama isnt prepared to address the financial crisis & work with other leaders to prevent an economic disaster.

The first two months of the Obama presidency are riddled with rookie mistakes that have annoyed the WTO and NAFTA, alienated the BRIC and created an atmosphere of mistrust.  It’s unclear to the world whether our anemic Treasury Department can deliver and negotiate a viable proposal by April 2nd and rumors about Obama’s inability to lead us out of a financial crisis are circulating.  A negative outcome to the G20 summit could mark a domino affect that has the potential to cause a worldwide depression &/or WWIII.  Yet Obama feels that it is more important to campaign in California than it is to adequately equip his Treasury Department to prevent a global catastrophe.  Only one day is slated for the upcoming G20 summit, which leaves very little time for more than presentations and speeches.  Maybe the Obama administration is counting on yet another magical speech to bail them out.

What do you think?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  If you’d like to contact Matt, send an e-mail with his name in the subject area of the message to our main address, theconservativejournal@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Filed under Barack Obama, Guest Blogger

Mail Bag: Matt Delves Further Into AIG

First off, I’d like to thank all of you that have been e-mailing me with your great comments and opinion.  I really appreciate comments from both sides, as that is what makes blogging worthwhile.

Anyway, this morning I recevied an e-mail from Matt C. that looked further into AIG and the current state of the economy.  It truly is a wonderful article that puts all of our current dilemas into perspective, and gives a good look on the AIG bonus issues.  Everyone should read this article!

Get the whole picture about AIG out there.  I researched the facts and wrote a comprehensive article and am trying to get this out there.  We all know if we work together, talk with one comprehensive message we have a better chance of making real change in Washington.  This is not about Democrat or Republican, its about Liberty and Freedom.

The real tragedy behind the $165 million dollars in AIG retention bonuses is that our political leaders have used it to take more of our rights away.  Last week, the House, voted 328-93, to approve a bill they didn’t read, that would impose a 90% surtax on bonuses given to employees with household incomes of $250,000 or more at companies that have received at least $5 billion from the government’s financial rescue program. This legislation was derived from the tremendous outrage & media sensationalism created by Congress and the Obama Administration. In other words, they justified ignoring the 16th amendment of the United States Constitution by stirring up decent between economic classes.  Sen. Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, justified it by saying, “This is another outrageous example of executives — including those whose decisions were responsible for the problems that caused AIG’s collapse — enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” President Obama’s justification was nothing more than finger pointing.  He asked “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” he went on to declare “This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed”.  Note to Obama:  When you point a finger, three are pointed back at you.

In 2007 Obama’s net worth had increased from 700k to 4.7 million dollars and he now has a $400k a year salary and all of his expenses paid.  Sen. Hillary Clinton’s average net worth, adjusted for inflation, grew from negative $6 million to $30.7 million between 2000 and 2006.  Sen. John McCain of Arizona reported a $27.6 million surge in his average net worth from 1995 to 2006.  Senator Dodd’s net worth was $101,000 in 1967 and in 2007 was 1.5 million but is now over $3.5 million.  Our congress expressed such outrage and distain for a measly $165 million dollars in bonuses to executives (many of which agreed to a salary of $1 for the year) when Congress’s collective net worth is around 3.6 billion dollars.  It appears as if our elected officials may be the one’s that are enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers.

After two months, the Obama administration and our one party government have proposed legislation that will result in the worst deficits “ever”.  By “ever” I mean that if every deficit over the past 220 years (since George Washington) were added together, the sum would be less than the deficits their budget proposal will create ($1.8 trillion this year, $9.6 trillion over 10 years).  This increased spending comes during the worst World Economic Crisis since 1933.  There is a universal belief that increased spending and protectionist policies were the primary cause of the Great Depression.  The recent stimulus packages, Obama’s proposed budget and protectionist policies have fostered anger and worry from most foreign leaders (G20 leaders).  As a result, Obama’s ability to lead us out of an economic crisis is being questioned around the world.  So, how is he in any position to be commenting on financial distress due to recklessness?  Furthermore, what gives our elected officials the right to ignore History and make the same mistakes that lead to the Great Depression and WWII?

Over the past 30 years we have allowed our political leaders to make countless compromises in an effort to further their party’s agenda.  These compromises are in large part the cause of the world’s worst economic crisis since 1933 (76 years) and the implications surpass those of the Great Depression.  Our liberty, prosperity and security are at stake and therefore, it is not a time to debate, it’s a time to demand.  Demand that our government abides by the constitution.  We must demand that our unalienable rights, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are secured and that our Government derives their just powers from the consent of the governed.  It’s high time that we do our duty as American Citizens, pound our fists on the Capital Door and demand that our leaders listen or leave office.  There is no excuse for our elected officials to serve themselves instead of listening to the people they serve.  If our elected officials want to ignore history, the Constitution, and US Citizens by spending us into oblivion, than they need to be held accountable.  There should be a 90% tax on their $170,000 a year salaries and  $50,000 a year pension plans when their outrageous decisions result in an economic collapse.  Their assets should be put up as collateral for the trillions of dollars that we now have to borrow primarily from communist countries.  We do not work for the United States Government, Congress or The White House.  They work for us and a reminder is way past due.

What do you think of Matt’s article?  What do you think of the whole AIG mess?  Leave your comments below or e-mail you in depth response to theconservativejournal@gmail.com and see it posted on this site!
Thanks for reading!

Rick

2 Comments

Filed under AIG, Mail Bag