Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TRUMPING THE BUDGET



[Published in http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/budget-congress-cronies-omb/2016/08/23/id/744737/ ]


It is time for Trump to do what he does best – expose how the Washington, DC Establishment lies its way to expanding government and helping its cronies.


Donald Trump has an historic opportunity to reframe and reset the budget battles that have plagued Washington, DC for years.


Members of Congress, when they return after their longest summer break in over fifty years, will be teetering on a chasm of their own making.  They will have only seventeen legislative days to pass twelve Appropriation bills.  Only a handful cleared the House prior to its long recess and none were considered in the Senate.  This guarantees much “sound and fury” ending in an Omnibus Appropriations bill, with several continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown.


Posturing by the Congress, the White House, candidates, and the media will reach fever pitch around the time of the first Presidential Debate on September 26.


Trump’s role in defusing this latest fiscal bomb can take several forms.


First, reveal how $2.405 trillion is just laying around doing nothing. 


Since President Obama took office, $914.8 billion in unexpended, unobligated, funds have piled up across the federal government. Obama never conducted the “budget sweeps” done by all his predecessors. The details are reported under “Assets and Balance Sheets” on page ten of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) budget. 


Another $1.028 trillion remains unexpended among general accounts and $461 billion remains unspent in trust funds.  While these funds are technically obligated, the fact that they have languished for years raises questions about their use and their management.


Second, reveal the red herring of entitlements.  Everyone knows that the only way to truly stop massive federal spending and debt is to reform entitlements.  The trap is that the required radical reform will not happen anytime soon.  It is like asking an overweight “couch potato” to suddenly jump up and win the Olympics’ Marathon.  No one in Congress, the Executive Branch, or the multitude of stakeholders is ready or willing to make entitlement reform happen.


The alternative is to prepare for tackling entitlements by first working on those budget issues that are long overdue.  This should appeal to anyone not lining their, and their cronies, pockets with federal favors.


The first move is slamming the door shut on filling federal vacancies.  This would cut $350 billion a year in personnel costs. This freeze would take advantage of Executive Branch attrition of 60,000+ employees a year through retirements and voluntary departures. Each agency head could submit waivers to OMB for those jobs they consider essential for their missions.


Not every retired government worker needs to be replaced. In fact, the Defense Department has already begun to leverage selective hiring freezes for a five year “delayering” initiative to eliminate 1,260 positions and save $1.9 billion over five years.  Even under Obama, officials admit not every layer of management (up to 23 layers in some agencies) is needed. Just think how much they could save if they were sincere.


The second way to immediate fiscal sanity is to cut $650 billion in government waste.  Every year, the General Accountability Office (GAO) and 73 Inspector General Offices find over $650 billion in ongoing waste. This waste is documented in 768 GAO reports containing hundreds of recommendations for operational improvement, and 8,760 audits and investigations conducted by the 73 Inspector General Offices among the Cabinet departments and independent agencies of the Executive Branch. 


That translates into $6.5 trillion in possible spending cuts or cost avoidance, over the next ten years, without harming one legitimate beneficiary of government services. Unfortunately, these findings and recommendations are regularly ignored by the Washington Establishment.


Congress, the Executive Branch, and the media are ignoring 9,528 ways to cut government waste every year.


Trump can make the professionals at the GAO and Inspector General offices “rock stars”.  He can look into the camera and say, “No matter how liberal or how conservative you are – you want the government to stop wasting your money.” 


These could be the first steps in shaping Trump’s management revolution as President. They are all bi-partisan issues.  Trump can then build upon these successes to solve the more divisive issue of entitlement reform.


Exposing the truth, and saving billions of dollars, “what do you have to lose?”

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

HOW HILLARY MAY WIN



[Also published on http://www.newsmax.com/ScotFaulkner/conventions-establishment/2016/08/10/id/742929/ ]


Is our choice really between a crook and a madman?


The media is doing everything to deny and deflect issues surrounding Hillary’s sociopathic lying.  At the same time the media and the Republican Establishment are doing everything to portray Trump as a psycho itching to start World War III.


Evidence mounts that Clinton is not only corrupt, but is an inept and mediocre campaigner.  She also contorts over the internal contradiction of being Obama’s third term, while calling for change.


Why is Hillary winning?


First and foremost, she is being carried across the finish line by 95% of the national media.  The liberal media is pushing applications of hypocrisy into fantastical territory. Anything Hillary or Obama does outside the immediate news cycle is deemed “old news”.  Anything Trump did since puberty is deemed relevant. 


This hypocrisy was on full display during the National Conventions.  Grieving Republican mother Patricia Smith, whose son’s death can be linked to Hillary, was dismissed and ignored.  Grieving Democrat father Khizr Khan, whose son’s death happened twelve years ago and had nothing to do with Trump, became a media star and the main evidence for declaring Trump unfit to be President. Khan’s links to the Clintons are still drowned out by the media.


The liberal media also threw body blocks to protect Hillary and Democrats.  Imagine what the media would have done had the Republican Chairman resigned the day before the GOP Convention; Republican emails disclosed unseemly cynicism, derisive name calling of minorities, and a conspiracy to rig the system against candidates; and four top Party officials were forced to resign.  Standard operating procedure is for the media to divert attention from these real issues to fairy tales of a treasonous liaison between Trump and Russian President Putin.


The small community of conservative oriented media has tried to counter this bias.  However, they, like their Establishment Republican colleagues, have forgotten how to fight.  Friends in the conservative media privately shared stories on how the Democrats fabricated everything at the Philadelphia convention.  They documented the Democrats’ scramble for American flags, stripping hotels from thirty miles away and having to tape scraps of paper to the bases to keep track of their ownership.  They chronicled the walk out of over a thousand Sander’s supporters, the hiring of movie extras to fill seats, the thuggery and intimidation of convention security, the trashing of the small American flags after the performance, and the installation of sound generators to create enthusiasm that was not really there.  Little of this made the news.  There was little interest in probing below the surface of Hillary’s artfully crafted fraud.


As August unfolds, the media shows tightly framed shots of both Hillary and Trump rallies.  This creates a false equivalency when other photos of these same events show Hillary speaking to near empty halls and Trump attracting overflow crowds. 


The Republican Establishment has traditionally been ineffective in countering liberals.  Republicans break ranks at the first sign of trouble while Democrats lock arms to the bitter end.  If Republicans defended Nixon like the Democrats defend the Clintons, Nixon would have finished his second term.  If Democrats defended Clinton like Republicans defended Nixon, the Clinton era would have ended at the 1992 New Hampshire Primary or during any of scandals that plagued his White House tenure. 


Republican disarray is on full view this election cycle.  Their Washington-based elite are apoplectic that Trump might actually end crony capitalism and shut down their lucrative scams.  They are willing to risk Hillary packing the Supreme Court for generations to preserve their revenue stream.


Trump appeals to a spectrum of voters who are seething at the incestuous corruption permeating America’s governing elite.  The media is doing all it can to divert attention from this fundamental upheaval in the body politic.  For every Republican who defends Trump there are others conducting outright political treason.  Years of shadow boxing with Obama, and killing the Republican cause, have stripped the “Never Trumpers” of any right to invoke ideological purity.  Unfortunately, the other reason Trump’s message is being disrupted is Trump himself. 


Donald Trump built his empire and reputation in the rough and tumble world of New York City real estate development.  Trump mastered sparring with NYC tabloids. He now needs to realize that a larger audience requires different ways to promote his cause. Trump needs to ignore side issues and focus on two things: indicting Hillary/Obama and shaping a more detailed and relatable vision for “Trumpism”.


This election is ultimately about “message discipline”.  Hillary and her media allies have woven a tapestry made of “whole cloth”, which will unravel the moment anyone actually examines it.  Trump remains a scattergram tapping into deep concerns held by a majority of Americans. For Trump to overcome media bias and Republican dysfunction/disloyalty he needs to fixate on his goal – toppling the corrupt establishment. 


Trump needs to heed the words of Civil War Admiral Farragut, who seized Mobile Bay by ignoring Confederate diversionary tactics:  “Damn the torpedoes - full speed ahead!”


 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

How to End Radical Islam





 It is time for moderate forward looking Muslims to regain control of their religion.  They need to take historic steps to bring Islam into the 20th Century, returning it to an honored place among the world’s great religions.


Slaughter in an Orlando Nightclub, slaughter on the streets of Nice, slaughter in Paris and in a Normandy church, slaughter at airports in Brussels and Istanbul, slaughter at a San Bernardino picnic, slaughter at Fort Hood, slaughter at the Boston Marathon, attacks on trains in France and Germany, the list is endless.  The weapons used were diverse – guns, trucks, pressure cookers, axes, knives, and bombs.  Only the motivation remained constant – jihad for Allah.


The threat and the fight are global.  Terror can now arrive anywhere, anytime, in any form. Some already label this World War III.  The problem is that increased drone strikes, bombing ISIS’ capital in Raqqa, Syria, or expanding intelligence gathering will not end the threat.  This is because every day millions of young boys attend radical Madrassas and learn how to hate, kill, and die.


In the mid-1970s Saudi Arabia used the flood of oil revenue to become the “McDonalds of Madrassas”.  Religious schools and new Mosques popped up throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  This building boom had nothing to do with education and everything to do with spreading the cult of Wahhabism.


The Saudi Royal Family owes its rise to power to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).  He envisioned a “pure” form of Islam that purged most worldly practices (heresies), oppressed women, and endorsed violence against nonbelievers (infidels), including Muslims who differed with his sect.  This extremely conservative and violent form of Islam might have died out in the sands of central Arabia were in not for a timely alliance with a local tribal leader, Muhammad bin Saud.


The House of Saud was just another minor tribe, until the two Muhammads realized the power of merging Sunni fanaticism with armed warriors.  Wahhab’s daughter married Saud’s son, merging their two blood lines to this day.  The House of Saud and its warriors rapidly expanded throughout the Arabia Peninsula and collided with Shi’ite and more secular Sunni powers. 


Saudi forces were defeated but rose again, fueled by Wahhabi fanaticism.  These various conflicts always included destruction of holy sites of rival sects and tribes.  While done in the name of “purification”, the result was erasing the physical touchstones of rival cultures and governments.


In the early 20th Century, Saudi leader, ibn Saud, expertly exploited the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and alliances with European Powers, to consolidate his permanent hold over the Arabian Peninsula.  Control of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites, gave the House of Saud the power to promote Wahhabism as the dominant interpretation of Sunni Islam.  This included internally contradictory components of calling for eradicating infidels while growing rich from Christian consumption of oil, and pursuing lavish hedonism when not in public view.


Unless Wahhabism is eliminated or moderated, the West is fighting a losing battle. 


The decline in oil revenue gives the West rare economic leverage.  It is time to convince the Saud family to convene an Islamic version of the Council of Nicaea.


In 325 Roman Emperor Constantine the Great convened a religious council in Nicaea (near modern Istanbul) to resolve various differences within Christianity.  This included consolidating and codifying beliefs, rituals, and the calendar of holy days and rites.  Over three hundred church officials and theologians attended.


While the Council of Nicaea did not resolve everything, it established a culture of dialogue and collaboration within Catholicism.  Christianity had its own wars and schisms, notably the Reformation, which was more about geopolitics than faith.  Isolated fanaticism and superstition led to the abuses from the persecution of Galileo to the Salem witch trails.  However, the framework and mindset was permanently in place for Western religions to move with the times and adapt as knowledge and culture advanced.  These forces of moderation and reason assure the continuous rise of civilization to this day and the marginalization and isolation of extremists.


Philosopher Eric Hoffer, in his famous work “The True Believer”, asserted, “the character and destiny of a group are often determined by its inferior elements.”  Reasonable people, spanning religion and ideology, are hoping Islam finds a way to isolate and diminish their forces of darkness.  It can only be done from within.


[Scot Faulkner served as the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives and on Ronald Reagan’s White House Staff.  As Deputy Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), he coordinated the Administration’s response to the Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing.  Mr. Faulkner has advised corporations and governments throughout the Middle East since 2002.]



Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Exogenous Vote



[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.]

Donald Trump has a chance of winning this November’s election. To do so, however, he will need to capture the exogenous vote. I’ve decided to define the voting blocs in this country a little differently than is normally done

Think of the totality of voters available as a country. It is comprised of endogenous and exogenous voters. The endogenous voters (i.e., inside, committed) can be further defined according to whether they are committed Republicans, committed Democrats, will probably vote Republican, and will probably vote Democratic. The exogenous voters (i.e., outside, uncommitted) can be further defined according to so-so Republicans, so-so Democrats, and truly Independents. The so-so Republicans are voters who are predominantly committed to a conservative ideology, moderate social programs, and less government involvement and will usually vote for a Republican. The so-so Democrats are voters who are predominantly committed to a liberal ideology, expansive social programs, and more government involvement and will usually vote for a Democrat. The so-so voters are not motivated to vote; they usually stay at home on Election Day for a variety of reasons, and don’t feel badly if they don’t vote or if their favorite candidate doesn’t win.

That leaves the truly Independent voters. This group is more independent and not identifiable by party – and perhaps even ideology. They look specifically at a candidate and what he or she has to offer society, issues with which they may identify and has no loyalty to or identification with any political party. These voters are the ones who will probably vote for third-party candidates – even though they know that there is no chance they will win. They are truly voting their conscience.

So how does this look for November when the ultimate moment of truth arises, and people go into the voting booths to pull the lever (so to speak) and cast their vote? In my mind certain things seem inevitable. The Republicans who will probably vote Republican are loyal, partisan supporters of the Republican candidate. The opposite is true of course with Democrats: they will be loyal, partisan supporters of the Democratic candidate. A recent Gallup poll concluded that 26% are Republicans and 29% are Democrats; this 3% advantage seemingly puts the Republican Party at a disadvantage. Currently, from the same poll, 42% identify themselves as Independents. http://www.gallup.com/poll/188096/democratic-republican-identification-near-historical-lows.aspx This whole scenario is further complicated: “Less than half of Americans (43%) view the Democratic Party favorably, but the party's image is still better than that of the Republican Party (38%). Neither party has been able to gain favorable opinions from a majority of the public since June 2013, in the early months of President Barack Obama's second term.” http://www.gallup.com/poll/185822/republicans-favored-issues-despite-worse-image.aspx

Another complicating factor is the most frequently mentioned problem with the electorate: “For the second consecutive year, dissatisfaction with government edged out the economy as the problem more Americans identified as the nation's top problem in 2015. According to Gallup's monthly measure of the most important problem facing the U.S., an average of 16% of Americans in 2015 mentioned some aspect of government, including President Barack Obama, Congress or political conflict, as the country's chief problem. The economy came in second with 13% mentioning it, while unemployment and immigration tied for third at 8%.” http://www.gallup.com/poll/188096/democratic-republican-identification-near-historical-lows.aspx

So that’s kind of the picture of the endogenous voter’s bloc. So let’s examine the exogenous voter’s bloc. “Last year, in addition to the 29% of Americans who identified as Democrats, another 16% said they were independents but leaned toward the Democratic Party, for a combined total of 45% Democrats and Democratic leaners among the U.S. population. Likewise, 26% of Americans identified as Republicans and an additional 16% identified as independents but leaned toward the Republican Party, for a combined total of 42% Republicans and Republican leaners.” (Ibid) But if you go along with my definitions, these Independent leaner-voters can be defined as so-so Republicans (16%) and so-so Democrats (16%) leaving another 10% as truly Independent voters. Although the cited article allocates these leaners to one party or the other, I feel that this is the area where Trump needs to win the battle.

In a recent Real Clear Politics poll (7/11-7/24), the following allocations were presented: Clinton (40.4%), Trump (39.8%), Johnson (L) (7.2%), and Stein (G) (3.2%). This adds up to 90.6%; I am just presuming that there is another 9.4% committed to some other candidate of much less value (e.g., write in). But if we look at the present projection, part of that 3% difference between the major political parties is being captured. I believe the key to winning the popular vote lies in being able to capture more Democratic so-so’s while maintaining an attraction for all of the Republican so-so’s. While it is possible for a major faux pas by either candidate, it is also possible that a third-party candidate could steal voters from both major party candidates. To me where this capturing will occur is when the voter steps into the booth, closes the curtain, and realizes they are about to decide the future of the country. I believe that at that time, thinking will change for the so-so’s: they will vote, and it will be for which candidate they like more – not for which candidate they like less. If Trump can capture that entire 3% (ceteris paribus), the numbers change Trump 42.8% and Clinton (37.4%) In fact, for the same polling period, it is now Trump (44.1%) Clinton (43.9%). Time will tell if the 0.2% lead is a Convention bump or a trend!

Which brings us to the final question: what does the Electoral College look like? Starting with Ohio, it’s basically a tie. With regard to the other major states, although Clinton may be ahead in most of them, almost without exception most are within the margin of error for the state to swing to Trump by November. In fact, some of them already have! For example, if he wins Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina – he wins with 273 votes. And there are more battleground states than these. (http://www.270towin.com/) I do not believe in this election you will find that past is prologue: I believe that many states will change which political party wins this year. I also believe that most pollsters have significantly underestimated how angry the electorate is – especially when both political parties tried to rig the outcome by either dumping their elected candidate or skewing the vote so that their candidate could never win. And finally, I believe that Hillary will be her own worst enemy in the voting booth. I think that’s when, in the minds of a lot of potential voters, all of her baggage will catch up with her. I think that the people are ready for change – and I think they think of Trump as the instrument of that change.

Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Revolutionary Transition Plan for Trump






Donald Trump is calling for a revolution in the way Washington operates. His Republican Convention speech declared ferreting out waste and cutting costs a major priority for his first hundred days. This will require thorough preparation, like a successful military campaign, before the first “shots” are fired.


A new American President faces the challenge of assuring both continuity and change.  The institution of the Executive Branch must remain intact. The direction and focus of the Executive Branch must quickly and thoroughly reflect the will of the electorate.


Trump can set the stage for “Making America Great Again” by making sure his Presidential Transition uses “CPR”.


This CPR is a form of management resuscitation.  It stands for CURATE, PREPARE, RECRUIT. These are co-equal activities that are critical for launching a dramatic new direction for the federal government and America.


CURATE means turning a mountain of information into action.  By collecting, sorting, analyzing, and prioritizing critical information Trump’s Presidential Transition can make sure they can govern from day one.


The federal government is vast. During every second policies, programs, personnel, contracts, grants, expenditures, treaties, and law are in motion.  These activities can range from first drafts of proposals yet to be considered, all the way through final implementation and codification.  They mostly happen in Washington, DC, but also occur in government field offices throughout America, and U.S. Missions around the globe. Much of this activity is not public. 


An incoming President must conduct a scavenger hunt of epic proportions to find everything that matters.  The outgoing Administration, and much of the remaining career structure, will do everything possible to make sure the scavenger hunt fails. This will include lying and misdirection. 


The only way a Transition can succeed is to gather outsiders who are relentless in their search for information.  They must also be able to determine what is real and when to probe deeper.  These outsiders must depend on insiders among career personnel who support the incoming Administration, as well as government professionals who will do the right thing out of loyalty to America and its institutions.


PREPARE is all about making sure the right people are in the right place to do the right thing the moment the new President is sworn-in.  This means halting everything found through the scavenger hunt.  Trump’s Administration will want to change course quickly and completely.  It is imperative to halt and roll back the legacy of the outgoing Administration in every way and everywhere possible - policies, programs, personnel, contracts, grants, expenditures, treaties, and law.


One key preparation is security clearances.  In 1980, Reagan’s team was fast tracked for clearances by FBI and Secret Service officials who loathed the Carter Administration. Many clearances were processed starting in September 1980.  Reagan’s transition planning team also combed the Legislative Branch and government contractors for people who already held appropriate clearances.  The result was legions of Reaganites able to access secure information starting within weeks of the election and legions more ready to take office the day after the Inaugural.


RECRUIT is the importance of finding the right people to do the right things.  People equal policy.  The first waves of political appointees invade the Executive Branch.  In some cases they will be greeted as liberators.  In other cases they will face bureaucratic combat on a room to room, program by program scale.  In all cases the new appointees must be competent and committed.  Only true believers committed, heart and soul, to implementing the new agenda need apply.


Curated information, prepared teams, top notch committed recruits form a seamless interdisciplinary capability for the new President to act quickly and decisively. 


 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Donald Trump Is Our Nation’s Hope



[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.]

With the Republican Convention looming, I hope that the handful of people that cannot seem to accept the reality that Trump won the nomination fairly will embrace him. “Many say, like him or not, Trump won and efforts to dump him would be crushed and would devastate the GOP. According to The Associated Press, Trump has 1,542 delegates, including 1,447 required by party rules to back his nomination, well above the 1,237 needed for victory.” http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOP_2016_TRUMPS_PARTY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT  He is the (presumptive) Republican nominee – if you believe the millions of voters who voted for him in the primaries. I hope that these maverick dissidents realize that a vote for Trump is a vote to save the nation; any other alternative is to return a Democrat to the White House. It is hard enough to have to tolerate the MSM which is doing everything to discredit Trump and many of the other Republican candidates. We do not have a fair and balanced approach to our reporting media any longer. Reading some blogger’s comments bolstered my confidence that the electorate is catching on. For example, Polls like this mean nothing, all slanted by the left trying to push the attention away from all the Clinton money scandals.” How about: “Well when almost all media outlets are bad mouthing and highlighting his negatives what do you expect? Can we hear all of Hillary's lies, scandals, and hypocrisy? Trump's issues are repeated 100 times while Clinton's mentioned briefly at best.”

I am incredulous that there are still those who think replacing Trump at the convention – using whatever tactic they can including changing the rules – and putting somebody else in his place is a viable solution. To say this is just plain stupid. I guess that desperate people do desperate things. The Republicans need to unite – now, not later – if they are to have any hope of winning the White House. Further, any attempt to replace him would be an unmitigated disaster. “‘It's a fantasy, it won't happen,’ said Morton Blackwell, a Republican National Committee member from Virginia who initially backed Cruz.” Another voice of reason: “‘We have a responsibility to respect our democracy, and that means we accept the outcome of the vote,’ said Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who supported the presidential bid of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.” (Ibid) Further, there is no guarantee that their replacement would fare any better (still dealing with a Republican, you know); and worse yet, besides losing the election, they would definitely lose millions of voters – many of whom stood in line for hours to vote for Trump – and therefore bring about the ultimate demise of the Republican Party. I think that the Establishment members who are pushing to dump Trump have overlooked the fact that they can be replaced, too. Our career politicians have been silent or otherwise ignored their elected responsibilities as legislators to be a check and balance on the Executive Branch – and now they want us to listen to them? Ask yourself: what have these dissenters accomplished in the last 7+ years?

Politico states: “While Trump’s insurgent candidacy has spurred record-setting Republican primary turnout in state after state, the early statistics show that the vast majority of those voters aren’t actually new to voting or to the Republican Party, but rather they are reliable past voters in general elections. They are only casting ballots in a Republican primary for the first time.” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/donald-trump-2016-polling-turnout-early-voting-data-213897 But even if that’s true, it is exciting because it bodes well for capturing voters who stayed home the last two elections (at least now they are motivated) and says nothing about independents and perhaps even Democrats who may vote for him. Granted, there may be Republicans who are going to vote Democratic. But I have written in previous blogs that there has been a paradigm shift in the electorate; I may be hopeful, but I believe that November will fool many people – pundits included (maybe me too, but I’m an optimist!). I do not think that either political party gets this. However, I think overall that the electorate is tired of being taken for granted; they are also tired of the career politician’s deceitful promises, their lying and their manipulations. We are taxed to cover absurd social programs, have experienced an influx of illegal aliens and are paying for their healthcare – but yet we have to pay for our own? Finally, we can’t forget the generous retirement packages these same career politicians have given themselves. Maybe we should help them take advantage of their retirement packages!

So here’s what’s at stake in November. Of primary importance are the nominations to the Supreme Court. Trump will nominate judges that know the law and how to interpret the Constitution; he has already released a list of those he would consider. He is a successful manager of money, people, and projects; he knows about spending, debt, and wealth. He understands the economy both domestic and foreign, job creation and the business world; he is financially independent and beholden to no one, especially donors – possibly one of the reasons why the current Establishment is afraid of him. He has an excellent attitude regarding our military – rebuilding it and especially, taking care of our veterans. He is – and this is important – an excellent negotiator. But most importantly, he loves America! In summary, he has real-world experience; he is resourceful, creative, and results driven to get the job done. He has viable accomplishments. He is not politically correct, and this is a tremendous part of his popularity: I believe people are fed up with political correctness. Granted this may make him a little “rough around the edges,” and it sometimes gets him into trouble. But because the MSM hates him, anything that he says that can be misconstrued, will be. Also, if he becomes President, many things will have to change. For one thing the largesse of the Washington arena will change; Trump is also probably “stepping on the toes” of others, maybe threatening their power base. I believe that there will be a major impact on the media; he routinely asserts himself and insults them (justifiably) for their lack of integrity, misrepresentation, being biased and agenda driven, and for their failure to report the facts honestly and accurately. And if he becomes president, it should serve as a message to the entire Establishment that the people have spoken and chosen their leader based on results and not their political ideology and agenda.

Because Mr. Trump is not a polished, political candidate, he needs to learn to tone down his presentations and off-the-cuff remarks. I think people believe he is genuine, but he needs to be more diplomatic and professional; maybe then the rest of the Republican Party will back him. We have serious problems in this country, and his tone is not as important as his ability to be President. Trump is the answer to the problems this nation faces. Unfortunately, it may come down to whom the electorate feels is the "lesser of the two evils"; it’s a shame when you have to vote for a candidate you may not like because you like the other one even less! Will he win? All the pundits have guessed wrong on most things until now. There is strong evidence that a lot of public opinion surveys may hide a segment of Trump’s supporters. Many voters are reluctant to admit in a live interview (vs. online survey) that they support Trump. This creates the possibility of a large block labeled the “silent majority” – does he have one?

In closing, the Republican Establishment has no one to blame but themselves for this situation. It has been posed whether Republican voters share the values and principles of the Republican Party; I would guess that the 10.7 million votes cast for Trump during the primaries say no. I believe that if Trump’s ground game is good, he will win. Here’s a sample of why: http://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/donald-trumps-campaign-draws-dedicated-followers          I think Mr. Trump hit the nail on the head when he said to the leaders: “This is too tough to do it alone, but you know what I think I'm going to be forced to….Be quiet. Just please be quiet. Don't talk. Please be quiet. Just be quiet ....We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me just do it by myself."

____________________________________

Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.


Monday, June 20, 2016

TRILLIONS HIIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT




 

Congressional Republicans and Democrats are lying to Americans.

 

Congress is barely halfway through approving the 2017 Appropriations.  It has only thirty legislative days before the start of the next fiscal year.  This all but guarantees a battle over a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill.

 

Recently, a Republican Congressman let slip that there are billions in “unobligated balances” that could be reallocated for fighting the Zika Virus.  It was a lightning bolt of real information that everyone ignored. This was an unintended glimpse at one of the biggest lies in Washington, DC.

 

Members from both parties appear on cable news hand wringing about how it is impossible to stop federal spending from devouring the country.  Liberals and Democrats assert the government is underfunded and understaffed for meeting pressing needs.  Raising taxes and expanding hiring are their only solutions.  What now passes for conservatives and Republicans express helplessness because of Obama’s veto pen and their concern that any confrontation may lead to another government shutdown.

 

Republicans and Democrats wail over no funds to combat the Zika Virus, terrorism, and other possible crises.  Their machinery for endlessly taxing, spending, and borrowing incessantly rolls on.

 

The result of this united capitulation is the perpetual growth in government spending and borrowing.  Federal spending has risen from $3.517 trillion in 2009 to $4.147 trillion for 2017.  During this same period, government debt has soared from $11.875 trillion to over $20.149 trillion, with annual increases of nearly a trillion in borrowing projected every year thereafter.

 

Every year funds are allocated for federal projects and programs based on estimates.  Congress adds money when those estimates fall short, even if caused by waste and fraud.  Funds sit idle when spending is less than expected.

 

Since President Obama took office, $914.8 billion in unexpended, unobligated, funds have piled up across the federal government.  It is dutifully reported under “Assets and Balance Sheets” on page ten of the budget released each year by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

 

You read that correctly, nearly a trillion of your tax dollars is sitting unused in plain sight. 

 

Another $1.028 trillion remains unexpended among general accounts and $461 billion remains unspent in trust funds.  While these funds are technically obligated, the fact that they languish raises questions about their use and their management.

 

That is over $2.405 trillion sitting doing nothing.  It is available right now.  It only takes the push of a button to instantly shift these funds to fighting Zika, bolstering our military and homeland security, repairing our infrastructure, debt payments, or tax relief. 

 

This is how the Establishment from both parties plays Americans for fools.  The funds are hiding in plain sight.  No one talks about it, because it would reveal the lie behind the Washington elites claiming helplessness.  On rare instances, someone lets slip their knowledge of this money.  In June 2012, to his eternal credit, Senator Tom Coburn issued a blistering report, “Money for Nothing” that exposed these funds in detail.  Not even conservative media covered it.

 

The budget debate would be very different if Americans called out Washington politicians on their dirty little secret.