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October 23rd, 2013

There is no shame in this dangerous game of politics

Harry C. Alford

There has never been a political climate like this in modern times. We are now in an era of constant chaos. Our elected officials are fighting with no end game in sight. The citizens of our nation are slowly going into a mental depression. Even a stenographer for the House of Representatives recently had a major meltdown right on national television. Obamacare, national budget, debt ceiling, deficit, immigration and other issues are starting to take a toll on our patience and confidence in our leadership.

It seems that it is not going to get any better in the near future. We have a president who doesn’t bother to write a budget for the federal government. The United States is the largest corporation in the world and we have been running it without a budget for the last five years. A shoeshine man has a budget! We are not cutting spending to prevent us from bursting through our debt limit. Congress is "kicking the can" down the road by giving short term extensions (continuing resolutions) of our limit. We must settle on what is a manageable debt limit and live by it. In 2008, our debt was at $10 trillion. Now it has worked its way up to nearly $17 trillion. Our credit rating is dropping and our dollar is weakening. Congress and the White House are playing a kind of Russian roulette with defaulting on our national debt. Other nations must be laughing at us.

Obamacare is a "Frankenstein" approach to improving healthcare. This socialist approach to providing healthcare to individuals and families is turning out to be a farce. It is going to be far more costly to individuals, families and businesses than the President predicted (or lied about). Major corporations decried about what they found out recently. So, the President gave them a year waiver before they have to "bite the bullet". Unions, who fiercely supported the program, have found out that they too will have to take a major financial hit.

They screamed and the President gave them a waiver. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, who led the fight to victory for the law, has convinced the President to give waivers to virtually all the businesses in her district. Congress, who passed the legislation, has declared itself exempt from the new rates. They are forcing it down our "throats" but exempting themselves from the pain. What kind of leadership is this? They are the lucky ones as the rest of us will have to suffer noticeably higher premium rates and exorbitant deductibles. They just don’t care.

They have grandstanded acting like they are going to defund Obamacare. Speeches, debates, filibustering and primetime interviews on television – 24/7 was all show and no go. But let’s not get too depressed about Obamacare. It is such a messed up piece of legislation that there is no way to correct it. It is indeed a "train wreck" as the Senate author of the bill now realizes. When we have had enough of this monster it will implode. It won’t be workable and the only option will be to pull the plug. I predict by mid-2014 during the election races for all of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate this sick idea will face a silent death. God is great! It will go down as the biggest calamity of all time and it will be Barack Obama’s legacy.

The above just isn’t stuff that depresses us. It is a serious threat to our national security. Our rival powers such as Russia, China, India, etc. are looking at our loony style of management. They see it as a weakness. The world is like a school yard. The stronger nations will bully and exploit the weak ones. While their military budgets are noticeably increasing, ours is stagnant or decreasing. Russia alone is increasing its military by over 93%. What is on the mind of President Vladimir Putin? There is a precedent. When Japan decided to go to war with the nation around it their spies came to the United States. They watched our military training exercises. They noticed at Fort Polk, Louisiana that our soldiers trained with broom sticks instead of rifles. That’s how small our military budget was. They figured that we could be whipped. They were wrong but we encouraged them to attack. Think about this as we decrease our military budgets.

Also, our overall financial state may head "south" without anyone knowing where the bottom will be. Our retirement funds, savings and paychecks will shrink. It will personally affect everyone. Such negative potential and they (elected officials) smile and talk "turkey" to each other. PLEASE WAKE UP!!!

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

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