Word of the Day

I’d like to point out a word that many people don’t understand or the media uses against us, the general public. The word is default.

This word is being thrown around by our leaders and media personalities constantly, but is it really accurate or is it just fear-mongering? With all this debt ceiling talk about to “resolve” itself, I would like to share with you something you may not know about our Constitution.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

This is article 4 and 5 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Let us all take in this article. Read it again. Look for key words like “public debt”, “shall” and “shall not”, “the congress”, “authorized by law”. What exactly does it mean?

There are many who inaccurately portray this article as authorization for the President to just keep borrowing money for whatever we need in fiscal year 2014. The reason article 4 in the 14th amendment was written was to protect the public, not the government. This is why this area of the constitution is referred to as citizenship rights and equal protection. It was specifically written as power granted to the citizens of the US, not as a government power. The term “shall not be questioned” means “can’t be ignored”. So the public debt we owe and has been acknowledged by law can’t be wiped clean or not paid back based on the whims of the government.

This protects the public by making sure the government does not spend whatever they want and then essentially bail themselves out. This does not mean we need to pay for future spending, only debt we have incurred. This also does not give the President authority to borrow more money for future expenditures,  like say a budget for fiscal year 2014 which has not been approved yet. There is a fundamental difference between expenditures and debt.

Our debt interest payment is roughly $20 billion dollars per month. Our revenue in 2013, according to the  U.S. Treasury, http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0813.pdf , ranges from $122 billion to $406 billion per month. It is important to note that all of our DEBT can be paid with this revenue, but not all of our expenditures and purchases we plan to make. Please understand that the 4th article of the 14th amendment means we must pay back public debt first and foremost before any other expenditures. Whatever is done with the leftover money after the debt payment(interest/principle) is paid is up to congress to decide how they distribute it as it is their duty to authorize such future spending.

I just want to clarify that to default would mean we can’t pay the interest payments($20 billion monthly) on the national debt, which in total currently stands at:

$ 1 6 , 7 4 9 , 1 0 4 , 3 5 1 , 2 7 0 . 0 5     – http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Have a lovely day.

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Take a trip on my magic carpet ride.

H-1 freeway traffic

I am beyond annoyed at road construction here in Hawai’i. Let me rephrase that, I’ve BEEN beyond annoyed at the construction. For the past year I have driven by such a gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayer funds that I must now rant. I cannot hold myself back any longer. I am Jack’s pent up all consuming road rage.

Hawai’i, the paradise that it is, is filled with its fair share of real world problems. It is my belief that the Hawaiian Department of Transportation’s brilliant planning takes the cake. They are notorious for their blunders on the intricacies of travel. They are public enemy numero uno.

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Watching the News Makes Me Sick

Why, oh why, do the major media outlets make me feel so angry? I seriously become ill while watching the news. Please tell me what is causing this ailment. Is it because no one is really honest? Maybe. Perhaps it is the complete and total lack of understanding about identifying root causes? Possible. How about the sensationalizing of the frivolous to keep the general public in the dark? Most likely. Or maybe I’ve just completely lost touch with the rest of humanity who “gets it” and I don’t? I’m actually inclined to think the latter has a high probability of being true at this point.

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Systemic Failure

I just read this article about the F-22 Raptor pilots and watched the ’60 Minutes’ segment associated with it. As someone who has F-22s fly over their house daily, it is a bit disconcerting to hear how pilots of these extremely expensive and amazing machines fear for their own safety and the safety of those on the ground. I had heard it briefly mentioned on the news here in Honolulu that they had been grounded for a bit and that now they were back in service, but I really hadn’t made an effort to stay on top of the situation. Now though, I am very much aware.

Most things like this catch my attention. I truly do feel for the pilots who are doing the whistle blowing on this. It’s hard when you work for the government, to get protection against the government, from the government. Did that make any sense? Because with governmental whistle blowing, you are asking the government to protect you from the government. How neutral do you think the Office of Special Counsel can be? Especially on something so high profile and valuable like the F-22. It’s like how most governmental agencies don’t really meet OSHA standards, because one agency fining another over violations is almost comical. Money going from one pocket to another basically.

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So whatcha whatcha-whatcha want?

I had a brief conversation with someone earlier today about presidential candidates. Now, when I say brief, I mean for me it was brief because as soon as I realized the obvious I quickly ended the discussion.

Now let me preface this by saying, this person’s presidential preference is irrelevant. It was just he represented all that was wrong with the process as it now stands. First and foremost, this individual had some sort of deep seated hatred toward the other party, or at least it appeared that way. He was going to check mark all the boxes of his party’s column on some sort of principle and he was proud of it.

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