As the Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America you are responsible for submitting a budget proposal to Congress for the coming Fiscal Year. Under normal circumstances, Congress has no obligation to adopt your budget. However, they would be “reluctant to completely ignore” your budget priorities since you can approve or veto bills they propose.
However, the 112th Congress—the least productive in history—is not normal and has not produced any significant legislation this year. It also has the distinction of being the most despised in American history—boasting a “9% approval rating” in July. And no wonder; when you hear Mitch McConnell smugly say before The Heritage Foundation, “Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.”
What has Congress done to deny President Obama a second term? Nothing, Mr. President, and that is exactly what you need to tell the American people over the next three months.
CBS News’ Bob Schieffer says this “do-nothing Congress heads home for a five-week vacation…without passing one single piece of significant legislation” this year. “It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.”
It is time, Mr. President, for you to tell the American people to send this pack of freeloaders home permanently. You have the ammunition—the jobs issue, education, the foreclosure crisis, the farm bill, the Bush tax cuts, and most importantly, the $1.2 trillion Sequestration Transparency Act. This Congress is cleverly requiring you to lay out the painful spending cuts. If they “do nothing,” you take the heat—while they sit back and chortle that you should be a one-term president.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the unified budget. Americans need to understand what really is happening to their Social Security funds. It’s not too complex for them to understand, considering that each month payroll deductions referred to as FICA appear on their paycheck stubs. Let them know that in early 1968, President Johnson had a budget deficit of between $2.1 and $8.1 billion—no one knew for sure. So he made a change in the budget presentation by including Social Security and all other trust funds in what he called a “unified budget.” This is how Social Security became part of the yearly presidential budgeting process, and this is what happened to the Social Security trust fund.
This change took effect for the first time in the President’s budget proposal for fiscal year 1969, which President Johnson presented to Congress in January 1968. “Understandably, arranging all of this so Congress would accept it took some negotiations. So just five days before leaving office, President Johnson sent his 1970 budget message to Congress, using the revised accounting procedures. He was projecting the budget for 1969 to be in a net balance of $2.4 billion—a cool $4.5 billion to $8.5 billion coup d’état. So went the first systematic rip-off of Social Security by a president and Congress.” Every year since then the president has been sending Congress a budget that has included our Social Security funds.
A week after his 2005 State of the Union speech, Bush bluntly put the Social Security Trust Fund in perspective: “Some in our country think that Social Security is a trust fund—in other words, there’s a pile of money being accumulated. That’s just simply not true. The money—payroll taxes going into the Social Security are spent. They’re spent on benefits and they’re spent on government programs. There is no trust.” In other words, our Social Security funds pay for wars or any other cockamamie idea a president or Congress comes up with.
That makes me angry!
Then there’s the US Postal Service, which the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have been ripping off for years. The USPS, unfortunately, has been a cash cow for the federal budget since 1969. “Contrary to legislative protections afforded the USPS, the OMB and the CBO have managed to consistently raid postal funds to reduce the deficit. The effect is to make our elected representatives appear better capable of managing the national finances.” The result is to make the USPS look like a loser and have to raise rates and close down post offices.
The most recent insult started in 2006 and extends over the next ten years. “The Federal Office of Personnel Management has required the Postal Service to make overpayments of between $5.4 billion and $5.8 billion annually to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund. However, the Postal Service is not allowed to tap the funds to pay actual retiree health benefits. Though these funds legally belong to the USPS, Congress does not allow it the use of the funds because it would adversely affect the federal budget” and the electability of its members.
Paul Ryan has called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” and in a sense he was right. Social Security and the Postal Service are a Ponzi scheme that makes a “do-nothing” Congress look as if it’s really “doing something.”
Mr. President, if you want to ensure your re-election, you must level with the American people and vow to reverse this monumental “rip off.” You can warn Congress, in your next State of the Union Address, that you will veto any budget coming to you from Congress which includes Social Security or Post Office funds. That would be “change we can believe in.”
Dick Armey, former U.S. House Republican leader, has openly expressed his ambitions “to elect tea party-minded conservatives to Congress to force the White House on a far-right path. “We’ll build a legislative wall… We’ll either be walling a Republican president in, or walling a Democratic president out.”
Mr. President, you are our last hope to prevent Dick Armey’s ambition from coming true—for you and the American people.
What can you do—you are only one person? True, but you are only “six degrees of separation,” on average, from any other person on Earth. You become powerful when you share information with your friends and ask them to share it with their friends—it becomes a global revolution. As Stephen King suggests in The Long Walk, when these “society-supported sociopaths” come, step aside, and find the strength to run…