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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

A Defining Moment

We are now less than one year away from the most critical election in United States history –– “a defining moment.” Oh, I know that sounds like hyperbole–––– but I believe it is not. I have lived through many elections that each four years are called “critical.” However, this is it! Believe it!
The “might” of the United States, the “thing” that made it a superpower was not its military might, its cavalcade of geniuses, it’s Nobel prizes ––– No! It is its economy, its financial strength that made it a superpower.
At present, we are down on one knee, about to go down on the other, and then collapse face down as a nation. We’ve become a helpless, debtor country soon to be somewhere between Greece and Italy from a financial standpoint.
Why? For over 50 years we’ve promised more than we can deliver, borrowing massively over that time, most especially during the past three years. The Obama presidency and the Democrat party have now deliberately taken us down a path to a kind of European socialist state, where government controls all our lives ––– even the light bulbs we use (do you know that beginning in January 2 012, 100 watt incandescent bulbs will be outlawed? We can’t even choose our light bulbs?!!).
Our “entitlements” and Washington’s spending are pushing us into bankruptcy. The Medicare program alone has a $60 trillion ––– yes, $60 trillion ––– unfunded liability! Both Democrat and Republican administrations have been stealing from the Social Security system for 40 years, so that “entitlement” is soon-to-be bankrupt as well. Medicaid, which is sending state budgets into bankruptcy because of impossible federal dictates, has been providing Third World medical care for the poor for at least 10 years.
Is there no hope? Are our children and grandchildren, our elderly parents and grandparents destined to be forced into poverty, into lives with no chance for success, for betterment?
At present,  sitting in banks and other places around the world, there are at least $2-$3 trillion in cash that could ignite our economy and drop our unemployment rate precipitously. This cash belongs to thousands of American corporations, as well as large and small businesses. These firms are afraid to invest in their enterprises because of the failure of the present administration to acknowledge that government actions have been extremely anti-business, anti-free enterprise, anti-capitalist. What government actions am I alluding to? What is the government doing to stifle business? What is the government doing to keep the unemployment rate around 9% (really 17-18% if counting those who have given up looking for work).
1. EPA. This unit of government is forcing more and more regulations on large and small businesses in the name of “environmentalism.” The regulations are costly on coal, nuclear energy, Mercantile efforts, etc., etc. These businesses can’t afford to expand, increase employment with these regulations on their back.  At least half of the energy used in the United States comes from coal. The EPA is trying to eliminate coal from the equation ––– by regulating, often in impossible ways, the use of coal burning facilities. Likewise, the environmentalists have put pressure on the administration to halt the oil sand industry Keystone pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Texas. This alone will cost hundreds, perhaps thousands of jobs, and the potential loss of the oil sand business to China. And there are the attempts to hold back the oil shale industries in several states, most notably Ohio, again affecting hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in the mid-west. And everyone knows that the construction of new oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico has been prevented for months since the BP oil spill. Here again, hundreds, perhaps thousands of jobs have been lost. All these businesses are hoping for a new administration that will roll back the EPA.
2. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The administration is beholden to labor. Labor is attempting to do to private businesses what it has done to government –– push employees to join unions and attempt to prevent businesses from moving to right to work states (e.g. Boeing being sued by the NLRB after opening up a $2 billion plant in South Carolina, a right to work state. Although it appears that the issue will soon be decided by an agreement by both sides, the NLRB remains a sinister anti-business government unit that threatens the freedom of movement and collective bargaining “on a level playing field”  without which the business community cannot function effectively. And don’t forget “card check” which ultimately threatens non-closed shop businesses. The hope is that a new administration will put brakes on the NLRB.
3. The Dodd-Frank Bill. This bill is filled with layers and layers of regulations on financial businesses. It was enacted to provide consumer protections,  reform some derivatives trading, and imposes new onerous regulations on mortgage lenders and hedge funds. The bill’s 2000 pages are overwhelming for community banks and pages of rules must still be written. It ties the hands of these organizations, making their ability to function and to hire people almost impossible. They are hoping a new administration will rollback the most onerous aspects of this bill.
4. ObamaCare. All businesses ––– corporations, as well as  big and small firms will be crippled by this bill when it comes into full effect in 2014. It will force many of these enterprises to drop medical benefits for their employees, forcing those employees into a single payer government run insurance program (the real sub rosa goal of this bill). And for those employers who want to continue these benefits, the costs will be enormous, and likely result in layoffs in many instances. But in addition, it is estimated that this bill will add an additional  $3 to $4 trillion to the national debt over the following ten years, while emasculating Medicare by robbing it of $500 billion to cover the 35-40 million without medical insurance. Thus, many businesses are hoping for the total repeal of ObamaCare.
So, we need a new administration in Washington. We need to restore confidence and renew the awful uncertainty of where Washington is going vis-à-vis the economy. We need a new Republican president; we need a filibuster-proof Republican Senate; and we need to hold on to the House of Representatives. If this cannot be accomplished, America is doomed to a second-rate position in the world and worse, a collapse of its economy, which will in turn lead to a worldwide economic Armageddon.

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