The Point-Blank Problem

A shot fired at point-blank range is not, as is commonly thought, a shot fired at extremely close range.  Point-blank range is the distance a shot can travel in a direct line.  In other words, a shooter need not account for variables, like air resistance, or make projections, such as for elevation, to land his shot on target.  Point-blank is a straight line from muzzle to contact.

America is within point-blank range of an economic depression.  Economic failure is a straight line from where the nation is today.  Without a course correction, the result is certain.

The situation is, as said by former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson — co-chairs of the presidential commission on deficit reduction  – “the most predictable economic crisis in history.”  They said that more than one year ago.  What are our leaders doing to get out of the bullet’s path?

Federal spending has increased and thus, so has the amount and rate of federal debt.  Investors, like the Pacific Investment Management Company, have dumped U.S. Treasury holds for safer harbors like Brazil and Mexico.   Uncle Sam is borrowing money to make debt payments, which are subject to fluctuating interest rates.  Any significant increase could sink the ledger.

This year a record 49.7 million Americas live below the poverty line.  The White House had predicted that the number of Americans living in poverty would be 46 million at this point.  It is a prediction sadly reminiscent of the claim that only massive stimulus spending would prevent the unemployment rate from topping eight percent.  Unemployment would reach to the 10 percent level and today remains hovering near the eight percent line.  By the way, that big stimulus Obama claimed was a necessary one-time injection has become part of the baseline budget.

Staring down the barrel, Harry Reid and his Senate Democrats have not passed a budget resolution in more than three years.  For his part President Obama last year recommended a budget that even Democrats could not support.  Obama’s current approach is worse – more spending, more debt, and more taxes on the remaining job producers but would not fund the government for one week.

The looming “fiscal cliff,” the bankruptcy of Greece and teetering Euro-zone mess, and the stumbling Chinese economy – to say nothing of the coming entitlement crisis -, only make matters worse.

Were the economic situation not enough, federal regulators are squeezing the breath out of American vitality.  In the first three years of the Obama era, the U.S. government enacted nearly 12,000 new regulations – another record.  To that they have added nearly 6,000 new regulations in just the most recent 90 days.  Full implementation of Obamacare looms on the horizon

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the net national income remains more than $1 trillion below the level reached in 2006.  Since 2009 America has added $6 trillion in debt.

Unless something significant changes, America is on a straight path to economic calamity.  We are in point-blank range.




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