Sunday, April 17, 2011

Article on U.S. SPENDING in 2003! Another Hit Prediction?

Reprint of Global American column in 2003! Note the part about SPENDING...

"September 30, 2003
The "Global American" series

Where Does America Go From Here? Potential Solutions

Step out of the maddening crowd for a minute and look at the big
picture. Then we'll take a quick look at some potential solutions.

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but is using 25% of the
world's energy and is importing a majority of our oil from overseas.
Most of the world's oil is located in the Middle East, which remains
in turmoil and controlled by people who like our money but that's
about it.

None of the Middle East oil countries is a democracy. Iraq is a wild
card experiment but giving democracy to the majority Shiite population
who were beat up by Saddam and Baathists for 30 years could lead to an
Islamic religious state -- or a secular one in which minority Sunnis
and Kurds get short sheeted and beat up instead. We could use Dr.
Phil's help sorting out that one. No. 1 oil player Saudi remains
undemocratic and has been a major source of funding for bin laden.

Russia has oil they'd like to sell us, a huge cache of nuclear
weapons, an active program to assist the extremist Iran government
develop its nuclear program, and a declining democracy. Opponents to
Mr. Putin are either exterminated or put on the ropes and independent
newspapers are shut down and no one in Washington seems alarmed by this.

While all eyes are on the usual suspects in the Middle East, China is
about to become the world's third space power, while it sells $100
billion more each year than it buys from the U.S. U.S. businesses
still have trouble getting into its marketplace and the Chinese refuse
to float their currency, which gives it a further, unfair trade advantage.

Osama bin laden remains active and almost forgotten, although he was
the chief architect of 9 11. No one is spending $87 billion to get to him.

So, where do we go from here and how do we fix this?

Here are a few potential solutions. Let's face it --we need to find
ways to drive further on less gas. Billions of our Petrodollars end up
on the hands of some in the Middle East who gladly give it to people
like bin laden. Buying an 8-mile per gallon Hummer may feed the ego,
but it also feeds undemocratic oil countries with a different agenda.
If we push up fuel economies, and turn 8 mile per gallon Hummers into
16-mpg machines, we just cut in half the cash flow to the oil zealots.

A big solution is energy independence. Switching to hydrogen and
alternative fuels would put dollars into our own pockets instead of
OPEC's and bin laden's. Arnold Schwarzenegger is switching his Hummer
to Hydrogen drive. Assuming the hydrogen is not produced using
foreign oil, that's a winner idea. Using more gas/electric hybrid
vehicles and Green Mountain Energy ( solar and
wind power for your house will do the same—you know the money isn't
leaving the country or being sent to a terrorist or Swiss bank account.

Get Russia to back off supplying countries like Iran with nuclear
technology. Russia needs money. We could buy off their contract with
Iran and actively help them reduce the huge arsenal of VX and
mini-nukes that are a magnet to terrorist groups who could do great
harm if they obtained even one from Russia's loosely guarded inventories.

Get China to stop selling missiles to Syria, Iran, Pakistan and other
countries. Sooner or later they will be turned on India or Israel and
that will ignite a potential nuclear exchange –some of it on top of
the oil we are buying. Whether or not a nuke hits an oilfield, these
missile sales affect the regions stability—by making it even more

Finally, we need to get our own house in order. The U.S. has a half
trillion deficit (over $500 billion) and Congress still wants to
spend, spend, spend. If we consumers did that we'd go to jail or
bankruptcy court—and deserve it. If Iraq must have $87 billion, then
something else needs to be cut. Billions in "pork" is stuffed in
Congressional budgets.

We should start with cutting the $180 billion we plan to make in farm
subsidies, which would also reduce terrorism. According to Thomas
Friedman, a New York Times columnist, had we reached a CancĂșn
agreement, reducing tariffs and agri-subsidies, we could have raised
global income by $500 billion a year by 2015 — over 60 per cent of
which would go to poor countries and pull 144 million people out of

People who have something are less inclined to become terrorists. We
have the power to change that, here and now. Want a change? You can
contact your federal elected officials at:
Michael Fjetland*
The Global American column"

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