Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day and my letter to Casey's Big Report

Sorry to stray from my usual topic, bit I felt compelled to share this...

Dear Mr. Galland

I happened to read your most recent missive in "The Room" on May 25, Memorial Day in the United States. As I think about the tens of thousands of men and women who died in the so ...... "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (President Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address) I was struck by the tone of you column. Maybe it's because I'm a relatively new subscriber, but it seems decidedly hostile to our form of government, any government.  If you like a place where the people have freed themselves of excess governmental intrusion onto their lives, look to Somalia, Afghanistan or any of several dozen countries where, with enough money and a big enough private army, (probably 2 dollars a soldier per day, maybe quite a bit less!) you can do just about anything....set up your own mining company, stock exchange, pharmaceutical company, bank or investment house. You could make your own laws, and set up the regulatory framework.

In the meantime rather than rail about how stupid people are here in the US daring to express that they are "Socialist in attitude."  Maybe they are!  Is it due to inadequate education, or could it be that they are aware that  the current system just blew a $13 Trillion hole in our economy and so far, only Bernie Madhof seems to be held accountable.  With losses of that magnitude, and the devastation it has showered on the US, is there any doubt that the current system is broken?

My grandfather was a Russian Jew who spoke no English and I am proud of my country, proud of what I have accomplished, paid back every cent of the loans the government granted me so I can earn enough to be in the top bracket of taxpayers, and create a lifestyle that 90%+ of the people on earth do not have in terms of "creature comforts."  Freedom of speech and religion are keenly important as if recognition of private property ownership and a stable regulatory environment.

I think your reporting is interesting, and I am worried about the debt; when George H.W. Bush and later, the Clinton-Gore years took steps to actually curb entitlements, the budget deficit shrank. It does not take rocket science to clean up the mess as raising the retirement age and shaving costs in Medicare will keep them solvent for another hundred years. We need relatively marginal changes to the system, that will affect current and future "welfare recipients" (after all that is what those people are) and that will put tens of trillions of dollars back into the system. 

One doesn't need to be a Socialist to realize that marching out Bjorn Lonborg to support a proposition that Carbon pollution is a waste, is as irresponsible in support of your position as anything anybody on the "Left" does. Climate change a Soviet plot?  Really now!  I'm almost ready to get out a tin foil hat for you. Perhaps it is wrong.  I believe that  the cost of being wrong, is less than the people you oppose being right.  We need to transform our "energy policy" from one based on the House of Saud, and "Drill baby Drill!" to one that frees up our energy here, encourages conservation (It is after all, a "virtue, as former V.P Dick Cheney said, which means, I guess, that people can strive for it, but not be bound by it) and stops sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year to less than savory people, and would allow us to save another hundred billion a year in "defense costs by having to be the policeman in the Middle East.

I'm sorry for the rant, but castigating the citizens of the US for reacting to 8 years of a regressive president, a Congress that abdicated it's obligation to us for a solid 6+ of those years is not the way to get my attention as an investor. We the people elected the current government, and we have a responsibility to hold it accountable, for good and bad policy decisions. Reasonable people can differ but we need a way to bridge the gap between the failed policies of the past, and the way to the future. Polemics and people like Rush Limbaugh (and Randi Rhodes, but nobody listens to her) need to be marginalized. 

Please stick to reporting the facts at hand, even those of us with our hearts on the left and wallets on the right would benefit.

God Bless America, Bob Tankel

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