Don't Make Me Stop This Car

kids-buckled-up-in-the-back-seat_100339583_mFor those of you who have had young children, you are bound to have used the phrase, “God help you both….If I have to stop this car and come back there…you will pray for forgiveness.” Most likely, the elder child was punching the younger one or one was giving the other a “wet Willie” or calling the other a “stupid butt.” Well our petulant children of Washington have caused us to pull the cars of economic growth over and there is no forgiveness. For I am afraid, it is we that will be paying for it. As you know, the clock ticked 0:00 Friday, March 1 and Sequestration was born. Instead of “wet Willie’s,” automatic job furloughs materialized. Punches in side were replaced with defense contractor lay-offs. For what? Like immature children, so each could make a point. President Obama’s point was to continue to show that Republicans are an impediment to his plan of bigger, stronger government and only taxation of the rich stands in the way of progress in this country. The GOP feebly points that this president and expenses are out of control, but because of poor leadership can find no way to find a unified way to verbalize their plan to the populous. So, we have pulled over to the side of the road.

What’s so comical about this futile exercise is that after only 30 minutes of research, I cut over $55 billion of expenses that could cause little or no impact, and any voter that could fog a mirror would agree with. However, our politicians are so firmly entrenched that if one side created a “fountain of youth,” the other would oppose because of what it would do to the actuarial numbers of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Did you know there is $45 billion of unspent dollars that could be allocated towards the $85 Billion in the budget battle? Did you know there are several programs at the Pentagon including lessons about democracy and decision making that could be learned from fish totaling $6 billion? Did you know there are 50 duplicate literacy agencies and 47 job training programs?

Did you know that there was:

  • • $593,000 for primate research to study why chimpanzee’s throw feces
  • • A university in Virginia received $55,000 to do a study on why Jordanian students like water pipe smoking
  • • $350,000 more ($176k already has been spent) on the impact of cocaine on the sex drive of a quail
  • • $147,000 spent to study audiences of magic shows
  • • $550,000 spent on a documentary on the impact of rock and roll had on the fall of the Soviet Union
  • • $20,000,000,000 (yes…billion) on a Pakistani version of “Sesame Street”. BTW….we’ve already spent $10B….with a “B”.
  • • For Senator Harry Reid’s pet project, $50,000 in Nevada for little cowboys and cowgirls to get together and read poetry.
  • • $20,000,000 in Obama family vacations

Couple these no-brainer’s with closing a few loopholes like some deductions for private jets expenditures, how income taxation for hedge fund managers is treated, and tax breaks that oil and gas companies get, you are looking at close to another $7 billion a year in the “R” word or “revenue” that Obama so loves to hear.

So let’s do the math. We have $45 billion of unspent dollars thrown back towards the $85 billion; $6 billion of wackjob Pentagon research; $22 million of crackpipe experiments and $7 billion of additional revenue with closed loopholes on the “rich.” I’ve found close to $55 billion dollars of expenses and revenue in 30 minutes.

Hopefully, you are catching my drift. It’s just not that hard, but unfortunately as I have written in earlier blogs, until the grown-ups get involved, nothing is going to change. The grown-ups will either be the rating agencies lowering our credit worthiness or foreign countries will stop financing our debt. It’s time we pull this car over, turn around and do what you need to those children in the back seat.



“What Tax ‘Loopholes” Does Obama Want to Close.” Scott Horsley. June 30,02011,

“Ridiculous Gov’t Spending List Grows Longer.” Paul Strand. February 6, 2012.

“Fiscal hawks say government waste, unspent funds could offset sequester.” Jim Angle. February 27, 2013.

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 The opinions in this commentary express the views of the author and in no way represents the views of LPL Financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.