Protect Jobs in China or in the U.S.? Take a Stand!

Why does our economy continue to decline as more Americans are reduced to government-dependency every day?  Please take two minutes to watch our vice-president Joe Biden try to defend the US free-trade policies of recent years (including the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is currently being fast-tracked through Congress) and see Pat Buchanan destroy them:

Biden, his boss President Obama, and Harry Reid claim to be motivated by the dream of a “New World Order”, a “level playing field”, and “the success of those with whom we compete”.  Sadly, many Republicans including house speaker John Boehner are rolling over as well.

Could it be that these Washington, DC elites are owned by the incredibly wealthy business tycoons and their lobbyists who have profited greatly by shipping 55% of our manufacturing jobs overseas?

In his upcoming state of the union speech President Obama is expected to decry income inequality, while out of the other side of his mouth he promotes free trade.  The two are incompatible.  Free trade clearly creates income inequality by creating enormous corporate profits without domestic employment.

Isn’t it about time our leaders take a stand for American jobs and families?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right Side

Now stand in the place where you work.
Now face west.    [toward China!]
Think about the place where you live,
Wonder why you haven’t before!




Side note for Montanans:  Rep. Steve Daines (R) and Sen. Max Baucus (D) have supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership; Sen. Jon Tester (D) appears to support the treaty, but has demanded protections for the US timber industry.


I Am Running for President

recessionOur nation languishes in an economic recession that seems intractable.

Our manufacturing base is gone.  Many of our cities and states are bankrupt.  The aisles at the neighborhood Dollar Store are jammed.

Still, there doesn’t seem to be any sense of alarm.  We whistle past the graveyard, as our government borrows and prints ever-increasing gobs of money to shore up our sagging standard of living.  We know it has to come crashing down.  The bubble will burst.  Are we content to just wait around until the doo-doo hits the fan?

Meanwhile, our fearless leaders offer no suggestions, no plans, no hope for a solution to this inevitable economic Hiroshima.  Have you heard anything from our President or our Congress that leads you to believe the economy will get better?

Decision-making has devolved into finger-pointing.  Politicians ride the fence, careful to not suggest anything that might cost them a vote as they play on the emotions of a citizenry that has become numb to bad news.  The remaining few of us who realize the gravity of our economic situation have, frankly, given up.

Tom-presidentTo hell with it.  I’m tired of whining about the situation and nothing gets done.   If nobody else will step up, I guess I have to.  ELECT ME AS YOUR NEXT PRESIDENT.  I will head the ticket for the E Party (the “E” stands for Economy).

If elected, I will declare war – call it World War “E”.  We will attack our economic crisis with a national fervor and urgency not seen since World War II.  The futures of our children and grandchildren depend on it.  You will ask not what your country can do for you, you will ask what you can do for your country.  And what you can do for your country is demand performance from our federal government, starting with Congress.

No more pandering for votes by competing to see who can give away the most stuff.  No more political correctness and phony junk science.  No more corruption – government crooks will do jail time, not get suspended with pay.  No more 139-day work calendar.  You will stay in session, you will do research and deliberation, you will work until you come up with solutions!  The president and the citizens will tell you – Congress – what needs to be done, and you will do it!

We will seal the borders and stop the flood of poor and unskilled illegal immigrants – we can’t afford them and we need to take care of our own.   We will eliminate corporate taxes, death taxes, and all other double taxation, and will create a simple, fair and flat tax system – this will spur the economy and eliminate corruption between big business and politicians.  We will sell all unused federal property.  We will eliminate all obsolete and inefficient federal programs.  We will abolish the corrupt government employee unions.

We will embrace our natural resources and become the energy provider to the world.  We will implement modest tariffs on all imports and bring manufacturing jobs home.  We will build 21st-century transportation and communication infrastructure and a state-of-the-art national defense system, including REAL anti-terrorism with profiling – not hassling Grandma at the airport.  We will let the rest of the world sort out their own problems, and make sure they know better than to screw with us.  Those nations who want to join our side in World War E will be welcomed to the team.  Kick the United Nations out.  Drop out of the World Trade Organization.  Tell the Chinese to get on board or bug off.

We will help the helpless, but not the clueless.  We will teach our children patriotism, history, free-market economics, and individual responsibility.  We will make our education system relevant, functional, and competitive.  We will encourage excellence and initiative rather than dependency.

We can do this.  Look at what our nation has accomplished in the past when our backs were against the wall.

Can I count on your vote?

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideI’m your top prime cut of meat, I’m your choice,
I want to be elected!
I’m your Yankee Doodle Dandy in a gold Rolls Royce,
I want to be elected!
Kids want a savior, don’t need a fake,
I want to be elected!
We’re all gonna rock to the rules that I make,
I want to be elected!

Elected – Alice Cooper

Here’s my first campaign commercial!

Montana’s Share of the Stimulus (my eyes glaze over)

Here are some tidbits from, the federal government website that provides information about the $765 billion in stimulus money spent under the Recovery Act since February of 2009.

Montana received just over $1.5 billion under the Recovery Act.  $1.1 billion of that was awarded in the form of grants.

The largest single recipient was the Montana DOT at $208 million.  Second was the Fort Peck, Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes at $67 million, followed by Montana Opticom, LLC, a provider of fiber optic internet facilities, at $64 million.  Native American tribes altogether scored about $180 million, not including payments to reservation cities, hospitals and schools.  K-12 education received about $150 million, while about $133 million went directly to cities and counties.  Post-secondary education got about $110 million.

Randomly digging into details reveals some interesting expenditures.  Energy Solutions of Moab, Utah billed $105 million for “remediation services” and subbed out a fair portion of that to smaller companies, also mostly from Utah.  Like $45 grand to “David’s Elite Thrones” for what appears to be porta-potties, and several million to companies like “Cj5 Enterprises” and “Fraley & Co., Inc.” – firms so mysterious that they are not mentioned anywhere on the web.

The McLaughlin Center in Great Falls got $760,000 for a high-tech microscope system.  Eleven Boys and Girls Clubs got an average of $40k each.  Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Carbon County received about $500k for their counseling and housing program.  Their report says this created two full-time jobs.

When I see huge dollars like this bouncing around like pinballs, the cynic in me says that the corruption, waste and paybacks to cronies must be astronomical.  The top two officers from Energy Solutions split $4.5 million in annual salaries.  Still, looking at some project details – like the rehab of barracks at Malmstrom AFB,  I see local companies doing real work and paying real employees.  That $25 million dollar job was won, and mostly subbed out to locals, by Sunstar, LLC of California.  Their top two guys take salaries of $75k each.

Kudos to Recovery.Gov for making this extensive spending detail transparent and available online – the State of Montana should take heed.

The Recovery Act was intended to produce jobs, and it did that – but the CBO reported that the cost per job is about $228k, and most are temporary.  Did the Recovery Act do any good?  Probably.  Did the taxpayers get full bang for their bucks?  Doubtful.  Are we and our children further in debt?  For sure.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

There ain’t no use to tarry so let’s start out tonight
We’ll spread joy, oh boy, oh boy, and we’ll spread it right
We’ll have more fun, baby, all way down the line
If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time

If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time – Willie Nelson