Dear Governor Rick Scott

February 21, 2018

I’ve been calling Florida my second home for 40 years, and I was finally able to move here permanently in January 2017. Florida has some fabulous positive attributes. Firearm regulations are not on that list. It is my belief that Florida currently has some very weak controls over gun acquisition, gun possession, gun ownership and the sale of ammunition and accessories.

Florida’s gun control regulations absolutely made sense in 1960 when the total population was about 5 Million, and the state was highly rural and agrarian.

Today, we have some 21 Million residents, highly concentrated in high density urban MSAs, with an economy highly dependent on tourism.

A number of academic studies have forecast a very high correlation between tourism and perceived public safety risks.  Areas with a reputation for a high risk of crime or violence against residents and visitors are shunned by visitors.

I’m a dues paying member of the NRA and a gun owner; I think the 2nd Amendment is a good thing, and I’ve read it dozens of times. I’m not sure exactly what the folks who wrote it were trying to say, and they are all now deceased so we can’t ask them in person.

Florida has been the location of several recent massacres involving young people wielding AR-15 weapons.

A massacre in Orlando in June 2016 involving a demented 29 year-old man wielding an AR-15 resulted in the death of 50 people (including the shooter) and physical and mental wounding of many others.

Nothing was done at the state or federal level following that atrocity because, as some said, “the Second Amendment didn’t kill anybody.”

On February 14, 2018 a young man named “Cruz” stormed a high school in Parkland, FL with an AR-15 rifle. He killed 17 and wounded many more.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer following the Parkland massacre, you said, “Everything’s on the table, all right? I’m going to look at every way that we can make sure our kids are safe.”

Some political operatives have focused their diversions on mental health issues, yet Federal law already bars people who have been adjudicated mentally ill or committed to institutions from buying firearms.

Until the State of Florida takes action to update our gun control regulations to recognize we are no longer a rural and agrarian state, and that we are now economically focused on tourism – both domestically and internationally – we as residents are at physical risk from demented individuals wielding assault weapons, and we as taxpayers are at economic risk for dramatic revenue losses from tourists who make decisions to avoid Florida due to perceived public safety risks.

It is incumbent on you and the elected members of the Florida legislature to enact legislation which will make sure that powerful assault weapons, high capacity magazines, bump stocks, suppressors, armor piercing bullets and other military grade accessories can’t be sold, owned or used by any civilians – including teenagers – who wish to live in our 21st Century Florida civil society.


There seems to be little argument that one primary outcome from the Citizens United decision was the opening of our campaign finance system to a deluge of anonymous money.

It’s been reported that special interest groups spent more than $1 Billion in elections across the country in the last election cycle, and there is virtually no transparency or accountability.

The very essence of “one man, one vote” is on the chopping block.

Throughout recorded history, we can see multiple examples of societies which inadvertently allowed a very small group of people to slowly and carefully seize extraordinary power from the masses.

Looking back to late 19th century America, we can observe the activities of a very elite group of industrialist-capitalists known commonly as the “Robber Barons.”

Some of the 19th century names include: Andrew Carnegie; Jay Gould; Andrew Mellon; J.P. Morgan; John Rockefeller; and a dozen more.

None of these folks were ever indicted or found guilty of illegal activities, and history tells us that they produced some positive outcomes over the long term. They built steel mills; they built and operated railroads; they made oil and gasoline widely available.

Yet, our elected representatives at the time were so concerned about the potential for future abuse should large sectors of our economy get consolidated into monopolies or oligarchies, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act almost unanimously in 1890, and it remains the core of U.S. antitrust policy.

The Act makes it illegal to try to restrain trade or to form a monopoly. It takes its name from Senator John Sherman who said, “If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life”.

We can learn from history and halt the ability of a very small group of people to seize political and economic power from the American people, and we need to start right now.

Many of us who watch this issue (myself included) focus in on the Koch Brothers and their well-documented, ultra-conservative positions – including the activities of their Super PAC, Americans for Prosperity.

We should continue to carefully watch what AFP is up to – they have very deep pockets and a singular agenda which seems to be very self-serving.

Super PACs and anonymous money strategically use private economic power to create ‘reasonable doubt’ across a group of voters regarding an issue or a candidate.

In the past 5 years, we’ve witnessed a number of successful multi-media campaigns fueled by anonymous deep-pocket donors which were based on dubious ‘facts’ and which may not be in the best, long-term interests of the majority of our citizens.

One recent example which reflects the incredible power of anonymous money is that of Ted Cruz, a relatively unknown lawyer from Houston, Texas who leaped into the national spotlight after winning a landslide upset election to U.S. Senate in the 2012 election cycle. Cruz and his campaign committee spent some $14 Million, raised in a relatively short time, making it one of the top-performing Senate campaign committees for candidates running for open seats.

In contrast, Paul Sadler who opposed Cruz on the Democratic line raised about $700 K, just 5% of the Cruz total.

However, that $14 Million was just direct spending by the Cruz campaign.

The extra power of unlimited Super PAC spending on behalf of political position advertising favoring Ted Cruz (and/or opposing his opponent) enables behind the scene power brokers the opportunity to influence with impunity.

Does the Citizens United decision violate our U.S. Antitrust regulations?

Not in fact, because the framers of antitrust regulations had no way to imagine the potential abusive power of a Super PAC on our free enterprise system.

I argue that the Citizens United decision infringes on the intent of several prior Supreme Court decisions supporting the “one man, one vote” doctrine, and further is in violation of the intent of our Constitution and of our antitrust regulations.

It is incumbent upon our elected officials to reform existing U.S. antitrust policy and regulations to encompass political activities in such a way that clearly and unequivocally prohibit unlimited and/or anonymous donations to enable spending on political and/or ideological positions.

I hope others will join me in helping us return to a ‘one man, one vote republic’, in fact and in practice.

Walrus Feeling Guilty

October 4, 2013

With all of the attention on the shenanigans in Washington and the in-depth moment by moment reporting, I thought the Walrus might sit this one out, but various forces have caused guilt.

Congress certainly has the authority to challenge the Affordable Care Act. Why don’t they just challenge the ACA in Court? Why are they messing with the greatest economy in the World?

Oh, wait. They did challenge it in court. In the Supreme Court. The highest court in the land. On June 28, 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding the constitutionality of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” finding that the federal government can require people to purchase affordable health care insurance coverage or face an income tax penalty.

So, we have a law which was approved by the House of Representatives, approved by the U.S. Senate, approved by the President of the U.S. and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

But, wait! We also have a splinter group of dubiously elected officials (i.e. the Ayatollah John Boehner, Cruz Control, Private Ryan, Eric “T.P.” Cantor – and others who shall remain anonymous for now).

These creatures have determined (in September 2013) that the only appropriate way for the Congress to arrive at a Continuing Budget Resolution which would keep our federal government running is to open a debate on a law which was enacted in 2010?

Now, don’t get me wrong. There are many times I wish that I could just put all of the clocks and calendars around the world on pause. Just give me a few days to catch up on all of the loose ends, and then I would restart the clocks and calendars as though those few days I had to myself were invisible and inconsequential. Sort of like a short “working vacation” in the Twilight Zone.

Boehner and his Band of Merry Men apparently have gone beyond the Twilight Zone and have jumped all the way down the rabbit hole, desperately trying to drag the rest of the country with them.

I have to wonder – how does the Supreme Court feel about this behavior?

A Letter to Hon. John Boehner

December 28, 2012

Hon. John Boehner
Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Boehner:

I’ve been following the saga of ‘the fiscal cliff’ since the end of summer 2012.

It was made very clear to us outside the Beltway (commonly known as citizens, voters and taxpayers) that our elected officials in Congress would take no action until after the November elections.

As disappointing as that news was, it seemed reasonable and appropriate to many of us on the outside to expect that our elected officials would do some talking behind the scenes in preparation for a call to action after the election at which time our elected officials would work together in the best interest of the overall U.S. economy — business, commerce, education and the citizens of the United States.

Now – several months later and just a few days from the ‘tipping point’ a.k.a the ‘fiscal cliff’– we seem to have a continuation of the petty, partisan and puerile drama that has come to categorize our Congress following the national elections of 2010.

November 2010 marked the point in time when a number of conservative tea party candidates were elected to the House of Representatives. The infusion of passionate but neophyte tea party representatives — all of whom signed the Grover Norquist Pledge — precipitated your election as Speaker in January 2011, which coincidently seems to mark the beginning of extreme dysfunction in our nation’s capital.

I have listened to you and some of the ‘young rascals’ who were elected in 2010 under the tea party platform.

When I listen, I hear some really great sound bites, focused almost entirely on the federal government.

There is no one I’ve met who wouldn’t like to see smaller government and reduced government spending — sweetened by the magic elixir of reduced taxes.

The real problem seems to be: Government (as we see and interact with it from outside the Beltway) includes federal, state, county, local, schools and a vast number of entities which operate in the public sector as ‘quasi-government’ agencies.

As a citizen, voter and taxpayer in the U.S., I know I pay: federal income taxes; federal excise taxes; state income taxes; state sales taxes; county property taxes; county sales taxes; city property taxes; city sales taxes; city sewer taxes; city library taxes; and property taxes levied by my local school district. I can quantify the majority of those taxes: what I can’t quantify is the amount of other government and quasi-government fees and taxes I pay daily, weekly monthly or annually: highway and bridge tolls, parking fees, hotel occupancy fees, motor vehicle fees, MTA fees, license fees, daily use fees, and park access fees, most of which are invisible to me.

You and the ‘young rascals’ have some great rhetoric: What I don’t hear from you and your tea party cabal is dialogue, discussion, research or new ideas about re-engineering our overall government in the U.S. for enhanced efficiency and longer term sustainability.

Mr. Boehner: With your intractable and rigid focus on cutting spending at the margins and continued tax breaks for the ultra-rich, I think you and your tea party followers may be threatening the very essence of the United States and our economy as a going concern.

That thought leads me to believe that you and some (or all) of your tea party cabal may be guilty of treason because your actions are diametrically opposed to the best interests of my fellow citizens, voters and taxpayer of the United States of America.

It is my hope, Mr. Boehner, that come Monday, December 31, 2012, you and your followers will move away from treason to align with the majority of American citizens, businesses and American society to ensure a rational, sensible and sustainable solution to the ‘fiscal cliff’ dilemma which currently threatens our country.

Thank you in advance for considering my opinions, and hopefully, for adjusting your posture to a more inclusive and mainstream position.


The Walrus
Mount Vernon, NY 10552

Other People’s Money

August 25, 2012

On the eve of the Republican Convention in Tampa, I keep thinking back to the movie, “Other People’s Money” which starred Danny DeVito in the role of “Larry the Liquidator.”

Larry was a Vulture Capitalist who was noted for buying up under-valued firms; then breaking them up into component parts; selling off the parts; and making lots of money for himself and his partners.

In this scene from the movie, the essence of the dilemma emerges:

Gregory Peck as the current executive in charge of New England Wire and Cable is immersed in a critical vote at the company’s annual meeting which could allow Larry and his Vulture Capital Firm to take control of the company, which would result in closing down the company and putting hundreds of people out of work. Permanently.

New England Wire and Cable was modeled on the many indigenous American family-owned small manufacturing companies which took root in New England in the 19th century. The inspiration for the theme of Other People’s Money was a real company in Seymour, CT which went through a fatal and permanent intervention by some Venture Capital Pirates around 1990.

Back in the Golden Age of Pirates (approx. 1650s to the 1730s), the pirates were self-declared. They typically didn’t dress up in suits, fly in private aircraft, or ride in chauffeured black cars. Today’s pirates operate openly in daylight; they pay taxes (albeit at greatly reduced rates vs. regular working people); and many own multiple mansions in delightful places around the world.

I imagine a shortened version of Other People’s Money (Part 1) where the name of Larry’s firm was changed to “Brain Capital.”

Then, I envision Part 2 as a take-off which is focused on ‘off-shore blocker’ strategies where the principals of Brain Capital explain their strategies:–abc-news-topstories.html

Part 3 of the series could contrast one or more successful U.S. entrepreneur(s) who have invested their own money into a business that manufactures some product and where 50 to 500 people work full-time at decent wages with benefits, against a principal from Brain Capital. Part 3 would contrast the effective tax rate (and amounts paid) by the actual entrepreneur and all of the employees (year after year) vs. the tax rate (and amount paid) by the Vulture Capitalist in the current year. Don’t forget: once the Vulture Capitalist liquidates the company, there will be no further jobs; no further purchases; and no further local property tax, sales tax or income tax collections.

Part 4 of the series could be a lesson on the multiplier effect of all of those employees; the goods and services purchased by the manufacturing company; and so forth, vs. the absolute finality of the liquidation of a struggling but operating business.

To a great degree, the contrast between a real American entrepreneur and a Vulture Capitalist is very similar to the contrast between hard-core, tea-party conservatives and main-stream Democrats (plus what some might call ‘Centrist Republicans’).

The hard-core Right seems to be laser-focused on reversion to a society and economy that mirrors Medieval Europe and Feudalism, where the majority of main-stream residents in the U.S. seem to continue to favor the more egalitarian approach on which the United States was founded and has operated until very recently.

Through some very clever sound bites and an inordinate amount of attention on trivial but emotionally engaging issues, Tea-Party conservatives have polarized our society in an unprecedented way.

Best example of this would be Obama-care — which was inspired by the health care reforms enacted in Massachusetts under the leadership of former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Obama-care is not a perfect solution — primarily due to the amount of compromise that was required to get it passed — but the majority of experts tell us that it is a significant move in a positive direction.

Yet, there are a number of elected officials (and their disciples) — ‘Hard-Core Right’ — who continue to hammer on REPEAL!

What are their reasons, what are their real objections? Here is a synopsis:

As Jon Stewart may have already said — while stamping his feet and whining: “Just because!”

In the New York Times on July 23, 2012, Laura Klein posted a very provacactive and strong op-ed piece on the failures of special education programs in NYC.

While I absolutely agree with Ms. Klein, I have some additional thoughts I want to share.

Our current K-12 education model was really conceived around an agrarian society and has not been updated (in New York State) since 1907, or so.

Many changes have occurred in our economy and society since then, with accelerated change beginning in the 1960’s.

Today, even in “traditional” 2-parent households, it is quite unusual to find only one parent in the workforce, and that poses a challenge where the K-12 model is 8 AM to 3 PM, and the workplace model is 8 AM to 5 PM.

Now, factor in the growing number of single parent households in America.

If we look back to 1965, we find that about 10 percent of American children lived in single parent households.

In 2011, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted an exhaustive study looking at changes in family structure in 27 industrialized countries.

That OECD study found that in the U.S., about 26% of children were being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 15% across the other countries.

More telling: 72% of African-American children today grow up in a single parent household.

In the larger picture, females constitute about 83% of the total number of single parents, and single fathers around 17%, and years of evidence tell us that – although the wage gap has narrowed over time – today’s women earn 77.4 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Extensive research in child development over the past several decades has confirmed that the early years (birth to age 8) form the foundation for a full range of human competencies and are the time when young people are most receptive to the effects of both positive and negative experiences.

Researchers have identified several risk factors which – when present – predict adverse outcomes for children, and when absent (or carefully mitigated) can reduce or eliminate the long-term probability of negative outcomes for children, which include reduced economic success and lower quality of life in adulthood.

The single most predictive risk factor is poverty, which is often accompanied by limited parental education achievement; parental mental health problems; social isolation or neglect; and living in an environment where crime and violence regularly occurs.

Two widely-cited intervention programs, the Perry Preschool Program and the Abecedarian Program, used randomized child assignment and long-term follow up to study the effects of early interventions on social behaviors of severely disadvantaged children.

In both the Perry and Abecedarian Programs, there was a consistent pattern of successful outcomes for the children in the program compared with control group members.

Participants in the more intense Abecedarian Program had an increase in IQ which persisted into adulthood. This early and continued increase in IQ is important because IQ is a strong predictor of socio-economic success.

Effects of these interventions also reflected a wide range of positive social behaviors, including higher scores on achievement tests; achieving higher levels of education; the need for less special education intervention; placement into higher wage jobs; more likely to own a home; and less likely to go on welfare or be incarcerated (when compared to individuals from the control groups).

Many studies have shown that these aspects of behavior translate directly or indirectly into high economic returns.

One economist (Heckman) has estimated the rate of return (the return per dollar of cost) to the Perry Program is in excess of 17%, which is clearly higher than long-term returns on stock market equity and suggests that society at large can benefit substantially from these kinds of interventions.

It is my contention that investing in high-quality early education programs which are both reflective of the economic realities of today (read: 7 AM to 7 PM) and fully articulated with public schools and the expectations of kindergarten readiness will rapidly change the paradigm noted in Ms. Klein’s essay, and will also create a long term benefit to the U.S. economy.

If we continue to push children along through the K-12 system ill-prepared for future workforce opportunities, we will continue to wring our hands and despair that jobs are moving overseas.

In early July 2012, our national unemployment number came in at 8.2%, yet there were some 3 Million private sector jobs open and unfilled.


Jobs are open and unfilled for a number of reasons, often related to labor mobility and/or experience and training. A poorly educated individual is just not a good candidate to help bolster our domestic economy, and that is a tragic waste of our limited resources.

If even some of the research on the importance and economic return for investing in quality early childhood education is true, then why aren’t we demanding that our public school systems re-engineer themselves to address our 21st century economy?

Our U.S. economy is still shaky. A payroll tax cut was enacted to help increase the spending power of middle-class Americans, and it is due to expire at the end of February.

Class action lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits have driven up costs across our health care system, and could potentially be ameliorated through comprehensive tort reform.

There are dozens – probably hundreds – of serious domestic issues that our Congress could be working on.

Instead, they are currently focused on contraception.

Let’s set the record straight: Members of Congress who seek to limit the availability of affordable birth control all enjoy contraception insurance as part of the government managed Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB).

This benefit has been in place since 1998, and it “…ensures that federal employees participating in FEHB have insurance coverage of FDA-approved prescription contraceptives and related services.”

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on February 10 that ‘insurance plans shouldn’t cover contraception services because birth control “costs a few dollars” and is only a “minor expense” for women.’

Good to know.

In my job – in my life – I am forced to prioritize my time and my efforts. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could spend all my time focused on minor issues that I think are “fun”?

That seems to be what our leaders in Congress are all about these days.

To paraphrase an old fable, “Rome is burning while our Congressional leaders are fiddling.”

We pay each and every member of Congress a base annual salary of $174,000, plus deluxe health care and pension benefits, and perks for things like travel and mail. There are various stipends for leadership roles as committee chairs, majority leader, minority leader, etc.

Most recent estimates of the total annual costs of our federal legislative body – Senate and House of Representatives — are in the $5 Billion range.

Now, some might point out that spending for the House and Senate, which includes salaries, mailings, and committee expenses, represents only .07 percent of total federal spending. The entire legislative branch includes additional expenses for the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the Library of Congress, and some other functions.

That seems like a really good deal — if we are getting focus on critical issues and real results.

There are some – including voters, political scientists and lawmakers themselves– who have said that the 112th Congress (which convened on January 3, 2011) was our worst ever.

The 2011 session began with a House vote to repeal President Obama’s health-care law and ended with a flip-flop over the 60-day tax-cut extender — with detours in between for the two parties to flirt with shutting down the government, jeopardize the nation’s credit and various assorted legislative mayhem.

As a citizen, a taxpayer and a voter, I don’t much care what political party a person claims as their own.

What I do care about is: When they run for public office and get elected, our representatives put aside their personal agendas and work for the best long-term interests of our country.

Is that too much to ask for?

I live in New York State, often thought of as the land of high taxes and the home of Wall Street.

Current debate in New York has to do with what is called a “millionaire’s tax” which is really just a graduation of income tax rates as incomes rise.

Today, the NYS income tax on a typical New York family is 6.85% on taxable earnings up to $300,000 annually.

The‘surcharge’ starts to kick in when taxable household income for a family exceeds $300,000, causing incremental taxable income over $300,000 subject to NYS Income Tax at a rate of 7.85%, and at $500,000, the marginal rate then rises to 8.97%.

Now let’s take a look at a family in New York State with an annual taxable income of $750,000.

That is about $14,400 per week.

If the “millionaire’s tax’ expires, this family will save about $7,300 at tax time, which equates to $140 per week.

Meanwhile, the Empire State is facing a potential $3.5 Billion deficit in the coming year.

Why would Governor Cuomo not support the extension of this surcharge on the highest earning households?

On another level, one danger of having an uneven income tax landscape in adjacent states is that these highly compensated individuals can easily relocate — note that Greenwich, CT has become the capital of the hedge fund industry; and that downtown Stamford, CT is home to several large investment banking operations (UBS & RBS).

There is currently an effort by the State of Ohio to bring the headquarters operation for Sears from the Chicago area where it’s been forever, to the Columbus area.

Illinois claims they are not in a position to offer hundreds of millions to Sears to retain their operations there; meanwhile, Ohio — with nothing to lose and plenty to gain — is willing to offer a $400 Million incentive package as an inducement to bring 10,000 jobs and all of the ancillary spending that accompanies such an operation.

This news made me stop and think — while our local towns, counties, cities and states are working hard to cannibalize each other, we lose sight of the world economy, and when jobs move overseas, citizens in the U.S. get up in arms, surprised and shocked.

I’m all for ‘home rule’ to a point — but when home rule decisions result in zero sum solutions which have short term benefit (offset by short term loss) to one local region vs. another– accompanied by serious long-term negative impact on our entire nation — we have a flawed public policy that needs immediate attention.
The Walrus thinks it is time to rethink our entire system in the U.S.A. to – hopefully – make it more relevant and competitive in our current world economy…..

Occupy Wall Street

October 27, 2011

Look back on the origin of Investment Banks and you will find people with real money coming together to pool their capital and gamble on commercial opportunities. When the bets were in the black, the partners would share in the gains, and when there were bad investments, the partners would share in the loss.

Fast forward to the time when we began to see a transformation of Investment Banks from private partnerships into publicly held companies.

Most would agree that the beginning of this metamorphosis was the public offering of Merrill Lynch in 1971. That was followed by four other entities which became infamous in the 2008 credit apocalypse: Morgan Stanley (1986), Bear Stearns (1985), Lehman Bros. (1994), and Goldman Sachs (1999) (aka, “the Gang of Five”).

These former partnerships converted to public ownership ostensibly so they could better compete with international banking giants which were encroaching on their core business of underwriting stock offerings and advising firms.

New capital from new shareholders allowed them to increase their involvement in riskier, capital-intensive businesses like proprietary trading.

“In order to have a capital base that would support the funding they needed, they had to be public,” said Roy Smith, a former Goldman Sachs partner and a professor of finance at New York University.

Going public allowed the former Investment Bank Partnerships to become more powerful, with much deeper equity cushions, giving them the gravitas to actively influence significant regulatory change to support their agendas. One clear example of this is the 2004 rule change at the Securities and Exchange Commission which allowed investment banks to increase the amount of debt they could take on their books—a move made at the request of the Gang of Five’s CEOs.

Before Lehman crashed, it had amassed more than $600 Billion in debt. No partnership or private corporation could have achieved that milestone!

The shift to public ownership also replaced the accountability of partnerships—when there are no profits, there are no partner bonuses—with the apparent lemming-like behavior of public boards which some would say are selected for their willingness to rubber stamp recommendations from the COO.

When Lehman failed, $45 Billion in shareholder value disappeared forever. Bear Stearns was rescued from a similar fate when JPMorgan bought it at what some have claimed was a fire-sale price with the help of the Federal Reserve. Morgan Stanley and Goldman managed to remain independent and solvent, apparently because huge subsidies were made available to them.

In the final analysis, shareholders suffered, but employees and executives didn’t. In true Investment Banking partnerships, compensation was contentious: major debates would take place at the end of each year as partners worked to resolve the equitable distribution of bonuses. These debates took place in private, and involved rich people taking money out of one another’s pockets.

Today, it seems to have evolved into a zero-sum game, where the protagonists in the drama have no real skin in the game, yet they are eligible to take Billions from shareholders.

It would seem that the public — as aggrieved owners, taxpayers, and savers — has every right to question the Investment Banks’ methods and practices. If they don’t want the public digging into their businesses, these publicly traded Investment Banks could shrink their balance sheets, replace government-subsidized debt with market-rate debt, stop relying on the Federal Reserve for funding, and get out of index funds that bet against our domestic economy.

Last week, I was alarmed and angry at some of our elected representatives in the Congress as they played Russian Roulette with our economy.

This week, I am stunned.

The partisan shenanigans that have transpired in the 112th Congress is just Un-American and unacceptable.

As the entire world watches – in real time, thanks to advanced technology – a group of newly elected individuals in the House of Representatives are behaving badly.

They remind me of unchaperoned adolescent hooligans at their first spring break.

But this is no harmless teenage fun.

This is the real thing.

The credit rating agencies have put the world on notice that they have serious concerns about our Nation’s credit rating.

Today, the domestic equities market dropped about 4%, wiping out nearly $9.3 Trillion of our nation’s private worth.

Meanwhile, our elected officials are on leave from Washington enjoying their August recess, no doubt oblivious to the pain they have caused to regular citizens like you and me.

I’m stunned? Yes, and I’m furious!