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Avoiding Outliving Your Money
Getting the Best of Burnout
Real Men
Sticks and Stones and a Dead Man's Bones
Forgiveness Before Sundown
Clay People
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I'm Dreaming of a Right Christmas
Grasshoppers and You
Your Money: Good News in Bad Times
Jealousy: The Green-Eyed Monster
They Say
How to Know and Do the Will of God
The Baptizing
Scarecrows
I Believe In Angels
What It Means To Be a Life-Giving Leader
The Mission of the Church
Politics in the Church
Taking Risks

The Christmas Gift

Integrity and Accountability

Thanksliving

Spiritual Treasures to Keep

Compassion South Africa: Raising Up a New
Generation of Leaders


Entering the Caleb Season: Touching Tomorrow Today


Avoiding Outliving Your Money

A Whole Generation Without Enough To Retire On



The morning of September 16, 2008 dawned as another apparently normal day.

But before the day was half over, a series of confusing, rapid-fire signals of a near panic was sent globally as U.S. financial markets suddenly and abruptly teetered on the brink of catastrophe, and a devastating and precipitous fall of the stock market was triggered. Nobody has ever satisfactorily explained what happened, or why.

A massive decline in retirement accounts sent shock waves through millions of Americans. And baby-boomers getting ready to retire and planning to live off of their savings and pensions suddenly began to urgently rethink their plans. For some it was too late. Their retirement accounts were wiped out in a single, tumultuous day.

Now, almost a full year later and after hundreds of billions of dollars in so-called “emergency” U.S. government spending, we may now be about to see another collapse – in the value of the U.S. dollar – that will wipe out the wealth of all Americans who don't take appropriate preventive steps to prepare immediately.

A series of massive trial and error government interventions have failed to boost investor confidence longer than for mere hours or days and has already involved such iconic corporations as General Motors (GM), Chrysler, and AIG (American Insurance Group). Countless billions of dollars have been thrown at the problems with the fantasy that something somewhere will stick and will somehow do some good someday. It hasn’t so far.

The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury have already allocated $13.1 trillion during the financial crisis for bailouts and lavish plans of so-called stimulus. Although only $2.8 trillion has actually been spent so far, I believe the entire $13.1 trillion will inevitably be spent and is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our country already has an $11.1 trillion national debt and $55 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other social programs. Combined with the bailout and so-called stimulus allocations, the U.S. is now in the hole for close to $80 trillion. These staggering increases are an ongoing menace. And the figures increase by the minute.

We may have an annual GDP of close to $14 trillion, but more than 70% of it is consumer spending. In order to pay back our debts, we need to produce real things to export to the rest of the world. Our largest exports, besides U.S. Treasuries, are scrap metal and paper we send back to China so that they can produce more junk for us to consume with the money they lend us.

With China planning their own $586 billion “stimulus,” they could become a net seller of U.S. Treasuries at the same time as the U.S. is looking to sell trillions of dollars in new ones. The only buyer for U.S. Treasuries may soon be the Federal Reserve, and the world may eliminate the dollar as the currency of choice.

The dollar became the reserve currency because it was backed by gold. Today, it is backed by nothing but confidence that it will always be accepted as money. For the world to have confidence in the dollar, its supply must be kept scarce. Clearly, the only way our debts will be paid back is if they are monetized, and soon the world will be flooded with dollars.

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If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.

George Bernard Shaw

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Today, despite massive monetary inflation by the Federal Reserve, we still have low commodity and consumer goods prices, due to temporary forces pushing prices down, such as forced liquidations of hedge funds, de-leveraging of banks and going-out-of-business sales of retail stores. These temporary forces will soon be gone and the huge buildup of dollars will flood U.S. and global markets, thereby igniting hyperinflation, which means that U.S. Dollars will buy less goods and services. Our dollars will be worth much less – significantly less – as a result of the U.S. government economic policies now, which have exacerbated the financial turmoil increasingly experienced by millions of Americans.

Beyond Fear

Beverly and I have had a personal relationship with a certain couple for over 35 years.  The husband said to us in October, 2008, that he lost multiplied millions of dollars in value from his stake in some 500 different companies in only a matter of days. He has worked hard throughout his life and is an extremely gifted businessman. But the sudden collapse of millions of stocks, 401(K) and IRA retirement funds shook him to the core of his substantial personhood. “I am beyond fear,” he said to us. “I am numb beyond belief.” 

The stock market fell another 30% since election day. Massive government borrowing and spending on various pork-barrel projects seems to be the direction which is being disapproved of by all existing markets at this time. 

All the politicians know is that America and the whole world cannot tolerate the status quo. The late President Ronald Reagan often quipped about altering the status quo.

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Status quo, you know, that’s Latin for the mess we’re in!”

President Ronald W. Reagan

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But there is more to be concerned about than an economic and political meltdown when considering your financial future.

What If You Live To Be 100?

That is not an idle question. The number of centenarians in the United States is sharply on the rise. According to the Harvard Health Letter, today there are 52,000 Americans age 100 or older. Demographers tell us that the over-85s are the fastest growing age group in the country and that, by the year 2040, there will be an estimated 1.3 to 4 million Americans over the age of 100, notwithstanding the decrease in the quality of health care if the current group of Washington, D.C. politicians prevails and U.S. health care is nationalized. Aging Americans will suffer most if that happens.

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He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.

Henry Ward Beecher

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So we're all living longer, and we'll continue to do so unless America’s health-care system becomes a “single payer system.” This is especially true for women. Medical researchers estimate that, over the next couple of decades, women's life expectancies will increase more than men's. By the year 2020 in industrialized countries, women are expected to live to an average age of 90. All this data, of course, is predicated upon the unknown impact of the highly-touted but lowly-regarded National Health Care Plan to be run by some of Uncle Sam’s bureaucrats.

The implications for financial planning are very clear: More and more Americans will have to figure out how to finance a very, very long retirement age and stage.

Basically, this will mean finding ways to make sure you don't outlive your money.

Here are a few ideas to consider as you think about your retirement years:

1. Get Rid of Old and New Debt ASAP

In a deflationary economy, dollars are worth more going forward. That's because falling prices allow each dollar to buy more in the future.

People concerned about deflation want to avoid debt because deflation would make paying off a loan even more expensive.

While prices in a deflationary economy go down, the amount of your loan does not. "It's painful. If you're worried about this, get out of debt as quickly as you can," says Dan Greenwood, a law professor specializing in corporate finance at Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, N.Y.

Consumers can take many steps to lessen their debt burden quickly. If it is possible, ridding yourself of debt can go a long way toward alleviating your financial fears during a deflationary economy.

If you're impacted by the economy, the last thing you want is to already have a negative balance sheet in your name. You don't want to have huge amounts of credit card debt, since it only puts more stress and anxiety on you.

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I am now having an out-of-money experience.

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2. Build An Emergency Fund

Most financial experts recommend consumers have a rainy-day fund of three to six months' worth of living expenses in cash tucked away for emergencies, such as a sudden setback in your health or in the loss of a job.

When unemployment is rising, some advisers are raising that target to six to nine months. But switching to a saver's mindset may be a challenge for some spenders. It's a huge paradigm shift in our culture.

For many people, the process is underway already. Consumers are rightly more cautious as a result of the drop in the financial markets and heightened fears of a deep and prolonged recession.

3.  Invest for solid results.

Investing for solid results may remain your best weapon against inflation. Historically, the consumer price index has risen by an average of 3.1 percent a year. At that rate, rising prices could cut your purchasing power in half every 23 years – a potentially grim scenario if your retirement lasts twice that long. A reputable financial planner can help you develop a long-term investment strategy based on your needs as well as on your financial and emotional ability to handle the risks of different kinds of investments.

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A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.

Bob Hope, Comedian

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4. Spend less. 

Spending less in your pre-retirement years is a good way to free up more money to add to your nest egg along the way. Then, in retirement, your necessary expenses might be even lower. Try itemizing your expenses over the past 12 months; dividing them into categories that fit your lifestyle. Pay particular attention to any "disappearing money." If studying and tracking your cash flow makes you feel poor, consider this: research has shown that millionaires spend twice as much time analyzing expenses and reviewing goals as other people.

5. Control medical costs. 

In recent years, health-care costs have been rising by as much as 8 percent a year, far more than inflation. As you experience some of the infirmities associated with growing older, these rising costs could be a real problem. The first line of defense is just common sense: take care of yourself. If your body is going to be around for more than a hundred years, it deserves some attention. So get whatever professional medical advice you need. And don't forget the simple things – brushing and flossing your teeth, exercising, developing a sound eating plan, and doing whatever works for you to let go of stress and open up spiritually and creatively. Develop a workable plan for regular physical exercise. Swimming is great exercise wherever available, and walking has long been considered a solid exercise regimen available to most.

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The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.      

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A second idea for controlling health-care costs is to consider long-term care insurance. It is not unusual for nursing homes to cost $3,000-$5,000 a month (or more), a figure that would quickly create a dent in most people's net worth. Long-term care policies may include features like home health care, mental as well as physical impairment, and limited inflation protection.

Several years ago, both Beverly and I shopped for and purchased an annualized policy for long-term care to have available (just in case). To us that is not the evidence of a lack of faith, but rather of an abundance of caution and a healthy respect for reality. The premiums on a long-term care policy may be partly tax-deductible. Please ask your tax adviser.

6. Don't retire. 

At least, consider not retiring fully at age 65. This may seem like a radical idea, but in fact the whole notion of retirement is a fairly new concept. Back in the 1930s, when Social Security was launched with benefits payable at age 65, the average lifespan was 63 years. The picture has changed a lot since then, with present life expectancies at about 75 years and rising. If you continue to work for a few years, even part time, you might be able to relieve some of the pressure on your portfolio. Then you might have a greater chance of the money still being there when you really need it.

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 Retirement at age 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65, I still had pimples.    

Comedian George Burns, at age 99        

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If significant numbers of us are going to live to be 100, maybe it's time to get rid of the myth that age 65 is "old." Our 60s and 70s could arguably be viewed as the autumn of middle age, not the autumn of life. And while we're at it, let's also take a hard look at the myth that not working is somehow more desirable, more fulfilling, than working. It all depends on what we're doing and how we feel about it. For many of us, our 65th birthday could signal an opportunity to discover the most creative, satisfying work of our lives – and a chance to pursue it for another 15 to 35 years.

7. Protect your assets.

To prepare for a possible catastrophic health emergency, it would be a good idea now to take positive initiatives to protect your existing solid assets by considering creating a Family Trust.  This will be a matter for a good attorney to handle for you by transferring your assets into a protected Family Trust. It can also greatly reduce Probate Taxes, better known as the “death tax.”

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The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.

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The Global Financial Collapse of Today – And Beyond

Previously referenced at the top of this blog, the September 16, 2008, massive collapse of the world’s financial systems heralded an era of economic uncertainty. And nobody knows how long it will last. It was unexpected. But it probably shouldn’t have been.

In short, tenured politicians in the U.S. Senate's and House of Representatives' key Committees, such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and  Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), pressured the country’s banking and lending systems (including the federally underwritten Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agencies) over the last few years to accommodate sub-prime mortgages, which millions of Americans simply could not afford.  For a while it was good politics but ended as bad economics. Predictably, once again, the American taxpayers are paying the piper for the politicians’ folly.

Terms such as “toxic mortgages” entered the nation’s vocabulary. “Bundling” of these toxic mortgages for sale on the financial markets led to financial “bungling.” Language not heard since the dark days of The Great Depression of the 1930s became commonly used by politicians, and it led to staggering losses in the retirement and other savings investments of Americans in a meltdown of the financial lending systems. Credit practically dried up overnight. Wall Street responded with uncertainty and massive losses.  Major companies were wiped out overnight.  401(k) and some 401(b) retirement funds suffered huge losses or outright ruin.

In the awful aftermath of the $50 billion scam of New York’s Bernie Madoff, former chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange, and lesser con men in Texas, Michigan, Florida and other states, we suddenly became aware of America’s Ponzi Economy.

It was abrupt. And it was devastating.

When used together, especially regarding politicians in Washington, D.C., the two words “political” and “leaders” seem to form an oxymoron. But the apparently panicky heads of both major U.S. political parties rushed to the TV cameras to announce that unless the American Treasury immediately spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the banks and several big Wall Street investment firms, a financial catastrophe was imminent. Major stock brokerage houses began falling like dominoes.

It now appears that their worried words are continuing to ignite the fuse of a macabre self-fulfilling prophecy as evidenced by the ongoing extreme volatility of the stock markets and the extreme economic shifts in the U.S. and globally.

The change of political administrations for control of both the executive branch and legislative branch of government only exacerbated the collapse.

Then, the scene shifted, a few weeks passed, and the dollar figures suddenly involved money into the trillions (with a “t”) and not just merely hundreds of billions (with a “b”) of dollars.

The late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois is considered by many the source of this wry remark, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money.” 

Hasty ... And Ill-Advised

In a near frenzied rush to throw an additional one or two or three trillion (or more – who knows how much really?) dollars into the faltering economy, quasi-socialism or either a new breed of fascism was ushered in with an enthusiastic welcome; only the politicians refuse to call it “socialism” or “neo-fascism.” Instead, they call it what they have attempted unsuccessfully to instantly transform into a halo expression: a financial stimulus plan.

In my personal view, it is a kind of collectivism that is being hastily imposed at nearly every level of living. In fact, “hasty” describes the accepted norm of the new breed of elected politicians and the eagerly cooperative heads of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, “rushing” passage faster than anyone could or would read through in advance of instantaneous votes without debate or discussion.

In short, they shoved it down our collective throats.

A New Paradigm:

Stampeding Politically-Based Seizure for Control Into The Law of the Land

Historically, almost all politicians have viewed one of their major responsibilities as trying valiantly to calm the fears and diminish any feelings of panic among the American people. But now, the politicians are using  panic as an actual tactic to stampede an unwary public toward supporting their rush to what they erroneously label as “social justice,” which is just a more politically correct way to hide what it truly means – a massive redistribution of wealth.

Therefore, a radical paradigm shift has turned rushed-through legislation into the “gold standard” of the new American political structure.

Shoving "emergency legislation" down the throats of the American public has become the preferred tactic of expediency. 

American Citizens “Reporting” Other American Citizens to the Government

Even more ominously, a recent blog on the White House website urged the American public to report anything they read on the Internet or receive in emails that may sound “fishy” to them regarding anyone in disagreement with the current U.S. Government, especially on its national health care plan.

Strangely, almost nobody seemed to even mind. Nobody that is, but the people of America. It was laughed off with impunity by the mainstream news media.

But this tactic is not new. It was big in Nazi Germany, and in Facist Italy. I learned about it firsthand in 1990 in the hardline Eastern European Communist bloc nations of Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Albania, and in Russia and the other 14 republics of the Soviet Union.  Then in 1993, I observed firsthand again that the tactic of citizens "reporting" other citizens was really BIG in the hardline Communist nation of China and its satellites of North Korea, Manchuria, and Tibet. Tyrants rule by fear and intimidation. 

When citizens fear their government, it leads to tyranny. But when governments fear their citizens, it leads to freedom.

Incredibly, in America, it is not an exaggeration to assert that it now seems clear that so many gangland-style thugs are in charge in key positions that a new word has emerged in America. Democracy, it now appears, may be replaced by "Thugocracy." "Economics" may be replaced by "Thugonomics." A gang of U.S. Government political thugs is trying to install a radical new paradigm in America to suppress, if not altogether negate, our First Amendment right of free speech. 

And the mainstream media? 

They didn’t take it seriously either in Nazi Germany or Facist Italy or Communist Russia, Eastern Europe, or Mainland China. The politics were not that important back in the day. And they are not taking the losses of freedom seriously now. But the subtle elimination of the rights of U.S. citizens to disagree with their government is important. Crucially important. And Constitutionally urgent.

In late August of 2009, evidently turning up the heat also led to turning on the light and therefore driving back the darkness – at least for the moment.  The call for citizens to report anything "fishy" about the proposed National Health Care Plan suddenly was recanted. At this writing, it is still not clear whether or not the capability of citizens reporting other citizens was deflected to yet another White House-run website called “Reality Check.” Everyone who values true “free speech” should remain constantly vigilant.

The New U.S. Czars

On the subject of the appointments of a record number of czars in the U.S. Government, ancient Russia’s totalitarian emperor-like or king-like rulers known as Czars led the nation and impacted its people based solely upon their own whims. The Communist Revolution led by Vladimir Lenin in 1917 was supposed to have improved the lives of the people. It did not

American citizens should take note – the words czar and kaiser come from the Latin root Caesar – so we can know what to expect.

Also with haste since January 20, 2009, approximately 35 so-called czars have been arbitrarily appointed without any approval or even any review by Congress or the Senate. Democrat Senior Senator, Robert Byrd of Virginia, wrote a lengthy letter objecting that such an administrative structure gave too much power to the U.S. President and provided a cocoon of immunity for any wrong doing "in the interest of national security."  Byrd's protest has fallen on deaf ears. Two or three Presidents have appointed "czars" in the past, but in extremely small numbers – by the twos and threes – and not by the 30s or 40s.

As one bad example, the new “Green Czar” who is to lead in the so-called revolution toward environmentally “safer” fuels is himself an avowed Communist and anarchist. He was a black-power advocate arrested during the street riots in the Los Angeles Watts area in 1993. He is also credited for authoring the stimulus package as the head of The Apollo Alliance, a subsidiary of a well-funded private foundation bankrolled by George Soros, a mega-rich Greek businessman who finances many controversial radical liberal organizations.

Does anyone know ANYTHING about these people? Guess what? That's the point. You don't know them so they are anonymous. It's easier to "get things done" in Washington, D.C. when you are anonymous.

Anonymous, unaccountable, invisible. Sounds like a perfect “cover” for working national mischief from people lacking integrity.

The Newly Appointed Federal Communication Czar for Diversity for

Christian Radio Stations and Conservative Talk Radio

One new outrage on top of another of appointed czars, will increasingly have a chilling effect toward intimidating the owners and operators of Christian Radio Stations and Conservative Talk Radio. Enforceability is left wide open to the discretion of the new “Czar” for Diversity. He was appointed on July 29, 2009 and is a “social and political activist of the lowest order,” according to a confidential source.

And, the originally appointed “Car Czar,” for instance, was a 31-year-old appointee with no experience in autos. Imagine a 31-year-old liberal political radical heading up the new GM (Government Motors).  For the most part, these newly appointed “czars,” in the opinion of many, represent the biggest assortment of weirdos, anarchists, whacked-out cultural freaks and social misfits in the long history of America.

The original "Car Czar" resigned as hastily as he was appointed. In an apparent effort at damage control, yet another czar has been appointed to assist in managing the U.S. Government's ownership of General Motors.

But I Keep Hoping – And Waiting

I keep waiting for the Washington political controllers now in charge at virtually every level of the U.S. Government to launch even one single initiative with which I agree.  So I’m still hoping – and waiting – probably in vain – for even ONE single initiative that is acceptable to me as a private citizen.

But it is what it is.  We must boldly let our voices be heard to short-circuit various spendthrift plans that could literally bankrupt America. We’ve each got to learn to deal with things as they are. Then, when the time comes, we will all work hard to make things right in America.

After the election of 2008, I have decided not to vote on a party-line basis. I am not a party-line citizen, but I am an independent thinking American citizen.

If it weren’t so tragic, the rapid-fire succession of economic and political blunders would be funny.  Hastily thrown-together economic programs are so voluminous and ambiguous that virtually no one on Capitol Hill even takes the time to read them. Then, after the laws are quickly stampeded through, and at last when the hundreds of pages of each new governmental program are finally read, no one can understand them. It’s not unlike trying to read and understand the conflicting IRS laws. 

How Much Is A Billion (With a “B”)?

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' (with a “b”) in a casual manner, think about whether you want the politicians spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

• A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

• A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

• A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

• A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and five minutes, at the rate the American politicians are spending it now. And that figure is more than it was yesterday but less than it will be tomorrow.

How much is a Trillion (With a “T”)?

Not many people have even the fuzziest concept of what a massive amount even one trillion dollars is. I was struggling to wrap my mind around that amount and had to do some research to help me envision how much a trillion dollars is.

A trillion is the new replacement for a billion.

The 2009 U.S. budget weighed in at $3.75 trillion. In 2010 and beyond, our national debt will exceed $13 trillion. But just how large is a trillion, anyway?

• One trillion is 1,000,000,000,000 – 10 to the 12th power, or a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand.

• To put things in perspective, current estimates put the number of stars in the Milky Way at somewhere between 100 and 400 billion. The U.S. population is slightly over 304 million, and the world population is around 6.6 billion.

• A trillion barrels of oil would – at current consumption levels – fuel the whole world’s needs for every vehicle and heating for every home and building, each for about 33 years.

• As an example: 

One million seconds would be 11½ days of time.

One billion seconds would be 32 years of time.

One trillion seconds would be 3,200 years of time.

• If you go to the bank and get $100 dollar bills, a compressed stack of $1 million would be about four feet high, while $1 trillion would be 789 miles high – or 144 Mt. Everests high.

• If you were to spend $1,000 each day, to spend $1 trillion would take 2.7 million years. To add further perspective, the current budget deficit of the U.S.A. will be some $2 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, 2009 – four times bigger than only a year ago.

Socialism in America

The Socialist Party candidate for President of the U.S., Norman Thomas, said this in a 1944 speech:

The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism.

But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment

of  the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist

nation without knowing how it actually happened.

He went on to conclude:

I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the

Socialist Party. One of the already existing two major Parties in

the U.S. has already adopted our platform as their own.

The “Wolf” of Big Government in the

“Sheep’s Clothing” of an Economic Stimulus Plan

The “wolf” of massive government spending was disguised in the “sheep’s clothing” of the so-called economic stimulus plan on pet pork-barrel projects and was hastily passed. The new law, printed on more than 1,100 pages, was presented to the legislators at 11:00 p.m. at night and was passed by the U.S. Congress and the Senate the next day, a little more than 12 hours later, without their having the time to even read it. 

Then, it was hastily signed into law by the newly-elected president who promised that this would reassure the financial markets and would usher in a new era of governmental activism; then it also quickly included the nationalization of General Motors in the auto industry and key U.S. Banks, and Socialized Medical and a single-payer Universal Health Care Plan for anyone who requests it – irrespective of whether they are a U.S. Citizen or not. To pay for a part of the trillion dollar (plus) price tag, some half-a-billion dollars or more may be taken from Medicare, which will devastate millions of U.S. senior adults. Add to all that the specter of a new ruling that there will be no cost of living increases for the next two years for Social Security recipients, plus those senior adults will pay significantly higher premiums for Medicare, and it is no wonder that American senior adults feel that the AARP has sold them out.

All this will bring about rationed health care and increased taxes as surely as darkness follows every sunset.

It is being infrequently and obliquely mentioned that this $1.5 trillion health care insurance program will somehow be paid for by unspecified (and massive) tax increases. The first new batch of taxes to be paid by (who else?) the American taxpaying public will be added onto all our monthly electricity and other utility bills under the ambiguous heading of “Cap and Trade.” 

Regardless of what is promised by the Washington politicians, taxes will be significantly increased on every tax-paying American. It has already begun and will continue indefinitely into the future. No one can predict accurately how long it will last. But it is apt to be for the duration of our lifetimes – and well beyond.

In late August 2009, the White House Office of Management and Budget reluctantly announced that the previously projected budgetary deficits of "only" $7 trillion over the next 10 years will now be $9 trillion. Most economic experts believe the true budget deficits will top $1 trillion (and probably more) every year. Frequent budgetary gimmicks will only exacerbate our economic woes. Whatever the actual deficits total, most economists agree that even monetizing our debt will be unsustainable.

            And as our budget deficits continue to rise exponentially into outrageous new territory, runaway inflation may become the deadliest enemy of all in disabling the average American citizens from successfully outliving their money.

The opposite of success and prosperity has happened, especially in the early days of this so-called economic stimulus plan. Almost everyone, except those most involved in trying to hastily foist it off on the American public, doubts it ever will truly succeed. The result is apt to be a wild roller-coaster ride of economic ups and downs unprecedented in their suddenness and in their extremes.

The U.S. government is spending tons of money-we-do-not-have on pork-barrel projects we-do-not-need. In fact, America’s politicians are spending like thoughtless prodigals – more money that any government in the history of the world.

Bankruptcy of the U.S. economy is no longer seen as an impossibility.

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Bank accounts give a person a good feeling – until he realizes they are insured by an agency 

of the Federal Government that is trillions of dollars in debtIndianapolis News

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Imagine the nightmare of a possible new and diminished U.S.A. no longer dominating the world’s stage, accompanied by a draining redistribution of wealth and a dumbing down of  health care and all other systems for 300 million people.

Since September 2008, the historically conservative and supposedly "non-political" Federal Reserve, has begun to secretly monetize America's staggering debt service. Allegations are only now beginning to surface publicly about another $9 trillion (with a "t") "off-balance-sheet" series of secret transactions of an undetermined nature expended to yet-to-be determined recipients. $9 trillion averages $30,000 of new debt for every man, woman and child in the United States. Click on the direct link below to see a 5-minute video testimony on this subject with probing questions, and the shocking testimony of the woman who is heading up a key U.S. appointed administration position. The final very brief summation of her testimony by a democrat congressional questioner says it all about how incompetently things are being run in Washington, D.C.  After you finish reading this blog, please return here and CLICK HERE for this 5-minute video testimony.              

Collectivism, Quasi-Socialism or Fascism:

Not Like a Slow-Moving Iceberg, But Like a Rampaging Tsunami

Beverly and I talked prior to the U.S. presidential election in November 2008 of a possible slow, iceberg-like drift toward socialism or neo-fascism. But never in our worst-case imaginings did we ever dream that America would gallop headlong into quasi-socialism or new-age fascism. Actually, the term I prefer and which seems more realistic and accurate is a neo-collectivism.

The onset of collectivism, quasi-socialism and new-age fascism was not as slow and ponderous as a drifting iceberg, but suddenly burst on the scene more like an economic and political tsunami, which will unfailingly usher in ultimately a new era of inflation and possible hyper-inflation – but first to be preceded by a period of deflation and stagflation.

All of a sudden we now view the specter of the very real possibility of an even more significant number of America’s banks being nationalized; America’s auto industry being nationalized; and America’s Health Care Coverage and Systems being nationalized. Can the nationalization of transportation, utilities, education, and the nationalization of almost everything else be far behind? Sounds like Socialism to me.

National Health Care: The Public Option

This Isn't Over Yet!

Vows have been made in late August, 2009 by our U.S. President and many of his political allies to ram through a U.S. governmental-run health care plan regardless of the cost it inflicts on our country. In fact, on August 21, 2009 as his poll numbers continued to plummet in the wake of spirited debates in Town Hall Meetings across America, the President made what he called "an ironclad guarantee that a Health Care Public Option would pass and would be signed into U.S. Law by the end of this year." The vow has been made to abandon any semblance of bipartisanship and for the majority party now in power to just "go it alone" if necessary and ram through something – anything – at any cost to Americans and irrespective of what "We, the people" want or need. Political gerrymandering of the lowest order is already secretly underway. The battle could be irretrievably and indescribably costly to our country in ways that are unimaginable presently.

An increasing number of others agree that the need to save more is immense, especially in light of the effect of the potential for catastrophic health-care expenses in retirement. The debate raging now throughout America promises more savings and more efficient services by a so-called "public option" which means a completely government-run health care system.  And that is from a government which has succeeded only in bankrupting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and everything else it "runs." 

Great Britain's nationally-run health care system, for example, is said to be the third largest business in the world – and is already virtually bankrupt. What makes anyone think that the same U.S. Government which has managed to foul up all of the above along with Amtrak, and a new car-buying scheme called Cash for Clunkers, could succeed in seizing control of one-sixth of the U.S. Economy while sustaining fiscal solvency through a nationally run health-care system which plans to pay for itself through unspecified tax increases, plus seizing $500 billion from the existing Medicare program. Millions of America's senior adults will be devastated while uncounted millions of others who are not even U.S. Citizens will be served free health care and will instantly become one of the largest voting blocs in the U.S.

Meanwhile, John Diehl, the president of The Hartford's Retirement Solutions Group, said trying to make sure one doesn't outlive one's assets can be complicated as well. That's especially true for women, who tend to live an average of 10 to 15 years more than men, according to the Maureen Mohyde, the director of corporate gerontology at The Hartford, which sponsors various longevity conferences.

(Some of this material was reported  by Robert Powell for MarketWatch.)

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Imagine nearly everything being run by the government like – Amtrak.

Massive and sweeping nationalizations of trillion dollar programs are being hastily stampeded through and the legislative process is being short-circuited and compressed into mere hours of “deliberation” by the power-hungry politicians’ insatiable appetite for more power, more control, more government interference in the lives of “We, the People.”

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The Personal Implications

Our lexicon of apocalyptic economic and political terms continues to be updated almost daily, making uncertainty the only thing that is certain, to use a necessary redundancy.

Here in Florida where we have lived since 1984, there is a local and colloquial saying by some of the older native Florida “crackers,” that there are only two kinds of people who try to predict Florida’s erratic weather patterns – “yankees and fools.”

And, just when you think the politicians can be trusted to act in the national interest economically and for the public safety, everything changes and uncertainty becomes the only thing that is certain – again.

America’s new Attorney General now says that “imprisonment of convicted criminals” may not now be either affordable or sustainable any longer. He says what is needed in the criminal justice system is a new and more (radically) liberal paradigm. And his "on-again-off-again" plan to bring CIA interrogators to trial for the "questionable" criminal behavior regarding "Gitmo" terrorists detained in Cuba under the previous administration is now "on-again" at this writing, some feel to distract from the rising health-care negatives.

The recession will be longer and harder and will intermittently deepen in a roller-coaster-like ride of ups and downs of the interest rates and the price of oil and gasoline.

 

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Folk singer Bob Dylan sang his song throughout the turbulent 60s and 70s entitled "The Times, They Are A-Changin'.  The song was true then; it is true now.

Come gather 'round people wherever you roam
And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics who prophesy with your pen
And keep your eyes wide, the chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon for the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'
‘Cos the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen, please head the call
Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside and it's ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast
The slow one now will later be fast
As the present now will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'
For the times they are a-changin'

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With the volatile money markets, disappearing credit, deflation, stagflation, and inflation happening throughout the tenure of recklessly spendthrift politicians, almost nothing makes any true common sense. Recommending a fully predictable and workable plan for your financial future becomes virtually impossible. Inflation will definitely be a deadly culprit to your plans for your predictable retirement income.

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And yet, some financial basics will survive the economic volatility. Throughout our lifetime, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we all adopt a philosophy regarding the money from our earnings.

To some, their philosophy toward money is:

Make all you can.
Can all you make.
And watch that can.

The Wesley Brothers, preachers John and Charles, had an even better philosophy toward money:

Make all you can.
Give all you can.
Save all you can.

And in the final analysis, the Word of God gives us this solid assurance:

                              My God shall supply all your need according to His 
                              riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19)

• When you depend upon the government, you get what the government can do.

• When you depend upon earthly institutions, you get what the earthly institutions can do.

• When you depend upon God, you get what Almighty God can do!

Therefore, we need to frequently go to our knees and earnestly pray for our country that God will supernaturally intervene out of the abundance of His divine grace and mercy.

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The little money I have – that is my wealth. But the things I have for which I would not take money, that is my treasure.

Robert Brault, blogger

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Please accept the information listed below of email addresses and U.S. mail addresses to use at your own personal discretion and boldly express your own views on any current or future issues to any key politicians as follows:

Senate – contact page:
http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/general/one_item_and_teasers/contacting.htm

US House of Representatives – main page:
http://www.house.gov/

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
http://reid.senate.gov/

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
http://mcconnell.senate.gov/

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
http://speaker.house.gov/contact/

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
http://majorityleader.gov/

House Minority Leader John Boehner
http://republicanleader.house.gov



Feedback


Oh wow! There's a ton of good information and sound advice in this post. I plan to bookmark this one for future reference. Thanks for doing the hard work FOR me!

Dee Yoder
Mansfield, Ohio


Hello Dr. Carl Richardson: I am not amazed that in the richest country in the world one of the basic fundamental issues of health care is causing such a challenge for some of its citizens. While billions of dollars were spent on fighting a war on distant shores not to speak of the thousands of innocent lives which are needlessly sacrificed, America now seems to be floundering. Were a fraction of these tax dollars invested in the interest of the American people who rightly deserve it, the economy today in America would be better advanced and most importantly the lives and interests of the worthy citizens of the greatest country upon the earth. I love and pray for America and its president. "God rules over the affairs of men and Nations" Blessings.

Pastor Huel O Wilson.
Brampton, Ontario, Canada


Dear Carl, kudos on your latest blog. You really hit the nail on the head and with great insight and thought, not reactionary emotion. I hope that all of us Americans will wake up and stand up for our God given-constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

Missionaries Joanne & Jimmy Whitlow
Barberton, Mpumalanga South Africa


Dr. Richardson, though I am not part of your denomination, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing you speak at our international general assembly a few years ago. Throughout my pastorate, I have been ambivalent to politics and politicians. But your blog came as a much needed wakeup call to my wife and me. I just didn’t realize what was happening in our government. I had very little idea of the scope of our challenges until you enlightened me. My wife and I had planned to retire in the next year or two and maybe phone you to see if we could accompany you on some of your overseas ministry trips especially to Africa and China. But since losing most of our 401(k) retirement funds in the stock market nearly a year ago, I’ve wondered how we might achieve our financial goals. As a first step, I’m going to follow your counsel to NOT retire; at least not yet. Thanks for your candor and for such well-documented information.

Pastor A.S. Murray
Metro-Chicago, Illinois


Rich research. Brother Carl. And a wealth of information that is scary to any human in any country. May God help America and the world! May God help His Church and its MISSION throughout the world!

Pastor G. Moses Choudary
Hyderabad, India


WOW! Great job.

Claude A. Wheeler
Alexandria, Virginia


Mr. Richardson, a friend forwarded your blog (it’s more like an essay) and there are many parts of your writings that make perfect sense to me. But why must you join the chorus of conservative zealots and pick on the progressives in America? As a long-term contributor to Nancy Pelosi’s campaigns, I’m thankful you didn’t mention her by name in your attack on the progressives, but at the end of your rant, you provided a direct link to her email address as Speaker of the House, which may inflame your readers to unleash a personal attack on her. Please remove her email address. In the future, here’s an idea! Why don’t you just stick to preaching and leave running our country to the professional politicians? Aren’t you afraid that this may adversely affect your ministry? Please do not publish my name. I don’t want any of your readers here in the Bay area to annoy me with their nasty phone calls or try to “convert” me to your misguided way of thinking.

(Name Witheld by Request)
San Francisco, California


Let’s have more of this kind of edgy material from you on contemporary subjects of broad public interest. I’ve never read anything that is any more on target or any more timely. I wish you could find a way to have several million people read it! Pastor Carl, I’m telling you, this is a powerful word of truth!

Mrs. Doris Robinson
New York City, New York


Carl, there is brilliant, analytical thinking in this essay. Keep up the solid thinking and writing. Blessings to you, my friend.

Dr. David W. Clark
President Emeritus
Palm Beach Atlantic University
West Palm Beach, Florida


I suppose now you want to be the “Christian” version of Rush Limbaugh. Puleeze! Spare us your so-called “wisdom.” However I got on your email list, remove my name at once. Our nation has enough concerns without you pointing out even more ultra-conservative viewpoints for the gullible readers of your writings.

Rodney Williams
Freeport Long Island, New York


As a young minister I found your blog on “Avoiding Outliving Your Money” to be very insightful and helpful to me personally. I’ve never read anything about any of this and have not ever heard anything taught on this subject. For me, your words have been transformational. I plan to be specific in my financial goals and will carefully follow your advice. Also, I never realized what was going on in the top levels of our government and plan to be vigilant and pro-active in voicing my concerns from today onward to our elected representatives. I was shocked by much of the information, but thank you for being a straight-forward truth teller.

Jason Davis
San Antonio, Texas


Carl, I’m 59 and my wife and I lost our house to foreclosure a few months ago. Along with other setbacks financially, we are trying hard to hang in there. I’m at a crossroad in my life and request your personal prayers that God will intervene for me. I wish I would have known much sooner about some of the important issues you raised. I’m approaching retirement age, but now know that retirement is not a viable option for me anytime in the foreseeable future. More than ever before, my wife and I are depending upon the Lord. Please pray for us.

Conrad E. Jones
Seattle, Washington


Thank you for your powerful article. I am taking it to heart. God bless.

Elton Deril Britt
U.S. Army
Baghdad, Iraq


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