Ross Perot is back. He still has very large ears, he still has a playful, thick Texas accent and he still has charts. His charts are not surprising, but shocking nonetheless.
Ross Perot, business leader and former presidential candidate, announced today the launch of “PerotCharts.com,” a public information website that contains objective, factual information about the current economic crisis in America. The site is being launched as an alert and appeal for American citizens to inform themselves about federal government spending. Perot said, “The U.S. national debt reached $9.4 TRILLION on April 30, and it is increasing by more than $1 billion every day. We are leaving our children and grandchildren with debt they cannot possibly pay.”
Perot’s website, PerotCharts.com, is essentially a PSA. He really has not changed his message since his runs in 1992 and 1996. It leads one to wonder why he did not have charts in 2004 when we had a federal deficit of more than $400 billion, and why he has waited so late in the 2008 election to release his message. It also leads one to wonder if he has established a PAC.
In my opinion, people like Ross Perot, maybe even people like Ralph Nader, represent something exciting and special to many people–the chance to not vote for a politician. I believe it is why Obama got such a boost from his “celebrity” status; people didn’t know him.
According to a recent poll by WorldPublicOpinion.org, the citizens of the world distrust the leaders of the world (Bush and Ahmedinijad top amongst them, nearly universally).
Interestingly, one of the clear messages this poll shows is that people around the world trust their leader more than other nations leaders. The Palestinians, who are in the poll, trust no one except Nasrallah and Abbas. Israel is not featured in the poll, and I presume it would have been the exception to the “Bush rule,” Mr. Bush being the least trusted leader in the world, by far; I presume Israel would have expressed no trust for their leaders, and little for the world’s and none for the region’s.
As America’s economy tanks, we may need to rethink our financial support of the Jewish State (and others). If the Israeli population finds their government hopelessly corrupt, why do we trust them with multi-billion dollar cash transfers? The USAid website’s Israel page has not been updated since 2005 and does not reflect the full implications of the aid package, but rather just the cash transfer. The package reflected there does not reflect the renegotiated $30 billion decade long deal from 2007.
According to Perot’s charts, in 2007 our defense budget alone had a deficit of $542 billion (20% of our total deficit), and Israel’s aid is earmarked so it might not all fall into the defense budget. Another chart shows that following the Cold War, we experienced what Perot calls a “Peace Dividend”, our spending markedly decreased. While still remarkably lower (by percentage), than at the height of the Cold War, in our own day, there has been a marked increase in US spending post-2001.
I’m certainly not knowledgeable enough to understand the ramifications of these numbers, what the practical impacts of outlandishly large spending and aid packages are, what the ramifications of suspending those packages would be, and so forth. But I think one need not be too clever to look at this and see something clearly isn’t working right.