Hello friends, Kerf hasn't been posting much lately but I've been lurking in the shadows reading and watching. Spent a couple of weeks at the lake and enjoyed MB riding, boating and of course, the evening adult beverages. Back in the early nineties, while I was still uninvolved, that would have been the end of the story but now, we have other fish to fry. I have family on the gulf coast and they are giving me an ear full about the response to the oil spill. I watch much of the coverage and I hear and see the frustration of the mayors of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as well as the loosing battle Bobby Jindal is waging. The comparisons to Katrina are striking. One could say the president acted too late and while that's true, I believe there is a larger problem, BUREAUCRACY. They just don't work. When a bureaucracy is as large as the Federal Government, they become detached, are prone to gridlock and are riddled with incompetence. All of which begs the question, why is the president so intent to create an ever larger, more expensive and more powerful bureaucracy. I think it's the power thing. In addition to creating a totally inept response to the Gulf Oil Disaster, the size or our Federal Government, it's over regulation, excessive spending and pending tax increases are killing the economy's ability to pull out of the recession. The news about GM looked promising until you remember they paid the bailout loans back with other TARP money and they're still in hock to the UAW's health and retirement fund for billions. Makes me wonder if the profit they announced amounts to just smoke. The Government downgraded the 1st quarter GDP estimate to 2.7%, from the earlier projection of 3%. At that, many economists are linking what little economic growth we've had to tax issues. The President and Congress have seen fit to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire at years end. Economist Art Laffer and others contend that companies are pushing profits into 2010 to avoid the higher tax rate 2011 will bring. They contend that this will result in a "double dip recession" and an economic collapse in 2011. V.P. Biden has admitted that there's no relief for the unemployed in the near future, saying "the lost jobs will not return". The President is currently at the G20 summit, where the European Socialist leaders have announced draconian spending cuts in their respective countries and have urged Obama to do the same here. He has said no and continues with his plan to grow government at never before seen rates and demanding more stimulus spending. Never mind it didn't work before. I never thought I'd live to see European Socialist more conservative than the POTUS!!!