Tag Archives: debt

The Spread of Economic Greek Fire

The global economy is on fire due to government Water Fountain Economics. Leaders from around the world continue to push for more government spending with hope that it will stem the flow of a sinking economic situation and put the fire out.  One of those world leaders is, France’s newly elected President Francois Hollande, who is the leader of the Socialist Party.  President Hollande has called for huge tax increases (75 percent) on those who have an income of 1 million  euros or greater.  This tax hike that President Hollande wishes to implement on the so-called “rich,” would supposedly increase revenue to the central government and supply the increase that is needed to pay for the growth of government entitlements.  Government spending, or a “continuous stimulus” has drained the producers and job creators of their life blood to keep the economy afloat.  This belief that the “rich” are not paying their “fair share,” has become a recent trend with many leaders from around the world.  President Obama himself has called for the rich to pay their “fair share” in his “New Nationalism” speech that he gave in Kansas.

The economic fire storm that spread to Spain, has now put them into an economic situation in which Spain is now requesting a 100 billion euro bailout, which is the  equivalent to 125 billion dollars.  If Spain does not change the way it manages the revenue that it collects from the producers within that economy. This bailout contagion that continues to spread from country to country could have a devastating end result on the entire world economy.  In response to the bank bailout for Spain, and the growing concerns within the Eurozone, ft.com reporters quoted an expert from Citigroup;

“The crisis is deteriorating at an ever-increasing pace,” said Mark Schofield, a senior strategist at Citigroup. “Investors are increasingly pricing in either of the two tail risks – full eurozone break-up or fiscal union.”

The Economic Times, also reported that Greece could be on its third bailout soon enough;

“If a state insolvency is to be avoided, then the Europeans will need to jump in again. The Bundestag (lower house of parliament) may possibly have to discuss a third Greek package again.”

Greece has been forced to seek world help many times in the past.  The first time was for 110 billion euros in May of 2010, and then for another 130 billion euros earlier in 2012, plus an additional 107 billion euro private debt write off.  If the elections in Greece this Sunday result in a win for the leftist Syriza party, who have claimed to stop the accepting the bailouts, could result in Greece leaving the 17-nation Eurozone.  The global economic implications of Greece exiting the Eurozone cannot be properly assessed and therefore many suggestions at mitigating the financial damage have been offered.  Reuters reports that;

“European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro.”

Another suggestion from E.U officials would restrict the movement of people, along with the capital across borders.  This is the result of government growing out of control, not only with the control of capital, but the control of the actual person from one place to another.  Is this the place that America is headed? Will this be the end result for the entire Eurozone?  How will the expected exit of Greece impact America, and the rest of the world?  How long will other countries continue with this charade of fiscal sanity?

Greece has received multiple bailouts and is still heading down a path of fiscal destruction.  Now, Spain has received its first bailout from surrounding nations, as well as Ireland, and Portugal.   At some point the water fountain economic theory will run out, and lending nations will not be able to lend each other capital anymore.  Nations that were previously sustaining semi-healthy economies, now have to borrow capital from neighboring nations in order to keep their economies afloat as a result of their previous lending to other nations prop up their economies.

What will happen there are no more lending countries?  If nation A borrowed capital from nation B, and nation B borrowed capital from nation C, and one day nation C stops lending, what will the result be for nation A? Will banks close?  How long will the economy last? What will the world look like with every economy collapsing?

NEWS FLASH: Lindsey Graham is a “top conservative”!

Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge, Gregory Lemos and Sherisse Pham, part of the collective, useful spokes-tools employed by ABC News and the “progressive” Party Pravda’s online misinformation outlet known as Yahoo News are at it again.

To begin with, this “progressive” misinformation’s “headline” is pure, pre-fabricated nonsense that reads:

“Top conservative says read my lips: Don’t sign ‘no new tax’ pledge”.

This “headline” is garbage.

First of all, save for his consistently patriotic support for the United States military and for American troops, Senator Lindsey Graham is about as moderate as Republicans come. Some Conservatives might characterize him as a “progressive” Republican. Even more may openly label him a RINO. The thought of his being a “top conservative” comes from the minds of institutionalized “progressive” leftists, not reality. Secondly, not once in the interview does Graham ever utter the words “read my lips”. Again, readers are witnessing fabricated “progressive” wishful fiction, not fact. Furthermore, never did he say “don’t sign the ‘no new tax’ pledge. Not even once. Not ever.

The entire headline is a total lie. It’s a complete falsehood. The “news” presented in this “headline” is “progressive” fabrication that goes light years beyond the outer limits of “spin”.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/top-conservative-says-read-lips-don-t-sign-101721355.html

Thanks to a “headline” that’s contains not one ounce of truth, the article is automatically discredited in the minds of informed voters, those who are obviously not the target audience of Karl, Coolidge, Lemos and Pham.

What Graham did say is that he is willing to be flexible on applying one fourth of revenue collected by the IRS through elimination of tax loopholes and subsidies towards reducing the nations nearly $16 trillion in debt. The other three fourths would continue to follow the No New Tax Pledge’s formula for applying such revenues solely towards tax cuts. For Graham to accept this compromise, Democrats would be required to respond in kind to work in a bipartisan fashion towards reducing the national debt via “entitlement” program reforms.

That such inaccurate “reporting” could be considered, even for a fleeting moment, as real journalism, that these liars are actually getting paid to propagandize pure fiction as fact shows how low are today’s standards for journalistic integrity. This “headline” is going to give a large number of low-information, “sound bite news voters” a completely incorrect image of reality. It’s not even close to being true. All visible evidence points to clear intent to mislead misinform and indoctrinate masses of online readers.

How about giving this story a more objective headline, a headline that reflects the truth while accurately respects the content of the story? One more like: Graham Willing to Discuss Tax, Entitlement Compromise.

How difficult was that?

Perhaps for self imagined, self-appointed members of the “progressive” intellectual elite, it’s just too simple for their brilliant minds.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/news-flash-lindsey-graham-is-a-top-conservative/

WTF – High Speed Rail to Nowhere

Winning The Future, anyone remember that one? That was President Obama’s scheme to rebuild the American economy on among other things, high speed rail.

In his 2011 State of the Union address he said, “This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. … The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information — from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet.”

President Obama assured us that we would connect 80 percent of Americans to high-speed rail within 25 years.

Governors like Rick Scott of Florida and Scott Walker of Wisconsin saw this for the boondoggle it was and refused the government money for high speed rail.

California, however, never a state to pass up an opportunity to waste taxpayer dollars, signed on to the project right away, receiving 3.5 billion dollars from the federal government, and borrowing another 10 billion dollars in a bond issue. The money is to build a high speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The estimated cost for the project is 68 billion dollars. Since Congress cut off 2012 funds for such projects, California is the only U.S. state working to lay tracks for 220 mph trains. The project remains about $54 billion short of what is required for completion

Public support among Californians is waning, however. A recent USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll found that 59 percent would now oppose the rail project given another chance to vote even though it was previously approved by a 53% majority.

Even with a budget deficit of 15.7 billion dollars, Governor Jerry Brown seems undeterred. He has allocated some of the 9.95 billion dollars in bond issues for the rail project in fiscal year 2012, while he asks voters to increase sales and income taxes and cut the school year by three weeks.

Is the US Going To Need a Bailout?

In terms of national debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the answer is “YES!” How, you ask, do I arrive at that answer? Well, let’s examine the debt as a percentage of GDP in Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain (PIGS), as well as in the US.

First, let’s examine the debt as a percentage of GDP in PIGS. These four countries received bail outs from the European Union (EU).

  • PORTUGAL, 2011 Debt as a percentage of GDP: 108%, Bailout amount: €78 billion in May 2011. Fitch ratings agency has cut the credit standing of Portugal to BB+, junk-bond status.
  • IRELAND, 2011 Debt as a percentage of GDP: 108%, Bailout amount: €67.5 billion agreed to in November 2010. Fitch Ratings gives Ireland’s sovereign debt rating a BBB+, although it said there was at least a one-in-three chance that the current Irish rating would be lowered by the end of 2012 or in 2013.
  • GREECE, 2011 Debt as percentage of GDP: 165%, Bailout amount: €110 billion in May 2010 rescue package. A February-March 2012 agreement gave Greece another €130 billion in loans and cut €105 billion off its national debt by asking private investors to accept losses on the Greek bonds they hold. Fitch Ratings has downgraded Greece’s sovereign debt from B- to CCC, the lowest possible grade for a country that is not in default.
  • SPAIN, 2011 Debt as a percentage of GDP: 68.5%, Bailout amount: Estimates range from €40 billion to €100 billion, but the bailout is for the banking system, not public finances. Spain’s banks are struggling with toxic property loans. (sound familiar?) Fitch Ratings downgraded Spain’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to BBB from A, with a negative outlook. The BBB credit rating is just a notch higher than junk status.

Now let’s examine the US situation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released new projections of a worsening US fiscal outlook. The CBO report says that by the end of fiscal 2012 (September), federal debt will reach about 70% of GDP, the highest level since just after World War II, and up from about 40% in 2008. Without changes in current policies, federal debt would reach about 200% of GDP in 25 years.

This source illustrates what is actually happening to the debt as a percentage of GDP. Under President Obama, the debt as a percentage of GDP went from 86.4% at the end of 2009 to 99.7% at the end of 2011. So you can see that, using actual data, debt as a percentage of GDP has surpassed Spain, is knocking on the door of being the same as in Portugal and Ireland. If CBO estimates are to be believed, unless fiscal policy changes, the US will surpass Greece.

Further, Fitch Ratings (one of the world-wide big three ratings companies, along with Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s) said again that it would cut the US sovereign debt credit rating unless government creates a “credible” fiscal consolidation plan and reduces the deficit. Ed Parker, sovereign ratings analyst, said that the US is the only country (of four Fitch major AAA-rated countries) which does not have a credible fiscal consolidation plan, and its debt as a percentage of GDP is expected to increase over the medium term. In November, 2011, Fitch revised down its credit outlook for the United States to negative from stable. A negative outlook signifies there is a greater than 50% chance of a credit rating downgrade.

Standard & Poor’s, in August, 2011, cut the US credit rating to AA+ from AAA. It has held it with a negative outlook ever since. Moody’s Investors Service has the US rated at Aaa, also with a negative outlook as of November, 2011.

The EU has bailed out PIGS. When it becomes the US’s turn for a bail out, to whom will we turn? And, will we have to cede sovereignty in order to get a bail out? Part of the terms of the bail outs for Greece, Ireland and Portugal included visits by foreign financial monitors to make sure they are complying with rules imposed on their handling of their economies.

But that’s just my opinion.

Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

Was “The Private Sector is Doing Fine” Really a Gaffe?

When obama uttered the words “the private sector is doing fine” speculation ran rampant, declarations occurred and questions abounded.

Obedient spokes-fools within the “progressive” Party Pravda remained largely mum, dutifully neglecting or downplaying the story. Conservatives pounced on the statement, speculating aggressively about obama’s lack of perceptive abilities while declaring it to be the biggest gaffe in his presidency. Questions were asked as to why standard operating procedure had been abandoned and a presidential press conference was being held in the White House when no major announcement was being made.

That obama followed up the initial remark by saying the problem with America’s economy is a loss of government jobs at the state and local level suggests various possible explanations. One is that it’s a sign of his commitment to growing government as the sole solution to each and every one of the world’s problems. Another is that he is so out of touch with economic reality that the remark really was a gaffe.

But there is at least one other possibility to consider.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is coming under heavy congressional scrutiny for his role in the failed Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Hard questions are being raised on both sides of the aisle about the risks posed to the country through national security leaks possibly emanating from the White House. obama’s been accused of allowing the leaks to occur for personal political gain. There are ongoing discussions and mounting evidence regarding obama’s membership in Chicago’s extremist “New Party”, coupled with continuing avoidance of or denials about it among obama’s political apparatus. There is major embarrassment about obama’s “entire grassroots machinery” being resoundingly drubbed in the Wisconsin recall election. There is growing “progressive” left wing extremist frustration with obama’s perceived inability to deliver on his pledge to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”.

Go back to the question: Why was a presidential new conference being held when there was no major announcement being made? Even given that there was only the remotest possibility that the “progressive” Party Pravda might actually uncover a hitherto undiscovered ounce of journalistic integrity within itself and ask hard questions on a myriad of topics, why was this press conference being held?

Is it possible that the biggest gaffe in obama’s presidency was committed on purpose? That it was an intentional diversion? A coldly calculated politically driven distraction away from other bad news that had been dominating the weekly news cycle?

Was it an accident that it occurred on a Friday morning, contributing to the likelihood that the weekend political talk show discussions will focus on this rather than the myriad of other, more damaging news about obama’s failed attempt to be the nation’s Chief Executive?

If so, it was an extreme abuse of the power of the presidency.

Given that this “gaffe” originated from a once humming along firing on all cylinders well oiled political machine that has repeatedly engaged in “the art” of misrepresentation, distortion, distraction, diversion and smoke and mirror parlor trickery, is pondering such questions an unreasonable activity?

With obama in the White House, do you now consider such a line of questioning to be unpatriotic?

Do you really?

You may wish to reconsider come November 6th.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/was-the-private-sector-is-doing-fine-really-a-gaffe/

Wisconsin: Tea Party Beats Unions

The Tea Party sparked Conservative wave that swept most of the United States in 2010 was a contributing factor in many races, including the elections of Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and a Republican legislative majority in Wisconsin. Governor Walker and his fiscally Conservative allies in the State House set about enacting the reforms they promised during their campaign. Balancing the State budget without raising taxes, reigning in spending and creating a more business friendly environment where private sector businesses could create jobs.

Once the reforms were enacted, government sector unions went rogue, holding demonstrations, occupying the State House and basically going out of their way to create a ruckus over perceived wrong doings by Walker and his fellow Republicans.

The allegations were that the Republicans had wrongly stripped the public unions of all their collective bargaining “rights”. This allegation was false on multiple counts.

First of all, collective bargaining is not a right. A right is something that is inherent, which belongs to you without costing another. Wielding monopoly bargaining power to extort exorbitant salaries, pensions and benefits in excess of those enjoyed by the taxpayers footing the bill from politicians seeking re-election to office is not a right.

Second, collective bargaining is a negotiating tool, agreed upon by both sides of the negotiations. A mutually agreed upon negotiating tool, like any such tool, is subject to rejection by one side or the other at any time.

Thirdly, the unions did not lose all their bargaining power. They still retain the ability to collectively bargain for salaries. What changed was their power to collectively bargain over pensions and benefits was removed. Those are budgetary line items that for the State of Wisconsin had reached the point of insolvency. The cost of those pensions and benefits were sending the State of Wisconsin down the fast track to bankruptcy.

In response, every national union in America spent huge bankrolls and invested big muscle in multiple recall attempts within the State of Wisconsin; culminating in the recall attempts against Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch. In each and every recall attempt, the big, free spending, bullying tactic practicing union failed. The hardest core, institutionalized “progressive” left threw everything they had at Walker, Kleefisch and Wisconsin and fell short. Their noisy, irreverent public displays of selfishness went to no avail.

The win in Wisconsin is a win for the Silent Majority…otherwise known as the Tea Party. Remember them? The “progressive” Party Pravda and “progressive” politicians of all stripes want you to believe they’ve disappeared from the electoral map.

Remember the Tea Party. The ordinary mom and pop citizens who had finally had enough, who got up off the couch, skipped a few of their regularly scheduled activities and demonstrated against big government, big spending, higher taxes and irresponsible regulations.

The Tea Party stood eyeball to eyeball and went toe to toe with the unions in Wisconsin. The Tea Party took the unions best punch and won each and every round. Unions and their incessant demands for more of the fruits of the taxpayer’s labor are on retreat in Wisconsin. Unions and their institutionalized “progressive” allies are on notice. It’s time for them to retreat in America. The people have spoken.

The Tea Party and America are on the rise.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/wisconsin-tea-party-beats-unions/

Barack Obama: The Anti-Keynesian?

New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman thinks Barack Obama is an “anti-Keynesian” when it comes to economic matters.
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PAUL KRUGMAN: Can I just say, on the Reagan thing, if public-sector employment had continued to expand the way it did during Reagan’s first term, instead of falling by about 600,000 as it has, right there we’d have something like 1.4 million people working in this country.

So if you actually look at the actual track record of government spending, government employment, Reagan is the Keynesian and Obama — mostly because of political constraints, although a little bit of lack of conviction on the part of his own people, has been the anti-Keynesian. He’s been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer.

Ronald Reagan was not a Keynesian.  As Milton Friedman noted in his speech at the opening of the Cato Institute in 1993, “Reaganomics had four simple principles: lower marginal tax rates, less regulation, restrained government spending, noninflationary monetary policy.  Four cornerstones that led to the following:

Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years. Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years. Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under Reagan than they did immediately before or after his presidency. The only economic variable that was worse in the Reagan period than in both the pre- and post-Reagan years was the savings rate, which fell rapidly in the 1980s. The productivity rate was higher in the pre-Reagan years but much lower in the post-Reagan years.

Yet, Obama is anti-Keynesian after spending $830 billion dollars on a failed stimulus program that had left the unemployment rate over 8% for over 38 months.  A program that would never allow unemployment to rise above 8% and would produce robust economic growth.  All of this would be induced by deficit spending. The president stated that the stimulus would create 2.5 million “shovel ready jobs” for infrastructure projects.  In fact, in an interview with Peter Baker of The New York Times, the president admitted that “he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat, realized too late that there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects and perhaps should have let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts in the stimulus.”  In addition, his Vice President, Joe Biden, reiterated the Keynesian approach of this administration three years ago by stating that we must spend our way out of bankruptcy.

Also, to say”[Obama’s] been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer” is patently false.  Republicans aren’t for class warfare legislation, like the Buffet Rule tax reform, that institutes a mandatory 30% tax on millionaires, but leaves the charitable donation deduction.  Hence, the rich, also known and the job creating and investing class, could donate their way out of taxation.  Furthermore, Republicans never were for spending a trillion dollars on a new health care entitlement, Obamacare, that will cut 20 million Americans from their coverage while making 49 million more citizens dependent on government run medical services.

Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Paul Krugman from making more patently false remarks on ABC’s This Week.

KRUGMAN: Can I just — these are — these are — we’re talking as if $1 billion was a lot of money, and in $15 trillion economy is not. Solyndra was a mistake as part of a large program, which has been — by and large had a pretty good track record. Of course you’re going to find a mistake. I think, to be fair, that’s probably true in Massachusetts, as well.

But this is — this is ridiculous, that we are taking these tiny, tiny missteps which happen in any large organizations, including corporations, including Bain — Bain Capital had losers, too, right, even from the point of view of its investors? So this is ridiculous.

And the fact of the matter is, this president has not managed to get very much of what he wanted done. He — it’s terribly unfair that he’s being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress.

First of all, concerning clean energy initiatives, Solyndra is the tip of the iceberg.  Furthemore, it’s not just $1 billion dollars as:

CBS News counted 12 clean energy companies that are having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: The junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra.

SunPower landed a deal linked to a $1.2 billion loan guarantee last fall, after a French oil company took it over. On its last financial statement, SunPower owed more than it was worth. First Solar was the biggest S&P 500 loser in 2011 and its CEO was cut loose – even as taxpayers were forced to back a whopping $3 billion in company loans. Nobody from the Energy Department would agree to an interview.

How safe were the loans?

[Economist] Peter Morici replied… It’s, it is a junk bond…but it’s not even a good junk bond. It’s well below investment grade. Was the Energy Department investing tax dollars in something that’s not even a good junk bond? Morici says yes. This level of bond has about a 70 percent chance of failing in the long term,” he said.”

Furthermore, Robin Millican, Policy Director for the Institute for Energy Research, has stated how the Section 1603 program has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties.  Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.

Lastly, the president has achieved most of his domestic agenda.  Obamacare was the signature achievement in the president’s first term.  In addition, there was Cash for Clunkers, Dollars for Dishwashers, Cash for Caulkers, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  If Mr. Krugman thinks the president is dealing with a hostile congress, he only needs to look at the docket that shows this hostility has produced a multitude of legislation aimed at creating jobs and curbing the debt and deficit.  Most of the bills have been blocked by the Democratic controlled senate.

(h/t Noel Sheppard)

Open Ceilings Rain Supreme

Is a ceiling a ceiling if you continue sealing another dealing of that ceiling?
It is quite misleading and frankly steeling, yielding a revolting feeling.
That a ceiling can’t be a ceiling if it’s concealing a faults dichotomy.
Faults bottoms have rock limits, but “the sky is the limit” is no economy.

Are Republicans to Blame for Washington’s Problems?

In a new book entitled “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks”, author Norman Ornstein (described by Yahoo News, a card carrying member of the “progressive” Party Pravda, as a “scholar”), blames Republican for governance problems in Washington DC. Although Ornstein, shows a flicker of willingness to lay part of the blame at the feet of Democrat’s, “progressive” anti-American bias is clearer than expensive Waterford Crystal.

On video, Ornstein describes it this way: “Democrats have moved left, to probably their own 25 yard line. President Obama’s probably around the 40. The Republicans have moved behind their own goal post.” In an obvious swipe at Tea Party reps and senators, Orenstein said: “I wouldn’t say it’s all Republicans, it’s 80-20 at this point.”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/blame-party-washington-problems-102604505.htm

Democrats have moved left to probably their own 25-yard line? obama’s probably around the 40? Republicans have moved behind their own goal post? Based on his personal opinion, perhaps. Historically, Orentein’s facing fourth and 99, trying to complete a Hail Mary pass with hurricane force winds in his face.

“progressives” have been moving America to the left for at least a century. Today’s totally partisan left wing extremists like obama, Pelosi and Reid have been driving America hard left since they took office. Pelosi and Reid began their latest push in 2007 when they took over “leadership” in the House and Senate. obama joined them in earnest after his 2009 inauguration.

Pelosi, who’s from an extreme leftist Congressional District in the San Francisco area, is as fringe “progressive” as is the district she represents: the birthplace and capitol of the anti-American hippie counter-culture. She responded: “Are you kidding? Are you kidding?” when asked to cite the Constitutional basis for a piece of her legislation.

Reid’s such a partisan hack that to create and support the false narrative of a “do nothing Congress” with his co-conspirator obama, the Senate under Reid’s “leadership” hasn’t passed a budget in over 1,000 days. Thanks to Reid, several dozen bills dealing with jobs, the economy, deficit reduction and reforms passed by the House have been completely ignored by the Senate.

obama’s as fringe left “progressive as” they come. To say that someone who’s 100% partisan, who sat in the pews of a black separatist (read Marxist) church for twenty years, who by his own admission (in writing) sought out the radicals and the Socialists while in school, who’s father was a Marxist, who’s mother and grandparents were Communists, who’s boyhood mentor was a card carrying member of the American Communist Party, who has appointed the most extreme, out of the American mainstream radicals to be his czars…to say that this individual is anything but an extremist is as intellectually dishonest as is humanly possible.

This is the trio who, after whining about obama’s predecessor having added $5 trillion to the national debt in eight years, increased that debt by over $5 trillion in under four. This is the bunch that passed their “stimulus” bill, which stole from taxpayers to pay off their political cronies on Wall Street, in unions, with “green energy” company fronts and former campaign donors/bundlers. obama openly joked about the “shovel ready” jobs the “stimulus” bill was “intended” to fund weren’t so “shovel ready” after all. Lest America forget, this is the gang who, despite loud public outcries against it by a majority of the people, used secret payoffs and backroom deals agreed to in the dead of the night behind closed doors to shove government controlled healthcare down America’s throat.

Orenstein calls what these people have done moving to their own 25-yard line, or in obama’s case, to the 40? He alleges that Republicans have moved behind their own goal post? Does Orenstein expect to be taken seriously? Under what form of delusion must one be suffering in order to plead such a case?

The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the founding documents of the United States, are unsurpassed in the freedoms, rights, and opportunities they secure for the people. That there are elected Republicans who want to follow the recipe for successful governance bequeathed upon America by its founders means they either want to prevent America from being driven farther to the left, or return America to where it’s supposed to be. Following the Constitution. It’s really that simple.

Although it clearly wasn’t Orenstein’s intent, in a strange, almost perverse way it’s good to see a member of the institutionalized “progressive” left publicly acknowledges that some elected officials in the USA are still American. For Orenstein, his philosophical teammates and their march in lock-step “progressive” followers, that fact is seen as a negative.

Thanks to “progressives”, the most divisive, partisan, uncompromising group of politicians to exist in the past century, America is deeply divided. Either you’re an American or you’re a “progressive”. You cannot be both.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/are-republicans-to-blame-for-washingtons-problems/

What the obama Administration Has Taught America

Facebook Inc.’s $16 billion initial public offering has made Mark Zuckerberg the 29th richest carbon based life form on Earth. Facebook provides entertainment and a fun way to spend your leisure time. America should love Zuckerberg. Whatever happens, do not ever criticize him for not paying his fair share of taxes…he’s cool in the administration’s eyes and they’re down with whatever he does. Heck, he might even turn out to be as cool as George Clooney.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the top three U.S. oil companies alone paid $42.8 billion in income taxes in 2010. Ignore that fact and describe them as evil billionaires who don’t pay their fair share. After all, the petroleum, coal and natural gas industries all provide cheap energy to America, which stands in the way of implementing the administration’s agenda to fuel America with recycled unicorn poop.

It’s OK for the New Black Panthers to stand in front of polling places, wearing uniforms, wielding clubs and intimidating white voters with taunts of “now you’ll find out what it’s like to be ruled by a black man”. It’s also OK for Eric Holder, who publicly said: “I am not the tall U.S. Attorney. I am the black U.S. Attorney” to drop all charges against them.

It’s not OK for a “white hispanic” to defend himself from attack by someone who’s black

Tea Party demonstrators, who obeyed the laws, obtained permits, and cleaned up after themselves when they peaceable assembled to petition their government for redress of grievances are violent, racist extremists who should be monitored by the Department of Homeland Security as potential homegrown terrorists.

Occupy Wall Street, who squatted on public and private land for weeks at a time without permit, cost cities across the nation millions in clean-up and other costs, engaged in rape, drug use, public sexual acts, attacked police, destroyed property and generally disrupted the normal flow of life are great patriots. They deserve the public support of Barrack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, the DCCC, Elizabeth Warren, Barney Franks, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Charlie Rangle, Dennis Kucinich, et al. As Nancy Pelosi said: “God bless them, for their spontaneity. It’s independent … it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.”

When kids are failing in school after being subjected to exposure to incompetent teachers who couldn’t teach a dog to bark yet can’t be fired because they’re protected by unions, lower testing standards. The possibility of hurting a student’s feelings by giving them a failing grade couldn’t possibly pass politically correct, everyone has to feel good about themselves at all times muster.

If you’re a kid who wants to hold a bake sale, open a lemonade stand or engage in similar activities which demonstrate initiative, ambition or a desire to utilize the free market in order to better yourself, you must be trained to first beg permission from the government. And boys and girls of all ages, don’t ever forget broccoli is good for you and snack cakes, candy bars and chips are bad. Since you’re too stupid to make the proper decision, government is going to enact legislation that deprives you of the right to choose.

Whenever “progressive” politicians are caught in an outright lie about where they were born, their bloodlines or military service rendered it’s due to a clerical error. If criticism persists, blame someone else for each and every one of your failures. When all else fails, play the race card.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/what-the-obama-adminstration-has-taught-america/

Student Loan Debt: Much Ado About Nothing

It is starting to get quite embarrassing for the Obama administration.  They’re trailing Romney in the polls, they’ve lost the edge with women, and his 2013 budget went down in flames in the Senate today with a final vote tally of 99-0. In the words of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “there’s no education in the second kick of a mule.”Not a single member of the president’s own party supports his budget and this pervasive campaign of self-martydrom should make everyone question Barry’s alleged political acumen.  His latest campaign to recapture the youth vote through anecdotes about his student loan debt will set the stage for another the next battle in the Hill that’s wholly irrelevant.

George Will aptly pointed out in his column that bipartisanship, the ideal that every American yearns to see with our political class, has created more problems that it has solved.

Since 2001, it has produced No Child Left Behind, a counterproductive federal intrusion into primary and secondary education; the McCain-Feingold speech rationing law (theBipartisan Campaign Reform Act); an unfunded prescription drug entitlement; troublemaking by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; government-directed capitalism from the Export-Import Bank; crony capitalism from energy subsidies; unseemly agriculture and transportation bills; continuous bailouts of an unreformed Postal Service; housing subsidies; subsidies for state and local governments; and many other bipartisan deeds, including most appropriations bills.

Now, with college debt becoming a salient issue, even though it’s minutae at the end of the day, Congress will haggle over the interest rate which is set to double by July 1.  Hence, the interest rate will increase from 3.4% to 6.8%.  It was cut in half only after the Democrats retook congress in the 2006 midterms and offered plan to subsidize the new rate by “disguising” the cost, as Will notes, as a $60 billion dollar program that now costs $6 billion a year would expire in five years.  Well, the grocery clerk is going to be sent to collect the bill.

In addition, the amount we’re about to fight over is a mere pittance compared to other areas of the federal budget that could be cut, reformed, or complexity dissolved.

The low 6.8 percent rate — private loans for students cost about 12 percent — was itself the result of a federal subsidy. And students have no collateral that can be repossessed in case they default, which 23 percent of those receiving the loans in question do. The maximum loan for third- and fourth-year students is $5,500 a year. The payment difference between 3.4 percent and 6.8 percent is less than $10 a month, so the “problem” involves less than 30 cents a day.

 Moreover, in a nation where the college-educated are grossly outnumbered, I agree with Will that if we are about to pump billions more into education subsidies; it should go to the underprivileged and minority students.  Although, I have my doubts about subsidies for anything.  Additionally, the overwhelmingly non-college educated taxpayers will be subsidizing a rate to keep their more fortunate citizens comfortable in college.  That just doesn’t make sense.   The unemployment rate for college graduates is below 5% and the average debt they leave with is around $25-30,000 dollars.  However, keeping in mind that the average college graduate earns $50,000 a year, it’s a highly manageable position.  Everyone is on a budget.  Nevertheless, we must keep vigilant on Republicans who could put up a soft defense, like George Bush, when this subsidy was first pitched to him five years ago.

Retirement Programs-Running on Empty

Government trustees report this week reveal that Social Security and Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected. Medicare is looking at a shortage beginning 2024 but Social Security for Disabled (SSI) will be out of funds just around the corner in 2016. All agree that by 2030 there will only be enough money to cover 75% of the need.

The closer Baby Boomers get to retirement age the more worrisome these gloom and doom headlines become. For the most part we pay into these retirement programs with the expectation they will be there to supplement our future needs. We should be taking note. Something has to be done. And now.

Last year Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) presented a plan to reduce the debt and continue retirement programs well into the future. You recall, he was greeted with a barrage of criticism from the left and seniors were given the impression that they would suffer severely. (Remember, throw Granny off a cliff?) Nothing ended up being done by Congress last year except to further kick the can down the road. This year Ryan again has presented a budget and appears better prepared to argue his plan.

Many will argue that this “Path to Prosperity: Saving Medicare” has faults. Many will argue that there are other solutions. Others assure us that removing the FICA cap (which would be a cost increase for those making over $106,800) should be a large part of the solution.  There are questions how moving funding from federal to state governments will affect low income Medicaid recipients. Additionally, there is discussion whether the new Affordable Health Care law is funded in part through cuts to the Medicare budget.

All the above are good questions. The type that should be debated and compromised on in open meetings in Congress. And yet… there is no plan from the Obama administration. In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner reacted to the funding shortfall, not by offering an answer or compromise, but instead to further criticizing the Ryan Plan. As a reminder, it is over three years since the Democratic controlled Senate has even produced a budget.

There appears no attempt to find a resolution. It’s hard not to agree with Stuart Varney on this issue.  The government says: We don’t like your plan. We don’t have a plan but we know we don’t like yours. Is it any wonder people are looking for a change in administration?

First stop Greece, next stop Spain

The austerity express may have already left the station in Greece but the pain train bringing massive fiscal cutbacks arrived in even greater force in Spain this past week. Unsurprisingly, austerity is just about as popular in Spain as it was in Greece – inciting violence, riots and general strikes in Barcelona and other major Spanish cities last Thursday. Protests erupted just before the announcement in Madrid of the biggest public sector cutbacks since Franco, Spain’s erstwhile right wing caudillo.

The Spanish government introduced a mix of spending cuts and new taxes amounting to roughly 27 billion euros in public sector cuts. The Spanish government plans to raise corporate tax rates, which will augment higher income and capital gains tax rates already implemented in December. Civil servants will see pay increases stop and consumers will pay higher fees to use electricity and gas. To be sure these are tough pills to swallow, especially in a weak Spanish economy suffering unemployment levels above 20% – the highest in the eurozone.

Tensions flared Thursday between the estimated 800 thousand protesters and riot police, causing injuries, detentions, and burned trash containers. Despite these disruptions Spanish officials have remained steadfast in their commitment to austerity.

Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, commenting from Copenhagen, said “Spain is going to stop being a problem, especially for the Spanish people but also for the European Union.” The new conservative government, less than 100 days old, has put concerns over the debt at the top of their priority list.

De Guindos and his government’s main concern is averting a financial disaster. The danger of rising interest rates on government bonds threatens total economic collapse. The bond yield on ten year Spanish bonds was at 5.4% last week though it was only 4.96% just a month ago (the US is about 2.2%). If investor confidence is shaky borrowing costs soar, something already witnessed in Greece where rates on government bonds exploded. When borrowing costs go up financing becomes very difficult if not impossible, particularly in times of sluggish economic growth and falling revenues.

But Spain’s situation, like that of Greece, is soon to be repeated throughout the Eurozone. Like it or not the austerity express is scheduled for trips to Italy, Portugal, Ireland, and even France and Germany. Even said, the eurocrats continue to discuss still more bailout funds with plans to combine ESFS (European Financial Stability Facility) and ESM (European Stability Mechanism) funds while others are pushing for greater IMF lending capacity all in the hopes of strengthening the euro “firewall.”

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic conservative lawmakers in Washington continue to fail to make any headway with major budget reform. House Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan and Congressman Jim Jordan of the Republican Study Committee have put forth viable proposals that could prevent a financial crisis in America, but none of them have any chance of passing.

Plus, as long as prominent Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman and Larry Summers continue to demote budget problems as “long term,” many Americans will remain convinced that Washington’s fiscal problems are remote from what is happening in Europe – an utter fallacy.

Ironically, instability in the Eurozone has been a source of strength for America’s bond markets thus far, making them a safe haven for investors fleeing Europe. However, that blessing won’t last long. What very few people in the Eurozone and in the US realize is that the game is over, the markets have already decided. As such the developed countries of the world face a very difficult choice: painful austerity now or financial catastrophe later.

Cameron Macgregor is a USNA grad and former Naval officer. He is writing his first book America Resurrected.

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