And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Politics 2010’ Category

This is from a friend and fellow blogger.  Read it and then pass it on to everyone on your email contacts list and paste it on your own blog.  You will never see this anywhere where the general public will see it nor will you ever hear it from the main stream media.  BB

We need to do more than just “think about it”. We need to tell everyone we can (especially those who voted for Obama in 2008) that we can’t afford another four years of  the national disaster we’ve suffered through these last few years. Our situation will only get WORSE, not better if we do not elect a new president next November.

 

Pretty good summary
 

Subject : Something to think about.

 

The day the Democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009, it was actually January 3rd 2007, the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the very start of the 110th Congress.


The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is “Bush’s Fault”, think about this :
January 3rd, 2007, the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress :
The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!

Remember that day…
January 3rd, 2007 was the day that
Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!
THANK YOU DEMOCRATS (especially Barney) for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment…to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!
(BTW : Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie -starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy). Barney blocked it and called it a “Chicken Little Philosophy” (and the sky did fall!)
And who took the THIRD highest pay-off from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA
And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?
OBAMA and the Democrat Congress, especially
BARNEY!!!!

So when someone tries to blame Bush…
REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007…. THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!”
Bush may have been in the car but the Democrats were in charge of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving the economy into the ditch.
Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.
Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011.


In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.


For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.


And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period :
If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.


If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.
In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is “I inherited a deficit that I voted for, And then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.”
There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on!

The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

I wondered why the Federal Reserve would order banks to take a “stress test”  that would determine how well they were able  to withstand  a sudden and severe drop in the stock market unless they were anticipating such a drop.  Guess my wondering is in good company a contributor to Big Government blog had the same wonder but he put his into perspective as to what this would do to the country.  Interesting post.  I might advise you all to buckle up and hang on out there.   At least that is what I am doing! BB

Fed Warns Unemployment May Double Great Depression

by Chriss W. Street

I warned last week that a recession and higher unemployment were about to hit the U.S. economy. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis cut their estimate of growth in the third quarter ending September from 2.5% to 2%. Then on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve rocked financial markets by forcing America’s 31 largest U.S. banks to “stress test” balance sheets to determine their capability to withstand an 8% drop in the economy; which would cause home prices to plunge by 21%, and unemployment rate to jump to 13%.

I illuminated in my report that U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been under-counting unemployment by at least 2%. For a nation reporting 154.4 million workers; this means the 13.9 million reportedly unemployed should actually be 17 million. Given only 12.8 million were unemployed at the 1933 peak of the Great Depression, when the undercounting and the Fed’s stress test are added the total is 23.2 million unemployed; almost double the Great Depression.

(The only reason we are not seeing bread lines and homeless people flooding the streets is that now we have the federal government handing out up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits as well as 47+ million people on food stamps.  during the Great Depression these programs were not available..  Which certainly proves the statement I have been making for decades that the next depression would make the so-called “Great” one look like a Sunday picnic.     Of course the  unemployed as well as the employed and their great grandchildren are on the hook for all the money that is being borrowed to pay for these benefits!  Which brings me to the second difference between now and then:  big business was on the hook and were the ones going into deep debt and bankrupt rather than the people via our government, but during these intervening years Congress has undertaken to protect business  and even banking by taking on the risk of doing business in America while not enforcing the rules that business “help” pay for these protective programs.  One of the most egregious business protecting programs that Uncle Sam has taken from business is the promise to pay retirement benefits if a business is unable to do so.  Companies are suppose to pay into a trust fund for these programs but they don’t and no one is watching the store to see that they do!  Companies do not even have to go bankrupt in order for the government to step up to the plate with our wallets open!  BB)

Formerly bullish top bank analyst Dick Bove in an Bloomberg interview commented on the Fed:

“By taking these draconian views of what could happen in the market, if they in fact force the banks to defense themselves against the outlook that they’ve put up, they’ll cause a recession,”

Consistent with my prediction that the booming production of capital goods would fall hard next year after the expiration of the 100% “bonus depreciation” tax credit; the bad news parade picked up steam this week with reports that U.S. durable goods orders fell 0.7 percent last month and initial jobless claims came in higher than Wall Street analyst’s predictions.

On the always dismal European front, interest rates on German “Bund” Treasury Bonds exceeded the interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds for the first time as traders feared the financial turmoil of Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain (aka the “PIGS”) is causing a financial contagion that may implode solvency of German banks. Peter Cecchini, head of investment strategy at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York reporting on effects of the European financial crisis for the rest of the world: “Evidence is slowly mounting that containment is a pipe dream,”

In the delightful Middle East, the Aircraft Carrier George H.W. Bush left its traditional theater of operations watching Iran and the Persian Gulf, and moved to the closest point to Syria in preparation for implementing a “no-fly-zone” by American, European, and Arab League forces. CBS also just reported: “The U.S. Embassy in Damascus urged its citizens in Syria to depart “immediately,” and Turkey’s foreign ministry urged Turkish citizens on pilgrimages to “return home from Saudi Arabia to avoid traveling through Syria.”

During the month of November the equity shares of the 31 banks the Fed directed to begin their stress test have now fallen 13%; with Goldman Sachs and Bank of America trading at their lowest prices since the lows of the Great Recession in March of 2009. If the economy heads for a sharp recession and unemployment leaps, there will be hell to pay for politicians in November’s election.

And of course with all this happening our Congress men and women in their appointed  Super Committee made up of the greatest brains (?????)  in Congress failed to agree to taking  3 cents out of every dollar the government spends for the next ten years!  There seems to be a movement of saner heads in Congress to bring the President’s appointed deficit Reduction Committee’s  (known as the Simpson-Bowles Committee) recommendations to a vote.  I expect this to happen in the Republican controlled House of Representatives and to pass.  but Democrat Senator Harry Reid will not allow it to come to the floor for a vote in the democratically controlled Senate.  There are i believe now a total of 48 bills  that were passed in the House that are sitting on the shelf in the Senate!  BB

Just a few things from The Hill news service you might have missed:

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Senate Democrats offer formula aimed at adjusting seniors’ benefits

— Congressional conservatives target welfare overhaul

— House Dems urge regulators to rethink Volcker Rule

— Cotton producers defend farm bill changes

Watchdog halts dozens of mortgage-modification scams

— Prices drop for the first time since June

Corporate execs say tax holiday can’t wait

— Top House Democrat demands explanation of penalties for late foreclosures

— Report: Top committee members rake it in from interested industry

Builders’ outlook less gloomy on the housing market

— Mortgage applications fell 10 percent last week

One especially egregious practice We the people should somehow stop.  I don’t know how we can stop the “buying” of congressmen and women but I do know the practice leads to a whole lot of bad behavior on the part of these Congressmen, high costs to the tax payers and the ultimate destruction of a nation.  A commenter on this blog stated her desire to see all money taken out of elections and campaigns.  I told her I very much agreed with her but human beings being the greedy pigs we are I had no idea how to do it.  Oh, and that is greedy and HIGHLY INVENTIVE pigs!

 

This is and interesting and disheartening report:

Report: Top committee members rake it in from interested industry

By Bernie Becker – 11/16/11 10:48 AM ET

Does taking over the top spot on a House committee lead to a financial windfall for lawmakers? A new report suggests it does.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), looking at 10 separate House panels, found that the top Republican and Democrat had seen their fundraising totals from the industries they oversee grow at a steep rate between the 1998 election cycle and the 2010 cycle.

In all, CREW found, these chairmen and ranking members saw their industry contributions jump almost sixfold while their fundraising in general rose 230 percent.

The good-government group, which used data from the Center for Responsive Politics, suggested that its findings essentially show that industries are legally bribing top lawmakers.

“Congress would be a lot more transparent if it just put a for sale sign on the front of the Capitol,” Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said in a statement.

CREW found, among other things, that financial industry donations to Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the House Financial Services chairman, rose by 620 percent between 1998 and 2010 – more than two and a half times the jump in his total contributions.

Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture panel, saw a similar increase — a 711 percent jump in donations from agriculture groups, compared to a 274 percent upswing overall.

Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the ranking member at Financial Services, and Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman at the Energy and Commerce Committee, also saw significant increases in industry donations.
CREW also said that their research found that committee leaders were sometimes more likely to vote in an industry’s favor than colleagues from the same party.

But the group’s findings were also not across-the-board.

Peterson, for instance, voted 7 out of 10 times with industries regulated by the Agriculture Committee in 2007 and 2008, the same exact percentage as the average Democrat.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), now the ranking member at Energy and Commerce, also got more than 10 times as much from related industries in 2010 than he did in 1998. But Waxman’s overall fundraising grew by a factor of 11.

And Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, now the top Democrat at Natural Resources, saw his industry contributions jump by more than 2,500 percent in the dozen years examined.

Still, the $47,400 Markey received from industry groups in the 2010 cycle amounted to just over 3 percent of his total contributions. The Massachusetts Democrat had brought in $1,800 from those groups in 1998.

Comments (1)

Money has always been a huge part of our federal campaign system, and it’s one reason that this country is one of the most innovative and financially successful in the world. The problem is that some groups, such as the anti-American US Chamber of Commerce, seek to make campaign contributions on behalf of foreign corporations. That’s a practice that Congress needs to crack down on.BY New Englander on 11/16/2011 at 11:29
And if you haven’t already heard or guessed, Lobbyist in Washington are literally following members of the Super Committee to bed trying to throw money at them.  BB

 

Articles: Republican Delusion is Obama’s All-Too-Secret Weapon.

Republicans are known RIGHTLY! for being adept at snatching defeat from victory.  Why this is so often baffles many of us, but this article in American Thinker has some serious answers and perhaps can serve as a warning to those of us who react in the ways outlined in the article.  It seems the most important and potentially devastating Republican characteristic in self-defeat is overly optimistic and willing to believe verbal please of innocence even against all evidence of past negative actions.  In other words: STOP BEING MR. NICE GUYS!  BB

If you have limited time for the Internet I suggest American Thinker be at the top of your list of sites to go to first.  Just run thru the titles of articles and choose those that appear to offer you the information you need and I promise you will remain or become well informed on national and international affairs.  BB

This Week in Government Failure | Cato @ Liberty.

This Week in Government Failure

Posted by Tad DeHaven

Over at Downsizing the Federal Government, we focused on the following issues this past week:

  • It’s darkly comical that the same entity responsible for killing countless private sector jobs with its taxes and regulations operates job training programs.
  • Warren Buffett should put up or shut up.
  • Two polls of likely voters released by Rasmussen Reports indicate that the federal government’s corporate welfare programs should be prime targets for spending cuts.
  • (Wanted to make sure you saw the results of these polls.

    Voters Don’t Support Corporate Welfare

    Two polls of likely voters released by Rasmussen Reports today indicate that the federal government’s corporate welfare programs should be prime targets for spending cuts.

    The first poll found little support for the Small Business Administration’s lending programs:

    • A majority (58 percent) of likely voters said that the federal government shouldn’t guarantee loans issued by private lenders to small businesses. 23 percent said the government should back small business loans and 19 percent were unsure.
    • A majority (59 percent) of likely voters said that reducing government regulations and taxes would be more helpful to small businesses than the government providing loans to small businesses that can’t obtain financing on their own. 22 percent said the government loans were better and 18 percent were unsure.  ( I am definitely among the 58%!  BB)
    • Entrepreneurs particularly believed that reducing government regulations and taxes is preferable to government lending programs. 76 percent of entrepreneurs felt that way and 61 percent opposed government loans to small businesses that couldn’t obtain financing. (These are the people with the ideas People.  So listen to them carefully because they are the movers and shakers of America.  In fact, these people are almost uniquely America because America is (or at least ONCE WAS) the only place on earth where these people with ideas and dreams could make their dreams come true.  Obamanation has brought this to a halt and is working hard to kill the entire idea of anyone in America having an original thought.  BB)

    (See this new Cato essay on why the Small Business Administration should be terminated.) (AGREED!  BB)

    Similarly, the second poll found little support for various federal corporate welfare programs:

    • Only 15 percent of likely voters said the federal government should continue to provide funding for foreign countries to buy military weapons from U.S. companies. 70 percent were opposed and the rest were undecided.  (Where in Hell did they find the 15%!??!  BB)
    • Only 29 percent of likely voters said the government should continue to provide loans and loan guarantees to help finance export sales for large corporations. 46 percent were opposed and the rest were undecided. (See Sallie James’ new Cato paper on why the Export-Import Bank should be terminated.)  (I am sure this undecided vote was because the respondents could not understand the question.  ONLY large well o0rganized and connected companies export their products and these companies surely do not need any tax dollars to do so as they will continue on their own if a profit is being made.  I would like to say this practice will come to a halt after 2012 when we get a person with sense in the White House but congressmen on the company dole are not likely to stop anything that might annoy their buds.  BB)
    • Only 37 percent of likely voters said the federal government should continue providing farm subsidies. A plurality (46 percent) said farm subsidies should be abolished and 17 percent weren’t sure. (See this Cato essay for more on farm subsidies.)   (Just for information purposes:  the so-called “family farm” ain’t the family farm anymore People.  The Family Farm is now BIGGGGGGG Agribusiness and just like any other business it certainly doesn’t need our tax dollars.  But just play hell getting rid of it!  BB)
    • The Washington Post asks for budget plans. We have one.   (No comments from me here because it ALL makes a lot of sense and I hope you go to all the sites referred and read carefully.  BB)
    • Despite Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s role in driving the housing bubble and $160 billion in taxpayer losses (so far), President Obama appears to be considering just putting the same failed system in place.   (Did anyone really expect anything else??!  By the way, Fannie Mae is the outfit that gave  me the deal on my house.  but it really wasn’t a deal at all, it was where the price of the house would have been if government had not gotten into the notion of everyone deserves and has a “right” to own a home and started making sure everyone got one regardless of if they could pay for it.  the government getting in of course made the prices for houses go sky high.  Just as the government getting into anything causes the prices of that good or service to go sky high—-haven’t we learned a thing yet?  Those supplying the goods or service are not dumb and know they will get their price no matter where they set it.  Government got into medical care with Medicare and Medicaid and doctor, hospitals, medical supply companies, health insurance companies and drug companies all sent their  prices  up by double digits for 40 years.  Government got into education and colleges and universities went hog wild at the banquet of federal money via the students.  As sure as the moon follows the sun and the sun follows the moon the big money will follow the government money.  BB)

Why is the Price of Gold is Exploding While Inflation is Rising.

(Go to this site and listen to the videos)

Here’s some information I first ran in this newsletter more than FIVE years ago. The numbers have been updated, but the overall situation remains practically unchanged.

Have you always wondered why the price of gold has more than doubled recently (now about $1,600 per ounce), silver has tripled (now $40 per ounce) and your paycheck isn’t going as far as you need it to?

Inflation is rising! In case you didn’t realize it, there has been a 300 percent increase in inflation since the 1970s. If you have been curious about these issues, you will really enjoy watching the two videos above.

One is a short animation arguing for re-introduction of gold as money because of its independence. The other is a 45-minute video tutorial from one of my favorite economic teachers — the Ludwig von Mises Institute — that explains how the fractional reserve banking is debased. It also discusses the central bank and how the U.S. government transitioned into the Federal Reserve System that scrapped the gold standard in 1933 and established a global inflationary system.

In 1970, the price of gold was $37 an ounce. Now, 41 years later, it is setting records regularly and is over $1,700 an ounce. Nearly all of the over two dozen experts I follow in this area are universal in gold surpassing $2,000 sometime by the end of this year or close to it and with potential to rise to $5,000 to $10,000 per ounce. That is not as high as you might think, as it has already increased by 50X since 1970. That is less than five times increase. Silver is far more volatile and may actually increase ten times its current value or more.

Once you view the video, you will see the Federal Reserve System is actually the cause of inflation and one of the primary reasons why your financial future is uncertain.

Charles Krauthammer
Charles Krauthammer
Opinion Writer

The great divide

, Published: July 28

We’re in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state. The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic vs. limited-government — have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama’s inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health-care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide.The sausage-making may be unsightly, but the problem is not that Washington is broken, that ridiculous ubiquitous cliche. The problem is that these two visions are in competition, and the definitive popular verdict has not yet been rendered.

We’re only at the midpoint. Obama won a great victory in 2008 that he took as a mandate to transform America toward European-style social democracy. The subsequent counterrevolution delivered to that project a staggering rebuke in November 2010. Under our incremental system, however, a rebuke delivered is not a mandate conferred. That awaits definitive resolution, the rubber match of November 2012.

I have every sympathy with the conservative counterrevolutionaries. Their containment of the Obama experiment has been remarkable. But reversal — rollback, in Cold War parlance — is simply not achievable until conservatives receive a mandate to govern from the White House.

Lincoln is reputed to have said: I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. I don’t know whether conservatives have God on their side (I keep getting sent to His voice mail), but I do know that they don’t have Kentucky — they don’t have the Senate, they don’t have the White House. And under our constitutional system, you cannot govern from one house alone. Today’s resurgent conservatism, with its fidelity to constitutionalism, should be particularly attuned to this constraint, imposed as it is by a system of deliberately separated — and mutually limiting — powers.

Given this reality, trying to force the issue — turn a blocking minority into a governing authority — is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice.

Consider the Boehner Plan for debt reduction. The Heritage Foundation’s advocacy arm calls it “regrettably insufficient.” Of course it is. That’s what happens when you control only half a branch. But the plan’s achievements are significant. It is all cuts, no taxes. It establishes the precedent that debt-ceiling increases must be accompanied by equal spending cuts. And it provides half a year to both negotiate more fundamental reform (tax and entitlement) and keep the issue of debt reduction constantly in the public eye.

I am somewhat biased about the Boehner Plan because for weeks I’ve been arguing (in this column and elsewhere) for precisely such a solution: a two-stage debt-ceiling hike consisting of a half-year extension with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, followed by intensive negotiations on entitlement and tax reform. It’s clean. It’s understandable. It’s veto-proof. (Obama won’t dare.) The Republican House should have passed it weeks ago.

After all, what is the alternative? The Reid Plan with its purported $2 trillion of debt reduction? More than half of that comes from not continuing surge-level spending in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 10 years. Ten years? We’re out of Iraq in 150 days. It’s all a preposterous “saving” from an entirely fictional expenditure.

The Congressional Budget Office has found that Harry Reid’s other discretionary savings were overestimated by $400 billion. Not to worry, I am told. Reid has completely plugged that gap. There will be no invasion of Canada next year (a bicentennial this-time-we’re-serious 1812 do-over). Huge savings. Huge.

The Obama Plan? There is no Obama plan. And the McConnell Plan, a final resort that punts the debt issue to Election Day, would likely yield no cuts at all.

Obama faces two massive problems — jobs and debt. They’re both the result of his spectacularly failed Keynesian gamble: massive spending that left us a stagnant economy with high and chronic unemployment — and a staggering debt burden. Obama is desperate to share ownership of this failure. Economic dislocation from a debt-ceiling crisis nicely serves that purpose — if the Republicans play along. The perfect out: Those crazy Tea Partyers ruined the recovery!

Why would any conservative collaborate with that ploy? November 2012 constitutes the new conservatism’s one chance to restructure government and change the ideological course of the country. Why risk forfeiting that outcome by offering to share ownership of Obama’s wreckage?

 

 

 

Video

In both debt plans, the wealthy win.

In both debt plans, the wealthy win.


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