Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

The Lost Washer, The Ruptured Tendon And The LORD Who Is God Over Both. A Story of Thanksgiving Gratitude.

November 28, 2013

This happened last week, but I think that’s close enough to call it “my Thanksgiving miracle.”

It began with my biceps tendon basically standing in front of an ObamaCare-like death panel.  I was told several weeks back that my biceps tendon had ruptured and that it was too late to save it.  Yes, I’d rather frantically called the morning after the injury, but of course given the state-of-affairs of modern medicine and the bureaucracy which owns it, by the time I actually saw the doctor, he told me it was too late.

I am a service-connected veteran with traumatic and cumulative and degenerative injuries to both knees and both shoulders.  So this isn’t a story of “that evil insurance company.”  This is THE GOVERNMENT.

The doctor told me the story of Brett Favre, who had suffered this injury during his career and had not had the reattachment surgery, and that I didn’t really need to have the tendon reattached.

Continuing with the “ObamaCare death panel” theme, the surgeon also pointedly told me that, “In Europe, they don’t even reattach those any more.”

I had tried to reason with the surgeon – who as the attending physician actually runs the ortho department at my VA hospital.  As for the Brett Favre story, I countered with the fact that Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott famously had a broken finger amputated rather than miss playing time the same way Favre elected to play with a busted tendon rather than miss playing time  – and so should average people have whatever limb on which they happen to suffer a broken bone AMPUTATED?  I hope not.  As for the “Europe” thing, I pointed out the fact that “THIS IS NOT EUROPE!”  And while my dad was too young to fight in WWII, I actually had a three uncles who fought in that war to ensure that America would NOT become Europe.

Apparently, they lost the war sixty years after they thought they’d won it, but that’s another story.

The ortho doctor acknowledged that a few years ago, they would have reattached the tendon no-questions asked (i.e., BEFORE Obama), but that things had changed quite a bit.

Mark Halperin is one of the leading journalists in America today.  He also leans well to the left.  So it was quite an admission when he acknowledged that not only did ObamaCare contain death panels, but that they are a cornerstone of ObamaCare.

Howard Dean, a former Democrat governor, a medical doctor and an expert in health care – albeit a doctrinaire liberal ideologue – has also acknowledged that, yes, the ObamaCare IPAB amounts to a “death panel.”  And so, yes:

Shorter Howard Dean: “So… yeah, Republicans were right about death panels.”

Just as they were dead right about how catastrophically awful this ObamaCare law would be.

I was stunned when the attending orthopedic surgeon said they would not reattach my tendon.  I mean, what do you mean, you don’t need to do this surgery?  I was saying, “I’m busted; FIX ME!”  I had never had anything like this happen before.

ObamaCare is all about rationing.  It is all about Marxist redistribution, acknowledges and actually BOASTS the New York Times.  It is intended to create “winners and losers.”

Milton Friedman observed that if you put the government in charge of the Sahara desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.  So what will necessarily happen when you put a bunch of statist bureaucrats in charge of health care?  We already know the answer.

And believe me, NOBODY wants to be a health care “loser.”  Especially because of a law that MAKES you a “loser” when you’ve never been one before out of naked, cynical political calculus.  Especially when you are service-connected by your government for the infamous “pre-existing conditions” that you can’t have taken care of anywhere else.

When I continued to object the “death panel” decision, the chief ortho doctor told me he would leave the decision to the surgeon who would be operating on me, but he didn’t see it happening or even the need for it.

Well, I was rather panicky about this.  Aside from the whole “Popeye biceps” deformity (which so far hasn’t seriously manifested itself), there’s a significant loss in strength because a tendon no longer connects your muscle to what you’re trying to lift.  As a weightlifter, it was the loss of strength that I feared more than anything else.  I didn’t want to go through a surgery only to be mediocre.

Weightlifting has been the centerpiece of my highly successful weight loss (76 lbs in 14 months without stomach “Lap-band” surgery).  If preventative care is important, if weight loss is important, just give me the tools I need to maintain that weight loss.  Because what happens to people is that they become frustrated, then they give in to a feeling of futility, and then they give up altogether.

That’s why this biceps tendon deal has been such a critical concern for me.

Well, after my appointment with that surgeon, I was rather frantically trying to figure out my next option.  And a wise Christian medical doctor friend gave me some wise counsel: to see the doctor who would be doing my surgery as quickly as possible and appeal to him (rather than start a war with the bureaucracy through hospital patient advocates, etc.).  I made an appointment.

For two weeks I angsted as I waited to see the surgeon.  Given what I had already heard from his boss, I was very fearful.  And I knew that time was tendon, because the longer you wait the more a ruptured tendon shortens and contracts.  And the story becomes, “Well, sorry, but we waited too long dithering, so now it’s too late for us to fix you.  Too bad, so sad.”

We get a picture how ObamaCare will “save” money.  By rationing and denying care to people who need it, surgeries and treatment that used to happen doesn’t any happen any longer.  And that’s great – unless the rationing axe falls upon you or one of your loved ones.

Anyway, I’m at Tuesday of last week, with the all-important appointment with my surgeon on Thursday morning.  And I’m on my daily walk as usual.

Remember, I said I was messed up in both shoulders and both knees.  To take some of the stress off my awful knees, I use a pair of canes when I go on long walks out in the desert.  Which of course torques my shoulders, doesn’t it?  But I need to walk because that’s been a major part of the 76 pounds of weight that I’ve lost over the last fourteen months.  So I’ve got a Catch-22 thing going, don’t I?

Anyway, near the end of my walk – which that day was over five miles – I noticed that one of my cane tips had ruptured rather like my biceps tendon.  I put large washers in the tip to help the rubber tips last longer, and the washer was gone somewhere out in the vastness of the desert.

Well, I’m usually able to eyeball the cane tip and see that it’s about to wear out and rupture in time to replace it.  But let’s just say that I’d been occupied with other concerns.

I could go to the hardware store and buy some washers, but I’ve always used the few that I had in my garage that matched the diameter of the cane tip.

Well, I wanted to find my washer.  Which was God-only-knew-where.  So as I set out on my walk the next day, I tried to retrace my steps as best I could and said a prayer that I could find it.

As I prayed, it popped into my head to point out to God that I wanted my biceps tendon far more than I wanted that washer (just in case He didn’t know).  But I had that moment of theological clarity strike me that God wasn’t the sort who would only grant me one request.

That Wednesday, I walked along with my nose to the ground like a bloodhound.  A mile passed, then two.  And I was entering an area where there was a lot of soft sand where the tip would have likely become covered up and I’d never see it.  To make it worse, because of the soft sand, I’d meandered through that area – and good luck trying to remember the exact same route.

I kind of gave up finding that washer at that point.

Financially, it was hardly a big deal; I could go to a hardware store and probably find an even better-fitting washer for fifteen or twenty cents at most.  But for whatever reason, I had kind of associated that lost washer with my busted biceps tendon.  So it was kind of sad to let that washer go.

It was within a few feet of giving up on finding that washer that I came upon some 9mm pistol brass.  I reload ammunition in several calibers – 9mm Parabellum being one of them – and my nephew (who would be coming out for Christmas) always loves to go shooting.  So I bent over to pick up the brass.

Somebody had popped of most of a box, so I’m furiously picking up the brass.  And I turned around and walked back up the path I had just come down as I see more brass…

… And yes, there was my washer – which I had already walked by and had not seen, and which I never would have seen had I not been looking for that 9mm brass which hadn’t even BEEN there the day before (or I would have collected it then).  The washer was dull and faded; the brass was new and shiny.  I needed the latter in order to find the former.

I immediately realized what had happened and why it had happened:

God had heard my silly prayer for that silly washer.  And God knew that in my silly heart, I had connected something I clearly didn’t need to find with something far more important to me.  And He was telling me that He had me covered, that He knew what I needed – and that He was Jehovah Jireh (the LORD who provides).

And when you’ve got that kind of a God in control, watching your back, taking care of you, why are you so anxious???

I realized that the decision whether to repair my ruptured biceps tendon wasn’t up to the doctors.  Because if God wanted me to have that tendon, it was going to be restored no matter what the doctor said; and if He didn’t want me to have it, I wasn’t going to get it reattached no matter what the surgeon tried to do.  It wasn’t my surgeon I had to convince; it was my God – the very same God who cared enough about me to allow me to find a silly washer in the middle of a desert just because for whatever silly reason it mattered to me.

It’s one thing to look at the vastness of the sky at night and see the billions of stars; it’s quite another to realize that that very same God actually gives a damn about YOU.

I’ve lost – and FOUND – stuff that was valuable and irreplaceable after desperately praying about it.

It’s an interesting thing: if you are the kind of person who doesn’t believe, the biggest answered prayer in the world won’t matter; if you are the kind of person who believes, the smallest answered prayer can seem huge.

God gives us small things to see how we’ll handle big things.  Maybe He gives us small miracles to see how we’ll handle big ones.

All I know is that I had an audience with God, Creator of heaven and earth and all the stars that fill the sky.  And He heard very little, very insignificant little me about something as tiny and irrelevant as a lost washer because He cares about me more than I will ever be able to comprehend.

When I went to that appointment with that surgeon the next morning, I had no fear, no anxiety.

I had already prepared myself during the previous two weeks with every argument I could think of for why I needed and deserved that tendon reattachment surgery.  I would submit that if a high-priced attorney had been present with me, he wouldn’t have had more arguments to muster than what I had thought up.

And what did the surgeon say when I told him I wanted that surgery?

“Sure.  We’ll try to do that for you.”

Here I was with all my arguments and I didn’t even get to use them.

There are a couple of down sides that the surgeon explained to me: because this tendon is ruptured, they’ll have to do an incision rather than doing it with the arthroscope the way they would have been if it had still been attached.  That means that they won’t be able to repair the torn rotator cuff I also have in that shoulder in the same surgery because when they scope a joint, they fill it with fluid to clear space for their instruments.  And that fluid creates a lot of swelling.  Which means that if they do the rotator cuff first, they’d create too much swelling to be able to find the biceps tendon; but if they do the incision to fix the biceps tendon, the fluid and the corresponding swelling would rupture the sutures.  He also told me that he couldn’t guarantee that the reattachment surgery would be successful because sometimes the tendon is just too damaged.

Here’s the thing: I realized that the condition of my tendon is up to God.  Just as everything else was.

I told that story to a friend who told me his own “mini-miracle” story.  He had been arrested for a DUI (bad thing) and had his little dog in the car with him.  The police had kenneled the dog and towed his car.  His sister came to pick him up, but for whatever reason had refused to take the dog.  He’d have to leave it.

Well, he wouldn’t leave his dog.  He told her he’d rather walk.  So she drove off.  And he had to walk miles across an isolated Texas highway out in the middle of nowhere.  In the heat of the desert.

He came to a point of desperation.  He and the dog were thirsty.

What happened?  In the middle of nowhere he came across a gallon of water and a five dollar bill.  The presence of the bill particularly freaked him out: because there was a wind and the bill should have blown away, but didn’t.  Who had put that there and why?  Only God knew.

But God is Jehovah Jireh.

The water helped him make it to a gas station way, way up the road, where he was able to trade his five dollars for a ride.

I don’t know what will happen, but I have a feeling and an attitude of confidence about the success of the surgery (my pre-op is January 14).

Strangely, had I just been allowed to have the surgery, rather than having to angst about just getting it, I realize that my attitude wouldn’t have been nearly so positive.  I would have been focusing on the surgery and the recovery and bemoaning the fact that the tendon had ruptured and the fact that had the doctors just told me what I’d needed to know before I’d ruptured it I would have at that time requested the reattachment surgery as opposed to waiting until it was nearly too late.  I would have been looking at all the negatives.

As it is, I am very grateful and very thankful.  I am thankful to the Veterans Administration for taking care of me.  But more importantly I am even more thankful to my God who saw me floundering around and provided for me.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful.

Gratitude is the very best and the very happiest attitude that a human being can have.  It is the attitude we should all be walking around with all the time.  But for most of us (like me) we need reminders.

I wish you all a happy and a grateful Thanksgiving Day.  I pray that you have a sense of Jehovah Jireh specially looking out for you today.

Update, February 5, 2014: Well, I had my surgery.  And a couple more divine lessons.

I now realize that my “washer” story was my audience with God.  He gave me a divine appointment because He wanted me to know a few things.

On that day, that God told me that 1) He truly does care (cf. 1 Peter 5:7); that 2) if He cares even about my stupid washer, it is obvious that He will care about something I truly care about, such as my biceps tendon surgery; and that 3) whether the surgery is successful or not has nothing to do with the doctors and ultimately everything to do with God.  Because He can do anything and if He wants me to have that tendon, I WILL HAVE THAT TENDON.

He since let me know how to turn even the result of the surgery over to Him.

On the one hand, I knew that if the surgery was successful, it would be a long recovery.  On the other hand, I learned that if the tendon was too destroyed and contracted to do the surgery, it would be a short recovery and I would be able to get back to my [relatively] normal activities very quickly.  What I didn’t want was to make the short-sighted mistake of not having the surgery because of the short-term hassles, only to then regret later that I didn’t do it.  I was [finally!] able to completely turn it over to the Lord, and give it to HIM and let HIM decide.

So I went into the surgery with the peace of Christ, which surpasses all comprehension.

I woke up and the surgeon gave me the news.  The surgery was a complete success.  Somehow – and I got the sense that this was very surprising to the surgeon – my tendon had in fact ruptured, but had somehow become hung-up on the bone, such that it was EASY to find and such that it didn’t contract the way it otherwise would have.

He did the surgery in less than HALF the time he believed it would take.

Just like the washer, that “hung-up” tendon was GOD at work.

Now all I have to do is heal up and start rehabbing.

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Obama Says Economy A Lot Worse Than He Thought When He Took Office. Which Is To Say He’s Incompetent And Clueless And Shouldn’t Be Trusted Now.

October 3, 2012

That’s a central part of Obama’s case now.

Back then, he said that if his $862 billion stimulus (which is actually a $3.27 trillion boondoggle) was passed, unemployment would never exceed 8 percent and we’d have 5.4 percent unemployment by now.  It became obvious very quickly even to he lefties at CBS News that the Obama administration had made completely bogus claims.  Which is a polite way of saying they either completely lied out of their asses or that they were incompetent beyond belief.  Obama also said back then that he had three years to fix the economy and he wouldn’t deserve to be reelected and his presidency would therefore be a one-term proposition if he couldn’t get it done.

Of course, history now records that Obama didn’t actually make the economy better; he simply changed his bullcrap to a slightly different brand of bullcrap in the hopes you won’t be able to smell the bullcrap.

Four years of bogus promises later, Obama is now saying that the economy was far worse than he thought it was and of course you therefore can’t hold him responsible for what he said back then.  Let’s put aside that when Obama took office, he kept saying this was the worst situation since the Great Depression, which would imply he understood it was pretty much REALLY, REALLY BAD given the obvious rhetorical question, “And what the hell is worse than the Great Depression?”  Let’s also put aside the fact that the economy would have come ROARING back if an incompetent bureaucrat hadn’t kept throwing monkey wrenches into it while claiming he was fixing it.

Okay.  So how are we going to be able to EVER hold him responsible?  I mean, he’s saying he’s made the economy better now and he’s on the right track to fix everything.  Maybe he’s just as wrong as he was back then when he was also wrong, wrong, wrong.  Obama by his own lame excuse didn’t know jack squat back then and he still doesn’t know jack squat now.  So the world’s squirmiest political weasel says the only thing that a squirmy political weasel can say now that four years of his policies have failed: namely that it wasn’t his policies that failed; it was the rest of the world around him.  So how can you hold a liberal president responsible for not understanding the real world???

We just found out that our spending is actually escalating.

October 2, 2012
Congratulations Barry: 2012 budget deficit exceeds 2011 shortfall
Rick Moran

It  was close. A lot of us didn’t think he could do it. But we should have realized by now that when it comes to spending money we don’t have, Barrack H. Obama is the  champion.

CNS  News:

According to the U.S.  Treasury, the debt of the U.S.  government climbed by a total of $1,275,901,078,828.74 in fiscal 2012, which  ended yesterday.

That means  the federal government borrowed approximately an  additional $10,855  for each household in the United States just over the  past twelve  months.

The  total debt of the United States now equals approximately $136,690 per  household.

In  fiscal 2011, the debt increased by about $10,454 per household–$401  less than the $10,855 per household increase of 2012.

The  $1.2758 trillion that the debt increased in fiscal 2012 was about  $47.18  billion more than the $1.2287 trillion that the debt increased  in fiscal  2011.

The  federal fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30.

At  the close of business on Sept. 30, 2011, the total debt of the  U.S. government  was $14,790,340,328,557.15, according to the Treasury.  At the close of business  on Sept. 28, the last business day of fiscal  2012, it was  $16,066,241,407,385.89

That  meant the debt increased in fiscal 2012 by  $1,275,901,078,828.74.

At  the close of business on Sept. 30, 2010, the debt had stood at   $13,561,623,030,891.79.  Over the course of fiscal 2011, it increased by   $1,228,717,297,665.36 before closing at 14,790,340,328,557.15 on Sept.  30,  2011.

The  fiscal 2012 increase of $1,275,901,078,828.74 exceeded the fiscal 2011 increase  $1,228,717,297,665.36 by $47,183,781,163.38

Excuse  me, math is not one of my strong subjects but shouldn’t the budget deficit be,  like, you know, going down every year instead of going  up?

Sorry  – my bad. For a minute, I thought we were living in an alternate reality where  people actually took things like trillion dollar deficits seriously. I will now  return to La-La Land and make happy faces because President Obama has the  situation well in hand.

Obama – the man who demonized George Bush for adding $4 trillion in debt over eight years – has run up $6 trillion in four.  A full third of the entire US debt accumulated over the nation’s entire history has come under Obama’s presidency.

We’re like Europe now for the first time in American history under Obama: our economy is smaller than our debt and while our economy keeps shrinking because of the fool-in-chief’s stupid policies, our debt keeps heading straight up into space like a rocket.

We’re paying $9 billion a damn WEEK in interest servicing our debt – and most of that is going to China.  Just imagine that: if you had just one lousy day’s worth of America’s INTEREST payment, you’d be a billionaire and one of the richest people on the planet.  And even Obama’s own budget states that the interest on the national debt is about to quadruple.

CNN had an interesting article on how Obama has “fundamentally transformed America” into a deadbeat debtor nation way back in late 2009 after Obama’s spending rampage:

$4.8 trillion – Interest on U.S. debt
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writerDecember 20, 2009: 7:37 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Here’s a new way to think about the U.S. government’s epic borrowing: More than half of the $9 trillion in debt that Uncle Sam is expected to build up over the next decade will be interest.

More than half. In fact, $4.8 trillion.

If that’s hard to grasp, here’s another way to look at why that’s a problem.

In 2015 alone, the estimated interest due – $533 billion – is equal to a third of the federal income taxes expected to be paid that year, said Charles Konigsberg, chief budget counsel of the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group.

[…]

Let’s go over Obama’s spending in 2009: there was the $862 billion stimulus (which again will ultimately cost America $3.27 TRILLION); there was the $410 billion Omnibus he passed a couple of months later; there was the $79 billion GM auto bailout which broke contract law and robbed the guaranteed secured bondholders to give the farm to Obama’s union allies; oh, and there was the $350 billion in TARP money that Obama voted for and requested that Bush leave for him that he spent.  And of course Obama spent that entire year fighting to pass his $2.6 trillion ObamaCare debacle that he promised would cut insurance premiums by $2,500 a year but instead raised them by $3,000 a year.

The stimulus that was sold on the promise of “shovel-ready jobs” ended up, even in Obama’s own words, being “not as shovel-ready as we thought” as it completely and utterly failed to do anything but bankrupt America and transform this nation into debt-slaves.

Obama has been wrong about absolutely everything he ever said.  Now he’s implicitly arguing, “I was wrong about the lies I told you back then, but why don’t you trust my current lies now?”

If Spain Collapses, Europe Collapses. And If Europe Collapses, America Collapses. And Terrified Spaniards Are Bailing Out Of Spain As I Write This.

September 5, 2012

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.  Because to paraphrase Obama’s demonic reverend for 25 years, the chickens of socialism have come home to roost:

Fears Rising, Spaniards Pull Out Their Cash and Get Out of Spain
Published in the New York Times: Monday, 3 Sep 2012 | 9:22 PM ET By: Landon Thomas Jr.

After working six years as a senior executive for a multinational payroll-processing company in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Vildosola is cutting his professional and financial ties with his troubled homeland. He has moved his family to a village near Cambridge, England, where he will take the reins at a small software company, and he has transferred his savings from Spanish banks to British banks.

“The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse,” Mr. Vildosola, 38, said last week just hours before boarding a plane to London with his wife and two small children. “There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don’t want to end up holding devalued pesetas.”

Mr. Vildosola is among many who worry that Spain’s economic tailspin could eventually force the country’s withdrawal from the euro and a return to its former currency, the peseta. That dire outcome is still considered a long shot, even if Spain might eventually require a Greek-style bailout. But there is no doubt that many of those in a position to do so are taking their money — and in some cases themselves — out of Spain.

In July, Spaniards withdrew a record 75 billion euros, or $94 billion, from their banks — an amount equal to 7 percent of the country’s overall economic output — as doubts grew about the durability of Spain’s financial system.

The withdrawals accelerated a trend that began in the middle of last year, and came despite a European commitment to pump up to 100 billion euros into the Spanish banking system. Analysts will be watching to see whether the August data, when available, shows an even faster rate of capital flight.

More disturbing for Spain is that the flight is starting to include members of its educated and entrepreneurial elite who are fed up with the lack of job opportunities in a country where the unemployment rate touches 25 percent.

According to official statistics, 30,000 Spaniards registered to work in Britain in the last year, and analysts say that this figure would be many multiples higher if workers without documents were counted. That is a 25 percent increase from a year earlier.

“No doubt there is a little bit of panic,” said José García Montalvo, an economist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. “The wealthy people have already taken their money out. Now it’s the professionals and midrange people who are moving their money to Germany and London. The mood is very, very bad.”

It is possible that the outlook could improve if the European Central Bank’s governing council, which meets Thursday, signals a plan to help shore up the finances of Spain and other euro zone laggards by intervening in the bond markets.

But right now, if anything, Spain’s picture is growing dimmer.

On Friday, the government’s bank rescue fund said it would need to pump up to 5 billion euros into the failed mortgage-lending giant Bankia, which the state seized in May. And on Monday, Andalusia became the latest of Spain’s semiautonomous regions to ask the central government for rescue money.

The wider prospects for the euro zone are also still bleak. Moody’s [MCO 39.72 0.12 (+0.3%) ] Investors Service said on Monday that it had changed its outlook on the AAA rating of the European Union to negative, and that it might downgrade the rating if it decides to cut the ratings on the union’s four largest budget contributors.

Spain’s gathering gloom comes despite a gradual return of capital to banks in Greece and the relative stability of deposits in those other euro zone trouble spots, Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

The continued exodus of money and people from Spain could be a warning to European policy makers that bailing out the country — a step now widely expected — may not stem the panic as long as the Spanish economy remains in a funk.

It was a lesson learned in Greece, where despite successive European bailouts, about a third of deposits have been withdrawn from its banks since 2009, as the public worried that Athens might have to return to the drachma.

Spain is still a far cry from a nearly bankrupt Greece: it has a much larger and more diverse economy, lower levels of debt and a bond market that is still functioning.

It might be more accurate to say that money is leaving Spanish banks at more of a jog than anything close to a sprint.

Although retail and corporate deposits are down 10 percent compared with those of July 2011, the country remains relatively rich in savings, with 2.3 trillion euros in overall deposits, according to data from Morgan Stanley.

But once under way, the flight of bank deposits can easily overwhelm rational facts and analysis.

Setting off the flight was the failure of Bankia, which came as a shock to Spanish savers who had been assured by government officials that the bank was in good shape.

Instead of calming fears, the state takeover prompted comparisons to Argentina in 2001, when peso bank accounts denominated in dollars were frozen in order to stem the flight of deposits.

The corralito, or corral, as the Argentine action is known, has become part of the public conversation in Spain. The million-plus Argentines who have since immigrated to Spain have provided ample and gory stories of desperate legal battles and wiped-out savings.

Eduardo Pérez, a Spaniard who was working in Argentina during that period, remembers the events all too well. He said he lost four-fifths of the money he had kept in an Argentine savings account, though he declined to say how much money was involved.

“Some of my friends lost everything,” Mr. Pérez said. “So yes, everyone in Spain knows about the corralito.”

Recently, Mr. Pérez, who lives in the northern city of Bilbao, removed about a third of his euros from his Spanish savings account and sent them to Singapore, converting them to Singapore dollars.

Having lost his job at a multinational company a few months ago, Mr. Pérez, 48, is trying to make ends meet by focusing on his travel Web site and blog, which aggregate Spanish-language travel videos.

But as the job outlook worsens, he is contemplating following in the path of his savings and starting a new life in Singapore with his wife.

“Two years ago, we never would have thought of this, but now I have real fears that there will be a breakup with the euro,” he said. “And when you keep hearing people saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen’ — well, that is when you have to start worrying.”

Analysts said that the record-high outflow from Spain in July was probably spurred in part by July’s being a taxpaying month for many corporations, which prompted them to withdraw cash from deposit accounts.

Also playing a role were investment funds that moved cash reserves to foreign banks in light of the credit downgrades at Spanish banks.

Still, as the examples of Mr. Vildosola and Mr. Pérez show, individual deposit flight is becoming more pronounced.

Some people are willing to fly to London for the day just to open an account there, as most banks in the city require such transactions to be made in person.

Spanish bankers working for British financial institutions say they have been hit with a barrage of questions about how to open savings accounts in London.

“It seems as if everyone I know in Spain is getting on an easyJet to come to London and open a bank account,” said one such banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing his company’s policy.

That is what Mr. Vildosola did before he took the more drastic step of moving his family to England.

“It’s sad,” he said. “But I just don’t think there is a future for me in Spain right now.”

This story originally appeared in The New York Times

You want scary?  CNBC reported that the withdrawal rate is equal to 52% of the entire GDP of Spain:

The flight of capital from Spain is now worse than what Indonesia, one of the hardest hit countries during the Asian financial crisis, experienced in the late 1990s, according to analysis by Nomura.

On a three-month rolling basis, portfolio and investment outflows from Spain totaled 52.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), (that’s) more than double the outflows from Indonesia, which reached 23 percent of GDP at the time of the Asian crisis, Jens Nordvig, global head of G10 FX strategy at Nomura wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Spaniards and foreign investors have been pulling money out of Spanish banks as the economy has worsened in recent months, and Nordvig said without the single currency and the flows from the ECB, Spain would already be going through a major currency crisis. (Read More: Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies)

We would stress that the broad-based nature of the capital flight, which involves both banking claims and securities and flows from both residents and non-residents, makes for a rather extreme overall outflow, and one that raises serious concerns about the implications for banking sector stability and economic growth,” Nordvig wrote.

For the record, the French are fleeing France and they are making it very clear that they are fleeing France because of the socialism that France just chose for itself:

Indigestion for ‘les Riches’ in a Plan for Higher Taxes
By LIZ ALDERMAN
Published: August 7, 2012 763 Comments

PARIS — The call to Vincent Grandil’s Paris law firm began like many others that have rolled in recently. On the line was the well-paid chief executive of one of France’s most profitable companies, and he was feeling nervous.

President François Hollande is vowing to impose a 75 percent tax on the portion of anyone’s income above a million euros ($1.24 million) a year. “Should I be preparing to leave the country?” the executive asked Mr. Grandil.

The lawyer’s counsel: Wait and see. For now, at least.

“We’re getting a lot of calls from high earners who are asking whether they should get out of France,” said Mr. Grandil, a partner at Altexis, which specializes in tax matters for corporations and the wealthy. “Even young, dynamic people pulling in 200,000 euros are wondering whether to remain in a country where making money is not considered a good thing.”

A chill is wafting over France’s business class as Mr. Hollande, the country’s first Socialist president since François Mitterrand in the 1980s, presses a manifesto of patriotism to “pay extra tax to get the country back on its feet again.” The 75 percent tax proposal, which Parliament plans to take up in September, is ostensibly aimed at bolstering French finances as Europe’s long-running debt crisis intensifies.

Europe is imploding.  Spain is one of the PIIGS (the ‘S’ in PIIGS, in fact) who are leading that collapse.  And Obama is pushing for an economic and environmentalist model that most copies collapsing Spain.

And liberals are DETERMINED to do the same thing here.  Go to Illinois, the king of the deadbeat states.  You watch a 60 Minute Story and you will be PISSED at what slimebag Democrat cockroaches have done.  Go to California, where Democrats have created a $500 BILLION unfunded pension black hole of doom.  Look at America under Obama and take note that America just passed the $16 trillion mark that was $10 trillion when Bush left office.  Barack Obama DEMONIZED George Bush for increasing the debt by $4 trillion over eight years – look what that Marxist weasel has done in HALF the time by piling on $6 trillion in debt in only FOUR years!!!  Oh, and America’s REAL debt isn’t a paltry $16 trillion; it’s actually a supermassive $222 trillion.  And all that debt was created by Democrat boondoggle-takeovers of what should have been privatized.

Democrats have murdered America.  And we are merely waiting for our turn to completely implode before the Antichrist comes and the Book of Revelation prophecy becomes the news story account of the end of human history.  You can hear the hoofbeats of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse riding hard toward us even now.

The last couple of years, as Europe has slowly imploded, the dollar has been given a boost as terrorized Europeans seek some haven from their weakening Euro.  But if Europe goes – and it WILL go – America will fall right afterward because Europe is our largest trading partner and there won’t be anybody to buy our stuff from us.  And because Obama has spent the last four years racing us toward that same direction and that same catastrophic collapse.  And when America goes the dollar will flush down the toilet right down with it.  And you better take a look at the terror on the faces of Spaniards; because YOU will have that same look on YOUR face soon thanks to your vote for Obama and Democrats in 2008.

In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency, 300,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy.  In this last failed year of Obama’s failed presidency, 1.4 million – very nearly FIVE TIMES as many – businesses have filed for bankruptcy.  If we vote for Obama, we vote to die as a nation just as Spain previously voted to die and just as Europe previously voted to die.

Everything about this failed president is Marxist – including his damn Marxist slogans:

New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism
By Victor Morton – The Washington Times
April 30, 2012, 06:56PM

The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word “Forward” with the “O” having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign’s official beginning.

Vote for Obama.  March “forward” right into hell, you fools.  Because that’s what you’ve got to look “forward” to under your demonic false messiah Obama.

You just watch what will happen to the DOW the day Spain goes the way of the Dodo bird.  And you realize that we’re going down hard in our own day of reckoning because we chose the same stupid and immoral course that Spain chose.

What’s Obama’s “strategy” to deal with this crisis???  To try to call on Europe to not collapse until after he’s reelected so he won’t have to face the voters’ wrath over what hell has befallen America under his failed leadership.

The collapse is coming.  Democrats gave us that when they voted for Obama and let him kill America with his socialism.  The Antichrist is coming.  He’ll be riding in on his white horse to save the day from the disaster and collapse caused by the previous false messiah Obama.  And Democrats will welcome the beast even more enthusiastically than they welcomed Obama and they will worship him and they will take his mark.

Get ready for hell on earth.  And then get ready for hell itself.  Because the beast is coming.

Frightening Article About Impending Economic Collapse – The Hoofbeats Of The 4 Horsemen Of The Apopalypse Are Beginning To Echo

August 21, 2012

It’s not just Europe that is on the brink.  America’s true fiscal gap is a beyond completely insane $222 TRILLION and if Europe doesn’t fall into the fiery pit of hell first, we will.  And things are not going at all well in China, either.

But read this about Europe and try having a good sleep tonight.  Because one thing is for sure: if Europe collapses, the Greatest Depression will start here the same day.

Jacob Rothschild, John Paulson And George Soros Are All Betting That Financial Disaster Is Coming

Are you willing to bet against three of the wealthiest men in the entire world? Jacob Rothschild recently bet approximately 200 million dollars that the euro will go down. Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson made somewhere around 20 billion dollars betting against the U.S. housing market during the last financial crisis, and now he has made huge bets that the euro will go down and that the price of gold will go up. And as I wrote about in my last article, George Soros put approximately 130 million more dollars into gold last quarter. So will the euro plummet like a rock? Will the price of gold absolutely soar? Well, if a massive financial disaster does occur both of those two things are likely to happen. The European economy is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and investors all over the globe are looking for safe places to put their money. The mainstream media keeps telling us that everything is going to be okay, but the global elite are sending us a much, much different message by their actions. Certainly Rothschild, Paulson and Soros know about things happening in the financial world that the rest of us don’t. The fact that they are all behaving in a consistent manner right now should be alarming for all of us.

Let’s start with Jacob Rothschild. Apparently he believes that the euro is headed for quite a tumble. The following is from a recent CNBC article….

You know the euro is in deep water when a doyen of the banking industry, Lord Jacob Rothschild takes a £130 million ($200 million) bet against it.

Okay, but the euro has already been falling dramatically. In mid-2011, the EUR/USD was above the 1.40 mark, and right now it is at about 1.23.

Does it really have that much more that it can fall?

If the eurozone ends up breaking apart it sure does.

If there is a Greek default, or if Germany leaves the euro, or if a new currency comes along to replace the euro those currently betting against it will end up looking like geniuses.

Another big name in the financial world that is betting against the euro right now is John Paulson. The following is from a recent Der Spiegel article….

One of these warriors is John Paulson. The hedge fund manager once made billions by betting on a collapse of the American real estate market. Not surprisingly, the financial world sat up and took notice when Paulson, who is now widely despised in America as a crisis profiteer, announced in the spring that he would bet on a collapse of the euro.

And as I noted in my last article, Paulson has also been putting billions of dollars into gold.

So just what are Rothschild and Paulson anticipating?

Could we be on the verge of a massive financial collapse in Europe?

According to the Der Spiegel article mentioned above, a lot of investors seem to be preparing for such a possibility right now….

Banks, companies and investors are preparing themselves for a collapse of the euro. Cross-border bank lending is falling, asset managers are shunning Europe and money is flowing into German real estate and bonds. The euro remains stable against the dollar because America has debt problems too. But unlike the euro, the dollar’s structure isn’t in doubt.

The financial world is starting to wake up to the fact that the globe is absolutely drowning in debt and it is not really good to be holding fiat currencies when a debt crisis erupts.

When men like John Paulson and George Soros start pouring huge amounts of money into gold, it is time to start becoming alarmed about the state of the global financial system.

The amount of money that these men are investing in gold is staggering….

There was also news last week in an SEC filing that both George Soros and John Paulson had increased their investment in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest publicly traded physical gold exchange traded fund (ETF).

Mr Soros upped his stake in the ETF to 884,400 shares from 319,550 and Mr Paulson bought 4.53m shares, bringing his stake to 21.3m.

At the current price of about $156 a share, these are new investments of about $88m of Mr Soros’ cash and more than $700m from Mr Paulson’s funds. These are significant positions.

And the central banks of the world are certainly buying gold at an unprecedented rate as well. According to the World Gold Council, the central banks of the world added 157.5 metric tons of gold last quarter. That was the biggest move into gold by the central banks of the globe that we have seen in modern financial history.

But that might just be the beginning.

According to a recent Marketwatch article, there are persistent rumors that China has plans to buy thousands of metric tons of gold….

Within the gold market, there is unconfirmed speculation that China plans to buy up to at least 5,000 to 6,000 metric tons of gold and that it will start to buy during this year, according to Kevin Kerr, president of Kerr Trading International.

If China buys this much gold, that would exceed annual, global production of gold, he said. “We do not have enough gold for China to buy that much, and it will take China time to purchase this amount of gold.”

So what comes next?

Nobody is quite sure.

Another major financial crisis could erupt in Europe at any moment.

A major war in the Middle East could start literally at any time.

Renowned investor Jim Rogers believes that things are really going to get “bad after the next election“.

Others believe that the action could start even sooner than that.

The truth is that even though we have not seen a “Lehman Brothers moment” yet, things in Europe just continue to get progressively worse. The following is from a recent article by Mark E. Grant….

Whether you turn your attention to Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal or even Ireland; it is getting worse. Nowhere on the Continent are things improving and even in France and Germany the financial strains are beginning to show. It is not a question of Euro-bear or Euro-bull; it is just the numbers as they come rolling out month after month.

There is a growing realization in Europe that the euro simply does not work. Italy is absolutely drowning in debt, the Spanish economy has basically descended into a depression, and Greece has been experiencing depression-like conditions for years at this point.

The euro is doomed. The only question is who is going to blink first.

Nobody wants to be the first to leave the euro. There are rumblings that it could actually be Finland that leaves the euro first, and that would please Germany just fine because they don’t want to look like the bad guys in all of this.

But that doesn’t mean that Germany won’t eventually pull the trigger if nobody else does. The German public is sick and tired of bailing out the weak sisters of southern Europe, and at this point it looks like it would take perpetual bailouts just to keep the euro together.

And recently there have been lots of little signs that Germany is starting to move slowly toward the exit doors.

In fact, I found it quite interesting that a giant euro sculpture was recently removed from the Frankfurt International Airport….

A massive € sculpture (identical to the one in front of the European Central Bank) was dismantled and removed from the Frankfurt International Airport in Germany Thursday.

The official explanation is ‘the plastic parts are getting weak after 11 years and the terminal needed the space‘.

Does € sculpture’s removal from the Frankfurt Airport indicate Germany is preparing for a surprise return to the Deutsche Mark?

Sure that might just be a coincidence, but it also could be a harbinger of things to come.

Sadly, most average people living in North America and Europe have absolutely no idea what is coming. Most of them just want to be able to get up in the morning and go to work and pay the bills and take care of their families.

Unfortunately, millions upon millions of those hard working individuals are in for a very rude awakening.

A lot of people are about to have their current lifestyles totally turned upside down.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad.

In fact, I found it very interesting to read about how some young people are responding to the depression in Greece….

In the spring of 2010, just as the Greek government was embarking on some of its harshest austerity measures, 29-year-old Apostolos Sianos packed in his well-paid job as a website designer, gave up his Athens apartment and walked away from modern civilisation.

In the foothills of Mount Telaithrion on the Greek island of Evia, Mr Sianos and three other like-minded Athenians set up an eco-community.

The idea was to live in an entirely sustainable way, free from the ties of money and cut off from the national electricity grid.

The group sleeps communally in yurts they have built themselves, they grow their own food and exchange the surplus in the nearest village for any necessities they cannot produce.

I think there is a lesson to be learned there.

When the system fails, it is going to be important to be able to live independently of the system.

Governments and big banks all over the world have been rapidly preparing for the coming financial collapse.

Perhaps the rest of us should be too.

If you can believe it, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

If another major economic crisis comes along, many of those people are going to be totally wiped out.

And there are already signs that the U.S. economy is basically on life support at this point.

Just look at the velocity of money.

In an economy that is growing and healthy, money tends to circulate very, very quickly.

But when an economy is sick, money tends to circulate very slowly.

And that is exactly what is happening right now. In fact, the velocity of money is currently at the lowest level in modern U.S. history….

For much more discussion on this, please check out this article.

This is exactly what happened back in the 1930s. The velocity of money absolutely plummeted. When people are scared, credit is tight and times are hard, money does not exchange hands as rapidly.

But this is just the beginning.

What we are experiencing right now is rip-roaring prosperity compared to what is coming.

Jacob Rothschild, John Paulson and George Soros are preparing themselves for the tremendous chaos that is coming.

Are you getting prepared?

I found this comment to this article on FreeRepublic rather chilling as well:

Velocity Of Money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply. This VoM chart using monetary base should end any discussion of what ”this” is and whether or not anybody should be using the word “recovery” with a straight face:

I’ve said it over and over and I’ll say it again: the beast is coming.  Revelation chapter six prophesies the world in the last days in total meltdown: economic catastrophe, wars upon wars, famines and grim diseases.  And into that maelstrom comes the beast – the Antichrist, the ultimate false messiah who will make the false messiah Obama look like a fart in a hurricane – riding in on his white horse to save the day.

Why will the world worship the beast and literally take his mark upon their right hands or foreheads in act of economic worship?  Because he will enter the scene during a time of complete catastrophe and chaos and despair and seem to have all the answers.  But it will be not only under but because of his leadership that his promised Utopia degenerates into complete hell on earth in only seven short years.

Coming To America (Thanks, Obama!): Spain On Verge Of Collapse While Liberals Turn Violent In Streets

June 23, 2012

The OWS (“Occupy”) Movement pretty much proves it: this is liberalism on failure:

Spain’s economy on the edge of collapse as protests turn violent
By Hugo Duncan
PUBLISHED: 19:38 EST, 19 June 2012 | UPDATED: 01:49 EST, 20 June 2012

Europe plunged deeper into crisis last night as Spain lurched closer to needing a full-blown bailout to save it from collapse.

The government in Madrid was forced to pay prohibitively high interest rates to borrow money on another bruising day for the single currency bloc.

It raised fears that Spain is on the verge of becoming the biggest victim of the euro crisis so far – following the bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

 

A coal miner sets fire to a barricade made of tires during a protest against government cuts in Villafranca del Bierzo, Leon, North-eastern SpainA coal miner sets fire to a barricade made of tires during a protest against government cuts in Villafranca del Bierzo, Leon, North-eastern Spain

The country – the fourth biggest economy in the eurozone – is back in recession and unemployment is at 25 per cent with half of young workers unable to find a job.

And the problems on the stock markets were matched on the streets.

Striking Spanish coal miners armed with homemade rockets, slingshots and rocks clashed with police firing rubber bullets yesterday.

They drove officers out of the town of Cirena in northern Spain in protest at government mining subsidy cuts that could devastate their industry.

Analysts warned that the situation was ‘critical’ for both Madrid and the eurozone despite the £80 billion lifeline thrown to the Spanish banking system last week.

Nicolas Spiro, a government debt expert at Spiro Sovereign Strategy, said: ‘We are in a critical situation now. This is the Rubicon that should have never been crossed.

‘It should have never come to this. We are dealing with a broken government bond market in Spain and quite possibly in Italy. This is exactly where you did not want the cancer to spread.’

 

Striking Spanish miners fire homemade rockets towards Spanish Civil Guards in Cinera, near Oviedo, northern Spain, during a mass strike against subsidy cuts that they claim threaten tens of thousands of jobsStriking Spanish miners fire homemade rockets towards Spanish Civil Guards in Cinera, near Oviedo, northern Spain, during a mass strike against subsidy cuts that they claim threaten tens of thousands of jobs

Spain had to pay an interest rate of 5.07 per cent to sell 12-month debt yesterday – up from 2.99 per cent a month ago and the highest level since the euro was launched in 1999.

The crucial 10-year bond yield was also above 7 per cent – a psychologically important level which proved to be the point of no return for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Marc Otswald, an analyst at City firm Monument Securities, said Spanish borrowing costs could lead to a full-blown bailout worth around £250 billion.

‘It is becoming very difficult to see how it can manage without that beyond the end of September unless yields fall dramatically,’ he said.

Ishaq Siddiqi, a market strategist at trading firm ETX Capital, said: ‘The sustained high yields on Spanish bonds remain a considerable concern for markets.

If the Spanish government fails to address the country’s economic crisis, like Greece, sky high borrowing rates could eventually force Spain into a full sovereign bailout.

A Spanish bailout would mark a disastrous escalation of the euro crisis, threatening Italy and core eurozone nations such as France and even powerhouse Germany.’

Obama is trying to make America more and more like Spain even as Spain is beyond obviously going to collapse into ruins.

Kind of makes you wonder what kind of demon-possessed people voted for this turd.

The same people – LEFTISTS (AKA “liberals”) – who are rioting in Europe are rioting in America as the Occupy fascists show us that violence invariably comes from the left.

Obama and the Democrat Party want for America EXACTLY what liberals in Spain created there.

Get Ready For Europe To Get Real Sucky Again (Socialism Failed There Something Fierce, But Hey, Obama Wants To Repeat Their Failure Here Anyway)

April 19, 2012

Let’s consider the recent happenings in Spain:

Spanish banks’ bad loans hits 18-year high
Published 11:58 PM, 18 Apr 2012 Last update 5:06 AM, 19 Apr 2012

AAP
The ratio of bad loans at Spanish banks shot to an 18-year high in February, official figures showed Wednesday, as the banks struggled with a mass of deteriorating property-related loans.

Spanish banks are a key concern on financial markets because of the declining value of the huge loans they allowed to build up during a property bubble that collapsed in 2008.

Doubtful loans in February amounted to €143.8 billion ($188 billion), rising to 8.15 per cent of total credits – the highest ratio since 1994 – from 7.91 per cent in January, the Bank of Spain said.

A loan is categorised as doubtful when the borrower has not made a payment for at least three months.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government has made cleaning up the banks a priority and is requiring them to set aside more than €50 billion to boost their balance sheets.

The Bank of Spain approved the plan Tuesday, obliging banks to allocate 29 billion euros to bad loan provisions and €15.6 billion to raise the proportion of rock-solid core capital.

Those sums are in addition to €9.2 billion in provisions already set aside by the banks last year, bringing the total in extra capital to €53.8 billion.

Banks are being told to find the money for the new provisions from their own profits or by issuing new shares, although the central bank has not ruled out state intervention.

The new, tougher balance sheet requirements must be met within one year, or two years for banks undergoing mergers.

Many analysts doubt, however, that the new rules will be enough, warning that the real bad loan figures may be far worse because banks are reluctant to fully realise the declining value of their loans.

As banks stagger under the bad loans, businesses widely report that new credit is hard to come by.

Spain’s banks turned in huge numbers to the European Central Bank, which has offered more than one trillion euros in cheap three-year loans to eurozone banks.

Borrowing by Spanish banks from the ECB hit a new record in March at €227.6 billion, up from €152.4 billion euros in February and €133.2 billion in January.

Much of that money, however, has been invested in Spanish government bonds instead of loans to business.

The Bank of Spain estimated that the total value of banks’ problematic loans, the value of which is uncertain, amounted to €176 billion in June 2011, the latest date for which those figures are available.

And that’s bad news for the ten-year bond sale in Spain tomorrow:

Investors fret ahead of key Spanish bond auction
By David Williams | AFP – 2 hrs 33 mins ago.

Investors showed deep concern ahead of a Spanish government bond auction due Thursday, fearing Madrid could be thrown back into the centre of the eurozone debt crisis.

Markets have punished Spain sharply since an April 4 government bond auction drew only feeble interest, with the state barely raising the minimum amount targetted.

That weak sale, coming shortly after the government unveiled an austerity budget with spending cuts and tax increases of 27 billion euros ($35 billion), reawakened doubts over the sustainability of Spain’s financing.

A similar result Thursday, when the Treasury aims to raise 1.5-2.5 billion euros, could compound concerns that Spain might end up needing the kind of a debt bailout already afforded to fellow eurozone strugglers Greece, Ireland and neighbouring Portugal.

“Investors remain nervous ahead of tomorrow’s 10-year Spanish bond auction,” said equities analyst David Morrison at trading group GFT in London.

“If yields jump back over 6.0 percent, then the European debt crisis will return centre stage, with Spain the leading lady.”

Spain’s bad debt is actually higher than it’s good debt.  And this in the fourth largest economy in Europe and the twelfth largest economy on the planet.

And then there’s the rather bad predictions – especially given the fact that a Spanish bailout will massively dwarf the pain and fear created by the Greek collapse:

“Not if, but when” for Spanish bailout, experts believe
By Luke Baker
BRUSSELS | Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:54am EDT

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Economic experts watching Spain don’t know how much money will be needed or precisely when, but some are near certain that Madrid will eventually seek a multi-billion euro bailout for its banks, and perhaps even for the state itself.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has repeatedly said Spain doesn’t need or want an international bailout, and the European Union, which along with the IMF has already rescued Greece, Ireland and Portugal, also dismisses such talk.

But economists believe that Spanish banks will have to turn to the euro zone’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), for help in covering losses caused by a property market crash which has yet to end.

Likewise, investors are fretting about how Rajoy’s centre-right government can enforce deep austerity while reviving a recession-bound economy at the same time.

“They’re going to need EFSF money to recapitalize the banking sector,” said Carsten Brzeski, a senior economist at ING in Brussels. “I think we’ll only see a real end to the Spanish misery if the real estate market stabilizes.”

Madrid is likely to hold out for some time. “The underlying picture in Spain is dramatic, but is it dramatic in the way that it needs a bailout package tomorrow? No,” Brzeski said. “But if you look ahead, let’s say the next six months, I would not be surprised if they (the banks) have to get some kind of European support.”

Market concerns about the euro zone’s fourth largest economy have deepened in the past week. Yields on the government’s 10-year bonds, which reflect the risk investors attach to owning Spanish debt, have risen above 6 percent, a level that has proved a trigger point for other troubled euro zone countries.

At the moment the EU is backing Madrid. Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers, said Spain was taking the necessary steps to get its economy back on track, despite a recession and unemployment at 24 percent.

“I don’t think Spain will need any kind of external support,” Juncker said. “I would like to invite financial markets to behave in a rational way. Spain is on track.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble also rejected comparisons with countries which are already on bailout programs. “The fundamental data in Spain is not comparable to those in the countries that are under a program,” he told Reuters. “Spain needs to work to win confidence, however, if the positive developments are to continue.”

SUSTAINABLE SPAIN?

Markets took fright earlier in the year when Rajoy relaxed his government’s targets for cutting the budget deficit.

However, not all economists are so pessimistic and some say the four-month-old government is starting to knuckle down to meeting the new targets, which still demand deeply unpopular austerity, and tackling the economy’s structural problems.

“We’ve seen more progress in a few days than in four months,” said Gilles Moec, a Deutsche Bank economist. “It’s a country that’s intrinsically sustainable, but it’s a country that needs to make decisions.”

Others beg to differ and fear Spain will drag in Italy, which has suffered similar problems with rising borrowing costs.

“As I look at my screen and Spain 10-year yields are up at 6 percent – things are starting to get worrying again,” said Peter Westaway, chief economist for Europe at Vanguard, an investment management firm overseeing $1.8 trillion in assets.

“If they go up to 6.5 to 7 percent, that could become very problematic, and if Italy started to go back above Spain again, then that would be really serious.”

Spain has one thing on its side. It has already raised nearly half the 86 billion euros it needs to borrow from financial markets this year, sucking up some of the 1 trillion euros of cheap three-year loans that the European Central Bank has pumped into the euro zone banking sector.

This means the government could hang on for months before having to turn to the EU for help with its own funding needs.

A 380 BILLION EURO PROBLEM

However, that still leaves the banks. One of the critical “unknowables’ for Spain is just how bad a situation its banks are in. The Spanish housing market, once a driver of the economy, has been in turmoil for more than four years, but prices still haven’t fallen as much as economists think is needed to squeeze the air out of the bubble.

Only when prices have bottomed will assessors be able to calculate how just much bad mortgage debt is sitting on the banks’ balance sheets, and therefore how much extra capital the sector requires to return it to health.

“Prices have dropped by about 15-20 percent from peak to now and they will probably have to drop another 15-20 percent before they reach bottom,” said Brzeski. He estimates Spanish banks may need as much as 80 billion euros of extra capital once all bad mortgage debt is accounted for.

In a paper published this week, Daniel Gros and Cinzia Alcidi of the Centre for European Policy Studies estimated that the total accumulated overhang in the Spanish property and construction sector is more than 380 billion euros – equivalent to 37 percent of GDP. (here)

“A housing overhang per se does not have to lead to an acute financial crisis if it was financed by domestic savings,” they write. “Unfortunately this is not the case in Spain.”

As a result, economists expect Spain’s banking sector will have no choice but to recapitalize.

The government is unlikely to fund such an operation while it is trying to slash the budget deficit, and private investors are reluctant to invest in such a troubled sector.

That leaves the European Financial Stability Facility as the most likely option for the banks – and possibly also for the government eventually.

“Spain is not going to run out of cash (yet) and it’s pre-funded its borrowing requirement,” said Megan Greene, a senior economist and euro zone specialist at Roubini Global Economics. But she added: “There’s a chance that the banking bailout could come sooner, but I really think it’s going to be next year.”

Even if it does hang on until 2013, Greene still expects Spain to need both a banking and a sovereign bailout – a program similar to that provided to Ireland or Greece.

“The banking sector is only one piece of the puzzle in Spain,” she said. “A banking bailout could deal with one part of the problem, but eventually the sovereign is going to need a bailout too.”

WHAT TO DO WITH ITALY

Doubts persist that the euro zone is any better placed to handle a rescue of Spain than it was two years ago, despite having already bailed out the three other countries and having set up an 800 billion euro fund to tackle the problems ravaging the region’s economy.

“When it comes to deciding how to deal with Spain, I really think they are back to the drawing board,” said Greene. “They basically haven’t learnt anything from the first three bailouts.”

Then the problem for euro zone policymakers will be what to do about Italy, the eighth largest economy in the world, with GDP 50 percent larger than Spain’s.

For months, Spanish government bond yields and those in Italy have moved in near lock-step, reflecting the twinned risk investors see in both southern European states.

“Spain and Italy are inextricably tied,” said Greene. “If Spain gets a bailout then the EU needs to be ready to provide support to Italy too.”

Did somebody say Italy?  Italy is the 8th largest economy on the planet and is half again bigger than Spain – and an Italian debt failure would be economic Armageddon.

Italy to miss budget aims, says IMF
Tuesday 17th April 2012, 8:00PM BST.

The International Monetary Fund is predicting that Italy will miss its budget deficit targets this year and next and will not balance its budget until at least 2018 – some five years later than government estimates.
 
In a report, the IMF said Italy would trim its budget deficit only to 1.5% of its output next year. Premier Mario Monti has promised to balance the budget by 2013, a centrepiece of his efforts to steer Italy out of its debt crisis.
 
The IMF however predicted that Italy would still carry a 1.1% deficit in 2017, the last year for which it made estimates.
 
Italy is due to publish its own revised economic figures on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, following Greece’s recent second bailout (because the first one ended in colossal failure with the Greek debt being like a black hole), things aren’t so rosy already:

March 16th, 2012
Oh no…the Greek bail-out is still not enough?
Posted by: CNN Anchor and Correspondent, Richard Quest

London (CNN) – The bail-out is a done deal, the International Monetary Fund has agreed its share and the Europeans have started to hand over the money. One of the ratings agencies has even upgraded the new Greek bonds.
 
So it is incredibly dispiriting to be reading more and more notes from economists and analysts suggesting that this is not over yet.
 
Paul Donovan, in his note from UBS, noted that the markets were not that impressed by the state of play. The markets, he said, were pricing in “the debate about when the next restructuring will take place.”

According to Societe Generale, it is “only a matter of time before Greece will need an additional package.” Citigroup reflects the same view, noting: “In our view, Greece requires further official funding beyond at least 2014, and we also see the need of further debt restructuring in order to get the country back on a sustainable fiscal path.”
 
It gets worse with the prognosis “the risk of Greece exiting the euro area remains elevated (around 50%).”
 
Hang on. “Next restructuring?” and “further debt restructuring?” What on earth have we been going through for the past three months if this isn’t going to solve the Greece problem once and for all?
 
You would be forgiven for a certain incredulity, given that no sooner is the ink dry on the checks being sent to Athens than the economists who know about these things say it’s not enough.
 
This is made all the more likely by European politicians who continue to call for even more austerity in Greece. This lemon is just about squeezed out, and if they don’t want to be facing riot and mayhem they would do well to recognize this.
 
This comes as Iceland announced it is paying back 20% of its IMF loans early. Yes….I said early. Iceland. Which also introduced austerity and borrowed money but – notably – let the banks go bust.
 
No one ever said going bankrupt was easy, but it still may have been the best solution for Greece rather than this messy, half-baked solution we are now witnessing.

If you do an internet search for “Greek bailout,” you’ll get a sea of optimistic-toned stories saying everything will be wonderful and then suddenly nothing.  And “nothing” means that things are starting to suck and liberals don’t want to talk about it.

At this point, Europe is so broken that nothing will do any good.  You hear all the whining about austerity cuts and how it will impact growth; but if they don’t do the austerity cuts absolute implosion and Great Depression is a 100 percent guarantee.

And we’ll be there real soon thanks to hopey-changey Barry Obamy.

Mainstream Media Propaganda: Some Things They WON’T Tell You

January 20, 2012

This article suddenly became a lot more interesting given the fact that its very first “lie” turned out to be very much a LIE.

Mainstream Media Lies: 23 Things That Are Not What They Seem To Be On Television

Most Americans believe the lie that the mainstream media is “fair and balanced” and is looking out for the interests of average Americans. Well, that simply is not true. Those in the mainstream media serve those that are providing them with paychecks. The reality is that just 6 gigantic corporationscollectively own most of the major mainstream media outlets in this country. Reporters are simply not going to be allowed to report stories that are severely damaging to those corporations or to the owners of those corporations. In addition, reporters are simply not going to be allowed to report stories that are severely damaging to those that spend millions of dollars on advertising (such as pharmaceutical companies) on those mainstream media outlets. At this point, our “news” is absolutely packed with propaganda. Way too often, things are not what they seem to be on television. The mainstream media lies, lies and then lies some more. They give us the version of “reality” that their owners want us to have.

The following are 23 things that are not what they seem to be on television….

The Lie: Mitt Romney won Iowa.

The Truth: Mitt Romney may not have won Iowa. The following report of a documented vote discrepancy comes from KCCI….

Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.

“When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”

True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.

So how many other “vote discrepancies” were there in Iowa? Was this just a “coincidence” or did someone do this on purpose?

The Lie: Barack Obama will be much different from George W. Bush and will actually protect our civil liberties.

The Truth: Under Barack Obama we have lost even more of our civil liberties than we did under George W. Bush. Barack Obama recently signed a new law that gives the U.S. military the power to arrest U.S. citizens on American soil, detain them indefinitely and ship them off to Guantanamo Bay for endless “interrogation” sessions.

The Lie: SOPA is all about cracking down on international sellers of counterfeit goods.

The Truth: SOPA is all about censoring the Internet and cracking down on websites that the federal government does not like.

The Lie: The U.S. unemployment rate is now at 8.5% and will continue to fall as the U.S. economy recovers.

The Truth: If the number of Americans considered to be “looking for work” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would about 11 percent, and the U.S. middle class continues to be systematically destroyed right in front of our eyes.

The Lie: The debt crisis in Europe has been stabilized and the euro is going to be just fine.

The Truth: The debt crisis in Europe continues to get worse and the euro is dropping like a rock.

The Lie: The U.S. stock market is in great shape and is poised to soar to new heights in 2012.

The Truth: Investors are pulling money out of stocks at an alarming rate. In fact, as CNBC recently noted, investors have pulled more money out of mutual funds than they have put into mutual funds for 9 weeks in a row. A lot of people out there expect that something really bad is going to happen very soon….

Investors yanked money out of U.S. equity mutual funds for a ninth-consecutive week despite a bullish 2012 outlook from Wall Street and a December rally that’s carried over into the New Year.

The Lie: There are no plans to replace the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.

The Truth: Top financial authorities all over the world have been developing plans for a new global currency for a long time. The following comes from a CNN article….

The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.

The Lie: There is not a municipal bond crisis in America.

The Truth: There is a growing municipal bond crisis in America. Over the last several months a whole host of municipal bonds have been downgraded. Just today, Moody’s downgraded Illinois government debt from A2 to A.

The Lie: Chicago is a safe place to live.

The Truth: 14 people were shot across the Chicago area on Thursday alone.

The Lie: Federal employees are not overpaid.

The Truth: The federal government is advertising for an “invitations coordinator” that will make between $53,500 and $102,900 per year.

The Lie: The old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are bad for the environment and it is a good thing that the federal government is requiring that they be phased out.

The Truth: The new CFL light bulbs are filled with mercury, they are an environmental nightmare and they are incredibly toxic and dangerous if they are broken.

The Lie: The U.S. education system is producing a huge crop of really sharp students who are prepared to be the leaders of tomorrow.

The Truth: The U.S. education system is a complete and total joke. It is producing millions of students that are not prepared to face the real world at all. The following is a short excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo that many of you will find illuminating….

————————————————-

Economics Professor Jack Chambless of Valencia College in Florida had his sophomore students write a short essay on what the American dream means to them and what, specifically, they wanted the federal government to do to help them achieve that dream.

The results demonstrate the sheer magnitude of the idiocy of a public education system dead set on indoctrination rather than education:

I took the essays from three classes – about 180 students…

About 10% of the students said they wanted the government to leave them alone and not tax them too much and let them regulate their own lives.

But over 80% of the students said that the American dream to them meant a job, a house, and plenty of money for retirement and vacations and things like this. When it came to the part about the federal government, eight out of ten students said they wanted free health care, they wanted the government to pay for their tuition, they wanted the government to pay for the down payment on their house, they expected the government to, quote, “give them a job.” Many of them said they wanted the government to tax wealthier individuals so that they would have an opportunity to have a better life.

The following is an excerpt from one of the non-sensical essays written by a student of Professor Chambless:

“As human beings, we are not really responsible for our own acts, and so we need government to control those who don’t care about others.”

————————————————-

You can read the rest of that article right here.

The Lie: Specific social and political agendas are not promoted in U.S. public schools.

The Truth: According to CNSNews.com, a new California law makes it mandatory for all public school children to be taught the “role and contributions” that “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” have played in the “development of California and the United States of America.”

The Lie: We have to send our troops overseas to fight the terrorists “over there” or else they will come and fight us over here.

The Truth: Dozens of jihadist training camps are operating inside the United States right now and the federal government could not care less. The following is from a recent WorldNetDaily article about a jihadist organization that is operating 35 training camps on U.S. soil right now….

Jamaat ul-Fuqra, known in the U.S. as “Muslims of America,” has purchased or leased hundreds of acres of property – from New York to California – in which the leader, Sheikh Mubarak Gilani, boasts of conducting “the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare.”

In a recruitment video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah,” he states in English: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”

Though Gilani and his organization is suspected of committing assassinations and firebombings inside the U.S., and is also suspected of the beheading murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, the terrorist camps spread through the country continue to expand in numbers and population.

But apparently Islamic terror is only a “problem” when the federal government wants to use it to justify invading another country.

In fact, there have been several instances where the U.S. government has actually allied with al-Qaeda in order to overthrow governments. The latest example of this was in Libya.

The Lie: Our politicians know exactly what they are doing and they have a plan for getting U.S. debt under control.

The Truth: When Ronald Reagan took office, the U.S. national debt was less than 1 trillion dollars. Today, the U.S. national debt is over 15.2 trillion dollars. In spite of all this, the American people keep sending the same big spenders back to Washington D.C. over and over and over.

The Lie: The Obama administration is enforcing our immigration laws.

The Truth: The Obama administration has instituted “backdoor amnesty” for illegal immigrants and even plans to provide them with work permits.

The Lie: The number of earthquakes is not increasing.

The Truth: The number of earthquakes is increasing dramatically. As the “Ring of Fire” continues to wake up the next few years could be very, very interesting.

The Lie: The nuclear crisis at Fukushima is under control and things are getting back to normal.

The Truth: Large areas around Fukushima will be uninhabitable for the indefinite future. Back in April, I published an article entitled “Much Of Northern Japan Uninhabitable Due To Nuclear Radiation?” At the time, almost everyone in the mainstream media was insisting that Fukushima was nothing like Chernobyl and that those that lived near Fukushima would be able to return to their homes fairly soon.

Well, it turns out that those of us that feared the worst were right after all. Just consider the following quote from the New York Times….

Broad areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels, several major media outlets said Monday.

The Lie: Fluoride is good for our teeth and we should put huge amounts of it into our drinking water.

The Truth: Fluoride is a very toxic sedative and can be very harmful to the teeth. Incredibly, even the federal government is finally admitting that high levels of fluoride in our drinking water can be harmful. In fact, the feds have reduced the “recommended amount” of fluoride in our drinking water for the first time in 50 years.

We probably won’t see them ban fluoride any time soon, but for them to even acknowledge a problem with fluoride is a major step. In a recent article on CNN, it was reported that the federal government is now saying that high levels of fluoride in the water have now officially been linked with fluorosis….

The Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency are proposing the change because of an increase in fluorosis — a condition that causes spotting and streaking on children’s teeth.

The Lie: Using cell phones is perfectly safe and they do not cause cancer.

The Truth: Using cell phones can definitely increase your risk for cancer. Some very startling scientific studies have come out recently that are hard to ignore.

The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article about one of these studies….

At the highest exposure levels — using a mobile phone half an hour a day over a 10-year period — the study found a 40 percent increased risk of glioma brain tumors.

The Lie: The federal government works very hard to keep dangerous prescription drugs from ever entering the marketplace.

The Truth: America’s addiction to prescription drugs is getting a lot of people put into the ground. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs kill a huge number of Americans every year. A recent Vanity Fair article entitled “Deadly Medicine” began with the following statement….

Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves?

The Lie: Members of Congress work really hard to fix the problems that this country is facing.

The Truth: Members of Congress work an average of about two and a half days per week.

The Lie: The United States has the best health care system in the world.

The Truth: The United States spends far more on health care than anyone else in the world, but we rank 50th in life expectancy, 47 countries have a lower infant mortality rate than we do and the federal government is chasing millions of good doctors out of the medical profession.

So do any of you have any lies to add to this list?

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

The mainstream media swims in an ocean of lies and tries to create as many “fish” who do the same as possible.

If Raising Taxes Would Get America Out Of Trouble, WHY IS THE EURO ZONE IN SUCH DEEP SH!T???

August 8, 2011

A friend of mine (we’ve corresponded enough and seen the world the same way enough that I believe “friend” applies) from Sweden commented on my article, “Barack Obama, America’s First Downgraded President.”  In part of his comment, he said of his native Europe:

The leftwing liberal press in Sweden is doing everything to blame the crisis in the U.S. on the Tea Party movement and on the Conservatives’ refusal to raise taxes. As if the Europe’s high taxes are of any help in the Euro zone?

Left Liberal reforms require increased taxes, which then are followed by new leftwing liberal reforms that require even higher taxes, and so on. When the politicians begin to solve problems with tax increases, there will be no stopping as more and more people switch from financing their wellbeing by themselves, to expecting the state to offer it for free or almost free.

Obama and his supporters are leftwing liberals who want to transform the American system to a European kind of model, which means high taxes, big public sector and many more living on welfare and on the state’s expense. I say – do never go along with it, it does not solve any problems with overspending and using taxpayers money without any respect for its actual value.

In those European countries, where it is not possible to charge high taxes from the population, politicians “solve” it by taking large loans. You could say that the socialist and leftwing liberal politicians buy their positions of power with borrowed money. Now it is no longer possible. Europe is full of Obamas and Pelosis, and these have not only ruined their own countries but are about to ruin even Germany, Holland and probably also us in Sweden.

Europe taxes the bejeezus out of EVERYTHING:  “Take a look at the current European tax rates below which range from 59.6% to 83%. The European VAT tax (Government Sales Tax) ranges from 16% to 25%.”  And that’s just for starters; they also pay at least TWICE as much on gasoline and diesel because they massively tax energy, too.  And of course there are just ALL KINDS of other taxes and regulations that amount to massive hidden taxes in the Eurozone.

Democrats are out there just flat out rabidly DEMONIZING Republicans and particularly Tea Party caucus members as “terrorists” because we wouldn’t hike taxes.  In the article my friend Penumbra added his own insights to, I had said the following:

Obama and the Democrats are like addicts, blaming everybody but themselves for their failures and the chaos and disaster those failures have caused. The obvious fact of the matter is that the stock market took a huge hit for two reasons which both have “Democrat Party” written all over them: 1) the utter failure of European socialism at a time when Obama and the Democrats are still determined to follow this completely failed model here:

Markets worldwide were on edge over fiscal weakness in Italy and Spain and the eurozone’s ability to contain more crisis, as the two countries’ borrowing costs surged in recent days.”

and 2) the “let’s just create more money out of thin air” model otherwise known by the technical name of quantitative easing (i.e., QE1, QE2, and apparently soon-to-be QE3). Here’s how THAT very NON-Tea Party bankrupt and bankrupting policy will end:

We have officially crossed into the realm of abject fiscal and moral lunacy under Obama. We are now borrowing more than our entire economy is worth. Obama is borrowing 43 cents out of every dollar he is spending; he is deficit-spending $4.1 billion every single DAY; he has increased the size of government by 27% over George Bush (according to the CBO) and he is utterly determined to keep spending more and more and more.

In May of this year, Obama submitted a budget that would have added $12 trillion to our debt. It was so insane in so many ways that not even one single DEMOCRAT would vote for it in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Obama’s reckless and immoral budget failed by a vote of 97-0.

That’s not some right-wing talking point. That’s the TRUTH. Obama is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace.

Let’s take a moment to contemplate what Obama has done:

  • Trippled budget deficits since he took office
  • Gave us a failed $862 Billion stimulus package that the CBO said actually cost taxpayers $3.27 TRILLION.
  • Spent tens of billions in GM/Chrysler bailouts that were basically fascist (the corporatist state). See here and here.
  • Increased the size of government by 25%
  • Gave us chronic unemployment at Great Depression levels of 18%
  • Gave us a Debt/GDP ratio WORSE thanthe Great Depression
  • That in addition to two EXTRA wars in addition to the two he promised to get us out of and lied. The Libya war that he said would take “days, not weeks” has now dragged on for more than five months with no sign of ending
  • And now he’s given us a credit downgrade for the first time in American history

Obama will say ANYTHING. He is an abject liar and a fool who says one thing and then does another before saying something else entirely. Unfortunately, the pathologically biased mainstream media reports Obama’s constantly shifting rhetoric as if it had anything whatsoever to do with actual reality.

As an example, Obama repeatedly called for huge tax hikes in this debt ceiling deal on top of the $500 billion in tax hikes he got as part of ObamaCare. But listen to his own words in 2009: “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.”

The fact of history is crystal clear: Tax Cuts INCREASE Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues. Versus tax hikes, which reduce revenues and reduce GDP. As the National Bureau of Economic Research put it, “Tax changes have very large effects: an exogenous tax increase of 1 percent of GDP lowers real GDP by roughly 2 to 3 percent.”

And yet what do Obama and the Democrats keep doing? Obama is back to the same utterly failed Marxist class warfare tactics that have failed before. In the 1990s, Democrats imposed a “luxury tax” on items such as yachts, believing that the wealthy “could afford it.” Maybe they could and maybe they couldn’t, but the FACT was that the rich STOPPED buying yachts. As in stopped completely. As in NOBODY bought a yachtwith that damn tax on it. The Democrats finally rescinded that stupid tax two years later after destroying the yach building and yacht maintenance industries and killing over 100,000 jobs. Rich people weren’t hurt at all; ordinary people were devastated.

And now Obama wants to do the same thing with corporate jets that previous Democrats did to yachts. And they only people who will get hurt if Obama gets his way are the companies that hire people to build and maintain those jets and the workers themselves who will lose their jobs and their livelihoods. And the only thing that is stopping this rape of businesses, workers and the economy that depends on workers and businesses are Republicans. Even if many of the very people who are most hurt by Democrats Marxist class warfare policies are too stupid to know it.

It’s not enough to say that the Democrats’ thesis is false; the Democrats’ thesis has been utterly refuted before the world’s very eyes in Europe.  Our problem isn’t that we’re not enough like Europe; the very failure of Europe itself proves that our problem is that we’re already TOO MUCH like Europe.

We’ve got the second highest corporate tax rate in the entire world right now; and the United States is literally more communist than China now in many ways.  I submit that you must have both a mental and a moral problem in order to think raising those taxes and increasing regulations will somehow make our problems go away.  And yet that is precisely what Democrats foolishly believe.

Lest We Forget: OBAMA Is America’s Sputnik Moment

January 26, 2011

Obama talked about America facing a “Sputnik moment” last night.  For the record, “Sputnik” was a Soviet successful satellite that stunned America out of its complacency.  America entered the space race with a vengeance, and won it by a knockout.  Obama exploited that moment,  pointed out that America is watching the world go past us, and says we need to be competitive by pursuing massive government spending oops I mean “investment.”

A write up from Slate:

But he did evoke a huge defense issue from a half-century ago—the signal wake-up security call that marked the years of transition from Dwight Eisenhower to John F. Kennedy, the single word that has symbolized ever since the fear of slipping behind in a dangerous world: Sputnik.

“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” Obama said. As a result, we need to fund “a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the space race.”

Well, at the heart of Obama’s State of the Union speech were many contradictions.  And I’ll get to them.  But his “Sputnik moment” thing was the worst one of all.

Allow me to cite a couple of my own articles to document just how stunningly pathetic Obama’s analogy truly is:

Space Program: Obama’s Strategy To Turn America Into Banana Republic Moving Like Clockwork

When American Greatness Is Gone, And When NASA = ‘National Aeronautics and Sharia Administration’

The first article above documents how Obama has been GUTTING the space program, and in fact RETURNING AMERICA to the pre-Sputnik vulnerability.  To the disgust and open contempt of former NASA heroes.  And the second documents how Obama has turned the now disgraced NASA into yet another tool for political correctness.

And to make sure you realize how pathetically laughable Obama’s analogy is, let’s make sure we understand that Sputnik was a Russian threat, and then let’s make sure we understand how Obama has helped undermine American interests to advance the Russians with yet another title:

Obama’s Treasonous Lies Help Russia Punk America

That one documents how Obama has undermined America’s missile defense program.  And the actual Sputnik moment was all about dealing with Russian missiles.

This guy’s talking about our Sputnik moment?  Seriously?

Conservatives had already debunked many of Obama’s lies last night before he even told them.  I’ve debunked those lies right here.

This is why Senator Jim DeMint said after Obama’s latest speech, “It’s hard to take the president seriously.”

But sadly we must take Obama seriously.  Because Obama’s real political genius comes down to one simple thing: he realized that the people who support him are stupid and ignorant, don’t know a damn thing that the incredibly biased media machine doesn’t tell them, and that he can therefore spit out anything and not get caught by much of America in his deceit.

Obama is our Sputnik moment.  By which I mean, this turd-in-chief and his policies are the reason that we are failing and falling behind while other nations around us rise up and overtake us.

One of the other major contradictions of Obama’s speech are that he is essentially acting as if the previous two years didn’t happen.  “Nothing to see over there, folks, now if you don’t mind looking this way.” Obama is saying that we need a major new “investment” (which is a tidy euphemism for yet more government pork), when in fact he has already “invested” well over a trillion dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it but more debt and more deficits than this nation has ever seen before.

Which is why DeMint said:

When asked about President Obama’s statements about government investments, DeMint said, “Now the president is promising more spending, which he calls investments, when the time is to cut spending in Washington.. The president needs to tell the American people the truth.. That its time for the federal government to do less.”

Let’s look at Obama’s trillions in “investment” and see what effect it has had on our “competitiveness”:

Why Is American Unemployment Under Obama Rising Faster Than In Other Countries?

The Dirty Secret About Our Unemployment Rate

Obama Stimulus Is Reason Why Our Unemployment So Much Higher Than Others

In other words, there is an inversely proportional comparison to Obama’s stimulus and American “competitiveness.”

And US government spending has little or nothing to such competitiveness.  Take a look at our education spending:

U.S. tops the world in school spending but not test scores

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States spends more public and private money on education than other major countries, but its performance doesn’t measure up in areas ranging from high-school graduation rates to test scores in math, reading and science, a new report shows.

That dates back to 2003.  Look before that, look after that, and the results are the same.  We spend and spend and spend while our kids get dumber and dumber and dumber.  To the extent that right now only a third of our kids are considered proficient in major subjects.

Here’s the problem: liberals call for more and more and more spending, but liberals make sure that all the largess goes to them, and goes to their politically connected interests.  Like the liberal teachers unions that are the REAL reason our country is falling behind in education.  And to the extent we spend more, we only feed the beast that is the REAL source of our dilemma and help build it into an even BIGGER problem as it uses its vast resources to protect the status quo.

Obama wants to spend billions on “green energy.”  What that means is that he wants to subsidize incredibly expensive and NON-Competitive energy sources while our rivals continue to run circles around us with cheap and efficient oil and coal.  And the more and the faster we spend, the more and the faster we fall behind.

The real sputnik moment, epitomized in the person of Obama himself, is this: America is spending itself into extinction.  It is not wise spending, because we are sucking money out of the efficient private sector, giving to an incredibly inefficient and wasteful federal government, and then doling it out on the basis of political patronage rather than common sense.

I’ll end with this: Obama is using a “mangled multiplier” as his basis for the need for more government spending.  On Obama’s and the Democrat Party’s distorted view, for every dollar the federal government spends, we get a $1.55 “bang for our buck.”  But it isn’t true.  Unless you really think building tunnels for turtles, bridges to nowhere and studying cow flatulence is going to make America great.  On the International Monetary Fund model, which just makes more sense in addition to being less ideologically biased, we only get back 70 cents for every dollar spent.  See this article for the documentation on that, and check out this graph:

In his SOTU speech, Obama provided an airplane metaphor that went:

“Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”

On Obama’s metaphor, government is the engine that flies our economy.  And if you reduce government spending, you eliminate the engine and the plane crashes.  But that simply isn’t true; it is PRIVATE spending that flies our economy.  And sucking money out of the private sector to create more government bureaucracy and more pork-barrel spending is foolhardy.  It is actually OBAMA who is actually removing the engine from our economy.

If we really want to experience a “Sputnik moment” and surge back to greatness, what we need to do is wake up and vote out Obama and the Democrat Party.

This ‘Blame Bush’ Crap Has Just GOT To End

August 23, 2010

Are you sick of Obama and the left unrelentingly blaming Bush for everything that is happening going on two years after he left office?  Do you think that Obama will ever man-up and actually become responsible for his presidency?

Me too, and me neither, respectively.

I went more than a little off on a liberal who dredged up this demagogic rhetorical garbage:

In Europe people laugh at us leaving in false dreams, wall streets spending false money, Bush starting a false war etc.

America is the land of dreams, how come? Idiots like George Bush can get elected to president. If he can Become president, then what can the smart people do? Jump to pluto?.

Do you really expect Obama to fix the worst recession in 80 years in a bit more than 18 months? Which was created by 8 years of Reagan, 4 years by bush, Clinton’s last period and 8 years by Bush? What is he some kind of god?

I didn’t vote for Obama but I expect him to put us in the right direction in this 6 years (he most likely) has left. in 2007-2008 they estimated that the recession will peak in 2012, so there is still a lot left. Just imagine how it would be with Palin/McCain. McCain who wanted to keep Bush’s politics moving and Palin who thought Africa was a country.

Here was my response:

First of all, I must pause to mock you for making Europe the gold standard of measurement. I guess if you like Nazism, fascism, Marxism, socialism, and genocide up the wazoo, Europe must be the coolest place on earth.  I can see why you lefties love it so much.

What was it that Jefferson said? “The comparison of our governments with those of Europe, is like a comparison of heaven and hell.” Not that you give a damn what Jefferson said about anything.

Let me assure you that the Iraq War – which 60% of Democrat Senators voted to authorize (just for the record) – was a REAL war indeed.

Here’s a record of how Democrats were for that war before they were against it:

Truth or Fiction
Freedom Agenda
Snopes

And at least Bush had the decency to actually WIN his war. Barack Obama demonized the Iraq War and demonized the surge strategy that enabled us to win it. And Obama made Afghanistan “his war” in order to maintain the facade that he really wasn’t a weakling on foreign policy.  Bush did so well in Iraq that the Obama administration actually tried to take credit for the victory. And now we’re “floundering in Afghanistan” under Obama’s failed leadership.

That Sarah Palin who thought Africa was a country thing? False, you demagogue. It was a made-up “fact” that was reported as truth. And the ONLY documented “source” behind it has been revealed to be a hoax.

Now, you want to see a REAL idiot in action? How about a guy running for president who thinks there are 58 states? This is a man who is so fundamentally ignorant he doesn’t even know jack squat about his own country.

Youtube:

Quote:

It is wonderful to be back in Oregon,” Obama said. “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”

So let’s talk about what a total and absolute ideologue you are to condemn Sarah Palin for a bogus fabricated quote that she didn’t even say, and to then defend a guy who is on video saying something about 20 times as stupid.  Because that’s how the Democrat Party operates, in a nutshell.

For the factual record, Obama actually called Europe a country.  How is that not just as stupid as calling Africa a country?

Youtube:

Quote:

“One of the things that is a huge advantage for America compared to countries like Europe is, actually, we’re constantly replenishing ourselves with hungry, driven people who are coming here, and they want to work, and they start a business, and our population is younger and more dynamic, and that’s a good thing!”

Which is to say that Obama is unfit to be president by your own deceitful example.

And as for Bush being an idiot, at least he didn’t need a pair of damn teleprompters to say his name right. Maybe Bush would have sounded more “intelligent” to you if he read absolutely everything he said at every venue he went to off his teleprompters.

Here’s Obama without his teleprompter for one minute:

Which is why he needs to bring one everywhere – even to sixth grade classrooms – to not sound like the gibbering idiot he truly is.

So, oh, yeah, the country is much better off with its “Genius-in-chief,” isn’t it?

You don’t give one damn about the truth; you live in your own self-created reality in which Sarah Palin is stupid for something that she never said, while Barack Obama who said something stupider than Sarah Palin ever said in her life is still brilliant.

You would be completely ashamed of yourself, if you were capable of that attribute of moral character.

I write an article that shows how BY THE DEMOCRATS VERY OWN STANDARD OF MEASUREMENT Obama is the worst president in American history. And you’ve got nothing to say about that. Nothing but more “blame Bush.”

Another demonstration of your rabid leftist ideology that will NOT be fair: the economy goes into an absolute TOILET under Obama, but he’s not responsible for any of his policies.

The unemployment rate was 7.6% when Bush left office. But Obama is not responsible for the fact that it’s near 10% now and by most expert accounts will rise higher after he pissed away $862 billion (actually $3.27 TRILLION) in his boondoggle “stimulus”???

Why is it that you refuse to hold Obama to any kind of standard at all – even the standard he set for himself? The Obama administration said this was a terrible economy, but he had the solution, that his stimulus would keep unemployment from going over 8%. And by his own administration’s standard did he not utterly fail? Wasn’t he elected to make the economy better, instead of far worse?

And what do we say about the fact that unemployment is going up, rather than down?  Wasn’t Obama supposed to make things better rather than worse?

Jobless claims rise to highest level in 9 months
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer – Thu Aug 19, 2010

WASHINGTON – Employers appear to be laying off workers again as the economic recovery weakens. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits reached the half-million mark last week for the first time since November.

It was the third straight week that first-time jobless claims rose. The upward trend suggests the private sector may report a net loss of jobs in August for the first time this year.

Initial claims rose by 12,000 last week to 500,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Construction firms are letting go of more workers as the housing sector slumps and federal stimulus spending on public works projects winds down. State and local governments are also cutting jobs to close large budget gaps.

The layoffs add to growing fears that the economic recovery is slowing and the country could slip back into a recession.

Isn’t Obama kind of going the wrong way, Mr. “Blame Bush”???

We’ve got all kinds of measures showing that things are far worse than they ever were under Bush. But you, total rabid fundamentalist leftist ideologue that you are – can only shout “blame Bush!” all the louder.

Here’s one example from August 21, 2010 in the LA Times:

With consumers and businesses keeping a lid on expenses, more and more small and mid-size restaurants are throwing in their dish towels and closing up shop. […]

Nationwide, the number of restaurants dropped in 2010 for the first time in more than a decade, according to NPD, falling 5,202 to 579,416.

So, wow. That means that things haven’t been this bad since Bill Clinton was president and the Dot-com bubble he created blew up. That means that things were NEVER this bad under George Bush.

Bush inherited a terrible economic situation, too. First of all, the Dot-com bubble that Clinton passed to Bush created huge economic upheaval – to the tune of Nasdaq losing 78% of its value. Trillions of dollars of Clinton economic growth were just blown away like a fart in a hurricane.  The mainstream media didn’t report the facts of Clinton’s recession because they are shockingly biased liberal propagandists. Which is why so few Americans trust them anymore. Clinton took all the credit for the Dot-com build-up; Bush got all the pain when it blew up, suffering a huge recession that was all on Clinton’s tab. Then you add to that the 9/11 attack, which crippled the airline and tourism industry for months, and you should understand how bad Bush had it. But he didn’t blame Clinton a gazillion times; he manned up and solved the problem. He took an economic lemon and made 52 consecutive months of job growth.   In contrast, Obama hasn’t solved anything. All he’s done is blame and demonize.

Here’s another one from the August 21 2010 Associated Press report:

In the wake of news about a spike in new applications for unemployment benefits comes another potentially troubling sign: A record number of workers made hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts in the second quarter.

What’s more, the number of workers borrowing from their accounts reached a 10-year high, according to a report issued Friday by Fidelity Investments.

Wow. Again, things haven’t been so bad since the last time a Democrat was president. Again, it was NEVER this bad under George Bush’s presidency.

How about trade deficit figures? From November 19 2009 Reuters:

WASHINGTON: The US trade deficit widened in September by an unexpectedly large 18.2 per cent, the most in more than 10 years, as oil prices rose for the seventh straight month and imports from China bounded higher, a US government report showed on Friday.

Hey, again, things weren’t so bad since a Democrat president last ran things. And it was never so bad under George Bush.

How about all the foreclosures? Surely Obama has made that better? Oops. Again, things were NEVER this bad under Bush’s presidency:

US foreclosures up 4%; top 300000 for 17th month on the trot
by Jaspreet Virk – August 12, 2010

Foreclosure crisis doesn’t seem to be loosening its hold on the housing sector. After declining for the last three consecutive months, foreclosure activity is back up in the United States.

As per the ‘Foreclosure Market Report’ released by RealtyTrac, an online marketplace, giving insights into foreclosures, 325,229 houses received foreclosure filings in the nation, 4 percent up from June.

Not only there has been a jump in the number of houses receiving filings, the foreclosures have exceeded 300000 for the 17th straight month. One in every 397 houses received foreclosure notice from the lenders in July.

Hmmm. Obama’s been president for all of those 17 months. And Bush was president for none of them. But it’s all Bush’s fault, anyway, isn’t it? At least if you’re a hypocrite liberal, it is.

Under Obama, and ONLY under Obama, foreclosures are up 75% in the major metropolitan areas:

NEW YORK (Reuters)Foreclosures rose in 3 of every four large U.S. metro areas in this year’s first half, likely ruling out sustained home price gains until 2013, real estate data company RealtyTrac said on Thursday [in its midyear 2010 metropolitan foreclosure report].

Unemployment was the main culprit driving foreclosure actions on more than 1.6 million properties, the company said.

We’re not going to see meaningful, sustainable home price appreciation while we’re seeing 75 percent of the markets have increases in foreclosures,” RealtyTrac senior vice president Rick Sharga said in an interview.

Has Obama done anything to solve this problem – which was why our economy blew up in the first place? Absolutely not.

Obama failed – because he is a failure, and failing is what he does:

WASHINGTON – Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration’s flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out.

The program is intended to help those at risk of foreclosure by lowering their monthly mortgage payments. Friday’s report from the Treasury Department suggests the $75 billion government effort is failing to slow the tide of foreclosures in the United States, economists say.

More than 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession began in December 2007, according to foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc. Economists expect the number of foreclosures to grow well into next year.

The government program as currently structured is petering out. It is taking in fewer homeowners, more are dropping out and fewer people are ending up in permanent modifications,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

There’s “hope and change” for you.  A failed president with failed policies.

As an update (August 24), I add the following headline:

Instant View: Existing home sales plunge to 15-year low
Tue Aug 24, 10:28 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sales of previously owned U.S. homes dropped in July to their lowest pace in 15 years, implying further loss of momentum in the economic recovery.

Existing home sales dropped by a massive 27% in July.  And, again, omigosh.  We haven’t seen terrible numbers like this since the last time a Democrat was president.  We NEVER saw anything like this during the Bush era.

How about budget deficits? Bush never had a trillion dollar deficit in his entire presidency, and the Democrats still blamed him for his spending; but the CBO now says that Obama will run a trillion-plus dollar defict next year, making it three years in a row. And we will have massive trillion-plus dollar deficits for as long as the eye can see because of Obama’s reckless unsustainable spending programs and the debt they will create. How about this? Obama’s deficit for July alone was more than Bush’s entire 2007-year deficit! And how about this one? Obama outspent Bush’s entire eight-year presidency’s deficit in just 20 months – after demonizing Bush for his spending!!!

From The Wall Street Journal, which, unlike the New York Slimes, the LA Slimes, the Chicago Tribune, and other major liberal papers, ISN’T actually financially and morally bankrupt:

Mr. Obama cannot dismiss critics by pointing to President George W. Bush’s decision to run $2.9 trillion in deficits while fighting two wars and dealing with 9/11 and Katrina. Mr. Obama will surpass Mr. Bush’s eight-year total in his first 20 months and 11 days in office, adding $3.2 trillion to the national debt. If America “cannot and will not sustain” deficits like Mr. Bush’s, as Mr. Obama said during the campaign, how can Mr. Obama sustain the geometrically larger ones he’s flogging?

Bush’s deficits were 2-3% of GDP.  Obama’s are at 12.8% of GDP – which is five to six times higher and bringing us closer and closer every day to the point of collapse.

Are the people better off under Obama than they were under Bush? I don’t think so:

More Americans are on food stamps now under Barack Obama’s failed presidency than at any time in history. And that certainly includes George Bush’s presidency.

But now Obama and the Democrats are going to raid the Food Stamp program to pay for their pet liberal projects. Because “Let them eat cake.”

How about bank failures? We kind of need banks for a healthy economy unless we want to go back to the barter system, you know:

Banks are failing at double the rate of last year.  During 2009, which the government claims was the peak of the recession, the total number of bank failures at this point in the year was 40.  It is already 83 for this year.

For the record, only 25 banks failed under Bush in 2008.  That number soared to 140 banks under Obama’s watch in 2009.  And now we’re already past 118 bank failures this year in 2010 with four more months to go.

But you can’t hold Barack Obama responsible for the fact that things are far, far, FAR worse under his presidency than they ever were under Bush’s. The ONLY reason you’ve got to “blame Bush” is that the 2008 economic meltdown happened under Bush’s presidency. You don’t even offer an actual reason or state an actual policy reason for the failure; you just blame Bush because he was there.  You don’t consider the fact that things were great until Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate in 2006 and royally screwed up the country (the unemployment rate before Democrats took over Congress in January 2007 was 4.6%).  Nope. Bush was president in 2008, so it was all his fault. Even though he warned SEVENTEEN TIMES that we needed to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or have an economic disaster on our hands, and even though Democrats were in lockstep refusal to deal with the landmine that caused us to implode in the first place.  But you are way too much of a twisted unhinged ideologue to apply the same argument to Obama now. What happened while Bush was president was Bush’s fault; and what happened while Zero was president is still Bush’s fault.

Do I want to go back to Bush’s “failed policies” when unemployment never got above 7.6% and averaged 5.2% for his presidency? As opposed to “moving forward” with Obama and his 10%-and-rising level? Pardon me, but I’ll take Bush.

Democrats are currently saying, “Do you want to go back to the way things were when Republicans were in control?”

When Republicans were last in control prior to 2007, we had full unemployment with an unemployment rate of only 4.6%.

So, yeah.  I WOULD like to go back to the way things were when Bush and Republicans were in control.  And I frankly want to know what idiot wouldn’t?

As for your question as to whether Obama is some kind of a god, I can’t help but point out that it wasn’t conservatives who kept putting the halo on Obama’s head:

A funny video provides a giant montage of Obama halos.

We weren’t the ones who said “This is the moment when when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal,” either.

We weren’t the ones who said, “You can divide history. BB Before Barack. AB After Barack.”  So don’t blame us for Obama not living up to the ridiculous expectations he and his liberal minions fed to the culture.

The fact of the matter is that Obama is such a miserable, total failure that I see that even you can’t admit you voted for him.