Posts Tagged ‘interest rates’

Obama Cooking Up A Nasty Batch Of Poison Stew For Democrats With Shocking Inflation

May 13, 2011

If you listen to the mainstream media, Obama is unbeatable.  Which is really quite bizarre, given the state of the “it’s the economy, stupid.”

Inflation: Poison for Obama in 2012
By Nina Easton, senior editor-at-large @CNNMoney May 9, 2011: 7:22 AM ET

FORTUNE — One of my most vivid memories from 1974 was the gas station at the foot of the hill below my Southern California high school — car lines snaking out into the street, heralding the failure of the government’s price controls and lame ideas such as odd-even rationing. That also was the year President Gerald Ford cooked up an equally goofy plan: Whip Inflation Now, or WIN.

As Ford unveiled WIN to a joint session of Congress on Oct. 8, his bulbous forehead gleaming with sweat, he truly believed he was giving voice to a momentous occasion — on a par with F.D.R.’s call to action at the depth of the Great Depression. How could he know that, four decades later, people would still ridicule his pleas to farmers to grow more food, to citizens to “drive less, heat less,” and — the worst — to supporters to wear those ridiculous WIN buttons that the smart set turned upside down to declare “Need Immediate Money”?

That government leaders would embrace such silliness — it was Nixon who instituted the Stalinesque wage and price controls that set the stage for Ford’s call to citizen action — stands as a powerful testament to how much inflation unnerves the body politic. We haven’t experienced real inflation in more than a generation, so this economic blight is mostly an uncertain stranger to pollsters and political strategists — as well as to voters under 50. But if inflation warnings are right, this stranger could become the dark horse of the 2012 election and beyond.

We know that inflation distorts economic behavior. In the 1970s a combination of high tax rates and inflation prompted investors to flee production in favor of protection. “Give me shelter,” recalls Michael Barone, principal co-author of the annual Almanac of American Politics, referring to not only tax behavior but also investments in assets like real estate to beat inflation rates. But inflation also affects voting behavior — and could exacerbate already widespread anxiety and uncertainty about a struggling economy and President Obama’s reaction to it. With rising prices on everything from big-ticket items like college tuition to food and gas, consumers “feel they don’t have any safe ground to stand on,” Barone notes.

As both President Carter and the late President Ford could attest, that’s not a good place for an incumbent to be. John Huizinga, an economist at the University of Chicago, rightly notes that while unemployment affects some people — and rattles many more — “inflation affects everyone.” Huizinga co-authored a 1982 study that opened with the conventional wisdom of that era: “It is well known … that the public regards inflation as a more serious problem than unemployment.” Looking back, that seems astonishing. While the double-digit inflation of the 1970s had inched down to 8%, unemployment at that time was still a whopping 9.7%.

By historical standards, the latest consumer price index showing a 1.2% annual rise remains super low. But consumers are being hit with hikes to two key components that aren’t included in that number — gas and food. Consumer Growth Partners recently called the rise in grocery prices (6.5% in the first quarter) “the sharpest in a generation.” And gas prices are pushing toward $4 a gallon. Including gas and food, the annual inflation rate is more than double the rise in the CPI.

Even if systemwide inflation doesn’t return in this election cycle, rising gas and food prices will be on the minds of voters. President Obama already faces an unemployment rate that has only recently slipped below 9%, worsened by long-term jobless rates unprecedented since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office now predicts an unemployment rate of 8.2% on Election Day 2012; no President since F.D.R. has been reelected with unemployment over 8%. (President Reagan, facing a similarly painful recession, was elected with a 7.2% jobless rate.)

Add inflation to that mix and it could become a poisonous stew for Democrats. And we’ll know the President is in real trouble if his staff starts handing out buttons.

There’s a video (apparently unrelated to the above article) at the site with the title, “Fed has more to worry about.”  At just before the 2:30 mark, the expert guest says (and this is not a completely accurate transcript, but it’s pretty close):

“A lot of people think that what they’re going to do is raise interest rates and it’s going to turn into a replay of the Hooverism of the 1930s in this country where they raised rates just as the economy was beginning to creep forward.  And then you just end up with another big recession.”

And, of course, in this case, “another big recession” was otherwise known as THE GREAT FREAKING DEPRESSION!!!

Thanks to Obama and his Fed’s incredibly risky and immoral policies, shockingly high interest rates are a fait accompli.  You don’t spend (“throw away” on political patronate pork is more accurate) the trillions of dollars that these fools have spent; and you don’t simply create money out of thin air the way these clowns have done with their QE1 and their QE2 and very shortly QE3 and just get away with it.

The Fed is going to be forced to raise interest rates.  That is simply a fact.  The Obama Federal Reserve is about the only entity on planet earth that refuses to recognize that inflation is becoming a huge problem.  And the moment they ARE forced to ultimately raise rates, you’re going to start to see really ugly get really really really ugly.  Because there’s almost no possible way now that we’re going to be out of our economic woes before the Fed is forced to deal with inflation.

And yes, oh yes, inflation is most definitely here.

This was the Jimmy Carter problem.  And as people like me have been pointing out all along:

It took Ronald Reagan to get America out of a death spiral last time.  Sadly, this time there may not BE another Ronald Reagan.  And this time it may well just be too late.

The beast is coming.

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Someone, Please Save Us From Obama’s Economic Destruction!!!

March 2, 2011

A quote from impressive Republican Representative Paul Ryan and two graphs:

Rep. Ryan made it clear he is not interested in shutting down the government, however he says he will not rubber-stamp any spending increases proposed by President Obama.

“We’re not interested in actually rubber-stamping these elevated spending levels that President Obama pushed through two years ago. The kind of spending increases he got on government agency budgets, 24% on average, you throw stimulus on top, that was an 84% increase. So, what the President’s budget tries to do is lock in all those big spending gains. We don’t want to accept that. We’re not looking for a shutdown, but we’re not going to rubber-stamp these spending levels. We want spending cuts in return and that’s what this is about,” Rep. Paul said.

Graph one shows where we are right now, and how much the debt has exploded beyond belief to this point:

Graph two shows how utterly catastrophic this picture gets even – as Rep. Ryan points out – assuming the rosiest scenarios of low interest rates:

Someone please save America from Obama.

We’re to a point where America is probably comparable to a chicken with its head cut off; beyond the point of being too stupid to realize that we’re already dead.

Just How Is Obama NOT An Abject Failure?

August 27, 2010

Under Barry Husseins’ pathetic failure of leadership, 24% of Americans believe that the recession will last 2 years.  And another 51% believe that it will last MORE than two years.  Given the fact that Obama will only be president for another two years, and given the fact that Obama was elected to fix the economy, what we basically have is a statement from 75% of Americans that Obama will be a completely failed president.

Here’s another one, and allow me to quote from below:

Only 13 percent of Americans say Mr. Obama’s economic programs, among them the stimulus package, have helped them personally. Twenty-three percent say they have hurt, while 63 percent say they have had no effect.

Now, understand: the stimulus is officially $862 billion, but it’s actual cost according to the Congressional Budget Office will be $3.27 TRILLION.  And 87% of the American people say that this beyond supermassive sum of money which will burden our children for decades either had no effect at all or actually HURT them.

Now, this $3.27 trillion will surely ultimately be ripped out of the hide of the US economy.  It’s only a matter of time.  An increase in the money supply is rather like an overdose of drugs.  And in this case the effect of the overdose will be hyperinflation.  Basically, the moment we have any kind of genuine recovery, our staggering deficit is going to begin to create an ultimately gigantic inflation rate.  Why?  Because we have massively artificially increased our money supply beyond our ability to actually produce real wealth, and that means that money will ultimately be devalued.  There’s simply no way it can’t be.  If simply printing money solved financial problems, the government could just mail everyone several million dollars, and we could all retire.  The problem is that more money chasing a limited supply of goods simply pushes up prices higher and higher without doing anything to solve the underlying economic problems.  If we have a recovery, with increased economic activity, there will be increased demand on the money supply, forcing an upward climb in interest rates as a means of controlling the currency.  And then we’ll begin to seriously pay for Obama’s and the Democrat Party’s sins.  Paradoxically, the only thing preventing hyperinflation now is the recession, because people aren’t buying anything and therefore aren’t competing for those limited goods.

That said, there is solid evidence that the stimulus actually HURT THE ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT IN THE RIGHT-HERE-AND-NOW by sucking money out of the private sector where it would have been put to good use and instead funneling it through the government were it was pissed away on political boondoggles and bureaucratic inefficiencies.  The evidence is clear: the governments that did not pass huge stimulus packages have fared much better than those like the US which did.

A further fact in our economic and political collapse is that Obama is creating a permanent elite class of government bureaucrats.  USA Today found that “At a time when workers’ pay and benefits have stagnated, federal employees’ average compensation has grown to more than double what private sector workers earn.”  Obama has massively expanded government, even as the the real pie for everyone (the economy) has been shrinking.  Since government workers don’t actually create wealth, but merely live off the taxes paid by those who create wealth, and since there are more and more government workers and fewer and fewer private sector workers, we’re heading for a real problem.  Again, “paradoxically” is a good word, as paradoxically Obama is creating a ruling class over the people who consume the peoples’ wealth in the name of helping the people.

And all of the above contributes to why Gerald Celente says America is about to experience what he calls “the Greatest Depression.”

July 13, 2010 6:30 PM
Poll: Americans Say Bad Economy Will Linger
Posted by Brian Montopoli

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

(Credit: CBS)

A majority of Americans have a negative impression of the economy and expect the effects of the recession to linger for years, according to a new CBS News poll.

Most also say President Obama has spent too little time on the economy, which Americans cite as the country’s most important problem by a wide margin.

Three in four Americans now say the effects of the recession will last another two years or more. More than eight in 10 say the condition of the economy is bad, up five points from last month.

Just 25 percent of Americans say the economy is getting better – down from 41 percent in April. About half say it is staying the same, and the remaining quarter say it is getting worse.

More than half of Americans – 52 percent – say Mr. Obama has spent too little time dealing with the economy.

And with unemployment near 10 percent, the economy is their priority: Thirty-eight percent volunteer it as the country’s most important problem. That far outpaces the percentage that cited the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan (seven percent), health care (six percent), the deficit (five percent), and the oil spill in the Gulf (five percent).

The county’s most important economic problem, Americans say, is jobs, volunteered by 38 percent of respondents. Coming in a distant second was the national debt, the deficit and spending, cited by 10 percent in the poll, which was conducted between July 9th and 12th.

Just 27 percent of Americans say their local job market is good. Seventy-one percent call it bad. Nearly one in four expect their household finances to get worse over the next year, twice the percentage that expects their finances to improve.

Only 13 percent of Americans say Mr. Obama’s economic programs, among them the stimulus package, have helped them personally. Twenty-three percent say they have hurt, while 63 percent say they have had no effect.

Twenty-three percent say the stimulus package made the economy better – down from 32 percent in April and 36 percent last September. Eighteen percent say the stimulus package damaged the economy, while 56 percent say it had no effect.

The president’s job approval rating on the economy now stands at 40 percent – a drop of five points from last month. Fifty-four percent disapprove of his handling of the issue.

In general, Americans see Mr. Obama as spending too little time on the economy and the oil spill in the Gulf, and too much time on health care: Thirty-nine percent say he has spent too much time on the issue, while 24 percent say he spent too little time.

Americans do believe the president takes decisive action, with two and three suggesting he does. But more than half (53 percent) say he is not tough enough in his approach.

Americans are evenly split, meanwhile, on whether the president shares their priorities. Two in three believe he cares at least to some degree about people like them.

The president’s overall approval rating now stands at 44 percent, matching his disapproval rating. It stood at 47 percent last month.

The Issues: Economic Priorities

Most Americans – 53 percent – say the best way to get the economy moving is to cut taxes. Thirty-seven percent instead choose government spending on job creation.

Americans are split about how the federal government should spend its money: Forty-six percent say the priority should be spending to create jobs, and 47 percent want to put the focus on deficit reduction.

More than half want Congress to extend unemployment benefits now, a Democratic priority that has been blocked by Congressional Republicans.

Immigration:

Support for Arizona’s controversial immigration measure has increased: Fifty-seven percent say the law is “about right,” up five points from May. Just 23 percent say the law goes too far, while 17 percent say it doesn’t go far enough.

More than half say states should be allowed to pass illegal immigration laws, while 42 percent say only the federal government should have that power.

Americans are somewhat split on the impact of illegal immigrants: 42 percent say they take jobs away from Americans, while more – 50 percent – say they take jobs Americans don’t want.

Health Care:

Americans still largely disapprove more than they approve of Mr. Obama’s sweeping health care reforms. Forty-nine percent of Americans disapprove of the health reform legislation, while 36 percent support the law. Support has dropped seven points since May.

The Oil Spill:

Americans are roughly evenly split on whether BP will stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the summer. Most (58 percent) are not confident that the company will fairly compensate those affected by the spill.

Wall Street Reform:

With Democrats poised to pass sweeping reforms of Wall Street this week, a majority (57 percent) say bank regulations should be increased.

Afghanistan and Iraq:

Sixty-two percent of Americans say things are going badly for the United States in Afghanistan, up from 49 percent in May. Just 31 percent say things are going well.

In Iraq, 55 percent say things are going well, while 28 percent say things are going badly.

Most Americans favor a timetable for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Fifty-four percent back a timetable, while 41 percent oppose one. Mr. Obama has said the United States will start removing troops from the country in July of next year, but only if conditions on the ground permit.

Elena Kagan:

Most Americans can’t say whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan should be confirmed. Among those who have an opinion, 21 percent say yes and 19 percent say no. Less than half say they are closely following news about her nomination.

The Long Run:

Despite their concerns about the economy, Americans do not believe their country is on the decline. Fifty-nine percent expect things to get better in the long run, while 36 percent say America’s best days have passed.

Read the Complete Poll

More from the poll:

Poll: Support For Health Care Reform Drops

Poll: Most Want Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline

Poll: Support for Arizona Immigration Law Hits 57 Percent

Obama’s Approval Rating on Economy Drops


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 966 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone July 9-12, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

This article was written in July.  And it is amazing how far we have fallen since those days only a little over the month ago (that was back when Obama was pitching his pseudo “summer of economic recovery, donchaknow).

Now here we are, with Obama’s failures being revealed to be even MORE magnificent, as the jobless claims rise to their highest levels in 9 months (with over half a million new filings).

The Associated Press reports:

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

There’s your double-dip recession for you.  And that recession belongs entirely to Obama and the Democrat Party, which are leading us toward complete ruination.

All Obama has going for him are false blame on Bush to explain his two-years’ worth of abject failure and outright lies, such as his recent one taking credit for a stimulus dollar success when the stimulus didn’t have anything to do with the project Obama cited.

For the record, Obama has been lying about employment all along.

With $862 billion dollars you’d think Obama could find at least one actual success.  But the porkulus was THAT bad; there weren’t any.

Some other things that the poll didn’t mention: a solid majority of Americans now believe that their president is a socialist (as people like me were saying all along).

And Americans now trust Republicans more than Democrats on ALL TEN of the most important issues facing the country, according to the lastest Rasmussen survey:

If all of this doesn’t represent a massive failure of leadership, precipitating a failure of trust which itself creates massive economic suffering, please tell me how it isn’t.

Reckless Obama Borrowing, Spending Killing America Even Faster Than Critics Feared

June 10, 2010

My “expert” opinion: this is a really, really bad thing Obama is leading us into.

U.S.’s $13 Trillion Debt Poised to Overtake GDP: Chart of Day
By Garfield Reynolds and Wes Goodman

June 4 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama is poised to increase the U.S. debt to a level that exceeds the value of the nation’s annual economic output, a step toward what Bill Gross called a “debt super cycle.”

The CHART OF THE DAY tracks U.S. gross domestic product and the government’s total debt, which rose past $13 trillion for the first time this month. The amount owed will surpass GDP in 2012, based on forecasts by the International Monetary Fund. The lower panel shows U.S. annual GDP growth as tracked by the IMF, which projects the world’s largest economy to expand at a slower pace than the 3.2 percent average during the past five decades.

“Over the long term, interest rates on government debt will likely have to rise to attract investors,” said Hiroki Shimazu, a market economist in Tokyo at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., a unit of Japan’s third-largest publicly traded bank. “That will be a big burden on the government and the people.”

Gross, who runs the world’s largest mutual fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, said in his June outlook report that “the debt super cycle trend” suggests U.S. economic growth won’t be enough to support the borrowings “if real interest rates were ever to go up instead of down.”

Dan Fuss, who manages the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund, which beat 94 percent of competitors the past year, said last week that he sold all of his Treasury bonds because of prospects interest rates will rise as the U.S. borrows unprecedented amounts. Obama is borrowing record amounts to fund spending programs to help the economy recover from its longest recession since the 1930s.

“The incremental borrower of funds in the U.S. capital markets is rapidly becoming the U.S. Treasury,” Boston-based Fuss said. “Do you really want to buy the debt of the biggest issuer?”

This is just part of “God damn America.”  It’s less oil-fouled than some of the other parts of God damn America, but it is a nasty part, nevertheless.

So we’re about to go bankrupt, basically.  Obama is digging a gigantic hole, and the entire American economy is going to plunge into that hole, never to emerge again.

I knew Obama was going to be a disaster.  I’ve been saying it and saying it.  But the rate at which he is destroying the country, both through deliberate, intentional action (e.g., his insane spending, the failed but shockingly expensive Porkulus, ObamaCare) and through complete and total failure to lead (e.g., the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, the rise of domestic terrorism, illegal immigration), is astonishing even to my worst case scenarios from last year.

The next time we find out that a candidate for president spent 23 years in a church whose pastor says, “Not God bless America, God damn America!!!” maybe people will think twice before voting for the fool.

Obama Sets Record With Biggest Deficit In History

March 11, 2010

The left told us that Obama’s was a historic presidency.  And they were right: he just smashed his own record for massive and totally unsustainable deficits.

Budget deficit sets record in February
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER (AP)

WASHINGTON — The government ran up the largest monthly deficit in history in February, keeping the flood of red ink on track to top last year’s record for the full year.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the February deficit totaled $220.9 billion, 14 percent higher than the previous record set in February of last year.

The deficit through the first five months of this budget year totals $651.6 billion, 10.5 percent higher than a year ago.

The Obama administration is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year will hit an all-time high of $1.56 trillion, surpassing last year’s $1.4 trillion total. The administration is forecasting that the deficit will remain above $1 trillion in 2011, giving the country three straight years of $1 trillion-plus deficits.

The administration says the huge deficits are necessary to get the country out of the deepest recession since the 1930s. But Republicans have attacked the stimulus spending as wasteful and a failure at the primary objective of lowering unemployment[Editorial note: The Republicans are right, and the American people know it.  The stimulus is a gigantic porker which was recently upgraded as costing a massive $862 billion from the previous estimate of $787 billion.  But the real cost is actually $3.27 TRILLION!!! And contrary to Obama’s utterly false claims, only SIX PERCENT of Americans believe that the stimulus has created any jobs at all].

The administration defends the economic stimulus bill that Congress passed in February 2009 with a pricetag at the time of $787 billion as the right medicine to get the economy back on its feet. President Barack Obama has said even more is needed to battle an unemployment rate that remained stuck in February at 9.7 percent.  [Editorial note: When Obama was elected, unemployment was at 6.6%.  He promised that his stimulus would prevent unemployment from reaching 8%.  The stimulus failed by Obama’s own standard.  To try to explain away the failure of his policy, Obama created the nonexistent category of “saved jobs.”  But economists point out the following: “One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called `jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist…”]

The White House says that job creation will remain a top priority, hoping to convince voters that Obama did not spend too much time during his first year in office trying to get Congress to pass health care reform[Allow me to editorially interrupt this spin to point out that ObamaCare is the top priority, with Obama hoping to convince liberals that they need to pass this incredibly unpopular bill no matter how many Democrats lose their seats in order to “maintain a strong presidency.”  And in point of fact, they have done little else this entire year].

The government’s monthly budget report showed the record $220.9 billion deficit for February reflected outlays of $328.4 billion and revenues of $107.5 billion. The February receipts marked the first time that revenues are up compared with the same month a year ago since April 2008. Revenues had fallen for 21 straight months as the recession cut into both individual and corporate income tax payments.  [Editorials note: And yet Obama is selling his healthcare takeover as “deficit neutral” on the incredibly risky assumption that tax revenues will miraculously massively increase.  So Obama is explaining away his deficits by pointing to the frighteningly low revenues even as he bases his health care on the assumption that those same revenues will massively increaseAnd if Obama is wrong, the trillions of dollars of new spending will implode our economy].

Deficits normally shoot up in February because it is a month when the government makes large refund payments to individuals and corporations as part of the tax filing process. Those payments were boosted this year by various tax credits that were expanded or added as part of the government’s stimulus efforts including the “Making Work Pay” tax credit and the first-time home buyers tax credit. [Editorial note: Which doesn’t in any way change the fact that this February’s frighteningly low revenues continues a 21-consecutive month trend.  That in addition to the fact that the stimulus is contributing to our deficit crisis].

Through the first five months of the budget year, government revenues totaled $800.5 billion, down 7 percent from a year ago, while outlays totaled $1.45 trillion, up a slight 0.1 percent from a year ago.

The deficit of $651.6 billion through February is up by 10.5 percent from the $589.8 billion deficit run up during the first five months of the 2009 budget year. The government’s budget year begins on Oct. 1.

The budget that Obama sent to Congress in February projects that the deficits over the next decade will total $8.53 trillion. But the Congressional Budget Office last week put the 10-year total even higher at $9.8 trillion. Part of the reason for the $1.2 trillion difference is that the CBO is projecting slower economic growth and thus less tax revenues than the administration over the next decade[Editorial note: Number one, this proves we can’t trust the Obama administration or the government’s cost estimates to do anything other than be lowball figures.  Number two, passing trillions in new spending via ObamaCare is hardly the thing to do given the fact that we will have LOWER revenues rather than higher ones].

The administration has maintained that the country must run large budget deficits until the economy has begun to grow at a sustainable pace that is bringing the unemployment rate down. Only then, the administration says, should the government focus on getting control of the deficits.  [Editorial note: So I’m flat broke and deeply in debt.  Clearly the thing I need to do is go on a massive spending spree on my credit card in order to get out of debt!!!].

Obama has created by executive order an 18-member fiscal reform commission that has been charged with coming up with a plan to shrink the deficit to 3 percent of the economy within five years. The plan is scheduled to be unveiled in December, after the midterm congressional elections.  [Editorial note: What Obama has in fact created is a tool to weasel out of his repeated campaign promise not to raise taxes on “95% of Americans” by so much “as one dime”].

With the economy so weak, the interest rates that the government has to finance the flood of red ink have remained low. However, economists are worried that the favorable outlook on interest rates could change quickly if investors, including foreign investors, start to worry about the government’s commitment to restraining future deficits. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities [Editorial note: First of all, the Associated Press is factually wrong: Japan is now our largest holder, as China is jumping off the proverbial sinking ship.  And to make things even worse, China is preparing to abandon the dollar altogether.  Second, just to clarify, what this paragraph means is that the moment our interest rates go up – which they have to do in order to deal with our debt/deficits – we will have a double-dip recession.  And the second dip may well be worst than the first].

Through the first five months of this budget year, net interest payments totaled $86.5 billion, up 15.3 percent from a year ago[Editorial note: this is exactly what happened to Greece; and we are not far away from the same sort of implosion occurring here.  Obama’s “solution” is to borrow more money in more unsustainable spending which will ultimately push our interest payments rates up and up].

In its report last week, the CBO predicted that the government debt held by investors would climb from $7.5 trillion at the end of last year to $20.3 trillion in 2020. CBO forecast that interest payments would more than quadruple from a projected $209 billion this year to $916 billion annually by the end of the decade [Editorial note: So let’s just keep spending and spending and spending until we fly off a cliff to our deaths].

Congratulations on your historic presidency, Mr. Obama.  Congratulations on your new record as the biggest spender in the history of the human race.

Obama promised hope and change.  And he’s delivering.

A second Great Depression will be “change.”  And there are plenty on the left – who embrace the Cloward-Piven strategy – who are “hoping” for it.

Financial Expert HOPES Inflation Will Only Be As Bad As 1970s

October 14, 2009

The numbers told the sad story of the Jimmy Carter presidency: interest rates of 21%; inflation at 13.5%, and an unemployment rate of 7%.  And a relatively new economic device called “the misery index” – the combination of the unemployment and inflation rates which Carter had himself used to great effect in his 1976 campaign to win election – was at a shocking 20.5%.

And those who went through those dark and difficult times may soon be looking back to that period as “the good old days.”

Welcome back, Carter.

When Ronald Reagan took office from Jimmy Carter, inflation was at a meteoric 13.3% and the country was in the throes of a fierce recession. There was a real question as to whether workers’ wages would keep up with the costs of living, which made people afraid to either spend or save. And nobody knew how to control inflation – which had risen from 1.4% in 1960 to the aforementioned 13.3% in 1980 – causing a real erosion of confidence in the future. Jimmy Carter answered a reporter’s question as to what he would do about the problem of inflation by answering, “It would be misleading for me to tell any of you that there is a solution to it.”

But Ronald Reagan had a solution.  And by the time he left office, he had solved the problem of creeping inflation increases and had actually reversed the trend: he left behind a healthy inflation rate of 4.1%.

Reagan’s policies set the trajectory for growth that would last for 20 years.

And the only thing that could truly destroy the fruit of Reagan’s policies was the coming of another Jimmy Carter.

Inflation Inevitable, Rogers Says: Could Be “Much Worse” Than the 1970s
Posted Oct 12, 2009

Given the Fed’s extremely easy policies, runaway government spending and shortages of many commodities, inflation pressures are building and destined to get much worse, according to famed investor Jim Rogers of Rogers Holdings.

“The Federal Reserve has laid the groundwork for some serious inflation down the road by printing all this money,” Rogers says. “So have many other central banks.”

Although “the U.S. government lies about inflation” in its official data, inflationary pressures are already evident in nearly everything, excluding energy, Rogers says. Inflation is “going to continue, going to accelerate,” he says. “We’re going to be paying more for just about everything down the road.”

Asked if he foresees a 1970s-style stagflation period ahead, Rogers chuckled and gave an ominous reply: “I hope it’s that good. It might be much, much worse.”

Given that view, Rogers remains very bullish on commodities as we discuss in subsequent clips.

You don’t massively increase the money supply (by running printing presses night and day) without consequences.  But that is exactly what we’ve done.  “The money supply was increased from $600 billion in 2000 to $800 billion in 2007.   This year, it has risen from $800 billion to $1.7 trillion! (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).”  And we aint seen nothin’ yet, as the Fed is planning a 15-fold increase in the monetary base.  Actions have consequences.  And the crazier and more irresponsible the action, the worse and more dramatic the consequences.

The National Inflation Association released a statement back in March following the passage of the massive $3.27 trillion stimulus porker:

“The United States today is in a short-term deflationary phase caused by forced liquidations, de-leveraging, going out of business sales, and other temporary factors.

It is our belief that the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve and United States Treasury will soon put an end to this deflationary phase, and we will see massive inflation in the U.S. that could ultimately lead to Zimbabwe-style Hyperinflation.

The U.S. has lost more than 2.8 million jobs since the passage of the stimulus bill and its promise of “shovel ready projects” that was supposed to prevent unemployment from going over 8%.  It failed to create jobs, but only massively increased our debt.

This country is going to go for a ride, and it won’t be a fun one.

Taxpayers Now On Hook For $23.7 TRILLION In Bailout Money

July 22, 2009

I don’t know if I should be more scared than angry or more angry than scared.  Suffice it to say, I’m both angry and scared as hell.

The Obama presidency is just one giant nightmare.  And just like most nightmares, it’s going to keep getting scarier and scarier and crazier and crazier the longer it goes on.

While Obama has promised us unparalleled transparency, we have had the truth concealed from us, and we have been lied to.  And the TARP Inspector General’s report should wake up every American and

U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (Update3)

By Dawn Kopecki and Catherine Dodge

July 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies, said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury’s $700 billion bank-investment program represents a fraction of all federal support to resuscitate the U.S. financial system, including $6.8 trillion in aid offered by the Federal Reserve, Barofsky said in a report released today.

“TARP has evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity,” Barofsky said in testimony prepared for a hearing tomorrow before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said the U.S. has spent less than $2 trillion so far and that Barofsky’s estimates are flawed because they don’t take into account assets that back those programs or fees charged to recoup some costs shouldered by taxpayers.

“These estimates of potential exposures do not provide a useful framework for evaluating the potential cost of these programs,” Williams said. “This estimate includes programs at their hypothetical maximum size, and it was never likely that the programs would be maxed out at the same time.”

Barofsky’s estimates include $2.3 trillion in programs offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., $7.4 trillion in TARP and other aid from the Treasury and $7.2 trillion in federal money for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, credit unions, Veterans Affairs and other federal programs.

Treasury’s Comment

Williams said the programs include escalating fee structures designed to make them “increasingly unattractive as financial markets normalize.” Dependence on these federal programs has begun to decline, as shown by $70 billion in TARP capital investments that has already been repaid, Williams said.

Barofsky offered criticism in a separate quarterly report of Treasury’s implementation of TARP, saying the department has “repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations” needed to provide transparency and fulfill the administration’s goal to implement TARP “with the highest degree of accountability.”

As a result, taxpayers don’t know how TARP recipients are using the money or the value of the investments, he said in the report.

‘Falling Short’

“This administration promised an ‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight, but as this report reveals, they are falling far short of that promise,” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the oversight committee, said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The Treasury has spent $441 billion of TARP funds so far and has allocated $202.1 billion more for other spending, according to Barofsky. In the nine months since Congress authorized TARP, Treasury has created 12 programs involving funds that may reach almost $3 trillion, he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should press banks for more information on how they use the more than $200 billion the government has pumped into U.S. financial institutions, Barofsky said in a separate report.

The inspector general surveyed 360 banks that have received TARP capital, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. The responses, which the inspector general said it didn’t verify independently, showed that 83 percent of banks used TARP money for lending, while 43 percent used funds to add to their capital cushion and 31 percent made new investments.

Barofsky said the TARP inspector general’s office has 35 ongoing criminal and civil investigations that include suspected accounting, securities and mortgage fraud; insider trading; and tax investigations related to the abuse of TARP programs.

We were sold the stimulus (more commonly known to people who actually knew what was going on as ‘porkulus,’ and more accurately known as the Generational Theft Act) as a $787 billion package.  But it was actually no such thing.  The media kept talking about billions; but the actual figure was $3.27 TRILLION.  That’s right.  $3.27 trillion.  We were lied to.  Costs that were clearly part of the legislation weren’t disclosed to us, and now on top of getting far less than what was advertised, we are paying far more for the privilege than was advertised.

Now we find out that Obama and his gang of thieves has done much the same with TARP.  Somehow, while we weren’t looking, “TARP evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity.”  And by the same people who promised us an “‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight.”  And lo and behold, TARP has exploded under all the darkness into a mushroom cloud of government obligations that dwarf anything imaginable.

And all that’s coming out of the Obama administration is some stumbling excuse from the Treasury Department’s spin doctor that it really isn’t as bad as the inspector general scrutinizing TARP says it is.

What we are getting from the Obama administration is an unceasing projection of rosey-colored scenarios that have no connection whatsoever to reality.  When they are forced to offer some sort of excuse, they claim they didn’t realize the economy was so weak (even when they were fearmongering it into comparisons of the Great Depression to sell their stimulus package) – and then they immediately offer up yet another mindlessly and freakishly rosy scenario in their very next breaths!!!  And then, of course, based on these projections, they are racking up insane spending atop insane spending.

Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney, who gained a reputation of credibility after boldly predicting doom when everyone around her was seeing roses last year, is now predicting 13% unemployment and a very tough future for banks due to the continuing mortgage meltdown.

The White House is refusing to release its own annual midsummer US budget update because it doesn’t want the American people to see how bad things are until after they’ve passed their massive health care boondoggle.  Many now believe that budget release accounts for Obama’s frenzied push to pass health care before the August recessHow’s THAT for “unparalleled transparency”?

As said, Meredith Whitney is predicting 13% or higher unemployment.  What you may not know is that we are already at Great Depression levels of unemployment right now, and that our current 9.5% unemployment rate would be nearing 20% if it were calculated the way it was in 1980.

Unemployment

Note: The SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated “discouraged workers” defined away during the Clinton Administration added to the existing BLS estimates of level U-6 unemployment.

We face a future damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma: the only reason interest rates aren’t shooting skyward is because the market is in such a doldrum.  But the moment recovery begins to rear its head in Barack Obama’s game of economic Whack-a-Mole (where he whacks down small businesses and private-sector employment), hyperinflation due to our massive indebtedness will likely attack us.  The prospect of a jobless recovery, followed by Zimbabwe-levels of inflation looms very large in our future.

We’ve set ourselves up for hyperinflation.  We have massively increased our money supply even as our GDP has plummeted.  We have an increasing lack of confidence on the part of investors that we will be able to maintain the value of our currency (and see here), forcing demand for higher and higher interest rate payments on future bonds.  Those were the conditions of the Wiemar Republic; those were the conditions of Zimbabwe; and those are the conditions in the Late Great USA.

Pretty soon, we will be facing the Sophie’s Choice prospect of whether we want massively high interest rates, or massively high inflation – or best of both worlds – both massive interest AND hyperinflation.  We’ve got experts such as Johns Hopkins Professor of applied economics Steve Hanke and National Bureau of Economic Research economist Anna Schwartz seeing the inflation bogeyman rearing its genuinely ugly head.  And we’ve got investors beginning to start betting big on a coming hyperinflationary economy.

The thing is, we have a giant mega-trillion ton anvil cued over our collective heads.  And it is just waiting to drop.

So you see massive debt exposure to US economic structures.  You see higher unemployment.  You see historically low levels of tax revenue.  You see terrible recent mortgage default rates now turning “markedly worse.” You see all kinds of indicators that our debts are getting larger and larger even as our ability to repay them becomes smaller and smaller.

And it is with that backdrop that we should contemplate the massive, mind-numbingly enormous numbers hanging over everything this administration has done, is doing, or is trying to do.  With the debt he’s accumulating going up by the trillions, Obama issued the petty promise to cut his spending by a measly $100 million.  And he couldn’t even fulfill that insignificant budget cut.  All he knows how to do is spend and spend and spend.

So get scared.  Get angry.  And get ready for the beast.

We voted for “No, no, no.  Not God bless America.  God damn America!”  And now we’re going to get to see what “God damn America” looks like.

Bush vs. Clinton Years on Econonomy: Bush Pretty Good

September 6, 2008

A U.S. News & World Report story – admittedly from last year – attempts to put the Bush years and the Clinton years into context.  The verdict: Bush fares pretty well.

The article points out that Clinton had a few advantages from the outset that Bush didn’t have: 1) an economy that was beginning to run at optimum as he took office, and 2) an end to the Cold War that allowed him to reduce military spending even as it gave Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan the confidence to reduce interest rates.

Democrats have been attempting to demonize the economy under Bush for several years now.  It isn’t true now.  It never was true. (more…)