Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Whitney’

Why Have Republicans Jumped Out To Largest Lead EVER Over Democrats?

June 2, 2010

Something is building and growing.  And it is in response to the total failure of Democrat control.

June 1st, 2010
Republicans Jump Out To Historic Lead In Gallup Generic Ballot
Posted by Sean Trende

Gallup’s generic polling shows the number of voters saying that they would vote for Republicans rising three points from last week, while the number saying they will vote for Democrats dropped four pointsThe 49%-43% lead for the Republicans is the largest that the pollster has ever recorded for the partyMoreover, Democratic enthusiasm for voting this fall fell a point, while enthusiasm among Republicans stayed about fifteen points higher.  This indicates an even wider lead for Republicans once Gallup imposes a likely voter screen this fall.

There’s any number of reasons for this:  the public’s perception of Obama’s response to the oil spill, the shaky stock market performance last week, continued concern about the economy and spending.  The bottom line is that, despite what is perceived as an underperformance for the Republicans in PA-12 a couple of weeks ago, there are still plenty of Democrats in trouble for this November.

Keep up the good work, Democrats.

At the rate you’re going, there may not even BE any Democrats soon.  Because you suck, and people are starting to figure that out.

In addition to the fact that oil is pouring into the ocean at a rate that defies comprehension (we’re up to four times the calamity that the Exxon Valdez created with no end in sight), our banks that anchor our economy are bleeding out nearly as badly:

May 24, 2010
What recovery? Bank failures double this year compared to 2009

Although the federal bailout stabilized the banking system, bank failures are continuing at at rapid clip. Check out the latest federal tally. More than twice as many banks and savings and loans have been seized by regulators this year as in the same period last year: 73 in 2010, and 33 in 2009.

Banking analysts have long been warning us to expect a bumper crop of failures among small- to medium-sized community and regional banks this year. Many of the big banks that teetered on the edge of collapse had made bad bets on exotic mortgage securities. But most of the smaller banks are feeling the effects of residential mortgage foreclosures (such at the one pictured here) and, increasingly, commercial property loans going bad.

The Associated Press sums it up thus:

With 78 closures nationwide so far this year, the pace of bank failures is more than double that of 2009, which was already a brisk year for shutdowns. By this time last year, regulators had closed 36 banks. The pace has accelerated as banks’ losses mount on loans made for commercial property and development.

Now, remember that the first half of last year was the DEPTHS of the recession.  And it’s more than twice as bad this year as it was during those depths of the recession.

The only thing worse than having Republicans run things is having Democrats run things.  Only Democrats run things so much worse that America compares to a Swiss watch under Republicans.

Democrats do one thing well: they demagogue better than anybody in the world.  But lest we forget, during the period when the economy truly went into the crapper, between 2006 and 2008, it was under the total domination of Congress by Democrats.  Add that to the fact that it was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that created the becoming disaster for the very reasons that banks are still struggling (idiotic mortgage policies) that the Democrats owned lock, stock and barrel.

Meredith Whitney accurately predicted the economic meltdown when a lot of other “experts” were saying buy, buy, buy.

Here’s what she said in July of last year:

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

And a year later, does it appear that the government has stabilized the banking industry?  NOT EVEN FREAKING CLOSE!!! The factors that Whitney cited in predicting 13% unemployment are happening before your very eyes.

Looking at 13% unemployment coming up, all I can think of is Al Pacino in Scarface: “Say hello to my little friend!

As bad a year as Bush had (thanks to Democrats who refused to do anything about the mortgage security crisis created and sustained by Fannie and Freddie), unemployment was 7.6% when Bush left office.

What was it the last month statistics were available, under Obama’s, Pelosi’s, and Reid’s terrible misrule?  9.9%.  And that after a massive failed stimulus that Obama promised would keep unemployment under 8%.  Obviously, it did nothing of the sort, but our children’s children’s children’s children will still be paying off a $3.27 TRILLION black hole of debt anyway.

Did somebody say “debt”?

Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge wrote on May 25:

This means that as of this moment, assuming the new debt were to settle today, the US has $13,031,095 billion in debt: congratulation America – you have now passed lucky $13 trillion in total debt. But don’t worry, we won’t stay here for long. At the current rate of issuance, $14 trillion will be passed in 8 months, and $15 trillion in another 7. By the end of 2011, we estimate total US sovereign debt to be about $15.5 trillion.

Democrats tore into Bush tooth and nail over his increase of the national debt.  That said, it took George Bush eight full years to increase the debt by $4.89 trillion.

Right now, under Barry Hussein, it is $13.o28 trillion.  Which is to say that Obama increased the debt by more than $2.4 trillion in only fifteen months.  That will be more than $3.4 trillion in just over two years in office.  By the end of 2011, after less than three full years in office, Obama’s share of the debt will be $4.9 trillion.

Which is to say that Obama will have racked up as much debt as Bush did in eight years in only three.  Obama is increasing the debt at nearly three times the rate that Bush did.

Which goes back to what I said about Republicans being bad – unless you compare them against Democrats.

Over the past thirty years, Democrat Congresses have increased the debt 2.4 times as much as have Republican Congresses.  Another way to put it is that Democrat Congresses have spent 137.7% more than Republican Congresses.

We are hurtling toward a disaster that will create a collapse that will ultimately make the Great Depression look like a walk in the park.  The United States of America is going to completely implode – and no one will bail us out when it happens.

You want to watch your kids starve to death before your eyes?  Elect Democrats.  Because that would be the kind of “change” you can truly “hope” for.

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Pravda Takes A Look At The New Marxist America – And Laughs Hysterically

October 22, 2009

This piece that appeared in the Russian and formerly communist Pravda is worth a read:

The American Self Immolation, Truly a Sight to See

19.10.2009      Source: Pravda.Ru

As my readers know, I am a fan of economics and of history, as well as politics, a combination that forms some very interesting cycles to research, discuss and argue on. None is so interesting than the death of great nations, for here there is always the self destruction that comes before the final breakups and invasions. As they say: Rome did not fall to the barbarians, all they did was kick in the rotting gates.

It can be safely said, that the last time a great nation destroyed itself through its own hubris and economic folly was the early Soviet Union (though in the end the late Soviet Union still died by the economic hand). Now we get the opportunity to watch the Americans do the exact same thing to themselves. The most amazing thing of course, is that they are just repeating the failed mistakes of the past. One would expect their fellow travelers in suicide, the British, to have spoken up by now, but unfortunately for the British, their education system is now even more of a joke than that of the Americans.

While taking a small breather from mouthing the never ending propaganda of recovery, never mind that every real indicator is pointing to death and destruction, the American Marxists have noticed that the French and Germans are out of recession and that Russia and Italy are heading out at a good clip themselves. Of course these facts have been wrapped up into their mind boggling non stop chant of “recovery” and hope-change-zombification. What is ignored, of course, is that we and the other three great nations all cut our taxes, cut our spending, made life easy for small business…in other words: the exact opposite of the Anglo-Sphere.

That brings us to Cap and Trade. Never in the history of humanity has a more idiotic plan been put forward and sold with bigger lies. Energy is the key stone to any and every economy, be it man power, animal power, wood or coal or nuclear. How else does one power industry that makes human life better (unless of course its making the bombs that end that human life, but that’s a different topic). Never in history, with the exception of the Japanese self imposed isolation in the 1600s, did a government actively force its people away from economic activity and industry.

Even the Soviets never created such idiocy. The great famine of the late 1920s was caused by quite the opposite, as the Soviets collectivized farms to force peasants off of their land and into the big new factories. Of course this had disastrous results. So one must ask, are the powers that be in Washington and London degenerates or satanically evil? Where is the opposition? Where are the Republicans in America and Tories in England?

The unfortunate truth here is: the Republicans and Tories are the Mensheviks to the Democrat and Labour Bolsheviks. In other words, they are the slightly less radical fellow travellers who are to stupid to realize that once their usefulness is done, they will go the very camps they will help send the true opposition to. A more deserving lot was rarely born. Of course half of the useful idiots in the Bolshevik groupings will go to those very same camps.

One express idiocy of Cap and Trade in America will be the approximately additional $.19 per liter of gasoline, which is a rather very large increase in taxation, however indirectly. Of course this will not only hit the American working serfs in the pocket at fuel up, but will hit them in everything they buy and do, as America has almost no real rail to even partially off set the cost of transporting goods.

But how will this work itself out? Very simple and the chain of events has been worked out often enough.

First, the serfs will start to scream at the cost of fueling up and the cost of all their goods. The government, ever anxious not to take responsibility, will single out the petroleum factories and oil companies for gauging the people. They will make demands for them to cut prices, which of course means working for a loss. When plants start to close down or move overseas, they will be called racketeers and saboteurs. Their facilities will be nationalized so that the government can show them how to do things properly. Shortages will follow as will show trials and that’s as long as the USD holds up and foreign nations are still willing to sell oil and gasoline for other than gold, silver and other hard resources.

When food goes up, and it surely will, as the diesel the farmer uses goes up as well as his fertilizers, the government will scream that the farmers are hording, thus undermining the efforts of the enlightened. There will be confiscations of all feed crops while the farmers will get production quotas to meet or have their land nationalized again. Do not believe me? Look at the people running your governments and ask yourself: would they rather take some one’s land or admit that they screwed up and ruined everything? After a point, only the corporate farms will remain, food by oligarch, just a like the factory farms. There will be plenty of dissidents to work them.

This will of course spread from industry to industry and within a rather short order, you will be living the new fractional dream, that is a fraction of what you have now. But on the bright side, for once, your children, working for government/oligarch run joint ventures, will be able to compete adequately with the Chinese, to feed the demands of Europe and Latin America. But that will take at least a generation or two first along with a cultural revolution or two.

The article points out that European countries such as France, Germany, and Italy are exiting their recessions.  And its true.  They’ve pulled out of the downturn.

It’s also true that Europe rejected their failed liberal and socialist policies in a huge sweeping wave of conservatism to set up the above.

Where has our messiah led us?

Obama’s massive deficits – larger in just 9 months than George Bush accumulated his entire 8 years in office – dwarf anything seen since World War II.  That’s real bad, because during WWII, the United States had a manufacturing base that dwarfs what we have today, and it was Americans rather than Chinese who held that debt.  Furthermore, our WWII debt was temporary, and we quickly reduced it, whereas out current debt is skyrocketing faster and faster and faster, with no end in sight.  By 2019, we will be paying more than $800 billion a year just in interest payments.

Unemployment has increased from 7.4% to 9.8% under Obama.  And if we consider the U-6 rate measuring total unemployed as a percentage of the civilian labor force (which was how unemployment was calculated until the Clinton administration changed it in 1994), we’re actually at 17% unemployment.  And it isn’t over yet.  Respected analyst Meredith Whitney – who  nailed the prediction of the 2009 credit crash – sees unemployment rising to 13% (which would be 22.5% by the U-6 rate):

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

The United States is lagging behind other countries in high and rising unemployment.  Why is that?

Our dollar is in crisis.  Moody’s today warned that our AAA credit rating is in jeopardy unless we abandon massive deficit spending ways that Obama clearly has absolutely no intention of abandoning.  And many of the key countries on the planet are planning to cut the U.S. dollar out of the economic future, which will dramatically undermine U.S. influence and power.

As a result of the fact that Obama – in spite of all his massive spending – failed to deal with the mortgage crisis at the heart of the economic crash, we are about to see yet another huge wave of mortgage defaults.  And we’re just now truly beginning to see a horrifying emptying of our office space.

In spite of the media’s determination that everything is really getting better and better, we somehow just keep getting hit with “unexpected” bad economic news.  Go figure.

I suppose we can view the mainstream media propaganda as helpful: at least they’re supplying us with a blindfold while we hurtle headlong toward the cliffs.

Obama’s Plunging Polls Correspond To America’s Plunging Economy

July 31, 2009

President Obama’s biggest calender item yesterday was his scheduled “having a beer” with his good friend Henry Louis Gates and the man that both Gates (directly) and Obama (indirectly) called a racist, Sgt. James Crowley.  By sitting down for a beer, Obama was attempting to turn the giant turd he laid at his fourth prime time news conference in six months (which is how many George Bush gave in 8 entire YEARS btw) into a gold-plated turd.

I hope the three men clink their glasses to Obama’s plummeting poll numbers and America’s plummeting economy while they pondered why ‘Skip’ Gates is such a bigot and why Barry Obama acted so stupidly by claiming the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”

Rasmussen has Obama at a -12 approval rating measuring the difference between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove of his presidency; and he is now at only 48% approval – a far cry from his halcyon days of being in the high 60s.  Only 34% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction.  And 49% believe America’s best days have come and gone, versus only 38% who think the country will improve.

The hope that once swelled the hearts of Obama voters is fading fast – especially in the swing states he needs to win to have any chance at either future re-election or even current relevance.  “Hope and change” now means, “I hope I still have some change left in my pocket at the end of the month.”

As U.S. recession bites, Ohio hopes fade for Obama
Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:12am EDT
By Nick Carey

TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) – Hope and jobs are in short supply in Ohio eight months after President Barack Obama won the recession-battered state in the 2008 election with promises of a better future.

“People were looking for a savior to get us out of this mess and that’s why they voted for Obama,” said Jeff Fravor, 55, a retired train conductor on his way to breakfast on the outskirts of Toledo.

“I’ve nothing against Obama personally, but he’s new to the job and ‘hope’ won’t fix this mess.”

Candidate Obama delivered his message over and over again in Ohio, a politically diverse battleground state that often decides presidential elections. Obama went back to the state last week with an approval rating below 50 percent.

A Quinnipiac University opinion poll released on July 7 showed the Democratic president’s popularity in America’s seventh most populous state had fallen to 49 percent from 62 per cent in May. Even worse for Obama, 48 percent said they disapproved of his handling of the U.S. economy, with 46 percent approving.

The reason for the poll drop? Rising unemployment.

The downturn has pummeled Ohio’s manufacturing base.

“As jobs have gone away, that has created a true focus here on job creation,” said Andrew Doehrel, head of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “People look at what’s been done on a federal level in terms of bailouts and stimulus and they see that this has not equated to anything more than lost jobs in Ohio.”

Ohio has not been the state hardest hit by the U.S. recession that began in December 2007, but it is not far off.

Unemployment in the state of 11.5 million people reached 11.1 percent in June, compared with the national rate of 9.5 percent, making it the seventh highest rate in the country. Michigan was first with a rate of 15.2 percent.

TWICE THE UNEMPLOYMENT

Ohio’s unemployment has nearly doubled from 5.7 percent in January 2008. That is not a good start for Obama in a state with 20 electoral votes that could be vital for his re-election effort in 2012.

“It’s not a surprise Obama’s numbers have fallen here and they’ll continue to go down as long as jobs keep being lost here,” said Jim Rokakis, treasurer for Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland where unemployment hit 10.1 percent in June. “Americans always want a quick fix to problems, but they are going to relearn patience this time round.”

Toledo in northwest Ohio has been especially hard hit by the recession, in particular because of the auto industry-related plants that dot the area.

“Obama set expectations too high here and six months later, things haven’t got better, so some people are losing hope,” said John Johnson, branch manager of the Southeastern Container Inc plant in nearby Bowling Green, which makes plastic bottles for Coca-Cola Co..

Johnson said he had to turn away qualified workers from auto-related plastic companies seeking work. “When people are out of work for a long time, they become very impatient.”

Unemployment hit 14.2 percent in June in Toledo, a city of about 315,000 people. Many of the roads in and out of the city are in a poor state of repair and many downtown stores have closed down. Manufacturing brought the city wealth, so plant closures have taken a heavy toll.

‘DEPRESSION’

“We’re not just in a recession here, it’s a depression,” said Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. “This downturn has left Ohioans wondering if we’ve lost our place in the sun.”

According to a midyear survey from real estate service company CB Richard Ellis Reichle Klein, Toledo’s retail vacancy rate hit a record level of 14.6 percent.

“Everybody is having a hard time just existing right now,” said Bob Shelley, 72, who runs Shelley Rubber Stamp & Sign Inc for his father in downtown Toledo. “All businesses have been hit, so everybody’s giving everybody a break right now.”

Shelley said he felt Obama had an overcrowded agenda.

“He’s trying to satisfy everyone at once and he’s trying to rush everything through Congress,” he said. “But if you rush like that, you’re bound to make mistakes.”

Angie Carter, 32, a market research analyst in downtown Toledo, said she voted for Obama and he just needed time.

“This is a recession and we live in a manufacturing state,” she said on a cigarette break. “It’s going to take time to turn it around.”

When touting his $787 billion stimulus package earlier this year, Obama cautioned that a recovery would take time.

The president also has time to recover in Ohio if jobs come back. Aware of its importance, he was there last week to tout his healthcare plans. The last candidate who won Ohio but lost the election was Republican Richard Nixon in 1960.

Rokakis said Obama’s speech in Cleveland on July 23 was no accident.

“Obama is a smart man and he knows how important Ohio is,”

The article portrays Obama as having said that recovery would take time under his stimulus.  It fails to mention that the Obama administration – in pushing the failed stimulus package through Congress – predicted that unemployment would rise no higher than 8% if his stimulus passed.

As bad as things are now, there is no realistic reason to believe they will get better.  Meredith Whitney, the Wall Street analyst who gained much credibility in predicting the mortgage meltdown, is predicting unemployment will rise to 13% or higher.

The date for a housing market recovery stretches to 2015.

Obama’s deficits are soaring to stunning levels.  Back in March the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obama’s “huge annual budget deficits that would force the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade — $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his budget request just one month ago.” And that mindbogglingly ginormous figure doesn’t include the trillion plus hole we would dig passing Obama’s health care plan.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Boskin puts it:

Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.”

Obama has blamed President Bush for the deficits, but not only has he racked up far more debt than did Bush, but as a Senator Obama actually voted for the very Bush-budget that Obama is now blaming on Bush – including the $700 billion TARP bailout.

It is also worth knowing that the federal government has exposed itself to $23.7 trillion in risks with its bailouts since TARP (which is turning out to be a thinly disguised anagram for “TRAP”).

Those massive deficits guarantee future economic pain, but recent developments are beginning to show that our future pain may already be here right now:

Weak Treasury Auctions Raise Worries About US Debt Burden
By: Reuters     Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009

The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government’s burgeoning budget deficit.

It was the second lackluster showing in as many days,  convincing analysts that the stellar results of debt auctions just a few weeks ago were a fluke and that Thursday’s $28 billion seven-year offering could suffer a similar fate.

Under the weight of the ballooning deficit, the government has raised auction volumes and analysts now wonder whether the strain on the market is showing.

“Obviously everyone is inferring that tomorrow’s won’t be good either,” said James Combias, head of government bond trading at Mizuho Securities USA in New York. “Maybe you will see more interest tomorrow but I think the increase in the auctions and the size of them may be starting to have an effect. These are very large auctions.”

We are witnessing a terrifying unfolding scenario in which “Interest due on the debt could easily be $1 trillion toward the end of the next decade.”

Like the Texas Hold’em player who pushes every last dime into the center of a poker table, the federal government is now “all in” with its commitment to push the national debt to 50% of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office believes that the Treasury will have to borrow nearly $2 trillion this year. None of that is new news, but what is beginning to emerge is a picture of a government which has narrowed its options for improving the economy down to one. Either GDP turns sharply up next year or the deficit will become an unmanageable burden. The Treasury will have to default on interest payments if sharply raising taxes in 2010 and 2011 does not bring IRS receipts to historic highs. That would not appear to be likely with unemployment moving toward 10% and American corporate earnings badly crippled.

You may not know it, but your government under Obama has gambled this country’s future – and gambled poorly.  Obama believed his $787 billion stimulus – which was actually scored by the CBO to be $3.27 trillion – would stimulate big, but it has been a total dud.  And as we continue to pile on debt on top of debt on top of debt, and combine that with continuing high unemployment and low economic output, the result is insolvency and doom.  And it is already beginning to rush toward us like an enraged Kodiak bear.

Some are pointing at the seemingly recovering Dow Index to argue that the worst is behind us and that we are on the road to recovery.  As reported by Reuters:

No Economic Recovery in Sight, Only Inflation
Mon May 11, 2009 9:01am EDT

FORT LEE, N.J., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Inflation Association yesterday released the following statement to its http://inflation.us members:

“Wall Street would like you to believe that the Dow Jones’ recent 33% rally from March’s low is due to improving economic fundamentals, but it is our belief this rally is due to nothing but inflation.

“Jobs data released on Friday shows that U.S. employers cut 539,000 jobs in April, the fewest since October. However, these numbers were artificially strong due to the U.S. government increasing their payrolls by 72,000, which included the hiring of about 60,000 temporary workers in preparation for the 2010 census.

“Government jobs are non-productive jobs that normally get paid for by taxpayers. However, because the U.S. already has a huge budget deficit with tax revenues likely to decline substantially, these jobs will be paid for through inflation. An increase in government jobs is not a sign that the economy is improving, but only a sign that we are digging our economy into a deeper hole that will ultimately lead to the U.S. dollar collapsing.

“Even Warren Buffett, who is a huge supporter of Obama and has defended his economic policies, said last week that with political leaders showing little inclination to raise taxes, the only way to pay for excess spending will be by inflating the currency and shrinking the value of the dollar.

The worst of the recession is not behind us. Nominally, anything can happen to the Dow Jones. If the Federal Reserve prints enough money, the Dow Jones could go back to 14,000, but it won’t mean anything if it costs $2,000 to fill your refrigerator with groceries.

Obama’s spending has put us into a genuine crisis: we are now in a situation where any recovery will be immediately followed by sharp increases in inflation, unless government either sharply raise taxes across the board (which will undermine the economy) or unless they sharply raise interest rates (which will also undermine the economy).  Both options are politically unacceptable.

You’d better be thinking about getting a wheelbarrow, because you’re eventually going to need to one to bring enough cash to the grocery store to buy your daily bread.

That was my long-winded way of saying that Obama’s polls are likely to drop to the point where angry villagers armed with pitchforks and torches start storming Castle Obamastein as the economy drops right along with his popularity by the end of his one-term presidency.

Obama In The ‘We Don’t Mind ‘Cause You Don’t Matter’ Sub-50% Polling Range

July 25, 2009

One of the most readily understandable political calculus equations is the presidential poll: as long as a president is above 50% in the polls, he continues to hold a majority; but if he falls below 50%, he becomes increasingly irrelevant.  The nation is no longer behind him.  The lower he gets under 50, the more irrelevant he becomes.

Six months into the Obama presidency, Americans are already starting to say, “You see, Barry, it’s all a question of mind over matter.  We no longer mind because you no longer matter.”

For what it’s worth, the first time President Bush dipped below 50% according to Rasmussen was February 2004.  So Barry has to have set some kind of record for “sucking speed.”

Democrats and liberals feasted on George Bush like a herd of swine feasting on a trough full of carrots.  And in the case of the Barack Obama presidency, suppertime is coming very, very early.

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -8 (see trends).

Just 25% believe that the economic stimulus package has helped the economy.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates also available on Twitter.

Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. Today marks the first time his overall approval rating has ever fallen below 50% among Likely Voters nationwide. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Democrats continue to approve of the President’s performance while 80% of Republicans disapprove. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 37% offer a positive assessment. The President earns approval from 51% of women and 47% of men.

These updates are based upon nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. Most of the interviews for today’s update were completed before the President’s nationally televised press conference on Wednesday night. The first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the press conference will be released on Sunday.

Zogby has Barry Hussein at 48%.

Now, the last paragraph of the article becomes interesting because this means the poll does not take into account Obama’s truly suck performance at his July 22 press conference or the subsequent flap over his racially biased and frankly incredibly stupid comment about the Cambridge police “acting stupidly” in arresting an emotionally out-of-control African-American Studies professor.

So the easy money is betting that Sunday we’re going to see Obama down even more.  And then more.

Hot Air has a couple of insightful paragraphs describing the poll’s nuances on just why Obama is starting to poll as badly as he is:

It marks the first time that Obama has gone underwater since he started his remarkable run for the presidency in early 2007.  Undoubtedly, voters have now put the responsibility for the economy squarely on Obama’s shoulders after six months of worsening indicators.  The steep decline in support for his health-care bill represents in part a lack of confidence in his ability to deliver after the failure of the massive stimulus package, which he promised would put America back to work.

Even the Democratic gender gap has mostly been wiped out for Obama.  Although crosstabs are not available on daily tracking reports, Rasmussen’s poll shows an approval rating of 51% among women, just two points above the overall average.  If Obama had hoped to maintain the traditional Democratic inroads with women with his focus on health care, that appears to have backfired, as the survey on that issue earlier in the week showed women opposing it by a 50%-46% edge, with men more clearly in opposition at 53%-44%.  Why? Pluralities among both genders believe that their personal coverage will get worse under ObamaCare.

Unemployment is at 9.5% – and is expected to rise to 10% and beyond by the end of the year.  That sure isn’t going to help Obama become “Mr. Popular.”  And if that isn’t bad enough for him – and for the country he’s misleading – a new employment forecast by Obama’s own Federal Reserve foresees high unemployment numbers for at least the next five years.

But wait, as they say: there’s more.  Respected Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney predicts that unemployment will rise to 13% or higher.  She’s the analyst with the nickname, “The woman who called Wall Street’s meltdown,” so right now I’m giving her more credibility than Obama’s people who said that if their stimulus passed unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8%.

And there’s yet even more.  We don’t calculate unemployment the way we used to.  We used to calculate unemployment based on the number of people who would like to have a full time job but don’t have one.  Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment was tabulated.  But if this were in the 1980s, we would be reading about 16.5% unemployment.  And if THAT number doesn’t frighten you enough, how about the possibility of 20% by the end of the year?

Remember all the talk about Barack Obama being compared to FDR?

Time_Obama-cover

Now we’ll get to celebrate Obama-as-FDR right – with Great Depression levels of unemployment, which will likely lead us into another Great Depression.  The first FDR didn’t fare so well with the first Great Depression; and I think the second FDR will do an even lousier job.

It will be fun watching Barry “ride the slide” to political hell.

It won’t be so much fun watching the Late Great U.S.A. sliding into economic hell right along with him.

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.

Reuters’ Nine Reasons Democrats’ Healthcare Surtax Is Dangerous

July 16, 2009

Our republic is in the worst kind of danger.  No enemy could do to us from without what Obama and liberal Democrats are doing to us from within.

9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous

by: James Pethokoukis

So what explains the crazy, cockeyed optimism of House Democrats? Maybe they still believe Team Obama’s rosy-scenario forecast that shows the stimulus package a) keeping unemployment under 8 percent this year and b) launching an economic boom next year and beyond. For some reason, though, they think the battered U.S. economy is so strong that politicians can pile tax upon tax on it with no fear of further harm. Less than three weeks after passing a costly cap-and-trade carbon emission plan, Pelosi & Co. have giddily unveiled a $1.2 trillion healthcare plan partially funded by a $544 billion surtax on the work and investment income of wealthier Americans, including small business owners.

[See why Obama’s economic gamble is failing.]

The ten-year proposal calls for a 1 percent surtax on adjusted gross income — including capital gains — between $350,000 and $500,000; a 1.5% surtax on income between $500,000 and $1 million; and a 5.4% surtax on income exceeding $1 million. (Interestingly, the House fact sheet on the surtax forgets to mention the highest tax rate. Hey, they were in a rush.) How bad an idea is this? Let me count the ways:

It’s not the first Obama tax hike. This tax would be in addition to the $1 trillion in new taxes that Obama called for in his budget released earlier this year. (And then there’s cap and trade, remember.) And if healthcare reform costs more than expected — what are the odds of that, you think? — the surtax would go up.

[See 5 economic stimulus plans better than the one we’ve got.]

It pushes income tax rates above a key threshhold. Once you take into account state income taxes, the top tax rate would sneak above 50 percent. Research by former White House economist Lawrence Lindsey has found that rates above 40 percent really start to hit economic growth especially hard.

It’s risky in a weak economy. Democrats love the “consensus view” when it comes to climate change, so how about the economy? The consensus view is for unemployment to hit double digits this year and stay high throughout 2010 and beyond as the economy staggers to its feet. Even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said “it seems realistic to expect a gradual recovery, with more than the usual ups and downs and temporary reversals.” In a “long recession” environment, do we really want a policy that, according to research that current White House economic adviser Christina Romer conducted at Stanford University, is “highly contractionary.”

It actually makes America’s healthcare problem worse. Entitlements, including Medicare, will eventually bankrupt the economy unless action is taken. Agreed. But lowering the potential U.S. growth rate will only make those problems worse by generating lower tax revenue and making the overall pie smaller than it would be otherwise. Yet many economists think government interventions in finance, housing, autos, energy and now healthcare will do just that. And adding layers of additional new taxes helps how?

It makes the tax code more lopsided and inefficient. As it is, the top 1 percent of Americans in terms of income pay 40 percent of taxes. Not only would this plan exacerbate this imbalance, it adds further complexity to the tax code. Most tax reformers favor a simpler system with fewer brackets and deductions matched by a lower rate. Indeed, Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center points out the following:

Many of the uber-rich are unlikely to pay much more in taxes than they do now, despite the rate increase. Since we’d be returning to pre-1986 rates, we shouldn’t be surprised when the very wealthy reprise their pre-1986 sheltering behavior. The hoary financial alchemy of turning ordinary income into capital gains, morphing individuals into corporations, and deferring compensation will return. Remember, the targets of these tax hikes are the people who can most easily manipulate their income. The bad old days of bull semen partnerships may not return, but I suspect the financial Merlins are already cooking up new shelters for what promises to be a booming new market.

It hurts U.S. competitiveness. America already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Under the House plan, the top U.S. income tax rate would be higher than the OECD (advanced economies) average of 42 percent. France and Germany, by contrast, are looking to keep rates stable or lower them. Pro-growth China doesn’t even tax investment income.

It ignores the lessons of Clinton. Democrats love to point out how the Clinton tax increases didn’t tank the economy back in the 1990s. Oh, you mean the economy that was expanding for more than two years before he signed his tax increases? The economy is far weaker today and may be anemic for some time given the history of economies that suffered a banking crisis.

It ignores the lessons of 1937. The slowly recovering 1930s economy weakened again in 1937 and 1938. Again, Christina Romer tells all:

In this fragile environment, fiscal policy turned sharply contractionary. The one-time veterans’ bonus ended, and Social Security taxes were collected for the first time in 1937. … GDP rose by only 5% in 1937 and then fell by 3% in 1938, and unemployment rose dramatically, reaching 19% in 1938. The 1937 episode is an important cautionary tale for modern policymakers. At some point, recovery will take on a life of its own, as rising output generates rising investment and inventory demand through accelerator effects, and confidence and optimism replace caution and pessimism. But, we will need to monitor the economy closely to be sure that the private sector is back in the saddle before government takes away its crucial lifeline.

Except in this the case, Uncle Sam is not taking away a lifeline but tightening the noose.

It pays for a wrong-headed healthcare reform plan. Health exchanges, a public option, subsidies, taxes … well, we could go on and on. Or we could try to create a simpler consumer-driven market. Harvard Business economist Regina Herzlinger recommends reforming the tax system by making the money spent by employers on health insurance available as cash, tax-free, to employees. “Insurers would then compete for customers with policies that offer better value for the money,” she wrote in an analysis for consultancy McKinsey. Not even on the Obamacrat radar screen, though.

All in all, it’s another sign from the Obama administration and the Obamacrats in Congress that their top priority is redistributing existing wealth — at least what’s left of it — rather than creating new wealth. That, I guess, explains those ear-to-ear smiles on Capitol Hill.

Small businesses – widely recognized as by far and away the biggest job- and wealth-creating engines for our economy – are about to get hit with a massive double whammy.  Since most file as “S corporations” by which they are taxed on their total earnings, they will fall under the Democrats plans to “tax the rich.”  More than 1 million of our most successful small businesses which employ the most workers will be hit by this tax.  And at the same time, all but the very smallest small business will be hit with Obama’s additional 8% payroll tax unless they provide health care insurance that passes liberals’ scrutiny.

Meredith Whitney, who gained a great deal of credibility after predicting much of the economic calamity that has since come to pass, has predicted that unemployment will surpass 13%, and continue to harm the banking industry and the overall economy for years to come.  What fool thinks it’s a good idea to impose job-crushing policies while our unemployment rate is already soaring?

We are facing deficits and debts that dwarf anything ever seen in human history.  And we are about to reach a critical mass, a point at which the entire house of cards comes crashing down.  And America is going to experience suffering on a scale never even imagined before.

Gerald Celente, CEO of the highly regarded Trends Research Institute, predicted that we will have food riots and tax revolts by 2012.  He said “America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for.”

Obama and his giant nest of liberal snakes have already imposed shocking levels of debt on this nation that will almost certainly result in hyperinflation in coming years.  And he is hard at work poisoning our economy with stupid and immoral health care legislation and even more stupid and immoral cap-and-trade legislation that will kill our economic output without even slightly reducing overall global warming gasses.

What is going to happen in the next few weeks is the difference between whether this nation has any chance whatsoever to recover, or whether we are destined to become a banana republic spiralling down a cyle of violence and repressive government regimes.

Obama’s Economic Forecast: No Reality In Sight

July 16, 2009

Right on the heels of Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney predicting 13% or higher unemployment, we are beginning to see mainstream media economic forecasters abandoning their “Isn’t Obama just wonderful” chant and wake up to smell reality.

I added my own frequently smarmy comments in brackets with the content in italics.

Experts: Obama Too Optimistic on Economy

Politico: Miscalculation Would Mean Much Higher Deficits Than the Administration Is Now Acknowledging

July 14, 2009

President Barack Obama’s economic forecasts for long-term growth are too optimistic, many economists warn, a miscalculation that would mean budget deficits will be much higher than the administration is now acknowledging.

The White House will be forced to confront the disconnect between its original, upbeat predictions and the mainstream consensus about how the economy is likely to perform in a new budget forecast to be unveiled next month.

Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a POLITICO interview that the administration – like many independent economists – did not fully anticipate the severity and pace of this recession. She said the White House will be updating its official forecasts.  [Allow me to interject here that this now oft-repeated excuse is insane.  Obama personally and repeatedly fearmongered the economy by comparing it to the Great Depression.  And now he has the naked chutzpah to claim he didn’t realize it was actually bad?  That is completely INSANE].

The new numbers will come as part of a semiannual review that, under ordinary circumstances, is the kind of earnest-but-dull document that causes many Washington eyes to glaze over.

This time, however, the new forecasts – if they are anything like what many outside economists expect – could send a jolt through Capitol Hill, where even the administration’s current debt projections already are prompting deep concerns on political and substantive grounds.

Higher deficit figures also would arrive at a critical moment in the health care debate, as lawmakers are already struggling to find a way to pay for the president’s nearly $1 trillion reform package.

Alternately, if Obama clings to current optimistic forecasts for long-term growth, he risks accusations that he is basing his fiscal plans on fictitious assumptions – precisely the sort of charge he once leveled against the Bush administration.

White House officials rebuff such suggestions, saying the midyear correction is precisely intended to keep their economic program reality based.

But a series of POLITICO interviews in recent days with independent economists of varied political stripes found widespread disdain for Obama’s first round of assumptions, with some experts invoking such phrases as “rosy” and “fantasy.”

Obama’s current forecasts envision 3.2 percent growth next year, 4 percent growth in 2011, 4.6 percent growth in 2012 and 4.2 percent growth in 2013.

The administration is already under intense pressure over its economic calculations on the most politically sensitive statistic: employment. The administration once vowed to use stimulus policies to keep the jobless rate below 8 percent; it is now just shy of 10 percent.

Deficit figures do not pack the same emotional punch as unemployment lines do. But they matter greatly to policymakers and the financial markets as a measure of whether the country can afford Obama’s big agenda.

And the general public is paying attention, too.

In a June NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, a bare majority – 51 percent – of respondents approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, down from 56 percent in February.

In addition, 58 percent said the president and Congress should focus on keeping deficits down, even if that delays an economic recovery, the poll found.

“They used a rosy forecast, and that’s understandable because a quick recovery makes the rest of the agenda possible. It creates the basis for the revenues you need for health care and climate change,” said Robert Shapiro, a former Clinton economic adviser.

“But it’s also dangerous and risky because if the forecast doesn’t come true, you’ve undermined the basis for the rest of your policies,” he added.

White House officials note that at the time of their forecasting, the depth of the crisis was less clear. For instance, the global reach of the downturn wasn’t fully apparent late last fall.

Another challenge was that the slowdown “was going from a relatively normal recession into something much worse, and we were at a pivot point, if not a turning oint,” Romer said.

“There was just inherently a lot of uncertainty. None of us has a crystal ball, especially at a time when there is a lot of new information coming in. That’s when you have to be ready to update. That’s certainly what a lot of forecasters have done and what we will do, as well,” she added.

[In response to the last three paragraphs let me say this: I have been predicting economic calamity for nearly a YEAR now if Obama got elected, and I have been citing expert sources in every single one of those articles to support my claim.  One of my “favorite” predictions came in October 8 – obviously well BEFORE Obama claimed unemployment would not rise above 8% if his stimulus package was enacted.  CEO’s predicted that “some of Obama’s programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.” Romer’s “crystal ball” stuff is just garbage, just as her “Nobody knew it would be bad” line – and frankly just as her bogus economic forecasting].

Those outside forecast adjustments have been almost universally in a downward trend.

White House officials began to lay the groundwork for the politically ill-timed revisions when Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded the administration had “misread” the economic indicators in January about how bad the economy actually was.

Obama later amended those remarks, saying the White House had “incomplete” information, which led to their miscalculations.

Either way, those admissions appear to pave the way for a significant rewrite of the White House’s economic outlook, starting with it growth predictions.

“Those numbers will prove to be much, much too optimistic,” said J.D. Foster, a former economic adviser in the Bush administration.

To appreciate the potential problems that can arise once those numbers are changed, consider this:

The White House projected revenues for 2012 are forecast at $3.1 trillion. But if growth is just 2 percent, rather than around 4 percent, as some economists now expect, that income would hover around $2.4 trillion – adding another $700 billion to the projected deficit of $581 billion.

“That would be a significant change in the deficit,” said Foster, who did the math.

There is a case for hewing close to the administration’s original, out-year conclusions, said some economists.

The president’s hope for a burst of new economic activity around “green” jobs in the energy and environment sectors and the kick-in of the infrastructure phase of the stimulus package could provide some healthy growth, economists say.

“The question is, what will drive the growth? It’s not likely to be the housing market or another tech bubble. We don’t know what it is going to be, but it doesn’t make sense to assume it won’t be anything,” said James Horney, an economist with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Still, it’s not clear whether another optimistic outlook will sell on Capitol Hill.

Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com and a frequent adviser to Capitol Hill, said the worsening economic picture makes passage of health care reform even more essential.  [Which is like handing a man in a free fall an anvil instead of a parachute in terms of economic sense.  We’re reeling at the prospect of massive deficits, so let’s add another trillion – and probably several trillion – to our deficit in the name of erasing our deficit].

“It’s so important for policymakers to show that they will address the long-term fiscal pressures on the economy and budget very, very soon,” he said, including the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid that are overwhelming the federal budget.  [Medicare has a $61.6 trillion unfunded liability and is expected to bankrupt us by 2019, so let’s push for more government health care so we can be even more truly screwed than we already are].

The key for outside investors, he said, is “to see if policymakers credibly pay for it.” If Congress does it right, “that could be quite a positive thing” by boosting U.S. credibility in the world markets that are financing the nation’s debt.  [IF… IF…  If winged monkeys flew out of my butt on command, I could get a good job at the circus].

Roger C. Altman, another former Clinton economic adviser, recently suggested in a Wall Street Journal column that Congress move aggressively on health care reform and Social Security – both fixes that could ease deficit pressures.  [Just remember that when George Bush attempted to reform Social Security, Democrats demonized him for it].

“Public anxiety over deficits may make this fix [of Social Security funding] possible now, even though it has been elusive for years,” he said.

But Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist, said the White House should set aside major domestic initiatives and focus on stabilizing the economy by attacking the trade deficit.

“The spending required for health care, the tax on business with a [climate change] cap-and-trade system, and the wasteful spending inside the stimulus will finish the job that the Chinese mercantilism began,” he said. “We’re headed for a disaster here.”

Go slow is also Shapiro’s guidance, suggesting a phased-in approach to any universal health care insurance program, which would delay its full costs.

Almost all of the economists interviewed – including former Bush White House officials – were sympathetic to the Obama economic team’s plight.

Its January forecasts didn’t deviate sharply back, then, from most other predictions by established and respected economic experts.

The Congressional Budget Office, for instance, predicted growth in 2012 of 4.4 percent, compared with the White House’s 4.6 percent.

But some worry the administration now is on the verge of making another mistake by inadequately addressing the next big threat: inflation fears.

No one can predict when that day will come, but many think now that it will be sooner rather than later.

When it does come, the Federal Reserve Bank will face a Hobson’s choice, said Morici: either runaway inflation or higher interest rates, both of which could stall a recovery and send the economy back into recession.

The Fed’s decision to pump money into the economy to stave off disaster in the financial sector and elsewhere last year was understandable, said Foster.

“But a price must be paid for what they did,” he added, and that means withdrawing that liquidity from the market to combat inflation. “In this case, the amount of liquidity to be withdrawn is unprecedented,” he added.

Zandi doesn’t dismiss Foster’s scenario, but he said it’s possible the country could get through inflation scares without as much damage.

“I think policymakers will do roughly the right thing with health care reform and get a reasonably credible package from a fiscal perspective,” he said.

“Then the current stimulus will be reasonably sufficient to push us out of recession later this year and into early recovery,” he added.

Republicans predicted that the “stimulus” wouldn’t “stimulate” and that the pork-laden package would fail, just as they also forecasted that the funds wouldn’t get out in time to do any good.  It’s funny how the media – which never listens to anything conservatives have to say anyway – are allowing the Obama administration to present the lie that “no one knew the economy would be this bad under our messianic governance.”

Personally, I keep going back to Gerald Celente, the Trends Research CEO who predicts food riots and tax revolts by 2012.  I see him making a lot more sense, rather than less, every single day.  And I don’t doubt for a second that liberals will mock such forecasts even as the riots and revolts erupt around them.

For the record, you can tell – given the complete lack of mention of “defense” or “the military” – that both are going to suffer greatly as Obama scrounges for funds to pay for his massive socialist agenda.

Respected Analyst Meredith Whitney Predicts Unemployment Of 13 Percent Or Higher

July 14, 2009

The Obama administration predicted that if Obama’s stimulus passed, unemployment would not go over 8%.  He blatantly fearmongered the economy down in order to get his pet stimulus passed.  Obama rushed his incredibly euphemistically-named American Recovery Act through Congress so fast that no one even got a chance to actually read it.

The idea, of course, is that Obama’s liberal solutions would stop the slide and make things get gradually better.  But unemployment – which was at 4.4% when Democrats took power over both the House and the Senate – was at 6.7% when Obama got elected and at 7.2% when Obama was pushing for his stimulus in January.  As the Associated Press puts it, “In January, President Barack Obama’s economic team predicted unemployment would rise no higher than 8 percent with the help of $787 billion in new government spending.”  Yet unemployment is now higher than what the Congressional Budget Office said it would reach if we didn’t pass a stimulus.

Talk about a massive failure.

Now unemployment is at 9.5%, and – according to respected analyst Meredith Whitney – it is expected to top 13% in the coming months.

Banks Stronger But Outlook Clouded by Job Loss: Whitney

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

While Whitney raised her short-term outlook for banks, causing stocks to open in positive territory after pointing lower earlier, she said the long-term outlook for the economy remains murky.

Consumers will not be able to spend as they continue to lose jobs and credit conditions stay tight, she said in a live interview. The result will provide a vivid display of how critical housing and lending are to economic growth. Unemployment is currently at 9.5 percent but is expected to keep rising.

We underestimate how much the whole economy is dependent on the mortgage industry, and that has to change,” Whitney said. “This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We’re buying time here, but we’re not restructuring the economy.”

And she’s right.  All the trillions of dollars in debt Obama has imposed on the American people, and with all of those trillions, he has utterly failed to do anything to fix the fundamental issues that broke our economy in the first place.  In fact, he is now seeking to use the $700 billion in TARP money (which stands for ‘Troubled Asset Relief Program”) to hand out to certain small businesses.  But don’t forget that the program was implemented to buy distressed assets from financial institutions, and NOT to buy political patronage.

Obama’s $3.27 trillion stimulus didn’t do anything to address the mortgage industry’s fundamental crisis, his 9,000-pork-project-laden $410 billion omnibus bill didn’t do anything to address the mortgage industry’s fundamental crisis, and now he is planning to pillage the one source of funds that were designed to deal with the things that actually created the economic crisis.

Meredith Whitney is bullish on Goldman-Sachs because sich the giant institution “will benefit from being a key player in a ‘tsunami of debt issuance’ by governments as they try to fill gaps in underfunded budgets.”

The Wall Street Journal article continues:

However, Ms. Whitney said her bullish view of Goldman is rooted in her overall bearish outlook for the U.S. economy and other U.S. financial companies. During an interview on the financial network CNBC on Monday morning, she said the U.S. unemployment rate could reach 13% and remain elevated beyond 2010, and that most banks likely aren’t prepared for prolonged joblessness at that level. The U.S. unemployment rate reached 9.5% in June. She said that bank stocks will be good buys in the short-term due to a robust mortgage business, but that the longer-term outlook for most banks was grim.

The suspicious person would wonder over the fact that Obama – who took more campaign money from the financial institutions that played critical roles in bringing us the economic crisis in the first place – is now preparing to massively reward those very same institutions.

But let’s forget about that, and focus on the far more terrifying news than mere Chicago-style political corruption.

Let us focus on the fact that, contrary to Obama’s bold assertions, things are not looking up.  They are in fact looking down.  And increasingly, it appears that things are going right down the toilet.

Now, given those two basic facts – Obama’s early prediction that his stimulus would hold unemployment to under 8%, and Meredith Whitney’s forecast of coming 13% or higher unemployment – what do you make of Obama’s statement:

Yet the stimulus package “is working exactly as we had anticipated,’’ Obama told CNN. “We always anticipated that a big chunk of that money then would be spent not only in the second half of the year, but also next year. This was designed to be a two-year plan and not a six-month plan,’’ he said.

How can this sound like anything other than the most transparent lie?  And the lie of a man who has absolutely no idea what he’s doing at that.  How can he so blithely pass over his total documented failure to manage the economy as he said he could?  How can he so blithely pass over the coming black hole of unemployment that is just going to get worse and worse?

Our president is a fool who has been by far the most successful when he has counted on the foolishness of the American people.

Vice President Joe Biden recently said, “The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy.”  But that is not true at all.  For one thing, it wasn’t “everyone” who issued the completely contradictory statements that 1) predicted that unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8% if we passed the stimulus; 2) said we misread the economy; and 3) said the stimulus package is performing exactly as anticipated.  Only the Obama administration was so completely wrong, and so completely incoherent.

I’m no great economist, but I’ve been regularly predicting that Obama would totally fail to handle the economic mess that Democrats largely created in the first place.  Republicans predicted that the stimulus would totally fail to create jobs even as it harmed our economy with stratospheric debt.  CEO’s have gone on record predicting that Obama would bankrupt the country within three years if his agenda was implemented.

The unemployment numbers are truly terrifying, particularly if you realize that – with discouraged workers factored in as they were during the Great Depression – we are already at Great Depression levels of unemployment.   For the record, the unemployment rate in 1930 was about where it is now.  And we were when the unemployment rate was a full percentage point lower than it is today.   Paul Craig Roberts, the assistant secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, said on January 12, 2009, “According to the methodology used in 1980, the US unemployment rate in December 2008 reached 17.5 percent.”  We’re going down the drain, and all our federal government can do is play games with economic statistics to make things appear less bad than they really are.  But what’s going to happen when it goes up yet another four percent from where it is now?  And based on what factors will we be able to stop it at that level?