Posts Tagged ‘mortgage’

The Pathological Stupidity Of Obama’s ‘Fairness’ Meme Of Taxing The Rich

April 13, 2011

We need to balance our insane budget deficit, Democrats say.  And it’s time the rich paid their fair share.

All the top 10% of earners paid is 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.  That’s nothing.  It’s those poor poor who suffer the most.  The bottom 50% have to pay a whole bunch of nothing.  It’s just brutal for them every April.  They want to write a check to the government, but only the rich get to do stuff like that.  And the bottom 40% are so screwed by our federal income tax system that they actually are forced to accept free money in addition to paying a whole bunch of nothing.  Unless the Associated Press is lying about it.

Nothing makes me more annoyed than the phrase “give the rich tax cuts.”  Because it presumes that the government owns us and graciously allows us to keep some of what we earn.  The way liberals understand things, they own all the means of production.  They own my labor and whatever I earn from my labor.  And I am lucky if the commissars allow me to keep enough to feed myself.  It derives from a tenant of Marxism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  At the core is central planning; government stands above us, it stands above God (which is why consistent Marxists deny God exists and religion is merely an opiate of the masses), and government should redistribute everything according to its divine power.

That is the intrinsic logic of their view that allowing the rich or anyone else to keep more of their own money is considered a cost to the government.  But it ISN’T a cost to the government to allow me to keep more of my own money; anymore than it is a cost to me to allow my next door neighbor to keep more of his own tools.

Obama gave an address in which he paid lip service to reducing spending – even though his budget that he released only TWO MONTHS AGO didn’t reduce any spending at all – and in fact stated that it would be dangerous to do so.  Obama has no plans to cut spending; in fact, the deficit in just the first six months of this year shot up another 15.7%.  Obama is going to do what he’s been doing since he started running for president; he’s going to offer meaningless rhetorical platitudes about cutting spending and reducing costs, while demonizing the rich and demanding that the ONLY people who pay REALLY START TO PAY.

Obama is going to talk about “fairness.”

The ‘fairness’ meme
April 12, 2011 – 4:47 am – by Roger Kimball

We don’t know exactly what Barack Obama is going to say when he fires up his teleprompters at George Washington University tomorrow. The color, we do know, however: it’s red, as in “red ink,” what Mitch Daniels at his speech at CPAC earlier this year called “the new red menace.” (I like to think that the invocation of the old “red menace,” the Communist, socialist one, was deliberate: it is, I would argue, apt.)

The substance of the speech, as ABC notes, is “closely held.” Everybody thinks that there will be at least pro forma acknowledgement that spending on such programs as Medicare and Social Security needs to be reined in. But the big O will also return to one of his favorite themes, a by-word from his 2008 campaign: “increased taxes on the wealthy” (that’s according to “White House officials”).

Here’s my bet: the operative word in Obama’s speech tomorrow night, the mantra that will be repeated endlessly not only by O but also by the left-wing commentariat, is “fairness.” You remember his campaign shtick: the Saddleback Church event, for example, when Rick Warren asked candidates John McCain and B.O. about taxes. “Define rich,” he asked. McCain tossed out an income of $5 million, which elicited derision. But the gravamen of his response came in the elaboration: “I don’t want to take any money from the rich. I want everybody to get rich.”

How different was B.O.’s response: What he was looking for, he said, was “a sense of balance, and fairness in our tax code. It is time for folks like me who make more than $250,000 to pay our fair share.”

“Our fair share.” That, as I noted at the time, is B.O.’s refrain. “[W]e will save Social Security for future generations by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.” It’s a small step from the invocation of “our fair share” to Obama’s call for a tax on “the windfall profits of oil companies,” a tax increase on capitals gains, elimination of the tax on Social Security tax, etc., etc.

The crucial point here is that what Obama is interested in is not increasing revenue but in promulgating redistributionist policies that make it harder for people to prosper economically. William McGurn, writing in The Wall Street Journal back then, recalled Obama’s response to ABC’s Charlie Gibson when Gibson observed that raising taxes led to decreased revenues: “Well, Charlie,” Obama replied, “what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

“For purposes of fairness”: that means, “for purposes of economic egalitarianism.”

McGurn observed:

[I]t doesn’t really matter whether a tax increase actually brings in more revenue. It’s not about robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Robbing from the rich will do, especially if it’s done in the name of fairness.

Now there are good reasons Mr. Obama is not likely to pursue the revenue side of the fairness question. As this newspaper noted in a recent editorial, the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service does not show to Mr. Obama’s advantage. As we come to the end of the Bush administration, the top 1% of American taxpayers already pay 40% of all income taxes — the highest level in 40 years. The top 10% of income earners pay 71% of the taxes.

The bottom line is that when Obama invokes “fairness,” he wants us to feel guilty about economic success. This is the secret of his appeal to the socialistically inclined.

It worked in 2008. Let’s see how it goes down tomorrow. Over the last two years, Barack Obama has presided over an economic Armageddon. Everyone knows about that $14 trillion that is the federal debt. Few people, I suspect, really appreciate what that unimaginable figure represents. And the kicker is, $14 trillion is only a tithe of the trouble. As Kevin Williamson and others have pointed out, the country’s real debt, when you facotr in state indebtedness and unfunded so-called “entitlement” liabilities, is closer to $130 trillion. That horror-movie figure is just too awful to contemplate, so I will draw a veil.

[…]

For the record, I wrote an article entitled, “Tax Cuts Increase Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues,” in which I documented that every single time the United States has reduced the income tax rate, federal revenues have gone up.  I go back to Warren Harding to document that.  I include John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush – who increased federal revenues by lowering tax rates.

But this recurring documented fact of U.S. history is tantamount to rocket science to liberals.  Because they adhere to the entirely unrealistic premise that if I were to double your taxes, I would collect double the revenue, because people wouldn’t react to the tax increase by altering their behavior.

Recent developments give me a crystal clear example of why liberals couldn’t be more wrong:

Gas Price Rise, Americans Drive Less
By Rachel Smith
Posted: Apr 12, 2011 10:30 a.m.

Americans are taking rising gas prices seriously. They’re already driving less, “reversing what had been a steady increase in demand for fuel,” the Associated Press writes. “For five weeks in a row, they have bought less gas than they did a year ago.”

The average price of gas is an obvious indicator of why national fuel consumption is dropping. At the end of March, AAA reported that gas reached an average of $3.60 nationally. Today, AAA says the national average is $3.79 for regular grade, a 29 cent jump in about two weeks. Business Week reports that many analysts forecast that these numbers will worsen, and expect that consumers could pay as much as $5 a gallon this year due to political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, which supply much of the United States’ oil. The $5 per gallon speculation has been floating around the industry for some time, but last year, CNN stated that former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister predicted that Americans could pay $5 a gallon by 2012. Analysts have bumped that date up.

“Drivers are already reacting to the change,” writes Kicking Tires. “In the first week of April, consumption was down 3.6%, or 2.4 million gallons of gasoline,” based on data from MasterCard Spending Pulse.

One of the best ways to combat rising gas prices is to drive less, but there are other simple things you can do. […]

Even uneducated, ignorant and frankly stupid people understand this incredibly basic concept: cost goes up, activity goes down.  And yet you have liberals with PhDs staffing agencies such as the Congressional Budget Office utterly fail to understand that if they make taxes go up, they will end up with reactions that will invariably produce less revenue for the government.

If even high-school dropouts understand that if the price of gasoline goes up, they need to drive less, how is it that brilliant businessmen won’t realize that if their tax rates go up, they need to protect their money?

Here’s another analogy that might be spot on the money.  Suppose your going to work and a mugger jumps you and takes all your money.  As he’s walking off, counting your (well, his now) cash, he says, “I hope you’ve got as much dough tomorrow, because I’m going to mug you again.”  Now, if you’re smart, you won’t be happening by that way at all the next day.  But if you’ve absolutely got to go that way to get to work, will you have as much money that next day?  Not if you’ve got a single functioning brain cell.  On my analogy, if you figure out some other way to get to work, that’s tax avoidance.  If you stash your cash somewhere so you don’t have it for the robber to take, that’s tax sheltering.  And if you’re too stupid to understand that this is what people do when their taxes go up, that’s liberalism.

The more taxes increase, the more activities that were previously not worth doing – such as sheltering assets, moving assets overseas, investing in collectibles, purchasing tax-exempt investment vehicles, or just dodging taxes – become worth doing.

And so,what happens every single time happens yet again.  Raise taxes expecting more revenue, get less revenue, and hurt the economy in the process by penalizing productivity and investment risk and thereby restricting growth.  And when you encourage growth by reducing the tax burden and allowing people to keep what they earn, lo and behold, cetaris parabis, there is a surge in activity, an increase in economic growth and a corresponding increase in federal tax revenue.

I say “cetaris parabis” because if you throw in a socialist Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that undermine something as vital as our housing mortgage market by imposing morally and fiscally insane policies until the system comes crashing down, such as what occurred leading up the crash in 2008, the best tax rates in the world can’t save the system.

Here are just a few articles I wrote on that subject, in order of date written with the earliest listed first:

Biden: ‘We Misread The Economy, And It’s All Republicans’ Fault

AEI Article: How Fannie And Freddie Blew Up The Economy

Barney Frank And Democrat Party Most Responsible For 2008 Economic Collapse

More Proof Democrats Destroyed The Economy In 2008: The Ongoing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Disaster

We need to have intelligent economic policies.  If we don’t have such policies, we’re going to struggle regardless of our tax rates.

Quickly, another liberal policy that will not even possibly work is the Federal Reserve QE2 (that’s the second shot at quantitative easing) that artificially reduces interest rates by artificially increasing the money supply in order to increase lending.

Here’s the problem with that.  Short term, it might seem to work.  The stock market looks at the apparent backstopping of our economy and follows the leader (Uncle Sam) up until the ship starts to sink.  After which they will sell, sell, sell.  But the ship ALWAYS sinks.  Why?  Because you have a lot more dollars chasing after the same supply of finite goods and services (if anything, in the last few years, we have a LOWER supply of finite goods and services).  So what happens?  More dollars chasing less stuff.  That’s inflation.  It will INVARIABLY require more devalued dollars to buy the same things.  The more you inflate the money supply, the worse that inflation gets.  And we have massively increased our money supply.

Let me go back to what I wrote going on a year ago now:

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.

And let me point out that we’re looking at huge inflation now – even as Obama declares victory over the recession – in insanely rising gas prices, food prices, clothes prices, all prices:

Hope ‘n Change Coming To Fruition: Cost Of EVERYTHING About To Go Up

Instability, Food Riots And A Heaping Dose Of ‘I Told You So’

Just like I said would happen.  And just like the long list of economists said would happen when they begged Obama not to do the $3.27 trillion stimulus.

This phenomenon is going on all over the world because most of the world is tied to the U.S. dollar – the currency that Obama has been poisoning hoping for short-term political gains.

And, again, a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts (which doesn’t help businesses and individuals who are desperately searching for consistency so they can predict their costs) is not going to help us out of this kind of moral and fiscal insanity.

But what we are going to see is Obama now demagoguing all the massive economic failure that his own policies are responsible for creating in the first place to demand that the rich “pay their fair share.”

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Why Did Our Economy Melt Down In 2008? (Email This To Your Friends)

October 25, 2010

Note: I did not write the following; I am only passing it along.  I hope you read it and then pass it along as well.

Remember the LONG-TERM Causes of the Financial Sector Meltdown (an email pre-formatted for sending)
FreedomKeys.com ^ | 20101010 | various
Posted on 10/23/2010 12:49:32 PM PDT by FreeKeys

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
by novelist Orson Scott Card, a Democrat
_________
.. This [financial crisis] was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it.  One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules.  The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
..
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans.  (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me.  It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.) …
..
If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.
..
If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis. …
..
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all?  Do you even know what honesty means?
..
[Was] getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for? …
..
… tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis.  You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.
..
This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
..
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
– Novelist Orson Scott Card, a Democrat, on October 5, 2008,HERE
..
.. The Financial Sector Meltdown ..
1.  Almost all of the financial problems we see today are based on bad mortgage lending.  That would be lending money to people to buy homes who didn’t qualify for a loan.
..
2.  The Democrats, under Clinton, strengthened a government-created monster called the “Community Reinvestment Act” [first foisted upon the country under Jimmy Carter].  This law was then used by “activists” and “community organizers” …  to coerce lending institutions to make these bad loans … millions of them.
..
3.  Now we see what happens when political “wisdom” supplants good loan underwriting.  When private financial institutions are virtually forced to make loans to people with a bad credit and job history … this is what you get.  Enjoy it. — Neal Boortz, here ..


.
Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
..
Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street’s efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.
..
In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn’t make the market, they became the market.
.. — Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg News, here ..

 


.. Obama choice helped Fannie block oversight
National security adviser tied to discrediting of probe ..
By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times,October 13, 2010 here
..
UNDER SCRUTINY: Thomas E. Donilon worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005.
..
Years before Fannie Mae foundered amid a massive accounting scandal, President Obama’s choice for national security adviser oversaw an office inside the mortgage giant that orchestrated a negative publicity blitz to fight attempts by Congress to increase government oversight, records show.
..
Thomas E. Donilon, who won the job as national security adviser this month, worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005 at a time the company’s officials insisted finances were sound. He also earned more than $1.8 million in bonuses [from Frannie Mae] before the government took over the troubled company in the wake of an accounting scandal.
..
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Obama, who railed against lobbyists on the campaign trail, hailed Mr. Donilon’s appointment last week, but made no mention of his time as a registered lobbyist.st wee
..

 


..
Democrats and some [big-government] Republicans opposed reform in part because Fannie and Freddie were very good at greasing palms. Fannie has spent $170 million on lobbying since 1998 and $19.3 million on political contributions since 1990.
..
The principal recipient of Fannie Mae’s largesse was a Democrat, Sen. Chris Dodd (D, CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. No. 2 was another Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama (D, IL).
..
Mr. Dodd was also the second largest recipient in the Senate of contributions from Countrywide’s political action committee and its employees, and the recipient of a home loan from Countrywide at well below market rates.  The No. 1 senator on Countrywide’s list? Barack Obama. Check it out here:  http://tinyurl.com/4h9955
..

 


..
“Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.
..
“The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously.” — Dr. Thomas Sowell, Professor Emeritus, Economics, Stanford University, HERE
..

 


..
When the Bush administration tried to rein in Freddie and Fannie from continuing to engage in risky practices, guess who stepped in to block their efforts? Democratic senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and — are you ready? — Barack Obama.
..
Meanwhile, guess who were the top four recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie between 1988 and 2008?
..
Senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and — still ready? — Barack Obama.
..
A coincidence, I tell you — just a coincidence.
..
More mere coincidences: Franklin Raines — a former Carter- and Clinton-administration official and former head of Fannie Mae, now under investigation for cooking its books — had a lot of powerful people in Congress beholden to his agency. Here is a list of his campaign-contribution recipients. Meanwhile, Democratic honcho Jim Johnson, another former Fannie Mae CEO, has been an economic adviser to and major fundraiser for Barack Obama, and even ran his vice-presidential search committee until growing scandals over his Fannie management forced him to step down in July. – Robert Bidinotto, here ..

 


..
On May 25, 2006, Sen. John McCain spoke forcefully on behalf of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.  He said on the floor of the Senate:
..
“Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
..
“The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
..
” The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.
..
“For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
..
“I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
..
“I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.”
..
It died at the hands of the DEMOCRATS —
HERE’s a video clip showing their anger.
..

 


..
“Many politicians and pundits claim that the credit crunch and high mortgage foreclosure rate is an example of market failure and want government to step in to bail out creditors and borrowers at the expense of taxpayers who prudently managed their affairs. These financial problems are not market failures but government failure.The credit crunch and foreclosure problems are failures of government policy.” — Dr. Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, HERE
..

 


..
“Barack Obama wasn’t just the second-largest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac political contributions. He was also the senator from ACORN, the activist leader for risky ‘affirmative action’ loans. … [The CRA] gave groups such as ACORN a license and a means to intimidate banks … ACORN employed its tactics in 1991 by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA. … Obama represented ACORN in a 1994 suit against redlining.  ACORN was also a driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton administration that greatly expanded the CRA and helped spawn the current financial crisis. Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort.” — IBD Editorials
..
“The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN’s Madeline Talbott in her pioneering [“community organizer”] efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding [via CAC and Woods Fund] for her efforts.” — Stanley Kurtz, “BARACK’S ‘ORGAANIZER’ BUDS PUSHED FOR BAD MORTGAGES”HERE
.

 


.
Bloomberg News has an excellent recap of
the history of the financial meltdown:.HERE.
.

 


 

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama
not shown: Bill Clinton


..

 


“Scratch the surface of an endemic problem — famine, illness, poverty —  and you invariably find a politician at the source.” —  Simon Carr

 


“One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.” — Ayn Rand

 


“I think that we all need to consider the possibility … just the possibility … that Obama is engaged in a conscious effort to destroy our free market economy so that he can build a government-controlled socialist party on the rubble.” — Neal Boortz, here
[Conscious effort or not, we have an emergency on our hands.]

 

Fed Changes Mind After Changing Mind, Monetizing Debt Again As America Flushes Way To Ruination

August 12, 2010

First, the New York Times headline:

Fed to Buy U.S. Debt, Saying Recovery Has Slowed
August 10, 2010, 2:19 pm

The Federal Reserve acknowledged Tuesday that its confidence in the economic recovery had dimmed, and it announced that it would use the proceeds from its huge mortgage-bond portfolio to buy long-term Treasury securities, The New York Times’s Sewell Chan reports from Washington.

Bu bu but I thought Barry Messiah said this would be the summer of economic recovery.  I thought Barry Hussein had kissed the economy with his beatific wonderfulness and made it all better.

The fourth paragraph in the Slimes article underscores the fact that the Keystone cops of the Obama administration have absolutely no idea what they’re doing:

The Fed’s new stance marked the completion of a turnabout from a few months ago, when officials were discussing when and how to eventually raise interest rates and gradually shrink the $2.3 trillion balance sheet the Fed amassed through its response to the 2008 financial crisis.

Ben Bernanke came out back in February and had this finance fit:

Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress that the Federal Reserve does not plan to “print money” to help Congress finance the exploding U.S. national debt.  In fact, Bernanke told Congress that the U.S. could soon face a debt crisis as bad as the one in Greece if the U.S. government does not get things in order financially.  This represents a fundamental change in policy for the Federal Reserve, because they have been enabling the massive borrowing by the U.S. government over the past couple of years by “buying” the majority of new U.S. government debt that has been issued.  But now the fat cats over at the Federal Reserve have apparently changed their minds.  Using uncharacteristic bluntness, Bernanke told Congress that the Federal Reserve is “not going to monetize the debt”.So why is the Federal Reserve changing course?

Well, have no fear: the Federal Reserve is Re-changing course.  Like a boomerang that comes back around to smack an ignorant fool right in the head.  Perhaps they have come to realize that the U.S. economy is about to flush down the drain and plunge into a deep, dark hole, and they figure the fall might be softer if we land on giant piles of worthless currency.

Yes we’ll monetize the debt.  Oh no we won’t.  Oh yes we will.  Stop arguing with me!  But I am you!

I thought the following was a good article due to its provision of a historic context for today’s Fed decision:

Fed begins monetizing the deficit

The Federal Reserve, in announcing the results of this week’s meeting of the Open Market Committee, surprised the market by revealing it will begin purchasing US Treasury notes and bonds with the principal income it receives from its vast holdings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage securities. This practice – wherein the Fed buys up US government securities and injects cash into the public market as payment for these securities – is a form of monetizing the debt. The last time the Fed did this on a big scale was back in the 1960s when it attempted to mop up the excess Treasury securities that were flooding the market as a result of Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to finance the Vietnam War. That Fed program was viewed at the time as a failure, since the cash the Fed put back into the economy in exchange for the securities was a big reason – perhaps the major reason – why price inflation accelerated from the late 1960s until a decade later, when Paul Volcker managed to squelch inflation once and for all with forbiddingly high interest rates.

The market was expecting some sort of monetary stimulus, but not this. The expectation was that the Fed would renew its “quantitative easing” program involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities – a program designed to push down long term mortgage rates. That program was successful inasmuch as mortgage rates are at record lows, but it left the Fed with well over a trillion dollars of these securities on its balance sheet. Fed officials have lately been pondering publicly how to get rid of these securities, and apparently have concluded they can’t under present market conditions without forcing mortgage rates back up again, which would only hurt the housing market. Instead, these officials have concluded that the Fed has no choice but to hold on to these securities until they mature, which is well over 10 years from now for the portfolio.

The Fed receives billions of dollars of principal and interest payments every year on this portfolio, and what to do with this cash has always been open for discussion until now. But using principal proceeds from these securities to monetize the government debt is fraught with risk. For one, should the housing market start to weaken again and foreclosures rise from current levels, the Fed will be sitting on billions of dollars of credit losses on its portfolio. This could eat up most if not all of the profit it would otherwise earn on this portfolio. Second, older investors have memories of the nasty inflationary consequences the last time the Fed monetized the debt, and the market has become very skittish about the risk of inflation, and maybe even hyperinflation ala Weimar Germany, that could result from the enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus put into the economy since 2007.

In terms of these risks, the best thing the Fed has going for it at the moment is that the pricing problem facing the current economy is not inflation, but deflation. A growing number of economists, and even some Fed governors, are worrying outright about deflation, but at least in a deflationary environment the Fed is given a lot more leeway to monetize the debt and build up its balance sheet as a consequence. The Fed press release today did not mention deflation per se, but the FOMC no longer described the economy as “progressing”, as it did in June. Instead, the Fed sees an economy with substantial slack, a stagnant housing market, repressed earnings power for workers, and very low inflation.

The bond market was happy to buy Treasuries on this news, concentrating in the 2 to 10 year maturities, in anticipation of higher prices (and thus lower yields) once the Fed begins actively purchasing. So far, in other words, the bond market sees no risk of inflation, much less hyperinflation, and is content to see yields continue to head to record low levels. Such excessively low yields on government bonds have only been seen in deflationary economies like Japan has experienced for nearly two decades. This is in essence what the bond market is forecasting for the US economy.

The stock market, which has been on a tear since early July, took this news in stride, but time and past experience is weighing heavily on this stock rally. When bond yields fall to record lows, this has never boded well for equities. In a deflationary economy, stock prices are one of the main victims, and the US stock markets have so far shown no significant adjustment downwards to reflect deflation. Stocks may have some serious “catching up” to do.

At the least, we can say we are no longer in that environment in the spring when Fed governors were talking seriously about how they were going to remove all their monetary stimulus now that the economy has recovered. Instead, we are witnessing yet another round of monetary stimulus, a recognition by the Fed that their previous efforts have failed to ignite a sustainable recovery.

All this from the Federal Reserve, an entity that is neither “federal” nor a “reserve.”  It is a private bank that issues currency based on fiat of delegated institutional power.  And what it is doing now is akin to photocopying a dollar bill to pay a credit card bill.  Another analogy would be if you were facing bankruptcy, and decided to start buying your own furniture from yourself.

Mind you, this is only partly the Federal Reserve’s fault.  They are in an impossible position as the Failure-in-Chief continues a path of spending America into collapse, and they have to figure out how to finance Obama’s addiction.

The Obama administration alternately fearmongered and promised that if the stimulus was passed that unemployment would not rise above 8%.  They lied.  The rate has been dropping from an earlier high exceeding 10% only because discouraged workers who give up are paradoxically dropped off the roles and aren’t counted.  Then they spent months creating pure fictions such as “created or saved” as “evidence” that Obama’s failed policy had succeeded.

To quote:

“One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called `jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist for good reason…” – Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy

“There is no way to measure how many jobs are saved.” – Harvard economics Professor Gregory Mankiw

Then Obama spent months telling us that the economy was recovering when it really wasn’t, culminating in his bogus “summer of economic recovery.”

This is an administration that falsely takes credit for a false recovery even as they falsely blame Bush and refuse to accept responsibility for their own policies.  It’s “win, we win, lose, Bush loses.”

These people should have zero-point-zero-zero credibility.

Obama Worst President In History, According To 2004 Democrat Campaign Rhetoric

June 23, 2010

This is just too good.  Barack Hussein is far and away the very worst president in American history.  And that according to the very same standards that Democrats attacked George Bush with in 2004.

Democrats of 2004 Brand Obama Worst President
By Kevin Hassett – Jun 20, 2010

As we approach another general election, it will be interesting to see how the economic performance of Democrats is judged. If voters borrow the preferred method of John Kerry and other Democrats from 2004, Barack Obama will be revealed to be among the worst presidents in history.

During the 2004 election, Democrats constantly reminded voters that George W. Bush was the first president in decades to oversee a net loss of jobs.

The drumbeat was incessant. “This administration is the first since Herbert Hoover’s to actually lose jobs on its watch — 1.8 million jobs,” Kerry said at a campaign stop. His campaign chairman, Jeanne Shaheen, said Bush deserved “the first-ever ‘Herbert Hoover Award’ for having the worst jobs record since the Great Depression.”

The Hoover analogy was a stretch, as some recognized even back then. The watchdog election site factcheck.org wrote, “Comparing the Bush economy to Hoover’s Great Depression is just silly, and implying that tax cuts are not contributing to job growth deserves an ‘F’ in freshman economics.”

As an adviser to the Bush re-election campaign, I regularly rebutted the Hoover charge when I appeared on television to debate Kerry supporters in 2004. Here’s what I said then, and still say now: While some presidents arrive in Washington during boom times, others come during busts, and those often are the ones elected precisely because voters hope that they will change economic policies.

Jobless Recovery

Bush arrived just as the last recession was beginning — a bit of timing that Obama can relate to. Though that recession was brief, the subsequent jobless recovery did little to strengthen Bush’s record as he entered his reelection year.

Obama, of course, is just 17 months into his presidency, and more than two years from facing the voters personally. But with a big midterm congressional election upcoming, let’s see how Obama would fare if Kerry-like tactics were used on him.

The answer: not well. Whether the measurement is job creation, unemployment or growth of gross domestic product, the economy has been worse under Obama than it was under Bush.

First, job creation. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. shed 2.3 million jobs since February 2009, Obama’s first full month in office. Going back to World War II, that is by far the worst record for any president in his first 17 months, outpacing the job destruction experienced in the early Bush years by more than 800,000 jobs.

Campaign Fodder

For Obama, there is an even worse way to play the data, which might just become fodder for a political ad: From November 2008, the month he was elected, until now, the economy has shed an astonishing 4.4 million jobs. That’s worse than Hoover.

Sure, you can blame the first few months of that period on lame-duck President Bush. But perhaps companies accelerated their shedding of jobs because they were bracing for higher tax rates, increased union power and costly environmental taxes under Obama.

Other measurements are only slightly kinder to Obama. The two-percentage-point increase in unemployment rate during his presidency, to 9.7 percent from 7.7 percent, is the third-worst since World War II. Dwight Eisenhower and Gerald Ford saw bigger increases.

GDP growth under Obama, an abysmal 3 percentage points so far, is the fourth-worst in the postwar period. Eisenhower, Ford and Ronald Reagan all began their terms with worse GDP growth.

But hey, it was Kerry and the Democrats who made job creation the be-all and end-all measurement of a presidency, and by that standard, Obama is dredging a new low. It’s probably a good bet that Democrats who became so enamored of Hoover’s name in 2004 won’t be mentioning it much this year.

Republicans should be willing to drop it too — so long as some economic adviser to Kerry-Edwards ‘04 admits the campaign was wrong to bring up Herbert Hoover in the first place.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

So if you want to see the case that Barack Obama is the worst president in history, don’t bother reading what conservatives say; just listen to Democrats own rhetoric from just a few years ago.

This article’s findings as to just what a disaster Obama has been even measuring by the Democrats’ own standards does not include the recent information that Obama’s mortgage modification program has totally failed in every way imaginable, and that sales of new homes has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded? It was the mortgage industry that created the 2008 collapse – and Obama has done nothing but make a black hole of crisis even worse.

I can’t even imagine how shrilly the Democrats would have decried those facts had they occurred during the Bush years.

And, to go on, you want to talk about a president’s ability to handle a national disaster such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, day 64?  No matter how bad you want to say Bush was regarding Hurricane Katrina, Bush is now widely recognized to have done a far superior job.  How about war fighting?  Bush won in Iraq; Obama is floundering enormously in Afghanistan.

Basically, by whatever metric you want to use, Obama is the biggest disgrace to ever occupy the White House.

If this doesn’t prove that Democrats are a) pathological demagogues and b) completely unfit to govern, what possibly could?

The Dirty Secret About Our Unemployment Rate

January 9, 2010

First of all, did Obama’s stimulus create jobs and help the economy?  I put it this way the other day, while writing an article about how ObamaCare amounts to a profoundly dishonest and secretive scheme to hijack one-sixth of the economy:

It’s rather like the stimulus.  Obama fearmongered the economy to get his $3.27 trillion stimulus-porkulus through Congress.  Obama falsely promised that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if it passed.  The legislation was raced through so quickly that no one could have even possibly read it.  Obama has said it was a success, citing the never-before-in-history-seen category of “created or saved jobs.”  But even then, he had to resort to a series of galling lies to sell his giant failed stimulus.  Not only were jobs created out of thin air (Obama claimed that a single lawnmower created 50 jobs through his website!!!) to fraudulently make a failed stimulus appear successful, but phantom congressional districts and even zip codes that don’t exist began to collect huge sums of stimulus money.  Meanwhile, the thoroughly dishonest Obama administration transformed their stimulus into a gigantic Democrat slush fund, with double the money going to Democrat districts and with no regard to unemployment.

The answer is readily obvious.  No, the stimulus didn’t help the economy.  As a solid plurality of Americans now rightly believe, the stimulus HURT the economy.

And they are right.  What we find out when we look at the economies of countries that either had or did not have stimulus packages is that the countries with huge stimulus packages (like the U.S.) had much more unemployment than the countries that didn’t:

As President Obama and other Democrats have correctly pointed out many times, this has been a worldwide recession. But if Summers and Biden are right in their assessment of the stimulus measures, one would think that the U.S. economy should be recovering better the many other countries, countries not wise enough to follow Obama’s lead of an extraordinary $787 billion increase in government spending.  It is also particularly timely to evaluate the spending since Christina Romer, the chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, told Congress today that the stimulus had already had most of its impact on the economy. […]

But it is not just Canada where the unemployed are faring better. Other countries, too, decided against a massive stimulus plan. In March, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel nodding in agreement at his side, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared: “the problem is not about spending more.” Later that month, the president of the European Union, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, castigated the Obama administration’s deficit spending and bank bailouts as “a road to hell.” The Washington Post wrote that there was a “fundamental divide that persists between the United States and many European countries over the best way to respond to the global financial crisis.”

The unemployment rate in the European Union was higher than in the United States to begin with even before the Obama administration’s spending. By January, the EU unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent — almost a whole percentage point higher than ours.  So what has happened since the big U.S. stimulus spending spree was passed? We more than caught up with the EU’s high unemployment rate.  By August, the last month data is available for the EU, the U.S.’s unemployment rate slightly exceeded the EU’s — 9.7 versus 9.6 percent.

Germany has particularly been out front resisting the call for more public spending.  Yet, from January through September, the German unemployment rate only rose slightly, from 7.9 to 8.2 percent.

Data on unemployment rates from 27 countries from Japan and South Korea to Brazil and other South American countries to Europe shows that from January to August display the same consistent pattern.  Even in the EU it isn’t just a few countries that are driving the relatively small increase they have experienced.  The U.S. had a larger increase in unemployment than 22 countries — that is, 81 percent of the countries had a smaller increase in unemployment this year than the United States. Unemployment in some major countries such as Brazil and Russia has actually fallen since January (see Table here).  Other countries, from France to Mexico to Australia to Switzerland, have seen unemployment increase by only about half the amount of the U.S. rate. Indeed, the average increase in unemployment for the 27 countries is slightly less than half the US increase.

The article should be read in its entirety to see just how powerful the evidence is that the stimulus failed.

In other words, to the extent that there has been any improvement in the economy, it has been in spite of – and VERY CLEARLY NOT because of – the stimulus.

And one of the most frightening things we have in the wake of the failed Obama stimulus is shockingly high unemployment levels.  The Obama White House said that if Obama’s stimulus wasn’t passed unemployment would rise to 9% (it was 7.6% when Obama took office; and the Obama White house said it would remain under 8% if the stimulus was passed).  But it didn’t, did it?

Thus we come to Obama’s dirty little secret of unemployment:

Unemployment: The Dirty Little Secret Everyone’s Ignoring

By John Lott – FOXNews.com

The problem of people getting discouraged and giving up looking for work is ballooning.

The unemployment rate might be stuck at 10 percent, but the more detailed numbers in the Department of Labor’s Household survey data paint a more dire picture. The number of people with a job fell by 589,000 in December. Even worse, the number of people not in the labor force grew by an astounding 843,000 during just the last month. The Household survey data is what is used to measure the unemployment rate.

To get an idea of the size of this increase in the number of people not in the labor force, since February, when the stimulus package was passed, I repeat, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 3.2 million. But the number for December represents 26 percent of the entire increase over that period of time. The problem of people getting discouraged and giving up looking for work is ballooning. Of course, they have had good reasons to be discouraged. Similarly since February, the total number of people employed has fallen by 4 million.

In September, Larry Summers, President Obama’s top economic adviser, claimed: “We have walked a substantial distance back from the economic abyss and are on the path toward economic recovery. Most importantly, we have seen a substantial change in the trend of job loss.” Christina Romer, the chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, made a similar statement today. While conceding that the December numbers were a “slight setback,” she argued: “In a broad sense the trend toward moderating job loss is continuing, consistent with the gradual labor market stabilization we have been seeing over the last several months.”

The growth in the U.S. unemployment rate has continued to outpace the rest of the world. Since February, the average unemployment rate for the European Union has grown by 1.2 percentage points. By contrast, the US unemployment rate has grown by 1.9 percentage points — a 58 percent greater increase. Nor does the rate look particularly strong compared to what economists were predicting at the beginning of the year. Back in mid-January, business economists and forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the December unemployment rate to be at 8.6 percent.

Unemployment should start to improve, but the numbers indicate that the improvement in unemployment that economists and forecasters were predicting has occurred much more slowly than was expected at the beginning of 2009. By moving huge amounts of money from one industry to another, the stimulus as well as all the regulatory changes have caused a lot of churning in the labor market — movement of people from one job to another than has caused temporary unemployment. Unfortunately, the huge number of people who have withdrawn from the labor force represent a big hangover that will make reducing unemployment a slow process.

The “unexpected” (the lamestream media always naively expects good news when Democrats are in charge) and disappointing December job numbers released yesterday have more economists worrying about a double-dip recession.  We lost jobs even during the Christmas temp hiring frenzy, which will force the federal reserve to keep interest rates artificially low, which will have a negative impact on our economy down the road.

Obama could care less about the millions of workers who have despaired of finding a job to the point where they don’t even bother to look for work any more, because those people fall off out of the measurement categories.  If you consider them, unemployment is now at 17.3%.

Let me introduce you to an economist who – unlike so many others – was correct in her prediction of the economic meltdown: Meredith 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. […]

“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.”

Not only has Obama failed to improve the mortgage industry, but what he has done has actually made the system WORSE, even according to the left.  I mean, even the New York Times has said Obama’s solutions are adding to the housing woes.  The first paragraph of their article said:

The Obama administration’s $75 billion program to protect homeowners from foreclosure has been widely pronounced a disappointment, and some economists and real estate experts now contend it has done more harm than good.

To serve as an ironic reminder of Obama’s message of “hope and change,” here’s a recent Business Insider article entitled, “How Obama’s Mortgage Modifications Are Making Things Worse By Giving Desperate Homeowners A False Sense Of Hope.”

Well, Obama promised hope.  If you were dumb enough to believe his promises had any reality, then doom on you.

And it isn’t any better for residential mortgages:

(June 9) – Commercial real estate mortgage defaults are at a 15-year high and will more than double by the end of 2010, according to a new report from research firm Real Estate Econometrics (REE).

And again:

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) – U.S. commercial mortgage-backed bond defaults may more than double this year as the economic recession hurts office building, retail store and multifamily housing assets, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.

It was the mortgage industry – imploded by Democrats – that caused the economic implosion of 2008.  And our failure-in-chief hasn’t done a damned thing to make that industry better.  All he’s given, characteristic of his entire presidency, is false hope.

And now we’re looking at a double dip for the housing and mortgage industries, as well.

One day, years from now, an honest Obama administration official (if there is one) will be saying something similar to FDR’s Treasury Secretary:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises… I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” – Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939

In April 1939, six years after FDR rolled out his failed New Deal, unemployment was still at 20.7%.

We are now only 3.4 percentage points away from Treasury Secretary Henry Morganthau’s moment of clarity.

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.

Barack Obama’s Ties With ACORN Go Back 20 Years

September 23, 2009

You can learn all about the community organization ACORN via BigGovernment.com:

On ABC’s “This Week” George Stephanopoulos was the only one of the five interviewers who bothered to bring up the massive ACORN scandal in which a pair of kids posing as a pimp and a prostitute showed the full degree of massive corruption and total depravity of a liberal/socialist organization that has received tens of millions of federal dollars and stood to qualify for BILLIONS under Obama’s stimulus.  In at least five cities, ACORN employees were willing to help the pimp and prostitute fraudulently file income taxes so they could purchase a home which they planned to use as a brothel with more than a dozen 13-15 year old illegal immigrant girls.

If that isn’t loathsome enough, we are also learning that ACORN has received federal funding to give sweetheart “low-interest” or “no-down-payment” home mortgage deals to illegal immigrants.

Here’s the Commander-in-Chief becoming the Weasel-in-Chief:

STEPHANOPOULOS: But if you’re – have some of your allies made it easier for — handed your opponents some ammunition, like ACORN, for example…

OBAMA: Well, look, the — you know, I think that — are there folks in the Democratic camp or on the left who haven’t — haven’t always operated ways that I’d appreciate?

Absolutely.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Congress has just cut off…

OBAMA: Is — is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: …all funding for ACORN.

OBAMA: It’s…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you for that?

OBAMA: Is that true on the other side, as well?

Of course that’s true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN?

OBAMA: You know, if — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off.

OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not committing to — to cut off the federal funding?

OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to.

As Fund points out in his story, “ACORN Who?” “Mr. Obama took great pains to act as if he barely knew about Acorn.”

That doesn’t seem to be ACORN’s story regarding Obama.  They worked hard for Obama.  They helped Obama.  They say:

“Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus, it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends.”

John Fund has the story out on how Obama’s ties with ACORN go back over twenty years.

We find that:

– In 1991, he took time off from his law firm to run a voter-registration drive for Project Vote, an Acorn partner that was soon fully absorbed under the Acorn umbrella. The drive registered 135,000 voters and was considered a major factor in the upset victory of Democrat Carol Moseley Braun over incumbent Democratic Senator Alan Dixon in the 1992 Democratic Senate primary.

– He became a top trainer at Acorn’s Chicago conferences.

– In 1995, he became Acorn’s attorney, participating in a landmark case to force the state of Illinois to implement the federal Motor Voter Law. That law’s loose voter registration requirements would later be exploited by Acorn employees in an effort to flood voter rolls with fake names.

– In 1996, Mr. Obama filled out a questionnaire listing key supporters for his campaign for the Illinois Senate. He put Acorn first (it was not an alphabetical list).

– In the U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama became the leading critic of Voter ID laws, whose overturn was a top Acorn priority.

– In 2007, in a speech to Acorn’s leaders prior to their political arm’s endorsement of his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama was effusive: “I’ve been fighting alongside of Acorn on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote in Illinois, Acorn was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”

– The Obama campaign also gave Citizens Consulting, Inc., an Acorn subsidiary, $832,000 for get-out-the-vote activities in key primary states. In filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Obama campaign listed the payments as “staging, sound, lighting,” only correcting the filings after the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review revealed their true nature.

-[T]he Obama campaign didn’t appear eager to discuss the candidate’s ties to Acorn.  Its press operation vividly denied Mr. Obama had been an Acorn trainer until the New York Times uncovered records demonstrating that he had been.

Fund goes on to conclude:

“Given his longstanding ties with Acorn, President Obama’s protestations of ignorance or disinterest in the group’s latest scandal seem preposterous. Here’s hoping White House reporters will press the president to clarify just how much he really knows about Acorn and when he knew it.”

I hope John Fund doesn’t hold his breath.  The same reporters who dug through Sarah Palin’s garbage and rummaged through Joe “the Plumber”Wurzelbacher’s private records never once bothered to look into Obama’s past.

Most Red Ink Ever: Congratulations On Your ‘Historic’ Presidency, Obama

August 26, 2009

Virginia Slims used to run an ad campaign called, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” The ads for the women’s-marketed cigarette brand ran on the theme that it was hip and modern for women to smoke. But the hidden subtext of the campaign was, “Look how far you’ve come: now you can die a nasty preternatural death of cancer just like the men.”

In a lot of ways, Barack Obama is the new “You’ve come a long way, baby” poster boy.  He was marketed as the historic first black president in American history – but now that we’ve come this far, we’re going to see our nation perish to a cancer of “Marxist-red” ink.

A couple of truly terrifying articles who just what an unmitigated – and historic – disaster Barack Obama’s presidency has been in just six short months:

Obama’s 09 deficit exceeds all eight years of Bush red ink
By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
08/25/09 3:08 PM EDT

How much is President Obama boosting federal spending? The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl puts a little perspective on the numbers made public today:

· This year, Washington will spend $30,958 per household, tax $17,576 per household, and borrow $13,392 per household. This spending is not just temporary: President Obama would permanently keep annual spending between $5,000 and $8,000 per household higher than it had been under President Bush.
· The 22 percent spending increase projected for 2009 represents the largest government expansion since the 1952 height of the Korean War (adjusted for inflation). Federal spending is up 57 percent since 2001.

· The 2009 budget deficit will be larger than all budget deficits from 2002 through 2007 combined. More than 43 cents of every dollar Washington spends in 2009 will have been borrowed.

· One would expect the post-recession deficit to revert back to the $150 billion to $350 billion budget deficits that were typical before the recession. Instead, by 2019, the President forecasts a $917 billion budget deficit, a public debt of 77 percent of GDP, and annual net interest spending of $774 billion.

· The White House projects $10.6 trillion in new deficits between 2009 and 2019—nearly $80,000 per household in new borrowing.

· None of these estimates include the cost of health reform.

· The White House underestimates future budget deficits by trillions of dollars by (1) assuming that discretionary spending will be frozen to inflation for the next decade, (2) assuming that cap-and-trade revenues will be available to finance a Make Work Pay credit (the House-passed bill allocates those revenues elsewhere), (3) assuming health care reform will be deficit-neutral, and (4) assuming certain tax increases that are unlikely to be enacted.

Exceeding eight years of Bush deficits in just six months?  You’ve come a long, way, baby.

Most red ink ever: $9 trillion over next decade

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – In a chilling forecast, the White House is predicting a 10-year federal deficit of $9 trillion — more than the sum of all previous deficits since America’s founding. And it says by the next decade’s end the national debt will equal three-quarters of the entire U.S. economy.

But before President Barack Obama can do much about it, he’ll have to weather recession aftershocks including unemployment that his advisers said Tuesday is still heading for 10 percent.

Overall, White House and congressional budget analysts said in a brace of new estimates that the economy will shrink by 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year even as it begins to climb out of the recession. Those estimates reflect this year’s deeper-than-expected economic plunge.

The grim deficit news presents Obama with both immediate and longer-term challenges. The still fragile economy cannot afford deficit-fighting cures such as spending cuts or tax increases. But nervous holders of U.S. debt, particularly foreign bondholders, could demand interest rate increases that would quickly be felt in the pocketbooks of American consumers.

Amid the gloomy numbers on Tuesday, Obama signaled his satisfaction with improvements in the economy by announcing he would nominate Republican Ben Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The announcement, welcomed on Wall Street, diverted attention from the budget news and helped neutralize any disturbance in the financial markets from the high deficit projections.

The White House Office of Management and Budget indicated that the president will have to struggle to meet his vow of cutting the deficit in half in 2013 — a promise that earlier budget projections suggested he could accomplish with ease.

“This recession was simply worse than the information that we and other forecasters had back in last fall and early this winter,” said Obama economic adviser Christina Romer.

Let’s go back to a couple of Wall Street Journal articles to see the patent falsehood to the claim that Obama didn’t know how bad things really were:

1)Obama Budget Relies on Rosy Economic Forecasts” – February 26, 2009.  Liberals have tried to assure everyone, “Nobody could have known…”  But to quote Obama’s campaign rhetoric, “Yes, we can.”  At least if you write for the Wall Street Journal or a similar publication that doesn’t get it’s talking points from the Obama White House.  People with half a brain (which understandably excludes the overwhelming majority of liberals) knew that Obama was pumping manure and offering one false promise based on one false assumption after another.

The truth is that there were plenty of dire forecasts and claims that Obama’s numbers didn’t jive with reality; the fact that the White House didn’t listen isn’t anyone’s fault but Obama’s.

2)Obama’s Rhetoric Is The Real Catastrophe” – February 13, 2009.  Barack Obama repeatedly fearmongered the economy by comparing it to the Great Depression in order to force his ill-fated $3.27 trillion stimulus fiasco through Congress.  The porkulus package was rushed through the legislative branches so quickly that no one actually even had a chance to read the darn thing – and then Obama took four days to sign the damn thing so he could have fun in Chicago.

Obama promised that if his stimulus was passed he would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and keep unemployment under 8% – and the reality has been an even bigger dud than the most conservative Republican predicted it would be.

Obama and his apologists are trying to argue that they didn’t know that the economy was so bad, but that is the most transparent and pathetic excuse given the fact that they repeatedly compared the state of the economy to the Great Depression.  Here’s the question, when they did that, were they simply demonizing, demagoguing, and fearmongering – thinking all the while that they were actually lying – or were they telling the truth as they understood it (i.e. that things were catastrophically bad)?  If the latter, their excuse that they didn’t know things were actually so bad simply vaporizes – because how could our present economy be worse than the Great Depression which they were comparing it too?  If the former, then Obama is literally a demon who cynically hurt tens of millions of Americans by driving down the economy merely to sell his self-serving political agenda.

That Obama and his Democrat allies are liars is already a given, it’s simply a question of when they lied.  And we can only hope that he is incompetent in his governance, rather than despicable in his deceitful and cynical manipulation.

As for unemployment “heading for 10%,” I personally agree with respected analyst Meredith Whitney: I see unemployment going to 13% or HIGHER.  By 2011, nearly half of the mortgages in our nation will be “underwater,” with owners owning more on the homes than the homes will be worth.  Obama has done virtually nothing to address the fundamental problem underlying why our economy crashed in the first place; and we’re going to pay dearly for that failure.

Let me tell you, as someone who pointed out that Barack Obama was woefully and terribly inexperienced and not up to the job over a year ago, the community-organizer-in-chief is simply not up to the job.  And neither are the radical leftwing punks that he has primarily surrounded himself with.

The liberals began to shrilly claim that Bush was incompetent during his second term over the issue of his handling of Iraq; but it needs to be pointed out that Bush ultimately DID succeed in Iraq – and by pursuing the “surge strategy” that Democrats and Obama himself demonized.  Bush won the war in Iraq even while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was wailing, “I believe that this war is lost.”

But now, only months into his presidency, even the LEFT is starting to distrust Obama’s competence.  This isn’t a partisan issue anymore – liberals are beginning to doubt Obama’s competence to accomplish his liberal agenda.  Democrats themselves are pointing out all the things Obama’s done wrong, and failed to do right.  And – while I cheer Obama’s inability to succeed in his socialism – that’s still bad, because we have no real leader, and we’re going to increasingly start drifting as a nation.

Yeah, you’ve come a long way, Barry Hussein.  You’ve come all the way from the “historic presidency of the first African-American in the White House,” to the most historic failure that the White House has ever seen.  And your policies are proving to be such a historic failure after only six months that this nation may literally not survive the remaining 3 1/2 years of your term until we can vote you out of office and be finally rid of you.

It is a terrible and tragic shame that the mainline media propagandists fixated so much on the color of Barack Obama’s skin that they failed to look at the color of his failed ideology or his complete lack of necessary experience to lead this country.

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.

Barack Obama 2nd On List Of 345 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Recipients

September 18, 2008

In the aftermath of the financial scandal that is toppling financial institution after institution, the Center for Responsive Politics did a little snooping into which politicians were taking how much money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The activities of these two quasi-government quasi private financial hybrids were at the very center of the disaster that has caught up so many institutions that dealt with mortgages.

Barack Obama – the current Democratic nominee for President – was 2nd out of 345 lawmakers on the list.  And John Kerry – the 2004 Democratic nominee for President – was 3rd.  Sen. Chris Dodd – the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee who accepted a sweetheart loan from scandal-ridden Countrywide – was top on the list.

The problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has always been that it was a social welfare institution masquerading as a financial institution.  That’s why these “financial institutions” have been so rabidly pro-socialist Democrat Party.

To put it in Olympian terms, Democrats swept the medals, winning gold, silver, and bronze for the biggest pigs feeding from the scandal-ridden Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac trough.

Update: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Invest in Lawmakers

When the federal government announced two months ago that it would prop up mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CRP looked at how much money members of Congress had collected since 1989 from the companies. On Sunday the government completely took over the two government-sponsored enterprises, and we’ve returned to our data to bring you the updates, this time providing a list of all 354 lawmakers who have gotten money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (in July we posted the top 25). These totals are based on data released electronically from the FEC on Sept. 2 and include contributions to lawmakers’ leadership PACs and candidate committees from the floundering companies’ PACs and employees. Current members of Congress have received a total of $4.8 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with Democrats collecting 57 percent of that. This week we also wrote about how much money lawmakers had invested of their own money in the companies last year–a total of up to $1.7 million.

All Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

Name Office State Party Grand Total Total from
PACs
Total from
Individuals
Dodd, Christopher J S CT D $165,400 $48,500 $116,900
Obama, Barack S IL D $126,349 $6,000 $120,349
Kerry, John S MA D $111,000 $2,000 $109,000

And realize something: this list runs from 1989-2008.  Barack Obama has only been in national politics since 2005; do you have any idea what a trough-guzzling porker he had to be to pass by so many politicians who’ve been in politics throughout the entire 20 year period?

Democrats are all over this housing scandal mess.  But they have one talent (the ability to demonize their opponents) and one asset (a complicit liberal media).  John McCain proposed legislation that would have reformed Fannie and Freddie back in 2005 – but lockstep Democratic opposition killed it.  Now the system is broken, and the guy who took the 2nd most money from the scoundels who caused this mess is trying to blame the guy who tried to fix the problem before it became a disaster.