Posts Tagged ‘national debt’

Democrats Want More Than Your Share Of Your Wages. And More. And More.

May 24, 2010

Are we taxed enough as Americans?  Should we be outraged over the level of taxation?  Read this and tell me why you shouldn’t be.  And explain to me why the Democrats are right in confiscating more and more of Americans’ property, and Republicans are wrong in trying to allow citizens to hold on to more of what they earn:

The Government’s Share Of Your Paycheck
Is Bigger Than Your Share

Hard work is good for you.  It is better for the government.

Here is the scenario:  A musical composer applied for a job with a theatrical production company to write the music and lyrics for a new stage production.  The arrangement was, lyrics and music and all artistic rights in return for a compensation package of $100,000. The composer agreed, thinking this would give him an opportunity to purchase that very special collector’s automobile he had been dreaming about for years and is now available for $95,000.

At the end of his contract the production company was happy with the composer’s work and wrote the promised check to the composer’s financial manager.  Upon the manager’s presentation of the composer’s paycheck, the composer became very angry and retorted “They promised me $100,000 and this check is for only $49,560 what happened to the rest of the money.”

The financial manager replied, “The rest of the money went for taxes.  Your government has determined they are entitled to share in the fruits of your labors.  You were paid $100,000 and that placed you in the federal 28% tax bracket so that left you with $72,000.  Then we had to withhold federal self-employment FICA taxes of 12.4% and medicare taxes of 5.8% and those taxes totaled another 18.2% or $18,200 so that left you with $53,800.  And, the State of Arizona’s share of your labors is another 4.24% or $4,240 so that left you with $49,560.  Here’s your check, go spend it wisely.”

Well, there goes my dream of the special collector’s car so I guess I will have to settle for a new Cadillac that I can purchase in these troubled times for $45,000 and I will have nearly $5,000 left over which will be enough for my wife and me to drive from Phoenix to San Diego in our brand-new car and purchase a cruise on the Mexican Riviera. Wine, dine and sunshine.  Life is good.

Off to the Cadillac dealer and after selecting the model and options and negotiating the price to $45,000 the composer said “I’ll take it.  Hooray!”

The dealer handed the bill to the composer for $49,503.  The composer shouted “What?  We agreed on $45,000.  There goes my cruise”  The Cadillac dealer said “Arizona is entitled to share in the fruits of your labors and their share of your purchase is State, County and City sales taxes of 8.3%, or $3,735 and Registration and License fees of $768 for a total Arizona share of $4,503 and the dealer charges $50 as a documentation fee bringing the total purchase price to $49,553.  Here is a check for $7.00 as change for the $49,560 check you gave us.  Go spend it wisely.”

This might be a true story.  Somewhere in this vast country a similar scenario has happened.

Now, let’s look at the big picture.  A man worked and earned $100,000 and governments took $50,440 right off the top leaving the worker with $49,560 to spend.  When he spent it, governments grabbed another $4,503 in additional taxes.  This is a total of $54,947 (or 55%) of this worker’s earnings.  Plus, do not forget, to have $4.500 left over to pay the state governments their share of his purchase, the worker had to earn $9,000 BEFORE income taxes.  Should you wish to purchase a $45,000 automobile, you must earn $100,000 to do so.

Your governments tax you when you earn money and tax you when you spend money.  And, if you do not spend it, they will tax your estate when you die.  When the George Bush tax cuts expire next year and the Death Tax returns to 55%, your government will have taxed the first 50% when you earned it, and then grab the remaining 50% when you die.

And the Obama Democrats want more!

It never occurs to the government to stop spending.

That’s the way I see it.
July 17, 2009

This is the kind of thing that applies in virtually every sphere under the sun.  Take gasoline taxes.  Did you know that the government takes twice the dollars in gasoline sales taxes than the oil companies do in profits?  And do you know who pays that? You better know, you sucker; because it’s YOU.  The oil companies pass on all the taxes imposed by Democrats to you, the quintessential resident sap.  Every single time the government imposes taxes on businesses, those business pass those taxes on to you in the form of higher prices.

Another thing that is interesting emerges from this paragraph on the states with the highest state income taxes.  The author uses Arizona, presumably because he is from that state.  But Arizona has a measly 4.24% tax rate.  If he wanted to really make his case, he would have used a different state with a higher tax rate:

New Jersey residents paid 11.8%, topping the charts.  New Yorkers were close behind, paying 11.7%, and Connecticut was third at 11.1%.  The top 10 were rounded out by Maryland (10.8%), Hawaii (10.6%), California (10.5%), Ohio (10.4%). Vermont (10.3%), Wisconsin (10.2%) and Rhode Island (10.2%).

What is interesting and informative is every single one of those ten states with the highest tax rates – every single one – is a Democrat state that voted for Barack Obama.

How do liberals define stealing?  If the government seizes my property, just because it has the power to do so, how is that not stealing?  How is it not stealing when the welfare-wanting masses vote to seize the assets of people who obtained their wealth through hard work and sound investment while they were sitting on the couch in front of the boob tube and pissing their money away with compulsive buying?

Another thing that should be pointed out is that Americans – even BEFORE the November 2008 election that gave us Barack Obama to go along with overwhelming Democrat majorities in Congress – believe that higher taxes hurt the economy by reducing both revenues and jobs.

It’s simply amazing how false promises and demagogic accusations have managed to sway people to vote against their values – and for people who will undermine those values.

Benjamin Franklin said, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”  In voting for Democrat total control, the American people essentially decided to send the United States crashing down.

As much as Democrats shrilly demagogued the Bush spending (which actually WAS outrageous), they are now entirely responsible for spending which utterly dwarfs anything Bush ever dreamed of imposing.

Consider that Obama spent more in just 20 months in office than Bush did in his entire 8 years.

From the Wall Street Journal:

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

Incredibly, I routinely continue to hear Democrat politicians blame Bush for his spending – which is tantamount to these Democrats admitting that they are hypocrites, liars, and absolute demagogues.

And where does it end?

With the American experiment in a democratic republic going the way of the Dodo bird.

We voted to destroy ourselves by spending ourselves into bankruptcy and economy collapse.  And Obama has been hard at work bringing that “hope and change” about.  And all it takes to understand WHY this outcome is actually “hope and change” is the realization that a great many liberal “intellectuals” have yearned for the destruction of the United States of America for decades.

There’s little question that the anvil will fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in.  Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush — combined.” And most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very far off? A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

This massive spending under Obama and Democrats merely continues a trend that has been going on for decades: when you look at Congress’ spending when Democrats have been in control versus when Republicans have been in control over the last thirty years, you find that Democrat Congresses have accumulated 2.5 TIMES the debt that Republican Congress’ have.

Which is why Rep. Eric Cantor was right when he said:

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Minority Whip) on ABC’s “This Week”:
“If you look at the kind of deficit that we’ve incurred over the last three years that the Democrats have been in control of Congress, 60% of the overall deficit from the last ten years has occurred in that period. And frankly with the incurrence of the debt, we’ve seen very little result. That’s why we think we ought to choose another way.”

But we didn’t go the Republican way: we went the Democrats’ way.  And it should be rather obvious by now that it was the WRONG WAY.

And so the day is soon coming when Americans will be called upon to support massive tax increases such that the United States has never seen in its entire history, or else go completely broke and go the way of Greece.  But of course it will have been high government taxation and even higher government spending that broke us to begin with.

Liberals are going to continue to steal from the classes that they demonize – as befits the “from-each-according-to-his-ability-to-each-according-to-his-need” communists they quintessentially are – and they will continue to steal from generations yet unborn (at least those whom they haven’t murdered in their abortion mills) until there is nothing left of this nation but a hollowed-out shell.

And don’t think for a second that that isn’t exactly what many liberals – including many Obama friends and members of the Obama administration – want.

It’s coming for you, average American.  Liberals are presently demonizing the rich and demanding that they pay more and more and more.  But there aren’t enough rich people to pay these skyrocketing debts.  And so they’re going to start going after your wealth.  Do you know that even the poorest Americans have far more than most “citizens of the world”? When will you be told to pay YOUR share the way the rich have already been called upon to pay far more than theirs?

That’s right, craven average American liberal.  Pretty soon, the Democrats won’t be taxing the other guy; they’re going to come after YOU.  Not only because Democrats have spent too much to count on the wealthy to pay the load, but because the same argument that justified stealing the wealth of the rich in America is the identical same argument that will justify stealing YOUR wealth from YOU.  Just as the rich have far more than the average American, the average American has FAR more than the average Zimbabwean, who lives on less than $100 a year.  And the day is coming when you’re going to be taxed up the wazoo according to your own morally idiotic argument that you used to seize the wealth of your fellow Americans.

It will mean the destruction of American in every way, shape, and form, but at least I’d be able to see the look on the faces of all the people who thought that it was fair to force the top 50% of taxpayers to pay more than 97% of the taxes so that the other half can get off completely free and live like parasites.

I want to see the look on your faces when “the President of the world” starts going after what you’ve saved for yourselves and your children.  And many of you will have to demonstrate what collocate hypocrites you’ve been all along when you try to protect your assets from a government seizure of wealth that finally went too far for your comfort by going after you.

We don’t have much more time, Americans.  We will either vote these Democrats out, and rid ourselves from the menace of liberalism once for all, or we will economically implode.  And Democrats who will have brought that implosion into being will seek to use that implosion to impose the socialist society they’ve always dreamed of.

Obama Deficit Delusion

April 6, 2010

The most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the human race is promising to make the crushing debt he inflicted upon us all better.

This is an utterly asinine thing to believe.  It will take professionals trained in the dark arts of media propaganda to make anybody believe it.

Fortunately for Obama, and unfortunately for the country, those professional propagandists are as abundant as cockroaches.

But at least the Washington Times editorial board is casting some light on the liberal lunacy that has this country racing off a cliff.

EDITORIAL: Obama’s deficit deception
Cooked books provide a misleadingly rosy outlook

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Barack Obama claims Obamacare is necessary to keep the country solvent. This is a strange assertion coming from the most fiscally irresponsible president in American history.

Last week in a speech in Portland, Maine, Mr. Obama said the government takeover of health care would “lift burdens” off the middle class and reduce the deficit “by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades.” Yet this questionable claim is a paltry sum compared to the trillions of dollars of debt Mr. Obama’s policies will levy on the same middle class he pretends to be helping.

Obamacare, in fact, does not save money. The belief that it does is based on a last-minute analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before the legislation was passed that found that the new health law would reduce the federal deficit by $138 billion over 10 years. But CBO calculations were based on 10 years of revenues under the plan and just six years of expenditures. A straight-up balance sheet shows the plan adding $114 billion annually to the national debt by 2020. CBO now reports that the student loan nationalization slipped into the health care legislation will add an additional $52 billion in debt by the end of the decade.

These billions in red ink are small compared to the trillions of dollars in overall debt that Mr. Obama is handing to current and future generations. On March 24, the day after the president signed Obamacare into law, CBO released an analysis of the president’s latest budget proposal. The numbers are sobering. The lowest annual deficit will be $724 billion in 2014, and the red ink will rise every year thereafter. Net interest payments will nearly triple from 1.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 4.1 percent in 2020. Interest payments alone will consume $5.6 trillion this decade.

The Obama budget adds $12.8 trillion to public debt between 2009 and 2020, growing from $7.5 trillion to $20.3 trillion. The current, very high 63 percent ratio of debt to GDP will rise to an unsustainable 90 percent by the end of the decade and is expected to soar to more than 100 percent in later years. So while Mr. Obama claims to be concerned about deficits, he is in fact driving the United States to international pauper status.

It’s no wonder that the president attempts to portray himself as some kind of deficit hawk. Polling indicates that the swiftly mounting national debt is a leading issue going into the 2010 election season. The Obama administration routinely asserts that these were problems the O Force inherited, even though final CBO estimates of projected debt from the George W. Bush administration were much lower, and the base line debt assumptions are raised consistently with each new estimate. Most shocking, the current dire numbers are based on the belief that the economy will recover quickly and fully from its present woes. If the Obama team’s rosy scenarios do not come to pass, these record peacetime deficits will grow even higher.

Mr. Obama can make all the claims he wants about his fiscal responsibility but, unlike some politicians, the numbers don’t lie.

Obama, according to the CBO, has massively understated his deficits.  That ought to give you nothing but naked distrust when you consider his health care claims.

I have to disagree with the otherwise spot-on target Washington Times editorial board to this extent: under Obama, the numbers DO lie.  The Obama administration and the congressional Democrats have done a very thorough job creating such a self-serving smokescreen over reality that you can’t trust the numbers.

That said, the truth doesn’t lie.  Which is to say that one day all the lies and the ObamaCare that was the product of all those lies will come crashing down.  And it will very likely drag America down the drain with it.

China Fears ObamaCare Causes Economic Cancer

November 17, 2009

The Chinese have a little different medical philosophy than Western doctors.  But when it comes to dollars and cents, Chinese math and Western math are very much alike.

The Chinese are looking at the numbers of dollars (trillions of dollars, mind you) of ObamaCare.  And they do not like the rapidly growing economic cancer that they see.

From Reuters:

James Pethokoukis
November 16th, 2009
China questions costs of U.S. healthcare reform

Guess what? It turns out the Chinese are kind of curious about how President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plans would impact America’s huge fiscal deficit. Government officials are using his Asian trip as an opportunity to ask the White House questions. Detailed questions.

Boilerplate assurances that America won’t default on its debt or inflate the shortfall away are apparently not cutting it. Nor should they, when one owns nearly $2 trillion in assets denominated in the currency of a country about to double its national debt over the next decade.

Nothing happening in Washington today should give Beijing any comfort or confidence about what may happen tomorrow.  Healthcare reform was originally promoted as a way to “bend the curve” on escalating entitlement costs, the major part of which is financing Medicare and Medicaid. That is looking more and more like an overpromised deliverable.

For instance, a new study from the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finds that the healthcare reform bill recently passed in the House of Representatives would increase healthcare spending to 21.3 percent of GDP by 2019 compared with 20.8 percent under current law. That’s bending the curve the wrong way. The study also questions the “long-term viability” of the $500 billion in Medicare cuts meant to help pay for expanded insurance coverage.

In addition, the CMS study gives a clearer cost estimate than the one provided by the Congressional Budget Office. According to the CBO, the 10-year cost of PelosiCare is $894 billion. But that analysis includes early years with little government spending, According to the CMS, the House approach would cost $1 trillion from 2013-2019, or some $140 billion a year when fully put into effect.

Few realists in Washington think any of the current reform plans make a significant dent in the long-term healthcare cost to government. Indeed, the Senate Budget Committee recently held hearing about creating a bipartisan commission to find solutions to America’s entitlements problems.

If healthcare reform really bent the curve, there would be a no need for such a commission to do Healthcare Reform 2.0.

The Chinese might want to keep up the questioning
.

Think about the $894 billion estimate, versus the new $1.4 trillion estimate ($140 billion times 10 years) which has based on more accurate information (The CBO estimate was based on the Democrats’ warped claims and figures).  The difference is $506 billion – stacked right on top of that $894 billion.  We’re talking about an increase of 56.6%.  That’s a rather huge difference.

I’m glad that the Chinese are smart enough to realize that playing games with numbers isn’t going to get the job done.  I wish the American people would be that smart.

It is frankly amazing that Obama is literally to the left – and WELL to the left at that – of a communist country when it comes to attempting to forge a big government monopoly over yet another 1/6th of the economy of a once-great capitalist nation.

China is worried about the United States imploding under the weight of its own indebtedness, and therefore being unable to pay them back or buy their products in the future.  If we have any wisdom left, we would be worried about the same thing.

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

July 31, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reason for the poll drop? Rising unemployment.

The downturn has pummeled Ohio’s manufacturing base.

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

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

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

TWICE THE UNEMPLOYMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘DEPRESSION’

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

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

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

Shelley said he felt Obama had an overcrowded agenda.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The date for a housing market recovery stretches to 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Gallup: Four Months Into Obama Rule, Republicans Now Tied With Democrats

May 19, 2009

If you’re a conservative, you’ve just gotta like this.

In the wake of a poll released after April 24, 2009, Democrats were loudly proclaiming a study showing Republican identification had dropped to 21%. The mainstream media pundits all agreed that the Republican Party was clearly dead. What the talking heads failed to mention was the fact that both parties had declined in identification (with independents growing and now representing the largest group), and the actual difference from the earliest poll result shown from January 2008 showed the Democrats had only picked up two points.

But get a load of what has been happening since:

Selected Trend on Party Affiliation: 2004-2009

Republicans

Independents

Democrats

Republicans
(including
“leaners”)

Democrats
(including
“leaners”)

%

%

%

%

%

2009 May 7-10

32

34

32

45

45

2009 Apr 20-21

27

36

36

39

50

2009 Apr 6-9

24

40

35

34

53

Just who has been losing, and just who has been gaining? With independent leaners factored in Republicans have pulled even with Democrats. And Republicans have gained 8 points while Democrats have lost 6 in just a month’s span. If you go back to April 9 – just a little bit over a month ago – the Democrats (who were 16 points up) have lost 14 of those points. And while the polling isn’t specific enough regarding independents, I don’t doubt for a nanosecond that conservative federalist-loving Libertarians are swelling the exploding ranks of independents, either.

Where are all of you mainstream media talking heads? You know, you guys who pronounced – and who are STILL pronouncing – the death of the Republican Party and conservatism based on the other poll a month ago? Where are you now? Where’s your “fair, accurate, and objective” reporting? Are you still mocking the Tea Parties with sexual innuendo that only you perverts understood in the first place? Where are your pronouncements of the demise of the Democratic Party now? You damn nest of dishonest propagandist demagogue snakes.

Nothing revitalizes the Republican Party like Democrat control of both the executive and the legislative branches. In just a few short months of hyperactive and incredibly expensive liberal unchecked power, Democrats no longer represent a majority of the nation, for the first time since 2005.

We’ve seen the worm turn just like this before: following the disaster of Jimmy Carter in 1980; and again following the disaster of the first Clinton term in 1994. People begin to realize that giving liberals power is rather like giving kindergartners loaded guns.

This comes on the heels of another beautiful new poll that shows 51% of Americans now identifying themselves as “pro-life” versus only 42% who identify themselves as “pro-choice”.

Democrats and the mainstream media have been ever so eager to pronounce the death of conservatism, but we aint going anywhere.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have a Speaker of the House who is having an increasingly difficult time keeping her various stories straight even as she undermines national security by falsely claiming the CIA lied to Congress. The Democrats have a Senate Majority Leader who is very unlikely to win reelection in 2010. They’ve got a Vice President who stupidly revealed the location of the VP’s bunker. Most political analysts outside of the mainstream media establishment would likely agree that such behaviors are not the best way to build the party brand.

Obama also faces looming catastrophes on the international front. A single terrorist attack and the President’s own Democratic Party may turn on the commander-in-chief who relabeled the “war on terror” the “overseas contingency operation” and then relabeled “terrorist attacks” as “man-caused disasters” to save their own political skins. Iran will almost certainly develop nuclear military capability under Obama’s watch. Pakistan – along with its nuclear arsenal – is looking more vulnerable to collapse almost by the day. North Korea has thumbed its nose at the U.S. and has restarted its nuclear weapons program. And there are literally more international crises developing than you can shake a stick at.

It is with that background that Democrats – who relentlessly demagogued and demonized George Bush over Gitmo – are now cringing their way into the very Bush policy they previously worked so hard to undermine.

As the world collapses, don’t think that Americans will continue to listen to the Democrat’s claims that it is all George Bush’s fault. The world is their baby now.

But what will likely ultimately most undermine the Democratic Party is that Democrats rammed through a porkulus package which is accomplishing little or even nothing – and which is actually locking out the counties that needed stimulus the most while giving the most funds to counties that needed it least.

While many economists believe that the economy will recover (including many economists who predicted that the economy would recover as well or better without a stimulus), there is an increasingly likely probability that any recovery will be temporary. The more than $12.8 trillion the administration has spent, loaned, or committed will ultimately devalue the currency and lead to economy-crucifying stagflation (a condition whereby inflation rises while the economy remains stagnate seen in the 1970s under Carter).

There’s little question that the anvil will fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in. Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush — combined.” And most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very far off?  A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

We may literally be already doomed.  How are we possibly going to repay this?

Obama promised again and again that 95% of Americans would get a tax cut (which actually just means more welfare for the 43.4 percent who already don’t pay any federal income tax at all even as our small business owners who employ most American workers are increasingly taxed into oblivion). But Obama is going to make your upcoming new car dramatically more expensive; he’s going to make your energy dramatically more expensive; and just for your information the average 30 year old will pay $136,932.75 just for the interest of just Obama’s 2010 budget over the course of his or her working lifetime. Americans will be paying FAR more of their money to the government – and we will have only Democrats to thank for it.

The only two questions are 1) how soon the ten trillion ton anvil will fall on the U.S. economy, and 2) whether it will be too late for conservatives to save the country by the time the electorate return to their senses and realize that they voted for a gaggle of fools in 2008.

Obama Stimulus Robin Hood In Reverse: Poor Get Poorer

May 13, 2009

Remember that woman at one of Obama’s rallies saying Obama was going to pay her mortgage and fill her gas tank?  No, he won’t.

Remember that woman who beseeched Obama to give her a kitchen? After a momentary freebie, she’s still on the down and outs, too.

“Little people” believe Obama is the ticket to “finally getting their slice of the pie.”  But that is only because they are naive and frankly ignorant.

The reality is that Obama will take from the haves and piss it away rather than perform the usual Robin Hood function.  Just like all the liberals promising their liberal utopias before him.  And the poor will actually end up worse off rather than better off as the overall economy shrinks due to Obama’s policies.

Newsflash: the poor will remain poor under Obama’s stimulus giveaways.

STIMULUS WATCH: Jobs, but not where needed most

By MATT APUZZO and BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – The billions in transportation stimulus dollars that President Barack Obama promoted as a way to create jobs shortchange counties that need the work the most, an Associated Press analysis has found.

The AP’s review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide is the most complete picture available of where states plan to spend the first wave of highway money. It reveals that states are planning to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than in communities with the highest. The Transportation Department said it will attempt to replicate the AP’s analysis as it continues pressing states to dole out money fairly.

One result among many: Elk County, Pa., isn’t receiving any road money despite its 13.8 percent unemployment rate. Yet the military and college community of Riley County, Kan., with 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.[…]

The AP reviewed $18.9 billion in projects. They account for about half of the money set aside for states and local governments to spend on roads, bridges and infrastructure in the stimulus plan.

The very promise that Obama made, to spend money quickly and create jobs, is locking out many struggling communities needing those jobs.

The money goes to projects ready to start. But many struggling communities don’t have projects waiting. They couldn’t afford the millions of dollars for preparation and plans that often is required.

“It’s not fair,” said Martin Schuller, the borough manager in the Elk County seat of Ridgway, who commiserates about the inequity in highway aid with colleagues in nearby towns. “It’s a joke because we’re not going to get it, because we don’t have any projects ready to go.”

I seem to recall hearing the Republicans – who were completely locked out of the $3.27 trillion Obama stimulus plan – predicting that this spending plan wouldn’t stimulate anything but the size of an already-bloated federal government.  And lo and behold: Obama promised Caterpillar his stimulus would save the day for them, but it hasn’t done squat for them; and state after state is saying the stimulus package hasn’t helped them.  Oh, well: what’s a few trillion dollars wasted?

Quote: “The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion.”  That’ $42,105 for every single man, woman and child in the U.S.  Where’s your $42,105 slice of the pie?  I know I haven’t seen mine yet.  And I’m not going to hold my breath that I ever will.

Obama is promising a “tax cut” for 95% of Americans (which actually just means more welfare for the 43.4 percent who already don’t pay any federal income tax at all) at the expense of taxing the bejeezus out of the wealthiest five percent (including a great many small business that employ most of our workers who file as individuals).  But how much is Obama going to actually put in your pockets?  Answer: Nada.  Nothing.  Zilch.  And a lot of poor and middle-class workers are going to wake up very surprised one day as they find out that “taxing the rich” cost them their jobs.

You’re going to be paying more for your electricity.  A lot more.  In fact, Obama promised that “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” under his energy plan.

You’re going to be paying a lot more for your next car.  Again, a lot more.  As auto analyst Rebecca Lindland put it, “The consumer needs to understand that they will see significant increases in the cost of vehicles.”  As much as $10,000 more, in fact.  You’ve got Obama now.  And soon you’ll have a bus pass to go along with him.

If you’d like to keep your own health care benefits, you’ll be paying taxes on them under Obama’s new plans.  In a dramatic reversal from his campaign position, Obama is now “open” to taxing health benefits in order to gin up money for his socialized system.

And you WILL be paying more in taxes, whether you’re smart enough to realize it or not.  The average 30 year old will pay $136,932.75 just for the interest of just Obama’s 2010 budget over the course of his or her working lifetime.  Obama’s massive budgets are stratospheric even in spite of the fact that he keeps lying about it.  Obama’s $3.6 trillion 2009 budget adds more to the debt than all previous presidents – from George Washington to Goerge W. Bush – combined, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Michael Boskin.  And that was BEFORE Obama raised his current budget deficit by another $89 billion.  That means the budget red ink will top $1.8 trillion – more than FOUR TIMES the record set by Bush last year.  That means the US will borrow nearly 50 cents out of every dollar it spends.

And you think someone else is going to continue to pay for all of that?  When we could literally confiscate all the wealth of the richest 5% and STILL NOT scratch the surface of all the debt we are accumulating?

In 2008 we spent $412 billion to service the $11 trillion national debt.  That figure will easily double over the next ten years, dwarfing everything else in the federal budget.  Obama’s spending will add $9.3 trillion to the national debt, nearly doubling it.  Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

You may be like the women who believed that Obama would pay their mortgages, fill their gas tanks, and give them new kitchens.  But you seriously need to realize something: what Obama is far more likely to give you is food riots by 2012.

Why We Should Be Seriously Contemplating The Great Depression

December 3, 2008

Revelation 6:6 – “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

There are plenty of financial experts out there assuring us that any comparison between our current economic situation and the Great Depression are utterly baseless.  The problem is that most of these experts are either demonstrated hypocrites who have themselves compared our economy to the Great Depression, or they are employing extremely flawed logic in their dismissals that may well even cross the line into outright deception.

Nathan Burchfiel takes CNBC‘s Jim Cramer to task for the sort of blatant hypocrisy that we’ve seen from all to many other media analysts:

CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said on NBC’s “Today” show Dec. 2 that comparisons between the current economy and the Great Depression are “scare tactics.” Maybe he forgot about his own reliance on the juxtaposition….

But Cramer has been among the most vocal scaremongers when it comes to throwing around Great Depression warnings.


Criticizing economists who opposed the $700 billion taxpayer bailout of the financial industry on the “Today” show Oct. 1, Cramer warned the country was “on the precipice of Great Depression II.”

He made a similar claim about the financial bailout in September, arguing that if Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson didn’t find a way to get a rescue package passed, “we are going to have The Great Depression II on our hands.”


On Nov. 11, Cramer supported another proposed bailout – this time for the U.S. auto industry by saying it would prevent another depression. “It’s like look – we got to bail them out,” Cramer told CNBC “Street Signs” host Erin Burnett. “We have to. We have to keep the Great Depression off the table.”

In other words, the “Great Depression” basically becomes a shell game, where you see the shell when the shysters want you to look at it, and then you don’t see the shell when they want to keep it out of sight.  It’s a bogeyman that some journalist, or some academic, or some government official can trot out to frighten us into doing what s/he wants to advance an agenda, and then put it away until they want to frighten us again.

Now, there was a time when a story like this one would have completely discredited a media personality such as Jim Cramer.  But in these Bizarro World days, being discredited seems to be to a journalist’s career what having a tawdry sexual affair does to a movie star’s career.

Then we’ve got the philosophical dismissal of any comparison to the Great Depression, as exemplified by government academics such as Ben Bernanke:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday the current economic situation bears “no comparison” to the much deeper crisis of the 1930s Great Depression.

“Well, you hear a lot of loose talk, but let me just … say, as a scholar of the Great Depression — and I’ve written books about the Depression and been very interested in this since I was in graduate school, there’s no comparison,” Bernanke said in a question period after an address in Austin, Texas.

Bernanke cited “an order-of-magnitude difference” in the current situation compared to the 1930s.

“During the 1930s, there was a worldwide depression that lasted for about 12 years and was only ended by a world war,” he said.

“During that time, the unemployment rate went to 25 percent, at least, based on the data that we have. The real GDP (gross domestic product) fell by one-third. About a third of all of the banks failed. The stock market fell 90 percent.”

Bernanke said the situation at that time represented “very difficult circumstances,” because “we didn’t have the social safety net that we have today. So let’s put that out of our minds; there’s no — there’s comparison in terms of severity.”

Well, first of all the fact is that Bernanke – just like Cramer – has himself made the comparison between our economy and the Great Depression, as the bottom of the same article clearly demonstrates:

In a related matter, President George W. Bush said in an interview released Monday that Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson warned him weeks ago that bold action was needed to avert a new Great Depression.

“I can remember sitting in the Roosevelt Room with Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke and others, and they said to me that if we don’t act boldly, Mr. President, we could be in a depression greater than the Great Depression,” Bush told ABC News.

Which clearly means that comparisons to the Great Depression clearly aren’t so silly after all – as evidenced by the very people who are most loudly telling us that such a comparison is silly.

Bernanke and others also imply that our social support structures and our financial expertise would prevent the worst effects of any so-called “Great Depression.”  But is that really so?

When the $852 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) suddenly morphed into what one writer mocked as Capital Redistributed As Pork (CRAP), shouldn’t it bother you that an abandonment of such an enormous program’s expressed goal midstream amounts to a de facto declaration that our experts clearly don’t know for sure what they’re doing?

The notion that a Great Depression could never happen because we know so much more doesn’t hold much water for me in the light of our “Keystone Cops-approach” to all of our various bailouts and attempts at political legislation.  The fact is, after seeing our “experts” at work the last couple months, I have less confidence in them than I’ve ever had before.

But there’s another giant problem with Bernanke’s analysis, and it is difficult to imagine that he doesn’t himself recognize it.  The problem is that he’s comparing apples to oranges; he’s comparing an economy that may well be on the throes of a future Great Depression to a 1930s economy that was already well into the worst stages of a depression.  And he’s pointing out the obvious – but in fact completely irrelevant and actually completely absurd – fact that they don’t look alike.  Of course they don’t look alike – yet.

But what would have happened had Bernanke compared the economy as it was in 1929 with our economy today, rather than the worst period of the 1930s?  What would have happened had he looked at the economy just before the Black Tuesday crash of October 29, 1929, or even shortly after that crash?  The numbers would have hardly appeared anywhere near so dire, which means Bernanks’ comparison would have failed.

Let me quote Wikipedia to show you what I mean:

The Great Depression was not triggered by a sudden, total collapse in the stock market. The stock market turned upward in early 1930, returning to early 1929 levels by April, though still almost 30 percent below the peak of September 1929.[7] Together, government and business actually spent more in the first half of 1930 than in the corresponding period of the previous year. But consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the previous year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent, and a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the USA beginning in the summer of 1930.

In early 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates, but people were reluctant to add new debt by borrowing. By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Prices in general began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931. Conditions were worst in farming areas, where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas, where unemployment was high and there were few other jobs. The decline in the American economy was the factor that pulled down most other countries at first, then internal weaknesses or strengths in each country made conditions worse or better. Frantic attempts to shore up the economies of individual nations through protectionist policies, such as the 1930 U.S. Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and retaliatory tariffs in other countries, exacerbated the collapse in global trade. By late in 1930, a steady decline set in which reached bottom by March 1933.

Keep in mind that OUR stock market began to tank only a little over two months ago.  And if the exact same thing were to happen now that it did to the United States in the 1930s, we actually would expect our market to pick up significantly in the coming months – and our economy to even appear to be rebounding – shortly before a downward slope into collapse that would occur one to three years later.  It wasn’t until March 1933 – 3 years and 4 months after the Black Tuesday stock market crash – that the bottom really fell out of our economy.

And while “Great Depression” comparisons may be silly in terms of the actual economic numbers RIGHT NOW (the number of banks going under, the jobless rate, etc.), we actually face potential economic nuclear bombs that would very likely have made 1930s American financial experts faint with dread.

We are looking at $700 TRILLION in derivatives.  Compare this stupefying fact to the associated fact that global GDP is only about a lousy $50 trillion! Assets have been leveraged as much as a hundred and even two-hundredfold.  The Institute for Economic Democracy have an article titled, “Hedging and Derivative Risks Become Infinite Risks.”  The result is MASSIVE exposure such as the world has never seen lurking like some incredibly deadly plague in the form of financial vehicles that few even begin to understand and only advanced computers can calculate.  As these highly leveraged financial obligations result in losses – as has already begun to happen – the result is cataclysmic failure in financial markets beyond the power of any government to prevent.  And anyone but a fool should be able to recognize by now that such disasters can send the entire global economy crashing down very quickly, seemingly from out of nowhere.

None of the bailouts have done ANYTHING to fix the systemic structural problems with our financial system (the worst probably being the massive flow of capital out of production and into speculative markets due to the shift from being a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy).  And the fact that the $852 billion bailout package went from being used to buy bad mortgages to a completely different solution should kind of serve to tell you that no one really knows WHAT to do.

So our financial experts are throwing out our money the way out-of-control craps players throw dice.

ABC News had this:

The government’s financial bailout will be the most expensive single expenditure in American history, potentially costing around $7.5 trillion — or half the value of all the goods and services produced in the United States last year.

In comparison, the total U.S. cost of World War II adjusted for inflation was $3.6 trillion. The bailout will cost more than the total combined costs in today’s dollars of the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the entire historical budget of NASA, including the moon landing, according to data compiled by Bianco Research.

It remains to be seen whether the government’s multipronged approach to bail out banks, stimulate spending and buy up mortgages will revive the economy, but as the tab continues to grow so does concern over where the government will find the money.

One critical thing to understand is that the aforementioned historic massive expenditures – which combined still only amount to half of the expenditure we are talking about today – took place over many decades, such that the various costs to the economy were absorbed over many years.  What happens when we spend trillions of dollars in only a few months?  Who knows?  No one has ever tried it before! And unlike the what had been the greatest – now the second greatest – expenditure in history, the costs associated with World War II were spent producing, building, and developing, whereas frankly most of the costs associated with our current bailouts essentially amount to paying off Wall Street’s gambling debts.

Meanwhile – as we contemplate forking over still more billions to bail out our automakers – we need to realize that we’re entering a potentially insane realm where there’s simply no end to the companies and now even the states who are “too big to fail” and need bailouts of their own.  And what of the moral hazard incurred by giving money to people, corporations, and states simply because they were the biggest fools and failures?  What impact will this have not only on the economy, but on the hearts and minds of honest people who played by the rules and ended up with nothing to show for it while the failures and the gamblers walk away with money in their pockets?  How many previously stable people will begin to angrily demand, “Where’s my bailout?”

What’s going to happen as our financial system attempts to absorb absolutely mind boggling government debts that dwarf anything ever before seen in human history?

A lot of financial experts aren’t so much anxious about what happens in the next few months.  We might well be able to throw so much money at the economy that we can stimulate it again; rather, they are worried about 3-5 years down the road as our dollar devalues dramatically due to interest payments that can only be repaid by printing more and more money.  You don’t just double an already insanely-out-of-control national debt without severe consequences.

And given the very real probability that massive spending is going to be the cause of our undoing, the social safety net that Bernanke refers to as being a preventative would actually merely be one more causative factor in a pending economic collapse.  We won’t be able to hand out food stamps and welfare checks if our government itself goes bankrupt.

So while it’s obviously not accurate to describe our present situation as a “Great Depression,” the simple reality is that we might well – and in the very near future – experience an economic meltdown that would likely make the Great Depression look tame in comparison.