Posts Tagged ‘Standard & Poors’

‘No Risk’ Of US Credit Downgrade? Clueless Timothy Geithner Has GOT To Go

August 8, 2011

Let the words of Turbo Tax (so named because the man who would be charged with enforcing US tax laws and policy failed to pay his own damned taxes and then blamed it on Turbo Tax) Timothy Geithner now resonate throughout the land:

That now proven-to-be-utterly stupid pronouncement was not what people who had something of an actual clue were saying prior to the debt deal:

Analysis: U.S. credit downgrade ‘inevitable’
By Daniel Stone | The Daily Beast – Mon, Jul 25, 2011

Only seven days stand between the U.S. and the effects of a credit default. But a downgrade of the nation’s stellar AAA credit rating seems a lot more likely, and a lot sooner.

The White House had been alerted repeatedly over the past month by rating agencies that without a strong, long-term plan to restructure the country’s debt, they would lower America’s credit rating as soon as this Friday, according to two officials familiar with the process. The White House was warned that the deal would have to be significant—and not a short-term fix over the next few days to avoid a credit drop.

Which makes it worth asking: Just what DOES this fool actually understand?  And why on earth should anyone believe anything he says after this???

Notice that the following article was questioning Geithner’s basic intelligence well before the S & P decision to downgrade the US credit rating Friday at a time when maybe Geithner could have turned out to be correct.

Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility to Junk: Jonathan Weil
By Jonathan Weil- Apr 20, 2011 4:00 PM PT

Fox Business reporter Peter Barnesbegan his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”

Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”

“No risk?” Barnes asked.

“No risk,” Geithner said.

It’s enough to make you wonder: How could Geithner know this to be true? The short answer is he couldn’t.

All you have to do is read the research report Standard & Poor’s published on April 18 about its sovereign-credit rating for the U.S., and you will see it estimated the risk of a downgrade quite succinctly. “We believe there is at least a one-in-three likelihood that we could lower our long-term rating on the U.S. within two years,” said S&P, which reduced its outlook on the government’s debt to “negative” from“stable.”

There you have it: Geithner says the chance of a downgrade is zero. S&P says the odds it will cut its rating might be greater than one out of three.  So who are you going to believe? Geithner? Or the people at S&P who actually will be deciding what S&P will do about S&P’s own rating of U.S. sovereign debt?

It would be one thing to express the view that a downgrade would be unwarranted, or that the chance of it happening is remote. Either of these positions would be defensible. Geithner went beyond that and staked out an absolutist stance that reeks of raw arrogance: There is no risk a rating cut will occur. He left no room for a trace of a possibility, ever.

Battling Barney

The mystery is why Geithner would say such a thing. What’s he going to do if S&P or some other rating company winds up disagreeing with him? Send Barney Frank to beat them up?  The problem for leaders who make indefensible claims like this one is that, after a while, nobody knows whether to believe anything they say. Just remember all those government officials inGreece, Ireland and Portugal who kept saying their countries didn’t need bailouts, long after it became clear they did.

This was the same answer Geithner gave during an ABC News interview in February 2010, when asked if the U.S. might lose its AAA rating. “Absolutely not,” he said. “That will never happen to this country.” So, an asteroid could destroy the entire Eastern seaboard 100 years from now. And, in the world according to Geithner, we’re supposed to believe America’s top rating would be safe.

Perhaps Geithner would be well-positioned to make such assessments if he were the only person on the planet with the authority to grade sovereign debt — and if there were zero risk that he would ever die. Not only is Geithner mortal, he doesn’t even work for a nationally recognized statistical rating organization.

[...]

Timothy Geithner needs to go.  He needs to go like three years ago.

Geithner is the epitome of just how profoundly out-of-touch and arrogant Barack Obama and his failed administration is.

Case closed.  Geithner has got to go.

Barack Obama, America’s First Downgraded President

August 6, 2011

Barack Obama is our first black president (he’s only half black, actually, but it’s still a first).  And that makes him “historic.”

But it turns out being the “first” at something or being “historic” is NOT necessarily a good thing.

For example, Barack Obama is now our first downgraded president, too:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has lost its sterling credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.

The credit rating agency on Friday lowered the nation’s AAA rating for the first time since granting it in 1917. The move came less than a week after a gridlocked Congress finally agreed to spending cuts that would reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion — a tumultuous process that contributed to convulsions in financial markets. The promised cuts were not enough to satisfy S&P.

The drop in the rating by one notch to AA-plus was telegraphed as a possibility back in April. The three main credit agencies, which also include Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch, had warned during the budget fight that if Congress did not cut spending far enough, the country faced a downgrade. Moody’s said it was keeping its AAA rating on the nation’s debt, but that it might still lower it.

And let’s see. WHICH Party was trying to cut spending (hint: their symbol is an elephant) and WHICH Party fought them at every turn (hint: their symbol is a jackass)???

Because this downgrade – and S & P is already warning of another downgrade - is ALL about Democrats’ inability to cut their addiction to SPENDING:

One day after lowering the nation’s platinum triple-A credit rating, Standard & Poor’s analysts warned Saturday that the U.S. government could face a second downgrade if the economy continues to struggle and the government fails to make the cuts outlined in the debt ceiling agreement.

This is a legitimate and serious concern because Democrats have REPEATEDLY promised to cut spending and then reneged on their promises.

The history is crystal clear: Republicans have tried to cut spending since the people gave them power in the House of Representatives in January; Democrats have resisted all efforts in spite of their false promises.

At this time allow me to add that Obama actually already WAS the first downgraded president – since November 2010 (i.e., before the Republicans controlled anything), according to our #1 lender, China:

Beijing (CNN) — Although the United States narrowly avoided an unprecedented default following congressional approval of a last-minute compromise plan to raise the debt ceiling, China’s leading credit rating agency Wednesday [August 2] downgraded U.S. sovereign debt after putting it on negative watch last month.

The Dagong Global Credit Rating Company, which lowered the United States to A+ last November after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to continue loosening its monetary policy, announced a further downgrade to A, indicating heightened doubts over Washington’s long-term ability to repay its debts.

It said the gloomy assessment — much lower than the AAA ratings given by the so-called “big three” Western agencies Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor’s — was inevitable given the level of market concern generated by the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over the debt ceiling

We got our first downgrade when Republicans had no power over anything.  And it was Republicans who tried to prevent this disgrace.  And if it hadn’t been for Democrats – who were the world’s most vile party when they fought the Civil War to keep slavery and are STILL the most vile party today – this disgrace would not have happened.  So to blame the credit downgrade on Republicans is the act of wicked and pathologically dishonest Democrats.

Understand, our AAA credit rating had stood through the enemies we’d faced during World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the entire Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, the 9/11 attack, Afghanistan and Iraq.  But sadly it could not withstand a determined assault from our worst enemy defeating us from within: Barack Hussein Obama.

In the same way, the United States Postal Service has been around since July 26, 1775.  And while “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds,” it now appears that the sheer unmitigated incompetence and spending addiction of Barack Hussein Obama sure can.  It’s on the verge of going belly-up along with the rest of the country.

I guess I’d call that fiasco “historic.”

Democrats who refused to do ANYTHING about seriously cutting debt (realize they rejected a plan that would have entailed just making a 1% cut a year in the budget for 6 years) are blaming Republicans for whom cutting debt was their sole focus.  It’s beyond amazing.  And stupid and depraved people will believe it, because stupid and depraved people have ALWAYS believed lies and supported the most wicked ideology.

That should further contribute to the sheer demagogic and hateful lunacy of Democrats, who actually had the vicious and vile chutzpah to blame the Tea Party for the huge stock drop on Thursday, August 4:

“Today, the stock market tumbled 512 points, wiping away billions of dollars from the retirement and education savings of middle class Americans. Every American should be concerned about the very real possibility of sliding into a ‘Tea Party recession.’

“Tea Party Republicans took the entire U.S. economy hostage over the debt ceiling increase and used this crisis to force trillions in cuts at a time when more, not less investment in the U.S. economy is needed. The destructive default politics and machete budget cutting of the Tea Party Republicans in Congress is exactly the wrong medicine for the ailing U.S. economy.

“The Republican obsession with slashing government investment is totally counterproductive. The Tea Party’s default crisis created enormous, unnecessary uncertainty in global markets. Congress should have raised the debt ceiling months ago and spent the summer working together in Congress on a growth agenda for the country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barack Obama is the first downgraded president in American history.  And the American people will pay for that pathetic reality for years to come in higher interest rates.

I had a vision of the hell that Barack Obama would inflict upon America.  That was what got me off my you-know-what into the world of political blogging; I wanted to warn people of what was coming, and I wanted to leave behind a record of what happened while this evil fool was ruining the late great USA.  And now we are just that much closer to everything I saw coming to pass.

Democrats/Mainstream Media On Debt Ceiling Negotiations: ‘Why Don’t We Just Start Telling Lies?’

July 27, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lied about his “plan” versus House Speaker John Boehner’s plan, saying that Standard & Poors had said that his plan would keep our AAA credit rating, but Boehner’s would not.

The DNC immediately packaged the lie for the press and sent it out to the world:

To: NATIONAL AND POLITICAL EDITORS

Contact: DNC Press, +1-202-863-8148, dncpress@dnc.org

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today on CNN, Erin Burnett reported that she spoke with an investor who talked directly with the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s. According to the Standard & Poor’s source, John Boehner’s debt plan would probably still lead to a downgrade of U.S. debt by the ratings agencies, raising interest rates for all Americans. Harry Reid’s plan, however, would preserve America’s AAA credit rating.

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/07/25/278929/ratings-agency-source-boehner-plan-TTwould-lead-to-downgrade/

Watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RXNrtUU-TQ&feature=player_embedded

SOURCE  Democratic National Committee

And then of course the mainstream media jumped in and immediately backed Harry Reid’s and the DNC’s lie.

I don’t know what the record is for a brand new CNN anchor to report lies as fact, but given that it’s CNN, it’s probably a matter of minutes.  New CNN anchor Erin Burnett reported:

Facts should never get in the way of a story that makes Democrats look good and Republicans look bad, so I almost hesitate to mention this, but … it wasn’t true:

And so legitimate media (i.e., sorry CNN and MSNBC, but you aint) began to correct the lie that Harry Reid, the DNC and the mainstream media had invented:

JULY 26, 2011, 4:07 P.M. ET.UPDATE: S&P: Reports That It Endorses One Debt Plan “Not Accurate”
By Stephen L. Bernard
Off DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday that reports that it would endorse one of two competing Congressional frameworks to secure an increase the U.S. debt ceiling are “inaccurate.”

“Standard & Poor’s has chosen not to comment on the many and varying proposals that have arisen in the current debate,” the ratings agency said in an official announcement. The official statement echoes comments a spokesman gave to Dow Jones earlier in the day.

Ratings agencies have repeatedly said throughout the ongoing debt debate that they do not endorse any specific deals to cut long-term U.S. deficits.

Reports early Tuesday indicated that S&P was said to prefer Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) plan over the one being pitched by House of Representatives Speak John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Congress is facing an Aug. 2 deadline to hammer out a deal to raise the debt ceiling or else the U.S. could default on its debt. Politicians have tried to tie the increase in the debt ceiling to cutting long-term deficits.

Reid’s plan calls for a $2.7 trillion increase to the debt ceiling, while cutting spending by a similar amount. Critically, that would increase the debt ceiling by a high enough figure that it would give the government space to spend through 2012 and the next presidential election.

Boehner’s plan, by contrast, calls for a two-step process. The first would cut spending and raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion to get through 2011. Then another increase of up to $1.5 trillion would be sought via a bipartisan commission’s recommendations and would have to be approved in 2012 with an equal amount of spending cuts.

Democrats have argued that Boehner’s plan would introduce uncertainty to markets and drive up U.S. borrowing costs.

S&P has previously said that even if the debt ceiling is raised, it could still cut the U.S. government’s perfect “AAA” rating if a long-term deficit-reduction plan is not enacted.

Fox News also reported the facts and further corrected the record of Harry Reid’s unprofessional and disgraceful lie:

After Reid claimed Tuesday morning that the rating agencies had endorsed his plan – which cuts $2.7 trillion at most — S&P reiterated through a spokesman that it has not endorsed “any particular plan.”

There is so much dishonesty and so many lies coming from Democrats and their mainstream media propagandists that it is positively unreal.

Here’s more on the actual story without the Harry Reid/DNC/mainstream media spin:

Deal or no deal? US downgrade looking likely
By MATTHEW CRAFT – AP Business Writer | AP – 8 hrs ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Could the U.S. lose its top credit rating even if a deal is reached to raise the debt limit?

Market analysts and investors increasingly say yes. The outcome won’t be quite as scary as a default, but financial markets would still take a blow. Mortgage rates could rise. States and cities, already strapped, could find it more difficult to borrow. Stocks could lose their gains for the year.

“At this point, we’re more concerned about the risk of a downgrade than a default,” said Terry Belton, global head of fixed income strategy at JPMorgan Chase. In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Belton said the loss of the country’s AAA rating may rattle markets, but it’s “better than missing an interest payment.”

Even with a deadline to raise the U.S. debt limit less than a week away, many investors still believe Washington will pull off a last-minute deal to avoid a catastrophic default. Washington has until Aug. 2 to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit or risk missing a payment on its debt. President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans have failed to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and pass a larger budget-cutting package. Politicians have tied raising the debt limit and spending cuts together.

But at least one credit rating agency has already made it clear that unless that agreement includes at least $4 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade, the country’s AAA rating could be lost. Right now, the proposals under discussion cut around $2 trillion or less.

Standard & Poor’s warned earlier this month that there was a 50-50 chance of a downgrade, if Congress and President Obama failed to find a “credible solution to the rising U.S. government debt burden.” S&P said it may cut the U.S. rating to AA within 90 days. Passing a $4 trillion agreement could prevent a downgrade, S&P said.

And why will our credit rating get cut?  Because Obama and his depraved administration have been lying and fearmongering the crisis:

While officials from the Obama Administration raised their rhetoric over the weekend about the possibility of a debt default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, they privately have been telling top executives at major U.S. banks that such an event won’t happen, FOX Business has learned.

In a series of phone calls, administration officials have told bankers that the administration will not allow a default to happen even if the debt cap isn’t raised by the August 2 date Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says the government will run out of money to pay all its bills, including obligations to bond holders. Geithner made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows saying a default is imminent if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, and President Obama issued a similar warning during a Friday press conference after budget negotiations with House Republicans broke down. [...]

A senior banking official told FOX Business that administration officials have provided guidance to them that even though a default is off the table, a downgrade “is a real possibility for no other reason than S&P and Moody’s have to cover (themselves) since they’ve been speaking out on the debt cap so much.”

Thanks, Barry Hussein and Turbo Tax Tim!

That’s right.  We’re going to get our credit rating downgraded – which will have disastrous long-term consequences – because of Barack Obama’s fearmongering lies.  Harry Reid reports something that isn’t even remotely true, and the DNC and the mainstream media pick it up like a symphony.

Mark Twain once said that a lie could get halfway around the world before the truth could even get its boots on.  But I think even that famous cynic would be amazed and apalled by the liberal media complex.

America Is Killing Its Future. Right Now. Today.

April 19, 2011

Have you heard about the United States government (in the avatar of the incredibly inefficient Post Office) printing THREE BILLION STAMPS featuring the wrong Statue of Liberty (i.e., the one in Las Vegas rather than the one in New York Harbor)?

Mark Steyn did.  And he considers that blatantly ridiculous fact along with the far more sobering one that Barack Obama, Timothy Geithner and the rest of the fools running America are borrowing $188 million every single hour, as representative examples of a form of liberal American madness that I would describe as the “Dodo Bird Syndrome.”

April 16, 2011 4:00 A.M.
Losing the Future
Vegas is no longer the world’s biggest gambling resort; America is.
Mark Steyn

I always enjoy the bit in Planet of the Apes where a loinclothed Charlton Heston falls to his knees as he comes face to face with a shattered Statue of Liberty poking out of the sand and realizes that the eponymous simian planet is, in fact, his own — or was. Also the bit in Independence Day where Lady Liberty gets zapped by space aliens. And in Cloverfield when she’s decapitated by a giant monster. And in The Day After Tomorrow when she’s flash-frozen after polar-ice-cap melting brought on by a speech from Dick Cheney. I’ve been enjoying such moments since, oh, the short story “The Next Morning” in the 1887 edition of Life, illustrated with a pen-and-ink drawing of a headless statue with the smoldering rubble of the city behind her. The poor old girl was barely off the boat from France, and she’d already been pegged as the perfect visual shorthand for societal collapse.

But the United States Postal Service has now gone the Hollywood apocalyptics one better and produced a somewhat subtler image of civilizational ruin. The other day the post office apologized for its new stamp honoring Lady Liberty. Due to an unfortunate error, the stamp shows not the 19th-century Statue of Liberty that stands in New York Harbor but the 1990s replica that stands at the New York–New York Casino in Las Vegas.

An ersatz statue of pseudo-liberty standing guard over the world’s biggest gambling operation: What better way to round out a week in which the Republicans pretended to pass the most historically historic budget cut in history while the president pretended to come up with a plan to address the debt? All while pretending to wage a war in Libya whose most likely outcome seems to be that the only Arab dictator to sleep soundly in his bed at night during these turbulent times will be doing so under cover of a NATO no-fly zone for the rest of his 75-year term of office. In such a world, the USPS, bless ’em, has come up with a far more plausible emblem of societal devastation than Hollywood’s space monsters and climate-change fairies.

After the revelations that the $38.5 billion 2011 budget cut will in reality either cut a mere $352 million from the 2011 budget or, in fact, increase it by $3 billion, it might be easier just to build a replica White House, Capitol, and Congressional Budget Office at the new Beltway Casino next to Caesar’s Palace. Vegas is no longer the world’s biggest gambling resort; America is. Barack Obama says we need to “win the future,” and one more roll of the dice should do it: a trillion dollars of chips on the stimulus came up empty but let’s pile another couple trillion on Obamacare, and “high-speed rail,” and “green jobs,” and “broadband access” . . . And all the while Wayne Newton is singing “Danke Schoen” in Chinese. But don’t worry, we’re not just throwing our money away. We’re playing to a system! The president calls it “investing in the future.”

How do you “invest in the future”? By borrowing $188 million every hour. That’s what the government of the United States is doing. It’s spending one-fifth of a billion dollars it doesn’t have every hour of every day of every week — all for your future!

Most of the “futures” we’ve “invested” in are already at record levels of spending. Obama and his speechwriters are among the laziest men in the republic, so they cite the same dreary examples every time. In all three of his State of the Union addresses, he’s brought up the highway system, and he did so again in Chicago at the end of the week. If the Republicans get their way, he said, “We can’t invest in roads and bridges and broadband and high-speed rail. I mean, we would be a nation of potholes.”

That’s the choice, is it? Multi-trillion-dollar government “investment” or a nation of potholes? America “invests” a lot in roads. It has more highway signs than almost any other country: not just mile markers but fifth-of-a-mile markers; not just “Stop” signs, but four-way “Stop” signs, and “Stop Sign Ahead” signs, and one day soon “Stop Sign Ahead Sign Ahead” signs. America also has the worst automobile fatality rate in the developed world, in part because there’s so much fascinating reading material on the shoulder. Our automobile fatality rate is three times that of the Netherlands, about the same as Albania’s, down at 62 in the global rankings, just ahead of Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea. But don’t worry, if we ever do become “a nation of potholes,” you can bet there’ll be federally mandated “Pothole Ahead” signs in front of each one.

Anything else? “Our airports,” continued the president, “would be worse than places that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure.” Maybe he should get out of the motorcade once in a while and swing by LAX or LaGuardia: They’re already decrepit cheerless dumps, mainly because they’ve been lavishly governmentalized into bureaucratic holding pens through which the citizenry dutifully shuffle while armies of crack TSA operatives poke around in the panties of six-year-old girls.

Oh, and let’s not forget “education.” “We should invest in education,” says the president. But we have done, spectacularly. We spend more per pupil on “education” than any other developed nation except Switzerland, and our math scores barely make the global Top 40, scraping in at big hit sound No. 35 between Azerbaijan and Croatia, the former of which was a Commie dictatorship until 20 years ago while the latter was reduced to rubble in the Yugoslav civil war. Maybe, when it comes to “investing in the future,” civil war gives you more bang for the buck.

Government is not alone in “investing” in “the future.” The New York Times reported last week that in 2010, for the first time, student-loan debt topped credit-card debt. This year, college debt is projected to be over a trillion dollars — a spectacular increase in just the last decade. America is now dumping two-thirds of Canada’s or India’s GDP not into overall debt but into one small niche market of debt. Yet, in a nation with a trillion dollars of student debt, 40 percent of Americans work in minimal-skill service jobs about to be rendered obsolete by technology, while our elites dream of following Michelle Obama into leisurely gigs as $350,000-a-year diversity-outreach consultants.

Question: How much do you have to invest in the future before you’ve spent it and no longer have one?

That the president’s rote recitation of tired catchphrases can still be taken seriously is a bleak glimpse into the scale of this nation’s structural problems. But hey, relax! Maybe we can win the future by investing in highway signs for the crowd-facing side of his prompter: “Warning: Lame Cobwebbed Brain-Dead Sloganizing Ahead.”

We are in trouble.  Standard & Poor’s just listened to Barack Obama’s toxic speech and decided that America’s future was decidedly “negative.”

We’re spending ourselves into Dodo-bird extinction.  And that extinction is going to happen very, very soon.  And the president of the United States has made it his campaign strategy to demonize anyone who tries to solve our massive problem.

America’s Credit Rating Downgraded: ‘Chickens Coming Home To Roost’

April 19, 2011

America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”  Just not the way that Barack Obama and his spiritual mentor for more than 20 years said it was.

Taking the war to enemies who despise us and plot our destruction is not what brings on “No, no, no.  Not God bless America, God DAMN America!”  It is the vile policies of a profoundly socialist president such as Barack Obama that bring that judgment about.

“Our chickens” are going to be roasted – and God will damn America – with a financial implosion that will make the Great Depression look like the most pleasant walk on the beach.

Margaret Thatcher said that “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  But Obama will continue to demand that we keep spending “other people’s money” – the rich he demonizes even as he parasitically leeches off of, China and anyone else fool enough to give him money – until there is nothing left to spend but empty promises of “hope and change.”

And then pop will go the American weasel that had been an eagle until Obama “fundamentally transformed” it.

Standard & Poor’s on Monday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative, saying it believes there’s a risk U.S. policymakers may not reach agreement on how to address the country’s long-term
fiscal pressures. [...]

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled more than 200 points on word of the revision, while gold prices hit a new record above $1,496 an ounce

What is basically going on is that S & P is worried that politicians will act as morally depraved as Barack Obama did in 2006 when he voted against the debt ceiling and demonized George Bush for his “failure of leadership” and his “reckless fiscal policies” in seeking an increase in the debt ceiling:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

If our political leaders act as depraved and foolish and vile as the man who is now our president did, we are in big, big trouble.  Think about that: if anyone in this mess acts as craven and as personally despicable as Barack Hussein Obama, America is in big, big trouble.

Now Obama is essentially saying, “Anyone who talks and acts and votes like I did is basically a traitor to America.”

And S & P fears that the America imploding “fundamental transformation” into “hope and change” will win out.

Obama immediately moved to demagogue the S & P the way he’s spent the last two and a half years of his failed presidency demagoguing George Bush:

The Obama administration moved swiftly Monday to downplay ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgrade of its U.S. credit outlook, calling the decision
a political judgment that should not be taken too seriously.

The timing of S&P’s announcement was unwelcome for the White House, coming just as President Obama tried to regain the initiative on the deficit debate in Washington.

Sorry if fiscal reality got in the way of your viscerally divisive political attack that represents your campaign when everyone who isn’t a total fool knows that we need agreement and consensus.

Obama had (when it was in his hypocritical self-serving interests to appear non-partisan) said:

We’re not going to be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as, ‘Well, you know, that’s — the other party’s being irresponsible. The other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens. That the other party is doing X, Y, Z.”

Then the man who said we need to stop demagoguing and come together proceeds to turn into an incredibly divisive political demagogue in an obvious game of chicken he wants to play with the American people’s future:

One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates…This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit.  And who are those 50 million Americans?  Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid.  Many are poor children.  Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome.  Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care.  These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.”

Rep. Paul Ryan framed Obama’s cynical and vile tactics beautifully:

MR. BARNES: What are the prospects for a grand bargain?

REP. RYAN: Well, this definitely damages them. I think when you go after your political adversaries with the kind of demagogic terms and comparisons that the President did, that makes it harder.

I forgot whose quote this was. Maybe it was Churchill. But he was basically a pyromaniac in a field of straw men. I mean, to set up all these straw men arguments and then to tear them down, it’s almost as if he wanted to paint his political adversaries, supposedly us, in a cartoonish kind of a way, in a caricature as if we want to hurt people’s grandparents, were against families who have children with autism and disabilities and we don’t want kids to go to college. I mean, that’s basically what I got out of the President’s speech yesterday is that what we believe.

How do you have a serious debate about this? This coming from a President who came to our Republican retreat about a year and a half ago and said what we were hoping to hear: We’ve got to do entitlement reform. We, House Republicans, have put out some credible, serious ideas, and we can’t demagogue each other. We can’t go after each other.

And, look, I’m saying both parties do this, but when the President came and said, “We can’t treat the other party as if they’re hurting seniors and hurting people and using this demagoguery,” that’s what he told us when he came to talk to us in 2010 in Baltimore. What we got yesterday was the opposite of what he said is necessary to fix this problem.

Obama said that demagoguery was only going to undermine any chance at agreement.  Now he’s in full-fledged demonization mode, literally trying to push the Republicans into doing what he himself did in 2006 and vote against raising the debt ceiling.  Because this vile president wants the American people to suffer so that he can demagogue that suffering and pervert it into his political advantage as he runs for president on a record of total dismal failure.

And don’t think for one nanosecond that the Standard & Poor’s downgrade was a direct result of Obama’s vicious, demagogic speech in which he amply demonstrated he will do absolutely nothing about our spending problem except demonize anyone who tries to fix it.

Here is a video of an incredibly chilling fictional scenario that is looking more and more and more like the national news just a short time from now:

It was when a foolish nation voted for Obama that “America’s Chickens came home to roost.”  It was when Obama began to “fundamentally transform” America that we truly became “God damn America.”

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

November 8, 2010

Who destroyed the economy in 2008?  Democrats say it was Bush.  Why?  Well, because he was president, that’s why.

Why – when applying the same logic – Barack Obama STILL isn’t responsible for any of his economic mess fully two years after George W. Bush left office is anybody’s guess.

But stop and think.  The primary cause for the 2008 economic meltdown was a downturn in the housing market and the underlying mortgage market.

At the core of that meltdown was GSEs (that’s “Government Sponsored Enterprises” to you) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has always been that it was – and remains - a social welfare institution masquerading as a financial institution.  And they have made beyond-godawful “financial” decisions because their true loyalty has always been with socialist policies rather than financial ones.

Let’s look at Fannie and Freddie’s current picture:

Fannie, Freddie’s $685B fix
Bloomberg
Last Updated: 11:54 PM, November 4, 2010
Posted: 11:54 PM, November 4, 2010

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage firms operating under federal conservatorship, may cost taxpayers as much as $685 billion as the US covers losses and overhauls the housing-finance system, Standard & Poor’s said.

Costs for resolving the two government-sponsored entities could reach $280 billion, including $148 billion already delivered under a US Treasury Department promise of unlimited support, New York-based S&P said yesterday in a research report. The government may spend an additional $405 billion to capitalize a replacement for the two companies, which own or insure more than half the US mortgage market.

“It appears unlikely in our view that housing and mortgage markets will be able to operate normally without continuing and substantial government involvement,” S&P said, citing the GSEs’ growing portfolio of unsold homes, a sluggish economy, high unemployment, the prospect of rising foreclosures and billions in legacy losses.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who has said there is a strong case to be made for continued US involvement, has promised to deliver the Obama administration’s plan to overhaul the housing-finance system by the end of January. Republican lawmakers, who will take control of the House of Representatives in January, have called for the government to end its support for Washington-based Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, of McLean, Va.

“Although federal authorities have taken no concrete public steps toward sponsoring a GSE alternative, Standard & Poor’s believes that it’s a useful exercise to consider how much such a recapitalization might cost taxpayers,” the report said.

$685 BILLION.  That’s quite a mess.

Did it just happen?  Hardly.  This was going on for years.  This was what caused the subprime crisis that destroyed our economy in 2008.

Let’s survey the record.  According to record provided by The New York Times, Fannie and Freddie were in huge trouble PRIOR TO the economic collapse.  And their holdings were so massive that there is simply no reasonable way that one can maintain that their crisis didn’t directly contribute to the greater crisis to be revealed.  Read the article dated July 11, 2008:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so big — they own or guarantee roughly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market — that the thought that they might falter once seemed unimaginable. But now a trickle of worries about the companies, which has been slowly building for years, has suddenly become a torrent.

A timeline of the subprime loan crisis of 2008 clearly reveals that it was Fannie Mae’s collapse that started the entire mess rolling downhill.  From Wikipedia:

September 2008

    • September 7: Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which at that point owned or guaranteed about half of the U.S.’s $12 trillion mortgage market, effectively nationalizing them. This causes panic because almost every home mortgage lender and Wall Street bank relied on them to facilitate the mortgage market and investors worldwide owned $5.2 trillion of debt securities backed by them.[151][152]
    • September 14: Merrill Lynch is sold to Bank of America amidst fears of a liquidity crisis and Lehman Brothers collapse[153]
    • September 15: Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection[154]
    • September 16: Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s downgrade ratings on AIG‘s credit on concerns over continuing losses to mortgage-backed securities, sending the company into fears of insolvency.[155][156] In addition, the Reserve Primary Fund “breaks the buck” leading to a run on the money market funds. Over $140 billion is withdrawn vs. $7 billion the week prior. This leads to problems for the commercial paper market, a key source of funding for corporations, which suddenly could not get funds or had to pay much higher interest rates.[157]
    • September 17: The US Federal Reserve lends $85 billion to American International Group (AIG) to avoid bankruptcy.
    • September 18: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke meet with key legislators to propose a $700 billion emergency bailout through the purchase of toxic assets. Bernanke tells them: “If we don’t do this, we may not have an economy on Monday.”[158]
    • September 19: Paulson financial rescue plan is unveiled after a volatile week in stock and debt markets.

Democrats who bother to offer any reason at all why “Republicans got us into this mess” claim that the Republicans refused to regulate and reform the economic sector.

Well, let’s dig a little further.  Was it George Bush who refused to regulate or reform?

Hardly.

From US News & World Report:

Seventeen. That’s how many times, according to this White House statement (hat tip Gateway Pundit), that the Bush administration has called for tighter regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

That’s right.  George Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to reform and regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the agencies at the epicenter of the economic crisis.

When did this thing start?  Under Bush?  Not according to The New York Times, as I have pointed out before in a previous article.

From the New York Times, September 30, 1999:

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

More.  Again from the New York Times, September 30, 1999:

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.

From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

What do we have, even in the pages of the New York Times?  A prediction that as soon as the economy cooled off, the mortgage market would explode like a depth charge and the government would have to step in to prevent a catastrophe.  And from a Clinton program, at that.

The same man – Peter Wallison – who had predicted the disaster from 1999 wrote a September 23, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess.”

So this disaster began under Bill Clinton.  Specifically, it began in the very final years of the Clinton administration.  Interestingly, at the same time that the Dot-com bubble was getting ready to explode on Clinton’s watch.  Clinton got all the credit for a great economy, and Bush got to watch 78% of the value of Nasdaq destroyed just as he was taking office.  $7.1 TRILLION in wealth was vaporized (43% of the the Market Capitalization of the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Full Cap between 2000 Q1 and Q1 2003).  Bill Clinton handed George Bush a massive economic disaster (made even worse by the shocking 9/11 attacks), and Bush turned economic calamity into the longest consecutive period of job growth (52 straight months) in history.  In diametrical contradiction to all the lies that you have  heard from Democrats and from a mainstream media propaganda machine that often puts Joseph Goebbels to shame

What did George W. Bush do to deal with the necessary regulation and reform of these government-subsidized behemoths Fannie and Freddie?

Read what the New York Times said back in September 11, 2003:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10— The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

So Bush WANTED to regulate and reform the industry that would destroy the economy five years later, again, in contradiction to a blatantly dishonest and ideologically liberal and biased media.  Bush didn’t “refuse to regulate.”  Bush TRIED to provide the necessary regulatory steps that could have averted disaster.

And who blocked those regulations and reforms that Bush tried to provide?  None other than Barney Frank and his Democrat buddies:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Democrats blocked reform and regulation of Fannie and Freddie.  They threatened to filibuster any attempt at regulation and reform.  Meanwhile John McCain wrote a letter in 2006 urging reform and regulation of the GSEs.  He said:

Congress chartered Fannie and Freddie to provide access to home financing by maintaining liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. Today, almost half of all mortgages in the U.S. are owned or guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would actually pay this debt if Fannie or Freddie could not?

And it came to pass exactly as John McCain warned.

Because of Democrats.  Who were virtually entirely to blame for the disaster that ensued as a result of their blocking of reform and regulation.

What did Democrats do with the mainstream media’s culpability?  They falsely dropped the crisis at the feet of “greedy” Wall Street.  But while examples of Wall Street greed abound, the liberal intelligentsia deliberately overlooked the central and preceding role of Democrat-dominated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here’s how the mess actually happened:

The New York Times acknowledged that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.”

And the Los Angeles Times on May 31, 1999 describes how this process turned into a bubble, as more begat more, and then more and more begat more and more and more:

Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and bundle them into securities; that provides lenders the funds to lend more. . . .

In a nutshell, Fannie and Freddie, in their role as Government Sponsored Enterprises, bought tens of millions of mortgages, and then repackaged them into huge mortgage-backed securities that giant private entities such as Bear Stearns, AIG and Lehman Brothers purchased.  What made these securities particularly attractive to the private banking entities was that these securities were essentially being sold – and had the backing – of the United States government.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, again, are Government Sponsored Enterprises.

Here’s the process:

The Role of the GSEs is to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. Step 1 Banks lend money to Households to purchase and refinance home mortgages Step 2 The GSEs purchase these mortgage from the banks Step 3 GSEs bundle the mortgages into mortgage-backed securities Step 4 GSEs sell mortgage-backed and debt securities to domestic and international capital investors Step 5 Investors pay GSEs for purchase of debt and securities Step 6 GSEs return funds to banks to lend out again for the issuance of new mortgage loans.

Now, an intelligent observer would note a primary conflict: the GSE’s role was to “provide stability,” and yet at the same time they were taking on “significantly more risk” in the final year of the Clinton presidency.  What’s wrong with this picture?

The GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were designed to bundle up the mortgages into mortgage backed securities and then sell them to the private market.

Fannie Mae is exempt from SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] regulation. Which screams why Bush wanted to regulate them.  This allowed Fannie Mae to bundle up mortgages, which were then rated AAA with no requirement to make clear what is in the bundle.  Which screams why Bush wanted to regulate them.

This is what allowed the toxic instruments that have been sold across the world to proliferate.  And then to explode.  It also created a situation where money institutions did not know and could not find out whether potential inter-bank business partners were holding these “boiled babies on their books, complete with a golden stamp on the wrapping,” rather than safe instruments.  This then inclined banks to a natural caution, to be wary of lending good money to other banks against these ‘assets’.  And thus banks refused to lend to one another.

And it was Democrats, not Bush, and not Republicans, who were all over this disaster that destroyed our economy in 2008.

We were led by a pathologically dishonest media to believe that Republicans had created this mess, when it fact it had been Democrats.  And so we gave the very fools who destroyed our economy total power.

And what have they done in the two years since?

They made bad far, far worse.


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