Posts tagged deficit
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – U.S. Gold Gone
Published by Greg Hunter
Published on Jan 20, 2014
http://usawatchdog.com/fed-they-do-no… Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, the Father of Reaganomics, predicts, “I think, this year, you are going to see a further downturn in the economy. The signs are not only that we do not have a recovery, but it’s going to get worse. . . . Christmas sales were very negative. There’s no growth in people’s income and no jobs. So, if the economy goes down further, what does that mean? It means the deficit widens. It means they have a greater debt ceiling lift. They have to have a bigger debt ceiling increase, and all of this will alarm the world. They’ll say, good heavens, they already had a trillion dollar deficit. Now it’s gone up, and the Fed can’t stop the quantitative easing without the stock and bond market collapsing. The banks’ solvency will become an issue. So, the world is watching a bigger deficit, more printing of money, and they are likely to start dumping dollars. When they do that, they’ll say ‘gold, I want gold.’ There’s not much supply to meet demand, and the price has to escalate. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if that shows up this year.” Dr. Roberts also contends that America’s gold is “mainly gone.”
Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he goes One-on-One with economist and former Assistant Treasury Secretary, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.
Related post: The Hows and Whys of Gold Price Manipulation
By Greg Hunter
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts-U.S. Markets Rigged by its Own Authorities
Economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says, “We have a situation where all the markets are rigged. All the markets are manipulated.” As an example, Dr. Roberts points to the stock market. Dr. Roberts contends, “We have a stock market at all-time highs, and where is the economy? There’s not one. There’s no recovery.” Dr. Roberts goes on to say, “53% of Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. Well, the poverty rate for a family of four is something like $24,000. . . . If there is no income to drive the economy and there is no credit expansion to drive the economy, then how does it go anywhere? You can’t possibly have a recovery.”
By Peter Schiff
Friday, December 13, 2013
Peter Schiff ~ They Bravely Chickened Out
Earlier this week Congress tried to show that it is capable of tackling our chronic and dangerous debt problems. Despite the great fanfare I believe they have accomplished almost nothing. Supporters say that the budget truce created by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray will provide the economy with badly needed certainty. But I think the only surety this feeble and fictitious deal offers is that Washington will never make any real moves to change the trajectory of our finances, and that future solutions will be forced on us by calamity rather than agreement.
There can be little doubt that the deal resulted from a decision by Republicans, who may be still traumatized by the public relations drubbing they took with the government shutdown, to make the 2014 and 2016 elections a simple referendum on Obamacare. Given the ongoing failures of the President’s signature health care plan, and the likelihood that new problems and outrages will come to light in the near future, the Republicans have decided to clear the field of any obstacles that could distract voters from their anger with Obama and his defenders in Congress. The GOP smells a political winner and all other issues can wait. It is no accident the Republican press conference on the budget deal was dominated by prepared remarks focusing on the ills of Obamacare.
Although he had crafted his reputation as a hard nosed deficit hawk, Paul Ryan claimed that the agreement advances core Republican principles of deficit reduction and tax containment. While technically true, the claim is substantively hollow. In my opinion the more honest Republicans are arguing that the Party is simply making a tactical retreat in order to make a major charge in the years ahead. They argue that Republicans will need majorities in both houses in 2014, and the White House in 2016, in order to pass meaningful reforms in taxing and spending. This has convinced them to prioritize short term politics over long term goals. I believe that this strategy is wishful thinking at best. It magnifies both the GOP’s electoral prospects (especially after alienating the energetic wing of their party) and their willingness to make politically difficult decisions if they were to gain majority power (recent Bush Administration history should provide ample evidence of the party’s true colors). Their strategy suggests that Republicans (just like the Democrats) have just two priorities: hold onto their own jobs, and to make their own party a majority so as to increase their currency among lobbyists and donors. This is politics at its most meaningless. I believe public approval ratings for Congress have fallen to single digit levels not because of the heightened partisanship, but because of blatant cowardice and dishonesty. Their dereliction of responsibility will not translate to respect or popularity. Real fiscal conservatives should continue to focus on the dangers that we continue to face and look to constructive solutions. Honesty, consistency and courage are the only real options.
In the meantime we are given yet another opportunity to bask in Washington’s naked cynicism. Congress proposes cuts in the future while eliminating cuts in the present that it promised to make in the past! The Congressional Budget Office (which many believe is too optimistic) projects that over the next 10 years the Federal government will create $6.38 trillion in new publicly held debt (intra-governmental debt is excluded from the projections). This week’s deal is projected to trim just $22 billion over that time frame, or just 3 tenths of 1 percent of this growth. This rounding error is not even as good as that. The $22 billion in savings comes from replacing $63 billion in automatic “sequestration” cuts that were slated to occur over the next two years, with $85 billion in cuts spread over 10 years. As we have seen on countless occasions, long term policies rarely occur as planned, since future legislators consistently prioritize their own political needs over the promises made by predecessors.
The lack of new taxes, which is the deal’s other apparent virtue, is merely a semantic achievement. The bill includes billions of dollars in new Federal airline passenger “user fees” (the exact difference between a “fee” and a “tax” may be just as hard to define as the difference between Obamacare “taxes” and a “penalties” that required a Supreme Court case to decide). But just like a tax, these fees will take more money directly from consumer’s wallets. The bigger issue is the trillions that the government will likely take indirectly through debt and inflation.
The good news for Washington watchers is that this deal could finally bring to an end the redundant “can-kicking” exercises that have frustrated the Beltway over the last few years. Going forward all the major players have agreed to pretend that the can just doesn’t exist. In making this leap they are similar to Wall Street investors who ignore the economy’s obvious dependence on the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program as well as the dangers that will result from any draw down of the Fed’s $4 trillion balance sheet.
The recent slew of employment and GDP reports have convinced the vast majority of market watchers that the Fed will begin tapering its $85 billion per month bond purchases either later this month or possibly by March of 2014. Many also expect that the program will be fully wound down by the end of next year. However, that has not caused any widespread concerns that the current record prices of U.S. markets are in danger. Additionally, given the Fed’s current centrality in the market for both Treasury and Mortgage bonds, I believe the market has failed to adequately allow for severe spikes in interest rates if the Fed were to reduce its purchasing activities. With little fanfare yields on the 10 year and 30 year Treasury bonds are already approaching multi-year highs. Few are sparing thoughts for yield spikes that could result if the Fed were to slow, or stop, its buying binge.
So America blissfully sails on, ignoring the obvious fiscal, monetary, and financial shoals that lay ahead in plain sight. I believe that will continue this dangerous course until powers outside the United States finally force the issue by refusing to expand their holding of U.S. debt. That will finally bring on the debt and currency crisis that we have created by our current cowardice.
Peter Schiff is the CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, best-selling author and host of syndicated Peter Schiff Show.
The Economic Crisis On Our Doorstep
Published by Libertarianism.org
Dr. Ron Paul was formerly the U.S. Representative for Texas’s 14th congressional district. He has also been a three-time candidate for President of the United States; as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and 2012.
Paul speaks at a meeting of the Economic Club of Detroit in 1988. He warns of a coming economic crisis, which he claims is the end result of the government’s fiscal and monetary programs.
Again, Ron Paul had it right and told all willing to listen regarding the upcoming economic crisis.
$5.25 Million For Senate Hair Care And 21 Other Ways Politicians Are Living The High Life At Your Expense0
$5.25 Million For Senate Hair Care And 21 Other Ways Politicians Are Living The High Life At Your Expense
If you want to live the high life, you don’t have to become a rap star, a professional athlete or a Wall Street banker. All it really takes is winning an election. Right now, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and most of them leave “public service” far wealthier than when they entered it. Since most of them have so much money, you would think that they would be willing to do a little “belt-tightening” for the sake of the American people. After all, things are supposedly “extremely tight” in Washington D.C. right now. In fact, just the other day Nancy Pelosi insisted that there were “no more cuts to make” to the federal budget. But even as they claim that things are so tough right now, our politicians continue to live the high life at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. The statistics that I am about to share with you are very disturbing. Please share them with everyone that you know. The American people deserve the truth.
According to the Weekly Standard, an absolutely insane amount of money is being spent on the “hair care needs” of U.S. Senators…
Senate Hair Care Services has cost taxpayers about $5.25 million over 15 years. They foot the bill of more than $40,000 for the shoeshine attendant last fiscal year. Six barbers took in more than $40,000 each, including nearly $80,000 for the head barber.
Keep in mind that there are only 100 U.S. Senators, and many of them don’t have much hair left at this point.
But hair care is just the tip of the iceberg. The following are 21 other ways that our politicians are living the high life at your expense…
#1 According to Roll Call’s annual survey of Congressional wealth, the super wealthy in Congress just continue to get much wealthier even though they are supposedly dedicating their lives to “public service”…
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is the richest Member of Congress for the second year in a row, reporting a vast fortune that in 2011 had a minimum net worth surpassing $300 million for the first time.
McCaul is followed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who reported a minimum net worth of $198.65 million, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who reported a minimum net worth of $140.55 million. The two lawmakers swapped places since last year’s list.
The lawmakers who round out the top five, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), also flipped positions from 2010 to 2011, with Warner’s reported minimum worth rising about $9 million to $85.81 million and Rockefeller’s minimum worth rising slightly to $83.08 million.
#2 Amazingly, the 50th most wealthy member of Congress has a net worth of 6.14 million dollars.
#3 At this point, more than half of those “serving the American people” in Congress are millionaires.
#4 In one recent year, an average of $4,005,900 of U.S. taxpayer money was spent on “personal” and “office” expenses per U.S. Senator.
#5 Once they leave Washington, former members of Congress continue to collect huge checks for the rest of their lives…
In 2011, 280 former lawmakers who retired under a former government pension system received average annual pensions of $70,620, according to a Congressional Research Service report. They averaged around 20 years of service. At the same time, another 215 retirees (elected in 1984 or later with an average of 15 years of service) received average annual checks of roughly $40,000 a year.
#6 Speaker of the House John Boehner would bring home a yearly pension of close to $85,000 if he left Congress when his current term ends in 2014.
#7 At this point, quite a few former lawmakers are collecting federal pensions for life worth at least $100,000 annually. That list includes such notable names as Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.
#8 The U.S. government is spending approximately 3.6 million dollars a year to support the lavish lifestyles of former presidents such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
#9 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.
#10 During one recent year, the average federal employee in the Washington D.C. area received total compensation worth more than $126,000.
#11 During one recent year, compensation for federal employees came to a grand total of approximately 447 billion dollars.
#12 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.
#13 When Joe Biden and his staff took a trip to London, the hotel bill cost U.S. taxpayers $459,388.65.
#14 Joe Biden and his staff also stopped in Paris for one night. The hotel bill for that one night came to $585,000.50.
#15 When Biden and his staff visited Moscow for two days in 2011, the total hotel bill came to $665,445.00.
#16 During 2012, the salaries of Barack Obama’s three climate change advisers combined came to a grand total of more than $370,000.
#18 It is estimated that the trip that the Obamas took to Africa cost U.S. taxpayers about 100 million dollars.
#19 The Obamas only have one dog named “Bo”, but the White House “dog handler” reportedly makes $102,000 per year and sometimes he is even flown to where the Obamas are vacationing so that he can take care of the dog.
#20 There is always at least one projectionist at the White House 24 hours a day just in case there is someone that wants to watch a movie. Apparently turning on a DVD player is too much to ask.
#21 In one recent year, more than 1.4 billion dollars was spent on the Obamas. Meanwhile, British taxpayers only spent about 58 million dollars on the entire royal family.
So who pays for all of this extravagance?
The American people do of course.
Unfortunately, what most of our politicians fail to understand is that most families are struggling tremendously right now.
This week, Yahoo featured the story of a 77-year-old former executive that is now flipping burgers and serving drinks to make ends meet. He says that he now earns in a week what he once earned in a single hour, but he is thankful to have a job in this economic environment…
It seems like another life. At the height of his corporate career, Tom Palome was pulling in a salary in the low six-figures and flying first class on business trips to Europe.
Today, the 77-year-old former vice president of marketing for Oral-B juggles two part-time jobs: one as a $10-an-hour food demonstrator at Sam’s Club, the other flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club grill for slightly more than minimum wage.
While Palome worked hard his entire career, paid off his mortgage and put his kids through college, like most Americans he didn’t save enough for retirement. Even many affluent baby boomers who are approaching the end of their careers haven’t come close to saving the 10 to 20 times their annual working income that investment experts say they’ll need to maintain their standard of living in old age.
So many Americans are barely making it from month to month at this point. Most people work very, very hard for their money, and it is very discouraging to see our politicians waste our hard-earned tax dollars so frivolously.
Fortunately, there are signs that the American people are starting to get fed up with all of this. According to a stunning new Gallup survey, more Americans than ever before (60 percent) believe that the federal government has too much power.
So what do you think?
Do you think that the government is too big and too wasteful?
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Published on Jan 26, 2013 by Eduardo89rp
Ron Paul giving the Carl Davis Distinguished Lecture on “The Libertarian Future”
This article was originally published at The Daily Sheeple
Kyle Bass, who knows a thing or two about economics and finance, recently spoke to a senior member of the Obama administration about their planned solutions for fixing the U.S. economy and trade deficit.
The answer shouldn’t surprise you.
When I asked a senior member of the Obama administration last week, ‘How are we going to grow exports if we won’t allow nominal wage deflation?’
He says, ‘we’re just going to kill the dollar.’
That worried me.
So, that the only answer.
It’s a dead answer.
But, that’s where we’re headed.
Video via Before It’s News:
By CBC News
‘It looks like that’s where we’re headed,’ the Senate majority leader says
U.S. President Barack Obama cut short his holiday and returned to Washington to try to hammer out a deal with congressional legislators to avoid a series of higher taxes and deep spending cuts that could spin the still-fragile economy back into a recession.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the government appears headed over the so-called fiscal cliff because of a lack of bipartisan co-operation.
“It looks like that’s where we’re headed,” the Nevada Democrat said.
Time is running out for legislators to come together on a comprehensive plan to address tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect within a matter of days.
A series of tax cuts that have been extended several times are about to expire, resulting in an extra $536 billion for American taxpayers. At the same time, military and other spending budgets are slated to be cut by $110 billion.
The combination of those two moves, it’s feared, will send the American economy tumbling back into recession. But the two sides can’t agree on concessions to avoid that prospect.
Congress is not expected to return to sitting until Friday, and the Senate is supposed to meet Thursday evening. But some legislators are already back in Washington beseeching each other to strike a balance.
In recent days, Obama’s aides have been consulting with Reid’s office, but Republicans have not been part of the discussions, suggesting that much still needs to be done to strike and pass a deal, even a small one, by Monday.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to congressional leaders warning that the government was on track to hit its borrowing limit on Monday, Dec. 31., unless a law is passed to extend the ceiling by another $200 billion or so to get through the next few months.
Geithner has said he would take “extraordinary measures as authorized by law” to postpone a government default, but he said uncertainty over the outcome of the fiscal cliff negotiations made it difficult to determine how much time those measures would buy.
Jan. 1 is not a hard and fast deadline. Congress could still act in January in time to retroactively counter the effects on most taxpayers and government agencies, but chances for a large deficit reduction package would likely be put off.
Taxes are a major stumbling block. Obama says he wants to come up with a way of extending some of the tax cuts to most Americans while letting taxes go higher for the wealthiest ones.
House Republican leaders on Wednesday urged the Democratic-controlled Senate to consider or amend a House-passed bill that extends all existing tax rates. “The Senate first must act,” they said.
But Reid’s office insisted that the Republican-controlled House act on Senate legislation passed in July that would raise tax rates only on incomes above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.
Meanwhile, Obama has been pushing for a variant of that Senate bill that would include an extension of jobless aid and some spending reductions to prevent the steeper, broader spending cuts from kicking in.
Even if the Senate acts, House Speaker Boehner would have to let the bill get to the House floor for a vote. The chances of accomplishing that by Dec. 31 seem slim.
Whenever the debt ceiling hits, however, it is likely to set up yet another deadline for one more budget fight between the White House and congressional Republicans.
With files from The Associated Press
Republished with permission.
By Tom Woods
I hope you’re sitting down for this: coverage of the “fiscal cliff” is a lot of hype.
Bob Murphy looks at the numbers and concludes that if the government goes over the “cliff,” then some $9 billion in cuts will take place. That’s three-tenths of one percent of government spending. By 2014 U.S. government spending will be above where it was this year.
The deficit will go down by $487 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office, if nothing is done to avert the cliff. Of that $487 billion, the aforementioned $9 billion will be due to spending cuts. The other $478 billion will occur thanks to increased tax revenues.
So 1.8 percent of the deficit cuts will come from spending reductions, while the other 98.2 percent will come from increased tax revenues. When the economy fails to revive, this will be blamed on the alleged “austerity” program of the federal government, without noting that the laughable “spending cuts” were vastly exceeded by the tax increases.
Daniel Kuehn, Bob’s nemesis, crunches the numbers a bit differently, but still finds a vast imbalance between spending cuts and tax increases, and agrees with Bob that the panicked talk is overblown.
By CHRISTOPHER BUTLER
County and local officials throughout Tennessee will have to find a way to fund more government services with less taxpayer money in the near future, according to a new report from the state Comptroller’s Office.
In many instances, these county officials do not have the option of making budget cuts in services such as education, health, and public safety — that is because state and federal officials mandate that they provide such services. This happens at the same time demand for these services are on the rise, according to State Comptroller Justin Wilson.
In a new report that focuses on the current financial condition of county governments, Wilson said county officials throughout Tennessee ran up a combined deficit of approximately $490 million during the most recent fiscal year.
Meanwhile, total county-related debt in Tennessee increased $1.4 billion between 2007 and 2011 — even as county officials continue to put off their responsibilities toward paying their debts.
“This debt indicates that many county governments are deferring debt principal payments and other obligations to future years,” Wilson wrote.
Many of these counties received federal stimulus money in 2009.
Making matters worse, health insurance premiums and other liabilities are growing for employees who have already left public service.
“In addition, new accounting standards will require the recognition of significant long-term pension costs. These costs, which previously have not been recorded on the financial statements when they were incurred, will dramatically impact large and small governments alike.”
Furthermore, many county governments do not have staff members who know how to properly handle such complicated financial issues, Wilson wrote.
Christopher Butler is the editor of Tennessee Watchdog and the Director of Government Accountability for the Beacon Center of Tennessee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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