We Have Seen This Play Before

The American economy is based on consumerism. Americans buy things and the economy continues. It is a rather delicate balance that can be manipulated for political purposes. We are currently watching an attempt to manipulate that economy for political purposes–President Trump’s strongest positive for re-election is the impact his administration has had on the economy. If the Democrats can ruin the economy, they might have a chance to win the presidency in 2020. After watching their behavior for the past two years, I am not surprised by any tactic they might use. So how are the Democrats and their friends in the media attempting to impact the economy?

The Associated Press reported today:

The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore for investors in financial markets.

The yield on the closely watched 10-year Treasury fell so low Wednesday that, for the first time since 2007, it briefly crossed a threshold that has correctly predicted many past recessions. Weak economic data from Germany and China added to recent signals of a global slowdown.

That spooked investors, who responded by dumping stocks, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average into an 800-point skid, its biggest drop of the year. The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 3% as the market erased all of its gains from a rally the day before. Tech stocks and banks led the broad sell-off. Retailers came under especially heavy selling pressure after Macy’s issued a dismal earnings report and cut its full-year forecast.

The article goes on to list things that the writer is convinced are evidence of an imminent recession. But let’s step back a minute. The American economy is cyclical. We have been in a growth spike for the past two years due to tax cuts and deregulation. Those factors are not changing. Unemployment is at historic lows. There are more jobs than workers. There is no evidence of that changing. We might be due for a correction in the stock market, but it’s not time to panic.

This tactic has been used before. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush agreed to a tax bill with the Democrats. The agreement broke his pledge of ‘no new taxes’, but it also did something else. The tax increase on luxury items worked its way through the economy causing a recession. Workers in industries making ‘luxury items’ lost their jobs are sales of these items decreased due to the tax increases. As those workers lost their jobs, they stopped going out to dinner, traveling, and doing the things that people do when economic times are good. People in service industries and tourism lost their jobs. The impact trickled through the economy, and we were in a recession. We were coming out of the recession during the campaign, but the media failed to note that.

In the coming days, watch for a media narrative of ‘the sky is falling’. That narrative will be in play for the next year in order to convince American voters to vote Democrat.

The only way to crash this economy is to panic the public. Large investors in the market with a political agenda can begin that process. The media can fan the flames.

The fundamentals of the American economy are strong. If Americans refuse to play along with a media-created financial panic, all will be well.

Our Ancestors Understood Human Nature A Lot Better Than We Do

From Vox June 23:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposal to make college free in the United States just got bigger: He wants to erase all student debt too. All $1.6 trillion of it.

The Vermont senator will unveil the most ambitious higher education plan in the Democratic 2020 presidential primary so far on Monday. The proposal would make two- and four-year public and tribal colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free, and erase the roughly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt currently owed in the US, paid for by a tax on Wall Street.

Currently, about 45 million Americans have student loans. This would cancel debt for all of them — regardless of their income or assets. That’s a notable difference from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s free college proposal, which also provides broad debt relief but caps it for households with incomes over $250,000.

Sanders is proposing funding streams to states, tribes, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to allow them to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees. The bill would also increase spending on work-study programs and build up federal grant programs for low-income students for additional costs related to getting an education, from housing and transportation to buying books.

The proposal would cost $2.2 trillion over 10 years, which Sanders says would be paid for with his Wall Street tax. He proposed a Wall Street speculation tax in 2016, which would raise small levies on buying and selling stocks, bonds, and derivatives; many experts estimate it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Sanders’s office cited progressive economist Robert Pollin’s projection that the tax would bring in $2.4 trillion in revenues over 10 years.

From The New York Post February 22nd:

Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren said they both support reparations for African-Americans affected by slavery.

Asked about the matter last week on the 105.1 FM show “Breakfast Club,” Harris agreed with the host that reparations are necessary to address problems of “inequities.”

“America has a history of 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow. We had legal segregation in America for a very long time,” she said on the radio show. “We have got to recognize, back to that earlier point, people aren’t starting out on the same base in terms of their ability to succeed and so we have got to recognize that and give people a lift up.”

From Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813), who obviously understood a lot more than all three of these Democrat candidates for President:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
Alexander Fraser Tytler
We have a choice of where we will be on that timeline.

Another Cost Of Runaway Spending

CNS News is reporting today that the amount of the U. S. Government debt held by the Federal Reserve has increased by 257 percent since President Barack Obama was first inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, and the Fed is currently the single largest holder of U.S. government debt.

The article reports:

Since Obama has been president, the publicly held portion of the U.S. government debt (as opposed to the “intragovernmental” debt the government has borrowed from federal trust funds such as the Social Security Trust Fund) has increased by  $5,264,245,866,257.40. The $.221369 in additional U.S. government debt the Fed has purchased during Obama’s presidency equals 23 percent of all the new publicly held debt the Treasury has issued during that time.

Please read that again. That paragraph refers to the fact that the government has borrowed from federal trust funds such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Remember, this is the government that is referring to Social Security as an entitlement. I don’t think I am too far off base when I say that the way the government has handled the Social Security Trust Fund should convince us that we should give the government as little of our money as possible–they did not handle money well.

Unless we elect people who are willing to curb Washington’s runaway spending, our nation will be bankrupt by the time the next president takes office.

What Really Happens When You Raise Taxes

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about what has happened to tax revenue in the Great Britain since the government put a 50% tax rate on wealthy residents. The new tax rate went into effect in January of this year.

The article reports on the results of the tax hike:

The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.

Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad.

What did they expect? Those people who have accumulated large fortunes have also gained the knowledge of how to manage those fortunes or employ people who know how to manage them. Taxing the rich at a confiscatory rate decreases tax receipts and puts a larger tax burden on the middle class.

Mr. Morrissey points out:

Obama’s plan to hike capital-gains taxes to 20% and push a surtax on higher earnings will produce the same result here.  The capital that might have gone to work in the US will go to work somewhere else or not at all, which will not just kill the direct revenues expected in static tax analysis from the hike, but also discard the revenues that would have occurred had the capital been put to work here.  That’s the lesson from the British face-plant on surtaxes, and hopefully the US learns that lesson the easy way.

At the risk of appearing pessimistic, I can’t imagine President Obama learning from the British experience. Hopefully the next president will be able to undo some of the damage that is about to be done.

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If Investors Ran Their Portfolios Like The Government Runs Theirs…

Today’s Detroit News reported today that the government has revised the estimated losses from the auto bailout up $170 million.

The article reports:

In the government’s latest report to Congress this month, the Treasury upped its estimate to $23.77 billion, up from $23.6 billion.

Last fall, the government dramatically boosted its forecast of losses on the rescues of General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and their finance units from $14 billion to $23.6 billion.

Much of the increase in losses is due to the sharp decline of GM’s stock price over the last six months.

Three solar companies the government invested in went bankrupt or laid off workers last week. The losses in the bailout of the auto companies were considerably more than what was initially projected. Have we learned yet that the government should not be investing taxpayer money in private businesses? Government interference in the free market has done nothing but take large amounts of money out of taxpapayers’ pockets and increase the national debt. Someone is needed in Washington who can put a stop to the overspending and misuse of taxpayers’ money.

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Why We Shouldn’t Let The Government Invest Our Money

1964 Oldsmobile Starfire

Image via Wikipedia

On November 14, the Detroit News reported that American taxpayers will lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion, on the bailout of General Motors.

The article reports:

The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.

The article goes on the chronicle the losses in the government bailout programs in various sectors of the economy.

The article reports:

The new estimate also hikes the overall cost of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program costs to taxpayers. TARP is the emergency program approved by Congress in late 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.

In total, the government used $425 billion to bailout banks, insurance companies and automakers, and provided $45 billion in housing program assistance.

The government now expects to lose $57.33 billion, including the full cost of the housing program, up from $36.7 billion. The new estimate means the government doesn’t believe it will make an overall profit on its bailouts.

Again, the problem is that we are spending too much, not that we are taxed too little.

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