Archive for the ‘Debt Ceiling’ Category


Thursday, November 5th, 2015



Wednesday, November 4th, 2015



The Fed, the White House and Congress are setting up the next financial bubble

– – Sunday, October 11, 2015
EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  The point is that government and politicians have no learning curve. All of the conditions of financial wreckage are reappearing. This is why congressional Republicans absolutely should put up a fight on the debt ceiling by requiring more budget discipline as a condition of higher debt levels. They should require at least 8-10 percent downpayments on all government insured mortgages. They should repeal all or part of the Dodd-Frank bill that is destroying community banks, while promising voters they will never again bail out a bank or financial institution. Finally, they should be urging the Fed to restore sound money by gradually raising short term interest rates. And the presidential candidates should start warning voters that Washington is rebuilding another financial house of cards.
My 13-year-old son told me at the dinner table the other day that Franklin Roosevelt was one of America’s “greatest presidents” because “he ended the Great Depression.” He’s usually a good student, so I checked where he got this tripe and sure enough the fairy tale was right there in his American history book.
Sure enough his text book tells kids that the New Deal ended the Great Depression and even saved capitalism. Of course the New Deal exacerbated the pain and financial devastation of a stock market crash, and unemployment lingered in double digits for a decade after Roosevelt was elected until the start of World War II.
We get this kind of rampant revisionism because the left writes the history books — which they are doing right now.
Here’s the latest story line: bailouts, trillions of dollars of government spending and debt, easy money, and re-regulation of Wall Street ended the 2008 Great Recession. The myth took on new life last week when Ben Bernanke took a bow in The Wall Street Journal for in his mind saving the economy with his $3 trillion of quantitative easing and zero interest rate policy. No, actually this is what created the crisis. Don’t be surprised if Mr. Bernanke receives a Nobel Peace Prize.
As Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute and other scholars have thoroughly documented, the crash of 2008 was caused by the Federal Reserve’s easy money policies for nearly a decade, government housing policies that led to preposterous mortgage loans being issued, and massive overleverage of government, companies, and households.


Sunday, November 1st, 2015



Tuesday, April 8th, 2014




Sometimes, especially lately, it’s depressing to think about the future of the U.S.

The economy has been in the doldrums since Barack Obama took office, and, in a slew of ways, is actually worse now. Median incomes are the lowest since 1995 [], the workforce is its smallest in nearly 50 years [], real unemployment is running at 16.6 percent [], and all those 20-something kids who should be working are moving back home with their parents. []

But that’s not the real problem. See, on top of all that, we’re $17.5 trillion in debt.

The last time America was debt free was 1836. That lasted one year. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the national debt was less than $1 trillion. When he went home to California, the debt was three times that. George H.W. Bush pumped the debt up to $4 trillion. Bill Clinton ran it up to $5.6 trillion. And by the time George W. Bush left office, the debt had nearly doubled to more than $10 trillion.

In Mr. Obama’s first four years, the debt has soared more than $7 trillion.

How’d we get here? Consider this: When Mr. Obama went to Brussels this week, he took a 900-person entourage, three cargo planes, two 747s, a slew of support planes, a phalanx of Marine One helicopters and nearly 50 vehicles for his motorcade.

That was for a 24-hour stay.

But it’s not just that. America has been so rich for so long, it just can’t get used to the notion that it’s not wealthy any more. It’s as if America is the wife of a billionaire who finds herself suddenly divorced. No more suites at the Ritz-Carlton, time for the Days Inn. Oh, and get used to mac ‘n’ cheese.

There’s a puzzling puzzle that virtually no one seems to notice: If America is the richest country in the world, why doesn’t everyone owe us money? Why do we owe China $1.2 trillion? Hell, we owe ourselves $4.4 trillion. (more…)



Monday, March 24th, 2014



Monday, October 14th, 2013


The Wall Street Journal


‘I really believe we are in a great position right now,” says Michael Needham, the 31-year-old president of Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the nation’s largest conservative think tank. By “we” he means the Republican Party and the conservative movement; their “great position” refers to the potential to win the political battle over the government shutdown.

Though Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the public face of the high-risk strategy to “defund” ObamaCare, the masterminds behind it are a new generation of young conservatives, chief among them Mr. Needham. From a tactical view, the strategy has been deployed with precision. In August, only Mr. Cruz and a band of renegade tea-party Republicans in the House favored this approach, and the media collectively scoffed. But by September, House Republicans couldn’t pass a budget without attaching the defunding rider that has grounded much of government.

“We rallied the conservative grass roots across the country,” Mr. Needham says, and ran ads in more than 100 districts on the health law. It worked. During the August recess, these activists demanded that their members of Congress stop ObamaCare.

To most observers, who think the GOP is losing this fight, Mr. Needham’s optimism that Republicans will carry the day may seem astonishing. But Mr. Needham says the second-guessers are wrong.image

Zina Saunders (more…)


Wednesday, October 9th, 2013



Letters to the editor

Oct. 07, 2013 

Shabby treatment of veterans

Soldiers who were 17 at the end of World War II (1945) would now be 85, and would be the youngest veterans of that war.  Other survivors are now older, often sick, and with a short life expectancy. Veterans have been traveling to D.C. as part of Honor Flights, a program that enables WW2 veterans to have an expense-paid trip to the World War II memorial that they themselves made possible.  The memorial is outdoors and stunningly beautiful.

National parks were closed for the 10/1 shutdown.  The House Republicans, who are honoring campaign commitments to voters to delay and defund Obamacare, had passed a bill funding national parks, which the Senate refused.  Expecting Honor Flights from their districts, Congressman Palazzo and others requested repeatedly, including to the President, that the WW2 Memorial be made available,. Requests were refused, and the entrance blocked.

The House has passed over five bills to fund specific components of the government including NIH cancer programs for children.  The House has passed three bills fully to fund all aspects of the government with the exception of Obamacare, also all refused.  The Democrat Senate is preferring to inflict maximal pain on our citizens, including elderly veterans of the Greatest Generation, rather than allow the government to function.

The Senate is trying to protect an unpopular bill so dysfunctional that the sign-up site has been withdrawn.  It is using shabby treatment of veterans as a tool.  I urge readers to express support for our veterans despite Senate manipulations.

Laura Gutman





Wednesday, October 9th, 2013


– See more at:

October 8, 2013

‘Gestapo’ tactics meet senior citizens at Yellowstone

NEWBURYPORT — Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.
Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
“We’ve become a country of fear, guns and control,” said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. “It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, ‘we’re sorry,’ it was all like — ” as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.
Vaillancourt took part in a nine-day tour of western parks and sites along with about four dozen senior citizen tourists. One of the highlights of the tour was to be Yellowstone, where they arrived just as the shutdown went into effect.
Rangers systematically sent visitors out of the park, though some groups that had hotel reservations — such as Vaillancourt’s — were allowed to stay for two days. Those two days started out on a sour note, she said.
The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.
“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door. (more…)


Sunday, May 5th, 2013


The Wall Street Journal

Uncertainty Is the Enemy of Recovery

At Vanguard, we estimate that policy uncertainty has created a $261 billion drag on the U.S. economy.

Mr. McNabb is chairman and CEO of the Vanguard Group.

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  Investor anxiety is a critical component in all of this. We’d be foolish to take comfort in the strength of recent stock-market performance. Until the U.S. debt issue is resolved for the long term, market gains and losses will be built on an unstable foundation of promises that cannot be kept.

Anyone hoping for signs of a healthy economic recovery was disappointed by lower-than-expected GDP growth for the first quarter of 2013—a mere 2.5%, far short of the forecast 3.2%. Meanwhile, the stock market continues to soar, hitting record levels in recent weeks. It’s a striking disconnect, and one that is discouraging and confusing for Americans as they seek to earn a living and save for the future.

Companies and small businesses are also dealing with the same paradox. Many are in good shape and have money to spend. So why aren’t they pumping more capital back into the economy, creating jobs and fueling the country’s economic engine?

Quite simply, if firms can’t see a clear road to economic recovery ahead, they’re not going to hire and they’re not going to spend. It’s what economists call a “deadweight loss”—loss caused by inefficiency.

Today, there is uncertainty about regulatory policy, uncertainty about monetary policy, uncertainty about foreign policy and, most significantly, uncertainty about U.S. fiscal policy and the national debt. Until a sensible plan is created to address the debt, America will not fulfill its economic potential. (more…)



Wednesday, April 10th, 2013



By Victor Davis Hanson       NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His The Savior Generals will appear in May from Bloomsbury Books. 

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE:  The soon-to-be-$17-trillion debt — run up largely by the Baby Boomer generation — will lead to decades of budget cutting, inflation, and higher taxes. A decade from now, as 30-somethings try to buy a home and raise children while they are still paying off their student loans, they may wonder why the national burden of repaying the debts of the better-off falls largely upon themselves. Indeed, a legacy of the Baby Boomer generation is the idea that it is natural for younger people to begin life with huge loans — not for a house or a car, but for an education of dubious market value.

The offspring of well-connected journalists, politicians, academics, professionals, and celebrities assure us in their documentaries and op-eds, and through their parents’ voices, that conservatives have lost the war for America’s youth. They certainly have, at least for a while, at in-the-news, private liberal-arts campuses. But for the vast majority of the state-schooled who have no such connections, little if any expectation of an inheritance, and lots of accumulated debt, there is nothing liberal about the values inherent in the present economy.

Given a choice between gay marriage, legalization of pot, and the banning of so-called assault rifles on the one hand, and, on the other, a good job with lower taxes, most young people will quietly prefer the latter. For that reason, conservatives should not outbid liberals to appear cool to new voters, but simply explain that a fair economy for all generations is no longer on the liberal agenda.


It is popular wisdom that President Obama’s progressive social agenda is predicated on widespread support from the younger, hip generation. Certainly, concerns like gay marriage, marijuana legalization, abortion, the DREAM Act, gun control, women in combat, and blocking gas and oil exploration and pipeline transportation all get a lot of play on campuses and in popular culture. And these wedge issues supposedly represent the future direction of the country — a wise agenda for liberals eager to cement a majority constituency for decades to come.

But aside from the common-sense recognition that people become more conservative as they age and mature — and start paying taxes, and become financially responsible for their own children’s future — there is just as much likelihood that Barack Obama may inadvertently be building a conservative youth movement. Indeed, the new liberalism in all its economic manifestations is reactionary and anti-youth to the core. The administration seems aware of the potential paradoxes in this reverse “What’s the matter with Kansas?” syndrome of young people voting against their economic interests. Thus follows the constant courting of the hip and cool Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Lena Dunham, Occupy Wall Streeters, and others who blend pop culture, sex, youth, energy, and fad — almost anything to avoid the truth that today’s teenagers are starting out each owing a lifetime share of the national debt amounting to more than three-quarters of a million dollars. Those who ran up the debt enjoyed the borrowing, but won’t be around to pay back their proverbial fair share. (more…)

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