Archive for November, 2010

Paying Taxes = Fixing Elections

November 16th, 2010 12:57 pm  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Big Government, Commentary, congress, Court Cases, Election  |  Comments Off

The fix is in. That’s right, and by “fix” I really mean dreadfully broken. Check out the latest effort from the Institute for Justice:

Imagine if Nancy Pelosi wanted to run for governor.  If she decided to run as a “Clean Elections” candidate, every time her opponent would raise a certain amount of money from private donors, she would receive the same amount from taxpayers.  That’s right, publicly funded elections.

This allows the government-subsidized candidate to “match” the spending—and thus the speech—of the independent group or privately funded candidate opposing him or her.  The harder an independent group or traditionally financed candidate works, the more the government-subsidized candidate benefits.  The system curbs speech, discourages participation and limits what voters will hear about politics.

Here is a nice video illustrating how this works:

Read more about the case here.

Congress Attempts to Bribe Seniors

November 16th, 2010 12:28 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Debt, government spending, Money, national debt, Social Security  |  1

Quote of the Day: “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.” Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen (1896-1969)

Is Congress attempting to bribe seniors with your children’s money? The House of Representatives is considering the “Seniors Protection Act,” which gives recipients of Social Security, and other government retirement or disability programs, a $250 bonus check.

It’s one thing to call for cuts in current benefits, and another thing to suddenly ADD more spending to the ballooning national debt. Seniors, in particular, are wise enough to know the difference. And yet . . .

Apparently, a majority of legislators think that being “generous” with YOUR money – or more accurately, your children’s money — will be rewarded by senior citizens in the 2012 elections.

We suspect (and hope) that most seniors, who voted out incumbents in the recent elections, are insulted by this bribe.

Please send a letter urging Congress to defeat this bill using DownsizeDC.org’s Cut Spending campaign.

The hardwired portion of the letter begins, “Please cut federal spending.”

Here’s how I continued this letter to my representatives in Congress . . . Read More »

A Bad Plan Poorly Disguised

November 12th, 2010 11:14 am  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Liberty, Money  |  1

John Browne, Senior Market Strategist at Euro Pacific Capital

With our economy sagging and our international clout waning, one of the few assets upon which the United States can rely is the confidence that the rest of the world has traditionally showered upon us. That confidence is the reason why the US dollar was elevated to global reserve status more than 65 years ago.With so much riding on perception, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recent statements denying the existence of a dollar debasement campaign could not be seen as anything less than foolhardy.

Responding to a critique made in a Financial Times opinion piece by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Geithner asserted, “We will never seek to weaken our currency as a tool to gain competitive advantage or to grow the economy.” Instead, he attributed recent dollar weakness to the reversal of  “safe haven” capital flows that had been legion during the financial crisis but which have abated as the global economy has recovered.

One must scour the earth with great care to find an individual who would agree with Mr. Geithner on this point. It’s clear from myriad other actions that the Administration sees a weaker dollar as a panacea for our economic problems. The blatant misinformation relayed by the Treasury Secretary can only serve to further increase already high tensions at the G-20 summit now underway in Seoul, South Korea.

Read More »

Not Too Big For Fraud

November 11th, 2010 1:43 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, Economics, inflation, Liberty  |  Comments Off

by John Downs, Assistant Branch Manager of Euro Pacific Capital, Los Angeles

As a mortgage broker during the manic years of the housing boom, I witnessed reckless financial practices on a wide scale. As a result, I was not surprised by the “robo-signing” mess that now threatens the mortgage sector. Unfortunately, the scandal is only a small tip of the iceberg that threatens to take down the entire US banking system.

The “too big to fail” (TBTF) banks that acted as middle men in the mortgage machine knew that the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) they packaged and sold to investors didn’t meet the standards they claimed. In essence, MBS buyers were sold Ferraris but took delivery of PT Cruisers. Because of these material misrepresentations, TBTF banks could be forced to repurchase hundreds of billions of MBS that they sold to investors. Since they don’t have that kind of cash lying around, it’s likely they will turn to their federal benefactors for another bailout.

If the Treasury is solvent enough to offer such a bailout, there might never be a proper investigation of how the mortgage market blew up. As a former industry insider, I hope I can shed some light.

Read More »

My Government – My Mom

November 11th, 2010 12:00 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Humor, Individual Responsibility, Politics  |  Comments Off

Leave it to the federal government to come up with a way to liven up cigarette sales in America. Beginning in September 2011, the Food and Drug Administration will require cigarette manufacturers to put graphic warning labels that depict the horrors of smoking. The pictures will have to cover half a package’s front and back and will feature diseased lungs,‭ ‬corpses, and a man smoking a cigarette through a tracheotomy tube.

Let’s face it, cigarette packaging has become a tad too stodgy what with basic lettering, models holding cigarettes, camels, and smiling people. These new visually-stunning graphics should help spark sales and, finally, we’ll have packaging worthy for other uses other than being tossed into the recycling bin.

And while the FDA’s at it, why not do something about those dreadfully dull names cigarette companies slap on their products, names like Kool, Winston, Camel, Marlboro. What’s that about? If you want to get sales a-popping throw in a little danger. Fill those store shelves with brands like Death Stick, Lung Destroyer, Widow Maker, Cancer Maggot, and so on. Now that’s something worth asking for at your local grocery store, a whole lot more exciting than asking meekly for a pack of Benson & Hedges.

But why should the FDA stop there. Hell, if you’re going to run the entire retail system in this country, make McDonald’s put an x-ray of clogged arteries on the side of their Big Mac box; stick a coffin photo next to the mileage tag of every Smart Car waiting to be sold; affix a drawing of a retching man on Budweiser bottles; etch a broken toe graphic onto bowling balls; put baby pictures on condom packs; and, finally, place a picture of a dewy-eyed horse on every hot dog package sitting in grocery store coolers in this country.

Will sales go through the roof or what?

While many may think of this activity as nagging adults, in reality this is nothing more than plain, old-fashioned concern, the kind of concern you would have heard in your mother’s voice as she would shout out at you in your youth: “Get off that fence, you’re going to fall off!”, “Let that dog go, he may have rabies!”, “Stop playing with those matches!”, and the one that always got my attention as a boy, “Quit playing with your father’s loaded gun!” Our government is really an anxious mother looking out for its head-strong kids.

If this isn’t a brilliant stroke of genius coming out of the Obama Administration to get the economy going, to put Americans to work, to create an unending stream of new jobs, well I don’t know what else it could be.

Uncrazy Ron Paul speaks fiscal sanity on MSNBC

November 10th, 2010 9:19 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, Liberty, Money, Ron Paul  |  Comments Off

Ron Paul appeared on MSNBC with Dylan Ratigan earlier today to discuss reducing the deficit/debt. Paul continues playing his fiscal sanity broken record, one that America truly needs to hear.

Ron Paul: “Inflation is taxation without representation”

November 8th, 2010 11:15 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Commentary, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, gold standard, government spending, inflation, Money, Philosophy, Ron Paul  |  1

Ron Paul appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this morning to discuss true free markets. Paul has previously called inflation a “hidden tax”. Now he’s calling it taxation without representation.

When asked about recent Economic Nobel Prize winner, Paul Krugman’s Keynesian worldview. Paul shakes his head, laughs, and half-jokes that he prays every night that Krugman’s ideas would just disappear.

Me too Dr. Paul. Me too.


An Inflationary Death Spiral

November 8th, 2010 9:27 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Liberty, Money  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital

It seems the Fed has given up on the idea that the country can build a viable and stable economy through the conventional means. Instead, our central bank has resorted to once again growing GDP and increasing employment by the creation of asset bubbles. This is a dangerous game that no one, least of all the Fed, knows how to play.

We learned this past Wednesday that the FOMC decided to increase its purchases of longer-dated Treasuries by $600 billion within the next eight months. That means the Fed is on course to fund about 75% of our annual deficit! Such figures are the stock in trade of banana republics. While most of the rest of the world is fighting inflation and strengthening their currencies, we are doing everything in our power to end the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve.Canada, China, India, Brazil, and Australia have all recently taken steps to raise interest rates and/or curtail bank lending. Compare that to the US, which has left interest rates at near-zero for almost two years. While other central bankers are tamping down expansionary rhetoric, Fed Chairman Bernanke is on record saying that he will do everything in his power to push up inflation (which he considers too low) and dilute the dollar. Foreign central banks and other investors may soon reconsider their plans to park cash in dollar-denominated assets. In fact, there has been a series of angry statements from top economic policymakers in Beijing, Berlin, Moscow, and Sao Paolo that show rising discontent with Washington.

The Fed rationalized its decision to upset the global monetary order in a November 4th op-ed by Chairman Bernanke entitled, “What the Fed did and why.” Here’s an excerpt:

The Currency War – Good for Gold

November 8th, 2010 7:28 pm  |  by  |  Published in Banking, Federal Reserve, gold, inflation, Liberty, Money, Peter Schiff, Politics, precious metals, War  |  1

by Peter Schiff

As the world awaits another $600 billion flood from Bernanke’s printing press, central bank governors from Brasília to Tokyo are preparing to respond in kind. This is the monetary equivalent of a nuclear war, except instead of radiation, bombs of inflation threaten to make the world economy uninhabitable for saving and productive enterprise.

While much of the attention has been focused on China and accusations that it is a “currency manipulator,” the first shot in this war was clearly fired by the US Federal Reserve. Last month, the Fed came out with a statement that, for the first time ever, said inflation is rising at a rate “below its mandate.” That is, they acknowledged that the deflation threat had passed, that prices were stable – but they still intended to send prices higher.

Since the Bretton Woods Agreement was signed in the wake of World War II, the global monetary system has been based on the US dollar. This means that when the Fed decides to create trillions of dollars of inflation, other countries can’t simply say, “let them dig their own grave.” Instead, because their international transactions are denominated in dollars, they feel a pressure to maintain relatively stable exchange rates between their currencies and the dollar.

Read More »

Ron Paul tells us “Dangerous Times Ahead”

November 7th, 2010 9:37 pm  |  by  |  Published in Individual Responsibility, inflation, Liberty, Ron Paul  |  1

This is a rather interesting video found at the premiere Ron Paul web site, The Daily Paul.