Economics/Banking/Money/Debt

The best Ron Paul analysis you will ever read this campaign season…

December 31st, 2011 2:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Commentary, Drugs, Election, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Politics, Ron Paul, Social Security, torture, War  |  33 Responses

…comes from Glenn Greenwald. I’ve always admired Greenwald; however, I found myself cheering in agreement as I read his latest article, “Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies”. He suggests that voters will have to decide for themselves on the lesser of evils (as usual). In doing so Greenwald pushes to the surface the numerous actions Obama has taken that goes directly against what self-righteous progressives are all about. It’s long, but read it. It is truth. Yes, even the part about the newsletters. Here is an excerpt:

The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations withdronescluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has wagedan unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.

Read it all at Salon.com.

Ron Paul, and why reality is immune to human fantasy

December 21st, 2011 2:51 am  |  by  |  Published in Constitution, Election, government spending, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul, Taxes  |  21 Responses

Conservative/Libertarian radio talk show host (in Baltimore) Ron Smith passed away this week from pancreatic cancer. He was an outspoken supporter of Ron Paul. The article announcing his death included some audio excerpts, including one on the 4 year anniversary of 9-11. In it he quotes Vernon Howard:

Reality is immune to human fantasy

This truism is no more prevalent than now as we witness Ron Paul’s rise in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire to front runner status. All of the usual pundits in the usual media outlets are attempting to discredit a potential Paul victory in Iowa by calling it meaningless. This is irritating and predictable; however, it gets worse. The governor of Iowa has now joined in on this fantasy. From Politico:

Leading Republicans, looking to put the best possible frame on a Paul victory, are already testing out a message for what they’ll say if the 76-year-old Texas congressman is triumphant.

The short version: Ignore him.

“People are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third,” said Gov. Terry Branstad. “If [Mitt] Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire and the other states.”

What country do we live in again? This ain’t America…. not even the America I was taught about in public school. Discrediting an election (caucus) merely because you disagree with the results is something Hugo Chavez does. It is not something we do in America. At least I thought we didn’t. Do these Ron Paul detractors really believe this behavior is acceptable? If the majority (or plurality) of people in your state vote for someone you don’t like how can you say it doesn’t count?

This effort at undermining their own process by making these comments has more danger of discrediting the election than Ron Paul winning. Hopefully Iowans and others see through this poppycock and vote without its influence.

The reality of Ron Paul should be no match for those naysayers living in fantasy land calling him an anti-semite, racist, and worse. It seems to me that once your foes start calling you names rather than debate you on your positions then you’ve already won.

During Paul’s 2008 campaign I wrote that I didn’t think America was quite ready for Ron Paul. Here in 2012, America just might be ready for him and the harsh reality he brings. We are going broke. We need to cut spending. We need to cut taxes. We need to bring our troops home from overseas to defend this country. We need to end all foreign aid. Yes, including Israel. Give them back their sovereignty.

If you fear a Ron Paul presidency just take a deep breath, calm down, and read the Constitution. That’s his platform. If you still think he’s too extreme then realize that there are 2 other branches of government that will be operating to limit his extremism. That’s a major reason we have the judiciary and legislature, checks and balances. If any other candidate wins, nothing will change. We’ll keep going down the spending death-spiral to our own demise. I’m not a big fan of demise. I’m voting for Ron Paul. Are you?

RIP Ron Smith.

 

Ron Paul: The Tonight Show or Campaign Rally?

December 17th, 2011 2:19 am  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Constitution, Drugs, Election, Environment, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Maven Commentary, Politics, Ron Paul, states rights, Taxes  |  33 Responses

Last night Ron Paul appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a big Ron Paul supporter it was surreal. Leno kept him on for 3 interview segments. Almost every single thing Ron Paul said was met with loud cheers. Comedian/Fear Factor Host/Podcaster Joe Rogan was Leno’s next guest. He came out wearing a Ron Paul shirt. Leno asked Joe, “What part of his [Ron Paul's] platform do you like?” Rogan replied, “Every single thing that comes out of his mouth. I go yeah, YEAH, FINALLY!”

This was not just an appearance on a late night talk show. This was a Ron Paul campaign rally.

During the final interview segment with Paul, Leno asked him his thoughts on the other candidates and went down the list by name. When he got to Bachmann, Ron Paul replied, “She doesn’t like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She wants to go get them.” This probably didn’t win him any neo-conservative supporters. Then he doubled down on this when he replied similarly about Santorum saying he doesn’t like “gay people and Muslims.”  Wow. I can’t imagine that Santorum and Bachmann won’t issue a counter-attack soon.

This just further cements my point in previous articles. Ron Paul can and would beat Obama in the general election. His more difficult win is in the GOP primary.

During the appearance Twitter was about 99% positive about Ron Paul, including many tweets saying things like, “I wasn’t sure before, but now I’m definitely voting for Ron Paul.”

Now we can sit back and monitor how the pundits and other candidates react, if they react at all.

See the entire appearance below in 4 parts.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

 

Obama Gets Real

December 9th, 2011 8:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, government spending, Market Regulation, Obama, Peter Schiff  |  1

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and host of the nationally syndicated Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from 10am to noon ET every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com

For most of his time as a national political figure, Barack Obama has been careful to cloak his core socialist leanings behind a veil of pro-capitalist rhetoric. This makes strategic sense, as Americans still largely identify as pro-capitalist. However, based on his recent speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, the President appears to have reassessed the political landscape in advance of the 2012 elections. Based on the growth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the recent defeat of Republicans in special elections, he has perhaps sensed a surge of left-leaning sentiment; and, as a result, he finally dropped the pretense.

According to our President’s new view of history, capitalism is a theory that has “never worked.” He argues that its appeal can’t be justified by results, but its popularity is based on Americans’ preference for an economic ideology that “fits well on a bumper sticker.” He feels that capitalism speaks to the flaws in the American DNA, those deeply rooted creation myths that elevate the achievements of individuals and cast unwarranted skepticism on the benefits of government. He argues that this pre-disposition has been exploited by the rich to popularize policies that benefit themselves at the expense of the poor and middle class.

But Obama’s knowledge of history is limited to what is written on his teleprompter. And his selection of the same location that Teddy Roosevelt used to chart an abrupt departure into populist politics is deeply symbolic in the opposite way to that which he intended. It is not by some genetic fluke that Americans distrust government. It is an integral and essential part of our heritage. The United States was founded by people who distrusted government intensely and was subsequently settled, over successive generations, by people fleeing the ravages of government oppression. These Americans relied on capitalism to quickly build the greatest economic power the world had ever seen – from nothing.

But according to Obama’s revisionist version of American history, we tried capitalism only briefly during our history. First, during the Robber Barron period of the late 19th Century, the result of which was child labor and unprecedented lower-class poverty. These ravages were supposedly only corrected by the progressive policies of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. We tried capitalism again in the 1920s, according to Obama, and the result was the Great Depression. This time, it allegedly took FDR’s New Deal to finally slay that capitalist monster. Then, the account only gets more farcical. Apparently, we tried capitalism again under George W. Bush, and the result was the housing bubble, financial crisis, and ensuing Great Recession. Obama now argues that government is needed once again to save the day.

This view is complete fiction and proves that Obama is not qualified to teach elementary school civics, let alone serve as President of the United States. I wonder what other economic system he believes we followed prior to the 1890s and 1920s (and during the 1950s and 1960s) that that he now seeks to restore? Capitalism did not start with J.P. Morgan in 1890s or John D. Rockefeller in the 1920s as the President suggests. In fact, it was about that time that capitalism came under attack by the progressives. We were born and prospered under capitalism. The Great Depression did not result from unbridled capitalism, but from the monetary policy of the newly created Federal Reserve and the interventionist economic policies of both Hoover and Roosevelt – policies that were decidedly un-capitalist.

The prosperity enjoyed during mid-20th century actually resulted from the incredible progress produced by years of capitalism. Contrary to Obama’s belief, the New Deal and Great Society did not create the middle class; it was, in fact, a direct result of the capitalist industrial revolution. The socialist programs of which Obama is so fond are the reasons why the middle class has been shrinking. America’s economic descent began in the 1960s, when we abandoned capitalism in favor of a mixed economy. By mixing capitalism with socialism, we undermined economic growth, and reversed much of the progress years of laissez-faire had bestowed on average Americans. The back of the middle class is being broken by the weight of government and the enormous burden taxes and regulation place on the economy.

America’s first experiment with socialism, the Plymouth Bay Colony, ended in failure, and our most successful colonies – New York, Virginia, Massachusetts  – were begun primarily as commercial enterprises. When the founding fathers gathered to write the Constitution, they represented capitalist states and granted the federal government severely limited powers.

Apparently, Obama thinks our founders’ mistrust of government was delusional, and that we were fortunate that far wiser groups of leaders eventually corrected those mistakes. The danger, as Obama sees it, is that some Republicans actually want to reverse course and adopt the failed ideas espoused by great American fools like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.

The President unknowingly illustrated his own contradictory thinking with the importance he now places on extending the temporary payroll tax cuts. If all that stands between middle-class families and abject poverty is a small tax cut, imagine how much damage the far more massive existing tax burden already inflicts on those very households! If Obama really wants to relieve middle-class taxpayers of this burden, he needs to reduce the cost of government by cutting spending. After all, there is no way to pay for all the government programs Obama wants by simply by taxing the rich.

History has proven time-and-again that capitalism works and socialism does not. Taking money from the rich and redistributing it to the poor does not grow the economy. On the contrary, it reduces the incentives of both parties. It lowers savings, destroys capital, limits economic growth, and lowers living standards. Maybe Obama should take his eyes off the teleprompter long enough to read some American history. In fact, he could start by reading the Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold.

New Special Report: For an in-depth look at the prospects of international currencies, download Peter Schiff’s and Axel Merk’s Five Favorite Currencies for the Next Five Years.

 

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For a great primer on economics, be sure to pick up a copy of Peter Schiff’s hit economic parable, How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes.

 

President Obama Announces Plan to Boost College Tuitions

October 26th, 2011 8:40 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Obama, Peter Schiff  |  1

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of  The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com.


President Obama today announced a plan that will ensure students are able to commit to higher levels of federally backed student loans. By limiting student obligations to repay, and by passing more of the repayment burden onto taxpayers, colleges and universities will be able to continue to raise tuitions at a rate that outpaces nearly every other cost center in the American economy. The move will come as a great relief to an education establishment increasingly concerned that students might no longer be able to afford skyrocketing tuition rates.

The AP reported today that state support for higher education has fallen 23% after accounting for inflation over the last ten years, even as tuitions have risen 5.6% faster than CPI. This gap has been bridged by a whopping 57% increase in federal student loans over the same time period due to the increased cost of tuition and number of student enrollment. Read More »

Herman Cain’s Hidden Extra Nine

October 18th, 2011 11:15 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Election, Liberty, Peter Schiff, Polling, Social Security, Taxes  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com

Herman Cain has been gaining much traction with his 9-9-9 Plan, a bold proposal to replace our dysfunctional tax code with what could be a simpler, less invasive, and more economically stimulative alternative. While I don’t agree with the full spectrum of Mr. Cain’s policy choices, I applaud his courage on the tax front. Judging by his rising poll numbers, this appreciation is widely shared. However, the plan has deep flaws, the most glaring of which is its creation of a hidden payroll tax which represents a fourth “nine.” This serious pitfall has been unmentioned by Mr. Cain and overlooked by those who have analyzed his plan.

Cain would replace the current system of income and payroll taxes with a 9% flat-rate personal income tax, a 9% corporate tax, and a 9% national sales tax. Great idea. Such a system would unburden businesses, provide a tax cut for most Americans, and shift taxation to consumption and away from income generation. This is exactly what our economy needs. But unlike our current corporate tax system, the plan eliminates the deductibility of wages and salaries from corporate income. The net effect is the creation of a brand new 9% tax on wages. When this fourth 9 falls from Cain’s sleeve, many of his opponents will likely accuse him of cheating.

Read More »

Twist Paves the Way for QE III

September 24th, 2011 2:46 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Federal Reserve, inflation, Money, Peter Schiff  |  1

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com.

Earlier this week the Federal Reserve ignited a firestorm in the global markets by admitting that the U.S. economy is facing downside risks. Although it continues to sugar coat the unpleasant reality, never has such a stunningly obvious statement resulted is so much turmoil.

Once again we are seeing the knee-jerk market reaction to seek refuge in the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar and U.S. Treasuries. However I expect investors will soon discover that such assets are firmly in the eye of the storm.  As the tempest moves on, those enjoying the dollar’s current stability may soon find themselves battered by a category five monster.

Market disappointment was compounded when the Fed failed to follow up its dire outlook with a new round of quantitative easing (QE). Instead, through a policy entitled “Operation Twist” the Fed promised to sell $400 billion of short-term Treasuries and use the proceeds to buy an equivalent amount of long-term Treasuries. The markets evidently perceived this “balance sheet neutral” policy as too timid.

From my perspective, the Twist really amounts to another Fed “Hail Mary” pass that will fall short of the end zone. But, by putting the squeeze on banks and further restricting credit availability to small business the move will likely do more harm than good.

Read More »

Ron Paul holds hearing on legalizing competition in currencies

September 24th, 2011 1:43 pm  |  by  |  Published in congress, law, Liberty, Market Regulation, Money, Politics, Rand Paul  |  13 Responses

From Chris Powell of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee comes the news:

Last week U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, held a hearing on his proposed Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011 (H.R. 1098), which would repeal legal tender laws, restrictions on private mints, and taxes on gold and silver, since such taxes interfere with the metals’ circulation as money. Testifying were the executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education, Lawrence M. Parks, and George Mason University Economics Professor Lawrence H. White. Video of the hearing is not quite an hour long and you can watch it here:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

The full text of the legislation is simple and concise and can be found here:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-1098

The legislation would seem to legalize the Liberty Dollar coins whose issuer recently was convicted on vague charges in federal court in North Carolina. Professor White quotes New York Sun editor and Wall Street Journal contributor Seth Lipsky to the effect that it doesn’t make much sense to suppress private money that is sound to protect money that is unsound.

Unfortunately the Free Competition in Currency Act has no co-sponsors and its introduction and this week’s hearing seem to be mainly an educational exercise. But that’s where everything starts.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

September 13th, 2011 8:22 pm  |  by  |  Published in Bailouts, Banking, congress, Debt, Economics, Federal Reserve, government spending, inflation, jobs, Money, national debt, Peter Schiff, Taxes  |  Comments Off

On Tuesday, September 13, Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capitalwww.europac.net will testify before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending. The hearing entitled, “Take Two: The President’s Proposal to Stimulate the Economy and Create Jobs” will examine federal job creation efforts. Mr. Schiff, author of many best-selling books including “How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes” is well known for his views on how federal regulatory activism and irresponsible monetary and fiscal policy is actively destroying jobs in America. The following statement from Mr. Schiff will be read into the Congressional Record this morning. Within a few days, video of the hearings will be available on the Committee’s website. Please feel free to excerpt or repost with the proper attribution and all links included.
 

How the Government Can Create Jobs

Testimony by Peter D. Schiff

Offered to the House Sub-Committee on Government Reform and Stimulus Oversight

September 13, 2011

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ranking member, and all distinguished members of this panel. Thank you for inviting me here today to offer my opinions as to how the government can help the American economy recover from the worst crisis in living memory.

Despite the understandable human tendency to help others, government spending cannot be a net creator of jobs. Indeed many efforts currently under consideration by the Administration and Congress will actively destroy jobs. These initiatives must stop. While it is easy to see how a deficit-financed government program can lead to the creation of a specific job, it is much harder to see how other jobs are destroyed by the diversion of capital and resources. It is also difficult to see how the bigger budget deficits sap the economy of vitality, destroying jobs in the process.

In a free market jobs are created by profit seeking businesses with access to capital. Unfortunately Government taxes and regulation diminish profits, and deficit spending and artificially low interest rates inhibit capital formation. As a result unemployment remains high, and will likely continue to rise until policies are reversed.

Read More »

Ignore the Constitution – It Just Gets in the Way

September 9th, 2011 1:48 am  |  by  |  Published in Commentary, Constitution, Debt, government spending  |  Comments Off

By  Craig Hensler

This evening President Obama presented his latest plan to “stimulate” the United States economy;  this time, to the tune of $447 billion.  This stimulus is to be completely paid for by undefined savings at a future, undetermined date.  By now, as a nation, we’re all probably quite numb to this and a proposal of this nature doesn’t elicit the same level of anxiety and fear that it once may have.  However, what should really frighten each of us is the outrageous question posed by Mr. Obama in defense of his proposal:

What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do?

Indeed, what kind of a country would this be if government felt constrained by the Constitution and if  unpayable and unimaginable debts had not been created as the result of unkeepable promises and political escapades designed to curry favor.

Maybe it’s time to remind Mr. Obama and our elected representatives that they each took an oath, “to uphold and to defend the Constitution.”  Or, were those simply empty promises or political expediencies?

If not now, when?