CSPAN’s show, Newsmakers, aired this weekend. Their guest was Congressman Ron Paul. Most of the questions revolved around economics and the Federal Reserve. It’s refreshing when Dr. Paul is given the proper amount of time to explain his positions without the interruptions that always occur on the mainstream media outlets.
You may borrow from or copy the following sample letter for this purpose . . .
In addition to supporting the “Free Competition in Currency Act” please vote NO on the big Obama-Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, HR 4173. Ron Paul’s currency bill addresses the root causes of the financial crisis, while the regulation bill does not.
The financial crisis was caused by . . .
* The Federal Reserve keeping interest rates artificially low
* The Federal Reserve inflating the money supply to satisfy Congress’s deficit spending
* Government policies encouraging or forcing financial institutions to issue credit to undeserving people
Together, these policies caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the mal-investment of easy money. The result was the Great Recession.
What does the Obama-Dodd-Frank bill do to address these problems?
Instead, it sets up a “Consumer Protection” agency whose regulations will conflict with other regulatory agencies:
Many believe that the Federal Reserve controls interest rates. But what if they do not? Here is a case for readers to decide on.
The Federal Reserve, myself, and many others, have made the claim that the FED controls both the interest rates and supply of dollars and credit. [For those unfamiliar with the FED, you can learn just about everything you need to know from the links at the bottom of my Federal Reserve plank, and this article “Fractional Reserve Banking in Pictures.”] Several weeks, I had a conversation with Karl Denninger from Market Ticker on the gold market, and we also discussed his theory that while the FED can jawbone and could theoretically move the federal funds rate wherever it wants, it still follows the marketplace. In other words, its control of interest rates may be all bluster and a false charade.
Earlier today Ron Paul did what he does best: Hammered central government/economic planning during a House committee hearing. He then gets to ask Ben Bernanke a few questions on interest rate manipulation. Unsurprisingly, Bernanke claims the problems were due to not enough regulation rather than admit that regulation was the cause of the problems.
“Central Banking is an art.” – Bernanke
Near the end of the 2nd clip both men get to the heart of their differences:
Bernanke: “You are a gold standard, er, uh…”
Paul: “I’m for the Constitution.”
In Barack Obama’s latest health care plan is a proposal to give the Health and Human Services secretary the power to block price increases in premiums by health insurers. That power, on its face, would be subjective and political. However, it would complete the take-over of American companies by this increasingly relentless socialist administration.
Look at the facts, these days government dictates how to make a product, the government dictates what to put in a product, the government dictates shipping methodology if the U.S. Postal Service is used, the government dictates working conditions with OSHA, the government dictates minimum pay for employees and who to hire with EEOC laws, the government dictates salaries and bonuses for management in some industries, and, at the end of the day, for its efforts, the government will be on hand to collect its fair share of the company’s profit through taxation if a company is fortunate enough to make a profit on its transactions.
Now the government wants to dictate to companies what they will charge for their products.
What decision making is left for a company under this administration? Helping pick the color of tablecloths in the company mess hall?
This proposal will be the final nail in the de facto take-over of American business. And it neatly avoids the messiness and expense of actually having to buy or run companies ala General Motors or AIG. Free companies! What socialist politician wouldn’t be giddy with excitement over the prospect?
You just gotta admire that crazy Capitalist Socialism.
Quote of the Day: “Even in the best economic times, you won’t find an investment with a greater payoff than what these companies have been getting.” — Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of The Center for Responsive politics
* T.A.R.P. stands for Toxic Asset Relief Program
* The T.A.R.P. was supposed to spend $700 billion buying so-called toxic assets from institutions that were supposedly too big to fail, but . . .
* After Congress said yes to this proposal the Treasury Department instead used the funds to buy stock in major banks
* In other words, The Toxic Asset Relief Program ended up having nothing to do with toxic assets
“On February 5, 2009, Elizabeth Warren, chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel, told the Senate Banking Committee that during 2008, the federal government paid $254 billion for assets that were worth only $176 billion.”
And even worse . . .
“During 2008, the companies that received bailout money had spent $114 million on lobbying and campaign contributions. These companies received $295 billion in bailout money.”
Thus, our quote of the day. Spending $114 million on lobbying to gain $295 billion dollars from the taxpayers is a hell of a deal. Many thoughts flow from this . . .
* Those who told us that strong campaign finance laws would curtail corruption were wrong
* Those who tell us we need Big Government to control evil corporations overlook the fact that big corporations want big government, because they benefit from it, and largely control it
* The same kind of lobbying and corporate control is behind the scheme for increased government involvement in health care
* And the $800 billion stimulus bill was another heaping helping of corporate welfare too
Sadly, this isn’t a new development. President Obama and the Democratic Congress are just continuing the policies of President Bush and the Republican Congress . . .
As long as partisan loyalists continue to believe that their particular political party, and their particular political savior (be it Obama, Bush, whoever) is somehow different, we’ll continue to be victims of the same insanity. And at some point we might as well change the country’s name to . . .
Some politicians want to mandate that employers provide health insurance for their workers, and/or that individuals must acquire such insurance, much as we’re all required to have car insurance. This is supposed to achieve universal coverage while also reducing costs. But…
Massachusetts politicians have already run this experiment, with bad results.
Massachusetts politicians promised that the insurance mandate would reduce medical costs. They also estimated that health insurance premiums could drop by 25-40%. Instead…
* Premiums rose by 7.4% in 2007, 8-12% in 2008, and are expected to rise 9% this year
* This compares to an average nationwide increase of only 5.7% over the same period
* Annual health insurance costs for a family in Massachusetts average about $4,000 more than the national rate
* Health care spending has also increased in Massachusetts by 23% since the coverage mandate was enacted
We already know the results of the mandate idea. Congress MUST NOT inflict this mistaken idea on the rest of us. Read More »