Publicado: 10-29-2009 04:39 PM
OBAMA and The Coming Financial Crisis – by Vasko Kohlmayer
Posted By Vasko Kohlmayer On October 29, 2009
The Associated Press noted  last week that the federal deficit reached a record $1.42 trillion for the fiscal year that ended September 30. Up until now, most of the mainstream media have either ignored the exploding deficits or declared them a good thing, since they were supposed to lift us out of the recession. But now that the full figures have come in even some Obama-friendly media stalwarts are struck by their enormity.
This awakening is heartening. The AP report does a good job of putting the deficit number against some other figures to give a sense of scale. The government’s shortfall last year, AP notes, is larger than the whole economy of India and more than the combined deficits during this country’s first two hundred years. It is, in fact, almost as large as the yearly economic output of Canada. AP quoted Kenneth Rogoff, former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund, who pointed out that “The rudderless U.S. fiscal policy is the biggest long-term risk to the U.S. economy.”
Rogoff only states the obvious. The gravest threat to this country’s economic well-being is the policies of this government. A Harvard professor and a Keynesian through and through, Rogoff is no right-wing conservative. But after surveying the grim economic picture, even liberals must recognize that the reckless spending of the Obama administration is taking us toward fiscal Armageddon.
An encouraging sign though it may be, the AP report leaves much to be desired. It asserts, for example, that the $1.42 trillion deficit “includes the cost of the government’s financial sector bailout and the economic stimulus program passed in February.” This is flat out false. Less than $200 billion was spent from the stimulus authorization in fiscal 2009. If the stimulus allotment had been tapped in full, the deficit would have been close to $2 trillion. Needless to say, most of the remainder will be spent in the current fiscal cycle, which will push up the 2010 deficit figure accordingly.
Further, despite its newfound concern about Washington’s overspending, AP exhibits striking fiscal naïveté when it maintains that the huge deficit could itself “be the seeds of another economic crisis.” Here is a newsflash for AP: The $1.42 trillion deficit is a crisis. There is simply no other way to describe our government’s unconscionable fiscal profligacy.
So bad things have become that, when asked about it, Senator Judd Gregg told  CNN that “we’re basically on the path to a banana-republic-type of financial situation in this country.” Disturbing as it is to admit, Gregg is largely right. Saddled with more than $65 trillion in obligations, there is simply no way our government can make good on its debts.
The only reason things have not yet fallen apart is the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency. But this too is coming to an end. In recent months we have seen holders of our national debt grow increasingly alarmed about the integrity of their investment, with many openly voicing their desire to decouple themselves from the dollar regime. Their problem is that they have not yet figured out an alternative, so they have to stick with the dollar for the time being. But once they figure it out, the floor will fall out from under the once-mighty greenback and all fiscal hell will break loose.
In another sign of impending trouble, Sheila Bair – the nation’s top financial regulator – has testified  before Congress that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is running a shortfall. According to Bair, the fund – which is designed to protect consumer bank deposits – will have a negative balance at least through 2012. The reason for this is the mounting number of bank failures. As of Friday last week the tally  for this year was 106 banks. This is most in a single year since the end of the savings-and-loan crisis in the 1980s. There are many more bank failures expected in the months ahead, with more than 400 banks currently flagged as being at risk.
This should be a warning to those who think that their bank accounts are safe, because they are “insured” by the government through the FDIC. This is a false assurance. Mired in debts it cannot pay, the U.S. government will be in no posi..tion to bail out anyone should another massive wave of bank failures take place.
Operating under permanent structural deficits, our government has no stash of real dollars to draw upon. Because of this, it can only replenish the sinking FDIC fund in one of two ways: It can either borrow more or it can simply print new money. Since there is every indication that the era of low bond yields is coming to an end, the money the FDIC will dish out during the next crisis will likely be of the printed sort. It will be inflationary diluted money whose value will be less than it was at the time when those “insured” deposits were made. In the last six months alone the dollar lost 10 percent of its value. Two hundred thousand fifty dollars of, let’s say, 2002 will be worth appreciably less in 2012. If things continue this way and if the government is forced to pump up freshly-printed billions into the FDIC, most depositors – especially those who put their money in the bank some time ago – will walk away with only a fraction of their original value.
The idea that a government that is itself in need of a bail out can come to anyone’s rescue is becoming increasingly untenable. Even the administration’s once-loyal supporters in the mainstream media no longer believe it.
Publicado: 10-30-2009 11:56 AM
Obama’s Bush Blame Game
LOGROS DEL OBAMUNISMO: 17 % DESEMPLEO, EL DOLAR SE DEVALUA DIA A DIA PERDIENDO SU REINADO COMO LA MONEDA PREFERIDA PARA LOS INTERCAMBIOS COMERCIALES EN EL MUNDO ENTERO; LA DEUDA CREADA POR OBAMA ES TAN ESTRATOSFERICA QUE U.S. ESTA A PUNTO DE PERDER SU RECORD CREDITICIO TRIPLE A CON LO CUAL NOS VEREMOS OBLIGADOS A PAGAR INTERESES MUCHO MAS ALTOS EN LA DEUDA EXTERNA E INTERNA. EL PRESTIGIO DE ESTADOS UNIDOS HA DESCENDIDO A TAL NIVEL QUE OBAMA ES HALABADO POR LOS ENEMIGOS DE ESTADOS MIENTRAS SE CONVIERTE EN EL HAZME REIR DE AMIGOS Y ENEMIGOS.
Obama’s Bush Blame Game
By Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON — Old Soviet joke:
Moscow, 1953. Stalin calls in Khrushchev.
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Barack Obama foreign policy
“Niki, I’m dying. Don’t have much to leave you. Just three envelopes. Open them, one at a time, when you get into big trouble.”
A few years later, first crisis. Khrushchev opens envelope 1: “Blame everything on me. Uncle Joe.”
A few years later, a really big crisis. Opens envelope 2: “Blame everything on me. Again. Good luck, Uncle Joe.”
Third crisis. Opens envelope 3: “Prepare three envelopes.”
In the Barack Obama version, there are 50 or so such blame-Bush free passes before the gig is up. By my calculation, Obama has already burned through a good 49. Is there anything he hasn’t blamed George W. Bush for? The economy, global warming, the credit crisis, Middle East stalemate, the deficit, anti-Americanism abroad — everything but swine flu.
It’s as if Obama’s presidency hasn’t really started. He’s still taking inventory of the Bush years. Just this Monday, he referred to “long years of drift” in Afghanistan in order to, I suppose, explain away his own, well, yearlong drift on Afghanistan.
This compulsion to attack his predecessor is as stale as it is unseemly. Obama was elected a year ago. He became commander in chief two months later. He then solemnly announced his own “comprehensive new strategy” for Afghanistan seven months ago. And it was not an off-the-cuff decision. “My administration has heard from our military commanders, as well as our diplomats,” the president assured us. “We’ve consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments, with our partners and our NATO allies, and with other donors and international organizations” and “with members of Congress. “
Obama is obviously unhappy with the path he himself chose in March. Fine. He has every right — indeed duty — to reconsider. But what Obama is reacting to is the failure of his own strategy.
There is nothing new here. The history of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is a considered readjustment of policies that have failed. In each war, quick initial low-casualty campaigns toppled enemy governments. In the subsequent occupation stage, two policy choices presented themselves: the light or heavy “footprint.”
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, we initially chose the light footprint. For obvious reasons: less risk and fewer losses for our troops, while reducing the intrusiveness of the occupation and thus the chances of creating an anti-foreigner backlash that would fan an insurgency.
This was the considered judgment of our commanders at the time, most especially Centcom commander (2003-2007) Gen. John Abizaid. And Abizaid was no stranger to the territory. He speaks Arabic and is a scholar of the region. The overriding idea was that the light footprint would minimize local opposition.
It was a perfectly reasonable assumption, but it proved wrong. The strategy failed. Not just because the enemy proved highly resilient but because the allegiance of the population turned out to hinge far less on resentment of foreign intrusiveness (in fact the locals came to hate the insurgents — al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan — far more than us) than on physical insecurity, which made them side with the insurgents out of sheer fear.
What they needed, argued Gen. David Petraeus against much Pentagon brass opposition, was population protection, i.e., a heavy footprint.
In Iraq, the heavy footprint — also known as the surge — dramatically reversed the fortunes of war. In Afghanistan, where it took longer for the Taliban to regroup, the failure of the light footprint did not become evident until more recently when an uneasy stalemate began to deteriorate into steady Taliban advances.
That’s where we are now in Afghanistan. The logic of a true counterinsurgency strategy there is that whatever resentment a troop surge might occasion pales in comparison with the continued demoralization of any potential anti-Taliban elements unless they receive serious and immediate protection from U.S.-NATO forces.
In other words, Obama is facing the same decision on Afghanistan that Bush faced in late 2006 in deciding to surge in Iraq.
In both places, the deterioration of the military situation was not the result of “drift,” but of considered policies that seemed reasonable, cautious and culturally sensitive at the time, but ultimately turned out to be wrong.
Which is evidently what Obama now thinks of the policy choice he made on March 27.
He is to be commended for reconsidering. But it is time he acted like a president and decided. Afghanistan is his. He’s used up his envelopes.
Publicado: 10-30-2009 12:48 PM
The ever-changing Obama nativity story
Exclusive: Joseph Farah rallies readers to help discover what Barack is hiding
October 30, 2009
By Joseph Farah
In another month or so, millions will be reading the Nativity story – the one so well-chronicled by gospel-writer Luke.
It’s amazing to me that the details of a birth that took place nearly 2,000 years ago are so precise – complete with genealogical records dating back eons.
Yet, today, even the most basic birth information about the man occupying arguably the most powerful office in the world is murky – and ever-changing.
Nevertheless, if you dare to ask questions about Barack Obama’s birth, even questions about facts required to establish his constitutional eligibility for office, you will be pilloried, ridiculed, written off as a wacko, characterized as a “fringe” extremist, even labeled a “racist.”
What raises this issue for me, again, is the fact that even Barack and Michelle Obama are telling two entirely contradictory stories about his birth – and even this raises no questions in the minds of uniformly unquestioning media types.
In case you missed it, Michelle Obama stated at a public event last year during the campaign that Barack Obama’s mother was unmarried when she gave birth.
Now, I don’t really care, except for the fact that Barack Obama has told a different story – in his autobiography and elsewhere.
Is it important in and of itself? No.
But what’s important to note is that there is no documentation to ascertain the facts.
And that’s what the so-called “birther” issue is all about.
Yes, I am nearly alone among the press in demanding that Barack Obama actually produce some evidence that he is eligible to serve as president. I also insist on seeing documentation of other claims he has made about his life – school records, travel records, health records, selective service registration records and so on.
This may be a shocker for my colleagues in the media, but politicians sometimes don’t tell the truth.
Not only are the news media doggedly non-curious about establishing the facts, they seem manifestly hell-bent on extinguishing any curiosity among others.
Night after night on cable television, MSNBC, CNN and Fox hosts all sing the same tune, dance to the same beat, march to the same drummer.
I guess they want to be accepted by their peers. I guess they want to seem like they are informed. I guess they want to seem “mainstream.” I guess they don’t really care about truth, evidence, documentation, facts, reality.
Let’s face it: If Michelle and Barack Obama can’t even get their stories straight about the marital status of his parents, why should we simply accept that they were his parents? Why should we accept the official story of where he was born? Why should we accept that he is constitutionally eligible to serve as president as a natural born citizen? Why isn’t everyone, including those who like Barack Obama, demanding that he address this question head-on and lay out the proof for the American people?
Is there any question in anyone’s mind, at this point, that this issue is not going away?
Is there any question in anyone’s mind, at this point, that this issue will continue to haunt Barack Obama’s presidency and his agenda for the next three years?
(Column continues below)
Is there any question in anyone’s mind, at this point, that this issue will plague him right through his re-election effort in 2012?
Is there any question in anyone’s mind, at this point, with Obama having spent at least $1.7 million in fighting legal efforts aimed at producing the evidence, that he is definitely hiding something?
I have never been more convinced that I am right and nearly all my colleagues are wrong.
I don’t know why so many of them are actively engaged in a cover-up, but that is the only way to describe their lemming-like behavior.
If you agree with me and disagree with them, I’m going to ask you once again for support.
Here’s what you can do to make a difference:
Sign the petition that is now nearing half a million names.
See the one and only documentary produced on this issue and share it with your friends and family members this holiday season.
Send a contribution, no matter how small, to the national billboard campaign that has formed the rallying cry for the so-called “birthers” – “Where’s the birth certificate?”
Get your rally and yard signs, bumper stickers and postcards.
And get extra copies of the most comprehensive special report ever produced on the Obama eligibility issue and share those with friends and family members.
Don’t be afraid this issue is going to blow up in your face. Seek the truth – you can never go wrong. Obama is hiding something – something very important to him and his character and reputation if not his eligibility. Let’s find out what it is.
Publicado: 10-31-2009 10:36 PM
5 GRANDES RAZONES PORQUE ES OTRA MENTIRA DE OBAMA QUE EL GNP CRECIERA UN 3.5
5 Big Reasons for You to Doubt the GDP Growth
By Rocky Vega
10/31/09 Stockholm, Sweden – It’s true, the 3.5 percent third quarter GDP growth could be a sign of good things to come… but most likely that’s not the case. Brian Sullivan of FBN has put together five reasons why the US is not recovering.
1. The money lost on stimulus spending – The 3.5 percent growth in GDP is roughly equal to an additional $112 billion dollars in output quarter-over-quarter, but we spent $173 billion on stimulus over that same period. Basically, GDP gained about 65 cents for every dollar spent on stimulus, not exactly a win.
2. The weak job market – In October the total number of people filing for some kind of unemployment rose to over 10 million for the first time in history, and no new jobs are replacing the ones that are lost.
3. Consumption is only up because of incentives – Cash for Clunkers, tax credits on energy efficient goods, and other programs have only temporarily goosed shopping. US consumer spending has already fallen again in September… for the first time in five months and by the largest amount in nine.
4. Housing tax credits – The National Association of Realtors says nearly half of the increase in home sales this year was due to tax credit. Unfortunately, the credit cost about $30 billion to execute and only generated about $11.6 billion in tax revenue. Roughly speaking, about three dollars were spent for every dollar brought in.
5. The weak dollar – Two notable problems here. First, foreign countries have been able to cheaply borrow the weak dollar in order to finance useful capital projects in places far away from the US. Second, the Chinese yuan’s dollar peg causes it to weaken when the dollar does. This means that China keeps its cost advantages and the US fails to see increased exports.
The economy is bound to be rough for some time to come. See these five points in their original context and with more details in Fox Business News’ coverage of the GDP jump that isn’t what it seems.
Rocky Vega is a regular contributor to The Daily Reckoning. Previously, he was founding publisher of UrbanTurf and RFID Update, which he operated from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico, and associate publisher of FierceFinance. He specialized in direct marketing at MBI, facilitated MIT Sloan School of Management programs, and has been featured on CBS. Vega graduated with honors from Harvard University, where he was on the board of Let’s Go Publications and directed business programs involving McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, and Harvard Business School faculty. He is also enrolled at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Publicado: 11-02-2009 11:42 AM
CAESAR OBAMA –
by Robert Spencer
On November 2, 2009
The chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman, provoked ridicule when he said last week that “Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar.” He didn’t mean that Barack Obama is a literary titan who doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus while petty men like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Tolstoy walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonourable graves. But what he did mean, while no less fatuous, is also disquieting in its implications: for the first time, the United States of America has a president whose supporters talk about him in the same effusive and worshipful tones usually reserved for the likes of Stalin, Mao, and Kim Jong Il.
What Landesman really meant that since Obama was the most powerful man in the world and a writer as well, the President was the most politically powerful writer since Caesar. “This is the first president,” Landesman asserted, “that actually writes his own books since Teddy Roosevelt and arguably the first to write them really well since Lincoln.”
Landesman is wrong about this in several ways: as Scott Johnson at Powerline pointed out that Lincoln never actually wrote a book, and that Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon wrote books without employing ghostwriters.
Johnson also mentions Bill Clinton, although I believe his direct authorship is a bit more in doubt, and John F. Kennedy, whose Profiles in Courage was ghostwritten; “my guess,” Johnson concludes, “is that JFK and Obama share the attribute of authorship in roughly equal measure.”
Probably so. But that didn’t stop Landesman from exulting: “If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists.” Ludicrous? Yes. After all, the inevitable question is, “What has he done to deserve this?” Do Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope really merit being placed above Churchill’s The Second World War, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, or even Theodore Roosevelt’s The Strenuous Life?
Landesman’s ridiculously exaggerated praise recalls the Soviet literary establishment’s hailing of Stalin’s turgid Marxism and Problems of Linguistics and Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR as “works of genius.”
Every German home once had a copy of Mein Kampf, even if nobody in the house read it, and every Chinese citizen once knew that he better own a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book – if he knew what was good for him.
Landesman has given Barack Obama the perfect companion to his spurious Nobel Prize: the fulsome and empty literary praise usually reserved for totalitarian autocrats of little or no actual literary accomplishment.
At a time when the Obama Administration is relentlessly demonizing dissenting voices and manifesting a shaky (at best) commitment to the freedom of speech, this is hardly a reassuring message to send. It demonstrates once again this Administration’s utter tone deafness and apparent indifference to genuine concerns about its commitment to core principles of the U.S. Constitution – witness Nancy Pelosi’s incredulous response of “are you serious?” to a questioner who asked her about the Constitutionality of nationalizing health care.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has declared her opposition to attempts at the United Nations to criminalize “defamation of religions” – that is, to make it illegal to speak about the motives and goals of Islamic jihad terrorists. Yet the Obama Administration is sending decidedly mixed signals about its commitment to free speech.
Several weeks ago the Obama Administration actually co-sponsored an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council on October 2, the resolution, cosponsored by the U.S. and Egypt, calls on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”
Yet “incitement” and “hatred” are in the eye of the beholder — or more precisely, in the eye of those who make such determinations. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as “hate speech.” And now the President of the United States has given his imprimatur to this tyranny. Legal expert Eugene Volokh explains:
“But why the fuss, some might ask, if we’re protected by the First Amendment? First, if the U.S. backs a resolution that urges the suppression of some speech, presumably we are taking the view that all countries — including the U.S. — should adhere to this resolution. If we are constitutionally barred from adhering to it by our domestic constitution, then we’re implicitly criticizing that constitution, and committing ourselves to do what we can to change it.”
Obama should withdraw American support for that UN resolution, and urge the passage of a resolution supporting free speech. And he should
Now, with free speech under attack everywhere, it is not the time to be inviting comparisons with history’s greatest oppressors – even comparisons on the absurdity meter.
Publicado: 11-02-2009 10:09 PM
Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists.
By Deroy Murdock
Obamacare promises to make medicine cheaper by making it costlier. Case in point: The Senate Finance Committee proposes a brand-new tax on medical devices.
Manufacturers of pacemakers, stents, heart valves, artificial hips, motorized wheelchairs, and other therapeutic instruments may have lobbied this tax in half. But whether they endure the $40 billion now in the Finance Committee’s bill or a $20 billion backroom bargain, Obamacare foolishly would hike taxes on companies that generate health-advancing, life-saving mechanisms.
This Senate measure would slap a ten-year, $4 billion annual tax on medical implements that retail for $100 or more. “The $4 billion excise tax works out to a surcharge equal to $11,000 per year for every American worker employed by our industry,” Braun Medical CEO Carroll Neubauer wrote in October 22’s Huffington Post.
This $4 billion yearly tax exceeds the industry’s $3.7 billion in venture-capital receipts for 2007 and is more than 40 percent of that year’s sector-wide research-and-development outlay of $9.6 billion.
This tax approximates one-sixth of annual industry profits. How exactly will those who make hearing aids, extended-wear contact lenses, and more manufacture today’s products, pay current staffers, hire new employees, and invent tomorrow’s cures — all while this tax devours nearly 17 percent of profits?
“The bill that came out of the committee last week makes absolutely no sense and would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole,” Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott journalists October 20. He predicted: “In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care, but the political scorecard of savings.” Elliott foresees Boston Scientific’s tax liability doubling — between $150 million and $200 million — triggering layoffs of 1,000 to 2,000 employees.
Money aside, this new tax would jeopardize patients’ health and threaten their lives.
“Many of our therapies reduce procedure time, decrease hospitalizations, and empower patients to manage their diseases themselves (insulin pumps, for example) which provides significant cost savings to the system,” Medtronic spokesman Steve Cragle tells me.
Insulin pumps offer diabetics major flexibility in what they eat and when. They can exercise without doubling down on carbohydrates. They also inject themselves one tenth as often as those who use old-fashioned needles. In one recent European study, 100 percent of pump users recommended that apparatus, while only 63 percent of syringe-using diabetics endorsed that approach.
Implantable defibrillators are a 98-percent-effective treatment for ventricular arrhythmias that can cause Sudden Cardiac Death, an ailment that kills 233,000 individuals annually. Obamacare’s tax will make defibrillators and pacemakers pricier to acquire and also to refine over time. At the margins, this stupidity increases cardiac deaths.
America and Earth need more such inventions, plus continuous improvements after introduction. Why can’t diabetics enjoy pumps that automatically monitor blood sugars and inject insulin — essentially artificial pancreases? Every dollar this proposed tax whisks to Washington is one less dollar available for the research and development needed to make such medical dreams come true.
“Clearly, the Democrats are looking for any way to offset the cost of their proposed health-care plan,” says New York financier Brett A. Shisler, a member of the Manhattan Institute’s Young Leaders Circle. “However, they may have neglected the fact that these devices not only save lives, but cut overall health-care costs. As a diabetic who uses a Deltec CoZmo insulin pump to manage my glucose levels, I visit the doctor half as often, eliminated my annual hospital visits, and likely reduced any future diabetes-related complications, as compared to when I was administering insulin through daily injections.”
“The situation all comes down to shared responsibility,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) told journalists on October 19. “We’re all in this together as Americans. That means individuals, providers, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry — and medical device manufacturers.”
Baucus is correct. Medical-gear makers should underwrite their fair share of whatever health-care reform might become law. They should do this by paying their corporate taxes, just like any other company. Period. Taxing this industry to overhaul health care is as boneheaded as charging police-car manufacturers a dedicated anti-crime tax.
These enterprises help Americans enjoy longer, happier, healthier lives. Why do Democrats want to give them 40 billion lashes, rather than applaud their priceless work?
Obama, Baucus, and too many Democrats have an almost touching naïveté about how the world works. Pounding this industry with punitive taxes will yield fewer — not more — life-extending and life-enhancing innovations.
Higher taxes, lower research spending, and pink slips for scientists: Democrat beatings will continue until medicine improves.
— Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.
Publicado: 11-03-2009 08:40 PM
Publicado: 11-04-2009 09:37 PM
Señal negativa hacia Obama
Voto castigo en los comicios regionales
4 de Noviembre de 2009
NEW YORK - Los votantes estadounidenses, inquietos por el estado de la economía y hartos del sistema político predominante, enviaron un enérgico mensaje al presidente Barack Obama, que ganó la Casa Blanca como un agente de cambio pero que se ha convertido en el rostro del poder político.
Lo que vendrá
Los independientes que apoyaron a Obama se inclinaron el martes por los republicanos, contribuyendo a la victoria del partido en oposición en las gobernaciones de Virginia y New Jersey.
Y la coalición de votantes más jóvenes y de grupos minoritarios que impulsaron la victoria de Obama el año pasado fue sustituida por un electorado notablemente más anglosajón, especialmente en el estado de Virginia, donde el demócrata Creigh Deeds perdió por amplio margen.
Pero los demócratas no eran los únicos en peligro, ya que los votantes manifestaron sus frustraciones contra los funcionarios en el cargo y los dirigentes políticos.
En el norte del estado de New York, el demócrata Bill Owens ganó una banca en la Cámara de Representantes que durante décadas habían tenido los republicanos, en una elección especial dominada por una aguda división intrapartidaria en el seno del partido republicano.
Publicado: 11-05-2009 01:40 PM
SHILLING FOR OBAMA – THE DEMISE OF THE DOLLAR'S REIGN
by Vasko Kohlmayer
November 5, 2009
EL REINADO DEL DOLAR LLEGA A SU FIN RESULTADO DEL ATROZ MANEJO DE LA ECONOMIA POR EL REGIMEN MARXISTA DE OBAMA.
Eamon Javers of Politico recently wondered why Matt Drudge, the proprietor of the widely-read Drudge Report, so frequently links to stories detailing the decline of the dollar. In the first three weeks of October, he noted, Drudge linked to such stories eighteen times. Javers suggests that Drudge’s interest in the subject may be politically motivated:
“What Drudge is doing is relentlessly hammering the continuing point which is linking Barack Obama’s administration and what some see as their failures on spending and their agenda on the economy, linking that to the declining value of the dollar. And what we see is the dollar becoming extremely politicized in the debate over whether this is Obama’s fault.”
The quote is revealing in more ways than one. For one thing, it lays bare the mindset of the mainstream media. Javers is only one of a legion of mainstream journalists who automatically assume that any story that reflects badly on the president must be an act of political gamesmanship. It apparently does not occur to them that Matt Drudge may be highlighting those items, because they are intrinsically newsworthy. So intent are they on pushing Obama’s agenda that they have failed to notice one of the most important stories of our time – the ongoing disintegration of the US dollar.
The repercussions of this are immense. Once the dollar collapses, it will take down with it the world’s monetary regime, which has the dollar as its foundation. This will impact all of us in profound and life-changing ways. But rather than reflecting on this situation, the journalistic elite merely wonders whether those who bring this matter to public attention have a political ax to grind with the president.
They would do well to consider that the story of the falling dollar is decidedly not the invention of Matt Drudge or some right-wing attack machine. It is financial market’s verdict on the fiscal mismanagement in Washington, DC. Last week Bloomberg – one of world’s premier business news agencies – opened one of its wires with the revelation that “The dollar reached a 14-month low versus the euro.” On Monday yet another report opened with this: “The dollar slid against high-yielding currencies, led by the Australian dollar.”
In recent months, there has been a proliferation of such stories. The fact that they are almost completely ignored by the mainstream media is less an indictment of Matt Drudge than of the media’s failure to inform the public. Reuters, another premier news service, recently posted a story quoting a close aide to French President Nicolas Sarkozy who accused Washington of “risking global inflation by printing money and flooding the world with liquidity.” Even more ominously, a French government spokesman said that Sarkozy will propose “a new international monetary organization which better reflects today’s world when France holds the presidency of the Group of 20 wealthy nations in 2011.” Whether this particular scheme succeeds or not, the mainstream media should take the clue: The dollar’s rein as king may drawing to an end.
Ever eager to help out President Obama, Politico tries to make the best of the bad situation by suggesting that a weak dollar is actually a good thing. It quotes a New York Times reporter Nelson Schwartz who recently wrote that:
“A weak dollar could prove beneficial to the American economy by aiding long-suffering manufacturers, rebuilding a stronger industrial base and lifting exports even if it makes life harder for trading partners around the world, especially in Europe.”
The idea is that the falling dollar will make American products cheaper abroad and as such they will be bought in greater quantities by foreigners. This is true enough, but the idea that the Obama presidency will somehow benefit American manufacturers is ludicrous. This is because President Obama has no intention of helping American industry. If he had, he would not push so hard for the odious “cap and trade” legislation. By penalizing the use of energy deriving from fossil fuels – which makes up for 85 percent of all energy used in America – this legislation will hit the manufacturing sector especially hard, since manufacturing tends to be energy intensive. The result will be the loss of millions of jobs and the devastation of whatever manufacturing is still left in America today.
The main reason for the collapsing dollar is not the president’s desire to help business but his out-of-control spending. With exploding deficits, Obama has brought federal expenditures to levels unseen since the height of World War II. Injecting trillions into the economy, some of which has been created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, has dramatically increased the money supply and resulted in the dollar’s inevitable depreciation.
The falling of the dollar has not been orchestrated by Obama out of his concern for his country’s industrial sector; it is a consequence of his fiscal recklessness. That this is not a better understood in the country is not the fault of Matt Drudge.
Publicado: 11-05-2009 02:27 PM
Economic Myths and Irrelevancy – by Walter Williams
November 5, 2009
Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and writes frequently for Globe Asia and Forbes magazine. Professor Hanke starts off his “Hu versus Sarkozy” article (Globe Asia, November 2009) with a warning. There is no more reliable rule than the 95 percent rule: 95 percent of what you read about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant. The article contrasts the Chinese versus the French responses to the financial crisis but the major focus is on economic myths.
Hanke says that the most repeated statement about the cause of the U.S. Great Depression is that it was caused by the October 1929 stock market crash. How could that be? By April 1930, the stock market had recovered to its pre-crash level.
What is not taught in history books is the Great Depression was caused by a massive government failure. The most important part of that failure were the actions by the Federal Reserve Bank that led to the contraction of the money supply by 25 percent.
Then, in the name of saving jobs, Congress enacted the Smoot-Hawley Act in June 1930, which increased U.S. tariffs by more than 50 percent. Other nations retaliated and world trade collapsed. U.S. unemployment rose from 8 percent in 1930 to 25 percent in 1933. In 1932, the Herbert Hoover administration and a Democratic Congress imposed the largest tax increase in U.S. history, raising the top tax rate on income from 25 percent to 63 percent.
The Roosevelt administration followed these destructive policies with New Deal legislation that massively regulated the economy and extended the Great Depression to after World War II.
Have today’s politicians and their economic advisers learned anything from yesteryear’s policy that turned what would have been a short, sharp downturn in the economy into a 16-year affair? The answer is very little.
Professor Hanke argues that the chief enabler of both the Great Depression and our latest economic downturn is the Federal Reserve Bank, who sees itself as America’s systemic risk regulator. This is the world upside down, Hanke explains: The Federal Reserve is the systemic risk.
How about a bit of history? Between 1787 and 1930, our nation has seen both mild and severe economic downturns, sometimes called Panics, that have ranged from one to seven years. During that interval, there was no thought that Congress or the president should intervene in the economy to enact stimulus packages, jobs programs or massive corporate handouts.
Probably, the reason that no one thought to do so was that there was no constitutional authority to do so. It took the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations to massively and unconstitutionally intervene in the economy and, with the help of a frightened, derelict U.S. Supreme Court, turn what might have been a two- or three-year sharp downturn into our longest depression.
Professor Hanke says that the lesson to be drawn from business cycle history is that, if left to run their natural course, severe downturns are followed by rapid snapbacks.
The 1921 recession is a good example where wholesale prices, industrial production and manufacturing employment fell by 30 percent or more and reached their low in mid-1921. There was little government intervention, at least by today’s standards, and the economy recovered naturally; and by early 1922, it had fully recovered and the nation was off to the Roaring Twenties.
The bottom line is that the idea that government bureaucrats have enough knowledge to manage an economy well is the height of conceit — what Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek called the “fatal conceit.”