The Iceberg of Truth

From 1954 through 2012, the federal government shelled out a total of almost $72 trillion on all spending, combined. Over the same period, it collected revenues of under $56 trillion from all sources. The $16 trillion difference is today’s federal debt.

But this simple math hides the fact that the dollar in your pocket today doesn’t buy what the dollar in your grandfather’s pocket bought years ago. There is a sleight-of-hand to Washington’s method of dealing with long-term debt. Like every shell game, those who play will lose to those who make the rules.

And make no mistake, we are all playing by Washington’s rules.

See for yourself: Inflation Calculator

$1 in 1954 now cost $8.56.

Just since Obama, it’s $1.07

And that 7% “tax” ,if you will, hits the poor just as much as anyone else. Just don’t try to explain that (as I have) to the low-information, unenlightened narcissistic “general public” who don’t understand even this most basic of concepts.

The Debt in 1954: $271,259,599,108.46

By 2009 it was $10,000,000,000,000

The Debt Now:  $16,442,474,000,000.00

In 1960, the federal government spent $1.6 billion more than it collected in taxes. Given the deficits we run up these days, $1.6 billion seems almost laughable. Today, Washington blows through that much money in the length of time it takes to sit through a screening of “The Hobbit.”

In 1960, though, you could buy six times more stuff for a dollar than you can buy today. That makes 1960’s $1.6 billion deficit equivalent to a $10 billion deficit today.

Which Congress blows through in 2 days!

So why is our money worth so much less, and why does it matter? After all, wages keep pace with inflation over time, so it’s a wash, right? Well … no, it isn’t. A cost of living wage hike protects the money you earn this year from this year’s inflation. It does nothing to protect money you earned last year and saved.

With inflation, the government pays back the number of dollars it borrowed, not the value of the dollars it borrowed. Inflation makes the dollars the government pays back worth less than the dollars it borrowed.

It’s like my borrowing your car for a year. Sure, I give you the car back at the end of the year, but because of mileage and wear-and-tear, the car I give back is less valuable than the car I borrowed. Inflation is to the dollar what mileage and wear-and-tear is to the car.

The Politicians Know

Were it not for inflation, the $16 trillion that the government owes would be more than $22 trillion. Where did the $6 trillion difference go? It came out of people’s pockets. The same inflation that reduces the value of the dollars the government owes also reduces the value of the dollars you own — your savings, the equity in your house, your retirement fund.

Sure, individual prices rise and fall over time, but that is not inflation. Inflation is the devaluing of existing dollars by the printing of more dollars — something politicians euphemistically call, “quantitative easing” and “lowering interest rates.”

And boy does Obama LOVE to do that!

Washington’s debt has gotten so far out of control that there are no politically viable cuts to make, nor enough rich people to tax in order to balance the budget.

The only thing left is for the government to print money to pay its bills. This is why the Federal Reserve has decided to keep long-term interest rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, and why observant people know that, unless Washington gets serious about cutting spending, we’re going to be in for some serious inflation.

Nonexistent interest rates and significant inflation are the only things that will allow the government to continue spending money it does not have. And the more irresponsible the government is with spending, the more inflation will erode away our savings. This is a matter of simple economics.

Unfortunately, Washington’s fiscal problem has grown so large that the answer now goes beyond simple economics. We must return government to its appropriate role as a referee in the marketplace, not a player. If we don’t do this, the laws of mathematics and the forces of economics will do it for us — and they won’t be gentle.

The Truth will hurt and hurt bad one day.

The sad thing is that the politicians all know as much. They just care more about the next election than they care about America’s long-term economic health. (IBD)

The drug addicts aren’t going to cut themselves off and they don’t want the wrath of those they’ve addicted vented on them either.

And the people who elected them are largely clueless narcissists who just want whatever they can take from others to be given to them because that’s “fair” and don’t really care what the consequences are.

Personal responsibility and personal self-reliance are archaic, quaint notions of the past.

So we’re the Titanic and the Iceberg of Truth is out there, it’s just a matter of when not if we hit it unless all the drug addicts do something they don’t want to do.

TRUTH!

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Obama Principle

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

The Peter Principle in action again? Or maybe we should just label it the Obama Principle since incompetence is so normal for him and his cronies and sycophants.

The second term game of Obama cabinet musical chairs kicked into high gear Thursday when Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that he might leave soon. He would join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Tim Geither and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on the exit list.

Names immediately surfaced of those who might replace Holder including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has steered her department through controversial issues and come out generally unscathed. (because the Liberal media is in her corner).

She was so incompetent (which is what Obama wanted) she might become THE law enforcement officer for the next 4 years.

God help us all.

But then again, the American people are asleep at the wheel barreling towards a cliff so they don’t care as long as “Dancing with Stars” and “Jersey Shore” is one life is good.

Down with Evil White People!

American 2012: No Hand Ups, Just Hand Outs! 😦

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

If your organization has a policy or practice that doesn’t benefit minorities equally, watch out: The Obama administration could sue you for racial discrimination under a dubious legal theory that many argue is unconstitutional.

President Obama intends to close “persistent gaps” between whites and minorities in everything from credit scores and homeownership to test scores and graduation rates.

His remedy — short of new affirmative-action legislation — is to sue financial companies, schools and employers based on “disparate impact” complaints — a stealthy way to achieve racial preferences, opposed 2 to 1 by Americans.

Under this broad interpretation of civil-rights law, virtually any organization can be held liable for race bias if it maintains a policy that negatively impacts one racial group more than another — even if it has no racist motive and applies the policy evenly across all groups.

Equal Outcomes

This means that even race-neutral rules for mortgage underwriting and consumer credit scoring potentially can be deemed racist if prosecutors can produce statistics showing they tend to result in adverse outcomes for blacks or Latinos.

Already, Attorney General Eric Holder has used the club of disparate-impact lawsuits to beat almost $500 million in loan set-asides and other claims out of the nation’s largest banks.

In addition to the financial settlements — which include millions in funding for affordable-housing activists — Bank of America, Wells Fargo and SunTrust have all agreed to adopt more minority-friendly lending policies.

Though the administration seeks equal credit outcomes, regardless of risk, across the entire banking industry, it doesn’t have to sue every bank to achieve its goal. As a prophylactic against similar prosecution, IBD has learned the American Bankers Association recently advised its 5,000 members to give rejected minority loan applicants a “second look,” which it says “can result in suggested changes in underwriting standards.”

Also, the administration sent a chill through the financial industry earlier this year when it announced its new credit watchdog agency will join Justice, as well as HUD, in using the disparate-impact doctrine to enforce civil-rights laws.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray warned companies the agency will “protect consumers from unfair lending practices — as well as those that have a disparate impact on communities of color.” He added:

“That doctrine is applicable for all of the credit markets we touch, including mortgages, student loans, credit cards and auto loans,” as well as small-business loans.

Hiring Criminals

For the first time, the nation’s consumer credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, will come under federal review. CFPB examiners will subject these companies and others to an “effects test” to make sure credit transactions are racially balanced.

Those who reject minority applicants for credit cards or charge them higher loan rates had better be prepared to prove to Cordray’s diversity cops they aren’t racist. Many have already decided it’s safer to give black and Latino applicants preferential treatment, which of course is racism of another kind.

Other targets of the administration’s “racial justice” juggernaut include: standardized academic testing, professional licensing examinations, employee background checks, voter ID requirements, student disciplinary codes, prison sentencing guidelines — you name it.

The goal is to equalize outcomes based on race without regard for performance or merit.

According to Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, President Obama is committed to “aggressively pushing the ‘disparate impact’ approach to civil-rights enforcement” through which “the federal government insists that the numbers come out right — even if it means that policemen and firefighters cannot be tested, that companies should hire criminals, that loans must be made to the uncreditworthy, and that — I kid you not — whether pollution is acceptable depends on whether dangerous chemicals are spread in a racially balanced way.”

Last month, moreover, the Education Department pressured the Oakland school district to impose “targeted reductions” in the number of black students suspended.

The department charged that Oakland’s disciplinary policy has a “disparate impact” on African-American students, who are suspended at higher rates for violent behavior.

The Oakland case is the first of some 20 such investigations of school districts across the U.S. “The Obama administration is pressuring school districts not to suspend violent or disruptive black students if they have already disciplined ‘too many’ black students,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute counsel Hans Bader.

Education is also investigating a “disparate impact” complaint recently filed by the NAACP alleging the entrance exam used by selective New York City high schools illegally discriminates against blacks.

Through disparate impact suits, Holder has forced banks to adopt racial lending quotas and even open branches in minority neighborhoods.

He’s authorized five more lending-discrimination suits, while opening another 30 investigations against banks. And he’s just getting warmed up.

“The question is not does (affirmative action) end, but when does it begin?” Holder said in February at a Columbia University forum. “When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?”

Banks had hoped the Supreme Court would declare his actions unconstitutional.

But a landmark disparate-impact case was scuttled at the last minute this year when the petitioner withdrew it under pressure from Holder’s civil-rights chief.

Congress is probing the unusual arm-twisting — which included what appears to be a corrupt quid-pro-quo bargain — that led to the case being dropped.

Most agree that had the Magner v. Gallagher case gone forward, the high court would have struck down the use of disparate impact and effectively shut down the administration’s witch hunt against lenders.

On the campaign trail, Obama was mum about his disparate-impact strategy and rarely talks at all about race.

He’s no doubt aware of polling in his last presidential bid which found 56% of voters harbored fears he’d favor African-Americans. But his 2006 writings inform us.

To close the “stubborn gap that remains between the living standards of black, Latino and white workers,” then-Sen. Obama proposed “completing the unfinished business of the civil rights movement — namely, enforcing nondiscrimination laws in such basic areas as employment, housing and education.”

He added: “The government, through its prosecutors and its courts, should step in to make things right.”

Because you don’t want to be a racist, now do you? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Memorial to the Left

The Left for you: A spokesman for a leading veterans organization criticized MSNBC’s Chris Hayes for arguing on his television show that that he’s “uncomfortable” describing American soldiers who died in battles as heroes.

“If Mr. Hayes feels uncomfortable, I suggest he enlist, go to war, then come home to what he expects is a grateful nation but encounters the opposite. It’s far too easy to cast stones from inexperience,” Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis told The Daily Caller on Sunday.

Hayes, a liberal writer who hosts the weekend show “Up with Chris Hayes,” said he is “uncomfortable about the word [hero] because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”

“I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, he said, “and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism — hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”

And these are the people who will stop Iran from nuking the world? 😦

“Like anorexics, who think they are grossly fat when they are very thin, the American body politic is suffering from a national version of body dysmorphia, with nearly half the country believing taxes are high, when they are comparatively and historically low.”
— Reuters global editor at large Chrystia Freeland
“I keep hearing we’re a centrist country and that candidates, after they get through their primaries, have to pivot back to the center, because that’s where we all are. And yet, you have a Republican Party that is in no way in the center, in terms of their issues. They’re clearly out of the mainstream on rolling back, on really rolling back 70 years of legislation.” — CBS’s Lesley Stahl (MRC)

The Origination Clause in Article I, Section 7 states: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” In addition to clarity, this provision has an even greater virtue: It serves a very good purpose.

The Founding Fathers required revenue measures to originate in the House because they wanted this authority to belong to the legislative body closest to the people. Plus, the Framers wanted the larger states to enjoy the most influence on matters of taxing and spending, which is the case in the House (whose seats are allocated according to population) but not the Senate (where each state gets two seats regardless of population and smaller states have outsized influence). “This power over the purse,” James Madison explained in Federalist No. 58, “may, in fact be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has taken to thumbing his nose at this clear mandate. Recently, he publicly dismissed the Origination Clause as a “hyper-technical budget issue,” raised by his Republican opponents as “a fig leaf to hide their blatant obstruction.” The matter arose as Reid orchestrated a high-profile Senate floor debate on the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, prior to House consideration of this or any other revenue bill. Also known as the “Buffett Rule,” the Senate measure would impose a hefty new tax on millionaires.Aware that the Republican House would no more propose new, economically debilitating taxes than Warren Buffett would voluntarily follow the rule that bears his name, Reid opted to move unilaterally. Why let a little thing like the Constitution stand in the way of making sure a red-meat, eat-the-rich proposal like this gets maximum media exposure during an election year?

It does not stop there. In its version of the legislation extending federal price controls on student loans, the Senate included a hefty tax increase — again absent the requisite House action. Then there is the Violence against Women Act, which contains a new $30 fee for immigrant visas, another Senate revenue provision that violates the Origination Clause. When House leaders uncovered this constitutional infirmity, they quickly issued a “blue slip” notification, effectively killing it.

Remarkably, as Congressional Quarterly reported, the House move “blindsided” the many constitutional illiterates in the Senate. One unnamed Senate staffer even speculated that the House’s fealty to the Constitution “may be part of some Republican plan.” This is all in keeping with how the leftist intelligentsia has viewed previous efforts to ignore the Origination Clause. The New York Times characterized one such mishap as an “arcane parliamentary mistake” the enforcement of which was designed “to block . . . everything else Mr. Reid is hoping to accomplish,”(NRO)
Private Equity Vs. Public Equity

After all, if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider a few examples:

Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a $33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver Creek, Utah. According to the Wall Street Journal, after burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy protection this year. The plant has fewer than 10 employees, and Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.

ECOtality. The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story.

According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government: “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.”

Worse, according to CBS News, the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”

Nevada Geothermal Power (NGP). The Obama administration gave NGP a $98.5 million taxpayer loan guarantee in 2010. The New York Times reported in October that the company is in “financial turmoil” and that “after a series of technical missteps that are draining Nevada Geothermal’s cash reserves, its own auditor concluded in a filing released last week that there was ‘significant doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.'”

First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30% of its workforce.”

Abound Solar. The Obama administration gave Abound Solar a $400 million loan guarantee to build photovoltaic panel factories. According to Forbes, in February the company halted production and laid off 180 employees.

Beacon Power. The Obama administration gave Beacon — a green-energy storage company — a $43 million loan guarantee. According to CBS News, at the time of the loan, “Standard and Poor’s had confidentially given the project a dismal outlook of ‘CCC-plus.'” Last fall, Beacon received a delisting notice from Nasdaq and filed for bankruptcy.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. A company called SunPower got a $1.2 billion loan guarantee from the Obama administration, and as of January, the company owed more than it was worth. Brightsource got a $1.6 billion loan guarantee and posted a string of net losses totaling $177 million.

And let’s not forget Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that received $535 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees and went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers on the hook.

Obama has declared that all of the projects received funding “based solely on their merits.” But as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book “Throw Them All Out,” 71% of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.”

Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week that it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine.

The cronyism and corruption are catching up with the administration. According to Politico, “The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations” related to the department’s green-energy programs.

Now the man who made Solyndra a household name says Romney’s record at Bain “is what this campaign is going to be about.” Good luck with that, Mr. President. If Obama wants to attack Romney’s alleged private-equity failures as chief executive of Bain, he’d better be ready to defend his own public-equity failures as chief executive of the United States. (IBD)

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: This is hard to get people to do, much better, obviously, to build bridges and roads and healthcare clinics and schools. But my proposed, I actually have a serious proposal which is that we have to get a bunch of scientists to tell us that we’re facing a threatened alien invasion, and in order to be prepared for that alien invasion we have to do things like build high-speed rail. And the, once we’ve recovered, we can say, “Look, there were no aliens.”

But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.- Liberal “economist” Paul Krugman (Newsbusters)

So let’s all have a moment of silence and on this Memorial Day when we remember those who have fallen in War, remember the Death of Common Reason and Rational Thought on the Left.