Medicare

Trumped! Washington's Fiscal Hypocrisy Is Too Rich For Words

You have to love it when one of Donald Trump’s wild pitches sends the beltway hypocrites into high dudgeon. But his rumination about negotiating a discount on the Federal debt was priceless. No sooner did the 'unschooled' Trump mention out loud what is already the official policy of the US government than a beltway chorus of fiscal house wreckers commenced screaming like banshees about the sanctity of Uncle Sam’s credit promises.

Another Headline Head Fake - The Consumer Can't Save The U.S. Economy

At the end of the day, the seasonally maladjusted data for April retail sales amounts to no more than a swiggle in the larger trend. To wit, consumption spending financed by the growth of transfer payments and household borrowing is coming up hard against Peak Debt, while tepid growth in wage and salary income remains hostage to a domestic economy plagued with structural barriers to growth, an aging business cycle and a gathering global recession from which it is not remotely decoupled. So contrary to Reuters and its Keynesian quote standbys, it is not true that “the demise of the U.S. consumer have been greatly exaggerated”. Actually, it can be hardly exaggerated enough.

Obamacare Rules Change Opens Door For State Bailouts

Under Obamacare, the government spent $2.4 billion creating 23 non-profit healthcare cooperatives which were intended to help drive down health insurance costs through competition with for-profit companies. 12 of the 23 co-ops lost so much money that they had to shut down, and the remaining 11 lost a combined $400 million last year; and so the Obama administration is changing the rules midstream so that the remaining 11 co-ops can have state governments place officials on their boards of directors, and make it easier to attract outside investors. Said otherwise, the moves ultimately make a state bailout possible.

Trumped! Why It Happened And What Comes Next, Part 3 - The Jobs Deal

Donald Trump’s patented phrase “we aren’t winning anymore” lies beneath the tidal wave of anti-establishment sentiment propelling his campaign and, to some considerable degree, that of Bernie Sanders, too. What’s winning is Washington, Wall Street and the bicoastal elites. But most of America’s vast flyover zone has been left behind. Thus, the bottom 90% of families have no more real net worth today than they had 30 years ago and earn lower real household incomes and wages than they did 25 years ago. Needless to say, the lack of good jobs lies at the bottom of the wealth and income drought on main street, and this week’s April jobs report provided still another reminder.

Jim Grant Asks When The World Will Realize "That Central Bankers Have Lost Their Marbles"

Does the deployment of helicopter money not entail some meaningful risk of the loss of confidence in a currency that is, after all, undefined, uncollateralized and infinitely replicable at exactly zero cost? Might trust be shattered by the visible act of infusing the government with invisible monetary pixels and by the subsequent exchange of those images for real goods and services? To us, it is the great question. Pondering it, as we say, we are bearish on the money of overextended governments. We are bullish on the alternatives enumerated in the Periodic table. It would be nice to know when the rest of the world will come around to the gold-friendly view that central bankers have lost their marbles. We have no such timetable. The road to confetti is long and winding.

Trumped! Why It Happened And What Comes Next, Part 1

First there were seventeen. At length, there was one. Donald Trump’s wildly improbable capture of the GOP nomination, therefore, is the most significant upheaval in American politics since Ronald Reagan. And the proximate cause is essentially the same. Like back then, an era of drastic bipartisan mis-governance has finally generated an electoral impulse to sweep out the stables.

Obamacare To Unveil "Price Shock" One Week Before The Elections

The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.

Why The Obamacare Gold Rush Is Bankrupting America

Our health care system is going to implode under its own weight. National Health Expenditures are approaching 20 percent of gross domestic product — a figure that is expected to about double over the next half century. Obamacare didn’t start the process, but it’s expediting the end. Obamacare did not reform health care system; it merely transformed it to subsidize favored constituents. To pay for all this price gouging, employers are being forced to offer benefits that many workers themselves cannot afford or absorb in lower take home pay.

Automating Ourselves To Unemployment

Students of Austrian business cycle theory are familiar with the term malinvestment. A malinvestment is any poor use of resources or capital, commonly made in response to bad policy (usually artificially low interest rates and/or unsustainable increases in the monetary supply). Here, we introduce a related term: malincentive. While not part of the official economic lexicon, I consider a 'malincentive' a useful word to describe any promise of short-term gain whose long-term costs outweigh any immediate benefits enjoyed. Malincetives and malinvestment go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, the former causes the latter. As humans, we respond remarkably well to incentives. And dumb incentives encourage us to make dumb investments.

It's Now Almost Impossible To Save For Retirement

Zero (or negative) interest rates around the world have practically destroyed any reasonable expectation of savings. Simply put, saving money guarantees that you will lose after adjusting for inflation, at a time when the US government’s finances have never been more precarious. Crazy. Buying ‘risk free’ bonds, dumping money in a mutual fund, and waiting for the government pension to kick in just won’t produce the results that it used to.

Bernie Sanders Is A "Testament To American Suckerdom"

While pro-Bernie progressives are free to create their own communities in Ron Paul’s world, Ron Paul libertarians are compelled by force to participate in Bernie’s world. That is the fundamental difference between liberty and socialism, between voluntaryism and collectivism, between statism and private property. Nothing prevents progressives from living as they wish now, except the very things they viciously oppose: decentralization, secession, and local control.

"Why I'm Proud That My Tax Bill Is Zero!"

The standard narrative we are told by the government and their lapdog media is that tax avoidance is something that self-centered rich assholes do so that they can buy more Ferraris. This is complete propaganda. Taking legal steps to reduce what you owe is all about ensuring that your labor goes to the causes that YOU believe in, rather than funding spy agencies and bombing raids on children’s hospitals.