Medicare

Congress's $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s seminal masterpiece Crime and Punishment is often thought of as one of the longest classics at more than 200,000 words. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which was signed into law on Friday, is nearly twice as long. At 887 pages, the bill allocates $1.15 trillion in war and discretionary spending for fiscal year 2016 which began almost three months ago. (That’s an average of $1.3 billion in spending PER PAGE of the bill.) In making it public law, President Obama has effectively signed the death warrant of the US government’s finances.

House Passes $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Here Is What's In It

Moments ago, the House of Representatives just passed the $1.15 trillion spending bill that includes a $680 billion package of tax-break extensions, in a 316 to 113 vote, and will now move to the Senate, where its passage is likewise assured and will be signed by the president over the next few days. For those wondering what are the main components of the spending bill, here is a quick summary.

Frontrunning: December 18

  • Oil heads for third straight weekly loss as supply weighs (Reuters)
  • BOJ's $2.5 Billion ETF Boost Seen Having Little Impact on Stocks (BBG)
  • Japan core CPI seen flat in November, household spending down (Reuters)
  • Dollar gets altitude sickness as BOJ disappoints (Reuters)
  • Fed Hikes, but Some Rates Veer Lower (WSJ)
  • White House calls for 'common sense steps' to help Puerto Rico (Reuters)

Why This Sucker Is Going Down... Again

So how do you grow household wealth by $18 trillion in the face of these dismal real world trends? In a word, with a printing press. But what happened today is that Draghi showed he is out of tricks and Yellen confessed she is out of excuses. Yes, this sucker is going down. And this time all the misguided economics professors turned central bankers in the world will be powerless to reverse the plunge.

Fourth Turning - Social & Cultural Distress Dividing The Nation

A simmering rage is bubbling below the surface as 20% of American households rely on food stamps to survive, the percentage of Americans in the labor force stands at a four decade low, real household income remains stagnant at 1988 levels, corporate profits have reached record levels while corporations continue to fire Americans – shipping their jobs overseas, and the six mega-corporations representing the mainstream media cover up the truth, mislead the public with propaganda, while celebrating the .1% as saviors of our economy. There is nothing more volatile to societal stability than millions of unemployed men, growing angry and resentful towards the ruling class for their lot in life.

 

Why The Obamacare Exchanges Are Failing

It's the kind of business plan that would be laughed out of a business school classroom. "The co-ops were essentially amateur exercises." Why not scrap the perverse ACA regulations and admit it was a pipe dream to ever assume young, healthy people could be coerced into paying several times their expected costs to cover other people’s excessive spending.

5 Signs Of America's Decaying Society

There exists a common theme amidst these signs of societal decay: The super-rich keep taking from the middle class as the middle class becomes a massive lower class. Yet the myth persists that we should all look up with admiration at the “self-made” takers who are ripping our society apart.

"It's All A Lie" - Eric Sprott Slams Massive Monetary Metals Manipulation

If the government’s official statistics are to be believed the U.S. economy is moving full steam ahead. Consumer are spending, the job market is expanding, real estate has recovered, stocks are soaring and the U.S. dollar is stronger than it has been in a decade. But if you have yet to realize it, billionaire investor Eric Sprott says "it’s all a lie." The manipulation of precious metals, coupled with the supply and demand fundamentals which Sprott says will lead to shortages over the next few years as mining companies reduce output or close up shop, will leave many investors who think their gold holdings are easily convertible to physical assets with nothing more than depreciating Yellen Bucks at exactly the moment they’ll need precious metals in their possession.

The Class War Has Already Started

Here's what's obvious, but unacceptable: we need a new system. Not a system modified with tiny tweaks and a feeding trough filled with borrowed money--an entirely new system designed from scratch to be sustainable and with opportunities to build capital for all.

Is It Time To Renounce U.S. Citizenship While You Still Can?

The number of people abandoning the “greatest country in the world” just hit a record high... Unthinking Americans are puzzled when they read about the increasing number of people renouncing their citizenship, but as one consultant who really gave up his citizenship warned "the U.S. government is placing an increasing number of hurdles on Americans who want to renounce their citizenship. So he thought it was time to do just that."

Social Security: The Long Slow Default

Social Security has long been sold to the public on the notion that what a worker will receive back is what he or she pays into the system. For decades, however, the government has been changing the terms of this "agreement" as part of an effort to avoid outright default, hiding it, instead, with a long, slow method of piecemeal default.