In Iraq and Afghanistan, US military officers routinely handed bundles of cash to local residents to buy influence and undermine resistance to the American occupation. Billions of dollars were shoveled out with little or no oversight as part of the Pentagon’s "Money as a Weapon System" program. In the same way, politicians have long relied on money as a weapon system to buy votes or to undermine resistance to Washington. Presidents and congressmen are not carrying out a formal counterinsurgency against the American people, but they realize that addicting citizens to government handouts is the easiest way to breed mass docility and stretch their power.
Moments ago the judicial world was hit with what is the most significant news since the passage of Obamacare, when the San Antonio Express first reported that one of the more, if not most, conservative Supreme Court Justices, Antonin Scalia, was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas. Scalia, 79, died in his sleep. A government official said Scalia went to bed Friday night and told friends he wasn't feeling well.
The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.
Because so much is riding on what so few decide,once the faith in the Central Banks fail, the chances of us getting out of this diminish every second...
Lies are always misrepresentations of reality, and reality always wins. The US government rests on an inherently unstable foundation of whoppers - big lies so huge they would make big lie proponent Adolf Hitler blush. The first trick to defeating an enemy is to ascertain its biggest weaknesses and the lies, which it feeds itself, flowing from those weaknesses.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recently recommended mandatory depression screening for all Americans. Government health care mandates undermine the basic principles of a free society. If it is legitimate for government to tell us what types of health care we must receive, then it is also legitimate for the government to tell us what to eat, when to exercise, and even how to raise our children. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, a tyranny imposed for our own good is the worst form of tyranny because it is a tyranny without limits.
The Keynesians will not be pleased. Despite the holiday season, December spending disappointed with no change MoM (0.0% vs +0.1% exp). This is further sentiment-destructivbe as income data rose more than expected MoM (+0.3% vs +0.2% exp) even as income growth YoY slipped to its weakest in 9 months. This of course means the personal savings rate rose, pushing to 5.5% - the highest since 2012.
One look at the chart below should explain not only how the "services" half of the US economy continues to grow, but just which tax, because that is how the Supreme Court defined Obamacare, is responsible for healthcare "spending" amounting to a quarter of the growth in US personal consumption expenditures...
President Obama delivered his final State of the Union address 2 weeks ago, and devoted most of the time to defending his "legacy" of bigger and more intrusive government, with an emphasis on the other aspects of personal and social life he wished could come under the blanket of more political paternalism. What if the president offered, instead, an agenda for freedom rather than one of paternalism? What would the State of the Union address be like if he had such an epiphany for defending individual liberty rather than more unrestricted government license over our lives?
While the economic implosion progresses this year, there will be considerable misdirection and disinformation as to the true nature of what is taking place. As I have outlined in the past, the masses were so ill informed by the mainstream media during the Great Depression that most people had no idea they were actually in the midst of an “official” depression until years after it began. The chorus of economic journalists of the day made sure to argue consistently that recovery was “right around the corner.” Our current depression has been no different, but something is about to change. Unlike the Great Depression, social crisis will eventually eclipse economic crisis in the U.S. That is to say, our society today is so unequipped to deal with a financial collapse that the event will inevitably trigger cultural upheaval and violent internal conflict.
To most people, a bull market is good. Share prices are connected to business productivity, right? In a free market, yes. However we don’t have a free market. We have monetary policy, how our central planners stimulate us into a wealth effect.
"Today we feast, for tomorrow we die..."
This is the title of its latest piece looking at retail spending paterns based on its credit and debit card data: "Confusingly cautious consumer." Here is why BofA so confused by the cautious consumers.
Health insurers are in panic mode as the Obama administration, ever eager maximize coverage optics for Obamacare, has, as The NY Times reports, allowed large numbers of people to sign up for insurance after the deadlines in the last two years, destabilizing insurance markets and driving up premiums. This surge in costs, from unintended consequences, has left 1 in 5 Americans with health insurance is having problems paying medical bills; and, as a new poll finds, more than one in three Americans, or 35 percent, said they were unable to pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, and housing because of medical bill problems...
Earlier we gave a big picture explanation how the US can add 292,000 while average hourly wages actually decline. Below is a more nuanced answer, looking at the breakdown of jobs by industry in December. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that for another consecutive month, the well-paying jobs: mining and logging, wholesale trade, manufacturing, and information barely posted a net increase. At the same time, the poor paying jobs continued to soar.