Wonderful President of USA and Munchkins

Pivotfarm's picture

The Chief Economist at Citi Willem Butler has said today on CBC in an interview that the fiasco over the US budget and the lack of money is nothing more than irresponsible on all political wings and that the country is being run by Munchkins in the Land of Oz.  Most of us will agree that he has got it spot on with the second label and all we can wonder is if President Obama will be wearing the red shoes in Judy-Garland fashion, banging out an old tune of theStar Spangled Banner even if it is on an untuned piano. Will he be clicking those heels together and wishing he were at home with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry or will the Wicked Witch of the East come along and gobble him and the US up because the country is being run by cowardly darragh duffy the Lion? The first statement made by Butler about the irresponsibility of not voting the budget is largely an open debate and must be questioned.

OZ-bama or Obama?

OZ-bama or Obama?

The Land of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz may have been written more than a century ago, but it is such a fitting tale of today’s sorry state (in more ways than one) of affairs in the USA. Butler was right more than he probably thinks when he spoke of the Land of Oz, the land where the ounce of gold will now shoot through the roof because of the irresponsibility of all political parties that have held power in the USA in the past decades. Investors will seek a safe haven in gold from today onwards and the price of gold will inevitable increase. Politicians can never be trusted to do the right thing (if there is a right thing to do in the circumstances) and that means that the markets will be volatile. The partial shutdown has happened today as hundreds of thousands of Americans stay at home because the government spent too much money. Will the Senators and the Representatives and the government aides or evenPresident Obama take a cut in their salaries in steadfast solidarity for the nation? They should, but they won’t. We all know that.

  • According to analysts, gold will possible fall marginally and then rise this week.
  • That’s exactly what is happening today with COMEX gold ready for delivery in December that has fallen by 2.3%(down -30.5 to $1.296.5).
  • It is suggested that gold will increase to between $1, 500 and $1, 575 in the coming weeks as investors move into a safe haven.

The Dollar is not worth investing in as that will drop as it already has done against the Yen, the Euro and most major currencies today:

  • The Euro is up against the Dollar by 0.22% (+0.0031 to 1.3557)
  • Sterling is also up by 0.32% (to 1.6237+0.0051)
  • The Australian Dollar increased also by 0.79% (up +0.0074 to 0.9391)
  • The Dollar fell against the Japanese Yen by 0.41% (down -0.4 to 97.87).

The Dollar had been on an up-trend. Now, that is well and truly over as it has been falling since this summer in July. That will continue again now to decline in coming weeks.

Irresponsibility of the US Government(s)

For those out there that believe this is nothing, for those that think that this has happened for the 18th time in the history of the USA today, think on and think again. It may be nothing, but then you are probably not a federal government worker that has been sent home without pay. This is not just hyperbole. It’s happening. You are probably not one of the guys that has to look for a way to pay your bills this month because the government hasn’t been able to pay the bills and because successive governments have been winging it on both a prayer and on the evil credit that we are told not to live on day in and day out. Certainly, it’s nothing much to write home about in the I’m-alright-Jack-couldn’t-give-a-damn-world, but what about the 700, 000 federal workers from the national parks and the monuments that are joining the soup kitchens and the breadlines today because they aren’t getting a paycheck (and it happens to more than you think)?

Think about the knock on effects. The tourists that won’t be visiting those sights, that won’t be spending their hard-earned cash in the parks and at the national sites. It’s not because something has happened endless times that it becomes more acceptable. It’s not because that’s the only thing that the media is talking about today that it makes it less prominent in your everyday life. The knock-on effect will filter through. It always does. The only way it won’t be going is up. But, it will be going down and sideways and that’s where the people are. If that’s not important, then what is? Maybe when it comes down to the fact that you won’t be able to get a passport because that department will be closed, or you won’t be able to get a gun permit because the workers there will have been sent home. Maybe that will start to affect everyone else.

Federal-Government Shutdowns

Today is just a long line of shutdowns in the history of the USA. The others have all taken place since 1976:

  • 10 days                between September 30th and October 11th 1976

Out-of-control spending under the Presidency of Gerald Ford when Congress vetoed the funding bill for the Department of Labor and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

  • 12 days between September 30th and October 13th 1977

This was due to the House of Representatives refusing to allow Medicaid Dollars to pay for abortions (the Senate believed that this should be allowed in the case of rape and incest). The dispute between the House and the Senate caused a funding gap and an ensuing rift with the government.

  • 8 days between October 31st and November 9th 1977

A funding agreement enabled to bide for time to discuss the funding gap, but when this expired and a solution had still not been reached there was another shutdown that came about. Jimmy Carter was President.

  • 8 days between November 30th and December 9th 1977

The second temporary funding agreement was also not good enough and the Senate and the House were still in dispute over the funding of abortions via Medicaid. The Senate eventually got funding for rape and incest cases.

  • 18 days between September 30th and October 18th 1978

President Jimmy Carter decided to veto the funding of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and also public works bills, stating that they were unnecessary.

  • 11 days between September 30th and October 12th 1979

Two reasons led to government shutdown in 1979. The first was because the House of Representatives wanted a 5.5% pay increase and they wished also to restrict the possibility of abortion to mothers whose lives were in danger. Both were opposed by the Senate.

  • 2 days between November 20th and November 23rd 1981

President Ronald Reagan ordered that the spending bill include 50% of the budget cuts he had intended to do (amounting to $8.4 billion). The Republican Senate agreed, but the Democratic House demanded more military and defense cuts and approved only $2 billion less than Reagan had asked for. The President vetoed the bill and shut down government until he got what he wanted.

  • 1 day between September 30th and October 2nd 1982

The spending bill was held up by one day. But, it was passed.

  • 3 days between December 17th and December 21st 1982

Both the House and the Senate (the first was controlled by the Democrats and the second by the Republicans) wanted to include funding for jobs in the budget. President Reagan refused and vetoed the bill.

  • 3 days between November 10th and November 14th 1983

The Democratic House wished to increase the budget for education and to reduce defense. Reagan refused and vetoed the budget again.

  • 2 days between September 30th and October 3rd 1984

Ronald Reagan wanted to link the budget to a water-supply project but the House (despite agreeing to do this) also wanted to link it to the fight against crime (which Reagan refused). The President vetoed the budget yet again and shutdown government.

  • 1 day between October 3rd and October 5th 1984

There was an extension granted on the budget but when it expired, government shut down. Reagan stood his ground and the House backed down on the crime package.

  • 1 day between October 16th and October 18th 1986

There was a dispute between the Democratic House, President Ronald Regan and the Republican Senate. Reagan shut down government yet again.

  • 1 day between December 18th and December 20th 1987

This was related once again to a dispute between the House and the senate that were controlled by the Democrats and President Reagan over the funding of the Contras.

  • 4 days between October 5th and October 9th 1990

President G. W. Bush shut down government at this time since he demanded that if there were a continuing resolution (legislation to fund government where a formal bill has not been signed), then it would have to be accompanied by a deficit-reduction plan. Otherwise he would veto it and close down government, which is exactly what happened.

  • 5 days between November 13th and November 19th 1995

President Bill Clinton decided to veto the continuing resolution of Congress (controlled by the Republicans).

  • 21 days between December 16th 1995 and January 6th 1996

President Clinton was forced to provide a seven-year schedule to balance the state budget. But, he was asked to use the Congressional Budget Office figures and not the Office of Management and Budget of his own making. He refused and so government was closed down.

  • ? (unknown so far) days as from October 1st 2013

Due to a dispute over the Affordable Care Act and the fact that the government has not passed a funding bill. How long it will continue is another matter.

If there’s one thing that runs through all of these shutdowns, it’s the feuding between the Senate and the House of Representatives or both that are against the President. Is that the crux of the matter? The real cause behind all of this? Three parties vying for power and pulling the bed sheets to their side so that they can keep themselves warm? But, they are not the ones that suffer, are they? They just vote the bills or veto and it’s as easy as all that.

Wizard of Oz and the US Government Shutdown

Wizard of Oz and the US Government Shutdown

Oz and the USA

The Wizard of Oz was a satirical parody of money and politics. But, the Munchkins were the ordinary people that were enslaved and held in the bondage of the Wizard. The ordinary federal workers and the average Americans are those Munchkins and it’s not the US that is being run by them. But, the US is the flawed utopic Land of Oz where every man would make it rich. Yes, that was possible while the credit line was there. Now is ancient history and fairytale material.

Washington is the Emerald Green City with the greenbacks the line the walls of the offices of the lawmakers and Congress. That fake charlatan, the Wizard? You decide who he might well be. Looks as if we might just be needing a new scarecrow to replace that Wizard. But, scarecrows are just dummies too, anthropomorphic personifications of man, made just to scare the birds away.

The irresponsibility of the governments that have done nothing but spend since Ronald Reagan jacked in acting to play the role of President of the USA, there has been nothing but a successive line of Presidents that have been playing a role-game for the entire country. It’s about time that all that changed.

Originally posted: Wonderful President of USA and Munchkins

You might also enjoy:

Last One to Leave Turn Out the Lights | Crisis is Literal Kiss of Death | Qatar’s Slave Trade Death Toll | Lew’s Illusions | Wal-Mart: Unpatriotic or Lying Through Their Teeth? Food: Walking the Breadline | Obama NOT Worst President in reply to Obama: Worst President in US History?

 Obama's Corporate Grand Bargain Death of the Dollar | Joseph Stiglitz was Right: Suicide | China Injects Cash in Bid to Improve Liquidity

Technical Analysis: Bear Expanding Triangle | Bull Expanding Triangle | Bull Falling Wedge Bear Rising Wedge High & Tight Flag

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
shovelhead's picture

I don't mind an occasional mindless ramble about town but a steady diet of it just makes you look homeless and pathetic.

Orwell was right's picture

Pivot farm posts ONLY to keep shilling his Financial Juice website.....

Can't write for shit....usually wanders all over the intellectual landscape looking for the point of his article


Pullmyfinger's picture

"Pivotfarm" must just be a rename of that childish "Econ Matters" that finally gave up posting -- at least, under that pseudonym. This is quasi-analytical babble based on the minutely insignificant and circumstancial.

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

Ridiculous.  Did you read this before you submitted it? Pablum

As my father always told me when I was young,"Son, no matter what you do, make sure your a producer.  If your worth more than they pay you, you will never be fired."


Cloud9.5's picture


How much political posturing can an unstable system stand ?

Sandmann's picture

Yes but it was Smoke & Mirrors. Remember Hedonic GDP and the Senile Greenspan ! They doctored GDP figures and Investment Data like crazy. If Clinton balanced the budget it was because the numbers balanced not because Spending was coming out of Recurring Current Revenues.

Dragonsgrace's picture

While David Stockman is not my favorite person (after all he was one of the first to tell the people you could have huge tax cuts, huge defense buildups and not touch entitlement spending and still balance the budget, positions he freely admits now were total crap) he does have good insights. 

He has pointed out that it has been years since the Congress has been able to use its own processes to put a budget together.  The Budget Act requires (well until it ignores its own laws) Congress to adopt a Budget Resolution.  No one wants those anymore because they actually show how f’d up it all is.   I have compared it to a business going under and deciding the answer is just not to do financials any more. 

Congress has not passed all the appropriations bills in years it seems. Nor has Congress passed a Budget Resolution.   If the Reps were smart, they would simply say we are not going to fund the government until there is a budget.  Then Congress would be put in the difficult position of voting for the budget deficits which are the natural result of the insanity.   

To a large extent, the Reps do not want a Budget Resolution because it will show that there is no way to start to bring the budget back into balance unless tax increases are part of the equation.  (Just listen to Stockman on this point)   The Dems do not want a Budget Resolution as it shows you have to cut spending mostly in the entitlements aka Social Security and Medicare. 


I love ZH but I have just gotten a bit tired of the whining and no solutions.  Do not get me wrong…I love to read the whining…but it gets old.  Keep the jokes coming of course.  

James-Morrison's picture

Nothing will really happen, a last minute deal will be struck which does nothing. 

Back to work, nothing to see.  

New American Revolution's picture

Typical economist who actually believes they can read tea leaves when in truth, they don't even understand that they have nothing to contribute to the economy.  The real source that needs to be developed is political science, pushed back in the cupboard and kept in the dark for so long no one realizes anymore that it is the political operating model of government that dicatates not only the economy, but social and moral values in all of civilization.   Hell, no one even understands there is an alternative operating model of government.   No, America is lead around by our nose by "economists" who continually try to find remedies for correcting the built in incapacity of a government that rules the people, being that tyrannical state in which we reside.   Ergo, we have oppressive economic polices and twisted values.  Is it any wonder that America is sliding right down the shit shoot?

The only answer resides with the operating model of government known as Liberty, and you can read all about it at www.electanewcongress.com.

Serfs Up America!  The tide is rising....

Sovereign Economist's picture

Federal Workers get to join the ranks of the OTHER nearly 24% of the People who are unemployed in this country.  Perhaps this might give them pause to see what the organization they work for does to the real world in the private sector.  Then, if we were to be so lucky, they'd remain among the 24% for more than 99 weeks.  Then they could see what happens to those statistics that just go over the edge of the cliff and aren't seen again in the statistics....

Oh, but I just woke up... it was all just a dream... <sigh>

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Thank you WB, I was scrolling down to see who caught it first. AND FURTHERMORE... Mr. Buiter does NOT like gold, so his opinion is worth warm spit. Carry on.

NoWayJose's picture

You can't go back to Reagan. The US almost had a balanced budget under Clinton - thanks to Newt and a House that did not cave. The big slide is Bush and Obama - made worse by new big entitlements, large scale foreign wars, global trade and outsourcing, removal of Wall Street rules, and Fed fueled bubbles.

Flying Wombat's picture

Considering the real meaning behind the story of OZ, this post has more insight than one might first think.

Eric Dubin, Managing Editor, TheNewsDoctors.com

booboo's picture

Correct, "Follow the Yellow Brick Road"

MisterMousePotato's picture

You know ... Sigmund Freud once remarked to his daughter, "Sometimes, Anna, a cigar is just a cigar."

Or are we now going to deconstruct Arnold's rendition of the Christ figure in Terminator 2: Judgment Day?

Winston Smith 2009's picture

Sometimes, people who aren't as informed on a topic as the original poster make what later turn out to be ignorant comments because of that.

Political interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Excerpt: "Biographers report that [author] Baum had been a political activist in the 1890s with a special interest in the money question of gold and silver"

Documentary: The Secret of Oz


P.S. I don't typically make comments I can't back up.

Everyman's picture

Really?  Soup kitchens and breadlines after one fuckng day?  REALLY!

all-priced-in's picture

Maybe the breadlines of today are at the fast food drive through - the average wait time is now over 3 minutes - making the lines longer.


We can't expect people to get their fat ass out of the car and actually WALK into McD's to get a quarter pounder with cheese and fries. 



max2205's picture

The fed govt should be cut 50%   period

Everyman's picture

700, 000 federal workers from the national parks and the monuments that are joining the soup kitchens and the breadlines today because they aren’t getting a paycheck



MOST OF THE "MONUMENT SHUTDOWN" AND WEBPAGE SHUTDOWN ARE THE ASSHOLE FEDEAL EMPLYEES HAVING A FUCKING HISSY FIT.  They could have left the usual access with the locked parts locked.  Simple enough.  And all the .gov websites that had to put this emblazoned across their webpages. are just playing with the hot patoto as well.

This author is an idiot hack and a lefty liberal asshat.  MOST ALL OF THE SOLUTIONS come from "consensus" and agreeing on something, HArry Fucking Reid and the insane democratic clown posse have not negociated SHIT!




Alpo for Granny's picture

Your post just reminded me that I have not seen Longsoupline in a while.

I miss his tapestries of obscenities.

MrNude's picture

Why do you expect them to break the habit of a lifetime, if someone else is providing the food at no cost to them of course they'll be queing up for it .

Buying your own food is for the private sector schmucks. 

Bear's picture

These .gov employees just consideration this a vacation with cruises, resorts, and hotels filling up ... they can extend credit significantly since they know (beyond a shadow of doubt) that they will get paid. The average Federal employee makes $125,000 ... I feel only glee over this shutdown

Bendromeda Strain's picture

The average Federal employee makes $125,000

That would be total cost, not salary. Once you get away from DC, you find plenty of blue collar and mid-scale civil service. It will make you feel better to know that when the currency gets blowtorched, you'll get to watch them be crushed - just like Weimar.

MisterMousePotato's picture

The average salary (alone) of fed.gov.emp is $80,000. That (alone) is one-third higher than the salary *plus* benefits of the average private sector tax donkey.

But ... money is fungible, remember? So if I pay you an additional $45,000 a year for your health insurance, retirement, per diem, water craft allowance, etc. and whatever, well, that just means you don't have to take any of your 'hard earned' salary to do these things yourself like the tax donkeys.

Why does everyone act like $45,000 in benefits has no value to the recipient or cost to the payor?