Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’
Welcome to the “new normal” under Obamanomics. In Europe, where Keynesian economics and Democratic Socialism has dominated for decades, unemployment rates are in the 20′s. For the younger generation, they’re even higher. Yet, instead of learning from their mistakes, Obama and the Democrats insist on repeating them. Millions of innocent people are being hurt in the process.
After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up.
She’d already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, working with the disabled. But she couldn’t land anything else, either — not even a job interview at a telephone call center.
Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she’ll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St. Louis.
“I’m not proud of it,” says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. “The only way I’m able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on.”
Baebler’s frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they’ve given up on the job market.
Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks.
It isn’t supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market.
Sadly, until we get rid of Obamanomics, the jobs won’t be coming back. Business aren’t hiring because they never know when they’re going to be hit with a costly new regulation or tax. Entrepreneurs aren’t willing to take the risk to start a new business in such a hostile business climate.
Donald Lambro at Human Events predicts that we’re in for “Four More Years of Pain“:
President Obama heads into the third month of his second term, still unable to find a cure for a sluggish economy, weak employment numbers and his own slipping job approval scores.
Second terms are usually challenging for presidents who have won re-election without having the slightest idea about what they will do over the next four years. And that’s what we are witnessing now with Obama, whose biggest problem is the anemic, job-challenged economy.
[...] The depressing headlines of the past few days tell a sad tale of what the economy is like under his presidency:
– “Weekly Jobless Claims Get Weaker as Outlook Dims” was the gloomy headline over a Reuters news wire story Thursday morning on the CNBC website.
“The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level in four months last week, suggesting the labor market recovery lost some steam in March,” Reuters reported.
– “Hiring Is Weaker at Private Companies,” a Washington Post headline blared Thursday.
“Companies hired at the weakest pace in five months in March as recent strong demand for construction jobs evaporated and growth in the vast services sector slowed, signs that the economic recovery could be hitting a soft patch,” the newspaper reported.
That’s the conclusion of the ADP National Employment Report Wednesday, which showed “that private employers added 158,000 jobs last month.” The ADP job survey said “the gain was the smallest since October.”
A separate report Wednesday on the services industry, the economy’s largest job sector, showed that employment growth “pulled back in March.”
You do not hear any of these reports on the nightly TV news because the networks cherry-pick reports that feed the White House line of a continuing economic recovery.
[...] Thankfully, there are economic reporters who resist touting the White House line that everything is rosier under Obama’s policies.
“We’re approaching the four-year anniversary of the economic recovery, and it still doesn’t feel like much of one, what with the unemployment rate at 7.7 percent and wages stagnant over the past five years,” Neil Irwin, the Post’s veteran economic analyst, recently reported.
Obama is so blinded by ideology that the tragic results of his policies on display all around him aren’t enough to convince him that his policies need to change.
Even as the Obama White House prepares for a star-studded White House concert featuring Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper, and Justin Timberlake, figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that roughly 50 million Americans—one in six—now live below the poverty line.
Additionally, one in five American children have fallen below the poverty line; the last time poverty levels were this high, Lyndon Baines Johnson was president.
“In the last three years, there’s been a great change in the kinds of people we are serving,” said Director of Community Services at Catholic Charities of Baltimore Mary Anne O’Donnell. “There are increasing numbers of people who owned a home, lost their jobs, end up living in their car and are coming with children to our soup kitchen.”
The U.S. government defines a family of four earning under $23,021 as living in poverty. Income used to compute poverty status does not include non-cash benefits, such as food stamps and housing subsidies.
Welfare program enrollments have exploded under President Barack Obama. Americans on food stamps now outnumber the combined populations of 24 U.S. states, costing taxpayers more than double the amount spent on food stamps five years ago. In January 2009, 31.9 million Americans received food stamps. Today, that figure is 47.79 million.
The foundation for the housing crisis was laid with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, where the government took it upon itself to encourage home ownership by pressuring banks to lend to lower-income buyers, often to meet arbitrary racial quotas. Obviously they haven’t learned a thing from where that got us.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that as a lawyer, Obama sued banks to force them to issue subprime loans? He also worked for ACORN, which specialized in using the Community Reinvestment Act to shake down banks and pressure them to loan money to low-income minorities or face “discrimination” charges.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is pushing big banks to make more home loans available to Americans with bad credit – the same kind of government guidance that helped blow up the housing market:
In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.
Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.
Think about this statement. The administration is asking banks – banks that Washington bails out; banks that Washington crafts regulations for — to embrace risky policies that put the institution and its investors (not to mention, all of us) in a precarious position. So precarious, in fact, that banks have to ask government if they can be freed of any legal or financial consequences.
What could possibly go wrong?
These types of government policies initially emerged the mid-1970s, when “progressive” Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low-income minorities become homeowners. This led to the passage, in 1977, of theCommunity Reinvestment Act (CRA), a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to borrowers of meager means. Founded on the premise that government intervention is necessary to counteract the fundamentally racist and inequitable nature of American society and the free market, the CRA was eventually transformed from an outreach effort into a strict quota system by the Clinton administration. Under the new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low-income minorities, it ran the risk of getting a low CRA rating from the FDIC. This, in turn, could derail the bank’s efforts to expand, relocate, merge, etc. From a practical standpoint, then, banks had no recourse but to drastically lower their standards on down-payments and underwriting, and to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials. As Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell explains, this led to “skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” and the rest is history.
The CRA was by no means the only mechanism designed by government to impose lending quotas on financial institutions. For instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed rules encouraging lenders to dramatically hike their loan-approval rates for minority applicants and began bringing legal actions against mortgage bankers who failed to do so, regardless of the reason. This, too, caused lenders to lower their down-payment and income requirements.
Moreover, HUD pressured the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a steeply rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers. Many of these were subprime mortgages—loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms in order to compensate lenders for the high credit risk they were incurring.
Additional pressure toward this end was applied by community organizations like the pro-socialist ACORN. By accusing banks—however frivolously or unjustly—of having engaged in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA, these groups commonly sued banks toprevent them from expanding or merging as they wished. Barack Obama, ACORN’s staunch ally, was strongly in favor of this practice. Indeed, in a 1994 class-action lawsuit against Citibank, Obama represented ACORN in demanding more favorable terms for subprime homebuyer mortgages. After four years of being dragged through the mud, a beleaguered Citibank—anxious to put an end to the incessant smears (charging racism) that Obama and his fellow litigators were hurling in its direction (to say nothing of its mounting legal bills)—agreed to settle the case.
Forbes magazine puts it bluntly: “Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life.” In other words, he has long advocated the very policies that already have reduced the real-estate market to rubble. And now he is actively pushing those very same practices again.
In Cyprus, politicians are trying to bail themselves out by stealing directly from people’s bank accounts. In America, the government is more subtle.
It’s been stealing from us for years – through inflation. Thomas Sowell explains:
One of the big differences between the United States and Cyprus is that the U.S. government can simply print more money to get out of a financial crisis. But Cyprus cannot print more euros, which are controlled by international institutions.
Does that mean that Americans’ money is safe in banks? Yes and no.
The U.S. government is very unlikely to just seize money wholesale from people’s bank accounts, as is being done in Cyprus.
But does that mean that your life savings are safe?
No. There are more sophisticated ways for governments to take what you have put aside for yourself and use it for whatever the politicians feel like using it for.
If they do it slowly but steadily, they can take a big chunk of what you have sacrificed for years to save, before you are even aware, much less alarmed.
That is in fact already happening.
When officials of the Federal Reserve System speak in vague and lofty terms about “quantitative easing,” what they are talking about is creating more money out of thin air, as the Federal Reserve is authorized to do — and has been doing in recent years, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars a month.
When the federal government spends far beyond the tax revenues it has, it gets the extra money by selling bonds. The Federal Reserve has become the biggest buyer of these bonds, since it costs them nothing to create more money.
This new money buys just as much as the money you sacrificed to save for years. But more money in circulation, without a corresponding increase in output, means rising prices.
Although the numbers in your bank book may remain the same, part of the purchasing power of your money is transferred to the government. Is that really different from what Cyprus has done?
Through the centuries – in historic cultures like that of Yap Island who used giant, immovable stone disks for commerce, to today’s United States, whose Dollar fiat currency exists primarily in digital form – “money” is able to be exchanged for goods and services because society agrees to accept it (at a certain rate of exchange).
But what happens when a society starts doubting the value of its money?
Fed, the Great & Powerful
The podcast goes into the mind-blowingly simple process by which new money is created in America by the Federal Reserve (or the “Fed”). That is to say:
- The Fed holds a meeting
- Those in the room decide how many more dollars they think the world needs
- Someone walks over to a computer and adds that many dollars to the banks, with a few clicks of the keyboard
The banks then, if they want to, lend this new money out into the economy on a fractional basis, adding even more “thin air” dollars to the nation’s money supply.
This unique ability in America lends the Fed enormous power. The power to create new money from nothing. With no limit.
And with that power, the Fed can control and/or influence economies and markets the world over.
Should such power exist? And if so, should a single private entity owned by the major players in the banking system be allowed to wield it?
Such power certainly has its dangers.
[...] Money is not wealth. It is merely a claim on wealth.
You can’t print your way to prosperity. History is abundantly clear on that.
With the clarity of hindsight, it’s now obvious how the Fed has now painted itself into a corner.
[...] Cyprus has awakened the world to the reality that central planners can appropriate their money with the bang of a gavel. And while we don’t yet know with certainty how things will unfold in Cyprus, we can project that events there have shaken society’s confidence in the soundness of fiat currency in general. If we know it can be confiscated or devalued overnight, we are less likely to unquestioningly accept its stated value. This doubt that strikes at the very foundation of modern monetary systems.
Cyprus is meaningful in the way that it shines a light on both the importance of hard assets and the risk it poses to market stability. It certainly increases the risk of our prediction of a 40%+ stock-market correction by September, as investors begin to realize that current high values are simply the ephemeral effect of too much money, instead of a sign of true value.
At this point, prudence suggests we prepare for the worst (by parking capital on the sidelines, investing in our personal resilience, etc.) and add to our hard asset holdings (like precious metals bullion, productive real estate, etc.) as insurance to protect our purchasing power. The dollar may strengthen for a bit versus other currencies and perhaps the financial markets, but the long-term trend is a safer and surer bet: Dollars will be inflated. There will be more of them in the future than there are today. So, while our dollars still have the purchasing power they do, we should use the window of time we have now to exchange paper money for tangible wealth at today’s prices.
“For the people, by the people…” Yeah, right!
Regulations are treated as laws and enforced as such, but they are never voted on by the people’s representatives. They are imposed by the “fourth branch” of government: bureaucrats from hundreds of agencies and departments (many of which are unconstitutional or abuse unconstitutional powers).
Now, it’s not that we don’t get to vote on them. We don’t even get to KNOW about them. Does that sound like the system of representative government our founders intended:
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 35 percent of major federal regulations – those with at least $100 billion in annual economic impact – were issued without a public notice from 2003 to 2010.
The GAO also said that 44 percent of non-major regulations were issued without a public notice, which is referred to as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
“During calendar years 2003 through 2010, agencies published 568 major rules and about 30,000 nonmajor rules,” the GAO said in a December report to Congress. “[Federal] agencies published about 35 percent of major rules and about 44 percent of nonmajor rules without an NPRM during those years.”
The GAO found a large spike in this practice under President Barack Obama, with the percentage of major rules issued without public notice jumping from 26 percent in 2008 to 40 percent in 2009. The number of major rules issued this way also hit a high point in both 2009 and 2010. (Obama’s first year in office as president began in January 2009.)
“In particular, from 2008 to 2009, the percentage of major rules without an NPRM increased from 26 percent to 40 percent,” reported the GAO.
It’s almost like they’re holding the budget hostage for more ransom money from the “evil rich.”
The Constitution REQUIRES congress to pass a budget – no conditions, no excuses. Of course, they’ve been flaunting the law of the land for years, and Republicans won’t hold them accountable, so what do they care?
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the U.S. Senate will only fulfill it’s legal obligation to pass a budget if the budget, which has not been passed since 2009, includes new tax increases.
“We need a budget,” Schumer conceded on Meet the Press. “It’s a great opportunity to get us some more revenues to help in part deal with sequestration and deal with the debt issue . . . We’re going to do a budget this year and it’s going to have revenues in it and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.”
Senate Democrats have refused to pass a budget since Obamacare was passed, prompting Republicans to accuse their counterparts of hiding the amount of spending they desire to avoid electoral rebuke.
Even some Democrats are willing to say that. “I think there would be just too much risk for the next election,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., suggested last year when asked why his party leadership wouldn’t pass the budget. “They don’t want to risk the next election.”
This ought to do wonders for our sluggish economy.
The Obama administration issued $236 billion worth of new regulations last year, according to a report from a conservative think tank.
The analysis from the American Action Forum, led by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, found that the administration added $216 billion in rules and more than $20 billion in regulatory proposals in 2012. Complying with those rules will require an additional 87 million hours of paperwork, the report said.
The group put the total price tag from regulations during Obama’s first term at more than $518 billion.
Like they care. This is all about their ideological obsession to “spread the wealth,” regardless of whether or not the end result is to drag everyone down to equal levels of state-imposed misery.
With the fiscal cliff deal and many Obamacare taxes taking effect, Americans will be slammed with an estimated $264 billion in new taxes this year alone — making 2013 memorable for delivering one of the largest one-year tax increases in American history.
The math breakdown of the new taxes is simple: Key parts of the Bush tax cuts will expire as a result of the new fiscal cliff legislation, hitting American taxpayers with taxes of about $39.5 billion each year for the next decade.
In addition, the expiration of the so-called “payroll-tax holiday” will fill federal coffers with another $160 billion each year, on average, over the next 10 years.
And finally, several new Obamacare taxes begin this year, costing Americans an estimated $41.8 billion of additional taxes.
In the wake of this tax tsunami, a growing chorus of economists is warning that Congress’s last-minute effort to dodge the fiscal cliff — which added some $2.2 trillion in new revenue over 10 years, could function as a massive “anti-stimulus” — pushing a teetering economy into a full-blown recession within the next 12 to 18 months.
Check your emergency stores and buckle up for a bumpy ride.
Low-information voters are finally getting a wake-up call.
“What happened that my Social Security withholding’s in my paycheck just went up?” a poster wrote on the liberal site DemocraticUnderground.com. “My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don’t feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease is gonna’ hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over 400 grand. What happened?”
Shocker. Democrats who supported the president’s re-election just had NO idea that his steadfast pledge to raise taxes meant that he was really going to raise taxes. They thought he planned to just hit those filthy “1 percenters,” you know, the ones who earned fortunes through their inventiveness and hard work. They thought the free ride would continue forever.
So this week, as taxes went up for millions of Americans — which Republicans predicted throughout the campaign would happen — it was fun to watch the agoggery of the left.
“I know to expect between $93 and $94 less in my paycheck on the 15th,” wrote the ironically named “RomneyLies.”
“My boyfriend has had a lot of expenses and is feeling squeezed right now, and having his paycheck shrink really didn’t help,” wrote “DemocratToTheEnd.” [...]
The Twittersphere was even funnier.
“Really, how am I ever supposed to pay off my student loans if my already small paycheck keeps getting smaller? Help a sister out, Obama,” wrote “Meet Virginia.” “Nancy Thongkham” was much more furious. [...]
“_Alex™” sounded bummed. “Obama I did not vote for you so you can take away alot of money from my checks.” Christian Dixon seemed crestfallen. “I’m starting to regret voting for Obama.” [...]
I’d like to be able to smirk, “we told you so,” but there’s no joy in knowing that millions of innocent people are suffering because of an ignorant electorate that was suckered by a lying administration and their accomplices in the deceitful media.
For liberal spending addicts, it’s NEVER enough.
With the fiscal cliff deal signed into law, the nation’s attention now turns to the debt ceiling debate, scheduled to hit in the next two months. As America reaches the debt ceiling yet again – an unbelievable $16.4 trillion debt ceiling needs another increase in order to allow us to borrow more cash to pay our bills – Republicans insist that we finally begin dealing with our spending problem. That, of course, was the purpose of the fiscal cliff deal in the first place: to preserve as many of the Bush tax rates as possible, consider tax rates a finished issue, and move on to spending cuts. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on ABC’s This Week, “The tax issue is finished, over, completed. That’s behind us. Now the question is: what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future? And that’s our spending addiction.”
Not so fast.
The bullies in the Democratic Party have no intention of cutting a single dollar. Instead, they want to tighten their stranglehold on the windpipes of job producers and entrepreneurs. This morning, virtually every Democrat on virtually every Sunday show said the same thing: no cuts, more taxes. So much for the Republican attempt to take the tax discussion off the table.
Obama used his weekly address to declare that he “will not compromise” with the co-equal branch of government that constitutionally holds the power of the purse:
In his weekly address, Obama lashed out at Republicans for even suggesting that the debt ceiling issue be used as leverage to cut spending:
As I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.
This is nonsense. We’ve racked up bills, and we will not have to default to pay them – we just have to cut. Even if we hit the debt ceiling, we will not need to default on our debts – we will simply stop providing non-essential government services (which, for the most part, we should do anyway) and then use that money to pay our debts.
But Obama is a bully, and so he thinks he can unilaterally dictate America’s debt policy. He demonizes anyone who disagrees. He ignores the Constitution, and instead plays the class warfare card…
Happy New Year! Your paycheck just shrank!
Taxes for most Americans will still go up this year despite declarations from President Obama and others touting Tuesday night’s fiscal crisis deal as a victory for middle-class workers.
At the same time, tax relief that was included in the package comes at a cost — contributing, along with new spending, nearly $4 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, adding to the nation’s more than $16 trillion debt.
But there will be federal tax hikes in 2013. That’s because the legislation pushed through the Senate and House on Jan. 1 does nothing to prevent a temporary cut in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. That means, under the agreement brokered by the White House and Senate Republicans, 77 percent of American households will be forced to fork over higher federal taxes in 2013.
Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.
For most families, the increase will end there. But for top earners, taxes will get considerably higher this year.
Boy, did Mark Levin call it.
Speaking Jan. 1 at the White House at 11:20 p.m., less than an hour after the House voted 257 to 167 to approve new tax hikes, President Barack Obama announced that he will assert the authority to raise the debt ceiling for spending approved by Congress.
“One last point I want to make,” said the president flanked by Vice-President Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose Capitol Hill summitry closed the deal on a “fiscal cliff” compromise. “I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills, they have already racked up through the laws they have passed.
This is a critical pivot for the president, who previously dismissed the idea floated among liberals that Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, one of the three amendments passed at the end of the Civil War, authorizes the executive to borrow the funds to make good federal debt payments.
It reads: The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned…
This is the second time the administration has wielded the debt ceiling as a hammer against the Republicans in Congress.
[...] The president was direct. Either Congress raises the debt ceiling or he will go ahead and borrow the money to pay the bills on his own in order to avoid damage to the U.S. and world economies.
Last I checked, the co-equal branches of government are not required to obey one another’s commands. In fact, they are there to hold one another in check. Congress is under NO obligation to give the president the money he demands. But they are too spineless to hold him accountable for his unconstitutional power grabs and blatant disregard for the separation of powers.
An honorable congress would impeach him and throw him out the door for his flagrant assault on the constitution and grabs for dictatorial powers. Sadly, we don’t have an honorable congress.
Obama has succeeded in his ultimate goal of getting Republicans to break their “no tax hike” pledge. And for what purpose? So the Democrats can continue their uncontrollable spending binge, while Republicans take the blame.
First day of the year, and we’ve already been royally screwed over by the so-called “conservatives” in congress. More debt on my kids’ backs, more money stolen from our paychecks, and for what? So they can flush more money down the toilet on shrimp treadmills, rum subsidies and blatant assaults on our constitutional rights. America, if THESE are the clowns you want running your lives, you deserve what you get.
The House of Representatives late Tuesday night voted 257 to 167 to approve a “fiscal cliff” deal that had been negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden and approved by the Senate in the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
The majority of House Republicans voted against the bill, with 151 opposing it, 85 supporting it, and 5 not voting. House Speaker John Boehner voted for the bill. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor voted against it.
[...] According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, the deal will increase federal spending by $332 billion over the next ten years.
The deal phases out exemptions and deductions for individuals earning more than 250,000 per year and for couples earning more than $300,000, according to a summary published by the New York Times. It also increases the income tax rate for individuals earning more than $400,000 per year and couples earning more than $450,000 per year.
The deal also suspends for two months the $110 billion future spending cuts, set to take place in 2013, that House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama agreed to when they made a deal in August 2011 to increase the federal government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion.
The federal government exhausted that $2.4 trillion in new borrowing authority on Monday. So, the government has thus far been able to borrow all of the additional $2.4 trillion that Boehner and Obama agreed to in seventeen months ago without actually carrying out any of the spending cuts they agreed to at that time.
The bill also spends $30 billion–with no offsetting spending cut–to provide extended unemployment benefits to people who have not worked for more than half a year.
The bill, according to the Republican Study Committee, would also permanently reinstate the federal death tax, requiring a family to pay 40 percent of the value of all assets above $5 million when the senior member of the family dies.
While taxing family-owned businesses through the death tax, the bill would also pay out $134 billion in “refundable” tax credits to low-income people who did not, in the first place, pay the “tax” they are being refunded by the federal government.
It also, as the Republican Study Committee points out, will reimpose the “marriage penalty” by starting the top federal income tax rate at $400,000 for individuals but at $450,000 for married couples.
To add insult to injury, Obama’s favorite cheerleaders in Hollywood got the kickbacks they wanted. So much for “the rich” paying their “fair share.” Obama’s pets get special perks while everyone else gets slammed. Welcome to the new Banana Republic of Amerika, where corrupt politicians pick the winners and losers.
The “fiscal cliff” deal includes more taxes, more ridiculous spending, and NO significant spending cuts!
The REAL cliff is yet to come, when we crash like Greece, but on a MUCH LARGER scale!
While you were sleeping—or ringing in 2013—the Senate voted to raise taxes.
After missing the midnight deadline, Congress and the President have technically sent the nation over the fiscal cliff, meaning higher tax rates are already in effect for all income tax brackets. But the Senate’s deal, brokered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Vice President Joe Biden, would target the tax increases on those making more than $250,000.
The Senate voted 89-8 to limit deductions for taxpayers making more than $250,000, which would raise their taxes, and to hike tax rates for those making more than $400,000.
As Heritage has pointed out, trying to tax the top income brackets to close the deficit is impossible. To overcome the massive federal deficit, top earners would have to be taxed atmore than 100 percent. And J.D. Foster, Heritage’s Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, reminds us that President Obama has already raised taxes on “the wealthy”:
Never mind that Obama already raised taxes on upper-income taxpayers through the 3.8 percent Medicare surtax imposed under Obamacare. Never mind that tax rate hikes would weaken an economy stumbling so badly the Federal Reserve doubled its risky efforts to keep the economy from recession. Never mind Obama’s approach would likely put the kibosh on any hopes for tax reform. Never mind the resulting revenues would be a small drop in a very big bucket compared to projected budget deficits. Never mind that the only justification for higher taxes is spite and envy to be exercised through the extortive power of the federal government.
Some of the key points in the Senate deal, which could go to the House as early as today:
- Raises taxes on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for households
- Raises taxes on investment income for those taxpayers as well
- Limits tax deductions for incomes over $250,000—raising their taxes, too
- Increases the death tax rate for estates over $5 million
- Extends long-term unemployment benefits for one year
- Postpones sequestration’s automatic spending cuts (including those to defense) by two months
Matthew Boyle at Breitbart makes this shocking observation:
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the last-minute fiscal cliff deal reached by congressional leaders and President Barack Obama cuts only $15 billion in spending while increasing tax revenues by $620 billion—a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts.
When Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush increased taxes in return for spending cuts—cuts that never ultimately came—they did so at ratios of 1:3 and 1:2.
Senator Rand Paul called the deal a “joke,” and refuses to vote for it:
Last night, without any legislative language, the Senate Republicans and Democrats voted to raise taxes. They did not just vote to raise income taxes. They voted to raise the payroll tax on all Americans.
This will hurt small businesses.
Ironically, this plan generates less revenue than even John Boehner’s Plan B option. But both options, as I have long maintained, were only about breaking the will of the GOP and getting the GOP to violate its tax pledge.
Well, today the White House is telling Fox New’s Ed Henry that this was the game all along. According to Ed Henry, the White House staff is saying that getting the GOP to break their tax pledge is, “One of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple of decades.” The plan cuts $1.00 in spending for every $41.00 in tax increases. Contrary to what Senator Pat Toomey is claiming today, everyone’s taxes will also go up – the 99% and the 1%.
That will be the headline if the House Republicans vote for this plan.
Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul were defiant. They know what is at stake.
Now, many of you think this is the best deal we can get. I understand that. But consider this — the White House has designed this solely for purposes of getting the GOP to break their tax pledge. Any way we play the game we lose.
The only way to even think of winning is to not play this game.
Sadly, the GOP leadership has played into Obama’s hands every step of the way, and it doesn’t look like this is going to be any different.
We’re headed down the road to Greece at a break-neck pace. It’s time for wise Americans to prepare to take care of their families, and for churches to be ready to care for the needy in their communities when it all hits the fan.
The beginning of the year has traditionally been a time of optimism when we all look forward to the exciting things that are going to happen over the next 12 months. Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of things about 2013 that we already know are going to stink. Taxes are going to go up, good paying jobs will continue to leave the country, small businesses will continue to be destroyed, the number of Americans living in poverty will continue to soar, our infrastructure will continue to decay, global food supplies will likely continue to dwindle and the U.S. national debt will continue to explode.
Our politicians continue to pursue the same policies that got us into this mess, and yet they continue to expect things to magically turn around. But that is not the way that things work in the real world. Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes. Instead of realizing that what we are doing is not working, our “leaders” continue to give us more of the same. As a result, there are going to be a lot of things about 2013 that will not be great. Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything will be “okay” somehow is not going to help anyone. We’ve got to make people understand exactly what is happening and why it is happening if we ever hope to see real changes.
The following are 16 things about 2013 that are really going to stink…