Posts Tagged ‘voters’

Election Fraud: Accounts Of Voting Machines Turning Mitt Romney Votes Into Barack Obama Votes

November 17th, 2012

Michael Snyder: Why is the mainstream media saying nothing about election fraud even though there are eyewitness reports from all over the country of voting machines turning Romney Read more…

Economy, Government

Election Fraud? Barack Obama Won More Than 99 Percent Of The Vote In More Than 100 Ohio Precincts

November 12th, 2012

Michael Snyder: Barack Obama received more than 99% of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio on election day.  In fact, there were a substantial number of precincts where Mitt Romney got exactly zero votes.  So how in the world did this happen?  Read more…

Economy, Government

Why It Makes No Difference Whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney Wins The 2012 Election

November 4th, 2012

Mac Slavo: We’re days out from a Presidential election whose outcome will determine the future of the United States – or will it? Read more…

Economy, Government

Could Hackers Decide The Election By Changing The Voting Results In Ohio?

October 29th, 2012

Could this be the first presidential election in U.S. history to be decided by hackers?  In recent years, hackers all over the globe have become increasingly sophisticated.  Meanwhile, our computer-based voting systems have repeatedly been shown to be extremely vulnerable.  Read more…

Economy, Government

Doug Casey’s Top 5 Reasons Not To Vote

October 23rd, 2012

Doug Casey: L: Doug, we’ve spoken about presidents. We have a presidential election coming up in the US – an election that could have significant consequences on our investments. But given the views you’ve already expressed on the Tea Party movement Read more…

Economy, Government

Are Operatives From Both Parties Systematically Committing Election Fraud?

October 22nd, 2012

The election is still more than two weeks away, and already a tremendous amount of evidence has emerged that operatives from both major political parties have been committing election fraud.  There have been reports of dead people being registered to vote, of voter registration Read more…

Economy, Government

Did Barack Obama Just Make A Deal With Israel To Delay The War With Iran Until After The Election?

September 5th, 2012

Michael Snyder: Barack Obama cares about Barack Obama far more than he does about either Israel or Iran.  And as far as Barack Obama is concerned, delaying the coming war between Israel and Iran until after the election is what is best for Barack Obama. Read more…


Middle East Conflict: 19 Signs That Israel And Iran Are On The Verge Of War

September 3rd, 2012

Michael Snyder: There is going to be war in the Middle East.  It is just a matter of time until it happens.  Israel has decided that there is no way that it can ever allow Read more…

Economy, Government

The Gross Mismanagement of Mexico’s Oil Industry

December 7th, 2010

Mexico should be rich. Instead, the country provides a disheartening example of what author P.J. O’Rourke might call “making nothing from everything.”

We’ve been trekking around the Pacific Coast – well, a very small part of it – for the past week or so. The stretch between Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita – about 40 miles – boasts some of the most pristine coastland your Aussie-born editor has ever seen. It is the type that might inspire California’s “trustafarian” community to erect multi-million dollar beachfront mansions, around which they would shoot opening credit footage for teen reality shows about the trials and tribulations of the good life. But down here, the towns are tiny, peaceful and conspicuously devoid of L.A.-style bling. Life is simple. Only the occasional fishing or surfing village punctuates enormous swaths of virgin, oceanfront real estate.

The locals, at least from what we’ve seen, are an especially hard-working bunch. By day, they toil under the red-hot sun…and then, when it goes down, they toil some more. What’s more, unlike their depressed, though highly privileged cousins north of the border, they smile like it’s a national sport.

But so what? If a tropical clime and a broadly grinning local workforce were the only ingredients necessary to bake a cake of national economic prosperity, Cuba might be the preferred dessert of the Caribbean. Instead, it barely passes for an econo-Twinkie. (The Mexican captain of a fishing boat we took over the weekend made the point for us: “Ok amigos. Today we go to a beautiful island for your pleasure,” he told the eager crowd. “Are you ready for this? We go to Cuba! Haha… Just joking! We wouldn’t do that to you. You’re our amigos!”)

The real wealth, of course, is to the east, in the Gulf of Mexico. The Cantarell Field, in particular, should have been a boon to this nation. And for a while, it was. Ironically, however, nothing suffers at the hands of bureaucrats quite like raw, capitalistic opportunity and the success it threatens to visit upon ordinary, voting citizens.

With roughly 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil (35 billion in total), the Cantarell Field is roughly one third larger than Alaska’s mighty Prudhoe Bay (with a “measly” 12 billion). What’s more, unlike the extreme arctic conditions in Alaska and the sheer remoteness of the project (at 650 miles north of Anchorage), Mexico’s black gold sits just 50 miles off the coast…and in Caribbean waters of scuba-friendly temperature.

Such is the richness of the Cantarell Complex, and the luck of Mexico, that it didn’t even take a geophysicist or highly paid geologist to discover it. Instead, Rudesindo Cantarell, a fisherman, noticed that his nets were actually clogging up with the black stuff. It seems the natural oil seeps were literally begging to be discovered. Cantarell couldn’t have missed it if he tried. But the story gets even more interesting. The holes in the rock – or pores – where the oil is located appears to be – wait for it – part of the rubble formation from the asteroid impact that created the Chicxulub Crater some 65 million years ago. More amazing still, many scientists actually credit this as the (or one of the) “extinction event/s” that eventually wiped out the dinosaurs. Call it a gift from the heavens (unless, that is, you happened to be a God-fearing dinosaur).

With heaven and earth conspiring to deliver such a bounty to the Mexican people, one is tempted, perhaps beyond better judgment, to ask: What could possibly go wrong? Enter Pemex, the nation’s state-owned petroleum company. Again, it seems there is no privilege so vast as to render it beyond the destruction of the “people’s” government.

Pemex was “created” back in 1917 when, bowing, as politicians seem genetically preprogrammed to do, to public pressure, President Cárdenas embarked on the state-expropriation of all resources and facilities and, in the process, nationalized both United States and Anglo–Dutch companies operating within its borders. Despite international boycotts, Pemex led Mexico to become the world’s fifth largest oil-producing nation.

Now, Fellow Reckoner, what do you suppose a wide-eyed group of bureaucrats might do with a plump, oily egg-laying goose? Invest in exploration and development of nearby fields? Farm out some of the work to foreign companies with the necessary expertise and proven track records to bring the stuff to market? Look to secure the future of the voters who put them in office by shoring up the foundation of the nation’s largest tax paying company? Ha! Don’t make us laugh. Why, they sharpen the cleaver…and sit down to enjoy a one-time-only feast. And after the last feather is plucked and morsel consumed? Hey, this is politics! That’s a problem for the next bum to deal with.

Despite annual revenues in excess of $75 billion dollars, Pemex is only able to survive today through its immense borrowing. Pemex pays out over 60% of its revenues in taxes and royalties. Those receipts, in turn, account for around 40% of the federal government’s entire budget. As such, the state-owned dinosaur is now over $40 billion in the hole (so to speak) and, to make matters worse, is facing inexorable production decline in many of its fields, including that giant asteroid baby, Cantarell.

“Mexico’s oil industry is in crisis,” Byron King, the intrepid editor of Energy & Scarcity Investor, recently explained to his readers. “Indeed the grim numbers come from no less a source than the Mexican Energy Ministry. Production statistics make it clear that Mexico’s overall oil output is declining rapidly – with the word ‘crashing’ coming to mind as one views the chart [below].

Mexican Crude Oil Supply 2001-2009

“After decades of production,” continues Byron, “Cantarell is getting long in the tooth. Oil output is declining rapidly. Cantarell is depleting at an astonishing rate. Meanwhile, the yield from new Mexican oil fields is simply not making up the difference.”

Cantarell “peaked” around 2003…and only then after a massive nitrogen injection project to boost production. Since then, it’s been in steady decline, from a high of 2.9 million barrels per day to just 464,000 per day currently.

“Due to falling oil output, especially from offshore, Mexico will likely cease being an oil exporting nation by 2015,” concludes Byron. “This looming problem holds dire implications for the national balance sheet of Mexico, as well as – by implication – for US energy and national security.”

We can only hope the “next bum” has better ideas about how to maximize Mexico’s vast oil potential than all those preceding him. Judging by their track record, that shouldn’t take much. Then again, we are talking about politicians here.

Joel Bowman
for The Daily Reckoning

The Gross Mismanagement of Mexico’s Oil Industry originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

Read more here:
The Gross Mismanagement of Mexico’s Oil Industry

The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Commodities, Real Estate, Uncategorized

“Ant Jesus” Ban Heralds New Age of Gov’t. Censorship…in Time for Christmas!

December 4th, 2010

First it was piss, then it was elephant dung, now it’s… ANTS!

If you thought it was 1989 all over again, with puritanical moral agendas gaining amazing ground, you just might be right.

This time, it’s not the NEA or the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It’s the hallowed Smithsonian under attack from the Catholic League and the new majority leader of the House.

Just what were those ants doing, you ask. The video, A Fire in My Belly by artist David Wojnarowicz, has these upsetting ants creepy-crawling all over a crucifix.

Merry Christmas, Rep. Eric Cantor!

While we are certain this can’t be the first time that Rep. Cantor and his constituency have encountered a metaphor, I think they’ve proven once again they do not know how to handle one.

Cantor called this newest offensive art piece (no longer on view) at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery an “outrageous use of taxpayer money and an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season.”

Oh, boo! Christmas is about mangers and Virgin Marys, not so much the crucifix. It’s not even an actor playing Christ being devoured by ants. It’s just a crucifix, a potent symbol of suffering. Equally a symbol of rebirth.

As for the ants? Well, siafu are scary. They attack in columns of 50 million when they are hungry: the terror of villages. They can devour your whole body as you die of asphyxiation, not the poison of their bite. What else is scary? AIDS. I’m betting this was what Wojnarowicz was after: a startling metaphor that strikes the heart of those watching. The artist’s collaborator died of AIDS the same year the film was made: 1987. The artist himself succumbed to the disease in 1992 at age 37.

This metaphor tells not only the artist’s personal struggle, but the history of AIDS. Recall how it was first dismissed as a “gay” disease? So naturally the church pretended it could ignore it and could wag the finger of the Lord from the pulpit, calling such things the price of being “unclean.”

Watch the video here*, and you’ll hear a list of “that which is unclean” sung in hymn tones with drums tolling. The whole thing ends with a burning globe.

[* Fair Warning: This video contains mature content, including, but not limited to, parts of the human body that may cause some viewers to feel uncomfortable and/or ashamed of owning them. Those prone to anatomical envy are advised to proceed at the risk of their own ego. Moreover, those prone to writing complaint letters are urged to save their virtual stamp and to refrain from watching altogether.]

So that’s the offense. Is this not a topic worthy of citizens to debate? Artwork about plague and death is classic, church-sponsored and otherwise. How is A Fire in My Belly different? It may not be as pretty as a rotting corpse embracing a maiden of the buxom glory of the 14th century, but I am proud of the National Portrait Gallery for being willing to put such work on display. And I am ashamed for those behind the ban.

Congress never acts without its constituents or its lobbyists telling it what to do. Catholic League president Bill Donohue really got the waters boiling. He hasn’t actually seen the exhibition…but he took Congress and the Board of Regents to task about it.

Mr. Donohue’s main line of argument: “You wouldn’t do this to a Muslim image.”

“Well, duh, Mr. Donohue,” I’d respond, were I the artist. “Some Muslims may go in for fatwas, Mr. Donohue. But America and the Catholic Church are supposed to be different, right?” Blogger “A Conservative Mom” calls artists cowards since they don’t dare have ants crawl on Muhammad’s face too. Gauntlet thrown, Madame; someone will answer it! In fact, artists in Europe already have.

Why Such Offense at What Hardly Anyone Sees?

In an NPR story, The Catholic League’s Donohue broadens his remarks: “I don’t go to museums any more than any Americans do.”

So by this “logic”…

If no average Americans bother going to museums, there’s really no chance of contamination or offense after all. Christmas is saved! No one needed to shut off the video, close down the exhibit or pull funding.

No Christians will be offended, because only Good Ol’ Average Joe American celebrates Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.) and wouldn’t dare bother leaving the malls, masses or family fire long enough to go to Washington, DC, to see this “degenerate” exhibit exploring gay and lesbian American artists.

He calls museum-going the “leisure of the elite” and suggests we subsidize pro wrestling. God bless America!

Do Your Research: Private Funding of Hide-and-Seek

The Smithsonian does get federal funds for the building. Funds for exhibitions all come from private sources. This exhibition, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture got dough from the likes of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Calamus Foundation and the John Burton Harter Charitable Foundation.

Is this really like “the Pentagon going out and paying $500 for a hammer?” – as alleged by Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston?

Are we actually making the citizen bankroll “the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors” – as others quote Thomas Jefferson regarding this case?

I think not. There is no natural propagation or proselytizing in art. Art asks questions of the viewer. The viewer injects meaning. That’s what we mean when we say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Art is mute. When looking at a painting, video, photograph or what have you, one assents to understand it. You look at bad art to know what good art is, after all.

The artist, when he is dead, can no longer even speak for it. However, Wojnarowicz did speak out against the homophobic positions of such as John Cardinal O’Connor, Sen. Jesse Helms and others. In fact, Wojnarowicz was no stranger to the debate about public funding of the arts, and his art in particular. He got the NEA in trouble back in the 1980s.

Dan Cameron, curator of Wojnarowicz’s retrospective at New Museum, puts it well:

Wojnarowicz’s most lasting achievement may have been to show by concrete example that the artist’s unshakeable responsibility is to his own version of the truth, even when it takes on forms and meanings that are extremely difficult to witness.

That’s where the First Amendment comes in, see. In a similar controversy in 1999, then-Mayor Giuliani froze the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s funding because a painting by Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin Mary, happened to employ elephant dung. (Let’s leave aside that dung is actually a sacred material in African/Vodun culture, and absolutely a part of the artist’s Nigerian heritage.)

Whatever his reason… Giuliani had his way, until federal judge Nina Gershon ordered him to restore it. She wrote: “There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression and to threaten the vitality of a major cultural institution as punishment for failing to abide by governmental demands for orthodoxy.’’

In an online poll being conducted by TBD about the video’s removal, only 12% believed the work should be removed. A whopping 84% said that the work should stay. And 4% agreed that while the removal of the art was wrong, it was good for the museum to “quickly diffuse the situation.”

That’s the real rub. In an age where deficits, spending cuts and pay freezes are very real, every arts organization knows it will be the first to be axed. What else are they but “leisure” in the minds of the voters? So arts organizations are less willing than ever to pick a fight. Even if it’s a matter of the First Amendment! Although art of late has been very little about pretty paintings, it’s also the first political organ to be silenced by lack of funds.

The easiest way to kill “degenerate” art is to starve the artists. The question becomes what happens when state representatives become curators?

While I began this essay with a healthy dose of mockery, I do it as one who was carded at 12, with my sister, age 17, to see a retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe at my local art museum. We had to go back home and bring our mother on the weekend. We were both photography students and had studied drawing from live models. We had seen penis before.

I can tell you I didn’t “catch homosexual disease” from looking at these images, nor other works by fellow lesbian photographer Annie Leibovitz (also featured in Hide/Seek). My Republican/Christian-raised mom was outraged when interviewed by reporters that her children were carded in an art museum. She would fault a museum that would consider dropping controversial works rather than dealing with politicians and bad press.

Is it really propagandist to put a photo of Ellen DeGeneres squeezing her boobs next to the room that has portraits of presidents and another hung with photos of a young Elvis? Gee, I thought that’s what made America great: a multitude of voices and images that resembles not a white Nazi Germany and the destruction or silencing of art and artists. Besides, wasn’t Elvis’ pelvis a threat to preteen girls’ morals everywhere back in the day?

Maybe I’m too liberal. And yes, dear reader, we wouldn’t be having this debate if the Smithsonian were not a publicly funded institution.

However, that’s not its start. In 1829, the English scientist James Smithson left his fortune to us – the people of the United States. He longed to establish an institution “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Like it or not, even our gay-lesbian/religious dialogue is part of American history and our cultural knowledge. We know the winners write history…but why not preserve the dialogue?

Andrew Jackson (the hallowed monetary reform president) thought America could accept this rich legacy. Many states’ rights advocates, nationalists, federalists and xenophobes weren’t so sure about it. Still, by 1846, the Act of Incorporation allowed for a lecture hall, library, chemical laboratory, natural history laboratory and art gallery. I, for one, am very glad we took it.

If arts funding gets fully privatized, who steps in? And who suffers? That’s the real debate here. Not a bunch of ants.

A 2010 NEA Arts Journalism Institute Fellow who apologizes to her Austrian friends,

Samantha Buker
for The Daily Reckoning

[Author’s note: Rumor has it that the Smithsonian may start charging $7.50 a head. If you want to get a FREE look at the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture you have until mid-February to hit DC to see what could be the last truly ballsy portrait exhibit to be mounted in the United States!]

“Ant Jesus” Ban Heralds New Age of Gov’t. Censorship…in Time for Christmas! originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

Read more here:
“Ant Jesus” Ban Heralds New Age of Gov’t. Censorship…in Time for Christmas!

The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.


Muni Bond Market Imploding – How to Play It

November 23rd, 2010

While it was readily apparent years ago, and we were reminded again during the 2008-2009 financial crash, markets had temporarily forgotten that municipalities across the nation are virtually insolvent and should already have declared bankruptcy.  If they have not yet “restructured” their debt, they should and they will.  After decades of politicians writing checks the future generation couldn’t pay by way of lavish public spending sprees, unsustainable defined benefit programs for public workers and lousy investment schemes (Wall Street Collects $4 Billion From Taxpayers as Swaps Backfire), current investors are rightly questioning the ability to meet these debt obligations in the future.

Who Will Blink First?

This has traditionally been a calculus of whether the federal government would allow states to go bankrupt and whether states would allow individual municipalities to go bankrupt.  For example, it doesn’t look as though PA is going to allow Harrisburg to go belly up, and could you imagine Illinois  going under on Obama’s watch?  This type of thinking is what has propped up the NAVs on muni funds since the initial crash in 2008.  Granted, investors that unloaded these instruments this summer actually did fairly well.  They realized a double digit return on their capital appreciation on top of a tax-free yield in the range of 4-8% annually.

The Voters Spoke – As Europe Burns

However, the tide has turned.  Perhaps it was the sentiment amongst voters that overwhelmingly rejected the Democratic party in the House and Senate.  Perhaps it was the (unsurprising) inability of the QE2 announcement to actually force rates lower.  The 10 Year Yield is higher now than when QE2 was announced, and at the same level as when rumors initially surfaced (and check out what happened to mortgage rates in the process).  Perhaps it’s the public ire in the EU where member state after state must bail out individual country debt at the expense of public taxpayers so private banks and bondholders don’t take a haircut (which they should).

Transferring private losses to public debt is going out of style.

There seems to be a real new wave of public sentiment against continued bailouts in the US and abroad, and the investment calculus here may just be that in order to retain political capital, some politicians (especially Republicans) may have to allow municipalities to default rather than blindly bailing them out.

This may be conjecture at this point, a guy trying to make sense of current events and sentiment, but what cannot be ignored is the actually market moves we’ve been seeing in muni bonds.  Take a look at a popular muni bond fund run by PIMCO (PMF), which I used to own (detailed high yield muni ETF review).  Since QE2 was announced in early November, while the S&P500 has been virtually flat, PMF has declined 10%.  This is quite a move for the usually tepid muni asset class:

(click to enlarge)

Munis Behaving Badly

AAA munis are now yielding more than treasuries.  This is highly abnormal since AAA munis normally yield less because with a (supposed) similar risk profile to similarly dated Treasuries, investors are usually willing to pay more for US Treasuries.  This is tax-driven, as Treasury income is taxable whereas most municipal debt is tax-free.   So, for someone in the highest tax bracket it is especially more appealing to own muni bonds compared to Tresuries at similar yields, which forces the spread.  This spread is dead.

A Contrarian Approach or Black Swan?

Many investment advisors are now touting an incredible opportunity to swoop in and buy distressed muni bonds given the abnormal spread.  The thinking is that this situation won’t last long and when muni bond prices rise again to push the yields below those of Treasuries, it will be a good risk/reward.  To the contrary, this may make for an excellent Black Swan Investment.  If you foresee a massive wave of new defaults that cannot be stemmed, perhaps the federal government will just have to let the chips fall where they may.  Massive debt burdens will have to be restructured.  Public sector worker entitlements will have to be reconsidered.  Taxpayers will revolt of the notion of continued bailouts and force bondholders to take a haircut – the ultimate Black Swan.  To enact, one could simply short popular muni ETFs and Closed End Funds (read more about premiums and discounts on CEFs before proceeding) since retail investors can’t practically short individual muni bonds.  Similarly, some of these offer put options as well.  If you pick the right one(s) and they implode?  This is living “The Big Short” all over again.  Just be mindful that muni funds are very specific on type, locale, strategy, etc., so understand the underlying holdings and risk metrics before diving in.

Disclosure: No current position in any municipal instruments.


Health Care Costs Go Up, Up and Away

November 1st, 2010

A lot of the “news” lately is about the upcoming election and how the absurd, childish Democrats are expected to be ousted by the voters, replaced by the evil, adult Republicans. As a disclaimer, I, with great relief, now happily identify with the Tea Party, although I seem to be one of the few whose Screaming Tea Party Outrage (STPO) is directed at the politicians because they allowed the Federal Reserve to create so much money – so, so much money, for so, so long – that the monstrous monetary inflation spilled over into inflations in stock prices, and inflations in bond prices, and inflations in house prices, inflations in the massive, cancerous growth of government itself, and the financing of the immeasurably-massive derivatives market, which is, basically, astronomical levels of money placed in highly-leveraged bets!

One of the topics of conversation is, of course, the ObamaCare health insurance takeover, with the unintended consequence of forcing the Supreme Court to decide if Congress has the authority under the Constitution to force everyone to buy a private-sector insurance product, or else pay a fine, which is another whole issue.

One of the things not usually mentioned is the total projected costs of the new health insurance monstrosity. Some people have written to me about this, and I have read the few emails that start out with the expected fawning and groveling, like the one that read “Dear Handsome And Fabulous Mogambo (HAFM), How come you don’t do some actual work for a change, and maybe get a handle on the true costs of this health insurance boondoggle, instead of just sitting around doing nothing except whining and complaining about how the damnable Federal Reserve is creating so much money that ‘We’re Freaking Doomed (WFD)’ to suffer an economic collapse and a giant inflation in the prices of things demanded around the world (like food and fuel), and a giant deflation in paper assets and properties that are of no use to the rest of the world (like overpriced, low-quality homes, businesses and fixed assets)? Or are you really just a lazy, worthless bum like everyone says? I heard a rumor that your own mother noticed it from the start, and I can still remember when you were growing up that I said to your dad, ‘Our son is one stupid, lazy kid.’“

It was signed “Total Stranger” but from the tone of it, I suspect that is not quite true. I can’t put my finger on who it could be, though.

Nevertheless, my Official Mogambo Reply (OMR) was, “Dear Stranger, If you heard I was lazy, then what in the hell do you expect from me, ya moron?

“Furthermore, the work of how much ObamaCare if going to cost has been done by Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute, who notes (by way of introduction) that the bill was initially 477,920 words, or about $1.2 million per word.”

Of course, this was before the “reconciliation package, which added 153 pages and 34,000 words” and all to establish the staggering horror of “99 new boards and commissions and agencies,” although this is just a simplistic, low-ball underestimate, as a report from the Congressional Research Service “found that it is impossible to estimate how many boards, commissions, and agencies will be created, because in many places they’re authorized to create more agencies and commissions and boards; a sort of infinitely expanding federal bureaucracy”! Yikes!

Mr. Tanner’s calculations of the cost of ObamaCare take up in 2014, when the actual program gets started, which calculates out that ten years of implementation of the economic disaster popularly known as ObamaCare will cost a stunning $2.7 trillion over the period, which is a staggering, terrifying amount of money!

This is (I gulp to say) $270 billion a year, and which will (and easy-as-pie to predict) rise, rise, rise in cost from this “modest” level, more than the rise in consumer-staples inflation, which itself will be blazing exponentially upwards, rocketing like (as the Simpsons say) “a rocket with a rocket up its butt,” sizzling up and up towards the eventual hyperinflation and total destruction of buying power of the currency and the economy that is always, always, always the tragic end-result of constantly creating too much money.

Interestingly, Mr. Tanner also says that Medicare is scheduled to get cut by $600 billion, which is a lot of money, in one regard, but a 0.6% pittance in another, which is that, as he says, Medicare is “$100 trillion in debt”! Already! Right now! While the $600 billion cut, even if implemented, is spread over 10 years? Hahaha! We’re freaking doomed!

And when I mean “doomed,” I mean it in a relative sense, of course, as most people will be disastrously wiped out, of course, and they will glumly refer to this period of time with some clever variant of the Great Depression, while the people who buy gold, silver and oil now, at these cheap prices, will refer forever refer to it as, “When the family fortune was made!”

You gotta agree: Whee! This investing stuff is easy!

The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning

Health Care Costs Go Up, Up and Away originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

Read more here:
Health Care Costs Go Up, Up and Away

The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.


The Idiots Guide to Repairing an Economy

August 25th, 2010

Too bad Thomas Friedman has stopped writing about the economy. We could use a good laugh this morning. Chilly winds are blowing across this part of France. The children have all gone. The sun is low and cool. It’s quiet here, and a bit sad.

But Friedman has moved on to giving bad advice on other subjects.

So, this morning we turn to Bob Burnett, “retired Silicon Valley executive.” Mr. Burnett is writing on a site that we believe is part of The Huffington Post. His photo shows a man who seems affable. At least, he’s smiling. The edges of his mouth curl up, revealing the incipient insanity of the self-assured. He knows what he knows; too bad that what he knows isn’t so.

We smiled too when we read his explanation for how come the US lacks jobs. He blames “conservative economic ideology” that took hold under the Reagan administration.

What? Where has this fellow been? It was under the Reagan administration that the last trace of conservative economic ideology disappeared. Reagan supposedly proved that “deficits don’t matter” and that we can always “grow our way out of debt.” The Republicans became activists – trying to rearrange the world to suit their imperial ambitions…and pandering to the voters with lower taxes and unfunded giveaway programs. “No voter left behind” was practically their motto. What’s conservative about that?

American economic history according to Burnett:

What followed was a thirty-year period where America’s working families were abandoned in favor of the rich. Inequality rose as middle class income and wealth declined. As corporate power increased, unions were systematically undermined. As CEO salaries soared, fewer families earned living wages.

Poor Burnett misses the point of the last 30 years of US economic history. He thinks middle class families declined because they were “abandoned,” as if they were pets in need of constant care and attention.

(What really happened, in less than 25 words, was that US society became debt-soaked and zombified…thanks to the joint efforts of Fate, History, Economic Cycles, the Fed, Economists and Both Political Parties. More…eventually….)

The man has no idea how an economy functions. This you can tell by reading his suggestions to the Obama administration. Everybody without a clue has recommendations. Burnett is no exception.

America has economic cancer and radical surgery is required. First, there has to be a massive redistribution of income by increasing taxes on both the wealthy and financial institutions (particularly those that were at the heart of 2008’s economic meltdown).

Second, there has to be a second stimulus package that not only supports America’s teachers and public safety workers but also strengthens the US infrastructure, in general. It’s not logical to propose that American businesses provide better jobs without also ensuring that our schools produce workers who can meet employers’ needs.

Third, the Federal government has to be involved in economic policy. The last thirty years has demonstrated that it’s insane to assume the free market will do this. What we’ve learned is that the market follows the path of least resistance and dictates economic policy solely based on greed. Creating wealth for a handful of CEOs isn’t consistent with the national interest. What are needed now are economic policies that produce decent jobs for average Americans.

The Federal government has to intervene and create the jobs that the greedy, shortsighted private sector hasn’t provided.

What a dimwit. Who does he think was making economic policy during the bubble years? What does he think the schools were doing? What does he think the regulators were up to?

Rob the rich to give to the poor? Hey, that should work!

He should run for Congress. Maybe he is running for Congress. It would prove another of our Daily Reckoning Dicta: Anyone who wants to be in Congress is not someone you’d want in Congress.


Bill Bonner

for The Daily Reckoning

The Idiots Guide to Repairing an Economy originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning, offers a uniquely refreshing, perspective on the global economy, investing, gold, stocks and today’s markets. Its been called “the most entertaining read of the day.”

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The Idiots Guide to Repairing an Economy

The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.


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