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G M
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« Reply #800 on: October 02, 2013, 10:29:31 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/02/unreal-park-workers-installing-more-barricades-around-wwii-memorial-to-keep-vets-out/

Unreal: Park workers installing more barricades around WWII Memorial to keep vets out; Update: Vets enter Memorial


posted at 10:41 am on October 2, 2013 by Allahpundit






Not just barricades, either. My friends, it’s come to this:
 


I’m rushing this post out because, per Ed’s stellar round-up from earlier this morning, the Honor Flight vets are headed to the Memorial regardless. Members of Congress, among them Michele Bachmann, are already there, as are reporters of all stripes. If you use Twitter, I recommend following the Standard’s John McCormack, National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, and the Examiner’s Charlie Spiering, who took the photo I used for our front-page thumbnail of the feds actually deploying forklifts to set up gates around a memorial that’s open 24 hours a day with little supervision under normal circumstances. As I write this at a few minutes after 10:30 ET, Spiering is tweeting that the vets are scheduled to arrive within the next 15 minutes. Is your government really about to arrest 96-year-olds who fought at Guadalcanal because this bit of sub-moronic shutdown theater is too precious to them to forfeit? Stay tuned. It wouldn’t be the first own-goal they’ve scored because their pettiness overwhelmed their sense of optics.
 
By the way, the WWII Memorial isn’t the only one with a gate in front of it this morning. When McCormack strolled over to the World War I Memorial, he found this. No joke:
 


The sign reads, “Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service area is closed, except for First Amendment activities.” So if you want to protest there, you’re good. If you want to quietly remember the dead, get off the damned lawn.
 
An exit question via Legal Insurrection while we wait for updates: How come the Lincoln Memorial isn’t open now if it was open “>during the 1995 shutdown?
 


Update: A Park Service spokesman says they were told to close the memorial by the Office of Management and Budget. Paging Darrell Issa: Time to find out who made the decision at OMB. And why.
 
Update: If you’re near a TV, you might want to turn on CNN. Tapper is there at the Memorial; if there’s some sort of confrontation, I assume they’ll cut to him live.
 
Update: The vets have arrived.
 


Dan Foster says, “This is President Obama’s Bonus Army.”
 
Update: Forced to choose between locking up elderly World War II heroes and letting them past the barricades, the Park Service bows to political reality:
 

Chad Pergram        ✔ @ChadPergram

Source signals they are going to let the WWII vets and lawmakers into the WWII Memorial on the Mall
8:59 AM - 2 Oct 2013

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G M
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« Reply #801 on: October 02, 2013, 10:38:31 AM »

http://action.eriksoderstrom.com/voteforvets/

164 Democrats Vote Against Funding Veterans' Benefits
 
HJ Res. 72
 
Vote summary: 264-164. Failed (required 2/3 majority).
 
This bill would have restored funding for American veterans' benefits. The 164 Democrats listed on this page don't think veterans' benefits are important enough to pay for. Click the tweet buttons to ask them why.
 •Andrews
•Bass
•Beatty
 •Becerra
•Bishop (GA)
•Blumenauer
•Bonamici
•Brady (PA)
•Brown (FL)
•Brownley (CA)
•Butterfield
•Capps
•Capuano
 •Cárdenas
•Carney
•Cartwright
•Castor (FL)
 •Castro (TX)
•Chu
•Cicilline
•Clarke
•Clay
•Cleaver
•Clyburn
•Cohen
•Connolly
•Conyers
•Costa
•Courtney
•Crowley
•Cuellar
•Cummings
•Davis (CA)
•Davis, Danny
 •DeFazio
•DeGette
•Delaney
•DeLauro
•Deutch
•Dingell
•Doggett
•Doyle
•Duckworth
•Edwards
•Ellison
•Engel
•Enyart
•Eshoo
•Esty
•Farr
•Fattah
•Frankel (FL)
•Fudge
•Gabbard
•Garamendi
•Grayson
•Green, Al
•Green, Gene
•Grijalva
•Gutiérrez
•Hahn
•Hanabusa
•Hastings (FL)
 •Higgins
•Himes
•Holt
•Honda
•Horsford
•Hoyer
•Huffman
•Israel
•Jackson Lee
•Jeffries
•Johnson (GA)
•Johnson, E. B.
•Kaptur
•Kelly (IL)
 •Kennedy
•Kildee
•Kind
•Kirkpatrick
•Kuster
•Langevin
•Larsen (WA)
•Larson (CT)
•Lee (CA)
•Levin
•Lewis
•Lofgren
•Lowenthal
•Lowey
•Lujan Grisham (NM)
•Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
•Maloney, Carolyn
•Matsui
•McCollum
•McDermott
•McGovern
•McNerney
•Meeks
•Meng
•Michaud
•Miller, George
•Moore
•Moran
•Nadler
•Napolitano
•Neal
•Negrete McLeod
•Nolan
•O'Rourke
•Pallone
•Pascrell
•Pastor (AZ)
 •Payne
•Pelosi
•Perlmutter
•Pingree (ME)
•Pocan
•Price (NC)
•Quigley
•Rahall
 •Rangel
•Richmond
•Roybal-Allard
•Ruppersberger
•Ryan (OH)
•Sánchez, Linda T.
•Sanchez, Loretta
•Sarbanes
•Schakowsky
•Schiff
•Schwartz
 •Scott (VA)
•Scott, David
•Serrano
•Sewell (AL)
•Shea-Porter
•Sherman
•Sires
•Slaughter
•Smith (WA)
•Speier
•Swalwell (CA)
•Takano
•Thompson (CA)
•Thompson (MS)
•Titus
•Tonko
•Tsongas
•Van Hollen
•Vargas
•Veasey
•Vela
•Velázquez
•Visclosky
•Walz
•Wasserman Schultz
•Waters
•Watt
•Waxman
 •Welch
•Wilson (FL)
•Yarmuth

Source: clerk.house.gov/...
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G M
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« Reply #802 on: October 02, 2013, 10:40:23 AM »

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G M
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« Reply #803 on: October 02, 2013, 11:00:39 AM »



http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/01/why-was-the-world-war-ii-memorial-barricaded/

Why was the World War II Memorial barricaded?


Lawmakers on Capitol Hill do not seem any closer to an agreement that would end the government shutdown.
 
On Tuesday, when veterans came to the World War II Memorial only to discover it had been barricaded because of the shutdown, they moved the blockade, then continued on to pay their respects.
 
But the memorial is a federal site in a public space. According to the National World War II Memorial website, "The memorial is operated by the National Park Service and is open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
 
Why was there a need for barricades in the first place?
 
"Park Service did not want to barricade these, but unfortunately we have been directed, because of the lack of appropriations, to close all facilities and grounds," said National Mall and Memorial parks spokeswoman Carol Johnson.
 
"I know that this is an open-air memorial, but we have people on staff who are CPR trained, (and) we want to make sure that we have maintenance crew to take care of any problems. What we're trying to do is protect this resource for future generations," said Johnson.
 
CNN's Erin McPike reports.

**Hmmmm. So I guess all those Park Police officers aren't trained in CPR?  rolleyes


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G M
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« Reply #804 on: October 02, 2013, 12:01:31 PM »

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/10/02/exclusive-judicial-watch-files-foia-for-information-related-to-closing-of-wwii-memorial/

Exclusive: Judicial Watch Files FOIA for Information Related to Closing of WWII Memorial





by
Bryan Preston

Bio





October 2, 2013 - 9:48 am



Government watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get to the bottom of the National Park Service’s actions at the World War II Memorial in Washington this week. The NPS has barricaded the memorial and on Tuesday tried to prevent veterans from visiting the memorial, which has no amenities and is normally open to the public at all times.
 





The Judicial Watch FOIA request reads:
 



The National Park service has closed facilities that are either unmanned or take no federal funding, and says that the Obama administration ordered the shutdown. Anna Eberly, Managing Director of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Virginia, told Tatler that the NPS is renting the barricades that it is using to enforce the closures, an increase in the service’s operating costs at a time that the government is partially shut down.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #805 on: October 02, 2013, 01:08:57 PM »



Shutdown Preparations Prove Most Government Is Waste

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/093013-673139-most-of-white-house-staff-revealed-as-waste.htm

Big Government: When the government shuts down, the president will do without three-fourths of his White House staff — 1,265 taxpayer-salaried federal workers. That's a fraction of the government's total waste.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who didn't show up to vote on the budget last week, recently claimed, "the cupboard is bare. There's no more cuts to make" in a government that spends almost $4 trillion each year.

But it's funny how when the massive state apparatus is starved of its cash flow, lots of things magically appear in that bare cupboard.

A Sept. 26 letter from the assistant to the president for management and administration to the director of the Office of Management and Budget (couldn't those jobs be merged?) comically outlines the shutdown plan.

"Approximately 436 employees will be designated as excepted or exempt to perform excepted functions," the manager of the White House budget tells the manager of the executive branch budget. "The remaining 1,265 will be placed in furlough status once they have concluded activities necessary to shut down their offices."

Activities like what? Turning off the lights?

The Executive Office of the President "has carefully reviewed its personnel needs ... to ensure that the mission ... is carried out without significant interruption."

But the letter says during the shutdown it'll take 12 taxpayer-paid employees "to support the vice president in the discharge of his constitutional duties." Call them the dirty dozen, since they take care of what Vice President John Nance Garner called "a bucket of warm spit."

What do these 12 absolutely essential non-Secret Service vice-presidential staff do, guarantee that Joe Biden doesn't make a gaffe during the shutdown?

He also gets one staffer for the vice president's residence. Can't "average Joe," who as a senator famously rode the commuter train with the riffraff from Delaware to Washington every day, make his own meals for a few days? Or put up with Dr. Jill's cooking?

Why are 61 U.S. Trade Representative employees required during the shutdown "for developing, coordinating, and advising the president on U.S. trade policy"?

And how many of the more than 20 members of the first lady's staff, at least four of whom are paid six figures by the taxpayers, will be deemed non-essential?

The White House is just a microcosm of the out-of-control growth in federal government personnel. Shameless federal worker unions already plan to sue to get paid for days they stay home during the shutdown.

One thing a government shutdown does is prove that millions of them can, and should, stay home every day.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #806 on: October 06, 2013, 09:42:38 AM »


http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100413.php3#.UlF1Aj-8Ctt
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #807 on: October 06, 2013, 12:12:20 PM »

second post


http://nationalreview.com/article/359767/how-constitutionally-fund-government-andrew-c-mccarthy
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ccp
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« Reply #808 on: October 06, 2013, 07:57:57 PM »

Yes Sowell hits the nail on the head.   Now we need a small army of mouthpieces to hit the airwaves everywhere to make these same talking points ala the Clinton spin machine.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #809 on: October 07, 2013, 12:01:38 AM »

I've been posting it around FB and have seen many of my FB friends posting it forward.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #810 on: October 07, 2013, 10:01:13 AM »

Yes Sowell hits the nail on the head.   Now we need a small army of mouthpieces to hit the airwaves everywhere to make these same talking points ala the Clinton spin machine.

Yes!  Sowell spells out so clearly what I and others have been struggling to express.  Here is the text of that column in its entirety - Hat tip Crafty.

 Who Shut Down the Government?

By Thomas Sowell

Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed "the law of the land," as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies — unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — "wants to shut down the government." But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a "clean" bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word "clean" like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of "legislation by appropriation" as it used to be called.

Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out — and articulation has never been their strong suit — the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:06:36 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #811 on: October 07, 2013, 03:09:46 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304906704579113661593684356.html?mod=hp_opinion

Niall Ferguson: The Shutdown Is a Sideshow. Debt Is the Threat

An entitlement-driven disaster looms for America, yet Washington persists with its game of Russian roulette..



By NIALL FERGUSON

In the words of a veteran investor, watching the U.S. bond market today is like sitting in a packed theater and smelling smoke. You look around for signs of other nervous sniffers. But everyone else seems oblivious.

Yes, the federal government shut down this week. Yes, we are just two weeks away from the point when the Treasury secretary says he will run out of cash if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Yes, bond king Bill Gross has been on TV warning that a default by the government would be "catastrophic." Yet the yield on a 10-year Treasury note has fallen slightly over the past month (though short-term T-bill rates ticked up this week).
 
Part of the reason people aren't rushing for the exits is that the comedy they are watching is so horribly fascinating. In his vain attempt to stop the Senate striking out the defunding of ObamaCare from the last version of the continuing resolution, freshman Sen. Ted Cruz managed to quote Doctor Seuss while re-enacting a scene from the classic movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

Meanwhile, President Obama has become the Hamlet of the West Wing: One minute he's for bombing Syria, the next he's not; one minute Larry Summers will succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the next he won't; one minute the president is jetting off to Asia, the next he's not. To be in charge, or not to be in charge: that is indeed the question.
 

According to conventional wisdom, the key to what is going on is a Republican Party increasingly at the mercy of the tea party. I agree that it was politically inept to seek to block ObamaCare by these means. This is not the way to win back the White House and Senate. But responsibility also lies with the president, who has consistently failed to understand that a key function of the head of the executive branch is to twist the arms of legislators on both sides. It was not the tea party that shot down Mr. Summers's nomination as Fed chairman; it was Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the new face of the American left.
 
Yet, entertaining as all this political drama may seem, the theater itself is indeed burning. For the fiscal position of the federal government is in fact much worse today than is commonly realized. As anyone can see who reads the most recent long-term budget outlook—published last month by the Congressional Budget Office, and almost entirely ignored by the media—the question is not if the United States will default but when and on which of its rapidly spiraling liabilities.
 
True, the federal deficit has fallen to about 4% of GDP this year from its 10% peak in 2009. The bad news is that, even as discretionary expenditure has been slashed, spending on entitlements has continued to rise—and will rise inexorably in the coming years, driving the deficit back up above 6% by 2038.
 
A very striking feature of the latest CBO report is how much worse it is than last year's. A year ago, the CBO's extended baseline series for the federal debt in public hands projected a figure of 52% of GDP by 2038. That figure has very nearly doubled to 100%. A year ago the debt was supposed to glide down to zero by the 2070s. This year's long-run projection for 2076 is above 200%. In this devastating reassessment, a crucial role is played here by the more realistic growth assumptions used this year.
 
As the CBO noted last month in its 2013 "Long-Term Budget Outlook," echoing the work of Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff: "The increase in debt relative to the size of the economy, combined with an increase in marginal tax rates (the rates that would apply to an additional dollar of income), would reduce output and raise interest rates relative to the benchmark economic projections that CBO used in producing the extended baseline. Those economic differences would lead to lower federal revenues and higher interest payments. . . .

"At some point, investors would begin to doubt the government's willingness or ability to pay U.S. debt obligations, making it more difficult or more expensive for the government to borrow money. Moreover, even before that point was reached, the high and rising amount of debt that CBO projects under the extended baseline would have significant negative consequences for both the economy and the federal budget."
 
Just how negative becomes clear when one considers the full range of scenarios offered by CBO for the period from now until 2038. Only in three of 13 scenarios—two of which imagine politically highly unlikely spending cuts or tax hikes—does the debt shrink from its current level of 73% of GDP. In all the others it increases to between 77% and 190% of GDP. It should be noted that this last figure can reasonably be considered among the more likely of the scenarios, since it combines the alternative fiscal scenario, in which politicians in Washington behave as they have done in the past, raising spending more than taxation.
 
Only a fantasist can seriously believe "this is not a crisis." The fiscal arithmetic of excessive federal borrowing is nasty even when relatively optimistic assumptions are made about growth and interest rates. Currently, net interest payments on the federal debt are around 8% of revenues. But under the CBO's extended baseline scenario, that share could rise to 20% by 2026, 30% by 2049, and 40% by 2072. By 2088, the last date for which the CBO now offers projections, interest payments would—absent any changes in current policy—absorb just under half of all tax revenues. That is another way of saying that policy is unsustainable.
 
The question is what on earth can be done to prevent the debt explosion. The CBO has a clear answer: "ringing debt back down to 39 percent of GDP in 2038—as it was at the end of 2008—would require a combination of increases in revenues and cuts in noninterest spending (relative to current law) totaling 2 percent of GDP for the next 25 years. . . .

"If those changes came entirely from revenues, they would represent an increase of 11 percent relative to the amount of revenues projected for the 2014-2038 period; if the changes came entirely from spending, they would represent a cut of 10½ percent in noninterest spending from the amount projected for that period."
 
Anyone watching this week's political shenanigans in Washington will grasp at once the tiny probability of tax hikes or spending cuts on this scale.

It should now be clear that what we are watching in Washington is not a comedy but a game of Russian roulette with the federal government's creditworthiness. So long as the Federal Reserve continues with the policies of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, the gun will likely continue to fire blanks. After all, Fed purchases of Treasurys, if continued at their current level until the end of the year, will account for three quarters of new government borrowing.

But the mere prospect of a taper, beginning in late May, was already enough to raise long-term interest rates by more than 100 basis points. Fact (according to data in the latest "Economic Report of the President"): More than half the federal debt in public hands is held by foreigners. Fact: Just under a third of the debt has a maturity of less than a year.
 
Hey, does anyone else smell something burning?

Correction: Net interest payments on the federal debt are about 8% of revenues. The Oct. 5 op-ed "The Shutdown Is a Sideshow. Debt Is the Threat" misstated the payments as a percentage of GDP.
 
Mr. Ferguson's latest book is "The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die" (Penguin Press, 2013).
 
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G M
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« Reply #812 on: October 07, 2013, 03:29:31 PM »

- The Daily Caller - http://dailycaller.com -
 


Americans cross Obama’s parkway barriers

Posted By Neil Munro On 11:51 PM 10/06/2013 In Politics | No Comments


Many Americans crossed the barriers that were set this weekend by President Barack Obama’s deputies to block public access to the Potomac River from Virginia’s George Washington Memorial Parkway.
 
In many quiet acts of civil disobedience, Americans removed car barriers and cut police tape, or walked across barriers after parking on grass verges or in adjacent suburbs.
 
Once past the federal barriers, they were able to enjoy the bike paths, parkland and overlooks — on what singer Woody Guthrie described as “your land” — during the sunny, 80-degree weekend.
 
Still, the Obama administration blocked easy access to the river for many Americans, except for boat club members or property owners in the 22308 zip code, where riverside homes sell for at least $1.5 million.
 
The federal barriers were set along 20 miles of the parkway, starting at a government-built parking lot at President George Washington’s Mount Vernon home and continuing northwards to scenic overlooks in McLean, Va.
 
“I’ll take my chances,” said one man as he unloaded his two children on a grassy verge beside Roosevelt Island, just across from Washington’s Georgetown district.
 
But their day in the sun was darkened by a locked gate on the narrow bridge from the parkway to the island that celebrates President Teddy Roosevelt, who is widely regarded as the first presidential advocate for national parks.
 
Motorists who pushed through the barriers were applauded by other Americans.
 

OCTOBER 6, 2013 — Cars driving past barricades on the Washington Memorial Parkway (Neil Munro/TheDC)
 
“They’re right to do that,” a cyclist told The Daily Caller as motorists drove through an opened barrier at a private marina near the Belle Haven Country Club, located just south of Alexandria, Va.
 
Still, many citizens were stopped by the barriers. Some were blocked because they could not get their boat down the blockaded slips, and others because they were not willing to risk a parking ticket from patrolling police cars.
 
A family, complete with three kids and a speedboat, found themselves at a scenic overlook 300 feet above the northern end of the river because all the normal slips were blocked. They told TheDC that they would turn back south to search for an unguarded boat ramp.
 

OCTOBER 6, 2013 — Motorists ignore a government shutdown sign and park on a scenic overlook on the George Washington Memorial Parkway (Neil Munro/TheDC)
 
In several places, Americans gathered together to park in large groups around knocked-aside barriers.
 
But their respect for the law prevented them from puncturing the water-filled plastic barriers — at least during daylight — that are too heavy to be shoved aside.
 
GOP governors have also pushed back.
 
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker defied the federal edict, and cleared away barriers hindering Americans.
 
The state “has clarified areas where the federal procedures are over-reaching,” said an email from Cathy Stepp, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
 
In contrast, the administration’s progressive officials were unapologetic about their massive resistance to public access of the federal parks and memorials.
 
“Republicans are willing to vote funding to reopen national parks, museums, memorials, veterans’ payments and the D.C. government.  Why is the White House against it?” one reporter asked White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday.
 
“Because… It’s a gimmick and it is unsustainable and it’s not serious,” he insisted.
 
On Friday, Carney was unable to cite any actions taken by Obama to reduce the government’s blockade of parks or websites.
 
Jonathan Jarvis, the service director at the National Park Service, insisted Thursday he had no choice but to send officers out to close the parks, overlooks and parking lots because he had to furlough 21,000 park service officers.
 
“To meet the standard of protection for these places…I had to shut them down,” Jarvis declared in a C-Span “Washington Journal” interview.
 
Law enforcement officers were stationed around parks and monuments to deter Americans from walking on their government’s turf.
 
“We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can,” a park ranger told The Washington Times. “It’s disgusting.”
 
Vice President Joe Biden used a Thursday tweet to applauded a park official who patrolled the perimeter of the World War II monument.
 
“’I’m proud of you,’ VP called to tell the Park Ranger who was chastised by a GOP Rep today at the WWII Memorial,” said the tweet.
 
The monument was built to applaud the Americans who destroyed Germany’s Nazi regime and Japan’s militaristic empire.
 
On the southern end of the riverside parkway, several small overlooks remained blocked by plastic fences, and the Civil War-era Fort Hunt Park was padlocked.
 
At Roosevelt Island, officials replaced at least one set of lightweight barriers that were visible Saturday with heavy, water-filled barriers that fully blocked the parking lot on Sunday.
 
On Sunday, just north of Ronald Reagan airport, a police officer parked himself in the road to deter more Americans from joining about 40 trucks, family vans and SUVs that were parked on the grass beside Gravelly Point field. The cop tried to chase away additional autos, but none of the autos parked on the verge showed parking tickets.
 
TheDC, however, did find a parking ticket on a car that was parked behind the ersatz gates of a government-owned lot at Mount Vernon, the home of the nation’s first American president.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com

URL to article: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/06/americans-cross-obamas-parkway-barriers/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #813 on: October 09, 2013, 10:08:09 AM »

First we know that the 17% government shutdown is entirely the making of the Democrats refusing to delay the parts of Obamacare by one year that they have not already delayed by one year.

Second is the so called debt ceiling default.  The Occupier of the Oval Office says we must pay our obligations.   In fact, that is written in the constitution, not a partisan issue, see below.  What he really is saying with his analogies is that the credit committee of your bank MUST raise your credit limit because of the spending decisions you have already made.  We all know it doesn't work that way in the real world.  You pay fees and penalties when you go past your credit limit, and they profit from your irresponsibility.

In a previous post, we learned from G M / CBO that it would take the equivalent of 11% cuts of all non-interest spending for 25 years to get debt down to where it was at the start of the Obama administration.  Assuming OMB and POTUS read CBO, wouldn't you think there would be some talk right now about where to cut now that the tax rate increases are all in place, assuming some level of fiscal responsibility is the goal.  They aren't and it isn't.

Does a serious leader really not have a contingency plan?

Meanwhile over at the Republican majority House we have potential co-conspirators, well intended with questionable backbones, negotiating with themselves over what involvement they would like in this generational theft crime in progress.  They know they get blamed for shutdowns, and they know they will be blamed for the default - by those self-appointed to assess blame across mainstream print and airwaves.  Somewhere down deep they also know right from wrong.

Is default what happens next if there was no hike in the debt ceiling?  No.  Not if the President carries out his constitutional responsibilities.

The federal government spends $16.7 billion a day and takes in about $14 billion a day in cash receipts, implying an average daily borrowing requirement of about $2.7 billion.  Quite simply, without a credit limit increase, the US government would have to get by on current revenues, like everyone else at the end of their credit line.  Revenues would have to drop by 90% before we would be unable to pay the interest on current debt.

Leaving the debt ceiling in place is just a forced spending cut.  A rather abrupt one that one might think would force big spenders into negotiations.

Another point well covered on these pages is that we don't immediately borrow to cover what we print or issue in currency anyway.  The amount of currency and debt we actually issue to enable the spenders is determined by the Keynesians in charge over at the Fed.  Speaking of enablers, see today's new appointment.  Also see the talk of quantitative tapering versus not tapering in recent discussions.  These are not congressional issues in the eyes of these appointees.
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http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/10/the-federal-government-cant-and-wont-default-on-its-debt-obligations.php

The Federal Government Can’t, and Won’t, Default on Its Debt Obligations

One remarkable aspect of the shutdown/debt limit battle is the irresponsibility (on the part of the Obama administration) and incompetence (on the part of the news media) concerning the claim that the federal government will default on its debt obligations if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. President Obama and his minions have clearly suggested that default is a real possibility:

    “As reckless as a government shutdown is … an economic shutdown that results from default would be dramatically worse,” Obama said on Thursday. Clearly targeting Republicans, he said a default would be “the height of irresponsibility.”

    Then, on the same day, Obama’s Treasury Department released a brutal statement that said a default would prove catastrophic, causing credit markets to freeze and leading to “a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.”

Within the last few hours, Obama repeated that Congress must “remove the threat of default and vote to raise the debt ceiling.”

But there is no threat of default. Constitutionally, the federal government must pay its debts. The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4, states:

    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.

I believe this provision is universally understood to mean that the federal government must pay its debt obligations, both principal and interest, even if that means prioritizing debt service over other government spending. So the question is, if Congress does not raise the current debt ceiling, will the federal government run out of money needed to pay its existing debts? The answer is clearly No. A reader supplies the math:

    On average the federal government’s daily expenditures are about $16.7 billion; receipts are about $14 billion, implying an average daily borrowing requirement of about $2.7 billion. So the planned flow of revenues is now about $650 billion less than the planned flow of expenses…about $2.7 billion a [business] day, $650 billion annually.

    So the “default” scenarios are bogus. Interest on the $16 trillion in debt is covered by a factor of about 10x by revenues! That puts the federal government deep into AAA land. Revenues would have to fall by a staggering 90% to jeopardize interest payments.

And, of course, retiring principal by “rolling over” maturing debt can never require an increase in the debt ceiling, since there is no net increase in the nation’s debt, even if the money used to repay the original principal is borrowed.

So what will actually happen if Congress doesn’t increase the debt ceiling by approximately October 17? The government’s debt obligations will be paid, but reductions in other spending will start to become necessary. In effect, leaving the debt ceiling as is would function as a spending cut. This is why the Democrats hate the idea so much. They know there is zero chance of default, but they are horrified at the prospect that voters and taxpayers may find out that there is a relatively simple way to bring about spending reductions that would create, in effect, a balanced budget. Hence the hysteria.

To be fair, some Republicans, including John Boehner, have also made public statements that support the plausibility of the default threat. Don’t ask me why. Others, like Rand Paul on yesterday’s Meet the Press, have tried to set the record straight:

    NBC: Very quickly before I let you go. As you well know, there is a debt ceiling vote on the horizon. Will Republicans let this country go into default?

    SEN. PAUL: I think it’s irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default. There is no reason for us to default. We bring in $250 billion in taxes every month, our interest payment is $20 billion. Tell me why we would ever default. We have legislation called the full faith and credit act and it tells the president, you must pay the interest on the debt. So this is a game. This is kind of like closing the World War II memorial. They all get out on TV and they say, we’re going to default. They’re the ones scaring the marketplace. We should never default.

The NBC reporter, Savannah Guthrie, apparently knew all along that talk about default is nonsense, because she immediately came back with this:

    NBC: Let’s say you pay the interest on the debt and you don’t have a technical default. Wouldn’t there be dramatic consequences on the economy, anyway, the spirit of it?

There is only one kind of default: the “technical” kind. Cutting spending is not some other, “non-technical” type of default. And as for the impact on the economy, many economists believe that getting government spending under control is the best thing we can do to boost economic growth.

So next time you hear hysterical talk about default on the news, remember that those who raise the default specter either have no idea what they are talking about, or are trying to fool the uninformed.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #814 on: October 09, 2013, 10:52:09 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/08/whats-happening-in-the-treasury-bill-market-today-should-terrify-you/
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« Reply #815 on: October 09, 2013, 11:23:07 AM »


This would be a non-issue if we didn't have president Cloward-Piven in power.
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« Reply #816 on: October 10, 2013, 05:07:59 AM »

I Was There

In his press conference yesterday, President Obama added another item to his growing list of historical misrepresentations about spending and debt ceiling negotiations.
After claiming that never “in the history of the United States” had elected officials used the debt ceiling as political leverage (false), and after insinuating that it’s somehow unusual to expect presidents to negotiate over spending bills (absurd), Obama yesterday mixed a false history of the Clinton-Gingrich shutdowns into his press room lecture.

ack in the '90s we had a government shutdown,” he said. “That happened one time, and then after that, the Republican Party and Mr. Gingrich realized this isn't a sensible way to do business. You know, we shouldn't engage in brinksmanship like this, and then they started having a serious conversation with President Clinton about a whole range of issues, and they got some things that they wanted. They had to give the Democrats some things that the Democrats wanted. But it took on, you know, a sense of normal democratic process."

As one of the principal negotiators in the 1995-1996 budget showdown between Republicans and President Clinton, it is clear to me the President has a number of very important things wrong.

First, there were two shutdowns, not one, and that was important. In mid-November of 1995, the government closed for several days after Clinton vetoed our Continuing Resolution which contained more spending cuts than he was willing to accept.

The public blamed Republicans for the first shutdown much more than they blamed Clinton. A CNN/Gallup poll released at the time found that Americans blamed the GOP over the President by 2-to-1, 49 percent to 26 percent. In part this was because the press was anti-Republican. But in part it was because we’d made so clear beforehand that we were willing to close the government if necessary.

The pressure on us to cave was enormous. Instead, we refused to give-in, and worked with President Clinton to pass a very short-term extension of government funding and increase in the debt ceiling as negotiations continued. A month later, no compromise had been reached, and despite the media pressure on us, we allowed the government to close again, this time for three weeks.

Which leads to President Obama’s second false claim: that it wasn’t until after the shutdowns that we began a “serious conversation” with President Clinton to advance our priorities.

This could not be more mistaken. Clinton and I spoke virtually every day during the shutdowns. We were constantly negotiating. And more importantly, although the shutdowns were in some ways a temporary PR setback for Republicans (they did no lasting damage), they were critical in convincing the President and the country that we were serious about doing what said we’d do in 1994--and that we were willing to be tough to get it done. That was of enormous strategic value going forward.
President Obama is right that the shutdowns of 1995 were a pivotal moment which cleared the way for the success Republicans had afterward. But he’s very wrong about the reason.

It was after the shutdowns and significantly because of them that we achieved some of the greatest growth and opportunity for all Americans in a generation.

In 1996, we passed welfare reform, and in the next several years two out of every three Americans on welfare either went to work or went to school.
The House Republican majority was reelected for the first time since 1928.

We passed four consecutive balanced budgets, the only ones in our lifetimes.

We cut taxes for the first time in 17 years, including the largest capital gains tax cut in American history.

These big victories very well might not have happened if not for the shutdowns in 1995-1996.

The policy changes helped power an economic boom so big that it produced a $5 trillion turnaround in the fiscal outlook of the United States between January 1995 and January 1999, from a $2.7 trillion deficit over ten years to a $2.3 trillion surplus. The nation’s ten-year debt outlook went from 56 percent of GDP to just 12 percent.
What President Obama calls “brinksmanship” and not a “sensible way to do business” may be one of the most successful negotiations ever for Americans.

Republicans today face a very similar challenge to the one we faced in 1995, and with similar pressure to cave. Yet just as in 1995, they are proving to the President that he must take the Congress seriously.

Americans should hope Obama learns that lesson as well as President Clinton did, and with such strong results.

Your Friend,
Newt
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« Reply #817 on: October 10, 2013, 05:25:54 AM »

second post

The pettiness of the nastiness boggles the mind:

http://swordattheready.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/obama-regime-threatens-pastors-priests-with-arrest-during-shutdown/
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« Reply #818 on: October 10, 2013, 07:01:44 AM »

Third post

Two Times More Debt Than Growth

Senate Budget Committee Republicans compared GDP growth over the last two years to the growth of the national debt: "President Obama said that increasing the debt limit does not increase the debt. But when the Treasury department started using so-called extraordinary measures to avoid a breach of the debt ceiling in May, 2011, the debt limit stood at $14,294 billion. Today it stands at $16,699 billion.... That's a $2,405 billion increase in 2 years. Meanwhile, the economy, as measured by GDP only increased by $1,199 billion between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of this year. So the debt increased twice as much as the economy over the last two years, the very definition of unsustainable."

 shocked shocked shocked
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« Reply #819 on: October 11, 2013, 09:36:06 PM »

The Obama-Reid Gamble

The dance we are watching this weekend is a very important moment in modern American history with big implications for how the executive and the legislative branches interact in the future.

The House Republicans have staked out a position that they can use their constitutional power of the purse to force the President to negotiate over key issues.
President Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Reid believe they can break the House Republicans and force them to reopen the government and pass a debt ceiling hike with no negotiations and no conditions.

Senate Republicans are split between a majority who want any deal that will end the pain and a militant minority who accept the conflict and pain as the price of forcing very large changes.

Obscured to some extent by the focus on the partial government shutdown and the anxiety over the debt ceiling is the continuing failure of Obamacare and the endless stories about websites failing and people discovering higher rather than lower prices.

What is increasingly clear is that President Obama and Senator Reid have adopted a calculated strategy of trying to isolate and break the morale of the House Republican leadership.

The President is faced with the danger that the conservative Republicans will learn how to use the power of the purse to design a plan for the next three years that will force concession after concession from him.

He has decided on a bold and very risky strategy of refusing to negotiate as long as the House attempts to use its power of the purse to force concessions.

The Democrats have adopted harsh language to describe House Republicans as terrorists wearing body bombs, hostage takers, and even traitors. The mainstream media has enthusiastically picked up all insults and repeated them endlessly.

The intensity of this vilification indicates the Democrats’ strategic desire to break the House Republicans.

Historically there have been 17 government shutdowns since 1976. All were settled. All were part of the American system of constitutional government when the legislative and executive branches are in conflict. This is the eighteenth shutdown but the level of hostility and vicious language is far greater than any earlier shutdown.
 
Similarly, debt ceilings have been negotiated with various amendments beginning in 1953 under President Eisenhower. For 60 years, Presidents have accepted that the constitutional give-and-take requires negotiating over debt ceilings.

President Obama is trying a very daring expansion of presidential power effectively taking away from the House its constitutional prerogatives and demanding it give him what he wants on his terms with no amendments and no conditions.

This is not a personality defect. This is a cold, calculated strategy.

If the House Republicans hang on and actually get concessions they will have set the stage for three more years of forced concessions.

If President Obama hangs on and coerces a clean continuing resolution and a clean debt ceiling hike he will have set the stage for three years of presidential dominance.
It was an indication of the President's determination that after his Secretary of the Treasury warned that the financial world would collapse next week if we didn’t raise the debt ceiling, he rejected a six week clean increase of the debt ceiling because it did not meet his requirements.

It will be interesting to see if he accepts concessions on anything or holds out on everything through the weekend.

A lot is at stake.

Your Friend,
Newt
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« Reply #820 on: October 14, 2013, 08:49:10 AM »

Inter alia, Obamacare is up 7 points in the polls?!?  Has Cruz's play been a big mistake?

============================

Don't Abandon the Sequester
The automatic spending cuts are the best leverage Republicans have.

   

The way the budget showdown is going, Democrats may soon require the Republicans to pay ransom before they'll allow the GOP to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. That's how badly the party's Ted Cruz faction has messed up the politics of all this. But we sure hope part of that price won't be to abandon the budget caps that are the only restraint on President Obama's spending plans.

Democrats hate the spending caps and sequester because they squeeze their pet domestic programs, and two recent reports illustrate how much. The Congressional Budget Office's latest monthly update, for the first 11 months of fiscal 2013 through August, shows that total federal outlays are down $127 billion over the same period last year. This means that when the report comes in for the full fiscal year overall federal spending may have fallen two years in a row for the first time since the end of the Korean War.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Research Service has released a new report that shows the sequester caps are providing better fiscal discipline than any budget deal has since 1980. The report looked at nine major deficit reduction deals and concludes: "In nominal (i.e., not adjusted for inflation) terms, the Budget Control Act achieves the greatest amount of deficit reduction of any act since 1980 over five years, based on the estimates produced near the time of enactment where five year totals are available."



Adjusting for inflation, the report finds that the Budget Control Act's estimated deficit reduction over five years will be second only to the 1990 George H.W. Bush-George Mitchell deal. The Bill Clinton package of 1993 that liberals love came in third.

Keep in mind that a little less than half of all the deficit reduction in 1993 and about 40% in 1990 came from tax increases. The 2011 Budget Control Act is reducing future deficits through spending cuts alone. This means the current sequester isn't hurting economic growth by reducing incentives to save and invest.

As for the politics of the sequester, a poll released last week finds that the sequester cuts of roughly 5% across the board (about 8% in defense) have barely been noticed by most Americans. The United Technologies-National Journal poll asked: "Have you seen any impact of these cuts in your community or on you personally since they took place, or not?" Seventy-four percent said they'd seen no impact, while 23% said they had.

The harm that President Obama predicted in January, and that Democrats keep claiming, simply hasn't appeared. This polling on the sequester is a lot better for Republicans than the blame they're getting for the shutdown.

It would be better government if Congress could set spending priorities, and defense spending in particular can't keep falling without harming U.S. security. Many Senate Republicans would like to abandon the sequester to spend more on defense or go back to allocating domestic pork.

But the sequester is the only leverage that Republicans have in any negotiation with President Obama once the debt ceiling is inevitably raised and the partial shutdown ends. If Republicans abandon the sequester now as the price of reopening the government, they will be back at the same old stand of Mr. Obama insisting on another tax increase in return for any entitlement reform. It would turn a political retreat into a policy rout.
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« Reply #821 on: October 14, 2013, 10:33:43 AM »

Has Cruz's play been a big mistake?
-----------------------------------------

Yes, most certainly, if short term polling is the objective.  Republicans suffer from no messaging.  The signal to noise ratio is 1 to 1000, and then polling steps in to become the reality, even though everyone knows the Republicans are funding every program except the one they were elected to oppose.

I simply don't see the alternative.  Obamacare had zero Republican votes to pass and had a majority of the people are still against it.  If you vote to fund it, you own it and government healthcare becomes a permanent and growing entitlement.  Ask a Brit, every future election becomes about who will spend the most on healthcare.  Everyone knows a dependent; everyone is a dependent.

Some say the better play was to force change with the debt ceiling.  Ask the people if they prefer 18 or 26 trillion in the near term to 17 trillion and it should poll pretty well.  One chamber of congress can, in effect, force an instant balanced budget amendment.  We take in tenfold what we need pay interest.  Spending cuts would be forced.  Further tax increases could be refused.

Regarding the shutdown, I have read about monuments closed and children dying in the media which could be easily rectified with piecemeal spending bills, but I haven't personally witnessed one ill-effect yet.  Federal workers are getting a paid vacation, as I understand it.

After the Clinton-Newt shutdowns, Clinton got reelected and the Republican congress got reelected, the budget got balanced and every Clinton (and Newt) bragging right left today came through that, even though the storylines and polling at the time were awful.

How this one will be perceived later depends on how it ends.  If andwhen Republicans cave, Ted Cruz and House Republicans made a big noise over nothing.  If Republicans display backbone and message, the Democrats will have to make some agreement with them to continue on with their governance.

The Obama years are ticking away locked up in a standoff; that is not all bad.

How each person perceives the brinkmanship strategy depends on how close to the brink you think this country really is.  I believe, as do liberals, that the implementation of Obamacare is a temporary disaster on the road to permanent socialized healthcare.  This is the brink, the edge at the top of a very steep place, the threshold of danger, the point of no return.   If so, how it sell to moderates is secondary to doing the right thing.
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G M
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« Reply #822 on: October 14, 2013, 06:57:07 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americas-default-on-its-debt-is-inevitable/2013/10/10/1451d416-302c-11e3-bbed-a8a60c601153_print.html

America’s default on its debt is inevitable
By James Grant, Published: October 10
James Grant is the editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer.

“There is precedent for a government shutdown,” Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, remarked last week. “There’s no precedent for default.”

How wrong he is.

The U.S. government defaulted after the Revolutionary War, and it defaulted at intervals thereafter. Moreover, on the authority of the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the government means to keep right on shirking, dodging or trimming, if not legally defaulting.

Default means to not pay as promised, and politics may interrupt the timely service of the government’s debts. The consequences of such a disruption could — as everyone knows by now — set Wall Street on its ear. But after the various branches of government resume talking and investors have collected themselves, the Treasury will have no trouble finding the necessary billions with which to pay its bills. The Federal Reserve can materialize the scrip on a computer screen.

Things were very different when America owed the kind of dollars that couldn’t just be whistled into existence. By 1790, the new republic was in arrears on $11,710,000 in foreign debt. These were obligations payable in gold and silver. Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the Treasury, duly paid them. In doing so, he cured a default.

Hamilton’s dollar was defined as a little less than 1/20 of an ounce of gold. So were those of his successors, all the way up to the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. But in the whirlwind of the “first hundred days” of the New Deal, the dollar came in for redefinition. The country needed a cheaper and more abundant currency, FDR said. By and by, the dollar’s value was reduced to 1/35 of an ounce of gold.

By any fair definition, this was another default. Creditors both domestic and foreign had lent dollars weighing just what the Founders had said they should weigh. They expected to be repaid in identical money.

Language to this effect — a “gold clause” — was standard in debt contracts of the time, including instruments binding the Treasury. But Congress resolved to abrogate those contracts, and in 1935 the Supreme Court upheld Congress.

The “American default,” as this piece of domestic stimulus was known in foreign parts , provoked condemnation in the City of London. “One of the most egregious defaults in history,” judged the London Financial News. “For repudiation of the gold clause is nothing less than that. The plea that recent developments have created abnormal circumstances is wholly irrelevant. It was precisely against such circumstances that the gold clause was designed to safeguard bondholders.”

The lighter Roosevelt dollar did service until 1971, when President Richard M. Nixon lightened it again. In fact, Nixon allowed it to float. No longer was the value of the greenback defined in law as a particular weight of gold or silver. It became what it looked like: a piece of paper.

Yet the U.S. government continued to find trusting creditors. Since the Nixon default, the public’s holdings of the federal debt have climbed from $303 billion to $11.9 trillion.

If today’s political impasse leads to another default, it will be a kind of technicality. Sooner or later, the Obama Treasury will resume writing checks. The question is what those checks will buy.

“Less and less,” is the Federal Reserve’s announced goal. Under Chairman Ben Bernanke (with the full support of the presumptive chairman-to-be, Janet Yellen), the central bank has redefined price “stability” to mean a rate of inflation of 2 percent per annum. Any smaller rate of depreciation is an unsatisfactory showing to be met with a faster gait of money-printing, policymakers say.

In other words, the value of money has become an instrument of public policy, not an honest weight or measure. In such a setting, an old-time “default” is impossible. How can a creditor cry foul when the government to which he is lending has repeatedly said that the value of the money he lent will shrink?

The post-1971 dollar derives its value from the stamp of the government that issues it. Across the seas, this imprimatur is starting to look a little tenuous. Lend us your dollars for 10 years, the Treasury proposes. We will pay you the lordly interest rate of 2.7 percent per annum. And at the end of those 10 years, we will hand you back your principal, which will almost certainly buy less than the money you lent.

This is the unsustainable conceit of the world’s superpower-cum-super debtor. By deed, if not audible word, we Americans say: “The greenback is the world’s great monetary brand. You have no choice but to use it. Like it or lump it.” But the historical record of paper currencies is clear: Governments always over-issue it. The people finally do lump it.

What to do? Let us face facts: We have defaulted in the past. Let us confront the implied message of the Federal Reserve’s pro-inflation policy: We will default in the future, though no lawyer will call it “default.” And let us preempt the world’s flight from our intangible money by taking steps to fashion a 21st-century improvement. We have the gold and the brains to find the solution.
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« Reply #823 on: October 14, 2013, 08:30:18 PM »

What I've been reading says that this is pure hyperventilation. 

We have more than enough to pay our obligations.  The other stuff that comes after is where the axe will fall.
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G M
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« Reply #824 on: October 14, 2013, 08:39:00 PM »

What I've been reading says that this is pure hyperventilation. 

We have more than enough to pay our obligations.  The other stuff that comes after is where the axe will fall.


The constitution requires we pay our debts, however Buraq hasn't let laws or the constitution get in his way thus far.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #825 on: October 16, 2013, 10:02:27 AM »

From immigration thread:  "President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved."

Announcing this to his adversaries in the House is more proof that he wants this shutdown to continue and not get resolved.
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« Reply #826 on: October 16, 2013, 10:19:01 AM »

Yes, one can blame the big corporations.  I submit the blame goes to government.  Why are we subsidizing these employees?  If we remove these subsidies maybe they would work harder to get to higher positions.  Or perhaps they would not work at server jobs .  Then the big corporations would be forced to pay more wages.  Around here a large proportion of low wagers are from other countries.  If we just stop allowing companies to hire these people their large numbers would not keep wages at the bottom.  The left and right has sold out.

****The harsh price Americans pay for fast-food jobs
October 16, 2013: 9:39 AM ET

Some 52% of families of cooks, servers, and other fast-food workers receive public aid, nearly twice the percentage of the overall workforce.

By Elizabeth G. Olson

130925130920-fast-food-worker-california-minimum-wage-620xa

FORTUNE -- Taxpayers spend at least $7 billion annually to subsidize food stamps and other public assistance programs that fast-food industry workers depend on to get by, according to two new studies.

Some 52% of families of cooks, servers, and other fast-food workers receive public aid -- which is nearly twice the percentage of the overall workforce, based on an examination of public data on such assistance programs by the University of California Berkeley Labor and Education Center and the University of Illinois.

"These are conservative estimates that do not include programs like child care assistance or subsidized lunch programs," says Ken Jacobs, chair of the Berkeley Labor Center and co-author of the report, in a briefing.

While the fast-food industry vigorously disagrees with the recently published report, the researchers say their data supports claims by fast-food workers, who have staged walkouts in 60 cities over the past year to highlight their lack of full-time schedules and benefits like health care and to call for a $15 hourly wage.

"People who work in fast-food jobs are paid so little," Jacobs says, "that having to rely on public assistance is the rule, rather than the exception, even for those working 40 hours or more a week."

MORE: The next Most Powerful Women in tech

A separate study, also issued this week, directly blames 10 fast-food heavyweights, including McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW), Subway, Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN), and Domino's (DPZ), for more than half the total cost of the benefits, some $3.8 billion.

McDonald's alone accounts for $1.2 billion of the cost to taxpayers, the National Employment Law Project study found. The massive burger chain and others use a low-wage, no benefits model that forces workers to turn to the public safety net, the report found.

"The seven largest traded companies paid $53 million in compensation to their CEOs, but low-paid workers are unable to afford the basic necessities," says Jack Temple, author of the NELP report.

Other corporations singled out by the NELP were Yum Brands (YUM), Wendy's, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar's, and Sonic.

Berkeley's Jacobs says that "one of the most surprising findings is that more than two-thirds of the fast-food workers were over age 20, and 68% are the main earners in their families, and more are parents raising a child than teenagers living with their parents."

"The CEO of McDonald's makes more in a day than I do in a year," says Devonte Yates, 21, who earns $7.25 an hour at a Milwaukee McDonald's and receives food stamps. "Taxpayers are basically subsidizing the CEO, who has more money than he knows what to do with, and corporations need to pick up that slack."

In its defense, members of the restaurant industry argue that students make up a big chunk of their core workers and dispute the studies' findings.

"In addition to providing more than 13 million job opportunities, the restaurant industry is one of the best paths to achieving the American dream, with 80% of restaurant owners having started their careers in entry-level positions. In fact, nine out of 10 salaried employees started as hourly workers," Scott DeFife, the National Restaurant Association's executive vice president in charge of policy and government affairs, said in a statement.

DeFife called the studies "misleading" and accused the researchers of failing "to recognize that the majority of lower-wage employees works part-time to supplement a family income. Moreover, 40% of line staff workers in restaurants, the primary focus of the reports, are students."

Jacobs says that only one-third of such workers are under 19. He also noted the large share of families on public assistance, even those who work 40 hours a week. "So it's not just a question of work hours, but of wages."

MORE: Toyota Prius plug-in drops in price, amid waning interest

The median wage for fast-food workers nationally is $8.69 per hour, according to the studies, and only 13% of those jobs offer health benefits, compared to 59% of jobs overall in the U.S. The median fast-food worker also works only 30 hours weekly, in comparison to the average 40-hour workweek.

The states where fast-food jobs cost taxpayers the most are California, at $717 million; New York, at $708 million; Texas, at $556 million; Illinois, at $368 million; and Florida, at $348 million, according to Jacobs.

The 10 largest fast-food companies made more than $7.4 billion in profits in 2012, according to the study data.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said that "anyone concerned about the federal deficit only needs to look at this report to understand a major source of the problem: multi-billion dollar companies that pay poverty wages and then rely on taxpayers to pick up the slack, to the tune of a quarter of a trillion dollars every year in the form of public assistance to working families.

"Seven billion of this is just for fast-food workers, more than half of whom, even working full time, still must rely on programs like food stamps and Medicaid just to make ends meet."

McDonald's USA, in a statement, defended its track record of providing jobs to "hundreds of thousands of people across the country," and noted that "wages are based on local wage laws and are competitive to similar jobs in that market. We also provide training and professional development opportunities to anyone that works in one of our restaurants."

Despite spreading to dozens of cities, worker walkouts have done little to prick the industry's conscience, but Temple, author of the NELP study, says that "companies are very sensitive to their brand because its success depends on popularity.

"The tipping point is going to be continuing activities we've seen this past year until companies see business as usual is not going to cut it."


Posted in: Burger King, compensation, Dunkin' Donuts, Fast-food industry, Income inequality, Low-wage jobs, McDonald's, Public assistance, Subway****   
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 12:07:50 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #827 on: October 16, 2013, 10:46:44 AM »

Harkin: ..."multi-billion dollar companies that pay poverty wages and then rely on taxpayers to pick up the slack"

The problem isn't market pay for entry jobs.  The problem is the second half of this equation, taxpayers picking up slack.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #828 on: October 16, 2013, 10:52:41 AM »

Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona, a former county Treasurer:

"There is no such thing as default unless there is an actual evil attempt from the administration. When you have 18 percent of GDP coming in in cash, less than 2 percent going out in debt coverage—I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press. None of you (reporters present) were math majors, were you?”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2013/10/15/house_republicans_want_to_make_it_harder_for_treasury_to_avoid_a_debt_crisis.html
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/10/none-of-you-reporters-were-math-majors-were-you.php
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #829 on: October 16, 2013, 12:10:10 PM »

Re Harsh Price for Fast Food Jobs:  I saw this contested this morning on the basis of it being a serious political hack job, not a legitimately performed study/analysis, in the service of unions pushing for higher minimum wages.
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G M
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« Reply #830 on: October 16, 2013, 01:51:54 PM »

Re Harsh Price for Fast Food Jobs:  I saw this contested this morning on the basis of it being a serious political hack job, not a legitimately performed study/analysis, in the service of unions pushing for higher minimum wages.

It's actually being pushed by companies that make automated restaurant equipment.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #831 on: October 20, 2013, 01:23:57 PM »

This is worth a read IMHO.  Paints an accurate picture of what Obama sees in upcoming budget battles.  Now that he knows how to get his way, he will end sequester limits, raise taxes (further) on 'the rich', and use money to pay for bigger and bigger government.  A strategy almost too obvious to post.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/10/19/obama_only_interested_in_busting_gop_120393.html

Obama Only Interested in Busting GOP

By Lawrence Kudlow - October 19, 2013

Judging from the speech Obama gave following the deal to end the government shutdown, Republicans better get wise to the president's next fiscal gambit when the three-month stop-gap budget and debt measures come due. As was the case with his hard-line defense of Obamacare, the president likely will be inflexible on ending sequestration budget caps, pushing for massive tax hikes and permitting only the most inconsequential entitlement reforms.

Obama is interested in busting the GOP in 2014. He's not interested in true budget restraint or other economic-growth measures.

Example: This week, instead of a conciliatory work-together message for the negotiations ahead, President Obama gave us another Republican scold speech: "All of us need to stop focusing on lobbyists and bloggers and talking heads on radio, and professional activists who profit from conflict."

But of course, it was Obama who wouldn't negotiate. And it was Obama and his followers who demonized the GOP with words like "hostage," "ransom," and "terrorists."

Another example: Out of nowhere in his post-shutdown speech, the president pledged to "close these corporate-tax loopholes that don't help create jobs and freeze up resources for the things that do help us grow, like education and infrastructure and research."

Huh? Where did this come from? There's no discussion of corporate tax reform in the whole speech, except for this one derogatory mention. So don't count on progress for the single biggest growth and jobs creator, namely full-fledged business tax reform. It may be in Obama's budget, but it's not really on his agenda.

The real agenda is to jack up taxes on businesses and the wealthy. On top of this year's $700 billion tax hike, the Democrats are going back to the $1 trillion tax-hike idea mentioned in recent years by Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

True pro-growth tax reform should broaden the base, lower marginal rates and simplify the code. The Democratic objective, however, is to raise as much additional taxpayer money as possible.

Why? Well, of course, to provide the spending fuel after they get rid of the budget-capping sequester. The Obama democrats are manic about this. They know that the sequester has effectively stopped their grandiose spending plans, and is actually bringing the discretionary budget back to 2007 levels. In fact, the real budget-winning move of recent years was the Republican reverse bait and switch (the bait came from the White House) in 2011 to embrace the sequester and implement it. It's the only true pro-growth fiscal measure we've seen in the Obama years.

Closing tax loopholes is a good idea so long as it is accompanied by lower marginal tax rates on the other side. (Repatriating over $1 trillion in overseas corporate profits at a minimal sanction of 5 percent would also help grow the economy.) So companies, wealthy entrepreneurs and small-business owners shouldn't be fooled when they hear the president talk about closing tax loopholes. Why is he saying this? That's easy: He wants to spend more money on his pet projects. More for the teachers' unions, the local construction unions, the quick-fix, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, the clean-energy Solyndras and all the other oddball social programs put in place by this administration.

Government spending cuts amount to tax cuts, which provide economic stimulus. But Obama and the Democrats want no part of it. Step back and read the president's economic speeches in August and September. You see a pattern: Raise taxes on businesses and successful entrepreneurs, kill the sequester and use the new tax revenues to spend more and grow the government -- and probably even finance Obamacare, which is going bankrupt even before it starts and has become the laughingstock of the country with its catastrophic breakout.

Finally, while Obama again may occasionally say otherwise, the Democratic Party opposes all manner of entitlement reforms. All. That includes the chained-CPI reform (which would lower benefits), Medicare means-testing, longer retirement eligibility, and higher co-pays for federal-employee benefits.

Labor doesn't want this stuff. House and Senate Democrats don't want it. And I seriously doubt if the president would push for it. Which means, in terms of the new budget conference (another fiscal cliff?) due to report in mid-December, the GOP better be super careful not to end the sequester budget caps in return for phony entitlement reforms.

Republicans had no coherent message going into the shutdown fiasco. But they can change that. They can now adopt a clear policy that maintains the sequester budget caps, pushes hard for pro-growth tax reform, and makes no apologies for rolling back the taxing, spending, mandating, budget-busting behemoth that is Obamacare.

The budget and debt battle of the next three months is actually going to be war. Obama knows this. Does the GOP?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #832 on: October 20, 2013, 03:57:55 PM »

My friend Donald is an MD in MA.  He is concerned about the debt and deficits and recognizes that Obama is not perfect.  At the same time he asks:

"As I said earlier, I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties. The stimulus package which Obama signed was in motion before Bush left. But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months. The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create. Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't.
 
"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

OK gents, lets give him a thoughtful answer.


                                                               
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G M
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« Reply #833 on: October 21, 2013, 04:41:53 PM »

My friend Donald is an MD in MA.  He is concerned about the debt and deficits and recognizes that Obama is not perfect.  At the same time he asks:

"As I said earlier, I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties. The stimulus package which Obama signed was in motion before Bush left. But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months. The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create. Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't.
 
"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

OK gents, lets give him a thoughtful answer.


                                                               

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 our unemployment rate was at 5.8 percent.

Our national debt was at $10.2 trillion.

In 2008 when Obama took office, gas prices were at $1.71 for regular conventional, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

We now have a record number of Americans on food stamps. Then again, this is Obama's first real job, so he's still getting the hang of it, I guess.
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G M
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« Reply #834 on: October 21, 2013, 04:47:05 PM »

My friend Donald is an MD in MA.  He is concerned about the debt and deficits and recognizes that Obama is not perfect.  At the same time he asks:

"As I said earlier, I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties. The stimulus package which Obama signed was in motion before Bush left. But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months. The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create. Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't.
 
"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

OK gents, lets give him a thoughtful answer.


                                                               

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 our unemployment rate was at 5.8 percent.

Our national debt was at $10.2 trillion.

In 2008 when Obama took office, gas prices were at $1.71 for regular conventional, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

We now have a record number of Americans on food stamps. Then again, this is Obama's first real job, so he's still getting the hang of it, I guess.

http://www.texasinsider.org/obamas-numbers-unemployment-gasoline-the-national-debt/

Unemployment is the highest consistently since the Great Depression. Under Reagan unemployment was coming down from a point even higher than Obama faced.
 
The Reagan recovery entered 1984 with 8 percent unemployment and by the fall it was in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. It ended 1984 at 7.3 percent and people were confident that the recovery would continue and unemployment would get even lower (which it did).
 
Gasoline prices have skyrocketed under President Obama. Gasoline was $1.81 a gallon in Charlotte the day after Obama became President. It was $3.79 this Labor Day. Gasoline has literally gone up a penny a day throughout the month of August (31 cents a gallon for the month). The Labor Day price was the highest in history.
 
By contrast the Reagan deregulation of oil production and gasoline distribution (ending Jimmy Carter’s gasoline rationing and waiting lines at gas stations as you could only buy gas every other day based in the last number of your license plate) produced a dramatic increase in supply and an equally dramatic decline in cost.
 
There was a profound reason the Reagan campaign had “leadership that is working” as one of its themes. There was an equally good reason that “morning in America” was one of the slogans.
 
In 1984 people felt better off because they were better off. Obama has to explain failure, while Reagan could run for reelection on a wave of success.
 
The third number testifies to the bankruptcy of the Obama-left wing strategy.
 
The Obama proposition was that big enough government spending would rebuild the economy.
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G M
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« Reply #835 on: October 21, 2013, 04:52:35 PM »

My friend Donald is an MD in MA.  He is concerned about the debt and deficits and recognizes that Obama is not perfect.  At the same time he asks:

"As I said earlier, I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties. The stimulus package which Obama signed was in motion before Bush left. But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months. The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create. Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't.
 
"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

OK gents, lets give him a thoughtful answer.


                                                               

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 our unemployment rate was at 5.8 percent.

Our national debt was at $10.2 trillion.

In 2008 when Obama took office, gas prices were at $1.71 for regular conventional, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

We now have a record number of Americans on food stamps. Then again, this is Obama's first real job, so he's still getting the hang of it, I guess.

http://www.texasinsider.org/obamas-numbers-unemployment-gasoline-the-national-debt/

Unemployment is the highest consistently since the Great Depression. Under Reagan unemployment was coming down from a point even higher than Obama faced.
 
The Reagan recovery entered 1984 with 8 percent unemployment and by the fall it was in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. It ended 1984 at 7.3 percent and people were confident that the recovery would continue and unemployment would get even lower (which it did).
 
Gasoline prices have skyrocketed under President Obama. Gasoline was $1.81 a gallon in Charlotte the day after Obama became President. It was $3.79 this Labor Day. Gasoline has literally gone up a penny a day throughout the month of August (31 cents a gallon for the month). The Labor Day price was the highest in history.
 
By contrast the Reagan deregulation of oil production and gasoline distribution (ending Jimmy Carter’s gasoline rationing and waiting lines at gas stations as you could only buy gas every other day based in the last number of your license plate) produced a dramatic increase in supply and an equally dramatic decline in cost.
 
There was a profound reason the Reagan campaign had “leadership that is working” as one of its themes. There was an equally good reason that “morning in America” was one of the slogans.
 
In 1984 people felt better off because they were better off. Obama has to explain failure, while Reagan could run for reelection on a wave of success.
 
The third number testifies to the bankruptcy of the Obama-left wing strategy.
 
The Obama proposition was that big enough government spending would rebuild the economy.



http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/us-adds-two-times-more-debt-economic-output-last-2-years_762311.html


U.S. Adds Two Times More Debt than Economic Output in Last 2 Years


8:29 AM, Oct 9, 2013• By DANIEL HALPER


The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee has put together this chart to show that U.S. has added two times more debt than economic output in the last two years:
 


"President Obama said that increasing the debt limit does not increase the debt," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee says in a statement. "But when the Treasury department started using so-called extraordinary measures to avoid a breach of the debt ceiling in May, 2011, the debt limit stood at $14,294 billion. 

"Today it stands at $16,699 billion, which was reached when Treasury started using extraordinary measures in May of this year.  That's a $2,405 billion increase in 2 years. 

"Meanwhile, the economy, as measured by GDP only increased by $1,199 billion between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of this year. 

"So the debt increased twice as much as the economy over the last two years, the very definition of unsustainable.  The growth of a nation’s debt cannot for long exceed the growth of its economy – which is precisely what is happening now."
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G M
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« Reply #836 on: October 21, 2013, 07:27:24 PM »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101125221

Treasury may have even less room for maneuver in 2014



 Published: Friday, 18 Oct 2013 | 2:18 PM ET



The Obama administration was able to scrape up against the government's debt ceiling for five months this year before it came to the brink of default. It could have less breathing room in 2014.

Obama on Thursday signed into law a bill that would suspend a $16.7 trillion cap on the national debt until early February, when it will reset to whatever level the debt has reached.

Absent a decision to raise it again, the Treasury Department has tools to manage its cash a little longer before it starts missing payments.

The question is how long.

This year, the Treasury bumped up against the debt ceiling in May but was able keep under it for another five months by doing things like stopping investments in some pension funds for federal workers. These steps are known in Washington as the Treasury's "extraordinary measures."

They give the Treasury a buffer against an economically damaging default.

When the debt cap is reset next year, several respected budget experts think the Obama administration might run out of wiggle room by mid-March.

"Extraordinary measures are unlikely to last long," Shai Akabas and Brian Collins, analysts at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank in Washington, wrote in a report on Friday.

That's because the new debt ceiling date falls at a time when the Treasury is sending out lots of tax refund checks, they said, adding that they expect the cap to reset at $17.3 trillion, reflecting about a $600 billion increase in U.S. debt.

The Treasury was not immediately available for comment.

Alec Phillips, an economist at Goldman Sachs in Washington who tracks fiscal issues for the bank, also thinks the Treasury will probably run out of room by mid-March.

"However, if revenues are higher than expected or tax refunds are lower than expected, the date could be pushed (out)slightly further," he said in a report.

If the administration were able to stretch the borrowing capacity until the end of March, there is a chance that a dividend payment from government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac could give Treasury even more breathing room.

Freddie Mac has operated under government stewardship since it was bailed out by taxpayers during the financial crisis, and the firm is expected to make a roughly $30 billion payment to the Treasury in the coming quarters.

If the payment came at the end of the fourth quarter, before the debt limit is reset, it would have no impact on the amount of time Treasury could squeeze out of extraordinary measures, Phillips said. But if it came at the end of March, it could give the administration an extra buffer against default.

--By Reuters
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DougMacG
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« Reply #837 on: October 22, 2013, 11:52:39 PM »

In the case of Senator and then President Barack Obama, it is important to note that he was a majority leader (in fact, not title) of the Senate for the two years coming into the Presidency.  The non-renewing effect of tax rate cuts played a role in the economic stall.  His actions favoring Fannie Mae and CRA lending rules played a role in the crash.  (Not sole blame by any means!)  The emergency measures, TARP, Stimulus I, QE1, etc. that were started in the fall prior to his inauguration were done all with his support and consent.  The budget year that started Oct 1, 2008 had his seal of approval on it as well.  Had he fallen out of an airplane into the White House in Jan. 2009 instead, I would view his first year and his first term differently.

If you take together his contribution to the crash and his Presidency, and that his policies all tend to both slow economic growth and to increase spending, he is responsible for a boatload of debt, still amassing.

Let's go through the points made by Donald:

"I understand the debt is ultimately destructive to our society. The blame though is all over the place and involves both parties."  - True

"But how much of that increase of 70% over the last 5 years can be directly blamed on Obama? He entered office with the country in a financial mess. Surely you can't say Obama created any significant amount of that debt in his first 6-12 months."

  - He supported all the policies that led to the disaster and dealt with it.  Obama says the crash was caused by Bush tax cuts but in fact it was the impending end of the tax rate cuts, along with the housing debacle that triggered the fall.

"The monster was already charging ahead in part fueled by lower tax revenue due to a recession he did not create."

  - You would have to ask Donald what policies he thinks created or caused this recession.  Nothing significant regarding domestic policy or fiscal policy went through the House or Senate in the two years leading up to the crash that did not have his approval, and Hillary's, the front runners for the coming election.  He was not fighting off the easy money at the Fed.  He was not fighting to stop irresponsible lending practices in housing, 90% of which was from the federal government.  He was winning the fight to end tax rate cuts that had spurred the economy to 50 consecutive months of job growth.  He took office and the majority in Congress with unemployment at 4.6%.  There should be SOME accountability for that.  Bush had no new domestic or economic policies advanced after Pelosi-Reid (and Obama) took over the Congress in his last two years.

"Since getting into office he and Congress have been at total loggerheads with obstructionism being the one and only mantra and agenda of the GOP. No statesmen can function in that environment, and they don't."

  - This is not true.  Pres. Obama had total control of Congress the first two years including a 60th vote in the Senate.  Squandered it on passing a program that failed in the polls, that he didn't even want implemented until his second term, and lost the House of Representatives over it.  He compromised absolutely nothing on that program and its passage with Republicans and he reaped what he sowed.  He called his opponents andtheir  tactics terrorists, arson, ransom, etc.  The loggerhead was not someone else's fault.  In fact Republicans had a healthcare plan on the table with all the popular provisions, pre-existing conditions etc.  The only changes he made were to win Democrat votes in Nebraska and Connecticut.

"My question is this why is Obama alone blamed for the increase of $7T ?   Does Bush's "blame" for how out of whack our budget is end on his last day in office? I think not. Similarly, Obamacare's effect on the economy will not end on his last day in office. What if a Republican is elected in '16. Would he/she be blamed for any increase in debt during his/her term?"

  - I agree with Donald in the concept of runners left on base at the start and end of a Presidency. I also don't think the President alone deserves all credit and or blame for the term, so the exact amount of blame is hard to quantify.  But it was enough to most certainly be "destructive to our society".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #838 on: October 28, 2013, 05:44:03 PM »

This seems persuasive to me on a point on which I have harped for some years now.  Have I been wrong?



Fear of Debt Spiral Misplaced To view this article, Click Here
Brian S. Wesbury - Chief Economist
Bob Stein, CFA - Deputy Chief Economist
Date: 10/28/2013

Now that things have settled down in Washington DC, politicians are focusing on a “grand compromise” to fix the budget. Without reform, growth in entitlements will eventually push federal spending back to levels last seen in World War II.

While there are all kinds of things to worry about in any negotiations about entitlements, some analysts are spreading an even more horrifying story. They say low interest rates are hiding a potential catastrophe. Once interest rates rise, they claim, the budget and the total debt of $17 trillion are going to soar with interest costs boosting spending so fast that deficits will turn into an uncontrollable death spiral.

Right now the federal debt is $17 trillion. And, if interest rates rise from artificially low 0%, 1%, 2.5% levels, to more sustainable rates of closer to 4%, look out below. On $17 trillion, that could mean an extra $500 billion per year in interest costs, a huge jump considering that in 2013 net interest costs were only $220 billion. This will force more borrowing and even more debt and even more interest costs down the road.

But, this theory has several major holes. First, the relevant debt for calculating the impact of a change in interest rates is not $17 trillion. The government owns about $7 trillion of its own debt, including IOUs held by the Social Security Trust Fund (with only accounting interest costs) and bonds held at the Fed (where the interest goes back to the Treasury). This creates other problems, but it limits the impact of rising rates on the budget. Excluding these, leaves roughly $10 trillion in debt.

Second, although interest rates on newly-issued debt averaged about 1% this spring, some debt was financed years ago at higher rates. As a result, the average maturity of the debt is about 4½ years and its average interest rate is about 2%. So, if rates go back to 4%, that would generate an additional cost of $200 billion per year (2 extra points applied to $10 trillion), not the $500 billion that hysterical analysis promotes.

Of course, the extra $200 billion per year is still a lot of money; it’s about 1.5% of GDP. That $200 billion plus the debt service costs we already have would put us at about 2½% of GDP, no higher than they were from 1984 to 1998, when the US economy did quite well.

Third, the extra costs won’t happen overnight; they’ll take several years to filter through after we get higher rates, because the Treasury doesn’t have to roll over the entire debt every year. The average maturity of 4½ years means rising costs will roll out more slowly than many people think.

Last, and often overlooked, is that if rates are rising then the economy is probably stronger and taxes are rising faster as well. For example, an extra 1 point in real GDP growth for only one year should add more than $30 billion per year in revenue. Economics always has more than one moving part

We’re certainly not suggesting things are fine with our fiscal situation. There (sic) not. Long-term reforms are essential. But let’s focus on the real long-term threat, not exaggerated threats that seem to be driven from raw fear and not analysis.
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G M
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« Reply #839 on: October 28, 2013, 05:54:31 PM »

Just 10 trillion ? Well, why don't we just monetize that as well? Wesbury kind of forgets to mention all the looming entitlements we're committed to.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #840 on: October 29, 2013, 10:38:00 AM »

If a liberal made that argument I would call it straw.  Our worst fear is that interest rates will go to 4%?!  They have been higher than that for most of the time since Eisenhower's first term, as much as 5 times higher in irresponsible times. (link below)  Our debt a little ways down the road isn't going to be $17 trillion; it has gone up billions just since he wrote that yesterday.   If we have $10 trillion of our own money invested, let's say through social security receipts, what is our return on the money we pay ourselves?  Zero?  Did we not have the opportunity cost of investing that money elsewhere?  And a leading economist says that has no cost?  Good grief.

No, the worst (short term) fear is more like this: $17 trillion will soon be $25 trillion in the blink of an eye and if interest rates spiral up out of control they could be worse than they were under Carter when the prime rate was 21.5%.    http://www.fedprimerate.com/wall_street_journal_prime_rate_history.htm

If we want to quantify a fear and worst case scenarios in the near term, take $25 trillion times, say, 25% interest and the cost is 6.25 trillion per year, more than all that we take in now by double.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #841 on: November 01, 2013, 05:10:49 PM »

http://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/EconomicResearch/2013/11/1/how-to-trade-the-budget-crisis
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ccp
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« Reply #842 on: November 21, 2013, 07:14:33 PM »

I guess this thread is as good as any.  I couldn't find a law enforcement thread and it doesn't quite fit under military issues:

http://www.belgrade-news.com/opinion/columnists/john_w_whitehead/article_f21c8780-515d-11e3-9f97-001a4bcf887a.html#user-comment-area
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #843 on: November 21, 2013, 08:00:49 PM »

I think the "Citizen-Police Interactions" thread on the Martial Arts forum would be best.
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G M
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« Reply #844 on: November 22, 2013, 11:32:09 AM »

I guess this thread is as good as any.  I couldn't find a law enforcement thread and it doesn't quite fit under military issues:

http://www.belgrade-news.com/opinion/columnists/john_w_whitehead/article_f21c8780-515d-11e3-9f97-001a4bcf887a.html#user-comment-area

Haven't I done enough debunking of the  "militarization of police" nonsense?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #845 on: December 12, 2013, 05:16:15 PM »

What do we make of the Ryan-Murray budget deal?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #846 on: December 12, 2013, 06:59:22 PM »

What do we make of the Ryan-Murray budget deal?

What do we think of paying $8 trillion in ransom with no promise or expectation that we will get our country back alive or unharmed, knowing they will come back for more and more, and knowing that they know we fear them and will pay whatever any and all demands?

It's pretty good, I think.  Better than the Iran deal in that he has indicated he is willing to give up his nuclear arsenal.

What ever happened to 'the power of the purse' and having all spending bills originate in the House?  This will 'originate' in the House only after it has been approved by the powers of the Senate and White House.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #847 on: December 13, 2013, 08:57:11 AM »

FWIW, I'm willing to tolerate it.  What is the alternative in the aftermath of our side getting blamed for the shut down?   AS I sometimes say "Intelligence is the amount of time it takes to forget a lesson."  With Obamacare about to hit the fan on Jan 1 do we really want to go down that road again?

Also, the cuts to our military are going way too far IMHO and if I understand correctly, half of the increases go to our military.  This is a very good thing.

Also, if I understand correctly, the 99 week unemployment insurance is being returned to its standard 26 weeks.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #848 on: December 13, 2013, 09:24:22 AM »

That is the thinking, end the stalemate blame game until we have new election and new congress.  And after the next election we will again have divided government - with a higher spending baseline.

It would be nice if we never again had to hear about fictitious cost savings in the out years of ten year budgets that are in place for less than two.

I am for a strong military but less money is required when the Commander in Chief is against weapons, defense systems and interventions. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #849 on: December 13, 2013, 11:01:02 AM »

My understanding is that military spending is like turning a big ocean going tanker-- it takes a LONG time to turn, start, or stop.

I'm REALLY not liking what I am reading about what the sequester cuts are doing and am glad to see them being lessened.
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