Now how much will we pay?

He’s gonna bring change and hope!

Now how much would you pay? How about a tax increase on income over $250,000?

He’s gonna bring peace, love, understanding and a chicken in every pot!

Now how much would you pay? How about a tax increase on income over $200,000?

But wait, we’re not done yet. He’s gonna throw in the Fairness Doctrine and public financing of elections (for everybody but him, of course.)!

Now how much would you pay? How about a tax increase on income over $150,000?

But hold on! He’s gonna throw in direct negotiations with Iran, al Qaeda and every enemy of the United States. Pull the troops out of Iraq, regardless of how things are going. Peace in our time!

Now how much would you pay? How about a tax increase on everyone making over $42,000 a year and we end 401(k) deductions?

Are you ready to buy? Well, hang on, because the best is yet to come!

Tonight only, find the answer – What else will Obamaco roll out in the infomercial and now how much will we pay?

He wasn't advocating socialism. It was worse.

Much was made Monday of a 2001 interview in which Barack Obama lamented the failure of the civil rights movement to bring about “redistributive change” to achieve “political and economic justice in this society.”

Of course, this sounds like socialism on its face. Redistributing the wealth is socialism, right? From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

But that misses the context. Obama was referring to the civil rights movement which secured important rights, which he disparaged as mere negative liberties, for African-Americans.

No, Obama wasn’t suggesting that the Warren Court failed to achieve socialism. What he was lamenting was the failure of the civil rights movement to demand and the Warren Court to provide reparations for slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Rantlets: You read it here first, housing's ok, double standards

  • The Wall Street Journal had an editorial on the 24th laying the blame for this present crisis squarely at the feet of government and specifically at the feet of the Federal Reserve. The piece blames the housing bubble on Al the Banker Greenspan’s cheap money from early in the decade and the oil/commodity bubble on Bernanke’s helicopters.

    The original bubble was in housing prices and mortgage-related assets, which the Federal Reserve helped to create with its negative real interest rates from 2002 into 2005. This was Alan Greenspan’s tragic mistake, not that the former Fed chief will acknowledge it. Testifying before Congress yesterday, Mr. Greenspan pinned the crisis on mortgage securitizers, risk modelers and lending institutions, thus contributing to the Washington narrative that government had little to do with it. The Fed’s monetary policy apparently gets a pass. The media and Members of Congress will use Mr. Greenspan’s testimony to impugn the very free market principles that the former Ayn Rand protégé has spent his life promoting. It was a painful spectacle to watch.

    Read the whole thing and remember that you read it here first. And also note that they fail to note the role of the Fed’s bubble bursting too tight, for too long monetary policy of 2005-6. Almost as much a problem as the easy money itself is the whipsaw action of fast and furious Fed movement that fails to allow time for rate changes to actually percolate through the economy. Via EclectEcon.

  • On that final point, it’s not merely the Fed that is entirely too impatient. The worst threat to the economy at the moment is the fear mongering of Henry Paulson, Barney Frank, Ben Bernanke, Chuck Schumer and other politicians. The new home sales numbers came out today and, like the existing home sales reported Friday, the numbers were up. These are the September numbers, so this means that enough mortgages closed to increase the number of existing home sales at precisely the time that politicians were saying home loans wouldn’t be available because of some illusory credit crisis on “Main Street.” The existing home sales numbers are above year ago levels. The housing market has fairly well adjusted, but the politicians are bound and determined to push it lower with their apocalyptic hyperbole.
  • Remember a few months ago when liberals were calling for the heads of some State Department contractors who peaked in the passport files of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton out of curiosity? Turns out that people in several Ohio state and local agencies got right on their computers to find dirt on Joe the Plumber. From The Columbus Dispatch

    Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

    It seemed like the liberal media were awfully quick to dig up “dirt” like Joe’s real first name and apparently the liberal media had help from liberal bureaucrats. I wonder if the “journalists” involved would have been capable of figuring out the big scoop that his first name was really Sam if somebody at the Toledo Police Department hadn’t fed them the information?
    Via Cato at Liberty.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Speak for yourself, Al the Banker

Al the Banker told Congress yesterday that:

Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief.

Hang on, Al, I’m not.

Through the late 90s, Greenspan chided the markets for “irrational exuberance” while continuing to pump easy money into the system. With a wink and a nod at the idea of neither encouraging nor popping asset bubbles, he did just that, providing excess liquidity during the Mother and Father of the Mother of All Bailouts – the Asian currency crisis in 1997 and the Long Term Capital Management failure in 1998 – just as the tech stock market built up excess steam and companies like WorldCom and Enron built houses of cards from exotic derivatives.

Then, still paying lip service to the idea that it wasn’t his job to pop the tech bubble, he set out to do exactly that, raising interest rates at successive Federal Open Market Committee meetings even after the effect of the tightening was spreading past containing the stock bubble and controlling inflation to causing a recession.

Then, like a kid on a swing adding more momentum with each pass, Al the Banker pumped more money at even lower interest rates into the economy puffing up the housing bubble, all the while decrying his latest creation. Having pumped up his biggest bubble yet, he proceeded to tighten again, raising interest rates for at least two FOMC meetings after the yield curve had already inverted – indicating at least that inflation was thoroughly under control with housing prices soon to follow. Then he exited stage left, leaving the mess to Helicopter Ben whose only solution was to dump cash, creating the energy bubble with its severe consequences for American consumers and businesses before the housing bubble had even fully deflated.

Why should there be shocked disbelief? It doesn’t require advanced econometrics or the use of differential equations to understand that when the Fed purposely induces inflation then enters a tightening cycle that lasts even after obvious and well understood economic indicators show it’s time to stop tightening, over and over again, each time adding more fuel to the fire, the results will not be pleasant.

Anyone wanting to make political hay of Greenspan’s repudiation of the free market yesterday would do well to remember that until just over two years ago he held more economic power than any other human being on earth. Maybe, just maybe, Al the Banker is looking for a scapegoat and rather than admit that the housing bubble was his monster he decided to deal the final of the thousand cuts he started inflicting to the free market in 1987.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]