The authorities have everything under control!
by Pat Buchanan
Since 1980, writes Andrew Bacevich, the United States has invaded, occupied or bombed 14 nations in the Greater Middle East — Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kosovo, Yemen, Pakistan and now Syria.
The cost: Tens of thousands of U.S. dead and wounded, trillions of dollars lost, hundreds of thousands of Muslim dead and wounded, millions of refugees, Christians foremost among them. And for what?
Are we better off now than we were 30 years ago, with the Middle East today on fire with civil, sectarian, tribal and terrorist wars?
Congress should vote no on any new Thirty Years’ War.
They are at it again. Lying to us about the deficit, that is.
The polls all say that the American people have grown far more skeptical about their government. It’s a good thing. They are lying to us as though we are school children who have yet to master simple addition and subtraction.
The government’s Fiscal Year 2014 ended a week ago, on Sept. 30. On Oct. 1, fiscal year 2015 began.
We’ll get the final numbers on the 2014 deficit in a few days. But already the cheering has begun. For example the Daily Beast announced on Monday that “It’s time to retire the phrase ‘trillion-dollar deficit’ from our political vocabulary.”
Instead they tell us, the deficit is down two-thirds from its peak of $1.412 trillion in 2009. In lieu of the final number the Daily Beast rounds its estimate to $500 billion and declares victory.
It says that the giant iceberg that deficit hawks said the U.S. was steaming toward is actually melting.
We got more of the same from the president himself last week in a speech at Northwestern University. Obama wagged his finger at deficit hawks with their “mindless austerity” and “manufactured crises.”
Instead, said Obama, “over the past five years we’ve cut our deficits by more than half. When I took office, the deficit was nearly 10 percent of our economy. Today, it’s approaching 3 percent.”
Now, the deficit is what the deficit is. They can cook the press release, massage the numbers, or hide the spending, but at some point we have to revert to the real numbers.
What did the government take in during the fiscal year? And what did it spend? If it spent more than it took in, that’s the deficit.
The real numbers involved actually do matter, because even the government somehow has to come up with the money it spends.
In order to cover the deficit, the government has to borrow money.
The government has to pay interest on the money it borrows to cover the deficit as well. The money it borrows is added to the national debt. Financing the national debt means paying interest on all the borrowed money.
It also means being susceptible to rising interest rates. Interest rates are low now, but they won’t be low forever and higher rates mean higher costs of financing the debt.
I am making the obvious but often ignored point that while government numbers may be playthings for politicians, there are real costs and consequences to deal with no matter how artfully the numbers are framed for the evening news.
Now, finding out how much the deficit actually grew — and how much more the government had to borrow during FY2014 — between Sept. 30, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014 — is as simple as going to the U.S. Treasury’s website.
You can do this at home. If you Google the phrase “debt to the penny” you will be directed to a Treasury department page that allows you to enter specific dates and find out — to the penny — the size of the federal debt on that date.
- More at MoneyandMarkets.com
But what has the Republican Party done for liberty lately?
In foreign policy? (How about war?)
In federal spending? (Remember Bush II’s drug prescription law?)
Deficits? (Remember Reagan? Remember Bush II?)
Supreme Court? (Chief Justice “ObamaCare” Roberts?)
But we are supposed to vote for them, no matter what. We must sanction them. We must give them legitimacy.
And when they sell us out, we are supposed to stay quiet and re-elect them.
- More from Gary North HERE
I live in Canada and I am a Canadian Citizen . I have found that your Freedom and Prosperity newsletter is my best source of interpretation of what is happening .
Keep up the excellent writing.
You won’t believe the idea that America’s quintessential foreign policy establishment organ is floating now.
Or maybe you will.
Foreign Affairs is the journal of the Council of Foreign Relations, the organization that seems to drive much of the consensus foreign policy of the country, and from whose membership the top officials of Republican and Democrat administrations are regularly drawn.
In its September/October issue, Foreign Affairs wanders away from the calamity of its interventionist foreign policy consensus to offer equally calamitous interventionist monetary advice.
The publication offers a piece instructing the Federal Reserve to give the money it prints directly to the people.
To make sure there is no mistake about this, the article is even entitled Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People…
That’s where Helicopter Ben Bernanke comes in. Under such conditions Bernanke, citing Milton Friedman before him, said that if need be the Fed could simply drop cash from helicopter doors into the waiting hands of people below….
- More at Money and Markets
The strategy that President Obama laid out Wednesday night to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” is incoherent, inconsistent and, ultimately, non-credible.
A year ago, Obama and John Kerry were straining at the leash to launch air strikes on Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons in “killing his own people.”
But when Americans rose as one to demand that we stay out of Syria, Obama hastily erased his “red line” and announced a new policy of not getting involved in “somebody else’s civil war.”
Now, after videos of the beheadings of two U.S. journalists have set the nation on fire, the president, reading the polls, has flipped again.
Now Obama wants to lead the West and the Arab world straight into Syria’s civil war. Only this time we bomb ISIL, not Assad….
The president did not tell us how this new war ends.
If Assad falls, do the Alawites and Christians survive? Does Syria disintegrate? Who will rule in Damascus?
The United States spent seven years building an army to hold Iraq together. Yet when a few thousand ISIL fighters stormed in from Syria, that army broke and fled all the way to Baghdad. Even the Kurdish peshmerga broke and ran.
What makes us think we can succeed in Syria where we failed in Iraq.
- Read More HERE
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement…
- MORE HERE from John Mearsheimer, Foreign Affairs
by Charles Goyette
Much has been made of this week’s 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency. But while politicians come and go, it is their policies that live after them.
Friday is another Nixon anniversary. It marks 43 years since Nixon announced a major policy, one that continues to play out today and is now hastening to an unhappy conclusion.
It was on Aug. 15, 1971, that Nixon severed the last remaining link of the U.S. dollar to gold.
Oh, to be sure, it was only “temporary,” explained the President.
That was 43 years ago….
Abandoning the gold standard was effectively a devaluation of the dollar. “If you want to buy a foreign car or take a trip abroad, market conditions may cause your dollar to buy slightly less. But if you are among the overwhelming majority of Americans who buy American-made products in America, your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today,” Nixon lied.
As he spoke he knew that the dollar would not be worth “as much tomorrow,” which is why he also announced a strict program of wage and price controls that night.
It was a ham-handed attempt to hide what was being done to the dollar’s purchasing power, freezing prices by governmental edict.
- More at MoneyandMarkets.com.
The hasty hand-off of these American weapons to ISIS during its June blitzkrieg was easy enough to explain. On their way out of Baghdad, the Washington “nation builders” had equipped and trained a native army so that it could defend a “nation” which did not exist.
The more interesting mystery is how the ISIS fighters learned how to use Uncle Sam’s advanced weaponry so quickly.
Perhaps the CIA knows.
I want to share with you the most discouraging words I have read lately. A matter-of-fact statement that demands consideration. Just an anonymous observation that I had to conclude was depressingly likely.
It was at the end of a Financial Times account of the international court’s $50 billion ruling against Russia in the Yukos oil company case and how claimants would collect.
The FT wrote:
“One person close to Mr. Putin said the Yukos ruling was insignificant in light of the bigger geopolitical stand-off over Ukraine. ‘There is a war coming in Europe,’ he said. ‘Do you really think this matters?’ “
Spoken as an inevitability. “There is a war coming in Europe.”
…. War serves many purposes. It distracts from the malfeasance of the political classes as it busies giddy minds with foreign quarrels. It creates a symbiosis in which the media serves the state in its relentless grab for bigger budgets and greater police powers; while the state feeds the media’s need for high drama and the narcotic of fear. It provides for the deification of the state, which is then entitled to command all resources — human and material — without challenge or objection. If the state is divine, enemies and dissenters alike must be evil and dealt with accordingly.
Despite the myths propagated by Keynesian economists, war does not create prosperity. It does quite the opposite.
Indeed, war provides coverage for the ruination of the economy and it generally relies on the destruction of the currency. And so we find that in World War I consumer prices rose 110 percent; in World War II, they rose 74 percent; 207 percent during the Vietnam War; 35 percent so far during the “War on Terror.”
Editor, The Wall Street Journal:
In a piece of fewer than 500 words purportedly describing the performance of gold prices (Heard on the Street, July 26), your writer uses the word “goldbug” no less than three times. Indeed, it describes the goldbug’s “beloved” metal.
I’m pretty sure it is intended to be demeaning, especially since the very first word of the article is “paranoia.”
Now, nobody uses the term stock bug or bond bug to refer to investors in those markets. Nobody calls someone a real estate bug. The same issue of the WSJ reports that Goldman Sachs is confronting a fine of as much as $1.25 billion for its mortgage securities practices. And yet, despite their wild excesses, nobody at Bear Stearns or Goldman Sachs was ever called a mortgage-backed security bug or CDO hound or anything else for that matter.
But those with an appreciation for gold’s long monetary history and a clear eyed-view of central bank excesses are called goldbugs.
Isn’t this a little out of hand?
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