RTCS

Musings on the Week

Musings on the Week

August 3, 2013

 

Legislation – “It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be to-morrow.” James Madison.

Politics – The Democrat scandals are many and real: lives have been lost because of political decisions, illegal actions are covered-up, and the White House knew and enabled.

Politics – Obama’s pivot to the economy didn’t last long, it has been less than a week and focus on the economy has already fallen off the Organizing for Action political agenda.

Politics – If Democrats (liberals) can refuse to defend laws they don’t like, then Republicans (conservatives) can refuse to fund those laws that they deem undesirable.

Politics – Rand Paul wants Republican community outreach for inclusion, but not “community organizers” who practice exclusion generating unrest and victim grievances.

Economy – It has been four years since the recession ended and GDP growth is only 1.7%, with last quarter’s reading revised down to 1.1%, and Obama thinks this is recovery?

 

November 2008

July 2013

Change

Annual Federal Spending

$2.75T

$3.54T

+$.79T

Total National Debt

$9.99T

$16.88T

+$6.89T

Food Stamp Participation (000)

31,800

47,900

+16,100

Labor Force Participation Rate

65.8%

63.4%

-2.4%

Employed (000)

144,078

144,285

107

Employment Population Ratio

61.4%

58.7%

-2.7%

Unemployed (000)

10,538

11,514

+976

Unemployed - 27+ wks (000)

2,216

4,246

+2,030

Average Weeks Unemployed

18.9

36.6

+17.7

Unemployment Rate (U3)

6.8%

7.4%

+0.6%

Underemployment Rate (U6)

12.7%

14.0%

+1.3%

Inflation Rate

.1%

1.8%

+1.7%

Misery Index

6.9

9.2

+2.3

Average Price/Gallon Gas

$2.21

$3.96

+$1.75

Global Competitiveness Index

1

7

-6

Economic Freedom Ranking

5

10

-5

Prosperity Index

10

12

-2

Quality of Life Index

13

16

-3

Politics – This week’s distractions from the economy are: the “phony” scandals that won’t go away, immigration reform that will never happen, and Obama’s climate change initiative.

Media – NBC is the first network to endorse a Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, by purchasing the rights to a four hour miniseries and coordinate its release with her campaign.

Media – The MSM downfall has already begun, but I expect this avalanche to continue more layoffs at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the TV Network News departments.

Media – As new technologies emerge, I expect Twitter will go the way of telephone party lines doomed by personal privacy issues and a lack of any viable business case.

Equality – A society that puts equality -- in the sense of equality of outcome -- ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.Milton Friedman.

Budget – The Senate finally passed a budget proposal of their own, so now Congress must craft a negotiated bill, negating need for Continuing Resolutions, or Congress not be paid.

Banking – Requiring the biggest banks to hold significantly more capital bolsters the banks’ ability to absorb losses, reducing the odds of failure and the need for taxpayer bailouts.

Healthcare – It is ironic that unions that supported the passage of ObamaCare now want to be exempt from its provisions because they will not be able to keep their current provider.

Housing – How can the Senate pass a bill promising to protect taxpayers, while recreating the same policies and infrastructure that caused the 2008 housing and banking collapse?

Environment – The “Big Lie” in environmentalism is the CO2 is a pollutant, when air contains of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% argon, 0.04% CO2, and small amounts of other gases.

Education – The dirty little secret about higher education is that certification credential inflation now requires college degrees, blocking professional paths to the middle class.

Homeland Security When Major Nidal Malik Hasan self-identifies as a Soldier of Allah then slaughters Americans on a military base, our government classifies it “workplace violence!

Deficit – I expect one or more states to declare bankruptcy and seek assistance to recover from the bad economic decisions of the past under federal judicial protection.

Housing I expect that it will take four or more years at the current rate for the backlog of foreclosures to finally clear, before we see any signs of life of a robust housing recovery.

Leadership – “It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant. Calvin Coolidge.

Middle East – Somehow in this time of sequester, President Obama found an additional $500 million to give to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank which will make its way to Hamas.

GWOT – Despite Obama’s best efforts to declare victory in the Global War on Terror, al Qaeda is not cooperating as it rears its ugly head in country after country.

Israel – Since nothing has changed in the preconditions, Kerry’s next kabuki dance of Palestinian peace talks will resolve nothing and accomplish nothing of enduring value.

Israel I expect that Israel will be attacked by Hamas and the IDF will retaliate by invading and then re-annexing Gaza based on defensible borders and 1920 San Remo Conference.

Israel – I expect that Israel will suffer a nuclear attack from Islamist extremists, and Obama will talk a lot, but stand aside and refuse to help defend this longtime ally.

Asia – I expect that North Korea will attack South Korea and attempt to reunite Korea, and Obama will be “unable” to support our troops and will negotiate for a stalemate.

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY       

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com