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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is The Fiscal Cliff Just A "Trigger Mechanism" For "Fundamentally Changing" The United States?

SEARCH BLOG: OBAMA and ECONOMY.

It seems amazing to many that there is so little concern about the massive debt that has been accruing in the Federal government.  A little bailout here, a little "quantitative easing" there, and presto-chango we have a Keynesian solution to all of our problems.

As noted in the previous post, the next president faces a $20 trillion federal debt and few options to pay it down.  One of the authors of Econbrowser, a liberal economist from the University of Wisconsin, proposed that inflation would solve all of our problems... just make money worth less or worthless?  To be fair, the proposal was for modest, targeted inflation, not runaway inflation.

The present crisis is the so-called "fiscal cliff" which seems to be generating a lot of hot air in Washington, D.C., but not much real action.  Solutions range to spending cuts ... cutting the rate of spending increases from planned levels, but still above present levels... to a symbolic tax increase on "wealthy" Americans ... those making more than $250,000.  The latter, of course, is classic class warfare, but not much in the way of a solution to ever-increasing debt.

But this is small change.  Perhaps we need to harken back to President Obama's words.


Some reduction in the rate of spending increases and some minor tax increase are not "fundamental changes."  What would be fundamental?  The following is from Doug Hagmann at the Canada Free Press:
Life for the average American is going to change significantly, and not the change people expect. First, DHS is preparing to work with police departments and the TSA to respond to civil uprisings that will happen when there is a financial panic. And there will be one, maybe as early as this spring, when the dollar won’t get you a gumball. I’m not sure what the catalyst will be, but I’ve heard rumblings about a derivatives crisis as well as an oil embargo. I don’t know, that’s not my department. But something is going to happen to collapse the dollar, which has been in the works since the 1990s. Now if it does not happen as soon as this, it’s because there are people, real patriots, who are working to prevent this, so it’s a fluid dynamic. But that doesn’t change the preparations. 
And the preparations are these: DHS is prepositioning assets in strategic areas near urban centers all across the country. Storage depots. Armories. And even detainment facilities, known as FEMA camps. FEMA does not even know that the facilities are earmarked for detainment by executive orders, at least not in the traditional sense they were intended. By the way, people drive by some of these armories every day without even giving them a second look. Commercial and business real estate across the country are being bought up or leased for storage purposes. Very low profile. 
Anyway, I am hearing that the plan from on high is to let the chaos play out for a while, making ordinary citizens beg for troops to be deployed to restore order. but it’s all organized to make them appear as good guys. That’s when the real head knocking will take place. We’re talking travel restrictions, which should not be a problem because gas will be rationed or unavailable. The TSA will be in charge of travel, or at least be a big part of it. They will be commissioned, upgraded from their current status. 
They, I mean Jarrett and Obama as well as a few others in government, are working to create a perfect storm too. This is being timed to coincide with new gun laws.
That sounds fairly "fundamental."
How much clearer do you want it? The Second Amendment will be gone, along with the first, at least practically or operationally. The Constitution will be gone, suspended, at least in an operational sense. Maybe they won’t actually say that they are suspending it, but will do it. Like saying the sky is purple when it’s actually blue. How many people will look at the sky and say yeah, it’s purple? They see what they want to see. 
So the DHS, working with other law enforcement organizations, especially the TSA as it stands right now, will oversee the confiscation of assault weapons, which includes all semi-automatic weapons following a period of so-called amnesty. It also includes shotguns that hold multiple rounds, or have pistol grips. They will go after the high capacity magazines, anything over, say 5 rounds. 
They will also go after the ammunition, especially at the manufacturer’s level. They will require a special license for certain weapons, and make it impossible to own anything. More draconian than England. This is a global thing too. Want to hunt? What gives you the right to hunt their animals? Sound strange? I hope so, but they believe they own the animals. Do you understand now, how sick and twisted this is? Their mentality? 
The obvious intent is to disarm American citizens. They will say that we’ll still be able to defend ourselves and go hunting, but even that will be severely regulated. This is the part that they are still working out, though. While the plans were made years ago, there is some argument over the exact details. I know that Napalitano, even with her support of the agenda, would like to see this take place outside of an E.O. [Executive Order] in favor of legislative action and even with UN involvement.
The Republicans wouldn't let that happen, would they?
Stop thinking about a normal situation. The country is divided, which is exactly where Obama wants us to be. We are as ideologically divided as we were during the Civil War and that rift is growing every day. Add in a crisis - and economic crisis - where ATM and EBT cards will stop working. Where bank accounts will contain nothing but air. They are anticipating a revolution and a civil war rolled into one (emphasis added by this author). 
Imagine when talk show hosts or Bloggers or some other malcontent gets on the air or starts writing about the injustice of it all, and about how Obama is the anti-Christ or something. They will outlaw such talk or writing as inciting the situation - they will make it illegal by saying that it is causing people to die. The Republicans will go along with everything as it’s - we have - a one party system. Two parties is an illusion. It’s all so surreal to talk about but you see where this is headed, right?

That's just nonsense talk.

Perhaps.  There are a lot of conspiracy theorists on the left and the right.  The propose scenarios that might be possible, but seem completely implausible.  The suspension of the Constitution?  Government by Executive Order?  Arming of Executive Branch departments.  Firing of top military officers?

Implausible.
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There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
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- O. Henry
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Tracking Interest Rates

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FEDERAL RESERVE & HOUSING

SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
http://www.reuters.com/

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
fed_rate_moves_425_small.gif
[Image from: CNNMoney.com]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)