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Economy

The sky’s the limit

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The skys the limit

If I have a regret over the last two years, it is not doing a better job of documenting my specific predictions about what a potential Trump Presidency would be like. I would if I could go back and do it again, but I didn’t the first time because, like so many others, it didn’t occur to me until about a week before the election that he might actually win. He did win, and here we are.

Yesterday the President made a deal with the House and Senate minority leaders, members of the party that is theoretically his opposition, while leaving the leaders of the party that he is theoretically his on the sidelines. Now I say theoretically because Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) are hardly allies of the President, nor are they small government conservatives. Nor is the President. Nor are Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) or Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Frankly, why they all don’t just join the same party is beyond me.

The fact is though, private citizen Trump donated heavily to the campaigns of every one of those lifelong politicians. This should have been a warning sign to his supporters, but for reasons passing understanding it was not, even when it was pointed out to them. Trump was a long time Democrat, became and independent, then a Republican, then a Democrat again, now a Republican again. He has no firm principles he believes in.

I’m not here to bash Trump. This is simply who he is. And if I had done the aforementioned documentation he’d be following my predictions as if it were scripted.

So, it is no surprise to me that the issue that he has chosen to cross over and work directly with Democrats while ignoring Republicans is debt. After all, Trump is the self-proclaimed “king of debt.” The problem is that description comes from his business “savvy” where he has become wealthy in the world of micro-economics by borrowing and then sometimes defaulting on debt, leaving his investors holding the bag while he walks away with profit. This is all legal of course, but legal and moral aren’t the same thing.

Further, while this might work in the world of micro-economics, he is now dealing with macro-economics and on a global scale. It’s not certain that Trump understands that he can just have the US file for bankruptcy protection and walk away without paying our debts.

First of all, much of that money is owed to ourselves. We are the world’s reserve currency, which is the only reason we’ve been able to amass this much debt over this period of time. When China and Russia trade, they don’t trade Yuans for Rubles, they trade Yuans into US dollars and THEN into Rubles.

Or at least, they used to. That system is rapidly going away as major economic powers like Russia, China, Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia and others are starting to conduct business without the dollar. When the dollar stops being the world’s reserve currency, we will suddenly have to start living within our means overnight, and debt will not be able to be taken anymore.

We’re already paying billions on just the interest on our loans. We’re taking loans out to pay our loans. We’re told every time the debt ceiling come up that we must “raise it to pay our bills.” This. Is. Insane. STOP SPENDING.

I’m not saying don’t raise it at this time, but it MUST be coupled with massive spending cuts.

I’ve written about tax reform and how it relates to federalism before. Most of what the Federal government does, it doesn’t have the Constitutional authority to do, but it keeps granting itself that authority in spite of the Constitution. With this usurped authority has come massive unnecessary spending that has put us in onerous debt that we must deal with NOW.

Can you imagine what would happen if we don’t do this correctly? What would happen if massive austerity measures had to be taken overnight? Look at Greece. That. Times a thousand. Some people scoff at that idea. Well, we live in a country where people literally riot over a thug who attacks a police officer getting shot. Imagine what will happen when their EBT cards suddenly stop working. Yeah. Scary.

Plenty of people reading this right now probably think I’m crazy. That’s normal. What you’re feeling right now is called the Normalcy Bias. It’s the belief that because something hasn’t happened to you before that it won’t. Well, your house has never burned down before (probably) but you still have fire insurance right? Why? Because you know it does happen. Well, financial meltdowns have happened before in other countries, and it CAN happen here. It WILL happen here is the debt is not brought to heel.

One of the reasons I didn’t see a difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is neither of them were the least bit interested in dealing with our massive debt, and frankly it was my number one domestic priority. Even if one of them had promised to deal with the debt I wouldn’t have believed them. Neither would have dealt with the root cause of the debt. Clinton has a long history of working to increase the burdensome social programs and regulations that overburden the taxpayers and lead to debt, and Trump never understood it.

The national debt, and the even greater unfunded liabilities that some experts estimate to be nearly $100 Trillion, not just the $20 Trillion in debt must be our national domestic priority, and the ONLY way to counter it is massive spending cuts. Despite the rhetoric of the leftists in both parties, the rich pay their fair share, and if they don’t, it’s the fault of the government for not enacting REAL tax reform as I’ve written about previously. We cannot tax our way out of this. We have to stop spending.

Trump’s “betrayal” of the GOP leadership (I see it as just returning to his roots) is really just dealing with debt in the only way he knows how: take out more debt. These are dangerous times for our country, but the looming debt bubble may be the most dangerous issue of all, and if it isn’t tackled quickly and smartly, we may not survive. Unfortunately, few in the two party system in Washington are inclined or capable of doing what must be done.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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Economy

Will GOP stop Trump’s trade war as the Constitution requires?

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When Donald Trump announced YUGE tariffs on imported solar panels and residential washing machines back in January, he launched a trade war reminiscent of 1800’s protectionism and laid the foundation for higher prices for American consumers, along with the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs.

Unfazed by historic evidence that such trade wars inevitably lead to economic disaster, Trump proceeded with a second round of attacks on the free market in March by imposing across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum, complete with his personal assurance that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

While Trump initially suspended steel and aluminum tariffs against the EU, Mexico, and Canada–providers of roughly fifty percent of steel imports to the US–he announced this past Friday that the tariffs are back on. And for good measure, he issued an additional threat to Germany that he would completely ban the import of luxury cars if they chose to retaliate with tariffs of their own against US goods.

As was the case in March, members of the GOP are threatening to prove they actually have a spine, and there are indications that they might do something this time around to stop Trump before it’s too late.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)–for the record, that’s a steel state–will be co-sponsoring Sen. Mike Lee’s bill S.177 to end Trump’s abusive practice of using “national security” to impose tariffs and to return tariff authority back to Congress where it Constitutionally belongs.

Other Republicans joining with Toomey and Lee are Sens. Jeff Flake (AZ), Corey Gardner (CO), and Ben Sasse (NE).

Besides the fact that tariffs are simply terrible economic and foreign policy, Trump has used the threat of tariffs against China as leverage for his personal financial gain; essentially extorting money from the Chinese government to finance Trump golf courses and hotels in Indonesia and securing a boatload of trademarks for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China.

If passed, S.177 will give the power to approve or disapprove Trump’s tariffs back to Congress, not to mention that it would save the American people from an economic catastrophe.

The only question is, will Republicans do what required to fulfill their Constitutional duty or will they cave to Trumpism in hopes that it will help them in November? The clock is ticking . . .

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Economy

Obamanomics damaged the economy, and Trumponomics isn’t fixing it

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While Trump and the GOP want you and me to believe that Trumponomics has singlehandedly saved the US economy by reducing taxes and creating jobs, the reality for those of us living in the real world is quite different.

It was Mark Twain who once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When it comes to politicians in an election year, Mr. Twain could have been describing the Washington establishment owned and operated by the Republicans and Democrats.

No doubt you’ve heard the much-ballyhooed news that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level since 2000, coming in at 3.9%. But just as it was when Obama manipulated unemployment numbers to cover his pathetic economic policies, this recent jobs report has been manipulated to hide the truth about our very unhealthy economy.

Unemployment numbers can change for any number of reasons:

  1. People move from the unemployed category into the employed category
  2. The number of employed grows faster than the number of unemployed
  3. You simply add people to the employed category without changing anyone’s status
  4. You simply stop counting people in the unemployed category, making them magically disappear

When we consider that the number of jobs added in April was 164,000 while the number of unemployed dropped by 239,000, we can conclude that reason #4 is how the latest unemployment rate was manipulated to make things look better than they really are. Unemployment went down because the labor-participation rate fell to 62.8 percent after being 63 percent in February and 62.9 percent in March. Three consecutive months of declines.

Quite simply, when you are no longer working or looking for work, the government no longer includes you as a part of the equation to calculate the unemployment report.

Meanwhile, Trumponomics is also creating a slower growth rate than Trump is claiming while his tax cuts and record government spendingdespite the recent rescission cuts—is creating another threat to the US economy, an apocalyptic debt spiral adding trillions to the already unsustainable national debt.

Obamanomics caused a great deal of damage to the US economy, but Trumponomics isn’t doing anything to repair it; in fact, Trump’s plan will likely destroy what’s left of it.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Democrats

Forget lowering unemployment, Bernie Sanders will eliminate it!

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During his 2016 Democrat primary campaign, Bernie Sanders was “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea of a universal basic income; however, he felt that his plans for a $15/hr. minimum wage, expanding Social Security to pay for guaranteed healthcare, and providing free college would do more than creating just another government handout.

But now Bernie has apparently found a way to accomplish his goals as well as the goals of the universal basic income crowd.
Yesterday, we learned that the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist is ready to announce a plan that will guarantee every American “who wants or needs one” a lifetime government job paying at least $15/hr. and proving paid family and medical leave plus retirement, health, and vacation benefits.

While the details are still being worked on, Bernie has admitted that he currently has no idea exactly how much his plan will cost or where the money to pay for it will come from. However, if his 2016 campaign is any indication, the cost will be irrelevant, and the money to pay for it will come from “the billionaires and oligarchs” he refers to as the “top one percent of income earners.”

While it would be tempting to shrug off Bernie’s plan as the rantings of a socialist loon living to the left of the left-wing, we should remember how his Marxist beliefs concerning income inequality caught fire with a generation of Constitutionally ignorant voters raised on the socialist ideology taught in today’s public schools indoctrination centers.

And a poll conducted during the 2016 primary season showed that a majority of millennials rejected capitalism.

Democrats would see a huge voter advantage by creating a new state-run workforce dependent upon them for their jobs. And politicians from both parties would have a new voter-bloc to advance their ideological and political agendas.

Bernie’s plan is being called a guaranteed-jobs program, but the only guarantee it gives us is the destruction of capitalism and Constitutional America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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