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Making America insolvent

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Making America insolvent

The stock market is setting records, unemployment is relatively low, inflation is low, and America’s economy is churning along. Lots of reasons to be happy if you’re rich. But we’ve got a $20 trillion Sword of Damocles hanging over our collective heads.

America’s GDP is somewhere north of $18.5 trillion, and increased over the 2nd quarter of 2017 at an annual rate of 3.0 percent (over the 1.2 percent of the first quarter), while the PCE price index went up by only 0.3 percent.

Though it’s encouraging to see the economy growing at a reasonable rate, it’s very troubling to see the federal government’s debt exceeding the nation’s GDP. In business, nobody ever wants to owe more than they produce, unless those debts are tied to solid and appreciating assets.

Of course, the value of the United States’ real estate far exceeds the national debt, right? Well, actually, no. The value of all land (in 2009 dollars) was estimated at $23 trillion by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in a 2015 report.

Essentially, the federal government has mortgaged all the land in the country, including Washington D.C. and every bit of property the federal government owns (about $1.8 trillion according to the report).

Your home may have a mortgage, but the government has also mortgaged your land, and every dollar produced by every company in America is mortgaged and attached by the federal debt.

In business, we call this situation “insolvency.” Companies that believe they can grow their way out of insolvency have to sit in front a room full of creditors and bankers and explain how this works. Frequently, the bankers don’t buy it.

But the U.S. government is too big to fail, and therefore China, Saudi Arabia and other debt holders aren’t about to call Congress on the carpet to explain how we get out of insolvency. That’s the job of the electorate–we’re the ones being mortgaged and co-signed on the debt our government has piled up.

It is unconscionable and immoral for our federal government to continue to lead us into insolvency. If you look at history, when powerful nations embark down a road of insolvency, ultimately it leads to war.

The U.S. has no shortage of natural resources. We are the most productive nation on earth in food, energy, and innovation. Trump and Bannon’s answer to the national debt is to grow our way out of it by making better trade agreements. That means selling America’s resources at a higher price to foreign buyers. If it only worked that way in reality, if only “America, incorporated” could simply raise the price of food, natural gas, oil, and intellectual property, we’d all be drinking wine and smelling roses.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it? Corporations in America have foreign capital investments, and many are owned and headquartered offshore. Much of America’s enormous productive capacity is pledged to foreign owners profit expectations. That’s how a free market works.

The only way to force companies to fall in line with a nationalist economic policy is to…well, force them. In historical political science-y and economic terms, that’s called “fascism,” where the government sets the economic priorities for each market and companies must comply or be nationalized.

A nationalized economy does not suit America, where liberty and opportunity are valued above cultural homogeneity. Where the left would impose that hegemony over American social values, our federal government and the economic nationalists led by Steve Bannon would impose it on our corporate values. Neither solution can work in the U.S.

In the end, either foreign capitalists will continue to draw profits out of America, in an unending spiral of unpayable mortgages until someone calls a debt (provoking war); or we will impose unacceptable barriers to free trade, which will cause consumer prices to skyrocket, in a cycle of punitive tariffs and restrictive trade agreements. This will eventually lead some nation that the U.S. forces an ultimatum of forgiving defaulted debt or resource starvation to begin a war.

It might be an economic war at first, but such things usually lead to a shooting war. This is how Japan ended up in World War II. It’s how North Korea might react if all other options are removed. It’s how China will react as they continue to build their power and military.

By mortgaging America, our federal government is placing our nation at odds with practically every country in the world. Even Canada and Mexico, faced with renegotiating NAFTA, will side against an America with $30 trillion in federal debt and $25 trillion in GDP.

Our federal debt more than doubled since 2007. In another 10 years, it’s entirely possible we will see this scenario in our faces, especially if Trump remains in office 2024.

The federal government must, for the sake of our nation and our liberty, stop this disastrous debt spending. Insolvency is no way to run a business, or a government.

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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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.

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

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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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