Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: National Debt

Trump Adds to His List of Advisors

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 10, 2016:  

English: Deck of cards used in the game piquet

In March, Donald Trump trotted out an early list of foreign-policy advisors on whom he would be relying if he were elected president. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump said, “I can give you some of the names … Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives Caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos — he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joseph Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more.”

In August he added “quite a few more” and then, the day after he was elected, Trump added still more, this time in the economic policy area.

There are at least four “wild cards” in the deck that Trump is building,

Keep Reading…

Latest Jobs Report Masks Continuing Weakness


This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 4, 2016:  

English: Bureau of Labor Statistics logo RGB c...

English: Bureau of Labor Statistics logo RGB colors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday morning was trumpeted as reflective of an improving economy. The Wall Street Journal said the report “signal[ed] solid momentum in the labor market just days before American voters elect a new president,” while Jeffry Bartash, writing for MarketWatch, said it “shows the seven-year-old economic recovery still has plenty of life despite a slowdown in growth earlier in the year.”

A hard look behind the headline numbers — 161,000 new jobs created in October and the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent — reveals

Keep Reading…

The Tax Foundation’s Big Surprise: Trump’s Tax Plan is Better Than Hillary’s!

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 21, 2016:  

English: The standard Laffer Curve

The standard Laffer Curve

The Tax Foundation, founded nearly 80 years ago, considers itself non-partisan, guided by what it calls “the principles of sound tax policy, simplicity, transparency, neutrality, stability, no retroactivity, broad [tax] bases and low [tax] rates.” It has steadfastly opposed tax increases of any kind: income, corporate, or excise. Especially annoying are tax “preferences” (i.e., subsidies) for the housing industry and tax credits for certain constituencies (which the Foundation calls “picking winners and losers”).

So it’s no surprise that in its study of Trump’s and Clinton’s so-called “tax plans” the Foundation concluded that Trump’s was vastly superior to Hillary’s:

Keep Reading…

Candidates Silent as Government Spending Jumps, Deficit Increases

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 17, 2016:  

On Friday, the Treasury Department published the final revenue and spending numbers for the federal government for Fiscal Year 2016, which ended on September 30. According to Treasury’s report, spending increased significantly (by nearly five percent) over the previous year, to more than $3.8 trillion, while revenues remained essentially flat from the year before, at $3.25 trillion. That left a shortfall of approximately $600 billion, forcing the government to borrow 15 cents of every dollar it spent last year. And the two presidential candidates have remained disturbingly silent about the issue.

Said Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a non-partisan group that favors reducing the deficit,

Keep Reading…

Social Security to Announce Tiny Increase in Benefits for Next Year

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 11, 2016:  

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Next Tuesday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will announce Social Security’s COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2017. It is widely anticipated to be between nothing and $3 a month for the average beneficiary.

But Medicare premiums (retirees are often expected to pay a monthly fee for coverage) for seniors receiving Social Security retirement benefits are expected to jump nearly $30 a month. That premium increase would reduce the average retirement benefit by about $25 a month, except that Congress had inserted a “hold harmless” provision into Medicare law. Instead, the premium increase will be funded by Medicare, thereby hastening the day when that part of Social Security runs out of money.

The statistics reflective of the current gradual liquidation of Social Security’s so-called Trust Fund are familiar to most recipients:

Keep Reading…

Would Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut Help the Economy?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 28, 2016:  

 Removing the noise and the histrionics from Monday night’s presidential debate, there is a clear division between the two major-party candidates on the state of the economy and what to do about it.

The Democrat candidate said that the economy is on the mend, that jobs are being created, that real incomes have just recently increased, and that the outlook for the economy is sanguine.

The Republican candidate held the opposite view: after seven years the economy is still struggling, the recovery is the weakest in recent memory, and the outlook is bleak.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Trump’s case is the stronger,

Keep Reading…

Michel Temer, Brazil’s New President, Faces Massive Challenges

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 1, 2016:  

English: The newly elected president of the Ch...

Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer

Just after being sworn in as Brazil’s new president, and just before jetting off to the G-20 meeting in China to hobnob with the global elites, Michel Temer took time on Wednesday to make a promise to Brazilians: “From today on, the expectations are much higher for the [new] government. I hope that in these two years and four months [when his term ends in 2018], we do what we have declared: put Brazil back on track.”

That’s an expression more of hope than reality: Little is likely to change except the name of Brazil’s president. Temer faces challenges that would stagger Godzilla:

Keep Reading…

Latest CBO Report “Grim”; Offers No Solutions to National Debt

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 15, 2016:  

Ida May Fuller, the first recipient

Ida May Fuller, holding the first check from the Social Security Administration

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published its annual report on the country’s long-term budgetary and financial outlook. One need only to see the chart on Page One of the report to see why CBO’s Justin Bogle said the outlook was “grim”: It shows government spending growing so much more quickly than anticipated revenues that annual deficits will likely triple in the next 30 years, if not sooner. Bogle called this scenario unsustainable.

For the first time, the CBO built into its assumptions the projected impact of ObamaCare, the country’s declining birth rate, the explosion of Baby Boomers demanding benefits from Social Security and Medicare over that period, plus Boomers’ increasing life expectancies and the increasing costs of providing them healthcare along the way.

It also assumed that government debt will

Keep Reading…

Edict From Venezuela’s President Maduro: Grow Your Own Food

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 27, 2016:  

                            No Hay Comida is translated: There is no food

Word got out that there would be chicken for sale at the Central Madeirense supermarket in Guarenas, Venezuela, on Friday, so Kattya Alonzo got there at 4 a.m. The line of others already snaked around the block, waiting for the delivery trucks to arrive.

But when the trucks arrived at 6:30, the national guardsmen monitoring the crowd sensed the possibility of a riot and ordered the trucks to move on. The people waiting in line turned ugly and

Keep Reading…

Brazil’s Interim President Says “Trust Me,” Installs Corrupt Bureaucrats

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 16, 2016:  

Upon taking over Brazil’s presidency from disgraced former President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday, interim president Michel Temer asked his skeptical citizenry to “trust” him, saying that his new administration would be Brazil’s “salvation”:

Trust me. Trust the values of our people and our ability to recuperate the economy…. It is essential to rebuild the credibility of the country abroad to attract new investments and get the economy growing again…. It is urgent to restore peace and unite Brazil. We must form a government that will save the nation…. It’s urgent to seek the unity of Brazil. We urgently need a government of national salivation.

Even if he truly intended to do any of that, the challenges he faces almost defy description.

Keep Reading…

Trump Suggests National Debt “Deal,” Media Calls It “Fanciful” and “Dangerous”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 9, 2016:  

A snippet from Donald Trump’s conversation with CNBC on Thursday raised the ire of numerous media commentators, who called Trump’s plan “unprecedented” (CNBC), “fanciful” and a “threat” (New York Times), and “tantamount to a debt default” (Yahoo Finance). Others called his remarks “reckless,” while Tony Fratto, a former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration said, “This isn’t a serious idea — it’s an insane idea.”

What sparked the ire? The initial impetus was when Trump said, “[The U.S. Treasury is] paying a very low interest rate. What happens if that interest goes up two, three, four points? We don’t have a country. I mean, if you look at the numbers, they’re staggering.”

Indeed they are. The U.S. Debt Clock shows the national debt closing in on $20 trillion, while the economy is slumping along, with a GDP at just over $18 trillion. Put another way,

Keep Reading…

How the Establishment Does Business in Washington

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 28, 2015: 

English: U.S. President Barack Obama meets wit...

Just a visit between old friends

In Washington, it is said that laws are like sausages: no one wants to know exactly how they are made. Washington, controlled as it has been by the Establishment for decades, makes laws like sausages, keeping everyone in the dark and happy, except the taxpayer.

Just who is this ephemeral, invisible, ever-present establishment? In three minutes, a caller to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on September 15, nailed it:

Keep Reading…

Boehner Cuts Deal With White House; National Debt to Reach $20 Trillion

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 27, 2015:

After working privately over the past several weeks with members of the White House staff, as well as with Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner succeeded late Monday night in cobbling together a deal that gives everyone in Washington what they want but leaves the bill for the taxpayer. By the time the dust settles, the deal will cause the country’s national debt to reach $20 trillion within the next 18 months, if not sooner.

Doing an end run around usual House procedures, Boehner

Keep Reading…

Federal Deficit at Eight-year Low; Don’t Celebrate Yet

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 16, 2015:  

On Thursday the Treasury Department announced that the federal deficit for the 2015 fiscal year, which ended September 30, fell to an eight-year low — $439 billion — thanks to tax revenues that grew at a rate faster than government spending. Revenues, according to the department, grew by eight percent over last year while government spending grew by five percent.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew celebrated:

Keep Reading…

Tracking Freedom’s Decline in America

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, September 17, 2015:  

Fraser Institute

A recent spate of reports, analyses, and indexes continue to confirm the decline of personal and economic freedom in the United States. The Fifth Annual report from the Fraser Institute, “The Human Freedom Index” published last month shows the U.S. falling from 17th place worldwide to 20th in the areas of personal, civil, and economic freedom.

Ian Vasquez, one of the report’s authors, wrote:

Keep Reading…

The Ripple Effect of Rising Interest Rates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 9, 2015:  

With financial talking heads now convinced that the Federal Reserve will finally increase interest rates as a result of the record-setting job openings report, few are asking about the “ripple effect” those increases might mean for individuals, for the auto and the housing industry, for companies and corporations, and, most importantly, for the debt-laden federal government.

If and when the fed announces upcoming interest-rate increases, in the short run, individuals might be tempted to accelerate their buying decision on cars and houses to take advantage of low rates before increases start flowing through to lenders in those sectors. In the longer run,

Keep Reading…

Greece-EU Standoff Increases Chances of “Grexit”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 7, 2015:  

UK Independence Party

Writing in London’s Telegraph on Monday, Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-EU, pro-sovereignty UK Independence Party (UKIP), called Sunday’s referendum in Greece “a crushing defeat for those Eurocrats who believe that you can simply bulldoze public opinion.” Threats by those Eurocrats to shut off emergency financing unless the country agreed to its terms fell on deaf ears, especially among those under age 35: Eighty percent of them voted no on Sunday.

That cohort is the one least likely to remember the songs that were sung by those promoting the European Union decades ago:

Keep Reading…

Greece: Capital Controls Threat Increases as Deadline Approaches

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 22, 2015:

The announcement last week by Greece’s central bank that it may be forced to start implementing capital controls — eliminating the ability of Greeks who still have any money in the bank to withdraw it or send it to another country for safekeeping — may just be a ploy to bring more pressure on the Troika (European Central Bank, IMF, and eurozone countries) to release the last batch of funds from Bailout Number Three.

Withdrawals by nervous Greeks began last fall as Bailouts Number One, Two, and Three were only pushing the country further into recession. Withdrawal from the eurozone itself became increasingly likely, with the result that the euro would be replaced in Greece with a new currency with much less purchasing power.

Ever since Greece joined the European Community, later to be called the European Union, it has enjoyed far better credit ratings than it deserved. Assured that default was now no longer an option, central banks and other international financial institutions were more than willing to

Keep Reading…

U.S. Financial Outlook has “Worsened Dramatically”

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 17, 2015: 

English:

This graph is outdated but revealing

 

In its just-released report “The 2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” the Congressional Budget Office stated bluntly:

The long-term outlook for the federal budget has worsened dramatically over the past several years, in the wake of the 2007-2009 recession and slow recovery…. If current law remained generally unchanged in the future … growing budget deficits … would push [the national] debt above its current high level.

It’s all about government spending that’s baked into the cake:

Keep Reading…

Tuition-Free Community College? Yea or Nay?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 8, 2015: 

Students at a table in Muscatine Community Col...

Students at a table in Muscatine Community College courtyard

 

In 2008 the city council of Knoxville, Tennessee created “Knoxville Achieves”, a philanthropically-funded free tuition program for lower income families who couldn’t afford college. It blended private funds with requirements that students receiving “last dollar” benefits (tuition expenses remaining after grants, scholarships and personal resources were used up) would be guided by volunteer mentors through regular consultations and planning sessions. If the students didn’t meet certain minimum performance standards, the mentoring stopped and so did the money.

This was a local response to the pitiful results, in general, that community college students were obtaining. Barely 20 percent of them obtain their associate’s degree after three years. It’s supposed to take two.

The first year 496 students received tuition assistance, with good results appearing almost immediately. It wasn’t the money – it was the mentoring and the tracking, following, and monitoring that made the difference. Students were, some for the first time, being held personally accountable to a friendly volunteer, along with receiving a financial incentive.

It worked so well that

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.