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: Spending

Puerto Rico Bailout Deceptively Called “Restructuring”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 20, 2016:  

Corcho Beach in Vieques island, Puerto Rico.

Corcho Beach in Vieques island, Puerto Rico.

Hidden behind the tentative agreement announced by House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday that would allow Puerto Rico some breathing room over its massive $73-billion national debt are the bailouts that are already in place.

The agreement is based on the bill by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) that creates another government bureaucracy to oversee the orderly “restructuring” (read: massive haircut for PR’s bondholders). When he presented his bill, Bishop said it would “give Puerto Rico access to a court-enforced debt restructuring in exchange for the imposition of a federal fiscal oversight board.”

Ryan said the agreement would allow the island territory to

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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.

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Unnerving Parallels: the U.S. and Brazil

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 13, 2016: 

Two news items hit the wires at nearly the same time: Early Thursday morning, following a marathon 20-hour overnight session, Brazil’s upper house voted to try President Rousseff on charges that she cooked the books while running for reelection in order to hide the country’s dreadful financial condition.

The other was the claim that James Comey, director of the FBI, said he has never heard of a “security review,” that he didn’t know what those words meant, and that

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Brazil’s Senate Votes to Try President Rousseff on Corruption Charges

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 12, 2016:  

Following a marathon 20-hour session that ended early Thursday morning, Brazil’s Senate voted 55-22 to try President Dilma Rousseff on charges that she manipulated the government’s books to make its debts appear more manageable and to help her get reelected in 2014.

Some are calling the vote a temper tantrum, reflecting the deep anger and frustration by Brazilians, expressed by recent riots that were suppressed with excessive force by the government. The economy is in the worst economic shape since the 1930s, with little hope for improvement. The Petrobras oil scandal, dubbed Operation Carwash, continues to expose layer after layer of corruption, reaching all the way to the top of Rousseff’s administration, including her vice president, Michel Temer.

Temer finds himself in a unique position.

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Puerto Rico to Default on $422M Payment Today; Likely Another $2B in July

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 2, 2016:  

Puerto Rico continued its “death spiral,” with its failure to make a $422 million interest payment on Monday on some of the island’s gigantic $73 billion debt. This comes on the heels of missed payments over the last year, and will be followed up by a $2 billion payment due on July 1, which it is also widely anticipated to miss. The payment is due from the island’s Government Development Bank (GDB), the main bond issuer and the island’s fiscal agent.

So far Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla (above) has, as noted previously in The New American, been able to keep the lights on and the water running by moving money around on the island’s balance sheet, paying only those with the highest and most enforceable claims and dealing as best he can with those holding lower credits. It was Padilla who said his island was in a “death spiral” as far back as last July, because his 3.5 million inhabitants, half of whom live in poverty, didn’t have the money.

But for decades Padilla and his predecessors acted as if they did have it,

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Nothing is Likely to Change in Brazil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 20, 2016: 

One of Warren Buffett’s favorite expressions is “when the tide goes out, everyone will see who’s been swimming naked.”  In Brazil the tide went out at the start of the Great Recession and now the whole world can see who was swimming naked.

When President Lula was elected in 2002 the commodity boom was underway, and Brazil was enjoying the ride. Its major exports are soybeans, sugar, and iron ore, and under Lula Brazil’s GDP was running 10 percent a year. Lula implemented major expansions of the welfare state, including putting in place such generous pension plans that state workers could retire at age 54 for men and at age 52 for women at 90 percent of their final pay. The average Brazilian’s household income rose, and statists worldwide pointed to Brazil’s success story, naming it as one of the BRIC countries that would soon overtake the developed nations of the world, and doing it while expanding government spending.

But when Dilma Rousseff took over in 2011 the Great Recession was revealing the true nature of spending far beyond the ability of the economy to sustain it. In 2014 the government’s finances were in such dreadful shape that

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Brazil’s Lower House Votes to Impeach President Rousseff; Little Likely to Change

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 19, 2016:  

Shouts of “Anybody but Dilma” resonated in Brazil’s lower house on Sunday as that body voted 367-137 to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.  After the dust settles, that is very likely what they are going to get: a change in name only. The corruption and anti-capitalist policies will remain.

Rousseff promised to fight impeachment every step of the way:

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Opposition Gearing Up to Colo. Single-payer Healthcare Proposal

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

Mark Twain is alleged to have said that “a lie can travel halfway around the world before truth can get its boots on.” In Colorado Initiative 20 is already on the ballot in November and opposition to it is just getting its boots on.

If passed, it would be the 69th amendment to Colorado’s state constitution and would collect all the state’s healthcare programs — Medicaid, children’s healthcare, and all the other state and federal healthcare programs — under one roof. It would replace ObamaCare with what supporters are calling ColoradoCare. And it would double the state’s budget in its first year.

The language of the ballot initiative question may be enough to kill it:

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The PC Crowd, Economic Ignorance, and the Minimum Wage

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 4, 2016:  

No political correctness

Nick Adams, the Australian author of Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness, has arrived on the American scene at precisely the right moment. He has appeared on nearly every major TV and radio show, writes for Townhall.com and Townhall Finance, and serves as a Centennial Institute Policy Fellow at Colorado Christian University. And he was named Honorary Texan in 2013 by Texas Governor Rick Perry.

PC is being used as a hammer to intimidate, emasculate, or otherwise neutralize opposition to any Progressive agenda. Rather than answering legitimate questions or responding to thoughtful objections, the PC crowd instead accuses the questioner of being

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Credit Rating Agencies Finally Reacting to China’s Economic Implosion

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 12, 2016:  

English: World countries by Standard & Poor's ...

English: World countries by Standard & Poor’s Foreign Rating. Legend: Green – AAA Turquoise – AA Lighter blue – A Darker blue – BBB Purple – BB Red – B : Grey – not rated, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First it was Fitch. Late last year it downgraded China’s sovereign debt by two notches, from AAA to A, which, according to its own definition, signals debt that is “more vulnerable to adverse business or economic conditions than is the case for [the two] higher ratings.”

In early March, Moody’s Investors Service got on board, knocking China’s debt rating down by one notch, followed by Standard and Poor’s on Thursday, which kept China’s rating at AA but with a negative outlook.

Translation: something’s coming.

Said S&P:

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Another Keynesian Failure: Brazil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, March 28, 2016:  

John Maynard Keynes Русский: Джон Мейнард Кейн...

John Maynard Keynes

Boiled down to its most crude elements, Keynesianism, according to Antony Mueller at the Mises Institute, is “the economic policy doctrine of growth by spending.” Since 2003, when the current political party in Brazil, first headed up by Lula and now by Dilma Rousseff, came to power, it installed it in spades. For a while it seemed to work: demand for Brazil’s raw materials: oil, iron ore, and agricultural products grew as China (also pursuing the “growth by spending” mantra) also grew.

But the boom, which at one point included Brazil as one of the BRIC (Russia, India, and China) nations that would soon overtake the developed world, went bust.

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Will the South Carolina Primary Spell the End for Jeb Bush?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 17, 2016:  

In South Carolina, where George H.W. Bush (1988) and George W. Bush (2000) sealed the deal for their presidencies, younger son John Ellis Bush (JEB) is failing and flailing. The average of all polls published by Real Clear Politics shows Bush

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Article I Project Aims to Restore Balance Between Congress, White House

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, February 5, 2016:  

Following the three-day National Lawyers Convention in Washington in November sponsored by the Federalist Society, the Article I Project was announced. Designed to restore the balance of powers provided for by the Founders in Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the project was picked up quickly by Representatives Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas).

The project is necessary, according to the Federalist Society, because

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As Oil Price Drops, Iraq Faces Existential Threat

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 1, 2016:  

In Iraq the culture of dependency is so great that the drop in the price of oil threatens the country’s very existence. With every Iraqi dependent upon the government for essentials like sugar, tea, rice and cooking oil, and the government dependent upon oil for more than 90 percent of its budget, the existential threat is real.

In January 2015 the government, headed up by President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, passed a budget that

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Florida’s Economy Rebounds Thanks to Cuts in Taxes, Spending, Regulations

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 27, 2016:  

Almost immediately upon assuming Florida’s governorship in January, 2011, Rick Scott started cutting. He increased the state’s exemption level for corporate taxes from $25,000 to $50,000. He expanded the state sales tax exemption for manufacturing equipment. In 2013, he approved a three-year total exemption of that sales tax. In 2014, he pushed to raise the corporate tax exemption from $50,000 to $75,000. Last year he signed into law a $400 million cut in vehicle fees. In all, over the past five years he, with the help of a friendly legislature, has cut nearly 50 taxes.

Along the way

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Many Challenges Face Obama’s Gun Control Executive Orders

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 6, 2016:  

Cover of "The Ashes of Waco: An Investiga...

President Obama’s attempts to usurp legislative authority in his executive orders issued on Tuesday are meeting escalating resistance — enough resistance that may, for all intents and purposes, negate his efforts entirely.

Most commentators seized upon the threat to the separation of powers doctrine upon which the Constitution is based, including this author’s article published immediately after the announcement. While valid, likely court challenges aren’t the only obstacle standing in the way of the implementation of those orders.

For one thing, the ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) already faces immense difficulties in successfully charging someone with illegally selling firearms without a license. Said Daniel O’Kelly, a retired ATF agent:

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Several Sources Highlight Federal Misspending After “Wastebook” Author Retires

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 2, 2015:  

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-OK).

Former Senator Tom Coburn

Before retiring from Congress as Oklahoma’s junior senator, Tom Coburn issued an invitation to others in office to take up where he left off in bringing to light outrageous federal boondoggles. As the editor of Wastebook, Coburn delighted in exposing preposterous examples of government waste, and using them to embarrass the various agencies responsible.

One of those taking up the cudgel is Oklahoma Senator James Langford, who just issued his first edition of Federal Fumbles,

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Congress Votes to Raid Fed’s Slush Fund to Pay for Highways

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 23, 2015:  

In its never-ending quest to spend money it doesn’t have, but not wanting to raise taxes, especially during the current election cycle, on Thursday, November 5 Congress passed a $325-billion, six-year transportation bill that is to be financed by selling off some of the country’s strategic petroleum reserves and raiding the Federal Reserve.

In its editorial complaint about the bill, the Washington Post said

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Democrat Strategy to Take Back the Senate: Attack the Koch Brothers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 20, 2015:  

Upon learning that the Koch brothers, Charles (shown) and David, and their network of conservative donors, were planning on spending upwards of $750 million over the next two election cycles, Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader and harsh critic of the Kochs, enlisted the help of two hard-left political strategists to respond. David Brock, the founder of Media Matters in 2004 and the super-PAC American Bridge in 2010, joined with Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, to build a plan for Democrats to take back the Senate in 2016.

Brock investigates strategy via focus groups while Garin

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Recession Indicators: Pick one

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 18, 2015:

As a general rule a recession is two quarters of negative growth (aka decline) in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). GDP, in simplest terms, is a measure of industrial production, employment, real (inflation-adjusted) income, and wholesale and retail trade.

The trick is knowing when a recession is coming. Even trickier is knowing what to do about it beforehand.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) said GDP

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