Interesting comment on the news this evening. When President Bush said that there were chemical weapons in Iraq, all of the worlds intelligence agencies agreed with him. (Well, those that are affiliated with NATO and our allies.) Democrats and Republicans on the intelligence committees also supported this conclusion. When it turned out that these weapons had been moved and were no longer in the country – the media promoted the whole “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra. Now that President Obama has been proven to make multiple statements that are the exact opposite of the truth, and evidence has come out since that he had been briefed on the facts so he absolutely knew that he was not telling the truth the media reaction is: “He misspoke.” Really? Dozens of times, using the same phrase in different situations, specifically as a response to the challenge that the plan would force people out of their current plans? This is misspeaking? Wow. Perhaps ABC, NBC and CBS should get their ombudsmen to publish their definitions of lying as a public service announcement so we all know how to react when politicians are feeding us a load of horse manure. Or is it as simple as: No matter the statement, if it comes from a Republican, it is a lie. The corollary being, no matter how outrageous the lie, if it comes from a Democrat (and it gets proven beyond a reasonable doubt) then it was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the politicians for this… this is a failure on the part of the talking head media.. of course our leaders in Washington take advantage of the situation.
I was listening to the Hannity Show awhile back and Sean was interviewing some leader of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. This angry young man had amassed over $200,000 in student loans. He felt the government should pay for his school, his housing, his food, etc., He stated he was not against working but that he would not work for less than $80,000 per year starting salary (and ummm … that’s was with no job experience). Is this the kind of entitlement-minded, narcissistic idiots our NEA controlled public school system is producing for us today? An “entitlement kiddie” with his head full of socialist ideals and unsustainable utopian theories, and absolutely no work ethic, drive to succeed, real life experience, wisdom, or common sense? I am so glad I do not have young children in today’s public school system. I guess they would have to be “Home Schooled!”
What I want to know is … where was this kid’s grandfather? I remember the “pearls of wisdom” my grandfathers passed on to me that helped shape the man I am today. They helped form my work ethic, my sense of working for and earning what I receive, and … how to treat other people. Both of my grandfather’s worked at Remington Arms in Ilion, New York. They were hardworking, blue-collar, honest men who gave a day’s work for a day’s wage. They saved their money, provided for their families, and turned out the terrific, hardworking youngsters who later became my parents. They suffered, they learned, they loved, and they sacrificed … for their families and their country. They also developed a lot of real wisdom as they earned their wrinkles and lost their gray hair during those years following WWII. I still remember some of these “Pearls of Wisdom ” like:
Measure twice, cut once!
Always return a tool in better shape than it was in when you borrowed it.
Can’t never could do anything
I sawed it off twice and it’s still too short.
It’s not what you say, it’s what you do that matters
The only people who never make mistakes are the people who never do anything
Hallerin Hilton Hill had a caller this morning on his radio talk show who related a story about his father. His father was a life-long carpenter. The caller told us how, from the time he was thirteen, he spent his summers helping his father; getting yanked out of bed early, toting 2 x 4 ‘s, driving nails, etc. He worked and earned his own money. He even bought his own school clothes throughout his years in middle school and high school. That work ethic is with him to this day. I especially like the part of the story where he talked about his dad‘s method of interviewing possible new crew members. Of course, they would always claim to have many years of experience framing houses, building decks, etc. His dad would shrug that off and simply ask to see the guy’s hammer. I guess it was pretty obvious by looking at the guy’s hammer what kind of experience he had? The caller told how once, his dad even turned and threw the guys hammer into the river and said something like, “Boy, don’t ever bring your mamma’s tack hammer to a carpenter’s job interview!” I guess the guy probably didn’t get the job.
We need parents in this country who take the time to teach their kids real values, life skills, and common sense; to teach them how to get up when they fall down. We need our grandfather’s wisdom to be passed down again. Our country needs Americans who believe in hard work, in earning what you get, who have the gumption to get back up if they get knocked down, and who love their country! We already have more than enough parasites who hope to fundamentally transform our country so they can simply lay back and suckle at the government’s teat … or folks who show up with their momma’s tack hammer and expect $80,000 a year!
While the former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, still has little chance to be the Republican nominee, his zinger, “my neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready projects than this president” stole the show at last night’s debate.
Both Perry and Romney did well in general. I wish Romney would stand up and be honest about the “RomneyCare” issue. He needs to admit it was a mistake, own it, and discuss lessons learned from it. Until he can do that, I just cannot get behind him as the republican candidate for president in 2012. Perry still needs to work on not “fading out” in the second half of these debates. He needs to maintain sharpness and focus, and show he will not “fade out” on the job if elected president.
On a different subject … Obama’s administration is going to attempt to “destroy” our economy even more … if that is possible. Bernanke and company want to double down on another “failed” economic policy (a blast from the past) they are now calling “Operation Twist,” or what some are now calling “QE3.”
Apparently, Bernanke’s grand idea is to go back into the past, pick out some stupid idea that didn’t work then, give it some shiny new packaging, and watch everyone “ooh and ah” at the his brilliance. However, this is a dangerous gambit at best. Most experts say it will do no good … and, hopefully will do no harm. But in fact, it will probably make things worse. Basically, the “Operation Twist” involves selling short-term bonds and then buying long-term bonds in hopes of artificially reducing long-term interest rates. If successful, this policy (or so we are told) will incentivize more borrowing and stimulate growth.
How well did it work in the 1960s when it was last used? At that time, the Fed was attempting to flatten out yield curves by raising short-term rates and dropping long-term rates. From 1961 to 1965, long-term rates didn’t change while short-term rates consistently rose. The plan failed because it was too small of an initiative and this type of artificial market manipulation is never truly effective.
Bernanke’s version of “Operation Twist” is doomed to fail as well. There are two reasons recession is just around the corner. The first is that banks aren’t lending. They took their bailout money and are hoarding it. It doesn’t matter if interest rates are zero. If banks won’t loan money to consumers, no amount of stimulus funds will change things.
The second reason is that consumer sentiment remains in the gutter. These measures could only be (at least artificially effective for the short-term) if consumers believe that this economic downturn is temporary. Any new-found money consumers can get their hands on will go to pay down debt or put into savings. People won’t be going to the mall on shopping sprees.
The Fed announced that through June 2012 it will buy $400 billion in Treasury bonds at the long end of the market—with six- to 30-year maturities—and sell an equal amount of securities of three years’ duration or less. The point, said the FOMC statement, is to put further “downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative.” It’s hard to see how this will make much difference to economic growth. Long rates are already at historic lows, and even a move of 10 or 20 basis points isn’t likely to affect many investment decisions at the margin. The Fed isn’t acting in a vacuum, and any move in bond prices could well be swamped by other economic news. Europe’s woes are accelerating, and every CEO in America these days is worried more about what the National Labor Relations Board is doing to Boeing than he is about the 30-year bond rate. The Fed will also reinvest the principal payments it receives on its asset holdings into mortgage-backed securities, rather than in U.S. Treasurys. The goal here is to further reduce mortgage costs and thus help the housing market. But home borrowing costs are also at historic lows, and the housing market suffers far more from the foreclosure overhang and uncertainty encouraged by government policy than it does from the price of money. The Fed’s announcement thus had the feel of an attempt to show it is doing something to help the economy, even if it can’t do much. …the economy’s problems aren’t rooted in the supply and price of money. They result from the damage done to business confidence and investment by fiscal and regulatory policy, and that’s where the solutions must come. Investors on Wall Street and politicians in Washington want to believe that the Fed can make up for years of policy mistakes. The sooner they realize it can’t, the sooner they’ll have no choice but to correct the mistakes.
Some “experts” are explicitly arguing in favor of more “quantitative easing” because they want some inflation. They argue that “moderate” inflation will help the economy by indirectly wiping out some existing debt. Letting the “inflation genie” our of the bottle can be very dangerous, however.
As one New York Times editorial (I am shocked … even the Times can get it right once in a while) explains:
…we are beginning to hear murmurings about the possible invigorating effects of “just a little inflation.” Perhaps 4 or 5 percent a year would be just the thing to deal with the overhang of debt and encourage the “animal spirits” of business, or so the argument goes. The siren song is both alluring and predictable. …After all, if 1 or 2 percent inflation is O.K. and has not raised inflationary expectations — as the Fed and most central banks believe — why not 3 or 4 or even more? …all of our economic history says it won’t work that way. I thought we learned that lesson in the 1970s. That’s when the word stagflation was invented to describe a truly ugly combination of rising inflation and stunted growth. …What we know, or should know, from the past is that once inflation becomes anticipated and ingrained — as it eventually would — then the stimulating effects are lost. Once an independent central bank does not simply tolerate a low level of inflation as consistent with “stability,” but invokes inflation as a policy, it becomes very difficult to eliminate. …At a time when foreign countries own trillions of our dollars, when we are dependent on borrowing still more abroad, and when the whole world counts on the dollar’s maintaining its purchasing power, taking on the risks of deliberately promoting inflation would be simply irresponsible.
However, lunacy does still lingers at the Times. Another New York Time editorial states:
The weak economy calls for urgent action. The most effective answer is more robust stimulus — bigger payroll tax breaks, more infrastructure investment, bigger transfers to states and cash-strapped families — and more help for debt-choked homeowners. The only things standing in the way are Republicans with narrow political aims.
No wonder I have given up on reading the New York Times. Is this editorial for real? What … do we borrow another couple of trillion dollars from China to do this? Why … because the last stimulus package worked so well? What the Republicans are finally gaining the “cojones” to stand in the way of is out-of-control government spending, insane borrowing practices, skyrocketing debt, and the progressive-liberals penchant for continually trying the same old failed policies, but on an even grander scale … which will only lead to even “grander” disastrous results.