Fitch downgrades Argentina and predicts default
Credit rating agency Fitch has downgraded Argentina, which is locked in a court battle in New York over its debt, and said the country would probably default.
Fitch cut its long-term rating for Argentina to "CC" from "B," a downgrade of five notches, and cut its short-term rating to "C" from "B". A rating of "C" is one step above default, AP reported. US judge Thomas Griesa of Manhattan federal court last week ordered Argentina to set aside $1.3bn for certain investors in its bonds by December 15, even as Argentina pursues appeals. Those investors don't want to go along with a debt restructuring that followed an Argentine default in 2002. If Argentina is forced to pay in full, other holders of debt totaling more than $11bn are expected to demand immediate payment as well. ….To Read More…..
With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first. Then his overreaching involved health care — expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics. The occasion is the misnamed “fiscal cliff,” the proper name for which is: the Democratic Party’s agenda.
For 40 years the party’s principal sources of energy and money — liberal activists, government employees unions — have advocated expanding government’s domestic reach by raising taxes and contracting its foreign reach by cutting defense. Obama’s four years as one of the most liberal senators and his four presidential years indicate he agrees. Like other occasionally numerate but prudently reticent liberals, he surely understands that the entitlement state he favors requires raising taxes on the cohort that has most of the nation’s money — the middle class. To Read More…..
How many times have we heard that the only thing standing in the way of a grand bargain to reduce our growing national debt is Republican intransigence on taxes? If Republicans would only agree to dump Grover Norquist, Democrats will agree to cut spending and reform entitlements……all join hands and sing Kumbaya as we usher in a new era of compromise and fiscal responsibility.
Except that now that Republicans have agreed to raise taxes….. as part of an agreement to avoid the looming fiscal cliff, liberals appear to have decided that there really isn’t a need to cut spending after all “Suddenly the clear and present danger to the American economy isn’t that we’ll fail to reduce the deficit enough; it is, instead, that we’ll reduce the deficit too much,” warns Paul Krugman. All this worry about debt and deficits is “an entirely contrived crisis,” writes Robert Kuttner in the Huffington Post. After all, as the New York Times explains, “deficits are actually a good thing when the economy is deeply depressed, so deficit reduction should wait until the economy is stronger.” “So,” sums up Robert Reich, “can we please stop obsessing about future budget deficits? They’re distracting our attention from what we should be obsessing about — jobs and growth.”…… Republicans are simply negotiating with themselves and with the news media. Democrats haven’t even come to the table....To Read More…..
My Take – They must all be mad!
The invisible establishment Republicans
By Robert Ringer Email | Archive
Now that masochist Republicans have once again managed to find a way to go down to defeat – against a failed, collectivist president who received 10 percent fewer votes than in 2008 – conservatives and libertarians are blaming “establishment Republicans.” Even most of the supposed conservatives roaming the halls of Congress talk disdainfully about them. Which raises the question, who, exactly, are these “establishment Republicans”? …… So, contrary to what many Republicans believe, Barack Obama is not the problem. He is but a symptom of the problem. Over the past hundred years or so, the United States government has been infiltrated by lots of communists. That’s nothing new. But in the days of yore, Republicans and Democrats worked to track down the commies, root them out and, in the case of the Rosenbergs, even execute them. Let’s face it, on a level playing field, a communist is no match for a true patriot who is passionate about liberty. But therein lies the problem. Today, not only do virtually all Democrats not believe in individual liberty, neither do a majority of Republicans. Sadly, most politicians in both parties are now statists, meaning that they believe the state should have the power to violate the sovereignty of individual citizens at will. To Read More….
Trading principle for power
By Andrew Napolitano Email | Archive
When President Obama won re-election last month by a larger margin than even his most fervent supporters had expected, though with fewer popular votes than he received in 2008, most commentators initially opined that not much had changed in Washington. The president would remain in the White House for another four years, the Democrats would keep control of the Senate, and the House would stay in Republican hands. Most Republicans re-elected to both houses of Congress had publicly pledged not to vote to raise taxes under any circumstances. And most of those Republicans have adhered to that promise – until now.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the false congressional fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party began to reveal their true selves. Led by the Republican presidential standard bearer in 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain, at least a half-dozen Republican members of Congress have renounced their public promises never to vote to raise taxes. In the case of Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Rep. and Sen.-elect Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., they had restated their promises, directly or indirectly, as recently as last month during their successful campaigns. Did they blatantly dupe the voters? Did they genuinely change their minds? Did they ever sincerely accept the pro-freedom anti-tax logic? To Read More….
By Richard McGregor in Washington
Just over two years ago, at a low point in Barack Obama’s first term, his then press secretary lashed out at the president’s liberal critics for flaying the White House’s failure on pet policies such as universal healthcare and allowing gays to serve openly in the military. Labelling the critics the “professional left”, Robert Gibbs said: “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality. Since then the complaints have died down. For anyone on the left, Mr Obama has delivered in the most fundamental way, beating back a Republican candidate and party that had in its sights much of the US postwar social safety net…..
Since the election, many of Mr. Obama’s allies, in Congress, the unions and various lobby groups, have called for these so-called entitlement programmes to be taken off the table in the fiscal cliff talks. Mr. Obama’s victory, they argue, was a mandate for lifting marginal tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and shouldn’t be traded away by cutting benefits for the poor. Mr. Obama appears to agree, at least in the short term, and he may welcome his allies’ agitation on his behalf. The united front he is drawing together to press Republicans to move on tax rates suggests he sees no reason to trade on this issue for the moment either…..To Read More…..
By James Politi
President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates for the Senate campaigned heavily ahead of this month’s victorious elections on a simple message: raise taxes on the rich and make them bear a greater share of the burden in deficit reduction. But with talks to avert the so-called fiscal cliff in full swing, Democrats are resisting proposals championed by Republicans to hit the rich on the spending side by curtailing their government health and pension benefits. Republicans have made clear that they are willing to accept some higher revenue from the wealthy in any agreement, but only if Democrats concede to some structural changes to Medicare and Social Security, the two largest safety net schemes supporting elderly Americans. To Read More….
My Take – The wealthy who are receiving Social Security and Medicare paid into it in order to collect. That means those dollars aren’t subsidies, they are premiums for paying into an insurance or investment plan. That is why there was never a means test to SS in the past because it was sold insisting it wasn’t a tax; it was sold as an insurance or investment for retirement. So now…..it turns out that those who resisted SS in the beginning were right…..it is a tax after all. If that is the case then it must be passed accordingly; and I would be willing to bet that it hasn’t.
Editor's Note: This next article is a case of historical deconstructionism in order to make right seem wrong and stupid seem smart. The effect of Smoot Hawley actually went far deeper than reported here. Unemployment after the stock market crash went to 8%. After Smoot Hawley it soared to 15%. Countries apparently paid each other in gold in those days. This bill impacted the world's economy negatively and countries refused to pay debts owed to the U.S., mostly because they felt they couldn't afford to do so, further depressing America's economy. Switzerland actually banned trade with America. For anyone to make such insane claims boggles the imagination. How could you justify this as anything but insanity? It has been said that ideology makes smart people dumb. I think it makes them insane also, all that they need is a charismatic leader and suicide will soon follow. How To Spot a Sociopath – 10 Red Flags That Could Save You From Being Swept Under the Influence of a Charismatic Nut Job
Brown favors law blamed for Great Depression
By Jon Cassidy
Sen. Sherrod Brown’s ideas on economic policy are way out of the mainstream, and would torpedo the global economy if ever enacted. That’s not a hypothetical. It’s historical. In his 2004 book, “Myths of Free Trade,” Brown devotes six pages to a revisionist defense of the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariffs of 1930, which are widely blamed for accelerating the onset of the Great Depression. “The myths of Smoot-Hawley do not withstand the light of day,” Brown writes, going on to list four “myths” that he tries to debunk. The book was hardly a best-seller, but Brown’s views have been getting attention lately, as his race against Republican challenger Josh Mandel could decide the balance of the U.S. Senate. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 imposed drastic tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods. By 1932, the average American tariff on dutiable imports was 59.1 percent. Only once before, in 1830, had it been so high.
The tariffs provoked U.S. trading partners to drastic retaliatory measures. The numbers tell the story. Between 1929 and 1932, U.S. imports fell from $4.3 billion to $1.3 billion. Exports fell from $7 billion to $2.5 billion. By comparison, total federal spending was $2.6 billion in 1929. Everybody learned a painful lesson. Except Brown…. To Read More....
USPS Chief Lays Out Plan for the Agency’s Survival
Published: Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012
The head of the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service said the agency must be allowed to ease the terms of prepayments into a retiree health-care fund and eliminate general mail delivery on Saturday. Patrick Donahoe told "CBS This Morning" the agency isn't asking Congress for money. He said, "I think most people don't realize, we're 100 percent self-sufficient. We pay our own way." But the postal chief notes the agency is losing $15.9 billion this year. …to Read More….
Phil Matier: Oakland Crime Rate Soaring As City Loses Officers
November 28, 2012 7:18 PM
Burglaries are up a startling 43 percent in Oakland this year compared to last, part of an ever-growing crime problem in the city. According to the latest numbers from the Oakland Police Department, more than 11,000 homes, cars or businesses have been broken into so far this year – translating to about 33 burglaries a day. The most popular targets have been cars with more than 5,700 burglarized so far this year. To Read More…..
State Senator Proposes Dissolving City Of Detroit
November 28, 2012 11:08 AM
It would no doubt be controversial, but the idea of dissolving the fiscally struggling city of Detroit and absorbing it into Wayne County is being tossed around in Lansing. WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports some state Republicans are talking about giving the city the option to vote itself into bankruptcy. And mid-Michigan Senator Rick Jones said all options should be considered — including dissolving the city. “If we have to, that is one idea we have to look at. We really have to look at everything that is on the table,” Jones said. “Again, if this goes to federal bankruptcy, every employee down there will suffer, the city will suffer and the vultures will come in and take the jewels of Detroit and they will be gone.” Local consultant Tom Watkins has proposed this in the past, but the idea has never played well among Detroiters. To Read More…..
It is interesting that the French Revolution was the foundation for worldwide socialism, and in stark contrast to the American Revolution. The trouble with the French Revolution was that it strove for utopia imposed from the top. Socialism is a failure. It has been a failure everywhere it has been tried. It cannot be anything but a failure because it isn’t based on individual rights. Socialism is a system based on envy and hate. It is a system based on equal outcomes, not equal opportunities. Is it any wonder that they are on their Fifth Republic? Can the Sixth be that far away? Yet America is still on its first Republic. So why have we adopted European style socialism, which is destroying the European Union. So what do the French do recently? They voted in a socialist government because they didn't like the austerity programs imposed by the previous government; which wasn’t all that austere considering they are on the verge of bankruptcy, much like the rest of Europe and the U.S.; and for the same reasons.