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Housing bubble? What housing bubble? Laissez les bon temps roller!
Yes America, thanks to Obama's cronies at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac you can once again buy a house with only 3% down, and the U.S. taxpayer will underwrite the loan!
Housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Monday released the final guidelines for low down payment mortgage loans, reviving a practice that critics say could eventually lead to defaults and another financial crisis.
Fannie and Freddie announced that eligible first-time homebuyers could now obtain mortgage loans with down payments as low as 3 percent. Both entities still purchase a majority of loans in the housing market and remain under government conservatorship after the 2008 crisis.
Fannie and Freddie, known as government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), said that borrowers would have to clear several hurdles before they could take out the loan. Those include obtaining private mortgage insurance, providing income documentation and verification, and seeking homebuyer education and counseling.
Which are exactly the same "hurdles" Countrywide erected before the last crash.
What was that line about those who refuse to learn the lessons of history?
Peter Wallison, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and former general counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department under President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview that the new loans could eventually inject more risk into the housing market.
Required premiums for mortgage insurance will raise the cost of homes, he argued, making them unaffordable for many buyers. Pressure will then mount to make the mortgages more accessible, and risky.
"When those loans do not really result in any significant numbers in increased low-income loans, they will reduce the underwriting standards further," he said.
"Eventually we'll be back in a situation a year from now in which many of these loans will look like the loans before the financial crisis," he added.
The low down payment loans could also be a political move to placate Democrats who have long pushed for looser lending standards to aid low-income borrowers, Wallison said.
Because requiring low-income people to actually pay their bills is racist. And Obama promised to pay their mortgage.
And by Obama, she means, us.
Wallison noted that taxpayers will again foot the bill if Fannie and Freddie's mortgage loans default in large numbers. Treasury provided $188 billion to the GSEs in 2008 to keep them afloat.
"The only reason banks will make these loans is that they can sell them to Fannie and Freddie," he said. "Taxpayers are going to take the risk."
Hey, what's another $188 billion or so when you're fighting for Social Justice?
Remember when we used to earn interest on our bank accounts? Ben Bernanke put a stop to that by printing money like it was going out of style. And now Janet Yellen is one-upping him. Forget zero interest, welcome to negative interest.
New Obama Administration reserve rules mean you'll have to pay the bank to store your money.
As the WSJ reports, far from paying for the privilege of holding other people's cash (and why would they with nearly $3 trillion in positive carry excess reserves sloshing around) US banks - primarily of the TBTF variety - "are urging some of their largest customers in the U.S. to take their cash elsewhere or be slapped with fees, citing new regulations that make it onerous for them to hold certain deposits."
The change upends one of the cornerstones of banking, in which deposits have been seen as one of the industry's most attractive forms of funding, said more than a dozen corporate officials, consultants and bank executives interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Banks aren't using their deposits to make loans anymore because the Fed's trillions in excess reserves have made all that cash completely irrelevant.
And in a truly through-the-looking-glass paradox, the Fed says they're pushing this thievery in order to make bank deposits "safer."
U.S. banking rules set to go into effect Jan. 1 compound the issue, especially for deposits that are viewed as less likely to stay at the bank through difficult times.
The new U.S. rules, designed to make bank balance sheets more resistant to the types of shocks that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, will likely have little effect on retail deposits, insured up to $250,000 by federal deposit insurance. But the rules do affect larger deposits that often come from big corporations, smaller banks and big financial firms such as hedge funds. Hundreds of companies and other bank customers with deposits that exceed the insurance limits could be affected by the banks' actions.
Overall, about $4 trillion in deposits at banks in the U.S. were uninsured, covering more than 3.5 million accounts, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data
The rule primarily responsible involves the liquidity coverage ratio, overseen by the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators. The new measure, finalized in September, as well as some other recent global regulations, are designed to make banks safer by helping them manage sudden outflows of deposits in a crisis. The banks are required to maintain enough high-quality assets that could be converted into cash during a crisis to cover a projected flight of deposits over 30 days.
Because large, uninsured deposits would be expected to leave most quickly, the rule will now require that banks maintain reserves that they cannot use for profitable activities like making loans. That makes it much less efficient or profitable for banks to hold these deposits.
And what will the banks use to maintain these new reserves? Why the very financial instruments you'd want to move your now unprofitable deposits into.
Some argue that while it is a good policy on its face, the rule potentially magnifies problems in a recession by encouraging banks to hoard high-quality assets, potentially paralyzing markets for these assets such as Treasury securities and some corporate bonds.
"This proposal, which is supposed to promote financial stability, actually does the opposite," said Thomas Quaadman, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Obama Administration doesn't want "stability."
They want your money in the stock market, to keep the Dow and Nasdaq and S&P indexes artificially high. The only thing holding their illusion of a "recovery" afloat is the bubble in equities. It's gotta stay pumped up until Obama leaves office (in order to cement his "legacy") regardless of the risk to individual savers like you and me.
Practically speaking, it means that before all is said and done, banks will be charging usurious rates of interest on even the smallest bank deposits, in a push to get every last "saver" to reallocate their wealth away from pieces of fiat paper into pieces of paper promises (held by the DTCC no less) to be paid by increasingly more cash-flow deficient companies.
The inevitable crash is going to be epic.
The next phase of Dear Leader's "fundamental transformation" of America is complete. With our economy in tatters, China is now the world's number 1 economic powerhouse.
We're no longer No. 1. Today we're No. 2. Yes, it's official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is no longer the leading economic power on the planet.
The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in "real" terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared to $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.
As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.
To put the numbers slightly differently, China now accounts for 16.5% of the global economy when measured in real purchasing power terms, compared to 16.3% for the U.S.
This latest economic earthquake follows the development last year when China surpassed the U.S. for the first time in terms of global trade.
These calculations are based on a well-established and widely used economic measure known as "purchasing power parity" (or PPP), which measures the actual output as opposed to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. So a Starbucks Venti Frappucino served in Beijing counts the same as a Venti Frappucino served in Minneapolis, regardless of what happens to be going on among foreign exchange traders.
PPP is the real way of comparing economies. It is one reported by the IMF and was, for example, the one used by McKinsey & Co. consultants back in the 1990s when they undertook a study of economic productivity on behalf of the British government.
Make no mistake. This is a geopolitical earthquake with a high reading on the Richter scale. Throughout history, political and military power have always depended on economic power. Britain was the workshop of the world before she ruled the waves. And it was Britain's relative economic decline that preceded the collapse of her power.
And it was a similar story with previous hegemonic powers such as France and Spain.
Collapsing the power of the United States is Obama's stated goal. He was indoctrinated in the anti-colonialist dialectic at his father's knee, and forged in radical Marxism by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Here you have the inevitable result of his presidency — a measurable, and probably irreversable, decline of American power and influence.
Our children will live in a world dominated by communist China. Think about
that. Think long and hard, and thank an Obama voter for making the future
bleaker for everyone.
The next time some Obamabot tries to tell you American corporations aren't paying their "fair share" in taxes, show her this chart.
See that bottom red line? The one that says "United States?"
Yeah, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, and pretty much all Democrats believe a corporate tax rate of 39.1% is not high enough.
Sane people might disagree.
Any day now the White House and Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) will attempt to raise taxes on business, while making the U.S. tax code even more complex. The Obama and Schumer plans to punish businesses for moving their legal domicile overseas will arrive even as a new international ranking shows that the U.S. tax burden on business is close to the worst in the industrialized world. Way to go, Washington.
Can you see why Burger King wants to pay taxes in Canada? They'll save 13% overnight!
The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
"With the developed world's highest corporate tax rate at over 39% including state levies, plus a rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically, the U.S. is almost in a class by itself. It ranks just behind Spain and Italy, of all economic humiliations. America did beat Portugal and France, which is currently run by an avowed socialist.
Well, to be fair, America is currently being run by an avowed socialist too.
And when I say "run," I mean Into The Ground. Barack Obama is
running America into the ground. He seems to be enjoying it, too.
What Recovery? While Obama golfs, the people who voted for him are struggling just to make ends meet.
Every day, Kim Ticehurst walks a financial tightrope.
A single mother in Montclair, Ticehurst lost her job in the construction industry in January. At 50, she has decades of experience in project management, planning, organization and design, but the scores of resumes she has submitted have been met with no response.
"It's a horrible feeling," she said last week. "You definitely confront times when you're like 'how do I get through this day?'"
She has pieced together employment, working part-time in childcare while she tries to get her new home-organization business off the ground. For the first time in months, she's feeling optimistic.
But she knows the littlest of things, from a toothache to a car accident, could turn her life upside-down.
A new study conducted by the United Way of Northern New Jersey shows an alarming number of New Jersey residents are in Ticehurst's position. Data compiled by the group show that 38 percent of New Jersey households are struggling to meet basic needs. These households are just scraping by, one lost job or medical emergency away from potential fiscal ruin.
The report, called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), paints a stark picture of how widespread financial hardship like Ticehurst's is in New Jersey.
While 11 percent of state residents fall below the Federal Poverty Line, which stands at an annual income of $22,811 for a family of four, the report found that when adjusted for cost of living the same family needs nearly triple that — $61,200 — just to meet a basic survival budget.
In one of the wealthiest states in the country, 1.2 million households fall below this threshold. And while the state's economy has shown signs of recovery in the wake of the Great Recession, the number of households struggling by the United Way measure increased by about 24 percent from 2007 to 2012, the most recent data available.
Hmm, back in 2007, who was running for president and promising he'd help people like Kim Ticehurst? Yeah, too bad she (and everyone else in Montclair) voted for that Obama guy.
What? She expected him to draw on his decades of experience?
Welcome to Obama's New Normal. Where average Americans struggle just to get by while he and his rich Wall Street friends keep telling us it's all somebody else's fault.
ALICE households exist in every age bracket in New Jersey, but the largest segment of the group is those who are typically in their income earning prime. Households headed by those aged 25-64 represent 75 percent of those beneath the ALICE threshold.
The average budget needed to provide basic needs, both for the individual and the family household in New Jersey, increased by 19 percent from 2007 to 2012.
High paying jobs are scarce. Jobs paying less than $40,000 a year now comprise 53 percent of all jobs in New Jersey, and these jobs are projected to be the primary source of labor growth in the coming years.
Obamanomics — lower paying jobs, higher costs for life's necessities.
What's not to like about that?
"For people in poverty, their attempt to escape from poverty has been more difficult because of the large number of people with more education than them competing for available jobs," Van Horn said. "And in our own research here, we found that more than half of Americans who were able to get another job, their next job was either lower-paying or paid the same."
"So people are either staying where they were or they're downwardly mobile."
Trickle-up poverty. Because Obama so loved the poor that he made millions
more of them.
If Dear Leader really hates the wealthy as much as he says he does, why has he made them richer while keeping everybody else down and out?
Under President Obama, the richest 10 percent were the only income group of Americans to see their median incomes rise, according to a survey released this week by the Federal Reserve.
The Fed data covered the years 2010-2013, during which period Mr. Obama constantly campaigned against income inequality and won re-election by painting his Republican rival as a tool of Wall Street plutocrats.
"Data from the 2013 [Survey of Consumer Finances] confirm that the shares of income and wealth held by affluent families are at modern historically high levels," the report said in noting that the median income fell for every 10-percent grouping except the most affluent 10 percent.
When Obama says he's helping the middle class, it's a lie.
And when he talks about caring for the poor, that's a lie too.
But making fat cats get fatter? Yeah, he's real good at doing that. Everything he's done has accelerated "income inequality." Almost like he planned it that way.
This past weekend I had an Obamabot smirk at me, "he saved this country!"
To which I replied, "from what, prosperity?"
Riddle me this, Batman. If we only added 142,000 new jobs last month, how did Obama manage to fudge the unemployment rate down to 6.1%?
Can you say "labor force participation rate?"
Sure, I knew you could.
[Not] only did the headline data disappoint, the labor force participation rate dropped once again to 62.8% from 62.9%, matching the lowest since 1978, as a result of the people not in labor force rising once again, and hitting a new all time high record of 92,269,000, up 268,000 from the prior month. In fact, in August the number of people not in the labor force increased by nearly double the number of people who found jobs, which as we reported previously, was only 142K.
Putting it another way, since the start of the depression in December 2007, the number of people not in the labor force has increased by 13.0 million. The number of jobs added: 768,000.
Think about that for a minute.
Obama has now sent thirteen million Americans over the abyss, into employment oblivion. No job. No unemployment benefits. No hope.
When he promised "change you can believe in," I'm pretty sure that isn't what most of us had in mind.
So, tell me again why you guys voted for him?
The nation's fast food workers are out protesting again, agitating on behalf of the SEIU for a $15 an hour "living wage." It's the same old song, pay us more money for unskilled, easily automated work. Because Class Warfare! Or, something.
The thing is, they don't do themselves any favors when they send out guys like this:
Protester Prospero Sanchez, who was at the rally near Times Square, said the $11.50 per hour he earns making pizzas at a Domino's Pizza restaurant is not enough to support him, his wife and two kids. He started working at the same restaurant 14 years ago, when he made $5 an hour.
Dude, get a new job.
I mean, really, 14 years doing the same thing, and you expect what exactly, a medal? Why didn't you try to move up, maybe to assistant manager? Let me guess, because then you'd have to work harder, right?
He has asked his bosses for more money. "They said no," Sanchez, 32, said.
What did you offer them? That you'll keep making pizzas just like you do now?
And they said, "no?"
Wanna see my shocked face?
Listen up Chief, get your ass into night school. Stop complaining and do something to help yourself. Look up the word "ambition." Memorize the definition.
Then we'll see your shocked face, when McDowell's offers you more than $15 an hour. Because you've got skills to offer them.
Maurice: "Oh yeah, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. Then I moved up to washing lettuces. Now, I'm working the fat fryer. Pretty soon I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."
America. It's the land of Opportunity. We open the door. But you have to walk
Obamabot shibboleths meet Reality. Reality wins.
This weekend, American workers will take part in a time-honored tradition, gathering around picnic tables and barbecue grills to talk shop.
A new Rutgers University report on the American workforce in the aftermath of the Great Recession gives them plenty to discuss.
American workers are "insecure, underpaid, highly stressed, and generally unhappy at work," researchers found.
The report, "Unhappy, Worried, and Pessimistic: Americans in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," details the results of a national survey conducted by the school's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Researchers at the university have been taking stock of public perception on the effects of the recession since it ended in 2009, and honed in on the American workforce ahead of Labor Day weekend.
"We tracked people through the recession and never found light at the end of the tunnel," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers and one of the authors of the report. "The image of the American worker, I think, stunned us."
It's only stunning if you're living in an Obamabot, MSNBC, New York Times bubble. Here in the Real World, the recession did not "end" in 2009, no matter what the White House and the Democrats want you to believe.
And it must be the prospect of more snow that led to the CBO "revising" its 2014 economic forecast downward. A lot.
CBO has lowered its projection of real growth of GDP in 2014 from 3.1 percent to 1.5 percent, reflecting the surprising economic weakness in the first half of the year.
Surprising, stunned, it's always unexpected when things don't go
the way Obama said they would. Because the force of his words is supposed
to move mountains, slow the rise of the oceans, and heal our
C'mon Rutgers, who you gonna believe? Obama? Or your lyin' eyes?
Gas prices are falling. I question the timing.
Gasoline prices in New Jersey have dropped this summer and as of today, three stations in Union and Middlesex counties were charging as low as $2.98 for a gallon of unleaded.
That marked the first time since February that a station in the state sold gas for less than $3 a gallon, highlighting what oil analysts say is a trend that should continue into Labor Day and beyond.
Yup, "beyond," to Election Day.
The $2.99 gas at two Delta stations in Rahway and one in Carteret "are more gimmicky now than anything else," Kloza said. "But in the next few weeks you're going to see more sub-$3 prices. I would not be surprised to see New Jersey average $3.10 by Election Day (Nov 4)", he said.
The illusion of an improving economy just might help Democrats keep the Senate.
So, go ahead, call me a cynic. But if they're willing to indict Rick Perry for doing his job, tell me, what won't Democrats do to maintain their stranglehold on power?
Are you going to tell me that George Norcross couldn't drop a dime and "suggest" that gas prices ease up because Jeff Bell is closing in on Cory Booker and people's all-too-reasonable fears of econut economic turmoil need to be toned down? Harry Reid's already given up on South Dakota, he can't afford to lose a deep blue state like New Jersey.
Nevermind that Booker's Sierra Club buddies are hell-bent on stopping a vital natural gas pipeline project. And that they're still tilting at bird-killing windmills, despite the guaranteed detriment to our view from the Jersey shore.
Listen up. If you think gas won't be back to $3.89 a gallon by November 10th, you aren't paying attention (or you're an Obamabot, but I repeat myself). The long-term outlook for cheap, dependable fossil fuels in this state is grim, no matter what our beloved bylined Democratic Party operatives at the Star-Ledger might try to tell you before Election Day.
Perhaps they've conveniently forgotten that gas was selling at far below $2 per gallon when the Great and Munificent Barack Obama took office. Fortunately, I'm here to remind them, and you.
Obamanomics. It's not the shiznit. So if you vote Democrat, you only
have yourself to blame.
Recovery Summer Episode VI, Revenge of the Part-Timers.
In the new landscape of the American labor market, jobs are easier to come by but hours remain in short supply.
New government data released Thursday showed the economy added 288,000 jobs in June — the fifth straight month gains have topped the critical benchmark of 200,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, down more than a percentage point over the past year.
But there's a gnawing fear among some economists that the improving data provides false comfort. The number of people in part-time jobs jumped by more than 1 million in June to 27 million, according to the government's data, making it one of the corners of the labor market that has been slowest to heal. That has led to worries that the workforce may be becoming permanently polarized, with part-timers stuck on one side and full-time workers on the other.
"What we're seeing is a growing trend of low-quality part-time jobs," said Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Work Week Initiative, which is pushing for labor reforms. "It's creating this massive unproductive workforce that is unable to productively engage in their lives or in the economy."
The spike in part-time work since the recession has been largely involuntary. These workers may have had their hours cut or are unable to find full-time jobs, earning them the official designation of "part-time for economic reasons." In June, their ranks swelled by 275,000 to 7.5 million. In 2007, 4.4 million people fell into this category.
So the good news, if you're an Obamabot, is the economy added 288,000 new jobs last month. The Real News though is that 275,000 of those jobs are part-time.
Hope and change!
And then there are the drop-outs; folks who've given up on ever finding a job, even a "low-quality part-time" job.
The US unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in June the lowest level since September 2008.
However the number of people not in the labor force also rose to a fresh record high of 92,120,000 up 111,000 since June.
In fact, there are more than 7 million fewer people in the workforce than when Obama took office. Add them back in to the mix and the unemployment rate tops out at over 12 percent.
All of this should come as no surprise, unless you're living in a bubble.
When you raise taxes dramatically and roll out tons of burdensome regulations, a contracting economy is only a surprise if you're an idiot. Or a member of this Administration and the press. But I repeat myself.
Sadly this Administration envisions no changes to its disruptive policies. Because they can't, or won't, admit they're wrong. So, as long as they keep shoving in the same inputs, we'll keep seeing the same abysmal outputs.
In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.
Pessimism, and poverty. It's the New Normal.
For the first time in a very long time, Americans aren't so sure their kids will have better lives than they do.
That's according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll that shows just one in three people believe "most children in this country will grow up to be better off" than their parents. (A whopping 63 percent said their kids will be worse off.) Not only are those numbers stunning but they are also a stunning reversal from CNN data at the end of the last century (1999 to be exact) -- when two thirds of Americans predicted that children would grow up to have it better than their parents.
Gee, I wonder what's happened between 1999 and now?
Oh, right, Hope and Change!
Barack Obama has put America onto the wrong track. He's derailed the America dream. His policies sow poverty and discord. And his legacy will leave our children worse off than us.
It's time to dust off this Robert Heinlein quote again.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."
Mister we could use a man like Ronald Reagan again.
Janet Yellen's Magic Money Printing Machine has finally tipped the balance. The Fed's flood of cash keeps us chasing too few goods with too many dollars, and now the cat is out of the bag.
Inflation, it's the New Normal.
Higher food and gas costs pushed up U.S. consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months, evidence that inflation is ticking up from very low levels.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March, the Labor Department said on Thursday. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent, which is the largest gain since July and matching the Federal Reserve's inflation target.
Got that? They want inflation. They want you to pay more for your stuff. Especially food.
Food prices jumped 0.4 percent for the third straight month, driven by the largest increase in the cost of meat in 10 years. Gas prices rose 2.3 percent, the first increase in four months.
Yeah, about those meat prices, it's bad news as far as the eye can see.
Hardly surprising given the surge in beef and pork that we have been noting, but according to the latest inflation data from the BLS, meat prices spike by almost 3% in April - the most since November 2003 (this is also the 2nd biggest price spike in 34 years!) As we noted previously, this soaring food price inflation is not about to stop anytime soon...
Here's today's scary chart:
The government's been lying to you about inflation. It's worse than they say.
Way worse. But you're not supposed to believe your own eyes; you're supposed
to believe Barack Obama's smooth talk. Which, given his policies, is about to
become all you can afford to eat.
Obamanomics, it's the shiznit.
The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world's largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, according to the world's leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872.
With the IMF expecting China's economy to have grown 24 per cent between 2011 and 2014 while the US is expected to expand only 7.6 per cent, China is likely to overtake the US this year.
Maybe it's because in Obama's America, 1/5 of American families don't have a breadwinner.
How can anyone not see what is happening to us? America is in the midst of a long-term economic decline, but the mainstream media and most of our politicians seem to think that things are better than ever. They continue to try to convince us that "business as usual" is the right path to take.
Thanks Obama voters. You've succeeded in reducing our global stature, and put 47 million Americans on food stamps to boot.
Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet Communism.
Barack Obama has surrendered to Chinese communism.
I forget. Is that the Hope, or the Change?
Either way, it's an epidemic of Fail.
It goes to somebody else. Somebody who's living large on the dole. In fact, a whole lot of "somebodies."
A whopping 69 cents of every tax dollar gets sent right back out as wealth redistribution.
Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional "income security" benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance.
Not included yet? Obamacare subsidies. They won't be counted until next year, so get ready to bend over and grab your ankles.
But wait, it gets worse.
We're on track for all our tax money to go to Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid (including the Children's Health Insurance Program and Obamacare), and interest on the debt. Don't forget the debt. Your 2013 tax dollars covered only 80 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. The other 20 cents were borrowed from younger generations.
You know what would be nice?
If at least one of the Obamabot grifters I'm supporting sent me a thank-you note for tax day (or as I like to call it, National Wealth Redistribution Day). Maybe the folks at Hallmark can come up with an appropriate card.
Related: An Ode to Tax Day.
I guess it's time for President Golfpants to make another one of his patented "pivots" to the economy. Because people still ain't buyin' what he's shovelin'.
Consumer confidence unexpectedly dropped in March to a four-month low, indicating household spending may be slow to pick up from a weather-related setback earlier this year.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of sentiment fell to 79.9 this month from 81.6 in February. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the measure to increase to 82.
Consumers surveyed were more pessimistic about the outlook for the economy, indicating bigger payroll gains that lead to faster wage growth are needed to propel spending.
And lo, Obama so loved the poor that he made millions more of them.
And by standing firm on Obamacare, even after his union buddies discovered it'll reduce wages by as much as $5 per hour.
Meanwhile, he's dumping billions more into green energy boondoggles, which unfortunately doesn't help anyone find a job. But it sure does reward his campaign bundlers, so there's that.
I don't know if I can make it through three more years of this. Can you?
Even when Congress tries to rein in spending, the welfare-state wealth-transfer machine finds a way to keep the gravy train rolling. Last month lawmakers thought they had killed the "heat and eat" scam, where $1 of state-funded "home heating assistance" triggers inflated federal food stamp benefits.
But now three states have upped the ante. In effect, they'll see your dollar, and raise you $20.
States are using what critics call a "perverse" legislative maneuver to partly undo congressional cuts to food stamps, despite efforts by some U.S. lawmakers to stop it.
The Washington Post reported Monday that three states so far are finding a way to avoid or minimize the cuts. The bill passed by Congress last month was supposed to save $8.6 billion over the next decade in food stamps. But New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have figured out how to trigger additional spending anyway.
The trick, as many states have discovered, is for them to devote a relatively modest amount of funding to home-heating assistance. Under the law, states that give a certain amount to families could then qualify those families for additional food stamp money.
The old threshold was one dollar. Congress upped it to $20, thinking that would stop the abuse. Nope. New York simply increased their home-heating assistance by a measly $6 million dollars, thereby triggering more than $500 million in extra food stamp funding this year. A more than 80 to 1 return! Not bad for government work…
Connecticut and Pennsylvania are playing the same game. Other states are expected to follow suit.
And just like that, poof!, $8.6 billion in budget savings gets wiped out.
The welfare state will never be sated. Not even after it devours every last dime we have. The culture of dependency is too ingrained, its proponents too entrenched. It perpetuates perverse disincentives no matter what the cost because its success is measured by how many people are "served" by it, not by how many are elevated out of poverty into self-reliance.
And of course it helps that those who are "served" religiously vote for the politicians who fervently proclaim the need for even more benefits.
keeps saying, they'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier
When a bureaucrat thinks he can order private companies to do his bidding, freedom dies. So how is this decree even constitutional?
The Port Authority on Tuesday ordered an immediate pay hike for airport workers toiling in jobs at or near the minimum wage.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the bistate agency, sent a letter Tuesday night to major airlines demanding that workers making $9 an hour or less receive an immediate $1-per-hour increase in their base wages, with an eventual phase-in to $10.10 an hour.
He also directed the airlines to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for airport workers, and grant the benefit retroactive to this year's MLK Day, which fell on Jan. 20.
"Providing an improved wage and benefits package to the thousands of hardworking men and women that make our airport systems the largest in the country is something that cannot wait," Foye, an appointee of Gov. Cuomo's, wrote the CEOs of Delta, JetBlue, American and United airlines.
The directive covers 8,000 workers at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. It does not cover 4,000 employees at Newark Airport.
Foye acted as President Obama used his State of the Union Address Tuesday night to announce an executive order boosting the $7.25 minimum wage paid to federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.
Look, I'm not here to debate whether or not these workers deserve a raise. That's between them and their employers. Who, incidentally, aren't the airlines.
I'm asking what gives some Port Authority political hack the right to order a private company to arbitrarily raise wages. Maybe I missed that part of the Constitution?
The government is arrogating far too much power to itself. And this reeks of fascism. Unlike Obama, who at least pretends he cares what the voters think, this knucklehead isn't an elected official. He's not answerable to anyone!
What's next? Ordering tenants in Port Authority buildings (like the new Freedom Tower) to increase their employees' wages too? I'll bet the PA wouldn't be too pleased if a tenants' association decided to demand a cut in rent payments to offset such a decree! But really, somebody has to pay the bill. And Patrick Foye isn't that someone.
My guess is a not-insignificant number of those low wage workers will find themselves unemployed as a result of this idiocy. Because contrary to what many do-gooder liberals might believe, money does not grow on trees. And the companies which employee these folks aren't sitting on piles of extra cash.
Here's the math. 8,000 workers earning $9 per hour equates to 7,128 workers
earning $10.10 per hour. So Mr. Foye, what will you say to the 872 people
you just put out of a job?
You'd think the guy screaming about income inequality would pay his own employees an actual income.
You'd be wrong.
Obama's White House interns earn nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I guess basking in Dear Leader's munificence is its own reward. So long as you can eat rainbows.
Is the White House Internship a paid position?
No. White House Internships are unpaid positions. Applicants may contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance.
That is, you may beg. And if your groveling is sufficiently noteworthy, you may work you ass off licking Dear Leader's boots. Presumably they taste like chicken.
Is Congress any better? Hell no. The sponsors of Dear Leader's minimum wage legislation don't pay their interns either.
According to a new study by the Employment Policies Insitute (EPI), only four percent of the 210 lawmakers who pledged their allegiance to a bill raising the minimum wage pay their interns.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. EPI found that 96 percent of its House and Senate supporters give their interns a minimum wage of zero.
This includes the authors of the bill, Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin and California Democratic Rep. George Miller. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is another strong supporter of the legislation who doesn't pay her interns.
How do you spell hypocrite? Because I spell it D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t.
See also Booker, Cory.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has invited an unemployed 50-year-old Frenchtown resident to be his guest to the State of the Union address Tuesday night, as he continues to rail against the loss of federal emergency benefits that once provided aid to nearly 90,000 New Jersey residents who are out of work.
Gerri Battista, 50, was one 1.3 million Americans whose federal unemployment benefits lapsed on Dec. 28 when Congress declined to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
"Congress's failure to extend unemployment insurance is hurting people like Gerri — Americans who lost their jobs by no fault of their own and are eager to get back to work," Booker said in a statement. "For eight months, Gerri has been navigating today's still-challenging job market while also going back to school. Without unemployment insurance, she could not have stayed afloat as she looked for work."
Am I the only guy who sees the obvious solution here? Get Gerri a job as a
White House intern!
Mitch McConnell gave Dear Leader a blank check, and he blew through $500 Billion in just three months.
President Barack Obama has blown through more than $500 billion in deficit spending in the three months since passage of the deal proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on easing the debt ceiling battles that gave Obama virtually unlimited borrowing authority from October 17, 2013 through this February 7th.
So naturally, his henchmen are demanding to borrow even more.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress Thursday to quickly raise the country's borrowing ceiling to avert yet another political showdown over debt that could unnerve capital markets.
"We have, you know, a deadline looming in February. February 7th our borrowing authority runs out again. At that point, Congress has to act," he said.
Under current law the Treasury can borrow what it needs to cover the US budget deficit until February 7, when a fresh cap is set at the level of that day.
The Treasury has special accounting measures it can take to cover the deficit for several weeks.
But if the borrowing ceiling is not raised after that, either the government will have to slash spending or it could be forced into default on the debt.
Normal people would cut spending. Hey, it's what you'd have to do after you called Visa for the 14th time begging for a credit limit increase. Sooner or later they're gonna say "no."
Somebody has got to make Obama cut up his credit cards and get him into one of those debt counseling services. Pronto.
But I'm not counting on Congress to do that. They're just as addicted to deficit spending as he is.
Hey, does anybody here remember this guy?
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies… America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
I'll give you a hint. He used to be a Senator. And he ran for president. Twice.
"Leadership failure" indeed.
Really, the schadenfreude is delicious.
Alas, the libtard masses still won't take responsibility for their stupdity.
This week 1.3 million people will be losing unemployment benefits, which will be a disaster for them (just as food stamps are going away, too) and a drag on the economy overall.
WaPo has a map showing where the people losing benefits live. Wow, New Jersey is about to get slammed. What's up with that, Gov. Christie? Hasn't yelling at schoolteachers created more jobs?
LOL. That's The World's Worst Buddhist, aka "Maha," who seems to have to lost sight of the whole Peace and Love thing. Maha hates Tea Baggers. Blames us for all of society's ills. But has never stopped to consider that Obama is the reason for the malaise.
Want to create some jobs Maha? Repeal Obamacare. Deport illegal aliens. Cut corporate taxes. It worked under Reagan, and it'll work again even if the Kenyan usurper keeps playing golf on our dime.
But no, Maha sees curtailing lifetime unemployment benefits as akin to starving a million Irish to death.
When a million Irish died during the Great Famine of the 1850s, many in the English aristocracy said the peasants deserved to starve because their families were too big and indolent. The British baronet overseeing food relief felt that the famine was God's judgment, and an excellent way to get rid of surplus population. His argument on relief was the same one used by Rand Paul.
"The only way to prevent the people from becoming habitually dependent on government is to bring the operation to a close," Sir Charles Trevelyan said about the relief plan at a time when thousands of Irish a day were dropping dead from hunger.
Americans are dropping like flies? Do tell.
Let's try a little personal responsibility. You reap what you sow. You voted for government handouts, when you could have voted for individual liberty and economic growth. Sucks to be you, I guess. The fact is the government does not have infinite money. And you're not entitled to dime one anyway. Because the Constitution does not guarantee equality of outcome.
And your slam at Rand Paul is disingenous. He wants you to be less dependent on government, by showing you how to stand on your own two feet. Yeah, that's harder than showing up at the welfare office once a month, but in the long run it's more rewarding.
But commenter "Goatherd" takes the cake. He's holding out for a management position.
When I graduated from college unemployment in Florida, where I lived, was over 10%. It took me years to catch a break and get a job that offered any hope for advancement. There was a crisis and the non-profit I worked for went belly up. One thing I knew instinctively, was that if I took a job, delivering sandwiches or "any job" as our Randian overlords suggest, I would have thrown away any chance at ever finding a better life.
If you think spending too long a period looking for work, puts the "Mark of Cain" on your brow, try a little stint in "any job." People like Ryan have absolutely no idea how the world works, they don't have to, they don't live in it.
There is so much obtuseness there, I don't know where to start.
The non-profit he worked for went tits up. That seems implausible to me, given how the libtard elite love to fund the pipedreams of their minions. But in any event, delivering sandwiches was beneath him. Presumably because it offered insufficent opportunities for the raising of his consciousness. Putting food on the table was a secondary consideration, because Obama would provide. He must do Important Work, or wither on the vine.
As for his jibe at "people like [Paul} Ryan," take for example, me.
I started in "any job." Putting resistors into pc boards. 8 mind-numbing hours a day. Of course it helps that I didn't go to college to study "race" or "gender" or "activism" or any of the other useless liberal arts majors kids today are wasting their parents' money on. You reap what you sow. And I studied engineering and mathematics. Yeah, that stuff's hard. But guess what, hard work pays off.
I moved on up to running the solder machine. And soon enough I was talking to the professional engineers designing the circuit boards I was building. It helped that we spoke the same language. No that's not a cheap shot at the ESL crowd. We spoke engineer. And one of them suggested I utilize my math and logic skills in the then burgeoning field of computer science.
Did I work my ass off? You betcha. Was it easy? Nope. But it was totally worth every minute.
"Any job" is not the goal. "Any job" is the stepping stone. Because it instills in you the basic building blocks of success. Hard work. Perseverence. Responsibility. And most importantly, reward for your labor.
Why do I laugh at the Obama voters who lament their plight? Because they had a choice. They could have chosen the businessman, the person who spent his entire life creating opportunity. But no, they chose the demagogue, the man dedicated to fomenting class warfare. Because it's easier to envy the rich man than it is to work as hard as he works.
Alas, sooner or later you run out of other people's money. And when you do, yes, it's your fault. Not Paul Ryan's or Rand Paul's. And not mine.
Maha and his ilk chose poorly. Oops. Elections have consequences. And this
time the consequence is that their life sucks. Yeah, you guys "won." Look
up Pyrrhic Victory. You might learn something.