I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.- Thomas Jefferson.

debt clock

Friday, March 26, 2010

To prepare for the new healthcare reform package, the White House felt it necessary to develop a new medical symbol that truly depicts the Health Care Plan you will be getting.

Below commentaries and links shamelessly stolen from Ed Steer's Gold and Silver Daily

"Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year"... "This important threshold was not expected to crossed until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office. "Analysts have long tried to predict the year when Social Security would pay out more than it took in because they view it as a tipping point — the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency." The link to the story is here.

more banking malfeasance

One of the most interesting stories to come out of yesterday's hearings was this "Deep Throat" trader out of London that I mentioned briefly yesterday. He warned the CFTC in a series of e-mails about an upcoming decline in the silver market that JPMorgan instigated. He wanted to speak at the CFTC hearings, but was denied. The series of e-mails he sent to the CFTC is contained in a GATA dispatch bearing the headline "A London trader walks the CFTC through a silver manipulation in advance". What's in these e-mails should be no surprise to anyone... as it pretty much describes what both Ted Butler and GATA have been saying for years about the actual process itself... and you've certainly seen me talk about it in this column on many occasions as well. Now we have solid confirmation that this is all true. This is a must read... and the link is here.


Poll for Kit Bond's US senate replacement, I support libertarian Jonathon Dine, vote here.


Save the Economy by Hiding From the Census

By Vedran Vuk

In a recent Census Bureau press release, one statistic really stands out, mailing back the census form costs the government 42 cents while sending someone to check non-responses costs $56. At first, my reaction was to immediately mail back my census form. With all the government spending going on, there is no need for more waste.

But then, I remembered the Census’s own rhetoric. If I perform my civic duty of filling out the Census, my community will get more money. This sounds great doesn’t it?

But, if I want more money for my community, then why should I return the form through the mail? Think about it. Imagine if everyone in my community, the Baltimore metropolitan area, refused to mail their census forms back.

The number of census takers that would be hired to count the 2.7 million people in the metropolitan area would be enormous. Baltimore would get a gigantic economic stimulus. According to the Census, there are 2.59 people living in the average household – that’s over 1.04 million households in the area. Multiply this number by $56 to get $58.4 million from the Census jobs stimulus.

But wait, good citizen. Don’t stop there. A real patriot doesn’t comply with the Census. The $56 assumes an average number of repeat visits per residence. If everyone hides in the back room for the first couple of visits, maybe we can push that average to $100 dollars per household. Wouldn’t it be great! We’d have a $104 million stimulus in just months.

Unfortunately, there’s a big problem with my comical idea and the Census’s own marketing campaign rhetoric. Although the Census promises to allocate more money to our communities as a result of filling out the forms, it doesn’t make much sense. The Census isn’t some well-meaning philanthropist distributing money for the good of the people. Neither are the temporary census jobs a free lunch.

All the money is either taxed or borrowed by the government – the ultimate payer is always us. If everyone in the U.S. refused to mail back the forms and hid from the Census to jack up payrolls, the country would not be better off. In fact, it would be a very silly exercise. Sadly, every government stimulus is founded on the same illogical idea as the Census’s own promises. One man’s stimulus is always another man’s tax. On net, there is no economic improvement.

Further, the Bureau’s marketing campaign disguises a very political perspective. It assumes that government programs always benefit the community. But, what if some government programs actually make it worse?

For example, welfare has been and always will be a hot topic in this country. According to a study by the Census Bureau, for 2007, Census data was used to help redistribute $16.5 billion in TANF funds, commonly known as welfare. If you’re on the left, more welfare payments mean a good thing for the community. However, someone on the right could see welfare as fueling dependency and ingraining long term poverty.

Some effects of government spending clearly don’t improve anything and others are debatable. If America wants to get back on its feet economically, we must pay attention to the foundations that made us stand tall in the first place rather than temporary government stimulus. The foundations of America weren’t built by paper pushers at the motor vehicles administration and census takers. Private enterprise through technological innovations, world class companies, and entrepreneurship – big and small – empowered America.

Yet, every stimulus program brings us closer and closer to a world opposite of those foundations. If we continue down our current route, sooner or later, we’ll have more people working at regulatory government agencies than the regulated industries themselves. The Department of Agriculture is much like this already – it grows bigger and bigger though the number of actual farmers grows smaller and smaller.

Our history isn’t hard to decipher. We didn’t acquire the greatest nation status through trillion dollar stimulus plans. The U.S. needs change, but not the usual proposed spending and waste. We need change back to the basics by encouraging growth in the private sector, not the public one.

Before I sign off, I see that the dollar is rallying (the dollar index is at its highest level since late May of last year) on more bad news from the eurozone as Fitch Ratings cut Portugal’s credit grade. There’s going to be a lot more bad news coming out of Europe in the months ahead and the euro will likely be knocked down some more, so expect the dollar to fare fairly well in the very short-term. But do keep in mind that all fiat currencies eventually fall to their intrinsic value – zero.

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