Category: Debt


Of More Than 3,000 U.S. Counties, Just 65 Have Recovered From Recession, NACo Says

 

 

NACo 4 indicators

 

 

” Seven years after the recession began, only one in 50 U.S. counties has fully bounced back, according to a study the National Association of Counties released Monday.

  The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed prerecession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.

  Those places range from Anderson County, S.C., to McKenzie County, N.D., to Kodiak Island, Alaska.

  National employment surpassed 2007 levels during 2014 and the U.S. gross domestic product had fully recovered from the recession by 2011. But the national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December compared with 5% when the recession began seven years earlier. And housing values in much of the country have yet to fully return.

  The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.

  None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.”

 

     This article , more than any other demonstrates that the nearly $3 Trillion in government stimulus spending was nothing more than wasteful cronyism handed out to favored unions , interest groups and corporations . Little or none trickled down to benefit the taxpayers actually footing the bill .

Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite Decline In CPI, Food Index Increases In December

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Despite a decline in the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) in December, the food index increased and the price index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs hit a record high, according to data released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  According to the BLS, “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.4 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.”

“ The gasoline index continued to fall sharply, declining 9.4 percent and leading to the decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index,” said the BLS.

“ The fuel oil index also fell sharply, and the energy index posted its largest one-month decline since December 2008, although the indexes for natural gas and for electricity both increased,” said the BLS.

“ The food index, in contrast, rose 0.3 percent, its largest increase since September.” “

 

 

    Perhaps this has something to do with the record high food prices , after all Obama did promise that “electric prices would necessarily skyrocket” …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is one promise candidate Obama has kept: Price of Electricity Hit Record High in U.S. in 2014

 

 

Electricity Price Index Hit All-Time High in 2014

 

 

 

 

CNS News has the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons The Math On Obama’s College Plan Doesn’t Add Up

 

Obama Community College

 

” There are at least six reasons that community college won’t be free anytime soon, no matter what President Barack Obama says.

  Obama, who traveled Friday to Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn., to tout the America’s College Promise plan, said he wanted to make higher education as accessible as a high school diploma for all Americans.

  But the plan has flaws that all but ensure it won’t be implemented and will serve only as a political proposal to make supporters happy.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama To Propose Two Free Years Of Community College For Students 

 

 

 

 

 

” President Barack Obama will need the approval of Congress to realize his proposal for making two years of community college free for students.

   So far, that plan doesn’t have an official price tag — other than “significant,” according to White House officials. If all 50 states participate, the proposal could benefit 9 million students each year and save students an average of $3,800 in tuition, the White House said.

  But administration officials insisted on a call with reporters Thursday evening that “this is a proposal with bipartisan appeal.”

  Case in point: Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, whose brainchild Tennessee Promise program strongly influenced Obama’s proposal. Beginning this year, any high school graduate in that state is eligible for two years of free community college tuition under the Tennessee Promise.”

 

 

    Regardless of the “bipartisan appeal” how the f**k is a government that is 18 trillion dollars in the hole supposed to pay for yet another feel-good , vote buying entitlement ? Simple mathematics puts a real figure ($34.2 Billion annually) to the White House’s estimate of a “significant” cost and as always with State spending we can be sure the estimate is a very lowball one . WTF ?

    And putting aside the cost , where in the Constitution is the “right” to a free education ?

   With that in mind , let us not forget what the Obama administration has already “accomplished” in the field of education:

 

 

Student Loan Debt

 

What could possibly go wrong ?

 

 

Read on at Politico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican President Offers Obama Help With Amnesty Documents

 

 

 

 

” Mexico’s president told President Obama Tuesday that his government will supply the documents necessary for millions of illegal Mexican immigrants to prove they’ve been living in the U.S. prior to 2010, a move that will help them qualify for Mr. Obama’s recently announced deportation amnesty.

  In an Oval Office meeting, President Enrique Pena Nieto praised Mr. Obama’s executive action on amnesty as “very intelligent and audacious,” and said his government will do everything in its power to ensure that Mexicans who want to stay in the U.S. can do so.

  The move has proven far more controversial in Washington, where Republican critics say the president’s unilateral move was unwise and unconstitutional.

  About two-thirds of the nearly 5 million illegal immigrants covered by Mr. Obama’s action are natives of Mexico. It’s not clear what kind of documentation the Mexican government will provide to show proof of residency in the U.S. prior to 2010 — the cutoff date to qualify for Mr. Obama’s amnesty plan and avoid deportation.”

 

When governments facilitate the breaking of the law , there is no law …

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Student Loan Debt Tops $800 Billion

 

 

Student Loan Debt

 

 

 

” From November 2013 through November 2014, the aggregate balance in the federal direct student loan program–as reported by the Monthly Treasury Statement–rose from $687,149,000,000 to $806,561,000,000, a one-year jump of $119,412,000,000.

  The balance on all student loans, including those from private sources, exceeded a trillion dollars as of the end of the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

” Outstanding student loan balances reported on credit reports increased to $1.13 trillion (an increase of $8 billion) as of September 30, 2014, representing about $100 billion increase from one year ago,” the bank said in its latest report on household debt and credit. “

 

 

   The article goes on to explain just how this scheme is rigged to benefit the universities and not the students . Just another example of cronyism at the highest levels …

 

 

” By doling out a net average of about $100 billion per year in student loans, the federal government allows even the nation’s wealthiest universities to charge students more than they and their families can pay without going into debt.

  That makes colleges richer and students poorer.

  The federal government already has programs in place to forgive or payoff the student loans of Americans who engage in government-approved activities, or who do not do well enough financially in their after-college years to pay off their own loans.”

 

CNS News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Warning Signs Of A Market Crash In 2015

 

 

 

 

 

” The FTSE 100 slid on the first day of trading in 2015. Here are 10 warning signs that the markets may drop further.

Vix fear gauge

  For five years, investor fear of risk has been drugged into somnolence by repeated injections of quantitative easing. The lack of fear has led to a world where price and risk have become estranged. As credit conditions are tightened in the US and China, the law of unintended consequences will hold sway in 2015 as investors wake up. The Vix, the so-called “fear index” that measures volatility, spiked to 18.4 on Friday, above the average of 14.5 recorded last year.

Rising US Treasury yields

  With the Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, and the latest QE3 bond-buying programme ending in October last year, credit markets are expecting a poor year for US Treasuries. The yield on two-year US Treasuries has more than doubled from 0.31pc to 0.74pc since October.”

 

Read the rest at The Telegraph , if you dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Debt Soars By $100 Billion On Last Day Of 2014, Hits Record $18.14 Trillion

 

 

 

 

 

” It seems like it was only yesterday when we reported that, in yet another sleight of hand for the US Treasury and Social Security Administration, US debt rose by $32 billion on the last day of November sending total US debt above $18 trillion for the first time ever.  As we further noted, it also meant “that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.”

  Fast forward to today when we are happy to report that according to the US Treasury, America’s debt-funded spending spree, while supposedly slowing down if looking at the declining monthly budget deficit report, never actually has.”

 

Thanks to Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

 

Interested viewers can keep track of the burgeoning national debt at our post of the real time National Debt Clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generating New Revenue Streams

 

 

 

” The common reaction to a budget crisis is reducing personnel and cutting services. The focus of this article is to provide police agencies with an alternative to personnel and service reductions. This alternative could help the survival of a city and maintain or expand police service through generating new revenue streams as a proactive approach to meet the fiscal crisis of today and the uncertain future of tomorrow.

  While generating revenue streams is not new to most agencies, the focus and resources necessary to meet current and emerging public safety needs are unprecedented in law enforcement’s history. Law enforcement executives are accustomed to the ebb and flow of fiscal budgets. The current trend, however, is much more far reaching and will impact almost all cities in California and most likely all communities in the United States.

  Five years ago, the current state of the economy facing cities and counties was not even a concern. Now, however, many law enforcement agencies are facing the reality of severe budget cuts, reduced workforce, and the elimination or reduction of many law enforcement programs. Today, police chiefs are being asked to look for ways of economizing, increasing efficiency, eliminating redundancies, and finding revenue sources.

  This trend will be prompted in two possible ways. First, increasing financial pressure will require more severe budget cuts to the point that many agencies will be able to provide only basic services. Second, cities will begin to see successes at nearby agencies and look to new revenue streams as a panacea to forestall reduced services or even bankruptcy. Based on the research for this article, there is a clear presumption of need for law enforcement to generate new income streams. A first necessary step in that process is to examine possible revenue-generating ideas.
Possible New Revenue Streams

  A group of experts in the fields of city government, business, real estate, and entrepreneurship assembled in April 2008 to identify possible new income streams that could be initiated by law enforcement.2 Their suggested new revenue streams serve as an example of ideas that can be generated in a short period of time. Each idea must be weighed against the feasibility of implementation, profit potential, and appropriateness for law enforcement involvement. Their most prominent recommendations were

    • fees for sex offenders registering in a given jurisdiction,
    • city tow companies,
    • fine increases by 50 percent,
    • pay-per-call policing,
    • vacation house check fees,
    • public hours at police firing range for a fee,
    • police department-run online traffic school for minor traffic infractions,
    • department-based security service including home checks and monitoring of security cameras by police department,
    • a designated business to clean biological crime scenes,
    • state and court fees for all convicted felons returning to the community,
    • allowing agency name to be used for advertisement and branding,
    • triple driving-under-the-influence fines by the court,
    • resident fee similar to a utility tax,
    • tax or fee on all alcohol sold in the city,
    • tax or fee on all ammunition sold in, the city,
    • public safety fees on all new development in the city,
    • 9-1-1 fee per use,
    • police department website with business advertisement for support,
    • selling ride-a-longs to the public, and
  • police department–run firearm safety classes.

  In addition to concepts that may lie ahead, there are also many examples of revenue-generating ideas that have been tried and proven in actual use. “

 

 

    Yes , as this police chief acknowledges however inadvertently , it’s all about the revenue generation and less about public safety …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Dorey Wants You To Know How The Government Spends Your Money

 

 

 

” Former House of Commons page Olivia Dorey was once one of the people hand-delivering the federal budget to MPs when the finance minister rose to deliver his speech.

  That task inspired her to try to read through a budget so she knew better what it contained.

” And I couldn’t. I couldn’t find the numbers, I couldn’t make sense of what they were trying to explain … I’m used to doing my own personal budgets, and this book, this book was nothing like a budget to me,” she said in an interview in Ottawa.

  Dorey studies public administration at the University of Ottawa, and is interested in politics. But she still couldn’t figure out the budget. That experience jarred her to begin a personal mission to build a website where people could key in some basic demographic information and find out how the federal budget affected them. 

  Some of that information is available — specific funding for a hospital or transit, for example, or qualifications for Old Age Security — but much of it is simply not publicly accessible, or hard to follow after an initial announcement.

  That’s led Dorey to start lobbying MPs to build budgets differently.

” If I can’t understand public finance and find the information I need, what hope do other Canadians have understanding it?” Dorey said.

  She believes federal, provincial and municipal budgets should be clear enough that people like her grandparents in Bridgewater, N.S., who don’t have university educations, can understand them. Her campaign led her to a strong ally: former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page.

  Right now, there are several documents you have to read if you want to track a funding promise, including:

  • The budget, the annual planning document for government spending.
  • The estimates, which contain much more detailed information about spending.
  • The supplementary estimates, the update to the estimates.
  • The departmental performance reports, which recap how much was spent out of the amount budgeted, and staffing levels. “

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Leaves New York Behind In Its Rear-View Mirror

 

 

 

 

 

” It’s official. Florida is the nation’s third-largest state with 19.7 million people. It surpassed New York this month by adding an average of 803 new residents every day as opposed to New York’s 140.

  Contrary to the stereotype, sun-seeking seniors aren’t the main drivers of Florida’s population growth. James Johnson, a business professor at the University of North Carolina, told the AP that Florida’s powerful economic engine is driving its growth: “I think it’s going to be for the 21st century what California or New York was for the 20th century.”

  As the James Madison Institute reports, Florida’s growth is built on a consensus that taxes, spending, and regulation should be restrained. Its budget is half the size of New York State’s, it lacks a state income tax, and it is much easier to start and run a business there than in many northeastern states.”

 

National Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Job Growth Outpaces Rest Of U.S. Combined

 

 

 

 

” Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined.

  The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent. Until September 2014, total employment growth in the rest of the United States since December 2007 was still negative.”

 

Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$4.20 Per Pound: Price Of Ground Beef Climbs To Another Record

 

 

bls

 

 

” The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high — $4.201 per pound — in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  In August 2014, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, according to the BLS.  In September, the average price jumped to $4.096 per pound, and in October, the average price climbed to $4.154 per pound. In November, the average price hit the highest price ever recorded — $4.201 per pound.

  A year ago, in November 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.477 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 20.8 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in November 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.062, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $2.139 per pound, or 103.7 percent.”

 

Read more at CNS News

 

Below is a list of average grocery prices and other necessary expenses by year from 2008 to 2014 …

 

COL 2008-2014

 

 

   This is a list from one source that we could find quickly and while we find some of the statistics to be dubious in the extreme it does convey the basic idea that , contrary to what the inflation figures provided by the State claim , prices are out of control . Heck of a job Barack …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 37 Straight Months

 

 

 

 

” The number of beneficiaries who receive compensation from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has topped 46,000,000 for 37 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  In September 2014, which is the latest data from the USDA, there were 46,459,998 Americans who received assistance from the SNAP program. The number of beneficiaries has exceeded 46 million since September 2011, a total of 37 months, or more than three years.

  In September, the number of beneficiaries was down from the 46,476,410 beneficiaries there were in August, a decline of 16,412. During that same time frame, the number of families receiving SNAP benefits increased from 22,724,624 in August to 22,750,019 in September, an increase of 25,395.

  Households on food stamps in September got an average of $252.69 during the month, and the program benefits cost taxpayers $5,748,809,023.

  In 1969, the average participation in the SNAP program stood at 2,878,000. In 2014, average participation grew to 46,536,000 showing an increase of 1516.96 percent.”

 

Thanks to CNS News

 

    To put those numbers in perspective in 1969 one out of every 73.6 people was dependent on the State for supplemental food stamps while today after nearly fifty years of fighting the “war on poverty” the ratio is one out of every 6.8 people . Well done … God Bless The State …

Total spending to date on the “war on poverty” has exceeded sixteen trillion dollars and all we’ve gotten for that “investment” has been a larger and larger dole .

 

Since the

 

   The numbers for SNAP spending during the past six years of the Obama administration from the CBO reflect a massive increase in dependency on the State :

 

 

Participation and Federal Spending for SNAP

 

 

” Almost two-thirds of the growth in spending on SNAP benefits between 2007 and 2011 stemmed from the increase in the number of participants. Labor market conditions deteriorated dramatically between 2007 and 2009 and have been slow to recover; since 2007, both the number of people eligible for the program and the share of those who are eligible and who participate in the program have risen.

  About one-fifth of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The remainder stems from other factors, such as higher food prices and lower income among beneficiaries, both of which have boosted benefits.”

 

Heck of a job Barack …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obamacare Blamed For Killing Hospitals

 

 

 

 

” Eighteen acute-care hospitals across the United States shut their doors in 2013.

  At least 12 more hospitals have closed this year in rural areas alone. More are getting out the plywood to nail over windows and barricades for doors.

  Don’t worry, it’s just the new normal under Obamacare, says Lee Hieb, M.D.

“ Events happening now give us some idea of what medicine will be reduced to in the future,” Hieb writes in her forthcoming book, “Surviving the Medical Meltdown: Your Guide to Living Through the Disaster of Obamacare.”

“ Today, all over America, small and midsize hospitals as well as hospitals in inner-city, poor areas are closing,” she said.

  Hieb is an orthopedic surgeon and past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

  She said the reasons for the closures aren’t complicated. Most of the victims are smaller hospitals or those in poor areas, which often serve the greatest number of Medicare and Medicaid patients.

  A report at Modern Health Care just a few weeks ago confirmed that among just the critical-access hospitals, which have 25 beds or fewer, there were 14 closures in 10 states in 2013.”

 

WND has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UC Study: Minimum Wage Hike Of 2007-09 Cost 1.4M Jobs

 

 

 

 

” Raising the minimum wage, a stated goal of the Obama administration, likely would cost jobs and hurt low-income workers.

  University of California San Diego economic researchers discovered that the federal minimum wage increase from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour between 2007 and 2009 actually cost the economy 1.4 million jobs, Breitbart News reports. “

 

 

” Even worse, the increase’s negative effect landed squarely on the people it was designed to help — low-paid, unskilled workers, who found themselves blocked out of low-paid or internship positions that would give them a shot at gaining experience and achieving higher-paid jobs, the study notes.

” We find that binding minimum wage increases significantly reduced the likelihood that low-skilled workers rose to what we characterize as lower middle class earnings. This curtailment of transitions into lower middle class earnings began to emerge roughly one year following initial declines in low wage employment. Reductions in upward mobility thus appear to follow reductions in access to opportunities for accumulating work experience,” the report states. “

 

 

 

” While the wage distribution of low-skilled workers shifts as intended, the estimated effects on employment, income, and income growth are negative. “

 

 

   For every government mandate on businesses , industry and technology will create a way to avoid them . If increasing the mandatory minimum wage by two dollars cost a million and a half jobs just imagine the losses from a doubling of the present state-mandated wage for unskilled workers , and machines don’t need healthcare .

   Read more at NewsMax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$404,155,000,000: Taxes Set Record In First 2 Months Of FY15—Deficit Still $179B

 

Record Tax Revenues for October and November

 

 

 

” The U.S. Treasury continued to rake in tax dollars at a record rate in November as the federal government closed out the first two months of fiscal 2015 with $404,155,000,000 in total receipts, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

  In constant 2014 dollars, this is the first time federal revenues have topped $400 billion in the first two months of the fiscal year.

  Even with these record revenues, the Treasury ran a deficit of $178.531 billion deficit in October and November as it spent $582.686 billion.”

 

CNS News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s One Night Brisbane, Australia Hotel Bill: $1.7M

 

 

 

” President Obama stayed only one night in Australia for the G-20 summit, but the entire presidential delegation required over 4,000 rooms costing in excess of $1.7 million for the entire stay. Rooms at three different hotels were reserved for the U.S. delegation, and due to the large number of countries involved in the summit, the Australian government parceled out available hotels to each nation’s delegation. The majority of the U.S. delegation stayed at the Brisbane Marriott, with the remainder staying at two other Brisbane hotels, the Urban and the Adina. 

  Presidential visits, such as for the G-20 summit, require advance teams for security and logistics, and may also include arrangements for officials conducting discussions and negotiations before and after the president himself is in the host country.

  Often for such contracts, full and open competition is not possible because time constraints and related security concerns preclude a bidding process. However, in this case, the Australian government required countries to use designated hotels which placed additional limits on alternatives. In any case, the estimated total cost for the three hotels was about $1,732,000; based on an estimated 4,096 room nights, the per room cost comes to $423 per night. The Justification documents for the three contracts state that the cost is “fair and reasonable based on the pricing available across the city of Brisbane at the time of the visit.” “

 

Weekly Standard has the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best And Worst Run States In America: A Survey Of All 50

 

Party Control Of States

 

 

” How well run is your state? Assessing a state’s management quality is hardly easy. The current economic climate and standard of living in any given state are not only the results of policy choices and developments that occurred in the last few years, but can also be affected by decisions made decades ago, and by forces outside a state’s control. 

  Each year, 24/7 Wall St. attempts to answer this question by surveying various aspects of each state. To determine how well states are managed, we examine key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes. This year, North Dakota is the best-run state in the country for the third consecutive year, while Illinois replaced California as the worst-run state.

  Selecting appropriate criteria to compare the 50 states is difficult because there is so much variation among the states. As a result, policy decisions that may work in one state might not work in another. Some states are rich in natural resources, while others rely on high-skilled sectors such as technology and business services. Some depend disproportionately on one industry, while others’ economies are more balanced. Further, some states are more rural, while others are highly urbanized and densely populated.

  This year, a number of the best-run states again benefit from an abundance of natural resources. North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, and Texas are among the top 10 best-run states, and in all four, the mining industry — which includes fossil fuel extraction — is a major contributor to state GDP. Due in large part to the mining sector, North Dakota and Wyoming led the nation in real GDP growth in 2013. And Alaska has utilized its oil wealth to build massive state reserves and to pay its residents an annual dividend.

  Although less than in years past, the lingering effects of the housing crisis still have a negative impact on several of the worst-run states. In five of the 10 worst-run states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — home values declined by 10% or more between 2009 and 2013. Worse still, in states such as Arizona and Rhode Island, the housing market remains well below its peak, reached just before the start of the recent recession.”

 

   A brief rundown of the top ten and bottom ten states , color-coded (red for GOP , blue for Democrats , purple for split government) by party control of legislature and governor’s office is as follows: 

 

The 10 best run states:

 

” 1. North Dakota

2. Wyoming

3. Nebraska

4. Iowa

5. Minnesota

6. Utah

7. Alaska

8. Texas

9. Vermont

10. South Dakota

 

 

And here are the ten worst run states:

 

” 41. Alabama

42. Missouri

43. New Jersey

44. Georgia

45. Arizona

46. Kentucky

47. Rhode Island

48. Mississippi

49. New Mexico

50. Illinois

 

 

Click through to the 24/7 Wall Street post for a detailed accounting of all 50 states to see where yours stands .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Official: America Is Now No. 2

 

 

 

 

” Hang on to your hats, America.

  And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.

  There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: 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 not the leading economic power on the planet.

  It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.

  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 with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A. “

 

 

You voted for “fundamental change” and the man has delivered …

 

 

” 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 with 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 two paragraphs should send chills down any forward-looking American’s spines , especially amongst the young …

 

 

 

” 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.

  This will not change anything tomorrow or next week, but it will change almost everything in the longer term. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. since at least 1945 and, in many ways, since the late 19th century. And we have lived for 200 years — since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 — in a world dominated by two reasonably democratic, constitutional countries in Great Britain and the U.S.A. For all their flaws, the two countries have been in the vanguard worldwide in terms of civil liberties, democratic processes and constitutional rights.”

 

 

 

Market Watch has more on the latest (dubious) accomplishment of Barack Obama’s administration 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total US Debt Rises Over $18 Trillion; Up 70% Under Barack Obama

 

 

 

” Last week, total US debt was a meager $17,963,753,617,957.26. Two days later, as updated today, on Black Friday, total outstanding US public debt just hit a new historic level which probably would be better associated with a red color: as of the last work day of November, total US public debt just surpassed $18 trillion for the first time, or $18,005,549,328,561.45 to be precise, of which debt held by the public rose to $12,922,681,725,432.94, an increase of $32 billion in one day.

 

 

 

 

  It also means that total US debt to nominal GDP as of Sept 30, which was $17.555 trillion, is now 103%. Keep in mind this GDP number was artificially increased by about half a trillion dollars a year ago thanks to the “benefit” of R&D and intangibles. Without said definitional change, debt/GDP would now be about 106%.

  It also means that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.

  And now we wait for the US to become Spain, and add the estimated “contribution” from hookers and blow to GDP, once again pushing the total debt/GDP ratio below the psychological 100% level.”

 

 

And to think that just three short years ago Obama was speaking of reducing our then $14 trillion debt …

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Heck of a job Barack especially when one takes into consideration the record tax receipts the Federal government has been taking in . Be sure to check out the National Debt Clock . Bookmark it and keep up .

Thanks to Zero Hedge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever Happened To Inflation?

 

 

 

 

” Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has been trying to stave off economic disaster with an unconventional monetary policy tool known as quantitative easing. By buying financial assets from commercial banks and other institutions, the Fed has massively expanded the money supply-quadrupling it since the practice began.

  Many economists, particularly followers of the Austrian school, deplored the practice and predicted that the unprecedented currency and asset price manipulation would lead to huge and damaging price inflation. Reason was among them, declaring on our October 2009 cover: “Inflation Returns!” A group of free market economists were asked: “Has the time come to stockpile canned goods and pick up a wheelbarrow for transporting currency, or should we be afraid of the opposite-a prolonged contraction that causes prices to crash?”

  Six years later, official consumer price index inflation sits at just 2 percent annually from July 2013 to July 2014, the latest period for which figures are available. This is identical to the rate for the previous year.

  We asked four economists and market analysts to revisit what they originally predicted would happen after quantitative easing and assess whether (and why) they were right. Analyst Peter Schiff sticks to his guns, saying that any “claims of victory over inflation are premature and inaccurate. Inflation is easy to see in our current economy, if you make a genuine attempt to measure it.” Economist Robert Murphy believes we are in a “calm before the storm” and is “confident that a day of price inflation reckoning looms.” Contributing Editor David R. Henderson writes that the “financial crisis has brought such major changes in central banking that uncontrolled inflation from discretionary monetary policy is not as great a danger as it once was,” though he remains critical of the Fed’s growing powers. And economist Scott Sumner claims victory for the “market monetarists,” noting that both Austrians and Keynesians have been proven wrong by events, and urging both sides to “take markets seriously.” “

 

Reason has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost Still A Barrier Between Americans And Medical Care

 

Percentage of Americans Putting Off Medical Treatment Because of Cost

 

 

” One in three Americans say they have put off getting medical treatment that they or their family members need because of cost. Although this percentage is in line with the roughly 30% figures seen in recent years, it is among the highest readings in the 14-year history of Gallup asking the question.

  Since 2001, Gallup has asked Americans each November if they have put off any sort of medical treatment for themselves or their families in the past 12 months. Last year, many hoped that the opening of the government healthcare exchanges and the resulting increase in the number of Americans with health insurance would enable more people to seek medical treatment. But, despite a drop in the uninsured rate, a slightly higher percentage of Americans than in previous years report having put off medical treatment, suggesting that the Affordable Care Act has not immediately affected this measure. “

 

Gallup has the details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ferguson Bakery Vandalized During Unrest Receives $200,000 In Donations

 

 

Natalie's Cakes

 

 

” We have some uplifting news out of Ferguson this morning. Help is on the way for the owner of Natalie’s Cakes and More! On Monday night, those who participated in rioting damaged the shop and the equipment inside.

  Natalie DuBose has invested everything into her business. The windows and other materials that were needed for upcoming Thanksgiving orders were destroyed. However, Natalie says she can’t go anywhere and plans to remain in Ferguson.

  Natalie’s Cakes and More opened its doors in June of this year and Natalie’s dream of owning her own business was fulfilled.

 

  Since her appearance on FOX 2 News on Tuesday, November 25th, two Go Fund Me accounts have been created. In less than 24 hours, over $100,000 was donated to Ms. DuBose to help with repairs.

  Actress Patricia Heaton also donated and urged others to do the same. Natalie sent a special ‘Thank you’ tweet to her supporters after learning about the news.

  If you would like to make a donation please visit: Gofundme.com/Natalie’s Cakes and More Fund or Gofundme.com/Natalie DuBose Riot Recovery.

Previous story: Natalie’s Cakes & More plans to remain in Ferguson

Thanks to Fox2Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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