http://www.aim.org/aim-column/obama-sells-u.s.-to-china-inc/ http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/TapscottsCopyDesk/GAO-says-Tr easury-still-not-adequately-accounting-for-TARP38748632.html http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09296.pdf America’s unemployment rate could top 10 percent under the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), if it boosts union membership as much as some supporters have predicted, according to a new economic study. * Obama remains personally popular with the public, but worries and even outright opposition to some of his cornerstone proposals are growing. Democrats in Congress are even beginning to express in public print their worries that Obama has reached too far with the $787 billion economic stimulus package, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill and the $3.6 trillion budget proposal (and the trillions more senior aides whisper are coming in further bailouts, loan guarantees, "tax cuts" that are really just grants, and other spending accountrements of Leviathan Unleashed. "The second column appeared today in The Washington Post and was written by Charles Krauthammer. Obama's mastery of public speaking has heretofore served to deflect attention away from the details of what he is actually proposing. And there is in those details, according to Krauthammer, a fundamental deception: Obama summons visions of catastrophe that are the result of too little government regulation of the financial markets and he offers as a solution vastly more government regulation of .... health care, energy and education" and "Now, though, the mask is off and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality is emerging as the dominant driver of the Obama narrative. The contrast is no longer between the young, personable, historic candidate Obama and a creaky, cranky old Republican White Guy, it's between what America thought it was getting in a President Obama (cool, reasonable and beyond partisanship) and what it now sees as the reality of a President Obama (government spending out of control, an uncertain hand on foreign policy, broken promises, more bureaucrats, etc. etc.)." http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/TapscottsCopyDesk/Obama-is-in -trouble-40864502.html "Treasury has continued to develop a system for detecting noncompliance with key requirements of the program but has not yet finalized its plans. Further, Treasury has made limited progress in formatting articulating and communicating an overall strategy for TARP, continuing to respond to institution- and industry-specific needs by, for example, making further capital purchases and offering loans to the automobile industry. In addition, it has not yet developed a strategic approach to explain how its various programs work together to fulfill TARP’s purposes or how it will use the remaining TARP funds. While GAO does not question the need for swift responses in the current economic environment, the lack of a clearly articulated vision has complicated Treasury’s ability to effectively communicate to Congress, the financial markets, and the public on the benefits of TARP and has limited its ability to identify personnel needs." In other words: * The President and Congress approved spending $700 billion without requiring that before any of the funds are spent there would be a system in place "for defecting non-compliance with key requirements of the program." * Four months after passage, Treasury still hasn't finalized an "overall strategy" for spending the $700 billion, even though nearly half of the funds are already spent. Only in government is the guiding principle "spend first, explain later." * Four months after passage, Treasury still cannot "how its various programs work together to fulfill TARP's purposes, or how it will use the remaining TARP funds." For the record, GAO reports that Treasury has so far spent $293.7 billion of the $700 billion, with most of that total going to buy preferred shares in 317 financial institutions. In other words, the government has bought shares in 317 private financial institutions, a step that could easily become a landmark toward nationalizing those firms. Take Ben Bernanke. Back in March of 2007, he said: "The problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained." Or how about the former economist for the National Association of Realtors, who said back at the peak of the housing market in 2005: "All of the doom and gloom forecasts of a housing debacle are not only irresponsible, but also downright wrong." February 2007, this group of soothsayers predicts a 22 percent chance of a recession. Turns out there was a 100 percent chance of them being wrong. February 2008, the recession was already three months old, but the average guess from the economists was that there was just a 48.9 percent chance we'd see one. October 2008, the recession was now almost a year old and these guys still can't all see it: They upped their prediction to 89.3 percent. The lesson here should be obvious: Ignore advice from anyone who's offering it for free. It's like getting an eye exam from Mister Magoo. Why is anyone still asking them? Don't be fooled by the liberal rhetoric of a New America and President Barack Obama's "Yes, we can" speeches. The Liberals now control Washington and we know what that will mean: The greatest assault on our freedoms, our wealth and our lives in history! And knowing the real story about new threats to your wealth and health in the days ahead is especially important because the Liberals led by Barack Obama plan to turn up the heat on the "little guy" and make a killing for themselves. Plus, getting ready for a new attack on your freedoms, your wealth and your health by the most liberal, socialist administration in U.S. history is more important than ever. Because those who get suckered by the liberal rhetoric are about to be blindsided! I hope you'll keep reading, because I'm going to tell you how you can not only survive this liberal onslaught—but prosper. That's right—you can make up for money you've lost in the market over the last six months and profitably build your nest egg while most peoples' fortunes flounder. How to double your money in the great "boom" ahead... despite the coming liberal bloodbath Unstoppable forces will continue to explode in the next six months and beyond, hammering most investors' hopes and dreams. But you can grow rich no matter how bad things get due to these forces AND a liberal administration. Three economic juggernauts have been unleashed, triggering a bloodbath that's obliterating the average investor. Then add in the most liberal, freedom-stealing, spendthrift administration about to take control in Washington and you're about to see more Americans lose their pensions, their homes and their retirement dreams than in any time since the Great Depression. And don't be fooled by liberal rhetoric of a "new beginning" or a "yes, we can" mantra. The American people voted for change, but most of them are going to be shocked because that change is going to result in the greatest assault on our freedoms, not to mention new higher taxes and new restrictions on our lives that'll make the last eight years seem like the good ol' days. The new liberal administration will tell you another story and promise to use any means (i.e., bailouts, new "rescue" program for mortgages, lowering of interest rates or printing more money) to slow down the onslaught. But their tricks won't work. The truth is, three converging forces have put the economy on the brink of a depression—and for most people, things will get a lot worse before they get better. Yet the news is not all bad. You can survive and double your money sooner than you'd think...but only if you think outside of the box. In a moment, you'll read about some hidden investment "doublers" you're not hearing from your broker. But first, I want you to have a clear understanding of... Juggernaut No.1: The ominous debt crisis As a country and as individuals, we're drowning in debt. Our national debt is reported to be $9,371,054,016,550 and it grows $1 million every minute! It's the third largest expense in the Federal budget. Yet according to The Institute for Truth in Accounting, the true national debt is over $50 trillion dollars! That's more than FIVE TIMES what is reported! But the U.S. government never intends to pay this debt—it will simply try to inflate this debt away. The bad news? No Social Security, no Medicare and no pensions for you if you depend on the government to take care of you! If that's not bad enough, consumers are up to their eyeballs in debt—many are even living off their credit cards. Some 641 million credit cards are in circulation and the average credit card debt has doubled in the past decade. Today, the average family owes more than $8,000 in credit card debt. What's ahead? We're entering what I call the "Weimar Republic No. 2." We're repeating history. In the 1920s, the German Weimar Republic printed money to dilute and wipe out their WWI reparations debt to the Allies. The result was worthless paper money and the impoverishment of the people. In the same way, the Fed is bailing out trillions of Wall Street debt obligations by creating more money—and the results will be the same. The U.S. dollar has fallen like a rock, especially in the last 18 months. Foreign banks are dumping their U.S. dollars in favor of other currencies, as well as gold. And for the first time, legendary investor Warren Buffett is heavily invested in foreign currencies because they're in a bull market compared to our dollar. Our buying power is shrinking fast! But this debt crisis isn't the only problem we're knee deep in right now... Juggernaut No. 2: The worsening housing crisis In the days past, even though the economic outlook may have looked bleak, the booming real estate market helped keep the market afloat. Those days are long over! Back in 2004, I predicted a housing crisis right around the corner and boy was I right! And this weak housing market has sparked a recession which is now on the verge of a depression. How bad have things gotten? A combination of lax lending standards and declining home prices has led to these problems: In the last 12 months... Home foreclosures nationally are up more than 57%. It's much worse in states like California where foreclosures rose 370% in the first quarter of 2008 alone! Bank "repos" are up nearly 129%! Single family permits to build new homes are down more than 43%! And in most markets home prices are falling like crazy. And they're predicted to continue falling! Worse, the government's programs to help struggling borrowers avert foreclosure have been bust. For example, its Hope for Homeowners program was launched Oct. 1, 2008, to help up to 400,000 homeowners refinance bad loans and lower their monthly payments. But it's only closed 25 loans... since its inception! The debt and housing crisis also set the stage for... Juggernaut No. 3: The ongoing stock market crisis At this writing, gas prices are half of what they were this past summer—and that has most consumers rejoicing. But beware. Falling prices are a sure sign of deflation. This is a downward drift in prices that will put the kibosh on corporate profits. Worse, it could devalue your stock investments faster than you can say, "$2-a-gallon gas." Yes, we're in a deflationary period right now, but you can be sure that INFLATION is right around the corner. If you think the market's on a slippery slope right now, wait until inflation strikes back! Early last year, we got a glimpse of inflation's threat to the stock market. In April 2008, wholesale inflation was twice what economists expected. If that wasn't bad enough, inflation (outside of food and energy) rose 3% over a 12-month period ending in November 2008, the fastest increase since 1991. Soon after, the market tanked. Don't be fooled when the stock market surges 400, even 500 points in a day or week. It's only a respite before the resumption of bad times. I have no doubt... the three unstoppable juggernauts will continue to explode in the next six months and beyond, hammering most investors' hopes and dreams. But, you'll grow richer no matter how bad things get and no matter how onerous the new liberal administration turns out to be. One simple secret for making money any time in any market What is this secret? It's something I've been preaching for 39 years: "The trend is your friend." Remember this and you'll grow rich. Sounds easy enough, right? But most people miss the trends. In fact, bull markets always climb the wall of worry (buy when others are fearful of that market)... and bear markets always slide the slope of hope (get out when everybody else is getting in). That's why I believe in investing against the grain. This is where you can make a fortune in any market. And where is the trend right now? It's in the hidden bull markets of gold, silver, oil, raw materials, energy and other commodities. Plus, as we're already seeing, President Obama's infrastructure program, the largest U.S. public works spending program since the creation of the interstate highway system 50 years ago, will give raw materials and commodities a kick in the pants. Just on the news of Obama's plan to rebuild the national infrastructure—with a focus on construction and communications—the world's biggest aluminum maker, Alcoa, surged 13% and while heavy machinery maker Caterpillar soared 14%. Add this surging demand for raw materials to a severe shortage of commodities such as gold, and you have the makings of a spark to fire up the next big commodities boom. For example, gold coins are in such a short supply today, it's setting up a possible panic run on gold—which will send gold prices through the roof once again! Since the 2000 bear market, my readers and I have made a killing in these hidden bull markets. For instance we've made... 378% gains in oil... when I gave the buy signal at $28/barrel... 272% gains in gold... when I gave the buy signal at $252 gold... 348% gains in silver... when I gave the buy signal at $4... 68.5% gains in Agnico Eagle Mines... when I gave a buy at $40.65... 121.79% gains in BHP Billiton... when I gave a buy at $37.16! Knowing the other side of the story about health and wealth in the days ahead is especially important because the Fat Cats in medicine, finance and government plan to turn up the heat on the "little guy" and make a killing in profits themselves. They figure there are plenty of average Americans who'll be the next sucker at the poker table, the next patsy ready to be conned, who'll blindly follow them and pay for their "expertise." But the coming years don't have to be that way for you. The fact is you can live independently healthy and wealthy for the rest of your life! What does that mean? It means you'll never again worry about money and never again rely on slick stockbrokers, tightfisted bankers or the greedy government to take care of you. It means enjoying a rich, prosperous life now and in the future... on your own terms! Obama's Sales Pitch Analyzed February 9th, 2009 • Richard Cochrane email.gif ¨ Email This Post - print.gif ¨ Print This Post - subscribe_171_16.png ¨ President Barack Obama had it both ways Monday when he promoted his stimulus plan in Indiana and later at a preprogrammed prime-time news conference . In Elkhart, Indiana that has been the capitol of RV vehjicle manufacutuering – that virtually nobody wants to buy – he talked about getting Congress to produce a package with no pork, yet boasted about money for local posk. Obama's sales pitch on the enormous package he wants Congress to make law has sizzle as well as steak. He's projecting job creation numbers that may be impossible to verify and glossing over some ethical problems that bedeviled his team. In recent years, the so-called Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska came to symbolize the worst excesses of congressional earmarks, a device that allows a member of Congress to add money for local projects in legislation, practically under the radar. That’s what’s going on with the so-called Hoosier freeway going from nearly noplace to nowhere many folks want to go. Ceidt where due says there is nothing like the infamous Alaskan bridge to nowhere contained in Obama’s stimulus package. That's not to say the package steers clear of waste or parochial interests. A tri-authored AP article described Obama’s Elkhart meeting and subsequent as following: · OBAMA: "Not a single pet project," he told the news conference. "Not a single earmark." He said in Elkhart: "Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. … There aren't individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill." · THE FACTS: There are no "earmarks," as they are usually defined, inserted by lawmakers in the bill. Still, some of the projects bear the prime characteristics of pork _ tailored to benefit specific interests or to have thinly disguised links to local projects. For example, the latest version contains $2 billion for a clean-coal power plant with specifications matching one in Mattoon, Ill., $10 million for urban canals, $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars, and $255 million for a polar icebreaker and other "priority procurements" by the Coast Guard. Obama told his Elkhart audience that Indiana will benefit from work on "roads like U.S. 31 here in Indiana that Hoosiers count on." He added: "And I know that a new overpass downtown would make a big difference for businesses and families right here in Elkhart." U.S. 31 is a north-south highway serving South Bend, 15 miles from Elkhart in the northern part of the state. · OBAMA: "Most economists, almost unanimously, recognize that even if philosophically you're wary of government intervening in the economy, when you have the kind of problem you have right now … government is an important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy." FACT: True, economists believe government should act. But while many believe government spending is the answer, there is hardly unanimity on what to do, and Obama may have overstated conservative support. In a recent newspaper ad, 300 economists signed up against the stimulus promoted by the president. "Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth," they wrote. Martin Feldstein, a conservative economist at Harvard University and president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, has advocated a stimulus package in the past, but he argued recently that the package before Congress "delivers too little extra employment and income for such a large fiscal deficit." · OBAMA: "They'll be jobs building the wind turbines and solar panels and fuel-efficient cars that will lower our dependence on foreign oil and modernizing our costly health care system that will save us billions of dollars and countless lives." THE FACTS: The economic stimulus bill would allocate about $20 billion to help hospitals and doctors transition from paper charts to electronic health records for their patients. Research has shown that in some instances, electronic record keeping can eliminate inappropriate services and improve care, but it's not a sure thing by any means. "By itself, the adoption of more health IT is generally not sufficient to produce significant cost savings," the Congressional Budget Office reported last year. · OBAMA: "We also inherited the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression." THE FACTS. This could turn out to be the case. But as bad as the economic numbers are, the unemployment figures have not reached the levels of the early 1980s, let alone the 1930s _ yet. A total of 598,000 payroll jobs vanished in January _ the most in nearly 35 years _ and the unemployment rate jumped to 7.6 from 7.2 percent the month before. The most recent high was 7.8 percent in June 1992. And the jobless rate was 10.8 percent in November and December 1982. Unemployment in the Great Depression ranged for several year from 25 percent to close to 30 percent. · OBAMA: "I've appointed hundreds of people, all of whom are outstanding Americans who are doing a great job. There are a couple who had problems before they came into my administration, in terms of their taxes. … I made a mistake … I don't want to send the signal that there are two sets of rules." He added: "Everybody will acknowledge that we have set up the highest standard ever for lobbyists not working in the administration." · THE FACTS: Two of his appointees, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services and Nancy Killefer as his chief compliance officer, dropped out after reports they had not paid a portion of their taxes. · Obama previously acknowledged he "screwed up" in making it seem to Americans that there is one set of tax compliance rules for VIPs and another set for everyone else. Yet his choice for treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, hung in and achieved the post despite having belatedly paid $34,000 to the IRS, an agency Geithner now oversees. That could leave the perception that there is one set of rules for Geithner and another set for everyone else. On lobbyists, Obama has in fact established tough new rules barring them from working for his administration. But the ban is not absolute. William J. Lynn III, tapped to be the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. William Corr, chosen as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, has lobbied as an anti-tobacco advocate. And Geithner's choice for chief of staff, Mark Patterson, is an ex-lobbyist from Goldman Sachs. · OBAMA: "The plan that we've put forward will save or create 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next two years." · THE FACTS: Job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers. Beyond that, it's unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it's clear when jobs are abolished, there's no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. Rather than piling a TRILLION (ONE MILLION MILLION DOLLARS) into such a plan send a check for $2,700 to every man, woman an dchild in America. Last 5 posts by Americans Split on Obama $3.6 Trillion Budget - March 6th, 2009 One Third Say They Need Government Help To Earn Living. - March 6th, 2009 Biden Pledges to End Secret Union Balloting at "Secret" AFL-CIO Confab - March 6th, 2009 Top Ten Worst Cures. - March 6th, 2009 Obama Policies Feed Market Panic - March 6th, 2009 Obama Policies Feed Market Panic March 6th, 2009 • Richard Cochrane 1__#$!@%!#__email.gif ¨ Email This Post - 1__#$!@%!#__print.gif ¨ Print This Post - 1__#$!@%!#__subscribe_171_16.png ¨ Since Barack Obama was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, stocks have tumbled to record lows - with investors losing an estimated $2.5 trillion in market value.The trend continued Thursday, with the Dow closing down 281 points, a 4.1 percent drop for the day. Since Inauguration Day, the Dow has fallen 20.4 percent. All week, negative headlines have competed with the slumping market ticker, including early news Thursday that General Motors might well go bankrupt despite billions in taxpayer loans. As selling sped up, Citigroup traded at one point under $1 a share, General Electric dipped under $7, and international financial names like Barclays saw declines of nearly 30 percent on the day. "Everybody is so bearish right now that you would expect to be in the midst of a counter-trend rally," Steven Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co, told CNNMoney. "But the implosion in the banking and insurance sectors is just overwhelming." Obama has moved aggressively on economic and fiscal policies. But investors - if the market is any indication - are giving his initiatives a chilly response. On Feb. 17, Obama signed a stimulus bill worth $787 billion - the largest spending bill in history. But the Congressional Budget Office indicates only 20 percent of the funds will be spent this year, and the nonpartisan group suggests that the package could do more economic harm than good. Obama also gave the green light to an omnibus $431 billion House Democratic spending bill laden with close to 9,000 pork-barrel spending items. Plus, Obama revealed that he plans increase marginal tax rates on those earning more than $250,000. The new taxes will yield more than $1 trillion in government revenues, but some economists believe the news of increased taxation will suck the wind out of any economic recovery. In the middle of the market meltdown Thursday, Obama spent the day talking about a massive increase in healthcare spending, including a proposal in his budget that sets aside $634 billion in a 10-year reserve fund to pay for expanded care. The drumbeat of bad news was too much for stocks, including: U.S. bankruptcy filings surging 31 percent in 2008. More than 600,000 Americans filing claims for jobless benefits for a fifth straight week, the worst performance since 1982. U.S. factory orders falling for a sixth straight month in January, official data showed. One in every eight U.S. households with mortgages ended 2008 behind on payments or in foreclosure, reported the Mortgage Bankers Association. "The auto industry is effectively being wiped out or nationalized, however you want to think about it," Rick Campagna, portfolio manager at Provident Investment Council in Pasadena, Calif., told Reuters. "Now you're talking about a good portion, if not all, of the banking sector being taken over. Meanwhile Obama is flying Air Force One back and forth to Ohio for a "campaign event" at a cost of $57,000 an hour.
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