Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stabilizing Debt to GDP Ratio Requires $1 Trillion in Cuts Per Year, Not $400 Billion

So says John Chambers of Standard and Poor's Sovereign Ratings Committee here. The ratio stabilized at the current level of 75 percent would remain consistent with a AAA debt rating going forward.

The $1 trillion per year represents about 7.5 percent of GDP. With the latest report of current dollar GDP running at $15 trillion, 7.5 percent is $1.13 trillion.

Viewed another way, if we simply threw out baseline budgeting, which builds in increases to the budget each year at a rate near 7 percent, we'd be nearly home free without having to do anything.

And another way to put that is, just freeze the damn budget at current levels for a decade.

Sort of like what the average working Joe has experienced since 2000: no real wage progress. If he can do it, government certainly should.

Obama Caused the Panic, Not the Media

So says Jim Cramer. And he voted for the guy.

Video here:

"He came out and panicked the heck out of us.

"He talked about the higher interest rates for mortgages, he talked to spiking credit cards, he talked about how hard it's going to be to get a student loan. It took us all aback because we felt that he'd be a compromise leader.

"Instead, he created tremendous fear. Tremendous fear means uncertainty. Uncertainty means no spending. Uncertainty means no spending by businesses. It means no hiring. It was a setback.

"He caused the panic, not the media."


Obama went outside the experience of his enemy, Jim Cramer.

George Will Defends the Font of Serial Marriage and Other Destructive Behaviors



[T]he libertarians' argument. ... The essence of which is the commonsensical principle that before government interferes with the freedom of the individual, and of individuals making consensual transactions in markets, it ought to have a defensible reason for doing so. It usually does not.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Obama Plays 'You Choose' at The Washington Post: How Obama Can Default on Treasuries to Hurt His Enemies and Help His Friends, and Get Re-elected

I'm drinking gin on a hot Saturday afternoon, putting on my 'Evil Obama' hat and playing 'You Choose' here at The Washington Post.

Imagine you are Obama.

You want to transform America into a European socialist welfare state. The Republicans are standing in your way. They want to freeze the debt ceiling where it is to deprive you of the opportunity to follow through with your dramatic spending increases, which have tripled the annual budget deficits.

The monthly revenue stream will leave you short by something around $125 billion on average without the freedom to sell new debt.

The people who will vote for you need to get their money in a government shutdown.

The people who will not vote for you anyway must not get theirs.

You'll make your choices, and when your enemies complain they're not getting their dough, you can plausibly blame the Republicans for tying your hands.

In the process you can destroy the full faith and credit of the United States and cut her down to size, and finish the (crony) capitalists once and for all.

You can end the wars and bring home the troops (saving tons of money and improving your popularity at the same time).

You can tank the economy and get sweeping powers to spend the trillions of dollars Paul Krugman wanted you to spend in the first place (on people who will vote for you).

Does he have the guts? Or does he just want to play golf for the rest of his life?

The Tea Party Has Already Made The Democrats Blink on Tax Increases

"They’ve moved in other words, the Senate Majority Leader, far in their direction."

-- George Will, here

An excellent point, the premise of which is that politics is the art of the possible.

In point of fact not just once, either. The extension of the Bush tax rates from this crowd of left wing fanatics was no mean achievement.

The Tea Party speaks for many in wanting the deficit spending to stop. In view of the fact that deficit spending and enthusiasm for taxation are the cornerstones of the opposition, getting Democrats to relent on taxes late last year and again now is pretty good for just 20 or 30 fiscal extremists in the US House.

It should remind us all that imagination is important to political success. Michael Steele didn't have any in early 2010 when he opined that Republicans probably couldn't take back the House. Boy was he mistaken.

It would be a mistake to stop imagining that we can reduce spending. The only caveat is whether Obama  possesses enough character to refrain from defaulting on the debt. If he doesn't and does default, it could be blamed on overreaching by the Tea Party.

At a minimum, Obama's persistent extreme rhetoric threatening such a default should trouble more people. Even left of center types here and there are upset by his behavior, which is a good sign. It is nothing short of disgraceful that a president should talk this way, and it gives everyone over the age of forty pause.

I say that's a tactic, not a promise. Obama is going outside the experience of the enemy, one of Alinsky's rules.

The Tea Party should keep pressing the issue. And Republicans need to buck up and go on the rhetorical offensive. The farthest they should go is a clean debt ceiling increase of $1 trillion, which buys more time but doesn't give the president the space he wants, and needs.

The next crisis date is October 1, by which time we must have a budget agreed to by the Democrats to fund the next fiscal year. 

GDP Revisions Beg The Question: Did Obama Really Avert a Depression?

I don't see how anyone can believe that nonsense.

GDP 2008: - 0.3 percent
GDP 2009: - 3.5 percent
GDP 2010: +3.0 percent

There's a nice summary here.

Despite the unprecedented way in which George Bush and then Barack Obama jettisoned capitalism, unleashing torrents of bailouts, credit and federal manipulation during the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, GDP ended up posting back to back years of negative growth anyway.

When you have back to back quarters of negative growth, they call it a recession.

When you have back to back years of negative growth, they call it a depression.

We had a depression.

One can plausibly argue that 2010's + 3.0 percent GDP imprint is evidence that the federal deluge got us out of the depression, but it didn't avert it. We had a depression. We spent gobs to get out of it. And now for the first half of 2011 GDP is stalled at 0.4 and now 1.3, jobs aren't coming back, housing continues to sink, prices of essentials are rising, kai ta loipa.

Krugman and company thought we didn't spend anywhere near enough to get out. Well, we did, just not enough to get Obama out to 2012, that's all!

A quick, dirty depression arguably would have been better. Instead, we've got this, including a nasty argument about paying for all the borrowing to finance it.

'Things Always Look Darkest Before They Go Completely Black'

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism here has a fairly low opinion of the regime's default scare tactics:

[U]tter failure of the Treasury or Fed to make any reassuring noises or discuss contingency plans is making rattled nerves much worse than they need to be.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Come Over to the Debt Side

Q2 2011 GDP at 1.3 Percent, Q1 Revised Down Into the Tank to 0.4 Percent

Just how does Q1 go from 1.8, to 1.9, to 0.4? That's an error of only 79 percent.

Q4 2010 also was revised down, to 2.3 percent from 3.1 percent. That's an error of 26 percent.

And revisions going back to 2007 when the Dems took over the Congress under George Bush are even worse, saved for the end of July while everyone's on vacation and not paying attention. And of course it's Friday.

Which reminds me. I neglected to do Bank Failure Friday last week. There were some, but sometimes reporting on it feels like writing an obituary, and last Friday was filled with too much death already.

The GDP story is here.

Obama Regime's Default Alarmism is Straight out of Saul Alinsky

Caroline Baum notices that the Obama regime is acting strangely:

Instead of dangling the default threat every chance they get, Obama and Geithner should be telling the world that the U.S. has every intention, and the resources, to meet its debt obligations. They should shout it from the rooftops, put a banner on the Treasury Direct website, and use the Sunday talk shows to reassure investors, not frighten them.

Rule 3 for Radicals: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of the enemy.

And make no mistake about it, you are the enemy.

Another Voice Wrongly Claiming 'The Money is in the Middle'

Brian Wesbury at The DC, here:

What most people don’t realize is that the U.S. has gorged so much (boosting spending from roughly 18% of GDP in 2000 to 24% of GDP today), that the only way to pay for it is to tax the middle class. ...

The money is in the middle. And the only way our politicians can get it is to follow Europe’s lead and institute a national sales tax or Value-Added Tax (VAT). This is the elephant in the room that is never talked about. Those who are using the debt ceiling in an attempt to cut spending are actually saving the middle class from tax hikes — not the millionaires and billionaires.


It's a frequently repeated claim that the money is in the middle, but it's just not true, no matter how often  it is said.

If all the (reported) income in America were poured into a giant hour glass, you'd have to start it and wait about twenty minutes to begin to visualize how all the money is actually distributed.

A snapshot taken at that moment would show $5.7 trillion in adjusted gross income still in the top, and $2.8 trillion in AGI in the bottom. The kicker is that 35 million tax returns split what's on top, while the remaining 105 million tax returns, 75 percent of the total, divvy up what's on the bottom.

The money's definitely not "in the middle."

It's hard to get agreement on what's middle class in America, especially since it is a conceit of our society that everyone is middle class. The rich aspire down to it to escape notice, the poor up to it to escape the indignities of dependence.

But no matter what smoke anyone tries to blow up your bottom, the biggest single pile of money remains with the top 25 percent:

Top 10 percent = 14 million tax returns (10 percent of the total) = $3.9 trillion in AGI
The next 25-10 percent = 21 million tax returns (15 percent of the total) = $1.8 trillion in AGI

The next 50-25 percent = 35 million tax returns (25 percent of the total) = $1.7 trillion in AGI
The bottom 50 percent = 70 million tax returns (50 percent of the total) = $1.1 trillion in AGI.

It's ridiculous to think that a VAT tax will somehow generate huge piles of new tax revenue on the backs of the middle class.  The VAT will hurt them just like Social Security and Medicare taxes hurt them because it's regressive, not because they have a lot of untapped money they're going to be parting with.

Considering how much tax evasion there already is in America of the unreported income variety, variously estimated (here at $2 trillion, resulting in a tax gap of $500 billion), a VAT will fail simply because it will drive more and more of the economy underground where cash is king and credit cards, checks, invoices and receipts are anathema. Think of it as the inverse of how the rich escape high rates of taxation, for example by shifting to capital gains away from ordinary income. A quicker way to become Greece I cannot think of.

Setting money free to move around openly is the key to an effective tax policy. But bringing it out into the open where it can be captured and taxed depends on perceptions of fairness.

As long as too many people think some people should pay taxes at a higher rate just because they have more, we're not going to get there. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Left Wing Anti-Semitic Fanatic, Was Breivik's Target

The following was reported here:

"Anders Behring Breivik had plans to come to Utoeya (island) while Gro Harlem Brundtland was visiting on Friday, but claims under interrogation that he was delayed," Aftenposten reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.

The newspaper said the 32-year-old right-wing fanatic wanted to "hit Gro".


Breivik's Target at Utoya, Gro Harlem Brundtland, A Long-Time Norwegian Anti-Semite

From Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America by Kenneth R. Timmerman (2004):

"The Nazi references emerge frequently and easily in today's Norway, and they are directed mainly at Israel, but also at the United States. At a huge demonstration in central Oslo to protest Israel's independence on April 20, 2002, former Labor Party prime minister Jens Stoltenberg addressed pro-Palestinian groups waving Nazi flags. Without blinking, he endorsed their cause. 'There is one occupant, and one occupier,' he told them. (It was his party, under the leadership of Gro Harlem Brundtland and Foreign Minister Johan Holst, that oversaw the Oslo Declaration of Principles in September 1993.) The former leader of the center-left Center Party, Gunnar Stalsett, now the state-appointed Lutheran bishop of Oslo, addressed a crowd of anti-Israeli demonstrators waving Nazi flags on April 6, 2002. 'He asked that they pull down the swastikas before he spoke,' an Israeli diplomat in Oslo told me. When the crowd kept on waving them, he spoke anyway. ...

"Anti-Israel demonstrations and Israeli 'misdeeds' in the West Bank and Gaza get extensive coverage in a Norwegian press whose brazen anti-Semitism goes way beyond any tolerable expresssion of a political disagreement with Israel. For years, Norwegian reporters and cartoonists have compared Israel to Hitler's Third Reich and have used classical anti-Semitic themes that arguably should be outlawed under Norway's 1975 hate crimes legislation." (pp. 239f)

"Labor Party heavyweights began traveling to Lebanon to pay homage to Arafat. Among them were Thorvald Stoltenberg, the future foreign minister, and Gro Harlem Brundtland. Although she was older than the 1968 generation radicals, Brundtland took them under her wing. Under her leadership, many of the former Socialist Left Party activists joined the Labor Party. She promoted them to the party leadership, while adopting their anti-Israel agenda. In April 1983, when Brundtland headed the Association of Scandinavian Labor Parties, she invited Arafat to visit Stockholm. It was a major diplomatic coup that broadened his support in Europe. After an eight-month initial stint as prime minister in 1981, Brundtland twice returned to power, from May 1986 to October 1989 and, again, from September 1990 to October 1996, when Oslo was negotiated and implemented.

"One of the former Socialist Left Party activists promoted by Brundtland was Einar Foerde, who eventually became head of the Norwegian National Broadcasting Company. Until his retirement in 2001, "Foerde continued the tradition of picking key persons who shared his political views and placing them throughout the NRK," says Jan Gregersen. Another hard-leftist Brundtland brought into the Labor Party fold was Terje Roed-Larsen, the anti-Israel Communist from the Palestinian Front." (p. 245)

Why Isn't Sen. Reid's Bill DEAD ON ARRIVAL IN THE HOUSE?

Well, why isn't it?

The Republicans haven't been doing this right at all. They continue to act like earnest young men who believe if they keep acting, keep trying, keep changing, keep talking, they'll somehow convince the upper chamber to move.

Instead all they've proven is that they don't mean business.

They pass a budget which gets tabled in the Senate, A BUDGET WHICH ISN'T BALANCED, and assumes a revenue shortfall of $1 trillion in fiscal 2012.

Then they suddenly feel compelled to pass a debt-ceiling measure to cut spending, which gets tabled in the Senate. The time to cut spending and balance the budget was in the budget phase, not the debt-ceiling phase. Had they passed a balanced budget, they could have legitimately claimed to have no need even to address the debt-ceiling issue. 

Now they're going to pass an alternative to the debt-ceiling measure, which is going to get tabled in the Senate, after which the Senate will finally pass something of its own.

The House should declare it dead on arrival, pass a simple debt-ceiling increase of, say, $1 trillion in response, adjourn and call it a day.

Let the Senate table that. Or Obama veto it. Either way, the LACK OF SERIOUSNESS of the Dems and this regime would finally be exposed.

That's how you play chicken, and win. 

Employment Deterioration Under Obama More Than 2 Times Worse Than Under Bush

Louis Woodhill has the numbers here:


Over Bush 43′s two terms in office (96 months), America lost ground with respect to full employment by an average of 94,000 jobs per month, for a total of 9.1 million positions. During Obama’s first 29 months in office, the U.S. moved an additional 6.0 million jobs away from full employment, equivalent to an average rate of 206,000 per month.

So, in terms of the rate of employment deterioration, Obama’s presidency has been more than twice as bad as George W. Bush’s. ...

In June 2011, America had 2.9 million fewer people working than when Obama was inaugurated.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Home Appraisal Business Has Been Screwed Up Since the 1930s

For all the gory details of yet one more long, failed experiment in fascism, American style, see the story by Steven Malanga, here.

Some Money Market Funds Increase Liquidity By Over 40 Percent, Lighten Up On Treasuries

As reported here:

Money market funds are avoiding the one-month Treasury notes which mature on August 4 and August 11. “Those are the securities most vulnerable to some sort of change,” said Joseph Abate, strategist at Barclays Capital. ...

Money market funds, which hold $338 billion of US government debt, according to Citigroup, are also reducing the amount of time they are willing to lend. This could raise funding concerns for banks, as they are reliant on short-term borrowing in the repurchase or repo market.

Crimes Against Humanity Conviction Would Net Breivik An Extra 9 Years in Jail!

The maximum of 21 years behind bars would go all the way up . . . to 30.

As reported here.

Those Norwegians really know how to hurt a guy.

In a country that wasn't itself completely insane, the preparations for the execution of the self-confessed murderer would already be underway.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

John Sununu: Protecting 3 Million From Obamacare With Waivers Proves It's a Clinker

Shadow Inventory has Grown Over 67 Percent Since 2009 to 3.35 Million Units

Daniel Indiviglio has a nice chart and data from Laurie Goodman showing this, here.

So What if We Become Japan!

"What matters is whether investors really believe that they will be stiffed. In Japan they did not, and still do not."

-- Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, here

The thing is, ZIRP has been stiffing us for quite some time now. And the dollar is down nearly 25 times since 1971 alone.

The phrase "Federal Reserve policy" has been a synonym for screwing the American taxpayer . . . since 1913.


Obama Admits It Again: He's Tempted By Tyranny, and Disrespects Limits

"The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you, not just on immigration reform." (quoted here yesterday)

Here's The New York Times in March: Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China.

And, of course, at the age of nine being prime minister of Indonesia already looked pretty good, according to this in April: His mother's ambition was clearly not lost on the future US president. When his Indonesian stepfather asked him once what he wanted to be when he grew up, he was probably expecting him to say an airline pilot or an athlete. "'Oh, prime minister', Barry answered,'" wrote Ms Scott.

The hunger for power evidently began early. But its possession now apparently does not satisfy. What's especially disturbing is the frustration Obama keeps expressing with the limits we place on presidential power in America. He's frequently seen bowing to foreign leaders. Why not to the constitution?

Nothing in it prevented FDR from seeking a third term, and then a fourth, except respect for the long tradition of the unwritten rule of laying down power voluntarily after two terms, going back to the example of George Washington. The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1951, was the people's response to the lack of self-control FDR showed by his actions.

Obama would do well to consider that more seriously, and these words from our Declaration of Independence:

A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

The Red Army Faction Mass Violence Thought For The Day

While everyone jumps on the bandwagon to vilify what happened in Oslo as somehow inherently right-wing, let's all think back to 1968 for a moment:


"If one sets a car on fire, that is a criminal offence. If one sets hundreds of cars on fire, that is political action."

-- Ulrike Meinhof

"Norway, Israel and the jews"

For everything anti-Semitic and anti-Israel in Norway, I highly recommend "Norway, Israel and the jews," here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The AUF of Utoya Fame is Completely Radicalised Against Israel

Seen here:

Labor Youth not only subscribes to a Manichean perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict – they are baying for the conflict to increase. Christian People’s Party does not approve.

Vårt Land offers the article “Labor Youth is playing at war” by journalist Johannes Morken. Excerpt:

Labor Youth leader Eskil Pedersen demands that Norway positions itself “even more clearly on the side of the Palestinians”. This makes CPP-youth leader Elisabeth Løland to mobilize against Labor Youth.

- The conflict has been going on for decades and has destroyed the lives of many humans, both Israelis and Palestinians. This is not a football match where one selects a side to support, and then to cheer every time they score a goal, says Løland.

Run sister, run, you’re doing good. As for Eskil Pedersen of Labor Youth, you know full well how your brethren are faring under the loving rule of Hamas and PA alike, and yet, in order to be sufficiently radical and tough, you choose to look the other way. That’s the kind of creature you are, you and Anette Trettebergstuen alike.

Jewish Children In Oslo Schools Report The Most Harassment

Gee, I wonder why. Just maybe because anti-Semitism, the preferred pose of Norway's Labour Party and its youth arm, the AUF, is pandemic in Norway, thanks to Gro Harlem Brundtland. Imagine that. A doctor spreading a disease.

Excerpted from a news report in June:

Students with ethnic Norwegian background were the least harassed, but the rate of harassment rose in line with the number of non-Norwegian students at their schools.

Most worrisome for school and city officials was the high level of Jewish students, 33 percent, who reported harassment at least two to three times a month. That compares to 5.3 percent of Muslim students who said they’d been harassed. Fully 9 percent of the students responding said they’d been harassed at school because of their religion or faith, while Christians experienced the least harassment. ...

More than half of the students, 52 percent, said they’d experienced that the word jøde (Jew) was used to describe something negative. Fully 41 percent confirmed having heard jokes about Jews at school and 35 percent had noticed generally negative commentaries on Jews. As many as 5 percent had heard other students deny that the Holocaust occurred during World War II.

“Respect, tolerance, equality and inclusion must be made crystal clear in the schools’ educational program,” said director Astrid Søgnen of the city’s department of education.

What a joke. Whether it's under fascists like Quisling or communists like Labour, anti-Semitism finds fertile ground to flourish and grow in Norway, no matter what.

Oslo/Utoya: The overall toll in the attack now stands at 76 instead of 93.

The latest here.

What's The Difference Between The Utoya Shooter and Bill Clinton?

One besieged and killed 76 people, including more than 20 children, and the other is a Norwegian.

The Utoya Shooter Also Lifted Broadly From The Unabomber

It won't get much attention, since the liberal effort already is to smear Fjordman, Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, Pam Geller, Brussels Journal, et alia, but the shooter's manifesto also lifted broadly from the Unabomber, according to Scott Shane for The New York Times, here:

Mr. Breivik’s declaration did not name Mr. Kaczynski or acknowledge the numerous passages copied from the Unabomber’s 1995 manifesto, in which the Norwegian substituted “multiculturalists” or “cultural Marxists” for Mr. Kaczynski’s “leftists” and made other small wording changes.

Don't study mathematics, kiddies. You wouldn't want to grow up to be a terrorist now would you?

And while we are at it, the post-war right in America has never drawn any inspiration from utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill either, unless, of course, you include libertarians on the right. Many of us never have, don't now, and won't in future. One reason being that some of them have a nasty habit of being anti-Semitic, just like the Norwegian Labour Party and its youth wing, the AUF. Another being, for example, Mike Gravel.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Utoya Shooting Survivors So Brainwashed By AUF Anti-Semitism They Mistook The Atrocity For A Staged Object Lesson

"Several young survivors of the massacre reported that they initially took the shooting by the killer who was dressed as a cop for a simulation of Israeli crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories."

As reported here:

Mehrere jugendliche Überlebende des Massakers berichteten, dass sie die Schießerei des als Polizist verkleideten Mörders zunächst für eine Simulierung israelischer Verbrechen an Palästinensern in den besetzten Gebieten hielten.

But you can bet no one will call what Norwegians have let happen to the minds of these young people a crime.

A Credible Republican Candidate For President in 2012. . .

. . . will be first and foremost the one who forthrightly repudiates the legacy of George W. Bush.

Democrat Intransigence: To Go On Spending As If There Were No Problem

Jack Kelly notes here that revenues have never been enough to match spending, going all the way back to WWII:

The problem is spending. Outlays rose from $1.863 trillion in FY 2001 to an estimated $3.819 trillion in this fiscal year, 105 percent in 10 years. The federal government now consumes 24 percent of the gross domestic product. (Since 1903, federal spending has averaged a hair over 20 percent of GDP). ...

Since World War II, federal tax revenues have averaged 18 percent of GDP. Income tax rates varied widely during this period, and there were both booms and busts. But tax revenues never exceeded 20.6 percent of GDP. That seems to be a ceiling -- no matter what economic conditions are or how high rates are raised -- and it suggests the budget cannot be balanced unless spending is held below 20 percent of GDP.

So tax hikes can't close the budget gap. But they could clobber the moribund recovery, making the deficit worse.

Democrats want Republicans to accept real tax hikes in exchange for mostly phantom spending cuts. Because they are unwilling to do so, many journalists describe Republicans as "intransigent." But the truly intransigent, it seems to me, are those who want to go on spending as if there were no problem.


None Dare Called it Learned

Except for "Aaron," a non-religious Jewish Democrat who thinks George Bush is a war criminal.

Aaron "also didn't know that his same-sex attraction, far from being inborn and inescapable, was a thirst for the love that he had not received from his father, a cold and distant man prone to angry outbursts, coupled with a fear of women kindled by his intrusive and overbearing mother, all of which added up to a man who wanted to have sex with other men just so he could get some male attention. He didn't understand any of this, he tells me, until he found a reparative therapist whom he consulted by phone for nearly 10 years, attended weekend workshops, and learned how to 'be a man.'"

Gary Greenberg for Mother Jones tries to remain sympathetic, here.

Author Admits Norway is Racist, Never Mentions It Is Official Labour Policy Towards Israel

Everyone is ignoring the anti-Semitic elephant in the world's living room.

"Casual racism is rife. Only in Norway have I heard someone order a taxi and request that the driver is white. News reports can display an unwitting racism that is shocking to British ears."

-- Anthony Browne, Mayor of London's Re-election Campaign, here


Camp Utoya Day Before The Shootings: A Seething Cauldron of Anti-Israelism

As seen here and here and translated by Google (italics added for emphasis):

Jonas Gahr Store: - The occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now

21. July 2011, at. 5:42 p.m. | | By: Eivind Funds

The Foreign Minister was met with claims that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state when he visited the Labour Youth League summer camp Thursday.

AUF WANT BOYCOTT: Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store was met by demands that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state when he visited the Labour Youth League summer camp at Utøya Thursday.

During the second day of Labour Youth League summer camp at Utøya got the Labour Party's young hopefuls visit by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Together with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Sidsel Wold and Norwegian People's Aid Kirsten Belck-Olsen, discussed the Foreign Minister of the deadlock between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

As foreign minister arrived Utøya he was met with a demand from the AUF that Norway must recognize a Palestinian state.

- The Palestinians must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now, said the Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience.

Earlier this week, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Norway, the Minister said to TV 2 news channel that Norway stands ready to recognize a Palestinian state . This he repeated during the debate on Utøya.

- We are ready to recognize a Palestinian state. I await the actual resolution text Palestinians will promote the UN General Assembly in September, said the Minister.

In autumn it is expected that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will bring the matter to the UN. Where will he ask for UN membership and recognition of a Palestinian state within the borders before the 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Wednesday said AUF leader Eskil Pedersen that the AUF want a unilateral economic embargo of Israel from the Norwegian side.

- Labour Youth will have a more activist Middle East policy and we have to recognize Palestine. NOK NOK's, now we have to get the peace process into a new track, said Pedersen.

The foreign minister admitted that the situation is untenable, but believes that the boycott is the wrong tool.

- Boycott will be to move from dialogue to monologue. It is difficult to open the door the day we will talk with Israel, said the Minister.

The Vikings Live On . . . in the Anti-Semitic 'Ship To Gaza Norway'

Some things never change:











Note their platform: "resistance against the Israeli occupation".







(source)

The Gang of Six Types Attack Savers

They want to cap "combined employee/employer pre-tax contributions to 401(k)s at $20,000 or 20 percent of income, whichever is lower. That would be a substantial cut in deductibility, since the employee deduction alone currently is capped at $16,500 (savers over age 50 can make additional $5,500 “catch-up” contributions)."

Just one of the ways the greedy feds want to extract more revenue from people as they age.

You'll find more of this discussed, here.

"Norway's toughest sentence is 21 years in jail"

Seen here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Larry Kudlow is No Conservative: Another Voice Impeding the Tea Party

So-called conservatives like Lawrence Kudlow insist, INSIST!, that Barack Obama is a liberal, not a socialist.

Wake up, Kudlow: The deficit is triple what it was under a real liberal, George W. Bush, and you call that more liberalism!

Which is why Kudlow, even today, keeps defending plans like the one from the Gang of Six. That plan's baseline assumes the expiration of the Bush tax rates, which means a reset UP of the tax rates. A cut from that is a cut, except relative to the rates from which it represents a tax increase.

GET ON THE RIGHT, KUDLOW!

Cut taxes, you moron.

And slash, SLASH!, spending.

Build submarines and satellites to project American power, and drill here. We don't need boots on the ground in what, 170 countries?!

This is so easy my fifth grader could beat you.

Friday, July 22, 2011

TSA = Thousands Standing Around

According to the pilots! So says The Barrister, here.

I still like Tough Shit America, though.

The Fed Still Refuses to Document for the GAO the Exigent Circumstances Justifying Loans to Non-Primary Dealers

See the story here.

We're talkin' affiliates of Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup.

None dare call it fascism.

The True Born Sons of Liberty want The Fed to end.

Mayor Daley's Legacy: A Total Breakdown of Law and Order in Chicago

Firemen need police escorts to turn off nearly 2,000 opened fire hydrants.

Story here.

Just think what would happen in this country if we had a really serious problem. The natives are restless.

Right Wing White Racist Militia From Missouri Sets Off Car Bomb In Oslo

Oops, sorry. Wrong headline.

Story here.

Everybody's Doin' A Brand New Dance Now: The Mussolini

Carole King - Locomotion


LOCOMOTION
by Gerry Goffin and Carole King

Everybody's doin' a brand new dance now

Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini
I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now
Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini

My little baby sister can do it with ease
It's easier than learning your ABC's
So come on, come on do the locomotion Mussolini with me

You gotta swing your hips now
Come on baby jump up jump back
Oh well, I think you've got the knack

Now that you can do it let's make a chain some pain now
Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini
Chug-a-chug a motion like a railroad train now nuke plant meltdown
Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini

Do it nice and easy now and don't lose control
A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul
Come on, come on do the locomotion Mussolini with me

Move around the floor in a locomotion like a king-sized Weenie
Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini
Do it holdin' hands if you get the notion you big fascist Meanie
Come on baby do the locomotion Mussolini

There's never been a dance that's so easy to do
It even makes you happy wealthy when you're feeling blue
Come on, come on do the locomotion Mussolini with me

(original lyrics here)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Senator Saxby Chambliss Doesn't Tell The Whole Truth About Tax Loss Expenditures

On the Sean Hannity program today Senator Chambliss claimed that under Ronald Reagan tax loss expenditures were eliminated as part of a lowering and broadening of the tax base in 1986.

The top income tax bracket eventually fell to 28 percent for a very brief time as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 under Reagan's successor, George Herbert Walker Bush, who subsequently went on to break his no new taxes pledge, paving the way for tax increases under his successor, Bill Clinton, proving that broad low tax rates can be as ephemeral as any other part of the tax code.

The senator from Georgia today claimed that the current plan of his Gang of Six was proposing the scaling-back of similar tax loss expenditures enjoyed by taxpayers in the same spirit of Reagan. For example, the Gang wants to reduce the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions in exchange for a lower income tax rate.

But the senator is pulling a fast one with the facts. Reagan didn't just eliminate some tax loss expenditures and reduce income tax rates in exchange. He in fact broadened at the same time the mortgage interest deduction in order to encourage home ownership, something entirely missing from the Gang of Six plan:

Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86), the interest on all personal loans (including credit card debt) was deductible. TRA86 eliminated that broad deduction, but created the narrower home mortgage interest deduction under the theory that it would encourage home ownership.

I remember at the time how unfair I thought it was to lose the deductibility of credit card interest until I realized how an equity line of credit based on home ownership could and in fact did replace the role credit cards and other lines of credit had played in the tax equation before 1986. The change was also noteworthy because it encouraged the acquisition and use of secured equity instead of the use of mere credit secured only by income and creditworthiness.

Senator Chambliss' plan will eliminate tax deductibility of home mortgage interest without replacing it with anything to encourage home ownership.

And if there's anything America needs more right now, it's jobs and family formation to soak up the excess housing inventory. All Chambliss' plan will do is worsen the economic circumstances of current homeowners, who are already struggling with upside down loans and declining real estate values.

It's time conservatives recaptured the importance of home ownership as a social good. Unfortunately, the ideas of the Gang of Six do anything but. And whatever else they are, they aren't Reaganite. 

Atlantis Makes Final Shuttle Return to Earth, as Seen From Space Station

American Fascist Snapshot of the Day: NY Fed President, William Dudley, Owned AIG and GE During Their Bailouts!

Outrageous. 

The best investments government can buy.

None dare call it fascism.

Story here.

Naked Scans To Be Replaced With Generic Silhouettes On Millimeter Wave Machines

So says The Washington Post, here.

A similar change for backscatter scanners is still in development and is not available.

Dept. of Homeland Security Snitch Video Portrays at Least 15 Terrorists as Whites

Go ahead.

Count 'em.


Read about it, here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Incompetent Airport Security Misses .32 cal Ammo TWICE

Both in the US and in the Bahamas:

It’s unclear how the bullet was not detected by security at Kansas City International Airport and in Nassau.

No, it's entirely clear. You're incompetent and your security is pure theatre, you miserable cretins.

There's more here.

Spending Cuts, Not Default, Are What Obama and Democrats Fear, and Loathe

American news organs appear to be incapable of the accurate formulation.

You won't find it put better anywhere than here:

Without agreement by August 2, the U.S. government will have to impose immediate spending cuts of about 44 per cent to stave off a default on its huge debts.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

House Defiant, Passes Cut, Cap and Balance 234-190

Presidential candidates Bachmann and Paul were among nine Republicans who voted against the plan because it raises the debt ceiling:

The measure, to be taken up by the Senate next, would impose statutory spending caps to wring $5.8 trillion in unspecified savings from the government over the next decade — twice the $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase that is allowed. Nondefense appropriations face a 30 percent cut from what the Congressional Budget Office now projects for the same period, and even SSI (Supplemental Security Income) payments for the elderly and disabled are exposed to across-the-board sequesters to enforce the reductions.

Read the rest here.

Spending Prediction

78 percent of New Year's Eve resolutions fail.

And they all vote.

Obama Grasps at Straws, Seizes on Gang of Six Pricks Plan

Reported here:

President Barack Obama ... lauded a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan Tuesday that includes $1 trillion in higher taxes ... [S]tocks soared for the day, propelled by the deficit plan's emergence and Obama's decision to seize on it as well as by strong earnings reports.


And elsewhere, this:

"You're elected executive to lead. And I think it's incumbent on the president to put the plan out there. You cannot wait for members of a legislative body to lead. The executive has an obligation to lead."

-- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Tim Pawlenty Draws Blood: How Bachmann is Obama All Over Again

And it's about time, too:

Speaking to reporters after a town-hall event [in Iowa] on a sweltering afternoon, Pawlenty did not hold back when asked whether the Minnesota congresswoman could win a general election if she were to become the Republican presidential nominee.

"I don't think the country is going to do that again," Pawlenty said in his characteristically subdued tone before twisting the knife. "They learned the lesson of big speeches and no experience with Barack Obama, and it didn't work."


More here.

Spending Every Year is Now Twice What it was When Clinton Left Office

When men lack self-restraint, restraint must be applied from the outside. That is the meaning of this moment.

For more from David Boaz, click here.

The Gang of Pricks

They want to raise your taxes by $1.2 trillion:

Sen. Tom Coburn is the Enemy of Every Traditional Family


"I’ve argued that Republicans should be willing to consider increases in revenue -- not through higher tax rates but through eliminating tax earmarks, such as that for ethanol, and other expenditure that misallocates capital."

"Tax earmarks" and "other expenditure" which "misallocates capital"?

Read "tax loss expenditures." In other words, the tax deductions which every nuclear family in the country depends on for its survival: mortgage interest, donations to charity, property taxes, state income taxes and the like.

THE GUY VIEWS YOUR TAX PAYMENTS AS THE GOVERNMENT'S CAPITAL. AND EVERY PROVISION OF THE TAX CODE WHICH DIVERTS YOUR MONEY BACK TO YOU HE VIEWS AS A MISALLOCATION.

If it walks like a tax increase and talks like a tax increase, it's a tax increase.

Federal Judge Rules One Hutaree Member Incompetent to Stand Trial

Due to either a mental defect or a mental illness, resulting in delusions.

The story is here and here.

Too bad someone can't intervene in this way on behalf of President Obama, an ideologue who suffers under the delusion that he is a pragmatist.

How Much of Your Money Market Fund is in the Repo Market?

Just days ago it seems we were worried sick about money market exposures to European banks who are in turn exposed to the PIIGS.

Overall US money market funds have had just under half of their assets in short term European investments, meaning that US cash savers in such funds are actually providing perhaps as much as several trillions of dollars in liquidity to Europe's stressed banks and sovereigns.

Now Jim Jubak thinks money market exposures to the repo market should also worry people, here:


My big worry is that the current slow erosion of faith in U.S. Treasurys will turn into a cascade of unanticipated consequences if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Treasurys play a unique role in the global financial markets. They aren't important only because they're jammed into so many global portfolios, including the portfolios of so many of the world's countries. They're also important because they serve as collateral on a huge percentage of the complex deals that use derivatives to shift risk around the globe. ...

Treasurys are used as collateral for cash loans in the repo (repurchase) market. In a repo agreement, the seller of a security agrees to buy it back from a buyer at a higher price on a specified date in the future. Repos are, in effect, short-term loans; they are used to raise short-term cash by banks and corporations. Central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, also use them to manage the money supply. To expand the money supply, the Fed decreases the repo rate at which it buys back government debt instruments from commercial banks. To shrink the money supply, the Fed increases the repo rate.

It's a huge market. Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates that 74% of primary dealer repo financing -- or about $2.1 trillion -- involves Treasurys as collateral. ...


Money market funds have big chunks of their cash in the repo market. (Anyone who remembers the problems that the Lehman crisis created for money market funds should regard any advice on using money market funds as a safe haven in the event of a U.S. default with extreme skepticism.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

North Carolina Dept. of Transportation A Little Hacked Off At Obama

For what reason, we do not know, but the sign displayed the message over the weekend and motorists pulled over to take pictures.

The story is here:

The Bernanke S and P After 2 Rounds of Quantitative Easing

600 points for $2.5+ trillion in MBS and Treasuries.

Ben Bernanke: The Very Face of Moral Hazard

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), quoted here:

“You are the very definition of a moral hazard.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Damn Right Gloria: The Tea Party Stopped The Transformation

And we aim to reverse it.

Video here.

Pay It Down Now, Or Pay A Lot More Later

“I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”

-- James 'Cue Ball' Carville, quoted here

Will Government Be Short $134 Billion In August as Bob Brinker Claims Today?

He made the claim on his radio show, "Money Talk." See the recap here.

Others, as for example here, maintain there's plenty of cash flow to pay for everything critical both in law and for creditworthiness:

"The Daily Treasury Statement for June 30—which any American, including the president, can look up on the U.S. Treasury Department’s website at this link—says the government took in $196.994 billion in revenue during the month ... more than enough to pay not only all Social Security benefits and veterans benefits and programs for the month, but also, on top of that, the interest on the federal debt, Medicare, Medicaid, the Indian Health Service, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, all federal workers’ salaries, federal workers’ insurance benefits, Justice Department programs, and Defense Department venders.

"The combined costs for all of these federal expenditures in June was $195.502 billion.

"That means that out of the federal government’s $196.994 billion in revenue in June, the government would have had a surplus of $1.492 billion after it had paid the interest on the national debt, plus all Social Security benefits, veterans’ benefits, veterans’ programs, Medicare, Medicaid, the Indian Health Service, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, federal workers’ salaries, federal workers’ insurance benefits, Justice Department programs, and Defense Department vend[o]rs."


Isn't it the potential of cutting off the cash cow for extraneous government spending which really has liberals like Brinker in a fit? After all, he called Senator Harry "The War is Lost" Reid of Nevada "a good man" more than once on his show. Brinker loves the guy.

How is it that Brinker can assert, as he did today, that advocating against raising the debt ceiling, as certain Republicans are doing presently, disqualifies one for the presidency when Obama actually voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006, along with all the rest of his Democrat colleagues in the Senate? The Roll Call vote is here.

The minions of liberals in the federal workforce might actually have to THINK going forward and prove their competence for their exorbitant salaries by PRIORITIZING spending for a change if Republicans muster the courage to force them TO DO THEIR JOBS and leave the debt ceiling where it is. Raising the debt ceiling is the true default: It means you can't pay your bills without more borrowing.

Maybe Bob Brinker is afraid the Democrats are not really up to it. They certainly haven't been in the past. We're still waiting for a budget proposal from the Senate. The Senate under Reid hasn't passed one in over two years.

Obama Proves The Rule: Stoners Can't Remember Dates

Not only can he not remember his daughter's birthdate, he can't remember his own.

Story here.

Nor quantities and sizes: Obama's America has at least 57 states and hundreds of millions of inhabitants.

US Money Market Funds Are Keeping The PIIGS' Banks Liquid

So says Felix Zulauf, here:

[T]he banks, particularly at the periphery, are refunding themselves via the U.S. money market that is extremely liquid, and half of the money in the U.S. money market funds is really money to fund the peripheral European banks. Once those money market funds get hit by redemptions because investors find out, then you have a funding crisis of major scale at the periphery of Europe, and that is the next step. It is a never-ending drama until it breaks in a big way.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Dollar, Then and Now

In 1913, when the Federal Reserve came into being, the 1790 Dollar had lost little value over the preceding 123 years. You needed just $1.08 to buy what a 1790 Dollar could buy.

58 years on from 1913, however, when the Dollar and Gold were finally and completely de-linked from one another in 1971, that 1913 Dollar worth $1.08 had lost over 300 percent of its value. You needed $4.56 in 1971 to buy what $1.08 could buy in 1913. Much of the devaluation of the Dollar occurred in 1933 when FDR confiscated Gold and then reset the price per ounce at $35.00 from $20.67, a 70 percent devaluation almost overnight.

By 2010, just 39 years on from 1971, that $4.56 really went south. Completely unhinged from Gold, you now needed $24.50 in 2010 to buy what $4.56 could buy in 1971. That 1971 Dollar worth $4.56 had lost over another 400 percent of its value.

Carthago delenda est? Try: Down with the Fed!

Woman Gropes TSA Agent!

It's about time!

Story here.

Obama's Got The Better Approach? Granny Hawkins Begs To Differ.

"I’m confident that I will win that [debt] debate because ... we’ve got the better approach.”

-- President Obama


Granny Hawkins:
I say that big talk's worth doodly-squat.

Moody's Downgrades 7 Portuguese Banks Which Just Passed EU 'Stress' Tests

The laughs never stop.

Story here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

DC Circuit Court Rules Naked Body Scans Do Not Violate Fourth Amendment

Because they're optional.

As in you can either get photographed naked, or groped, without which you are not "free to fly about the country."

Some option. Papers will be next. And then every form of transportation you  take will make you subject to unreasonable search and seizure.

Just roll over and take it, bitch. You'll enjoy it.

Story here.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Confuses Not Getting Your Way With Racism

Pretty soon anyone who says No to anyone will be a racist, too.

Story here.

'If Obama Cuts Medicare or Social Security, I'll Vote Communist'

Chicagoan Mary Ellen . . . Croteau was asked if she would still vote for Obama, "No I won't . . .. Not if he cuts Medicare and Social Security. I'm 61. I'm looking at retirement in a few years."

". . . I will vote for someone. Whether it's a Green candidate, whether it's a Communist, I don't care. Somebody who's going to stand up for people. This is disgusting. [Obama] has given away everything he pledged to stand for."

Read the full entry here.



Dr. Obama Prescribes The Same Old Medicine Of The Miserable

"I always have hope. Don't you remember my campaign? [laughter] Even after being here for two and a half years, I continue to have hope. You know why I have hope? It's because of the American people."

Video here.


The miserable have no other medicine,
But only Hope:
I've hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

     -- Claudio, William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Act III, Scene I



Rasmussen Poll, Like Gallup, Shows Low Support For New Taxes at 34 Percent

Again, as part of a debt limit increase measure. While Gallup has 50 percent wanting spending cuts as the primary feature of the legislation, Rasmussen shows that at 55 percent.

The poll results are here.

Obama Says 80 Percent Want Balanced Approach, Gallup Says 32 Percent

Only 11 percent want a predominantly tax approach, while 50 percent want a predominantly spending cuts approach.

See Gallup here, and Obama here.

Why Michele Bachmann Won't Be President

TMI.

Is Tim Pawlenty "The Unnatural"?

There's a certain metaphysical quality to the guy. And we're not talking Platonic philosophy.

The New Republic tries to explain, here.

Ann Althouse Calls Obama A Liar

Well, yeah. And you thought reading was fundamental.

"Obama lied about a central fact about his own life which he used — powerfully — to push health care reform."

I wonder if he ever lied to his own mother.

Democrats Under Obama Were The First Since 1974 Not To Pass A Budget

So Mona Charen, here:

Unlike Republicans under President Bush, Democrats were in full control of the federal government from January 2009 until January of 2011. Despite a 77-seat majority in the House, an 18-seat majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House, the Democratic Party became the first since budget rules were enacted in 1974 to fail to pass a budget. Budgets are clarifying. So is the failure to produce one.

Democrat Rick Perry Once Voted For Texas Size Tax and Salary Increases

. . . Back in the 80s, when now Republican Governor of Texas Rick Perry also worked for Al Gore.

The New York Times is happy to tell you, here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

For Mockery of Fiscal Conservatism, You Can't Beat MarketWatch

As here.

Being a commie must be a line item check-off on the job application. 

When the counter-revolution comes, those guys better watch out.

America is Completely Insane: TSA Pats Down Titanium SECDEF Rumsfeld










Story here.

The Atlantic Doesn't Really Care What Kind of Nut Michele Bachmann Is

Just that you know she's a nut.

Joshua Green here thinks she's a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran anti-Catholic nut, even though she's formally separated herself from the group after many years.

The reason surely has to do with theological views she has which are errors according to these Lutherans. Green would like Bachmann to be all about the Lutheran position that the pope is the Antichrist, a position Bachmann has gone on record disavowing.

You'd think Green would dig a little deeper because of that, say at Salon here or especially Mother Jones here, to gain a little wider appreciation for Bachmann's interest in an apocalyptic timetable at the center of which is the state of Israel, and the dispensationalism and millennialism which goes with it, all of which are eschewed by Lutheran interpretation.

Lutheranism is amillennial, and Pauline in its insistence that the Church is the Israel of God, and has replaced it in the world. For Lutherans, the state of Israel is theologically irrelevant. And therefore it is impossible for them that one's relationship to the state of Israel could be talismanic in any way, as Bachmann appears to believe.

For end times enthusiasts like the Congresswoman, the Antichrist is an historical personage who is revealed before the end of the world, not a spirit of error who perennially inhabits the seat of Roman Catholic false doctrine, as the Lutherans believe.

I don't find it surprising at all that Bachmann has parted ways with Lutheranism in the light of these facts. What is surprising is that it took her so long.

She may herself be still quite confused about much of this. Lots of Christians are, and spend inordinate amounts of time trying to figure it all out. But who can really say, except Bachmann herself? About that Green is correct.

The political ramifications for Bachmann's presidential run are not inconsiderable, since many of the people on all sides of these issues in the churches are her potential base of support. For fervent believers as many of them are, positions taken on these issues can be fundamentally alienating.

It's fascinating in a way . . . kind of like a train wreck.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Social Security Tax Cut For 2011 Adds To Stress In A Government Shutdown

The revenue lost to Social Security, about $120 billion in 2011 due to the temporary tax cut, will be reimbursed to the Trust Fund from income tax withholding, over two years, not one. That means that with annual deficit spending already at $1.5 trillion, in a shut down there's even less cash flow to count on if $5 billion in funds are being siphoned off for this purpose monthly.

TheHill.com explains here:

The tax cut will put roughly $120 billion into workers’ pockets. Perhaps $90 billion of this, or three quarters, will be spent. This could provide enough of a boost to GDP to create more than 300,000 jobs. 

Also, the Social Security trust fund will be reimbursed for the lost revenue. Under the deal that President Obama worked out with the Republican leadership, funds from general revenue will replace the lost tax revenue for the next two years. This means that the tax break will have no effect on the long-term solvency of Social Security.

Doh!

Treasury's Own Figures Show It Has Plenty of Cash Flow To Pay Seniors

[A]ccording to the Daily Treasury Statements published by the U.S. Treasury Department, the ongoing flow of federal tax revenue since the Treasury declared that it had hit the debt limit on May 16 has been more than sufficient to cover the combined costs of federal spending on interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Veterans Affairs department and federal workers wages and insurance benefits (including wages and insurance benefits for military personnel).

All the figures follow at the link here.

In 2009 Only 10.5 Million Americans Still Got Paper Checks From Social Security

Tens of millions use direct deposit instead:

[A]bout 10.5 million Americans still receive their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments by paper check each month.

Read the full story here.

Obama Would Be Breaking The Law If He Stopped Social Security Checks

Obama must issue Social Security checks. They're mandatory, not discretionary.

The authority to issue Social Security checks is outside the scope of the president's decision-making authority.

He would be in violation of the law if he ordered them stopped. So would The Treasury Department. 

The Social Security trust fund receives regular infusions from income specially withheld from paychecks for the purpose. Its income is presently in equilibrium with its outflow.

Neither the president nor the Congress can lawfully interfere with this process.

The president is a scoundrel for terrorizing Social Security recipients with his idle threats.

Don't believe it? 

'Uncle Sam Would Not Qualify For A Home Mortgage'

So says Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government here:

Currently, the U.S. is paying about 3 percent interest on the $14.3 trillion debt, or $430 billion of gross interest payments every year. If we had to repay everything over the next 30 years, principal and interest owed would amount to $908 billion out of revenue every year. That’s 41.7 percent of this year’s $2.174 trillion projected tax collections.

Is that affordable? Would repayment even be possible today? Perhaps just barely. The benchmark total debt service ratio for mortgage lenders is 40 percent. Anything above that, and a prospective borrower would not qualify for a loan. So even today, Uncle Sam would not qualify for a home mortgage.

I think the situation is much worse than that.

I remember that way back in 1990 the debt service ratio for a residential mortgage loan was much lower than 40 percent. Your mortgage payment had to be no more than 28 percent of income, and all your debt payments combined, adding in automobile and credit card debt, could not exceed 36 percent of income. Higher than that and you didn't get the loan.

By that standard, the US government today isn't even close at 41.7 percent, and would be laughed out of the bank.

The over-spending must stop.