Archive for January 3rd, 2013
Remember this from the Statement?
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee will continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. The Committee also will purchase longer-term Treasury securities after its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of Treasury securities is completed at the end of the year, initially at a pace of $45 billion per month. The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and, in January, will resume rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. Taken together, these actions should maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.
Yeah, $1 trillion, roughly, annualized. Except that….
While almost all members thought that the asset purchase program begun in September had been effective and supportive of growth, they also generally saw that the benefits of ongoing purchases were uncertain and that the potential costs could rise as the size of the balance sheet increased.Various members stressed the importance of a continuing assessment of labor market developments and reviews of the program’s efficacy and costs at upcoming FOMC meetings. In considering the outlook for the labor market and the broader economy, a few members expressed the view that ongoing asset purchases would likely be warranted until about the end of 2013, while a few others emphasized the need for considerable policy accommodation but did not state a specific time frame or total for purchases.Several others thought that it would probably be appropriate to slow or to stop purchases well before the end of 2013, citing concerns about financial stability or the size of the balance sheet. One member viewed any additional purchases as unwarranted.
But but but….. everyone took the statement as meaning that 2015 was the minimum target before policy accomodation would end — that is, Bernanke would monetize at least $2 trillion more, and probably more like $3 trillion.
Not so fast Kemosabe!
It appears that The FOMC sees what I and a few others have been talking about for a couple of years now — that these “asset purchases” are not particularly effective (other than in boosting stock prices) and the larger the imbalance that The Fed builds into the economy and the markets the more difficult it will be to withdraw that policy, becauseexponents are a bitch.
By the way, these aren’t actually “minutes.” We don’t know who said what, precisely. Indeed, we don’t even know if the alleged “minutes” reflect what was really said at all, and we have seen when the actual minutes are released (manyyears later) that in point of fact some members of the FOMC have said things that aren’t exactly coherent with the so-called “minutes” released a month after the meeting.
But in this case memory lane is short enough for people to pay attention, since the FOMC decision came just a few weeks ago, as did the presser, and both the statement and Bernanke led the market to believe that they would simply stand on the gas — and the FOMC was not only behind him on this with the exception of his one dissenter, they saw this as appropriate through 2015 or maybe even later.
Now add to this the debt ceiling and suddenly things get very interesting, and the bond market appears to have figured that out rather….. “rapidly.”
This could, in turn, make the interest expense for the Federal Government rather….. “interesting” if they don’t cut the crap.
Heh Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell and Obama:
That’s the Chrysler Building you feel up your butt. I hope you enjoy it.
Discussion (registration required to post)
The Gannett Company
Gannett Company, Inc. claims to be “A media and marketing solutions company with a diverse portfolio of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing companies.” Gannett owns many media outlets including:
USA Today of Tysons Corner, Virginia (1,830,594, 2nd overall)
The Arizona Republic of Phoenix, Arizona (308,973, 14th)
Detroit Free Press of Detroit, Michigan (245,326, 20th)
The Indianapolis Star of Indianapolis, Indiana (182,933, 32nd)
The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky (159,275, 42nd)
The Cincinnati Enquirer of Cincinnati, Ohio (157,574, 43rd)
The Tennessean of Nashville, Tennessee (127,538, 61st)
Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, New York (119,399, 65th)
Asbury Park Press of Neptune City, New Jersey (112,683, 68th)
The Des Moines Register of Des Moines, Iowa (109,095, 73rd)
The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware (87,138, 89th)
The Journal News of White Plains, New York (79,525, 96th)
Pacific Daily News of Guam
WBIR-TV (NBC) in Knoxville, Tennessee
WXIA-TV (NBC) and WATL (MyNetworkTV) in Atlanta (Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
WUSA (CBS) in Washington, D.C.
KPNX (NBC) in Phoenix
WTSP (CBS) in Tampa-St. Petersburg (Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
KARE (NBC) in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
KUSA-TV (NBC) and KTVD (MyNetworkTV) in Denver
WKYC-TV (NBC) in Cleveland
KXTV (ABC) in Sacramento, California
KSDK (NBC) in St. Louis
WZZM-TV (ABC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan
WFMY-TV (CBS) in Greensboro, North Carolina
WJXX (ABC) and WTLV (NBC) in Jacksonville, Florida
WGRZ-TV (NBC) in Buffalo, New York
KTHV-TV (CBS) in Little Rock, Arkansas
WLTX (CBS) in Columbia, South Carolina (Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
WMAZ-TV (CBS) in Macon, Georgia (Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
WCSH-TV (NBC) in Portland, Maine (Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)
WLBZ-TV (NBC) in Bangor, Maine
Classified Ventures (20%)
With such a vast audience, Gannett wields considerable influence in America. Unfortunately, Gannett frequently pushes statist propaganda, behaving like an ideal MSM Lapdog for those currently in power.
The Des Moines Register
A recent article published in The Des Moines Register (a Gannett company) illustrates this fact to a painful degree. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, Donald Kaul came out of retirement (again) to rail against gun ownership, the Second Amendment, and to call the NRA a “terrorist organization.” In his “…program for ending gun violence in America,” Kaul calls for the Second Amendment to be repealed, for the NRA to be declared a terrorist organization, and to “…tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot.”
Had he named Democratic congress members as his targets, he would already have been visited by the FBI, but since his suggestion fits the Progressive Playbook, nary an eyebrow was raised. One is forced to wonder if Mr. Kaul has any home security plans beyond dialing 911. Here is his home address, why not pay him a visit and ask?
The Journal News
Another Gannett media company (The Journal News of White Plains, New York) again, in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, published a map of all pistol permit holders in Rockland and Westchester, NY. Soon afterward, a veritable avalanche of “negative correspondence” inundated The Journal News. This highly negative reaction so alarmed Journal News Rockland Editor Caryn A. McBride that The Journal News hired armed security guards from New City-based RGA Investigations, which are now manning the newspaper’s headquarters. Here is her home address (280 Bronxville Rd Apt 4B Bronxville, NY 10708-2819 Phone: 914-954-3412) I’m sure she would welcome a call or a visit to discuss her fears.
The hypocrisy in this is nearly tangible…and if questioned, would surely be dismissed as a “necessary precaution” for the safety of their staff. It is unclear if this map stunt of theirs has affected their readership (they’ll never tell) but their local competitor (The Rockland County Times) has reported an influx of new subscribers that stated they cancelled their subscriptions to The Journal News due to the gun story. Some folks out there are apparently awake, and unwilling to continue to support such a hypocritical organization. Handily, one such person published a map of Journal News staff, for your convenience.
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Free Press (another Gannett company) just published an article entitled Headlines we’d like to see in 2013. As annual year-end lists go, there isn’t much surprising there, but where this list bothers to get political, it takes a hard left. One of their dream headlines for 2013 reads, “Tea party is over: Voters recall dozens of lawmakers over ‘fiscal cliff’ shenanigans”. The interesting part of this is that The Detroit Free Press doesn’t seem to see the “shenanigans” perpetrated by any other group…they lay the blame for the fiscal cliff situation solely at the feet of those that were sent there to stop such nonsense. Sit. Stay. Good MSM Lapdog.
The Indianapolis Star
The Indianapolis Star recently published an article called The power of an economic NATO, which glorifies the concept of another NAFTA-like agreement, this time with Europe. In keeping with The Program, columnist David Ignatius opines, “What’s appealing about the trans-Atlantic initiative, in particular, is that it could be a big job creator for economies on both continents…” obviously having missed the effects of NAFTA on our economy. He goes on to state, “I like the idea of an “economic NATO” because it addresses fiscal problems through growth and expansion,” but the problem is that Europe isn’t growing or expanding. A more accurate assessment of Europe would use words like “teetering” and “faltering”. Would such a trade partner help us expand and grow our way out of our current miasma?
Ross Perot warned us of a “giant sucking sound” as our jobs flew out of the country post-NAFTA, and as we all know now, it came to pass. Considering the depressed economies in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, and the low wages their unemployed would be willing to work for, one must employ pure magical thinking to believe yet another such agreement would have different results. What was it that Albert Einstein said about insanity?
On December 29th, The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky came out with this lovely piece: NRA call for guns at schools obscene, in which Tom Diaz, a former gun owner and former NRA member who now works for the Violence Policy Center, is quoted as telling NPR, “The gun industry realized that it really loses every argument where you can have facts,’’ apparently “proving” that the NRA needs to lie to support the Second Amendment of our Constitution, by mere assertion. Blind assertion doesn’t cut it, Mr. Diaz, and the Courier-Journal should be ashamed for not calling you out on this.
The article goes on to list the President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre’s suggestions at a recent news conference, snidely and childishly dismissing each, calling them “paranoid and delusional.” For proof of the folly of LaPierre’s suggestions, the article only cited one source – The New York Times, and that only in regards to an assertion that the NRA is being funded by video game makers via the gun manufacturers…again, with no real proof. The rest of Mr. LaPierre’s suggestions were merely ridiculed, as by a know-it-all teenager…but hey, it all fit The Program, and that’s all that matters to a Gannett Company, right?
The Cincinnati Enquirer
On December 23rd, The Cincinnati Enquirer published this piece: The culture of violence which, in accordance with The Plan, ridicules the NRA and Second Amendment supporters. The article states that Nancy Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer’s Mother, was killed by her stockpiled weapons in a bald-faced attempt to demonize the weapons themselves, as if her son Adam had nothing to do with her death. The more the mantra of Guns Are Bad is repeated, the more people may be amenable to giving up their right to own one, or so The Plan goes. The Cincinnati Enquirer ought to be ashamed to publish such intellectually dishonest assertions, but apparently they ceased being real journalists, and eagerly embraced their new lives as MSM Lapdogs…all in the name of the statist agenda.
One cannot long peruse a Gannett publication without running afoul of statist propaganda. Whether discussing our Second Amendment rights, the TEA Party, or our economy, the constant drum-beat of statism permeates every outlet in Gannet’s arsenal, and Gannett is not alone. The rhythm of statism being continually and perpetually pounded out into the Main Stream Media in America is evident to all but the most brain-washed observer. Are they actually colluding to keep every media outlet on the same page, or does it just appear that way? Who do these people (that control what is said in the MSM) work for…themselves, or some other, possibly more sinister puppet-master? What is the goal of desensitizing the American public to statism, and who will benefit once the American people give all control over to their government?
With multiple examples of failed statist regimes in our history (some of them recent) one may have been lead to believe that statism was on its last legs politically. With standard-bearers such as Gannett, this is sadly not the case, and we all need to be vigilant in our defense of our rights until such organizations are exposed as the statist puppets they are, and they assume their rightful place in the ash heap of history.
Randy – FedUpUSA
The fiscal cliff deal contains more bad news than it does good news. Yes, the tax increases on the middle class could have been much worse, and we should be thankful that Congress at least did something for the middle class. Unfortunately, they didn’t do enough. Every American worker is going to pay higher taxes next year as a result of this deal. The fiscal cliff deal represents the biggest tax increase in 20 years, and it is also projected to increase the U.S. national debt by an additional 4 trillion dollars over the next decade. In the final analysis, U.S. government finances are still wildly out of control and we are all going to be paying higher taxes. Not a whole lot to be excited about, and nothing has really been fixed for the long-term. Our politicians have kicked the can down the road once again, but someday they will run out of road and all of this debt will absolutely crush us. And of course a lot of our politicians didn’t even really know what they were voting for. The fiscal cliff bill was more than 150 pages long, and our Senators got the bill into their hands just 3 minutes before they voted on it. So none of them actually read the bill. But that is the way things work in America today. The blind are leading the blind and everyone is mindlessly hoping that everything will turn out okay somehow.
For a few moments, let’s take a closer look at the fiscal cliff deal. There are some good things in there, there are some bad things in there, and there are some things about the deal that are downright ugly.
-One of the best things about the fiscal cliff deal is that income tax rates did not rise on the poor and the middle class. This is great news for millions of families that are struggling to make ends meet each month. A significant rise in income tax rates would have been crippling.
-The Alternative Minimum Tax will now be permanently adjusted for inflation. This is something that I had screamed about in previous articles. If an AMT fix had not been passed, approximately 28 million households would have been hammered with the Alternative Minimum Tax on their 2012 earnings.
-Millions of unemployed workers will continue to receive extended federal unemployment benefits. We probably cannot really afford to keep doing this, but at least now there won’t be millions of unemployed workers that suddenly have their only source of income shut off. The next trick will be to find jobs for all of those workers. Unfortunately, millions of our jobs continue to be shipped to the other side of the world.
-Payroll taxes are going up for every American worker. The fiscal cliff deal allows the 2 percent payroll tax cut to expire, and so now the average U.S. household bringing in about $50,000 a year will pay approximately $1,000 more per year in payroll taxes. As a result, it is being projected that U.S. consumers will have $115 billion less in disposable income to spend in 2013. Happy New Year American workers!
-The fiscal cliff deal did nothing about the new Obamacare taxes that went into effect on January 1st. Many of these taxes will hurt the middle class. To see an example of a receipt where a consumer was charged the new “medical excise tax” in Obamacare, just check out this article.
-The carried-interest deduction loophole remains intact, so incredibly wealthy hedge fund managers will continue to get away with paying very little in taxes. If the rest of us are being taxed into oblivion, then they should share in the pain with the rest of us. Of course I personally believe that the income tax should be abolished entirely, but none of our politicians seem interested in that idea at all.
-Income tax rates will increase for high earners. This will hurt a lot of small businesses. Many small businesses that earn more than $400,000 a year will now be faced with making some really tough choices. Some may have to lay off workers. The top rate will now be 39.6 percent, but when other federal and state taxes are factored in, many small businesses will now be paying a top marginal rate of well over 50 percent. That is absolutely obscene.
-A compromise was reached on the estate tax. The exemption was scheduled to fall to just $1 million and the rate was scheduled to go up to 55 percent, and fortunately Congress decided to do something about that. As I have written about previously, that would have been a disaster for many small businesses and family farms. As a result of the fiscal cliff deal, the estate tax will only rise from 35 percent to 40 percent. The exemption for individuals will be about 5 million dollars and for couples it will be about 10 million dollars, and those figures will now be indexed for inflation. A tax increase is never a good thing, but if Congress had done nothing things would have been far worse.
-The fiscal cliff deal contains a lot of pork. In particular, it contains provisions that extend specific tax breaks related to Puerto Rican rum, electric motorcycles, biodiesel and renewable diesel fuel, the film and television business, and motorsports entertainment complexes.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, as a result of this deal the U.S. national debt will be about $4 trillion higher a decade from now than it would have been if Congress had done nothing.
The deficit for fiscal year 2013 alone will be about $330 billion higher than it would have been if Congress had done nothing.
So this deal has made our debt problems even worse.
Right now, the U.S. has a debt to GDP ratio of about 103 percent. We are already well into the “danger zone”, yet most Americans still don’t seem very concerned about all of this debt.
The fiscal cliff deal contained hardly any spending cuts at all. In fact, there was a 41 to 1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts in the deal. The Democrats definitely won this round. But of course they had most of the leverage. If Congress had done nothing, the middle class would have been absolutely devastated by all of the tax increases, and the Republicans were desperate to prevent that.
But now that the battle over taxes is done, the leverage is going to shift over to the Republicans for the next big fight.
The battle over the debt ceiling is next. If Congress does not act, the U.S. government will soon not be able to borrow any additional money. This battle will be one of the stories that dominates the headlines over the next few months.
If the Republicans want to do something serious about spending, now is their chance. The battle over tax rates is already over, and there is no election in November. The Republicans could conceivably say “NO” to a debt ceiling increase if they want to. If that happened, the federal government would only be able to spend the money that it already has. It would not be able to borrow more. That would mean that we would have to start living within our means.
What a novel concept.
Of course there is no reason to believe that the Republicans in the House will suddenly grow a spine. They have folded every other time that the debt ceiling has come up. It will probably be the same again in 2013.
And Barack Obama is already saying that there will be “no negotiations” over the debt ceiling this time. He expects the Republicans to raise the debt ceiling for him without getting anything in return…
“I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether they will pay the bills they’ve already racked up.”
But the U.S. government cannot spend a single penny or borrow a single penny without the approval of the U.S. House of Representatives.
If the Republicans in the House want to ever get serious about government spending, the upcoming battle over the debt ceiling is a golden opportunity.
They could stop the Obama administration from piling up crazy amounts of debt if they want to. All they need is the courage to take a stand.
During the first four years of the Obama administration, the U.S. government accumulated about as much debt as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.
The Republicans have had control of the House for about half of that time. That means that they have been willing accomplices.
So will they take a stand?
That is very doubtful. Over the past few years they have exhibited the intestinal fortitude of a frightened chicken. They will probably huff and puff a little bit, but in the end they will probably give in to Obama once again.
But what we are doing to our children and our grandchildren is so immoral that it is hard to describe. We are stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day, and we plan on leaving them with the biggest pile of debt the world has ever seen. We should be absolutely ashamed of ourselves.
Why can’t we just spend the money that we have?
What would be so wrong with that?
Unfortunately, that would mean such a painful downward adjustment in our standard of living that most Americans would freak out. We are addicted to debt-fueled prosperity, and so we can’t stop stealing from future generations. We need their money to feed our addiction.
In the end, this gigantic mountain of debt is absolutely going to destroy everything that our forefathers built for us. There have been some people that have been warning about this for decades, but the American people did not listen.
Soon enough, we will all pay the price for this foolishness.
Is masking risk, cost and consequence a strategy that leads to success? No; it is a pathway to catastrophic failure.
What are the core characteristics of the spoiled teenager? The conventional view is that the spoiled teen “gets everything they want.” In my view, the key characteristic of Spoiled Teenager Syndrome is that risk, cost and consequence have been masked.
This is a systemic point of view, meaning that the masking of risk, cost and consequence help us understand not just the eventual failure of spoiled teenagers but the eventual failure of every group or enterprise that masks risk, cost and consequence as a strategy to paper over an unsustainable Status Quo. This includes families, companies, states and nations.
The spoiled teen is spoiled precisely because the risk, cost and consequence of their choices and actions are suppressed by Mommy and/or Daddy. Since Mommy and/or Daddy diligently cover the cost and mask the eventual consequence of Junior’s unrealistic expectations and poor choices, the risks created by Junior’s choices and lifestyle are also masked. Junior naturally assumes Mommy and/or Daddy will bail him out of every scrape and “make it right” at no cost to Junior.
Masking risk, cost and consequence creates an illusory world that eventually crashes on the unforgiving rocks of reality. Anyone who knows parents who have spoiled their kids has stories that beggar the imagination of those who have no choice but to live in the real world. In one such instance within our circle of friends, the daughter who was caught shoplifting told her Mom that she did not want to go to court, and Mom had to do something so she wouldn’t have to face any consequence from her actions.
This 16-year old apparently believed that Mommy could push risk, cost and consequence aside in all cases; even the law should give way if it proved inconvenient or painful.
Are the values, experiences and skills spoiled teens receive going to help them navigate adulthood, or will they encourage a state of permanent adolescence? When will Mommy and Daddy stop hovering, warding off risk, cost and consequence? We know the answer: when they are finally unable to do so.
Did all their “help” masking risk, cost and consequence actually aid their child in the long-term? Or did it cripple the child by leading him into a false sense of security, an illusory state where someone will always save you from consequence?
What sort of skills to assess and manage risk does the spoiled teen have in hand when risk has been cloaked? How can the teen understand cost and trade-offs when the true costs of their lifestyle have been hidden? How can the teen navigate adult life, which is characterized by taking responsibility for one’s actions and being accountable to others, when the consequences of his choices have been smoothed away by Mommy and Daddy?
One intrinsic characteristic of parents who have masked risk, cost and consequence is that they do not perceive themselves as having spoiled their children. Instead, they see themselves as “good parents” who are protecting their children from the unpleasant rough edges of life. In their view, there is plenty of time later in life to learn about risk assessment, short-term and long-term trade-offs, costs (both financial and emotional), accountability, realistic appraisals and consequence.
These parents seem blind to the reality that their coddling and hovering have left their children disastrously ill-prepared for adulthood. If there is any recipe for guaranteed unhappiness, it is nurturing expectations that are wildly at odds with what real life offers. Risk and return are indeed causally linked.
I have watched in amazement as coddled 19-year olds taking a few classes at community college and dreaming of rock stardom confidently declare that they would be OK with being a firefighter in a wealthy city because the starting pay was $80,000. That there are 1,000 applicants for every opening did not seem to register in this young man’s assessment, nor did his inability to clean up a weedy backyard; he stopped after an hour or so because there was no consequence to a sorrowfully half-baked effort.
I grieve for young people so ill-prepared for a recessionary economy, not to mention marriage, managing scarce income and capital and a hundred other aspects of unsubsidized adulthood. Their parents have essentially robbed them of the slow and relatively safe part of the learning curve, where you get fired for being late at 16 years of age rather than at 26.
Is it any wonder that many young people are boiling with frustration when they exit college and the protected enclave of their parents’ home to find a world that doesn’t respond to their desires for creative expression and their long list of likes and dislikes, i.e. demands?
On the other side of the ledger, I have seen quiet young men and women, residents in youth homeless shelters, who received no buffering at all between the teen years and unforgiving adulthood. Abused at home or simply abandoned, they hit the road as the only alternative open to them. Penniless and without family support, they often face bleak choices. Their appraisals (in my limited experience) are by necessity realistic. Of course they are hurting; but ironically, perhaps, they are in some ways better prepared to navigate adulthood than teens who have yet to be exposed to risk, cost and consequence.
Is masking risk, cost and consequence a strategy that leads to success? No; it is a pathway to repeated catastrophic failure. What is the Central Planning strategy being pursued by our Central State and the Federal Reserve? Masking risk, cost and consequence.
Masking risk, cost and consequence is disastrous not just for teens, but for entire nations.
Charles Hugh Smith – Of Two Minds
This week you are no doubt off school and enjoying your friends and freedom from studies. In a few short days, however, you will return to your classrooms and once again engage in what is your job – learning enough to hopefully be able to become independent on or near your 18th birthday.
Last night Congress engaged in its latest version of fraud upon the public. Congress lied to America with flowery speeches about how our government has an obligation to come to the aid of those people in need, how unemployment must be extended and how the rich should “pay their fair share.” Our President then got on television in the middle of the night and pontificated about how we had once again been saved from economic calamity but that he would not “debate” whether Congress would pay the bills that it had already contracted for, referring to the debt ceiling which, incidentally, we exceeded two days prior.
If you have a checking account you know that if you overdraw it you will be fined by your bank by $30 or so for each offense, which can make that $5 Latte at Starbucks a $35 Latte in an instant.
What President Obama is doing right now to avoid that is literally stealing the money in federal government employee retirement funds and replacing those funds with an IOU. It is exactly identical to your parents going into your piggy bank and taking all the money, replacing it with an IOU for the cash with which they then go to the bar and spend on hookers and booze, hoping you don’t notice that the money is gone and that they can replace it before you decide you’d like to use it on something else like a movie, a dress, an iTunes card or some shoes.
America’s “formal” federal debt is over $16 trillion. That sounds like an impossible amount of money, but it in fact it amounts to $52,131 per person in this country, including you. Those of you who are not yet 18 have voted for exactly zero of this debt, yet our government asserts that you are obligated to pay it for various things that the government has already spent it on. Some of those things include ships, combat aircraft, guns and other elements of protection that one can argue have made you safer.
But the fact of the matter is that America has not faced an actual threat of invasion — or war we did not start ourselves — since 1941. All of you were born after that date; as such every bit of this warfare was undertaken in your name and with a promise to pay by you attached yet you neither consented or benefited from it.
Likewise, older geezers (that would include me) have been promised government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare. We paid into these programs for years. But at the same time we also voted for people who already spent the money we paid in on other things, much as you might spend the money from your piggy bank. Having done that, and gotten the benefit from it, we now are demanding that we also get to spend the money again when we retire or get older.
But you can’t spend money that’s already been spent. So what we’ve done is told you, our youth, that you must pay back that which we stole. In this case, when we add in those promises, your personal debt is not $52,131 (climbing by the minute) it’s $184,298 – and climbing every minute.
Again, you have received no benefit from any of these funds that were “spent forward” nor will you ever receive any benefit from them now or in the future. You also never consented, since you cannot vote. What’s worse is that your children — the next generation and beyond, who will come if and when you find a suitable partner and choose to have children — will be saddled with an ever-increasing amount of this debt.
To explain to you how crazy this is ten years ago, in 2000, your personal share of the Federal debt was $20,503. In the last ten years while you were going to school I, your mother, your grandparents and everyone around you who were 18 or older blew over $32,000 of your money that you do not yet have and yet we propose to force you to pay that money, plus interest, to the government in the future. Worse, we’ve far more than doubled the political promises that led to the $184,298 up above — your total including those promises ten years ago was closer to $50,000.
More than ten years ago while you were crawling around on your parents’ floor over the holidays I had a conversation with my father as my daughter was doing likewise. He was prattling on about how he was owed Medicare, Social Security and all of these other benefits because he had paid into those programs and “deserved” them. I explained patiently to him that he had already voted to spend the money that he had paid in on other things, and it was gone.
What he was now insisting on was that the little girl crawling on his floor, his grand daughter, be literally enslaved to pay for that which he believed he was entitled to have despite his own personal support of and votes for spending those monies on other things.
That conversation did not end well.
I, and a few other adults in this nation, have steadfastly refused to support any political entity that believes it can spend someone else’s money. I will vote for those programs that I wish to have funded but I insist that they be funded out today’s tax revenues. That is, whatever I want government to do for me I must be willing to pay for.
The truth is that as long as the government runs a deficit it is adding to the amount of money it believes it can forceyou, those who are too young to resist, to pay — without your consent.
I am in the minority; most of your parents and virtually all of your grandparents have demanded for years that they be able to obtain things from the government they are unwilling to pay for. They do this by insisting that more and more debt be taken on, which is exactly identical to taxing the money but not collecting it.
Who gets to pay, if the taxed money is not collected?
Why you do, you see, which is why that number up there keeps going up.
My message to you today as the youth of this country is simple:
You have no obligation to pay one penny of that money.
Not now, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.
Nor do your not-yet-conceived and born children.
There is one exception to this — if you reach the age of 18 and you, through your political actions, including those so simple as voting, choose to support politicians who promise you benefits that they cannot fund with today’s taxes — that is, they promise to spend based on debt.
If you take such an action, even once, then you will have retroactively consented to every single dime of that $180,000+ that they claim you owe today, plus however much more is accumulated, because you will have joined the group of Americans who of their own free will have subjected themselves to servitude. You will have consented, because you will have joined your parents and grandparents who believe they can have things they won’t pay for. In that case every single dime of that debt will be confirmed from a moral and ethical standpoint asyours.
The Constitution of the United States prohibits slavery; Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and on December 6th, 1865 the 13th Amendment became law. It reads:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
You have committed no crime. You thus cannot be compelled to either slavery or involuntary servitude. And until your 18th birthday, you cannot lawfully consent to servitude. It is only upon your 18th birthday that you can consent.
So I say to you today, that it is your right to stand as American Citizens, irrespective of your age who have not yet consented, and say in a loud, clear voice:
I WILL NOT PAY
You should and indeed must say it to your parents. You should and indeed must say it in your schools. You should and indeed must pass this letter around to your friends and others in your class and those who you associate and hang out with. And you must say this every day, in a louder and more-cohesive voice — today, tomorrow, the next day and every day thereafter, until we the “old geezers”, realize that you’re serious.
We, the “old geezers”, never had the right to try to force you to pay $180,000 of your money that you would earn tomorrow, an amount that has almost tripled in the last ten years and will triple again if you don’t put your foot down and demand it stop.
There is only one way to make sure it stops, and that is to make very clear to everyone the following:
YOU WILL NOT PAY
You must say it, and you must mean it. You must convince all those around you, especially the adults around you, that you mean it.
You must do it now, because if you don’t, or worse you take any act that confirms that you’re ok with that $180,000 in debt that was forced upon you then you will be forced to pay not only that but the hundreds of thousands more that will be added over the next decades.
If you do convince our leaders and we the “old geezers” that you won’t pay then the banks and other institutions that make possible this accumulation of debt will stop doing so, as they will stop believing they can force you to pay. This will in turn force a national conversation on what we want from our government and what we’re willing to pay in taxes, aligning one with the other.
The fact is that neither I or the government can force you to pay. They can try to convince you to pay, they can try to guilt you into paying for “Dear old Dad” or “Dear old Grandma” or through trying to bribe you with shiny gifts like iPhones and fancy cars, but Dear Old Dad and Granny already spent the money and we all know we we did so.
So today I implore you to pass around this letter to your friends. Talk about it among you. Post it up on Facebook,Twitter and elsewhere. Discuss the fact that our government and your parents think you’re going to pay over $180,000 and rising rapidly, more than doubling over the last ten years, so that us older folks can have our cake and eat it too. So we can spend money twice, three, four times, and then force you, the children of this nation, to cover our selfishness and outrageous conduct.
You must put your foot down. You must say I WILL NOT PAY in a loud, clear, singular voice.
You must do so because to make clear that you will not pay, and to cause those who think you will to realize you will not, is the least-painful option – and the path we are on today, if you do not act, leads to some very dark places for you and your children to come.
If you fail to do this now then in the future you will face an even-more awful set of choices — the choice to be a slave or to revolt using violence. When you are unable to support yourself and your family as the debt that has been put upon you cannot be paid down while leaving you with enough to keep a roof over your head and food on your table, your options will dwindle to living in squalor or choosing to take up arms and engage in violence.
Please understand that as things are today your “debt” will grow from $184,298 today to about $1.8 million per personwithin the next 30 years. This is a mathematical fact; it is what an 8% growth in debt, which is roughly the historical average over the last few decades, leads to 30 years from now.
You have no hope of paying $1.8 million per person and neither do the children you may bring into the world in the future.
This is a set of choices that nobody wants to see come, and yet it is coming. It will come in your lifetime. If you do not stop what is going on today by saying I WILL NOT PAY in a loud, clear, singular voice it is mathematically certain to come before your children reach adulthood.
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