Beware The Ides Of March

Bad tidings… bad tidings my friends:

Monty Peleren of The American Thinker reports that a momentous economic decision is going to have to be made by the end of March, this year.

Ben Bernanke promised to end Quantitative Easing (the printing of money to stimulate the economy and fund the deficits) by the end of March. Some believe his commitment was a “campaign promise” to ensure his Senate reconfirmation. Others believe it was a real commitment, necessary to maintain a stable dollar. Shortly, the world will find out. Mr. Bernanke, quite unintentionally and through no fault of his own, will be Obama’s Brutus, regardless of his decision. To understand why, some numbers are necessary. Government needs funding this year of $2.0 trillion (that includes the federal budget deficit, off-budget spending, and state and local needs). Private industry needs about $0.5 trillion. Part of the funding will come from the country’s savings. Total gross savings (new savings) is estimated to be $1.5 trillion. Assuming all savings is available, a shortfall of $1.0 trillion exists
This shortfall can be met from two sources:

  • Quantitative Easing (QE)
  • Foreign lending
  • And what does that mean to the economic illiterate?

    Without QE, the government will be unable to honor its obligations. Non-payment of Social Security or Medicare or federal payroll or welfare checks or retirement checks, or military payroll, etc., etc., would show up almost immediately. That would jeopardize foreign (and domestic) purchases of additional federal debt, exacerbating the problem.

    Bernanke’s second option enables the government to continue operating irresponsibly until market forces eventually stop the profligate behavior. Market discipline would likely be imposed in the form of a collapse of the dollar or raging inflation (or both).
    Under either scenario, the Obama presidency is destroyed. Obama probably prefers the second option, because it might extend the period before sovereign bankruptcy. However, it might not extend it very much. Foreign bankers have chastised our behavior regularly. If the Fed is perceived as “The Great Enabler” rather than as protector of the currency, a run on the dollar and the dumping of Treasuries could result.

    So what do we think Benanke will do? Renege on his promise, or end QE? Is there any other way out of this?

    From Bernanke’s standpoint, it is not clear which option he might prefer, or if he even has a choice, given Congress’ involvement. If he behaves like a central banker and pulls the biggest punch bowl in history away, it would force the government to address its problems before they became more serious
    History will not look kindly on this period regardless of Bernanke’s decision. Bernanke never had a chance for a favorable legacy. If he plays his role as a central banker, history may be less unkind, stating, “He did what he had to do.” If he chooses to continue QE, it likely will judge him as “The Great Enabler,” rating him even less favorably than they did his predecessor.

    Obama loses either way. He inherited a difficult situation, but then, via foolish policies, he turned it into a terminal one. At this point, Jimmy Carter may be the happiest person in the country. His lead position in the Pantheon of Shame is in jeopardy thanks to Obama.
    For the country, times equivalent to the Great Depression are likely ahead. My guess is that Bernanke chooses (or is forced into) continuing QE. Courage is a rare and dangerous commodity in Washington. Hard decisions occur only in crisis. For the country, times equivalent to the Great Depression are likely ahead. My guess is that Bernanke chooses (or is forced into) continuing QE. Courage is a rare and dangerous commodity in Washington. Hard decisions occur only in crisis.

    If Obama’s lucky, the crash will come after the 2012 election.

    But then… he’s he’s probably too busy preparing for the election campaign to worry about such things.

    Hat tip: Verum Serum

    See Also…

    Doug Ross At Journal for more depressing economic news.

    Obama Focuses Like A Laser Beam On Job s

    His Job, that is.

    Yes, the Senate just passed another reckless, and ineffectual stimulus (jobs) bill, so I guess there’s that. At least it’s not as God-awful expensive as the first one. I guess we can be thankful  for small favors.

    Meanwhile, Obama is reportedly already gearing up for his 2012 Presidential campaign, (although I would question whether he ever left campaign mode).

    President Barack Obama’s top advisers are quietly laying the groundwork for the 2012 reelection campaign, which is likely to be run out of Chicago and managed by White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, according to Democrats familiar with the discussions.

    For now, the planning consists entirely of private conversations, with Obama aides at all levels indulging occasionally in closed-door 2012 discussions while focusing ferociously on the midterm elections and health care reform, the Democratic sources said. “The gathering storm is the 2010 elections,” one top official said.

    But the sources said Obama has given every sign of planning to run again and wants the next campaign to resemble the highly successful 2008 effort.

    They hope to duplicate the successful 2008 effort?
    His Republican opponent should have this as his theme-song:
    MORE:
    Doug Ross makes ample use of  a little known rhetorical devise known as, “sarcasm”, in this post:

    There’s not much happening around the world and here at home to occupy a President’s attention, which explains Politico’s recent disclosure.

    ***

    Gee, I can’t wait to see more Obama commercials and some more of that cool “Sauron-eye” logo. We didn’t get quite enough of either over the last couple of years.

    …And Here Come The Harry Reid Photoshops!

    Harry Reid  made quite a splash, the other day, with his, ‘Men, when they’re out of work, tend to become abusive’, comment. Domestic abuse is a serious problem, but using it as a political prop to pass a jobs bill was reprehensible, even by Reid’s low standards.

    The Joke of the day, yesterday was; “Come November,  Harry Reid may become a “domestic abuser”, too… Naturally, bloggers have been busy with this excellent, new photoshop opportunity. Here’s a lol effort by TNOYF:

    Harry Reid Launches New “Vote For Me Or The Wife Gets It” Campaign

    :

    Tee shirts and mugs are available at The Nose on Your Face.

    Slublog cranked one out at AoSHQ, as well.

    Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

    Beware The Fake Tea Partiers and Lefty Wannabes

    First they ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then, they lashed out. Now, they want to be us.

    It’s as if the left has finally decided, if you can’t beat them – join them. Sort of. Of course, they have no intention of joining the tea party movement. What they want to do is leech off of its success, thinking that some of the grassroots magic that has been taking place since Obama first introduced his dreadful stimulus bill, can somehow rub off on them, if they just come up with a cute, catchy name ending in ‘agger’.

    As Rush likes to say, libs wake up every morning and say; “How can we fool them, today”.It’s true. They really do.

    Meet the latest pathetic subterfuges:

    “Brownbaggers”:

    A Tale of Two Bags: Grass Roots Brown Bags vs. AstroTurf Tea Bags


    Well, you can see right from the title, that we’re dealing with a stunningly dishonest outfit. A group called Progressive Democrats of America with it’s own agenda, protest schedule, and online store is calling the the rag tag, loosely organized tea party movement, “astroturf”?

    But wait, Paul Krugman said so, so it must be!

    As the mainstream media grant the Tea Parties coverage, the verdict is clear: if dozens of people gather at various places to speak out, then that message must be important and newsworthy. Ignoring this message would be politically reckless. This although polls indicated the Tea Bagger view is a small minority on taxes, and even though—as Nobel Prize winning economist and former Reagan Administration advisor Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times—these “tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.”

    Speaking of Paul Krugman, (who by the way has said of his Reagan appointment, “It was, in a way, strange for me to be part of the Reagan Administration. I was then and still am an unabashed defender of the welfare state, which I regard as the most decent social arrangement yet devised.” Let’s not pretend he’s the ideological twin of the Gipper.) – where could he  have heard such an outlandish thing?

    Uh huh.

    Yeah. You tell me, and the other 200 people who stood out on the Plaza last February 29, during a snow storm to protest the ruinous stimulus bill that we were astroturf.

    You tell me that the  thousands of Americans horrified by the Obama administration’s insane spending that we were being paid off by Dick Armey to protest on 4/15.

    You tell me and the couple hundred people who showed up  in Olathe, last June to protest Cap and Tax, the day after it passed in the House that “the usual suspects told us to be there”:

    Man, that Dick Armey is fast!

    You tell the million people who showed up on 9/12 to protest the Obama administration’s expansion of government that they are puppets for “the usual group of right wing billionaires. Who are these people? Name names, asshats.

    And so on and so forth – you get the picture. The tea party movement started from the ground up, it grew and grew as more people became aware of the damage the Obama administration was doing to the country. Although there are numerous tea party groups that attempt to organize this growing movement, there is no clear leader, or group of leaders, and we prefer it that way.

    Cocktail Partiers:

    I haven’t decided whether these folks are serious, or just trying to be funny. Gregory from Yardsdale swears they’re on the level:

    A self-proclaimed Queer Left blogger has outlined her answer to the Tea Party movement: The Cocktail Party Movement. And its agenda is one of the most straightforward admissions of what the Progressive Left actually believes that you will ever read.

    • Nationalize the banks
    • Soak the rich with high taxes
    • Abolish the Senate
    • Abolish the Electoral College
    • Free public education through college for all
    • Free day care for elders and children
    • National health care
    • Universal accessibility
    • Abolish all student loan, credit card and mortgage debt
    • Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, shift resources to the Arts, and to an independent Haiti
    • Forgiveness of all debt of developing countries
    • Outlaw invidious discrimination
    • Abolish prisons for all non violent crime, prioritize community rehabilitation for all crime
    • Decriminalize sex work and drugs
    • Open borders
    • Abolish marriage

    ” We crafted this list of policy goals with the intention, minimally, of  driving the Tea Partiers crazy with rage”.

    Actually, I’m shaking with…..laughter. Good luck with that, if you’re even serious.

    Fake tea party groups:

    The most serious, and insidious attempt to co-op the tea party brand, is the fake  tea party group that recently registered as an actual political party, in Nevada, and has a person on the ballot. This is serious because a three way race could allow Reid to win, according to a recent poll.

    Doug Ross reports:

    Research by the Nevada News Bureau — via Flopping Aces — turns up the background of the group’s founders. And it’s apparent that they’re neither conservative nor Republican.

    Here are some snippets from my research so far… Barry Levinson was part of the “Bush Lied, People Died” cabal (very strange creds for a Tea Party guy). 

    …Not really core to the story but one of the principals, Larry Lathum, appears to be a 9/11 Truther

    These people are *impostors. The Republican Party is going to have to spend some money on commercials to out the group. On the plus side, Tea partiers are folks who pay attention more than the average citizen. They won’t be easily fooled.

    Or The Nevada Republicans can take Ross’s advice and file similar petitions to that of the “Tea Party of Nevada”.

    I’m not sure I like that idea.

    One thing seems clear – 2010 will have lefty’s alternating between trying to destroy the tea party movement, and trying to emulate it.

    You can bank on that.

    *The Nevada News bureau has since updated information that sheds more light on the “tea party” candidate, who claims he’s the real deal. This could spell disaster the the citizens of Nevada who may end up with another 6 excruciating years of Harry Reid as a result.

    UPDATE:

    The Coffee Party

    We can put these guys in the “copycat” category:

    They’re progressives, so lots of warm and fuzzy platitudes are used to describe their ideals in their attempt to sound mainstream:

    We want the political process broken down into three steps:
    1) open and respectful dialogue
    2) thoughtful and informed deliberation
    3) competent and decisive execution.

    The process is so broken, we can’t get past step 1 right now. We demand cooperation, productivity and accountability in government in the same way we would demand it of an employee we might hire for a job.

    We want local chapters to have the autonomy to figure out their own legislative and electoral priorities. At the national level, we’ll make recommendations for direct action on legislation. But they will only be suggestions. We value and celebrate diverse opinions just as we value and celebrate diverse backgrounds. All that is required to be part of this movement is a sincere commitment to participating in, and protecting the democratic process.


    RELATED

    James Lewis of the American Thinker warns that the left, with the aid of the MSM, will deploy their usual divide and conquer approach, this election year. The faux tea party shenanigans are just a symptom of a larger effort:

    Warning: We are bound to see shenanigans as the Desperate Democrats try to cling to power in November of 2010 and 2012. It will happen. All the big liberal media will be in on it, and they will lie and smear GOP candidates, starting with the ones who look the most like Ronald Reagan.
    We will not find out for sure when it’s happening. It will be hidden and covered up. The New Media have to keep a sharp eye on people trying to infiltrate conservative groups.
    Bottom line: You will have to use your smarts to figure out what might be happening. The key is always the liberal media trashing and trying to split the conservative majority in this country. If you see that, you can bet there’s a splitting plot afoot. If you see any big, “popular,” media-driven movement for Ron Paul or another no-win candidate, follow your intuition.
    If a Ross Perot pops up, don’t fall for the scammer with the gigantic federal contracts.
    The Left will try and try and try to split conservative and GOP voters.
    Stay alert. Expect it to happen, because it always does.

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