Category: Government Spending

Predictions for the Next Four Years (Part 1 of 2)

Well, Barack Obama will be President for a second term. It is now time to take a look around, and prepare for what is likely to happen next. Based on my observations and what I’ve learned over the years, these are my predictions:

No Housing Recovery

Commentators have been calling the bottom of the housing market – and screaming with increasing urgency that it was time to buy – since 2007. The Fed has cut interest rates to nearly zero, and through quantitative easing has flooded the financial system with new money. This will continue for the near future, especially since QE-infinity was announced earlier this year. There remains no recovery in the housing market, and there won’t be a recovery.

Bad monetary policy has …


Completely Pointless and Utterly Absurd

First, some chemistry; iodine turns black when exposed to starch. So, a lighter ink which contains iodine will turn black when it comes into contact with starch, which is included in the manufacturing process of standard copy paper. When the ink is used on paper that doesn’t contain starch (such as most paper made with cotton fiber instead of wood pulp) the ink will maintain a sort of brownish-yellow color.

If you pay for gasoline with a fifty dollar bill, chances are the cashier will make a mark on it with a counterfeit detector pen. American currency, made of cotton fiber and not including starch, will leave the ink that lighter color. Counterfeit currency printed on regular paper will make the ink turn black.

Interestingly …


First Presidential Debate, October 3, 2012

Debate, Podium, President, Discorse, PoliticsThe most impressive thing about Wednesday night’s Presidential Debate is what it was not: a contentious barrage of angry epitaths like those being thrown throughout the blogosphere or even in some of the Republican Primary Debates. Both men were smiling, civil, and even appeared to be listening as the other spoke. President Obama carried on the same criticisms of Romney’s plans, and the Governor politely said that the President’s information was wrong. They both agreed with each other regarding areas of common ground. We suspect that the rules holding applause had a positive impact on the cordial nature of the debate, although it certainly didn’t hurt that Moderator Jim Lehrer’s folksy demeaner and attempts to steer the conversation helped keep the discourse on an even …


The American Socialist Commonwealth (Part 2 of 2)

(This is the second installement of a 2 part piece, click here for part 1)

Former Hoover Institute Fellow Antony Sutton surmised that there were three species of socialism: Bolshevik socialism, state corporatist socialism, and welfare state socialism. All three shared one common premise – government involving itself in the planning and organization of the economy.

In Bolshevik socialism, the state owns all means of production: Farms, factories, mines, timberlands, and everything else that produces consumer or industrial goods. The decisions about what to produce come from a centralized committee dedicated to planning the economy. In this form of socialistic economy, we see things like the Soviet GOSPLAN, the organization tasked with writing the Five Year Plans. Another example would be Mao’s Great Leap …


The American Socialist Commonwealth (Part 1 of 2)

In 1920, as socialist parties held power in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Russia, it appeared that the world following World War I would be a world built by socialist planning. Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian economist, thought that a socialist world simply wouldn’t do, and put pen to paper to explain why. The result was Mises’ first published article, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.”

Mises’ premise was really quite simple; in a socialist economy, things that are used to produce other things are controlled by the state, which means that investment in production goods no longer involves price comparisons. In a socialist system, the planners decide that more tractors should be built, and order factories to build them.

Socialist administrators can …


Failed Policies of the Last Century

(The following article was written by Peter Vessenes and contributed via Kassandra Kuehl)

On Saturday, September 1st, President Obama accused Mitt Romney of retreating to policies from the “last century” and “sticking it” to the middle class.

Is this really the case?  Whose policies exactly have “stuck it” to the middle class?

Why not go back to the Great Depression as a starting point?  After all, we are in a “Recovery” that looks a lot like that time period.  Which “policies” began there?  Perhaps the largest was Social Security.  After all, Social Security was a Democrat Party program that promised the government would “set aside” retirement, or safety money for people when they reached 65 years of age.   Unfortunately, the average life expectancy at that …


Uncle Sam, King Corn, and Emergency Legislation

This summer has been warmer than average.  Living in Minnesota, the Midwest is known for being tolerable of all kinds of weather, but this summer has been unique.  One of the hardest-hit commodities, corn, is playing a critical role in our food chain and even more so, our pocket book.

I am a city gal who grew up in a small farming community, and when I dial back home, many farmers are in fear and apprehension of how long last years corn yields will last, due to the brutal 2012 summer drought.  This year’s crop yield is on track to be the worst in 15 years, and corn prices have already hit record high levels.   Almost 90% of the United States’ corn crops are in …


Iowa’s Expensive Wind Addiction

I recently heard a radio commercial urging me to contact various members of Congress to voice my support for tax credits connected to the wind energy industry. On a lark, I went to the Iowa Legislature website and searched active bills for the word “wind,” and received several dozen hits, many of which seemed to be focused on state tax credits for manufacturing and installing wind turbines. Both state and federal politicians seem to be tripping over themselves to get into the wind energy craze.

Back in 2010 Alliant Energy was petitioning to be allowed to increase the rates they charged for electricity, and one of the supporting reasons they put forward was the $150 million project called the Whispering Willow-East wind farm in Franklin …


Why I am Caucusing for Ron Paul

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom…..And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
– Barry Goldwater, Conscience of a Conservative

Perhaps more than any other politician of the twentieth century, Barry Goldwater captured the essence of the American spirit – ferocious independence. This spirit depends upon the Constitution for its life and energy. Without our Constitution, our nation is nothing more than another geographic location; nothing but more …


The Stupidity of Banking Fees

About ten years ago, my savings account basically stopped paying interest. The rate of about two percent fell to something like one-tenth of one percent in 2002. Over the last ten years, people just seemed to forget the way things used to work – banks are supposed to pay you for placing your money into a bank account.

Well, as you may have known, Bank of America has raised an uproar by announcing their intent to charge a $5.00 per month fee for their customers who use debit cards to make purchases. Other banks are expected to follow suit. This uproar has taken the tone of anti-corporate class warfare: the “Bigs” vs. the Common Man; Banks vs. The People – whatever. The furor is missing …