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Cash For Golf Carts

$5,500 Golf Cart Tax Credit in Obama Stimulus Bill

Taxprof
October 22, 2009

We thought cash for clunkers was the ultimate waste of taxpayer money, but as usual we were too optimistic. Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama’s stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart. The federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart.

This golf-cart fiasco perfectly illustrates tax policy in the age of Obama, when politicians dole out credits and loopholes for everything from plug-in cars to fuel efficient appliances, home insulation and vitamins. Democrats then insist that to pay for these absurdities they have no choice but to raise tax rates on other things—like work and investment—that aren’t politically in vogue. If this keeps up, it’ll soon make more sense to retire and play golf than work for a living.

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Obama Needs A Crisis Revive Health Care Reform

Obama Needs A Crisis Revive Health Care Reform

Bloomberg News
September 6, 2009

President Barack Obama returns to Washington next week in search of one thing that can revive his health-care overhaul: a sense of crisis.

Facing polls showing a drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition, Obama must recapture the sense of urgency that led to passage of the economic rescue package in February, analysts said.

“At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we’re not in a health-care crisis,” said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington. “You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus.”

Obama speaks to labor leaders on Sept. 7 and to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9 as he attempts to rebuild support for his top domestic priority, one that affects 17 percent of the economy. Lawmakers, trying to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and rein in costs, are considering mandates on employers to provide coverage, new rules for insurers, and creating a government program to compete with private insurers such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.

Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said the administration made unprecedented health-care progress in eight months.

‘Not There Yet’

“We gave Congress a charge, we gave them broad outlines, which is the reason we are farther along than any of the five presidents that have tried,” Emanuel said in an interview yesterday. “We’re not there yet, and this speech is intended to finish the job.”

Presidential speeches historically do little to move public opinion significantly, said George Edwards, author of “The Strategic President: Persuasion and Opportunity in Presidential Leadership.”

“This is almost like a Hail Mary, because they know that they’re substantially behind and the trajectory is negative for them,” Edwards said.

Unlike the financial crisis he inherited, the health-care debate is of Obama’s making and places a different burden on him, Edwards said.

“The best thing in presidential leadership is to recognize and exploit opportunities,” said Edwards. “The White House overestimated the nature of the opportunity.”

Stimulus Debate

Obama’s economic stimulus was debated as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 18 percent from Nov. 4, 2008, to Feb. 13, when Congress approved the legislation. Unemployment had risen to more than 7 percent.

On the stimulus, Obama was able to say “that unless we do X right now, and X is pretty painful and pretty expensive, there is a serious danger in the next few weeks that the entire financial system will come crashing down,” said Bill Galston, a former official in President Bill Clinton’s administration, now a Brookings Institution scholar in Washington.

Emanuel remarked at the time that a crisis was a terrible thing to waste, and Obama pushed for health-care overhaul and energy legislation along with financial and auto bailouts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mzcbXi1Tkk


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Government Will Hype Fall Swine Flu Outbreak To Save Obamacare

Infowars
August 17, 2009

Former Congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Armey warns that the government is planning to exploit a hyped swine flu outbreak this fall in order to reinvigorate support behind its failing Obamacare agenda.

Armey is confident that the grass roots backlash against Obamacare will cause the plan to fail, but warns that the government has one last trick up its sleeve which it is preparing to pull in the next few months.

The former House leader told the Financial Times that wavering lawmakers in both parties might be won over by an engineered crisis that the Obama administration is planning to exploit.

“In September or October there will be a hyped up outbreak of the swine flu which they’ll say is as bad as the bubonic plague to scare the bed-wetters to vote for healthcare reform,” said Mr Armey. “That is the only way they can push something on to the American people that the American people don’t want.”

As we reported last week, Georgia Congressman Paul Broun gave a similar warning when he told attendees of a town hall event Tuesday that the Obama administration was planning to use a pandemic or a natural disaster to implement martial law in the United States.

Speaking at the North Georgia Technical College auditorium, Broun said that the “socialistic elite,” as well as Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, were planning to exploit a crisis to create a favorable climate for their stalling political agenda.

“They’re trying to develop an environment where they can take over,” he said. “We’ve seen that historically.”

Health authorities as well as Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano have been hyping the inevitability of swine flu’s deadlier return this fall ever since it first appeared in April.

Despite the fact that the virus has proven far less potent than the common flu, governments across the world have been preparing to roll out mass vaccination campaigns which are set to begin next month, despite the fact that the shots will contain mercury and squalene and have also been linked with the killer nerve disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Homeland Security Spreads More Fear On Swine Flu

Obama says Americans should get swine flu vaccine

 



US debt now at an astonishing $53 trillion

US debt now at an astonishing $53 trillion

SF Gate
July 17, 2008

As the Bush administration proposes backstopping mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a $300 billion line of credit and Congress contemplates another economic stimulus, the question is who will bail out the government?

“People seem to think the government has money,” said former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. “The government doesn’t have any money.”

A rare consensus has developed across the political spectrum that the government’s own fiscal affairs are precarious, with an astonishing $53 trillion in long-term liabilities, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Read Full Article Here

 



Oil Hit Record $147, Gold $969, Euro $1.59

Oil Hit Record $147, Gold $969, Euro $1.59
On Friday Oil hit record of $147.27, Gold $969, Euro $1.5972 against the greenback, Today July 14, 2008 11:31 AM EDT Crude price sinks to $145, Gold $969, Euro 1.5859.

AP
July 12, 2008

Gold prices rose Friday, making their largest advance since first hitting $1,000 earlier this year, after another record crude rally and a tumbling stock market led jittery investors to the safety of hard assets.

Other commodities traded mostly higher, with corn, soybeans, wheat and other agriculture futures rising.

Gold’s rally suggests investors are increasingly concerned about rising inflation as Americans struggle with $4 gasoline and the U.S. dollar continues to lose ground against its main rivals.

After a week of volatile trading in the commodities complex, a myriad of dour economic developments pushed gold prices skyward: Oil soared above $147 for the first time, stocks dove on concerns that mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae might collapse and the dollar tumbled further against the euro.

“All of these things are a pretty good recipe for safe-haven buying into bullion,” said James Steel, analyst with HSBC in New York. “You’re really spoiled for choice on a day like this.”

Gold for August delivery added $18.60 to settle at $960.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier rising as high as $969.10. That was gold’s highest trading level since first cracking the $1,000 threshold on March 13 after the collapse of Bear Stearns & Co.

Nervousness about the U.S. economy, record energy prices and the falling dollar have helped propel gold 34 percent higher in the past year, but it’s not clear if the current climate is gloomy enough to push gold back into record territory.

“The $1,000 mark accompanied a bank failure the last time so it’s questionable whether the situation now is as severe, but that doesn’t mean it won’t go back to that level,” Steel said.

Other precious metals also traded higher. September silver prices added 50 cents to settle at $18.82 an ounce on the Nymex, while September copper gained 2.15 cents to settle at $3.74 a pound.

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Euro falls one cent vs dollar from day’s highs

Reuters
July 14, 2008

The euro fell over one cent from the day’s highs against the dollar on Monday, after the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve launched emergency steps to restore investor confidence in U.S. mortgage lenders Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Freddie Mac.

The euro fell to as low as $1.5866 on trading platform EBS, down from an intraday high of $1.5972.

 

Jim Rogers: Dollar Doomed, Fed Will Fail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhLPNdjyjyg

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IMF says world economy between recession and inflation
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Similarities between 1929 and 2008 terrifying
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U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



Dems Prep Another Stimulus Package, Bush May Veto

Dems Prep Another Stimulus Package, Bush May Veto

Reuters
July 1, 2008

Democrats in the U.S. Congress are gearing up to pass a second election-year economic stimulus package, but unlike the $152 billion measure that passed in February, they are not counting on getting the support of President George W. Bush.

Leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate are discussing with key committee chairmen the shape of another emergency spending bill that would again aim to spur the economy and help those hurt by the economic slowdown, several congressional aides said on Tuesday.

This comes on the heels of this week’s enactment of increased jobless benefits, another Democratic priority.

Infrastructure projects — road and bridge building and other government-funded construction — top the list, according to those aides. At least $8 billion in funds could be sought just for these projects, although aides said there were no firm cost estimates yet for any portion of the legislation.

Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, is hoping such a bill also would help deal with some problems related to the unfolding home mortgage crisis, especially if Bush vetoes a broader bill moving through Congress.

“The second stimulus package should include money to the states and cities to buy foreclosed properties,” Frank told Reuters in a telephone interview.

If a second economic stimulus bill advances and it follows the formula of emergency measures enacted this year, the new stimulus would add to already steep deficits that worry fiscal conservatives.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters, “I think that we’re going to come back at a later time and do other things that are extremely important.” He singled out the need for more money for disaster relief, law enforcement and a program that helps low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills.

Reid’s spokesman, Jim Manley, said Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California have held several conversations on possible legislation.

“July might be a little quick to pull it off. September seems more likely” following a month-long August recess, said one House aide, who asked not to be identified.

Last January and February, the White House and congressional Republicans displayed rare bipartisanship when they worked to enact a $152 billion plan, mostly tax rebates, to stimulate the economy by trying to boost consumer spending.

In crafting that package, Democrats gave up, at least temporarily, on a series of initiatives they wanted, from more food stamps for the poor to expanded unemployment benefits and government-funded construction projects.

Bush opposed those add-ons, citing cost concerns.

Read Full Article Here

 



Top Economic Expert: We Are Already in a Recession

America is ALREADY in recession, say top economic global experts – and that spells trouble for the UK

Daily Mail
March 21, 2008


Experts have accused the International Monetary Fund of “driving the car using the rear view mirror” after the global body warned the U.S. was on the verge of a recession.

The world’s biggest economy is already in a recession, they claim, as a draft version of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook declared the U.S. economy is “very weak”. Nigel Gault, chief US economist at Global Insight, a worldwide economic forecasting and consultancy firm, said he believed the US was in recession already – and that spelt problems for other countries, including the UK.

He said: “The US has, for years, been the primary motor for growth in the global economy. However, now consumer spending in the US has seen a downturn, the tables are turned, and the US is looking to the rest of the world for support, through strong export growth, and cutting imports.

“This is happening, US exports are doing extremely well, but it’s not enough to keep the economy out of recession.

“We do not expect to see the problems in the housing market in the US bottoming out before 2009, and while spending will be helped by tax rebates to be given this summer, that may give only temporary relief, and in the first quarter next year growth may dip back close to zero.

“The longer either the recession or period of weak growth goes on, the longer the US market is going to be weak, and very difficult for anybody trying to sell goods to it.”

Jeremy Batstone, head of research at stockbrokers Charles Stanley, said the IMF “has a history of driving the car using the rear view mirror”.

He added: “For the whole of 2007, it was not looking through the windscreen, it was merely reporting what the prevailing economic data releases were telling it.

“This report suggests nothing has changed, the IMF using backward-looking data is taking the view that the US economy might be in recession.

“Recent economic releases make it entirely clear that the US economy is already in recession, it’s confirmed by diverse economic statistics, including retail sales, sharply falling house prices, rising unemployment, deteriorating industrial production and manufacturing output.

“The 64,000-dollar question, indeed the 64-trillion dollar question, is not what happened in the first quarter, but what might happen in the second quarter, and beyond that.

“The hope among economists is that radical action by the US Federal Reserve might be enough to nip this crisis in the bud, and maybe there can be gradual recovery in the second quarter of the year, but at the moment we just don’t know.

“I do find myself becoming a little more hopeful, as the hour is darkest before the dawn. Just maybe radical action will prove that in the second quarter – or the third quarter if we are unlucky – that the storm abates.”

The draft version of the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook concluded the US economy “remains very weak, certainly close to a possible recession”.

The report is due to be published ahead of a meeting next month, and was leaked to Italian news agency Ansa.

The verdict comes after the cash crisis and cut-price rescue of troubled US investment bank Bear Stearns sent markets plummeting at the beginning of the week.

The Federal Reserve, the US central bank, dropped its main interest rate by three quarter-points on Wednesday – the latest in a series of cuts which have seen the rate trimmed by 2 per cent in the first three months of this year – and 3 per cent since the credit crunch first erupted in global markets last August.

The moves come as the Fed attempts to rescue the world’s biggest economy from the brink of recession and ease the pressure on the banking system.

Read Full Article Here

 

IMF: Think The Unthinkable

CNBC
March 19, 2008

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today warned authorities worldwide to “think the unthinkable” in planning to cope with a mounting crisis in the global financial system.

John Lipsky, IMF first deputy managing director, called for “decisive policy action” amid a credit crunch that stems from the US real estate meltdown and is spreading throughout the financial markets.

The coordinated actions by the US Federal Reserve and other global central banks on Tuesday to further pump billions of dollars of liquidity into financial markets were “helpful” but stronger measures may be necessary.

Policy actions worldwide to date “may not prove to be adequate” to deal with the “low-probability but high-impact events” that may materialize and undermine global financial stability, Lipsky said in an address at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank.

“Policy makers as a matter of course need to ’think the unthinkable,’ and to consider how they would plan to react if contingencies arise. The need to prepare more systematically for potential risks has been demonstrated amply during the past few months,” he said.

“By now, there is little doubt that risks of further escalation of this crisis are rising and decisive policy action will be required to put the global financial system and economy on a firmer footing.” He said the first priority was to reverse the spreading strains in global financial markets and to restore the normal functioning of the financial system in advanced economies.

If contingent risks materialize, the central banks together with financial supervisors and regulators will be the first line of defence. The second line of defence lies with fiscal authorities. Finally, public intervention will be considered as a third line of defence, Lipsky said. The IMF “stands ready to use its record liquidity if needed to help cushion the global economy,” Lipsky said, adding, “we must keep all options on the table.”

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A financial crisis unmatched since the Great Depression, say analysts
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Paulson’s Gift to His Bankster Buddies: Winding Up Bear
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U.S. Economic Collapse News Archive

 



Greenspan Says U.S. Economy Is on Edge of a Recession

Greenspan Says U.S. Economy Is on Edge of a Recession

Bloomberg

February 15, 2008


Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. economy is on the verge of its first recession in six years as falling home values hurt consumer spending.

“We are clearly on the edge,” Greenspan told a group of energy-industry executives yesterday at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ 27th annual CERAWeek conference in Houston. He reiterated comments from last month that the odds of an economic contraction are “50 percent or better.”

Greenspan’s view has evolved from a year ago, when he saw a one-in-three chance of a recession, citing slowing profit growth and becoming one of the first economists to warn of the risk. Now, Wall Street firms including Merrill Lynch & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are forecasting a contraction in the aftermath of the worst housing downturn in a quarter century.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, Greenspan’s successor, acknowledged “downside” risks to the expansion yesterday, while telling lawmakers he expects growth to pick up later this year. He reiterated the central bank is prepared to take “timely” action to aid the economy as needed.

Treasuries rose, pushing the 10-year yield 1 basis point lower to 3.81 percent at 3:37 p.m. in Tokyo.

“While we are at stall speed in the U.S. at the moment, we haven’t yet seen the discontinuity that characterizes recession,” Greenspan said during a question-and-answer session yesterday. “American business was in such extra-good shape before this problem hit. Otherwise we would be talking about how long and how deep. We are not there yet.”

Read Full Article Here

 

Bloomberg: US Economy Resembles A “Third World Country”

WCBS-TV
February 15, 2008

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has unleashed another flurry of jabs on Washington, ridiculing the federal government’s rebate checks as being “like giving a drink to an alcoholic” on Thursday, and said the presidential candidates are looking for easy solutions to complex economic problems.

The billionaire and potential independent presidential candidate also said the nation “has a balance sheet that’s starting to look more and more like a third-world country.”

President Bush signed legislation Wednesday that will result in cash rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 for more than 130 million people.

The federal checks are the centerpiece of the government’s emergency effort to stimulate the economy, under the theory that most people will spend the money right away.

But Bloomberg does not believe it will do much good. And his harsh words at a news conference Thursday reflect the view among some of his associates that the country’s economic woes present a unique opportunity for him to launch a third-party bid for the White House.

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