“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” - H.L. Mencken
According to the talking head pundits parading as journalists on the corporate MSM propaganda stations, democracy worked this week. Our noble, wise, and truthful leaders saved the country from a catastrophic rendevous with destiny. They did what they do best, agreed to spend more money we don’t have while delaying any tough choices to sometime in the future. This is being portrayed by the mouthpiece media as a great victory for the caring liberals over the tea party granny killing terrorists. How dare these radicals question the increase in Federal government spending from $2.7 trillion in 2007 to $3.8 trillion today. Has government gotten 40% more efficient, 40% more effective, or 40% more helpful in the last 6 years? How dare anyone question Keynesian worshipping politicians about why real GDP has risen by only 4.6% since 2007, even though Federal spending has risen by 40% and Ben Bernanke’s balance sheet has risen by 400%.
Karl Denninger is growing weary of the lies, mistruths, and stupidity of the chattering classes. I feel his pain. Banging your head against a wall of willful ignorance for five years gets tiring after awhile. Mencken and Denninger come to the same conclusion. We have elected these people and allowed them to be corrupted by Wall Street, and a myriad of other powerful interests, to the detriment of the long-term future of our country. We deserve to get it good and hard. And we will.
Bluntly, the crack-up that we are going to experience on a fiscal level, one which will come rather-more-quickly than most expect, is something that we deserve to experience here in America.
There are plenty of people who believe it will either never come or if it does, it will be quite some time in the future. They’re wrong. Even Jamie Dimon, as I noted yesterday, has admitted that the time line is very short — at most a few years away, perhaps five.
He’s probably long on his estimate — in general most people are when it comes to such things.
No, we’re going to hit the wall hard, fast and without fail. And when we do our children and grandchildren should eat us, literally, slathered in BBQ sauce to cover the bad taste.
We deserve it.
Fox Business says that the “US Debt Bill” is $123,000 per working American. They are grossly understating the case.
To put our country’s debt situation into perspective, if every working American had to pay their share of the $16.7 trillion debt in 2012, they would be shelling out $123,000.
The national debt is on schedule to hit $17 trillion in the next few weeks, up from $10.6 trillion when President Obama took office in 2009.
We, the people of this country, have piled on almost half of that obligation in the last five years. We are thus overspending at the government level by close to $5,000 per year, per person — and this only counts those debts that are actually debts.
That is, it does not count the promise to pay in Social Security and Medicare, which are not debts.
If you look at that figure the total isn’t $17 trillion — it is in fact over $126 trillion. Per taxpayer this is over $1 million dollars, or over $300,000 per man, woman and child in the country.
We have allowed this — indeed, we demand it.
What is taking on a debt with no intent or ability to pay?
It’s criminal fraud folks.
Black-letter, simple, criminal fraud.
This cycle will end, because it must end. Mathemtically, it cannot continue. It has driven so-called “asset prices” to record highs, but that’s not an indication of economic health, just as the fact that a credit-card junkie with $170,000 on their credit cards, $27,000 in income does not tell us that he or she is economically healthy because their closet is full of Gucci bags.
They don’t actually own any of those bags even though they have possession of them. Likewise, we don’t actually own our asset prices and have an entitlement to them even though we currently have possession of them in our 401ks, IRAs and stock accounts.
Nope, folks, that’s not how it works. We have blown these bubbles repeatedly through intentionally taking on debts we cannot and have no intention of ever paying off.
We have achieved these prices through financial fraud that we turn into a “legal” practice by writing exemptions into the law that make the acts non-prosecutable even though they are factually frauds.
Our entire health system is predicated on a set of these frauds; the abuse of law to compel people to not trade freely in various drugs, supplies and procedures. This is why you get billed $60,000 for two vials of scorpion antivenom that is produced for $100 each (and sold over the counter) just a few hundred miles away in Mexico, but if you try to bring back a trunk full of that medicine in your car over the over border you face decades in a Federal prison. That which would otherwise be voluntary commerce is criminalized and you are then billed at whatever the criminal-cum-medicine-man wishes to charge — an act made possibly only because he first enlisted someone to shove a gun up your nose and cut off your alternative sources of supply.
After this story broke the hospital in question “lowered” the price by 80% — to just $8,000. For a $100 drug.
This is the sort of scam that has pervaded the entire medical system. You can, today, price cash procedures at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma — and they are typically 1/5th of what you would be quoted at a hospital that takes “insurance.” But even these prices are grossly inflated because the drugs and supplies are subject to the monopoly price controls imposed on all medications and supplies sold in the United States — controls that in virtually any other line of work are felonious for manufacturers, distributors and vendors to agree to.
When I ran my Internet company if we had gotten together with the other suppliers of service in the area to set prices and try to force others to comply with our pricing regime the very attempt would be a violation of The Sherman Act, exposing us all to criminal felony convictions and $1 million fines. In the medical system this sort of action is not only allowed it is ensconced in the laws of several states via so-called “CON” laws that prohibit the opening and closing of medical facilities without explicit permission that is granted by a board staffed with the existing providers of those services. This is direct cartel behavior and, in virtually every other line of work is against the law.
But this is not the only place such games are played. We do it with our trade laws as well. Chinese companies can manufacture things for export to the US and there is no tariff, but a US company trying to import products to China is charged an entry tariff, including on the very same products that they export here! Yes, you heard that right — China exports car parts and cellphones to the United States, but firms trying to sell those products in China made or sourced elsewhere must pay tariffs.
Again, this is a scam — we cannot of course compel China to drop their tariffs but we have no obligation to grant them open and non-tariffed access to our markets when the entire purpose of manufacturing there is to evade working condition and environmental protection laws that exist here.
We define “inflation” under the Consumer Price Index but that is a scam; among the means to effect the scam are claiming that Health Insurance is 0.656% of the “average” family’s cost structure — indeed, the claim is made that the average family pays four times as much for car insurance as it does for health insurance. Really? How’s that working out with Obamacare when even with subsidies the prices are coming out well over $1,000/year. Is minimalist car insurance that expense? Maybe — if you’re 16 — but it sure isn’t $4,000 unless you’ve wrecked a few or got caught drunk driving.
You can blame politicians but the fact of the matter is that we elect them. After the 2008 debacle with TARP, a crisis that came about precisely because of “fog-a-mirror” bad loans and the frauds perpetrated up and down the line we not only approved of this we sent more than 90% of those congresspeople back to office a mere two weeks later.
I started writing The Ticker because in 1999 I didn’t make a lot of public noise about what was coming in the Nasdaq and Internet Stocks, although I sure as hell did see it (and got well beyond the blast radius personally.)
Well, it’s six years later folks, and despite now having sounded the alarm for the entire period, laying out the case in irrefutable arithmetic, not only is it not being heeded at all but even worse the people are clamoring for even more of the scams and frauds that caused not only the 2000 bubble and the 2007 Housing Bubble and crash they want the same scams and frauds now with the markets at record highs.
Just remember this — all this debt does not create value. It may create a price, but it does not change value. Unpayable debt is unstable just as is a jar of nitroglycerine and the more you pile it on the more nitro you put in the jar, the heavier it becomes, and the more-likely it is that you’ll drop it.
If you continue this path rather than reverse it dropping of the jar becomes inevitable, as is the outcome.