Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rand Paul - Truth and No Bullshit

To understand Rand Paul, you've got to go back to the earliest days of January 2011 when he was sworn in.

Rand Paul on spending:

Rand Paul was sworn into Congress on January 5, 2011, along with his father Ron Paul.  Within weeks Rand introduced a proposal to immediately reduce federal spending by $500 billion and predictably MSM and Congress went ballistic.  In government speak, reducing government spending is the equivalent of outlawing God.

Rand Paul's Plan To Slash Spending By $500 Billion Immediately

Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. It defunds completely the Affordable Housing Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

But it goes much farther than that.

It calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (that's the agency that offers protection from unsafe cribs and lead paint). It dramatically reduces spending to nearly every government agency. It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense. Paul targets projects and agencies dear to liberals. It defunds completely the Affordable Housing Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. But it goes much farther than that. It calls for rescinding all funds to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (that's the agency that offers protection from unsafe cribs and lead paint). It dramatically reduces spending to nearly every government agency. It rescinds most of the Department of Energy's funds and transfers the remaining dollars and accounts to the Department of Defense.

Paul would reduce Health and Human Services funding by over $26.5 billion, including over $5.8 billion in reductions for the National Institute of Health. He'd slash defense spending by over $47 billion, and defund all Department of Education programs immediately, while capping Pell grants at just over $16.2 billion. He does not, however, propose to touch Social Security between now and the end of the fiscal year. 
Rand's bill was immediately rejected and laughed at.  Undeterred,  Rand went back to the drawing board and unveiled a plan with more modest spending cuts - $200 billion (not a lot of money for a government that pisses away nearly $4 trillion a year).

US Sen. Paul proposes $200B in spending cuts

That proposal was also laughed at by both Democrats and Republicans - there would be no talk of spending cuts in the US Congress.  Period! Rand was alone in his request to reign in spending, although he continued to talk about the need to cut spending which of course fell on deaf ears.

That's how Rand got indoctrinated into how Congress really works but I doubt that he was surprised.  He was acutely aware that his father constantly fought the big spenders in Congress but Ron Paul was also alone.

I give Rand Paul and A+ on trying to reign in spending.  He has a long record of voting NO spending that he considers unconstitutional.

I believe that Ron and Rand are ideologically quite similar even though their strategies and tactics differ considerably.  Rand holds the potential to succeed where Ron Paul failed. Ron Paul simply could not sell small accountable constitutional government to the voters.  Liberty is a tough, tough sell.

To understand Ron and Rand, you've got to view government as one giant poisonous tree that is spewing poisonous fruits. Ron Paul wanted to grab a buzz saw and just cut the whole rotten tree down. Clearly, Rand learned from Ron that such a strategy doesn't work.  Accordingly, Rand's strategy has been to hack away at the roots of the poisonous tree and slowly kill it (or slowly reduce the magnitude of government power).

Rand's voting record on liberty issues is quite impressive.  Even so he has been castigated and accused of nasty things including outright lies.  I don't know if they are intellectually lazy or even controlled opposition but Rand has been brutalized by some of the so-called members of the liberty movement.

Rand Paul on civil liberties:

There has been much hysteria on social media accusing Rand Paul of voting YES on NDAA. First of all, there was never an NDAA bill. NDAA was merely a very tiny component of the monster  Defense Authorization bill but that tiny component included highly combustible and contentious language on the right of the federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens without due process or charges. Because of civil liberties concerns, Rand Paul fought for language that would have weakened or neutered the right of the government to indefinitely detain citizens. Once that amendment was included in the Defense Authorization bill, Rand Paul voted YES on the bill.

It is not unusual for the senate and house to pass competing versions of a bill. It happens frequently and when it does happen a Conference Committee is created to include members of the house and senate to iron out the differences. Yes, the Conference Committee is always rigged.

Let's back up to the 2012 Defense Authorization bill (passed in Dec. 2011) when the same civil liberties issues were raised. Rand Paul voted NO on the final Conference Committee bill along with 14 other senators in an 86-13-1 vote. The 12/15/11 roll call vote is here.

Fast forward a year later to December 2012 and the vote on the 2013 Defense Authorization Act. In an 81-14-4 vote that easily passed, Rand Paul voted NO. The 2013 Defense Authorization official roll call vote is here and the vote occurred on 12/21/12.

In the 2011 and 2012 final votes on the Defense Authorization bill, Rand Paul voted NO, as documented above with the official roll call votes. Since Rand Paul was elected in Nov. 2010 and was sworn into office in January, 2011, he had no votes prior to being sworn in.

Yet, there is a firestorm brewing that falsely alleges that Rand Paul voted YES on NDAA. It's simply NOT true. However, what is TRUE is that Rand Paul voted YES on the 2013 Defense Authorization bill (senate version) on 12/4/12 because it contained an amendment restricting NDAA indefinite detention but that amendment was kicked out of the final bill in Conference Committee.

Still, the Rand Paul haters are circulating the 98-0-2 roll call vote as proof that Rand Paul voted YES on NDAA. That roll call vote is here. Rand Paul NEVER voted for NDAA.

The Huffington Post wrote a piece on Rand Paul's furious dissent.

NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Passes Senate After Rand Paul Calls It An 'Abomination'

RT.com documented Rand Paul's position on NDAA.

'Abomination': Rand Paul slams NDAA as bill passes US Senate

Another lie that is circulating about Rand Paul is that he voted YES on the Patriot Act. He did no such thing. The Patriot Act originally passed shortly after 911 with a sunset date of 12/31/05, meaning it was supposed to be TEMPORARY but since government tyranny is NEVER temporary, Congress and Bush renewed the Patriot Act in 3/06 for 4 more years. In February, 2010, Obama signed a one year extension of the Patriot Act. On 5/26/11, Congress passed and Obama signed a 4 year extension of the Patriot Act. Senate bill 990 (PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011) cleared the Senate on 5/26/11 in a 72-23-5 recorded vote, here. Rand Paul voted NO.

Rand has been consistently solid on civil liberties. In June 2015, the Patriot Act was replaced with the USA Freedom Act, a bill that actually expands NSA snooping powers.  Rand Paul voted NO on the USA Freedom Act and his filibuster to kill it failed.

Senate Clears USA Freedom Act After Ending Rand Paul Filibuster

The USA Freedom Act is especially egregious because a federal court had ruled that NSA snooping was not specifically authorized by the Patriot Act.  Congress corrected that flaw with the USA Freedom Act!  How anybody call call a Nazied styled 4th amendment crushing bill the "USA Freedom Act" is appallingly reprehensible beyond belief but in attention deficit America, Congress loves flexing is totalitarian muscle because they know there are no ballot box consequences.

I give Rand Paul and A+ on civil liberties.  He's even worked with Democrats and introduced bills to reform the criminal justice system that would release non violent drug offenders from federal prison.

Rand Paul on Mitch McConnell and Audit the Fed

Rand has been criticized for endorsing Mitch McConnell in his bid for re-election to the senate and I understand that criticism.  McConnell is a worthless piece of corrupt statist shit. Audit the Fed is so important to Rand Paul that YES, he did cut a deal with the devil.  He knew that McConnell would be Senate Majority Leader and McConnell promised Rand an up/down vote on his Audit the Fed bill.  If slime ball McConnell lost his senate seat, who knows who would be Senate Majority Leader - definitely Harry Reid if the Dems kept the Senate but also possibly nutjobs like Lindsay Graham or John McCain.

McConnell promises to push Paul’s Audit the Fed bill

Audit the Fed cleared the House in September, 2014, 333-92.  However, it is languishing in the Senate and not because of Mitch McConnell.  It doesn't have enough co-sponsors to clear the senate and the last thing Rand wants is to bring Audit the Fed up for a vote and have it fail.

I give Rand Paul and A+ on what he had to do for the cause of Audit the Fed because Audit the Fed is that important. However, Audit the Fed won't clear this congress (probably any congress) and it definitely couldn't survive a presidential veto if it miraculously cleared both the house and senate.

Foreign Policy 

The neocons hate Rand Paul and view his foreign policy as very similar to Ron Paul's foreign policy.  I don't believe that Rand is a neocon.  What Rand has done is attempt to gently persuade the GOP base and Republican elites that foreign policy must change if the Republican Party is to win a presidential election.  Yeah, some view it as a wimpy gutless strategy but going back to hacking at the roots of the poisonous tree and considering the bloodlust of the GOP voting base, as a matter of politics Rand is forced to romance warmongers and war lovers (something Ron refused to do).  On that I don't criticize him too badly - he's in a very awkward and delicate position.

However, where Rand did lose me is on his neocon turn on the Iran Deal, a deal endorsed by Ron Paul. In fact, I was so infuriated that I made the decision to no longer #StandWithRand.  Although Rand does support a deal with Iran, he doesn't support this deal and opposes ending the sanctions right away.  Iran is suffering heavily under the weight of sanctions and agreed to this deal providing sanctions were lifted immediately upon ratification.

I don't understand Rand's issues with Iran.  Shiite Iran is not a terrorist nation and neither Iran nor Shiite Muslims have ever committed acts of terror against the US and the West.  If you take into accounts 911, the bombings in Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow, Mumbai (and other places), and the bombing of the USS Cole, all the evidence clearly documents that every one of these Islamist terror attacks were committed by Sunni Salafist Wahhabists. Wahhabism is a radical Sunni sect of Islam that is practiced on the Arabian Peninsula and quickly spreading globally with Saudi and Gulf money. Yet, America and America's neocons are in bed with the biggest terrorist nation on the planet - Saudi Arabia, something even Rand Paul has acknowledged.

Rand Paul: Declassify 9/11 report pages on Saudi Arabia

Sen. Rand Paul calls for Americans to boycott Saudi Arabia

Rand Paul Bill Would Unhood Saudi Role in 9/11

Iran had a functioning democracy until the CIA engineered a coup in 1953 that ousted the popular Mossedegh and installed the dreaded shah, a US puppet, a situation that paved the way for the Islamic Revolution and Ayatollah rule, here and here.

Rand's insane position on Iran, a nation that has never been involved in Islamist terror, makes no sense.  Rand certainly isn't earning any brownie points with the neocons - they hate his guts.

Insiders: Rand Paul's foreign policy views are a serious liability - While the Kentucky senator’s positions help him stand out in a crowded field, Republicans believe they likely preclude him from winning the nomination.

In my opinion, Rand never stood a chance at winning the Republican nomination because the GOP primary voters are just as hardcore neocon as the GOP's most dangerous psychopaths like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Tom Cotton and others.  Still there is an anti-war liberty wing within the GOP that is growing and Rand just lost it.

Presently, Rand's vote on the Iran Deal may be irrelevant because it's being reported that Obama has the votes to pass it, although Harry Reid and Democrat neocons are teaming up with Republican neocons to kill it via a filibuster.

I don't know if Rand is shamelessly pandering to typical Republican warmongering primary voters by opposing the Iran Deal but if he is, he's crossed a dangerous line and lost the respect of those who love and support his father.

I give Rand Paul and B on foreign policy simply because he would be a whole lot less dangerous than the rest of the Republican and Democrat POTUS aspiring heap who all deserve big F's.

Rand has done a lot of good things, even if he lost the battles.  But it's not Rand fault that he stands alone on spending, civil liberties and other issues.  He's even visited black colleges and given speeches on the benefits of liberty, something Republicans never do.

Rand has stepped out of the establishment box on a lot of issues and for that he has earned the respect of many conservatives, if not Libertarians who justifiably are suspicious of him.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is trumping all the Republican candidates. While Trump may be a narcissistic rabble rouser with a non-stop motor mouth and years of TV reality show experience to sharpen his showmanship, he's way short on the issues.  Trump has been mostly silent on big issues while brandishing his "Make America Great Again" theme (no disclosures on how he intends to accomplish such a lofty feat).

I do believe that Rand is the best hope for liberty and I can't see where Trump would in any way advance the cause of liberty.  If anything, another election season that is upon us once again proves that voters are idiots and they seek sleazy entertainment rather than an honest debate on the difficult issues that we face.

However, a Rand Paul presidency wouldn't bring much change because all his vetoes would be overridden by a traitorous Congress.  Rand would be a lame duck president but there is one area where he would excel - as Commander in Chief, Rand would be far less likely to march off to war than any president in my lifetime.  I trust Rand more on foreign policy than any other of the other psychopaths running for president.

Until this congress is fired by the voters and replaced with liberty leaning congress critters, the cause of liberty is dormant.

With the shit hitting the fan in the financial sector, the economy in steep decline, endless wars, massive deficits, mountains of unsustainable debt, a bankrupt military empire and public corruption on steroids, I can't see where our decline can even be reversed at this junction without massive suffering (not that we won't ultimately experience suffering). Who in their right mind would even want to be president?

The next president will be under immense non-stop pressure.  Rand should just sit out 2016 - America isn't ready for him but Americans might be in 2020 when they are desperate for a leader who will help lift them from misery by empowering them with liberty.

The GOP is old, white, gray and dying.  Every election cycle there are fewer and fewer of the Republican geezer brigade but right now they control primaries because they vote in huge percentages. There is no way that these folks will nominate Rand.  Maybe some day the younger liberty wing of the GOP will take over but for now it's just not going to happen.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Unhappy Labor Day: How the Federal Reserve, Monetary Policy and Congress Robbed the Poor and Middle Class

As liberals, progressives, Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and assorted others comprising the ideological spectrum ponder the acute decline of the American middle class and the hopeless suffering of the poor, it's not likely that the true reason for such national misery will be addressed.  In fact, truth is universally ignored in America.

Yes, there are a lot of moving parts to our economic woes ranging from nasty corporatist trade agreements (outsourcing US manufacturing) to massively increased socialist-statist entitlements (the welfare state) to endless wars that are bankrupting us but one factor leads the pack as the chief culprit: the destruction of the dollar attributable to Nixon de-tethering the dollar from gold in 1971 and its horrific effect on the poor and middle class.  Purchasing power has nosedived and wages, which never keep pace with inflation, have also nosedived.

Source:  Zero Hedge

Worker wages and purchasing power peaked in 1971 just before Nixon churned the dollar into a 100% fiat currency that became the chief tool to transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich.

Why Inequality Started Soaring in 1971 - Going Off the Gold Standard Encouraged a Financialized Economy … Which Caused Inequality to Soar

Why would going off the gold standard increase inequality? Financialization of the economy is one of the main causes of inequality. And going off the gold standard greatly increased financialization.
The debt based 'fiat money' economy or financialization replaced sound money.  Just to maintain their standard of living, families started borrowing and stopped saving money became saving became nearly impossible. Effectively, Americans became debt slaves as wages remained stagnant and their wage dollars bought less and less.

Median Wages Have PLUMMETED Since 1969 - Real Wages Much Lower Than They Were Four Decades Ago

Wages need to rise to keep up with inflation, especially since the value of the dollar has been trashed,,,
The interests of Wall Street, corporations and the rich are served at the expense of the poor and middle class.  It doesn't help that tens of millions of low wage immigrants have flooded America and most of these folks are collecting welfare while creating the 'Minimum Wage Economy'.  It doesn't help that Congress has passed tax laws that actually encourage the destruction of US manufacturing by taxing corporations at lower rates if they earn their profits on foreign soil.  It doesn't help that American and western workers can't compete with 3rd world slave wage nations.
According to CNN's online global wage calculator, which uses data from the International Labor Organization, the average annual salary of a worker in China's private sector was 28,752 yuan (about $4,755) in 2012, or 38% of the global average. Jan 24, 2014

While globalization has indeed benefited 3rd world nations by fostering massive industrialization and rising standards of living, it's come at the expense of western workers who can't compete in high tax and high cost of living nations.  No American can house or feed themselves on earnings of $4,755 a year. Such wages automatically qualifies a person for food stamps, Medicaid and other welfare benefits.

It's as if the globalization economy has churned the world into a form of industrial feudalism consisting of subsistence level serfs and their corporate masters.  Western corporations lobby heavily for the low wage welfare state because it effectively transfers the social costs of an employee to the taxpayers who are already severely financially stressed.  Clearly, it's a form of corporate welfare but corporations love it because it lowers their production costs and makes their exports cheaper in foreign nations.  China keeps its currency permanently devalued so that it's goods remain cheap when exported.

These are not good times for labor who is being crushed by globalization and financialization but Wall Street and the rich are doing well as the wealth of the 1% continues to grow.

Just about everybody claims to have a political solution.  Bernie Sanders is campaigning on transferring wealth from the rich via high taxation to fund a bigger entitlement state.  Sanders doesn't believe in sound currency or simply creating economic conditions wherein the poor and middle class have the opportunity to create and keep their own wealth.

The Republican nutjobs running for president are obsessed with endless wars, the American empire, growing the corporatist fascist state and the creepy social issues that fire up the war loving GOP base. Donald Trump is campaigning on "Make America Great Again" but offers absolutely nothing on how he intends to achieve such a lofty goal.

Well, there are solutions, solutions that the power hungry statist politicians despise.  There is only one way to make America great again.  Restore sound money (which effectively kills corrupt Wall Street power) and making America a safe and desirable place to park and utilize capital.  Capital will always seek and find capital friendly places - it's like a law of financial physics. We need a revival domestic manufacturing because nothing jump starts a sick and ailing economy like a factories and manaufacturing.

It's been estimated that literally trillions of dollars in corporate profits earned by US corporations are locked up in foreign banks and cannot be repatriated back to the US because of oppressive taxation. Ron Paul addressed this issue several times.  The statist liberal progressive approach is to force those profits back to American where they can be taxed and expropriated.  The free market approach is to abolish the tax penalties and allow that big pile of capital back into America to work its job producing magic.

Moreover, abolishing the corporate tax would enormously benefit America because we happen to have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, here, which is why US corporations keep their profits stashed away in low tax off shore banking havens.

American corporations aren't exactly paragons of morals and ethics.  They spend billions bribing (lobbying) congress and state legislatures for special privileges, special tax breaks and protectionism.  If we give them a tax free paradise from which to operate, then they get no special privileges and would be subjected to the rigors of the free market and competition, something many corporations abhor. We have to get the corporate money out of politics and kill the scourge of corporatism.  The marriage of big business and big government is simply evil.

However, we can't stop at just abolishing corporate taxes, all the corporate welfare and subsidies must also cease and desist including worker entitlements. food stamps, Medicaid etc.   Businesses must be forced to compete for labor without the drug of entitlements (corporate welfare).

Finally, making America Great Again is a splendid idea but also a minefield for power seeking politicians whose logo infested suites literally resemble NASCAR drivers.  In America, there is no such thing as bribery, it's all a legal campaign or PAC contribution.

You can't make America Great Again without making the American worker great again.  Every American worker deserves the opportunity to work, earn, save, provide for his family and all without dependency on the thieving government that keeps him poor.

Let's work to make Labor Day a day to truly honor and be proud of.  Making America Great Again and Labor Day go hand in hand.  You can't have one without the other.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Glorious Underground Economies and How Folks are Learning to Survive and Thrive While Pissing Off Statists, Socialists and Tax Collectors

Image credit on size of European shadow economy: http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/04-2/20130506_shadow1_0.jpg

Man has always survived through his labor - he simply must produces, trade and/or sell; it's how he feeds, houses and clothes himself and family or, put another way, it's absolute survival in the rawest sense.  It's been that way throughout history and that paradigm will never change.  But along comes government that literally extorts the product of his labor at the point of a gun, and the bigger the government theft machine the greater the efforts of man to skirt the robbery and extortion of taxation and government regulations. In the modern world, the activity of toiling to survive outside the expropriating system is called the underground economy or the shadow economy, and governments and bureaucratic goons are literally launching wars against folks for the crime of merely trying to survive because, well, human survival is verboten in the New World Order of corporatism, massive regulation, statism, socialism and command and control economies.

It's been estimated that the underground economy in Greece is 30-50% of GDP.  The Greeks have a long history of avoiding taxes, a practice that dates back to the days when Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire and subject to heavy taxation.  The Greeks understand that all government is corrupt and thieving, hence the high level of motivation to conduct commerce in a manner that lessens government expropriation.  Statists have been whining for years that the real problem with Greece is that the Greeks don't pay taxes.

However, Greece is far from the only European nation with a high level of underground economic activity.  Bulgaria and Romania (both joined the EU in 2007) hold the #1 and #2 spot for underground economic activity, leaving Greece 3rd.

A Bloomberg article, here, offers insights on how and why folks flee to underground economies.
After quitting his job as a driver to focus on peddling imported shampoo and coffee at a Bucharest market, Costin Dumbrava is on the lookout for Romanian anti-fraud agents intent on ruining his flourishing business.

The 45-year-old runs a stall selling goods shipped over from Hungary and Austria to throngs of customers lured by prices that undercut local supermarkets by a quarter. The secret of his success? He doesn’t pay income tax and he doesn’t charge his clients value-added sales tax. “I couldn’t afford to sell at these prices if I paid taxes,” said Dumbrava, whose wares included brands from Procter & Gamble Co and Unilever NV. “I saw the crackdown and the raids on television. If my turn comes, I’ll have to give up.”

As nations such as Greece struggle to clamp down on tax evasion, Romania is making inroads to curb its more than $40 billion shadow economy, the European Union’s second-largest. With as much as a third of gross domestic product still off the books a quarter-century after communism, the push is designed to swell coffers and help the government reverse painful austerity.

The highlighted sentence above borders on sheer lunacy but is typical of what one would expect from a statist loving Bloomberg article.  The fact that the article clearly states that the goal of cracking down on underground economic activity is to 'swell [public] coffers' is instructive on many levels. However, the assertion that giving governments more money reverses painful austerity is ludicrous to the point of being hilarious.  When folks keep the product of their labor, there is far less economic hardship and poverty.

Most taxes fund huge government bureaucracies or in the case of America, taxes and an $18 trillion mountain of federal debt funds wars, the empire, government bureaucracies and socialism.  Since joining the EU in 2007, Romanian debt has skyrocketed from 12.6% of GDP in 2008 to 39.6% in 2014, and undoubtedly that debt increase paid for the gargantuan government bureaucracy dictated by the EU bureaucrats and technocrats.

Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/romania/government-debt-to-gdp

Unlike clueless westerners of America and the original EU members of northern and southern Europe that religiously worship the state as their benevolent savior, the folks from the former Communist block nations of central Europe don't trust any government as far as they can throw it and they aren't about to pay the taxes to raise another oppressive government.  Indeed, those who survived the harsh days of communism owe their very survival to underground economies and these folks are well aware that communist bureaucrats were high paid and had the best food and housing while most of the people were condemned to misery, starvation and deprivation.

Although Romania has more than doubled its debt since joining the EU, the world's largest European underground economy of Bulgaria is safer because the Bulgarian government didn't pile on debt and it's debt to GDP ratio is a reasonably healthy 18.9 percent. Granted, Romanian debt is still way lower than Greek debt as a percentage of GDP but the pressure to grow government and taxation by declaring war on the underground economy is a recipe for disaster.

Western European nations are also discovering the benefits of the underground economy.  Nasty economies and public corruption have resulted in soaring unemployment, Fortune chirped in on the underground economies in Spain and Italy, here.
According to a recent report by Spain’s Ministry of Finance, at the end of 2012 the underground economy accounted for 24.6% of GDP, up from 17.8% at the time the crisis began in 2008....

Spain’s economic crisis, the government’s reaction to it, and pervasive political and business corruption have inspired a black market boom....

A recent European Commission report found that 95% of Spaniards thought corruption was widespread in their country, outdone only by Italy (97%) and Greece (99%).....
Arrogantly, the Spanish government's response is typical - instead of cracking down on corruption "the government raised taxes to the point that Spain — one of Europe’s poorer countries — now has among the highest personal income tax rates on the continent, providing more motivation to work off the books" according to Fortune.

Western governments and its bureaucratic goons are in an absolute panic.  Drowning under poverty inducing statist economies and mountains of debt that is becoming increasingly difficult to service, they are going full blown totalitarian Nazi by increasing public plunder.  Moreover, they have declared war on the underground economies and are attempting to OUTLAW cash.

Cash is the mothers milk of survival for folks struggling to survive.  If anything, the schemes of the central planners will only serve to grow the underground economies which are growing everywhere. Despite the best efforts of government goons to criminalize cash and productive work-commerce among consenting people (true free trade), the survival instincts of humans will always trump government and bureaucracy.

The failures of statism-socialism will propel folks to seek new paradigms of survival and folks will always revert back to the only proven system of survival - work-produce-trade-sell.  For a while, folks did in fact vote for big bad governments because they perceived a benefit from authorizing the government to rob somebody at the point of a gun to give them the freebies that they wanted or thought they deserved.  However, the glory days of entitlements are in steep decline.  There are no 'freebies' as manna from the heavens of central banks and bloated governments.  There is only the misery of significant declines in the standards of living in the West because, well, the cradle to the grave entitlement state was all a farce anyway.

What will happen next?  It will be the productive people working hard to survive vs. the strong arm of the militarized police state.

The murderous and ruthless communism of Stalin, Lenin and Mao that killed 100 million folks and mostly through starvation, did not have the luxury of a rich and productive economy to loot and plunder. But the West is already substantially plundered and mostly from unsustainable entitlement promises, statism on steroids and the policies of central banks and governments that force the poor and middle class to bailout bondholders and banksters.

Such a situation is destined to turn ugly and violent.  Those in power will not voluntarily relinquish their absolute power and would gladly immerse the planet under a nuclear mushroom cloud.

But there is one certainly - governments are going down, the fiat banking systems are destined to implode and mass civil unrest will terrorize and rattle humanity to its core. History keeps repeating itself over and over as this is nothing new.

Meanwhile the bureaucrats and central planners will continue crush any and all entrepreneurial spirit that exists among industrious folks.  In 2013, Zero Hedge estimated the total size of Europe's shadow economy at $3.55 trillion with an estimated tax loss of nearly 900 billion Euros.
On an unweighted average basis, European shadow economies are 22.1% of total economic activity or around $3.55 trillion (as large as Germany's whole economy). A report by Tax Research, suggests that Austria and Luxemburg have the smallest shadow economies in the euro area at 9.7% of GDP, while Bulgaria at 35.3% and Romania at 32.6% top the list. Of the major economies, Germany clocks in at 16%, France at 15%, Italy at 27% and Spain 22.5%. Stunningly, in terms of tax revenues lost, the shadow economy translates into an estimated €864bn or just over 7% of euro area GDP and, in context, accounts for 105.8% of the enture healthcare spending of the EU. It appears that more and more Europeans have no choice but to shift to a shadow economy (as taxes rise among other things), and this is the biggest threat to the entire economy. This is likely one reason the 'austerity' actions have not been successful since far less taxes are being paid via the conventional channels.

The average shadow economy is 22.1% of the nation's economy...Read the rest here.
It literally takes millions of working and producing folks to generate $3.55 trillion in underground GDP.  I'm sure that the underground stats have increased since 2013, although shadow economy stats are difficult to measure and are at best a guess.   Furthermore, nearly all underground economic activity is un-banked.  The last thing these folks will do is deposit their money in a thieving bank, Greece or Cyprus style.

Governments will argue that underground economic activity involves mostly drugs and all kinds of illegal activities but that's simply not true.  A consultant that advocated for the abolition of cash, here, clearly defined the shadow economy: "The shadow economy comprises legal business activities that are performed outside the reach of government authorities". 
Bingo, that's it - outside the reach of government authorities is the operative wording.  In New York City, a dude named Eric Garner was literally choked to death on a New York street by NYPD because he was selling 'loosie' cigarettes on a street corner. In severely Nazified and progressive places like NYC, underground economic activity carries the death penalty.

If anything, the shadow or underground economy represents true free market capitalism, and before corporatists, oligarchs, government goons, progressives, socialists, tax collectors etc. demand their pound of flesh for every morsel of economic activity.

Finally, I applaud the underground economy and the hardworking and brave folks who make it happen!  Some government officials have even acknowledged that clamping down on underground economies will result in more economic hardships so they begrudgingly look the other way or accept a bribe. Even statists are learning that the 'command' and 'control' aspects of the command and control economy are ultimately unenforceable.

In America, the underground economy has been estimated at $2 trillion and deprives the IRS of some $500 billion a year in tax revenues, here.

Yeah!  Go Baby!  Grow the underground economy and deprive the tyrannical and corrupt monster known as government of revenues.  That's precisely how you slay the statist monster.  Democracy won't vote it out of office, you can only starve the monster to death.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Greece vs. Grease - When you grease the wheels of statism, a nation flies off the slippery slope into the dark abyss

The situation in Greece is playing out like a classic Greek tragedy and it has elicited considerable commentary from the right and the left, and even a few reasonably sane observers.  The right wing position is:  the Greeks made their bed so they need to sleep in it, man up and pay their damn debts. The left wing position is: in the interest of socialist solidarity, the debt should be forgiven, written off and Greece should be supplied with fresh new debt money.  Well, Greece can't pay its debts, not now and not ever.  However, the Greeks do OWE somebody some $370 billion and Greece voluntarily signed on the dotted line for those nasty loans that constitute nothing more than more debt slavery.

If anybody really wants to understand Greece, you have to ask a Greek who intimately knows Greek history, culture and politics.  The problems in Greece just didn't pop up overnight, they've been brewing for decades. Socialism, oligarchy and corruption are the leading culprits for the horrors presently occurring in Greece. Taki Theodoracopulos explains in his essay titled Demagogue Days.

Last Sunday’s referendum was truly Greek, a tragicomedy of errors, a yes-or-no question drafted in cryptic, technocratic gobbledygook, worthy of the best Brussels newspeak. 
But let’s start at the beginning.

The Greek ship of state was cruising on choppy waters under a benign monarchy headed by the 23-year-old King Constantine back in 1967. Greeks are known for their hot tempers, and they were never hotter than during the spring of 1967. MPs regularly came to blows in Parliament as elections loomed. On April 21, 1967, a military coup took place, one that the king was forced to accept in order to avoid bloodshed. After six months the king attempted a countercoup to restore democracy, but he failed, choosing exile instead. The colonels collapsed in the summer of 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied the northern part of Cyprus. Democracy was restored, and the king was rejected in a plebiscite reminiscent of the kind perfected by South American strongmen. Thus begins Greece’s latest democratic period.
Two men dominate the post-colonel period: Constantine Karamanlis and Andreas Papandreou. Both men started their own political parties, New Democracy for the former, PASOK for the latter. Karamanlis was center-right, Papandreou center-left. Both got very rich in office, and both corrupted the patronage system to the maximum. Then Karamanlis, a man I knew very well, and one who had benefited from my father’s largesse only to turn against him once he was no longer needed, had a brilliant idea. He proposed to the powers of the EEC, as it was then called, to allow Greece to join the then six nations, thus ensuring no ambitious colonel would try to grab power by force of arms. The EEC welcomed us with open arms. European money began to flow into a poor country whose main exports were olives and fruit and whose economy was based on tourism and shipping.

In 1981, the established EU Greek nation decided to swing left. Andreas Papandreou came into office and a real Greek upheaval took place. Papandreou established a core constituency of voters by enriching them for life. The trick was an easy one. Tony Blair tried it years later. Close to 25 percent of Greeks were employed by the state, with pensions worthy of far, far richer nations, and leaders of civil unions enjoying double or triple pensions for retiring at age 50. With 25 percent of the electorate in his pocket for life, Papandreou then proceeded to nationalize industries, milk the EU treasury, and flirt with Middle Eastern dictators. He personally became very rich, and even divorced his American wife for a very generously endowed airline hostess he met while flying to an EU meeting who went by the nickname Mimi Big Tits. He married Mimi, survived all sorts of riots against his corrupt policies, and finally expired, his face buried in Mimi’s bosom. After his demise she became a nonperson, as in Stalinist societies. Both Karamanlis and Papandreou were succeeded by their nephew and son, respectively, becoming prime ministers—which illustrates a certain lack of imagination on the part of a battered electorate. Then came the 2004 Athens Olympics and the crowning of Greece as a rich, modern European nation covered in glory. The Greek state spent like there was no tomorrow. And, as it turned out, there was not.

Throughout the early years of the new millennium, the Karamanlis-Papandreou cliques had a new party trick up their sleeves. They played musical chairs for the premiership and were advised on how to cook the books by Goldman Sachs at 300 million greenbacks a shot. It was worth it. EU funds kept pouring in, while Greeks enjoyed avoiding taxes and going to the beach. But a word about tax avoidance: The omnipotent state created by Karamanlis and Papandreou gave back very little to hardworking Greeks who did not rely on the state for their welfare. Hospitals are poorly run and dirty, city planning almost nonexistent, and garbage collection a hit-or-miss affair. In other words, there is very little in return for paying one’s taxes.

The party ended when the you-know-what hit the fan around 2010.  Soaring wages and gold-plated pensions had to end. Eternal austerity was the antidote. This was the EU at its best—worst, actually. It was like taking a middleweight boxer, putting him on a very strict diet, and expecting him to become a heavyweight contender. It was and remains an impossibility. Three successive Greek prime ministers played along with the EU charade of austerity, bankrupting the nation further, until the present bunch of ex–student activists and so-called academics with dubious degrees came along and gave the nation the coup de grace. Which brings me to the present. 
What the EU bureaucrats expect of Greece is a contradiction in terms. Austerity cannot grow an economy, even the unelected and unaccountable technocrats living in la-la land should know that. But the EU’s first and only commitment is to keep the union going, with face-saving devices invented as it staggers along.
Yes, Greece has huge problems but throwing more money at those problem will not make them go away and will only increase the suffering of the Greek people.  In fact, throwing more money at Greece is like throwing alcohol at an alcoholic while demanding that he not drink it. Bailout money engineered by the Troika (European Commission - EC, European Central Bank - ECB and International Monetary Fund - IMF) mostly went to bailing out banks, specifically French and German banks.

IMF Director Admits: Greek Bailout Was "To Save German & French Banks"
For the first time in public, though practically the entire world assumed it, an official from The IMF has admitted that the various Greek bailouts were not for The Greeks at all... "They gave money to save German and French banks, not Greece,” Paolo Batista, one of the Executive Directors of International Monetary Fund told Greek private Alpha TV on Tuesday.
According to Zero Hedge, of the whopping $230 billion in bailouts 1 and 2, only 11% of the bailout money actually went to the Greeks, here.  At this juncture, bailout money is either bailing out banks or servicing the debt, and it's been that way since the 1st Greek bailout in 2010.

So when the left starts screaming that the bailouts are not helping the Greek people or the Greek economy, it's not as though they aren't making a valid point.  Well, Europeans aren't exactly sympathetic toward the Greeks who have a long history of milking somebody - be it their creditors, bondholders, the EU, European taxpayers etc.

Politicians exist for 2 reason - to buy votes and plunder the people to pay for the thieving public sector and promised 'free' everything programs.  In Greece vote buying and growing the pampered public sector was elevated to such an art that even the obsessively liberal, statist and labor union loving New York Times chirped in to complain about the thieving Greek public sector. 

The Cost of Protecting Greece’s Public Sector
For generations, political power in Greece has been based in large part on providing public sector jobs in exchange for votes....

“Instead of shrinking the bloated government apparatus and making it more efficient, New Democracy and Pasok hardly even touched it,” Stefanos Manos, a former Greek finance minister, said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine in June.

Wages in the public sector were on average almost one and half times higher than in the private sector.

In the past, a more productive and expanding private sector could have withstood — to a degree — the financial drain of a costly and profligate public sector. Today, shielding the public sector is no longer an option, especially when it comes at the expense of the rest of the population.
In his outstanding book, Boomerang, Michael Lewis was spot on in his analysis of Greece that also accurately portrays most problems in nations with powerful public sector unions. Lewis said "As it turns out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piƱata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it. In just the past twelve years the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms – and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job. The national railroad has annual revenues of 100 million euros against an annual wage bill of 400 million, plus 300 million euros in other expenses. The average state railroad employee earns 65,000 euros a years. Twenty years ago a successful businessman turned minister of finance….pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs: it’s still true. “We have a railroad company which is bankrupt beyond comprehension…..and there isn’t a single private company in Greece with that kind of average pay.”

Greece isn't even a nation that is economically productive and it only represents about 2% of EU GDP.  It's 2 main industries, tourism and shipping, are taking hits and tourism is about to suffer a major decline as folks cancel their Greek vacations because of financial instability.

Switzerland is one of the most prosperous nations on the planet.  It's 8 million people produce a whopping GDP of $685 billion.  In Greece, 11 million folks produce a pathetic GDP of $242 billion. I don't know what the Greeks do, I don't think anybody does.

Why is Greece such an economic laggard?  Well, the primary reason is that foreign capital does not flock to places where property rights are not secure and Greece is notorious for its lack of secure property rights.

What's Really Wrong With Greece? It Lacks Secure Property Rights, and US Property Rights Keep Declining

Who owns what in Greece is such a freaking nightmare that the New York Times did an awesome piece on the ridiculously archaic Greek property registration system.

Who Owns This Land? In Greece, Who Knows?
At one point, in the early 1990s, Greece took more than $100 million from the European Union to build a registry. But after seeing what was accomplished, the European Union demanded its money back.
Such is the sorry state of Greece.   Greece is always shaking down somebody for something. Decades of corruption, crooked politicians, bloated public sector unions, oligarchs and the absolute worst of the worst in all things have left Greece and its people a certifiable basket case.

So long as the wheels of statism continue to be greased with new money and new bailouts, Greece is destined to continue its accelerated descent into misery and poverty as debt slaves.  If the Greeks truly had anything resembling sanity left within their national moral compass besides the perpetual rattling of macho rage that blames everybody else for their nightmarish fate, perhaps they should ring up the Swiss with a blaring SOS that screams "HELP, we're drowning and we need help in learning how to become free, prosperous and sovereign".

As if the mess in Greece isn't already bad enough, $120 billion in Greek bank deposits are locked up in the Greek banking system that is CLOSED.  Greeks do not have access to what little money they do have - it's been locked away by the Troika that refuses to provide liquidity for Greek banks.  If a central bank has one defining function, it's to maintain liquidity so that ordinary folks can access their money.  However, the strong hammer of the Troika denied Greeks the right to their own money. Morever, it is clearly evident that the European Central Bank is a big fail.  If anything, the one issue that folks should be debating is the issue of fractional reserve banking and its glaring failures.

Greece: A Warning of the Totalitarian Power of Centralized Government and Banking, and FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING

Finally, it's being reported that the Greek Parliament blessed off on the Troika deal, the very same deal that Greek voters rejected in the July 5, 2015 referendum.

Greek debt crisis: MPs approve bailout plan but some Syriza MPs rebel 

By genuflecting before the Troika in an act reminiscent of a kneeling victim about to be beheaded by the swordsman, the socialist Greek government literally voted to condemn the Greek people to the status of debt slaves.  It's the equivalent of tossing the Greek people into a boiling cauldron of grease and deep frying them as munchies for the financial cannibals.

Socialists and statists are notorious for their love of the banksters, oligarchs and above all THEIR LOVE OF ABSOLUTE POWER.  It's no surprise that Syriza capitulated to the Troika.  Socialism and statism cannot survive without banksters and mountains of debt - it's the mothers milk of tyranny, cronyism and corruption. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Greece: A Warning of the Totalitarian Power of Centralized Government and Banking, and FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING

Greece is a bankrupt mess for a whole lot of reasons with the primary reason being that it's a debt ridden socialist nation that borrowed heavily to fund statist programs.  Of course, the debt mountain is now so big that paying it back is simply impossible.  Moreover, most of the new loan proceeds in recent years have gone to servicing the debt instead of to entitlement programs.  This is precisely how socialism and statism ends: eventually the debt is so big that it will eat up nearly all tax dollars. America and nearly all of Europe will face the exact same problems as Greece in the not too distant future.

The socialist Greek government wants more loan proceeds from the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund).  The Troika is demanding many thing including cuts in pensions and public spending.

The real issue here isn't Greek debt as everybody know that the Greeks can't possibly pay it, now or anytime in the future.  The real issue here is the ELA or Emergency Liquidity Assistance that the ECB uses to prop up its member banks.  Over the weekend, the Troika bared it's gargantuan razor sharp teeth by cutting off the ELA.  Greeks could not get their money out of the banks and Greece was forced to close its banks for 7 days.  They do this by declaring a bank holiday! It's also called capital controls.

The Troika is sick of negotiating with Greece and effectively nuked the nation by withdrawing ELA. Yeah, Greece is holding a referendum on whether or not to submit to the Troika but at this juncture does it really matter?

There is a big lesson to be learned here, namely that fractional reserve banking is fraught with horrific risk, especially for depositors.  Under fractional reserve banking, banks only keep a small percentage of its deposits as reserves and the rest is converted to loans (bank assets) that earn interest income for banks.  If too many people go to the bank to get their money, there isn't sufficient money to give the depositors back their money and a bank run occurs.  Central banks function as a backstop to bank runs by providing liquidity.  Yes, the 'liquidity' is fiat central bank money created out of thin air but so long as the public has confidence in the system, it works.

With the situation in Greece, the extreme volatility of many western banks and the economic fragility of European nations, confidence in central banking is waning, especially after the bail-in in Cyprus when depositor money was literally stolen to recapitalize bankrupt banks that wiped out all their capital by making bad loans.

If the world needs anything now, it needs to restrict fractional reserve banking and offer options in non-fractional reserve banking. It's the only way that deposits can be truly protected.  Before the arrival of fractional reserving banking and before Americans flocked to the banks with their money in exchange for a toaster, folks actually paid banks a small fee to house and protect their wealth, typically gold, silver or gold and silver certificates. The wealth of citizens is no longer protected (never really was) and central banks are such schizophrenic basket cases that they can no longer function as guarantors of deposits. That's already been proven in Cyprus and Greece.

At the end of the day, fractional reserve banking turns toasters (bank deposits) into burnt toast. The public absolutely needs safety and accessibility for their money.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Kenya, Gun Rights and the Murder of Kenyan Christians by Muslims

This week 147 Christian Kenyan students were massacred by Muslims with firearms. Back in 2013, at least 67 Kenyans were massacred by Muslims at a popular Kenyan Mall. During both attacks, the potential victims were questioned and Muslims and were released providing they could convince the murderers that they were in fact Muslims.

Kenya is a predominantly Christian nation (over 80%) and the Muslim minority is about 10-12%.

The NY Daily News reported that that the student massacre was carried out by 4 armed Muslims, here.
Four twisted Islamic extremists strapped explosives to their bodies and rushed into a crowded college dorm in Kenya Thursday, sparking a 13-hour siege that killed 147 innocent people and injured dozens, authorities said. Al Shabab terrorists stormed Garissa University College at 5:30 a.m., occupying a main dormitory and targeting Christian students, witnesses said. The men waved assault weapons and brandished grenades, yelling in Arabic and Swahili that the students were now hostages. For 13 agonizing hours, the gunmen traded fire with Kenyan police while petrified students pleaded for their lives.
The NYT reported that the Muslim murderers numbered between 4 and 10, here.
A small group of militants, most likely between four and 10, roved from dorm to dorm, separating Christian from Muslim students and killing the Christians, the authorities said. Students described being awakened before dawn by the sound of gunfire and fleeing for their lives as masked attackers closed in....

The Shabab has killed hundreds of Kenyans — on country buses, in churches, in remote coastal towns and inside one of Kenya’s fanciest malls during a devastating siege in 2013 that left 67 people dead and rattled Kenya’s prized image as a cornerstone of stability in this part of Africa. The Kenyan government is so desperate to stop the Shabab, one of the most violent franchises of Al Qaeda, that some officials have even proposed building a 424-mile wall across the entire Somali border.

Kenya’s tourist industry, one of the pillars of its economy, has been badly damaged by the terrorist attacks, and the bloodshed on Thursday is sure to make things worse. There are also fears that the Shabab’s relentless emphasis on singling out Christians could inflame religious strife in a country already wrestling with tensions between a Muslim minority, which has complained about government persecution, and a Christian majority that increasingly feels under attack.
Besides the obvious question of whether or not anybody can peacefully co-exist with Islam, the real issue that jumps out is the issue of gun rights.  The slaughtered Kenyans in both attacks were unarmed and defenseless, therefore the issue of gun rights in Kenya must be addressed because armed Kenyans could have massively reduced the carnage, saved lives and serves as a warning to Muslim murderers that they refuse to be easy and soft targets.

In Kenya, gun rights are weak, very weak.  Apparently you can't own a firearm in Kenya, a nation of over 44 million, without a government license and the government shut down the firearms licensing office in 2014.
Firearms licensing office shut down temporarily 
There are about 10 firearm dealers in the country who issue guns to those with permits to own them.

The moratorium was put in place after it emerged that there is no thorough vetting done before guns are issued to civilians.
Kenyan firearms laws are indeed responsible for the massacre of defenseless unarmed citizens and the only reason the death toll at the Kenyan Mall attack wasn't higher than 67 is that an armed British Marine rescued 100 potential victims, here.
The terror at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, where Islamic militants killed 67 defenseless people is over, Reuters reported early this afternoon. Emerging as a surprise hero is a former British Marine who, armed with a handgun, rescued 100 terrorized shoppers, returning dozens of times into the mall, according to Mail Online.

How he came to be armed is open for question, and his continued anonymity “for security reasons” leads to fair speculation that he is an operative for the British government working with the military and the Kenyans “in tracking UK citizens involved with hardline Islamists in Somalia and Yemen.”

In any case, the hapless victims had no similar response options, as Kenyan law effectively assured the “al Shabaab militants” a guaranteed unarmed victim pool. That's because Kenya provides a veritable wish list of what so-called “gun safety” groups, masking their ultimate goal of a total ban on private ownership of firearms, represent as “common sense gun laws.” A steely former British Marine armed only with a handgun repeatedly risked his life to save about 100 people from the Kenya mall massacre, running in and out at least a dozen times to shepherd frightened civilians to safety, British reports say.

There is something fundamentally evil and wrong when a legal system disarms citizens and guarantees a huge pool of unarmed victims.

Meanwhile, anti-gun groups in Kenya and elsewhere continue to demand that all citizens everywhere be disarmed.  This of course would not disarm those committed to murder and evil.  At the end of the day, the only sane defense against violence and murder is the armed citizen. Unarmed citizens are nothing more than sitting ducks and potential victims of all violence, including gun violence.

The anti-gun folks do indeed promote policies that enable criminals to commit horrific violence against innocent victims.  The anti-gun folks are the real criminals here and yes their hands are dripping with the blood of the innocent.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Will Audit the Fed Pass with the new GOP Controlled Congress?

The Republicans will have a Senate majority when the new congress is sworn in within a few days, while also enjoying  a very strong House majority.  Staffers for new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have indicated that McConnell will definitely seek a floor vote for Audit the Fed, here.

In September 2014, the House passed Audit the Fed with a whopping 333-92, here.  227 Republicans and 106 Democrats voted YES on Audit the Fed. The NO votes included 91 Dems and 1 Republican (John Campbell, CA).

Before the 11/14 elections, the Dems has 54 Senate seats, the Republicans 44 and there were 2 independents (who typically caucus with the Dems).  After the 2014 elections, the Republicans will have 54 Senate seats.

While the Republicans clearly have a Senate majority, Senate cloture rules require 60 votes to advance to a full Senate floor vote.  The Republicans are short 6 votes and that's assuming that all Republican senators will support Audit the Fed (not likely).  However, it's entirely possible that some Dems will join with the Republicans on Audit the Fed.

If Audit the Fed manages to pass the House and Senate, there is the issue of a guaranteed presidential veto.  I'd be shocked if Obama didn't veto Audit the Fed.  Republicans will not have enough Senate seats to override a presidential veto.  Overriding a presidential veto requires a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate.

While Audit the Fed is advancing and is closer than it's ever been, it's still got some huge obstacles.   However, Audit the Fed is extremely popular with voters and according to a Rasmussen poll, 74% want to Audit the Fed, here.

With Audit the Fed being so popular and considering the bruising that the Dems suffered in the 2014 elections, there is no guarantee that the Dems will continue to oppose Audit the Fed.

What is important at this juncture is that Audit the Fed gets introduced in the House and Senate early. I see no problem in the House and not because Republicans actually support Audit the Fed.  They don't but they would they look awfully foolish voting against a bill that they previously vote for. Voting YES on Audit the Fed was an easy vote to appease its base knowing full well that Audit the Fed stood no chance in the Senate.  But now things have change and anything passed in the House automatically bumps up to McConnell's Senate where he supposedly supports a Senate vote.  Federal Reserving loving Republicans can no longer hide behind Harry Reid's skirts.

Frankly, the Republicans would love nothing better than a presidential veto of Audit the Fed.  They'd love to scream " Don't blame me, Obama did it".

Finally, Audit the Fed is going to be very interesting in 2015 and the Federal Reserve is bracing for it by already lobbying to kill it.
Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen said earlier this month the Fed remains opposed to stricter oversight of its monetary policy decisions, and Reuters reported she and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push, here
Well, Yellen is lying through her teeth because Audit the Fed is about DISCLOSURE and has nothing whatsoever to do with stricter oversight of the Fed and its monetary policy decisions.

As the Audit the Fed drama plays out, the American people will clearly know which of their Congress Critters can be easily bought with a few shekels of fiat money.

Meanwhile, I look forward to the House and Senate Audit the Fed bills being filed and following the co-sponsors.  I wonder how many Republicans will run from it?

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