(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
As a means of stirring up political opposition to the intention of Congressional conservatives to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, the Obama Administration, Congressional Democrats, and liberals in general have warned that if we do not raise the debt limit the U.S. will ‘default on its obligations to its lenders.’ Apparently that warning was highly misplaced. One of America’s largest creditor nations, China, is claiming today that the U.S. is already defaulting on its loans. Is this the doomsday many have warned about for at least 3 years?
The Obama Administration has pursued a policy of deliberately devaluing the dollar and spending the nation into oblivion with money that is borrowed. Many astute political observers, including this writer, have warned incessantly that such a policy would ultimately lead to economic collapse. The more the Administration spends borrowed money without restraint, the more likely it is that the nation will default, given that it has no money to pay its creditors and its creditors are becoming more convinced by the day that they cannot lend America any more money.
Without the luxury of continuing to borrow money, the vast majority of America’s obligations to senior adults and the disabled poor will go unfunded. This will lead to widespread suffering on a scale never before experienced in the United States of America.
Not surprisingly, the stock market plunged again today in response to such news, dipping below 12,000 for the first time in months. Today’s plunge represents the worst sustained decline in stocks since 2002, just after the 9/11 attacks.
What does this mean for the average citizen on the street?
t means inflation will necessarily skyrocket. This has already happened in the food and energy sectors, but the government conveniently does not count these two items in its inflation numbers. Further, look for food shortages, energy shortages, and continued skyrocketing costs. Electricity rates will be raised to historic levels, in keeping with a statement Obama made in 2007, “Under my plan, energy costs will necessarily skyrocket.”
The nation can also look for civil unrest as citizens grow increasingly outraged that their government has deliberately pursued policies that have brought the nation to the brink of ruin. Even James Carville, former Bill Clinton advisor, confirmed that such a scenario is not mere speculation or fear-mongering but a distinct possibility.
What can the government do to reverse this march into the abyss? Stop spending money. Cut the budget drastically. Don’t borrow any more money. The government must live off of only what it takes in from the citizens in the current tax structure. And taxes must not be raised in any shape, form, or fashion. That would merely throw dirt on the grave.
In addition, the nation must lower the tax rate for business, making this country the most business-friendly nation on earth. Only the private sector can get the economy moving again, and a friendly and non-oppressive tax structure would do the trick in getting businesses to invest and hire workers.
The first Western downgrade of US government bonds is a fact! The German credit rating agency Feri lowered its rating on US debt by a full notch, from AAA to AA.
Here is the German press release: Feri Downgrades US Gov Debt AAA to AA
The English translation:
Homburg, 8 June 2011 – The Bad Homburg Feri EuroRating & Research AG downgraded the first credit rating agency’s credit rating for the United States from AAA to AA. Feri analysts justify the downgrade by the continuing deterioration of the creditworthiness of the country due to high public debt, inadequate fiscal measures, and weaker growth prospects.
“The U.S. government has fought the effects of the financial market crisis primarily by an increase in government debt. We do not see that there is sufficient attention being paid to other measures, “said Dr. Tobias Schmidt, CEO of Feri Rating & Research AG. “Our rating system shows a deterioration in economic health, so the downgrading of the credit ratings of U.S. is warranted.”
For the third consecutive year the deficit of the United States is in double digit percentages relative to gross domestic product (GDP). “Deficits of such magnitude are not a sustainable fiscal policy. We would reconsider the rating when the U.S. government creates a long-term sustainable budget,” said Schmidt.
Feri Rating is listed on the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) as an EU credit rating agency approved and created with more than 20 years experience in sovereign ratings. Every month, the Feri analysts evaluate sovereign credit ratings from the perspective of a foreign investor based on the ability and willingness of countries to repay their debts. The credit ratings have eleven possible gradations between “AAA” (best credit) and “Default”.
Politics: The president has unveiled a plan to cut joblessness with an industrial policy from the 19th century. In this “new” economy, government will pick winners and losers for industry. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
Taking a cue from classical Marxist theory as well as vintage union organizing doctrine, both discounting the value of service work over manufacturing, we now see President Obama touting training for factory jobs over all others, pushing government spending in that area and calling it a jobs recovery plan.
“I see a future where we train workers who make things here in the United States, and continue a important and honorable tradition of folks working with their hands, creating value, not just shuffling paper,” he said Wednesday at Northern Virginia Community College, urging students to pack up and go to … Detroit.
As he announced his public-private “Skills for America” partnership to train and credential 500,000 students for jobs in industries favored by the Obama administration, it bears looking at how at odds this approach is to both history and economic reality.
“We know it means building the infrastructure, the roads and bridges, and manufacturing new products here … that create good jobs,” Obama said. “Above all, it means training and educating our citizens to out-compete workers from other countries.”
The Bill Moyers crowd has been touting manufacturing-era nostalgia for years, claiming the world would go back on its axis if America could just shut its market and put everyone back into blue collars, turning gears and listening for the lunch whistle.
Fact is, the more advanced the economy, the greater percentage of the work force that moves out of manufacturing and into services.
Economists call this the “tertiary progression” of development – from farming and fishing, to the Industrial Revolution, to an advanced service economy. Every rich nation has followed this path – every one.
In the U.S., that move started not last decade but more than 70 years ago. In the U.S. there are six times more service workers than factory workers, boasting higher skills and per capita income. U.S. trade data consistently show U.S. surpluses in service exports across the board because that’s America’s competitive advantage.
Now the president wants us to “give back” all that white collar development and return to a simpler sort of economy premised on manufacturing – one that’s more characteristic of today’s China or Peru than a developed economy such as America.
Amazingly, he wants this even though he admits state-directed industrial policy has failed. “We’ve got a lot of programs out there,” he said. “If a program does not work in training people for the jobs of the future and getting them a job, we should eliminate that program.”
Which defies belief when one recalls he’s holding up job-creating free-trade treaties with Colombia, Panama and South Korea for just such a useless training program called “Trade Adjustment Assistance,” or TAA.
That program is so bad a 2008 American University study by Kara Reynolds and John Palatucci declared it “of dubious value in terms of helping displaced workers find new, well-paying employment opportunities.” Obama is holding up a proven way to create jobs – trade deals – to expand TAA from $2 billion to $7 billion.
It’s as if all the economic knowledge acquired in the course of the 20th century never made it to the Obama White House. Obama wants to pick industrial winners while the economy languishes from high taxes, massive new regulatory burdens and his failure on free trade.
The only logic that can explain this is that Obama means to spend more money on vocational education to prepare kids for work in industries dominated by unions – Obama’s main base of political support.
Presumably, if enough community college students can be trained for traditionally unionized manufacturers, employers will have no choice but to hire them. That’s a win-win-win-win for educational bureaucrats, unions, jobs and Obama’s political prospects.
Too bad the rest of the economy – which accounts for three-quarters of all U.S. output – didn’t make Obama’s list of industrial winners.