Monthly Archives: February 2009

Creating a Misery Index for the Politicians

MEDIA NOTICES: Look below the signature for details.

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Quote of the Day: “I tried to find out what the politicians were up to, which is a difficult job. I find that politicians as a class are up to no good.” — Robert Novak, columnist and political reporter

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Subject: Creating a Misery Index for the Politicians

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Are you frustrated? Scared? Is the daily drumbeat of news from Washington making you nervous, depressed, miserable?

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We are too.

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The politicians are up to no good. They’re doing so many bad things so fast in so many different directions that it’s hard to keep up with it.

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We continue to believe that the small number of mortgage defaults that started this mess need not have caused the economic downturn we now face. We think the problem has been magnified by the crisis-mongering politicians and the drama-mongering media.

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Watch the investment markets. When a government official speaks the markets plummet. We think things would recover quickly if the politicians and the media would just shut up, and if the government would STOP doing things.

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The politicians are creating what the great economic historian Robert Higgs has called “regime uncertainty.”

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Regime uncertainty is a large part of what made the Great Depression so deep and so long.

:::Every government action changes the rules of the economic game. Right now, this is happening daily, if not hourly. People are uncertain what the rule regime will be from moment to moment. Uncertainty leads to inaction, and so . . .

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Obama in Wonderland

Quote of the Day: “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” — from “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

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Subject: Obama in Wonderland

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President Obama gave a speech Tuesday night. He asked the American people to believe many impossible things at once. He claims he’s going to . . .

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* Continue to intervene in the economy and bailout irresponsible companies and individuals
:::* Revolutionize health care
:::* Transform energy and the environment
:::* And cut government spending too

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It was an “Alice in Wonderland” performance. His speech, to once again guote from “Alice,” demonstrated a complete mastery of “The different branches of Arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.”

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It’s hard to decide which, of all his many impossible ambitions, is the most frightening. However, since we can only fight one impossible thing at a time, we choose this one . . .

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Right Thinking About Upside Down Mortgages

Quote of the Day: “The whole reason we have elected officials is so we don’t have to think all the time.” — Homer Simpson

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Subject: Correct thinking about housing prices

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Yesterday we called falling home prices “good news” because they’re helping to clear the housing glut. Some may quarrel with this — especially if they’ve watched their home value plummet. Our praise for falling real estate prices deserves more comment . . .

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Two responsible DC Downsizers are affected differently by the housing market.
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:::* One member of our Downsize DC Team has an “upside down mortgage.” He continues to pay it. He wants an end to the crisis. He views falling home prices as the precondition for rising value – sooner, rather than later. He also recognizes that Federal Reserve monetary policy is to blame for his situation.

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* Another member of our Downsize DC Team has been saving to buy a home for a long time. He recognized that there was a housing bubble, and looked forward to the day when home prices would fall to realistic levels. He “hopes” to buy a home soon.

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Both of these responsible men view real, free market prices as essential to their personal financial aspirations.

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* The upside down mortgage holder sees the elimination of the current housing surplus as the way to higher values. Clear the excess and marginal home sales will start to occur at slightly higher prices. This is the only way the upside down mortgage can ever become right side up.

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* The hopeful homeowner wants to pay the true value, not the bubble price created by the Federal Reserve and various government housing policies. The proposed government housing bailout will deny this DC Downsizer the ability to buy a home at a real market price.

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Do you really think politicians can make this better? 

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Destroying the Economy to Save It

Quote of the Day: “The high cost of living has reduced its popularity.” — Anonymous

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Subject: Must they destroy the economy to save it?

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Here’s some good news. Between January of last year and January of this year home sales have grown rapidly in the markets most harmed by the Federal Reserve’s housing bubble . . . 

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  • Home sales in San Diego grew from 1,826 to 2,459
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  • And sales in Southern California as a whole grew from 9,983 to 15,227
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This is happening because the free market works. Housing prices are doing what prices should when there’s a glut of supply, they are falling.

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We Predict Massive Price Inflation

Quote of the Day: “We make money the old fashioned way. We print it.” — Art Rolnick, former Chief Economist, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank

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Subject: We predict massive price inflation

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The nation’s money supply is soaring. Here are the numbers for the past year, as measured by M2 . . .

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* In January of last year the money supply stood at $7.3 trillion
:::* As of this January the money supply now stands at $8.2 trillion
:::* This means the Federal Reserve has created nearly $1 trillion new dollars out of thin air, in the space of just one year

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The Fed claims they’re doing this to save the economy. They also claim they’ll be able to withdraw this new money as soon as the economic recovers. They’ll do this buy selling various financial instruments they’ve purchased with their funny money. They’ll then retire the dollars they receive in return for these assets, thereby shrinking the money supply before it causes price inflation.

:::This sounds feasible, but can they really do it?

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REAL ID & Your Health Care

Quote of the Day: “Big brother is bad enough. Do you really want him working for the DMV?” — Knute Berger, Seattle Weekly, January 18, 2006

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Subject: REAL ID and your health care

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Politicians exploit crises not only to expand their own power, but also to make us forget previous transgressions. We doubt they do this intentionally, but we’re certain they do it continuously.

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The government created financial crisis will continue to occupy our attention, but we must not be diverted from fighting old wrongs, like the REAL ID Act, especially since REAL ID now threatens your health care.

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Remember, the REAL ID Act forces state governments to create a national identification card connected to a centralized federal database. You’ll need a REAL ID to board a plane, hold a job, or BE A PERSON! But it gets worse . . .

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We’ve long maintained that REAL ID cards will eventually contain biometric identifiers. Now our prediction is coming closer to reality. The scam-stimulus bill contained two terrible provisions . . .

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Highway Robbery

Quote of the Day: “The idea that people lose their property but are never charged and never get it back, that’s theft as far as I’m concerned.” — Texas State Senator John Whitmire

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Subject: Highway Robbery

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If you happen to travel through east Texas, avoid Tenaha, especially if you’re African American. The Tenaha police may stop you and rob you, without even charging you with a crime. They even took $4,000 from a great-grandmother.

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Tenaha, a town of 1,000, has used its robbery proceeds to build a new police station, and buy a second police car to extend its legal crime wave. But perhaps it’s unfair to single out Tenaha. Police departments all over America are doing the same thing, committing not only robbery, but also acts of terrorism.

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Apparently, no one is safe.

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Where Did They Get That Idea

Quote of the Day: “He who has the gold, rules.” – The Golden Rule of Politics

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Subject: Where did they get the idea that Congress should Read the Bills?

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Only three Republicans supported the scam-stimulus bill. Even though the rest of the GOP opposed it. And yet, to paraphrase Shakespeare’s Marc Antony, “I come not to praise these Republicans, but to bury them.”

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Many DC Downsizers contacted me last week with the news that everyone, everywhere, seemed to be discussing the failure of Congress to read the scam-stimulus bill. The Republicans made it their main talking point . . .

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Hiding the Sausage

Media Alert! Jim Babka will appear on the Liberty Roundtable tomorrow morning. See the blog for details.

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Quote of the Day: “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” — Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (1815-1898)

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Subject: Why the rush? What was hidden in the Scam (Stimulus) Bill?

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I made my regular appearance on Straight Talk with Jerry Hughes on Friday. He asked me about the scam (stimulus) bill,  saying, “What’s the point of fighting? It seems like there’s no way to stop them when they’re determined to ignore us.” Perhaps you’ve had similar doubts.

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I pointed Jerry to our recently updated list of victories. Congress doesn’t always ignore us. They’ve voted our way 17 plus times since 2006.

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But a more important clue to the fact that Congress cares what YOU think is the way they rushed to pass the scam (stimulus) bill. 

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THEY WERE AFRAID OF PUBLIC OPINION. They knew that the more the public read the bill

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Jim Babka on Liberty Roundtable

Downsize DC President Jim Babka will be making a regular, monthly appearance on Liberty Roundtable w/ Sam Bushman & Friends, just after 10 AM Eastern (9 AM Central, 8 AM Mountain, 7 AM Pacific) on the third Tuesday morning of the month.
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:::The show is heard on several stations, but the best way to listen is online at http://www.accentradionetwork.com/chooseplayer.htm

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