Daily Wisdom

August 20, 2011

Obama's Crime

A hat-tip goes to OnlineAnalyst for pointing me to a recent article by Monty Pelerin (a pseudonym), in which the author points out how things have gotten worse since Barack Obama became President, including: the economy, inflation, housing, job prospects, and foreign relations among others. The author then concludes...

Two hypotheses are often cited to explain why things have gotten so much worse:

1. Obama is incompetent.
2. Obama knows what he is doing and is deliberately destroying the country.

These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. Evidence is consistent with either or a combination of both. The remainder of this article deals only with the first. Readers should not assume that the second is unimportant, inoperable or impossible.

Since "Monty Pelerin" chose to focus on only the first of those two possibilities, allow me to address the second hypothesis. Naturally, the suggestion that Obama is "knowingly and deliberately" trying to destroy this country is a bold accusation that implies nothing less than a criminal act. In fact, it goes beyond "high crimes and misdemeanors" for which impeachment would be an appropriate response. Indeed, it may constitute treason, which could theoretically demand the death penalty.

Perhaps then we should clarify hypothesis #2 above and bring it into sharper focus. Frankly, I contend that Barack Obama does NOT advocate the COMPLETE destruction of America, but merely seeks to reduce its status from "superpower" to "average" nation. I believe that Obama wants America to be nothing more than one country among equals. He does not want the US to be viewed as being superior in any arena, including: military, economic, space exploration, nuclear weapons, energy production, standard of living, health care, etc. In my opinion, he has an underlying commitment to egalitarianism that drives his policies both domestically and internationally.

Yet, despite the fact that Obama may not advocate the COMPLETE destruction of the United States, any actions he may have undertaken to knowingly impair the country whether militarily, economically or otherwise, may still constitute "treason" in the sense that they represent a betrayal of the nation. If his actions against the United States have resulted in an advantageous position for America's enemies, then it is even harder to deny that he commited "treason"...

Trea-son noun 1. the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign. 2. a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state. 3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

Treason... mean[s] disloyalty or treachery to one's country or its government. Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government.

Likewise, any actions he may have undertaken to knowingly impair the country clearly violates the Constitution of the United States...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If Obama in any way purposely impaired the country's economy and military even for egalitarian purposes, then it can be argued that he sought to: form a "less perfect" Union, undermine the "common defence", and diminish the "general Welfare". Naturally, this would be a violation of his oath of office wherein he promised to "Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". And considering the way he's added to America's debt, he clearly has no concern about securing "Blessings... to ourselves and our Posterity".

If Obama in any way purposely impaired the country's economy, then it can also be argued that he actively restricted one of the most basic of God-given rights established in the Declaration of Independence; that is, the ability of Americans to "pursue happiness". America's founders implicitly understood that the "pursuit of happiness" derived from economic freedom. If one is not free to pursue a job, career, or business opportunity because the government has imposed unnecessary drilling bans, restrictive environmental permitting requirements, or created an unreasonable regulatory climate on business, then that government has driven a wedge between its citizens and their pursuit of happiness.

As with any alleged crime, we need to determine "means, motive and opportunity". Let's start with motive. For that, we need only cite the primary points Pelerin makes in his (or her) article...

In short, Obama is an ideologue, narrowly (and poorly) educated. As a result, he is ignorant in the ways of the world... Obama has virtually no understanding of basic economics. Exploitation ideology is the basis for his world and economic view. This ideology sees the world as a zero-sum game. In essence a fixed pie is divided. If one person gets more, others necessarily get less.

[Obama believes that] A country becomes successful by taking advantage of other countries. This naive view, based on the long discredited concept of mercantilism, sees success as exploitation. Freedom, markets, institutions, incentives or voluntary trade have no place in Obama’s world. Success or failure is determined by one variable - whether you are the exploiter or the exploited.


Obama’s ideology blinds him to relevant variables. Incentives, institutional frameworks, profit and loss, individual initiative, saving and investment, hard work, etc. have no role in his simplistic world. He is a political creation with no experience in relevant matters...

In Obama’s world, success and failure are moral rather than economic outcomes. Success is a marker for evil. Failure is due to someone else’s success rather than personal shortcomings. Failure represents passivity, the choice to not exploit others. Proper moral behavior produces failure.

For Obama, economics itself is inconsistent with morality. Hence economics itself must be evil.


Successful allies (think Israel and Great Britain among others) are morally inferior to unsuccessful, backward nations who only are so as a result of exploitation. Third-world nations require restitution for the evils imposed by successful nations. That some of these are enemies of the US makes them even more deserving. The US, heretofore the greatest success, therefore represents the greatest evil. Obama’s world-apology tours and treatment of allies can be understood in light of such convoluted beliefs.


Individual success is simply a microcosm of national success. It too is achieved by exploiting others. That explains Obama’s “Joe the Plumber” moment. If the pie is fixed in size, the rich make others poor. That is the fallacy underlying Obama’s belief that people are entitled to only so much income or wealth.

In his mind, he has a right, probably a moral obligation, to confiscate and redistribute wealth. The rich and successful must be punished at some level of success. Their success causes the poor their pain.


Obama is doing what he believes right and just. Sophomoric understanding, however, does not explain why the inequities of the world are assumed to be Obama’s responsibility... Some psychologists and psychiatrists have answered this question in terms of Obama’s ego and pathological narcissism... Obama’s narcissistic disorder apparently enables him to see himself as the President of The World, the Great Rectifier and the One We Are Waiting For. Some supporters speak of Obama in messianic terms, as he himself has arrogantly done. This behavior pattern could be indicative of severe delusion, even megalomania.

The motivation then for Barack Obama to knowingly and deliberately impair the success of the US becomes "transparent" (pun intended): 1) he has no understanding of basic economics and views wealth as a fixed pie to be divided, 2) he was narrowly (and poorly) educated by Communists, Marxists and collectivists, 3) he is an idealogue and blind to economic realities, 4) he has an exploitation world view, 5) he views success as evil and failure as morality, 6) he views wealth as a commodity which must be shared equally by all, 7) he sees the most successful countries (ie, the US, UK, and Israel) as the most exploitive (therefore evil) countries, and poor countries, including our enemies, as the most moral, 8) he believes he has a right, if not a moral obligation, to redistribute wealth, 9) his narcissism allows him to believe he has power to equalize nations (ie, redistribute wealth from successful countries to poorer nations), and 10) he is delusional perhaps even megalomaniacal.

Second, did he have the "means" to commit such a crime? I think it is fair to say that as President of the United States Barack Obama has had more power to commit such a crime than any other person in the country.

Third, did he have the "opportunity" to commit such a crime? Again, I think it is fair to say that as President of the United States Barack Obama has had more than ample opportunity to commit such a crime.

But, it should be pointed out that "evidence of motive, means, opportunity, and [even] consciousness of guilt are not enough to establish guilt... the evidence must prove that an opportunity presented was indeed taken by the accused and for the crime with which he or she is charged." (See Means, Motive and Opportunity)

So the question then presents itself: Is there any evidence that President Barack Obama purposely sought to undermine the US military, its economy, or its success in general? Is there any evidence that President Obama sought to favor other poorer nations at the expense of the United States? Is there any evidence that President Obama sought to undermine our traditional "successful" allies (ie, the UK and Israel) in favor of less fortunate "exploited" nations?

And to be fair, since "reasonable" budget-cutting might be viewed as evidence for impairing America's military or economy, let's ignore such instances. Let's consider only those events, executive orders, etc. which seem inexplicable for any other reason than to somehow undermine our nation, or benefit other nations at our expense.

Furthermore, let's not rely on only one or two incidents. We need to determine if there is a pattern of behavior at work here. The Old Testament required the testimony of only two witnesses to establish guilt, but in order to indict a sitting President of the United States a much higher threshold of evidence is required. So let's see what we can come up with...

Military Policy

1) In a campaign speech in 2008, then-Senator Obama called for major cuts in defense spending, for slowing or suspending the development of future combat systems, for the abolition of spending on the "weaponizing of space" ("Star Wars") and the slashing of investment in our ballistic missile defense program. He also promised to produce "deep cuts" in our nuclear arsenal. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRGru2CPC4E&feature=related)

2) He also promised to support the policies of 'Caucus 4 Priorities', a liberal pacifist organization. The group's policies include: "reducing the National Missile Defense program to a basic research program; cutting spending on platforms like the F-22 Raptor, the Virginia-class Submarine, the V-22 Osprey airplane/helicopter hybrid, the DDG-1000 destroyer, and the Army's Future Combat System. Also, the group advocates reducing America's force structure by eliminating two Air Force fighter wings and one aircraft carrier battle-group." (http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/post_17.html)

3) He announced that he would cut our missile defense systems the day after the North Koreans launched a test missile showing that they potentially have the capability of reaching parts of the United States with such a weapon. (http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2009/04/obama-to-cut-missile-defense-after.html)

4) On 21 July 2009, President Obama threatened to use a presidential veto on funding for the F-22 Raptor, a premier fifth generation stealth fighter aircraft. President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 in October 2009, without F-22 funding. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-22_Raptor#Production_termination)

5) On Thursday, April 8, 2010, President Obama and Russian President Medvedev signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) treaty, which calls on both sides to reduce nuclear arsenals by about one-third. (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35522.html)

6) The Obama administration is freely giving Russia sensitive information about missile defense that weakens U.S. national security. President Barack Obama's administration recently threatened to veto the defense budget, citing "serious concerns" over provisions that limit the U.S. missile defense know-how that the White House is permitted to share with Moscow. (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/07/giving_away_the_farm?page=0,0)

Foreign Policy

1) President Obama slighted Britain (a traditional American ally and "successful nation") during Prime Minister Gordon Brown's first official White House visit, by giving him a set of 25 DVDs as a gift. Brown on the other hand, gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the wood of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Worse yet, the DVDs don't work in Europe because they require a different format. One of Obama's State Department officials, when asked by the Sunday Telegraph about the DVDs, said "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/4953523/Barack-Obama-too-tired-to-give-proper-welcome-to-Gordon-Brown.html)

2) Obama in his first formal TV interview, which he chose to conduct with the Al-Aribya network, announced that he was willing to form a new partnership with the Muslim world (which includes countries that are our enemies): "...we are looking at the region as a whole, and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest." (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/01/president-ob-10.html)

3) He said he would be willing to meet with Iran's Ahmadenijad (an American enemy) without any preconditions. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p21dr1gr2_A)

4) He said he would consider dropping a key demand on Iran (an American enemy), allowing it to keep its nuclear facilities open during negotiations over its atomic program (thus endangering Israel, a traditional American ally and "successful nation"). (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/world/middleeast/14diplo.html)

5) He said he would not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon under any circumstances, but then later said Iran can continue their atomic energy program for "peaceful nuclear power". But Obama is merely turning a blind eye to Iran's intentions to develop a nuclear weapon. This threatens Israel and perhaps at some point, an American city, with annihilation. (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32156)

6) He attempted to drop the embargo on Cuba (a traditional American enemy) without any preconditions. Cuba is an oppressive communist country with major human rights violations, including the long-term imprisonment of political opponents. After preliminary signs of thawing relations from Raul Castro, Fidel Castro said Obama "misinterpreted" his brother's words, and that Cuba would not be willing to negotiate about human rights. Despite the rebuff from Fidel, Obama directed the unilateral easing of restrictive measures against Cuba, including the lifting of all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit relatives and to send cash remittances.

Economic Policy

1) President Obama endorses an energy policy which, in his own words, would cause electricity prices "to necessarily skyrocket". President Obama must know that causing energy prices to "skyrocket" would have a negative effect on the economy. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqHL404zhcU)

2) His stated goal is to bankrupt coal-fired power plants. He is quoted as saying: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” On July 7, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled tough new air pollution regulations aimed at coal-fired power plants, a move analysts say will likely cause scores of older, inefficient plants to become uneconomical and be shut down. A move which will also cause electricity prices "to necessarily skyrocket". (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpTIhyMa-Nw)

3) He increased the FY-2009 budget deficit from $569 billion to $1.4 trillion. His programs create annual deficits that will never again fall below $500 billion and will increase dramatically after 2012. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxQgqqnpxo4)

4) He proposed a FY-2010 budget of $3.5 trillion that shocked almost everyone, including Democrats, with its huge deficit-spending programs. (http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-columbia/obama-s-unprecedented-3-5-trillion-dollar-budget)

5) When Congress refused to pass his Cap and Trade legislation, he did an end-run around around the lawmakers and had the EPA issue a ruling that greenhouse gases "endanger public health and welfare". In this way, he could effectively impose his draconion anti-energy measures on the unsuspecting public without allowing the public to have any say in the matter. (http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D97KBAC00)

6) He banned all oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico eliminating thousands of jobs. Not only were the jobs of oil rig workers themselves affected, but also those of land-based enterprises that supported the oil rigs. Such businesses included shipping companies that transported supplies out to the rigs and brought wastes back from the rigs. It included companies that supplied tools, parts and materials to the rigs. It included dozens of services that fed, clothed and housed the oil rig workers while they were on shore. (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-01/politics/obama.gulf.drilling_1_drilling-rig-oil-drilling-gulf-spill?_s=PM:POLITICS)

7) At the same time that Obama was banning US companies from drilling off shore, he was contributing $2 billon of US taxpayer money to Brazil so that they COULD drill off shore. In fact, he told Brazil that he wanted the US to be Brazil's "best customer". (http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/obama-to-brazil-we-will-buy-your-oil-after-giving-you-2-billion-to-drill-it)

8) When Boeing announced plans to open a new aircraft manufacturing facility in South Carolina, the Obama administration did everything in its power to stop it. Rather than support an effort by a private company to expand operations and put people to work, Obama used its National Labor Relations Boad (NLRB) to stifle employment and see to it that the people of South Carolina did NOT get jobs. (http://biggovernment.com/laborunionreport/2011/04/21/in-shot-heard-around-business-world-obamas-labor-board-issues-complaint-against-boeing/)


On the face of it, one might assume that these few examples of military policy, foreign policy, and economic policy, were but isolated incidents. One could conjecture that they were but an effort on my part to exaggerate in order to smear a President of the opposing party and an opposing political belief system. Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases and numerous others could have been spelled out here. Frankly, it is the lack of space and a determined effort on my part against inundating my readers with "information overload" that prevents me from citing other, more or less flagrant examples.

In my humble opinion, such examples suggest a pattern of criminal behavior. To be honest, it is not the bold, rash behavior of a John Wilkes Booth, a Lee Harvey Oswald or a Benedict Arnold. His behavior is not so overt as that. Rather, it is more subversive, and therefore much more insidious. Like the 15th century Dutch workers who would throw their "sabots" (wooden shoes) into the gears of the wooden textile looms to break the cogs, President Obama is a "saboteur". When he thinks no one is paying attention, he does what he can to bring America down a notch.

In the name of "environmentalism", or "fairness", or a "Restart" button, or a "new partnership", or the "middle class", or whatever constitutes the raison du jour, President Obama cares little for the hard-working people of America and their needs. Instead, he favors the opinion of liberals, socialists, radicals, terrorists, Muslims, Europeans, dictators and union thugs.

In my opinion, there is more than adequate evidence to support the notion that President Obama is guilty of the crime of subverting America. But I will leave that up to you, my dear readers to decide.

August 05, 2011

No Double-Dipping

According to this article, apparently President Obama doesn't think we have to worry about a double-dip recession...

Press Secretary Jay Carney said there is no question that economic growth and job creation have slowed over the past half year. But, Carney told a White House briefing, "We do not believe that there is a threat of a double-dip recession."

Too bad those idiots in the White House don't realize that we are already in a double-dip recession. It has already started. Yes, it will take another month or two to confirm it, but trust me, it's already here. You think I'm kidding? Well just consider the following:

1) The Obama Stimulus Package was a total failure. In Obama's own words, those "shovel-ready" projects weren't quite as shovel-ready as he thought. Worse, very little of the money in the stimulus package was designed to go towards infrastructure projects. Most of the money was aimed at public school teachers or state and local governments in districts that supported him during the 2008 election. In other words, the stimulus was used as a taxpayer-funded kickback to Obama's pals. It was cronyism of the worst sort.

Well, the bad news is that there is no more "stimulus" money left. Whatever positive effects on the economy that the stimulus program MAY have had, the program is essentially over... done... caput... finis. And as a country, we are too broke to consider another stimulus program, even a good one. Which leads to...

2) Layoffs in state and local governments. Without any further support from the federal government, state and local governments have been forced to make significant layoffs. According to CNN Money...

State and local governments are forecast to shed up to 110,000 jobs in the third quarter, the first time the blood-letting has risen into the triple digits, according to IHS Global Insight. "We're on a downward path," said Greg Daco, principal U.S. economist at IHS. "It's not looking good." State and local government employment has been a drag on the economy all year, averaging a loss of 23,000 jobs a month over the past three months.

And it's not only state and local governments that are laying off...

3) Private sector layoffs. According to Forbes, private sector layoffs are rising...

Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that downsizing announcements surged to a 16-month high of roughly 66,000 in July, up 60% from the previous month, when employers said they planned to cut 41,000 workers. Last month’s layoff number was also 59% higher than the cuts recorded a year earlier, in July 2010.

A number of firms announced layoffs this month, including Merck, Borders, Cisco Systems, Lockheed Martin and Boston Scientific. A half dozen Wall Street firms also said they would be cutting their staffs. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, UBS, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Lloyds of London all said they planned to downsize.

4) QE2 is over. The Federal Reserve's second round of "quantitative easing", that is, buying billions of new federal debt (read: printing money), and dubbed "QE2", ended as of July 1st. The goal of the program was to prevent deflation, and in that respect it was successful. Indeed, it can be argued that printing $600 billion of new currency actually caused inflation. But more on that in a moment.

So, was QE2 a success? Well, according to TIME Magazine, maybe not so much...

At the end of the day, the Federal Reserve's program to purchase $600 billion of medium term bonds, which has been dubbed QE2 - because it was the Fed's second round of trying to lower interest rates by buying bonds, which in economic terms is called quantitative easing - did complete the task it was supposed to. Interest rates, i.e. borrowing costs, dropped. Since the start of the program last fall, mortgage rates dropped to a recent 4.6%, from 5%. Corporations, too, are now able to borrow more cheaply than they did before the program was started.

Yet, most Americans didn't see the pay off. Falling house prices and tight credit kept many people away from the housing market. Corporations didn't seem to use the money they saved on borrowing to hire more workers, at least not recently. So we come to the end of QE2 and the economy seems to [be] at best no better than when we started, and perhaps a bit worse. [Emphasis added]

So what happened to all that money that the Fed pumped into the economy? Why is credit still "tight"? You would think with all that liquidity, the banks would have plenty of money to lend. The short answer is that the banks who received that money from the Fed didn't want to lend it out to anyone but their "best customers" (ie, large companies).

The banks view small companies and individuals as "risks" to be avoided. And as we have seen, the large companies who benefited from lower borrowing costs, did not use the money they borrowed to hire new employees. Why? Because they didn't know what the ramifications would be of all the new regulations being pumped out of Washington, D.C. at a break-neck pace.

But what about the rest of the money that the banks got from the Fed? What did they do with that? Well, the banks used that money to invest in the stock market. That's why the Dow Jones and the other stock market indices were going up for so long. For all practical purposes, the Fed was pumping money into the stock market.

Well, the QE2 program just ended, so as you may have noticed, the stock market has now begun to falter... umm, crash? Today the stock market just dropped 512+ points. Don't be surprised if it gets worse. Investors seem to be fleeing the market. It seems that the safety of Treasury bonds is suddenly very attractive, even with the low rates of return. The banks are probably transferring their money (or planning to do so) even as I write this. In fact the rush by large investors to put money in the bank is so great, that one bank is charging fees to put money INTO the bank... unbelievable.

And if banks aren't buying stocks and investors aren't buying stocks, that means demand is down. And when demand goes down, prices naturally follow. Not just a few economists and stock market analysts have been predicting a stock market crash for some time now. The recent bull market was a Fed-fueled bubble that was bound to collapse. And a stock market crash will result in the loss of wealth and produce psychological pressure on investors to save rather than spend. That does not bode well for the economy.

5) Inflation is sapping spending power. The prices of oil, gas, food, and other commodities are all up. In fact, they are up so much that in some cases the increased prices are causing average families to cancel or postpone other discretionary spending. And, since consumer spending contributes roughly 70% to the economy, any negative effects in this area have serious repercussions.

And while it is convenient for the government to eliminate food and fuel prices from the general measurement of inflation, those are precisely the purchases that average American consumers are forced to make every single week, and the ones they are most familiar with. They know inflation far better than the government does. It hits them directly, and it hits them hard. High prices for food and fuel reduce wealth, and therefore spending in other areas. And if you don't think inflation is particularly bad, then what would you say if you found out it was close to 8.3%? That's what the folks at MIT are saying...

Click to enlarge.

6) Credit is still tight. Even with all that money that the Federal Reserve pumped into the economy, the banks are still reluctant to lend to small businesses and individuals. Since small businesses generate the majority of new jobs in this country, their inability to get credit prevents them from spending and hiring. Weak hiring by small businesses means that unemployment will remain stubbornly high for longer than necessary (if not in fact increase).

And when banks don't lend to individuals, then those individuals are unable to make the purchases they were intending to make with those funds. People don't borrow money from the bank at 4% or 5% so they can put it into savings at 0.25%. People borrow money in order to spend it. They take out loans to buy homes, cars, furniture, major appliances, or to start a business, etc. Inability for potential consumers to spend only hurts the economy. When home buyers can't get a loan, then it means that the supply of homes increases, and the price of homes decreases. Therefore...

7) Housing prices have dropped dramatically. (Ask me. I have personal experience in this area.) The effect of this price collapse is twofold. First, it puts some home buyers "underwater". In other words, the mortgage they took out costs well more than what the house they bought is now worth. Who wants to pay a $200,000 mortgage on a house that is only worth $150,000? The unfortunate result is that many people have simply walked away from their house and their mortgage. They packed up what belongings they could into their car, and simply drove off. Others have stopped paying their mortgage and are just waiting for the bank to foreclose on them. Dumping houses onto the market like this has caused the supply of homes to increase and the prices to decrease.

The second effect of this price collapse is that many senior citizens who were counting on the proceeds of a home sale to help fund their retirement years, are now forced to reduce spending and increase savings in order to make up the difference. Reduced spending means less money going into the economy. And increased savings is often accomplished by working later in life than originally anticipated. The continued presence of older people in the work force crowds out opportunities for younger people to enter the workplace.

8) Interest rates are TOO low. The Federal Reserve is trying to maintain artificially low borrowing rates in hopes that people and businesses will borrow (and hence spend). Therefore, they lend money to banks at interest rates that are at or near 0%. But as we have seen, the banks are unwilling to lend to just anybody who comes along, so the banks themselves are frustrating the plans of the Fed.

Worse still, because the banks have been able to acquire these huge sums of money from the Fed at or near 0% interest, they have had no incentive to pay out any significant interest rates to other lenders (ie, the general public). In other words, the interest rates that banks pay to lenders (on CDs or savings accounts for example) is completely dependent on the availability of cash. When cash gets tight, the banks are forced to raise the rates they pay to lenders in order to attract capital. When banks are flush with cash, because the Fed dumps it on them, the interest rates they pay drops.

The unfortunate effect of banks paying out low interest rates to lenders is that those who depend on their interest income to survive (ie, seniors), get burned. When seniors don't get the kind of interest income that they need, then it impacts their spending patterns. These people are forced to make decisions that might be unpalatable to other age groups. Do I spend the little income I have on food or medicine? Do I go to the restaurant, or just make a baloney sandwich? And since seniors are living longer and becoming an increasingly larger portion of the demographics, a negative impact in this area of the economy also has serious repercussions.

When the Fed stops printing money and cash becomes tighter for banks, then interest rates will rise and those who depend on interest income will feel wealthier and begin to spend again. The Fed's program of quantitative easing (ie, printing money) has been, in my opinion, a total failure. The Fed gave cheap money to banks who then refused to lend it to those who really wanted it to make purchases or to hire people for their small businesses. Instead, they lent it to big companies who then refused to hire new employees because they were afraid of what all the new government regulations might entail. And what money the banks didn't loan out, they invested in the stock market. Sure, it made them some money for awhile, but how much did those banks lose in the past month? How much did they lose in the past day? How much will they lose in the days ahead?

9) Government debt is too high. As of yesterday, one day after President Obama signed the new debt deal into law, the U.S. government borrowed another $238 billion which brings the national debt up from $14.29 trillion to $14.53 trillion. It just so happens that the entire national GDP at the end of 2010 was... you guessed it... $14.53 trillion!

In other words, if the United States government could confiscate the entire output of every single business in the country, it would just barely have enough money to pay off the national debt, which by the way, is rising faster than GDP! It has already been proven conclusively that a nation that reaches this point (ie, debt equals GDP), is at a significant risk of default. The credit ratings agencies have begun to issue warnings that the United States should reduce its debt-to-GDP ratio down to 74%, or face the possible downgrade of its AAA bond rating.

These problems might not be so bad if the U.S. economy was steadily expanding, clicking along at a robust rate, creating new jobs and new taxpayers. But instead, the economy is contracting, or... perilously close to doing so. The unemployment rate is at 9.2% and little change is expected in tomorrow's DOL employment report. This recession is already one of the longest in U.S. history, and if, as I suspect, a double-dip recession has already begun, then we could truly be calling this era the GREATEST RECESSION. God help us all.