Detroit and How Democracies Die

    It’s easy to kick Detroit. The place just about roles over and begs for it. Now we learn that the City Henry Ford built is now eligible to be put under emergency management by Governor Rick Snyder. Michigan State Treasurer described the situation succinctly below.

    “We believe there’s a financial emergency in the city and that there’s no plan in place to correct the situation … I do believe strongly Detroit is fixable,” he said.

    I read this, nod in sad agreement and then think to myself that Detroit is just the symptom. Detroit is just the canary that died in the burning coal mine of American finance. Our country is going bankrupt and despite our heartfelt desire that this not happen, most of us are helping it occur. We are caught in what’s called a discursive dilemma. Gonzalo Lira gives us an explanation of how we made it to sequestration below.

    Read More »

    Dear Lotus King: I’ll see your minimum wage increase and raise you…

    Lotus Eaters

    Though he may not consider himself an emperor (at least not yet), this last Tuesday, I came to the decisive conclusion that Barack Obama is King of the Lotus Eaters.

    Read More »

    Susan Combs on the Texas Model of Responsible Economics

    On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson is joined by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs to talk about the importance of a friendly business environment, why transparency empowers citizens, and what Washington can learn from the Texas model.

    Read More »

    A Model for Recovery

    With tonight’s State of the Union address we will get a preview of Barack Obama’s second term. His agenda for the four years will undoubtedly include more partying, golfing and excessive spending in Washington. Meanwhile, Americans are faced with another four years of stagnation, uncertainty and rising taxes. The Problems We Face Barack Obama’s Washington is broken. With an administration high on its power, looking | Read More »

    Is Education Spending Intelligent?

    If you read enough media, you’ll occasionally see something interesting. This morning two intelligent people wrote editorials on education and I found myself unsure whether I agreed with either. Perhaps I’m not as think as I stoned I am. Who knows? But in an era of tightening resources, hard choices have to be made. Educational spending will have to be included in the pile of reducible expenditures, so perhaps hearing out both Michelle Rhee and Jonah Goldbergwill help give us a better sense of what could work.

    Read More »

    Downgrade This! Standard and Poor’s Sued By US Government

    A very powerful group of people has advised Standard and Poor’s to reconsider some of their recent bond rating decisions. In a vacuum, this could be seen as condign. S&P’s has a track record for being too cozy with Wall Street brokerage houses that issued mortgage-backed securities based upon sub-prime mortgages. S&P, like Moody’s, like Fitch, overrated the quality of many of these MBS bonds which helped contribute to the economic unpleasantness of the last five years.

    However, unlike Moody’s, unlike Fitch, S&P deviated from the hypocritical script and began putting bond issues under a more focused microscope. They found fecal matter strewn throughout and began to rate securities issues accordingly. Regrettably, some of those issues S&P took the hatchet to were USG debt securities. In August of 2011, S&P downgraded US debt from AAA to AA+. Thus S&P will be tortured with the legal equivalent of amateur proctology by the pathetically obvious Obama Administration.

    Read More »
    Tags: ,

    Q4 GDP and Consumer Confidence Both Sucked Like a Turbomolecular Pump

    Fox News is at the apex of its corporate power. It bestrides the fetid media swamp like a mighty, dollar-and-talent-sucking Colossus of Rhodes. It’s beyond being a network. It is a unique plain of existence, separate from the mere domain of mortal man. That spending problem in DC – it only exists on Fox News.

    Now never you mind the actual economic statistics. The fact that Q4 GDP went down by 0.1% versus a non-Fox News consensus estimate of 1.1% – that only happened on Fox News as well. Likewise the Consumer Confidence number that is worse than any value recorded since November 2011.

    Well, actually the Consumer Confidence story just winked into existence over at Bloomberg as well. Here’s how a Philadelphia-based bond analyst feels the Consumer Confidence Cliff will effect things out in Flyover Land.

    Read More »

    The Demon Behind the Benevolent Mask of the Welfare State

    We all get bent out of shape over politicians that lie to us. It offends the sensitivities that we get babied by these people telling us only what we want to hear. That is until a serious political leader drops all sense of pretense and diplomacy and tells us exactly where he’d like us to disembark the trolley. The quote below just means more, given that it comes from a person steeped in the cultural history of Bushido.

    “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”

    Read More »

    The President Stands Athwart History Yelling Stop

    If you were hoping that the president would set the stage for a grand bargain to restructure America’s entitlement programs and fiscal health for the 21st century, you wouldn’t have found much encouragement.

    – David Ignatius (WaPo)

    David Ignatius stated the obvious in a very polite and understated manner. The President has hit his high water mark. He won re-election, and has no idea what to do with his power beyond the satiation of the power base that drove his reelection. He can hand out fish-sticks, but he but he won’t teach you how to catch your own. (HT: Moe Lane) * This only reinforces my earlier opinion that Barack Obama is nowhere near as in charge of events as he likes to ask. The man is a prisoner of historical trends and of his choice of supporters.

    Read More »

    Spending at Gun Point

    Spending at Gun Point

    In the days leading up to President Obama announcing his gun control plans, and now that he has, the focus of Republicans and Conservatives has been squarely on his ever-encroaching attack on the Second Amendment.  As Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated on the President’s move, “He paid lip service to our fundamental constitutional rights, but took actions that disregard the Second Amendment and | Read More »

    Liberals Don’t Need Revenue to Grow Government Anymore

    Once upon a time, liberals were somewhat principled in their pursuit of a utopian dirigisme.  Sure, they always liked to play a bit of class warfare, but they fundamentally believed in taxing everyone.  After all, if you want a cradle-to-grave government-run society, it’s got to be purveyed by the broad populace. There simply aren’t enough rich people to raise the requisite funds for a rapacious | Read More »

    I do not say that Jack Lew’s signature disqualifies him for Treasury Secretary.

    I am saying that it’s… well, look. (via AOL) Seriously? When New York Magazine says that something is a problem for a Democrat, then something is a problem for a Democrat. That’s maybe going to go on our dollar bills if we’re not careful… or if Jack Lew doesn’t learn how to write his name out legibly. I suggest some emergency Palmer penmanship therapy. (H/T: | Read More »

    Breaking: Hilda Solis has resigned as Secretary of Labor.

    Pretty much out of nowhere: as of an hour ago CNN was reporting that the White House was touting Hilda Solis as a mark of its diversity. Mind you, they were doing so as part of a post about how Barack Obama’s Cabinet is becoming, and I quote CNN here, ‘a boys club.’ At any rate, this was and is very much a surprise, so | Read More »

    I propose calling the Trillion Dollar Coin a ‘Gresham.’

    Mostly because calling it a ‘friedman’ is just a bit too obscure to be proper black humor; calling it a ‘keynes’ actually maligns a guy who would be freaking out over what Obama’s done to his economic policy*; and calling it a ‘fiat’ will cause people to confuse it with the car**. Anyway, basic details here (H/T Jim Geraghty): if you’re not familiar with what’s | Read More »

    Honey Boo-Boo, All My Babies’ Mamas and the Debt Ceiling

    Have you ever just watched an episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and realized that every character therein would be infinitely more valuable fulfilling a different role in the carbon cycle? Wanna’ know what really makes this show kinda’ sorta’ sick? The fact that we all pay to subsidize this behavior each time we shop at the grocery store or pay our taxes. The fact that the longer we subsidize these people, the more these sort of people will become the future of America.

    Then it hits you like this season’s vaccine-resistant influenza bug. This sort of pervasion of nature takes effort and ingenuity. Honey Boo-Boo’s continued parasitic existence is your tax dollars hard at work. This program gives us a nice, naturalistic, smell-the-runny-bastard-poop view of what we win if we raise our debt ceiling high enough and allow our federal government to do whatever the heck it pleases with money that currently doesn’t even exist. Let Dom Pardo show the Redstate viewers what they win if the debt ceiling raises.

    Read More »