Category Archives: Economy

Economic Issues, Taxes, Capitalism

“Trump Preparing Plan to Dismantle Obama’s Wall Street Reform Law”

This actually sounds like a pretty good place to start. Dismantle Dodd-Frank.

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday that sweeping financial reforms put in place under President Barack Obama were harming the economy and he would dismantle nearly all of them.”

Trump-Opulence-featured

Trump told Reuters in an interview that he would release a plan in about two weeks for overhauling the 2010 financial regulatory law known as Dodd-Frank.

“Dodd-Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function,” the presumptive Republican nominee said. “It makes it very hard for bankers to loan money for people to create jobs, for people with businesses to create jobs. And that has to stop.”

Read the rest at Newsmax

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Once Again: “U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare”

We have reported before on the U.N. Climate chief Christina Figueres. Her goal at the United Nations is to destroy capitalism and replace it with communism.

Our reports are here,

Here,

And here,

Also here.

Christina Figueres

Christina Figueres

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

Read the rest at Investors Business Daily

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Alternative Energy Sources ‘Necessarily Cause Electric Rates To Skyrocket’

“Denmark Slashes Wind Power Subsidies to Curb Runaway Power Costs”

europe-power-prices-21

How long will it be before people start to react in countries where heavy industries are closing at an alarming rate and power supplies are under increasing threat?”

Places like, say, the United States of America.

More here

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Will Saudi Arabia Follow The Lead Of The Child Prince?

The Saudi royal family can no longer keep the price of oil up where they want it. Actual market forces have taken control away from them. They don’t want to give up their opulent life styles and the certainly don’t want to become irrelevant. What to do?

One plan is to have a thirty year-old Crown Prince come up with hare-brained ideas for ways to spend a couple trillion bucks. The plan is to make Saudi Arabia the center of Islam.

Yippee.

The oil people think it’s a wild gamble that’s destined to fail. If it fails, what next? This is the kind of thing that starts wars.

“The $2 Trillion Gamble That Saudi Arabia Cannot Win”

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman

Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, 30, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia laid out his vision for Saudi Arabia on Monday in a plan called “Vision 2030.” He wants to get Saudi Arabia off its oil dependence in only 4 years, by 2020, and wants to diversify the economy into manufacturing and mining.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, the prince said the future of the kingdom would be based on:

1. Its possession of the Muslim shrine cities of Mecca and Medina and the “Arab and Muslim depth” that position gave the kingdom

2. The kingdom’s geographical centrality to world commerce, with 30 percent of global trade passing through the 3 major sea routes that Saudi Arabia bestrides (not sure what the third is, after the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf).

3. The creation of a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund through a sale of 5 percent of shares in Aramco, the world’s largest oil company.

Prince Muhammad said Monday that he thought these assets would allow the kingdom to cease its dependence on petroleum in the very near future.”

More at Oil Price.com

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Where Did All The Money Go?

This is a big deal. One by one the alternative energy companies that were touted by Democrats are going belly-up. This one fell in less than a year. That does not happen without help from someone. Like Solyndra earlier, Sun Energy was riding high until all the money disappeared. Where did it go?

00-sunedison-logo-white

“Clean energy poster child SunEdison files for bankruptcy”

sunedison-solar-renewable-energy-780x439

As recently as last July, SunEdison was still flying high, with its shares trading above $33. They began to collapse soon after and are today worth just 34 cents. Trading was halted Thursday minutes before the bankruptcy filing. (Today their website lists the shares at twenty-two cents a share.)

[…]

There is also controversy surrounding SunEdison management. The Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether SunEdison management misled the public over the company’s dire financial straits, the Wall Street Journal reported.”

More at CNN Money

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Teamsters Getting Retirement Benefits Cut

This will not end well. Teamster members are sometimes violent in their protests.

From the article and what we already know it sounds like there are a couple of things at play that are causing this.

According to the article the retirement fund last year received a negative interest on its investments. Part of that can be laid at the feet of the Federal Reserve for keeping interest rates at or very near zero for a long time. All American savers have felt the pinch of low rates. But not everyone has seen a negative growth. That indicates the trustees for this fund have done a poor job with investments.

Further down we find that they are paying out $3.46 in benefits for every dollar coming in. That indicates that there are fewer people in the union than are being paid benefits. Lately union membership has been declining. It may be that it is stuff like this that has caused what has turned into a Ponzi scheme to fail.

“This Is Going To Be A National Crisis” – One Of The Largest U.S. Pension Funds Set To Cut Retiree Benefits”

pension cuts_0

Central States Pension Fund, which handles retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York, and Minnesota, and is one of the largest pension funds in the nation, has filed an application to cut participant benefits, which would be effective July 1 2016, as it “projects” it will become officially insolvent by 2025.

[…]

The Central States Pension Fund is currently paying out $3.46 in pension benefits for every $1 it receives from employers, which has resulted in the fund paying out $2 billion more in benefits than it receives in employer contributions each year.”

More at Zero Hedge

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I Am Almost Immune From Being Dissapointed By Politicians

Almost but not quite.

Senator Ted Cruz, in his rush to simplify the US tax codes, has proposed a VAT, a Value Added Tax, to make up for the shortfall his flat tax proposal will cause.

From Forbes:

“Ted Cruz’s Naive VAT Plan Would Lead Federal Tax Rates To Soar”

cruz at exeter

For many years conservatives and libertarians have strongly opposed the institution of a VAT. Why? Because we have looked at other countries that have them. They have always been sold as a way to reduce or eliminate the income tax. They never do, though. Once instituted the VAT becomes anchored. No politician will reduce or eliminate it and the other forms of taxes continue. Canada has a VAT. It’s called the GST. They still have income taxes and provincial sales taxes. Mexico also has a VAT as well as income tax. Many European countries are similar.

Forbes has taken a strong position:

Ted Cruz says he wants to “abolish the IRS.” But it doesn’t matter what you call the agency that collects your taxes in Washington, if the amount you end up paying is far higher than what you pay today.

I think Cruz is sincere in wanting to improve the American tax code. But his plan is dangerously naïve, and reflects the work of someone who has thought too much about short-term political tactics, and not nearly enough about the long-term ramifications of fiscal policy.”

Daniel J. Mitchell also has an opposition to VAT over at International Liberty:

The value-added tax is a very dangerous levy for the simple reason that giving a big new source of revenue to Washington almost certainly would result in a larger burden of government spending.

That’s certainly what happened in Europe, and there’s even more reason to think it would happen in America because we have a looming, baked-in-the-cake entitlement crisis and many politicians don’t want to reform programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. They would much rather find additional tax revenues to enable this expansion of the welfare state. And their target is the middle class, which is why they very much want a VAT.”

I fear the institution of a VAT. Every time it has been proposed it has accompanied a push to lower other taxes but the Vat was passed and the reduction was not. I don’t trust either Democrats or Republicans to do any different. That is why Forbes calls Cruz’ plan ‘Naive’.

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“The Federal Takeover of State Debt is About to Begin”

Cloward, meet Piven.

The White House is trying to start with Puerto Rico. If they can pull that off Illinois will be soon after. Just imagine the control Washington DC will have over the states. There are states with no debt. Could this be the trigger for a Balkanization movement?

Toddlin' Town - Whatever that means

Toddlin’ Town – Whatever that means

One very subtle item that is about to occur is the nationalization of state debt (and likely debts of individual cities) by the federal government. At the highest level, states and cities have made promises (mainly pensions) to their employees that are un-payable without raising taxes to extortionate rates. Detroit cracked first but since it was a city and there was some state framework they were able to use bankruptcy, but many more are to follow, including Puerto Rico (right now) and soon thereafter likely the City of Chicago or its teachers’ pensions as well as the state of Illinois.

A very similar event occurred in Europe when the ECB basically put the debts of Greece and Portugal onto the backs of taxpayers in Germany and Holland. The ECB had a moment (several moments, actually) when they could have fundamentally changed how Greece ran their economy, shutting down statist laws and heavy governmental interference in the economy to open up competition and growth, but they blinked and instead just “wired them money in exchange for promises”.

More here

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How To Cut Government Spending

Balls of steel. Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Heh.

“Comptroller says Illinois lawmakers will have to get in a long line to get paid”

leslie geissler munger

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger plans to delay monthly paychecks for lawmakers and statewide officials, saying there isn’t enough money to pay the state’s bills and that other services should come first.

The comptroller’s office will still process the paychecks, estimated at $1.3 million a month, but lawmakers won’t get the money right away because the payments will be thrown onto the state’s huge pile of unpaid bills.”

Read the rest at the Chicago Tribune

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“The Fed Sends a Frightening Letter to JPMorgan and Corporate Media Yawns”

Well, the letter is 19 pages long, and you do have to read it.

Jamie Dimon, Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, 2012 Over Massive Derivative Losses at the Depository Bank of JPMorgan Chase

Jamie Dimon, Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, 2012 Over Massive Derivative Losses at the Depository Bank of JPMorgan Chase

At the top of page 11, the Federal regulators reveal that they have “identified a deficiency” in JPMorgan’s wind-down plan which if not properly addressed could “pose serious adverse effects to the financial stability of the United States.”

Here is the letter.

Here is the referenced article from Wall Street On Parade.

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Cruz Talks Economy on CNBC

Rich in the OT section brought to our attention a link from RedState wherein Cruz is on CNBC talking about nitty gritty economic policy, our national financial situation and even the global financial crisis.

Set aside 48 minutes of your life and watch it. It’s a very excellent display of how Cruz is the most adult person in this entire campaign season. The Dems are trying to one-up one another in promising free shit. The GOP front runner is–when he is talking about something of substance at all–promising yuge and amazing things without any idea of how to do them.

Cruz is, on the contrary, quite specific with his policy and how he plans to deliver it. He adeptly handles every question on very specific issues, and every answer is grounded in reality, and in the Constitution. He combines his knowledge of the issues with a practical plan of how to actually execute in difficult circumstances.

In a way, it’s almost depressing because it causes you to realize that this man somehow isn’t head and shoulders ahead of his competition in every single poll. The fact that he isn’t speaks very poorly of the American electorate.

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I Didn’t Know That Could Happen

The company that prints Venezuela’s money has not been paid. They want US dollars, not Venezuelan Bolivars.

“Venezuela Is So Broke It Can’t Even Print Its Own Money”

Banco Central De Venezuela

Banco Central De Venezuela

The world’s most renowned banknotes, coins and paper printing house, De La Rue, based in England, demanded that the Central Bank of Venezuela pay up US$262,647,997 in fees for printing money and passports, among other goods.

Venezuelan-bolivar

In a letter last month,De La Rue Director Ruth Euling told Director of the BCV José Khan that being a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange, the institution has an obligation to declare their financial position “if at any time it deviates from expectations.”

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Washington DC Mayor Thinks Like A Democrat

“D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pushes $15 minimum wage”

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

In a city as prosperous as ours, we can level the playing field and make sure our residents are paid a good wage so fewer families are forced to leave.”

This is the same kind of thinking that destroyed Detroit and Chicago.

The remains of the building where Wrigley made chewing gum in Chicago

The remains of the building where Wrigley made chewing gum in Chicago

Read the rest about Bowser at the Washington Times

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WSJ: “They Want Your IRA”

Would you buy a used car from this man?

“The White House pushes investors toward government accounts.”

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez

President Obama’s regulators aren’t slowing down, alas. And on Wednesday they unveiled another part of their plan to push Americans out of private investment accounts and into government-run plans.

The Department of Labor says its so-called fiduciary rule will make financial advisers act in the best interests of clients. What Labor doesn’t say is that the rule carries such enormous potential legal liability and demands such a high standard of care that many advisers will shun non-affluent accounts. Middle-income investors may be forced to look elsewhere for financial advice even as Team Obama is enabling a raft of new government-run competitors for retirement savings. This is no coincidence.”

More at the Wall Street Journal

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Figured It Out: Trump Doesn’t Know The Difference Between Trade Deficit And Budget Deficit

“Trump Says He’ll Eliminate $19 Trillion of Debt with Trade”

Pull my finger

Pull my finger

In a weekend interview with the Washington Post, the GOP candidate for president said he could knock it out “over a period of eight years”, citing trade policy as his wrecking ball.

“I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on. With China, $505 billion this year in trade. We’re losing with everybody,” he told reporter Bob Woodward.

When asked, Trump said he didn’t “think” he’d need to consider tax increases to accomplish his goal. (Woodward didn’t ask if there was any spending Trump would cut.)

“The power is trade. Our deals are so bad,” Trump stated.”

Read it and weep at the Daily Standard

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Looks Like SHARE Is In Financial Trouble. $15/Hour Minimum Wage At Fault.

Oh, and Obamacare.

SHARE, the Seattle Housing and Resource Effort, a self- described provider of tent cities for the homeless, is experiencing financial problems. The say they are $75,000 in debt. Their solution, of course, is to get increased funding. Oh, they are also looking for private donations.

SHARE tent city in the rain

SHARE tent city in the rain

We are currently around $75,000 in debt.

Due to lack of sufficient ongoing funding (and also the reimbursable nature of our contracts & related cash flow patterns), we’re currently needing $10,000 more per month than we receive from our contracts and ongoing sources in order to sustain our operations. (This is for all of our efforts, combined.)”

Sad, isn’t it? Further down the page we learn this is a big part of the problem:

MOVE TOWARD $15/HR WAGES AND INCREASE IN PAYABLE WORK HOURS: Believe it or not, SHARE staff—who work hard for subsistence wages–were beneficiaries of this excellent community mandate. This year we must raise our wages to $12/hour AND we took an organizational decision to increase the payable number of work hours (to 38, from 30). This, coupled with increase health care costs, represents an additional $70,000 to SHARE.”

So sad.

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UK’s National Health Service Is In Crisis

“You can’t book appointments in advance, GPs warn patients in latest sign of crisis in the NHS”

Three GP surgeries have banned patients from making advance appointments to see a doctor in the latest sign of the crisis in the Health Service (file image)

Three GP surgeries have banned patients from making advance appointments to see a doctor in the latest sign of the crisis in the Health Service (file image)

Three GP surgeries have banned patients from making advance appointments to see a doctor in the latest sign of the crisis in the Health Service.

The 21,000 patients at the Swindon surgeries now face a scramble at 8.30am every day to book one of the few slots available for that day.

Abbey Meads Medical Group says it was forced to bring in the rule because of an increase in demand coupled with a shortage of doctors.”

Part of it is, of course, medical workers have gone on strike. The Bernie Sanders programs are based on wishful thinking and they have been tried before and failed. This is an example of one of those failures.

Read the rest at the UK Daily Mail

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Obama Lives In A World Without Reality

“Obama Says No Real Difference Between Capitalism and Communism”

Another phony halo

Another phony halo

So often in the past there has been a division between left and right, between capitalists and communists or socialists, and especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate,” Obama said. “Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property.” “Those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works.”

He goes on to say that Cuba’s economy does not work. It’s stuck in the fifties. This is half a man who believes in socialism but rejects evidence that it always fails.

Here is a rememberance of how the United States began as a socialist experiment and failed. The result of that failure, and what brilliant people decided to do about it, turned our country into the wealthiest, most prosperous and freest in the history of the world.

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Limp-Wristed Potus Loves Him Some Communists

Here is some insight into the economy of Cuba. You may get a glimpse of what Barack H. Obama has in mind for the United States.

Harvard Business Review reduces Cuba’s economic woes to three main issues:

Lack of capital investment. Fixed capital investment in Cuba represents just 10% of GDP, which is half the regional average. This likely won’t change until the embargo is lifted, as that would facilitate the arrival of significant new foreign capital. Cuba currently requires billions of dollars in investment in communication infrastructure, an update to its dilapidated transportation network, and significant capital inflows into key productive sectors.

Stalled state economy. Cuba’s large and inefficient public sector severely constrains the country’s ability to expand output. Lacking a true price mechanism to drive resource allocation, many state-run enterprises are unprofitable and kept afloat with implicit subsidies. While the Cuban government has made an effort to gradually shift workers out of the public sector (it has closed 24 state-owned enterprises for failing to meet output targets), only 25% of the Cuban workforce is currently employed in the private sector.

Currency confusion. Cuba desperately needs to do away with its dual currency system. It uses two currencies, the convertible Peso (CUC) valued on par with the dollar and fully tradeable, and the Cuban Peso (CUP) valued at a rate of 24:1 with the dollar, which creates severe constraints for the development of Cuba’s export sector. While calculations would suggest the convertible peso is over valued, Cuban firms will need to see considerable devaluation to gain greater competitiveness.”

More at Legal Insurrection

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Embrace The Suck

The coal industry has been under attack by the left for decades. John Prine named Peabody Coal company in his 1971 song, ‘Paradise’ and declared them to be evil.

“Largest U.S. Coal Producer Skips Interest Payment, Warns Of Bankruptcy; Stock Crashes”

coal miner

Alas Peabody missed its narrow window to sell stock, and things were promptly normalized this morning, when the stock crashed back to earth plunging by nearly 40% back to $2.50 in the pre-market, wiping out all recent gains, after Peabody announced in its just filed 10-K, reported that it may have to join its peers Arch Coal and Alpha Natural in 11 bankruptcy protection, after it delayed $71 million in interest payment due on March 15.”

More at Zero Hedge

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Hope You’re Not A Coal Miner Voting For Hillary

… and what is that bit about indians?

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“The Super Crash Will Start by June 20th”

Michael Lewitt

Michael Lewitt

This is the first time I have seen anyone give any kind of timeline. He may be full of it but it’s worth a read.

Issued February 8, 2016 by Michael Lewitt at Sure Money Investor:

Folks, today I am issuing an official Super Crash Warning. That means we are on the verge of a serious market event in the near future, which I now predict will hit by summer, June 20th, 2016, and it’s not going to be a good one.

[…]

How to Protect Yourself

The world has been taken to the edge of the cliff again by incompetent central bankers – and in the next few months they are going to jump over the cliff. I don’t want my readers to jump along with them. It must seem like I never have any good news for you, but it’s my job to see the world as it is, not as I’d like it to be, and what I see is things getting worse by the day, but there are a lot of things you can do now.

Keep buying gold and silver. They may be out of favor today but they will save you tomorrow.
Make sure you own dollars rather than euros and yen. The dollar is still the best of a bad bunch.
Buy out-of-the-money puts on the S&P 500 as a hedge against the big stock sell-off I think is coming.
Buy SH, the short ETF that goes up when the S&P 500 goes down.
Sell the equities you have and move into cash.
And if you own junk bonds of any kind, sell them before it’s too late.”

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“Deutsche Bank: It’s time to buy gold”

gold-border

Gold is still expensive, but rising economic risks and market turmoil mean investors should buy it for insurance, Deutsche Bank said Friday.

The recovery since the global and European financial crises had put the price of gold under some pressure. The yellow metal, which some analysts view as a safe haven or as a protection against rising inflation, typically underperforms during periods when the economy is growing or inflation is low. However, in a note issued Friday, the German Bank said economic signs are pointing in gold’s favor.

“There are rising stresses in the global financial system; in particular the rising risk of a U.S. corporate default cycle and the risk of a sharp one-off renminbi devaluation due to the sharp increase in China’s capital outflows,” Deutsche Bank added.”Buying some gold as ‘insurance’ is warranted.”

More at CNBC

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Testify! “Capitalism Is Freedom; Socialism Is Slavery”

This juxtaposition is really right on. People who live under socialism are Always slaves to the collective.

People wait in line to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. PHOTO: MERIDITH KOHUT/BLOOMBERG NEWS

People wait in line to buy food in Caracas, Venezuela. PHOTO: MERIDITH KOHUT/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Socialism is what Democrats are trying to sell. Both Sanders and Clinton prefer it. It is important to point out the ways that capitalism has lifted people out of poverty and starvation and the ways that socialism has held them back every time it has been tried.

Socialism dictionary

Socialism is a government regulation that stops you from creating a successful business. It’s the Bureau of Land Management or the EPA making arbitrary decisions about what you can do with your own land. It’s the IRS taking the money you busted your butt to earn and giving it to people who didn’t work as hard as you did.”

That’s true but there’s more:

Eighty percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. Meanwhile, 96% of the poor in America have televisions, 93% have microwaves and 81% have cell phones. Ultimately, it’s the economic growth produced by capitalistic policies that has allowed America’s poor to do so well compared to the poor in more socialistic nations. Paradoxically, the more we move towards socialism in the name of “helping” the poor, the less poor Americans will ultimately have. That’s because the more regulations, the more taxes and the more GOVERNMENT a country has, the slower its economy grows.”

More at Townhall

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I Like this. A Picture Is Indeed Worth A Thousand Words.

“The Right Kind of Class Warfare: Workers vs. Looters”

Here’s an image a reader shared with me and it’s the perfect way to explain why the Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of the class warriors are wrong.

The problem isn’t rich people. It’s looters and moochers, regardless of their income.”

wrong enemy

What makes this image so helpful is that it’s true. If you look at the “right enemy” part of the image, the rich in the red zone are the cronyists who get Ex-Im subsidies, the Wall Street crowd that fed at the TARP trough, and other well-connected folks (like Warren Buffett) who use government coercion to line their pockets.”

More at Daniel J. Mitchell’s blog

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