Daily Readings 04-20-2012

By: admin
Published: April 20th, 2012

New Research Confirms that Spending Cuts Stimulate the Economy

New research suggests that legislators should cut spending and enact growth-inducing policies. The reasoning? According to the study, spending cuts can positively affect economic growth and are the only historically reliable way to lower deficits and debt.

The authors of the study, Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi, write that “spending-based consolidations [spending cuts] accompanied by the right polices tend to be less recessionary or even have a positive impact on growth.” (emphasis added)

These findings confirm what was certainly true in pastU.S. recessions.

Alesina and Giavazzi also add that “only spending-based adjustments have eventually led to a permanent consolidation of the budget, as measured by the stabilization—if not the reduction—of debt-to-GDP ratios.”

The $5 Trillion Man: Debt Has Increased Under Obama by $5,027,761,476,484.56

In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

Although he has served less than a term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government’s debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.

A Government of Waste

What can we learn from allegations against a half-dozen supervisors in the Government Services Administration for wasting, and perhaps stealing, taxpayer dollars on foolishness in Las Vegas, and against a dozen Secret Service agents for dangerously procuring prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, while there to prepare for a visit by the president?

If the allegations are true — and they seem to be — the behavior of these government workers reflects a view of government hardly consistent with the idea of limited government and public trust. The United States is the only nation in history founded on the principle that people voluntarily gave up some personal freedom in order to form a central government of limited powers and for limited purposes. Those purposes, according to the Constitution, consist primarily of the maintenance of personal freedom, natural rights and property rights, civil liberties and commercial liberties.

In all other nations where there is some freedom, government power begrudgingly permitted limited freedoms. In the U.S., personal freedom has permitted the government to have limited powers.

Lawmakers consider changing tax breaks on retirement savings

The painful trade-offs of tax reform came into sharper focus Tuesday as lawmakers for the first time began considering specific tax breaks to reduce or otherwise change, starting with laws that allow millions of Americans to avoid taxes while saving for retirement.

Tax incentives for employer pensions, 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts and other savings programs rank among the largest breaks in the tax code, costing Washington more than $200 billion a year in lost revenue.

CBO: Food Stamp Rolls Explode By 70%…

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It  said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014.

States asked to apply for unemployment test plan 

The Obama administration is looking for states that will experiment withunemployment insurance programs by letting people test a job while still receiving benefits.

The plan is a key feature of a payroll tax cut package that President Barack Obama negotiated withcongressional Republicans in February.

The Labor Department will open the application process Thursday for 10 model projects across the country. Any state can apply for the “Bridge to Work” program.

The plan is modeled after a Georgia program called “Georgia Works.” Under the plan, workers who have lost jobs can be placed in other temporary jobs as trainees for short periods to retain their skills or gain new ones while receiving jobless assistance. About a third of the time, those workers wind up getting hired full-time.

Economic Reports Fan Fears

Dimmer Jobs Picture and Sluggish Home Sales Cast Doubt on Recovery’s Footing

Rising layoffs, falling home sales and slowing manufacturing activity are sparking fears that the economic recovery is headed for a springtime stall for the third year in a row.

Fears Rise That Recovery May Falter in the Spring

 Some of the same spoilers that interrupted the recovery in 2010 and 2011 have emerged again, raising fears that the winter’s economic strength might dissipate in the spring.

Representation Without Taxation – So Where’s the Outrage?

During this awful week when hardworking American taxpayers struggle to comply with a burdensome, oppressive, and indecipherable U.S. tax code, it’s worth examining the root of their fiscal pain: the fact that the majority keeps voting for a government whose size and scope are far beyond all rational (and Constitutional) limits. Our government should only pursue its one valid purpose – the protection of our right to life, liberty, and property (via police, courts, and military) – but instead it now routinely violates each right, at nearly every turn. These violations are fueled by a now-widespread mentality that derides individualism and claims that we’re duty-bound to help strangers, that we’re “our brother’s keeper,” and that those with less are “entitled” to free goods legally and electorally fenced by corrupt politicians.

It’s 1936 All Over Again

The Obama 2012 campaign is channeling the ghost of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Depression.

 Hate To Break It To You, But Your Car Likely Has A Black Box ‘Spying’ On You Already

The big news in automotive privacy this week is that Congress is on the verge of passing a transportation bill that will make “big brother” black boxes mandatory in all new cars. InfoWars is encouraging drivers to freak out about the horrific invasion of privacy represented by the government’s insisting that all Americans have event data recorders that reveal exactly what happened before and after a crash. But the truth of the matter is that most Americans already have black boxes in their cars. They’ve been around since 1996, are found in at least 60 million vehicles, and are a feature in 85% of new cars every year.

Derivatives: The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks – Nice graphs

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of “something”, add contract & you have a derivative. Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill. This visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company’s total coverage for all cars.

Europe Central Banks May Be Forced to Print More Money

Central banks in Europe are increasingly reluctant to pump more money into markets after already massive liquidity injections intended to kick-start economic growth but, according to analysts, they may have no choice.

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