Echoing the Obama administration’s characterization of the tax breaks being enjoyed by the five major oil companies (Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP America, Shell, and Chevron) as "subsidies," the Senate tried to remove them on Tuesday, but failed.
That bump you just felt was the U.S. Treasury running up against the federal debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion. It happened on May 16 and was, as all the proponents of raising the ceiling warned, supposed to precipitate the greatest economic catastrophe in history.
Although Monday, May 16th is the day the financial world was supposed to end as the federal government’s spending hit the debt ceiling, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) announced that he was able to put off that day of reckoning until August 2nd. In a letter to Congress, Geithner said that by borrowing from a pension fund belonging to federal workers and from an emergency fund set up to “help deal with foreign financial crises” coupled with slightly higher tax revenues than expected, he is able to stave off the inevitable until early August. But he warned that failure to raise the debt ceiling by that date “would have a catastrophic economic impact.”
Buried in the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Consumer Price Index was some disconcerting news. On the surface, there appeared to be little to be concerned about, with the index “for all items, less food and energy” rising just 0.2 percent in April. On an annual basis, the BLS “all items” index increased just 3.2 percent over the past 12 months.
The Idaho Statesman in a June 6, 2010 story extolled the efforts of Idaho’s Commerce Secretary Don Dietrich and Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to lure Chinese investors to their state: “‘The Chinese are looking for a beachhead in the United States,’ said Idaho Commerce Secretary Don Dietrich. Idaho is ready to give them one,” the Statesman reported.
Don’t let Walker take away our rights.” That claim is repeatedly heard in Wisconsin as public-union workers try to recall Republican state Senators who voted for Governor Scott Walker’s plan to require the workers to contribute more to their retirement and healthcare costs and limit their ability to use “collective bargaining” to increase pay and benefits.
In 1987, as a freshman in college, I walked into the university library and took down a tome entitled the House of Rothschild. The book told a story of a humble Jewish family from Frankfurt that began as money lenders to the German aristocracy and expanded its wealth exponentially and geographically until its interests extended into the ruling houses of Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Austrian branch was endowed with titles and lands by the Hapsburg emperor and the British branch was similarly ennobled by Queen Victoria.
The latest study by The Pew Center on the States shows not only that states have not funded the promises they made to their employees when they retire, but that the gap between those promises and the states' contributions to pay for those promises is widening.
Edwin Vieira, Jr. is an attorney who has won three cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. He earned four degrees from Harvard University, including his doctorate. A popular speaker, he is also the author of the monumental two-volume survey of monetary history in our nation entitled Pieces of Eight. He resides in Virginia. The following interview was conducted by John F. McManus, publisher of The New American.
The price of one ounce of gold exceeded $1,500 yesterday, and immediately the media was filled with explanations. Jan Harvey, writing for Reuters, said gold was benefiting from “the threat of a downgrade to the United States’ triple-A credit rating this week and fresh worries over euro zone debt [that] fueled fears over the outlook for both the dollar and the euro.”
When the federal government took over General Motors in July of 2009, it was “the only way to avoid an economic calamity,” according to President Obama.
Stuffed full of $50 billion of taxpayers’ money, GM began to revive, a little. It had lost an amazing $103 billion over the previous five years, partly by acceding to union demands for generous compensation packages (including payments to workers even when the plants where they worked weren’t even running!), and partly by misreading market conditions and their competition.