Despite the so-called shutdown, President Obama is pushing for a quick wrap-up of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

A poorly researched and documented report by the U.S. Treasury on the hazards of a default was picked up uncritically by members of the media who should know better.

The very fact that the government shutdown has forced Washington to admit that much of what it does is “non-essential” is an important wake-up call.

Even in the event of a pending default, the Treasury will not be selling any of its gold reserves to pay the government’s bills.

“We got our mops and our brooms out here and were cleaning stuff out and they're sitting there saying, ‘Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop,’ ” claimed Obama in 2010, mocking those who questioned his stimulus-based approach and redistributionist ideology for economic recovery. “Don't tell me how to mop! Pick up a mop!”

Well, it's more than three years since Obama said those words and here's what he's saying now: “The average American earns less than he or she did in 1999,” he declared last month at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

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