The city of Prichard, Alabama, is the best proof that more states need Governors such as New Jersey’s Chris Christie, who is willing to take on a pension crisis. For years, Prichard was warned that if no changes were made to its pension fund, the money would be gone by 2009. The warnings went unheeded, and now the pension funds have disappeared.

When the monies dried up, Prichard stopped sending pension checks to its 150 retired workers — a violation of state law. Meanwhile, those who once collected pension checks found themselves struggling financially.

General Motors and Chrysler, so the story goes, have repaid the dollars the federal government loaned them to keep them from going belly up. Therefore, it is said, every American should ignore the nagging constitutional and ethical questions and applaud the government’s efforts to turn these companies around. After all, what is more important: some yellowed piece of parchment or, as President Barack Obama put it, “millions of jobs [that] wouldn’t have been around anymore” if Uncle Sam hadn’t stepped in?

One of the most important, but widely unknown bills currently proposed in Congress is legislation that would end American participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The bill, H.R. 4759, calls for America’s withdrawal from the free trade agreement, and is sponsored by several Democrats and a small cadre of Republicans, including Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (R- N.C.).

In what could be one of the understatements of 2011, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking at the International Monetary Conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, remarked, “U.S. economic growth so far this year looks to have been somewhat slower than expected.… A number of indicators also suggest some loss of momentum in the labor market."

cagle economyWith the European economy in shambles from a seemingly intractable sovereign debt crisis and the United States technically out of money to fund its own bloated government, talk of sovereign default is in the air. Greece, the beneficiary of the first of three EU/IMF bailouts, is again on the ropes, insisting that it will not be able to meet its June obligations of more than $13 billion in interest payments. The hard-pressed Greek populace, meanwhile, is balking at the range of financial austerities being urged upon them by their government’s creditors, and Greece’s political class is caught in the middle. The financial world is expecting Greece to default eventually, and other EU debtors like Ireland, Portugal, and even Spain to follow suit.

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