The city council of tiny Alto, Texas — population 1,200, about 140 miles southeast of Dallas — shuttered its police department on June 15 because of a budget shortfall. In order to make up a $185,000 deficit, the council furloughed the four police officers and Chief Charles Barron for six months.

Constitutionally minded members of Congress Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Representative Mike Lee of Utah have introduced federal legislation that would exempt gold and silver coins issued by state governments as legal tender from federal taxation. This bill, called the Sound Money Protection Act, is intended to protect efforts by states to create a stable, inflation-free form of money. In particular, it would protect from federal gains taxation transactions between legal money in states which are species (e.g. gold or silver) and paper.

If the Obama administration gets its way, you can kiss your next SUV — and possibly your life, if you're involved in an automobile accident — goodbye. The administration is proposing a doubling of current federal gas mileage standards by 2025. New cars manufactured in that year would be required to meet a Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standard of 56.2 miles per gallon, which the New York Times calculates “would require increases in fuel efficiency of nearly 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2025.”

 The June 20th report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to the United States strongly recommended that the debt ceiling be raised because “if the debt ceiling is not raised soon…[it] would have significant global repercussions, given the central role of U. S. Treasury bonds in world markets. ” In announcing the report, John Lipsky (picture, left), acting managing director for the IMF, said:

The economic projections released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that in less than two years the unemployment rate would be down to 7 to 7 ½ percent, with the economy growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of nearly 4 percent. And in the next three to five years, the unemployment rate would likely be back to normal: between 5.2 and 5.6 percent.

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