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.”
Economists Richard M. Ebeling and Matthew J. Slaughter testified before the House Monetary Policy Subcommittee May 11 and agreed that spending must be cut to avert a financial catastrophe, but disagreed about the risks of failing to raise the national debt limit.
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.
This was not a good week for the Federal Reserve. As if Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) congressional subcommittee hearing on the relationship of the Fed to the national debt weren’t bad enough news for the central bank, media mogul and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes has just joined the anti-Fed chorus, telling Human Events that the Fed’s inflationary policies have become so destructive that a return to the gold standard is likely “within the next five years.”
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.
Need more proof — besides the staggering national debt — that the federal government is totally incompetent in fiscal matters? Three years after the feds took over their already failing “government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage companies are still bilking taxpayers in order to stay afloat — and Fannie’s rescue is now slated to become “the most expensive bailout of a single company” in history, the Associated Press reports.
The state of Alabama was already struggling with high unemployment when it was pummeled by tornadoes last week. As businesses and homes have been destroyed by the twisters, many residents in the region are struggling to recover from the devastation without their jobs.
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.
George Soros courageously walked into the Cato Institute on Thursday to debate some of the nation’s leading scholars of the Austrian School of economics.
Specifically, the billionaire backer of “regime change” sat down with Richard Epstein, Hayek expert Bruce Caldwell, and a moderator to discuss Friedrich A. Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, a new edition of which was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.