Beyond the Cusp

December 15, 2017

Will America Explode First?

 

There has been any number of editorials commenting about the presumed unrest in the United States. They all, more often than not, have referred to the extreme anger and protest existing on social media. They assume that as social media was largely quiet during the Presidency of Barack Obama and has been very noisy since the election of Donald Trump as President that the United States public was more unified during the former and very distressed now. There have been those who point out that there is this old expression of the “silent majority” which was described as what awoke to elect President Reagan. This was presumed to explain that the “silent majority” actually is silent. There is some support to this as these are presumed to be the older people plus ones who are not as computer active as the ones now protesting so vehemently. After all, they are presumably silent, right? Still, how completely upside down and fouled does the world, and the United States in particular, have to be for Donald Trump to be elected to the Presidency? That has been one of the overriding questions which are somewhat more difficult to answer. Had the election gone the other direction, there would be people asking how far things must have gone awry and has become to elect Hillary Clinton. The other question is how crazy have things become that an avowed socialist and former Communist to almost win the Democrat primary elections. Well, how far gone have things become in the United States?

 

The first point that we believe shows that the political class has completely lost all connection with reality has been the debt. Things were viewed as having reached the verge to going off the rails when George W. Bush was elected President and the debt stood near five-trillion dollars. Eight short years later the debt had all but doubled pushing towards ten-trillion dollars. Then enter President Barack Obama and another short eight years later and the debt had almost doubled again approaching twenty-trillion dollars. Things actually went off the rails far earlier when the politicians decided that they could only afford to pay the interest on the debt and never pay down the debt. When under President Willian Jefferson Clinton with a Republican Congress managed to make a budget that on paper did not add to the deficit, the nation celebrated as if President Andrew Jackson completely paid off the debt which was celebrated on January 8, 1835. By the end of 1935, the debt had returned to between thirty to thirty-five billion dollars. Apparently, the debt had been eradicated for just a few weeks and then Congress returned to business as usual. Debt appears to be the norm and not the exception. Eventually, one of two things are going to happen, either there will be a Constitutional Convention called by the States to amend the Constitution placing a balanced budget amendment onto the Constitution with a stipulation that some percentage, ten sounds like a good number, of each budget must be applied to the principle of any existing debt until all debt is vanquished and to be reapplied instantly should new debt accrue. Anything short will lead to the worst possible option, default.

 

Eventually the interest on the debt will exceed the ability to allow paying the full amount and still running the government and meeting promised payments and allotments. Now it is possible to continue to pay the interest and all government expenses as long as there is somewhere for the United States to borrow the necessary amounts of money. This became a problem when China closed its loan office to the United States. This led to some creative financing. The Federal Reserve sold the United States the needed moneys while creating this money through bonds which it gave to the main lending banks. This method works just fine providing that these funds remain dormant in the lending banks. The problem comes when the economy becomes more active and there comes a demand for more loans and these funds begin to be utilized by the loaning banks. This is called giving the money velocity in economics. This leads to inflation as the money supply begins to increase, and in this case possibly rapidly. With inflation comes the problem of removing this excess currency from the monetary supply. There are two means for completing this task, taxes and interest rates. There are, needless to point out, ramifications to each of these means. Increasing interest rates makes the interest on the debt, which is refreshed through short-term loans on the debt, rise and eventually this leads to default or spiraling inflation. So raising interest rates is out of the question and explains why interest rates have been artificially kept so low. The other means is taxes and increasing taxes ends the economic activity and leads to less tax moneys being collected. This would also eventually lead to default or spiraling inflation. Any means used will, eventually, lead to default on the debt which will cause a loss in faith of the dollar. What would that cause?

 

A crisis in the dollar would have any number of consequences. First, and likely the most devastating, the world would all but immediately demand that some different or group of different monetary notes be used as the new reserve currency. If a group of currencies were chosen, there would be some form of complicated and intricate formula to determine what the rest of the world’s currencies would be worth. The other choice would be some mythical means for establishing exchange rates and the various values of currencies. The reason for these confusions and problems is easy to explain, gold is no longer the basis of any currency. As the dollar was the reserve currency when President Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, he took the world off the gold standard and now currencies floated against the arbitrary value of the dollar. This is also why gold prices fluctuate against the dollar, though they actually do not gain or lose value. If you were to figure what a Ferrari would have cost in gold in 1971 and then figured the price of a Ferrari cost in gold today, the difference would be relatively negligible. That is why these claims that investing in precious metals, especially gold, will make you more wealthy in the future. It will not, you may receive more dollars, Federal Reserve Notes, but they will have very much the same purchasing power as the money you utilized to purchase the gold in the first place.

 

Tulipmania

Tulipmania

 

Would defaulting on the debt ruin the United States? Interestingly enough, such a default would allow the United States to get out of debt faster. The dollar would immediately lose much of its value and imported goods would become prohibitively more expensive. On the other hand, it would make American made goods extremely affordable to the rest of the world, except China who falsely set their currency tied to the dollar, so China would also become a pauper nation. This would allow the United States to become a prime location for manufacturing, as American labor prices would be lower than almost everywhere else where the ability of the work force is comparable. Made in America would become desirable once again not only for quality but also for affordability. Still, a default would be ruinous for American business initially and numerous companies, especially those manufacturing overseas, would find they were no longer able to be profitable and they would be replaced by new companies which would spring up almost overnight. The largest problem would be foreign corporations and billionaires could buy large shares of American companies which would provide the United States with the funding to climb out of the hole they would find themselves to have fallen. The real losers would be those people holding stocks and other investments which were in dollars as overnight they would become almost worthless compared to their value just a few days, possibly hours earlier. Such a default might lead to another stock market crash but the following dark days could be avoided providing that Congress was locked in political gridlock and unable to act. Financial bubbles burst and that makes room for new smaller bubbles to begin. That is the normal cycle for investing, especially if you are investing in tulips in the Netherlands from 1619 to 1622 when the bottom fell out when one person decided that tulips were not worth their price and everyone realized that mania had led them astray. Those left holding tulips had lousy investments but very pretty flowers to show for the insanity. On that flowery lesson, we will let the American mania continue and see when their crash comes or if they might be saved by some sagely leadership, whenever that is proven to be found. In the meantime, stay tuned for more fun and watch the crazed social media; it can be amusing as long as nobody gets hurt.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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October 26, 2017

Radioactive Russia Scandal

 

What if a person with political power and connections arranged the sale of twenty percent of America’s uranium supply to a foreign interest? What if they did this for monetary remuneration of millions of dollars? Would this person and their accomplices be guilty of some criminal prosecution? What if this person committed and arranged this deal while serving in a position of the Cabinet of a President who approved of the deal as he preferred that the Russians have the nuclear fuel than the United States. What if this deal was payback for favors being delivered to the person and their interests in the United States? How far and deep does such a connection need to be before it becomes treasonous? And what if this person gained financially from these dealings and would be able to use these dealings to further their efforts to become President of the United States? Exactly how far does one’s ambition and greed need go before their perfidy becomes criminal? These are the real questions which need be asked about dealing with Russia and directly with Vladimir Putin. But fear not, the mainstream American media and European media will not dare touch these acts, which done by anyone else, would get them tried for treason and potentially have them facing twelve men with bolt action rifles and only two with real bullets and the remainder with blanks so that none would know which one fired the fatal shots. Every man in the firing squad could claim that they fired the blank as the report of the rifle was less than normal and that would be every man’s actual feelings as none desire being the executioner. But worry not as no firing squad will ever be called for, even for such blatantly criminal acts as these, as some people of power are above such laws as committing treason; they simply could murder somebody during a press conference covered live in the East Garden of the White House and they would never face any charges.

 

We decided to start by inundating our readers with articles covering the Russia Uranium transfer, supposed possibly criminal activity. We were nice and gracious and did the search for you and here is a sampling of what we found, not necessarily read, but found. There is The Hill, Washington Times, Investor’s Business Daily , New York Post, U.K. Daily Mail, National Review, Fox News, POLITICO, Newsweek, and lastly Boston Herald. If you read all or even most of these articles, then you probably know more than virtually every Television news personality and most others who are chiming in on this controversy.

 

Now, perhaps we can get to our commentary on the entire fiasco. Were Bill and Hillary complicit, probably, but who cares and what does it matter? Vladimir Putin used one Clinton Foundation bribe in order to get approval for the UraniumOne purchase of twenty percent of American mined uranium as well as having all involved with the kickbacks remaining silent, clearing the way for Congressional ratification of the New START Treaty. Oh, if they are guilty of illegal behavior then they should be prosecuted. Right. Really? Why would this time be any different than all the misdealing and illegal quid-pro-quo dealings of hundreds upon hundreds of previous political scams and insider trading which they made perfectly legal for them but not for the rest of us? By now we should all be aware that politicians rarely indict or otherwise prosecute one another which is why the swamp never gets cleared no matter who makes the promise. This will be great fun for the media with many enjoying making great noise and making claims that they have the morsel of incriminating evidence which will seal the deal. Others will go to any extreme to prove that nothing untoward has occurred and if it did, then how about President Trump and Putin, you have not forgotten the stealing the election scandal now, have you? Every news source will cover the Clintons and Obamas dealings with the Russians and the uranium deal as well as the Trump-Putin election stealing exactly as you would expect, with their own slant politically. Where can one turn for accurate and unbiased reporting on this? When you find out, please let us know as they might also give such coverage to things about which we actually care.

 

The Clintons, Bushes, Obamas and virtually every other political family are safely beyond reach of legal officials as long as their deals are made under clouded conditions with paybacks made through third parties and in untraceable routes. They will find cover with the other politicians including even those of the other party as their mutual protection is part and parcel of their comradery. Their motto could be “In Each Other We Trust.” The Congressional leadership has been as crooked as one can imagine. Has anyone ever wondered how members of Congress, and senior staff who are covered by similar rules and lack of restrictions, hold positions which have salaries starting at $174,000 and going as high as possibly $250,000 manage to leave Congress after ten to twelve years as multi-millionaires? They manage such things through currency manipulation such as putting thousands of dollars into the currency of some little known nation where they are about to build a new military base or send hundreds of millions in an aid package and then transferring the currency back to the United States after it has gained in health compared to the U.S. dollars.

 

They invest buying the stocks of companies they are about to give a huge contract thus benefitting from the investment made by themselves and the government in which they are employed. If we tried to do this, we would face charges of insider trading and face criminal behavior, but these people are completely immune to such charges thus are permitted to trade with such foreknowledge of where the government largess will be placed. Perhaps this is why so many college graduates are so interested in gaining a position in the staff of a member of Congress as though the initial payments in the form of salaries is poor, once they make it to a certain level, then they can also invest using their knowledge as their guiding tool knowing all the coming investments which Congress may be about to approve. Sure seems to be a quick and easy route to the millionaires club and even higher for those who can mange to make a career on Capital Hill. No financially rewarding deal will ever be a prosecutorial under the rules which the government higher employers play by though accusations will be thrown hither and nigh between the two major parties one at the other in the name of throwing dirt to see what might stick. By stick they mean what the media will blow all out of proportion making into one giant scandal of the moment before the news cycle moves on to the next disaster. That is the reality of life in the swamp and almost nobody ever spends even just a short five years there without becoming infected by the scandalous behavior of the government and all the money and sleaze that inundates the city.

 

The Clintons had the advantage of having committed acts for which a normal person would have faced long prison terms and walked away free as they were politicians who could get away with murder (not that we would claim they ever actually murdered anyone though others have). They had their fair share of scandalous behavior and concerns while in Arkansas and coming to Washington D.C. simply provided them with a far larger swimming pool from which to commit their pandering. Willian Jefferson Clinton chose women in which to invest his pandering and criminal escapades while for Hillary there were only two things which mattered, power and wealth. She married Bill for the knowledge that he would rise politically and was driven and she could tag along for the ride and possibly take off on her own at some point. That point came once Bill had served two terms with her covering for his escapades and running interference. She then expected that he would give her the support required for her to rise and be President, exactly as he had been, she desired to become. His assistance was rather tepid and her efforts have thusfar failed but she has reaped in the monetary half of her desires. The problem is that Senator from New York and even Secretary of State has not satisfied her lusts for the ultimate power, President of the United States. The Russia uranium deal was just another monetary arrangement, in which she gave Vladimir Putin and his power structure and financial friends what they desired, was repaid handsomely and likely promised that Putin will support her next bid for the White House just as he had presumably supported Donald Trump. President Obama desired this deal for the reason that it served his ideals of leveling the world and bringing the United States down from the position as the most powerful nation in the world and transferred some of that power to the Russians, and this served to weaken the United States and empower the Russians, what could have been better?

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

This was the big event which was never supposed to become an issue as Hillary was all but guaranteed to become the first woman President of the United States starting January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day. As something went wrong and now perhaps the Russian uranium deal would be exposed while still potentially relevant, there had to be some competing Russian scandal. Now enters that Russia and President Vladimir Putin stole the election through dirty tricks for Donald Trump as there can be no other explanation for why Hillary Clinton lost a sure fire election. The Russians were helping Republicans and were against Hillary, thus how could anybody expect us to believe that the Russians and Hillary Clinton had worked together in a cash for uranium deal if they worked to elect Trump. There you have the competing Russian evil manipulation of the United States elections and nothing, not even twenty percent of the mined uranium in America could compete with stealing the Presidency. And the media, in their collusion, ate it up and ran and are still running with it but some stories refuse to be outdone and just scream to be investigated. That is the problem Hillary Clinton and potentially others are facing as this was a deal beyond the pale if it proves true.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 14, 2017

Crisis Time in America Again

 

It was so nice during the Obama administration. The nation was right all over and there was hardly any disturbance of America is normal, wonderful and happy, with no real problems. There was no homelessness, no opioid epidemic, no crime waves, no epidemic of murders even in Chicago, everything was white picket fences with gardens of sunflowers and roses down the sides of the walk and all days were sunny and not too hot and not too cold, everything was just right. Then somehow, everything went south as one of those nasty Republicans got elected, a horrible man, mean-spirited and just awful. His name was Donald Trump. Now we hear the news and there are crimes, illegals, opioids, homelessness, drug use, protests, and the sun no longer shines and the fences and flowers have been trampled. What has happened to our wonderful nation, which was so perfect with President Obama, and now the news is full of such awfulness all because of the election of President Trump.

 

Okay, so that was not exactly accurate but the tone and messaging by the newscasts has changed and this is not the first time such has been the case. The same thing occurred when Ronald Reagan was elected and also when George W. Bush was elected. When President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were in office, the news avoided these problems but as soon as a Republican hit the White House, these problems became front-page news day in and day out. As far as the newsrooms are concerned, when the White House is held by the Democrats, there are few consistent problems which require immediate attention and all the so-called epidemics disappear, but when a Republican is elected, the nation is instantly in crisis with every problem and crisis peaking and coming to a point where they are unbearable and the main news is about how the President is overwhelmed and unable to address all the problems and the White House news teams at briefings demand answers to these problems with every reporter asking why the President appears stunned into inaction in the face of these crises threatening the nation. Everywhere the President turns he sees nothing but crisis after crisis and reporters with the media, all reminding him that he needs to put out these fires or he will look inept.

 

For the unwashed, also known as the younger generations who have not lived through these transitions before, this can come as a shock to their system and it is difficult to hold them completely responsible for their recoiling and initially believing that the new President is clueless. The image painted in the reports is that while these problems were being addressed by the previous administration and were being held in check, they are now running untreated because, as it has been claimed loudly in the news and social media, the Republicans have cut spending in every social program leaving all the problems out of control and untreated. Let us first dispel the claims that the Republican Congress and President have eliminated or cut spending to all the social programs. There is a funny thing about definitions and how things can be stated to imply one thing but because of definitions, they are nothing but lies. Cutting spending is probably the biggest lie the Democrats ever tell. When ever you hear that there have been spending cuts, go look at the real figures from the Treasury Department and you will get a surprise, the actual spending increased. Spending cuts means that the increase was less than the Democrats proposed. Example, the democrats proposed an increase of twelve percent but the actual result in the spending allowance was for seven percent. That is a five percent cut in spending because it did not meet the twelve percent and a seven percent increase must be made to appear as if the entire program has been denied of funds by the mean, spending-cutting Republicans. I bet if you went to your boss and requested a twelve percent raise and, after a lengthy discussion, you left his office with a seven percent raise, would you be claiming that he cut your pay by five percent? Of course not, but that is what the media and the Democrats use as their measure, if they do not get what they want, whatever they get must be a cut in spending, period. It is all part of the image painting where the Republican must be made to appear as if their main joy in life is going to the zoo and stealing candy from children.

 

There is another item the media is not telling the public. The budget the Republicans are working to put together, it will not take effect until the next fiscal year. The budget that is running the government currently was voted upon and put into effect before President Trump was even elected, let alone sworn into office. The government is currently running on the last budget from President Obama’s administration and the Congress that was replaced by the ineffective one currently bungling their way into oblivion. The Congress and President Trump have not cut spending to a single program this year and there is no budget yet formulated for next year or any year in the future. Everything that has been stated about spending is simply conjecture. Nothing has been cut, nothing has been increased, nothing has been changed one iota and if the Congress does not manage to agree on a budget, then one alternative could be a government shutdown. There is one nice thing about any government shutdown; it will most definitely be blamed on the Republicans whether the Congress or the President is credited with the responsibility. But it simply does not matter that the budget which the government is using is an Obama signed budget which presumably gave the President and the Congress everything that both could accept and seal a deal. That is the budget which the government is running under right now and yet we hear about how Meals with Wheels or Medicaid or Obamacare or any of a thousand other programs are being starved of funding and that places such as Planned Parenthood are being forced to close their doors because they have had their funding cut by the horrible budget in place presumably because President Trump refused to sign any budget with the correct funding. President Trump had not yet signed any budget and, as things appear now, he may never sign anything but continuing resolutions which simply continue the spending, more often than not, at near to the same level.

 

Oh, and when that day comes, if the Republican Congress continues to be as dysfunctional as a television sitcom family, the media, the Democrats, the leftists and social media (especially Twitter so please forgive the pun) will be all a twitter with how this is unprecedented and shows exactly what a dismal failure the Trump Administration has become. For the record as a prediction, if this should become the case and the Senate cannot agree to a budget, we will tell you right now why and who should get all the blame, and it will not be just the Democrats though if they continue to act a single block and never break ranks standing against Trump, theirs is the main reason as they will have simply become rejectionists and there are a few Republican, “Never Trumpist,” rejectionists who should be held for special mention in the blame department. The following Republicans will vote against every budget; Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and John McCain of Arizona, who will claim that a budget is too important to be passed on a strict party line vote and until the Democrats, at least five to ten of them, vote for a budget, he will side with the Democrats. The reason for his choosing a number is because should that number of Democrats support a budget it would pass so he will have to be on the winning side and perhaps, if things work out perfectly, he and a leading Democrat will waltz into the Senate chamber at the final moments and cast their vote together proving bipartisanship. One likely Democrat would be Chuck Schumer of New York. There are a few other probable Republicans who will also reject budgets for the reason that social spending requires more funding and they include potentially Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

The Encourageables Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of Ohio, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Dean Heller of Nevada, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky

The Encourageables

 

Most of these names will not surprise the politically attuned as they realize that these are party loyalists; except for Rand Paul who, along with his father Ron Paul, reject all normative politics and hold everything to their strict Constitutional views and interpretations; who reject Trump as an outsider who does not belong to their little club, their righteous fraternity of the inner circle. These are people who have been in Washington D.C. far too long and consider themselves the protectors of the faith and of the true spirit of the government and its responsibilities to the people and they will decide the rightness of all things and when they are out of balance, they, along with some from amongst the democrats, will set everything to rights without regard to party loyalty. What we have observed over the years is that more often than not the things which need to be set right are more conservative leaning than left leaning proposals. That fits with a theory that the longer anyone spends in Washington D.C. the further left they will drift until there is no difference between a longtime Democrat and a longtime Republican as both will have drifted to the same warm home in the flaming far left.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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