WASHINGTON – A Washington-based IRS supervisor acknowledged she was personally involved in reviewing Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010, Fox News confirms -- a detail that further challenges the agency's initial claim that the practice of singling out those groups was limited to a handful of employees in Ohio.
But but but we were told this was all a couple of rogue people in Cincinnati?!
And we're supposed to believe (still) that there was no coordinated effort here, directed from DC (which means by Obama and his minions)? Riiiight.
With the growing scrutiny of government databases and the extent of domestic surveillance, new questions are being raised about a program FBI Director Robert Mueller once said could pull in emails from U.S. citizens on domestic soil “as they come in.”
But remember we were told that these programs did not target US citizens in America -- only foreign nationals in other nations.
That, quite clearly, was a lie.
Is there anything that comes out of Washington DC that is not a lie?
And given the apparent refusal of anyone in DC to tell the truth can someone explain why anyone in this country -- or anywhere else -- should trust anything that comes from the government, should invest, should create or expand a business, should hire someone, or should perform any economic activity whatsoever given that the government has made clear it will lie, cheat and ultimately steal anything it wants.
The executive of Sacramento County in California recently attributed the increase in his county’s pension costs to “investment losses during the recession.”
The official, Brad Hudson, is right that public pension costs are growing, but not that investment losses are to blame. To the contrary, these expenses are rising despite gains in pension-fund investments.
The article goes on to say that the Dow is up 15% from December 31st 2007 to June 3rd of this year. True. But annualized this is less than a 3% rate of return, while the pension fund claimed it could make 8% -- and costs went up even faster than that!
This has now come home to roost in Detroit, where pensioners are being told they'll take pennies on the dollar -- or get nothing.
Reality is this: A promise based upon an impossibility is not a promise, it's a fraud, and frauds are felonies.
What's going on right now is a furious attempt to cover up those felonies and find ways to spin flax into gold. It won't work because it can't work.
This doesn't mean they won't try. But the attempts will not only fail they will destroy the capital foundation of the people and then the cities that are nothing more than the aggregate of the people. Those who can leave will leave, and those who can't leave aren't the producers.
We must hold the public sector unions and their members accountable for these frauds along with the city managers, governors and others who all conspired to make knowingly false promises.
That accountability comes in two forms -- financial and "other", commonly known as civil and criminal.
The financial side of this is simple -- a promise made upon fraud is void at inception and the sooner we tell people the truth about this the better off they will be, as they will have at least some opportunity to rearrange their lives to meet what is reality rather than the fantasy they were "sold."
We do nobody any good when we obfuscate things as this article does. The simple fact of the matter is that pension funds, like all other large-scale plans, cannot grow faster than economic output and in real terms cannot grow faster than economic output less monetary inflation.
The problem with facing this truth is that over the last 30 years the real economic output picture looks like this:
And nobody wants to talk about the inevitable reversion to the mean that must come as a consequence.
"The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation," said Charlene Chu, the agency's senior director in Beijing.
"There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling," she told The Daily Telegraph.
Fitch is stating that these "hidden" products constitute $2 trillion of lending. I suspect the real number is much higher than that, but it doesn't matter as $2 trillion is more than enough to blow up the nation's banks -- essentially all of them.
One of the interesting points raised is that a yuan of new loans has now dropped to raising only 0.15 yuan of GDP. Does anyone remember the marginal utility of debt charts that I was running back in 2007 and 2008?
Note that we have done nothing to solve that problem here either, by the way, and are still trying to generate "GDP" by increasing lending. It's not working as there are only two groups left willing to lever up -- the government and corporations that are borrowing money to pay dividends and buy back their stock, neither of which increases production.
We have learned nothing, and yet we have been unwilling to dial back our own stupidity into the maw of everyone else levering up at the same time.
This is going to end extraordinarily badly.
The June 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers improved modestly. The general business conditions index—the most comprehensive of the survey's measures—rose nine points to 7.8. Nevertheless, most other indicators in the survey fell. The new orders index slipped six points to -6.7, the shipments index fell twelve points to -11.8, and the unfilled orders index fell eight points to -14.5. The prices paid index held steady at 21.0, while the prices received index rose seven points to 11.3. Labor market conditions worsened, with the index for number of employees dropping to zero and the average workweek index retreating ten points to -11.3. Continuing the trend seen in the past few months, indexes for the six-month outlook declined, suggesting that optimism about future conditions was weakening further.
Orders, shipments, unfilled orders, inventories and delivery time all sucked. What rose? Prices received. Wow.
But while that was up materially employees flattened to zero (on a downtrend) and hours worked collapsed, on a three-month downward trajectory now, to -11.29.
What's really bad however, is the expectations. These are traditionally bullish but they're deteriorating fast. What ought to be bothering everyone is that the employee count projection is basically flat, workweek projection is negative, capex is basically zero and tech spending is negative.
Despite the headline number this is a crap report and the forward expectations are deteriorating at an extreme rate. I don't know how you get the headline number from these internals, but it is what it is -- and this one is dark, squishy and smelly.
There seems to be a rather serious disconnect between reality and those both attacking and defending the NSA and "security apparatus." Let me see if I can boil this down to three paragraphs both because all reasoned and truthful positions should be able to fit easily within one single-sided piece of notebook paper and in addition the attention span of the people appears to be limited to the duration of one 60-second commercial break.
Anyone who believes that there are not, in fact, people who would love to obtain a nuclear device, find a way to get it into NY, Chicago, Washington DC or one of a handful of other places and make it go "boom" is a fool.
Anyone who believes that we should not have some group of people who's job it is to try to identify who those people are and pay attention to what they're doing so as to be able to attempt to prevent that from happening is an idiot.
Anyone who believes that the first two paragraphs mean that we should then extend that apparatus so those in power can use it "at will" to protect and expand their own fiefdom without boundary, thereby violating the basic precept stated quite-clearly in The Declaration of Independence that the people of a nation give consent daily to their government for its continued existence and have the absolute right to withdraw that consent should they so choose is a tyrant and has committed a crime above that of Treason, since the crime of Treason presupposes that there is a legitimate government that some outside entity wishes to subvert.
My position on the NSA scandal hinges on the above three points. If you wish to argue these three points have at it in the comment section below, but keep in mind the rules for reasoned debate around here.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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