Thursday, August 22, 2019

That Federal Deficit, why it grows and what it means

The Wall St Journal and Fox News have been complaining about the federal deficit and debt this week.  They condemn both and let it go at that.  They never talk about fixes.  There are two fixes, both of them painful.  We could reduce federal spending or we could raise federal taxes, or both.  Do enough of this and the deficit goes away.  However any attempt to reduce spending will provoke howls of pain from those whose federal gravy train has been cut off.  Hiking taxes produces screams from taxpayers.  No congresscritter has the stones to brave either one, so nothing happens. 
   So, the feds continue to spend more than they take in from taxes.  How do they do this? Simple, they print more money and use it to pay the bills and meet payroll.  They do this every year, to the tune of trillions of new paper dollars.  And this works in a way.  Printing trillions of dollars makes the dollar worth less. 
  In my life time I have seen gasoline go from 28 cents a gallon to $2.80 a gallon.  New cars used to be $2000, now they are $20,000.  Comic books used to 10 cents.  Now they are $2.50.  In short, prices of everything are ten times what they were in my childhood.  Or put it another way, the US dollar is worth only a tenth of what it used to be worth.  This is a concealed tax on everyone  Over a lifetime, 90% of all the money everyone holds is sucked out by the feds. 
  How long can this go on?   Who knows?  We put up with a ten times devaluation of the dollar, we can probably put up with a lot more. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Asylum ?? For entry to the US ??

Been a lotta talk on TV about asylum, some kind of US policy that might let people from hell hole countries into the US just because the place they come from is so bad. 
   Not sure I understand what' going on here.  Ought to be, used to be, that would be immigrants filed paperwork, perhaps too darn much paperwork, with someone, State Dept? ICE? and in all good time someone might get back to them with rejection notices or invitations to immigrate.  You would think that ordinary fairness requires that all would be immigrants get treated the same, no matter where they are coming from.  And you would think that in this age where everything and everyplace is on the internet, with broadband no less, that the someone who accepts the would be immigrant's paperwork get back within a reasonable length of time, say 5 weeks, not 5 years. 
   And just what is the US asylum policy? and how does it fit in?  And is it fair to give would be immigrants from hell holes a leg up on everyone else?  Just because there home country is dreadful?
   Inquiring minds want to know. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Recesson Talk

Been a lot of talk on TV, even on Fox.  The newsies talk about rates of return on US T-bills.  Uncle sells a variety of T-bills, short term, long term, forever term.  The rate of return on the longer T-bills fell below the rate of return on shorter T-bills.  The newsies are claiming this is a sure fire recession indicator. 
   Dunno about that.  We have bond markets, open 5 days a week, every week.  You don't have to hold a bond until maturity, you can sell a long bond anytime.  Your broker can have the cash in your account within one business day.  That's faster than a check can clear.  People (people with money) buy T-bills when they don't have anything better to do with some excess money.  T-Bills pay a little interest, not much but better than nothing, and they are as safe as cash.  The US has always paid it's debts, ever since the revolution, the US economy is the largest in the world, it is protected by the strongest military in the world, and the US has anything thing you might want for sale, just as long as you have the money to pay for it.  
   If the investor doesn't have anything better to invest in, like new plant and equipment, new product development, dividends, hot stocks, whatever, he will park the unused cash in T-bills, until he needs it for something more lucrative.  I don't think investors really care if it is a 5 year T-bill or a 30 year T-bill.  They will sell their T-bill when they need the money for something else. 
  I don't see any connection between long and short T-bill returns and recessions.  The TV newsies do, and they are talking it up, but what do they know? Really?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Heal US political polarization. Stop Name Calling

Racist.  White Supremacist, Fascist, Nazi, and others.  I hear and read this trash talk every day.  It is just name calling.  It doesn't explain the writer's position, or offer alternative policies, it just slams political opponents.  We used to have a policy on the internet, the first one to mention Hitler or Nazis lost the argument.  We  should  bring it back. 
   Political pundits should concentrate on slamming or advancing policies, rather than doing character assassination on working politicians.  Start by giving the policy's name, or bill number, or case name, something so we could recognize it and maybe even Google it for more info or alternate opinions.  Describe just what the policy does that is good or bad.  Layout a better policy.  Explain how the policy is in line with, or dead set against, the basic ideas of America, like the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.   Make a case, for or against a policy.
   Understand, that it is far easier for newsies to just name call.  You don't have to know anything, research anything, or understand anything to call someone a name.  Understand that the newsies who name call do it because they have nothing of interest to contribute to the conversation. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

End of Fossil Fuels? Winter is coming

Been hearing a lot of silly talk from Democrats about eliminating fossil fuels.  Chilly.  We have a long cold heating season up here and I burn quite a bit of furnace oil every winter.  The house would be uninhabitable without the furnace.  And I need gasoline to get to the grocery store.  Mac's Market is only four miles away, but it is down at the bottom of Three Mile Hill, and I am too old to walk that, lugging groceries.
   If the Democrats gets elected and outlaw fossil fuel I need to think about relocating to the Carolinas.    
   Vote a straight Republican ticket.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Budget Committee hearings

House and Senate Finance Ad Hoc Committee on the Budget met at 10 AM in Concord.  I went down mostly to lend morale support to the Republican side.  We heard testimony from representatives of Claremont, Senate Ed and Workforce Development committee, New Hampshire Judicial Council, Office of Chip Advocacy, Nursing Home Family Council, NH Legal Affairs, DES, American Cancer Society, NH Dept of Safety, and the NH Dept of Revenue.  Everyone complained about spending plans put on hold by the Governor’s veto of the budget.  None of the complaints sounded all that desperate to me.  The committee chairperson repeatedly stated that the purpose of the hearing was to chastise Governor Sununu for vetoing the budget. 
   Nearly everyone mumbled and spoke too softly.  We need to have a public speaking requirement in New Hampshire high schools.  At my old high school, public speaking was required of all seniors, and was taught by the school headmaster.  Class was in the school theater, we had to speak from the stage.  The headmaster sat in the last row of seats.  Occasionally some unlucky senior would hear “I can’t hear you!” shouted from the back row.   I repressed the urge to do the same today.  We learned quickly under that threat.  Debate and testimony in Concord would be vastly improved if New Hampshire required public speaking in the public schools.
   I left the house at 8:45 AM and didn’t get home until 3 PM.  Cat was pleased to see me when I got home.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Is "white supremacy" real? or just a Democrat slam on Republicans?

Democrats have been talking up "white supremacy" lately.  I wonder what it is, and how you tell who is one?  For an ideology to be dangerous, it needs an organization, with a name, pushing it.  Last two names I remember were the KKK and the American Nazi party.  That was years ago.  I suppose there might be a few of 'em still around, but there cannot be all that many.  And neither name has been mentioned in this latest  burst of "white supremacy" talk on the MSM.  And to be dangerous, an ideology needs a book, like The Communist Manifesto, Rules for Radicals, Mein Kampf.  I never heard of such a book from the KKK.
   Back in the 1950's you could tell the Communists by their party cards.  Do "white supremacists" carry cards?  Is there a modern Joe McCarthy to call them out?
   In short, I think the latest burst of "white supremacy" slams in the MSM is just another way of calling Republicans racists.