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Debt Under Obama Up $9,000,000,000,000

obama-oval-solo

As of the close of business, on Wednesday, Oct. 5—the latest day for which the Treasury has reported—the total federal debt was $19,663,411,497,797.40. That means that so far in Obama’s presidency, the federal debt has increased $9,036,534,448,884.32.

Terence P. Jeffrey reports: The federal government passed a fiscal milestone on the first business day of fiscal 2017—which was Monday, Oct. 3—when the total federal debt accumulated during the presidency of Barack Obama topped $9,000,000,000,000 for the first time.

On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury.

As of the close of business on Friday, Sept, 30, the last day of fiscal 2016, the total federal debt was $19,573,444,713,936.79. At that point, the total federal debt had increased under Obama by $8,946,567,665,023.71.

On Monday, Oct. 3, the first business day of fiscal 2017, the total federal debt closed at $19,642,949,742,561.51. At that point, the debt had increased under Obama by $9,016,072,693,648.43 from the $10,626,877,048,913.08 it stood at on the day of Obama’s inauguration.

[Read the full story here, at cnsnews.com]

As of the close of business, on Wednesday, Oct. 5—the latest day for which the Treasury has reported—the total federal debt was $19,663,411,497,797.40. That means that so far in Obama’s presidency, the federal debt has increased $9,036,534,448,884.32. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Alcohol Prohibition Was a Dress Rehearsal for the War on Drugs 

“The war on alcohol and the war on drugs were symbiotic campaigns,” says Harvard historian Lisa McGirr, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. “Those two campaigns emerged together, [and] they had the same shared…logic. Many of the same individuals were involved in both campaigns.”
LiquorinSewerNYC

Did alcohol prohibition of the 1920s ever really come to an end, or did it just metastasize into something far more destructive and difficult to abolish—what we casually refer to as “the war on drugs?” McGirr argues that our national ban on booze routed around its own repeal via the 21st Amendment. Ultimately, Prohibition transformed into a worldwide campaign against the drug trade

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The ties between drug and alcohol prohibition run deep. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was established in 1930, only three years prior to Prohibition’s repeal. The FBN employed many of the same officials as the Federal Bureau of Prohibition. And both shared institutional spaces as independent entities within the U.S. Treasury Department. “In some ways,” observes McGirr, “the war never ended.”

Prohibition-Detroit-1920-631.jpg__800x600_q85_crop Read the rest of this entry »


Criminal Organization Celebrates Record Profits

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The federal government collected $1,476,218,000,000 in the first half of fiscal year 2016. 

 reports: Inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues hit a record $1.48 trillion for the first half of fiscal year 2016, but the federal government still ran a $461 billion deficit during that time, according to the latest monthly Treasury Department statement.

Treasury receipts include tax revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and other miscellaneous items.

In the first half of fiscal 2016, which included the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March, the amount of taxes collected by the federal government outpaced the first half of all previous fiscal years, even after adjusting for inflation. Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: Obama Millennials Want to Leave the America They Created

crying college student

Ben Shapiro writes: A new poll from TransferWise shows that 35 percent of those born in the United States would consider ditching their home country to live elsewhere; that number skyrockets among those aged 18-34, the so-called millennials, 55 percent of whom 200181253-001said they would think of taking off if given the chance.

“Most of those millennials cite economics as a chief factor in their desire to leave: 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women said they’d leave if they could get paid more in another country.”

The rationales for staying in America, articulated by Americans, are particularly weak: 59 percent say they would stay because “it is home,” another 58 percent say they would stay thanks to romantic and family ties – and then the stats drop precipitously, with just 22 percent stating they would stay for the democratic society, 17 percent for the culture, 10 percent for the good future for children, 5 percent for wealth, 3 percent for low crime, and 2 percent for low taxes.

All of which makes sense, given that America has been moving in the wrong direction with regard to preservation of democratic society, a common culture, a good future for children, wealth, low crime, or low taxes. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Not the Only Gorilla in the Jungle’: Japan Overtakes China as Largest U.S. Bondholder

japan-stock-WSJ

Japan’s purchases will help soothe lingering concerns that U.S. bond prices could decline as China slows its buying. 

Min Zeng in New York, Lingling Wei in Beijing and Eleanor Warnock in Tokyo report: Japan dethroned China as the top foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys for the first time since the financial crisis, following a wave of purchases by buyers shifting money to the U.S. as Japan’s economic policies push down interest rates there.

“China is currently the 800-pound gorilla in the U.S. Treasury market. However, it is not the only gorilla in the jungle.”

–James Sarni, a managing principal at investment manager Payden & Rygel, which oversees $90 billion of assets

In reclaiming its status as the largest foreign creditor to America in U.S. official data, Japan is japan-chart-WSJreasserting itself as Beijing holds its Treasury portfolio steady amid a weakening Chinese economy.

“U.S. debt bears higher yields than government bonds offered in other rich nations, thanks to the perception of stronger U.S. growth prospects and to central-bank bond purchases that have driven yields near zero across Europe and in Japan.”

Private investors and official institutions in Japan owned $1.2244 trillion of U.S. government securities at the end of February, compared with $1.2386 trillion at the end of January, according to the latest monthly data released by the Treasury on Wednesday.

China held $1.2237 trillion of Treasury debt at the end of February, compared with $1.2391 trillion a month earlier.

Over the past year, Japan has boosted its holdings by a net $13.6 billion, while China’s holdings dropped by $49.2 billion.

“The single largest holder of U.S. long-term debt is the Federal Reserve, with more than $2 trillion. The amount has surged from $755 billion at the end of 2007, fueled by Fed purchases of long-term securities in response to the financial crisis”.

The Treasury data, released with a two-month lag, don’t capture all of the Treasury-bond holdings China may have parked at middlemen in places such as the U.K. and Belgium. Many analysts and investors believe China has considerable holdings bought through such intermediaries. The Treasury notes on its website that “it is difficult to draw precise conclusions about changes in the foreign holdings of U.S. financial assets by individual countries” from the capital-flow data.

“The shift also reflects changes sweeping China. The world’s most-populous nation has in recent months largely held its Treasury portfolio in place, reflecting a slowdown in the growth of its $3.73 trillion foreign-exchange reserve, the world’s largest, and an effort to shift those reserves toward higher-yielding assets.”

The Japanese purchases have helped drive long-term U.S. bond yields near record lows despite an economic expansion that averaged 2.7% annually over 2013-14. Those low yields have, in turn, helped keep down interest rates for Americans on everything from home loans to credit cards. Read the rest of this entry »


Despite Judge’s Orders Obama Administration Refuses to Hand Over IRS Abuse Documents

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John Hayward reports: Hey, remember how a watchdog group called Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act request for documents pertaining to the investigation of taxpayer information handed over to the White House by the IRS, and the request went nowhere, so they sued, and a judge told the Treasury Department they had to cough up the documents, and then the Treasury Inspector General was all like, “Oh, wow, we’ve got 2,500 pages of documents on this deal, so we need a little more time to finish going through them before we hand them over?”O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

If it wasn’t so bad – if there wasn’t a ‘smidgen of corruption’ – why try so hard to keep these records silent?”

Never mind about seeing those documents, peons.  The Administration has decided not to hand them over after all, citing a statute that basically says the privacy of the people whose privacy the White House violated would be violated by revealing details of the White House violation to the public.  It all sounds pretty fishy to Cause of Action, as quoted in the Washington Examiner:smdg-tv2

Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using “sophisticated” lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents. And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into “potential liability” that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House. Read the rest of this entry »


Bored Porn-surfing Feds Have More Free Time and Bigger Paychecks Than You Do

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“He stated he is aware it is against government rules and regulations, but he often does not have enough work to do and has free time.”

For the Washington TimesJim McElhatton reports: For one Federal Communications Commission worker, his porn habit at work was easy to explain: Things were slow, he told investigators, so he perused it “out of boredom” — for up to eight hours each week.

Over at NRO, Kevin D. Williamson summarizes the State of the Union this way:

…In other news, the CIA is spying on the Senate, the president is assassinating American citizens, our governors are ungovernable, our cops are criminals, our corruption investigations are corrupt, our anti-crime programs are criminal enterprises, the IRS agents charged with keeping nonprofits from turning into fronts for crass and illegal political campaigns have turned the agency into a front for a crass and illegal political campaign, our Border Patrol agents are engaged in human trafficking . . .

But let’s talk about porn…(read more)

Lack of work has emerged time and again in federal investigations, and it’s not just porn, nor is it confined to the FCC. Across government, employees caught wasting time at work say they simply didn’t have enough work to do, according to investigation records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Read the rest of this entry »


Fund: Feds Lifting Statute of Limitations to Seize Tax Refunds for Parents Debt? Not Cool

National Review Online


Americans Renouncing Citizenship Up 221%

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Robert W. Wood  reports:  America is a great land and lures immigrants worldwide, yet record numbers of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are giving up their citizenship or residency. For all the immigrant arrivals the trickle the other direction is increasing. The number is still small, with the “published” expatriates for the quarter was 630 for the last quarter or 2013.

That brings the total number to 2,999 for all of 2013. The previous record high for a year was 1,781 set in 2011. It’s a 221% increase over the 932 who left in 2012. You can call it a shaming or a public record, but the Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list of Americans who renounced their U.S. Citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency. The public outing puts Americans on notice who relinquished their rights.

Those seem like tiny numbers, yet the total thus far for 2013 is 2,369. See Number of Taxpayers Who Renounced U.S. Citizenship Skyrockets to All-Time Record High, quoting Andrew Mitchel. Under U.S. tax law, it is not relevant why someone expatriates. Whether the expatriation was motivated by tax avoidance or something else used to matter, but the law was changed in 2004.

Read the rest of this entry »


Email: IRS’s Lerner, Treasury Department Secretly Drafted Rules to Restrict Nonprofits

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The Daily Caller‘s Patrick Howley reports:  The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.

The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.

Read the rest of this entry »


Debt Up $6.666 Trillion Under Obama

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Ali Meyer reports:  The debt of the U.S. government has increased $6.666 trillion since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, according to the latest numbers released by the Treasury Department.

6.666 TRILLION DEBT INCREASE-CHART

When President Obama was first inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, the debt of the U.S. government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to theTreasury Department’s Bureau of the Public Debt. As of Jan. 31, 2014, the latest day reported, the debt was $17,293,019,654,983.61—an increase of $6,666,142,606,070.53 since Obama’s first inauguration.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wall Street adviser: Actual unemployment is 37.2%

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‘Misery Index’ Worst in 40 Years

Paul Bedard  writes:  Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.

In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: China Now Owns a Record $1.317 Trillion of U.S. Government Debt

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Matt Egan  reports:  China stepped up its purchases of U.S. government debt late last year, increasing its holdings of Treasurys to an all-time record of $1.317 trillion in November, government data released this week revealed.

The statistics underscore how reliant the U.S. and Chinese economies are on one another even as political tensions occasionally emerge.

According to figures inadvertently released Wednesday evening on the U.S. Treasury Department website, China’s holdings of Treasurys increased by 0.9% in November to $1.317 trillion, up from $1.305 trillion in October. Year-over-year, China’s holdings rose 11.3% from $1.183 trillion.

Read the rest of this entry »


Government default? It’s already happened, twice

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Tim Cavanaugh writes:  Although President Barack Obama and the establishment media routinely describe a potential federal default as “unprecedented,” the United States government has flaked on its debt service several times, and one expert says the current default has already begun.

The historical default precedents should be of limited comfort to Obama, however. One of the deadbeat presidents was the commander in chief during a disastrous war that saw Washington, D.C. occupied and the White House burned to the ground. The other was Jimmy Carter.

According to Connie Cass of Associated Press, the U.S. government “briefly stiffed some of its creditors on at least two occasions.” The first default took place in November 1814, during the administration of James Madison, America’s tiniest chief executive. Just a few months after the British conquest of Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812, the Treasury was unable to move enough precious metal to service its debt, and missed interest payments on bonds. Boston bondholders, according to Wayne State College history professor Don Hickey, were paid off in short-term interest-bearing treasury notes or more bonds. These debt service troubles, and the war, were resolved within a few months.

Read the rest of this entry »


What If China Stops Buying U.S. Government Debt?

Gordon G. Chang reports: Just about everyone worries that Beijing, perturbed by the ongoing squabble inWashington, will sour on Treasuries.  This concern is embedded in the provocative title of Eamonn Fingleton’s recent Forbes posting: “If Republicans Want to Shut Down Washington, They’ll Have to Ask China’s Permission First.”

The Republicans in fact did not seek Beijing’s approval, and neither did Democrats.  Are both sides making a mistake by not taking into account China’s “feelings,” as the Communist Party demands everyone do?

It’s clear Chinese officials are watching closely.  “The United States, the world’s sole superpower, has engaged in irresponsible spending for years,” observed Xinhua News Agency in an editorial on Wednesday.  “With no political unity to redress its policy mistake, a dysfunctional Washington is now overspending the confidence in its leadership.”

The official organ’s warning, entitled “On Guard Against Spillover of Irresponsible U.S. Politics,” hints that Beijing leaders are thinking of further diversifying their portfolios away from dollar-denominated debt.  If the Chinese don’t continue buying Treasury securities, the Federal government will have to find others to take up the slack.  Many, including the respected Congressional Research Service,argue that Treasury may then have to pay substantially more for borrowed funds and higher interests rates could result in lower long-term growth. Read the rest of this entry »


2013 Treasury Statement: Under Obama, U.S Gov’t Debt Held by Public Up 90%

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) – Terence P. Jeffrey reports: The U.S. Treasury released its last Daily Treasury Statement for fiscal 2013 yesterday afternoon, revealing that during the presidency of Barack Obama the U.S. government debt held by the public has increased 90 percent.

At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. government debt held by the public was $6,307,311,000,000, according to the Daily Treasury Statement for that day.

At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2013—the last day of fiscal 2013—the Daily Treasury Statement said the U.S. government debt held by the public was $11,976,279,000,000.

The $11,976,279,000,000 in U.S. government debt held by the public on Sept. 30, 2013 was $5,668,968,000,000 more than the $6,307,311,000,000 in debt held by the public on Obama’s first inauguration day.

That is an increase of 89.879 percent—or approximately 90 percent. Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Debt Ceiling

What will happen in a decade or so, when default becomes inevitable? 

20111123001Kevin D. Williamson writes: The fight over the federal shutdown, in which Barack Obama pronounces himself ready to negotiate with atomic ayatollahs in Tehran but not Republicans in the House of Representatives — the body constitutionally empowered to manage budgetary concerns — is a prelude to the coming fight over the statutory debt ceiling. How either of those will play out politically is anybody’s guess, though one should never underestimate the Republicans’ ability to screw up being on the right side of an issue.

While there is panicky talk of default in Washington, the financial markets give no indication that they are expecting a default on Treasury bonds, which is only sensible: Even without extending the debt ceiling, current revenues are more than enough to cover debt payments, several times over. There are technical concerns within the federal government that complicate the issue, but debt ceiling or no debt ceiling, the money is there to make interest payments. Surely an administration that came into office on the heels of a financial crisis and claims the unilateral power to assassinate American citizens is not waiting on Congress to tell the Treasury Department how to perform its most elementary function? Surely the American people, in their wisdom, would not elect such irresponsible amateurs to high office? (Twice?)

Refusal to raise the debt ceiling will never necessitate default — unless the interest payments we owe exceed the revenue we have. That is not even close to being the case — net interest payments have been running around 7 percent of revenue lately. But if current trends continue, that number will change. In 2010 Moody’s, working from Congressional Budget Office projections described by one analyst as “wildly optimistic,” calculated that policies being pushed by the Obama administration could drive interest payments as high as 20 percent of federal revenue by 2020. The CBO’s polite-nod-to-reality “alternative fiscal scenario” projects that sustained deficits will mean that interest payments will cost us an additional 1 percent of GDP in ten short years. And those are far from worst-case, Chicken Little scenarios. A return to the interest rates that prevailed as recently as the 1980s would turn our federal budget upside-down practically overnight, with interest expenses far outpacing tax revenue. When debt-service costs exceed revenue, default is a practical inevitability. Read the rest of this entry »


“The Obama administration’s decision to give corporate America a free pass on the employer mandate while continuing to force average, everyday Americans to abide by the law is deeply disturbing”

By Alexis Levinson

Businesses won’t be fined for not providing health insurance to their employees for one more year, the Obama administration said Tuesday evening, announcing that they would delay the implementation of that mandate in the Affordable Care Act until 2015 — after the midterm elections.

blog post by White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on the White House blog explained that the goal of the postponement is to help “[cut] the red tape” in the “reporting process” for employers, and to give employers “more time to comply.” The changes come as a response to concerns expressed in “ongoing discussions with businesses” that “you need the time to get this right,” Jarrett wrote.

“It will allow us to consider ways to simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law,” wrote Mark Mazur, assistant secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in announcing the decision. “Second, it will provide time to adapt health coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health coverage affordable and accessible for their employees.”

Mazur promised “guidance” on the new timeline later this week.

By postponing the implementation of the mandate until 2015, the White House potentially spares Democratic candidates in 2014 — including several vulnerable Democratic senators seeking re-election in red states — from attacks surrounding the implementation of the law during the midterm elections. Republicans have already made clear that they will attack Democrats relentlessly on Obamacare and its implementation.

“This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the ‘train wreck’ will only get worse,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday evening, quoting Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, one of the architects of the law, who expressed concern about a “train wreck coming down” if more work was not done to educate the public on implementation of the law.

Read the rest of this entry »