While Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. government's credit rating has drawn much attention in the last few days, a generally overlooked report by Moody's Investment Services on the poor performance of student loans suggests higher education may be in a financial "bubble" that could burst in a stagnant economy that offers declining rewards for a college or university degree. Titled "Student Lending's Failing Grade" the report appeared in the Moody's Analytics publication for July, 2011.  It notes that dollar balances on student loans have increased by double-digit rates in the past decade and the number of loans has continued to increase in recent years as more people have been seeking education and training in a declining job market. But the tightening of lending standard in other sectors of the economy that followed the financial crisis of 2008 has not affected student loans, the report found.
Texas woes regarding the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) may be getting even worse. Ever since the State partnered with Madrid-based Cintra, to build the wildly unpopular mid-continent trade corridor, Texas has had nothing but trouble. Especially property owners who have become victims of eminent domain abuses, and residents subjected to unwanted toll roads, a tyrannical state Department of Transportation and downright bullying by Governor Rick Perry and the State Legislature. But now, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Texas officials are worried about a possible default by Cintra that could affect the progress of the Texas corridor projects. Cintra is involved in road construction projects all over the world, including the operation of the Indiana Toll Road. After the company was also awarded the contract to operate the Trans Texas Corridor for the next 50 years, Texans learned they were stuck with both Cintra and a huge corridor project they did not want. One feature of the Texas contract was that Cintra was guaranteed a buyback if the project proved unprofitable. It seems that very thing could happen with the company’s operation of the Indiana Road. Because of lower traffic, therefore lower toll revenue than originally forecast, Cintra has used up most of its rainy day fund and is running out of money to pay its debt to Indiana. The revenue shortfall occurred after Cintra dramatically increased tolls on the Indiana road.
Religious groups and pro-life advocates denounced a new ObamaCare mandate requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control and other "preventive care" services for women, with no co-pays. Drafted by the Institute of Medicine and announced last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the new requirements will take effect on or after August 1, 2012. As The New American reported last week, social conservatives, pro-life groups, and religious organizations staunchly oppose the new requirements, because they undermine family values and assail moral and spiritual beliefs among Christian denominations. Particularly of concern are FDA-approved drugs such as Ella and Plan B (the "Morning After Pill") — misleadingly referred to as "emergency contraceptives" — which are in fact abortifacients, designed to terminate a developing baby before or after implantation into the mother’s womb.
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie picked Sohail Mohammed — a lawyer who had represented acquitted terror suspects after the September 11 attacks — to be a Superior Court judge, immediate objections forced him to defend his choice. Much of the criticism of his appointment focused on Mohammed’s alleged links to terrorism and the possibility that Mohammed would be inclined to follow Shariah law; however, in his unique brand of political rhetoric, Christie labeled his critics “ignorant” and “crazies.”  
If a country wishes to save its taxpayers some money, it should enact stiff immigration laws. That’s the conclusion of a report from the Danish Integration Ministry, according to Spiegel Online. Denmark has imposed tough measures to stem the flow of Third World immigrants, and those stricter laws have saved the taxpayers about $10 billion during the past decade. The country now boasts the strictest controls in the European Union. Though the Eurocrat left has voiced opposition to the tighter controls, conservatives believe that Denmark is in better shape than most countries that have been overrun by immigrants, many of whom join the welfare rolls and commit crimes.
George Soros, the hedge fund investor who called gold "the ultimate bubble," has divested his portfolio of nearly its entire investment in the precious metal, inciting many to fear that the price will very soon plummet, devaluing the specie-heavy portfolios of millions of investors. Like it or not, like him or not, attention must be paid to his movements. It can be very expensive to ignore the predictions of Soros. For example, on September 16, 1992 (a date subsequently known as “Black Wednesday”), one of the investment funds of Soros sold short more than $10 billion worth of pounds sterling, profiting from the British government's reluctance to adjust its interest rates to levels comparable to those of other European Exchange Rate Mechanism countries.
Federal spending for K-12 education increased by approximately 1,050 percent between 1970 and 2009 (the most recent years for which firm figures exist). But public schools — the ones almost 90 percent of U.S. children attend  — have seen negligible gains over that period. Private schools aren’t panaceas, either, thanks to university departments of teacher training that are steeped in spurious education “research” gushing from component agencies of the U.S. Department of Education (DoE), in defiance of federal law. Since its inception in 1976, the DoE has worked to control all aspects of schooling and circumvent local prerogatives, hiding its agenda in plain sight under the terms “Best Practices,” “reform,” and “innovation.” Its greatest helpmates have been state Governors, via the National Governors Association (NGA), the host center for “Best Practices”; the National Education Association (NEA); and UNESCO, to which the NEA, in particular, has contributed heavily since 1948. In short, the NGA, the NEA, and the DoE have colluded with the United Nations to bypass U.S. laws.
In a series of expected additional press releases, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency is expanding its downgrade of debt securities tied to the now-lower-rated sovereign debt of the United States, including Israeli bonds, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and “pre-funded” municipal bonds. Other credits tied closely to U.S. sovereign debt are also expected to be downgraded shortly, with only a few exceptions. Most municipal bond issues are not pre-funded with U.S. Treasury securities, and so they aren’t likely to be affected, especially as they rely on local and regional sources of revenues, with little reliance on the federal government to back them up. And, at the moment at least, S&P continues to rate 13 states as AAA. These downgrades have set off a firestorm of protest, mostly from the White House and the Treasury Department. Secretary Timothy Geithner angrily expressed his views to NBC/CNBC News:
If a $14.3 trillion national debt sounds like a staggering sum, economist Lawrence Kotlikoff's estimate of the nation's real  long-term indebtedness might bowl you over. Kotlikoff, who was a senior economist on President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, calculates the debt at $211 trillion. "We have all these unofficial debts that are massive compared to the official debt," Kotlikoff, a professor at Boston University, said on the weekend edition of National Public Radio's All Things Considered. "If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures," Kotlikoff said, "and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That's the fiscal gap. That's our true indebtedness."
Former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan came up with a novel way to claim the U.S. government would never default on debt: print the difference. Greenspan told NBC's "Meet the Press" August 7, in response to a question about the recent downgrade in the U.S. bond rating by Standard and Poor's: This is not an issue of credit rating. The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that. So there is zero probability of default. Analysts ask, Zimbabwe-like inflation of the dollar is not default? They say that Greenspan won't find that argument very persuasive to bond-holders, who won't be able to buy anything with their bonds when they come due.
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