While discussing socialism on a talk show recently, I was confronted with the question: If “capitalism” is so great, why has it failed? Of course, ever since our financial crisis hit, this query has become all too common. Now, after informing the host that I avoid the word “capitalism” — as it was originated by a communist — and instead prefer “Natural Economy,” I stated the obvious: Blaming our problems on the Natural Economy is like blaming airplane crashes on auto design. After all, there is a reason why Rogers Holdings CEO Jim Rogers said in 2008 that the United States was now “more communist than China.” With thousands of laws, regulations, and mandates and a multitude of bureaucracies that stifle the private sector, our system can hardly be called a Natural Economy. But more on that later. This issue is better illuminated by examining a truth hiding in plain sight.
The compromise bill that emerged Sunday night from behind closed doors is being loudly trumpeted in an attempt to persuade recalcitrant conservatives in both houses to vote for something — anything — in time to avoid the August 2 deadline. A careful analysis of the ultimate compromise bill yields some important conclusions. First of all, there is nothing in the law or statutes that states categorically that the nation will default if the August 2 deadline isn’t met. This is merely a “best estimate” by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as to when he will run out of options to continuing paying the government’s bills by “borrowing” from various pots of money such as the federal government employees’ retirement plan. If he is able to do that, it’s unclear why he would run out of other options automatically on the 2nd.
Despite the back-patting that many Congressmen are giving themselves as a result of the so-called Budget Control Act of 2011, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker contends that the United States is still only three years away from becoming Greece. Walker told CNBC, “We are less than three years away from where Greece had its debt crisis as to where they were from debt to GDP.” Walker’s assertions are similar to those made by GOP presidential contender Ron Paul in June, who predicts that the status of the United States dollar as the reserve currency of the world will end sooner than 25 years and that America is soon to face a financial crisis significantly worse than that of 2008.  
The debt ceiling is to rise initially by $900 billion under the Revised Budget Control Act of 2011. And then, the debt limit is to rise again by either $1.2 trillion or $1.5 trillion depending upon how successful the 12-member Joint Committee of Congress is in finding sufficient cuts in government spending to avoid a “trigger” that would do the cutting automatically. The committee will be made up of three Republicans and three Democrats from each chamber. Those “deficit reductions” will be found and presented to Congress by the day before Thanksgiving, and then voted on, “up or down” with no amendments allowed, by both the House and the Senate, by December 23. If no agreement is reached by the committee, or if their bill fails in Congress, then budget cuts will be implemented automatically. Chances that the committee would choose “deficit reductions” in the form of tax increases are slim, according to House Speaker John Boehner:
The Justice Department is challenging Alabama’s new immigration law, which permits police officers to detain people during traffic stops whom they suspect may be illegal immigrants. The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the Alabama law, contending it conflicts with the federal government’s jurisdiction. The Justice Department filed the lawsuit in an Alabama federal court, asserting that Alabama’s law allows the Alabama police to have entirely too much power, and that it would increase the incarceration of illegal immigrants by creating new immigration crimes.  
Police Officer Daniel Harless, of Canton, Ohio, is making quite a name for himself, having garnered a reputation for his outrageous tirades against those he engages in traffic stops. Two weeks ago, The New American reported on Harless’ encounter with a legal gun owner, in which he berated the driver for several minutes and made several threats against the driver. Now, a new video has emerged of a traffic stop that took place in July 2010 between Harless and a car full of passengers, in which Harless threatens to kill them. In the video, Harless is heard threatening a group of passengers engaged in a traffic stop, and grows angry after he found a gun in the car. Unlike the video that was exposed last month, however, these passengers do not appear to have a permit for the weapon.
Boston Logan International Airport has announced that it will be adopting Israeli-style behavior screening procedures. The new procedures were introduced yesterday at the busy airport and involve screeners at the Transportation Security Administration engaging in more conversations with travelers in order to assess potential threats. Boston Logan International Airport is the first airport in the United States to adopt Israel’s enhanced airport screening methods. Fox News reports: Under the new program — part of a nearly $1 billion national program called the Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT — behavior officers will ask passengers non-intrusive questions and look to see how passengers respond. Those who exhibit suspicious behavior like avoiding eye contact and struggling with answers will be pulled aside for more screening.
President Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2,  just hours after the U.S. Senate approved the measure, which would raise the debt limit as much as $2.4 trillion. Obama then launched into a public and phony political attack against the same tax "loopholes" that the White House website is promoting for energy companies. The Budget Control Act of 2011 would trim about $900 billion of an expected $7-8 trillion in projected deficit spending increases over the next 10 years and set up a 12-member super-committee of Congress charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in savings. The so-called "Super Congress" would be authorized to find spending cuts or tax increases, and its findings would be fast-tracked through Congress (i.e., voted on without amendment and limited debate). The bill wouldn't actually cut any spending in an absolute sense; spending would continue to increase. But the bill would trim projected future spending increases.
I was researching REAL ID, the Feds’ scheme to turn driver’s licenses into a national ID, when I stumbled across this bombshell at the National Motorists Association: Eliminate the Driver License Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) introduced House Bill 875 in November 2009. The first two sentences of that proposed legislation, better known as the “Right to Travel Act,” summarize what the bill is about: “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”
It feels like we’re dealing with an Amy Winehouse form of governing. “These overdoses happen because these guys drink 20 beers and then reach for their heroin,” a friend of mine said after the late star’s recent death, at 27. “You can’t think straight once you’re totally blitzed.” It seems the same with our politicians, overdosed on their own importance. Their non-straight thinking and out-of-control spending has already put us $14.3 trillion in the hole at the federal level, not counting the tens of trillions in unfunded entitlement liabilities, and they’re still racking up $4 billion per day in new red ink.   Even with the new debt deal to supposedly cut $2 trillion or $3 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years (a cut in projected future spending, not a cut in the absolute sense), the national debt would still firmly be on a trajectory to increase by another $8 trillion to $10 trillion over the coming decade.
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