With the publishing of a “white paper” about the housing market, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has rankled some Republicans that suggestions made appear to have transgressed some line of propriety that separates monetary policy, fiscal policy, and the Fed’s “independence.”
We’ve slipped away from a true Republic,” Texas Congressman Ron Paul claimed in a speech to a Missouri audience February 18. “Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government and big business and authoritarian rule and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.”
President Obama’s 2013 budget and proposed tax increases have been construed as a direct assault on the wealthy Republican class. But according to past election analyses, and despite the prevailing notion that America’s wealthy overwhelmingly oppose progressive taxation, the President may in fact be targeting his own base.
The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in February from 8.3 percent to 9.0 percent, according to Gallup. Gallup’s numbers are highly correlated to the same reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The differences between the two are very slight: Gallup calls people age 18 and up; the BLS calls people age 16 and up. Gallup polls 30,000 people every month; the BLS polls 60,000. Gallup makes those calls continuously throughout the month; the BLS calls during one week in the middle of the month. Gallup’s numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted; the BLS numbers are.
Following a 13-hour marathon session on Monday, eurozone ministers announced an agreement to loan Greece another $170 billion, which saves the banks while punishing private investors and damaging Greek national sovereignty.
Last Friday marked the third-year anniversary of President Obama’s $787-billion economic "stimulus" law — and it scored a rather grim milestone: The unemployment rate held steady above eight percent for 36 months, the longest period since World War II. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current 8.3-percent unemployment rate is precisely where it stood three years ago when the legislation, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was signed into law. The previous record for above-8-percent unemployment was 27 months, which transpired in the early 1980s.
It is fascinating to see people accusing others of things that they themselves are doing, especially when their own sins are worse. Academics love to say that businesses are not paying enough to people who work for them. But where in business are there people who are paid absolutely nothing for strenuous work that involves risks to their health?
Writer Bruno Waterfield’s claim that Germany has drawn up plans to deal with the inevitable Greek default was published in the British newspaper The Telegraph a little after 8 p.m. Saturday night. Within hours his claim was confirmed separately by blogger John Ward with times, dates, and consequences all spelled out by those drawing up the plans.
The creditors’ committee representing what’s left of Lehman Brothers asked bankruptcy Judge James Peck last week to force Timothy Geithner — currently Obama’s Treasury Secretary but President of the New York Fed at the time of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy — to answer some questions. The original subpoena issued by the committee to Geithner to appear last August was ignored and so the committee appealed to Judge Peck.
In concluding his three-state, three-day tour on Friday, President Obama made a flashy appearance at Boeing’s aircraft assembly plant in Washington State, where he touted the manufacturing accomplishments of the world’s largest aerospace company. During the visit, the President asserted that Boeing, a top U.S. exporter, is a world-class model of an American company spurring economic growth through overseas commerce.