Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Bubble: New Home Prices Taking Off

From ZeroHedge, comes news that the average new home sales price has reached an all-time high of over $330,000.  This is up from only $230,000 from a decade ago. The Federal Reserve has done it!  With manipulated and entirely too low interest rates and with unlimited (sub-prime?) loans made to questionable borrowers from the Federal Goverment, the Fed has finally done it!  (remember that Fannie and Freddie make up over 90% of the mortgage market)

Yeah, the government has used every arrow in it's quiver to bail-out underwater loans, bail-out banks and try to create a sense of prosperity or "wealth effect" in housing, stocks, and you-name-it.  Don't you feel so great?

The sad thing is that the next generation of buyers is sure to be priced out of the market if interest rates EVER return to "normal."  Real income is stagnant, so higher prices for houses (or anything) puts homes even more out of reach.  See the graph of Real Personal Income below (the 2nd graph).

That same generation will also shoulder the unimaginable burden of debt that we're bligthly accumulating for our own current consumption and bail-outs.

It's entirely possible that home prices could sag again if the props are ever removed.  But this market, and so many others, are so entirely manipulated by the government, it's hard to imagine the government withdrawing---EVER.  Maybe the restoration of free markets has to await the next Republican president.      

Meanwhile, real income has stagnated, making home ownership more questionable for the next generation of buyers.  Have a look at the graph of real personal income below.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Gestapo Tactics From the Obama Administration

Regarding just how far this government and administration is willing to go to harass our fellow citizens, read this excerpt of an article by Peggy Noonan in the WSJ. The story is based on a Huckabee show where a Texas woman was telling her story about her interactions with our wonderful Federal Government.

Prepare yourself for some shameful and extraordinary action by extraordinarilly expensive bureaucrats and bureaucracies.  You can bet that every government employee mentioned below make over $100,000 per year with rich benefits forever.
"But the most important IRS story came not from the hearings but from Mike Huckabee's program on Fox News Channel.  He interviewed and told the story of Catherine Engelbrecht—a nice woman, a citizen, an American.  She and her husband live in Richmond, Texas. They have a small manufacturing business.
In the past few years she became interested in public policy and founded two groups, King Street Patriots and True the Vote. In July 2010 she sent applications to the IRS for tax-exempt status.  What followed was not the harassment, intrusiveness and delay we're now used to hearing of. The U.S. government came down on her with full force.
In December 2010 the FBI came to ask about a person who'd attended a King Street Patriots function.  In January 2011 the FBI had more questions.  The same month the IRS audited her business tax returns.  In May 2011 the FBI called again for a general inquiry about King Street Patriots.  In June 2011 Engelbrecht's personal tax returns were audited and the FBI called again.  In October 2011 a round of questions on True the Vote.  In November 2011 another call from the FBI. The next month, more questions from the FBI.  In February 2012 a third round of IRS questions on True the Vote.  In February 2012 a first round of questions on King Street Patriots. The same month the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms did an unscheduled audit of her business. (It had a license to make firearms but didn't make them.)   In July 2012 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did an unscheduled audit. In November 2012 more IRS questions on True the Vote.  In March 2013, more questions.  In April 2013 a second ATF audit.
All this because she requested tax-exempt status for a local conservative group and for one that registers voters and tries to get dead people off the rolls.
Her attorney, Cleta Mitchell, who provided the timeline above, told me: "These people, they are just regular Americans. They try to get dead people off the voter rolls, you would think that they are serial killers."
This week Ms. Engelbrecht, who still hasn't received her exemptions, sued the IRS."
This kind of government instrusion is what you'd expect in Putin's Russia or Hitler's Germany.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Best Quote of the Day

A timely quote for our day from Greg Gutfeld from Breitbart:
Here is a simple fact: a liberal president operating with a liberal media leads us to a really unpleasant place--populated with programs, policies, and principles that are woefully inept and corrupt. Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Pigford, and weird euphemisms for terror like "workplace violence" and "self-radicalization"--this isn't a comedy of errors, it's a tragedy of horrors. There is no guard rail anymore when you’ve got the left monitoring the left.
Well said.

ObamaCare Kills Jobs; Obama Doesn't Get It

One of the many problems with the Left is that they are incapable of letting facts get in the way of their ideology.  For years now, Democrats have pooh-poohed the notion that ¨uncertainty¨has caused the anemic economic recovery blaming it other factors.  Yes, there are other factors at work for sure.  But it is undeniable that ObamaCare is hurting job creation.

In my blog Small Business Creates the Most Jobs and ObamaCare is Killing Them,  I make the point that small businesses create more than 70% of the new jobs in this country.  When small businesses are under duress from the increased requirements of bureaucrats (local, state and federal), including the requirements of ObamaCare, it will stunt new job creation.

Already, businesses are cutting back on hours to escape the burden of ObamaCare. No one knows the cost of this law.  I don´t know.  You don´t know.  No one knows.  Numbers are leaking out and they big and rising.  The whole thing is going to fall apart when people discover it´s true cost.

From Investor´s Business Daily

Nearly 22 million Americans can't find a job or the full-time work they want. Millions more have quit looking altogether. Now, even more working Americans are seeing their hours cut because of the unreasonable burdens of the president's health care law.
The culprit is a requirement in the law that companies with more than 50 full-time workers provide expensive one-size-fits-all health insurance.Some small businesses have stopped hiring in order to stay below that number of employees. Others are cutting full-time workers back to part-time status — less than 30 hours a week.
The cuts are happening across industries and across the county. 
The Federal Reserve reported in March that the health care law is a major concern for businesses.Employers in the Fed's Richmond district blamed the law for layoffs and a reluctance to hire. Businesses around Dallas reported hiring the bare minimum to get by, due to uncertainty about the health care law. This uncertainty remained a drag on growth in the April Fed report. The drop in hours and the reluctance to hire are having a ripple effect throughout our economy.
Wages are stagnant. Economic growth is anemic.Just a few days ago, we learned that first quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of just 2.5%. This dismal number is nowhere near what we should be seeing nearly four years after the recession ended.The economy can't grow until we get Americans back to work. People can't get back to work if there aren't more jobs.
Employers aren't hiring because of the health care law

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I've Warned You of Government Tyranny

This blog has warned many times that the biggest problem with big and bigger government is loss of freedom and inevitable government tyranny.

Obama recently warned graduating students at Ohio State to ignore those voices that warn of government "tyranny"'ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. 

News of Tyranny and Cover-ups 

Really, we should reject those voices?  Now we hear that the IRS is persecuting "dissidents" by hammering them in audits and in applications for tax-free status.  Targets weren't just Tea Party groups, but anyone who even questioned out-of-control government spending .  From the Wall Street Journal:
The Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names—as the agency admitted Friday—to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to "make America a better place to live," according to new details of a government probe.
Now we've witnessing a belated burst dam of reporting now about how the Federal government, with the "tone" set by chief executve Obama, is comitting the very malfeasance and tyranny that I've warned.

We hear of IRS persecutions of citizens who happen to disagree with the administration,  the dozen revisions of the Benghazi lies and "talking points" to protect the incompetent or worse,  and the monitoring of journalist's phones and emails in an unprecedented affront to freedom of the press.

It gets worse and keeps piling up.  This is the tip of the iceberg.   Expect more "persecution" news from the highly ideological EPA, "Justice" Department, and HHS.

News of Medicare Fraud

In the news today is a story of 89 persons, including 14 doctors and nurses, who are charged with Medicare fraud to the tune of $100s of million in 8 cities. You can bet that it's just the tip of the iceberg. All of these programs are rife with fraud---as inevitably happens with big government programs.  I'm including this headline to underscore the evils of big government.

HHS Coercive "Donations"

Last Friday, from the Washington Post, reporting that HHS Sibellious has probably broke the law with her "request" for donations from health care companies.   From the Washington Post reported by Townhall:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said. Her unusual fundraising push comes after Congress repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s requests for additional funds to set up the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS to implement the president’s signature legislative accomplishment on what officials have described as a shoestring budget. 
Of course, blame those bad and evil Republicans for "gumming up the works."  Never mind that Obama has almost single-handedly, completely and utterly, poisoned his relationship with the opposition, so much so that he couldn't even get an expanded gun background check bill through the Senate.  He's so stupid that he somehow forgot that he has to work with those people to have any success.

Wait until the bureaucrats, under ObamaCare, deny you care because of your political views!!   You now know that I'm not kidding or exaggerating!!  The IRS is a major administrator of ObamaCare.

Expect failure and more revelations from this supposedly "most transparent" and "post partisan" administration.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Obama COULD Learn Much From Texas

Obama could learn something about economics from Texas---but won't.   He reminds me of the saying "there is none so blind as he who cannot see."

From his inability to learn from the cop in Cambridge to his stubborn and ineffective efforts to create so-called green jobs, which are a complete bust--even fraudulent, this President, time and time again, proves incapable of learning or adjusting.  He's not smart.  He just appears smart since he's a good "performance artist."

To be honest, if I had to choose an actor for the job as president, I might have preferred Morgan Freeman. He played a great role as President in "Deep Impact."  What the heck, he'd be just as qualified as Obama.  You can't be any more unqualified!

Back to learning from Texas and economic policies that actually work,  Have a look at the article from John Merline at Investor's Business Daily,
President Obama went to Texas on Thursday. Since taking office, Obama has pushed more government as the way to get the economy moving. He dramatically boosted spending, imposed massive amounts of new regulations, ran enormous deficits, and has imposed more than $1 trillion in tax hikes.  At the same time, Obama has berated those who advocate tax cuts and deregulation as key ingredients for economic growth and prosperity, saying such policies have "never worked." [It's Obama's brain that doesn't work ]
But Obama's policies have produced the most sluggish economic recovery since the Great Depression. GDP growth has topped 2.5% in just four of the 15 quarters since the recovery started. The country is still 2.6 million jobs shy of the previous employment peak set back in January 2008. Poverty rates are up; real household incomes are down.
Texas, meanwhile, has pursued a far different path from the one Obama advocates.
The Lone Star state has the 6th lowest tax burden in the country, according to the Tax Foundation, and has the third smallest government per-capita in the country, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It also consistently ranks as one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Chief Executive magazine, for example, has ranked Texas No. 1 for eight years in a row, citing "its business-friendly tax and regulatory environment."And since the recovery started in June 2009,
Texas has outperformed Obama on every important economic measure:
Jobs: Private sector jobs have shot up 10% in Texas since June 2009, which is twice the national growth rate. And while U.S. employment is still 2% below its pre-recession peak, in Texas it's 5% above the state's previous high.
Labor Force:  Nationwide, the labor force — the number of people who have jobs or are actively looking — has remained virtually flat since the recovery started, climbing just 0.3% over the past 45 months. Texas, in contrast, has seen its labor force climb 6.2%, as workers flood the state.
Wages: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average annual wages in the U.S. rose 5.4% from May 2009 to May 2012. In Texas, they rose 6.1%.
Per Capita Income: Texans have also seen their per capita personal income grow faster than the nation as a whole, increasing 13.3% compared with 10.5% nationwide, Bureau of Economic Analysis data show.
GDP: And Texas' economy has grown faster than the overall economy since Obama took office. Between 2009 and 2011, real GDP in Texas expanded 8.7%, while the nation's overall GDP managed just 4.6% growth, according to the BEA.
And while Obama and his backers complain that austerity is now standing in the way of economic growth, Texas proves that more government spending and government jobs aren't needed to grow the economy. Overall state spending has been flat since 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, and BLS data show that state and local government jobs dropped 16,500 since the recovery started.
Rick Perry has, in fact, presided over a terrific economy and Texas has a significant budget surplus.  Liberals love to paint Perry as being "stupid."  If he's stupid, I want to be stupid! That's alright, they got it wrong about Ronald Reagan too.  Liberals, when it comes to economics, are idiots.  This is proven time and time again, and Obama is the prime example.

Who's the stupid one? Has Obama suceeded in anything?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Phony European Austerity

In my blog, European austerity is all about taxation, I argued that tax increases are the thing causing the current recession in Europe, not supposed decreases in public spending.  There are, in Europe as in the USA, idiot politicians and idiot media talking-heads that call the reductions of planned increases (but still an increase) a "cut."   But in an absolute sense there are few actual reductions of spending in the government sector in Europe . 

Have a look at the following graphs:

Change in Government Expenditures since 2007 in %

All of this spending leads to too much debt everywhere. Have a look at the graphs below:

Change in Government Debt from 2007 to 2012 in %

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Early Warnings of Price Inflation

The mountains of US government deficit spending, now paid for by trillions of dollars of money creation by the Federal Reserve will eventually create price inflation, either in hard assets, financial assets and/or in general prices (CPI).   Huge increases in central bank balance sheets, in the US, Japan and China and eventually Europe will eventually ignite inflation of some sort.  It's unlikely that this money expansion can be reversed in a timely way, so due to fractional reserve lending system, it is likely that too much money will chase too few goods (and securities) at some point. The Federal Reserve still hasn't learned it's lesson that it creates bubbles that pop leading to economic distress!!  Idiots!  There's nothing worse than intelligent idiots!

The early warning signs are already found in price inflation in assets that the wealthiest people invest in.  This is because the hyper-money creation from the Federal Reserve goes directly into the hands of the top 0.1% at the banks. These bankers use a majority of that free money "flood" to buy a similar flood of government bonds issued and pocket a net 0.5 to 1.3%  return on the TRILLIONS of dollars being created.  This is an unspoken agreement between the corrupt crony capitalists and the corrupt ruling elites. This "process" is effectively financing the entire federal deficit, so lawmakers have no incentive whatsoever to even begin to trim out-of-control spending and debt.  All of this bond buying is reducing interest rates on all government bonds and at all durations. As an aside, I don't think that anyone knows what the natural interest rate is at the moment.  If we don't know the true level of market interest rates, then we have no way to correctly evaluate equity prices, financial asset prices or even the proper exchange rates.  But I digress.

Two Causes of Inflation

Type #1 Pure Monetary Inflation:  'Banksters' and the investment banking arms of the big banks primarily buy govt bonds but also put newly created money into other investment markets such as the stock market, real estate, land, collectibles, gold, wine, art and high yield bonds. So first expect asset inflation in these asset categories that are favored by the most connected and wealthy.  It is now a fact that all of these categories are inflating at rapid rates, with housing being the latest to rise (after a huge crash of couse) . The Fed is basically complicit in either creating new bubbles or re-igniting old ones.  But once the banks begin to lend to individuals and businesses, this will begin the monetary multiplier process which will put more money into circulation and all prices will rise--not just assets..

Type #2 Government Spending Push Inflation:   Other categories where significant inflation is occurring are in areas where the government is directly spending or where the govt is encouraging spending by making loan guarantees. This spending is creating excess demand:  in healthcare (via medicaid, medicare, VA spending), in college tuition, and in housing and land (anything with a mortgage). All of these areas are seeing hefty inflation now. Healthcare is getting additional "organic" demand due to the aging and increasingly obese population.

Eventually speculation and inflation in asset and other markets will affect the CPI inflation, but it's much later, if ever. For example, in the 2000s, the CPI inflation gauge never did reflect the bubbles in the mortgage and securities markets before the bottom dropped out of these markets--which crashed the general economy.

But there were early warning signs. Once again, there are early warning signs already here and now primarily in asset and commodity markets.  Already there signs of unsustainable bubbles in farm land and college tuition.  Student loan default rates have recently soared--reminiscent of the housing bust.

Examples of Gov't Pure Monetary Inflation (Type #1)

Gold Prices vs. Commodities

Gold has quintupled in price in a decade in the expectation for future inflation

Reuters Commodities Research Bureau (CRB) Index

Commodities, including gold have had a big surge since the credit crisis of 2008 but are backing off during the last 1 1/2 years due to cooling of the global economy and a reduction of demand for commodities.

Farm Land: up to 20% Inflation

Farm Land Prices Vs S&P
Farm Land Is Smoking Hot!  Rising World Food Prices Must Have Something to Do With It.    

Food Prices: 7% Average Inflation Since Yr 2000

Food prices have doubled from the year 2000. This reflects the "pumping up" of the Chinese economy and other developing countries by their governments. You can see that the biggest surge in prices occured in the year 2007 and then again in the year 2010. Only government spending and money creation can explain these prices spikes.

World Food Prices
from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN 

Oil and Gasoline Prices 7% Inflation Since 2000

Oil prices have rocketed higher with the easy money regime from our Federal Reserve since 2001 and with more demand from pumped-up economies in China and other developing countries. The US Crude Oil chart looks very similar to the one for food price inflation.

Gasoline Prices have doubled since 2004 which implies about 7% inflation rate over that period. Prices have tripled since 1999 indicating about 10% inflation per annum.

The Stock Market

The Stock Market continues it's climb to new all-time highs. Every day there is a steady bid from companies that borrow at 1 or 2% in the bond market and buy back their own stock in the market. It works in 2 ways, additional balance sheet debt leverages or "amplifies" earnings per share but also reduces the number of shares outstanding. That's how you pump up your share price! It's being done in record amounts: about $1 trillion per year.

Examples of Government "Spending Push" Inflation (Type #2)

Housing Market Inflation (now 9.3% for latest 12 months)

An article about the Case Shiller Housing index in USA Today, has trumpeted that housing prices increased 9.3% for the last 12 months. The bubble is back!!  Thanks Federal Reserve!

To put this in perspective,  the increase is a small one relative to the parabolic rise in the 2000s and recent decline. But 9.3% inflataion for one year is real and present!

During the 2000s,  the minions of highly compensated mega-brains and PhDs at the Federal Reserve system couldn't see the danger building that is so very obvious in hindsight.  Now we're enjoying a renewal of an old bubble.  Thank you Federal Reserve!

Housing Price Index since 1976 to 2013
The 9.3% Headline Housing Inflation is the small blip up at the far right

College Tuition Inflation (about 10% per annum since Year 2000)

I've mentioned that the government "easy money" loan guarantees has spawned a flood of easy money into the colleges of all types with fairly rampant inflation of about 10% per annum.  See Government Causing College Tuition Inflation.   

College Tuition Inflation for the past 23 years
College Tuition has taken off since new "easy money" rules in 2001

Health Insurance Inflation up to 14% Inflation In Recent Years

Health Insurance Inflation Rates

Typical Personal Finances Already Devastated By Inflation

Thanks to inflation, life is increasingly difficult as prices rise but wages have stagnated.

Thanks to the Federal Reserve, since it's inception in 1913, prices have risen 2400%!  What a failure to maintain price stability!   I'm not sure that they have succeeded in thier other mandate to maintain full employment either.  It's seems to me that their "tinkering" with monetary aggregates has led to instability which hurts the economy and employment.  

The entire notion of maintaining ANY inflation is probably in error.  If there is a fixed monetary supply (without manipulation by a monetary authority), then as the economy grows, prices would fall or stay even.  Falling prices are good for most people!!  On the other hand, rising prices can actually benefit wealthy people who have investments in housing (using leverage of course) and in stocks. Yeah, falling prices caused by a burst financial bubble is not good, but steadily declining prices as a norm is good!  (The Fed causes the bubbles and the subsequent busts!)  How come people and especially bureaucrats can't get that message!  (It's that "religion" of Keynesianism that's causing this). Rising prices hurt the majority of the people!.

So calls by Bernanke and people like Paul Krugman to increase inflation when it's already 2% is incredibly stupid!  It hurts the majority of people!!  And it benefits the wealthy!   The Fed causes inequality of income!  Read below about people who are making a modest wage but can not make it our economy.  If you want to know why so many people are on Food Stamps, then you'll easily see why:

A Common Story of Financial Distress

I have single friends who only make $10 or $12 per hour in Texas, and now, due to ObamaCare, they can't work full-time.  So, many people are trying to scrape by on $1,500 to $2,000 per month--if they're lucky. They're not making it! Take a look below:

Gross Income: $1,500 to $2,000

Taxes: First, they are not going to pay any Federal Income tax but still are stuck with the 7% payroll deduction, so that leaves $1400 to $1850 after tax.
Rent: Rent in Houston used to be cheap up to the 1980s and early 1990s.  I moved to Houston in 1989 and paid $375 per month for a one bedroom apartment with all bills paid in one of the best areas to live.  Now that same apartment costs $750 to $800 per month to rent.  That's about 3.6 % rent inflation.
Gasoline: In 1989, gasoline cost about $1 per gallon.  Now it's $3.50 per gallon, meaning that you will spend $100 per month for fuel.  
Car Payment:  A car payment will typically run about $200 per month.  There is inadequate bus service in most cities like Houston.
Food prices have doubled in the past 10 years: that's food price inflation of 7%!  Ouch.  The minimum amount to spend on food, if you cook every meal at home is $250 per month for a single person.

Back to my friend's finances. So after taxes, car, fuel, food and rent, my "typical friend" has only $100 to $550 left.   If they try to buy a health insurance policy, there is either not enough money or too little money left for all other expenses.

Most people don't have health insurance--because the price is so inflated!

Health insurance prices are rocketing skywards at annual inflation rates up to 15% in the past 13 years thanks to the "push" from government spending and increasing demand from our aging baby boomers. You'll pay $350 per month for a high deductible policy to $700 per month for a bare bones policy with lower deductible.  High deductible policies will be outlawed by ObamaCare (Gee, thanks a lot Obama. With friends like that.....).

But we haven't added other expenses of dental, cable, electricityentertainment, clothing, car maintenance, etc.

Making $2000 is not enough to survive these days thanks to inflation.  And that's if you're single!!  Costs are rising but wages are not.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Boston Bombers Ignored "Tough" Gun "Control" Laws

Background checks will reduce gun violence and massacres, right?  Maybe not so much.

From the Huffington Post reporting the fact the Boston bombers had no license for their weapons despite the Brady law requiring background checks:
The Boston bombing suspects engaged in a deadly firefight with police last week,possessing six bombs, handguns, a rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition. But the Tsarnaev brothers did not have proper licenses to possess the firearms, according to the Cambridge Police Department — a revelation that comes just days after the Senate voted against strengthening and expanding background checks for gun sales.
Cambridge Police Department spokesman Dan Riviello told The Huffington Post that neither Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, nor Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, appeared to have a license to own a handgun.
“The younger brother could not have applied as he is not 21 years of age and the older brother did not have a license to carry and we have no record of him ever applying,” Riviello said.
Massachusetts supposedly has the toughest gun control laws in the country according to Boston Globe reporter Jeff Jacoby, who trumpeted just a few weeks ago that Massachusetts has "the toughest gun legislation in the country."
IN 1998, Massachusetts passed what was hailed as the toughest gun-control legislation in the country. Among other stringencies, it banned semiautomatic “assault” weapons, imposed strict new licensing rules, prohibited anyone convicted of a violent crime or drug trafficking from ever carrying or owning a gun, and enacted severe penalties for storing guns unlocked.
From American Spectator about statements made by Massachusett's Govenor, District Attorney and Gun Control activist after passage of the Brady Law back in 1998: 
“Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
The problem: gun crime has only gone up----a lot!   From the same Boston Globe article from Jeff Jacoby:
Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month — “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.
Only the criminals ignore the gun "control" laws.

Obama To Blame For Massive Gov't Fraud Case

Obama is responsible for a fraudulent scam that may cost the US taxpayers some $4.4 billion dollars.  If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!

Class action lawsuits used to be the "lottery" where people could try their luck.  Now we have a new lottery in town---collecting "free money" from a government only too happy to redistribute your taxpayer money---thanks to Obama and fellow Democrats.

The Pigford case originated as a small case where several hundred African American farmers might have had some legitimate legal claims against the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) for being wrongfully denied farm loans. This might have been true or it's entirely possible that the black farmers might have been denied loans because they had bad credit.  So even the original case is "suspect." Things snowballed from there.

From Investor's Business Daily:
The original Pigford settlement arose out of a 1997 class action lawsuit by Timothy Pigford and 400 Southern black farmers. They had apparently legitimate claims of discrimination against the USDA in its allocation of farm loans from 1983 to 1987.
In 2007, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, where 0.0012% of farms are operated primarily by blacks, began working to pass legislation providing even more money for new classes of claimants via Pigford II. These now included Hispanic and female farmers as well as American Indians and expanded by a decade the time that claims could be filed.
As president, he signed this bill in 2010.
Based on Census data reflecting the original period in question, the USDA first estimated only 2,000 claims would be filed. But in this age of victimhood and dependency fanned by demagoguery, "more than 90,000 people have filed claims" and the "total cost could top $4.4 billion," noted the Times.
Conservative crusader Andrew Breitbart, who sadly died recently, was one of the few people covering this increasingly fraudulent story. Now, suddenly, the New York Times surprisingly ran a big story about how egregious this scandal has become despite the fact that Obama's hands are all over it!  Has hell frozen over??

From the NY Times:
[A]n examination by The New York Times shows that [an effort to redress discrimination] became a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees. In the past five years, it has grown to encompass a second group of African-Americans as well as Hispanic, female and Native American farmers. In all, more than 90,000 people have filed claims. The total cost could top $4.4 billion.
From the start, the claims process prompted allegations of widespread fraud and criticism that its very design encouraged people to lie: because relatively few records remained to verify accusations, claimants were not required to present documentary evidence that they had been unfairly treated or had even tried to farm. Agriculture Department reviewers found reams of suspicious claims, from nursery-school-age children and pockets of urban dwellers, sometimes in the same handwriting with nearly identical accounts of discrimination.
Yet those concerns were played down as the compensation effort grew. Though the government has started requiring more evidence to support some claims, even now people who say they were unfairly denied loans can collect up to $50,000 with little documentation.
As a senator, Barack Obama supported expanding compensation for black farmers, and then as president he pressed for $1.15 billion to pay those new claims. Other groups quickly escalated their demands for similar treatment. In a letter to the White House in September 2009, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a leading Hispanic Democrat,threatened to mount a campaign “outside the Beltway” if Hispanic farmers were not compensated.
Again from Investor's Business Daily:
the only "proof" required was a form stating the claimant had "attempted" to farm, perhaps planting tomatoes in the backyard, and to have a family member vouch for that assertion.
The government would then send the aggrieved "farmer" a check for as much as $50,000.
Remember Shirley Sherrod, the former (black) USDA official whose speech before an NAACP group revealing her angst about helping a white farmer got her fired?  Time magazine reported that $330,000 was "awarded to Shirley and Charles Sherrod for mental suffering alone," in their claim against the USDA.
The Times examined 16 ZIP codes in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina and found that "the number of successful claimants exceeded the total number of farms operated by people of any race in 1997, the year the original lawsuit was filed."
It gets even worse!  The NY Times story reports that one family alone collected a half million dollars in “compensation” by having 10 extended family members file claims.

In another instance, the residents of an entire URBAN apartment building each received payments of $50,000, no questions asked.  Most of these claimants are pure fraud. Obama knows this to and doesn't care.

No wonder so many Obama voters were ebullient when Obama won in 2008.  Pigford is about pigs feeding at the public trough all at taxpayer expense.  Obama is one of the main enablers. Van Jones must be proud.

I support an impeachment trial for Obama.  Isn't stealing $ billions from taxpayers "high crimes?"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Welcome to the Police State of America

From, a TV station in Sacramento, recounts the fairly shocking story about an immigrant family having a run-in with the  excessive and over-arching State government apparatus and screwed-up medical bureaucracy in the police state that is now California.

The police state is coming to your town too.

The irony is that the family immigrated from Russia to try to find a freer place to live.  Maybe they made a mistake. The case involves a police raid (without warrants?) and guns, bureaucrats, strong-arm tactics, a dysfunctional and dehumanizing medical system, and an overzealous and militant CPS system. What ever happened to sitting down and talking to these people first in a calm setting?? The child had the flu!

This story exposes that almost everything is wrong in this screwed-up "culture" that is all about "attacking" our fellow citizens, the disregard for our fellow citizens and their rights to disagree and have their own opinions.  Furthermore California government bureaucrats assume guilt and then put the burden on this family to prove innocence!  Whatever happened to presumed innocent?? This incident is more reminiscent of strong-armed communist state than the US of A. I'm frankly disgusted by this.

The story from

"SACRAMENTO, CA (KXTV) - A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.

The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.

It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn't like the care Sammy was getting.

For example, one day Anna asked why a nurse was giving her son antibiotics.

"I asked her, for what is that? And she's like, 'I don't know.' I'm like, 'you're working as a nurse, and you don't even know what to give to my baby for what,'" Anna explained.

According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy shouldn't have been on the antibiotics.

Anna said Sammy suffers from a heart murmur and had been seeing a doctor at Sutter for regular treatment since he was born. After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said doctors began talking about heart surgery.

"If we got the one mistake after another, I don't want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don't feel safe," Anna said.

Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without a proper discharge, she finally took Sammy out of the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.

"The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine," Anna said. "They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms."

Medical records from the doctor treating Sammy at Kaiser Permanente said the baby as clinically safe to go home with his parents. The doctor added, "I do not have concern for the safety of the child at home with his parents."

"So police saw the report from the doctors, said, 'okay guys, you have a good day,' and they walked away," Anna said.

Anna said the next day police and child protective services showed up on her doorstep. Alex Nikolayev said he met them outside a short time after they arrived.

"I was pushed against the building, smacked down. I said, 'am I being placed under arrest?' He smacked me down onto the ground, yelled out, 'I think I got the keys to the house,'" Alex said.

Then police let themselves inside.

On home video shot with a camera Anna set up herself, police can be seen entering her front door on Wednesday.

"I'm going to grab your baby, and don't resist, and don't fight me ok?" a Sacramento police officer said in the video.

"He's like, 'okay let your son go,' so I had to let him go, and he grabbed my arm, so I couldn't take Sammy. And they took Sammy, and they just walked away," Anna said.

When News10 spoke with police, they said talk to CPS; CPS did not say much about the case. Just before 6 p.m. Thursday, Anna said that a CPS social worker told her, the reason they took Sammy is because of severe neglect; however, the social worker didn't elaborate on that neglect.

Sutter Memorial was asked to comment on the story, but the hospital said the case was with CPS and law enforcement and they would have to comment on the case. CPS said they can't specifically comment on this case because of privacy law, but CPS spokesperson Laura McCasland said, "We conduct a risk assessment of the child's safety and rely heavily on the direction of health care providers."

"It seems like parents have no right whatsoever," Alex said.

On Thursday, Anna and Alex were allowed a one hour visitation with Sammy; he's currently in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.

"His smile, it's everything for me," Anna said. "I was so happy to see him."

Anna and Alex have a court hearing scheduled for Monday.

"We did everything," Anna said. "We went from one hospital to another. We just wanted to be safe, that he is in good hands."