Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Latest "Europe Is Saved" Euphoria

" . . . my view of the latest "Europe is saved" euphoria: boiled down to its essence, bad bank debt will be replaced with "good debt" issued by the European central Bank (ECB). The debt will still require interest payments, and that money will be drained from economies that are starved of the massive new borrowing binges that fueled their "growth" for 30 years. It's a death spiral wrapped in prettier paper." - Charles Hugh Smith By way of crude example, believing that pushing debt from one balance sheet to another somehow eradicates it is like believing that moving your dog's turd pile to a different part of your yard eliminates the smell. Until you actually pick it up and dispose of it, e.g., pay down the debt, not add to it, you only end up with an ever-growing, more obvious stench.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nearly Arrested In Houston, No Questions Allowed, No Return Ticket Necessary

Those of you who know me well know that I write for other publications in addition to this blog, one of my favorites of which is The Dollar Vigilante. Below is a link to my newest column I think you may enjoy. Have a great weekend. - Karger

Logical Absurdities Of The Supreme Court's Decision In ObamaCare

The vacuousness of the Supreme Court's Obamazcare decision is disturbing. Jeff Harding has written a masterful piece on the strained logic of the Court and the absurd extensions of this decision that are now possible when the government can tax Americans for things we don't buy. I commend it to your review. Jim

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Shreds the Constitution - ObamaCare

See below. I could not say it better. This from Posted 2012-06-28 14:02 by Karl Denninger in Health Reform SCOTUS Tortures Constitution: PPACA   Now I've seen it all. The USSC upheld Obamacare by, basically, twisting the Constitution into a pretzel, crapping on it, whizzing on that and then eating it. Finding first that the Commerce Clause bars the government from compelling one to enter into commerce, the analysis then turned to whether there was any way to save the constitutionality of the act. The justices found one. They re-interpreted the penalty clause as a tax. And of course, Congress can levy taxes. That's the path taken by this tortured process -- a path that could only be dreamed up if someone had already determined the outcome they sought instead of being an independent jurist. The real surprise, however, is that Chief Justice Roberts, believed to be a strict constructionist on the court, managed to not only agree with this piece of tortured logic he found and constructed it as the opinion is his! So much for judicial restraint and strict construction! You really ought to read the dissent that starts on page 127 of the opinion.  Justice Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito eviscertate the majority, saying in part: Here, however, Congress has impressed into servicethird parties, healthy individuals who could be but are not customers of the relevant industry, to offset the undesirable consequences of the regulation. Congress’ desire to force these individuals to purchase insurance is motivatedby the fact that they are further removed from the marketthan unhealthy individuals with pre-existing conditions, because they are less likely to need extensive care in the near future. If Congress can reach out and command even those furthest removed from an interstate market to participate in the market, then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power, or in Hamilton’s words, "the hideous monster whose devouring jaws . . . spare neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane." The Federalist No. 33, p. 202 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961). What little was left of The Constitution died today, June 28th, 2012. And incidentally, the math on federal health spending coupled with this decision means that by the time a 55 year old man reaches 85 (his life expectancy, roughly) the Federal government will be attempting to spend roughly $15 trillion a year on health care. (No it won't, no we won't get that far, and the detonation of our government on the fiscal side is now assured -- or your health care will be sacrificed.  This is mathematics, not politics.)

ObamaCare: Back In The USSR

A few comments on ObamaCare now that the Supreme Court has corrected the President and told him and us that the individual mandate is actually a "tax." Mendacious nonsense. The individual mandate requiring the purchase of approved insurance is not a tax. A tax is a fee levied on earnings, purchases, or ownership. (It is another form of government theft, but it is a tax.) ObamaCare is not a tax. It is a mandate to engaged in government-approved commerce with a penalty for not buying a government-mandated product. ObamaCare is the Nanny-State at its worst. It is the government saying, "We know what is best for you and with your money you must buy what we believe is best for you and if you don't we will financially punish you." Under the individual mandate you are not being levied for owing anything, any transaction, or because you earned income. Rather, the penalty is in the form of a punishment for NOT engaging in a transaction. Under this theory, government is one step away from mandating when and what kind of car you must buy, what neighborhood you live in and when you can live there and when you must leave, and when and from whom you purchase other services. This is full-bore Soviet-style central State control of an economy, complete with the IRS that will act act as the KGB to insure you comply. We are, indeed, back in the USSR.