Wild Horses on Public Lands and the impact on Ranching and Communities
We took the show to Beaver County this week to get an on the ground look at how wild horses impact the range. In Utah the population of wild horses is over the Appropriate Management Level (AML) by 1,300 animals. Nationally the problem of dealing with the number of wild horses increases to 14,000 beyond the AML. The management of wild horses costs the BLM tens of millions of dollars every year but despite the efforts to gather wild horses off the range; the numbers keep increasing.
Chad Booth talks to Beaver County Commissioner, Mark Whitney; Iron County Commissioner, David Miller; and local rancher Mark Winch about the impacts on ranchers and the ultimate impact it has on the economies of rural Utah.
Transfer of Public Lands
Public Lands in Utah County Seat Season3, Episode 8
In recent years there has been a public outcry from Utahans asking the State to take a more active role in how management decisions are made on public lands. The take back Utah movement has looked at the history of public lands in the United States and began to ask why hasn’t Utah received the same treatment as other states in the Union. Utah has about 67% of its lands controlled and managed by the federal government. Some counties in the state are about 90% federally owned which creates a burden on the local governments because there is no property tax base to pay for the services that citizens need.
Last year Utah passed the Utah Public Lands Transfer Act, HB148; which basically asks the federal government to dispose of the remaining unallocated federal lands within the state by 2014. HB148 has opened up a conversation about what the proper role of the federal government should be in the management of public lands. Today’s show takes a look at the issues from a federal, state, and county perspective.
WARNING! MORE FOOD INFLATION COMING 2014 STOCK UP ASAP
Grocery Prices Soar
Spike in food prices has shoppers feeling effects – Mar 19th, 2014
U S Government Says ‘No Inflation’ As Food Prices Soar New update 2014
Preppers: Food Prices Rise Sharply – Up 19% for 2014!
Milk Prices PKG
Food Prices The Shocking Truth
Food Prices The Shocking Truth 1 of 2
Food Prices The Shocking Truth 2 of 2
Worldwide Food Shortages
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Meat Beef Bacon Costs Rise due to Drought? Inflation! Starvation Great-Depression Dollar$
Beef prices explained
BLM Wild Horse Strategy
The BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program
BLM Socorro Water Trap Method Wild Horse Gather
The World Food Crisis ~ Special Report
Don’t Fence Me In – Roy Rogers & The Sons of the Pioneers –
Roy Rogers & Sons of The Pioneers Sing “The Last Roundup”
Wild horses targeted for roundup in Utah rangeland clash
By Jennifer Dobner April 11, 2014 8:41 PM
Two of a band of wild horses graze in the Nephi Wash area outside Enterprise, Utah, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jim …
ENTERPRISE, Utah (Reuters) – A Utah county, angry over the destruction of federal rangeland that ranchers use to graze cattle, has started a bid to round up federally protected wild horses it blames for the problem in the latest dustup over land management in the U.S. West.
Close to 2,000 wild horses are roaming southern Utah’s Iron County, well over the 300 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has dubbed as appropriate for the rural area’s nine designated herd management zones, County Commissioner David Miller said.
County officials complain the burgeoning herd is destroying vegetation crucial to ranchers who pay to graze their cattle on the land, and who have already been asked to reduce their herds to cope with an anticipated drought.
Wild horse preservation groups say any attempt to remove the horses would be a federal crime.
On Thursday county workers, accompanied by a Bureau of Land Management staffer, set up the first in a series of metal corrals designed to trap and hold the horses on private land abutting the federal range until they can be moved to BLM facilities for adoption.
“There’s been no management of the animals and they keep reproducing,” Miller said in an interview. “The rangeland just can’t sustain it.”
The conflict reflects broader tension between ranchers, who have traditionally grazed cattle on public lands and held sway over land-use decisions, and environmentalists and land managers facing competing demands on the same land.
The Iron County roundup comes on the heels of an incident in neighboring Nevada in which authorities sent in helicopters and wranglers on horseback to confiscate the cattle herd of a rancher they say is illegally grazing livestock on public land.
In Utah, county commissioners warned federal land managers in a letter last month that the county would act independently to remove the horses if no mitigation efforts were launched.
Cattle rancher Jeremy Hunt looks out over land, at a barbed wire fence in the Nephi Wash area outsid …
“We charge you to fulfill your responsibility,” commissioners wrote. “Inaction and no-management practices pose an imminent threat to ranchers.”
The operation was expected to last weeks or months.
“The BLM is actively working with Iron County to address the horse issue,” Utah-based BLM spokeswoman Megan Crandall said, declining to comment further.
Attorneys for wild horse preservation groups sent a letter this week to Iron County commissioners and the BLM saying the BLM, under federal law, cannot round up horses on public lands without proper analysis and disclosure.
“The BLM must stop caving to the private financial interests of livestock owners whenever they complain about the protected wild horses using limited resources that are available on such lands,” wrote Katherine Meyer of Meyer, Glitzenstein and Crystal a Washington, DC-based public interest law firm representing the advocates.
The BLM puts the free-roaming wild horse and burro population across western states at more than 40,600, which it says on its website exceeds by nearly 14,000 the number of animals it believes “can exist in balance with other public rangeland resources and uses.”
Wild horse advocates point out that the tens of thousands of wild horses on BLM property pales into comparison with the millions of private livestock grazing on public lands managed by the agency.
Wild horses have not been culled due to budget constraints, according to Utah BLM officials, who say their herds grow by roughly 20 percent per year.
Pressure on rangeland from the horses may worsen this summer due to a drought that could dry up the already sparse available food supply, according to Miller.
“We’re going to see those horses starving to death out on the range,” he said. “The humane thing is to get this going now.”
Adding to frustration is BLM pressure on ranchers to cut their cattle herds by as much as 50 percent to cope with the drought, Miller said.
A tour of Iron County rangeland, not far from the Nevada border, illustrates the unchecked herds’ impact on the land, said Jeremy Hunt, a fourth generation Utah rancher whose cattle graze in the summer in a management area split through its middle by a barbed wire fence.
On the cattle side of the fence, the sagebrush and grass landscape is thick and green. The other, where a group of horses was seen on Thursday, is scattered with barren patches of dirt and sparse vegetation.
“This land is being literally destroyed because they are not following the laws that they set up to govern themselves,” said Hunt, who also works as a farmhand to make ends meet for his family of six.
“I want the land to be healthy and I want be a good steward of the land,” he added. “But you have to manage both sides of the fence.”
Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise on Services as Goods Stagnate
By Lorraine WoellertApr 11, 2014 9:07 AM CT
Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose in March as the cost of services climbed by the most in four years while commodities stagnated.
The 0.5 percent advance in the producer-price index was the biggest since June and followed a 0.1 percent decrease the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The recent inclusion of services may contribute to the gauge’s volatility from month-to-month, which will make it more difficult to determine underlying trends.
Rising prices at clothing and jewelry retailers and food wholesalers accounted for much of the jump in services, even as energy costs retreated, signaling slowing growth in emerging markets such as China will keep price pressures muted. With inflation running well below the Federal Reserve’s goal, the central bank is likely to keep borrowing costs low in an effort to spur growth.
“Every six months or so service prices seem to pop, but over the year, service prices tend to dampen inflation more often than not,” Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, wrote in a note. “One month of price gains is not indicative of a trend.”
Also today, consumer confidence climbed this month to the highest level since July, a sign an improving job market is lifting Americans’ spirits. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary April sentiment index rose to 82.6 from 80 a month earlier.
Stocks dropped, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its biggest weekly decline since January, as disappointing results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. fueled concern that corporate earnings will be weak. The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 1,826.29 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.
Today’s PPI report is the third to use an expanded index that measures 75 percent of the economy, compared to about a third for the old metric, which tallied the costs of goods alone. After its first major overhaul since 1978, PPI now measures prices received for services, government purchases, exports and construction.
Estimates for the PPI in the Bloomberg survey of 72 economists ranged from a drop of 0.2 percent to a 0.3 percent gain.
Core wholesale prices, which exclude volatile food and energy categories, climbed 0.6 percent, the biggest gain since March 2011, exceeding the projected 0.2 percent advance of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. They dropped 0.2 percent in February.
The year-to-year gain in producer prices was the biggest since August and followed a 0.9 percent increase in the 12 months to February. Excluding food and energy, the index also increased 1.4 percent year to year following a 1.1 percent year-to-year gain in February.
The cost of services climbed 0.7 percent in March, the biggest gain since January 2010. Goods prices were unchanged and were up 1.1 percent over the past 12 months.
Wholesale food costs climbed 1.1 percent in March, led by higher costs for meats, including pork and sausage. Energy costs fell 1.2 percent last month.
Food producers and restaurants say they’re paying more for beef, poultry, dairy and shrimp. At General Mills Inc. (GIS), maker of Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios cereal and other brands, rising dairy prices helped push retail profit down 11 percent in the third quarter, said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer of the Minneapolis-based company. Powell called the inflation “manageable.”
“While the economy is improving slowly and incomes are strengthening slowly, they are improving,” Powell said on a March 19 earnings call. “As incomes continue to grow and consumers gain confidence that will be a positive sign for our category.”
Today’s PPI report provides a glimpse into the consumer-price index, the broadest of three inflation measures released by the Labor Department. The CPI, due to be released April 15, probably climbed 0.1 percent in March, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
The wholesale price report also offers an advance look into the personal consumption expenditures deflator, a gauge monitored closely by the Fed. Health care prices make up the largest share of the core PCE index, which excludes food and energy costs. The next PCE report is due from the Commerce Department May 1.
This week, Fed policy makers played down their own predictions that interest rates might rise faster than they had forecast, according to minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March meeting. The minutes bolstered remarks made by last month by Chair Janet Yellen.
“If inflation is persistently running below our 2 percent objective, that is a very good reason to hold the funds rate at its present range for longer,” Yellen said at a March 19 press conference following the committee meeting.
President Collectivist: Will Obama’s Statist, Class Warfare Mantra Resonate with Voters?
Newsmax Now (09/12/13)
Understanding Putin’s “remarkable” editorial
‘Plea for Caution’: Putin warns against diminishing intl law
Edward Griffin : United Nations One World Government? Collectivism (Control) Dec 2012
The UNITED NATIONS exposed by G Edward Griffin
G. Edward Griffin in Toronto: The New World Order and the UN – 11.16.2012
Background Articles and Videos
What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise
What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism
What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation
What We Believe, Part 4: Natural Law
What We Believe, Part 5: Gun Rights
What We Believe, Part 6: Immigration
What We Believe, Part 7: American Exceptionalism
Why Obama Is Snubbing Putin | WSJ Opinion
A Plea for Caution From Russia
What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.
No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.
It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.
We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.
I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
Powder is a film about a boy nicknamed “Powder,” with incredible intellect, telepathy, and paranormal powers. It stars Sean Patrick Flanery in the title role, with Jeff Goldblum, Mary Steenburgen, Bradford Tatum, Lance Henriksen, and Brandon Smith in supporting roles. The film questions the limits of the human mind and body while also displaying our capacity for cruelty; it raises hope that humanity will advance to a state of better understanding.
Jeremy Reed, whose nickname is Powder, is an albino young man who has incredible intellect and is able to sense the thoughts of the people around him. Jeremy’s brain possesses a powerful electromagnetic charge, which causes electrical objects to function abnormally when he is around them, as well as when he becomes emotional. The electrical charge also prevents hair from growing on his body. Jeremy’s mother was struck by lightning while pregnant with him; she died shortly after the strike, but Jeremy survived. His father disowned him shortly after his premature birth, and he was raised by his grandparents. Jeremy lived in the basement and worked on their farm but never left their property, learning everything he knew from books. He is taken from his home when his grandfather is found dead of natural causes. Jessie Caldwell (Mary Steenburgen), a child services psychologist called in by Sheriff Doug Barnum, takes him to a boy’s home because he is now effectively a ward of the state.
Jessie enrolls him in high school, where Powder meets physics teacher Donald Ripley. Donald finds out that Powder has supernatural powers as well as the highest IQ in the history of mankind. While his abilities mark him as special, they also make him an outcast. On a hunting trip with his schoolmates, Powder is threatened with a gun by John Box (Bradford Tatum), an aggressive student who views him as a freak. Before John can fire, a gun goes off in the distance and everyone rushes to see that Harley Duncan, one of Doug’s deputy who is hunting with the boys, has shot a doe, which is now dying. Anguished by the animal’s death, Powder touches the deer and Harley, inducing in Harley what the students assume is a seizure. However, Harley admits to Doug that Powder had actually caused him to feel the pain and fear of the dying deer, and he cannot bring himself to take another life. Because of the experience, Harley removes all of his guns from his house although Doug allows him to remain as a sheriff’s deputy without a sidearm.
Doug enlists Powder to help speak to his dying wife through telepathy. Through Powder, the sheriff learns that his wife clings onto life because she didn’t want to leave without her wedding ring on her finger and without him reconciling with his estranged son, Steven. She tells him that Steven found the ring and it has been sitting in a silver box on her nightstand throughout the entire movie. Doug then places the ring on his wife’s finger and reconciles with Steven, letting his wife die peacefully.
Powder meets Lindsey Kelloway, a romantic interest, but their relationship is broken by Lindsey’s father. Before the interruption, he tells Lindsey that he can see the truth about people: that they are scared and feel disconnected from the rest of the world, but in truth are all connected to everything that exists. Powder goes back to the juvenile facility and packs away his belongings, planning to run away to his deceased grandparents’ farm. He pauses in the gym to stare at a male student washing, noticing the latter’s luxurious head of hair as well as body hair which he himself lacks, and is caught at it by John Box, who accuses him of homosexuality. John steals Jeremy’s hat and taunts him, but Powder reveals that John’s words mimic what his stepfather said before beating him when he was 12, further angering him. John and the other boys humiliate Powder, stripping him naked and taunting him. His powers begin to manifest by pulling at their metal buttons and any piercings. Eventually a large spherical electric burst erupts throwing Jeremy in a mud puddle and everyone else to the ground. His classmate John is found still, with his heart stopped. Powder uses an electric shock to revive him.
In the final scene Powder returns to the farm where he grew up, now in probate with the bank, and finds that all of his possessions have been removed. He is joined by Jessie, Donald and Doug, who persuade Powder to come with them to find a place where he will not be feared and misunderstood. Instead, a thunderstorm arrives and he runs into a field where a lightning bolt strikes him, and he disappears in a blinding flash of light.
Powder received generally mixed reviews from critics. It currently holds a rating of 47% (“Rotten”) on Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews, as of May 2011. Caryn James of The New York Times described the film as “lethally dull” and said, “This intensely self-important film has no idea how absurd and unconvincing it is.”
Since its release, the film has grossed approximately $31 million worldwide.
The film’s production by Disney resulted in a controversy over the choice of director Victor Salva, who had been convicted of molesting a 12-year-old child actor in 1988. When Powder was released, the victim came forward again in an attempt to get others to boycott the film in protest at Disney’s hiring Salva. Since then, Disney has not picked up any more pictures by Salva.
Table 1.1.1. Percent Change From Preceding Period in Real Gross Domestic Product
[Percent] Seasonally adjusted at annual rates
Last Revised on: May 30, 2013 – Next Release Date June 26, 2013
Gross domestic product
Personal consumption expenditures
Gross private domestic investment
Equipment and software
Change in private inventories
Net exports of goods and services
Government consumption expenditures and gross investment
State and local
Gross domestic product, current dollars
Fed’s Advisory Council Admits We’re Screwed
Even more amazing than the admission is how long it took them to figure it out. However the most amazing aspect of all is the lack of reaction. The mainstream media, including the financial media, has completely ignored the warning. It’s as if the report doesn’t even exit. Perhaps it’s part of a psychological defense mechanism whereby any information that casts doubt on the recovery myth, no matter how credible the source, is conveniently ignored.
US ECONOMY GROWS 2 4% IN Q1
U.S. GDP In Q1 Revised Lower As Austerity Measures Bite
Peter Schiff US Economy Living On Borrowed Time..
Peter Schiff predicts another economic crash
EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013
* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product, 1st quarter 2013 (second estimate);
Corporate Profits, 1st quarter 2013 (preliminary estimate)
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013 (that
is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau
of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP increased 2.5 percent.
With the second estimate for the first quarter, increases in private inventory investment, in exports, and
in imports were less than previously estimated, but the general picture of overall economic activity is not
greatly changed (for more information, see "Revisions" on page 4).
Comprehensive Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts
BEA plans to release the results of the 14th comprehensive (or benchmark) revision of the national
income and product accounts (NIPAs) in conjunction with the second quarter 2013 "advance" estimate
on July 31, 2013. More information on the revision is available on BEA’s Web site at
www.bea.gov/gdp-revisions. An article in the March 2013 issue of the Survey of Current Business
discusses the upcoming changes in definitions and presentations, and an article in the May Survey
describes the changes in statistical methods. An article in the September Survey will describe the
estimates in detail. Revised NIPA table stubs and news release stubs will be available in June.
Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise specified.
Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates. Percent changes are
calculated from unrounded data and are annualized. "Real" estimates are in chained (2005) dollars. Price
indexes are chain-type measures.
This news release is available on BEA's Web site along with the Technical Note
and Highlights related to this release. For information on revisions, see
"Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major Components".
The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, residential fixed investment,
nonresidential fixed investment, and exports that were partly offset by negative contributions from
federal government spending and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction
in the calculation of GDP, increased.
The acceleration in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected an upturn in private
inventory investment, an acceleration in PCE, a smaller decrease in federal government spending, and
an upturn in exports that were partly offset by an upturn in imports and a deceleration in nonresidential
Motor vehicle output added 0.28 percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after
adding 0.18 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change. Final sales of computers added 0.02
percentage point to the first-quarter change in real GDP after adding 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.2 percent in the first quarter, 0.1 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent in the fourth.
Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with
an increase of 1.8 percent in the fourth. Durable goods increased 8.2 percent, compared with an increase
of 13.6 percent. Nondurable goods increased 2.2 percent, compared with an increase of 0.1 percent.
Services increased 3.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.
Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 2.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with an
increase of 13.2 percent in the fourth. Nonresidential structures decreased 3.5 percent, in contrast to an
increase of 16.7 percent. Equipment and software increased 4.6 percent, compared with an increase of
11.8 percent. Real residential fixed investment increased 12.1 percent, compared with an increase of
Real exports of goods and services increased 0.8 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 2.8 percent in the fourth. Real imports of goods and services increased 1.9 percent, in
contrast to a decrease of 4.2 percent.
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 8.7 percent
in the first quarter, compared with a decrease of 14.8 percent in the fourth. National defense decreased
12.1 percent, compared with a decrease of 22.1 percent. Nondefense decreased 2.1 percent, in contrast
to an increase of 1.7 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 2.4 percent, compared with a decrease of 1.5 percent.
The change in real private inventories added 0.63 percentage point to the first-quarter change in
real GDP, after subtracting 1.52 percentage points from the fourth-quarter change. Private businesses
increased inventories $38.3 billion in the first quarter, following an increases of $13.3 billion in the
fourth quarter and $60.3 billion in the third.
Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.8
percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent in the fourth.
Gross domestic purchases
Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- increased 2.5 percent in the first quarter; it was unchanged in the fourth quarter.
Gross national product
Real gross national product -- the goods and services produced by the labor and property
supplied by U.S. residents -- increased 1.5 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 0.9
percent in the fourth. GNP includes, and GDP excludes, net receipts of income from the rest of the
world, which decreased $30.3 billion in the first quarter after increasing $19.2 billion in the fourth; in
the first quarter, receipts decreased $20.8 billion, and payments increased $9.5 billion.
Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
3.6 percent, or $140.4 billion, in the first quarter to a level of $16,004.5 billion. In the fourth quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 1.3 percent, or $53.1 billion.
Gross domestic income
Real gross domestic income (GDI), which measures the output of the economy as the costs
incurred and the incomes earned in the production of GDP, increased 2.5 percent in the first quarter,
compared with an increase of 5.5 percent (revised) in the fourth. For a given quarter, the estimates of
GDP and GDI may differ for a variety of reasons, including the incorporation of largely independent
source data. However, over longer time spans, the estimates of GDP and GDI tend to follow similar
patterns of change.
The "second" estimate of the third-quarter percent change in GDP is 0.1 percentage point, or
$3.9 billion, less than the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting downward revisions
to private inventory investment, to exports, and to state and local government spending that were partly
offset by a downward revision to imports and an upward revision to personal consumption expenditures.
Advance Estimate Second Estimate
(Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP.......................................... 2.5 2.4
Current-dollar GDP................................ 3.7 3.6
Gross domestic purchases price index.............. 1.1 1.2
Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation and capital
consumption adjustments) decreased $43.8 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $45.4
billion in the fourth. Current-production cash flow (net cash flow with inventory valuation adjustment) -
- the internal funds available to corporations for investment -- increased $110.9 billion in the first
quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $89.8 billion in the fourth.
Taxes on corporate income decreased $13.6 billion in the first quarter, compared with a decrease
of $4.4 billion in the fourth. Profits after tax with inventory valuation and capital consumption
adjustments decreased $30.2 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $49.8 billion in the
fourth. Dividends decreased $101.7 billion in contrast to an increase of $124.3 billion. The large fourth-
quarter increase reflected accelerated and special dividends paid by corporations at the end of 2012 in
anticipation of changes to individual income tax rates. Current-production undistributed profits
increased $71.4 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $74.3 billion.
Domestic profits of financial corporations decreased $2.0 billion in the first quarter, compared
with a decrease of $3.5 billion in the fourth. Domestic profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased
$8.8 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $24.8 billion in the fourth. In the first
quarter, real gross value added of nonfinancial corporations increased, and profits per unit of real value
added decreased. The decrease in unit profits reflected an increase in the unit nonlabor costs incurred by
corporations that was partly offset by a decrease in unit labor costs; unit prices were unchanged.
The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $33.0 billion in the first quarter, in contrast
to an increase of $24.1 billion in the fourth. This measure is calculated as (1) receipts by U.S. residents
of earnings from their foreign affiliates plus dividends received by U.S. residents from unaffiliated
foreign corporations minus (2) payments by U.S. affiliates of earnings to their foreign parents plus
dividends paid by U.S. corporations to unaffiliated foreign residents. The first-quarter decrease was
accounted for by a decrease in receipts and an increase in payments.
Profits before tax decreased $49.8 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $27.3
billion in the fourth. The before-tax measure of profits does not reflect, as does profits from current
production, the capital consumption and inventory valuation adjustments. These adjustments convert
depreciation of fixed assets and inventory withdrawals reported on a tax-return, historical-cost basis to
the current-cost measures used in the national income and product accounts. The capital consumption
adjustment increased $12.9 billion in the first quarter (from -$199.5 billion to -$186.6 billion), compared
with an increase of $0.5 billion in the fourth. The inventory valuation adjustment decreased $6.9 billion
(from -$9.2 billion to -$16.1 billion), in contrast to an increase of $17.6 billion.
The first-quarter changes in taxes on corporate income and in the capital consumption
adjustment mainly reflect the expiration of bonus depreciation claimed under the American Taxpayer
Relief Act of 2012. For detailed data, see the table "Net Effects of the Tax Acts of 2002, 2003, 2008,
2009, 2010, and 2012 on Selected Measures of Corporate Profits" at
www.bea.gov/national/xls/technote_tax_acts.xls. Profits from current production are not affected
because they do not depend on the depreciation-accounting practices used for federal income tax returns;
rather, they are based on depreciation of fixed assets valued at current cost using consistent depreciation
profiles based on used-asset prices. For more details on the effect of tax act provisions on the capital
consumption adjustment, see FAQ #999 on the BEA Web site, "Why does the capital consumption
adjustment for domestic business decline so much in the first quarter of 2012?".
* * *
BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.
* * *
Next release -- June 26, 2013, at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2013 (Third Estimate)
Corporate Profits: First Quarter (Revised Estimate)
Surprise Manufacturing Downturn Holds Back U.S. Growth: Economy
By Shobhana Chandra
the U.S. unexpectedly shrank in May at the fastest pace in four years, showing slowdowns in business and government spending are holding back the world’s largest economy.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index fell to 49, the lowest reading since June 2009, from the prior month’s 50.7, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 51.
Across-the-board federal budget cuts and overseas markets that are struggling to rebound will probably continue to curb manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy. At the same time, demand for automobiles, gains in residential construction and lean inventories may spark a pickup in orders and production in the second half of the year.
“Manufacturing is really stymied by slow corporate spending and government spending cutbacks,” said Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, who was the only analyst in the Bloomberg survey to correctly project the drop in the index. “Manufacturing will grow at a modest pace this year” although it “is unlikely to accelerate in coming months,” LeBas said. “This is part of the slower expansion we’ll have in the second quarter.”
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 49 to 54.
Stocks fluctuated between gains and losses after the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.3 percent to 1,626.19 at 12:39 p.m. in New York. The gauge had posted its first consecutive weekly losses since November.
Manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first time in six months as new orders slipped and there was less demand for exports, an industry report showed on Monday.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity in May fell to 49.0 from 50.7 in April, short of expectations for 50.7.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the manufacturing sector. The last time the ISM manufacturing index fell below 50 was November 2012, shortly after the U.S. east coast was hit by a massive storm.
The gauge for new orders dropped to 48.8 from 52.3, while a measure of employment edged down to 50.1 from 50.2. Production fell to 48.6 from 53.5.
The exports index fell to 51.0 from 54.0, while imports held up relatively better, slipping slightly to 54.5 from 55.0.
Though growth has cooled in recent months, before May the national reading had managed to stay in expansion territory, unlike some regional reports that have shown shrinkage.
Economic growth overall in the second quarter is expected to slow from the first quarter’s 2.4 percent pace.
Fed’s Advisory Council of bankers warns of risks posed by QE3
A Federal Reserve advisory panel of bankers issued a stark warning to the U.S. central bank earlier this month over the dangers of its massive bond purchases, according to documents released on Friday.
“Current policy has created systemic financial risks and potential structural problems for banks,” the Federal Advisory Council noted, according to minutes of its meeting on May 17, which the Fed posted on its public website.
In February, the council, made up of 12 representatives from the banking industry who meet four times a year, stated that it continued to support the Fed’s accommodative monetary policy.
In May, there was an acknowledgment that the policies had provided support for a slow recovery, but no explicit backing.
“However, the effectiveness of the policies in producing healthy economic and employment growth is not clear. Uncertainty about fiscal and monetary policy is deterring business investment that would spur growth,” the Council noted.
Fed officials say they are mindful of the potential costs of a campaign of their massive bond purchases, aimed at spurring growth by holding down borrowing costs, and have signaled that they may scale back buying if the economy continues to improve over the next few months.
The program, currently running at an $85 billon monthly pace, has harsh critics. The Advisory Council echoed some of these concerns in its May meeting, including a trend of low rates pushing investors into riskier assets to make up for lost yield.
The Advisory Council also noted that the Fed’s campaign of so called quantitative easing, which entered a third stage – dubbed QE3 – in September, has tripled the Fed’s balance sheet to around $3.3 trillion, and could be disruptive to exit.
“Uncertainty exists about how markets will reestablish normal valuations when the Fed withdraws from the market. It will likely be difficult to unwind policy accommodation.”
Each of the Fed’s 12 regional branches chooses a banker from its district to sit on the council, whose members include Joseph Hooley, head of Boston’s State Street Corp ; James Gorman, boss of Morgan Stanley in New York; and Kelly King, head of BB&T Corp in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
Police perform house-to-house raids in Watertown MA ripping innocent families from their homes
On Friday, April 19, 2013, during a manhunt for a bombing suspect, police and federal agents spent the day storming people’s homes and performing illegal searches. While it was unclear initially if the home searches were voluntary, it is now crystal clear that they were absolutely NOT voluntary. Police were filmed ripping people from their homes at gunpoint, marching the residents out with their hands raised in submission, and then storming the homes to perform their illegal searches.
Shocking footage has emerged from Friday’s lockdown in Boston, where police, federal agents, national guard troops and SWAT teams enforced door to door searches of everyone’s home within twenty blocks as the entire city was placed under orders to stay off the streets.
The video, shot by a resident from their own house across the street, shows police barking orders at men and women as they order them at gunpoint to identify themselves, put their hands on their heads, and get out of their own home. They are then ordered to run down the street to be further frisked by police as scores of armed militarized cops look on.
The scenes look like something out of a disaster movie, with the backdrop of suburban America juxtaposed with what is essentially martial law playing out in full daylight.
The story floated in the mainstream media that the door to door searches were conducted with the voluntary consent of the residents of Watertown is clearly false. 9000+ Police locked down an entire city and went in with full force, with armored vehicles and combat gear, all to search for an injured 19 year old kid who turned out to be cowering in someone’s back yard.
While armies of police roamed around people’s homes and private property, Public transportation was shut down, businesses were forced to close, and a no-fly zone was enacted over Boston in an unprecedented show of force.
At this point, as military helicopters buzzed over neighborhoods, the Fourth Amendment had ceased to exist in Boston, which quickly resembled a war zone.
The compliant mainstream media reported on the activity without alarm or question. Katy Waldman of Slate wrote an article claiming that under dire circumstances police can suspend 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches:
In exigent circumstances, or emergency situations, police can conduct warrantless searches to protect public safety. This exception to the Fourth Amendment’s probable cause requirement normally addresses situations of “hot pursuit,” in which an escaping suspect is tracked to a private home. But it might also apply to the events unfolding in Boston if further harm or injury might be supposed to occur in the time it takes to secure a warrant.
This activity, once again, sets a shocking precedent. Police and military are training in these circumstances every single day of the year. They are fully acclimatized to the process, as if it is completely normal. They do not hesitate in carrying out such orders, which are now being implemented whenever the authorities deem a situation to be an emergency.
This is what fully fledged martial law in America looks like.
Has Watertown Made Warrantless Searches The ‘New Normal’?
April 25, 2013
By Bob Parks
The whole notion of the police “manhunt” is not a new American phenomenon. Cops chase bad guys, cops corner bad guys. Sometimes the bad guys give up quietly, sometimes they go down in a blaze of glory. But we’ve always had rules of engagement when it came to law enforcement interaction with the general public.
It appears all that got thrown out the window in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terror bombing and the subsequent police chase in Cambridge, Massachusetts that came to a screeching halt in Watertown.
Seemingly, for the first time in the United States, we witnessed paramilitary-garbed law enforcement personnel forcing residents out of their homes at gunpoint. In some cases, the language used by law enforcement was menacing.
Because of the hysteria that comes after any terror event, the American people wanted the perpetrators caught and, in doing so, appeared to have allowed their rights against unlawful search and seizure to not be suspended, but removed.
How many times have we watched cop dramas on television where the police had a pretty good idea of where the bad guys were, but as they weren’t sure, came to the door and asked permission to come inside to “have a look around”? The only time they ever bashed a door in is when they absolutely knew the bad guys were there. If there was ever any doubt, they’d have to wait… for a court order from a judge.
That did not happen here.
The police came to people’s homes, ordered them to leave immediately at the point of a gun in some cases, and then entered their place of residence. It’s never “consensual” when the person asking you for something has a gun in his hand. “Probable cause” is convenient, but in this case, very arbitrary.
Again, I understand this was the culmination of a horrific event, but let’s say instead of the Thursday evening car chase racing through the streets and winding up in Watertown, it went up Route 9 and ended in very upscale Newton?
Do you think armed police would, under the authority of the governor of Massachusetts and the federal government, put an assault rifle nozzle in the face of a potential wealthy political donor? Would those policemen force the family of the elite into the streets while they entered a home that is worth 20 of their salaries combined?
If it weren’t a middle class area like Watertown, would you really see a politician ordering law enforcement to forcibly enter and search homes on the upper west side of Manhattan or Georgetown or Beverly Hills? Would this happen to a celebrity in his home or, heaven forbid, a congressman?
When citizens are searched by pat-down, rousted out of their homes, and we end up thanking the police with blind understanding, the government has essentially found an acceptable means to take more of our rights away without even one politician having to cast a vote.
These past events in Watertown have set a precedent.
The police can now enter our homes anytime they want. It just requires a verbal massaging of the circumstance. After all, who ever heard of “shelter-in-place” before Friday, April 19, 2013?
If the government can order us to stay in our homes, it looks like it can throw us out of them any time it wants… at the point of a gun.
Systematic House-to-House Raids in Locked-Down Watertown, Massachusetts
Police and FBI Comb Watertown for Bombing Suspect
Boston Bombing: Watertown Operation: SWAT team secures houses searching for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Boston Door To Door Searches – Raw Video
Raid on Boston bombing suspect captured on film
Obama signs Executive Order NDRP Martial Law – Hannity Full News Clip Fox News (Mar 19, 2012)
Alex Jones – Obama’s New America with Martial Law
President Obama recently signed an Executive Order giving him the power to implement martial law in the US. The National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order will give Obama the power to seize the countries resources in a time of crisis or peace. This includes resources ranging from livestock to sources of energy and water.
Many critics of the Obama Administration believe this is another effort at power grab, but others argue that EO update is irrelevant. Alex Jones, host of The Alex Jones Show, joins RT with his take on the EO.
Obama Signs NDAA Martial Law in America 2012
Obama Signs NDAA Martial Law ∞ Justifying why U have no Rights ? Ron Paul Rohbs new channel
The Final Loss of Freedom in America NDAA.
Scary New NDAA Bill Passed
For Immediate Release
March 16, 2012
Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness
NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:
PART I – PURPOSE, POLICY, AND IMPLEMENTATION
Section101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the “Act”).
Sec. 102. Policy. The United States must have an industrial and technological base capable of meeting national defense requirements and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its national defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to the national defense needs of the United States.
Sec. 103. General Functions. Executive departments and agencies (agencies) responsible for plans and programs relating to national defense (as defined in section 801(j) of this order), or for resources and services needed to support such plans and programs, shall:
(a) identify requirements for the full spectrum of emergencies, including essential military and civilian demand;
(b) assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel;
(c) be prepared, in the event of a potential threat to the security of the United States, to take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements;
(d) improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the domestic industrial base to support national defense requirements; and
(e) foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, services, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness.
Sec. 104. Implementation. (a) The National Security Council and Homeland Security Council, in conjunction with the National Economic Council, shall serve as the integrated policymaking forum for consideration and formulation of national defense resource preparedness policy and shall make recommendations to the President on the use of authorities under the Act.
(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall:
(1) advise the President on issues of national defense resource preparedness and on the use of the authorities and functions delegated by this order;
(2) provide for the central coordination of the plans and programs incident to authorities and functions delegated under this order, and provide guidance to agencies assigned functions under this order, developed in consultation with such agencies; and
(3) report to the President periodically concerning all program activities conducted pursuant to this order.
(c) The Defense Production Act Committee, described in section 701 of this order, shall:
(1) in a manner consistent with section 2(b) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2062(b), advise the President through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy on the effective use of the authorities under the Act; and
(2) prepare and coordinate an annual report to the Congress pursuant to section 722(d) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2171(d).
(d) The Secretary of Commerce, in cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other agencies, shall:
(1) analyze potential effects of national emergencies on actual production capability, taking into account the entire production system, including shortages of resources, and develop recommended preparedness measures to strengthen capabilities for production increases in national emergencies; and
(2) perform industry analyses to assess capabilities of the industrial base to support the national defense, and develop policy recommendations to improve the international competitiveness of specific domestic industries and their abilities to meet national defense program needs.
PART II - PRIORITIES AND ALLOCATIONS
Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions. Each Secretary shall authorize the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, to place priority ratings on contracts and orders for materials, services, and facilities needed in support of programs approved under section 202 of this order.
(c) Each resource department shall act, as necessary and appropriate, upon requests for special priorities assistance, as defined by section 801(l) of this order, in a time frame consistent with the urgency of the need at hand. In situations where there are competing program requirements for limited resources, the resource department shall consult with the Secretary who made the required determination under section 202 of this order. Such Secretary shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements to prioritize on the basis of operational urgency. In situations involving more than one Secretary making such a required determination under section 202 of this order, the Secretaries shall coordinate with and identify for the resource department which program requirements should receive priority on the basis of operational urgency.
(d) If agreement cannot be reached between two such Secretaries, then the issue shall be referred to the President through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.
(e) The Secretary of each resource department, when necessary, shall make the finding required under section 101(b) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(b). This finding shall be submitted for the President’s approval through the Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Upon such approval, the Secretary of the resource department that made the finding may use the authority of section 101(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(a), to control the general distribution of any material (including applicable services) in the civilian market.
Sec. 202. Determinations. Except as provided in section 201(e) of this order, the authority delegated by section 201 of this order may be used only to support programs that have been determined in writing as necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense:
(a) by the Secretary of Defense with respect to military production and construction, military assistance to foreign nations, military use of civil transportation, stockpiles managed by the Department of Defense, space, and directly related activities;
(b) by the Secretary of Energy with respect to energy production and construction, distribution and use, and directly related activities; and
(c) by the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to all other national defense programs, including civil defense and continuity of Government.
Sec. 203. Maximizing Domestic Energy Supplies. The authorities of the President under section 101(c)(1) (2) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(c)(1) (2), are delegated to the Secretary of Commerce, with the exception that the authority to make findings that materials (including equipment), services, and facilities are critical and essential, as described in section 101(c)(2)(A) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071(c)(2)(A), is delegated to the Secretary of Energy.
Sec. 204. Chemical and Biological Warfare. The authority of the President conferred by section 104(b) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2074(b), is delegated to the Secretary of Defense. This authority may not be further delegated by the Secretary.
PART III – EXPANSION OF PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY AND SUPPLY
Sec. 301. Loan Guarantees. (a) To reduce current or projected shortfalls of resources, critical technology items, or materials essential for the national defense, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense, as defined in section 801(h) of this order, is authorized pursuant to section 301 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, to guarantee loans by private institutions.
(b) Each guaranteeing agency is designated and authorized to: (1) act as fiscal agent in the making of its own guarantee contracts and in otherwise carrying out the purposes of section 301 of the Act; and (2) contract with any Federal Reserve Bank to assist the agency in serving as fiscal agent.
(c) Terms and conditions of guarantees under this authority shall be determined in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The guaranteeing agency is authorized, following such consultation, to prescribe: (1) either specifically or by maximum limits or otherwise, rates of interest, guarantee and commitment fees, and other charges which may be made in connection with such guarantee contracts; and (2) regulations governing the forms and procedures (which shall be uniform to the extent practicable) to be utilized in connection therewith.
Sec. 302. Loans. To reduce current or projected shortfalls of resources, critical technology items, or materials essential for the national defense, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 302 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2092, to make loans thereunder. Terms and conditions of loans under this authority shall be determined in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of OMB.
Sec. 303. Additional Authorities. (a) To create, maintain, protect, expand, or restore domestic industrial base capabilities essential for the national defense, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093, to make provision for purchases of, or commitments to purchase, an industrial resource or a critical technology item for Government use or resale, and to make provision for the development of production capabilities, and for the increased use of emerging technologies in security program applications, and to enable rapid transition of emerging technologies.
(b) Materials acquired under section 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093, that exceed the needs of the programs under the Act may be transferred to the National Defense Stockpile, if, in the judgment of the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager, such transfers are in the public interest.
Sec. 304. Subsidy Payments. To ensure the supply of raw or nonprocessed materials from high cost sources, or to ensure maximum production or supply in any area at stable prices of any materials in light of a temporary increase in transportation cost, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303(c) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(c), to make subsidy payments, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of OMB.
Sec. 305. Determinations and Findings. (a) Pursuant to budget authority provided by an appropriations act in advance for credit assistance under section 301 or 302 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, 2092, and consistent with the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as amended (FCRA), 2 U.S.C. 661 et seq., the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority to make the determinations set forth in sections 301(a)(2) and 302(b)(2) of the Act, in consultation with the Secretary making the required determination under section 202 of this order; provided, that such determinations shall be made after due consideration of the provisions of OMB Circular A 129 and the credit subsidy score for the relevant loan or loan guarantee as approved by OMB pursuant to FCRA.
(b) Other than any determination by the President under section 303(a)(7)(b) of the Act, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority to make the required determinations, judgments, certifications, findings, and notifications defined under section 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093, in consultation with the Secretary making the required determination under section 202 of this order.
Sec. 306. Strategic and Critical Materials. The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager, are each delegated the authority of the President under section 303(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(a)(1)(B), to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of strategic and critical materials and other materials.
Sec. 307. Substitutes. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303(g) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(g), to make provision for the development of substitutes for strategic and critical materials, critical components, critical technology items, and other resources to aid the national defense.
Sec. 308. Government-Owned Equipment. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 303(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(e), to:
(a) procure and install additional equipment, facilities, processes, or improvements to plants, factories, and other industrial facilities owned by the Federal Government and to procure and install Government owned equipment in plants, factories, or other industrial facilities owned by private persons;
(b) provide for the modification or expansion of privately owned facilities, including the modification or improvement of production processes, when taking actions under sections 301, 302, or 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, 2092, 2093; and
(c) sell or otherwise transfer equipment owned by the Federal Government and installed under section 303(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(e), to the owners of such plants, factories, or other industrial facilities.
Sec. 309. Defense Production Act Fund. The Secretary of Defense is designated the Defense Production Act Fund Manager, in accordance with section 304(f) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2094(f), and shall carry out the duties specified in section 304 of the Act, in consultation with the agency heads having approved, and appropriated funds for, projects under title III of the Act.
Sec. 310. Critical Items. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 107(b)(1) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2077(b)(1), to take appropriate action to ensure that critical components, critical technology items, essential materials, and industrial resources are available from reliable sources when needed to meet defense requirements during peacetime, graduated mobilization, and national emergency. Appropriate action may include restricting contract solicitations to reliable sources, restricting contract solicitations to domestic sources (pursuant to statutory authority), stockpiling critical components, and developing substitutes for critical components or critical technology items.
Sec. 311. Strengthening Domestic Capability. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense is delegated the authority of the President under section 107(a) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2077(a), to utilize the authority of title III of the Act or any other provision of law to provide appropriate incentives to develop, maintain, modernize, restore, and expand the productive capacities of domestic sources for critical components, critical technology items, materials, and industrial resources essential for the execution of the national security strategy of the United States.
Sec. 312. Modernization of Equipment. The head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense, in accordance with section 108(b) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2078(b), may utilize the authority of title III of the Act to guarantee the purchase or lease of advance manufacturing equipment, and any related services with respect to any such equipment for purposes of the Act. In considering title III projects, the head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense shall provide a strong preference for proposals submitted by a small business supplier or subcontractor in accordance with section 108(b)(2) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2078(b)(2).
PART IV - VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS AND ADVISORY COMMITTEES
Sec. 401. Delegations. The authority of the President under sections 708(c) and (d) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2158(c), (d), is delegated to the heads of agencies otherwise delegated authority under this order. The status of the use of such delegations shall be furnished to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Sec. 402. Advisory Committees. The authority of the President under section 708(d) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2158(d), and delegated in section 401 of this order (relating to establishment of advisory committees) shall be exercised only after consultation with, and in accordance with, guidelines and procedures established by the Administrator of General Services.
Sec. 403. Regulations. The Secretary of Homeland Security, after approval of the Attorney General, and after consultation by the Attorney General with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, shall promulgate rules pursuant to section 708(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2158(e), incorporating standards and procedures by which voluntary agreements and plans of action may be developed and carried out. Such rules may be adopted by other agencies to fulfill the rulemaking requirement of section 708(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2158(e).
PART V - EMPLOYMENT OF PERSONNEL
Sec. 501. National Defense Executive Reserve. (a) In accordance with section 710(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(e), there is established in the executive branch a National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER) composed of persons of recognized expertise from various segments of the private sector and from Government (except full time Federal employees) for training for employment in executive positions in the Federal Government in the event of a national defense emergency.
(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall issue necessary guidance for the NDER program, including appropriate guidance for establishment, recruitment, training, monitoring, and activation of NDER units and shall be responsible for the overall coordination of the NDER program. The authority of the President under section 710(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(e), to determine periods of national defense emergency is delegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
(c) The head of any agency may implement section 501(a) of this order with respect to NDER operations in such agency.
(d) The head of each agency with an NDER unit may exercise the authority under section 703 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2153, to employ civilian personnel when activating all or a part of its NDER unit. The exercise of this authority shall be subject to the provisions of sections 501(e) and (f) of this order and shall not be redelegated.
(e) The head of an agency may activate an NDER unit, in whole or in part, upon the written determination of the Secretary of Homeland Security that an emergency affecting the national defense exists and that the activation of the unit is necessary to carry out the emergency program functions of the agency.
(f) Prior to activating the NDER unit, the head of the agency shall notify, in writing, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism of the impending activation.
Sec. 502. Consultants. The head of each agency otherwise delegated functions under this order is delegated the authority of the President under sections 710(b) and (c) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2160(b), (c), to employ persons of outstanding experience and ability without compensation and to employ experts, consultants, or organizations. The authority delegated by this section may not be redelegated.
PART VI - LABOR REQUIREMENTS
Sec. 601. Secretary of Labor. (a) The Secretary of Labor, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of other agencies, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, shall:
(1) collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation’s workforce needs for purposes of national defense;
(2) upon request by the Director of Selective Service, and in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, assist the Director of Selective Service in development of policies regulating the induction and deferment of persons for duty in the armed services;
(3) upon request from the head of an agency with authority under this order, consult with that agency with respect to: (i) the effect of contemplated actions on labor demand and utilization; (ii) the relation of labor demand to materials and facilities requirements; and (iii) such other matters as will assist in making the exercise of priority and allocations functions consistent with effective utilization and distribution of labor;
(4) upon request from the head of an agency with authority under this order: (i) formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes; and (ii) estimate training needs to help address national defense requirements and promote necessary and appropriate training programs; and
(5) develop and implement an effective labor management relations policy to support the activities and programs under this order, with the cooperation of other agencies as deemed appropriate by the Secretary of Labor, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the National Mediation Board, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
(b) All agencies shall cooperate with the Secretary of Labor, upon request, for the purposes of this section, to the extent permitted by law.
PART VII - DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT COMMITTEE
Sec. 701. The Defense Production Act Committee. (a) The Defense Production Act Committee (Committee) shall be composed of the following members, in accordance with section 722(b) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2171(b):
(1) The Secretary of State;
(2) The Secretary of the Treasury;
(3) The Secretary of Defense;
(4) The Attorney General;
(5) The Secretary of the Interior;
(6) The Secretary of Agriculture;
(7) The Secretary of Commerce;
(8) The Secretary of Labor;
(9) The Secretary of Health and Human Services;
(10) The Secretary of Transportation;
(11) The Secretary of Energy;
(12) The Secretary of Homeland Security;
(13) The Director of National Intelligence;
(14) The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency;
(15) The Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers;
(16) The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and
(17) The Administrator of General Services.
(b) The Director of OMB and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall be invited to participate in all Committee meetings and activities in an advisory role. The Chairperson, as designated by the President pursuant to section 722 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2171, may invite the heads of other agencies or offices to participate in Committee meetings and activities in an advisory role, as appropriate.
Sec. 702. Offsets. The Secretary of Commerce shall prepare and submit to the Congress the annual report required by section 723 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2172, in consultation with the Secretaries of State, the Treasury, Defense, and Labor, the United States Trade Representative, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other agencies as appropriate. The heads of agencies shall provide the Secretary of Commerce with such information as may be necessary for the effective performance of this function.
PART VIII - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 801. Definitions. In addition to the definitions in section 702 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2152, the following definitions apply throughout this order:
(a) “Civil transportation” includes movement of persons and property by all modes of transportation in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce within the United States, its territories and possessions, and the District of Columbia, and related public storage and warehousing, ports, services, equipment and facilities, such as transportation carrier shop and repair facilities. “Civil transportation” also shall include direction, control, and coordination of civil transportation capacity regardless of ownership. “Civil transportation” shall not include transportation owned or controlled by the Department of Defense, use of petroleum and gas pipelines, and coal slurry pipelines used only to supply energy production facilities directly.
(b) “Energy” means all forms of energy including petroleum, gas (both natural and manufactured), electricity, solid fuels (including all forms of coal, coke, coal chemicals, coal liquification, and coal gasification), solar, wind, other types of renewable energy, atomic energy, and the production, conservation, use, control, and distribution (including pipelines) of all of these forms of energy.
(c) “Farm equipment” means equipment, machinery, and repair parts manufactured for use on farms in connection with the production or preparation for market use of food resources.
(d) “Fertilizer” means any product or combination of products that contain one or more of the elements nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium for use as a plant nutrient.
(e) “Food resources” means all commodities and products, (simple, mixed, or compound), or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals, irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption. “Food resources” also means potable water packaged in commercially marketable containers, all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal or marine fats and oils, seed, cotton, hemp, and flax fiber, but does not mean any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.
(f) “Food resource facilities” means plants, machinery, vehicles (including on farm), and other facilities required for the production, processing, distribution, and storage (including cold storage) of food resources, and for the domestic distribution of farm equipment and fertilizer (excluding transportation thereof).
(g) “Functions” include powers, duties, authority, responsibilities, and discretion.
(h) “Head of each agency engaged in procurement for the national defense” means the heads of the Departments of State, Justice, the Interior, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the General Services Administration, and all other agencies with authority delegated under section 201 of this order.
(i) “Health resources” means drugs, biological products, medical devices, materials, facilities, health supplies, services and equipment required to diagnose, mitigate or prevent the impairment of, improve, treat, cure, or restore the physical or mental health conditions of the population.
(j) “National defense” means programs for military and energy production or construction, military or critical infrastructure assistance to any foreign nation, homeland security, stockpiling, space, and any directly related activity. Such term includes emergency preparedness activities conducted pursuant to title VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5195 et seq., and critical infrastructure protection and restoration.
(k) “Offsets” means compensation practices required as a condition of purchase in either government to government or commercial sales of defense articles and/or defense services as defined by the Arms Export Control Act, 22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq., and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, 22 C.F.R. 120.1 130.17.
(l) “Special priorities assistance” means action by resource departments to assist with expediting deliveries, placing rated orders, locating suppliers, resolving production or delivery conflicts between various rated orders, addressing problems that arise in the fulfillment of a rated order or other action authorized by a delegated agency, and determining the validity of rated orders.
(m) “Strategic and critical materials” means materials (including energy) that (1) would be needed to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States during a national emergency, and (2) are not found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet such need and are vulnerable to the termination or reduction of the availability of the material.
(n) “Water resources” means all usable water, from all sources, within the jurisdiction of the United States, that can be managed, controlled, and allocated to meet emergency requirements, except “water resources” does not include usable water that qualifies as “food resources.”
Sec. 802. General. (a) Except as otherwise provided in section 802(c) of this order, the authorities vested in the President by title VII of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2151 et seq., are delegated to the head of each agency in carrying out the delegated authorities under the Act and this order, by the Secretary of Labor in carrying out part VI of this order, and by the Secretary of the Treasury in exercising the functions assigned in Executive Order 11858, as amended.
(b) The authorities that may be exercised and performed pursuant to section 802(a) of this order shall include:
(1) the power to redelegate authorities, and to authorize the successive redelegation of authorities to agencies, officers, and employees of the Government; and
(2) the power of subpoena under section 705 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2155, with respect to (i) authorities delegated in parts II, III, and section 702 of this order, and (ii) the functions assigned to the Secretary of the Treasury in Executive Order 11858, as amended, provided that the subpoena power referenced in subsections (i) and (ii) shall be utilized only after the scope and purpose of the investigation, inspection, or inquiry to which the subpoena relates have been defined either by the appropriate officer identified in section 802(a) of this order or by such other person or persons as the officer shall designate.
(c) Excluded from the authorities delegated by section 802(a) of this order are authorities delegated by parts IV and V of this order, authorities in section 721 and 722 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2170 2171, and the authority with respect to fixing compensation under section 703 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2153.
Sec. 803. Authority. (a) Executive Order 12919 of June 3, 1994, and sections 401(3) (4) of Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, are revoked. All other previously issued orders, regulations, rulings, certificates, directives, and other actions relating to any function affected by this order shall remain in effect except as they are inconsistent with this order or are subsequently amended or revoked under proper authority. Nothing in this order shall affect the validity or force of anything done under previous delegations or other assignment of authority under the Act.
(b) Nothing in this order shall affect the authorities assigned under Executive Order 11858 of May 7, 1975, as amended, except as provided in section 802 of this order.
(c) Nothing in this order shall affect the authorities assigned under Executive Order 12472 of April 3, 1984, as amended.
Sec. 804. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Paul Ryan Questions OMB Director – President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request
Sessions: Obama’s Persistent Budget Misrepresentations Make Compromise More Difficult
‘When Do We Hold People Accountable?’ Sessions Slams Dems For Falsely Claiming ‘Balance’ To Nation
WASHINGTON, March 22—Throughout the course of the budget debate, Democratic Senators have repeatedly suggested their budget contains a “balanced approach,” a rhetorical description that has no accounting value. (Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) went even further last night and repeatedly said his party’s plan called for “balancing the budget.”)
But as Sen. Sessions pointed out this morning, “They know they don’t have a balanced budget. They won’t tell the American people they don’t have one. They just use the word. But it’s not in their document. Where and when do we hold people accountable in this United States Senate for an accurate [description] of legislation? It’s wrong.”
To view for yourself the budget tables with the Democrats’ own numbers (in other words, before one even begins to strip out all the gimmicks and accounting tricks), please click here: http://1.usa.gov/YwdsbM. Note that cumulative deficits will amount to $5.198 trillion, and the nation’s gross debt will climb to $24.365 trillion by 2023.
Dem Senators On Budget Committee Unanimously Oppose Balancing The Federal Budget
Hatch on Senate Democrats’ Budget: ‘A Cynical Political Document’
Senator King Discusses 2014 Fiscal Year Budget Blueprint
Sessions: Dem Budget Would Trap Millions In Poverty By Shielding Failed Government Programs
Hatch: Entitlement Reform Not an Option, a Necessity
Background Articles and Videos
Making the Federal Budget
How do you spend four trillion dollars? Turns out, you don’t; it takes the President and the Congress to allocate, authorize, appropriate, resolve, outlay, sequester, impound, and just plain spend that much in 2011. Such a process is baffling at times. It’s so complex that you may marvel that Washington can get any action accomplished and paid for at all. So how does the federal budget happen?
Join the Mercatus Center’s Capitol Hill Campus and Senior Research Fellow Jason J. Fichtner for a walk through the process of making the federal budget. He explains the process from its beginnings in the halls of the White House, highlight the many roles Congress takes to authorize and enforce the budget, and navigate the twisting, puzzling conglomeration of bureaucratic steps, political goals, and accountancy rules that go into making our government function.
Changing the Budget Process to Promote Fiscal Responsibility
A Sustainable Approach to Entitlement Reform
Foundation for Growth: Restoring the Promise of American Opportunity
The Fiscal Year 2014 Senate Budget builds on the work done over the last two years to create jobs, invest in broad-based economic growth, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly.
This budget takes the balanced and responsible approach to our fiscal challenges that every bipartisan group has endorsed and that the American people support. It includes responsible spending cuts made across the federal budget, as well as significant new savings achieved by eliminating loopholes and cutting wasteful spending in the tax code that benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
The Senate Budget is grounded in the understanding that our country’s long-term fiscal and economic goals will only be met with policies that support a strong and growing middle class. And it keeps the promises we have made to our seniors, our families, and our communities.
The American people are sick and tired of watching their government lurch from crisis to crisis. The Senate Budget offers a serious and credible path away from this gridlock and dysfunction and toward a long-term plan to create jobs, lay down a strong foundation for broad-based economic growth, replace sequestration, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly and credibly.
This budget reflects the values of a diverse Senate serving a diverse nation, and it is guided by the principles and priorities that are strongly supported by the constituents we were elected to represent
Foundation for Growth: Restoring the Promise of American Opportunity
The Fiscal Year 2014 Senate Budget builds on the work done over the last two years to create jobs, invest in broad-based economic growth, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly.
This budget takes the balanced and responsible approach to our fiscal challenges that every bipartisan group has endorsed and that the American people support. It includes responsible spending cuts made across the federal budget, as well as significant new savings achieved by eliminating loopholes and cutting wasteful spending in the tax code that benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
The Senate Budget is grounded in the understanding that our country’s long-term fiscal and economic goals will only be met with policies that support a strong and growing middle class. And it keeps the promises we have made to our seniors, our families, and our communities.
The American people are sick and tired of watching their government lurch from crisis to crisis. The Senate Budget offers a serious and credible path away from this gridlock and dysfunction and toward a long-term plan to create jobs, lay down a strong foundation for broad-based economic growth, replace sequestration, and tackle our deficit and debt responsibly and credibly.
This budget reflects the values of a diverse Senate serving a diverse nation, and it is guided by the principles and priorities that are strongly supported by the constituents we were elected to represent.
The highest priority of the Senate Budget is to create the conditions for job creation, economic growth, and prosperity built from the middle out, not the top down.
The Senate Budget takes the position that trickle-down economics has failed as an economic policy and that true national prosperity comes from the middle out, not the top down. We believe that deficit reduction at the expense of economic growth is doomed to failure, and policies that promote a strong middle class are essential to tackling our long-term deficit and debt challenges.
The policies President Barack Obama and Congress put in place in response to the Great Recession pulled our economy back from the brink and helped to add back jobs. But with an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high, and a middle class that has seen their wages stagnate for far too long, we simply cannot afford any threats to our fragile recovery. Therefore, the Senate Budget:
• Fully replaces the harmful cuts from sequestration with smart, balanced, and responsible deficit reduction, which would save hundreds of thousands of jobs while protecting families, communities, and the fragile economic recovery.
• Invests in long-term economic growth and national competitiveness by tackling our serious deficits in infrastructure, education, job training, and innovation to create jobs now and lay down a strong foundation for broad-based growth.
• Includes a $100 billion targeted jobs and infrastructure package that would start creating new jobs quickly, begin repairing the worst of our crumbling roads and bridges, and help train our workers to fill 21
st century jobs. This jobs investment package is fully paid for by eliminating loopholes and cutting wasteful spending in the tax code that benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
• Protects and continues tax cuts for the middle class and low-income working families.
The Senate Budget builds on the work we have done over the last two years to tackle our deficit and debt responsibly.
At the end of 2010, the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission report laid out a responsible goal of reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over ten years. Since that time, Congress and the administration have implemented $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction, with $1.8 trillion coming from spending cuts and $600 billion coming from new revenue from the wealthiest Americans. The Senate Budget:
• Surpasses the bipartisan goal of $4 trillion in 10-year deficit reduction and puts our deficit and debt on a downward, sustainable, and responsible path.
• Builds on the $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction already done with an additional $1.85 trillion in new deficit reduction for a total of $4.25 trillion in deficit reduction since the Simpson-Bowles report.
• Includes an equal mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue raised by closing loopholes and ending wasteful spending in the tax code.
• Achieves $975 billion in deficit reduction through responsible spending cuts made across the federal budget:
$493 billion saved on the domestic spending side, including $275 billion in health care savings made in a way that does not harm seniors or families.
$240 billion saved by carefully and responsibly cutting defense spending to align with the drawdown of troops in our overseas operations.
$242 billion saved in reduced interest payments.
• Achieves $975 billion in deficit reduction by closing loopholes and eliminating wasteful spending in the tax code that benefits the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
• Includes reconciliation instructions, a fast-track process that makes sure that the new revenue from the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations cannot be filibustered in the Senate.
The Senate Budget keeps the promises we have made to our seniors, families, veterans, and communities.
The Senate Budget takes the position that the promises we made to our seniors, families, veterans, and communities ought to be fulfilled. This budget:
• Preserves and protects Medicare so that it is strong for seniors today and will be there for our children and grandchildren.
• Rejects calls to dismantle, privatize, or voucherize Medicare.
• Builds on the responsible changes made in the Affordable Care Act to continue reducing health care costs while protecting patients.
• Protects the expansion of health insurance to nearly 30 million Americans and ensures the federal-state partnership on Medicaid is preserved.
• Rejects efforts to simply shift health care costs to states or make cuts that harm seniors and the most vulnerable families.
• Maintains the key principle that deficit reduction should not be done on the backs of the most vulnerable families and communities.
• Continues to make the investments we need in national defense, homeland security, and law enforcement to keep our country and our communities strong and secure.
• Keeps the promise we have made to our veterans that their country will be there for them and provide the resources and support they need when they come home.
The House Republican approach would hurt middle class families and the economy and break the promises we have made to our seniors.
The Senate Budget offers a very different vision than the approach taken by House Republicans.
Their proposals would cut the legs out from under our fragile economic recovery and threaten millions of jobs. They would slash the investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation that we need to lay down a strong foundation for broad-based growth and that would position us to compete and win in the 21
st century global economy.
House Republicans would dismantle Medicare and cut off programs that support the middle class and most vulnerable families. And they would do all that while refusing to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to contribute their fair share.
We believe that the American people strongly support the pro-growth, pro-middle class approach taken in the Senate Budget. And we look forward to engaging with families and seniors across the country as we work to pass the responsible, fair, and bipartisan budget deal the American people expect and deserve.
Appropriations Act: A statute, under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, that generally provides authority for Federal agencies to incur obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. An appropriation act is the most common means of providing budget authority. Currently, there are 13 regular appropriations acts for each fiscal year. From time to time, Congress also enacts supplemental appropriations acts. (See Appropriations under Budget Authority; Continuing Resolution; Supplemental Appropriation.)
Authorizing Committee: A committee of the House or Senate with legislative jurisdiction over laws that set up or continue the operations of Federal programs and provide the legal basis for making appropriations for those programs. Authorizing committees also have direct control over spending for mandatory programs since the Government’s obligation to make payments for such program is contained in the authorizing legislation (See Entitlement.)
Authorizing Legislation: Legislation enacted by Congress that sets up or continues the operation of a Federal program or agency indefinitely or for a specific period of time. Authorizing legislation may limit the amount of budget authority which can be appropriated for a program or may authorize the appropriation of “such sums as are necessary.” (See Budget Authority; Entitlement.)
Budget Authority: The authority Congress gives to Government agencies, permitting them to enter into obligations which will result in immediate or future outlays.
Budget authority may be classified in several ways. It may be classified by the form it takes: appropriations, borrowing authority, or contract authority. Budget authority may also be classified by the determination of amount: definite authority or indefinite authority. Finally budget authority may be classified by the period of availability: 1-year authority, multi-year authority, or no-year authority (available until used).
Forms of Budget Authority
Appropriations.–An act of Congress that permits Federal agencies to incur obligations and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. An appropriations act is the most common means of providing budget authority.
Borrowing Authority.–Statutory authority that permits a Federal agency to incur obligations and to make payments for specified purposes out of money borrowed from the Treasury, the Federal Financing Bank, or the public. The Budget Act in most cases requires that new authority to borrow must be approved in advance in an appropriation act.
Contract Authority.–Statutory authority that permits a Federal agency to enter into contracts in advance of appropriations. Under the Budget Act, most new authority to contract must be approved in advance in an appropriation act. Offsetting collections and receipts.–Income from the public which is displayed in the budget as negative budget authority. (See Offsetting Collections and Offsetting Receipts.
Budget Baseline: Projected Federal spending, revenue and deficit levels based on the assumption that current policies will continue unchanged for the upcoming fiscal year.
In determining the budget baseline under Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, the Directors of OMB and CBO estimate revenue levels and spending levels for entitlement programs based on continuation of current laws. For estimating discretionary spending amounts (both defense and non- defense), the Directors assume an adjustment for inflation (GNP deflator) added to the previous year’s discretionary spending levels. The baseline also includes sufficient appropriations to cover a Federal pay comparability raise (without absorption).
Budget Deficit: The amount by which the Government’s total outlays exceed its total revenues for a given fiscal year. (See Outlays; Revenues.)
Budget Resolution: A concurrent resolution passed by both Houses of Congress setting forth, reaffirming, or revising the congressional budget for the U.S. Government for a fiscal year. A budget resolution is a concurrent resolution of Congress. Concurrent resolutions do not require a presidential signature because they are not laws. Budget resolutions do not need to be laws because they are a legislative device for the Congress to regulate itself as it works on spending and revenue bills.
(Unified) Budget Surplus: The amount by which the Government’s revenues exceed its outlays for a given fiscal year. The “on-budget surplus” excludes spending and revenues of the Social Security Trust Fund, and the Postal Service. (See Outlays; Revenues.)
Capital Budget: A budget that segregates capital spending from all other spending, what is usually considered the “operating budget.” In a capital budget, spending and receipts in the capital budget are excluded from the operating budget and are not included in the operating budget’s deficit or surplus calculations. A capital budget would include spending only for capital assets. Capital assets are usually defined to be limited to land, structures, equipment, and intellectual property that are owned and used by the Federal government and have a useful life of more than 2 years. However, some proponents of capital budgeting have suggested that capital should be defined to include Federal “investment” spending that yields long-term benefits. President Clinton established a Commission to Study Capital Budgeting by issuing Executive Order 13037 on March 3, 1997. The Commission is required to issue its report by December 17, 1998.
Continuing Resolution: Appropriations legislation enacted by Congress to provide temporary budget authority for Federal agencies to keep them in operation when their regular appropriation bill has not been enacted by the start of the fiscal year. A continuing resolution is a joint resolution, which has the same legal status as a bill.
A continuing resolution frequently specifies a maximum rate at which obligations may be incurred, based on the rate of the prior year, the President’s budget request, or an appropriation bill passed by either or both chambers of Congress. However, there have been instances when Congress has used a continuing resolution as an omnibus measure to enact a number of appropriation bills.
A continuing resolution is a form of appropriation act and should not be confused with the budget resolution.
Credit Authority: Authority to incur direct loan obligations or to incur primary loan guarantee commitments. Under the Budget Act, new credit authority must be approved in advance in an appropriation act.
Crosswalk: Also known as “committee allocation” or “section 302 allocation.” The means by which budget resolution spending totals are translated into binding guidelines with respect to budget authority and outlays for committee action on spending bills. The Budget Committees allocate the budget resolution totals among the committees by jurisdiction, Crosswalk allocations of budget authority and outlays to the committee appear in the joint explanatory statement accompanying a conference report on the budget resolution.
Current Services Budget: A section of the President’s budget, required by the Budget Act, that sets forth the level of spending or taxes that would occur if existing programs and policies were continued unchanged through the fiscal year and beyond, with all programs adjusted for inflation so that existing levels of activity are maintained. (See Baseline.)
Deferral of Budget Authority: An action by the executive branch that delays the obligation of budget authority beyond the point it would normally occur. Pursuant to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the President must provide advanced notice to the Congress of any proposed deferrals. A deferral may not extend beyond the end of the fiscal year in which the President’s message proposing the deferral is made. Congress may overturn a deferral by passing a law disapproving the deferral.
Deficit: The amount by which the government’s total budget outlays exceeds its total receipts for a fiscal year.
Direct Spending: A term defined in the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 to include entitlement authority, the food stamp program, and budget authority provided in law other than appropriations acts. From the perspective of the appropriations process, all direct spending is classified as mandatory as opposed to discretionary spending. New direct spending is subject to pay-as-you-go requirements. Direct spending is synonymous with mandatory spending. (See Mandatory Spending and Entitlement.)
Discretionary Spending: A category of spending (budget authority and outlays) subject to the annual appropriations process. (See Appropriations Acts.)
Entitlement: Programs that are governed by legislation in a way that legally obligates the Federal government to make specific payments to qualified recipients. Payments to persons under the Social Security, Medicare, and veterans’ pensions programs are considered to be entitlements. (See Direct Spending and Mandatory Spending.)
Emergency Spending: As provided in the Budget Enforcement Act, a provision of legislation designated as an emergency by both the President and the Congress. As a result, this additional spending is not subject to the discretionary caps or the pay go requirements and thus will not cause a sequester. In addition, emergency legislation is effectively exempt from Budget Act points of order.
There is no specific criteria in the law for emergency spending. However, the following criteria were contained in a June 1991 report prepared by the Office of Management and Budget–as required by Pub. L. No. 102-55 for the determination of whether to designate spending as an emergency spending:
Necessary expenditure.–an essential or vital expenditure, not one that is merely useful or beneficial;
Sudden.–quickly coming into being, not building up over time;
Urgent.–pressing and compelling need requiring immediate action;
Unforseen.–not predictable or seen beforehand as a coming need (an emergency that is part of an aggregate level of anticipated emergencies, particularly when normally estimated in advance, would not be “unforseen”); and
Federal Debt: Consists of all Treasury and agency debt issues outstanding. Current law places a limit or ceiling on the amount of debt. Debt subject to limit has two components: debt held by the government and debt held by the public.
Debt held by the government.–Represents the holdings of debt by federal trust funds and other special government funds. For example, when a trust fund is in surplus as is presently the case with Social Security, the law requires that this surplus be invested in government securities.
Debt held by the public.–Represents the holdings of debt by individuals, institutions, other buyers outside the federal government, and the Federal Reserve System. The change in debt held by the public in any given year closely tracks the unified budget deficit for that year.
Fiscal Policy: Federal government policies with respect to taxes, spending, and debt management intended to promote the nations’ macroeconomic goals, particularly with respect to employment, gross national product, price level stability, and equilibrium in balance of payments. The budget process is a major vehicle for determining and implementing Federal fiscal policy. The other major component of Federal macroeconomic policy is monetary policy. (See Monetary Policy.)
Fiscal Year: A fiscal year is a 12-month accounting period. The fiscal for the Federal Government begins October 1 and ends September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example fiscal year 1997 is the year beginning October 1, 1996, and ending September 30, 1997.
Functional Classification: A system of classifying budget resources by major purpose so that budget authority, outlays, and credit activities can be related in terms of the national needs being addressed (for example, national defense, health) regardless of the agency administrating the program. There are currently 20 functions. A function may be divided into two or more subfunctions depending upon the complexity of the national need addressed by that function. (See Budget Authority; Outlays.)
return to topIImpoundment: A generic term referring to any action or inaction by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government that precludes the obligation or expenditure of budget authority in the manner intended by Congress. (See Deferral of Budget Authority; Rescission of Budget Authority.) return to topJJoint Committee on Taxation (JCT): Section 8001 of the Internal Revenue Code authorized the creation of the Joint Committee on Taxation. By statute, it is composed of five members from the Committee on Finance (three majority, two minority) chosen by such Committee and five members from the Committee on Ways and Means (three majority, two minority) chosen by such Committee. In practice, the Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship of the Joint Committee on Taxation has rotated between the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means with each new Congress. Among other things, the JCT’s duties are to investigate the operation and effects of the federal tax system. return to topM
Mandatory Spending: Refers to spending for programs the level of which is governed by formulas or criteria set forth in authorizing legislation rather than by appropriations. Examples of mandatory spending include: Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ pensions, rehabilitation services, Members’ pay, judges pay and the payment of interest of the public debt. Many of these programs are considered entitlement. (See Direct Spending.)
Mark-Up: Meetings where congressional committees work on language of bills or resolutions. At Budget Committee mark-ups, the House and Senate Budget Committees work on the language and numbers contained in budget resolutions and legislation affecting the congressional budget process.
Monetary Policy: Management of the money supply, under the direction of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system, with the aim of achieving price stability and full employment. Government actions in guiding monetary policy, include currency revaluation, credit contradiction or expansion, rediscount policy, regulation of bank reserves and the purchase and sale of Government securities. (See Fiscal Policy.)
return to topNNet Deficit Reduction: Savings below the defined budget baseline achieved for the upcoming fiscal year because of laws enacted or final regulations promulgated since January 1. CBO and OMB independently estimate these savings in their initial and final sequester reports. return to topO
Offsetting Collections: Income from the public that results from the government engaging in “business-like” activities with the public, such as the sale of products or the rendering of a service. Examples include proceeds funds derived from the sale of postage stamps. Offsetting collections are credited against the level of budget authority or outlays associated with a specific program or account. (See Offsetting receipts.)
Offsetting Receipts: Income from the public that results from the government engaging in “business-like” activities with the public such as the sale of products or the rendering of services. Examples include proceeds from the sale of timber from Federal lands or entrance fees paid at national parks. Rather than being credited against the spending of a particular program or account, (as in the case with offsetting collections) offsetting receipts are deducted from total budget authority and outlays rather than added to Federal revenues even though they are deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. Generally offsetting receipts are associated with mandatory spending. (See Offsetting collections.)
Off-budget Federal Entity: Any Federal fund or trust fund whose transactions are required by law to be excluded from the totals of President’s budget submission and Congress’ budget resolution, despite the fact that these are part of the government’s total transactions. Current law requires that the Social Security trust funds (the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability trust fund) and the Postal Service be off-budget. However, these entities are reflected in the budget in that they are included in calculating the deficit in order to derive the total government deficit that must be financed by borrowing from the public or by other means. All other federal funds and trust funds are on budget. (See Unified Budget.)
Outlays: Outlays are disbursements by the Federal Treasury in the form of checks or cash. Outlays flow in part from budget authority granted in prior years and in part from budget authority provided for the year in which the disbursements occur.
Outlay Rates: The ratio of outlays (actual government disbursements) in a fiscal year relative to new budgetary resources in that fiscal year. In estimating the budget baseline and baseline deficit for their sequestration reports, CBO and OMB use outlay rates for projecting levels of spending resulting from available budget authority.
Pay-as-you-go: Arises in two separate contexts: a point of order in the Senate and a sequester order from OMB.
Pay-as-you-go in the Senate.–Since fiscal year 1994, the budget resolution has included a pay-as-you-go rule in the Senate. The rule provides a 3/5ths vote point of order in the Senate against consideration of legislation that would cause a net increase in the deficit over a ten year period. It applies to all legislation except appropriations legislation. To determine a violation, CBO measures the budget impact of a direct spending or revenue bill combined with the budget impact of all direct spending and revenue legislation enacted since the latest budget resolution’s adoption to see if the legislation would result in a net deficit increase for any one of three time periods (the first year, the sum of years 1 through 5, and the sum of years 6 through 10.) The pay-go rule sunsets at the end of fiscal year 2002.
Pay-as-you-go and sequestration under the BEA.–The Budget Enforcement Act requires OMB to also enforce a “pay-as-you-go” requirement which has a similar effect as the Senate’s point of order: Congress is required to “pay for” any changes to programs which result in an increase in direct spending, or in this case risk a sequester. If OMB estimates that the sum of all direct spending and revenue legislation enacted since 1990 will result in a net increase in the deficit for the fiscal year, then the President is required to issue a sequester order reducing all non-exempt direct spending accounts by a uniform percentage in order to eliminate the net deficit increase. Most direct spending is either exempt from a sequester order or operates under special rules that minimize the reduction that can be made in direct spending. Social Security is exempt from a pay-as-you-go sequester and Medicare cannot be reduced by more than 4 percent.
President’s Budget: The document sent to Congress by the President in January or February of each year, requesting new budget authority for Federal programs and estimating Federal revenues and outlays for the upcoming fiscal year.
Revenues: Collections from the public arising from the Government’s sovereign power to tax. Revenues include individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes (such as social security payroll taxes), excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties and the like.
Reconciliation Process: A process by which Congress includes in a budget resolution “reconciliation instructions” to specific committees, directing them to report legislation which changes existing laws, usually for the purpose of decreasing spending or increasing revenues by a specified amount by a certain date. The legislation may also contain an increase in the debt limit. The reported legislation is then considered as a single “reconciliation bill under expedited procedures.” Reserve Fund: A provision in a budget resolution that grants the Chairman of the Budget Committee the authority to make changes in budget aggregates and committee allocations once some condition or conditions have been met. Since a budget resolution establishes a binding ceiling on aggregate budget authority and outlay levels and a binding floor on revenues, budget resolutions frequently include reserve funds for deficit-neutral legislation that would otherwise violate the budget resolution and be subject to a point of order under the Budget Act. For example, the FY 1997 budget resolution included a tax reduction reserve fund that allowed the Chairman to reduce the revenue floor and the relevant spending allocations to accommodate legislation that reduced taxes if that legislation also contained offsetting spending reductions.
Rescission of Budget Authority: Cancellation of budget authority before the time when the authority would otherwise cease to be available for obligation. The rescission process begins when the President proposes a rescission to the Congress for fiscal or policy reasons. Unlike the deferral of budget authority which occurs unless Congress acts to disapprove the deferral, rescission off budget authority occurs only if Congress enacts the rescission. (See Deferral of Budget Authority; Impoundment.)
Scoring or Scorekeeping: The process for estimating budget authority, outlay, revenue and deficit levels which result from congressional budgetary actions. Scorekeeping data prepared by the Congressional Budget Office include status reports on the effect of congressional actions and comparisons of these actions to targets and ceilings set by Congress in budget resolutions. These reports are published in the Congressional Record on a regular basis. OMB is responsible for scoring legislation to determine if a sequester is necessary.
Sequester: Pursuant to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, a presidential spending reduction order that occurs by reducing spending by uniform percentages.
Sequestrable Resource: Pursuant to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings federal funding authority (budgetary resources) subject to reductions under a presidential sequester order for achieving required outlay reductions (in non-exempt programs).
Supplemental Appropriation: An act appropriating funds in addition to those in the 13 regular annual appropriations acts. Supplemental appropriations provide additional budget authority beyond the original estimates for programs or activities (including new programs authorized after the date of the original appropriation act) in cases where the need for funds is too urgent to be postponed until enactment of the next regular appropriation bill. (See Appropriations Act.)
return to topTTax Expenditures: Revenue losses attributable to a special exclusion, exemption, or deduction from gross income or to a special credit, preferential rate of tax, or deferral of tax liability. return to topU
Unfunded Mandates: A Federal Intergovernmental Mandate is any provision in legislation, statute, or regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon State, local or tribal government, except as conditions of assistance or duties arising from participation in a voluntary federal program. Exceptions to this rule are: enforcing constitutional rights; statutory prohibitions against discrimination; emergency assistance requested by states; accounting/auditing for federal assistance; national security; Presidential designated emergencies; and Social Security. Provisions that increase stringency of conditions of assistance or decrease federal funding for large state entitlement programs (greater than $500 million) if states lack authority to decrease their responsibilities are considered mandates as well.
A Federal Private Sector Mandate is any provision in legislation, statute, or regulation that would impose an enforceable duty upon the private sector. The exceptions are a condition of Federal assistance or a duty arising from participation in a voluntary Federal program.
Unified Budget: A comprehensive display of the Federal budget. This display includes all revenues and all spending for all regular Federal programs and trust funds. The 1967 President’s Commission on Budget Concepts recommended the unified budget and it has been the basis for budgeting since 1968. The unified budget replaced a system of the budgets that existed before 1968 (an administrative budget, a consolidated cash budget, and a national income accounts budget).
The Budget Control Act Serves as the Budget for 2012 and 2013
The Budget Control Act states: “For the purpose of enforcing the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 through April 15, 2012 … the allocations, aggregates, and levels set in subsection (b)(1) shall apply in the Senate in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012.” In many ways, the Budget Control Act is even more extensive than a traditional budget resolution. Number one, it has the force of law, unlike a budget resolution that never goes to the President. A budget resolution is purely a Congressional document; the Budget Control Act is a law. Number two, it sets discretionary caps for 10 years, instead of the one year normally set in a budget resolution. Number three, it provides enforcement mechanisms, including two years of “deeming resolutions,” which allow budget points of order to be enforced. And fourth, it creates a reconciliation-like “Super Committee” process to address both entitlements and tax reform. And it backs that process up with a $1.2 trillion sequester.
Rand Paul Gives The Tea Party Response To The President’s State of the Union Address
Marco Rubio – 2013 State of the Union – GOP Response w/ Water Break (12:01) (English)
Transcript: Obama’s State Of The Union Address As Prepared For Delivery
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:
Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”
Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.
Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.
But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.
It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.
It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.
It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.
The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.
Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget – decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery.
Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.
Now we need to finish the job. And the question is, how?
In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.
Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits.
That idea is even worse. Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.
But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight.
On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.
To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?
Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.
I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won’t be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.
Now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?
A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.
After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.
There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns. So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.
If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.
After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.
But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.
In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.
Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.
America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings.
Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.
Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.
But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.
These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. And that has to start at the earliest possible age.
Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.
Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.
Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.
We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.
Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.
Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.
To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.
Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.
Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.
But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.
We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.
Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.
Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.
Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.
Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity – broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class – that has always been the source of our progress at home. It is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.
Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda. Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.
Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.
As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts. I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.
Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The regime in North Korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.
Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands – because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.
America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.
That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.
Even as we protect our people, we should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.
We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.
Above all, America must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. I saw the power of hope last year in Rangoon – when Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed an American President into the home where she had been imprisoned for years; when thousands of Burmese lined the streets, waving American flags, including a man who said, “There is justice and law in the United States. I want our country to be like that.”
In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.
All this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. And I want to thank my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us.
But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.
Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.
It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.
Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.
Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.
Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.
We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.
We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”
We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.
When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”
That’s just the way we’re made.
We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:
We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Full Text of Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response to State of the Union
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech
These are the prepared remarks of Rand Paul’s Tea Party rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. Follow U.S. News’s live coverage here.
I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.
People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.
We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.
The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.
Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem.
Tonight, the President told the nation he disagrees. President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt.
What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.
What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations.
He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.
All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have.
I was elected to the Senate in 2010 by people worried about our country, worried about our kids and their future. I thought I knew how bad it was in Washington. But it is worse than I ever imagined.
Congress is debating the wrong things.
Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending – a little or a lot.
About how much to increase taxes – a little or a lot.
The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.
Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.
So, what is the President’s answer? Over the past four years he has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.
He says he wants a balanced approach.
What the country really needs is a balanced budget.
Washington acts in a way that your family never could – they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.
Tonight I urge you to demand a new course.
Demand Washington change their ways, or be sent home.
To begin with, we absolutely must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution!
The amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations.
Liberals complain that the budget can’t be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years.
The Penny Plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support.
It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here.
That is not true.
In fact, there is plenty.
Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.
It is time for a new bipartisan consensus.
It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.
Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America.
The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.
Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America’s credit rating.
Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.
Bipartisanship is not what is missing in Washington. Common sense is.
Trillion-dollar deficits hurt us all.
Printing more money to feed the never-ending appetite for spending hurts us all.
We pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or the gas pump. The value of the dollar shrinks with each new day.
Contrary to what the President claims, big government and debt are not a friend to the poor and the elderly. Big-government debt keeps the poor poor and saps the savings of the elderly.
This massive expansion of the debt destroys savings and steals the value of your wages.
Big government makes it more expensive to put food on the table. Big government is not your friend. The President offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor.
Under President Obama, the ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.
The cycle must be broken.
The willpower to do this will not come from Congress. It must come from the American people.
Next month, I will propose a five-year balanced budget, a budget that last year was endorsed by taxpayer groups across the country for its boldness, and for actually solving the problem.
I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who wants to cut spending.
But in recent years, there has been no one to work with.
The President’s massive tax hikes and spending increases have caused his budgets to get ZERO votes in both houses of Congress. Not a single Democrat voted for the President’s budget!
But at least he tried.
Senate Democrats have not even produced a budget in the time I have been in office, a shameful display of incompetence that illustrates their lack of seriousness.
This year, they say they will have a budget, but after just recently imposing hundreds of billions in new taxes, they now say they will include more tax hikes in their budget.
We must stand firm. We must say NO to any MORE tax hikes!
Only through lower taxes, less regulation and more freedom will the economy begin to grow again.
Our party is the party of growth, jobs and prosperity, and we will boldly lead on these issues.
Under the Obama economy, 12 million people are out of work. During the President’s first term 800,000 construction workers lost their jobs and another 800,000 simply gave up on looking for work.
With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses.
The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!
For those who are struggling we want to you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and pathway to success.
We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future.
We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities.
We must be the party that says, “If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.”
For those striving to climb the ladder of success we must fix our schools.
America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages.
We have cut classroom size in half and tripled spending on education and still we lag behind much of the world.
A great education needs to be available for everyone, whether you live on country club lane or in government housing.
This will only happen when we allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black.
Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice.
Competition has made America the richest nation in history. Competition can make our educational system the envy of the world.
The status quo traps poor children in a crumbling system of hopelessness.
When every child can, like the President’s kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true!
Washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read.
We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills!
We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!
And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say:
Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!
I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there.
If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.
We are the party that adheres to the Constitution. We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!
We will fight to defend the entire Bill of Rights from the right to trial by jury to the right to be free from unlawful searches.
We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it.
We cannot and will not allow any President to act as if he were a king.
We will not let any President use executive orders to impinge on the Second Amendment.
We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.
Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty when the executive branch and the legislative branch are combined. Separation of powers is a bedrock principle of our Constitution.
We took the President to court over his unconstitutional recess appointments and won.
If necessary, we will take him to court again if he attempts to legislate by executive order.
Congress must reassert its authority as the protector of these rights, and stand up for them, no matter which party is in power.
Congress must stand as a check to the power of the executive, and it must stand as it was intended, as the voice of the people.
The people are crying out for change. They are asking for us to hear their voices, to fix our broken system, to right our economy and to restore their liberty.
Let us tonight let them know that we hear their voices. That we can and must work together, that we can and must re-chart our course toward a better future.
America has much greatness left in her. We will begin to thrive again when we begin to believe in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents, when we balance our budget, when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation’s prosperity.
Text of Senator Marc Rubio’s response to the Union address on Tuesday night
Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.
The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.
But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.
This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.
But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.
More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.
More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.
And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.
Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow.
Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs.
And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.
For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance. But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with. And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring. Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.
Now does this mean there’s no role for government? Of course not. It plays a crucial part in keeping us safe, enforcing rules, and providing some security against the risks of modern life. But government’s role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can’t play its essential role when it ignores those limits.
There are valid reasons to be concerned about the president’s plan to grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the president’s agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.
When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather – he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.
When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them – he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled to fend for themselves.
And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.
But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.
Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.
The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.
And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.
So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.
Hard-working middle-class Americans who don’t need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They want a plan to grow the middle class.
Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012.
But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade.
Tax increases can’t do this. Raising taxes won’t create private-sector jobs. And there’s no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That’s why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.
One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. And let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense. If we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent, it will create middle-class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like China.
Simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class, because it will make it easier for small businesses to hire and grow.
And we agree with the president that we should lower our corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world, so that companies will start bringing their money and their jobs back here from overseas.
We can also help our economy grow if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest. We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.
Helping the middle class grow will also require an education system that gives people the skills today’s jobs entail and the knowledge that tomorrow’s world will require.
We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training.
We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.
And because tuition costs have grown so fast, we need to change the way we pay for higher education.
I believe in federal financial aid. I couldn’t have gone to college without it. But it’s not just about spending more money on these programs; it’s also about strengthening and modernizing them.
A 21st century workforce should not be forced to accept 20th century education solutions. Today’s students aren’t only 18-year-olds. They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained.
We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.
When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.
All these measures are key to helping the economy grow. But we won’t be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve our debt problem.
Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.
The president loves to blame the debt on President Bush. But President Obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight.
The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.
The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.
I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.
Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time for him to do it.
Of course, we face other challenges as well. We were all heart broken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country. But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.
On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can’t remain powerful if we don’t have an economy that can afford it.
In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out tonight.
The choice isn’t just between big government or big business. What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government that allows small and new businesses to create middle class jobs.
We don’t have to raise taxes to avoid the president’s devastating cuts to our military. Republicans have passed a plan that replaces these cuts with responsible spending reforms.
In order to balance our budget, the choice doesn’t have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need. Instead we should grow our economy so that we create new taxpayers, not new taxes, and so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves.
And the truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians.
Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important.
If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever.
And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.
At a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little or nothing about our real problems, some are starting to believe that our government leaders just can’t or won’t make the right choices anymore.
But our strength has never come from the White House or the Capitol. It’s always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that, if you have a dream and you are willing to work hard, nothing should be impossible.
Americans have always celebrated and been inspired by those who succeed. But it’s the dreams of those who are still trying to make it that sets our nation apart.
Tonight, all across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. For many of these parents, life has not gone the way they had planned.
Maybe they were born into circumstances they’ve found difficult to escape. Maybe they’ve made some mistakes along the way. Maybe they’re young mothers, all alone, the father of their child long gone.
But tonight, when they look into the eyes of their child for the first time, their lives will change forever. Because in those eyes, they will see what my parents saw in me, and what your parents saw in you. They will see all the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves.
This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.
But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.
Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.
Now, let that hope bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.
Thank you for listening. May God bless all of you. May God bless our president. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)
ACCOUNTING DATE: 01/13
PERIOD RECEIPTS OUTLAYS DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+ ____________________________________________________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________
OCTOBER 163,072 261,539 98,466
NOVEMBER 152,402 289,704 137,302
DECEMBER 239,963 325,930 85,967
JANUARY 234,319 261,726 27,407
FEBRUARY 103,413 335,090 231,677
MARCH 171,215 369,372 198,157
APRIL 318,807 259,690 -59,117
MAY 180,713 305,348 124,636
JUNE 260,177 319,919 59,741
JULY 184,585 254,190 69,604
AUGUST 178,860 369,393 190,533
SEPTEMBER 261,566 186,386 -75,180
YEAR-TO-DATE 2,449,093 3,538,286 1,089,193
OCTOBER 184,316 304,311 119,995
NOVEMBER 161,730 333,841 172,112
DECEMBER 269,508 270,699 1,191
JANUARY 272,225 269,342 -2,883
YEAR-TO-DATE 887,778 1,178,193 290,415
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Time is quickly running out for President Barack Obama and the congressional leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties as they attempt to negotiate a deal that would avert going over the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
If a deal or fiscal cliff fix is not agreed to by then, the so-called Bush marginal tax rate cuts would expire on Jan. 1, 2013 followed by the cutting or sequestration of government spending on Jan. 15.
Should these massive tax hikes and huge spending cuts happen, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that the unemployment rate would rise above 9 percent in the latter half of 2013 from its present level of 7.9 percent with the economy going into another recession, with negative economic growth in real gross domestic product for the first two quarters of 2013.
In a November report titled “Economic Effects of Policies Contributing to Fiscal
Tightening in 2013,” the CBO projected that “if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by .5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013), reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year.”
The estimated 10-year cost of the expiration of the Bush 2001/2003 marginal rate tax cuts is $2.4 trillion. The estimated cost of the expiration of Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) patches is $864 billion and of various “tax extenders” is $890 billion. Over a 10-year period, the spending cuts or sequester of 10 percent of defense spending is estimated to be $510 billion and of 8 percent of non-defense spending is estimated to be $335 billion.
A majority of Democrats and Republicans appear to agree that the Bush marginal rate tax cuts should be extended for those individuals earning less than $250,000. Both parties also agree on extending the ATM patches, tax extenders (R&D tax credit and others) and the so-called doc fix for Medicare reimbursement. Both parties appear to agree on not extending the temporary one year 2 percent reduction in the Social Security (FICA) employee payroll tax and not extending unemployment insurance benefits.
The biggest disagreements between both political parties is over Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, with its additional 3.8 percent tax on dividends and capital gains and a .9 percent tax on wage income for those earning more than $250,000. The Republican Party wants to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, while the Democrat Party wants Obamacare to be implemented on schedule.
Obama and the Democratic Party want to raise the marginal tax rates of those earning above $250,000 by increasing the marginal tax bracket rates from 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent to 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent and increasing the estate tax from 35 percent for estates over $5 million to 55 percent for estates over $1 million. The Democrats also want to increase the capital gains tax from 15 percent to 20 percent and tax dividends as ordinary income.
In a nationally televised statement to the nation on Nov. 28, Obama said, “”Our ultimate goal is to get an agreement that is fair and balanced.” “If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the president added.
The Republican Party wants the Bush marginal tax rates either made permanent or extended for at least another year and either the elimination of the estate tax or no changes in the current estate tax. Republicans also want to either eliminate the tax on capital gains and dividends taxes or leave their taxation unchanged. They argue that it is the successful small business owner who creates wealth, income and jobs.
House Speaker John Boehner said, “Raising tax rates is unacceptable.” and added “Frankly, it couldn’t even pass the House. I’m not sure it could pass the Senate.”
Boehner concluded, “The goal here is to grow the economy and control spending. You’re not going to grow the economy if you raise the top 2 percent rates. It’ll hurt small businesses and it’ll hurt our economy, why this is not the right approach.”
However, the biggest differences between both political parties in their attempt to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff concerns government spending cuts or sequestration. The real problem is not adequate tax revenues, but excessive government spending, with deficit spending under President George W. Bush of nearly $3.3 trillion over eight fiscal years (2002-2009) and Barack Obama of nearly $5.1 trillion over four fiscal years (2010-2013).
Next week part 2 of this article will address the challenge of cutting federal government spending.
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United States fiscal cliff
“…The “Fiscal Cliff” refers to the expected slow down in the U.S. economy if spending from the government goes down as much as scheduled and taxes go up as much as scheduled on January 2013. These laws include tax increases due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Congressional Budget Office reported an increased risk of recession during 2013 if the deficit is reduced suddenly, while indicating that lower deficits and debt would in time improve long-term economic growth. The deficit for 2013 is projected to be reduced by roughly half. Further, over the next ten years, projected increases in the United States public debt would be lowered by as much as $7.1 trillion or about 70%, resulting in a considerably lower ratio of debt relative to the size of the economy.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted as a compromise to resolve a dispute concerning the public debt ceiling. Deficit spending previously appropriated by Congress was bringing the federal government’s total debt close to the statutory ceiling. Republicans in Congress refused to approve an increase in the ceiling unless there were deep spending cuts. The Budget Control Act included an immediate increase in the debt ceiling, along with a mechanism for facilitating two additional increases. It also provided for automatic spending cuts to begin on January 2, 2013.
The year-over-year changes for fiscal years 2012–2013 include a 19.63% increase in tax revenue and 0.25% reduction in spending. These changes would return tax revenue to approximately its historical average of 18% GDP, while continuing to spend at dollar levels held approximately the same since 2009. Some major programs, like Social Security, Medicaid, federal pay (including military pay and pensions), and veterans’ benefits, are exempted from the spending cuts. Spending for federal agencies and cabinet departments would be reduced through broad, shallow cuts (referred to as budget sequestration).
The projected effects of these changes have led to calls both inside and outside of Congress to extend some or all of the tax cuts, and to replace the across-the-board reductions with more targeted cutbacks. It has been speculated that any change is unlikely to come until the period roughly between the 2012 federal elections and the end of the year. Additionally, the debate may be exacerbated by the expectation that the debt ceiling is expected to be reached before the end of 2012,[note 1] unless “extraordinary measures” are used. Nearly all proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff involve extending certain parts of the 2010 Tax Relief Act or changing the 2011 Budget Control Act or both, thus making the deficit larger by reducing taxes and/or increasing spending.
The term ‘fiscal cliff’ had in the past been used to refer to various fiscal issues. The term started being used in the current context near the original expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2010. In 2011, the term started to be used to refer to the deficit reductions that would occur in 2013 under current law.
In late February 2012, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, popularized the term “fiscal cliff” for this crisis. Before the House Financial Services Committee he described that “a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases” would take place on January 1, 2013.
Some analysts have argued that “fiscal slope” or “fiscal hill” would be more appropriate terminology because while the cumulative economic effect over all of 2013 would be substantial, it would not be felt immediately but rather gradually as the weeks and months went by.
During a lame duck session in December 2010, Congress passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The act extended the Bush tax cuts for an additional two years and “patched” the exemptions to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for tax year 2011. This act also authorized a one-year reduction in the Social Security (FICA) employee payroll tax. This was extended for an additional year by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which also extended federal unemployment benefits and the freeze on Medicare physician payments.
On August 2, 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 as part of an agreement to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis. The Act provided for a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “super committee”) to produce legislation by late November that would decrease the deficit by $1.2 trillion over ten years. If the committee failed to do so, as it in fact had failed to do, another part of the Act directs automatic across-the-board cuts (known as “sequestrations”), split evenly between defense and domestic spending, beginning January 2, 2013. Also, the Affordable Care Act imposed new taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 for individuals) starting at the same time.
At the end of 2011, the patch to the AMT exemptions expired. Technically, the AMT thresholds immediately reverted to their 2000 tax year levels, a drop of 26% for single people and 40% for married couples. Anyone over these reduced thresholds at the end of 2012 would be subject to the AMT. Therefore, more taxpayers would pay more unless some legislation was passed (as was done in 2007) that affects the exemptions retroactively.
Current laws leading to the fiscal cliff
The following provisions of current law are most involved in the fiscal cliff:
Expiration of the Bush tax cuts extended by President Obama in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010;
Across-the-board spending cuts (“sequestration”) to most discretionary programs as directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011;
Reversion of the Alternative Minimum Tax thresholds to their 2000 tax year levels;
Expiration of measures delaying the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate from going into effect (the “doc fix”), most recently extended by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA);
Expiration of the 2% Social Security payroll tax cut, most recently extended by MCTRJCA;
Expiration of federal unemployment benefits, most recently extended by MCTRJCA and
New taxes imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Without new legislation, these provisions will automatically go into effect on January 1 or 2, 2013, except for the Alternative Minimum Tax growth, which may be changed retroactively. Some provisions will increase taxes (the expiration of the Bush and FICA payroll tax cuts and the new Affordable Care tax and AMT thresholds) while others will reduce spending (sequestration, expiration of unemployment benefits and implementation of the Medicare SGR).
Proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff involve repealing legislation containing certain of these provisions or passing new legislation to extend provisions that are due to expire. Different proposals may include changes to some or all of the above provisions. For example, the Congressional Budget Office’s “Alternative Fiscal Scenario” includes only the first four items above. Changes to other provisions are also sometimes included in such proposals; for example, changing the original caps on discretionary appropriations contained in 2011′s Budget Control Act, indexing the AMT exemptions for inflation or the wholesale or partial reform of the tax laws or entitlement programs.
Congressional Budget Office projections
US federal debt from 1940 to 2022. The right side of the diagram projects what would happen to the debt if Congress (a) allows current laws to take effect and reduce the deficit (the baseline) or (b) extends the current policies, such as keeping tax cuts in place (the alternative).
Decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will have meaningful implications for deficits, debt, and economic growth. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected two fiscal scenarios for the years 2013 to 2022:
The baseline projection. This scenario would have lower deficits and debt but also have lower spending and higher taxes.
The alternative fiscal scenario. Higher deficits and debt but lower taxes and higher spending.[note 2]
These paint starkly different fiscal futures. If Congress and the President do not act, allowing tax cuts to expire and mandated spending cuts to be implemented, the next decade will more closely resemble the baseline projection. If they act to extend current policies, keeping lower tax rates in place and postponing or preventing the spending cuts, the next decade will more closely resemble the alternate fiscal scenario.
Baseline projection. The CBO has been publishing baseline projections since 1985. Under “the baseline”, tax cuts are allowed to expire and spending cuts are implemented in 2013, resulting in higher tax revenues plus lower spending, deficits, debt and interest for the next decade and beyond. Future deficits would be reduced from an estimated 8.5% of GDP in 2011 to 1.2% by 2021. Revenues would rise towards 24% GDP, versus the historical average 18% GDP.
The total deficit reduction or debt avoidance over ten years could be as high as $7.1 trillion, versus the $10–11 trillion debt increases if current policies are extended. In other words, roughly 70% of debt increases projected over the next 10 years could be avoided by allowing laws on the books during 2012 to be implemented.
CBO estimates under the baseline projection that public debt rises from 69% GDP in 2011 to 84% by 2035. In the long run, lower deficits and debt should lead to relatively higher growth estimates. But, in the short run, real GDP growth in 2013 would likely be reduced to 0.5% from 1.1%. This would mean a high probability of recession (a 1.3% GDP contraction) during the first half of the year followed by 2.3% growth in the second half.
Alternate fiscal scenario. If Congress “avoids” the fiscal cliff, the future more closely resembles the continuation of 2012 policies, described by the CBO’s “alternative fiscal scenario.” This scenario involves extending the Bush income tax cuts, restricting the reach of the AMT, and keeping Medicare reimbursement rates at the current level (the so-called “doc fix”, versus declining by one-third as mandated under current law). Revenues are assumed to remain around the historical average 18% GDP. Under this scenario, public debt rises from 69% GDP in 2011 to 100% by 2021 and approaches 190% by 2035. This scenario has considerably higher debt and interest payments than the baseline projection, but short-term impact on the economy is avoided.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that allowing certain laws on the books during 2012 to expire or take effect in 2013 (the baseline scenario) would cut the 2013 deficit approximately in half and significantly reduce the trajectory of future deficits and debt increases for the next decade and beyond. However, the 2013 deficit reduction would adversely impact the economy in the short-run. On the other hand, if Congress acts to extend current policies (the alternative scenario), deficits and debt will rise rapidly over the next decade and beyond, slowing the economy over the long run and dramatically increasing interest costs.
CBO estimates that if the baseline scenario is allowed to take effect in 2013, it would reduce federal spending by $103 billion and increase tax revenues by $399 billion (and another $105 billion “mostly in revenue”) through September 2013 (the end of FY2013). This would amount to a net total of $560 billion, roughly half the $1.2 trillion FY2011 deficit. The White House estimates that a family of four with an income of $50,000 to $85,000 would pay an additional $2,200 in federal taxes.
The CBO has identified the following metrics for its baseline and alternative scenarios for the period starting January 2013:
Fiscal or Economic Measure
Federal deficit in FY2013
Economic growth in FY2013
−0.5% of GDP
1.7% of GDP
Unemployment rate for October thru December 2013
Public debt in 2022
58% of GDP
90% of GDP
Consideration of these scenarios and other options[note 2] leads to what the CBO calls “a broad spectrum of fiscal policy choices”.
Estimated deficit for the first year
Expiration of tax cuts and the subsequent growth in the AMT: $221B (36.41%)
Expiration of 2% FICA payroll tax cut: $95B (15.65%)
Other expiring tax provisions: $65B (10.71%)
Affordable Care Act taxes: $18B (3.97%)
Spending cuts (“sequestration”) under the Budget Control Act of 2011: $65B (10.71%)
Expiration of federal emergency unemployment insurance: $26B (4.28%)
Reduction in Medicare payment rates for doctors: $11B (1.81%)
Other changes (mostly revenue, primarily reflecting economic growth): $105B (17.30%)
The CBO estimated that the total deficit of fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30, 2012) will be $1.171 trillion. The CBO also estimated that the total reductions to the fiscal year 2013 deficit by letting current laws take effect (which increase taxes and reduce spending) would be about $560 billion.
Therefore, since the total US public debt was approximately $11.053 trillion as of July 2012, the public debt would climb by the end of FY2013 to either $11.664 trillion (if Congress does nothing, allowing current law to take effect) or $12.224 trillion (if the fiscal cliff is avoided, extending current tax and spending policies into the future), all other considerations remaining the same. This difference amounts to 5.07% of the federal debt in nine months.
Under current laws scheduled to take effect by the end of 2012, the total 2013 deficit will be $612 billion, as opposed to $1,171 billion for the previous year. The chart at the right contains a breakdown of the currently authorized reductions to the FY2013 deficit. The total of this chart is $606 billion but this is without considering economic feedback. Reduced taxes and increased spending, due to the 1.3% contraction in the first half of 2013, as well as other constraints, are expected to decrease the savings by $47 billion, giving a net total of $560 billion in deficit reduction during FY2013.
CBO analysis of policy options
The CBO reported in November 2012 the economic and employment effects of various policy options related to the cliff. Each option has a different GDP and employment impact per dollar of deficit impact. In other words, some choices are more economically efficient. CBO explained why spending cuts have a more significant adverse impact on the economy than tax increases per dollar of deficit reduction: “The larger ‘bang for the buck’ next year of the spending policies under the alternative fiscal scenario occurs because, CBO expects, a significant part of the decrease in taxes (relative to those under current law) would be saved rather than spent.”
Effects of sequestration
Main article: Budget Control Act of 2011
Main article: United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The spending reduction elements of the fiscal cliff are primarily contained within the Budget Control Act of 2011, which directed that both defense and non-defense discretionary spending[note 3] be reduced by “sequestration” if Congress was unable to agree on other spending cuts of similar size. Congress was unable to reach agreement and therefore the sequestrations are expected start taking effect on January 2, 2013 if Congress, and President Obama, do not agree to a budget deficit reduction plan. The scope of the law excludes major mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
The effect on both defense and non-defense discretionary spending will be significant if the cliff is not avoided. Cuts totaling $110 billion per year will be applied from 2013 to 2022, split evenly ($55 billion each) to defense and non-defense discretionary spending. For scale, discretionary funding for 2011 totaled $1,277 billion: budget authority of $712 billion for defense and funding totaling $566 billion for non-defense activities.
During 2013, defense and non-defense discretionary spending would be maintained around 2012 levels due to the sequester. However, the spending begins to rise thereafter, but not at the pace projected prior to the sequester. In other words, the trajectory of spending increases is reduced, but spending is not frozen at 2012 levels. Defense and non-defense discretionary spending increases from 2013–2021 would be about 1.5% annually, significantly below the prior decade.
For example, according to the CBO Historical Tables, defense spending (including overseas contingency operations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) grew from $295 billion in 2000 to $700 billion in 2011, an annual growth rate of 8.2%. Non-defense discretionary spending grew at a 6.6% annual rate during that time, from $320 billion to $646 billion.
The austerity represented by the sequester is not unprecedented; from 1990–1999, defense spending actually declined by about 1% annually, from $300 billion to $276 billion, although non-defense discretionary spending grew by 4.5% annually, rising from $200 to $297 billion.
The CBO estimated the possible impact on defense spending in October 2011 testimony: “Compliance with the caps on discretionary funding could occur through many different combinations of defense and non-defense funding. For example, defense and nondefense appropriations might be cut proportionally relative to the funding that would be necessary to keep pace with inflation. In that case, funding for defense programs apart from overseas contingency operations would drop from $552 billion in 2011 to $538 billion in 2012 before rising again and reaching $637 billion in 2021 (see Table 3).
Between 2012 and 2021, such funding would be $445 billion less than the amount that would occur if the amount of funding for 2011 grew at the rate of inflation. When measured as a share of GDP, funding for defense would decline by about 1 percentage point from 2011 to 2021, or by more than one-fourth (see Table 5). Funding for defense in 2021 (excluding overseas contingency operations) would represent 2.7 percent of GDP; by comparison, annual funding for defense (excluding overseas contingency operations) has averaged 3.4 percent of GDP during the past decade.”
The CBO estimated the possible impact on non-defense discretionary spending in October 2011 testimony: “If defense and nondefense appropriations were cut proportionally relative to the funding that would be necessary to keep pace with inflation, nondefense budget authority would decrease from $511 billion in 2011 to $505 billion in 2012 before rising again and reaching $597 billion in 2021 (see Table 4). Between 2012 and 2021, budget authority for nondefense purposes would be $418 billion less than the amount that would be provided if funding grew at the rate of inflation after 2011. Under an assumption that the obligation limitations for certain transportation programs grow over time at the rate of inflation, nondefense funding in 2021 would represent 2.8 percent of GDP; by comparison, such funding has averaged 4.1 percent of GDP during the past decade (see Figure 6).”
Effects of tax increases
Various sources estimated the 2013 impact on taxpayers (individual and married filing jointly) from the tax increases that would occur if the Bush income tax cuts and Obama payroll tax cuts are allowed to expire. The table below shows the dollar and percentage increase in taxes due and assumes two federal allowances are taken. The interactive tool at the source cited can be adjusted based on the reader’s circumstances.
Income Level / Filing status
$1,576 / 18%
$1,870 / 26%
$4,076 / 17%
$3,272 / 17%
$5,850 / 15%
$5,046 / 15%
$7,350 / 13%
$6,546 / 14%
Many experts have argued that the U.S. should avoid the fiscal cliff while taking steps to bring the long-term deficit and debt trajectory under control. For example, economist Paul Krugman recommended that the U.S. focus on employment in the short-run, rather than the deficit. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke emphasized the importance of balancing long-term deficit reduction with actions that would not slow the economy in the short-run. Charles Konigsburg, who directed the bi-partisan Domenici-Rivlin deficit reduction panel, advocated avoiding the fiscal cliff while taking steps to reduce the budget deficit over time. He recommended the adoption of ideas from deficit panels such as Domenici-Rivlin and Bowles-Simpson that accomplish these two goals.
Other experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Carlyle Group have argued that allowing the tax increases and spending cuts to occur under current law may be necessary to create the “grand bargain” required to get the U.S. deficit and debt trajectory under control for the long-run. In other words, allowing current law to take effect would create conditions under which legislators might be forced to enact better designed deficit reduction approaches of similar or greater magnitude.
Even financial news networks CNBC and CNBC.com are launching a network-wide initiative aimed at calling attention to the fiscal situation. The network’s campaign is called “RISE ABOVE”, a call to action appealing to everyone to rise above partisan political views in an effort to come to agreement on a plan that tackles both the long and short term challenges to the American economy. CNBC plans to engage business leaders, politicians and viewers through a series of programming efforts designed to increase the understanding of the core issues and to raise the level of dialogue beyond the rhetoric and talking points that have saturated media coverage of the ‘fiscal cliff.’
Proposals to mitigate the fiscal cliff
U.S. Federal budget deficit as % of GDP assuming continuation of certain policies for 2012-2022. The baseline deficit assumes current law takes effect, meaning tax cuts expire and spending cuts are applied. Avoiding the “fiscal cliff” increases the projected deficit.
Congressional Republicans have proposed that the Bush tax cuts be extended in their entirety. In August 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that extending these tax cuts for the 2013–2022 time period would add $3.18 trillion to the national debt relative to the current law baseline, comprising $2.74 trillion in foregone tax revenue plus another $0.44 trillion for interest and debt service costs.
On July 25, 2012, the U.S. Senate voted 51–48 to pass a bill supporting the President’s tax proposal which extended cuts for most taxpayers, while rejecting the Republican proposal of extending the tax cuts for all 45–54. The U.S. House of Representatives rejected, 170–257, the President’s tax proposal on August 1, 2012.
As of November 1, 2012, a group of senators, now called the Gang of Eight, composed of Democratic Whip Richard J. Durbin D-Il., Finance Committee member Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Sen. Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Finance member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho., Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., have been working since 2011 but “has so far failed to reach an agreement after more than a year of talks.” Because of the number of spending cuts and tax changes, at least half a dozen committees, such as the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, might want to weigh in on the bill. Congressional rules allow bills to skip committee hearings, but the group lacks the clout to “push its plan through Congress outside the regular order of business”.
On November 16, 2012, the US leaders announced that President Obama (D) met with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “to discuss” the plan “to work on” a plan “over the weekend” “to create a plan” that would be ready to present the week of November 26, 2012 concerning the fiscal cliff.
In a three-page letter, Steven Miller, acting IRS Commissioner, outlined the effects of the fiscal cliff and said that the IRS is working under the assumption that Congress would “patch” the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The patch prevents the AMT from impacting many more taxpayers. This is similar to what Congress has done in previous years.
Since the budgetary and economic impact is due to existing laws, Congress would have to pass new legislation and have the President sign it into law to avoid the cliff. Since a Presidential veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to override, a Presidential veto of attempts to avoid the cliff would likely ensure that significant deficit reduction would occur. The President has promised to veto any attempt to bypass the cliff that does not include an increase of tax rates for the wealthy.
March 23, 2010: President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of this law’s provisions is to impose new taxes on families making $250,000 per year or more starting in 2013.
December 17, 2010: Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, patching the AMT through 2011 and extending the Bush tax cuts to the end of 2012.
August 2, 2011: The President signed the Budget Control Act of 2011. This act provided that, if the Joint Select Committee did not produce bipartisan legislation, across-the-board spending cuts would take effect on January 2, 2013.
February 22, 2012: Obama signed into law the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which extended the following provisions until December 31, 2012: the 2% Social Security payroll tax cut, federal unemployment benefits and the freeze on Medicare physician payments.
February 29, 2012: Ben Bernanke popularized the term “fiscal cliff” in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
July 3, 2012: IMF head Lagarde warned that the threat of “going over the fiscal cliff” could weaken the US economy later in 2012. The IMF also reduced its projection for US growth in 2013 from 2.4 to 2.25 percent of GDP.
July 17, 2012: Bernanke pushed Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, warning that a failure to do so will further dampen the sluggish economic recovery.
July 31, 2012: Reid and Boehner agreed on a continuing resolution that would pay for the day-to-day running of the government until the end of March 2013. This does not affect the fiscal cliff or the debt-ceiling.
August 7, 2012: Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which directed his administration to detail in 30 days how they plan to implement the automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act.
October 22, 2012: At the third of three presidential debates, Obama says sequestration will not happen.
November 16, 2012: US leaders announced that they met “to discuss” the plan “to work on” a plan “over the weekend” “to create a plan” that would be ready to present the week of November 26, 2012 concerning the fiscal cliff. …”
Contrarians and some politicos on both the left and the right have started to ask the forbidden question
By Joyce Hanson, AdvisorOne
“…As everyone knows by now, considering all the talk by market pundits and business media, fear of falling off the fiscal cliff has become the obsession du jour ever since President Obama won re-election. The threatened results of a failure to resolve the issue – including tax hikes, spending cuts and an almost certain recession – sound so dire that nobody wants the U.S. to fall off that cliff.
Then again, maybe some do. Contrarians and some politicos on both the left and the right have started to ask the forbidden question: Why not just fall off the fiscal cliff?
For example, conservative thinker Marc A. Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute dared suggest in an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Monday that the best way to start the new year in a bipartisan fashion would be to head over the cliff.
“Today, the only ones in Washington who advocate fiscal cliff-diving are liberal Democrats. It’s time for conservatives to join them. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will strengthen the GOP’s hand in tax negotiations next year, and it may be the only way Republicans can force President Obama and Senate Democrats to agree to fundamental tax reform,” Thiessen wrote.
True enough, liberal Paul Krugman in a post-election column for The New York Times on Nov. 8 urged Democrats not to make a deal in terms of accommodating Republican demands.
“I don’t mean to minimize the very real economic dangers posed by the so-called fiscal cliff that is looming at the end of this year if the two parties can’t reach a deal,” Krugman wrote. “The looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession. Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.”
Facing What May Become Reality
After the Dec. 31 deadline, if no compromise is reached, both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are scheduled to expire. At the same time, $1.2 trillion of automatic “sequestration” spending cuts divided equally between defense and non-defense discretionary programs are set to kick in.
Some market participants are girding themselves to face the reality of Washington gridlock if lawmakers fail to reach any kind of a fiscal cliff compromise, whether it’s a continued kicking of the can down the road or a grand bargain.
For example, Mike Acton (left), director of research for AEW, an institutional investment manager that focuses on real estate, said that contrarians are arguing that if tax rates go back to where they were 10 years ago, it would generate as much as $4.5 trillion of new revenue.
“So if in January the Bush tax cuts went away, that would allow $1.5 trillion of reduction in the debt ceiling as called for by the deficit supercommittee,” Acton said. “They created that as a way to force an agreement.”
Acton noted that falling off the cliff would mean that the capital gains tax, dividend tax, estate taxes and personal income tax rates would all go back up. …”
Greenspan: ‘Markets Will Crater’ With Fiscal Cliff
Former Fed chairman says mild recession is ‘cheap price’ of coming crisis
By John Sullivan, AdvisorOne
“…Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Bloomberg Television on Friday that “markets will crater if we run into any evidence that we can’t solve this [fiscal cliff] problem.”
Greenspan, who said recently that big Wall Street banks should allowed to go bankrupt, said, “If we get out of this with a moderate recession, I would say that the price is very cheap.”
Greenspan on the fiscal cliff:
“We have to recognize that this is going to be extraordinarily difficult to solve. All of the simple low hanging fruits have been picked and the presumption that we are going to resolve the big issue on spending by making a few little twitches here and there I think is a little naive. If we get out of this with a moderate recession, I would say that the price is very cheap. The presumption that we will solve this problem without paying I think is grossly inappropriate.”
“I think it is not only Simpson-Bowles. I think the markets are getting very shaky. And they are getting shaky because I think fiscal policy is out of control. And I think the markets will crater if we run into any evidence that we cannot solve this problem. And I think the notion that the issue of the impact on the economy is strictly the spending tax issue, is also the market. I think we underestimate the extent to which the market value of assets has a very important impact on real GDP.”
On whether the U.S. is headed into a recession even if a deal is made:
“Not necessarily. I am just saying that we may get a deal, which will take us for next year or so. But the question isn’t that. I think the question is essentially how are we going to stop what is a critical problem here, an extraordinarily rapid rise in what the Department of Commerce calls government social benefits to persons, which has been rising very rapidly bipartisanly in the sense that it has been rising even faster under Republican administrations than Democratic administrations. And they are all very closely involved in these new benefits, the only problem is that it is eating into the savings of the society and our long-term growth. And yes, we can continue for the next year or so without any really serious problems emerging. But I think it is a highly risky endeavor.
“The problem is, if we are going to come to grips with this thing, we are going to have to recognize that even if we have got to pay the cost of a significant rise in taxes to get a significant slowing and then decline in social benefits, that is a very cheap price in the sense that a large increase in taxes required to fund what is currently on the books is going to cause a recession. But I think that if we can get away with that is the only cost to this whole problem, I think that is a pretty good deal.”
On where Republicans and Democrats will find common ground on cutting entitlement programs:
“It is going to be extraordinarily difficult. The issue is that words matter. If you ask the average person in the street about, for example, their social security benefits, they will say we have paid in, it is our money, we have earned it, I am getting it back. It is not welfare, it is not charity. It is equivalent to a private, fully-funded pension fund. It isn’t. It is essentially extremely underfunded. In fact, if we were to go to a fully-funded system, comparable to those fully-funded private systems, we would have to cut benefits by the equivalent of 4% points of payroll taxes or raise payroll taxes by the equivalent amount. Those are very large numbers and would suggest that yes, indeed, people have put money in, but certainly not enough to fund what they are getting back. The notion that we have to confront is that people do not think that this is any different from a private fund. The trouble is that it is.”
On tax policy:
“The problem basically is that we have tried for decades to somehow manage our budget in such a way that, yes we can run deficits of this or that size, and we use it sophisticatedly for fiscal policy. It turns out we cannot do that well. It gets out of hand and this is not an accident. There is no question that raising taxes will turn the economy downward. Ideally I would like to just cut spending. I do not think politically that is feasible because the problem, no matter how you look at it, is fundamentally this extraordinary rise in social benefits to persons. That is the core of the problem. But the issue is, if we can solve it the way I would want to solve it, if we go back to where we were earlier at a much lower level of those benefits because I think what is then going on in recent years, we have not been able to afford.”
On whether tax rate increases or eliminating deductions and closing loopholes will get the revenue agreement:
“I agree with those who argue that marginal tax rates really do matter. And I thought the genius of the Simpson-Bowles plan to identify a trillion dollars’ worth of tax expenditures which Republicans can a look at as subsidies, and the Democrats can look at as increased taxes to upper income groups. The problem is you are looking at the same issue and you can compromise on that. But look, if the issue here is whether you do it tax rates or you do it by taking loopholes out so to speak, obviously the latter is the better choice by far. The issue here is in both cases, you lower the rate of savings in a society and that will curtail capital investment, curtail the rate of growth and productivity, and essentially slow down the rate of real resource creation, which at the end of the day is what funds social benefits.” …”
Describing “Shadow Government Statistics” — John Williams
Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.8% on New Jobs Report
BREAKING: U.S. Adds 114,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Drops to 7.8
October 5th 2012 CNBC Stock Market Squawk Box (September Jobs Report)
Today’s report includes a surprise drop in the unemployment rate-but it is statistically questionable. Payroll numbers continued modest improvement. The unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 7.8 percent, following a decline to 8.1 percent in August. Payroll jobs in September gained about as expected with a modest 114,000 increase, following an rise in August of 142,000 (originally up 96,000) and an increase of 181,000 in July (previous estimate of 141,000). The net revisions for July and August were up 86,000. Market expectations were for a 113,000 boost for September.
Private payrolls advanced 104,000 in September after increasing 97,000 the month before. The consensus projected a 130,000 increase.
Wage inflation has been volatile and the latest number was on the up side. Average hourly earnings growth improved to 0.3 percent in September, following no change in August. Analysts forecast a 0.2 percent rise. The average workweek nudged up to 34.5 hours in September from 34.4 hours in August. Expectations were for 34.4 hours.
Turning to the household survey, the unemployment rate drop reflected an 873,000 spike in household employment versus a 368,000 drop in August. The labor force rebounded 418,000 after a 368,000 decrease in August. The household survey is much smaller than the payroll survey and is more volatile
September Unemployment Falls to 7.8%
Jack Welch Hardball w/Chris Matthews 10/5/12
Jack Welch, the lionized former chairman of General Electric Co, provoked cries of outrage in Washington on Friday when he appeared to accuse the White House of manipulating September job figures for political gains.
White House officials dismissed as “ludicrous” a tweet Welch sent to his more than 1.3 million followers that suggested U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration rigged the data as a way of recovering from a poor Wednesday night showing in a debate against Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger for the White House.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch said in a posting on Twitter, apparently referring to Obama, who formerly served as a senator from Illinois.
The tweet was repeated more than 2,000 times, with many mocking posts comparing Welch to New York real estate tycoon Donald Trump – who during his failed bid for the presidency loudly argued that Obama was not born in the United States – and Clint Eastwood, who gave a widely panned speech to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in August.
Officials in Washington quickly dismissed the idea that the Labor Department report – which showed U.S. unemployment falling to a four-year low of 7.8 percent – could be rigged.
“That’s a ludicrous comment. No serious person believes that the bureau of labor statistics manipulates its statistics,” said Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “The jobs report and all of their other statistics are prepared by career employees. They use the same process every month. They use the same process for Republican and Democratic administrations.”
The tweet was by no means Welch’s first criticism of Obama on his Twitter feed, where he has regularly spoken out in favor of Romney, as well as weighing in on sports. During the presidential debate in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday night, Welch tweeted: “HOW can anyone vote for Obama after this performance..he has demonstrated his incompetence.”
Word of the Day: Unemployment (U3 and U6)
FACT CHECK: LABOR SECRETARY SOLIS MISLEADS ON JOBS REVISIONS
The AFL-CIO Reacts to the September BLS Jobs Report
Series Id: LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Employment Level Labor force status: Employed Type of data: Number in thousands Age: 16 years and over
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Civilian Labor Force
Series Id: LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level Labor force status: Civilian labor force Type of data: Number in thousands Age: 16 years and over
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Labor Force Participation Rate
Series Id: LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over
Labor Force Participation Rate
Series Id: LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Level Labor force status: Unemployed Type of data: Number in thousands Age: 16 years and over
Unemployment Rate U-3
Series Id: LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate Labor force status: Unemployment rate Type of data: Percent or rate Age: 16 years and over
Unemployment Rate U-6
Series Id: LNS13327709
Series title: (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers
plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force
plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status: Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Percent/rates: Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force
plus marg attached
Background Articles and Videos
Employment Situation Summary
Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-12-1981
until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, October 5, 2012
Household data: (202) 691-6378 * firstname.lastname@example.org * www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * email@example.com * www.bls.gov/ces
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2012
The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm
payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing
but changed little in most other major industries.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September.
For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1
and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by
456,000 in September. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent),
adult women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) declined over the month.
The unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and
Hispanics (9.9 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians, at
4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), fell over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2,
In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million. (See table A-11.)
The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 302,000 over
the month to 2.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for
27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1
percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)
Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little
change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to
58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in
the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor
force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force
participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes
referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August
to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because
their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time
job. (See table A-8.)
In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally
adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were
available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.
They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work
in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 802,000 discouraged workers in
September, a decline of 235,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not
seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking
for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining
1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such
as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September. In 2012,
employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average
monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In September, employment rose in health care
and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.)
Health care added 44,000 jobs in September. Job gains continued in ambulatory
health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+8,000). Over the past year,
employment in health care has risen by 295,000.
In September, employment increased by 17,000 in transportation and warehousing.
Within the industry, there were job gains in transit and ground passenger
transportation (+9,000) and in warehousing and storage (+4,000).
Employment in financial activities edged up in September (+13,000), reflecting
modest job growth in credit intermediation (+6,000) and real estate (+7,000).
Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000). On net, manufacturing
employment has been unchanged since April. In September, job losses occurred
in computer and electronic products (-6,000) and in printing and related
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction,
wholesale trade, retail trade, information, professional and business services,
leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by
0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in September. The manufacturing workweek edged up by
0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours.
The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private
nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls rose by 7 cents to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly
earnings have risen by 1.8 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of
private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents
to $19.81. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from
+141,000 to +181,000, and the change for August was revised from +96,000 to
The Employment Situation for October is scheduled to be released on
Friday, November 2, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htmEmployment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
HOUSEHOLD DATA Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Change from: Aug. 2012- Sept. 2012
Civilian noninstitutional population
Civilian labor force
Not in labor force
Total, 16 years and over
Adult men (20 years and over)
Adult women (20 years and over)
Teenagers (16 to 19 years)
Black or African American
Asian (not seasonally adjusted)
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity
Total, 25 years and over
Less than a high school diploma
High school graduates, no college
Some college or associate degree
Bachelor’s degree and higher
Reason for unemployment
Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
Duration of unemployment
Less than 5 weeks
5 to 14 weeks
15 to 26 weeks
27 weeks and over
Employed persons at work part time
Part time for economic reasons
Slack work or business conditions
Could only find part-time work
Part time for noneconomic reasons
Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)
Marginally attached to the labor force
- Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data. NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.
Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
ESTABLISHMENT DATA Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Footnotes (1) Includes other industries, not shown separately. (2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries. (3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours. (4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls. (5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment. (p) Preliminary
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 1 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 1, “Themes and Lessons from Colonial America” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 2 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 2, “The Constitution: Four Disputed Clauses” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 3 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 3, “The Principles of ’98″ by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 4 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 4, “Lysander Spooner and Other Antebellum Radicalism” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 5 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 5, “Secession and the American Experience” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 6 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 6, “Secession and War” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 7 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 7, “Reconstruction” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 8 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 8, “Myths and Facts About Big Business” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 9 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 9, “World War I” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 10 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 10, “The 1920s – Domestic and International” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 11 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 11, “Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 12 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 12, “The Economics of the New Deal and World War II” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 13 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 13, “The History of Foreign Aid Programs” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 14 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 14, “Civil Rights and the Supreme Court” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 15 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Lecture 15, “Welfare Programs and the Great Society” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, Jr., a senior fellow in history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, presents this fifteen-lecture course covering the material in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Presented to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, and recorded at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama between September 2006 and March 2007.
Peak Oil Global recession means drop in oil prices
IMMINENT AMERICAN DEPRESSION: Peter Schiff – We Aren’t That Far Behind Greece?!
Is talk of a “Grexit” the Smoke Screen for a Global Economic Meltdown?
Marc Faber: 100% Chance of Global Recession
By: Lee Brodie
“…Faber indicated that while investors remain focused on Greece and Europe – other issues, bigger issues are looming. And they’re more threatening.
“As an observer of markets – whenever everyone focuses on one thing – like Greece and Europe – maybe they miss issues that are far more important – such as a meaningful slowdown in India and China.”
The latest reports from Beijing would support Faber’s assertion. The HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index, slipped to 48.7 in May from 49.3 in April. That marks the seventh straight month that the index has been below 50, a level which indicates economic activity is contracting.
Faber also cited weakness in the high-end as another key catalyst that’s very negative.
“There are more and more stocks that are breaking down – economic sensitive stocks and companies that cater to the high-end,” he said. “That suggests to me the economy is likely to weaken and the huge asset run is likely to come to an end with significant asset deflation.”
Senator Blumenthal on Curbing Excessive Oil Speculation
Senator Blumenthal calls for action against excessive oil speculation that inflates gas prices
Cantwell: ‘Shenanigans’ in Oil Market Reminiscent of Enron ‘Nightmare’ in Pacific NW
How Uncertainty, Speculation Factor Into Gas Prices
Banksters & Speculation Behind High Food-Oil Prices
Under Questioning by Cantwell, Exxon CEO Estimates Oil Should Cost $60-70 Per Barrel
On May 12, 2011, when questioned by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Exxon Mobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson said that oil should cost between $60 and $70 per barrel, if the price of oil were based on supply and demand fundamentals. Oil was trading at $98 per barrel on Thursday morning, after inexplicitly plunging 5.5 percent yesterday.
Michael Greenberger on “commodity prices and volatility”
Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing
Speculation and Watered Down Regulation
Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets
CFTC Commissioner: “A Hair Trigger Away from Economic Calamity”
Will CFTC Limit Excessive Speculation?
Stossel: Oil Speculation
The Price Of Oil
CHHS Director explains derivatives regulation on C-SPAN – 5/15/09
Michael Greenberger Talks Speculation In Commodity Markets
Oil speculation and oil prices
Myth: The World is Running Out of Oil (Peak Oil)
Hearing on Energy Price Manipulation – Greenberger Testimony
Background Articles and Videos
Lecture 2: Course outline, futures markets history and market mechanics
The Path to Prosperity (Episode 1): America’s two futures, visualized
The Path to Prosperity (Episode2): America’s two futures, visualized
Path to Prosperity (Episode 3): 3 Steps to Pro-Growth Tax Reform — VISUALIZED
Poll: Ron Paul Leading in Iowa
Paul holds a slim lead over Romney in first post-Christmas Iowa poll
By Jonathan Easley – 12/28/11 07:10 AM ET
“…With the Iowa caucus one week away, Ron Paul is standing his ground in Iowa, according to a Public Policy Poll released Wednesday.
Paul leads the field with 24 percent, but Mitt Romney is a close second at 20 percent.
The survey of 565 likely Republican caucus-goers was conducted Dec. 26-27, indicating that so far Paul has weathered the intense media focus and attacks from his rivals centered on the controversial newsletters that bear the Texas congressman’s name and some of his foreign policy views that fall outside of the mainstream.
The poll showed a continuing sharp decline in Newt Gingrich’s support, as the former House Speaker finished a distant third at 13 percent. Only a month ago, Gingrich led the field at 27 percent, but his decision not to counter the barrage of attack ads against him in Iowa seems to have sunk him for now.
Only 37 percent of Iowans now have a favorable view of Gingrich, while 54 percent say they have an unfavorable view.
Rounding out the field are Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) at 11 percent, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) at 10 percent each. …”
“I want to use all my strength, to resist the notion that I can run your lives, or run the economy, or run the world. I want to use that strength to repeal and reject that notion, and stand up and defend the principles of liberty.”
~Congressman Ron Paul
Ron Paul Money Bomb Dec. 16, 2011 – Pledge Now!
Ron Paul – “The one who can beat Obama”
Ron Paul Ad – Consistent
Ron Paul Ad – Secure
Ron Paul Ad TRUST
Ron Paul Ad – Life
Ron Paul Ad – Plan
Thanksgiving Family Forum – Ron Paul Highlights
Ron Paul’s Full Speech at the Value Voters Summit 2011
Vintage Dr Ron Paul for Congress Political Infomercial
Ron Paul The Media Should Be Exposing Newt… Not Me
Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy
Ron Paul: There Are No “Cuts”
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The Amazingly Accurate Predictions of Ron Paul
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Fox Fails to Make Ron Paul Look Like A Fool!
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