Michael D. Tanner — Going For Broke — Leviathan On The Right: How Big Government Conservatism Brought Down The Republican Revolution — Videos

Posted on October 16, 2016. Filed under: Articles, Blogroll, Books, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , |

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Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis (Michael Tanner)

Michael Tanner – Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt and the Entitlement Crisis

‘We’re Broke’: Cato’s Michael Tanner on the Libertarian State of the Union

Michael D. Tanner

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Cato Institute senior fellow, Michael Tanner heads research into a variety of domestic policies with a particular emphasis on poverty and social welfare policy, health care reform, and Social Security.

Tanner is the author of numerous other books on public policy, including Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis,Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution, Healthy Competition: What’s Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society, and A New Deal for Social Security.

Under Tanner’s direction, Cato launched the Project on Social Security Choice, which is widely considered the leading impetus for transforming the soon-to-be-bankrupt system into a private savings program. Timemagazine calls Tanner, “one of the architects of the private accounts movement,” and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the nation’s five most influential experts on Social Security. The New York Times refers to him as “a lucid writer and skilled polemicist.”

More recently Tanner has undertaken a major project to develop innovative solutions to poverty and inequality.

Tanner’s writings have appeared in nearly every major American newspaper, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He writes a weekly column for National Review Online, and is a contributing columnist with the New York Post. A prolific writer and frequent guest lecturer, Tanner appears regularly on network and cable news programs.


Cato Institute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Cato (disambiguation).
Cato Institute
Founder(s) Ed Crane, Charles Koch, Murray Rothbard
Established 1974[1]
Mission To originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.[2]
Focus Public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence
President (and CEO) Peter N. Goettler[3]
Chairman Robert A. Levy[3]
Executive Vice-President David Boaz[4]
Faculty 46
Adjunct faculty 70
Staff 100
Budget Revenue: $37.3 million
Expenses: $29.4 million
(FYE March 2015)[5]
Slogan “Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace”
Formerly called Charles Koch Foundation; Cato Foundation
Location 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.Washington, D.C., United States
Coordinates 38°54′12″N 77°01′35″WCoordinates: 38°54′12″N 77°01′35″W
Website www.cato.org

The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch,[6] chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries.[nb 1] In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute.[6][7] Cato was established to have a focus on public advocacy, media exposure and societal influence.[8] According to the 2014 Global Go To Think TankIndex Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Cato is number 16 in the “Top Think Tanks Worldwide” and number 8 in the “Top Think Tanks in the United States”.[9] Cato also topped the 2014 list of the budget-adjusted ranking of international development think tanks.[10]

Cato Institute building in Washington, D.C.


The institute was founded in December 1974 in Wichita, Kansas as the Charles Koch Foundation and initially funded by Charles Koch.[nb 2][11] The other members of the first board of directors included co-founder Murray Rothbard, libertarian scholar Earl Ravenal, and businessmen Sam H. Husbands Jr. and David H. Padden.[6][12]At the suggestion of Rothbard,[12] the institute changed its name in 1976 to Cato Institute after Cato’s Letters, a series of British essays penned in the early 18th century by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon.[13][14]

Cato relocated first to San Francisco, California in 1977, then to Washington, D.C. in 1981, settling initially in a historic house on Capitol Hill.[15](p446) The Institute moved to its current location on Massachusetts Avenue in 1993. Cato Institute was named the fifth-ranked think tank in the world for 2009 in a study of think tanks by James G. McGann, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania, based on a criterion of excellence in “producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs in one or more substantive areas of research”.[16]


Various Cato programs were favorably ranked in a survey published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2012.[9]


The Cato Institute publishes numerous policy studies, briefing papers, periodicals, and books. Peer-reviewed academic journals include the Cato Journal[17][18][19] and Regulation.[20][21][22] Other periodicals includeCato’s Letter,[23] Cato Supreme Court Review,[24] and Cato Policy Report.[25] Cato published Inquiry Magazine from 1977 to 1982 (before transferring it to the Libertarian Review Foundation)[26] and Literature of Liberty from 1978 to 1979 (before transferring it to the Institute for Humane Studies).[27]

Notable books from Cato and Cato scholars include:

Web projects

In addition to maintaining its own website in English and Spanish,[28] Cato maintains websites focused on particular topics:

  • “Downsizing the Federal Government” contains essays on the size of the U.S. Federal Government and recommendations for decreasing various programs.[29]
  • Libertarianism.org is a website focused on the theory and practice of libertarianism.
  • Cato Unbound, a web-only publication that features a monthly open debate between four people. The conversation begins with one lead essay, followed by three response essays by separate people. After that, all four participants can write as many responses and counter-responses as they want for the duration of that month.
  • PoliceMisconduct.net contains reports and stories from Cato’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project and the National Police Misconduct News Feed.[30]
  • Overlawyered is a law blog on the subject of tort reform run by author Walter Olson.
  • HumanProgress.org is an interactive data web project that catalogs increases in prosperity driven by the free market.

Social media sponsored by Cato includes “Daily Podcasts” (through iTunes and RSS feeds), plus pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.[31]


Speakers at Cato have included Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato.[32][33][34] In 2009 Czech Republic PresidentVáclav Klaus spoke at a conference.[35]

Ideological relationships

Libertarianism, classical liberalism, and conservatism

Many Cato scholars advocate support for civil liberties, liberal immigration policies,[36] drug liberalization,[37] and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and laws restricting consensual sexual activity.[38][39] The Cato Institute officially resists being labeled as part of the conservative movement because “‘conservative’ smacks of an unwillingness to change, of a desire to preserve the status quo”.[40]

In 2006, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos proposed the term “Libertarian Democrat” to describe his particular liberal position, suggesting that libertarians should be allies of the Democratic Party. Replying, Cato vice president for research Brink Lindsey agreed that libertarians and liberals should view each other as natural ideological allies,[41] and noted continuing differences between mainstream liberal views on economic policy and Cato’s “Jeffersonian philosophy“. Cato has stated on its “About Cato” page: “The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato’s work has increasingly come to be called ‘libertarianism’ or ‘market liberalism.’ It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.”[42]

Cato scholars Gene Healy and Tim Lynch were critical of the expansion of executive power under President George W. Bush[43] and the Iraq War.[44] In 2006 and 2007, Cato published two books critical of the Republican Party’s perceived abandonment of the limited-government ideals that swept them into power in 1994.[45][46] For their part, only a minority of Republican congressmen supported President George W. Bush’s 2005 proposal to partially privatize Social Security, an idea strongly backed by the Institute. And in the 109th Congress, President Bush’s immigration plan – which was based on a proposal by Cato scholar Dan Griswold[47] – went down to defeat largely due to the eventual opposition of conservative Republican congressmen.[48]

Some Cato scholars disagree with conservatives on drug liberalization,[37] liberal immigration policy,[36] energy policy,[49] and LGBT rights[38] – including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.[39] Former Cato President Ed Crane had a particular dislike for neoconservatism. In a 2003 article with Cato Chairman Emeritus William A. Niskanen, he called neoconservatism a “particular threat to liberty perhaps greater than the ideologically spent ideas of left-liberalism”.[50] In 1995, Crane wrote that neoconservatives “have a fundamentally benign view of the state”, which Crane considers antithetical to libertarian ideals of individual freedom.[51] In 2004, Cato’s foreign policy team criticized neoconservative foreign policy,[52] albeit the opposition to neo-conservative foreign policy has not always been uniform.[53]


John A. Allison IV speaking at the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC)

Further information: Objectivism and libertarianism

The relationship between Cato and the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) improved with the nomination of Cato’s new president John A. Allison IV in 2012. He is a former ARI board member and is reported to be an “ardent devotee” of Rand who has promoted reading her books to colleges nationwide.[54] In March 2015 Allison retired and was replaced by Peter Goettler. Allison remains on the Cato Institute’s board[55]

Cato positions on political issues and policies

The Cato Institute advocates policies that advance “individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace“. They are libertarian in their policy positions, typically advocating diminished government intervention in domestic, social, and economic policies and decreased military and political intervention worldwide. Cato was cited by columnist Ezra Klein as nonpartisan, saying that it is “the foremost advocate for small-government principles in American life” and it “advocates those principles when Democrats are in power, and when Republicans are in power”.[56] Eric Lichtblau called Cato “one of the country’s most widely cited research organizations”.[57]

On domestic issues

Cato scholars have consistently called for the privatization of many government services and institutions, including NASA, Social Security, the United States Postal Service, the Transportation Security Administration,public transportation systems, and public broadcasting.[58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65] The institute opposes minimum wage laws, saying that they violate the freedom of contract and thus private property rights, and increase unemployment.[66][67] It is opposed to expanding overtime regulations, arguing that it will benefit some employees in the short term, while costing jobs or lowering wages of others, and have no meaningful long-term impact.[68][69] It opposes child labor prohibitions.[70][71][72] It opposes public sector unions and supports right-to-work laws.[73][74] It opposes universal health care, arguing that it is harmful to patients and an intrusion onto individual liberty.[75][76] It is against affirmative action.[77] It has also called for total abolition of the welfare state, and has argued that it should be replaced with reduced business regulations to create more jobs, and argues that private charities are fully capable of replacing it.[78][79] Cato has also opposed antitrust laws.[80][81]

Cato is an opponent of campaign finance reform, arguing that government is the ultimate form of potential corruption and that such laws undermine democracy by undermining competitive elections. Cato also supports the repeal of the Federal Election Campaign Act.[82][83]

Cato has published strong criticisms of the 1998 settlement which many U.S. states signed with the tobacco industry.[84] In 2004, Cato scholar Daniel Griswold wrote in support of President George W. Bush’s failed proposal to grant temporary work visas to otherwise undocumented laborers which would have granted limited residency for the purpose of employment in the U.S.[85]

The Cato Institute published a study proposing a Balanced Budget Veto Amendment to the United States Constitution.[86]

In 2003, Cato filed an amicus brief in support of the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down the remaining state laws that made private, non-commercial homosexual relations between consenting adults illegal. Cato cited the 14th Amendment, among other things, as the source of their support for the ruling. The amicus brief was cited in Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion for the Court.[87]

In 2006, Cato published a Policy Analysis criticising the Federal Marriage Amendment as unnecessary, anti-federalist, and anti-democratic.[88] The amendment would have changed the United States Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage; the amendment failed in both houses of Congress.

Cato scholars have been sharp critics of current U.S. drug policy and the perceived growing militarization of U.S. law enforcement.[89] Additionally, the Cato Institute opposes smoking bans[90] and mandatory use ofsafety belts.[91]

Criticism of corporate welfare

In 2004, the Institute published a paper arguing in favor of “drug re-importation”.[92] Cato has published numerous studies criticizing what it calls “corporate welfare”, the practice of public officials funneling taxpayer money, usually via targeted budgetary spending, to politically connected corporate interests.[93][94][95][96]

Cato president Ed Crane and Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope co-wrote a 2002 op-ed piece in the Washington Post calling for the abandonment of the Republican energy bill, arguing that it had become little more than a gravy train for Washington, D.C. lobbyists.[97] Again in 2005, Cato scholar Jerry Taylor teamed up with Daniel Becker of the Sierra Club to attack the Republican Energy Bill as a give-away to corporate interests.[98]

On copyright issues

A 2006 study criticized the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.[99]

On foreign policy

Cato’s non-interventionist foreign policy views, and strong support for civil liberties, have frequently led Cato scholars to criticize those in power, both Republican and Democratic. Cato scholars opposed PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush‘s 1991 Gulf War operations (a position which caused the organization to lose nearly $1 million in funding),[15](p454) President Bill Clinton‘s interventions in Haiti and Kosovo, and President George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. As a response to the September 11 attacks, Cato scholars supported the removal of al Qaeda and the Taliban regime from power, but are against an indefinite and open-ended military occupation of Afghanistan.[100]

Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato’s Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, criticized many of the arguments offered to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of the war’s earliest critics, Carpenter wrote in January 2002: “Ousting Saddam would make Washington responsible for Iraq’s political future and entangle the United States in an endless nation-building mission beset by intractable problems.”[101] Carpenter also predicted: “Most notably there is the issue posed by two persistent regional secession movements: the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south.”[101] Cato’s Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Christopher Preble, argues in The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free, that America’s position as an unrivaled superpower tempts policymakers to constantly overreach and to redefine ever more broadly the “national interest”.[102]

Christopher Preble has said that the “scare campaign” to protect military spending from cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011 has backfired.[103]

On environmental policy

Cato scholars have written about the issues of the environment, including global warming, environmental regulation, and energy policy.

PolitiFact.com and Scientific American have criticized Cato’s work on global warming.[104][105] A December 2003 Cato panel included Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling and John Christy.[citation needed] Michaels, Balling and Christy agreed that global warming is related at least some degree to human activity but that some scientists and the media have overstated the danger.[citation needed] The Cato Institute has also criticized political attempts to stop global warming as expensive and ineffective:

No known mechanism can stop global warming in the near term. International agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, would have no detectable effect on average temperature within any reasonable policy time frame (i.e., 50 years or so), even with full compliance.[106]

Cato scholars have been critical of the Bush administration’s views on energy policy. In 2003, Cato scholars Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren said the Republican Energy Bill was “hundreds of pages of corporate welfare, symbolic gestures, empty promises, and pork-barrel projects”.[107] They also spoke out against the former president’s calls for larger ethanol subsidies.[108]

With regard to the “Takings Clause” of the United States Constitution and environmental protection, libertarians associated with Cato contend that the Constitution is not adequate to guarantee the protection of private property rights.[109]

Other commentaries of presidential administrations

George W. Bush administration

Cato scholars were critical of George W. Bush‘s Republican administration (2001–2009) on several issues, including education,[110] and excessive government spending.[111] On other issues, they supported Bush administration initiatives, most notably health care,[112] Social Security,[113][114] global warming,[106] tax policy,[115] and immigration.[85][116][117][118]

2008 election campaign commentaries

During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Cato scholars criticized both major-party candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.[119][120]

Barack Obama administration

Cato has criticized President Obama’s stances on policy issues such as fiscal stimulus,[121] healthcare reform,[122] foreign policy,[123] and drug-related matters,[37] while supporting his stance on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell[39] and liberal immigration policy.[36]

Funding, tax status, and corporate structure

The Cato Institute is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. For revenue, the Institute is largely dependent on private contributions. The Cato Institute reported fiscal year 2015 revenue of $37.3 million and expenses of $29.4 million.[5] According to the organization’s annual report, $32.1 million came from individual donors, $2.9 million came from foundations, $1.2 million came from program revenue and other income, and $1 million came from corporations.[5]

Sponsors of Cato have included FedEx, Google, CME Group and Whole Foods Market.[124] The Nation reported support for Cato from the tobacco industry in a 2012 story.[125]

Funding details

Funding details as of FYE March 2015:[5]
Circle frame.svg

Operating Revenue as of FYE March 2015: $37,319,000

  Individuals (86.0%)
  Foundations (7.7%)
  Corporations (2.9%)
  Program revenue (2.9%)
  Other income (0.5%)
Circle frame.svg

Operating expenses as of FYE March 2015: $29,352,000

  Program (73.8%)
  Management & General (7.9%)
  Development (18.3%)

Net assets as of FYE March 2015: $70,186,000.

Shareholder dispute

According to an agreement signed in 1977, there were to be four shareholders of the Cato Institute. They were Charles and David Koch, Ed Crane,[126] and William A. Niskanen. Niskanen died in October 2011.[127] In March 2012, a dispute broke out over the ownership of Niskanen’s shares.[126][127] Charles and David Koch filed suit in Kansas, seeking to void his shareholder seat. The Kochs argued that Niskanen’s shares should first be offered to the board of the Institute, and then to the remaining shareholders.[128] Crane contended that Niskanen’s share belonged to his widow, Kathryn Washburn, and that the move by the Kochs was an attempt to turn Cato into “some sort of auxiliary for the G.O.P…. It’s detrimental to Cato, it’s detrimental to Koch Industries, it’s detrimental to the libertarian movement.”[57]

In June 2012, Cato announced an agreement in principle to settle the dispute by changing the institute’s governing structure. Under the agreement, a board replaced the shareholders and Crane, who at the time was also Chief Executive Officer, retired. Former BB&T bank CEO John A. Allison IV replaced him.[129][130] The Koch brothers agreed to drop two lawsuits.[131]

Associates in the news

  • Cato senior fellow Robert A. Levy personally funded the plaintiffs’ successful Supreme Court challenge to the District of Columbia’s gun ban (District of Columbia v. Heller), on the basis of the Second Amendment.[132]
  • In January 2008, Dom Armentano wrote an op-ed piece about UFOs and classified government data in the Vero Beach Press-Journal.[133] Cato Executive Vice President David Boaz wrote that “I won’t deny that this latest op-ed played a role in our decision…” to drop Armentano as a Cato adjunct scholar.[134]

Nobel laureates at Cato

The following Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureates have worked with Cato:[135]

Milton Friedman Prize

Since 2002, the Cato Institute has awarded the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty every two years to “an individual who has made a significant contribution to advancing human freedom.”[136] The prize comes with a cash award of US$250,000.[137]

Friedman Prize winners
Year Recipient Nationality
2002 Peter Thomas Bauer[138]  British
2004 Hernando de Soto Polar[139]  Peruvian
2006 Mart Laar[140]  Estonian
2008 Yon Goicoechea[141]  Venezuelan
2010 Akbar Ganji[142]  Iranian
2012 Mao Yushi[143]  Chinese
2014 Leszek Balcerowicz[144]  Polish
2016 Flemming Rose[145]  Danish

Board of directors

As of 2016:[3]

Notable Cato experts

Notable scholars associated with Cato include the following:[146]

Policy scholars

Adjunct scholars



The Cato Institute is an associate member of the State Policy Network, a U.S. national network of free-market oriented think tanks.[147][148]

See also]


  1. Jump up^ Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company by revenue in the United States. “Forbes List”. Forbes. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  2. Jump up^ Koch is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company by revenue in the United States. “Forbes List”. Forbes. Retrieved November 13, 2011.


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Greece Defaults On Debt — Barring Last Minutes Rescue Attempts and Results of Sunday Referendum — No Vote Would Result in Greece Exiting Eurozone And Declaring Debt Odious! — Whose Next? — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, College, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Private Sector, Public Sector, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

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Story 1: Greece Defaults On Debt — Barring Last Minutes Rescue Attempts and Results of Sunday Referendum — No Vote Would Result in Greece Exiting Eurozone And Declaring Debt Odious! — Whose Next? — Videos

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Keiser Report: We Are All Greeks Now (E764)

Greece Defaults on IMF Loan Despite New Push for Bailout Aid

European finance chiefs shut down Athens’s last-minute request for emergency financial aid

Greece became the first developed country to default on the International Monetary Fund, as the rescue program that has sustained it for five years expired and its creditors rejected a last-ditch effort to buy more time.

The Washington-based fund said the Greek government failed to transfer €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) by close-of-business on Tuesday—the largest, single missed repayment in the IMF’s history.

The failure to pay the IMF was a dramatic, if anticipated, conclusion to a day full of unexpected twists and turns. On Tuesday morning—with the clock ticking toward the midnight expiration on the European portion of Greece’s €245 billion bailout—officials in Athens said they were working on a new solution to the four-month old impasse with creditors.

By the afternoon, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had asked for a new rescue program—the country’s third in five years—to help pay for some €29.15 billion ($32.52 billion) in debt coming due between 2015 and 2017.

Late Tuesday, Greek officials were also raising doubts over their plans for a referendum planned for Sunday, in which the government had asked its citizens to vote against pension cuts and sales-tax increases demanded by its creditors.


Some officials suggested that Mr. Tsipras and his ministers could campaign for a “yes” if a better offer from the rest of the eurozone and the IMF was on the table, while others indicated that the vote might even be called off altogether.

Whether any of these developments would keep Greece from financial meltdown andsecure its spot in Europe’s currency union was still unclear. But the prospect of more rescue loans—however dim—might help buffer some of the effects of the nonpayment to the IMF.

But in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior officials sought to lower expectations for a quick resolution to Greece’s financial crisis.

Before Greeks have voted on the measures demanded by creditors, “we will not negotiate about anything new at all,” Ms. Merkel said. Her deputy and coalition partner, Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats, urged Greece to cancel the referendum altogether. “Then one could very quickly gather for talks, initial talks. If that’s not the case, then we should certainly do this after the referendum,” Mr. Gabriel said.

European stocks and bonds fell amid the uncertainty and the euro declined against the U.S. dollar.

But most of the moves were smaller than the declines a day earlier in reaction to Athens’s weekend announcement that the government would call a referendum on whether to accept the terms that creditors are offering and the government’s shutdown of its banking system to prevent a financial collapse.

In Washington, President Barack Obama played down the potential impact of Greece’s worsening crisis on the U.S. and broader global economy. “That is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has been urging his European counterparts to press ahead with bailout talks to find a “pragmatic compromise” that includes both tough economic overhauls and debt relief, to prevent Europe’s economic problems from dragging on U.S. growth.

Related Video

Greek banks have been heavily dependent on support from the European Central Bank. WSJ’s Charles Forelle explains why the country’s banking sector could turn out to be its Achilles heel.

Eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to discuss Greece’s bailout request, along with new proposals for budget cuts and policy overhauls, in a teleconference Wednesday morning.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told his counterparts Tuesday that these plans would be close to the creditors’ latest demands, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling said in a television interview.

Mr. Varoufakis also suggested that his government might campaign for a “yes” in the referendum if its new proposals were accepted, Mr. Schelling said.

Other officials were more skeptical that, after four months of at times acrimonious negotiations, Mr. Tsipras’s left-wing government was finally giving in to creditors’ demands.

“The political stance of the Greek government doesn’t appear to have changed,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who presides over the talks with his eurozone counterparts. Mr. Dijsselbloem already said over the weekend that the government would have a hard time convincing creditors and investors that it would implement measures it has to far opposed.

The expiration of the existing bailout and a default on the IMF aren’t expected to have immediate consequences for Greece’s economy. Its banks have already been ordered closed until Monday, after the European Central Bank capped emergency loans to Greek lenders over the weekend. Cash withdrawals by Greeks have been limited to €60 a day for each account-holder since Monday.

On Wednesday, the focus will again be on the ECB, whose governing council is due to meet in Frankfurt.

The council, which includes central bankers from the eurozone’s 19 member states, is reluctant to take any additional steps for now that would inflict more pain on Greek banks—for instance, by forcing them to pay back the outstanding loans just days ahead of the referendum, people familiar with the matter said, despite a growing level of impatience over the central bank’s exposure to Greece.

One largely symbolic option would be for the ECB to raise the amount of collateral that banks have to post in return for the emergency loans, but calibrate the reductions on the face value of assets used for collateral so that Greek lenders would still have enough to cover the existing €89 billion loan pile.


Greek crisis deepens as loan repayment deadline passes

Kim Hjelmgaard and Marco della Cava,

reece’s midnight deadline passed Tuesday for repaying $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund and other international creditors, deepening a financial crisis that threatens the Mediterranean nation’s membership in the European Union.

Despite an eleventh-hour effort by Greek lawmakers Tuesday to secure a new two-year debt deal before the deadline, European finance ministers reviewing Greece’s proposal concluded their conference call without offering a bailout extension.

The ministers agreed to convene again Wednesday to further discuss the details of a new series of loans from the eurozone’s European Stability Mechanism, its $560 billion rescue fund.

After the deadline passed (at 6 pm ET), Greece joined Zimbabwe, Sudan and Somaliain being in arrears to the IMF. Fitch Ratings has downgraded Greece’s government debt further into junk territory.

Standing in the way of any new deal from the IMF and other creditors is Sunday’s Greek referendum on whether to accept the terms that would come with a new aid package, which includes tax increases and spending cutbacks after years of recession. There is some dispute over whether such a referendum could be canceled, with some Greek lawmakers arguing that the vote is now set in stone.

Late Tuesday, thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens, many of them in support of accepting new bailout terms. A “no” vote would lead to Greece leaving the European Union and abandoning the euro currency.

The $1.8 billion Greece owes is part of a $270 billion aid plan it received from the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission — 19 eurozone governments — during its financial crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made her position clear Tuesday, telling reporters in Berlin, “We’ll negotiate about absolutely nothing before the planned referendum is held.”

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said that his government would step down if “yes” votes prevailed, telling a Greek public broadcasting outlet Monday, “We’ll choose in a sovereign way what our future will be like, we will insist on negotiating.”

President Obama cautioned that a failed Greek economy could have significant ripple effects on markets around the world, adding Tuesday that “what you have here is a country that has gone through some very difficult economic times, and needs to find a path toward growth and a path toward staying in the eurozone.”

But should there be a so-called Grexit — or Greek exit from the European financial community — Obama added that “it is important for us that we plan for any contingency, that we work with the ECB and other international institutions to ensure that some of the bumps that occur in the financial markets are smoothed out.”

Greece had previously indicated it would not be able to make the payment. The IMF said it would not give Greece its customary 30-day grace period before issuing a notice of technical default.

But Athens is not expected to immediately go bankrupt. That would only happen if its non-payment triggers further defaults in its financial system, which is not expected.

Next month, on July 20, Greece is also due to pay the ECB $3.9 billion.

Talks between Greece and its creditors have broken down as Athens has tried to negotiate less onerous repayment terms, mainly centered around austerity measures. Global markets on Monday tumbled over fears that the country’s attempts to strike a better deal could see it forced out of the eurozone. Its membership in the European Union is also at stake.

But markets bounced back Tuesday in Asia, and European indexes moved away from earlier losses after steep sell-offs in those regions helped push the Dow down 350 points in the prior session — its biggest one-day point loss since June 20, 2013.

On Tuesday, U.S. markets edged higher, buoyed by Greece’s new proposal that came against the dominant crisis narrative of the last 48 hours.

Earlier, citing unnamed government sources, Greece’s Ekathimerini newspaper reported Athens was reconsidering a previous proposal by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. No details were provided.

A Greek eurozone exit, it is feared, would reignite the financial contagion experienced during the sovereign debt crisis of 2009 and beyond when billions of dollars were wiped off the value of European government debt and other assets.

Still, while many analysts and officials have warned that Greece leaving the eurozone could have far-reaching consequences for economies and markets across the world, the specific impact of that possible development remains mostly unclear.

“If Greece leaves the eurozone, there is unlikely to be a big bang moment when the country adopts the drachma (the currency it used prior to adopting the euro in 2001),” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, a unit of the ratings firm.

“It will happen over time, as the Greek government issues IOUs that effectively become the new currency,” he said.

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras hinted Monday that he may resign if his nation votes “yes” in the referendum Sunday. Tsipras’ leftist Syriza party insists the vote is being called to strengthen its negotiating mandate with its creditors.

“If the Greek people want to proceed with austerity plans in perpetuity, which will leave us unable to lift our head, we will respect it, but we will not be the ones to carry it out,” he said on Greek television late Monday.

European leaders including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French PresidentFrancois Hollande dispute that. They say that Sunday’s vote will effectively be a referendum on whether Greece wants to remain part of the eurozone.

The government has limited cash withdrawals from banks to about $68 per day in a bid to stave off bank runs and keep its financial system from collapsing, triggering protests from groups on both sides of Sunday’s yes or no vote.


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Tea Party Budget Vs. Lunatic Left Democrats In Deep Denial Out About Out-of-Control Government Spending Results In Deficits and Debt — Videos

Posted on October 20, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Macroeconomics, Tax Policy | Tags: , , , , , , , |










White House Budget Request for FY 2013


Congressional Budget Office, The 2013 Long Term Debt Outlook

Deficits & the Debt

Budget Chef Presents: How to Balance the Budget W/O Raising Taxes!

If Tea Party Can Balance Budget In Four Years, Why Can’t Obama?

03/17/11: Sen. Rand Paul Introduces Five-Year Balanced Budget Plan

Van Hollen Opening Statement at Hearing on CBO’s Long-Term Budget Outlook

Huffman Reminds Budget Committee Why We Have A Deficit—Hint: It’s Not Obamacare…

CBO Long-Term Outlook Understates Danger, FOX Reports

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