Twittering to Death
Posterity's Debt To Me
Coping with Deflation
My Immigrant Relative
The Eloquent Pogo
US HERE: Wrisley.com
January 20, 2017
||"Only a few days after
Trumpís inauguration ceremony, the U.S. National Debt will creep
across the important psychological barrier of $20 trillion. Itís a
problem thatís been passed down to him, but it certainly puts the
incoming administration in a difficult place. The debt is burdensome by
pretty much any metric, and the rate of borrowing has exceeded economic
growth pretty much since the late 1970s. How Trump deals with this
escalating constraint will be a deciding factor in whether his
administration crashes and burns Ė or ends up re-positioning America
for greatness." TRUMP'S $20 TRILLION PROBLEM
expects Donald Trump to discuss the public debt in his inaugural speech, but
the fact is he is the first person to occupy the Oval Office with such a
monumental IOU hanging over the nation's head.
he'll use the "no" word a lot, as President Eisenhower did when big-spender proposals crossed his
desk. Or maybe he'll be a big spender.
Time will tell.
The fact is
the subject of Congressional raising of the debt ceiling will surface in a few
weeks and Trump can be counted on to speak or tweet his mind on the
be answered include: If excessive debt is bad for common folk why is
it a good thing for government? What constitutes an "excessive debt
level?" With a sluggish economy can the federal government afford
to even THINK of balancing budgets or even (gasp!) run a surplus?
knotty problems await the new administration - the debt load is only one.
FUN WITH DOLLAR FIGURES
No one really
expects you to write a check for $640,000.00.
| "Newly published
data from the U.S.
Treasury shows that the federal government has amassed $84.3
trillion in debts, liabilities, and unfunded Social Security and
Medicare obligations. This amounts to $670,000 for every household in
the U.S., a fiscal burden that equals 93% of the nationís private
wealth, including the combined value of every Americanís assets in
real estate, corporate stocks, small businesses, bonds, savings
accounts, cash, and personal goods like automobiles and
furniture." Treasury Shortfall
numbers fall into the same category as the dollar rate-per-hour the
federal government takes on debt, or how many skidloads of $100.00 notes
it would take to clear the federal debt. Do not expect Congress to
reqire the Secretary of the Treasury to send each U.S. family a bill for
$640,000.00. In fact, we can expect Congress and President Trump
to avoid much talk about the public debt and other
In his long goodbye
Barack Obama had nothing to say about the multi-trilllion dollar debt
piled up during his administration. It just isn't done, and the
weightiness of a national debt is not fun for mainstream news media to
But it's there.
Like a ticking time bomb.
a toasty fire in his artist's garret in frosty Montana, our irascible
nephew, Ben Garrison, zings liberal mainstream media. At first we
thought he had missed National Public Radio (NPR) but eventually we spotted
it as a bit of broken tail near the pedestal. >
There is lots more
Garrisonia to be found at GRRGRAPHICS.COM>
Hand Out Free Money!
An old idea resurfaces.
Here comes the "free lunch."
The axiom is ancient. In order to feed oneself, keep a roof over one's
head, and otherwise survive in relative comfort one must trade eneergy and
skills in order to obtain material resources. Either that or live out of
the pockets of others who do so.
|| "In France, two of the
seven candidates vying to represent the ruling Socialist Party in this
year's presidential election are promising modest but regular stipends
to all French adults. A limited test is already underway in Finland,
with other experiments planned elsewhere, including in the United
States." "FREE MONEY"
But now, in this age of robotics, social
planners explain there are no longer enough jobs to go around and it's
necessary to give the unfortunate to live on. Some schemes suggest it
would be a grand idea if government gave EVERYBODY "free
Another axiom is: "There is
no such thing as a free lunch!" Not only are lunches not free,
but money isn't either. . .although socialists would have us believe
otherwise. Politicians have always had pretty good luck promising the
masses something for nothing. It usually works, ndesoute the fact such
schemes are not successful in the long run.
The basic fact of life was
described by Professor Franz Oppenheimer in "Der Staat" published in
the early 20th century. He explained there are only two ways to survive
- - by working to provide an income to buy the necessaries of life, OR to live
out of the pockets of workers. No one seems to mind small children and
the very old frail segment of the population supported by producers, but it
galls a lot of people to support able-bodied adults who cannot (or will not)
| "The mainstream
media are liberal, and liberals honor only one thing: political power.
All the rest of it is window dressing. This has been true ever since the
French Revolution. Power is the only currency that has any value in the
world of political liberalism. The mainstream media know it. The
mainstream media also know that the public really doesn't pay any
attention to them anymore. They can scream, yell, roll on the floor, and
hold their breath until they turn blue; nobody in Trump's camp really
cares what they do.
"They scream from the
sidelines in outraged impotence. They have not given Trump any
consideration at all. Yet Trump is obviously popular with his base. The
people who voted for him pay no attention to the mainstream
media." HILLARY- MIA
Gary North's post-election views are uncharacteristically blunt.
He slams the liberal mainstream media, Hillary Clinton, and the two
major political parties saying they've both been in the hip pocket of
the Council on Foreign Relations since 1932.
We're not prepared to fully agree with him on every point, but he seems
to have figured out media's role in the present American political
Our own guess is that mainstream media will continue to be battered in
the pocketbook as people come to rely on other information sources to
feed their particular world view. The odds are the world will
continue to lean left because Socialism has a strong lure...living out
of the pockets of others.
these objects is a U.S. dollar.
intriguing question remains unanswered: "What is a dollar?"
of these objects is a legal United States dollar. Obviously, they
are not physically alike. Does it matter?
much cares - particularly in the age of digital currency in which a
dollar in physical form doesn't matter.
Top row, l-r: Eisenhower dollar, Susan B. Anthony dollar,
Sacajawea dollar, dollar coin from the "Presidential
Series." They rarely circulate.
At center is a Federal Reserve Note which, technically, is an IOU for
one dollar. The coin at bottom is a Silver Eagle currently made at
the U.S. Mint and contains 1 ounce, troy, of pure silver. Its face value
Were you to deposit these six objects in a bank the teller would be
obliged to credit your account with $6.00, despite the fact that the
dollar coin at the bottom of the picture contains a troy ounce of silver
and is worth a lot more than a dollar.
"But," says the expert, "a dollar is only a measure of
wealth....it doesn't have to actually be wealth itself."
The Constitution declared the dollar to be a silver coin of specific
weight. Paper notes (IOUs) were "bills of credit" and
not money, per se. That concept was turned upside down through the years
and has left the world scratching its head about currency. Not
even bankers can declare which of the objects at left is a true
We can't, either. Can you?
| "During the primaries,
anti-Trump Republicans hired the ex-spy to do 'oppo research' on Trump,
i.e., to dig up dirt.
"The spy contacted the Russians.
They told him that Trump, at a Moscow hotel in 2013, had been engaged in
depraved behavior, that they had the films to blackmail him, and that
Trumpís aides had been colluding with them..
"In December, a British diplomat
gave the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who personally turned it over to
James Comey of the FBI.
"On Jan. 7, Director of National
Intelligence James Clapper and his colleagues at the NSA, CIA and FBI
decided the new president needed to know about the dossier. They
provided him with a two-page synopsis.
"Once CNN learned Trump had been
briefed, the cable news network reported on the unpublished dossier,
without going into the lurid details.
"BuzzFeed released all 35 pages. The
story exploded." Trump's Enemies
Pat Buchanan reviews the
"fake news" brouhaha and sees the makings of another
Nixon-like Watergate. The story has the flavor of the front page
of The National Enquirer.
to "save the country" Trump's enemies appear eager to use
every weapon in their arsenal, including a revival of a U.S.-Russian
cold war. Only yesterday we heard the suggestion that thr
presidential election be declared null and void because of Russian
computer hacking. That idea seemed to go over like a lead balloon,
but the allegation that Russians covertly filmed The Donald in a
salacious hotel room romp in 2013 is just too good to be passed over by
the mainstream press. We have a hunch someone is already writing a
book on the subject.
has remarked that the last time the U.S. faced a sea change as the
result of a presidential election was 1932. A sweeping victory by
Franklin Roosevelt brought hope to the hearts of Americans.
Today's political progressives are not willing to experiment with change
and see the election of Donald Trump as the worst mistake voters ever
made. They'll not rest until they destroy him.
One major question to
be addressed: "What is money?"
On September 1st, 2009, our staff curmudgeon wrote, "Which is
better? The money of the Constitution or paper notes printed at
will by the Federal Reserve System?"
He went on to define three principal forms of "money", only one of
which is in general use today.
* Commodity Money = Metal money
of intrinsic value which cannot be created from thin air.
Fiduciary Money = bank notes that are
redeemable in commodity money.
Fiat Money = bank notes that are not
redeemable. Backed only by hope and stupendous debt.
The United States has not operated on a commodity or fiduciary monetary
standard for decades, and there's not much call for it now. In fact,
anyone proposing the restoration of the Constitutional mandate with
respect to regulating the production and value of money would be laughed
off the stage. However, the Federal Reserve Note is not
"money" in the classic sense, and never was. From 1914 through
November of 1963 it was always redeemable in lawful money whenever the
holder so desired. From 1964 to the present the Fed notes have carried
no printed memorandum concerning redeemability in lawful money. The note is
merely evidence that the United States owes the banking cartel whatever
amount appears on the face it. It is an IOU.
In these exciting days of the exodus of the Obama era and the advent of Donald
Trump in the Oval Office there's not much interest in the economic ruin the
debt-based currencies of the world are creating. It's no fun for
journalists to report and it's dull for average citizens. But the issue
of honest money versus fiat currency is waiting off stage for its
* * *
* * *
TO FINANCIAL RUIN.
"It is only a matter of time until Venezuela will default on its
foreign debt. After a short peak in 2009, when the countryís foreign
exchange reserves stood at over $40 billion, Venezuela has been steadily
hemorrhaging its reserves down to $10 billion. In 2016, Venezuela
started to sell gold in order to compensate for the loss of its monetary
reserves. As a consequence, Venezuelaís gold reserves plunged from
over 360 tons down to less than 190 tons. Other than in the case that
some foreign power, such as China, for example, would jump in as a
lender, Venezuelaís default seems unavoidable." VENEZUELA
"news" goes these days this report by Antony Mueller is very
far down the list of importance. Besides, aren't those Latin
American countries always in hot water because of money mis-management?
certainly isn't new, and it isn't restricted to Latin America. For
some reason we were reminded of a book published in the mid 1950s by
French economist Rene Sedilot. It is titled All The Monies of
the World. It was reprinted by Franz Pick in 1971 and sold for
$100.00 a copy. (Used copies are available at Amazon.com at $68.00
is little more than a catalog of the the debauchery of money in
dozens of nations all over the globe, many of which no longer
exist. There is a lesson to be learned from the study of this
dreary catalog. Through the ages great nations flourished on a
standard of honest money and failed when they resorted to debt and fiat
Professor Santayana pointed out, by avoiding a careful study of history
we are doomed to repeat its mistakes. Even the mighty USA
makes serious monetary mistakes.
permanently in hock is the American way of life...until it becomes unpayable.
| "We seek your commitment to passing a fiscal year 2018
budget resolution that sets our new, unified Republican federal
government on a path to balance in 10 years without the use of budgetary
gimmicks or tax increases." Senators. Marco
Rubio, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in a letter to Senate Republican leaders.
|| < Congress
must raise the public debt ceiling in April or May and some serious
disagreements are likely. For one thing, Dumping (modifying)
Obamacare will take big bucks. A proposal that the public debt be
increased by $9 trillion over the next 10 years is already circulating and
the likes of Sen. Rubio and others don't like it.
right. Perpetual debt increases ALWAYS lead to big trouble!
Friday the Dow
Jones Industrial Average came within a gnat's whisker of 20,000. It was
within a fraction of one point, but couldn't hop over the barrier. Maybe
next week. On the other hand stock price averages could tumble sharply.
Uncertainty is what keeps market watchers on their toes.
Meanwhile, the first week of 2017 brought confirmation of the dangers of
India's experiment with cancellation of its 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. A
slowing of economic growth showed up in the December numbers. India's
government is trying to wean its economy away for dependency on hand-to-hand
paper currency, so it has jumped on the "cashless bandwagon". As far
as we can tell the United States has no plans to actually CANCEL the legal
tender function of paper currency now in circulation, although there is a push
to quit printing $100.00 bills. Possibly $50.00 bills as well.
Another pocket money topic resurfaced a few days ago; what to do about
the cost one cent coin and the nickel. It costs the mint more than their
face value to manufacture the nearly useless coins and suggestions the mint
quit making them fizzle before they gain traction in Congress. Since October
of 1982 the mint has made one cent coins of mostly cheap zinc coated with a
thin veneer of copper. But the mint cannot get the manufacturing cost below
nearly 1.5¢. Mint research indicates there is no cheaper way to
make this lowly coin.
Does the American public clamor for cent and nickel coins? Not that
we've heard. So why go into a financial hole making them? There
are plenty of them in bags, jars, boxes, and other hoards that could be easily
called into circulation with the payment of a small premium...say, paying 55¢ for every
roll of cents. Better, yet - just stop minting cents and nickels and let
cash transaction be rounded to the nearest dime. This would draw
momentary outrage from some sectors - just at it did when the half-cent coin
was eliminated in the 19th century. People feared merchants would always
round prices up in their own favor. The fear was short lived.
not just the government and the banks that are doing everything they can
to make it impossible for you to get your own money in the form of cash.
Now they have a new partner ó big business!
"It seems that businesses have their
own war on cash. They hate handling it and itís expensive to
transport, store and insure. More and more, businesses are refusing to
take your cash.
"This is just another form of
discrimination against the poor who may not have banking accounts or who
rely on check cashing services and live paycheck to paycheck. Itís
also aimed at you because it forces you into a digital system where your
money can be hit with negative interest rates, service fees, account
freezes, bail-in charges and other forms of theft." Jim
Rickards earns a very good living encouraging people to buy gold.
He contends the present monetary system is doomed and that the day
approaches when the government will launch a serious war on gold, ala
Franklin Roosevelt's order in 1933 demanding that citizens turn in their
gold coin in exchange for $20.67 per ounce. Once in the Treasury
vaults the mint price of gold was revalued from $20.67 a troy ounce to
$35.00, dramatically increasing the dollar value of the government gold
What Rickards and other
gold bugs overlook is: The U.S. dollar of the early '30s was, by
definition, a measure of gold. The relationship of the dollar and
gold was officially dropped in the summer of 1971 and, therefore, the
U.S. government today has no more claim on privately held gold that it
does your gold wedding bands, gold wristwatch, or other possessions of
The main point: The
U.S. called in gold in 1933 and PAID THE MINT PRICE FOR IT. Would
the government make the same call today and pay the market price,
$1,160.00 per ounce? We strongly doubt it.
WITH THE SWISS
They don't play along with the trend to
Switzerland appears to march to a different drummer when it comes to
eliminating cash from daily transactions. John Ltzing, writing
in the Wall Street Journal, says the Swiss buck the trend toward a
"cashless society" which is currently causing misery in
India and anxiety elsewhere.
In the United States the amount of paper currency and coin in
circulation is $4,333.00 per capita. In Switzerland it's more
than double that, $9,214.00. (According to the Bank of
International Settlements.) In Switzerland it would not be
unusual for a car buyer to plunk down cash. In the U.S. it's
nearly un-thinkable. In fact, any payment of more than
$10,000.00 in cash must be reported to the Internal Revenue
Proponents of cashlessness argue that old-fashioned coin and paper
currency aren't necessary in the modern electronic age.
"Money" can easily flow into and out of one's bank account
without ever taking the form of hand to hand currency. The
computers keep track of it all. Digital transactions also tend
to make it difficult to operate outside the law. Cash transactions
can, and do, fly under the radar. Plunk down cash at a bar or
liquor store and one's name does not enter the computer
system. Use a debit or credit card and the digital
transaction is locked in the cyber world maybe forever.
Not that making purchases at bars or liquor stores is unlawful.
But in some quarters it's frowned on if done to excess. It's not
inconceivable that some nosey agency might want to gather data on
alcohol consumption habits. The anonymity of cash purchases
would interfere with any plan to comb computer records for names of
possible bad habits.
Whether the promotion of cashlessness will continue in 2017 we don't
know. Probably. But the Swiss seem to have resisted the
trend toward abandoning their pocket cash. Perhaps they know
something we don't.