I was talking with one of my colleagues the other day, and he raised a very interesting question, one that deserves consideration by anyone worried about their digital privacy. He read an article that championed the idea that the more steps one took to protect their privacy by using anonymous Web-browsing tools like Tor, the […]
In the minds of many people around the world, including in the United States, the term “capitalism” carries the idea of unfairness, exploitation, undeserved privilege and power, and immoral profit making. What is often difficult to get people to understand is that this misplaced conception of “capitalism” has nothing to do with real free markets […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper.Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.” — Emperor Palpatine, The Return of the JediJon Stewart made great comedic hay during the Bush Administration out of the enormity of Dick Cheney’s “Sith Lord” malevolence. Events in Iraq in the past week have made especially palpable Cheney’s Palpatine-like quality.As Iraq unravels, you may suspect that Cheney might now […]
Entrepreneurs are high-tailing it out of the United States, and it’s the politicians’ faultThe U.S. government is driving some of its most productive citizens abroad. The only beneficiaries are countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, which offer sanctuary to Americans fleeing avaricious Uncle Sam.Three years ago Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s founders, joined 1,780 other […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
A cushy job in Hawaii that pays six figures. A beautiful girlfriend/boyfriend. Job security and professional experience that gives you plenty of future opportunities. Would you throw that all away to do what you think is right? Last year, one government contractor did just that. And now you see the world the government tried to hide from you.
As the world gets more digital, people forget about the benefits of transacting in cash. And government officials know that.
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
The experts will tell you the recession is over, but they’re only torturing the data to hide the truth. The economy never recovered from the downturn it experienced. But the downturn happened in 2000, not 2008. The country’s been in the middle of a 14 year recession and hardly anyone knows the truth.
All paper currency has a shelf life. It could be 5 years or 500 years, but at some point, the value of any paper currency eventually reaches zero. That's why, for centuries, people have turned to one shiny metal to safeguard their personal store of wealth. And, as Jim Rickards explains, you still have that option. Read on...
I have come to the point that I cannot believe a thing President Obama says. That’s not quite the same as saying I don’t believe anything he says. When he speaks he may be telling the truth, he may not be, or he may be parsing his words to mislead. But it’s impossible to know which is which?
It has been his pattern since, well, forever, as John Heilemann and Mark Halperin demonstrate in their excellent book on the 2008 presidential election, Game Change.
One revealing passage recounts Obama’s decision to run for president. The authors quote him in 2005 telling Senate Chief of Staff Pete Rouse, “I can assure you there’s no way I’m running [in 2008].”
In 2006 he told Meet the Press’ Tim Russert that he would “absolutely” serve out his full first term in the Senate. “So you will not run for president in 2008?” Russert is quoted as asking. “I will not,” Obama answered.
Later, Obama-confidant Valerie Jarrett questioned him about the absoluteness of his response. Heilemann and Halperin quote Obama as saying, “You can always change your mind.”
Yes, you can, and have, Mr. President, which partly explains the public-trust deficit. Thinking people who reflect and debate issues do sometimes change their mind. (I know I do.) But dissimulators can also use it as an excuse to dismiss previous statements to the contrary.
Does anyone — ANYONE — really believe Obama wasn’t virtually certain he would run for president in 2008 even though he absolutely denied it to Russert? So how does one know when the president means what he says vs. plans to become a “mind-changer”?
With respect to Syria, the president tells us there will be no U.S. boots on the ground. Um, would that be like:
- If you like your health coverage you can keep it. Most people won’t be able to
- Health insurance premiums for a family would be $2,500 lower by the end of his first term in office. They were actually about $3,000 higher
- The Obama administration was not responsible for proposing the budget sequester idea. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward challenged this claim and forced the administration to backtrack
- Money from the nearly $800 billion stimulus package would be spent on “shovel-ready projects” and unemployment would drop to 5.3% by the end of his first term. The president later conceded the projects weren’t as shovel ready as he had hoped and unemployment was 7.9%
- There was nothing Obama could do about Benghazi. Subsequent revelations and congressional testimony have shown just how disengaged or disinterested the administration was
- The Justice Department told a judge that Fox News reporter James Rosen was a “co-conspirator” and a security threat? The DOJ later apologized and tried to make amends with Washington reporters
- That Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t know about the Fast and Furious gun-running program? Investigators have found documents confirming that he did have knowledge.
Or how about when Obama told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that he hadn’t raised taxes when there were 21 new or increased taxes in Obamacare alone. Or when he claimed that he didn’t draw the “red line” with respect to Syria, the international community did, when it is very obvious from his taped statements that he alone drew the line.
And when Obama or his team aren’t asserting something that is demonstrably false, they are frequently making claims that might be technically true, but are intended to mislead.
For example, during the last presidential campaign the president attacked his critics because they claimed that the size of government had grown under his watch when it had actually decreased.
The fact is that the number of federal employees had increased significantly, while the number of state employees had declined, primarily because of tight state budgets. Taken together the total was smaller. But the president had no control over the hiring and firing of state employees. So while that number declined, he had nothing to do with it. Where he did have control, federal employees, that number had grown.
Take another example. The president criticized his opponents for saying he was against drilling for oil and gas. He then boasted that oil and gas production have been higher than ever under his administration.
Yes, but the vast majority of that drilling has been done on private land — where the president has no control. As for drilling on public lands, which his administration does control, drilling was significantly lower.
Was what Obama claimed a lie? Not technically, but neither was it the truth, because it was purposely intended to mislead.
These are only a few of the many, many instances where Obama or his minions have been caught in false, deceiving or misleading statements — even under oath. It has become so pervasive that people have grown very skeptical of the president’s assertions.
Yet amazingly, some of those same skeptics now defend Obama’s claim that U.S. troops will not be used in Syria. Would that be like his absolute denial to Russert? Maybe Obama means it, or maybe he’ll change his mind. No one can know for sure.
The country needs to be able to trust a president and his staff and believe what they say. But that’s not the case anymore. Maybe Heilemann and Halperin would have better captured the moment if they had named their book Mind Change.
Original article posted here