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Obama’s Real Second Term Plan

You won’t recognize this country after his second term — the obvious reason he’s not telling you what he has in mind for it.

By Ned Ryun on 10.26.12 @ 6:08AM

Mitt Romney said it best in the last debate when he informed the President that, “attacking me isn’t an agenda,” which prompted the Obama campaign to immediately release what they call a plan for the second term. This 20-page repackaging of speeches notwithstanding, President Obama remains perhaps the only president in history to run for reelection who not only can’t talk about his record but also can’t discuss his real agenda for a second term.

Now it’s not that he can’t because he doesn’t have any ideas about what he wants to do. He does have big plans, but his vision of the future is profoundly different from that of most Americans. The America that Obama sees when he sits on the Truman Balcony at night and dreams about the next four years is radically altered reality for everyone. It should scare every American — unless you happen to be getting Obama’s free cell phone service.

Obama would like everyone to believe that his second-term policies will address what he sees as the great inequalities and unfairness inherent in the American system. He wants to level the playing field. What he can’t tell you — and what most Americans are realizing — is that leveling out America will reduce freedom, opportunity, income, innovation, and upward mobility in favor of a government-driven economy. With a government-driven society will come statism, and collectivism follows right on the heels of statism, which will destroy America.

Here’s the stark proof, keeping in mind that this is a mere snapshot of the “remaking” Obama has in store that will affect millions of American families and businesses. The President’s proposed budget projects will have federal spending soaring to $5.820 trillion per year, making Obama the biggest government spender in the history of the world. With all the talk from the President about spending cuts to satisfy independent voters, the sum of all of Obama’s spending over the next ten years could total more than $40 trillion that we simply don’t have.

We can’t afford Washington’s spending now. Do we really think only the wealthy will foot the bill for such dramatic increases in government expenditures? The President’s proposals will drive $100 billion in tax hikes next year and more than $2 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years hitting every American.

With more than 40 million Americans on food stamps, welfare is the fastest-growing portion of the budget under Obama. Food stamp usage is up a staggering 46% and the cost of the program has increased by 72%. Over the next four years, the President is preparing to increase spending on these programs to enable the government to increase benefits and provide for an increasing share of the population.

The slow creep of dependency will see a smaller middle class and a larger dependent class of not just the poor but individuals and families who once could afford to live without the government’s help, but due to inflation, lower wages, fewer jobs, and higher taxes must turn to the government for some form of assistance.

When it comes to crippling regulations to burden private enterprise, the Obama Administration is leading the charge to squash industry in favor of increasing government’s power and reach.

New greenhouse gas regulations will cost $300 to $400 billion per year and increase gas prices. The President’s insane “cow tax” will hit more than 37,000 farms and ranches and 90% of American livestock production. Obama’s attempt to stop hydraulic fracking for natural gas has more than a dozen federal agencies developing new, expensive regulations to prevent energy companies from drilling. His war on the coal industry will continue, costing as much as $110 billion over the next two decades and killing more than 300,000 jobs in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. So much for energy independence, and so much for job creation.

Despite the President’s assurance that costs won’t go up and jobs won’t be lost over Obamacare, the 16,000 IRS workers who will administer the tax provisions of the program will be very busy hitting millions where it hurts. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Congressional Budget Office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face tax penalties would be making between $55,850 and $115,250. They will all see their taxes go up starting next year.

Obama will add a $123 billion surtax on investment income, and new taxes on dividends despite the fact that more than half of all Americans invest in the market in one fashion or another. The $86 billion increase in the Medicare Payroll Tax is also coming down the pike, along with a $60 billion tax increase for health insurance companies.

In another uniquely-Obama effort to allegedly reduce healthcare costs, the President is also going to increase taxes by $32 billion on people who already have comprehensive healthcare coverage — because they have coverage. Of course, people who have coverage now that’s not up to the government’s standards will find their plans eliminated and forced to purchase more expensive coverage. He’s even going to tax medical device manufacturers to the tune of $20 billion because apparently that will help make Americans healthier.

In Obama’s America, religious schools, hospitals and charities will be labeled as non-religious employers specifically because they serve the common good of society. Churches and other faith-based institutions will be forced to provide services and even hire employees based on government mandates rather than their own, deeply-held values and beliefs. If they don’t, Obama’s government will gladly step in with an expensive government backfill for the services.

Here’s the good news — we can prevent Obama’s America from becoming a reality. We can stop statism and collectivism from taking us from “one out of many” to one of the many nations whose governments’ thirst for power and control led to the decline of great societies and nations. The choice is ours November 6, and the results of the election, whichever way they go, will resonate for generations to come.

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The Real Fiscal Cliff

By: Peter Schiff
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The media is now fixated on an apparently new feature dominating the economic landscape: a “fiscal cliff” from which the United States will fall in January 2013. They see the danger arising from the simultaneous implementation of the $2 trillion in automatic spending cuts (spread over 10 years) agreed to in last year’s debt ceiling vote and the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts. The economists to whom most reporters listen warn that the combined impact of reduced government spending and higher taxes will slow the “recovery” and perhaps send the economy back into recession. While there is indeed much to worry about in our economy, this particular cliff is not high on the list.

Much of the fear stems from the false premise that government spending generates economic growth (for stories of countries experiencing real growth, see our latest newsletter). People tend to forget that the government can only get money from taxing, borrowing, or printing. Nothing the government spends comes for free. Money taxed or borrowed is taken out of the private sector, where it could have been used more productively. Printed money merely creates inflation. So the automatic spending cuts, to the extent they are actually allowed to go into effect, will promote economic growth not prevent it. Even most Republicans fall for the canard that spending can help the economy in general. But even those who don’t will surely do everything to avoid the political backlash from citizens on the losing end of any specific cuts.

The only reason the automatic spending cuts exist at all is that Congress lacked the integrity to identify specifics. Rest assured that Congress will likely engineer yet another escape hatch when it finds itself backed into a corner again. Repealing the cuts before they are even implemented will render laughable any subsequent deficit reduction plans. But politicians would always rather face frustration for inaction than outright anger for actual decisions. In truth though, only an extremely small portion of the cuts are scheduled to occur in 2013 anyway. If it comes to pass that Congress cannot even keep its spending cut promises for one year, how can they be expected to do so for ten?

The impact of the expiring Bush era tax cuts is much harder to assess. The adverse effects of the tax hikes could be offset by the benefits of reduced government borrowing (provided that the taxes actually result in increased revenue). But given the negative incentives created by higher marginal tax rates, particularly as they impact savings and capital investment, increased rates may actually result in less revenue, thereby widening the budget deficit.

In reality, the economy will encounter extremely dangerous terrain whether or not Congress figures out a way to wriggle out of the 2013 budgetary straightjacket. The debt burden that the United Stated will face when interest rates rise presents a much larger “fiscal cliff.” Unfortunately, no one is talking about that one.

The current national debt is about $16 trillion (this is just the funded portion…the unfunded liabilities of the Treasury are much, much larger). The only reason the United States is able to service this staggering level of debt is that the currently low interest rate on government debt (now below 2 per cent) keeps debt service payments to a relatively manageable $300 billion per year.

On the current trajectory the national debt will likely hit $20 trillion in a few years. If by that time interest rates were to return to some semblance of historic normalcy, say 5 per cent, interest payments on the debt would then run $1 trillion per year. This sum could represent almost 40 per cent of total federal revenues in 2012!

In addition to making the debt service unmanageable, higher rates would depress economic activity, thereby slowing tax collection and requiring increased government spending. This would increase the budget deficits further, putting even more upward pressure on interest rates. Higher mortgage rates and increased unemployment will put renewed downward pressure on home prices, perhaps leading to another large wave of foreclosures. My guess is that losses on government insured mortgages alone could add several hundred billion more to annual budget deficits. When all of these factors are taken into account, I believe that annual budget deficits could quickly approach, and exceed, $3 trillion. All this could be in the cards if interest rates were to approach a modest five per cent.

If the sheer enormity of the red ink were to finally worry our creditors, five per cent interest rates could quickly rise to ten. At those rates, the annual cost to pay the interest on the national debt could equal all federal tax revenues combined. If that occurs we will have to either slash federal spending across the board (including cuts to politically sensitive entitlements), raise taxes significantly on the poor and middle class (as well as the rich), default on the debt, or hit everyone with the sustained impact of high inflation. Now that’s a real fiscal cliff!

By foolishly borrowing so heavily when interest rates are low, our government is driving us toward this cliff with its eyes firmly glued to the rear view mirror (much as the new French regime appears to be doing). For years I have warned that a financial crisis would be triggered by the popping of the real estate bubble. My warnings were routinely ignored based on the near universal assumption that real estate prices would never fall. My warnings about the real fiscal cliff are also being ignored because of a similarly false premise that interest rates can never rise. However, if history can be a guide, we should view the current period of ultra-low rates as the exception rather than the rule.


Peter Schiff’s new book, The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country is now available. Order your copy today.

For in-depth analysis of this and other investment topics, subscribe to Peter Schiff’s Global Investor newsletter. CLICK HERE for your free subscription.

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