Publication Archives: Blog

Wealth Creation, Capitalism

Nouriel Roubini: The risk of a double-dip recession is rising

Economist Nouriel Roubini says in a Financial Times op-ed more or less what I’ve been saying since last fall (he says it better than I ever could): there is not yet light at the end of the economic tunnel. The recession is not over.

Bad businesses have not been allowed to fail, bad assets remain on corporate balance sheets, and the government has propped up these failures which has merely delayed economic pain by moving it into the future.

The stock market is experiencing a sucker’s rally right now. We might even be in a depression.

I don’t understand why Roubini doesn’t address the money supply in his op-ed. As a result of the explosion in the quantity of U.S. dollars begun under the Bush administration and ramped up by the Obama administration, nasty inflation is coming, probably next year. For this reason, I suspect the outlook is even more negative than Roubini describes.

Banks Not Out of Trouble Yet

The Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) reports that “The financial system [remains] vulnerable to the crisis conditions that [the bailout] was meant to fix.”

Close to a year into the federal bailout program, the troubled assets “remain a substantial danger to the financial system,” according to a draft of the report. “Financial stability remains at risk if the underlying problem of toxic assets remains unresolved.”

Government-Run Health Care May Mean Waiting in Line

ABC’s John Stossel hits the nail on the head in a segment about government-run healthcare in Canada:

Barney Frank: Public Option is Best Way to Single Payer

Yet more proof emerges that the so-called public option in the Democrats’ healthcare legislation is designed to clear the way for the U.S. government to impose total monopoly control of the nation’s healthcare system.

As reported at the Heritage Foundation’s blog The Foundry, President Obama said last month

What are not legitimate concerns are those being put forward claiming a public option is somehow a Trojan horse for a single-payer system. … So, when you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this – they are not telling the truth.

In response to a frustrated socialist who asked why Democrats shouldn’t push harder for a single-payer system, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) said

Because we don’t have the votes for it. I wish we did. I think that if we get a good public option it could lead to single payer and that is the best way to reach single payer. Saying you’ll do nothing till you get single payer is a sure way never to get it. … I think the best way we’re going to get single payer, the only way, is to have a public option and demonstrate the strength of its power.


Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) said much the same thing.

Communist-Linked Apollo Alliance Dictates to Congress

President Obama’s new “green jobs” czar Van Jones, an avowed militant communist, had been on the board of the pressure group Apollo Alliance, which aspires to flatten the U.S. economy by having government fund “green jobs” scams, according to the “Glenn Beck Program” earlier this week.

Even worse, the green gangster group, which has ties to ACORN, SEIU, and Center for American Progress president John Podesta, has significant pull in Congress and helped to write the stimulus bill.

The Apollo Alliance “is designed to bring together the elements of organized labor with the community organizers with the green groups, the environmental groups, and to access all of the big foundation money that’s been supportive of those causes in the past,” explained Phil Kerpen, director of policy for Americans for Prosperity.

Jones described the group’s “mission as sort of a grand unified field theory for progressive left causes; it ties all these things together,” Kerpen said. He added

They really admire the Apollo mission, the moon-shot mission, and they think that we need a similar centrally-planned, organized massive mobilization to reorder society and take control of energy and their various other objectives. They admire that and they want it like a moon shot.

Beck asked if Wade Rathke, the disgraced founder of ACORN who was expelled by the radical left-wing group last year for covering up his brother’s embezzlement of nearly $1 million in ACORN funds, had been a member of the Apollo Alliance’s board.

Kerpen responded, “Yes. He’s on — he was until this year on the board of the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center, which are the parent organizations that host the Apollo Alliance.”

Dueling Waterloos

Liberal pressure groups are freaking out that President Obama’s monstrous government-run healthcare plan is running into significant roadblocks as even Democratic lawmakers begin to openly question its wisdom.

And they’re livid that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) dared to say what everyone in the Beltway is already thinking.

Here’s what the senator said, according to a report in the Politico:

“I can almost guarantee you this thing won’t pass before August, and if we can hold it back until we go home for a month’s break in August,” members of Congress will hear from “outraged” constituents, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint said on the call, which was organized by the group Conservatives for Patients Rights.

“Senators and Congressmen will come back in September afraid to vote against the American people,” DeMint predicted, adding that “this health care issue Is D-Day for freedom in America.”

“If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him,” he said.

This led to two angry solicitation emails that arrived in my inbox this afternoon. The first was from Organizing for America, which is part of the Democratic National Committee. The second was from

Organizing for America’s said

Friend –

Last week, Republican Senator Jim DeMint made it pretty clear why the opponents of health care reform are fighting so hard. As he told a special interest attack group, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Here’s how the President responded:

    Think about that. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. This is about a health care system that is breaking America’s families, breaking America’s businesses and breaking America’s economy. And we can’t afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time, not now. There are too many lives and livelihoods at stake.

With Congress only days away from finalizing their plans for reform, it’s time to stand up with the President and fight back against this disastrous brand of old-style politics. So we need as many people as possible to publicly support the President’s principles for health care reform and call on Congress to act.

Before the first full votes in Congress, we’ll publish the signatures in newspaper ads across the nation, to make sure your voice is heard.

Watch President Obama’s full response, then add your name in support of reform. [LINK DELETED] Or if you’ve already signed, please forward this message to every one of your friends and neighbors so they can join you.

The President is more dedicated than ever to passing health care reform that satisfies the three requirements he’s been talking about for months: Health care reform must reduce costs, guarantee choice — including the choice of a strong public insurance option — and ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care.

If we do not reform our broken health care system this year, we will only shackle future generations with spiraling costs and deteriorating care. The cost of inaction is simply more than this country can afford.

But the special interests who profit from the status quo won’t go down without a fight. The ads, the smears, and the attacks — targeting both President Obama and members of Congress who support reform — will only get worse. So it’s crucial that we show huge backing before Congress finalizes their plans this month.

Stand with President Obama on health care reform:


Thanks for standing up for change.



Mitch Stewart
Organizing for America

MoveOn’s said

Dear MoveOn member,

“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”1

That’s what a Republican senator said last week about health care. Republicans will stop at nothing to kill health care reform and undermine Obama’s agenda for change.

We can’t let that happen.

So we’re ramping up our campaign: from now until health care reform passes, we’ve got organizers planning events from coast to coast, ad-makers working around the clock, and MoveOn members hitting the phones daily.

The next two weeks will make or break health care reform. Can you chip in $20 to help us beat back the right-wing effort to derail health care reform?


Republicans won’t hold back on using scare tactics and outright lies to stall reform—so we just have to make sure that the voices of regular Americans are so constant and so strong that it overwhelms the opposition’s rhetoric.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll make sure calls are pouring into Congress daily, hold rallies at Senate offices, run ads hitting back at health care opponents, organize a massive day of action for health care reform, and more.

There’s five million of us, and millions more across the country who want—and need—reform now. Without a public outpouring of support, it’s too likely Congress could squander the best opportunity we’ve had in decades for real reform.

If we all step up, though, we can win this. Can you give $20 to support our campaign today?


Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Kat, Matt, Laura and the rest of the team   


1. “Health reform foes plan Obama’s ‘Waterloo,’” Politico, July 17, 2009. [LINK DELETED] 


Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here. [LINK DELETED]

Patients United Now Ad

Patients United Now, which is a project of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, is now running an effective TV ad opposing President Obama’s socialist healthcare scheme.

It features patient Shona Holmes of Waterdown, Ontario, Canada. As her brain tumor grew, Holmes was told by Canada’s dysfunctional government-run healthcare system that she would have to wait for six months to see a specialist. “In six months I would have died,” Holmes says in the spot. The Mayo Clinic where Holmes received successful treatment tells her story at its website. (Mayo also is fiercely critical of ObamaCare.)

Of course the liberal journalists at CNN who are cheering for ObamaCare attempted to discredit Holmes in a recent news package. They were unable to do so but did manage to find another patient who claims to have received speedy treatment following a cancer diagnosis. Nonetheless on average Canadians have to wait a long time before receiving medical treatment for serious ailments as Canada’s preeminent think tank, the Fraser Institute, has demonstrated time and time again. (See PDF file of the Fraser Institute’s ”Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada,” 2008 Report, 18th edition.)

CNN also managed to pull Canadian Sen. Hugh Segal away from the all-you-can-eat buffet for a quote. Segal is what’s known in Canada as a “Red Tory.” In other words he may belong to the Conservative Party but he’s ideologically a liberal with very little in common with American conservatives. Not surprisingly, this soulmate of Lincoln Chafee defended Canada’s universal healthcare system. (By the way, the Canadian Senate is unelected. Its members are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the prime minister so it bears more than a passing resemblance to the British House of Lords.)

The well-practiced liar who would feel perfectly at home in America’s Democratic Party told CNN his “fellow conservatives” in the U.S. are dead wrong about Canada’s healthcare system. “What you have is a longer life span, better outcomes and about one-third less costs. That’s what you have,” said Segal as he resisted the urge to snarf down a dozen Timbits.

Here is the video featuring Holmes:


“The total potential federal government support could reach up to $23.7 trillion,” said Neil Barofsky, inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, referring to efforts to “fix” the nation’s financial system.

Anything that costs that much to fix isn’t worth saving.

Dems Dumped Cash On Members During Cap-and-Trade Armtwisting

Democratic leaders dumped a ton of cash on Democratic backbenchers in the days leading up to the critical cap-and-trade vote that would effectively impose a massive energy tax on Americans, the Politico reports:

Three House Democratic leaders who were whipping members on the climate change bill gave tens of thousands in campaign cash to party moderates around the time of the 219-212 vote on June 26, according to Federal Election Commission records.

It’s impossible to tell if that torrent of cash was an attempt to schmear wavering Democrats — or just part of the usual cash dump made by leaders on the eve of the June 30 quarterly fundraising deadline.

Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) doled out $28,000 to reps who eventually voted yes on June 24, two days before the big vote — on a day when House leaders were doing some heavy-duty arm-twisting.

Clyburn recipients who voted for the bill included a who’s-who of battleground district Dems: Steve Driehaus, D-OH ($2,000); Martin Heinrich, D-NM ($2,000); Suzanne Kosmas, D-Fla. ($4,000); Betsy Markey, D-Colo. ($2,000); Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH ($2,000), Baron Hill, D-Ind. ($2,000); Alan Grayson, D-Fla. ($2,000); Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa ($2,000); Jim Himes, D-Conn. ($2,000);  Mary Jo Kilroy, D-OH ($2,000); Kurt Schrader, D-Ore. ($2,000); Jerry McNerney, D-Calif. ($2,000) and Tom Perriello, D-Va. ($2,000). [...]

Democrats respond by saying the Republicans did the same. The Politico article notes that Democratic leaders also gave money to lawmakers who voted against the bill.

No Skin in the Game

Economist Stan Liebowitz reported earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal that newly analyzed data suggests that zero money down mortgages played a much greater role in the mortgage bubble and its collapse than he previously thought.

From the nearly seven years that I covered housing finance on Capitol Hill (1999 to 2006) I remember Sen. Kit Bond (R-Missouri) warning repeatedly about the dangers inherent in zero- and close-to-zero money down mortgages.

In the fall Liebowitz wrote about the destructive effect the Community Reinvestment Act has had on mortgage underwriting standards.