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Archive for June, 2009

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

The data is in for April. Here’s what happened:

1. Household personal income (inflation adjusted) rose but every penny – and then some – went into savings or paying down debts. Consumer spending, on which Obama is betting to stimulate the economy, actually fell. None of the stimulus money was sent. None.

2. Meanwhile, to pay for this stimulus spending that didn’t stimulate, Obama had to borrow so much money that long term interest rates have almost doubled since he took office, forcing postponement of abandonment of business expansion and hiring across the board.

What a record!

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Here are the details. In April, personal household, inflation-adjusted income rose by $122 billion. Of that increase, one-third or $44 billion came from the government’s stimulus program. But while personal income was rising, household savings (which includes paying down credit card balances, mortgages, student loans, car loans, etc) rose by $132 billion — $10 billion more than the rise in income. So personal consumption dropped 0.1%.

The stimulus package was a total and complete failure. As predicted, as happened with Bush’s 2008 tax cut, as happened with the Japanese stimulus packages of the 90s, fearful consumers sat on their money and wouldn’t spend it. Keynesian economics didn’t work. Again.

But the debt sure piled up. The deficit quadrupled and is sending interest rates soaring as the government elbows aside businesses and consumers at the loan window, all in a desperate effort to borrow enough money to spend enough money to stimulate the economy which isn’t happening.

As we describe in our new book (out June 23rd) Catastrophe, Keynesian economics doesn’t work. The theory for rational expectations has taken its place. Consumers are not idiots. They know that when their paycheck is fatter – either because of tax cuts or government spending – that it is not the beginning of nirvana but just a short term, one shot respite from hard times. They know the difference between standing in front on an electric fan and a windy day.

Barack Obama has fatally undermined our currency, our solvency, our financial stability, and – ultimately – our economy all to spend money that has had no economic effect!

Is Obama a failure? Not by his lights. His goal was never to stimulate the economy. His goal was to expand government spending and he used the recession as an excuse to do so. And, by this standard, he is a raging success. With the stimulus spending, the government proportion of GDP will rise from about 35% to about 40% and with health care “reform” it will go soaring into the mid-forties, bringing us to parity with Germany en route to France!

But the results are in: None of Obama’s spending is doing anything to help the economy.

Of course, the process of household savings, designed to pay down debt, is very healthy. Economists call it de-leveraging. By the start of the recession, the debt American households owe had risen from 70% of their annual income in 1995 to 140% (excluding mortgages). Now it is on its way back down again. And, eventually, that will lead to a real recovery — If Obama doesn’t wreck the currency and bring on mega-inflation before then. (But he probably will).

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Obama has, once again, shown off his ignorance.

On June 4th, 2009, in Cairo, Egypt he gives the world a “history lesson”. Unfortunately, not only is he terribly wrong in his assertions, he has also become a revisionist — and not for the first time, nor for the last.

Here’s what he had to say regarding Islam’s contributions to civilization:

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s renaissance and enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra, our magnetic compass and tools of navigation, our mastery of pens and printing, our understanding of how disease spreads and how it could be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires,timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy, and places of peaceful contemplation – and throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

Ancient Egyptian algebra dealt mainly with linear equations while the Babylonians found these equations too elementary and developed mathematics to a higher level than the Egyptians.

The Rhind Papyrus, also known as the Ahmes Papyrus, is an ancient Egyptian papyrus written circa 1650 B.C. by Ahmes, who transcribed it from an earlier work that he dated to between 2000 and 1800 B.C. It is the most extensive ancient Egyptian mathematical document known to historians.

In  Unknown Quantity, published in 2006, author John Derbyshire is introducing us to algebra through the ages and it promises to be just what his die-hard fans have been waiting for. Here is the story of algebra. With this deceptively simple introduction, we begin our journey. Flanked by formulae, shadowed by roots and radicals, escorted by an expert who navigates unerringly on our behalf, we are guaranteed safe passage through even the most treacherous mathematical terrain. Our first encounter with algebraic arithmetic takes us back 38 centuries to the time of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, Ur and Haran, Sodom and Gomorrah.

The magnetic compass is an old Chinese invention, probably first made in China during the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Chinese fortune tellers used lodestones (a mineral composed of an iron oxide which aligns itself in a north-south direction) to construct their fortune telling boards. Further, there is some recent evidence that suggests that the compass may have been discovered by the Central Americans – but either way, it debunks the “theory” that Islam had any part in their part in inventing the compass.

Regarding the advent of printing. We’ve all heard, except perhaps Obama, of Gutenberg? Didn’t know that he was a Muslim.

The first printing of any kind was done by the Chinese and Japanese in the fifth century, which predates the advent of Islam. At that time and for hundreds of years afterwards, books were so scarce and so hard to make, that few people could read or had books from which to learn. The first printers used blocks of wood as the printing forms. Pictures were carved into their faces. The blocks were then inked and printed on the crude presses of the day. Later,words were added to the pictures, but these, too had to be carefully carved into the wood.

As far as diseases go – well, Obama really stuck his foot in his mouth – again. I know of no Muslims who have won any Nobel Peace Prizes for Medicine. And regarding “Islamic has given us majestic arches and soaring spires”. Anybody ever seen the Roman aqueducts? Ever heard of the Tower of Babel?

He also talked about the great gift,  “timeless poetry and cherished music.”  The only problem there is that music — and musical instruments especially — are forbidden in most Islamic traditions.  And it should be unnecessary to have to note Islam’s “religious tolerance” has been demonstrated.

Wonder when Obama would give a speech on the contributions that America has given to the world? It would be an uplifting thing to do – might even do our country some good. But, I’m afraid, that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

Obama. A true follower Islam.


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Water For My Dog

dog

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.  He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, ‘Excuse me, where are we?’

‘This is Heaven, sir,’ the man answered. ‘Wow! Would you happen to have some water?’ the man asked.

Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.’  The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

‘Can my friend,’ gesturing toward his dog, ‘come in, too?’ the traveler asked.
‘I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.’
The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

‘Excuse me!’ he called to the man. ‘Do you have any water?’

‘Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.’

‘How about my friend here?’ the traveler gestured to the dog.

‘There should be a bowl by the pump.’

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.  The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

‘What do you call this place?’ the traveler asked.
‘This is Heaven,’ he answered.

‘Well, that’s confusing,’ the traveler said. ‘The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.’

‘Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s hell.’
‘Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?’
‘No, we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.’

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