Saturday, June 29, 2013

Issa committee is still wasting time and taxpayer money on the IRS non-scandal

Darrell Issa
Still wasting time and taxpayers money on the IRS non-scandal, Darrel Issa is attempting to redefine the fifth amendment for one last chance to find something to pin on someone.

On June 28th, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform met to hold a markup session of a resolution that Lois Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when she made a voluntary opening statement at the May 22, 2013 full Committee hearing entitled "The IRS: Targeting Americans for Their Political Beliefs"

Just as an aside, doesn't the committee hearing's name give you the idea that Issa and his gang of numb-skulls have a pre-formed prejudicial view of the IRS that they are trying to impose on the rest of America?  I can't say that they are jumping to conclusions, but Republicans really have a knack for making our government appear to be the enemy.

Be it resolved then, that the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have hereby found new interpretations to the intent of the Fifth Amendment.  I guess they read between the lines of the text of the amendment.

Let's see if you can find the same interpretation by reading the actual text of the amendment that follows.

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

There are many rights stated in the amendment.  Did you find the hidden meaning that the Committee found?  If you did, then "taking the fifth" may mean something entirely different to you and may have more to do with imbibing a certain size of alcoholic spirits than constitutional law.

There is nothing in the amendment that indicates a person forfeits their fifth amendment right protecting them from being compelled to be a witness against themselves if they say anything in defense of themselves first.  

The simple truth is that Issa, frustrated that this attempt at a Republican generated conspiracy theory did not lead directly to the President's door, is trying to find some way of making his Committee's efforts appear something more than a waste of time.  

But they have been nothing more. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

How the rich will make $millions while avoiding the impending financial crisis

Ben Bernanke
When Fed commissioner Ben Bernanke announced that the Fed’s purchase of mortgage securities might be reduced if the economy continued to improve, he gave early warning to the 1% that they should cash out of the market and use one of their off-shore tax shelters to keep their money safe.

As a result, the market lost billions of dollars in the last two days when many wealthy investors cashed out.  The market doesn't look much better today.

I contribute the recent loss in the stock market directly to the one-per centers.  

This was not a case of middle-class investors cashing out their 401K’s because the penalty is too much to cash out a 401K.  It was not a case of investors moving their investments around because that would have had no net change impact on the market.  It was an outright removal of investment cash by selling while prices are still good.  The group of investors who can do this without tax consequence are the wealthiest people in America.  Other investors may soon follow in this selling frenzy now that the trend is sounding alarm bells.

Middle-class workers who try to save some of their pay in 401Ks have the most to lose. 
They do not have the freedom to cash out of the market without losing 40% of their cash to early withdrawal penalty tax.  They must weather the storm when disaster happens.  So when the billionaire investors got out of the market it caused the loss in value which will be to the detriment of middle-class owners of 401Ks.

In 2007 we saw the serious financial collapse of the market as millionaire’s and billionaire’s who had the freedom to remove their dollars from the market did so at a rapid-fire pace.  In that disaster middle-class Americans lost up to 50% of their savings in 401K’s.  

After only the last two days, the market has lost up to 5% of its value.  The trend seems to be continuing today.  If it continues to lose at this rate it will only take a month to repeat the 2007 disaster.

Do the wealthy believe that Bernanke’s security purchase program is really improving the employment situation?  Is that what is worrying them?  Of course not!  They are the job creators, so they should realize that increasing jobs only happens when there is an increase in product and service demand.  That is not happening.  So what are they worried about?  

They worry that Bernanke may be starting to realize that any increase in the economic outlook or jobs for America is really not due to his policies.  They are getting the idea that Bernanke will end security purchases even if the job situation and the economy does not improve.

Up until now, Bernanke’s policies have kept interest rates low and made it easy for investors to purchase stocks and bonds without fear.  The stock market usually does very well when interest rates are low and investors feel confident.  This undoubtedly favors the wealthiest investors.  

By removing that investor guarantee, Bernanke has decreased the certainty of profiting in the stock market.  And one thing the 1%’ers love more than anything is profit.  So they are willing to trash the rest of America and start the collapse of the market in order to preserve their beloved cash.

I expect that this free-fall in the stock-market will persist in the upcoming weeks as more and more of the wealthy catch on to what many of them have already deduced.  They will remove their cash from the market, shelter it off-shore and just wait it out.  When the market bottoms out, they will be ready to pounce on some really cheap stocks and the whole cycle will repeat itself.  That's how you make millions and avoid the financial crisis.

And for the millions of baby-boomers who are retiring, or about to retire, they can thank the wealthy for the additional burden that they will have in their old age as they try to find ways to stretch their greatly reduced nest eggs.  Even when the market comes back eventually, we will have lost whatever time it takes and this lost time will stunt financial growth.

I hope I am wrong.