Don’t Get Fooled By Election Year Propaganda!

woman gives a speech without content in a lectern while her nose grows. concept of political lies - Don’t Get Fooled By Election Year Propaganda!Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is spouting off again, with more political baloney!

Martin Armstrong highlights her recent remarks about IRS funding:

“…. The proposal will redirect $14.3 billion in funds to Israel instead of doubling the IRS, angering Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who insists America has money for two wars and a standing IRS army.

…. ‘We cannot let our national security be undermined in an attempt to weaken our efforts to modernize the IRS – efforts which reduce the deficit,…and make sure that wealthy tax cheats pay what they owe.’ Yellen posted to the social media platform, X.”

Social Security GuideArmstrong concludes:

“I always question how this woman has a job.”

Yellen wants to double the size of the IRS army?

Wolf Richter writes, The Incredibly Ballooning US Government Debt Spikes by $1 Trillion in 15 Weeks to $34 Trillion:

“These are huge gigantic numbers that are piling up as a result of the incredible hard-to-fathom daredevil reckless shake-your-head deficit spending by Congress. ….

Since the beginning of 2016, the total debt has spiked by $15 trillion, or by 80%! This stuff is just breathtaking.

Chart: US National Debt Spikes to $34 Trillion (+$1 trillion in 14 weeks) - Wolfstreet.com

…. Ultimately, interest payments threatening to eat up everything else appear to be the only disciplinary force left that is able to pressure Congress to do something beyond grandstanding, but obviously not yet.”

Chart: US Government Interest Payments as a Percent of Tax Receipts - Wolfstreet.com

Each year Ms. Yellen’s treasury department issues a report, Financial Report of the United States Government. The most recent report tells us:

“An Unsustainable Fiscal Path

…. A sustainable fiscal policy is defined as one where the debt-to-GDP ratio is stable or declining over the long term. The projections based on the assumptions in this Financial Report indicate that current policy is not sustainable.

Older Cinderella shocked looking at a clock…. Preventing the debt-to-GDP ratio from rising over the next 75 years is estimated to require some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases….

…. It is nevertheless nearly certain that current fiscal policies cannot be sustained indefinitely.

The projections discussed here assume current policy remains unchanged. …. Nevertheless, the projections demonstrate that policy changes must be enacted to move towards fiscal sustainability.”

Unsustainable?

“You can choose to ignore reality; but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

— Ayn Rand

Bill Bonner explains:

“A study from Hirschmann Capital tells why the worry about government debt is not just academic, or theoretical, handwringing.

Since 1800, 51 out of 52 countries with gross government debt greater than 130% have defaulted, either through restructuring, devaluation, high inflation or outright default.”

Righting the ship requires spending reductions and revenue increases.

Ms. Yellen wants to double the size of the IRS army; the war against the taxpayers takes priority over spending cuts.

Ms. Yellen makes no attempt to call out Congress for their “incredible hard-to-fathom daredevil reckless shake-your-head deficit spending.” She prefers adding 87,000 more IRS employees to wring the last bit of wealth from the people.When To File For Social Security Special Report – Click Here!

Adding to her election year BS pile….

The Hill reports:

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday the U.S. economy is achieving a ‘soft landing’ as inflation continues to ease without showing signs of a significant economic downturn.

‘What we’re seeing now I think we can describe as a soft landing, and my hope is that it will continue.'”

Livemint shares her interview with the Wall Street Journal:

“WSJ: Soft landings are quite rare. What gives you confidence that this might be more like the episode in the mid-1990s than in the last two downturns,…where it looked like we were soft landing and then we had a hard landing?

YELLEN: I agree that it is an unusual thing to have happen. And it certainly takes skill on the part of the Fed to calibrate monetary policy properly. But if you just look at the data, it looks as though that’s the path we’re on.

WSJ: There is a disconnect right now. People say they’re very unhappy with the economy. They feel worse off than three years ago despite low unemployment and inflation coming down. Why do you think there is this disconnect?

YELLEN: We’ve been through a lot. …. Although prices are rising at a much slower pace than they were, the prices of some things that are important to people are higher.

“So, if we lie to the government, it’s a felony. But if they lie to us it’s politics.”

— Bill Murray

…. The Biden administration certainly understands that high prices, even if they’re no longer rising, are definitely a concern to Americans. And we’re trying to take the steps we can to address these prices.”

In 2016, Fed Chair Yellen, (vehemently denying any political motives) gave the economy a clean bill of health. She implied, Bush broke it, Obama fixed it and if it goes wacky again it is Trump’s fault. She’s repeating the same playbook.

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Soft Landing coming?

Yahoo Finance reports:

“Consumer prices increased more than expected in December….

…. The December Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed prices ticked up slightly at 0.3% over last month, an increase from the 0.2% seen in November. Prices rose 3.4% over the prior year, an increase from the 3.1% increase seen the month prior.”

James Rickards decodes the propaganda message:

“Everyday Americans understand inflation perfectly. …. Inflation is one of the biggest concerns of those who live in the real world.

…. Here’s the reality and here’s the political narrative:

Reality is that prices have been going up at the fastest rate in 40 years and they are still going up.

…. at a slower rate but they’re still going up.

…. It is possible to use propaganda to lie to the American people; it can work in the short run.

But inflation is NOT one of those areas where propaganda works. The American people know what things cost, they know prices are going up, and no amount of lies can change that.”

Ignoring reality

Lew Rockwell reports:

“Americans are largely maxed out when it comes to the amount of debt they have accumulated. Americans surpassed a combined total of over $1 trillion in credit card debt back in August. Three months later, the balance had already gone up an additional $48 billion.

…. Household Debt…continues to worsen as Americans struggle. …. Credit card APRs have gone up 30% in the last year and a half, eating away at consumers’ budgets more than ever before.”

Business Insider adds:

“Americans are missing credit card payments at the highest rate in a decade

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia found credit-card delinquency rates have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with the share of balances 30 days past due hovering at the highest mark since late 2012.”

Chart: Credit Card: 30+, 60+, and 90+ Days Past Due Rates: Balances-Based

Peter Reagan predicts:

The Consequences of Massive Debt? Your Lifestyle Downgrade Is on the Way!

…. A soft landing could be more wishful thinking than reality.

…. Since the economy depends on spending, once consumers are tapped out and weighed down by too much debt, then overall spending could suffer dramatically.

At that moment an economic downturn could start, and who knows how long it could last? Unfortunately, the process appears to be underway…

According to a recent Bankrate survey, balances on high-interest credit cards are being carried over at a much higher rate:

In November 2023, 49 percent of cardholders fell into this credit card ‘debt revolver’ category — up from 39 percent in 2021….

This finding comes amid the legacy of high inflation, which has increasingly caused consumers to turn to their credit cards to make ends meet. …. The average APR for revolving credit at 22.77 percent as of the third quarter.”

WalletHub chimes in:

  • 59% of Americans with credit card debt say they have more debt now than they did 12 months ago.
  • 54% of Americans expect inflation to affect their credit card debt in 2024.
  • More than 1 in 4 Americans blame the economy for their credit card debt.
  • The average American household has $10,263 in credit card debt.

Chuck Butler reports:

“38% of companies say they are likely to have layoffs in 2024

52% are likely to implement a hiring freeze in 2024

If you currently have a job that you highly value, try to hold on to it as tightly as you can.”

John Mauldin’s explains, No Way Out:

“The sad fact is we have no easy way out of the debt situation. ….none of us want the crisis that’s coming. But all the solutions require joint actions we are apparently unable to take.

…. We face this, not just because of government policy choices, but the political process itself. It is a function of the two-party system. Our system has lost the ability to act decisively against big problems we all see coming.

But our system won’t stay paralyzed forever. At some point, we’ll see action because the crisis will have become impossible to ignore. Then we’ll respond.”

Ron Paul suggests:

“…. The truth is neither Biden nor Trump will seek to reduce spending.

Unless a critical mass of Americans demand an end to the welfare-warfare state and the fiat money system, the soft landing sought by the Fed and the politicians will turn into a hard crash.”

In summary….

roman emperor cartoon isolated on whiteDon’t believe the propaganda BS; just hunker down. While politicians fiddle, we must deal with reality and make hard choices. Empires fail; strong people survive. Our lifestyle may change, but those who control their debt, protect their wealth from inflation, and ignore the political propaganda will fare better than most.

Ms. Yellen won’t be the only one sent packing!

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On The Lighter Side

Late last week my wife Jo had a knee replacement. I’m amazed at how much progress has been made in the last 15 years since her previous surgery.

Within two hours she was up and walking. Most patients went home the same day. She is using a walker but very mobile. While she is experiencing pain, it doesn’t appear to be nearly as bad as the last time around. The bandage came off in 48 hours and off to the shower she went.

I’m sure she will have rehab challenges. She is scheduled to have her other knee done in early spring so, hopefully we can get the rehab done and spend much of the summer in Indiana.

In the meantime, I am embracing my job helping her. When I went through my heavy cancer issues, she taught me what “in sickness and in health” really meant. Now it is my turn to fulfill my wedding day obligations.

Quote of the Week:

Older couple sitting on a park bench enjoying the day“The secret to living well and longer is:

EAT HALF, WALK DOUBLE, LAUGH TRIPLE and LOVE WITHOUT MEASURE.”

— Tibetan Proverb

And Finally…

Some more clever thoughts from Vince the sign guy:

  • My therapist said I have trouble expressing emotion. Can’t say I’m surprised.
  • If people make you sick, maybe you should cook them longer.
  • I bought a fake koi fish. It’s my dekoi.
  • What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t return? A stick.
  • Fruit farmers eat what they can and can what they can’t.
  • A tombstone with a typo? Well, that’s a grave mistake.
  • I got booted from the coffee club because I wore a tea shirt.
  • I wanted to get my pants hemmed quickly, so I called Taylor Swift.

And my favorite:

  • I wear memory foam insoles to remember why I walked into the room.

Until next time…

Dennis Miller

“Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn.” – H. L. Mencken

 

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