THE FED AND INEQUALITY

41H
Income inequality in the US has been increasing for a generation. The hare of pretax income received by top 1% of earners roe from 7.8% in 1973 to 17.4% in 2010. The
Gini coefficient—indicates that inequality for the entire range of income recipients rather than only the top 1% has risen by 26% since the early 1970’s. Income inequality after taxes is substantially diminished because of the offsetting effects of taxation. The top1% of income recipient’s pay 37% of total tax revenues, and the top 5% and 20% pay 59% respectively. The bottom 50% pays little or no income taxes. Pretax income inequality has been driven by long-term societal trends that are numerous, complex and hard to change. The drivers include education, parenting and family structure, neighborhood, immigration, globalization and IT-based technology. Poverty typically and strongly impedes emergence form it.
Recession eased monetary policy (aka-Quantitiative Easing) injected as much as $4 trillion into the monetary base by Federal Reserves purchases of mortgage-backed securities in order to lower long-term interest rates. The results ha been an increase in income inequality in recent years as an unintended side effect of monetary easing, apart from the additional to the long-term trends mentioned earlier. The process has been accompanied by a surge of equity markets to record highs (up 30% in 2013).
Since the Great Recession the share of wages in national income has decreased rapidly from 65% in 2008 to 61% in 2013.
It represents $600 billion less for the wages and salaries of the relatively numerous middle and lower income recipients and correspondingly more for the much less numerous form recipients. Although inequality has also increase among recipients of wages, the far smaller number of profit recipients has had a dominant effect on income inequality in recent years. Increased inequality is not simply an unintended consequence of eased monetary policy; it is also quite remote form the prescribed mandate of the Federal Reserve.
The more one is concerned with slowing, let alone reversing, the rising pace of inequality; the sooner on should favor “tapering” quantitative easing. The more one is concerned with stimulating growth, the more one should favor continued easing.
Accurate measurement of inequality it itself problematic
The Gini coefficient, which measures the gap between each percentage of the population and the corresponding percentage of income (or wealth) received by that percentage. If 5% of income and all the population percentages receive 5% of income and all other population percentages receive the corresponding income percentage, then the Gina coefficient is 0, indicating maximum equality of income distribution and no gap between population percentages and income percentages..
Is increased income inequality attributable more to such positive effects as those resulting form Steve Jobs and Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft, or instead to negative effects such as those emanating from the likes of Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling and Enron, Dennis Kozlowski and Tyco and Bernie Madoff.
Gini coefficients for the US lies midway between .45 and .49, having risen form a low of .39 in 1968 to a high of .48 in 2011. The Gini coefficient estimate for China is higher than that of the US as is the estimate for Brazil. Income inequality is substantially less: perhaps as much a 10% points lower than the before-tax estimate.
Source—weekly standard, charles wolf

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FUNSPIRITUAL FACTS

7H 3/26/14

At the national prayer breakfast speech on the growing threat to religious liberty around tee world, the message was odds with his commitment to the issue: “we believe that each of us is “wonderfully made” in the image of God. We therefore, believe in the inherent dignity of every human being—dignity that no earthly power can take away—for the killing of the innocent is never fulfilling God’s will; in fact, it’s the ultimate betrayal of God will”. THIS FROM A GUY WHO BACKS ABORITONS AND LETTING THOSE WHO SURVIVE THE ABORTION LEFT TO DIE)
These words were uttered by a man who twice voted against the Infants Born Alive Act, capped off a speech to Planned Parenthood with the “GOD bells you”, and it currently bringing the full force of the federal government down on religious employers who don’t think abortion should be covered by the company health plan.
The main focus of obama speech—religious persecution abroad—was also at odds with his adm commitment to the issue. It’s nice know that the leader of the free world thinks religious persecution is a problem, but what has he done about it??
Maybe we should ask the Rev Suzsan Johnson Cook, until she resigned last fall; Cook was the ambassador –at- large for the office of International religious freedom in the state dept. obama was so unconcerned about religious freedom that he didn’t even bother nominating anyone to head the IRFO before appointing Cook in 2010.
“Dr. Sujay’s resume with no discernible international policy experience, her close ties to the Cinton adm and several ill-defined business ventures, suggest that obama cares little about supporting religious freedom around the world”.
When she stepped down, she did so “amid criticisms that she failed to stand up for some of the worlds most prosecuted victims of religious oppression. According to Religious News Service, while Christians in Egypt, Syria, AFG, and Nigeria were being massacred the ambassador at large was nowhere to be found. Nina Shea a lawyer with Hudson Institute, told RNS she was shocked Cook “would be utterly silent and not speak about the largest, single persecution of the largest single religious minority in the Near East in 1.300 years”, the Egypt’s Copts.

Sources—weekly standard, Washington post, RNS,

MORE ON THE BENGHAZI COVER-UPS

THIS IS A LONG ONE–BUT IT TELLS HOW THE TALKING POINTS WERE FORMALIZED AND WHO DID WHAT
48H. 3/25/14

Michael Morell then acting director of the CIA gave an account of his role on Benghazi that was often misleading and sometimes deliberately false. He played in producing the obama adm flawed talking points about the fatal attacks on US facilities. And the misleading answers he gave lawmakers who investigated them.
Six republican members accuse Morell of lying in sworn testimony to congress, that Morell misled them in one on one or small-group meetings about the talking points. Morell now a consultant with Beacon Global Strategies, which is close to Hillary—did not respond to a request for comment.
Three aspects of the controversy are drawing particular interest—
1. Morell’s obfuscation of his central role in rewriting the talking points.
2. Morell’s contention that the FBI in rewrote the talking points
3. Morell’s false claim that the talking points were provided to the white house merely as a heads up and not for coordination.
Within weeks investigators on the senate intel comm. Learned that the unclassified “talking points” provided by the CIA to members of congress and top adm official told a different story than the classified intel. “We were seeing the classified stuff and then we see the unclassified talking points,” recalls one lawmaker with access to the intel. “It just didn’t match up.” Early drafts referred to AQ and attacks while later drafts did not.
11/15/12 four top intel officials appeared before the senate committee to answer questions—Clapper, Olsen, Kennedy, and Morell, Chambliss grilled the officials about changes made to the talking points. “I went down the line. I said: Okay guys did you change the talking points? Every one of them said no.” much of the hearing was devoted to uncovering how the talking points had been put together and who had made the changes. Morell volunteered nothing.
Senator Burr asked each witness if he knew who had been responsible for changing the word “attacks” to “demonstrations”—again denials down the line.
Clapper as the top US intel official was asked if he knew who had revised the talking points. I don’t, the other intel officials also indicated that they didn’t know who had made the changes, but their answer wee nonverbal and thus do not appear in the transcript.
“When US intel officials testified behind closed doors tow weeks ago, they were asked point blank whether they had altered the talking points on which UN ambassador Rice based her comments. A Reuters story on 11/28, “Clapper, Morell and Olsen each said no, according to two congressional sources who spoke on condition of anonymity”. For weeks the official public position was no one knew who had made the changes. In private meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and at CIA headquarters Morell denied that he had played any significant role in writing or revising the talking points.
Members of the congressional oversight committees pressed the white house to turn over emails and other document6s pertaining to the talking points but the adm refused.
Holding up Brennan’s nomination the adm cooperated more fully on Benghazi. Eventually, the white house made available on a “read only” basis nearly 100 pages of emails between top intel and obama adm officials.
Emails given to reporters on May 2013, showed Morell had been a key player in rewriting the talking points. In fact a Sept. 15th email to Rice described a secure video teleconference in which Morell told others on the call that he had rewritten the talking points and would be happy to revise them further in consultation with top advisers to Obama and Clinton. “Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them. He noted that he would be happy to work with Sullivan and Rhodes to develop appropriate talking points.”
The messages contradicted claims from Carney and other top adm officials that neither the white house nor the state had played any role in revising the substance of the talking points.
5/10/13, after The Weekly Standard and ABC reported on the emails, a reporter asked Carney “we have had emails showing that he state dept punished back against talking-point language form the CIA and expressed concern about how some of the information would be used politically in congress. You have said the white house only made a stylistic changes her, but these were not stylistic changes. These were content changes. So again what role did the white house play in making but in directing changes that took place to these?” Carney—“the CIA in this case, deputy director—took the process and issued a set of talking points on that Saturday morning and those talking points were disseminated.”
Five days later the white house released the emails, the adm enlisted Morell to participate in two background press briefings. While the emails themselves showed robust and sometimes contentious exchanges between top officials, Morell told reporters that he had been responsible for most of the substantive changes.
Quite a reversal in Nov 2012 Morell had dodged responsibility during congressional hearing s and misled lawmakers in private meetings. Then in May the white house spokesman told the world that Morell had been in charge of the process that produced the talking points and Morell privately told reporters the same things.
In June Morell resigned. Soon he joined the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies (SEE ABOVE—HILLARY CONNECTION) he joined with Jeremy Bash, Michael Allen, Andrew Shapiro and Philippe Reines all connected to white house departments and Hillary.
On 11/27/12 Morell accompanied Rice to Capitol Hill to meet with senators including republican critics of her role in selling the misleading narrative. Morell had been named acting CIA director after the resignation of David Patraeus. Graham, McCain and Ayotte asked Rice why Morell was there “she said: “he will help you understand what was going on with the talking points.’ The first question was “who changed the talking points? Morell responded telling the senators that he FBI had made the revisions. “He told us that the FBI made the changes because they were the ones on the ground talking to people and they didn’t want to jeopardize their investigation”. Graham says Morell implied that the CIA didn’t have enough information to have made the changes, telling the group that the FBI wouldn’t share with the CIA information from their interviews with the survivors.

Graham was surprised, “it was the first itme I’d heard anyone say the FBI.” We were back to pre 9/11 style stove piping. So Graham, called the FB
I leadership to ask why the bureau would have withheld such important information form the CIA. “They went apeshit and offered and unequivocal denial”.
Morell said the FBI removed the references and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing investigation. The CIA officials contacted indicating that acting Director Morell misspoke in our earlier meeting. The CIA now says that it deleted the AQ references not the FBI. They were unable to give a reason as to why.
Graham doesn’t think Morell misspoke. “He knew when he met with us that it wasn’t the FBI who had changed the talking points. “Morell tried to dump this on the FBI and got caught.”
Perhaps the most serious charge against Morell comes in the “additional Views” section of the senate intel committee report on Benghazi. The authors, six republicans senators who sit on the panel report for the first time in his testimony on 11/15/12 Morell “emphatically stated” that the talking points were provided by to the white house “for their awareness, not for their coordination.” 100 pages of emails between adm and intel officials released last May, a CIA spokesman tells a white house spokesman that the talking points are being provided to the white house “for coordination.” That email sent on 9/14 from the chief of media relations at the CIA to the white house National security council spokesman Tommy Vietor reads: “you should be seeing some ‘white paper’ taking points from us this afternoon for coordination’. Ben Rhodes foreign policy and national security adviser was copied on the email. So from the very beginning, top white house officials were involved in coordinating eh discussion of what would go into the talking points, with heavy input from senior officials at the state dept and the intel community.
9/14 the CIA public affairs office sent white house officials another draft of the talking points with instructions to “review the below and respond with your comments ASAP”.’
Everyone has submitted a coordination comments from an earlier email that day.
In an email the following morning, Morell writes to officials working for the director of national intel seeking there approval of the talking points. “Everyone else has coordinated,” he notes about the review of “tweaks”. Finally according to a 9/15 email from then CIA director Petraeus, the final decisions on the talking points were “National Security Staff’s call to be sure”.
Given all of this, why would Morell emphatically claim two months later that the talking points, already the subject of public scrutiny, had been provided to the white house only for awareness and not “coordination.”

Sources—weekly standard, Stephen hayes, reuters, ny mag, abc

THE COLLAPSE OF SANCTIONS ON IRAN

47H 3/24/14
The economic news from Tehran is good—good, that is, if you are a state sponsor of terror moving toward a nuclear weapon program. If you were hoping that sanctions might persuade the Iranians to cease and desist, the news is disastrous. Since the obama adm relaxed sanctions on Iran, oil sales are up 25% from 1.06 million barrels per day to 1.32 million and the white house reportedly has no intention of preventing the rise ins sales and consequent swelling of Revolutionary Guard bank accounts. Indicators show an Iranian economy on the mend, thanks to the interim nuclear agreement struck in NOV. Inflation has decreased form 40%-plus to 20% and falling. The rial-to-dollar exchange rate is steadily recovering. And where Iran’s GDP fell 3% in 2012, the IMF now projects modest increases for 2014 and 2015.
With sanctions regime eroding, Iran’s business climate has been transformed, and trade delegations are exploring investment options in Iran’s petrochemical and automobile industries. The regime was getting only $7 billion in sanctions relief was way off. The figure is far closer to those estimates of $20 billion that adm officials scoffed at.
Sanction relief was never about rewarding the regime with relatively small sums of money in exchange for steep concessions on the nuclear program. The plan rather was to get Iranians president Rouhani lots of cash.
The white house idea is that once Rouhani understands how much easier his life is with lots of money pouring into the economy, it will be in his interest to petition Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for more concessions on he nuclear file. The problem with the strategy is that it shows how badly the White house has misunderstood not only the regimes behavior but also Routhani’s role and how sanctions affect it. Mark Dubowitz director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose work has been central in building the Iran sanctions regime. According to Dubowitz the white house wanted to empower Rouhani while weakening figures like Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. The more Rouhani becomes ‘addicted’ to cash, the better he’ll be able to make the case to Khamenei that they need to make more concessions.
What was significant about sanctions relief was not merely the exact amount of money. Any realizations of sanctions would give rise to an international lobby with a vital interest in making sure the white house never made good on its threats to reimpose stiff sanctions on the Tehran regime.
A European corporation doing business in Tehran means jobs back home. What politician gladly turns his back on thousands of jobs or potential jobs to agree to observe the restoration of a sanctions regime that the Obama white house wasn’t serious about in the first place?
The adm strategy, says Dubowitz, “has nothing to do with rational economic models. Rather it’s a psychological profile of the regime based on its assessment of Rouhani as a pragmatist who was elected to secure sanctions relief and will be further strengthened if he can deliver’.
Rouhani uses the sanctions regime, and the threat of new sanctions, as a stick in his fight with the IRGC and Khamenei. Rouhani was elected to win sanctions relief for a beleaguered Iranian economy. Khamenei has long seen Rouhani as a useful asset in his dealings with the West. The Iranian president often boasts of his role in duping his American and European counterparts as lead negotiator when he held the regimes nuclear file form 2003-5.
Now the Western businessmen and politicians are pecking away at the sanctions regime, Rouhani has already served his purpose. Khamenei has a deal he’s perfectly happy with. He’s getting paid for doing nothing and if the interim agreement is renewed after six months more money to spend on whatever he likes—backing Assad in the Syrian civil war, or building the bomb. What’s peculiar is that the white house seems just a pleased with the agreement.

Source==weekly standard, lee smith

OBAMA CALLS RETREAT

47H 3/24/14

Kiev is ablaze. Syria is a killing field. The Iranian mullahs aren’t giving up their nuclear weapons. Al Qaeda is making gains and is probably stronger than ever. China and Russia throw their weight around, while our allies’ shudder and squabble.
The USA is in retreat. Obama response to these events, further retreat!
Having withdrawn from Iraq, and seeing it now fall apart, determined to get out of AFG. Its Russia “reset” is a joke, and its “pivot to Asia” an empty slogan. Kerry huffed and puffed when Al-Assad used chemical weapons last year. Having failed to hold Assad accountable, Kerry now says that global climate change may be the weapons of mass destruction we should most fear!!!
Our military is being decimated in size, as it is being enervated by political correctness. We’re dealing with no recent memory of the Great War, no Great Depression, no Hitler or Tojo or even Mussolini. We don’t need extraordinary heroism or exemplary statesmanship in deal with the second and third-rate threats that we face.
Chaos that result form weakness and dissolution can be as hard to remedy as defeat by formidable and well-organized foes.
“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men, we must live through all time or die by suicide.

Source—weekly standard, willian kristol

BULLS IN BEARS, CAVUTO, CASHIN IN, FORBES

3/22/14 40H

The government has taken in over $1.1 trillion in taxes the first 5 months of this financial period, but the national debt is now at $17.5 trillion. Spending is on track at $1.5 trillion, which will add to the debt $900 billion. Spending is three times higher that in 2000. We are now considered to the have the Worst congress in our history! We will be spending 2.2% of our income on just the interest on the debt. Fraud is costing us trillions. The current projection on the debt is that in 10 years is will be at $35 trillion. According to the government inflation IS NOT a problem. 42% of college graduates not planning on having kids. We need at least a rate of 2.1 per couple, currently we are at 1.88.

Unions now want a $15 minimum wage. 38% of companies of minimum wage workers said they would be laying off people.51% of companies will have to raise their prices. Small business owners don’t have the power in congress to get any help. Too many small ones—not powerful like big companies. Re the HILL, premiums under ACA to spike 2 to 3 times in a matter of months. The insurance companies will be making more money. And after ACA is finalized there will still be 30 million people without insurance.
IRS employee took records of 20,000 IRS workers. 36% of workers have less than $1000.00 put back for retirement.

Putin in 2006, 2008, and 2009 limited the supply of natural gas to the Ukraine (export bans). Germany depends on Russian oil (40%) so don’t look to them for help in the Ukraine. USA is going to give control (web control) to China. Control of what you’ll be able to send.

Obama, and Kerry —“we are in way threatening Russia”. while we have conflicts in the Ukraine and the Middle East Obama has time for golf, final 4 brackets and sending the family off to China for another vacation.
On 6/4/09—Obama—“any world national order that elevated one group of people over another will fail”. ACA spending $17 million a MONTH on celebrity advertising ads. If its such a great program why the need to spend $17 million a month to run ads? There are least 28 changes that have been made to ACA men could see premium increases of 97%, while women would be around 55%.
Medicare and Medicaid have unfunded liabilities of $100 trillion. The Virginia state legislature is honoring terrorist AL AWLAKI, MALIK HASAN, SHEIKH MOHAMMED at their local Mosque.
White house women are making 82% of what the male workers are being paid

A REAL EQUALITY AGENDA—LET’S REDISTRIBUTE POWER, NOT INCOME

STATE OF THE UNION 39H
The only real surprise was how he soft-pedaled the problem of inequality. The word itself was only mentioned once. This probably explains why Obama only trotted out an inequality agenda in year six of his term, with his power in its nadir, instead of in year one. When it was at its apex.
A few years ago, dems endlessly complained about the ban on reimportation of drugs form Canada. These days, they do not mention it al all, though the ban persists. Obama was on the outside when he finally made it in, he cut a deal with Big Pharma that kept the ban in place in exchange for industry backing of OBC.
He called for tax reform, more money for infrastructure spending, subsidies for tech companies and scientific research, more job training, universal rep-K education, promoting “equal pay for equal work” for women (EVEN THOUGH THE WOMEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE MAKE LESS THAN THE MEN DO), and raising the minimum wage.
The first and most obvious is that the government has demonstrated a knack for being a perpetrator of the very ailments Obma promises to ameliorate. Its original purpose was to serve as a sort of domestic tariff. By 1937 Northern industries had come to terms with organized labor, but the south still resisted. Fearing a flight of capital to Dixie it was Northern businessmen who made the difference in pushing a minimum wage through congress.
The New Deal discussed minimum wages in detail. Advocates of bold, activist government want to forget all the inequalities it creates. His signature achievement the ACA is one of the most grossly unfair pieces of legislation to become laws in modern times. It is an enormous redistribution of wealth form the young to the old, the healthy to the sick, without due regard to socioeconomic status. The second problem with Obama inequality agenda is more subtle, yet more pernicious. It overlooks the fact that, over time, everybody’s standard of living tends to improve.
Today’s poor have access to nutrition, amenities, medical care and knowledge that were scare a long time ago. It is clear the almost everyone wins with economic development. The game of political power is necessarily zero sum.
By expanding government to deal with economic imbalances, Obama threatens to exacerbate the nation’s already deeply unequal power of relations. Today DC operates according to a perverted form of Madisonian pluralism: Public policy is deemed legitimate ant because it measurably advances the common interest, but because all the active organized interest groups in town have had a chance to influence it at the margins.
The problem is now so bad that the federal government is arguably incapable of taking on any substantial project without treating groups differently, based solely upon their political connections. Obama entered Washington promising to change this process! The stimulus, the auto bailouts, ACA, and the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill—only reinforced it.
Under the guise of distributing wealth more evenly, Obama will favor key interest groups and by centralizing more authority within DC he will enshrine those privileges in the law. This may or may not equalize the money in the wallets of the citizens but is will assuredly take political power form the people a large and hand it over to friends of Obama.
Those seeking to enact such an equality agenda through the federal government would approach the problem humbly; knowing that Uncle Sam has a way of being profoundly unfair. Acknowledging the structural limits of government’s ability to act for the common good. They would then focus on empowering individuals directly, rather than via bureaucrats or interest groups. Block grants to state and local governments, vouchers and easily accessible tax credits are all ways to level the economic playing field as well as the political one, for they all can empower individuals to make their own life choices.
Today’s Democratic party will offer nothing of the sort. Founded by Jackson as a coalition deeply suspicious of government, one whose constitutional framework has been twisted to concentrate wealth and power upon itself and its clients, has come to represent everything that Jackson himself once opposed.

Source—weekly standard, jay cost