What Should Trump Do? – Your Questions Answered

You Got to Know When to Fold ‘Em
What Happens If We Don’t Balance the Budget?
Howard Ruff, RIP
Washington DC, New York, Atlanta, and Florida
This will be a shorter letter, in keeping with the need for holiday fun and relaxation. However, last week’s letter with my thoughts on what Trump should do generated more responses than any other letter had in the last 17 years. As you might suspect, with a topic so controversial, not everyone agreed with me. But there were many good questions and comments and some thoughtful disagreements, so I want to address a few of those. And I will specifically go into why I seemingly deviate from core conservative principles regarding taxes. It’s all about debt and the consequences of debt – that’s the overriding factor for me. And I’ll try to make the case that there are times when we just have to make hard, even philosophically unpalatable, choices.
Some comments I will excerpt; others I will characterize in general terms; and where appropriate I’ll copy and paste whole comments. So let’s jump in.
Allen Jones Univ. of Arkansas
Please explain further corporate tax rate of 15% on income above $100,000 with “no deductions period.” Sounds like a 15% tax on sales. What do you mean no deductions? Are operating expenses deductions?
Allen, this was probably the most-asked question, and since you asked it most concisely, you get the recognition for it.
No, this is not a sales tax. It is a 15% tax on corporate income. That is normal GAAP accounting income. There are something like 3,400 different, legal, congressionally mandated corporate tax loopholes and deductions. (I can’t find the exact number right now.) Many of those tax loopholes apply to only one company or one very small industry and are favors from a Congressman or Senator to their main constituents. So when I say no deductions, I mean get rid of every one of those loopholes. I know, I know – I will be goring practically every business’s ox in some way or other. And that’s the problem: Too many people think their industry deserves some breaks and one little loophole is not that big a deal, and the next thing you know there are 3400 of these puppies. And then you find General Electric paying less income tax than I do while making multiple billions of dollars a year.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on NOVEMBER 27, 2016.

30 BLOCKS OF ‘BLACK’ FRIDAY

It’s now been almost three weeks since Donald Trump’s shocking (to mainstream propaganda media outlets) victory over Hillary Clinton and her establishment cronies in the presidential election. Despite an overwhelming electoral victory, the furious liberals and their captured media outlets have been conducting a full court press to somehow overturn the verdict of the American people through intimidation of electors, recounts funded by unknown parties, and Soros funded violent protests in liberal enclaves across the country. Meanwhile those of us who work for a living and pay the taxes, allowing the free shit army to protest at their leisure, have continued to go to work in order to make money to support our families just as we did before Trump was elected.
As I’ve detailed in dozens of previous articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor, West Philadelphia is a product of the ‘Great Society’ welfare state and sixty years of total Democrat control of Philadelphia government. While white working middle class Americans voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump on November 8, the reality challenged voters in Philadelphia cast 82% of their votes for a corrupt establishment hack and only 15% for Trump.
The black voters on the 30 Blocks of Squalor, ignored and taken for granted by Democrat politicians since the 1950s, cast 93% of their votes for Crooked Hillary. It is baffling how these people would continue to vote for their own servitude, trapped in squalor, dependent upon the state for survival, and wallowing in ignorance produced by government indoctrination public schools.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on November 27, 2016.

The Incredible Lightness of Thinking In the Liberal Professional Class and the Ascended Masters of Hypocrisy

“Listening to the leading figures of the Democratic party establishment, however, you’d never know it. Cool contentment is the governing emotion in these circles. What they have in mind for 2016 is what we might call a campaign of militant complacency. They are dissociated from the mood of the nation, and they do not care…
What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation [with corporate corruption] but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation.”
Thomas Frank
“Too many of America’s elites-among the super-rich, the CEOs, and many of my colleagues in academia-have abandoned a commitment to social responsibility. They chase wealth and power, the rest of society be damned.”
Jeffrey Sachs
“This elite-generated social control maintains the status quo because the status quo benefits and validates those who created and sit atop it. People rise to prominence when they parrot the orthodoxy rather than critically analyze it. Intellectual regurgitation is prized over independent thought. Real change in politics or society cannot occur under the orthodoxy because if it did, it would threaten the legitimacy of the professional class and all of the systems that helped them achieve their status.
Kristine Mattis, The Cult of the Professional Class
The continuing reaction of the liberal elite to the repudiation of the Democratic establishment by their traditional constituencies of the young and working people is a wonder to behold. They thrash back and forth between a denial of their failure, and disgust at everyone else they can blame for it.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 7 NOVEMBER 2016.

R3 Sends Cease-and-Desist to Bitcoin Developer Peter Todd

Bitcoin and banks were never supposed to go hand-in-hand. So, in 2015, when the world’s largest financial institutions began investigation the technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, it took many people by surprise. Now, approximately two years after those efforts began in earnest, it seems there’s somewhat of a clash taking place between Bitcoin and the consortium through which the world’s largest banks investigate blockchain technology, R3.
The blockchain consortium, whose main goal is to cut costs for the back office processes at major banks, seems to have no problem lobbying legal threats at members of the Bitcoin Community who do not follow the consortium’s line.

This post was published at GoldSilverBitcoin on NOVEMBER 26, 2016.

Nothing fake about the top 0.1% holding the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%.

While people argue about what is real and fake news the widening gulf of inequality in the real world only continues to expand. This is actually happening and for the ultra wealthy that hold most of the wealth, all of this distraction is a good thing. The latest wealth report from Deutsche Bank Research shows that wealth inequality is at levels last seen during the Roaring 20s. The problem with this kind of inequality is that it has come from largely hollowing out the middle class and also creating a large crony financial system that is designed to suck out productivity in the real economy and shuffle it over to folks in suits sitting behind Bloomberg terminals. In other words, those that work and build the economy get shafted from the financial hubs of the world. This global financial drain does not adhere to national borders but is driven by the worldwide financial elite that collect trophy apartments in major metro areas. All this happens while your typical American family struggles to buy a home. There is nothing fake about the current level of wealth inequality.
The wealth spectrum
One of the most startling figures in the latest report is that the top 0.1% hold as much wealth as the bottom 90%. And this is happening in the United States, the wealthiest nation in the world.

This post was published at MyBudget360 on November 26, 2016.

Fake News and the War on Freedom and Truth

‘During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.’
– George Orwell, Visionary Author
Now that the rigged election circus is finally behind us and the United States as a fake democracy has been exposed as a complete fraud, along with its criminally complicit, fake mainstream media news predicting Hillary would be the next president, with a vengeance the elite has accelerated its war against internet alternative news as the one and only closest source of truth left available to the global masses.
For ducking out from taking any honest responsibility for every scandal or shortcoming throughout her long, anything but ethical public life, Hillary Clinton’s M. O. has always been to rail against ‘the vast right-wing conspiracy’ as her nemesis. Her election loss is no different. In all the frenzied post-election finger-pointing, puppet-in-chief Obama, his anointed, would-be successor Hillary and their MSM whores are acting as the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, launching a campaign to ‘expose’ the internet for so-called ‘fake news,’ conveniently blamed for Hillary losing the election (along with FBI fall guy James Comey, WikiLeaks and Putin of course, and legions of racist Trump supporters).
The liars are citing every reason but the actual reason for their loss – Hillary has been proven ad nauseam to be nothing more than a pathological lying prostitute for pure greed and the genocidal masters she bows down to and serves. Americans have grown so sick of government corruption, endless wars and blatant treason by their leaders maintaining policies that have consistently been destroying America, they’ve elected an angry, bigoted, rich white man as their latest hope promising to drain the swamp infested by leeching Washington criminals. And the prospect of a growing wrath behind a seething rage in America about ready to spill over has deep state insiders initiating an all-out offensive in a last gasp effort to ward off the truth from fully exposing their international crime cabal once and for all, especially since the Clinton et al.’s international child sex slavery-trafficking ring was outed [yet again] last month. As quickly as it resurfaced on alternative news sites, it closed just as quickly when Comey reclosed Hillary’s criminal investigation two days prior to the election.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 26, 2016.

The Fallacies of Bernie Sanders

Where Bernie Went Wrong: And Why His Remedies Will Just Make Crony Capitalism Worse. By Hunter Lewis. Axios Press, 2016. 284 pages.
Hunter Lewis has rendered a great service with his new book. Writing from an Austrian perspective, he has given us the definitive analysis of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon. Though Sanders did not win the Democratic nomination, he accomplished something remarkable. ‘If Bernie’s campaign was primarily an exercise in moving public opinion, it was wildly successful. He carried young people by wide margins. He shifted the Democratic Party and eventually its platform in his direction.’ (p.1)
How did he do this? ‘Bernie often says out loud what others are privately thinking.’ (p.13) The middle class and the poor are not doing well, he says; and the fault lies in a ‘rigged’ system. ‘The economy becomes rigged because the rich, primarily represented by ‘greedy’ billionaires and corporations, use their wealth to subvert the political process and take command of government.’ (p.24)
Lewis finds much truth in Sanders’s accusation. In a manifestly corrupt way, for example, failed banks and businesses were ‘bailed out’ after the financial crash of 2008. ‘[Hank] Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, was one of the architects of the Wall Street bailout of 2008 which not only rescued Wall Street, but also rescued his own firm, along with all the shares he still retained in that firm.’ (p.132)

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Nov 25, 2016.

Profits over People: How Big Pharma’s Money Affects Our Health and Wallets

Americans pay the price. Earlier this month, I posted two articles on Big Pharma, back to back. The first one was my classic approach: How PE Firms Are Flipping Drugs in Price-Gouging Scheme that Cannibalizes the Entire US Economy (with 109 great comments).
The second one was coincidence. The digital ink wasn’t dry on the first article, when its was revealed that the Justice Department was getting antsy: ‘More than a Dozen’ Drugmakers under Criminal Investigation for Price-Fixing, Shares Plunge, after Getting Crushed All Year (56 great comments).
But as always, there’s more to it. Here are some hard numbers from a different angle that shed a lot of light on how the industry works.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ November 25, 2016.

Brazil’s New President Temer Threatened With Impeachment After New Corruption Scandal Emerges

Six months after Brazil’s former president Dilma Rouseff was removed from power as a result of a carefully orchestrated process by her former Vice President, Michel Temer, who as many suggested at the time, was merely trying to shift attention away from himself and to his former boss due to his “checkered past”, swirling with allegations of corruption on par with those of the deposed president, Temer himself may be in danger of impeachment when overnight, Brazil’s public prosecutor announced it was studying a possible investigation into whether President Michel Temer put pressure on a former minister to favor a Cabinet colleague’s property investment.
Marcelo Calero, who resigned last week as culture minister, told federal police that the president pressured him to resolve a dispute with another Cabinet member, Geddel Lima, president Temer’s top government congressional liaison, who was seeking a permit for an apartment building in a historic preservation area of his hometown, a federal police source said.
Calero’s accusations have set off new crisis for Temer for allegedly using his public office to obtain a permit for the luxury oceanfront building in the city of Salvador.
Following the news, the Brazilian real slumped as much as 2.2% to 3.4679 reais to the dollar, the biggest intraday drop since Trump’s unexpected victory. Traders cited concern that the controversy could derail an overhaul of government finances favored by investors. Simiarly, Brazil’s main stock market index, the Bovespa, fell 1.3 percent on concerns of continued political uncertainty delaying recovery from the country’s worst recession since the 1930s.
As Reuters adds, adding fuel to the crisis, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Friday that Calero secretly recorded his conversations with Temer and Vieira Lima to back his case. If the chief prosecutor’s office finds grounds to investigate the allegations it would have to ask the Supreme Court for authorization to allow the probe involving the president, the spokeswoman said, effectively starting a new impeachment process. Confirming this, the leader of the Workers Party in lower house Afonso Florence said that former Culture Minister Calero’s allegation that President Michel Temer pressured him on Lima’s case is ‘very serious’ and may lead to an impeachment request.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 25, 2016.

Here’s what happened when ancient Romans tried to drain the swamp

In late January of the year 98 AD, after decades of turmoil, instability, inflation, and war, Romans welcomed a prominent solider named Trajan as their new Emperor.
Prior to Trajan, Romans had suffered immeasurably, from the madness of Nero to the ruthless autocracy of Domitian, to the chaos of 68-69 AD when, in the span of twelve months, Rome saw four separate emperors.
Trajan was welcome relief and was generally considered by his contemporaries to be among the finest emperors in Roman history.
Trajan’s successors included Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, both of whom were also were also reputed as highly effective rulers.
But that was pretty much the end of Rome’s good luck.
The Roman Empire’s enlightened rulers may have been able to make some positive changes and delay the inevitable, but they could not prevent it.
Rome still had far too many systemic problems.
The cost of administering such a vast empire was simply too great. There were so many different layers of governments – imperial, provincial, local – and the upkeep was debilitating.
Rome had also installed costly infrastructure and created expensive social welfare programs like the alimenta, which provided free grain to the poor.
Not to mention, endless wars had taken their toll on public finances.
Romans were no longer fighting conventional enemies like Carthage, and its famed General Hannibal bringing elephants across the Alps.
Instead, Rome’s greatest threat had become the Germanic barbarian tribes, peoples viewed as violent and uncivilized who would stop at nothing to destroy Roman way of life.
Corruption and destructive bureaucracy were increasingly rampant.
And the worse imperial finances became, the more the government tried to ‘fix’ everything by passing debilitating regulation and debasing the currency.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on November 25, 2016.

The View From Under The Bus

As the dust settles from the recent presidential election, it’s becoming clear that a large part of the sentiment behind the vote for Trump reflects a deep dissatisfaction from middle and lower-class working families. The traditional fruits of prosperity have been rising higher and farther out of reach for them, as their ability to make a living wage has been eroding year-over-year, for decades.
They’ve now reached the point where they no longer trust the empty promises that have been sold them by a steady stream of politicians — on both side of the aisle — who have lined their own pockets with lobbyist money while overseeing a tremendous shift of society’s wealth to crony corporations and the top 1%. Trump’s victory can largely be summed up as a defiant yelp from the masses decrying: “I may not know what the solution is, but I’m damn sure more of the same ain’t it!”
Of course, we here at PeakProsperity.com are in full agreement with that righteous anger. Through borrowing way too much, bailing out rather than prosecuting bad actors, printing trillions of “thin air” dollars, a deliberate pursuit of financial repression and other schemes — the future prosperity of the “everyday American” has been stolen by those in power and those positioned closest to the trough. Mathematically, this orgy of excess needs to be balanced by severe austerity; an austerity the elites refuse to suffer but are forcing onto everybody else. No wonder the masses are pissed.
Few visuals drive this injustice home better than this one of historical bank CD interest rates. Note how they’ve been in steady collapse since the mid-1980s:

This post was published at PeakProsperity on November 22, 2016,.

Hillary Exposed – Australia Withdraws Donation for Hillary’s Pay-to-Play Scheme

For all the fools who supported Hillary claiming her Foundation was not illegal and doing good, Now Australia, who donated $75 million to the Clintons tax free has joined Norway cutting their donations. All government will withdraw their support for Hillary’s foundation because it was just corruption – pay to play. Hillary even had the audacity to say her foundation would continue when she was President and would not be shut down.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 24, 2016.

Foreign Governments Cutting off Funding for Hillary

Hillary supporters claimed that the Clinton Foundation was an innocent, ‘charitable’ organization. On his proposed first day to ‘Drain the Swamp,’ Trump will impose a LIFETIME BAN ON LOBBYING FOR FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS. Numerous foreign governments handed money to the Clintons purely for ‘influence.’ The corruption with Norway’s link to the Clinton Foundation extended to Obama. This was the reason Obama was given the Noble Peace Prize, and Jens Stoltenberg, who approved the half-billion donation from Norway to the Clintons, was made the head of NATO in Europe.
The Norwegian newspaper Hegnar reports that Norway is expected to slash their contributions to the Clinton Foundation now that Hillary has lost the presidency. Norway’s pay-off to the Clinton Foundation was strategic. According to local press, during the period 2007 to 2015, Norway sent 584 million to the Clinton Foundation. For the next three years, they promised the Clintons a further 92 million.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 23, 2016.

New York Times Partly Responsible for the Violence

New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has admitted that his paper was unconstitutionally biased and disgraced the very principle of the First Amendment. Sulzberger tries to cover-up their bias by saying they underestimated Donald Trump’s support among American voters. He then claimed they would ‘rededicate ourselves’ to the newspaper’s standards of ‘honestly’ reporting news. If the New York Times was not trying to manipulate the people and had dedicated itself to REPORTING the new instead of trying to turn the paper into a propaganda machine, there would have been no need to ‘rededicate’ themselves. Of course, once any organization walks down the path of corruption there is no turning back. The biased corruption will NEVER change without firing everyone who participated in writing such stories. They will always try to vindicate their past by misrepresenting facts in the future.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 22, 2016.

Fear and Loathing Inside the Deep State

Everyone in the Deep State is threatened by the Trump Presidency. The Deep State understands that power, funding, ideological stratagems and domination of government, media, academia, think tanks and NGOs are in the ‘field of fight’, to use the book title by a prime target the Deep State intends to destroy in order to save itself from Trump.
Lt. General (ret.) Michael T. Flynn, three-star expert in Military Intelligence, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), counselor to Trump for the last fifteen months, is a vital Trump ally the Deep State is attempting to discredit.
We have seen the one-week ferocious political and media attack on Stephen Bannon, begun the instant that Bannon was named Trump’s number one strategist-advisor. Bannon is the theologian of Drain the Swamp, the Trump policy to rid the system of corruption and catastrophically disastrous policies and bureaucrat enablers.
To understand Steve Bannon, take the time to read this transcription or listen to the audio Q&A from a 2014 event in the Vatican. He lays out his philosophical agenda, and used the 2016 campaign to advance his war on the Elites.
‘Drain the Swamp’ pertains to more than getting the corruption out of the system.

This post was published at The Saker

Will Obama Pardon Hillary?

President Ford granted former President Richard M. Nixon an unconditional pardon for all Federal crimes that he ‘committed or may have committed or taken part in’ while in office. Ford said his pardon was intended to spare Mr. Nixon and the nation further punishment in the Watergate scandals. This establishes the precedent and answers the question whether Obama will or even could pardon Hillary. If he words this pardon in the same manner, Hillary can escape tax evasion, treason, whatever.
The more interesting problem, as I have stated before, I see her crime more as TREASON and it does not center on her emails, but the Clinton Foundation. That means in my judgment, that the exposure extends to Bill and Chelsea as well. Indeed, anyone working at the Clinton Foundation engaging in pay-for-play taking money from foreign governments could be charged with TREASON. If anything emerged that linked Obama to future kick-backs, then and only then would there be a Constitutional Crisis concerning the question can Obama pardon someone for a crime in which he participated?

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 21, 2016.

Musings on Demonetization

As written for goldseek.com
On November 8 2016 at 8.00 pm Prime Minister Mr. Modi announced his decision to demonetize or scrap the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes. I am seeing some unjustified criticism and fear about this decision as well as unjustified praise and bonhomie (people praising this decision without understanding the full ramifications). So I decided to write this article to educate:
Facts:
I believe, that this is a huge huge move with far reaching consequences. Only time will tell if it is good or bad. But With this one master stroke, PM Modi has levelled the playing field for corrupt persons and honest people.
Due to scrapping of 500 and 1000 rs. notes, now there will be an increase in the circulation of Rs. 100 notes. I sincerely believe (and hope), that the decision to introduce the Rs. 2000 note is just a stop gap arrangement. Circulation of this note should be and will be stopped as soon as possible.
Rs. 1,00,000/- in 100 rs. notes fits in a small briefcase (10 bundles of 100 X 100), whereas in 1000 rs. denomination, it used to be a single bundle, which could easily fit into the pocket. Even huge economies such as the USA and EU have a highest denomination of 100 dollars or euros. All higher transactions in such economies are carried out using either direct bank transfers or cheques or debit / credit cards. So, all transactions of a certain higher quantum tend to leave a paper trail. The direct result of all this is the reduction in the volume of the shadow economy (untraceable money or black money in the economy).
Pros:
1) Corruption: This decision is a very direct assault on the endemic corruption in the Indian system. Firstly, you can only exchange a limited amount of cash under the table. You can’t carry 5 or 10 briefcases of 100 rs. notes to home every single evening without attracting attention. Also, the person paying the bribe cannot withdraw 5 or 10 lac rupees from the bank without attracting attention, if he keeps on doing so regularly. This will directly affect the ability to pay a bribe and to receive a bribe.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 20 November 2016.

GREY CHAMPION ASSUMES COMMAND (PART ONE)

At each of these great gates of history, eighty to a hundred years apart, a similar generational drama unfolded. Four archetypes, aligned in the same order – elder Prophet, midlife Nomad, young adult Hero, child Artist – together produced the most enduring legends in our history. Each time the Grey Champion appeared marked the arrival of a moment of ‘darkness, and adversity, and peril,’ the climax of the Fourth Turning of the saeculum. – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
In September 2015 I wrote a five part article called Fourth Turning: Crisis of Trust. In Part 2 of that article I pondered who might emerge as the Grey Champion, leading the country during the second half of this Fourth Turning Crisis. I had the above pictures of Franklin, Lincoln, and FDR, along with a flaming question mark. The question has been answered. Donald J. Trump is the Grey Champion.
When I wrote that article, only one GOP debate had taken place. There were eleven more to go. Trump was viewed by the establishment as a joke, ridiculed by the propaganda media, and disdained by the GOP and Democrats. I was still skeptical of his seriousness and desire to go the distance, but I attempted to view his candidacy through the lens of the Fourth Turning. I was convinced the mood of the country turning against the establishment could lead to his elevation to the presidency. I was definitely in the minority at the time:
Until three months ago the 2016 presidential election was in control of the establishment. The Party was putting forth their chosen crony capitalist figureheads – Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. They are hand-picked known controllable entities who will not upset the existing corrupt system. They are equally acceptable to Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, the military industrial complex, the sickcare industry, mega-corporate America, the moneyed interests, and the never changing government apparatchiks. The one party system is designed to give the appearance of choice, while in reality there is no difference between the policies of the two heads of one party and their candidate products. But now Donald Trump has stormed onto the scene from the reality TV world to tell the establishment – You’re Fired!!!

This post was published at The Burning Platform on November 20, 2016.

Thanks For Nothing… And Everything

During this season of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my overwhelming gratitude…
Thank you, President Obama. Thank you for not upholding your oath to the U. S. Constitution to protect America’s southern border. Thank you for illegally granting amnesty via executive action and avoiding the unnecessary hassles of passing the legislation through Congress. And thank you for your efforts in turning the United States of America into a third-world refugee camp.
Thank you, Obama, for your broad support of Islam and for labeling American citizens as bitter, xenophobic racists clinging to their guns and religion. I would also like to express my gratitude to you, your enablers, and all of the sycophantically corrupt, establishment politicians for near doubling the national debt of the United States these last eight years.
Another heartfelt expression of gratitude goes out to all of the media pundits, talking heads, newspaper columnists, Silicon Valley moguls as well as the proprietors, purveyors and contributors of actual fake news websites who contort themselves daily to support leftist politicians and the progressive agenda. Without the blind commitment of those who have facilitated the Cloward-Piven strategy of sacrificing America to the global elite banking establishment, it would have been far more difficult for Obama to fundamentally transform our country over the last eight years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2016.