Beware – The Last 7 Times The Yield Curve Inverted The U.S. Economy Was Hit By A Recession

Seven times since the 1960s we have seen the yield curve invert, and in each of those seven instances an economic recession in the United States has followed.  Will this time be any different?  Today, the yield curve is the flattest that it has been in 11 years, and many analysts believe that we will see an inversion before the end of 2018.  If an inversion does take place, experts will be all over the mainstream media warning about “an imminent recession”.  Unfortunately, most Americans don’t understand these things, and when they hear terms like “yield curve” they tend to quickly tune out.  So in this article we are doing to define what a yield curve is, why it is so important, and why another U.S. recession may be rapidly approaching.

Let’s start with a really basic definition of a yield curve.  This one comes from Investopedia

A yield curve is a line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality but differing maturity dates. The most frequently reported yield curve compares the three-month, two-year, five-year and 30-year U.S. Treasury debt. This yield curve is used as a benchmark for other debt in the market, such as mortgage rates or bank lending rates, and it is also used to predict changes in economic output and growth.

But most of the time, the experts that are talking about “the yield curve” are talking about the difference between interest rates on two-year and ten-year U.S. Treasury bonds.  The following comes from CNBC

Start with a government issued two-year Treasury bond and a 10-year Treasury bond. They both pay interest. Typically, the 10-year pays a higher interest rate than the two-year to compensate buyers for the time difference. The difference between the interest rates in these two bonds is called the “spread”. If the spread is greater than zero, it means the two-year interest rate is lower than the 10-year, and that is normally the case.

A normal spread for these two bonds will take the appearance of a rising chart — an upward sloping yield curve. But when the spread goes negative, the yield curve “inverts” giving the appearance of a negative yield curve.

An “inverted yield curve” strikes fear among investors because it makes lending unprofitable.

As a USA Today article recently explained, our banks borrow at short-term rates and lend that money out at long-term rates…

Banks borrow at short-term rates, lend long term and profit from the difference. So the gap between long and short rates predicts future loan profitability. The bigger the gap, the more eager banks are to lend. The yield curve is a great predictive proxy for future lending.

Lending matters because loans allow for economically expansive activities. Sally deposits $10,000 at Community Banks-R-Us, which can keep $1,000 in reserve and lend out $9,000 to Jim’s Widgets. Jim uses that to grow his business. Hence lending can fuel growth. So, steeper yield curves spur economic activity. Flatter curves render less.

Our economy is fueled by debt, and an inverted yield curve tends to greatly discourage lending.  When banks cut back on lending, that has the effect of “choking off” the economy, and that usually leads to an economic contraction…

In this interest-rate environment, banks would lose money by making loans. Not necessarily on all loans, but it does make some loans unfeasible and some less profitable, forcing banks to cut back on making loans; thereby choking off the access to credit markets that businesses need to grow. When it becomes harder for businesses to borrow, many businesses cancel or delay projects and hiring. Weaker businesses go out of business because they lose access to credit, which in turn causes layoffs. When this happens, it takes about a year, on average, for the U.S. economy to slip into a recession.

The yield curve inverted prior to the recession of 2008, and lending started to get a lot tighter.  The resulting recession was a surprise to many Americans, but it should not have been.  It was simply the logical conclusion of basic economic forces at work.

In fact, an inverted yield curve has preceded every single recession since the 1960s, but Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell doesn’t seem concerned that it is about to happen again…

Asked whether “a dramatic change in the shape of the yield curve in any way influence the trajectory you guys are on with respect to normalizing interest rates and the balance sheet,” Powell stated “no,” adding that “what really matters is what the neutral rate of interest is.

That’s the interest rate level that neither stimulates growth or slows it down — something that changes over time and which Fed officials try hard to gauge.

Interestingly, yield curves are about to “invert” in Japan, Germany and China too.

But it should be noted that there are some experts that insist that we are focusing on the wrong things.  One of those experts is Ken Fisher

Almost everyone everywhere misses that the total global yield curve matters much more than America’s. And it’s doing just fine, thank you. Today’s global financial system is super interconnected. Behemoth banks can borrow in low-rate countries such as Germany, transfer funds here, hedge for currency risk and lend to Jim’s Widgets in mere seconds.

The global yield curve combines every developed country’s curve, weighted by the size of each economy. You get Britain’s 0.88 percent 10-year/three-month spread, Canada’s 0.69 percent gap, Germany’s 0.92 percent, France’s 1.23 percent, Japan’s 0.18 percent and the rest. Mash them all together based on GDP weighting, and that gets you a 0.9 percent global spread that’s bouncing along, going nowhere fast. Current U.S. yield curve fears miss this.

In the end, Fisher may be right.

Without a doubt, the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and we may find a way to muddle through even if the yield curve inverts in the United States.

But I wouldn’t count on it.  An inverted yield curve has accurately predicted a recession every single time since the 1960s, and it is not likely to be wrong this time around either.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Nearly 40 Million Americans Are Still On Food Stamps

If the U.S. economy is “doing well”, then why are almost 40 million Americans still on food stamps?  That number is almost exactly where it was at the end of the last recession, and supposedly we have made so much progress since that time.  Of course any progress that has been made has been extremely uneven.  Earlier today, I wrote about how the gap between the rich and the poor in this country is the biggest that it has been since the 1920s.  For years, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program pumped “hot money” into the financial markets, and that was an enormous blessing to the top 1 percent.  But meanwhile tens of millions of average families have continued to struggle and the middle class has continued to decline.  In the U.S. today, 66 percent of all of our jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour, and close to 40 million Americans rely on the federal government to feed them every month.  The following comes from Bloomberg

Judging by the number of Americans on food stamps, it doesn’t feel like one of the best job markets in almost a half century and the second-longest economic expansion on record.

Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, fell to 39.6 million in April, the most recent government data show. That’s down from a record 47.8 million in 2012, but as a share of the population it’s just back to where it was as the economy emerged from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

It is hard to argue that we are a “prosperous nation” with a number like that hanging over our heads.

Yes, some Americans have prospered individually in recent years, but many more have been deeply suffering.

In order for a family of four to qualify for food stamps, they must make less than $2,665 a month

SNAP is available for households with incomes up to $2,665 per month for a family of four, or 130 percent of the federal poverty level. Recipients are also subject to asset and employment tests, and states can modify the program with federal permission. Households receiving SNAP had an average monthly gross income of $814 in 2016, and 20 percent had no income.

Could your family survive on just $2,665 a month?

Yet that is exactly where tens of millions of Americans find themselves today.

Yesterday I wrote about the “cesspool” that the once beautiful city of Portland, Oregon has become, and in this article I would like to share with you an excerpt from an article about the epidemic of squatters in the city of Detroit

The Detroit Land Bank owns nearly 30,000 residential structures in the city, and with as many as 4,300 of them occupied — it’s a magnitude unlike any other place.

Squatters are a tricky problem: remove them and add to the city’s homeless population and its massive inventory of abandoned buildings. Let them stay, and the land bank is summoned often to investigate what some of its occupants may be up to: dog fighting, prostitution, drug dealing, overdoses, gambling, gun possession or running a chop shop.

Detroit police also are called regularly to land bank properties to investigate dead bodies — at least 50 homicides over the last four years.

This is what life is like for much of the country today.  The small sliver of our population that is “living the high life” is greatly outnumbered by people just barely surviving from month to month.

In fact, 102 million working age Americans do not have a job at this moment.  In case you were wondering, that number is substantially higher than it was at any point during the last recession.

If you can believe it, during the last recession we never even hit the 100 million mark.

There are so many parallels that could be made between the current state of affairs and America in the 1920s.  During the “roaring twenties”, everybody thought that the good times would last forever and that stock prices would go up indefinitely, and then one day we suddenly plunged into the worst financial crisis and the worst economic depression that the nation had ever seen.

And most people don’t even realize that we are far more vulnerable today than we have ever been in all of U.S. history.  I have been sharing numbers that back up that premise on an almost daily basis, and today let me share another example with you that comes from Mike Maloney

  • Just prior to the dotcom collapse of 2000 and the hundreds of bankruptcies that followed, 9% of the S&P 1,500 were zombie companies.
  • Just prior to the 2008 financial crisis and the hundreds of bankruptcies that followed, 12% of the S&P 1,500 were zombie companies.
  • Right now, 15% of the S&P 1,500 are zombie companies.

Just like the “roaring twenties”, our current debt-fueled economic bubble will burst as well, and many believe that it will result in the worst economic crisis that America has ever known.

But as long as the music on Wall Street keeps playing, the optimists will continue to insist that “happy days are here again” and that the party can keep on going indefinitely.

Of course no party lasts forever, and eventually the moment will come when it is time to turn out the lights for good.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Police Union President Laments That Portland Has Become A “Cesspool” As West Coast Cities Struggle With An Unprecedented Surge In Homelessness

Even though it has always been kind of crazy, at one time Portland, Oregon was quite an attractive place to live, but now those days are long gone.  Today, the city streets are strewn with garbage, drug paraphernalia and human feces.  Mentally ill homeless people and drug addicts wander about like zombies, and there are certain areas of the city that you absolutely do not want to visit at night.  In essence, the city is slowly becoming a post-apocalyptic version of its former self, and those that love the city are seething with frustration.  Of course Portland is simply experiencing the same surge in homelessness that so many other west coast cities are struggling to deal with.  As housing prices have risen dramatically, many on the lower end of the income scale have been priced out of the market entirely, and an increasing number of people are being forced to sleep in vehicles, in shelters or on the streets.

The president of the police union in Portland has had enough.  His officers are overwhelmed by the needs of the homeless on a nightly basis, and he is calling on the mayor to finally do something to resolve this crisis.  The following is the first paragraph from a statement that PPA President Daryl Turner just released

Our City has become a cesspool. Livability that once made Portland a unique and vibrant city is now replaced with human feces in businesses doorways, in our parks, and on our streets. Aggressive panhandlers block the sidewalks, storefronts, and landmarks like Pioneer Square, discouraging people from enjoying our City. Garbage-filled RVs and vehicles are strewn throughout our neighborhoods. Used needles, drug paraphernalia, and trash are common sights lining the streets and sidewalks of the downtown core area, under our bridges, and freeway overpasses. That’s not what our families, business owners, and tourists deserve.

If that sounds familiar, that is because many other west coast cities are dealing with the exact same issues right now.

For example, new San Francisco Mayor London Breed recently admitted that there “is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen”

There is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told KNTV. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

The streets of San Francisco are littered with a “dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces”, KNTV’s investigative team reported in February after surveying the city’s streets.

And a lot of other San Francisco residents have noticed the exact same thing.  In fact, during one recent seven day period 16,000 complaints were submitted to the city about human feces.

Sounds like a great place to live, right?

It is important to keep in mind that San Francisco supposedly has a “booming economy” and some of the highest real estate prices in the entire nation.

If this is happening in a “prosperous area”, what are things like in major cities where things are not so prosperous?

Down in L.A., there was a nearly 26 percent increase in homelessness in 2017, and overall homelessness in L.A. has risen 75 percent over the past 6 years.

Let that sink in for a moment.

During this supposed “economy recovery”, our second largest city has seen homelessness go up 75 percent.

Sadly, it is estimated that 25 percent of the nation’s entire homeless population now lives in California…

While it’s tough to say precisely how many Californians are experiencing homelessness, the federal Housing and Urban Development Department estimates the number statewide at 130,000 on a given night. That’s 25 percent of the entire nation’s homeless population. Since 2016, California experienced a larger increase in homelessness than any other state.

At one time, L.A.’s “skid row” was limited to a single street, but now it goes on mile after mile.  I just have to share with you the following excerpt from an excellent article about what life is like for those living on this famous stretch of real estate

Most of its 2,000 residents sleep in tents or under tarps. Those with more status occupy the sides of streets shaded by trees. Location, location, location. The lowest caste sleep on cardboard or nothing. Some people rent tents for a few bucks a night.

There are no liquor stores so businessmen buy alcohol from shops a few miles away and sell it at a steep mark-up. Loan sharks collect debts by taking control of the debit cards issued to homeless people by government agencies.

A guy sits at a table on the sidewalk selling cigarettes and joints. The city has installed sidewalk restrooms. Ruffin pointed to one and figured people inside were shooting up or smoking. Meth, heroin and crack are the scourges of choice. Needles litter the gutter, as does a dead rat. On another block, homeless entrepreneurs chop and assemble bicycles for sale.

And let us not forget about Seattle.  Homeless encampments have become so pervasive in “the Emerald City” that authorities started building “tiny house villages” for the homeless out of desperation.  But these “tiny house villages” are a lot more depressing than they sound

In the nearby neighborhood of Wallingford, a newly erected outpost of small wooden shacks offer shelter for 22 of Seattle’s homeless residents. This is a “tiny house village,” sanctioned by the city as a kind of middle ground between living at a street address and on the street. The buildings sit in the corner of a parking lot across from a seafood restaurant, shielded from view by a metal fence. Each shack, painted with one of the bold colors of a Crayola starter pack, offers electricity and a roof sturdier than the tents in Seattle’s increasingly common homeless encampments. Every resident is issued a window fan for the occasional hot day, and the people here hope to receive heaters before winter. But the small collections of potted petunias and pothos that sit in front of their temporary homes are unlikely to survive the city’s harshest months.

Unfortunately, this is probably only just the beginning of this crisis.  Homelessness always explodes during a recession, and many believe that we are rapidly approaching another one.  West coast cities are really struggling to deal with this crisis right now, and it is hard to imagine how they will deal with the tsunami of human suffering that is coming their way once economic conditions begin to sour.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Trade War Is Already Having A Huge Impact On The U.S. Economy

The trade war has barely just begun, and yet significant ripple effects are already being felt all across the U.S. economy.  Once thriving businesses are on the verge of failure, workers are being laid off, and some sectors of the economy are witnessing enormous price hikes.  Right now the mainstream media is absolutely fixated on the drama surrounding the recently concluded Trump-Putin summit meeting, but the consequences of this trade war will ultimately be far more important for the lives of most ordinary Americans.  As more tariffs continue to be implemented, this will perhaps be the biggest disruption to the global economic system that we have seen in decades.  Perhaps you have not been affected personally yet, but for many Americans this trade war has changed everything.  For example, just consider the plight of soybean farmer Tim Bardole

The U.S. is China’s second-biggest source of soybeans at 34% of the imports, after Brazil, which ships 53%. The staple is used to make cooking oil and seasoning, and soybean meal is found in pig feed.

Now the tariffs have taken the bottom out of U.S. soybean prices, delivering a gut punch to farmers like Tim Bardole. He was already $100,000 in the red last year due to a yearslong slump in cereal prices, and the current predicament has driven him into a corner.

“I’m not sure if I can get a loan from the bank to finance our next year’s crop,” said Bardole.

If this trade war had not happened, perhaps Bardole would have been able to eventually get out of debt.  But now he is facing financial ruin and the potential loss of his entire farm.

Switching gears, U.S. consumers will soon discover that common electronics such as phones and computers cost a lot more.  The following comes from CBS News

Buyers in the U.S. will soon see price hikes on computers, phones, thermostats and “everyday items,” according to the Information Technology Industry Council, a group that represents tech companies.

Hundreds of Chinese components that the Trump administration penalized are used to make everything from LEDs to sensors to printer and scanner components. When manufacturers pay more for their parts, the costs are typically passed on to consumers, the ITI said.

Are you ready to pay 50 dollars for your next phone to support this trade war?

Maybe.

50 dollars is ultimately not that big of a deal.

But what about paying $9,000 more for your next house?

Tariffs on lumber coming from the evil Canadians are adding about $9,000 to the cost of a new house, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Washing machine prices have jumped some 15% this year, the fastest increase ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Are you starting to understand why starting trade wars with all of our major trading partners simultaneously was a really bad idea?

We are about to see major price hikes in just about every sector of the economy.  According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the average American could pay over $5,000 more for their next vehicle

Consumers may see an average price increase of $5,800 if a 25 percent import tariff that Mr. Trump has threatened goes into effect, according to estimates cited by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), a lobbying group for carmakers.

That’s a “$45 billion tax on consumers,” the group said, citing an analysis of Commerce Department data.

U.S. consumers are already stretched to the max, and they will not be able to easily absorb these price increases.

Meanwhile, farm incomes all across the interior of the country are going to be absolutely devastated by this trade war.  Just check out these numbers

The American Farm Bureau says it expects farm incomes to drop to a 12-year low this year, largely because of the trade war.

An agricultural economist at Purdue University, Christopher Hurt, added that 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans would have made a farmer a $42,000 profit on June 1. Now, it could net him a $126,000 loss.

And as I mentioned above, many businesses all over the United States that rely heavily on exports are already struggling so mightily that they have to lay off workers.  The following comes from USA Today

In Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Mid-Continent Nail, the nation’s largest nail maker, laid off 60 workers last month. Sales plunged 70 percent after Trump placed a 25 percent tariff on steel from Mexico and Canada. When the company boosted its prices, customers defected. Now, Mid-Continent is strongly considering a second round of 200 layoffs, company spokeswoman Elizabeth Heaton says, and all 500 employees could be axed by Labor Day.

Yes, we desperately needed to do something about China and other trade partners that were taking advantage of us.  But there is a right way to handle things and a wrong way to handle things, and starting a trade war with everyone at the same time is a really, really bad idea.

I think that a recent piece by Thomas Grennes, a professor of economics at North Carolina State University, made this point quite well

The Trump administration has said that tariffs are a negotiating technique that need not be implemented. Now that tariffs are in place, they say other countries will soon back down. However, trading partners have not backed down, and, in fact, retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports are already in place. Foreign officials have expressed confusion about exactly what concessions the US government wants. Currently, no formal negotiations are taking place. Higher future tariffs are being announced regularly. There are no signs of an end to this tariff war. When will both sides recognize that interfering with voluntary trade is harmful to both parties? Trade wars are lose-lose propositions.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that most Americans have any idea how exceedingly painful this trade war could potentially become.

The longer it lasts, the worse things will get, and ultimately it could tip the U.S. economy into the worst recession that any of us have ever experienced.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Ron Paul Warns That When The “Biggest Bubble In The History Of Mankind” Bursts It Could “Cut The Stock Market In Half”

When this bubble finally bursts, will we witness the biggest stock market crash in U.S. history?  “The bigger they come, the harder they fall” is a well used phrase, but I think that it is very appropriate in this case.  From a low of 6,443.27 on March 6th, 2009, we have seen the Dow nearly quadruple in value since the last financial crisis.  It has been a remarkable run, and it has lasted far longer than virtually any of the experts anticipated.  But what goes up must come down eventually.  This stock market bubble was almost entirely fueled by easy money from the Federal Reserve, and now that easy money has been cut off.  The insiders can see the handwriting on the wall and they are getting out of the market at a pace that we haven’t seen since 2008.  Could it be possible that the day of reckoning is finally at our door?

Of course we have been hearing warnings like this for a very long time.  In fact, I have been warning about a market crash for a very long time.  Just the other day, one of my readers insisted that if something was going to take place that “it would have happened by now”.  In the Internet age, we have been trained to have very short attention spans, but financial bubbles don’t care about the length of our attention spans.  They all inevitably come to a bitter end, but they don’t reach that end until they are good and ready.

And without a doubt we are on borrowed time, but meanwhile so many of us that are continually warning about what we are facing are getting a lot of heat for it.

For instance, when Ron Paul told CNBC that the stock market is “the biggest bubble in the history of mankind”, he was strongly criticized for it, but he was 100 percent correct…

This market is in the “biggest bubble in the history of mankind,” and when it bursts, it could cut the stock market in half, he told CNBC’s “Futures Now” Thursday.

If the Dow only plummets to about 12,000 or so during the coming downturn we will be exceedingly fortunate, because the truth is that stock prices need to fall by at least that much just to get us into the neighborhood where stock prices will start to make sense once again.

Today, sales to stock price ratios are hovering near all-time highs.

The same thing is true for earnings to stock price ratios and GDP to stock price ratios.

The only other times these ratios have been so elevated were just before major stock market crashes.

In the end, these ratios always, always, always return to their long-term averages eventually.

It may take many years, but it always happens.

So what factors led Ron Paul to make such an ominous prognostication?  The following comes from CNBC

“The Congress spending and the Federal Reserve manipulation of monetary policy and interest rates — debt is too big, the current account is in bad shape, foreign debt is bad and it’s not going to change,” he said.

Paul isn’t alone in his critique. A number of politicians have voiced concern over ballooning deficits, including current House Speaker Paul Ryan, who raised a warning on the nation’s debt in 2012.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is drowning in debt.

According to the Institute of International Finance, total global debt just hit a brand new record high of 247 trillion dollars

Every quarter the Institute of International Finance publishes a new number of the total amount of global debt outstanding, and every quarter the result is the same: a new record high

Today was no exception: according to the IIF’s latest Global Debt Monitor, the amount of debt held in the world rose by the biggest amount in two years during the first quarter of 2018, when it grew by $8 trillion to hit a new all time high of $247 trillion, up from $238 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2017 and up by $30 trillion from the end of 2016.

Global debt has been rising much, much faster than global GDP, and at this point there is three times as much debt in the world as there is money.

There is no possible way that all of that debt can ever be paid off.  The only way that the party can continue is for debt to continue growing faster than global GDP, and everyone knows that is simply not sustainable in the long-term.

So an absolutely monumental “adjustment” is coming.  You can call it a “crash”, a “collapse” or anything else that you would like, but just as certainly as you are reading this article it is coming.

It is just a matter of time.

But for now, the talking heads on television continue to insist that everything is just fine and that the stock market still has more room to go up

There’s still room for stock markets to rise and worries of an impending recession are premature, according to Berenberg Capital Markets’ chief economist.

“Even if profits peaked in (the first quarter of) 2018, which remains uncertain, history suggests the stock market has room to appreciate,” Mickey Levy, Berenberg’s chief Americas and Asia economist, said in a client note this week. He pointed to data demonstrating how in every economic expansion since the mid-1970s, the S&P 500 index went on to appreciate for a “significant period” after corporate profits peaked.

I wish that CNBC would have me on just one time so that I could refute some of these guys.

Since 1913, the Federal Reserve has gone through 18 rate hiking cycles.  In 18 out of 18 cases, those rate hiking cycles have ended in either a recession or a market crash.

Do you really think that the 19th time will be different?

10 years ago, virtually everyone thought that the “boom times” would last forever too.  But they didn’t.  Instead, we plunged into the greatest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression, but at this point 2008 seems like ancient history to most people.

Yet again we have fooled ourselves into thinking that the good times will just continue to keep on rolling, and once again our society will be in for a very rude awakening when the inevitable crash finally arrives.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

It Could Really Happen! Republicans Are Preparing To Impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

If this happens, it could change everything.  Even more than Peter Strzok, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is a perfect example of a deep state operative.  No matter who we have sent to Washington, our government agencies have always been dominated by deep state operatives such as Rosenstein, and up until recently the American people have seemed powerless to do anything about it.  But now there is a ray of hope.  Peter Strzok’s nearly 10 hour grilling in front of Congress on Thursday was definitely a step in the right direction, and on Friday we learned that conservatives are preparing to begin impeachment proceedings against Rosenstein.  In fact, Politico is reporting that Mark Meadows actually had the impeachment document on the House floor at the exact moment that Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officials for hacking the Democratic National Committee…

House conservatives are preparing a new push to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to three conservative Capitol Hill sources — putting the finishing touches on an impeachment filing even as Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, in fact, had the impeachment document on the floor of the House at the very moment that Rosenstein spoke to reporters and TV cameras Friday.

This kind of high drama is very rare in the halls of Congress, and even though it didn’t happen on Friday, the impeachment document reportedly could be filed “as soon as Monday”

Conservative sources say they could file the impeachment document as soon as Monday, as Meadows and Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) look to build Republican support in the House. One source cautioned, however, that the timing was still fluid.

Wow.

So why are Republicans so upset with Rosenstein?

For one thing, they feel like he has continually stonewalled their investigation into corruption at the FBI, and that is definitely a very serious matter.

Secondly, Rosenstein is ultimately where “the buck stops” when it comes to the Mueller investigation.  The following comes from the Hill

Rosenstein has long been a target for Republicans who are frustrated over special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into election meddling by Russia and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. He is overseeing the probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, and some argue that he’s the only person with the legal authority to fire Mueller.

If Rosenstein were to be impeached, that would almost certainly mean the end of the Mueller investigation, and Democrats would go absolutely ballistic.

But in order for any of this to happen, conservatives are going to have to get the support of Paul Ryan, and Politico is reporting that Ryan has “clearly been uncomfortable with the notion of going after Rosenstein…

But House GOP leaders like Speaker Paul Ryan have clearly been uncomfortable with the notion of going after Rosenstein. It’s unlikely that will change anytime soon, especially so soon after the latest indictments. Ryan’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Without Ryan’s support, there is no way that there will be enough votes for impeachment, and so he is the key.

And the clock is ticking, because the November mid-term elections are rapidly approaching.

Traditionally, the opposition party has always done extremely well during the first mid-term election of a new presidency, and signs continue to emerge that we will see a similar pattern this time around.

For example, Democrats now hold a gigantic 12 million voter registration lead in states that require party affiliation.  The following comes from the Washington Examiner

Democrats hold a massive voter lead in states that require party registration, a gap of 12 million that could be key to whether the party takes control of the House and Senate in the fall midterm congressional elections, according to a new analysis.

Overall, 40 percent of voters in 31 party registration states are Democrats, 29 percent are Republicans, and 28 percent are independents, according to a new report of July numbers from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. The states include several with key battles over House seats such as California, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

The lead is significant, said Rhodes Cook’s analysis in Center Director Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” newsletter, because in the past presidential election the majority party in 24 of the 31 states won, especially among Republican states.

I know that a lot of you may not want to hear this, but voter registration numbers are very, very important.

Yes, Republicans could still potentially win in states where the voter registration numbers are very much against them, but at this point the left has far more passion and energy than we do.

As noted in the excerpt above, the party that held the voter registration lead ended up winning in 24 out of 31 states in 2016.

That is a winning percentage of more than 77 percent.

Yes, the Senate map is favorable for Republicans in 2018.  It will be a lot more difficult for Democrats to take the Senate than it will be for them to take the House, but if the Democrats take either body there will be absolute gridlock in D.C. leading into the 2020 election.  The Trump agenda will be dead in the water, the Republican agenda will be dead in the water, and next to nothing will get accomplished.

The Republicans have had two years to accomplish everything that they wanted to do, and they have completely fumbled the football.

It would be nice if they could at least impeach a deep state operative such as Rosenstein, but with swamp creature Paul Ryan still in charge, that is going to be quite a challenge.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

“Thanos Did Nothing Wrong”? 1000s Embrace The Population Control Philosophy Of Marvel’s Most Twisted Super-Villain

“Thanos did nothing wrong” has become one of the most common mantras on the Internet in recent days, and it just sparked one of the biggest events in Reddit history, but most people still don’t understand what all of the commotion is about.  So let me try to break it down very simply.  In the most recent Avengers movie, the story centers around a super-villain named Thanos that intends to wipe out half of all life in the universe.  He does not want to do this just to be evil, but rather his plan is to get population growth under control so that those that remain will be able to enjoy happy, sustainable lives.  If that sounds uncomfortably close to something that you have heard before, that is because it is.  Population control is a major theme on the radical left, and many of them truly believe that humanity’s population must be greatly reduced “to stop global warming” and “to save the planet”.  In the film, Thanos truly believes that he is doing the right thing, but since he is the villain everyone in the audience is theoretically supposed to be rooting for him to be defeated.  But instead of being universally hated, Thanos has become the big breakout star from this movie.  Large numbers of people are insisting that “Thanos did nothing wrong” and are embracing his population control philosophy.

Of course population control is not exactly a new idea.  It was one of the main reasons why ancient civilizations conducted human sacrifice rituals, and several centuries ago it was given a more modern spin by Thomas Malthus.  So the truth is that the philosophy that Thanos is promoting is simply “repackaged” for a new generation, and this is a point that G. Shane Morris made in an article earlier this year…

“Infinity War” casts its big baddie as a champion of yet another progressive pet cause: Population control. Thanos, who has teased audiences with sinister grins and cryptic statements in years of after-credit scenes, has finally revealed his true motive: He wants to wipe out half the galaxy’s population to make sure the other half has plenty to eat.

We watch during his obligatory villain speech as Thanos explains why he needs the power of the Infinity Stones: to teleport from planet to planet, killing billions in order to defuse the population bomb that desolated his home world. He does so on the assumption that Thomas Malthus first propounded: that each species has limited resources at its disposal, and the only way to keep from exhausting them is to check population growth.

The movie has been out for several months now, but the debate about Thanos has really heated up in recent days.  July 9th was one of the biggest days in Reddit history, and it was because of a “mass culling” on the r/ThanosDidNothingWrong subreddit.  This “mass culling” was actually called for by members of the subreddit in order to “honor” Thanos.  The following comes from Business Insider

Like the “Avengers: Infinity War” villain himself, the Thanos subreddit r/ThanosDidNothingWrong sought perfect balance among its more than 700,000 members, up from the 200,000 subscribers it had last week.

The online community began banning over 300,000 of its members at 5:00 PM PDT sharp on Monday, in a purge that was actually planned weeks in advance — a purge that was, indeed, instigated by its own members, who cheered the culling as honoring their hero, Thanos.

Originally, the moderators of the subreddit were hesitant when the idea was first suggested.  Back on June 29th, one of them asked, “You seriously want us to ban half of the subreddit?”

The members of the subreddit kept insisting, and the idea quickly became viral.  Once word got out that there would actually be a “mass culling”, membership in the subreddit climbed to more than 700,000

Thus the great project was born. The moderators of r/ThanosDidNothingWrong had to get permission from Reddit admins to go through with the ban, and then they had to automate the process. As word of the upcoming ban spread, hundreds of thousands of Reddit users flocked to join r/ThanosDidNothingWrong just so they’d have a chance to get ousted. By the time ban day rolled around, over 700,000 users had subscribed — making the culling by far the largest “dusting,” or mass ban, in Reddit history.

And this event got so big that even some high profile members of the Avengers movie team got directly involved

When the process began late Sunday night, it was making headlines. Infinity War directors the Russo brothers even took part in the exercise, with Anthony Russo joining in the sub’s preliminary festivities. The ban process was also live-streamed on Reddit’s official Twitch account — and none other than Thanos himself, an inexplicably shirtless Josh Brolin, was on hand to snap the ban into existence.

I understand that a lot of young people are just having fun with this, but ultimately population control is not something that we ever want to celebrate.

There really are global elitists that consider “human overpopulation” to be a “plague” on the planet that needs to be dealt with.  They are truly convinced that climate change is the number one threat that the globe is facing, and they have identified human population growth as the primary driver of climate change.

And so they really do want to reduce the population in order to “save the planet”.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “46 Population Control Quotes That Show How Badly The Elite Want To Wipe Us All Out”.

About 50 years ago, Paul Ehrlich wrote a book entitled “The Population Bomb” in which he breathlessly warned about what would happen during the decades to come if humanity’s population continued to grow.

Well, humanity’s population did continue to grow, and none of his prognostications turned out to be accurate.

But now the same philosophy has been rebranded and repackaged for a new generation, and young people are eating it up.

When a substantial portion of the population decides that the solution to our problems is to get rid of large numbers of people, that sets the stage for mass genocide.  We have seen this happen before in human history, and it must not happen again.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Poll Asks Americans To Name The Greatest President In Their Lifetimes – Barack Obama Wins With 31 Percent

It is exceedingly difficult to be optimistic about the future of our nation when you see poll numbers like this.  The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey in which they asked Americans to name the president that has “done the best job in your lifetime”.  You would think that Ronald Reagan would be the winner by a very wide margin, but he wasn’t.  Instead, Barack Obama was the winner with 31 percent of the vote.  Reagan came in second with 21 percent, Bill Clinton was third with 13 percent, and Donald Trump was fourth with just 10 percent.  When you add the Obama and Clinton numbers together, you come up with a grand total of 44 percent of all Americans that believe that either Barack Obama or Bill Clinton was the best president during their lifetimes, and that is absolutely frightening.  It essentially means that nearly half of the entire U.S. population has gone mad, and with numbers such as those it is very difficult to imagine how we are ever going to restore our Constitutional Republic.

Those that responded to the survey were asked to give their first and second choices to the question, and this is how the final numbers came out for first choice…

Obama: 31 percent
Reagan: 21 percent
Clinton: 13 percent
Trump: 10 percent
Kennedy: 7 percent
Carter: 4 percent
George W. Bush: 3 percent
George H.W. Bush: 3 percent
Eisenhower: 2 percent
Ford: 1 percent
Nixon: 1 percent
Johnson: 1 percent
Truman: 1 percent
Roosevelt: 1 percent

The way that the question was asked is obviously going to depress the numbers of presidents that served many decades ago.  For example, I was not born yet when Eisenhower was president, so he would not be an option for me when naming the president that has “done the best job in my lifetime”.  If the question had been framed differently, I think that Eisenhower and Kennedy would have done much better.

In particular, I think that Eisenhower doesn’t really get the credit that he deserved.  America generally thrived under his leadership, but nobody ever really talks about him too much anymore.

Another thing that really jumps out about these numbers is how poorly both Bushes did.

George H.W. Bush’s presidency was largely considered to be a continuation of the Reagan administration, but he only got 3 percent of the vote.  7 percent did name him as their second choice, and most of those probably named Reagan as their first choice.

George W. Bush served much more recently, and to get only 3 percent of the vote shows how the American people really feel about him at this point.  The president that served immediately before him (Bill Clinton) got 13 percent of the vote and the president that served immediately after him (Barack Obama) got 31 percent of the vote.  To only receive 3 percent of the vote is an absolutely disastrous showing.

Overall, Democrats have to feel really good about these survey results.  If you add the last four Republican presidents together, their grand total of 37 percent of the vote doesn’t even come close to the combined total of the last two Democratic presidents (44 percent).

Needless to say, Democrats overwhelmingly chose Obama or Clinton as their top choices in this poll

A sizable majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say Barack Obama (71%) is the best (51%) or second best (20%) president in their lifetimes. About half of Democrats name Clinton (49%). Another 14% of Democrats name Kennedy as one of their top two, 12% name Reagan and 10% mention George W. Bush.

And Republicans overwhelmingly picked Reagan or Trump as their top choices

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say Reagan (57%) ranks in the top two presidents in their lifetimes. Another 40% of Republicans name Trump, while 20% name George W. Bush, 16% name George H.W. Bush and 15% mention Clinton.

Perhaps the most alarming result from this survey was how Millennials voted.  Our young adults are the future of this country, and a whopping 62 percent of them picked Barack Obama as their first or second choice…

Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) were the most likely to choose Obama, with 62 percent naming him as their first or second choice. Reagan was the top pick for Generation X (1965 to 1980), baby boomers (1946 to 1964) and the silent generation (1928 to 1945).

Unsurprisingly, party identification was very closely tied to a person’s answer. Obama was the first or second pick of 71 percent of Democrats but only 13 percent of Republicans.

Reagan was the clear favorite among Republicans with 57 percent (12 percent among Democrats). Trump was the second pick for Republicans at 40 percent. Only 3 percent of Democrats named Trump.

This is yet more evidence that we are undergoing a dramatic demographic shift in this nation.

Older Americans tend to vote more than younger Americans do, but older Americans are also slowly but surely dying off.

Unless something fundamentally changes, we aren’t going to have any Ronald Reagans or Donald Trumps in the future.  Instead, what we are going to get are more Barack Obamas and Bill Clintons.

In fact, if Michelle Obama wanted to run for president in 2020 she would almost certainly win the Democratic nomination easily, and that is a chilling thing to admit.

But she almost certainly will not run, and instead it looks like Hillary Clinton is gearing up for one last run for the presidency.

Many conservatives assume that since Trump beat Clinton last time that he will beat her again.

And that might be true.

However, we should remember that Hillary did receive 3 million more votes than Trump did last time.

And we should also not forget that older voters are slowly but surely dropping off the voting rolls, and they are being replaced by an entirely new generation of young people that is extremely liberal.

That doesn’t mean that all hope is gone.  We are at a crossroads, and at this moment we are in a battle for the soul of our nation.

If we want to win, then conservatives better wake up, because right now the left has far more passion and energy than we do.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

U.S. Consumers On An Unprecedented Debt Binge As Credit Card Debt Soars To An All-Time Record High

Americans are on an absolutely spectacular debt binge.  Does this mean that the economy is getting better, or does this mean that U.S. consumers are totally tapped out and are relying on borrowed money to make it from month to month?  On Monday, the Federal Reserve announced that total consumer credit in the United States increased by a whopping 24.6 billion dollars in May, which was far greater than the 12.4 billion dollar gain that economists were anticipating.  Total U.S. consumer credit has now hit a grand total of 3.9 trillion dollars, but it is the “revolving credit” numbers that are getting the most attention.  Revolving credit alone shot up by 9.8 billion dollars in May, and that was one of the largest monthly increases ever recorded.  At this point, total “revolving credit” has reached a brand new all-time record high of 1.39 trillion dollars, and credit card debt accounts for nearly all of that figure.

The optimists will tell us that this is yet another sign that the U.S. economy is booming, and hopefully they are correct.

But does it really make sense for U.S. consumers to go on a historic debt binge when much of the country is already drowning in debt and just barely scraping by from month to month?

In a previous article, I pointed out that U.S. consumers have been spending more money than they make for 28 months in a row.

That certainly isn’t sustainable.

I also pointed out that 22 percent of all Americans cannot pay all of their bills in a typical month.

One way to keep things going is to use newer credit cards to pay off the older ones, and I am sure that most of us have been there at some point.

But we are getting to the point where American families are being absolutely overwhelmed by debt.

If you go all the way back to 1980, the average U.S. worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary.  In 2018, that number has skyrocketed to 5.00.

Is that healthy or unhealthy?

Overall, American households are now collectively 13.15 trillion dollars in debt, which is the highest level ever recorded.

So I would submit that rising consumer debt is not a good sign.  Instead, I would suggest that it shows that our debt problems are accelerating.

And the numbers appear to support that hypothesis.

According to one recent survey, 42 percent of U.S. consumers said that they paid their credit card bill late “at least once in the last year”.  And that same survey also found that 24 percent of U.S. consumers made a late payment “more than once in the last year”.

When you pay a credit card bill late, what happens?

Late fees kick in and interest rates shoot up, and that is when debt problems can really start to escalate.

Sadly, the mainstream media continues to encourage Americans to acquire and use credit cards in order “to build credit”

Building your credit is one of the toughest but most necessary financial tasks when you’re entering the working world, and a credit card—when used correctly—can be a great tool to help you secure lower interest rates on a car or house loan.

According to Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub, a credit card will help you in the long run. “Getting a credit card and using it responsibly helps people build their credit. Having good credit leads to getting better rates and paying less interest on loans such as mortgages, car loans, personal loans etc.”

Yes, credit cards can be useful tools as long as you keep them paid off.

Unfortunately, much of the country does not do that.

In fact, the same survey that I just referenced above discovered that 22 percent of all consumers believe that “carrying a balance on a credit card account actually helps improve a credit score”.

That isn’t true, but it is a myth that continues to float around out there, and the credit card companies are not exactly discouraging it.

Another reason to avoid using credit cards a lot is because thieves are becoming much more sophisticated.

This time of the year, electronic skimmers at gas stations are commonly used to steal credit card information

Skimmers are small, electronic devices installed secretly at pumps and able to capture a swiped payment card’s protected data, the agency said. Commercial keys purchased online let fraudsters access pumps often left unattended, according to a report from ABC News.

Thieves then return later to retrieve the devices or transmit it remotely via Bluetooth, before using the information to make purchases, Matthew O’Neil, a representative of the agency, told the network.

Of course I am not saying that people should never use credit cards.  They can make it much easier to shop and do business online, and I use them myself.  But I always pay them off each month because credit card debt is one of the most toxic forms of debt.

Today, the national average for credit card interest rates is 16.92 percent.  So let’s imagine a hypothetical for a few moments.  If you are carrying a $10,000 balance at 17 percent, your minimum payment would typically be around $240 a month.

If you only make the minimum payment each month, it will take you 340 months to pay that credit card off, and over that time you will pay $13,607.46 in interest.

In other words, you will ultimately pay the credit card company $23,607.46 for the privilege of originally borrowing $10,000.

We live at a time when there is so much uncertainty, and if things take a substantial turn for the worse you definitely do not want to be struggling with credit card debt.

Because it typically carries such a high interest rate, credit card debt is usually one of the very first forms of debt that you want to get paid off.  Unfortunately, they don’t teach our young people about the dangers of credit card debt in school, so many of them end up learning the hard way.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Mass Exodus From The Church: The Percentage Of Young Adults With No Religious Affiliation Has Nearly QUADRUPLED Since 1986

We are witnessing a religious shift that is unprecedented in size and scope in American history.  With each passing year, the percentage of Americans that claim no religious affiliation is growing, and this trend is especially pronounced among our young people.  If things continue to steadily move in this direction, that is going to have enormous implications for the future of our society.  The United States was founded by people that were extremely committed to their faith, and now we are rapidly becoming a nation where people are choosing no religion at all.  We live at a time when there is a mass exodus from Christian churches, and while it is true that some smaller faiths are growing, the reality of the matter is that most of the people that are leaving are remaining unaffiliated.  According to PRRI, if you go back to 1991 only 6 percent of all Americans were “unaffiliated”, but today that number has shot up to 25 percent…

In 1991, only six percent of Americans identified their religious affiliation as “none,” and that number had not moved much since the early 1970s. By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.

The most dramatic change during this time period has been among our young people.

If you go all the way back to 1986, just 10 percent of Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age group were “unaffiliated”.  Today, that number has skyrocketed to 39 percent.  Here is more from PRRI

Today, nearly four in ten (39%) young adults (ages 18-29) are religiously unaffiliated—three times the unaffiliated rate (13%) among seniors (ages 65 and older). While previous generations were also more likely to be religiously unaffiliated in their twenties, young adults today are nearly four times as likely as young adults a generation ago to identify as religiously unaffiliated. In 1986, for example, only 10% of young adults claimed no religious affiliation.

And just because Millennials claim a religious affiliation of some sort does not mean that they actually go to church.

In fact, a study from the Pew Research Center discovered that only 27 percent of Millennials say that they “attend religious services on a weekly basis”…

Millennials – especially the youngest Millennials, who have entered adulthood since the first Landscape Study was conducted – are far less religious than their elders. For example, only 27% of Millennials say they attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared with 51% of adults in the Silent generation. Four-in-ten of the youngest Millennials say they pray every day, compared with six-in-ten Baby Boomers and two-thirds of members of the Silent generation. Only about half of Millennials say they believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with seven-in-ten Americans in the Silent and Baby Boom cohorts. And only about four-in-ten Millennials say religion is very important in their lives, compared with more than half in the older generational cohorts.

Of course not all of those that are “attending religious services” are going to Christian churches.  Some are going to mosques, others are attending synagogue, and yet others are involved in other faiths.

At one time you could count on fast growing groups such as the Southern Baptists and the Mormons to produce positive growth numbers, but those days are long gone

The Southern Baptists have lost more than a million members over the last decade, according to LifeWay. Giving and attendance are down, and Baptists are seeing more gray and silver heads in the pews.

Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has seen its once-enviable U.S. growth rate slow to under 1 percent in each of the last two years. Mormonism, which grew by just .75 percent in this country in 2017, is barely keeping pace with the growth of the U.S. population (+.71 percent).

Europe has been described as a “post-Christian society”, and we are well on our way to joining them.

So what is causing this to happen?

Well, there is certainly a lot of debate about this within Christian circles.  From the outside, many experts are pointing to demographic changes.  The following comes from a recent article by Jana Riess

One of the biggest demographic trends of our time is that millennials are delaying marriage or not getting married at all. And since there’s a strong correlation between being married and being involved in religion, the fact that fewer Americans are getting married is worrisome news to clergy.

In addition to a decline in marriage numbers, experts also point to the fact that Americans are having fewer children these days

The number of children a family has is related to the couple’s religious involvement — couples without kids are a bit less likely to be religious. So the fact that fertility is on the decline is, again, worrisome news for organized religion.

But are those factors a cause of the decline of religious faith in America, or are they the result of it?

It could be argued that churches have always heavily promoted marriage and family, and if young Americans are no longer as engaged in church it would make sense that they put less of a priority on those things now.

The good news for churches is that even though atheism is rapidly growing, most Americans (even the unaffiliated ones) still believe in God

Despite their lack of connection to formal religious institutions, most unaffiliated Americans retain a belief in God or a higher power. A majority of unaffiliated Americans say God is either a person with whom people can have a relationship (22%) or an impersonal force (37%). Only one-third (33%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans say they do not believe in God. Strong majorities of Americans who belong to the major Christian religious traditions hold a personal conception of God. Compared to Christians, Americans who identify with a non-Christian tradition are significantly less likely to hold a personal conception of God (33%) and are more likely to say God is an impersonal force in the universe (49%).

Americans still have a keen interest in spiritual things, but many of them are now attempting to fill that void in alternative ways.  For example, it has been claimed that Wicca (a very popular form of witchcraft) is now the fastest growing faith in America.

Many like to focus on the political changes that are happening in this country, but the truth is that these cataclysmic shifts in our faith numbers are going to have far more to do with determining the future course of this nation.

If we ever hope to restore the Constitutional Republic that our founders once established, we must return to the Christian values and principles that this nation was originally founded upon.

Any other approach is simply not going to work, and time is running out.

Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.