If you have ever wondered why our leaders in Washington D.C. seem to act so strangely, the truth is that it almost always comes down to just one thing. It has been said that “money makes the world go round”, and that is definitely true in Washington. This year the federal government will spend more than 4 trillion dollars, and that represents well over one-fifth of our national GDP. With so much money coming in and so much money going out, the stakes are incredibly high, and that is why so much money is poured into political campaigns on the national level.
And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that those that live the closest to this gigantic money machine have benefited greatly. Forbes just released their brand new rankings for 2017, and they found that five out of the top 10 wealthiest counties in the entire country are suburbs of Washington D.C.…
Virginia’s Loudoun County holds the title of the nation’s richest county with a median household income of $125,900. While nearly 10,000 residents commute to the District, according to Forbes, about 11,700 businesses employ 161,000 county residents, with Dulles International Airport, Loudoun County Public Schools and the Department of Homeland Security leading that charge.
The nearby city of Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland also lead the nation based on wealth.
In general, salaries for federal workers are significantly higher than in the private sector, and benefit packages are usually much better.
But in addition to having a very high concentration of federal workers, the D.C. area is also home to hordes of lawyers, lobbyists, defense contractors and other government vendors. Big government means big business for those guys, and business has been very good in recent years…
The federal government has a lot to do with this: The Capitol and the economy orbiting around it (including lawyers, defense contractors, computer engineers along the Dulles Corridor, and doctors near NIH) attract college graduates who reliably contribute to six-figure households. Crucially, there was a $1.7 billion increase in lobbying between 1998 and 2010, as Dylan Matthews explained. With each $1 million of lobbying “associated with a $3.70 increase in the D.C. wage premium,” the money pouring into Washington wound up in the pockets of its residents.
This certainly isn’t the limited government that our founders intended.
So where did we go wrong?
One of the big turning points came in 1913. That is the year when the Federal Reserve and the modern version of the income tax were established. The Federal Reserve was designed by the elite to get the federal government very deeply into debt, and an income tax was needed to help service that debt and to help pay for the much larger government that the progressives were wanting.
Back then, D.C. was nothing like it is today. In fact, even in the 1970s there were still large farms inside the Beltway. But the federal government just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and now it is a four trillion dollar monstrosity.
What I believe we should do is to dismantle as much of that monstrosity as we possibly can. Instead of asking which government agencies we should close, I believe that we should be asking which government agencies we really need to leave open.
A great place to start would be by abolishing the Federal Reserve, the IRS and the income tax. Those institutions are at the very core of the Washington money machine, and so it would essentially be like tearing the heart out of big government.
And don’t worry, the federal government would still have plenty of money coming in. The individual income tax only accounts for about 46 percent of all federal revenue, and theoretically we could still have an absolutely enormous federal government without an income tax. I once wrote an article that listed 97 different ways that various levels of government get money out of us each year, and so getting rid of the federal income tax would still leave 96 ways for the politicians to extract money from us.
As I remind my readers so frequently, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was when there was no income tax and no central bank. But I know that a lot of people out there love the 1.33 percent average yearly GDP growth rate that we have been experiencing over the past decade and would have a really hard time giving that up.
Unfortunately, it would actually be a very tough transition to a much more limited federal government because so much of our society is geared around the enormous money machine in Washington. In 2018, more than a billion dollars will be spent on the mid-term elections, and most of that money will be going to incumbents that are committed to maintaining the status quo.
If we ever want things to really start changing in Washington, we have got to start sending people there that haven’t been bought off by the big money interests.
In my congressional district there is no incumbent running in 2018, and nobody else in the race is nearly as conservative as I am. But since I can’t be bought by the special interests, I am going to have to rely on grassroots support.
Donald Trump showed us that anything is possible in American politics. When Jeb Bush decided to run for president, he had an extremely long list of endorsements and a hundred million dollars behind him, and he still got trounced by Trump because Trump had a much stronger message.
If we stand united, we can take our government back and there won’t be anything that the establishment will be able to do about it.
But if we sit back and do nothing, the cesspool of corruption in Washington D.C. will just continue to get deeper and deeper.
Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.
It has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble. Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records. Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost. This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000. But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.
The Democrats are trying to spin this result as some sort of “moral victory”, but as Dan Balz of the Washington Post has pointed out, there are “no moral victories in politics”…
There are no moral victories in politics. Republicans won on Tuesday in the most important special election this year. Democrats lost, as they have done in the other special elections in GOP-held seats this year.
For the national Democratic Party, the debate continues about developing a message that goes beyond attacking Trump, or assuming dissatisfaction with the president will be enough.
It has been a very long time since there has been so much national attention on a single House race. A number of high profile Hollywood celebrities became personally involved in Ossoff’s campaign, and they were absolutely devastated when he lost…
Celebrities who donated time and money to Ossoff’s campaign, including actresses Alyssa Milano and Rosie O’Donnell, used their social media accounts to react to the Democrat’s loss shortly after the election results were confirmed late Tuesday night.
Milano, who personally drove voters to the polls in April’s preliminary election and was actively campaigning for the Democrat for most of Election Day, tweeted simply: “Grouphug” and “Get in.”
Meanwhile, electronic music producer Moby and vocal Trump critic O’Donnell appeared to be frustrated by the results, with Moby questioning how Democratic “still can’t win” even with “buffoon” Donald Trump in the White House. O’Donnell tweeted: “DONALD TRUMP IS THE DARKNESS ITSELF.”
Where does the Democratic Party go from here?
Their anti-Trump message is not working, and their usual divide and conquer tactics are not working either.
At this point either the Democratic Party is going to have to reinvent itself, or they could be facing a long, painful string of election defeats for the foreseeable future. To say that things have not been going well for the Democrats lately would be a major understatement. I really like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about this on his radio show…
“You have no idea the degree to which the media and the Democratic Party are destroyed today. I’m talking about how they feel … which is complete and utter defeat, frustration and devastation,” he said on Wednesday, hours after Republican Karen Handel was a multiple percentage point winner over defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff.
“The dirty little secret is the media and the Democratic Party is turning off average Americans. They are not persuading, they are not convincing people Trump is a reprobate,” he continued. “They do not know how to beat Donald Trump. There are depressed and despondent.”
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Jon Ossoff lost.
All of the anger and violence that we have seen lately has greatly tainted the Democratic Party.
The Democrats have become the party of Kathy Griffin.
The Democrats have become the party of Antifa and mock Trump assassinations.
And the Democrats have become the party of James Hodgkinson.
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan was right on the ball when he admitted that his party’s brand has now become “toxic” in much of the nation…
Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, who tried to unseat Ms. Pelosi as House minority leader late last fall, said she remained a political millstone for Democrats. But Mr. Ryan said the Democratic brand had also become “toxic” in much of the country because voters saw Democrats as “not being able to connect with the issues they care about.”
“Our brand is worse than Trump,” he said.
As I have discussed repeatedly, the left doesn’t have any positive vision for the future to offer the American people. They cannot win in the marketplace of ideas, and so they use anger, frustration, intimidation and violence as weapons. For quite a while the Democrats successfully used “the blame game” and divide and conquer tactics to win elections, but now the American people are seeing through the charade.
The more angry and violent the left becomes, the more the American people are going to turn against them. The following comes from Daniel Greenfield…
But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.
The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.
Of course it is quite true that the Republican Party needs to be cleaned up as well. Many establishment Republicans use labels such as “conservative” and “Pro-Life” to win elections, but then they end up government like Democrats. And so many members of Congress in both parties spend far more time and energy raising money for their next elections than they do serving the American people.
There is a reason why Congress only has a 17.6 percent approval rating at the moment. Both major parties should take that as a sign that they need to clean up their acts, because the American people are sick and tired of the status quo.
What in the world did the left think would happen? When Kathy Griffin posed for a photo with “Trump’s bloody head”, that sent a message. And the twisted version of “Julius Caesar” that is currently being put on by a New York theater group in which a character meant to closely resemble Donald Trump is brutally assassinated sends a message. At any time of the day, you can find leftist radicals openly discussing violence against Trump and Republicans on Facebook and Twitter, and groups like Antifa have been employing extremely violent tactics ever since the Inauguration. So it is not much of a surprise that a huge Bernie Sanders supporter decided that it would be a good idea to try to mow down Republican members of Congress as they were practicing for an upcoming charity baseball game on Wednesday. 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson was simply the product of a political movement that is absolutely seething with hate.
This is not a game. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, and four others were injured. You can see some footage of Scalise being taken to an ambulance here. When Hodgkinson arrived at the practice field, he specifically asked which party was using the practice field at that moment…
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) recounted an “odd” encounter he had as he was leaving the field just minutes before the shooting: “There was a guy that walked up to us that was asking whether it was Republicans or Democrats out there, and it was just a little odd,” DeSantis told Fox News.
According to news reports, Hodgkinson fired dozens of shots. This wasn’t a case of targeting a particular individual. Rather, it was obvious that he intended to kill as many Republicans as he possibly could.
But instead of showing remorse, many on the radical left were actually celebrating the shootings on Twitter. And there were even some that were disappointed that it wasn’t Trump that had been shot.
I hate to say this, but it is likely that this is just the beginning of the violence by the radical left.
So what would make a 66-year-old man suddenly snap like this?
His Facebook page has now been taken down, but when it was up Hodgkinson had an enormous photo of Bernie Sanders as his banner image. And it turns out that he was a huge fan of Rachel Maddow…
So, where did Hodgkinson draw inspiration for his “progressive” political beliefs? Well, according to a letter to the editor published in the “Belleville News-Democrat” in July 2012, Hodgkinson’s favorite TV show was MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.”
What you consistently feed your mind determines what you eventually become, and this case is a perfect example. On Facebook, Hodgkinson regularly shared his hate-filled beliefs…
In a March 22 Facebook post, Hodgkinson, who turned his ire against Trump, who he described as a “traitor.”
“Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy,” he said. “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”
In a post earlier this week, the suspect highlighted a campaign calling for the president’s impeachment.
“Trump is Guilty & Should Go to Prison for Treason,” Hodgkinson wrote.
And just check out some of the Facebook groups that Hodgkinson belonged to…
▪ “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans”
▪ “Donald Trump is not my President”
▪ “President Bernie Sanders”
▪ “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump”
▪ “Boycott the Republican Party”
▪ “Expose Republican Fraud”
▪ “Terminate the Republican Party”
The hate-filled ideology of the left is intellectually and morally bankrupt, and the only thing all of this violence is going to do is to drive the American people away from their cause.
I must say that I agreed with U.S. Representative Steve King 100 percent when he told reporters that “violence is appearing in the streets”, and that it is “coming from the left”…
“America has been divided,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who, in suit and tie, stopped by the crime scene to pray and was viscerally angry about his colleagues being attacked. “And the center of America is disappearing, and the violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the left.”
And of course there has been a pattern of violence against Republican lawmakers in recent months. The following compilation comes from Natural News…
Last month, as noted by The Daily Caller, GOP Rep. Tom Garrett’s town halls were replete with heavy security and police presence after he and his family were repeatedly threatened with death. “This is how we’re going to kill your wife,” some disgusting coward wrote, Garrett told Politico.
Also last month, Tennessee police arrested and charged a 35-year-old woman, Wendi Wright, with felonious reckless endangerment after she allegedly attempted to run GOP Rep. David Kustoff off the road following a raucous town hall event featuring the Republican health care legislation.
That same day, North Dakota police escorted a man out of a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Kevin Cramer after a man became physical with him, shoving a fistful of dollars into Cramer’s shirt collar.
I almost didn’t want my wife to see what happened in Alexandria this morning, because I am very, very strongly considering running for Congress here in Idaho.
I couldn’t help but think that it could have been me out on that baseball field.
It would be naive to think that more Republican lawmakers won’t be targeted. Just like radical Islam, the radical left in this country will never be satisfied until they completely eradicate our way of life. The radical left uses tools such as threats, violence and intimidation because they simply do not have the ammunition to win in the marketplace of ideas. And so anyone that tries to stand up to them will become a potential target.
But if we just sit back and do nothing, they will win by default.
In the end, Hodgkinson and others like him will fail. Because every time they strike us, all they are doing is waking up a sleeping giant called “the American people”. We will not bend, we will not bow, and we will not break, and no matter how violent they become our resolve will not waver.
Every since the very beginning of our nation Americans have had to stand up against tyranny, and we aren’t going to back down now.
How can a company that is going to generate $2,000,000,000 in negative free cash flow in 2017 be worth 70 billion dollars? Netflix has soared in popularity in recent years, but so have their financial losses. Just like during the original tech bubble, investors are ignoring basic fundamentals and are greatly rewarding firms that are bleeding giant mountains of cash year after year just because they are trendy “tech companies”. But somewhere along the line you actually have to quit losing money if you are going to survive. Just ask tech bubble 1.0 victims Pets.com, Webvan and Etoys.com. The investors that poured enormous amounts of money into those companies ended up losing everything, and similar tragedies will play out as tech bubble 2.0 bursts.
So far in 2017, the S&P 500 is up about 8 percent, but FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) are up a whopping 30 percent.
But at least Facebook, Amazon and Google are making money.
Netflix is not.
So why in the world has the stock shot up by more than 30 percent so far this year? It just doesn’t make any sense at all. According to CNBC, during the first quarter Netflix had $423 million in negative free cash flow, and for the entire year it is being projected that it will have $2 billion in negative free cash flow…
The California-based company is now dumping cash into original content to maintain its dominance over its growing field of rivals. The company’s had $423 million negative free cash flow during the quarter, wider than the $261 million negative free cash flow a year ago. Netflix expects to have $2 billion in negative free cash flow this year.
The bleeding of cash at Netflix only seems to be accelerating. The number for the first quarter of 2017 was 62 percent worse than the number for the first quarter of 2016, and it was more than twice as bad as the number for the first quarter of 2015.
It is hard to imagine that Netflix will ever be more popular than it is right now.
So if Netflix is not making a profit at this point, when will it ever make a profit?
Similar things could be said about Twitter. This is a company that has never made a yearly profit and that is actually starting to see revenues decline. But somehow the stock just continues to go up. Since the last time I wrote about Twitter, the market cap has shot up another 1.5 billion dollars.
At this point, the market values Twitter at 13 billion dollars, but in the entire history of the company it has actually lost 2 billion dollars.
What we are witnessing is a modern day version of “tulip mania”, and at some point this irrational euphoria will come to a sudden end. In fact, there are already some signs that tech bubble 2.0 may be in a significant amount of trouble. The following is an excerpt from a Bloomberg article entitled “Investors Go All-In on Tech Giants”…
The tech-powered rally has catapulted the sector to a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.4, or 41 percent above the 10-year average. But as Google and Amazon stretch to nearly $1,000 a share, not everyone is comfortable with the valuations. Investors pulled more than $716 million from the most popular technology exchange-traded fund last week — the $17.4 billion Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund, or XLK — its largest weekly outflow in over a year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Most everybody remembers 2000, so they might be getting a little nervous with this development,” said Maley. “I just wonder how many people have said to themselves, ‘If AMZN gets to $1,000, I’m going to take at least some profits.’”
All over the financial world, prominent voices are warning that the enormous financial bubbles that we see all around us are not sustainable and that a major crisis is heading our way. I wrote about some of these voices yesterday, and today we can add Paul Singer to the list…
Given groupthink and the determination of policy makers to do ‘whatever it takes’ to prevent the next market ‘crash,’ we think that the low-volatility levitation magic act of stocks and bonds will exist until the disenchanting moment when it does not. And then all hell will break loose (don’t ask us what hell looks like…), a lamentable scenario that will nevertheless present opportunities that are likely to be both extraordinary and ephemeral. The only way to take advantage of those opportunities is to have ready access to capital.
When the financial markets collapse, Donald Trump will likely get most of the blame.
But Donald Trump did not create the stock market bubble, and he will not be responsible for ending it either.
Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, we have seen this same story play out over and over again. There have been 18 distinct recessions or depressions since the Fed was established, and the more the Fed interferes in the marketplace the larger the booms and busts tend to be.
And it could be argued that this time around the Fed has manipulated financial markets more than ever before. Interest rates were pushed as low as possible and trillions of dollars were pumped into the financial system during the Fed’s quantitative easing programs. Of course those actions were going to create a huge bubble, and of course that bubble is going to inevitably burst.
Unfortunately, this is not just a game. Real people with real hopes and real dreams are going to be absolutely devastated. Millions of Americans that were carefully saving for retirement are going to be financially crippled, and pension funds all over the nation are going to be wiped out.
I don’t know why we can’t seem to learn from history. And I am not talking about events that happened decades ago. The build up to this coming crisis is so similar to what we witnessed just before the crashes of 2000 and 2008, but we just keep getting fooled over and over again.
But once things fall apart this time, I think that the American people will finally be fed up. I think that they will be sick and tired of an unelected, unaccountable central bank that creates endless booms and busts, and I think that they will finally be ready to push Congress to shut the Federal Reserve down for good.