Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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Liberals Once Cared About Deficits, Until Obama Multiplied Them Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, October 22 2015
[S]ince that day on which Obama labeled Bush's deficit record "unpatriotic," the U.S. has added nearly $8 trillion in debt, which constitutes a 140% increase.

Back when George W. Bush was president, liberals ceaselessly condemned his comparatively mild budget deficits. 

When Barack Obama became president and proceeded to compound those deficits, however, they conspicuously went silent. 

Recall what candidate Obama had to say about the issue on July 3, 2008.  On that date, the most recent deficit on record was a paltry $161 billion.  Nevertheless, candidate Obama boldly labeled Bush's fiscal record "unpatriotic": 

"The problem is, that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents, number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back - $30,000 for every man, woman and child. 

"That's irresponsible.  It's unpatriotic." 

Upon becoming president himself, however, Obama proceeded to dwarf Bush's deficits.  Yet he and his enablers applaud themselves now that they've returned below the record trillion-dollar threshold they breached several years in a row. 

For purposes of clarity and specificity, let's compare the two presidents' respective deficit records. 

In nominal dollars, Bush posted a surplus of $127 billion in 2001, then deficits of $158 billion in 2002, $378 billion in 2003, $413 billion in 2004, $318 billion in 2005, $248 billion in 2006, $161 billion in 2007 and $459 billion in 2008. 

Over an eight-year period, that amounts to an accumulated $2.01 trillion under Bush. 

Obama's six-year record to date includes deficits of $1.413 trillion in 2009, $1.294 trillion in 2010, $1.299 trillion in 2011, $1.1 trillion in 2012, $680 billion in 2013 and $492 billion in 2014 and $435 billion in 2015. 

Over a seven-year period, that amounts to an accumulated $6.713 trillion under Obama. 

Perhaps Obama will miraculously run a $4.7 trillion budget surplus for the 2016 fiscal year, which would bring him back even with Bush's cumulative deficit amount.  Maybe then Obama will consider himself equally patriotic to Bush. 

Regardless, since that day on which Obama labeled Bush's deficit record "unpatriotic," the U.S. has added nearly $8 trillion in debt, which constitutes a 140% increase.  Making matters worse, historically low interest rates have so far mitigated the amount of interest that we must pay on existing debt.  When rates inevitably rise at some point down the road, interest payment increases will only add to fiscal pressures that are already unsustainable for the long term. 

There's another distressing fact that mustn't be overlooked.  Namely, all of these record deficits under Obama have occurred while incoming revenues have also reached all-time highs.  For the 2014 fiscal year that just ended on September 30, the U.S. received a record $3.25 trillion.  Even with that, however, we suffered a depressing $435 billion deficit because federal spending also increased 5.2% to $3.7 trillion. 

Accordingly, the problem is reckless and wasteful federal spending, not insufficient taxation. 

Despite that, candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders now race to out-socialist the other by promising even more spending on new federal giveaways.  By one estimate, Sanders has proposed new programs that would add an additional $18 trillion in spending over ten years. 

Unfortunately, the one area where neither Clinton nor Sanders seek increased spending is the only one that arguably needs it:  national defense. 

It should also be noted that the downward deficit trajectory commenced after Obama lost the House of Representatives to Republicans in 2010, which led to the subsequent budget standoff that resulted in automatic spending cuts commonly referred to as "sequestration."  Thus, the same Republicans that Obama regularly demonizes actually deserve credit for what spending moderation and deficit reduction has occurred more recently.  Also note that Obama and other liberals now malign the sequestration limits as some sort of draconian straightjacket that must be reversed, even under threat of vetoing the defense spending bill Congress just passed. 

With this record in mind, instead of labeling Bush's deficits "unpatriotic" during that July 2008 campaign speech, perhaps Obama should have instead announced that, "We've got to quadruple the deficit so that we can cut it in half." 

In addition to anticipating Nancy Pelosi's infamous words about ObamaCare two years later, at least it would have brought a rare element in truth in advertising for the American electorate. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following pandemics caused the largest number of deaths in the 20th Century alone?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The city of San Francisco is forbidding shoppers from carrying reusable bags into grocery stores out of fear that they could spread the coronavirus.As part of its shelter-in-place ordinance, the California city barred stores from 'permitting customers to bring their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.' The city noted that transferring the bags back and forth led to unnecessary contact…[more]
 
 
—Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
— Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
 
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