Sunday, January 9, 2011

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the Tucson massacre

Allow me to start by stating how deeply saddened I am by the news out of suburban Tucson.

I was not sure how to address this story: if at all. This is a primarily political blog and the notion of politicizing such a tragedy nauseates me to no end.

But, before the clock struck midnight on Saturday night it had already begun.

An Associated Press article on the shooting that ran on the main page of Yahoo! angered me more than the loss of life. I eventually was able to successfully search for it after it appeared to have been pulled by the AP.

When you read it, you'll notice the first two paragraphs damning the "raw politics" and "rhetoric" are followed by the offering, "The gunman's motive is not known."

But, the article immediately returns to its slant by citing an opinion of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is quoted in a pithy diatribe about the so-called consequence of free speech.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm certain one of the central components to Sheriff Dupnik's oath of office when he was sworn-in was to "defend the Constitution."

The families and other loved-ones of those fatally shot on January 8 barely had a chance to let the weekend's news sink-in or even begin the grieving process and we're already getting spin.

Shameful. Nothing less than shameful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

News you can use to start the new year...

An excerpt from an October 27, 2005 speech by Rep. Ron Paul on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding what he recognized then as the impending financial crisis involving Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

"One of the major privileges the federal government grants to the GSEs is a line of credit from the United States Treasury. According to some estimates, the line of credit may be worth over $2 billion. GSEs also benefit from an explicit grant of legal authority given to the Federal Reserve to purchase the debt of the GSEs...

"Ironically, by transferring the risk of widespread mortgage defaults to the taxpayers through government subsidies and convincing investors that all is well because a "world-class" regulator is ensuring the GSEs' soundness, the government increases the likelihood of a painful crash in the housing market. This is because the special privileges of Fannie and Freddie have distorted the housing market by allowing Fannie and Freddie to attract capital they could not attract under pure market conditions. As a result, capital is diverted from its most productive uses into housing. This reduces the efficacy of the entire market and thus reduces the standard of living of all Americans.

"Despite the long-term damage to the economy inflicted by the government's interference in the housing market, the government's policy of diverting capital into housing creates a short-term boom in housing. Like all artificially created bubbles, the boom in housing prices cannot last forever. When housing prices fall, homeowners will experience difficulty as their equity is wiped out. Furthermore, the
holders of the mortgage debt will also have a loss. These losses will be greater than they would have been had government policy not actively encouraged over-investment in housing.

"Perhaps the Federal Reserve can stave off the day of reckoning by purchasing the GSEs' debt and pumping liquidity into the housing market, but this cannot hold off the inevitable drop in the housing market forever. In fact, postponing the necessary and painful market corrections will only deepen the inevitable fall. The more people invested in the market, the greater the effects across the economy when the bubble bursts.

"Instead of expanding unconstitutional and market distorting government bureaucracies, Congress should act to remove taxpayer support from the housing GSEs before the bubble bursts and taxpayers are once again forced to bail out investors who were misled by foolish government interference in the market."