While George Soros was busy bankrolling his battalion of established activist groups and launching a few new ones of his own, he quite naturally looked toward the upcoming presidential election of 2008 with great anticipation, eagerly awaiting the day when George W. Bush would finally leave office. The question was, who would replace him? In recent years, all indications had been that Soros favored Hillary Clinton above most, if not all, other potential Democratic candidates for President. But now there was a new face on the scene¯a young, charismatic U.S. senator from Illinois named Barack Obama¯who seemed not only to share virtually all of Soros’s values and agendas, but also appeared to be a highly skilled politician who stood a good chance of getting elected to the nation’s highest office.
In December of 2006, Soros, who had previously hosted a fundraiser for Obama during the latter’s 2004 Senate campaign, met with Obama in Soros’s New York office. Just a few weeks later¯on January 16, 2007¯Obama announced that he would form a presidential exploratory committee and was contemplating a run for the White House. Within hours, Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount allowable under campaign-finance laws. Later that week, the New York Daily News reported that Soros would support Obama rather than Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, though Soros pledged to back the New York senator were she to emerge as the nominee.1 But it was clear that Soros considered Obama to be the more electable candidate of the two. Most importantly, Obama’s economic and political prescriptions for America were wholly accordant with those of Soros.
Obama’s anti-capitalist background and views are well documented: His father was a communist; his mother was a communist sympathizer;2 in his youth he was mentored by the communist Frank Marshall Davis; he sought out Marxist friends and professors at Occidental College; he attended Socialist Scholars Conferencesin New York; he was trained in the community-organizing methods of Saul Alinsky, a communist fellow traveler; he developed close ties to the pro-socialist community organization ACORN; he developed close personal and political ties to the infamous Marxists (and former domestic terrorists) Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn; he was hand-picked for his first political office by Alice Palmer, a pro-Soviet figure in Illinois; in the 1990s he became a member of the New Party, a socialist political coalition; he had close connections to theMidwest Academy, a radical training ground which author Stanley Kurtz has described as a “crypto-socialist organization”;3 and he spent twenty years attending the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who preaches the Marxist doctrines of liberation theology. As President, Obama appointed Carol Browner, a former “commissioner” of the Socialist International as his “environment czar”;4 he employed a White House communications director (Anita Dunn) who cited Mao Zedong as one of her “favorite political philosophers”;5he appointed a “science czar,” John Holdren, who views capitalism as a system that is inherently destructive of the environment;6 he appointed Van Jones, a longtime revolutionary communist, as his “green jobs czar”;7and he strongly favors the redistribution of wealth, both within the U.S. and across international borders. The list, of course, could go on and on.
George Soros, too, harbors many negative views about capitalism and free markets. “The entire edifice of global financial markets has been erected on the false premise that markets can be left to their own devices,” says Soros. “We must find a new paradigm and rebuild from the ground up.”8 According to Soros, the capitalist “belief that everybody pursuing his self-interest will maximize the common interest … is a false idea.”9 Calling the global capitalist system “deeply flawed,” Soros maintains that “as long as capitalism remains triumphant, the pursuit of money overrides all other social considerations.”10 As Soros sees things, capitalism “is today a greater threat than any totalitarian ideology.”11 Lamenting that “the richest 1 percent of the world’s population receive as much as the poorest 57 percent,”12 Soros suggests that only by reining in “global capitalism” can that gap be narrowed. He further complains that global capitalism, by encouraging the free flow of money across international borders, reduces the vital “ability of the state to provide Social Security to its citizens.”13 “The globalization of financial markets has rendered the welfare state that came into existence after World War II obsolete,” Soros explains, “because the people who require a social safety net cannot leave the country, but the capital the welfare state used to tax can.”14
Soros’s proposed remedy for this problem is a worldwide war on poverty that would transform the entire planet into a global welfare state, a sort of open-society alliance where “a kind of international central bank” could redistribute wealth from rich populations to poor ones.15 Toward this end, Soros announced in September 2006 that he would donate $50 million to the United Nations Millennium Project, a massive redistributive scheme calling for the governments of wealthy countries to commit 0.7% of their GNP to promoting “the economic development and welfare of developing countries.”16 Heading this Project (from 2002-2006) was Jeffrey Sachs, the economist who had worked with Soros in Russia during the Bill Clintonadministration. As evidenced by his participation in the Millennium Project,17 Sachs has radically altered his former pro-capitalist positions. Indeed, in recent times he has praised socialists as “both the heirs and the leaders of the world’s most important and most successful political path”; he has lauded their “strong commitment to universalist ethical principles and fiscal re-distribution”; and he has voiced regret that America’s lack of “commitment to re-distribution” has “enabled a massive underclass to develop.”18
Similarly, George Soros sees “the global capitalist system in its present form” as “a distortion of what ought to be a global open society.”19 He suggests that if the “market fundamentalism in America” were “eliminated,” then “the public interest would be better served” by way of “a more equal distribution of wealth.”20
In a November 2008 interview, Soros was asked whether he supported programs falling under the rubric of “big-government” or “European-style ‘socialism.’” He replied, “That is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful—but also very harmful to our society.”21
In October 2009, Soros told a Central European University audience that “there is a deep-seated conflict between capitalism and open society.” He observed, moreover, that “Karl Marx['s] proposition” of communist redistributionism “was a very attractive idea” that might well have succeeded if not for the unfortunate fact that “the communist rulers put their own interests ahead of the interests of the people.”22“The failure of the central planning model did not prove the validity of the free enterprise model,” says Soros. “… There is a better way of looking at the world. It is based on the postulate of radical fallibility, according to which all our constructs are flawed in one way or another. Specifically, both models—Communism and free enterprise, or market fundamentalism, as I have rechristened it—are deficient; the deficiency in each one can be cured only by taking some elements from the other.”23
The Call for Global Government
Soros’s desire for a worldwide welfare structure is consistent with his general preference for some form of global government. In 1998 he wrote that “insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.” “The greatest opposition to this idea,” he added somberly, “is coming from the United States.”24
Soros has continued to espouse this perspective ever since. At a 2003 event, a questioner asked Soros whether he and his foundations could “help to bring more foreign influence into the United States instead of relying on what is essentially a balance between Democrats and conservative Republicans, which hasn’t worked and is not about to start working.” Soros replied:
“I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order. And that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup. I don’t think you can correct it by giving the Chinese government a vote in Congress. But it is a flaw, and I think this is where American leadership is needed, to take into account and respect the interests of others as well, in order to retain the dominant position we currently enjoy.”25
This call for increased “foreign influence” in American political life is congruent with President Obama’s position on the matter. In March 2009, for instance, Obama appointed Harold Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, as legal advisor to the U.S. State Department. Koh is an advocate of transnationalism, a concept arguing in favor of “global governance” as opposed to the constitutional sovereignty of independent nation-states. This perspective holds that the world’s most challenging problems are too complex and deep-rooted for any single country to address effectively on its own. The solution, says Koh, is for all members of the international community to recognize a set of supranational laws and institutions whose authority overrides those of any particular government.26
In March 2007, Koh chastised the U.S. for having “unwisely disengaged from various institutions that promote fundamental human rights, chief among them the International Criminal Court [which would subordinate American criminal-justice procedures in certain cases to those of an international tribunal] and the newly established Human Rights Council” of the United Nations¯a Council whose membership includes a number of nations known for their unrestrained anti-Semitism and human-rights abuses.27 President Obama ultimately announced, in 2009, that the U.S. would join the Council for the first time.28 In November 2010, this Council made headlines when it harshly berated America for its alleged discrimination against Muslims, its barbaric police practices, its use of torture against enemies abroad, and its religious intolerance.29
Another Obama official¯Eric P. Schwartz, the administration’s assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration¯formerly served as director of the U.S. Connect Fund, a Soros-financed organization that promotes global governance.30
Just a few days after Barack Obama was elected President, George Soros stated: “I think we need a large stimulus package which will provide funds for state and local government to maintain their budgets¯because they are not allowed by the constitution to run a deficit. For such a program to be successful, the federal government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, another infrastructure program is necessary. In total, the cost would be in the 300 to 600 billion-dollar range….”31
Soon thereafter, as one of the first priorities of his presidency, Obama pressured Congress to pass a monumental $787 billion economic-stimulus bill whose text was 1,071 pages long¯and which few, if any, legislators read before voting on it. Obama stressed the urgency of passing this bill at the earliest possible moment, so as to forestall any further harm to the U.S. economy. Notably, the legislation repealed numerous essentials of the 1996 welfare-reform bill against which George Soros had so strongly rebelled.32 According to a Heritage Foundation report, 32 percent of the new stimulus bill—or an average of $6,700 in “new means-tested welfare spending” for every poor person in the U.S.—was earmarked for social-welfare programs.33 Such unprecedented levels of spending did not at all trouble Soros, who said: “At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable.”34 In December 2009, Obama concurred again—outlining a set of new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals while explaining that America must continue to “spend our way out of this recession.”35
In a 2008 interview with Bill Moyers, George Soros derided wealthy Americans who wished to have their tax burden lightened. According to Soros, such people were selfishly eager to “enjo[y] the fruits” of their affluence even as they viewed the act of “paying taxes” as “an absolute no-no”—indeed something veritably “unpatriotic.”36
By Soros’s telling, taxes are inherently desirable in good times and bad alike. In 2010, for instance, he stated that although the U.S. economy was in the midst of a prolonged downturn, it would be imprudent for lawmakers to extend the Bush-era tax cuts which were due to expire on January 1, 2011; such a course of action, he warned, would be “the wrong policy” and would cause the recession to deepen further.37 Soros proposed, instead, that the existing tax rates be permitted to return to their previous, higher levels, and that whatever extra revenue those elevated rates might generate should be used to finance yet another federal “stimulus” program.38 This suggestion was consistent with the funding priorities Soros has long pursued through his Open Society Institute. A substantial percentage of the organizations bankrolled by OSI favor high taxes to fill the coffers of an ever-expanding, government-run welfare state.
Likewise, Barack Obama’s long track record in support of high income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes for “the wealthy” is well documented.39 Thus it was not surprising that Obama, through most of his early presidency, adamantly opposed any extension of the Bush tax cuts beyond their scheduled expiration date. But as the economy foundered and the President’s popularity waned—to say nothing of the historic losses suffered by congressional Democrats in the midterm elections—Obama began to restrict his calls for a tax hike only to those in the highest income brackets.40 In the end, the President, recognizing that the electorate fiercely opposed higher taxes for anyone, pragmatically agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two more years—a move that displeased George Soros greatly.41
Soros’s public stance in favor of higher tax rates for the wealthy is nothing short of remarkable, in light of the fact that he himself has taken some noteworthy measures to avoid paying taxes of his own. Consider, for instance, that his multi-billion-dollar Quantum Fund is actually incorporated on the tiny island of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, located in the Caribbean. As such, Soros avoids paying U.S. taxes on it. Americans who invest in his Fund likewise escape the tax man entirely. Their interest, dividends, and capital-gains earnings are taxed only if they are brought into the United States.42 And these investors are precisely the types of high earners who, according to Soros, should be willing to do their “patriotic” duty and pay the taxes that they can well afford; the minimum investment for the Quantum Fund is $100,000.43
By no means has the Quantum Fund been Soros’s only foray into tax-avoiding, offshore business enterprises. Indeed, Soros’s real-estate company, Mapeley Steps, is headquartered in yet another tax haven, Bermuda. In 2001 this firm purchased more than 600 buildings from Inland Revenue (Britain’s equivalent of the IRS) and then leased them to the British government for a princely sum—but paid no taxes, thanks to the Bermuda address.44
Just as Soros has spoken out against calls to reduce income taxes, so has he consistently sided against proposals to lower or eliminate the estate tax (a.k.a. “death tax”), calling it “a valuable taxation” because it “does not interfere with wealth creation” and it “increases social equality.”45 In 2003, Soros and some fellow billionaires went so far as to sign a public letter stating that a repeal of the estate tax “would enrich the heirs of America’s millionaires and billionaires while hurting families who struggle to make ends meet.”46 Yet Soros has creatively found a way for his own heirs to avoid paying any estate taxes, as he once explained:
Environmental and Energy Policy
George Soros is an avid proponent of cap-and-trade,48 a tax-based policy proposal designed to reduce Americans’ consumption of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—and to speed up the nation’s transition to alternate forms of energy such as wind and solar power. The idea of cap-and-trade is founded on the planted axiom that the carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by human industrial activity create a greenhouse effect that is causing the earth’s climate to grow dangerously warm. Under cap-and-trade regulations, companies would be subject to taxes or fees if they exceed their government-imposed limit for CO2 emissions. Economists predict that such legislation, if enacted, would impose colossal costs on businesses¯costs that would be passed on to consumers, who in turn would pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand extra dollars each year in energy costs.49 But to Soros, such a policy is well worth the price. “Dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment” and thus “will be painful,” he acknowledges, but “at least” it will enable humankind to “survive and not cook.” When asked in 2008 whether he was proposing energy policies that would “create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world,” Soros replied succinctly, “Yes.”50 By Soros’s reckoning, America today has “a great opportunity,” through cap-and-trade, “to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence.”51
In 2009, Soros announced that he intended to spend $10 million over a ten-year period to fund the formation of a new Climate Policy Initiative, designed to address global warming by “help[ing] nations achieve low-carbon development” in “the new energy economy.”52 In remarks he made at a January 2010 Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations, Soros impugned the U.S. as “the laggard” that, by not endorsing the initiatives which that been proposed a month earlier at an international climate-change conference in Copenhagen, had failed to provide adequate leadership with regard to environmental policy.53
Barack Obama, like Soros, is an unwavering backer of cap-and-trade. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said: “[U]nder my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations.”54
The principal motive underlying the cap-and-trade policies that Obama and Soros support has been articulated by Obama’s “regulation czar,” Cass Sunstein, a longtime proponent of “distributive justice” whereby America would transfer much of its own wealth to poorer nations as compensation for the harm that U.S. environmental transgressions have allegedly caused in those countries. Sunstein speculates that “desirable redistribution” can be “accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct foreign aid.”55
Transforming America Through Immigration
In the spring of 2006 and again a year later, television viewers were treated to innumerable images of massive throngs of demonstrators flooding the streets of cities all across the United States, as they protested America’s allegedly unjust and punitive immigration policies. The participants in these rallies demanded such things as amnesty for illegals, paths to citizenship, expanded guest-worker programs, loosened border controls, an end to workplace immigration raids, and a generalized expansion of rights and privileges for illegal immigrants in the United States. These grievance-filled spectacles generated considerable public anxiety; in their size, scope, and execution, they were reminiscent of the “velvet revolution” demonstrations that Soros had bankrolled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The following groups — all heavily funded by, or otherwise affiliated with, George Soros and his Open Society Institute — were among the key organizers of the “immigrant-rights” demonstrations: ACORN, the American Friends Service Committee, the Center for Community Change, theLeague of United Latin American Citizens, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, and theGamaliel Foundation.56
The immigration-related agendas of Barack Obama fit hand-in-glove with those of the foregoing Soros-affiliated activist groups. Indeed, the President has repeatedly called for “comprehensive immigration reform” — a euphemism for incremental amnesty. This is but an extension of the voting record that Obama compiled in the U.S. Senate, where he opposed workplace immigration raids; favored a “path to citizenship” so as to “bring people out of the shadows”; advocated laws that would permit illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses; supported the DREAM Act, which would allow illegals to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents; and opposed a Senate amendment calling for the withdrawal of federal assistance to “sanctuary cities” that flout federal immigration laws.57
In 2007 and 2008, Obama was a featured speaker at the annual conventions of the National Council of La Raza, which lobbies for racial preferences, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens. He lauded those in attendance for having worked so hard to “strengthe[n] America together.” “It’s been the work of this organization for four decades,” Obama said, “lifting up families and transforming communities across America. And for that, I honor you, I congratulate you, I thank you, and I wish you another forty years as extraordinary as your last.”58
While generally adorned with carefully crafted rhetoric of human rights and “family reunification,” there is in fact a more politically sinister motive underlying Obama’s and Soros’s support for groups that would not only transform illegals into U.S. citizens, but would also open the floodgates to further mass immigration from impoverished countries below America’s southern border. Obama and Soros alike are well aware that the vast majority of first-generation Hispanic immigrants, once naturalized, tend heavily to vote Democrat. Thus there is a great imperative to import, naturalize, and register as many of these voters as possible in the most expedient practicable manner.59 The ultimate, long-term objective is to establish a permanent Democratic voting bloc in the U.S. for generations to come.
A “Living” Constitution
With fidelity to his “open society” tenet that truth is an ever-evolving and ever-elusive concept, George Soros firmly rejects the notion that the U.S. Constitution is a document of unique or unrivaled merit¯or, by logical extension, that its original intent must be permanently revered and adhered to, rather than deconstructed or reinterpreted as the changing needs and preferences of the times may dictate. In April 2005, Soros’s Open Society Institute was a leading financial sponsor of a Yale Law School conference called “The Constitution in 2020,” promoted as an effort to produce “a progressive vision of what the Constitution ought to be.” Other major sponsors of the event included the American Constitution Society and the Center for American Progress¯both major recipients of Soros funding.60 Speakers at the conference repeatedly stressed the “evolutionary character of constitutional law”¯a premise crucial to the work of anyone who, like Soros, seeks to fundamentally transform a society.61
Barack Obama, who himself has openly vowed to “fundamentally transform” the United States, shares precisely this same view of the Constitution. In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that the Constitution “is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.” Moreover, he asserted that, if elected to the White House, he would not appoint a strict constructionist — one who seeks to apply the Constitution’s text as it is written and without further inference — to the Supreme Court.62 True to his word, President Obama has thus far appointed two Supreme Court Justices – Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – both of whom reject strict constructionism.
Sotomayor, for her part, is an advocate of legal realism, which the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes as a judicial philosophy that is “diametrically opposed to the concept of strict construction/originalism as advocated by conservative legal thinkers and judges.” TVC adds that according to legal realism: “[J]udges should do more than interpret the law or look to the original intent of the writers of the law or the Constitution. Judges should bring in outside influences from social sciences, psychology and politics, plus their own views, to craft the law….” Suggesting that the public wrongly expects “the law to be static and predictable,” Sotomayor contends that courts and lawyers are “constantly overhauling the laws and adapting it [sic] to the realities of ever-changing social, industrial and political conditions.”63 Meanwhile, Elena Kagan has approvingly cited former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s assertion that the Constitution, “as originally drafted and conceived,” was “defective.”64
Promoting Socialized Medicine in the United States
As noted earlier, George Soros has long favored a greater role for government in the American healthcare system. During the political debate over “Obamacare” in 2009 and 2010, one of the most influential pro-reform coalitions was Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a vast network of organizations supporting, ideally, a “single-payer” model where the federal government would be in charge of financing and administering the entire U.S. healthcare system.65 HCAN’s strategy was to try to achieve such a system incrementally, first by implementing a “public option”—i.e., a government insurance agency to “compete” with private insurers, so that Americans would be “no longer at the mercy of the private insurance industry.”66Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would inevitably force private insurers out of the industry.
In August 2009, Soros pledged to give HCAN $5 million to promote its campaign for reform.67 HCAN’s organizational members include a host of Soros-affiliated organizations, among which are such stalwarts as the ACLU, ACORN, the AFL-CIO, the AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Center for Community Change, the Gamaliel Foundation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn.org, the NAACP, the National Abortion Federation, the National Council of La Raza, the National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, the Progressive States Network, and USAction.68 Many of these member groups regularly receive large amounts of Soros funding directly from the Open Society Institute. Some of that money was undoubtedly used to bankroll the healthcare reform crusade, thus we can say with certainty that Soros’s real contributions to the cause far exceeded the $5 million he gave to HCAN.
Terrorism As a Criminal Matter, Rather Than an Act of War
Ever since the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, George Soros has emphasized that it is “more appropriate” for the U.S. government to treat such events as “crimes against humanity” rather than acts of war, and that a proper response thus involves “police work, not military action.”69 Numerous Soros-funded organizations espouse this view as well, as evidenced by their efforts to ensure that suspected terrorists are tried in civilian courts rather than in military tribunals.70 The latter venues, where military officers serve as the judges and jurors, are designed specifically to deal with offenses committed in the context of warfare. Significantly, they permit prosecutors to use secret evidence that may have been obtained by means of enhanced interrogation methods, whereas civilian courts forbid the admittance of such evidence. Among the Soros-funded groups that look with strong disfavor upon military tribunals are the American Constitution Society,71 the Center for Constitutional Rights,72 the American Civil Liberties Union,73 and Human Rights Watch.74
Their perspective is very much in line with that of Barack Obama. Immediately following his inauguration, in fact, Obama’s first act as U.S. President was to order the suspension of all military tribunals that had been established to adjudicate the cases of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which continued to house more than 200 al Qaeda and Taliban combatants captured by the American military during its post-9/11 wars in the Mideast.75 Obama, like Soros, favors a criminal-justice-oriented approach to terrorism and thus would prefer to try the perpetrators in civilian court¯where they would enjoy the enhanced rights and protections that such courts afford to all defendants.
This approach to terrorism has set the tone for every member of the Obama administration. In March 2009, for instance, Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano broke with her agency’s traditional practice of warning the American public about potential “terrorist” threats, and instead began referring to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”76 Two months later the Obama Justice Department¯again demonstrating its preference for treating terrorism as a law-enforcement issue rather than as a military matter¯ordered the FBI to read Miranda warnings to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.77 In November, the Obama administration announced that it planned to try five Guantanamo detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy in a civilian court.78
Then, on Christmas Day of 2009, a Nigerian al Qaeda operative boarded a Northwest Airlines flight (from Amsterdam to Detroit) and attempted, without success, to blow up the plane in midair with a powerful chemical bomb. In public remarks soon after the incident, President Obama referred to the man as an “isolated extremist” rather than as a terrorist or a jihadist. In subsequent days the administration announced that it would offer the perpetrator a plea agreement to persuade him to reveal what he knew about al Qaeda operations in Yemen; if such an arrangement could not be worked out, the government planned to try him in federal civilian court.79
In November 2010, al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani¯responsible for the deaths of 224 people in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania¯became the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court and was acquitted on all but one of the charges against him.80
In March 2011, President Obama, without consulting Congress, authorized the involvement of the U.S. military in imposing a “no-fly zone” over Libya, to prevent President Moammar Qaddafi’s forces from bombing rebels who were challenging his regime. On March 21, the White House announced the initiation of “a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”
According to reports, Samantha Power, Obama’s National Security Council special adviser on human rights, was instrumental in persuading Obama to take this action against Libya. Power is a longtime advocate of the doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect,” which encourages the international community to intervene in a particular country’s internal affairs — with military force if necessary — in order to thwart genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or ethnic cleansing. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, which is the world’s leading advocate of this doctrine, is funded by the Open Society Institute. In a 2004Foreign Policy magazine article, George Soros himself discussed the fundamentals of the Responsibility to Protect, writing:
By way of the many hundreds of pro-Obama groups that George Soros funds on a regular basis, there are literally thousands of political and financial ties that exist between Soros and the President. A comprehensive discussion of these connections could more than fill the pages of a large book. Nevertheless, a few key entities that serve as vital contact points in the Obama-Soros relationship are well worth noting here.
The Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) may well have more influence on the Obama presidency than any other organization in existence. This left-wing think tank formulates policy for the administration and supplies the White House with a steady stream of talking points designed to make that policy palatable to the public. In fact, as of December 2008, before then-President-elect Obama had even taken his oath of office, he had already pledged his intent to fulfill some of CAP’s chief policy recommendations. These included the Center’s call for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq coupled with a buildup of forces in Afghanistan, a plan to implement universal health coverage, and a plan to create “green jobs” designed to combat “global warming.”81 According to Bloomberg.com, CAP “has become … an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the … Obama administration.”82
Emblematic of this was the synergy that Obama and CAP displayed in dealing with the disastrous BP oil spillin the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010.83 In May and June of that year, when the crisis was at its height,84 Obama took his cue from the Center on a number of important occasions. For example:
On virtually every policy matter—health-care reform, fiscal policy, civil rights, immigration, housing, labor, national security, foreign policy, media, energy, or the environment—CAP’s recommendations fit hand-in-glove with the Obama administration’s values and agendas. In many cases, as in the examples cited above, the administration actually follows CAP’s instructions. In a very real sense, George Soros dictates his policy recommendations to the Obama White House through the Center for American Progress.
One of the more significant beneficiaries of George Soros’s funding is the International Crisis Group (ICG), a nonprofit organization that makes policy recommendations ostensibly designed to foster goodwill among nations.86 In 2008, the Open Society Institute gave a whopping $5 million to this entity,87 on whoseexecutive committee Soros himself sits.88 One of ICG’s leading figures is its Mideast director, Robert Malley, a Harvard-trained lawyer who in 2007 was named as a foreign-policy advisor to the Obama presidential campaign.
Obama has long held Malley, who formerly served in the Clinton administration, in high regard as a policy analyst. Over the years, Malley has penned numerous articles and op-eds condemning Israel, exonerating Palestinians, urging the U.S. to disengage from Israel to some degree, and recommending that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies such as Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.89 These views are of a piece with George Soros’s “open society” ideal, whose moral relativism leads inescapably to the conclusion that one man’s terrorist is indeed another man’s freedom fighter¯and, by logical extension, that no nation should be so proud as to be unwilling to conduct diplomacy with its foes. In mid-2008, however, the Obama campaign severed its ties with Malley after the Times of London revealed that the ICG official had quietly been in regular contact with Hamas leaders as part of his work for ICG.90
Notwithstanding Malley’s fall from grace, Barack Obama’s foreign policies have been, from the outset of his presidency, very much in line with the recommendations of the Soros-funded ICG. For one, Obama has often emphasized his willingness to negotiate with even the most unyielding enemies of the United States, and has sought to persuade Israel to take that same approach. Six days after his inauguration, for instance, Obama granted his first television interview as U.S. President to Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based network, where hestated: “[A]ll too often the United States starts by dictating … and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen.” He subsequently called on Israel to drop its “preconceptions” and negotiate for peace with Hamas, the terrorist organization whose founding charter remains irrevocably committed to the permanent destruction of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. Obama further signaled an eagerness to conduct “unconditional talks” on nuclear matters with Iran91¯even as that nation was actively supplying high-tech weaponry to Hamas and Hezbollah, and even after its president had repeatedly declared that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”92 Not long thereafter, the Obama administration announced its desire to negotiate with Taliban “moderates,” with the aim of bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close.93
J Street was founded in 2008 “to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli … conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.” Key to achieving this objective, says the organization, will be the development of “a new direction for American policy in the Middle East,” a direction that recognizes “the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own”—where Palestine and Israel exist “side-by-side in peace and security.”94 Toward this end, J Street supports “diplomatic solutions over military ones,” “multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution,” and “dialogue over confrontation.”95 Israel’s partner in such a dialogue would necessarily be Hamas, which holds the reins of political power in Gaza and steadfastly denies Israel’s right to exist. Yet J Street has cautioned Israel not to be too combative against Hamas, on grounds that the latter “has been the government, law and order, and service provider since it won the [Palestinian] elections in January 2006 and especially since June 2007 when it took complete control.”96 In the final analysis, J Street traces the Mideast conflict chiefly to the notion that “Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories have, for over forty years, been an obstacle to peace.”97
The foregoing positions are largely indistinguishable from those of President Obama, who likewise favors atwo-state solution whereby Israel and “a sovereign Palestine” would live “side by side—in peace.”98 To achieve such a resolution, he says, initiatives to construct additional Israeli settlements in the West Bank “have to be stopped.”99 In October 2009, Obama signaled his support for J Street’s agendas when he sent national security advisor James Jones to deliver the keynote address at a J Street conference.100
Another avid supporter of J Street is George Soros, though the billionaire initially tried to conceal that support from the public—for fear that his controversial reputation might scare off other potential backers. But in September 2010 The Washington Times revealed that from 2008-2010, Soros and his two children—Jonathan and Andrea—had given a total of $750,000 to the organization.101 It is worth noting, moreover, that J Street’s Advisory Council includes a number of individuals with very close ties to Soros.102 Among them are the following:
Soros shares J Street’s belief that Israel should recognize, and negotiate with, the Hamas-led Palestinian government. In the April 12, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros penned an article titled “On Israel, America and AIPAC,”103 wherein he derided the Bush administration for “committing a major policy blunder in the Middle East” by “supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, which the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist organization.” In Soros’ calculus, “This precludes any progress toward a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East.” Added Soros:
By no means is Hamas the only Islamic terrorist organization which Soros views as a legitimate political entity and a suitable negotiating partner for Israel. Indeed, in early February 2011 he cast Hamas’s ideological comrade, the Muslim Brotherhood,105 in much the same light. At the time, a massive wave of violent riotswere taking place in Egypt—ostensibly triggered by public discontent over Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic rule, governmental corruption, and the country’s widespread poverty.106 Meanwhile, there was much speculation that if Mubarak were to be forced out of office, the Brotherhood was likely to fill the power vacuum. Said Soros:
Soros made that assertion even though:
(a) The Muslim Brotherhood—a supporter of Hamas, al Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad108—had made it explicitly clear that it favored the dissolution of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
(b) The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef, had stated that his organization has never recognized Israel and never will, adding: “Our lexicon does not include anything called ‘Israel.’ The [only thing] we acknowledge is the existence of Zionist gangs that have occupied Arab lands and deported the residents. If they want to live among us, it will have to be as [residents of] Palestine. If they want their own state, our only option is to object.”109
(c) Muhammad Ghannem, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, told the Iranian news network Al-Alam that “the people [of Egypt] should be prepared for war against Israel,” emphasizing that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”110
Notwithstanding the Brotherhood’s unequivocal contempt for Israel and the Jews, Soros lamented that “the main stumbling block” likely to prevent that organization from becoming part of a new “democracy” in Egypt “is Israel.”111 “In reality,” said Soros, “Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him.”112
As Aaron Klein reported in WorldNetDaily on February 6, 2011, the Middle East and North Africa Initiative of the Open Society Institute had recently provided “numerous grants to a wide range of projects that promote so-called democratic issues across the region, including in Egypt.”113 Some four months before the rioting started, OSI was seeking to expand its work in Egypt by hiring a new project manager for its Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which was run in partnership with the Open Society Justice Initiative.114 OSI had also bankrolled the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima,115 a leading promoter of the January 2011 riots that forced Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign on January 14.116
Heavily funded by the Open Society Institute, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is a Washington, DC-based think tank that seeks to push American jurisprudence ever-further to the left politically.â€¨In June 2008, ACS board member Eric Holder, whom president-elect Barack Obama would name as his choice for Attorney General five months later, spoke at an ACS convention. Predicting an Obama victory in the November election, Holder told his audience that the U.S. soon would be “run by progressives”¯of whom a “substantial number” were likely to be ACS members.117 By December 2008, several major ACS figures already had secured positions in the forthcoming Obama administration.118 That very month, in fact, one particularly influential former member of the ACS board of advisors, Hillary Clinton, was chosen to serve as Obama’s secretary of state.
Manhattan Institute scholar Sol Stern writes that the Shadow Party member-group ACORN, while professing its dedication to “the poor and powerless,” in fact “promotes a 1960s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism, central planning, victimology, and government handouts to the poor”¯pushing for “ever more government control of the economy” and “anti-capitalist redistributionism.”119 ACORN’s Independent Advisory Council has featured such Soros-affiliated luminaries as Andrew Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, and John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress.120
Obama, for his part, was the attorney for ACORN’s lead election-law cases before joining the Illinois legislature.121 Also in the early to mid-1990s, he helped train ACORN’s staff in the art of radical community organizing.122 In 1995 Obama sued, on behalf of ACORN, for the implementation of an Illinois motor-voter law which ultimately would become a breeding ground for voter fraud.123 He also served for several years on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which awarded a number of sizable grants to ACORN.124When ACORN officially endorsed Obama for U.S. President in February 2008, the candidate welcomed the endorsement and told an audience of ACORN workers and supporters: “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues that you care about my entire career.”125 That same year, Obama’s presidential campaign quietly gave one of ACORN’s front groups some $800,000 to fund a voter-registration drive on the senator’s behalf.126 As of October 2008, ACORN was under investigation for voter-registration fraud in 13 states.127
Project Vote is ACORN’s Soros-funded voter-mobilization arm. From April to November of 1992, Barack Obama was director of the organization’s Illinois chapter.128 In 2008, Obama’s presidential campaign furnished Project Vote with a list of donors who had already given the campaign the maximum sum of money permitted by law. In turn, Project Vote representatives contacted those donors and urged them to make contributions to the ACORN affiliate¯funds which could then be used to support Obama’s candidacy while technically complying with election-law limits on campaign donations.129 That same year, the Open Society Institute gave Project Vote $400,000.130
In a massive mobilization aimed at helping Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008, this powerful Soros-affiliated organization dispatched approximately a million volunteers to work on Obama’s campaign nationwide¯600,000 in battleground states and 400,000 in non-battleground states. In addition, MoveOn registered more than half a million young Obama supporters to vote in the battleground states, while adding a million young people to its membership rolls during the summer of 2008. All told, MoveOn and its members contributed more than $58 million directly to the Obama campaign, while raising and spending at least an additional $30 million in independent election efforts on behalf of other Democrats across the United States.131 In November 2003, Soros pledged $5 million to MoveOn.132
Following is a brief overview of some prominent individuals with close political ties to Barack Obama on the one hand, and who also have been influenced in some significant way by George Soros’s money, on the other.
A self-professed revolutionary communist who has long endeavored to ignite transformative revolution in the United States,133 Van Jones spent six months as President Obama’s “green jobs czar” in 2009, until public controversy over his recently exposed radical past forced him to resign.
From 1996-2007, Jones headed the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which, claiming that the American criminal-justice system was infested with racism, sought to promote alternatives to incarceration.134 Between 1999 and 2009, the Baker Center received more than $1 million from George Soros‘s Open Society Institute.135
In 2007 Jones launched Green For All (GFA), an organization “dedicated to building an inclusive green economy” that would provide a vehicle for large-scale wealth redistribution.136 One of GFA’s major fundersis the Open Society Institute ($75,000 in 2008).137
Over the years, Jones has been a board member of numerous environmental and nonprofit organizations, including the Soros-funded Free Press and the environmentalist group Apollo Alliance, which was launched by the Soros-backed Tides Foundation.138 The Apollo Alliance helped craft portions of the $787 billion “stimulus” legislation that President Obama signed into law in early 2009. Specifically, the organization had a hand in writing the “clean energy and green-collar jobs provisions” of the bill, for which $86 billion was earmarked.139
Today, Jones serves as one of twenty advisors to the Colorado-based Presidential Climate Action Project, which makes climate-policy recommendations for the Obama White House.140 Jones is also a senior fellowat the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP)¯the think tank that promotes virtually all of Obama’s political agendas.141
Former New Leftist Andrew Stern served as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the second-largest labor union in North America, from 1996 until April 2010. He was trained in the tactics of radical activism at the Midwest Academy, which received $10,000 from Soros in 1997. Stern also helped form America Votes, a Soros-funded coalition of grassroots, get-out-the-vote organizations.â€¨And he sat on the executive committee of America Coming Together, to which Soros famously gave $10 million in 2003.142
In 2008, Stern’s SEIU spent approximately $60.7 million to help elect Barack Obama to the White House¯deploying some 100,000 pro-Obama volunteers during the campaign.143 Stern went on to become an immensely influential advisor to President Obama. As of October 30, 2009, the union magnate had visited the White House 22 times since Obama’s inauguration¯more than any other individual.144â€¨In February 2010, Obama appointed Stern to sit on a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.145
David Axelrod serves as a key strategist for Barck Obama. In 2004, Axelrod’s political consulting firmreceived at least $229,000 from the Media Fund, a Soros-backed Shadow Party organization which ran some $53 million in pro-John Kerry presidential campaign ads.146
On January 22, 2009, President Obama named Carol Browner to serve as his “environment czar.” Browner previously had been a “commissioner” with the Socialist International, an umbrella group for scores of “social democratic, socialist and labor parties” in 55 countries. She is currently a board member of the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Center for American Progress, and the League of Conservation Voters¯all of which are funded by George Soros.147â€¨â€¨
Called “the most powerful women in the labor movement” by Fortune magazine and nicknamed the “Queen of Labor,” Anna Burger is dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States. She has had a long career with the SEIU, where she currently serves as international secretary-treasurer.148 In February 2009, President Obama appointed her to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board.â€¨ Burger is also vice chair of the Soros-affiliated Democracy Alliance.149
In 1990 Kevin Jennings established the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a Boston-area organization that is funded, in part, by the Open Society Institute.150 In June 2009, President Obama appointed Jennings as assistant deputy secretary of education¯or “education czar.”
A great admirer of Venezuela’s Communist president Hugo Chavez, Mark Lloyd has served as a consultant to the Open Society Institute and as vice president of strategic initiatives at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a legislative advocacy group that receives financial backing from George Soros. In July 2009, Lloyd, a senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, was appointed as President Obama’s diversity chief at the Federal Communications Commission.151
A former member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society, this self-described activist preacher has long championed the cause of communism. Unremittingly critical of the free-market system, Wallis has often impugned capitalism for its historical lack of success. “Our systems have failed the poor and they have failed the earth,” he says. “They have failed the creation.”152 In a January 2006 radio interview with Interfaith Voices, Wallis was asked to clarify whether he was in fact “calling for the redistribution of wealth in society.” He replied, “Absolutely, without any hesitation. That’s what the gospel is all about.”153 Today Wallis is a spiritual advisor to President Obama.â€¨George Soros‘ Open Society Institute has made grants toSojourners, the leftist publication that Wallis founded, in the amounts of $200,000 in 2004,154 $25,000 in 2006,155 and $100,000 in 2007.156
3 Stanley Kurtz, Radical In Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010)
4 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2364 (The reference is to Carol Browner.)
5 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2434 (The reference is to Anita Dunn.)
6 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2368 (The reference is to John Holdren.)
7 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2406 (The reference is to Van Jones.)
10 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), p. 102
11 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), pp. xvii
12 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. 10
13 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (2000), p. 203
14 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. 3
15 George Soros, “Avoiding a Breakdown: Asia’s Crisis Demands a Rethink of International Regulation,”Financial Times of London (December 31, 1997); George Soros, Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), p. 276.
19 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. viii
23 George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), pp. 168-169
24 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (2000), p. xxix
27 http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/110/koh032907.pdf ;http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/227209/obama-joins-human-rights-charade-anne-bayefsky (Among the member nations are China, Cuba, Libya, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.)
42 Michael T. Kaufman, Soros: The Life And Times Of A Messianic Billionaire, 2002, p. 135; Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), pp. 164-165.
43 Charles Ellis and James Vertin, Wall Street People: True Stories of Today’s Masters and Moguls, Volume 2 (2001), p. 112.
44 “Revenue Sells 600 Buildings to Bermuda-Based Company.” Trends and Developments, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2002); Cited in Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), p. 165.
46 David Kay Johnston, “Dozens of Rich Americans Join in Fight to Retain Estate Tax,” New York Times(February 14, 2001)
47 Quoted in Michael T. Kaufman, Soros: The Life And Times Of A Messianic Billionaire; Cited in Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), pp. 165-166.
56 Ben Johnson, “Who’s Behind the Immigration Rallies?” FrontPageMag.com (March 29, 2006)
59 David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party (2006), p. 103
60 Richard Poe, “Soros Rewrites U.S. Constitution,” MoonbatCentral.com (April 9, 2005)
61 Scott Johnson, “The $80,000 Misunderstanding,” PowerlineBlog.com (April 9, 2005)
67 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/us/politics/30dems.html; http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/health-care/george-soros-pledges-5-million-to-bankroll-health-care-reform-push-group-says/;http://nation.foxnews.com/george-soros/2009/08/11/soros-gives-5-million-liberal-health-care-group;http://www.newsmax.com/LowellPonte/obama-pelosi-acorn/2009/12/12/id/341854
69 George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), p. 18
70 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=546; George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), p. 38.
75 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-mr-obamas-international-overtures-deserve-a-response-1488579.html; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/washington/22gitmo.html?hp
118 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/us/politics/11network.html (Executive Director Lisa Brown had been named as Obama’s White House Staff Secretary. ACS Board of Directors member Goodwin Liu had been named to the Obama-Biden transition team. Joining Liu on the transition team was another ACS Board of Directors member, Dawn Johnsen. Former ACS staffer Melody Barnes had been selected to direct the Obama administration’s Domestic Policy Council. Former ACS Board member Ronald Klain had been named chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.
122 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/224610/inside-obamas-acorn/stanley-kurtz; Frank De Zutter, “What Makes Obama Run?” Chicago Reader (December 8, 1995)
124 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1511 (These grants included $45,000 in 2000, $75,000 in 2001, and $70,000 in 2002.)
By Discover The Networks
Since the partial shutdown last fall, Americans have said that government/politicians are the single biggest problem facing the country, according to Gallup survey, but today, we’re seeing a small significant shift in voters’ priorities. People are more concerned about unemployment/jobs than any other political issue:
This poll dropped the same day President Obama celebrated the fifth year since the Stimulus package was signed into office. Republicans call the stimulus a waste of taxpayer dollars.
“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money – that, by the way, was borrowed – that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs. Well, of course, it clearly failed,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida said Monday on Presidents a Day in a video statement. Also many Republicans argue the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare is costing Americans jobs as more and more business owners try to limit exposure by cutting back to fewer than 50 employers and that is the reason why the president has unilaterally pushed back the start date of the employer mandate. Kathleen Sebelius seemed uninformed when she said this
“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” she said on Monday.
Heritage Foundation, James Sherk—an economist who doesn’t fall under “every economist,” according to Sebelius—plainly states that “The Affordable Care Act has discouraged companies from creating jobs and workers from accepting them.”
The unemployment rate did tick down to 6.6 percent in January, the labor force participation rate the month before, for example, was the lowest in more than three decades (although this trend can’t be blamed on this president’s alone). Nevertheless, it’s not just Republicans who are overly concerned not enough jobs are being created; respondents from all political parties (including Independents) agree:
Interestingly, this administration is currently pushing comprehensive immigration reform; but only 3% of Democrats say “Immigration/Illegal aliens” is their top concern. Strange. Why, then, is the president pushing immigration reform when his own party has seemingly bigger and more pressing problems to tackle? I would argue it’s about gaining a political advantage since the party which gives illegal aliens a free pass into the United States will be the party to likely gain those votes. I believe Democrats may think they stand to gain from an influxes of a new voter block. With illegal Hispanics coming into the political scene democrats think they might regain and maintain all political houses. What Democrats don’t seem to care about is what they seem to talk about. They’re not overly anxious about solving income inequality. At most, just 0.5% and 5% of Democrats, respectively, say their top concern is “lack of money” and “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness.” These are statements I conclude from the statistics I name here.
The obvious takeaway, then, is that Americans from both political parties want leaders in Washington to focus primarily on – not immigration reform, and to the extent the conversation is about healthcare it’s not on ObamaCare. What Americans want is jobs and the economy to get back to normal. Americans need jobs, and neither political party is doing anything about that.
At Least 27 Million Americans are ‘Underemployed’
While the official unemployment rate last year was 8.1 percent, a far greater percentage of working-age Americans were “underemployed.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the underemployment rate in 2012 was 14.7 percent, amounting to 23.1 million people.
Underemployed Americans include those who are officially considered unemployed, plus involuntary part-time workers and “marginally attached” workers — those who have not looked for work within the last four weeks but have sought a job within the last year and are available for employment.
About 2.5 million people were marginally attached workers last year, and 8.1 million were involuntary part-time workers.
As troubling as that may be, the actual figures are likely much worse, according to a report by Wendell Cox for NewGeography.com.
For instance, Gallup estimated that the nation’s underemployment rate stood at 17.4 percent in August, meaning that there are more than 27 million underemployed workers.
Also, economists at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity have estimated that 48 percent of college graduates who are employed hold jobs that do not require a college degree. These are not included in the underemployment figures. If they were, the underemployment rate would soar.
Nevada had the highest underemployment rate during the year ending on June 30, 19 percent, followed by California with 18.3 percent. The lowest rates were in North Dakota at 6.2 percent and South Dakota, 7.8 percent.
“The productivity gap that results from underemployment constrains the U.S. economy at a time of unusually severe financial challenges,” observes Cox, visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris and the author of “War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life.”
“College graduates face not only a grim employment market, but have student loan repayments that require good jobs,” he adds.
“Yet things could get worse. The soon to be implemented Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has a built-in incentive for employers to shift workers to part-time status” or to hire part-time workers to avoid the mandate to provide health insurance to full-time workers.
Infrastructure Spending Won’t Produce New Jobs
President Barack Obama and prominent members of Congress have called for a significant boost in infrastructure spending on roads and bridges to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
But a new report from The Heritage Foundation asserts that those calls “misunderstand” the nature of infrastructure construction work.
“Infrastructure projects are capital intensive, not labor intensive,” James Sherk writes for the foundation.
Repair and replacement of traffic arteries require a relatively small number of highly skilled workers using advanced equipment, he points out.
Slightly more than 300,000 Americans nationwide work in highway, street, or bridge construction, and they comprise just two-tenths of a percent of all workers. So even doubling their numbers would have only a minor effect on overall employment.
The highly trained employees who work on infrastructure can require years of on-the-job training before they are fully trained. A structural ironworker, for example, needs three to four years and from 6,000 to 8,000 hours of training.
Therefore, few of the currently unemployed workers have the requisite skill and training to work on infrastructure projects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 13,500 unemployed cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers in the entire nation.
“Additional infrastructure spending would consequently employ relatively few unemployed workers,” according to Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.
“Instead, federal construction contractors would hire the skilled workforce they need away from private construction projects,” he said. “New jobs created would come primarily at the expense of other jobs in the private sector.”
He concluded that the new spending called for by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and others “would do more to shuffle jobs around than reduce unemployment.”
Footnote: America’s infrastructure quality has actually improved significantly over the past two decades, and the number of structurally deficient bridges has fallen steadily since 1992.
Some in Washington claim that defunding Obamacare would not prevent the implementation or enforcement of the law’s statutory requirements and new regulations. They seem to be unaware of the federal Antideficiency Act (ADA), which makes it illegal to spend money in excess of appropriations. If a fight over such a defunding provision led to a shutdown of the government, not all elements of the law could be implemented. Moreover, supporters of Obamacare would be put in the position of trying to explain why they are willing to interrupt the normal functioning of the federal government in order to fund an unworkable law that Americans do not like and do not want to see implemented. Obama’s own administration has already exempted scores of SEIU and other union employees as well as the restaurant association and most recently Congress & their staffers.
Movement to Defund:
Thanks to Senators Ted Cruz (R–TX) and Mike Lee (R–UT) who have been so diligently trying to do away with this bad law known as Obamacare. They have been in the news with the “Defund Obamacare Act” (S. 1292), which Representative Tom Graves (R–GA) has also introduced in the House as H.R. 2682. One of their proposals is to attach it to a must-pass continuing resolution (CR) before the federal government runs out of money on October 1. Under this bill, “no Federal funds shall be made available to carry out any provisions” of Obamacare. No “entitlement to benefits under any provision of” Obamacare will remain in effect, and all “unobligated balances” will be rescinded.
No one disputes that Obamacare would stay on the books and that defunding would not change the existing law. But all federal funds already appropriated for the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare could not be used by any federal agency to take any action—whether it is issuing new regulations or filing an enforcement action against an individual or an employer for not complying with the new health insurance mandates. The termination of all “entitlement to benefits” would stop the automatic appropriation of new entitlement spending for things like the law’s Medicaid expansion. The rescission of “unobligated benefits” would return to the Treasury appropriated funds that have not yet been spent on items such as the payment of outside contractors—navigators—for enrolling participants in Obamacare, although it would probably not relieve the government of the contractual obligation to pay for services already rendered.
There is no question that such a defunding bill can stop entitlement spending. The Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions and is part of yearly discretionary appropriations bills, has prevented federal funds in the Medicaid entitlement program from being used for abortion coverage for almost four decades.
This type of appropriations and funding ban is given teeth by the ADA, which prohibits federal employees from:
Making or authorizing any expenditure or obligation in excess of the amount available in an appropriation or fund unless authorized by law; or
Involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose unless otherwise allowed by law.
Section 1342 of the ADA prohibits federal employees from accepting voluntary services or employing personal services not authorized by law. That is one of the reasons that federal employees have to be furloughed whenever Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution—federal employees cannot volunteer their services even if they want to, and the government cannot accept outside assistance.
The ADA has both administrative and criminal penalties as well as a notice requirement. Section 1349 subjects federal employees to “administrative discipline” including “suspension from duty without pay or removal from office.” They can be fined or go to jail: Section 1350 imposes a fine of up to $5,000 and two years in jail. Under Section 1351, the head of any federal agency violating the ADA has to “report immediately to the President and Congress all relevant facts and a statement of actions taken” if anyone in the agency has violated the ADA through unauthorized spending. Pursuant to instructions issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), that report has to include the actions taken to correct the ADA violation.
Federal bureaucrats are well aware of the ADA, and its penalties deter violations.
If a Shutdown Occurs:
The smartest thing the House of Representatives could do is pass a CR as soon as possible that funds the government with the exception of Obamacare. That would force the President and his supporters to explain why they would shut down the government to fund an unfair, unaffordable, and highly unpopular law that is so unworkable that the Administration has itself admitted it cannot manage to implement major portions on time such as the employer mandate to provide insurance.
Senator Richard Burr (R–NC) calls this approach “dumb.” Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK) is circulating a July 2013 research memorandum from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that concludes that many aspects of Obamacare could continue to be funded despite the ADA if there is a government shutdown. But the CRS memo assumes there is no defunding language passed (as is being proposed) and that the government simply shuts down because there is no CR.
There is an exception in Section 1342 of the ADA for “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” which as the CRS correctly notes, has been “broadly” read by OMB and the Justice Department to give executive agencies a certain amount of discretion over how to spend their remaining funds during a government shutdown. But in 1990, Congress amended Section 1342 in response to a 1981 opinion issued by Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti to make it clear that “emergencies” do “not include ongoing, regular functions of government, the suspension of which would not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.”
The CRS concludes, based solely on press reports, that if the government shuts down, the Administration would likely “rely on alternative sources of funding” to continue “substantial” implementation of Obamacare. But to do that during a shutdown, the Administration could only provide funds that are not dependent on annual discretionary appropriations or fit within the exceptions to the ADA outlined in the CRS memorandum.
The CRS says, for example, that “cost-sharing payments to health plans” from Treasury would likely not be excepted. The CRS also speculates that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might be able to keep its employees involved in Obamacare on payroll, comparing it to the Social Security Administration keeping its employees on payroll during the shutdown fights of 1995–1996 because they were, “by necessary implication,” integral to making entitlement payments.
But this analogy may not work with the Obamacare insurance exchanges, since they are not an entitlement and are not funded by mandatory spending. The entitlement comes through the insurance subsidies, and while IRS employees may be essential to administer the subsidies, HHS employees might not necessarily be essential to administer the exchanges.
The point is that even if a government shutdown occurs without a defunding bill, while the Administration may have some funding available from other sources to continue to implement parts of Obamacare that fall within exceptions to the ADA, it would not be able to legally implement all of the many different parts of the law, and it is doubtful it would have the funds to implement all of the law.
Making Collapse More Likely:
In the absence of full repeal, Americans will be better off if any parts of Obamacare are stopped from going into effect. And the more parts of the law that are delayed because of a government shutdown, defunding, or the Obama Administration’s own incompetence, the more likely it is that this horrendously complicated law, which is built on many different interdependent factors, will fall apart like a house of cards.
References: 31 U.S. Code § 1341.
Congressional Research Service, “Potential Effects of a Government Shutdown on Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” July 29, 2013, http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=0af8b42a-b2b9-484b-b0d4-9d27e2b690ac (accessed August 7, 2013).
A common saying during the 2008 health care debate regarding Onamacare was “At the end of the day, I figure if it’s good enough for Congress, it’s good enough for the American people,” then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at an Arizona campaign stop in January 2008, referring to the Democrats’ plans for reform.
Members of Congress and their staff currently get their health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. However, to make Democrats eat their words, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, added an amendment to the Affordable Care Act requiring congressmen and their staff to get their insurance the same way many Americans will starting in 2014, thanks to Obamacare — through the state-based health care exchanges. Democrats embraced the idea, willing to stand by their assertions that the exchanges would offer quality insurance.
The proposal put Congress in a tough spot: The business exchanges starting next year will only cater to small businesses — an entity as large as Congress wouldn’t be able to join the exchange system until 2017 at the earliest. There will also be exchanges next year for people purchasing insurance on the individual market, but it wouldn’t make sense for someone with employer-provided insurance (like a congressional staffer) to join that market. Ryan: “More effective ways” to repeal Obamacare than gov’t shutdown House votes to stop IRS from implementing Obamacare.
When Obamacare passed in 2010, the provision raised a number of questions: When would members of Congress and their employees be subject to this new rule? Would staffers purchasing their insurance on the new exchanges still get their coverage subsidized by their employer, the government?
On 8/7/13 Wednesday, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued new proposed rules. OPM suggested, among other things, that congressional offices should determine for themselves which staffers must abide by the
new rule, since some staffers spend more time working for leadership offices (which are exempt from the rule). It also says that employees getting insurance through the exchanges could still get employer contributions to their premiums, as others on the employer-based exchanges would.
The rulings should ease concerns of lawmakers (both Democrat and Republican) who were worried their lower-paid staffers would quit if forced to pay more for health insurance. “I think it is self-evident that it’s part of their compensation here is that they would have health care,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week.
At least one lawmaker, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., thinks it’s outrageous that congressional offices can choose which staffers are exempt from the new rule, and that staffers will still have their coverage subsidized.
“These recent maneuverings inside the beltway are precisely why the American people rightly despise Congress,” Vitter wrote in a pair of letters to congressional leaders and President Obama on Wednesday. “OPM’s ‘solution,’ demanded by leading Members of Congress and crafted behind closed doors, is being viewed as an act of self-dealing special treatment – and rightly so.”
Vitter said that when Congress returns to Washington in September, he’ll be “fighting for a legislative fix” to require all congressmen and their staff — as well as administration officials — to purchase insurance on the exchanges without subsidies. Vitter writes that “no ordinary American at that income level buying on the Exchange would receive any government subsidy, much less one worth approximately $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a family, under the OPM rule for Congress only.”
However, if an entity like Congress joined a small-business exchange, it could determine how much to contribute to employees’ premiums and it could also get tax credits to cover that cost. People buying insurance in the individual market next year will also get subsidies for the exchange, if their income falls between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (and taking into account factors like family size). For an individual, 400 percent of the poverty level amounts to about $46,000 a year. The average salary for House staffers this year comes to around $58,000 a year, but as mentioned above, these staffers wouldn’t be purchasing insurance on the individual market.
In other words, the administrative fix proposed by the OPM wasn’t designed to give Congress a better Obamacare deal than regular Americans; it was meant to address the fact that the rule putting Congress and congressional staffers on the exchanges never properly fit into the scheme of Obamacare. The bottom line? Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the “Obamacare” health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago. They get a better deal than you do.
Picture of the UTAH DATA CENTER
Safe to say it’s been a rough couple of weeks for the NSA, and the latest information that has leaked certainly won’t help. This whistleblower isn’t new, he has actually been around since the Bush days, but his claims are getting a closer look now that we know the scope of the NSA snooping scandal.
His comments are chilling and include claims that a Supreme Court justice has been closely monitored for quite some time. Could a justice have been compromised?
According to TheBlaze:
Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.
“He’s been blowing whistles for a while,” Pat said. “This guy has been talking about the Bush administration spying for a long time, and he was with the ONI, the DIA, the NSA, the NCAA. I mean, he’s been everywhere. And so now, now his latest deal, he’s been saying this about Bush since I think 2005 and then he said that they retaliated against him but then he was speaking out in more specifics yesterday.”
Yesterday, Tice dropped this bomb:
“[The Bush administration] went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things – they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial.
But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people.”
The green energy loan racket’s biggest loss since Solyndra may come from a company that was bent on selling $100,000 luxury cars to people like Justin Bieber, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Al Gore.
The fact that hardworking taxpayers were forced to subsidize the Fisker Karma, a hybrid electric sports car catering to the super-wealthy, is a scandal in its own right. But such an expenditure is even more outrageous when you consider the administration’s insistence this week that sequester cuts forced it to slow the nation’s airports and air traffic control system to a crawl.
The FAA claimed it needed about $600 million in funding restored to prevent disruptions in aviation. Although Republicans repeatedly offered the administration the authority to make up for this shortfall with wasteful programs outside the FAA, the President has so far showed little interest, continuing to claim they can’t come up with the money needed to prevent the delays.
Yet the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats are apparently unconcerned about the $529 million loan they made Fisker, which is expected to declare bankruptcy.
The President’s spokesman and House Democrats brushed off questions about Fisker earlier this week. The company had a CCC+ credit rating when the Department of Energy (DOE) chose to lend it more than half a billion dollars. Now, it is likely that decision will cost taxpayers $171 million. The ultra-luxury electric car company will be the largest loss by the DOE loan program since Solyndra, the recipient of a $528 million government guarantee, went bankrupt in 2011.
The green energy loan guarantee program was a centerpiece of President Obama’s first-term agenda. He told us in virtually every speech that these types of “investments” would create jobs and drive an economic recovery.
The stimulus included billions of dollars for dozens of “green” jobs projects.
Yet just a few years later, the administration contends it doesn’t have the money to keep the air traffic control system running smoothly. If only the FAA had thought to affix solar panels to the control towers, maybe it could have applied for a DOE loan to keep itself going.
The administration argues government “investments” to companies like Fisker are necessary to drive development of new and revolutionary technologies. But Fisker wasn’t doing basic research; it was a commercial venture producing luxury vehicles, which had already raised more than a billion dollars of private capital. The federal loan guarantees did not enable any fundamentally new technology, and they weren’t necessary for Fisker to produce cars. What’s almost as bad as subsidizing electric cars for the super-wealthy is that the loan program appears to have been so mismanaged that the government continued to shell out money to Fisker long after it missed important milestones which were supposed to be conditions for further funding. Evidence introduced at the hearing on Wednesday showed the Department of Energy continued to bankroll Fisker for a year after it was warned the company wasn’t meeting these benchmarks, costing an extra $32 million the company should never have received. It appears Fisker was never able to produce a car that was really suitable for sale. Bruce Simon, the CEO of Omaha Steaks, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal this week describing his $100,000 Karma: “Mr. Simon says his car broke down four times over the span of a few months. Each time, Fisker Automotive Inc. picked it up and sent it by trailer from his home in Omaha, Neb., to a dealer in Minneapolis. “The Karma was ‘so vulnerable to software errors, and the parts used were of such poor quality that eventually I insisted they take the car back and return my purchase price, which they did,’ he says. ‘It’s a real shame, the car itself was beautiful.’”
Perhaps it is expenses like this that caused Fisker apparently to lose $557,000 on every car sold.
President Obama often speaks of the need for a “balanced approach” to reducing the deficit. But when his administration defends air traffic control disruptions and half-million-dollar electric lemons in the same week, you have to wonder about his sense of “balance.” Please share this story. These truths need to be shared with an unsuspecting electorate.
The Price of Gold in the Cold-Gold War
Darryl Robert Schoon
Posted Feb 17, 2013
The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was seen as the triumph of capitalism over communism. The 40-year cold war was over and the West had won. That perception, however, was as premature as it was misleading. The struggle of world powers wasn’t over. Today, the struggle continues in a far more fundamental venue; on capitalism’s home court in the arena of paper money.
The West, as Mao Tse-Tung once claimed, is not a paper tiger; unless, of course, you’re referring to its paper money.
In 1991, communism was, in fact, collapsing. But capitalism, unbeknownst to itself and others, was bankrupt after its costly decades-long struggle with communism. Today, the former communist super-powers, Russia and China, have re-emerged and are playing the high-hand of gold against England, the US and the West and their now vulnerable paper currencies.
England’s debt-based paper banknotes were the reason for the West’s three hundred year global hegemony. Because of its ability to wage war on credit and pass off its debt-based paper banknotes as money, England in the 18th and 19th centuries and, later, the US in the 20th achieved a level of world power not seen since the Roman Empire.
In the 1900s, Russia and China escaped the West’s capitalist dominion by adopting communism, an alternate economic paradigm, based on the theories of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin. Communism was, in fact, a potent and dysfunctional amalgam of untested theories, unfounded hopes and totalitarian state oppression.
Ostensibly offering a more equitable distribution of wealth than the banker’s paradigm of credit and debt, Marxism/Leninism was, in fact, a bloody and costly trap into which Russia and China would both fall in their attempts to escape the West’s economic and political domination.
The West’s attempts to subjugate Russia and China would, however, ultimately cost the West its foundation of economic and political power, i.e. the ability to pass off debt-based paper banknotes as money.
In capitalist economies, debt-based paper money possessed intrinsic value because it was convertible to gold upon demand. Gold, in fact, was capitalism’s ‘secret sauce’, the essential ingredient that transformed the bankers’ debt-based banknotes into something other than government-issued IOUs.
Since 1971, however, the West’s paper banknotes are no longer convertible to gold. This is because after WWII, the US, in its attempts to militarily subjugate Russia and China overspentits massive gold reserves, forcing it to end the gold-convertibility of the US dollar. As a result, all currencies in the world formerly tied to the US dollar and hence to gold became fiat, i.e. currencies who have value only because of government fiat, i.e. command.
After 1971, it was only a matter of time until the bankers’ debt-based paper banknotes – without the convertibility to gold – would become increasingly unstable and ultimately worthless; and, today, in 2013, the former has happened and the latter is underway.
The value of today’s paper money is determined solely by currency speculators placing leveraged bets in the hopes of achieving short-term gains. Once the gold-convertibility of paper money ended, modern currencies became paper coupons with expiration dates written in invisible ink.
Today, the West and its bankers are desperately hoping that no one will notice, hoping thereby to prevent a hyperinflationary collapse of paper money should confidence in fiat paper money evaporate.
Russia and China, however, are preparing for that very day. Russia and China are stockpiling gold as fast as they can in anticipation of a coming currency crisis triggered by the West’s increasingly suspect paper money.
For the former communist powers, Russia and China, it’s payback time; but for England and the US, it’s blowback time
Blowback, an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions Merriam-Webster dictionary
THE EAST IS GOLD WITH A RED TINGE
On February 6, 2013, in China Gold Imports from Hong Kong Climb to record on Wealth, Bloomberg New reported:
Exports of gold to Hong Kong from China more than tripled to 310,861 kilograms in 2012 from about 95,529 kilograms a year earlier, according to Bloomberg calculations. Shipments were 29,718 kilograms in December, up from 28,978 kilograms in November.
In the article, Bloomberg News also noted the growing relationship between China’s wealth and the ownership of gold:
China’s urban per capita disposable income rose 12.6 percent in nominal terms in 2012 to 24,565 yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Jan. 18. Per capital rural net income increased 13.5 percent in nominal terms, and 10.7 percent in real terms.
Not only is China buying record amounts of gold, Russia is buying even more. On February 11th in Putin Turns Black Gold Into Bullion as Russia Outbuys World, Bloomberg News reported that Russia’s President Putin is investing Russian’s oil income in gold bullion at a record rate: When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it…. His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. The added gold is also almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty.
China, the world’s number one producer of gold, and Russia, the world’s fourth largest producer, also no longer allow domestically-mined gold to be sold outside their countries. This means Russia and China are accumulating gold both by buying and mining it in record amounts.
GEOPOLITICS AND THE PRICE OF GOLD
Money and power are two sides of the same coin and both are at the center of today’s gold market. With growing demand for gold from both China and Russia, it would be assumed that prices should be rising as supplies of gold are becoming increasingly tight.
Sandeep Jaitly is the author of the Gold Basis Service, a subscription-only commentary on developments in the gold and silver bases and the ‘implications about future movements for prices’. In his February newsletter, Jaitly referred to an earlier statement from January 25th:
The bases/co-bases across all maturities for both gold and silver are falling/rising indicating substantial demand for physical bullion that is not being adequately accommodated. February gold has entered backwardation as of last week. As a consequence of the fall/rise in the bases/co-bases, volatility of bullion against fiat is likely to increase. The opportunity to exchange gold for silver should be taken if the gold/silver ratio rises substantially (above 55.)
Sandeep Jaitly’s observations about gold and silver have been remarkably consistent over the past year. Demand for both gold and silver have been constant while supplies of both metals have been pressured leading to indications that an upswing movement in prices can be expected and the accumulation of both metals is encouraged.
In the past year, however, gold and silver have not performed in accordance with such expectations. I believe this temporary anomaly is attributable to two factors: (1) the increasing determination of Western central and bullion banks to prevent another almost-vertical price movement in gold as happened in July/August of 2011 when gold rose 27% in only 60 days; and (2) the current Chinese strategy to purchase gold at the lowest price points possible.
On February 11th when gold collapsed to a low of $1642, Takoa de Silva of Bull Market Thinking asked a trader who runs a market-making desk in London’s gold market to explain the drop in gold.
Commenting on today’s collapse he said, “I’m not that worried about the sell-off today, it’s just the logical thing. I was surprised they waited so long [to take it down], because many opportunities to push it to that level existed before…and it finally happened, and that’s good for the market. This is actually a blessing. We are still not at the lows of January at $1625…but at the moment this is probably as far as it’s going to go [$1642]. There’s good support here.”
He further added that, “This is actually the typical reaction of the Chinese New Year, because the shorts, they know there will be no physical demand for a couple of days, there won’t be support there, and so they are smart. This is smart money just pushing it to the extremes. For me this is an opportunity to get something cheap in for the mid-term. But you can’t fight the trend at the moment in terms of what’s in the air for the Fed-speak etc., but the long-term money stays and sits.”
The statement, the opportunity to get something cheap describes China’s buying strategy perfectly. Both China and Russia want to buy the West’s gold at the lowest possible price and they will do so accordingly. All investors should do the same.
In my current youtube video, Bankers, England and Israel, I explain the role of England and bankers in the creation of the state of Israel. As stated previously, money and power are two sides of the same coin. The creation of the state of Israel is no exception.
Sandeep Jaitly’s observations about the gold and silver markets are correct. The accumulation of both metals is encouraged. Regarding the continuing struggle between gold and paper money, precious metal investors have already put their money where their beliefs are – and they should keep it there.
Buy gold, buy silver, have faith.
Darryl Robert Schoon
About Darryl Robert Schoon
In college, I majored in political science with a focus on East Asia (B.A. University of California at Davis, 1966). My in-depth study of economics did not occur until much later.
In the 1990s, I became curious about the Great Depression and in the course of my study, I realized that most of my preconceptions about money and the economy were just that – preconceptions. I, like most others, did not really understand the nature of money and the economy. Now, I have some insights and answers about these critical matters.
In October 2005, Marshall Thurber, a close friend from law school convened The Positive Deviant Network (the PDN), a group of individuals whom Marshall believed to be “out-of-the-box” thinkers and I was asked to join. The PDN became a major catalyst in my writings on economic issues.
When I discovered others in the PDN shared my concerns about the US economy, I began writing down my thoughts. In March 2007 I presented my findings to the Positive Deviant Network in the form of an in-depth 148-page analysis, “How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper In The Process.”
The reception to my presentation, though controversial, generated a significant amount of interest; and in May 2007, “How To Survive The Crisis And Prosper In The Process” was made available at www.survivethecrisis.com and I began writing articles on economic issues.
The interest in the book and my writings has been gratifying. During its first two months, www.survivethecrisis.com was accessed by over 10,000 viewers from 93 countries. Clearly, we had struck a chord and www.drschoon.com, has been created to address this interest.
Just as I was beginning to notice the high stock market numbers. The Market loses some exuberance last week. News out of Europe weighed on U.S. investors. Despite some selling pressure however, the rally rolled on as the S&P 500 edged to a five-year high. thats right you heard it. A five years high but the week ended with mixed signals, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.31%, the Dow losing 0.12%, and the Nasdaq gaining 0.46%.
Friday 2/8/13 showed very low volume as snowstorm Nemo pounded the Northeast and traders watched the clock, waiting for the final bell to ring so they could hustle home. Even so, a batch of encouraging economic data was enough to push the S&P 500 to its highest level since November 2007.
Reports showed that international trade in China and Germany has improved, and that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in December, indicating that global demand is improving. To the contrary, the December wholesale inventory report released earlier in the week showed a 0.1% decrease, which was significantly worse than expectations. This carries negative implications for the upcoming revised fourth quarter GDP growth report as the Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated inventory growth of 0.7% in their preliminary estimates.
Troubles in Europe drove most of the market action last week as downbeat European equities prompted selloffs in the U.S. Scandals have rocked European markets as regulators investigate several banks for trading irregularities as well as one of Greece’s leading statisticians, who has been charged with falsifying fiscal data. According to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, the Eurozone economy remained weak and contracted in the second and third quarters of 2012. Two quarters of negative growth meets the technical definition of a recession, and economists widely expect the malaise to continue into 2013. On the positive side, recent gains in European equities and a strong Euro show that investors have regained confidence in the Eurozone’s ability to clean up its mess. I wonder if economist can say the same about US markets.
Looking ahead, analysts will have a few January and February economic reports to chew on this week, which economists widely expect will show that the U.S. economy started off 2013 at a modest pace. January retail sales figures come out on Wednesday, and the preliminary February reading on consumer sentiment will be released Friday. Chinese markets will be closed all of this week in observance of the Chinese New Year, so attention will be focused on European and domestic headlines. While there is no way to know what will happen with the rally this winter we’ve been enjoying, my primary hope is that the fundamentals will continue to show improvement in the worldwide economy. Given the state of our US economy and how deficit spending doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. I suspect the trillions of dollars keeping us in the red will wreak nothing but more bad news for Americans.