American Elephants

Quantitative Easing by The Elephant's Child

What? You cannot explain ‘quantitative easing’— that mysterious thing Mr. Bernanke is doing at the Federal Reserve? Here you go.

CBO: Obama’s Stimulus Gets an “F.” by The Elephant's Child

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

Full Title: An act making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, State and local fiscal stabilization for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009 and for other purposes.
Enacted by 111th Congress         …………………….  Effective: February 17, 2009

Better Known as “The Stimulus”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its quarterly report on Feb. 22 on the impact of ARRA from October 2012 through December 2012, as required by law. CBO estimates that ARRA will increase budget deficits by about $830 billion over the period. Close to half that impact occurred in fiscal year 2010 and more than 90 percent of ARRA’s budgetary impact was realized by the end of December 2012.

In the long run, ARRA will reduce output slightly in the long run, by between zero and 0.2 percent after 2016, CBO estimates. ARRA’s long run impact on the economy will come primarily from the resulting increase in government debt. To the extent that people hold their wealth in government securities rather than in a form that can be used to finance private investment, the increased debt tends to reduce the stock of productive private capital. In the long run, each dollar of additional debt crowds out about a third of a dollar’s worth of private domestic capital, CBO estimates.

To translate, when the government borrows, it is selling debt (government bonds). The money that goes into financing the debt is unavailable for private investment. In the long run, each dollar of additional debt crowds out about a third of a dollar’s worth of private domestic capital.

Over the long term, the output of the economy depends on the stock of productive capital, the labor supply, and productivity. The less productive capital there is as a result of lower private investment, the smaller will be the nation’s output over the long term.

To grow the economy, you need private spending, not government spending.

The lasting effect of the $878 billion stimulus which has been 90% spent, compared with what would have occurred otherwise, CBO estimates:

  • Real, inflation-adjusted, gross domestic product raised by between 0.1 percent and 0.6 percent.
  • Unemployment rate lowered by between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent.
  • Number of employed increased by between 0.1 million and 0.8 million.
  • Number of full-time-equivalent jobs by 0.1 million to 0.8 million.

After four years and almost a trillion dollars in stimulus payments, all we have to show for it is 113,691 full time equivalent jobs, $16 trillion in debt that will never be repaid, 7.9% unemployment (14.9% real unemployment), negative GDP, and continuing record deficits.

Wasted billions. Ongoing false rhetoric. No 3.5 million jobs created or saved. False hope. Continued fierce demand to spend  more, lots more, to little effect.

You Came to the Wrong Neighborhood, Humans by The Elephant's Child
February 24, 2013, 6:56 pm
Filed under: Freedom, Humor, Terrorism | Tags: , ,

Note: Don’t expect animals to have good human manners. Llamas spit, Bison are dangerous large animals. I don’t know about that cow.

Al-Qaeda’s Strategy of “A Thousand Cuts” by The Elephant's Child

………………………………………………………………………………...Photo: GETTY

This is a story from last fall, found on a link from a story about drones. The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service claimed that a  series of forest fires across Europe were set as a part of a new al Qaeda strategy of  a “thousand cuts.” Alexander Bortnikov said that setting fires in the countries of the European Union is part of the terrorist group’s low-cost attack strategy.

This method allows (al Qaeda) to inflict significant economic and moral damage without serious preliminary preparations, technical equipment or significant expenses.

In linking al-Qaeda to the deadly wildfires, Mr Bortnikov pointed to calls to launch a “forest jihad” by various extremist websites which he said also publish detailed instructions about how and where to best carry out arson.

He said it was very difficult for special services to find and prosecute such arsonists.

Deadly fires have swept through forest land in EU countries such as Portugal and Spain over the past few months, killing scores of people and forcing thousands to evacuate.

In September, a forest fire in the Spanish region of Valencia forced authorities to evacuate around 2,000 people from their homes. More than 184,000 hectares of land in Spain alone were destroyed by fires between January 1 and September 16, according to the Spanish agriculture ministry — the highest amount in a decade.

Although the Obama administration has insisted that al Qaeda has been decimated, they were alive and well in Benghazi and elsewhere.  In its continuing terror attack against the West, al Qaeda has vowed to “bleed the enemy to death” by resorting to inexpensive, low-scale attacks which it refers to as a “strategy of a thousand cuts.”

Last year, David Petraeus , as director of the CIA said that while al Qaeda had been weakened by the death of Osama bin Laden, the organization remained a significant threat to the U.S. because of their willingness to work through these smaller-scale attacks. Our drone attacks are clearly an excellent tool for al Qaeda recruitment. Americans approve of drone strikes which prevent harm to our military. Other countries are not favorably disposed.

During the Great Depression, there were large numbers of forest fires in the West, many suspected to be arson-caused. Unemployment was very high, and pay for firefighters was well above average. I hope somebody is monitoring those extremist websites. In case you didn’t have enough to worry about.PORTUGAL FIRE IN TABUA
……………………………………………………Photo: EPA/NUNO Andre Ferreira
In Portugal, firefighters are apparently called “Bombieros” — what a splendid name for very hard and dangerous work.


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