US neocons are up in arms that the North Koreans showed up to the Olympics in South Korea with smiles on their faces. Vice President Mike Pence spent his time frowning, concerned that Americans may relax their two minutes of hate directed at North Korea. What's so bad about the Koreas working out their own problems?
By Ron Paul
In addition to funding for a border wall and other border security measures, immigration hardliners are sure to push to include mandatory E-Verify in any immigration legislation considered by Congress. E-Verify is a (currently) voluntary program where businesses check job applicants’ Social Security numbers and other Information — potentially including “biometric” identifiers like fingerprints — against information stored in a federal database to determine if the job applicants are legally in the United States.
Imagine how much time would be diverted from serving consumers and growing the economy if every US business had to comply with E-Verify. Also, collecting the relevant information and operating the mandatory E-Verify system will prove costly to taxpayers.
Millions of Americans could be denied jobs because E-Verify mistakenly identifies them as illegal immigrants. These Americans would be forced to go through a costly and time-consuming process to force the government to correct its mistake. It is doubtful employers could afford to keep jobs open while potential hires went through this process.
A federal database with Social Security numbers and other identifying information is an identify thief’s dream. Given the federal government’s poor track record for protecting personal information, is there any doubt mandatory E-Verify would put millions of Americans at risk for identity theft?
Some supporters of E-Verify deny the program poses any threat to civil liberties, as it will only be used to verify citizenship or legal residency. They even claim a system forcing individuals to have their identities certified by the government is not a national ID system. These individuals are ignoring the history of government programs sold as only affecting a particular group or being used for a limited purpose being expanded beyond initial targets. For example, Americans were promised that only the wealthiest Americans would ever pay income taxes. And some of the PATRIOT Act’s worst provisions that we were told would only be used against terrorists are routinely used to investigate drug crimes.
E-Verify almost certainly will be used for purposes unrelated to immigration. One potential use of E-Verify is to limit the job prospects of anyone whose lifestyle displeases the government. This could include those accused of failing to pay their fair share in taxes, those who homeschool or do not vaccinate their children, or those who own firearms.
Unscrupulous government officials could use E-Verify against those who practice antiwar, anti-tax, anti-surveillance, and anti-Federal Reserve activism. Those who consider this unlikely should remember the long history of the IRS targeting the political enemies of those in power and the use of anti-terrorism laws to harass antiwar activists. They should also consider the current moves to outlaw certain types of “politically incorrect” speech, such as disputing the alleged “consensus” regarding climate change.
Claiming that mandatory E-Verify is necessary to stop illegal immigration does not make it constitutional. Furthermore, having to ask the federal government for permission before obtaining a job is a characteristic of authoritarian societies, not free ones. History shows that mandatory E-Verify’s use will expand beyond immigration enforcement and could be used as a tool of political repression. All those who value liberty should oppose mandatory E-Verify.
By Simon Black
Less than two weeks ago, the United States Department of Treasury very quietly released its own internal projections for the federal government’s budget deficits over the next several years.
And the numbers are pretty gruesome.
In order to plug the gaps from its soaring deficits, the Treasury Department expects to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year.
Then nearly $1.1 trillion next fiscal year.
And up to $1.3 trillion the year after that.
This means that the national debt will exceed $25 trillion by September 30, 2020.
Remember, this isn’t some wild conspiracy theory. These are official government projections published by the United States Department of Treasury.
This story alone is monumental– not only does the US owe, by far, the greatest amount of debt ever accumulated by a single nation in human history, but $25 trillion is larger than the debts of every other nation in the world combined.
But there are other themes at work here that are even more important.
For example– how is it remotely possible that the federal government can burn through $1 trillion?
Everything is supposedly totally awesome in the United States. The economy is strong, unemployment is low, tax revenue is at record levels.
It’s not like they had to fight a major two front war, save the financial system from an epic crisis, or battle a severe economic depression.
It’s just been business as usual. Nothing really out of the ordinary.
And yet they’re still losing trillions of dollars.
This is pretty scary when you think about it. What’s going to happen to the US federal deficit when there actually IS a financial crisis or major recession?
And none of those possibilities are factored into their projections.
The largest problem of all, though, is that the federal government is going to have a much more difficult time borrowing the money.
For the past several years, the government has always been able to rely on the usual suspects to loan them money and buy up all the debt, namely– the Federal Reserve, the Chinese, and the Japanese.
Those three alone have loaned trillions of dollars to the US government since the end of the financial crisis.
The Federal Reserve in particular, through its “Quantitative Easing” programs, was on an all-out binge, buying up every long-dated Treasury Bond it could find, like some sort of junkie debt addict.
And both Chinese and Japanese holdings of US government debt now exceed $1 trillion each, more than double what they were before the 2008 crisis.
But now each of those three lenders is out of the game.
The Federal Reserve has formally ended its Quantitative Easing program. In other words, the Fed has said it will no longer conjure money out of thin air to buy US government debt.
The Chinese government said point blank last month that they were ‘rethinking’ their position on US government debt.
And the Japanese have their own problems at home to deal with; they need to scrap together every penny they can find to dump into their own economy.
Official data from the US Treasury Department illustrates this point– both China and Japan have slightly reduced their holdings of US government debt since last summer.
Bottom line, all three of the US government’s biggest lenders are no longer buyers of US debt.
There’s a pretty obvious conclusion here: interest rates have to rise.
Read the rest at Sovereign Man
Just when it seemed the war in Syria might be winding down, it heats back up. First a Russian plane is shot down, then an Israeli plane is shot down after completing a bombing run on Syrian territory. Meanwhile the US continues occupying parts of northeast Syria with no legal basis in US or international law...
By Liberty Report Staff
Someday, when Republicans control the Presidency, the Senate and the House, we'll get that "limited government."
Ron Paul talks to Varney below:
It’s hard to tell which is worse, Republicans and Democrats doing the opposite of what they “campaign on,” or voters always falling for it. Democrats are usually anti-war when out of power, then drop bombs like Republicans when in power. Republicans are anti-spending and debt when out of power, and then they spend like Democrats when in power. Ron Paul discusses this all-too-familiar script.
For some reason the Sen. Grassley Memo released earlier this week is being largely ignored by the media. In fact the memo not only confirms what we learned in the Nunes FISA Memo, but it adds several fascinating layers to the story of who was meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election. Former CIA officer Phil Giraldi joins today's show to discuss the operatives behind the scenes...
By Tyler Durden
The US consumer closed out 2017 with a credit bang.
While we reported last month that in November US credit card debt had just surpassed the previous all time high hit in July 2008 just before all hell broke loose when Lehman filed for bankruptcy two months later, there was a slight chance that in December this number had declined after the record surge in November credit-funded spending (which was just revised from $28BN to $31BN).
Well, that did not happen, and while December total consumer credit increased by less than the expected $20BN, it was still an impressive $18.45BN, of which $5.1billion was credit card debt and $13.3 billion non-revolving - or student and auto - loans.
More importantly, with the latest $5.1 billion increase in revolving, or credit card, debt the total is now $1.027.9 trillion, the highest number on record.
Meanwhile, non-revolving credit which with the exception of one definition change month, has never gone down, also hit a new all time high of $2.813 trillion, a monthly increase of $13.34 billion.
What about its components? Well, with everything else going for record highs, we doubt it will be a surprise to anyone that both student debt and auto loans hit a new all time high in the quarter ending December 2017, with $1.491 trillion for the former, and $1.11 trillion for the latter.
So for anyone still wondering why the US economy closed 2017 with an upward GDP burst, here is your answer. The problem is that with the personal savings rate just shy of all time lows...
... and with US consumers deep in the red on their household debt, just what will keep the US economic expansion going from this point on is far less clear, especially if the stock market has now peaked, as recent events suggest.
This article was originally published at ZeroHedge.
There is a new push for US and allied intervention in Syria. There is a vast propaganda network of NGOs pushing cooked up documentaries and providing "expert" witnesses all aimed to mobilize opinion in favor of a renewed war on the Syrian government. The White Helmets are a key part of this propaganda campaign. Syria expert Vanessa Beeley joins the Liberty Report to debunk their lies...
By Adam Dick
The Trump administration “is using much the same playbook to create a false choice that war is the only way to address the challenges presented by Iran” as the George W. Bush administration used to gain support for the Iraq War. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson presents this argument, along with abundant supporting evidence, in a Monday New York Times editorial.
Wilkerson should know. In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Wilkerson was chief of staff for United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose United Nations presentation regarding Iraq Wilkerson, at the beginning of the editorial, credits with boosting support among Americans for a war against Iraq.
Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Academic Board member, has frequently disparaged that effort to build up support for the Iraq War. Indeed, in the editorial he laments that “[t]hat effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.”
The consequences of a war with Iran would also be dire. Addressing some of those consequences in his editorial, Wilkerson predicts that “this war with Iran — a country of almost 80 million people, whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain makes it a far greater challenge than Iraq — would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.”
Read Wilkerson’s editorial here.