The Reformation of the Reformation

“In an article from the Guardian in 2014 a case against the Catholic Church was presented.  It talked about one specific priest who was convicted of genocide for his role in the massacre of the Tutsi.  But the article when on to state:

“It’s not an isolated case. After the genocide, a network of clergy and church organisations brought priests and nuns with blood on their hands in Rwanda to Europe and sheltered them. They included Father Athanase Seromba who ordered the bulldozing of his church with 2,000 Tutsis inside and had the survivors shot. Catholic monks helped him get to Italy, change his name and become a parish priest in Florence.”

“After Seromba was exposed, the international tribunal’s chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, accused the Vatican of obstructing his extradition to face trial. The Holy See told her the priest was “doing good works” in Italy. Another Rwanda priest taken on in Italy is facing charges of overseeing the massacre of disabled Tutsi children.

“The Vatican’s reluctance to confront the murderers in its midst is rooted in its refusal to face up to the church’s complicity in mass murder. But as Rwanda marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide, the time has come for Pope Francis to follow his own lead on paedophile priests and apologise for the part played by the clergy in turning churches into extermination centres. The Vatican should accompany a plea for forgiveness with a calling to account of priests complicit in the killing.”

There’s even more when one does a simple search.  The case against the Church and its involvement and support of the Rwandan massacre is so extensive that they had to force an apology in early 2017.  Most mainstream articles go out of their way to explain how there were no clear lines dividing the Tutsi and Hutu along Catholic or Protestant divisions.  This is false and propaganda meant to keep the truth hidden from us.”

  • From JC Collins

Tooth-Fairy Economics Triumphs in GOP Tax-Cut Plan

Absent spending reductions, the burden on taxpayers isn’t alleviated

Getty Images

“The approval process for the biggest Tax Cut & Tax Reform package in the history of our country will soon begin,” President Donald Trump recently announced via Twitter. “Move fast Congress!”

Accordingly, Senate Republicans are planning a 10-year budget that would include $1.5 trillion worth of tax reductions, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

At the same time, nothing has been said about spending cuts. On the contrary, the president’s Office of Management and Budget anticipates that, over the next five years, federal outlays in constant dollars will rise.

This inspires a question once posed by the late free-market economist Milton Friedman: “When is a tax cut not a tax cut?” His answer: when it is accompanied by a larger rise in government spending. “The real cost of government,” Friedman explained, “is measured by what government spends, not by the receipts labeled taxes. The goods and services it buys are not available for other use.”

Why are taxes only part of the real tax burden? “Suppose,” continued Friedman, “government spends $400 billion and raises $350 billion in funds labeled taxes. Who do you suppose pays for the $50 billion difference? The tooth fairy? Hardly. You do.”

Friedman wrote these words in 1977. Forty years later, Senate Republicans still seem to believe in tooth-fairy economics. One reason is that it’s far more expedient politically to reduce taxes than it is to slash spending. But if such craven behavior by our leaders posed a problem in 1977, when the federal debt accounted for 27.1% of gross domestic product, it poses a much bigger threat in 2017, with the figure at 76.7% and still climbing.

WE CAN, HOWEVER, GIVE GROUND in one respect. A tax cut also isn’t really a tax cut in the rare case in which it won’t lead to a loss of revenue. A plausible argument for such revenue neutrality can be made about one key part of Trump’s plan: a reduction in the top federal rate on corporate profits from the current 35% to around 20%. The need for a decline in spending is still paramount. But if there is revenue neutrality, then there is no reason to object, particularly if the cut might help grow the economy.

The idea of a revenue-neutral reduction requires a nod to economist Arthur Laffer. His “Laffer Curve” made the intuitively obvious point that, say, a 15-percentage-point hike in taxes will likely generate less than 15% more in revenue, while a 15-point reduction will likely lose less than 15%, once all behavioral changes are accounted for. In the special case of the corporate income tax, over 10 years, this cut might even bring a net gain in revenue.

TO BEGIN WITH, if a corporation nets more earnings as a result of a lower tax, the extra profits aren’t completely lost to the tax collector, but become taxable salaries, dividends, and capital gains. Also, U.S. corporate tax rates are among the world’s highest, as was confirmed in a study (“International Comparisons of Corporate Income tax Rates”) released in March by the Congressional Budget Office. Slashing the rate would therefore dramatically reduce corporate flight to low-tax countries.

There would also be windfall revenue from a one-time “amnesty rate” to induce repatriation of the estimated $2 trillion in profits that U.S. corporations are keeping offshore. Then, too, with funds freed up from the tax collector, there could a long-term increase in capital investment, which would generate more for the Treasury.

But other likely features of the Senate Republicans’ tax-reduction plan, especially cuts in individual income taxes, are revenue losers, although politically attractive. The Laffer Curve also applies—lost revenue will be proportionately less than static analysis indicates—but no one can plausibly argue that the reaction will be at all comparable to a cut in the corporate income tax. As outlays climb, the debt will continue to soar, and taxpayers, not the tooth fairy, will bear the cost.

Trump’s recent tweet already makes one nostalgic for the time he was running for office. Speaking of the “waste, fraud, and abuse” in federal spending, the candidate vowed, “We will cut so much, your head will spin.” So far, alas, there’s been more spin than substance in that promise.

US Debt Hits $20 Trillion

September 12, 2017

Sovereign Valley, Chile

Late yesterday afternoon the federal government of the United States announced that the national debt had finally breached the inevitable $20 trillion mark.

This was a long time coming. It should have happened back in March, except that a new debt ceiling was put in place, freezing the national debt.

For the last six months it was essentially illegal for the government to increase the debt.

This is pretty brutal for Uncle Sam. The US government hasn’t run a budget surplus in two decades; they depend on debt in order to keep everything running.

And without the ability to ‘officially’ borrow money, they’ve basically spent the last six months ‘unofficially’ borrowing money by plundering federal pension funds and resorting to what the Treasury Department itself calls “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running.

Late last week the debt ceiling crisis came to a temporary armistice as the government agreed once again to temporarily suspend the debt limit.

Overnight, the national debt soared hundreds of billions of dollars as months of ‘unofficial’ borrowing made its way on to the official books.

The national debt is now $20.1 trillion. That’s larger than the size of the entire US economy.

You’d think this would be front page news with warnings being shouted from the rooftops of America.

Yet curiously the story has scarcely been covered.

Today’s front page of the New York Times tells us about Hurricane Irma, North Korea, and alcoholism in Iran.

Even the Wall Street Journal’s front page has zero mention of this story.

In fairness, the number itself is irrelevant. $20 trillion is merely a big, round, psychologically significant number… but in reality no more important than $19.999 trillion.

The real story isn’t the number or the size of the debt itself. It’s the trend. And it’s not good.

Year after year after year, the US government spends far more money than it collects in tax revenue.

According to the Treasury Department’s own figures, the government’s budget deficit for the first 10 months of this fiscal year (i.e. October 2016 through July 2017) was $566 billion.

That’s larger than the entire GDP of Argentina.

Since the government has to borrow the difference, all of this overspending ultimately translates into a higher national debt.

Make no mistake, debt is an absolute killer.

History is full of examples of once-dominant civilizations crumbling under the weight of their rapidly-expanding debt, from the Ottoman Empire to the French monarchy in the 1700s.

Or as former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers used to quip, “How long can the world’s biggest borrower remain the world’s biggest power?”

It’s hard to project strength around the world when you constantly have to borrow money from the Chinese… or have your central bank conjure paper money out of thin air.

And yet tackling the debt has become nearly an impossibility.

Just look at the top four line items in the US government’s budget: Social Security, Medicare, Military, and, sadly, interest on the debt.

Those four line items alone account for nearly NINETY PERCENT of all US government spending.

Cutting Social Security or Medicare entitlements is political suicide.

Not to mention, both of those programs are actually EXPANDING as 10,000 Baby Boomers join the ranks of Social Security recipients every single day.

Then there’s military spending, which hardly seems likely to fall significantly in an age of constant threats and warfare.

The current White House proposal, in fact, is a 10% increase in military spending for the next fiscal year.

And last there’s interest on the debt, which absolutely cannot be cut without risking the most severe global financial meltdown ever seen in modern history.

So that’s basically 90% of the federal budget that’s here to stay… meaning there’s almost no chance they’re going to be able to reduce the debt by cutting spending.

But perhaps it’s possible they can slash the national debt by growing tax revenue?

Possible. But unlikely.

Since the end of World War II, the US governments’ overall tax revenue has been VERY steady at roughly 17% of GDP.

You could think of this as the federal government’s ‘slice’ of the economic pie.

Tax rates go up and down. Presidents come and go. But the government’s slice of the pie almost always remains the same 17% of GDP, with very small variations.

With data this strong, it seems rather obvious that the solution is to allow the economy to grow unrestrained.

If the economy grows rapidly, tax revenue will increase. And the national debt, at least as a percentage of GDP, will start to fall.

Here’s the problem: the national debt is growing MUCH faster than the US economy. In Fiscal Year 2016, for example, the debt grew by 7.84%.

Yet even when including the ‘benefits’ of inflation, the US economy only grew by 2.4% over the same period.

In other words, the debt is growing over THREE TIMES FASTER than the economy. This is the opposite of what needs to be happening.

What’s even more disturbing is that this pedestrian economic growth is happening at a time of record low interest rates.

Economists tell us that low interest rates are supposed to jumpstart GDP growth. But that’s not happening.

If GDP growth is this low now, what will happen if they continue to raise rates?

(And by the way, raising interest rates also has the side effect of increasing the government’s interest expense, essentially accelerating the debt problem.)

Look– It’s great to be optimistic and hope for the best. But this problem isn’t going away, and it would be ludicrous to continue believing this massive debt is consequence-free.

There’s no reason to panic or be alarmist.

But it’s clearly time for rational people to consider this obvious data… and start thinking about a Plan B.

To your freedom,

Simon Black

Founder, SovereignMan.com

North Korea as a Puppet State

Excerpt: It’s a connection for sure, as SafetyFishnet suggested. But there would need to be much more concrete evidence to get the mass of Western people to wake up to the truth about the Anglo-American establishment, its attempts to hijack the transformation of the international monetary system (as they did during Bretton Woods in 1944), and the ongoing strategy of containment and manipulation of the Eurasian continent.

https://philosophyofmetrics.com/north-korea-and-the-anglo-american-establishment/#comment-20290

Temptations of the Venus Antichrist

Just like sugar and soybeans are the favorite meal of the 666 Antichrist, coffee is her favorite beverage: because coffee destroys the soul as no other beverage.  That’s why the 666-day cycle has dominated coffee, soybeans and sugar prices since the 1970s.  It is no surprise that coffee has very high correlation: with sugar (correlation r=90%).  My teacher David Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., cooperated with the vitamin C guru and Nobel laureate Linus Pauling.  For a long time Hawkins was running the biggest psychiatric office in the US: solely a sugar ban cured most depressions among his patients. The temptation of the Venus Antichrist is always sweet and seductive. The boss of the do-gooders is the transgender prototype: she is a female being but as a deception she appears male.  – newsletter