What The Hell is Going On? Part III
In Part I and Part II of this article I revealed how the Deep State's fake data and fake news propaganda machine can be overcome by opening your eyes, observing reality, understanding how Fed created inflation has destroyed our lives, and why the election of Trump was the initial deplorable pushback to Deep State evil.
"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair." - H.L. Mencken
"This new regime will enthrone itself for the duration of the Crisis. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Regardless of its ideology, that new leadership will assert public authority and demand private sacrifice. Where leaders had once been inclined to alleviate societal pressures, they will now aggravate them to command the nation's attention. The regeneracy will be solidly under way." - The Fourth Turning - Strauss & Howe
We are now seven weeks into the Trump presidency and it seems like seven years with amount of incidents that have occurred before and since his inauguration. When in doubt, Trump's brain dead, hyperventilating with hate, opponents either blame the Russians or declare him Hitler. The histrionics displayed by the low IQ hypocritical Hollywood elite, corrupt Democratic politicians, fake news liberal media and Soros paid left wing radical terrorists over the last two months has been disgraceful, revolting, childish, and dangerous.
A counter-revolution by the gun owning normal people in the 85% red area of the country that voted for Trump would not be a pleasant experience for the paid protesters, vagina hat wearing feminazis, and the safe space anti-free speech lefties on campuses across the land.
I must admit I love Trump's pugnacious style. I love how he treats the despicable corporate media. I love how he responds to baseless accusations by his contemptible opponents on the left and right. The representatives of the Deep State - Schumer, Pelosi, Obama, McCain, Graham, Kristol, CNN, NYT, Washington Post, MSNBC, Soros, and anyone else willing to confront Trump are met with disdain, contempt, and abuse from the president. I love that he continues to go on the road and hold rallies with the people who elected him. I love how he demoralized his opponents by giving one of the best State of the Union speeches in history.
I love how he put his opponents back on their heels by accusing Obama of wire-tapping Trump Tower. No punch is taken without two being thrown. He will never conform to the way the liberal corporate media and his opponents want him to behave. Twitter is the dagger he uses to avoid the fake news media filter and plunge into his opponents hearts. The faux journalists despise his use of Twitter. When you see the violence beginning to break out between Trump haters and Trump supporters, and read stories about Obama leading an insurgency to undermine Trump's presidency, every normal person must be prepared to do whatever necessary to support his radical agenda of draining the swamp.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken
The fake news media scoffed when Trump declared what an awful economic mess Obama had left after eight years of a debt fueled Keynesian failure of epic proportions. These fake journalists are good at looking stylish, speaking in serious tones, and reading false narratives written for them by their corporate bosses, but impartially assessing our economic situation is beyond their pea brain comprehension.
The eye opening chart below shows you how far we've come since 2000, or how far we've fallen, depending on your point of view. It looks to me like Trump has been handed a bucket of shit by his egotistical sociopathic boastful predecessor. Obama can now concentrate on his true passions - his NCAA pool and golf - while Trump is left to try and clean up a $20 trillion mess.
The Bush and Obama administrations frittered away any chance for a sustainable long-term economic paradigm by fighting unnecessary wars of choice, expanding unfunded entitlements, and allowing Wall Street and their Federal Reserve puppets to fraudulently pillage the nation's wealth. Trump has been left with a debt saturated stagnant economy with rising interest rates and declining corporate profits. This is where reality meets slogans like Make America Great Again.
This is where understanding what happens during Fourth Turnings keeps you focused on what is likely to happen, not what you wish to happen. Slogans and false hope don't fly during Fourth Turnings. My natural skepticism kicks in when politicians, including Trump, make promises that are mathematically impossible.
I know we are less than two months into his presidency and no legislation has actually been submitted, let alone passed, but impartially assessing his wish list of economic priorities makes me uneasy. I'm not hubristic enough to declare his presidency a failure already, like Karl Denninger, Paul Craig Roberts and some other blowhards. Judging a man before he's actually done anything tells me more about the judger rather than the man being judged.
He has certainly made some questionable cabinet choices and the number of senior advisors with ties to the Vampire Squid on the Face of America (aka Goldman Sachs) is worrisome. But whenever my doubts about Trump's agenda begin to surface, I immediately picture the crooked globalist Deep State tool Hillary Clinton making the State of the Union speech last week. And all is well with the world again. My mental funk would be a full blown suicide watch level depression if Crooked Hillary was running the show.
But that isn't going to keep me from pointing out the mathematically provable impact of his plans on the budget. We already have a $20 trillion national debt, with 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 years old every day for the next decade. Annual deficits are already on automatic pilot to reach $1 trillion over the next few years. This is reality. Slogans won't change it. Hope won't change it. Delusional optimism by consumers won't change it. With this backdrop, Trump has proposed the following economic initiatives:
- He's vowed to not touch entitlements, even though they account for 50% of current spending and will grow to 60% over the next ten years.
- He's vowed to rebuild the military, with 50,000 more soldiers and upgrades to fighting hardware, at a cost north of $50 billion.
- He's floated the idea of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.
- The border wall will cost between $15 and $25 billion.
- His tax reduction plans will add between $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion, after accounting for increased growth, over the next decade.
- His much discussed tariffs on foreign produced goods may result in jobs staying in America, but will surely result in higher prices for people buying those goods. Whether this will be a net positive or net negative is open to debate.
- With inflation beginning to accelerate, interest rates will rise. A 1% rise across the yield curve would result in an additional $200 billion per year in interest, a 50% increase from the current level of $400 billion.
Discretionary spending only accounts for 15% of the entire budget. There isn't savings anywhere near the level of spending increases baked into the budget, let alone Trump's new grand spending plans. If Trump gets everything he has proposed, without touching entitlements, he would depart in eight years with a $30 trillion national debt and an entitlement crisis just over the horizon. Of course, the likelihood of reaching $30 trillion in debt without triggering a global financial catastrophe beforehand is about as likely as Trump making a sobbing apology to Obama for accusing him of wiretapping Trump Tower.
As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am less sure about just about everything, as time goes on. Every day I see pronouncements from people I respect like David Stockman, Chris Martenson, Peter Schiff, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and many others predicting a great crash in the immediate future. They will be right eventually, but they've been saying the same thing for the last five years. I agree with their reasoning, but I've given up on predicting the timing. They all have one thing in common - their living depends on you buying their newsletters and books. Certainty about looming disaster sells. Since my living doesn't depend on selling anything, I'm comfortable pondering possibilities and trying to understand how the mood of the country will ultimately propel the unfolding events of this Fourth Turning.
Trump has been referencing the 16% rise in the Dow since his election as proof his proposed economic policies will create millions of jobs, 4% GDP growth, and a new economic boom. That seems a little bit disingenuous, as during the debates and on the campaign trail he said the stock market was a giant bubble. He said the Fed had created multiple bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate with their QE and ZIRP "Make Bankers Rich Again" schemes. Of course, he was right.
His honesty was refreshing. When an extremely overvalued market rises another 16% over a four month period, one might ponder whether we've got a blow-off top in progress. Certainly the brainless spokesmodels on CNBC or the bevy of Bloomberg stock shills paraded on camera to bloviate about why this seven year Fed induced bull market is just getting started, will not be telling Joe Sucker to sell.
Any honest financial analyst, who has taken a Statistics course in college, knows whenever something is 2 standard deviations beyond the mean you have a rarely occurring extreme outcome. In fact, the average stock has only been more overvalued one time in stock market history - 2001. Since that market overvaluation was solely driven by dot.com stocks, median stock valuations today are even higher than 2001. This isn't opinion or survey data.
Doug Short and John Hussman have used impartial valuation metrics which have been accurate for over 100 years. These valuation levels are 160% above historical norms and imply a market crash of 50% to 60%, which would only bring the market back to historical averages. I wonder how many Boomers and GenXers could survive the third stock market bust in the last seventeen years.
The cock sure Wall Street analysts are as smug about this market as they were in 2000 and 2007. They scoff at the possibility of a 50% crash even though the market crashed by 45% in 2000/2001 and plummeted by 51% over a sixteen month period in 2008/2009. As usual, there are a myriad of ridiculous rationales for why it's different this time. There will always be absurd justifications for outlandish valuations made by those whose paychecks depend on the greater fool theory.
John Hussman, Doug Short, Robert Schiller, and dozens of other rational thinking, honest, data oriented people are right. But that doesn't mean the market won't go up another 20% before the inevitable collapse. I have no idea when it will happen, but it will happen. Considering we are in year nine of a twenty year or so Fourth Turning, with the worst part yet to come, I'd venture a guess we will see the next financial crisis during Trump's first term.
The nattering nabobs of nonsense at the Fed and in the financial mainstream press insist their monetary machinations over the last eight years have not created inflation. They clearly believe in the theory of the bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed by a math challenged, technologically distracted, normalcy bias ridden populace. Anyone who thinks the $3.5 trillion of QE money was to help the people on Main Street is either a government bootlicker or an establishment crony paid to spread false propaganda. In addition to the BLS under-reporting inflation by 100%, the Fed's monetary inflation was pumped straight into the veins of the monetary drug addict Wall Street banks.
While Main Street wages declined and senior citizens have gotten minuscule increases in their life sustaining Social Security payments, the Wall Street bankers, who committed the greatest control fraud in world history, have gotten record bonuses and the freedom to fake their profits through legal accounting fraud (mark to fantasy).
The purpose of TARP, QE and ZIRP has been to sustain, enrich, and keep in power a ruling class of sociopaths hell bent on pillaging the last vestiges of global wealth from unsuspecting citizens. Jamie Dimon believes everything done by the Fed and Treasury has been wonderful, as he plays tennis in his $5 million opulent NYC penthouse suite. Meanwhile, your granny has to decide between her overpriced heart medication or groceries driven higher by the Fed generated inflation.
I don't know when the center will give way. I don't know when the stock market will crash. I don't know when the Federal's Reserve and other central banks' shamefully reckless and illegal monetary machinations will blow up the world. I don't know whether Trump will succeed or fail in his quest to drain the swamp. I don't know whether the Deep State forces will take him out. I don't know whether a civil war is on the horizon. I don't know whether a global military conflict is in the offing. I don't know when this greater depression will be revealed in all its glory to the millions of people with their heads up their asses in denial about reality. But, I do know whatever happens during the remainder of this Fourth Turning will be driven by debt, global disorder and civic decay, just as it has from the beginning.
I don't know what the hell is going on. And more often than not, I don't care anymore. I'm tired of howling at the moon, with no result. Life gets put into perspective when a family member is struck with a totally random health issue and you have to see them suffer through treatments that make them sicker than the actual condition. I know times are going to get much tougher. I have no misconceptions Trump can somehow reverse the course of the US Titanic after it has struck the iceberg of debt.
I believe what's wrong with this country is unfixable. I think Trump's legacy will be the tearing down of the corrupt, decrepit, self-serving, evil status quo. His in your face, no holds barred style so angers the established social order; they come out of the shadows to fight him. The sinister intelligence services and Soros/Obama left wing terrorists are being revealed as the true enemies of the common people. We know our enemy. That's the first step.
I will do my best to get my kids through college debt free as long as they pursue a serious degree. I will continue to pay down my mortgage debt as quickly as possible. I will try to deal with my own health issues and help my wife deal with hers. We will take care of our aging mothers. Family will always come first. We're only on this earth for a short time and while I get intellectual satisfaction from trying to change hearts and minds through writing, the only thing that truly matters to me is my wife and the futures of my three sons.
I'll prepare to the best of my ability for the worst, while trying to enjoy the present. Over the last nine years we've created a dysfunctional family of internet misfits on my website. I feel an obligation to keep that alive, especially for the talented writers who have blossomed with an open platform for their views, even though my own enthusiasm has been waning for a while.
I've tried my best to seek truth, reveal government deception, and generally be a thorn in the side of the establishment. Based on Mencken's definition, I'm a dangerous man to the government, who has spread discontent among those capable of thinking things out for themselves. You may not realize it, but the war has already begun. No matter what the hell is going on, I sure hope the good guys win.
"The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are." - H.L. Mencken