ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE FOR OBAMA

Chris Buckley – Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.’s son, no less. A former McCain speechwriter, no less. Known the senator personally for a quarter century, no less. A conservative who writes: ‘for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November.’

SENATOR McCAIN AND GORDON LIDDY

Carl Bernstein writes of G. Gordon Liddy, who threw a John McCain fundraiser in his home:

During the same period that Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, Gordon Liddy was making plans to firebomb a Washington think tank, assassinate a prominent journalist, undertake the Watergate burglary, break into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, and kidnap anti-war protesters at the 1972 Republican convention. . . .

A BETTER DAY ON WALL STREET

If you sold ‘a third to half’ your RSW Friday, you got around $189 a share, about a double, and are thinking two things: (1) Yeah, but I got killed in WM and FMD and all those idiot warrants; and (2) Why didn’t I sell all my RSW?

To which I respond: (1) See? I can read your mind; and (2) Because we still have a lot to work through.

PREPARE FOR HUGE DEFICITS – WE NEED THEM

We’re in a bind because Reagan, Bush, and Bush ran our National Debt up from 30% of GDP to what will be nearly 75% of GDP when Bush leaves.

And it was borrowed for nothing. Or pretty close to nothing. We got a war we’d have been better off not fighting. We got families with 7 homes and 13 cars who, if we had stuck with, say, the Clinton/Gore tax rates, would have had to manage with just 6 homes and 12 cars. We got this lousy T-Shirt.

It matters what you borrow for.

By the time we won World War II, our National Debt was 121% of GDP – up from about 40% when it started (and 16% in 1929). But winning World War II was something we had to borrow for. And when the war was won we got about the business of paying it down – to the aforementioned 30% just 35 years later.

Well, now we have another crisis. It requires, among other things, that we make a massive effort to become energy independent. What an investment in our prosperity, our planet, and our national security that will be. We also have to keep the financial system from collapsing. And it wouldn’t hurt to keep people employed when we have so much infrastructure to renew. So now is not the time to go all Herbert Hoover and try to balance the budget. Now is the time to set big, clear goals . . . engage the nation in a mission bigger than ‘shopping’ . . . and involve the government to the extent (albeit only to the extent) it can help fulfill the mission. We won World War II. We went to the moon. We can do this.

It would have been easier if we were starting from a base of 30% Debt-to-GDP. Easier still if so many of us were not so deeply indebted ourselves.

But yesterday’s market rebound, even if it does not ultimately prove to have marked ‘the bottom,’ is encouraging. And the tide of technological progress, predicted by Ray Kurzweil to be 32 times faster and more astonishing these next 50 years than the last, is ultimately our ace in the hole.*

The sharp drop in the price of long-term Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) seems to be telling us that investors expect deflation rather than, or at least to precede, inflation. But yielding more than 3% above inflation for the next 24 years, they once again appear to be an attractive holding for retirement plans. Yes, the price of oil is falling; and, yes, global recession are deflationary (or at least not inflationary). For now, the huge increase in the money supply is more than countered by the decrease in its ‘velocity.’ Dollars aren’t whizzing around as fast as they were (and last week were all but frozen), so each dollar does less work. But in the long run, I would think inflation is in the cards. Then again, my major was Slavic Languages and Literatures, so all I really know is that Anna Karenina did not end well (for her).

*Or, as predicted by the Unabomber, our undoing. (Oops.) Nothing’s easy. More than ever, we need the best and brightest in government doing their best to navigate ever more rapid rapids.

 

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