Monday 9/23/13:The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI)
It came in with an increase to +0.14 in August from -0.43 in July. Nice news.
The index’s 3 month moving average (cfnai-ma3) increased to -0.18 in august from -0.24 in July, marking its sixth consecutive reading below zero. Augusts’ CFNAI-MA3 suggests economic activity was below its historical trend. The good news is that the index has been trending toward zero after months of decline.
Over the weekend a bunch of radical Muslims attacked a shopping mall in Kenya, releasing those who professed to be Muslim, then murdering their non-Muslim hostages. These included men, women and children (68 people at this time). And yet again, not a word of condemnation from the Muslim leadership of the world. These radical Muslim thugs offer nothing positive for humanity, nothing positive for peace, no positive contribution to business, technology, medicine. You name it, nothing positive. All we hear are shouts of “Ali Akbar” or ” Death to the Infidels”. Murder, mayhem, hatred. This is all we get from them. Beware free world; the devil is at our door.
85 people killed at a Christian church in northwestern Pakistan over the weekend. Suicide bombers. A wing of the Pakistani Taliban quickly claimed responsibility. I for one am sure glad they are dead, two less jihadists to worry about. My prayers are with those who lost their lives and for their families who have to deal with such terrible loss as a result of this cowardly act of terrorism.
Here’s a good one
Our fiscal year ends September 30 and as such, the corporation makes a monetary distribution to its shareholders. The government (Federal and State) who are not shareholders, see fit to take 56.47 percent of the pie (this does not include FICA & Medicare). My money, my effort, my business and yet somehow they end up with more than I do. Does that seem right to you? I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes to my country; the privilege to live here does have a cost. I am an American and do not mind, especially when the funds we provide to the government are wisely spent. But it irks me that our military is being torn down, our roads and bridges are in terrible shape, our education system is a shambles and so on, but the $3 TRILLION dollars plus they spend each year is not enough to take care of necessary business. NO, in fact they want to continue raising taxes on we who foolishly fund their frivolities. They have not produced a budget in 5 years, cannot spend within their means, are unwilling to find and cut the wasteful spending of taxpayer monies (which we all know exists and I might add, exists to a reprehensible degree).
A bit of economic news on Wednesday
- New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased 0.1 percent. Up four of the last five months, this increase follows an 8.1 percent July increase.
- Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August rose 0.9 percent following two consecutive monthly decreases.
- Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in August, up six of the last seven months increased again.
- Inventories of manufactured durable goods in August, up four of the last five months increased 0.1 percent.
It appears that our Congressional members have had their participation in Obamacare carved out of the law. So, what’s good for the goose is NOT good for the gander. This is bullcrap! Bill Bennett, former secretary of education, fellow of the Claremont Institute, writing in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, provided the following illumination:
James Madison and other Founders of the US Constitution knew that the equal and unbiased application of the law to all people, especially elected officials, is essential to freedom and justice and one of the primary safeguards from authoritarianism and oppression by a ruling class.” And so, referring to the members of Congress, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 57:”They can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”
This is where it gets interesting:
Under pressure from Congress, the White House has carved out a special exemption for Congress and its staffers from Obamacare-the law it recently deemed necessary for the entire country. No Republicans voted for Obamacare. Yet it appears some of them support the exemption President Obama approved on his own-so they would not have to go on record with a vote for or against it.”
He goes on to say
This is the height of hypocrisy, and worse, a trampling of the Founders’ code of equal application of the law. Having forced a health law on the American people, the White House and Democrats now seek to insulate themselves from the noxious portions of the law, and from the implementation struggles, indecision and uncertainty that many other Americans face today.”
“In other words, Congress’s healthcare premiums will not rise, but yours may. Members of Congress will be able afford to keep their health insurance plan, but you may be kicked off yours. They will be able to afford to keep their doctors, but you may have to find a new one.
“The White House, under heat from Congress, directed the Office of Personnel Management to carve out special rules so that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program can continue to contribute (72% of their premium I believe) to the health plans used by Congress and the congressional staff.”
What a bad joke this is already. We have a bunch of blatant thieves running the country-and robbing her and her citizens, blind. To their credit, a couple of “Republicans have recently put forward legislation-aptly named the James Madison Congressional Accountability Act-which would end the special exemption. In response, several Democratic senators have reacted by drafting legislation that would punish anyone for voting for this act by permanently blocking an exemption from them and their staff, even if the law doesn’t pass. It doesn’t get more vindictive and petty than that.”
Back to the IRS scandal
Lois Lerner resigned Monday from her position as the agency’s Director of Exempt Organizations. She has been on PAID administrative leave since May when she announced the IRS had singled out conservative groups applying for tax exempt status for additional scrutiny. She pleads for protection of her Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer any questions. Not a bad deal eh? Getting paid not to work. But why did she resign now? Because a recently completed but still not released IRS personnel review criticizes her job performance and recommends she be fired. By resigning now, she will collect her full pension and benefits, though she still refuses to answer questions from Congress. Is this right and proper? Why are our government employees above the law?
“The world is more stable today than it was five years ago…” I cannot believe the president made this statement at the United Nations yesterday. This is delusional thinking, it reveals his insulation from reality, and it also reveals that he is not being properly advised. Period.
On Thursday the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) issued its third and final estimate of real gross domestic product (GDP) for the 2nd quarter of 2013; the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States, increased at an annual rate of 2.5% (that is from the first quarter to the second quarter).
The report on business trends for August 2013 rose eight points to 127 which is 9 points higher than 1 year ago. This is a 6.7% increase in sales and compares to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) increase of 0.3% from July to August. According to PMPA economic consultant Ken Mayland:
We could be on the threshold of a cyclical firming of the economy’s growth tendencies. Clearview Economics’ inventory dynamic indicator, after 17 months, has finally flipped to a positive configuration. And now, we saw an August pick up of industrial production.”
Once again, in spite of the nonsense coming out of Washington, the economic muscle of the United States shows its resilience. The free market system works, income re-distribution and other socialist policies DO NOT.
Have a great weekend, hug your kids and grandkids if they are close, I have the great pleasure of my 2 ½ year old grandson’s company for a sleep over tonight. Then on Sunday my 11 year old grandson’s football game and my 8 year old granddaughter has a soccer game.
God Bless America
And please Buy American made products whenever possible.