But Bush's failure to grow today's opaque economy, even with the nomination of his third pig-lipstick salesman as Treasury secretary, is beginning to appear more than a little ominous. You don't have to be a total market wonk to understand signals like James Turk's:
In “The 2005 Financial Report of the United States Government”, US Comptroller General David Walker reported that “the federal government’s fiscal exposures now total more than $46 trillion, up from $20 trillion in 2000.”
Yes, it’s insane. But it’s even more insane that people buy the US government’s T-Bonds and T-Bills thinking that they are a safe, low-risk investment. Maybe they used to be that, but things change. US government debt instruments are no longer a safe place to park your dollars.
So much for fixed-income investing. Don't tell Grandma — government debt is now as risky as a pump-and-dump penny stock.
The article is called "Economic Suicide," and Turk concludes: "It’s also monetary homicide. The dollar as we know it is being killed, poisoned by debt from the hand of the federal government with its accomplices in the Federal Reserve and the banking system. So far it’s been a slow death, with few people watching, but that’s about to change. With the horrific new amounts of debt being injected into the dollar’s weary remains, its death is not far off."
Turk was also the subject of an interview in Barron's in which he predicted gold at $8,000 an ounce, not exactly a sign of dollar strength.
The oddest thing to me is all this is that, in my old-fashioned view, Republicans are supposed to be all about country clubs and stockbrokers and finance and fiscal restraint and small government, not gay marriage or abortion or evangelical Christianity. At the very least, you suits are supposed to make money because your One True God is really The Market, and it used to be true that to old-school Republicans little else mattered.
But instead today's Bush-league Republicans waged a sham war that created the largest debts in human history, one that continues to depress the market, and therefore all investment in the broad swath of US businesses, signaling that you have moved on and no longer believe in the same market forces that worked so empirically and spectacularly well under Clinton. Instead of growing the economy Republicans have decided to loot it, starting with the US Treasury.
The market will not really rebound until "transparency" takes place, in which we collectively can imagine a future that most of us like. Then we'll buy some stocks, and wealth in the trillions will suddenly appear.
But that's not happening right now. Our worldwide reputation is at a historic low, our national debt is a malignancy out of control, a new salesman just arrived from Goldman Sachs to tell us how great it all is, and there's not a grown-up in sight.
Who is the loser? The so-called Ownership Society itself — the 401(k) accountholder, the pension fund, the entrepreneur, the homeowner, and most of all, the small taxpayer (there are no more big ones) who is paying off the balloon mortgage on the national insanity.
Until Bush is out of office the Invisible Hand of the market will do nothing but strangle the American taxpayer.