The federal government set an all-time record budget deficit in February. And this is with a Republican in the White House. The GOP is supposed to be the fiscally responsible party. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey offers some interesting analysis that reveals spending money in Washington DC is really a bipartisan sport. He also talks about Thursday’s selloff in gold and silver, explains why dollar strength is something of an illusion and illustrates how the way “the market” thinks is often pretty dumb.
The mainstream is starting to get a little bit nervous. As we reported yesterday, a CNBC interview with DoubleLine Capital founder Jeffrey Gundlach got the mainstream talking about the possibility of a bear market. There is also increasing concern about a looming recession. In a recent New York Times survey, almost half of the 134 CEOs polled said they thought the country could be in a recession by the end of the year.
Peter Schiff has been warning about a recession for months. In October, he said the recession that’s coming is going to be brutal. On Monday, Peter appeared on Fox Business with Lisa Kennedy to talk about the coming crisis and its political ramifications.
In a recent podcast, Peter Schiff talked about the “Trump tariff put” – this idea that the president will be able to call off the trade war to rescue the market should it start to fall. Peter called that idea nonsense.
It is the type of wishful thinking, the type of just ignoring all of the bad news, whistling past the graveyard, the type of mentality that you have in a bull market where everything is good news and there is nothing to worry about.”
In his most recent podcast, Peter tackled another similar myth – that a divided government will be bullish for the market.
Peter Schiff talked politics in his latest podcast and raised a sobering question: Could the US be on the path toward a socialist administration?
Peter noted that we are long overdue for a recession. There are plenty of signs a major economic downturn could be lurking right around the corner, including stock market weakness. And as we reported today, US Treasury yield curves are flattening. The average global yield curve has inverted. Inverting yield curves are a strong predictor of recession.
This is bad news for President Trump, who has taken credit for the “great” economy and strong stock market. Peter said the president has set himself up as the fall-guy when the crash happens. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is drifting further left.
The Babylon Bee captured the current state of the Republican Party in all of its hypocritical glory. The satirical website proclaimed “Republicans announce plan to pretend to be fiscally conservative again the moment a Democrat takes office.”
The GOP said it would begin to decry deficit spending and the $20 trillion debt in order to win votes as soon as political power swung back to the opposing party.
“‘The second a Democrat is back in the White House, we will once again start yelling about fiscal responsibility,’ Speaker Paul Ryan said in an address to the House of Representatives Friday. ‘For now, we will continue to vote for unsustainable and irresponsible budgets that your children’s children’s children will pay for for centuries to come.’”
It was interesting watching people on the left side of the political spectrum become practically giddy as the stock market tanked on Monday. It seems they couldn’t wait to pin the collapse on Donald Trump.
Of course, the president has set himself up to take the fall by constantly taking credit for this bubble economy. But as Peter said during an interview with Stock Pulse during the Vancouver Resouce Investment Conference. the only thing you can blame Trump and the Republicans for is doing what everybody else did – pretend government can give Americans a free lunch.
We’ve done extensive reporting on the GOP tax reform bill as it’s moved through Congress. We’ve highlighted a number of concerns about the plan, specifically the significant expansion of the national debt it will cause. Yesterday, we explained how the impact on the deficit will likely be even bigger than expected because of the incentives found in the latest incarnation of the plan. Most significantly, we’ve echoed Peter Schiff’s view that the plan isn’t really tax reform. It’s tax cuts masquerading as reform.
But all of this leaves an important question unanswered. What would actual reform look like?
Mises Institute senior fellow Mark Thonrton offers some ideas in his latest piece at the Mises Wire. In a nutshell, shrinking the size of government is a key ingredient necessary for real reform.
It appears increasingly likely the Republican Congress will pass tax reform this week.
As we analyze the plan, it’s important to remember – incentives matter.
Details of the House/Senate compromise bill came out Friday. It features a top rate of 37% and a bottom rate of 10%. The corporate rate would drop to 21%. The standard deductions would nearly double. Individuals with existing mortgages would still be able to deduct their interest, and the compromise restored the deductibility of state income taxes up to $10,000. The plan would also eliminate the Obamacare penalty for not buying insurance. There are certainly things to like.
But as Peter Schiff pointed out in his podcast, there are also significant problems with the plan. It is riddled with loopholes and incentives that will substantially raise the debt – even more than projected.