“When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout”
– Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny
A pretty good description of almost everything you hear out of Washington DC, but we get more than one crisis du jour these days.
The stock market is at all-time highs, but several billionaires like Warren Buffett and George Soros are suddenly dumping millions of shares of stocks. Yesterday Neal Cavuto interviewed Scott McNealy, the Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems, to get his take on what the heck is going on, and the impact of government Federal Reserve and White House quantitative easing policies on the U.S. economy and markets. Five minutes of pretty scary stuff; check it out here.
If open market manipulation doesn’t bother you, there’s the constant drumbeat of doomsday scenarios from administration officials about the impact of looming sequestration, which actually amounts to a lot of finger pointing about a potential reduction of about 72 hours worth of government spending:
The president’s scare tactics focus almost exclusively on the domestic-discretionary portion, so he is saying that our economy and government will basically cease to function because we will be spending $29 billion less on these domestic-discretionary programs this year than last year. $29 billion is about what the federal government spends in 72 hours.
– Yuval Levin, “The Sequester in Proportion, NRO Online, 20 Feb 2013
Or if fear of economic disaster isn’t your bag, the news media pushes every possible gun incident it can find to the headlines, alongside a constantly changing smorgasboard of proposed gun seizure schemes and a nation-wide ammunition shortage, prompted by government purchase and storage of vast amounts of ammunition in recent months:
According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets … sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants. To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war.”
– Andrew Malcolm, “Why are the feds loading up on so much ammo?”, Investor’s Business Daily, 8 February 2013
Taken together, you might expect that any day now the market will collapse, the sequestration will cause mass layoffs and shutdowns, gun violence will somehow hit record levels despite gun roundups, but no one will have any ammo because what little money we didn’t lose to market manipulation will have been taxed away so the DHS could buy up all the ammo for the now laid-off police force. Any day now I expect to hear the flying monkeys have finally been sent out:
But income tax isn’t due for another 7 weeks, so we won’t hear about the IRS agents coming after us until then.