In 2012, Obama to press ahead without Congress
“Leaving behind a year of bruising legislative battles, President Barack Obama enters his fourth year in office having calculated that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda and may even benefit in his re-election campaign if lawmakers accomplish little in 2012.
Absent any major policy pushes, much of the year will focus on winning a second term. The president will keep up a robust domestic travel schedule and aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy.
Partisan, down-to-the-wire fights over allowing the nation to take on more debt and sharply reducing government spending defined 2011. In the new year, there are almost no must-do pieces of legislation facing the president and Congress.
The one exception is the looming debate on a full-year extension of a cut in the Social Security payroll tax rate from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. Democrats and Republicans are divided over how to put in place that extension. “
“As the United States edges closer to becoming a third world country; anger, frustration, and cynicism continue to mount in the minds of the American population. Americans are no longer optimistic about the direction of their country. This pessimism seems warranted as authentic political solutions appear to be in short supply in our corporate state.
The democratic political system is now clearly run by crony cartelism. The multinational banks have hijacked the economy and are openly looting the public. Mounting and impossible-to-pay off debt is crippling local governments. The entire spectrum of our rights continues to degrade as the close of 2011 saw the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which declares America itself to be a war zone, and its citizens potential enemy combatants. Meanwhile, crimes that would land regular citizens in jail are now openly being committed by the elite and their organizations with no justice. Perhaps most telling, the power structure is establishing a control grid to eliminate Internet freedom, and even to use cyberspace in offensive acts of war. Given the current situation, it can seem impossible to affect real change. However, the exact opposite is the case. “
Via Activist Post
“The Weekly Leading Index (WLI) growth indicator of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) posted -7.6 in its latest reading, data through December 23. The latest public data point is virtually unchanged from last week’s -7.7. The index has been hovering in a narrow range between -7.4 to -7.8 for the past seven weeks. Those of us who follow this indicator are nervously awaiting a confirmation or reversal of the trend.
Earlier this month Lakshman Achuthan, the Co-founder of ECRI, spoke with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Television’s Surveillance Midday. You can watch the video on the ECRI website here, with bold heading Recession Update. The eight-minute video is well worth watching in its entirely.”
Via Business Insider
“Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, that is rapidly changing. The statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the U.S. middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012. The decline of the middle class is not something that has happened all of a sudden. Rather, there has been a relentless grinding down of the middle class over the last several decades. Millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas, the rate of inflation has far outpaced the rate that our wages have grown, and overwhelming debt has choked the financial life out of millions of American families. Every single day, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty. In fact, more Americans fell into poverty last year than has ever been recorded before. The number of middle class jobs and middle class neighborhoods continues to decline at a staggering pace. As I have written about previously, America as a whole is getting poorer as a nation, and as this happens wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top of the income scale. This is not how capitalism is supposed to work, and it is not good for America.”
“Legendary global investor and chairman of Singapore-based Rogers Holdings, Jim Rogers has been talking about his 2012 predictions.
In a nutshell, he is neither too optimistic about the stock market for 2012 nor about what’s going to happen in the world in the next two or three years.
Speaking to Australia Financial News Network (AFNN) December 23, Rogers said: “The problems are going to continue to get worse until someone solves the basic underlying problem of too much spending and too much debt.”
He sees the biggest risk to global growth in 2012 as “too much debt…too much consumption…and the central bank in the US which keeps printing money.””
“In an extended survival scenario, food will become a primary concern, especially when attempting to cross large sections of land or water, which could take weeks or months.
In this article we will discuss some of the normal look-alike plants and edibles in the wilderness, which could be a major concern. Many dangerous plants are look-alikes of harmless plants and can lead to extreme danger and even death in many cases. If in doubt, you should always avoid consumption of any plant.”
Read part 1 Here
Read part 2 Here
Precious Metals Roadmap: What follows is more of an approach than a prediction. Gold remains a much safer play than silver, something I have said for years. Technically silver is flirting with a breakdown of major support at $27. If that low does not hold, a decline to the low-to-mid $20′s is likely (something I said earlier this year when silver was near $50). I have no target for gold. The longer the US holds off quantitative easing and the ECB lets the sovereign debt crisis simmer without action, the bigger the potential drop in precious metals. Moreover, silver is likely to take a bigger hit than gold (percentage-wise) in a recession or global slowdown because silver is an industrial commodity and Chinese demand for industrial commodities is poised to plunge. Both gold and silver are more likely to be weaker earlier in the year as opposed to the second half given the Bernanke Fed does not look to launch QE3 any time soon. If the stock market and energy prices plunge in the first half of 2012, Bernanke will be more inclined to launch another QE program and that would be beneficial to precious metals.”