Here are some economic facts that the mainstream media and the government don’t tell you!
No speech is worth a half million dollars. In recent years Bill and Hillary Clinton have received some ridiculous amounts for speaking engagements – as much as $750,000 for one Bill Clinton speech in China. I’m sorry – there is no person on Earth whose words are so precious that they command that kind of money. The only reason anybody would give Bill or Hillary Clinton such a huge sum is with the expectation of some kind of political favor in return.
You will never again receive any meaningful interest for the money you have saved. There are 18 trillion reasons why, according to Forbes. The Federal Reserve has held interest rates to near-zero for over ten years now, enabling our government to borrow and spend sums that it will likely never be able to repay, with or without interest. This has certainly done no favor for Americans who earned and saved money. Consider this: if the interest rate on our $18 trillion national debt increased to the normal historical level of five percent, it would cost our government almost a trillion dollars a year – about a quarter our current annual budget!
Do you think anybody in Washington, DC will allow that to happen? You might want to look for an investment alternative to that savings account or certificate of deposit.
No Congressman or Governor can become a multi-millionaire from only his or her salary. Our US Representatives earn $174,000 per year, plus expenses. The cost of living in Washington, DC is crushing, and some members sleep in their offices to avoid the hefty DC apartment rental rates. But many legislators have enjoyed tremendous gains in net worth during their tenure as public servants. The median net worth for members of Congress exceeds $1 million. And while many public officials were wealthy before their elections, it seems that profit opportunities abound for those whose votes and influence can generate winners and losers in the private economy. Former house leader Nancy Pelosi, for example, directed a billion dollars in subsidies to a light-rail company which was a big contributor to her campaigns and also listed her husband as a major investor. Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer parlayed some insider information about a mining operation into a hefty sum. Former senate majority leader Harry Reid reportedly retired as details of a number of financial scandals were about to surface. Other examples of public officials striking it rich abound.
The Affordable Care Act is not making health care more affordable. This year’s Milliman Medical Index, which tracks health care costs for employer-provided plans, shows an increase of 43% for employees and 32% for employers since the ACA took effect. A dramatic increase is expected in 2018 when the “Cadillac Tax” provision kicks in. And while the total cost of health care by traditional measurement has not increased as rapidly as many ACA critics predicted, a hidden cost is the 21 new and higher taxes that were implemented as part of the ACA. Medicare is now partially funded by transfers from the general fund, and that amount will increase in upcoming years.
Immigration is not a boon to our economy. Due to lack of education and employable skills, immigrants – both legal and illegal -use welfare and public assistance programs at a much greater rate than native-born Americans. 71% of Hispanic immigrants with children received public benefits in 2009.
Contrary to President Obama’s contention, most successful wealthy Americans are not “lottery winners”, whose good fortunes are the result of dumb luck. 80% of millionaires are the first generation of their family to get wealthy. Most are self-employed, and have a spouse who helps them succeed financially. My financially astute wife points out that she never met a wealthy person who set out to be rich. They were so busy working and building their businesses that they didn’t have time for unprofitable activities.
The economy is not as rosy as we are told by the administration and the media. The labor force participation rate remains at a 37-year low, and the average real wage (adjusted for inflation) has not increased much since the 1970s. Many middle class Americans can no longer afford to take vacations without sacrificing something else.
Just the facts, ma’am. Nothing but the facts.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Look into my eyes
Can’t you see they’re open wide
Would I lie to you baby
Would I lie to you