Obama's Latest "Bad Bet' is About to Cost Taxpayers $180 Million
Talk about clean-energy boondoggles. Here's the latest one from the Obama administration.
Electric hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. is now on the verge of bankruptcy and owes the U.S. government more than $180 million - which would be the biggest waste of taxpayer money since the Solyndra fiasco.
According to PrivCo, a New York-based researcher, Fisker has not produced a car since last summer and has gone through more than $1.3 billion in private investment capital and government loans.
Minimum Wage Increase: Obama's Proposal and Realities
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9, saying the move would reduce poverty and stimulate the economy.
"Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour," President Obama said. "This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead.
"For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. And a whole lot of folks out there would probably need less help from government."
What the Last Roman Emperor Would Tell President Obama Today
Over the course of 700 years, the ancient Roman Empire grew from a small republic to one that stretched from London to Baghdad at its peak.
As one of the world's first true superpowers, the Empire's achievements included the world's first standing professional army, economic prowess, intellectual growth and governance principles that are commonly regarded as the basis for modern society.
But it is also remembered for its spectacular collapse in less than a century under the weight of bad debt, an overextension of the Empire, a collapse of morals that led to a deluded and self-absorbed political elite and reckless public spending that far outweighed collections.
Given the parallels to our situation, I can only imagine what Romulus Augustus, widely considered to be the last of the Roman Emperors, would tell President Barack Obama today about how to prevent the wholesale destruction of our own "Empire."
But it would probably go like this...
Cara praeses Obama, (Dear President Obama)
Like mine, your world is changing fast. No doubt it's very different from the one you thought you'd inherited. Your success will depend on new thinking and an eye to the future taken from lessons of the past.
I wouldn't be offended if you have never heard of me.
I oversaw the dying days of what you know as the Classic Western Roman Empire. My fall in September 476 marked the end of centuries of greatness and the fall of ancient Rome.
Some historians consider my departure as the beginning of the Middle Ages. I understand the nature of collapse: how it begins, how it progresses, and where it all ends.
As a historical footnote to a once great empire, here's my advice to you, Mr. President.
To continue reading please, please click here...
Five Things Obama Didn't Want You to Hear in His State of the Union
Seeking to put the best possible spin on his message, President Barack Obama took some liberties with the truth in his State of the Union address.
Although the president never actually lied, he repeatedly left out facts that contradict his claims of success.
President Obama hadn't yet left the House chamber when the reality check started. And it didn't take long to find some pretty big the holes in the State of the Union address.
To continue reading, please click here...
U.S. Nears Colombia Trade Deal, Strengthening Economic Ties with Latin America
The United States has resolved labor issues with Colombia, paving the way for approval of a stalled free-trade agreement (FTA) and strengthening economic ties between the countries.
The United States and Colombia were expected to announce the agreement this week after months of talks, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush first signed a U.S.-Colombia FTA in November 2006 with then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. The legislation stalled in Congress because Democrats refused to ratify the agreement until the Colombian government improved labor standards.
Will Egypt End the "Obama Arms Bazaar?"
While many investors are focused on the roles that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Twitter played during Egypt's recent turmoil, I immediately zeroed in on all the American-made military hardware that exists in that region - and began to analyze the risk that investors face if the U.S. defense industry quite literally bet on the wrong horse.
Between 2006 and 2009, we sold more than $50 billion worth of weapons systems and related hardware to Middle East nations, according to the Congressional Research Service. The value of annual military contracts in the region has quadrupled since 2000, according to CNN.com.
And it doesn't look like things are slowing down - at least, not yet.
For more on the "Obama Arms Bazaar," please read on...
Obama Proposes Fannie & Freddie Reforms as Housing Market Continues to Languish
Three years after the housing market collapsed, efforts to clean up the financial mess created by Fannie Mae (OTC: FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) - the government agencies that largely inflated the bubble - remain stuck in limbo as Washington policymakers bicker over the details.
Meanwhile, the market continues to suffer through the aftermath.
The total value of U.S. single-family homes plummeted by roughly $798 billion in the final three months of 2010. For the year, values fell by more than $2 trillion to $22.3 trillion, according to Zillow.com.
More than 27% of all homeowners are now underwater and mortgage rates are swiftly starting to move up - threatening to kill any chance the market has to rebound from the worst disaster in its history.
What Do You Think Of President Obama's Budget Proposal?
U.S. President Barack Obama released his fiscal 2012 budget request Monday, igniting a partisan debate that's certain to escalate in the days and weeks to come.
The details will take months to hammer out, but the outcome is clear: American households can expect a lengthy dose of austerity.
The one question still to be answered is this: Just who will be hit the hardest?