Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fight of the Century: Washington DC vs. The Bond Market

Somedays I can't figure out which polical party I despise more.  Today it's an easy answer:  The Republicans.  I used to be one years ago.  The Republicans used to stand for fiscal conservatism, smaller government, and low taxes.

This platform was all well and good provided the economy is sound which is why I was a big fan at the time. 

My how things have changed.  When I look at the Republicans today I see a party that lost their way.  The party has basically been split in two. 

On the one side you have the tea partiers who are pushing for deficit reductions and smaller government.  On the other hand you have the greedy oligarchs who demand "big" government style bailouts and low taxes for the rich.

The problem here is although they have common goals and interests, their fundamental belief systems are polar opposite from one another.

As a result, they have different views on how the economy should be repaired.  The tea partiers believe that the government, big bailouts, and spending all need to be slashed in order to save the taxpayers from the government.

The oligarchs have a different view.  They could care less about the taxpayers.  They want to be bailed out by big government at the expense of the people, and they don't want their taxes increased while we clean this mess up even though they are the ones who caused it in the first place.

Tax Cut Crisis

So here we are hanging on the edge of an economic cliff once again as the Republicans and the Democrats begin their showdown over tax cuts.

Obama is being slammed(and rightfully so) by the left for caving in too hard to the Republican demands of tax cuts for everyone in exchange for unemployment benefits.  Obama looks weak here and it's even more pathetic looking when you realize he still has the house and senate. 

Why in the hell is he not pushing back and at least demanding that the ultra wealthy($1 million plus annual) see a tax increase.?

This is no "deal" for the Democrats.  The Republicans have already admitted that they are willing to pass a bill for extended unemployment benefits without a tax cut deal.

Obama looks awful here and he might find himself getting thrown under the bus by the democrats.

Lest be honest here folks, the rich need to be taxed.  Buffet has said it and so have multiple other million and billionaires.  It's would be absolutely disgusting to not increase taxes on people making over $1 million a year.  The fact that the Republicans have drawn a line in the sand over this is repulsive.

There is middle ground here people and it's not letting the rich walk in exchange for unemployment benefits.   This would be highway robbery for the wealthy if this is how the deal gets done.

The Republicans need to stop listening to the people who are lining their pockets with gold and do what is right for the country. 

I understand the Tea Partiers have no say on this because they aren't in office yet but I have to ask:  Where are you guys?  Why haven't you spoken out on this?  Where is Rand Paul?

Have they been bought and paid for before by the far right elite before even getting into office?

Bondzilla Sits and Waits

Meanwhile as the clowns in DC continue to fight like retards the bond market continues to rumble:

Things played out pretty much as I expected today.  We saw a panic sell off into the auction and then a nice rally in bonds as the PD's took profits.

Nonetheless, bonds still were down on the day and 10 year now sits at 6 month highs from a yield standpoint.  Treasuries are down a bit after hours but have steadied.

The Bottom Line

The bond market seems prepared to battle Washington over the deficit issues and the tax cut issue appears to be taking center stage.

I think if the left loses and the agreement stands as it is without any tax cuts for the wealthy then I think the bond market is going to have a hemorrhage. 

Ironically , if this is how it goes down, Bondzilla would be set off by the Republicans this time.  Historically it's been the big spending Democrats that have always woken up the bond market.  Clinton anyone?

IMO, the Republicans have it wrong because they are trying to use policies that work well when times are good and the economy is rolling. 

What they need to realize is we just finished a 25 year spending binge that has left us with trillions in debt.

Taxing less and spending more simply isn't going to cut it during times like these.

Ronald Reagan must be rolling over in his grave as he watches what has happened to his beloved party.

Remember, when things were bad economically under his watch, Reagan took down most of Wall St as he let Volcker fix the economy using higher interest rates in order to beat inflation. 

Great leaders often have to do unpopular things in order to do whats best for the country.  This is what makes them great.

Unfortunately, Washington looks both broken and leaderless at a time when we need leadership more than ever as we head into the toughest economic period this country has seen since the 1930's.


Anonymous said...

This is perhaps the first time I have disagreed with your posts...

It is not clear to me that even the very rich need to be taxed more progressively. Why do we need to discourage productivity, even at the highest end? Buffett is a crazy old liberal now… his opinion means nothing.

Why not a flat tax with no deductions? Why not a VAT to mitigate the deficit? It is better to discourage consumption in this consumption crazy society than to discourage productivity. Growth is the only long-term hope as growth is the real reason debt has never been a constraint in the past. If growth stops, the economy will collapse.

Finally, taxes can never pay for all the spending. The real answer is to cut spending. And I mean cut spending in a substantial way! There is no choice. The longer we wait, the worse the pain.

Jeff said...


I couldn't agree with you more.

Not taxing the rich is more of a "princible" issue if it's the only way to get things done in DC.

You share the same ideas that I do. However, I try to be realistic when it comes to how things will play out.

I want to scream bloody murder just as you do when I watch this fiasco. Unfortunately, change is slow and it will take time.