US GDP/Debt ratio predicted to hit 150%!

Federal debt levels are going to surge to 150% of GDP in 30 years as a result of huge unfunded outlays on healthcare, social security and interest payments, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, which is an independent body.

Other than now (when is is 77% – double what it was (35%) in 2007) only once has the level of debt in America exceeded 70% – and that was immediately after World War II. Over the last 50 years, it has averaged 40%.

There are lots of reasons why that’s problematic, not least of which is that it severely limits the government’s ability to respond to unforeseen events and cannibalises government spending which has instead to be ear-marked for interest payments. It also reduces national income.

Bannon, by Gove

Bannon’s success has guaranteed him pride of place in the demonology of the liberal left and he’s been accused of every form of hate speech of which mankind is capable, including antisemitism. That allegation sits incongruously, to say the least, with his close personal friendship and political alliance with Kushner, who is an observant Orthodox …

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Explaining Trump

Bruce Anderson’s take on explaining Trump is one of the most succinct I have come across. Since President Nixon, the liberals having been struggling to retain their reputation for patriotism and their appeal to the middle ground. Because of Watergate, Nixon made a false start. Reagan quickly picked up the baton. Roosevelt Democrats became Reagan …

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Why Trump can do what he likes

Trump’s ascent to the presidency involved beating not only all of his Republican rivals, but upending the assumptions of the entire political establishment — columnists and consultants, funders and favour-mongers — so he is beholden to none of the traditional Washington power centres. That, alongside a Republican majority in House and Senate, gives him almost unprecedented …

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Corbyn and Trump

Jeremy Corbyn is not as straightforward as his supporters claim. He has, most notably, been disingenuous about his real views on Brexit. But then Trump used to be a Democrat. Authenticity is not the same as policy consistency. John Rentoul Source: Can Jeremy Corbyn win by becoming a left-wing Donald Trump, railing against the ‘rigged …

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Trump as Nixon

After he became President in 1969, during his very first post-election session with Henry Kissinger, who would become his national security advisor, Nixon rebuked the Agency as a group of “Ivy League liberals” who lacked analytic integrity and had always opposed him politically. Like Trump, Nixon did not see the value of CIA intelligence briefings. …

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Russia and hacking

One of the striking aspects emerging about the hacking scandal is that British intelligence was apparently first to tip off US intelligence that Russian hackers were targeting Democrat computer servers. It is reported that the same Russian cyber group that allegedly interfered in the US election, “Fancy Bears,” previously attempted to disrupt the UK General …

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Obama: success or failure?

The wages of expectation are paid in disappointment. That, too, is one lesson to be drawn from Obama’s presidency. If you are led to expect $100 you will be disappointed to receive just $50. Obama never quite managed to balance results with expectations. Alex Massie Source: The lost promise of the Obama presidency – CapX

Steven Mnuchin

Nominated Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has been almost as successful financially as James Mattis has been militarily. He left Goldman Sachs 14 years ago, and everything he has touched since — from the movie Avatar to the failed housing lender IndyMac to the Trump campaign itself — has turned to gold. Niall Ferguson Source: Trump’s Mad …

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Mattis

Interesting view here from Niall Ferguson: General James Mattis, who has been named Donald Trump’s secretary of defence, earned a daunting reputation as a master of kinetic warfare as the commander of the 1st Marine Division in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. During the push to Baghdad, he relieved a colonel of his command for not …

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TPP, R.I.P.?

President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in office. A wiser approach would be for Mr. Trump to put the TPP on the back burner and keep open the option to reconsider it in the future, when the deal’s geostrategic imperative becomes more …

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