Lighting a Candle POITOU, FRANCE – On Tuesday, Donald Trump, president of all the Americans, said his country would spend more blood and money trying to force the Afghans to do what it wants them to do, whatever that is. If you are destined to stay on the Afghan plantation forever, might as well plant something. [PT] Cartoon by Steve Bell And so… a darkness covered the land. From Sioux City to Savannah, a shadow passed between Earth and sun. Strange and fearful events were reported. A calf was born with two heads outside of Des Moines. Pomegranate trees flowered in Manhattan. An LGBTQQ+ person wondered WTF? The people were sore afraid. Nowhere was the darkness deeper than in the nation’s capital. There, no light shone. No flicker of awareness… observation… learning… or reflection
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Lighting a Candle
POITOU, FRANCE – On Tuesday, Donald Trump, president of all the Americans, said his country would spend more blood and money trying to force the Afghans to do what it wants them to do, whatever that is.
If you are destined to stay on the Afghan plantation forever, might as well plant something. [PT]
Cartoon by Steve Bell
And so… a darkness covered the land. From Sioux City to Savannah, a shadow passed between Earth and sun. Strange and fearful events were reported. A calf was born with two heads outside of Des Moines. Pomegranate trees flowered in Manhattan. An LGBTQQ+ person wondered WTF?
The people were sore afraid.
Nowhere was the darkness deeper than in the nation’s capital. There, no light shone. No flicker of awareness… observation… learning… or reflection appeared.
Donald J. Trump had promised to light a candle. But it was nowhere to be seen. Five years ago, he said, “Ron Paul is right.” The Afghanistan adventure was “wasting our money.” It was a “total disaster,” he added.
He asked, “What are we doing there? These people hate us.” Then, a year later, he said, “We should leave Afghanistan immediately.”
And in his bid for the White House, he had offered something better. “America First,” he called it. Instead of trying, fruitlessly, to build a better country in the Hindu Kush, he would try to build a better country at home!
No more losing wars. No more strangling regulations. No more losing deals with the rest of the world. Even from the mouth of Donald Trump, these promises sounded good, good enough to win the nation’s highest office.
Ron Paul on the newest Afghanistan surge plans. He’s still right.
You will recall, the election of Donald J. Trump brought controversy to the Diary; many Dear Readers got very cross with us. Today, we back up to look at what the fuss was all about.
In the first place, we believe that democracy, as practiced in a big, degenerate empire, is largely a sham. Voting is a waste of time; we said so then.
In the second place, we thought the Deep State – the few insiders who really run the government – had either already made peace with Mr. Trump or would soon do so, after the election.
In the third place, we identified a chief cause of America’s economic malaise (as well as many of its other problems): the fake-money system, which encourages the buildup of debt and enriches Wall Street while reducing the real output and wealth of the Main Street economy.
In the fourth place, this fake-money system is the source of funding for the Deep State. It cannot give it up, no matter who is president. As long as this system remains in place, the Deep State will continue to grow – by legislation, regulation, hook or crook.
How it works, roughly
In the fifth place, you can’t really build a decent economy on phony money, debt, and forcing win-lose deals on the public. Each day that passes adds more debt, more complexity, and more misallocation of resources. Sooner or later, the whole shebang is going to blow up.
Just hours after the results came in last November, our view looked basically right. The new president gathered in the two most important branches of the Deep State – the Gunmen (representing the military-security industries) and the Goldmen (representing Goldman Sachs and Wall Street).
Obviously, a deal had been struck – or tacitly acknowledged. Wall Street and the Pentagon – “my generals” – were already part of the team. With them in place, Trump could be Trump with no fear of disrupting the Deep State’s privileges and position.
“No… he’s going to shake things up,” readers protested. “He’s our only hope…” “Give him time.”
But time and money are running out.
On Tuesday, under pressure from the generals, Donald Trump abandoned the promise of an “America First” foreign policy. The U.S. has lost 2,350 soldiers in Afghanistan… and spent $1 trillion.
And now, even more resources will be brought to bear so that the longest, most pointless war in U.S. history can continue. Trump himself may be in favor of change. But U.S. foreign policy under the Trump administration is the same as it was under Barack Obama. It favors the Deep State’s military-security industries – as it has for at least the last 17 years.
There is no change to Obamacare or any other significant domestic program, either. The Deep State’s zombie support/medical-educational-retirement transfer programs remain in place, too. But while Trump and the media focus on Confederate monuments, Russia, North Korea, transsexuals… and whirlwind crises, the clock ticks.
The feds have only enough cash for about six weeks of operations. Then, they will bump up against the current debt ceiling. The Deep State must raise the debt ceiling in order to keep the fake money flowing. But raising the debt ceiling may not be easy.
Conservative Republicans will want to know: “With the national debt already headed to $30 trillion, just where do we think we’re going?”
“We’ll agree to raise the debt ceiling,” say the liberal Democrats, “but only if you leave O’Care alone.”
“Hey, what about that bridge in my district?” asks the independent.
And so, the darkness spreads…
Raise the debt ceiling! It’s for a good cause!
Cartoon by Steve Bell
Chart by: Reuters
Chart and image captions by PT
The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.