By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Corrected and updated)
The top story concerns the Middle East ratcheting up the possibilities of an intensified war in Syria. Top U.S. military officer General Martin Dempsey warned Congress about the “unintended consequences” of employing some of the military options that are being talked about. Dempsey expressed concerns over arming al-Qaeda backed rebels and the fallout of weapons that could be used later against the U.S. and its allies. There is also talk by some senators, like John McCain, of direct U.S. involvement that includes troops and aircraft use to establish a no-fly zone. This according to General Dempsey could cost as much a $1 billion a month. General Dempsey told Congress “we could inadvertently empower extremists.” He said training and arming the rebels could cost as much a $500 million a month. Nearly 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the two year civil war. Remember, our opponent is not just the Assad regime, but Russia, Iran and, to some extent, China.
President Obama is going on the stump over the next few months to talk about the economy. Simply put, he wants higher taxes and higher spending. John Boehner, Speaker of the House, says no way. He and the Republicans want just the opposite. We have some huge hurtles coming at us. Obama Care starts to kick in in October, and that is being called a job killer. Also, the debt ceiling fight could end in stalemate and a government shutdown. Is the President setting up the Republicans to take the blame?
Speaking of the economy, the Detroit story may now be off the front page, but its effects on the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market are just beginning. Dozens of other cities are also in deep financial trouble. Guess what that means? Interest rates to fund city and state projects in the municipal bond market are going to get a lot more expensive. Detroit’s pension fund alone is underfunded by $9 billion. Bond holders will be lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar. It’s hard to imagine pensioners will get much more than that. Politicians promised all these goodies to get votes and now have shafted these people. This is why I do not like public unions. There are no profits–just taxpayers. When things get bad and taxes get too high, people can just move, and that is what happened in Detroit and is happening in other big cities. Many market experts say funding projects for cities, counties and states is going to get way more expensive. That is going to cause higher taxes, cutbacks in services and, I predict, many more defaults.
A vote in the House of Representatives to restrict the NSA data collection and spy program was defeated, but just barely. I think if NSA leaker Edward Snowden did not come forward and disclose this awful unconstitutional program, we wouldn’t ever be talking about this. Snowden did the country a favor. This is not over; I expect more votes in the future.
In a surprise move, the U.S. government filed criminal charges against SAC Capital Advisors for alleged insider trading. SAC denies the charges, but a 41 page criminal indictment claims “pervasive insider trading.” The government lawsuit is seeking $10 billion and could put the company out of business, just like Arthur Anderson in the Enron debacle. Even though SAC has more than $14 billion under management, some say the government is just picking on a small company. There have been no criminal prosecutions of big banks for things like security fraud and money laundering for drug cartels and countries that support terrorism.
Join Greg Hunter as he gives his analysis on these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up.