What the heck has happened to Venezuela?!  I’ll break it down for you.

Let’s look at a basic and condensed timeline, pertaining to Venezuela, for starters:

1992 – Venezuela becomes the 3rd richest country in the western hemisphere, behind only the United States and Canada.

1993 – President Carlos Andrés Pérez is impeached for embezzlement of public funds.

1998 – A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution and socialism. The “Bolivarian Revolution” refers to a left-wing populist social movement and political process in Venezuela led by the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, who founded the Fifth Republic Movement in 1997 and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela in 2007.

1999 – The “revolution” began when a “new” Constitution for Venezuela was written.

2001 – Venezuela voted for a socialist president to address “income inequality.”

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2004 – Private healthcare is completely socialized.

2007 – All higher education becomes “free.”

2009 – The private ownership of guns is banned.

2012 – Bernie Sanders is quoted as saying, “Venezuelans are living the American dream better than Americans.”

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2014 – Government opposition leaders are imprisoned.

2016 – Food shortages become a widespread problem.

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2017 – The Venezuelan constitution and elections are suspended.

2018 – The country’s economic policies lead to extreme hyperinflation, with an inflation rate of 1,370,000% by the end of the year.

2019 – It is estimated that more than 3 million people have fled Venezuela in recent years.

2019 – Venezuelan protesters are attacked and killed by their own government in order to suppress their dissidence.

 

Venezuela’s socialist governments have been in power since 1999, taking over the country at a time when Venezuela had huge inequality.

But the socialist polices brought in which aimed to help the poor backfired, and made the situation even worse, of course.  Companies now controlled by the government failed, and price controls to make basic goods more affordable to the poor by capping prices meant that Venezuelan businesses no longer found it profitable to produce them.  Eventually, the government subsidies of all facets of the economy were unsustainable.

In only 27 years Venezuela has turned a “rags to riches” story into a “riches to rags” story.

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Like Margaret Thatcher, the former Britsh Prime Minister once said, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

Does any of the Venezuela story sound familiar today in America?

There certainly appear to be some similarities in the early stages happening here.

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We see an impeachment happy democrat Congress trying to overturn a presidential election.

We see many democrat politicians and democrat presidential candidates calling for a new constitution or drastic changes to our existing one.

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We constantly hear democrat politicians and democrat presidential candidates touting government solutions for “income inequality,” don’t we?

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We hear democrat politicians and democrat presidential candidates calling for a complete government takeover of our healthcare system.

Many democrat politicians and democrat presidential candidates are proposing “free” college.

And lastly, we hear many democrat politicians and democrat presidential candidates calling for radical changes to our gun laws, changes to the 2nd amendment or the complete removal of our right to bear arms.

The intentions of the American democrat party are apparent.

The democrats want to destroy America as we know it.

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The choice here is painfully clear.

If you want to follow in Venezuela’s footsteps…, elect democrats.

It’s as simple as that.

The only people who benefit from a socialist government are those in government.

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They apparently long for power that badly that they are willing to turn everyone elses life into a living hell for their own sakes.

They can only do this if we let them, however.

Remember…, the Venezuelan people voted for what they got.

In the end…, it’s their own fault.

And in the end…, we’ll choose our own fate as well.

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Up and up The Fed’s interest rate goes, where it’ll stop nobody knows!

The Federal Reserve raised the nation’s borrowing rate by 0.25% for the fourth time this year, despite months of objections from President Trump.

According to Lucy Bayly, the business editor for NBC News, “President Trump fears higher interest rates will take the steam out of the nation’s booming economy.”

She continues by saying, “As head of the Federal Reserve, [Jay] Powell has found himself uncharacteristically singled out for criticism over the central bank’s handling of interest rates, with Trump saying he ‘maybe regretted nominating Powell to the position.’”

“I have a hot economy going,” President Trump said in October, and “every time we do something great, he raises the interest rates.”

Ms. Bayly feel sthat, “Powell’s challenge at this juncture has been to make it clear that the Fed’s decision was data driven and not due to any deference to the political establishment, which would have risked the central bank’s credibility as an independent agency.”

That’s kind of funny.  Why does it seem that “The Fed,” the central bank, only seems concerned about its credibility when there is a Republican president?

During an interview with “Yahoo Finance,” Edward Stringham, an economist, Professor of Economic Innovation at Trinity College and the president of the American Institute of Economic Research, said, “We’ve had artificially low interest rates for years.”  The Fed has apparently admitted to this because Mr. Stringham goes on to say that, “The Fed has said that they want to get away from that [artificially low interest rates].”

What does “artificially low interest rates” mean?  Why would The Fed be dealing with anything that is “artificial?” I take it to mean that The Fed had lowered the rates, or kept them low, for reasons other than financial and/or economic merit.

In other words, it sounds kind of “swampy” and politically motivated to me.

Well, let’s take a look at the recent history of The Federal Reserve Bank, how they’ve handled the rates, and you decide.

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the interest rate was at 6%.

By June of 2003 the rate was down to 1% due to a recession, the 9/11 attacks, and a war in The Middle East.

The rate was then back up to 5.25% by June of 2006.

It then was down to 1% again by the end of Bush’s term, mostly due to another recession, the housing crisis, bank failures and the bank bailout.

On December 11, 2007, the rate dropped from 4.5% to 4.25%

January 22, 2008, the rate then plummeted to 3.5%

Only eight day later, on January 30, 2008, the rate went down to 3%

On March 18, 2008, the rate dropped to 2.25%

On April 30, 2008, the rate fell to 2%

On October 8, 2008, it fell to 1.5%

Twenty-one days later, on October 29, 2008, the rate dropped to 1%

After Barack Obama was elected president, on December 16, 2008, the rate went to .25%

Note: .25% is the lowest funds rate possible.

Then, for the following 7 YEARS, or basically most of the “Obama years,” the federal interest rate sat there at .25%!  For 7 YEARS!!!

It wasn’t until December of 2015 that they managed to raise the rate to .5%.

The rate stayed at .5% all of 2016 until Donald Trump won the election, at which time the rate immediately went up to .75%.

So, even though all of the “biased, liberal, fake news media” financial “experts” were predicting a stock market crash if Donald Trump won, and all kinds of other economic misfortune, The Federal Reserve felt it was a good time to raise the federal interest rate.

Interesting.  Ponder that for a moment.

Then over the next two years of the Trump Presidency, The Fed chooses to raise the rate 6 more times, all the way back to 2.25%!

On March 16, 2017, the rate goes to 1%

On June 15, 2017, we’re up to 1.25%

On December 14, 2017, the rate goes up to 1.5%

On March 22, 2018, it climbs to 1.75

On Jun 14, 2018, 2%

On September 27, 2018, 2.25%

And on December 19, 2018, The Fed raised it another .25 to 2.5%

 

“The economy continues to punch well above its weight,” said Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group. “Although trade tensions and tariffs continue to present uncertainty, the economy has been running red-hot for a long time…”

Is that what you call “a long time” Mr. Rick, a little over a year?

It seems these economists and know-it-all eggheads are in quite a hurry to slow our economy down.

Why?

Why was it OK for Americans to sit through all of these down times for close to two decades, but then when we finally turn it around they want to throw down all of these speed bumps?

What do you think?  Is it a case of “the swamp’s” willingness to sabotage the country for the sake of their own survival and desire for power?

I’m thinking that is the case, but then again, I’m becoming more and more cynical by the day.

 

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President Trump’s economy has been making deposits and it’s earning interest!

What I’m talking about here is the federal funds interest rate.

Simply put, in the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which banks and credit unions get money from the Federal Reserve.

The lower the fed rate is, the lower the rate that businesses and consumers pay when they borrow money.

The lower the fed rate is, the lower the rate is that we earn on CDs, Savings accounts, etc.

The federal funds target interest rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FMOC) which normally occurs eight times a year, or about every seven weeks.

The FOMC consists of twelve members, the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis.

As of September 2018, the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 2.00–2.25%. This represents the EIGHTH increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015 (only a month after President Trump was elected).  Obama never experienced even ONE increase.  

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%.  This occurred during the presidency of Republican President George W. Bush.

The Federal Reserve then began lowering rates in September 2007.  Between September 2007 and December 2008 the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00–0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history.  This occurred as Democrat President Barack Obama took office and the rate remained at 0.25 or less his remaining 7 years in office.

So Obama’s economy basically enjoyed 7-8 years of “free money” from the government and still could not pick itself off of the floor.

Additionally, I find it peculiar that “The Fed” NEVER chose to increase its rate under democrat president Obama, but increased the rates on a regular basis under republican presidents, Bush and Trump.

There are two ways to react to this.  Either we had rate increases under presidents Bush and Trump because their economies were more successful and warranted them (which Obama would argue is not the case), or, the individuals at “The Fed” are a biased group that did all that they could do (rates of 0.0%) to prop up the Obama economy.

I suspect it’s a little of both, but it is annoying when we hear former President Obama take any credit for President Trump’s economy, when the Obama economy could not generate enough steam to even get the Fed’s rate off of ZERO PERCENT.

Of course, the “biased fake news media” has chosen to report and emphasize the negative aspect of the story here (higher interest rates for consumers) rather than report on the general overwhelming success of our economy.  It is very apparent now that they are just unwilling to give President Trump ANY credit for anything that could be perceived as positive.

CNN Business News or all the people out there crying because they are currently paying the outrageous rate of 5.0% on a home loan are not going to get any sympathy from me.  When my wife and I got our first home loan the rates were between 11.0% and 13.0%!  And they had been higher than that!

President Trump has said he is concerned and mad about rising interest rates.  He’s worried The Fed is raising interest rates too fast, in a way that will unnecessarily slow the economy, because they’re concerned about a “phantom inflation threat.”

All in all, I guess these are good concerns and good problems to have.

President Obama never had to worry about his economy being slowed down.

If it would have been slowed down any more it would have going in reverse!

 

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