"I never really thought that I'd spend as much time in airports as I do. I don't know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I'm not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports. I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to "hello" and "goodbye." I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.
I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye. Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.
On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, "How are you today?" I replied, "I am missing my wife already and I haven't even said goodbye." She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, "How long will you... Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!" We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye. But I learn from goodbye moments, too.
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, "I love you. I wish you enough." She in turn said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy." They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.
"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?" I asked. "I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral," he said. "When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?" He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more. "When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory...
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
He then began to sob and walked away. My friends, I wish you enough!"
"The early bird catches the worm; a stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can't pretend we haven't been told. We've all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to ‘seize the day'. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug until we can't anymore, until we finally understand for ourselves like Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake beats the hell out of never trying."
“Dr. Meredith Grey,” “Grey’s Anatomy”
Happy 2018, and Remember..."
by Paulo Coelho
"Like the sun, life spreads its light in all directions. And when we are born, we want everything at once and cannot control the energy we have been given. But, if we want to make a fire, we have to focus all the sun’s rays on one spot. And the great secret that the Divine Energy revealed to the world was fire. Not just fire for burning, but the fire that transforms wheat into bread. And there comes a moment when we need to focus that inner fire so that our life will have some meaning.
Then we ask the heavens: ‘But what meaning?’ Some immediately brush this question aside: it’s bothersome, it won’t let you sleep and there’s no easy answer. They are the ones who, later on, will live tomorrow as if it were yesterday. And when the Unwanted Visitor arrives, they will say: ‘My life was too short, I squandered my blessing.’
Others embrace the question, but, since they don’t know the answer, they start to read what was written by those who have already faced up to the challenge. And suddenly, they find an answer which they judge to be correct. When that happens, they become the slaves of that answer. They draw up laws intended to force others to accept what they believe to be the sole reason for existence. They build temples to justify it and courts for those who reject what they consider to be the absolute truth.
Finally, there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap: there is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap, they decide to act. They go back to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and – disregarding the advice of their elders – devote their life to it."
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
- Frank Herbert
“Walking Through Your Fear: Emerging Courageous”
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM
“Frequently, in walking through our fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of sync with reality. The situations, activities, and individuals that frighten us remain static. Their relative intensity does not change. Fear, on the other hand, self-magnifies. It is when you are afraid and envisioning all that might go wrong that the energy underlying your fear grows. A tiny flicker of anxiety can easily develop into a terror that manifests itself physically and eventually paralyzes you into inaction. Though frequently, in walking through that fear, we discover that the strength of our fright was out of synch with reality. And we learn that doing what frightens us can lead to great blessings. Confronting your trepidation head-on will help you accept that few frightening scenarios will ever live up to the negative disasters that we sometimes play out in our minds.
Though fear is literally an evolutionary gift meant to sharpen your senses and energize you during times of great stress, it can nonetheless become a barrier that prevents you from fulfilling your potential by causing you to miss out on rewarding, life-changing experiences. During the period before you face your fear, you may have to deal with a barrage of negative thoughts and emotions. Walking through it, whether your fear is public speaking, taking part in an activity that makes you nervous, or asserting yourself when the odds are against you, may be equally as difficult. But once you have emerged unscathed on the other side, which you will, you will likely wonder why you assumed the worst in the first place. As you spend time worrying about what might happen, it’s good to know that your fear probably won’t happen at all. It may feel like a great weight has been lifted from your shoulders, and you will likely feel a sense of passionate pride. Walking through your fear can mean taking risks and can require both practice and patience. Since it is challenging to act when you are gripped with fear, start small.
Each step you take into fear will strengthen you and help you confront future fears with poise, courage, and confidence. You will also find that when you are willing to stare your fear in the face, the universe will always offer you some form of aid or support. When you see the heights of accomplishment and personal evolution you can attain when you walk through your fears, your faith in yourself will grow, allowing your next step to be easier.”
"Now you've done it and it's official, you have a hangover. Now what? No matter what you do sleep and water or juice should be included. There are many folk cures that are supposed to help cure a hangover. Many of them will help you cope by replenishing the vitamins and liquid you lost over night, while some like avoiding caffeine are very important to a quicker recovery. There is no one size fits all cure, find what works for you but the list below is a good place to start. There are also a few suggestions from readers who found their own way to cope.
Difficulty: Hard Time Required: As long as it takes to feel better.
• Sleep. Rest is your best friend at this point to give your body a recover. It is best to stay in bed so call in to work if you have to, tell them you have the stomach flu. You will sound so horrible on the phone they may believe you (unless they saw you at the bar, not a good idea then). • Replenish your body with fruit juice and water. • Avoid caffeine. A weak cup of coffee may be okay but a lot of caffeine will continue to dehydrate you, the opposite of what you want right now. • Drink orange juice for Vitamin C. • Drink a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade. • Eat mineral rich food like pickles or canned fish. • In Poland, drinking pickle juice is a common remedy. • Drink a Bloody Mary. While the popular phrase “hair of the dog that bit you” may sound logical with a shot of whiskey left in the bottle next to your bed, it’s only temporary. Try a Bloody Mary instead, while your blood is dealing with the new alcohol it is ignoring the old and in the mean time tomato juice and celery are full of vitamins. If you drank the last of the vodka make a Virgin Mary. Another spicy morning after drink option is Hair of the Dog, in which gin and hot sauce are sure to bite your hangover back. • Take a shower, switching between cold and hot water. • In Ireland it was said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand. • Try Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. One reader says that it's all that he and his wife have found that really works for them. He stumbled across this "cure" while his wife was still suffering after two days, within 15 minutes after taking the Alka Seltzer she was fine. • Get some exercise. Another reader suggests doing some sort of physical activity. He writes, "In the rare case of having hangover I usually drink about 1-2 liters of water and go outside to do some exercise like mountain climbing, swimming, cycling or just about anything that keeps me sweating." It takes willpower to move like that when standing seems like a challenge, but it is a good theory.
• The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner, just like alcohol, and can intensify its effects and Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding. So be cautious when going for the quick relief. • Watch the video: "Hangover Remedies." Jonathan Stewart demonstrates how to make a blended hangover remedy. There are a more than a few ingredients so you may want to have everything organized prior to overindulging. • As an antidote, one reader takes a little extra multi B vitamin and drinks a lot of water before going to sleep."
"Those who have been deeply wounded recognize each other. They speak a secret language of tears that no one sees. They are known to have extraordinary visions, they rise to impossible heights, and then fall down like stones. Some call them mad, when, for a few brief hours or days, they transcend their pain, connect with demons or divinities, invent new lives for themselves, dream dreams like the old men who spend whole days watching the boats come and go in Greek fishing villages, telling tales of life on the high seas, imagining future voyages.
The deeply wounded recognize each other at a great distance, and offer safe harbor. They can no longer play the world’s games of make-believe. They want out. They beg for forks, spoons, knives, broken pottery, so they can dig their way out of the gulag. They will dig underground thousands of yards for their freedom. They are known for living on the edge of consciousness, and for fearlessly jumping into the void, even if they know it is a thousand foot drop to the raging river below, and that few survive the fall. If this is the only way down and out, they will leap every time, danger be damned.
They do this even in their pain, and die some little death each day, often in small actions, in order to live this dangerous life. They have no fear, because they have nothing to lose, and danger becomes a way of connecting with the God that comforts them, forgives everything, holds them and dries their tears, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Last night, I dreamed I was flying. It was so easy. I was able to see my whole life. It was like being in a movie about a dream about being in a movie of flying, flying. I think a time does come when we just leave the past behind, all of it. I pray for this. I think we can come out of the fire without even the smell of smoke, like pure gold. I think we can wake up from our dreams of suffering. You hear these words now, even though I am speaking them in the secret language of the deeply wounded, the language that we both know so well, have spoken for years? Can you hear me?
This is what I mean. We the wounded have a secret language, stories we tell, rituals we keep, fences we build, ways we have of keeping the world away from our hearts and minds. For example, often during the day, I light incense, or perhaps burn some white sage, cedar or pinon leaves. I do not know why I do this, but it calms me, makes a connection. I am in transition now, but I do not yet see from where to where, but things are moving. In the rushing river, I am swimming past the bleached skeletons of those who did not make it, I am heading down to the sea, the sea, the sea. Perhaps there is a ship that will carry me home.
Here is the truth: I want my life back. It is as simple as that. There, I said it. When did I give myself away? When did I accept the idea that I have to live like this? No matter. It seems that I have woken up, that I want better, that I want me for myself. My life now is nothing more than a search for freedom and sanctuary, silence and peace. I am weary of the ways and voices of the world. All I want is to speak our secret language. All I want now is freedom, resurrection and wholeness. I know you understand."
“Spooky shapes seem to haunt this jeweled expanse, drifting through the night in the royal constellation Cepheus. Of course, the shapes are cosmic dust clouds faintly visible in dimly reflected starlight. Far from your own neighborhood on planet Earth, they lurk along the plane of the Milky Way at the edge of the Cepheus Flare molecular cloud complex some 1,200 light-years away.
Click image for larger size.
Over 2 light-years across and brighter than the other ghostly apparitions, vdB 141 or Sh2-136 is also known as the Ghost Nebula, seen at the right of the starry field of view. Within the nebula are the telltale signs of dense cores collapsing in the early stages of star formation.”
"There was a moment yesterday evening when the elements conspired to evoke these few lines, spoken by Macbeth:
"Light thickens, And the crow makes wing to the rooky woods, Good things of day begin to droop and drowse."
The fading light. The crows gliding down the fields to the trees in Ballybeg:
"Light thickens, And the crow makes wing to the rooky woods, Good things of day begin to droop and drowse."
It's all there, in those few lines- the mysterious power of poetry to infuse the world with meaning, to anoint the world with a transforming grace. One could spend an hour picking those lines apart, syntax and sound, sense and alliteration. The t's of light thickening, tongue against the teeth. The alar w's making wing. The owl eyes of the double o's. The d's nodding into slumber - day, droop, drowse.
The poet Howard Nemerov says of poetry that it "works on the very surface of the eye, that thin, unyielding wall of liquid between mind and world, where somehow, mysteriously, the patterns formed by electrical storms assaulting the retina become things and the thought of things and the names of things and the relations supposed between thing." It works too in the mouth, in the physical act of speech - tongue, teeth, those d's gliding deeper into the darkness of the throat.
I stand in the gloaming garden and the black birds glide, down, down to Ballybeg, and I marvel that with so few syllables Shakespeare can- across the centuries- teach me how to see.”
"Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars of light, are giving off the rich fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment,
the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating
away over the blue shoulders of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is nameless now.
Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this:
the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know.
To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go."
"Feeling Fed Up with Humanity, In the World and in Ourselves"
by Madisyn Taylor, The DailyOM
"We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer and knowing this allows us to find compassion. From time to time, we may all feel fed up with humanity, whether it’s from learning about what’s going on around the world, or what’s going on next door. There are always situations that leave us feeling as if people are simply not capable of behaving in a way that is coming from a place of awareness. Often it seems as if people are actually geared to handle things in the worst possible way, repeatedly. At the same time, none of us wants to linger in a judgmental mood about our own species. As a result, we might tend to repress the feelings coming up as we take in the news from the world and the neighborhood.
It is natural to feel let down and disappointed when we see our fellow humans behaving in ways that are greedy, selfish, violent, or uncaring, but there are also ways to process that disappointment without sinking into despondency. As with any emotional response, we honor our feelings by feeling them fully, without judging or acting on them. Once we’ve done that—and we may need to do it every day, as part of our daily self-care—we can begin to consider ways that we might help the situation in which humanity finds itself.
As always, we start with ourselves, utilizing our awareness of the failings of others to renew our own commitment to be more conscious human beings. We are all capable of the best and the worst that humanity has to offer, and remembering this keeps us in check, as well as allowing us to find compassion for others. We may find ourselves feeling compelled to serve people who are suffering injustices at the hands of other people, or we may begin to speak out when we see something that we don’t think is right. Whatever the case, the only thing we can do is pledge to serve the best, rather than the worst, of what humanity has to offer, both in the world, and in ourselves."
"Glory: I look around at this world you're so eager to be a part of and all I see is seven billion lunatics looking for the fastest ride out. Who's not crazy? Look around, everyone's drinking, smoking, shooting up, shooting each other, or just plain screwing their brains out 'cause they don't want 'em anymore. I'm crazy? Honey, I'm the original one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind, 'cause at least I admit the world makes me nuts."
"Scientists have discovered a major cause of dementia which can help in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness. The researchers point to toxic levels of urea in the brain as being responsible for the brain damage that leads to dementia, an incurable neurodegenerative disease that causes an impairment of memory and thinking abilities. Urea is a byproduct of protein metabolism, produced by the liver to remove ammonia from the body. If you’re wondering – yes, urea is what’s excreted from the body in urine after being filtered by the kidneys.
The paper published by collaborating scientists from the UK, Australia, New Zealand the U.S. shows that Huntington’s Disease, one of seven major kinds of dementia that’s related to aging, has a direct relationship to urea levels in the brain as well as metabolic processes. A 2016 study by the same group also linked urea to Alzheimer’s. This proves, according to Professor Garth Cooper, who led the team from the University of Manchester in the U.K, that their discovery relates to different type of dementias.
The observation that high urea levels set in before the onset of dementia can help doctors to one day diagnose and treat the disease. “This study on Huntington’s Disease is the final piece of the jigsaw which leads us to conclude that high brain urea plays a pivotal role in dementia, said Professor Cooper. “Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are at opposite ends of the dementia spectrum – so if this holds true for these types, then I believe it is highly likely it will hold true for all the major age-related dementias.” He added that more research is needed to understand how the urea levels get elevated. The current study was conducted on human brains, donated by families for medical purposes as well as the brains of genetically modified sheep.
The international team included scientists from the University of Manchester, the University of Auckland, AgResearch New Zealand, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University. You can read their study in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'."
Please view the Comments below this post on The Burning Platform link,
which includes the following by Stucky:
“The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile, and is very good in cases of malaria. Sufferers of chronic rheumatism and gout will benefit by taking lemon juice, also those who have a tendency to bleed, uterine hemorrhages, etc.; rickets and tuberculosis. In pregnancy, it will help to build bone in the child. We find that the lemon contains certain elements which will go to build up a healthy system and keep that system healthy and well. As a food, we find, owing to its potassium content, it will nourish the brain and nerve cells. Its calcium builds up the bony structure and makes healthy teeth.
Its magnesium, in conjunction with calcium, has an important part to play in the formation of albumen in the blood. The lemon contains potassium 48.3, calcium 29.9, phosphorus 11.1, magnesium 4.4. Lemons are useful in treating asthma, biliousness, colds, coughs, sore throat, diphtheria, la grippe [flu or influenza], heartburn, liver complaint[s], scurvy, fevers and rheumatism.”
The energy you get from your food comes from the atoms and molecules of energy in your food. A reaction takes place as cationic food enters the digestive tract and encounters anionic digestive enzymes.
To explain further, an ion is part of a molecule con-atom or a group of atoms that carry an electrical charge. Ions which carry positive charges are “cations.” Lemons are considered to be anionic, having more electrons (negatively charged ions) of energy as compared to cations (positively charged ions) in their atomic structure. Saliva, hydrochloric acid, bile and the stomach’s other digestive juices are also anionic. Lemon is one of the only foods on the planet that has more anions than cations in its atomic structure.
When considering the electromagnetic properties of food Dr. Beddoe points out that all foods are considered cationic with the exception of fresh, raw lemon juice. Some have suggested that the reason fresh lemon juice is similar to digestive enzymes is due to the low amount of sulfur in lemons. It should be noted that pasteurized and packaged lemon juice is cationic and, therefore, ineffective as a health remedy."
“My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either. It happens to be my view, but it doesn't challenge any of the findings of Darwin or Huxley or Einstein or Hawking.”
"The Greatest Bubble Ever: Why You Better Believe It, Part 2"
by David Stockman
"As we explained in Part 1, the most dangerous place on the planet financially is now the Wall Street casino. In the months ahead, it will become ground zero of the greatest monetary/fiscal collision in recorded history. For the first time ever both the Fed and the US treasury will be dumping massive amounts of public debt on the bond market - upwards of $1.8 trillion between them in FY 2019 alone - and at a time which is exceedingly late in the business cycle. That double whammy of government debt supply will generate a thundering “yield shock” which, in turn, will pull the props out from under equity and other risk asset markets - all of which have “priced-in” ultra low debt costs as far as the eye can see.
The anomalous and implicitly lethal character of this prospective clash can not be stressed enough. Ordinarily, soaring fiscal deficits occur early in the cycle. That is, during the plunge unto recession, when revenue collections drop and outlays for unemployment benefits and other welfare benefits spike; and also during the first 15-30 months of recovery, when Keynesian economists and spendthrift politicians join hands to goose the recovery - not understanding that capitalist markets have their own regenerative powers once the excesses of bad credit, malinvestment and over-investment in inventory and labor which triggered the recession have been purged.
By contrast, the Federal deficit is now soaring at the tail end (month #102) of an aging business expansion. And the cause is not the exogenous effects of so-called automatic fiscal stabilizers associated with a macroeconomic downturn, but deliberate Washington policy decisions made by the Trumpian GOP.
During FY 2019, for example, these discretionary plunges into deficit finance include slashing revenue by $280 billion, while pumping up an already bloated baseline spending level of $4.375 trillion by another $200 billion for defense, disasters, border control, ObamaCare bailouts and domestic pork barrel of every shape and form.
These 11th hour fiscal maneuvers, in fact, are so asinine that the numbers have to be literally seen to be believed. To wit, an already weak-growth crippled revenue baseline will be cut to just $3.4 trillion, while the GOP spenders goose outlays toward the $4.6 trillion mark.
That’s right. Nine years into a business cycle expansion, the King of Debt and his unhinged GOP majority on Capitol Hill have already decided upon (an nearly implemented) the fiscal measures that will result in borrowing 26 cents on every dollar of FY 2019 spending. JM Keynes himself would be grinning with self-satisfaction.
Moreover, this foolhardy attempt to re-prime-the-pump nearly a decade after the Great Recession officially ended means that monetary policy is on its back foot like never before.
What we mean is that both Bernanke and Yellen were scared to death of the tidal waves of speculation that their money printing policies of QE and ZIRP had fostered in the financial markets. So once the heat of crisis had clearly passed and the market had recovered its pre-crisis highs in early 2013, they nevertheless deferred, dithered and procrastinated endlessly on normalization of interest rates and the Fed’s elephantine balance sheet.
So what we have now is a central bank desperately trying to recapture lost time via its “automatic pilot” commitment to systematic and sustained balance sheet shrinkage at fixed monthly dollar amounts. This unprecedented “quantitative tightening” or QT campaign has already commenced at $10 billion of bond sales per month (euphemistically described as “portfolio run-off” by the Eccles Building) during the current quarter and will escalate automatically until it reaches $50 billion per month ($600 billion annualized) next October.
Needless to say, that’s the very opposite of the “accommodative” Fed posture and substantial debt monetization which ordinarily accompanies an early-cycle ballooning of Uncle Sam’s borrowing requirements. And the present motivation of our Keynesian monetary central planners is even more at variance with the normal cycle.
To wit, they plan to stick with QT come hell or high water because they are in the monetary equivalent of a musket reloading mode. Failing to understand that the main street economy essentially recovered on its own after the 2008-2009 purge of the Greenspanian excesses (and that’s its capacity to rebound remains undiminished), the Fed is desperate to clear balance sheet headroom and regain interest rate cutting leverage so that it will have the wherewithal to “stimulate” the US economy out of the next recession.
Needless to say, this kind of paint-by-the-numbers Keynesianism is walking the whole system right into a perfect storm. When the GOP-Trumpian borrowing bomb hits the bond market next October we willalready be in month #111 of the current expansion cycle and as the borrowing after-burners kick-in during the course of the year, FY 2019 will close out in month #123.
Here’s the thing. The US economy has never been there before. Never in the recorded history of the republic has a business expansion lasted 123 months. During the post-1950 period shown below, the average expansion has been only 61 months and the two longest ones have their own disabilities.
The 105 month expansion during the 1960s was fueled by LBJ’s misbegotten “guns and butter” policies and ended in the dismal stagflation of the 1970s. And the 119 month expansion of the 1990s reflected the Greenspan fostered household borrowing binge and tech bubbles that fed straight into the crises of 2008-2009.
Yet the Trumpian-GOP has not only presumed to pump-up the fiscal deficit to 6.2% of GDP just as the US economy enters the terra incognito range of the business cycle (FY 2019); it has actually declared its virtual abolition. Ironically, in fact, on December 31, 2025 nearly all of the individual income cuts expire -meaning that in FY 2026 huge tax increaseswill smack the household sector at a $200 billion run-rate!
But not to worry. The GOP’s present-day fiscal geniuses insist that the current business expansion, which will then be 207 months old, will end up no worse for the wear. The public debt will then total $33 trillion or 130% of GDP - even as the US economy gets monkey-hammered by huge tax increase.
Alas, no harm, no foul. The business expansion is presumed to crank forward through FY 2027 or month #219.
Click image for larger size.
Needless to say, the whole thing degenerates into a sheer fiscal and economic fairy-tale when you examine the data and projections. But that hasn’t deterred the GOP’s fiscal dreamers. Not only have they implicitly embraced an out-of-this-world 219 month business cycle expansion, but they have also insisted it will unfold at an average nominal GDP growth rate that has not been remotely evident at any time during the 21st century.
As shown in the chart below, the 10-year CBO forecast of nominal GDP (yellow line) is already quite optimistic relative to where GDP would print under the actual growth rate of the last ten-years (blue line). In fact, the CBO forecast generates $16 trillion of extra GDP and nearly $3 trillion more Federal revenue than would a replay of the last 10-years - and notwithstanding the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus during that period.
Still, the GOP/Trump forecast (grey line) assumes a full percentage point of higher GDP growth on top of CBO and no intervening recession and resulting GDP relapse.
Accordingly, the GOP assumes $30 trillion of extra GDP over the coming decade or nearly 23% more than would be generated by the actual growth rate (blue line) of the last decade; and consequently, $6 trillion of extra revenue.
That’s right. An already geriatric business cycle is going to rear-up on its hind legs and take off into a new phase of growth in the face of an epochal pivot of monetary policy to QT and a public debt burden relative to GDP that is approaching a Greek-style end game.
Click image for larger size.
(Note: Figures in the box are inverted. First line should be 2006-2012 redux and third line should be Trump forecast.)
Stated differently, fiscal policy has descended into the hands of political mad-men at the very time that monetary policy is inexorably slouching toward normalization. Under those circumstances there is simply no way of avoiding the “yield shock” postulated above, and the cascading “reset” of financial asset prices that it will trigger across the length and breadth of the financial system.
As usual, however, the homegamers are the last to get the word. The unaccountable final spasm of the stock market in 2017 will undoubtedly come to be seen as the last call of the sheep to the slaughter. And owing to the speculative mania that has been fostered by the Fed and its fellow-traveling central banks, it now appears that the homegamers are all-in for the third time since 1987.
Indeed, Schwab’s retail clients have never, ever had lower cash allocations than at the present time - not even during the run-up to the dotcom bust or the great financial crisis.
But this time these predominately baby-boom investors are out of time and on the cusp of retirement - if not already living on one of the Donald’s golf resorts. When the crash comes they will have no opportunity to recover - nor will Washington have the wherewithal to stimulate another phonyfacsimile of the same.
The GOP-Trumpian gang has already blown their wad on fiscal policy and the Fed is stranded high and dry still close the zero-bound and still saddled with an elephantine balance sheet.
That is, what is fundamentally different about the greatest financial bubble yet is that there is no possibility of a quick policy-induced reflation after the coming crash. This time the cycle will be L-shaped- with financial asset prices languishing on the post-crash bottom for years to come.
And that is a truly combustible condition. That is, 65% of the retirement population already lives essentially hand-to-month on social security, Medicare and other government welfare benefits (food stamps and SSI, principally). But after the third financial bubble of this century crashes, tens of millions more will be driven close to that condition as their 401Ks again evaporate.
That’s why the fiscal game being played by the Donald and his GOP confederates is so profoundly destructive. Now is the last time to address the entitlement monster, but they have decided to throw fiscal caution to the winds and borrow upwards of $1.6 trillion (with interest) to enable US corporations to fund a new round of stock buybacks, dividend increases and feckless, unproductive M&A deals.
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Then again, what the GOP has not forgotten is the care and feeding of its donor class. That mission is being accomplished handsomely as it fills up the deep end of the Swamp with pointless, massive defense spending increases and satisfies K-Street with a grotesquely irresponsible tax bill that was surely of the lobbies, by the PACs and for the money.
At the end of the day, however, the laws of free markets and sound finance will out. The coming crash of the greatest bubble ever will prove that in spades."