6 random things for Friday (SS payments increase 2.2%, FAANG stocks, Max Boot wants war)

News Story of the Day: the soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security is set to increase its payments by 2.2 percent next year. This averages out to an extra $28 a month, a remarkable figure considering how much the government steals from you during your working career to pay for a Ponzi scheme.

This will be the biggest increase since 2012, when the Social Security Administration raised payments to 3.6 percent.

Social Security is on the cusp of insolvency as the fund is projected to face a “$546 billion shortfall, which would grow to more than $3 trillion in the first five years” within the next 15 years. But you can’t say that to certain politicians because they think it’s just political rhetoric and a nefarious method to hurt seniors.

Chart of the Day: the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates one more time this year. One of the major questions coming out of a rising-rate environment is: how will it affect the stock market? With the stock market benefiting from cheap money, this era may gradually come to an end, but one chart suggests that won’t be good for FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google):

Illustration of the Day: so, according to the left, women are just naturally paid 23 percent less than men because all companies are sexist and misogynistic. Well, why not just fire all men and only hire women. That’s what Dilbert’s boss may be thinking to cut down on labor costs:

Image result for meme dilbert

Quote of the Day: if there is one person who you want to listen to regarding the Trump-Russia saga it is journalist Glenn Greenwald. He may be terrible on certain subjects, but he is great seeing the propaganda peddled by the mainstream media. Here are his latest remarks on the Donald Trump Jr. “scandal” in an interview with Democracy Now (emphasis ours):

So here’s what I don’t understand about this. Certainly, it’s an interesting email. I’m glad that it surfaced. It does lend some credence to the possibility that the Trump administration colluded with the Russians criminally, meaning with their hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails, if in fact the Russians did that as the intelligence agencies claim, although they’ve produced no evidence for it. It is possible that the Trump administration or Trump officials colluded with the Russians to commit that crime. It’s possible they didn’t. We still haven’t seen any evidence that they have. Remember, this is not evidence suggesting that Trump officials actually colluded with the Russians to commit a crime—the hacking.

Now, what the Democrats are saying is that the Trump administration and their defenders in the media at Fox News and the like are, quote-unquote, “moving the goalposts” by saying, “Well, this only shows that Trump Jr. was willing to get information from the Russian government about Clinton, but it doesn’t show there was actual criminal collusion.” To me, it seems as though the people who are moving the goalposts are the Democrats. The claim all along, the reason why there’s talk of impeachment, the reason why there is a special prosecutor, the reason why people want to see Trump and his associates criminally prosecuted, is because of the claim that they committed crimes by colluding with the Russians with regard to the hacking. That’s what Harry Reid has always said. That’s what John Podesta has always said. That has always been the Democratic claim. This newest evidence doesn’t in any way suggest that. What it suggests instead is that Donald Trump Jr. was told that the Russian government had incriminating evidence about Hillary Clinton and wanted to give it to him. And he said, “Well, I’d love to get it. I’d love to have it.” Now, I guess there’s some sense that it’s wrong for a political campaign to take dirt on your adversary from a foreign government. I don’t think it’s illegal at all to do that, but there’s a claim that it’s somehow sort of immoral.

And here’s what I don’t understand. The Steele dossier that everybody got excited about, that claimed that the Russians had incriminating videos of Trump in a Moscow hotel and other dirt on Trump, that came from somebody who was getting first paid by Republicans and then by Democrats, going to Moscow and getting dirt about Donald Trump from Kremlin-affiliated agents in Moscow. In other words, he went to Russia, talked to people affiliated with the Russian government and said, “Give me dirt about Donald Trump,” and then, presumably, got it and put it in the memo. Similarly, there’s an amazing Politico article from January of this year that describes how allies of the Clinton campaign, including somebody being paid by the DNC, met with officials of the Ukrainian government, which was desperate to help Hillary Clinton win and Donald Trump lose, and get information incriminating about Trump from Ukrainian officials. In other words, Ukraine was meddling in our election by giving Democrats incriminating information about Trump.

Tweet of the Day: auditing the Federal Reserve may not solve the overall problems of the central bank, but it’s a great first start. Of course, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, like her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, opposes such an initiative. Luke Rudowski has it right:

Video of the Day: it has been an interesting week for the hawks on both sides of the aisle. Earlier this week, Ralph Peters said peaceful relationships are not a good thing when one side is LITERALLY HITLER. Democratic strategist Paul Begala recently suggested that President Trump should just bomb Russia. And now neocon Max Boot wants even more intervention, according to an interview he did with Tucker Carlson:

Like this article? Get ECN delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe here.


  1. JRATT1956 says:

    Record corporate profits, time to raise the social security tax. It has not been raised since 1990, that is what has caused the funding problem. Just raising it 3 more percent for employee and employer slowly over the next 15 years would ensure 100% funding for the next 75 years. But don’t let facts get in the way of your propaganda.

    • From 12.4% to 18.4%. Problem solved. Heck. Let’s solve the deficit problem too. Raise taxes! This is easy.

      • JRATT1956 says:

        Since many people have low wages, part time work only, 50 percent of workers make less than $30,000 per year. If we raise the SS tax the same percentage as the SS COLA each year, we get to 18.4% slowly and fund the program 100%.
        This is much cheaper for the average worker than trying to save an additional 10 to 15 percent of wages, that many just do not have to save, with the current cost of living.

  2. Rabelrouser says:

    The simple way to solve the financial problem is for everyone to give all they have in “cash” to the government.
    The “People” dont need it anyway, at least not as much as their owner does.

    • JRATT1956 says:

      A slow rise of 6% in the SS tax over a 15 year period, is not everyone giving all they have, it is just simple math to balance the SS trust fund. Just raise the SS tax the same percentage as the SS COLA. A 2% COLA would raise each half of the tax .124 percent per year. Once the tax is raised the 6% you stop the increases. I do not think it is too much to ask. Better than the 25% cut in benefits that is coming if we do nothing.

Leave a Comment