THE DON JONES INDEX…

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

         9/18/17…  15,620.12

9/11/17…  15,636.30

6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

 (THE DOW JONES INDEX: 9/18/17… 22,268.34; 9/11/17… 21,797.79; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for September 18, 2017 – OF the DEBT CEILING and KANGAROO STEAKS!

 

 

Well…

This lesson should have been the final (of 6), ranking the nations of the world on their “pursuit of happiness”.  Previous lessons treated the three admonitions of Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard” which were Health (centering on longevity, access to and affordability of healthcare), Wealth (personal, of course, but also national fiscal policies and creditworthiness) and Wisdom (concerning the quality of education).  And then, we treated the first two entitlements of Mr. Jefferson’s preamble to the Declaration of Independence… Life (reiterating some of the “health” issues but also including environmental issues) and Liberty (individual and commercial).  “Pursuit of happiness” was to be the final lesson this week – except that something intervened…

After President Trump cut his deal to stave off a national default and government shutdown by arriving at a deal with “Chuck and Nancy” to postpone the day of reckoning for another three months, the lid that had been tightly (and rather disingenuously) clamped on the National Debt was blown open and on Friday, September 8th, the deficit finally broke through the red glass ceiling of twenty trillion dollars, showering America with toxic shards of frozen red ink as some would have you believe will kick off a personal and national Apocalypse (which, in many cases, can only be averted by purchasing what it is they have to sell, whether it be gold, guns, packets of survival food, influence with Jesus or that most nebulous of all commodities… financial advice).

An impending catastrophe – largely overlooked because of the real-time catastrophes of Harvey and Irma simultaneously taking place – started to play out when dreamseekers Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, and Nancy Pelosi, House ML, cut a win-win deal with Trump.  (Winning, that is, for the big-spending, low-taxing politicians found on both sides of the aisle.)

Through the first week of September, the political force field shields held up with the combined public and intragovernmental debt (money the government owes to itself) actually falling until, with Harvey having done it’s dirty work and Irma on the way, Trump finally sat down with Chuck n’ Nancy for a megadeal that also included release of an immediate $15.25 billion for hurricane relief and vague protections for the “Dreamers”.  And the ceiling shattered on Friday the 8th, the combined public and intragovernmental debt jumping by some three hundred billion dollars (a spike of less than one percent; insignificant had it occurred in the misery (inflation/unemployment) index or the Dow but a near-revolution in the staid, incremental deficit.  It continued to soar through Monday and Tuesday of last week, but then settled back to about the same level as on the 8th.

 

09/01/2017

14,428,250,468,926.45

5,416,371,174,602.17

19,844,621,643,528.62

09/05/2017

14,418,693,678,455.88

5,425,696,570,659.58

19,844,390,249,115.46

09/06/2017

14,411,300,801,153.53

5,433,031,596,205.00

19,844,332,397,358.53

09/07/2017

14,410,076,163,680.58

5,434,510,797,926.54

19,844,586,961,607.12

09/08/2017

14,622,661,213,046.99

5,539,515,584,857.14

20,162,176,797,904.13

09/11/2017

14,624,241,429,758.93

5,541,451,312,230.98

20,165,692,741,989.91

09/12/2017

14,624,438,900,751.01

5,549,066,963,311.24

20,173,505,864,062.25

09/13/2017

14,624,323,575,931.90

5,535,685,753,745.91

20,160,009,329,677.81

09/14/2017

14,627,258,513,577.20

5,538,208,163,557.51

20,165,466,677,134.71

current

See category in Index (below

 

 

Six point two trillion dollars or approximately 45% of the debt held by the public was owned by foreign investors, the largest of which were Japan and China at about $1.09 trillion for Japan and $1.06 trillion for China as of December 2016. 

A short jaunt down memory lane, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s coverage during the Week That Was is illustrative…

Tuesday, Sept. 5:  Congress returned from its long vacation to what the WSJ called a “tense session”; immigration, tax reform, North Korea and Harvey all on the plate, but the immediate looming catastrophe was a government shutdown unless the debt ceiling, expiring October 1st, was raised.  “The list is long and the time is short,” warned the Journal.  President Trump was reported as planning to delay DACA deportations by six months, removing the prospect of ICE agents charging into Houston shelters and dragging out the Dreamers.

Wednesday, Sept. 6: The Senate approved 7.85 billion for Harvey relief while Djonald proclaimed his “six months and out” proposal.  The debt relief still stalled, Treasury Sec. Mnuchin took time off from soliciting rides on government jets to beg Congress to do something.  But meanwhile, in a dark, forbidden place…

Thursday, Sept. 7: Trump announced he’d held a secret meeting with Chuck and Nancy and they’d arrived at a deal.  Dreamer deportations would be postponed and the debt ceiling would be raised to… well, whatever… at least until December 15th.  Republicans, who had been holding out for a debt ceiling extension of eighteen months (which would push the next reckoning safely past the midterm elections) were outraged; Speaker Paul Ryan called the deal “ridiculous” and “unworkable”.  “We had a great meeting,” the President replied.  “And we walked out and everybody was happy.  Not too happy because you can never be too happy, but they were happy enough.”  The Journal editorialized “…ah, dogs and cats together.”

Friday, Sept 8:  Joe Barton (R-Tx) disagreed: “I am not a happy camper,” complained the Fort Worth Congressman, heedless of the real unhappy campers to the south and east of his district.  With Irma on the way, the Senate upped relief funding to 15.85 billion and passed the deficit ceiling bill 80-19 after a Republican plea to cut their extension from 18 to 6 months failed.  “The people of the United States really wanted to see a coming together, at least to an extent,” concluded Trump, initiating a wave of paranoia among elephant-boys that more deals might be on the way.  (WSJ pundit George Melloan compared the Dems to Greens, dupes of one of those Illuminatist tentacles… the Club of Rome!)   In fact, leftist Democrats also trembled… Sanderistas worried that Chuck and Nancy “may strike a bad deal on tax policy” and Pelosi was jostled and shouted down by a leftist mob in San Francisco.

Saturday, Sept. 9: The Journal reported that the House had passed the deal, 316-90.  Perhaps in retaliation, Republicans promised to revive “repeal and replace” which plot Trump called “a death wish”.  Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan lamented that he had gone over to the dark side with his “pivot” and was now “battered”, “outfoxed” and “zany”, predicting a “true rebellion” of the G.O.P. hard right; conspiracy theorists alleged that Schumer “always makes money” for unnamed Trump partners.

Monday, Sept. 11: Mindful of the anniversary and contemplating Irma’s wrath, the Journal ceased reportage on the deficit.

 

Other orthodox media sources have also been muted and even lighthearted.  A blogger suggested that Trump use his deal-making skills to make Mexico cover our debts, another compared the “fiscally responsible” pols to (tardy Harvey shelter shogun)Joel Osteen claiming to be Christian while living in a 10 million dollar mansion and having a net worth over 50 million dollars.”  KTAR Phoenix reported that Arizona Senator Jeff Flake advised that the amount of debt the United States is in would buy every American — all 323.1 million of them — more than 60 of Apple’s newest device, the iPhone X.

“Surpassing $20 trillion in debt is the latest indicator of our nation's dire fiscal condition,” Michael A. Peterson, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a non-partisan organization dedicated to addressing America’s long-term fiscal challenges, said in a statement picked up by Fox News. “As a result of our inability to address our growing debt, we are now on pace to spend $6 trillion on interest alone over the next 10 years.”

The New York Times speculated speculations… calling out Mitch McConnell for his own dreaming that Democrats “spiked the ball in the end zone a little too early” when they claimed they would have maximum leverage in a December fiscal showdown, and predicting that President Trump has another debt limit deal in mind: “doing away with the debt ceiling entirely”.

Radio shock jocks, bloggers and ranters have taken up the slack.  Much of their energy was poured into the blame game… Obama and, even, Clinton were the fathers of the debt, deduced the right-wingers, not Reagan, the Bushes or Trump and America is being infested with Mexican parasits seeking “…free medical care, schooling for their children, food stamps, rent subsidies and welfare checks, everything that they have "dreamed" about.”

PA blamed “the tenured, indoctrinating, Marxist academics, rotting young minds that's creating a culture of destructive anarchists, same with the Socialist leftist elites at Endowment for the Arts/Humanities, NPR, PBS all funded with tax payer money & the big tax credit to Communist Hollywood who blackballs anyone who doesn't goose step with them. Nothing more nauseating than some Hollywood a**hole like Clooney & Redford lecture us on inequality when they own million dollar summer homes all derived from reading a script & playing make believe.”

Leftists, also playing the game, blamed their usual suspects.  An undated, unsigned article in zfacts.com called “How “Voodoo” Caused Most of the National Debt” accused Djonald Unchained of being “under the Voodoo spell”, so that “this time the country really is losing its greatness”.  Producing many charts and graphs, the zfactotums quoted Bush I, asserting “when it came to the debt, that Voodoo made a zombie out of Reagan and generations of Republicans” and included a concise history of its actual provenances.

Invented at a restaurant just off Wall Street by Wall Street journalists (and a kooky economist), its official name is “supply-side” economics. Don’t be fooled, in 40 years this has not become part of real economics. That’s because it central tenet is this:

“You cut taxes, and the tax revenues increase.” —Voodoo Economics”

 

And the peanut gallery, checking in at a variety of forums, had their partisan say with the left championing Slick Willie and the right upholding Eisenhower as a man who “clearly knew what he was talking about” (despite leaving Dick Nixon under our Christmas tree).

From BT: “The KING of bankruptcy wants us to give him unlimited spending power.”  Added PD: “Trump has filed at least 4 bankruptcies in his life, paying himself handsomely while stiffing his contractors and investors. Trump is a professional con man. Don't let him anywhere near our US Treasury.”

“As far as stiffing contractors and investors, happens just about every bankruptcy,” rationalized MP, stage right.

As the debate degenerated into personal insults, childish fingerpointing, racial slurs and accusations of racial slurs, some remedies surfaced, like dead fish after the bomb goes off in the river.

Solutions ranged from higher, not lower, taxes on the rich (Dems) to cutting or eliminating food stamps, which would also solve the obesity problem (Pubs) to taxing online sales (lobbyists for brick n’ mortar retailers like the newly-bankrupt Toys-R-Us).  Flake, who has been opposed to the rising national debt, introduced a bill earlier this year that would allow taxpayers to earmark a portion of their taxes to reduce the debt.

The right-wing, Heritage sponsored Daily Caller noted that “(t)he nation’s debt also exceeds its gross domestic product, which was estimated to be roughly $19.23 trillion in the second quarter of 2017. The federal government is expected to pay some $474.5 billion in interest on the total outstanding debt in the 2017 fiscal year,” and added that “(t)he federal government is paying historically low rates of interest on its debt, in large part thanks to efforts by the Federal Reserve Bank to keep interest rates low in the wake of the Great Recession”… which is of interest because of the looming expiration of Janet Yellen’s term as Fed Chairman and the intrigues among supply-siders over her successor.

And some offered simpler, nonpartisan solutions.  “We can't afford the empire,” R.L. posted to the Caller.  “It's time to be a republic again, as the founders envisioned our nation to be.”

"The problem isn’t likely to get better anytime soon… (a)t least not until the taxpayers realize they're being looted by a two-party system (that's really a one-party system) controlled by oligarchs who privatize their profits and socialize their losses,” posted another poster adult while a third advised: “Get use too (sic) the idea of eating a lot of Spam, and Bush's bake beans in the very near future.

Mother Mary, a correspondent for the CBN (a bible news network) advised Americans to “(t)ake a look at Venezuela for a preview of what's coming ... people eating dogs, cats, squirrels, zoo animals, garbage, anything they can find to survive another day.”

Writing in Forbes today, former candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich looked back with nostalgia on the previous century… “When I served as chairman of the House Budget Committee in the 1990s, members of our committee worked to reform programs and control the nation’s spending. Ultimately, our across-the-aisle approach worked, and with a Democratic President and a Republican Congress we balanced the nation’s books for the first time since 1969. Sadly, they haven’t been balanced for many years since.”

Now that the good old days are gone, Kasich warns that the growing debt also makes it increasingly difficult to respond to unforeseen events, such as recessions and natural disasters citing former chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, who warned: “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”

Who’s to blame? “Our U.S. Constitution, for all its virtues, fails to put any restrictions on what the government spends. It’s like designing a high-speed sports car, but failing to install any brakes.”

What’s to do?

Kasich proposes that the states call a Second Constitutional Convention… “a total of 27 states are on board, with just seven more states needed to call a convention and trigger the fiscal responsibility” despite second thoughts from New Mexico, Nevada and Maryland.  Unless the Constitution is shredded and rewritten… “Our country will fall into the sorry category of high-debt nations like Japan, which is struggling to deal with perennially anemic economic growth and fears of hyper-inflation, or Greece, which is dependent on international bailouts to keep its teetering economy from falling back into chaos.”

Of course, such an adventure could get out of hand.  Fixing the deficit by rewriting the Constitution might draw certain special interests out of the woodwork… socialists, anarchists, lobbyists, “natives” (calling repeal of the Thirteenth Amendment), prohibitionists, dataminers, Russians… the list goes on and on…

What could go wrong with that?

(Some of those zoo animals look mighty tasty!)

 

Harv and Irma caught up to Don Joneses living elsewhere than Florida and Texas as the statistics finally showed what everybody already knew… gas prices were spiking as a result of refinery closure and increased demand.  The 6.3 percent spike does not wholly represent the increase in prices at the pump and, down the road, the effects of Harv and Irma (and Maria?) will be felt in other sectors as food and retail, trucking and shipping outlays are passed along to consumers and (eventually) to the taxpayers.

 

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

(REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

See a further explanation of categories here

 

ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

                                                                                                                                             

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

INCOME

 

(24%)

BASE

6/27/13

      RECKONINGS

       LAST             CHANGE

 

NEXT

DON

9/11/17

DON

9/18/17

 

OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENTS

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)    

9%

1350 points 

9/18/17

+0.09%

9/25/17

     1,458.26

 

     1,458.26

 

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages   22.12 nd

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

9/18/17

+0.04%

9/25/17

646.10

646.33

debtclock.org/    30,433

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

9/18/17

+2.36%

9/25/17

     1,034.48

     1,034.48

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000     4.4 nd

   Official (DC - in millions)

2%

300

9/18/17

-0.06%

9/25/17

514.44

514.74

http://www.usdebtclock.org/      6,885

   Unofficl. (DC - in millions)

2%

300

9/18/17

-0.23%

9/25/17

487.86

488.97

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    13,696

Workforce Participation

     Number (in millions)

     Percentage (DC)

2%

300

9/18/17

 

+0.024%

+0.024%

9/25/17

288.91

288.98

Americans in/not in workforce (mil.) 

In: 153,759 Out 94,699 Total 247,458

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    62.125%

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

9/11/17

+0.16%

9/11/17

150.31

150.31

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate   62.90% nc

 

 

OUTGO

    (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation (aggregate)

7%

1050

8/21/17

+0.4

9/25/17

994.88

990.02

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.4

 

Inflation – Food

2%

300

8/21/17

+0.1

9/25/17

280.38

280.10

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.1

 

               - Gasoline

2%

300

8/21/17

+6.3

9/25/17

393.30

368.52

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +6.3

 

               - Medical Costs

2%

300

8/21/17

+0.2%

9/25/17

269.17

268.63

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.2

 

               -  Shelter

2%

300

8/21/17

+0.5%

9/25/17

288.83

287.39

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm    +0.5

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

9/18/17

 -0.86% 

9/25/17

387.35

387.35

Dow – 22,268.34

Homes – Sales

             -  Valuation

1%

1%

150

150

9/11/17     9/18/17

Sales   -1.45%  Valu.   -0.04%

9/25/17

195.82         230.97

195.82         230.88

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

Sales (M):  5.44 Valuations (K):  258.3

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

9/18/17

   -0.04%

9/25/17

262.91

262.80

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    56,690

 

 

AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions – tr.)

2%

300

9/18/17

+0.03%

9/25/17

377.46

377.58

debtclock.org/       3.313

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

9/18/17

 -0.075%

9/25/17

264.60

264.20

debtclock.org/       4.001

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

9/18/17

 -0.94%

9/25/17

365.70

362.23

http://www.usdebtclock.org/     20.167

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

9/18/17

+0.04%

9/25/17

378.82

378.55

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    67.808

 

 

 

 

GLOBAL

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

9/18/17

+0.03%

9/25/17

317.68

317.78

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6.141 139

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

9/18/17

-0.26% 

9/25/17

156.15

156.15

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 194.4

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

9/18/17

-0.17%

9/25/17

137.20

137.20

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html 238.1

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

9/18/17

+0.23% 

9/25/17

114.67

114.67

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/congressional.html  43.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                 SOCIAL INDICES (40%)

                       LIBERTY and SECURITY INDEX           (15%) 

ACTS of MAN

(9%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Peace

3%

450

9/18/17

+0.2%

9/25/17

428.30

427.44

UN refuses US demand for N. Korea oil sanctions.  Russian war games threaten Baltics.  Genocide in Myanmar.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

9/18/17

-0.3%

9/25/17

235.39

236.10

Two arrested in dud London subway bombing.  More ISIS brass captured in Syria.

 

Private/Public Corruption 

2%

300

9/18/17

+0.2%

9/25/17

306.52

305.91

Warnings about Harvey/Irma drowned cars for sale.  Jersey Senator Menendez goes on trial for fraud.  Seattle Mayor resigns after fifth child molest allegation,  Treasury Sec. Mnuchin draws fire for commandeering govt. jet to Kentucky for eclipse but denied ocean-hopping trip.  Brazil busts world’s #1 meatpacker for fraud and China starts sentencing white collar crooks to life without.

 

Crime

1%

150

9/18/17

+0.1%

9/25/17

241.31

241.07

Feds clear cops in black murders, school shootings in Washington and LSU copycat hazing death investigated.  42 year old murder solved.

 

 

ACTS of GOD             

(6%)

(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

9/18/17

    -0.4%

9/25/17

351.06

352.46

So long Irma, here comes Jose… but the only likely result is bitchin’ Atlantic surf.  Irma=blasted Caribbean islands call the wind Maria.  Western fires finally doused by early snow.

 

Natural/Unnatural Disasters

3%

450

9/18/17

    -0.1%

9/25/17

378.25

378.63

Connecticut pilot survives U-tube-worth plane crash.  Boy scout does not on forced death hike, nor does Italian family that falls into volcano.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         LIFESTYLE and JUSTICE INDEX          (15%)

Science, Tech. & Education

4%

600

9/18/17

+0.4%

9/25/17

613.88

616.34

Apple debuts high tech, high price ($999) iPhone Ten.  NFL develops hi-tech helmets.  Satellite Cassini plunges into Saturn after long, successful flight.

 

Equality (economic/social)

4%

600

9/18/17

-0.1%

9/25/17

731.80

731.07

CIA pressures Harvard to revoke M to F transgender Chelsea Manning’s appointment as a Fellow (!).  California becomes 16th state to join lawsuit to save the DACA dreamers but Motel 6 is castigated for ratting out dreamers and all illegals to the government, 

 

Health

4%

600

9/18/17

+0.2%

9/25/17

544.43

545.52

Bernie Sanders vows to introduce (doomed) single payer healthcare.  Doctors say 911 cancers rising and sitting down will kill you, but exposure to cleaning products may help cure asthma,  Toxic sick puppies sold at Petlands in 7 states.

 

Freedom and Justice                        

3%

450

9/18/17

+0.5%

9/25/17

496.50

498.98

Pharma-profiteer Shkreli gets his bail revoked.  Pizza Hut manager pilloried for demanding workers drive in during hurricanes.  In court, actress Rebel Wilson wins millions in Australian libel case and Slender Man killer gets the loony bin, not prison.  But Jeffrey Sandusky convicted for child porn – like father, like son. Get ready for another celebrity Cosby trial – but not until 2018.

 

                     

                       MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (10%)

All miscellaneous incidents

 (transient and cultural)

10%

1000

9/18/17

+0.3%

9/25/17

1052.55

1055.71

Hillary and Bannon cash in w/book, interviews but, on the other hand, so do Hand in Hand hurricane victims (44M) and job hunters as Target plans to hire 100K holiday workers.  St. Peter’s bones allegedly found and a miracle baby born at a Jersey Burger King.  (Cleveland) Indians’ record streak hits 22 before losing and Boston oafs hand racist banners from the stands.  NFL and college football seasons begin and so does Oktoberfest (early) in Munich.  RIP to cult hero Harry Dean Stanton (91),

 

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of September 11th through September 17th, 2017 was DOWN 16.18 points. 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

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