Just Revealed: Dems Are Getting Crushed By Republicans In An Area That Could Doom Them

As candidates in both parties vie for the support of donors who keep their campaigns viable, party leaders are likewise in a never-ending pursuit of capital. According to an exclusive report by Breitbart this week, one party is clearly leading that effort.

In a comparison of party expenditures over the last several months, the Democrat National Committee showed a net loss while its GOP counterpart remained squarely in the black.

As a recent example, the DNC in September came up more than $1.2 million short of meeting its $5.25 million in expenditures. Overall, the committee reportedly has nearly $7 million in debt and just $4.7 million in cash on hand.

Contrasting the party’s current situation with the same period leading into the 2012 presidential election, the facts look even grimmer. The DNC’s November 2011 report to the Federal Election Commission showed a party with more than $11 million in cash on hand.

A particularly vibrant primary season for Republicans has coincided with a much more optimistic outlook for the Republican National Committee. With less than $2 million in debt, the party has a reserve of more than $20 million in cash on hand.

Not only has the RNC spent the last 10 months taking in more cash than Democrats, GOP leaders have also been able to spend more than the DNC over the same period.

Does The Bell Toll For The Fed?

Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted that the Federal Reserve Board will increase interest rates at the board’s December meeting. The positive jobs report that was released following Yellen’s remarks caused many observers to say that the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate increase in almost a decade is practically inevitable.

However, there are several reasons to doubt that the Fed will increase rates anytime in the near future. One reason is that the official unemployment rate understates unemployment by ignoring the over 94 million Americans who have either withdrawn from the labor force or settled for part-time work. Presumably the Federal Reserve Board has access to the real unemployment numbers and is thus aware that the economy is actually far from full employment.

The decline in the stock market following Friday’s jobs report was attributed to many investors’ fears over the impact of the predicted interest rate increase. Wall Street’s jitters about the effects of a rate increase is another reason to doubt that the Fed will soon increase rates. After all, according to former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar, protecting Wall Street was the main goal of “quantitative easing,” so why would the Fed now risk a Christmastime downturn in the stock markets?

Donald Trump made headlines last week by accusing Janet Yellen of keeping interest rates low because she does not want to risk another economic downturn in President Obama’s last year in office. I have many disagreements with Mr. Trump, but I do agree with him that the Federal Reserve’s polices may be influenced by partisan politics.

Janet Yellen would hardly be the first Fed chair to allow politics to influence decision-making. Almost all Fed chairs have felt pressure to “adjust” monetary policy to suit the incumbent administration, and almost all have bowed to the pressure. Economists refer to the Fed’s propensity to tailor monetary policy to suit the needs of incumbent presidents as the “political” business cycle.

Presidents of both parties, and all ideologies, have interfered with the Federal Reserve’s conduct of monetary policy. President Dwight D. Eisenhower actually threatened to force the Fed chair to resign if he did not give in to Ike’s demands for easy money, while then-Federal Reserve Chair Arthur Burns was taped joking about Fed independence with President Richard Nixon.

The failure of the Fed’s policies of massive money creation, corporate bailouts, and quantitative easing to produce economic growth is a sign that the fiat money system’s day of reckoning is near. The only way to prevent the monetary system’s inevitable crash from causing a major economic crisis is the restoration of a free-market monetary policy.

One positive step Congress may take this year is passing the Audit the Fed bill. Fortunately, Senator Rand Paul is using Senate rules to force the Senate to hold a roll-call vote on Audit the Fed. The vote is expected to take place in the next two-to-three weeks. If Audit the Fed passes, the American people can finally learn the full truth about the Fed’s operations. If it fails, the American people will at least know which senators side with them and which ones side with the Federal Reserve.

Allowing a secretive central bank to control monetary policy has resulting in an ever-expanding government, growing income inequality, a series of ever-worsening economic crises, and a steady erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power. Unless this system is changed, America, and the world, will soon experience a major economic crisis. It is time to finally audit, then end, the Fed.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

How Modern Sweden Profits From The Success Of Its Free-Market History

Bernie Sanders’s entry into the presidential race has sparked a nationwide conversation about socialism and its potential to remedy the real and perceived pathologies suffered by Americans. Throughout Sanders’s extensive political career, he has proudly labeled himself a socialist while being careful to distance his ideological roots from basket cases such as North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and other collectivist nightmares. Rather, as with most progressive socialists, he considers himself a “democratic” socialist sharing more in common with the relatively wealthy Scandinavian countries.

It is interesting that progressives like Sanders can look at a rich country like Sweden and automatically conclude that the nation’s high living standards do not result from a laissez-faire past, low levels of national debt, monetary independence, no centrally mandated minimum wage, strong legal protection of property rights, a level-headed central bank, low corporate tax rates, or even Sweden’s gradual move toward more privatization in healthcare, social security, and education. Rather, progressives naturally assume that Sweden’s high living standards are a product of their high taxes and nationalized industries.

But, imagine if LeBron James took up smoking. Any success on the court would be despite his destructive habit, not because of it. Sweden’s economic success has come in spite of its socialism.

I will focus on just one Scandinavian country, Sweden, given that it has often been touted by progressives as a sort of heaven-on-earth. A (very) brief history of this fascinating country might help us better understand Sweden’s current high living standards and the many ways in which Swedish socialism has set an unnecessary cap on the nation’s productivity.

Sweden: From Crippling Poverty to Unheralded Prosperity Through Laissez-Faire Capitalism

Some 250 years ago, the area we recognize now as “Sweden” was a frozen tundra inhabited by a huddled mass of starving peasants. Their lives were tightly controlled by a series of kings, aristocrats, and other men of artificially high esteem. As award-winning author Johan Norberg points out in this excellent piece on Sweden, it took a series of classically-liberal minded revolutionaries to wrestle control from the elites and put Sweden on a path to prosperity.

Licensing czars, an oppressive guild system, and a litany of other onerous regulations on free exchange were dramatically reduced or eliminated. In the century from 1850–1950, the population doubled, and real Swedish incomes multiplied nearly tenfold. Despite the almost non-existence of a welfare state or any major state control of economic sectors, by 1950 Sweden was the fourth richest nation in the world. Sweden’s extraordinary growth during that century rivaled even that of the United States (Sweden was not a participant in the two World Wars). As a matter of fact, capital formation and wealth creation proved so abundant in Sweden during the global depression of the 1930s that even social democrats in the legislature practiced a form of salutary neglect to ensure the prosperity would continue. As with any other country, Sweden’s impressive capital stock was built by entrepreneurs operating in a free market system.

Sweden’s Experiment with “Nordic Socialism” is Relatively New and Has Been Disastrous for Growth

Big business looking for government protection worked alongside ambitious politicians and union leaders to force Sweden into adopting socialist policies in the decades following its impressive growth. Over time, government spending more than doubled, and taxes in certain sectors were doubled or even tripled. Despite these calamitous changes, by 1970, the OECD still ranked Sweden as the fourth richest nation in the world. However, by 2000, Sweden sank to number fourteen. Dr. Per Bylund from Oklahoma State University has previously pointed out that from 1950–2005, Sweden did not add one net private sector job. Nordic Socialism has frozen a once entrepreneurial and prosperous people in time. With few exceptions, Sweden’s large businesses have very little incentive to innovate (and they have not), and many enterprises now survive purely on government contracts whose value is impossible to ascertain without a system of free exchange to establish prices for goods and services.

Sweden has managed to live comfortably for decades despite its many heavy-handed socialist policies only because so much capital stock was created in the decades prior (not to mention a sane monetary policy). Yet this capital consumption is eroding Sweden’s wealth. In 2007, Professor Mark J. Perry from George Mason University pointed out that if Sweden were to be admitted as a 51st state to the Union, it would be the poorest state in terms of unemployment and median household income. Yes, even poorer than Mississippi. In fact, Sweden’s current welfare state suppresses household incomes so effectively for Swedes that a 2012 IEA study found that American Swedes have roughly the same unemployment rate as Swedes in Sweden–yet earn, on average, 53 percent more annually.

In recent years, Swedish lawmakers have begun slowly privatizing chunks of their socialized sectors such as healthcare, social security, and education. Last year, Reason magazine pointed out that private health insurance has exploded in a country where cancer patients may wait up to a year for treatment in the state-run system. This trend has grown. Sweden, furthermore, has begun outsourcing education to private providers and seen not only a reduction of costs, but an increase in parent satisfaction and learning outcomes for graduates.

Bernie Sanders has Picked up the Wrong Lessons from the Nordic Model

Bernie Sanders has stated now, and in the past, that he would like to see an America with universal healthcare, paid maternity leave, expanded social security through higher payroll taxes, mandatory vacation days and sick leave, free secondary education, and the enactment of a slew of other progressive policies. It seems he has only forgotten to promise yachts for the homeless.

The underlying problem with socialists like Bernie Sanders is that they do not actually believe (or understand) in economics at all. As Ludwig von Mises himself has pointed out, socialism is not an economic theory — it is a theory of redistribution. Only free exchange can coordinate entrepreneurs and their resources in a way that creates actual goods and services that satisfy consumer needs and wants. Socialists like Bernie Sanders take no part in this process of wealth creation; they merely show up after the fact and demand title. Sweden has practiced this form of parasitic socialism on their accumulated wealth, and it has significantly stifled Swedish productivity.

Nordic-style policies advocated by Sanders have (predictably) restricted Sweden’s growth for decades. The notion that we can implement Nordic socialism in a nation of 320 million people without destroying labor mobility, taxing capital out of existence, and absolutely crippling innovation where it’s needed most is pure delusion. Sweden is slowly returning to its productive capitalist roots. We should do the same.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to “GDP per capita” when describing Mark J. Perry’s research. The correct term, “median household income,” has been inserted.

This commentary originally appeared on Mises.org and is reprinted under a Creative Commons license

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Wow: Ben Carson Just Scored An Absolutely Dominant Win In A Crucial Category

Chalk up another impressive win to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.

Carson out-raised his fellow Republican candidates by far in the last quarter.

He brought in more than $20 million in the quarter, much of it funded by small donors.

Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz also brought in impressive amounts, with $13.4 million and $12.2 million raised, respectively.

Carson more than doubled what he brought in from donors in the previous quarter ($8 million).

Carson had $11.5 million in cash on hand in the third quarter.

Tony Corrado, professor of government and a campaign finance observer at Colby College, stated about Carson: “He is converting the populist appeal of his message into support and campaign dollars, which will allow him to continue to wage a viable campaign — but whether this allows him to broaden his base of support remains to be seen, especially given the competition he faces from other non-traditional and conservative candidates.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner who leads Carson, is not actively fundraising and spends his own money on the campaign trail.

On the topic, Trump has stated: “I’ve spent zero on advertising. Every [network] they have covered me a lot. It’s almost like if I put ads on top of the program it would be too much, it would be too much Trump. I’ve spent the least money and have the best poll numbers.”

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton raised $28 million in the third quarter, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raised $26 million in the third quarter. The Democratic candidates are raising more money in part because there is a much smaller crop of Democratic presidential contenders than Republican presidential contenders.

What do you think of the money the candidates have raised so far? With these latest numbers released, has Carson now pulled ahead of all of the Republicans in the field with the exception of Trump?

Ben Carson Makes Giant Announcement That’ll Terrify His Opponents And Shatter Records

Ben Carson’s campaign has done what few political insiders thought was possible when the former neurosurgeon launched his candidacy last spring: become a fundraising juggernaut.

The political outsider, now running only one point behind Donald Trump in recent polling, raised over $20 million dollars in the third quarter only. To date, the campaign has raised over $31 million.

“You know, the pundits all said that we would never be able to mount a national campaign for financial reasons, but here we are approaching 600,000 donations,” Carson told the Associated Press while campaigning in New Hampshire. “The people have gotten involved, and that’s something I think they probably never anticipated.”

The fundraising haul is not being fueled by mainly major donors, but by smaller donations and volunteers stepping up to be “bundlers” for the campaign.

CBS News reports that Jacquelyn Monroe, 45, is one example. The Georgian plays piano for a living and had never given a significant amount to politicians in the past, but decided to raise $100,000 for Carson’s campaign.  

“‘It’s not something that I would normally set out to do,’ Monroe [told CBS News], who added she was moved by Carson’s authenticity and Christian faith and coaxed into collecting money from friends and business associates by his ambitious campaign staff. ‘$100,000-plus is a big deal for me.’”

Carson’s campaign reported raising $12 million in September alone, and a significant portion of that came in after the candidate indicated he would not support a Muslim who did not renounce Sharia Law for president.

The campaign brought in $700,000 in the 36 hours after he made that comment less than two weeks ago, according to campaign manager Barry Bennett.

“I would guess that we’ve outraised the Republican National Committee and many of our opponents maybe combined,” the campaign manager added.

Do you support Dr. Ben Carson? Like the page:

Now flush with cash, Bennett said the campaign has begun implementing plans to buy television ad space across the South for the Super Tuesday primaries on March 1, 2016.

“Sooner or later, they’ll have to realize there’s a new reality or they’ll pay the price,” Bennett said of the Republican establishment. “The outsiders are not going away.”

h/t: Business Insider