The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

I wonder what the king is doing tonight

The Administration has resumed printing money, which invites inflation which is a flat tax; but it's good for the price of gold

For reasons that escape me at the moment, the re-election of President Obama brings to mind another fairy-tale administration that led our nation barely 50 years ago. To be sure, it was a different era with different priorities and prejudices, but it captured for America a mystical place which few could hope to visit, but which everyone wanted to reach for - a rock candy world without the cavities. Realists cynically shake their heads in wonder at the ragtag troupe that danced with glee as the election returns rolled in, but the true believers revel on.

So far this century we have watched financial bubble follow financial bubble until we have arrived at a point where the masses are truly excited to see unemployment figures dipping to below 8 percent of the labor force. Our leader has headed a government without a Congressional approval for a budget for more than three years. Truly, it may be said that money seems to mean nothing to the incumbent. Got a debt limit? Get it raised. Need some cash, turn on the presses.

In broad general terms, the national money supply should grow at something close to the same rate as the population. If you print money at a greater rate, you have inflation. If you print money at a slower rate, you have recession. If you print money at exactly the right rate, there is economic stability, but economic stability is such a drag. The Obama administration, through a program called "Qualitative Easement Three," resumed printing money last month "to stave off a recession."

President Obama has telegraphed repeatedly over his first term that he wishes to raise taxes on those who report income in excess of $250,000. The House of Representative has telegraphed back that no such thing will ever happen. Since the House, under the Constitution, is the body where appropriations are conceived, it seems mildly confusing that the Executive Branch is able to generate so much revenue without someone, anyone, complaining that it is probably a violation of the Separation of Powers proscription in the Constitution.

If the truth be known, however, the President has it right. By printing money at an extra-ordinary rate, he has excess cash to pay for the social programs he is enamored with, and he can do it all without having to deal with those nasty fellows (and fellow-ettes) from red states. But how does he pull such a rabbit out of the hat? Simple math - he dilutes the dollar so that it takes more of them to pay for anything, including labor. The minions who get dirt under their fingernails for a living, however, cannot survive on the paltry wage they earned last year, so they get a raise, and that has the axiomatic effect of driving the cost of goods and services up throughout the economy.

In a word, the workers of the nation do not get more goodies in exchange for their blood, sweat and tears; it just takes more dollars to get those goodies. That is inflation, plain and simple. If you could buy a gallon of milk for three dollars last year and this year it takes $3.50 for the same quantity of the same quality milk, that's inflation. It is impossible for the President of the United States not to know that; and if the current inflation is by design, then what is the end game?

Inflation is a rather cruel syndrome. It strikes almost everyone equally because it is intrinsic to every commodity. Want a hamburger? It's up a buck. Want a steak? It's up two. Inflation is regressive as well. In a very real sense, when the government dilutes the currency to pay for the programs on its wish list, it is using the Office of the President to impose a tax.

There is an American constituency hiding in the bushes who proclaim that Americans are "Taxed Enough Already." They pledge their public service to ensuring that there will be no increase in income taxes. Apparently they are willing to overlook "tax-flation."

We Alaskans who think that increases in the price of gold and other mined commodities is extremely positive, should be very grateful to Mr. Obama. Through his surreptitious practices he has imposed a tax on the American people across the board, and what's more, it is a flat tax, the most regressive form of tax one can think of. It is borne equally by everyone, rich and poor alike. It is a dream, come true. It is Camelot redux. I've said it before, and I will say it again, please join me in a toast to the President of the United States. l


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