Is The United States A Good Investment?

United States of America: Political myths and realities

United States of America

United States Supplanted by China’s Thirst for Oil October 13, 2013 | Comments (1) This segment is from this week’s Digging for Value, in which sector analysts Joel South and Taylor Muckerman discuss energy and materials news with host Alison Southwick. The twice-weekly show can be viewed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It can also be found on Twitter, along with our extended coverage of the energy and materials sectors, @TMFEnergy . The United States appears to be losing its status as the world’s top oil importer, thanks to the colossal turnaround in crude oil production caused by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques. While China’s 6.3 million barrels per day of crude oil imports are just slightly higher than the United States 6.1 million per day, the trajectory of the two countries’ crude consumption varies significantly. The United States could be the world’s largest crude oil producer by the end of the decade while oil demand drops as fuel efficient cars takeover our highways. Meanwhile, China is in the early stages of unconventional shale exploration, and with a growing middle class, fuel consumption is set to rise precipitously. See more on this topic in the following video. Stocks to buy to play the United States energy bonanza Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States’ energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry willpad your investment nest egg. For this reason, The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, ” 3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza .” Don’t miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report — it’s absolutely free. Alison Southwick and Taylor Muckerman have no position in any stocks mentioned. Joel South owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days .

And if Congress doesn’t approve a separate measure increasing the debt ceiling – the amount of money the government is allowed to borrow – the Obama administration says it will not be able to pay its bills, risking default. On Sunday, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke by phone but failed to agree on a deal to raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit. They also could not agree on a plan to reopen a government that shut down on Oct. 1 after conservative Republicans aligned with the tea party movement demanded that Obama defund his 3-year-old health care overhaul law. Reid and McConnell – five-term senators hardened by several budget disputes and years of negotiations – remain at an impasse over yet another source of fiscal fighting: the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration that took effect earlier this year, as part of a previous high-stakes budget deal. Republicans want to keep spending at the reduced levels while Democrats are pressing for a higher amount. The shutdown has furloughed 350,000 federal workers, impeded various government services, put continued operations of the federal courts in doubt and stopped the federal tax agency from processing tax refunds. Several parks and monuments remain closed, drawing a protest at the National World War II Memorial on Sunday that included conservative tea party-backed lawmakers. “I’m optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion to the issues before this country today,” Reid said as the Senate wrapped up a rare Sunday session. McConnell insisted a solution was readily available as he embraced the proposal from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin that would re-open the government and fund it at current levels for six months while raising the debt limit through Jan. 31. It also would give agencies greater flexibility in dealing with the automatic budget cuts, delay an Obamacare-related medical device tax for two years and establish income verification for individuals receiving subsidies to buy health insurance.

Are the things that ail the American economy passing problems that make it easier to buy into the nations future growth at a discount? Or are they more fundamental problems that arent going away anytime soon? As Ezra Klein put it, is America a bubble? For investors, this is a practical question: How much of your portfolio should be invested in the shares of U.S. companies, and U.S. Treasury bonds, as opposed to overseas investment options? For all of us, its the core question that will determine whether Americas best days lie ahead. Here at the latest Wonkblog Crowdsourced discussion, leave your comment on whether America is a good investment despite it all. Come back early and often to upvote the comments you find most compelling. Is the United States a good investment? ???initialComments:true!

United States moves closer to default, no solution in sight

US default looming, no solution in sight

Photo: John Boehner/Facebook. Americans revolted in 1776 in large part to establish Home Rule. If the Crown, in the 18th century, had been like the Crown of the 21st century, it would probably have been the first country in the Commonwealth. Instead, an activist King led to the perception that a complete break was needed. Since then, American Presidents have been seen as some sort of substitute for that King of old and since the Second World War, have been treated as King-Emperors. The thing is, the American Constitution doesnt support that. Presidents are symbols, rallying points, and administrators. Theyre not supposed to rule by divine right, as did the King they rebelled against. Much is made these past few days, for instance, of how Obama won the 2012 election, so stop fighting over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). But constitutionally, all Obama can do is work with what Congress votes for. Right now theyre not voting funds for that Act (or many other things). He can try the bully pulpit approach, but the reality is that if Congress approves 50 cents and hes got a dollars worth of plans, he spends 50 cents, in accordance with whatever restrictions were put on it in the enabling legislation. (American money bills tend to direct the spending, rather than created broad-based spending envelopes or an overall budget that allows for reallocation as we use.) Likewise, he may want to borrow a few trillion dollars more, to do all the things hes got planned, but if Congress doesnt vote to allow that borrowing, then as President he is constitutionally obligated to cut program spending to fit within whats available. A failure to do so could well be considered grounds for impeachment: it would, at the very least, be a potentially-treasonous violation of his oath of office (to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States). The myth is that the President is all powerful. The reality is that if Congress doesnt give him the money, he can do diddly-squat other than cut spending to fit the funds available.

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