Voice of the People: Betting On U.S. Government Better Than Gold

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by James J. Devine

War and mismanagement has left our nation deep in debt and our economy in shambles, but our treasury is far from empty. Inside the Washington Beltway or on Fox News or among con-artist conservatives and even Democratic defeatists, our country’s debt load was politically toxic in 2011.

Reality showed something remarkably different, because the global marketplace proved it was better than gold. U.S. debt was a better investment than gold last year.

The U.S. bond market in 2011 had its best year since 2008, with a 13.7 percent return — significantly outperforming the stock market where the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the year up nearly 6 percent.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out: “the biggest star was the 30-year Treasury bond, with a 35% return, far outpacing even gold…”

Despite a federal credit rating downgrade, amid and turmoil in Europe and unfettered corporate greed, investors betting their money on U.S. government bonds were better off.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, nearly $4 billion was spent on persuading and mobilizing voters in the 2010 U.S. federal election, which put Republicans in control of Congress.

Those numbers suggest that gaining control of government is an even better bet than investing in federal debt, which is why corporations are gearing up to fund political campaign activity in unprecedented force allowed by a 2010 Supreme Court ruling.

In response, Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protesters are demanding restraint on government and big money, but those calls for action often cancel out one another while average voters are ignoring both sides of the debate.

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