April 16, 2012

Obamanomics According To Steyn

From the latest of Mark Steyn’s ever-great, fun to read columns:

In the end, free societies get the governments they deserve. So, if the American people wish to choose their chief executive on the basis of the “war on women,” the Republican theocrats’ confiscation of your contraceptives, or whatever other mangy and emaciated rabbit the Great Magician produces from his threadbare topper, they are free to do so, and they will live with the consequences. This week’s bit of ham-handed misdirection was “the Buffett Rule,” a not-so-disguised capital-gains tax hike designed to ensure that Warren Buffett pays as much tax as his secretary. If the alleged Sage of Omaha is as exercised about this as his public effusions would suggest, I’d be in favor of repealing the prohibition on Bills of Attainder, and the old boy could sleep easy at night. But instead every other American “millionaire” will be subject to the new rule – because, as President Obama said this week, it “will help us close our deficit.”

Wow! Who knew it was that easy?

A-hem. According to the Congressional Budget Office (the same nonpartisan bean counters who project that on Obama’s current spending proposals the entire U.S. economy will cease to exist in 2027) Obama’s Buffett Rule will raise – stand well back – $3.2 billion per year. Or what the United States government currently borrows every 17 hours. So in 514 years it will have raised enough additional revenue to pay off the 2011 federal budget deficit. If you want to mark it on your calendar, 514 years is the year 2526. There’s a sporting chance Joe Biden will have retired from public life by then, but other than that I’m not making any bets.

Let’s go back to that presidential sound bite:

“It will help us close our deficit.”

I’m beginning to suspect that the Oval Office teleprompter may be malfunctioning, or that perhaps that NBC News producer who “accidentally” edited George Zimmerman into sounding like a racist has now edited the smartest president of all time into sounding like an idiot. Either way, it appears the last seven words fell off the end of the sentence. What the president meant to say was:

“It will help us close our deficit … for 2011 … within a mere half-millennium!” [Pause for deafening cheers and standing ovation.]

Heh heh…

{SNIPPING deeply, here}

It’s that easy, folks! Like President Obama says, all you have to do to pay off his 2011 deficit is save $3.2 billion a year for 500 years.

Read it all.

by @ 6:57 am. Filed under Great Commentary, The Economy, The President

February 19, 2012

Roadmap To Greece

“Roadmap to Greece”, love it! :-)

From The Hill:

Republicans bashed President Obama on Saturday for his “broken” fiscal policies, including his recent budget proposal, which they said would pit America on “a roadmap to Greece.”

In the GOP’s weekly address Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) pointed to high unemployment numbers, a staggeringly high deficit, and high gas prices as evidence that Obama’s economic strategy has failed and was leading the U.S. towards financial ruin.

“If we keep on going like this, the consequences will be devastating,” said McMorris Rogers. “As we’ve learned from Greece and the European Union, no country can escape the costs of big government policies forever. The president’s budget isn’t a blueprint for America – it’s a roadmap to Greece.”

“It didn’t have to be this way,” she continued. “The president and his party have been given numerous opportunities to rein in spending and help create a better environment for job creation, and they’ve punted almost every time.”

Oh, yes, Greece.

What are Obama and the rest of the Democrats thinking?

Much of Obama’s failure to turn the U.S.’s financial state around, McMorris Rogers said, was due to the Democratic philosophy that a strong economy needs to be bolstered by a robust government.

“You see, the president and his party have it all wrong,” she said. “They believe they can grow the economy and create jobs by increasing government spending and raising taxes, including taxes on small businesses.

“But the American people know that the way to grow the economy and create jobs is by cutting government spending and keeping taxes low for all taxpayers.”

Yes, but… but… the American people have no say in any of this, since as we also know, our president is one of those left wingers whose political philosophies would have been better practiced in a different country.

by @ 12:17 pm. Filed under The Economy, The President

January 3, 2012

The Year Ahead

From the front end of (this last) New Year’s weekend, Oliver North in Town Hall

…This week, as we prepare to ring out 2011 and welcome 2012, President Barack Obama asked for Congress to authorize yet another increase in our national debt — the third such rise in less than 15 months. Housing prices continue to slide; more than 13 million Americans are unemployed; government spending continues unabated; and America’s credit rating is at risk of another downgrade. In January, barring action by Congress and the White House, U.S. defense spending cuts totaling $1.1 trillion over the next four years will begin to take effect. Such an outcome in the midst of these perilous times ought to be unthinkable.

Instead of putting tens of thousands of Americans to work building new ships, submarines, aircraft and a missile shield to protect the American people from nuclear attack, the Obama administration wants the federal government to create temporary jobs repaving highways, painting bridges and re-roofing public schools. Rather than have unemployed construction workers build a petroleum pipeline from Canada (and improve U.S. energy security), the Obama White House wastes billions on phony “green jobs.” The administration has to hope we all will forget the word “Solyndra.”

Ollie North looks like better presidential material than anyone running in the current field.

In a burst of year-end euphoria, progressive politicians, pundits and government economists are predicting that the worst of the “Bush-era recession” is behind us and that good times are just ahead. They pin their economic hopes for 2012 less on American entrepreneurs than they do on German taxpayers.

The experts are praying Berlin will continue to bail out European PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) and prevent an Old World financial collapse that would drag down the sale of U.S. goods and services on the Continent. Expect to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel feted at a White House state dinner early in the new year. A million or so American jobs could well depend on whether she likes the soup.

{In the Truth Hurts Department} OUCH!

Jobs — the word used most often by politicians running for office in 2012. Regardless of party, whether challenger or incumbent, every office seeker tells us he or she has a way of “creating,” “protecting,” “saving” or “improving” jobs for American workers. What few of our elected officials ever mention is how vulnerable these “well-paying” and “secure” jobs are to factors far more threatening than the European debt crisis. Here are the top three issues that should concern those who purport to care about our economic well-being in the year ahead:

1) An Iranian nuke. Just before Christmas, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told us Iran could have a workable nuclear weapon in 2012. He also knows — but didn’t say — that the theocrats in Tehran already have the means of delivering it. Tel Aviv, Israel, is target No. 1. American civilians are No. 2 on the ayatollahs’ hit parade. To Israelis, the expression “Never Again” isn’t a political slogan. It’s a way of life. They are not going to wait to be incinerated.

The Obama administration could stop the Iranians from building atomic weapons and perhaps even bring about regime change by forbidding any company doing any business in Iran from doing any business in the U.S. But unless the O-Team takes such a step, the Israelis will have to act pre-emptively to prevent annihilation. If you think the “2008-11 global recession” hurt, you don’t want to contemplate what the world economy would be like after an attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons sites.

2) The jihad. The “Arab Spring” — once so proudly proclaimed to have been instigated by Obama’s soaring rhetoric — has become a nightmare for democratic aspirations in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and Anwar al-Awlaki are dead, but the jihad being waged by radical Islamists is stronger than ever. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Sudan are headed for Shariah rather than secular governance in 2012. Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Nigeria and even Saudi Arabia could follow suit soon. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom forecasts that Christianity could be eradicated in these countries. The economic impact of such an upheaval is potentially catastrophic.

3) The collapse of Russian democracy. Vladimir Putin is presiding over a dying country — and he knows it. Though Russian energy exports to Europe and China currently fill the coffers of Moscow’s kleptocracy and help rebuild Soviet-era nuclear weapons, the future for the land of the czars is bleak. Russia’s population — now 141.7 million — drops by nearly 1 million per year. With an average male life span of just 59 years, look for 2012 to be the year Putin and his cronies do all they can to line their pockets — at our expense.

You have to wonder what all those people we presently pay to think about these things and govern accordingly have been doing with their time, you know? Are they so busy working on getting reelected, lining their pockets via insider trading and figuring out new perks and benefits to give themselves that they haven’t got any time for America, their employer whose shareholders are the taxpayers?

Note to all running for office in 2012: The word “entitlement” does not appear in the Constitution. The words “provide for the common defence” do. Happy new year.

Yes, to all, Happy New Year. :-)

December 14, 2011

Fiscal irresponsibility takes its “toll”

A spot-on rant from Jason Mattera:

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Princesella Smith, who raked in $89,599 for operating the toll lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2011.

Good work if you can get it!

Smith isn’t alone. An investigation by the New York Post revealed that another toll booth operator pulled in a whopping $102,670 in 2011, $40K of that money coming in overtime. In total, as the Post notes, there are at least 24 New York and New Jersey workers who have raked in more than $80,000 as “public” workers at a job that requires us to hand them even more of our money.

Yep, in essence, we’re paying them to sit in an outside cubicle all day and deplete our wallets further if we want to travel between New York, New Jersey and the surrounding states.

Must be nice.

I can’t say as I would blame the employees themselves for any of this, I mean who wouldn’t take the hours and the pay involved? I would, however, blame the supervisory personnel and the bureaucrats who make all this possible.

What a country! :-)

Besides excessive wages to people whose only skill requirement is to sit on a stool and count and collect dollar bills, tax dollars reserved for transportation uses have gone to a panoply of nonessential programs. As Ronald Utt of The Heritage Foundation points out, the “highway trust fund” has been raided to pay for Indian reservations, historic preservation sites, Appalachian and Mississippi Delta development, roadside beautification, bicycles, hiking paths, university research, and—the granddaddy of all expenses—feeding the $425 million beast that is the Department of Transportation.

The Port Authority (PA), for instance, employees a gardener for $94,000 and a blacksmith for $146,000 a year. Heck, there are even retired PA employees who are making around that amount by cashing in on unused vacation and comp time. (Here’s an idea: As we’re facing budget deficits well into our future, how about requiring public employees to use their vaca time … or lose it. No cashing in allowed.)

I concur.

The rest of the column is here.

by @ 10:18 am. Filed under The Economy, WTF!!!!?

August 12, 2011

A Little Optimism

Okay, a second post for today, this one from a visit to one of NYC’s free morning papers, A.M. New York, and a column by Todd Harrison titled, You need a storm to experience the calm.

The stock market has been a bipolar stroller this week, and it’s freaking people out.

There are many ways to view the seismic shift we’re witnessing: anger (as expressed by Main Street), sadness (as savings are destroyed), fear (as reality bites) and confusion (as folks try to understand how this could happen).

And there’s anticipation as we cast an eye forward and look for the phoenix that will eventually arise from the scorched earth.

The capital market destruction is a cumulative result of risk gone awry. It’s been percolating under the seemingly calm surface for years, magnified by financial engineering and consumed by an immediate gratification society.

Mother Nature has unleashed her wrath as she explores the other side of the business cycle that politicians have tried so hard to avoid. It’s certainly scary, as new beginnings typically are — therein lies the opportunity.

The media portrays the Great Depression as a time when everyone in America stood on street corners or waited in a bread line. A closer look shows that, similar to our current situation, economic hardship for the middle class began well before 1929.

We’ve got a few lean years ahead, but that’s nothing to fear. In fact, it’s a healthy and positive progression. To get through this, we need to go through this, and as painful as the process is, it takes us one step closer to an eventual recovery.

I view the Great Depression as the framework for optimism. Most of society worked, great discoveries were made and formidable franchises were established.

Disney (DIS) built a global franchise through that period.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) was born on the back-end.

Texas Instruments (TXN), Tyson Foods (TSN) and Continental Airlines (CAL) were birthed.

Read the rest. It’s nice to get a positive commentary on one of the gloomier aspects of our grim economic picture. :-)

by @ 3:26 pm. Filed under Great Commentary, The Economy

August 7, 2011

It had to be a Democrat, right?

A Democrat, that is, to finally preside over the downgrading of America’s credit rating.

From the Washington Times:

The Obama administration has made history by presiding over the first-ever downgrade in the U.S. credit rating. President Obama has outdone all his predecessors in wrecking America’s good name. His answer to this problem: Spend even more.

Raising the debt ceiling was sold as a way of guaranteeing the U.S. credit rating. It had the opposite effect, which makes sense to anyone who understands credit. Take a family with a median household income around $50,000. If they spend $85,000 a year and have debt at $300,000 and growing, it’d be foolish to let them borrow more because they don’t have the income to pay it back. Raising the debt ceiling ignored this reality. Then, the Obama administration immediately demonstrated its utter lack of creditworthiness by blowing 60 percent of the initial $400 billion increase in one day, the largest single-day accumulation of debt in U.S. history.

While they don’t have Bush to kick around anymore, they kick at him just the same, not out of any sense of vindictiveness, but because one of the hallmarks of today’s liberal dominated Democrats is that taking responsibility for their actions is unheard of, and since Bush has been the all purpose pin cushion for blame since the Obama Empire Administration began, why stop now?

The White House blames the George W. Bush administration for every economic woe, but the numbers speak for themselves. In 2008, the federal budget deficit was around 3 percent of gross domestic product. In 2011, it’s around 11 percent. Total federal debt was $10.7 trillion at the end of 2008 and is currently $14.6 trillion. Debt as a percentage of GDP was a painful 69 percent at the end of the Bush years, but Mr. Obama is pushing it over 100 percent, another disgraceful historic milestone. A record 45.8 million are on food stamps, and the percentage of working-aged Americans who have jobs is the lowest in three decades. According to Gallup’s daily tracking poll, in late January, 44 percent of Americans felt the economy was getting better, and 52 percent thought it was worsening. Now only 17 percent have a positive view; 77 percent understand our economy is nosediving.

Well, like the opening line of the linked article says, The Obama administration has made history

Not the kind of history most presidents would want to be remembered for, but from Obama’s point of view, at least it’s some kind of change.

by @ 7:13 am. Filed under Liberal Agendas, The Economy, The President

June 26, 2011

Reaganism and Texas (Yeehaaaa!)

In an Op Ed by Michael Reagan from today’s Washington Times:

More than three decades ago, my father took ownership of the smoking ruins of the American economy armed with nothing more than four very basic principles: Keep taxes low, restrain government spending, minimize the amount of regulation on private enterprise and keep the money supply sound.

His approach may have appeared basic, but the results were unassailable. Over the next eight years, more than 16 million new private-sector jobs were created, a payroll expansion of 17.6 percent.

It was called the “American Miracle” and was replicated by world leaders across the globe, who met with similar success.

Looking back at it from a distance, it’s remarkable to me that the concepts that worked so amazingly well just a short time ago have fallen so far to the wayside.

Well, the rest of the column speaks for itself.

During a time when most companies appear to be insecure about adding to their payrolls because of the uncertainty surrounding our economy, this country would be wise to carefully study why Texas employers seem to be largely immune to this insecurity.

Ay men!

by @ 10:40 am. Filed under Great Commentary, The Economy, The Fact Of The Matter...

September 7, 2010

So, Obama Wants To “Stimulate”…

…the economy some more (?) by “creating new jobs” in the transportation infrastructure.

I swear, any moron who is still a hard and fast Obama supporter will demonstrate his/her obtuseness by arguing in favor of the president’s plan as though it would usher him/her into a great paying job.

Sorry, numb nuts, but that ain’t the reality of the thing: The only people who benefit from B. Hussein Obama’s highway, runway and other large scale construction projects are the unions that supported his election campaign.

Obama will continue to reward them for supporting him off the back of the taxpaying public, keeping the unions working while ignoring the collective copious unemployment of the average citizen who’s not union.

Obama is so transparent that whenever I hear one of his supporters rave about the “great job” he’s doing, it reaffirms my lack of faith in the prevailing intelligence of collective Americans.

by @ 7:49 am. Filed under The Economy, The President

August 11, 2010

Yes, Greenspan…

…please shut up.

From John Stossel, who begins thus:

I’m getting tired of Alan Greenspan. First, the former Federal Reserve chairman blamed an allegedly unregulated free market for the housing and financial debacle. Now he favors repealing the Bush-era tax cuts.

This has a certain sad irony. Recall that Greenspan once was an associate of Ayn Rand, the philosophical novelist who provided a moral defense of the free market, or as she put it, the separation of state and economy. Greenspan even contributed three essays to Rand’s book “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” — one for the gold standard, one against antitrust laws, and one against government consumer protection.

It was slightly bizarre when Greenspan accepted President Reagan’s appointment to run the Fed — maybe he thought that as long as the Fed exists, better someone like him run it rather than one who really believes government should centrally plan money and banking. Be that as it may, Greenspan went on to pursue an easy-money policy in the early 2000s that is widely credited, along with the government’s easy-mortgage policy, for the boom and bust that followed.

And later concludes:

…Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation says that since the cuts, “The rich are now shouldering even more of the income tax burden.” The deficit has grown not because we are undertaxed but because government overspends. “Tax revenues are above the historical average, even after the tax cuts,” Riedl writes.

Given the stagnant economy, this is the worst possible time for tax increases. (Is there ever a good time?) Taking money out of the economy will stifle investment and recovery, and it’s unlikely to raise substantial revenue, even if that were a good thing.

Finally, the stupidest thing said about tax cuts is the often-repeated claim that “they ought to be paid for.” How absurd! Tax cuts merely let people keep money they rightfully own. It’s government programs, not tax cuts, that must be paid for. The tax-hungry politicians’ demand that cuts be “paid for” implies the federal budget isn’t $3 trillion, but $15 trillion — the whole GDP — with anything mercifully left in our pockets being some form of government spending. How monstrous!

If cutting taxes leaves less money for government programs, the answer is simple: Ax the programs!

Read it all here.

There’s nothing this humble blogger can add to that!

by @ 9:14 am. Filed under Great Commentary, The Economy

June 22, 2010

German Advice Obama Should Take

As we know, it’s always been important to socialists like the ramrods of today’s Democrats for the United States to be as much like Europe as possible. In our current president’s case, he probably preens in front of a mirror with a gilt European frame. GOd knows, he’s always trying to emulate Europe.

That, of course, is what gives hope (yeah, HOPE, for a CHANGE) that he will heed the words of those Germans who are advising him to knock off the deficit spending “stimulus” approach to the bad economy.

The congressional battle over adding more government stimulus spending versus deficit reduction spilled overseas Monday as the German government publicly rebuked the Obama administration over its red ink and said countries now must focus on controlling debt.

It’s the same sort of pushback President Obama has been getting from critics at home as he calls for a second round of stimulus spending, which he argues is needed to spur private job creation at a time when unemployment hovers near 10 percent nationwide.
But he’s increasingly being opposed by Republicans and some Democrats at home, and German officials’ comments signal a looming fight over deficits as the world’s leaders gather in Toronto next week for a summit of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies, with the Group of Eight summit of industrial powers kicking off Friday in Canada.

A larger gathering of the world’s 20 leading economies, known as the Group of 20, follows immediately afterward.

“It’s urgently necessary for monetary stability that public budgets return to balance,” German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle said at a press conference Monday, according to Bloomberg News. “This is something we should also tell our American friends.”

Read the rest.

That Obama’s a real leader of the Free World, isn’t he?

Yeah, leading the free world into massive debt.

by @ 11:51 am. Filed under The Economy