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Archive for the ‘Bailout’ Category

LOVE THAT DEBT – DETAILING THE CLINTON SURPLUS MYTH

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 9, 2010

The number is: 19,600,000,000,000.

No, it isn’t the number of times President Barack Obama uses the word “I” or “me” during the course of the work day. It isn’t the amount of times Democrats blame George W. Bush for all that is wrong in any given week. It isn’t the amount of money being spent each month on dye for Paul McCartney’s hair.

It is what the national debt of the United States will be five years from now under Obamacratic rule.

From Reuters:

The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.

“The president’s economic experts say a 1 percent increase in GDP can create almost 1 million jobs, and that 1 percent is what experts think we are losing because of the debt’s massive drag on our economy,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp, who publicized the report.

He was referring to recent testimony by University of Maryland Professor Carmen Reinhart to the bipartisan fiscal commission, which was created by President Barack Obama to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, which said debt topping 90 percent of GDP could slow economic growth.

The U.S. debt has grown rapidly with the economic downturn and government spending for the Wall Street bailout, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic stimulus. The rising debt is contributing to voter unrest ahead of the November congressional elections in which Republicans hope to regain control of Congress.

The total U.S. debt includes obligations to the Social Security retirement program and other government trust funds. The amount of debt held by investors, which include China and other countries as well as individuals and pension funds, will rise to an estimated $9.1 trillion this year from $7.5 trillion last year.

By 2015 the net public debt will rise to an estimated $14 trillion, with a ratio to GDP of 73 percent, the Treasury report said.

An exasperated blogger at Reuters, who goes by the name of johnchick, posted the following rhetorical question: “How can any Administration raise the debt by 20-30% in a couple years?”

To which another blogger responded with the following:

You should ask George Bush, Cause he was the first to do it. And he is largely the origin of the current fiscal mess that the U.S. is in. Bushie inherited a surplus from the Clinton Administration and quickly turned that into the largest yearly deficits that the U.S. has ever seen. And his Conservative ideology ruined the American Economy in the process.

The U.S. is now going the way of the DoDo.

And the world will be a better place for it.

To begin with, it’s an absolute riot to hear lefties complain about out-of-control federal spending. Most of them, given the chance, would spend more taxpayer dollars on big-government bailouts and stimulus packages. To a lefty, the failure of a liberal policy or initiative is tied directly to its funding.

George W. Bush, who might as well have been a drunken Democrat with the country’s checkbook, made no friends on the conservative side of the aisle when it came to government spending. By the time he left office in January of last year, he was able to put on his resume that he had presided over what was the biggest growth of federal spending in the nation’s history. Like all misguided Republicans, he failed because he embraced liberalism.

Right now, Barack Obama is on pace to make George Bush look like a veritable pinchfist. Obama is apparently determined to make America collapse under its own weight, just as is happening across Socialist Europe right now. At the current rate, America’s publicly held debt will hit an unbelievable 90% of the Gross Domestic Product in a decade. That would be the highest percentage since the Second World War.

The difference, however – and it is a significant one – is that the post-war economic boom contributed mightily to the dramatic fall of that debt-to-GDP ratio.

Today, it’s all about entitlements (i.e., what the government can do for you). Federal spending, as a percentage of the GDP, was nearly 25% last year – the highest in this nation’s history. (It’s projected to shoot up to near 26% this year). And even though President Bush did spend recklessly in terms of total dollars, during his first seven years in office, federal spending as a percentage of GDP was very consistent with all post-war administrations: ranging from 18.11% to 19.38%. (His final year, arguably his most fiscally liberal, it jumped to 20.65%)

It simply isn’t possible to tax ourselves out of the economic disaster that looms with Obama at the helm.

On paper, tax rates would have to be raised to economy-crushing, unheard of levels.

But in reality, no economy could survive such a thing.

It would be the end of America.

And that’s where we’re headed.

So, while no conservative will ever condone the ridiculous Democrat-like spending that went on during the Bush administration, the fact that revenues to the government did go up following the 2003 Bush tax cuts only reinforces the fact that conservative principals – when applied correctly – actually do work. Unfortunately for Bush, spending like a lib in conjunction with those tax cuts was akin to having two fully loaded double whoppers and cheese fires with a diet soda.

Libs cannot have it both ways.

If out-of-control government spending is deleterious to a healthy economy, then it doesn’t matter who is occupying the Oval Office when it happens. The argument that the economy can reach a point where the only way to cure the ills of out-of-control spending is with more out-of-control spending is Leftocrat doltism at its finest.

And let’s be perfectly clear, there was never a true surplus under President Bill Clinton.

Indeed, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the numbers do not, in any way, back up such a claim.

For example, the surplus announced in 2000 – $230 billion – was really a nifty bookkeeping stunt. It was not a genuine surplus, because only the “public debt” was accounted for.

Remember, there are two components to the national debt: public debt – which includes such things as savings bonds and treasury bills – and intergovernmental holdings, which includes income tax revenues and governmental borrowing from itself.

During the last years of the Clinton administration, the public debt did go down, but intergovernmental debt increased by a greater amount.

Not once during Clinton’s time in office did the national debt decrease.

It is not possible, by definition, to have a surplus if the national debt keeps increasing.

First of all, the official Clinton “surplus” numbers, which can be seen here, via the Congressional Budget Office, are as follows:

Fiscal Year 1998 – $69.3 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 1999 – $125.6 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 2000 – $236.3 Billion surplus.

Please note that these very numbers were also reported by CNN.

Now, if you go to the Bureau of the Public Debt website, which is part of the United States Department of Treasury, you’ll find a link that reads “See the U.S. Public Debt To The Penny.” (You may need to scroll down a bit)

Once you click on that, you’ll be brought to page that gives you the current total national debt (divided into two subgroups: “Debt held by the Public” and “Intrgovernmental Holdings”) along with a search application that enables you to type in the dates of your choosing to see what the total national debt was on that given date.

The important thing to check are the FISCAL YEAR parameters. (The fiscal year always begins on October 1st and runs through the end of the following September).

For instance, if you type in “October 1, 1999″ in the first box and “September 30, 2000″ in the next box, you will be asking to see the total national debt figures for Fiscal Year 2000. You’ll note, after typing in those parameters, that if you scroll all the way to the bottom, the total debt held by the public at the end of Fiscal Year 2000 was “$3,405,303,490,221.20.” You’ll also notice that Intragovernmental Holdings total was “$2,268,874,719,665.66.”

These are official Department of Treasury numbers.

Adding those two numbers together gives you a grand total of “$5,674,178,209,886.86.”

That is what the total national debt was at the end of FISCAL YEAR 2000. The National Debt is thus calculated by adding the Public Debt and Intragovernmental Holdings together.

Compare the total public debt of FY2000 to that of FY1999.

President Clinton did technically pay down the PUBLIC NATIONAL DEBT from FY1999 to FY2000.

FY1999 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,636,104,594,501.81

FY2000 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,405,303,490,221.20

It was paid down by a total of $230,801,104,280.61 – amazingly close to the announced $236 Billion surplus for that year. But it was done so by borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund (primarily) which ran a surplus that year. The Social Security Administration is required by law to buy government securities with its surpluses (convenient, isn’t it?). That money was thus used by the government to do its business without having to get it from the public. Hence, the public debt was “paid down.”

I fully concede the point that President Clinton paid down the PUBLIC debt, but not the national debt.

Unfortunately, that $230 Billion “pay down” does not take into account Intragovernmental Holdings, which is as much part of calculating surpluses and debts as the Public Debt is.

Intragovernmental Debt ROSE in FY2000.

FY1999: $2,020,166,307,131.62

FY2000: $2,268,874,719,665.66

That’s an increase of $248,708,412,534.04

The difference between how much of the public debt was paid down compared to the growth of the Intragovernmental debt was: – $17,907,308,253.43

That means FY2000 resulted in a true deficit of almost $18 Billion under Bill Clinton.

Granted, it is miniscule compared to the yearly deficits of the Bush years and what is waiting for us with the Obama regime, but it was not a surplus.

Those pesky facts.
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Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, George W. Buah, National Debt, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

REVELATION: BAM IS A PARTISAN. BAM NOT UP TO THE TASK.

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 7, 2010

When ObamaCare became the law of the land in February, the majority of Americans did not approve.

Not that it mattered.

Obamacrats knew what was best for the citizenry; and if you would have asked any one of them, they’d have told you so.

While conservatives, Republicans, tea-partiers and sane-minded Democrats (few as they were) unceasingly crunched the numbers to expose a sham of a plan that would all but bankrupt the United States – and ensure mediocre health care for practically all Americans – Democrats sidestepped the land mines of reality and transformed the debate from substantive to emotional.

As Republicans were going through the two-thousand page monstrosity to illustrate how destructive the bill would be to both the economy and the medical industry, Dems were ushering out some of America’s uninsured,  presenting sob-story after sob-story, sad-sack tale after sad-sack tale, woe-begotten heartstring-tugger after heartstring-tugger, in an attempt to convince the American people that government-run mandatory health care was an absolute necessity before the bodies started to pile up.

Dems were countering cold-hard facts and analysis with syrup and schmaltz.

Ultimately, thanks to major Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress – and some last-minute vote-buying – two thousand pages of vastly unread government control became law, contrary to the will of the American people.

Welcome to the Obamacratic States of America.

Amazingly, Democrats truly believed that once ObamaCare cleared the final hurdle and officially hit the books, the American people – those cretins, those self-involved, unrefined, God-fixated, gun-loving ninnies – would turn their thinking around, see the wisdom in President Obama’s big-government vision, accept the price tag, and move on.

We didn’t.

More than ever, the American people are opposed to ObamaCare – as well as everything else President Obama and his out-of-touch collection of retro-revolutionaries and college campus theorists have been doing.

Let’s summarize some of the highlights from Obama’s Big Book-O-Accomplishments: A Stimulus Bill that has done absolutely nothing except guarantee that money will be taken out of the pockets of the American people; an unemployment rate hovering at near 10%; a private sector that has all but stagnated while the number of government jobs increase; nonexistent leadership in the face of mounting international challenges (e.g., Iran, North Korea); the inability to do anything except deflect blame for everything wrong to the previous administration; the lack of understanding of the dangers of espousing moral equivalency (e.g, Israel and the Palestinians); the ineptitude and lack of leadership in not having the feds take control of the Gulf oil spill efforts; the capacity to transform the mightiest nation on the face of the Earth – the protector of goodness and liberty – into a bastion of weakness and appeasement; and his refusal to hear anything other than his own out-of-touch, arrogant brand of leftist crapola have all contributed to a Presidency that almost makes Jimmy Carter’s palatable.

Not only is President Obama turning out to be a gravely ineffective and embarrassingly incohesive, Americans now feel the first “post-partisan” President is anything but.

Of course, we all knew that by the Spring of 2008.

Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times writes:

One of the 2007-08 Obama presidential campaign’s changes that Americans believed in by the many millions was his oft-repeated promise to work with all sides no matter what and change the harsh political tone of Washington.

Good luck with that tired professed aspiration. George W. Bush promised the same thing a decade ago. That worked well for several minutes.

Well, Bush is gone and the majority parties have switched places. Now Democrats run the whole D.C. show.
And after almost 17 months of Democrat Obama’s White House administration, it appears Americans have given up on his promised bipartisanship, or even on less partisanship. It’s an impressive squandering of good will from his inaugural glow.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds 61% of likely voters believe the nation’s capitol will see more, not less, partisanship during the next year. Which includes, of course, the unfolding midterm election campaigns leading up to Nov. 2.

Michael Goodwin of the New York Post says that O just isn’t up to the job, writing:

The high point of his presidency came the day he took office. Since then, a majority of Americans has opposed virtually all his major policies and he has prevailed on several only because of large Democratic congressional advantages.

The problems are growing, but he’s not. If he were, we’d see green shoots of improvement.

Instead, the White House is going backwards at home and abroad and shows no ability to adjust. Like a cult, it interprets every reversal as proof of its righteousness and of others’ malignancy.

What started out as a whiff of rookie incompetence has become a suffocating odor. It’s hard to find a single area where Obama’s policies are a convincing success.

To be fair, one thing most Americans will probably be able to agree on is that Barack Obama is magnificent – unbeatable – as a campaigner. Indeed, he has been in campaign mode ever since announcing his candidacy for the Presidency a million years ago.

That’s quite an accomplishment, to be sure.

And with few exceptions, the lamestream media are still eating it up.

But many Americans – even those who rode the original Bam-o-licious disciple train – are growing tired of his baby-carrying, whistlestop schtick. Young girls just aren’t fainting anymore at his mere presence. And with each body of water he trods upon, Obama’s ankles are growing increasingly more wet.

The teleprompters are finally starting to get some recognition.

Still, no one – and this is hardly debatable – can bow to foreign heads of state and dignitaries like our own Bam.

Although Secretary of Defense Robert Gates could give him a run for his money.

Secretary of Defense Gates taking a page from the Obama Appeasement Chronicles.

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Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Democrats, Economy, leftism, Liberalism, Moral Clarity, Obama Bonehead, politics, stimulus bill | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHAT DID BAMMY REALLY INHERIT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 4, 2010

"It's yours." "No, it's yours."

It’s fairly common.

Talk radio hosts will field phone calls from liberal callers who, when asked to offer their take on President Obama’s skyrocketing deficit numbers, will inevitably, unfailingly, reflexively bring up George W. Bush. (I think it’s a law now). After all, as is made evident on a daily basis by this administration, there wasn’t anything in all of recorded human existence impervious to W’s gross mismanagement and downright destructiveness, particularly during the dark wilderness that defined America’s “BB” days (Before Barack). The inexpungible mark President Bush left on this nation was (and is) so ubiquitous, even eight disastrous years (God forbid) of Barack Obama can (and will) be overlooked by rational people, because no man – not even a Messiah – could ever hope to salvage anything from the splintered wreckage left by W.

Barack Obama’s budget, even by conservative estimates, will catapult America’s deficit to levels never seen before – and yet somehow, astoundingly, Democrats are talking about fiscal responsibility. It’s like a Weight Watchers class going out for chili dogs and cheeseburgers after the meeting.

And while this administration continues to count on the stupidity of the American public to buy into their “let’s spend our way out of debt” approach, they have no problem continuing to cite the deficits they inherited from George W. Bush when confronted with challenges to their own spend-and-more-spend agenda.

“Look at the hole Bush dug us into before we got here,” they say.

“You best look at what Bush did before you start pointing fingers this way,” they’ll exclaim.

But as political analysts Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write at Townhall.com, Obamacrats are not telling the whole truth.

President Obama was disingenuous when he said that the budget deficit he faced “when I walked in the door” of the White House was $1.3 trillion. He went on to say that he only increased it to $1.4 trillion in 2009 and was raising it to $1.6 trillion in 2010.

As Joe Wilson said, “You lie.”

Here are the facts:

In 2008, George W. Bush ran a deficit of $485 billion. By the time the fiscal year started on Oct.1, 2008, it had gone up by another $100 billion due to increased recession-related spending and depressed revenues. So it was $600 billion. That was the real Bush deficit.

But when the fiscal crisis hit, Bush had to pass TARP in the final months of his presidency, which cost $700 billion. Under the federal budget rules, a loan and a grant are treated the same. So the $700 billion pushed the deficit — officially — up to $1.3 trillion. But not really. The $700 billion was a short-term loan, and $500 billion of it has already been repaid.

So what was the real deficit Obama inherited? The $600 billion deficit Bush was running plus the $200 billion of TARP money that probably won’t be repaid (mainly AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). That totals $800 billion. That was the real deficit Obama inherited.

So what, pray tell, happened once The One set up shop in the White House?

Then … he added $300 billion in his stimulus package, bringing the deficit to $1.1 trillion. And falling revenues and other increased welfare spending pushed it up to $1.4 trillion.

So, effectively, Obama came close to doubling the deficit.

It’s interesting to note that while the President continues to claim he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit, he takes full credit for rescuing America’s financial institutions.

I admit to being quite impressed.

Being able to speak so well out of both sides of the mouth is no menial task.

It is the TARP money – $700 billion – that is credited with saving the banks, which is more than half of the deficit Obama says he inherited from Bush. To date, as Morris and McGann point out, $500 billion of that has been paid back.

It takes real talent to do what Obama does. He blames Bush for the deficit created by TARP, but takes credit for the results.

Too clever.

The fact is, President Obama is the proprietor and general manager of the largest deficit and largest budget on record – and no matter how many pins lefties keep sticking their little “W” dolls, it won’t change the fact that Obama owns it now.

It is all his.

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QUICK AIG THOUGHTS

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 21, 2009

aig-insurance

Clearly, I’m in the minority on this one – even among conservatives – but this entire AIG bonus “scandal” is absolutely meaningless to me, inasmuch as I am not outraged, disgusted, bothered or in any way troubled by the payout of these bonuses. That this is considered some kind of a moral stain upon the American landscape or is portrayed by the cackling masses as a world-class ignominy is far more disturbing than the supposed “disgrace” these bonuses have brought upon the face of a nation purportedly consumed with indignation.

This entire thing is a farce of the highest order.

Because I am aware of the facts, and because I am not a class warrior, and because I have a firm grasp on reality, and because I can put into perspective the fact that contractually obligated retention bonuses of $165 million dollars make up an infinitesimal percentage of the entire bailout money given to AIG, I find the entire spectacle – including the entire surreal neo-McCarthy like hearings on Capitol Hill this week – a complete embarrassment. (Of course, there was truth in what McCarthy was claiming).

I cannot think of a grander waste of time than to hear noodle-brained pundit after noodle-brained pundit – on both sides of the aisle – talk about the outrage being generated all across the nation by these bonus payments.

On top of that, listening to a mush-mouthed United States congressman demand “the names” of those who have not been intimidated or frightened enough into returning the bonus money on their own is both scary and surreal – and beyond reprehensible. If not for these bona-fide morons making the AIG executives in question out to be worse than Joseph Stalin, I wouldn’t have never even expended a batting lash on it.

However, what is entirely meaningful to me is watching the painful and destructive Obama-promised transformation of my country take place before my very eyes. The inner-Marxist that lurks deep within the American liberal is emerging – unchecked and unfettered, and it isn’t pretty.

If there is a disgrace, it is in how this Democrat-controlled White House and Congress operate.

The truth is, the “bailout” money – in all of its Marxist glory – should have never been handed out to begin with, and the fact that the trillions of dollars being poured into pointless, careless pig-meat projects aren’t drawing nearly as much animus as this piddly little AIG non-story epitomizes how backwards the value system in this country is among the knee-jerks and the reactionaries. It’s class warfare at its liberally-fomented finest. True, taxpayer bucks were dished out to a company that should have been allowed to fail, but the unmitigated gall of these Capitol Hill sky pilots to dictate after the fact how this money was to be used when they are the ones who authorized the payment of these bonuses is categorically contemptible. There were no provisions. There were no strings. There wasn’t a single stipulation attached to the money.

And what makes this all the more detestable is that these weren’t even performance bonuses. This entire witch hunt would actually make more sense if these were performance bonuses. They were pre-bailout contracts made between AIG and employees who were being asked to stay on with the company through a critical business cycle, knowing the future was not particularly bright.

Hence, the term “retention bonus.”

The fact that some of these executives are actually giving back the money they rightfully earned in living up to their end of the contract is truly remarkable – and worthy of praise.

And the thing is … The Washington big boys knew that AIG planned on fulfilling their obligations to these people when they were given their slice of bailout pie. There were no surprises.

And now, because of “public outcry,” the House of Representatives has passed a bill (328-93) that would tax this bonus money at a rate of 90%, with a Senate vote to follow next week – all meant to teach these greedy, piggish, money-hungry bastards a lesson…

.. and to show who is really boss.

This is like granting your child permission to go to the 11:00 PM movie, knowing that his curfew is midnight, then punishing him when he comes homes at 1:00 AM.

According to Bloomberg:

The House bill passed yesterday would affect employees earning more than $250,000 who received bonuses from companies that received more than $5 billion in aid from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“These people are getting away with murder,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel of New York. “They’re getting paid for the destruction they’ve caused to our communities.”

give me the names!

give me the names!

In short, the Congress of the United States has dipped into its Politburo bag-o-tricks and begun targeting its private citizenry with mob-rules legislation. While death threats against AIG executives fly, and Congressman Barney Frank asks for the names of these threatened private citizens to be released publicly, and bus tours of AIG executives’ homes are being put together by the Connecticut Working Families Party, Leftocrats applaud a job well done.

And yet, time and time again, conservatives are attacked as “Nazis” or “fascists.”  They are represented and portrayed as the ones who demand control of American lives. Conservatives are the totalitarians, according to the Left. Libs whine about conservatives wishing to intrude on the private affairs of Americans, but promote the nationalization of health care, the expansion of government influence (and control) into the private sector, and support doing away with private union votes. Libs decry the imposition of conservative values on liberty loving citizens, but demand that taxpayer dollars be used to pay for abortions (both domestically and abroad) and fund unproven controversial stem cell science. They say conservatives want the power to inflict their beliefs on everyone, but insist that Americans accept same-sex marriage, and agree to the distribution of condoms to high school students on demand. Libs moan incessantly about the so-called violation of civil rights due to the Patriot Act, but go after private citizens who lawfully receive bonus money through expo-facto legislation, stirring the anger of the American public to the point that death threats are being levied at these innocent people.

The assault against American individualism continues.

And as far as Congressman Charlie Rangel is concerned, if I may address him directly …

How deliciously ironic of you to proclaim that anyone is “getting away with murder.” I have to assume you know both the pot and the kettle. These AIG executives were getting paid because they were contractually entitled to that money. Period. Have you forgotten that the provision for paying these bonuses was written into the stimulus bill that your party ran through Congress last month? Have you forgotten that it was signed into law by the President of the United States? Surely, this little detail hasn’t escaped you – like paying your taxes did or forgetting that you can’t use your rent-stabilized apartments in New York to run campaigns.

Silly, Charlie.

These obligations existed long before you and your party helped to create the current financial mess we are in now by compelling financial institutions to offer mortgages to people who simply could not afford them.

Silly facts.

If ever there was scandal that wasn’t a scandal, this is it.

Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, politics, socialism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TALE OF TWO QUOTES – REDEFINING “CATASTROPHE”

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 13, 2009

“A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future.”           -Barack Obama, February 4, 2009

“I’ve never bought into these Malthusian, woe, Chicken Little, the earth is falling. I tend to be pretty optimistic … I don’t think things are ever as good as they say, or ever as bad as they say. Things two years ago were not as good as we thought because there were a lot of underlying weaknesses in the economy. They’re not as bad as we think they are now.”        -Barack Obama, March 12, 2009

______________________

Three quick points …

First, didn’t the President also say that a failure to act on passing the stimulus bill could mean the economy might never recover?

Second, didn’t Chicken Little say the sky was falling?

Third, if the economy turns around on the Obama watch, will he then acknowledge things just aren’t as good as they seem?

______________________

 

From the Liberal/English Dictionary entry catastrophe: 

Main Entry:

ca·tas·tro·phe

Pronunciation:

\kə-ˈtas-trə-(ˌ)fē\

Function:

noun

Etymology:

Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from kata- + strephein to turn – confiscated by American Democrat Party for political scare mongering

Date:

1540 original, February 2009 Democrat redefine

1: no biggie <failure to act will be a catastrophe>

2: false scare <this crisis will turn into a catastrophe if left alone>

3: as expected <my Presidency is a catastrophe>

 

cat·a·stroph·ic \ˌka-tə-ˈsträ-fik\ adjective

cat·a·stroph·i·cal·ly \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, Obama's first 100 days, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE DEMOCRAT EIGHT-DOLLAR-A-WEEK DELUSION

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 17, 2009

how can New Yorkers not be proud?

how can New Yorkers not be proud?

Spread it out, and they will spend … that’s what Democrats say.

Okay then.

I’m ready to do my part by giving this economy a good swift kick in the pants.

Let’s see … Eight dollars will almost get me a pack of cigarettes in New York City – and at some places in town, a full one. Eight bucks, however, will not be enough to get me across the Verrazano Bridge into Staten Island by car (that’s $10.00), but I would be able to take four subway rides. It’ll also score me a McDonalds double quarter-pounder value meal in Manhattan, or a week-and-a-half of New York Times home delivery at fifty percent off the regular subscription rate. For that kind of money, I can take home about a third of a pot roast, or just under two jars of Manischewitz Premium Gold Gefilte Fish.

In other words, I’d better start reworking my budget now … the Obama “tax cut” is coming to town.

To be fair, the Obama “tax cut” plan – similar to George W. Bush’s “stimulus rebate” check dispersal in 2008 (but only spread out over time) – is slated to afford taxpayers about $13 a week in extra spending cash beginning in June, but then fall back to about $8 at the beginning of next year. That means for the second half of this year, people like me will be able to afford an extra box of Bubba Burgers and a roll of Viva paper towels … or three heads of lettuce and a couple of gallons of diesel fuel … or almost fifteen boxes of chicklets.

Look out, economy … here we come.

And how do we know this will work? 

Because the illustrious and never-interesting Charles Schumer, Senator from New York, gave his ringing endorsement to the plan. Drawing eloquently from his bag of crippled cognition, he said, “Instead of giving one paycheck at once…” (as opposed to giving one paycheck twice, I suppose) “… which George Bush did, and it really didn’t stimulate the economy, the economists said ‘stretch it out and people are more likely to put it into economy and get our economy going.’ ”

Whether or not America’s retailers are bracing for a stampede of eight-dollar power shoppers is unclear.

What is clear is that Democrats simply don’t get it.

Schumer is right in that George Bush’s ridiculous stimulus debacle did nothing to jumpstart the economy … but being a Democrat, Schumer lives and operates by the credo “If something fails, do it again!”

While it is true that people will tend to spend more if they see more money in their paychecks on a regular basis, insignificant rebates such as these over a limited stretch of time is hardly the way to get people digging into their wallets. Remember, the entirety of each Obama “cut” is a mere $400 for each individual and $800 for each couple.

I hate to be the one to sneeze on someone’s Pop Tart, but this is sheer idiocy. The impact of such “cuts” will be barely perceptible, if at all.

Not only is this $13 a week nonsense not a “tax cut,” but the fact that these “cuts” are not permanent will dissuade people from the kind of purchases needed to get the economy rolling again.

From Fox News:

Some worry the cut is not enough to encourage consumers to go out and spend. And since two-thirds of the economy is consumer spending, the effectiveness of the tax cut in spurring workers to open their wallets is key to an economic revival.

“The average person will get $8 per week in their paycheck and they will pass on to their grandkids $1.1 trillion in debt,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C. “We created more new government than we did jobs and the substance and process cannot repeat itself.”

Moody’s economist Mark Zandi also says the nature of the tax cut could reduce the number of jobs created by the $787 billion stimulus package.

“With regard to how much of the tax cut’s going to spent for individuals, the White House, I think, is assuming that people are going to behave as if that tax cut is permanent, and I doubt that will be the case,” he said.

Precisely.

The ability of people to buy an extra box of Swiffers on a weekly basis thanks to distributed rebates that will total far less to each working person than what George Bush offered in his failed attempt at stimulus will do positively nothing for the economy.

Compare someone who is given a genuine tax cut – that is, an actual reduction in the percentage of the tax being paid resulting in the ability to keep (and spend) more of one’s own money – with someone getting miniscule rebates for a limited period of time. People are less likely to spend when they know the boost in take home money – in this case, a whopping $13 a week through the end of the year – is temporary.  However, if a genuine cut in taxes is made permanent, then people can more reliably count on that extra money being there and budget accordingly. People are more likely to spend when they have more of their own money.

I’m wondering if Chuck Schumer is openly advocating for struggling taxpayers to take on additional monthly payments for items such as washing machines and big screen televisions using “stimulus money” knowing that it will run out long before the items have been paid off.

Then what?

More outstanding debt on top of growing debt?

I guess if it’s okay for the government, it’s okay for Johnny Lunch Bucket.

_____________________________________________

Update: February 17, 2009 – 5:35 PM

A blogger at FREE REPUBLIC.COM called theDentist commented on my observation that the $8.00 a week “tax cut” wouldn’t even be enough money to get across the Verrazano Bridge, from Brooklyn to Staten Island, seeing as the toll is $10.00.

He wrote:  “Well, that’ll get you 80% across. From there, you jump like the rest of us.”

Too funny.

 

the fact that it costs $10.00 to cross the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn into Staten island

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QUICK THOUGHTS ON SLIMY DEMOCRATS THE DAY AFTER

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 14, 2009

obama_liarI cannot even imagine the magnitude of the cacophonous outcry all of us would be hearing right now from every seedy nook and cranny of the main-stream media had Republicans been in control of both the White House and Congress while an unread, unscrutinized, unvetted, who-did-it-and-ran spending bill passed both houses before anyone could as much as inhale.

Democrats orchestrated a legislative drive-by shooting for the ages, with the fleetness of a goose suffering from dysentery, sending to the President’s desk a hunk of burning pig-meat over a thousand pages long that no one outside of speed readers and time travelers could possibly find the time to go through before it was put up for a vote. As quickly as it appeared from the joint committee, it was shoved through the House, and by Friday evening, it was in and out of the Senate.

Just like that.

Done.

Thanks for coming.

And now, Nancy Pelosi and company are gone, scattered about – off to Rome, or wherever.

Had such a thing occurred under the watch of, say, George W. Bush, the scale of outrage and disdain that would be emanating from every Democrat able to gurgle into a live microphone would be literally unimaginable.

And because the mainstream media share a bunk and toothbrush with Obamacrats, we the people would never hear the end of it.

Just think of how many blood vessels Senator Chuck Schumer would explode carrying on about fascist Republicans. Nancy Pelosi would spring a leak yelling about right-wing tyranny and a culture of corruption unlike this nation has ever seen. Barney Frank would be speed-bitching about totalitarianism to the point that he would actually be pronouncing his “r”s and “w”s correctly. Talk would begin in earnest about impeachment. Television talking-skulls would be whining about checks and balances and dictatorships and the death of democracy. Hitlerian references and Stalinist comparisons would be running rampant. There’d be Christiane Amanpour documentaries on CNN.

But this hijacking was not a GOP affair. It was, rather, a study in expedience conducted by the party of change – or “fundamental transformation,” as it were.

With endless promises of unprecedented transparency and openness with the American people as their hallmark, the Democrats have set the gold standard for scare tactics, using the so-called impending collapse of the entire American financial system as leverage, running the most expensive spending bill the world has ever seen, stuffed and puffed with billions upon billions of non-stimulating pet projects, through the United States Congress at breakneck speed without affording politician or civilian alike the opportunity to read the damn thing.

And why?

Because it was necessary to save the country from certain ruin.

They said so, despite example after example proving that government interference of this nature is detrimental to the American economy. Something had to be done, they said, despite the fact that this recession does not even compare to the one that Ronald Reagan faced in the early 1980s. “Catastrophe” they cried if this pig-meat was not passed. “Irreversible” they screamed if Congress did not act … immediately.

And with a precision of a crack commando unit, the Democrats rammed over a thousand pages of undeciphered, irresponsible gobs of back-breaking pork through both houses of Congress without a scintilla of the lucidity and honesty they promised this country.

This little exercise of trickery and deceit will never have the word “tyranny” attached to it … although it should. Rest assured that if Republicans had conducted themselves in such an underhanded and dishonest way, “tyranny” would be among the more docile terms being hurled at them.

Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Media Bias, Obama's first 100 days | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WAY TO GO FORD

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 30, 2009

From the “Doing The Right Thing” file …

It is essential to reward good behavior – whether it is patting the 188 House Republicans on the back for standing united against the Obama stimulus debacle, or giving junior an extra slice of pie for cleaning up his room without having to be told.

In that spirit, I’d like to take a huge “Attaboy” out of petty cash and commend the Ford Motor Company for not cuddling up to the government bosom for bailout money as did Chrysler and General Motors, despite posting a nearly $15 billion loss in 2008.

That’s $15 billion.

Good for you, Ford.

At Evil Conservative Radio, it is summed up this way:

I’ve never been a big Ford guy. In fact, I come from a Chevy family. But no longer. Here’s hoping that Ford can right the ship without the government’s “help,” and here’s hoping I have the scratch to buy a Ford sometime this year. It’s going to be a challenge for them, competing against the US Govt Auto Division (GM and Chrysler), and I’d like to show solidarity. I’d encourage anyone shopping for a car to do the same.

My sentiments exactly.

Others have said it more articulately than I have, but the bottom line is … while no one wants to see American companies fail – and I do hope Ford will survive the current recession – it is necessary for businesses to fail in a free market, if they cannot compete. Regardless of how beloved, well-known or etched into the American fabric a corporation may be, if the market has determined that it must die, then so be it.

It is American ingenuity – not government  – that fuels success.

Period.

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CARS TO SOCIALISTS (DEMS): SAVE US!

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 9, 2008

Remember the $700 billion bailout? It was all in the papers. If my flickering memory serves, it was intended to save the financial industry from ruin. I didn’t particularly like the idea then (in fact, I hated it), but like a fool, I ran with the idea that the nearly one trillion dollar bag of loot would be used, more or less, for what it was intended for – namely, scooping up toxic assets and bad securities.

Just curious … Has a single toxic asset been bought yet? Haven’t Pelosi and Company got the damn pin number for that trillion-dollar taxpayer ATM card yet? Come on, guys … Hasn’t America has been teetering on the brink of destruction since the middle of September?

*cough*

Yeah, okay.

And now, from the Party of the Messiah and his wacky friends, comes the latest and greatest chapter of “Bailout America”  – the newest idea to save America from its free market, self-destructive self – the latest steaming pile of necessary society-saving socialism.  

From the Washington Post:

With the nation’s automotive industry hemorrhaging cash, congressional leaders called on the Bush administration yesterday to offer government assistance to the car companies as part of the Treasury Department’s $700 billion emergency rescue program.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) asked Paulson to “review the feasibility . . . of providing temporary assistance to the automobile industry during the current financial crisis.”

The letter notes that Congress granted Paulson broad discretion to use the bailout money to “restore financial market stability. A healthy automobile manufacturing sector is essential to the restoration of financial market security,” the letter continues, as well as to “the overall health of our economy, and the livelihood of the automobile sector’s workforce.”

Government, government and more government.

Watch the floodgates fly open now with an onslaught of letters to Pelosi and Crew requesting their own chunky slice of the socialist bread pudding – all in the name of restoring financial stability.

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