Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category
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.
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.
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.
Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, George W. Buah, National Debt, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: $19.6 trillion, "blame bush", Clinton surplus, Economy, national debt | 4 Comments »
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.
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.
Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Democrats, Economy, leftism, Liberalism, Moral Clarity, Obama Bonehead, politics, stimulus bill | Tagged: "out of touch", Barack Obama, Big Government, Economy, leftist politics, liberal politics, Obamacare, post-partisan, stimulus bill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on June 4, 2010
And just think … ObamaCare hasn’t even taken effect yet. And the Bush tax don’t expire until after this year.
If the economy continues to improve like this, we ought to reach “sick” by Christmas. Lucky us, the Messianic Age will be shifting into overdrive soon.
The “good” news, as peddled from the top, is: Unemployment is down (from 9.9% to 9.7%) and over 430,000 new jobs hit the books in May.
But numbers can be very deceptive.
Many Americans have simply given up looking for work all across Obamanation; And of the 431,000 jobs created, a little more than 90% of them were government census jobs.
Only 41,000 private sector jobs were created in May – about 150,000 less than expected.
The President, in Maryland (on his way to Louisiana), spewed optimistic: “This is the fifth month in a row that we’ve seen job gains. And while we recognize that the recovery is still in its early stages, and that there are going to be ups and downs in the months ahead – things never go in a completely smooth line – this report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day.”
If he wants to see a “smooth line,” he ought to look at his poll numbers.
The President believes the economy is getting stronger by the day, but in May, private sector job growth dropped by 81% from the previous month.
I’d hate to see what “getting worse” looks like.
The sad fact is that the temporary census-taker jobs responsible for Obama’s “stronger economy” were literally unproductive. Nothing was created. The economy was not made stronger by paying temporary government workers to count people. Taking private money out of the economy and (in effect) redistributing it to government employees has stimulated nothing.
The creation of government jobs is never – repeat never – an indication of how well the economy is doing. How can it be? Private businesses haven’t the ability to print money. Private businesses haven’t the ability to expand the tax burden on the rest of us. With each government job created, that’s more private sector money being removed from the economy. While the private sector has the ability to create genuine wealth, the government only has the ability to confiscate and redistribute it.
That’s what the Obama Stimulus Bill was all about: creating government jobs.
Note to the President: Why not have a census every year? We’ll be down to 8.5% unemployment quicker than you can say, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Unemployment | Tagged: 9.7% unemployment, census workers, economic recovery, job growth, jobs, Obama economy, public-sector jobs, recession, stimulus bill, Unemployment | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on April 20, 2010
“Disgust” isn’t even the right word anymore. I feel almost inadequate to the task of maintaining this blog because the appropriate words escape me. How many different ways can one express contempt at the way this administration does things? How many variations of a single theme can one articulate before it loses its effectiveness? How often can one say that he or she weeps for the future of this most magnificent nation before its impact becomes meaningless?
If Ronald Reagan saw America as the shining city on the hill, Barack Obama is erecting iron gates around that city.
If Ronald Reagan reminded us how splendid this nation of liberty is, Barack Obama is reinventing America as a nation of equality – the left’s most important value.
If Ronald Reagan believed in the power of the individual, Barack Obama believes in the power of government.
These days, a mere fifteen months into the Messianic Age, one cannot swing a dead beaver without smacking into yet another Barack Obama initiative meant to extend the reach of government into the private sector. With every turn, with every step, this President pushes for some new transformation – he uses the word “reform” – some new way for the heavy hand of government to involve itself in our lives.
Obamacrats hate the free market system, carry disdain for the Constitution, look down on Americans who voice dissent, believe they have a mandate to reshape this country into their Marxist-light soft tyranny, and operate with a degree of arrogance and detachment that is almost beyond comprehension.
Sure, I can use the word “disgust,” but it is utterly insufficient. Even armed with a thesaurus and a respectable way with words, it is difficult to accurately convey my repulsion at what this President is doing to the United States.
In two days, the Messiah-In-Chief will arrive in New York to deliver what will essentially be a verbal beat-down to Wall Street. His so-called “financial overhaul package” proposal will be yet another cavalcade of regulations and restrictions placed on the private sector – more government say-so in areas they have no business being involved in.
It is absolutely sickening.
During the Bush years, all we heard from the left is how totalitarian “W” was – that he was the anti-freedom President. All we heard was how he and his right-wing cronies wanted to run everything and control our lives. Swastikas accompanied Bush’s face on protest posters. Comparisons to Adolf Hitler were commonplace. And despite today’s round of phony righteousness from the left at how some people dare refer to the Obama administration as a “regime,” back in the day, mainstream media tongue-flappers used that word to describe the Bush administration, including MSNBC’s own beacon of saliva-projection, Chris Matthews.
Yet, what seems to elude leftocrats is the fact that, by definition, conservatism means less government, less involvement, less control. It is Barack Obama and his bureaucrat fat cats – and that is precisely what they are – who want to dip their stinky little fingers in everyone’s cup cake.
Where are the Bush-era freedom lovers now?
The answer: Barack Obama is on the bridge. Therefore, the narrative needed to change.
Under George W. Bush, the encroachment of conservative oppression and fascism needed to be fought off by freedom-conscious dissenters. Under Barack Obama, Bush-era cowboy-style, money-hungry, out-of-control capitalism needs to be tamed by the soothing and nurturing hands of government.
The “financial overhaul package” will hit the Senate floor this week.
Democrats, of course, say these “reforms” are essential.
Republicans, thus far, are unanimously opposed.
And just for kicks, here’s a tasty little wrinkle to the story: No one in the White House bothered to inform the Mayor of New York that the President was coming to his city on Thursday to essentially beat New York’s bread and butter into government-controlled submission.
Arrogance, thy name is Obama.
Maggie Haberman of the New York Post writes:
Mayor Bloomberg learned from reading about — not from the White House — that President Obama is heading to the Big Apple on Thursday to talk about Wall Street reform at Cooper Union.
“I just saw on the blogs this morning he was coming, so I haven’t talked to anyone in the White House,” Bloomberg told reporters.
As it happens, Bloomberg has an Earth Day event scheduled at the same time as Obama’s speech.
The whole thing suggests that City Hall wasn’t given a heads-up about the visit.
Bloomberg has been less than warm and fuzzy about the proposed Wall Street crackdown by the Obama administration — saying it could hurt the city disproportionately.
“There’s no [government] regulation that will ever match self-regulation if it’s done correctly,” Bloomberg told reporters. “Just because the government can never keep up with everything. These are complex worlds we live in. That’s not true only of finance. That’s true of everything the government regulates.”
I assure you, I am no fan of Mike “Screw The Term Limits” Bloomberg, but he is right in opposing Barack Obama on this one. The result of the Obama iron boot to the throat of America’s financial center will be a whole lot of corporations – whose tax dollars are essential to New York City’s, and ultimately America’s, well-being – saying “bye-bye” and finding other places to operate … perhaps outside of America.
And what perfect timing.
Just as it was announced that there has been fraud at big bad Goldman Sachs – one of those evil corporations hell-bent on crushing average Americans like me – the President coincidentally announced he would be going to the epicenter of Western capitalism, New York City, to tell them how badly Wall Street needs reform.
There are no coincidences in politics.
When it comes to the Goldman Sachs investigation, Bloomberg said, “My concern is for all the people who work on Wall Street. My concern is for our police officers and firefighters and teachers and everybody else. They get paid by the taxes the financial industry and many others, but to a great extent the financial industry, generates in this city.”
The next Obama “shovel-ready” project may be the burying of Wall Street.
Posted in Big Government, Dumb Liberals, Economy, leftism, Liberalism, Obama Bonehead, Wall Street | Tagged: arrogant Obama, Barack Obama, Big Government, Cooper Union, Cooper's Union, financial overhaul package, Mike Bloomberg, New York City, Wall Street | 2 Comments »
Posted by Andrew Roman on April 13, 2010
From the, “No, Really?” file …
The Washington Times is reporting today that real personal income in the United States has dropped 3.2% since Barack Obama became the Big Cheese fifteen months ago. (It’s only been fifteen months?) This figure excludes government payouts (e.g., Social Security, food stamps, welfare in general) – all the things Democrats rely on to keep a sizeable chunk of the citizenry dependant and, thus, in their corner.
Not that it should actually come as any shock to anyone.
“This is hardly surprising,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. “Under President Obama, only federal spending is going up; jobs, business startups, and incomes are all down. It is proof that the government can’t spend its way to prosperity.”
Joseph Curl at the Washington Times points out that when the Messiah was still a mere campaign-trail cliché machine, the soon-to-be President “often derided (President George W.) Bush for what he said were dramatically falling incomes for workers.”
“American families, since George Bush has been in office, have seen average family incomes go down $2,000,” Mr. Obama said in a September 2008 speech on the economy in Green Bay, Wis.
It isn’t my wont to rain on people’s parades, but an insertion of the truth right about now seems to be in order. Real income increased almost 13% during the eight years of Bush – which included an inherited Clinton-era recession and the attacks of September 11, 2001.
I can almost guarantee you won’t hear that coming out of Obama’s mouth.
The bureau, which doesn’t compile statistics on “family” income, reported that per capita income rose during Mr. Bush’s two terms, from $29,159 to $32,632 (using 2005 dollar values as a base). During Mr. Obama’s 15 months in office, per capita income has dropped nearly 1 percent to $32,343.
It must be a plot.
In fact, it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that a certain well-organized segment of the population – specifically the racist, caucasion-loving, diety-digging anti-Obama ranks – have voluntarily taken pay cuts, or agreed to leave their jobs altogether, in order to make the President look bad.
No one on the left would put it past them.
Just one question for the President and Crew: How exactly does increasing taxes help this situation?
Posted in Big Government, Economy | Tagged: 3.2% drop, Bad economy, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, drop in American income, Obama economy, real income, recession | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 18, 2010
This is more like it.
This is the kind of thing that gets us pro-Constitution types singing around the campfire. This is the type of thing that’ll get Obamacrats screeching about us gun-and-God-clinging bigots even more than they already have. In a sense, one could think of this as a kind of legislative tea party – a push back at the soft tyrants running the show in Washington.
Yes, the gesture is largely a symbolic one, but it does matter – except to Democrats, of course.
Thirty-seven states are in line to follow what Idaho did yesterday.
John Miller of the Associated Press writes:
Idaho took the lead in a growing, nationwide fight against health care overhaul Wednesday when its governor became the first to sign a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government if residents are forced to buy health insurance.
Constitutional law experts say the movement is mostly symbolic because federal laws supersede those of the states.
But the state measures reflect a growing frustration with President President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
With Washington closing in on a deal in the months-long battle over health care overhaul, Republican state lawmakers opposed to the measure are stepping up opposition.
(Idaho Governor C. L. “Butch”) Otter, a Republican, said he believes any future lawsuit from Idaho has a legitimate shot of winning, despite what the naysayers say.
“The ivory tower folks will tell you, ‘No, they’re not going anywhere,’ ” he told reporters. “But I’ll tell you what, you get 36 states, that’s a critical mass. That’s a constitutional mass.”
“A constitutional mass,” as Otter calls it – the overwhelming rejection by the American people of this unprecedented encroachment of the federal government on their liberties – is a very good thing, even if it is symbolic; although I’d like to believe that genuine legal action actually could be taken in some form should ObamaCare become the scourge of the land.
Still, the rejection of ObamaCare from every sector of American life is unquestionable … and fascinating to watch.
It’s as if the Body American is reacting instinctively – intuitively – dispatching antibodies to fight the infection of government-run health care. The irony, however, is that the ones reacting without thinking – the ones who are on ideological auto-pilot – are the Democrats.
They are not hearing the American people.
They don’t care what we think.
They’ve told us we will know all about the bill after its been passed. They have tried to sidestep and rework every rule, and still cannot – and will not – accept that they do not have the votes to get it done. They are even attempting a measure that would enable the Senate version of the bill to pass the House without a vote ever having to be taken there – something that would have summoned the lynch mobs had Republicans ever dreamed of doing such a thing.
When the rules get in the way, they change them.
When the people get in the way, they stomp on them.
The funny thing is, the Constititutional process is working, and it pisses off Obamacrats. Thus, they effectively urinate on the Constitution and call it Miracle-Gro.
Just as America rejects ObamaCare, Dems reject Americans, as Congressman Dennis Kucinich proved yesterday, when he admitted that he took his cues on how to vote on the bill from his wife and friends – not his constituency.
Posted in Constitution, Economy, health care, Liberalism | Tagged: Forced to buy health care, Governor Otter, health care reform, Idaho Governor, Obamacare, sue Congress, unconstitutional | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 17, 2010
On Sunday, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich had a column published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that said, in part:
Unfortunately, the president’s plan, as it currently stands, leaves patients financially vulnerable to insurance companies. It requires all Americans to buy private health insurance policies, while failing to ensure those policies do what they are supposed to do — protect people from financial catastrophe caused by injury or illness.
But Sunday was a long long time ago, and even socialists have to deal with things as they truly are, not as they would like them to be.
After a ride onboard the big Presidential jet with Barack Obama, Kucinich is changing his ObamaCare vote from “no” to “yes.”
From Fox News:
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, announced Wednesday that he would vote for the Senate health care bill, becoming the most prominent House Democrat to reverse his opposition.
With Kucinich’s switch, Democrats now have 212 votes in favor of the bill, four shy of the 216-threshold needed for passage.
“This is not the bill I wanted to support even as I continued efforts into the last minute to try and modify the bill,” he said at a news conference. “However, after careful discussions with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, my wife Elizabeth and close friends, I’ve decided to cast a vote in favor of the legislation.”
Kucinich didn’t vote for the original House version of the bill when it passed in November, and up until earlier today, was adamantly opposed to the Senate version because of its lack of a public option.
He is, however, a Democrat … so anyone surprised by Kucinich’s lip-licking after this latest serving of Payoff Pie better pull his or her head out and refocus.
The real question is … What, pray tell, was the People’s Watchdog – the unflinching, never-corruptible, always-true-to-his-principles, Dennis Kucinich – promised for his vote?
What was he given on that big ol’ jet airliner that made him switch sides on something he said he could never compromise on?
How much “courage” does it take to flip-flop votes after a ride on Air Force One and a promise of who-knows-what?
Note how Kucinich never once mentioned the people he is charged to represent.
It was only after “careful discussions” with the Messiah and the Nancy Pelosi that he decided to switch sides. It was only after he talked it over with his wife and friends that he had his change of heart.
His wife and friends?
What about his botanist?
Or Sally in Accounting?
Posted in Democrats, Dumb Liberals, Economy, health care, leftism, Liberalism | Tagged: "public option", D-Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, health care reform, Obamacare | 1 Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 8, 2010
When you think “reviving the economy,” what comes to mind?
Implementing tax cuts? Less government regulation? Unleashing the power of the free market?
They seem like reasonable choices.
But maybe I’m being a bit too simplistic – a bit too ideological. Maybe my conservatism is showing.
Perhaps some nuance is required.
How about this: cocaine and monkeys?
How’s that for an economy-jolting combination?
When you hear the words “cocaine” and “monkeys” used in the same sentence, do you think of rejuvenating the American economy?
After all, what says “economic growth” more than using stimulus money to enable university researchers to feed blow to monkeys?
Benjamin Niolet of the Raleigh News Observer writes:
Monkeys are getting high for science in North Carolina.
An analyst at the Civitas Institute seized on that image when selecting a cocaine addiction study at Wake Forest University Medical School as No. 1 on a list of the “10 worst federal stimulus projects in North Carolina.” Civitas’ Brian Balfour takes swipes at projects, writing that they “seem completely unrelated to avoiding an economic ‘catastrophe,’ but rather an ad hoc satisfaction of countless dubious wish lists.”
So, what is the $71,623 federal stimulus grant paying for?
Well, a job, said Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
“It’s actually the continuation of a job that might not still be there if it hadn’t been for the stimulus funding. And it’s a good job,” Wright said. “It’s also very worthwhile research.”
The study is examining the effects of cocaine on a particular neurotransmitter among monkeys who have had a long-term addiction to cocaine.
Maybe I’m not focusing enough, but stoned primates generally don’t make me think, “Man, that stimulus money is working!”
I know I’m not a liberal, but let me try to wrap my brain around this somehow.
According to the brochure, the Obama “stimulus money” was meant to give a jolt to the ailing economy by creating or saving jobs. Thus, one would have to assume – considering billions and billions of jobs have already been “saved” by the stimulus bill – that this Wake Forest stimulus story is yet another example of an economy-saving Obamacratic triumph.
In short, because of this study – and others like it – the unemployment rate stayed just below 10%.
Thus, it would be correct to conclude that if not for this stimulus money, the snowblowing monkey researchers would have all been fired. If not for this stack of ObamaCash, all of these university folks have all been out of work.
After all, wasn’t Obama’s stimulus money meant to “create” or “save” jobs?
Certainly none were created here. It isn’t unreasonable to assume, then, that the jobs of these otherwise soon-to-be-unemployed university researchers were “saved” because of the continuance of “monkeys on coke” studies.
Ahh, makes sense now.
“How does this study help revive the economy?” Balfour asked.
Well, again, jobs, said Nancy Avis, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Health policy at the medical school. The funding, more than $147,000 over two years, will contribute to the salaries of six people.
So, are all of these six jobs considered “saved?” Without taxpayer dollars to help “revive the economy,” would these six “hanging-by-a-thread” researchers all been cast out to the unemployment lines? And if they were, wouldn’t they just be collecting government-provided funds in the form of unemployment anyway?
Posted in Economy, stimulus bill | Tagged: cocaine, Economy, federal stimulus grant, monkey, Obama stimulus package, Obama's stimulus bill, Stimulus Package, university study, Wake Forest University | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 2, 2010
The meanings of words change over time. New words find their way into the American lexicon, while others fade away into the recesses of classic literature and old celluloid. Some words that started out as slang can become “normalized” and stick around for a long time. Others have a short shelf life.
For instance, the word “cool” seems to transcend time – “that’s cool” – while others, such as “groovy” and “swell,” are prisoners of their time.
Then there are instances when a word becomes part of the language because of an obvious void. Sometimes specificity is needed.
Let’s look at the word “lie” for a moment.
Knowingly telling a falsehood with the intent to deceive is a lie. Most everyone knows that.
Most also know that not all lies are equal.
For instance, there are necessary, peace-keeping kind of lies:
-Concerned Wife: Honey, does this shirt make me look fat?
-Harrowed Husband: No, dear. Not at all.
Then there are the more egregious, “Do you really think we’re that dumb” type of lies:
–Lying President: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.
Then there’s the Vice President Joe Biden kind of lie – a special kind of deceit in a category all its own, worthy of its own word. You might call it the “Sky isn’t blue, although it’s obviously blue if you just look at it” lie.
Soon, it will be known as pulling a “biden.”
When one asserts a falsehood that is obviously untrue – provably untrue – and he or she knows it’s not true, but says it is anyway, and does so because there is no other way to make a point that otherwise cannot be made by sane human beings without ingesting fairy dust, and those who are witness to the lie stand there dumbfounded, gaping, wondering why the padded trucks have not yet arrived, and no one is really taking him or her seriously anyway – kind of like that crazy Uncle who only visits at Thanksgiving and wants to talk to you about his mucus buildup – one is said to be pulling a “biden.”
Joe Biden, indeed, pulled a classic “biden” in Orlando, Florida yesterday, talking about what he perceived as the grand successes of President Barack Obama’s year-old Recovery Act – a.k.a, the Stimulus Bill, a.k.a. steaming crap – saying, “There’s no economist now that says the Recovery Act hasn’t created or saved at least two million jobs.”
Not one, says the Vice President.
Every economist on the face of planet earth says that the Obama Spendulous Bill has created or saved two million jobs.
And the math is simple, according to Joe:
“When you lose eight million jobs in this Great Recession, and you keep it from being ten, that’s no solace to the eight million who don’t have a job, man.”
In other words, if not for Obama, ten million jobs would have been lost, instead of eight … hence, two million saved or created.
This is another way of pulling a “biden” – saying something that cannot be disproven because the premise on which the assertion is made is completely made up, but otherwise sounds pretty cool to a crowd full of libs. (Remember, the word “cool” transcends time).
Using the Biden method – or being “bidonian” – I can say, for instance, I “saved” my wife’s job because I didn’t send in a letter to her supervisor threatening his life and signing her name to it. Because of my inaction, she’s still employed. In essence, I saved her job by doing nothing – which is precisely what the Stimulus Bill did … nothing.
It’s all very bidenesque.
But I can’t help but wonder … since the criteria for what constitutes a “saved” or “created” job is so jumbled, ill-defined and convoluted, why didn’t the Veep claim that three million jobs were saved? Or five million? What’s the difference anymore?
I ask the same kind of question when it comes to the minimum wage. Why not make it $15 an hour? Or $25? Or $100?
As far as my original point is concerned, please note that the word “biden” can be used as a noun: He’s pulling a biden. Did you catch the biden that came out of his mouth yesterday?
It can be used as a verb: She’s gonna biden her Dad about the scratch on the car.
It’ll work as an adjective: That speech was very biden.
It’ll even fly as an adverb: The governor is bidenly effective.
It’s also a joke – as in, “Joe Biden is ourVice President.”
Incidentally, in the spirit of openness and hospitality, I offer these to Vice President Joe Biden: Dan Mitchell, J.D. Foster and Lawrence Katz, among many many others.
… three very well-known economists who don’t subscribe to the two million jobs fairy tale.
You’re welcome, Joe.
H/T – Hot Air Pundit, via Weasel Zippers.
Posted in Economy, Joe Biden, stimulus bill | Tagged: Joe Biden, Recovery Act, stimulus bill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 1, 2010
I don’t doubt for a moment that billionaire George Soros is feeling a touch unsatisfied with the first thirteen months of the Messianic Age.
It hasn’t exactly been fuzzy bunnies and swaying daisies.
For Soros – and other lefties – it’s been more like intestinal polyps and impacted molars.
For one, the banks were never nationalized. Soros desperately wanted it to happen.
Second, America never “unified” under the new boy Socialist king the way many had envisioned. Despite Bam’s wish to be the “great uniter,” it never materialized.
That’s because the “rest of us” – the thinking class – never bought into it.
And thank God for that.
The word “unity,” in a political context, is only a gimmick.
It is the most disingenuous word in politics.
What Soros really means is that more people didn’t fall in line with Obama’s liberal agenda. That’s really what “unity” means when a candidate says it, no matter which side of the aisle it comes from – getting everyone to think like he or she.
Personally, I couldn’t care less about “unity.” I’m a “clarity” guy.
Of course, America’s “disunity” is not really the fault of President Obama or his widely unpopular agenda, accoring to Soros. Yes, it take two to play pinochle, but it’s really the rest of us that are to blame.
“He wanted to be the great uniter and he wanted to carry the country, sort of bring it together. But the other side has absolutely no incentive to do it. So it takes two to tango. So that approach has failed.”
I have more of an incentive to lick my fingers after manually cleaning out the bathtub drain than “unite” in the lobby of Club Marxist.
It is no secret that most of the country – a significant majority – does not buy into the Obamacratic vision of nanny-statism and intrusive government.
But, like Howard Dean, he’s making the barren-brained mistake of thinking that what has happened in places like New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts – namely the ass-kicking of failed big-government liberals – is a sign from the electorate that those in power are not being liberal enough.
But Obama “got the message” when Massachusetts elected Scott Brown, a Republican, as Ted Kennedy’s successor, Soros said.
“I hope that, actually, now, he’s [Obama’s] taking the health care back to Congress and overcoming the filibuster — the 60 percent vote requirement,” Soros said. “I think that’s the right reaction. So he’s sort of taking a tough stance. And that may be the turning point. It depends on how he follows it up.”
It makes perfect sense.
The people of bluer-than-blue Massachusetts – liberalism’s uterus – were so behind the proposed government take over of 17% of the American economy that they elected someone who ran almost exclusively on being the “41st Republican,” namely Scott Brown.
Maybe the electorate was angry – furious, even – that Obama hadn’t proposed more of the economy being sucked up by the government.
Maybe this entire trend of toppling Democrats is America’s way of saying that they are sick of the free market, and if liberals can’t get the job done, they’re willing to punish America with a little infusion of liberty from the right.
At least Obama saved America from a deep recession or depression.
Seven billion jobs saved or created, I think the count is up to, as of this morning.
Posted in Big Government, Dumb Liberals, Economy, Liberalism, Obama Bonehead, Obamacrats, politics | Tagged: "unsatisfied", bipartisanship, George Soros, great unifier, Obama, post-partisan, Soros unsatisfied with Obama, unity | Leave a Comment »
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.
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.
Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: "conservative blog", $1.3 trillion, $700 billion, deficit, Dick Morris, Eileen McGann, George W. Bush, Obama, TARP | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 2, 2010
Hypothetically speaking …
As a small business owner, if the federal government was offering me “stimulus money” for the purpose of keeping an employee or hiring someone new, I’d have no choice – economically or morally – but to give it back. There is simply no way on God’s green earth that I, or any other small business owner, would (or could) actually use so-called stimulus cash to put someone to work or keep someone on the payroll.
It doesn’t even make sense, does it?
I run a business out here in the private sector – or as I refer to it, Obama’s toilet. How am I – or anyone else in the trenches – supposed to benefit from such a moronic, ill-conceived handout program?
To me, the idea of expanding government by hiring people is bad enough. But the thought of having my neighbors relinquish more of their hard-earned money so that I could temporarily “save” an employee’s job in my private sector business, assuming such a dumb thing would ever work, is inconceivable to me.
And if, in some alternate universe, I could retain an employee based on a government handout, how in the world would that be a good thing?
How does taking from the earners make for a healthy economy?
Honestly, listening to liberals speak is sometimes like having someone run a cheese grater along the back of your leg.
Assuming the economy is limping along – which it would have to be to warrant a stimulus money infusion – how does paying someone with other people’s money to keep someone else employed help my business? How does it generate capital? How does it keep me a viable competitor in the market place? In other words, if I am not seeing any real-world increase in business – if the only boost in income is artificial – what happens when the handout dries up? Do I then fire the person whose job I was supposedly “saving?” Do I keep that person on and raise prices during an economic downturn?
Do liberals ever think ahead?
Of course, the vast majority of jobs supposedly “saved” or “created” by President Obama’s stimulus bill were government jobs.
Thus, what President Obama really accomplished was sucking money out of the economy – always a bad move during tough economic times – and redistributing it in the form of paychecks.
Sounds like a winning plan, doesn’t it?
Well, brace yourselves. The future looks very bright ahead … for high-paying, non-private sector jobs, that is.
Susan Adams from Forbes.com, writing for ABC News:
While companies large and small continue to shrink their workforces, the federal government remains on a steady hiring course across the country.
Uncle Sam will hire 600,000 people over the next four years, a 50% increase over the previous four, reports Max Stier of the Washington-based Partnership for Public Service, a group that promotes government jobs.
Six-hundred thousand over four years?
Despite popular notions to the contrary, an increase in the number of public-sector jobs is not something to be tripping the light fantastic over. It is no indicator of recovery. I’m not sure why this concept eludes leftists. It’s unclear to those who tend toward rational thought why such monumental wastes of taxpayer dollars, like the construction of light rail systems where they aren’t needed, are seen as positive, productive endeavors.
In what universe? How exactly?
(Those leftists love their light rail systems, don’t they?)
Next to President Obama’s policies, I don’t know that there is anything quite as empty as the cars in Seattle’s never-used, taxpayer raping trains.
There’s nothing like confiscating money from private citizens to pay the salaries of people who hold jobs that would never exist in the private sector.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
I’m not talking about jobs that almost everyone agrees are best handled by government – military, police, fire protection, etc. Yes, there are legitimate functions of government.
Rather, I’m talking about useless government expansion for the purpose of “putting people to work.”
When the government outpaces the private sector in both job growth and pay – which it has been, and will continue to do under President Obama – the word unsustainable comes to mind.
And with projected record deficits of well over a trillion dollars ahead – that’s just the deficit, not the total debt – it won’t be long before those making over $150,000 … then a $100,000 … then $75,000 … will all become America’s wealthy class – and subject accordingly to Obamacrat tax increases.
Under President Obama, we’ve made it!
Posted in Big Government, Economy, stimulus bill | Tagged: "conservative blog", Big Government, government jobs, public-sector jobs, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | 1 Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on January 19, 2010
Actually, Barack Obama is very transparent. There’s really nothing cryptic or mysterious about him – except maybe his college transcripts. He is a floundering leftist without a single intelligible plan (other than punishing achievement and the free market), without a single accomplishment to speak of, and void of any sense of what it means to be Commander-In-Chief.
And those are his strengths.
His first year in office has been a case study in impotence and infirmity. Still, he is driven by an enormously overpowering, yet completely translucent, conceit. He’s grossly misread the American people, taking them for fools, assuming that his mere existence would be more than enough to push through his radical leftist agenda. But other than catapulting America’s deficits to unseen levels, he has nothing to show for his first year other than his flair for downplaying the importance of national security, and a record-setting number of rounds of golf.
President Obama knows that his big and bold plans for transforming America aren’t popular. He sees growing dissatisfaction and anger spreading across the country. But part of him truly cannot believe that his plummeting poll numbers have anything to do with him specifically. He is convinced the American people simply don’t grasp the reality of the situation (as he sees it), namely that he inherited so many catastrophic problems from his predecessor – perhaps the worst any President has ever inherited at anytime in history – that even his messianic skills aren’t sufficient to the task. Thus, he has abandoned his pie-in-the-sky, messianic aspirations (for now) and has fallen back into a posture of predictable, transparent desperation.
When all else fails, pull out the old standby: the anti-capitalist card.
Let’s get populist. Let’s go after greed:
Mike Allen at the Politico writes:
Reflecting his new tone, Obama last week announced a new fee on big banks by vowing, “We want our money back, and we’re going to get it.”. At a House Democratic retreat a few hours later, he said leaders need to be “fighting for the American people with the same sense of urgency that they feel in their own lives.”
In his weekly address on Saturday, he declared: “We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run.” Saluting Martin Luther King Jr. in remarks to a Baptist congregation the next day, Obama railed against “an era of greed and irresponsibility that sowed the seeds of its own demise.”
I hate to use a hackneyed phrase, but you cannot make this stuff up. Deficits have never been higher. Unemployment has gotten worse under this President. The President is on a course to spend this nation into near financial oblivion for generations to come – and wants to add to it with his proposed government takeover of health care – and yet, he whines and cries about Wall Street taking the money and running?
What? Is he serious?
Who takes more money out of the pockets of Americans than the federal government?
Yes, Americans want their money back – but not back in the hands of the unaccountable, irresponsible, expansion-happy feds. How dare Barack Obama talk about an era of “greed and irresponsibility” when it is our government, under Bam, spending and spending unheard of amounts of money, putting future generations on the hook.
Can anything be more transparent than big government liberalism and the games leftists play?
Sure, blame Wall Street. It’ll strike an emotional chord with those who have been raised to be class warriors – those weaned on modern liberalism’s teet. After all, it sounds good to go after big executives, CEOs, rich people and other selfish pinchfists. Go ahead and blame corporate America. It sounds so right to slam big companies. They don’t care about the “little guy.” They only care about fattening up their highly-paid cats at the common man’s expense. Why not blame greed itself? It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Especially when a bend-over-and-grab-the-ankles-for-the-big-unions President says it.
At the rally for (candidate for Massachusetts Senator, Martha) Coakley, (President Obama) added: “Bankers don’t need another vote in the United States Senate. They’ve got plenty.”
Good God, Mr. President, is that really the best you’ve got?
“Bankers have plenty?”
What is he? In an eighth grade debating class?
Blame money, capitalism, free markets, corporations, Wall Street or George W. Bush all you want, Bammy; you are the reason the Democrats are dissolving like a graham cracker in a bowl of milk … and the reason the next Senator from the State of Massachusetts will be the Republican, Scott Brown.
You’re damn right today’s election in Massachusetts is a referendum on this administration.
Posted in Big Government, Democrats, Dumb Liberals, Economy, leftism, Liberalism, Obama Bonehead, politics | Tagged: "conservative blog", Barack Obama, greed, Obama transparency, Obama's new fee on big banks, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 31, 2009
One can predict some of the words and phrases Obamacrats will use: obstructionists, partisans, ideologues, Obama-haters, so on.
No soothsayers needed. Pretty standard stuff.
Defenders of the Constitution will be attacked as corporate marionettes, accused of bending over for insurance companies and pharmaceutical interests. Republicans in general will be (and have been) accused of viciously and callously standing in the way of fundamental human decency by endorsing what will undoubtedly lead to the deaths of billions and billions of Americans. The bodies of the uninsured will litter the streets of the United States as heartless right-wing fat cats step around their rotting corpses, laughing the sinister laugh of the victorious, as they visit their own doctors where all the real medicine is kept.
Left-wing blogs will explode with mendacious outrage and rice-pudding indignation. The words “Nazi,” and “corporate shill” and “desperate” (among others) will soak up enormous amounts of bandwidth as pajama-clad basement-dwelling blogosphere leftocrats rat-a-tat away, condemning the patriots who fight to bury Obamacare by standing up for the Constitution.
It’s what so many of us who have questioned the absurd claims of ObamaCare have been waiting for. It’s what so many of us who have questioned the constitutionality of it all have been hoping would come to fruition.
It’s a very good first step.
As many as thirteen state Attorney Generals – all Republicans – have said that the Nebraska sweetheart deal won by Senator Ben Nelson in exchange for his support of this health-care reform monstrosity is unconstitutional and must be removed from the bill.
From the Associated Press, via Fox News:
Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska’s political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.
“We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision,” they wrote.
There is also a great deal to explore regarding the constitutionality of mandating citizens to purchase a free-market service or good – in this case, health insurance – from a private entity, as presecribed in the bill.
One thing at a time, though.
The letter was signed by top prosecutors in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state. All are Republicans, and McMaster and the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are running for governor in their respective states.
Last week, McMaster said he was leading several other attorneys general in an inquiry into the constitutionality of the estimated $100 million deal he has dubbed the “Cornhusker Kickback.”
Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina raised questions about the legislation, which they said was amended to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s support.
“Because this provision has serious implications for the country and the future of our nation’s legislative process, we urge you to take appropriate steps to protect the Constitution and the rights of the citizens of our nation,” the attorneys general wrote.
Here’s the funny part … House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina called the letter was “a political ploy.”
Damn right it is.
“This threat stinks of partisan politics,” he said in a statement. “If Henry McMaster wants to write federal law he should run for Congress not governor.”
If it stinks, I like the smell. I hope it comes out in a candle.
I can’t even begin to tell you how comical it is to hear a Democrat decry “partisan politics.” What on earth could be more partisan than having a holdout Senator or two vote for a bill not on its own merits, but as a result of party-unifying bribery? (Is anybody in there, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu?)
Surely Mr. Clyburn is aware that all Senate Democrats voted for the bill. By definition, isn’t that partisan politics?
Clyburn needs to think before he speaks. He snidely remarks that South Carolina Attorney General McMaster should run for Congress if he wants to “write federal law.”
Perhaps Clyburn ought to think about actually representing the people – you know,do his job – if he wants to remain in Congress.
At last look, nearly six in ten Americans don’t want this bill passed.
Nice work, Pubs. Don’t let up.
See what happens when they actually set their minds to something?
Posted in Big Government, Constitution, Democrats, Economy, Harry Reid, health care, Nancy Pelosi, Political Corruption | Tagged: "conservative blog", "Cornhusker Kickback", 13 Attorney Generals, Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, health care bill, health care debate, Henry McMaster, Jim Clyburn, Nancy Pelosi, Nebraska sweetheart deal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 12, 2009
The epoch of earmarks had seen its last days, the American people were told. Government waste was a thing of the past, Americans were advised. Fresh sounding, twenty-first century words like “transparency” and “post-partisan” were peppered into the national dialogue from a guy with great dulcet tones. Things were going to be different. Even people on the right were excited about the dawning of the new age.
Remember what the new guy told us: We were the people we were waiting for.
He was going to be everyone’s president, we were assured. He was going to hear our voices too, he promised. The Transformation Express was boarding on Track Forty-Four, and everyone was invited to grab their slice of the American pie.
But quicker than someone could say TARP, the new guy in charge – The One, we called him in the early days – started doing things that didn’t seem quite right. He spent three-quarters of a trillion dollars on door knobs, hiking trails, the study of rabbit feces, and new computers for government offices, all in the name of stimulating the economy. Not particularly stimulating. Without batting a lash, he mortgaged the future of those yet to be born, burdening them with epic costs so that their predecessors could avoid having to tough it out. He commanded government to take over segments of the private sector – like the auto industry – and made it his primary task to annex 16% of the American economy. He said earmarks were a thing of the past, then redefined the word so that he could let himself off the hook. He said over three million jobs would be created on his watch, only to see at least that many lost.
And now, the most fiscally irresponsible administration in this nation’s history is officially back in the earmark business to the tune of nearly $4 billion. That may not sound like much in today’s trillions-happy environment, but four thousand million is four thousand million … and that’s our money.
Richard Simon from the Los Angeles Times writes:
Reporting from Washington – Getting into the holiday spirit, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a spending bill loaded with goodies for the folks back home.
Trails for Monterey Bay. An arts pavilion for Mississippi. Bus shelters for Bellflower.
In all, the bill contains 5,224 earmarks costing about $3.9 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group.
Though Democrats say they have cracked down on pork-barrel spending, critics attacked the bill as excessive.
“Clearly, the earmark culture has not been swept away,” Brian M. Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, blogged Thursday.
The $447-billion bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled House with no Republican votes and moved to the Senate, combines six spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.
The measure brings total earmarks in this year’s spending bills to 7,577 at a cost of about $6 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. The Pentagon spending bill, the last of the annual appropriations bills, is expected to contain more earmarks than the omnibus bill, said Steve Ellis of the taxpayer group.
In the event you are keeping a score card at home, some of the other pet projects in the bill include a half-million dollars to help build a trench, thirteen-and-a-half million for the creation of a bus lane, a quarter-million for textile research, and almost two-hundred thousand for weather forecaster training.
Oh yeah … I almost forgot two-hundred thousand for the Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation in San Diego.
Thank God for that.
“When are we going to say, ‘Enough is enough?’ ” asked House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who does not seek earmarks. “I don’t know how worthy any of these projects are, but I do have to ask a question: Are they more important than our kids and grandkids who are going to have to pay the debt?”
It is the very essence of modern liberalism – to act without regard for what happens next. It is what the great Thomas Sowell calls being stuck in “stage one” thinking – failing to consider the ramifications of a policy decision that, for the moment, serves to make the boo-boo feel better.
It is closely related to “Do Something” Disease, which is a mutated strand of “Change For The Sake of Change” Syndrome.
It is a weakness of liberalism best exemplified in how Barack Obama has approached the economic crisis from the outset. To him, Americans aren’t capable of handling tough economic times. We aren’t resilient enough to brave a recession. We cannot face whatever hardships might lie ahead. We need the government to step in and make things better. We need him to tell us everything will eventually be all right. It is imperative that we make our kids and grandkids pay for it tomorrow so that we might live more comfortably today.
Mr. President, that is not America. It never has been.
Not only can Americans handle the most difficult of times, we do so with the understanding that it is our charge – our purpose – to make things better for the next generation. We weather the toughest of storms because there is no other alternative. We roll with the best life has to offer and we bear the brunt of the worst, aware of the immorality in mortgaging the future of our children, our civilization.
For example, what would we think of a parent who secured credit cards in his or her child’s name only to max them out?
I resent the fact that this president has engendered that sense of weakness in a nation built on rugged individualism. That he is willing to make things more difficult for yet unborn generations so that today can feel better may be the most disgraceful thing yet to come from the Messianic Age.
Posted in Big Government, Democrats, Economy, Ethics, leftism, Liberalism | Tagged: $3.9 billion dollars, 5224 earmarks, Big Government, Congressional spending, earmarks, House bill, leftism, Liberalism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 3, 2009
Democrats are clearly fed up. The time has come for them to let it be known that something must be done … and now! The “job creation” thing really hasn’t worked out for them (not counting the billions and billions of new jobs created by the Stimulus Package), and the fact that over three million jobs have actually been lost since the ushering in of the Messianic Age – along with a nearly three point spike in unemployment – these are difficult times for donkeys.
So what does a political party with control of the White House and both houses of Congress do when they still cannot get things done their way?
They protest themselves, of course.
Jessica Yellin, CNN National Political Correspondent, writes:
Congressman Bobby Rush
Members of President Obama’s own political party are charging that the White House and the Democratic Congressional leadership are not doing enough to help the unemployed and are threatening to organize a march on Washington of jobless Americans.
“Obviously there’s something that’s not getting through to them,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois. “And we’re going to let the White House and everybody who’s concerned know that we have got people in our districts who are depending on us to deliver for them.”
Rush and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Candice Miller, R-Michigan, chair the new Congressional “Jobs Now Caucus,” which is comprised of 112 Democrats and 17 Republicans.
Of course, the “everybody concerned” that Congressman Rush is referring to includes himself, his Democrat colleagues and President Obama.
The real question is: Will his pleas fall on his own deaf ears? Or will he finally pay attention … to himself?
It is clear that he and his colleagues are damn serious about this because they’ve created a brand new “caucus.”
Unemployment, look out.
It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall during the genesis of the idea to organize a march against themselves:
Kaptur: What can we do, Bobby? We really suck.
Rush: Hmm … Hey, I know! Let’s do a protest!
Kaptur: Wow! Sounds great! But against ourselves, Bobby?
Rush: You get the markers, I’ll get the poster board. To the mall!
Meanwhile, just for good measure, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, issued this predictable statement:
“We continue to work with all members of the caucus and with the Administration to build on the recovery package and other initiatives to help create jobs and grow our economy after years of mismanagement by the Bush administration.”
In other news, Democrats are still clueless.
Posted in Big Government, Dumb Liberals, Economy, Liberalism, politics, Unemployment | Tagged: "Jobs Now Caucus", Congressman Bobby Rush, Unemployment | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009
Harry Reid, fudging the damn numbers
I’m not sure how many people would sign on to a program that required them to work full-time for a period of four years before being paid; or one that would require four years of insurance payments on a car before being handed the keys; or one – as Senator Mitch McConnell puts it – that required four years of mortgage payments before one can move into a house, but I’m going to venture out on a limb and say not too many.
Just as the House version of the health care bill did two weeks ago, Harry Reid’s incarnation – over two-thousand pages strong – employs that old accounting chestnut: The Ten Year Dupe.
It’s pie-in-the-sky liberal voodoo at its cooked-books best.
Recall that earlier this week, Reid assured Americans that the Senate’s version of government-run health care would be a money-saver. Like the Pelosi bill, it would be cost-effective and still be able to insure billions and billions of health-care starved people without costing Americans an extra cent. In fact, there’d actually be some money leftover to pour into other meaningful things, like doorknobs at inner-city housing projects, the study of orgasms among college girls, and the continued examination of radioactive rabbit feces.
Over ten years, according to Reid, the whole kit-n-kaboodle would cost “only” $849 billion. (In today’s trillion-happy world, that’s chump change).
But we’ve all seen this movie before … and there are too many who still don’t get it.
Although tax increases would be implemented upon the bill’s passage into law, actual spending won’t begin until the fifth year of the bill’s application, 2014; and even then, it will be relatively miniscule. For instance, only $9 billion is slated to be spent that year. However, in 2016, spending reaches $147 billion. By 2019 (the last year of Reid’s ten year projection), it’ll hit $196 billion.
Thus, actual spending of any significance would only take place during the last six years of Reid’s health care debacle.
But, if one were to look at the actual numbers over a fully implemented ten year period, which would start in 2014, the cost is more than twice the $849 billion espoused by Reid – in the neighborhood of $2 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The Ten Year Dupe.
As many as seventeen new taxes will be enacted to help fund everything. As much as $800 billion, according to the CBO, will be sucked from Medicare during the first decade of full implementation and put somewhere else. Plus, hefty penalties for those individuals, families and businesses who fail to comply with guidelines will be imposed.
Let freedom ring.
Seeing as there will be four years of revenue collection before spending really begins – which means four more years of our ongoing American health care holocaust – where is all of that money going to go until it is ready to be spent? Where do four years of taxes and fines get stashed until the government begins saving American lives? Will there be a health care reform fund established? Will there be a secret shoe box hidden at an undisclosed location? Will convicted Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana allow the government to borrow his freezer?
Or the do words Social Security Fund mean anything to you?
Posted in Big Government, Democrats, Economy, health care, Liberalism, politics | Tagged: 2074 page health care bill, CBO, Congressional Budget Office, Harry Reid, health care reform, Obamacare, Senate health care bill | 2 Comments »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009
For sheer incoherence, this may very well be on par with “I was for it before I was against it,” although not nearly as quotable. However, for the unrivaled capacity to redefine things at will, the award has to go to Barack H. Obama, Chief Executive.
No one else is even in his league.
He may certainly be the best sounding fertilizer peddler since Barney Frank on peanut butter, but there isn’t a soul – not even William Jefferson Clinton himself – with the hypnotizing ability to change the rules of the game on a dime as Barack Obama can.
The purpose of Obama’s Stimulus Bill, you recall, was to revitalize the economy and put Americans to work. It all sounded so divinely FDR. It is all anyone heard from clucking Obamacrats leading up to the bill’s who-did-it-and-ran passage in February – that the $787 billion dollar spending spectacular would create somewhere around 4 million jobs, and the unemployment rate would top off at around 8%, and America would finally live up to its promise because only government can save.
Blah, blah, blah.
The reality is the unemployment rate has been steadily rising and currently stands at over 10%. The confidence of the American people is plummeting. And although the President continues to sing the praises of his illusory “job recovery,” there aren’t too many people buying it.
Job recoveries are hard to wrap your arms around when less people are working.
Besides, if there are any jobs being “created” or “saved” by Obama’s Spendulous Bill, the bulk of them are government sector jobs, which means taxpayer dollars are being sucked out of the economy so that they can be redistributed to others as salary.
To top it off, the government’s assessment of the Stimulus Bill’s success has been embarrassingly incorrect. There has been job creation in non-existent districts; there have been more “jobs saved” than actually exist at given places of employment; and no one seems to be sure what the criteria is for any of it.
This is where Obama’s sheer incoherence will score him some “ah-ha” points with the mainstream media (who have been a bit worried that their savior is losing some credibility even among hardcore Obamacrats).
It turns out that all along, according to Obama, the number of jobs created wasn’t particularly relevant – a mere “side issue,” as he calls it. Rather, job growth was his real number one priority.
See? Problem solved.
From Fox News
“I think this is an inexact science. We’re talking about a multitrillion-dollar economy that went through the worst economic crisis since 1933. The first measure of success of the economic recovery is, did we pull ourselves back from the brink? We did,” Obama said. “The question now is, can we make sure we’re accelerating job growth? That’s my No. 1 job. Nobody’s been more disappointed than I have to see how high the unemployment rate has gotten. And I spend every waking hour, when I’m talking to my economic team, about how we are going to put people back to work.”
How exactly does one track job growth without counting jobs?
Recall that last week Obama credited the Stimulus Bill for putting a million people back to work. Or for keeping them at work. Or whatever it was supposed to do. Why would the President make it a point to mention how many jobs the Stimulus Bill was responsible for if it was only a “side issue?”
What about the “multi-trillion” dollar debt poised to be left as an “Obama Was Here” calling card for countless future generations?
And I love the line about accounting being “an inexact science.”
How bleeping convenient.
Is projecting how “cost effective” and “efficient” government-run healthcare will be an inexact science too?
Posted in Big Government, Economy, stimulus bill | Tagged: "side issue", $787 billion, Economy, Obama, Recovery Bill, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 17, 2009
There are myths, misconceptions and fallacies peppering the American landscape that linger like holiday-season in-laws. Contrary to popular belief, Charles Manson did not audition for the Monkees television show in the 1960s; Channel “One” was not left off of VHS television set dials because it was reserved for military use; and marking “Jedi” as your religion on a census form will not force the federal government to grant it official status.
Another fable being spun regularly these days relates to the enormous, unprecedented success of Barack Obama’s all-rescuing, all envigorating Stimulus Bill, which, as of last count, has created somewhere between nine and eighteen billion new jobs in the United States.
So efficacious has the Stimulus Bill been in creating jobs that people have been actually been put to work in districts that don’t even exist.
Talk about “community organizing.”
From Rob at the great Say Anything Blog:
Here’s a stimulus success story: In Arizona’s 9th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the website set up by the Obama Administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.
There’s one problem, though: There is no 9th Congressional District in Arizona; the state has only eight Congressional Districts.
There’s no 86th Congressional District in Arizona either, but the government’s recovery.gov Web site says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent there.
In fact, Recovery.gov lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in Congressional districts that don’t exist.
Oh yeah, and Mikey from the Life cereal commercials of the early 1970s did not die from ingesting a deadly combination of pop rocks and soda.
However, it is absolutely true that the theme from the original Star Trek TV series did have lyrics.
Posted in Economy, stimulus bill | Tagged: Arizona 9th District, jobs created or saved, Obama's stimulus bill, Recovery Bill, stimulus bill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 16, 2009
How many misfiring synapses does it take to enable one to come to the conclusion that moving incarcerated terrorists from a detention facility in Cuba to the mainland United States is a good idea? Uprooting human debris hell-bent on destroying America from a perfectly functioning maximum security military installation so that they can be locked up in America is the embodiment of absurdity. Where else but from the muddled minds of liberals could such thinking come? Where else but from the left could such a plan be born?
President Obama has said that Gitmo’s mere existence has served as a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda. Thus, in Obama-speak, it stands to reason that once these terrorists are transported to the American mainland, recruitment for the terrorist organization will begin to fall off, right? Those who would have thought nothing about strapping bombs across the chests of their children to kill infidels will rethink their positions if the enemies of America could actually be moved here. Osama bin Ladin’s heart will surely soften once these jihadists are living in the midwest.
Makes sense, no?
Setting aside whatever anti-Bush motivations there are concerning this obsessive need among Obamacrats to close Guantanamo Bay, proponents of the terrorist transplant plan claim that it will also be a huge economic boost.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times writes:
If [the Thomson Correctional facility] is acquired by the federal government, [it] would be run as a supermax facility housing federal prisoners. A portion of it would be leased to the Defense Department for a “limited number” of Guantanamo detainees — about 100, according to Durbin. About 215 prisoners are now at Guantanamo.
[Senator Dick] Durbin’s office has been quarterbacking the potential sale of the prison through a series of meetings between the White House and [Governor Pat] Quinn, who is looking to generate revenues for the cash-strapped state.
According to an economic impact analysis by the Obama administration, the federal purchase and operation of Thomson could generate $1 billion for the local economy over four years and create between 2,340 and 3,250 jobs.
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. Everybody wins, yes?
Here’s the problem.
Every one of those jobs is a government job. That means every one of those employees’ salaries would come at the taxpayers’ expense. That means all of that money would be sucked out of the economy first before it is redistributed in the form of paychecks.
Durbin and Quinn called the possibility of opening such a facility in their state “a dream come true.”
That’s three thousand new jobs that can be added to the billions and billions of new jobs that have already been created by this administration.
Posted in Dumb Liberals, Economy, Liberalism, politics, terrorism, War on Terror | Tagged: Gitmo, Guantanamo Bay, terrorism, terrorists, Thomas Correctional Facility, War on Terror | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 13, 2009
All it takes is shining a spotlight on liberals, and affording them the opportunity to step out from the security of their abstractions, to get people to open their eyes. Once lefties are forced to go beyond bumper sticker rhymes and pretty protest signs and actually elucidate the details of their destructive plans and schemes, Americans begin to see the light.
For years, the notion of having the federal government responsible for the health care of the American people, to many, didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Inasmuch as most folks didn’t invest too much time or energy digging into the matter, on its surface, it really didn’t sound particularly offensive. As a concept, it simply didn’t trouble most to think of someone else (i.e., the federal government) footing the bill for their health care costs. In fact, since November, 2001, Gallup consistently found that a majority of Americans believed that health care was the responsibility of the federal government.
That is, until now.
For the first time since Gallup began asking the question eight years ago in an annual poll, more Americans now say that health care is not the responsibility of the federal government.
How about that?
For eight years, Gallup has been posing the following question:
Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have heath care coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?
In this year’s poll, 50% said no, compared to 47% who said yes.
As recently as three years ago, nearly 7 in 10 Americans said that it was the responsibility of the federal government to provide health care coverage for all Americans.
Of course, that was prior to the Messianic Age.
According to Gallup:
The reason behind this shift is unknown. Certainly the federal government’s role in the nation’s healthcare system has been widely and vigorously debated over the last several months, including much focus on the “public option.” These data suggest that one result of the debate has been a net decrease in Americans’ agreement that ensuring all Americans have healthcare coverage is an appropriate role for the federal government.
If I may be so bold …
The reason is pretty clear to me: Liberals have had ten months to yak about it – and thus expose it for unsustainable, liberty-eroding, financial disaster that it is.
To that end, I invite all ObamaCare-supporting liberals – from the garden variety, off-the-rack, big-government types to the slobbering post-Clinton, anti-Bush, transformation-happy, Marxist wanna-bes – to keep finding hot microphones to speak into. I encourage all socialized-medicine enthusiasts who have made a lifetime’s work out of repeating insipid platitudes and vapid bromides (without ever having to fully explicate their feel-good, pie-in-the-sky utopian aspirations) to continue yapping into any camera they can find.
I want all Obamacrats to keep on talking.
Let the debate go on.
We’ll all ears.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, health care, Liberalism, Polls | Tagged: Gallup Poll, government run health care, health care, Obamacare, responsibility of the federal government | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 13, 2009
Let’s say, for instance, you brought your car to a local mechanic and ultimately wound up getting horrible service. Aside from the aggravation and frustration, you’d probably feel as if you’ve been swindled out of your hard earned money.
Now for the sake of this discussion, let’s say that a year later, despite your better judgment, you decide to give that mechanic one more try, only to have a similarly negative experience. In both instances, the customer service was dreadful and you were made to feel like an inconvenience. To top it off, you were overcharged and made to wait far longer than you should have.
Would you ever go back?
How about an accounting firm charged with balancing the books for your small business? Let’s say for three years running, the firm had so mismanaged your ledgers – and ultimately your tax returns – that the IRS decided to audit you.
Do you stick with them, figuring the fourth year to be the one where everything will finally be set right?
Or do you kick them to the curb (which you probably should have done two years ago)?
And what about the federal government?
Let’s say they passed into law a $787 billion Stimulus bill that was supposed to, by definition, “stimulate” economic growth by creating as many as 3.7 million new jobs across the country. And let’s say after nine months or so, with only a percentage of the money “infused” into the economy, the federal government started claiming that their hyper-spending was working – that the money they “invested” in America was saving or creating a whole lot of jobs, just as promised.
And let’s say not too long after the federal government made such a claim, news reports started coming out refuting those government assertions as being “wildly exaggerated.”
Not “marginally incorrect.”
Not “inappreciably erroneous.”
Not “slightly off.”
But “wildly exaggerated.”
And let’s say that during this time period, unemployment figures were still on the rise.
And let’s say those miscalculations by the federal government were only one in a long line of grossly inaccurate claims made by them, ultimately costing the taxpayers trillions of dollars, creating an endless labyrinth of government bureaucracy, and rewarding inefficiency with more of the people’s hard earned money.
Would you then feel confident enough to trust them to run your health care delivery system?
(Keep in mind that the current government-run health delivery systems – Medicare and Medicaid – have been disgustingly mismanaged by the same federal government).
On one hand, President Barack Obama is now claiming that his Spendulous Bill has saved or created one million jobs. One million jobs. All the while, the unemployment rate is as high as it’s been in one-quarter century … and rising.
On the other, the Boston Globe – not exactly a buttress of conservatism – says that the messianic claims being peddled by Bammy, at least in Massachusetts, are “wildly exaggerated.”
While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.
One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’
In other cases, federal money that recipients already receive annually – subsidies for affordable housing, for example – was reclassified this year as stimulus spending, and the existing jobs already supported by those programs were credited to stimulus spending.
“There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds,’’ said Susan Kelly, director of property management for Boston Land Co., which reported retaining 26 jobs with $2.7 million in rental subsidies for its affordable housing developments in Waltham. “It’s hard to figure out if you did the paperwork right. We never asked for this.”
Other examples from across the country illustrating the fairy-tale that is the Obama Million-Job-Farce include two Colorado child development centers that reported saving or creating 292 jobs. In actuality, the vast majority of the money was used to give cost-of-living raises. In all, only three new jobs were created.
In Washington, 34,500 jobs were supposedly saved or created – 24,000 of which were teaching positions. Stimulus money was used to cover paychecks, hence the claim of having “saved” the jobs. Unfortunately for the Bammy-Number-Crunching Machine, none of those jobs were in danger of going away because the money needed to cover those salaries would have come out of the state general fund. Those teachers were already contracted to finish the school year.
In Danville, Virginia, $35,000 is said to have created or saved 50 jobs. That’s quite a claim. In truth, the money didn’t create a single job – nor did it save any – but it did improve fifty already existing jobs. It went for raises, training, and playground repair.
In the Columbus, Ohio School District, where 36 school administrators were supposedly on the brink of being laid off, it turns out that no one was on the brink of being let go. There were only two options for officials to choose from on the form they were required to fill out for receiving stimulus money: “created” or “saved.” Since the jobs already existed, the only choice left was “saved.”
Stimulus money is said to have saved the jobs of 473 teachers in North Chicago. Unfortunately, the district only employs 290 teachers.
As talk show host Mark Levin said on his radio program yesterday, if Barack Obama were on the witness stand and made the million jobs claim under oath, he’d be a perjurer.
And yet, the federal government will somehow suddenly get it right and be trusted to manage the health care needs of Americans.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Obama Bonehead, politics, stimulus bill | Tagged: $787 billion, economic recovery, Million Jobs Saved or Created, Recovery Bill, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package, wildly exaggerated jobs saved claim | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 8, 2009
Joseph Cao, Louisiana - the ONE Pub to vote yes
That it was technically a slim margin of victory really doesn’t matter at this point.
I’ve already read on multiple blogs and websites a good deal of commentary taking a slightly optimistic spin on “how close” the vote was, and how it was “closer than expected.”
Blah, blah, blah.
It may make for interesting speculation on what lies ahead in the Senate, but the fact is, the bill passed the House – and the United States of America is that much closer to a screwing it shan’t recover from.
It is impossible to overstate it. This was bad. Very bad.
There’ll be a heavy bombardment of self-congratulatory kibbitzing from the left for a while, but attentions will now turn toward Harry Reid and the Senate – where the margin for error will be far less than the small but workable cushion Nancy Pelosi had to work with last night. Indeed, she lost 39 Dems, but ultimately, she could afford it.
Last night, the House of voted 220-215 in favor of the measure that has long been the central focus of the national dialogue – health care reform; and for the life of me, I cannot figure out how on Earth anyone with even a marginally functioning brain could have voted for this thing in good conscience. What the hell were these people thinking? There have been a myriad of detailed studies and analyses, even from non-conservatives, showing how passage of such a monstrosity would not only be an unprecedented financial disaster, but would unquestionably lead outright to a system of government-run health care – which, of course, is precisely what Democrats want.
Anyone who believes that the donkeys don’t want the government to run the health care show in America should invest a few moments researching the matter on You Tube, or visit any number of conservative blogs who have done the work the mainstream media won’t. There are a host of Dems who are on the record as saying that their ultimate goal is to see a single-payer (i.e., government-run) system in place – including the President.
Dems are not the least bit interested in preserving competition in health care. If they tell you they are, they’re lying.
Do those who are now applauding this debacle as some sort of moral victory for America realize that there is not a single government entitlement – absolutely none – that has ever run at or below projected costs? Not one! The federal government has shown itself time and time again to be a maximum of inefficiency in how it runs almost everything. It couldn’t even handle Medicaid and Medicare, and yet 220 members of Congress – including one dumb Republican (Joseph Cao, Louisiana, who won his seat running against the indicted one, William Jefferson) – believe that this time it makes perfect sense to hand over 16% of the economy to the feds?
This morning, Dems are jumping for joy, slobbering all over each other, exchanging hugs, congratulating themselves – all together sickening. The word “historic” is being bandied about as if the Berlin Wall has come down again.
I’m not sure they’re wrong.
America is one step closer to being forever transformed, just as the President so desperately wanted.
Posted in Big Government, Dumb Liberals, Economy, health care, Nancy Pelosi | Tagged: 220-215, democrats pass health care bill, government run health care, health care bill passes the house, PelosiCare | 4 Comments »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 6, 2009
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi
From the “Who Didn’t See This One Coming?” file …
Like a big-government liberal salivating at the thought of siphoning more of my paycheck, or an Obamacrat pecking incessantly at my liberties, it’s been gnawing at the sensibilities of clear-thinking Americans for the better part of ten months. It is imperative, the American people have been told time and time again, that health care reform happen as soon as humanly possible. It’s something that needed to happen yesterday, so the story goes; and if not for the racists and money-hoarders on the other side who use talk radio as the vehicle to spread their vitriol, everyone would be already be covered with top-flight, inexpensive, world-class health-care.
According to Washington’s Holey Trinity – Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid – the American people cannot afford another nanosecond of having to deal with the current capitalist, greed-uber-alles health care delivery debacle that leaves millions and millions to die while fat cat insurance companies roll in the dough. Recall that the health care “crisis” was recently called a “Holocaust” by Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. Recall that those who spoke out against the government takeover of health care at town-hall meetings all across America were said to be swastika-carriers by the Speaker of the House.
(You gotta love that German National Socialist imagery).
As critical as the passing of a health care reform bill is supposed to be to the welfare of the American people, none of it (oddly enough) is to actually be implemented until either 2013 or 2014, depending on the version of bill. (So much for urgency). Three years, it seems to me, is a mighty long time, especially when a “crisis” as far-reaching as this is afoot, but I’m obviously missing something. Still, considering the “seriousness” of the situation, potentially, we’re talking about alot of dead bodies littering the streets.
Proponents of Democrat health care reform have been feeding the American people the notion that all plans to completely overhaul the system are not only going to save trillions and trillions of lives, but it will be cost-effective. In fact, according to the Holey Trinity, it won’t cost Americans an extra nickel.
Senator Harry Reid
Of course, being one of the unsophisticated lock-steppers awaiting his daily marching orders from my talk radio overlords, that never made an iota’s worth of sense to me – nor did it to tens of millions of Americans who spent the better part of the summer and autumn speaking out in opposition to such a blatant erosion of liberty. It ate away at common sense. Without increasing the amount of doctors in the country while (supposedly) adding thirty million Americans to the insurance rolls, the idea that costs would not increase was about as coherent as Joe Biden sober.
Making things all the more deceptive for clarity-loving, clear thinking Americans was the fact that, according to all versions of the bill, revenues for the overhaul would begin to be collected almost immediately.
In short, taxpayers would begin footing the bill now, while the health care “Holocaust” would be allowed to fester for three years under the Pelosi version of the bill (four years under Reid’s version) until the actual rescuing of suffering Americans by the federal government could begin.
Naturally, members of the exalted Trinity (and their mouthpieces) would find every opportunity to gravitate toward hot microphones demanding that those of us in the skeptic’s camp do the math and see that over the next ten years, everything, indeed, checks out cost-wise.
“We’re telling you, it all works out,” they would say.
“Here’s a calculator, do the math. It’ll cost no one a penny extra,” they would contend.
“Look at how things shape up over an entire decade! Your concerns are unfounded!” they would claim.
But here’s the reality of the situation: The only way to conduct an honest analysis of the costs of the Holey Trinity’s attempt to nationalize the American health care system is to run the numbers for a ten year period that includes both spending and revenue collection.
And when the real numbers are crunched … it is not pretty.
Benjamin E. Sasse & Jefferey H. Anderson, in comparing the House version of the bill with the Senate version of the bill, write in the New York Post:
Each bill is routinely “scored” for its 10-year costs from 2010-19. Yet this includes several years when the spending wouldn’t yet have kicked in. According to the Congressional Budget Office, fully 99.9 percent of the Pelosi bill’s costs would hit from 2013 onward. Similarly, 98.3 percent of Reid’s spending would come after 2014.
If you start the tally when the bills’ spending would actually start, then the bills’ real 10-year costs become clear — and are remarkably similar.
The CBO reports that, in their true first 10 years, the House bill would cost $1.8 trillion, and the Senate bill would cost $1.7 trillion. Pelosi would raise Americans’ taxes by $1.1 trillion over that period, while Reid would hike them by $1 trillion.
And the House bill would siphon about $800 billion from Medicare to spend it elsewhere, while the Senate bill would suck out about $900 billion.
And if we discount the bills’ claims to divert hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare (which is already on the edge of insolvency), the CBO says the House bill would raise our national debt by about $650 billion in its real first decade, while the Senate bill would up it by $740 billion.
So, the bills would either sock older Americans by taking huge sums of money from Medicare — or hit future generations with huge tax hikes to cover the shortfall.
Whether it’s our grandparents or our grandchildren, someone is going to pay.
If there aren’t alarms blaring in your head after ingesting those nuggets, it may be time to have a work crew brought in to clear away any cranial cavity blockages.
Numbers have a funny way about them.
Is there anyone who truly believes that the elderly are not going to have their health care substantially rationed under government-run health care? Or that future generation upon gfuture eneration will not be paying for this mess long after the Holey Trinity have moved on to the next world?
Count on both.
Seniors will see their health care – to the tune of $900 billion – quite literally, given to someone else. In other words, benefits will be extracted from a segment of the electorate that is not particularly smitten with President Obama – seniors – and redistributed to that portion of the electorate that still is – the young and the poor.
The only thing as certain as the astronomical costs and sub-par medical care this bill will bring is the fact that not a single member of Congress will ever trade in his or her own health care plan for anything they bestow upon the masses.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Nancy Pelosi, Nanny State, politics | Tagged: "scored" for 10 years, CBO, Congressional Budget Office, Harry Reid, health care debate, health care reform, House bill, Nancy Pelosi, Obamacare, PelosiCare, Senate bill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 4, 2009
President Barack Obama and his party may have taken it on the chin last evening, but when it comes to defying the laws of science (i.e., walking on the water), and defying the tenets of reason (i.e., health care costs will not go up despite adding tens of millions to the insurance rolls), no one can touch him.
Add to that list, his ability to defy the laws of mathematics.
I admit to not knowing much about the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council. It doesn’t come up in conversation much here in New York City’s forgotten borough, Staten Island – although my Big Apple tax dollars are being funneled that way, so perhaps I should pay better attention.
A quick look at their website reveals that they are an “advocate for the poor since 1965.” Their mission statement says, in part, that they are “making the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 a reality in Southwest Georgia by helping socially and economically disadvantaged persons help themselves through a variety of programs.”
Good for them.
For those keeping score at home, there are a total of 508 people employed by the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council.
That’s 508 total jobs.
But thanks to President Obama’s magical, all-healing, all-curing, all-saving $787 Stimulus Package, a total of 935 jobs were saved there.
That’s 935 jobs.
Yes, President Obama somehow saved 427 more jobs than actually exist at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council.
Now that is success.
I know there is no Nobel Prize for Mathematics, but there needs to be one.
Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press write:
The Georgia nonprofit’s inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government’s latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an “extensive review” to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.
About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren’t saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.
That type of accounting was found in an earlier AP review of stimulus jobs, which the Obama administration said was misleading because most of the government’s job-counting errors were being fixed in the new data.
The administration now acknowledges overcounting in the new numbers for the HHS program. Elizabeth Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House recovery office, said the Obama administration was reviewing the Head Start data “to determine how and if it will be counted.”
But officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.
“If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job,” HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.
I didn’t realize that giving someone a raise qualifies as having saved that job. Is that the same accounting technique that counts someone who may have been out of work for even one day as being included among the millions who have no health care insurance? Or those who smoked cigarettes for even six months as a teenager as being included among those who died from cigarettes?
And what does a “portion of your job” mean?
Did the Stimulus Plan only save fractions of jobs? And if so, wouldn’t that mean that there were actually more than 935 jobs to begin with that enabled a total of 953 jobs to be saved in a place that really only employs 508?
And what if someone didn’t get a raise, but remained employed. That doesn’t count as a “saved job”?
We should ask President Obama. He’ll know what to do.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, stimulus bill | Tagged: 508 jobs, 935 jobs saved, economic recovery, jobs saved, Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 3, 2009
I’m always after interesting little tidbits.
Take this little morsel from Rasmussen: In one month, the percentage of people in the United States who blame former President George W. Bush for the nation’s economic woes has dropped six percentage points – from 55% to 49%.
Here’s a tastier nugget: The percentage of people who say President Barack Obama is more to blame for the ailing economy has jumped eight – from 37% to 45%.
Obama’s closing in.
And all of this in spite of a liberal media complex that all but greases itself up and bends over for the man.
Another delectable scrap to chew on is the fact that back in February – during the first month of the Messianic Age – just under half of all Americans said they trusted their own judgment more than the president’s when it came to economic issues – something that, in and of itself, is tremendously troubling. Today, however, that percentage has surged to 63%.
Talk about a right turn.
It’s actually a novel idea … trusting your own judgment. I wonder what Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Franklin, Hancock, Hamilton, Jay, Livingston, Chase and Madison would have thought of that concept.
(Inexplicably, 27% of Americans say they still trust the President’s economic judgment more than their own).
And if this next little statistic doesn’t perfectly illustrate the difference between left and right, then nothing ever will.
According to Rasmussen, “Eighty-four percent (84%) of conservatives trust themselves more, but 56% of liberals have more confidence in the president.”
More than half of the left place more trust in the president – and thus, the government – than themselves. I’m not sure whether to nod and sigh, or scream and vomit.
And I’d love to know who these sixteen percent of conservative are that put more trust in Barack Obama than themselves. Still, the fact remains, the overwhelming vast majority of conservatives believe in themselves – the individual – more than an elected official.
No further analysis necessary.
Three more little gems to gnaw on:
– 62% of voters oppose the passage of another economic stimulus package this year.
– Just 42% now support the health care reform plan proposed by Obama and congressional Democrats. Most voters expect the plan, if passed, to drive up health care costs and hurt quality and expect a middle-class tax hike to pay for it.
– For nearly four-out-of-five voters, the bigger problem for the country is not their unwillingness to pay higher taxes. It’s their elected representatives’ refusal to cut government spending.
In other news, America is a center-right country.
Can we remember that?
(Say it with me, now) Yes, we can!
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, politics, Polls | Tagged: "blame bush", Bad economy, Rasmussen poll | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on November 2, 2009
There are many things to be said about President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. From the left’s sycophantic exaltations to the right’s unimpeachable condemnations, there is no shortage of opinion on the matter. And even though I am one of those people who resolutely believes that the United States is wedged dangerously between Barack and a hard place, nothing quite brings home the message that an economy is hurting than having the economy of the economy-killer himself on the ropes.
I can hear a chorus of head scratchers asking themselves, “What the hell did he say?”
Among other details, the AFP is reporting that the Barack Obama souvenir market is waning. The mania for the Anointed One, at least in terms of collectibles and tokens, is subsiding – coincidentally, in conjunction with his falling popularity numbers.
“Overall, Americans are not highly satisfied with the way things are going in the US,” said (Frank)Newport (Editor-In-Chief of the Gallup Poll). And as a consequence, the popularity of Obama gear at the souvenir shops that abound in Washington appears to be taking a hit. “Sellings have really slowed down since Obama took office,” said vendor Vin Ngo. This is not for want of supply: from a lifesize cardboard cutout to gold jewelry to a bottle of special vintage champagne bearing the president’s name, the list of Obama tchotchkes and high-end souvenirs is long.
Talk about interesting.
With Obama’s own performance in handling the economy negatively affecting the economy of Obama merchandise itself, one wonders if the Stimulus Bill could have possibly saved those jobs.
Questions remain, of course.
What will become of Obama Belly-Button Lint Removers? Or Big Bam Bunion Shavers? Or those Messianic Toe Straighteners? Or Big-O Orthopedic Water Walkers?
The man is an equal opportunity destroyer. There is no segment of the free market he cannot incapacitate.
One year since the election, the President’s face can still be seen almost everywhere. Indeed, in the lobby of my daughter’s high school in Brooklyn (Madison High School), hangs a gigantic likeness, presumably created in an art class, of President Obama. This isn’t your typical, traditional portrait of a President hanging on the wall. Rather, it’s a huge rendering of Obama face (admittedly, very well done) from on high, looking down on the happenings of the school’s main lobby – something I don’t ever recall seeing for any other President. Frankly, it’s a bit eerie – in that “goose-stepping-past-the-podium” sort of way. However, according the article, despite the plastering of his face almost everywhere in the year since his election – at least from the prespective of a profit-seeker – the honeymoon with Obama is over.
A quick look around downtown Washington confirms that the Obama trinkets are still for sale, but more than one strategically placed street hawker have found little point in displaying the T-shirts, posters, and “Yes We Can” buttons bearing the new president’s image.
“They stay in the truck,” grumbled a vendor who identified himself as “Dick,” as he pointed to a rusty vehicle behind him. “They don’t sell anymore.”
Of course, that doesn’t keep the President from being the enormous sensation he is across the globe – bigger than the pet rock, for sure.
High or low as it may be at home, Barack Obama’s popularity abroad is irrefutable, argues Professor Clyde Wilcox of Georgetown University in Washington. He is “the first African-American president, a young man who has won many honors and done great things. He is a cultural phenomenon in the US and around the world,” Wilcox said.
Yes, he’s done lots of “great” things.
And he won the Nobel Peace Prize, I think it was. Let’s not forget that.
Posted in Economy, humor, Obama-Mania, Uncategorized | Tagged: Bad economy, Obama collectibles, Obama Merchandise, Obama Souvenirs | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on October 29, 2009
How about that?
The economy grew by 3.5% during the third quarter. Needless to say, it was unexpected by “experts.”
Yahoo News went so far as to say that the recession was over.
Happy days must be here again.
I would advise, however, that before anyone starts wetting their inseams with glee, a little perspective is in order.
Think of a restless boy on a dose of Ritalin. As the drugged child settles down and begins his excursion into the cognitive abyss, the doctor walks by to see the “out of control” lad pacified at last. He’s quiet now – in that just-recently-lobotomized sort of way. He still needs tending to, but things are finally calm. The doctor also sees a frazzled parent slumped back in the chair, relieved to finally find a few moments peace. The “Leave It to Beaver” theme plays in the parent’s head.
As heart rates decrease and tensions abate, both doctor and parent arrive at the same conclusions: Ritalin, good. Peace, good. Rambunctious boy, bad.
And the long term effects of the dope-instead-of-parenting approach?
As long as it’s quiet.
This, my dear readers, in a nutshell, is a good place to start when trying to understand the Obama economy – drugged and artificial.
Here’s the bottom line … despite the orgasmic reports of an economic third quarter that has put to bed the worst recession in seventy-years (which only a few days ago, according to Joe Biden, was a full-fledged depression), the reality is, this is no recovery. This is not the beginning of a long term trend based on investment and genuine growth. Rather, it is the temporary result of an infusion of the drug known as government intervention. Take away the Cash-for-Clunkers program and the Homebuyer Tax Credit – fleeting “fixes” that spurred temporary consumer activity – and all that’s left is an absolute failure of a stimulus program that increases nothing except the tax burden for generations to come. In other words, when the Ritalin wears off, the child will be out of control again.
These moronic lefty contrivances are not genuine economic stimulators. Obama’s gargantuan deficits will not encourage private-sector investment. The President’s “there-isn’t-a-tax-I don’t-love” approach will not promote economic growth. His “to-hell-with-the-free-market” modus operandi will never stimulate a damn thing.
And exactly what proof is there that Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package – which, incidentally, has only been 20% implemented, and most of that in non-stimulating capacities – had anything to do with the so-called recovery? Because Joe Biden said so? (Remember, this was a depression not too long ago) Because the state-level recipients, who wouldn’t dare levy a negative word at the money-givers, said so?
This morning, on her nationally syndicated radio program, Laura Ingraham spoke with former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin:
Ingraham: (The Stimulus) has been, without a doubt, exposed as a farce … We have lost jobs. They predicted three million. We now see an exodus, when you add it all up, of six-and-a-half million jobs from the United States.
Holtz-Eakin: And remember, when it became obvious that this was not going to work, they invented a new term – “jobs saved” – something that has, literally, no foundation in fact, and (can) never be verified, in order to sell (the success of the Stimulus).
“Jobs saved” is just as easy to verify as “souls saved.” I mean, there is just no way to do this.
And then there’s this …
According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration’s “economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.”
The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.
The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.
It is interesting to note that the CBO let out its economic soothsayers back in February, predicting that by the end of this year, we’d see some kind of economic recovery even if Obama and the Cats did absolutely nothing. They also pointed out that all the debt that will result from Obama’s astronomical spending spree could trigger a re-recession – or a double-dip recession – when the bills come due.
It’s pretty easy to grasp.
Government spending does not create economic growth. It would seem to be self-evident seeing as the government gets its money from the private sector through taxation. This is so basic that “one-plus-one-is-two” is labyrinthine in comparison.
Perhaps someone ought to slip some Ritalin into the Congressional water cooler.
Incidentally, isn’t it a delicous coincidence that the “worst recession since the Great Depression” would come to an end on the 80th anniversary of the event that is considered to have triggered the Great Dpression itself – the Stock Market crash of 1929?
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism | Tagged: $787 billion, 3.5% growth, CBO, Congressional Budget Office, Economy, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on October 27, 2009
The idea is a simple one – an oft-cited concept worth repeating here.
If something is taxed, the result will be less of whatever that something is. (Conversely, subsidizing something means there will be more of it).
From the perspective of the consumer, if income is taxed, then, by definition, there will be less income for the individual. From the perspective of the tax collector, ironically, the same holds true – raising income taxes (as has been shown repeatedly) actually decreases the amount of total tax revenue to the state.
It’s this thinking that is behind exorbitant cigarette taxes, “fat” taxes, or any other varieties of “sin tax.” If taxes on these items increase, there will be generally less consumption of those items. (Theoretically, taxes could increase so much that consumption on any item could reach zero).
On the other hand, the opposite will prove true when taxes are cut. Hence, back-to-school no-sales-tax days are instituted to bring more people into the stores.
Naturally, the demand for “sin tax” items, such as cigarettes won’t vanish completely; and there are, arguably, other economic justifications for piling on such levies. So while these taxes can still be a reliable source of income for the government (which is why the tax per cigarette pack isn’t $100), the principle is still valid.
All of this applies not just to goods and services, but to people as well.
If, for instance, you continue to tax the wealthy, you will not only get people with less wealth, but ultimately, less wealthy people. And seeing as it is the wealthy who not only create jobs but supply the overwhelming vast majority of the tax revenue, hiking taxes is never a good thing if prosperity and a healthy economy are on the docket.
The same can be said with respect to the middle class – which is why it is a staple of every political campaign, regardless of what side of the aisle the candidate is on, to emphasize that “middle class tax cuts” are a priority.
Keep all of this in mind as we temporarily turn our attentions to the bluest of the blue states – New York.
According to a new study by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, during the nine year period from 2000 to 2008, the state of New York has been losing people – or as Andy Soltis writes in the New York Post, “New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers.”
A whole lot of tax revenue is going bye-bye.
More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.
The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City — meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.
“The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource — people,” the report said.
And what is the primary cause of the Empire Exodus? According to the report, it is the “state’s high cost of living and high taxes.”
And no, it isn’t just the rich that are making bee-lines out.
What’s worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.
Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found. And it should be no surprise that the city — and Manhattan in particular — suffered the biggest loss in terms of taxable income. The average Manhattan taxpayer who left the state earned $93,264 a year. The average newcomer to Manhattan earned only $72,726. That’s a difference of $20,538, the highest for any county in the state. Staten Island was second, with a $20,066 difference.
It all adds up to staggering loss in taxable income. During 2006-2007, the “migration flow” out of New York to other states amounted to a loss of $4.3 billion.
That’s not chump change.
Meanwhile, the population of New York City, based on a 2008 estimate, went up by over 300,000 people since 2000. In terms of population, the city is getting larger.
The problem is, with higher-income people comprising the bulk of the escapees, more and more of the people coming in to replace the money-makers will be reliant in some way on government assistance.
In Manhattan, an income of $72K for a family of four doesn’t stretch very far.
Take a guess how that problem will be addressed.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, New York City, Taxes | Tagged: Empire Center for New York State Policy, high taxes, New York State, People leaving New York, Population shift, Tax Refugees | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on October 27, 2009
Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman
I’ve decided that, in the spirit of Nancy Pelosi’s renaming of the “Public Option” to “Competitive Option” or “Consumer Option” – evocative of dropping “War on Terror” for “Overseas Contingency Operation” – I would, too, try to make things more palatable for the American citizenry by renaming some of the other “less-than-favorably-perceived” realities that permeate American life. After all, substance is altogether irrelevant in the think tanks and policy barns of the American leftocracy.
Rather, it’s all in the name.
In other words, if it sounds unobjectionable, it can’t be all that bad.
To that end, I thought I’d have a go at some Tuesday morning inanity – for kicks.
Thus, with the light of liberalism to guide me – and drawing from the deep well of contemplation that characterizes the American left – I submit some of these changes now.
The scourge of cancer (the second leading cause of death in the United States) shall now be referred to as Spirited Cellular Reproduction. I call for murder (prohibited by the Sixth Commandment) to be forever known as a Natural Resource Stabilizer. Child molestation shall henceforth be called Age Neutral Gratification. And I ask that everyone come together and start referring to rape as Vigorous Intimacy Awaiting Approval.
They’ll be easy enough to remember after you say them a few times – like pronouncing the name of Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the first hundred or so tries, it’ll just roll off the tongue.
Did I make it all better?
This, of course, is the liberal modus operandi: Don’t call it crap – although the shape, size, color, consistency and smell all suggest it. Don’t think of it as waste – although more useful things have dropped out of the backsides of horses and cattle. Pretty bows, silky ribbons and rainbow colored wrapping paper will not change the fact that inside the box is a load of excrement just waiting to attract a bevy of migrant flies.
In an appearance at a Florida senior center, the Democratic leader referred to the so-called public option as “the consumer option.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., appeared by Pelosi’s side and used the term “competitive option.” Both suggested new terminology might get them past any lingering doubts among the public—or consumers or competitors.
Desperation, thy name is liberalism.
It is unclear whether Pelosi will follow through on changing her title from “House Speaker” to “High Priestess of Washington.”
Unofficially, of course.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, health care, Liberalism, Nancy Pelosi, politics | Tagged: "public option", Competitive Option, Debbie Wasserman, Nancy Pelosi | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on October 26, 2009
In July, on PBS’s News Hour, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:
I think there’s a lot of interest in taxing the insurance companies because people really do see across America. They know that (the insurance companies) have caused the problem we have with their anti-trust exemption … and the immoral profits. They’re making billions of dollars in profits while they’re cutting off benefits that they are entitled to.
Last week, Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, said:
They are so anti-competitive. Why? Because they make more money than any other business in America today… What a sweet deal they have.
It’s a common theme from the Left.
Insurance companies are all about their disgustingly gross profits and are willing to see Americans drop dead and rot in the streets to preserve them. One could only deduce, listening to Democrats go on and on about the obscene money being pulled in by these insensitive corporate greed merchants, that the industry as a whole must be one of the most lucrative in America, if not the most lucrative. If anyone in the United States is swimming in profits, it has to be the fat cat insurance companies.
Democrats say so.
Well, it’s not even close.
In fact, insurance companies ranked an unimpressive 35th on the Fortune 500 list of most profitable American industries.
Calvin Woodward, from the Associated Press writes:
Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They’re all more profitable than the health insurance industry. In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”
Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.
Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.
To be precise, insurance companies posted a 2.2% profit.
For those keeping score at home, that’s .6% less profitable than being a member of Congress, all of whom received an average 2.8% pay raise from last year.
And that includes Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Just out of curiosity … I wonder where Jesse Jackson’s shake-down/race-based extortion enterprise ranks this year?
Posted in Economy, health care, politics | Tagged: 35th most profitable industry, Harry Reid, health care debate, Insurance Companies, insurance reform, Nancy Pelosi, profits | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on October 21, 2009
From the “You Deserve What You Get” file …
The enormously popular Governor of New York, David Paterson, is going to try again. In that elder George Bush style, Paterson – who pledged not raise taxes – is going to raise taxes … again. Sounding cranky and a bit tired, the Governor, in a radio interview, said he is going to reintroduce his “fat tax” on sodas and other sugary beverages in his next budget.
New York’s Legislature already rejected a Paterson “fat tax” proposal earlier this year – an 18% tax – and instead opted to tax the wealthy some more.
But next year will be a new day.
This latest “fat tax” chatter began after Paterson heard an audio clip of Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries saying that a soda tax (as well as a boost of out-of-state tuition fees) could be a viable way to help close the $3 billion budget gap facing New York – an alternative more appealing than pursuing the education and health care cuts Paterson proposed.
That’s when aclearly annoyed Paterson responded.
Brendan Scott of the New York Post writes:
“I promise I will put (the soda tax) back in my budget address and give the Legislature another chance to do it,” Paterson said during an interview on WNYC. “But you can’t keep voting down the ways to create revenues and then saying you don’t want to make cuts.”
The problem, as Paterson sees it, is that the soda tax wouldn’t be put into effect until next year when the new budget is created. Indeed, he’s all for it, but he needs to figure out a way to start slicing and dicing this year’s budget.
While Paterson said he would be open to another soda tax proposal next year, he rejected Jeffries’ claim that such new taxes could help close the $3 billion gap in the state’s current budget.
“He’s right about different ways we can enhance revenues if the Legislature will agree to it,” Paterson said. “But he’s totally wrong because I’m talking about payments that must be met by Dec. 15.”
“I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this before people understand and are persuaded that we have to act now,” the governor continued.
It’s always government, government and more government, isn’t it?
Albany has been unable – or perhaps, more fittingly, unwilling – to trim the fat in New York. (What blue state is?) The fact is, New York is so over-regulated – which translates into being “over-taxed” – that its budget cannot be anything but out of control. After all, who is going to make sure the never-ending maze of regulations and codes are enforced? People cost money. Money comes from taxpayers. That means bigger budgets.
Here’s a suggestion perfectly suited to today’s proponents of government-run, rationed, mediocre health care (which, theoretically, a “fat tax” could help pay for):
Forget the “fat tax.”
How about taking a page from the Robert Reich “Let’s Tell The Truth About Health Care Reform” Songbook and propose a “fat subsidy?” In other words, pay people to get fat – not unlike the federal government pays some farmers to grow corn and soybeans, which are processed into fattening food ingredients such as corn syrup and vegetable oil that could get taxed by a “fat tax.” (Yes, in the United States we tax food on the consumer end while subsidizing it on the production end).
With a fat subsidy, people will die sooner and thus save precious medical resources for the rest of us who fall within whatever guidelines the government creates for us (for our own good).
Makes sense, no?
As one blogger put it, “We could let adults make, live with, and pay for their own lifestyle choices.”
Talk about radical.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism | Tagged: $3 billion budget gap, David Paterson, Economy, Fat Tax, Hakeem Jeffries, New York economics | 1 Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on September 10, 2009
"You lie!" he yelled.
As the House of Representiatives’ teleprompter continues to get accolades the morning after the President’s fifteen-thousandth speech on health care, consider a hypothetical scenario.
Imagine for a moment the federal government setting up a McDonalds type restaurant where the cost of hamburgers was only eight cents. Imagine the same restaurant offering large icy cold sodas for only fourteen cents, and a ten piece chicken nugget pack for a quarter. Then, imagine a string of these government-run restaurants being built in communities all across the country, serving the very same neighborhoods that the real free-market McDonalds does. Imagine such a place being subsidized in large part by tax payers. Imagine food being considered a right.
Here are some obvious questions … Where do you suppose cash-strapped teenagers and low-income families will go to eat? Do you think they’re more likely to patronize the place where five people can eat a whole lot of food for $3.00? Or the place where four small value meals can run over $20.00?
And what do you suppose will happen to the real McDonalds when it finds itself in direct competition with an entity that can print its own money to pay suppliers, never worry about answering to anyone, and offer the public up to 90% discounts on food? How long will it be able to survive?
Keep in mind, no one from the government has actually legislated the end of the real McDonalds. There is no language to be found anywhere to that effect. There doesn’t have to be an explicit law, or statute, or directive stating that it be officially be dissolved. There doesn’t have to be a provision, or clause, or reference in the original bill saying, “All privately owned McDonalds will hereby be abolished upon the passage of this bill into law.”
It will simply happen as a result of the law’s existence.
That’s because there is no way the real McDonalds can compete.
Thus, when proponents for a government-run McDonalds step up to the podium and look the American people in the eye and say, “It is simply untrue that the law says private enterprise in this area is to be eliminated,” they technically aren’t lying. There is literally nothing in the law that expresses it, explicitly or implicitly.
Now, with that in mind, think of what President Obama said last evening, when he assured the American people that illegals would not be covered by the government-run health care plan he is pushing – which prompted South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson to openly call the President a liar during his speech.
(You must’ve heard about it. It made all the papers).
What Wilson understands is that because there is no real checks-and-balance of any kind to keep illegals from being covered (and that the so-called “40 million uninsured” Obama has all along been peddling actually includes illegals) there ultimately can be no other result. Backdoor triggers and endless amendments will ensure that illegals eventually get the coverage Democrats wish they could just offer them outright. It doesn’t have to be spelled out in black-and-white because it is an inevitability, much like the death of the privately owned McDonalds in our hypothetical scenario.
As Gabriel Malor at the Ace of Spades blog writes:
Although (the House version of the bill) does not provide subsidies for illegal aliens, it does allow them to participate in the “healthcare exchanges.” It also contains a provision which prevents anyone from checking on the citizenship status of any person seeking healthcare.
You do the math.
President Obama is well aware of all this.
Think for a moment about the so-called “death panels” that opponents to ObamaCare – like myself – say will become a reality if passed into law. Indeed, there is no proposal anywhere that uses those very words, but what else can happen if there are suddenly “forty million” newly insured people in the system without an increase in the number of physicians to serve them?
Flat out rationing.
What other result can there be when severely limited resources meet up with skyrocketing demand?
And although I do believe that cat-calling the President of the United States while he is addressing a joint session of congress is wholly inappropriate, frankly I was not terribly offended by Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst – not like I was when Senator Dick Durbin equated our military to the Nazis on the Senate floor; or when the late Senator Kennedy announced that the Iraqi torture chambers were being re-opened under new American management under George W. Bush.
Those were unsubstantiated, contemptible claims made by shallow men with the inability to argue a point with anything other than emotionally-charged prattle.
Yes, that sound you hear is the collective orgasm of lib bloggers, commentators, reporters and professional spinsters across the map equating Joe Wilson with whatever their lastest benchmark of evil is. And while Wilson’s emotional outburst may have been wrong, he was thoroughly correct in understanding what will ultimately happen if (and when) ObamaCare kicks in.
Oh, and by the way … anyone who has the nerve to claim that Republicans are the ones who are wont to dip into their scare tactics bag to push their agendas, consider this passage from the President’s speech last evening:
Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing. Our deficit will grow. More families will go bankrupt. More businesses will close. More Americans will lose their coverage when they are sick and need it most. And more will die as a result.
Add that one to the long, ever-growing list of “liberal hysterias to feed” that include such chart-topping catastrophes-in-waiting as global warming, overpopulation, the heterosexual AIDS epidemic, and bird flu.
Posted in Economy, health care, politics | Tagged: "You lie", health care debate, Joe Wilson, Joint Session of Congress, Obamacare, President Obama | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on September 8, 2009
It’s one thing to raise the ire of Republicans. It’s all in a day’s work for big-government, nanny-state leftists to get conservative blood boiling.
But when you get demolition derby drivers mad at you, then it’s time to step back and re-evaluate.
President Obama may be a lot of things to a lot of people, but according to Tory Schutte, head of the Demolition Derby Drivers Association, the President is an “anti-demo-derby guy.”
Ada Calhoun from Time.com writes:
There’s at least one group of people who are happy Cash for Clunkers is over: demolition-derby drivers. Participants in these events, in which drivers smash into one another until there’s only one engine left running, don’t enjoy the sight of old cars going out of commission without making a pit stop at the county fairground.
Schutte says, “He’s targeting the cars we’ve been using.”
The demolition derby, it can be said, is the original “cash for clunkers” program – and a damn successful one at that. Cars destined for the automotive hereafter are temporarily spared the inevitable by enthusiasts who prepare them for one final metal-twisting, body-crunching hurrah.
It’s the free market system at its best.
Cars must be stripped of all extraneous parts, including windows; any reinforcements other than roll bars and contestants will get disqualified. Gas tanks must be moved to the backseat and covered with scrap metal. Doors must be welded or chained shut.
Drivers, who are not allowed to ram driver’s-side doors, have to wear helmets. Many accessorize with neck braces.
Many demo-derby drivers, including some recently interviewed in Delaware County, New York, are confirming that Obama’s wonderfully dead “cash for clunkers” program has put a hurting on them.
From Time.com video:
Some folks here say the government’s recent “cash for clunkers” was no friend to the demolition derby. They say the program took too many crashable cars out of play.
-“It’s very hard to find good cars. Everybody’s getting rid of them.”
-“We’re going down to North Carolina. The guy I got this off of – I bought it in Michigan.”
-“It’s gonna be hard to find cars for the next few years.”
Do what you must, Mr. President.
Appoint contemptible people to fill one of your twenty-thousand “czar” positions. Continue your (destined to fail) all-out assault on the free market with your Marxist-flavored attack plans. Keep doing what you’re doing to feed your increasing disapproval numbers.
But do not screw around with the demolition derby.
Posted in Big Government, Economy | Tagged: Cash For Clunkers, Demolition Derby, Obama's Cash For Clunkers, Tory Schutte | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on September 4, 2009
Our Vice President
In terms of the news cycle, there is very little I look forward to as much as hearing anything the Vice President of the United States has to say. Call it a guilty pleasure – or a grievous mental defect – but knowing Joe Biden has spoken publicly somewhere – and that there could very well be sound bites from his visit – is a source of great excitement for me. It’s reminiscent of those anticipatory tinglings I would get as boy knowing a new album by a favorite musical group was about to be released, or a new movie was set to hit the theaters. When “Crazy Uncle Joe” opens his mouth, I am not only assured of having something to write about on the blog, I know that the bulk of what he says will be based on everything other than reality.
That’s what makes it so much fun.
Take Biden’s harebrained, la-la-land assertion that the Obama $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February is proving to be a success. Next to Elvis sightings and the Sports Illustrated prediction that the New York Mets would win the World Series this year, it’s hard to pinpoint anything more epically mythical.
He’s so adorable when he’s just being Joe, isn’t he?
Ben Feller of the Associated Press writes:
Defending a costly plan to revitalize the economy, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday said the government’s sweeping stimulus effort “is in fact working” despite steady Republican criticism and public skepticism.
“The recovery act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, and changing the conversation in this country,” Biden said. “Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession.”
Nearly 200 days into the effort, Biden delivered an upbeat report card about the $787 billion rescue effort that President Barack Obama pushed through Congress. He quoted estimates by private analysts that the plan has created or saved 500,000 to 750,000 jobs so far. But many million people remain out of work.
The effectiveness of the two-year program is a matter of sharp political debate, and Biden sought to counter critics with a listing of tangible results.
Of course, Joe is a little light on some of the actualities of the spendulous recovery farce, but that never kept him from filling his pie hole with one or more of his own feet.
As of Monday, a little less than 15% of the stimulus bill has been spent – a total of about $85 billion. And the vast majority of it, up to this point, has not been spent on anything remotely stimulating.
Recall how the bill was sold to the American people back in February – as being the necessary life preserver for a nation on the brink of financial ruin. It was the only way to save the United States from destruction – and it had to be done quicker than immediately. There was no time to waste. America’s very existence depended on it.
Seven months later, with some economic indicators suggesting the recession may be slowing (stabilizing housing prices, a vibrant stock market, etc.), in a nation that was only a few short months ago flirting with elimination, the question is … how much has actually been spent on bona fide “stimulus?”
Arkady Kamenetsky (of the great Indy Mind blog), writing at the Examiner.com website breaks it down:
Let us examine some of the major recipients of taxpayer moneys for brevity we will examine those departments receiving more than 20% of allocated funds.
Railroad Retirement Board: Small chunk of change and unclear where the funds are going.
Social Security Administration: 13 billion spent upgrading computers and one time payments. Not stimulating as there is no direct impact to job creation.
Veterans Affairs: .5 billion spent on upgrading facilities, payments, state grants and benefits to veterans. While not stimulating, entirely justifiable given the neglected veterans in this country.
Department of Labor: 18 billion spent on providing education and worker training to workers and “easing the burden of the recession” by assisting and expanding access to health care. Not stimulating, no direct impact on job creation or tax benefits. Providing education to workers is not the responsibility of the federal government and easing the burden of the recession can create a dangerous precedent of reliance.
Department of Justice: 1 billion spent on providing training, equipment and support for crime prevention including the hiring of additional police offers. Stimulating as it provides jobs to those seeking employment as police officers, however police are the responsibility of municipal governments. In other words we here in Boston should be not be paying for cops in Wichita, Kansas.
Health and Human Services: 28 billion spent on upgrading hospital’s IT programs, research and state grants, Medicare payouts. The biggest recipient of taxpayer moneys has also the most vague and hard to navigate web-page, giving no clear answer as to what the money is being spent on. According to the information there, it appears that the money is being used to advance Obama’s theory regarding electronic record keeping and the health industry. Whether or not upgrading our hospitals will impact us beneficially is to be determined, but this appears to be non stimulating spending and egregious spending at that.
It is also worth mentioning the Department of Education which has spent 14 Billion on state grants, school modernization, Pell grant funding and possibly preserving education jobs in states where funding is critical. Largely not stimulating as most of the money is being used on things that simply have no impact on our economy what so ever and do not belong in a federal stimulus package.
Arkady also points out that in February the Congressional Budget Office predicted a slow down of the recession by the end of this year without the benefit of any messianic intervention. And while there is obviously no way of knowing how accurate that prediction would have been, free market economies are funny things. They’re cyclical – not unlike the climate. They have a strange way a straightening – or correcting – themselves with minimal government meddling. (See the Recession of 1921). Because panic (like the one that swept across this country last fall) often spawns the dreaded and quick-to-metastasize “do something” disease – even among conservatives – governments tend to grow, liberties tend to erode, and problems tend to be prolonged (See the Great Depression).
Commenting on Biden’s remarks that the “wasteful spending” dog didn’t bite, Christopher Flavelle and Amanda Michel at ProPublica write:
The government did allocate millions of stimulus dollars for tiger and lion cages at the National Zoo, as we reported in May. And the Florida Department of Transportation got $3.4 million to build tunnels for migrating turtles—a project praised by local residents but held up by Republicans as just the kind of wasteful-spending story the vice president wanted to avoid.
In July, we reported that more than $100 million in stimulus dollars were being spent on airports with fewer than one flight an hour, while many of the country’s busiest airports were getting nothing at all. Last month, the watchdog for the Department of Transportation did indeed bite, calling for a full audit of stimulus airport grants.
Last week, The Associated Press reported that some of the country’s busiest border checkpoints were getting no stimulus money while small checkpoints had been allocated millions of dollars. Among the checkpoints getting money – $199 million, or five times more than any other station – is one at Nogales, Ariz., the home state of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the AP said.
And regarding Biden’s assertion that the spendulous money was to “bring relief to those hardest hit by the recession,” Flavelle and Michel write:
As ProPublica reported last month, a county-by-county breakdown of contracts, grants and loans showed no relationship between where the stimulus money is going and either unemployment or poverty.
The stimulus bill specifically calls for infrastructure funds to be directed at “economically distressed areas.” So far, at least, the numbers suggest that isn’t happening. States with higher unemployment are also spending and completing transportation projects more slowly, according to a stimulus spot check conducted by the ProPublica Reporting Network.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Joe Biden, Liberalism | Tagged: $787 billion, Big Government, Economy, Joe Biden, Obama's stimulus bill, Recovery Act, stimulus pacakge, Stimulus Package, wasteful spending | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on August 10, 2009
From the “Who Would Have Guessed?” file …
It isn’t neuro-surgery – although one may be able to make a compelling case that Democrats are in desperate need of some group synapse therapy. (That’s a separate issue).
It’s really quite basic.
Government bailouts for car companies and banks actually cost money. Liberal nation-saving initiatives such as the stimulus bill and Tarp – not to mention the looming health care overhaul – will take a tremendous financial toll. The President has decided that the current generation of Americans is incapable of dealing with tough times and can only survive by making future generations carry the load. President Obama is not only transforming the country (as he promised), he is setting records.
Ladies and gentlemen, glance up at the Big Board, if you will; the deficit, as of the end of last month, has hit $1.3 trillion.
And there’s more where that came from.
Walter Alarkon from The Hill writes:
Bailouts for financial firms and billions in tax revenue lost because of the recession drove the deficit to a record $1.3 trillion in July, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Tax receipts that have fallen due to the poor economy and increased spending to save car companies, banks and mortgage firms were major contributors to the federal deficit, according to CBO, which provides official budget numbers for Congress. The federal deficit grew by another $181 billion in July.
Falling tax receipts and increased spending on bailouts for auto companies and the financial sector and for the economic stimulus package added to the deficit, according to CBO, which provides official budget numbers for Congress.
Spending through July of 2009 has increased by $530 billion, which is 21 percent over the same period in 2008. The bailout money for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae accounted for almost half of the spending increase. Unemployment benefits have more than doubled, Medicaid spending has grown by a quarter and Medicare spending has increased by 11 percent.
Keep in mind that Nancy Pelosi – America’s official swastika spotter, and third in line for the Presidency of the United States – recently assured Colorado town hall attendees that the proposed health care bill will not increase the deficit.
How about that?
The cost of destroying the greatest health care delivery system on earth and transforming it into a government-run entreprise of rationed mediocrity (at minimum) is projected to total a trillion dollars over ten years, but it will not have any effect whatsoever on the exploding deficit.
That’s what Nancy says.
Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the top Republican on the Budget Committee, said that Democrats in Congress aren’t doing anything to address the record deficit and are instead pushing ahead with “wildly expensive” healthcare legislation.
“To allow the deficit to hit these previously unthinkable levels – while still planning to implement massive new spending programs – shows an incredible lack of fiscal responsibility, especially toward the future generations who will be saddled with the consequences of today’s actions,” Gregg said.
Unthinkable levels by unthinking politicians.
Who would have guessed?
Posted in Economy, Obama Bonehead, politics | Tagged: $1.3 trillion deficit, $181 billion in July, CBO, Congressional Budget Office, Economy, Obama, record deficit | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on July 15, 2009
I’d like to think that there must be – has to be – among clear thinking Americans, a festering anger waiting to explode into full-blown take-to-the streets outrage. In the hearts and minds of Americans who value the free-market system – the very one that has built this nation into the most successful the world has ever known – there must be a bubbling animus on the brink of detonating.
As the nation continues to be reinvented thanks to its 21st Century Marxist makeover, I simply cannot believe how much my country has been transformed in six short months. And save for a few notable moments over the course of that span (like the hundreds of April 15th Tea Parties held across the nation), there have been agonizingly few public displays of fed-up Americans making themselves heard … and a whole host of reasons why they should be.
With the promised Obama transformation of a country founded on limited government and individualism in full-swing, the tenets of self-reliance and liberty are being pushed aside in favor of a more powerful, intrusive state. It is simply inconceivable to me that reasonable Americans, with any sense of the liberty they are privileged to possess, or with any real understanding of how that liberty exists inversely to the amount of government involvement in our everyday lives, could ever consider the nationalization of health care a legitimate path to follow.
But here we are the day after House Dems disclosed a 1,000 page plan for a mammoth expansion of government-backed health care insurance, dangling a $1.5 trillion price tag, slated to boost taxes on the “wealthiest households” over the next ten years, and all I can think is, “This is America?”
Indeed, I know there are tens of millions like me who cannot begin to believe that the health care system that is the envy of the world – the system that provides the medicines that save countless lives and the doctors that provide the highest quality care on earth – could ever (or should ever) be reconstructed to replicate the inefficient European models that Obamacrats are so enamored with. What is it that is so damn appealing about the rationing of what will evolve into sub par, assembly-line health care?
Indeed, it is an inevitability once the government sets the rules.
A small percentage of Americans who wish to have health insurance do not; that should be enough to have the best and brightest minds figuring out how to improve the system, not overhaul it. As usual, liberals don’t seek to elevate those at the bottom to better their circumstances; they wish to punish those at the top for having more.
At the risk of drawing the barrage of poison arrows I will surely take (and I am more-than-prepared to be branded a heartless, soulless, miserable excuse for a human being) the “health care” situation in this country simply isn’t the dire, cataclysmic national predicament it is made out to be.
The belief that the American health care system is in bad enough shape to warrant a complete change in the way it works from top to bottom is categorically untrue. No evidence exists, and no reason can justify (other than the need to appease liberal emotion) such a catostrophic change.
Is it imperfect? Can it be improved?
To say otherwise would be a lie.
Still, the American health care system – flawed as it is (like any other system developed by human beings) – is simply the best on earth. And if one factors automobile-related deaths and murders out of the equation, Americans have the longest life expectancy of any nation on the planet. It is free enterprise and competition that enable life-saving innovations to take place.
And despite the media spin, the socialization of American health care is not just about taxing the “wealthiest” among us to pay for the distressed few who are without health insurance – because that, too, is a misnomer (which I will explain in a moment).
It is really about the bewildering Democrat notion that health care insurance is as fundamental an American right as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The orifice from which this preposterous concept was drawn from must be as deep as it is wide, because no matter how many hysterical whine-time leftists claim it is so, health care insurance is not a right, nor is it something to be provided by government to the public at large, like police or fire protection.
The right to have one’s electricity paid? The right to have one’s rent taken care of? The right to a job? The right to have the expensive name-brand chocolate pudding over the generic store-name brand?
And, of course, as with all Obamacratic initiatives, there is no time to waste on frivolous debate and political grandstanding. Those who would oppose health care coverage for someone like a single mom with six kids from the inner city are heartless, cold-blooded, politically-motivated right-wing zealots anyway. These transformations, so we are told, are necessary measures that require implementation as soon as humanly possible, lest millions of people start dropping like anvils in the streets of America.
In reality, Dems are looking to rush this through before Americans get wind of what’s really in there.
From Erica Werner of the Associated Press:
Under the House Democrats’ plan, the federal government would be responsible for ensuring that every person, regardless of income or the state of their health, has access to an affordable insurance plan. Individuals and employers would have new obligations to get coverage, or face hefty penalties.
The legislation calls for a 5.4 percent tax increase on individuals making more than $1 million a year, with a gradual tax beginning at $280,000 for individuals. Employers who don’t provide coverage would be hit with a penalty equal to 8 percent of workers’ wages, with an exemption for small businesses. Individuals who decline an offer of affordable coverage would pay 2.5 percent of their incomes as a penalty, up to the average cost of a health insurance plan.
The liberal-leaning plan lacked figures on total costs, but a House Democratic aide said the total bill would add up to about $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private calculations.
Three House committees will begin voting on the bill Thursday. Changes in the legislation are likely to satisfy a group of moderate and conservative Democrats who are withholding support.
The 1,000-page bill is unlikely to attract any Republican backing, and business groups and the insurance industry immediately assailed it as a job-killer.
The business groups also warned that the U.S. health care system could be damaged by adding a government-run insurance plan and a federal council that would make some decisions on benefits, as called for in the legislation. Thirty-one organizations signed the letter, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable representing top corporate CEOs and the National Retail Federation.
And of course, the idea that “taxing the wealthy” (at the heart of a liberal’s conception of “fairness”) will somehow make this fairy-tale, one-and-a-half-trillion-dollar government phony band-aid an effective elixir to help curb the ills of the current American health care system is as disingenuous as anything that has ever escaped the lips of any Obamacrat anywhere.
This fantasy-land leftist snow job is predicated on the theory that employers, medical providers and “the rich” will be footing the bill, keeping it all “affordable” to regular, everyday Americans.
But medical providers will almost assuredly raise their rates. Employers will then be forced to cut salaries, or even jobs. The “wealthy,” who create and own the businesses that employ people, will scale back operations as their costs grow.
And in the end, who will wind up paying?
The very people Obamacrats are trying to “help” with their socialization of the American health care system – the everyday taxpayer.
Thus, costs go up while quality of care goes down.
Plus, if “everyone” is to be covered, limitations are inevitable – from time and resources, to medications and providers. The bureaucracy that would be guaranteed to follow would be almost incomprehensible.
Rationing is guaranteed.
In short, $1.5 trillion doesn’t just grow on the trees of the wealthy. This potentially economy-crushing disaster cannot be paid for by just taxing the so-called “rich.”
And if there is anyone who really believes that the cost of such a destructive plan will cost only $1.5 trillion, I’d like to offer you a tunnel to go along with that bridge the Dems are peddling.
The bottom line is, this is not about health care reform, or even fixing the economy.
This is only about having more people dependant on government.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, health care, Liberalism, politics | Tagged: $1.5 trillion, health care, health care insurance, health care reform, House bill, Obama's health care reform | 1 Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on June 15, 2009
Does this scenario sound familiar?
An entrepreneur comes along and develops a new product – lets call it nose hair conditioner. He sets up shop in a place that is business-friendly – lets call it Nice Town, USA.
Demand is high for his new product, and before Mr. Entrepreneur can say “Damn, I Love Free Enterprise!” the nose hair conditioner market is taking off.
Wealth is being created.
As a result, Nice Town, USA begins to attract productive and creative people from all over. More and more capital is infused into the local economy. The nose hair plant expands. Pretty soon, ear hair plants and toe jam plants begin to spring up.
Nice Town, USA is growing.
Then, right on cue, the productive are joined (and eventually outnumbered) by the bloodsuckers and opportunists who see Nice Town, USA as an untapped nipple of wealth – lets call them politicians. The business owners and working people of Nice Town are told by these smooth talking snake-oil merchants that while their successes are something to be proud of, danger looms ahead. Capitalism is great, they say, but there are too many uncontrolled no-goodniks out there who want to use and abuse the free market to screw over the little guy. Unless government can protect them from themselves, the future is downright grim. And unless government’s best friend, the union, is brought in and allowed to look after all the Johnny Lunchbuckets who slave and toil in the nose hair plants, there may not even be a future.
“We are here to help. We are here to unify,” say the leeches who speak pretty words.
The old school, antiquated, free-market types who ran things before cannot compete stylistically with the new slicksters. The old guard is stuffy, uninteresting and almost certainly racist.
Nice Town, USA must now head in a new direction. The city must become progressive.
It all sounds so reasonable.
The bloodsuckers then move into power.
They begin to siphon the life blood from the area through regulation and taxation.
Slowly but surely, over time, the productive and creative element of Nice Town, USA grow weary of the leeches. While government continues to move left and grow larger, the very best people – once the very heart and soul of Nice Town, USA – gradually leave to find places like the one Mr. Entrepeneur originally found when he began his nose hair conditioning empire – business-friendly and accommodating to wealth creation.
Nice Town, USA – once a thriving city of industry – eventually falls on hard times as the wealth builders leave. Nothing new is being created there because it isn’t profitable to do so anymore.
The city begins to crumble under the weight of government intervention and union domination.
What’s left behind is an oppressive “finger-in-everyone’s pie” bureaucratic establishment, a diminishing working class, and a whole lot of people forced to live off the government’s teat thanks to liberal, incentive-raping, creativity-shattering policies that help no one.
If all of that does sound familiar, it should.
That’s how you get cities like Flint, Michigan – a shell of its former self, once the home of the great General Motors Corporation.
That’s how cities die.
So, what exactly is the answer to the question of what to do about dying cities?
If you said, “Create incentives to get investors to rebuild,” you’re as wrong as astroturf.
To many, the only answer is more government intervention – specifically, using taxpayer dollars to bulldoze entire sections of cities to the ground in the hope of reeling in out of control costs. It’s called the “shrink to survive” approach.
Tom Leonard from UK Telegraph online writes:
The government is looking at expanding a pioneering scheme in Flint, one of the poorest US cities, which involves razing entire districts and returning the land to nature.
Local politicians believe the city must contract by as much as 40 per cent, concentrating the dwindling population and local services into a more viable area.
The radical experiment is the brainchild of Dan Kildee, treasurer of Genesee County, which includes Flint.
Having outlined his strategy to Barack Obama during the election campaign, Mr Kildee has now been approached by the US government and a group of charities who want him to apply what he has learnt to the rest of the country.
Mr Kildee said he will concentrate on 50 cities, identified in a recent study by the Brookings Institution, an influential Washington think-tank, as potentially needing to shrink substantially to cope with their declining fortunes.
Most are former industrial cities in the “rust belt” of America’s Mid-West and North East. They include Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Memphis.
In Detroit, shattered by the woes of the US car industry, there are already plans to split it into a collection of small urban centres separated from each other by countryside.
Forget questioning whether or not it is a good idea to plow over abandoned areas of cities to promulgate recovery. Personally, it befuddles me – with a superfluity of evidence to feed my confusion – why anyone in their right mind would turn to government to solve these problems.
Why is it that liberals reflexively assume that power must always be placed in the hands of elected officials for things to get done? And why is it when things don’t get done by the ever-inefficient, over-sized, unaccountable government – which is just shy of always – the liberal response is to give government more to do? Take a look at the cities in question – Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, etc. The common thread is that they’re all run by Democrats with big government leftist agendas.
The real question is whether or not such decisions about bulldozing neighborhoods (and what criteria will be used to decide which areas will be flattened) is something that should be controlled at the federal level. Is this something that really needs to be added to the already long list of things the Obamacrats have to have their paws in?
If this “knock-em-down” idea is going to become a reality in cities that have been ravaged by liberalism, then at the very least, keep it local. Keep the feds out of it.
Better yet, let the free market do its thing. The best thing any government can do is get the hell out of the way.
Why is it that the answer with liberals always lies in taking away liberties and money from the people?
Why is it that the idea of lowering taxes and creating incentives for people to come back to abandoned areas to rebuild is not an option? Gentrification is a successful reality in many urban areas across the country – areas once seen as hopelessly beyond rescue. I’ve seen these types of renaissances happen myself in several neighborhoods in Brooklyn, New York.
Large corporations and governments don’t revive the economies of neighborhoods. Small businesses do.
It’s all about the private sector.
Knocking down the abandoned buildings of a community will not suddenly make what’s left thrive.
Policies have to change first. The landscape will eventually follow – in the right way.
Posted in American culture, Big Government, Economy, Liberalism | Tagged: "shrink to survive", bulldoze cities, Dan Kildee, gentrification, Liberalism | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on May 14, 2009
That Vice President Joe Biden can bend reality into shapes that have yet to be defined – with seemingly no effort whatsoever – is something many of us should watch closely and appreciate. It truly is fascinating to watch. He compels us to pay attention to him – like a car wreck or a streaker. Even the Clintons, at their best, take the place and show positions behind Joe when he’s being Joe.
The Associated Press – no bastion of conservative pom-pom pumpers – is reporting that The Vice President’s assessment of how President Obama’s spendulous package is working isn’t exactly accurate.
Biden released his first quarterly report on the Obamacratic spending extravaganza earlier this week, and rather than compile actual data to formulate an accurate assessment, Joe went selectively anecdotal.
AP’s Matt Apuzzo writes:
It is not disputed that Washington is spending historic amounts of money at a rate far faster than normal. Workers are getting tax breaks, Washington is picking up a greater share of state Medicaid costs and road construction projects are beginning.
Even Recovery.gov, the Web site that has yet to live up to its billing as a one-stop way to track every penny, offers more information than typical government programs, and faster.
But the effect of that spending is less clear. Many of the claims the White House is making are based on anecdotes selected to fit the Obama administration’s message. For instance, the report cites a newspaper article about workers being rehired at a factory in Chicago. That account is true, but is no more an accurate snapshot of the nation’s economy than a story, not cited in the report, about a Roanoke, Va., railcar factory closing.
Biden, for instance, claimed that first-time home buyers are “driving increased activity in the home sales market.” More people are being hired in the mortgage industry, according to Biden, because of the first-time home buyers tax credit in the stimulus bill.
On the surface, it sounds promising, of course … but let us not forget that this is Joe Biden. An automatic suspension of reality is in order when he is involved.
The Vice President is getting his information from anecdotes included in a New Orleans business journal, according to Matt Apuzzo. The facts show that not only have home sales gone down since February, the number of jobs in the real estate industry has dipped as well.
Big Joe also claims that employment agencies are putting more people to work since February. Again, he’s tapping into the same New Orleans business journal that supplied him with his first set of “facts.”
The anecdote may be true, but it’s impossible to extrapolate that any further, even just to New Orleans. The city has lost more than 200 jobs since February. Overall, Louisiana lost 16,085 jobs over the same span, according to the Department of Labor.
And the kicker – the one that employs the most obvious slight of hand (or words) – is something I’ve written about several times since the Obama annointment, namely the claim that jobs are being “saved” by the stimulus package. Specifically, the White House claims that 150,000 jobs have been saved or created since Obama’s craptacular bill became law.
Exactly how does one measure a “saved” job? What are the criteria? Is this born of the same school of thought that says that someone who has been out of work for one day is to be counted among America’s uninsured – even if that worker gets a new job the next day with comprehensive health coverage?
Since February, the nation has lost more than 1.3 million jobs, according to the Department of Labor. To make the case that the country created jobs over that same stretch, the White House has put forward a benchmark of jobs created “or saved.” The argument is that the job numbers would have been even worse had it not been for the stimulus, and the difference between those numbers is a net positive.
Recall the Obama administration’s projected “deficit cuts” over the next several years were actually calculated by first including trillions of dollars of projected war spending into each fiscal year’s budget ahead of time and then “cutting” back on that. That would be akin to my wife and I budgeting for a one million dollar car every year for the next eight years, then cutting it out of the budget and claiming that we are suddenly saving $8 million.
There are few hard numbers when it comes to tracking stimulus jobs. The Obama administration numbers are based on estimates by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, based largely on a formula Obama’s transition team put forward. It estimates the effect of tax breaks, government spending and social programs on job growth.
Spending money will put people to work. But spending has a cost. At some point, Washington will have to pay for this program, either by raising taxes or interest rates, and those policies typically hurt job growth. The Obama administration’s job data do not take into consideration this back-end cost, an omission some economists, particularly conservative economists, say is a flaw in the analysis.
Intellectual honesty from the Associated Press.
Take an “attaboy” out of petty cash.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Joe Biden, Liberalism, politics | Tagged: Economy, Joe Biden, Obama's stimulus bill, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on April 3, 2009
Liberals offend easily.
It is what motivates them to policy decisions – to do all they can to eradicate that which offends (unless the offended are right of center).
For instance, inequality (of outcome) is offensive to the Left, hence big government. Leftists would rather see everyone poorer and more equal. Leftists don’t aspire to elevate the unsuccessful. They wish to punish those who have succeeded by bringing them back to the pack.
While I am generally inclined to leave being “offended” to children, Leftists and other non-adults, there are things that conservatives admittedly find offensive – and they generally have to do with the tearing down by Leftocrats of the traditions and institutions that make the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever known.
That’s usually And so, just over two months into his reign, President Obama – who has played the “I inherited a deficit” card more often than a Kennedy’s lips touches rum – has guaranteed that the taxes to be paid by my children, and their yet to exist children, will go up – and not just casually. The new Big Man has decided that what was “left to him” by the previous administration was so horrific, so unmanageable, so debilitating that it has become necessary to deal future generations ridiculous tax burdens out of “necessity.”
And while the brain-dead across the pond continue to expend energy, saliva and vocal chords in gushing over the visiting American royal family, realities that would have already been broached tenfold by the press had anyone not named Obama been at the helm, are being largely ignored by the disciple pool who are just happy to be along for the ride.
Hey, as long as the First Lady can show off her arms and her latest whatever it is she is wearing, all is right (or rather, Left) with the world, yes?
It’d be nice if someone charged with the task of being a journalist found the testicular fortitude to ask the President how the astronomical debt he is proposing will trigger the prosperity Bam has assured the American people.
That would seem to be a somewhat relevant question to pose.
But then again, Obama’s assurances mean nothing, do they?
Recall that the word “earmark” was brutalized and redefined as a “cover your tush” maneuver by Bam. Remember how this was the worst economy since the Great Depression, before it became worse than the Great Depression, before it somehow became sound again.
Michael Boskin writes:
What of the claim not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year? Even ignoring his large energy taxes, Mr. Obama must reconcile his arithmetic. Every dollar of debt he runs up means that future taxes must be $1 higher in present-value terms. Mr. Obama is going to leave a discounted present-value legacy of $6.5 trillion of additional future taxes, unless he dramatically cuts spending. (With interest the future tax hikes would be much larger later on.) Call it a stealth tax increase or ticking tax time-bomb.
What does $6.5 trillion of additional debt imply for the typical family? If spread evenly over all those paying income taxes (which under Mr. Obama’s plan would shrink to a little over 50% of the population), every income-tax paying family would get a tax bill for $163,000. (In 10 years, interest would bring the total to well over a quarter million dollars, if paid all at once. If paid annually over the succeeding 10 years, the tax hike every year would average almost $34,000.) That’s in addition to his explicit tax hikes. While the future tax time-bomb is pushed beyond Mr. Obama’s budget horizon, and future presidents and Congresses will decide how it will be paid, it is likely to be paid by future income tax hikes as these are general fund deficits.
These deficits are so large for a prosperous nation in peacetime — three times safe levels — that they would cause the debt burden to soar toward banana republic levels. That’s a recipe for a permanent drag on growth and serious pressure on the Federal Reserve to inflate, not the new era of rising prosperity that Mr. Obama and his advisers foresee.
Let’s keep in mind that this budget does not yet deal with what will be an exponential Social Security cost boom down the road.
Rail all you like against the inherited deficits of the Bush administration – recall that President Obama and the Dems supported the Bush bailouts – but Obama’s nonsensical, mythical proposed $2 trillion “cut” of the national debt is about as substantive as Obama’s “work experience and qualifications” box on his resume.
As Boskin explains:
That was mostly a phantom cut from an imagined 10-year continuation of peak Iraq war spending.
In other words, it’s like saying I am proposing a home budget that includes buying a new $50,000 car every year. Then, when I don’t buy the car, I make the claim that I have saved $50,000. Over the course of ten years, I can say I have save half-a-million bucks.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Media Bias | Tagged: Barack Obama, budget, Economy, Obama's budget, triple the deficit | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 17, 2009
So, the economy was on the brink of catastrophe before it was fundamentally sound before it became worse than FDR’s – if I understand correctly. Or is it better to say that it was the worst economy since the Great Depression before it was basically strong before it became the worst economy ever, including the Great Depression.
I’ll say one thing for these Obamacrats, they certainly have themselves covered – building a formidable arsenal of sound bites for every possible occasion. They divert, reflect, reinvent and redefine reality as it occurs, setting new standards for confusion and misdirection. If they weren’t in power, it’d be almost amusing. This is more than simply having the left hand and the right hand not being in synch. This is about getting “for rent” notifications from the brain in between.
According to the second most powerful man in the country, President Obama has it worse than Franklin Roosevelt did at the same point in his Presidency seventy-six years ago.
Carol E. Lee at The Politico writes:
Vice President Joe Biden’s discussed the economy in stark terms at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Monday night, in contrast with the upbeat tone coming from the White House over the past few days.
In a 20-minute speech in the lobby of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Biden said President Obama “has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt.”
“Let me explain what I mean by that,” he added. “It was clear the problem Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic [problem]. We’ve never ever been here before – here or in the world. Never ever been here before.”
I take it Joe’s microphone was on this time.
This, of course, is not to be confused with the White House message on Sunday that the economy is fundamentally sound.
Do Barack and Joe not talk? Or exchange e-mails? Or text with eachother?
In one respect, Obama does have it more difficult than Roosevelt.
He has Biden.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Joe Biden, Liberalism, Obama's first 100 days, politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Economy, Great Depression, Joe Biden | 3 Comments »
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:
Greek katastrophē, from katastrephein to overturn, from kata- + strephein to turn – confiscated by American Democrat Party for political scare mongering
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: catastrophe, economic crisis, economic recovery, Economy, Obama, recession, stimulus bill | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 5, 2009
You thought the analogue-to-digital conversion box fiasco had people confused?
This is something I can guarantee the overwhelming vast majority of Americans are not aware of – and come next April 15th, there are going to be a whole lot of irate people frantically screaming at their payroll departments demanding to know what the hell happened.
And meanwhile, not one official from the Obama Administration – the folks who care so much about America’s working families – is bothering to inform anyone about it.
If you are married, and both you and your spouse are entitled to President Obama’s economy-saving blockbuster “tax cuts” – which would yield approximately $13 a week in your paycheck through the end of the year, followed by approximately $8 a week until the $800 total is reached – you had better pay your payroll department a little visit and change your status to “married, filing separately” (if you haven’t already) or adjust your withholding allowances, because it is entirely possible you’re going to owe the government money by next April 15th.
First, let’s go back to a press release from IRS commissioner Doug Shulman, issued at the end of February, regarding the implementation of Obama’s “tax cuts”:
For most taxpayers, the additional credit will automatically start showing up in their paychecks this spring. Since employers and payroll companies will handle this change, people typically won’t need to take any additional action.
That is, unless you are married and filing jointly.
As most Americans understand the Obama plan, if your payroll department lists your status as “married, filing jointly,” and you fall within the income guidelines, you qualify for the Obamarific $800 “tax cut” and your paychecks will be adjusted accordingly. But if your spouse files the same way at his or her job, he or she will also qualify for the same “tax cut.” Thus, by the time tax time rolls around next year, your “cut” could be twice and big as it was supposed to be, and you will owe that money back.
There is no cross-checking here between employers.
In a story that hasn’t gotten much play, Andrea Coombes, from Fox Business News writes:
But if you file a joint return with your spouse, and you both work, you should carefully review your withholding, because it’s highly likely both employers, without knowledge of what the other is doing, will adjust withholding such that both spouses receive up to $800, for a total credit of $1,600.
“It’s conceivable that if both are married-filing-joint and their income is not otherwise going to cause a phase-out [of the credit], they could get the double benefit,” said Frank Keith, chief of communications for the IRS. “When they file their return, the actual credit they’re entitled to is $800.”
That means paying back up to $800 with your return, though Keith said the money paid out this year, and thus any tax bill later, likely would be slightly lower — since the withholding adjustment starts close to midyear, the full credit won’t be paid out in paychecks.
For some, what’s effectively a loan from the government might be welcome. But others will find the big bill next year unwelcome. One way to prevent it: Adjust your withholding this year.
Note, too, that taxpayers who normally get a refund might simply see a reduced refund, rather than a bill, come April 2010. “A lot of people get refunds. If you’re in that situation, it likely would just mean that your refund is lower,” said Bob Scharin, senior tax analyst at Thomson Reuters’ tax and accounting business. “But if you normally do not get a refund, you could find you owe more tax than you anticipated.”
My wife is the controller of a large entity here in New York and knows the tax code in and out. Over the past week or so the finer details of the Obama plan are slowly becoming understood and the reality of married couples potentially being undertaxed by doing precisely what IRS commissioner Shulman suggested – that is, nothing – is hitting home, not only in my wife’s office, but in payroll departments everywhere.
At an APA (American Payroll Association) discussion group my wife has aceess to, moderated by CPP certified payroll professionals, one confused visitor posted:
“I am trying to figure out how the new tables work for a Married Couple, both working. In my little mind, if the new Percentage Method Withholding tables reduce the amount of tax withheld from someone claiming Married up to $800.00, then is it reasonable to think that if both spouses are claiming Married the amount of tax their withholding could be reduced as much as $1600.00? … So if both of the spouses fall into that bracket, they could in fact have a reduction of approx. $1,600.00. Which means that they might in fact have a tax liability at the end of the year. I called the IRS about this and after 5 transfers, all I got was, “well if they are both working then maybe they need to have additional tax withheld on their checks each pay period to make up for the short fall”. WOW, give us a stimulus then make us have extra tax withheld each pay period. I am probably just not seeing the big picture and I hope someone can show me where my error is.”
You are correct. If both spouses work, their total withholding will be reduced by more than they are entitled to at the end of the year and they will owe the difference. The IRS has published the new Publication 15-T. In that publication, they have included a “Notice to Employees”. This notice doesn’t really state that married employees in lower brackets will be underwithheld, but I think this is the IRS’s attempt at addressing the withholding issue.
I’m sure someone was going to get around to filling the American people in on it eventually.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Obama's first 100 days | Tagged: "$13 a week", "$400 tax cuts", $800 tax cuts", IRS, Obama, Obama tax cuts, tax cuts | 6 Comments »
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 19, 2009
In a Fox News poll released today, a slim majority of Americans – 51% – support Barack Obama’s $787 billion pig meat bonanza, signed into law on Tuesday (four days after it had to be passed by Congress, lest the nation disintegrate into oblivion). The poll also says that 40% of Americans oppose it.
But here’s the kicker.
As Dana Blanton writes:
For those supporting the stimulus bill, the top reason is because it was seen as the best option and we “have to do something” (37 percent). Other main reasons include the spending included in the bill (17 percent), belief in Barack Obama and the Democrats (14 percent), and simple belief the plan will work (11 percent).
That should be astonishing to me, but it isn’t. (After watching the salivation and bootlicking adulation at Obama’s Fort Myers townhall meeting last week, nothing surprises me). 37% of Americans say that Obama’s craptacular spending bill was the best option because something – anything – had to be done. It didn’t matter what it was, apparently, just as long as something got done. The Obamacrats could have allocated billions of dollars to the study of Appalachian toe jam, or the nasal mucus eating habits of Berkeley, California city council members, and it wouldn’t have mattered, as long as something was done.
Yes, the dreaded “do something” virus, fabled in story and song.
Please note this actual e-mail exchange between myself and a liberal friend whom I will call “Dexter,” (because he doesn’t want me to use his real name, Len). My assertion in the e-mail is untrue, by the way. I was only having some fun.
Me: Have you read this thing at all? Be honest. You haven’t. Look on Page 822, Dexter. There is almost $700 million dollars being directed toward the study of “Pityriasis capitis prevention” – dandruff! Are you kidding?
Dexter: You’re a one-trick pony, my friend. Gripe, gripe. Deal with it. It’s the law. And when the economy comes around, it’ll be interesting to hear your complaints then.
The idea that nearly a billion was being spent on dandruff seemed not to phase him. Only after four or five more exchanges did he realize that I was making it up, to which he wrote, “But do you disagree that medical research is a good thing at least?”
Note that, according to the poll, less than one-fifth of Americans cited actually having any faith in the Obamacrats as their main reason for supporting the bill, while just over ten percent said they supported the measure because they actually believe it will work.
Lord, help us.
Also interesting to note is that while 58% of Americans believe some sort of legislation was necessary, almost one-fourth of them were against the plan that Obama signed into law. And better than one-half of Americans say the bill is best characterized as a “spending bill” instead of a “stimulus” bill.
Blanton also writes:
Another word about pork — or specifically “porky amendments” as New York Sen. Chuck Schumer called them when he said recently Americans “really don’t care” if the stimulus bill included earmarks and pork spending. The poll finds Americans disagree with Schumer, as a large 79 percent majority says they do care, including most Democrats (76 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (78 percent).
Charles Schumer misspoke?
You don’t say.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Obama's first 100 days | Tagged: "do something disease", $787 billion, Economy, Obama, pork bill, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 18, 2009
From the “What The Hell Is Happening To My Country” file … or the “Phony Republicans, Get Lost” file …
I have to believe that somewhere in this nation are people who have actually lived through a recession before. The people of the United States cannot possibly be this frail, this spineless, this whiny and thin-skinned. A nation of rugged individualists simply could not have been fundamentally transformed into a dominion of unsure, frightened, dependant crybabies this quickly. The realities of an economic downturn cannot be so unique and so extraordinary as to inspire such intellectual depravity and idiocy from those charged with power. The so-called leadership in Washington already has enough of its citizens thinking that the country is teetering on complete collapse. Do we now need terrified, jelly-spined Republicans going along with the Obamacratic vision of nationalizing banks?
Dammit, we are not Sweden … or are we?
From the Financial Times of London:
Long regarded in the US as a folly of Europeans, nationalisation is gaining rapid acceptance among Washington opinion-formers – and not just with Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman. Perhaps stranger still, many of those talking about nationalising banks are Republicans.
Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator for South Carolina, says that many of his colleagues, including John McCain, the defeated presidential candidate, agree with his view that nationalisation of some banks should be “on the table”.
“You should not get caught up on a word [nationalisation],” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “I would argue that we cannot be ideologically a little bit pregnant. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but we can’t keep on funding these zombie banks [without gaining public control]. That’s what the Japanese did.”
Barack Obama, the president, who has tried to avoid panicking lawmakers and markets by entertaining the idea, has moved more towards what he calls the “Swedish model” – an approach backed strongly by Mr Graham. In the early 1990s Sweden nationalised its banking sector then auctioned banks having cleaned up balance sheets. “In limited circumstances the Swedish model makes sense for the US,” says Mr Graham.
By all means … if it worked in Sweden – whose entire population totals less than half of New York City’s metropolitan area alone – it ought to be a cinch to click here in the United States. After all, the efficiency with which government has been shown to operate speaks for itself.
How dare these petrified, lily-livered Republicrats lend any credibility whatsoever to Obamacratic big-government ideas by even suggesting that nationalizing American banks is an option. That such concepts are even considered as viable solutions in challengeing times is more frightening than the suggestion itself – particularly from those in the Republican Party.
It’s interesting how some on “our side” are instinctively quick to relinquish liberties when times are tough.
I’m curious where Senator John McCain falls on this issue.
President Obama said that the signing of the $787 billion porktabulous spending bill into law would not immediately turn the economy around, but that it was, in fact, the “beginning of the end.”
Sadly, he may be right.
Posted in Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Obama's first 100 days | Tagged: bank nationalization, Economy, Lindsey Graham, phont republican, RINO | 6 Comments »
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 17, 2009
how can New Yorkers not be proud?
Spread it out, and they will spend … that’s what Democrats say.
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.
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.
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.”
the fact that it costs $10.00 to cross the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn into Staten island
Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, Liberalism, Obama's first 100 days | Tagged: Chuck Schumer, Economy, Obama, pork barrel, stimulus bill, Stimulus Package, tax cuts, tax rebates | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Andrew Roman on February 17, 2009
With the Obamacrats in charge of things now, one thing this country does not need is a new idea from a foreign nation on how to raise revenue in the form a brand new tax. Heaven knows that American liberals are practically second-to-none – veritable trendsetters and mold breakers – at attempting to siphon money from the private sector in the name of reinvestment and stimulus.
In that spirit, one can only hope that Democrats aren’t paying too much attention to the news coming from Down Under, namely that Australia wants to attack its water shortage woes by charging its citizens by the flush – a genuine toilet tax.
From Perth Now:
The scheme would replace the current system, which sees sewage charges based on a home’s value – not its waste water output.
CSIRO Policy and Economic Research Unit member Jim McColl and Adelaide University Water Management Professor Mike Young plan to promote the move to state and federal politicians and experts across the country.
“It would encourage people to reduce their sewage output by taking shorter showers, recycling washing machine water or connecting rainwater tanks to internal plumbing to reduce their charges,” Professor Young said.
“Some people may go as far as not flushing their toilet as often because the less sewage you produce, the less sewage rate you pay.”
The measure is meant to curb water usage as Australia deals with drought.
Admittedly, it is interesting to know that under current conditions, it is cheaper for Aussies to “use the facilities” in a slum than, say, in an upper middle-class three bedroom home.
In short, if you live in a nicer place, you pay more for the privilege to poop.
This new proposal, by contrast, would be a pay-as-you-go system (pun intended).
Professor Young said a sewage pricing plan, like the one proposed, was already used in the US.
“In places like the City of Bellaire, Texas (a virtual suburb of Houston), they do it and the system seems to work,” he said.
“As nearly all of (the homes in) mainland Australia’s cities and towns already have water meters, introduction of a volumetric charge, such as that used in the City of Bellaire, would not be difficult to implement.”
This sounds like the type of thing that Democrats would sing about around the campfire.
It wouldn’t even be inconceivable to hear Vice President Joe Biden equate patriotism with a little less flushing – or to corrolate one’s allegiance to America with a substantial cutback on bathroom tissue.
I can say this … if my Uncle Burt (rest in peace) was still here, and the flush tax had been implemented while he was alive, the family would have went bankrupt in 1973.
Update: February 17, 2009 – 6:27 PM
Based on some interesting comments over at FREE REPUBLIC.COM, I wanted to clarify why this story is both funny and concerning to me.
Indeed, here in the United States, the vast majority of Americans pay their water and sewage bills based on usage. But that’s not exactly what this Australian measure aims to do – not in the same sense that most Americans understand it.
Along with a yet to be determined base rate, Aussies are going to be taxed, quite literally, by the flush. And don’t think for a moment this will be any sort of money saver for Aussies. Nowhere in the story is there any mention of how this will ease sewage rates or how its projected to be good for consumers economically.
There’s no question that the old way of charging people based on the value of their property is about as whacked as it gets, but does anyone honestly think that Australia is now willing to give up on some of the revnues generated from sewage fees with this new proposed system?
This is only about (supposedly) saving water … and ultimately, more government involvement in the most personal of activities.
Note that in the story, a suburban community of Houston, Texas was cited as an example of where such a pricing scheme has worked. If this were your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, everyday sewage pricing scheme – as is used practically everywhere across the United States – the story would have specified that Australia is trying to move toward a system commonly used all over America.
It did not.
This is a tax-per-flush scheme.
I sincerely hope Democrats are not paying attention.
Posted in Economy, Silly Stuff | Tagged: Australia, Australian drought, CSIRO, flush tax, toilet tax | Leave a Comment »