The Commander-in-Chief?

The Iraq pull out wasn’t his decision! Declaring Victory (“Mission Accomplished”) and going home wasn’t his decision…

If somehow Obama bin Laden’s death backfired, after exploiting it for all this time, Obama would suddenly claim he had nothing to do with it.

Anything he does that goes bad is someone else’s fault. And the liberal media will back him on it by ignoring his most recent bombshell.

CBS: A day after American warplanes began launching airstrikes at Islamist militants in Iraq, President Obama said Saturday that those strikes “successfully destroyed arms and equipment” used by fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He also suggested the U.S. military campaign could persist for several months, and that the broader humanitarian mission could take even longer.

and The Ministry of Truth drones on…

Thus he is the greatest President ever, because he can do no wrong.

Nope, no bias here. 🙂

That’s the quality of leadership we’re dealing with. Obama is quick to take credit for everything that benefits him and quicker to run away from responsibility for anything.

Even if it wasn’t my idea, if it’s good, it’s mine. If it goes bad, it your idea, even if it WAS mine. No expiration date.

NOW THAT’S LEADERSHIP!! 🙂

For years Obama took credit for ending the Iraq War. He campaigned on a platform of pulling all the troops out in 16 months. His dovish position on Iraq is a big part of the reason why he became the Democratic nominee.

“We’ve had enough of a misguided war in Iraq that never should have been fought — a war that needs to end,” Obama said in 2007.

“You know I say what I mean and I mean what I say,” Obama said in Hollywood, Florida on Nov. 4, 2012.  “I said I’d end the war in Iraq. I ended it.”

But that wasn’t my decision, he says 18 months later.  From 2010:

Now Obama wants to disavow the only reason why he’s in the White House because his position has backfired.

Today, on the South Lawn of the White House, after Obama explained why he had ordered the U.S. military to renew airstrikes in Iraq, a reporter asked Obama about his decision to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq.

“Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq?” the reporter asked. “And does it give you pause as the U.S.-is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?”

“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” Obama said, indicating that he does not believe it was his decision as commander in chief of U.S. troops in a congressional authorized action in Iraq  to decide whether the troops should stay or leave.

“Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government,” Obama said. “In order for us to maintain troops in Iraq, we needed the invitation of the Iraqi government and we needed assurances that our personnel would be immune from prosecution if, for example, they were protecting themselves and ended up getting in a firefight with Iraqis, that they wouldn’t be hauled before an Iraqi judicial system.

“And the Iraqi government, based on its political considerations, in part because Iraqis were tired of a U.S. occupation, declined to provide us those assurances,” Obama said. “And on that basis, we left. We had offered to leave additional troops. So when you hear people say, do you regret, Mr. President, not leaving more troops, that presupposes that I would have overridden this sovereign government that we had turned the keys back over to and said, you know what, you’re democratic, you’re sovereign, except if I decide that it’s good for you to keep 10,000 or 15,000 or 25,000 Marines in your country, you don’t have a choice, which would have kind of run contrary to the entire argument we were making about turning over the country back to Iraqis, an argument not just made by me, but made by the previous administration.”

So let’s just be clear: (HERE COMES THE LIE!!!! HE ALWAYS LIES AFTER THAT OPENING) The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis were–a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there, and politically they could not pass the kind of laws that would be required to protect our troops in Iraq,” said Obama.(CNS)

Obama’s dishonesty and hypocrisy here are mindboggling.

First of all, whatever you think of the withdrawal, Obama deliberately chose not to seriously work toward an agreement keeping troops there.

Second of all, Obama is blaming Iraq as the reason for the withdrawal and yet he completely ignored repeated pleas for air strikes by Iraq in recent months.

Air strikes that would have stopped ISIS in its tracks.

So if you believe Obama, he was only doing what Iraq wanted when he withdrew, yet ignored what Iraq wanted when ISIS was on the march.

Third of all, Obama completely ignores his history of arguing loudly for the withdrawal and claiming credit for the withdrawal.

When withdrawal was popular, it was his decision. When it became unpopular, then it’s Iraq’s decision.

Truly this man is JFK, Reagan and George Washington wrapped in one bundle.(Daniel Greenfield)

July 21, 2008: (NRO)

On the eve of Senator Barack Obama’s visit to Iraq, its prime minister tried to step back Sunday from comments in an interview in which he appeared to support Mr. Obama’s plan for troop withdrawal.

The interview with the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, was published Saturday in the online version of Der Spiegel, a German magazine. It was widely picked up by American newspapers because it appeared to give an unexpected boost to Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who has called for an expedited withdrawal….

In Iraq, controversy continued to reverberate between the United States and Iraqi governments over a weekend news report that Mr. Maliki had expressed support for Mr. Obama’s proposal to withdraw American combat troops within 16 months of January. The reported comments came after Mr. Bush agreed on Friday to a “general time horizon” for pulling out troops from Iraq without a specific timeline.

President Obama wants to be responsible for what makes him look good in a short term moment and conveniently shoves off the bad and real decision making on everything and everyone else.

Did you know it was Bush’s Fault that he ended the war??

President Bush’s fingerprints are on the decision, and on any matter in which there is some contributory Bush role, Obama blames Bush, no matter how minimal Bush’s contribution was, as if Obama were a mere spectator incapable of anything other than self-absorbed indignation. (townhall)

That’s your Commander-In-Chief. He’ll Lead, as long as he get credit for the good and someone else gets the blame for the bad!

Fascinating…

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

New Witch Hunt

Bankers warn the administration’s new “disparate impact” home-lending regulation will wreak havoc in credit markets, replacing merit standards with political correctness.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the controversial new anti-discrimination rule earlier this year. Now enforced by every federal regulator dealing with banks, it has the effect of criminalizing credit standards used to qualify borrowers for home loans.

Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America jointly filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that under the new HUD rule:

“Virtually every lender in the United States could be sued for using non-discriminatory credit standards simply because variations in economic and credit characteristics produce different credit outcomes among racial and ethnic groups.”

In their 33-page brief, filed in support of a landmark housing case pending before the court, they complain that HUD recently launched 22 separate investigations against lenders alleging that their policies of requiring minimum credit scores “had a disparate impact on minorities in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

Dozens of similar actions have been brought against lenders by Attorney General Eric Holder. He is basing claims of bias on statistics showing differences in loan outcomes by race while ignoring racially neutral credit-risk factors that explain those differences.

Under disparate impact’s low standard of proof, the government doesn’t have to show lenders intentionally discriminated against borrowers.

For the first time in history, businesses are being ordered to justify the necessity of a certain level of return on investment given the racial impact resulting from the use of credit-score thresholds.

The mortgage trade groups argue the formalized disparate-impact rule also effectively criminalizes other legitimate business practices, including minimum down-payment requirements, sliding loan rates and the charging of brokers’ fees.

Banks today face increased litigation risk simply by complying with sensible lending standards for hedging against risk. So what? Who cares? Banks are greedy and probably deserve to be investigated.

Actually, we should all care, because we’ll all end up eating the legal and compliance costs banks will have to front under this race-baiting witch hunt.

The social engineers and race demagogues in this administration are trying to enforce a balance in financial outcomes that risks another collapse of the housing market. The Supreme Court must put an end to a scheme so reckless, unfair and unconstitutional.

But , of so Agenda driven and “fair”.

Ever notice how unfair “fair” is??

When is job security a bad thing? Right now.

Believe it or not, for all the scare-mongering about downsizing, outsourcing and Walmartizing, job security has never been stronger. But all it really indicates is that the U.S. labor market is the least dynamic it’s ever been.

To be sure, it’s counterintuitive that job security is so strong when 11.3 million Americans are still officially unemployed — 3.7 million more than at the peak of the last business cycle expansion in 2007. But it’s true.

Today an employed person faces only a 2% probability of losing his job in a given month, according to data from the Department of Labor. That probability has never been lower.

But job security for the employed doesn’t help the unemployed.

Today an unemployed person enjoys only a 26% probability of becoming employed in a given month. That’s some improvement over the horrifying 19% probability the jobless faced at the worst of the Great Recession. But it’s now more than four years since that recession officially ended.

At this stage in the previous two expansions, an unemployed person had at least a 40% chance of getting work. In earlier expansions it was even better.

The labor market is frozen now, with joblessness just as secure as employment. Yes, today you are less likely to lose your job than at any time since records started being kept in 1948. But if you don’t have a job, you’re very unlikely to get one.

In one sense it’s a vicious circle. When it is so difficult to find a job, no one will risk leaving the job he has. And with no one willing to leave his job, there are fewer openings to accommodate the unemployed.

A healthy labor market is one in which there is a dynamic interplay of employment and unemployment, where human capital rapidly transfers itself to where it is most valuable in a classic process of creative destruction.

But this is a vicious circle we can break any time we wish. All we have to do is reverse the policy errors that exacerbate and prolong it by destroying supply-side incentives — for those who supply their labor, and for those who supply the jobs.

On the labor-supply side, of the 11.3 million unemployed, 1.5 million are receiving special extended unemployment benefits. While surely not princely, these benefits defer from months to years the crunch-time that forces recipients to seek taxable work rather than enjoy tax-free leisure.

But that’s the Companies/Republicans fault, not Obama and Co… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

How Goes the War?

The grand plan of Obama is working.

High Gas Prices, low employment and a stagnant economy riddled with inflation is making people use less fossil fuels.

Traffic congestion dropped 30% last year from 2010 in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, driven largely by higher gas prices and a spotty economic recovery, according to a new study by a Washington-state firm that tracks traffic flows.

But they better off than they were 4 years ago. OF COURSE NOT.

But the Solyndra-Loving, fossil fuel hating Liberals I bet are all over the moon excited.

It’s not like they care WHY the numbers have dropped. Because they don’t.

******

A group of disgruntled stay-at-home moms is fighting back against a 2009 law that limits credit card access to people with proof of income.

The group says the Credit CARD Act of 2009 sets women back half a century, according to an online petition at change.org.

2009? When the Democrats had a majority in both houses. Hmm…

I guess Stay-At-Home Moms along with “never having held a job their lives” and since they don’t “understand” economics after all they just don’t need credit cards. Let that be the Man of The House’s Job! 🙂

Intending to limit irresponsible lending, the law requires credit card applicants to provide proof of income in order to qualify. Stay-at-home moms, with no income, do not qualify for approval, unless their husbands co-sign for the card, which has the group of angered moms fighting back.

“It is 2012, and because I’m a stay at home mom, I can’t get my own credit card,” the petition reads. “My husband has to give me permission to get my own line of credit. This is demeaning and flat out unfair.”

So would this be the Democrats “War on Women”?? 🙂
Bet the Minsitry of Truth will be all over this 24/7/365! 🙂
Or do you have to be a “rich” woman with her own money (like Teresa Hines Kerry) or one that can afford the $38,500 per plate at an Obama Fundraiser?
The group is also asking their members to send a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, claiming “the new rules send a message that stay-at-home parents are not as credit-worthy as young adults still in school without their own income.”
This was the board set up in Dodd-Frank that was going to save us all from the unscrupulous, evil, greedy, bankers and mortgage companies that forced people to take loans they could afford to pay back and then they traded them around as derivatives until they crashed.
Imagine what they can do with Health Care! 🙂

Obama: “As you begin the next stage in your journey, you will encounter greed and selfishness; ignorance and cruelty. …  (and that’s just from Democrats and Unions) You will meet people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down (Liberals); who believe looking after others is only for suckers,” (that’s the governments job after all) he said.

“My deepest hope for all of you … [is that] you can serve as a reminder that we’re not meant to walk this road alone (Government is right at every step to “help” you); that we’re not expected to face down adversity by ourselves,” (You have the government largess to fall back on) he told his audience. “We’re stronger together than we are on our own.”

Yes, Comrade, it Takes a Village!!!
Maybe they need government issued Credit Cards? 🙂
Oh, that’s right, that happened during Katrina and their was massive fraud! 🙂

But don’t worry, he gets a pass on anything he says.

Pelosi: “We know we have to balance the budget.  (1,1,30 Days since the Senate passed a budget at all- so we believe you Nancy!) We have to establish our priorities and make the cuts accordingly (The Military and every other “right wing” program we can get our hands on). We have to have revenue on the table (Screw the rich!) and we have to invest in growth (Spend even more!) because the creation of jobs (and the unemployment over 8% for 3 1/4 years and millions and millions deserting the workforce all together has certainly shown they way) is what will bring revenue to the Treasury (But not like taxing the rich will) and continue our economic recovery which is important to the American people,” (what recovery? where in your liberal fantasies?) Pelosi said Thursday at the Capitol.

“So to toss this into the mix right now, saying we have to have cuts that exceed even the lifting of the extent to which we lift the debt ceiling is really immature, irresponsible, let’s get serious.” (DC)

Who cares if we are spending 50% more than we  take in. All we have to do is tax the rich into oblivion and  submission and then cut the military to two tricycles and a pop-gun and everything will be rosy and wonderful!

It’s the Republicans fault, after all, that we haven’t passed a budget in well over 3 1/4 years and voted down Obama’s budget 2 years running…

Thomas Sowell: The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

Not Really. And with nearly half the country not paying any income taxes and record levels of food stamps and 99 weeks of unemployment payments will they vote to cut their own throats or yours first?

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Matter of Identification

A Classic Thanksgiving Moment, Brought to you by your friends at WKRP:

And as God is my witness, I still think Spending Even More will work!! — Barack Obama. What a Turkey. 🙂

Here’s another reason to throw them all out:

The Senate is set to vote on a bill next week that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.

“The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,” writes

Chris Anders of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being

Under the ‘worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial’ provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1867:, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor Monday, the legislation will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill.

But remember who controls the Senate– The Democrats.

So throwing them all out sound pretty good at this point.

In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially approved so-called DNA barcoding – a standardized fingerprint that can identify a species like a supermarket scanner reads a barcode – to prevent the mislabeling of both locally produced and imported seafood in the United States. Other national regulators around the world are also considering adopting DNA barcoding as a fast, reliable and cost-effective tool for identifying organic matter.

And since humans are “organic matter” how long before they come for you!??

Then there’s money and power.

The war against the financial sector is no accident. Rather, it was carefully planned over decades as part of a social crusade to wipe out what the left calls “financial apartheid.”

Starting in earnest in the 1990s, coat-and-tie radicals gathered in Washington and conspired to use banks to “democratize” credit. They socialized the mortgage industry after declaring traditional underwriting standards “racist.” Bankers were ordered to “reinvest” in unprofitable areas, and reallocate capital to people who posed credit risks.

When those risky loans went bad, radicals blamed “greedy” bankers and “predatory” lenders. Today, they want to punish bankers and lenders by forcing them to “repair the damages” that they themselves caused. And they don’t care if it drives many of them out of business.

In fact, President Obama is deliberately trying to downsize the financial sector. He and his social engineers think it accounts for too big a share of the economy. Obama says his sweeping new regulations are designed to clamp down on bank profits and limit the finance industry’s influence in the U.S. economy.

“What I think will change, what I think was an aberration, was a situation where corporate profits in the financial sector were such a heavy part of our overall profitability over the last decade,” he said, adding that his “more vigorous regulatory regime” will “inhibit” the industry’s growth.

Think about it: Obama is engineering a controlled starvation of America’s most vital industry — capital, the lifeblood of the economy — as punishment for allegedly causing a crisis that anti-bank community organizers and housing-rights zealots like him actually caused.

Why is Obama at constant war with “fat cat bankers” and Wall Street? His mentor, Chicago socialist Saul Alinsky, identified banks as one of the “power sectors” topping the industrial food chain, and therefore a top “target” for street agitators like Obama.

“The target, therefore, should be the banks,” Alinsky wrote in “Rules for Radicals,” the bible of the left.

This was drilled into Obama by his Alinsky trainer, Jerry Kellman, who first hired Obama as a South Side Chicago organizer, according to the book, “The Great American Bank Robbery.” “The real enemy,” Kellman told Obama, are “the investment bankers.”

Obama was trained in Alinsky agitation tactics in Los Angeles and Chicago. After Harvard, he returned to South Side to train Acorn and National People’s Action leaders. They, in turn, deployed busloads of thugs to terrorize bankers into making easy loans and subsidies in a multitrillion-dollar shakedown that sped the collapse of the banking and housing industries.

Obama also represented alleged victims rounded up by Acorn and NPA in class-action lawsuits against Citibank and others. The ilk that wrote “Rules for Radicals” wrote the rules for “fair lending.” Now they’re helping write them again to leverage banks anew, and make credit for the uncreditworthy even easier.

This financial disaster didn’t just happen. It was engineered. It was designed by people with radical agendas to redistribute credit and, ultimately, your wealth. And they are just getting started. (IBD)

Big Brother is Watching.

But at least you’ll have your bar coded fish!!

 

The Tactical Budget IV

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

“To use an analogy that families are familiar with, we’re not going to be running up the credit card anymore,” Obama said.

Yeah, we cut our overspending from 1.6 trillion to 1.1 Trillion!!

Isn’t he magnificent!! 🙂 Everyone don’t hold your gushing and slobbering applause!! 🙂 Feel free to faint in the presence of his magnificence! 🙂

“We’ve taken a scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete,”-Obama

Yeah, we have poodle nipping at government overspending when we need a pack of very hungry Raptors.

Recalling that his predecessor as New Jersey governor, Democrat Jon Corzine, slept on a cot in the office when the state government shut down, Republican Christie said he issued a warning to state legislators.

“I’m not moving any cot into this office,” the fast-talking governor said in his north Jersey dialect. “You close down the government, I’m gettin’ in those black SUVs with the troopers, I’m goin’ to the governor’s residence, gonna go upstairs, gonna open a beer, gonna order a pizza, I’m gonna watch the Mets. And when you decide to reopen the government, gimme a call and I’ll come back, but don’t think I’m sleepin’ on some cot. Take a look at me. You think I’m sleepin’ on a cot? Not happenin’.

I have a Chris Matthews’ “tingle up my leg” moment! 🙂

“The president’s not talking about it because he’s waiting for the Republicans to talk about it,” Christie said. “And our new, bold Republicans that we just sent to the House of Representatives? They’re not talking about it because they’re waiting for him to talk about it. Let me suggest to you that my children’s future and your children’s future is more important than some political strategy. Let me suggest to you that what game is being played down here is irresponsible and it is dangerous. We need to say these things and we need to say them out loud. ” (Fox)

Christie, however, is talking about it. “You’re going to have to raise the retirement age for Social Security,” he said. “Whoa-ho! I just said it, and I’m still standing here. I did not vaporize into the carpeting, and I said it.”

He resumed: “We have to reform Medicare because it costs too much and it is going to bankrupt us. Once again, lightning did not come through the windows and strike me dead!”

🙂 🙂 🙂

“Because let me guarantee you something, if we don’t fix the big things, there ain’t going to be electric cars on the road. [There’s] gonna be no high speed internet access and if there is, you’re not going to be able to afford to get on it. We’re not going to be able to care about the niceties of life, the investments Washington wants to make.” (Fox)

“You just have to have the spine to say, ‘I’m going to take the risk,’ ” the governor coaxed. “I think that’s what we elect leaders for. Hence the name.” (WP)

“These problems and issues are not partisan. They are obvious. And they are long overdue to be solved.”

So what do the Left come back with: Fat Jokes.

Gotta keep it personal and childish in order to have that “adult” conversation on a “bi-partisan” and “civil” basis, after all!

On Chris Matthews: He even made a fat joke. That one was about the more than plump New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie not being able to balance a budget because what was he going to start with – supper? (Fishbowl DC)

And Personal attacks:

Connecticut Democratic Governor Dan Malloy, for one, told the New York Times on Tuesday, “Being bombastic for the sake of being bombastic has just never been my take on the world.”

Don’t you dare talk about the issues!

At a Michigan republican gathering, Governor Chris Christie took the opportunity to remind republicans that voters are not looking to vote for republicans just for the sake of being opponents to Democrats.

Amen!!

“Ladies and gentlemen, those are the candy of American politics,” he said of the Obama spending priorities. “Those aren’t the big things.”

Selfish political gains motivate Democrats and fear inhibits Republicans. (AEI)

AMEN!!

Now on to Obama’s Wile E. Coyote Budget.

President Barack Obama, Suuuuppper Genius! 🙂

In his Tuesday press conference, Obama was reduced to calling for “patience” and saying he wanted to have an “adult conversation” with Republicans on entitlement spending.

Condescend much, Mr. President?

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

In November 2010, the voters rejected the vast increase in the size and scope of government of the Obama Democrats. They had increased domestic discretionary spending by 24 percent, and by more than 80 percent if you count the stimulus package.

Now the president is trying to salvage most of what was intended to be a permanent increase of government’s share of the economy by calling for dribs and drabs of cuts and freezing total discretionary spending at a much higher level than ever before.

This may be a successful short-term political ploy, while being obviously long-term bad public policy. Conventional wisdom is that voters like spending cuts in the abstract but oppose any specific cuts except in foreign aid.

But conventional wisdom also said that the stimulus package and Obamacare would be popular. The Republicans, following where the voters led, are betting conventional wisdom is wrong again. (Townhall.com)

Political Cartoons by Brian Farrington

President Obama’s 2012 budget is not a serious governing document. It’s a political one, designed to boost his re-election chances.

By repeatedly saying that his budget reduces the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years, he hopes the numbers make him sound fiscally conservative. But he puts off 95% of the deficit reduction until after his term ends in 2013. And he assumes that economic growth in the next few years will be at least 25% higher than credible economic forecasters estimate.

Mr. Obama’s budget includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are real enough—but most of the spending cuts are not. For example, as Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman pointed out to me, the administration projects war costs for Iraq and Afghanistan at surge levels for the next decade, and then conjures up about $1.3 trillion in defense savings by assuming drawdowns in each theater—drawdowns that were already in the cards. Outside of this sham transaction, according to Mr. Ryan, there are only $104 billion in real spending cuts over the next 10 years.

Mr. Obama’s budget includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are real enough—but most of the spending cuts are not.

Moreover, the administration simply ignores entitlements. This is a dereliction of duty, although it has a certain political logic: The budget is not meant to be taken seriously—it’s meant to be quickly forgotten so that the administration can turn attention to, and attack, what congressional Republicans do about federal spending.

Mr. Obama wants House Republicans to take the lead in cutting current spending and proposing future restraint in entitlement and other mandatory spending. He’s betting that letting Republicans take the lead will cripple them. This misreads public opinion. But it is plausible to believe that Republican mistakes can help revive Mr. Obama’s political fortunes. So it’s important that the GOP offers real budget cuts without coming across as angry and frenetic. Republicans need to patiently show what they are doing and why, and to express their sadness and disappointment over Mr. Obama’s failure of leadership.

Congressional Republicans need to make methodical and sensible recommendations for cutting discretionary outlays and restraining future entitlement spending. They must explain to the public why the Obama budget will lead to our nation suffering horrific tax increases, massive austerity cuts, and real human suffering. They need to show that the president’s fiscal path is, to use a favorite word of his, unsustainable.

Tactically, Republicans should respond to Mr. Obama’s agenda as they did to his infatuation with high-speed rail projects. Three days after Vice President Joe Biden touted the magical balm of high-speed trains, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers released the continuing resolution for the balance of fiscal year 2011.

It cut the rest of this fiscal year’s high-speed rail funds, rescinded $3.5 billion appropriated in previous fiscal years but still unspent, and rescinded $3.75 billion in unspent transportation money from the 2009 stimulus, almost all of it from Mr. Obama’s high-speed rail plan. Overall, nearly $8 billion was cut from transportation, but none from vital road projects that are real priorities for the states.

The result: Very few Americans believe the billions Mr. Obama wants for speedy trains from Milwaukee to Madison, or Columbus to Cincinnati, will spark economic recovery. This still leaves transportation spending higher than it was two years ago, when Mr. Obama came into office. Republicans can reasonably ask the public: Are we better off with all the spending and red ink Mr. Obama has added over the past two years?

There will be dozens of such confrontations in the months ahead. How Republicans handle these opportunities will go a long way toward determining how popular their agenda is. Politics involves optics as well as policy ideas.

The evidence of the federal government’s budget woes is so overwhelming that Americans are ready for tough actions. They understand that failing to make cuts now and to restrain entitlements in the years ahead will doom our children and grandchildren—indeed our country—to a future less prosperous and less free. (Karl Rove-WSJ)

So what’s the response of the LEFT?

They are now encouraging and inflating the “Birthers” (those nutbags who think Obama is not an American Citizen).

They even came out with their own self-fulfilling Talking Point Poll:  The survey found that 51% of respondents did not think President Obama was born in the United States, and another 21% were not sure. (it comes from the Leftist Union robo-calling people at Public Policy Polling in North Carolina). It’s gone viral amongst the leftists.

They love Divide and Conquer. Don’t actually address the real issues. God, no, never do that!

Make the Republicans propose so you can dispose of them.

But when it comes to the actual problems, Forgetttaboutit! Just be fat, dumb, and happy and sit on the couch watch Oprah collect your 3 years of unemployment, collect government hand-outs and don’t stress about debts and deficits and whether there will even be a country left for your children.

Who cares, that’s all too boring. And it’s not very nice.

I worked hard for my narcissism and my greed and you’re going to give it to me no matter what.

Unsustainable, you say?

I say I don’t care. It’s all about me!!!!

After all, the Left is so vastly superior to everyone they must be right. 🙂

“I’m prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to start dealing with that in a serious way,” Obama said

Translation: Disagreeing with me is not “serious” or “adult”.

Now that’s Leadership and Vision.

Beep Beep!!! 🙂

Wile E. Coyote & the Roadrunner

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Charlie Sheen Economics

Political Cartoon

Hollywood Actor Charlie Sheen was rushed to the hospital yet again after yet another drugs,sex, and booze binge.

Kinda sounds like the folks in Washington D.C. to me.

And to an extent the American people, who have been trained by Washington D.C. to live the high life and expect dependency.

So you have wild, crazed spending binges likes the last 10 years really. Both Obama and Bush 41. Both Republicans and Democrats. It’s just that the Democrats have partied heartier and faster than the Republicans did.

Much higher debt in a much shorter time frame.

The “suitcase full of drugs” was spending. Spending to advance one’s ideology, but most spending to pay off dependents, make more dependents and to buy votes for their re-election so they can do it all over again.

That’s where the Prostitutes come in.

Unions, Lobbyists, and the “advocates”.

But the Congress Men and Women are also Prostitutes for the money

The Money leads to the power and the power is the real drug of choice in Washington.

Just look at Deposed but still defiant Queen Pelosi and Prince Harry Reid.

Harry Reid’s defiant thumb in the eye about earmarks, another drug of choice for buying off the American people, where he will continue doing them because that’s how he got elected in the first place.

Dance with the Whore that got you to the party and then “Party on Dude”.

The Porn: That it has no consequences  so you can just watch it continue and view it from a far and that we can’t change it now and any who dares is just a “racist” “extremist” “teabagger”.

Then there are the American people, who are the co-dependents (and in the case of ObamaCare the forced dependents) in this equation. (of which now Over 700 waivers have been granted, more on this in another blog)

41% of people in a recent Rasmussen poll said it was Ok to spend even more on Education and Infrastructure even after all this. Denial is strong with these folks.

We have spend enough. The good times have rolled by. Get over it.

They have come to expect over the last couple of generations that the government will in fact take care of them when they get old and retire so no need to plan ahead, let’s just party like it’s the Summer of ’69.

And every time some tries to inject some sanity into the proceedings they are crucified by the addicts in Washington and the dependents in the heartlands.

But the party is going to end, whether anyone likes it or not.

There will be an intervention and pain now, or there will be massive and prolonged pain later.

As the old Fram air filter commercials of my youth would say, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later”.

It’s time to pay for the Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll.

And whether you like it or not is IRRELEVANT.

Thing of it this way. You got a credit card. You maxed it out so you got another credit card and you maxed it out and another and another.

Now all you can do is pay the minimums because you have so much debt that you can’t see anything else.

That’s where the US is right now.

To put $14 trillion in perspective, our national debt is larger than the total economies of China, the United Kingdom, and Australia combined.

If our Debt was rank as “an economy” it would be #30 in the world of nearly 300 nations!!

Just how far in debt are we? Find out below.

Current debt: 14,059,409,159,678.42

http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

So do you think politically safe nibbles around the edges (Republicans) or Politically slick slogans (Democrats and their “freezes”) will staunch this bleeding?

Or are HARD, politically unpopular choices needed. By both the Political Class, their Drug Dealers, Pimps, Whores, and Prostitutes and the the American people.

Denial is not an option anymore. The Credit cards are maxed out.

The Party is over.

The Hangover and DT’s are going to be pain like you never knew.

But the alternative is that Charlie Sheen and the Charlie Sheen economics becomes Anna Nicole Smith or River Phoenix.

Personally, I want to live!

How about you?

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Welcome to The Future

Political Cartoon

The Most Expensive Congress in History: The 111th Congress.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4476944/111th-congress-most-expensive-in-history/?playlist_id=86858

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”

Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.

“Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”- Nancy Pelosi, 2007 inauguration speech.

At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.  At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion). (CNS)

WHOOPS!

Some of the world’s strongest banks have profited from an emergency credit facility set up by the US Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the global financial system, according to a Financial Times analysis of data released by the Fed.

More than half of lending under the Fed’s term auction facility – the largest of its crisis programmes – went to foreign banks. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.

The Taf was set up in December 2007 to provide one-month loans to creditworthy banks as markets dried up for lending longer than overnight. In August 2008, it began offering three-month loans as well.

Rabobank of the Netherlands and Toronto-Dominion of Canada, two of the only banks in the world with triple A credit ratings, used more than $20bn in cumulative Taf loans.

Ed Clark, TD chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. “That wasn’t how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What’s the spread you make on a billion dollars?” he said. (FT)

WHOOPS!

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. — Leaders of this city met for more than seven hours on a Saturday not long ago, searching for something to cut from a budget that has already been cut, over and over.

“We can make it until March 1 — maybe,” Mr. Cooper said of Hamtramck’s ability to pay its bills. Beyond that? The political leaders of this old working-class city almost surrounded by Detroit are pleading with the state to let them declare bankruptcy, a desperate move the state is not even willing to admit as an option under the current circumstances.

“The state is concerned that if they say yes to one, if that door is opened, they’ll have 30 more cities right behind us,” Mr. Cooper said, as flurries fell outside his City Hall window. “But anything else is just a stop gap. We’re going to continue to pursue bankruptcy until the door is shut, locked, barricaded, bolted.”

You mean the UAW is concerned. The UAW runs the State, or at least in Mafiaoso style they think they do. They have the politicians and media in their pockets and have for more than a generation.

They did when I was growing up in Michigan. Now with the Socialist Wheaties of the modern Liberals behind them I’m sure they are more Tony Soprano than Jimmy Hoffa.

And the last thing the UAW wants is to have their union busted by bankruptcies.

But the inevitable is coming. And THEY DON’T CARE!

Union pensions and benefits, not just the UAW, but Government Public Sector Unions also, and other private Unions have been sucking industry and the taxpayers dry for several generations but the cash cow is out of milk and endanger of dying altogether.

And you know what, THEY DON’T CARE!

Everyone must sacrifice for them. They are holy. They are sacrosanct.

They are untouchable.

So they believe. And since they have been buying Democrats for generations they will be the Pied Piper to all their slave rats.

Because THEY DON’T CARE.

And ultimately, that is the lesson of the last 3 years of Pelosi-Reid and Obama.

They said all the right things to get their hands on your throat and then they throttled you with debt to pass their 90 year old Socialist wet dreams and they are still at it and will be still at it with control of the Senate and the President.

THEY DON’T CARE.

They, and the Unions, are the ultimate in GREED and CORRUPTION.

Prichard, Ala., which stopped paying monthly checks to retired city workers when its pension fund ran out last year, is appealing a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that it did not qualify for Chapter 9 under Alabama law.

And they telegraphed it ahead of time, and no one cared.

A Liberals personal pursuit of everyone else’s money for their own benefit, economically or politically, is all they care about.

It’s all about THEM.

Screw you.

Now that’s your “kind”, “Compassionate” and “caring” Liberals who are always looking out for “the little guy”.

To crush them into slavery and steal everyone else’s wealth and power from themselves.

Officials in Detroit announced this year that they had for years overpaid Hamtramck in a revenue-sharing deal related to a General Motors plant that sits smack on the border of the two cities. The dispute is likely to be resolved, eventually, in court, but meanwhile, Detroit has stopped paying $2 million a year, and Hamtramck is watching a growing gap in its $18 million budget.

Could it be that these “overpayments” were ok until Detroit had to hide it’s own budget woes so they passed it on to another city?

Hmmm….

“Detroit is cutting police, lighting, road repairs and cleaning services affecting as much as 20% of the population,” the Guardian’s Elena Moya noted late Monday, writing about the 60 Minutes piece. “The city, which has been on the skids for almost two decades with the decline of the US auto industry, does not generate enough wealth to maintain services for its 900,000 inhabitants.”

BINGO!

City Manager Bill Cooper said the city of roughly 20,000 people is staring at a $3 million deficit.
California, which faces a $19 billion (some say as high as $26 Billion) budget deficit next year, has a credit rating approaching junk status. It now spends more money on public employee pensions than it does on the state university system, which had to increase its tuition by 32 percent.
“This is the state of affairs in Illinois. Is not pretty,” Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes told Kroft.  

Hynes is the state’s paymaster. He currently has about $5 billion in outstanding bills in his office and not enough money in the state’s coffers to pay them. He says they’re six months behind.

“The state’s a deadbeat,” Kroft remarked.  

“Yeah. I mean, the state of Illinois is known as a deadbeat state. This is a reputation that has taken us years to earn and we’ve reached, you know, the heights of, I think, becoming the worst in the country,” Hynes said. (CBS)

The home of our President, Done Proud. 🙂
Unions have a $3 Trillion Dollar appetite and it’s insatiable. And THEY DON’T CARE.
No one is talking about it now, but the big test will come this spring. That’s when $160 billion in federal stimulus money, that has helped states and local governments limp through the great recession, will run out.
You thought TARP was for the “economy”. No, it wasn’t.
It was for the state employee unions and foreign banks.
That’s running out.
Now the wheels of this Cadillac are about to go bald and flat.
Now this is driving a car into a ditch.
And I guarantee you, the Liberals and the Unions DON’T CARE!

Mr. Cooper, the city manager (of Hamtramck), says that everything else that could be cut already has been, while the city goes on spending 60 percent of its total general fund (of an $18 million dollar budget) to pay for its police and firefighting forces — 75 current police officers and firefighters and about 240 former workers and spouses now on pensions. Mr. Cooper said that an entry-level police officer costs the city about $75,000 a year in salary and benefits, and yet repeated efforts to renegotiate contracts have failed.

“They kind of have the Cadillac plan,” Mr. Cooper said, “and we’d kind of like the Chevy.”

Trust me, Unions of all types love Cadillacs.

Growing up in Flint,Mi the one-time home of 7 auto plants and an AC Delco Engine Plant. “Buick City” it was called (there was a billboard proclaiming this 10 miles south of town near Fenton off I-75).

It had a population of 250,000 when I was growing up. Last year it was 125,000 and everyone of those plants had closed years ago.

But growing up my friends and I always said that only 2 kinds of people drove Cadillacs, Pimps and Auto Workers. So no much difference there.

That was the 1970’s. In 40 years it hasn’t gotten any better.

(Found, Mr. Cooper says, posted on the wall of the firefighters’ barracks was his name — crossed out — on a list of former city managers and the word “Next?”)

So let the extortion begin. It’s the only tactic Unions use. Economic and political hardball extortion.

After all, dozens of Unions have been exempted from ObamaCare and their “Cadillac” Health Plans are exempt until 2018.

So it’s not like they care or anything.

“I’m not going to wait for two hours for a cop to show up,” said Shannon Lowell, the co-owner of a coffee shop. “We’ve trimmed every bit of fat. What else are we going to do? Borrow money from our dying grandmother?” (NYT)

Yep. That would also be the grandma who the government is going to pull the plug on because she’s a burden to society according to Medicare and Medicaid Director Dr. Donald Berwick.

Welcome to the Future.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”— George Orwell

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Distrust and Verify

Before my rant, I saw this cartoon and busted out laughing.

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
DAMN STRAIGHT!!
Now on with the show!

Ever feel like your life is the subject of opposition research. Research to to know exactly how much of risk you are. To know everything about you.

No trust. No freedom.

Well, if you don’t. Then read this, and you may. It was in the Wall Street Journal, so not some wacky blog.

Big Banker is watching you—more closely than ever.

With lenders still skittish about making new loans, credit bureaus and others are hawking services that help banks probe deeply into your financial closet. The new offerings include ways to look at your rent and utility payments, figure out your income, gauge your home’s value and even rate your banking habits based on details like whether your direct deposits have stopped.

All of this could influence your financial freedom—not to mention the number of junk-mail solicitations you receive.

Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma, a credit-score information website, knew he had a good credit score. But when he recently applied for a new credit card, he was rejected: The lender had flagged him as a higher credit risk because the value of his California home had declined and his mortgage principal wasn’t declining—giving away that he has an interest-only mortgage.

“It’s a lot more than just your credit score today,” he says.

Your credit record still matters, of course. But here are some newer ways lenders and financial-services companies are sizing up your financial behavior and credit-worthiness:

• Bank-depositor behavior scores. Fair Isaac, the creator of the widely used FICO credit score, is marketing bank-depositor behavior scores, which are used by banks to assess their own customers.

The scores are based on balances, deposit records and withdrawal activity, says Debb Gordon, a senior principal consultant at Fair Isaac.

Unlike credit scores—which are most affected after payments are late or credit is maxed out—behavior scores can be a leading indicator of credit risk. They also can help banks identify which of their customers might be ripe for additional services and rewards programs and which might need special attention because, for instance, their direct deposits had stopped.

• Income estimation. This business took off earlier this year after the Federal Reserve allowed lenders to use credit bureaus’ income estimates to satisfy new requirements that credit-card applicants show the ability to pay their debts.

The bureaus use credit-record information, such as the size of your credit lines and the age and size of your mortgage, and plug it into models to predict your earnings. Those estimates also may be used to double-check the income you report on credit applications or to determine if you should be preapproved for credit.

You can’t see those estimates. But if you are denied credit because of them, you must be given a chance to provide additional information.

• Rent payments. An estimated 40 million consumers, including young people and people who prefer to pay in cash, have too little credit experience to generate a useful credit score. But they are likely to pay rent or utility bills, which could help credit bureaus better assess their credit-worthiness.

Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, bought RentBureau—which collects rental-payment data from large property managers—and expects to integrate that information into credit records before the end of the year.

Even if those consumers don’t want credit, that information could help them win better rates from insurers, which may use insurance scores based on credit records, and fatten up thin credit files, which some employers check before making hiring decisions.

Credit bureaus say they also would like to offer data on cellphone payments, but have run into concerns over privacy issues, which may require legislation to untangle.

• Collection triggers. If you owe money, you can run, but you can’t hide. Credit bureaus can now send daily reports to collection companies when a debtor’s financial status changes—say, if new employment information appears or if a debt starts to decline. A drop in credit use would indicate that the consumer has more capacity to pay and a better chance of repaying other outstanding debts.

• Home values. As home values have plummeted and foreclosures have soared in many states, lenders of all stripes have become more cautious, as Mr. Lin found. Using home values as a factor in credit decisions doesn’t appear to be widespread, but it may come into play when someone in, say, Nevada or California applies for a new loan. Of course, it also could work in your favor if you are one of the roughly 25 million Americans who owns a home outright.

• Your wealth. Information about your assets other than homes and cars, which aren’t part of the credit record, may soon play a bigger role in your financial life. With a better sense of a consumer’s balance sheet, lenders might be able to target potential customers better and also have a fuller sense of their likely risk. Equifax, another of the big three credit bureaus, offers financial-service providers an estimate of liquid wealth as part of a financial “suite” of information.

As all of this becomes a widespread practice, those who are prompt and careful in all aspects of their financial life may have more options—and those who have been sloppy with, say, their bank accounts may be penalized for that.

And mind you, Obama’s Federal Reserve  just gave the banks another stimulus.

I wonder if they’ll track the money you lose due to government policies like massive tax increases, say 1/1/11, Health Care, etc al??

Or the Inflation that even more spending by the Fed will cause?

Too bad no one is watching the government or these “too big to fail” banks like a hawk.

We are the prey.

“Trust Me, I know I’m doing” — Detective Sledgehammer (love that show).

We just don’t trust you, citizen. On anything!

Paging Dr. Obama…Dr Reid…Dr. Obama…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “But For Me, We’d Be In A World-Wide Depression”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took full credit for preventing a world wide depression yesterday.  That is correct, a politician who is the higest ranking member of the United States Senate is taking credit for saving the world economy.  We can now change the term “God Complex” and add a new term into the lexicon of America — “Harry Reid Complex.” (Red State)

Isn’t it nice to know that our leaders are not self-absorbed, self-obsessed Narcissists!! 🙂

Political Cartoon by Chuck Asay

In an increasingly desperate attempt to develop a narrative for the coming Democratic collapse, the Democrats have indulged themselves in what for half a century they’ve habitually attributed to the American right: the paranoid style in U.S. politics.

The talk is of dark conspiracies — secret money, foreign influence, big corporations, with Karl Rove and, yes, Ed Gillespie lurking ominously behind the scenes. The only thing missing is the Halliburton-Cheney angle.

But after trotting out some of these with a noticeable lack of success, President Obama has come up with something new, something less common, something more befitting his stature and intellect. He’s now offering a scientific, indeed neurological, explanation for his current political troubles.

The electorate apparently is deranged by its anxieties and fears to the point where it can’t think straight. Part of the reason “facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time,” he explained to a Massachusetts audience, “is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared. And the country is scared.”

Opening a whole new branch of cognitive science — liberal psychology — Obama has discovered a new principle: The fearful brain is hard-wired to act befuddled, i.e., vote Republican.

But of course. Here Obama has spent two years bestowing upon the peasantry the “New Foundation” of a more regulated, socially engineered and therefore more humane society, and they repay him with recalcitrance and outright opposition. Here he gave them ObamaCare, the stimulus, financial regulation and a shot at cap-and-trade — and the electorate remains not just unmoved but ungrateful.

Faced with this truly puzzling conundrum, Dr. Obama diagnoses a heretofore undiscovered psychological derangement: anxiety-induced Obama Underappreciation Syndrome, wherein an entire population is so addled by its economic anxieties as to be neurologically incapable of appreciating the “facts and science” undergirding ObamaCare and other blessings their president has bestowed upon them from on high.

I have a better explanation. Better because it adheres to the ultimate scientific principle, Occam’s Razor, by which the preferred explanation for any phenomenon is the one with the most economy and simplicity. And there is nothing simpler than the Gallup findings on the ideological inclinations of the American people:

Conservative: 42%. Moderate: 35%. Liberal: 20%. No fanciful new syndromes or other elaborate fictions are required to understand that if you try to impose a liberal agenda on such a demonstrably center-right country — a country that is 80% non-liberal — you get a massive backlash.

Moreover, apart from ideology is empirical reality. Even as we speak, the social democratic model Obama is openly and boldly trying to move America toward is unraveling in Europe.

It’s not just the real prospect of financial collapse in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, with even the relatively more stable major countries in severe distress. It is the visible moral collapse of a system that, after two generations of increasing cradle-to-grave infantilization, turns millions of citizens into the streets of France in furious and often violent protest over what? Over raising the retirement age from 60 to 62!

Having seen this display of what can only be called decadence, Obama’s perfectly wired electorate says no, not us, not here. The peasants have seen the future — Greece and France — and concluded it doesn’t work. Hence their opposition to Obama’s transformational New Foundation agenda.

Their logic is impeccable: Only the most blinkered intellectual could be attempting to introduce social democracy to America precisely at a time when the world’s foremost exemplar of that model — Europe — is in chaotic meltdown.

And it isn’t as if this political message is new. It had already been sent in the last year with clarion clarity in the elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts where independents — the swing voters without ideological attachment one way or the other — split 2-to-1, 2-to-1 and 3-to-1, respectively, against the Democrats.

The story of the last two years is as simple as it is dramatic. It is the epic story of an administration with a highly ideological agenda encountering a rising resistance from the American people over the major question in dispute: the size and reach and power of government and, even more fundamentally, the nature of the American social contract.

An adjudication of the question will be rendered on Nov. 2. For the day, the American peasantry will be presiding. (Charles Krauthammer)

Before he became a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, Krauthammer was a chief resident in psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

So maybe we need Charles in Charge and not Dirty Harry. 🙂

 

Insanity

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

The definition of insanity is doing the same things the same way over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

From BarackObama.com (2009):

  • Get the economy back on track:

    President Obama signed legislation to jumpstart our economy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, less than a month after his inauguration. The plan will save or create 3.5 million new jobs, make critical investments in our infrastructure and give 95 percent of working Americans a tax cut.

Barack Sept 2010:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vowing to find new ways to stimulate the sputtering economy, President Barack Obama will call for long-term investments in the nation’s roads, railways and runways that would cost at least $50 billion.

The infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals the White House is expected to announce in hopes of jump-starting the economy ahead of the November election. Obama will outline the infrastructure proposal Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.

While the proposal calls for investments over six years, the White House said spending would be front-loaded with an initial $50 billion to help create jobs in the near future.

The goals of the infrastructure plan include: rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads; constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of railways, enough to go coast-to-coast; and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of airport runways, while also installing a new air navigation system designed to reduce travel times and delays.

Obama will also call for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this new “stimulus” that can’t be called “stimulus” sound amazingly similar to the one that has already failed miserably?

Officials said this infrastructure package differs from the stimulus because it’s aimed at long-term growth, while still focusing on creating jobs in the short-term.

Wary of the public’s concern over rising deficits, the administration insists a second stimulus plan, similar to last year’s $814 billion bill, is not in the works.

It just sounds like it. 🙂

But if we change the name in a very Orwellian fashion this failed duck is not a duck so this stimulus is not a stimulus. 🙂

And a permanent Bank of The United States to boot. A new cash cow. After all, who could be against an “infrastructure” bank?

Me. 🙂

***********************************************************************

LET THEM EAT CREDIT!

It’s interesting why behavior that we readily recognize, on an individual level, as undesirable, we routinely promote and accept as government and social policy.

What rational person would suggest that being detached from reality is a good thing?

Or what rational person does not want good information when making important decisions?

But increasingly we live in an environment, created by government driven policies, in which the picture of reality we have is false, and the information available to us for making routine decisions is distorted.

University of Chicago economist Raghuram Rajan demonstrates this problem in what he calls “let them eat credit.”

According to Rajan, we have a big problem at the lower end of our income spectrum. Low end incomes not only are languishing, but adjusted for inflation, are dropping. From 2002 to 2008, real wages for the top ten percent of earners increased, but for everyone else they dropped.

What to do?

Rajan points out that the real culprit is education. As the economy gets increasingly sophisticated, the penalty for lack of education gets greater. But we’re failing to deliver this needed education to lower income Americans.

Core to the problem, Rajan argues, is that politicians are more interested in being popular than solving problems. They’d rather offer free money in the form of subsidies and easy credit to low wage earners than take on real problems.

Programs like subsidized mortgages, which contributed much to the housing bubble, make life look artificially cheap and reduce the sense of immediacy regarding the need to get educated.

The rate of U.S. home ownership increased from 1995 to 2005 from 65% to 69%. Over the same period of time home prices doubled, before everything fell apart.

As reported by Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, in 1992 government backed lending enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were directed to “promote affordable housing” and to do this by enabling down payments of less than 5% and approving credit for borrowers with shaky credit history.

Through the 1990s and 2000s HUD continued to push Fannie and Freddie to relax standards, requiring them, according to Wallison, “to buy increasing numbers of subprime and other risky mortgages.”

The faulty assumption behind all this, which we’ve learned the hard way, is that politicians think they can use taxpayers and the money printing press as a bottomless pit of funds to promote government schemes.

Many low income families, bought homes they couldn’t afford. Not just because of lying mortgage brokers, but because the whole artificial reality that distorted prices and credit was created by government policy. (Now the Government owns 80% of Fannie & Freddie and around 70-80% of all mortgages are written under Fannie and Freddie  so has anything been learned or are we just insane?)

It’s hard to find a place to turn where we don’t deal with a reality distorted by government.

We’re all concerned about runaway costs of health care and health insurance. What’s behind it?

In 1960, 50% of our health expenditures were out of pocket and 50% were OPM (Other People’s Money – Insurance, Employers, Government).

Today, 12% of our health care expenditures are out of pocket and 88% are Other People’s Money.

So what was the solution: National Health Care! Health Care run by the Government! 😦

According to Harvard economist Robert Barro, the current persistent high unemployment rate, helping drag out this recession, is traceable to the unprecedented extension of unemployment benefits from the normal 26 weeks to almost two years. The argument that we are currently in unchartered territory and must do the unusual is not true.

Barro points out that unemployment in the 1982 recession reached 10.8% – higher than today.

The perhaps not so funny joke that neurotics build castles in the air and psychotics move into them is worth thinking about.

The ability to succeed is predicated on both freedom and having good information on which to make decisions.

As we distort, through government policies, reality around us, and citizens increasingly get bad information for matters about which they have important decisions to make, we’re not going to recover. (Star Parker)

Political Cartoon by Eric Allie

I think one could argue, successfully, that Government, especially this one, is not interested in recovery- not really.

Because recovery means less people dependent on them.

Sure they want to appear to give a crap because appearing not to or looking like you’re failing is also not desired.

So you have to look and sound like you’re succeeding and give every that false sense of reality that works for you.

Reality is an overrated and under-appreciated, well, reality. 🙂

One Question: Hows that “War on Poverty” that was started over 40 years ago going exactly? Won yet? 🙂

Greece-ing the Skids

WASHINGTON (AP) – Your parents were right. Money can’t buy you happiness.
That was the message from the Federal Reserve chairman on Saturday to graduates of the University of South Carolina.

Or was it?
“We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college. … But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful!” Ben Bernanke said in his commencement address.
“Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off,” he said.

Unless you’re a  Liberal that is…

If you’re rich, you’re above it all. But we will demonize only Republicans.

If you’re not, you are told you’re entitled to other people’s money, so don’t worry about it.

But doesn’t this sound a lot like Michelle Obama’s Zanesville speech that got her in so much hot water that she was removed from the campaign trail.

“The salaries don’t keep up with the cost of paying off the debt, so you’re in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids,” she says.
“Barack and I were in that position,” she continues. “The only reason we’re not in that position is that Barack wrote two best-selling books… It was like Jack and his magic beans. But up until a few years ago, we were struggling to figure out how we would save for our kids.” A former attorney with the white-shoe Chicago firm of Sidley & Austin, Obama explains that she and her husband made the choice to give up lucrative jobs in favor of community service. “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”

Collectively, according to the IRS, they made $5 Million Dollars last year.

I guess that wasn’t so evil.

The message, don’t strive so hard to succeed.

Lower your expectations.

Because, we already know we are living so far beyond our means as a government that eventually,  in 10 or 20 years or less you’ll be Greece’d.

So better to lower the expectations now so they can lessen the violence when the fecal matter hits the air circulation device.

In Greece:

They are angry because for years they have been encouraged to live beyond their means, taking advantage of the cheap credit on offer since Greece joined the euro in 2001. Now, the rug is being pulled from under their feet. People who have taken out mortgages to buy homes, loans to purchase cars and credit cards to pay for overpriced basic goods are being asked to meet all these commitments with a much lower income than they had budgeted for.

Fannie and Freddie anyone??

UK Guardian: Saddled with burgeoning public sectors (which help sustain muscular trade unions)– SEIU, UAW, NEA anyone?

This is not what angers Greeks most, though. What you will hear time after time, both at the protests and at workplaces and cafes, is that this crisis confirms the failure of the country’s political system. In other words, that for years politicians have been bleeding the country dry, looking after themselves and their friends and failing to build a robust economy and a country equipped to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

🙂

There is anger at the pervasive, high-level corruption for which no politician is ever punished. People are also furious that no government has ever tackled influence-peddling in the public sector. The Greek branch of Transparency International estimated that Greeks paid almost euro800 million ($1 billion) in bribes last year. This is another drain on household budgets but more importantly it creates a sense of injustice, a sense that to get anything done you have to play by the system’s warped rules.

Sound familiar??

This feeling of unfairness is compounded when tax evasion also goes unpunished.

“Turbo Tax” Geithner anyone? Barney Frank? Charlie Rangel??

Salaried professionals and civil servants have their wages taxed at source but many Greeks do not. And, what they declare often bears no resemblance to what they actually earn. The government believes that tax evasion could be worth up to euro30 billion ($38 billion) a year, or 12 percent of the country’s GDP. Allowing one part of the population to consistently get away without paying while Greece’s public finances are propped up by the same people all the time creates incredible resentment. That’s why you hear many Greeks say they will put up with the austerity measures if the government ensures that everybody pays their fair share. If people believe that the usual suspects, who in many cases are wealthy businessmen, doctors and lawyers, are allowed to get away with it, then the level of anger will go up several notches.

47% of all Americans pay NO TAXES whatsover!

Union workers and civil servant can make more in retirement than on the job.

But we aren’t going down that road…oh no…the Nazi, Racist, Violent Tea Baggers are just wrong. 😦

Some of the measures imposed on Greece by the EU in order to bail them out (BBC):

The plans hope to achieve budget cuts of 30bn euros over three years – with the goal of cutting Greece’s public deficit to less than 3% of GDP by 2014. It currently stands at 13.6%.

PAY CUTS

The government is planning a freeze pay for all public sector workers.

Some pay cuts will also be implemented, and public sector contract workers are set to lose their jobs.

This follows several years of continuous increases in pay, with salaries rising by an average of 30% since 2006.

Annual bonus payments – paid as 13th and 14th month salaries – will also be scrapped for high earners and capped for lower earners.

Other bonuses will be scrapped.

In the private sector, the legal maximum number of people companies can lay off each month will be doubled from 2% of personnel to 4%.

PENSIONS

The reforms seek to prevent early retirement. Currently the average age of retirement in Greece is 61, though it is not uncommon for public sector workers to retire in their 50s.

Under the planned changes, the retirement age, which is currently 65 years for men and 60 years for women, will be linked to average life expectancy.

In addition, the minimum number of years someone will have had to have worked to qualify for a full pension will rise to 40 years from 37.

Pensions will also be reduced so that they reflect a worker’s average working pay rather than their final salary.
TAX REFORM

VAT will be increased to 23% from 21% – just the latest in a series of recent increases.

Indirect taxes – including those on alcohol, fuel and cigarettes – will see a 10% rise.

There will also be a clamp-down on tax evasion – widely regarded as a big problem in Greece – and on untaxed illegal construction.

Tax-evasion alone is estimated to cost the Greek government at least 20bn euros a year.
PRIVATISATION

In the longer-term, the government will look to reduce the reliance of the Greek economy on the public sector, reducing the number of people on the public payroll.

This will require growth in the private sector, and possible privatisation of some industries.

Getting eerily uncomfortable I hope.

See our future if  Obama and The Democrats (and Republicans too) are not stopped.

According to a December report from the BLS, state and local government employers spent an average of $39.83 per hour worked ($26.24 for wages and $13.60 for benefits) for total employee compensation in September 2009. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $27.49 per hour ($19.45 for wages and $8.05 for benefits), see chart above. In other words, government employees make 45% more on average than private sector employees.

According to an analysis by USAToday (thanks to Michael Jahr for the pointer), “The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession, according to an analysis of federal salary data.” For example, the number of federal employees making $100,000 or more has increased by 120,595, from 262,163 employees in December 2007 to 382,758 in June 2009, for a 46% increase. The number of federal workers making $150,000 or more has more than doubled since the recession started, from about 30,000 to more than 66,000 (see chart above).

USA Today also reports that “When the recession started, the Transportation Department had only one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more. Eighteen months later, 1,690 employees had salaries above $170,000.” That’s a 168,900% increase!!

The Unemployment rate in the public sector is about 3%.

It’s been near 10% for a very long time in the real world.

And do the Democrats look concerned?

Do the Republicans?

Do they?

Josh Barro writes for the Manhattan Institute about the “Two Americas” and the “sharp difference between two classes of employees: those who work in the private sector and those who work for the government. Workers in the public sector have experienced a very different recession from those in the private sector.”

So is this Greece-ing the skids for what the government knows is coming if things don’t change?

I think so.