Forward to The Failed Past

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

IBD:We’re told Friday’s jobs report is evidence of slow and steady progress. But it actually documents the new normal of Obama’s economy — anemic job growth, chronic long-term unemployment and falling wages.

Given how long the economy has been underperforming, even the smallest bit of good news is welcome. But the latest jobs report offers little of even that.

The 155,000 new jobs created in December weren’t enough to make a dent in unemployment. And at this pace, it will take more than two years just to reach the previous jobs peak set back in January 2008.

And while the unemployment rate of 7.8% appears to be the same as when Obama took office, it obscures the fact that millions have given up looking for jobs and so aren’t being counted as unemployed.

If you account for the unprecedented drop in labor participation under Obama, the real unemployment rate is 10.7%.

Meanwhile, the pool of long-term unemployed was a staggering 4.8 million in December, which is 2 million more than when Obama took office. The average length of unemployment was 38 months — almost 20 months longer than four years ago and 15 months longer than when the recession ended in June 2009.

And, despite Obama’s endless talk about growing the economy from the bottom up, the nation’s workers aren’t seeing slow, steady progress when it comes to household income.

In fact, real average weekly earnings have dropped about 1% over the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And median household income is down 7% since January 2009, according to Sentier Research.

In the face of this ongoing calamity, we get various and changing excuses about “head winds,” or the lingering effects of the Bush recession, or the uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff. Or we’re told we just need to lower our expectations for growth.

And what does Obama do?

He forced a tax hike through Congress that his own favorite economists say will slow growth and cost jobs. He’s continued to push forward on ObamaCare, despite the fact that it’s scaring employers away from adding new jobs out of fear of getting hit with exorbitant new costs. He’s taken the leash off the EPA to wreak havoc on industries with massively expensive, and entirely unnecessary new regulations. He’s offered no real plans to get the nation’s debt under control.

And he claims he can make up for all this economic drag with a new round of federal spending on roads.

We want the economy to grow and America to prosper as much as anyone. But it’s hard to see much of that in the near future given the economic poison Obama keeps prescribing.

Kind of like A caretaker who feeds you arsenic every day and expects you to be an Olympic athlete by Noon and then goes on TV to take credit for the medal you haven’t won yet.

While the U.S. punishes millionaires, Russia and China reward them. In the upside-down era of Barack Obama, the capitalists act like communists and the communists act like capitalists.

Our multimillionaire president frowns on “millionaires and billionaires” and soaks them with higher taxes. But Russia loves them and even offers refugees of high-tax countries asylum.

Last week, the Kremlin, once headquarters of the Evil Empire, granted millionaire French actor Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship so he can avail himself of Russia’s 13% flat tax and avoid his home country’s proposed new 75% supertax on millionaires.

Depardieu has been looking for a new home after telling France’s newly elected socialist prime minister that he would surrender his passport and French social security card in protest of the tax.

Moscow hopes its lower tax rate will attract a “massive migration of rich Europeans to Russia.” Russia already ranks seventh in millionaires worth more than $30 million. And Deloitte expects the number of Russian millionaires to triple to 1.2 million by 2020. (America, by comparison, has 5.2 million millionaires.)

Take note, Mr. President: Russia’s flat-tax miracle has helped bring its budget back into balance. Its revenues from income taxes have more than doubled since the single, low tax rate was instated.

Communist China, which now runs a socialist market economy, also welcomes millionaires. And it’s been creating record numbers of them since reducing its tax burden. There are now 1.1 million millionaires in China — a national record — and 63,500 multimillionaires and billionaires.

Since abolishing its agriculture tax and slashing its tax on small businesses by 50%, China has enjoyed the world’s biggest gains in the number of rich (though granted, coming off a low base). The vast majority of millionaires in China are business owners, who are taking advantage of the government’s recent market reforms and pro-business tax incentives.

As part of its post-crisis economic stimulus package, Beijing is reforming its VAT tax, which would cut corporate taxes as well. And just two months ago, it launched a new round of tax-cutting measures that will help more than 900,000 companies throughout China.

Meanwhile, back in formerly supercapitalistic America, our leaders have agreed to jack up taxes on small businesses. Obama’s new fiscal-cliff tax hike on individual filers earning $400,000 or more in income will hit more than 750,000 small-business owners. They account for more than 56% of all income from such firms and employ tens of millions of workers, both of which will be hurt by the higher rate.

Yet Obama says “there is still more to do” to make sure “the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.” He vows to make “our tax code more progressive than it’s been in decades.”

Funny how the Russians and Chinese figured out that class-warfare ideology doesn’t work and is in fact, a recipe for failure. Funny how communists know that lower taxes grow the economy and keep you competitive.

As our president mau-maus the rich to “pay their fair share” to help fund his massive social programs, America, like Europe, risks losing a fair share of its wealth and power to communist superpowers that have rethought and reformed their command-and-control economies.

Obama thinks he’s taking the nation “Forward!” But he’s really taking it back to the failed past.

But ideological adamantium will prevent him from seeing any of this.
This is what the under informed, mal-informed, and the don’t-wanna-be informed voted for.
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

What’s Fair?

DC: Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore: ‘Obama wants to make everyone equally poor’

Economics writer Stephen Moore says President Barack Obama’s obsession with fairness will make everyone poor.

“Fairness is a good principle but should not be put ahead of growth,” Moore said in an interview with The Daily Caller about his new book, “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America,” released Tuesday. “There’s nothing fair about making everyone poor.”

What’s wrong with fairness?

Fairness is a good principle but should not be put ahead of growth. There’s nothing fair about making everyone poor.

When the president talks about fairness, what does he mean? And what would the consequences of his conception of fairness be?

Obama wants to make everyone equally poor. You have to create wealth before you can redistribute it.

What do you say to those who say that America boomed in the 1950s when the top tax rate was 90 percent, so therefore raising taxes on the rich won’t inhibit strong growth?

In the 1950s we were the only game in town and overall taxes were much lower. Now we are in a competitive world where everyone is cutting tax rates except for us. This is a reason businesses outsource jobs.

This is not a “Leave it to Beaver” fantasy 1950’s anymore. And Obama is not Ward Cleaver and Michelle is not June Cleaver.

But there is an Eddie Haskell, Timothy “The Tax Cheat” Geithner. He’s out front on the “tax fairness”.
But don’t worry, Obama is already leading from behind on this one too and all I want to do is hide BEHIND the sofa from the terror that awaits… 🙂

Thomas Sowell: If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.

The point here is not to ask where Stephen Moore was when we needed him. A more apt question might be:

Where was the whole economics profession when we needed it?

Where were the media?

For that matter, where were the Republicans?

Since “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” was published in October, there was little chance that it would affect this year’s election.

But this little gem of a book exposes, in plain language and with easily understood facts, the whole house of cards of assumptions, fallacies and falsehoods which constitute the liberal vision of the economy.

Yet that vision triumphed on election day, thanks to misinformation that was artfully presented and seldom challenged.

The title “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?” is an obvious response to liberals’ claim that their policies are aimed at creating “fairness” by, among other things, making sure that “the rich” pay their “fair share” of taxes.

If you want a brief but thorough education on that, just read Chapter 4, which by itself is well worth the price of the book.

A couple of graphs on Pages 104 and 108 are enough to annihilate the argument about “tax cuts for the rich.”

Hidden Money

These graphs show that, under both Republican President Calvin Coolidge and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, high-income people paid more tax revenues into the federal treasury after tax rates went down than they did before.

There is nothing mysterious about this. At high tax rates, vast sums of money disappear into tax shelters at home or is shipped overseas.

At lower tax rates, that money comes out of hiding and goes into the American economy, creating jobs, rising output and rising incomes.

Under these conditions, higher tax revenues can be collected by the government, even though tax rates are lower.

Indeed, high income people not only end up paying more taxes, but a higher share of all taxes, under these conditions.

This is not just a theory. It is what hard evidence shows happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations, from the days of Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

That hard evidence is presented in clear and unmistakable terms in “Who’s The Fairest of Us All?”

Another surprising fact brought out in this book is that the Democrats and Republicans both took positions during the Kennedy administration that were the direct opposite of the positions they take today.

As Stephen Moore points out, “the Republicans almost universally opposed and the Democrats almost universally favored” the cuts in tax rates that President Kennedy proposed.

Such Republican Senate stalwarts as Barry Goldwater and Bob Dole voted against reducing the top tax rate from 91% to 70%. Democratic Congressman Wilbur Mills led the charge for lower tax rates.

Fear Of Facts

Unlike the Republicans today, John F. Kennedy had an answer when critics tried to portray his tax cut proposal as just a “tax cut for the rich.”

President Kennedy argued that it was a tax cut for the economy, that changed incentives meant a faster growing economy and that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

If Republicans today cannot seem to come up with their own answer when critics cry out “tax cuts for the rich,” maybe they can just go back and read John F. Kennedy’s answer.

A truly optimistic person might even hope that media pundits would go back and check out the facts before arguing as if the only way to reduce the deficit is to raise tax rates on “the rich.”

If they are afraid that they would be stigmatized as conservatives if they favored cuts in tax rates, they might take heart from the fact that not only John F. Kennedy, but even John Maynard Keynes as well, argued that cutting tax rates could increase tax revenues and thereby help reduce the deficit.

Because so few people bother to check the facts, Barack Obama can get away with statements about how “tax cuts for the rich” have “cost” the government money that now needs to be recouped.

Such statements not only promote class warfare, to Obama’s benefit on election day, they also distract attention from his own runaway spending behind unprecedented trillion-dollar deficits.

http://www.amazon.com/Whos-Fairest-Them-All-Opportunity/dp/1594036845

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino