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My first job paid $4.35/ hr. I was a “detailer” for Avis Rental Cars. That’s a fancy word for Window Washer.

That’s what I did all day.

After 18 months of that I decided to go back to College and get a degree.Which I did.

Then after college, got my first job in a Call Center. At 5.35/hr. But then I started moving up.

You don’t move up from a Window Washer. And at least one guy I worked with at that job wasn’t looking to move up from it.

It was slow. It was hard. It wasn’t glamorous or profitable. But eventually I made enough to buy this house. But it was hardly overnight. And I’m hardly set for life. I still have to perform or else.

You wanna know what the punch line to this is?

Adjusted for inflation that $4.35/hr would now be $8.82 because of inflation caused by the government and other entities.

So Obama wants to raise the minimum wage to be effectively the same as that was all those years ago.

So it’s about the politics of “caring” not about the actual problem – inflation. Especially inflation from devaluing the currency because of all the spending and borrowing.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The unemployment rate for teens is at 23%, and the rate for unskilled workers is at 12%. Why does President Obama propose raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation, as he stated in his State of the Union Address?

Obama and his advisors seem to believe that if the minimum wage were raised and then indexed, all workers would retain their jobs. But this is not the case.

Between 2007 and 2009, the federal hourly minimum wage rose to $7.25 in three steps from the $5.15 rate that had prevailed for a decade. If the wage were raised to $9 and then indexed for inflation, it would rise every year.

It sounds compassionate to alleviate poverty by mandating that employers raise wages, but employers often replace low-skill workers with machines. Think self-checkout machines in supermarkets, or computerized call centers.

Or, try a thought experiment — would you have your job if the minimum wage were $50 an hour? Probably not.

At its current level, the minimum wage disproportionately affects teens and low-skill workers, many of whom qualify only for entry-level slots.

University of California (Irvine) economists David Neumark and J.M. Ian Salas, together with Federal Reserve Board economist William Wascher, have written extensively on the effects of the minimum wage on employment. In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published in January, they conclude that “minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others.”

They specifically mention that a higher minimum wage results in more unemployment for teens and low-skill workers.

Why is it that some studies, such as those by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger, have found that increases in the minimum wage do not affect employment in the restaurant industry?

Two reasons, according to Neumark and his coauthors. First, many restaurant workers are paid above minimum wage. Second, a higher minimum wage can encourage employers to substitute more-skilled employees for less-skilled employees, so that total unemployment in that industry does not decline substantially.

Minimum wage workers are overwhelmingly young and work part-time. See the Labor Department’s Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers.

Two-thirds of minimum wage earners worked part-time in 2011, the latest year available. Only 3% of hourly wage earners earn minimum wage or less.

Workers under the age of 25 made up about half of the 3.8 million workers who earned at or below the minimum wage in 2011. Employed teenagers are seven times more likely to be among the minimum wage earners than workers older than 25.

Another 11 million workers earned between $7.26 and $8.99. Some will be in danger of losing their jobs if the minimum wage is increased.

In his State of the Union Address, Obama said that a full-time minimum-wage worker makes $14,500 a year. That’s 1.3 million workers, in a labor force of 156 million, about eight-tenths of 1%. But this understates actual income, because it does not include transfer payments.

As Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute has shown, the Earned Income Tax Credit adds to the minimum wage. Read Michael Saltsman.

Then you also add in your Obama Phone, Your Obama Internet….

In addition to the EITC, the value of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly food stamps, has risen over the past 20 years, increasing the resources of low-income workers. (See chart.)

In 1992, the hourly minimum wage was $4.25. For a family with one parent and two children, the value of the earned income tax credit was 69 cents, and the value of food stamps was just over a dollar, for total income of $5.96 an hour. (Other possible benefits include housing and Medicaid, depending on the state.)

Fast forward to 2012. The minimum wage was $7.25 an hour. For the same family, the EITC rose to $2.62, and the food stamps program added $1.67, for a total of $11.54. Assuming 2,000 hours of work annually, and including the EITC, the family makes not $14,500, but $19,736. This family also qualified for food stamps, bringing the total family income to $23,072.

Unlike increases in the minimum wage, these government transfers do not discourage employers from hiring.

The minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, plus the mandatory employer’s share of social security, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation taxes, brings the hourly employer cost to $8, even without benefits. Raising the hourly minimum wage to $9 will bring the cost to employers to about $10.

And in 2014, employers with more than 49 workers who do not offer the right kind of health insurance will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker per year, further increasing costs and discouraging hiring. Many are already cutting back or reducing workers’ hours, because no penalty is owed on those working less than 30 hours weekly.

Unemployment rates for teens and low-skill workers rose faster than others in the recession. The adult unemployment rate stood at 7.3% in January 2012. That’s over 3 percentage points higher than the 3.8% rate in December 2007, five years earlier, at the start of the recession. But the January 2012 unemployment rate for teens was about 6 percentage points higher than December 2007, at 23%.

Employers now only employ workers who can produce $8 an hour or more of goods or services. Under Obama’s proposal, they would employ only those who could produce $10 an hour, an amount that would rise every year. The government can mandate steadily rising minimum wages, but not steadily rising teen skills and productivity.

As minimum wages rise, employers change technologies or hire more skilled workers.

Forbidding employment of those whose skills aren’t worth $10 an hour prevents workers getting their foot on the bottom of the career ladder. Obama is essentially proposing to take away the right to work for low-skill workers.

Most American employers have to pay more than minimum wage just to attract and hold the workers they need. Almost 140 million workers now earn above minimum wage, not because of federal or state law, but because that is the only way that firms can attract and keep employees with skills.

Instead of more money for youth employment, why not expand the federal minimum wage exception for teens? Under federal law, employers are allowed to pay teens $4.25 an hour for 90 consecutive calendar days, or until their 20th birthday, at which point the wage has to revert to $7.25 an hour.

The law is not simple. Employers have to show that teen workers don’t displace others. If the state minimum laws don’t specifically include the teen exception, then teens have to be paid the regular minimum — and the large states, such as California and New York, don’t mention teens. Ninety calendar days might cover a summer job, but if teens want to continue the job during the school year, employers have to pay them the standard wage.

Youth unemployment is a serious social problem in some European countries, such as France (27%), Spain (55%), and Italy (37%). These governments have taken every possible step to discourage the young from working short of criminalizing work: wages are regulated to be high, and it is costly to hire a new worker and even more costly to let one go. In these countries, young people have a much harder time getting started up the career ladder than their American counterparts.

America does not want to go down this road. Working at an early age teaches useful skills, transferable to future jobs, such as getting to work on time, staying the whole day, and putting up with unpleasant colleagues.

Increasing the hourly minimum wage to $9 and indexing it for inflation is bad news for teens and low-skill workers who deserve a better opportunity, and it is bad news for America where we cannot afford to further cripple our economy. (Market Watch)

But because he “cares” he will make your boss fire you because he can’t afford you any longer and that is your Boss’s fault because he’s just a greedy capitalist pig.

But at least now you have 2 years+ of unemployment, Food Stamps, you could move back in with your parents, Your Obama Phone and Internet so Life is good… 🙂

Rich Detour 590 LI 2

Lincoln Comp 590 cdn

The Dependent Life

Americans have now elected twice a man who said he wanted to spread the wealth around. So how ugly is it going to get? The Senate Budget Committee says welfare spending will nearly double in 10 years.This would be the Senate Budget Committee that refused to pass a budget for the 4th time in a row despite it being a requirement of both the Congress and The President. 🙂

Using data from the Congressional Research Service and Congressional Budget Office, the Budget Committee’s Republican staff has added up what’s spent on cash aid, health assistance, housing assistance, and social and family services.

All told, welfare spending will rocket from roughly $800 billion in the current fiscal year to about $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2022 — a nearly 80% jump.

All told, overall welfare spending for the decade will be $11 trillion — “roughly one-quarter of cumulative federal spending,” the Budget Committee reports.

And that doesn’t even include state spending on welfare, which, when added to federal benefits, was more than $1 trillion in fiscal 2011. That’s enough, the Budget Committee tells us, “to mail every household in poverty a check for $60,000 each year.”

How did we get here? In Obama-esque fashion, of course. The committee says the unimaginable spending is in part “driven by a series of controversial recruitment methods that include aggressive outreach to those who say they do not need financial assistance.”

Recruitment. Come be poor on the government’s dime. It’s free, it’s easy and you can be lazy. And all you have to do to maintain it is vote for me because the other guy’s an asshole who wants to take your candy away.

“Recruitment workers are even instructed on how to ‘overcome the word “no”‘ when individuals resist enrollment,” says committee research. “The USDA and Department of Homeland Security also have promotions to increase the number of immigrants on welfare despite legal prohibitions on welfare use among those seeking admittance into the United States.”

We want you to buy this poverty that you don’t need and you get a Free Obama Phone as free gift, and if you act now we’ll throw in free internet also!

So where’s my Ginzu Knife? 🙂

The best welfare program is not a government plan.

It is a strong, expanding economy, which is, in fact, the only path for overcoming poverty.

But poverty and the class warfare to go with it works much better for Democrats. A Permanent underclass is preferred. And then you add in 12 million illegal aliens and you have a voting block to win elections regardless of how bad things get for everyone else. What could be better than that? 🙂

Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein noted that “throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man.” It is only through free enterprise, which is fed by open trade, unfettered capitalism and liberalized markets, that humans have emerged from their natural state in which life was nasty, brutish and short.

To paraphrase the great Milton Friedman, man’s great achievements have not been the product of a government program, a redistributionary scheme or bustling bureaucracy. They are due to the simple profit motive at work in political systems that let people be fittingly compensated for their innovations and efforts.

No system has lifted man’s standard of living as free enterprise has. As Friedman also once said, the masses that suffer the most from grinding poverty are those trapped in societies that depart from free enterprise.

But Free enterprise is evil. Just as a Democrat.

“The record of history is absolutely crystal clear,” he said. “There is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

Washington’s focus should be on removing the restraints it has placed on free enterprise rather than busying itself with building a nation of dependents, as it has for the last eight decades.

But then it wouldn’t all be about them and what they want. We can’t have that!!

A growing welfare state helps no one — aside from politicians who traffic in addiction to government — but a burgeoning economy improves everyone’s well being.

But the addiction to government IS what government wants. The more the merrier.

Having people struggle and fail and struggle and succeed is far worse than people just sitting back and letting government do everything for them and then voting to continue to give them more and more of less and less and less.

It’s not what’s good for the people that matters. Its what’s good for the government that matters. After all, government is both Mother and God all rolled into one. Government can solve anything, can take care of anyone, better than any force on earth, right?

The best policy? Doubling not welfare spending over the next decade, but the size of the economy. (IBD)

But then you have a bunch ungrateful rich and independent people who want to do what’s best for THEM, and not you the government and we can’t allow that to happen now can we.
And don’t bother talking to people about inflation. The Democrats have bred their cattle dumb and with an unhealthy uninformed narcissism just like they like them.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both. (thomas sowell)

But “soak the rich” is the battle cry to get the addicted to rise up against their “oppressor” and vote to stick it to them!!!
The sheep then get sheered and don’t even know they got fleeced.
Always the best strategy for a thief, to make sure the mark never knows (or know way too late) that they’ve been robbed.
The use The Ministry of Truth to cover it up and rile up the addicts and you have the making a of a perpetual E-motion machine that will do your bidding almost mindlessly.
What could be better.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits– food stamps, housing subsidies and the like– if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent– far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words. (Thomas Sowell)

Dependency is Life. Life is dependency.
Government is your GOD.God will provide (hence cutting spending is also an evil that must be destroyed).
Life isn’t fair, but Government will make it fair! For you! All you have to is sell your soul to the Government store!
Join the faith!!!…. You will be Assimilated!…. or else!
Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

The Iceberg of Truth

From 1954 through 2012, the federal government shelled out a total of almost $72 trillion on all spending, combined. Over the same period, it collected revenues of under $56 trillion from all sources. The $16 trillion difference is today’s federal debt.

But this simple math hides the fact that the dollar in your pocket today doesn’t buy what the dollar in your grandfather’s pocket bought years ago. There is a sleight-of-hand to Washington’s method of dealing with long-term debt. Like every shell game, those who play will lose to those who make the rules.

And make no mistake, we are all playing by Washington’s rules.

See for yourself: Inflation Calculator

$1 in 1954 now cost $8.56.

Just since Obama, it’s $1.07

And that 7% “tax” ,if you will, hits the poor just as much as anyone else. Just don’t try to explain that (as I have) to the low-information, unenlightened narcissistic “general public” who don’t understand even this most basic of concepts.

The Debt in 1954: $271,259,599,108.46

By 2009 it was $10,000,000,000,000

The Debt Now:  $16,442,474,000,000.00

In 1960, the federal government spent $1.6 billion more than it collected in taxes. Given the deficits we run up these days, $1.6 billion seems almost laughable. Today, Washington blows through that much money in the length of time it takes to sit through a screening of “The Hobbit.”

In 1960, though, you could buy six times more stuff for a dollar than you can buy today. That makes 1960’s $1.6 billion deficit equivalent to a $10 billion deficit today.

Which Congress blows through in 2 days!

So why is our money worth so much less, and why does it matter? After all, wages keep pace with inflation over time, so it’s a wash, right? Well … no, it isn’t. A cost of living wage hike protects the money you earn this year from this year’s inflation. It does nothing to protect money you earned last year and saved.

With inflation, the government pays back the number of dollars it borrowed, not the value of the dollars it borrowed. Inflation makes the dollars the government pays back worth less than the dollars it borrowed.

It’s like my borrowing your car for a year. Sure, I give you the car back at the end of the year, but because of mileage and wear-and-tear, the car I give back is less valuable than the car I borrowed. Inflation is to the dollar what mileage and wear-and-tear is to the car.

The Politicians Know

Were it not for inflation, the $16 trillion that the government owes would be more than $22 trillion. Where did the $6 trillion difference go? It came out of people’s pockets. The same inflation that reduces the value of the dollars the government owes also reduces the value of the dollars you own — your savings, the equity in your house, your retirement fund.

Sure, individual prices rise and fall over time, but that is not inflation. Inflation is the devaluing of existing dollars by the printing of more dollars — something politicians euphemistically call, “quantitative easing” and “lowering interest rates.”

And boy does Obama LOVE to do that!

Washington’s debt has gotten so far out of control that there are no politically viable cuts to make, nor enough rich people to tax in order to balance the budget.

The only thing left is for the government to print money to pay its bills. This is why the Federal Reserve has decided to keep long-term interest rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, and why observant people know that, unless Washington gets serious about cutting spending, we’re going to be in for some serious inflation.

Nonexistent interest rates and significant inflation are the only things that will allow the government to continue spending money it does not have. And the more irresponsible the government is with spending, the more inflation will erode away our savings. This is a matter of simple economics.

Unfortunately, Washington’s fiscal problem has grown so large that the answer now goes beyond simple economics. We must return government to its appropriate role as a referee in the marketplace, not a player. If we don’t do this, the laws of mathematics and the forces of economics will do it for us — and they won’t be gentle.

The Truth will hurt and hurt bad one day.

The sad thing is that the politicians all know as much. They just care more about the next election than they care about America’s long-term economic health. (IBD)

The drug addicts aren’t going to cut themselves off and they don’t want the wrath of those they’ve addicted vented on them either.

And the people who elected them are largely clueless narcissists who just want whatever they can take from others to be given to them because that’s “fair” and don’t really care what the consequences are.

Personal responsibility and personal self-reliance are archaic, quaint notions of the past.

So we’re the Titanic and the Iceberg of Truth is out there, it’s just a matter of when not if we hit it unless all the drug addicts do something they don’t want to do.

TRUTH!

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Food For the Sowell Chapter III

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for.

Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.

Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.

No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits– food stamps, housing subsidies and the like– if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent– far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

AMEN!

Vote for me, the other guy’s an asshole! 🙂

Vote Me, I will grab “free” stuff for you from evil rich bastards! 🙂

John Stossel: Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable.

I wonder how unintended they are, really…But that’s me I’m much more cynical. 🙂

Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved.

Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their congressmen, “What laws did you repeal?” It’s always, “What did you pass?”

And so they pass and pass — a thousand pages of proposed new rules each week — and for every rule, there’s an unintended consequence, or several.

It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

“Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

“The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

It’s only “fair”, right? 🙂

Such benefits appeal to workers, who don’t realize that the goodies come out of their wages. The unemployed don’t realize that such rules deter employers from hiring them in the first place.

And the media sure as hell isn’t going to tell them. Those Evil Capitalist bastards!

In Italy, some work rules kick in once a company has more than 10 employees, so companies have an incentive not to hire an 11th employee. Businesses stay small. People stay unemployed.

“European workers have the right … to gainful unemployment,” says Jolis.

Both European central planners and liberal politicians in America are clueless about what really helps workers: a free economy.

Because they want everything to be “fair” which ends up being very authoritarian. The very opposite of free.

Funny how that worked out… 🙂

The record is clear. Central planners failed, in the Soviet Union, in Cuba, at the U.S. Postal Service and in America’s public schools, and now they stifle growth in Europe and America. Central planning stops innovation.

Yet for all that failure, whenever another crisis (real or imagined) hits, the natural instinct is to say, “Politicians must do something.”

In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!

The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can’t interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales “protected” those jobs out of existence.

The benefit of government (SET ITAL) leaving us alone (END ITAL) is rarely intuitive.

Because companies just want to make a buck, it’s logical to assume that only government rules assure workers’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for factories, and OSHA officials proudly point out that workplace deaths have dropped since it opened its doors.

Thank goodness for government, right? Well, not so fast. Go back a few years before OSHA, and we find that workplace deaths were dropping just as fast.

Workers are safer today because we are richer, and richer societies care more about safety. Even greedy employers take safety precautions if only because it’s expensive to replace workers who are hurt!

Government is like the person who gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

In a free society, things get better on their own — if government will only allow it.

And this government most certainly won’t. But that’s what the American people wanted, so let them lie down in that bed of mediocrity and socialist utopias.

Maybe all the bed bugs will finally shock them, but I doubt it.

Unenlightened Narcissism has a way of blind the stupid to reality and that is surely the main focus these days.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Origins

Americans must be wondering how much more of this “recovery” they can afford. New figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research , show that the typical American household’s real (inflation-adjusted) income has actually dropped 5.7 percent during the Obama “recovery.”

Yet it gets worse. Amazingly, incomes have dropped even more during the “recovery” than they did during the recession. In fact, they’ve dropped more than twice as much as they did during the recession.

Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this “recovery,” it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household. (KFYI)

But he the guy in charge of this will give you free stuff and will make sure he sticks it to “rich” people!!! The other guy is just a gaffe-laden asshole. 🙂

And besides we all know it’s Bush’s Fault, after all… 🙂

The newest viral video is of a woman who says she will vote for Obama because she got a free cell phone from him. Now that’s the kind of intellectual voter response we need as a country! 🙂

The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984, originally created to subsidize landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government-collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.

In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones which quickly escalated the cost of the program. In 2008 the program cost $772 million, but by 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.

A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Several websites have been created to promote “free” government cell phones, including the”The Obama Cell Phone” website at Obamaphone.net.

After all, a Cell phone must be a Human Right and if you deny it to people you must be a racist!. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

What a mean, evil racist! 🙂

But it’s Obama re-election time, so no one in the FCC is going to do anything about it. Don’t want to upset the peasants.

2016 Update

Two weeks ago, Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2016: Obama’s America” passed Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” for second place on the all-time box-office money list for political documentaries. It now has a box office gross of more than $32 million. But if you’re an independent or a liberal who’s unplugged from conservative websites and talk radio, you’d never know.
You didn’t see D’Souza on CBS or NBC (although he showed up on ABC’s “Nightline” in late night). There were no cover stories in Time or Newsweek. The film opened on just one screen in Houston when it premiered on July 13, and then spread to 10, and eventually to 1,000 theaters in August, and 2,000 theaters in September. A cultural sensation, yes — but somehow not newsworthy.
Al Gore, naturally, had every advantage of a beloved liberal almost-president. When it hit theaters in May of 2006, Time magazine wrote, “The movie got raves at the Sundance Film Festival … In Los Angeles theaters, the trailers have been getting ovations.” On NBC, Katie Couric sat down in the outdoors with Gore and told him that in the movie, “you’re funny, vulnerable, disarming, self-effacing.” On CBS, anchor Harry Smith gushed, “The box office receipts would indicate that it’s an action movie — you did better per screening than almost anything that’s come out this week.”
Even after Gore’s slideshow lecture/film eventually sputtered out at the Cineplex, several more rounds of fawning followed: an Academy Award and a Nobel Peace Prize, and in between the gushing lines came the idea that Gore might (or should) run again for president. The “Goracle” gush was so heavy that Time collected it all together. He was “Al Gore — the improbably charismatic, Academy Award-winning, Nobel Prize-nominated environmental prophet with an army of followers and huge reserves of political and cultural capital at his command.”
And yet, D’Souza’s film was the Little Engine That Could — the film that could surpass Gore at the box office. He didn’t need MSNBC to put him on, although in August, he slammed them as cowardly: “You could watch that channel and not even know we have a film out — unless you saw a commercial that we’re running for our film. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, you look at Rachel Maddow, you look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards! … I would love to cross swords with those guys, but I think they’re all hiding under the desk.”
Whatever media elite notice D’Souza received began trickling in once it made the top ten of the weekend box-office hits in late August … and it wasn’t positive at all.
A Washington Post critic scoffed on August 24: “It is doomed to win precious few converts. It’s a textbook example of preaching to the choir. It has the air of a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ sequel, pandering to the franchise’s hardcore fans, while boring everyone else.”
And “An Inconvenient Truth” was different?
On August 29, ABC’s David Wright told D’Souza his film was “disingenuous” in suggesting Obama wanted to downsize America’s power and influence, and complained “D’Souza spins out the conspiracy theory” of America in dramatic economic and geopolitical collapse by 2016. The screen read “Conspirator-in-Chief.”
NPR weekend anchor Guy Raz took a few rhetorical swings at D’Souza in a September 1 interview. “Dinesh D’Souza, if you wanted to criticize or attack President Obama, why bend the truth? Why not just offer a policy critique rather than conjecture, and in many cases in this film, conspiracy?”
But what dominated Al Gore’s documentary if not a gloomy conjecture about the destruction of the planet through global warming? Wasn’t Gore a “Conspirator-in-Chief” that some people deny the “truth” of impending planetary doom for nefarious political ends? Gore’s film ridiculously claimed a 20-foot rise in sea level that would flood Manhattan.
The media weren’t negative about that conjecture. ABC’s story on Gore’s movie was summed up with the words “The Comeback Kid? Al Gore Takes On The World.”
Reporter Claire Shipman hailed “Gore’s personal journey toward environmental evangelism.” On NPR, anchor Robert Siegel hailed the film’s success, and began with a “quibble” and moved on: “Our science correspondent had only a couple of quibbles on claims about the melting snows of Kilimanjaro or the increasing power of hurricanes.” Gore quickly shot that down as unworthy. And The Washington Post reviewer (Desson Thomson) raved: “We’re pressure-cooking the planet to death — and Al Gore has the flow charts to prove it. We know what you’re thinking, but as this surprisingly absorbing film shows, Gore’s lectures are anything but dull.”
D’Souza’s movie was comparable to an over-the-top horror movie. Al Gore has proven we’re all about to bake and/or drown, and all that can be said about that spooky spectacle is it is “surprisingly absorbing.” Their arrogance knows no bounds. (Brent Bozell)

That’s very true.

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Indy’s Top 25 List

Inspired by Obama’s appearance on David Letterman.

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Please stop me when I get to the Bad stuff about Obama’s 4 years:

1. a Net loss of 1.3 million jobs overall.

2. Higher inflation due to devaluing of the dollar.

3. ANNUAL budget deficits in excess of a Trillion Dollars.

4. 15 million more people on Food Stamps.

5. More People than ever on Social Security Disability

6. Unemployment rate over 8% since February 2009. (the real one-U6- over 11%)

7. No Federal Budget since April 2009. $6 Trillion in NEW Debt.

8. Our Ambassador in Libya is killed and he’s still going on about an irrelevant film. Even though the evidence that it was a terrorist attack is overwhelming. But “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” according ton Obama in front of the UN.

9. More violent Illegal Aliens crossing the border because this administration is openly unwilling to do anything about it.

10. Fast & Furious

11. Health Care cost continue to rise even higher than they would have without Obamacare. And Obamacare is now going to cost 3 times as much as originally “promised” and it is even fully implemented yet.

12. Oh, yeah, it’s all Bush’s/Republicans/Christians/Rich people’s/Business’s Fault!

13. Totally unconcerned about Taxmageddon coming January 1st, 2013. Let alone the ObamaCare TAX.

14. Drones in US cities.

15. Let’s not meet with world leaders because we have opportunities to appear on David Letterman and The View.

16. Executive Fiats are the order of the day. Don’t get what you want, just go around the process. It’s good to be the King.

17. The Mom-In-Chief Michelle Obama will run your diet for you because you’re a moron. Mother Knows Best.

18. Nancy Pelosi: According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Republicans are trying “suffocate the airwaves, suppress the vote, poison the debate, [so] people throw up their hands and say, ‘I just don’t even know if I want to participate in this.'” But, “we have to keep the campaign positive.”
🙂 And Nancy can’t be wrong, right?

19.  The Middle Class are NOT better off than they were 4 years ago when everything crashed.

Since the economic recovery started in June 2009, household incomes are down 5.7%, the Sentier data show, and they are down more than 8% since Obama took office. (IBD) But that’s Bush’s Fault! :)Four years later, with Obama running for re-election, it’s time to ask Americans: How’s that  Hope & change workin’ out for you?

20. First, the Congressional Budget Office released a detailed report on Obama’s massive electric car program. Its conclusion: The money “will have little or no impact on the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years.”It also found that, even with the $7,500 tax credits, electric cars are a bad buy, costing owners far more over the life of the car than traditional gas-powered vehicles.Translation: Obama’s electric car subsidies are a complete and total waste of money. (IBD)The Chevy Volt (“ObamaCar”) loses $49,000 every time you sell one. Doesn’t that just say it all.
21. Over $500 Million wasted on Solar Power pie-in-the-sky. Solyndra, Ener 1, Beacon Power,Abound Solar, Amonix Solar,Spectra Watt, Eastern Energy, etc. all bankrupt all cost taxpayers money.
22. Inspirational Speeches23. If you disagree with a Liberal, choose one of the following: a) you’re a racist b) a moron c) you are in the pocket of rich people d) you want rich people to rape you blind.

24. Oh, yes, and the Immortal “YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!”
25. Fifty-five percent of small business owners and manufacturers would not have started their businesses in today’s economy, according to a new poll that also reports 69 percent say President Obama’s regulatory policies have hurt their businesses.“There is far too much uncertainty, too many burdensome regulations and too few policymakers willing to put aside their egos and fulfill their responsibilities to the American people,” said Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, which commissioned the poll along with the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “To fix this problem, we need immediate action on pro-growth tax and regulatory policies that put manufacturers in the United States in a position to compete and succeed in an ever-more competitive global economy.” (Examiner)

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Now go out there, full of Hope and Change and Vote for Obama because you want 4 more years just like this… 🙂

Insurance 201

Thomas Sowell has column today that is very well sad and I personally know the impact of it. And I have preached at this pulpit before.

https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/insurance-101/

In insurance markets, moral hazard occurs when the behavior of the insured party changes in a way that raises costs for the insurer, since the insured party no longer bears the full costs of that behavior. Because individuals no longer bear the cost of medical services, they have an added incentive to ask for pricier and more elaborate medical service—which would otherwise not be necessary. In these instances, individuals have an incentive to over consume, simply because they no longer bear the full cost of medical services.

And does this not sound like ObamaCare to you?? :)

Take it away Mr. Sowell.

Insurance is all about risk. Yet neither insurance companies nor their policy-holders can do anything about one of the biggest risks — namely, interference by politicians, to turn insurance into something other than a device to deal with risk.

By passing laws to force insurance companies to cover things that have nothing to do with risk, politicians force up the cost of insurance.

Annual checkups, for example, are known in advance to take place once a year. Foreseeable events are not a risk. Annual checkups are no cheaper when they are covered by an insurance policy. On the contrary, they are one of many things that are more expensive when they are covered by an insurance policy.

All the paperwork, record-keeping and other things that go with having any medical procedure covered by insurance have to be paid for, in addition to the cost of the medical procedure itself.

If automobile insurance covered the cost of oil changes or the purchase of gasoline, then both oil changes and gasoline would have to cost more, to cover the additional bureaucratic work involved.

In the case of health insurance, however, politicians love to mandate things that insurance must cover, including in some states treatment for baldness, contraceptives and whatever else politicians can think of. Playing Santa Claus costs a politician nothing, but it can cost the policy-holder a bundle — all of which the politician will blame on the “greed” of the insurance company.

(see Adverse Selection).

Insurance companies are regulated by both states and the federal government. This means that, instead of there being one vast nationwide market, where innumerable insurance companies compete with each other from coast to coast, there are 50 fragmented markets with different rules. That adds to the costs and reduces the competition in a given state.

When there are innumerable insurance companies, it is by no means clear that political regulation of them will produce better results than the regulation provided by competition in the market. In a competitive market, insurance companies would cover only those things that their policy-holders are willing to pay to have covered. Policy-holders would have no reason to pay to have insurance cover things that would be cheaper if paid for directly — or not paid for at all, in the case of things that are not a real concern to many people, such as baldness cures.

One of the factors in the number of the “uninsured,” for whom politicians are willing to turn the whole medical care system upside down, is the high cost of insurance that covers far more things than most people would be willing to pay for, if it was up to them. The uninsured who use hospital emergency rooms and don’t pay are a problem only because politicians passed laws forcing hospitals to let themselves be taken advantage of in this way.

Too many political “solutions” are solutions to problems created by previous political “solutions” — and will be followed by new problems created by their current “solutions.” There is no free lunch. In the case of health insurance, there is not even an inexpensive lunch.

Health insurance would be a lot less expensive if it covered only the kinds of risks that can involve heavy costs, such as a major operation or a crippling disability. While such things can be individually very expensive, they don’t happen to everybody, and insurance is one way to spread the risks, so that the protection of a given individual is not prohibitively expensive.

The problem of “pre-existing conditions” is a problem largely because of the way that politicians have written the laws — more specifically, by giving a tax break to employer-provided health insurance. If individuals bought their own health insurance, with the same tax advantages, the fact that an illness occurred after they changed employers would not make it a “pre-existing condition.”

There is no inherent reason for employers to be involved, in the first place. The fact that some guy manufactures furniture or plumbing fixtures in no way qualifies him to understand insurance for his employees. Including him in the loop adds another unnecessary layer of bureaucratic costs.

Political risks are the biggest risks.

So you want to know why your auto insurance is going up “even though I’m a good driver” or your Home insurance is going up “even though my house is worth less”??

Well, it’s very simple. Along with all of what has been discussed there is INFLATION.

http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

And the medical costs, repair costs and the lawyer  (you know all those “call me now” lawyer commercials?) costs go up and guess what happens to your premiums. They go up. It’s not personal.

And any real homeowners policy will be based on the replacement cost of the home and not the market value because the market value is a) fickle (just think about 5 years ago) b) includes land and locational factors that have nothing to do with the home.

Example, my home. It’s located with the “noise zone” of Sky Harbor International Airport. Thus my house is technically worth less because you can hear plane noise at a certain level.

If my house burns down do I want the replacement cost based partially on that or do I want it based on the materials to rebuild it?

And if inflation in the cost of those materials cause the premium to go up?

I hope you see the point.

Most people don’t.

Why?

Narcissistic Greed. It’s all about ME! and Insurance should only be about ME.

I don’t want MY policy based on other people.

Which is a fundamentally flawed understanding of the entire concept of insurance in the first place.

And that lack of education is a real problem because it leads people to misunderstand the entire process and the fundamentals underlying the entire concept.

And lets politicians and manipulative Liberals get away with their “solutions” that just cause more problems but make them look good.

And thus, you go for “get rich quick” type schemes by manipulative politicians that actually CAUSE more problems than they solve. But you get the satisfaction of “sticking it” to them. But it’s you that ultimately gets stuck.

Oh, there are ways to bring it down, but reforms to litigation laws and practices (by politicians who are mostly lawyers) is very hard. Lobbyists are very strong in the area. This is their meat and potatoes.

Medical costs are skyrocketing and ObamaCare will just make them worse. Trying to reform that gets you “thrown grandma off the cliff” rhetoric.

So, in the end RHETORIC HAS IT’S CONSEQUENCES.

Consequences in your wallet.

That’s the risk.

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel