Does it Matter?

Benghazi Update: Britons and all other westerners were told to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday after diplomats received warning of an “imminent” terror threat in the wake of the Algerian hostage siege.

By the way, “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk last night who decided to kill some Brits? What difference at this point does it make? 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

A day after President Obama vowed an aggressive global war on global warming, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman delivered a political hot potato to the White House in the form of state approval of a re-routed Keystone XL pipeline.

Given the pressing domestic need for a) more reliable sources of oil and b) thousands of long-delayed, good-paying jobs, you might think federal approval of the endeavor with our closest neighbor and best friend is a gimme.

Ah, but we are just three days past the middle of the 2,922-day Obama era. So, it’s much more complicated.

The 1,700-mile long pipeline is designed to carry 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian heavy crude oil from Alberta tar sands excavations to Gulf Coast refineries. The project would create thousands of construction jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on unreliable foreign oil sources, often cited by both American political parties as a good thing.

Heineman, a Republican, had rejected Trans-Canada’s original route through important aquifers and the state’s fragile Sand Hills region, a step the Obama crowd cited for its initial parallel rejection of the facility. A new study by the State Department, which must approve pipelines crossing international borders, isn’t due until late March at the earliest.

By that time, of course, the Obama administration will have a new secretary of State in the form of John Kerry. The about-to-be-former senator has fallen hook, line and sailboat for the global warming bunkum, making approval appear iffy.

Environmentalists, who plan a White House pipeline protest next month, claim the extraction and combustion of such oil volumes would contribute catastrophically to global warming.

Unfortunately for that argument, it’s not like a pipeline defeat will keep that oil in Canadian soil. It will just be exported through another pipeline to the West Coast for sale to China, while alienating the United States’ best neighbor, closest ally and largest trading partner.

Both Republican congressional leaders sought to add approval pressure on Obama Tuesday. Said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“The President says he’s for an all-of-the-above approach to energy and now it’s time for him to live up to it. Nebraska has taken care of the issues the President raised when he denied the permit, so there’s no more room for excuses or delays and it should be expeditiously approved.”

Added House Speaker John Boehner:

“Nebraska’s approval of a new Keystone XL pipeline route means there is no bureaucratic excuse, hurdle, or catch President Obama can use to delay this project any further. He and he alone stands in the way of tens of thousands of new jobs and energy security.

“Every state along the proposed route supports this project, as does a bipartisan coalition in Congress and a majority of Americans. I recognize all the political pressure the president faces, but with our energy security at stake and many jobs in limbo, he should find a way to say yes.”

In his inaugural address Monday Obama gave numerous nods to his liberal base. “We will respond to the threat of climate change,” he said, “knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

His full text and a complete C-SPAN video are available here.

But the Democrat, who has only 1,458 days left in office, also called for large-scale investments in the nation’s infrastructure to stimulate new jobs and rebuild the country after a decade of war-drained finances.

Although Obama has never appeared bothered by adding some $6 trillion so far to the national debt, now north of $16.3 trillion, the job-creating pipeline expenditures would be private.

So, do you think Obama will choose to come down in favor of his jobs vow or his environmental vow?

Given Obama’s long record of, shall we say, flexible vow-keeping, the answer is most likely, Yes. (IBD)

🙂

After all, he raised the payroll tax on everyone but it was the same as 2 years ago so he didn’t “increase” it.
🙂

So expect doublespeak and much gnashing of someone elses teeth and blaming someone else for it.
That is only if they can’t just ignore it all together.
What does it Matter? 🙂
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Fair & Balanced

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

“I’d like to see his house burn, one of his millions of houses burning down.”

During an interview with the liberal website Mediaite, Joy Behar added, “Who’s he going to call, the Mormon fire patrol?”

JOY BEHAR: I would ask him plenty of questions about, is he planning to endorse the Ryan budget? And I think that would be a terrible mistake. I don’t want to see people on the streets begging for food, thank you.

BEHAR: Oh, less government? That is an idiotic statement. Can I just say that?

Now substitute, conservative and black/minority/gay  and see what would happen. 🙂
And you there you have the “New Tone” of “Civility” folks.
Oh, and she just replaced Keith Olbermann on Al Gore’s Current TV.
Enjoy! 🙂
*********

The news that the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious investigation, was met with silence from the Big Three (ABC, NBC, CBS) network news shows. There was no mention of the Holder hearings on Monday’s evening news shows or Tuesday’s morning shows.

The blackout of the Holder hearings continues a stunning trend. Since December 2010, when the Fast and Furious scandal first broke, there have been zero stories about the gunwalking scandal on NBC Nightly News and Today show. On ABC there was only one brief aired on Good Morning America. Only CBS has truly covered the story, mainly due to the work of one reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. Since Attkisson broke the gunwalking story, there have been a total of 30 full stories and 1 brief aired on CBS’s Evening News and This Morning programs.

Curiously, Attkisson’s stories on the gunwalking scandal have screeched to a halt.

From February 4 through this morning’s news there has been only one report (An Erica Hill brief on the May 3 This Morning) on the Fast and Furious controversy. It’s not as if Attkisson stopped paying attention, as she authored a story for CBSNews.com on Tuesday, but oddly her reporting did not make the air on that night’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.  

The following brief, aired on the May 3, 2012 CBS This Morning, represents the sum total of stories by the Big 3 on the Fast and Furious scandal in over a month:
ERICA HILL: There is new information this morning in the Fast and Furious gunwalking operation, first exposed last year by our own Sharyl Attkisson. Sources tell CBS News that today lawmakers will take the first formal step toward charging Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee accused Holder of obstructing their investigation. In Fast and Furious, U.S. officials allowed thousands of guns to flow from the U.S. into Mexico. Two of those guns were later found at the scene where a U.S. border patrol agent was murdered.

But don’t worry, they aren’t biased propagandists for the Liberal cause. They are “journalists” and they are “fair” and “balanced”. Just ask them…. 🙂
*******

‘Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda,” wrote Ryan Lizza in this week’s New Yorker. “The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change,” supposedly to “improve the world.”

So forget about the abysmal jobless numbers above 8% for over three years, or the $15 trillion deficit that threatens to turn the U.S. into Greece. No, amid those very real calamities, climate change is more important.

If this isn’t a sign of a president out of touch with reality, what is? If climate change is Obama’s “most important” policy issue, then neither the Tea-Party-led victories around fiscal discipline — such as the Wisconsin vote, nor the West Virginia primary, here 40% of Democrats chose a jailbird to protest Obama’s anti-coal agenda, made a dent on him.

Like a madman doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, it can only mean Obama intends to double-down on his green agenda if re-elected.

It’s the Agenda Stupid! He’ll be more “flexible”. 🙂

Has Obama learned nothing? The economy topped the voters’ list of concerns in 2009, but Obama bulled ahead with health care reform anyway.
Poll after poll since 2009 shows the public considers climate change dead last in importance. In 2012, Pew Research Center reported that 86% of the public considered the economy a top priority, and 82% considered jobs in that slot. Global warming ranked dead last at 25% — and that represented a 13% decline from 2007.(IBD)
The Agenda is the The Agenda!
The Voters and the American People be Damned!
So why do you wanna vote for this twit again?
*******alt
contrary to claims by the nation’s top elected duffer, private sector jobs are down 4.6 million in the last 52 months.While the number of federal government employees increased nearly a quarter-million paychecks, 11.4%, in the same period. This despite the Democrat candidate’s vow four years ago to go through every budget line-by-line. You betcha.

Private-sector jobs are still down by 4.6 million, or 4%, from January 2008, when overall employment peaked. Meanwhile government jobs are down just 407,000, or 1.8%. Federal employment actually is 225,000 jobs above its January 2008 level, an 11.4% increase. That’s right, up 11.4%.

Private payrolls have been trending higher in the last couple of years while government has been shedding staff. But that’s because governments did not cut jobs right away. Overall government employment didn’t peak until April 2009, 16 months after the recession started. It didn’t fall below their January 2008 level until September 2010.

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II. (Townhall)

One largely overlooked aspect of Obama’s Friday remarks was his plea that the nation needs to grow state and local governments to provide more jobs. Obama displayed his keen grasp of the Acme School of Economics by making his top stimulus spending idea increasing the size of governments. It isn’t working on the federal level, so maybe it will now in the states.

It’s easy to argue that Obama’s tunnel vision on government employment reflects his complete lack of experience in the business world. But it’s also mainstream Democratic thinking.

Just look at Joy Behar. 🙂

This increasingly desperate president’s election year economic policies are like deer-hunting with an AK-47 on automatic. Who knows? You might hit something.

After all,  Why does Obama think the private sector is “doing fine”? “We’ve seen record profits in the corporate sector.” And high corporate profits are good for tax revenues to pay for government programs and government jobs. That’s the main reason Obama cares about the private sector. (IBD)

And Democrats all want to tax (sorry “revenue”) you to death because after all, all we need to do is Spend Even More and Utopia awaits!

“People are poor and people are left behind because they do not have access to the free enterprise system.”–Senator Marco Rubio.

But don’t worry, everything is “fine”. Just ask the Media and the President. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

I Got Me a Fever!

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s320x320/579866_183524498442025_465097008_n.jpg

Welcome to Recovery Summer III: The Same Old Bovine Fecal Matter!

Employers added a paltry 69,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the least since May of last year, and 49,000 fewer jobs were created in the previous two months than had been thought, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 percent in April.

But don’t worry, the Media and the President have their spin already to go, after all they are perfect and everything’s fine. 🙂

“We’ve got responsibilities that are bigger than an election,” he said. “My message to Congress is now is not the time to play politics. Now is not the time to sit on your hands.”

Because it’s Congress’s Fault that every jobs bill that has been proposed by the republicans has been killed by the Democrats and the Democrats haven’t passed a Budget in over 3+ years!!

The average unemployment is now 40 weeks instead of 19 when Obama came into office and the sky was falling.

The economy “is growing again but it’s not growing as fast as we want,” -Obama.

This has been his soundbite for over 3 years now!

The White House says this economy isn’t really the president’s responsibility.

(But the Previous President is solely to blame for not only his administration but mine too!- Orwell Loves you Mr. President!)

On his way to a big-money fundraiser in Minnesota, President Obama told the employees of Honeywell, “our economy is still facing some serious headwinds” like the “crisis in Europe’s economy” that’s “starting to cast a shadow on our own as well.”

Last year it was Tsunami and Earthquake, Oil Spills, etc etc. ad nauseum.

Its take on what the Washington Post called a “dismal U.S. jobs report” as “businesses dramatically scaled back hiring,” was this from Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger:

“Today we learned that the economy has added private sector jobs for 27 straight months” — as if lukewarm net job growth that’s actually slower than the growth in the labor force should be a cause to break out the champagne in the biggest economy in the world.

Instead of blaming its failed trillion-dollar Keynesian stimulus, plus at least another trillion taking over the country’s health-insurance system, the White House disgracefully points a finger at its predecessor.

Rattling off job losses during the end of Bush’s second term, Krueger tells us, “We are still fighting back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” (IBD)

We are the victims of the evil Bush and you should cheer that we have done as much as we have against such great odds. After all, the Republicans are fighting us tooth-and-nail and “obstructing” everything  and we have to contend with those “racist” tea-baggers and all we we want to do is to save you from yourself and show how we are perfection incarnate! 🙂

ECONOMY-p1
The jobs report came a day after the government downgraded its estimate of economic growth in the first quarter to a 1.9% annual rate, down from 3% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Some analysts said they planned to lower expectations for growth in the current quarter. (WSJ)
“It’s quite possible this could just be the norm now for several months,” T.D. Bank economist Beata Caranci said. “We are in a cycle that is not built on strong foundations.”
And it’s all those Damn Republicans/Corporations/Rich/White people’s fault!! 🙂

“I believe that If we’re successful in this election, when we’re successful in this election, that the fever may break, because there’s a tradition in the Republican Party of more common sense than that. My hope, my expectation, is that after the election, now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again.”

“I believe that If we’re successful in this election, when we’re successful in this election, that the fever may break, because there’s a tradition in the Republican Party of more common sense than that. My hope, my expectation, is that after the election, now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again, that we can start getting some cooperation again.”

Obama said he expects that after his reelection, Congress will pass a balanced deficit reduction plan, a highway bill, immigration reform.

“My expectation is that if we can break this fever, that we can invest in clean energy and energy efficiency because that’s not a partisan issue.” (Buzzfeed pool report)

<<Barf Bag Overload!>>

President Obama has shelled out more in federal spending than the five presidents that came before him.-US News
So Mr “I’ve spent less than everyone else in 60 years” is as always full of himself and his bovine fecal matter. But don’t expect that to matter to him or the Media. They have there poll-tested meme and they’ll run with it.
So what if it’s a lie.
Like they care.
Then end justifies the means.
And the end is to win.
Period.
But don’t worry, Obama’s “all-in” Energy policies will save us.
Get your candles and horse-and-buggy, and solar egg warmer ready.
DISENFRANCHISING FUTURE DEMOCRATS
Previously on DOJ: The Illegal Voter Campaign Season 3
Florida election authorities are examining about 180,000 people who they say may not be U.S. citizens but are registered to vote in the state, an official said on Friday.

State officials are updating Florida’s voter rolls ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Florida is home to a large Latino population and is expected to be a critical swing state in the contest between Democratic President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Officials in Florida have so far identified more than 2,600 potential voters who may not be U.S. citizens and sent their information to local election authorities, Cate said.

Now:
The Justice Department sent a letter to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner Thursday evening demanding the state cease purging its voting rolls because the process it is using has not been cleared under the Voting Rights Act, TPM has learned.

DOJ also said that Florida’s voter roll purge violated the National Voter Registration Act, which stipulates that voter roll maintenance should have ceased 90 days before an election, which given Florida’s August 14 primary, meant May 16.

Five of Florida’s counties are subject to the Voting Rights Act, but the state never sought permission from either the Justice Department or a federal court to implement its voter roll maintenance program.

The person behind it:
Elise Shore. Ms. Shore came to the Voting Section by way of the “Southern Coalition for Social Justice,” where she worked as a legal consultant focusing on “voting rights, immigrant rights, and other civil rights and social justice issues.” The far left-wing positions of this group are nicely summarized on its website. Ms. Shore also made a $1,000 contribution to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

    Before joining the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, she worked for more than two years as a Regional Counsel for MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund]. There, she was an outspoken critic of Georgia’s voter ID law and well as its proof of citizenship requirements for voter registration (which, incidentally, have been found to be non-discriminatory by a federal court) and described how heartened she was that the Civil Rights Division had objected to the registration law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. But her joy must have been fleeting: the Division later capitulated and withdrew its objection after Georgia filed a federal declaratory judgment action. It will be interesting to see if Shore can put her politics to the side in her role as the Voting Section’s point of contact for all redistricting submissions in the state of Florida.

Not a trace of bias anywhere no is there… 🙂
No Cheating, dishonesty intended either… 🙂
Everything is perfect and straight forward….Exactly…. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Doubletalk and Doublethink

Keystone Hilarity Update:White House press secretary Jay Carney first says Republicans “forced” President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Later in his press briefing, Carney says Obama didn’t turn down the pipeline.

“In terms of Keystone, as you all know, the history here is pretty clear. And the fact is because Republicans decided to play political with Keystone, their action essentially forced the administration to deny the permit process because they insisted on a time frame in which it was impossible to completely approve the pipeline,” Carney said when asked about the pipeline by ABC News’ Jake Tapper.

Later in the briefing, Carney says it is the Republicans’ fault.

Jake Tapper: “How can you say that you have an all the above on approach if the President turned down the Keystone pipeline? And you blame the Republicans for making it political.”

Carney: “But the President didn’t turn down the Keystone pipeline.”

“There are no magic solutions to rising oil prices,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “The rising gas prices clearly the effect of a variety of factors on the global price of oil,” he told reporters, citing geopolitical unrest and rapid growth in India and China.

President George W. Bush was mostly attacked for wanting to drill too much (or being “cozy” with the oil industry), while President Obama’s policies are rooted in unilaterally shutting down the domestic oil industry amidst rising prices and a struggling economy.

I guess the gas prices have forced the Democrats  to start  to squirm so they have to go to the 2 page playbook– Page 1- It’s the Republicans fault, Page 2- It’s someone else’s fault other than ours.

“It’s Bush’s Fault” Just doesn’t work anymore. Besides they are too busy with “It’s NOT Obama’s Fault” Now.

Bush drew gallons of coverage in 2008. Comparing a 20-day span of rising gas prices in 2008 to 24 days of rising prices in February 2011, the Business & Media Institute found the networks did more than 2 ½ times as many stories during the Bush years versus Obama.

Unrest in the Mideast has hit American consumers hard, driving up gas prices that had already been above $3-a-gallon since Dec. 23. The national average for gasoline hit $3.36 on Feb. 28, the highest ever for the month of February according to The Associated Press. But the amount of network news coverage of rising gas prices did not reflect it.

All three broadcast networks together averaged just one story about rising gas prices per day. In contrast, when gas prices rose similarly in 2008, the networks averaged more than one story, per network, per day.

It took 24 days, from Feb. 1, to Feb. 24 for the national average for unleaded gasoline to climb from $3.101 to 3.228. The last comparable period of “eye-popping” gas prices: the 20 days between Feb. 21, 2008, and March 11, 2008, when the national average climbed from $3.086 to $3.227.

Some 2008 reports including the March 6, 2008, “Early Show” exaggerated the already rising prices by emphasizing extremely high prices. That morning CBS showed viewers a California gas pump that was charging $5.19-a-gallon for regular unleaded before mentioning the national average for that day, which was $2.02 lower. Some 2011 reports have reversed that trend by downplaying the impact of currently high gas prices on consumers by using words like “inching” to describe rising prices, or calling U.S. prices “a bargain compared to Europe.”

The Business & Media Institute examined all the broadcast network news reports mentioning gas prices during each of those time periods and found ABC, CBS and NBC aired more than 2 ½ times more stories (63 stories to 24) in 2008 than they did in 2011. (Newsbusters)

See: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/julia-seymour/2011/03/01/networks-link-bush-skyrocketing-gas-prices-15-times-more-obama

The liberal fascination with developing expensive vehicles that run on electricity doesn’t change that: 1) Solar or wind powered vehicles don’t commercially exist; 2) The cars that do run on electricity, or even battery-powered hybrids still require gas  and 3) the high cost of the alternatively fueled vehicles makes them largely insignificant in the auto market and cost-prohibitive to the average consumer. (Heritage)

But as I said yesterday, the Ministry of Truth has a lot of work to do.

But Obama and Company figure if you’re given no choice ,by refusing to do anything about raising gas prices and actively working against oil companies, you’ll be herded into buy a hybrid or electric car. Exactly what they want you to buy and that it will work, eventually and it’s what “feels” good to them. So it must be better than something they accused Bush of being– “Pro-Oil”.

Just like if they spend even money and tax “the rich” enough it will eventually work.

Just give them more time. 🙂

Get out the Barf Bag Folks:

“We’ve got to have a return to some homespun American values of fair play, shared responsibility. That’s who we are as a people,” President Obama said during a press event on the payroll tax cut extension.

“You know, when times are tough, Americans don’t give up. They push ahead. They do whatever it takes to make their lives better, their communities better, and their countries better. With or without Congress every day I’m going to be continuing to fight with them. I do hope Congress joins me. Instead of spending the coming months in a lot of phony political debates (Like 15 months on ObamaCare Mr President?), focusing on the next election (He’s been doing nothing except that since 2009), I hope that we spend some time focusing on middle-class Americans and those are struggling to get in the middle class (and they are the ones paying $38,500 a person to kiss my ass at events). We have a lot more work to do. Let’s do it,” Obama said. (Yeah, socialism is hard work!) 🙂

And the Weirdest Moment of this year so far:

Today, an election lawyer tipped us off to a Federal Election Commission filing for a brand new super PAC: The Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee.

The “eat the rich” and kill the Corporate people have the biggest Orwellian Doublethink in history, they are now a PAC, and will take money from “rich” people to defeat them because they are evil.

John Paul Thorton “Chief Principle Minister” of the PAC: We found it a little odd that Thornton, who decries corporate money in politics, is establishing a mechanism for raising unlimited corporate funds. “It does seem counterintuitive,” he said. “I am out to get the bloated amounts of money out of politics but to do that, we need to support candidates looking to do that.”

DOUBLETHINK: To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.

The world has truly gone insane but you aren’t supposed to notice.

So don’t tell anyone.

As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.

This Blog will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck…

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Welcome Back, 1970’s

Media reports in recent weeks say that Senate Democrats are considering a 3% surtax on income over $1 million to raise federal revenues. This would come on top of the higher income tax rates that President Obama has already proposed through the cancellation of the Bush era tax-rate reductions.

If the Democrats’ millionaire surtax were to happen—and were added to other tax increases already enacted last year and other leading tax hike ideas on the table this year—this could leave the U.S. with a combined federal and state top tax rate on earnings of 62%. That’s more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28% when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s.

Here’s the math behind that depressing calculation. Today’s top federal income tax rate is 35%. Almost all Democrats in Washington want to repeal the Bush tax cuts on those who make more than $250,000 and phase out certain deductions, so the effective income tax rate would rise to about 41.5%. The 3% millionaire surtax raises that rate to 44.5%.

moore

But payroll taxes, which are income taxes on wages and salaries, must also be included in the equation. So we have to add about 2.5 percentage points for the payroll tax for Medicare (employee and employer share after business deductions), which was applied to all income without a ceiling in 1993 as part of the Clinton tax hike. I am including in this analysis the employer share of all payroll taxes because it is a direct tax on a worker’s salary and most economists agree that though employers are responsible for collecting this tax, it is ultimately borne by the employee. That brings the tax rate to 47%.

Then last year, as part of the down payment for ObamaCare, Congress snuck in an extra 0.9% Medicare surtax on “high-income earners,” meaning any individual earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. This brings the total tax rate to 47.9%.

But that’s not all. Several weeks ago, Mr. Obama raised the possibility of eliminating the income ceiling on the Social Security tax, now capped at $106,800 of earnings a year. (Never mind that the program was designed to operate as an insurance system, with each individual’s payment tied to the benefits paid out at retirement.) Subjecting all wage and salary income to Social Security taxes would add roughly 10.1 percentage points to the top tax rate. This takes the grand total tax rate on each additional dollar earned in America to about 58%.

Then we have to factor in state income taxes, which on average add after the deductions from the federal income tax roughly another four percentage points to the tax burden. So now on average we are at a tax rate of close to 62%.

Democrats have repeatedly stated they only intend to restore the tax rates that existed during the Clinton years. But after all these taxes on the “rich,” we’re headed back to the taxes that prevailed under Jimmy Carter, when the highest tax rate was 70%.

Taxes on investment income are also headed way up. Suspending the Bush tax cuts, which is favored by nearly every congressional Democrat, plus a 3.8% investment tax in the ObamaCare bill (which starts in 2014) brings the capital gains tax rate to 23.8% from 15%. The dividend tax would potentially climb to 45% from the current rate of 15%.

Now let’s consider how our tax system today compares with the system that was in place in the late 1980s—when the deficit was only about one-quarter as large as a share of GDP as it is now. After the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986, which closed special-interest loopholes in exchange for top marginal rates of 28%, the highest combined federal-state marginal tax rate was about 33%. Now we may be headed to 62%. You don’t have to be Jack Kemp or Arthur Laffer to understand that a 29 percentage point rise in top marginal rates would make America a highly uncompetitive place.

What is particularly worrisome about this trend is the deterioration of the U.S. tax position relative to the rest of our economic rivals. In 1990, the highest individual income tax rate of our major economic trading partners was 51%, while the U.S. was much lower at 33%. It’s no wonder that during the 1980s and ’90s the U.S. created more than twice as many new jobs as Japan and Western Europe combined.

It’s true that the economy was able to absorb the Bush 41 and Clinton tax hikes and still grow at a very rapid pace. But what the soak-the-rich lobby ignores is how different the world is today versus the early 1990s. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, over the past two decades the average highest tax rate among the 20 major industrial nations has fallen to about 45%. Yet the highest U.S. tax rate would rise to more than 48% under the Obama/Democratic tax hikes. To make matters worse, if we include the average personal income tax rates of developing countries like India and China, the average tax rate around the world is closer to 30%, according to a new study by KPMG.

What all this means is that in the late 1980s, the U.S. was nearly the lowest taxed nation in the world, and a quarter century later we’re nearly the highest.

Despite all of this, the refrain from Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and most of the Democrats in Congress is our fiscal mess is a result of “tax cuts for the rich.” When? Where? Who? The Tax Foundation recently noted that in 2009 the U.S. collected a higher share of income and payroll taxes (45%) from the richest 10% of tax filers than any other nation, including such socialist welfare states as Sweden (27%), France (28%) and Germany (31%). And this was before the rate hikes that Democrats are now endorsing.

Perhaps there can still be a happy ending to this sad tale of U.S. decline. If there were ever a right time to trade in the junk heap of our federal tax code for a pro-growth Steve Forbes-style flat tax, now’s the time.

With economic malaise, you’d swear Jimmy Carter was President….

We can tax people to death and then spend it on the “poor” without end and everything will be great!  <wink wink>

And these business owners would be happy to hire you now… 😦

 

Social Security Foreclosure

Ever time you propose making changes in the “third rail” of politics, the entitlements,  that are destroying the country you get the hysterical Left going ape crazy.

Grandma will be homeless. Children will be starving in the streets… We’ll be African children with bones for bellies in seconds, ad nauseum.

We’ll get “specials” on how this person or that person will die because of heartless and cruel politicians.

The Liberal Media and the Left won’t bother to mention that THEY MADE THEM DEPENDENT in the first place.

Or that the whole thing is far beyond broken now.

REALITY CHECK (No Liberal will apply)

 

Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates.

The baby boomers who used to pull the wagon are starting to ride it. Now the Horses want the cart to pull them!!!

The problem with kicking the can down the road is that eventually, you run out of road. Social Security’s insolvency has been staring us in the face for a long time as politicians whistled past its fiscal graveyard. Now, with baby boomers retiring in a jobless recovery, the end is not near, it’s here.

The massive retirement program has been suffering from the effects of the struggling economy for several years. It first went into deficit last year but had been projected to post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into the red in 2016

This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors’ benefits than it collects in payroll taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. That figure nearly triples – to $130 billion – when the new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included.

Congress has promised to replenish any lost revenue from the tax cut, but that’s hardly good news, either, adding to the federal budget deficit. In another sobering estimate, the congressional office said government red ink this year will increase to $1.5 trillion, the most in U.S. history.

More than 54 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, averaging $1,076 per month.

By 2037, if nothing is done, Social Security would collect enough in payroll taxes to pay out only about 78% of promised benefits, according to the Social Security Administration.

So you pay in a dollar and you get .78 cents back, maybe. And it will get worse from there.

After all, Medicare and ObamaCare may have swallowed us all whole by then anyhow.

The outlook for the program has grown more sour as the nation has struggled to recover from the worst economic crisis since Social Security was enacted, during the Great Depression. In the short term, Social Security is suffering from the weak economy that has payroll taxes lagging and applications for benefits rising. In the long term, Social Security will be strained by the growing number of baby boomers retiring and applying for benefits.

The projected deficits add a sense of urgency to efforts to improve Social Security’s finances. For much of the past 30 years, the program has run big surpluses, which the government has borrowed to spend on other programs. Now that Social Security is running deficits, the federal government will have to find money elsewhere to help pay for benefits.

“So long as Social Security was running surpluses, policymakers could put off the need to fix the program,” said Andrew Biggs, a former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration who is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Now that the system is running deficits, it simply becomes clear that we need to act on Social Security reform.”

President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he wanted “a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations.”

The president however has not embraced recommendations from a debt commission he appointed last year, including one that would gradually increase the full retirement age, from 67 to 69, over the next 65 years.

But Obama did lay down some markers for making Social Security closer to solvent.

“We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities, without slashing benefits for future generations and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market,” Obama said.

The program has been supported by a 6.2 percent payroll tax, paid by both workers and employers. In December, Congress passed a one-year tax cut for workers, to 4.2 percent. The lost revenue is to be repaid to Social Security from general revenue funds, meaning it will add to the growing national debt.

Social Security has built up a $2.5 trillion surplus since the retirement program was last overhauled in the 1980s. Benefits will be safe until that money runs out. That is projected to happen in 2037 – unless Congress acts in the meantime. At that point, Social Security would collect enough in payroll taxes to pay out about 78 percent of benefits, according to the Social Security Administration.

The $2.5 trillion surplus, however, has been borrowed over the years by the federal government and spent on other programs. In return, the Treasury Department has issued bonds to Social Security, guaranteeing repayment, with interest.

“Social Security taxes are not going to pay for the spending, so it’s got to come from somewhere else,” said Eugene Steuerle, a former Treasury official who is now a fellow at the Urban Institute. “We can go through long arguments about whether its owed money by the trust funds or not, but that doesn’t alleviate the simple fact that it’s got to come from somewhere.”

Social Security supporters are adamant that the program will be repaid, just as the U.S. government repays others who invest in U.S. Treasury bonds.

“Its’ an IOU that is backed by Treasury bonds and the faith and credit of the United States government,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “It is the same faith and credit that enables us to borrow from rich people and from China and from other countries. As you well know, in the history of this country, the United States has never defaulted on one penny owed to a creditor.” (AP)

Sen. Sanders is an avowed Socialist by his own admission. So I take that he’s assurances with a grain of salt.

How about using that full faith and credit to support a plan to wean us off this Ponzi scheme and let younger workers invest their own money in a retirement account with their name on it and real money in it, a real asset that can be used for retirement and passed on to the next generation as an inheritance? (IBD)

But that’s too much responsibility and capitalism for the totalitarian and socialist Left.

No, they wanted to create a Guaranteed Retirement Account (aka raid all our 401ks to make yet another ponzi scheme to cover up the problems of THIS ponzi scheme).

Rep. Paul Ryan’s “roadmap” would let workers 55 and younger invest about a third of their Social Security tax into private accounts similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to members of Congress. It would include modest adjustments in benefit growth for higher-income Americans and gradual increases in the retirement age to reflect changes in life expectancy.

The nonpartisan Office of the Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration recently released its official score of the Social Security provisions of “A Roadmap for America’s Future.” They found Ryan’s plan would pay off the long-run actuarial deficit in Social Security while guaranteeing current and future retirees their full promised benefits.

It would also have the benefit of keeping the money in the private sector, where it couldn’t be spent on turtle tunnels but would be available for things like mortgage loans and investment capital for economic and job growth

But he’s an EVIL House Republican so he must a spawn of Satan out to drag grandma into the streets and starve your children and kick your dog all for the benefit of fat-cat millionaires!!!! Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! <<insert maniacal laughter>>

Or so the Left will cry and fiddle while Rome burns…

Political Cartoon


Putting Government First

I have not always had much love for Pat Buchanan, but this article he wrote recently is brilliant. So I give him props for it.

The Topic: the lastest bailout of Obama apparatchiks (even though they don’t call them bailouts anymore because they don’t “bailout” anyone anymore. I guess it depends on your definition of “bailout”) 🙂

Where a man’s purse is, there his heart will be also.

If you would know where the heart of the Obama party is today, consider. In the dog days of August, with temperatures in D.C. rising above 100, Nancy Pelosi called the House back to Washington to enact legislation that could not wait until September.

Purpose: Vote $26 billion to prevent layoffs of state, municipal and county employees whose own governments had decided they had to be let go if they were to meet their constitutional duty to balance their books.

Workers their own governments thought expendable, Congress decided were so essential, it borrowed another 26 thousand million dollars from China to keep them on state and local payrolls.

//

A nation whose national debt is approaching the size of its gross national product, that goes abroad to borrow money to keep non-essential workers on government payroll is a nation on the way down and out.

And anyone who thinks this Obama party is ever going to cull the armies of tens of millions of government workers or scores of millions of government beneficiaries to put America’s house in order is deluding himself.

As long as this Congress and White House remain in power, a U.S. default on its national debt is inevitable. The only question is when.

Nor is this the first time the Obama administration has rushed to save workers whom their own state, city and county governments were prepared to let go. Among the reasons the $800 billion stimulus failed is that so little of it was directed to firing up the locomotive of the economy, the private sector, and so much of it was spent to ensure that government workers did not have to share in the national sacrifice.

Why Pelosi & Co felt compelled to return to D.C., to ensure that state and local government payrolls were not pared, is not hard to understand.

Which party does the American Federation of Teachers; the National Education Association; and the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees usually contribute to, work for, vote for? At which of the two party conventions are teachers and government employees hugely over-represented?

Consider, too, the states deepest in debt and facing the largest cuts in employee ranks, pay and benefits: California, Illinois, New York.

In these states, public employees earn at least $10,000 per year more in pay and benefits than the average America worker, who is bailing them out.

Hence, we have a situation where private sector workers in Middle America are being taxed, their children being driven ever deeper into debt to China, so government employees who have greater job security than they do, and earn more in pay and benefits than they will ever earn, can stay in Fat City.

And folks wonder why so many Americans detest government.

In the same week Congress came back to prevent AFSCME from taking a haircut, the Wall Street Journal reported that, in 2009, only three of 52 metro areas with over 1 million in population saw “net earnings and the broader measure of personal income both rise.”

Are you surprised to learn Washington, D.C., was among the three?

That same day, USA Today had a startling report on how, during the last decade, U.S. Government workers, like Wall Street bankers, left their fellow Americans in the dust.

“Federal workers have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years in a row. The compensation gap between federal and private workers has doubled in the past decade.

“Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation. … The Federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.”

Remarkable. U.S. government workers, who enjoy the greatest job security of any Americans, now earn twice as much in pay and benefits as the average American. This is not the D.C. some of us grew up in.

Nor is this all Obama’s doing. For most of the fat years of the federal work force came while Washington was being run by a Congress of Big-Government Conservatives and a White House of Bush-Cheney Republicans.

No wonder the tea party is targeting both parties.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to believe that the Obamaites, who intervened twice and massively with bailouts to prevent minor layoffs of local and state government employees, have the stomach to do the major surgery needed to cut the federal monolith down to size.

For the vast majority of the tens of millions of government workers vote Democratic, as do the vast majority of the scores of millions of beneficiaries of federal, state and local programs.

What Pelosi & Co. were saying with that $26 billion bailout this week is, “We are going to protect our own.”

Which is why either Obama, Pelosi, Reid & Co. go, or we are gone. (Human events).

Brilliantly said.

Especially, in light of the “payment” for that government employee bailout was to raid Food Stamps in 2014.

What I called a few days ago a the Wimpy (from Popeye) style economics. I will pay you in four years (china) for the burger (bailout) today.

A bailout several states didn’t even need or want!

It’s largess for everyone in government, on the tax payers paid for by China. (Do you actually think in 2014 with the Health Care Mandate kicking people in the teeth that they will cut Food Stamps? Yeah right…)

Obama has to protect his apparatchiks though.

Screw everyone else.