Freedom Day 2

Tens of millions of Americans are once again writing checks to the federal government for their taxes. Even those who get refunds likely spent time and money filling out their returns. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone, on either side of the aisle, who enjoys the way our tax system works.

So here’s something that will make you even more frustrated. Forget about April 15 entirely. Instead, try calculating how long it takes you to earn enough money to pay your total tax bill for the year.

The experts at the Tax Foundation did just that. They found that Americans don’t earn enough money to pay the nation’s tax burden until April 24 — 114 days into the year.

This date has been dubbed “Tax Freedom Day,” but there’s nothing to celebrate. It is just a reminder that it takes Americans roughly a third of the year to earn the total $4.85 trillion that we owe to the tax man. Even when you combine the cost of food, clothing and housing, Americans still haven’t spent as much as we’re giving to the government.

Taxpayers in some states have it better than others. While the national “Tax Freedom Day” is held on April 24, Louisiana celebrates it on April 2. South Dakota’s version is on April 8. Fourteen states actually pass this milestone before April 15 even rolls around.

Others aren’t so lucky. At the other end of the spectrum, 15 states fall after the national average of April 24. The high-tax states of Massachusetts, California, New York and New Jersey round off the list. Taxpayers in last-place Connecticut aren’t free until May 13.

No matter where you live, Americans are working longer to pay for the cost of government. Tax Freedom Day 2015 is three days later than it was in 2014 — and that was three days later than it was in 2013.

Every year, we have less money to spend in our local communities. Every year, we can’t save as much for a down payment on a house, our kids’ college education or our retirement. And every year, it’s harder to invest wisely and plan for the future.

So where is this money going? Of the $4.85 trillion that Americans are expected to pay in taxes this year, one-third — $1.5 trillion — will find its way to local government or state capitals. The rest — $3.3 trillion — winds up in Washington, D.C.

That’s no small amount. It’s actually the biggest tax haul the IRS has ever pulled in. It’s more money than the entire economy of Germany — the fourth biggest economy in the world. But it’s still not enough to pay for all of the government’s planned spending for the year.

In fiscal year 2015, the federal government is expected to run a $486 billion budget shortfall. This will increase the national debt from $18.1 trillion to over $18.5 trillion.

No wonder Tax Freedom Day keeps getting pushed back — we have to pay for years of politicians’ broken promises. Thanks to both parties, the national debt has more than doubled, from nearly $8 trillion to $18.1 trillion today, in just the past 10 years. Taxes are going to keep getting higher as long as Washington continues overspending our hard-earned money.

Now it’s up to you and me to stop politicians from making this situation worse. Congress is currently debating the fiscal year 2016 budget. By September, legislators have to decide whether to stick to the Budget Control Act, a bipartisan bill that became law in 2011. It set the levels for discretionary spending — the third of the budget that isn’t spent on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — until 2021.

Those levels are keeping parts of the budget from growing even faster. But some members of both parties now want to abandon the Budget Control Act. They’re essentially arguing that Washington should add even more to the national debt, which you and I will have to pay eventually.

Remember that this week. Whether you’re getting a refund or writing a check to the IRS, we should all tell our representatives in Washington to stick to the modest bipartisan spending levels established in the Budget Control Act. If we don’t limit Washington’s overspending, Tax Freedom Day is only going to get later every year. (IBD)

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

 

Re-Volting Developments After Christmas

Sen. Pat Toomey: “By their standards, the liberal Democrats have had a remarkably successful first half of Obama’s presidency. … So they have had this huge expansion of government, and what do they want to do now? They just want to lock in the funds to pay for it all.”

*********

The Audi president called the Chevy Volt a “car for idiots,” but because the average Volt owner earns $170,000 a year and the average American couldn’t afford to buy it if they wanted to, it sounds more like the taxpayers are the ones who have been played for fools:

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

And a Democrat dominated Union- The UAW- is largely in control.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involed in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs. The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.

The Obama administration has started to unleash part of a planned $69 billion to thousands of clean-energy companies—through tax credits, loans, and grants—as well as to consumers, with a $7500 federal tax break for buying a car that has at least 16 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy stored in a battery pack. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion pack contains exactly that amount?
[…]

That would mean each of the 6,000 Volts sold would be subsidized between $50,000 and $250,000, depending on how many government subsidy milestones are realized.

If those manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824. For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power. The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.
The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.

So you have a car that cost $40,000 to buy and as much as $250,000 to produce. Now that’s efficiency!!

“It just goes to show  there are certain folks that will spend anything to get their vision of what people should do,” said State Representative Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. “It’s a glaring example of the failure of central planning trying to force citizens to purchase something they may not want. … They should let the free market make those decisions.”

“This might be the most government-supported car since the Trabant,” said Hohman, referring to the car produced by the former Communist state of East Germany.

And this the care that isn’t even really an electric car anyhow. It goes 40 stinking miles before the fossil fuel politically incorrect engine kicks in. And because of the massive lack of charging stations you get to recharge it (driving up electrical usage).

Once welfare systems,  are put into practice, it’s very difficult to get rid of them. Why? Because once you start giving people “free” money, they’re very reluctant to give it up.

Truth.

***********

TSA UPDATE

Congress is set to give the green light on funding for a massive expansion of TSA checkpoints, with the federal agency already responsible for over 9,000 such checkpoints in the last year amidst increased fears America is turning into a police state following the passage of the ‘indefinite detention’ bill.

The increase in funding has nothing to do with the TSA’s role in airports – this is about creating 12 more VIPR teams to add the federal agency’s 25 units that are already scattered across the country and responsible for manning checkpoints on highways, in bus and train terminals, at sports events and even high school prom nights.

“The TSA’s 25 “viper” teams — for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response — have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more teams next year,”

A Massachusetts woman who flew home from Las Vegas this week says an airport security officer took her frosted cupcake because he thought its vanilla-bourbon icing could be a “security risk.”

Rebecca Hains told ABCNews.com today that a Transportation Security Administration agent at Las Vegas- McCarran International Airport confiscated her cupcake, saying the frosting sitting atop the red velvet cake was gel-like enough to violate regulations.

The incident took place Wednesday.

Hains, a teacher, said the cupcake was a gift from one of her students. She was traveling with her husband and toddler, and thought her young son might get hungry on the long trip home.

The cupcake was packaged in a glass container with a metal lid, which was why it attracted the attention of the scanner in the first place.

The TSA agent didn’t know what to do with the cupcake, so she called over her supervisor, Hains said.

“The TSA supervisor, Robert Epps, was using really bad logic – he said it counted as a gel-like substance because it was conforming to the shape of its container.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon get unsolicited advice from a group of U.S. government scientists that claim fencing along the Mexican border threatens the black bear population.

The esteemed researchers recently published a study warning that the border wall erected to protect the country from illegal immigration and drug smuggling is an obstacle that blocks bears in migration. This may threaten the black bear population in parts of Arizona, they say.

The bear study is simply the latest of many to make a case against the southern border fence in the name of preserving wildlife. A number of others have made similar arguments, some even claiming that the barrier will lead to the extinction of certain species of wildlife.

But not the extinction of the threat of Illegals and Drug Cartels…. 🙂

Merry After Xmas a Happy New Year! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

On the Wrong Track

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Arlington, VA – This afternoon the Treasury Department released the Monthly Treasury Statement for November. The report shows the U.S. ran a $137 billion deficit last month. For the second month of the fiscal year, the federal government took in $152 billion, and spent $290 billion.

Gretchen Hamel, Executive Director of Public Notice, said the following:

For the past 38 consecutive months the government has spent more than it brought in. Everyone but Congress knows that Washington has a chronic overspending problem.

“Sadly, in the nation’s capital, this report has become routine.  The American people, however, should be outraged by this latest evidence of Washington’s total lack of accountability and regard for hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

“As the year winds down, Americans will look back and try to see what worked and what didn’t, and resolve to do better in the New Year.  Let’s hope Congress recognizes that 2011 has been a fiscal disaster and that it must do better in 2012.”

For years, Barack Obama has diverted attention from his own economic decisions by blaming his predecessor, George W. Bush, for the nation’s financial woes, from deficits to debts to taxes to Medicare and Medicaid spending.

But that strategy has reached the end of its effectiveness, according to a new poll that reveals more people blame Obama for the failed state of the economy now than blame Bush.

A new poll from the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies shows that 22.3 percent of registered voters say Obama is the “one person” most responsible for the nation’s continuing economic troubles.

To the same question, 19.1 percent said George W. Bush. But critical to the coming 2012 election will be the fact that of the independents, on whose votes elections often are decided, nearly 23 percent blame Obama and only 15.5 percent blame Bush. The independents put in second place members of Congress, which is half controlled by Democrats, the poll revealed, ahead of Bush.

Pollster Fritz Wenzel pointed out the scenarios that the White House is facing because of the thinking of the American public.

“Because blame of the Congress is split equally between the Democrats who lead the Senate and Republicans who lead the U.S. House, Obama’s efforts to blame Congress for all of the problems facing the country will backfire by at least 50 percent,” Wenzel said.

“Obama’s current campaign strategy could appear to be particularly selfish, having the ironic effect of killing his support among fellow Democrats in Congress, who will no doubt resent his efforts to sell them out to save his own political skin,” he added.

“At the very least, with twice as many Democratic seats than Republican seats up for grabs [in] next year’s Senate elections, this Obama strategy may well assure that Democrats lose control of the Senate, and is unlikely to result in a Democratic takeover in the U.S. House,” he said.

The poll showed that 22.3 percent of registered voters (35.7 percent of Republicans and 22.9 percent of independents) blame Obama as the most responsible for the current economic conditions. A little more than 19 percent blame Bush and 18.3 percent blame Congress.

The poll shows 11.5 percent blame the Democratic Congress of 2009, 11.2 percent blame Wall Street and 10.1 percent blame the U.S. House. Trailing was the Democrat-led U.S. Senate.

“Finally, he is the one now blamed more than any other for the current miserable state of the economy,” Wenzel said.

A full 74.9 percent of independents believe America is on the wrong track, trailing the 85 percent of the Republicans by only a little. Only 12 percent of independents and 7 percent of Republicans think the nation is on the right track.(Wenzel)

Among those who described themselves as “very liberal,” more than one-third (37.3 percent) said the nation is on the wrong track. That opinion rose in every other category (liberal, moderate, conservative, very conservative).

An overwhelming 64 percent of people surveyed said big government was the biggest threat to the country, compared to just 26 percent who said big business is their gravest concern and 8 percent who picked big labor. (Gallup)

But take heart ye of little faith:

The 2012 federal budget deficit is slated to drop by 0.0004 percent following the decision by Vice President Joe Biden to reducing production of surplus Presidential dollar coins to minimal levels.

Baby steps, Joe, Baby steps… 🙂

More than 1.4 billion surplus $1 coins coins have been produced by the U.S. Mint since passage of a 2005 act requiring their production, at an annual cost of roughly $50 million.

Biden announced the news today as part of a high profile effort to curb waste and fraud in government.

“Today’s announcements — from putting an end to the wasteful production of Presidential dollar coins to recovering over $5 billion in fraud — demonstrates the administration’s continued commitment to cutting waste and protecting taxpayers,” Biden said.

By extension, Biden’s announcement also halts production of equally unwanted “Native American $1 coins,” which are mandated by a 2009 law to make up 20 percent of presidential dollar production.

President Obama was unable to attend Biden’s coin-tossing event because he was attending a fundraiser near Capitol Hill.

Isn’t that what he does ever day? It’s not like he’s a Leader of a Country or anything… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

 

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 

Teachable Moment

More words of wisdom and encouragement in these dark times from our Dear Leader: “We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge,” President Obama said at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Strauss (the chief engineer of the Golden Gate) spent more than a decade drumming up support in Northern California. The bridge faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources. The Department of War was concerned that the bridge would interfere with ship traffic; the navy feared that a ship collision or sabotage to the bridge could block the entrance to one of its main harbors. Unions demanded guarantees that local workers would be favored for construction jobs. Southern Pacific Railroad, one of the most powerful business interests in California, opposed the bridge as competition to its ferry fleet and filed a lawsuit against the project, leading to a mass boycott of the ferry service.

Sound vaguely familiar… 🙂

Finance

The Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District, authorized by an act of the California Legislature, was incorporated in 1928 as the official entity to design, construct, and finance the Golden Gate Bridge. However, after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the District was unable to raise the construction funds, so it lobbied for a $30 million bond measure (in 2011 that would be $530 Billion). The bonds were approved in November 1930, by votes in the counties affected by the bridge. The construction budget at the time of approval was $27 million. However, the District was unable to sell the bonds until 1932, when Amadeo Giannini, the founder of San Francisco–based Bank of America, agreed on behalf of his bank to buy the entire issue in order to help the local economy.

Oh no! Not an evil rich banker!!! 🙂

Now that’s a Teachable moment. Bet our Dear Leader doesn’t even slightly care.

You are incompetent and can’t do anything without him or his big government machine.

In keeping with his new campaign theme of “we can’t wait,” President Obama today will roll out a plan to put more money in the pockets of some of the nation’s 36 million student loan recipients.

He has to bribe them into voting for him this time around. Bribe them with taxpayer money that is. Of course, it’s easy for him to do it since the government took over the loan process back in 2009.

But Obama is now seeking to use that new power to obtain a taxpayer-financed stimulus that Congress won’t approve. The idea is to cap student loan repayment rates at 10 percent of a debtor’s income that goes above the poverty line, and then limiting the life of a loan to 20 years.

Take this example: If Suzy Creamcheese gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, her repayment schedule will be based on what she earns. If Suzy opts to heed the president’s call for public service (and not be an evil “rich” person like him), and takes a job as a city social worker earning $25,000, her payments would be limited to $1,411 a year after the $10,890 of poverty-level income is subtracted from her total exposure.

Twenty years at that rate would have taxpayers recoup only $28,220 of their $212,000 loan to Suzy.

Sounds like time for Whattsamatta U. instead 🙂
More sound economics and personal responsibility from our Dear Leader.  I guess the “rich” will have to be taxed even more to make up for the losses.
As in the housing bubble, cheap credit on easy terms increases the amount of money chasing the product (in this case a diploma) allowing schools to increase prices (everyone should go to Ivy League schools even if you can’t afford it- sounds familiar somehow? :)). This inflation makes it harder for middle-class families to afford paying their own tuitions, driving them into the government financing program, which, you guessed it, drives up costs further still.

And is controlled by: The Federal Government!! 🙂
The best part for Obama is that he can obligate the Treasury without Congressional approval thanks to the passage of what he described as a cost-saving measure in 2009. (FOX)

TA-DA!

Krauthammer: “It’s entirely incoherent,” Charles Krauthammer said of Obama’s plan to pay down student loans. “I’m not sure if those savings are real, where are they? What he spoke about today was tweaking the student loan program, which he now controls. In a way, it’s rather astonishing. The numbers were run by an economics correspondent today in The Atlantic magazine. And It turns out what he is offering the students is between $4.50 and $7.70 a month of relief.”

Now these are students that he addressed today and spoke about their carrying an average of $25,000 in loans. So what he’s saying is ‘I’m going to save you, I’m going to give you a quarter of a part of it back a month. This is keeping with all of the promises he has been making in the last campaign tour in which he promised relief to homeowners in a program which has already failed. And now he is doing it on student loans. If his audience had known how minuscule is the benefit, he would have been laughed out of that auditorium.

If at first you don’t succeed, do it exactly the same again! and fail, fail again!
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

It’s All Politics Folks!

The Obama campaign sent out an email today asking supporters to urge Congress to at least vote on the president’s jobs bill almost immediately after Democratic majority leader Harry Reid blocked a vote on the bill in the Senate.

On the Senate floor today, Republican leader Mitch McConnell asked for unanimous consent to proceed on voting on the bill. Reid, who has struggled to find enough votes for the bill in the Democratic caucus, objected to the motion and killed the opportunity for a vote. 

About ten minutes later, Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, emailed this message to supporters:

President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already.

Though it’s been nearly a month since he laid out this plan, House Republicans haven’t acted to pass it. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won’t even put the jobs package up for a vote — ever.

It’s not clear which part of the bill they now object to: building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work. They’re willing to block the American Jobs Act — and they think you won’t do anything about it.

But here’s something you can do: Find Republican members of Congress on Twitter, call them out, and demand they pass this bill.

So will the Obama campaign be asking its supporters to “call out” Harry Reid and “demand” he and Senate Democrats pass the bill?

So they want the bill passed now, they just don’t want the bill passed NOW!. Hilarious!

It just proves that the bill was not designed to be passed by Congress but to blame the Republicans for NOT passing it. A purely partisan political maneuver rather than an actual plan.

Fascinating. And very typical of the Left and Obama. Cheap political points and childish “gotcha” moments over anything that’s actually serious.

The legislative gambit will not bar a Senate vote on the bill later this month, but it blunts a Democratic effort to maneuver the GOP into accepting sole responsibility for blocking the package that includes provisions that are popular with voters.

McConnell noted that Obama has asked Congress for an immediate vote on the measure at least 12 separate times.

“I want to disabuse [Obama] of the notion that we are somehow unwilling to vote” on the bill, McConnell said.

Reid objected to McConnell’s request. He used a procedural tactic to block amendments to the bill. “To tack this on to the China currency manipulation legislation is nothing more than a political stunt,” he said. (Weekly Standard)

So was the “pass the bill” crap. But that was their stunt and wasn’t a stunt because they were doing it. 🙂

But it’s nice to see the Republicans doing something other than rolling over and “compromising”.

Oh, and by the way–Eric Holder was warned about Fast & Furious over a year ago. Just thought you’d like to know that “justice” and truth is alive and well in the Obama Administration. 🙂

New documents obtained by news organizations show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

Internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.

In Fast and Furious, ATF agents allegedly allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

It’s called letting guns “walk,” and it remained secret to the public until Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered last December. Two guns from Fast and Furious were found at the scene, and ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.

Ever since, the Justice Department has publicly tried to distance itself. But the new documents leave no doubt that high level Justice officials knew guns were being “walked.”

Oh, and President Obama knew about Solyndra’s potential financial problems BEFORE he even endorsed them but did it anyways for politics and his agenda.

New e-mails released Monday show the White House was warned about Solyndra’s potential problems even before President Obama visited the company’s Fremont, Calif., headquarters and used it as a backdrop for his push for renewable energy investment and green jobs.

“A number of us are concerned that the president is visiting Solyndra,” Steve Westly, managing partner of Westly Group, wrote in an e-mail to Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett on May 24, 2010, a day before the president’s well publicized trip to Solyndra. “[T]here is an increasing concern about the company because their auditors, Coopers and Lybrand, have issued a ‘going concern’ letter … Many of us believe the company’s cost structure will make it difficult for them to survive long term.”

“I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” Westly wrote. “If it’s too late to change/postpone the meeting, the president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.”

“DOE … has one loan guarantee to monitor and they seem completely oblivious to this issue,” one OMB analyst said to another in an April 2, 2010, email.

“What’s terrifying is that after looking at some of the ones that came next, this one [Solyndra] started to look better,” another OMB e-mail exchange said of Solyndra. “Bad days are coming.” (National Journal)

President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan.

According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 jobs. The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds. (DC)

Amy Oliver of Colorado’s conservative Independence Institute said one way to look at these potential “green jobs” shortcomings is that the NREL is exaggerating its claims. Oliver told The Daily Caller that the government-funded lab has seen a surge in government funding in recent years.

“Their funding for 2008 was $328 million,” Oliver said in a phone interview. “In 2010 it was $536.5 million. They’ve had a 64 percent increase in their funding during the Obama administration.”

And it’s doing so well! Lots of money down a rat hole and more people get laid off. The perfect Obama plan. 🙂

Candidate Obama pledged in 2008 that he would add 5 million green jobs to the economy, but Republican lawmakers in Washington, D.C. now say the White House has stretched what it defines as a “green job” in order to pad its numbers.

At one recent House oversight committee hearing, Republicans prodded Obama’s Labor secretary Hilda Solis to explain why a bus driver who happens to drive a vehicle powered by “green” or “renewable” energy is classified by Obama administration officials as holding a “green job.” Solis struggled with the answer, instead arguing with Florida GOP Rep. Connie Mack, who asked her the question.

Oliver told TheDC that ordinary jobs with peripheral connections to  “renewable energy” are frequently misclassified as “green jobs” in Colorado. With Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter in charge, a strong environmental lobby using local, state and federal government to protect its interests, and news media unwilling to push for answers, Oliver said progressive causes have abused taxpayer dollars at institutions like NREL for years.

The Agenda is The Agenda and reality be damned!
And we have a new class of “saved or created”  ‘green’ Jobs to fudge up the number and puff up the Administration.
Gee, that’s never happened before!!! 🙂
And if you think they don’t want to cover up their skeletons:

In an obvious effort to protect President Barack Obama, a group of congressional Democrats has introduced legislation to create an official process that will allow the commander-in-chief to keep presidential records secret after he leaves office.

Ironically, Obama revoked <http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrderPresidentialRecords> a similar George W. Bush order in one of his first official acts as president.

That’s far more important than Obama’s “jobs Bill”. 🙂
Isn’t politics, especially on the left, fun. 🙂

The political left has turned obesity among low-income individuals into an argument that low-income people cannot afford nutritious food, and so have to resort to burgers and fries, pizzas and the like, which are more fattening and less healthful. But this attempt to salvage something from the “hunger in America” hoax collapses like a house of cards when you stop and think about it.

Burgers, pizzas and the like cost more than food that you can buy at a store and cook yourself. If you can afford junk food, you can certainly afford healthier food. An article in the New York Times of September 25th by Mark Bittman showed that you can cook a meal for four at half the cost of a meal from a burger restaurant. So far, so good. But then Mr. Bittman says that the problem is “to get people to see cooking as a joy.” For this, he says, “we need action both cultural and political.” In other words, the nanny state to the rescue!

It’s very true that the boxed meals are more expensive than doing it yourself. Fast Food and convenience foods are more expensive in the long run. But making your own food is more time consuming and requires more labor and some skill. Now, does that sound like something a Liberal wants to do when they can just mandate that the government force everyone else to do it for them? 🙂

An arrogant elite’s condescension toward the people — treating them as children who have to be jollied along — is one of the poisonous problems of our time. It is at the heart of the nanny state and the promotion of a debilitating dependency that wins votes for politicians while weakening a society.

Those who see social problems as requiring high-minded people like themselves to come down from their Olympian heights to impose their superior wisdom on the rest of us, down in the valley, are behind such things as the hunger hoax, which is part of the larger poverty hoax.

We have now reached the point where the great majority of the people living below the official poverty level have such things as air-conditioning, microwave ovens, either videocassette recorders or DVD players, and own either a car or a truck.

Why are such people called “poor”? Because they meet the arbitrary criteria established by Washington bureaucrats. Depending on what criteria are used, you can have as much official poverty as you want, regardless of whether it bears any relationship to reality.

Those who believe in an expansive, nanny state government need a large number of people in “poverty” to justify their programs. They also need a large number of people dependent on government to provide the votes needed to keep the big nanny state going.

Politicians, welfare state bureaucrats and others have incentives to create or perpetuate hoaxes, whether about poverty in general or hunger in particular. The high cost to taxpayers is exceeded by the even higher cost of lost opportunities for fulfillment in their lives by those who succumb to the lure of a stagnant life of dependency. (thomas sowell)

But it’s “fair” that the not-poor pay for the poor. That the rich be taken down to benefit the rest of us, right? 🙂

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs)–Karl Marx

And it’s not “fair” that others get more than me. So what if they work harder, longer and are smarter than me. That’s just not “fair”.

It’s all THEIR fault! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Political Cartoons by Bob GorrellPolitical Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
And he’s black! Now that will REALLY annoy the Left! 🙂


The Collective

“If you say that we should not educate children who come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought their through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said. “We need to be educating these children because they will become a drag on our society. I think that’s what Texans wanted to do. Out of 181 members of the Texas legislature when this issue came up [there were] only four dissenting votes. This was a state issue. Texas voted on it. And I still support it today.”

Sounds like an Open Borders Liberal to me.

I have no allegiance to a candidate at this time. Perry’s Pro-Illegal stance makes me mad. RomneyCare makes me made. And this is the best the Republicans can do??

Good Grief. We’re Doomed…

Liberal Economist God, Paul Krugman: we have the claim that the rich have the right to keep their money — which misses the point that all of us live in and benefit from being part of a larger society.

The community comes first. Not the individual. The Collective comes first.

Thanks comrade.

Liberal Elizabeth Warren (whom Obama wanted for The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is a (D) from Massachusetts):  “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,”

No individual can succeed merely on their own.

“Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group — whether to a race, class or state does not matter. Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called ‘the common good’.” — Ayn Rand

Sound Familiar?

Sound American or Soviet? You decide.

“Individualism regards man — every man — as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.  Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful co-existence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights — and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.” — Ayn Rand

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”–Ayn Rand

“Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others.” — Jarret B. Wollstein in The Causes of Aggression

“A social system is a code of laws which men observe in order to live together. Such a code must have a basic principle, a starting point, or it cannot be devised. The starting point is the question: Is the power of society limited or unlimited?
    “Individualism answers: The power of society is limited by the inalienable, individual rights of man. Society may make only such laws as do not violate these rights.
    “Collectivism answers: The power of society is unlimited. Society may make any laws it wishes, and force them upon anyone in any manner it wishes.” — Ayn Rand

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence. So which are we, and which should we be?

And our favourite fat ass rags-to-riches Millionaire Liberal (who came from working in a Flint,Mi local paper to a Hollywood Filmmaker): “The smart rich know they can only build the gate so high. And, and, sooner or later history proves that people when they’ve had enough aren’t going to take it anymore. And much better to deal with it nonviolently now, through the political system, than what could possibly happen in the future, which nobody wants to see,” Michael Moore said on Current TV’s “Countdown” program.

Moore was alluding to riots, which he was discussing with “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann prior to his comment to deal with things nonviolently now.

Was that a Threat? Probably. But it shows that Liberals are capable of anything if they don’t get their way.

So we have to repent and all bow down to the Collective and let the government guide our miserable and worthless lives or else the Liberals will riot and take it by force.

Gee, talk about a false choice.

Lawyers should be allowed to win financial damages from companies that refuse to hire unemployed people, according to a coalition of Democratic legislators, progressive advocates and entrepreneurial trial lawyers.

The existence of even a few advertisements excluding unemployed applicants in the national marketplace justifies a federal law creating a novel market for legal skills, say the advocates.

“We don’t know for sure how extensive it is … [but] if it is on one [job advertisement] website, that’s too extensive for me,” the bill’s chief backer, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, told the TheDC.

The advocacy campaign was kicked into gear by the National Employment Law Project, a union-led advocacy group.

Law firms, however, see potential revenue amid the recession.

“We represent employes and people looking for work,” said Marilyn Widman, a partner at the law firm Allotta, Farley and Widman, based in Toledo, Ohio. The proposed law would forbid companies from openly barring unemployed applicants, but it would also allow lawyers to investigate companies that may be discriminating, she said during a joint phone press conference with Brown.

“If it a appears from all the facts that someone’s unemployment was a factor [in that person not being hired], there would be a cause of action,” and the company could be required to compensate the applicant and pay additional damages, she said.

“When businesses are investing money to hire lawyers, that’s money they’re not using to grow their businesses and create jobs,” Saltsman said.

The controversy, he said, also gives false hopes to unemployed people. “It is false hope for somebody who is unemployed, or for a country that is grappling with the fact that our labor market has not recovered.” For politicians dealing with unemployed constituents, “it is a diversionary tactic to … another topic of conversation,” said Saltsman.

Can’t win an argument, hire a lawyer to sue them into submission. Sounds like a Liberal.
Can’t get a job, sue the employer that’ll make ’em hire you!
So the reason you can’t get a job is the employer’s fault, not the fault of over-regulation, uncertainty, and a government out to get businesses anyway they can.
Damn those evil rich people! 🙂
So vote for me, the guy’s an asshole protecting the rich, the businesses and screwing you. The fact that I’m screwing you even worse doesn’t matter. It’s all a matter of perception anyhow. 🙂

Michelle Malkin: President Obama still hasn’t learned the classic First Rule of Holes: When you’re in one, stop digging. Up to his earlobes in failed stimulus grants and tainted federal loan guarantees, the shoveler in chief tunneled forward this week on his latest Government Loans to Nowhere bill. His willful ignorance is America’s abyss.

Little noticed in the White House jobs-for-cronies proposal is a provision creating yet another corruption-friendly “government corporation” that would dole out public infrastructure loans and loan guarantees.

Because, you know, the government-chartered, political hack-stacked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “public-private partnerships” — which have incurred an estimated $400 billion in losses while enriching bipartisan Beltway operatives — worked out so well for American taxpayers.

The new monstrosity, dubbed the “American Infrastructure Financing Authority” (AIFA), would “provide direct loans and loan guarantees to facilitate investment in economically viable infrastructure projects of regional or national significance,” according to the White House plan.

President Obama would have the power to appoint AIFA’s chief executive officer and a seven-member board of directors. No doubt the nominees would include the likes of AFL-CIO Chief Richard Trumka on the left and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the right — strange Obama bedfellows who have formed a Big Labor-Big Business-Big Government alliance supporting Obama’s infrastructure slush fund.

In addition, a new bureaucracy to support AIFA would be created, including a “Chief Lending Officer” in charge of “all functions of AIFA relating to the development of project pipeline, financial structuring of projects, selection of infrastructure projects”; the “creation and management of a Center for Excellence to provide technical assistance to public sector borrowers in the development and financing of infrastructure projects”; and creation and funding of “an Office of Rural Assistance to provide technical assistance in the development and financing of rural infrastructure projects.”

In its first two years, AIFA would rake in $10 billion in congressional appropriations; $20 billion over the next seven years; and $50 billion per fiscal year after that. How would Obama ensure the loan review process is protected from special interest favor-trading and White House meddling? If the ongoing, half-billion-dollar stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company loan debacle is any indication, the answer is: not very well.

And consider Obama’s naked partisan stunt on Thursday at the Brent Spence Bridge connecting GOP House Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky. “There’s no reason for Republicans in Congress to stand in the way of more construction projects. There’s no reason to stand in the way of more jobs,” he railed. “Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge. Help us rebuild America. Help us put this country back to work. Pass this jobs bill right away!”

While he has high-mindedly called on “Washington” (as if he isn’t at the center of it) to put country over politics, he continues to use tax dollars to travel the country for campaign events assailing Republicans in front of decrepit bridges that wouldn’t see a dime of his “immediate” jobs bill money for years. If ever.

The point was made not by evil GOP obstructionists, but by the local Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper, which pointed out that the Brent Spence Bridge is not named in Obama’s jobs bill, has no guarantee of funding in the jobs bill, and “is still in the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase. In a best case scenario, the earliest that workers would be hired would be in 2013, but more likely 2015.”

It gets worse. Obama’s infrastructure loan corps wouldn’t just oversee bridge loans to nowhere. The AIFA board would get to dispense billions and score political points for their favorite photo-op-ready roads, mass transit, inland waterways, commercial ports, airports, air traffic control systems, passenger rail, high-speed rail, freight rail, wastewater treatment facilities, storm water management systems, dams, solid-waste disposal facilities, drinking water treatment facilities, levees, power transmission and distribution, storage, and energy-efficiency enhancements for buildings.

As I reported in my Tuesday column, a separate $6 billion “private nonprofit corporation” would be created by the Obama jobs plan to oversee the “Public Safety Broadband Corporation.” The panel would consist of 11 board members and four Obama administration officials. It, too, would be tasked with choosing winners and losers. Instead of local and state governments overseeing construction, this new federally created investing entity would “hold the single public safety wireless license granted under section 281 and take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of a secure and resilient nationwide public safety interoperable broadband network.”

Given last week’s bombshell revelations of White House pressure on military and government officials to promote the president’s old broadband cronies at shady LightSquared Inc., the idea of empowering a new Obama bureaucracy to dole out more broadband contracts in the name of “public safety” is unsettling at best. Deeper and deeper we go.

When in Debt, SPEND EVEN MORE.

When in doubt, Double Down.

The Individual is subordinate to the Collective Good.

Because if you just keep hitting your head against that wall eventually you will break that wall.

Collectively, YES WE CAN!  🙂

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler