Friday, August 6, 2010

Hey Geithner! No Jobs. No Recovery!

Earlier this week, Tim Geithner, Obama's Treasury Secretary, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that was titled: "Welcome to the Recovery". In it, he pretty much gives himself and his boss a pat on the back for saving the economy. Like Obama, Geithner is trying to push the idea that things would have been a lot worse if the Democrats hadn't passed the Stimulus Package. But, Mr. Geithner can't seem to understand that the economy, as I have written before, was actually starting to recover on it's own before any stimulus moneys went out the door in August of 2009 (Click here to My Commentary: The Big Stimulus Package Lie!). In reality, with the stimulus spending well in place, the situation now appears to be getting worse; not better.

With this morning's jobs report, we now know that our economy lost another 350,000 combined jobs in the months of June and July and it really doesn't matter if any of those lost jobs were for a Census worker or a guy flipping hamburgers. A job loss is a job loss and, you don't continue to lose jobs in a recovering economy. Further, any increase in monthly job losses will only have debilitating effect on the economy; making it much more difficult for it to truly enter a recovery stage.

I, for one, am getting really tired of the unprovable political B.S. from the likes of Geithner, Biden, and Obama that jobs have been saved or created and that things would have been a lot worse without the Stimulus Package. That song is getting quite tiring; especially when we continue to see a slew of economic numbers that show that the economy might actually be stumbling again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Summer Of Recovery? Really?

At a time when Obama and Biden are sliding in front of every camera imaginable hyping their fairy-tale pre-election campaign slogan of a "Summer of Recovery", the economic situation only appears to be worsening.

In one report after another, we find a worsening situation. The last consumer confidence, and spending reports have clearly shown that people are worried and less willing to spend. The foreclosure rate is even higher than it had been during the last year. Housing prices are falling on a more widespread basis with 75% of major cities now reporting valuation losses. And, as in the case of last Friday morning's report, the production growth in the country is slowing once again. Now, with this morning's unemployment insurance claims, we see another jump in a number that should be falling if we were truly in a recovery.

But, in speech after speech, this President and the Vice President would have you believe everything is rosy. This disconnect is why Obama and Congress' approval ratings are diving to new lows. The people just aren't buying it. If the deterioration continues to be as rapid as it has appeared to be in the last two months, the Democrats are in for even bigger loses than are expected right now. Therefore, I have to agree with Biden that the Democrats will "shock" us in the Fall; except the shock will be greater than expected and the opposite of what our silly VP seems to think.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The November Elections: When The Lemmings Die

It always amazes me how independent thought, of any kind. is almost totally absent in politics. On nearly every topic, each political party will choose sides opposite of the position taken by the other. It is almost as if, in spite, a political party is honor bound to take the opposing side on every issue; like two, immature, constantly fighting spouses.

The problem with this kind of "attitude" is that, more often than not, one party will find itself totally out of step with the nation as a whole. When this kind of counter-regimentation does occur, the party at odds with America will, like lemmings, commit mass political suicide.

Today, the Democrats have been lead to that point by unquestionably following the direction of an extreme, far-left leader; rather than their hearts, as true Americans independently deciding to do what was right for the country. In Obama's hands they truly are lemmings.

The polls show that only 11% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Congress. Obama, himself, has lost his pre-Oath of Office favorability rating faster than any other President before him and is getting ever closer to dipping below a 40 percent approval rating. The current economic downturn is already the longest running recession, excluding the Great Depression, since the post Civil War years; with no light at the end of tunnel in terms of any meaningful recovery. But, more than anything, the current polling shows that a majority of Americans -- as high as 62% in a recent U.S. News & World Report survey --- believe that the country is moving in the wrong direction.

Americans are angry. Americans are nervous and scared; and, Americans will punish the lemming-like Democrats in the Fall.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Socialism Spawns Socialism

We know from past experience, that the welfare system in America has actually locked generations into a losing system for the rest of their lives. Originally intended as a so-called "safety net" to help people get back on their feet during hard times, it, instead, became a way of life with children of welfare recipients becoming future captives of the same system they grew up in.

Socialism is often referred to as "creeping socialism" because it, like some kind of cancer, spreads until, someday, the state government literally runs everything. Socialism is like a narcotic that pulls more and more citizens into its grasp; and, eventually the nanny-state fully evolves.

I often hear people say that the United States is not Europe when it comes to socialism. But, it wasn't very long ago when Europe wasn't what it is today, with all its socialist burdens.

I'm of the belief that socialism spawns socialism by weakening a capitalistic society. With every social program created, workers and money makers have to ante up more and more of their own money in order to subsidize an increasingly larger group of state-dependent citizens. As the state keeps taking more from the successful segment of society, those money makers find themselves being driven out of business and, thus, forced to join the increasingly larger group of state-dependents. Eventually -- too many have jumped into the wagon, with no one left to pull it.

Usually, unemployment insurance is the first step in the creation of a socialist state. It follows the logic that you can't have the unemployed starving and dying in the streets while they're looking for a new job. Then, the socialist will push for a government-run retirement program like our "Social" Security system. Next there's the institution of a welfare system for those who are determined, by the state, to be unemployable. Often, this includes food stamps, housing, and some kind of state-provided salary. Then, there has to be a government-run health care system so that, again, you don't have people dying for lack of care. Oh, and let's not forget that, eventually, higher education should be the right of every citizen as well.

With each of these programs, more and more citizens are being cared for by the government and more and more government funds and people (working for the government) are needed to support the programs. As this occurs, the burden of taxes rises and shaky businesses are forced to go under with the owners and the employees of those fallen businesses being forced to join the increasingly larger group of government-shepherded citizens. Then, ultimately, you have a society like Greece where the state can no longer support itself. Make no mistake, Obama and the Democrats have put us ever closer to the day when that fate will be our own.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The BP Oil Spill. The Disappearing Corpus Delicti

Corpus Delicti is a fundamental principal in law. Essentially, it means that you must have a body of facts on which a crime is based. A dead body, for there to be a murder. A missing something or other, for there to be a theft, and so on.

Certainly, in the case of the BP oil spill there was an initial Corpus Delicti: a body of facts that said there was an oil spill. We all saw the oil spewing from the broken pipe. We saw the birds covered with oil. We saw the tar balls washing up and we saw the beaches and marshes drenched with sticky goo.

The White House and many others declared this the worst environmental disaster that has ever occurred in the U.S. But, was it?

Right now, the oil has almost mysteriously vanished in the open waters of the Gulf, and the coastal areas have not seen much more damage than had been seen early on (Click here to See Story: 200 Million Gallons Later, Clean Up Crews Can’t Find Any Oil).

In this week's TIME Magazine, this usually liberal-leaning publication is even questioning whether or not the impact of the BP oil spill has been exaggerated or if it will even come close to having the negative environmental impact of the Exxon Valdez spill of some years ago (Click here to See Story: The BP Spill: Has the Damage Been Exaggerated? ).

The fact is that the waters of the Gulf are a much different animal than the waters of Prince William Sound that were so brutally damaged by the Exxon spill. The water is faster moving and a helluva lot warmer; allowing the oil eating microbes to do their jobs. The Gulf of Mexico is laden with oil and, on given day, there are thousands of gallons of naturally seeping oil that is managing quite well with little or no damage to the general environment. One scientist put the BP spill into proper perspective with respect to the total waters in the Gulf by saying it was like spilling a single can of Coke in the middle of the New Orleans SuperDome.

Currently, the political left and the environmental movement is using this now-questionable disaster as a means of pushing their anti-0il, coal, and gas agenda. Many of the politically oriented, like John Kerry, are using it as the basis for ramming his Cap and Trade bill through Congress. And, Obama has used it to shut down all new exploration and drilling in his attempt to take complete political advantage of the situation. Like the housing collapse and the recession, it appears we might be in the midst of another "crisis" that will help Obama and the Democrats push their continuing left-wing agenda. In my opinion, that body of evidence, that Corpus Delicti, that they are using to justify Cap and Trade and the drilling ban, will have long since abated while America will still be stuck with the job killing effects and high cost of energy that will result from the Democrat's use of another exaggerated crisis.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Hidden Agenda Of The Democrats

Deep within the multi-thousand pages of the Stimulus, Heath Care, and Financial Reform bills is language which creates new agencies, reporting to the Executive Branch, which can, at their discretion, impose new regulation, penalties, and taxes that don't require Congress' approval. In addition, the powers of existing agencies like the IRS, Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Treasury Department have been greatly expanded; thus, again, bypassing any legislative approval by Congress in the enforcement of almost every activity in American life and not just those related to health care, banking, and finance.

What the Democrats have done is to establish a framework for the Obama Administration to act independently of Congress in the implementation of a highly liberal and progressive agenda. And, it is my belief that the Democratic leadership of this Congress did this because they knew that their radical legislative activities over the last year and a half might cost them their control of Congress in the Fall elections. So, in doing so, they have handed Obama unprecedented powers to "fundamentally change" America; even if the Republicans gain control of Congress for the remainder of Obama's first term in office. Just mark my words. It's the plan!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Redistribution Of Wealth?

Many liberals in this country believe in using local, state, and federal government programs aimed at the poor and in conjunction with very high tax rates on the wealthy to redistribute wealth in America. However, in most cases these kinds of programs only redistribute the wealth "out" of our major cities; or, out of our states; or, worst yet, completely out of the country.

With all of the so-called wealth distribution programs in existence in America, one would think that the poor would be better off today than they were 50 years ago. But, instead of bettering the lives of the poor, the disparity between the two classes is greater than it has ever been.

Liberals like to point to the Bush Tax Cuts as the cause. But, it wasn't Bush who was in office during the last 50 years of decline in our cities and states. In almost every case where you have stagnant growth in America, you have the Blue State politics of the left with hefty government programs aimed at the poor, and high taxes aimed at the rich. Cities like Detroit are in near ruin with the City Managers electing to tear down houses in an effort to more centralize services in the most densely populated areas. The states in the rust belt continue to rust away and major city, inner-city crime in America is choking our jails.

What the liberals have never learned is that high taxes on the rich drive the rich elsewhere; leaving most of the middle and lower classes to foot the bill for all of their government programs. They just don't seem to understand that the wealthy are highly mobile and rarely tied to some 9-to-5 job in any particular city. In our effort to be more like Europe, we are creating the same problems it has with its wealthy moving out of Europe.

In the last month, two stories came out with regard to two high profile rich persons in this country that can prove my point. Recently, Rush Limbaugh sold his New York City condo for more than double what he paid for it. But, the real story about the Rush condo sale was that, with that sale, he would no longer have to pay income taxes to the City and State of New York for any wages that he would have accumulated during the time he lived in that condo. Instead, his earnings would be fully safeguarded in his permanent home in the no-income-tax State of Florida. Rush warned he would do this when the City and State governments in New York raised their taxes on the rich. So, who won in this case. Rush or the governments?

Then, there's the story of U.S. Senator John Kerry from the state of Massachusetts. Recently, we learned that Kerry and his wife's decided to buy a new, $7 million New Zealand-made sailing yacht. Instead of ordering this New Zealand-built ship through a Massachusets boat dealer, the Kerry's purchased the boat in Rhode Island and subsequently moored it there; thus avoiding hefty sales taxes and the yearly excise taxes that would have been applied if the boat was purchased and moored in Mass. So, in doing so, the state of Massachusetts was doubly screwed in getting any taxes from the Kerry's. Further, American yacht builders and workers were left out in the cold when the Kerry's, in the midst of a recession, decided to buy a ship that was made by workers in New Zealand.

These kinds of stories go on day-after-day in America. And, in each case, the story is driven by high taxes. Over the years America has lost most of it's manufacturing base because of regulation and taxes. Now, many of our rich are moving, too. The result of this "redistribution of wealth" will be further economic deterioration in our cities and states in this once-great country.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Democrats For The Bush Tax Cuts?

If you read the New York Times or the Washington Post or watch NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, or MSNBC, the chances are pretty good that you wouldn't know that there is a growing chorus of Democrats who want to extend the Bush Tax cuts; especially those for the wealthy (Click here to See Story: Divisions among Dems over tax cuts for affluent).

Senate Democrats like Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad and Ben Nelson are the real leaders on this. Actually, you have most of the fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats in the House and Senate who believe that the tax cuts should be extended.

The thing is, that all these Democrats understand that lower taxes help drive the economy. This is something that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama aren't willing to admit to their political base of fiscally and financially challenged voters who only see the rich as fat cats and ignore the thousands of small business owners who employ almost 70% of the workers in America, and who are taxed at the highest rates. Like it or not, the Bush Tax Cuts helped the economy after the massive plunge following 9/11. Much of the "deficit" that the left constantly complains about wasn't due to the tax cuts. It was due to all that was done after 9/11 to create new government agencies such as the TSA, and to completely rework our national security operations and harden government sites in the U.S. and around the world. And, despite the massive costs of two wars, the Bush deficits had been dwindled down to just about $185 billion in 2007; a year before the current recession hit.

The fact is that federal tax revenues grew by 37%, or from
1.7 trillion to $2.4 trillion from 2003 to 2006 (Click here to See Congressional Budget Office Report: Growth in Federal Tax Revenues From 2003 to 2006). This helped offset much of the spending that took place during this time. The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars had cost almost a trillion dollars through 2007. Yet, the total combined deficits by the Bush Administration from 2003 through 2007 was about $1.4 trillion; meaning that, if you exclude the cost of those two wars, the 5-year adjusted deficit spending was really only about $50 billion a year. Compare that to the current-year Obama budget deficit of $1.47 trillion.

Last week, Ben Bernanke argued before Congress that the Bush Tax Cuts should be left in place and not allowed to expire in January (Click here to See Story: Bernanke Says Extending Bush's Tax Cuts Would Maintain Economic Stimulus). I really think Pelosi, Reid, and Obama would be smart to heed that advice. In fact, I think this economy would be in worse shape today without them. Extending them will give businesses the reassurance that they can operate effectively without another government burden (ie. ObamaCare, Financial Regulation, Cap and Trade, Card Check, etc.) being hoisted upon them. Maybe then, corporate America will start spending the near 1-1/2 trillion dollars that is estimated to be held in reserves for fear of further government regulation and taxes.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Larry Summers On Unemployment Insurance

As an economist, it must be really tough working for President Obama and advising him on the economy when, in doing so, your own past analysis and work have to be compromised.

Certainly, Christina Romer, a key economic adviser to the President, has already had to put her treatises, theories, and dissertations aside when it comes to promoting his economic policies. In fact, just last month, Romer -- in a paper co-written with her husband -- stated that the elimination of the Bush Tax Cuts would have a negative impact on the economy (Click here to See Story: Romer’s Research: Expiration of Bush Tax Cuts Will Be Highly Contractionary). Of course this totally flies in the face of the intentions of the Obama and the Democrats who just can't wait to let the Bush cuts expire in January so they can spend and waste even more money on all their left-wing pet projects.

Then, there's Larry Summers.

Like Romer, he's another key economic adviser to the Presicent and no slouch when it comes to economics. He worked for President Reagan when tax cuts were used to drive the economy following the Carter recession. He was also an adviser to President Clinton during a very robust time in our economy. Then, too, early on in his career, he was the chief economist for the World Bank. And, before joining the current administration, he was the President of Harvard University. Now he's the Director of Obama's National Economic Council.

Summers, like Romer, has written much on a variety of topics with regard to economic practice and theory. However, one article is especially interesting in view of the fact that Obama just signed another extension of unemployment insurance into law. In 2005, writing for the highly sought out and respected Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Summers wrote an extremely interesting economic argument "against" extending unemployment insurance in a paper that was simply titled "Unemployment". In that article, Larry argues that welfare and extended unemployment insurance only worsen and sustain jobless levels because it acts as a deterrent to the unemployed looking for any new job. His conclusions in that paper are firmly based on research and thorough resourced empirical data.

With Summers' article in mind, you really have to wonder from whom Obama is actually getting his economic advice. Clearly, it's not from Summers. And, as outlined previously, it doesn't appear to be from Romer, either. In fact, Obama indirectly slammed Larry Summers' work when, in targeting the GOP leadership, he made this comment: "These leaders...are advancing a misguided notion that emergency relief somehow discourages people from looking for a job..." A "misguided notion"? Oh, really? Then Larry Summers, too, must be misguided!

Of course, the indirect attacks on Summers aren't just exclusively confined to Obama. Nancy Pelosi, too, took her shot at Larry when she made the comment -- just a couple of weeks ago -- that "most economists" believe that extending "unemployment insurance is the best way to stimulate the economy." Obviously, with that comment, Larry's beliefs are just marginal because he isn't, in the words of Nancy, in the category of "most economists".

The reality is that most of the economists who are working for the administration must have to bite their tongues when promoting the economic policies of the President. Their past and current works often tell a different story than what Obama would have us all believe. This economy is suffering because this President isn't truly getting advice from his advisers. What we are actually getting is a bunch of economic policies that are designed to destroy the economy; not recover it from a deep recession. Romer and Summer's are merely acting as useful idiots in Obama's real quest to push his radical, ideological agenda.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It Was Never Ever Really About Shirley Sherrod

Many on the political left are slamming Andrew Breibart for initially posting a mere snippet of the entire Sherrod video; saying that the complete video shows her, not as racist toward a white farmer, but, instead, someone who had learned compassion from her own, prior actions. However, what is totally missing in that argument is the fact that the NAACP audience, in attendance for the Sherrod speech, could be heard snickering and laughing when they thought that they were actually hearing a story of how Sherrod was able to screw over a white farmer in her position of authority. That's the real story. The NAACP audience didn't groan or remain silent while listening to the Sherrod story. Instead, they laughed in support of the story that they thought they were hearing.

But, now, the political left and the mainstream media have intentionally decided to focus in on the pseudo-mistreatment of Sherrod by Fox News and Breitbart as a means of diverting attention away from the "laughter" that is clearly heard on the tape and what that laughter implies.

Breitbart held that video for months rather than airing it because he had his reservations about it. It was only after the NAACP passed a resolution condemning the Tea Party as a racist organization that Breitbart decided to release it. In doing so, his target was the NAACP members in that audience and not Sherrod. He was more interested in the crowd reaction to what Sherrod was saying than in exposing Sherrod, herself. That's the truth that the left wing media and pundits are now trying to bury by making it all about the mistreatment of Shirley Sherrod.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It Was All Because Of A National Holiday, Stupid!

As I had predicted three weeks ago, the jobless claims would fall following the three-day, Fourth-of-July holiday. Also as predicted, the economists would be shocked (as in the case this morning) when the jobless claims jumped significantly to be greater than expected (Click here to See Story: Jobless claims rise more than expected last week). Actually, the claims number jumped to 464,000 from the "expected" consensus of only 445,000. And that number was markedly higher than last week's reported 427,000.

On the political left, last week's number saw jubilation over the fact that the jobless claims fell to a two-year low; and, finally, there was some hope that the Stimulus Package was actually working. However, theirs was their own stupidity in coming to that conclusion without looking at the context which actually spawned last week's unrealistically low number. But, what else would you expect from a bunch of politicians who are totally clueless when it comes to the "how's and why's" of job creation and job losses.

Going forward, I would expect the claims numbers to get even worse with the weekly jobless numbers coming in closer to 500,000 claimants for each of the next 3 or 4 weeks. This will be a direct result of all the census workers being let go from their intentionally temporary jobs. I'm not sure, but my guess is that this fact will again shock all those prognosticators. As a result, we will probably see another set of media headlines that read: "Jobless Claims Jump Higher Than Expected!"

Let's be realistic. Do we ever really see numbers that come in "as expected"?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A GOP Majority Might Be A Bad Thing

A lot of people seem to think that, if the GOP can win both Houses of Congress, all will be "right" with the world. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, a simple majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives won't be enough to override an Obama Veto. The GOP will still need a 60 vote majority in the Senate to do that. At best, the Republicans might only gain a slim majority in the Senate. For that very reason, don't expect legislation such as killing the remainder of the Stimulus Package, the overturning of ObamaCare, Financial Re-Regulation or Cap and Trade to get past Obama's veto without some significant help from Democrats. I just don't see Democrats assisting that effort after having put their jobs on the line to pass all that legislation.

Secondly, unlike Clinton, when he lost both Houses of Congress, don't expect the President to resolve himself to work with a Republican lead Congress. Obama isn't the pragmatic animal that Clinton was. He's an ideologue who has already gone on record saying he doesn't mind being a one-term President.

Lastly, a majority control of Congress by the GOP might actually hurt them. That's because Obama will constantly campaign against the GOP's lack of legislative responsibility in blocking his agenda. He's already doing that to influence public opinion and the GOP doesn't even have a majority.

In my opinion, the best thing for the Republicans, is to win the House and weaken, but not completely win the Senate. This will nullify Obama and his radical agenda. Also, it will somewhat disarm his argument that the GOP are always blocking his legislation. Then, I think the focus should be to oust Obama and take a 60-vote majority in 2012.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BMI: The Imperfect Measurment Of Obesity

Well, the cats' finally out of the bag.

After 16 months of digging around the thousands of pages of the Stimulus Bill, it has now been uncovered that health care professionals will be mandated, by law. to include the calculated Body Mass Index (BMI) for each of their patients as part of a centralized, electronic health-record database that will be established by 2014 (Click here to See Story: Obesity Rating for Every American Must Be Included in Stimulus-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Says HHS).

Why this mandate is even in a law that was aimed at "stimulating the economy" just proves the kind of deceit that the Democrats have been practicing with the passage of these multi-thousand-page laws that nobody has the time or inclination to read. God only knows what else is hidden in the Stimulus bill, the ObamaCare law, and in the Financial re-regulation law; each over two thousand pages long.

The problem with BMI is that it is an imperfect measurement of obesity. It falsely assumes that height and weight are the sole determining factors in establishing obesity. It completely ignores the ratio of fat-to-muscle that actually makes up someone's body weight. Because of this overly simplified number, many people, who exercise regularly and who have "bulked up" and have low body fat levels, are going to be falsely categorized as obese. That's why almost every sports athlete and many "leading men" in Hollywood have been inaccurately categorized as obese using the BMI formulation.

First off, this means that obesity in America will be overstated when the numbers are finally calculated in the central database. Secondly, it is highly possible, somewhere down the line, that all people with high BMI measurements could be stigmatized; resulting in higher health insurance premiums or, even, the denial of some medical services.

In my opinion, the missing factors in the BMI calculation are the inclusion, somehow, of waist and hip measurements. Certainly, when it comes to men, it is the big bellies that separate the obese men from the George Clooneys' and the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the world. For women, it is typically the hips. That's why, whenever you see a TV media story about obesity, they always show lead-in videos with shots of men's guts and women's butts.

The currently calculated BMI is something that is best left between a health care professional and his or her patient. Only then is there true verification as to whether or not someone is healthy with a high BMI or truly obese. As far as keeping a centralized database to measure the BMI of Americans, let's develop a formulation that really works and that is 99.9% accurate; otherwise, every Gold's Gym member, and many many others, will be included on the government's fat list. Lastly, let's not forget, too, that people with extremely low BMI's can be at a higher health risk than many people with high BMI's. In fact, a low BMI can be an indicator of some kind of serious health problem; including things such as depression, anorexia, or, possibly, cancer.

Once again, the Democrats have demonstrated their desire to constantly separate Americans into little boxes. And, you know dam well that their intention will be to use this information to support future legislation against the things they don't like by possibly proposing legislation that would ban things like potato chips and sodas. Maybe, too, they'll use this info to come up with another form of taxation: The BMI tax. For Democrats, information is truly power -- the power of further developing a nanny state where the government directs your every move in life as if we were all mindless idiots who need saving from our selves.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pathetic Harry Reid On Immigration and Construction Jobs

In a recent interview, Harry Reid claimed that no illegal immigrants were taking high-paying construction jobs away from American workers in the state of Nevada as seen in this clip:

Obviously, this report (at the very end) refutes Reid's claim by clearly using pertinent data from the Pew Research group.

Actually, I think the number of illegals is quite a bit higher than what was stated here as well. I live in Las Vegas and at most construction sites, English is the forgotten language. In most cases, approaching any Hispanic looking worker on a construction site and asking for the time of day, will get you a blank stare before being pointed in the direction of the one worker designated as the official "interpreter" for that job site or work crew.

Harry doesn't want to destroy the big Democrat lie that illegal immigrants are only here to take the jobs that Americans won't do. Apparently, he doesn't seem to understand that illegals are throwing a lot of Americans into the unemployment lines because they are willing to undercut the salaries that are usually demanded by American workers. As a consequence, employers will gladly fill any vacancies with illegals. That is, if they think they can get away with it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Against Harry Reid: An Angle Too Right

Sharron Angle -- running against Harry Reid for the U.S. Senate here in Nevada -- is probably the best example of why the Tea Party should stay out of the business of backing candidates. By any measure, Angle is a ditz. She's the candidate that Reid wanted to run against; just because he knew she could be easily beaten. Old Harry probably did a jig when he knew Angle would win the nomination.

The Tea Party backed her "solely" because of her stand on taxes and spending. However, the Tea Party completely ignored her wacko, unelectable views on a variety of other issues; particularly on Social Security in a state with a very high number of retirees. To make matters worse, she does not present herself well in interviews; coming off as somewhat adolescent and constantly making "dumb statements" on the issues. I think this is why her campaign is avoiding, at all cost, any interviews with the media.

Given the economy, the public anger against health care reform, and the variety of other issues, the GOP could have literally ran a "rock" against Harry Reid and won. Sharron Angle is a loser. Prior to being nominated, any candidate running against Reid had a double digit lead. Now, because of all of Angle's silly baggage, she has handed Harry a 7-point lead in the most recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll.

It was past controversial views that hurt another Tea Party backed candidate, Rand Paul, and it is past controversial views that are now hurting Sharron Angle. The Tea Party is a novice when it comes to properly vetting candidates; and, that's a big problem. In a year that is so crucial to the anti-Obama and anti-Democrat movement, they have managed to insert candidates that could very well lose because of the false belief that Americans are only focused on spending and taxes. A defeat of Harry Reid would be massive anti-Obama win. It would psychologically shake the Democrats to their very foundation and would serve notice to them that all their jobs are in jeopardy if they continue to follow Obama's lead. But, sadly, the nomination of Sharron Angle may have completely thrown that possibility out the window.

I think that if Harry Reid wins, the Tea Party will lose its current luster and wind up being relegated to the ranks of all those minority parties that typically run "no-chance-of-winning" candidates in almost every election.

Friday, July 16, 2010

OK, Al Qaeda. You've Finally Gone Too Far!

I guess in the mind of Obama, Al Qaeda's killing of white people is just fine.

Up until yesterday, he literally choked on the word "terrorist" whenever he talked about radical Islam (Click here to See Story: President Obama, White House: Al Qaeda Is Racist). But no longer. Now, Al Qaeda has finally made it to Obama's shit list. In their killing of a few dozen black Africans in the Uganda bombings, the President has now seen fit to strike out at Al Qaeda by calling them a "terrorist organization" of "racists" who "do not regard African life as valuable in and of itself." He then went on to say: "They see it as a potential place where you can carry out ideological battles that kill innocents without regard to long-term consequences for their short-term tactical gains. " Though in this last comment, he may have been referring to the Republican Party.

Obviously, this now puts Al Qaeda in league with the Tea Party movement. If they had been smarter, they would have limited their killings to "crackers". That way they could have gotten a free pass from Holder's Justice Department; just like the New Black Panthers did. Now, I suppose, the Attorney General has no other choice but to issue an FBI warrant against Al Qaeda for committing a federal "hate crime".

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2300 Pages & 533 New Regulations And Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Go Untouched

The new financial regulatory bill of Senator Dodd and Representative Barney Frank is sure to be a big hit. Not with the American people or the financial system; but, with the lawyers. This 2300 page monstrosity contains 533 new laws and regulations for the banking and financial industries to digest and navigate through. The entire system will have to hire and contract more and more lawyers to keep themselves from cracking any legal eggs as they tip-toe through life under the new bill. In effect, the Dodd/Frank bill will do to the banking/financial system what Congress has done to the tax codes: Both confusing and contradictory laws.

I mention the tax codes because tax laws in this country are so complex that if you have any little natty problem on your tax return and you call the IRS for clarification, no one person will actually be able to help you. In fact, if you talk to 10 people at the IRS about the same issue, you will more than likely get 10 different answers.

I find it interesting that we even have the Dodd/Frank bill to begin with. Following the housing collapse and the recession, Congress created a new commission, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in May of 2009, that was supposed to determine the "what's" that created the housing/economic collapse in the first place. Yet, now, we have a bunch of new laws that -- evidently psychic in their creation -- presume to know what the conclusions of that commission will be when it finally issues its report in December.

Even more amazing is that fact that Dodd and Frank, who many believe caused the housing meltdown by their actions on their respective banking committees, were allowed to author the new regulations. More incredible, is the fact that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are being left untouched by congressional Democrats. With few exceptions, most financial experts and economists believe that Freddie and Fannie were the key to the housing crisis and subprime loan debacle. After all, those two government sponsored enterprises collateralize and process about 60% of home mortgages in America, and the vast majority of subprime loans were allowed to exist because of them.

Quite frankly, the Dodd and Frank bill is a hit list of things the Democrats don't like about the banking and financial industry. You might say it is their personal vendetta against the "business" of finance in this country. Nothing in this bill will actually prevent another meltdown. Instead, most of the 533 new laws and the requirement for additional legal consul will only make banking and stock transactions more expensive; and, it is you and I that will pick up the tab for that. Further, the regulations are designed to tighten all forms of lending. In doing so, expect the expansion of small business and corporations to be crippled. Lastly, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, now choked with massive deficit spending, are left alone to continue to push unqualified buyers into homes they can't afford. You can clearly hear the footsteps of another economic collapse approaching.

For all of this, we can thank the consummate team of Chris "Dodge the Blame" Dodd, and Barney "Not So Frank" Frank!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Anti-Business Obama

Most on the political right, have always seen Obama as an anti-business President. But, now, there is a growing chorus on the left that is beginning to come to that very same realization.

In recent weeks, several of his well-known supporters have taken aim at his business-busting policies.

First, it was Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric and a member of the President's council of economic advisers. In an interview, he quipped that Obama "doesn't like business" (Click here to See Story: Report: GE chief slams China, Obama). This was quite a statement from a business leader who is supposedly one of his close advisers.

Then, at the Aspen Idea Festival, Mort Zuckerman, a billionaire and owner of the New York Daily News and Editor-in-Chief of the U.S. News & World Report, said this about Obama: "hostility to the very kinds of [business] culture that have made this the great country that it is and was." He further said: "We are, without question, in a period of decline, particularly in the business world." Hearing those words you have to take into consideration the fact that Zuckerman has said he voted for Obama and even wrote one of his speeches that was given at a business forum.

At the same Aspen gathering, another friend of the President's, Nial Ferguson, a Harvard Professor, said this: "If you’re asking if the United States is about to become a socialist state, I’d say it’s actually about to become a European state, with the expansiveness of the welfare system and the progressive tax system like what we’ve already experienced in Western Europe." Then, he went on to further disparage Obama with this comment: "Long-term unemployment is at an all-time high in the United States, and it is a direct consequence of a misconceived public policy.”

Then, in a more generalized view of the administration's anti-business and anti-capitalist posture, 55% of respondents in a recent Democracy Corps poll (conducted by Democrats James Carville and Stan Greenberg) said that Obama is a socialist.

Not everyone may be attuned to all the nuances of capitalism versus socialism; but, most clearly understand when someone is anti-business. The above examples show that these current suspicions are being profoundly felt -- from business experts to the average man on the street. And, the current condition of the economy just strengthens the belief that Obama is anti-business.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Barefoot Bumble-head

The Barefoot Bandit's Mom says that he's a genius because he can fly a plane without ever having had any training. But, anyone who has ever used Microsoft's Flight Simulator knows that taking off and flying is fairly easy. It's landing that takes the real skill.

However, the true measure of the Bandit's intellect is the stupidity of this tall, skinny white boy trying to hide amid an island population that is 85% black. Besides, his out-of-place American accent and lack of shoes was sure to get this idiot caught. Don't ya think?

Monday, July 12, 2010


Every once in awhile, I run into an odd news story that exposes a lot more than its pure oddness.

On Friday, two female, New York City school system language teachers were fired for getting drunk after school and disrobing in their apparent stupor . All this was done while some children were still present on school grounds and in school buildings (Click here to See Story: Teachers fired after in-school nudity).

While the story itself, might be bizarre enough, even stranger is the fact that the "incident" occurred back in November of 2009. It took the New York City school system a full 9 months to fire these offenders. I am also quite sure that they were fully paid while their cases were being so illogically deliberated on for all that time.

This just demonstrates the stranglehold the unions have on government operations. Even in what can only be described as a flagrant violation of decorum or what, I am quite sure, is an absolute violation of work rules, it still took months to fire these two. Even so, these two teachers still plan to appeal their firings.

This kind of thing isn't rare either. In the New York school system, alone, there are now over 700 teachers who are being paid to do nothing; rather than being fired for a variety of disciplinary reasons (Click here to See Story: New York Teachers Paid To Do Nothing: 700 Of Them). And, it's all because of the power of the unions.

This surely sends the wrong message to any unionized, government worker. It literally breeds contempt and complacency. Maybe that's why we've suffered such massive declines in the effectiveness of our school systems in America. It is certainly the reason why you wait for hours at the DMV and any other government operation while the workers drink coffee, chat, and basically do zero work for their salaries.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Jimmy Buffett Should Shut Up Or Get Some Learnin'

Recently, at a concert for those affected by the Gulf oil spill, Jimmy Buffett decided to take a left-wing shot at George W. Bush by specifically blaming him for the BP oil spill (Click here to See Story: Jimmy Buffet Organizes Gulf Benefit, Blames Bush for Spill). However, if Mr. Buffett hadn't burned up a few million brain cells by hammering down margaritas in Margaritaville, he might have done a little research and found out that the deepwater drilling in the Gulf got its genesis, primarily, during the Clinton Administration. By the time George W. Bush took office, there were more than 32 active deepwater oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico with hundreds of rigs and wells on each of those fields. The Bush Administration just continued the policy of Clinton. And, yes, Obama followed the policies of Bush.

Today, there are more than 112 active deepwater oil fields with thousands of active rigs, or capped and idle wells and well holes in the Gulf at depths of 3,000 feet or deeper. All told, the Gulf of Mexico has more than 50,000 oil rigs providing almost 1/3 of all domestic oil. Drilling and oil production goes back decades and not just since Bush took office!

It has been the actions of Presidents like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama that have forced us to be more dependent on offshore drilling for our domestic oil. Those two Presidents have federalized millions of acres of land, therefore placing known oil reserves like the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and the Bakken oil fields of the upper Midwest off limits to oil exploration. Just last March, Obama signed into law another 2 million acres of land that are now deemed to be wilderness conservation areas; and, again, restricted from oil exploration. Additionally signed into law by Obama, were 26 million acres of land to be defined as the National Landscape Conservation System and everything from oil drilling to hunting and fishing was banned. Currently, 30% of American territory is federally owned and controlled; mostly in the oil-rich western states. For example, nearly 70% of Alaska is federally controlled. Natural gas rich Utah is 58% federalized. Colorado is 37% off limits to gas and oil drilling. (Click here to See Story: Federal Lands in the U.S.)

Sadly, people like Buffett are able to use their celebrity to promote lies in the pursuit of their own political ideology. Even sadder, a lot of dumb people believe them. Instead of blaming Bush, Mr. Buffet would be better to question why "his" President, through "his" constant "inaction" and by blocking tactics of those agencies under "his" direction, is actually allowing the complete destruction of this country's beautiful and fragile Gulf shores.

Another Slap In The Face For Obama

At the G20 meeting, Obama stood alone against the other member countries with his "spend more" ideology to beat down the world wide recession. After all, his policies have worked so well for this country, now haven't they? (choke!)

Now, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), too, has scolded Obama for his spending by telling him (and us) to cut expenses and raise revenues in order to reduce the U.S. debt to a more manageable level (Click here to See Story: IMF calls for deficit cuts in US). To be fair, the President did get a few "attaboys" from the IMF on how well the recovery is going in the U.S. Although, I'm not sure how much of the recovery is even attributable to anything that Obama has done. But, on the downside, they warned of a double-dip in the housing market and the economy if deficits weren't roped in from current levels.

To me, all this does is give Obama and Democrats a green light to raise taxes in order to lower deficits with the full international approval from the IMF. But, don't expect that "cut spending" recommendation to ever happen. Genetically, that concept isn't part of a Democrat's DNA. That's why, through time immemorial, Democrats have always been known as tax and spenders.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Arizona Immigration Suit Could Backfire On Obama

In the opinion of most legal analysts, Obama's lawsuit against Arizona looks weak. Obviously, there's more politics involved in this suit than judicial judgment. Many see this move by the Justice Department as an attempt to garner Hispanic votes in the fall. But, that logic just might be as dumb as the lawsuit itself.

First of all, in poll after poll, not less than 60% of Americans support the Arizona law and it seems, once again, Obama is at odds with the general will of the people. While he may win some votes for the Democrats, he and his party just might lose a lot of Independent and swing-voters over this issue. He also seems to forget that, theoretically anyway, illegals can't vote. Further, let's look at some statistics. Only about 1 in every 4.5 Hispanics actually voted in the last election and, of that, 32% of those votes went to McCain and other Republicans.

Secondly, I doubt that all Hispanics favor the lawsuit or, for that matter, illegal immigration. This is especially true for those who came to this country the hard way, by playing by the rules and entering legally. Yesterday, a Colorado poll was released and 62% of Colorado Hispanics actually favored the Arizona Law while, overall, 61% of all Coloradans supported it (Click here to See Story: Poll: 61% of Coloradans want Arizona law here).

Third and lastly, unemployment and the economy will probably be a bigger issue than Arizona's law. Based on the recently released June Jobs Report, Hispanic men are unemployed at a 11.3% rate with that number rising in each of the last three months (Click here to See Report Data). Hispanic women were 11% unemployed and teen Hispanics are jobless at nearly 36%. Those numbers, alone, are good enough reasons for them to reject the economic policies of Obama and the Democrats and decide to vote Republican.

Just maybe, Obama is "acting stupidly" (to use one of his favorite phrases) in bringing this lawsuit against Arizona.

One very last comment. Ever since the Arizona law was passed, the big complaint from the President and the Democrats has been that it is unconstitutional because it would lead to ethnic profiling. However, the lawsuit that was filed never once mentions the issue of racial profiling. Instead, the suit was filed on the basis that the Federal government has sole authority to enforce immigration laws. Profiling can't be an issue because the law, in its own text, clearly forbids it. So, once again, we have Obama's rhetoric being pretty far from the truth. Of course, I would be totally chastised if I stupidly said something like: "He lied!"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Expect A Better Than Expected Weekly Jobless Claims Number

Economists are expecting that Thursday's unemployment insurance claims number will show about 465,000 new claimants. This is in contrast to last week's 472,000 initial claims.

But this week is a short work week due to the July 4th three-day holiday. The unemployment offices were closed for the official holiday and, logically, unable to process a full week's load. So, don't be surprised if the number is "unexpectedly" lower than what the economists are predicting. If I am right, it just proves how incapable these supposed experts are in taking all factors into account before coming up with their estimates.

The same thing happened back in January following the 2009, year-end holidays (Click here to See Story: Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Rise on Backlog (Update2) ). Although, the effect of this week's backlog won't be as great as last January's, it will still show you that you shouldn't bet your life's savings on any economist's projection.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Render Unto Caesar The Things That Are Caesar's

As expected, Obama's Federal Justice Department filed suit against Arizona for trying to aid in the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws through its own, recently-passed, but not yet implemented, legislation. In doing so, the Feds are basically telling Arizona, or any other state for that matter, that they are not responsible for enforcing a law that is "the" sole responsibility of the Federal government.

Well, if the states aren't responsible for assisting the Feds in the pursuit of any Federal violators -- such as illegal immigrants -- then, it is only logical, that the states completely ignore any outstanding Federal warrants or violators of any and all Federal laws. The Federal government cannot just pick and choose which laws they expect the states to assist them with and which ones they don't. In my opinion, to ignore some Federal violators while assisting in the prosecution of others is to ignore the "equal protection" clause of the United States Constitution.

The President, a trained Constitutional lawyer, should understand this. But, as usual Obama says screw the Constitution when any political gains are achievable!

Ignoring The Truth About Illegal Immigration

Those proponents of illegal immigration always use the excuse that illegals come to this country to take the crap jobs that Americans won't do. This argument is a rationalization that completely ignores the true cause of illegal immigration.

The fact is that the countries with the highest rates of illegal immigration into this country, like Mexico, are countries who have failed their own citizens. They have failed to produce effective economies that would keep their citizens employed; keep them happy in their work; and, keep them from looking elsewhere to survive. Typically, this is because of massive corruption in their governments and because of the high concentration of wealth in the hands of too few people.

Let's face it. We have a Mexican immigration problem because Mexico can't support millions of its own people in anything but a lifestyle that is barely subsistence. A vast country like Mexico has unbelievable wealth in labor; productive agricultural lands; minerals; and tourist attractable coastal and interior areas. Yet, people must leave in order to survive.

It annoys me when President Calderon of Mexico criticizes the U.S. for trying to control illegal immigration when, in fact, it is he and the rest of the Mexican government that have so miserably failed to support their own people. Now, their entire country is on the precipice of becoming a Drug-dom that is headed down the same path as was Columbia with the entire country being controlled by drug gangs and drug lords. If it continues, Mexico will become a real-life version of the society that was portrayed in the movie Mad Max.

The reason that so many illegals proudly wave the flags of their country is because they, in their hearts, don't view America as their new home. Their journey here was actually forced upon them in order to survive. With the exception of those who had children that have been born in America who are citizens, many will go back after amassing enough savings to return home and live their last days in the land that they truly love. A Mexican electrician, who did some work on my house and was most likely here illegally, told me that he eventually planned to retire to Mexico and live out his life as a "royal" because every dollar he made here was so much more powerful when spent there.

I think the Democrats are wrong in assuming that every Mexican or other illegal alien that comes across our border wants to become a U.S. citizen. If they could, based on their pride in the country they left, they would prefer a guest worker program. I believe this should be our major goal in handling the illegal immigration problem in this country.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Big Stimulus Package Lie!

Over and over, you will hear from Democrats that the Stimulus has worked because, before it, we were losing over 700,000 jobs per month. Superficially, this is true.

Simply looking at the Bureau Of Labor and Statistics own tracking chart of the monthly job gains and losses over the last two years, one could easily, and falsely, come to that same conclusion:

First off, the chart clearly shows that job losses peaked in January of 2009 at a level of just under 800,000 additional unemployed. Then, following Obama taking Office and the passage of the Stimulus Package, the losses began to decline; just as the left keeps touting. In fact, by August, the job losses had been slashed by nearly 80% to a level that was a little over 200,000 newly unemployed for that month.

But was the abatement of job losses really due to the Stimulus? Not, hardly!

The left seems to conveniently forget that the first Stimulus moneys didn't even start to going out the door until August of 2009; and, for many government agencies, even later than that (Click here to See a Typical Story: August a Busy Month for DHS Stimulus Spending). Much of the delay in awarding contracts for job creation was due to the slow Washington D.C. bureaucracy wasting months trying to figure out what to do and what the rules would be. The joke at the time was that all those presumably shovel-ready jobs weren't quite ready for prime time. In addition, It took weeks to setup up procedures for the approval and distribution of funding for any projects under the Package. But, by the time the initial projects were finally approved, this nation's job losses had "naturally" slowed on their own as our economy was busily trying to heal itself without any stimulus moneys.

Then, too, in early 2010, the job's picture moved from negative to positive. But, this, too, wasn't due to the Stimulus. Instead, it was primarily due to the hiring of temporary census workers. Now, in this latest report for June -- the first report since the hiring of the census takers was over -- we are again seeing losses, and those losses will only grow larger as the exacerbating effect of the census layoffs takes hold. With that in mind, most economists think that the unemployment rate will again go above 10%.

The lies associated with the Stimulus Package's ability to create jobs "and" the gullibility of the American public to believe those lies is amazing to me. What's worse, we have a group of noted economists in this country who are touting the benefits of the Stimulus but, in doing so, completely ignore the real facts surrounding the actual payouts of stimulus money. This is a simple denial by a group of supposed experts who don't want to admit that their Keynesian/demand-side economic theory is all wet in any practical application. Then, too, their personal politics might be clouding their opinions.

Surely, if the Stimulus Package was truly successful, we'd be basking in job growth and we wouldn't be hearing the excuse that the Stimulus is working "but" it needs to be even bigger. Let's not forget that, originally, long before Obama got into office, his team of economic gurus thought that $120 billion would be adequate to kick start the economy (Click here to See Story: Obama unveils $120 billion stimulus plan). Later, once elected and in office, that number soared to $787 billion. Now, some of those same people who originally thought the $120 billion would be fine, seem to think another trillion dollars is needed to get the economy going again. What, then, after that second trillion dollars doesn't work? $3 trillion? $4 trillion? Just how much of our money are these people willing to piss away to keep justifying a flawed economic theory?

The trouble with lying is that you have to keep lying in order to cover up the truth that you were attempting to hide with the first lie. Generally speaking, numbers don't lie when they're kept in their proper context. However, all too often, people are willing to pluck numbers out of that context and lie about them in order to advance their own personal agendas and/or to cover up or hide their original lie. And, that, my friends, is where Obama and the Democrats are today regarding the impact of the Stimulus Program!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Who Would Have Thought...

Who would have thought that 234 years ago, a small collection of colonies of the then-superpower, Great Britain, by declaring their independence, could rise to become the most powerful nation in the world. And, in doing so, become a beacon for freedom.

Today is representative of the true meaning and values of a collection of peoples that call themselves Americans. Many of us complain about our life in this country but, many more -- those who haven't been able to walk in our shoes of freedom and liberty -- wish for the very chance to live their lives as we do. To some extent, we have become spoiled and we have forgotten the sacrifices that ultimately took place after we declared our independence.

Freedom does not come freely. It is something we must always safeguard with every breath we take.

On this day of remembrance, we should pledge to cherish all that our founders have given us. While not always a a perfect society, we should always strive to be better. Our guiding light should be that of Lady Liberty in New York harbor who's original title was "Liberty Enlightening the World" and who was originally dedicated to celebrate the 100th year of our independence. As much as possible, we should always lead by "enlightening the world" and not necessarily through our power.

Happy Birthday, America!

Image by Turkinator's photostream on Flickr with Creative Commons Licensing. Some rights retained. (Click to View Other Works).

Pelosi's Sheer Economic Folly

In one of the most boneheaded comments I have ever heard, Nancy Pelosi claims that unemployment checks are one of the best and most immediate means of stimulating the economy:

She even falsely claims that economists believe this also.

Let me first say that anytime a person loses their job, they are a drag on the economy. Their job loss degrades it because the person losing a job suffers a substantial net loss in their purchasing power; and, it is a high rate of consumer spending that primarily drives 70% of our economic activity and growth. The only thing that any unemployment check does is to moderate the degenerative effect of a job loss on the economy. It doesn't stimulate it. If what Nancy seems to think was really true, it would only make sense that we could have a roaring economy if everyone was unemployed and everyone was receiving a check from the government. Of course, if that was the case, we'd look a lot more like Cuba or the old Communist Russia than the economic powerhouse known as the USA.

Anyone with half a brain knows that, as the unemployment rate goes up, an economy generally moves into a recession; followed by a depression if the amount of unemployment isn't curtailed. Unemployment is a drag that actually creates more unemployed because the unemployed, at best, can barely keep their heads above water by only being able to pay their essential bills. Any unemployed person, despite receiving a check, is more likely to lose their home or go completely bankrupt when they can't keep up with their financial obligations. Any stimulative effect of their using excess disposable income to buy non-essential goods is almost non-existent.

It's this kind of stupidity that produced the failed stimulus package. The only unemployment that would be good for the sake of our country and our economy would be to dethrone Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker of the House by erasing the Democratic majority in the Fall elections. That's the kind of unemployment I can get behind!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Horrible. But, A Better Than Expected Jobs Number.

OK, I was wrong. I had projected a loss of 200,000 jobs for last month; and, only 125,000 jobs were actually lost (Click here to See Story: Payrolls drop by 125K, jobless rate falls).

If you net out the 225,000 Census workers who were let go, there was actually a net job creation of 100,000 workers in the month. This was certainly better than the prior month's job's increase of 21,000. However, of that 100,000 new jobs, only 83,000 were in the private sector; with another 17,000 tax-eaters being added to the government payrolls. Sadly, this 83,000 falls well short, by at least a factor of 2, in just covering normal population growth. Therefore, you can only conclude that job growth in this country is seriously slumping after seeing two months of horribly weak numbers.

However, thanks again to the magic of creative math, the unemployment rate fell tw0-tenths of a percent to 9.5% because the Bureau of Labor and Statistics concluded that 652,000 workers just quit looking for work and, therefore, really weren't a part of the overall workforce. The under-employment rate, once at a post-Great Depression record rate of 16.9% before any Census workers were added, was better again last month, but still at a breath-stealing rate of 16.5%

As usual, our hero, Barack, put as much political spin as possible on this terrible number by claiming it was the 6th straight month of job growth this year. He also had the gall to claim that 600,000 jobs were added to the economy when, just last month, 652,000 completely stopped looking for work out of sheer frustration. If B.S. was rocket fuel, Obama could rocket his way to the farthest galaxies.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Everything But The Economy

Today, immigration reform lies squarely on Obama's plate. Of course, this is only because he can make some political hay out of it for the upcoming Fall elections. Whether or not it's good for America or whether its a legislative priority for this country at this current time of economic turmoil is completely immaterial. After all, Obama is the consummate campaigner. For him, that "leading the country crap" is just too boring.

It appears that the Gulf oil spill has dropped firmly out of his sight and mind as he now turns to the more pressing issues of financial reform, immigration, and the control of America's energy. The economy and jobs? What economy? What jobs? This despite the fact that the latest unemployment report proved, once again, that jobs are still non-existent and that the stimulus package was a failure.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how things are going on the international front. Russia, now Obama's "bestest burger-buddy", was just caught having 11 spies in this country who were focused in on collecting data on our small scale nuclear weapons like bunker-buster bombs. This after Obama had "reset" relations with Russia and they are now "supposedly" working with us on limiting nuclear weapons; just not "those" nuclear weapons. Israel is out there floundering around on its own while it's party-time between Hamas and Obama. This week we learned from Obama's own Secretary of Defense that Iran has enough material for "two" nuclear weapons. Then, North Korea, those fun-loving fellows, have sunk a South Korean ship and we are now closer to the restart of the Korean war than we ever have been since the 1950's. Then, too, almost the entire G8 and G20 have turned their backs on Obama when he lectured them in Canada with regard to their current plans to stop spending; even though such spending might actually collapse many of their economies.

Obama is a busy man. Unfortunately, it's busyness without priorities. An ideological bull in a china shop; he's knocking over one capitalist activity after another. In doing so, he's tearing a path of destruction through what had been the greatest power and economy in the world.

Rolling Stone Mag: Actions Have Consequences

Right now, the folks at Rolling Stone are probably high-fiving each other for their headline-grabbing story that actually brought down a key general in our war effort in Afghanistan. But, the last laugh just may be had by General McChrystal himself. As a result of that story the relationship that the media has enjoyed with our military over the last few decades may have seriously changed. In fact, what Rolling Stone Magazine has done may actually cause the military to deny the media access for many years to come.

Newton's Third Law tells us that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But, when it comes to dishonoring a hero like McChrystal, the opposite reaction may not be equal, but greater than the original action. In the history of military-related journalism, the well may just have dried up thanks to Rolling Stone Magazine. I hardly think the rest of the industry will be too happy about that. Any bond of trust that had existed between journalists and the military has been broken!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

John Maynard Keynes' Multiplier Effect

Those who follow the Keynesian economic theory firmly believe in the "multiplier effect" as was originally espoused by Mr. Keynes. The multiplier effect is a demand-side economic theory that assumes that, for every dollar that is spent by any government, the economy will actually be stimulated by 1.5 times that amount as that dollar of spending ripples through the system. Simply said, a dollar spent returns $1.50 in economic activity.

But, for me, and many in the economic community, Keynes ignores the supply-side effect in promoting this demand-side economic philosophy. That's because government spending, through higher deficits, additional taxes, and inflation that is ultimately caused by the printing of more and more money, will have a more negative effect, in the long run, because too much disposable income (supply) is being removed from the economy in that government's quest to spend the country back into economic health.

Additionally, there is an immediate "carrying cost" associated with all government spending. By this, I mean, that, for every dollar spent by any government, more than one dollar had to have been collected in taxes and/or penalties. That's because any dollar of government spending is only a dollar after all the administrative costs and interest on that money has been paid. In our country, that carrying cost can be as much as 30% as any dollar of collected taxes tries to make its way through our massive bureaucracy for final distribution. Further, that distribution, especially in the case of the Stimulus Package, is typically to State governments who, in turn, deplete the value of that dollar with their own handling costs before any final distribution to the private sector.

Lastly, Keynes does not take into consideration what ultimately happens to every dollar of spending; once it makes it's way to the private sector. It's taxed! And, because a lot of stimulus money is given to small businesses and contractors for government-let projects, the tax rates are some of the highest in the country. Then, after the contractor pays his taxes on his/her portion of the stimulus money that remains as profits, any stimulus that was distributed to their employees in the form of pay is also taxed.

To me, there is no multiplier effect. If anything, a dollar of government spending was probably more than a buck and a half before the government got its hands on it, completely negating that supposed $1.50 multiplier effect. That's why the Stimulus Package hasn't worked and that is why Keynesian economics has never worked in the past. Further, as governments continue to grow in size, the false theory of the multiplier effect gets even weaker as more and more of any collected tax money yields less and less value after being digested by the government.

This is why lowering taxes is the best mechanism to stimulate the economy. Lower taxes means that any dollar of stimulative spending is a real dollar in spending; long before the government gets its value-shredding hands on it. Then and only then, is there any true multiplier effect!

Capiche, all you Keynesians out there!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Illegals Call Now!

Last week, the Department of Labor released this ad:

Of course, the purpose of the ad is obvious. However, the concept is simply ridiculous.

First, illegal aliens are only being hired because they are willing to work for less. If employers were willing to pay a fair wage, they wouldn't be hiring them in the first place. They would be hiring Americans with higher educational skills and, hopefully, no language issues.

Additionally, this ad is asking illegals to look a gift horse in the mouth. If employers begin to fear that illegals are talking to the Department of Labor about them, they will stop hiring them. Now, maybe in a way, this will actually reverse the flow of workers across our borders. But, it is possible that because they are here already, the reduction in jobs for these workers may actually create conditions which force them to make other choices to stay alive; causing crime rates and gang activity to increase.

Keynesian Economics Is Like A Drug Addiction

In the 1930's, FDR used excessive Federal spending, a cornerstone of Keynesian Economics, in an attempt to revive the U. S. economy during the Great Depression. It failed. At the same time, Europe recovered much quicker without the spend-thrift precepts of Keynes insanity. In retrospect and in a futile attempt to save Keynesian Economics from the trash heap of economic theory, those "apostles of John Maynard Keynes" have concluded that Federal spending during the Great Depression didn't produce the intended results because FDR didn't spend enough; and, because he tried to cut spending at the same time.

In the 1970's, the same Keynesian spending programs were attempted by the Democrats and Jimmy Carter; though much more limited than all the spending that took place during the Depression. But the Keynesian practices of that era, too, failed and, once again, the Keynesian economists claimed it was a failure of not spending enough and not a failure in the soundness of their philosophy. However, and in complete contrast to Keynes, Reagan took the reins and applied tax cuts, not spending, and the country righted itself economically.

Also in contrast to Keynes debt deepening beliefs, both JFK and Bill Clinton spurred their economies on through tax cuts; even though the Clinton tax cuts were primarily driven by a Republican Congress and the implementation of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America. Today, Democrats constantly refer to Clinton-economics as being the powerful engine that created a surplus that George W. Bush completely erased. However, in doing so, the Democrats seem to forget that Bush, like so many other Presidents, inherited a recession at the tail-end of the Clinton Presidency and, then, only 9-months into his Presidency, he was hit with the economy killing effects of 9/11. If the Democrats would simply put ideology aside, they would have to truthfully agree that it was the Bush tax cuts that produced a gradual erasure of the deficits for each year following 2003 until the housing bust and recession that started in 2008. This was despite all the spending for two Wars and the dumb excessive spending by the then Republican-controlled Congress.

Now, we have Obama and his economic team. Once again, the principals of Keynesian economics are being applied with all kinds of Federal spending; from the TARP to the Stimulus Package. And, as had been the case in the application of all Keynesian economic spending in the past, our economy seems to be stalling out after only 16 months since the Stimulus was implemented. Now, as before, there are calls for even more spending.

The trouble with Keynesian economics is that all those massive infusions of cash have only a small and temporary impact on the economy. To sustain the benefits, you have to keep repeating the programs until, literally, you go broke doing it. Much the same way a drug addict keeps needing more and more "fixes" to satisfy their habit.

Two perfect examples of this were the "Cash for Clunkers" program and the first-time home buyers tax credit. Both programs created increased buying in their respective areas of the economy. But, once these programs ran their course, the buying not only stopped but, it fell far below the buying that had been seen prior to the implementation of either of these two programs. Of course, this fact, as in all the cases of all other applications of Keynesian economics, resulted in calls by the auto and home industries and some Democrats to extend the spending. And, so, the parallels to drug addiction.

The problem with Keynesian economics is that the effects are always short-term. They focus too much on growing the government when it is the private sector that actually grows the economy. The government, through taxing, only saps our economy. That's why tax cuts and not government spending have always produced better results. Proof of the addictive behavior of Keynesian spending comes from the likes of lefties like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich who are screaming that we need more and more spending. Obama, too, being a good little Keynesian, has warned the G20 member heads of state to keep the spending going to save the world's economies. However, history has proven this to be a flawed belief and most of those G20 members have seen the light. In a direct slap at Obama, most will now cut spending and, maybe, some taxes to save their economies from completely collapsing under the failure of Keynesian spending. Mr. Obama would be wise to follow their lead and dump his head-strong big government philosophy; unless, of course, his true intent is something other than saving our economy from a deep recession.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another Black And Blue Uemployment Report?

The next unemployment report is due out Friday. The previous report was both dismal and disappointing with only 21k net jobs being created after deducting the Census Worker count. The next report, based on the economists being surveyed, is expected to be even worse, with a drop of as many as 145,000 workers in June. Also, the survey expects the unemployment rate to rise from 9.7% to 9.8% for the month.

Since the economic surveys of the last 3 years have always been wrong and, since the economy seems to be weakening, my guess is that Friday's numbers will be another shocker to the downside. I don't think that the ripple effect of the Gulf oil spill is being fully taken into consideration in that 145K jobs estimate. Further, the GDP number came in below the expected 3% level at a dismal 2.7% rate. What's important about that number is the fact that history has proven that you need at least a 3% growth in GDP to just to account for population growth. Further, a number higher than 3% is actually needed to address any additional job growth due to immigration; legal or otherwise. A number of 2.7% means that a lot more people may have lost their jobs as our country's production output falls. I wouldn't be the least surprised if Friday will see a near 200,000 jobs lost in June, with the unemployment rate upped to 9.8% or, even hitting 9.9% again.

Of course, my crystal ball hasn't been that perfect, either. To know this, you just have look back at my predictions for oil and gasoline prices of just a few months ago. Predictions that were completely blown out of the water by the potential collapse of some of the European Union's member states and the Union's currency: the Euro. However, my predictions on our economy have been fairly accurate. For that I can thank Obama and the Democrats for making that job much easier because of all their foolish policies.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

For the G20: No Proof In Obama's Pudding

Recently, Obama drafted a letter to the G20 heads of state recommending that they scrap their plans for austerity and, instead, continue to inject more and more money into their economies in order to grow themselves out of their recessions (Click here to See Story: Obama's Letter To G20 Urges World Leaders To Continue Stimulus).

The stupidity of this letter is that the G20 countries, primarily those of Western Europe, are on the brink of collapse because of their spending; and, Obama wants them to spend more. I think he would carry more standing in his comments if our own Stimulus legislation had actually worked. But, recent numbers for our economy show it faltering even with us two-thirds of the way through stimulus spending. Certainly, the unemployment rate at near 10% doesn't bode well for Obama's spending philosophy.

My guess is that the European Union, specifically, is having a good laugh at Obama's expense. His policies have no credibility. If "The proof is in the pudding," Obama's always comes out underdone, sloppy, and distasteful. Worthy, only, of being tossed out!

Is America Tiring Of The Oil Spill Disaster Already?

You can just feel it. Since last week, the focus on the oil spill disaster is starting to wane. No longer does it occupy the headlines or open as the top story on cable news. Once again, America's attention span seems to have run it's course.

During Katrina, the heat stayed on Bush because the media kept it there. Hollywood personalities flooded New Orleans and kept the cameras focused on their activities. From Sean Penn's almost comical rescue efforts to relief concerts.

Now, the mainstream media seems to be satisfied that Obama has done his job by creating a $20 billion BP escrow account. And, Hollywood? From day one, they were nowhere to be found. Yet, the oil is still gushing and the much-needed clean-up equipment continues to be held at bay by the Obama Administration, as they fail to allow any foreign expertise onto our shores without having to go through all the typical bureaucratic rigmarole.

Rarely, now, do you ever really see a story on the destruction in Haiti. Rarely, too, does anyone follow up on the failures to rebuild New Orleans; now five year later. America does seem to have a short attention span and politics is a mess because of it. Anger always seems to fade into complacency and, I am afraid, that the Gulf oil spill will follow that well-worn scenario. Following 9/11 the slogan was "We Will Always Remember". However, today, we seem OK with relegating terrorism, again, to a simple police action. A Mosque will be built at "Ground Zero" in Manhattan. We seem willing to treat terrorists like common criminals and not the destructive and hateful enemies that they are. In a way, the 9/11 slogan would have been more accurately stated as: "We Will Probably Forget!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Summer Of Recovery?

Last week, Obama, with Joe Biden as his ambassador, launched his new P.R. campaign with regard to the economy by calling it: "A Summer of Recovery." Unfortunately, Obama forgot to tell the economy to cooperate with his latest sleight of hand that is designed put lipstick on this pig of an economy that appears to be stalling out.

The last two weeks saw nothing but bad news. New home sales fell an astounding 33% in the last month. Existing home sales, too, fell to prior lows. Only 340,000 mortgages out of the 9 million that Obama promised have actually been saved from foreclosure in the last 16 months. The sales of big-ticket orders in America -- like washing machines and airplanes -- fell by a negative 1.1% when, last month, there had been a 3% gain. People are still losing their jobs each week at a rate above 450,000 with yesterday's number at 457,00o and the prior week's number adjusted upwards from 472,000 to 476,000. This morning's Gross Domestic Product (the total economic output of this country) came in lower than the 3% that was expected with a percentage gain of only 2.7% (Click here to See Story: Economy Grew Slower in First Quarter than Expected, Up 2.7%). On top of everything else, this month's Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates and the associated commentary indicated a new and more cautious tone about this economy recovering any time soon (Click here to See Story: Fed more cautious on U.S. recovery, keeps rates at record low).

With all that disturbing news, it's really hard to swallow the "Summer of Recovery" that Obama and Biden want us all to believe. You can't have a recovery when every month this Congress is forced to keep extending unemployment benefits or, when this President sends Congress a letter to enact another multi-billion dollar boost in order to keep teachers, police, and firemen in their jobs. Or, more importantly, the Federal Reserve becomes more cautious about the recovery and continues to hold primary lending rates at near zero.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why McChrystal Had To Go

From our country's earliest beginnings, the founding fathers knew the potential hazard of this or any country being taken over by a stratocracy -- a military dictatorship. To minimize that potential, they drafted, as part of our Constitution (Article 1 section 8), a specific structure that clearly positions the military under the direction of the Executive Branch of the Government and with their funding being controlled by Congress. Thus, their power is balanced between the two most prominent civilian legislative branches of government.

While it is important that we don't have a lap-dog military that can't express any concerns over the commands that they may receive from the Executive Branch, it is also important that they maintain a certain level of respect for the civilian leadership that they report to. That's because any erosion of that respect might actually create a situation whereby the military becomes autonomous to some degree; with the worst case resulting in some kind of coup.

The McChrystal situation presented a real conundrum because he is the primary architect of the military plan that is only half-way implemented in Afghanistan and prior to the draw down of troops starting next year. To lose him over his disrespectful comments may actually jeopardize the results of the war.

One option that was available to Obama was to elicit a public apology from McChrystal (assuming he's sorry). Then, bust him down by one or two stars from his four-star status and allow him to continue in his role as the Afghanistan commander. However, this ignores the fact that there might be a serious dissenting attitude in his command and below towards our civilian government.

I think the only real option for Obama was to have accepted McChrystal's resignation. He probably should have been stripped of some of his rank to show how serious an offense he had committed. For the protection of the precepts of our Constitution with regard to the military, Obama absolutely had no other option.

Our country has, probably, the best military in the world. No one man is irreplaceable. There are a lot of people in the ranks who could replace McChrystal and continue the plan in Afghanistan. Certainly, the replacement of McChrystal with Petraeus was a good choice but it might have just left Iraq exposed. In addition, Obama needs to strengthen his leadership skills so that this kind of disrespect doesn't fester once again. And, too, if we continue to see unrest in the military over the Administration's leadership, it is the people of this country who will need to reprimand Obama for his actions.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When The Ship Is Sinking

More than just some romantic ideal, the captain is usually the last man standing and usually does go down with his ship. Nothing could be more true than in Presidential politics. Especially if the President is in serious political trouble.

This week we have learned that Rahm Emanuel might be leaving after the mid-term elections with rumors that he is fed up with Obama's policies. Also, this week, we learned that Peter Orzag, Obama's Director of Management and Budget, is going to bail next month. After all, you can't blame Orzag for wanting to leave the budgetary mess that Obama saddled him with. Just prior to these revelations, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, took a walk and quit his position.

Further, Obama's Afghanistan Commander, General McChrystal, made some very disparaging remarks about Joe Biden and the current Administration; and, indirectly, Obama. He had to fully know that those comments would lose him his job; and, I think he didn't care because the Afghanistan War isn't going well. Let's not forget that when McChrystal took this job, he was never given the full compliment of troops that he said he needed to add in order to win the war. I'll also bet any money, that McChrystal has been getting a lot of more guff than just that about the number of troops and he probably doesn't want to put up with it any more.

All of these situations come only a year and half after Obama took office; making you wonder what's going on internally within his Administration. We know that almost all the dealings with people and organizations that are on the outside of the Administration have to put up with this President's Chicago-style, bullying type of politics. Just look at what Obama has done with the banks, Wall Street, health care, and BP. So, it's probably logical that the same type of bullying goes on internally. Some might call it playing "hard ball" but, all too often, it is a thoughtless form of weak management. I know from the business world that, when you see a lot of people quitting a department, or getting fired for being disgruntled, it is either intentional -- as in cleaning house -- or as a result of bad management. Obviously, the latter must be the case since all of the above mentioned people were hired by Obama. I think this is just the first of many to jump ship and a sure sign of disorder within the Administration.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Failed Obama Plan For The Economy

Back in February of 2009, Obama announced a plan that he said would save about 9 million people from losing their homes to foreclosures. At the time, I wrote the blog: The 31 Percent Solution? In that blog entry, I pessimistically said that, at best case, Obama's plan might save a maximum of one-and-a-half million mortgages. Now, 16 months later, the best that this Obama program has done is to save a meager 340,000 mortgages on a permanent basis (Click here to See Story: Still Few Results From Mortgage Modification Program). More than 436,000 who were accepted by the program failed to achieve any satisfactory mortgage modification in order to keep their homes.

Once again, we have another Obama economic program that has failed miserably against its original hyped objectives. Maybe if the people advising Obama understood the economy, business, and the mortgage industry, they might have gotten a little closer to the actual number rather than missing the mark by an astounding 2600 percent!