Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The 1% are what those that the "Occupy Anything and Everything" refer to as this nation's wealthy. In lock step with the occupiers, Barack Obama has been hammering the wealthy; claiming that they should pay more taxes. Or, in his words, pay their fair share. Of course, this is an attempt to garner votes based on class warfare. But, the number that Obama should be paying attention to is 75%. That's the number of likely voters who believe that the top wage earners are already paying too much in taxes. This is based on a recent poll by The Hill online political magazine.
Then, there's that 10% number. That's the current approval rate of Congress. With Obama's own approval below 50%, he figures he can run against unpopular and "do nothing" Congress in order to win a second term. But, that 10% number is nothing in comparison to three other numbers: 7.2%, 53%, and 45%.
First off, no President has ever won reelection with an unemployment rate above 7.2%; and, the chances that this President will see anything close to that number in the Fall is plain folly. Gallup just reported that, through their normal monthly polling, the unemployment rate jumped to 9% in February. This after having reported an 8.6% rate for January. Usually, the Gallup reported changes in the unemployment rate presage the official, federally-reported number by a few months. That's why the current down-trend in the official, federally-reported unemployment rate might be coming to an end.
Then, there's the 53% number. Based on a new USA Today/Gallup poll, that's the number of voters, in critical swing state,s who think ObamaCare is unconstitutional and think it should be repealed. Of course, those voters understand that ObamaCare won't be repealed unless Obama is out of office.
Lastly, there the big enchilada. That's Obama's current Gallup approval rating. As of 2/28, it's just 43%. No President in modern history has been reelected with an election eve Gallup approval rating that was below 49%. Ford failed at 48%. Carter didn't do it with his horrible 31%. And, "no new taxes", George H.W. Bush, became a one-term President with a lowly 39% approval rating. If Obama's approval remains in the low to mid-40 percentile, he, too, will be a one-term President. (Note: The Presidential approval rate data comes from a January 2011 New York Times article written by Nate Silver: "Approval Ratings and Re-Election Odds").
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Now, three Democrats -- Reps. Ed Markey, Peter Welch and Rosa DeLauro -- are urging the President to increase the supply by releasing oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve (SPR). So, once again we have Democrats acknowledging that increased oil supplies will lower oil prices and, subsequently, lower gasoline prices at the pump. However, they seem to forget that, just last year, Obama released oil reserves from the SPR and the impact was tepid at best, and the price of oil returned to previous highs in just a short amount of time.
If we want lower prices on a permanent basis, we need to drill. But, it pains Democrats to tell that truth. They will do everything possible to avoid increased drilling. They will drag oil execs into hearings to make the public think that high prices are all due to manipulation by big oil. During the Bush/Cheney years, they blamed it on the fact that the President and Vice President were ex-oil people and cozy with the big oil companies. But, for all the hearings and all the blaming, oil prices remain high. Only when a recession hit America did prices go down and that was simply because demand fell.
One last thing. Now is not the time to release oil from the SPR. We have a bellicose situation in the Middle East. The potential for disrupted supplies is higher than at any time since the 6-Day War. But, this is an election year and the Democrats are worried that high oil could jeopardize their election bids in the Fall. So, as a consequence, they are willing to put reelection ahead of national security.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Back in 2006, the then-Senator Obama from Illinois, wrote this in his book The Audacity of Hope: "We cannot drill our way out of our addiction to oil." Yet, since then, U.S. oil supplies have never been greater. All thanks to new and deeper oil finds and major advances in drilling techniques. Not, because of our government. Because of persistent exploration by the oil companies. Now, we actually may have enough reserves to last us through the beginning of the next century. If Obama would allow those companies to drill.
Over 40 years ago, during the OPEC Oil Embargo, the Democrat-controlled Congress under President Carter, trotted out a bunch of hand-picked, environmentally friendly experts who said we would run out of oil in 40 years. But, now, more than 40 years later, with more than a tripling of the world's automobiles, we still seem to have enough oil in the world.
This "we can't drill our way out" is a tactic that is used, over-and-over again, by the Democrats to delay bringing any new sources of oil into the marketplace. It is driven by their all too cozy association with the environmental movement. Sadly, every time they win using that slogan, it's the working poor and the middle class who suffer as a result of higher gasoline prices. A problem that the Democrats never seem to understand.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I'm sure the small-minded people in the Obama Administration think that this will bring those overseas manufacturing operations back to the U.S. But, in fact, they just might find out that this tactic will force major U.S. corporations to leave this country and go to places, like Canada, where conditions are more favorable to business. We're already seeing this happen and the President's move on double-taxation will only accelerate the process of businesses leaving the U.S. Note this video from Fox News of just a day ago:
(Click for Video: "Concerns Over Businesses Moving to Canada").
Right now, U.S. multinational corporations are forced to leave their overseas profits, well, overseas. If they should bring those profits back here, they would be hit with a 35% federal tax. If Obama wants to better our American economy, he should propose that corporations are allowed to bring those profits back with zero penalties. This way the money would come back home, enter our economy and -- I'll bet -- create growth. Growth that would increase the tax base and, subsequently, increase federal and state tax revenues. It would be "stimulus" without any taxpayer money. And, even if those companies redistribute those profits as dividend, the IRS will collect taxes on the dividend and the money will go into the hands of U.S. citizens who will, in turn, spend it. Better yet, those funds could even help companies lower their prices on products they sell. Instead, his proposal will only punish business and potentially force them to move out of the U.S.
In Obama-land, there is this belief that U.S. Corporations are intentionally moving operations offshore to avoid taxes. But, in many cases, setting up production facilities in other countries is the only way a U.S. company can be competitive in that country. All too often, U.S. corporations are forced to set up manufacturing in a country as a condition of being able to sell in that country.
Obama is the most business unfriendly President in modern history. And, once again, he's proven this by trying to go after the foreign profits of our most profitable, tax-paying corporations.
Friday, February 24, 2012
But, here's the thing. The world leader in blue-green algae research is Exxon-Mobil -- that nasty big oil company. I'm sure you've all seen this TV ad that has been running for quite a few years:
In fact, back in July of 2009, Exxon-Mobil announced a $600 million program to develop the production of fuel from blue-green algae. In the press release, they noted that, unlike oil-based fuels, algae-based fuels would be, at the very minimum, CO2 neutral. That's because the CO2 produced in the burning of any algae-derived fuels would be more than offset by the amount of CO2 being used up by the algae's own growth process.
I just find it interesting that this President is now -- in a backdoor fashion -- promoting Exxon-Mobil. A company that he just targeted for punishment by eliminating any tax loop-holes for big oil.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The fact is that supplies were up and demand was down and the world should have seen a lowering of oil prices by the Fall of 2010. Not a doubling. But, you see, around the world, oil is only traded in U.S. dollars. And, if the dollar is weakened, then it takes more dollars to buy a barrel of oil. All that spending in 2009 and 2010 by Obama and the Democrats severely devalued the dollar as our national debt piled up. As a consequence, oil prices naturally rose. Not driven by demand, not driven by supply, but instead, driven by the spending policies of Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress.
On top of that, in April 2010, we had the BP oil spill . In response, Obama pulled all the deep-water drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico. Traders viewed this as a short and a potential long-term reduction in supply and they started trading oil prices even higher. Further, in December 2010, Obama re-imposed a 7 year ban on any drilling off the Atlantic or Pacific coasts; as well as in the wilderness areas of Alaska. Once again, traders saw this as a future reduction in supplies.
For Obama to blame high oil prices on events that are out of his control is just ridiculous. He's done everything possible to restrict oil production and drive prices up; and, in doing so, make expensive green technologies seem more reasonably priced. Eventually, the world-wide economic doldrums will end. Unemployment will lessen and economies will start to come alive. When that happens, years of pent-up oil demand will literally happen over night. If there isn't enough new supply to meet that demand, dealing with today's high oil prices will look like child's play. That's why Obama's policies are so dangerous for America's future..
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
In essence, the workforce has remained at or below approximately 154 million workers since 2008. Yet, if we assume population growth, the current workforce should be above 160 million workers with more than 162 million by the end 2012. Instead, the BLS has arbitrarily created a bunch of "ghost" workers who don't exist and who are not being included in their monthly unemployment calculations. As a result, we are seeing a declining unemployment rate when, in fact, it has actually increased. To prove this I present the following chart:
While I have calculated that the "true" unemployment rate as being over 13%, the number might be a little lower if I had been able to determine how many unemployed workers were able to take early pensions and, as a result, may never return to the workforce. Even so, the current rate is a politically advantageous distortion of the unemployment situation in this country which works nicely towards the reelection bid of Barack Obama. Sadly, the truth is not being told.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Saturday, February 18, 2012
This hypocrisy just proves that the calls for cutting military spending while refusing to cut liberal, governmental programs is all about a left-wing, anti-war ideology and not about what's good for this country's long-term economic survival and protection.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
He points out that, in the January 7th GOP Debate on ABC, Stephanopoulos asked each of the candidates whether or not the States could ban contraception. At the time, contraception was neither a local or national issue. So, obviously, this out-of-the-blue questioning was a real head shaker. Now, we know that, just one month later, contraception would become a national issue with the ObamaCare mandate. In retrospect, it sure looks like coordination with the White House.
You can read William A. Jacobson article at this link: Remember when no one understood why ABC asked about contraception at the NH Republican debate?
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
For sure, the Volt is no poor-man's car. With a $41,000 price tag and with the first year costs exceeding $4500 (sales tax, vehicle tax, and insurance), your talking about spending $2000 more than what the average American makes in a year. It also means that the typical Volt owner has to be making more than the $250,000 that Obama, himself, defines as being rich.
I just think that if you're rich, and that committed to being a show-off to all your environmental friends, you don't need a tax break. But, no, Obama wants a million electric cars on the road by 2015 and he will waste as much taxpayer money he needs to in order to make that happen. In fact, his latest budget ups the $7000 tax rebate to $10,000. That's because sales of the Chevy Volts are floundering and these "pigs" could really use another 40% "lipstick" boost to attract new buyers. I'm just waiting for Obama to declare the Volt a health benefit and force the insurance companies to give them out for free. You know. just like contraceptives.
Monday, February 13, 2012
So, once you make all contraceptive methods free of co-pays, penalties, and deductibles under the Obama mandate, women will no longer be price constrained and they will naturally migrate to the more expensive methods that may have several advantages over their current, cheaper prescriptions. As a consequence, you can expect the overall expense for birth control in America to rise significantly in just a few years. For you and I, this means higher and higher insurance premiums to offset those higher expenditures.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
So, in one fell swoop, Obama thought he had scored a political double play. First of all, he decided that by making contraception free of co-pays and deductibles, he would be able to gain back many of the female voters who had turned away from him in the last 3 years. At the same time, he was able to secure his liberal base by forcing the Catholic Church to provide both contraceptive services and, even, abortion through free access to the morning after pill. And, I am quite sure that Obama calculated little or no backlash since most Catholic women and their spouses practice birth control.
But, what Obama didn't count on was the fact that his actions would be seen as a Constitutional challenge to the freedom of religion as specified in the First Amendment. Consequently, the Catholic Church, as well as other religions, blew-back strongly on this decision because they understood that if Obama is able to subjugate religion in this case, any and all other freedoms of religion would be at risk going forward. Furthermore, by adding abortion therapies to the mandate, Obama offended more than just Catholics who are strongly against abortion. At a minimum, Obama may have offended the 46% of this country who claim to be pro-life. Then, too, of the remaining 54% who claim to be pro-choice, more than a third of those only believe that abortion should be performed in cases of rape, incest, and to save the mother's life.
Obviously, Obama is now in an untenable position. He can't rescind his decision without offending his non-Catholic political base. If he allows his decision to stand, he may be in serious reelection trouble. Of course, there have been feeble attempts to defend his position by claiming that 98% of Catholics believe in birth control. But, with freedom of religion at jeopardy and abortion being thrown into the mix, it really doesn't matter how many Catholics practice contraception. Let's face it, Obama miscalculated this one from the get-go.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Yes sir, Mr. Obama. Our founders developed a system of government that was based on a balance of power between the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial branches of government. They did that so that people like "you" wouldn't be able to act like kings and simply run roughshod over those in this country that don't necessarily agree with you. Ours is a system that forces compromises.
Let's not forget what Thomas Jefferson once said: "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." That's why we are a republic and that's why our system of government is the longest lasting form of democracy in the world today.
Somewhere between 60 and 80 million woman will now become eligible for this latest ObamaCare handout. Planned Parenthood estimates that women spend between $15 and $50 a month for various contraceptive methods, devices and drugs. So, when you add it all up, the health insurance industry is probably going to have to cover $30 billion dollars a year or more in providing contraception coverage. But don't expect the insurance companies to eat that cost. You and I will pay that amount in higher premiums. My guess is that it could amount to $200 to $300 in higher family insurance premiums. Once again, Obama's promise of lowered health care insurance premiums fails to be a reality.
Already, the average family's insurance premium has risen from just around $13,000 a year to over $15,000 since Obama took office. I suspect that $20,000 a year is not too far off; especially, if the President keeps mandating freebee services under ObamaCare.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Even though I detest the minimum wage because I think it hurts businesses and actually raises unemployment, I have to agree with Mitt on this one. I think Rush is ignoring reality by being so blinded by his strong conservative ideology. The fact is that the Federal minimum wage will never go away. So, what you want to do is minimize its impact on businesses. The trouble with the minimum wage lies in the fact that, when Republicans are in power, they hardly ever vote to increase the minimum wage. Then, when the Democrats take over, raising it becomes one of their first priorities. And, they don't just raise it incrementally in small amounts. Instead, they play catchup on all the years that the Republicans neglected it. So, as a consequence, businesses are hit with massive wage hikes. For example, in 2007, the Democrats decided to up the minimum wage for the first time in years. As usual, they wanted to make up for all the lost years. As a result, businesses were hit with 3 increases in just two years with the final total being a hike of a whopping 41%; going from $5.15 an hour to $7.25. For a company of just 10 workers, that increase was equal to the 2007 pay of 4.1 additional workers. What's worse is the fact that two of those increases came at the height of the recession. It is no wonder that unemployment soared in 2008 and 2009!
In my opinion, any businessman would prefer to count on small annual increases in theminimum wage over time rather than be bludgeoned to death with massive and infrequent payroll hikes. And, I think most conservatives would agree after hearing the facts. Romney's position is better for business and that makes him a valid conservative.
Friday, February 3, 2012
- January saw a drop in consumer spending by 17%. And, it's consumer spending that drives 70% of our economy and, ultimately, jobs.
- January's Mass Layoffs Report was the highest in four months.
- 2011 saw the worst economic growth (GDP) in 2 years at an abysmal 1.7%
- Each week, more than 360,000 workers continue to lose their jobs.
The fact is that the BLS has been able to lower the unemployment rate by using a little "trick" in the way they calculate the unemployment rate. That trick is to shrink the labor force and, in doing so, create the impression that the employment situation is getting better; when, in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that, in January, 1.2 million unemployed workers were no longer counted by the BLS as being part of the workforce because those workers were so frustrated that they stopped looking for work. And, according to the methodology used by the BLS, a unemployed worker who stops looking for work is no longer a worker. When you really think about, that 1.2 million workers is an absolutely, astounding one-month number. It's as if the entire city of Dallas, Tx. (our 9th largest city) had been jobless and then, suddenly, in January, the entire population decided to stop looking for for work.
The truth is that, if the BLS wasn't able work its magic with the numbers, the true unemployment would be closer to 11% and not hardly at today's 8.3%. And, of course, Obama should be doing cartwheels over the fact the "his" Bureau of Labor and Statistic has been able to work all this magic at a time when Obama desperately needs a declining unemployment rate in order to get reelected in the Fall.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Now, while it is true that American corporations, especially in the high tech fields, are having trouble finding qualified engineering applicants, this exchange between Obama and this woman leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
First of all, we don't know why her husband was laid off in the first place. Obviously, companies faced with having to let employees go don't like to lose there most valuable employees. Second, change in high tech is fast paced. For an unemployed semiconductor engineer, every day that he is out of work is a day that technological progress is passing him buy. Companies aren't in the business of on-the-job training. When they hire somebody, they expect that person to hit the ground running. Third, we don't know what metropolitan area this woman's husband is seeking a job in. If, for example, that area is already knee deep in unemployed semiconductor engineers, only the cream of the crop will fill any job openings. Definitely, his being out work for 3 years has made him less and less valuable in the current, depressed job market. Lastly, many people who are unemployed are forever stuck looking for work in the area that they currently living in. Many might be able to find jobs elsewhere in the country but, because they are so underwater on their current mortgage, they just can't relocate without facing substantial penalties on their existing mortgage commitment.
This woman's husband is a sad commentary about the years of high and long-termed unemployment in this country. While I'm sure, for political reasons, Obama will definitely find this guy a job, others in similar situations won't be as lucky. Many "high tech" professionals may never find work, again, in their chosen profession. Some may have to start all over again by applying for an entry-level engineering jobs. But, knowing Obama, my guess is that he will use this woman's husband as an example of those "bad corporations" intentionally avoiding hiring the long-term unemployed. Again, he will call for tax penalties for companies who don't hire the long-term unemployed. Just mark my words.