Posts Tagged ‘stimulus’

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

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Florida Fun

Occasionally a politician will switch parties. Some; like Ronald Reagan or Joe Lieberman do so because of very strongly held principles which they refuse to disavow when the policies of their party move in the opposite direction. Others like Arlen Specter or Rodney Tom switch solely as a desperate means of self preservation and the egotistical need to remain in office. Charlie Crist of Florida is a prime example of the latter.

Governor Crist is a poster boy RINO. His tenure in the Governor’s mansion started out all right, but was soon clouded by his sycophantic pandering to the Obama Administration. While most Republican governors resisted the gargantuan stimulus legislation, Crist welcomed it with open arms both figuratively and literally. This began a serious erosion of his popularity among Republican voters in the state.

Crist is a shining example of the effeminate metrosexual modern politician who loves to play huggy bear. A generation or more ago, the only politicians who physically embraced one another were the Communists. The sight of Leonid Brezhnev planting hugs and kisses on Eastern Bloc leaders was considered comical. This disgusting habit arose in this country with Bill Clinton. George W. Bush continued it, and President Obama has elevated it to an art form. The loving embrace between Obama and Crist on stage when the Stimulus Bill was being pushed was the beginning of the end for Crist’s future political career.

Crist is a Michael Bloomberg without the billions. When he announced he would follow his governorship with a run for the US Senate, his name recognition and party affiliation were wind at his back. Then there appeared out of nowhere – Marco Rubio – a true conservative young Republican with character and principles that Crist sorely lacked. In a head to head Republican primary run-up, Crist’s poll numbers tanked while Rubio’s soared. It was becoming obvious Rubio would win the primary.

Asked repeatedly if he was considering running as an independent, Crist just as repeatedly vowed to stay loyal to his party and run against Rubio. Yesterday Charlie Crist showed his true colors, bailed out, and announced his switch to independent status. This set up a three way run for the general election for the Senate seat.

Crist is a myopic, disloyal, egotistical, destructive dirt bomb of the highest order. Rather than admit his policies, positions, and past actions have garnered rejection form Florida voters, he insists on a third party candidacy. This will split the voters between a liberal Democrat; currently down in the polls, a conservative Republican; currently ahead, and Crist – a milquetoast squishy turncoat. Crist has the principles of a coyote, the character of a reptile, the spine of a jellyfish, and the common sense of a noseeum. He must be beaten so soundly that he never raises his head in the political arena again.

Crist’s bug-out destabilized the race such that this afternoon, Jeff Greene – a real estate billionaire – has suddenly jumped into the race as a Democrat. He has dough to burn, but will probably split the Democrat vote to the point that Rubio will basically be running against Crist. Stay tuned!

Marco Rubio is an inspiration. The son of Cuban immigrants, he has risen on solid principles and accomplishments through the Florida State legislature. His candidacy deserves the same support from around the nation as we gave to Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Here is Marco’s website. I just sent him a contribution. Please consider doing the same. Our children’s future depends on regaining control of Congress in November. Marco Rubio is very important to that goal.

Direct Donation site:  https://www.marcorubio.com/fliptheswitch/

Campaign website:  http://www.marcorubio.com/

Bunning at the Bat

Senator Jim Bunning just took a stand on behalf of every American taxpayer and was mercilessly pilloried by the Democrats, the press, and even many Republicans. If this is the way a courageous man is to be treated when he stands up for what is right, the present faces in Congress must be replaced.

The Senate solemnly adopted a bill nicknamed “PAYGO” recently. They agreed that any additional discretionary spending would be offset by a reduction elsewhere or a tax increase. It was in reality not much more than a political fig leaf to protect the Senators from additional criticism, but at least it was supposed to be a start on controlling the near criminal level of spending and debt. Over Bunning’s objections, PAYGO was ignored and another $10 Billion was spent without any offsetting cuts.

The funding was for yet further extensions of unemployment benefits, COBRA health care benefits, and some federal programs. Also included was a replenishment of the Highway Trust Fund to allow some construction projects to continue. The minute Bunning put a hold on the bill, the tempest exploded. He was harassed by news reporters and cameras demanding explanations of why he would be so cruel as to hold up the funds. He was denounced by our very own Patty Murray and many others on the Senate floor. His fellow Republicans held their noses and fled the scene. Jim Bunning, like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, was alone against the elements.

One of the very few Senators who voiced support was Scott Brown, the freshman Senator from Massachusetts. The lesson here is that Brown knows that one of the reasons he was elected was to clamp down on the disastrous levels of spending at the federal level. He has only been in office a month and has not yet been tainted with the DC way of doing business.

In a federal budget with $666 Billion in non defense discretionary spending, The Senate flatly refused to find an offsetting reduction which would have been a mere one and one half percent. Nor would they allow the use of $10 Billion out of the unspent “stimulus” funds. Instead, they insisted on borrowing the dough from China and saddling our kids with the additional debt. This senseless, asinine buffoonery has to stop.

Unfortunately, Bunning collapsed under pressure and folded late in the game. He was off to a good start, but morphed into the cowardly lion. America needs some courageous, principled Congressman and Senators. Will we elect them this November? It is up to us.

Fear Itself

When Franklin Roosevelt took office, his words “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” had poignant meaning. Unemployment was at 25%, and the stock market was in the tank. The new president had his hands full when he stepped into the White House.

President Obama was sworn in with unemployment on the rise, the financial establishment in turmoil, a sick stock market, and a housing market implosion. There were plenty of things to fear at that moment, including world wide economic weakness. Obama faced similar if not as serious problems as did Roosevelt.

FDR fought the difficulties of his time with massive government programs and spending that had little positive result, but enormously expanded the national debt. The Great Depression slogged on with only minor relief until the outbreak of WW II ended it. President Obama is following the same path, fully expecting different results from repeating the same policies. In the process, he is only feeding the fear that is crippling what should be a strong resurgence.

The TARP bailout was not created to provide a piggybank for picking winners and losers in industry. It was put in place to prevent collapse of the large financial houses and banks that were teetering on catastrophe. Once in office, Obama dragooned TARP funds to bail out Chrysler and GM – acts that were never permitted in the original legislation. The banks are repaying the funds with interest, but the auto companies are not. A trip through bankruptcy court would have been the best cure, but that would have required the companies and the UAW to severely adjust their bankrupt practices. Obama cushioned his union backers at the expense of taxpayers. The Hugo Chavez act of basically nationalizing the car makers struck fear into large corporations and small firms since it begged the question of who might be next.

Next up was the so-called stimulus bill to the tune of about $800 Billion. Hysterically rammed into law in the first weeks of the new administration, it was a commitment to borrow money from abroad and blow it on pork and make-work projects. Obama promised that unemployment would not go above 8% if it passed. Now it has topped 10%. The only jobs the bill “saved” were those of federal, state, and municipal workers. In the meantime, evidence has surfaced that the bill’s extension of unemployment benefits has enabled folks to postpone actively seeking employment. The mere fact the results were the reverse of what was promised, after committing such a huge mountain of money creates more fear of government action.

President Obama declared that under his cap & trade legislation “electricity costs will necessarily skyrocket.” If this scheme becomes law, it will chase manufacturing jobs overseas and destroy the housing market. Since the bill has stalled in Congress, the EPA has stepped in. They seized the power to regulate carbon outputs by issuing an “endangerment finding” declaring CO2 a “harmful pollutant.” Every business person in the country knows what that will dramatically increase the cost of doing business, which will lead to higher prices and less demand for products. Less demand means less commerce and fewer jobs. They stand in fear of the fact that such rulemaking and regulation could well destroy their livelihoods.

Let us not forget the Damocles Sword of health care reform. It hangs over the heads of every firm and individual that currently has a health care plan. Will it pass? Will it fail? Will some middle ground be agreed upon? Until one of those questions is answered in a definite manner, the 85% of Americans who currently have health live in fear that the plan they have today may well be history soon. Who can make any rational decisions to grow a business, change jobs, or even plan for the future with such uncertainty?

How about the threats and near certainty of higher taxes to help pay for all this largesse, regulation, and additional entitlement spending? How could the rational man or woman be tempted to risk starting or investing in a business, or hiring more workers, knowing that even more of their hard-earned money will be taken from them at virtual gunpoint? Most businesses and individuals refuse to invest under such circumstances. Obama’s statement to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to “spread the wealth around” basically means that he intends to take from those who earn and give to those who don’t. Job creators are fearful, and many will keep their money in their mattresses.

The biggest and most frightening monster under the bed is national debt and the huge unfunded obligations of entitlement programs. These liabilities being transferred onto future generations add up to well over $100 Trillion and climbing. Americans are becoming acutely aware of this impending catastrophe and are very concerned that instead of doing anything about it, this administration is making the situation vastly worse. Millions are buying gold instead of products out of the fear of future inflation.

The shaky situation among some EU countries of course adds somewhat to the fear that most Americans feel at the present time, but it is nothing but a minor concern. The US economy has rebounded strongly from most past recessions and there is no reason it should not be doing so right now – except for the real fears outlined above – all products of this administration and its policies.

We Americans do not fear fear itself; we fear our futures are being squandered in front of our eyes by the misguided and damaging policies of this administration. We do fear risking our capital on promising, job generating opportunities and then seeing the overreaching laws destroy the business. We do fear working our selves to the bone and being taxed to the point we retain only chump change. We fear the spending, the debt, the regulation, and unprecedented government control of our lives and businesses.

Sending the President and Congress on a 3-year non working vacation would do more to bring this economy back than any and all of the destructive, loopy, expensive and foolish actions they are presently promoting. Being completely absorbed in their own self importance, they will ignore this suggestion, but the American people have the opportunity to broom scores of them from office this fall. Be sure to vote in November and then plug your ears. When the polls close, there will be power shift that may well reinvigorate the nation and its people.

It’s a Decoy

Most Americans have great respect for men of principle who stand their ground in the face of strong opposition. This writer, although firmly against many of our President’s policies, up till now had to admit grudging admiration. Obama’s determination and perseverance in pushing Health Care no matter what the polls are saying appeared somewhat courageous for a period of time, but has now taken on different aspects.

Obama is obviously continuing to beat a huge square peg into a small round hole and has been doing so for a year. It reminds one of a housefly trying to get through a window on a sunny afternoon – continuously banging into an immovable object not realizing it is an impassible barrier. How can an intelligent Harvard educated President purposely continue to prove Einstein’s definition of “insanity”? Let’s suppose the entire fiasco has morphed into nothing but a decoy.

Obama came to office with an agenda to accelerate and further enable the transfer of wealth from those who produce it to those who do not. This is exactly what he told Joe the Plumber he was planning. He has managed to triple the federal deficit in his first year in office and project similar levels of spending and borrowing out for at least the next 10 years – even before the health care costs are potentially added to it. This has alarmed taxpayers and set off reactions across the entire country, but the disastrous spending continues unabated. The main reason it appears that spending is now on auto pilot is that the opponents are completely involved fending off the health care legislation. They have neither time nor energy to address the spending fight.

The health care debate is the perfect foil which is blocking effective opposition to the stimulus, omnibus, TARP, and “jobs” money incinerators. This administration knows that the American people are strongly against the idea of government running 1/6 of the entire economy. They know that health care cannot pass Congress on a bipartisan vote. The value of continuing to push it is to keep the fiscal hawks diverted away from spending programs presently running amuck.

Republicans are fighting a small holding action on the parapet of health care. Meanwhile the ground in front, around, and behind them is being overrun with the unsustainable spending and borrowing that is endangering the financial future of the entire nation. As Scott brown gets elected to the Senate, Obama is scheming to spend the TARP funds repaid by the banks on make work, vote buying pork in swing states. As proof that the stimulus has actually worsened unemployment surfaces, voices calling for the termination of the program are drowned out by the cacophony of the health care battle. Fannie, Freddie, GM, Chrysler, and AIG among others enjoy the status of zombie companies which should have been used as organ donors and buried long ago, but instead continue to dine on taxpayers.

The health care takeover started out as a genuine goal for the Obama administration. Sometime in the past several months, they realized that it had no chance of passing along conventional lines. At that point, the prudent thing would have appeared to have been to abandon it and concentrate instead on the economy. Since prolonging it seems so counterproductive in the face of all the evidence, it must have been continued precisely to create the perfect smoke screen to obscure and protect the ongoing catastrophic spending of the administration’s other programs.

It’s Jamie’s Money – Stupid!

Jamie is 14, a good student, a cheerleader, and has yet to hold her first job.  The absolutely out of control spending by administrations of both parties over the past 75 years has always been deeply concerning.  However this past year has broken the camel’s back.  Where is the sanity?  This immoral spending and borrowing has to stop now.

LBJ sent this writer to war in a Marine rifle company on borrowed money.  Then he pushed through his Great Society legislation which created never ending fiscal outflows and saddled this nation with untenable programs soon to go into deficit.  These programs were of course added on top of a Social Security commitment dating from 1937 that was already heading for trouble.  Government programs expanded, increased, and spending grew throughout subsequent administrations.  Clinton is credited with actually balancing the budget and creating a surplus with a lot of help from a fiscally responsible (for a very short time) House of Representatives. 

The second Bush presidency went off the rails and the next thing we knew, another huge entitlement program, a couple wars, reinstated farm subsidies and increased earmarks brought back huge deficits.  Congress was back on a spending spree and “W” lacked courage with the veto pen. 

Most of these entitlement programs and spending were initiated for one reason only – to buy votes in the next election and support incumbency.  It is basically spending borrowed money to play sugar daddy to the next bloc of voters some politician wants to buy off.  An earmark here, a program there, an occasional new cabinet department and it all continues to add up to an impossible burden. 

In the past year we have seen TARP, the Stimulus Bill, the Omnibus Bill, and now 2 versions of proposed health care reform which combined have caused the deficit and national debt projections to be blown beyond the Land of Oz.  The yellow brick road is paved with government IOUs.  Recently we heard that since there has been no inflation, Social Security recipients won’t get a COLA increase.  How best to try to buy off these folks who are somewhat reticent about health care reform? Well, the President wants to give them a raise anyway.  What’s a paltry 14 Billion Dollars when we are already 13 Trillion underwater? Now we are staring at a new budget with a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit with promises of yet more to come.  This behavior is irresponsible, out of control, and blatantly self-serving. 

Lord Acton once said “Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  The Republicans proved this between 2000 and 2006 when they ran wild with spending, earmarks, and entitlements resulting in huge deficit growth.  They abandoned core principles for the aroma of the trough and the near criminal quest for reelection.  Their buffoonery was rewarded by being booted out of power.  Now the Democrats, supreme in the White House and Congress are striving to lure millions more Americans into the false security of entitlement dependency for the sole purpose of remaining in power – on borrowed funds, of course. 

 Buying auto manufacturers with money borrowed from China, propping up “too big to fail” financial firms which should have been broken up and sold off in manageable chunks, and blowing $780 Billion on pork laden “stimulus” measures all fits into the plan.  Cap and Trade bills in the works will cripple the global competitiveness of major industries, raise energy prices, and destroy the resale home market.  If this bunch gets their way with health care, the Postal Workers Union will eventually be running our hospitals.  This administration is moving lock step toward imposing their own group think into legislation and international agreements that will severely inhibit any possible economic recovery and create compounding deficits for decades to come. 

The current unfunded liabilities of Medicare parts A, B, & D amount to 89.3 TRILLION DOLLARS.   Congress and the President want to cut Medicare by $500 Billion to shell game some of the costs of their health care reform plan.  This is nothing but a Madoff Moment milking one Ponzi scheme to fund yet another.  We might assume that particular plan is dead with the election of Scott Brown, but it may only be playing possum.  In the meantime the administration is trying to pass another stimulus bill and dragoon the repaid TARP funds into additional spending.   

Who EXACTLY is ever going to pay for this irresponsible fiscal lunacy? Well, let’s let Jamie pay for it for the rest of her life long after we who spent the dough are gone.  She won’t ever be able to remove our dead hands from her pocketbook.  She, her children and grandchildren will be condemned to lives of serfdom – all because powerful politicians cared more about their own selfish interests than the good of the country, its future, and its people. 

Americans should take a long look in the mirror and realize who put these people in office from the president on down over the past half century.  We are being led down a chute to national financial slaughter by them and since the bill will come due over the next couple generations, we will be remembered as the ones who crippled our nation with debt, spent the dreams of our children, and sold them into financial servitude.  We will not be kindly remembered by our descendents.  If you have young ones that you love as I do, and you have one scintilla of self respect and common decency, you will help reverse this disastrous course before it consumes our nation and its people. 

How do we begin? First we must realize that in nearly all cases, “something for nothing” from the government is just flat wrong.