I was watching “The Rock” the other day. You know…the movie where some Marines take over the prison on Alcatraz Island, and threaten to fire some missiles at San Francisco if they don’t get money for Veterans or something. And the missiles have some chemicals in them that are so dangerous that the Feds need to bring in Stanley Goodspeed, aka, Nicholas “Most Dramatic Actor Ever” Cage.
So, the entirety of the movie was about Cage and Sean Connery trying to stop the Marines before they could launch the missiles. The Marines’ plan, of course, was entirely dependent upon the govt. believing they would kill everyone with the rockets if they didn’t get the money. As I’m sure you remember though, Ed Harris wasn’t about to kill 80,000 innocent people, which resulted in everybody shooting each other and Goodspeed ultimately marrying his baby mama.
While watching The Rock, I thought of the Republicans in the House, as they figured out how to screw up the whole Fiscal Cliff thing. The Senate, to no one’s great surprise, passed a bill that raised taxes on anyone earning over $450,000, while not cutting any spending. Would the Republicans in the House fall into line, or would they do their job and vote down the bill? Well, like Ed Harris, too many on the right weren’t willing to blow up a few San Franciscans with chemical weapons. See, a threat of force is only as useful as one’s willingness to use it. The Republicans could have taken a stand against more taxes, more debt, and more unemployment, but instead many, including Speaker Boehner, folded.
Some will say “but Nash, it isn’t that bad. The bill makes the Bush tax rates for everyone earning under $450,000 permanent.” Sigh. It’s only as permanent as the next bill that raises taxes on everyone. Also, the legislation contains no cuts, and allows everyone’s payroll taxes to increase. In other words, the law sucks. In fact, it sucks to badly, that the only complaint the Dems could come up with was that it only taxed estates worth over $5 million. That’s it.
How does this legislation make me feel? Much like how Nicholas Cage feels about bees.
Angry. And fearful. With a side anaphylaxis.
We here at Why Not Nashville? like to look at proposed legislation and ask “why?” Too often our leaders propose legislation simply to say they did something and hope their constituents are satisfied, even if said legislation will have virtually no positive impact. For example, the whole thing about banning assault rifles. Why? What’s the benefit? It isn’t going to do anything about the rifles that are already out there, it probably wouldn’t have stopped the Connecticut shooting from happening, and it isn’t going to do anything about the primary weapon used for shootings, the semi-automatic handgun (which we have a Constitutional Right to own). Moreover, gun laws don’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals anyway. In other words, banning assault rifles would have no impact, other than to advance the agenda of the anti-gun left. Not much of a reason if you ask me.
The fiscal cliff debate is another such example, although its assumed outcome will have a far more practical effect than simply lessening our liberties. It should be rather obvious to everyone that Barry wants us to go over the proverbial fiscal cliff. How do we know this? House Speaker John Boehner was actually going to give Barry what he allegedly wanted: a bill that would permanently fix tax rates for the overwhelming majority of Americans, while ultimately allowing the rates on rich people to go up on January 1. The conservatives in the House shot this possibility down last night, but Barry had already stated he was going to veto such a bill. Why would he want to do that? Because he wants to raise taxes on the top 2%, while Boehner’s bill would only have raised taxes on approximately the top .9%. But why does Barry want so desperately to raise taxes on the top 2%? Even the left agrees raising taxes on the top 2% will negatively impact small business. They also agree it would retard the already tepid economic growth we’re experiencing. Crap, Barry’s even asking for stimulus money to try and offset the negative impact of the tax hike. Finally, the tax hike will do virtually nothing to our long term debt and deficits. In other words, it’s being pushed only to advance the left’s “pro-middle-class” agenda. It has nothing to do with improving anything, however, which is why I’m glad the “Tea Party” members of the House shot Boehner’s proposal down.
Poorly thought-out, agenda-driven legislation is a bad idea. Want proof? Let’s look at budgetary black-hole California, where major cities are going bankrupt, and the Dems running the state have absolutely no idea what they’re doing because their ideology doesn’t match up with reality. As you may or may not know, Californians voted to raise the state sales tax and to raise state income taxes on “wealthy” people. The presumed purpose of the proposition was to reduce California’s massive debt. Contrary to popular belief, however, raising taxes doesn’t always result in raising revenues, especially when the people you’re raising taxes on are already paying more than they should be, and have the resources to flee to greener pastures.
According to the report, personal income tax revenues were ‘$827 million below the month’s forecast of $4.387 billion.’ Sales and use tax receipts ‘were $9 million below the month’s forecast of $1.601 billion’ and the year-to-date sales tax revenue was $8 million below forecast.
Not surprisingly, corporate tax revenues were also down, $175 million below the month’s estimate and year-to-date corporate tax revenues were $441 below estimate.
It’s examples like this that convince me we won’t actually begin solving our fiscal problems until we hit rock bottom. After all, it wasn’t the California state govt. that voted to raise taxes; it was the friggin’ people. In other words, there is a large group of people out there who believe we should be raising taxes, despite the ample evidence that doing so will actually make things worse. Maybe it will take another round of massive lay-offs and a recession to wake people up. Maybe even that won’t be enough. The older I get the more convinced I am that there are huge swaths of unemployed people that, despite their protestations to the contrary, are perfectly happy living in card board boxes as long as they have cable, cigarettes, and Wild Turkey. I don’t get it, but it’s clear that I’m in the minority. At least there’s still a few House Republicans who refuse to vote for legislation that they know won’t work.
America just re-elected a guy who presided over four years of deficits exceeding a trillion dollars. That’s never happened before (the deficits I mean…we’ve re-elected presidents before). The White House believes it now has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy. The House of Representatives believes it has a mandate to keep that from happening. The Senate believes it has a mandate to never produce a budget, which it has failed to do for more than three years now. Is any of the foregoing true? Who knows. I have no confidence in most Americans knowing the difference between the debt and deficits, let alone ways to fix it.
The day after the election, House majority leader John Boehner said he was ready to talk to Barry about reducing our deficits. He said he was ready to put new revenue on the table through tax reform. Some of the more pathetic members of the Republican party have even agreed to increase taxes the wealthy, despite overwhelming proof that doing so will have virtually no impact on the deficit, while actually harming the economy. Barry’s response to Boehner:
President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011.
$1.6 trillion. Where will that come from, you ask? Well, everyone agrees that eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000, which is what everyone was arguing about during the debates, will only amount to $824 billion over ten years. While that’s certainly a lot of money, it’s only half of what Barry is looking for. Where’s the rest going to come from? Barry hasn’t told us that yet but I’ll be holding onto my wallet.
All of this is being discussed in an effort to avoid the upcoming “fiscal cliff.” The “cliff” refers to what our economy is set to figuratively fall off of on January 1 due to the expiration of all the Bush tax cuts, plus a crap-load of automatic spending cuts. In other words, taxes go up on everyone while spending goes down. You’ll hear the Dems argue that the Repubs are “holding America hostage for the sake of the rich.” You’ll hear some Repubs continue to say no to any new taxes, especially without significant entitlement reform, while some other Repubs will panic and say something like taxing the rich a little more won’t be the end of the America.
You know what gets lost in all of the “Bush tax cuts” argument? The reality that the “cuts” were to everyone’s taxes, and a whole bunch of people were removed from the tax rolls altogether. Fact is, our income tax system is more progressive now than it was thirty years ago. The problem, as we all know, isn’t our tax rates; it’s our spending problems. But hey, what do I know? I voted for the other guy.
So, given that America has re-elected Barry, and given that Barry and the Dems and their constituents want taxes raised on the wealthy, I say Congress should simply do nothing. “But that will cause our economy to go back into a recession and it will be terrible.” I say let it come. Our economy sucks. Unemployment sucks. Our debt and deficits suck. And you know what? The guy who was just re-elected doesn’t care. He has an agenda, and I say let him have it. You want to increase taxes on the wealthy? Screw that. I say raise taxes on everyone, and bring a whole bunch of people who voted for Barry back into the tax base. Is anyone really serious about spending cuts? Well, they’re coming up on January 1, 2013…$1 trillion of ’em.
As we speak, there are a surprisingly large number of people signing their names to petitions on the White House’s website, asking the feds to let their respective states secede from the union (the “surprising” part is that so many people are voluntarily giving the White House a reason to monitor their activities). The left will tell you they’re all just a bunch of bitter-clingers who hate Barry because he’s black. The reason the petitions were started is because many people see their country running down a path to insolvency and regular real unemployment being above 10% (it’s currently 14.6%), and they want off the train before it gets there. In other words, the country’s in distress and we don’t have a president who cares.
Despite what a majority of this country believes, money isn’t infinite, and companies aren’t charities. About 870,000 Ohio households just received proof of the former yesterday. Lots of people have been experiencing the latter for four years now. In other words, the people made their beds.
As you know, we have Barry for another four years. A majority of the voting majority did something I didn’t expect: they combined their general dislike for Mitt Romney with their genuine liking of Obama, and on these bases alone, decided to completely ignore the last four years. This selective amnesia is especially pertinent with respect to the economy. We know it was terrible before the election, and not surprisingly, it remains terrible today. Now that we have the election behind us, we can scan the landscape and evaluate the aftermath.
70.4 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid for fiscal year 2011. That’s about 20% of the total population, or 1 out of 5 people. That’s an incredible number when you consider Medicaid exists only for the poor. Obamacare, which becomes fully dysfunctional in 2014, will add even more people to the roll because it expands the po0l of people who qualify. The left will argue these figures support its call for more government. I’m here to tell you that more people on Medicaid is bad, and the only way to get people off of it is to improve the economy, and get them working again. So far, the response to Barry’s re-election by the private sector has not been good, although it has been expected.
Obama’s environmental regulations are certainly having an effect on the coal industry, which should surprise no one, since Barry himself said four years ago that his goal was to make coal-created energy so expensive that no one would/could use it. Well, elections have consequences:
EAST CARBON, Carbon County — A Utah coal company owned by a vocal critic of President Barack Obama has laid off 102 miners.
The layoffs at the West Ridge Mine are effective immediately, according to UtahAmerican Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. They were announced in a short statement made public Thursday, two days after Obama won re-election.
Other segments of the economy are also cutting workers. More consequences:
OWATONNA, Minn. – Some unwelcome economic news hit Owatonna Thursday with word that Caterpillar Inc. will close its plant in Owatonna, a move that will cost the community about 100 jobs.
Caterpillar Inc. notified employees Thursday it is closing the plant and consolidating operations within its forestry business. Production will end at the Owatonna facility by March 1, 2013. Caterpillar is offering employees at Owatonna a severance package and will work with appropriate agencies on finding those workers new opportunities.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — TE Connectivity will close its Greensboro plant by the end of next year, resulting in 620 layoffs.
Glenn Beck has a list of job losses announced since America rolled the dice on four more years of Barry here. A second list, which includes the companies planning layoffs specifically because of Obamacare is found here.
Maybe all of this is just coincidence. I suppose it’s possible. On the other hand, maybe we actually are just a nation of takers. For example, Illinois, a state that has currently $28 billion in general-obligation debt, with an additional $84 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, just decided to not only re-elect the Dems who set off the debt bomb, but actually increased the size of the Democratic majority in the legislature so that it is now veto-proof, thanks largely to re-districting. And then there’s California, with its own $617 billion in unfunded liabilities. Instead of cutting spending, Californians decided to raise taxes on high wage earners. It seems many are satisfied with the status quo.
All of this seems very confusing to some people. How could anyone re-elect Obama? Look at the economy. Look at the unemployed. Look at the number of people who are on food stamps. It’s like pinch-hitting a guy who bats .078 against lefties in the bottom of the ninth against the other team’s closer…who’s a southpaw. You can make a pretty good guess about the result based upon prior occurrences.
The thing is, it’s not confusing if you understand human nature (re-electing Obama, not the baseball analogy). Obama’s an affable guy who gives good speeches. People also trust him for reasons I have yet to comprehend. But people are also lazy. And if someone is given the opportunity to not work, while still being able to live a satisfactory life, that person is probably not going to work. We’re making it too easy for people to not work. It’s one thing to not have a job. It’s another thing to not have one for years. It’s another thing entirely to not even be looking for one. And there are jobs out there…I see help wanted signs all over the place. They’re for cashier positions and the like, but they’re jobs all the same. We shouldn’t be paying people to sit at home when they could be working, but we are.
Government assistance is beneficial right up until the point that it isn’t. Large segments of the population don’t recognize the dividing line, and as a result, re-elected a guy who doesn’t think such a line exists. Companies can’t create jobs when the government is openly attacking their ability to thrive. People won’t work if they don’t have to. These two facts will hamstring any recovery over the next four years if our government continues to institute policies like those of the last four. A closing quote from a guy at a Chicago job fair (who unquestionably voted for Barry):
Rodney Booker said, ‘I stood in line for four hours. They better give me a Wal-Mart gift card, or something.’
Sobering, isn’t it?
It’s been a period of inactivity here at Why Not Nashville? I’m busy watching the RNC, getting ready for watching football (yes, that does take preparation), and doing some other very important things that you will get to hear about in the near future. Despite my failure to write you love letters for some time, don’t think I have forgotten about you, my loyal readers.
Much has taken place since last we spoke. For one, Paul Ryan, who this blog often discusses with reverence, has been tapped as The Mitt’s VP pick. I was, not unexpectedly, elated. Two nights ago, Mr. Ryan gave his VP acceptance speech at the RNC. Despite “not watching,” or “not caring,” or “actually taking a shower,” the libs are all up in arms about certain claims made about The One. The talking points have obviously gone out about Lyin’ Ryan and his, well, “lies.” Let’s look at those lies, shall we?
1. Ryan accuses Barry of closing down GM plant.
During his speech, Ryan recalled one of Barry’s moving 2008 speeches. During his monologue, then-candidate Barry, stood in front of a GM plant in Janesville, WI and said the government would keep the plant around for 100 years. As you likely guessed, it shut its doors about four months into the Obama presidency. The knee jerkers on the left then proceeded to claim that the plant had been closed in December 2008, during the Bush presidency, and therefore, Ryan LIED. You’ll note one thing about these claims: they’re all entirely unsupported. Is it a lie? Well, let’s ask the local news:
So, yeah, it’s true. Next.
2. Taxpayers didn’t get anything from the stimulus
Ryan didn’t say we didn’t get anything out of the stimulus. He said we got debt. Which is something. It’s something that sucks. Of course, the left claims this is a lie because, according to the CBO, 3.3 million jobs were created. What Ryan said isn’t so much a lie as an opinion. If we created 10 temporary jobs, but spent $25 million of taxpayer money to do it, is that a success? I guess it depends on what side of the aisle you’re on. Being that I’m on the right side, I don’t see how spending almost $800 billion to get 3.3 million temporary jobs is worth it. If I accept the CBO’s numbers as a fact, which I don’t since I don’t know what constitutes a “job created,” we still spent a ridiculous amount of money per job. And was it all worth it? Not even economists can agree:
Economists are less unified, however, on the question of whether the short-term benefits of the stimulus were worth the long-term cost. In the same February survey, only 46 percent of economic experts agreed that ‘the benefits of the stimulus will end up exceeding its costs” — including “the economic costs of raising taxes to pay for the spending.’
I guess we should ask Barry if it was a success. Let’s remember, it was The One who sold us on the stimulus, claiming unemployment would not rise past 8% if enacted. That estimate was a bit off. Bottom line: whether the stimulus was worth it is in the eye of the beholder, but Ryan’s statement is certainly not a lie.
3. Obamacare puts the Feds in charge of healthcare
Again, it depends on how you want to view Obamacare. It is a single-payer, socialist system? No. Not yet anyway. Let’s not forget when Barney Frank said it was the first step towards single-payer. In any event, what is Obamacare? It’s a system that forces private insurance companies to take on all comers, regardless of the fact that they might have scurvy, while not charging them for the limes in their Corona. In fact, the insurance companies can’t even raise rates without the federal govt. okaying it, regardless of whether there’s a lime shortage due to global climate change/warming/cooling. And the plan provides govt. subsidies for, well, almost everyone. While the feds may not be in charge of healthcare yet, Obamacare has certainly given them a substantial seat at the table.
4. Ryan blames Obama for the credit downgrade
The lefties claim it wasn’t Barry, but instead, was the dirty House Republicans playing chicken with the fiscal cliff, or because of chickens coming home to roost, or something about Chik-Fil-A. Well, what Standard and Poors actually said was:
The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.
* * *
Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.
In other words, America has a giant debt problem and the morons in charge of our govt. don’t care and won’t do anything about it. And if we all remember, it wasn’t the Republicans who were saying no to spending cuts (at least not this time). So, not a lie.
5. Ryan hints that Obama’s a Socialist
What the hell does that mean? Did he wink or something when talking about how much Barry loves suitcases of unmarked bills? In any event, it sounds like he was just saying what we’re already thinking. In any event, not a lie; it’s an opinion. Just kidding. It’s a fact.
I thought the left’s response to Ryan’s speech awesome, by the way. It shows they’re scared. In fact, they’re so terrified that people are going to like Paul Ryan that they have to invent lies that are easily debunked by the Google.
And then there’s Clint Eastwood. The libs are furious. I’m not sure why. For a guy everyone says was embarrassing, they’re sure spending a lot of time criticizing him. What’s so objectionable about a bumbling actor saying, hey, the guy in the White House is kinda’ stinkin’ up the joint, so why don’t we hire the guy with the sterling business record? Sounds pretty reasonable.
So what have we learned? When you mix Paul Ryan and Clint Eastwood, you get this:
Well that didn’t take long. Over in this corner, you have the Dems, complaining about an alleged robocall which is telling everyone that they don’t need to vote to vote. And some other stuff.
‘This latest lowlife sleaze comes on the heels of countless reports from around the state of various Republican dirty tricks on behalf of Walker,’ Chheda said in a statement. ‘For instance, reports surfaced last weekend that Walker supporters are paying homeowners to post Walker signs on their lawns.’
We here at Why Not Nashville? love sleaze. And dirty tricks. Especially when they’re Done Dirt Cheap, which I can only imagine paying someone to put a sign on their lawn would be. Speaking of the robocall, why do Dems always have such a low opinion of their fellow Dems? Why do they assume that their constituency is so stupid as to believe that, by not voting, they’re actually voting? Have some self-respect.
And in this corner, you have some random guy who called into a random radio show to say he was being bused in from Detroit to vote against Walker. Of course, the caller is tricky, so he’s actually going to vote for Walker. This seems dubious to me, but since it’s on the FoxNews website, I think I’ll just believe it. Oh, and what kind of buses? The inconspicuous kind.
They’re big, black with gray lines on the side. Charter buses.
To my readers in Wisconsin, be sure to be on the lookout for big, black charter buses with Michigan plates.
If all goes as expected, I fully expect the state of Wisconsin to resemble a tire fire by the end of the day.
Governor Scott Walker is undergoing his recall election today in Wisconsin. As many of you know by now, Walker and the newly-elected Republican majority in the Wisconsin legislature passed legislation severely limiting the public employee unions’ ability to collectively bargain. As a result of not having complete control of Wisconsin for the first time since, well, ever, the Democrats bussed in a bunch of angry people to come up with clever chants and take up space. They’ve also been hot on the “Recall Walker” trail since the day the collective-bargaining legislation was passed, which occurred while all of the Democratic Senators had run away to Rockford, Illinois. Who knew Wisconsinites could be so interesting?
We explained why public employees, as opposed to private employee unions, shouldn’t have the right to collectively bargain earlier in this blog. Simply put, unless every taxpayer is sitting across the table from the union rep, it isn’t really collective bargaining, since the taxpayers are paying for everything.
I expect Walker to win today. And then I expect the Democrats to both ask for a recount while simultaneously arguing the election was stolen by expensive television commercials. The reason why Walker will win is very simple: he’s done a good job. Before Walker and a Republican legislature were elected, the state was in debt. One year after the Republicans took control of everything, it will have a surplus.
But the state Department of Revenue now estimates that the state will take in about $265 million more than the bureau expected, which should translate to a $275.1 million surplus on June 30, and a $154.5 million surplus on June 30, 2013, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a letter to Walker.
That’s a pretty impressive turnaround in one year. What’s more,
State law requires that if revenue exceeds initial projections, half of the surplus must be deposited in the state’s rainy day fund. If Walker’s projections hold, about $45.4 million would go into that fund after June 30.
That would mark the first time in state history that state officials have added to the fund in consecutive years, DOA spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said. The Walker administration added $14.78 million at the close of the 2011 fiscal year, she said.
In other words, if the people of Wisconsin actually throw Walker out, then they get what they deserve.
Speaking of people who get what they deserve, let’s look at Illinois. It’s not just the results that should get Walker re-elected, it’s the trainwreck that keeps on keepin’ on down south. Unlike Wisconsin, public employee unions basically run the place in Illinois, and their desires go almost entirely unchecked. As a result, the state is $83 billion in the hole on their pensions, which is the worst in the country. No one seems to care. In other news, a recent poll revealed that 67% of Illinois residents expect it to rain money sometime in the near future.
Walker eliminated the deficit by cutting spending. Illinois Dems hope to solve the problem by increasing property taxes in the Chicago suburbs and downstate in order to pay for teacher pensions. This plan only failed because the Democratic governor discovered a map which reveals Illinois extends beyond Chicago.
So what have we learned? Wisconsin solved its deficit problem by cutting spending. Much of that cut resulted from eliminating collective bargaining for public employee unions, and forcing said employees to contribute more to their own pensions and benefits. This has resulted in school districts actually hiring more teachers. Illinois, on the other hand, continues in its nation-leading debt, largely due to pensions it can’t afford while it refuses to make any changes to the status quo. This stance will ultimately lead to increased taxes, unless Illinois begins to print its own money, which isn’t likely to be accepted as legal tender at Meijer. This will, in turn, cause me to move to Wisconsin, which may have been the Dems’ goal all along. I am, after all, very important.