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Can We Give L.A. Back?

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

It is truly difficult to imagine a more incompentent set of government officials than those running the city of Los Angeles…and that’s saying something now days.  L.A. received $111 million in stimulus funds to create jobs.  Well, how’d they do?  Jobs created or saved: 55.   No, that’s not a type.  55 jobs, at an approximate cost of $2 million apiece!  Holy crap!

So, why did it take $111 million of tax-payer money to save/create 55 jobs you ask:

The audit says the numbers were disappointing due to bureaucratic red tape, absence of competitive bidding for projects in private sectors, inappropriate tracking of stimulus money and a laxity in bringing out timely job reports. 

In other words, the problem was government. 

‘While it doesn’t appear that any of the ARRA funds were misspent, the City needs to do a better job expediting the process and creating jobs….’

Only in an absurdly liberal and backward city like L.A. could spending $2 million of taxpayer money per job not equate to funds being misspent.  Apparently the only way to misspend taxpayer money in L.A. would be doing someting like wall-papering government offices with it, or simply giving it back to the tax-payers.

L.A. is a joke, and an embarrassment to America.  Not only can it only figure out how to save/create 55 jobs with $111 million of taxpayer money, it also built a $578 million public school.  L.A. is liberalism on steroids.  Its local unemployment rate is over 12%, but yet it continues to tax the crap out of its residents (well, those that pay taxes anyway).  In other words, L.A. is a microcosm of America under Obama.  Government can’t create jobs, it can only destroy them.  Government can’t  produce wealth, it can only steal it. 

The question is: how long will it take America to realize that liberalism is literally destroying this country?  Hopefully soon.

It’s our money dill-hole.

September 7, 2010 3 comments

 

Is this surprising?

Remember Peter Orszag?  You know…the director of the Obama White House Office of Management and Budget that skipped town after realizing that he was about as useful in fixing the economy as my six year old daughter?  Well, he’s now one of the New York Times‘ esteemed Contributing Columnists.  In his first Op-Ed, he argues that Congress should extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years, and then dump them all permanently.  In doing so, he presents the liberal position that has been thrown about for so long that it’s simply met with a shrug.  In short: at some point, we need to raise taxes because the government needs to buy stuff…because, as we all know, buying stuff is fun; especially when it’s someone else’s money.  I continue to find this logic absurd and worthy of endless ridicule.

I have to give Orszag credit on one issue that the “progressives” fail to acknowledge: ending the Bush tax cuts for anyone, even those evil rich people who have stolen all of their money from the rest of us without creating any jobs (that’s sarcasm for those of you who are new to this blog) would actually hurt an already crappy economy.  It’s his next points that cause me great consternation.

Many conservatives are even worse: they’d make the tax cuts permanent for the likes of Warren Buffett, even though he’d prefer they didn’t. Making all the tax cuts permanent would expand the deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next decade.

Ah Warren Buffett…how I disdain you.  You of statements like (and I’m paraphasing here), “it’s not fair that my secretary pays more in taxes than I do.”  Look Warren, I know you like to look at the man in the mirror every morning and wax poetic about how gracious that person is, but you’re the one drinking fifty year old scotch out of a golden goblet.  In other words, if your secretary is paying more taxes then you, then stop paying your lawyers and accountants to find ways to shelter your money…or stop paying your secretary so much.   Plus, if you really want to pay more in taxes, feel free to write the IRS a check…I’m certain it won’t be sent back.

But I digress.  My point is this: the only way tax cuts could increase the deficit is if the government DOESN’T CUT ITS OWN SPENDING.  See, the government isn’t entitled to whatever amount of revenue it wants so that it can do rad stuff like give grants to scientists to prove cats hate showering with naked people or to prove global warming exists by cherry picking climate stats.

Orczag continues,

Let’s look at the facts. The projected deficit for 2015 is 4 percent to 5 percent of G.D.P., depending on whose assumptions you use. A sustainable level is more like 3 percent or lower. So we need deficit reduction of 1 percent to 2 percent of G.D.P., or about $200 billion to $400 billion a year by 2015. These figures are uncertain, but they’re the best we have (and they may well turn out to be too optimistic).

These are only “facts” if you’re Nostradamus.  In other words, you need to know what the budget will be in 2015.  Since there is no budget for 2015, you’re simply assuming it will be more or less the same as it is now.  Why not assume that the government will decrease its spending in 2015? 

The federal government, and those employed by it, decided long ago that they were entitled to whatever amount of taxes they decided were appropriate and that they found to be politically palatable.  It began with FDR and his New Deal and Social Security and continued largely unabated through Johnson’s Great Society.  Each time the American people were told the government needs more money for the betterment of society; except society never asked for it.  So now we have Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…and Obamacare.  Liberal entitlement programs forced down America’s collective throat that amount to little more than theft.

Orszag asserts that Social Security needs reform…no kidding.  Will it get the reform it needs?  Well, being that the reform it needs is to, at the very least, allow Americans the opportunity to opt out of it and invest their money themselves, it’s  not likely.  How about Medicare and Medicaid?  Orszag asserts that Obamacare has resulted in substantial savings to both programs.  Considering the net effect of Obamacare will be to increase government spending, simply moving money from column A to column B and calling it savings seems a bit dubious, yes?

Simply put, our government has marched us slowly towards more and more taxes in the name of social progress.  Now we’re told we can’t “afford” to keep more of our own money.  Well, to that I say: I’m pretty sure we can.  Plus, Warren’s willing to pay more.

I Can’t Think Up A Witty Title.

September 3, 2010 1 comment

Well, it’s September.  I haven’t posted in a while because there’s been nothing going on.  August was hot.  Congress wasn’t in session.  The Tigers’ season has been over for a while now.  And I’ve been waiting for football to start.

But NOW, we’re officially into football and election season.  WOO-HOO!  While I could talk about football forever, this is not a football blog, and I’m not starting one now.  This is primarily a political blog, and it’s a political time of year.  And I can’t remember an election cycle that has been potentially more important than this one.  Let’s review:

The economy still sucks.  In fact, it’s worse then it was the last time I posted.  Unemployment is up to 9.6%; we’ve lost another 54,000 jobs; and Christina Romer, one of Barry’s chief economic “experts” who is leaving the administration, has recently let all of us know that they’ve had absolutely no idea what they’ve been doing re: the economy.

She had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be. She still doesn’t understand exactly why it was so bad. The response to the collapse was inadequate. And she doesn’t have much of an idea about how to fix things.

That’s disheartening…and also completely obvious.  Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has taken to authoring op-eds in the USA Today to try and convince America that the Democrat’s handling of the economy doesn’t resemble a monkey with a rubic’s cube. 

The Recovery Act saved millions of American jobs — keeping health care providers in hospitals, teachers in classrooms, and police and firefighters on the beat. But the benefits weren’t just in the public sector. During the past eight months, the economy has averaged 95,000 new private sector jobs.

While I’d love to see her support for that last sentence, it doesn’t really matter.  Unemployment will continue to go up until new jobs exceed 120,000/month (population increase).  More importantly, there is no doubt that the economy is slowly getting worse.  

The “summer of recovery” is followed by the “autumn of reality.”  Let’s face it: if the Dems had any idea what to do about the economy, they would have done it by now.

B.O. has recently begun getting rid of the “drove it into a ditch” meme, and replaced it with “it’s taken us 10 years to get into this mess, so it’s unreasonable to think we could get out of the mess in 18 months” nonsense.  Did it take us 10 years to get into this?  I don’t know.  I suppose one could reasonably argue it took one year, or even thirty-three years (the Community Reinvestment Act, which gave birth to the housing boom and bust, was enacted in 1977).  I also don’t care how long it took us to get here.  What I do care about is what is the current Administration doing about it?  Well, it’s been 18 months and the answer is: spent a lot of money for nothing.  Things haven’t improved, and the Dems are out of ideas.

So what should be done?  Well, first and foremost, vote against the Dems in November.  I know, I know…you don’t like the republicans either!  O.k.  Then go vote for the Green Party and pat yourself on the back for being “principled.”  After that you can have your juice box and sandwich with the crusts cut off and take a nap.  For the rest of us adults, we’ll choose a candidate with a chance of winning. 

Simply put, there is job-creating capital out there waiting to be invested.  It’s not being invested because no one has any idea what’s coming from this administration.  For example, if you were a business owner with money, would you be spending it to reinvest or hire new employees if you thought your taxes were going to go up in January?  Of course not.  Doing something as simple as throwing the Dems out of the House would improve the fragile psyche of the economy.

But simply voting Republican isn’t enough.  Pressure needs to be applied to those we vote for to do things like extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone.  Other taxes need to be cut…payroll and capital gains, for example.  Enact legislation which gives people the option to opt out of the slush fund that is Social Security.  Limit Medicare to those that need it; not simply those that are old enough to get it.  Significantly amend Obamacare and gut Fannie and Freddie. 

Until we get the economy back on-track, nothing else matters.  And there’s a lot going on that needs to be addressed beyond the economy…like why we’re ignoring Iran’s getting all nuclear and stuff.

It’s September…the kids are back in school, I get to drink new seasonal beer, and I get to watch football.  More important, however, is the election coming up.  We need to vote the Dems out…and then get ready for 2012, when we can vote out the guy who looks silly riding his bike.  And don’t worry…I’ll be posting a lot more than I did in August in an effort to get you through these tough times.

Paul Ryan is Why I’m a Republican, and Why You Should Be Too.

August 10, 2010 4 comments

I’ve been hearing a lot of self-described conservatives say things like “I’m not a Republican…don’t put a label on me…I think for myself” lately.  My response to those statements falls somewhere between “congratulations…here’s your medal for being an individual…now it’s nap time” and “you’re right, they’re not perfect,” depending on how well I know the person who’s saying it.  Look, people can identify themselves however they want in life, but when it comes time to vote in November, there are only two choices: the party of Paul Ryan or the party of Paul Krugman; and there’s a HUGE difference between the two.

Mr. Ryan hails from Wisconsin, is a member of the House of Representatives, and is a Republican.  And contrary to  the mindless rhetoric from the Democrats, he has a plan.  More specifically, he has a plan to get us out of debt and improve the economy.  And he does it by lowering taxes.  His “Roadmap,” as he call it, has been met with great disdain from the left because of its radical ideas; namely, cutting government spending.  Now, I understand that nowadays, actually cutting back on federal spending is the equivalent of riding a unicorn with the president, but there was once a day when the federal government didn’t employ the entire state of California.  The Roadmap cuts spending, decreases taxes for both individuals and businesses (which will create jobs), and simplifies the tax code to some extent.  Is Mr. Ryan your typical modern-day Republican?  Maybe not.  But you will never find a Paul Ryan in the Democrat party.

Paul Krugman.  I’ve written about him before.  While he identifies himself as an economist, he’s actually just a liberal shill in a tweed sport coat.  He believes spending cuts are stupid, or evil, or something.  He believes, like all liberals, that “tax cuts must be paid for.”  Of course, such a position constitutes lunacy when one considers the fact that those “tax cuts” are not expenditures, but simply less theft.  Like many liberals, Krugman believes increased government spending will create jobs by “stimulating” the economy.  Of course, he never identifies how much spending is necessary, since it’s never actually worked.  His convenient answer to continued failure is “we should have spent more.”

In response Krugman’s recent rambling and nonsensical criticism to his “Roadmap,” Ryan stated,

‘At the core of this is a big ideological fight between those who believe in the Founding principles and the sense of limited government—the American idea—and those who believe in the progressivist welfare state.’

‘The Roadmap is designed to maintain a limited government in the 21st century, and it is the antithesis of the progressivist vision which [Krugman] subscribes to. That’s fine. I understand it violates his vision for a progressivist society.’

In these statements, Ryan has admirably described the foundational difference between conservatives and liberals.  Liberals seek control by way of taxation, government spending, and entitlements.  Conservatives believe in self-reliance, small government, and opportunity.

The point of all of this is that it matters what Ryan believes vs. what Krugman believes.  It matters because, regardless of your feelings on “Republicans” vs. “Democrats,” the simple fact remains: Ryan, and those like him, will never be Democrats, and Krugman and his followers will never be Republicans.  For those that want a better shot at more opportunity, fewer taxes, sustained job growth, and smaller government, then vote Republican in November.  The only alternative is a vote for liberals like Krugman.

Portland shuts down lemonade stand due to no permit. Next up: Boy’s not allowed to discriminate against girls with cooties.

August 6, 2010 5 comments

My secret ingredient is ebola

Sigh.  Portland is quickly becoming my most hated city.  What now, you ask?  The city health inspector shut down a seven-year-old’s lemonade stand because she didn’t have a permit.

‘I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,’ said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department. ‘But we still need to put the public’s health first.’

Are you serious?  It’s lemonade.  It’s even made on site…the girl had all the ingredients right there for everyone to see: bottled water and Kool-Aid.  She even used hand sanitizer!  Jeez, when my kids make lemonade, they use the lemonade as hand sanitizer.  Maybe the little girl should have had a fifth next to her to hit the inspector  over the head.  Disclaimer: This blog does not stand for violence against government employees with too much time on their hands.  At least not with a fifth…that would be alcohol abuse.

I especially enjoyed the “I understand they’re just trying generate revenue but…” statement.  How ’bout a little pot, meet kettle.  Cost of a proper lemonade stand permit: $120.00.  If little girl hadn’t folded up her dirty little enterprise: $500.00 fine.  I’m confused: Who’s “simply trying to create revenue” again?

I’ll say it again: it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to run the government; just a little bit of common sense.  It’s a lemonade stand, not an oyster bar.  And it’s Kool-Aid…you know the shelf-life on that stuff?  If the health inspectors of Portland have so little to do that they’re going to force a seven-year-old girl to close up her lemonade stand, then Portland should seriously think about shedding some payroll.

UPDATE: Realizing that angry people don’t like to re-elect you, the top elected official in the county advised his health inspectors to use their “professional discretion” in doing their jobs.

‘A lemonade stand is a classic, iconic American kid thing to do,’ [Chairman Jeff Cogan] said. ‘I don’t want to be in the business of shutting that down.’

See, he loves his job America.  I’m sure the “lemonade revolt” being planned by a local anarchist had nothing to do with it.

Washington Post Exposes Intelligence Bureaucracy

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

He's working for the federal government now.

Well, the Washington Post has done an exemplary job of telling us, with colorful graphs and fancy web-pages, what we already knew: too many people work for the federal government and the intelligence community has become like, well, every other bloated federal monolith.  Here’s what I took away from Day 1(!) of the Post’s extravaganza: far too many people have access to my personals, which, if Michelle “step away from the fries” Obama has her way, will soon include my body mass index.

Now, the ridiculously large number of people with top secret access does concern me.  Why?  Well, it’s not just the dead hooker in my trunk (I kid, I kid).  And it should concern you too.  The federal government becomes larger and more intrusive by the day.  Hell, there’s probably some over-educated kid from Harvard sitting in his posh D.C. area office reading this very important blog right now.  And for what?

Since 9/11, buckets of money have been shoveled to anyone with any connection to the protection of this country.  That’s not a bad thing per se, since the job of government is to protect its people.  But what has all of that money and snooping achieved?  Well, I’m not being carbon-copied on the CIA’s internal memo’s yet, so I can’t speak to all the successes.  I do know, however, that some dude on the no-fly-list was able to get on an airplane and try and blow it up.  I also know that some terrorist sympathizer was able to evade great big flashing lights and alarms and kill some soldiers at Ft. Hood.  In other words, we still can’t “connect the dots.”

It’s not just the intelligence community that’s become a fat man trying to ice skate either; every part of the giant money-suck that is the federal government needs to be gutted.  There are WAY too many “civil servants” in Washington D.C. pulling down six figure salaries which are paid for by the tax-payer.  A recent article in Politico shed some light on the very issue of Washington failing to feel the effects of the bad economy:

The massive expansion of government under President Barack Obama has basically guaranteed a robust job market for policy professionals, regulators and contractors for years to come. The housing market, boosted by the large number of high-income earners in the area, many working in politics and government, is easily outpacing the markets in most of the country. And there are few signs of economic distress in hotels, restaurants or stores in the D.C. metro area.

How many of those “policy professionals, regulators and contractors” are serving a useful purpose?  Are we really safer with an estimated 854,000 people with top-level security clearance!?  The obvious answer to both of these questions is no.  And it’s not just an Obama or Dem problem.  Both parties have fattened themselves up from the tax-payer trough for far too long.

Next week’s Washington Post piece: an inside look at the Department of Education.  Be sure not to eat before you read that one.

Obama’s Tour de B.S. Rides On

July 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Am I beating a dead horse?  Well, not entirely…because it’s not dead yet.  As long as Obama keeps spewing rhetoric that falls somewhere between baseless nonsense and outright lies, I will continue to address it.  On Saturday, during his weekly radio/internet address to the nation, B.O. offered the following,

‘Too often, the Republican leadership in the United States Senate chooses to filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress. And that has very real consequences.’

So, what you’re saying is that not extending unemployment benefits beyond two years is obstructing progress?  What the hell constitutes progress then?  Three years of unemployment benefits?  Is he actually advocating that continued unemployment  benefits will create jobs?  Haven’t we been trying this for some time now?  Newsflash Barry: it’s not working!  Continuing to pay people to not work, with money we don’t have, coupled with a complete refusal to implement any legislation that may actually spur job growth is not progress.  It’s continuing to pour gasoline into a gas tank with a big-ass hole in it and waiting for the car to run; and when it doesn’t, advocate for the pouring of more…on credit.

Obama has made job creation his top domestic priority and has traveled repeatedly to the U.S. heartland to tout policies that lift hiring, including to Holland, Michigan, on Thursday for the groundbreaking of an electric car battery factory that has received federal dollars.

While not a direct quote from Obama, this is certainly a position he has offered before.  Assertions like this one continue to make me wonder if I’ve completely lost my mind.  How exactly has Barry made “job creation his top priority?”  Is there any basis for this contention?  What policies have been implemented that “lift hiring?”  Is it those unemployment benefits you keep talking about?

Oh, and that electric car battery factor in Michigan that is producing all of those jobs?  It’s mostly federal subsidies.  And yes, I can here it now: “but it’s job creation!  those are jobs that wouldn’t be there without the factory (and government money)!”  Well, that’s true.  But what happens when the factory stops receiving government subsidies?  If at that point the factory isn’t making the company money, it will close its doors.  See, this is the problem with “government stimulus” or “government subsidies.”  They’re temporary by their very nature.  Why?  Because the government doesn’t make any money, but always finds new stuff to spend money on.  We need sustained private sector job growth; not a one-time steroid injection.

U.S. growth has resumed after the worst recession in decades, thanks in part to a $862 billion stimulus plan Obama signed last year.

But this recovery has been slow to produce new jobs, and his Democrats risk punishment by voters in congressional elections on November 2 unless he can start to curb unemployment now running at 9.5 percent.

It’s true that slow growth has resumed.  It’s also true that the private sector is slowly adding new jobs  — not enough to equate to net job growth since not enough jobs are being created to match population growth — but at least we’re not losing them, right?  Has it resumed because of the stimulus though?  The fact is, no one knows.  What we do know is that, without the stimulus, the economy would have bottomed out simply because all the companies that couldn’t stay in business would have eventually gone out of business, and everyone else would have, at some point, slashed enough overhead to survive.  We also know that the stimulus didn’t keep unemployment maxed out at 8% like the obama administration claimed it would.  Does that make it a failure?  I would argue yes (duh), especially when no one can provide evidence that its net effect has been to create jobs.

Frustratingly for the White House, its proposals to extend unemployment insurance, cut capital gains taxes on investments and set up a fund to boost lending to small businesses have been repeatedly blocked on Capitol Hill.

This is the liberal talking point that will continue to be argued for the next three months or so.  It’s a complete sham, as we discussed here on Friday.  Simply put: if Obama actually wanted to pass a tax cut, he could.  So could the Dems.  Instead, they attach tax cuts to some other monstrosity of a bill that would completely defeat the purpose of the tax cuts contained therein.  Thus, it is filibustered.  Seems kind of like a self-fulfilling prophesy, huh?

‘They say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money,’ chided Obama.

‘So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed,’ he said.

The issue of Clinton’s “surplus” was also tackled here recently.  The fact is, Bush did not inherit a surplus; he inherited a projected surplus based on a forecast of perpetual roses and sunshine, which is a very different thing.  I actually enjoy Obama’s continued reliance on Clinton’s fiscal responsibility, however, because it shows he has no answers of his own.  Barry possesses no counter-arguments to the assertions that all of his domestic policies have been total disasters.  Simply put, the president is lost (which is a scary thing).  That’s precisely why he brought in Clinton and previous supporter Warren Buffet for a closed-door White House session on the economy this past week.

Yep, Barry inherited a terrible economy.  But that doesn’t excuse his complete failure to do anything about it, and then lie about why he hasn’t done anything about it.  Of course, Obama’s privately hoping that the Republicans regain control of at least the House, because it will provide him further excuses for failing to do anything constructive.  Who knows, maybe it will even allow him to move to the center and get stuff done, just like 1994 did for Clinton.  After all, that mid-term election helped create all of those “surpluses” we hear so much about.

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