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.
Ok, maybe I’m going a bit overboard here with this USA/Gallup poll, but if I’m not, I’m buying a cabin in the woods.
I would post the actual poll, but I can’t figure out how to do it on my wife’s Mac. So, here goes:
The poll asked people how they would prefer to tackle state budget deficits:
Cutting state program? 48% oppose, while 47% are in favor.
Cutting pay or benefits for govt. workers? 53% oppose, while 44% are in favor.
Raising taxes? 71% oppose, while 27% are in favor.
Hmmmm…either the people responding to this poll are in on some super-secret way to take care of budget deficits or they have trouble with anything more complicated than sleeping. There are no other options than those offered folks. Now I understand why cutting spending isn’t as easy as it should be. Oh, if you want the pretty graph, along with some others, here you go.
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.
‘But here’s what I can tell you: After 18 months, I have never been more confident that our nation is headed in the right direction.’
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.
Sigh. I’ve come to the rather grim conclusion that the economy won’t improve until we rid ourselves of this charlatan. Why? Contrary to B.O.’s assertions, it isn’t because of how deep the ditch was. It’s because no one with a business has any confidence in any of his decisions on the economy. The same goes for Nancy Pelosi, Tim Geithner, Harry Reid, etc.
We’re not headed in the right direction. In fact, I’m not sure we’re headed in any direction. What is the president/Congress doing to create jobs? Can anyone tell me? So far, we’ve had several different deficit-driving stimulus packages, which only propped up state governments, or hired more government employees, or paid some pension funds. None of that did anything to improve the economy, and anyone with an eighth grade education knew that it wouldn’t before it was attempted.
What else? We’ve passed healthcare legislation which the government admits won’t control costs, and is directly responsible for current premiums going up. The new financial regulation law will significantly increase the size of the federal government, and impact just about every financial transaction that anybody takes part in. Oh, and it does nothing to deal with HUD, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, all of which caused the housing bubble and started the domino effect of economic collapse.
Our economy isn’t in a malaise. It isn’t stuck. And there are no green shoots. It’s simply waiting. Waiting for the anti-business, anti-private property, pro-big government liberals to lose their control over the direction of this country. Unfortunately, while it waits, more small businesses shut their doors, more big businesses downsize, and more people lose their jobs.
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.
The White House predicted that the budget deficit would reach $1.47 trillion this year; the government is borrowing $.41 for every dollar it spends. Next year it will be $1.42 trillion, which is $150 billion more than predicted.
White House budget director Peter Orszag said the numbers represent a “fiscal situation that requires attention.”
“A fiscal situation that requires attention.” If that’s the case, then a root canal provides some discomfort. The deficit requires a lot more than some attention. It requires cuts in spending. Most notably, it requires the gradual phasing out of the three socialist monstrosities set loose on this country by liberals: social security, medicare, and medicaid. As Obama’s debt commission has stated, those three entitlements absorb every penny of revenue. Get rid of them and start over.
Such responsible behavior won’t happen though. Instead, everyone can expect their taxes to go up. Why? Because that’s the government’s answer to everything. Keep in mind, those in all the leadership positions actually believe that “the Bush tax cuts weren’t paid for.” As if allowing us to keep more of our own money somehow equates to government spending.