Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Hits - April 21, 2012

President Obama took to the airways earlier today with his weekly address to the nation, extolling the Republicans in Congress to embrace and support an extension to the the student loan rate reduction....

Is this another effort of the President and his Democrat supporters to re-create the 'win' they believe they gained over the Republicans in late December / early January over the kerfuffle around the President's temporary Social Security Payroll Tax Reduction extension of 2%?

In 2007, the Democrat Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act which temporarily halved the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans (not unsubsidized loans) from 6.8% to 3.4%.  The Act would have the temporary interest rate reduction expire on July 1, 2012. 

President Obama and many Congressional Democrats are calling on the GOP to support extending the temporary interest rate reduction because if it is not extended, the students with subsidized loans will see their principal and payments increase once they complete their education and need to begin paying the loans back.  They claim that returning to a 6.8% interest rate will cause these students to face major personal financial hardships.

This case highlights two major challenges with the progressive viewpoint towards programs like this. 

First - let's talk about the conditions that are part and parcel with the 'hardships'.  The anemic and struggling economic recovery means that it is far harder for today's (or next year's) graduates to get jobs - even assuming they've been wise enough to select economically viable degree programs as opposed to incurring $100,000+ in debt for a degree in 'Hispanic Transgender Gay & Lesbian Studies'...

OWS Pinhead wants a government bailout for her bad choices

...This anemic recovery is directly the result of the policies and agenda of the Obama Administration - which is based more on 'fairness', 'social justice', 'wealth redistribution', and 'equality of results' than on economic growth, personal accountability and responsibility, and equality of opportunity.

Second, we have the endemic myopic failure of the progressive Democrats - set a deadline for a 'temporary' event because they lack the will or ability to make the item permanent - and then just continue to extend the 'temporary' event into perpetuity.  We've seen this with the Social Security Payroll Tax reduction which provides the average worker about $40 per month of additional take home pay - while boosting the deficit by billions.  The '1 time' 2009 stimulus package is now built into every omnibus spending plan that Congress has approved - as we've now in our 4th consecutive year of greater than $1.2 trillion deficits - to the point that this President has added more to the national debt in 39 months than his predecessor did in 96 months and more than the 1st through 42nd Presidents did combined.

Even more galling is the President's efforts to make his case justifying extending this temporary program to buy votes from the recipients of subsidized Stafford loans, is his claim that 'We cannot just cut our way to prosperity.'

Mr. President, as your Administration has amply demonstrated - We cannot spend our way to prosperity...and wealth redistribution does not raise the poor to the middle class, it lowers everyone to the LOWEST common denominator.

Coincidentally - the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the non-partisan arm of Congress to review and score the fiscal impact of legislation before Congress, has released their report on the President's FY2013 budget - even though this budget was unanimously rejected by the House in a 0-414 vote. According to the CBO, this budget would reduce economic growth in the country...
“Larger deficits caused by the budget would cause the government to issue more bonds, sucking up private capital to finance its debts and thereby reducing the funds businesses could use to expand and hire, the CBO said. An increased tax on capital gains included in the president’s plan would also tend to reduce private capital, it says.”

The New York Times has an article today that is reporting that the Obama reelection campaign is experiencing a sharp dropoff in cash from traditionally major donors to the President in 2008 and to the DNC overall....
From Wall Street to Hollywood, from doctors and lawyers, the traditional big sources of campaign cash are not delivering for the Obama campaign as they did four years ago. The falloff has left his fund-raising totals running behind where they were at the same point in 2008 — though well ahead of Mr. Romney’s — and has induced growing concern among aides and supporters as they confront the prospect that Republicans and their “super PAC” allies will hold a substantial advantage this fall.

With big checks no longer flowing as quickly into his campaign, Mr. Obama is leaning harder on his grass-roots supporters, whose small contributions make up well over half of the money he raised through the end of March, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

As reported before on this blog, these 'grassroot' supporters include Mickey Mouse, Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and tens of thousands of other illegal contributors making illegal contributions - including millions of campaign donations coming from foreigners - just as was done in 2008 because the Obama campaign disabled all tracking and verification controls on their processing of credit card campaign donations via their website. The campaign doesn't believe that the campaign finance laws apply to them (only Republicans) - so they will continue to directly flaunt campaign finance laws in their effort to cheat their way to make up the lack of enthusiasm and support from their traditional donors.

Of course, some traditional donors are still hard at work for the President's fund raising efforts. The former Governor of New Jersey, former Senator from New Jersey, and former CEO of the failed investment bank, MF Global, Jon Corzine was one of Obama's top bundler'sbundlers for the current campaign. Corzine, whose irresponsible investment strategy bankrupted MF Global, who ordered the misappropriation of client funds to cover company debt obligations, and then committed perjury during his testimony to Congress on the company's failure and subsequent loss of $1.6 Billion of customer funds, has raised over $500,000 to re-elect President Obama.

While raising these sums for Obama, Corzine remains uncharged for his role in the firm's collapse, uncharged for his malfeasance and misappropriation of customer funds, and for committing perjury before Congress. (Former baseball star pitcher, Roger Clemens, this week started his second trial in Federal court on the charge of committing perjury to Congress.)

Is this another sign of major problems for President Obama in an election year?

During yesterday's 100th anniversary ceremony at Boston's Fenway Park, a brief video was played on the ballpark's centerfield scoreboard with President Obama's remarks on the anniversary of the oldest ballpark still in operation. What was notable about this was the reports from reporters in attendance at the pre-game festivities that the standing room only sell out crowd booed the President when he was shown on the scoreboard.

One reporter, affiliated with the NY Times owned Boston Globe tweeted - 'People booing message from President Obama. Mixed with cheers.'

When you've lost Boston....

More evidence of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy?

A reporter from the Washington DC based Free Beacon makes a formal request to the Department of Justice for an official comment to the new Katie Pavlich book on the Fast & Furious scandal - and the massive cover-up that is underway to bury information about the program intended to create a justification for a major increase in gun control laws.

The DoJ spokesperson referred the reported to MediaMatters for additional information. MediaMatters is a far left George Soros funded propaganda / political advocacy website - organization that is supposed to be a non-profit tax exempt organization. Now, according to the DoJ - it's also the go to location for any 'official' commentary regarding the DoJ 'Fast and Furious' program - to directly assist the DoJ in covering up their culpability in a program that has led to hundreds of deaths (perhaps thousands given the carnage in Mexico).

Speaking of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy - Memri.Org, a non-profit that provides a valuable service highlighting and translating some of the messages that come from the Middle East, has the following clip from an Iranian TV arm that is known as a propaganda front for the Iranian Government where pinheaded progressive professors from the US gathered in Tehran, Iran in February for a conference on and supporting the OccupyWallStreet movement - promoting both the anti-American Iranian government and the anti-American OWS nimrods....

US Airways is now actively seeking to acquire / merge with American Airlines, now in bankruptcy protection, even though it has not made a formal offer to the executive board of American Airlines - and despite the comments from top American Airline officials that they are not interested in a merger with US Airways.

The management of US Airways announced that it reached a deal with 3 of the American Airlines major unions to gain support of the unions and their 50,000 workers (pilots, flight attendants, and ground workers) for a merger of the two airlines. The unions are seeking a merger as opposed to letting American Airlines cut 13,000 jobs and take steps to sharply reduce their labor costs by invalidating the current union contracts in an effort to return to profitability.

In the wake of the LA Time's irresponsible story and 2 year old photographs of US and Afghani forces posing with body parts from Taliban suicide bombers, it's unsurprising that Afghani President Karzai is demanding a faster handover of control of Afghanistan's security to his government. The focus remains on the 'acts' of the US forces - from 2 years ago - and the implication that it is endemic of all US forces in Afghanistan - with little consideration to the ethical bankruptcy of the LA Times or the acts of the departed Taliban suicide bombers - whose missions were to strike and kill civilians to promote terror.

Combine this with reports that Karzai is demanding an annual fee of $ 2 billion from the US for 'ongoing support' after the withdrawal of US (and NATO) forces - and we are once again given a view of a vile ungrateful and corrupt leader. He refuses to speak out against the atrocities being committed on his people by those who wouldn't hesitate to hang Karzai from the nearest lamppost or speak out against those in Pakistan who enable the Taliban and terror tactics. He refuses to address corruption and malfeasance within his own country and government -and has the gall to demand us to continue to line his pockets while he can get sympathy and ovations from the anti-American American press. Why? He knows that the President is weak - and will be happy to pay him off.

In today's weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, there is an excellent summary of 'what's wrong' with California and what's driving people and businesses out of the state - decades of progressive policies.
As a result, California is turning into a two-and-a-half-class society. On top are the "entrenched incumbents" who inherited their wealth or came to California early and made their money. Then there's a shrunken middle class of public employees and, miles below, a permanent welfare class. As it stands today, about 40% of Californians don't pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid.

It's "a very scary political dynamic," he says. "One day somebody's going to put on the ballot, let's take every penny over $100,000 a year, and you'll get it through because there's no real restraint. What you've done by exempting people from paying taxes is that they feel no responsibility. That's certainly a big part of it.

And the welfare recipients, he emphasizes, "aren't leaving. Why would they? They get much better benefits in California or New York than if they go to Texas. In Texas the expectation is that people work."

California used to be more like Texas—a jobs magnet. What happened? For one, says the demographer, Californians are now voting more based on social issues and less on fiscal ones than they did when Ronald Reagan was governor 40 years ago. Environmentalists are also more powerful than they used to be. And Mr. Brown facilitated the public-union takeover of the statehouse by allowing state workers to collectively bargain during his first stint as governor in 1977.

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."

Which leads us into another stellar and informative piece in today's WSJ that highlights the bankruptcy of the progressive tax policies - but also offers a tax lesson for President Obama... if he was willing to look beyond his ideological blinders.
Barack Obama is asking Americans to gamble that the U.S. economy can be taxed into prosperity. That's the message of his campaign for the Buffett Rule, which raises income-tax rates on millionaires to a minimum of 30%, and for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. He wants to raise the highest income tax rate by 20%, double the rate on capital gains, add a new 3.8% tax on all capital earnings, and nearly triple the dividend tax rate.

All this will enhance "economic efficiency," insists a White House economic report. As for those who disagree, says President Obama, they're just pushing "the same version of trickle-down economics tried for much of the last century. . . . But prosperity sure didn't trickle down."

Mr. Obama needs a refresher course on the 1920s, 1960s, 1980s and even the 1990s, when government spending and taxes fell and employment and incomes grew rapidly.

But if the president wants to see fresher evidence of how taxes matter, he can look to what's happening in the 50 states. In our new report "Rich States, Poor States," prepared for the American Legislative Exchange Council, we compare the economic performance of states with no income tax to that of states with high rates. It's like comparing Hong Kong with Greece or King Kong with fleas.

There are so many examples - in the Eurozone as well as the US of which series of economic policies work / promote growth - and which promote stagnation and economic collapse.

This Day in History

753 BC - Rome is founded

1836 - Texan independence is achieved as General Sam Houston and his army launches a surprise attack against the larger Mexican Army of General Santa Anna along the San Jacinto River. The attack routes the Mexican Army - and the Texans capture General Santa Anna. This was the same Mexican Army that overran the Alamo in March. Santa Anna granted Texas its independence as part of the conditions for his release.

1918 - Manfred von Richtofen, also known as the Red Baron, was Germany's leading air ace of World War I. On this day he was shot down by an Australian machine gunner on the ground and killed. He was 25 years old. When he died, he was credited with shooting down 80 Allied aircraft.

1975 - Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost protecting Saigon fell to the communist North Vietnamese forces prompting South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to resign - and denounce the US for it's failure to support his government. The outpost, held by the 18th Division of the ARVN, destroyed three NVA divisions before they ran out of critical supplies and were overrun by superior numbers.

1980 - Rosie Ruiz finishes first in the women's division of the Boston Marathon. However, 8 days later, she is stripped of her win after race officials learned that she only really ran the last mile of the race. She gained entry into the Boston Marathon based on her time running the NY Marathon, but a review of that race showed that she had cheated there as well - riding the subway for a large part of the race.

1 comment:

  1. Student loan reduction and payroll reduction remove idea is great.It's benifeted student.