"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just A Thought

Progressives tout their supposed intellectual superiority (which is odd since I can see no progressive intellectuals who can make a coherent argument using facts and logic).

There is an old saying: "knowledge without wisdom is like piling books on the back of a jackass"

Wisdom can be defined as how well one uses the knowledge gathered from education and experience.

No matter how well educated you are, you will be nothing more than an "empty suit" if you've never done anything productive with your knowledge.

After several centuries of the utter failure of all forms of socialism and the booming prosperity of free people under a limited government, it is a clear indication of the total lack of wisdom that is pervasive among the over educated morons of the present administration.

Is it any wonder that the jackass, is the appropriate symbol of the democrat party?

Obama: Change Is Coming, Be Patient

Just what does that mean, Mr. President?  Change from what to what?  Who are the morons who still doubt that he is a socialist through and through?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Political Economy Vs. The Real Economy

Posted 09/27/2010 - IBD

Sen. Harry Reid has decided to end consideration of a bill to stop a massive tax increase on all Americans effective January. Instead he will have the Senate take up the "Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act," which would, among other things, increase taxes and compliance costs for U.S. companies, forcing them to choose either raising prices or cutting jobs.

Reid wants a vote on this act to be one of the last, if not the last, action the Senate will take before hitting the road for a month of continuous campaigning. If he's successful, U.S. companies would face new penalties for appropriately serving a global market, the driving reason for establishing and then growing international locations.

Reid's move is a reminder that not only are Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., about as far apart in the continental U.S. as they can be, but they're also about as far apart as they can be when it comes to growing the U.S. economy.

For instance, LinkedIn, the professional social networking site, is looking to grow by seeing and seizing opportunities around the world. The company primarily brings in revenue by licensing its key product, LinkedIn Recruiter, and by selling advertising, to the tune of about $7,000 per user. More people, greater revenue.

Having opened an office in London a couple years ago, the company found that European membership raced from 5 million users to 16 million, or 320% growth in two years, generating more revenue for this U.S. based company. Learning from its experience, and hopeful of more robust growth, LinkedIn is now seeking to open more international offices from Mumbai to Toronto, and perhaps soon Brazil to China.

However, apparently the current Congress sees this global expansion of a U.S. company as a threat, or perhaps they are merely cynically seeking to drum up a threat for short-term political opportunity — more votes in November.

But Congress' inaction is just as bad, allowing our economy to languish and jobs to stay elusive, even while our congressional leaders ignore tax laws that work against our economic well being.

Current tax law penalizes companies wanting to bring home the money they make abroad — money they want to bring to the U.S. to invest here, hire here, expand here. And there is a great deal of money. Hoover's indicates that in addition to the great volume of sales large high-tech multinationals make overseas, many small and medium-sized U.S. high-tech companies may earn up to 96% of their revenues abroad.

So U.S. technology companies are cash rich and want to invest in companies offering promising technologies. A potential flood of unleashed capital in the U.S.? Not likely.

Morgan Stanley reports that technology companies will instead be buying overseas companies with the money that Congress has practically barred them from returning to the U.S.

The result is that the money trapped overseas stays overseas, as do the jobs, the technology and the prosperity. But the economic effects do not end there, as the supporting bankers, lawyers, financiers and new management are sourced from abroad instead of here — more lost opportunity.

With U.S. cross-border technology acquisitions up 168% over the last year, the damage that Congress has wreaked on the economy is becoming clearer by the day.

How many more self-imposed obstacles can our innovation economy withstand? It's hard to tell, but with Congress allowing the research and development tax credit to expire, then declining to renew it, enacting laws that strand revenue overseas instead of allowing that financial capital to flow to the US, and now raising taxes and increasing costs for those US companies trying to compete globally, we may very well be near the point of no return.


It never ceases to amaze me how clueless liberal Democrats are about the real economy.

Personification Of Cruel Arrogance: Barack Obama

Progressive elites set themselves apart with their smug promotion of failing institutions while they would not subject themselves to the same, be it public healthcare, education, or whatever.  You may call it hypocrisy, I will call it cruel arrogance since it further victimizes the most needy in our society.  Latest example of cruel arrogance was on display yesterday.

While President Obama was conducting a town hall meeting on MSNBC with Matt Lauer, he was asked (by a parent in the crowd) if he thought his children could get the same education in a DC Public School vs. the elite private school he sends them to now.  His answer:

“I’ll be blunt with you. The answer is ‘no’ right now,” Obama said. “The D.C. Public School systems are struggling. They have made some important strides over the past several years to move in the direction of reform. There are some terrific individual schools in the D.C. system…."  He continued:

“I’ll be very honest with you. Given my position, if I wanted to find a great public school for them to be in, we could probably maneuver to do it. The broader problem is that for a mom or dad who are working hard and who don’t have a bunch of connections, don’t have a lot of choice in where they live, they should be getting the same quality education for their kids as anybody else.”

His bombshell hypocritical answer caused no ripple and nary a peep from the national media.
An amazing moment since President Obama, in a payback to his union (NEA and AFT) supporters, killed the DC Opportunity Scholarship program last year and denied 216 low-income parents from sending their children to a better school. These 216 kids are being forced to attend a poor performing public school – something Obama doesn’t impose on his own children.

This spit-in-your-face hypocrisy is not only jaw dropping, it’s incredibly sad for the 216 D.C. parents who don’t have the power of the Presidency to force a better education onto their children.  What a shameful moment for our President and this country.

President's Allies Showing Their True Colors

Radical AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is calling for the left to take control over private industry.

Trumka and Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, Eric Alterman, journalist and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and moderator Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation, led a panel discussion—Which Way for the Working Class? Elections 2010 and Beyond—Friday afternoon in New York City.

More than 400 people attended the event at the Great Hall at Cooper Union.

In the short term, said Trumka, the labor movement has to “recapture the moment and take control of the national conversation.”

"We need to fundamentally restructure our economy and re-establish popular control over the private corporations which have distorted our economy and hijacked our government. That’s a long-term job, but one we should start now."

Last week this socialist called Sarah Palin the new McCarthy. Now he wants the left to take over private industry.

Can we call these enemies of basic liberties “socialists” yet? (Don't answer that; if our former New Party member president with his actions, all his Marxist associations from past and present, as well as his own words can still be not declared a socialist, neither are likes of Trumka and Andy Stern!)

Judicial Watch Exposes Administration's Black Panther Misinformation

A very interesting follow up to what I recently posted from IBD.  This whole thing is ravelling in front of our eyes thanks to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearings. 

Amazing how many lies bordering on major scandals can an administration be caught in and still get a pass from the left wing media.

Czech President Tells UN To Stay Out of Economics

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Saturday criticized U.N. calls for increased "global governance" of the world's economy, saying the world body should leave that role to national governments.

The solution to dealing with the global economic crisis, Klaus told the U.N. General Assembly, did not lie in "creating new governmental and supranational agencies, or in aiming at global governance of the world economy."

"On the contrary, this is the time for international organizations, including the United Nations, to reduce their expenditures, make their administrations thinner, and leave the solutions to the governments of member states," he said.

Klaus appeared to be responding to the address of the Swiss president of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, who said on Thursday at the opening of the annual gathering of world leaders in New York that it was time for the United Nations to "comprehensively fulfill its global governance role."

Deiss suggested the world body should get more involved in economic and financial issues and not leave them solely in the hands of forums like the Group of 20 club of key developed and developing nations.

Klaus, a free-market economist who oversaw a wave of privatization in the 1990s after communism collapsed in his homeland, also said the world was "moving in the wrong direction" in combating the economic crisis.

"The anti-crisis measures that have been proposed and already partly implemented follow from the assumption that the crisis was a failure of markets and that the right way out is more regulation of markets," he said.

Klaus said that was a "mistaken assumption" and it was impossible to prevent future crises through regulatory interventions and similar actions by governments.

That will only "destroy the markets and together with them the chances for economic growth and prosperity in both developed and developing countries," he said.

The Czech president, a vocal skeptic of global warming, said the United Nations should also keep out of science, including climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made fighting climate change one of his top priorities.

Seems like a president we should have.

Kerry's Arrogance

As Boston Herald reports it, a testy U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry on Friday blamed clueless voters with short attention spans for the uphill battle beleaguered Democrats are facing against Republicans across the nation.

Obvious arrogance reserved for liberal elitists aside, Kerry’s comments mark yet another embarrassing stumble for the gaffe-prone senior senator.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where Are Civil Libertarians Now?

Broad new regulations being drafted by the Obama administration would make it easier for law enforcement and national security officials to eavesdrop on Internet and e-mail communications like social networking Web sites and BlackBerries, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the White House plans to submit a bill next year that would require all online services that enable communications to be technically equipped to comply with a wiretap order. That would include providers of encrypted e-mail, such as BlackBerry, networking sites like Facebook and direct communication services like Skype.

Federal law enforcement and national security officials say new the regulations are needed because terrorists and criminals are increasingly giving up their phones to communicate online.

Excuse me but where are the progressives who criticized the Bush Administration for their efforts to listen in on known terrorists' telephone conversations without a court order?  I bet that you will not hear from any of them (like you did not during Echelon program under Clinton Administration that eavesdropped to a much broader segment of the society - including the British government, which created an international incident).
Hypocrisy is the trade mark of all progressives.

Black Panthergate

From Investor Business Daily:

Despite administration denials under oath, documents obtained by a watchdog group indicate that the decision not to pursue a clear-cut case of voter intimidation was indeed a political decision.

It was perhaps the most clear-cut case of voter intimidation ever. On Election Day 2008, New Black Panther Party members King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were videotaped intimidating voters as they stood, dressed in military garb, outside a Philadelphia polling place.

Their conduct was so egregious that the Justice Department of President Bush charged the three thugs with violations of the 1965 Voting Rights Act through intimidation, threats and coercion. When none of the defendants filed a response or showed up at a subsequent hearing, you'd have thought the Justice Department would have won its suit by default.

But a new administration brought a new, and somewhat jaundiced, perspective. Instead, the Justice Department of President Obama essentially dropped the case in May 2009, letting two of the three walk and issuing a weak injunction against King Shabazz. He was forbidden from showing up at another Philadelphia polling place with another nightstick and intimidating other voters for the next three years, an action that was already illegal. He is presumably free to do the same thing in, say, New Jersey in 2012.

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission wanted to know why the case wasn't pursued and if political considerations were involved. On May 14, Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, testified that there was no "political leadership involved in the decision not to pursue this particular case any further than it was" and it was only "a case of career people disagreeing with career people."

The DOJ stonewalled, claiming that all documents involved in the case were "privileged information," that there was nothing to see and we should all move along. The watchdog group Judicial Watch pursued the case, and a court ordered the DOJ to provide it with withheld documents and an explanation of each privilege asserted.

The information that was unearthed reveals that several political appointees were involved in the decision not to pursue the New Black Panther Party. Of particular note was a list of 58 e-mails to or from Deputy Associate Attorney General Sam Hirsch, formerly election attorney for the National Democratic Party.

Christian Adams, the DOJ attorney who resigned to protest the New Black Panther Party decision, describes Hirsch as "a former Democratic Party operative" who, among other activities, "led efforts to impose racial divisions on Hawaii by creating native classifications and powers." Hirsch is a fierce partisan with experience in racial politics.

In testimony before the Civil Rights Commission that he says his bosses tried to block, Adams said Attorney General Eric Holder's department refused to prosecute what he has called "the clearest case of voter intimidation that I've seen since practicing law."

A dozen or so e-mails went up the chain of political command to Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden was also in on the political deliberations, contributing, according to the e-mails, his "current thoughts" on the matter.

Adams told the commission that DOJ officials "over and over and over" showed "hostility" to prosecution of voter-intimidation cases involving "black defendants and white victims." Adams says Perrelli, a political appointee, himself overruled a unanimous recommendation for continued prosecution by Adams and his associates.

So when Perez testified that the decision was made only by career attorneys, not political operatives and appointees, he was not telling the truth about the machinations of the most transparent administration in history.

The decision not to prosecute the New Black Panther Party was clearly a political decision designed not to offend a key constituency of the Democratic Party and one of the few bastions of support this administration and the Democrats have left.

A Tale of Two Recessions

The 1981-1982 Volcker recession, named after the Fed Chairman who triggered it to save us from crushing inflation, was generally regarded as the most severe recession since the Great Deppression of the 1930s. It held that dubious honor until the recession of 2007-2009.

NBER says we have been in recovery since 2009. expect a far-slower-than-normal recovery, thanks in large part to the actions the then-new administration and its allies in Congress were taking or planned to take.  Afterall, the smothering hand of government — including massive spending, thousands of new rules, government takeover of key industries, higher taxes on energy, capital and incomes, and up to $4 trillion in added deficits by 2012 — will be felt everywhere.

Here is a comparison of the two infamous recessions.  At this rate, we will never make up the jobs lost since the beginning of the recession - that is until the American public wakes up and kicks enough of these socialists out of power.

Another Example Of Astounding Cost Of Stimulus Jobs

History shows that there are two foolproof ways to drive up costs: increase demand or involve the government. For the latest illustration of the latter, just look west. According to reports recently released by Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel, for the $111 million in stimulus funds received by two L.A. departments, only 55 jobs have been created. That's a whopping $2 million spent per job. Greuel says that eventually the departments will create or save (those infamous words again) 264 jobs, but even that would still keep the price per job at $420,000, far higher than what the workers will receive.

Explaining the preposterous price tags, Investor's Business Daily notes that part of the money "goes to the capital costs and profit of the contractors. But much of it also gets absorbed into the normal process of government contracting" (read: bureaucracy). Even Greuel admits the numbers are disappointing, stating, "With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting the red tape and putting Angelenos back to work."

Is anyone among the water carriers of this sham of an Administration wondering how many of the supposed saved/created jobs (aside from their ridiculous costs) are actually sustainable once the stimulus money is exhausted?  Of course not, because having to admit that would mean admitting that we just flushed nearly a trillion dollars down the toilet.

Of course, the Obama administration still wants to convince us that the stimulus is working. It seems that while Americans are stretching dollars to make ends meet, Washington is stretching our patience with its tales of economic growth, job creation and recovery.

Amazing Disconnect Bordering Brashness

"If you look over the past two years it is hard to find things we have done that is designed [sic] to squash business as to promote business." -- Obama

These guys really think they are business-friendly, don't they?  Amazing - especially in the face of $2 trillion businesses are refusing to invest, every single business trade association screaming bloody murder, and even big business stating they are disappointed in the President. 

That is scary because it shows their deeper, darker motives to destroy the American system in favor of their utopian view of a socialist/marxist one.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Interesting Interview With Home Depot Founder

Reform's Victims

IBD - Posted 09/22/2010

The first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect Thursday, and casualties are already piling up. This week's include children who'll have to go without health insurance.

The earliest victim of ObamaCare was nHealth, a Virginia-based insurer that specializes in health savings accounts. It announced in June that "considerable uncertainties" created by the new law would force it to close its doors by year-end. The customers and 50 employees of the once-promising startup will have their lives turned inside out by this decision.

Now, starting Thursday, any health insurance company offering child-only plans has to accept kids — anyone under 19 — with pre-existing conditions. This mandate has the potential to bankrupt insurers, and big carriers WellPoint, Cigna and CoventryOne, Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, and Golden Rule have reacted by announcing they'll no longer sell new child-only policies.

Some will stop writing the policies at the national level while others will leave markets only in certain states. But it won't stop there. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told the Hill newspaper that she guarantees "it's happening probably in every state."

Not every insurer will quit the market. But those staying will operate in a less-competitive environment, which will hurt consumers.

If parents wait until their kids are seriously ill before buying coverage, as many will, insurers will have no choice but to raise rates on child-only policies to offset the high costs of benefits they'll be paying out. If that option is denied by federal regulators, "then they could be forced to raise rates for adults in the individual market as well," according to Heritage Foundation analyst Kathryn Nix.

The White House says it's unhappy. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs complained that insurers are making "decisions on the backs of children and families that need their help," as if they are charities with unlimited funds.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, meanwhile, is treating insurers as criminal enterprises. She's warned there will be "zero tolerance" for those that pass on "misinformation" about ObamaCare and blame it for their "unjustified rate increases." Carriers she deems in violation of her directives "may be excluded from health insurance exchanges," the heavily regulated and mandated insurance networks coming in 2014.

Wasn't ObamaCare going to cut costs and expand coverage? Instead, costs will be higher and, while some of the uninsured will finally get coverage, many of the insured will lose theirs. Maybe the first victim of the Democrats' health overhaul was the truth.


Happy Birthday, ObamaCare. Six months old today and raising the cost of medical care, restricting patient options and causing employers to drop workers three years before even being fully implemented.

Any reform that falls short of a patient-centered, free-market health care reform based on choice, competition, accountability and personal responsibility is doomed to fail.  Instead, ObamaCare removes choice from patients and doctors, strangles market competition, provides no accountability from government and relegates personal responsibility — and control — to the ash heap of history.

How Health Plan Choices Will Dwindle


Sen. Max Baucus recently admitted that he never read the ObamaCare legislation. But that hasn't stopped him from trying to re-write it after the fact, asserting that Congress intended to give people even less choice of private health plans than described in the bill!

This overreach should encourage states that are trying to block ObamaCare: It's going to be even worse than we initially thought.

ObamaCare reduces choice of health plans by giving government the power to control the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) — the dollars an insurer spends on medical care divided by the total premiums. Under ObamaCare, policies that cover large businesses will have to achieve an MLR of 85%, while those for small businesses and individuals will have to achieve an MLR of 80%. This sounds simple but leaves many issues unresolved.

An important one is the treatment of taxes: Taxes are not medical care, but nor are they under health plans' control. So, ObamaCare excludes taxes from total costs used to calculate the MLR. Baucus leads a group of senators who now assert that what they meant to pass was a bill that exempted some taxes from health plans' MLR calculations, but not corporate income taxes.

If it prevails, Baucus' flawed notion will lead to an immediate reduction of choice of health plans. Suppose two insurers of the same size compete in a region's large-group market. They earn premiums of $1 million each. They each spend $850,000 on medical claims, thereby achieving an MLR of 85%.

One insurer is for-profit, earning a profit of 4% ($40,000), and pays combined federal and state corporate income tax of 45% ($18,000). Its MLR automatically shrinks to 83.5%, and ObamaCare shuts it down.

Even without Baucus' newly invented interpretation, the MLR is deadly for increasingly popular consumer-directed plans. Suppose a traditional policy costs $4,000 and spends $3,400 on patient care, for an MLR of 85.00. With the consumer-directed policy, the patient controls $800 more of the medical spending than with the traditional policy, through a higher deductible, and his premium goes down by $800.

In this case the MLR goes down to 81.25% ($2,600/$3,200). There is no real difference, but the accounting looks worse, and ObamaCare shuts it down. (In fact, consumer-driven plans have lower total costs than in this simple example, because cutting out the middleman and giving more health dollars to patients to control themselves motivates them to get better value for money.)

MLRs are also irrelevant because the insured and their employers tend to choose health plans based on other criteria — likely invisible to politicians and bureaucrats. Plans with relatively low MLRs have increased market share in the last few years.

There is no doubt: ObamaCare will severely reduce Americans' choice of health plans. Fortunately, states are using a number of tools to resist ObamaCare, until it is repealed. To impose its anti-choice regulations, the federal law relies on state-based "exchanges" that would choose health insurance for their citizens.

Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, has signed an executive order forbidding state bureaucrats from even applying for federal grants to set up an "exchange" to limit people's choice of health plan. As ObamaCare deploys its regulatory regime, other governors are likely to follow his lead.

• Krupa is a founder and partner at Psilos Group, a health care services venture capital firm that invests in startups which offer better services for less. The firm has $580 million under management in three funds.

A Short Clip That One Cannot Watch Enough Times!

One that the Main Stream Media has largely ignored, on purpose of course!

The Obama "Thugministration" At Work

First, a clarification is in order.  I am coining the word "Thugministration" in reference to Obama administration as their behavior from the beginning has been nothing short of thuggish.

The private Wichita, Kan.-based conglomerate, which operates ranches, drills oil, runs pulp and paper mills, and creates specialized textiles for athletes, among other activities, is owned by two brothers, David and Charles, who openly fund free-market causes. And that, apparently, was enough to draw White House attention to their company's tax structure.

On Aug. 27, a senior administration official singled out Koch for condemnation and implied it was cheating on its taxes.  Is the White House now targeting a dissident company with the tax code?

The Weekly Standard called attention to the matter this week, reporting that Koch's lawyer wanted to know if the White House was looking into Koch's tax status in retaliation for the owners' political activities and in an attempt to intimidate other corporations.

The White House denied it had obtained secret information about Koch's taxes, and told Politico's Ben Smith that its information came from Koch's own Web site as well as from the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board's report on tax reform.
The White House is right about the availability of information, but that doesn't excuse what went down Aug. 27. Three disturbing things stand out from that briefing.
First, it smacks of the smear tactics taught by community organizer and Barack Obama mentor Saul Alinsky. By singling out Koch, the White House appears to be making the company victim No. 1 of the "pick a target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it" method that Alinsky used to silence an opponent. 
Obama has practiced this before, with administration attacks on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. So it's not surprising his administration is going after the Koch brothers.
As they were taking direct fire from the White House, the Koches were subjects of poorly sourced and innuendo-filled articles in pro-Obama publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Times, all making the brothers the new bogeymen.
This wouldn't be so noteworthy if it weren't for the fact that these same outlets had participants on a secretive listserv called JournoList, whose members have been caught conspiring to manipulate political "narratives" and which had connections to the White House. JournoList is now supposedly defunct, but the White House reply to Koch came to Politico's Smith, who was known to be a list member.
Second, even if all the information gathered about Koch was public, the White House is still signaling it will try to dig up dirt on any company or individual it sees as an adversary.
Obama supporters showed they're capable of such vindictiveness in 2008, when some conducted illegal record searches on Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber who asked embarrassing questions of Obama on the campaign trail.
Third, there was a sly semantic trick in implying that the company, which has registered several of its entities as "S" corporations, LLCs and LPs — all of which are perfectly legal and legitimate ways of doing business — was somehow evading taxes.
Though the White House official decried that Koch didn't pay corporate taxes, that doesn't mean it paid no taxes. The private company does indeed pay taxes — through personal returns and alternative means rather than the corporate code.
The White House, in its reply to the Koch lawyer, asked that people read the August 2010 report on Tax Reform Options. The report (which never mentions Koch Industries) suggests that the U.S. corporate tax code is so unworkable and inefficient that a company would be stupid to register under the corporate code when other tax regimes, such as those Koch has chosen, are available.
For a White House so keen on searching the Koch Web site (a rather Nixonian activity to begin with), it's interesting that its operatives don't seem to have read that report.  Instead, they seem obsessed with silencing the political activities of a company simply exercising its rights of free speech. 
Although it would be acceptable in Cuba, this is highly unbecoming of a U.S. administration - well at least it was until this bunch in Washington changed the rules of the game.

Which Malik Shabazz Visited White House In July 2009, Mr. President?

by Andrew Breitbart

In May 2009, the Obama/Holder Justice Department dropped charges in a voter intimidation case against Malik Shabazz, a leader of the New Black Panther Party, despite having already won a summary judgment against him, and his New Black Panther Party callegues King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson who were video-taped outside polling place in Philadelphia intimidating voters as they arrived on election day, 2008. In July 2009, when Congress began looking into the matter, someone named Malik Shabazz visited the private residence at the White House.

When news of the visit was released under the auspices of transparency, the White House denied that the Malik Shabazz on the visitor’s log was the same Malik Shabazz involved in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case. According to Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, the records contained “a few “false positives” – names that make you think of a well-known person, but are actually someone else.” He specifically cited Malik Shabazz as an example of one of these “false positives”.

At the time, the media did not challenge the White House on the veracity of this claim. The White House’s position was, basically: “We’re being transparent, here are all the visitor logs, and this guy is not the guy you think he is, TRUST US.”

The great thing about transparency – when there is actual transparency – is that it renders trust unnecessary. We ask that the White House identify which Malik Shabazz visited the White House residence on July 25, 2009.

In July 2010, J. Christian Adams, former attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice, testified before the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights that Obama Appointee Julie Fernandes, deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division in charge of voting matters, told DOJ attorneys charged with enforcing Voters’ Rights Law that the Obama administration would not file election-related cases against minority defendants — no matter the alleged violation of law.

According to Adams, that policy is what allowed Malik Shabazz and Jerry Jackson to walk away without punishment and weapon wielding King Samir Shabazz to receive a wrist-slap sentence that merely prohibits him from appearing at a polling place until after 2012.

Although the Administration has tried to ignore the New Black Panther scandal, their apologists have contended the story was nothing more than a conspiracy theory of the right-wing spun by a lone, partisan, disaffected lawyer looking for attention on Fox News. But today, Mr. Adams is joined by a fellow government whistle-blower, his former supervisor at the Dept. of Justice.

Today, Christopher Coates, former Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Dept. of Justice, has testified before the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. His testimony corroborates J. Christian Adams’ testimony before the same commission in July. Mr. Coates had originally signed-off on Mr. Adams plan to go forward with the civil charges against Shabazz. He and Mr. Adams had been ordered by the DOJ not to testify before the commission, and he was subsequently transferred to South Carolina last Christmas.

Coates’ testimony calls into question the Justice Department’s earlier denials that the handling of the New Black Panther case was politically motivated. And their refusal to allow attorneys at Justice to testify under oath about this case recalls the same attitude toward transparency exemplified by the White House visitor’s log policy: “We didn’t drop the charges against the Black Panthers because of politics, TRUST US.”

Continuing to say you’re transparent does not mean you are transparent.

The idea that an individual named Malik Shabazz had a private meeting in the White House residence in July 2009 is highly relevant because throughout July, Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX) were beginning to ask questions about to the dropped charges against the NBPP. So was the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Here is a timeline, according to Adams:

July 8, Representative Frank Wolf sent a letter to Judiciary Chairman John Conyers and Ranking Member Lamar Smith demanding hearings before the House Judiciary Committee.

July 9, Ten members of the House sent a letter demanding the DOJ Inspector General open an investigation.

July 13, The Dept. of Justice replied but their letter contained factual inaccuracies about the case

July 17 Smith and Wolf send a swift and pointed rebuttal

July 20, Low-level DOJ staffers were sent to the Hill to brief Wolf on the Panther story, but Wolf threw them out of his office claiming they weren’t being truthful to him.

July 22, Wolf sent another letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding answers.

July 24, Portia Robinson, intergovernmental liaison at DOJ, sent a letter to the Civil Rights Commission trying to deflect attention.

July 25, a man named Malik Shabazz visited the exclusive, private residence in the White House.

July 30, the Washington Times broke the news that top political appointee, Tom Perrelli (the #3 official at Justice) was involved in the dismissal of the case. Perrelli was also a top campaign bundler for Obama.

The White House has assured the American people that the Malik Shabazz that visited the White House at that time is not the same Malik Shabazz at the center of the New Black Panther story. But, the White House has not provided any information to verify its contention or who this “other” Malik Shabazz is.

We call on the White House to act in the spirit of their transparency policy and provide further information, sufficient to independently verify the identity of the person named Malik Shabazz who visited the White House private residence in July of 2009.

O'Donnell The Extremist

Lets get to know this “extremist” Tea party candidate – Christine O’Donnell - from Deleware, as HuffPo and the establishment refers to:

Had she ever proclaimed herself a Marxist? No, that was her opponent, Chris Coons. Had she ever belonged to a socialist party? No, that was Barack Obama in the 1990s. Did she once advocate forced abortions and sterilization? No, that was the president's "science czar," John Holdren. Had she headed up an organization that promoted "fisting" for 14-year-olds and books featuring sex acts between preschoolers? No -- while Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" Kevin Jennings did do that, O'Donnell's sin is far different:

She believes in sexual purity and in her own words "had friends who dabbled in witchcraft" when she was 17.

Since the left is digging up old O'Donnell quotations, it's only fair to delve into Coons' past. And when we do, we find this interesting bit of extremism: An article he wrote titled "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist." It details how a trip to Kenya that Coons took as a junior in college served as a "catalyst," completing his transformation from "conservative" to communist. Yet while one could elaborate further here as well, as with O'Donnell, this misses the point. To wit: Marxism has everything to do with government, as it is about transforming it through socialist revolution into something tried and untrue, something that slays the light and visits a dark age of a thousand sorrows upon its victims. It's something that killed 100,000,000 people during the 20th century and every economy it ever touched. That is a negative extremism if ever there were one, and it should scare the heck out of every one of us.

Of course, Coons' piece was written 25 years ago when he was 21 and will be excused by some as youthful indiscretion.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," the best yardstick we have for measuring Coons is actions and pronouncements taken/made before he had a vested interest in lying about his aims. (And wouldn't we instinctively apply this when judging someone with a neo-Nazi or KKK history? Would we give David Duke the benefit of the doubt many would give Coons?) Second, when profiling, know this: People who embrace communism but then truly renounce it generally become passionate rightists. Those who remain leftists usually haven't renounced anything but honesty about their intentions.

Have no doubt that Coons has not changed his stripes and if elected, will be one of many stealth Marxists in Congress.

And what is this supposedly balanced with on O'Donnell's side?

Oh, yeah, the sexual purity thing.  And lets not forget that she had friends who had interest in witchcraft.  The media would graciously forgive her past transgressions had these sins not been so serious - you know, like doing cocaine and crack while attending Columbia or being a KKK chapter founder in West Virginia.

Brainwashing Of America's School Children

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com at a "Sustainability Education Summit" hosted by the U.S. Education Department on Tuesday that environmental education in schools can "promote the agenda" of climate change and population growth through the influence it has on children.

John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology co-authored an essay for the World Bank on "The Meaning of Sustainability" that said that human race must face up to a “world of zero net physical growth,” reduce material consumption and limit population growth. CNSNews.com also asked Rep. Sarbanes if he thinks those ideas would help the U.S. economy.

“I think the more you focus on the environment, the need to preserve the environment, protect the environment, the more it’s going to lead to sensible policies going forward,” he responded.

If this does not speak volumes as to whether these guys are all closet Marxists, I don't know what does.  As Rep. Sarbanes calls it, it is an agenda alright - it has nothing to do with science!


In related news, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan vowed on Tuesday that his department would work to make American children into "good environmental citizens" through federally subsidized school programs beginning as early as kindergarten that teach children about climate change and prepare them "to contribute to the workforce through green jobs."

...And this is one of the "least controversial" appointments of this president?  Useful Idiots (read: those who are incapable of reading between the lines to see the real motivation of these radicals) will undoubtedly keep on claiming just that!

Global Public Education Bailout Bill Introduced

It is amusing to see the progressive liberals of this country scratch their heads cluelessly regarding the blood-bath their party is about to suffer just over a month from now.  The answer is all around them and in the totality of actions taken by this President and his party.  Here is just the latest example (which keep on coming practically on a daily basis!):

As if the $10 billion “public education bailout” wasn’t enough to stomach, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced a bill, titled Education for All Act of 2010, which would spend American tax dollars on education systems around the globe. It’s S.3797.

U.S. Rep Nita Lowey (D-CA) has introduced similar legislation as H.B. 5117.

While no dollar amount is contained in the legislation, the bill states, “Credible estimates indicate that approximately $16,000,000,000 (yes, that is billions) per year of financing assistance is necessary for developing countries to achieve universal basic education by 2015.”

Does spending money in other countries imply that our system is okay? Or that it’s on a course of improvement? Because in case these members of Congress haven’t noticed, our system kind of stinks (as in functional literacy levels of inner city public school students).  According to McKinsey and Co., American students score 25th in the world for math scores and 24th globally in science.

And we’re focusing on funding education in other countries?
But there must be another objective to spending more American tax dollars overseas. Why would the two national teachers unions, which I would think would be fighting for every penny to bolster the pay and benefits of their *American* dues-payers. Do the national unions now want to start organizing globally, ala Andy Stern and SEIU?
From Gillbrand’s news release, quoting American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten:

“This bill, which establishes a Global Fund for Education, is a step toward keeping the promise of providing a free basic education for the 72 million children around the world who do not have an opportunity to go to school.”

Um, Randi, who made the promise that American taxpayers have to keep?

And Weingarten wasn’t the only union leader gushing all over this outsourcing of Americans’ money.

National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen said, “We are five years away from the commitment to achieve universal basic education and we are way behind schedule. We cannot afford to fail."

So American taxpayers, open up your wallets; you haven’t given enough.

Washington’s found another way to fritter away your tax dollars.

Must See Video

Simply majestic! November is indeed coming!

Monday, September 20, 2010

White House Science Czar Says He Would Use ‘Free Market’ to ‘De-Develop the United States’

Read and then ask yourselves why would anyone who is not ideologically sympathetic appoint so many socialists and worse.

White House Office of Science and Technology Director John P. Holdren told CNSNews.com that he would use the “free market economy” to implement the “massive campaign” he advocated along with Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich to “de-develop the United States.”

In his role as President Barack Obama’s top science and technology adviser, Holdren deals with issues ranging from global warming to health care.

“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States,” Holdren wrote along with Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich in the “recommendations” concluding their 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.

“De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote.

“Resources must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries," Holdren and his co-authors wrote. "This effort must be largely political, especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against polluters and others whose activities damage the environment. The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

CNSNews.com asked Holdren about this passage on Tuesday after he participated in an Environmental Protection Agency forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.

CNSNews.com asked: “You wrote ‘a massive campaign must be launched to restore a high quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States’ in your book Human Ecology. Could you explain what you meant by de-develop the United States?”

Holdren responded: “What we meant by that was stopping the kinds of activities that are destroying the environment and replacing them with activities that would produce both prosperity and environmental quality. Thanks a lot.”

CNSNews.com then asked: “And how do you plan on implementing that?”

“Through the free market economy,” Holdren said.

CNSNews.com also asked Holdren to comment on the declaration he made in 1995 along with co-authors Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily of Stanford University that mankind needed to “face up” to “a world of zero net physical growth” that would require reductions in consumption.

“We know for certain, for example, that: No form of material growth (including population growth) other than asymptotic growth is sustainable,” Holdren, Ehrlich and Daily wrote in an essay for the World Bank titled, “The Meaning of Sustainability.”
“Many of the practices inadequately supporting today’s population of 5.5 billion people are unsustainable; and [a]t the sustainability limit, there will be a tradeoff between population and energy-matter throughput per person, hence, ultimately, between economic activity per person and well-being per person,” Holdren, Ehrlich and Daily wrote. “This is enough to say quite a lot about what needs to be faced up to eventually (a world of zero net physical growth), what should be done now (change unsustainable practices, reduce excessive material consumption, slow down population growth), and what the penalty will be for postponing attention to population limitation (lower well-being per person).”

Does the US Economy Need Another Stimulus Package?

Mises Daily: Friday, September 17, 2010 by

Despite the massive fiscal stimulus package of nearly $800 billion approved by Congress early last year and trillions of dollars pumped by the Fed, the rally in various key economic data seems to be coming to an end.
After falling to 32.5 in December 2008, the ISM manufacturing index peaked at 60.4 in April of this this year.

In August the index stood at 56.3. Also, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 9.6 percent, with almost 15 million Americans out of work.

Figure 1
Figure 2

Moreover, the housing market remains depressed despite the stimulus policies and record low interest rates. In July the yearly rate of growth of existing home sales plunged by 25.5 percent, while new home sales fell by 32.4 percent. According to the Fed's August report, known as the Beige Book, the US economy has shown widespread signs of slowing — with an ample supply of qualified applicants for open positions.

Figure 3
Figure 4

Against this background some economic commentators and President Barack Obama are of the view that there is a need for another stimulus program to lift the economy out of the black hole. In fact, on September 8 the US president proposed $50 billion more in infrastructure spending and a $100 billion extension to a tax credit on research and development.

But why should another stimulus program be effective given that the previous program appears to have failed?

Some commentators hold that the last year's stimulus package wasn't big enough to revive the economy. It is argued that, given a $15 trillion US economy in terms of GDP, the $800 billion was far too small to make a meaningful impact — a much larger stimulus is required.

For some commentators, such as Paul Krugman, only a very large stimulus program is likely to produce the needed result.

According to Krugman, the main focus of any stimulus program should be to generate as much employment as possible in a short period of time. With improved employment, consumer demand will follow suit, and this will lift the economy — so it is held.

This way of thinking is based on the view that initial increases in consumer outlays tend to set in motion a reinforcing process, which supposedly strengthens the total output in the economy, by a multiple of an initial quantity of spending.

The popularizer of the magical power of the multiplier, John Maynard Keynes, wrote:

"If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is."

For Krugman and other Keynes followers the key here is monetary expenditure. The larger the expenditure, the larger the income and real economic growth is going to be.

Is Funding About Money?

The proponents of a larger economic-stimulus package also argue that in the present economic slump boosting employment by means of various stimulus programs is not going to be at the expense of other activities. This means that employing more Americans is going to be costless. According to the proponent of this view, Paul Krugman,

The point is right now we have mass unemployment. If you put 100,000 Americans to work right now digging ditches, it is not as if you are taking those 100,000 workers away from other good things they might be doing. You are putting them to work when they would have been doing nothing.

But how is the increase in employment going to be funded? Who is going to pay for this? It seems that Krugman and most commentators hold that funding can be easily generated by the central bank by means of printing presses.

Contrary to what Krugman and other commentators claim, funding is not about money as such but about real savings — final consumer goods. It is the flow of final consumer goods and services that maintains people's lives and well-being.

When a baker trades his saved loaves of bread for potatoes he in fact provides a means of sustenance to the potato farmer. Equally, the potato farmer provides a means of sustenance, i.e., his saved potatoes, to the baker. Note that the real savings sustain producers in the various stages of production. (Real savings support the producers of intermediary goods and the producers of final consumer goods and services.)

Observe that in order to maintain their life and well-being, people require final goods and services and not money, which is just a medium of exchange. Money only helps to facilitate trade among producers — it doesn't generate any real stuff. Paraphrasing Jean-Baptiste Say, Mises wrote:

"Commodities … are ultimately paid for not by money, but by other commodities. Money is merely the commonly used medium of exchange; it plays only an intermediary role. What the seller wants ultimately to receive in exchange for the commodities sold is other commodities."

Various tools and machinery — or the infrastructure that people have established — are for only one purpose: to produce the final consumer goods that are required to maintain and promote people's lives and well-being.

The greater the production of consumer goods for a given consumption of the producers of these goods, the larger the pool of real savings or funding is going to be. A larger pool of real savings can now sustain more individuals to be employed to enhance and expand the infrastructure.

This of course means that through the increase in real savings a better infrastructure can be built. This in turn sets the platform for a higher economic growth.

Higher economic growth means a larger quantity of consumer goods, which in turn permits more savings and also more consumption. With more savings a more advanced infrastructure can be created, and this in turn sets the platform for a further strengthening in economic growth.

Note that the savers here are wealth generators. It is wealth generators that save and employ their real savings in the buildup of the infrastructure.

The savings of wealth generators are employed to fund various individuals who specialize in the making and the maintenance of the infrastructure. (Real savings also fund individuals that are engaged in the production of final consumer goods.)

Contrary to the claims of Krugman and other commentators, the artificial creation of employment (such as digging ditches) is not going to be cost free. The unemployed individuals that will be employed in useless projects must be funded. Since government doesn't produce any real wealth, the funding will have to be diverted from wealth-generating activities. This, however, is going to undermine wealth generators and is going to weaken the real wealth-generation process.

The following simple example encapsulates the situation: In an economy that is comprised of a baker, a shoemaker, and a tomato grower, another individual enters the scene. This individual is an enforcer who is exercising his demand for goods by means of force. Can such demand give rise to more output as the popular thinking has it? On the contrary, it will impoverish the producers. The baker, the shoemaker, and the farmer will be forced to part with their product in exchange for nothing, and this in turn will weaken the flow of production of final consumer goods.

Since government doesn't produce any real wealth, obviously it cannot save and therefore it cannot fund any activity. Hence for the government to engage in various activities, it must divert funding, i.e., real savings, from wealth generators.

Can Something Be Generated Out of Nothing?

Can an increase in the demand for consumer goods lead to an increase in the overall output by the multiple of the increase in demand, as suggested by Keynes and Krugman? If this can be achieved, then one could conclude that something useful can be generated out of nothing.

To be able to accommodate the increase in his demand for goods a baker must have the means of payment (i.e., bread) to pay for goods and services that he desires. For instance, the baker secures five tomatoes by paying for them with eight saved loaves of bread. Likewise, the shoemaker supports his demand for ten tomatoes with a saved pair of shoes. The tomato farmer supports his demand for bread and shoes with his saved fifteen tomatoes.

An increase in the supply of final goods permits an increase in demand for goods. Thus the baker's increase in the production of bread permits him to increase demand for other goods. In this sense, the increase in the production of goods gives rise to demand for goods. Please note again that people are engaged in production in order to be able to exercise demand for goods to maintain their life and well-being.

What enables the expansion in the supply of final consumer goods is the increase in capital goods or tools and machinery. What in turn permits the increase in tools and machinery is real savings. We can thus infer that the increase in consumption must be in line with the increase in production. From this we can deduce that an increase in consumption cannot cause production to increase by the multiple of the increase in consumption. The increase in production is in accordance with what the pool of real savings permits.

Production cannot expand without support from the pool of real savings, i.e., something cannot emerge out of nothing. This of course means that only wealth generators can set in motion an expansion in real wealth.

Why Data by Itself Cannot Produce Facts

How then are we to reconcile the so-called facts that are supposedly presented by various studies, i.e., the fact that stimulus programs can grow the economy? For instance, in his New York Times article from September 5, 2010, Paul Krugman suggests that it was the massive government borrowing during the war, from 1940 to 1945, that laid the foundation for long-run prosperity. Thus in 1943 the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP stood at almost 28 percent. The rate of growth in real GDP, after falling to minus 11 percent in 1946, jumped to almost 8 percent by 1951.

Note that the so-called economic growth here is assessed in terms of real GDP, which depicts monetary expenditure. Hence we suggest that an important force behind the strong increase in real GDP must be the monetary factor. Indeed, we had strong increase in the money-supply rate of growth from minus 11 percent in January 1947 to 6 percent in May 1951.

Now, even if we were to accept that notwithstanding all the shortcomings of real GDP and grant that the US economy had prosperity after 1946, it doesn't necessarily follow that this occurred on account of large budget deficits, as suggested by Paul Krugman and other commentators.

Contrary to the popular way of thinking, data cannot talk by itself and present so-called facts. The data must be assessed by means of a framework that can withstand some basic scrutiny — such as whether the government can grow the economy although it's not a wealth generator.

Once we reach the conclusion (based on logical analysis) that the government cannot grow the economy, we can emphatically reject various studies and assertions that tell us the exact opposite.

This means that the long-term prosperity in the United States took place on account of the expanding pool of real savings and in spite of aggressive government spending during the war. (We have seen that without the expansion in the pool of real savings no economic growth is possible.)

It must be realized that the data out of which various so-called facts are produced appear to support various empirical research conclusions as long as the private sector of the economy generates enough real savings to support productive and nonproductive activities. As long as this is the case, various so-called empirical studies can produce "support" for any pie-in-the-sky theory — such as the idea that the government can grow an economy and that something can be created out of nothing.

Whenever the ability of wealth generators to produce real savings is curtailed, economic growth follows suit and no amount of money that a government pushes into an economy can make it grow. (Again the government cannot create real savings, it can only divert the existing real savings from wealth generators.)

Once the process of wealth generation is damaged and loose policies become ineffective in "reviving" the economy, various commentators such as Krugman are quick to suggest that the laws of economics must have changed. For them this means forgetting logical analysis based on the essential laws of economics and going for massive spending. Now if the laws of economics have changed, on what grounds can Krugman and others employ events from the 1940s to make their policy recommendations? If everything is in a state of flux why should laws that were valid in 1940 be applicable today?

According to Krugman:
"We are at unusual times where usual intuition doesn't apply here, getting this economy moving is the best thing we can do, not just for the present, but for the future and for our children."

If the pool of real savings is in trouble, adopting Krugman's advice — i.e., introducing a massive fiscal stimulus package — will only make things much worse and plunge the US economy into a much more severe economic slump. If the pool of real savings is still holding, then there is no need for stimulus programs: the growing pool of real savings will revive the economy.


Despite the massive $800 billion fiscal stimulus package introduced last year, the US economy is struggling to recover. Various economic indicators, after having a short rebound, are starting to display visible weakening. Many experts, including President Barack Obama, are of the view that a larger fiscal stimulus package might do the trick. Our analysis indicates that not only can fiscal stimulus not revive the economy but, on the contrary, it can also make things much worse.
The key factor for a sustained economic recovery is the buildup of real savings. This buildup can only be secured by wealth generators and not by government spending, which weakens the process of wealth formation.

Policy Of Poverty

A new report comes as a punch in the gut for proud Americans: One in seven of us is poor, government data show. Surprised? Don't be. It's what happens when you kill the most productive parts of a country.

An estimated 14.3% of the population, or 43.6 million people, were considered poor in 2009, up from 13.2% the year before, the Census Bureau reports. This is the highest share living in poverty since the government began keeping records half a century ago.

How can this be in the richest nation on Earth?

Since Democrats took power — Congress in 2007, the White House in 2009 — policies that punish the productive private economy have become the norm.

Meanwhile, government wastes massive sums bailing out failed businesses, purchasing bad loans and rewarding those who borrow too much, make bad economic decisions or belong to unions.

Knowing this, no one should express shock that 15 million Americans don't have jobs, and that perhaps another 14 million or so are working only part time when they'd prefer to be working full time.

Persistent unemployment from misbegotten government policies is why we have this poverty. And it leads, inevitably, to dependence on government. As recently as 2006, federal payments to individuals as a share of GDP — a proxy for welfare — stood at 12%. Now it's 16.4%, a 37% rise in three years and the highest level ever.

IBD/TIPP Poll of 908 Americans across the country, taken last week, shows that 39% of all American households and 22% of all individuals today receive some kind of federal aid.

Why? For three years now, the private sector has been systematically punished for the sins of the federal government with higher taxes and greater regulation. Businesses, though sitting on nearly $2 trillion in cash, won't invest in such an environment.

Washington's response? Spend hundreds of billions more on ill-considered "stimulus" plans and consign millions more to unemployment and poverty.

In the past two years we've witnessed a breathtaking expansion of federal government. And it'll only get worse, with a planned $44.8 trillion in spending over the next decade, an 83% rise. This new spending will add $13 trillion to our debt, pushing the total to $23 trillion by 2020 from just $7.5 trillion as recently as 2008.

Contrary to the repeated assertions of our nation's Keynesian elites in the media, Washington and academia, all this spending and debt doesn't create jobs. It kills them. The money siphoned from the economy destroys investment and consumer spending, leading to slower growth, higher joblessness and lower incomes.

Growing government activism has robbed our economy of its dynamism. Cutting spending is therefore the best thing we could do to reduce poverty, joblessness and dependence right now.

A recent major study by Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna confirms this.

Looking at 107 cases of large fiscal adjustments made in 21 wealthy countries from 1970 to 2007, Alesina and Ardagna found that tax cuts were the best way to boost economic growth. They also found that spending cuts without tax hikes reduced deficits and debt more than those that included tax hikes.

Further, "adjustments on the spending side rather than on the tax side are less likely to create recessions" — a fact that pretty much destroys the Keynesian argument for more spending "stimulus" and tax hikes to boost the economy.

The Keynesian orthodoxy hasn't worked in the past, and it isn't working today. It's brought our nation lower output, higher joblessness, soaring poverty rates and increased dependence on government. The only question is, why does one party remain wedded to such a destructive economic philosophy?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Medicare and ObamaCare

From: American Thinker
September 17, 2010
By Marcia Sielaff

The problem with the truth is that it keeps breaking out at inconvenient times. The most recent breakout occurred just as the Obama administration launched another campaign to persuade a skeptical populace that the Affordable Health Care Act really is.

If most people missed the event, it is because the mainstream media did its best to downplay what the WSJ called "the most damning fiscal indictment to date of the Affordable Care Act."

For the first time in recorded history, Medicare's Chief Actuary found it necessary to append a dissent to the laboriously named "Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds."

In the 18-page addendum, the Office of the Actuary contests the claim that the Act "improves the financial outlook for Medicare substantially." According to the Actuary, the trustee's projections "do not represent the best estimate of actual future Medicare spending," and the assumptions that are the basis of the trustee's optimism are "implausible." Chief Actuary Richard Foster's detailed addendum explains why.

There are three major problems. First, the trustees ignore "secondary impacts"; second is their assumption that significant savings can be achieved by reducing payments for health services; and third is that productivity increases in health services will help to offset the cost of care.

The Actuary's dissent explains the "secondary impacts" and why they are important.

It is important to note that the current-law estimates shown in the 2010 Medicare Trustees Report comprise only the direct impacts of the current-law payment reductions. Not included are possible secondary impacts, such as reduced beneficiary access to Medicare services, reduced quality of care, and/or increased morbidity or mortality rates. For example, the negative physician payment updates could potentially result in physicians reducing the number of traditional fee-for-service Medicare patients that they see each day.

Foster describes the scale of the reductions.

Among the most important factors in projecting Medicare expenditures are the annual payment updates to Medicare providers. The estimates shown in the 2010 Trustees Report are complicated substantially by mandated reductions in these payment updates for most Medicare services. In particular, Medicare payment rates for physician services as determined by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) system are scheduled to be reduced by roughly 30 percent over the next 3 years. For most of the other categories of Medicare providers, the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), as amended, calls for a reduction in payment rate updates equal to the increase in economy-wide multifactor productivity... in our view (and that of the independent outside experts we consulted), neither of these update reductions is sustainable in the long range, and Congress is very likely to legislatively override or otherwise modify the reductions in the future to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to health care services.

And warns that such reductions are untenable,

... [W]e talked informally with several prominent health economists ... [A]ll of them believed that the payment reductions were unsustainable, ...Writing in a National Journal blog, Dr. David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University, stated that "as the actuaries ... note, traditional payment reductions are not a long-term source of financing. Prices can be reduced only so far before they become unreasonably low." Similarly, Dr. Joseph Newhouse wrote in an article for Health Affairs, "...it is equally hard to imagine cutting only Medicare spending while spending by the commercially insured under age sixty-five continues to grow at historic rates, which would lead to a marked divergence between what providers are paid for treating the commercially insured relative to what they are paid for Medicare beneficiaries. This gap could jeopardize Medicare beneficiaries' access to mainstream medical care." The other experts we spoke with also foresaw that the Medicare payment limitations would become unworkable.

In several detailed paragraphs, Foster also explains why it is unrealistic to expect greater productivity gains to offset costs. "For the health sector, measured productivity gains have generally been quite small, given the labor-intensive nature of health services and the individual customization of treatments required in many instances. " He finds that neither evidence nor experience supports the trustee's optimistic prognostications.

The technical details of the Actuary's dissent tend to be soporific, but the message is clear. As summarized by the Wall Street Journal, the alleged cuts "exist only on paper and were written so they could pretend to reduce the deficit and perform the miracles the trustees dutifully outlined."

...Which brings up the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The Goldwater Institute points out that "... the chief actuary must predict future growth in Medicare enrollment and spending each year, and give that information to a new federal agency created by health care reform called the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). That board will have virtually unchecked power to adopt laws setting prices and payments for nearly all medical services." According to the terms set forth in the Act, IPAB's task is to reduce expenditures to limits prescribed in the Act. IPAB's recommendations to that end, if not specifically overridden by Congress within a limited period of time, become law.

Further details are best obtained by reading the Actuary's dissent and/or the various commentaries. The Goldwater Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Wall Street Journal have all weighed in

It is no surprise that the trustee's optimistic conclusions are at odds with real-world consequences. This administration's policies often fall short of predicted outcomes. Consequently, we have stimulus bills designed to create jobs (but don't), a heavily subsidized and enormously expensive electric car (that people don't seem to be rushing to buy), and now a Medicare system which is supposed to save money by insuring millions more people with fewer doctors to treat them, no reduction in service, and insurance companies that are prohibited from raising premiums.

It is now manifest that the claims of cost savings are untenable. It is also clear, as many have long suspected, that under the terms of this legislation, it is not physicians who will be in charge of health care, but panels of experts with the souls of bookkeepers.

Fools Shall Remain Fools

A New York Times column by Jimmy Carter, who recently traveled to North Korea, indicates that Pyongyang is ready to talk peace with South Korea and the U.S. The former president yet again shows the dangerous depth of his naivete.

The record shows North Korea doesn't keep its word, and Carter should know it: The regime famously cheated on a 1994 deal that he brokered to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

Naturally, Carter blames George W. Bush for the breakdown of the agreement. But it was North Korea that violated the terms of the deal by restarting a uranium-enrichment program, which it likely began soon after the settlement was reached and revealed only when pressured by the Bush administration in 2002.

Did it ever occur to him that the regime told him what he wanted to hear because he's such a soft touch for tyrants and dictators?  Apparently, it never crosses his mind that he is being used as a useful idiot to spread the propaganda of every tinhorn dictator around the globe.

The 39th president habitually befriended and praised the wrong people from Arafat to Ortega, and never regretted it. This is the man who will never comprehend that saying a country's dictator "speaks for all the people," as he did in 2008, is an offense to humanity.

It sounds like Carter is intent on keeping the mantle of being the worst U.S. president in modern history, or at least give Obama a run for his money!.

Democrats And Responsibility

Pew released a very interesting poll Wednesday that provides a revealing look at American values and a particular demographic group that is out of step with the rest.

The relatively value starved group is not distinguished by race, gender, or ethnicity - no!
It is by political ideology.  See the last grouping, at the bottom of the following table:

It further proves my contentions about liberals and personal responsibility.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Obama on Healthcare Costs: Then and Now



Pressed Into Conformity

Example of what we are fighting against, even today..... Left has been, is, and always will be the most insidious threat to liberty.

By George Will · Thursday, September 16, 2010

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The crime scene at 138 Griffith St. has changed in 76 years. Today it is a barber shop. In 1934, it was a tailoring and cleaning establishment owned and run by Jacob Maged, 49.

With his responsibilities as a father of four, Maged should have shunned a life of crime. Instead, he advertised his criminal activity with a placard in his shop window, promising to press men's suits for 35 cents. This he did, even though President Franklin Roosevelt's New Dealers, who knew an amazing number of things -- his economic aides were not called a "Brains Trust" for nothing -- knew that the proper price for pressing a man's suit was 40 cents.

The National Recovery Administration was an administrative mechanism for the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which envisioned regulating the economy back to health by using, among other things, codes of fair competition. The theory was that by promoting the cartelization of labor by encouraging unions, and the cartelization of industries by codes that would inhibit competition, prices would be propped up and prosperity would return.

Soon there were more than 500 NRA codes covering the manufacture of products from lightning rods to dog leashes to women's corsets. Amity Shlaes, in "The Forgotten Man," her history of the New Deal, reports that the NRA "generated more paper than the entire legislative output of the federal government since 1789."

Businesses were asked to display the Blue Eagle, an emblem signifying participation in the NRA. Gen. Hugh "Iron Pants" Johnson, an admirer of Mussolini who headed the NRA, declared, "May God have mercy on the man or group of men who attempt to trifle with this bird."

Maged trifled by his five-cent violation of New Jersey's "tailors' code," written in conjunction with the NRA. On April 20, 1934, he was fined $100 -- serious money when the average family income was about $1,500 -- and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The New York Times reported that Maged "was only vaguely aware of the existence of a code."

Not that such ignorance was forgivable. It is every citizen's duty to stay up late at night, if necessary, reading the fine print about the government's multiplying mandates.

"In court yesterday," the Times reported, "he stood as if in a trance when sentence was pronounced. He hoped that it was a joke." Maged was an immigrant from Poland, which in the Cold War would become familiar with the concept of "economic crimes" and the use of criminal law for the "re-education" of deviationists.

Actually, his sentence was a judicial jest. After Maged spent three days in jail, the judge canceled the rest of his sentence, remitted the fine and, according to the Times, "gave him a little lecture on the importance of cooperation as opposed to individualism." The judge emphasized that people "should uphold the president ... and General Johnson" in their struggle against -- among other miscreants -- "price cutters." Then, like a feudal lord granting a dispensation to a serf, the judge promised to have Maged "measure me for a new suit."

Maged, suitably broken to the saddle of government, removed from his shop window the placard advertising 35-cent pressings and replaced it with a Blue Eagle. "Maged," reported the Times, "if not quite so ruggedly individualistic as formerly, was a free man once more." So that is freedom -- embracing, under coercion, a government propaganda symbol.

Today, as 76 years ago, economic recovery is much on the mind of the government, which is busy as a beaver -- sending another $26 billion to public employees, proposing another $50 billion for "infrastructure" -- as it orchestrates Recovery Summer to an appropriate climax. But at least today's government is agnostic about the proper price for cleaning a suit.

In 1937, FDR asked in his inaugural address for "unimagined power" to enforce "proper subordination" of private interests to public authority. The biggest industrial collapse in American history occurred eight years after the stock market crash of 1929, and nearly five years into the New Deal, in ... 1937.

Maged died here of cancer on March 31, 1939. He was 54. He remains a cautionary example of the wages of sin, understood by the progressives of his day as insubordination toward government that knows everything. The NRA lives on, sort of, in this Milton Friedman observation: Pick at random any three letters from the alphabet, put them in any order, and you will have an acronym designating a federal agency we can do without.

(c) 2010, Washington Post Writers Group

Obama Asks Thug Nations To Judge America

By Larry Elder · Thursday, September 16, 2010

Does America engage in massive and widespread violations of human rights?

The Obama administration thinks so. That's the takeaway of the "Report of the United States of America Submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights." The introduction says it "gives a partial snapshot of the current human rights situation in the United States, including some of the areas where problems persist in our society."

What human rights problems?

One is the higher unemployment rate for blacks (15.8 percent) and Hispanics (12.4 percent) compared with that of whites (8.8 percent).

Unemployment is directly related to education. Blacks and Hispanics drop out of high school at a higher rate than whites. Some Asian-American groups, on the other hand, have unemployment rates similar to that of whites.

Low unemployment among these Asian-American groups results from high-school graduation rates that exceed those of whites. Comparing students at the same socio-economic level, Asians outperform whites, blacks and Hispanics on standardized tests. Government neglect is not the culprit. Cities with large black and Hispanic populations -- such as New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago -- spend more per student than do cities in Utah and Iowa, yet they do worse on standardized tests.

This is not good. But what has this to do with human rights?

Another "human rights" problem is the existence of "don't ask, don't tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act, which allows states to reject gay marriage. Until recently, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell defended DADT, and he urged former President Bill Clinton to back away from his promise to allow gays to serve openly in the military. President Barack Obama publicly opposes gay marriage. However one feels about gays in the military or gay marriage, these are policy and value issues where reasonable people can disagree -- not matters of human rights.

Another so-called human rights problem is that of "sentencing disparities between powder cocaine and crack cocaine offenses (because) those convicted of crack cocaine offenses are more likely to be members of a racial minority."

The stiff sentences for crack resulted from demands by Jesse Jackson and the Congressional Black Caucus for Congress to do something about the inner-city crack trade and its attendant violence. Congress acted. When blacks got busted at higher rates than whites, this suddenly became a human rights issue.

Another human rights problem is unequal homeownership rates between whites and blacks and Hispanics, irrespective of creditworthiness or whether the ownership of a home is necessarily a good idea.

The report even mentioned Arizona's SB 1070, which the attorney general has called racial profiling.

President George W. Bush refused to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, a position immediately reversed by Obama. When council members include countries like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba and China, isn't the entire exercise a sick joke?

In Saudi Arabia, a Lebanese man was arrested while on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. A Saudi court sentenced him late last year for practicing "witchcraft" -- making predictions about the future -- on his own Lebanese TV show. The punishment? Death by beheading. Libyans rejoiced over the return of the only terrorist convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans. In Cuba, journalists are routinely thrown in jail, their number and condition unknowable because of the repressive state-run media. No one knows the true number of dissidents killed during China's Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, but the number may exceed 3,000. Political dissidents remain behind bars in China, and the country continues its "one-child" policy with penalties for noncompliance that include forced sterilization.

The report's introduction says: "Some may say that by participating we acknowledge commonality with states that systematically abuse human rights. We do not. There is no comparison between American democracy and repressive regimes." Well, that's nice to know.

Obama's report is a left-wing indictment of America. Left-wing policy goals are called human rights. And left-wing legislation signed by Obama is touted as an advancement of human rights.

That totalitarian regimes like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Cuba and China serve on any human rights council -- and pass judgment on how America treats its citizens -- is a vulgarity.

Obama's view of America -- and his message to the world -- is that we are deeply flawed and have much to apologize for, even to thug countries that equate terrorism with freedom fighting. And by touting his left-wing policy goals as human rights imperatives, Obama arrogantly equates leftism with cosmic justice.

Why not simply take our chances with Judge Judy?




Old Theory Of Keynesian Stimulus Comes Up Against Hard New Facts


Posted 09/15/2010 06:17 PM ET

Dana Milbank, a new Washington Post columnist, thinks Republican politicians "managed to turn the Keynesian notion of economic 'stimulus' into such a dirty word that President Obama and his aides are afraid to let it escape their lips."

He blames "think tanks such as the Cato Institute" for not agreeing that Keynesian theory is so "unassailable" and "universally embraced" that daring to question the elixir of deficit spending "has a flat earth feel to it."

Milbank forgets that Keynesian Democrats, including the recently departed OMB director Peter Orszag, constantly hectored Republicans about the evils of budget deficits while Reagan or Bush was in office.

UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong wrote a 2004 paper for the Center for American Progress assailing Bush's budget deficit. "A bigger deficit means less investment in America," he wrote; "And less investment in America means slower economic growth." DeLong quoted Bush adviser Greg Mankiw who likewise argued that, "government budget deficits reduce the economy's growth rate."

Milbank now claims Mankiw supports the exact opposite idea — namely, that budget deficits "stimulate" the economy's growth rate. Unfortunately, any theory that explains everything must also explain nothing.

The Republican alternative to more fiscal stimulus says Milbank, is for government to "do nothing, and let the human misery continue." Any doubts about the efficacy of fiscal stimulus, he argues, were discredited by the remarkable discovery that recessions still happen: "Economists offering alternatives to Keynes devised mathematical models showing how markets would behave efficiently. But those ideas collapsed along with everything else in 2008."

This is ignorant nonsense. Efficiency never meant markets can't be surprised and crash. Besides, academic criticism of fiscal stimulus is mainly based on fact, not theory.

Apologists for the 2009 spending spree point to an August paper by Ben Page of the Congressional Budget Office, "Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." The only part of that paper worth reading is the Appendix: "Evidence on the Economic Effects of Fiscal Stimulus."

Page confesses that, "In analyzing ARRA's economic effects, CBO drew heavily on versions of the commercial forecasting models of two economic consulting firms. ... Because they emphasize the influence of aggregate demand on output in the short run, the macroeconometric forecasting models tend to predict greater economic effects from demand-enhancing policies such as ARRA than some other types of models do."

Even short-run predictions from such models are notoriously lousy, so CBO simulations of what might have happened under different scenarios tell us more about the models' assumptions than about reality.

The CBO paper goes on to explain that "another type of research uses historical data to directly project how government policies will affect the economy on the basis of how economic variables such as output and consumption have behaved in the past relative to government spending and revenues ...

"Many estimates of this sort suggest that crowding-out effects dominate in the case of government purchases so that the impact on output tends to be less than one-for-­one and tends to diminish over time. ... Estimated multipliers for tax cuts are generally higher than those for spending, and they tend to grow over time."

Footnote 5, where a sample of such non-Keynesian evidence is buried, reads as follows:

See Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer, "The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks," American Economic Review, vol. 100, no. 3 (June 2010), pp. 763—801; Robert J. Barro and Charles J. Redlick, "Macroeconomic Effects from Government Purchases and Taxes," Working Paper 15369 (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2009); Andrew Mountford and Harald Uhlig, "What Are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?" Working Paper 14551 (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2008); Roberto Perotti, "In Search of the Transmission Mechanism of Fiscal Policy," Working Paper 13143 (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2007); Olivier Blanchard and Roberto Perotti, "An Empirical Characterization of the Dynamic Effects of Changes in Government Spending and Taxes on Output," Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 117, no. 4 (November 2002), pp. 1329—1368; and Valerie Ramey and Matthew Shapiro, "Costly Capital Reallocation and the Effects of Government Spending," Carnegie—Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, vol. 48, no. 1 (June 1998), pp. 145—194.

The first name on that list is Christina Romer, the outgoing head of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. Another is Olivier Blanchard, director of the research department of the International Monetary Fund. The CBO's Ben Page is not quite in the same league.

In a paper co-authored with Cato Institute scholar Jagadeesh Gokhale, however, Page wrote, "If the government does not pay for what it purchases with current taxes, it must raise them later — either to retire the ensuing debt or to pay interest forever." That explains why sending borrowed bucks to Peter at the expense of taxpayer Paul is no stimulus.

The CBO's footnoted paper by Romer and her husband estimates that a legislated "tax increase of one percent of GDP lowers real GDP by roughly three percent." Moreover, "the output effects are highly persistent," with a "strong response of investment." The Romers acknowledge that "when marginal tax rates actually change," it "could have large supply-side effects ... on incentives and productivity."

The second paper, by Harvard's Robert Barro and his former student, also finds no evidence that federal spending has a "multiplier" effect on GDP. Barro and Redlick estimate that "a one-percentage-point cut in the average marginal tax rate raises the following year's GDP growth rate by around 0.6% per year.

The third paper, by Andrew Mountford of the University of London and Harald Uhling of the University of Chicago, found that "investment falls in response to both tax increases and spending increases and that the multipliers associated with a change in taxes (are) much higher than those associated with a change in spending. ... The responses of investment, consumption and real wages to a government spending shock are difficult to reconcile with the standard Keynesian approach."

The other papers in the CBO footnote likewise find little or no "stimulus" from added borrowing and spending. Reducing the highest, most damaging marginal tax rates is far more effective.

As the Romers observed, "The most significant tax cuts to stimulate long-run growth are well known: the 1948 tax cut passed over Truman's veto; the 1964 Kennedy-Johnson tax cut; the 1981 Reagan tax cut; and the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts."

Republicans should get some credit for the last two of those growth-oriented reductions in top marginal tax rates (the 1986 tax reform was more bipartisan). Yet Milbank suspects, "Republicans don't realize that some of their tax-cut proposals are as 'Keynesian' as Obama's program."

That depends. Any tax policy like the frivolous 10% tax bracket added in 2001 is indeed a Keynesian policy and it always fails. Republicans suggesting that multiple surtaxes on high incomes would be harmless if postponed for a year or two are also using foolhardy Keynesian arguments.

The research by Romer, Barro and others is about raising revenues in ways that do the least damage to economic incentives, not about deliberately planning to minimize short-term tax collections.

Keynes explained that, "taxation may be so high as to defeat its object, and that, given sufficient time to gather the fruits, a reduction of taxation will run a better chance than an increase of balancing the budget."


Patriot's Foot Note:

Look around the world at Nations that bought into the 20th century Keynesian Revolution; it completely undermined economic stability, thus creating a constant and steady need for government intervention that eventually destroys the actual free market, leaving no alternatives but a government centered Socialist market economy. Keynes was a comrade of the Fabian Socialists and one of the goals of Keynesian Theory is the transformation of a free market economy into an official government economy.
There is no such thing as "aggregate" anything when in reality all economic transactions are individually based. We try to use statistics of the whole to deduce what the individual is going to do and we fail every time. Individuals base decisions on so many variables no one can quantify them for the billions of people walking the earth. So trying mathematically to suggest that there are constants when individuals are generally unique in their behavior is the height of liberal arrogance!