Posts Tagged ‘$787 billion’

For First Time, Plurality Of Americans Think Stimulus Hurt The Economy

December 30, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s the picture:

For what it’s worth, the $787 billion stimulus which Americans are increasingly agreeing was a dismal failure was in reality a $3.27 trillion porkulus package.  Which is to say, this was a FAR bigger and a FAR more dangerous waste of money which will do FAR more harm to our economic futures than most Americans understand.

Here’s what Rasmussen said under the title, “For First Time, Plurality Believes Stimulus Plan Hurt The Economy“:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30% of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38% believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.

The number who believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy rose from 28% in September, to 31% in October, and 34% in November before jumping to 38% this month. The week after the president signed the bill, 34% said it would help the economy, while 32% said it would hurt.

The Political Class has a much different view than the rest of the county. Ninety percent (90%) of the Political Class believes the stimulus plan helped the economy and not a single Political Class respondent says it has hurt. (See more on the Political Class).

The underlying reason for skepticism about the stimulus plan is that 50% of voters believe increasing government spending is bad for the economy. Just 28% believe that increased government spending helps the economy.

Men, by a 42% to 27% margin, believe the stimulus effort has hurt the economy. Women are evenly divided.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats believe the stimulus plan has helped the economy while 47% of Republicans believe it has hurt. Among those not affiliated with either major political party, 52% believe the stimulus plan has had a negative impact.

Concerns about federal budget deficits also play a role in evaluating the stimulus spending. Voters continue to think that the president’s top budget priority should be cutting the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. But they see it as the goal the president is least likely to achieve.

Health care reform is second on the list of priorities for voters, but most oppose the health care plan working its way through Congress.

Not surprisingly, most Americans are opposed to a second stimulus plan. In fact, 51% of voters say more jobs would be created if the remaining ending planned in the first stimulus plan was cancelled right away.

Only 14% of American workers say their firms are hiring and 29% say their employers are laying people off. As a result, 67% expect that unemployment will be at 10% or higher a year from now.

Please allow me to supplement the above Rasmussen article describing the fact that a solid plurality of Americans now believe the stimulus was harmful with another article detailing what a whopping load of partisan corruption the stimulus has turned out to be:

Report: Democratic districts received nearly twice the amount of stimulus funds as GOP districts
By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
December 16, 2009

A new analysis of the $157 billion distributed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, popularly known as the stimulus bill, shows that the funds were distributed without regard for what states were most in need of jobs.

“You would think that if the stimulus money was actually spent to create jobs, there would be more stimulus money spent in high unemployment states,” said Veronique de Rugy, a scholar at the Mercatus Center who produced the analysis. “But we don’t find any correlation.”

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia is one of the nation’s most respected economic and regulatory think tanks and has a Nobel prize-winning economist on staff. The econometric analysis was done using data provided by Recovery.gov — the government website devoted to tracking the stimulus data — as well as a host of other government databases.

Additionally, Mercatus found that stimulus funds were not disbursed geographically with any special regard for low-income Americans. “We find no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no statistically significant effect of unemployment, median income or mean income on stimulus funds allocation,” said the report.

The Mercatus Center analysis also found that Democratic congressional districts received on average almost double the funding of Republican congressional districts. Republican congressional districts received on average $232 million in stimulus funds while Democratic districts received $439 million on average.

“We found that there is a correlation [relating to the partisanship of congressional districts],” de Rugy said. Her regression analysis found that stimulus funds are expected to decrease by 24.19 percent if a district is represented by a Republican.

“During the appropriations process, you’re not surprised to see the Democrats are getting more money, but in this case a lot of the money we’re looking at is going through HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development], or Department of Education, Department of Transportation etc. and they’re following a formula,” she said. “But the correlation exists, and not only does it exist — when you look at how much money we’re talking about, it’s a pretty big deal.”

The analysis found that neither congressional leadership positions of local members nor presidential preference in 2008 were factors in stimulus allocation by congressional district.

Finally, the Mercatus analysis shows that a majority of the funds allocated went to public rather than private entities — nearly $88 billion to $69 billion. While some of the money given to public entities may eventually filter down to the private sector, it’s much less transparent how money given to public entities is spurring economic growth and job creation.

So, to repeat, the stimulus money isn’t being given out to low-income Americans or struggling geographic regions.  It is being given out to Democrats to use as political slush funds.

The Democrat Party is the party of corruption, partisanship, socialism, and big-government-as-God-substitute ideology.

And more and more Americans are coming to realize how dangerous they are to the American way of life.

Another way to look at this is that – from the very beginning of the Obama administration – the Republican Party has demonstrated that they were completely right and Democrats were completely wrong.  Whether you look at the stimulus, cap-and-trade, garbage climate change claims, health care, or terrorism, Americans now solidly agree that Republicans were right; Democrats were wrong.

Obama Refuses To Take Any Responsibility For His Failing Presidency

December 10, 2009

There comes that moment in every great man’s life when he realizes that it’s time to put up or shut up.

Obama hasn’t reached that moment yet.  And I personally don’t believe he ever will.  Or even can.

Obama gave a speech at the Brookings Institute yesterday, December 8.  He said:

One of the central goals of this administration is restoring fiscal responsibility. Even as we have had to spend our way out of this recession in the near term, we have begun to make the hard choices necessary to get our country on a more stable fiscal footing in the long run. Despite what some have claimed, the cost of the Recovery Act is only a very small part of our current budget imbalance. In reality, the deficit had been building dramatically over the previous eight years. Folks passed tax cuts and expensive entitlement programs without paying for any of it – even as health care costs kept rising, year after year. As a result, the deficit had reached $1.3 trillion when we walked into the White House. And I’d note: these budget busting tax cuts and spending programs were approved by many of the same people who are now waxing political about fiscal responsibility while opposing our efforts to reduce deficits by getting health care costs under control. It’s a sight to see.

To begin with, sixty percent of the overall deficit from the last ten years has occurred during the last three year period that the Democrats have been in control of both the House and the Senate.  Any claim that Democrats were the fiscally responsible party is just frankly a complete lie.

And as we look to which party is accumulating debts that have never been seen in the history of the human species, take a look at this graph of reality, to the tune of Joe Wilson’s hit song, “You lie!”

Link

You don’t have to be an economist or financial expert to see that the Marxist red Obama bars utterly dwarf the gray Bush bars.

Let’s take a look at the real numbers:

The Obama Administration Budget released today contains a total $2.867 trillion in red ink, just 38 days after Obama’s inauguration on January 20.

In contrast, the Bush Administration ran up a $2.7519 trillion deficit over an 8-year period that included 7 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan; the economic downturn after 9-11; the addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare; a massive increase in federal education spending under No Child Left Behind; and the current recession and 2008 Wall Street bailout.

Bush Surplus/Deficit Fiscal Years 2001-2008 (billions of dollars)
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Statistics
2001    128.2
2002    -157.8
2003    -377.6
2004    -412.7
2005    -318.3
2006    -248.2
2007    -160.7
2008    -454.8
TARP    -750.0
Total  -2751.9

Obama Budget Deficit FY 2009/10*
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Statistics
2010       -1750
2011       -1117
Total      -2867

*The Obama deficit total does NOT include the impact of the $787 billion Stimulus package approved by House Democrats in February.  It also excludes any effect of an Obama contingency request for an additional $750 billion to use for bank rescue.  If the contingency amount is included the total deficit for FY 2009/10 is $3.617 trillion

So what we basically learn is that Obama’s deficits in just two years are greater (which means worse) than Bush’s entire 8 years in office.  And if you factor in the spending that Obama racked up all by his lonesome, he accumulated greater deficits in just ONE year than did Bush in eight.

We need to realize that the $787 billion stimulus – which is not counted under Obama’s deficit that STILL outdoes the deficits racked up during Bush’s entire eight year presidency – was not a “mere” $787 billion.  It was actually $3.27 TRILLION according to the Congressional Budget Office.

As Newsmax reporter David Patton put it:

The gargantuan stimulus bill Congress has rubber-stamped with virtually no Republican support contains tens of billions of the very spending projects that made the legislation a lightning rod for criticism.

And although the bill is generally described as costing $787 billion, the Congressional Budget Office reports the actual figure is now closer to $3.27 trillion.

That stems from the $744 billion it will take to pay for the additional debt the legislation will create, and $2.527 trillion in increased spending from the new and expanded programs the bill will spawn over the next decade.

That put-us-into-the-poorhouse stimulus spending was ALL on Obama.  And while we go from fiscal year to fiscal year (i.e. October 1 to September 30) to “officially” calculate a president’s deficits, it is simply a moral crime to saddle George Bush with Obama’s $3.27 trillion porkulus that no Republicans voted for, and then blame Bush for the most massive spending program in human history that was passed by Obama and for Obama.

Nor do the numbers reflect that President Bush only used HALF of the $750 billion TARP money, and left the rest of it for Obama to spend.  That money all went on Bush’s deficit “tab,” but thanks to George Bush’s efforts, Obama got half of it for himself.  Pretty sweet deal for Obama.  And yet he still bit the hand that fed him:

(CBS/AP) Acting at Barack Obama’s behest, President George W. Bush on Monday asked Congress for the final $350 billion in the financial bailout fund, effectively ceding economic reins to the president-elect in an extraordinary display of transition teamwork.

Obama also sharply criticized Bush’s handling of the money and promised radical changes.

Bush’s move sets the stage for Obama to get swift access to the $350 billion and the opportunity to overhaul the much-criticized rescue package after taking office next Tuesday.

Bush’s classiness was outmatched by Obama’s classlessness.

In any event, no matter how you slice it, we are looking at Obama red ink that so profoundly drowns out the Bush red ink that only a fool would say anything else.

And yet that is precisely what Obama is doing.

Here we are, just today, with Democrats passing another $1.1 trillion in spending in a 1,088 page, earmark-laden pork package, with not one single Republican supporting it.

And they are determined to pass a health care that’s going to cost this country at least $2.5 trillion every ten years.

And take a moment to calculate America’s “share” of the $10 TRILLION dollar tab that Barack Obama and many in the Democrat Party are trying to commit this country to pick up in the guise of saving the planet from “global warming.”

We’re seeing more spending and more deficits and more debt under Barack Obama than any human being who has ever lived has ever seen in human history.  And he blames Bush for it?

What’s wrong with him?

Any real leader worth a dog turd in the back yard doesn’t waste time blaming the leader before him for problems.  Rather, he puts that “the buck stops here” sign on his desk, he takes responsibility for the situation he is facing, and he solves the problem.

If I had a nickle for every time Obama has said that he “inherited” the crises he is now facing, I would be very rich indeed.  As it is, the president who promised that he would put “an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics” has defined himself by doing the precise opposite.  George W. Bush, by contrast, inherited a severe recession following the dot com bubble collapse beginning in December 1999 just as Clinton was leaving office that led to $10 trillion in equity being erased.  And of course he inherited the foreign policy and domestic security failures that led to the 9/11 attack – which damaged the economy even further.

But you didn’t find Bush giving speech after speech (or any speeches at all) blaming his predecessor.  Rather, Bush “manned-up” and took responsibility for the nation as it was.

That may be why Bush has made such a dramatic comeback in public opinion:

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.

More and more Americans are getting furious that Obama is spending all his time and energy blaming Bush for what is going on during Obama’s presidency.

The very real question is whether Obama can do anything OTHER than blame Bush.  Thus far, he hasn’t solved much of anything.

Obama Continues Rampant Dishonesty With Stimulus ‘Jobs ‘

November 11, 2009

Want to see how Obama “created or saved” all the jobs he’s claiming?  Here’s how:

In June, the federal government spent $1,047 in stimulus money to buy a rider mower from the Toro Company to cut the grass at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas. Now, a report on the government’s stimulus Web site improbably claims that that single lawn mower sale helped save or create 50 jobs.

I bought a new watch the other day; that’s got to be good for at least ten jobs saved or created.

Do you seriously trust these people to run your healthcare?  Are you that idiotic?  I mean, dang.

A newspaper editorial just damns Obama’s dishonesty and deceit the way it deserves to be damned.

Note: I added the html links to the other newspaper articles.

Union-Tribune Editorial
Stimulus dishonesty
Job numbers keep proving to be exaggerated
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 12:43 a.m.

First it was The Associated Press refuting the Obama administration’s claims for jobs saved or created nationwide by February’s $787 billion economic stimulus measure. Then it was The Sacramento Bee refuting the claims that state agencies had made for California. Then it was the Chicago Tribune refuting the claims that state agencies had made for Illinois.

The errors were not of a minor or technical nature. They were egregious.

AP reported that “some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times.” The Bee reported that California State University said “the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees” – more than half its statewide work force. The Tribune reported that Illinois education officials grossly inflated job-saved numbers, sometimes saying school districts had saved more jobs than their total number of employees.

This is a scandal and should be treated as such. It’s not government as usual. Instead, it appears to reflect a decision to distort government data collection to support explicitly political agendas.

With U.S. unemployment now topping 10 percent, the Obama administration is struggling more than ever to fashion credible counterarguments to the assertion made by this editorial page and many pundits and economists that the massive stimulus measure was a poorly thought-out pork fest that wouldn’t work. What’s the easiest way to defend the stimulus? Make up claims about its glorious results.

Politics also appears to be driving state agencies in their willingness to prop up this bogus narrative. It helps them make the case that they should get even more borrowed money from the federal government that they never will have to repay.

Such dishonesty should be completely unacceptable – especially at the federal level. We trust the Office of Management and Budget to provide honest figures on the size of the deficit and the national debt. We trust the Labor Department to provide honest statistics on unemployment and job gains and losses by sector. We trust the Commerce Department to provide honest numbers on monthly imports and exports and the gross domestic product. We trust the Environmental Protection Agency to provide an honest accounting of air and water pollution levels.

All of these statistics end up helping shape the public debate on the most crucial issues of the day. If these numbers can’t be trusted, we can’t have an honest debate. When it comes to the economic stimulus package, it sure looks like the Obama White House doesn’t want an honest debate. Instead, it is going to relentlessly push the very dubious claim that the stimulus was a huge success – no matter what.

We are struck yet again by the contrast between the hopeful and idealistic tone of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and the bare-knuckles Chicago-style politics of his White House. If this hardball approach goes beyond the usual arm-twisting to the routine twisting of government statistics for political purposes, that will be a grim day for America.

The first thing to do is congratulate the editorial board of the Union-Tribune for standing up for the truth.  That hasn’t happened a whole lot in the swooning, “thrill going up my leg” coverage of Obama.

Next, I’d like to begin by citing the complete paragraph that the Union-Tribune cites from AP:

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

Then I’ll provide the quote from the Sacramento Bee in its context, which makes it an even more damning indictment:

Up to one-fourth of the 110,000 jobs reported as saved by federal stimulus money in California probably never were in danger, a Bee review has found.

California State University officials reported late last week that they saved more jobs with stimulus money than the number of jobs saved in Texas – and in 44 other states.

In a required state report to the federal government, the university system said the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees.

That total represents more than half of CSU’s statewide work force.  However, university officials confirmed Thursday that half their workers were not going to be laid off without the stimulus dollars.

“This is not really a real number of people,” CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said. “It’s like a budget number.”

And then I’ll provide the context for the Chicago Tribune findings:

Gov. Patrick Quinn on Wednesday dispatched officials from a new accountability office to investigate errors in a state database detailing stimulus-funded school jobs promoted by the Obama administration, a day after the Tribune raised questions about the job numbers’ accuracy.

The officials have asked the Illinois State Board of Education to verify the number of jobs created and retained in school districts detailed in the report, said Ashley Cross, a spokeswoman for Quinn’s office. Any necessary adjustments will be incorporated into the next quarterly report on the federal stimulus, she said.

Matt Vanover, a spokesman for board of education, said the flawed database actually had been washed of some glaring errors before being included in the official tabulation, which claimed 14,330 school jobs in Illinois had either been saved or created thanks to $1.25 billion in federal funds.

But the Tribune found that the database claimed far more jobs had been saved in some local school districts than actually existed on district payrolls.

Which is to say that, as egregious as the errors were that the Tribune reported for this story, the school board spokesman said they had actually been much, much more egregious before the Tribune was able to get its hands on the actual data.

When the Union-Tribune editors say:

This is a scandal and should be treated as such. It’s not government as usual. Instead, it appears to reflect a decision to distort government data collection to support explicitly political agendas.

You should recognize that we are talking about historic levels of dishonesty that match this administrations’ historic levels of spending and historic levels of debt.

And when they point out that:

Politics also appears to be driving state agencies in their willingness to prop up this bogus narrative. It helps them make the case that they should get even more borrowed money from the federal government that they never will have to repay.

Such dishonesty should be completely unacceptableespecially at the federal level.

You should realize that – counter to the Obama administration’s and Democrat Party’s demagogic attacks against businesses such as our health insurance companies (which make only modest profits, contrary to the frankly evil attacks repeatedly made by the left) – there is no greater or more powerful or more dishonest “special interest” than big government.

If you’re opposed to special interest, then whatever the HELL you do, don’t let the federal government take over health care.

And this garbage of deceit and lies about jobs and the fact that Obama has done NOTHING to create more of them is going on all over the country.

The Boston Globe says, “Stimulus job boost in state exaggerated, review finds.”  And it is simply damning.

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.

The Globe’s finding is based on the federal government’s just-released accounts of stimulus spending at the end of October. It lists the nearly $4 billion in stimulus awards made to an array of Massachusetts government agencies, universities, hospitals, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations, and notes how many jobs each created or saved.

But in interviews with recipients, the Globe found that several openly acknowledged creating far fewer jobs than they have been credited for.

One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’ Bridgewater has submitted a correction, but it is not yet reflected in the report.

In other cases, federal money that recipients already receive annually – subsidies for affordable housing, for example – was reclassified this year as stimulus spending, and the existing jobs already supported by those programs were credited to stimulus spending. Some of these recipients said they did not even know the money they were getting was classified as stimulus funds until September, when federal officials told them they had to file reports.

“There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds,’’ said Susan Kelly, director of property management for Boston Land Co., which reported retaining 26 jobs with $2.7 million in rental subsidies for its affordable housing developments in Waltham. “It’s hard to figure out if you did the paperwork right. We never asked for this.’’

The federal stimulus report for Massachusetts has so many errors, missing data, or estimates instead of actual job counts that it may be impossible to accurately tally how many people have been employed by the massive infusion of federal money. Massachusetts is expected to receive an estimated $1 billion more in stimulus contracts, grants, and loans.

When Obama was elected, unemployment was at 6.6%.  He promised that his stimulus would prevent unemployment from reaching 8%.  And now it’s 10.2%.
His plan completely failed.  His massive $3.27 trillion stimulus porkulus (according to what the CBO reported Obama’s stimulus would actually cost) did nothing more than create a bunch of pork projects and create a Democrat war chest of slush funds to buy the votes it needs.
Don’t believe me about the slush fund?

To get as far as the bill did so far, it appears the administration might have spread some money around. California Rep. Jim Costa was wavering but told a local newspaper last week that his vote could be contingent on getting some federal money for a new medical school in his district along with help for local hospitals.

When a constituent named Bob Smittcamp e-mailed him to complain about his vote for the House bill, the congressman explained he’d been offered the dollars he was looking for — $128 million in federal money.

“He responded to me by basically saying that he did not like many of the elements there were in the legislation. However, he was able to procure $128m for the University of California medical school in Merced,” Smittcamp told Fox News.

Democrats now have in excess of a trillion dollars in federal money to buy itself the votes it needs to impose the liberal agenda.Rather than actually fix the economy, all Obama has done is a) focus entirely on putting even more of the economy under government control through Obamacare rather than focus on creating jobs; b) make up a bunch of patent lies to make believe his policies are doing anything other than dismally failing; and c) keep blaming Bush for everything.It’s not working out, Obama.  YOU’RE not working out.

Democrats’ Effort To Fearmonger Path To Socialized Medicine Has Been Tried Before

August 18, 2009

In the mainstream media narrative, Sarah Palin is demonized as “about half a whack job” and her statement about “death panels” is literally interpreted in a way I’d love to see them apply JUST ONCE to the Constitution.  Conservatives were denounced as an “angry mob,” as “un-American,” and as exhibiting Nazi characteristics by the Democrat Speaker of the House.

The media loves to talk about rightwing fearmongering.

I’d like to say a little more about leftwing fearmongering.

How about the one that we need to pass health care reform in order to get our economy out of the toilet?

A smattering of various Obama “warnings” fearmongering health care:

- “We must lay a new foundation for future growth and prosperity, and a key pillar of a new foundation is health insurance reform.”

- Obama cast retooling the U.S. health-care system as crucial to the nation’s economic success. Reform would help rein in the national deficit and rebuild the economy, he argued, in a way that would help middle-class workers, whose wages have stagnated in recent years largely because of spiraling health-care costs.

- WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that the United States would not rebuild its economy unless political leaders joined him immediately on a perilous political drive for healthcare reform.

- President Obama warned Wednesday night that health-care reform is central to rebuilding the economy “stronger than before,” and without congressional action on health-care reform, “We’re guaranteed to see Medicare and Medicaid basically break the federal budget.”

And our last Obama “warning”:

“The country has to reform its health care system or else not only are you going to continue to have people really going through a hard time, we’re also going see a continuing escalation of our budget problems that can’t get under control,” Obama told Moran. “I think America has to win it here.”

In the dialogue surrounding health care, Obama warned against “scare tactics,” which he said are fostering anxiety and serving to distract Americans from the plan’s principles.

What’s nice about the last one is that it includes fearmongering on the one hand with warning against “scare tactics” on the other.  Obama tells us one the one hand that our economy will plummet unless we implement ObamaCare, and then demonizes everyone who has a different fearmongering message.

It doesn’t matter that Obama’s urgings that we pass health care “reform” will lower our costs and boost are economy are entirely false:

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose “the sort of fundamental changes” necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

Though President Obama and Democratic leaders have repeatedly pledged to alter the soaring trajectory — or cost curve — of federal health spending, the proposals so far would not meet that goal, Elmendorf said, noting, “The curve is being raised.” His remarks suggested that rather than averting a looming fiscal crisis, the measures could make the nation’s bleak budget outlook even worse.

It also doesn’t seem to matter that, given that the “reforms” Obama is seeking wouldn’t take effect until at least 2013, there is little reason to rush headlong into anything other than opportunistic partisan demagoguery.  And yet Barack Obama was out there rushing “reform” and calling August 1st “the people’s deadline” even as polls showed “the people” overwhelmingly wanting Congress to take time crafting health care legislation.

Interestingly, these tricks of fearmongering health care “reform” in the name of averting economic calamity and trying to rush the process through have been tried before.  Think Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1993:

But all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail—let me say this again; I feel so strongly about this—all of our efforts to strengthen the economy will fail unless we also take this year, not next year, not 5 years from now but this year, bold steps to reform our health care system.

In 1992, we spent 14 percent of our income on health care, more than 30 percent more than any other country in the world, and yet we were the only advanced nation that did not provide a basic package of health care benefits to all of its citizens. Unless we change the present pattern, 50 percent of the growth in the deficit between now and the year 2000 will be in health care costs. By the year 2000 almost 20 percent of our income will be in health care. Our families will never be secure, our businesses will never be strong, and our Government will never again be fully solvent until we tackle the health care crisis. We must do it this year.

The combination of the rising cost of care and the lack of care and the fear of losing care are endangering the security and the very lives of millions of our people. And they are weakening our economy every day. Reducing health care costs can liberate literally hundreds of billions of dollars for new investment in growth and jobs. Bringing health costs in line with inflation would do more for the private sector in this country than any tax cut we could give and any spending program we could promote. Reforming health care over the long run is critically essential to reducing not only our deficit but to expanding investment in America.

What’s interesting about this is that liberals depict the Clinton years as the time when the streets were lined with gold and every child went to bed in a warm house with a full tummy.

So the point would obviously be, either Clinton was fearmongering health care in a way that did not turn out to be true at all, or the “glorious Clinton economy” is itself a fabrication.  Because somehow Bill Clinton had to flounder along with no health care reform.

We need to put some things into historic perspective: 1) Bill Clinton so mismanaged the country his first two years in office that it led to the largest political tsunami ever experienced in American history as Republicans took over in an unprecedented landslide 1994 election.  2) Many of the benefits that Bill Clinton has received credit for were actually enacted by the Republican Congress (example: welfare reform).  3) Bill Clinton benefited from an economy that was just recovering from a severe recession at the end of the Bush I administration as Clinton took over.  By contrast, George Bush II – like Barack Obama now – had a significant recession handed to him that will count against his average performance.  In President Bush’s case, that recession was compounded by the worst attack on American soil in nearly 200 years  in the 9/11 terror attack.  4) Bill Clinton changed the way unemployment figures were calculated back in 1994 – making comparisons to previous eras appear far more rosy than they really were.  5) The “Clinton Budget Surplus” is in reality a myth.  In actuality, Clinton created a smoke and mirror illusion by transferring “public debt” costs which are calculated as part of the budget over to “intergovernmental holdings” (eg., by borrowing from Social Security) which are not counted as part of the public debt.

I might also point out that Bill Clinton’s famous statement from his State of the Union Speech in January 1996 - “THE ERA OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS OVER” – tacitly recognized the new Republican era, and which in reality was the ultimate reason why the Clinton economy became ultimately successful.

Democrats were wiped out in 1994 as Republicans swept into power when Americans became fed up with Democrat incompetence and massive spending.  And Bill Clinton was wise enough to recognize the handwriting on the wall.  As a result, he transitioned into a fiscal moderate and avoided the fate of his party.

But now the man who recognized that “The era of big government is over” is back to his pre-1994 ways.  Bill Clinton has joined Barack Obama with the very same big spending, big government socialistic mindset that brought the Democrats to such historic disaster in 1994.

There are many things we can do to improve our health care system.  That goes without saying.  But the Democrat’s presentation that opposing their system is opposing “change” or “reform” is simply asinine.  If any change is better than our present course, than we should just nuke ourselves and be done with it: that would be “change,” after all.  We need to recognize that there is good reform and there is bad reform – and government-run health care is simply “bad” reform.

ObamaCare suffers from massive policy problems that go right to the heart of the greater debate surrounding the size of government, the size of Obama’s unprecedented deficits, and the unsustainable size of our debt.  Democrats have a real problem explaining how they are going to spend $1.6 trillion and yet bring down costs – especially given the CBO’s damning analysis.  They have a problem explaining how they’re going to take hundreds of millions out of Medicare and yet not affect the quality of care to Medicare beneficiaries.  And they have a problem explaining how they’re not going to end up transferring over a hundred million Americans out of their employee-based health care and into the “public option” when good analysis sees exactly that happening (and see also here).

The American people listened to Obama fearmonger his way to the gigantic stimulus package that will ultimately cost Americans $3.27 trillion.  The stimulus has been deemed by the American people as being so unsuccessful that fully 72% of Americans now say “returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it.”  People are turning against what they increasingly recognize as big government socialism.

Obama_Economy_Pork-debt

We need to STOP health care “reform” until it includes tort reform such as loser pays, until it includes an end to state and federal mandates, until it includes allowing our 1300 private insurance companies to compete across state lines.  And we need to STOP health care “reform” until it EXCLUDES giving full medical coverage to more than 12 million illegal immigrants, until it excludes “public options,” excludes “Co-Ops,” and excludes any other device that becomes a backdoor guarantee to government health care.

Taxpayers Now On Hook For $23.7 TRILLION In Bailout Money

July 22, 2009

I don’t know if I should be more scared than angry or more angry than scared.  Suffice it to say, I’m both angry and scared as hell.

The Obama presidency is just one giant nightmare.  And just like most nightmares, it’s going to keep getting scarier and scarier and crazier and crazier the longer it goes on.

While Obama has promised us unparalleled transparency, we have had the truth concealed from us, and we have been lied to.  And the TARP Inspector General’s report should wake up every American and

U.S. Rescue May Reach $23.7 Trillion, Barofsky Says (Update3)

By Dawn Kopecki and Catherine Dodge

July 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. taxpayers may be on the hook for as much as $23.7 trillion to bolster the economy and bail out financial companies, said Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The Treasury’s $700 billion bank-investment program represents a fraction of all federal support to resuscitate the U.S. financial system, including $6.8 trillion in aid offered by the Federal Reserve, Barofsky said in a report released today.

“TARP has evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity,” Barofsky said in testimony prepared for a hearing tomorrow before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said the U.S. has spent less than $2 trillion so far and that Barofsky’s estimates are flawed because they don’t take into account assets that back those programs or fees charged to recoup some costs shouldered by taxpayers.

“These estimates of potential exposures do not provide a useful framework for evaluating the potential cost of these programs,” Williams said. “This estimate includes programs at their hypothetical maximum size, and it was never likely that the programs would be maxed out at the same time.”

Barofsky’s estimates include $2.3 trillion in programs offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., $7.4 trillion in TARP and other aid from the Treasury and $7.2 trillion in federal money for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, credit unions, Veterans Affairs and other federal programs.

Treasury’s Comment

Williams said the programs include escalating fee structures designed to make them “increasingly unattractive as financial markets normalize.” Dependence on these federal programs has begun to decline, as shown by $70 billion in TARP capital investments that has already been repaid, Williams said.

Barofsky offered criticism in a separate quarterly report of Treasury’s implementation of TARP, saying the department has “repeatedly failed to adopt recommendations” needed to provide transparency and fulfill the administration’s goal to implement TARP “with the highest degree of accountability.”

As a result, taxpayers don’t know how TARP recipients are using the money or the value of the investments, he said in the report.

‘Falling Short’

“This administration promised an ‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight, but as this report reveals, they are falling far short of that promise,” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the oversight committee, said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The Treasury has spent $441 billion of TARP funds so far and has allocated $202.1 billion more for other spending, according to Barofsky. In the nine months since Congress authorized TARP, Treasury has created 12 programs involving funds that may reach almost $3 trillion, he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should press banks for more information on how they use the more than $200 billion the government has pumped into U.S. financial institutions, Barofsky said in a separate report.

The inspector general surveyed 360 banks that have received TARP capital, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. The responses, which the inspector general said it didn’t verify independently, showed that 83 percent of banks used TARP money for lending, while 43 percent used funds to add to their capital cushion and 31 percent made new investments.

Barofsky said the TARP inspector general’s office has 35 ongoing criminal and civil investigations that include suspected accounting, securities and mortgage fraud; insider trading; and tax investigations related to the abuse of TARP programs.

We were sold the stimulus (more commonly known to people who actually knew what was going on as ‘porkulus,’ and more accurately known as the Generational Theft Act) as a $787 billion package.  But it was actually no such thing.  The media kept talking about billions; but the actual figure was $3.27 TRILLION.  That’s right.  $3.27 trillion.  We were lied to.  Costs that were clearly part of the legislation weren’t disclosed to us, and now on top of getting far less than what was advertised, we are paying far more for the privilege than was advertised.

Now we find out that Obama and his gang of thieves has done much the same with TARP.  Somehow, while we weren’t looking, “TARP evolved into a program of unprecedented scope, scale and complexity.”  And by the same people who promised us an “‘unprecedented level’ of accountability and oversight.”  And lo and behold, TARP has exploded under all the darkness into a mushroom cloud of government obligations that dwarf anything imaginable.

And all that’s coming out of the Obama administration is some stumbling excuse from the Treasury Department’s spin doctor that it really isn’t as bad as the inspector general scrutinizing TARP says it is.

What we are getting from the Obama administration is an unceasing projection of rosey-colored scenarios that have no connection whatsoever to reality.  When they are forced to offer some sort of excuse, they claim they didn’t realize the economy was so weak (even when they were fearmongering it into comparisons of the Great Depression to sell their stimulus package) – and then they immediately offer up yet another mindlessly and freakishly rosy scenario in their very next breaths!!!  And then, of course, based on these projections, they are racking up insane spending atop insane spending.

Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney, who gained a reputation of credibility after boldly predicting doom when everyone around her was seeing roses last year, is now predicting 13% unemployment and a very tough future for banks due to the continuing mortgage meltdown.

The White House is refusing to release its own annual midsummer US budget update because it doesn’t want the American people to see how bad things are until after they’ve passed their massive health care boondoggle.  Many now believe that budget release accounts for Obama’s frenzied push to pass health care before the August recessHow’s THAT for “unparalleled transparency”?

As said, Meredith Whitney is predicting 13% or higher unemployment.  What you may not know is that we are already at Great Depression levels of unemployment right now, and that our current 9.5% unemployment rate would be nearing 20% if it were calculated the way it was in 1980.

Unemployment

Note: The SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated “discouraged workers” defined away during the Clinton Administration added to the existing BLS estimates of level U-6 unemployment.

We face a future damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t dilemma: the only reason interest rates aren’t shooting skyward is because the market is in such a doldrum.  But the moment recovery begins to rear its head in Barack Obama’s game of economic Whack-a-Mole (where he whacks down small businesses and private-sector employment), hyperinflation due to our massive indebtedness will likely attack us.  The prospect of a jobless recovery, followed by Zimbabwe-levels of inflation looms very large in our future.

We’ve set ourselves up for hyperinflation.  We have massively increased our money supply even as our GDP has plummeted.  We have an increasing lack of confidence on the part of investors that we will be able to maintain the value of our currency (and see here), forcing demand for higher and higher interest rate payments on future bonds.  Those were the conditions of the Wiemar Republic; those were the conditions of Zimbabwe; and those are the conditions in the Late Great USA.

Pretty soon, we will be facing the Sophie’s Choice prospect of whether we want massively high interest rates, or massively high inflation – or best of both worlds – both massive interest AND hyperinflation.  We’ve got experts such as Johns Hopkins Professor of applied economics Steve Hanke and National Bureau of Economic Research economist Anna Schwartz seeing the inflation bogeyman rearing its genuinely ugly head.  And we’ve got investors beginning to start betting big on a coming hyperinflationary economy.

The thing is, we have a giant mega-trillion ton anvil cued over our collective heads.  And it is just waiting to drop.

So you see massive debt exposure to US economic structures.  You see higher unemployment.  You see historically low levels of tax revenue.  You see terrible recent mortgage default rates now turning “markedly worse.” You see all kinds of indicators that our debts are getting larger and larger even as our ability to repay them becomes smaller and smaller.

And it is with that backdrop that we should contemplate the massive, mind-numbingly enormous numbers hanging over everything this administration has done, is doing, or is trying to do.  With the debt he’s accumulating going up by the trillions, Obama issued the petty promise to cut his spending by a measly $100 million.  And he couldn’t even fulfill that insignificant budget cut.  All he knows how to do is spend and spend and spend.

So get scared.  Get angry.  And get ready for the beast.

We voted for “No, no, no.  Not God bless America.  God damn America!”  And now we’re going to get to see what “God damn America” looks like.

Biden: ‘We Misread the Economy’ – And it’s all the Republicans’ Fault

July 8, 2009

Some distant day, many scientists believe, the earth will be devoid of human life due to some cosmic catastrophe or – ultimately – due to our depleted sun transforming into a red giant. The truly good news about such an otherwise bleak future is that the Obama administration will presumably no longer be able to blame Republicans for the economy that they “inherited.”

Biden: We ‘Misread the Economy’

July 05, 2009

Big admission from Vice President Joe Biden today.

“The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy,” Biden told me during our exclusive “This Week” interview in Iraq.

Biden acknowledged administration officials were too optimistic earlier this year when they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at 8 percent as part of their effort to sell the stimulus package. The national unemployment rate has ballooned to 9.5 percent in June — the worst in 26 years.

“The truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited,” said Biden, who is leading the administration’s effort to implement it’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

“Now, that doesn’t — I’m not — it’s now our responsibility. So the second question becomes, did the economic package we put in place, including the Recovery Act, is it the right package given the circumstances we’re in? And we believe it is the right package given the circumstances we’re in,” he told me.

The vice president argued more time is needed for the stimulus to work.

“We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package,” he said. “The truth of the matter was, no one anticipated, no one expected that that recovery package would in fact be in a position at this point of having to distribute the bulk of money.”

Biden didn’t rule out a second government stimulus package, but downplayed calls from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman this week that a second stimulus will be needed.

I pressed the vice president, who is also leading the administration’s middle-class task force, on whether he’d rule out a second stimulus package.

“So, no second stimulus?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t say that,” Biden said, “I think it’s premature to make that judgment. This was set up to spend out over 18 months. There are going to be major programs that are going to take effect in September, $7.5 billion for broadband, new money for high-speed rail, the implementation of the grid — the new electric grid. And so this is just starting, the pace of the ball is now going to increase.”

Let’s not tell anyone that liberal Paul Krugman’s warning that we need a second stimulus is secret code for, “The first stimulus didn’t work worth squat, so let’s throw more money down the toilet.” And let’s for DAMN sure not tell anyone that unemployment benefits are going to be ending for workers starting in September and things will truly begin to increasingly suck after that as the unemployment rate grows like “the other ‘green shoot'” up and up and up.

Joe Biden says, “We and everyone else misjudged the economy.” No, Joe, it just aint so. Just you and your stupid liberal friends misjudged the economy. Don’t drag anyone else into your ignorance. Business professionals back in October predicted that Obama would literally bankrupt the country within three years if he was elected. Republicans (such as Paul Ryan) widely predicted the terribly flawed and terribly partisan pork-laden stimulus would fail – which is why only three out of 239 Republicans voted for it (and you can actually make that TWO out of 239, given that one of the three “Republicans” was RINO traitor-turned Democrat Arlen Specter).

Please don’t try to involve conservatives in your party’s stupidity, Joe. It aint right to lie.

The fact is, the porkulus is a complete failure that will cost the American people’s children’s children’s children $3.27 TRILLION and produce NOTHING.

And the fact is, when the Obama White House assured the American people that his stimulus would save the day, he assumed responsibility for the economy. It is HIS baby now, and he can’t keep racking up trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars in stupid and useless spending that will literally “bankrupt the country” and blame the fact that it isn’t working on Republicans.

It’s also rather funny that Vice President Biden would say “there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited.” Please realize that for the last two years – and most definitely for the last eight or nine months – Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been comparing the present economy to the Great Depression. And now they are claiming they didn’t know how bad it was? What’s worse than the Great Depression? It is beyond ludicrous that these people can spend all this time demonizing the economy as the worst imaginable, and then argue they didn’t know that it was that bad.

Here are the opening two paragraphs from a February 13, 2009 Wall Street Journal piece that proves the lie of Biden’s remark:

President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package.

In his remarks, every gloomy statistic on the economy becomes a harbinger of doom. As he tells it, today’s economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Without his Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he says, the economy will fall back into that abyss and may never recover.

How can Biden, Obama, or Democrats claim they didn’t realize how bad the economy really was after their previous constant fearmongering of the economy?

And the most famous and oft-used line, of course, is that Democrats keep claiming that they “inherited” the economy.

For the record, the Dow Industrial Average was at 11,986.04 on November 3, 2006 when Republicans were last in control of Congress. The unemployment rate for October of 2006 was at 4.4% when Republicans last ran things. As I write this, the Dow is at 8163.60 (on July 7), and the unemployment rate is at 9.5%, respectively. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been running the House and the Senate for the last two years, and a fine job of running the country into the ground they’ve done.

Just why is it that Democrats can have control over both the House and Senate while an economy goes from prosperity to impoverishment, and still bear no responsibility for such a result? But that’s the narrative, and both the Democratic Party and the mainstream media stuck to their scripts as though the lines had been written by Shakespeare himself. Do you see the great shining lie that you’ve been told, and told over and over again?

Since the Democrats have been in charge on both branches of Congress, the housing market has collapsed, the banks have collapsed, Fannie and Freddie have collapsed, the auto industry has collapsed, and things have generally turned to the fecal matter that Pelosi’s and Reid’s head are full of, generally.

But, hey, let’s keep blaming everything on Republicans, anyway. When you have an electorate so completely ignorant that 57.4% of voters weren’t even able to identify which party controlled Congress, such demagogic claims work.

The ONLY thing that Democrats actually “inherited” was moron genes, a talent for demagoguery and deceit, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (please see “moron genes”).

Now, the OTHER thing that Democrats love to claim was that Republicans are to blame for the economic disaster because Republican George Bush was President when it happened. And we are all to conveniently forget the fact that such reasoning should likewise make Democrat Barack Obama – who is president RIGHT NOW – is thereby responsible for the current state of the disaster that he nonetheless keeps blaming on Bush.

On what possible grounds are we to blame Bush? What is it that Bush did or didn’t do that created our disaster, and which Democrats who controlled both the House and the Senate are somehow absolved from having done or failed to do? Bush, we have been repeatedly lectured, failed to regulate the housing finance industry. And that lack of regulation caused the financial industry to self-destruct. Because the government is far better able to run things than the private sector, as we all know.

Well, wrong, wrong, and wrong, respectively. But let’s stick with the Democrats’ chief script item and consider just who truly failed to regulate the housing finance industry when it actually would have done some good, and who was really in bed with the worst players who created the crisis in the first place.

First of all, Bush TRIED to regulate the housing finance industry. And the ONLY thing that kept him from succeeding was DEMOCRATS.

Let’s go back to September 11, 2003, to see what the New York Times had to say. The article begins:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

And it ends:

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Go back to the phrase at the beginning of the article: “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.” That would refer to the Clinton Administration’s aggressive push to put even more future poison in the fangs of the terrible Community Reinvestment Act.

Democrats blocked the passage of the Bush attempt to regulate the housing finance industry. They were the ones who killed regulation, not Republicans. They said there wasn’t a problem. They said that everything was just peachy dandy.

Democrats essentially say that the American people should blame George Bush for not being able to stop Democrats from being stupid, incompetent, and depraved vermin. But how can anyone stop Democrats from being stupid, incompetent, and depraved vermin? It would be like trying to stop the wind from blowing.

Bush and Republicans tried again to REGULATE the housing finance industry in 2005. John McCain wrote a passionate letter warning of an impending collapse of the housing finance industry and urging passage of the bill (specifically, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190). Butwithout a single Democrat vote, the bill was doomed if brought to the floor for the critical 60-vote cloture.” Housing finance reform died a death by Democrat.

As late as JUST BEFORE THE WHOLE HOUSING FINANCE INDUSTRY COMPLETELY COLLAPSED, Democrat Barney Frank is on the record saying:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

You can watch Democrats fiddling with the economy just before it burned here (Youtube).

Even Bill Clinton – hardly a Republican source – blamed Democrats and NOT Republicans for refusing to regulate the housing finance industry:

Bill Clinton on Thursday told ABC’s Chris Cuomo that Democrats for years have been “resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

So the bottom line is this: Democrats blocked reform and regulation. They denied there was a problem. They continued to deny that there were any problems, and continued to block reform and regulation until right before the whole economy went down the drain.

And then they blamed the Republicans for the mess that they had created, refused to fix, and denied even existed in the first place.

What is utterly beautiful in its moronic perfection is that Barney Frank is now trying to do to the condominium market what he did to the housing market by forcing lenders to make risky loans all over again.

Okay, okay, so it was the Democrats who actually screwed up the universe, but you still have to admit that the Obama Administration inherited the problem. It clearly wasn’t in power when the fit hit the shan. Right?

Not quite so fast.

Technically, the Obama Administration is obviously not be to blame, having only began its hopefully very short life on January 20, 2009. But Barack Obama personally? You should probably know what a nasty piece of work your president was before he became your president.

Barack Obama as a Senator took more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than anybody except his fellow scumbag and fellow Democrat Chris Dodd (who had direct oversight as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee). Obama also took more money than disgraced and bankrupted Lehman Brothers than anyone but his fellow sleazeball and fellow Democrat Chris Dodd. Now, maybe you’re one of those people who believe that corrupt and soon-to-be-bankrupted organizations give buttloads of money to politicians just because they’re feeling generous. But people who actually live in the real world understand that Fannie, Freddie, and Lehman Brothers gave money to the politicians whom they believed would be best for their corporate asses and their corporate assets.

Barack Obama as candidate for president made Penny Pritzker – who was at the very EPICENTER of the subprime loan fiasco – his national finance chair. She paid a “fine” of $460 million dollars to basically buy her way out of prison for her part in the early beginnings of the collapse that would eventually extend to the entire economy. Penny Pritzker was to the stability of the housing finance industry on Wall Street what Freddie Krueger was to the dreams of teen agers on Elm Street; just what kind of Faustian deal do you believe the politician who took more money in less time from the worst players in the crisis than anyone bar none struck to have knife-gloved Penny Krueger open up her Rolodex full of demons?

Barack Obama as a private citizen was one of the ACORN lawyers who sued Citibank in 1994 and forced – FORCED – them to reduce their credit standards and make extremely housing mortgage loans to minorities who would subsequently prove unable to pay them. And the ACORN suit took advantage of the openings created by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The result of that lawsuit changed the housing finance industry forever afterward – and basically doomed it as soon as housing prices started to drop.

So as President Barack Obama may have “inherited” the crisis; but as a private citizen, as a Senator, and as a candidate for President, he was at the very center of the mess that created the crisis right up to his giant Dumbo ears.

And as Obama continues to blame his inability to handle the economy on what he “inherited,” let us not forget that it was Barack Obama who swore up and down that his Generational Theft Act of 2009 would fix the economy – NOT Republicans and NOT George Bush – and it was his economic plan that completely failed to produce the promised results.

It was Barack Obama who put his credibility behind a plan that his administration promised would hold unemployment down below 8% and it was Barack Obama who has presided over an unemployment rate that is now 9.5% and rising. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that unemployment would only have gone to 9% by 2010 had we done nothing at all. And nothing would have been a heckuva lot cheaper than $3.27 trillion. I, for one, assure you that I could have sent the economy crashing for a lot lower price tag that Barack Obama has charged you.

The unemployment rate in November – when Barack Obama was elected – was a Lilliputian (by comparison to the gigantic mess Obama has since made of the economy) 6.7%. It was 7.2% a few months later when his administration assured the American people that he could keep unemployment under 8% if his stimulus plan was passed. It is now, I should say again, at 9.5% – and it many experts expect it to be 11% by next summer.

Obama’s answer is still MORE colossal spending. The first stimulus – advertised as a $787 billion package but actually costing $3.27 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office – is now said to have been too low. We need more porkulus, they tell us. A lot more. We need to borrow more massive debt and pile up more massive deficits that will crush our economy with staggering interest payments in the very near future and ultimately cause a complete collapse of our way of life. We need to nationalize our health care so it will be more like the $86 trillion-in-the-hole runaway freight train to destruction that Medicare is. And we need cap-and-trade legislation that will cap our productivity and trade our prosperity to ensure that our economy can never hope to be productive again.

Keep blaming Bush. Keep blaming Republicans. Keep blaming “failed conservative policies.” Blame ANYONE and ANYTHING but Barack Hussein Obama and the Democratic Party that is now in total control of everything.

Just let me shout in your face that by doing so you will help create an economy that will make the Great Depression look like prosperity when the policies that you so stupidly supported implode into staggering debt and even more staggering hyperinflation. And you and your children will starve shoeless in the cold while food riots and tax rebellions erupt all around you as your once great nation is reduced to banana republic status.

As Economy Continues Toward Toilet Bowl, Don’t Forget True Cost Of Failed Stimulus

June 26, 2009

There is increasing evidence mounting that Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill (the euphemistically-titled “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009″ as opposed to “The Porkulus Act of 2009″ or “The Generational Theft Act of 2009) has utterly failed to deliver anything that Obama promised.

As I reported in my article, “Obama Wreckovery Act And Stimulus ‘Employment': The Pathetic Reality,” it has utterly failed to produce jobs.  In rushing the bill through Congress when unemployment was at 7.2%, Obama promised the country something that is now laughable: his administration assured America that the economic stimulus would prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent.” It is now over 9.4%, and is expected to enter double-digit territory before the end of the year.

At the time that Obama was arguing that we needed a stimulus plan to avert total disaster, and assuring the country that his stimulus plan would keep unemployment under 8%, the Congressional Budget Office said that unemployment would only go to 9% by 2010 if we did absolutely nothing.  Which is another way of saying that not only has Obama’s stimulus not helped, but it has actually HURT the economy:

New jobless claims jump unexpectedly to 627,000; continuing claims rise to 6.74 million

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer
On Thursday June 25,The Labor Department data released Thursday show jobs remain scarce even as the economy shows some signs of recovering from the longest recession since World War II.

The department said initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 627,000. Economists expected a drop to 600,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

Several states reported more claims than expected from teachers, cafeteria workers and other school employees, a department analyst said.

The number of people continuing to receive unemployment insurance rose by 29,000 to 6.74 million, slightly above analysts’ estimates of 6.7 million.

To make it even more laughable, many of the very jobs that Barrack Obama had heralded as “saved” – including private sector jobs at Caterpillar and government sector jobs at the Columbus, Ohio police department – are the ones being wiped out.

But even though Obama’s stimulus has hurt the economy, it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still going to have to pay the bill for it.

And that bill WON’T be for $787 billion; it will be for $3.27TRILLION.

Stimulus Verdict: A $3.27 Trillion Porker

By: David A. Patten     February 14, 2009

The gargantuan stimulus bill Congress has rubber-stamped with virtually no Republican support contains tens of billions of the very spending projects that made the legislation a lightning rod for criticism.

And although the bill is generally described as costing $787 billion, the Congressional Budget Office reports the actual figure is now closer to $3.27 trillion.

That stems from the $744 billion it will take to pay for the additional debt the legislation will create, and $2.527 trillion in increased spending from the new and expanded programs the bill will spawn over the next decade.

The bill now spans more than 1,000 pages. While Democrats removed some provisions that fiscal conservatives objected to, most of the pork remains. Among them:

  • The plan has more than $3 billion in “neighborhood stabilization” and Community Development Block Grant funding, much of which may go to benefit ACORN, a low-income housing and voter registration “community” organization that is under federal investigation for its suspicious voter registration practices.
  • $1.3 billion to bailout AMTRAK, the perennial money-loser railroad.
  • $1 billion for educational programs, including courses on sexually transmitted diseases.
  • $30 million for restoration of wetlands to be spent in the San Francisco Bay Area – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district. The money will go in part to protect the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.
  • $200 million for a low-pollution, coal-fired power plant in President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois.
  • $45 million for ATV four-wheeler trails, and government office renovations, according to RNC Chairman Michael Steele.
  • $200 million to provide computers to community colleges.
  • $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts.
  • Over $650 million in coupons to help consumers buy digital TV converter-box coupons.
  • A reported $300 million for hybrid vehicles and electric-powered cars. According to the Washington Times, this item will include buying golf carts for federal workers.GOP Sen. John McCain summed up his view of the bill: “This measure is not bipartisan. It contains much that is not stimulative.”Some of the criticisms of the bill, however, center on policy rather than cost.The Heritage Foundation, for example, reports the bill reverses the bipartisan welfare reforms achieved during the Clinton administration.Also, opponents have slammed the bill for being “anti-religious,” because it expressly prohibits the use of stimulus funds for faith-based schools, schools of divinity, facilities used for “sectarian worship,” or places of religious worship.
  • Heritage Foundation has an image of the CBO’s scoring:

    So while the media continues to report “$787 billion stimulus” to mask the actual devastating cost of this mess, in point of fact we’re not talking about a colossal $787 billion boondoggle; we’re talking about a mega-colossal $3.27 trillion boondoggle.

    There are a whole lot of questions about whether Obama is creating any jobs with his massive government spending (beyond his fairy tale “saved” jobs that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has said can’t be verifiedand can you even imagine the mainstream media allowing President George Bush to hype job numbers that he couldn’t verify???), but there is no question at all that the trillions of dollars being spent are all-too-real. And there is no question that a great big giant lead anvil will fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in (which doesn’t count the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded mandates from Social Security, Medicare, etc).  Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush – combined.” And most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

    What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very far off? A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

    By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

    Now you have to add to that the fact that the Democrats are pushing a $3.5 TRILLION health care bill that will socialize – on top of a big chunk of the economy that already HAS been socialized (e.g. banks, auto companies) a further 1/6th of the US economy.

    And you have to add in the staggering future costs to our economy that will be imposed by the Waxman-Markey (or as I prefer to call it, the Wackjob-Marxist) cap-and-trade bill that will result in capping productivity and trading away our prosperity: $6,800 per family of four by 2035, even as our energy costs skyrocket (or to quote Obama himself: Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket).  And as energy costs (and therefore production) increase dramatically, do you think employers will hire more workers, or fewer and fewer?

    All that staggering hyperinflation-creating debt-funded government spending, along with the simultaneous nationalization of our economy and the systemic undermining of our productivity, and about the only jobs that are being created are for washing cars and running errands for politically-connected Democrats.

    By the time the American people understand what has happened to their economy and to their way of life, it’s going to be too late to undo the damage that will have been done.

    Obama Wreckovery Act And Stimulus ‘Employment': The Pathetic Reality

    June 17, 2009

    I downloaded the Obama administration’s “Recovery Report: 100 Days, 100 Projects.” It was an utterly laughable experience.

    I copied the “100 projects” into a Word file and then conducted a search with the word “employees.” Here were the results of EVERY single occurrence:

    9) A company in Maine “that had been struggling to pay its 19 employees” now being “back to work” thanks to a $2 million stimulus handout.

    14) A New York construction company was able to rehire laid-off seasonal employees. Slate Hill had previously laid off 40 seasonal employees, possibly at the END OF THE SEASON. There is no mention of how many seasonal employees (meaning these are not full time jobs) were rehired, but the cost was over $7 million of your dollars in stimulus contract money.

    15) The president of New Hampshire paving company Continental Paving ESTIMATES he would have had to lay off 75 employees if it weren’t for the Recovery Act (I “estimate” he may be a liberal). In any event, however many of those 75 jobs were actually “saved” come at the cost of $10 million in stimulus money.

    29) EnergX, a Department of Energy contractor, has 87 new employees on the job. We’re told that that these jobs “are supported by Recovery Act funding” – whatever that means. No mention of how much government money they are getting.

    51) An auto-repair business owner received $463,500 in stimulus funds which we’re told are “strengthening his short-term cash flow and putting him and his 10 employees in position to increase sales as the economy turns around.” Note that no mention is made of any new employees hired.

    58) A start-up tire-recycling plant owner had borrowing fees of $45,750 for a $1.715 million equipment loan paid by stimulus funds. The owner “hopes to have 34 employees onboard by New Year’s Day next year.” Clearly, IF the owner is able to hire 34 employees, it will NOT be due to the pissant borrowing fees for the near $2 million in private bank loans.

    75) Four hundred employees hired using Recovery Act funding reported for work at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Now we’re getting somewhere! 400 plus a few employees from the other 74 programs, at a cost of ONLY $3.27 TRILLION!!! We’re not told how much these employees cost taxpayers, but we ARE told that most of the employees will be UNION.

    83) A company selling and installing energy-saving window films for commercial buildings, saved $6,970 in fees on its SBA 504 loan when it bought a new space five times larger than its previous home. We’re told “the savings will help owners John and Kimberly Henderson add three employees to their staff of 12.” If you know any business owner who has ever hired full-time employees, ask him or her how much $7 grand in saved fee-money would go toward such a hiring decision. And THINK ABOUT IT: $3.27 TRILLION DOLLARS, AND OBAMA IS POINTING AT “HELPING” HIRE 3 EMPLOYEES IN ITS LIST OF HIS TOP 100 ACHIEVEMENTS!!!

    And that’s IT. That’s ALL THE JOBS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR. And most of the list of EIGHT businesses really aren’t able to hire employees based on anything Obama did with his – did I mention? – $3.27 TRILLION in porkulus.

    Think about it: this is Obama’s own “Look what we’ve accomplished!” list. This is all the man has to show for the largest spending bill in the history of human civilization! How would Mister Rogers put it: “Can you say, “pathetic”? I think you can!”

    I wrote an article earlier this month titled, “Obama And Unemployment: Just So You Know How Pathetically Incompetent Dear Leader Is.” You might say it’s a harshly-worded title – until you see just what a ZERO Obama (who interestingly enough is often ALSO called “Zero“) has produced with more money than any government has ever spent in the entire history of the planet. That article mentions facts such as how Republicans were shut out of the bill; how no one in Congress was even allowed to read it before it was rushed through; how Republicans PREDICTED it would be a gigantic boondoggle; how Obama time after time boasted that he’d “saved” jobs only to see those very jobs go down the drain; how Obama created a marketing term called “saved jobs” to “create” 150,000 phantom jobs out of thin air that he could take credit for; how the stimulus money isn’t even going to the poorest counties that need help most; and how the Obama administration promised that unemployment – which is now at 9.4%would NOT go above 8% if his stimulus bill was passed. And on, and on. Hence the disparaging title describing a failed president and a failed economic policy.

    Obama is now claiming that his administration will “create or save” 600,000 MORE phantom jobs. Just realize that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is already on record claiming it has no way to verify Obama’s job numbers. Because they are a fantasy (Michelle Malkin calls it “The biggest most magical makework program ever“). The mainstream media – which adores their new “Dear Leader” – would never haved allowed President Bush to make claims about “saved” jobs. The whole thing is like building a house of cards in the wind.

    All that as an introduction to this:

    Stimulus program fraught with waste, report says

    A Republican senator’s office says stimulus funds are going toward dubious projects, such as a $3.4-million tunnel for turtles. Obama aides say the report is flawed.

    By Peter Nicholas, June 15, 2009

    Reporting from Washington — A report due to be released today by a Republican senator contends the Obama administration’s stimulus program is fraught with waste and incompetence — evidenced by a turtle crossing in northern Florida that will cost more than $3 million and a snafu in which thousands of Social Security checks went out to people who had died.

    Modeled after a release from the White House describing 100 stimulus projects that were in the works, the report put out by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma looks at the same number of projects but reaches starkly different conclusions. The title is “A Second Opinion on the Stimulus.”

    “Will these projects make real improvements in the lives of taxpayers and communities or are they simply pet projects of politicians and lobbyists that never got off the ground because they are a low priority?” the report says.

    Coburn’s staff spent about a month interviewing federal officials, reviewing data and compiling news clippings in a continuing examination of the $787-billion stimulus package.

    Millions of dollars are going toward bicycle lockers, bike paths, walking trails and a skate park, Coburn said. One town in North Carolina is using stimulus funds to hire an administrator whose job will be to procure more stimulus funds, according to the report. [...]

    A theme of Coburn’s work is that money is going toward dubious projects that will leave little imprint. One project mentioned is the $3.4-million construction of a 13-foot tunnel near Tallahassee, Fla., that will allow turtles and other wildlife to safely cross U.S. Highway 27.

    The report said the area “has the highest road-kill mortality rate for turtles in the world.” But it also suggests other uses for the money, and mentions Florida State University’s plans to lay off 200 faculty and staff members in hopes of saving millions of dollars.

    Officials at the Florida Department of Transportation defended the project as one that not only would save turtles but also protect motorists. “A lot of these turtles are quite large. They get hit by a car, and they turn into flying objects,” said Josh Boan, the department’s natural resources manager.

    Construction on the tunnel is to begin in September. State officials could not estimate how many jobs would be created.

    Raising questions about the government’s ability to manage the stimulus money, Coburn’s report also focuses on more than 8,000 Social Security checks that have been mailed to people who are dead.

    A spokesman for the Social Security system said the checks were mailed based on erroneous records. In most cases, the Postal Service returns the checks directly to the government.

    One $250 check went to the home of Antonietta Santopadre, a 74-year-old retired hairdresser living in New York. The check was made out to her father, who died 35 years ago. In an interview Monday, Santopadre said: “I was infuriated. Where’s our money going? Our country is in such trouble right now.”

    The Coburn report entitled “A Second Opinion on the Stimulus” is now available. Some of the section titles:

    - “Free” Stimulus Money Results in Higher Utility Costs for Residents of Perkins, Oklahoma.

    - FutureGen: The Stimulus Earmark that Wasn’t, Becomes the Costliest Pork Project in History.

    - Little-Used “Shovel-Ready” Bridges in Rural Wisconsin Given Priority Over Widely Used Structurally Deficient Bridges.

    - $800,000 for little-used Johnstown, Pennsylvania airport to repave a back-up runway; the “Airport for Nobody” Has Already Received Tens of Millions in Taxpayer dollars [note: that's in pork-king and king-scumbag Jack Murtha's district].

    - $3.4 Million for Wildlife “Eco-Passage” in Florida; Project Still May Take Years to Finish [note: that's the one about the turtles while 200 nearby employees are being laid off].

    - Nevada Non-Profit Gets Weatherization Contract After Being Fired For Same Work.

    - Non-Existent Oklahoma Lake in Line for Over $1 Million To Construct a New Guardrail.

    - Taxpayers Taken for a Ride: Nearly $10 Million to be Spent to Renovate a Century Old Train Station that Hasn’t Been Used in 30 Years.

    - Ten Thousand Dead People Get Stimulus Checks, Social Security Administration Blames a Tough Deadline.

    -Town of Union, New York, Encouraged to Spend Money It Did Not Request For a Homelessness Problem It Does Not Have.

    Mind you, this is just the porkulus bill. There was also the 9,287 pork-project-laden $410 billion Omnibus spending bill and the soon-to-come $1.5 trillion socialized health care bill (which will easily be triple that, given the longstanding tradition of massive underestimation of the actual cost of government programs).

    And as we speak, Obama is showing how much he wants to save taxpayer money by illegally firing an Inspector General (in flagrant violation of a law he personally co-sponsored as a Senator) in order to protect one of his friends who abused Americorps funds.

    One quote in particular that set me off:

    In the course of his investigation, Walpin found [Sacramento Mayor and personal friend of Barack Obama Kevin] Johnson and St. HOPE had failed to use the federal money they received for the purposes specified in the grant and had also used federally-funded AmeriCorps staff for, among other things, “driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car, and running personal errands.”

    I don’t know ’bout you, but I’m hoping to get me a job shinin’ Massah Bureaucrat’s shoes some day.

    There are a whole lot of questions about whether Obama is creating any jobs with his massive government spending, but there is no question at all that the trillions of dollars being spent are all-too-real. And there is no question that the anvil will fall on the US economy due to the near doubling of the national debt as Obama adds a projected $9.3 trillion to the $11.7 trillion hole we’re already in. Obama is borrowing 50 cents on the dollar as he explodes the federal deficit by spending four times more than Bush spent in 2008 and in the process “adding more to the debt than all presidents — from George Washington to George Bush – combined.” And most terrifying of all, Obama’s spending will cause debt to double from 41% of GDP in 2008 to a crushing 82% of GDP in 2019.

    What will be the result of all this insane spending, and not very far off? A quote from a CNS News story should awaken anyone who thinks the future will be rosy:

    By 2019, the CBO said, a whopping 82 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will go to pay down the national debt. This means that in future years, the government could owe its creditors more than the goods and services that the entire economy can produce.

    All that staggering hyperinflation-creating debt, and about the only jobs that are being created by it are washing cars and running errands for politically-connected Democrats.


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