Posts Tagged ‘82% of GDP’

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.

Fund Betting Big That Obama Kills U.S. Economy With Hyperinflation

June 2, 2009

There’s a memorable line in the movie, The Hunt For Red October.  A fanatic  Soviet submarine skipper – trying to complete his mission to destroy the renegade Soviet sub “Red October” before it escapes to America – makes a fatal overconfident miscalculation.  As the torpedo he fired boomerangs back toward the very submarine that fired it, a Russian officer turns to the captain and shouts:

“You arrogant ass!  You’ve killed US!”

Essentially, a hedge fund that was wildly successful last year is betting that the American people will be shouting that very same line at Barack Obama.

The June 2 article from The Wall Street Journal:

Black Swan Fund Makes a Big Bet on Inflation

A hedge fund firm that reaped huge rewards betting against the market last year is about to open a fund premised on another wager: that the massive stimulus efforts of global governments will lead to hyperinflation.

The firm, Universa Investments L.P., is known for its ties to gloomy investor Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the 2007 bestseller “The Black Swan,” which describes the impact of extreme events on the world and financial markets.

Funds run by Universa, which is managed and owned by Mr. Taleb’s long-time collaborator Mark Spitznagel, last year gained more than 100% thanks to its bearish bets. …

A Bloomberg article offers a little more.  An excerpt:

June 1 (Bloomberg) — Universa Investments LP, the hedge- fund firm advised by “Black Swan” author Nassim Taleb, is adding a new strategy, betting that government efforts to pump money into economies around the world won’t prevent deflation or could result in hyperinflation. […]

Policy makers have no control over the outcome of their actions,” Taleb said. “The plane they are flying will either hit the mountain, which is hyperinflation, or crash in the ocean, which is deflation. There is a chance of the pilot hitting the runway. But if he’s not skilled, it’s less than he thinks.

Obama has – and this is a direct quote from another Wall Street Journal piece – been “adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.”  We have a national deficit of $11 trillion that has been racking up since the 1920s, and the Congressional Budget Office is estimating that Obama will nearly double it with a further $9.3 trillion in his own deficit spending.  Even as “[t]he U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion.”  And growing.  And spent in order to spend us out of a hole that was created by the weight of excessive debt in the first place.

“You arrogant ass!  You’ve killed US!”

A C-SPAN interview with Obama reveals a fascinating mindset.

SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?

OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we’ve made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we’ve seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.

Notice that Obama acknowledges that the government is out of money, and then immediately starts discussing spending what is expected to top $1.5 trillion MORE for his  health care “investment.”   He is an addict who cannot stop his spending.  He’s like a gambler who thinks he’ll hit it big on the next roll of the taxpayer dice.

And that $1.7 trillion figure from the C-SPAN interview, as bad as it is (I mean, you have to understand: people complained about Bush’s spending raising our debt $1.2 trillion over THREE YEARS), is still likely a lowball figure.  The numbers keep changing.  McClatchy Newspapers has an article describing the rosy numbers, fuzzy math, and constantly changing numbers coming out of the Obama administration.

According to Strategas analyst Dan Clifton’s budget analsis as found in US News & World Report:

Based on our analysis, the deficit is actually $2.2 trillion for the fiscal year or nearly 100 percent higher than is being reported. In fact, the deficit will finish the fiscal year at an astonishing 15.5 percent of GDP! Federal spending will rise to 32 percent of GDP.

The United States will have to borrow nearly 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year.  By 2019 Obama will have so exploded the debt that it will exceed 82% of gross domestic product.  And we are simply doomed.

“You arrogant ass!  You’ve killed US!”

China has been warning the Federal Reserve over “printing money” – a warning that comes amid growing fears that America could lose its AAA sovereign rating.  The dollar has weakened sharply against other currencies due to the Treasury simply creating money out of thin air.  China is increasingly concerned that all this “money creation could end up debauching the dollar … inviting a global inflationary crisis.”   The policies that the Obama administration has been pursuing have led another writer for the UK Telegraph to conclude, “From now on, think of the US as a bigger Zimbabwe.”

A Bloomberg article describing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s hat-in-hand visit to China said:

U.S. government securities have tumbled 4.3 percent this year, the worst performance since Merrill Lynch & Co. began tracking returns in 1978, as so-called bond vigilantes drove up yields to punish President Barack Obama for increasing the budget shortfall.

Concerns about international investors have grown as the U.S. Dollar Index weakened 8.6 percent since February and Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke committed $12.8 trillion to thaw frozen credit markets and snap the longest U.S. economic slump since the 1930s.

It was while Geithner was speaking before an audience of Chinese that the following event occurred:

Speaking at Peking University, Mr Geithner said: “Chinese assets are very safe.”

The comment provoked loud laughter from the audience of students. There are growing fears over the size and sustainability of the US budget deficit, which is set to rise to almost 13pc of GDP this year as the world’s biggest economy fights off recession. The US is reliant on China to buy many of the government bonds it is planning to issue but Beijing’s policymakers have expressed concern about the strength of the dollar and the value of their investments.

Obama has until October to sell about $1.9 trillion in debt.  Geithner is actually in China right now to pitch a major bond sale next week.  And neither China nor anyone else seems crazy enough to keep buying our debt in sufficient amounts to fill our bottomless pit of federal spending.  That means either that the US has to raise interest rates to make its debt more attractive – which will kill the economy and plunge the US into a further cycle of recession – or else simply keep printing money which creates the core element of hyperinflation.

“You arrogant ass!  You’ve killed US!”

Obama and the Democratic spin machine keep laying the blame on Bush policies, but it is Obama’s spending that has created this “Sophie’s Choice,” not anything that Bush did.

It wasn’t Bush who fired the salvo of spending “torpedoes” that are now coming back to blow up in the bowels of our economic and financial system.  It has been Obama’s uncontrolled spending.

It certainly isn’t just Universa and it’s “Black Swan” fund that is betting on Obama-caused hyperinflation, just as it isn’t just the UK Telegraph comparing the US under Obama to Zimbabwe, as a brief excerpt from Bloomberg shows:

May 27 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. economy will enter “hyperinflation” approaching the levels in Zimbabwe because the Federal Reserve will be reluctant to raise interest rates, investor Marc Faber said.

Prices may increase at rates “close to” Zimbabwe’s gains, Faber said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong. Zimbabwe’s inflation rate reached 231 million percent in July, the last annual rate published by the statistics office.

“I am 100 percent sure that the U.S. will go into hyperinflation,” Faber said. “The problem with government debt growing so much is that when the time will come and the Fed should increase interest rates, they will be very reluctant to do so and so inflation will start to accelerate.”

David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff, disagrees slightly with Marc Farber and the Black Swan fund: he doesn’t think that the savage beast of hyperinflation will begin devouring the U.S. economy until after consumer spending has rebounded.  In a Newsmax article entitled, “Experts Fear U.S. Will Suffer Zimbabwe-Level Inflation,” Rosenberg is quoted as having told The Wall Street Journal, “Not until the household sector expands its balance sheets are we likely to see the re-emergence of inflation on a sustained basis.”  It’s not that we’re not doomed; it’s merely a question as to how long before we’re doomed.

I feel another refrain from the song we’re singing coming on:

“You arrogant ass!  You’ve killed US!”

Famed Trends Research CEO Gerald Celente has predicted food riots in the United States by 2012.  He put his reputation on the line by making that claim.  Now we’ve got more financial experts like Marc Farber, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, David Rosenberg, and a mega-successful hedge fund putting their money where their mouth is in essentially predicting the same scale of disaster.

Like the Russian submarine skipper who arrogantly and foolishly removed the safeties from his missiles which would have protected his sub from his own torpedoes, Barack Obama has arrogantly and foolishly taken actions that will torpedo the U.S. economy.  It’s only a matter of how much time we can dodge the impending explosion of massive spending triggering massive inflation.