Posts Tagged ‘bailout’

The Disastrous ObamaCare Bill, In A Backstabbing Democrat’s Own Words

March 19, 2010

Democrats can say anything they want.  That’s what hypocrites do.  But when it comes to the bottom line, they don’t have any principles.

Let me some up the opinion of ObamaCare by a Democrat who is now going to vote for it anyway:

  • “I don’t know what there is for my constituents”
  • It’s “a license to just steal money from people”
  • ObamaCare is a “giveaway to the insurance industry”
  • This bill is “not going to protect consumers from these rapid premium increases
  • It provides “no guarantees of any control over premiums”
  • It is “forcing people to buy private insurance”
  • It’s going to result in “five consecutive years of double-digit premium increases”
  • “I just don`t see that this bill is the solution”
  • “The insurance companies are the problem and we`re giving them a version of a bailout”
  • “This bill doesn`t change the fact that the insurance companies are going to keep socking it to the consumer”
  • It results in a “giveaway to the insurance industry”
  • “You`re building on sand. There`s no structure here”
  • If we pass this bill, “all we`re going to have is more poverty in this country”
  • If we pass this bill, “people aren`t going to get the care that they need”

So there’s ObamaCare in a nutshell, according to one of its converts.

Democrats are touting the “yes” vote of Deniss Kucinich as a great victory.  They are saying that if Dennis Kucinich can switch his vote, then no Democrat who has held out for a public option should not similarly switch votes.

In a word, bullcrap.

Dennis Kucinich is a man without integrity or credibility.

Here is what he said:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-OHIO: Anytime I can support the president, I’d like to. I just — except on this bill, I signed a commitment with 77 other members of Congress, saying that if there was not robust public option in the health care bill, that was presented to the House, I wouldn’t vote for it. I kept my word.

If you don’t have a public option, the insurance companies have a license to just steal money from people.

I wish that they brought that public option back — I supported it in committee. And absent of a robust public option, I don’t know what there is for my constituents.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

Hey, Democrats, if this is what you think “I kept my word” means, can I borrow ten thousand dollars from you?  I promise to pay it back.

Okay.  So Dennis Kucinich says he signed a pledge, which he has broken.  And he praised himself for keeping his word, but now in hindsight he broke the very promise he praised himself for keeping.  he said that the very bill he is now voting for amounts to “a license to steal money” and that it offers nothing for his constituents.

And now he is breaking his faith with his fellow signers, and abandoning his constituents to vote for a bill which he himself said amounts to an act of theft.

And that is a Democrat with principles.

Here’s another exchange in which Dennis Kucinich states his principled objection to an unprincipled and fundamentally flawed bill.  From MSNBC’s Countdown on March 8, 2010:

Congressman Kucinich, as we`ve discussed on this show, you`re facing a two-vote — two-stage vote process in the House. First, vote on the Senate bill as is. Then vote for a reconciliation bill to correct everything that`s wrong with the Senate bill that you just voted for.

Will you vote yes for the Senate bill?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OHIO), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, keep in mind I voted against the first version of the bill in the House. I told the president twice in two different meetings that I couldn`t support the bill, didn`t have a robust public option and if — at least, if it didn`t have something that was going to protect consumers from these rapid premium increases. And you know what? The White House counts me as wavering.

The fact of the matter is, I listened to the president in your news story here, and to hear the president, you`d think that he was for single- payer, at least a public option. But he`s not. This bill represents a giveaway to the insurance industry, $70 billion a year, and no guarantees of any control over premiums, forcing people to buy private insurance, five consecutive years of double-digit premium increases.

I mean, I`m sorry. I just don`t see that this bill is the solution. The insurance companies are the problem and we`re giving them a version of a bailout.

O`DONNELL: So, did we just get a “no” there, Congressman? Will you vote against the Senate bill at the first stage of this process in the House?

KUCINICH: If that sounded like a “no,” you`re correct.

O`DONNELL: OK. Will you be comfortable if it turns out you are in effect the single vote that defeats health care reform?

KUCINICH: Every vote counts. And I`m one of 435 members of the House of Representatives. The White House has known my position. It`s not a secret. Democratic leaders have known my position.

You have to remember that I carried a single-payer proposal to three Democratic national conventions, three times to the platform committee, twice as a presidential candidate.

We need health care reform. We need Medicare for all. We need to join the rest of the industrial world in being able to provide health care for our people as a basic right, but the fact is that one of every three health care dollars goes for corporate profits, stock options, executive salaries, advertising, marketing across the paperwork. This bill doesn`t change that. This bill doesn`t change the fact that the insurance companies are going to keep socking it to the consumer.

So, you know, if the White House is ready to go back and have a robust public option as Jacob Hacker iterated with 125 million people being able to negotiate and knock down the insurance premiums, then we have something to talk about. But otherwise, you know, I need some — I need to hear more about what they`re proposing. And what they proposed so far isn`t anything different than I voted against.

O`DONNELL: Do you fear for the Democratic Party if there is no health care reform bill passed? Do you think that outcome politically for the Democratic Party will be worse than passing this flawed bill?

KUCINICH: I think the Democratic Party is in political trouble right now because we have 15 million people unemployed and we have another 11 million or 12 million people under employed. The economy is stagnant. We`ve given bailouts to Wall Street. We haven`t taken care of Main Street. We got — 12 million people could lose their homes this year and a quarter of the population is under water with their mortgage.

I mean, the economy is stagnant. That`s really the key issue.

Is health care a problem? You bet it is. Would it be helpful if everyone in this country had health care? Yes it would, but not in a giveaway to the insurance industry.

If you have $70 billion a year, put it into health care. You don`t have to give the insurance industry their cut because somehow, you know, they have so much influence in the political process. This bill that`s going from the Senate to the House is just another version of Medicare Part D which was a giveaway to pharmaceutical companies.

O`DONNELL: What do you say to the president and Democrats who say, let`s get this passed and then we can build on it with future legislation?

KUCINICH: You`re building on sand. There`s no structure here. You`re building on a foundation of privatization of our health care system. That`s the problem. The insurance companies are the problem.

They`re nothing to build on. We build our hopes on the insurance companies and all we`re going to have is more poverty in this country.

And people aren`t going —

O`DONNELL: Congressman Dennis Kucinich —

KUCINICH: — people aren`t going to get the care that they need.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

KUCINICH: Remember, insurance companies make money not providing health care. That is a fundamental truth about our health care system.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, you have been consistent throughout this debate. Many thanks for your time tonight.

KUCINICH: Thank you very much.

Here is a video of Dennis Kucinich saying the above and more:

Of course, the skinny little weasel WASN’T consistent, was he?  The moment it truly mattered, he broke his faith with the people, broke his word, broke his principles, broke his commitment.

It is an amazing thing that this man is held up as a model Democrat.  These people must all be cockroaches for him to be held in esteem.

Dennis Kucinich couldn’t have been more clear in his denunciation of the Senate Bill that he is now voting for.  It’s not a good bill, or even a bad bill; it is a terrible, immoral bill.

But when you are an unprincipled man from an unprincipled party, what do you expect?

Greek Crisis Coming To Your Neighborhood Soon

February 21, 2010

Let me summarize what is going on: the Western world (and most definitely the United States) is playing the subprime loan game.  We’re not talking about a few schmucks; we’re talking about the whole country.

We’re borrowing huge sums of money at a current rate of about 3% interest.  But as the lenders start getting nervous, they’re going to want to increase that interest.  We are in plenty of trouble paying these trillions of dollars back at 3% – but what happens if the interest increases to 5% or 7% as it could very quickly do?  The costs of paying these loans would rise to catastrophic levels, and we could find ourselves literally bankrupt overnight.

That’s what happened to Greece.  And it’s what’s ultimately going to happen to the USA.

A Greek crisis is coming to America
By Niall Ferguson
Published: February 10 2010 20:15

It began in Athens. It is spreading to Lisbon and Madrid. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding will remain confined to the weaker eurozone economies. For this is more than just a Mediterranean problem with a farmyard acronym. It is a fiscal crisis of the western world. Its ramifications are far more profound than most investors currently appreciate.

There is of course a distinctive feature to the eurozone crisis.  Because of the way the European Monetary Union was designed, there is in fact no mechanism for a bail-out of the Greek government by the European Union, other member states or the European Central Bank (articles 123 and 125 of the Lisbon treaty). True, Article 122 may be invoked by the European Council to assist a member state that is “seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control”, but at this point nobody wants to pretend that Greece’s yawning deficit was an act of God. Nor is there a way for Greece to devalue its currency, as it would have done in the pre-EMU days of the drachma. There is not even a mechanism for Greece to leave the eurozone.

That leaves just three possibilities: one of the most excruciating fiscal squeezes in modern European history – reducing the deficit from 13 per cent to 3 per cent of gross domestic product within just three years; outright default on all or part of the Greek government’s debt; or (most likely, as signalled by German officials on Wednesday) some kind of bail-out led by Berlin. Because none of these options is very appealing, and because any decision about Greece will have implications for Portugal, Spain and possibly others, it may take much horse-trading before one can be reached.

Yet the idiosyncrasies of the eurozone should not distract us from the general nature of the fiscal crisis that is now afflicting most western economies. Call it the fractal geometry of debt: the problem is essentially the same from Iceland to Ireland to Britain to the US. It just comes in widely differing sizes.

What we in the western world are about to learn is that there is no such thing as a Keynesian free lunch. Deficits did not “save” us half so much as monetary policy – zero interest rates plus quantitative easing – did. First, the impact of government spending (the hallowed “multiplier”) has been much less than the proponents of stimulus hoped. Second, there is a good deal of “leakage” from open economies in a globalised world. Last, crucially, explosions of public debt incur bills that fall due much sooner than we expect.

For the world’s biggest economy, the US, the day of reckoning still seems reassuringly remote. The worse things get in the eurozone, the more the US dollar rallies as nervous investors park their cash in the “safe haven” of American government debt. This effect may persist for some months, just as the dollar and Treasuries rallied in the depths of the banking panic in late 2008.

Yet even a casual look at the fiscal position of the federal government (not to mention the states) makes a nonsense of the phrase “safe haven”. US government debt is a safe haven the way Pearl Harbor was a safe haven in 1941.

Even according to the White House’s new budget projections, the gross federal debt in public hands will exceed 100 per cent of GDP in just two years’ time. This year, like last year, the federal deficit will be around 10 per cent of GDP. The long-run projections of the Congressional Budget Office suggest that the US will never again run a balanced budget. That’s right, never.

The International Monetary Fund recently published estimates of the fiscal adjustments developed economies would need to make to restore fiscal stability over the decade ahead. Worst were Japan and the UK (a fiscal tightening of 13 per cent of GDP). Then came Ireland, Spain and Greece (9 per cent). And in sixth place? Step forward America, which would need to tighten fiscal policy by 8.8 per cent of GDP to satisfy the IMF.

Explosions of public debt hurt economies in the following way, as numerous empirical studies have shown. By raising fears of default and/or currency depreciation ahead of actual inflation, they push up real interest rates. Higher real rates, in turn, act as drag on growth, especially when the private sector is also heavily indebted – as is the case in most western economies, not least the US.

Although the US household savings rate has risen since the Great Recession began, it has not risen enough to absorb a trillion dollars of net Treasury issuance a year. Only two things have thus far stood between the US and higher bond yields: purchases of Treasuries (and mortgage-backed securities, which many sellers essentially swapped for Treasuries) by the Federal Reserve and reserve accumulation by the Chinese monetary authorities.

But now the Fed is phasing out such purchases and is expected to wind up quantitative easing. Meanwhile, the Chinese have sharply reduced their purchases of Treasuries from around 47 per cent of new issuance in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2008 to an estimated 5 per cent last year. Small wonder Morgan Stanley assumes that 10-year yields will rise from around 3.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent this year. On a gross federal debt fast approaching $1,500bn, that implies up to $300bn of extra interest payments – and you get up there pretty quickly with the average maturity of the debt now below 50 months.

The Obama administration’s new budget blithely assumes real GDP growth of 3.6 per cent over the next five years, with inflation averaging 1.4 per cent. But with rising real rates, growth might well be lower. Under those circumstances, interest payments could soar as a share of federal revenue – from a tenth to a fifth to a quarter.

Last week Moody’s Investors Service warned that the triple A credit rating of the US should not be taken for granted. That warning recalls Larry Summers’ killer question (posed before he returned to government): “How long can the world’s biggest borrower remain the world’s biggest power?”

On reflection, it is appropriate that the fiscal crisis of the west has begun in Greece, the birthplace of western civilization. Soon it will cross the channel to Britain. But the key question is when that crisis will reach the last bastion of western power, on the other side of the Atlantic.

The writer is a contributing editor of the FT and author of ‘The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World‘

The United States is on life support, and it won’t be long before the doctor turns off the machine and calls the time of death:

It is now mathematically impossible for the United States to repay its debts, even if every single penny was seized from every single man, woman, and child, from every single bank, and from every single business.

This is our future, assuming we can stave ff the fate of Greece:

“Within 12 years…the largest item in the federal budget will be interest payments on the national debt,” said former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. “[They are] payments for which we get nothing.”

Economic forecasters say future generations of Americans could have a substantially lower standard of living than their predecessors’ for the first time in the country’s history if the debt is not brought under control.

Greece’s budget deficit-to-GDP is an astonishing 12.7%.  And that massive unsustainable spending is the thing that is killing them.  But we shouldn’t laugh: ours is at 11.2%, according to Goldman Sachs:

We now expect the US budget deficit to rise to $1.64 trillion (11.2% of GDP) in fiscal year (FY) 2010 and to total $10.8 trillion (trn) over the next ten years. This profile is modestly above our early October forecast and well above the administration’s figures.

Even so, near-term risks lie to the side of a bigger deficit. Tax receipts have started the year in a deep hole and could continue to fall short. And if the economy struggles as the current dose of fiscal stimulus wears off, as we expect, then policymakers are apt to adopt more stimulus than we have assumed.

The United States is sixth on the list of countries with the highest ratios of budget deficit to GDP.  And the other countries are PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain).

About the only thing separating us from the fate of Greece right now is the fact that we can keep printing our own currency until we plunge right off the economic cliff.

One morning we’re going to wake up and learn that our currency isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

Fact-Checking Obama’s Bogus Bullpuckey Stimulus Claims

February 19, 2010

Obama’s fearmongering Congress into rushing the stimulus through so fast that no one in Congress could even read it was utterly demagogic.  His continuous dishonest claims since about the “success” of this pork-ridden slush fund have been deceitful and despicable.

Obama doesn’t just lie, he tells giant lies.  Big Lies, to cite a phrase from history.

Here’s one of the Big Lies that Obama told during his stimulus anniversary media blitzkrieg:

“And economists from across the political spectrum warned that if dramatic action was not taken to break the back of the recession, the United States could spiral into another depression.”

But Obama’s claim that economists “across the political spectrum” had sided with him was an utterly contemptible lie a year ago, and it is an even bigger lie now.  Last February I preserved the following.  Please note the title:

With all due respect Mr. President, that is not true

Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.

And there were a whopping load of economists who signed on to that statement – at least a couple hundred, just at a glance.

That’s 200 economists saying, “YOU LIE!”

The truth was rather this: “‘Economists across the Spectrum’ Continue to Flee Stimulus bill.”

Obama supporters provided exactly two names of conservatives whom they claimed constituted their “across the spectrum.”  Both claims were bogus.

Another Big Lie was the invention of the never-before-seen category of “saved or created” jobs.  It’s a load of rotting baloney.  Harvard economics Professor Gregory Mankiw has said, “There is no way to measure how many jobs are saved.” Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University has said “One can search economic textbooks forever without finding a concept called ‘jobs saved.’ It doesn’t exist for good reason: how can anyone know that his or her job has been saved?” If George Bush had EVER tried to use this same “saved or created” category, he would have been simultaneously mocked as a fool and attacked as a criminal who was trying to deliberately deceive the American people.  But a liberal Democrat did it, so the mainstream media has merely duly reported the totally-made-up self-serving “statistic” as though it weren’t a frankly horrifying lie.

Now, according to a CBS/New York Times poll, only six percent of the people believe that the stimulus has actually created any jobs:

No matter what the truth is about the stimulus act, public perception is the real battle Democrats have to fight politically as 2010 elections loom. And they are fighting that battle hard, based on the amount of e-mail traffic and stimulus promoting events Democrats are holding across the country today. It’s not going to be easy based on a CBS News/New York Times poll released last week that showed just 6 percent of the American public thinks the stimulus created jobs. Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steele ran with that figure yesterday saying that more people believe that Elvis is still alive than believe the stimulus is working.

For the record, Michael Steele is correct: 7% believe that Elvis is alive.  About the same percentage who believe space aliens anally probed them, I imagine.

Unfortunately, that six percent largely consist of the mainstream media.

It’s nice to see someone in the media take him on over some of his claims, particularly an economist with the prestige of a John Lott.  He apparently limits his takedown to the content provided during one particular interview.  But it is still a devastating, point-by-point, presentation of an administration that could care less about the truth, or about reality:

Updated February 19, 2010
Fact Checking Team Obama’s Stimulus Claims
By John Lott
– FOXNews.com

A look at what the White House said about the stimulus and what they didn’t say…

On Wednesday, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer interviewed Austan Goolsbee, the chief economist for the White House Recovery Board, on the one-year anniversary of the stimulus.

Here is a simple fact check of Mr. Goolsbee’s claims:

Hemmer: “What does the White House predict a year from now?”

Goolsbee: Let’s remember, you’re citing the claim that the unemployment rate wouldn’t go above 8 percent, but if you remember in that same projection they said that if we didn’t pass the stimulus it would only go to 9 percent, and it was above that before the stimulus even came into effect. What the administration and everyone else missed was the depth of the recession that was in place at the end of 2008 and at the beginning of 2009 when the President came into office.

In April, President Obama was busy touting the stimulus as having “already saved or created over 150,000 jobs.” Press releases from the administration were already being sent out claiming saved jobs on April 1. Even well before that, on January 25, Lawrence Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, promised that the benefits from the stimulus bill would be seen “within weeks” after passage. Yet, despite Mr. Goolsbee’s claim, the unemployment rate did not rise above 9 percent until May, well after these claimed jobs were supposedly being created.

As for the statement that the president was “surprised” by how bad the economy was, during his first radio address to the nation on Jan. 24, Obama claimed, “We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.” In Obama’s first national press conference he talked about the United States finding itself in a crisis *12 times* and also took pains to emphasize that it was an “unprecedented crisis.” Given that the unemployment rate in 1983 reached 10.7 percent, if the president believed that we were indeed in an “unprecedented crisis” or at least the worst shape since the Great Depression, it is hard to see how the unemployment numbers could surprise him or those on his team.

The Obama administration has frequently claimed that they didn’t realize how bad the GDP numbers for the 4th quarter 2008 were when their first unemployment predictions were released, but the February 28 estimates were released well after the GDP numbers were out.

Mr. Goolsbee states that the economy was worse than he expected it to be. But there is another alternative explanation and that is that the stimulus created higher unemployment. In fact, my columns in this space predicted that during at the beginning of February 2009 that would be the case. Moving around a trillion dollars from areas where people would have spent it to areas where the government wants to spend it will move a lot of jobs away from those firms that are losing the money to those who are now favored by the government. Since people won’t instantly move from one job to another, there will be a temporary increase in unemployment.

But there’s still more. Here’s this from Hemmer’s interview:

Hemmer: “So you are saying that you are standing by the numbers and you guys were right all along.”

Goolsbee: What I’m saying is that the impact of the stimulus is very much what they predicted it to be. What they missed — and what everyone missed — was the depth of the baseline that was in place as the president came into office, yes.

Two graphs illustrate Obama’s promises versus what actually happened. Whether one uses the president’s predictions when he came into office or his later predictions as provided on February 28, the actual unemployment rate lies well above either of those predictions.

See the figure here.

If one looks at both the number of people unemployed and the number who have left the labor force, “I can’t see any [employment] benefit from the stimulus,” Professor Stephen Bronars, a labor economist at the University of Texas at Austin, told me.

See the figure here.

And then there’s this from Hemmer’s interview with Goolsbee:

Hemmer: [What if you] Use the unspent stimulus of $514 billion to pay down the national debt?

Goolsbee: Well, Bill, I got to tell you when the people who burned down the back half of the house are complaining about how much it costs to rebuild it, I think we’re in a bit of a strange spot. As you know, the deficit was projected, before the president took office, to be $1.3 trillion, and that’s because we were teetering on the edge of a depression and we needed to put the focus — as we did — on getting us away from the abyss. If we hadn’t done that the deficit would be catastrophically worse even than it is this year and than it was projected to be when the president came in. We should not reverse the second half of the stimulus. It’s needed to get us out of the woods. Look out the window, the unemployment rate is near 10 percent. Now, the stimulus was never capable of restoring the 8 million jobs hole that was created by the recession beginning in 2007. It did part of it and the private sector needs to the rest.

During the middle of October, 2008, after the bailout bill had been passed, then-Senator Obama claimed (during the third presidential debate): “we are now looking at a deficit of well over half a trillion dollars.” Virtually all of the huge 2009 budget deficit of $1.4 trillion has been blamed on the Bush administration — as if Mr. Obama’s $862 billion stimulus (over two years) and his $410 billion supplemental spending bill in March had nothing to do with it. Mr. Obama also asked for $350 billion in TARP money to be released by the Bush administration immediately before he entered the White House. Bush had no plans to spend that money, but, by releasing it before he took office, Mr. Obama is able to claim that the spending should be counted towards the Bush administration.

Then there was this:

Hemmer pointed out that the White House is starting a pushing to focus on the deficit. Isn’t that a contradiction from this administration?

Here’s the response:

Goolsbee: [No.] Because you’re getting confused between the short term and the long term. What we need is to put a focus on deficit reduction in the long term. Everyone agrees with that, [and] the president wants to put a focus [on it]. The reason the budget commission failed, as you know, is because 7 Republicans that sponsored the bill turned around and voted against it when it became clear it was going to pass.

Actually, it isn’t clear how the administration can blame Republicans for the defeat of the budget commission. Democrats controlled 60 seats in the Senate at the time, and they could have approved the commission without a single Republican vote. Sixteen Republicans did vote for the commission (along with 37 Democrats), but 23 Democrats and 23 Republicans voted against the commission. The Republicans voted against it because they worried that the commission would rely heavily on new — and higher — taxes to reduce the deficit.

This came next…

Hemmer noted that a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that only 6 percent of Americans think that the stimulus has created jobs and 48 percent think that it will never create jobs.

Goolsbee: Well, look, that may be true. I’m just a policy guy. I’m not an expert on spinning and convincing. What I would say is if you go get the data from the private sector forecasters, from the non-partisan congressional budget, or you look at Recovery.gov or the reports coming out of the Council of Economic Advisers, you see they are all hovering around the creating or saving of 2 million jobs thus far. And so the key is [that] the hole was extremely deep. This brought us part of the way up out of this abyss hole. But we need to do more. The president has never said that this is sufficient.

It is a bit of an exaggeration that everyone is in agreement with these claims. Cary Leahey, an economist and senior managing director with Decision Economics, one of the forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, provided me with one explanation for why the stimulus increased unemployment: “With transitional moves in government spending [from the stimulus], there will be dislocations in the economy that will lead to higher unemployment.” But he emphasized that he thought those effects would be “short-lived, six to nine months, definitely not more than a year.” Of the other three sources, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, or if you look at recovery.gov or the reports coming out of the Council of Economic Advisers, all are controlled by Democrats.

Then there was this…

Hemmer raised the point that only two places in the country have gained jobs during the last year: North Dakota and Washington, D.C.

Goolsbee: Well, certainly, if they’re going to be treated to the kind of rationale that you’re describing, it’s going to be very tough. But if you look at what, as I’m trying to describe, the recession began in 2007 – 8 million jobs were lost. If you restore 2 million jobs, that’s 2 million people who are at work, who would have been out of work had we not done that. But that doesn’t fill the entire 8 million hole. And so for you to say they only created jobs in North Dakota, you’re making the mistake of saying, well, the stimulus should have created more than 8 million jobs or else it didn’t have an impact. But that’s just logically incorrect.

Mr. Goolsbee simply isn’t answering Hemmer’s question. Hemmer was asking about the change in jobs since the beginning of last year to evaluate the impact of the stimulus, while Goolsbee is also discussing job losses from the end of 2007. There was nothing “logically incorrect” with Hemmer’s question.

There is also a simple math error in Mr. Goolsbee’s statement. He claims that things would have been even worse than the 8 million drop in jobs if the stimulus hadn’t been passed. What he may have meant to say is that without the stimulus 10 million jobs would have been lost (the 8 million that were lost plus the 2 million that were saved by the stimulus and would have been lost without it). But if the Obama administration really believes this, the unemployment rate in January would have been 11 percent, not 9.7 percent, and the Obama administration never predicted that the unemployment rate would go to 11 percent without the stimulus.

In any case, Goolsbee’s reluctance to explain why jobs, since the beginning of last year, have only increased in the District Columbia, where a lot of government jobs have been created, and North Dakota is understandable.

John R. Lott, Jr. is a FoxNews.com contributor. He is an economist and author of “Freedomnomics.”

The first article that Lott linked to in the link titled “” has the following graph.  I leave you with it, as it pretty much shows at a glance just what a whopping load of failure Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus truly was:

My Big Fat Greek Bailout – And What It Means For America

February 10, 2010

So Greece is going to get its big fat bailout.

The “Too big to fail” mindset wins yet again.  First it was big union-dominated automakers and high-risk lending institutions.  And now it’s entire countries, starting with Greece.  And after Greece comes Spain and Portugal, and then will come California and a bunch of other mostly decades-long liberal-progressive states like New York and New Jersey.  High taxation and out-of-control spending equal fiscal disaster as states and countries rack up enormous debts that they can never hope to repay.

Here are a couple of headlines for you:

California will go bankrupt

Is California Too Big To Fail?

And you know damn well it is.  California all by itself is the sixth largest economy on the planet.  And the inescapable logic of redistributionism means that the other 49 states are going to have to redistribute their wealth to bail out the People’s Republic of Pelosistan.

Beware Greeks bearing IOUs.  Hell, beware ANYBODY bearing IOUs.

In contrast to everything liberals believe, the higher the tax rates, the lower the revenues that are being collected as businesses relocate to states that DON’T hate them.  This has been proven throughout American economic history, and it is certainly being proven now: the states with the highest taxes are facing the largest revenue shortfalls.

Their understanding of free market capitalist economics comes primarily through the straw man created by Karl Marx, and so they fundamentally misunderstand and distrust the economic system that made America the greatest nation on earth.  They want redistributionism, and someone has to pay for my right to be a nonproductive bon-bon-eating couch potato.  That “someone” ends up being the only people with the resources to invest and create jobs.  But the rich aren’t stupid, and so they shelter their money to avoid the higher taxes.

I mean, even Oprah Winfrey does everything she can to avoid high taxes.  Even MICHAEL MOORE does everything he can to avoid paying more taxes.

And what do we do when the disaster these people created finally comes home to roost?  We bail them out, so they can do it all over again.  It’s called “moral hazard.”  Somebody in power should look it up and then quit doing it.

We keep making this giant ball of stink bigger and bigger and bigger, and we’re all wading through it now, and everything is going to sh*t all around us because our leaders don’t have the courage to simply let losers lose.  We’ve become bailout nation, where the people who had discipline and did things right prop up the reckless so they can continue being reckless until the system crashes.  Or to put it more precisely, until the system crashes bigger and badder the next time around.

Times are going to get harder.  China is announcing that they are dumping US securities in what appears to be an economic war declared against us.  That’s going to make it a lot more expensive for us to keep borrowing.  But the only way we can continue these insane liberal-progressive policies is to keep borrowing and borrowing.

There’s no question that we need to collect more taxes.  But raising rates isn’t the way to collect more taxes.  The Bush tax cuts stimulated an unprecedented 52-consecutive months of economic growth even as it generated MORE tax revenue.  Obama’s going back to “the failed policies of the past” from the Jimmy Carter era are going to create a lot of damage as Democrats refuse to learn the lesson of the luxury tax again and again and again.

There’s also no question we need to dramatically decrease our spending.  And along with that, we need to phase down the boondoggles we’ve created via Social Security (which is now in the red, paying out more than it collects) and Medicare/Medicaid (how does a ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLAR unfunded liability strike you?).

The problem is that the federal government has expanded so far beyond its constitutional limitations that its not even funny – with the lion’s share coming from progressive-Democrat social programs.  The government which was supposed to be limited to defending the country and creating infrastructure is now involved in absolutely everything under the sun.

And Democrats will fight to the death for every single one of these programs.

There’s also the now-typical Democrat demand from the government:

Pay my mortgage.  Fill my gas tank. Buy my car.  Give me free health care.  Feed me.  Change my diapers.

Which means we can’t control our black hole-spending.  Which means we can’t reduce our never-before-seen-in-human-history debts.  Which means that we’re on the same road that Greece is on.  Only no one will be there to bail us out when we collapse.

The only question is how long it takes for us to get there.

All Immoral Democrat Gimmicks Aside, Senate Bill Funds Abortions

January 8, 2010

The Democrats’ deceit on health care is the most appalling thing I have ever seen.

They slash half a trillion dollars from the Medicare budget; dishonestly dodge the “Doc-fix“; force people to buy insurance in a flagrant abuse of the Constitution; raise taxes on people Obama REPEATEDLY SWORE he would not raise taxes on; and massively raise taxes in what amounts to an unfunded mandate for states across the board (well, except for Nebraska.  You get to pay their tab).  Not to mention they play every gimmick imaginable to create the illusion that the bill is “deficit neutral” so they can get a favorable CBO score.

Obama and Democrats – who demonized Republicans – promised that they would have the most open and transparent administration in history.  But they have been the most closed and opaque administration in history.  Obama promised he would put the health care care debate on C-SPAN for all to watch:

President Obama, “But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Mind you, as Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean pointed out, insurance companies have recently received all kinds of benefits from the Democrats behind closed doors.  Obama’s Democrats have become the people that Obama most fearmongered us about while on the campaign trail.

And in fact this has been such a secretive, closed-door, underhanded process that even many senior Democrats have publicly acknowledged being kept in the dark.

And we’ve literally got the chief executive of C-SPAN begging to cover the debate even as Democrats burrow the process even deeper into the underground sewers where they seem to live now.

These are fundamentally dishonest people who want to seize control of your ability to make medical decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

And we find out that even the “good” or “moderate” Democrats are bad.  Ben Nelson sold his vote – to the red-faced outrage of his own state – while dishonestly claiming he had protected taxpayer funds from being used to fund abortion.

And we find that that’s a lie, too.  Abortion IS funded by this bill, as even Democrats are openly acknowledging now (at least now that they got the vote they wanted).  Everything these Democrats are telling us is lies.

Kathleen Sebelius Admits, Covers Up Abortion Funding in Health Care Measure

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 22, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is getting attention for an interview yesterday in which she essentially admits that the American public would be forced to pay for abortions under the Senate health are bill and then relies on accounting gimmicks to suggests that’s not the case.

Sebelius spoke with BlogHer interviewer Morra Aarons-Mele yesterday and praised the new abortion language the Senate adopted in Harry Reid’s manager’s amendment.

The language, submitted by Sen. Ben Nelson in conjunction with Sen. Bob Casey and pro-abortion Sens. Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, opens the door to massive abortion funding.

“I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment,” the pro-abortion Obama administration official said.

Sebelius said she thinks the language does a “good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options, and making sure that while public funds aren’t used.”

She added: “That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund, and it would not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate account that everyone in the exchange would pay.”

“It is a bit confusing, but it’s really an accounting that would apply across the board and not just to women, and certainly not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage,” Sebelius concluded.

Ed Morrissey, a HotAir blogger, noticed the interview and pointed out how Sebelius essentially admitted everyone would pay into the exchange but denied that public funds would be used for abortions.

“What constitutes the notion of ‘public funds?'” he asked. “If the government forces us to pay into a fund, and then controls the distribution of those funds, are those funds not ‘public?'”

“Sebelius praises the abortion-funding language in the Reid bill, as it maintains a flow of funds for abortion coverage that everyone — and she means everyone — supplies,” Morrissey adds.

Morrissey says the health care bill’s system of government funding of abortion is “only confusing if you bought Ben Nelson’s dodge that Reid had changed the abortion-funding language in any significant way.”

“If the government forces it citizens to pay into premium exchanges and then controls the distribution of that money, then it becomes a public fund in any interpretation. That’s especially true if its intent is to be a slush fund for bureaucrats to apply to whatever purpose they see fit,” he concludes.

Sebelius could eventually play a major role in abortion funding because of the Mikulski amendment, which makes it so the Obama administration can define abortion as “preventative care” and force insurance companies to pay for them.

So that’s how the Democrat’s prevent public funding to pay for abortion.  They dishonestly, with clear malicious intent, lie and hide behind bureaucratic gimmickry to not just use public money to pay for abortions while denying their doing it, but to go for broke in forcing public money in for abortions in the guise of “preventative care.”

Abortion is an incredibly important subject.  And how it is treated is vital to the entire health care process.  And to dishonestly pretend one thing while doing another is a glaring demonstration of how profoundly deceitful and disingenuous Democrats have become.

This outrage violates the American spirit and is yet another liberal fascist tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson put it best:

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” –Thomas Jefferson

I believe abortion is a moral crime.  I believe that abortion results in the unjustified homicide of an innocent human being.

And to go even further, I believe this health care bill constitutes the socialist statist takeover of the most important and sacred 1/6th of our economy.  I believe that this bill will all-too soon result in medical rationing, and the death by medical neglect of millions of innocent human beings to resolve the next budget crisis.

And according to every single major poll, most Americans agree with me.

But it doesn’t matter to Democrats.  They see an opportunity to redefine America and make it something more far more akin to Karl Marx and Chairman Mao than to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Obama Democrats Employ Unprecedented Secrecy After Claiming Unprecedented Transparency

January 7, 2010

Here’s Barack Obama, who is presented on 8 separate occasions saying he would make health care negotiations public by televising them on C-SPAN:

That’s eight lies from a cynical lying weasel.

Here’s the head of C-SPAN asking Obama to fulfill his often-repeated vow and televise the negotiations.  And how this underscores what liars Democrats who deceitfully talked about “transparency” truly are:

“The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of these sessions LIVE and in their entirety,” Lamb wrote. “We will also, as we willingly do each day, provide C-SPAN’s multi-camera coverage to any interested member of the Capitol Hill broadcast pool.”

Lamb reminded the leaders that “President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”

Specifically, then-Sen. Obama said on the campaign trail that “we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so the people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Ah, yes.  Let’s talk about specifics.  Remember when Barack Hussein, the lying weasel in chief, said that?  Let’s repeat it in bold face:

“we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so the people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents and who is making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.”

Here’s the former head of the Democratic National Convention exposing the lie of Obama pretending to be protecting the people from private insurance companies.  DNC Chairman Howard Dean recently said:

“This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG,” former Democratic National Committee chairman and medical doctor Howard Dean told “Good Morning America’s” George Stephanopoulos today. “A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works.

“This is an insurance company’s dream, this bill,” Dean continued. “This is the Washington scramble, and I think it’s ill-advised.”

Not to mention the Louisiana Purchase II, when Obama bought Mary Landrieu’s vote for $300 million.  Not to mention the purchase of Ben Nelson’s shocking betrayal of his state that has Nebraska frothing mad with outrage.

John McCain recently exposed which party was “making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.” It’s the Democrats who would be exposed with one after another dishonest, self-serving deal.  And that is why they are dishonestly burying all the details of their corrupt, dishonest plan in secrecy:

Mr. McCAIN. My response is, I don’t know what deal has been cut in Senator Reid’s office, as the deal was cut with the pharmaceutical companies and the deal was cut with the AMA and the deal was cut with the hospital association. But I know what the effect is. I know what the effect is. The bill would slice $55 billion—-

Mr. BAUCUS. This is not on my time because he is going to filibuster over there.

Mr. McCAIN. The House bill would slice $55 billion over 10 years for projected Medicare spending on home health services while the Senate bill would take $43 billion. I know that. But I don’t know the details of the deal that was cut over where the white smoke comes out. I don’t know what the deal was. I know what the deal was with PhRMA. I know what the deal was with PhRMA. They told them they would oppose drug reimportation from Canada, and they told PhRMA they would not allow competition for Medicare patients.

So I don’t know the deal that was cut that bought them, but I know deals have been going on, and I know they are unsavory. I know people, such as the lady who was just referred to, Bertha Milliard, are not too interested in seeing their home health care cut.

Mr. BAUCUS. If the Senator will yield, with time being equally divided on both sides for this colloquy.

Mr. McCAIN. I don’t know what the deal was—-

Mr. BAUCUS. I can tell the Senator the deal. I am going to tell the Senator the deal.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona has the floor.

Mr. McCAIN. I don’t know what the deal was, but we will find out, just like the deals that were cut with all of these other organizations.

Mr. BAUCUS. I will tell the Senator what the deal was.

Mr. McCAIN. This place is full of lobbyists. I can’t walk through the hallway without bumping into one of their lobbyists. If the Senator keeps interrupting, he is violating the rules of the Senate. He needs to learn the rules of the Senate.

Here’s a CNN video detailing part of the exchange:

The CNN reporter speaking following the video confrontation between McCain and Baucus reminds us of the August closed-door deal between the Obama White House and the pharmaceutical companies.

And while John McCain exposes that the Democrat Party is the party of corruption, Max Baucus – the Democrat who had such a powerful hand in shaping the health care boondoggle – was exposing that he is a slobbering drunk on the very floor of the Senate.

And which party is making all the sweetheart deals that they don’t DARE allow the people to see, lest they gather in mass with pitchforks and torches to destroy the monster that lives in the White House?

Here’s one of the leaders of the Democrat Party acknowledging that the health care debate was so secretive and so byzantine that even HE didn’t have a freaking clue what was going on, let alone Republican lawmakers (and obviously the public) who have been completely shut out.

Sen. Durbin says he’s ‘in the dark’ on possible healthcare reform compromise
By Eric Zimmermann – 12/11/09 12:33 PM ET

The 10 Democratic senators who crafted a healthcare compromise are keeping its details a secret, says Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Friday.

Responding to a complaint by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that Republicans haven’t been told what’s in the new bill, Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, responded that he’s in the same position.

“I would say to the senator from Arizona that I’m in the dark almost as much as he is. And I’m in the leadership,” Durbin said on the Senate floor.

Here’s Barack Obama, the guy who dishonestly promised that he would put health care negotiations on C-SPAN, being even more dishonest as he summons Democrats (ONLY) for a second secretive, closed-door session.

Here’s the Democrats deciding to play a secret, behind-closed-doors game of ping pong with health care, with one-sixth of the US economy, with millions of Americans very lives, rather than have an open process.

Here’s lying demagogue Nancy Pelosi telling the very C-SPAN which she is barring from covering the negotiations so Americans can see what’s going on how “open” her process has been:

There has never been a more open process for any legislation,” Pelosi said at a press conference.

And here’s that same lying demagogue Nancy Pelosi making a mockery of truth, of character, of decency, of virtue, of having any intention whatsoever of fulfilling promises:

Pelosi emerged from a meeting with her leadership team and committee chairs in the Capitol to face an aggressive throng of reporters who immediately hit her with C-SPAN’s request that she permit closed-door final talks on the bill to be televised.

A reporter reminded the San Francisco Democrat that in 2008, then-candidate Obama opined that all such negotiations be open to C-SPAN cameras.

“There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail,” quipped Pelosi, who has no intention of making the deliberations public.

Obama has been for secrecy, disingenuity, corruption, demagoguery, partisan ideology, and socialism.  He sure hasn’t been for the American people, whether on the campaign trail or since.

It’s rather like the stimulus.  Obama fearmongered the economy to get his $3.27 trillion stimulus-porkulus through Congress.  Obama falsely promised that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if it passed.  The legislation was raced through so quickly that no one could have even possibly read it.  Obama has said it was a success, citing the never-before-in-history-seen category of “created or saved jobs.”  But even then, he had to resort to a series of galling lies to sell his giant failed stimulus.  Not only were jobs created out of thin air (Obama claimed that a single lawnmower created 50 jobs through his website!!!) to fraudulently make a failed stimulus appear successful, but phantom congressional districts and even zip codes that don’t exist began to collect huge sums of stimulus money.  Meanwhile, the thoroughly dishonest Obama administration transformed their stimulus into a gigantic Democrat slush fund, with double the money going to Democrat districts and with no regard to unemployment.

And that’s what Barack Obama and the Democrat Party are doing to health care now.  Except that the catastrophe that they are going to create through health care will be a thousand times worse than the catastrophe they created through the stimulus.

The “change” Obama has brought to America has been hard-core partisanship and corrupt Chicago politics.

No wonder they absolutely WILL NOT allow you to know what’s really going on as they make deal after deal behind closed doors.

Is This Economic Recovery? ‘1,000 Banks To Fail In Next Two Years’

August 31, 2009

Studies galore have demonstrated the bias of the media.  They have documented that more than 80% of supposedly objective journalists are Democrats.  And they have documented that their personal bias shaped their professional bias, with the media overwhelmingly favoring their “first love,” Barack Obama in the presidential campaign.

Their bias runs to even the smallest and most seemingly trivial matters, on the apparent theory that there is nothing to small to use to attack and undermine a Republican: journalists who stumbled all over themselves to praise Obama’s strenuous exercise rituals and his “chiseled pectorals” found Bush’s exercise “obsessive” and “creepy.” The media wouldn’t even allow President Bush to golf without attacking him for abandoning his duties, whereas they don’t attack Obama – even though he’s playing gold far more often than Bush did – and even golfing with a CEO of a firm in the midst of a tax corruption investigation.

So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the media would show its bias in big matters such as the economy.

University of Maryland senior research scientist John Lott Jr. says news coverage of the economy is slanted. Lott writes, “Over 78 percent more negative news stories discussed a recession when the economy — under a Republican president was soaring than occurred under a Democrat when the economy was shrinking.”

Lott — who researched 12,500 newspaper and wire service articles from 1985 through 2004 — also found that Democratic presidents got positive headlines 15 percent more of the time than Republican presidents for the same economic news.

Of his findings Lott writes, “The media’s focus on the negative side of everything surely helps explain people’s pessimism… Indeed, research has indicated that media bias is real.”

The media helped Obama fearmonger the economy when he wanted them to fearmonger the economy to push through his stimulus; but now they’re are trying to talk up the economy when Obama wants them to talk up the economy.  They are dutifully reporting that the recession seems to be over.

But it isn’t.  And it won’t be.

1,000 Banks to Fail In Next Two Years: Bank CEO
Published: Thursday, 27 Aug 2009
By: Natalie Erlich

The US banking system will lose some 1,000 institutions over the next two years, said John Kanas, whose private equity firm bought BankUnited of Florida in May.

“We’ve already lost 81 this year,” Kanas told CNBC. “The numbers are climbing every day. Many of these institutions nobody’s ever heard of. They’re smaller companies.” (See the accompanying video for the complete interview.)

Failed banks tend to be smaller and private, which exacerbates the problem for small business borrowers, said Kanas, who became CEO of BankUnited when his firm bought the bank and is the former chairman and CEO of North Fork bank.

“Government money has propped up the very large institutions as a result of the stimulus package,” he said. “There’s really very little lifeline available for the small institutions that are suffering.”

This comes at a time when the FDIC has established new rules on bank sales. Private equity, for instance, would have to hold double the capital of their competitors in order to buy such an institution, said Kanas.

“This will have somewhat of a chilling effect on our participation,” he said. “As a result of having to keep higher capital levels, we’ll see lower prices coming from that sector.”

Of the 81 failed banks this year, two have been successfully acquired by private equity, he said. Kanas’ private equity firm bought UnitedBank, the failed Florida-based bank, from the FDIC in May. Regulators also allowed the sale of IndyMac Bank of California earlier this year.

“We are seeing more people step up and lobby bids in this situation,” he said. “We’re seeing more players mostly as a result of being attracted to the sector. I’m not so sure that will continue now that the rules have been ratchet it up.”

Meanwhile, much of the commercial realty problem resides in the regional and small community banks, said Kanas, because larger banks haven’t fueled that sector in the past.

“The market is expecting about the way we were expecting,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re not seeing any evidence of a recovery in the real estate market in the southern Florida market,” he said.

It’s rather interesting that there’s a strong argument that Obama’s regulations are actually hurting our recovery, but Obama doesn’t have to worry about that message getting out to the public.  His secret, clearly,  is completely safe with the mainstream media.

The FDIC – the government entity which is supposed to step in if a bank goes bankrupt – is itself on the verge of going bankrupt:

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the fund it uses to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up amid a surge in bank failures, as she responded to an industry outcry against new fees approved by the agency.

And think about it: one thousand banks failing over the next two years is to the notion of “economic recovery” what a giant asteroid hurtling toward us from space is to the statement “things are looking up for us.”  But again, the mainstream media is so focused on talking up the economy that they don’t have much time for such distractions.

What’s going to happen to unemployment?  The media made such a big deal about a temporary 1/10th of one percent drop in the unemployment rate.  But the longer term trend isn’t good.  It isn’t good at ALL:

Banks Stronger But Outlook Clouded by Job Loss: Whitney

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

While Whitney raised her short-term outlook for banks, causing stocks to open in positive territory after pointing lower earlier, she said the long-term outlook for the economy remains murky.

Consumers will not be able to spend as they continue to lose jobs and credit conditions stay tight, she said in a live interview. The result will provide a vivid display of how critical housing and lending are to economic growth. Unemployment is currently at 9.5 percent but is expected to keep rising.

We underestimate how much the whole economy is dependent on the mortgage industry, and that has to change,” Whitney said. “This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We’re buying time here, but we’re not restructuring the economy.”

We’re looking a situation in which nearly half of American homes will be “underwater” – with the mortgages being higher than then homes are worth – by 2011.

And Obama’s policies are not helping to actually deal with the core problem facing the mortgage industry.

The dire assessment comes amid a slight stabilization in the U.S. housing market after three years of price drops, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The report states that the drop in home prices is fueling a vicious cycle of foreclosures as it eliminates homeowner equity and gives borrowers an incentive to walk away from their mortgage.

But, the foreclosed homes are not coming onto the market because people are finding out they can stay living in them and not pay their mortgage, according to Kudrle.

“The Obama administration is putting so much pressure on the banks and lenders to slow down the foreclosure process to try and keep people in their homes,” Kudrle said. “We have people who have not made a payment for 12 to 18 months and the bank still hasn’t come in to foreclose.”

That’s not a policy that is going to correct our financial woes; it’s just a delaying tactic that will ultimately make a bad problem far, far worse by postponing and in fact stockpiling the coming misery.

Government Supported Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – created by a Democrat-congrolled Congress and long run by connected Democrats – have been at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown fiasco.

Peter Wallison predicted a future Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failure in 1999 in a New York Times article, saying of Fannie Mae’s enormous financial exposure and risky policies:

”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.” . . .

Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson, Daniel Mudd.  That’s just part of your list of Democrats who ran Fannie Mae into the ground and profited wildly in doing so.  The Wall Street Journal cites the first three names for disgrace in the Fannie Mae Enron-scheme they produced.  The fourth figure, Fannie CEO Daniel Mudd, showed just how far to the left Fannie Mae was politically when he said to THE most radically liberal wing of the Democrat Party – the Congressional Black Caucus – the following:

So many of you have been good friends to Fannie Mae and our mission. You’ve been friends through thick and thin. We have indeed come upon a difficult time for Fannie Mae…  In many ways I want to tell you today you are also the conscience of Fannie Mae.

President Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to create tighter regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bush’s efforts led to two major Republican efforts to push through regulations that would have limited the mess that Fannie and Freddie could create, but their every move was fiercely resisted by Democrats.  The first time, Barney Frank – leading the Democratic effort to shield Fannie and Freddie from necessary regulatory reform in 2003, said:

”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.”

Again, in 2005, Republicans tried and failed to establish necessary regulatory reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a time when reforms could have averted the 2008 disaster.  Again Democrats unanimously rose up to block any such effort.  John McCain warned:

If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

But Democrats refused to heed the warnings.  And when the economy DID collapse BECAUSE of their refusal to deal with the GSEs that they had politically-benefited from, the very people who created the disaster in the first place poised themselves to benefit from it by demagoguing Republicans whose greatest sin was not being strong enough in their efforts to stand up and stop Democrats from advancing a ruinous agenda.

Think about it: seventeen calls for regulatory reform of the housing mortgage industry, all resisted by Democrats.  Two major efforts at regulatory reform, both blocked by fierce and united Democrat opposition.  And then Democrats demonized Republicans for refusing to enact regulations.  That’s called ‘chutzpah.’  And when the mainline media reported it as if it were somehow true, it was called ‘propaganda.’

In only a couple short years in the Senate, Barack Obama racked up the 2nd highest total in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (2nd only to fellow Democrat and Senate Finance Chairman Chris Dodd).  Barack Obama was second in receipts of campaign contributions from corrupt Wall Street leveraging companies such as Lehman Brothers behind only Hillary Clinton.  Lehman Brothers profited and profited by playing the insane Wall Street insiders game until it went belly up from its own bloated practices.  And somehow that parasitic leech of a company was under the impression that financing one Barack Hussein Obama’s political career would be good for it’s greedy special interests.

And now we’re in such good hands to fix the mess that Democrats almost exclusively created.

And hey, don’t worry.  If anything bad happens, you can count on the mainstream media to honestly and objectively keep you informed — NOT.

Obama Lowballs His Budget By $2 TRILLION, And You Trust Him On Health Care?

August 25, 2009

Hats off to the Gateway Pundit for punditry.  Following the Obama remark about people getting wee-weed up, GP pointed out that “It looks like Dear Leader was a wee bit off” with his budget.  To the tune of $2 trillion.  Which, clearly, really is something to get wee-weed up about.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will raise its 10-year budget deficit projection to approximately $9 trillion from $7.108 trillion in a report next week, a senior administration official told Reuters on Friday.

The higher deficit figure, based on updated economic data, brings the White House budget office into line with outside estimates and gives further fuel to President Barack Obama’s opponents, who say his spending plans are too expensive in light of budget shortfalls.

The White House took heat for sticking with its $7.108 trillion forecast earlier this year after the Congressional Budget Office forecast that deficits between 2010 and 2019 would total $9.1 trillion.

“The new forecasts are based on new data that reflect how severe the economic downturn was in the late fall of last year and the winter of this year,” said the administration official, who is familiar with the budget mid-session review that is slated to be released next week.

Well, at least they didn’t say, “Because of George Bush…” or “Due to the evilness of the Republicans’…”  So maybe they’re growing in maturity to match their skyrocketing deficits over at the White House.

Barack Obama is going to quadruple George Bush’s highest deficit ever – and that is if his other incredibly rosy projections (which continue chugging merrily along like a magic-powered choo-choo train) pan out.  Obama has demagogued and demonized Bush at every turn, but he can’t blame the boogeyman for his deficits.

It is simply a fact: Obama’s first-year deficit, the largest in history, is over four times bigger than George Bush’s last deficit of 2008, which HAD been the largest in history until Obama blew that record away as though it had never existed.  An American Thinker article demonstrates the massive cognitive dissonance of Democrats; they want to demonize Bush for his government spending even as they defend Obama’s FAR more massive government spending.  The Washington Examiner’s Byron York headline says it all: “Obama’s trillions dwarf Bush’s ‘dangerous spending.'”

Barack Obama underestimated his own spending deficit by $2 trillion; nearly 29% off in just six months.  That aint exactly good budgeting.  Rather, it is unprecedented BAD budgeting.  Obama had all kinds of bogus assumptions, fuzzy math, and rosy scenarios.  And the new $9-plus trillion figure doesn’t take into account all the other stuff that Obama is intending to do, such as spend well over a trillion more on his government health care takeover.

It’s frankly even worse than your very worst fears: Barack Obama’s 2009 deficit exceeds all 8 years of Bush red ink.

Let me put it this way: I have believed that Barack Obama would be the downfall of this country from the day I heard his reverend for 23 years shout, “No, no, no! Not God bless America — God damn America!!!” while Barack Obama’s fellow congregants leaped to their feet and cheered wildly.  I thought he would be a complete and unmitigated disaster – and I never dreamed he would do this much damage this quickly.

Speaking of terrible budget nightmares, Obama’s somehow transforming his “half” of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Plan into $23.7 Trillion isn’t exactly great budgeting either.  Did somebody say we were supposed to stop spending after we got to $350 billion?  Oops.

Giving Obama’s liberals control of health care will be rather like giving Stalin’s Red Army control of Berlin; it just aint going to end well.

The CBO also has revised its figures from just five months ago upward by $2.7 trillion, pointing out that its earlier number didn’t include legislation since passed by the Democrat-controlled Congress.  The math is a mess; we literally cannot keep up with the frenzied pace of our own spending.

So when Democrats and liberals talk about the projected costs of health care, just realize that neither they, or the CBO – which at least usually TRIES to be accurate in its projections – have any credibility whatsoever.

Bob Franken hits it right on the money: The $9 trillion is the central figure in the health care debate.  You can watch the debt clock spiral up moment by terrifying moment for hours.

In another issue, Democrats have been mocking the word “death panel,” but…

… The whole damn SYSTEM is one great big giant death panel.  As well as being a gigantically expensive one.

If Democrats get control of health care, they will explode it with massive bureaucracy, they will have no choice but to ration health care, and people will die.

Grayson Grills Bernanke: ‘Where Did Our Half Trillion Dollars Go?’

August 5, 2009

Are you a C-SPAN addict?  Me neither.  It is the truly desperate soul who pauses during a channel surfing session on a C-SPAN channel of some boring Congressional proceeding.  Who wants to watch a bunch of arrogant stuffed-shirt elitists argue with one another in a series of one boring speech after another?

Ah, but every now and then something of significance actually happens – and when such a once-in-blue-moon event occurs – C-SPAN is there to capture the action.

Such a moment occured when Florida Republican Rep. Alan Grayson questioned Barack Obama’s arse-smooching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

This is by no means an official transcript, but it does reflect the sense of part of the exchange.  Every American should watch it to learn just how screwed up our “experts” have made our system:

Grayson: I would like to direct your attention to page 26 of the report you handed out this morning which consists of your balance sheet.  And one of the entries on your balance sheet under assets is central bank liquidity swaps which shows an increase from the end of 2007 from $24 billion to $553 billion and change at the end of 2008.  What’s that?

Bernake: Those are swaps done with foreign central banks.  Many foreign central banks are short dollars, and so they come into our markets looking for dollars and drive up interest rates and create volatility in our markets.  What we’ve done is create a swap: we buy their currency and they buy ours.  That lowers interest rates across the globe.  They take the dollars, lend it out to the banks in their jurisdiction, and that helps bring down interest rates in the global market for dollars and meanwhile we’re not lending to those banks, we’re lending to the central banks; the central bank is responsible for repaying us.

Grayson:So who got the money?

Bernake: Financial institutions in Europe and other countries.

Grayson: Which ones?

Bernake: I don’t know.

Grayson: Half a trillion dollars and you don’t know who got the money?

Bernake: Uh, the loans went to the, the loans go to the central banks and they, uh, they put them out to their, uh, to their institutions to try to bring down short term interest rates in financial markets around the world.

Grayson: Well let’s start with which central banks got the money.

Bernake: They’re 14 of them which are listed, um, in our, i’m sure they’re listed in here somewhere.

Grayson: Who actually made that decision to hand out half a trillion dollars that way?

Bernanke: The Federal Open Market Committee.

More…

Grayson: All right. We actually looked at one of the arrangements and one of the arrangements is 9 billion dollars for New Zealand. That works out to $3000 for every single person who lives in New Zealand. Seriously, wouldn’t it have been better to extend that kind of credit to Americans than New Zealanders?

Bernake: It’s not costing Americans anything, we’re getting interest back and it comes back, not at the cost of any Amercian credit. We are extending credit to Americans, too.

Grayson: Well, wouldn’t it necessarily affect the credit markets if you extend half a trillon dollars in credit to anybody?

Bernake: We are lending to all US financial institutions in exactly the same way.

Alan Grayson: Well, look at the next page, the very next page has the US dollar nominal exchange rate which shows a 20% increase in the US nominal exchange rate at exactly the same time that you were handing out a half a trillion dollars. You think that’s a coincidence?

Bernake: Yes.

Alan Grayson (Breaks out laughing at the sheer absurdity of Bernanke’s calculated refusal to acknoweldge the obvious no matter how obvious it is…).

Watch the video and pass it along:

The purpose of this is not merely to slam Democrats.  George Bush wanted to do the most massive financial bailout in history – and while Democrats provided the MOST support for the $700 billion Bush-Paulson TARP bailouts – Republicans supported it too.  Enraged House Republicans voted down the measure after Nancy Pelosi used the opportunity to politically demagogue them, but enough of them ended up supporting the bailout plan.  Ultimately two-thirds of Democrats and one-third of Republicans voted to pass the measure.  John McCain supported it as a presidential candidate right along with Barack Obama.  And we have been throwing billions and even trillions of dollars around ever since.

Republicans were wrong.  Democrats were far more wrong, of course, because they are always far more wrong.  But Republicans should have put their foot down to prevent the financial-whiz-kid takeover of our entire political and economic system.

Something is incredibly sick with our system, because somehow that $700 billion TARP bailout has morphed into a $23.7 TRILLION TARP bailout, as the special inspector general for the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky, recently made public.

And Barack Obama’s and Turbo-Tax Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department – caught red-handed spending and loaning FAR more than they ever should have been allowed to spend and loan – managed to turn the issue into a quibbling over just how much money we could theoretically lose at one time.  When the bigger question was, “Just how does an authorization of $700 billion become an authorization for $23.7 trillion?”

The difference between Democrats and Republicans at this point is that Republicans – who now openly admit they spent too much when they were in power – have wised up.  Meanwhile, Democrats who attacked “dangerous” and “irrepsonsible” federal spending under Bush have taken “dangerous” and “irresponsible” to levels never before even dreamt of. Democrats are utterly determined to keep up the insane spending spree until we are utterly imploded with debts even our children’s children’s children’s children’s children will never be able to hope to repay.

Since TARP, Obama has passed a $3.27 trillion stimulus that didn’t stimulate, a 9,000 earmark-laden $410 billion omnibus bill, and a $3.55 trillion federal budget that adds more to the debt than all previous US presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush – combined.  And even as we play aound with $2 trillion more for health care “reform” and throw billions of dollars more into “Cash for Clunkers,” there’s no sign that we are on any kind of slowdown as we race toward the economic cliff ahead.

We are experiencing a sickness that might well be epitomized by Vice President Joe Biden’s statement: “We have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.” They are the words of a fool – and yet fools are now in total charge of our country as they pursue their fools’ agenda.

They want to play their political power games, rewarding their political allies and punishing their political opponents.  They want to stay in power forever.  They want to sit in their offices with their staffs and their benefits and their various fiefdoms.  They don’t want to protect the United States from calamity.  They somehow think that America is eternal and can never be defeated or destroyed.  They’re going to be in for a great wake-up call – and the nation right along with them – when it all goes to hell due to their insane lack of responsibility.

Obama Administration A Fifth Column Destroying American Competitiveness From Within

June 10, 2009

Obama has a plan to make American business as competitive in the world economy as the proverbial Dodo bird for the sake of “economic justice.”

Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead: Kevin Hassett

June 8 (Bloomberg) — I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout.

Once that happens, their new pay czar Kenneth Feinberg can set the wage for everybody and Rahm Emanuel can stack the boards of all of our companies with his political cronies.

I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?

At issue is Obama’s policy to end the deferral of multinational taxation.

The U.S. now has about the highest combined corporate tax rate, second only to Japan among industrialized countries. That rate is so high that U.S. firms have an enormous disadvantage versus competitors. The average corporate tax rate for the major developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008 was about 27 percent, more than 10 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate.

Tax Burden

U.S. firms have nonetheless prospered because our tax code allows a business to set up a subsidiary in a low-tax country. When that subsidiary earns profits, they are taxed at the rate of that country, and don’t face U.S. tax until the money is mailed home.

The economically illiterate partisan Democratic view is that this practice is unpatriotic and bleeds jobs from the U.S. The economic reality is that American companies use this approach to acquire market share overseas. The alternative is losing the business to foreign competitors.

Don’t just take my word for it. A recent paper by Harvard economists Mihir Desai and C. Fritz Foley and Berkeley economist James Hines and published in the distinguished American Economic Review, gathered data on American multinationals to explore the impact of foreign investments on domestic U.S. activity.

Encourage Overseas Sales

Their conclusion was striking. The authors found that “10 percent greater foreign capital investment is associated with 2.2 percent greater domestic investment, and that 10 percent greater foreign employee compensation is associated with 4 percent greater domestic employee compensation. Changes in foreign and domestic sales, assets, and numbers of employees are likewise positively associated; the evidence also indicates that greater foreign investment is associated with additional domestic exports and R&D spending.”

So when firms expand their operations abroad, taking advantage of the lower foreign tax rates, it helps their workers in the U.S. Higher sales abroad (surprise, surprise) are good for domestic workers.

It is worth noting that this study, which is confirmed by a boatload of evidence elsewhere, was coauthored by the same James Hines who recently wrote a sweeping review of international tax policy with Obama’s top economist, Larry Summers. Summers has to know what the literature says.

Inexplicable Stance

So the question is, why does Obama advocate a policy that so flies in the face of everything that economists have learned? How could Obama possibly say, as he did last month, that he wants “to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens?” Further, how could Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner call a practice that top scholarship has shown increases wages and employment in the U.S. “indefensible?”

I have to admit I am at a loss. Maybe it is good politics to bash American corporations, and Obama isn’t really serious about making this change happen. But if the change is enacted, and domestic corporate taxes aren’t reduced to offset the big tax hike, the result will be a flight from the U.S. that rivals in scale the greatest avian arctic migrations.

If that occurs, the firms that stay in the U.S. will be at such a huge tax disadvantage that they will absolutely need a “rescue.”

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Is the destruction of America deliberate?

It’s certainly possible.

Another possibility is that Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner have never actually had to make a payroll, or run an actual business.  It’s all just monopoly money for these guys.  They live in a world of theory, and their theories are all crap.