Posts Tagged ‘CEO’

Electricity Rates WILL Skyrocket: Obama EPA Regulations To Cost Coal Industry Extra $180 BILLION

June 11, 2011

Gateway Pundit came up with this further proof that Barack Obama truly is the worst president to ever occupy the White House.

For the record, nearly HALF of America’s electricity comes from coal.

Obama’s EPA Regulations Will Cost Coal Industry $180 Billion & Cause Electricity Rates to Skyrocket
Posted by Jim Hoft on Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 8:03 PM

Worst. President. Ever.
In January 2008 Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”

He promised that his plan would cause electricity rates to  skyrocket.

He wasn’t kidding.
In January the Obama Administration, for the first time ever, blocked an already approved bid to build one of the largest mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachian history.

And, on Wednesday it was reported that Obama’s energy plans will cause electricity rates to necessarily skyrocket…
Just as he promised.
Via US News and World Reports:

Two new EPA pollution regulations will slam the coal industry so hard that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and electric rates will skyrocket 11 percent to over 23 percent, according to a new study based on government data.

Overall, the rules aimed at making the air cleaner could cost the coal-fired power plant industry $180 billion, warns a trade group.

“Many of these severe impacts would hit families living in states already facing serious economic challenges,” said Steve Miller, president of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. “Because of these impacts, EPA should make major changes to the proposed regulations before they are finalized,” he said.

The EPA, however, tells Whispers that the hit the industry will suffer is worth the health benefits.

For the record… For every green job created by the Obama EPA, four jobs are lost in the economy.

This man is out to “fundamentally transform” America in a way that will fundamentally destroy America.

And he’s out to hurt ordinary Americans and make their children suffer.

Who do you think is ultimately going to pay this $180 billion TAX that Obama is imposing?  If you guessed “the poor bastard customers” you win the prize.  If you guessed anybody else, then you’re frankly too stupid to vote or reproduce.  Please terminate your voter registration and then go sterilize yourself.

The next question is just as simple: if you make energy prices skyrocket on businesses, are they going to be in a position to create more jobs?  If you think businesses are more likely to create jobs facing such gigantic price-hikes on their energy, I hope that you have already been spayed or neutered.  Because you are simply unreal stupid.  And this kind of dumb has got to end if this country is going to make it to the next generation.

If that isn’t enough, liberals are actually pushing a $1.00 a gallon tax on gasoline to force Americans to purchase the electric cars that Obama imposed on GM after Obama fired the GM CEO and after screwing GM bondholders in order to illegitimately give the company to unions.  It was Obama’s corporatist-fascist (see also here) mouthpiece pushing a huge gas tax to force Obama’s crappy electric clown cars on people who would never want it unless Big Brother made them buy it.

After screwing the legitimate owners of GM, Obama imposed a $16 billion loss for the American people.  But it’s only your money – and your money rewarded Obama’s union cronies who will of course return the favor to Obama with more of your dollars.  In the case of Chrysler, Obama demonized and threatened bondholders, with the result that he practically gave Chrysler away to a foreign company (Fiat).  And actually took credit for all of this as though it were a good thing!!!

Meanwhile, Obama is granting so few new permits for new oil drilling it is positively unreal, which will only make America more dependent on foreign oil and only make that heating oil and gasoline more and more expensive for us both now and down the line.

We now know what “hope and change” looks like: it looks like the American people freezing in the dark at night in the winter and sweltering in the dark at night in the summer, while all the while subsidizing huge write-offs to incentivize the purchase of electric clown cars.

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Proof That Republican Economic Policies Work Just FINE: Conservative-Friendly Texas Created 38% Of ALL U.S. Jobs In 2010

June 10, 2011

How’s THIS for a record to run for president on?

CNBC EXCERPTS: RICHARD FISHER, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS PRESIDENT AND CEO ON CNBC’S “SQUAWK BOX” TODAY
Published: Tuesday, 7 Jun 2011 | 10:51 AM ET Text Size By: Jennifer Dauble

[….]

FISHER ON CREATING RULES:

“WE’VE GOT TO CREATE RULES AND REGULATIONS HERE THAT ATTRACT CAPITAL AS WELL AS DEAL WITH OUR UNFUNDED LIABILITIES OUR DEFICIT PROBLEMS AND SO ON, JUST AS TEXAS HAS MANAGED TO DO SO RELATIVE TO OTHER STATES IN THE UNITED STATES.”

[…]

FISHER ON TEXAS JOBS:

“SINCE THE RECOVERY BEGAN, 38 PERCENT OF ALL JOBS CREATED IN AMERICA HAVE BEEN CREATED IN TEXAS, AND TEXAS IS BACK UP, IN FACT MY 11TH FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICT OF TEXAS, PARTS OF LOUISIANA, PARTS OF NEW MEXICO; OBVIOUSLY 96 PERCENT OF THAT PRODUCTION AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE ARE IN TEXAS OF MY DISTRICT- HAS MORE EMPLOYMENT NOW THAN IT HAD WHEN THE CRISIS BEGAN.”

Obama and the Democrats have relied on a demagogic narrative that Republican policies failed and Democrats offer “hopey changey” for the last three years of what is now an increasingly obviously failed presidency.  The fact that it couldn’t be more false doesn’t stop them from telling and retelling the liberal fairy tale over and over and over again to a wide-eyed mainstream media and anyone else fool enough to believe them.

The difference between California (liberal Democrat) and Texas (conservative Republican) are the difference between long dark hopeless night and bright sunny optimistic morning.  Take for example restaurant chain Carl’s Junior:

Carl’s Jr. chief downplays Texas talk
Written by Henry Dubroff
Wednesday, 02 February 2011

CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder sees advantages in moving the company’s headquarters from Carpinteria to Texas, but a move is not imminent, he told The Business Times.

In a Feb. 2 telephone interview from Houston, where he is looking at the  company’s fast-growing Carl’s Jr. operation, Puzder said he paid a  visit to Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier in the week and discussed the  company’s growth in the Lone Star State.

But he said that CKE, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardees,  won’t break its lease in Carpinteria or abandon the headquarters in the  near term. “We love California and we’d love to stay,” said Puzder. “Our  heart and soul is in California.”

But Puzder said that long delays in opening stores, California’s  byzantine rules on overtime pay and high personal income taxes could  make a move inevitable. “We feel more like we’re being pushed out,” he  said, adding that “economics may compel us to do so.”

CKE has been growing rapidly in Texas, where it now has 40 restaurants  and expects to have 300 by the end of the decade; in comparison, it has  700 stores in California. “The growth of this company is in Texas, and  the real big question for this company is, where are your restaurants  and where is the growth?” Puzder said.

Puzder also said that Californians leaving the state for jobs and  entrepreneurial opportunities in Texas are part of the reason for its  fast growth in that state. Carl’s Jr.’s brand familiarity is so high in  Texas that the two most recent store openings in the state, including a  unit in Houston, set records for revenue. “Jobs and consumers are in  Texas,” Puzder said. “Our customers beat us here.”

And, yes, CKE moved its operations to Texas.

And yes, a LOT of Californians have beaten them to the Lone Star State.  I showed previously the difference in cost between renting a truck to move from California to Texas versus moving from Texas to California.  At that time, it cost $900 to move from Texas to California, versus $3,000 to go the other way, because all the moving trucks were already in Texas.  That’s a 233 percent difference.

Which matches a national trend, as people are forced to move out of failed blue states to successful red states.

Thanks to the failure of liberalism.

Here’s some of the specific reasons why liberalism fails at job creation from another article:

Carl’s Jr. chewed up by California, Moving Corp HQ to Texas

[…]

Indeed, CKE Restaurants, parent of Carl’s Jr., is likely to move its headquarters from Carpinteria, near Ventura, to Texas and is undergoing a rapid expansion of restaurants in the Lone Star State. Right before the budget circus got going Wednesday, CKE CEO Andrew Puzder spoke at the California Chamber of Commerce, blocks from the Capitol dome. Like most of us, Puzder loves California and has no interest in leaving it, but he told harrowing tales about doing business in a state that has gone from an entrepreneurial heaven to a bureaucratic nightmare.

“It costs us $250,000 more to build one California restaurant than in Texas,” he said. “And once it is opened, we’re not allowed to run it.” This explains why Carl’s is opening 300 restaurants in Texas and only maintaining its presence in California. Texas has lower taxes than California, but the reason for the shift has more to do with regulation and with the attitude of the respective governments.

Puzder complained about the permitting process here, where it takes eight months to two years to open a new restaurant compared to an average of 1 1/2 months in Texas. In California, restaurants have to provide new curb cuts, new traffic lights, you name it. The company must endure so many requirements and must submit to so many inspections that it becomes excessively costly – and the bureaucrats are in charge of the project.

Once the restaurant is open, Puzder said, the store’s general managers are not allowed to run the business as if they own it. That’s the key to the company’s customer service approach – allowing general managers to do whatever it takes to make customers happy. But California’s inflexible, union-designed work rules, for instance, classify general managers as regular employees. They must be paid overtime for any work beyond an eight-hour day. They must take mandated breaks at specified times.

If a busload of customers comes to a store, these general managers must sit back and do nothing if they are on a break period. Most states have 40-hour workweek rules, meaning employees are paid overtime after exceeding 40 hours of work in a single week. In California it is based on the day, which limits the ability of managers to work, say, six hours one day and 10 hours the next day. Puzder complains about these industrial-era requirements that impede flexibility and harm customer service.

And California law encourages “private attorney general” lawsuits against private businesses over overtime and other regulatory rules, which has created a huge financial incentive for attorneys to file questionable legal actions against restaurants.

“It’s not like we have kids working in coal mines or women working in sweatshops,” Puzder said. It’s not as if his workers in other states, where these regulatory rules don’t exist, are oppressed, he added. “How does this help us instill entrepreneurial values?” He wonders how all these nonsensical rules teach people about being independent from the government rather than dependent on it.

I’d argue that the rules are designed specifically to impede private enterprise and to hobble entrepreneurship. After all, the unions, trial attorneys and liberal legislators writing these rules believe that government is the answer to most problems and that private industry is a cancer.

“People are just dying to get out there and make money,” Puzder said. “But California is setting a bar here. You can’t work smarter, harder, longer or better.” His company has had to fire hardworking store managers who insist on working longer hours than the state allows. He wants to tell these people, “Come to Texas, and we will hire you.”

The big debate at the Capitol has been whether to pass a budget with tax extensions. Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators believe the only thing wrong with California is that people here don’t give the state enough of their paychecks. They believe this state has too-few government workers and too little oversight of business.

Democrats offer us a government of the Weiners, by the Weiners and for the Weiners.  They want the Anthony Weiners of the world to have control over your health care, over your pension, over your life.  They want government’s finger in every pie.  They want more taxes, taking a bigger and bigger share of earnings, savings and profits.  They want more regulations.  They want to be able to say who receives and who pays, who wins and who loses, even who lives and who dies.

The Democrat Party and Barack Obama are failing America – to the extent they even want “America” at all.

When you think Democrat policies versus Republican policies, don’t consider Obama’s way overused and frankly demagogic “Republicans drove us into a ditch” analogy; just consider Republican states like Texas and Democrat states like California.  The conclusion couldn’t be more clear.

Obama And Liberal Democrat Ally General Electric Paid NO Taxes Last Year And In Fact Was GIVEN Money By Government

March 28, 2011

Before we get to our main story, let’s do a little recent historical review.

First of all, G.E.has been a key Obama ally, and GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is basically even working for Obama:

Obama Names GE CEO Immelt As Economic Adviser
January 21, 2011

President Obama wants to cast some light on economic success stories in the shadows of a slow recovery. And he is looking to find some more.

On Friday, the president travels to Schenectady, N.Y., birthplace of the General Electric Co., to showcase a new GE deal with India and announce a restructured presidential advisory board to focus on increasing employment and competitiveness.

Obama is naming GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt as the head of a Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. The panel replaces Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which had been chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Obama announced late Thursday that Volcker, as expected, was ending his tenure on the panel.

Then there’s the fact that G.E. has been a MASSIVE beneficiary of the Obama- and Democrat-imposed radical so-called “green” agenda:

Undisclosed NBC Conflict of Interest Again Arises in Annual ‘Green Week’
By Lachlan Markay | November 16, 2010 | 16:47

On Sunday, NBC Universal launched its annual “Green Week,” as part of the company’s “Green is Universal” environmental awareness campaign.

As NBC embarks on yet another week of “environmentally themed programming,” it falls to media watchdogs to point out the massive conflict presented by NBC parent company General Electric’s significant financial interests in the policies “Green Week” indirectly advances.

GE stands to make millions from Democrats’ “clean energy” agenda. The company has invested massive amounts of money in technology that can only be profitable through government intervention or subsidization.

Put these two facts together and what do you get?

Now consider this, stupid, depraved fools (i.e., anyone who calls themselves a “Democrat” and says that evil corporate greed comes from Republicans:

G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
Published: March 24, 2011

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.

Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore. G.E.’s giant tax department, led by a bow-tied former Treasury official named John Samuels, is often referred to as the world’s best tax law firm. Indeed, the company’s slogan “Imagination at Work” fits this department well. The team includes former officials not just from the Treasury, but also from the I.R.S. and virtually all the tax-writing committees in Congress.

While General Electric is one of the most skilled at reducing its tax burden, many other companies have become better at this as well. Although the top corporate tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, one of the highest in the world, companies have been increasingly using a maze of shelters, tax credits and subsidies to pay far less.

In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.

So we’ve got a giant mega-corporation whose top leadership is clearly in the pocket of the Democrat Party and which has clearly benefitted from the Democrat Party agenda.

And lo and behond, it turns out that not only do these piles of quivering un-American slime at GE not pay taxes, but Obama actually has the naked chutzpah to reach into the American people’s pocket and say, “We owe you this, Mr. Immelt.”

Now, this would be loathsome and indefensible enough it GE was a rightwing corporation.  But understand that Democrats are continually demonizing Republicans as being “the party of corporate greed” when in fact THEY are the real winners at the corporate greed game.

Democrats calling Republicans “corporate shills” is like Yassar Arafat calling Ronald Reagan “anti-Jew”; the label only works if you are an idiot on every level imaginable.

Want more?  Feed on this:

Here’s one among thousands of examples: Incandescent light bulbs are far more convenient and less expensive than compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) that General Electric now produces. So how can General Electric sell its costly CFLs? They know that Congress has the power to outlaw incandescent light bulbs. General Electric was the prominent lobbyist for outlawing incandescent light bulbs and in 2008 had a $20 million lobbying budget. Also, it should come as no surprise that General Electric is a contributor to global warmers who help convince Congress that incandescent bulbs were destroying the planet.

The greater Congress’ ability to grant favors and take one American’s earnings to give to another American, the greater the value of influencing congressional decision-making. There’s no better influence than money. The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans.

And guess what?  As soon as Democrats took over Congress that’s exactly what they did: they criminalized incandescent light bulbs and made GE’s mercury-laden CFL bulbs the “Big Brother” alternative.

GE gave $20 million to Democrats.  But don’t worry, Democrats took money right out of your and your children and grandchildren’s pockets to pay back their corporate pals with their usual array of shennanigans.

And the only thing that is more despicable than that is that all the while they’re doing all this, Democrats are constantly demonizing Republicans.

Hypocrisy is the quintessential defining essense of liberalism.  Pure and simple.

Home Depot CEO Says Obama An Airheaded Academic Who Demonizes Real-World Job Creators

September 20, 2010

Flopping Aces got all their video from Townhall.  I got all the quotes from the following interview from Flopping Aces.

Go to either site to watch the videos of the interview.

CNBC’s Greg Hengler said that Home Depot CEO Bernie Marcus

“…may have been the best defense of small business, and the most important attack on the Obama administration all year.  Marcus knows a little something about small business, because his business – Home Depot – was once a small business before it became a very BIG business. Home Depot employs 320,000 people, so Mr. Marcus knows a few things about job creation.

Bernie Marcus had the following broadside blast against the administration that he clearly views as ruining America and ruining the US economy:

Now you take some of the people the President surrounded himself with, now think about it a second, they’re all academics…most of them…I mean all of them, they come out of Harvard they come out of Yale. These guys are all on tenure. By the way they’re all on tenure. Tenure means they get paid whether they work or not, tenure means they are on insurance for life, tenure means they don’t ever have to worry about anything just because they were there for a number of yearsAmerica is not that way. America is not that way. And if the President got out of, you know, Washington, in his cloak as I talked about, and started moving around the peasants which is people like everybody else in the world except for Washington. Washington has their own insurance plan, they got their own pensions, they don’t even abide by their own rules they everybody else lives by.

This “tenured” Obama “Washington” crowd sounds profoundly un-American, for what it’s worth.  You get the sense they could have woke up in Moscow, circa 1950, and fit in with the commissars and their never-once-succeeding five year plans just fine.

And Bernie Marcus speaks with unforked tongue when he accuses the whole Obama administration of being a bunch of common-senseless eggheads with no actual private sector experience whatsoever:

You can see why an incredibly successful CEO who’s actually DONE SOMETHING to create real jobs in the real world would be rather pissed off at the two-years’-worth of Obama’s demonizing the job creators of the business world.

Bernie Marcus continues, apologizing to a president who appears to despise actual job creation for his record of actual job creation:

Marcus – And when I talk to people who are creating jobs today…these are not villains. These are not monsters. They’re not like…

Kernan – And you think they are being portrayed that way?

Marcus – Oh, there is no question about it.

Kernan – How many employees does Home Depot have?

Marcus – They got about 320,000

Kernan – So you, Arthur and Ken are directly or indirectly responsible for 300,000 jobs?

Marcus – Yeah, we’re monsters and we’re disgusting human beings and I recognize that and I apologize to America right now, I’m sorry that I made wealth and I’m sorry that I’m creating jobs.

Damn right they’re monsters.  Tax those rich bastards.  Tax them until they fire all their American workers and ship those jobs overseas in countries so evil that they actually allow people and businesses to keep more of what they earn.  Tax them until the American economy crashes.  Tax them until the USA goes the way of the Dodo bird.

And then vote for Obama to preside over the ruined formerly great nation he “fundamentally transformed.”

China has ten times – TEN TIMES – the growth of the United States, while having lower tax rates.  And what do Democrats do?  Try to raise our tax rates even more.  And Democrats are employing Marxist class warfare and “spread the wealth around” redistributionist demagoguery to try to get their way.  What is amazing is that the Democrat Party in the United States is literally more communist than the Communist Party in China.

Jobs today are global; they can go anywhere on earth.  What American needs to do is respond to the countries’ that are taking our jobs away from us.  Which is why we need to lower the costs of investing in and doing business in America.  Democrats are demanding that we become less and less competitive even as they pursue a strategy of demonizing those who would make America MORE competitive.

Microsoft CEO Says Obama Tax Plan Will Result In Companies Leaving USA

June 6, 2009

The imperial presidency has issued a new edict to force jobs out of the United States.

What happens if you make the cost of doing business too expensive in a given area?  Either businesses go out of business or they leave for greener pastures.

And, under Obama, the “greener pastures” are anywhere but America.

Tax plan would send jobs offshore, Ballmer says

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said Wednesday. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.

U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas. Obama says he wants to end such incentives to keep foreign profits tax-deferred so that companies would invest them in the U.S.

It’s kind of like New York taxing cigarettes to $11 per pack.  Liberals THINK they will A) pay for their liberal social programs and B) get people to stop smoking.  But they are not living in the real world because what will actually happen is C) people will begin to buy black market cigarettes.

The infamous luxury tax is a great example:

Starting in 1991, Washington levied a 10% luxury tax on cars valued above $30,000, boats above $100,000, jewelry and furs above $10,000 and private planes above $250,000. Democrats like Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share and privately about convincing President George H.W. Bush to renounce his “no new taxes” pledge.

But it wasn’t long before even these die-hard class warriors noticed they’d badly missed their mark. The taxes took in $97 million less in their first year than had been projected — for the simple reason that people were buying a lot fewer of these goods. Boat building, a key industry in Messrs. Mitchell and Kennedy’s home states of Maine and Massachusetts, was particularly hard hit. Yacht retailers reported a 77% drop in sales that year, while boat builders estimated layoffs at 25,000. With bipartisan support, all but the car tax was repealed in 1993, and in 1996 Congress voted to phase that out too. January 1 was disappearance day.

But liberals have to learn the same basic lesson over and over again (which is another way of saying liberals never learn).

Only a fool thinks you get more of something by taxing it.  Only a fool thinks that people won’t change their behavior in order to avoid paying higher taxes.

Which is another way of saying liberals are fools.

Income tax revenues should be a frightening predictor of the future.  Compared to the 2007/2008 average, individual tax revenues were down 40%, and corporate tax revenues were down a stunning 67%! And while these numbers obviously reflect the poor economy, they are also a harbinger of tax sheltering to come as people try every trick to avoid paying taxes that everyone knows will go up and up (just like the taxes on cigarettes).   Obama and the Democrats are going to have to raise taxes across the board in an increasingly desperate attempt to monetize the massive budget gap caused by their massive spending.

And one of those “tricks” will be to simply leave the country to get away from Obama and his frankly stupid policies.

Government, UAW To Own 89% Of GM In Restructuring

April 27, 2009

Game, set, and match to the Statists and the big labor agenda.  From this point forward, the government will be deciding what cars are made, and the unions will literally be negotiating with themselves to determine how much they’ll earn making them.

The government was able to buy it’s way into total control of the auto industry for only a few billion dollars.  A tremendous day for Statism, a dark day indeed for the free market and for individual liberty.

From the Associated Press:

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. could be majority owned by the federal government under a massive restructuring plan laid out Monday that will cut 21,000 U.S. factory jobs by next year and phase out the storied Pontiac brand.

The plan, which includes an offer to swap roughly $27 billion in bond debt for GM stock, would leave current shareholders holding just 1 percent of the century-old company, which is fighting for its life in the worst auto sales climate in 27 years.

GM is living on $15.4 billion in government loans and said Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it envisions receiving an additional $11.6 billion.

GM said that it will ask the government to take more than 50 percent of its common stock in exchange for canceling half the government loans to the company as of June 1. The swap would cancel about $10 billion in government debt.

In addition, GM is offering stock to the United Auto Workers for at least 50 percent of the $20 billion the company must pay into a union run trust that will take over retiree health care expenses starting next year.

If both are successful, the government and UAW health care trust would own 89 percent of GM stock, with the government holding more than a 50 percent stake, CEO Fritz Henderson said in a news conference at GM’s Detroit headquarters.

Henderson said that although the government would own a majority of GM’s outstanding common shares, the Treasury “hasn’t demonstrated interest in running the company,” but would have someone on the board looking out for the taxpayers’ interest. The task force has directed current board chairman Kent Kresa to replace several board members.

This is about as blatant of a case of simultaneously talking out of both sides of one’s mouth as there is.  The government has no interest in running GM; they just want to be able to fire the company’s GM and have the power to decide who is on the board of directors.  You’ve got to give the Obama administration points for sheer chutzpah.  And millions of political cuckolds are literally choosing to believe him rather than trusting their own lying eyes.

There’s a story entitled, “The Devil and Daniel Webster” that describes what can happen when one foolishly makes a deal with the devil.  Unfortunately, the Jabez Stone stand-in (GM) won’t have any Daniel Websters to confound Mr Scratch (brilliantly depicted by Barrack Hussein).  The lesson of this story is that it’s bad enough to do a deal with the devil; but never, NEVER, NEVER do a deal with the government.  You can’t win, and you won’t even be able to lose with dignity.

“The shareholders, the VEBA (health care trust) and the government would want to have a someone on the board of directors,” he said.

Deals with the UAW and the Treasury have yet to be finalized, he said.

The struggling automaker said it will offer 225 shares of common stock for every $1,000 in notes held by bondholders as part of a debt-for-equity swap. Henderson said the objective is to reduce GM’s $27 billion of outstanding public debt by about $24 billion. The company estimates that after the exchange, bondholders would own 10 percent of the company.

That would leave current common stockholders with only 1 percent, GM said. Still, GM shares rose 34 cents, or 21 percent, to $2.03 in midday trading.

The plans, if successful, would reduce GM’s debt by $44 billion from the present figure of about $62.4 billion.

“We would be substantially less-leveraged as a company,” Henderson said.

Kip Penniman Jr., an analyst with KDP Investment Advisors Inc., predicted the exchange offer would fail and GM will file for bankruptcy….

The company also said it plans to reduce its dealership ranks by 42 percent from 2008 to 2010, cutting them from 6,246 to 3,605. When asked how GM would accomplish that, Henderson would say only that the company would be making offers to the dealers in the coming weeks.

Mark LaNeve, vice president of North American sales and marketing, said a big chunk of the dealership reduction — about 450 — would come with the elimination or sale of Saturn, Hummer and Saab. GM would then look to end relationships with dealers that do only a small volume of business with GM, and then move on to other dealers, he said….

The dealer closings are not included in the job loss numbers sited at the beginning of this article, which will easily add well over one hundred thousand more jobs to the low-ball total cited at the beginning of the article.

The same government that couldn’t run a cafeteria without going millions of dollars into the red; the same government that still can’t run a successful post office in spite of the numerous successful businesses that have sprung up all around it; the same government whose model for successful customer service is the Department of Motor Vehicles, is going to be teaming up with the very unions who ran the auto manufacturing industry out of business in the first place to build cars.

The auto industry today; the oil industry tomorrow.  We don’t need oil anyway.  Just ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: It’s devil-juice, for sure.

I wrote an article around a youtube video entitled, “The Car That Will Save The Auto Industry (And The Planet!).”  It’s not a joke any more, given that we elected a bunch of totalitarian Statists to run our country.

Ever heard of the Soviet government-produced Lada?  You haven’t?  Don’t worry; you’ll be getting a chance to own its American equivalent in just a few years.

Obama Surrounds Himself With Acolytes Of A Proven Economic Failure

November 26, 2008

The Obama administration is shaping up to pretty much be a Clinton administration reunion.  Hotair’s story is “Obama administration: Clinton sequel?”  The Politico story is “The Clinton band is back together.”  “Change” means “Just like the Clinton years,” and “new politics” means “Pretty much exactly like the old Clinton machine politics.”  You kind of have to wonder: if people had wanted a “Clinton administration, version II,” why wouldn’t they just have elected Hillary Clinton instead of Barack Obama?

Just in case you’re thinking, “Because a ‘Clinton administration version II’ would have all the bugs worked out,” think again.  There are still plenty of bugs.  And one of those bugs is named Robert Rubin.

According to the International Herald Tribune:

WASHINGTON: It is testament to the star power of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin among many Democrats that as Barack Obama fills out his economic team, a virtual Rubin constellation is taking shape.

The president-elect used the announcement Monday that he was appointing two Rubin protégés, Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers as senior White House economic adviser, to underscore his determination to step aggressively into a economic leadership vacuum in Washington while also maintaining continuity with the Bush administration before the transition of power Jan. 20.

Obama is expected to soon announce the appointment of another Rubin protégé, Peter Orszag, as White House budget director. And even the headhunters for Obama have Rubin ties: Michael Froman, who was Rubin’s chief of staff in the Treasury Department and followed him to Citigroup, and James Rubin, Robert Rubin’s son.

Geithner, Summers and Orszag have all been followers of the economic formula that came to be called Rubinomics: balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation.

But there’s only one problem with this “constellation of Rubin”; the biggest star has plunged to earth in a flaming trail of cosmic disaster.

Or maybe you want to have as your next President’s senior economic adviser the guy who ran one-time powerhouse Citigroup right into the ground.

As the New York Post puts it:

There’s no shortage of blame, but if a vote were taken for mayor of the Citi of Fools, Robert Rubin, the most prominent member of the bank’s board of directors, would almost certainly win hands down.

Rubin, a former treasury secretary, played a key role by leading Citi into a risky strategy of gambling on the weirdest and most exotic investments – like securities backed by subprime mortgages that probably would never be paid.

As long as the money and bonuses kept rolling in, who cared if no one really knew what all these strange securities were worth?

Certainly not Rubin, who was paid an astonishing $62.2 million between 2004 and 2007 – or his fellow bozos on the board.

“Citigroup’s board of directors increasingly resembles a first-class sleeping car on a train wreck that just keeps happening,” said J. Richard Findlay, head of the Centre for Corporate & Public Governance.

“Almost whatever it does, it is too slow and too late.

“It can take months for Citigroup’s directors to clue into what others in the real world have known for some time.”

Noting that Citi’s stock has lost more than $133 billion this year alone, Findlay said, “Citigroup’s board has demonstrated that it has not been on top of any major issue in more than a decade, much less ahead of it.”

Charles Elson, director of the Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, told The Post that Citi’s board consistently misled the public.

“Even up until last week, we were told Citi was a strong institution, but it’s clear now that things are a lot worse than we knew,” he said.

“Where was the board during this? It’s very troubling.”

Thanks to the negligence of board members – who smiled for the cameras as they assured anyone who’d listen that everything was A-OK – taxpayers are now on the hook for $351 billion.

In other words, even as Obama bets the country’s future on “Rubionomics,” the rest of the financial world is starting to recalculate.

Hey, Barack, I hear that GM CEO Rick Wagoner may be on the market pretty soon; why not appoint him to advise you on how you should move forward with the auto industry?  He’s right on board with you: he wants you to socialize the economy, too.

Folk over at the Wall Street Journal are wondering, “Why are Robert Rubin and other directors still employed?

I mean, even the Huffington Post is starting to ask the question: “Is Robert Rubin “Competent” Enough To Guide Team Obama?”  As the story unfolds, and builds the case that Rubin was directly involved in devising the strategy that led to Citigroup’s ruin, the answer becomes pretty clear.

And it is beginning to increasingly occur to investors that the “star economic team” of Rubin acolytes Barack Obama is assembling is pretty much the same bunch of guys who have been part of the crowd that basically turned our economy into the Titanic.

I suppose Barack Obama’s advice to Rubin will be something like, “Just think the exact opposite of absolutely everything you thought as the CEO of Citigroup, and we’ll do great.”

The REAL Cause of the Housing Finance Meltdown

September 22, 2008

What’s the biggest problem today in our financial market?  What caused this disaster?  Was it mismanagement?  Was it lack of regulations?  Was it the “other” political party?

Let me just state it for the record: the problem was greed, pure and simple.

We can see a level of shocking greed in our elite business and investment circles merely by looking at the disparity between worker salary and CEO compensation.  In the “better days” of the 1960s, the average CEO earned around 40 times what the average worker earned.  Today the average CEO makes over 500 times what the average worker earns.  And the gap is widening, year by year.

Why has this happened?  The pro-business side argue that this more than twelve-fold increase of CEO pay relative to the average worker can be attributed to proportionately similar increases in market capitalization of large US companies over the years.  The pro-labor side argues that the decline of unionization has been the primary cause of skyrocketing executive pay.  But again, you can’t just play with numbers and justify this massive disparity in compensation; nor can you claim that unionization would be our savior (particularly in a global economy, where increased unionization of labor would merely result in the increased “outsourcing” of jobs).

And the problem has persisted – and continued to dramatically increase – through periods of dominance of both political parties.

Let me say it again: the problem is rampant, cancerous greed.

And this greed does not merely exist at the top of the corporate and financial food chains.  It is in the masses of Americans who wanted more than their means could provide for, who took out loans they could never hope to repay.

And why has greed become such an enormous problem in American life?

Because our ruling elites have actively discouraged religion for decades, and we are eating the bitter fruit of cultural relativism and practical atheism.

What happens when we discourage belief in a Creator God – who created man in His own image, and holds us morally accountable as His image bearers, and begin to inculcate Darwinism in its place?  We get social Darwinism.  And in social Darwinism, the strong eat the weak, and the rich most assuredly devour the poor.  And why shouldn’t they?  Are they not merely living by the obvious standards of the law of the jungle?  Why not be predatory carnivores?  Isn’t that what we ultimately are?

In the early 1960s, during the Warren era of the Supreme Court, we began to see the Establishment Clause interpreted in a more and more secular humanist and blatantly anti-religious manner.  In the case of the Ten Commandments, it was decided that, “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments.”  And we couldn’t have any of that, could we?

What happens when you divorce religion and morality from society and from public life?  The thought of our founding fathers, the thought of the men who framed and wrote our laws, and the thought of the men who contemplated what made our culture great, continues to teach us if we will but listen:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…”
– George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

“…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
– George Washington, Farewell Address, Sept 17, 1796

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts in the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step, by which they have been advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
– George Washington“Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.”
– John Adams, Letter to Zabdiel Adams, Philadelphia, June 21, 1776

“We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion…  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
– John Adams, Address to the Officers of the Massachusetts Militia, 1798

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness.”
– Samuel Adams, Letter to John Trumbull, October 16, 1778

“The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor…and this alone, that renders us invincible.”
– Patrick Henry, Letter to Archibald Blair, January 8, 1789

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?” -Thomas Jefferson in “Notes on Virginia”

“Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Yes, we did produce a near perfect Republic. But will they keep it, or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the surest way to destruction.”
– Thomas Jefferson”Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”  – Samuel Adams, 1790

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the
happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever by encouraged.
– Northwest Ordinance, Article III, July 13, 1787

“…[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom.  As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
– Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Messrs. The Abbes Chalut and Arnaud, April 17, 1787

“The only foundation for…a republic is to be laid in Religion.”
– Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress

“The only foundation for…a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
– Benjamin Rush, “Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical,” 1798

“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste
so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible.”
– Benjamin Rush, 1798

…I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel…
– Benjamin Franklin

We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages…I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business…”
– Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787

“…how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered… And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?…
– Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention

“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine…Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants.” Foundations Reappear
– James Wilson, “Of the General Principles of Law and Obligation,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Signed U.S. Constitution

“Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”
– Charles Carroll Letter to James McHenry, November 4, 1800.  Signer of the Declaration of Independence and member of the Continental Congress

“To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you
destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated
and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.”
– Daniel Webster, 4th of July, 1800, Oration at Hanover, N.H.

“In my view, the Christian Religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed…no truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian Religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
– Noah Webster, Reply to David McClure, Oct. 25, 1836

“Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God.”
– Gouverneur Morris, 1832

“…as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should,
in all points, conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature…This law of nature…dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority…from this original.”
– William Blackstone, “Commentaries on the Law,” 1723-1780

“Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these.”
– William Blackstone 1723-1780, “Commentaries on the Law,” 1723-1780

“…the moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws…  All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising
or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
– Noah Webster, “History of the United States,” 1833

“It is alleged by men of loose principles, or defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations.  But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness…”
– Noah Webster, “Value of the Bible,” 1834, #302

“The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive one without the other.”
– Alexis de Toqueville, “Democracy in America”

“The religious atmosphere of the country was the first thing that struck me upon my arrival in the U.S. In France, I had seen the spirits of religion and freedom almost always marching in opposite directions, in America, I found them intimately linked together and joined and reigned over the same land…
– Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”

Religion should therefore be considered as the first of their political institutions. From the start, politics and religion have agreed and have not since ceased to do so.”
– Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God…
– Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer, April 30, 1863

…We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us…and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own…
– Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, 1863

…Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
– Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, 1863

… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

Our founding fathers knew full well that religion and morality were inseparable to good governance and to the well-being of a democratic society.  If you throw out God and religion, eventually morality and ethics will likewise go down the drain.  And then you will see more and more greed, worse and worse behavior, more and more crime, which in turn will necessitate more and more regulations and laws and more and more oppressive government in order to restrain an increasingly amoral and frankly bad people.

It should come as no surprise that our society, and frankly our country, began to unravel beginning in the early 1960s, as a series of sweeping policies from unelected secular humanistic judges and liberal politicians began to dramatically alter society.

We’re paying dearly for the amorality that has been increasingly encroaching upon our society.  And we will continue to reap the whirlwind until – like Lincoln – we realize that we have forgotten God.

It’s not yet too late to remember Him.  But I fear that we are on the verge of reaching a tipping point, where the culture just begins to spiral inexorably downward, as though driven by some giant reciprocating engine whose every stroke takes us farther and farther downward into a chaos from which we can never emerge.