Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

If Spain Collapses, Europe Collapses. And If Europe Collapses, America Collapses. And Terrified Spaniards Are Bailing Out Of Spain As I Write This.

September 5, 2012

Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.  Because to paraphrase Obama’s demonic reverend for 25 years, the chickens of socialism have come home to roost:

Fears Rising, Spaniards Pull Out Their Cash and Get Out of Spain
Published in the New York Times: Monday, 3 Sep 2012 | 9:22 PM ET By: Landon Thomas Jr.

After working six years as a senior executive for a multinational payroll-processing company in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Vildosola is cutting his professional and financial ties with his troubled homeland. He has moved his family to a village near Cambridge, England, where he will take the reins at a small software company, and he has transferred his savings from Spanish banks to British banks.

“The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse,” Mr. Vildosola, 38, said last week just hours before boarding a plane to London with his wife and two small children. “There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don’t want to end up holding devalued pesetas.”

Mr. Vildosola is among many who worry that Spain’s economic tailspin could eventually force the country’s withdrawal from the euro and a return to its former currency, the peseta. That dire outcome is still considered a long shot, even if Spain might eventually require a Greek-style bailout. But there is no doubt that many of those in a position to do so are taking their money — and in some cases themselves — out of Spain.

In July, Spaniards withdrew a record 75 billion euros, or $94 billion, from their banks — an amount equal to 7 percent of the country’s overall economic output — as doubts grew about the durability of Spain’s financial system.

The withdrawals accelerated a trend that began in the middle of last year, and came despite a European commitment to pump up to 100 billion euros into the Spanish banking system. Analysts will be watching to see whether the August data, when available, shows an even faster rate of capital flight.

More disturbing for Spain is that the flight is starting to include members of its educated and entrepreneurial elite who are fed up with the lack of job opportunities in a country where the unemployment rate touches 25 percent.

According to official statistics, 30,000 Spaniards registered to work in Britain in the last year, and analysts say that this figure would be many multiples higher if workers without documents were counted. That is a 25 percent increase from a year earlier.

“No doubt there is a little bit of panic,” said José García Montalvo, an economist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. “The wealthy people have already taken their money out. Now it’s the professionals and midrange people who are moving their money to Germany and London. The mood is very, very bad.”

It is possible that the outlook could improve if the European Central Bank’s governing council, which meets Thursday, signals a plan to help shore up the finances of Spain and other euro zone laggards by intervening in the bond markets.

But right now, if anything, Spain’s picture is growing dimmer.

On Friday, the government’s bank rescue fund said it would need to pump up to 5 billion euros into the failed mortgage-lending giant Bankia, which the state seized in May. And on Monday, Andalusia became the latest of Spain’s semiautonomous regions to ask the central government for rescue money.

The wider prospects for the euro zone are also still bleak. Moody’s [MCO 39.72 0.12 (+0.3%) ] Investors Service said on Monday that it had changed its outlook on the AAA rating of the European Union to negative, and that it might downgrade the rating if it decides to cut the ratings on the union’s four largest budget contributors.

Spain’s gathering gloom comes despite a gradual return of capital to banks in Greece and the relative stability of deposits in those other euro zone trouble spots, Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

The continued exodus of money and people from Spain could be a warning to European policy makers that bailing out the country — a step now widely expected — may not stem the panic as long as the Spanish economy remains in a funk.

It was a lesson learned in Greece, where despite successive European bailouts, about a third of deposits have been withdrawn from its banks since 2009, as the public worried that Athens might have to return to the drachma.

Spain is still a far cry from a nearly bankrupt Greece: it has a much larger and more diverse economy, lower levels of debt and a bond market that is still functioning.

It might be more accurate to say that money is leaving Spanish banks at more of a jog than anything close to a sprint.

Although retail and corporate deposits are down 10 percent compared with those of July 2011, the country remains relatively rich in savings, with 2.3 trillion euros in overall deposits, according to data from Morgan Stanley.

But once under way, the flight of bank deposits can easily overwhelm rational facts and analysis.

Setting off the flight was the failure of Bankia, which came as a shock to Spanish savers who had been assured by government officials that the bank was in good shape.

Instead of calming fears, the state takeover prompted comparisons to Argentina in 2001, when peso bank accounts denominated in dollars were frozen in order to stem the flight of deposits.

The corralito, or corral, as the Argentine action is known, has become part of the public conversation in Spain. The million-plus Argentines who have since immigrated to Spain have provided ample and gory stories of desperate legal battles and wiped-out savings.

Eduardo Pérez, a Spaniard who was working in Argentina during that period, remembers the events all too well. He said he lost four-fifths of the money he had kept in an Argentine savings account, though he declined to say how much money was involved.

“Some of my friends lost everything,” Mr. Pérez said. “So yes, everyone in Spain knows about the corralito.”

Recently, Mr. Pérez, who lives in the northern city of Bilbao, removed about a third of his euros from his Spanish savings account and sent them to Singapore, converting them to Singapore dollars.

Having lost his job at a multinational company a few months ago, Mr. Pérez, 48, is trying to make ends meet by focusing on his travel Web site and blog, which aggregate Spanish-language travel videos.

But as the job outlook worsens, he is contemplating following in the path of his savings and starting a new life in Singapore with his wife.

“Two years ago, we never would have thought of this, but now I have real fears that there will be a breakup with the euro,” he said. “And when you keep hearing people saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen’ — well, that is when you have to start worrying.”

Analysts said that the record-high outflow from Spain in July was probably spurred in part by July’s being a taxpaying month for many corporations, which prompted them to withdraw cash from deposit accounts.

Also playing a role were investment funds that moved cash reserves to foreign banks in light of the credit downgrades at Spanish banks.

Still, as the examples of Mr. Vildosola and Mr. Pérez show, individual deposit flight is becoming more pronounced.

Some people are willing to fly to London for the day just to open an account there, as most banks in the city require such transactions to be made in person.

Spanish bankers working for British financial institutions say they have been hit with a barrage of questions about how to open savings accounts in London.

“It seems as if everyone I know in Spain is getting on an easyJet to come to London and open a bank account,” said one such banker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing his company’s policy.

That is what Mr. Vildosola did before he took the more drastic step of moving his family to England.

“It’s sad,” he said. “But I just don’t think there is a future for me in Spain right now.”

This story originally appeared in The New York Times

You want scary?  CNBC reported that the withdrawal rate is equal to 52% of the entire GDP of Spain:

The flight of capital from Spain is now worse than what Indonesia, one of the hardest hit countries during the Asian financial crisis, experienced in the late 1990s, according to analysis by Nomura.

On a three-month rolling basis, portfolio and investment outflows from Spain totaled 52.3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), (that’s) more than double the outflows from Indonesia, which reached 23 percent of GDP at the time of the Asian crisis, Jens Nordvig, global head of G10 FX strategy at Nomura wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.

Spaniards and foreign investors have been pulling money out of Spanish banks as the economy has worsened in recent months, and Nordvig said without the single currency and the flows from the ECB, Spain would already be going through a major currency crisis. (Read More: Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies)

We would stress that the broad-based nature of the capital flight, which involves both banking claims and securities and flows from both residents and non-residents, makes for a rather extreme overall outflow, and one that raises serious concerns about the implications for banking sector stability and economic growth,” Nordvig wrote.

For the record, the French are fleeing France and they are making it very clear that they are fleeing France because of the socialism that France just chose for itself:

Indigestion for ‘les Riches’ in a Plan for Higher Taxes
By LIZ ALDERMAN
Published: August 7, 2012 763 Comments

PARIS — The call to Vincent Grandil’s Paris law firm began like many others that have rolled in recently. On the line was the well-paid chief executive of one of France’s most profitable companies, and he was feeling nervous.

President François Hollande is vowing to impose a 75 percent tax on the portion of anyone’s income above a million euros ($1.24 million) a year. “Should I be preparing to leave the country?” the executive asked Mr. Grandil.

The lawyer’s counsel: Wait and see. For now, at least.

“We’re getting a lot of calls from high earners who are asking whether they should get out of France,” said Mr. Grandil, a partner at Altexis, which specializes in tax matters for corporations and the wealthy. “Even young, dynamic people pulling in 200,000 euros are wondering whether to remain in a country where making money is not considered a good thing.”

A chill is wafting over France’s business class as Mr. Hollande, the country’s first Socialist president since François Mitterrand in the 1980s, presses a manifesto of patriotism to “pay extra tax to get the country back on its feet again.” The 75 percent tax proposal, which Parliament plans to take up in September, is ostensibly aimed at bolstering French finances as Europe’s long-running debt crisis intensifies.

Europe is imploding.  Spain is one of the PIIGS (the ‘S’ in PIIGS, in fact) who are leading that collapse.  And Obama is pushing for an economic and environmentalist model that most copies collapsing Spain.

And liberals are DETERMINED to do the same thing here.  Go to Illinois, the king of the deadbeat states.  You watch a 60 Minute Story and you will be PISSED at what slimebag Democrat cockroaches have done.  Go to California, where Democrats have created a $500 BILLION unfunded pension black hole of doom.  Look at America under Obama and take note that America just passed the $16 trillion mark that was $10 trillion when Bush left office.  Barack Obama DEMONIZED George Bush for increasing the debt by $4 trillion over eight years – look what that Marxist weasel has done in HALF the time by piling on $6 trillion in debt in only FOUR years!!!  Oh, and America’s REAL debt isn’t a paltry $16 trillion; it’s actually a supermassive $222 trillion.  And all that debt was created by Democrat boondoggle-takeovers of what should have been privatized.

Democrats have murdered America.  And we are merely waiting for our turn to completely implode before the Antichrist comes and the Book of Revelation prophecy becomes the news story account of the end of human history.  You can hear the hoofbeats of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse riding hard toward us even now.

The last couple of years, as Europe has slowly imploded, the dollar has been given a boost as terrorized Europeans seek some haven from their weakening Euro.  But if Europe goes – and it WILL go – America will fall right afterward because Europe is our largest trading partner and there won’t be anybody to buy our stuff from us.  And because Obama has spent the last four years racing us toward that same direction and that same catastrophic collapse.  And when America goes the dollar will flush down the toilet right down with it.  And you better take a look at the terror on the faces of Spaniards; because YOU will have that same look on YOUR face soon thanks to your vote for Obama and Democrats in 2008.

In 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency, 300,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy.  In this last failed year of Obama’s failed presidency, 1.4 million – very nearly FIVE TIMES as many – businesses have filed for bankruptcy.  If we vote for Obama, we vote to die as a nation just as Spain previously voted to die and just as Europe previously voted to die.

Everything about this failed president is Marxist – including his damn Marxist slogans:

New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism
By Victor Morton – The Washington Times
April 30, 2012, 06:56PM

The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word “Forward” with the “O” having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign’s official beginning.

Vote for Obama.  March “forward” right into hell, you fools.  Because that’s what you’ve got to look “forward” to under your demonic false messiah Obama.

You just watch what will happen to the DOW the day Spain goes the way of the Dodo bird.  And you realize that we’re going down hard in our own day of reckoning because we chose the same stupid and immoral course that Spain chose.

What’s Obama’s “strategy” to deal with this crisis???  To try to call on Europe to not collapse until after he’s reelected so he won’t have to face the voters’ wrath over what hell has befallen America under his failed leadership.

The collapse is coming.  Democrats gave us that when they voted for Obama and let him kill America with his socialism.  The Antichrist is coming.  He’ll be riding in on his white horse to save the day from the disaster and collapse caused by the previous false messiah Obama.  And Democrats will welcome the beast even more enthusiastically than they welcomed Obama and they will worship him and they will take his mark.

Get ready for hell on earth.  And then get ready for hell itself.  Because the beast is coming.

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After Democrats’ Huge Tax Hike, Illinois Has Lost More Jobs Than Any Other State (Contrast With Texas Miracle)

September 1, 2011

Taxes work great.  Just ask all the newly unemployed people in Illinois:

After Quinn’s Big Tax Hike, Illinois Has Lost More Jobs Than Any Other State
Mike “Mish” Shedlock, Global Economic Trend Analysis|Aug. 31, 2011, 1:27 PM

Thanks to Illinois governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois legislature Illinois Loses Most Jobs in the Nation

In a trend that continues to worsen, more Illinoisans found themselves unemployed in the month of July.

Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July. The report also said Illinois’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent. This marks the third consecutive month of increases in the unemployment rate.

Illinois started to create jobs as the national economy began to recover. But just when Illinois’s economy seemed to be turning around, lawmakers passed record tax increases in January of this year. Since then, Illinois’s employment numbers have done nothing but decline.

When it comes to putting people back to work, Illinois is going backwards. Since January, Illinois has dropped 89,000 people from its employment rolls.

A combination of high taxes, overspending and red tape do nothing but chase away job creators and leave too many citizens without jobs. Springfield needs to act now and reverse course.

Inquiring minds may also wish to check out the foreclosure pipeline in Illinois, 7th worst in the nation at 128 months (over 10 years).

See First Time Foreclosure Starts Near 3-Year Lows, However Bad News Overwhelms; Foreclosure Pipeline in NY is 693 months and 621 Months in NJ for more details on the mortgage mess everywhere.

Illinois Unemployment Rises from 9.1% to 9.5% after Tax Hike

Please listen to CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute John Tillman on WLS AM on the Fiasco in Illinois. It is an excellent interview that gets much better as it progresses.

A tip of the hat to John Tillman for an excellent, must-hear interview.

I have little to add to this miserable report other than to emphasize Pat Quinn is the worst governor in the nation. He will not be re-elected. Unfortunately, taxpayers will suffer the consequences of his stupidity for the full length of his term.

Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

If you want to get out of this economic malaise, elect Governor Rick Perry of Texas.  Rick Perry and conservative Texas created nearly half the jobs in the nation since our so-called “recovery” began.

Because the former Senator from Illinois simply doesn’t have the faintest clue about what the hell he’s doing.

Do you want America to be more like Texas or more like Illinois?

As Obama Flies To Chicago For Extravagant Birthday To Schmooze With Rich, Consider This

August 4, 2011

Obama jetted off to Chicago for a birthday fundraiser event to schmooze with people who are willing to pay $38,500 to attend, plus another $10,000 for a photo with their messiah.

Obama has averaged a fundraiser every three days since he announced his re-election campaign.  The event marked Obama’s 37th fundraising event since April 4.  Versus George Bush, who’d done 7 by this point.  But it was Bush who was a money-grubbing whore who sold the political system, of course, according to the leftwing narrative.

Behind the scenes, you can see why Obama must constantly fundraise: media propaganda aside, his numbers are actually pretty abysmal.

Here are some dismal facts about the city Obama is having his lavish celebration in:

The day Obama signed the debt ceiling increase into law (no thanks to him – the man posturing as our “leader” never came up with a single plan of his own) he met with his posse of union thugs and discussed how he could give them other people’s money in exchange for their help giving him other people’s votes.

Consider the effects of that incestuous relationship to date in Obama’s “birthday bash city”:

Illinois Pensions in Worst Shape of Nation: Report
Updated: Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011, 9:04 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011, 9:04 AM CDT
FOX Chicago News

Chicago – A new report shows Illinois still has a big pension problem on its hands despite the passage of a record income tax increase.
 
The Pew Center on States reported Illinois has only set aside 51 cents for every dollar it has promised to pay out.
 
That is the worst ratio of any state in America.
 
Pension costs in the next budget will total $4.2 billion, almost two thirds of the money the state will take in from the recent tax increase.

That’s hardly all to say about the disaster that Democrats have given Illinois:

How much worse can Illinois’ financial mess become?
19 July 2011
[This article was syndicated via RSS from Illinois Review. The views represented do not necessarily represent those of the Chicago Daily Observer.]
by Nancy Thorner
 
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois ended Fiscal Year 2010 in worst financial shape than any other state in the country, with a total state debt of $120,743,392 when compiling outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010.
 
How do Illinois legislators and officials propose to change the direction of this state from its deplorable and unsustainable financial situation to one of gradual financial recovery?
 
The signing by Governor Pat Quinn of the FY2012 budget on June 30, 2011 only augmented Illinois’s tenuous financial condition.

You really should go and plop down fifty large to celebrate Obama’s birthday.  After all, he and his pals have give you the gift of hell.

Want To Know How To Balance The Budget And Have Full Employment? Ask Republicans Who Are DOING It

July 18, 2011

Nebraska, a state governed by Republican conservative Dave Heineman.

First there’s the unemployment rate of 4.1%.  Second lowest in the entire nation (behind fellow Republican state North Dakota, for what that’s worth):

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say Nebraska’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in May, a drop of a tenth of a point from April’s 4.2 percent.

Then there’s the fact that this Republican state has a balanced budget.  And how did it balance the budget and get low unemployment?

[M]aybe there is something Washington can learn from Nebraska. How did Nebraska, with an estimated budget shortfall of almost $1 billion November 2010, get to a unanimous decision May 2011 and approve a balanced biennial budget of $6.9 billion?  A balanced budget that does not raise taxes and leaves nearly $300 million in the state’s cash reserves.

Some might presume that life is difficult for Nebraskans, what with their state government required to balance the budget and not allowed to borrow.  Actually Nebraska  is ranked #10 by Lifestyle Statistics, it was 3rd in top jobs behind North Dakota and Texas, and to top it off, the unemployment rate for Nebraska is 4.1%.

How did it happen? Strong leadership. A state constitution that requires a balanced budget and doesn’t allow for borrowing. Tough decisions made during tough times, not delayed.  Priorities identified. Discussions. Debates. Negotiations…and the use of a red line.

An interesting quote from Gov. Dave Heineman occurs midway through this snippet from an article entitled, “Caterpillar Threatens To Leave Illinois Over Taxes“:

“If Illinois doesn’t want your business, Texas does,” wrote Rick Perry, the governor of that state.

The governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman, wrote: “In Nebraska, we balance our budget by controlling spending, not by raising taxes.”

An official in the South Dakota governor’s office chimed in: “In South Dakota, you make a profit, and you keep your profit.”

The Illinois tax increase will cost Caterpillar’s 23,000 employees in the state about $40 million this year, said Jim Dugan, the company’s chief spokesman. Higher taxes make it harder for Caterpillar to attract and retain engineers, accountants and other employees, Dugan said. He added that Caterpillar’s corporate taxes in the state also will increase but provided no estimate on the added cost.

“The state unfortunately continues to put off the tough decisions” about potential reductions in government spending and pension costs, Dugan said. He said Caterpillar was offering to advise the governor on cost-cutting based on the company’s own experience chopping pay and laying off workers during the 2008-09 recession

First, liberal Democrat Illinois is a hellhole.  And that’s because Democrats own that state.  Some interesting figures: 4 out of the last 7 governors of Illinois are convicted felons.  It’s government union pension program is the biggest disaster in the nation.  It’s major city Chicago is so filled with gang violence that even Democrats have been pleading for the National Guard to come in.  And, if that isn’t bad enough, Democrats are so dishonest that they just altered their congressional map to undo the clear will of the people.  That’s what Democrats bring.

All over the nation we’ve got cities that have voted Democrat for a hundred years.  And they are all hell holes.  While a jackass is in many ways an accurate symbol of what it means to be a Democrat, it would really be far more fitting if the symbol of the Democrat Party was a black hole surrounded by the white-hot fires of hell.  Because “Democrat” is really a portmanteau for “Demonic Bureaucrat.”  And hell is what demonic bureaucrats invariably bring.  Along with socialism and totalitarian control.

And with that said, did someone say Texas?  Did someone say Rick Perry?  Oh, that’s right, I haven’t talked about Texas and Republican Rick Perry yet.

From a liberal writing in the Los Angeles Times:

For the last few weeks, I’ve been unable to get a startling statistic out of my head: Since the recession officially ended, Texas has created more than 4 of every 10 new jobs in America.

That’s right, Texas: the reddest of red states, home to gun lovers and school textbooks that openly question whether the Founding Fathers intended for the separation of church and state. I am no ideologue. Still, whenever I get political, I tend to tilt reflexively to the left, making the jobs figure a bit disconcerting at first.

But there’s no escaping it. The number is real. Which means that if you care about putting people back to work at a time when nearly 14 million in this country are unemployed, maybe Texas has something to teach us.

[…]

According to the Dallas Fed, Texas generated 43% of the net new jobs in the U.S. from June 2009 through May 2011 — an enormous share when you consider that the Lone Star State accounts for about 8% of the nation’s economy.

So let’s see.  Nebraksa is flyover country as far as liberals are concerned; they prefer their completely failed major metropolitan areas that their completely failed polices have turned into complete failures for a good solid century.  But Nebraska – with it’s 4.1% unemployment rate (second only to ANOTHER state governed by Republicans) and it’s balanced budget – has the last laugh.  It’s kind of like that “Annoy a Liberal – Work hard and be happy” bumper sticker – only with a whole entire STATE.  If you want to try to weasel your way out of contemplating Nebraska’s success by arguing that it’s a small state and it’s low tax, spend-on-a-budget ways wouldn’t translate to a large state, let’s consider Texas and the 43% of ALL U.S. JOBS it has created, instead.

Basically no matter how you slice it, conservatives rule and liberals drool.

We’re coming upon a major decision: do we want four more years of the hellhole of God damn America, or do we want to pursue the economic policies that actually have the advantage of WORKING???

[Update:] Oh, my goodness, I forgot to point out that – after all the unhinged rabid liberal HATE that came out in Wisconsin – Governor Scott Walker was able to sign a balanced budget with no business-hostile tax increases.

Obama Says ‘We Don’t Need A Balanced Budget Amendment.’ What We Don’t Need Is This Fool-In-Chief

July 16, 2011

Barack Obama is on the record saying, “We don’t need a balanced budget amendment,” he said. “We simply need to make these tough choices and be willing to take on our bases.”  Obama says, “I think it’s important for everybody to understand all of us believe we need to get to the point where we can balance the budget,” Mr. Obama said at a White House press conference. “We don’t need a constitutional amendment to do that.”

We desperately need a balanced budget amendment.  What we DON’T need is Barack Hussein Obama and his endless rhetorical posturing.

The national debt that is acknowledged is currently more than $14.5 trillion.

Let’s take a brief trip down national debt memory lane.  Now, let’s see.  When Ronald Reagan left office, the national debt was $2.6 trillion.  By the time Bush I left office, the national debt was $ trillion.  By the time Bill Clinton left office, the national debt was $5.6 trillion (which is quite strange, given the constant claim that Clinton balanced the budget).  By the time Bush II left office, the national debt was $10.6 trillion.  It is currently at over $14.5 trillion, and Obama is not even through his first term yet.  He wants it increased to more than $16 trillion now.  Again, before the end of his first term.

And, of course that’s actually NOTHING.  $14.5 trillion, or even $16 trillion, is actually really chump change to how much the United States REALLY owes.  Read this figure published in a peer reviewed International Monetary Fund publication article that provides the grim reality:

News from globeandmail.com
The scary real U.S. government debt
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
NEIL REYNOLDS
Ottawa — reynolds.globe@gmail.com

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP. “Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”

Writing in the September issue of Finance and Development, a journal of the International Monetary Fund, Prof. Kotlikoff says the IMF itself has quietly confirmed that the U.S. is in terrible fiscal trouble – far worse than the Washington-based lender of last resort has previously acknowledged. “The U.S. fiscal gap is huge,” the IMF asserted in a June report. “Closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 per cent of U.S. GDP.”

This sum is equal to all current U.S. federal taxes combined. The consequences of the IMF’s fiscal fix, a doubling of federal taxes in perpetuity, would be appalling – and possibly worse than appalling.

Prof. Kotlikoff says: “The IMF is saying that, to close this fiscal gap [by taxation], would require an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal income taxes, our corporate taxes and all other federal taxes.

“America’s fiscal gap is enormous – so massive that closing it appears impossible without immediate and radical reforms to its health care, tax and Social Security systems – as well as military and other discretionary spending cuts.”

He cites earlier calculations by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that concluded that the United States would need to increase tax revenue by 12 percentage points of GDP to bring revenue into line with spending commitments. But the CBO calculations assumed that the growth of government programs (including Medicare) would be cut by one-third in the short term and by two-thirds in the long term. This assumption, Prof. Kotlikoff notes, is politically implausible – if not politically impossible.

One way or another, the fiscal gap must be closed. If not, the country’s spending will forever exceed its revenue growth, and no one’s real debt can increase faster than his real income forever.

Prof. Kotlikoff uses “fiscal gap,” not the accumulation of deficits, to define public debt. The fiscal gap is the difference between a government’s projected revenue (expressed in today’s dollar value) and its projected spending (also expressed in today’s dollar value). By this measure, the United States is in worse shape than Greece.

Prof. Kotlikoff is a noted economist. He is a research associate at the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a former senior economist with then-president Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has served as a consultant with governments around the world. He is the author (or co-author) of 14 books: Jimmy Stewart Is Dead (2010), his most recent book, explains his recommendations for reform.

He says the U.S. cannot end its fiscal crisis by increasing taxes. He opposes further stimulus spending because it will simply increase the debt. But he does suggest reforms that would help – most of which would require a significant withering away of the state. He proposes that the government give every person an annual voucher for health care, provided that the total cost not exceed 10 per cent of GDP. (U.S. health care now consumes 16 per cent of GDP.) He suggests the replacement of all current federal taxes with a single consumption tax of 18 per cent. He calls for government-sponsored personal retirement accounts, with the government making contributions only for the poor, the unemployed and people with disabilities.

Without drastic reform, Prof. Kotlikoff says, the only alternative would be a massive printing of money by the U.S. Treasury – and hyperinflation.

As former president Bill Clinton once prematurely said, the era of big government is over. In the coming years, the U.S. will almost certainly be compelled to deconstruct its welfare state.

Prof. Kotlikoff doesn’t trust government accounting, or government regulation. The official vocabulary (deficit, debt, transfer payment, tax, borrowing), he says, is vulnerable to official manipulation and off-the-books deceit. He calls it “Enron accounting.” He also calls it a lie. Here is an economist who speaks plainly, as the legendary straight-shooting film star Jimmy Stewart did for an earlier generation.

But Prof. Kotlikoff’s economic genre isn’t the Western. It’s the horror story – “and scarier,” one reviewer of his book suggests, than Stephen King.

And what’s Obama’s response to all of this?

 

We are so screwed it is absolutely unreal.

And that’s just what the UNITED STATES government owes.  Let’s consider the leftist People’s Republic of Californication and see what IT’S actual debt is:

California’s $500-billion pension time bomb
April 06, 2010|By David Crane

The staggering amount of unfunded debt stands to crowd out funding for many popular programs. Reform will take something sadly lacking in the Legislature: political courage.

The state of California’s real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported.

That’s the finding from a study released Monday by Stanford University’s public policy program, confirming a recent report with similar, stunning findings from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

Most other states are facing catastrophic implosion due to government union workers massive unfunded pension liabilities.  Take Obama’s own state of Illinois, for instance.

Yeah, you’re right, Mr. Fool-in-Chief.  We don’t need a balanced budget amendment.  Let’s go with your plan instead.  Let’s dig our own graves, slit our own throats, and then fall into a hole never again to crawl out.  Let’s sacrifice our children’s children’s children’s children and put the weight of a debt they will never be able to possibly repay as we continue to selfishly and wickedly vote ourselves benefits at their expense.  Let’s guarantee that the United States becomes a banana republic in the next fifteen years.

We’re going to collapse soon.  When it happens, it will seem to come out of the blue, but we will have been working steadily toward our own doom for generations.

Obama’s Keynesian approach has utterly and completely failed.  And only fools refuse to see that by now.

The beast is coming.  And Barack Obama, the Democrat Party and every single fool who votes for these fools, will be his useful idiots.

Obama Causes Official End Of The Nation Of Makers

April 4, 2011

This is something that conservatives saw coming from the very fist days of the Obama administration.  From Cato, February 26, 2009:

Cato begins that article with a quote from Obama from a couple of days previous: “As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President’s Day… Not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t. Not because I’m not mindful of the massive debt we’ve inherited — I am.”

But like virtually everything else, it was a lie.  Obama’s own proposed massive increase in federal spending proved that.  And since Obama took office, he has spent as no government has ever spent in the history of the human race.

And thus is it utterly no surprise at all to anyone but ignorant fools that we are now here:

APRIL 1, 2011
We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers
More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

By STEPHEN MOORE
If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida’s ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York’s.

Even Michigan, at one time the auto capital of the world, and Pennsylvania, once the steel capital, have more government bureaucrats than people making things. The leaders in government hiring are Wyoming and New Mexico, which have hired more than six government workers for every manufacturing worker.

Now it is certainly true that many states have not typically been home to traditional manufacturing operations. Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, for example. But in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers. West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners. New York is the financial capital of the world—at least for now. That sector employs roughly 670,000 New Yorkers. That’s less than half of the state’s 1.48 million government employees.

Don’t expect a reversal of this trend anytime soon. Surveys of college graduates are finding that more and more of our top minds want to work for the government. Why? Because in recent years only government agencies have been hiring, and because the offer of near lifetime security is highly valued in these times of economic turbulence. When 23-year-olds aren’t willing to take career risks, we have a real problem on our hands. Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn’t pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.

The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment. It is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we’ve gotten.

Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to “win the future.” The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

California?  Unions?  Consider this from the Los Angeles Times:

California’s $500-billion pension time bomb
The staggering amount of unfunded debt stands to crowd out funding for many popular programs. Reform will take something sadly lacking in the Legislature: political courage.
April 06, 2010|By David Crane

The state of California’s real unfunded pension debt clocks in at more than $500 billion, nearly eight times greater than officially reported.

That’s the finding from a study released Monday by Stanford University’s public policy program, confirming a recent report with similar, stunning findings from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago.

The People’s Republic of Kalifornia was cursed with a R.I.N.O. governor who championed abortion, a $6 porker giveway for stem cell research, gay marriage, and a whole bunch of other liberal crap.  And the legislature is one of the most overwhelmingly Democrat in the country.  And the only things that have changed is that the People’s Republic is now officially under a Democrat Governor (Jerry Brown) and they actually added a Democrat seat in the legislature.

Illinois was described by NBC as having the worst unfunded pension crisis in the country.  Maybe they didn’t know how bad California’s really was when they reported that.  But more likely, they probably had no idea how bad Illinois’ problem truly was and is, either.

The United States is so screwed it is absolutely unreal.  And that is largely due to unions and the Democrats who support those unions in exchange for votes.  It’s an unAmerican scheme that works like this: labor unions give Democrats big campaign donations and provide the muscle and infrastructure for the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote campaign.  And in exchange, Democrats give unions other peoples’ money to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.  They don’t give a damn about the 88% of Americans who AREN’T in unions.

Unions are parasites that have sucked the blood out of every industry they have ever seized their vile little talons onto.  Autos, airlines, manufacturing, education government at every possible level – you name it; they’ve ruined it.  And the rest of America is the host that the parasites feed off of.  And Democrats care about the parasites, and not one damn about the rapidly dying host.

And Barack Obama is far and away the most pro-union president ever.  And that was true BEFORE he signed three new hard-core union-agenda executive orders into law.

Obama has just gotten caught red-handed using his ObamaCare to give huge payouts to unions and corporations that advanced his agenda (fascism alert).  Remember that G.E. – one of the corporate beneficiaries of ObamaCare, not only paid zero taxes but actually got money from the taxpayers.

Do you remember Obama’s preacher for over twenty years said, “No, no, no, not God bless America.  God DAMN America.”  And then said that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost”???

You need to understand our actual situation and look at our real debt to understand that AMERICA is the chicken – and Obama has cut its head off and thrown it into a pot of boiling water:

News from globeandmail.com
The scary real U.S. government debt
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NEIL REYNOLDS

Ottawa — reynolds.globe@gmail.com

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP. “Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”

Writing in the September issue of Finance and Development, a journal of the International Monetary Fund, Prof. Kotlikoff says the IMF itself has quietly confirmed that the U.S. is in terrible fiscal trouble – far worse than the Washington-based lender of last resort has previously acknowledged. “The U.S. fiscal gap is huge,” the IMF asserted in a June report. “Closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 per cent of U.S. GDP.”

This sum is equal to all current U.S. federal taxes combined. The consequences of the IMF’s fiscal fix, a doubling of federal taxes in perpetuity, would be appalling – and possibly worse than appalling. […]

Without drastic reform, Prof. Kotlikoff says, the only alternative would be a massive printing of money by the U.S. Treasury – and hyperinflation.

As former president Bill Clinton once prematurely said, the era of big government is over. In the coming years, the U.S. will almost certainly be compelled to deconstruct its welfare state.

Prof. Kotlikoff doesn’t trust government accounting, or government regulation. The official vocabulary (deficit, debt, transfer payment, tax, borrowing), he says, is vulnerable to official manipulation and off-the-books deceit. He calls it “Enron accounting.” He also calls it a lie.

Every single one of these massive entitlements that is poisoning America they way Japan’s tsunami has poisoned her nuclear reactors with toxic meltdowns came from the vile minds of DEMOCRATS.  And it is DEMOCRATS who will cause the once mighty America to shortly go the way of the Dodo bird.

Social Security was a ponzi scheme from the outset.  And the only thing that has kept it going was that it is a really, really BIG ponzi scheme.  We find out that FDR – who wanted a massive takeover of the private sector by the federal government – worked hard to kill an amendment offered by a Democrat (Senator Bennett Champ Clark): ” It would have allowed workers to go with the new government system or, if they wished, to have their money put into a private-insurance plan. Either way, the contributions would be mandatory.”  Had that amendment been allowed to pass, it would have forced the government’s filfthy paws off the “trust fund” that they subsequently ripped off for the next seventy years and beyond:

We wouldn’t be saddled with today’s fiscal disaster. Hundreds of billions of dollars that politicians have “borrowed” from the Social Security trust fund for all sorts of pork spending would not have disappeared. Instead, all that capital would have been invested in the economy, leaving us a lot more prosperous. Moreover, the Clark Amendment would have been a model for state pension plans, which are now bankrupting local governments, as well as for other nations.

There was a much better idea from the private sector – but in the end Democrats wouldn’t have it.  They wanted their government fascist control instead.  They didn’t care about the American people; they wanted to be able to raid those retirement funds for their own partisan ideological ends.

Then there was the much more colossal failure known as Medicare.  Ronald Reagan famously warned America about that fraud in 1961:

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

Medicare now represents the largest share of our unfunded liabilities today.  The private market could have done a much better job at a much lower cost, but again, Democrats wanted socialism, and they were hell bent upon getting their socialism.

Now we face collectivist bankruptcy.  We were previously told that if current trends held, Medicare would go broke by 2017.  But current trends didn’t hold, because Obama robbed Medicare of $500 billion to fund the ObamaCare boondobble that bears his name.

As the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  And voilà, here we are.

When it comes to how John F. Kennedy viewed the socialist redistribution of wealth via “progressive taxation policies,” you will find that Kennedy was solidly on the side of fiscal conservatives today.  As it stands, today’s vile Democrats are fundamentally at odds with the man widely recognized to be the greatest Democrat president.

As we speak, Republicans are trying to cut a tiny fraction of the bloated, totally-out-of-control federal budget.  And Democrats are demonizing them at every turn for it.  Because Democrats have been using government spending to massively pad the coffers of the government-sector unions who make their elections possible.  And to be a Democrat means you don’t give a damn about America’s future; you only selfishly want – to put it in John F. Kennedy’s famous words – “what your country can do for you.”

God HAS damned America in the person of Jeremiah Wright’s parishoner for 23 years.  And the most ignorant generation in America’s history voted for it.

Wisonsin Democrats Fled To Illinois To Avoid Democracy. What’s THAT State Like With Union Pension Problems???

February 22, 2011

Where are the Democrat politicians who literally fled the state so they wouldn’t have to perform their democratic duty as members of a democracy and simply show up to VOTE?  You know, represent the people by voting like people who aren’t Marxist-fascists are supposed to do?

From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinal:

The high political drama comes as the standoff on the politically charged bill drags on, Democratic senators hide out in Illinois, a throng of tens of thousands demonstrate at the Capitol, and national figures weigh in on the events.

Now why are they doing that?  Because Republicans are trying to deal with the massive state budget crisis and union pensions that have crippled the state.  And Democrats who ran on “hope and change” are willing to violate the democratic process in every single way, shape or form to preserve the utterly failed status quo.

Okay.  So Wisconsin Democrats don’t want to deal with the pension crisis in their financial broke state and so they ran off to Illinois.

What’s going on to Illinois?  I mean, surely when you flee to a better state, the state of affairs should at least be better than the one you’re fleeing from, right???

Wrong.  Thanks exclusively to Democrats – including one Barack Hussein Obama who helped in the destruction both as a state senator and as a US Senator – Illinois is on the verge of total collapse:

Illinois public pension fund crisis worsens
Dennis Byrne on 11.01.10 at 11:59 AM

Before you vote on Tuesday, you should read this to get a better understanding of one of the biggest problems facing Illinois.

Illinois’ unfunded pension liability, already the worst in the nation, is expected to spiral to even higher levels because the financially desperate funds are revising their investment goals downward.

The funds are desperate on more than one front. They are not getting their monthly contributions from the state on a timely basis. And those delays are forcing them to sell fund assets at an annualized rate approaching 10 percent to pay benefits to retirees. The one-two punch is deflating their bottom line.

Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois Legislature don’t intend to sit around and do nothing. What they’re likely to do, a mere two days after the election, is what they’ve always done: Borrow more.

The rising price tags for Illinois taxpayers come as the Illinois Senate is set to reconvene Thursday, atGov. Pat Quinn’s request, to consider whether to borrow to meet annual pension obligations once again. The state would issue bonds for up to $4.1 billion in state contributions to the five funds in fiscal 2011, which began July 1.

The move was approved by the House on May 25 but was not called for a vote in the Senate becauseDemocrats were not able to get the full support of their ranks needed for a three-fifths majority, and theRepublicans were not willing to step in.

Some observers say not much has changed in the intervening time.

But if the state does decide to borrow again, it will come atop more than $13 billion in previous borrowing for annual pension obligations, a portion of which ended up getting skimmed off for operating expenses during the tenure of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

So, here’s the deal: A lame duck legislature and possibly a lame duck governor plan to put us deeper in debt. Even before the smoke from the election clears. Sound familiar?

Here are the basics on Illinois’ three largest retirement funds.

What did these Marxist Wisconsin Democrats do?  They ran home to their big fat Marxist Mama in Chicago.  And that big fat woman will wrap her big fat flabby arms around her children from Wisconsin and welcome them into the pig trough of union and big Democrat machine money she calls her home, sweet home.

Don’t forget the hellhole the Wisconsin Democrats ran to.  Because Democrats all over the country will be bringing the mega-disasters of states like Illinois to your door if you give them the chance.

As Democrats Play Games With The Democratic Process, It Turns Out Republicans Can Play Games, Too

February 21, 2011

First the facts:

Madison — As the budget stalemate drags on between unions and Gov. Scott Walker over his plan to repeal most public worker union bargaining rights, the National Guard has toured at least one state prison in recent days.

Last week, a half dozen National Guard members in plainclothes toured Redgranite Correctional Institution, said Lenny Wright, president of the AFSCME Local 281, which represents the prison’s correctional officers.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie initially said the National Guard had not visited Redgranite, but half an hour later confirmed it had happened. He described the visit as routine, saying unit commanders regularly visit prisons to understand how they operate.

“It wasn’t any specific contingency planning,” he said, referring to any possible strike.

Wright said prior to the tour he had already told the prison warden that his union local would not strike or have its members call in sick to disrupt security at the prison. But Wright said that the National Guard members had toured the prison with its security director and that he believed the purpose of the tour was to make sure the National Guard was ready to take over in the event of a strike.

“They were in plainclothes but they were there,” Wright said.

Daniel Meehan, president of the union local at Waupun Correctional Institution, said he’d heard the National Guard visited Redgranite and another facility in recent days.

Meehan said correctional officers – likely hundreds of them – would come to the Capitol in uniform to protest the bill. He said no officers would miss work for the protest, but those on vacation would come.

Walker has said that the National Guard is ready to deploy if needed to step in for essential public safety workers who don’t show up for their jobs. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections could not be reached immediately Monday for comment.

Lt. Col. Jackie Guthrie, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin National Guard, said the National Guard does routinely visit Wisconsin prisons to prepare for providing “essential services” in the event of a work stoppage. Guthrie emphasized that Walker had not called up or deployed the National Guard.

Also on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) threatened to force a vote soon on a bill that would require voters to show ID at the polls, in a move meant to lure Democrats boycotting the Senate back to Wisconsin.

The move is the latest pressure point Republicans are talking about pushing to end a standoff over a bill that would take away union rights from most public workers. Senate Democrats vacated to Illinois on Thursday to prevent a vote on the bill, and they’ve been there ever since.

The Capitol drama is moving into its second week, as protesters again fill the rotunda and Capitol grounds. Monday’s protesters were dominated by those opposed to the bill, after a weekend on demonstrations that also drew bill supporters to Madison.

While Fitzgerald raised the possibility of passing the photo ID bill, absent Senate Democrats have their own leverage against Republicans. The bill on union rights is included in a sweeping budget repair bill that also includes a $165 million bond refinancing that must be acted on by Friday to make sure the state meets its bills in the fiscal year that runs through June 30.

Without this refinancing element, the state would have to take other steps such as cuts to health care programs to keep its budget balanced this year. Walker and other leading Republicans are holding firm despite the deadline.

“Regardless of Friday’s deadline, Governor Walker is going to balance the state budget,” Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said in a statement. “If Senate Democrats remain out of state-. . . it will force more aggressive and painful spending cuts in the very near future.”

On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on measures to honor the Green Bay Packers and extend a dairy and livestock tax credit. Fitzgerald said the ID bill could come another day if Democrats don’t return. Without Democrats present, the Republicans have enough members to be able to hold votes on non-financial bills but not on a fiscal bill such as a budget.

Republicans took control of the Legislature and governor’s office after the November elections, and they have widely been expected to pass the bill on photo ID. It is one of the more controversial measures that will be considered, and Democrats would want to show up to make their voices heard as the two sides disagree over the extent of voter fraud and the importance of preserving voter rights.

Republicans have 19 seats in the Senate, but 20 votes are needed for bills that spend money. As written, the photo ID bill would need 20 senators present because it spends money to provide free IDs and for other purposes. But Fitzgerald said the bill could be changed to take out the spending elements.

The Senate Committee on Transportation and Elections is slated to vote on the bill Tuesday after the Senate meets. Another committee is voting Tuesday to repeal a law that requires law enforcement officers to collect data on the race of drivers for every traffic stop. Democrats approved that requirement in 2009 to help determine if agencies are engaged in racial profiling.

Fitzgerald floated the idea of passing the photo ID bill to reporters after a tense meeting of the Senate Organization Committee, which sets the Senate schedule. Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) and Sen. David Hansen (D-Green Bay) joined the meeting by phone from Illinois.

“You have shut down the people’s government and that’s not acceptable,” Fitzgerald scolded the Democrats.

Just to state the facts.  It is already a fact that Wiscionsin correctional officers have used sick time as a gimmick to illegitimately boost their salaries.  So let us not kid ourselves that they’ll all be showing up with happy smiling faces to work all their shifts.  At best, there is a lot of double-time and shift-juggling going on to keep the National Guard from taking over.

Meanwhile, liberal doctors are violated their medical oaths and ethics to write bogus sick notes for thousands of teachers and yes – I don’t doubt for a second – correctional officers.

There is a vile disease going on in Wisconsin that is actually far nastier than leprosy.  It is called liberalism.  It causes irrationality and the sufferer loses all moral intelligence.  It is fatal to any society if enough people catch the contagion.

Here’s just one example out of hundreds: Oregon Democrat David Wu.  But just about every Democrat has the Kool Aid Crazy disease.

And of course it’s not acceptable.  These elected Democrats are undermining the democratic process.  In a democratic republic such as we’ve had at least until the age of Obama, you show up and you vote.  Democrats are undermining the democratic process and are in fact undermining the will of the people.

But there IS an upside to the Democrats being vile and un-American piles of slime.  It gives Republicans a chance to pass a ton of stuff.

It will give Republicans their opportunity to pass my dream bill.

I wrote this back in March of 2010 as Democrats were violating the process to ram their ObamaCare through:

Let me put it this way: if Republicans take back the country, and use reconciliation to impose the “Hunt Every Democrat Down With Dogs and Burn Them Alive” Act, do you want Republicans to be able to justify their actions by quoting Barack Obama?

I was still dreaming and scheming in June of 2010:

If people knew the truth, we would be hunting every Democrat we could find down with dogs and burning them alive.

And this is our chance.  If budget matters are involved, we can make it “The All-Volunteer Hunt Every Democrat Down With Dogs And Burn Them Alive Act.”

Pass it, Wisconsin Democrats.  I’ll be there to volunteer my dog and my burning services.  Nothing would make my dog happier:

I wrote an article titled, “Why We Need A Rottweiler For President.”  We might need our Rottweilers for other nation-saving tasks.

Mine is actually quite the impressive specimen, indeed.  The breeder liked big Rotts.  One of the three breeding males was “AKC”: 27″ at the shoulder and 125 lbs.  The other two were huge, with one looking like a power forward or a middle linebacker, and the other looking like a St. Bernard with Rottweiler markings.  I picked the middle linebacker sire, but he was bred with a big female, and my little pup actually grew bigger than the “St. Bernard” version: standing at nearly 32″ at the shoulder, actually standing a full 6′ tall on his hind legs and weighing in at in a healthy 185lbs.  And he isn’t friendly to people we don’t want him to be frindly to.  Not at all.  You will walk away having wet your pants if you come to my door unannounced.  And that’s if the door is CLOSED.  You wouldn’t walk away at all if the door was open.  We have signs, such as  “Danger: Rottweiler on duty” and “I can make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds.  Can YOU?” and “Kindly stay back – thereby refraining from donating your body parts to my dog” posted on the gate to make that point.  The mail and parcel delivery people, the meter readers, etc. know and understand that the beloved family pet is not for strangers to pet.  And he would love nothing more than to hear, “There’s one, boy – GO GIT ‘EM!”

Obviously, the Republicans aren’t actually going to pass the act I here jokingly suggest (and I’ll refrain from telling you if we’d actually show up for hunting season if they did).  But the Republicans CAN  pass A LOT of things that will make Democrats howl with outrage.  And the funniest thing of all is that it will be their own damn fault that we passed them.

This isn’t polite and high-minded civil discourse, because Democrats are no longer the kind of people one can have such discourse with.  As we see above, Democrats are now the kind of people who cheat and lie as a matter of routine.  It is nothing short of a war for America.  And it is long past time that Republicans understood that in this “game” there ARE no rules.  If they firebomb your cities, you firebomb there cities until they are afraid to firebomb your cities any more.  If they try to pass a “Fairness Doctrine” to limit conservative speech, you pass a Fairness Doctrine that will limit liberal speech; and then you monitor the airwaves for content and you yank the right to broadcast from any television station that doesn’t have as many conservatives for as much time as it has liberals.  If they try to massively expand the size of government with programs like the trillion dollar stimulus and ObamaCare, then you abolish every government department and bureaucracy that you can and you shrink the size of government twice as much as liberals expanded it.  You beat them like dirty rugs, because you know that’s exactly how they will treat you the first chance they get.  And the more you do to them when you’ve got the power, the less they’ll be able to do to you when they get power back.  And you fight them the same way they fight you.

And you keep fighting them that way until they maybe learn that Fairness Doctrines and trillion dollar stimulus and ObamaCare programs maybe aren’t such a good thing, after all.

If Democrats want to play their un-American games and start a war, then let Republicans finally play and fight to WIN.

Obama Stimulus Actually Raised Unemployment

February 25, 2010

An Investors.com article entitled The ‘Stimulus’ Actually Raised Unemployment should be required reading for every American:

By ALAN REYNOLDS Posted 02/19/2010

President Obama seized on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as an opportunity to take credit for the belated and tenuous economic recovery.

But the economy always recovered from recessions, long before anyone imagined that government borrowing could “create jobs.” And we didn’t used to have to wait nearly two years for signs of recovery, as we did this time.

A famous 1999 study by Christina Romer, who now heads the Council of Economic Advisers, found the average length of recessions from 1887 to 1929 was only 10.3 months, with the longest lasting 16 months.

Recessions lasted longer during the supposedly enlightened postwar era, with three of them lasting 16 to 21 months.

Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked in this country, just as they never worked in Japan.

The issue of “fiscal stimulus” must not be confused with TARP or with the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates and pumping up bank reserves.

One might argue that those Treasury and Fed programs helped prevent a hypothetical depression, but it’s impossible to make that argument about ARRA.

The “fiscal stimulus” refers only to a deliberate $862 billion increase in budget deficits. Importantly, only 23% ($200 billion) was spent in 2009, with 47% in 2010 and 30% in later years (according to the Congressional Budget Office this January).

How could the initial $200 billion have possibly had anything to do with the 5.7% rise in fourth-quarter GDP?

The Keynesian fable presumes that faster federal spending and consumers spending their federal benefit checks were the driving forces in the rebound.

Yet the GDP report clearly said the gain “reflected an increase in private inventory investment, a deceleration of imports and an upturn in nonresidential, fixed investment that was partly offset by decelerations in federal government (defense) spending and in personal consumption expenditures.”

Since federal spending accounted for exactly zero of the only significant increase GDP, how could such spending possibly have “created or saved” 2 million jobs?

The bill was launched last year amid grandiose promises of “shovel ready” make-work projects.

In reality, as the CBO explains, “five programs accounted for more than 80% of the outlays from ARRA in 2009: Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

In other words, what was labeled a “stimulus” bill was actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.

First of all, believe it or not, America actually recovered from every single recession in its history without Barack Obama.  And the longest recessions we’ve had have occurred during the period when elitist big government liberals were frantically pulling levers and pushing buttons.

UCLA economists have calculated that FDR’s policies actually prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years, a conclusion validated by Roosevelt’s own Treasury Secretary in his remarks to the House Ways and Means Committee:

“We have tried spending money.  We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.  And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job.  I want to see this country prosperous.  I want to see people get a job.  I want to see people get enough to eat.  We have never made good on our promises…  I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” – Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939 (Morganthau Diary, May 9, 1939 entry, Franklin Presidential Library)

For the record, the unemployment rate the month before this mea culpa had been a sky-high 20.7%.  More than six years after FDR’s New Deal, more than 1 out of every five workers was unemployed.

Obama’s own expert (Christina Romer) pointed out that pre-FDR, pre-New Deal, pre-stimulus, and pre-Obama, recessions only lasted an overage of 1o.3 months.  This one’s going to last a helluva lot longer in the age of Obama.

The next thing to consider is that the $24 trillion in TARP and other federal programs makes the $862 billion Obama stimulus – with only some $200-plus billion having been spent so far – look laughably puny in comparison.  Obama’s claim that his stimulus saved the day is rather like the gnat telling the elephant, “I was pushing too.  And it was my efforts that saved the day, not yours.”

Obama’s claim is laughable.  And so is the mainstream media that has largely allowed Obama to continue making such a claim.

A third point is that it is simply a fact that all the Obama and Democrat claims of “shovel ready jobs” is just a lie.

From an Associated Press article:

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it.”

Which is to say, the only thing that was ever “shovel ready” about the stimulus was bull crap.  And the Democrats shoveled it high and deep.

Virtually all of the nowhere near 2 million jobs that were “saved or created” were government jobs.  And government jobs are parasitic upon the private sector which taxes PAY for those government jobs.  In other words, the government sector doesn’t produce; government jobs exist ONLY because of the productive output of the private sector, and the private sector taxes that provide the money for the government sector and all the bureaucrats on the payroll.

And what we have here is a case in which $862 billion plus interest has been sucked out of the private sector which actually creates the jobs that produce and given to the government.  Which means less wealth for the private sector.  Which means fewer private sector jobs.  Which means less productivity.  Which means lower tax revenues which fund the government payroll.

Which means we are in a vicious cycle.  Obama is going to need to keep borrowing to pay the government workers on the government payrolls, which means less money for the private sector, which means fewer private sector jobs and less private sector productivity, which means lower tax revenues, which means more borrowing to fund the government sector jobs.

Which is why “Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked.”

Let’s look at the gigantic mess that Obama left Illinois in as an example of why this crap doesn’t work, and how Illinois has an $85 billion black hole of unfunded public employee pension obligations which it can never possibly hope to repay.

First of all, the government has a way of rewarding itself at the expense of the private sector over and over again.  Thus:

“The level of pension benefits provided by the state’s plans generally exceeds those available in the private sector — i.e., available to taxpayers who pay the state’s bills,” the Commercial Club’s Martin contended in his report.

But at the same time government sector union benefits dwarf those of the private sector employees who pay for those massive benefits, another thing happens: the government, being an inherently amoral and short-sighted enterprise, can’t help but constantly rob Peter to pay Paul in a neverending attempt to eat their cake, and have it, too.  Hence the Pension Modernization Task Force investigating the black hole of Illinois pensions was forced to conclude:

“Not wanting to implement dramatic cuts in spending on essential services, the legislature and various governors elected to instead divert revenue from making the required employer pension contribution to maintaining services like education, health care, public safety and caring for disadvantaged populations,” the center argued. “Effectively, the state used the pension systems as a credit card to fund ongoing service operations.”

Which is to say that first the government makes impossible promises, and then it engages in unsustainable and frankly insane policies to play their equivalent of budgetary Whac-a-Mole in order to juggle all the impossible competing spending priorities they’ve been insane enough to commit themselves to.

Which is exactly what happened in the case of the Obama stimulus.  It was advertised as a “shovel-ready” package to create jobs, but instead it was “actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.” And so money that was supposed to fund job creation instead went almost entirely to “Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security … grants to state and local governments … and student aid.”

And jobs got sucked out of the economy.

To the extent that the Obama stimulus actually did any good, any benefit will be entirely consumed by the far greater harm it will do to the economy shortly down the road.

Fortunately, the claims that the Obama administration and the Democrat Party have made have been so inherently contradictory and so over-the-top fallacious that only six percent of Americans believe that Obama’s stimulus has created any jobs at all thus far.

Obama’s Growing List of Man-Caused Disasters

January 2, 2010

I hoped I would find a more or less complete assemblage of all the attempted terror attacks on U.S. soil that we’ve experienced since Obama came to office promising to end terrorism with his sheer exalted wonderfulness.

It wasn’t easy.  List like this one are far and few between.  I had to go back and stumble across a few names based on some attacks I remembered, and start entering search terms.

The media have clearly dropped the ball in keeping track of Obama’s “success” in dealing with this very real threat.

Barack Obama refused to even use the word “terrorism,” instead calling terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters.”  Whereas George Bush took terrorism seriously and went to war to take on those who would kill Americans wherever they were, Barack Obama decided that there was no war, and renamed it an “overseas contingency operation.”

I provided all the html links, and added a couple of comments in brackets.

Man-Caused Disasters Remained A Concern In 2009

Posted by: RFW @ 2:00 pm

Despite the hope and change brought along with a new administration, Americans discovered in 2009 that the threat of terrorism remained. There were several near disasters this last year along with a couple of actual man-caused disasters. While creating the following list I was surprised by the large number of arrests on American soil. I assume my surprise is due to the fact that the media generally forgets about these incidents within a very short period of time and does not make any attempt to report them as another piece of a larger puzzle.

– On May 20, 2009 three U.S. citizens (James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams) and one Haitian (Laguerre Payen) from Newburgh, New York were arrested in a plot to blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale community of the Bronx. The men allegedly placed bombs wired to cell phones in three separate cars outside the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center. It was also alleged that they planed to shoot down military planes operating out of Stewart Air National Guard Base. Both the car bombs and the missiles were actually fakes given to the plotters with the help of an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. [It is also important to note that all three were black converts to Islam radicalized while in the prison system].

– On June 1, 2009 an assailant opened fire on a United States military recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American who had converted to Islam, was accused of killing Private William Long. According to law enforcement officials, Muhammad had conducted research on other targets, including military sites, government facilities and Jewish institutions throughout the country. [Note: a successful terror attack].

– On July 27, 2009 seven men were arrested in North Carolina and charged with plotting to wage “violent jihad” outside the United States. Daniel Patrick Boyd, who authorities allege was the ringleader of a group of men that trained in North Carolina, was later also charged with planning to attack the U.S. Marine base at Quantico, Virginia. Boyd and another man, Hysen Sherifi, were charged with conspiring to murder U.S. military personnel.

– On September 14, 2009 Law enforcement agents raided residences in New York City and later that day briefed members of Congress about their terrorism investigation. Authorities found 14 new black backpacks during the raids fueling concern the plan may have been to use them with suicide bombs. Najibullah Zazi and his father Mohammed Zazi were arrested five days later at Najibullah’s home in Denver, Colorado. FBI agents also arrested Ahmad Wais Afzali in New York. Najibullah Zazi, linked by authorities to al Qaeda, was charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

– On September 23, 2009 Michael Finton, a 29-year-old convert to Islam who went by the name Talib Islam, was arrested in an alleged plot to blow up a federal building in Illinois. Finton drove a van containing what he thought was explosive material and parked it directly in front of the northwest corner of the Paul Findley Federal Building, a courthouse in Illinois. He attempted to detonate it remotely but the explosive was actually harmless, supplied to Islam by the FBI.

– On September 24, 2009 Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested after he placed and attempted to detonate what he believed to be a car bomb in the garage of the 60-story Fountain Place office tower in Dallas. The fake explosive was given to him by an undercover FBI agent.

– On October 21, 2009 Tarek Mehanna, a Boston area man who lived with his parents and wrote a blog about Islam, was arrested for conspiring to become a jihadist and kill Americans. His alleged plots – all failed – included the assassination of prominent politicians, attacking US troops in Iraq and shooting randomly in a unidentified shopping mall.

– On November 5, 2009 a gunman killed 14 people (including one unborn baby) and wounded 30 others at the Fort Hood military base located near Killeen, Texas. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the only suspect in the crime, was radicalized by Muslim ideology. A muslim cleric said Hasan asked him in a December 2008 e-mail “whether killing American soldiers and officers is lawful or not” under Islamic law. [There’s your second successful terrorist attack].

– On December 25, 2009 a Nigerian man named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to detonate the explosive PETN on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. An apparent malfunction in the device and the quick reaction of passengers saved the airplane and 278 lives on board. After being taken into custody, Abdulmutallab told authorities he had been directed by al-Qaeda.

If the media were looking for a theme, as they always do this time of year, 2009 could be called the “Year of the Home Grown Terrorist” as six of those arrested (James Cromitie, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, Daniel Patrick Boyd, Michael Finton, Tarek Mehanna, and Nidal Malik Hasan) were born right here in the United States.

When George Bush took office, there was absolutely no program in place to keep America safe.  There were dozens of al Qaeda terrorist attacks against US targets, and Clinton did nothing nothing.  The USS Cole was attacked by al Qaeda in Yemen in October 2000 during the waning days of the Clinton administration, with 17 American sailors killed, and Clinton swept it under the rug to create the illusion of a “clean slate.”

And George Bush, naively “looking forward, not backward,” attitude, failed to do anything to change our lack of protection under that terrible day seven months into his presidency.

Bush woke up fast.  And with fury and determination unlike anything this country has seen since the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the Bush administration devised a successful system to keep this country safe.

Barack Obama, taking incredibly foolish attitude that terrorism was merely a crime that he could stop with what amounted to a personality cult based on his own wonderfulness, systematically dismantled many of the Bush protections even as he apologized for America’s efforts to keep its citizens safe.

One of the most important things Bush did was to dismantle the wall that the Clinton administration erected preventing the CIA and the FBI from communicating with one another.  Liberals want to maintain that the Clinton policy did not change the law, but merely clarified it.  But the fact remains that the Clinton administration strengthened the communications barrier when he should have been encouraging intelligence-sharing between our security agencies.

We had a wall separating intelligence agencies into separate and disconnected fiefdoms prior to 9/11.

From the LA Times, April 14, 2004:

WASHINGTON — The scapegoat emerging from the Sept. 11 commission inquiry isn’t an elected official or agency but an obscure government policy that came to be known as “the wall.”

On Tuesday, as FBI, CIA and Justice Department officials continued to point the finger of blame at one another, they all seemed to agree that the wall was the overarching villain. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, for one, described it as “the single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11.”

Bush took great measures to tear down that wall.

To Obama’s great discredit, he picked Clinton Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder to become his Attorney General, after almost selecting Jamie Gorelick – Clinton’s General Counsel – for the post.  And both men were at the very top of the food chain in strengthening the wall between the FBI and the CIA.

In other words, Obama decided to surround himself with the men who – out of liberal notions antagonistic to a strong intelligence community – built/strengthened the wall.

Obama selected Leon Panetta, another Clinton political hack, and a man who had absolutely no intelligence experience to qualify for leadership, to run the CIA.  And then he selected Janet Napolitano, again an unqualified selection with absolutely no intelligence experience whatsoever, to run Homeland Security.

Obama made political loyalty, rather than experience or ability, his criteria for choosing the officials most responsible for keeping this country safe.  And from the very start of his administration, he has politicized intelligence.  They have taken nothing but a demagogic politicized (and incompetent) approach since.  And we are beginning to see the risks with national security these people are willing to take to demagogically blame everyone but themselves for their failures:

The White House, according to the source, is in full defensive spin mode. Other administration sources also say a flurry of memos were generated on December 26th, 27th, and 28th, which developed talking points about how Obama’s decision to effectively shut down the Homeland Security Council (it was merged earlier this year into the National Security Council, run by National Security Adviser James Jones) had nothing to do with what Obama called a “catastrophic” failure on Christmas Day.

“This White House doesn’t view the Northwest [Airlines] failure as one of national security, it’s a political issue,” says the White House source. “That’s why Axelrod and Emanuel are driving the issue.”

After Obama appointed Eric Holder to be Attorney General, the man who pardoned terrorists for Bill Clinton went right to work attacking the CIA who had helped catch those terrorists in the first place.  Democrats and the Obama administration repeatedly demonized the CIA and just as repeatedly threatened to criminalize their efforts to keep us safe.

Thanks to Obama’s demagoguery, the morale of the agency that is essential to our protection is depressed, sullen, and enraged:

[T]he CIA better change their mission to “CYA,” because our government is not going to stand behind you.”

Those concerns were echoed by a retired undercover operative who still works under contract for the agency (and asked to remain anonymous when discussing internal agency politics). Clandestine Service officers are both demoralized and angry at Obama’s decisions to release the memos and ban future agency use of aggressive interrogation tactics, the former operative said. “It embarrasses our families. You just can’t keep hitting us. Sooner or later we’re going to stop going out and working.” The official added that “a lot of offense was taken” among some Clandestine Service veterans when Obama declared that the interrogation practices the agency employed under Bush were wrong, even though the new Administration would not prosecute operatives for carrying them out.

Did you hear that?  “Sooner or later we’re going to stop going out and working.”  That’s Obama’s “change” for you: demonizing and even criminalizing the people who kept us safe.  Forcing them to protect themselves rather than take risks protecting the country.

And you wonder why Obama’s national security is falling apart now.

Obama made waterboarding the hallmark of his campaing to demonize Bush.  Now “58% of U.S. voters say waterboarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day,” and just 30% take Obama’s side and oppose the use of such techniques.

Americans were stupid to join with Obama and oppose waterboarding a year ago.  But Obama is far more stupid in his ideological commitment to prevent America from protecting itself.

The use of waterboarding led to the breakthroughs in intelligence that allowed us to dismantle al Qaeda.

Four former CIA directors loudly objected to Obama’s release of CIA memos.  Among other things, the release of those memos – again, for purely partisan political reasons – enabled al Qaeda to know exactly what US interrogators would and would not do and prepare for our new limited and hamstrung techniques.

Now we’re left with, “Tell us what you know, or we’re give you a polite but firmly-worded scolding.”

And we wonder why our national security is breaking down.

We can see Obama’s weakness and incompetence everywhere we turn.  Obama has officially lost TWICE AS MANY American soldiers in Afghanistan as Bush did in 2008.  And this after months of useless dithering that ultimately assured our enemies that we weren’t going to have the fortitude to fight the good fight over the long haul.

Just the other day, eight CIA officers were killed by a suicide bomber inside the safety of a US military base in Afghanistan in yet another example of Obama’s naive “terrorists can be our friends” policy.  They were so busy trying to get the terrorist to change sides and love Big Brother Obama and so afraid of being “politically correct” or “profiling” that they didn’t dare search him.

You might not see this pathetic episode as a microcosm for Obama’s entire failed foreign policy and national security strategy, but you certainly can’t maintain the assertion that what he’s doing is working.

I started out providing a list of terrorists and attempted and successful terrorist attacks.

We could add Iran to that list.  Because we’re certainly going to see Iran and Iranian-trained terrorists rearing their ugly heads due to Obama’s weakness soon.  Every single day, with every new in-your-face step forward in their nuclear weapons program, amounts to a new terrorist attack upon the United States and Israel.  For what it’s worth, I have been predicting that Iran would obtain nuclear weapons under a Democrat presidency since May of 2008.

When Iran gets its nukes and the ballistic missiles to deliver them (and they are very close to both goals), the world will become a different place.  They don’t have to launch atomic Armageddon to use their nuclear weapons; all they have to do is block the Strait of Hormuz and drive up oil prices tenfold, or send out a wave of international terror attacks.  Will we go to war with them, knowing that if we do they will destroy several of our cities and kill millions of our people?

In other words, we haven’t even BEGUN to see the fruit of Obama’s failures in his “man-caused disasters.”