This Is Not What An Economic Recovery Looks Like

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com today about the revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) number from the first quarter of 2014. Initially, the  GDP growth number was listed at just .01 percent. That number has been revised downward to -1 percent. If the GDP number shrinks two quarters in a row, the economy is considered to be in a recession.

It is time for the Obama Administration to examine its economic policies. One way to boost the economy would be to approve the Keystone Pipeline and begin to develop America’s energy resources.

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The Idea Behind The Idea

This is an article about ObamaCare. It is based on two articles–one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical article was posted today at National Review. It was written by Andrew McCarthy. The practical article was posted at Power Line on Thursday. It was written by Paul Mirengoff and illustrates how Andrew McCarthy’s theory looks in the real world.

Andrew McCarthy describes ObamaCare as follows:

It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and “exchanges” run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the “private” insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style “free” system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of President Obama’s statement to a 2007 SEIU health-care forum.  The President stated, “There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years or 20 years out.” The transition he is referring to is the transition out of employee-based health into a government one-payer system. It was assumed that the individual healthcare insurance market could be phased out much more quickly. We are seeing that already in the number of individual health insurance policies that are being cancelled every day due to ObamaCare. This brings me to the article showing how ObamaCare works in practical terms.

Paul Mirengoff reports:

Covered California, that state’s insurance exchange, has rejected President Obama’s request that people be allowed to remain in non-compliant health insurance plans for another year. This decision is highly significant because California has experienced by far the most insurance policy cancellations of any state, reportedly around 900,000 of them.

Eliana Johnson points out that a number of Blue States — New York, Minnesota, Washington, and Rhode Island — have previously said no to Obama’s fix. So far, less liberal states — e.g., Florida, Tennesse, Alabama, and South Carolina — seem more receptive to the president.

The irony is only superficial. Blue State leaders are saying no because, as liberals, they dislike private plans and, more importantly, want to offer no escape from Obamacare for the young and the healthy whose participation in exchanges is needed to subsidize the middle-aged and the sick.

President Obama’s healthcare fix is political theater. It provides cover for him and (in his mind) for other Democrats. ObamaCare has cost the Democrat party dearly in the polls, and there is an election next year. There is one school of thought that says that because President Obama is in his second term he is more interested in changing America than being popular, but there is a problem with that. President Obama needs a cooperative Congress to keep ObamaCare in place. If the American people decide to vote out of office those politicians who supported ObamaCare, it is very possible that the next Congress could throw the entire program out and start over (we can only hope). So there is a fine line to be walked between changing ObamaCare enough to make it palatable to the American public without sacrificing the goal of eventual reaching a single-payer system and winning the next election. Get out the popcorn–this is going to be fun to watch!

 

 

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The Empty Chair In The Oval Office

Bret Stephens posted an article at the Wall Street Journal yesterday  about the leadership style of President Obama. The article is titled, “The Unbearable Lightness of Obama.” Mr. Stephens points out that the President says that he was briefed on NSA eavesdropping in general, but never told the specifics of listening in on foreign leaders. In terms of ObamaCare there was no person with the right technology experience involved in launching the website.

Some other observations in the article:

Besides the Syrian government‘s gains, there was mounting evidence that Mr. Assad’s troops had repeatedly used chemical weapons against civilians.

“Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient and disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.”

…”On Saturday, as the shutdown drama played out on Capitol Hill, President Obama played golf at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.”

…”In polo shirt, shorts and sandals, President Obama headed to the golf course Friday morning with a couple of old friends, then flew to Camp David for a long weekend. Secretary of State John Kerry was relaxing at his vacation home in Nantucket.

“Aides said both men were updated as increasingly bloody clashes left dozens dead in Egypt, but from outward appearances they gave little sense that the Obama administration viewed the broader crisis in Cairo with great alarm.”

Please follow the link above to the article to see further examples. The article concludes:

Call Mr. Obama’s style indifferent, aloof or irresponsible, but a president who governs like this reaps the whirlwind—if not for himself, then for his country.

I don’t think this is the kind of leadership America wants, but since the majority of Americans voted for this man, they got what they asked for.

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The Danger Of Executive Orders

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent Executive Order signed by President Obama.

The article reports:

President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to “vetted” opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

Some elements of the Syrian opposition are associated with radical Islamic terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, which was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., in 2001. Assad’s regime is backed by Iran and Hezbollah.

The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would “waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction.”

Why are we arming the people who are killing Americans in Afghanistan while we still have troops there?

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Greetings From The Flat Earth Society

On June 25, President Obama gave a speech on the subject of climate change. He also detailed his plan (which incidentally does not include Congress) to structure America’s energy policies in order to avoid climate change.

In the process of that speech, President Obama declared, “But I don’t have much patience for anybody who argues the problem is not real. We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” I guess at some time I joined the flat earth society.

On Sunday, the Boston Herald posted an article about the President’s speech.

The article reminds us:

However, most international and national agencies have found no increase in storm activity. Warming? The alarmist British Meteorological Office finds no warming since 1998 while the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by 7.4 percent.

Doomsday scenarios depend largely on unreliable computer models whose builders have no explanation for such conflicts.

The bottom line here is simple. As much as our over-inflated egos would like to think that we totally understand changes in the earth’s climate and that we can control them–we don’t. And we probably won’t for a long time. I am not against doing what is possible to control pollution. I am against using unproven science to cripple America’s energy production and economy.

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The Dog Ate My Homework

Hot Air reported yesterday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has lost its receipts for its $4 million gala in Anaheim three years ago. (Don’t try this at home–if you can’t produce receipts for the IRS, the deduction is not allowed.) I love irony.

The article reports:

…This particular conference was held around the time they first started targeting tea partiers in the nonprofits division. While they were demanding reams of information from small groups, most of which have budgets under $25,000 a year, they were farting out millions of dollars you gave them with no serious attempt to account for how it was spent.

That’s not the language I would have used, but it does make the point.

The article states:

I asked on Twitter this morning, in honor of Susan Rice’s promotion to NSA and Victoria Nuland’s impending promotion to Assistant Secretary of State, whether anyone — anyone — has been held accountable yet for any of the scandals on Obama’s watch. Lois Lerner and one of the Benghazi scapegoats are on “administrative leave,” a.k.a. paid vacation, but haven’t been fired, thanks in part to union rules that make it difficult for the feds to can crappy employees. Steve Miller resigned as IRS commissioner, but he famously had just a few weeks left in his term when he did. Has anyone else been punished? Has Obama demanded a resignation from anyone inside the White House itself to prove his displeasure? He won’t boot Eric Holder over the DOJ leak dragnets either, despite the fact that some Democrats (including Democrats in the White House) also think he should go. What you’re seeing here, between the promotion/retention of malfeasors and incompetents and the IRS showering itself with cash with no serious effort made at keeping track of it, is the feds’ contempt for citizens who empowered them unleashed.

I don’t know how we got to runaway government, but we need to find a way to get back to government by the people very quickly.

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What Obamacare Will Bring

Yesterday Breitbart.com posted a story entitled, “Top Ten ObamaCare Horror Stories the Media Are Covering Up.” That seemed a little drastic to me until I read the article. There wasn’t anything in it that we are not already seeing happen.

Here is the list. Please follow the link above to the article to read the details:

1. Millions are and will lose the insurance Obama promised they could keep.

2. The cost of healthcare premiums is about to further skyrocket.

3. Lost jobs. Lost jobs.

4. Potential doctor shortages that will mean rationing.

5. Somewhere around $800 billion in tax increases will hit America’s middle class.

6. Inflation, the cruelest tax on the poor.

7. Added bureaucracy.

8. To cut costs or to avoid having to provide insurance, workers on the economic margins are already losing hours, which means a lower paycheck.

9. ObamaCare is projected to add $6.2 TRILLION to a deficit the GAO has already declared “unsustainable.”

10. More taxes than currently estimated are likely to hit because of situations like this one.

There is actually a small glimmer of hope that this monstrosity of a law may be repealed. If Republicans are smart (and lately that is a big “if”), they will keep demanding votes on the repeal of Obamacare. As Obamacare is implemented and people see the problems in it, fewer Democrats will be willing to vote to keep it because many of them will have to run for election in 2014. That is the small hope we have that this miserable law will go away.

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An Interesting Perspective On The State of the Union Address

PJ Media posted its own interpretation of President Obama’s State of the Union address. They were not kind. I’m not saying that they were not accurate; I am simply saying that they were not kind.

The article begins:

The state of our union is weak and fraying. This president has launched attacks on faith and is going out of his way to divide our people. Our economy is not growing, it contracted in the final quarter of 2012. Our economy is not growing jobs. On the international front, North Korea greeted President Obama’s 2013 rendition of Give Me More Money with a nuclear test — a sure sign that his strategy of engagement, which his soon-to-be defense secretary supports, is a failure.

But like with all of his other failed policies, Barack Obama declared that he will just keep on doing them all.

The speech included more taxes on the ‘rich,’ which will neither create jobs or grow the economy. What is the purpose of raising anyone’s taxes? He also stated that “ask more of our wealthy seniors.” You know–those people who have worked and saved all their lives for their retirement.

President Obama stated in so many words that he wanted us all to get along. Somehow he failed to mention that we will not get along until all of us blindly follow him. Somehow I don’t think many Americans are interested in doing that.

The article reminds us:

From there he moved on to pressing for “comprehensive immigration reform.” He claimed that he believes in stronger border security, which simply is not credible when his homeland security chief claims that the border has never been safer while there is a civil war raging in Mexico. He called on people of faith, whom he has attacked via the ObamaCare abortifacient mandate, to help him “get it done” on immigration reform. He hits you with one hand, then wants you to help him with the other.

The article concludes:

Near the blessed end of his speech, Obama hailed the idea and ideals of the citizen. But this president is working to water down the legal meaning of the word. Again, incoherent.

The consequences of Barack Obama’s loose grasp on the real world are just going to have to work themselves out now. He will win some and he will lose some. Hopefully he will lose more than he wins.

“The evil that men do lives after them,” Shakespeare wrote of ambitious men centuries ago. So it will be with Barack Obama, who has done much evil to the Constitution, to the country, and to the concept of truth. He will continue to do more evil to them all for the next four years.

America, you were warned but you re-elected him anyway. And that’s the state of our union.

That is one of the best reports on the speech I have seen.

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Does The President Really Want To Negotiate ?

Today’s Daily Caller is reporting that President Obama has turned down Speaker of the House John Boehner‘s offer to raise tax rates for Americans earning more than $1 million per year. The offer also included raising the government’s debt limit by roughly $1 trillion over its current level of $16.3 trillion.

The article reports:

Obama’s rapid spending — he has raised the national debt by $5.7 trillion since 2008 — means that he must persuade Congress to raise the debt ceiling again in the next few months.

Boehner’s Friday proposal would have transferred another $460 billion from roughly 400,000 investors and entrepreneurs to the federal government by raising their top marginal income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

Other federal, state and local taxes lift the effective tax rate on top earners to well over 50 percent.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, the White House has demanded that the GOP “acknowledge” that higher tax rates are needed.

This demand for the GOP to abandon its ideological principle against higher tax rates is itself a ideological demand from Obama, and spotlights his gamble that November’s election results can help him win a long-lasting ideological victory over his Republican adversaries.

I am not a big fan of John Boehner, but it does seem that he has done everything he can to try to reach an agreement with President Obama. It appears that it is the President who is not willing to negotiate.

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I Don’t Know Why This Makes Me Crazy, But It Does

Military.com reported last Thursday that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review ethics training and to brainstorm on ways to steer officers away from trouble. This is the same Leon Panetta that was President Bill Clinton‘s White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997. One wonders if he every made a similar recommendation for ethics training for Presidents.

The article reports:

Panetta told Dempsey to work with the chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps to review ethics training for officers to determine whether they are adequate, and to provide views on “how to better foster a culture of value-based decision-making and stewardship” among senior officers and their staffs. That is another way of saying Panetta wants a game plan for ending the string of bad behavior.

He said the initial results of the chiefs’ review, along with their recommendations, should be ready in time for Panetta to report to President Barack Obama by Dec. 1. The text of the Panetta memo, which he signed on Wednesday, was provided Thursday to reporters traveling with the Pentagon chief, who was in Bangkok for talks with senior Thai government officials in advance of Obama’s visit here this weekend.

I probably need to apologize for my cynicism, but how come the Defense Secretary, the State Department, and the CIA can’t get a report on Benghazi on the President’s desk by December 1? It would seem to me that Benghazi would have a higher priority?

The article further points out:

Panetta also told reporters he could not rule out the possibility that the Taliban in Afghanistan would try to use Petraeus’ admission of an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, for propaganda purposes. Petraeus, who resigned Friday from his post as CIA director, was Allen’s predecessor as top commander in Afghanistan, leaving in summer 2011.

I am sorry that General Petraeus and General Allen did not behave appropriately while they were in Afghanistan. However, I need someone to explain to me why the head of the CIA had to resign over an extra-marital affair and the President of America (Bill Clinton) remained in office after an extra-marital affair. I am more than a little confused.

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal Weighs In On The Presidential Election

The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted an editorial yesterday strongly criticizing President Obama for his handling of the Benghazi attack when it happened and his lying about it afterward.

In addition to criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, the editorial reminds us:

This administration is an embarrassment on foreign policy and incompetent at best on the economy – though a more careful analysis shows what can only be a perverse and willful attempt to destroy our prosperity. Back in January 2008, Barack Obama told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle that under his cap-and-trade plan, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” He added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” It was also in 2008 that Mr. Obama’s future Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, famously said it would be necessary to “figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – $9 a gallon.

The article concludes:

Candidate Obama said if he couldn’t fix the economy in four years, his would be a one-term presidency.

Mitt Romney is moral, capable and responsible man. Just this once, it’s time to hold Barack Obama to his word. Maybe we can all do something about that, come Tuesday.

I know Halloween is over, but I can’t think of a worse nightmare than four more years of President Obama.

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Sometimes It’s Not What You Know–It’s Who You Know

Yesterday the Washington Examiner posted a story about the price of state dinners at the White House. The cost of those dinners has soared during the Obama Administration. Please follow the link above to read the story. It states the obvious, but near the bottom of the story, there is an interesting fact:

The documents also reveal that the Obama White House retained an outside planner for the dinners. Bryan Rafanelli, a Boston-based celebrity event planner who was retained last year, managed former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s 2010 nupitals. His firm’s website boasts that he produced “State Dinners hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.”

WALSH

Rafanelli’s business partner, Mark Walsh, is deputy chief of the State Department’s Office of Protocol, which reimburses the White House executive residence for the events.

My, isn’t that convenient.

The article further reports:

Asked about the propriety of a White House contractor having a business relationship with a federal official in a position such as Walsh, Walters (Gary Walters, who ran presidential household operations for 21 years during Democratic and Republican administrations) said, “I don’t think it looks very good. Does it smell right? No.”

Walters said he never used outside event planners because “I believed the White House residence staff could do the job.”

Does anyone remember the White House travel office under the Clintons? It just seems as if the last two Democrat Presidents have used the office as their own personal payback fund.

 

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Don’t Go To Planned Parenthood For Your Mammogram

Yesterday the National Review posted the following statement made by President Obama during the debate on Tuesday:

When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care; they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical-cancer screenings. That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country, and it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work.

Well, there are some problems with that statement.

The article reports:

But Planned Parenthood, with few exceptions, does not provide mammograms. To test the president’s statement in the real world, I called several Planned Parenthood offices in the New York City area today to ask about scheduling a mammogram. “We actually don’t offer that here,” one office told me. “You might want to call 311, they actually have lists of places you could go to.” When I asked, “You don’t provide them like the president said?,” I was told “No.”

The article details the phone calls the author made to five offices of Planned Parenthood asking about mammograms, and the author includes tapes of those calls. The bottom lines here is simple–we are being lied to.

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Interesting Insight From Thomas Sowell

Yesterday Investors.com posted an article by Thomas Sowell with an interesting perspective on the Obama Administration.

The article opens with the following paragraph:

After reading Barack Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father,” it became painfully clear that he has not been searching for the truth, because he assumed from an early age that he had already found the truth — and now it was just a question of filling in the details and deciding how to change things.

Combined with the few bits of personal history of President Obama told by colleagues along the way, this makes perfect sense. The article points out that President Obama, when a professor at the University of Chicago chose not to mingle with the other professors. He wasn’t open to participating in the marketplace of ideas. He still isn’t. When presented with the conclusions of the Bowles-Simpson report, he not only ignored them, he didn’t even enter into negotiations to pass something that would begin to bring the federal government’s spending and deficits under control.

Mr. Sowell points out:

When Obama wrote that many people “had been enslaved only because of the color of their skin,” he was repeating a common piece of gross misinformation. For thousands of years, people enslaved other people of the same race as themselves, whether in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Western Hemisphere.

Europeans enslaved other Europeans for centuries before the first African was brought in bondage to the Western Hemisphere.

The very word “slave” is derived from the name of a European people once widely held in bondage, the Slavs.

Facts can be very inconvenient things.

The article concludes:

Barack Obama is one of those people who is often wrong but never in doubt. When he burst upon the national political scene as a presidential candidate in 2008, even some conservatives were impressed by his confidence.

But confident ignorance is one of the most dangerous qualities in a leader of a nation.

If he has the rhetorical skills to inspire the same confidence in himself by others, then you have the ingredients for national disaster.

We have lived that disaster for the past four years.

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Why The Government Shouldn’t Meddle In Business

President Obama is citing his bailout of the auto industry as one of his accomplishments. I wonder if he has seen the numbers.

The Detroit News posted a story today that a report by the Treasury Department has estimated that the government will lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That is almost a third of the cost of the bailout!

The article states:

The report may still underestimate the losses. The report covers predicted losses through May 31, when GM’s stock price was $22.20 a share.

On Monday, GM stock fell $0.07, or 0.3 percent, to $20.47. At that price, the government would lose another $850 million on its GM bailout.

The government still holds 500 million shares of GM stock and needs to sell them for about $53 each to recover its entire $49.5 billion bailout. At the current price, the Treasury would lose more than $16 billion on its GM bailout.

This is how much it cost the taxpayers to avoid General Motors’ going through a structured bankruptcy. The government bailout violated the basic bankruptcy laws. The bailout was nothing more than the taxpayers giving the company to the unions. This sort of activity needs to be avoided in the future!

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It Costs What ???!!!

CBN News reported today that a Senate Budget Committee study says that Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion in the first full decade of the new law. President Obama said it would cost around $900 billion. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 244-185 to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Five Democrats voted with the Republicans for repeal. President Obama has stated that he will veto any attempt to repeal the bill.

Has there ever been a government program that did not end of costing more than it was predicted to cost?

 

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Why The Internet Media Is Important

On Tuesday, Newsbusters posted a story about the mainstream media‘s recent praise for the successful government bailout of General Motors.

The article cited some of the facts given in the mainstream reports and the things that were not mentioned:

 Not mentioned was the auto bailout will lose us about $30 billion

General Motors (NYSE:GM) Cheers to Reports US Sales Surges 16%

General Motors (NYSE:GM) Beats Analysts Sales Forecasts

GM Sees Highest Sales Since September

Almost all of this $30 billion Taxpayer loss was in fact a gi-normous payoff of the Obama-Democrat stalwart United Autoworkers Union.

GM Races Higher on Sales Report

GM Sales Rise 16%

GM June US Sales Rose 16%

The Blaze is reporting today:

As it turns out, there’s a big reason GM experienced an increase in sales last month: “government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June,” according to the National Legal and Policy Center’s Mark Modica.

The article at Newsbusters made a wonderful comparison:

That’s like you setting up a lemonade stand for your kids.  You buy them the lemons, sugar, cups and pitchers – and then buy most of the lemonade yourself.

Except you are President Obama.  Your kids are the United Autoworkers Union.  And the lemonade cost $50 billion.

At least you get to tax your neighbors for the $50 billion.

When you hear President Obama listing the saving of General Motors as one of his accomplishments, understand that you are still paying for that accomplishment, that senior citizens and others who held preferred stock in the company got the shaft, and that it really was not so much of an accomplishment.

Another reason I proudly drive my Ford Mustang!

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James Pethokoukis On The Economy

James Pethokoukis, columnist for American Enterprise institute, was on the Bill Bennett radio show this morning talking about the economy.

Some of his statements:

Last year the economy grew at a rate of 1.1 and we generated about 150,000 jobs a month. No one thought that was a good year. …If anything goes wrong, we do go back into recession. …I think it’s a pretty fragile situation. …This is a very, very weak recovery. …We should be adding 250,000, 300,000, 400,000 jobs a month, which we would be if the economy was growing faster.

A caller remarked:

If President Obama is trying so hard, why have we not had a budget?

The President talks about saving the automobile industry.  What about the bond holders that were swept under the rug and lost all their money because all the money was given to the unions?

Mr. Pethokoukis commented that the President will be coming out with a plan today to extend the Bush tax cuts on taxpayers earning less than $250,000. Mr. Pethokoukis pointed out that the plan the President is proposing represents a $70 billion tax increase on those earners, many of which are small business owners. There is no way that helps the economy.

Mr. Pethokoukis also reminded us that during the 1983 recovery from the Jimmy Carter recession, we have one month where the economy gained one million jobs.  A recovery after a severe recession should post that kind of numbers—not the numbers we are currently seeing.

Don’t be fooled by the campaign rhetoric—the Obama economic plans have not worked.

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How Long Do You Keep Doing Something When It Isn’t Working ?

New unemployment figures came out today. USA Today posted an article with the headline, “Obama: Jobs report ‘step in the right direction.’” Where is that step and what is the direction?

CNBC reported:

The U.S. economy created just 80,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate held steady at 8.2 percent, reflecting continued slow growth in the economy with the presidential election just four months away.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said private payrolls increased 84,000, while the government lost 4,000 jobs. Economists expected job growth of about 100,000 and the unemployment rate to be unchanged, though many had increased their forecasts based on some recent indicators.

President Obama has been in office for 3 1/2 years. His two major legislative programs were passed by Congress–Obamacare and the 2009 stimulus, which was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent and reduce it to about 6 percent by now. It really is time to evaluate whether either of these major legislative initiatives has done anything to help employment in America. At the same time, we need to look and see if any other decisions by the White House have negatively affected employment in America. How many jobs were lost by the President’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline? How many jobs have been lost because of the ‘permitorium’ on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico? How many jobs have been lost by the uncertainty in the business community because a President and Congress have not passed a budget in three years?

Admittedly, President Obama inherited an economic mess when he took office. However, he asked to inherit that mess because he thought he could fix it. It is becoming extremely obvious that President Obama’s economic policies will not fix this mess. It is time to give someone else a chance to set things aright.

This can be turned around. Some of us are old enough to remember the Jimmy Carter Administration–high interest rates, high inflation, gas lines, declining influence abroad, etc. Those years were followed by some of the most rapid economic growth in American history due to the leadership skills of President Ronald Reagan. I am praying that Mitt Romney has those same leadership skills–we need them now!

 

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Why It Matters Who We Elect To Congress

On Friday Breitbart.com reported on President Obama’s attempts to raise fees military families pay for TRICARE, their medical plan. As the President claims to be trying to make heath insurance and healthcare affordable for everyone, he is attempting to raise the cost of healthcare for military families.

The article reports:

The Free Beacon notes that the bill that passed the House of Representatives, with bipartisan support, refused to incorporate the President’s request for higher TRICARE fees–and the administration has expressed displeasure.

The increased TRICARE fees were part of a defense appropriations bill. The President has threatened to veto the bill of the higher fees for TRICARE are not included in the bill.

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Checking The Facts On The Campaign

The charts below relating to Presidential campaign fund raising and campaign spending were posted in the Washington Examiner yesterday:

 

 

The charts were in response to a statement made by President Obama on the campaign trail. The President stated:

I will be the first president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign, if things continue as they have so far.

I’m not just talking about the super PACs and anonymous outside groups — I’m talking about the Romney campaign itself. Those outside groups just add even more to the underlying problem.

The Romney campaign raises more than we do, and the math isn’t hard to understand: Through the primaries, we raised almost three-quarters of our money from donors giving less than $1,000, while Mitt Romney’s campaign raised more than three-quarters of its money from individuals giving $1,000 or more….

The above statement is simply false, as the charts show. This is the time in the election season where if you believe everything you are told, you are at risk of being misled! 

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The Wayward Child Of The Democrat Party

Bill Clinton has provided a lot of entertainment lately in a rather vicious political climate. I truly feel that President Clinton is simply attempting to pave the way for Hillary‘s campaign of 2016. Well, President Clinton is at in again.

The Hill is reporting today that the Republicans are pointing to President Clinton’s recent statement that he would continue the current tax rates as they are, rather than only continuing tax breaks for the middle class. He’s off the reservation again. It seems as if he has been encouraged to alter his statements slightly.

The article reports:

Clinton, in an interview on CNBC, said he had “no problem” with extending all of the tax cuts temporarily to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” that economists warn could slow the economy or even cause a recession. A spokesman for the former president later clarified that he “does not believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended again.”

Notice that the clarification is different than the original statement. Must have been another trip to the woodshed!

There is a tax bomb scheduled to hit the middle class on January 1, 2013. It is a combination of the Bush tax rates expiring and the additional taxes imposed by Obamacare. If something is not done to stop the new taxes, the American economy will be seriously slowed by the extra tax burden.

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About That “All Of The Above” Energy Policy

CNS News posted an article yesterday about President Obama’s claim that his administration has followed an “all of the above” energy policy in order to make America more energy independent.

There is a chart of U.S. Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products from 1981 to March of this year posted by the U. S. Energy Information Administration. The chart shows that oil imports are lower now than when President Obama took office in 2008. What it doesn’t show us is that one of the major reasons for the lower oil imports is the slowdown in economic activity in America during that time period. If the true statistics were being reported, they would show that about 11% of Americans are unemployed. That means 11% of us are not driving to work every day. The percentage of Americans actually in the workforce is the lowest it has been since 1981. Many Americans have postponed vacations due to economic concerns. Lower oil imports generally do not occur when the economy is thriving.

The article at CNS News relates some inconvenient facts about domestic oil production under President Obama:

Kathleen Sgamma, vice-president for public and government affairs at the Western Energy Alliance, said oil and gas regulations prevent companies from using leases they have bought to drill on federal lands.

“Western Energy Alliance estimates conservatively that BLM’s [Bureau of Land Management] planned regulations will add about 100 days to permitting times,” she told the panel. “With federal permitting times of 298 days, while states can process their corresponding permits in about thirty days, it’s difficult to understand why the federal government is trying to usurp control from the states which have proved themselves more effective and efficient.”

Sgamma noted that the increase in federal production had occurred on private and state-owned lands, not in areas controlled by the federal government, belying claims that production is up because of Obama’s policies.

The article at CNS News also reminds us that the President’s energy plan has been to pick winners and losers, which has interfered with the free market. Because of this, innovation has been stifled, and products that were not economically feasible have been subsidized, only to go bankrupt and increase unemployment.

The article at CNS News further reports:

“Despite all the obstacles put in place by this administration, oil and gas companies, responding to market forces and the demands of a nation for energy, jobs, and economic growth, have dramatically increased production and reduced foreign imports.”

Sgamma added that “5.5 times more oil is produced on private and state lands than on federal lands.”

Frankly, the only impact the Obama Administration has directly had on American energy production is to slow it down and drown it in red tape. Unfortunately most of the major media has not bothered to report that or to fact check the President’s claims about his energy policy. 

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When Facts Get In The Way Of Spin

The latest pre-election spin from the Obama campaign is that President Obama has slowed spending. Wow. If they get away with that one, they will begin to tell us that the sky is green. Investor’s Business Daily is my favorite source for numbers I don’t easily understand, and they have posted the story explaining the sleight of hand involved in the Obama campaign’s claim.

Ann Coulter wrote the article. She explains how the books are being cooked:

It turns out Rex Nutting, author of the phony Marketwatch chart, attributes all spending during Obama’s entire first year, up to Oct. 1, to President Bush.That’s not a joke.

That means, for example, the $825 billion stimulus bill, proposed, lobbied for, signed and spent by Obama, goes in … Bush’s column. (And if we attribute all of Bush’s spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and No Child Left Behind to William Howard Taft, Bush didn’t spend much either.)

Nutting’s “analysis” is so dishonest, even The New York Times has ignored it. He includes only the $140 billion of stimulus money spent after Oct. 1, 2009, as Obama’s spending.

And he’s testy about that, grudgingly admitting that Obama “is responsible (along with the Congress) for about $140 billion in extra spending in the 2009 fiscal year from the stimulus bill.”

It’s early in the silly season. I am sure there is much more of this to come.

Ms. Coulter further reports:

But Obama didn’t come in and live with the budget Bush had approved. He immediately signed off on enormous spending programs that had been specifically rejected by Bush.

This included a $410 billion spending bill that Bush had refused to sign before he left office. Obama signed it on March 10, 2009.

Bush had been chopping brush in Texas for two months at that point. Marketwatch’s Nutting says that’s Bush’s spending.

One begins to wonder how long it will be before everything is not Bush’s fault.

 

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I Don’t Know The Truth, But I Suspect That Someday We All Will

The Internet is abuzz today with news of the pamphlet released to publicize President Obama’s first book. The pamphlet describes the President as having been born in Kenya and raised in Hawaii. The story is at Breitbart.com and also at the Washington Examiner.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Miriam Goderich, whose literary agency described eventual-President Obama in 1991 as having been born in Kenya, said today that the description reflected “a simple mistake and nothing more.”

“You’re undoubtedly aware of the brouhaha stirred up by Breitbart about the erroneous statement in a client list Acton & Dystel published in 1991 (for circulation within the publishing industry only) that Barack Obama was born in Kenya,” Goderich said in a statement to Roll Call.  “This was nothing more than a fact checking error by me — an agency assistant at the time.” Roll Call’s Taegan Goddard added, for disclosure, that he is “a client of the same literary agency.”

This seems like a pretty major mistake to make in someone’s biography. I can see getting someone’s birthplace wrong if they were born in Illinois and someone wrote Indiana or North Carolina instead of South Carolina, but I would think you would notice Kenya vs. Hawaii.

I have two major questions about this story–will the major media pick it up as anything other than a typo or proofreading error? Is there more coming from Breitbart?

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