A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words–But It Can Be Edited

CNBC posted the following video on YouTube:

This is the caption underneath the video:

President Donald Trump Gets Snubbed By Poland’s First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda | CNBC

Wow. Sounds Awful.

This is the full video, also posted on YouTube (that the CNBC audience never saw):

And this is a classic illustration of how the media twists the news. Fake news on parade!

With Friends Like These…

The friendship between President Obama and Warren Buffett is not news. Warren Buffett supported President Obama’s tax increase proposals saying that his secretary paid higher taxes than he did. The failure of the Obama Administration to permit the Keystone Pipeline to be built allows the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, to transport the oil (see rightwinggranny.com) from the oil fields to other areas of the United States.

Well, President Obama has often stated that companies that move their headquarters overseas are unpatriotic. He has stated that it is patriotic to stay in America and pay higher taxes. I guess Warren Buffett does not let President Obama’s opinion interfere with his business decisions.

Today’s Washington Post is reporting that Burger King is buying Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc.. CNBC is reporting today that Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffett) is helping to fund the deal by committing $3 billion of preferred equity financing. Berkshire Hathaway will not play a role in the management, it is only providing the financing.

So why is this ironic? This acquisition will allow Burger King to move its headquarters to Canada where the corporate tax rate is 26.3 percent as opposed to America where the corporate tax rate is 39.1 percent.

It is not unpatriotic to want to save money. Burger King is accountable to its stockholders for its finances. It is not illegal for the company to move its headquarters to Canada to avoid an unreasonable tax burden. The solution to the exodus of corporations from America would be for Congress to lower the corporate tax rate. The Laffer Curve illustrates that this would create income for the government–not reduce income.

An Invitation To Identity Theft

ObamaCare could have a very negative affect on my life in the coming months. My husband and I will be losing our health insurance on January 1. The questions is, “Do we go to the ObamaCare website and risk having our identity stolen, or do we go without health insurance?” How dangerous is it to type your personal information into the ObamaCare website? Well, an article posted at the CNBC website last Monday provides answers to that question.

The article reports:

It could take a year to secure the risk of “high exposures” of personal information on the federal Obamacare online exchange, a cybersecurity expert told CNBC on Monday.

“When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn’t appear to have happened this time,” said David Kennedy, a so-called “white hat” hacker who tests online security by breaching websites. He testified on Capitol Hill about the flaws of HealthCare.gov last week.

“It’s really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn’t built into it,” said Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec. “We’re talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself.”

This is not encouraging. Another online security expert stated that the ObamaCare website needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

The article further reports:

Last month, a Sept. 27 government memorandum surfaced in which two HHS officials said the security of the site had not been properly tested before it opened, creating “a high risk.”

HHS had explained then that steps were taken to ease security concerns after the memo was written, and that consumer information was secure. Technicians fixed a security bug in the password reset function in late October, the agency said.

But on CNBC, Kennedy disputed those claims, saying vulnerabilities remain on “everything from hacking someone’s computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations.”

It really is time for Plan B.

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Quote Of The Week

Reported at Townhall.com and other places:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated, “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that,”

Also from the Townhall article:

An online (unscientific) CNBC poll shows 85 percent of people think Sebelius should be fired:

 photo ScreenShot2013-10-25at62111AM_zps1a1b8ccf.png

Maybe I’ve missed something here, but I thought Kathleen Sebelius worked for the American people.

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Sifting Through The Jobs Numbers

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the jobs numbers just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news that you will probably hear Democrats talk about is that the unemployment rate has gone down to 8.1 percent. Obviously that number is nothing to brag about, but at least it went down. But when you take a look at the numbers that are part of that number, unemployment is a problem.

The article mentions that the workforce shrank by 368,000.

CNBC reported:

But job reports for June and July were revised lower. The June count fell from 64,000 to 45,000, while July’s number came in at 141,000 from an originally reported 163,000.

Despite hopes that job creation would be better than expected, the monthly report fell short of economist expectations that 125,000 jobs were added for the month. The government said private payrolls increased by 103,000, about half the 201,000 that ADP reported Thursday.

The article at Hot Air explains that the decline in unemployment was due to people leaving the workforce. The employment-population rate in August was 58.3 percent.

The article at Hot Air points out:

That’s a new 30-year low in the civilian participation rate, lower than April’s 63.6%.  That’s the reason for the decline in the jobless rate.  The workforce decline artificially depresses the official unemployment rate.  If we had the same level of civilian participation as we did at the beginning of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7%), we’d be looking at a jobless rate of well over 10%.  The employment-population ratio dropped to 58.3% in August, not as low as last year’s 58.2%, but still bouncing along a generational bottom.  That measure was 59.4% at the beginning of the recovery.

There is talk of another quantitative easing (it would be QE3) by the government, but considering that QE1 and QE2 were not overly popular, it is questionable whether this will happen.

There is a political class in Washington that wants to remain in power–it includes both Congress and the Executive branches of government. There have been a few cracks made in that power by the Tea Party, but it remains to be seen if they will be corrupted by their new acquisition of power. If the Tea Party is not corrupted by Washington, they will provide the only hope to turn this mess around. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what those currently in power are willing to do to the economy to get themselves re-elected.

 

 

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The U-6 Unemployment Number

The U-6 unemployment number was up to 15 percent in July. The overall unemployment number is currently at 8.3 percent.

The DRUDGE REPORT posted the following links today:

THEY BOTH CANT BE RIGHT:

Reuters: Labor market slowed sharply after strong gains in winter, spelling trouble for Obama…

AP: Stronger job creation could help Obama’s re-election hopes…

The unemployment number announced today is 8.3 percent, but that number only includes those people who are currently looking for work. If every unemployed worker stopped looking for work, the number would drop to 0 percent–which logically makes absolutely no sense.

CNBC posted a story today about the U-6 number, which includes discouraged potential employees who have quit looking, and those who are underemployed — wanting to work full-time but forced to work part-time. The U-6 numbers in various states are alarming.

The article at CNBC reports:

Consider: Nevada‘s U-6 rate is 22.1 percent, up from just 7.6 percent in 2007. Economically troubled California has a 20.3 percent real rate, while Rhode Island is at 18.3 percent, more than double its 8.3 percent rate in 2007.

Those numbers compare especially unfavorably to the national rate, high in itself at 14.9 percent though off its record peak of 17.2 percent in October 2009.

Only three states — Nebraska (9.1 percent), South Dakota (8.6 percent) and North Dakota (6.1 percent) — have U-6 rates under 10 percent, according to research from RBC Capital Markets.

Note that the states with the low U-6 rates are the states involved in developing America’s energy resources contained in the Bakken Shale Oil Formation. That might be a clue as to what we need to do to turn around America’s economy.

Meanwhile, the bottom line is simple–the current recovery is as bad, if not worse, than the recession. It’s time to change the people in charge.

Investors.com reports today:

Looked at another way, the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7% in July. That’s down from 65.7% in June 2009, and it’s just above the lowest since January 1982. Back then the economy was in the midst of a deep 16-month recession and the share of women in the work force was still significantly lower.

This continues a trend set since the economic recovery officially started in June 2009. Sluggish job growth has failed to keep pace with population growth, creating an ever larger pool of people who either don’t have jobs or have given up looking for one.

In fact, since June 2009, the number of people in the labor force has climbed just 283,000, while the number of people not in the labor force has exploded by 7.5 million.

This is not a recovery.

So why is the stock market going up today? I suspect it is factoring in the fact that these numbers will make it more difficult for President Obama to be re-elected. Governor Romney is an experienced businessman. If anyone can turn this mess around, he can.

 

 

 

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The Cost Of Raising Taxes In Maryland

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley pushed through a millionaires tax that went into effect in 2007 and expired in 2010. Yesterday CNBC reported that during that time Maryland lost approximately $1.7 billion in lost tax revenues. The tax imposed a rate of 6.25 percent on incomes of more than $1 million a year. Approximately 31,000 residents left the state during the time the tax was in effect.

Obviously, there is no proof that the people who left the state left because of the additional tax, but if you look at population growth in various states, you find that statistically, states with the lowest tax rates are growing and states with the highest taxes are losing population (e.g. Californians are migrating to Texas). On December 19 of last year, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about the migration of people from states with high taxes to states with low taxes.

The December article at rightwinggranny stated:

There are also some interesting statistics on what happened in Maryland after the state passed a millionaires’ tax in 2008–there was a 33 percent decline in tax returns from millionaire households. The article also reports that Maryland lost $1 billion of its net tax base in 2008 because of out-migration.

There is a point at which raising taxes is counterproductive. President Obama’s statement yesterday that he would keep the tax breaks for people making under $250,000 a year was interesting for a number of reasons. First, it contradicts his previous statement that it is unwise to raise taxes during a recession (technically we are no longer in a recession, but we currently have a very weak economy). Secondly, it changes the subject–instead of looking at the impact President Obama’s policies have had on the economy, this debate will stir up class envy and paint the Republicans as the party of the rich. This is getting old.

Raising taxes in a weak economy is economic suicide. The Obama Administration knows that and knows that the President will not win this debate, but as long as we are talking about raising taxes, we are not talking about the President’s record on the economy.

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Why America Needs To Be Energy Independent

President Obama’s blocking of the Keystone Pipeline had an obvious negative impact on jobs–the pipeline would have created thousands of jobs instantly–but it had a more dangerous long term impact on America’s energy independence. Alternative energy will not give us that independence at this time–we are a carbon based economy. The fruits of the decision to block the Keystone Pipeline and limit domestic energy production are becoming very obvious today.

Reuters is reporting today that Iran has stopped selling crude oil to British and French companies in retaliation for sanctions imposed because of Iran’s nuclear program.

The article reports:

Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the EU plus Turkey in 2011, industry sources said.

By the start of this year imports had sunk to about 650,000 bpd as some customers cut back in anticipation of an EU ban.

Saudi Arabia says it is prepared to supply extra oil either by topping up existing term contracts or by making rare spot market sales. Iran has criticized Riyadh for the offer.

The European country most impacted by the Iranian move is Greece.

CNBC reported today that in December Saudi Arabia cut its oil production and exports.

CNBC reports:

Iraq, another frequently-cited supplier to make up for part of the Iranian oil shortfall following European Union sanctions,  reported no major changes to its supply and export regime. Authorities there are pursuing an ambitious production expansion plan with the aim of reaching 12 million bpd by 2016.

The Reuters article reports:

Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after Iran’s state media announced last week that Tehran had cut oil exports to six European states. The report was denied shortly afterwards by Iranian officials.

“We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said.

This is not good news for the western world. Now is the time for America to develop any and all of its energy sources. Even if we drilled everywhere today, we would still be facing a summer of at least $5 a gallon gasoline, but if we drilled everywhere today, we would at least have a better outlook for the future.

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This Is Simply Disturbing

Boeing 747-400 displaying the post-1997 Speedm...

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Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story yesterday about comments Representative Nancy Pelosi made about the Boeing plant that is attempting to open in South Carolina.

The article reports:

In an interview late last week, House Minority Leaeder Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNBC that Boeing should either unionize its production facilities in South Carolina, or shut them down entirely.

“Do you think it’s right that Boeing has to close down that plant in South Carolina because it’s non union?” asked host Maria Bartiromo. Pelosi’s reply: “Yes.”

The minority leader quickly added that she would rather it simply unionize and stay open. But barring unionization, by Pelosi’s reasoning, it should simply shut down.

Mr. Morrissey also points out:

Pelosi may or may not know that workers at the South Carolina plant in question voted resoundingly (199-68) to decertify their union two years ago. Government policies that would close the plant for being a non-union shop would simply be punishing those workers for exercising their right to determine union representation for themselves.

As long as the Democrat leadership is in the pockets of the unions, it will be very hard to shrink the size of government and turn the economy around. The workers in South Carolina voted not to unionize. That should have been the end of the story. It is unfortunate that the union-bought Obama Administration chose to get involved through the National Labor Relations Board. We need to understand that even if the plant in South Carolina eventually opens, the amount of time and money spent on the legal battle to open the plant will be a lesson to other companies seeking to open plants in right-to-work states. Again, we need to take a good look at where political money is coming from and vote out anyone being heavily funded by unions.

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You Always Get In Trouble When You Try To Alter Things After The Fact

A photovoltaic (PV) module that is composed of...

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Yesterday National Review Online reported that a number of press releases previously released by the Department of Energy have been retroactively changed in order to remove the name of a solar company that may fail.

CNBC reports:

The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program — the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar company Solyndra.

Both were changed to remove the name of a company that has received negative press attention in recent days, SunPower, and replace it with the name of another company, NRG Energy.

In the April case, the Department of Energy loan programs office announced in a press release on April 12 “conditional commitment” to a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, which it said was “sponsored by SunPower Corporation.”

But that release was later changed on one website to say the project was “sponsored by NRG Energy.” The date on the release remained “April 12, 2011.”

National Review Reports:

Naturally, the DOE blames ‘outside contractors,’ who “inadvertently” altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.

The article at National Review goes on to look at the financial situation of SunPower. The company is deeply in debt and has stated that it will lower its earnings projections for 2011. Meanwhile, the total value of company’s stock dropped from an all-time high of $13 billion to $800 million. Unfortunately, the company has a debt of $820 million. This does not bode will for the future of the company.

The problem here is that old press releases were altered in a way that looks questionable. Unfortunately that seems to be part of the lack of transparency and behind the scenes manipulation that seems to be inherent in this administration.

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Warren Buffett Opposes The Buffett Tax

On Friday the Washington Examiner posted a transcript of an interview of Warren Buffett on CNBC where Mr. Buffett stated that he did not support President Obama’s new tax pollicy. Howeber, Mr. Buffett did state that Counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had called him to ask his permission to use his name for President Obama’s new tax policy.

The transcript states:

CNBC: Does that you mean you disagree with the president’s new jobs proposal which would be paid for by raising taxes on households with incomes over $250,000?

Buffett: There is another program that I won’t be discussing. My program is to have on ultra rich people who are paying very low tax rates. Not just all the rich people. And it would probably apply to 50,000 people in a population of 300 million.

It doesn’t sound as if Mr. Buffett is totally on board with the White House. The thing to remember here is that there is only so much money you can actually get by taxing the ‘rich.’ The rich have tax lawyers and CPA’s to help them avoid paying any more taxes than they are required to pay. When the government decides it wants more money coming in and does not want to cut spending, eventually it works out that the middle class pays more taxes because that’s the tax bracket that encompasses the majority of Americans. The best example of that is the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) which was originally only supposed to impact a very small number of Americans. In 1970, only 19,000 taxpayers owed an AMT. It is now estimated by the Congressional Research Services that if the cuts to the regular income tax are made permanent, the number of taxpayers subject to the AMT will increase from about 1.8 million in 2001 to over 41 million by 2013. We need to remember as the President’s tax proposals are debated, that even when we are told that taxes are only going to impact the rich, they eventually impact the rest of us. New taxes are always a bad idea. Fiscal responsibility on the part of Congress and the President is what is needed.


 

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