The Quality Of Life Index

Who knew that there was a Quality of Life Index? I certainly didn’t, but there is one, and Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about it on February 8th.

The editorial reports:

Unemployment at historic lows? Wages climbing at a fast pace? Who knew? The news media, fixated on Trump scandals, hasn’t exactly been broadcasting that good news. And media fact checkers busied themselves after the speech nitpicking Trump’s economic boasts.

But the upbeat assessment clearly resonated with the public, most of whom gave Trump’s speech top marks. Turns out they have been firsthand witnesses to the strength of the economy over the past two years.

How do we know? Look at the IBD/TIPP Quality of Life Index, which asks the public whether they think their quality of life will be better, worse or the same over the next six months.

In the 17 years IBD has been compiling this index, it’s averaged 56.2. Under President Obama, it averaged just 53.7. Even if you only include Obama’s second term, it was well below the 17-year average.

Under Trump? The Quality of Life Index has averaged 59.3. That’s a 10% increase over the average during the Obama years.

To be sure, there’s a partisan element to this. Republicans tend to rate their quality of life higher than Democrats when there’s a Republican in the White House, and vice versa. But look at independents: Their quality of life averaged 52 under Obama. It’s averaging 58.8 under Trump — a 13% bump.

What’ more, the gains are across the board. Households making from $35,000 to $50,000, for example, saw an 8% gain in this index when you compare Trump to Obama. Those making from $50,000 to $75,000, an 11% gain.

This is what winning looks like for the Middle Class.

Let’s Talk About The Rebuttal

It’s not easy to give the rebuttal speech to the State of the Union. Chances are that you don’t have a copy of what you are rebutting. I guess you can make changes at the last minute, but the majority of your speech has to be written before you have a clue what it is supposed to be about. It’s not a great place to be. That said, however, I would like to take issue with some of the comments made by Stacey Abrams last night. Much of what she said was only half of the truth, and some of what she said was simply not true.

Time posted a transcript of her speech. I would like to talk about sections of that speech.

Ms. Abrams stated:

Just a few weeks ago, I joined volunteers to distribute meals to furloughed federal workers. They waited in line for a box of food and a sliver of hope since they hadn’t received a paycheck in weeks. Making their livelihoods a pawn for political games is a disgrace. The shutdown was a stunt engineered by the President of the United States, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people – but our values.

It was nice of her to give out meals, but she failed to mention that all of those furloughed workers received every penny of their back pay. The simply got an extra paid vacation.

She further stated:

In Georgia and around the country, people are striving for a middle class where a salary truly equals economic security. But instead, families’ hopes are being crushed by Republican leadership that ignores real life or just doesn’t understand it. Under the current administration, far too many hard-working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck, most without labor unions to protect them from even worse harm.

The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.

We owe more to the millions of everyday folks who keep our economy running: like truck drivers forced to buy their own rigs, farmers caught in a trade war, small business owners in search of capital, and domestic workers serving without labor protections. Women and men who could thrive if only they had the support and freedom to do so.

Hasn’t she read the economic numbers? On December 20th, The National Review reported:

A recent Wall Street Journal economic analysis of current jobs reports found that worker wages were starting to rise above inflation and that the biggest percentage gains were showing up in the paychecks of the lowest income workers. In other words, income inequality with respect to take home pay was shrinking.

…Remarkable, too, about this chart is that every group that was least likely to vote for Trump has seen an abnormally large gain in jobs and wages. Our supposed racist president has delivered outsized economic gains for blacks and Hispanics — with both groups now experiencing the lowest unemployment rates in at least a half century. So much for Trump’s policies benefiting only white America. The rich are clearly not “the big winners” from Trump’s economic policies.

Contrast that with the economy when Democrats were in charge:

The poor and unskilled that Mr. Obama was supposed to lift out of poverty saw their incomes fall by 7.4 percent for those with less than a high school diploma and 8.2 percent for those with only a high school diploma. In dollar terms, between the time the Obama recovery began in June 2009 and until June 2014, median black household income fell by nearly $3,000, Hispanic households lost nearly $2,500, and female-headed households lost roughly $1,500. In 2015 and 2016, income gains were thankfully reversed for these demographic groups, but many still lost ground over eight years. The income gains under Mr. Obama were mostly concentrated in those Americans in the top 20 percent of income. This is why the income gap between rich and poor rose nearly every year under Obama.

Ms. Abrams, if you truly cared about the success of the middle and lower classes, you would support the policies of President Trump. President Trump’s economic policies have worked. President Obama’s economic policies failed miserably. I would also like to note that illegal immigration depresses the wages of unskilled workers. The Democrat party sold out the working man a long time ago.

 

Logic Takes A Vacation

Breitbart posted an article today about the State of New York’s $2.3 billion budget shortfall. Governor Cuomo is blaming the Trump tax bill for the shortfall.

The article explains the logic:

According to Cuomo, it was Trump’s tax cut that caused “many of the state’s richest residents — who pay 46 percent of the state’s income tax — to either change their primary residence or leave New York entirely.”

…What Trump’s tax reform did was to restore fairness to the tax code, was to put an end to the injustice of all Americans — including those in the middle class — paying for the sky high tax rates in states like New York.

You see, before Trump reformed the tax code, all Americans were subsidizing the rich.

It used to be that you could write off every penny of your state income tax on your federal income tax. Trump put an end to this outrage. Here’s how it works…

In the state of New York, if you earn over $1.078 million per year, you pay an income tax to the state of almost nine percent.

In other words,  using round numbers, a New York resident who earns $10 million owes the state of New York close to $900,000 in income taxes. But…

Democrat-run states like New York knew that their rich residents would not feel the sting of that $900,000 tax bill because that $900,000 could be written off of their federal tax bill.

Basically, this was a sleazy way for Blue States to steal money from federal taxpayers, to make all of us pay for their grotesque tax rates. These Democrat-run states not only got all of this tax money, they also avoided getting voted out of office for over-taxing because the federal write-off removed most of the sting for the wealthy taxpayer.

Thankfully, Trump’s tax bill put an end to this shell game. Whereas before there was no limit on the amount of state income tax you could write off on your federal taxes, now there is a $10,000 limit. This means that the poor sap gutted for $900,000 in income taxes by New York, now eats $890,000 of it, which is as it should be.

Hey, if you’re a rich guy who thinks your taxes are too high, instead of making middle class taxpayers subsidize your ass, maybe stop voting for Democrats? Just an idea.

For those who want the rich to pay more taxes, the Trump tax plan has accomplished exactly that in New York and some other states that have excessive taxes.

The article concludes:

The truth, though, is spelled out very well by economist Marty Cantor, who laid it out for a local news outlet.

“The problems here are caused by the governor and his administration,” he told News12, “It’s too expensive to live on Long Island and in New York state. Taxes are too high, people are leaving. It has nothing to do with Trump.”

Here’s the kicker: The $10,000 write-off limit did not go into effect until  2018. So how does Cuomo explain 2017’s $4.4 billion deficit? How did the Orange Bad Man create that one?

Crickets.

How Is The Economy Doing?

The mainstream media spends a lot of time criticizing President Trump. He is characterized as someone who is totally incompetent, undisciplined in his decision making, volatile, stupid, uneducated, etc. Yet it is somewhat amazing what this man has accomplished in less than two years–with the drag of constant accusations and investigations, a hostile press that simply ignores anything he has accomplished, and a Congress that has been less than supportive.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today that highlights how the Trump economy is doing.

Here are some of the highlights:

As CTH anticipated the first tabulated holiday sales report via Mastercard® shows the results of a very strong consumer confidence level.  The first report highlights a very strong 5.1% increase in holiday purchases:

“Wall Street is running around like a chicken with its head cut off, while Mr. and Mrs. Main Street are happy with their jobs, enjoying their best wage increases in a decade”…

~ Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners

…Wall Street is being impacted by their multinational reliance which is heavily weighted toward global investments. Main Street is driven by the actual U.S.A. checkbook economic factors. This is the modern disconnect. After decades of Wall Street companies investing overseas, and generating investment products that are fundamentally detached from the U.S. economy, they do not benefit from a strong U.S. economy. However, Main Street directly gains from internal U.S. economic growth.

…If you understand the basic elements behind the new dimension in American economics, you already understand how three decades of DC legislative, monetary and regulatory policy was structured to benefit Wall Street and not Main Street. The intentional shift in monetary policy is what created the distance between two entirely divergent economic engines.

The support of Main Street instead of Wall Street is one of many reasons the Washington establishment hates President Trump. Under establishment politicians Wall Street and rich investors have done very well in recent years–at the expense of Main Street. President Trump has changed that. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article at The Conservative Treehouse. It explains in detail how President Trump’s economic policies have changed the dynamics of the American economy.

The article concludes:

Bottom Line: U.S. companies who have actual connection to a growing U.S. economy can succeed; based on the advantages of the new economic environment and MAGA policy, specifically in the areas of manufacturing, trade and the ancillary consumer benefactors.

Meanwhile U.S. investment assets (multinational investment portfolios) that are disconnected from the actual results of those benefiting U.S. companies, and as a consequence also disconnected from the U.S. economic expansion, can simultaneously drop in value even though the U.S. economy is thriving.

The American economy is improving for average Americans. The elites who have profited greatly in recent years while the rest of us struggled do not like that. Be prepared for an outright onslaught of negative news about President Trump as the middle class continues to prosper.

Americans Often Vote With Their Feet

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about New York City’s shrinking middle class.

The article reports:

After decades of sharp income erosion in the face of relentless taxes, escalating living costs and wage reductions through technological changes, the full extent of this shocking exodus is laid bare in the latest US Census data.

That shows the city is losing 100 residents each day — with departures exceeding new arrivals.

“The rich in New York City are getting richer; the poor are actually getting richer, but not rich enough to be middle class,” said Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, who has studied other data, noting the expansion in welfare and entitlement programs.

Earle said it isn’t unreasonable to assume middle-class incomes are falling even faster in New York City than in other major US cities, because of the city’s high — and rising — housing and other living costs.

New York City’s middle class comprises 48 percent of city residents, with median annual incomes between $30,000 and $60,000.

Thirty-one percent make lower incomes, and the ranks of the rich account for 21 percent of New York City residents.

By contrast, in the early 1970s, about 61 percent of New Yorkers were ensconced in the middle class; today, fewer than half are.

Recently Amazon opened a facility in Long Island City that received an estimated $3 billion in subsidies, increasing the tax burden on city residents. Although increasing the number of jobs is a good idea, having the taxpayers pay for those jobs is not.

The article concludes:

National chain-store locations have plunged in the city by 0.3 percent, to 7,849, this year, according to the Center for an Urban Future. And a record 18 chains, including Aerosoles and Nine West, vacated all their city sites in 2018.

One sector doing a booming “business” is food pantries. Despite a city unemployment rate of 4 percent, New York food pantries report elevated levels of demand, especially during the holiday season.

More than 1 million New Yorkers now worry they won’t have enough food for their families, according to recent studies.

Unless something changes in the economic policies of New York City, the city will no longer be the center of commerce and art that it has been. The voters in New York City need to take a good look at where there city is going and make the appropriate political changes.

Raising Interest Rates Is Not The Right Move

Interest rates were kept artificially low during the Obama administration. This resulted in lower interest payments on the national debt, which increased from $7.27 trillion in 2009 when President Obama took office to $14 trillion at the end of fiscal 2016. The current national debt is $16 trillion. Increasing interest rates from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent increases the amount of money all taxpayers will have to pay as interest on that debt.

Breitbart reported today:

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 2-1/4 to 2‑1/2 percent,” the Federal Reserve announced. The Fed indicated the possibility of just two rate hikes in 2019.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose leading up to the announcement.

Predictions looked toward a likely rate hike ahead of the announcement and possible signaling to a slowing of potential future rate hikes. USA Today reported ahead of the announcement, “Most Wall Street pros expect the Fed, as it has signaled, to hike its key rate another quarter point to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent. This would be the fourth increase this year and ninth since late 2015.”

The Federal Reserve is not a government agency. They are supposed to be apolitical, but their actions in recent years bring that into question. Lower interest rates during the Obama administration kept the stock market high, paid dividends to those on Wall Street and any well-connected politicians. It provided the appearance of an okay economy despite decreases in the Workforce Participation Rate and the rapidly shrinking middle class. Since President Trump took office, the middle class is growing, and the Workforce Participation Rate is slowly climbing. This rate increase will increase the amount of money needed to pay interest on the national debt and will be a drag on the economy. I don’t mean to be cynical, but I believe that is by design. The Federal Reserve is part of the political establishment that does not want to see the economic success of President Trump’s economic policies. President Trump is not a member of the political establishment, and it will be more difficult to get rid of him in 2020 if the economy is growing. The rate hikes announced today will put a damper on economic growth. The question will be how much of a damper.

 

The Economic Problem With Green Energy

Townhall posted an article today about the impact of green energy on the middle and lower class.

The article reports:

Liberals love to talk about helping the poor and the middle class, and they are obsessed with reducing income inequality. So why is it that across the country they are pushing one of the most regressive taxes in modern times?

I am talking about the fad “green” initiative in states such as California, Arizona and New Jersey that require local utilities to buy expensive renewable energy. These renewable energy standards require that utilities to buy expensive wind and solar power. They then pass these costs onto the poor and working class who get stuck paying the tab.

In Sacramento, California, the legislature is speeding ahead with one of the most absurd proposals of modern times by mandating 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. This would mean no coal, no natural gas and no nuclear power.

Meanwhile in Arizona, voters will decide on a ballot initiative funded by billionaire Tom Steyer that would increase renewable mandates to 50 percent over the next decade or so.

The article concludes:

Low-income households spend at least four to five times more out of their incomes in energy costs than do millionaires. For a family with an income of $40,000 or $50,000, an extra $500 a year in costs means less money for school supplies, day care, a family vacation or health insurance.

All of this is so unnecessary. If wind and solar are truly the energy sources of the future — with reliability and low costs — let the market determine that. Why do they need mandates and billions of dollars of federal subsidies to make them work? This is an experiment of imposing high costs on American small businesses, farms and families to pay off wealthy green energy investors. Could anything be more illiberal than this?

One of the benefits of the economic growth the Trump administration has created is the resurgence of the middle class–it is growing instead of shrinking (as it did under President Obama). The middle class is the strength of our republic–it is the only bulwark we have against the misguided proponents of socialism. When the middle class realizes the impact socialism will have on them, they oppose it. Unfortunately the students in our high schools and colleges are not getting that message. Using green energy as an excuse to increase the poverty levels is not a good idea. It is not a surprise that the people proposing the increase of green energy are the people least likely to be impacted by it.

The Economic System That Works

We have all heard the expression, “The proof is in the pudding.” In other words, you can judge the value of something by how well it works. Sounds like common sense, but somehow common sense occasionally takes a vacation from our political dialog. Recently, the left wing of the Democrat party has come out in support of socialism. Tom Steyer and George Soros have invested millions of dollars into Democrat candidates who support socialism while many Democrats are trying to play down the fact that the party is flirting with socialist ideas. Capitalism has dropped in approval among the public while socialism is popular in many circles. Yet when you compare the results of the two economic systems, capitalism helps many more people than socialism.

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial titled, “The Coming Global Middle-Class Majority: Thank Capitalism, Not Socialism, For The Boom.”

Here are some highlights from the editorial:

…capitalism in the last few decades has had the most revolutionary impact on improving human lives in history.

And yes, that’s a fact, one reaffirmed in a new study by the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution think tank.

The study validates what some have known now for years: Capitalism makes everyone wealthier, even the poor. But it also magically turns hundreds of millions of poor people into the middle class. It’s the greatest economic transformation ever.

The Brookings study, by Homi Kharas, asserts that in just two years — 2020 — the majority of the world’s estimated 7.5 billion people will be “middle class.” Kharas defines middle class as anyone who can pay for food, shelter and clothing, with enough left to supply some luxuries, including TV, a motorbike or car, higher education, home improvements and better food.

The editorial notes the difference between perception and reality:

Put another way, thanks to the free-market revolution that is still reshaping the world, per person global output increased more in the 15 years after the fall of communism than it had in the previous 10,000 years of human civilization.

To say this is an underrecognized, underreported phenomenon is an understatement. Today, in our colleges and universities, our best students learn that the world is bifurcated sharply into haves and have-nots, a result of capitalism run amok. And that capitalism leaves a small handful of people richer but the rest of us poorer.

Simply not true. Indeed, most of the world is getting richer, largely due to free trade, more open investment, and the recognition by many countries that not all regulations are good. And among those who have benefited the most are those who are the poorest.

Socialism didn’t achieve these things. Capitalism, now a dirty word, did. Yet, as we’ve mentioned before, a recent Gallup Poll shows that among those aged 18 to 29, 51% have a positive view of socialism while just 45% have a positive view of capitalism. They’re sadly mistaken.

As left-leaning economist Robert Heilbroner so eloquently wrote in the pages of the New Yorker all the way back in 1989, “Less than 75 years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism and socialism is over: capitalism has won … Capitalism organizes the material affairs of humankind more satisfactorily than socialism.”

The editorial concludes:

Yes, growth cycles go up, and they go down. But there is no question that the free market policies put in place in the early 1980s under U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher have had an enormous effect around the world. The ideas they fostered and that other governments picked up made the world a much wealthier place. They helped pull literally hundreds of millions out of poverty and misery.

Remember that the next time you hear Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren or congresswoman wannabe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez extol the wonders of socialism. Capitalism creates wealth. Socialism creates poverty. And the explosion in the global middle class proves it.

I guess those who support candidates espousing socialism need to study recent economics and history.

Who Benefited From The Tax Cuts?

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the Trump Tax Cuts.

The article reports:

The numbers are now in. According to Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the rich are now paying a higher share of federal taxes after enactment of the Republican tax reform plan than before.

For 2017, before tax reform, the JCT estimates those earning $1 million or more a year paid 19.5% of all federal taxes, counting income taxes, payroll taxes, and excise taxes. But for 2018, after tax reform, the committee estimates that these same millionaire taxpayers will pay 20.4% of all federal taxes.

The biggest relative tax cuts resulting from the tax reform are for those making less than $50,000 a year. Their share of federal taxes fell from 4.4% to 3.8%, a tax cut of 14%.

Indeed, the committee estimates that the federal tax burden went up for all taxpayers now making over $200,000 a year, from 49.8% before tax reform, to 51.3% this year after tax reform. You have to go down to those making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year to find taxpayers paying a lower share of federal taxes, from 29% of the federal tax burden last year to 28.8% this year.

But how could that be? The fundamental reason is the economic growth effects of tax reform.

Higher economic growth means increased wages, jobs, employment and income. As the economy grows, the share of taxes paid, especially by those earning higher incomes who still pay much higher tax rates under our so-called “progressive” tax code, goes up as well.

This is the Democrats’ biggest nightmare. That is the reason they opposed the tax cuts and tried to use the media to turn the American people against the idea of tax cuts. I believe that in the 2018 mid-term elections, we will see the Democrats attempt to campaign on the idea that the tax cuts were ‘tax cuts for the rich,’ but if American voters choose to be informed, they will recognize the lie in that statement.

The article reports more bad news for Democrats campaigning in 2018:

Those same economic effects of the tax reform amount to economic liberation for the poor, working people and the middle class. After 8 years of economic stagnation under the neo-socialist policies of Obamanomics, the rising wages, jobs, employment and income under the long overdue Trump Republican economic recovery are making America great again for those with low and moderate incomes.

Top economists estimate wages for average middle-class families are increasing by $4,000 a year due to tax reform. That’s in addition to direct tax cuts of $2,000 a year for middle class families.

These economic effects are why we now see the lowest unemployment rates among blacks in American history. And despite the lies of the Democrat fake news media, the lowest unemployment rates among Hispanics in history as well.

And these economic effects are why Trump/Republican economics is now resonating among blacks and Hispanics culturally as well, from young black Millennials like Candace Owens to hip-hop stars like Kanye West.

As John F. Kennedy stated, “A rising tide lifts all the boats.'” We have watched the tax cuts (and the ending of some over regulation) do just that. John Kennedy would probably not be welcome in today’s Democrat party. That is a shame. In spite of his questionable activities regarding women, I believe he would have been a reasonable President had he lived.

The Real Number In The Economic Recovery

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about the impact President Obama’s economic policies have had on middle-class Americans. The numbers are not good.

As you can see from the chart, there are more people in poverty, the median household income has dropped, and the average income for the bottom fifth of American households has gone done. That is not a recovery.

The article reports:

A couple of months ago, he (President Obama) was in Wisconsin, crediting his policies for “record” job growth, tumbling deficits and big gains in the stock market.

“Step by step, America is moving forward,” he said. “Middle-class economics works. It works. Yes!”

It’s hard to see any evidence of that in the Census numbers. Indeed, the latest report shows that, despite more than six years of economic “recovery,” the middle class is, incredibly, worse off than at the end of the Great Recession.

From 2009 to 2014, real median household income dropped by more than $1,000 — or 2.3% — to $53,657. (And that decline would likely have been steeper if not for a 2013 change in the way the Census does its annual survey.)

Obama’s economy has been particularly harsh on those already at the bottom. Census data show that the bottom fifth of households saw their average income fall by 8% from 2009 to 2014.

Looked at another way, the share of households with incomes below $25,000 climbed from 22.4% to 23.6% over those years.

Among blacks, it went from 35.5% to 36.8%.

President Obama has practiced policies of increased taxation, overregulation, and crony capitalism. All of these policies waste money and inhibit economic growth. Our debt is growing, and if we do not change course in the next election, we will probably not survive as a country.

He Still Doesn’t Get It

Yahoo News posted a story today about the decline of the middle class under President Obama. The middle class has declined under the Obama Administration. If you remember, President Obama has stated in the past that he felt redistribution of wealth in America was needed. When wealth is redistributed in America, it goes from the middle class to the government. Sometimes the poor even get some. The rich know how to avoid having their wealth confiscated–it’s the rest of us that have the problem.

The article reports:

Administration officials said on Saturday the president would propose higher capital gains taxes, new fees on large financial firms, and other measures to raise $320 billion for programs and tax breaks aimed at the middle class.

Obama’s administration can take credit for stabilizing the U.S. economy, which is growing again and last year added jobs at the fastest clip since 1999.

But for the middle class the scars of the recession still run deep. Federal Reserve survey data show families in the middle fifth of the income scale now earn less and their net worth is lower than when Obama took office.

So what is the President’s solution to the fact that the middle class is not prospering–higher taxes that will impact the middle class. Most middle class families that have jobs have 401k accounts. As the baby boomers retire, they will begin tapping into these accounts. Some will be selling stock (creating capital gains), other middle class families may own rental property they invested in to finance their retirement. Selling that property creates capital gains. Their taxes will increase. That is not helping them.

The article further reports:

But the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances shows how uneven the distribution of that stimulus has been. Between 2010 and 2013, as recovery took hold and stock markets soared, the average net worth of families in the top 40 percent of income earners grew. For all others average net worth shrank, declining 19 percent for the middle fifth.

Similarly, the average earnings for families in the top 10 percent grew more than 9 percent from 2010 through 2013, while those at other levels stagnated or shrank. For the middle fifth, average earnings fell 4.6 percent.

Over the six years through 2013, the middle fifth’s average annual family earnings fell to $47,243 from $53,008 while their average net worth dropped to $170,066 from $236,525.

President Obama’s economic policies could easily be described as crony capitalism. They have very little to do with the free enterprise system that built the American economy. The economic stimulus that broke the budget helped companies that in many cases were owned by major Democrat donors and fund raisers. Nothing in the Obama Administration’s economic policies has actually made the American economy stronger. Further tax increase are only going to make things worse.

Figuring Out Part Of The Problem

CNS News posted a story yesterday about some recent comments by New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

The article reports:

Schumer said the health care law, popularly known as Obamacare, is “very important” but the timing was wrong, and was not at the “top of the agenda” of the American people.

“We were in the middle of recession. … People were hurting and said ‘What about me? I’m losing my job,’” said Schumer, who spoke as the Democratic Policy Chairman on why his Party was defeated in the 2014 mid-term elections by Republicans.

“Like I said, about 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, mainly because it was paid for by either the government or their employer – private sector,” said Schumer. “And so the average middle-class voter, they weren’t opposed to doing health care when it started out but it wasn’t at the top of the agenda.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” Schumer also said. “I think it’s a good bill [Obamacare] and I’m proud to have voted for it.”

“But, it should have come later,” said the senator.

That is a very interesting statement. If 85 percent of all Americans were fine with their health care in 2009, why would it have been different if ObamaCare had come later? If 85 percent of Americans were happy with their health care in 2010, should that bill have been passed then? If 85 percent of Americans were happy with their health care, why was a bill necessary? Couldn’t you have found many things that 85 percent of Americans thought needed to be changed?

Senator Schumer goes on to say that the $787-billion federal stimulus was not large enough. Good grief! I think it is obvious that the grass roots message of smaller government and less spending has not gotten through to the Democrats (and unfortunately, a large proportion of the Republicans). If we are going to turn this country around, Washington needs to begin to listen to the average middle class Americans who makes this country work. The policies of the Obama Administration have harmed both the middle class and the lower class, and it is time to admit that those policies do not work. Smaller government benefits everyone–when the government spends less, the people have more to spend. We need to remember that in 2016.

The Pictures Tell The Story

As President Obama goes around the country praising the economic growth in America, there is another side of the story.

Yesterday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted the following charts:

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The charts are taken from a booklet put out by the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee. The booklet includes another chart which explains the low unemployment numbers that were released today–the workforce has significantly decreased. If the unemployment rate reflected the number of workers that have left the work force, the number would be considerably higher.

workforceparticipationratePlease follow the link above to the booklet to see the eleven charts that explain what is happening to the American economy and to the Middle Class in America.

Some Numbers Don’t Lie

There is a basic principle in government that if you tax a behavior you get less of it and if you subsidize a behavior you get more of it. So what behaviors and being taxed in ObamaCare and what behaviors are being subsidized?

According to Heritage.org marriage is being taxed and living together without benefit of marriage is being subsidized.

The article reports:

The law is structured to provide less support to a husband and wife than it would to the same couple if they were cohabiting. In essence, it will tax married couples to fund the benefits it provides to couples who cohabit, divorce, or never marry. The impact of this discrimination will affect couples at every income level and creates a scenario in which couples’ wisest financial decision would be to divorce or forgo tying the knot.

…Without the benefits of an intact family, children are 82 percent more likely to live in poverty and tend to fare worse on a wide range of economic measures. In their teens, they are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as sexual activity, substance abuse, and anti-social behavior. They also tend to fare worse on emotional and psychological outcomes and have lower levels of academic achievement and educational attainment.

The family is the backbone of American society. Why is the Obama Administration passing laws that weaken it?

Another problem with ObamaCare is its attack on the Middle Class. Because of the way the program is structured, the cost of everyone’s insurance has to increase; however, many lower-income Americans will be eligible for subsidies that many middle and upper class families will not receive. There is a massive redistribution of wealth hidden in ObamaCare.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times posted an article explaining how ObamaCare is impacting the people of California.

The article explains some of the sticker shock the residents are experiencing:

A number of factors are driving up rates. In a report this year, consultants hired by the state said the influx of sicker patients as a result of guaranteed coverage was the biggest single reason for higher premiums. Bob Cosway, a principal and consulting actuary at Milliman Inc. in San Diego, estimated that the average individual premium in 2014 will rise 27% because of that difference alone.

Individual policies must also cover a higher percentage of overall medical costs and include 10 “essential health benefits,” such as prescription drugs and mental health services. The aim is to fill gaps in coverage and provide consumers more peace of mind. But those expanded benefits have to be paid for with higher premiums.

The government is not know for its efficiency or its compassion–both of which are needed in healthcare. Hopefully as people begin to see the impact of ObamaCare on a healthcare system that is not perfect but is working, changes can be made that will make it a more equitable and cost-efficient program.

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The Charts Tell The Story

Steven Hayward posted a story at Power Line including the following charts:

The article points out:

Second, raising rates on the rich has always been a liberal cover for raising taxes on everyone.  Obama doesn’t seem to know much about economics, but he certainly knows that taxing the rich alone won’t begin to resolve the deficit.  The real money has always been found in taxing the middle class.  The great jump in federal revenues began in World War II when the income tax was changed to reach much further down the income ladder of the middle class.  (See Figure 4.)  This is why I think Obama actually wants to go over the fiscal cliff, slam the middle class, and blame it on Republicans.

Hang on to your hats. We are going to get what we voted for!

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A Broken Promise

I seem to remember both Republicans and Democrats saying that they did not want to raise taxes on the Middle Class. Then how come, even if a deal is reached to avoid the fiscal cliff, taxes on the Middle Class are going up in January?

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today explaining what is about to happen:

Employee payroll taxes are scheduled to rise nearly 50 percent in 2013 absent action by lawmakers, and there is a growing sense that both parties might be willing to let that happen.

Party leaders have about five weeks to resolve a host of budget issues to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” the term used to describe more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to occur on Jan. 1, 2013.

The discussion thus far has focused on the Bush-era tax cuts, with very little discussion of what to do with the temporary cuts on employee payroll taxes that has been in effect for the past two years. The employee payroll tax cut affects roughly 160 million Americans and saves the typical middle class family $1,000 per year.

U. S. News posted an article in January 2012 which listed five facts about the employee payroll tax cut. One of these is very interesting:

Even though workers are paying less tax into the Social Security system, they do not suffer any reduction in the benefits that will ultimately be collected. The federal government promises to pay the benefit that would otherwise have been received. The benefits are figured on the basis of earnings (up to the wage base limit for the year) and not on the taxes paid.

So Congress took a program (Social Security) that has been teetering on bankruptcy for a number of years and reduced the amount of money paid into it without reducing the benefits being paid out. What a business plan!

The article at the Washington Free Beacon concludes:

There is some concern among Republicans that Democrats might disregard policy considerations in order use the payroll tax cut as a political wedge issue. Democrats did this in February when House Republicans arguably lost a showdown with the White House.

It remains to be seen whether or not lawmakers can strike a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

Either way, though, the payroll tax cut appears unlikely to survive.

Obamacare increases taxes on the Middle Class in January. It is likely that even if a deal is reached to avoid the fiscal cliff, other taxes on the Middle Class will be increased in January also. As Americans, we need to tell Washington–THE PROBLEM IS NOT A LACK OF REVENUE–IT IS TOO MUCH SPENDING!!! Until Congress and the President get that message, the American taxpayer will continue to be seen as a never ending source of money, and at some point the American taxpayer will run out of money.

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Exactly What Do They Mean By Claiming It’s A Tax ?

The chart below appeared in the Washington Times yesterday:

There are a few things to look at when viewing this chart. Notice the increase in dividend, capital gains and investment taxes on the ‘so-called wealthy.’ How long do you think it will be before that tax increase begins to apply to those of us with significantly lower incomes? How long will it be before that tax applies to all retired people attempting to live on those dividends?

The Washington Times reminds us:

The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health care law costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Of those, 12 tax hikes would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year, the panel said, including a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, a tax on insurance providers and an excise tax on medical-device manufacturers.

“This is a clear violation of the president’s pledge to avoid tax hikes on low- and middle-income taxpayers,” said a statement from the panel, which is chaired by Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican.

On the campaign trail four years ago and since taking office, Mr. Obama has been fond of saying that middle-class families will not see their taxes rise “a single dime” under his leadership.

The thing to remember here is that Obamacare is not about healthcare–it is about redistribution of wealth. The goal here is to give everything you have worked hard for to those people who have been unwilling to work for it. Please keep this in mind when voting in November.

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Are The Democrats Really The Champion Of The Middle Class ?

The Canada Free Press posted an article today detailing the impact on Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and President Obama have had on the Middle Class since 2006, when the Democrats took over Congress.

The article cites a number of areas where life in the Middle Class has become much more expensive and less secure. Unemployment in 2006 was under 6 percent; now it is almost 9 percent (and higher if you count those who have stopped looking). Grocery prices are up due to the declining value of the dollar. In late 2008 gasoline in Florida was $1.50 a gallon; for the past year gasoline has been over $3 a gallon. Heath insurance rates have gone up since the passage of Obamacare. College tuition rates are also climbing rapidly. Real estate values are about the only thing that has gone down!

The article concludes:

In January, 2007, the federal debt stood at approximately nine trillion dollars. When President Obama was inaugurated in 2009, it was just under twelve trillion. In mid-November, it surpassed fifteen trillion and is already nearly twenty percent of the way to SIXTEEN. Per citizen, this amounts to nearly $50,000 ($48,542, to be exact). This is the amount owed by EVERY man, woman, and child in America today. Look at it another way: Every child born in the United States enters this world with a $50,000 liability. And this is before he or she has soiled his or her first diaper. When the Democrats came to power in 2007, this figure stood at around $30,000 which was, by anyone’s measure, an obscene number. But your “warriors for the middle class” have increased this by two-thirds all the while portraying themselves as your friends.

With friends like this, you do NOT need enemies!

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