Sometimes The Lies Are Just Funny

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s claim that he started the oil boom in America. Somehow that’s not the way I remember it.

The article reports:

Former president of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister said former President Barack Obama had nothing to do with America’s increased oil production and actually frustrated many areas of the energy sector.

Obama claimed he was responsible for America’s recent oil boom during an event hosted by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Tuesday night and Hofmeister challenged his assessment.

…“The facts are the facts. And, yes, the production did increase throughout his term,” Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. “But, frankly, he had nothing to do with it.”

“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado — North Dakota in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role.”

The article notes the roadblocks President Obama put in the way of accessing American oil:

Hofmeister said Obama opposed the energy industry at every turn with his actions against offshore drilling and his handling of the Keystone Pipeline.

“If anything, he was trying to frustrate the efforts by taking federal lands off of the availability list — putting them just, no more drilling [sic]. He shut down the Gulf of Mexico for a period of six months,” he said. “[He] changed the regulations from an average of 60 to 80 pages per permit to 600 to 800 pages per permit. He also never approved the Keystone XL pipeline after dangling all the potential customers for eight years. And it was in the eighth year when he said no Keystone Pipeline.”

“I would say that he was not a leader when it comes to energy,” Hofmeister said.

As far as President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline goes, as long as that pipeline was not built, the oil was shipped via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, a close friend of President Obama. On February 21, 2013, I reported the following (article here):

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

President Obama did not facilitate the energy independence of America. He did, however, do a pretty good job of lining the pockets of some good friends.

A Guess It’s Okay To Kill Birds As Long As You Do It With Green Energy

One of the supposed reasons for the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline was its supposed negative impact on the environment. Those objecting to the Pipeline chose to overlook the fact that pipelines have a better safety record than the trains currently transporting the oil. (Not to mention that the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, a friend of President Obama, is currently transporting the oil). At any rate, the Keystone Pipeline was rejected due to a claimed negative impact on the environment.

Fast forward to 2016. Fox News reported yesterday that the regulations surrounding wind farms have been revised by the Obama Administration.

The article reports:

The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

Under the plan announced Wednesday, companies could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution.

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said the proposal will “provide a path forward” for maintaining eagle populations while also spurring development of a pollution-free energy source that’s intended to ease global warming, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan.

Ashe said the 162-page proposal would protect eagles and at the same time “help the country reduce its reliance on fossil fuels” such as coal and oil that contribute to global warming.

First of all, for the truth about global warming see the website wattsupwiththat. It posts the latest scientific information on the global warming hoax. You can also use the search engine on this website to look up previous articles on the subject.

The article further reports:

Under the new proposal, companies would pay a $36,000 fee for a long-term permit allowing them to kill or injure eagles. Companies would have to commit to take additional measures if they kill or injure more eagles than estimated, or if new information suggests eagle populations are being affected.

The permits would be reviewed every five years, and companies would have to submit reports of how many eagles they kill. Now such reporting is voluntary, and the Interior Department refuses to release the information.

Companies would be charged a $15,000 administrative fee every five years for long-term permits. The fees would cover costs to the Fish and Wildlife Service of conducting five-year evaluations and developing modifications, the agency said.

If an oil spill killed this many birds, there would be a very loud outcry. This is ridiculous. The other thing to remember here is that in its current state, wind energy will never fully replace carbon energy–it is not as reliable and cannot be depended upon to generate electricity 24 hours a day. If you only want electricity a few hours a day, it might work, but I can’t imagine most Americans accepting that. I would also like to remind people that in 2013 the Town of Falmouth Massachusetts held a vote to remove its windmill because of the problems it was causing (low pitched vibrations causing headaches, sleeplessness, and other problems) See article posted here.

We don’t yet have the technology for efficient green energy. The government needs to stop subsidizing and let the free market take over. If the solution is out there, the free market will find it. Until then, relax, global warming is a hoax to get more money from wealth countries into the hands of dictators in poor countries.

This Is One Example Of Why Congress Never Gets Anything Done

The Washington Examiner posted a story today about Congress and the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Republicans want to pass a bill in the House and the Senate approving the Pipeline and essentially daring President Obama to veto it. The Pipeline is supported by the majority of the American people, most Republicans, and some Democrats. Under normal circumstances, the bill should pass easily and Congress could possibly override a Presidential veto. Enter New York Senator Chuck Schumer. Senator Schumer plans to add amendments to any Keystone XL Pipeline bill that will prevent it from passing in the Senate.

The article reports:

The measures are unlikely to garner enough support in the GOP-held Senate, much as they’ve failed on Keystone XL bills in previous years in the Republican House. But Schumer said that the amendments his caucus plans to offer will make the legislation “more of a jobs bill,” as he downplayed the 35 permanent jobs the State Department said that TransCanada Corp.‘s project would create.

“We’re going to introduce an amendment to say that the steel used in the pipeline should be made in America, creating American jobs. We’re going to introduce an amendment that says that the oil that is used in the pipeline should be used in America,” the New York Democrat said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” adding that the caucus will also “introduce an amendment to add clean energy jobs.”

President Obama has been successfully stalling the Keystone XL Pipeline for years. There are a variety of reasons for this–to approve the pipeline would put an end to Democrat campaign contributions from radical environmental groups, and there is also the matter of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the railroad that is currently carrying the oil because the pipeline does not exist. Oddly enough, that railroad is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. I understand that that is simply an incredible coincidence, but somehow I think that this fact also plays into President Obama’s refusal to allow the Keystone XL to move forward.

It May Be Legal, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good

On Friday, Bloomberg News reported a new venture by Cubic Designs, Inc., a division of Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. I don’t have a problem with people making a profit, but even when something is legal, I think you need to look at the consequences of your actions. Cubic Designs, Inc. makes platforms for maximizing usable floor space in warehouses. The company sent fliers to about 1,000 marijuana growers, offering to help the pot growers expand the number of plants they grow.

I would love to see people growing food indoors using this technology, not growing something that may be detrimental to our society. I understand that marijuana is a ‘money’ crop, but so was tobacco. I think that as Americans begin to see the impact of legal marijuana in the states where it has been legalized, we may have second thoughts about the wisdom of making marijuana legal. Meanwhile, we need businessmen who have a moral compass guiding their actions.

 

 

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.

Following The Money On The Keystone Pipeline

In February of last year, I posted an article explaining how the delay of the Keystone Pipeline is making money for Warren Buffett (rightwinggranny.com). The article included the following quote from John Hinderaker at Power Line:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

However, it seems as if Warren Buffett is not the only one benefiting from the delay of the Keystone Pipeline. The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today highlighting some other people who have a financial interest in making sure the Keystone Pipeline is not built.

Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) is one of the people opposed to the construction  of the Keystone Pipeline.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The article reminds us:

The availability of alternatives to Keystone—from Kinder Morgan and Enbridge, another TransCanada competitor and Canada’s largest crude oil transporter—is integral to the State Department’s assessment that approving the pipeline will have little impact on carbon emissions, President Barack Obama’s stated standard for approval.

Another Congressman has investments in Enbridge:

Another anti-Keystone Democrat, California Rep. Alan Lowenthal, has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Enbridge Energy Management, $1,000 to $15,000 in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and $15,000 to $50,000 in Kinder Morgan Management, which is a limited partner in and handles everyday management for the company’s Energy Partners subsidiary.

Lowenthal has been less outspoken then Kaine on Keystone, but he voted against legislation last year that would have approved the pipeline without sign-off from the administration, which has repeatedly put off a decision on the project.

He was also one of 22 Democrats to sign a December letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman insisting that the Keystone Pipeline would be detrimental to the environment.

Shouldn’t Congressmen who have a vested financial interest in a vote taken by Congress be forced to abstain from that vote? This seems to be an example of Congressmen padding their own pockets while blocking a project that would provide jobs for many unemployed Americans.

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Gangster Government???

Periodically I post an article on this website that deals with something I have no clue about. This is one of those articles. I understand some of the basics, but the details of this situation are very much in the financial weeds.

Peter Wallison was a guest on the Bill Bennett radio show this morning talking about some recent government actions against J P Morgan Chase. A website called bizjournals.com offers some insight as to what is going on.

The bizjournals article reports:

Warren Buffett came to the defense of JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon Tuesday even as the New York bank is reaching a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the sale of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial crisis.

…”I think $13 billion is a lot of money, and I think Jamie has done a very good job of running JPMorgan,” Buffett said. “He helped out the economy enormously when he took on Bear Stearns and he didn’t get an indemnification clause. There wasn’t even time for that sort of thing.”

The thing to keep in mind here is that Jamie Dimon originally supported President Obama. Mr. Dimon became a critic of the Obama Administration after the Dodd-Frank bill was passed. The latest charge against JP Morgan is only one of several charges against JP Morgan that have come in the past three or four months.

Evidently the latest charge against JP Morgan is related to the fact that they sold sub-prime mortgages to investors. Somehow the government seems to have forgotten that they were the ones that demanded the writing of these sub-prime mortgages. Mr. Wallison also mentioned that many of the things JP Morgan is charged with are things they did not do, but that the companies they acquired at the request of the government did.

In his interview with Bill Bennett, Mr. Wallison noted that it is very worrisome that the government can go after a company in the way that they have gone after JP Morgan. This tactic could be used to discourage CEO’s of companies from speaking out against the policies of the government.

 

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Rules For Radicals In Action

Saul Alinksy, the original community organizer, wrote a book entitled, “Rules for Radicals.” Rule #4 states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)” Unfortunately that rule has been used excessively by many of the American political left. The latest example has to do with the Keystone Pipeline.

Two people the American political left loves to hate are the Koch Brothers. Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line describing how the political left is using the Koch Brothers as an excuse to oppose the Keystone Pipe Line. So what is the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and the Koch Brothers? Well, before I go into that, I would like to mention the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett controls Berkshire Hathaway which owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Burlington Northern Santa Fe will be shipping oil by rail if the pipeline is not built. The railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

But, back to the Koch Brothers. A website called Grist claims that the Koch Brothers will make “as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is given the go-ahead by President Obama.” So let’s look at the claim. First of all, the construction of the Keystone Pipeline would result in Koch Industries paying more for oil–not less. (See the article at Power Line for details). The article at Power Line also deals with the claim that the Koch Brothers own a good part of the acreage the oil for the pipeline will come from. Actually, it turns out that the Koch Brothers lease the acreage and that if the pipeline is built, it will take 476 years for the Koch Brothers to break even after the construction of the Pipeline.

The article at Power Line concludes:

So what is going on here? Rich liberals hire kids–recent college graduates, or maybe college or high school students–to produce idiotic “research reports” that can be dismantled by anyone familiar with arithmetic, let alone the oil and gas industry, of which these kids obviously know nothing at all. The claims these reports make are completely divorced from reality, but liberals don’t seem to care. The Huffington Post headlines: “Keystone XL Pipeline Could Yield $100 Billion For Koch Brothers.” PolicyMic: “Actually, You Probably WILL Guess Who Stands to Make $100 Billion Off the Keystone XL Pipeline.” TruthDig: “Koch Brothers Stand to Make $100 Billion From Keystone Pipeline.” And, of course, the Kos Kidz are all over it.

This isn’t just stupid, it is insane. It is also, unfortunately, a good example of what modern liberalism has come to. No regard for truth, just blind hatred.

Rules for radicals at work.

 

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Those Pesky Fact-Checkers

In his latest comments on the Keystone Pipeline, President Obama claimed that the Pipeline would create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction and later approximately 50 and 100 jobs. Doesn’t sound like much, does it?

The Daily Caller fact-checkers reviewed those statements in an article posted on Wednesday.

The article quotes the White House response when asked about these numbers:

“There are a range of estimates out there about the economic impact of the pipeline,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. “What the president is interested in doing is draining the politics out of this debate and evaluating this project on the merits.”

The State Department reported that the pipeline would directly create 3,900 jobs per year, and 42,100 jobs if indirect jobs are included. Even the Sierra Club, one of the leading groups campaigning against the pipeline cites the 3,900 jobs figure — higher than the president’s unsupported numbers.

The only estimate that even comes close to what President Obama claimed was one done by the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations Global Labor Institute, which opposes the pipeline.

The thing to note here is that the Pipeline would create jobs. America desperately needs jobs. Aside from the concept of energy independence and national security, it might be a really good idea to build the Keystone Pipeline, but meanwhile Warren Buffett‘s railroad is earning millions hauling the oil by rail. Notice, the oil will travel. The question is how it will travel and where it will travel. If America stalls on approving the pipeline long enough, the oil will travel by a new pipeline across Canada to a seaport where it will be shipped to China. It is not in America’s interest to oppose the Keystone Pipeline.

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Don’t Let Scientific Information Get In The Way Of Your Political Agenda

The roots of the outcry about the dangers of global warming are political. If global warming is a crisis, government can exert more power over citizens. Government can choose winners and losers in the business world (e.g. subsidies to Solyndra or avoiding the Keystone Pipeline to increase the business on Warren Buffett‘s railroad, etc.), and generally those in power can consolidate their power by employing quid pro quo policies without being obvious about it. So what about some of the claims used to sell the theory that we are melting?

Yesterday WattsUpWithThat posted an article about some recent claims that the North Pole is melting. Good grief, what will happen to Santa Claus?

The picture below was posted on Facebook by the Climate Reality Project. The picture was described as a picture of the North Pole showing that the North Pole was melting. There’s only one problem with that–the picture was taken 300 miles from the North Pole. So how much difference does 300 miles make? Three hundred miles is the approximate distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anyone who has been in these cities in February knows that 300 miles matters.

Drifting_webcam_Capture

In case you are still fearful that we are melting, the article at WattsUpWithThat included a few pictures from the 1960’s.

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962 (US Navy Photo).

The article also includes a picture of the North Pole from the 1980’s when Time Magazine was proclaiming the dangers of global cooling.

The following video posted on YouTube with the explanation below to clarify what is actually happening:

Published on Jul 27, 2013

There was quite a bit of hype bouncing around the Instanet on a “lake” at the North Pole. This video tries to clarify what’s up. Ponds of meltwater form routinely on Arctic Ocean sea ice in the summer. The sea ice is floating on the Arctic Ocean and in constant motion. The webcam that took these images was placed on the ice a few dozen miles from the North Pole in early spring, but has since drifted hundreds of miles.
The North Pole Environmental Observatory Web site:
http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpo…

I went on the 2003 expedition to set up the same batch of instruments in 2003 and wrote an award-winning book about the project and the once and future North Pole:
http://us.macmillan.com/newyorktimest…

Andrew Freedman’s Climate Central post is helpful as well:
The Lake at the North Pole, How Bad Is It?
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/me…

More on my blog on Arctic climate change and sea ice: http://j.mp/dotPole

Before you purchase waterfront property in West Virginia in anticipation of global warming, you might want to look at the facts.

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If The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Scream About It, It Didn’t Happen

In April of this year, I noted the differences in coverage the media gave to two stories regarding oil spills (rightwinggranny.com). One story involved a pipe leak and one story involved a train derailment. The train spill was three times the size of the pipe leak, but because it wasn’t a pipe leak and would not feed into the narrative of the anti-Keystone Pipeline sentiment, the train leak was not widely covered.

Today, the Wall Street Journal Opinion Page (I am not including a link–the article is subscribers only) notes that the Saturday explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, of a train carrying North Dakota shale oil will probably not get a lot of extended coverage.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reminds us:

The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren’t enough pipelines to carry it. The provincial governments of Alberta and New Brunswick are talking about building a pipeline to cover the 3,000-odd mile distance. But last month President Obama put the future of the Keystone XL pipeline again in doubt, telling a Georgetown University audience “our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Did the explosion at Lac-Megantic not significantly exacerbate the problem of pollution, carbon or otherwise?

The article points out that there is about half as much oil spilled from pipelines as railroads on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines tend to be away from populated areas–railroads tend to run through populated areas. Common sense would choose pipelines over railroads for both safety and pollution reasons.

The other aspect of the Keystone pipeline debate is the money. As long as there is no pipeline, Burlington Northern Santa Fe will continue to move shale oil to its destination. Burlington Northern Santa Fe is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett.

Environmentalists are being taken for a ride by the very people (Obama supporters) that they consider their allies in the fight to ‘save’ the environment. Amazing.

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Using News Stories To Shape Public Opinion

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an editorial that clearly shows how the major news media uses the way they report (or not report) stories to shape public opinion.

On Friday it was discovered that an old Exxon Mobil pipeline near Mayflower, Arkansas, was leaking. No one said exactly how much oil had leaked, but Exxon responded with enough people and equipment to handle as much as 10,000 barrels and had the flow stopped and cleanup begun by early Saturday. This event made the headlines–the major media used the leak as an example of the tragedy that would occur if the Keystone Pipeline were built. Well, wait a minute.

Last week a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailed in western Minnesota. The train was carrying crude oil and spilled up to 30,000 gallons. The spill was larger than the leak in Arkansas and took place near a town. The media somehow didn’t bother to cover the story.

The Wall Street Journal goes on to say that in 2008 U. S. railways transported 9,500 carloads of oil. In 2012 that number jumped to 233,811. There were 112 railroad oil spills from 2010 to 2012. From 2006 to 2009, there were 10 oil spills. Pipelines have fewer incidents per mile than rail cars.

Two of the things to keep in mind as the Keystone Pipeline remains in limbo are the fact that the Canadian oil is going to be shipped somewhere–either to America or China and that the person who is profiting by not building the pipeline is Warren Buffett (see rightwinggranny.com). One of the railroads that is in boom times because there is no Keystone Pipeline is Burlington Northern Santa Fe, owned by Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. As usual, the discussion of the Keystone Pipeline is not really about the environment–it is about the money.

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Following The Money On The Keystone Pipeline

 

My reason for supporting the Keystone Pipeline is that it will provide a source of energy for America that is based in North America and provided by someone that actually likes America. To me, that is a security consideration and should be considered. However, there are also some very interesting reasons for blocking the pipeline–none of which have any relationship to the environment.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today entitled,”Blocking the Keystone Pipeline: Who Benefits?”

Mr. Hinderaker points out:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

Isn’t it an incredible coincidence that Warren Buffet, one of President Obama’s biggest supporters, will benefit greatly if the pipeline is stopped. Who will lose? American workers who need jobs.

The article points out that because the oil from Canada can be transported by rail (instead of pipeline), American refineries are already being built to handle the increased amount of oil. Stopping the pipeline has no impact on the flow of oil–only on the way it is transported. Therefore, stopping the pipeline has no impact on the environment–in fact the pipeline probably has a lower carbon footprint than the railroad!

This story is another example of why you should never assume that the mainstream media is actually reporting the news. That’s why we need the Internet!

 

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Speeches And Reality

Last night Victor Davis Hanson posted his comments on President Obama’s State of the Union address at National Review last night.

Mr. Hanson listed what he considered the five major points of the speech:

1. After stating the good news and taking credit for it, the President then lists the bad news and begins to blame others for it. Mr. Hanson reminds us, “In the new math, not having one month below 7.8 percent unemployment (in comparison with the prior administration’s not having one month above that figure) means after “shedding jobs for more than ten years, our manufacturers have added 500,000 jobs over the past three.” Adding some jobs matters; losing more of them doesn’t.”

2. President Obama engaged in his usual class warfare again reminding us of Warren Buffett‘s secretary, although not by name. I am tired of the President demonizing success in order to push his agenda. Enough is enough.

3. The speech was full of inaccuracies. Mr. Hanson sights one, “The Congress is responsible for sequestration rather than Obama who thought it up in the first place.” The Obama Administration has been repeating this lie for a while and will probably continue to do so.

4. The President blamed superstorm Sandy on climate change and used that as a premise to fund more Solyndras. Let’s talk about superstorm Sandy. By the time Sandy arrived in New York, it was a category 1 hurricane. Unfortunately, it was a very large, slow moving storm that hit a very densely populated area. That was the problem. We have had superstorms and severe hurricanes before–Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was a Category 4 and 5 hurricane when it hit Florida. “The Perfect Storm,” immortalized in the book and movie, occurred in 1991. We have had hurricanes and storms forever. One of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit New England occurred in 1938. Actually, in recent years we have had fewer hurricanes–not more.

5. The last section of Mr. Hanson’s analysis of President Obama’s speech is called, “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better.” It deals with the total lack of logic in some of the President’s statements. One problem was the President taking credit for increased gas and oil production while limiting gas and oil production on federal lands. Another was claiming that Al Qaeda was on the run. The article at National Review lists an entire array of illogical or dishonest claims of success.

Mr. Hanson concludes:

After five years of these soaring hope-and-change speeches, there are the same three themes I think will keep reverberating: Obama’s soaring rhetoric bears not much resemblance to the reality of the present tough times here and abroad; no one in the administration or the media will go back to see whether last year’s similar utopian ideas ever worked or even saw implementation; and the majority of listeners to the speech either probably believed every word — or were angry at anybody who did not.

Hopefully Congress will be able to stop some of the more damaging ideas proposed in the President’s State of the Union address. Otherwise we can expect more unemployment and higher taxes for everyone who works.  

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Rhetoric Vs. Facts

We’re hearing a lot lately about solving our nation’s fiscal problems by ‘taxing the rich.’ It sounds good, but the facts just don’t agree with the talking points.

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday that crunched some of the numbers involved.

Breitbart.com reported:

“The president’s plan to increase taxes on the upper two percent covers the spending by this federal government not for eight years, not for eight months, not for eight weeks but for eight days. Eight days only,” said Mr. Price (Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)). “It’s not a real solution. So, again, I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested in raising tax rates than in gaining economic vitality.”

So what is going on?

The article cites a comment by Warren Buffett that may explain things:

Indeed, even Mr. Buffett seems to concede that he and the president’s “soak the rich” proposals are more an act of political theater designed to generate an emotional response than serious solutions: Mr. Buffett told Matt Lauer he believes his proposal would boost the “morale of the middle class.” 

This is not about fiscal responsibility. This is called class warfare, and unfortunately, a lot of Americans have bought into the idea that punishing success is better than formulating policies that will help more people achieve success.

There is one important thing to remember as we approach the fiscal cliff. The Republicans control only one-half of one branch of government. Whatever happens, if it is not successful, the media will blame the Republicans. The Republicans might as well stick to their guns about not raising taxes and at least get blamed for something they did right. The idea of raising taxes now and dealing with spending cuts later is laughable. The Democrats have made that promise before, and the spending cuts never happened.

The problem is on both sides of the aisle–bigger government means more power concentrated in Washington. Congressmen like power. Until we elect people who put the welfare of the country before their own personal ambitions, nothing will change.

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The Sound Of Crickets Chirping

The sound of crickets chirping is what you hear when you ask President Obama what his plans for lowering the deficit are. Mark Steyn wrote a wonderful article in the National Review today encapsulating the current budget debate. He points out that the Buffett Rule the President keeps touting will balance the budget in 514 years. Wow! Fiscal responsibility at its best!

The article gives us some perspective on the amount of the federal debt and what the Buffett Rule would accomplish:

.,..For what Obama’s spending, there aren’t enough of them, or us, or “the rich” — and there never will be. There is only one Warren Buffett. He is the third-wealthiest person on the planet. The first is a Mexican, and beyond the reach of the U.S. Treasury. Mr. Buffett is worth $44 billion. If he donated the entire lot to the government of the United States, they would blow through it within four and a half days. Okay, so who’s the fourth-richest guy? He’s French. And the fifth guy’s a Spaniard. Number six is Larry Ellison. He’s American, but that loser is only worth $36 billion. So he and Buffett between them could keep the United States government going for a week. The next-richest American is Christy Walton of Walmart, and she’s barely a semi-Buffett. So her $25 billion will see you through a couple of days of the second week. There aren’t a lot of other semi-Buffetts, but, if you scrounge around, you can rustle up some hemi-demi-semi-Buffetts: If you confiscate the total wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans it comes to $1.5 trillion, which is just a little less than the Obama budget deficit for a year.

The article reminds us that President Obama has been saying horrible things about the Paul Ryan budget. The President’s budget was defeated in the House of Representatives by 414 to 0. Where is his alternative plan?

Please follow the link to the National Review to read the entire article. Mark Steyn has a very entertaining way of explaining where we are in terms of spending and taxing and what we need to do about it.

 

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It’s Embarrassing When You Don’t Practice What You Preach

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Yesterday Bloomberg.com posted a story about Warren Buffett. It seems that despite his recent statements to the contrary, he hates to pay taxes as much as the rest of us.

The article reports:

NetJets Inc., the private-plane company owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), was countersued by the U.S. over $366 million in taxes and penalties.

NetJets in November sued the U.S., saying the federal government had wrongly imposed taxes, interest and penalties totaling more than $642.7 million.

…NetJets Aviation Inc. owes more than $302.1 million, and another unit, NetJets International, is liable for $52.9 million, the U.S. said. Executive Jet Management Inc. owes $10 million while NetJets Large Aircraft owes $1.19 million, the U.S. claimed.

“NetJets doesn’t comment on pending litigation,” General Counsel Colleen Nissl said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

I have no problem with a corporation legally cutting its tax bill, but I do find it ironic that the man who raised such a ruckus about the wealthy paying ‘their fair share’ of income taxes doesn’t necessarily think that statement applies to him.

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About That Buffett Rule…

Pat Robertson on the 700 Club revealed some numbers his research people came up with regarding the taxes of Warren Buffett and Warren Buffett’s secretary. They are as follows:

Warren Buffett’s 2010 Taxes:

Adjusted Gross Income              $62.9 million

Taxable Income                          $39.8 million

Income Taxes                             $6.9 million

Warren Buffett’s secretary in 2010

Forbes Magazine estimated her income at somewhere around $200,000

Her estimated tax burden was approximately $70,000 or slightly higher

A significant amount of Mr. Buffett’s income came from sources that the government had already taxes at 35% (corporate taxes). There is no reason to tax that money again. Mr. Buffett’s secretary did not pay more in taxes than he did. That is a lie.

 

 

 

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One More Short Note On The State Of The Union Speech

We all heard about the excessive tax burden of Warren Buffett’s Secretary (who makes more than $200,000 per year), but my sympathy for this lady is running a little thin. I am glad she makes what she makes, but the fact that she is overtaxed has nothing to do with what Mr. Buffett pays in taxes–it has to do with the fact that the government is overspent.

Yesterday The Smoking Gun pointed out that this poor overtaxed lady just bought  a second home in Arizona, complete with a swimming pool and a “professional PGA putting green,” according to real estate records.

The article reports:

The principal Bosanek residence is in Bellevue, Nebraska, several miles from Buffett’s corporate headquarters in Omaha. The couple’s 2568-square-foot home, built in 2000, also has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. But the modest property, which Sarpy County assessors last year valued at $217,716, offers no outdoor amenities for swimmers or golfers.

All  of us are overtaxed. Mr. Buffett is not undertaxed. The government is overspent.

 

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How Many Jobs Have Been Lost During The Obama Administration Because Of Crony Capitalism ?

The link for this article is The Examiner. The article was originally at Bloomberg.com, linked to by the Drudge Report, but Bloomberg took it down. I’m sure there is a story behind that.

President Obama has said ‘no’ to the Keystone Pipeline. It is very possible that Canada will build a different pipeline across Canada to sell the oil to China. There is also another possibility. A railroad, coincidentally owned by Warren Buffet, can transport the oil for $3 a barrel more. Either way, the American consumer is the loser.

President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline made no sense–unions supported the pipeline, and it would have created many jobs. Now it seems to make sense.

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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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Facts Are Such Inconvenient Things

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Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about a recent fact check on some details of one of President Obama’s speeches. After Warren Buffet claimed that his secretary paid more taxes than he did, President Obama began to repeat the claim. Associated Press decided to do some fact-checking.

The article at Hot Air reported the following:

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes and payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

There is also the fact that if Warren Buffet wants to pay more in taxes, there is a place on his tax return that allows him to do just that. The flip side of this is wondering how many lawyers and accountants he employs to keep his taxes as low as possible. While I am piling on, I would like to refer to a story I posted on September 1 at rightwinggranny explaining that a business move recently made by Warren Buffet will result in Berkshire Hathaway paying a tax rate of 10.5 percent on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America instead of the normal rate of 35 percent. If Mr. Buffet is so convinced millionaires should pay higher taxes, why did he bother to make that move?

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Warren Buffett And Taxes

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

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On Tuesday there was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal about Warren Buffett and his taxes. I am not linking to the article because it is a subscribers only article.

The editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal points out that despite the fact that he is a strong cheerleader for increasing taxes on the wealthy, Warren Buffett does not practice what he preaches. Recently Mr. Buffett invested in Bank of America. Under normal circumstances, Berkshire Hathaway pays a top federal income tax rate of 35 percent. However, corporations can exclude 70 percent of the dividends they receive from an investment in another corporation. Because of that law, Berkshire will pay a tax rate of 10.5 percent on the $300 million in dividends it will receive each year from Bank of America. The shareholders in Berkshire Hathaway may appreciate this, as well they should, but it really doesn’t sound like the actions of someone who believes that the rich should pay more taxes. Maybe Mr. Buffett thinks that the ‘other’ rich should pay more taxes.

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