Greatest Hits- Taxes: A Historical Perspective

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Taxes: A Historical Perspective:  It turns out that taxes kill jobs and cause a loss on revenue?  Who would have thunk it?

With taxes on tanning salons and medical devises in the ObamaCare law, and the states proposing taxes on all sorts of services and products, I think it might be a good time to take a look at just how successful other taxes have been.  In 1990, a luxury tax was passed to go after the “rich people” by taxing things that they buy, luxury yachts, private aircraft, specialty cars, and the like.  They were dead set on making these evil rich people pay more.  The results?  Predictably, the results were completely forgotten by the left.

Note that all of these articles are take from different times during the existence of this tax, which was later repealed, but the damage was already done.

According to a survey of the largest boat dealers in Connecticut, conducted by the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), sales of boats costing $100,000 or more have fallen 93 percent, from $7.879 million in 1990 to $ 545,000 for the same period this year. Nationwide, more than 19,000 people have been put out of work at boat making plants.

Source

The 1990 budget deal also slapped a hefty luxury tax on boats… to draw more money from wealthy yacht owners. What actually happened? People bought fewer boats. So who really paid the price? The many nonwealthy boat builders who were put out of work by the tax… The [Washington] Post article reported estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 jobs were lost. These effects were so obvious that even the tax raisers in Congress now plan to repeal the yacht tax.

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According to a study done for the Joint Economic Committee, the tax destroyed 330 jobs in jewelry manufacturing, 1,470 in the aircraft industry and 7,600 in the boating industry. The job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues. So the net effect of the taxes was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991, which means the government projection was off by $38.6 million.

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So, just from this small sample, we see that the tax did significant damage to several industries.  And once a business closes, it isn’t likely to return.  The job losses become permanent.  Also, the government made no money on the tax, instead, they lost money on it.

This has continued to happen in other circumstances.  NY’s cigarette taxes created a great new business opportunity for the mafia.  Maryland’s “millionaire tax” caused millionaires to move away.  In each situation, the government in question ended up either not making as much money as projected, or lost money.  When you tax an activity, it either decreases, goes away, or goes underground.  It’s happened all through history, and in the end, it’s the wage earner that takes the hit.  He or she is the one who pays higher costs, or no longer has a job, but the elites can sit in the unreality bubble, secure in their belief that they’ve stuck it to the rich.

Here is some more info on new, (and completely insane) taxes from Dr. Bill Smith at ARRA News Service.

It is definitely odd to be quoting from the liberal NY Times. The below article reveals that the States are in trouble and looking for other sources of more money. Much of the States’ problems are caused by the pending impact of Federal programs like national healthcare. More after the article.
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The New York Times: [T]o generate more revenue, states are considering new taxes on virtually everything: garbage pickup, dating services, bowling night, haircuts, even clowns. . . . Opponents of imposing taxes on services like funerals, legal advice, helicopter rides and dry cleaning argue that this push comes as businesses are barely clinging to life and can ill afford to see customers further put off by new taxes. . . .

“This is born out of necessity,” said Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat. His proposed budget, being debated in Harrisburg, would tax services including accounting, advertising and data processing. . . .Most states tax at least some services, particularly items like utilities.

Nevertheless, few states have gone where political leaders in Michigan and Pennsylvania are now suggesting: adding scores of services to their states’ sales tax requirement and lowering the tax rate under a widened tax base. But from coast to coast, desperate governments are looking to tap into new revenue streams.
In Nebraska, a lawmaker has introduced a bill to tax armored car services, farm equipment repairs, shoe shines, taxidermy, reflexology and scooter repairs. In Kentucky,Jim Wayne, a state representative, and some fellow Democrats are proposing taxing high-end services: golf greens fees, limousine and hot-air-balloon rides, and private landscaping.

In June, voters in Maine will decide whether to accept a state overhaul of its tax system that would newly tax services like tailor alterations, blimp rides, and entertainment provided by clowns, comedians and jugglers. . .; [Full Article]

My first reaction to this, aside from knowing that these taxes will only punish wage earners and small entrepreneurs, is that they are going to tax CLOWNS?  How much money are they expecting to get from that?

So, how many of these businesses will shed jobs, cut benefits, hire less people, or simply close due to these new taxes?  It remains to be seen, but rest assured, we’ll be talking about it.

Tens of thousands of jobs lost, paying out more in unemployment than was collected in taxes- this is our future if the regressives tax as they please.  Of course, the results will be blamed on someone else.  And yes, they actually suggested taxing CLOWNS!

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Most Of Obama’s Job Gains Come With The Question, “Do You Want Fries With That?”

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obama shush

 

The Obamabots will tell you the economy is “improving,” because their Dear Leader has created millions of new jobs.

What they won’t tell you is what kind of jobs he’s managed to create.

Lots and lots of low-pay, low-skill, dead-end jobs.

As in, “do you want fries with that?”

In a post-recession world where many once-familiar occupations continue to automate, move offshore or disappear outright, one of the most basic questions remains:

Who’s hiring?

It turns out the vast preponderance of job openings these days consists of low-skill, hourly wage work with high turnover.

The current slate of “help wanted” ads overwhelmingly involves cashiers, waitresses and waiters, personal care aides, janitors, those who stock store shelves, and the likes of Hardee’s and Taco Bell.

Of the top 10 “Occupations with the Most Openings,” nine fall into government-designated wage categories of “very low” and “low,” according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The proliferation of bottom-rung openings casts a light on an epidemic transformation within the national economy, one that has been accompanied by a long-term contraction of middle-skill occupations that often pay family-supporting wages.

“Workers in many types of middle-rank positions — such as skilled production-line workers and people in clerical or administrative jobs — have had to migrate into jobs as food-service workers, home health-care aides, child-care employees and security guards,” according to a study by David Autor, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For Obama so loved the poor, he made millions more of them.

“This is not an overall improvement in job quality,” Autor said. “The problem with many of these jobs is they require fairly generic skill sets, which means workers have limited negotiating power and are fairly interchangeable. These are not, in general, attractive jobs.”

What’s remarkable is how deeply the low-wage sector — once seen as temporary and transitional — has entrenched itself in the world of work.

According to the Labor Department, the No. 1 employment opportunity in the U.S. is for retail salespeople.

Typical retail work requires “less than high school” education.

Retail jobs do not always pay well, but there are plenty of them: Nearly 200,000 open up on average each year in the U.S.

And who’s competing for those retail jobs? Obama’s DREAMers, illegal aliens, here to ensure you’ll never work again.

No wonder then that so many Americans have simply given up on looking for real work. Why bother? There aren’t any more good jobs out there.

The only other growth sector? Government. Hey, Big Brother is always hiring. And always getting in the way.

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The Death Of The American Dream In 22 Numbers

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lady liberty cryingHat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal.

A very interesting, but sobering article on the American Dream by Michael Snyder and posted over at Doug Ross @ Journal.

 

The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. – Michael Snyder

 

Here it is, posted in it’s entirety:

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We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream.  The numbers that you are about to see tell a story.  They tell a story of a once mighty economy that is dying.  For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard.  And when I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was living the American Dream.  I lived on a “middle class” street and I went to a school where it seemed like almost everyone was middle class.  When I was in high school, it was very rare to ever hear of a parent that was unemployed, and virtually every family that I knew had a comfortable home and more than one nice vehicle.  But now that has all changed.  The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs.  With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest of us are scrambling really hard to keep our own places.  Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet Americans are very deeply divided when it comes to finding answers to our problems.  We love to point fingers and argue with one another, and meanwhile things just continue to get even worse.  The following are 22 numbers that are very strong evidence of the death of the American Dream…

#1 The Obama administration tells us that 8.69 million Americans are “officially unemployed” and that 92.90 million Americans are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  That means that more than 101 million U.S. adults do not have a job right now.

#2 One recent survey discovered that 55 percent of Americans believe that the American Dream either never existed or that it no longer exists.

#3 Considering the fact that Obama is in the White House, it is somewhat surprising that 55 percent of all Republicans still believe in the American Dream, but only 33 percent of all Democrats do.

#4 After adjusting for inflation, median household income has fallen by nearly $5,000 since 2007.

#5 After adjusting for inflation, “the median wealth figure for middle-income families” fell from $78,000 in 1983 to $63,800 in 2013.

#6 At this point, 59 percent of Americans believe that “the American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve”.

#7 In 1967, 53 percent of Americans were considered to be “middle income”.  But today, only 43 percent of Americans are.

#8 For each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened.  Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history.

#9 According to the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

#10 According to one recent report, 43 million Americans currently have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.

#11 Traditionally, owning a home has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class.  Unfortunately, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. has now been falling for seven years in a row.

#12 According to a survey that was conducted last year, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

#13 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.

#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has now exceeded the 46 million mark for 38 months in a row.

#15 Right now, more than one out of every five children in the United States is on food stamps.

#16 According to a Washington Post article published just recently, more than 50 percent of the children in U.S. public schools now come from low income homes.  This is the first time that this has happened in at least 50 years.

#17 According to the Census Bureau, 65 percent of all children in the United States are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.

#18 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”.  But by 2014, only44 percent of all Americans still considered themselves to be “middle class”.

#19 In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”.  But in 2014, an astounding 49 percentof all Americans in that age range considered themselves to be “lower class”.

#20 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#21 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

#22 According to CNN, the typical American family can only “replace 21 days of income with readily accessible funds”.

The key to the recovery of the middle class is jobs.

The truth is that without middle class jobs, it is impossible to have a middle class.

Unfortunately, more middle class jobs are being offshored, are being replaced by technology, or are being lost to a slowing economy every single day.  The competition for the jobs that remain is incredibly intense.  Just consider the following example

In 2012, Eric Auld, an unemployed 26-year-old with a master’s degree in English, decided to find out what was on the other side of the black hole. He created a fake job ad as an experiment:

Administrative Assistant needed for busy Midtown office. Hours are Monday through Friday, nine to five. Job duties include: filing, copying, answering phones, sending e-mails, greeting clients, scheduling appointments. Previous experience in an office setting preferred, but will train the right candidate. This is a full-time position with health benefits. Please e-mail résumé if interested. Compensation: $12-$13 per hour.

If you have ever applied for a job like that, I offer my condolences. You have better odds at the casino. Auld received 653 responses in 24 hours. 10% of the applicants had more than 10 years of experience, and 3% of them had master’s degrees. Presumably, one of them would get the job. But what does that mean? It means that all the other experienced applicants and master’s degree holders would remain unemployed. That is about 64 experienced workers and about 19 workers with master’s degrees.

So how can we get this turned around?

How can we start to increase the number of middle class jobs in America once again?

Please feel free to share your solution by posting a comment below…

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All The King’s Men Can’t Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again

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Nobody can predict how long governments can get away with fake growth, fake money, fake financial stability, fake jobs, fake inflation numbers and fake income growth. Our feeling is that confidence, especially when it is unjustified, is quite a thin veneer. When confidence is lost, that loss can be severe, sudden and simultaneous across a number of markets and sectors.

_ Paul Singer’s letter to investors

Then there is this from David Stockman:

…  since the turn of the century, the working age population has grown from 212 million to nearly 250 million, but out of that potential 38 million gain, there has been only an 8.7 million pick-up in the headline payroll count. And even that dismal 22% ratio is flattered by the fact that, as demonstrated below, a growing share of the headline print consists of low wage, part-time jobs, and many of them represent multiple paychecks to the same person.

 

Fifteen years of steady decline in the number of jobs and in the quality of jobs that have been generated. Yet, the central planners tell us everything is improving. That means we can expect the central planners to continue doing more of the same.

A frequent visitor to Asylum Watch from the far left had this comment on a recent post about the trend of technology replacing large segments of the workforce. He will go unnamed to protect the guilty. Let’s call him Mr. X.

I think we focus too much on everyone having “jobs.” Isn’t raising a child or children valuable? Isn’t that work? Isn’t that a job? What about educating yourself? Instead of profiteering from people who want to be educated, wouldn’t it be better if more people were educated, if more people had the skills to come up with new things and new ways of doing things?

The Protestant Work Ethic was always nothing more than a way to subjugate the working class. “Work” in and of itself does nothing for your soul, yourself, or anyone else. Accomplishing something is what’s important.

I fear Mr. X comes closer to representing a majority in America than I do. One thing is for sure. Those that arranged Humpty Dumpty’s fall love people like Mr. X.

So, you can expect the next fifteen years to be like the last fifteen years _ or worse.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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Foreign-Born Job-Holders Break 25 MILLION…

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obama-surprise-ap_c0-40-700-448_s561x327

Hat/Tip to WeaselZippers and Ali Meyer at CNS News.

The “Global President” strikes again…

Another amazing Obama record!

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – The number of foreign-born individuals holding jobs in the United States hit a record high of 25,019,000 in September, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS has been tracking the number of foreign-born workers annually since 2005 and monthly since 2007. The BLS does not distinguish between foreign-born individuals who are in the United States legally and those who are here illegally.

“The foreign born are those who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens,” the BLS explains. “The foreign born include legally-admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories.”

Read the full story here.

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Another Obamacare Success Story: Businesses Cutting Jobs Ahead of the Employer Mandate

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On the plus side, you’ll have (allegedly) cheap health insurance, and more time to play golf.

Because, thanks to Obamacare, your job just went poof!

Businesses are cutting jobs due to ObamaCare, according to surveys by several regional Federal Reserve Banks.

Health economist John Goodman noted that “three Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have surveyed the folks in their area and roughly one fifth of the employers are saying they cut back on employment.”

“Roughly one fifth are saying they’re moving from full time to part time,” Goodman added. “More than one in ten are saying they’re doing more outsourcing – all this because of the new health care reform.”

Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, said for the smaller employers — those that have between 20 and 49 employees — you get a negative impact on jobs, you get a negative impact on wages in those jobs. What this means for small business as a whole is over $22 billion of earnings gone for their workers and 350,000 jobs.”

The president repeatedly has delayed the mandate requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide insurance. But businesses know it’s coming, so many avoid hiring to keep their worker rolls below 50.

Also, the mandate applies only to those who work more than 30 hours a week — an incentive for employers to reduce hours.

Fewer jobs. And the jobs that remain are part-time.

Yay Obamacare!

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But wait, there’s more bad news.

Prices are rising, and incomes are shrinking.

More than a third of manufacturing firms in the NY Fed survey said they’re raising prices to cover the costs of health care, and about half the businesses surveyed by the Dallas Fed said ObamaCare is raising insurance costs for their employees.

“Yes we are going to see increased cost to employers who are trying to provide health care for their employees, but employers don’t just take that lying down,” said Tevi Troy of the American Health Policy Institute.

Goodman added, “Even among full-time workers, their take home pay is going to go down because one thing that almost all the employers are doing in response to ObamaCare is raising the deductibles, raising the co-payments and making the employee pay more of the premium.”

Oops. Scratch that “cheap health insurance” baloney. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the decrease in disposable income is all too real.

But smug liberals get to feel good about themselves for “helping” the uninsured, so there’s that.

Meanwhile out here in The Real World, Obamacare is a train wreck. And that light at the end of the tunnel? Yeah, it’s another oncoming train.

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Nearly 25 Million Foreign-Born Hold US Jobs

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Hat/Tip to Ali Meyer at CNSNews.

Thanks to the Obama economic policies, we have rampant and epidemic unemployment in this country and what does our President want to do? He wants to INCREASE the number of folks looking for work by legalizing millions and millions of illegals. As it stands now, already nearly 25 million of them have taken American jobs.

The number of foreign-born individuals holding jobs in the United States hit a recorded high of 24,639,000 in August, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS has been tracking the number of foreign-born workers annually since 2005 and monthly since 2007.

The BLS does not distinguish between foreign-born individuals who are in the United States legally and those who are here illegally.

“The foreign born are those who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens,” the BLS explains. “The foreign born include legally-admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories.”

 

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The 24,639,000 foreign-born workers who held jobs in the United States in August was up 557,000 from July, when 24,082,000 foreign-born workers held jobs. These are non-seasonally adjusted numbers.

Read the full story here.

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What Would a $15 a Hour Minimum Wage Cause: Higher Prices vs. Robots

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The effort to provide millions of workers with a living wage put millions of workers out of a job, the SEIU Communist Party is leading protests against fast food joints all over the US.  Their demand is a $15 a hour minimum wage.  As usual, the SEIU Communists, being ignorant of how businesses actually work, fail to recognize the consequences of their actions; like higher prices…

Fight for 15

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has launched an expensive PR campaign calling for wages of at least $15 an hour in the fast-food industry. This Fight for 15 is part of a larger SEIU pressure campaign to unionize fast-food restaurants.[1] Hundreds of union activists have staged “walkouts” and protests across the country demanding the higher pay rate. These protests have attracted considerable media attention. However, if the SEIU achieved its stated goal, it would hurt the budgets of millions of moderate-income Americans.

No, Fast-Food Joints Cannot Absorb Cost Increases

Artificially inflating wages would substantially increase fast-food restaurants’ total costs—labor makes up a considerable portion of their budget. Chart 1 shows the financial statements of the average fast-food restaurant in 2013. Labor costs (26 percent) and food and material costs (31 percent) make up the majority of the typical restaurant budget.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average cook in a fast-food restaurant earned $9.04 an hour in 2013.[2] The SEIU’s push for $15 an hour would consequently raise fast-food wages by at least 66 percent. Paying $15 an hour would raise fast-food restaurants’ total costs by approximately 15 percent.[3]

Fast-food restaurants could not pay this additional amount out of their profits. The typical restaurant has a profit margin of just 3 percent before taxes.[4] That works out to approximately $27,000 a year[5]—less than the annual cost of hiring one full-time employee at $15 an hour.[6] In order to raise wages, fast-food restaurants must raise prices.

Total Economic Effects

The Heritage Foundation constructed a simulation model using the data on the average fast-food restaurant’s income and expenses. (See Chart 1.) This model accounts for the sales that fast-food restaurants lose when they raise prices. (See the appendix for details of this model.) Chart 2 shows the effects of a $15-an-hour minimum wage on the fast-food industry.

The higher labor costs would initially force fast-food restaurants to raise their prices by 15 percent, which would drive down sales by 14 percent. This would force restaurants to raise prices again, pushing sales down further. In equilibrium the average fast-food restaurant would have to raise prices 38 percent.[10] Prices would rise roughly twice as much as the initial increase in labor costs.[11] Total sales and hours worked would both fall by 36 percent. Fast-food restaurant owners would also have to accept a 77 percent reduction in profits in order to stay in business—leaving them with an average profit of just $6,100 a year per store. Otherwise they would have to raise prices to an extent that would drive away their customer base.

You can see the rest over at Heritage.  It is well reference and researched.  And, since it is fact based, it will be attacked by regressives, who hate nothing more than when their shameless rhetoric is shredded by reality.

I covered this before, but our old friend Snarky posted the following link on Facebook…

Here’s a schematic of what the burger-bot looks like and how it works. It occupies 24 square feet, so it’s much smaller than most assembly-line fast-food operations. It boasts “gourmet cooking methods never before used in a fast food restaurant” and will even deposit your completed burger into a bag. It’s a veritable Gutenberg printing press for hamburgers.

So, when faced with the prospective of going out of business, or ordering a robot, which do you think they will pick?
And, when hundreds of thousands of people are out of work because they fell for the SEIU’s snake oil, who will be blamed?
Bush, probably!
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The illusion of a recovery: Unemployment drops as part-time work explodes

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part-time-jobs

Recovery Summer Episode VI, Revenge of the Part-Timers.

In the new landscape of the American labor market, jobs are easier to come by but hours remain in short supply.

New government data released Thursday showed the economy added 288,000 jobs in June — the fifth straight month gains have topped the critical benchmark of 200,000. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, down more than a percentage point over the past year.

But there’s a gnawing fear among some economists that the improving data provides false comfort. The number of people in part-time jobs jumped by more than 1 million in June to 27 million, according to the government’s data, making it one of the corners of the labor market that has been slowest to heal. That has led to worries that the workforce may be becoming permanently polarized, with part-timers stuck on one side and full-time workers on the other.

“What we’re seeing is a growing trend of low-quality part-time jobs,” said Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Work Week Initiative, which is pushing for labor reforms. “It’s creating this massive unproductive workforce that is unable to productively engage in their lives or in the economy.”

The spike in part-time work since the recession has been largely involuntary. These workers may have had their hours cut or are unable to find full-time jobs, earning them the official designation of “part-time for economic reasons.” In June, their ranks swelled by 275,000 to 7.5 million. In 2007, 4.4 million people fell into this category.

So the good news, if you’re an Obamabot, is the economy added 288,000 new jobs last month. The Real News though is that 275,000 of those jobs are part-time.

Hope and change!

And then there are the drop-outs; folks who’ve given up on ever finding a job, even a “low-quality part-time” job.

The US unemployment rate dropped to 6.1% in June the lowest level since September 2008.

However the number of people not in the labor force also rose to a fresh record high of 92,120,000 up 111,000 since June.

In fact, there are more than 7 million fewer people in the workforce than when Obama took office. Add them back in to the mix and the unemployment rate tops out at over 12 percent.

All of this should come as no surprise, unless you’re living in a bubble.

When you raise taxes dramatically and roll out tons of burdensome regulations, a contracting economy is only a surprise if you’re an idiot. Or a member of this Administration and the press. But I repeat myself.

Sadly this Administration envisions no changes to its disruptive policies. Because they can’t, or won’t, admit they’re wrong. So, as long as they keep shoving in the same inputs, we’ll keep seeing the same abysmal outputs.

In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.

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George W. Bush’s Stimulus vs. Barack H. Obama’s – A Look Back

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When Obama came into office, he faced the bursting of the housing bubble and a big recession. His answer was to respond with a stimulus package, mostly full of spending, but with some minor tax cuts thrown in for lip service. But his predecessor also came into office faced with a big recession and he also responded with his own stimulus package. Let’s take a look at the way both men handled the problems facing each.

As I said above, let us remember why the Bush tax cuts even took place. When Bush & Cheney took office, they faced a recession that began at the end gwbushof Clinton’s tenure in the Oval Office. The 2001 Economic Growth and Recovery Tax Act was Bush’s version of Obama’s stimulus plan. But instead of subsidizing a vast expansion of government and creating a lot of temporary government jobs, it cut tax rates increased the standard deduction for married folks, increased the child tax credit and increased contribution caps for a bunch of different savings programs.

And what did that do?

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, the recession ended in November ’01. Of course 9/11 hit and the economy slowed way down again and it was coming back at a very anemic rate. So enter the Jobs Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. It bolstered the ’01 tax cuts by focusing on dividends and capital gains.

What was the result this time?

Those “tax cuts for the rich” enabled the rich to pay MORE taxes in 2005 than they did any time in the previous two decades. You read that right, more than in the prior 20 years. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that those Bush tax cuts showed the richest of the rich – that famed “1%,” went from paying 25% of all income taxes in 1990 to 39% in 2005. The wealthiest 5% went from paying 44% of all income taxes in ’90, to paying a staggering 60% of them in 2005.

Isn’t the left always repeating that they wish the rich would just pay what they’re supposed to? Seems to me, they’d be a big fan of the Bush tax cuts, then. In fact, if you go back farther to 1980 and look at the numbers, with the top marginal tax rate at 70%, the wealthiest 1% paid 19% of all income taxes. Under Bush with the top marginal at 35%, they pay more than double that 19%.

The economy went from being near a standstill at 0.3% growth in 2001 to 2.5% just the next year, and by ’04 GDP was growing at its highest rate in 20 years. Correspondign to this, the unemployment fell to the lowest levels since WWII.

Did you catch that? The Bush tax cuts created the lowest unemployment levels – ever.

But you’ll never hear that in the main stream media, they’re too busy bashing Bush and covering for their ideological leader.

Speaking of President Obama, what exactly are the results of his economic approach?

Well, in November of 2obama finger011  the Congressional Budget Office downgraded its estimate of the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or the ’09 stimulus spending package. The CBO says that it MIGHT have sustained 700,000 to 3.5 million jobs during it’s peak in 2010, but over the long haul, it is going to be a net drag on the economy.

Then in 2012, the CBO revised that estimate to between a paltry 200,000 and 1.2 million jobs. If we take the very optimistic number of 1.2 million jobs created by the stimulus, then each job cost the taxpayers $692,500.

Fast forward to 2014, and gues what? Looks like the CBO was correct. But what else did they say?

They said that it DID positively affect the economy in the short run, but adding all that extra debt is keeping out private investment and “will reduce output slightly in the long run…”

The Congressinal Budget Office continued to re-evaluate the stimulus every three months, so its estimates for the cost of Obama’s stimulus have varied from 787$ billion to a high of $862 billion. And the CBO has changed its model for the stimulus’ spending’s direct impact on the economy, showing that ARRA did less than first estimated.

Basically, the CBO states that for every dollar of federal spending, it “crowds out” about a third of a dollar of private spending. And this tells us what we all already knew, the best thing that government can do to put Americans back to work and get the economy pumping is to just plain get out of the way.

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Unemployment Down Due to People Getting Jobs, or People Giving up and Dropping out?

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unemployment

If you believe the Obama administration, or his sycophants in the MSM, the unemployment rate is down because of the President’s exceptional leadership and policies in the face of the racist GOP.  This should not come as a surprise, nor should we be surprised that the unemployment rate is really down due to the fact that so many people have dropped out, and given up on trying to find a job.  The Federalist has more…

According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this morning, the U.S. economy last month added 74,000 new payroll jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent. Good news, right? Not really.

Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen significantly from its high of 10 percent in October of 2009. But it turns out the unemployment rate has been falling for a pretty depressing reason: people dropping out of the labor force. Last month, 347,000 workers dropped out, effectively sending the message that it wasn’t even worth looking for work anymore.

Here’s what the unemployment rate would look like if the labor force participation rate — basically the number of people in the economy working or looking for work — had remained constant since June of 2009:

Labor Force Dropouts Drive Lower Unemployment Rate (TheFederalist)

So in other words, Obama’s policies suck so horribly, that he’s contracting the labor force itself.  So many people have been unable to find work in Obama’s economy, that the have dropped out entirely. If you are not using unemployment to find a job, you aren’t counted, so the drop is because of dropping out-not getting jobs.

But, the liberals will continue to bleat to the beat drummed by the MSM.

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Destroying the False Racial Narrative and Creating True Equality

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This is a post that I originally wrote from October to December of 2010.  It took time to do the research properly, and I run it again every New Years Day.  It is my hope that one day, all of our citizens are treated as Americans, not as hyphenated groups to be divided by the political elites.  -Matt

I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve read blogs, from both ends of the spectrum, that talk about African-Americans as if they are a monolithic voting bloc that will ALWAYS vote Democrat. We’ve all seen the videos of African Americans thinking that Obama will pay their mortgages, or that they are going to get “Obama Money,” from his “stash.” Since these are well-publicized cases, they are influencing our perceptions about an entire group of people. So, the question is, is that all true?

And, if is it really that way, will it change? You see, I question both of those assumptions. While the voting issue is true, what is the basis for it? History tells us that that after the civil war, most African-Americans were Republicans, and the first African American Congressmen from the south belonged to the GOP. We also know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. It is also true that Democrats were responsible for the Jim Crow laws, and that the southern Democrats resisted the civil rights era legislation vehemently. So, that leaves us with something that bears examining; why did African Americans switch to voting over 90% Democrat in every election?

To answer this, I think we again need to go back into history, and see what happened in the 60’s. Let’s start with some quotes attributed to LBJ.

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

LBJ, Democratic President of the United States.

“I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”

Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One according Ronald Kessler’s Book, “Inside The White House”

Those two quotes from LBJ are rather telling. For me, they point to a deception of action, as well as a deception of intent. Clearly, LBJ was suggesting that he could win the African American vote by making some promises, and delivering little…”just enough.”.

Obviously, these two quotes have been floating around for a long time, and many are going to suggest that they were never said at all. But, let’s take a look at what has happened, and see if what LBJ said has come to pass. After all, people can say many things, but it’s their actions that show their true intent.

Let’s take a look at some examples…

Welfare and the breakdown of the family:

The various welfare programs of the 1960’s had a tremendous impact on the African American family. Not long after the creation of these programs, the rates of fatherless families began to rise. They have continued to rise for decades, and now, over 70% of African American children grow up without a father living in the home. That was not the case prior to welfare, and the programs have been identified as the cause for this. As well all know, children raised in fatherless homes are many times more likely to have lower educational achievement, use drugs, and engage in other criminal activities. However, what has been done to correct it? Has the intervention of the government really made it better…or worse?

We also should remember how Democrats always resist efforts to reform Welfare to correct abuses and the negative societal impacts of the programs  Even Clinton vetoed welfare reform before the Congress strong-armed him into signing it.  And, when Obama got into office, and the Democrats owned the Congress, most of those reforms were stripped out.

Or, was it, “…we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

Education:

It is also well know that the educational system has failed our children. We also know that minority children suffer even more.

As for graduation rates…

The national graduation rate for the class of 1998 was 71%. For white students the rate was 78%, while it was 56% for African-American students and 54% for Latino students.

And for illiteracy…

September 2008

Graduation, Dropouts, and Preparedness

  • African American high school students are notably falling behind their white counterparts in graduation rates, dropout rates, literacy rates, and college preparedness rates.

  • In 2005, only 55 percent of all black students graduated from high school on time with a regular diploma, compared to 78 percent of whites.

  • In 2005, the on-time graduation rate for black males was 48 percent nationally; for white males it was 74 percent.

  • Nearly half of the nation’s African American students, but only 11 percent of white students, attend high schools in which graduation is not the norm.

  • In 2002, 23 percent of all black students who started public high school left it prepared for college, compared to 40 percent of whites.

  • On average, African American and Hispanic twelfth-grade students read at approximately the same level as white eighth graders.

  • About half of poor, urban ninth graders read at only a fifth- or sixth-grade level.

  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that 88 percent of African American eighth graders read below grade level, compared to 62 percent of white eighth graders.

Now, we’ve seen successful alternatives, but “progressives” in the unions attack these, and when President Obama was elected, he shut down the DC waiver program, which greatly benefited mostly poor, African American kids.  In fact, all efforts designed to allow minority children to escape the public schools that constantly fail them are met with massive resistance from the democrats and their supporters.

 

Instead, the government makes many promises, and insists on spending more money on the same failed system. Essentially, they end up purchasing more failure.

Or, is it, “…we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

Unemployment:

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that unemployment for African Americans increased to 16.3% in August 2010 from 15.6% in July 2010.  The percentage point increase was greater than it was for Whites and Hispanics.  Overall unemployment climbed to 9.6% for the month of August from the July unemployment rate of 9.5%.

So, the unemployment rate is higher for African Americans as well. Of course, President Obama has promised to focus on this, but he has delivered nothing.  Or, as I like to put it, President Obama stated he would focus on black unemployment like a laser beam.  He just didn’t tell them it was a death ray!

Or, is it, “…we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

As you look at this, it is easy to conclude that not only has government action/programs made the situation worse, but they also seem intent on keeping it the same. I would hypothesize that there is a reason for this: If government can keep any group dependent, they can then extract support from that group. They create a circumstance in which a large segment of the population is keep poor and undereducated, effectively preventing that group from escaping poverty. Then, every election cycle, the Democrats come foreword and tell that group that the other party wants to kill them, jail them, and take away all of their benefits. By combining dependency, poverty, illiteracy, and hate, they can convince a group to vote for them every time.

In essence, I believe that the Democrats have intentionally acted in a way to “Cloward-Piven” a large segment of the African American community, by making them dependent on government assistance, and placing roadblocks for individuals in that community to be successful. After all, a person may want to succeed, but if they can’t get an education that provided even the most basic of skills, and they are penalized for any positive effort by a prohibitive loss of benefits, will that person eventually give up and not even try? And, what happens to that population of people after generations of the same? I think we can project the answer to that. As I suggested in the post, “Why Hope can Kill the Progressive Agenda,” people trapped in hopelessness for generations forget that there is any hope at all. In fact, we see the results of these policies on a tragically regular basis.

This is racist. Not the bed sheet wearing, ignorant redneck variety, but the soft racism of the nanny state and elites. Through all of this, I think the Democratic Party is just a racist as they always were. They simple present it differently (remember “calling it something else?”). They don’t believe that the African American can succeed, so they are content to “manage” him. Why provide good education if they can’t do well anyway? Why present opportunity and freedom when they don’t believe that the African American can use those to their own advantage? Just build housing, send in food stamps, and have horrifically inadequate schools, and leave them to poverty. Through the decades, it’s what they have done.

You know, “…we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”

So, I think the phrase “government plantation” is a completely accurate representation of the current relationship between our elitist government and the African American community. When you look at the totality of the problem, their actions show their true beliefs. In fact, the evidence becomes over whelming.

It seems like an insurmountable challenge, but I believe that there is incredible untapped human potential in the African American community. I say this because when good educational choices are available, African American children excel, just like any other group. Their scores rise to rival anyone’s, and all the negative outcomes start to decrease. So, it is safe to say that real education reform (ending government intrusion, union domination, and instituting real local control) would be the final nail in the coffin for the soft racist policies of the elitist left.

However, it wouldn’t end there. There are millions of people of all races that are caught in the poor education-poverty-crime-hopeless trap. To help them, or in some cases, encourage them, to escape, we’d also have to do a phase-down on the nanny state. Benefits would have to be restructured, yet again, to encourage success, and not penalize it. Caps and limits would need to be imposed to put an end to system-induced inter-generational dependency. That would be a difficult sell, but so worth it in the end.

The total effort would take nearly a generation to see tangible results, as it would take that long to begin reform, and educate a full generation of children. Once accomplished, however, the US would see a economic and cultural renaissance. As African-Americans, Hispanics, and other groups take their rightful place in our society, the US would be transformed. This would not be the “fundamental” government-forced change, but an organic one; based on ideas, innovations, merit, and creativity. Everyone would truly be able to advance to the limits of their own talents, skills, and persistence. We would cease to be a “hyphenated” society, as we would all be peers-truly equal in our opportunity, and respectful of the accomplishments of our fellow Americans.

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How Have Blacks Fared Under Obama as Compared to Reagan?

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President Obama has stated that he was going to focus on Black unemployment like a “laser beam.”  Unfortunate for black Americans, the laser Obama chose was a death ray, as black unemployment is a national tragedy.  But, since Obama looks at himself as a transformative figure, let’s take a look at another transformative figure, Roanld Reagan, and see how blacks performed under that President.  Conservatives for Palin has the data…

Richard Rahn, an economist, compared the relative economic fortunes of African-Americans under Presidents Reagan and Obama. The results are startling:

If you knew nothing else about President Obama other than looking at the data, you might conclude that he was insensitive to blacks, given that they have done far worse economically under his administration than Hispanics or whites. What is striking is that the president and his advisers still seem to be clueless about which economic policies work and which don’t work. Despite his (at least for this week) emphasis on the economy, he persists in being the anti-Reagan, with anti-growth policies. In his speech Wednesday in Illinois, the president came up with no new pro-growth proposals, just more of what has not worked.

President Reagan reduced the maximum tax rate on job creators by 60 percent; Mr. Obama increased the maximum tax rate on job creators by 17 percent. Reagan cut non-defense, discretionary, federal government spending by a third as a percentage of gross domestic product; Mr. Obama has increased it. Reagan cut government regulations while Mr. Obama has greatly increased them.

The results are:

Under Reagan, adult black unemployment fell by 20 percent, but under Mr. Obama, it has increased by 42 percent.

Black teenage unemployment fell by 16 percent under Reagan, but has risen by 56 percent under Mr. Obama.

The increase in unemployment rates has been far worse for blacks under Mr. Obama than for whites and Hispanics.

Inflation-adjusted real incomes are slightly higher for Hispanics and whites than they were in 2008, but are lower for blacks.

The labor force participation rate has fallen for all groups, but remains far lower for blacks than for whites and Hispanics.

It seems that Obama has made things much worse.  Forget that, it doesn’t seem that way, it is that way.

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Two Dozen IRS Employees Caught Claiming to be Unemployed to Collect Benefits!

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So, the people in charge of the money are being arrested for defrauding the taxpayers?  Well, it appears that two dozen IRS employees have claimed to be unemployed in order to collect benefits.  Doug Ross(no relation) has more…

But — but — but — I thought all who work in government are benevolent public servants? That they’re better than the rest of us? That they’re angels, working for the public good?

Twenty-four current and former Internal Revenue Service employees have been charged with stealing government benefits, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The IRS employees were indicted on charges that they illegally received more than $250,000 in benefits including unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said in a news release.

Prosecutors say 13 of the IRS employees face federal charges of lying about being unemployed while applying for or recertifying their government benefits…

Doug has some more, so go check it out.

This, of course, begs the question-who watches the watchers?


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More ObamaCare Layoffs: Medical Providers Now Bracing for Impact

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The ObamaCare Layoffs continue to pile up.  In this edition, we see some medical providers that are taking action to stay in business-by laying off workers.  Michelle  Malkin has the details…

The ramping up (or down, depending on how you look at it) for full implementation of Obamacare continues:

In the largest staff reduction in its nearly 100-year history, Orlando Health is cutting up to 400 jobs starting immediately, hospital system officials announced Monday.

The move is part of a broader effort to position the hospital system for the health-care overhaul, CEO Sherrie Sitarik said.

The elimination of jobs will occur in two phases and represents a 2 percent to 3 percent reduction in the system’s 16,000-person work force, said Orlando Health spokeswoman Kena Lewis. The cuts affect all departments and all eight of the system’s hospitals, including Orlando Regional Medical Center and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, two of the system’s better-known facilities.
[…]
Such cost-cutting measures are happening across the country. On Wednesday, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina announced that it would cut 950 jobs by June.

Last month, Louisiana State University announced it would cut 1,495 positions as well as programs across its seven hospitals to trim more than $150 million from its budget.

So it continues.  There will be more ObamaCare layoffs, from all sectors.  And they will number in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.  And, of course, they will all be someone else’s fault-at least if you listen to the MSM.

In the end, elections have consequences, and a vote for Obama was a vote for these job losses.

Welcome to Doug Ross and Bad Blue Readers, Thanks!

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Informed Voter: When Trust Collides with Reality

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When Barack Obama was elected in 2008 people threw their support behind hope and change.  They placed their trust in Obama to usher in a new age of bipartisanship and unity.  After all he was the man said who said we were all Americans no matter whether we came from blue or red states.  People were inspired by his words and believed he would reduce the debt, save the economy, end the wars, and change the way business was conducted in Washington.  They chanted “yes we can” and embarked on a quest to get the man who would be America’s savior elected.

Not only was Obama elected but the people gave him a super majority in congress to achieve his goal of the fundamental transformation of America.  Four years later we now know what the President’s vision of fundamental transformation is; massive debt, diminished America standing in the world, the takeover of the healthcare system, loss of our triple “A” credit rating, high unemployment, high energy and gas prices, the massive printing of money, and a nation that is more divided than united.  This is the transformational reality we’re living in each day.  And this reality flies in the face of the hope and change Obama promised to bring to Washington and America.

People feel this reality when they try to stretch a dollar that no longer has the value it did four years ago.  They feel this diminished purchasing power in the increased price of food, goods, and gas.  They trusted the President and his party to change the tone in Washington.  They trusted the President to make things better and the reality is things are far worse for the middle class.  Those we placed our trust in can’t even agree on passing a budget and a budget is the first step you must take to get your spending under control.  It creates parameters an organization must stay within when they conduct business.  When reality is in conflict with the trust we’ve bestowed upon our elected officials, Americans are in conflict with themselves.

No one likes to feel duped or taken advantage of and that’s exactly what has happened.  You’re not alone because politicians have been making empty promises to the voters since the Roman Republic.  People want to believe the lie because the truth can be a hard pill to swallow.  We want the unicorn/rainbow version of the truth because it’s easier to relinquish our responsibilities and turn them over to a single point of contact so we can blame someone else when it all comes apart.  This is why we continue to reelect senators and representatives who sell us this sunshine version of the truth.  It makes us feel better about us and removes any responsibility we have as citizens.  This must change.

We must stop placing all our trust in politicians who will say and do anything to hold on to power.  We must empower ourselves and take the time to research the issues.  We must stop listening to the talking points and the media and become informed on the issues that matter to all of us.  When you are informed, campaign ads become less effective because it’s harder to pull the wool over the eyes of an informed voter.  Calling Mitt Romney a liar just doesn’t get it done because you already have the facts behind his tax plan.  And this is a place I would think most voters would like to be because an informed voter is indeed dangerous to the status quo.  We have the power to change this reality we live in and change it we will.  The more Americans who step up and take responsibility for their vote, the better America will be.  And that’s a goal worth achieving

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post:  The Sentry Journal

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Pain is a powerful motivator

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If you believe polls, most show President Obama with a slight edge over Mitt Romney going into the debates.  This edge has left many pundits scratching their heads wondering how Obama can even be in this race.  After all he has presided over one of the worst economic recoveries in our nation’s history.  Unemployment has been over eight percent for three and a half years, we have lost our triple A credit rating, slipped from first to seventh in global competitiveness, increased our national debt by $6 trillion with nothing to show for it, lost 662,000 jobs to China since 2008, and the list goes on and on.  Jimmy Carter presided over an economy that had in average unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in 1979 and lost big to Ronald Reagan.  So how can President Obama even be in this race with these horrible economic stats?  The answer in my opinion is simple.  When people don’t feel the pain of the above economic numbers they have no desire to change the current course.

Here’s what I mean.  When I was in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago I ran into a large number of people who were out of work, collecting some type of assistance.  They had enough money for food, rent, cable TV, cigarettes, beer, and all the time in the world to enjoy it.  When I asked them who they were leaning towards in the 2012 election, overwhelmingly they supported reelecting Obama.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone.  They’re not feeling the pain of this terrible economy.  Like a drug, they’re high on entitlements and nothing else matters.  They don’t care about the national debt or the high unemployment rates because it doesn’t impact them.  They don’t care about QE3 because they don’t understand it and have little desire to understand it.  They don’t care where the money is coming from, just as long as the checks keep coming.  They have zero motivation to change their condition because all their basic needs are being met.  So why would they support any candidate that threatens their lifestyle.  The answer is they won’t.  Now multiply this same scenario across the country and a picture begins to come into focus as to why Obama is still in this race.

This is not like the Jimmy Carter economy.  Back then people were actually feeling the pain of a bad economy and they had a strong desire to change their condition.  They wanted to work and knew that work was an avenue that would improve their condition.  They weren’t buying what Jimmy Carter was selling because they were dealing with the reality of his economy every day.  They were feeling the pain of inflation and the falling dollar and pain is a powerful motivator.  Today the pain is being felt by those who go to work every day trying to stretch a devalued dollar to make ends meet.  They pay taxes that are redistributed to another segment of society that pays little to no taxes and lives off the system.  These are the people who feel the pain at the pumps as more of their hard earned money siphoned from them and transferred from the private sector to the government.  Those who do not feel any of the above pains and live off a system that is on the verge of collapsing simply do not care about changing the course.  And the sad truth is that there are a great number of people living off the system; a system that relies on dependency and one that President Obama helped cultivate.

I do believe smoke and mirror tactics will only work so long for Obama.  Lying in campaign ads will catch up to him because eventually he will run smack into the economic reality he has created for all of us and that reality is painful.  And like I said pain is indeed a power motivator.  Use it against him on Election Day.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post:  The Sentry Journal

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Arthur Laffer: Economic Statistics, Some Matter and Some Are Deceiving

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At Real Clear Politics the other day, I came across an article by economist, Arthur Laffer in theWall Street Journal. the same Arthur Laffer whom developed the Laffer Curve during the Reagan administration. As I often do, I scanned the article and bookmarked it as a possible source for a post. Then this morning I had an e-mail in my in-box from Pat Slattery of The Free Market Projectsuggesting that I consider doing a post on an article by John Hayward about the Laffer article. And, I thank him. So, I will discuss both the Laffer and Hayward articles in today’s post on economic statistics.

Economic Statistics that Deceive

With good reason, we mere mortals, without a PhD, have to wonder if government agencies and politicians, including the President, are lying to us. Well, of course, they lie to us. That is a given. But, when it comes government generated statistics, they don’t so much lie to us as they don’t tell us all that we need to know. In other words, they tend to cherry-pick data to put the economy in the best possible. With today’s economy, that is more difficult than usual.

One example of government cherry-picking data is the reported inflation rate. According to the Federal Reserve, inflation is negligible. We know that is not true. The reason reported inflation appears low is that they do not include price changes in oil, gasoline, and food. The items that impact the budgets of 90% of the  population the most are not included in the calculation of inflation.

Anther example of the government only telling us part of the story are the monthly employment numbers. I watched a news video the other day Debbie Whatshername-Schultz say how proud she was of Obama because under his leadership we have had 29 consecutive months of job growth. PROUD!  Give me a break.! The workforce participation rate is getting smaller by the month! The July jobs report announced that non-farm jobs increased in July by 163,000. This was more than what was expected. The stock market went wild.  If you want to know what really happened with the jobs market, check out this article at PJ  Media and this article at Inform the Pundits. You will find out that there was a net loss of jobs in July. Just ask yourself why the unemployment rate increased to 8.3%?

So, with all the efforts to put our economy in the best possible light, our GDP is growing at an abysmal rate of 1.5%. That is pathetic! Let’s find out why our economy is so anaemic.

Some Economic Statistics Matter

The Obama administration, more than any administration in my memory, has based their economic policies on nothing more than tax and spend. Obama has set the all time record for government spending “crapweasels” like Paul Krugman and Democrats in general and the main stream media keep calling for more and more stimulus. (Crapweasel is a term Kurt Silverfiddlealways uses when referring to Paul Krugman.  It fits.)

One of the best ways to measure the success or failure of an economic policy is to look at the empirical results where that policy has been tried. This is exactly what Arthur Laffer has done and reports on his findings in this Wall Street Journal article and suggest that:

Policy makers in Washington and other capitals around the world are debating whether to implement another round of stimulus spending to combat high unemployment and sputtering growth rates. But before they leap, they should take a good hard look at how that worked the first time around.

Dr. Laffer looked at 34 countries that implemented stimulus programs after the 2008 financial crisis. The results weren’t very stimulating:

It worked miserably, as indicated by the table nearby, which shows increases in government spending from 2007 to 2009 and subsequent changes in GDP growth rates. Of the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations, those with the largest spending spurts from 2007 to 2009 saw the least growth in GDP rates before and after the stimulus.

There is a table in Laffer’s article show just badly stimulus worked for these countries. John Hayward in his Human Events’ article about the Laffer report, like this quote from Laffer:

Often as not, the qualification for receiving stimulus funds is the absence of work or income – such as banks and companies that fail, solar energy companies that can’t make it on their own, unemployment benefits and the like. Quite simply,government taxing people more who work and then giving more money to people who don’t work is a surefire recipe for less work, less output and more unemployment.

” a surefire recipe for less work, less output, and more  unemployment.” This reminds me of a conversation back in the eighties, to which I was present, between brother-in-law and two of his friends. They were all UAW members and employees of the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan. They were all in their middle fifties and they had been doing some sharp penciling about whether it made sense for them to take early retirement at age 58.  They concluded that with their General Motor’s pensions and Social Security (in those days you could opt for early Social Security at a reduced rate at 58) that it made no sense to keep working 40 hour weeks for just a few hundred dollars more. I’m thinking that the same thinking applies to many of our citizens on welfare and other government assistance. They are likely figuring why should they take a forty-hour a week job when they can do nothing for only a few hundred dollars less..

John Hayward would add something to Laffer’s analysis:

The other obfuscating factor I would add to Laffer’s analysis is that government spending is treated as highly significant by the media, while private investment is either ignored or criticized.  The financial papers might carry tales of business success, and once in a while the public imagination is captured by a company like Apple… but none of that compares to the front-page, above-the-fold coverage given to huge government spending initiatives.

We know what Obama and his team are up to. With the support of the main stream media, they want to pull the wool over the eyes of those that still have a job (the majority of voters) by convincing them that the economy, however slowly, is steadily growing and now is no to change horses. Economic statistics do matter and it is going to be up to us, the conservative bloggers, to get the truth out there.  It won’t come from the media, that is for sure.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:Conservatives on Fire

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