DECEPTION IS A DANGEROUS THING. You never really know when a lie may turn on you.
Take, for instance, the Labor Department's annual springtime boost in the faux jobs market. While it's nice that the government thinks there is an employment boom coming, this won't be a good development if that boom turns out to be imaginary yet still causes the Federal Reserve to prematurely tighten credit conditions.
Let's start from the beginning.
EARLY THIS MONTH LABOR REPORTED THAT 216,000 NEW JOBS WERE CREATED IN MARCH. It was better than Wall Street expected.
BUT THE FIGURE INCLUDED 117,000 JOBS THAT THE DEPARTMENT THINKS, BUT CAN'T PROVE, WERE CREATED BY NEWLY FORMED COMPANIES THAT MIGHT NOT EVEN EXIST. In fact, the department is getting so optimistic about the labor market that it increased this imaginary job count from just 81,000 in March, 2010.
As I've been telling you for months, THE SPRING ALWAYS CAUSES THE LABOR DEPARTMENT TO GOOSE ITS JOB-CREATION NUMBERS. And maybe sometime in the future this process will be warranted. But DURING 2009 AND 2010 THESE SPRINGTIME ASSUMPTIONS -- WHICH ARE OFFICIALLY CALLED THE BIRTH/DEATH MODEL BY LABOR -- LED TO MAJOR ERRORS IN THE ANNUAL JOB COUNT.
These jobs numbers are going to come back and bite the Democrats. As actual new jobs are created, more people will come back into the job pool and you will see real progress being made even while the unemployment rate increases.
The Ryan Plan: A good plan
Ryan’s alternative to Medicare hardly seems as terrible as Paul Krugman makes out. Seniors would enter the health care world the rest of us live in, with co-payments, deductibles and managed care. EVENTUALLY, COST CONTROL WOULD REQUIRE SOME TOUGH DECISIONS ABOUT END-OF-LIFE CARE AND THE RATIONING OF HIGH-TECH TREATMENTS THAT HAVE LIMITED EFFICACY. But starting with a value of $15,000 per year, per senior—the amount government now spends on Medicare—RYAN’S VOUCHERS SHOULD PROVIDE EXCELLENT COVERAGE. His change would amount to a minor amendment to the social contract, not a fundamental revision of it.
Effectively constraining the growth of Medicare could make it possible for Democrats to do a lot else that’s important to them in the future. … Growing at more than 7 percent a year, MEDICARE IS PROJECTED TO EVENTUALLY CONSUME NEARLY ALL FEDERAL TAX REVENUES. It is crowding out everything else that Washington does or might want to do. Conversely, cutting Medicare’s growth rate to near the overall rate of the economy would do more than anything else to enable the kind of activist government liberals support—investment in kids, education, jobs, and infrastructure. …
Rather than “death panels” this plan would allow the individual to decide when they didn’t think it was wise to continue heroic medicine. I expect to see Obama castigate this plan tomorrow night and try to scare seniors with his rhetoric.
Public Financing and Obama’s hypocrisy
In 2008, candidate Barack Obama didn't just ask for donations. His website asked donors to "declare their independence from a broken system by supporting the first presidential election truly funded by the people." At the time, NO ONE EXPECTED THAT BY "THE PEOPLE" HE MEANT A BUNCH OF MILLIONAIRES, BUT THIS IS THE CONCLUSION WE DRAW FROM OBAMA'S LATEST CAMPAIGN INITIATIVE. Politico reported last week that Obama, having raised three-quarters of a billion dollars in his 2008 race, IS NOW SEEKING OUT 400 ELITE CAMPAIGN CASH BUNDLERS TO RAISE $700,000 APIECE FOR HIS 2012 RE-ELECTION. If the plan succeeds, it will raise $280 million in seed money for his campaign, which will be plowed into raising more money on the Internet from old campaign lists. This guarantees that Obama will reject public funding in election 2012, just as he did in 2008.
OBAMA'S HYPOCRISY ON THIS ISSUE IS MANIFEST. He once declared he was "a big believer in public financing of campaigns," and even CHALLENGED HIS POTENTIAL REPUBLICAN OPPONENTS TO PLEDGE THEY WOULD ACCEPT FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS AND THE SPENDING LIMITS THAT COME WITH THEM. He also promised to "aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." BUT ONCE HE REALIZED HE COULD RAISE NEARLY A BILLION DOLLARS ON HIS OWN, THOSE PROMISES ALL WENT OUT THE WINDOW.
This should have been a huge warning sign for the supports of BHO. President Obama is not a pragmatist or a realist. He is an opportunist. Well he says he missing anonymity and with the 2012 election coming up, we have an opportunity to give him back his anonymity.
President Obama's two minds on the deficit
When it comes to deficit reduction and entitlement reform, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN A MASTER OF MIXED SIGNALS, his critics say.
As a candidate, OBAMA PROMISED TO DEAL WITH THE EXPLODING DEFICIT – so committed to tackling the underlying issue of entitlement reform that HE TOLD THE WASHINGTON POST HE’D MAKE THE “HARD DECISIONS… UNDER MY WATCH” shortly before his inauguration almost 27 months ago.
But as president, such high-minded goals have run headlong into a tanking economy and more mundane political imperatives, like positioning himself for his 2012 re-election campaign…..
Yet another bit of hypocrisy.
A “People’s Budget” is proposed by Democrat Progressives
….The "People's Budget" is the liberals' answer to House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal, which is "leading us down a road to ruin," according to caucus co-chairmen Reps. Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison. THE "PEOPLE'S BUDGET," GRIJALVA AND ELLISON CLAIM, WOULD ELIMINATE THE DEFICIT IN JUST 10 YEARS (RYAN'S PLAN WOULD TAKE MORE THAN 25 YEARS) WHILE EXPANDING, NOT CUTTING, MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECURITY. "This budget saves the American people from the recklessness of the Republican majority," Grijalva and Ellison write in a letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
How can such fiscal miracles be accomplished? By tax increases that would make even some top Democrats gasp. Perhaps the most extraordinary is the caucus plan to raise the Social Security tax to cover nearly all of a taxpayer's income. Right now, the tax is imposed on the first $106,000 of earnings. For people who make more than that, the caucus would tax a full 90 percent of income -- no matter how high it goes. The caucus would raise the Social Security tax that employers pay as well.
The caucus would create THREE NEW INDIVIDUAL TAX BRACKETS FOR THE HIGHEST INCOMES, topping out at 47 percent. It would also raise the capital gains tax, the estate tax and corporate taxes. It would create something called a "financial crisis responsibility fee" and a "financial speculation tax." And of course it would repeal the Bush tax cuts.
As if anyone needed reminding, THE "PEOPLE'S BUDGET" IS PROOF THAT THE LIBERAL IDEA OF BUDGET BALANCING IS TAX, TAX, TAX. IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR SPENDING CUTS, YOU'LL FIND JUST ONE REALLY BIG ONE: NATIONAL DEFENSE. The liberals would end "overseas contingency operations" -- the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- starting in 2013. They would save more money by "reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and research & development programs." In other words, they would gut the United States' ability to defend itself, today and long into the future.
What would the liberals spend money on? The "People's Budget" is essentially a newer and bigger stimulus bill. Grijalva and Ellison pledge TO "INVEST $1.45 TRILLION IN JOB CREATION, EARLY CHILDHOOD, K-12 AND SPECIAL EDUCATION, QUALITY CHILD CARE, ENERGY AND BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE, HOUSING, AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT," along with billions more for stimuluslike road and other transportation programs…..
This is a liberal nirvana and a conservative’s hell. Fortunately 42% of the population identify as conservative and only 20% identify themselves as liberals. It doesn’t stand a chance of being passed.
California in the Balance
We calibrate California’s decline by its myriad of paradoxes. THE NATION’S HIGHEST BUNDLE OF GAS, SALES, AND INCOME TAXES CANNOT CLOSE THE NATION’S LARGEST ANNUAL DEFICIT AT $25 BILLION. TEST SCORES ARE AT THE COUNTRY’S NEAR BOTTOM; TEACHERS’ SALARIES AT THE VERY TOP. Scores of the affluent are leaving each week; scores of the indigent are arriving. The nation’s most richly endowed state is also the most regulated; the most liberal of our residents are also the most ready to practice apartheid in their Bel Air or Palo Alto enclaves.
We now see highway patrolmen and city police, in the manner of South American law enforcement, out in force. Everywhere they are monitoring, watching, ticketing — no warnings, no margins of error — DESPERATE TO EARN TRAFFIC FINES THAT MIGHT FEED THE STATE THAT FEEDS THEM. I could go on. But you get the picture that we are living on the fumes of a rich state that our forefathers brilliantly exploited, and now there is not much energy left in the fading exhaust to keep us going.
I see CALIFORNIA IN TERMS NOW OF THE RAZOR’S EDGE WITH DISASTER NOT FAR IN EITHER DIRECTION. A postmodern affluent lifestyle hangs in the balance here without a margin of error....
California demonstrates the ills of liberalism. It is the state most like the EU’s PIGGS where people turn down tax increases but want to continue the benefits California has given them. In fact, that is the attitude the left is trying to instill in the rest of the country. Fortunately we aren’t there yet.
IN THE END, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA WAS THE ONE WHO REFUSED TO BLINK ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Another way of saying it is this: THE PRESIDENT WAS WILLING TO SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN SEE PLANNED PARENTHOOD’S FEDERAL FUNDING CUT.
According to press accounts leaked by Democratic aides, House Speaker John Boehner argued for the funding cut late into the evening. THE PRESIDENT ANSWERED, “NOPE, ZERO.” He then said, “John, this is it.” Mr. Boehner accepted the budget deal without that cut.
A Republican aide confirmed more or less the same account to me. He said it was “chilling” to see how inflexible Mr. Obama was. You might call it ideological.
You can only have a fight over an ideological position if both sides have an ideological position.
Now Elections don’t matter
From Nancy Pelosi’s speech at Tufts University
To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values about the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country, our security and civil liberties, how we respect our seniors. Because there are so many things at risk right now -- perhaps in another question I'll go into them, if you want. BUT THE FACT IS THAT ELECTIONS SHOULDN'T MATTER AS MUCH AS THEY DO...But when it comes to a place where there doesn't seem to be shared values then that can be problematic for the country, as I think you can see right now.
It appears elections only matter if you are a liberal and you win. All you have to do is to look at what is happening around the country. In Wisconsin you had all the Democrat Senators flee from the state to keep last November’s election from counting. And here we have the ex-SOTH proclaim that elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do. It also seems to me that Pelosi is calling for the congress to be more conservative and to not change the status quo.
Liberalism: Black America’s greatest enemy
…. In the 1950s when racism truly was a problem for blacks in America, MOST BLACK KIDS GREW UP IN TWO PARENT HOMES. TODAY, AFTER 60 YEARS OF LIBERAL DEMOCRAT ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS, MOST BLACK KIDS ARE GROWING UP IN FATHERLESS HOMES. No matter how you slice it, something is seriously wrong in the black community. And it has nothing to do with white folks nor Republicans.
These fatherless black boys make babies and join gangs. Typical of liberal screwed up thinking, I HEARD A PHD ON TV SAY, "THERE IS NOTHING A FATHER CAN TEACH HIS SON WHICH THE CHILD CANNOT LEARN FROM HIS SINGLE MOTHER." I thought, "Good lord, this woman went to college to learn this crap!" Newsflash libs: males crave male bonding and leadership. Why do you think they join gangs? This is not rocket science!...
This was from a black journalist who sees the truth.
T Boone Pickens makes his case
…..Hence the allure of natural gas: Pickens claims the U.S. HAS NATURAL GAS RESERVES EQUIVALENT TO THREE TIMES THAT OF SAUDI ARABIA’S KNOWN 260 BILLION-BARREL OIL RESERVE when you use a Barrel of Oil Equivalent (BOE) comparison.
– Using BOE, NATURAL GAS, AT ITS CURRENT PRICE, WOULD BE ABOUT $1.50 PER GALLON CHEAPER THAN DIESEL FUEL.
– Using BOE, natural gas emits 30% less carbon
Boone Pickens wants to convert America’s 140,000-unit fleet of 18-wheel truckers to run on natural gas. Pickens says the cost of converting the next-generation fleet of 18-wheelers would be about $60,000 per vehicle – or roughly $9 billion for the entire 140,000 fleet. Where will that money come from?....
America is awash in fossil fuels and natural gas is one of the best. But it seems to environmentalists, nothing really works other than solar and wind power. Natural gas and nuclear are the real choices if you want to decrease the amount of carbon we are putting in the air.
Chronicles of Failed Doomsaying
Gregg Easterbrook, author of one of the better books on the environment over the last 20 years (1995's A Moment on the Earth: The Coming Age of Environmental Optimism) COINED WHAT HE CALLED "EASTERBROOK'S LAW OF DOOMSAYING"--"PREDICT DREADFUL EVENTS WHOSE ARRIVAL IMPENDS NO SOONER THAN 5 YEARS HENCE, NO LATER THAN 10. THAT TIME WINDOW IS NEAR ENOUGH TO CAUSE WORRY, FAR ENOUGH OFF THAT WHEN IT ACTUALLY ROLLS AROUND EVERYONE WILL HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT YOU PREDICTED."
But in the age of Google, it is easier to go back and check on these serial blunders. So as Britain was paralyzed with huge snowstorm a few months ago a number of folks went back and dredged up the climate campaign's predictions that winter snowfalls in Britain would soon (as in, by now) be a thing of historical memory.
Yesterday, GAVIN ATKINS OF ASIAN CORRESPONDENT.COM NOTES THAT JUST A FEW YEARS AGO THE UN ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME PREDICTED THERE WOULD BE 50 MILLION CLIMATE REFUGEES BY THE YEAR 2010. And so Atkins sensibly asks, um. . . WHERE ARE THEY? He noted we have census figures for THE AREAS IDENTIFIED AS MOST VULNERABLE, SUCH AS THE TUVALU ISLANDS, AND FINDS IN EVERY CASE THAT POPULATION IS STILL GROWING.
Making predictions is tough work especially if it’s about the future.