Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 isn't going to be 2008 again

Hope has a new meaning
What’s new Today

Our #1 story tells of a radio talk show and how a caller framed what happened in 2008 and how he feels in 2012.  #2 gives us a heads up on what to expect from Obama’s budget.  #3 tells of how over the weekend a spokesman for the Obama administration told a story about the Senate that doesn’t jive with the facts.  Was he lying?  You be the judge.  #4 is a look at statistics that are flying around Washington and the internet.  Remember, statistic can lie and liars use statistics.  #5 shows Obama is still interested in investing your money in green technology—especially if it can get him some blue collar votes. 

1.  Obama’s fate

During a drive between the Mon Valley towns of McKeesport and Elizabeth, a man named Ray was overheard calling into a local radio station to talk about the subject of the hour: November’s presidential election.

The first thing he said is that he is a Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Pressed by the talk-show host, he said he would not vote for Obama this time.

The rest of Ray’s answer was not unique or remarkable: Yes, he is a union member. Yes, he wanted Obama to succeed. And, yes, he is very disappointed after giving the president more than enough chances to prove he can lead.

Ray said he had finally given up….

The left pretends anyone who is against Obama is a racist.  In reality I think most Americans were hoping he would succeed and bring the country together.  What he’s done is to push us apart more than we’ve ever been. 

2.  What to Expect From Obama’s 2013 budget

We can expect that this will mark his fourth consecutive abdication of core obligations of his office.

We can expect a plan rich with red ink. In his 2010 budget, the president promised a deficit of $1.2 trillion (8 percent of GDP) and economic growth of 3.2 percent. The taxpayers got $1.3 trillion (9 percent of GDP) in additional debt and growth of barely 3 percent. He was just getting started. Fiscal 2011 brought a deficit of $1.3 trillion again (8.7 percent of GDP versus the budgeted amount of 8.3 percent), and growth of 1.7 percent — far short of the promised 3.8 percent. Last year’s budget planned for $1.1 trillion in deficits and growth of 3.6 percent. We don’t know the actual performance yet, but both numbers look optimistic. Now, the leaks indicate that the White House already intends to make the deficit bigger — a sobering step for an administration whose perennial budget strategy appears to be “promise bad, deliver worse.”

We can expect a plan devoid of leadership. Last year’s budget kicked to the gutter the recommendations of the president’s own fiscal-reform commission — the so-called Bowles-Simpson Commission — which had concluded that the United States faced a “moment of truth” that required tax reform, entitlement reform, and genuine leadership to steer us away from a Greek-style fiscal meltdown. The president took a pass in favor of a warmed-over stimulus package, shrugged his shoulders at the downgrade of the United States, and to date has delivered not one single piece of legislation to implement any piece of the Bowles-Simpson plan.

We can expect a budget that does a disservice to future seniors and needy Americans. The federal social safety net is tattered. Social Security is running $60 billion of red ink right now and is kept “solvent” only by the callous promise to cut future retirees’ benefits by 23 percent across the board during what is supposed to be their halcyon days. At present the gap between Medicare’s payroll taxes and premium receipts flowing into the Treasury and the checks going out totals a staggering $280 billion. With 10,000 new seniors entering the rolls every day, Medicare will fall under its own fiscal weight….

It’s pretty sad what we can expect from this president.  But he can expect from the American People a pink slip in November. 

3.  White House lies about Senate Budget Process

CROWLEY: “I want to read for our viewers something that Sen. Harry Reid, the Democrat Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, who said, ‘We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year. It’s done, we don’t need to do it.’”

LEW: “He’s not saying that they shouldn’t pass a budget. But we also need to be honest. You can’t pass a budget in the senate of the united states without 60 votes and you can’t get 60 votes without bipartisan support. So unless… unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed.”

This is patently false.

You can’t filibuster the budget. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 stipulates that debate is automatically cut off after 50 hours of debate. At that point, a budget can be passed by a simple majority, 51 votes. Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate. They can pass a budget on a simple party-line vote.

Lew, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, surely knows this. While the Obama Administration has regularly plumbed the depths of managerial incompetence, even they can’t be this incompetent….

Over 1000 days during which the Democrats have controlled the Senate without passing a budget.  The only reason they won’t is because they don’t want to demonstrate that even the Democrats don’t support Obama’s budgets.  So they metaphorically vote “not present” by not voting at all on a budget.   The Washington Post looked at this and has awarded Lew’s comments 4 Pinocchios.

4.  Questionable Statistics in the Obamacare Mandate

…Senator Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) released a statement claiming that Title X family-planning programs prevent over 400,000 abortions a year. However, this statistic comes from a flawed Guttmacher Institute analysis which assumes that, in the absence of these programs, women would be unable to find contraception of equal quality elsewhere and would not change their sexual activity. In reality, there is little evidence that the contraceptive mandate will be able to lower the incidence of abortion. A 2002 Guttmacher study of nearly 5,000 sexually active women not using contraception found that only 12 percent cited cost or availability as their reason for not using contraception. Furthermore, a recently released CDC study of 5,000 teenage girls who gave birth after unplanned pregnancies found that only 13 percent had trouble accessing birth control.

Additionally, many defenders of the HHS mandate have been citing a Guttmacher study from 2011 which claims that 98 percent of Catholic women have used birth control. This is misleading for several reasons. First, as social scientists know, categorizing people by their self identified religion can produce misleading results. If they had surveyed Catholic women who are active in their faith and attend Mass consistently, the results would have likely been different. Second, this statistic provides the percentage who have ever used birth control, not the percentage who currently or consistently use birth control. In fact, Guttmacher’s own findings indicate that when one analyzes current usage of contraception, the percentages decline…

As anyone who knows about statistic will attest, “statistics lie and liars use statistics.”  You need to read the fine print on any statistics that are put forward by liberals or conservatives. 

5.  Obama plans to use taxpayers’ money to raise his popularity

The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles — to $10,000 per buyer.

That mammoth subsidy would cost taxpayers $100 million each year if it is approved by Congress, presuming only 10,000 new-technology autos are sold each year.

But the administration wants to get 1 million new-tech autos on the road by 2015. The subsidy cost of that goal could reach $10 billion.

The planned giveaway will likely prompt populist protests from GOP legislators, but it will likely also will be welcomed by auto-industry workers in the critical swing state of Michigan.

That welcome is critical for President Barack Obama, who is touting his support for blue-collar manufacturing programs to help offset his low public approval ratings.

The new subsidy level represents a 33 percent jump from the current $7,500 government payout for each Volt buyer, even though the Volt’s buyers are already among the wealthiest Americans. It will be offered to buyers of any new-technology autos, including battery-powered autos and cars

So Obama wants the rich to pay more taxes so he can give them back some of the money if they buy the things he wants them to buy.  SNAFU. 

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