Friday, April 20, 2012


What’s new Today 

Story #1 is about the lack of a budget from the US Senate.  Despite being required by law for passing a budget each year, Harry Reid’s Senate has gone 1087 days without passing one.  #2 is about taxing the rich saying they don’t pay their fair share.  #3 talks about how the young voters are not quite as enthused as they were four years ago. His margin has fallen from 36% to 7%.  #4 has Montana’s governor raising the fact that Mitt Romney’s father was born in a polygamist community.  #5 Keystone is back and looks like a loser for Obama.  Finally #6 has quotes from Thomas Sowell.

Today’s thoughts

President Barack Obama holds a thin 46 - 42 percent lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released yesterday.  In that poll Democrats outnumber Republicans by 6% and the poll was heavily weighted to youthful voters.  You always want to look at the Demographics. 

The Deep Water Horizon anniversary is approaching (2 years ago) and they are supposed to look at the effort to clean up (close the hole).  It appears government wants to skip that to avoid embarrassing revelations.   

The Obama campaign's perennial "Dinner with Barack" contest now includes a special guest: George Clooney.  It shows you how far Obama’s popularity has fallen.

Paul Ryan comes through with a great quote.  “You can’t help poor people if America is poor.”

1.   Just shy of 3 Years and still no budget from the Democrats

Households make budgets. So do businesses and nonprofits. There was also a time when Congress made them, but those days are long gone -- 1,086 days gone, to be precise. That's the last time Democrats, who have controlled one or both houses of Congress this whole time, passed a budget resolution through either the House or the Senate.

On April 15, 2010, both houses failed to meet the statutory deadline for passing a budget for the first time ever. Although the Senate Budget Committee would later pass a plan out of committee, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked it from the floor, going so far as to prevent even a debate about the budget.

Asked to explain this bicameral failure in the face of trillion-dollar deficits, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "It's difficult to pass budgets in election years." Turns out, it is also difficult to get re-elected when you don't pass budgets. Later that same year, House Democrats lost 63 seats.

Senate Democrats lost six seats in 2010 but managed to retain control of the upper chamber. Surely, in the nonelection year of 2011 they would bring a budget to the floor, right? Wrong. Reid told reporters at the time, "There's no need to have a Democratic budget," adding, "It would be foolish for us to do a budget at this stage." In July 2011, Reid's assistant leader, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., went so far as to claim on national television that Republican filibusters prevented a budget from passing. He must have known he was fibbing -- under Senate rules, budget resolutions can pass with a simple majority.

In fact, Democrats just wanted to focus on attacking the "Path to Prosperity" budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "To put other budgets out there is not the point." As Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would later say, "We don't have a definitive solution ... We just don't like yours."…

This is a big issue as the Democrats think they can demonize the Ryan Plan and the public will buy that even if they don’t have an alternative.  It’s worked in the past.  But with the economy like it is and deficit spending through the roof, it will be interesting if the people will throw the democrats out for irresponsibility. 

2.  The Politics of Taxing the Rich

There is one project that liberals never complete -- a task that is talked about all the time, especially during campaigns, but for some reason just can't get done.

It is "making the rich pay their fair share" of taxes. Somehow, even though President Obama and his party found the time to write ObamaCare and a huge plan of spending that included the Stimulus and Recovery Acts, taxing the rich for their fair share just slipped through their fingers.

The IRS reports that the top 10% of wage-earners pay 70 percent of the taxes, and the bottom half pay nothing at all. So that leaves the middle class, those whose income places them between the poor and wealthy, paying 30% of the overall income tax bill. The highest wage-earners seem to have been stuck on that 70% share for quite a number of years. It's been relatively constant.

One can then ask why the proportion paid by wealthy people has been limited to 70%....

… The real reason why the president will never tax the rich their full "fair share" is because then he can no longer complain that they don't pay their fair share. He stands to lose his "fair share" political card. He needs a scapegoat…

The Buffet Rule illustrates this.  It would impose a minimum 30% tax on millionaires, but would only raise .5% toward the deficit.  It is worth much more to Obama as an issue rather than as a solution, because anyone can understand it isn’t a solution to anything.

3.  Young Voters Shy Away from Obama

In 2008, Obama won the millennial vote 68 percent to 32 percent over John McCain. However, among current college-age millennial voters, Barack Obama only holds a seven point lead over a generic Republican candidate.

The majority of millennials (76 percent) cite jobs and unemployment as the critical issue facing the country.

45 percent of millennials identify as independents, which is 13 points higher than the general population.

This poll also only surveyed those between the ages of 18 and 24, which probably pushed its results leftward. It is quite likely that millennials between the ages of 24 and 30 would have appeared even more receptive to conservative economic policy, since they have suffered from the vicissitudes of the current job market that the younger half of the generation has not yet endured.

It’s all coming together.  Obama is losing strength everywhere, but among the young the drop is significant.  Going from a 36% lead to a 7% lead is enormous.  But I predict the number of young voters will also drop off and most of those will be Obama supporters so at the election Romney may take this group. 

4.  Desperation by the Democrats

The Daily Beast contacted the office of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer today to talk about whether his state would be in play in the 2012 presidential election. About a half hour later, the governor called back, and he had a lot to say. He didn’t think that Montana would be a swing state, but the Democrat did say that Mitt Romney could have issues nationally because his father was “born on a polygamy commune in Mexico.”

I wonder if anyone is going to bring up Barack Obama Sr. was a drunk and died in an auto accident driving drunk and was himself a polygamist? But this does show you how desperate the democrats are.

5.  Keystone is back

The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway -- by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans. That's a lot of defections.

When the House voted on the pipeline in July of last year, 47 Democrats broke with the president. Now that it's an election year and the number is up to 69, look for Republicans to hold more pipeline votes before November. GOP leaders expect even more Democrats to join them.

Then there is the Senate. Democrats are using the filibuster to stop the pipeline, which means 60 votes are required to pass it. (Some Democrats who bitterly opposed the filibuster when Republicans used it against Obama initiatives are notably silent these days.) In a vote last month, 11 Senate Democrats stood up against Obama to vote in favor of the pipeline. Add those 11 to the Republicans' 47 votes, and the pro-pipeline forces are just a couple of votes away from breaking Harry Reid's filibuster.

"We're right around the corner from actually passing it," says a well-informed Senate source. "Two-hundred-ninety-three votes in the House is a gigantic number. People want this thing."…

Another sign of BHO’s weakness and what it might mean in November.  Just think of it, an actual bipartisan bill!

6.  Thomas Sowell Quotes

Thomas Sowell is not only one of the finest columnists in the business, he's a prolific author, a brilliant economist, and he has an incomparable knack for simplifying complex concepts that few other human beings can match. Enjoy the distilled wisdom!

25) "Since this is an era when many people are concerned about 'fairness' and 'social justice,' what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?"

23) “Four things have almost invariably followed the imposition of controls” to keep prices below the level they would reach under supply and demand in a free market: (1) increased use of the product or service whose price is controlled, (2) Reduced supply of the same product or service, (3) quality deterioration, (4) black markets."

20) "The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits ever since 1994. You would never learn that from most of the media. Similarly you look at those blacks that have gone on to college or finished college, the incarceration rate is some tiny fraction of what it is among those blacks who have dropped out of high school. So it’s not being black; it’s a way of life.”

19) "The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics."

16) "No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind."

12) "We seem to be moving steadily in the direction of a society where no one is responsible for what he himself did, but we are all responsible for what somebody else did, either in the present or in the past."

7) "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

2) "In short, killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a viable political strategy, so long as the goose does not die before the next election and no one traces the politicians’ fingerprints on the murder weapon."

1) "There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs."

These were my favorites out of the 25 picked by the author.  The one that was most impactful on me was #20.

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