Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bain vs Reality

The Real Issue--it isn't Bain
What’s New Today

Story #1 has Obama telling us that Bain Capital is what this election is all about.  Interesting how his record isn’t.  #2 relates how the Bain Capital story isn’t going as well as Obama wanted it to.  #3 is a story which may demonstrate the difference between the two sides.  It appears the left doesn’t want to acknowledge how the economy is supposed to work.  While the Democrats have condemned anyone wanting to talk about Rev. Wright, story #4 relates there is another story that needs to be vetted.  Was he offered a bribe to shut up?  #5 is actually a good story about how America could rebuild our economy and lower the National Debt.  #6 asks which is more dangerous, big business or big government.  #7 uses George Orwell’s book 1984 and the idea of Newspeak to show what’s going on today in politics. 

Today’s Thoughts

Obama has told us that this election is about Bain Capital.  Romney has responded with “What this election is about is the 23 million Americans who are still struggling to find work and the millions who have lost their homes and have fallen into poverty.”  Which sounds more presidential to you? 

I stumbled across a web story about the 11 colleges with the worse graduation rates in the country.  It also mentioned that the USA with a 6 year graduation rate from college at only 56% is last among 18 developed nations.  

In an age where AG Holder declined to prosecute the Black Panthers in Philadelphia for voter intimidation it good to know there are people willing to make the hard decisions.  The federal government recently fined a high school $15,000.  Their crime?  They forgot to turn off a soda machine in the school bookstore during lunch hour.  

Democratic Senators Shumer and Casey are looking to impose a 30 percent tax on people leaving the United States for good.  It’s been done before in Nazi Germany.  The Reichsfluchsteuer, or Reich flight tax, imposed on Jews trying to flee in the 1930s was 25%.

1. Obama:  Bain Capital is what the election is all about

In a press conference today, Barack Obama argued that it was appropriate for his campaign to target Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital.

“This is not a distraction,” he said at the Chicago NATO Summit. “This is what this campaign’s going to be about.” 

Although he acknowledged that some private-equity firms could be good, Obama emphasized that such firms were geared toward “maximiz[ing] profits.”

“When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits,” Obama said.  “Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who got laid off, and how are we paying for their retraining. Your job is to think about how those communities can start creating new clusters so that they can start attracting new businesses.”

This seems to be Democratic boilerplate.  We need to retrain workers.  How is it that every laid off worker was doing something that was completely out of date?  And if it was completely out of date, how can Obama and the Democrats say that Romney and other private-equity firms were wrong to lay them off?  It seem they can’t have it both ways.  Which is it? 

2. More on Bain

[Bain Capital] is not a distraction, this is what this campaign is gonna be about.

Meanwhile, back at campaign headquarters, Team Obama is in full meltdown mode after Newark Mayor Cory Booker went off script, undermining and mocking "what this campaign is going to be about."

ABC News:
The Obama campaign is in full damage-control mode one day after Newark Mayor Cory Booker publicly derided Democrats’ assault on presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney over his record at Bain Capital…

…But Booker isn't the only Democrat already tired and made uncomfortable by Obama's divisive attacks on the risk-takers who create the jobs and this country's wealth. Below you'll see an ad the Romney campaign released today with more Democrats going "off-script" on the subject of Bain -- an ad that not only proves Romney already has a rapid response team up and running but that it's a very effective rapid response team.
If Obama loses the Bain Capital battle, he'll probably lose the election. All a failed incumbent can do is toxify their opponent into some unelectable, and this is a failed incumbent who has staked his entire campaign on divisive class warfare and envy.

Team Obama is in a panic because their entire playbook is falling apart. 


As things go wrong at the beginning it will be harder and harder for Obama to make his case that Romney is an extremist.  It’s tough to make a first impression a second time. 

3. Bain works—How do the Democrats Plan to create jobs?

When I watch the Democratic attacks on Bain Capital, I wonder: just how do Democrats think the economy is supposed to work? 

Take the Kansas City steel plant that Bain took private in 1993 and reassembled as GST Steel.  Here we had a faltering unionized steel plant.  Nothing remarkable about that, of course.  Unionized steel plants had been going out of business for two decades previously, because they were just too expensive and antiquated to be profitable.  I remember experiencing that visiting Cleveland, Ohio, in the 1970s.  The grand old basic steel plants in the Cuyahoga valley south of town were already wastelands, shuttered and abandoned, and their "good union jobs" gone for good.

Bain struggled with GST Steel for nearly a decade and then shuttered the plant in 2001.  Now, in 2012, the Democrats run an ad featuring a former employee calling Bain a "vampire."  I assume he meant that Bain sucked the blood out of the company and then spat it out.  That's after Bain had transfused $100 million into the company over ten years.

If Bain's actions are reprehensible, then what about the government's bank bailouts, in which the taxpayers stood bail on the banking system, or the auto bailouts when a Democratic administration showered benefits on Democratic constituencies with taxpayer money?

Just what is the principled Democratic way of dealing with industries in decline?  What do Democrats think is the fair and efficient way to deal with failing corporations?  What about Hewlett-Packard that just announced a layoff of 30,000 this week?...

Democrats seem to think that things don’t become obsolete.  The only way their economics works is if we freeze progress.  Transistor radios, VHS recorders, and large screen 32 inch TVs would be the norm in America. 

4. The Right Wright Issue

There a difference of opinion among Republicans about the wisdom of introducing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue into the presidential campaign. A lot of top GOP strategists think it's a bad -- a very bad -- idea. "Frankly, trying to dredge up Jeremiah Wright ... was stupid," Karl Rove said Sunday on Fox News, referring to reports a GOP ad man had suggested a Wright ad to a pro-Republican super-PAC. "I thought it was very smart for the Romney campaign to immediately go out and denounce the tactic."

On the other hand, a lot of people in the Republican base still blame John McCain for not using Wright against Barack Obama back in 2008. Now, they would like to see the GOP attack the president over his 20-year relationship with the preacher best known for shouting, "God damn America."

Thinking practically, it's hard to see how a new attack ad featuring Rev. Wright would work. Back in '08, when Sen. Obama was still relatively unknown, a skillfully-done ad linking him to Wright's angry tirades might have been quite damaging. Now, people have watched Obama as president for three and a half years, and it seems far less likely Rev. Wright would have much effect.

But there is one subject concerning Wright that merits scrutiny. In a nearly three-hour recorded interview with Ed Klein, author of the new book "The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House," Wright said that back in 2008, when he was at the center of a raging controversy over his sermons, a close friend of Obama's offered him money to shut up until after the November election.

In the interview, Wright said Dr. Eric Whitaker, a top official at the University of Chicago Hospitals, sent a note to Wright through an intermediary at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ. "[Eric] sent it to one of the members, who sent it to me," Wright told Klein. "He sent it to one of the guys close to me, saying, 'Can you make this offer to Rev?'"

Another anecdote from the book the Amateur which does need some explaining. 

5. The Debt Solution

The per capita federal debt is $31,000 growing.  Much of Europe and many American states are facing practical bankruptcy.  As the creditworthiness of the United States and many states is been downgraded, the cost of simply servicing the existing debt will rise.  Add to these woes vast unfunded entitlements and money simply created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve System, and it is hard to see how even very aggressive Reaganomics can save us. 

Government is so far in debt that simply cutting spending less is not enough, and raising taxes is foolishness.  We need to dramatically increase the sources of non-tax revenue.  Fortunately, the convergence of more sophisticated technology and rising costs for natural resources makes that possible.
Anu Mittal, director of natural resources and the environment for the General Accounting Office, recently testified before congress that the oil reserves in the Green River Formation, spanning much of the Rocky Mountain Region, are greater than all the rest of the world's reserves combined -- perhaps three trillion barrels, with about half the oil on federal land and with half of the oil extractable at current prices.  The federal royalty by a rough estimate would be over $9 trillion.
Harold Hamm, a billionaire who made his fortune finding where oil can be profitably extracted, believes that the federal royalties from the Bakken Fields in North Dakota and Montana could equal $18 trillion, which could also pay off the national debt.  Of course, tapping the United States' natural resources is the opposite of what Obama is doing.  Oil and gas production on federal lands has dropped by 40% under the dreary marriage of environmentalism, puerile elitism, and Marxism which is Obamanomics…. 

The problem is that drilling for oil or even allowing it is contrary to the left’s religion.  Oil is bad.  It is evil.  Like the Taliban who blew up a statue of the Buddha rather than letting the world remove it from Afghanistan, the left would rather blow up the American economy than allow us to exploit our natural resources. 

6. Big Business vs Big Government

You cannot understand the left if you do not understand that Leftism is a religion. It is not God-based (some Left-wing Christians’ and Jews’ claims notwithstanding), but otherwise it has every characteristic of a religion. The most blatant of those characteristics is dogma. People who believe in Leftism have as many dogmas as the most fundamentalist Christian.

One of them is material equality as the preeminent moral goal. Another is the villainy of corporations. The bigger the corporation, the greater the villainy. Thus, instead of the devil, the left has Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, the “military-industrial complex,” and the like. Meanwhile, Big Labor, Big Trial Lawyers, and, of course, Big Government are leftwing angels. And why is that? Why, to be specific, does the left fear big corporations but not big government? The answer is dogma — a belief system that transcends reason. No rational person can deny that big governments have caused almost all the great evils of the last century, arguably the bloodiest in history. Who killed the 20-30 million Soviet citizens in the Gulag Archipelago — big government or big business? Hint: There were no private businesses in the Soviet Union. Who deliberately caused 75 million Chinese to starve to death — big government or big business? Hint: See previous hint. Did Coca Cola kill five million Ukrainians? Did Big Oil slaughter a quarter of the Cambodian population? Would there have been a Holocaust without the huge Nazi state?

Whatever bad big corporations have done is dwarfed by the monstrous crimes — the mass enslavement of people, the deprivation of the most basic human rights, not to mention the mass murder and torture and genocide — committed by big governments.

How can anyone who thinks rationally believe that big corporations rather than big governments pose the greatest threat to humanity? The answer is that it takes a mind distorted by leftist dogma. If there is another explanation, I do not know what it is…

This is so self-evident that it takes blind faith not to see it.  But that is what the left has plenty of: blind faith. 

7.  Newspeak and Obamacare

… Nor does ObamaCare provide much “protection” for patients, especially senior citizens. Rather, one of the biggest dangers to seniors’ health care will be the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The IPAB would consist of 15 unelected members appointed by the president empowered to determine what medical procedures Medicare would cover and how much it would pay providers. IPAB decisions would not be subject to judicial review and could not be overturned unless overridden by a nearly-impossible two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress.

Although the law states that IPAB will not be used for rationing, its authority to set prices will give it de facto rationing power. If the IPAB sets the reimbursement rates for services below the costs of providing them, doctors would no longer offer them and patients would no longer be able to receive them.

ObamaCare supporters are also selling a version of Orwell’s slogan, “Slavery is freedom,” by claiming that greater government controls over doctors will enhance their freedom to practice.
In the Journal of the American Medical Association, former White House health policy advisor Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel advocates replacing standard fee-for-service payments with “bundled payments” where hospitals and physicians receive a fixed fee to take care of Medicare patients’ conditions (e.g., a stroke or a heart attack) regardless of how much the care actually costs.

Emanuel argues that bundled payments will give doctors more autonomy because it will allow “physicians to develop and deliver new approaches to care without being concerned about whether Medicare will pay for a specific service.” But in reality, bundled payments will pressure doctors and hospitals to skimp on care, just as patients experienced with “managed care” and HMOs in the 1980s.

Suppose the government outlawed restaurants from charging for each separate menu item. Instead, it only allowed restaurants to charge a single “bundled payment” of $10 for meals that had to include an entree, vegetable, dessert, and drink. Would the quality and quantity of food go up or down as the government set ever-stricter limits on what restaurants could charge?...


The IPAB is actually more dangerous than mentioned.  It not only takes a 2/3 majority in congress to overturn their decisions, but the congress has to come up with another reduction equal to what they overturned.

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