Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chicago schools, GM, The Economy, Obama's bounce, and Obamacare

What are the results from the highest Paying School District in the Country?

Just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading and only 56 percent of students who enter their freshman year of high school wind up graduating.  The turned down a 16% pay raise over the next four years and teachers only pay 3 percent of their health-care costs.  And of every dollar set aside for education in Illinois over the past five years, 71 cents has gone to teacher retirement costs.  And the teachers are on strike. This is Chicago, Obama’s kind of town.  

Were Chicago Teachers simply not letting a crisis go to waste?

In a strike that reeks with irony, Rahm Emmanuel loses control.

So is the Chicago Teachers strike only Rahm’s problem?

In fiscal 2009, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the U.S.Department of Education spent $53.389 billion. In 2010, that climbed to $92.858 billion, then in 2011, it dropped to $65.484 billion. This year, according to OMB, Department of Education spending will hit an historical high of $98.467 billion.

So what is the Department of Education spending all that money on?  

Over the past four years, the Chicago public schools have churned through total revenues of approximately $20.27 billion and about $4.26 billion of that revenue—or almost 21 percent of it—has come from the federal government.

Government Motors uses government economics

It seems that on the new Volt from GM, the company the taxpayers bailed out is losing $49,000 per vehicle.   I remember an old joke to the effect, “we lose money on every sale, but our volume keeps us in business.”  Of course that only works in government and only for so long.

Bin Laden is dead and GM is the walking dead

Admirers of the GM bailout should bear in mind that it was the Bush administration that first decided to intervene at the firm, offering a bridge loan on the condition that it draw up a deeply revised business plan. President Obama’s unique contribution was effectively to nationalize the company, seeing to it that the federal government violated normal bankruptcy processes and legal precedent to protect the defective element at the heart of GM’s troubles: the financial interests of the UAW. It did this by strong-arming GM’s bondholders into taking haircuts in order to sweeten the pot for the UAW. The Obama administration also creatively construed tax law to relieve GM of tens of billions of dollars in obligations — at the same time that Barack Obama & Co. were caterwauling about the supposed lack of patriotism of firms that used legal means rather than political favoritism to reduce their tax bills.

Mitt Romney’s proposal for a structured bankruptcy would have necessitated considerable federal involvement, too, but with a key difference: The UAW contracts would have been renegotiated, and GM’s executive suites would have been cleaned out, placing the company on a path toward innovation and self-sufficiency rather than permanent life support. Which is to say, Obama did for GM what he is doing by un-reforming welfare: creating a dependent constituency.

The Do Nothing Government Economic Plan

Having spent over $5 trillion stimulating the economy one wonders why it isn’t working?  Would we be better off if Obama had done nothing?  One of the last of the "do nothing" presidents was Warren G. Harding. In 1921, under President Harding, unemployment hit 11.7 percent -- higher than it has been under President Obama. Harding did nothing to get the economy stimulated. 

Far from spending more money to try to "jump start" the economy, President Harding actually reduced government spending, as the tax revenues declined during the economic downturn. 

This was not a matter of absent-mindedly neglecting the economy. President Harding deliberately rejected the urging of his own Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, to intervene

The 11.7 percent unemployment rate in 1921 fell to 6.7 percent in 1922, and then to 2.4 percent in 1923. It is hard to think of any government intervention in the economy that produced such a sharp and swift reduction in unemployment as was produced by just staying out of the way and letting the economy rebound on its own. 

Bill Clinton loudly proclaimed to the delegates to the Democratic National Convention that no president could have gotten us out of the recession in just one term. 

But history shows that the economy rebounded out of a worse unemployment situation in just two years under Harding, who simply let the market revive on its own, as it had done before, time and time again for more than a century. 

Deficit to top $1 trillion for the fourth time—what does that headline and Obama have in common?

Obama’s Plans for a second term

I thought Obama’s making fun of Romney and the Republicans was actually quite clever.  “Budget surplus we need a tax cut.”  “Budget deficit, calls for a tax cut.” 
So let look at Obama’s prescriptions.  “Budget Surplus?  Raise taxes and spend more money.”  “Budget deficit?  Raise taxes and spend more money.”  “Unemployment too high?  Raise taxes and spend more money.”  “The Fed can’t lower rates any more to stimulate the economy so Raise taxes and spend more money.”

Hey this works pretty good.  It certainly beats thinking. 

What caused the economic crisis of 2008?

It wasn’t Wall Street, but rather government.  Government decided that racial quotas should replace credit qualifications in qualifying for a home loan.  And the rest as they say was history.

Obama’s Convention bounce is mainly among registered voters

It turns out the bounce President Obama got after the DNC is among registered voters, not likely voters.  Among likely voters the race is tied.  

Gallup Poll Oversamples Democrats again

The Gallup Poll oversamples Democrats again but this time it is even worse than normal.  The sample for the CNN/ORC poll includes 50.4 percent Democrats and 45.4 percent Republicans and appears to have only 4.2 percent independents. This means independents are under-sampled 25 percent while Democrats are over-sampled 12.1 percent.

With the weightings of independents, Democrats and Republicans conducted by the Rasmussen numbers, this poll's data would indicate a Romney lead over Obama of 53 percent to 45 percent.

Another sign of Obama’s coming Defeat

This year there are over 30 books out that are hostile to President Obama.  Compare that to 2008 and you have another sign of Obama’s weakness in the coming election

Even Obama calls it Obamacare

President Obama autographed a Lab coat of a University of Iowa Medical Student “Go Obamacare.”  I think everyone can agree with that.  We’re looking for Romney to make Obamacare go away.

Obamacare shows everyone what bureaucracy means

One of the most-anticipated new federal regulations governing which companies will be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare has finally landed--with a thud.

In the latest indication of how complicated putting the Affordable Care Act into action will be, the Department of Health and Human Services and Internal Revenue Service issued 18 pages of regulations just to describe what a "full-time employee" is. Of note, to the Feds a full-time employee works an average of just 30 hours a week, not the normally accepted 40 hours.

Liberalism and stupidity

Some notes from an academician who attended a conference on “Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness,”  

To begin with, I was struck by the conference call for papers on the Internet. It listed people commonly regarded as evil, including Torquemada, Hitler, Ivan the Terrible, Genghis Khan, and...Ronald Reagan. Of course, who can forget Ronald Reagan and his Republican hordes sweeping down from the steppes, leaving nothing but devastation in their wake? Few figures from recent history evoke such terror and loathing—at least, among leftist academics. What do you think these people think of the Tea Party? You guessed it. One French participant informed me that Hamas winning an election among the Palestinians is like “the Tea Party winning the American presidency.” It is hard to fathom how anyone could compare the Tea Party with the genocidal terrorists of Hamas—except, of course, that this is academia, an alternate reality if there ever was one. 

I’m convinced that “being liberal means never having to say you are sorry.”

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