Site Meter

Posts Tagged “Obamanomics”

share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 10, 2012

Obama and Boehner The Morning Flap: December 10, 2012

President Obama and House Speaker Boehner

These are my links for December 5th through December 10th:

  • Options narrow to avert fiscal cliff- Time is running short — and so are the options available to avert the fiscal cliff.President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have just 21 days to resolve their differences over how to handle more than $500 billion in expiring tax rates and steep spending cuts.Although they met Sunday for the first time in more than three weeks — signaling a new, potentially more productive stage of the negotiations — there was no progress on the staff level ahead of that sit-down, according to Democratic and Republican sources.The White House and Capitol Hill are now staring at a narrow set of options fraught with political and policy peril. The course they choose will set the tone for the 113th Congress, Boehner’s speakership and Obama’s second term.

    Here is POLITICO’s rundown of the most likely scenarios:

    1. Go over the cliff
    2. Big deal
    3. Partial deal
  • Jim DeMint’s move and the growing frustration inside the GOP | Mobile Washington Examiner -
  • The GOP’s immigration jam
  • Dick Armey: John Boehner should vote on fiscal cliff plan- Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey suggested on Monday that House Speaker John Boehner should allow a vote on Republican and Democratic tax-and-spending plans to avert the fiscal cliff and force President Barack Obama to “live with the consequences” of his plan.“Unless the president shows some real negotiating, let’s say vigor, commitment, what I would do if I was John Boehner is I would take my version of what I think is the best policy for America to the floor, offer the Democrats, on behalf of the president, a chance to offer a substitute,” Armey, a Texas Republican who was majority leader from 1995 to 2003, said on CBS’s “This Morning.”
  • The Journal’s Tax Advice- he The Wall Street Journal editors are are unhappy about the present correlation unhappy about the present correlation of political forces. Who isn’t? They’re of political forces. Who isn’t? They’re also, I gather, unhappy about “Beltway also, I gather, unhappy about “Beltway sages” who, facing the fact that the sages” who, facing the fact that the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, have suggested Republicans year, have suggested Republicans accept a modest increase in tax rates accept a modest increase in tax rates for the wealthy while leading the for the wealthy while leading the charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of the American people. percent of the American people.It would be great if the It would be great if the Journal Journal editors editors had a better idea of what Republicans had a better idea of what Republicans could do. They don’t.
  • Doctors: We Gave at the Office, and Then Some- As a physician who treats Medicare patients, the fiscal cliff is all too familiar territory. Living under the current Medicare reimbursement system, known as the Sustainable Growth Rate, the viability of my practice is under threat.At least once a year, I am taken to a precipice known as the SGR cliff, which mandates that reimbursement rates are reduced by significant levels unless Congress steps in with its “doc fix” and staves off the cut. This year is no different. The SGR rate will be cut by nearly 27 percent on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts.This threatened cut, coupled with rate reductions and penalties already codified under the 2010 health care law and sequestration amount to a systematic targeting of Medicare doctors to pay for deficit reduction.To be clear, our SGR cliff is not merely an annual exercise. In 2010, we faced no less than five cliffs, sometimes going over, then fixed retroactively after a few weeks of panic and confusion among us and our patients.

    If this weren’t enough, the grand promise made to physicians to fix the SGR in the 2010 law actually worsened the situation by once again targeting reimbursement rates and adding reporting and electronic health record mandates. For good measure, the law created the Independent Payment Advisory Board as a means to further reduce reimbursements.

  • ObamaCare: Businesses Face Wrenching Choice- The president’s health care law presents the nation’s employers with a number of extremely difficult decisions. Perhaps nothing illustrates the selection of no-good-choices better than the requirement that businesses offer expensive insurance or pay a penalty.Recent news media coverage has highlighted larger businesses reducing employee hours below 30 hours per week in order to avoid the employer-mandate requirements or penalties. Smaller businesses, too, might be forced to reduce employment below the 50 full-time equivalent employee threshold, or resist growing above the threshold, to avoid the mandate. None of these options is productive, and they ultimately harm employees and the economy. Replacing one full-time position with two part-time positions is not job creation. Further, money that must go toward increased benefits or non-tax deductible penalties will crowd out wage increases and business investment.
  • The Republican Tax Panic- If any Republicans thought that President Obama would respond with magnanimity in victory, they now know better. He is determined to rout them on taxes, give as a little as possible on spending, and blame them for any economic damage in the bargain. The question for the GOP is how to minimize the harm to the economy, as well as to their chances of a political and policy comeback in 2014 and beyond.So it’s a shame that Republicans are playing into Mr. Obama’s hands, negotiating in public among themselves, prematurely giving up on the tax issue and undermining House Speaker John Boehner in the process. Mr. Obama isn’t going to blink on the budget if he thinks Republicans are going to blink first, and so far the emerging GOP position seems to be to surrender on taxes first and hope Mr. Obama will have mercy on them later on entitlements.
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-09 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-09 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-09 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-09
  • GetGlue – Your app for TV, Movies, and Sports – I unlocked the Homeland: In Memoriam sticker on #GetGlue!
  • Humor / The Golden Rule explained….. – The Golden Rule explained…..
  • How Obama’s data scientists built a volunteer army on Facebook- No matter how good your social media team is, the chances are it’s never done anything like this. Rather than just using Facebook as a channel for posting messages and tracking its followers’ feelings, the Obama for America data science team turned social media into a tool for efficiently recruiting the human resources it needed leading into the election’s home stretch.The key was a model for determining who among its followers were the best messengers, who they might be able to persuade, and what actions they might be willing to take. So, rather than blast all of President Obama’s 30 million Facebook fans or 20 million Twitter followers with the same plea for cash or neighborhood organizers, the campaign was able to make informed decisions about who it asked for what, and how it asked them.
  • GOP Rep. Cole: Take Obama’s offer to gain tax cuts for ‘98 percent’- Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday that House Republicans should agree to extending tax cuts for the majority of U.S. taxpayers.Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Cole continued to champion his case that the GOP caucus should take the deal that President Obama is offering: keeping tax rates in place for those making less than $250,000 a year, while allowing rates to increase on the wealthy.
  • White House could protect middle class from looming tax hikes- The White House has the power to temporarily protect taxpayers from middle-class tax hikes even as upper income rates rise if Congress does nothing and all of the Bush-era tax rates expire in January.Experts and lawmakers alike agree that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to adjust how much is withheld from paychecks for tax purposes — for all taxpayers or just for some.
  • GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-08 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-08 #tcot
  • GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – #tcot
  • GOP seeks to up its online game – Emily Schultheis – POLITICO.com – GOP seeks to up its online game #tcot
  • GIF: Juan Manuel Marquez knocks out Manny Pacquaio at end of … on Twitpic – RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: Out cold. RT @samir: GIF of the knockout
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-08
  • GOP seeks to up its online game- Republican digital gurus are starting to chart a path forward for 2014 and beyond after conceding that they were badly outgunned by Barack Obama’s campaign in cyberspace this past November.About 50 top Republicans, both staffers for the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee as well as outside GOP digital consultants, huddled in Washington Thursday morning to rehash what Mitt Romney did wrong, digitally speaking.
  • Gregory Flap @ Ronnie’s Diner – 8 mile race recovery run is finished. Now waiting for a table at Ronnie’s. (@ Ronnie’s Diner)
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-07 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-07 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-07
  • Do Not Have Sex with This Man | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches – Stupid 2 RT @EWErickson This is one of the funniest damn things I’ve ever read @DouthatNYT inspires comedic brilliance
  • Steve Smith: Fleetwood Mac to tour; Clapton jams with The Stones; the 12-12-12 TV concert; and Led Zep’s honor – SGVTribune.com – Steve Smith: Fleetwood Mac to tour; Clapton jams with The Stones; the 12-12-12 TV concert; and Led Zep’s honor: …
  • SCOTUS To Hear Gay Marriage Cases – Flap’s Blog – SCOTUS To Hear Gay Marriage Cases #tcot
  • Supreme Court To Hear Gay Couples’ Marriage Cases – RT @chrisgeidner: UPDATE: The Supreme Court’s order in the #DOMA & #Prop8 cases:
  • Charles Krauthammer: It’s nothing but a power play- What should Republicans do? Stop giving stuff away. If Obama remains intransigent, let him be the one to take us over the cliff. And then let the new House, which is sworn in weeks before the president, immediately introduce and pass a full across-the-board restoration of the George W. Bush tax cuts.Obama will counter with the usual all-but-the-rich tax cut — as the markets gyrate and the economy begins to wobble under his feet.Result? We’re back to square one, but with a more level playing field. The risk to Obama will be rising and the debt ceiling will be looming. Most important of all, however, Republicans will still be in possession of their unity, their self-respect — and their trousers.———–

    The Fiscal Cliff does not look so bad, now does it?

  • Day By Day December 7, 2012 – Take A Bow – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day December 7, 2012 – Take A Bow #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-12-06
  • Sen. Rand Paul: We Should Let Dems Raise Taxes And Then Let Them Own It- SEN. RAND PAUL: I have yet another thought on how we can fix this. Why don’t we let the Democrats pass whatever they want? If they are the party of higher taxes, all the Republicans vote present and let the Democrats raise taxes as high as they want to raise them, let Democrats in the Senate raise taxes, let the president sign it and then make them own the tax increase. And when the economy stalls, when the economy sputters, when people lose their jobs, they know which party to blame, the party of high taxes. Let’s don’t be the party of just almost as high taxes.LARRY KUDLOW, CNBC: Some people have called that the doomsday scenario. Others have said, ‘Look, it’s a strategic retreat on the Republicans’ behalf.’ WWould you vote present for that in the Senate if that came up?RAND PAUL: Yes, I don’t think we have to in the Senate. In the House, they have to because the Democrats don’t have the majority. In the Senate, I’m happy not to filibuster it, and I will announce tonight on your show that I will work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike with a simple majority if that’s what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes and they can own it.=========

    Senator Paul has a point….

  • California Republicans look to Jim Brulte to lead comeback- Following a catastrophic election for the California Republican Party, influential members of the party have recruited a prominent former legislator, Jim Brulte, to lead a comeback.The former Senate Republican leader has been discussing his interest in the party chairmanship with members of the party since the election a month ago. Brulte is a giant in GOP circles, having helped Republicans in the 1990s win a majority in the state Assembly for the first time in nearly 25 years.
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-05 – Flap’s California Blog – (500) … #tcot
  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-04 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-12-04
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-05 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-12-05 #tcot
  • Online sales tax to be added to defense authorization bill- This may be the last Christmas of online shopping without paying sales tax.A proposed online sales tax has been offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, much to the ire of opponents.The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a group that opposes this move, says that an online sales tax will burden small businesses, “some of the most promising candidates for future economic growth.”
  • The House Fiscal Cliff Strategy: Shut Up and Pass a Bill – Flap’s Blog – The House Fiscal Cliff Strategy: Shut Up and Pass a Bill #tcot
  • The Troubles with ObamaCare Implementation – Flap’s Blog – The Troubles with ObamaCare Implementation #tcot
  • American Dental Association Releases Updated Dental Radiograph (X-Ray) Recommendations – American Dental Association Releases Updated Dental Radiograph (X-Ray) Recommendations #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: December 10, 2012

Comments Comments Off

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 3rd on 12:32

These are my links for June 3rd from 12:32 to 12:50:

  • Proposed political district maps would sever most of Thousand Oaks from county – Most of Thousand Oaks would be politically detached from the rest of Ventura County under staff proposals presented Thursday to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

    The proposals, the first maps to emerge from the commission, were presented as the panel prepares to release its full set of draft legislative and congressional districts next week.

    Under these first-draft ideas, the commission's line-drawers suggest Thousand Oaks be split in Assembly, Senate and congressional districts, with most of the city being grouped with portions of Los Angeles County.

    Perhaps most significant was the line-drawers' proposal to place about three-quarters of Thousand Oaks' population in an L.A. County-centered congressional district. If that recommendation were to be adopted, it would create a Ventura County-only district to the west that retains Simi Valley, the home and political base of incumbent Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly, who has represented most of the county for more than two decades.

    Earlier this week, commissioners suggested that most of Simi Valley —– rather than Thousand Oaks — be detached in order to meet the population requirements for a district that would contain nearly all the remainder of the county.

  • Obama’s Economic Debacle – Major news outlets are suddenly all agog because the vaunted Obama economic recovery not only never was much of a recovery at all, but also seems to be disappearing. “We are on the verge of a great Great Depression!” screams Drudge’s massive headline in red. The Wall Street Journal reports the bad news that the private-sector economy added only 38,000 jobs last month. The Washington Post announces that “U.S. economic recovery is faltering.” CNBC says Wall Street is “baffled.”

    The only thing that should be baffling is why anybody at all is surprised.

    This is what happens when government becomes too big, too intrusive, too debt-ridden and too unpredictable. Almost every root of the current economic distress – the longest post-WWII recession on record – stretches down to rotten government policy. The reasoned compassion of Jack Kemp’s promotion of home ownership was shifted by the Clinton Administration into forced lending practices. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while paying exorbitant salaries and bonuses to Clinton cronies, ran amuck. Lending standards were eviscerated at government’s behest.

  • Greenspan ‘Scared’ Over Deficit; Calls for Debt Ceiling Rise – The debt and deficit problem in the US is so serious that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan finds himself in the position of recommending the highest tax rates in more than a decade.

    In an interview with CNBC, the former central bank chief described himself as a "small government, free-market economist" who nonetheless believes that in order to raise revenue and close the debt gap, 1990s-era taxes must be reinstituted.

    It's a measure, he said, of how serious the problem has become.

    "The fact that I am in favor of going back to the Clinton tax structure is merely an indicator of how scared I am of this debt problem that has emerged and its order of magnitude," he said.

  • Economic Recovery Is Languishing as Americans Await Signal of Better Times – In 1901, William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal launched a cartoon featuring two overly polite friends named Alphonse and Gaston. Each insisted with conspicuous courtesy that the other go first. Amid elaborate bowing, scraping, and apres-vous-ing, Alphonse and Gaston never managed to make it through an open doorway.

    Now, 110 years later, economists have a name for the Alphonse and Gaston routine that’s hobbling the U.S. economy: “coordination failure,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 6 edition. Companies won’t hire because customers won’t spend. Customers won’t spend because companies won’t hire. This stare-down has been going on since approximately December 2007, when the worst slump since the Great Depression took hold. Many Americans would like someone to make a move so they can get back to prosperity. Yet they’ve lost confidence in the actions that were designed to build confidence and restore growth –namely, near-zero overnight interest rates, the bailout of the financial system, a weakening dollar, and stimulus measures that add to the federal budget deficit and the national debt.

  • When Will Economy Recover? 2014, If Ever, Survey Says – Americans are growing increasingly doubtful about direction of the US economy, according to the latest survey from business-advisory firm AlixPartners.

    In fact, an increasing number, some 61 percent, say they don't expect to return to their respective pre-recession lifestyles until the spring of 2014, if ever.

    What's worse, a full 10 percent said they expect they will never return to pre-recession spending.

    That's a more pessimistic view than last year, when those surveyed expected that they could be back to pre-recession spending levels by the middle of 2013.

    "Americans continue to push their expectations for return to a pre-recession 'normal' further and further into the future—close enough for comfort, but far enough away to seem realistic," said Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners. "But as that happens, more and more it seems normal is actually where we are right now."

    ======

    Not until Obama is gone….

  • Obamanomics in a Nutshell – The Auto Bailouts – It's a sign of grim times indeed when the Obama administration is touting a potential $14 billion loss to the taxpayers as a great economic success.

    The White House is running on its auto bailouts as courageous acts that saved the industrial Midwest. To critics of government intervention, the administration holds up the revival of General Motors and Chrysler as proof of the efficacy – nay, the necessity – of bailout economics.

    It's a telling point of pride. In bragging about the bailouts, the administration is boasting of a process shot through with lawlessness and political favoritism, not to mention reckless disregard for taxpayer dollars. Few acts have so powerfully captured Pres. Barack Obama's corporatism.

    The administration believes it trumps all criticism with one data point: GM and Chrysler are still with us. GM has even been making money, and had the biggest IPO in American history last November.

    Yet, as Megan McArdle of The Atlantic tartly observes, it shouldn't have been in doubt that if government threw $80 billion at two companies, not expecting to get all of it back, it could save them. She points out that the loss from the bailouts (the administration's estimate is $14 billion) will be close to the entire market capitalization of GM in 2007. It will be several times as big as the company's 2008 market capitalization.

    McArdle figures that, at a cost of roughly $10 billion to $20 billion, we might as well have given GM's pre-bankruptcy workforce of 75,000 hourly workers $250,000 each and called it a day.

    ======

    Read it all

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 3rd on 12:32

Comments Comments Off

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 3rd on 12:32

These are my links for June 3rd from 12:32 to 12:50:

  • Proposed political district maps would sever most of Thousand Oaks from county – Most of Thousand Oaks would be politically detached from the rest of Ventura County under staff proposals presented Thursday to the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

    The proposals, the first maps to emerge from the commission, were presented as the panel prepares to release its full set of draft legislative and congressional districts next week.

    Under these first-draft ideas, the commission's line-drawers suggest Thousand Oaks be split in Assembly, Senate and congressional districts, with most of the city being grouped with portions of Los Angeles County.

    Perhaps most significant was the line-drawers' proposal to place about three-quarters of Thousand Oaks' population in an L.A. County-centered congressional district. If that recommendation were to be adopted, it would create a Ventura County-only district to the west that retains Simi Valley, the home and political base of incumbent Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly, who has represented most of the county for more than two decades.

    Earlier this week, commissioners suggested that most of Simi Valley —– rather than Thousand Oaks — be detached in order to meet the population requirements for a district that would contain nearly all the remainder of the county.

  • Obama’s Economic Debacle – Major news outlets are suddenly all agog because the vaunted Obama economic recovery not only never was much of a recovery at all, but also seems to be disappearing. “We are on the verge of a great Great Depression!” screams Drudge’s massive headline in red. The Wall Street Journal reports the bad news that the private-sector economy added only 38,000 jobs last month. The Washington Post announces that “U.S. economic recovery is faltering.” CNBC says Wall Street is “baffled.”

    The only thing that should be baffling is why anybody at all is surprised.

    This is what happens when government becomes too big, too intrusive, too debt-ridden and too unpredictable. Almost every root of the current economic distress – the longest post-WWII recession on record – stretches down to rotten government policy. The reasoned compassion of Jack Kemp’s promotion of home ownership was shifted by the Clinton Administration into forced lending practices. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while paying exorbitant salaries and bonuses to Clinton cronies, ran amuck. Lending standards were eviscerated at government’s behest.

  • Greenspan ‘Scared’ Over Deficit; Calls for Debt Ceiling Rise – The debt and deficit problem in the US is so serious that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan finds himself in the position of recommending the highest tax rates in more than a decade.

    In an interview with CNBC, the former central bank chief described himself as a "small government, free-market economist" who nonetheless believes that in order to raise revenue and close the debt gap, 1990s-era taxes must be reinstituted.

    It's a measure, he said, of how serious the problem has become.

    "The fact that I am in favor of going back to the Clinton tax structure is merely an indicator of how scared I am of this debt problem that has emerged and its order of magnitude," he said.

  • Economic Recovery Is Languishing as Americans Await Signal of Better Times – In 1901, William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal launched a cartoon featuring two overly polite friends named Alphonse and Gaston. Each insisted with conspicuous courtesy that the other go first. Amid elaborate bowing, scraping, and apres-vous-ing, Alphonse and Gaston never managed to make it through an open doorway.

    Now, 110 years later, economists have a name for the Alphonse and Gaston routine that’s hobbling the U.S. economy: “coordination failure,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its June 6 edition. Companies won’t hire because customers won’t spend. Customers won’t spend because companies won’t hire. This stare-down has been going on since approximately December 2007, when the worst slump since the Great Depression took hold. Many Americans would like someone to make a move so they can get back to prosperity. Yet they’ve lost confidence in the actions that were designed to build confidence and restore growth –namely, near-zero overnight interest rates, the bailout of the financial system, a weakening dollar, and stimulus measures that add to the federal budget deficit and the national debt.

  • When Will Economy Recover? 2014, If Ever, Survey Says – Americans are growing increasingly doubtful about direction of the US economy, according to the latest survey from business-advisory firm AlixPartners.

    In fact, an increasing number, some 61 percent, say they don't expect to return to their respective pre-recession lifestyles until the spring of 2014, if ever.

    What's worse, a full 10 percent said they expect they will never return to pre-recession spending.

    That's a more pessimistic view than last year, when those surveyed expected that they could be back to pre-recession spending levels by the middle of 2013.

    "Americans continue to push their expectations for return to a pre-recession 'normal' further and further into the future—close enough for comfort, but far enough away to seem realistic," said Fred Crawford, CEO of AlixPartners. "But as that happens, more and more it seems normal is actually where we are right now."

    ======

    Not until Obama is gone….

  • Obamanomics in a Nutshell – The Auto Bailouts – It's a sign of grim times indeed when the Obama administration is touting a potential $14 billion loss to the taxpayers as a great economic success.

    The White House is running on its auto bailouts as courageous acts that saved the industrial Midwest. To critics of government intervention, the administration holds up the revival of General Motors and Chrysler as proof of the efficacy – nay, the necessity – of bailout economics.

    It's a telling point of pride. In bragging about the bailouts, the administration is boasting of a process shot through with lawlessness and political favoritism, not to mention reckless disregard for taxpayer dollars. Few acts have so powerfully captured Pres. Barack Obama's corporatism.

    The administration believes it trumps all criticism with one data point: GM and Chrysler are still with us. GM has even been making money, and had the biggest IPO in American history last November.

    Yet, as Megan McArdle of The Atlantic tartly observes, it shouldn't have been in doubt that if government threw $80 billion at two companies, not expecting to get all of it back, it could save them. She points out that the loss from the bailouts (the administration's estimate is $14 billion) will be close to the entire market capitalization of GM in 2007. It will be several times as big as the company's 2008 market capitalization.

    McArdle figures that, at a cost of roughly $10 billion to $20 billion, we might as well have given GM's pre-bankruptcy workforce of 75,000 hourly workers $250,000 each and called it a day.

    ======

    Read it all

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 3rd on 12:32

Comments Comments Off

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 2nd on 11:02

These are my links for June 2nd from 11:02 to 11:42:

  • California State Senate approves bill allowing counties to raise vehicle fees – Individual counties could vote to raise vehicle fees under a bill that earned Senate approval today.

    "This gives counties a tool they currently don't have in a time of crisis," said bill author Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.

    In 2003, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped the rate of what essentially is an annual tax on a vehicle's present value. The rate change from 2 percent to 0.65 percent took away a chunk of revenues counties relied on to pay for public safety and social services. A temporary increase to 1.15 percent went into effect in May 2009 and expires at the end of this month. Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan calls for moving the expiration to 2016.

    The proposal that passed the Senate by a 23-15 vote today allows a county board of supervisors, with a two-thirds vote, to authorize a vote for higher fees on county residents. If a majority of county voters signs off on the plan, their vehicle fee effectively would return to the original 2 percent rate.

    Leno introduced the same bill last year, but it did not clear the Assembly floor.

    Automobile manufacturers and dealers are opposed to attaching fees to vehicles, saying there's already a long list of hidden government costs.

    None of the Republicans present voted for Leno's bill.

    "This is another example of the insatiable appetite we have for raising taxes around this building," Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said on the Senate floor.

    Senate Bill 223 is one of several measures moving through the Legislature with a goal of giving local officials a chance to collect more revenues. The most high-profile proposal has been Senate Bill 653 by Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

    ======

    A tax is a tax to Californians – either from the state or the county.

  • Job Data May Be Key to Obama’s Job – No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent.

    Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.

    Roughly 9 percent of Americans who want to go to work cannot find an employer. Companies are firing fewer people, but hiring remains anemic. And the vast majority of economic forecasters, including the president’s own advisers, predict only modest progress by November 2012.

    The latest job numbers, due Friday, are expected to provide new cause for concern. Other indicators suggest the pace of growth is flagging. Weak manufacturing data, a gloomy reading on jobs in advance of Friday’s report and a drop in auto sales led the markets to their worst close since August, and those declines carried over into Asia Thursday.

    ======

    Read it all

    It is all about the economy going into the Presidential race of 2012.

  • Why Barack Obama may be heading for electoral disaster in 2012 – To say this has been an extremely bad week for the Obama administration on the economic front would be a serious understatement. As The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, home prices in the United States have sunk to their lowest levels since 2002, falling 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011. At the same time, employment growth is stalling, with only 38,000 Americans added to the workforce in May, the smallest increase since September. This compares with 179,000 jobs added in April. There has also been a steep slowdown in the manufacturing sector, and a downturn in the stock market on the back of weak economic news.

    Bill Clinton’s labour secretary Robert Reich summed up the grim mood in a hard-hitting op-ed in The Financial Times, which took aim at both the administration and Congress:

    The US economy was supposed to be in bloom by late spring, but it is hardly growing at all. Expectations for second-quarter growth are not much better than the measly 1.8 per cent annualised rate of the first quarter. That is not nearly fast enough to reduce America’s ferociously high level of unemployment… Meanwhile, housing prices continue to fall. They are now 33 per cent below their 2006 peak. That is a bigger drop than recorded in the Great Depression. Homes are the largest single asset of the American middle class, so as housing prices drop many Americans feel poorer. All of this is contributing to a general gloominess. Not surprisingly, consumer confidence is also down.

    =====

    Read it all

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for June 2nd on 11:02

Comments Comments Off

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 31st on 09:43

These are my links for May 31st from 09:43 to 09:48:

  • Palin’s Bus Destinations: The MSM Isn’t Cleared for That Information – I see this comment, from an unnamed Palinite insider to Shushannah Walshe of the Daily Beast: “According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger.”

    ======

    More importantly will be polls next week showing how well she matches up against Romney

  • Economists Downgrade Prospects for Growth – A growing number of forecasters are downgrading their predictions for economic growth, the Wall Street Journal notes, which "raises a deeper question about the economy's health: Has it emerged from the financial turmoil of 2008 and 2009 with a chronic growth problem?"

    "Since the recession officially ended in mid-2009, the economy's annualized growth rate has averaged 2.8%. That's no better than its performance after the much-milder 2001 recession, and far worse than the 7.1% growth rate after the similarly deep 1982 recession."

  • Sarah Palin: The Call at Gettysburg – When I first visited Gettysburg years ago, I was overwhelmed with the sense of sacrifice made to secure our union, but my most recent visit this morning was even more significant as subsequent visits allow reflection on the state of our union today. Striking to me is how ready and willing troops and civilians were in 1863 to lay their lives on the line. Are we as ready and willing to accept the call for sacrifice today in order to keep our union secure?

    Hopefully the kids on school field trips whom we met this morning grasped the poignant irony at the site we toured together: that such a beautiful stretch of the Pennsylvania countryside should have been the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. But perhaps it’s fitting that such a sacred place should be so beautiful now in order to commemorate the terrible sacrifices made to bring about, in the words of Lincoln’s famous address, "a new birth of freedom."

    But this "new birth of freedom" wasn’t fully realized by the generation that paid the price for it. Over 100 years after the battle, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declared, "Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." It took the struggle for Civil Rights to truly complete what Lincoln called "the unfinished work" for which the heroes of Gettysburg "gave the last full measure of devotion."

    Today, when we speak of "fundamentally restoring all that is good in America," we remember the debt of gratitude we owe to those who sacrificed to create and preserve our union. From the Civil War to the struggle for Civil Rights, generations of Americans have made great sacrifices necessary to pass on to us this great gift of freedom. It’s our duty to them to preserve it, cherish it, and pass it on to our children, so "that these dead shall not have died in vain…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

    When duty calls, are we willing to answer today? Please remember that freedom isn't free – the price paid for our liberty has been great.

    The reminders of the past costs are seen at Gettysburg. The way forward in protecting our unified body is encapsulated in Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address: "…with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds."

    - Sarah Palin

share save 120 16 Flaps Links and Comments for May 31st on 09:43

Comments Comments Off

©Gregory Flap Cole All Rights Reserved