September 22, 2008

Red State vs. Blue State Economics (NY Post Sunday Column)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:53 pm

With the New York Post’s permission, which I appreciate, I am putting up the column that appeared yesterday in the Post’s Business section.


Red State vs. Blue State Economics

September 21, 2008

After a tough week on Wall Street and in Washington, it’s important to point out that all economic troubles are not created equal. And it is the red states that are better prepared to weather the crisis.

In Texas, Florida and Arizona, life doesn’t seem so grim. As Phil Gramm and Mike Solon noted in a Sept. 13 Wall Street Journal column, those three large states gained 1.7 million, 1.4 million, and 600,000 jobs, respectively, from 1996-2006. That’s one-third of all US jobs during that period. The states also had per-capita income growth that far outpaced the national averages.

Most other red states have done either fairly well or very well. Friday morning’s Labor Department report shows at least 15 states that went for Bush in 2004 had seasonally adjusted August unemployment rates below 5%: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

But if you’re looking for economic struggles, visit the blue states.

Begin with big kahuna California, which gave John Kerry a 10% margin in 2004. The now-misnamed Golden State, with its Democrat-dominated legislature and might-as-well-be-a-Democrat governor, had an August unemployment rate of 7.7%, up from just 5.5%, and over 400,000 more unemployed workers, in 12 months. Yet Arnold Schwarzenegger rejects the idea of offshore drilling, and the jobs it will create.

Then head east to Michigan (unemployment: 8.9%; 12-month job loss: 70,000). Things have gone from bad to very bad during the tenure of Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, with the help of a too-compliant GOP legislature. Wolverine State defenders point to its “unique” auto industry problems. Baloney – Gramm and Solon noted that while Michigan lost 83,000 auto-sector jobs in the past 15 years, eight Southeastern states, all of which went for Bush in 2004, gained 91,000.

Move on to Ohio (7.4% unemployment). Though it went for Bush in 2004, state government has mostly acted blue since the mid-1990s, thanks to alleged GOP governors George Voinovich and Bob Taft. The Buckeye State moved from pseudo-red to largely blue in 2006, electing a Democratic governor, who has been aided and abetted by a mostly complacent GOP legislature.

Finally, head west a bit to Obama’s Illinois (7.3% unemployment). Its Democratic governor, legislature, big-city mayor, and US senators have all played a role in creating the Land of Lincoln’s economic lousiness. Moving Democratic National Committee operations to Chicago, perhaps Obama’s most noteworthy “jobs program,” has made little difference.

Within certain states, the red-blue contrast is stark. In Ohio, you’ll find foreclosures galore and general economic malaise in bluer-than-blue Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, Toledo, and Dayton. Meanwhile, Cincinnati and Columbus are hanging in there nicely, especially in the GOP-dominated ring suburbs. Similar comparisons apply between economically-distressed Southeastern Michigan against the rest of that state, and Metro Chicago versus much of the rest of Illinois.

If we’re in a recession, blame it on the high-tax, high-regulation, high-giveaway environments of the blue states, blue regions, and blue cities. Red states, and the red regions within otherwise blue states, made the right decisions – but will be left holding the bag.

Sadly, the blue environs of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will most likely vote for Barack Obama. The rest of the country is already paying $1 trillion to bail out Wall Street. Must we pay for the blue states’ bad judgement as well?

Tom Blumer owns a training and development company in red-state mentality suburban Cincinnati. He runs and writes for

Guess Who the Orchestrated Smear Campaigns Are Coming From?

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:43 pm

Details are here at Jawa Report (HTs to Michelle and Nix).

UPDATE: From Jawa (HT Ace), Ethan winner, busted, responds — with a complete load of rubbish.

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (092208, Morning Round 2)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 8:19 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • One Hillary Clinton supporter in the primaries hasn’t been taken by the aura of “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas HusseinObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) and is supporting John McCain. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who votes in New York, almost certainly supported the Eliot Spitzer-David Paterson ticket in 2006, and probably supported Carl McCall in 2002. I’m confident that someone in the SOB Alliance can whip up an Empire State-customized Racism-Free Certificate like the ones already done for Ohio and Illinois if she needs one.
  • Maybe someone should put up a reward that would be given to the person who can prove that Joe Biden said the following in the presence of two or more Ohio residents while actually in the Buckeye State (HT Keane Observations) — “Speaking to members of the University of Delaware football team Friday morning, the Democratic VP candidate said: “I was out in Ohio,” he said while fiddling with a football in his hands. “I told the folks in Ohio that ….. (the Delaware Blue Hens football team would) kick Ohio State’s a**!” If someone does, their money is probably very, very safe.
  • What obscure blogger had one of his posts at NewsBusters tabbed in a screenshot of Sarah Palin’s mailbox?
  • There’s news about Victoria Wells Wulsin Whatever (affectionately known around here as “VW3″), and the title of Dean’s post at Cincinnati Beacon about it is great (“Wulsin choking on a Heimlich maneuver? Slippery Vic tripped by work history”). I’m looking forward to Malia Rulon et al at what’s left of the Cincinnati Enquirer getting right on this — right after they get done obsessing over what mailing lists incumbent Jean Schmidt is and isn’t on.
  • Here’s another woman on the verge of accomplishing something the National Organization of What Kind Of Women (NOWKOW) probably won’t consider significant, because it’s really the National Organization Of Liberal-Only Women (NOOLOW). Speaking of new lows, the NOWKOWs endorsed an all-male presidential ticket for the first time, and only because a woman who wouldn’t stoop to being a NOOLOW is on the other ticket. Take heart: The NOWKOWs endorsement winning percentage is zero.
  • An English Baroness says that “dementia sufferers have a duty to die.” Those who believe in the sanctity of life have a duty to fight the Baroness’s special brand of dementia.
  • At (HT Weapons of Mass Discussion) — “OK, we’ll say it if no one else will: Thank heaven for Gramm-Leach-Bliley. ….. Democrats largely supported it at the time, and one of their own, Bill Clinton, signed it. Now they frame it as a Republican bill that helped send the nation on the path to perdition. ….. (But) by taking down an outmoded firewall, the law is helping the financial industry cope with a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. Far from being the cause, this instance of deregulation, or whatever you call it, is part of the cure.”

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (092208, Morning Round 1)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 6:46 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • Michelle Malkin — “Henry Paulson Must Be Contained.” I fear he won’t be. Hers is a very long post, but worth the effort.
  • Jack Caffery of CNN, infamous for asserting in the total absence of evidence that oil companies managed prices during the 2006 election cycle, wondered Sunday if Sarah Palin’s 15 minutes of fame might be over. Uh, not exactly.
  • How bad is disability fraud (that IS the right word) at the Long Island Railroad? This bad (HT Hot Air Headlines): “Virtually every career employee — as many as 97 percent in one recent year — applies for and gets disability payments soon after retirement ….. two formerly influential figures at the L.I.R.R. — a married couple, one from management and one from labor — are retired and drawing about $280,000 annually in combined disability and pension payments.” All courtesy of taxpayers.
  • Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown — over Sarah Palin. Zheesh: Who’s playing into the “weaker sex” stereotype, Palin or those who can’t handle a conservative female VP pick?
  • Bill Clinton praised John McCain and Sarah Palin last week. Of course he praised her; the GOP veep nominee has more experience dealing with officials of other nations (including but not limited to the Alaska-Canada-US natural gas pipeline deal negotiated as Alaska governor) than Clinton had when he ran for president in 1992. That is, he had none, and it ultimately showed.

Positivity: So many wonderful memories

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Lakewood, Colorado:

Article Launched: 09/18/2008 12:30:00 AM MDT

A century ago, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and aspirin was new on the market, the average U.S. life span was 47 years.

Dr. J. Gordon Spendlove and his wife, Elizabeth, have both lived more than twice that long. But they also have defied some other long odds by remaining married for almost 75 of those years.

On Sunday, the Spendloves will celebrate their 100th birthdays — he was born Oct. 10, 1908, and she on Sept. 22, 1908 — and their 75th wedding anniversary. They tied the knot Sept. 22, 1933.

“No, no, I never thought we’d live to be 100,” J. Gordon Spendlove said Wednesday, confiding,

“It’s not all that bad.”

Asked for the secret to long life, Spendlove laughed and said, “The secret is HA!”
In other words, said the couple’s daughter, Linda Darling of Golden, her parents have been active, upbeat, laughing and loving.

They moved from town to town during Spendlove’s 31-year career as a physician and Veterans Affairs hospital administrator. He was director of the Iowa City, Iowa, VA hospital in the 1960s and retired from the Fort Wayne, Ind., facility in 1976.

Elizabeth Spendlove suffers from health problems that prevented her from being interviewed, but she plans to celebrate Sunday at the Lakewood Meridian center with their daughter and son, Gordon R. Spendlove of Lakewood, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Looking at the photographs gathered for the event, J. Gordon Spendlove said, “I see happy days, smiling people, joyful scenes — so many wonderful memories that bring back the years and years.”

Spendlove recalled the first time he saw his wife. “I was with someone else on a college trip when I looked at her and thought, ‘I’m in the wrong place.’ The next year, I was with her.”

What attracted him, Spendlove said, “was her simply wonderful beauty that is just infectious.”

If he has advice on what makes a good marriage, Spendlove said, “It’s being married to the right woman.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.