June 30, 2009

Warning to Republican Officials…

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 10:58 pm

Well, it’s official…whack-nut Senate liberals now have their 60th missing link (and I mean that in every sense of the expression).

A word of warning to the Republicans left on the hill…especially the wussy republicans:  From this day forward, you will determine the value, effectiveness and subsequent existence of the Republican Party.  Perhaps even more disturbing (as I stated in the link above), your actions will unarguably determine how timely and literal the next revolution gets.  You can either fight for what you know is right according to the founding principles of this country, or continue on the wide, progressive path to irrelevancy.

You see, thanks to your contributions that have been turning this country into something it was never meant to be, the people who are waking up to your foolishness no longer see things in conventional terms of ”Democrat and Republican.”  Rather, as Ayn Rand so prophetically coined, we are seeing things in terms of “looters and producers.” In your role, that means you either vote in favor of creating more looters dependent upon government (socialism) or more producers (free-markets, limited government).  Your performance to date is unacceptable…

Let’s face it, en masse, your record hasn’t been much better than progressive liberals.  In some cases, republicans have advanced liberal causes more than they could have ever hoped.  Government grew just as significantly on your watch and after several USSC appointments, we still have the atrocities of Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton.  Republicans like Mitt Romney spear-headed the destruction of traditional marriage in addition to capitulating on “universal healthcare” (two words that should NEVER come out of a [true] conservatives mouth, let alone tyrannical policy chamber).  Mitt Romney, the man over whom women swoon, was a liberal’s dream.

We could go onand onand on

Additionally, while this goes without saying in most circles, we no longer view most of you in a favorable way (shocker!).  How proud we are (sarcasm) that we now simply expect you to be scoundrels,  philanderers…and adultering pigs who say one thing but do another.  In fact, the disdain we have for you and the cess pool that is Washington DC is exactly what keeps many from running against you.  You consistently betray the trust of the people who put you in office and are consistently remiss with any majority we give you.  In the private sector, you would have been fired long before 2006 & 2008.  It is an understatement to say that WE, the People have become more informed (we read our bills), more involved and actively educate each other one hundred times more than any of you, period.

Tangent:

There has been a lot of “nah, nah, nah look at the hypocritical conservatives” over the Mark Sanford situation.  Let’s be clear about the liberal hypocrisy here.  Their premise is that conservatives encourage a certain way of life (pro-family values) and then break their own standards.  True enough in some cases, but make no mistake, liberals are just as guilty about telling people how they should live (preferably forced via legislation) while considering themselves exempt from the mandate or fleeting, social norm.

End of Tangent.

So what is left for the pro-producers to focus on? Only two things, really…

  1. The courage to stand on principle and make the pro-looters own every destructive policy they pass until pro-producers get back into the majority.  This would entail learning and actually repeating the word “no” ad nauseum.
  2. Having the basic, fundamental ability to fricking count.  Nothing too complex, the four basic mathmatical functions will do.  For example, looters think that -$11 trillion + $1 trillion equals $1 trillion that they can take in and spend…producers who work for a living know that it equals ”negative” $10 trillion).

Yep, it’s that simple, folks.  Can you grow a spine and can you count?  Both are non-negotiable lest you learn to count by calculating the number of votes by which you lose your next race.

Whether you realize it or not, you have brought a frustrated electorate to the point that puts you in the most danger… we have nothing to lose…and that should scare the hell out of you.

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. “  ~John Quinicy Adams

June Federal Receipts: The Dive Continues, As Does Media Near Silence

As we near the end of June, which is supposed to be one of the four biggest months for federal tax collections (January, April, and September are the others), it is clear that the serious receipts shortfalls are not only continuing, but have caused the March 20 projections of the administration and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to be outdated.

Media coverage of the ongoing receipts dive has been minimal at best. A Google News search on “federal receipts” (typed in quotes) returns on seven items, two of them originating from yours truly.

Here is where things stand as of the last Friday of June in both 2009 and 2008, per Uncle Sam’s related Daily Treasury Statements:

USreceipts062708v262609

Comparing June 26, 2009 to June 27, 2008 is more valid than comparing the same days of both years, because each period contains the same number of Mondays, a big day for receipts, and Fridays, a big day for sending out refund checks.

As you can see, as we approach the end of the month, June 2009 receipts from economic activity are down 25% from last year. It’s clear from last year’s results that it would be unreasonable to expect a high level of receipts from other than withholdings in the final two days of this year.

Estimating on what I believe is the high side, it looks like total June 2009 receipts will come in at about $230 billion, consisting of about $198 billion in the line items identified above (i.e., another $13.2 billion will come in during the final two days) plus $32 billion in other receipts. That would be a 12% drop from last year’s official total, but a 20% drop from last year’s $287.8 billion in total receipts from economic activity.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, I estimate the following results based on how the government defines receipts:

USreceiptsFullYr2009estAsOf062709

I believe these estimates, if anything, are on the high side. July 2009 will probably come in at 90% or worse compared to July 2008, because July 2008 had over $13 billion in stimulus payments, which Uncle Sam (erroneously, in my opinion) treated as negative receipts instead of outlays. August 2009, vs. August 2008 will be worse than July, because August 2008 stimulus payments were barely $1 billion. September 2009 vs. will probably be even worse than the previous two months, because that month is heavily influenced by corporate income and non-withheld tax receipts, which as you can see above have fallen far more than the overall average.

Also note that August and September of 2009 will show year-over-year declines for the second straight year. Monthly year-over-year receipts from economic activity increased for an almost unbroken string of four years up until August of last year, when the recession as normal people define it began.

You can also see that my full-year receipts estimate is almost $60 billion, or 2.8%, below the CBO’s March 20 estimate (PDF) based on budget information supplied to it by the White House, and 4% below the White House’s own estimate based on the same underlying information CBO used.

As I mentioned in a June 20 post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the repayments of roughly $68 billion of TARP money during June by many of the larger banks are not being treated as receipts by Uncle Sam, because the original TARP disbursements/”investments” were not treated as outlays. More on how “Net Present Value” accounting is rendering almost indecipherable federal financial information that used to be mostly understandable is here.

When federal spending is hemorrhaging in the hundreds of billions and trillions, it may seem relatively unimportant to focus on differences of less than $100 billion in receipts. But that is far from the case. First, the declines are far more than what one would expect from an economy that has contracted by about 3.2% (non-annualized) in the past three reported quarters, indicating that something beyond normal business reactions is at work here. Second, the steeper the receipts decline, the smaller the foundation on which to build an economic recovery will be, and the more likely it is that the administration will give us a fake hand-wring and push tax increases as the only answer to the shortfall — even though tax increases, based on history, would more than likely extend the economic spiral instead of stopping it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: The relevant line items just came in pretty much as expected on the June 29, 2009 Treasury Statement at about $10.8 billion, vs. about $13.4 billion on Monday, June 30 of last year.

Lucid Links (063009, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:22 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

Doocy’s Doozy — Energy Czar Carol Browner, busted

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TEXT –

STEVE DOOCY: “[I] know the bill is over 1,000 pages long. Have you have read it?”

CAROL BROWNER: “Oh, I’m very familiar with this bill.”

DOOCY: “Have you have read it?”

BROWNER: “We have obviously been watching this for a very long time. I am very …”

DOOCY: “I’m sure you’ve got an idea of it, but you have read it?”

BROWNER: “I’ve read major portions of it, absolutely.”

DOOCY: “So the answer no you haven’t read it. But you’ve read a big chunk of it.”

BROWNER: “No, no, no that’s not fair. That’s absolutely not fair.”

DOOCY: “No, I’m just asking you if you read the thousand pages.”

BROWNER: “I’ve read vast portions of it.”

DOOCY: “Ok.”

++++++++++++++

No wonder the Obama admin despises Fox News. Their people ask questions normal people would ask. Obama and his peeps can’t handle it.

Doocy could have gone further and pressured Browner about what the Examiner’s David Freddoso reported last week (HT Powerline via The Corner’s Andy McCarthy), namely that “the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill …. (the night before the vote) in the House Rules Committee” was “not even …. integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk.”

I am soooooo sure that in the 56 or so intervening hours between the vote and the Fox interview, Carol Browner sat down with the two docs and self-integrated them as she read the entirety of both.

Hardly. Doocy dis-integrated her disingenuousness, and then Browner whined about how “not fair” he was.

Cry me a river, babe. What’s “not fair” is that 219 Congresspersons, NOT ONE of whom deserves re-election, voted for a bill they could not possibly have read, let alone understood.

This leads me to Steve Driehaus. DirectorBlue at the Green Room writes that “We cannot afford politicians like Steve Driehaus, who vote for economy-crippling legislation, then hope their colleagues in the other house of Congress will kill it before it hardens into a tumor.” I mostly agree, but judging by what the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Sunday about Driehaus’s defense of his vote, it seems that the congressman really wants the bill to go all the way. Regardless of its ultimate success, the bill is a lengthy IQ test of fitness for office, and Driehaus has flunked.

Exit point: Michelle Malkin reminded us in December that just before Bush 43′s inauguration, Browner, then the outgoing head of the Environmental Protection Agency, “oversaw the destruction of agency computer files in brazen violation of a federal judge’s order requiring the agency to preserve its records.” Browner has no business serving in any government position of any kind, and is a walking, talking, one-person mockery of the President’s alleged high ethical standards.

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Questions for those advocating the “public plan” option in Obamacare:

  1. Will the “public plan” pay income and other taxes like the companies who run private plans must? (Example: Aetna alone incurred $790 million in income tax expenses in calendar 2008, and over $3.5 billion in the past four years. The company’s most recent 10-K [PDF] indicates that this expense is almost entirely related to its Health Care and Group Insurance.)
  2. What will anyone do to keep the “public plan” from taking advantage of other unfair advantages, which could at least include general government absorption of administrative costs, sales-tax exemptions, property-tax exemptions, ”public service” advertising, and much more?
  3. Will the “public plan” be just as vulnerable to class-action and no-limit malpractice lawsuits as private plans currently are?
  4. If the answers to Question 1, 2, or 3 are “no” or “I don’t know,” how can you possibly claim to know that the “public plan’s” competition against private plans will be conducted on a level playing field?

Related Update: On Sunday, Alo at Brain Shavings went after and properly characterized Obama’s snotty question (“Why would [the "public option"] drive private insurers out of business?”), and tore it to pieces. You can add the items ID’d in Questions 1-3 above to Alo’s cited reasons.

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The wrap at a Wall Street Journal editorial today — “Bernie Madoff is headed for a deserved personal end-game in the slammer, but until the cops catch his accomplices or explain why they can’t, the Madoff case remains open.” Surely there are others who knew that Madoff’s house was made of cards.

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At Hot Air“Press corps now openly laughing at Obama’s backtracking on taxes.” Trouble is, the “joke,” if new taxes come to pass, will be on us.

Positivity: Midwest students take mission trip to NYC

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Lincoln, Nebraska, and New York City:

Lincoln, Neb., Jun 29, 2009 / 05:53 pm

Twelve high school and college students from southeastern Nebraska traveled to New York City early this month to spend a week doing mission work with the city’s different religious orders.

Father Jamie Hottovy of St. John Parish in Prague, Nebraska and Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Plasi took the young group to the bustling city so they could experience the work that the different orders in the city do to assist the people living there.

“Every day we did something different. We spent each day with one of the groups we were helping, doing whatever they asked of us,” said one student named Jessica Sousek.

The days were long and filled with activity. Morning began around 6 or 7 a.m. and the group worked until 10 or 11 p.m. The students shared meals together, as well as daily Mass, and an afternoon Holy Hour. A few sight-seeing excursions were squeezed in between projects as well

“We prayed hard, we worked hard, and we played hard,” Father Hottovy said. “We did about a month’s worth of activities in one week.”

On the first day, the women helped the Sisters of Life cook and clean the formation house. Meanwhile, the men worked with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) at St. Crispin Friary in the Bronx, renovating their building with new drywall and paint.

The next day, the group worked with the Missionaries of Charity, the New York division of Blessed Mother Teresa’s order. In preparation for summer catechism programs for underprivileged kids, the Nebraska students cleaned and set up the auditorium, saving the sisters a great deal of time.

Later in the week, the group returned to serve the Missionaries of Charity at one of their AIDS hospices, once again cooking and cleaning.

“That was something very powerful,” Father Hottovy said describing the seemingly mundane tasks. “By sweeping and by cleaning toilets, [the students were] working for the greater good and helping people who don’t have as many advantages as they do.”

The students also assisted the Franciscan brothers in preparing for a “Jesus Run.”

“The ‘Jesus Run’ consisted of sharing physical needs, such as food, drink, and clothing, with spiritual and emotional needs, such as sharing in prayer or just talking, for the homeless of New York City,” explained Ashley Paseka, another student.

Brother Marianon, CFR, prepared them for interaction with the homeless.

“He emphasized that, whomever we met that night, we should see Jesus in each one of those people and receive them with the love you’d receive Christ,” recalled Father Hottovy. “It brought the experience to a whole new level.”

Go here for the rest of the story.

Will ABC’s Knocks on the Stimulus Get Past ‘The Note’?

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:01 am

RichardKleinABC0609.jpg

ABC’s online “The Note” describes itself as “Washington’s Original and Most Influential Tipsheet.” ABC News’s Senior Political Reporter Richard Klein is its current content creator.

We’ll see how influential “The Note” really is if what Klein writes about the machinations behind the attempt to make us forget that the Obama stimulus plan was supposedly going to be making some kind of difference at this point gets out anywhere else. Color me skeptical.

No doubt, Klein gets in some pretty strong, accurate, and long-overdue rips (links are in original):

Moving the Stimulus GoalpostsWith public confidence in the stimulus package showing signs of ebbing, the Obama administration is continuing to sell its impact with nation-wide events and press appearances.

Today brings this explanation, from Christina Romer, the chairman of the president’s Council on Economic Advisers: Stimulus spending, Romer told the Financial Times, is “going to ramp up strongly through the summer and the fall.

“We always knew we were not going to get all that much fiscal impact during the first five to six months. The big impact starts to hit from about now onwards,” Romer said.

….. But top Obama advisers haven’t always been so cautious in predicting how long the stimulus would take to be felt.

Back in February, with Congress moving swiftly to approve President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, White House budget director Peter Orszag said the benefits of the stimulus would “take weeks to months” to be felt.

Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, was even more optimistic: “You’ll see the effects begin almost immediately,” Summers told CNN in February.

Just last month, Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, joined administration officials in asserting that the stimulus was already working, despite rising unemployment rates.

….. The stimulus, of course, did pass, though the national unemployment rate is now 9.4 percent. Two weeks ago, President Obama predicted that unemployment will top 10 percent this year.

The sad thing is how many of these defenders really know better. Romer, for example, authored a 2007 paper showing that tax cuts had over twice the impact (second item at link) of the same amount of government stimulus.

Klein’s report would appear to be a way for the network to say “See, we did tough coverage of Obama,” while, barring a surprise on “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” or “20/20,” letting few people see it.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.