November 21, 2009

C. Edmund Wright Explains and Validates the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy’s Existence and When It Began

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:47 pm

NoObamaPelosiReid1109Not that he set out to do it, but Mr. Wright has brilliantly explained (HT A Traditional Life Lived):

  1. Why my call that the economy’s condition since the summer of 2008 is almost solely the fault of Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid is absolutely correct.
  2. Why the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy really began when I said it did, i.e., why “going Galt got going” when it did.
  3. Why all of Dear Leader’s horses and all of Dear Leader’s men won’t be able to put what we used to know as the entrepreneurial American economy together again, unless they set aside their current mindset.

Key paragraphs of Wright’s must-read (bolds are mine):

…. politicians are equally ill-equipped to run the auto industry or the health industry or the lending industry or the insurance industry — and their determination to do so is sucking all the dynamism from the entrepreneurial class in this country.

With the threat of this administration and congress, what is the possible motivation for anyone with ideas and capital to invest his time, talent, and money into a risky endeavor? There appears to be none. In fact, there appear to be powerful incentives not to invest any time or treasure — thus an economy with almost zero creative inertia.

For Obama voters, almost zero creative inertia means almost no one is having bright ideas, starting businesses based on them, and hiring employees to help share the dream.

…. it’s different now, and there is no denying it. The (American) dream itself is being killed by legal and regulatory micromanagement. Washington is determined to employ policies to cure something that can be cured only by government getting the hell out of the way.

A small business summit in the White House will accomplish nothing unless the invitees include unions and lawyers and bureaucrats, in which case it will be devastating. When did a union or a lawyer or a bureaucrat ever start a business? How many times a day do they kill one?

And that’s the climate entrepreneurs see. Unions, lawyers, and bureaucrats gain more power and leverage every day. The big opportunity now is to spend government money: an eighteen-million-dollar government contract to create an awful Recovery.org website, SEIU union jobs in ObamaCare, bankruptcy lawyers, and perhaps carbon credit trades coming. There are ACORN-style crony contracts to be had, not to mention all the jobs created by the David Axelrod astroturfing media escapades. If you are connected or if your dream is to enrich yourself by killing the dreams of others, then the field is ripe for you.

But if you simply want to live some iteration of building a better mousetrap, this is not currently the country for you. And entrepreneurs can sense it. This is not about tax policy. It is not about health care. It is not about cap-and-trade. These are all terrible and need to be stopped, but most importantly, the dying American dream is in trouble. We now have a class of people in Washington now that will relentlessly pursue these ruinous initiatives, and a never-ending stream of similarly un-American agendas, until they are removed from power.

The businessmen are under attack, and they know it. This kind of economy cannot work — not until pigs fly, or until Barney Frank dunks on Lebron James.

The tipping point when entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and investors could sense everything Wright has described was reached in June-July 2008. Quite simply, that’s when enough of them to matter saw what was coming if Barack Obama won the presidency, and estimated that he would be the more likely winner.

Given the points Wright makes, it’s no surprise that the malaise turned into a rout at bailout time in late September and early October 2008. Pelosi, Obama, and Reid fully supported the creation of TARP, while others were dragged and/or hoodwinked into giving in to what their instincts screamed was a bad thing (and shame on all of them for doing so). Tim Geithner created the conditions that made it look necessary by, among other things, letting Lehman go under. Then of course it got even worse after Obama won and Democrats built a larger congressional majority.

Since mid-2008, it’s been their POR Economy; we’re just living and, as a country, underachieving in it.

Multiply the seriousness of every problem Wright cites by a large number if statist health care passes.

Tax Increase Campaign Item 3: Wars Cost Money And Rich Must Pay, MI Senator Levin Tells Bloomberg

taxes

At this point, there should be little doubt that there is a concerted attempt underway to use the war in Afghanistan as a justification for punitively taxing high earners.

Last weekend (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the New York Times discovered that wars cost money. It cited Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey’s concern that funding the Afghanistan effort at the level requested months ago by General Stanley A. McChrystal would “devour virtually any other priorities that the president or anyone in Congress had.”

Thursday, as reported by AFP (noted last night at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), House Democratic heavy-hitters Barney Frank, John Murtha, and (no surprise) Obey announced the “Share The Sacrifice Act of 2010,” an income-tax surcharge that overwhelmingly targets high-income earners.

Now Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin has weighed in. Bloomberg dutifully carried his water, as seen in this graphic containing the first four paragraphs of the report:

BloombergLevinAghanTaxIncr112109

Levin, as is the custom of his party, confuses “wealth” with “income.” The Michigan Senator also attempts to perpetuate the rich-get-richer, poor-get-poorer income-inequality myth, which is indeed a myth, at least as of 2007. Since Democrats took over Congress and Barack Obama has become president, that may have changed. Income inequality increased during Bill Clinton’s 2nd through 8th years in office.

Levin’s idea further supports my take on all of this, mentioned yesterday:

…. the administration is putting the idea out there now as a prelude to justifying what it and Democrats in general have been referring to as an end to the Bush tax cuts — something that should really be seen as a tax increase above what everyone has gotten used to during the past six years — as necessary to pay for the Afghanistan War, and to try to rhetorically hogtie gullible conservatives into acquiescing to it (“You do want our soldier to have what they need, do you not? Then you’ll just have to agree to let taxes increase”).

The likelihood that all three parties involved — the Times, the House members, and Senator Levin — all had independent “Eureka!” moments leading suddenly to the notion that taxing “the rich” to pay for the war is the way to go is very, very tiny.

The likelihood that anyone in the establishment media will look into and confirm that there is an orchestrated campaign to tie the war effort to a tax hike on high earners, and to see who is behind it, is even tinier.

What would really be worth knowing is whether President Obama’s obvious dithering on an Afghanistan War troop deployment decision has been purposeful. Has he been biding his time all these months specifically for the purpose of pushing a year-end “war-related” tax increase”? The likelihood that the establishment media will ever look into this possibility is miniscule to non-existent.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: Just remembered a minor dust-up over inequality from August of last year ago that had to do with an early 1990s Gini coefficient change. The sentence about the Clinton years has been changed to reflect that.

Positivity: Captain freed from pirates thanks Navy ‘heroes’

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:13 am

CaptPhillipsMaerskALandNavy1109From Norfolk, VA:

A merchant sea captain who was captured and held by Somali pirates in April reunited Thursday with the U.S. Navy crew and captain who were part of his daring rescue, thanking them for saving him.

“You are the true patriots,” Capt. Richard Phillips said on the fantail of the USS Bainbridge, addressing a crew standing at attention in dress blues. “You are the heroes in the story involving me. And I just want to thank the true heroes of my incident and that’s you, the crew of the USS Bainbridge.”

Despite his ordeal in April, Phillips, 54, said he plans to return to the Maersk Alabama in March. Wednesday, pirates attacked Phillips’ old ship for the second time in seven months but were turned away. Phillips declined to talk specifically about the latest attack on the Maersk Alabama.

“I’ve never had misgivings about going to sea,” Phillips, who lives in Vermont, said later at a news conference conducted in front of the orange, boot-shaped lifeboat where he was held by pirates for five days after they boarded his ship.

Navy SEALs ended Phillips’ captivity in April with three pinpoint shots that killed three pirates in the lifeboat. The SEALs, who are not members of the ship’s crew, did not attend Thursday’s reunion on the Bainbridge.

Phillips arrived at the ceremony on the guided-missile destroyer with his wife, mother and sister-in-law. He handed out commemorative coins to some members of the crew, which totals nearly 300. He also received gifts from the city of Norfolk.

“Under different circumstances and without the job that you did, I would not be here today,” Phillips said. “I firmly believe that.” ….

Go here for the rest of the story.