April 29, 2011

John Kasich: ‘When He (Obama) Does His Job, Maybe He Can Have an Opinion’ on Ohio’s SB5

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:41 pm

From Tuesday, via the Associated Press (also carried nationally, as shown here, under the title “Obama strongly disapproves of public union limits”):

Obama slams SB5

President Barack Obama says he strongly disapproves of new laws restricting public employee unions in Ohio and Wisconsin and says states should not use the financial crisis as an excuse to erode bargaining rights.

He told Romona Robinson of Cleveland’s WKYC-TV in a White House interview yesterday that public employees should not be blamed for a financial crisis they had nothing to do with and that sacrifices should be shared in tough economic times.

Under Ohio’s new law, 350,000 public workers can negotiate wages and certain work conditions but not health care, sick time or pension benefits. Opponents hope to ask voters to overturn the measure.

… Obama tells Robinson whether it’s Wisconsin or what he’s seeing in Ohio, he strongly disapproves.

Wednesday, Kasich struck back (via Ohio Capital Blog):

Text of Kasich’s response to a question about Obama’s criticism (internal link is to a 2009 Associated Press report that reports the truth of the first sentence of Kasich’s response):

Well look, y’know, I was Chairman of the (U.S. House) Budget Committee and was the chief architect of the last time we balanced the budget.

And here in Ohio, we, we have balanced our budget here, under the budget that we have presented, along with preserving the tax cut.

The President of the United States has I think a $13 trillion debt. Why doesn’t he do his job? And when he does his job and gets our budget balanced and starts to prepare a future for our children, then maybe he can have an opinion on what’s going on in Ohio.

Exactly. Well said, John — and don’t back down.

Obama has no standing (of course he has the right, but he has no standing) to use his punk bully pulpit to rip Ohio’s Governor when he submitted a budget containing an anticipated fiscal 2011 deficit ($1.645 trillion) that is over 400 times the size of the Ohio deficit ($8 billion over two years, or $4 billion each year) Kasich and the General Assembly are attempting to wrestle to the ground after having it dumped on them by previous governor Ted Strickland. In fact, the biggest threat to Kasich’s success and the state’s fiscal solvency is that Washington’s deficits and Obama’s ruinous economic and energy policies will stall the modest recovery Kasich and the GA are counting on.

Somehow in this case, “Mind your own bleeping business” and “Fix your own bleeping problems” just aren’t strong enough.

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UPDATE: Oh, and John, while you’re saving the state, try not to step on those far-left chihuahuas nipping at your heels; they might cry or something. They seem to have converted their BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) into a rip-roaring form of KDS (Kasich Derangement Syndrome). It’s quite an ugly sight.

WH-Banned West Coast Pool Reporter Gave Obama Invaluable Early 2008 Assist by Omission

Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:

The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

The reporter involved is Carla Marinucci.

As will be shown later, Bronstein’s characterization of her as “one of the best” is questionable. But let’s continue the story:

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WSJ Weighs in on the Reagan v. Obama (aka Supply-Side v. Keynesianism) Rout

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:01 am

WSJgraphicThru7qtrs0411The Wall Street Journal has a brilliantly written must-read editorial this morning. Here are excerpts (bolds are mine):

The Keynesian Growth Discount
The results of our three-year economic experiment are in.

For three long years, the U.S. has been undertaking an experiment in economic policy. Could record levels of government spending, waves of new regulation and political credit allocation, and unprecedented monetary stimulus re-ignite growth? The results have been rolling in, and they represent what increasingly looks like an historic mistake that deserves to be called the Keynesian growth discount.

The latest evidence is yesterday’s disappointing report of 1.8% in first quarter GDP. At this stage of recovery after a deep recession, the economy is typically growing by 4% or more as consumer confidence returns and businesses accelerate investment as their profits revive. …

… even maintaining the 2.9% growth rate of 2010 would mark an historic underachievement …

… The most recent recession of comparable depth and job loss was in 1981-1982, when unemployment hit 10.8%. Huge chunks of industrial America shut down and never re-opened. Yet once the recovery began in earnest in the first quarter of 1983, the economy boomed. As the nearby table shows, growth exceeded 7.1% for five consecutive quarters, and it kept growing at nearly a 4% pace for another two years. Growth didn’t dip below 2% in any quarter until the second three months of 1986. This was the Reagan boom.

Now look at the first seven quarters of the current recovery. … This recovery is as weak as the much-maligned “jobless recovery” of the last decade, which followed a mild recession and at least gained speed after the tax cut of 2003.

Most striking is that this weak growth follows everything that the Keynesian playbook said politicians should throw at the economy. First came $168 billion in one-time tax rebates in February 2008 under George W. Bush (At least this money went directly to the people instead of being filtered through kleptocrats. — Ed.), then $814 billion more in spending spread over 2009-2010, cash for clunkers, the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, Hamp to prevent home foreclosures, the Detroit auto bailouts, billions for green jobs, a payroll tax cut for 2011, and of course near-zero interest rates for 28 months buttressed by quantitative easing I and II. We’re probably forgetting something.

Imagine if President Obama had introduced his original stimulus in February 2009 with the vow that, 26 months later, GDP would be growing by 1.8% and the jobless rate would be 8.8%. Does anyone think it would have passed?

Liberal economists will blame this latest slowdown on spending cuts across all levels of government, and government spending did fall in the first quarter. But those modest declines follow the biggest government spending binge since World War II that was supposed to kick start the economy and then stop. Remember former White House chief economist Larry Summers’s mantra that stimulus spending should be timely, targeted and temporary?

With deficits this year estimated to hit $1.65 trillion, are we really supposed to believe that more deficit spending will produce faster growth? Would $2 trillion do the trick, or how about $3 trillion? Two years after the stimulus debate began, the critics who said all of this spending would provide at most a temporary lift to GDP while saddling the economy with record deficits have been proven right.

The contrast in results between the current recovery and the Reagan years is instructive because the policy mix was so different. In the 1980s, the policy goals were to cut tax rates, reduce regulatory costs and uncertainty, let the private economy allocate capital free of political direction, and focus monetary policy on price stability rather than on reducing unemployment. This is the policy mix we need to rediscover if we are going to escape our current malaise and stop suffering from the Keynesian discount.

The argument is over. The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy is an utter failure. The only question is whether it was accidentally or deliberately designed. Given what this bunch is doing to continue to hamper the recovery in so many areas and the behavioral clues (e.g., the “rent” recommendation), despite the continued suffering of millions of Americans, there’s no good reason to rule out the latter possibility.

Lucid and Lickety-Split Links (042911, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:48 am

It looks like Team Obama will have to keep those embarrassing “Recovery Summer” buttons in storage for another year.

From Wal-Mart, a downbeat assessment of its customer base, i.e., U.S. consumers:

Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

… “Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

Food stamps have a lot to do with that, because they are pushing purchases into the beginning of the month. This report from Idaho typifies the trend:

WinCo says the volumes of shoppers they’re seeing on the first day of each month – when food stamps are handed out – is simply becoming unmanageable.

The first day of the month at WinCo Foods in Nampa is by far their busiest.

From AP, broad-based inflation is here:

The list of companies saying this week that they are raising prices is long: Kimberly-Clark Corp. (Huggies diapers, Kleenex facial tissue); Procter & Gamble Co. (Pampers diapers, Gillette shavers); Unilever PLC (Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream); Colgate-Palmolive (toothpaste, soap); and PepsiCo Inc. (soft drinks, Frito-Lay snacks).

As Investors Business Daily noted Thursday evening: “It didn’t have to be this way.”

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Gas price increases never sleep: Mid-afternoon yesterday, Cincinnati area gas prices were a bit under $4.07. Now look, as of 7:20 a.m. –

CincyGasAt4152April292011

Consider it a very small taste of the inflationary ugliness Weimar Republic citizens endured.

Never forget that this, and more, is what Obama and his administration have said they want.

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At Cato (HT Instapundit) — “Inside Every Leftist Is a Little Authoritarian Dying to Get Out.”

A live BizzyBlog example which occurred shortly after Obama’s election (“The honorable thing for any American to do now is salute your new President Barack HUSSEIN Obama … You’re either with us or you’re against us”) is here.

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Job insecurity, identified at WaPo: “A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt, joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement for consenting to lift the country’s borrowing limit.”

If form holds, the Dems really want to cast one or two symbolic votes against raising the ceiling and will return to their free-spending norm at crunch time. But their scramble for a pretense of credibility demonstrates that they realize where the electorate’s sentiments are.

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Authoritarians never sleep: “Obama proposes broadening EPA’s power over water” — “House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said the plan would let the government ‘regulate essentially any body of water, such as a farm pond or even a ditch.’”

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“Finally” indeed, via MIchelle Malkin (“Finally: Catholic Church suspends rogue Chicago Rev. Michael Pfleger”):

This month, Pfleger appeared on a nationally broadcast radio show hosted by Tavis Smiley and scholar Cornel West and said he would look outside the Catholic Church if they offered no alternative to going to Leo. He also blamed his recent clash with the cardinal on pressure from conservative Catholics and the National Rifle Association. The archdiocese denied any outside pressure in its decision.

Pfleger openly advocates slavery reparations. Behold the twisted, dangerous “logic” of an intellectual imbecile (from roughly 0:40 to 1:30 of the vid):

I promised …. to address the one (white person) who says, “Don’t hold me responsible for what my ancestors did.”

But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did. And unless your are ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away the money you put away, and the company you walked into because your daddy, and your granddaddy, and your great-granddaddy ….. unless you’re willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, because you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!

As I noted in 2008: “Pfleger does have one thing right: If we gave our investments up to the government, we would indeed be ‘throwing them away.’”

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Jake Tapper to Obama on the birth certificate release: (in essence): “You lie”

The president said he was prompted to act “two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we’re going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.”

But the president was wrong.

… the president’s birth certificate actually was the No. 4 story for the week – receiving about one tenth of the coverage devoted to stories about the economy.

As stated two days ago, only punk petulance accompanied by access to apparently unlimited legal funds explains Obama’s holdout.

Positivity: Connecticut bishop hails John Paul II as champion of religious freedom

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:36 am

From Washington:

Apr 27, 2011 / 06:15 pm

At a time when Christians face heightened persecution particularly in the Middle East, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut pointed to John Paul II as a heroic example in the fight to protect religious freedom.

“In these days when the peoples of the Middle East are risking their lives for freedom, and in these days when we must be vigilant for our own hard-won freedoms, may the words of this great pontiff resonate in our minds and hearts,” Bishop Lori said at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on April 27.
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