June 7, 2011

Correctly Captioning Ted Strickland’s Official Portrait

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:38 pm

Item at Columbus Dispatch: “Strickland’s portrait unveiled at Statehouse”

Correctly captioning said portrait:

StricklandPortraitCorrectlyCaptioned0611

Previous Post: Ohio Under Strickland: Economy Contracted by Over 3%, Fifth-Worst in Nation; GDP Trailed U.S. Average All Four Years

Mostly Strong USAT Coverage of Federal Obligations Marred by Ideological, Historically Brain-Dead Lefty Quote

usatodayDennis Cauchon at USA Today has been one of a very few establishment press reporters willing to expose federal workers’ disproportionate pay and benefits (previous examples here and here) as well as Uncle Sam’s precariously dangerous financial situation.

Cauchon has two USAT items today on the latter topic (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall): “U.S. funding for future promises lags by trillions,” which reports that federal obligations totaled $61.6 trillion as of September 2010, a $5.3 trillion increase from a year earlier, and “Government’s Mountain of Debt,” which itemizes those obligations by major source.

Unsurprisingly, 75% of federal obligations, or a combined $46.2 trillion (actually more, which will be seen at the end of this post), relate to Social Security and Medicare, which no one but a few deluded leftists believe (or pretend to believe) are sustainable in their current form. Unfortunately, at the end of his first story, Cauchon quoted one of them, Michael Lind, whom the USAT reporter described as “policy director at the liberal New America Foundation’s economic growth program,” who said the following:

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WaPo Fact-Checker on Obama Auto Bailout Claims: ‘One of the Most Misleading Collections of Assertions We Have Seen’

Filed under: Economy,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:19 pm

FactCheckerGraphicWaPo0611The educated guess here is that Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler is currently not the most popular person in the White House.

On Saturday, in a relatively rare rebuke originating from what G. Gordon Liddy has mockingly derided as “Washington’s quaint little alternative newspaper” (daily circulation 741,000 in March 2005, 551,000 in March 2011), Kessler ripped into the President’s claims about the auto bailout, giving him “Three Pinocchios,” which in his ratings system means “Significant factual error(s) and/or obvious contradictions.” Kessler found “weasel words,” a “misleading figure” (actually, more), and (imagine that) a straw man.

Here are selected paragraphs from Kessler’s KO (bolds are mine; internal link was in original):

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Juxtaposition of the Day

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:27 pm

Further elaboration unnecessary (CBS story link; orange boxes are mine):

ObamaAdDepressionHeadline060511

Ohio Under Strickland: Economy Contracted by Over 3%, Fifth-Worst in Nation; GDP Trailed U.S. Average All Four Years

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:35 pm

In mid-April, a poor deluded lefty blogger at a site which started concentrating entirely on Ohio at about the time it became clear that attempting to defend President Obama and the Democrats in Washington was becoming an exercise in futility attempted to mount a defense of the Strickland administration’s economic stewardship in the comments section here.

Comedy ensued:

My response was: “You can’t POSSIBLY claim that this is the best economic recovery for Ohio since 1983 until the (federal government’s) GDP by state report comes out later this year. FYI, so you can mark your calendar, it’s coming out on June 7.”

In case this idea of Strickland having engineered the “best Ohio recovery since 1983″ is popular in the fever swamp known as the Ohio Democratic Party and/or Ohio’s establishment press (but I repeat myself), and since today happens to be June 7, let’s look at the scoreboard (press release; PDF detail):

USvsOhioGDP2007to2010

Some “recovery.” If you want to see better post-recession performances on an annualized basis (the only version available at the state level), let’s look at what Ohio did from 1991 to 1992 and 2001 and 2002:

OhioGDPgrowth1992and2002

Last time I checked, 2.2% and 4.6% were higher than the 2.1% shown for 2010 in the first graphic. Ohio’s “recovery” is certainly not the “best since 1983.”

Besides, there’s no evidence that there even HAS been a recovery, because the Buckeye State’s 2010 economy was still smaller than it was when the recession as normal people define it began.

Some may argue that the national recession as normal people define it straddled 2008 and 2009, and that a quarterly analysis might show that Ohio’s economy really was bigger by the end of 2010 than it was in June 2008.

No way. That’s because, as seen here, the total U.S. economy’s GDP didn’t get back to where it was in the second quarter of 2008 until the fourth quarter of 2010 — and only by the barest of margins (about 0.16%, or $13.381 trillion divided by $13.359 trillion). Since Ohio’s GDP underperformed the rest of the US during every year in the time period involved, it’s obvious that the state hasn’t recovered what it lost. There has been no recovery.

Further, while the U.S. economy grew by a paltry 1.63% (compounded) during 2007-2010, Ohio’s economy contracted by 3.37%. Ohio fell behind the rest of the nation by 5% while Ted Strickland presided over the state.

Well, we should give Ted a pass, because other states in the region performed just as badly, right?

Wrong. Four out of five of Ohio’s neighbors actually grew between 2007-2010:

  • (not in graphic above) West Virginia (+6.27%), Pennsylvania (+3.28%), and Kentucky (+1.44%) outdid Ohio.
  • So did Indiana, as seen above (+1.37%).
  • Only Michigan (-6.35%, seen above) trailed.

Ohio’s 2007-2010 economic performance was so bad that its -3.37% contraction came in fifth-worst among all 50 states and DC, beating out only Michigan, Florida (-4.63%; thanks for nothing, Charlie Crist), Arizona (-4.42%; thanks for nothing, Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano and the the open-borders crowd), and Nevada (-6.63%).

Yeah, California (-0.89%) really did outperform Ohio. It turns out that “Turnaround Ted” was the real economic Terminator.

Now let’s look at job growth during the first 18 months after the 1991-1992 and 2008-2009 recessions ended:

OhioJobs1991to1993and2006to2011

Between March 1991 and September 1992, Ohio’s economy added 25,300 seasonally adjusted jobs. Between June 2009 and December 2010, Ted Strickland’s final month in office, Ohio’s economy lost 16,700 jobs. Again, there was no Strickland “recovery.”

Although 2011 GDP data isn’t available, during John Kasich’s first four months in office, the chart also shows that Ohio has added twice as many seasonally adjusted jobs (62,300) as the state did during all of 2010 (31,000). Of course, it’s early, seasonally adjusted data can be quirky, and four months is not a cause for premature e-celebration. But the idea that the January-April 2011 performance might be some kind of positive carryover from the glory days of Ted Strickland is really too much to bear. Far more likely is the idea that commenter Joe C’s aptly named “Conservative Effect” is finally taking hold in Ohio.

Those who have caught “repeal SB5″ fever ought to be asking themselves if they really want Ohio to continue to be one of the nation’s worst laggards.

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UPDATE, June 8: For those who believe that the 2010 advance numbers for GDP growth by state are too preliminary in nature, note that from 2007-2009 Ohio’s economy shrank by 5.36%. That wasn’t fifth-worst in the nation; it was fourth-worst.

Re Anthony Weiner: What the Journal Said

I’ve resisted addressing the Anthony Weiner situation, partially because its tawdry details, the obvious lying, the laughable defenses of his media and political supporters are not as important in the big picture as an economy mired in mediocrity and perhaps worse, and partially because I’ve found it difficult in light of other obligations to keep up with constantly evolving stories such as these.

But I also instinctively knew that, because Weiner is a far-left Democrat, it would “end” with an “apology” and a grim determination not to resign. The left and the establishment press’s attitude (but I repeat myself) seems to be: He’s a complete scoundrel, but he’s our complete scoundrel, so he can’t get pushed out, because our opponents must be prevented from declaring victory at all costs.

Weiner’s membership in the club of in sufferably elitist leftists is beyond dispute. I’ve seen him on CNBC rudely pushing his statism as if it’s the cure for everything and acting as if insurance and other companies are the embodiment of all evil — while gleefully taking their campaign cash.

Since Mark Foley and Chris Lee had to go for offenses far less odious (and they did), that Weiner should resign and get his life together (yes, I would wish him well in that effort if he did that) really isn’t debatable.

Beyond that, I’ll let the Wall Street Journal do the talking:

… In one of the most unbearable news conferences ever seen, Congressman Weiner admitted his week of lies about his lewd online relationships, apologized to all and sundry, but said he will not resign. We’ll leave the last point to his constituents, but Mr. Weiner’s ambitions to be mayor of New York City are finished and his credibility in national politics after this is next to nothing.

It is inevitably the nature of media today that scandals like this pitch the perpetrator into a deep personal hell. The Weiner fiasco, however, raises issues that transcend one man’s personal indulgence.

The private citizens of Queens voted to make Anthony Weiner a public citizen and their Representative. They assumed he would show judgment not for himself alone but for them and their interests.

Instead, he has shattered his ability to serve their interests. In an age of aggressive computer hacking, he also put himself at risk of blackmail by criminals or adversaries. His week of fantastic lies proved how vulnerable he or any public figure is to selling out his integrity to save himself from humiliation.

Anthony Weiner now joins a disturbing list of elected officials in our time who’ve lost any sense of self-discipline. If there are others out there wandering in the confused ethers that trapped Anthony Weiner, we have a request: Get out now. Spare the rest of us.

I would be remiss if I didn’t note that Andrew Breitbart has once again, and as usual, been more than vindicated — to the point where the creepy Weiner even felt compelled to say “I apologize to Andrew Breitbart.” I don’t expect the establishment press, whose handling of the story has been disgraceful from its beginning, to follow suit.

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UPDATE, 11 p.m.: Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s place reminds us that Weiner is among the Donald’s campaign contribution beneficiaries.

Positivity: Angela Hildebrand’s Graduation Speech

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Median Valley High School in Castroville, Texas, June 4 (go to the 7:20 mark for the beginning of her prayer):

Background, from the Liberty Institute on June 3:

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just overturned federal district judge Fred Biery’s ruling banning prayer at Medina Valley High School’s graduation tomorrow night. Liberty Institute, which represented the class valedictorian Angela Hildenbrand, released the following statement:

“This is a complete victory for religious freedom and for Angela,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO of Liberty Institute. “We are thrilled that she will be able to give her prayer without censorship in her valedictorian speech tomorrow night. No citizen has the right to ask the government to bind and gag the free speech of another citizen.”