July 22, 2011

Boehner Walks …

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:46 pm

as he should have.

Letter to colleagues here (server may be busy).

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UPDATE, 9:15 p.m.: In an email from MIchael Steel, Boehner spokesperson —

Folks – The White House is misleading reporters tonight by claiming that new revenue in the framework that was discussed would have been generated by letting the current tax rates expire. That is simply false. Under the framework, a CEILING was offered by the White House that would generate $800 billion in new revenue over ten years. This would be done through comprehensive tax reform that would clear out deductions, credits, and loopholes in the system – and spur economic growth.

After the gang of six plan came out, the White House moved the goal posts and insisted on $400 billion more in higher taxes – a 50% increase in revenue – and wanted that to be the FLOOR instead of the ceiling. The President acknowledged this in his remarks tonight. “Letting tax cuts expire” was never part of the tax reform agreed to. Please let me know if you have any questions. – steel

Summary of the White House ‘walk backs’ during discussions of the ‘framework.’:

TAXES

· The White House agreed to a revenue total that would set a ceiling of about $800 billion in new revenue over ten years that could be generated through economic growth and efficiencies in our tax system (not tax hikes).

· After the ‘Gang of Six’ plan was released, and in the wake the reaction from Hill Democrats, they moved the goal posts and insisted on $400 billion more in higher taxes – a 50% increase – and wanted that to the floor instead of the ceiling.

· At the same time, they struck principles of tax reform that were already agreed to, including
o a protection against tax hikes on small businesses
o and a guarantee that there were would be only 3 tax rates and highest one would be below 35%

SOCIAL SECURITY

· There was an agreement to change the way government calculates inflation that would significantly extend Social Security’s solvency

· The White House moved off of a previously agreed to solvency target, suggesting a weaker level with 25% less in savings

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UPDATE, 9:20 p.m.: BOOHOO, OUCH; What a crybaby

President Obama unleashed a tirade of frustration, anger and disappointment toward Republicans Friday after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced he was withdrawing from negotiations with White House.

The president, in possibly his most emotional and stern appearance to date, said in no uncertain terms that he is summoning congressional leaders to the White House on Saturday morning.

“I want them here at 11 o’clock tomorrow,” Obama said. “We have run out of time, and they are going to have to explain to me how it is we are going to default.”

Obama’s fury toward Boehner was on full display as he several times accused the Speaker of walking away from the talks.
“I’ve been left at the altar now a couple of times,” Obama said.

The president was angry on a number of counts, but he seemed especially miffed by Boehner’s refusal to communicate with him on Friday before he walked away from the table.

Obama said he had a “cordial” relationship with Boehner “up until sometime today when I couldn’t get a phone call returned.”

Wahhhhh.

Name That Party: No Media Report Acknowledges That Embezzling Santa Fe, N.M. Sheriff Is a Democrat

namethatpartyIt doesn’t get more obvious than this.

Former Santa Fe County Sheriff Greg Solano, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to five felony counts, is a Democrat.

What follows are the results of three searches demonstrating that every media outlet which can be found by Google News which has tracked the story in the past 30 days has failed to note Solano’s party affiliation.
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Ohio’s Job Performance Thus Far in 2011: Still the Leading Industrial State

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:25 pm

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Buckeye State is Number 5 in job growth during the first six months of 2011:

SeasonallyAdjStateJobGrowthTop10First6Mos2011

Ohio is still the top industrial state in job growth, trailing only resource-rich North Dakota, immigration-reforming Oklahoma, and much smaller Nebraska and Montana.

I’ve also highlighted Michigan and Wisconsin because they are two states which elected Republican governors after disastrous Democratic regimes. The Badger State’s public-sector unions may not like what Scott Walker is doing, but it would appear that the state’s workers as a whole should be relatively pleased. Ohioans should be feeling the same way about what has happened thus far under John Kasich.

Also noteworthy: Downward revisions to April and May in the June report were significant. Ohio didn’t escape those revisions, but they weren’t nearly as bad as in many other states. Illinois, for example, has added only 53,900 jobs year-to-date through June, when May’s five-month report had an estimate of 64,400.

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UPDATE: I know it’s not apples-to-apples, but the economy as a whole has added 757,000 seasonally adjusted jobs this year. The 10 states listed above, all but one of which has a Republican Governor (and Montana is a usually a presidential election red state) have added 390,400 of them, or just over half, even though they only have about 20% of the nation’s population.

UPDATE 2: Gateway Pundit points out that Wisconsin picked up 9,000 jobs in June, which in the context of population is a better June performance than Ohio’s. The Badger State’s unemployment rate, like Ohio’s, also increased, but that’s because, as is the case in Ohio, more people started looking for work in what is perceived as a better business climate.

Ohio’s June Jobs Report: State Adds Over Half the Nation’s Seasonally Adjusted Jobs; Improved Business Climate Has More People Looking for Work

Ohio’s left and Ohio’s establishment press (mostly one and the same) will emphasize today’s reported rise in Ohio’s unemployment rate from 8.6% in May to 8.8% in June as some kind of baaaaaaad sign.

Here are three things you really should know about Ohio’s June performance in context:

  • The nation’s economy, as revealed two weeks ago, added 18,000 seasonally adjusted jobs.
  • The Buckeye State, which has less than 4% of the nation’s population, added 10,600, or just under 60%, of those jobs. (Yes, I know it’s not apples to apples, but it still makes a powerful point.)
  • (July 26 note: The following text in this bullet point and the sentence which follows replaces what was originally posted, which was incorrect) The unemployment rate increase occurred because the state’s workforce slightly shrank and the number of unemployed went up (no, I don’t understand how this happened either).

In the context of the decelerating situation in the economy as a whole, Ohio’s job market from an employment standpoint (not so much in unemployment) clearly outperformed in June.

Anyone who thinks June was a bad month in the Ohio job market is either drinking too much lefty kool-aid, working in Ohio’s establishment press, or both.

Read on for a look at the first six months of 2011.
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Carney’s Bark About ‘Vastly Improved’ Economy Since Obama’s Inauguration Has No Bite, and Almost No Coverage

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:00 pm

CarneyOn072111onEconomyYesterday, White House spokesmouth Jay Carney made yet another claim concerning how grrrrrrreat the economy is compared when President Barack Obama took office (bold is mine):

The economy is vastly improved from what it was when Barack Obama was sworn into office as president.

To no one’s surprise, this howler was not considered news at the Associated Press. No article found in a search at the AP’s main site on Carney’s last name refers to the above quote.

To be “vastly improved,” the economy’s numbers have to irrefutably better than they were 29 months ago.

They aren’t:

  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January 2009 was 7.8%. As of June 2011, it was 9.2%.
  • The seasonally adjusted number of unemployed in January 2009 was 11.984 million. As of June 2011, it was 14.087 million, which doesn’t include millions of others who have dropped out of the workforce or who are working part-time though they’d prefer not to.
  • The seasonally adjusted number of people employed was 133.563 million according to the survey of employers in January 2009. As of June 2011, it was 131.017 million.
  • On the economic growth side, as shown here, if the economy grew by an annualized 2% in the second quarter of this year, cumulative growth since the fourth quarter of 2008 will have been just shy of 4%, and per-capita growth would have been about 2%, or a barely noticeable average of 0.2% per quarter over ten quarters. Trouble is, Goldman Sachs just trimmed their second-quarter growth estimate to 1.5%. Goldman also wrote last Friday evening that a return to recession is “clearly a possibility given the recent numbers.” Some “improvement,” Jay.
  • Some, including Jeff Reeves at MarketWatch, are predicting that the unemployment rate could reach 10%

Carney’s unexcerpted claim that the economy was in free-fall at the end of 2008 is also questionable. The better characterization is that the economy was showing very early signs of recovery in December of 2008 until the heavyhanded goverment stimulus, auto company takeovers, and their accompanying lawlessness permanently (or at least for as long as this administration is around) established what I have called the Fear-Based Economy. As long as entrepreneurs, businesspeople and investors operate out of fright instead of a desire to capitalize on opportunities, we’re not going to see “vast improvements.”

The only thing which is “vastly improved” in this economy is the government’s regulatory grip on it.

If such a statement such as Carney’s in similar circumstances were made by a spokesman for a Republican or conservative administration, the Associated Press would be obsessed with it, and the establishment media’s broadcast outlets would be making it their lead stories.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Quick Hits (072211, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:01 am

At the Daily Ticker (HT Instapundit) — “Return of Mass Layoffs a Grim Sign for U.S. Workers”

Your tax dollars, not at work“Unionized TSA Will Elliminate Pay for Performance”

Your tax dollars, not protecting you“‘Violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions’ in nuclear industry.” Surprise, at least to Big Sis: They’re NOT typical white middle-class folks.

At the Washington Times: “Barack Obama’s pants on fire — President told us a whopper about his mother’s health care.” Special significance: “Dr. Milton R. Wolf is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and cousin of President Obama.”

At USA Today: “Gas prices turn up, could put damper on economy.” They’re back up to $3.70 nationwide. But the AP told us that they would “stabilize by summer.” Sure, guys.

James O’Keefe does it again, this time busting Medicaid offices in several states for ignoring obvious fraud and crime signals and giving illegal advice. Here’s hoping Ohio Governor John Kasich uses this as a springboard to comprehensively reform a broken system; “retraining” band-aids aren’t the answer. Total Medicaid cost in Ohio is $10,000 per enrolled person ($15.3 billion in spending by all parties divided by 1.5 million people, per the Columbus Dispatch), or $40,000 for a family of four. That’s indefensible, and unaffordable.

Fluffiest Kerfuffle Update: Yours truly was mentioned twice in a column which appeared Thursday evening in the Washington Times about how it’s time to refer to the Internet in lowercase. I was hoping my initial WashTimes appearance might relate to something a lot less fluffy, but there it is. Oh, I also think it’s time to refer to the publication known as “WIRED” in all lowercase. Fair is fair, eh? (/kidding)

At the UK Express: “Uproar as BBC Muzzles Climate Change Sceptics.”Someone” just had a column published with a subheadline saying that “Facts won’t matter if they … get their way.” Told ya.

Yesterday’s top howler: “Carney: Economy Has ‘Vastly Improved’ Since Obama Was Sworn In.” Only if the real goal is command and control.

From the “You Made Your Bed, Now Sleep in It” Dept: “Man’s call for Obama assassination is free speech, not crime, court rules.” In LeftyLand, it was perfectly okay to make movies about and frequent references to the desirability of George W. Bush’s assassination. In that context, why should this ruling be a surprise?

Non-surprise (HT commenter Greg) — “NEA endorses Obama, votes to double member fees to help elect candidates.” See their agenda here.

Jeff Reeves at MarketWatch“Why we’ll have 10% unemployment soon: 3 key sectors show just how weak job market is.” I hope he’s wrong, but there are plenty of good reasons to believe that’s where we’re heading. Though you’ll rarely if ever see them mentioned in the establishment press, there are plenty of people quietly predicting this.

Positivity: 76-year-old Army medic on 4th tour in war zones

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Afghanistan (video at link; HT Daryn Kagan):

July 3, 2011 7:14 PM

Finally this evening, the last draftee is set to retire from the army this summer at the age of 58. Command Sergeant-Major Jeff Mellinger was drafted back in 1972. In recent years, he survived 27 roadside bombings while deployed in Iraq.
CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark reports on another long-serving veteran with a great story.

In Afghanistan being a doctor can be a frontline position. But even back from the fighting, men and women of the U.S. Military have tough jobs and the medical problems to match.

An experienced eye makes all the difference, and few are more experienced than Dr. John Burson, an ear, nose and throat specialist from Villa Rica, Georgia. At age 76, he may not have seen it all, but he brings a lot of history to his work at this US military clinic in Kabul.

“There not sure if I’m a father figure or a grandfather figure,” Dr. Burson says. “I carry with me mostly an appreciation for the incredible sacrifice I see among the young people here. The real dedication, the love of country…it’s an opportunity to come back and sort of pay back a little to your country,”

Dr. Burson is a volunteer with the Reserves. This is his 4th tour since 2005; Two in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. He joined the Army back in 1955, but never saw combat, missing Korea and Vietnam. He was out of uniform for 26 years and he says the nature of war has changed dramatically in that time – modern communications can make dealing with combat stress more difficult. …

Go here for the rest of the story.