Classless Warrior Without A Clue

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that the U.S. economy isn’t in good shape. Some doomsayers are even predicting that we’re headed for or already in another recession. What’s the proper tax policy when dealing with a fragile economy? Let’s see what Obama had to say on the subject two years ago.

That’s right, the last thing you want to do is raise taxes in a recessionary environment, because it would suck demand out of the economy and put businesses further in a hole. So, what did cynical Captain Clueless announce today?

Obama proposes new taxes on wealthy for half of debt plan

President Obama made a defiant call on Monday for $1.5 trillion in new taxes as part of a plan to find $3.2 trillion in budget savings over the next decade, issuing his most detailed proposal yet to tame the soaring federal debt.

Abandoning earlier compromises, Obama adopted a posture that cedes far less ground in cutting the nation’s social safety net and demands much more in terms of new levies on millionaires, other wealthy Americans and some industries.

See also:
Obama says raise taxes for the rich to help cut huge deficits; GOP says that’s class warfare
Boehner on Obama deficit plans: Tells Fox Business, “I don’t think I would describe class warfare as leadership”
Old debate over raising rich’s taxes plays out on new landscape
Tax the rich, Obama says; class warfare, says GOP
Analysis: Deficit plan not class warfare, Obama insists
Obama: “This is not class warfare — It’s math”
Obama campaign takes on ‘class warfare’
Obama Yokes Benefit Cuts to New Taxes
Obama links entitlement cuts to tax changes
Obama proposes tax hike on wealthy to close deficit
Higher taxes for the mega-rich
Obama’s deficit proposal marks a move away from compromise

What a brilliant idea, let’s tax the [expletive deleted] out of the rich, you know, the same people who spend and invest money and create the jobs that we need to grow the economy out of the hole we’re in now. Of course, Obama knows damn well that his proposed tax increases will never pass through Congress. Even most Democrats aren’t stupid enough to vote to raise taxes in the face of a weak economy.

But Obama still proposed the tax increases anyway, even though he knows they’ll never see the light of day, why? Because it’s a cynical political ploy to shore up his lefty base in a futile attempt to salvage his ever decreasing chances of winning reelection. When Obama says it’s not about class warfare, you can be damn sure it’s all about class warfare. Hey Obama, you want everybody to pay their “fair share”, how about the 50% of Americans that don’t pay any taxes at all?

Obama doesn’t give a [expletive deleted] about the economy and whether his words and actions make a recovery harder to achieve. The only “job” he cares about is his own. He’s basically abdicated from the last 14 months of his first term as President to campaign full time for a second term, the rest of the country be damned.

Obama is like a $4 trillion ton drag, jumping up and down on the back of the economy. I can guarantee you that the second it’s a done deal that Obama’s on his way out, the country will breathe a huge, collective sigh of relief and the economy will take off like gangbusters again.

/until the elections, I think it’s best that we just ignore Obama and practice a policy of fiscal and regulatory containment

The Path To Prosperity

Adult swim, Democrats out of the pool!

Republicans embrace Rep. Ryan’s government budget plan for 2012

House Republicans announced a far-reaching vision for a leaner federal government on Tuesday, presenting a 2012 budget blueprint that would privatize Medicare for future retirees, cut spending on Medicaid and other domestic programs, and offer sharply lower tax rates to corporations and the wealthy.

The proposal represents the most comprehensive philosophical statement by resurgent Republicans since they claimed control of the House in last fall’s midterm elections. It promises to define the party heading into the 2012 presidential election and to shape the policy debate in Washington as both parties grapple with a soaring national debt.

Drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the proposal aims to eventually shrink federal spending, measured against the economy, to its lowest level since 1949. Ryan said the plan would create jobs, promote growth, and rebuild an economy ravaged by recession and “relentless government spending, taxing and borrowing.”

Read the budget proposal:

The Path to Prosperity

See also:
House Republicans unveil ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget cuts
U.S. Republicans present budget plan with massive cuts
Proposal Transforms Role of Government
The CBO scores Paul Ryan
The Ryan Resolution
GOP budget proposal would cut feds, extend pay freeze
Ryan Rides To The Rescue With Realistic Budget Plan
Editorial: Ryan’s Budget Plan Gets The Job Done
The GOP Path to Prosperity

Right on cue, the Democrats are already squealing like stuck pigs being electrocuted in an acid bath. Children will die, senior citizens will be forced to eat cat food! Brace yourself, because the cynical and deceitful doomsday din will only get louder. Gird yourself for the 2012 elections, Republicans need to oust Obama, take the Senate, and hold the House in order to wrangle this country back onto the road to fiscal sanity. The Democrats’ irresponsible and ruinous spending gravy train must be brought to an end, the status quo is unsustainable and not an option. Vote Republican to save this country’s future from the economic abyss.

/the Path to Prosperity won’t be painless, but it has to be taken, the other road leads the United States down the third world drain

Enemy Of The Economy

Elizabeth Warren has never held a private sector job, never worked in the financial industry, and she hates banks, with a passion. So, what’s Obama’s brilliant idea? Let’s put her in charge of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection bureaucracy! There’s only one problem, that position requires Senate confirmation and Warren is so toxic that even top Democrats know that there’s no way she would ever be confirmed. So, does that stop Obama, have Constitutional requirements ever stopped Obama? Hell no! Obama just ignored the Senate confirmation requirement and appointed her as his newest “czarina”.

Obama names Warren to new post

President Obama on Friday formally tapped Harvard Law Prof. Elizabeth Warren as a “special adviser” tasked with setting up a new consumer watchdog agency, sidestepping a thorny Senate confirmation battle and drawing the ire of Republicans.

Ms. Warren, who had been serving as head of the investigative board that oversees the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, is a hero to many progressives but is viewed coolly by financial firms turned off by her harsh rhetoric surrounding their role in the recession.

That’s likely one of the reasons Mr. Obama opted not to name Ms. Warren director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as that position would require Senate confirmation — something that even Democrats, including Sen. Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, have said may not be possible. Instead, she will take the lead in establishing the new regulator, serving as a special adviser to Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner and a special assistant to Mr. Obama.

See also:
Warren takes post; liberals cheer
Hurdles for Warren in Agency Launch
Warren is named bureau adviser
Obama taps Elizabeth Warren to launch Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Barack Obama taps Elizabeth Warren for consumer watchdog job
What has Wall Street got against Elizabeth Warren?
Obama names consumer advocate Warren to new post
Obama makes it offical: taps Elizabeth Warren as financial consumer czar
Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

Oh boy, just what this economy needs, a brand new gigantic government bureaucracy, created by someone with zero private sector experience, that will generate reams of onerous new government regulations. Is it any wonder why the United States has such an unfriendly business climate?

/somewhere in Germany, the Board of Deutsche Bank is smiling

Does Not Compute

Obama warns on US public debt pile

US President Barack Obama warned that the US economy could head into a “double-dip recession” unless urgent steps were taken to rein in mounting public debt.

The US president’s remarks – in an interview with Fox News in Beijing on Wednesday, towards the end of his eight-day tour of Asia – marked his strongest language yet on the necessity of putting public finances back on a sound footing.

It is important though to recognise if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a double-dip recession,” said Mr Obama.

See also:
UPDATE 1-Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession
Obama warns on US public debt pile
Obama harbours fear of ‘double-dip recession’
Obama warns of debt-inspired double-dip recession
First Roubini, Now Obama Warns of “Double-Dip” Recession
Obama Warns Of ‘Double-Dip Recession’; Says Afghan Decision Is Weeks Away
President Obama cautions against double-dip recession

Excuse me, now Obama is suddenly concerned about our national debt? Is this the same Obama that makes George Bush look like a piker when it comes to deficit spending, the same Obama that quadrupled the annual U.S. budget deficits and has the U.S. national debt on track to double to $20 trillion in less than ten years?

/there’s some serious cognitive dissonance happening here

How’s That Trillion Dollars In “Stimulus” Working Out?

What does a trillion dollars in wasteful deficit spending on Democrat pet pork projects buy, besides record deficits and the most unsecured national debt in American history? Well, lets see, 2.7 million jobs lost since the “stimulus” just had to be passed immediately, without anyone even having read it, and the highest unemployment rate in 26 years, with no net job growth in sight. Hip, hip, hooray, you go Obama and the Democrats (hopefully starting in 2010)!

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Job losses accelerate to 263,000 in September

The nation’s job losses accelerated in September, driving the unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8% and casting a cloud over the incipient recovery, economic data showed Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls fell by a greater-than-expected 263,000 in September, the Labor Department reported. It marked the 21st consecutive month of job losses.

Since the recession began in December 2007, 7.2 million jobs have been lost and the unemployment rate has doubled.

While disappointing, the September numbers were not catastrophic, economists said.

“We are more inclined to view September as a temporary setback than as a signal that the decelerating trend in job losses has stalled out,” wrote Stephen Stanley, chief economist for RBS Securities. “It is far too early to be pulling the alarm on this nascent recovery.”

But another economist sounded the warning.

The “weak employment report lessens hope for a sustainable recovery,” wrote Harm Bandholz of UniCredit Research. “Once the impact of the inventory cycle and the fiscal stimulus has run its course, gross domestic product growth will slow down substantially again.”

The employment figures also carried a political dimension, as Republicans said the continued job losses proved the stimulus had failed, while Democrats said they proved that government support is essential.

“Today’s job report is a sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and starts — and that we’re going to need to grind out this recovery step by step,” said President Barack Obama. “I’m working closely with my economic advisors to explore any and all additional options and measures that we might take to promote job creation.”

“We are headed for what appears to be, at best, a jobless recovery,” said Rep. John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who leads the GOP in the House. “That is not what the American people were promised.”

Details of the report were almost universally dismal, with the number of unemployed people rising by 214,000 to 15.1 million.

And of those, 5.4 million have been out of work longer than six months, accounting for a record 35.6% of the jobless.

Stimulus Spending Doesn’t Work

The global recession and financial crisis have refocused attention on government stimulus packages. These packages typically emphasize spending, predicated on the view that the expenditure “multipliers” are greater than one—so that gross domestic product expands by more than government spending itself. Stimulus packages typically also feature tax reductions, designed partly to boost consumer demand (by raising disposable income) and partly to stimulate work effort, production and investment (by lowering rates).

The existing empirical evidence on the response of real gross domestic product to added government spending and tax changes is thin. In ongoing research, we use long-term U.S. macroeconomic data to contribute to the evidence. The results mostly favor tax rate reductions over increases in government spending as a means to increase GDP.

. . .

The bottom line is this: The available empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers typically exceed one, and thus spending stimulus programs will likely raise GDP by less than the increase in government spending. Defense-spending multipliers exceeding one likely apply only at very high unemployment rates, and nondefense multipliers are probably smaller. However, there is empirical support for the proposition that tax rate reductions will increase real GDP.

Gee, who would have ever figured that tax cuts were more effective at stimulating the economy and creating jobs than massive government deficit spending on Democrat pet pork projects that do nothing to create sustainable jobs. Just a thought, maybe the Democrats should have passed more tax cuts instead of wasting most of a trillion dollars in taxpayer money on incredibly stupid crap like frozen sliced ham, turtle tunnels, and outhouses in national parks.

See also:
US unemployment at 26-year high
Jobless rate reaches 9.8 percent in September
263,000 Jobs Lost, Worse Than Views; Jobless Rate 9.8%
Unemployment rate rises to 9.8% as employers cut more jobs than expected
UPDATE: Fed’s Rosengren Sees High Unemployment Next 2 Years
2.7 Million Jobs Lost Since “Stimulus” Bill Enacted
Stimulus can’t ease job pain for U.S. states and cities
Biden on Unemployment: “Less Bad” Isn’t Good
Republicans Seize on Jobs as Proof Obama’s Policies Have Failed
Job Numbers Released, GOP Pounces
As Biden lays out stimulus goals, GOP demands specifics on new jobs
Romney: Stimulus Not Working, Time to Fix It
Stimulus: New Research on Government Stimulus Spending and Tax Cuts
How Bad Does The “Stimulus” Suck?
Where’s The Stimulus And Why Do We Need Any More Of It Anyway?

/so, Obama and the Democrats have lost 2.7 million jobs, the U.S. unemployment rate is the highest in 26 years, and their trillion dollar “stimulus” has failed miserably, I guess there’s only one thing left for them to do, blame Bush!

Where’s The Stimulus And Why Do We Need Any More Of It Anyway?

Remember the urgency?

So, this pork packed $1 trillion, plus interest, “stimulus” bill just had to be passed immediately, before anyone could even read it, to save the economy from disaster. Well, it’s more than three months later, just how much of this urgently needed $1 trillion in “stimulus” money has actually been spent so far?

Obama upbeat about stimulus, but not much has been spent

“Only a small part” of the nation’s $787 billion economic stimulus had been spent through the end of last month, according to congressional analysts, despite the Obama administration’s boasts Wednesday that the plan is a big success.

“One hundred days later, we are already seeing results,” President Barack Obama said during a visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

“Across America, recovery is under way,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement accompanying a 28-page progress report.

However, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, was more cautious in his “State of the Economy” review to the House Budget Committee last week.

“The economy will stop contracting and resume growing during the second half of this year,” he said, “but the hardships caused by the recession will persist for some time.”

The CBO report found that through April only about $19 billion in stimulus funds has been spent.

The Results Are In: Stimulus Bill Neither Timely Nor Targeted

Before the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the “stimulus bill”), President Obama and his chief economic advisor, Larry Summers, stressed that the government’s response to the economic crisis needed to be “timely, targeted, and temporary.” As predicted by a Heritage Foundation analyst,[1] the bill is neither timely nor targeted. Only time will tell if it is temporary.

Not Timely

Government agencies have spent only a tiny fraction of money planned to be spent in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. Moreover, agencies have not allocated most of the money that has been directed toward them for any named projects.

As of May 8, less than 8 percent of the spending scheduled for fiscal years ’09 and ’10 has taken place.[2] That 8 percent ($37 billion) had been spent almost entirely on Health and Human Services until the week of May 1, when $12 billion was spent in one week by the Department of Labor. Before the week of May 1, just 3.3 percent of scheduled ’09 and ’10 spending had occurred.

Of the $461 billion called for to be spent by the stimulus bill before the end of fiscal year 2010, just $37 billion has been doled out. Of that, $16 billion has been spent by the Health and Human Services department, $12 billion has been spent by the Department of Labor, and $6 billion has been issued in one-time payments to Social Security recipients. All of the other agencies combined have spent a total of $2.6 billion as of May 8.

Not Targeted

Fiscal year 2010 ends September 30, 2010, but the recession could end sooner than that. Indeed, a majority of economists surveyed in April predicted the recession will end in 2009.[3] Fed chairman Ben Bernanke also thinks the recession will end this year. The stimulus bill threatens to miss the very target it was meant to address.

Spending to fight an already-ended recession is unnecessary and wasteful. More diffusely, the specific spending programs targeted to fight the recession have mostly not been named.

Of the $461 billion of the stimulus bill the President’s budget blueprint says will be spent in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, just $102 billion has even been targeted for specific outlays by government agencies. Once again, a large amount of this sum is allocated by the Health and Human Services Department. Several agencies (such as the Agency for International Development, NASA, and the National Science Foundation) have yet to say how any of the billions of dollars granted to them by the act will be spent. Just 22 percent of the fiscal years 2009 and 2010 stimulus spending has been planned by government agencies.[4]

The New Keynesianism

The new Keynesian philosophy fashionable among Washington policymakers is that government spending can pull an economy out of recession–that government spending “injects” new demand into the economy, thereby increasing GDP.

But every dollar Congress injects into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. Rather than add new demand, government spending merely redistributes existing demand. Even transferring money from savers to spenders will not add new demand, because nearly all savings are banked or invested and then quickly made available for someone else to spend. Simply put, Congress cannot create new demand out of thin air, and this explains the repeated failure of Keynesian policies.

See also:
Very Little Stimulus Spending So Far
Economic Stimulus: How Much Has Been Spent So Far?
How Much of the Stimulus Money Has Been Spent? Not Much!
Obama, GOP Battle Over Impact Of Stimulus
Obama’s stimulus: First 100 days, ‘spin?’
Watchdog: Stimulus spending a corruption risk
What Is Congress Stimulating?
See If You Can Read It Before Congress Passes It

No matter who’s doing the counting, it’s pretty clear that it’s been over three months now and hardly any of this desperately needed $1 trillion has even been spent yet, a drop in the ocean, spit in a bucket. Surely not an amount that anyone can seriously claim, with a straight face, is doing anything to “stimulate” the U.S. $13+ trillion GDP economy. And how has this trivial amount of Democrat pork spending been spent so far, what important uses has it been put to? Let’s ask Joe Biden.

RECOVERY REPORT: 100 DAYS 100 PROJECTS

Here’s a random sample of what your taxpayer money (borrowed, but you’ll have to pay for it eventually, with interest) is being spent on in the name of desperately needed “stimulus”:

Supporting Communities:17. Darlington County, South Carolina, will be the location of a new 4,200 square-foot library supported in part by $787,000 of Recovery Act Community Facility Grant funding. This new library, located in the town of Society Hill, will replace an existing 850 square-foot building, and provide for the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the 4,000 residents who live in the greater Society Hill area of Darlington County. Isolated from larger libraries by 17 miles in either direction, the Society Hill library supports junior and high school students research needs, as well as adults who use the library’s resources for help in locating jobs, for instructions on constructing a resume, and for submitting their resumes electronically.

Direct Farm Loans:18. With the assistance provided by a Farm Service Agency (FSA) USDA Stimulus Beginning Farmer operating loan, Chang Suhn Lee and his wife Soon Oak have been able to expand their farm in Coalmont, Tennessee, both keeping a family farm operating and keeping up with a growing demand for their crops. Combined with a USDA Direct Farm Ownership Loan the Lees received in 2007, they have expanded their vegetable farm from seven acres to 45 acres in 2009.

Direct Farm Loans:19. David and Katherine Pyle, both raised on dairy farms, recently sought to start their own diary operation and saw a classified advertisement to purchase cows and lease a dairy facility in Augusta County, Virginia. Working with the Farm loan team and using Recovery Act funding, the Pyles were able to work out a loan and started the lease on their new farm on April 1st. Using Recovery Act funds to purchase cows, breed heifers and provided start-up and operating capital, the Pyles now own and manage a growing dairy operation.

Direct Farm Loans: 20. Norman and Ida Layne, along with their son Avery, of Cullen, Virginia, received two direct operating loans supported by Recovery Act funds for their family dairy and hog farm. The combined loans will help support direct operating expenses of the farm, as well as prior fee, repair and veterinary expenses, and will allow the Laynes to be able to keep the family farm for their son. Without the assistance of Recovery Act funds, the Laynes would have had to sell the family farm.

Supporting Communities:21. Ecumenical Faith In Action, Inc., in Washington County, Virginia, is the recipient of $50,000 in Community Facility Grant funding through the Recovery Act. With this funding, Ecumenical Faith in Action will add approximately 5,300 square feet to its food-distribution center. Their existing facility does not have any walk-in freezers or coolers — or even a loading dock. All frozen food is stored in approximately 25 residential type chest freezers. The addition will help alleviate these problems.

Hey, there’s 95 more “projects”, most just as worthless. Read the whole thing. And remember, this pork spending is just barely out of the starting gate, there’s about $950 billion more to flush down the toilet on unneeded Democrat pet projects like this that we can’t afford in the first place. And has anyone noticed that, despite this non-stimulative, wasteful pork spending, the economy is starting to recover anyway and most economists predict that the recession will be over by the end of this year?

Economists: Recession to end in 2009

The end of the recession is in sight, according to a new survey of leading economists.

While the economy is showing signs of stabilizing, the recovery will be more moderate than is typical following a severe downturn, said the National Association for Business Economics Outlook in a report released Wednesday.

The panel of 45 economists said it expects economic growth will rebound in the second half of 2009. However, the group still expects to see a decline in second-quarter economic activity.

“The good news is that the NABE panel expects economic growth to turn positive in the second half of this year, with the pace of job losses narrowing sharply over the remainder of this year and employment turning up in early 2010,” said NABE president Chris Varvares in a written statement.

Almost three out of four survey respondents expect the recession will end by the third quarter of 2009, the report said.

But 19% predicted that a turnaround won’t come until the fourth quarter, and 7% said it may not come until early 2010. None of the panelists expected the recession to continue past the first quarter of next year.

See also:
Will the recession end in 2009?
U.S. Recession May Soon End, Business Economists Say (Update1)
Economists hope US recession will end in 2009
Survey: Most economists see recession end in ’09
Geithner Says Economy Stabilizing, at ‘Beginning’ of Recovery

Let’s recap. We had to have a $1 trillion pork spending bill shoved down our throats, before anyone could even read it, in order to pull the economy out of a deep recession. But, the tiny fraction of the $1 trillion that’s been actually spent so far, more than three months later, isn’t enough to “stimulate” the economy in any meaningful way and has been spent on a variety of Democrat pet project pork nonsense that we don’t need and had to borrow the money for. Furthermore, in spite of this wasteful spending, the economy is recovering all by itself, and the economic consensus is that the U.S. will be out of this recession in about six months!

Now, you may ask yourself, if the purpose of the “stimulus” was to pull the economy out of the recession and, despite the “stimulus”, the economy will be out of the recession before the end of the year, why the [expletive deleted] do we need to spend another $950 billion of borrowed money, that we’ll have to pay interest on, on shameful, useless pork?

Of course, the obvious answer is that we don’t. In fact, all this additional, unnecessary pork “stimulus” spending will do nothing besides massively increase U.S. deficits and debt, trigger higher interest rates and inflation, increase the size of government and crowd out private sector investment. In other words, it’ll be a huge drag on economic growth and the debt albatross we’ll soon have around our necks could conceivably break the U.S. economy itself. If Obama and the Democrat Congress had any honor or shame they’d immediately repeal all the unspent portions of the “stimulus” bill still in the pipeline, in the name of fiscal responsibility and the American taxpayer, generations present and future.

/but they won’t do that because stimulating the economy wasn’t their objective in the first place, Obama and the Democrats could care less about the economy or the taxpayers, what they’re after is raw power, an expanded government, and the votes to hang onto it in 2010