Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Final Post To My Remaining Loyal Readers

Ever since the election, the number of hits this blog has been getting has substantially dropped off; down from nearly 900 hits per week to just under 100.  What's worse, the number of return readers is down to just a handful.  In fact, some days have only seen one or two returning visitors.  For this reason, I've decided to end this blog and I thank all those who have stuck with both my opinions and rants over the last five years.  Please enjoy the holidays.  

Want Stimulus? Repatriate Foreign Profits.

Currently, American corporations have more than $1.5 trillion in profits sitting in foreign accounts. That money is being left there because it would be taxed at a rate of 35% if it were to be repatriated to this country.  But, also understand that those profits have already been taxed once by the country of origin.   Further, the United States is the only country, in the industrialized world, that still double taxes foreign profits; making U.S. companies less competitive in the world marketplace.

The Democrats have refused to budge on either lowering or eliminating the taxation of this money.  This is just plain stupid.  As a result, we get nothing in return.  We get no taxes and that money is never put to work in helping our economy grow.  In fact, that money is very likely being used to help other country's economies.  

What the Democrats are afraid of is that, if this money were to be returned to the U.S., untaxed, companies would redistribute these funds in the form of dividends; thus lining the pockets of  -- once again -- the very rich 2% of us.  But, this is a lie. In fact, under normal economic circumstances, more than 60% of Americans are usually invested in the stock market (see Gallup data referenced below). Further, even if that money were only to be distributed as dividends, it would be taxed at the current dividend tax rate of 15%; and, that is 15% more than we're getting with that money sitting overseas. Make no mistake about it, that 15% dividend taxation means we could reduce our federal debt by $300 billion dollars.  That's twice the amount of revenues that Obama is proposing with his tax increases on the rich. 

More importantly, this money would represent a cash infusion of at least a trillion dollars into the economy without having to borrow a single cent from China.  This truly would be stimulus without debt.  But, the Democrats would prefer to use government funding so they can pick and choose who gets the money.  Usually, their politically-connected buddies.

I really think that the repatriation of foreign profits should be on the table as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.  Maybe as a bargaining chip in allowing some tax increases on the rich.

--- The Big Picture: The Top 10 Companies (out of the S&P 500) With Untaxed Foreign Profits (representing $408 billion that is left sitting in foreign countries): http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/what-us-companies-have-the-most-untaxed-foreign-income/

--- Gallup: Americans Invested In The Stock Market: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147206/stock-market-investments-lowest-1999.aspx

Monday, December 17, 2012

GE's CEO, Jeffery Immelt, Thinks State-Run Communism Works

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Jeffery Immelt, a member of the President's Jobs Council and CEO of General Electric (GE),  basically said that the Chinese system of communism as a form of government "works".   But, for whom does it work? Obviously, with masses of cheap labor available, American companies, like GE, think it works.  That's why Immelt has spent his years as the head of GE in outsourcing one manufacturing operation after another to China.

But, this opinion by Mr. Immelt just ignores reality.

First of all, the only reason that China has become the economic powerhouse that it is today is because, beginning in 1979, China introduced economic reforms that allowed "capitalist" concepts of entrepreneurship and private enterprise to exist.  Today, because of those reforms, more than 70% of China's GDP is from free-market, private enterprise. It wasn't communism that allowed China to grew economically, it was creeping capitalism. 

Secondly, it appears that Mr. Immelt is completely ignorant of how poor China really is.  In a country of 1.3 billion people, almost 1/2 billion of those live on less than $2/day.  That's for food, clothing, and housing. And, for nearly two-thirds of the population, electricity is only a dream. This, in a country, that considers people to be in poverty if they make less than $94 (U.S.) per year.  Immelt should think about that whenever he's slugging down a $4 Frappuccino from his local Starbucks (probably one of two or three for the day). 

The problem with Americans like Immelt is that, when they visit China, they only do so as guests of the government.  Then, that government only shows those "guests" what they want them to see.  Instead of seeing underage people working in sweatshop conditions, or horrendous living and working conditions, they only see the best of all conditions in that country.

With someone like Immelt on the President's Jobs Council, it's no wonder that unemployment has remained so high under Obama.


--- Washington Free Beacon: Immelt: State Run Communism in China Works: http://freebeacon.com/immelt-state-run-communism-in-china-works/

--- Banking To Lift Poverty In China: http://laowaiblog.com/banking-for-the-poor-2/

--- Wikipedia: Chinese Economic Reform: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_economic_reform

--- Wikipedia: China: Suicide in the People's Republic of China: Working Conditions And Suicide:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Left's Latest Distortion: Average Salaries Are Higher In Non-Right-To-Work States

Ever since Michigan's legislature voted to make that state a right-to-work state, the political left has gone into full battle mode to prove that Michigan will actually be hurt by that decision.  In one such attempt, a liberal economics group, The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), has released a position paper -- ‘Right to work’ The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy -- that explains just how bad that decision was.  One of the key elements of that opinion is the fact that average incomes in the right-to-work states were lower by $1500 a year; even after taking into consideration the differences in the costs of living.  And, for sure, that fact is being repeated by every Democratic politician and commentator who has appeared on TV or radio to discuss the Michigan decision.

In coming to that conclusion, the EPI ignores the fact that many of those right-to-work states have large rural populations that pay lower wages.  As I have always said, you can manipulate statistics to prove any point, and that's exactly the case here. So, to be "fairer", I would prefer to look at two of our largest states -- California and Texas.  California is definitely "not" a right-to-work state with a union workforce participation rate at 17.1%. Texas, on the other hand, is a right-to-work state with the union workforce population at about 5.2%.

Now, if you just superficially look at average incomes, California wins hands down. The average Californian's salary is about $61,632 and the average Texan only makes about $50,920 a year, but, even though Californians make 21% more than their Texas counterparts, Californians are actually a lot poorer.  That's because the cost of things is almost 52% higher when you consider the cost of living index in California is at 135 and only 89 for Texas.  So, when adjusted for these differentials, Texans are actually making the California equivalent salary of $77,938.  Couple this fact with the fact that the unemployment rate in California is 10.1% and only 6.6% and you can understand why so many Californians are moving out of California to go to Texas.

One last thing.  One of the primary drivers that makes California's cost of living so high is its high rates of taxation.  Interestingly, those high taxes are primarily due to the state's higher-than-normal costs of paying its unionized state workers and their ever-growing pension and health benefits.  Obviously, state workers are living high off the backs of the private sector workers.  Certainly something that the left intentionally leaves out when comparing right-to-work states with pro-union states.

Additional References:

--- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Unemployment Rate By State: http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

--- NBC Los Angeles: California's Population Is Moving Out, Census Report Shows: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Californias-Population-Moving-Out-182914961.html

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poverty Pays

Every year, the federal government establishes the income thresholds to determine whether or not someone is in poverty.  Currently, if you are unmarried and without children and making less than $11,139 a year, the government then says that you are in poverty and eligible for some or all of the 80 different federal welfare programs and hundreds of state programs that are designed to be so-called safety nets for our nation's poor.  Similarly, if you are an unmarried parent with 2 children under 18 and making less than $17,374, you are also in poverty.

Once in poverty, you then have access to free health care through Medicaid; free food under the food stamp program;  free telephone and cell phone services; free child care; and the list goes on and on.  None of which is ever considered to be income or taxed.  In fact, if you are in poverty and do file a tax return, you will not only receive a refund for any taxes that you might have paid, but, under the Earned Income Tax Credit laws, you are probably eligible to get even more money back from the government.

But all these "free" programs have a value.  For example, being on Medicaid with two children is probably worth about $12,000 to $13,000 year because that would be the cost if that Medicaid recipient had to pay for that insurance themselves.   Knowing this, Senator Jeff Sessions and his staff set out to convert all these programs into cash equivalents so he could determine how poor the people in poverty really are in this country; and the results are shown in this chart:

Clearly, the chart shows that you are better off  being a household in poverty than being an average middle class household; and, by a factor of 20%.   Obviously, someone who knows how to work the system can do quite well for themselves.   This is why studies have shown that the poor in this country typically have a car, at least one big screen TV and, air conditioning. 

Something is seriously wrong with a system where you are better off being poor than working.  Maybe that's  why so many millions have given up looking for work or are satisfied to be in low paying jobs.  As noted before, our workforce is literally being destroyed; while, at the same time, we are creating a society that is increasingly dependent on government.  If you don't think that's a bad thing, just look at Greece today.


---  Federal Poverty Table:  http://images.flatworldknowledge.com/rittenmicro_2.0/rittenmicro_2.0-fig19_004.jpg

--- The Blaze.com: Source of Chart above: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/the-welfare-spending-chart-you-wont-want-to-see/

---  Heritage Foundation: Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poorhttp://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/09/understanding-poverty-in-the-united-states-surprising-facts-about-americas-poor

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Obama Rejected Boehner's Tax On The Rich Proposal

When the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, offered a proposal to raise as much revenues on the rich by closing loopholes and by eliminating and capping certain tax deductions as would have been achieved by raising the tax rate, Obama flat out rejected it.  Certainly, any logical person would conclude that it doesn't matter how we get the increased revenues from the rich as long as those revenues are equal to or greater than the targeted amount.  But, Obama isn't thinking that way.

You see, the President's insistence on raising the "tax rates" on the rich is more about politics than any amount of money being collected.  He wants to be able to easily campaign on the fact that the rich are paying higher taxes by simply pointing to this or that rate being increased.   Boehner's salad bowl mix of tax increases is just too complex and too difficult to explain and prove and not conducive to Obama's continual need to give campaign speeches touting his achievements.  Simply, Obama's political left supporters would just find Boehner's tax increases too hard to understand. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obama's Jabberwocky-Speak On Debt Reduction

According to Barack Obama, we need $1.6 trillion in tax hikes on the rich in order to reduce our deficits and debt.  The trouble with that $1.6 trillion number is that it is over a 10-year period.  When broken down, he's only talking about $160 billion in new revenues.  At the very same time, he also said that we need at least $255 billion in new spending to stimulate the economy and the housing market.  On top of that, the first month of the current fiscal year, October, saw federal spending up by 16% or a total of $42 billion. If that trend continues, we could see increases up by another 1/2 billion dollars.

Simply, all this talk by the President is Jabberwocky-speak.  He speaks complete nonsense on the fiscal state of our federal government.  Those new taxes will do nothing to stem the tide of massive new spending. At same time, he is totally unwilling to put any real spending cuts on the table.

--- Reuters News: Budget deficit rises to $120 billion in October: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/budget-deficit-rises-120-billion-october-190237736--business.html

--- Yahoo News: President Obama's opening offer in 'fiscal cliff' talks includes $255 billion in stimulus spending:  http://news.yahoo.com/why-obama-pushing-stimulus-fiscal-cliff-deal-video-033547060.html

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Obama's Fantasy: "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

I'm quite sure that every time Obama looks into a mirror, he see's himself as some great progressive liberal who is, unlike his adversaries, the conservatives, finally bringing real social justice to America.  He often refers to this as fairness.  Fairness where the rich will finally pay their fair share in taxes.  After all, the rich are just a bunch of tax dodging, wealth draining, overlords who have gained everything they've earned off the backs of the poor.

But, if Obama truly looked into a magic mirror -- as did the evil queen in the fairy tale Snow White -- it probably wouldn't respond the way that Obama would have liked.  That's because the mirror knows that the President is not the fairest in the land.   In fact, Obama's idea of fairness is a complete fantasy. To this point, I present the following table that was prepared by the prestigious financial advisory group, Kiplinger:

According to the above table (which was sourced from official 2009 IRS records), the top 1% of all wage earners in this country earned 17% of all the income; yet, paid 37% of all the taxes.  Still Obama feels that the rich aren't paying their fair share in taxes. This then begs the question: What is a fair share?  To any logical person, it would seem that, if the rich earn 17% of all incomes, their fair share would be to pay 17% of all the taxes.  Instead, they pay more than double that amount. You see, once you go beyond the rich paying a share of taxes that is equal to the total amount of income they earn, the true concept of the word "fair" is completely lost.  At that point, fair becomes totally undefinable.  In other words, in the  minds of socialists like Obama, the rich will never be paying their fair share.   Even if they're being taxed into utter destitution.   Which, by the way, is the true objective of redistribution of wealth.

--- Source of Table: http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/how-your-income-stacks-up.html

Monday, December 10, 2012

ObamaCare And Its Unbridled Regulatory Powers

One of the biggest problems with ObamaCare is that it was written in such a way that Health and Human Services (HHS) and the IRS have the power to create new mandates; completely circumventing the power of Congress.

A week ago last Friday,  Health and Human Services clearly proved this fact when that department issued a regulatory notification that a new tax of 3.5% will be imposed on all health insurance policies that are sold through exchanges in states that have refused to set up their own; thus forcing the federal government to establish its own exchange.  Right now, the governors of 21 states have said no to setting up a state-run health insurance exchange.

HHS claims this "user tax" is simply needed to cover their administrative costs of being forced to set up and maintain federal exchanges in lieu of state-run exchanges.  Now, that might well be true if this new tax was more in line with what HHS claims as administrative costs for maintaining other programs like Medicare.  But, this fee is higher; suggesting that it is not just simply a fee to cover administrative costs but, also, a form of punishment to those states who have elected to sidestep the non-binding mandates of ObamaCare. 

The bottom line is that this is a new tax; not passed into law by Congress and one that will hit all those in the middle class that are forced to buy insurance through exchanges.  Anyone who thinks that this kind of power isn't something that every American should worry about is just whistling past the graveyard.   My guess is that, as ObamaCare struggles financially, you can expect all kinds of new taxes on health care and you and I will have no representation in Congress to stop it.  To me, it sounds a lot like the rationale that was behind the original Boston Tea Party.

---  Washington Post: Feds Propose A 3.5% Fee On Insurers Who Want to Participate In New Health Care Markets: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/feds-propose-35-percent-fee-on-insurers-who-want-to-participate-in-new-health-care-markets/2012/11/30/31e36dc6-3b38-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_story.html

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The GOP Can't Win The Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

Abraham Lincoln once said: "In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed."

In a new Washington Post/Pew Research poll, 53% of the respondents said that they would blame the Republicans if the Fiscal Cliff negotiations fail. Only 27% said they would blame Obama.  In other words, public opinion is siding with Obama on his solution to stave off the Fiscal Cliff; include tax hikes on the rich.

The problem is that the Republicans have lost the public relations war.  Just as Obama won the election, he has also won on this issue.  For him, the win was simple.  He has the presidential bully pulpit to paint the GOP as only being concerned about the rich and, he had a liberal media that sided with him.  Now, his is a position of strength and, the Republicans, even if they continue to stand on principal, will ultimately lose in the end.   The GOP know that tax hikes on the rich will weaken the economy but people just don't believe it.  Only if the tax hikes are passed and the economy falters will the American public finally realize that the President is wrong to hike taxes on higher-end earners, businesses, and entrepreneurs.

--- Pew Poll: http://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2012/12/04/National-Politics/Polling/release_181.xml

Friday, December 7, 2012

We Are Seeing The Distruction Of The Workforce

Once again the rate of unemployment fell.  This time by two-tenths of a percent to 7.7%.  Sounds pretty good. Doesn't it?

But, the cost of that better-than-expected unemployment rate was very high.  For every worker who found a job last month, 3.9 just gave up looking for work.  In fact, more than 1/2 million workers stopped hunting for work of any kind. 

This has been the case, all along, since the unemployment rate started falling in 2010 from a high of 10.2%.  On average, for every person who does find a job, at least 2.4 gave up looking.   This is not a recovery.  This is a month-by-month destruction of our workforce.  It is why the average family's income in America fell by more than $4000 a year.  People are losing good jobs; only to find and take lower paying positions. It is why the number of people on food stamps has risen 57% in the last 3-1/2 years or why the number of those in poverty and in low income jobs has doubled under Obama. 

--- CNBC: Morici: Unemployment Rate Falls: More Quit Looking: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100289926

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Not The GOP Who Hold The Middle Class Hostage -- It's Obama

How things get twisted.

The Republicans have never said they wanted to raise taxes on anyone.  In fact, their position is to keep taxes low and keep them at the same rate as they are right now. For everyone! 

Only one person and his party have threatened to end the Bush tax cuts for everyone and that is Barack Obama and his Democrats in Congress.  Simply put, if Obama doesn't get his tax increases on the rich, he is willing to let all the Bush tax cuts expire.  Yet, over and over, again, the President claims that the Republicans are holding every middle class family hostage on the Bush tax cuts.  But, the truth is just the opposite.  Obama's got the gun to the head of the middle class and he's willing to shoot unless the Republicans surrender. 

--- ABC News: Obama Accuses House GOP of Holding Middle Class Tax Cuts ‘Hostage’: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/12/obama-accuses-house-gop-of-holding-middle-class-tax-cuts-hostage/

Under Obama's Tax Plan, True Millionaires Still Get A Break

Right now, if you are making $200,000, individually, or $250,000, married filing jointly, your effective income tax rate is 33%.  If you make a million dollars, the effective rate is only 2 percentage points higher than that at 35%.

Under Obama's proposed rate changes, those in the $200,000 and $250,000 or more categories will be hit with a new rate of 36.9%; a 20% increase in taxes from 33% to 39.6%.  If you're making a million dollars or higher, that increase to 36.9% is only a 13% increase in your taxes; up from 35% to 39.6%. 

Even when Obama claims that millionaires should pay their fair share by paying more, he gets it wrong. That's because the millionaires still get better treatment than those below them under Obama's proposed tax rates.  The percentage of increase is far less.  All this is so much political theater and ideological B.S and not hardly some concept of fairness.

--- Federal Tax Tables: Moneychimp.com: http://www.moneychimp.com/features/tax_brackets.htm

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bob Costas' Gun Control Rant Just Ignores Facts Of This NFL Player Shooting/KIlling

By now, I'm quite sure most everyone is aware that NBC's sports commentator, Bob Costas, used last  Sunday Night Football's half-time lull to lecture his audience on the fact that, if there had been a nation-wide ban on hand guns, NFL player, Jovan Belcher, and his girl friend would still be alive today.

But what Costas seems to ignore is the fact that Belcher shot his girl friend 9 times.  I repeat.  9 times.

This shows intense anger and extreme overkill.   Even if this 6'2" tall, near 230 lb NFL player didn't have a gun in his possession, he could have easily killed his girl friend by other means with the kind of rage that was  exhibited by those 9 shots.  The fact is that nearly a third of all homicides in this country are a result of means other than firearms.  In fact, with his strength and size, Belcher could have easily beat that girl to death.

For Costas to use this shooting as a case for gun-control is simply disingenuous.  All too often, liberals try to use singular events as proof that some government action needs to be taken.  But, more often than not, these events have been taken out of the realm of reality.  Similarly, following hurricane Sandy, liberals immediately called for climate change legislation; even though, in reality, hurricane intensities and frequencies have been on the wane over the last decade-and-a-half.  And, just like liberals argue that you can't send 11 million illegal aliens back home to Mexico and other countries because there are just too many of them, Mr. Costas would be well-advised to consider the fact that there are more than 310 million guns in the possession of non-military Americans.


--- CNN: By the numbers: Guns In America: http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/09/politics/btn-guns-in-america/index.html

--- FBI: Table 20: Murder by state and type of weapons: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

If The Clinton Economy Was So Great When All The Taxes Were Higher, Let's Raise Them All Again!

All we ever hear from the Democrats is that the economy did well under Clinton when tax rates on the rich were higher.  Then, too, so were all the other tax rates; from the top to, oh yes, the bottom.  With the Democrats arguing that we need more tax revenues to fix our debt problems, then why not raise all the taxes again?  Obviously, the Clinton-Era proved that higher tax rates only helped the economy.

So what if the average family will lose a couple thousand dollars to new taxes?  That should only be a short term problem.  After all, when the economy starts roaring again -- like in those good ole days of Bill Clinton -- all those middle classers should be able to offset those increases by getting newer and higher paying jobs.  Right?

I just think that if you are going to make an argument that high tax rates on the rich didn't hurt the economy or, better yet, actually helped the economy, you should also be able to explain why higher taxes on everyone didn't hurt the economy of the Clinton 90's.  For years, the Democrats have lied that the Bush tax cuts have only benefited the rich.  Yet, now, because of their need to argue for higher taxes on the rich, they are being forced to expose the fact that the poor and middle-class would be hit hardest of "all" if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire.

The fact is that this "raising taxes on the rich" has nothing to do with the economy or deficits.  Its just the proliferation of an old left-wing, ideological belief that the rich, somehow, should be punished for their wealth. It has socialism, if not pure communism, written all over it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jeff Zucker and CNN's Closet Left-wing Media Bias

Jeff Zucker took NBC from "Must See TV" and drove it down to 4th place. He also turned that same network from a well respected news organization into one that just delivers a bunch of left-wing media hacks. He has now been hired as the new president of the ratings-languishing CNN.

Given Mr. Zucker's past, I would fully expect that CNN will come out of the closet and stop trying to pretend that it is a politically unbiased news organization.  In fact, my guess is that Zucker will quickly move to turn CNN into another MSNBC to further combat Fox News and fully promote liberal, left-wing, and progressive ideals.  Why else would the parent company of CNN, Turner Broadcasting, even consider hiring the likes of Jeff Zucker.

Maybe, now, Keith Olbermann can find a new home; after having been let go from both MSNBC in 2010 and Al Gore's Current TV in 2012.  After all, Mr. Zucker never saw an extreme left-wing newscaster/commentator that he didn't like.

--- CNN.com: Jeff Zucker named new president of CNN Worldwide: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/29/us/jeff-zucker-cnn-president/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Sunday, December 2, 2012

So Much For A Balanced Approach To Debt and Spending: Obama Want's a Blank Check

Throughout his reelection campaign, Obama spoke of having a balanced approach -- spending cuts and tax increases -- to solve the nation's debt problem.  Now that the election is over and Obama won: "Forget about it!"

Instead, Obama's approach is taxing the rich by twice the amount that he ran on before the election.  Then, too, he now wants a new stimulus program; extended unemployment benefits; a renewal of the Make Work Pay payroll tax cut; another shot at mortgage relief; and, billions more to insure doctors get paid under Medicare.  Not one spending cut.

But, the big signal that the "balanced approach" is being thrown under the bus came when his representative, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, told the GOP leaders that he wants an abandonment of the federal debt ceiling.  In other words, he wants a blank check to spend without Congress' approval.  Does that sound like someone who is even interested in cutting any spending?

The U.S. has already seen its credit-rating-downgraded when the debt ceiling limit was raised the last time around.  What do you think will happen when the debt ceiling is completely eliminated?  You can just kiss the value of the U.S. dollar goodbye!

--- CNBC.com: Tim Geithner’s Bad Idea on the Debt Ceiling: http://www.cnbc.com/id/50027858

Saturday, December 1, 2012

On The Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: Obama Has Now Become The Community-Organizer-In-Chief

You would think by now, that most Americans would understand that the man occupying the White House, Barack Obama, has no leadership skills and is completely incapable of negotiating anything.  That's why there has been nothing but gridlock for the last 2 years in which he hasn't had complete control of Congress.  You see, this President avoids negotiation at all cost.  He would prefer to use executive orders rather than try and get a divided Congress to agree with him.

Now, the country is faced with the infamous Fiscal Cliff and where is the President?  He's M.I.A.  Sure, he had one meeting with Congress on the topic; but, that only came after he met with like-minded union leaders and left-wing organizations like MoveOn.org, and sympathetic business leaders that he was completely comfortable with.  Obviously missing in any of those meetings was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; a group that represents more than 3.3 million businesses and businessmen in this country and whom would be greatly hurt by any tax increases.  But, you see, to invite the Chamber of Commerce would probably set up a face-to-face debate over the tax increases on the rich; and, Obama has no intention of debating the subject.

Of course, when he "did" have that one-and-only meeting with Congressional leaders on avoiding the Fiscal Cliff, he was sure to have it in front of the cameras; further, making it quite sure that the American public could hear that he had an expressed willingness to negotiate and work with the Republicans. Naturally, everybody was seen smiling at the end of the meeting with renewed hopes of cooperation.  But, that was then and this is now.

On Wednesday, he clearly signaled that he lied about his willingness to negotiate.  He did that when he held a rally in Washington where he called on his supporters (and, I guess, hopefully some non-supporters) to use a Facebook and Twitter campaign to force the Republican House members to agree with his belief that only the tax cuts on the rich should be allowed to expire on January 1st.  Using the recently established hash tag of #My2K, the President clearly signaled that he's wants the people -- his people -- to do his bidding; and, this is so like him, a former community organizer. In essence, this Facebook/Twitter campaign is signalling that any negotiations with him are over (as if they had even really taken place).

Basically, Obama is attempting to use one of the primary tactics of all community organizers: The mobilization of people in a community to either picket or have sit-ins or writing campaigns to publicly embarrass or force businesses to cede to the demands of the organizers.  Never are there any prior negotiations.  Clearly, this #My2K is a new form of that old tactic; making Mr. Obama the Community-Organizer-In-Chief and clearly proving, again, that he is a man has no true negotiation skills.

--- Chicago Sun-Times: Lynn Sweet:  Obama on Fiscal Cliff: Facebook, Tweet ( #My2K) your congressman. Transcript: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2012/11/obama_on_fiscal_cliff_facebook.html

Friday, November 30, 2012

Zero Emission Vehicles: Just A Tailpipe Dream?

In January of this year, California's Air Resources Board (CARB) passed a mandate that requires that, by 2025, at least 15% of cars sold in the state must be what CARB has defined as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs).  By definition, a ZEV is a car that emits zero CO2 and other pollutants from its tailpipe (if it even has one).   Currently, the allowable ZEVs under CARB's definition are electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen-powered autos.  Besides California, 10 other states, mostly Democrat controlled, are contemplating similar legislation.

What's even more interesting is CARB has further mandated that, if an auto company doesn't offer a ZEV on its showroom floors, it will no longer be able to sell automobiles in the state.  As a result, auto manufacturers are scrambling to make ZEVs part of their lineup; even if it means losing thousands of dollars on each car being produced and sold.  In fact, it is expected that the new Fiat/Chrysler Fiat 500e -- which will begin selling in California in the 2nd Quarter of next year, and will sell for $35,000 -- will carry losses of between $8000 and $10,000 per unit sold.  Some have estimated that GM is losing as much as $50,000 on each Chevy Volt; if the cost of R&D is included in the cost of each vehicle.  On top of that, GM is expected to introduce another electric car loser in 2014; the electric-only $32,000 Chevrolet Spark.

The problem with the CARB mandate is threefold.

First of all, these cars are too expensive for the average buyer.  For example the Fiat/Chrysler Fiat 500e -- selling for a minimum of $35,000 -- is more that 2 times the cost of its gasoline cousin: The $15,500 Fiat 500.   On this basis alone, its hard to believe that 15% of the car buyers in America are going to flock to buy an automobile that costs almost as much as the average American's annual income of $42,900; even with rebates of $2500 from California and $7,500 from the federal government. That's because, after rebates, your still paying at least $25,000 for a $15,500 car. 

Secondly, California can't afford to keep putting up millions of dollars to entice people into buying ZEVs.  They're already in financial trouble. By 2025, it is expected that about 15.2 million units a year will be sold throughout the United States.  California typically accounts for 9% or about 1.3 million cars.  If the state continues to cough up $2500 for each ZEV, and if ZEVS must account for 15% of sales, this means that the California taxpayers will have to payout more than a half billion dollars a year in rebates to more than 200,000 new car buyers.

Lastly, if auto makers are forced to keep selling cars at losses in order to maintain their license to sell any cars in states like California, the only recourse those manufactures will have is to raise the prices of their  non-ZEV vehicles.  In which case, we will all wind up paying for this California Tailpipe Dream.  This could easily put marginally-profitable automakers out of business.  In fact, we could very well see GM on the bankruptcy chopping block once again.


--- AutoGuide.Com: Fiat 500e Unit Loses: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/11/fiat-500e-not-heading-to-europe.html

--- AutoBlog.com: 2014 Chevy Spark Makes Debut: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/28/2014-chevrolet-spark-ev-la-2012/

--- U.S. News & World Report: 2012 Fiat 500 (gasoline) Review & Pricing: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/FIAT_500/

--- Center for Automotive Research (CAR): Project 2025 Auto Sales:  http://www.cargroup.org/assets/files/ami.pdf

--- Social Security Administration: Average American Wage: http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/AWI.html

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Rosy GDP Report With A Lot Of Sour Notes

Simply looking at the headlines, one might think that the reported 3rd quarter GDP growth of 2.7% means that the economy is growing again after having languished at 1.7% last year.  But, if you look at the truly "key" numbers that underlie that report, there's some very worrisome facts.

First, there's two consumption numbers that are extremely weak: (1) Consumer Spending and (2) Business Investment and Spending.  Consumer spending, which typically drives 70% off our economy, was adjusted downwards from a previously reported 2% to only 1.4%.  Business investment, which generally helps drive the non-consumer portion of the economy, went from a previously reported drop of 1.3% to a newly reported decline of 2.2%.  On top of that, businesses spent 2.7% less on equipment and software than they did in the previous quarter.   Put these numbers all together and it paints a clear story that people and businesses are not buying the things that would normally drive the economy.  If this continues, we are definitely headed for a recession.

The only reasons that the report was as rosy as it was reported is because business inventories grew (without having any buyers); exports increased (because the dollar continues to be weak); and government spending jumped a whopping 9% from the previous quarter.   None of those things are either good for economic growth or would signal any sustainable growth in GDP going forward.   The bottom line is this GDP report was actually a bad report and the fact that the stock market isn't going bonkers over it just proves that.

--- MarketWatch: Third-quarter growth revised up to 2.7%: Inventories, exports boost growth, but consumer spending softer: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/third-quarter-growth-revised-up-to-27-2012-11-29

A Story Of Two Black Women Who Would Be Secretary Of State

When Senators McCain and Graham said they didn't consider Susan Rice a qualified candidate to be Secretary of State, the Democrats circled the wagons to protect Rice.  The women of the Congressional Black Caucus concluded that the McCain/Graham objections could only have been made on the basis of racism because no one is more qualified than Rice to hold the State Department's highest office.  After all she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Well, how easily those same women of the Congressional Black Caucus forget that another black woman by the name of Rice, Condoleezza, was similarly treated by the Senate Democrats when George Bush nominated her to be Secretary of State.  In fact, it wasn't just two senators who objected to Condoleeza's nomination. It was 13.  And, as far as being qualified, she was not only the youngest Provost at the prestigious Stanford University; she was the first minority in a world dominated by men.

So, you have to ask yourself why it is racist to potentially block Susan Rice's nomination when, in fact, no one made that same claim when Condoleezza was being nominated to that very same position?  Once again, with Democrats, racism is just another political tool.  If they were truly anti-racist, they would have afforded Condoleezza Rice the same arguments of racial protection that they are now affording Susan Rice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is Detroit The Poster Child Of Failed Union/Democrat Coziness?

Most Americans are well aware of Detroit's fabled nickname  'Motown',  but that city also had the lesser known moniker of  'Union Town'.   It was called 'Union Town' because of all the mid-Western cities, it had the strongest union representation in almost all areas of work and manufacturing, and its city's operations. In 1986, the Chicago Tribune highlighted this supposed strength of Detroit with this glowing reference: `Union Town` Detroit Runs Rings Round Most U.s. Blue-collar Cities.

Today, Detroit is now, arguably, the most decayed major city in the U.S., where abandoned homes and buildings have to be bulldozed into oblivion.  Some homes are actually being sold for as little as one dollar; just so the owners can get out from under the tax burden.  In June, Detroit avoided bankruptcy by allowing itself to be put into administrative receivership where the State of Michigan oversees the operation and expenses of the city.

How Detroit went from a 'Union Town' that "Runs Rings Round Most U.S. Blue-collar Cities" to one that is literally at death's door is probably the worst testament to the symbiotic relationship that existed between the city's controlling Democrats and the Unions.  First of all, the private sector declined because companies, in order to stay competitive and avoid high union wages, moved their operations to non-union, right-to-work states, or overseas.  This resulted in Detroit losing the breadth of its tax base. Secondly, the City's Democratic mayors and city council continually gave into the union demands for higher pay and pensions in order to keep the City running.  So, the combination of declining taxes and higher costs of operations proved to be the bitter end to this once great city.  A lesson that all city managers in America should learn from. 

--- BloombergBusinessWeek: Detroit Council Accepts State Plan to Avoid Bankruptcy: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-04/detroit-council-accepts-state-plan-to-avoid-bankruptcy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The CIA's Center On Climate Change And The Maytag Repariman

For years, appliance maker Maytag had one advertising campaign: The lonely Maytag repairman.  The commercials basically featured a repairman with nothing to do because Maytag appliances supposedly never broke down.

Well, back in 2009, right after Obama took office, our liberal President wanted to satisfy his environmental base by establishing an office in the CIA that was dedicated to studying the security impact of climate change.  Apparently, this office, The Center on Climate Change and National Security, was a lot like that lonely Maytag repairman because, just three years later, the Obama Administration is shutting the center's doors.

I think it's interesting that the closing of this office comes just 5 days after the election.  My guess is that this office was known to be a useless waste for a very long time; but, Obama probably waited to close it until after the election in order to preserve his pro-environmental voting base.  More "opacity" from an Obama Administration that is supposed to be the most transparent administration in the history of the United States.

--- New York Times Green Blog: C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/c-i-a-closes-its-climate-change-office/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Monday, November 26, 2012

Why Is the White House Hiding The Situation Room Photos Taken the Night of theBenghazi Attack?

For weeks, now, there have been calls to release the official White House photos of the Situation Room and its attendees during the streaming videos of the Benghazi attack.  But, the White House has refused all requests.  As you recall, following the assassination of Bin Laden, they couldn't get the Situation Room photos out fast enough.  This obvious withholding of the Benghazi-related photos seems to strongly suggest that there might be another, parallel, cover up with regard to the fateful night.

What would those photos really show us?  Was the President missing?  Perhaps getting a full night's sleep before having to travel to campaign in Las Vegas the very next morning. If so, this would explain why the White House hasn't produced any copies of the President's directives that supposedly ordered military intervention to protect our personnel and turn back the attackers.  Was Hillary gone, too?  If this was the case, this would be gross negligence on her part.  Was Susan Rice in attendance?  If she was, she clearly would have seen that these attacks were not spontaneous; making her Sunday talk show explanations of that following Sunday a bunch of lies.

Actually, if any of those questions were to be answered in the affirmative, it would strongly suggest that there has been an active campaign of intentional disinformation going on since the attacks.

--- CBS News: White House declines to release images from night of Benghazi attacks: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57553090/white-house-declines-to-release-images-from-night-of-benghazi-attacks/

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Morsi: The Rise Of Another Egyptian Dictator?

Once again, there is rioting in the streets of Egypt.  This time after the supposed first, democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi, declared unquestioned rule with broad new powers as the formation of a new congressional form of government falters.

From this, one has to wonder if Egypt has just replaced one strongman -- Hosni Mubarak -- with another  one.  If so, the Obama Administration's support of Morsi -- as one who was supposed to bring a stable democracy and leadership to the region -- is just another Obama administration pipe dream.   After all, Morsi is a strong Islamist.  A member of the Muslim Brotherhood.   Meaning that, besides possibly getting another new dictator, the Egyptians may also be on the precipice of becoming another Islamic state like Iran; just creating more unease in the minds of Israelis and a greater potential for widespread war in the Middle East.

--- New York Times: Citing Deadlock, Egypt’s Leader Seizes New Power: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/world/middleeast/egypts-president-morsi-gives-himself-new-powers.html?_r=0

Saturday, November 24, 2012

You Can't Criticize Susan Rice Because She's Black

As soon as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized the U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice, for trotting out an obvious lie about the Benghazi attacks on that following Sunday's talk show circuit, it was clear that the left would ultimately use calls of racism to defend her.  Apparently, no black individual n this country can be criticized.  Not for lying.  Not for bad judgement. Not for anything.  In a 2009 blog entry, I wrote this:
"When a person on the political left digs down into their bag of arguments and the only thing they can come up with is a handful of air, then its time for them to use their tired, old, if-all-else-fails tactic of calling someone a racist..."
One has to wonder why Rice, not connected in any way to U.S. consulate operations, was sent out to explain the cause behind the Benghazi attacks.  Was it because the President and his Administration knew that Ms. Rice's lies would be protected by the color of her skin?  Obviously, the President made a choice to send Rice out to tell the story when, in fact, it should have be done by those more intimately involved with the Benghazi situation; like Hillary Clinton, James Clapper, or General Petraeus.  Yet the President "used" Rice.  And, "used" is probably the operative word.


---  Congresswomen: Criticizing Susan Rice For Giving Incorrect Information Is Sexist And Racist: http://nation.foxnews.com/congressional-black-caucus/2012/11/17/congresswomen-criticizing-susan-rice-giving-incorrect-information-sexist-and-racist

--- Clyburg: Republicans Use Racial 'Code Words' To Attack Susan Rice:  http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/clyburn-republicans-using-racial-code-words-

Obama's Bowing To World Leaders Finally Catches Up With Him

In this picture, the man in the middle, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, is seen almost laughing.  And, well he should.  His wife, Bun Rany, is greeting Mr. Obama with a form of greeting that is normally reserved in greeting servants.  As Investors Business Daily implies, most Asians will see this greeting for what it is: A figurative slap in our President's face.  Of course, our President -- who makes a habit of bowing to every world leader he meets -- is too stupid to see that the joke's on him.

What's even worse about this is that President Obama is bowing to the wife of a man who is seen as one of Asia's worst human rights violators.  Proving once again that Obama is more interested in pleasing our enemies and the world's bad guys than our friends.

--- Investors Business Daily: Investors.com: Obama's Southeast Asia Trip All Style, No Substance: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112012-634213-obama-southeast-asian-trip-more-style-than-substance.htm#ixzz2CsnmLciF

--- Human Rights Watch: Cambodia: Obama Should Denounce Rights Abuseshttp://www.hrw.org/asia/cambodia

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Picketing of Walmart Is All About Power

Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers' union and affiliated groups will be picketing and protesting outside Walmart stores across the country.  The union management would have you believe that it's all about the low wages being paid at our nation's largest retailer.  But, if it truly was about pay, they would be picketing other retail chains, instead.  That's because others, such as Target, actually pay wages that are, in some cases, lower than Wal-Mart; with Wal-Mart being more generous to its longer-term employees. Only at management levels does Target consistently pay more; but, management isn't going to be unionized.

The real reason for the picketing is power.  Walmart has 1.3 million union-eligible workers in the U.S.  If the United Food and Commercial Workers' could finally convince Wal-Mart workers to unionize, it would mean a doubling of the size of this union.  More importantly, each of those newly unionized workers would cough up about $456 a year in dues; meaning that the union would collect nearly $600 million a year in new revenues.   That's millions of dollars they could use to "buy" the elections of desired candidates; from local to federal. Then, anyone who shops at Walmart -- assuming unionization -- will actually be paying for the elections of political candidates that you may or may not want in office.

Lastly, don't be surprised if union management rewards themselves with raises if Walmart is flipped;  and make no mistake about it, no one that is currently a member of the union and who was picketing on this day will see a penny of increase in their own salaries if Walmart is unionized.


--- PayScale.com: Target vs. Walmart:  http://blogs.payscale.com/content/2011/05/target-vs-walmart.html

--- United Food and Commercial Workers' Union: Local 881: Membership & Dues Facts: http://www.unionfacts.com/lu/515066/UFCW/881/

--- Wikipedia: United Food and Commercial Workers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Food_and_Commercial_Workers

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving? 47 Million Americans On Food Stamps

The recession ended in June of 2009; 5 months after Obama took office.  According to our President, that signaled that America had turned the corner from one of the worst recessions that this country had ever faced.

If that was true, why are 47 million people, today, on food stamps; up from roughly 32 million when Obama took office and up from 27 million when the recession began in December of 2007?  And the numbers just keep growing at a faster and faster rate; as can be seen from this chart:
On this day of Thanksgiving, this is a said commentary.  Literally, 1 out of every 6 Americans depend on the government for their food.  A shameful statistic for a country that supposedly had so much greatness.  This, to me, is another one of the President's legacies of failure.  A sure sign that Americans are only getting poorer under Obama, as the eligibility for food stamps keeps rising.  This isn't redistribution of wealth.  Instead, it represents an increasing destruction of any financial independence that our previously low-income and middle-income American families once had.

--- Chart Source: Reflections of a Rational Republican: http://reflectionsofarationalrepublican.com/2011/08/09/bush-vs-obama-food-stamps/

How Mary Went From Having A Little Lamb To Mary Having A Lot Of Turkey

Most Americans don't really know how Thanksgiving became a U.S. holiday or how the turkey became the symbol of this national day of thanks.  Most, erroneously believe that it was a tradition established by the first pilgrims; with the turkey being the centerpiece of the event.  While the turkey may have been served at this supposed first Thanksgiving, it is more than likely that the pilgrims, in British tradition, preferred the choice of  a holiday goose.

Then, there's the issue of this feast being a fixed tradition throughout the growth our fledgling country.  At best, there may have been scattered celebrations for having a successful autumn harvest; but, nothing even close to having a national holiday.  Certainly, any of these events were primarily isolated to farming communities.  The city dwellers had no such celebrations.

The real Thanksgiving holiday came about almost 200 years after the Pilgrims cordially sat with the Indians and broke bread (so to speak).  The actual holiday was literally the product of one person.  A woman by the name of Sarah Josepha Hale; known more famously for her "Mary Had A Little Lamb" nursery rhyme.  As the editor of a publication called the Ladies' Magazine, she became an advocate of a holiday where family and friends sat down and feasted and gave thanks; openly writing about it in her magazine and often referencing those first pilgrim gatherings.  Then, too, she often included menus and recipes; many of which starred the now-famous centerpiece: The humble turkey.  Over a period of 17 years, she wrote letters to whomever was the current sitting President of the United State imploring each of them to promote legislation that would declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.  Finally, in 1863, the then-President, Abraham Lincoln, sponsored legislation and this famous American holiday was born. 

So, as you sit and enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey, always remember it was the writer of a story about a little girl who had a little lamb that started it all.

--- Wikipedia: Sarah Josepha Hale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Josepha_Hale

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To Paul Krugman's Twinkie Manifesto: Meet The Reality Of The 1950's

Once again, Paul Krugman is using his certification as a Nobel Prize winner in economics to help support President Obama's push for tax increases on the rich. In his November 18th op-ed titled the 'The Twinkie Manifesto', this liberal economist harkens back to the days of prosperity of the 1950's when tax rates on the rich were as high as 91% and corporate taxes were double that of today's rates; thus proving that high taxes on the nation's wealthy and big businesses failed to hurt our economy.  In fact, in reading Krugman's piece, you almost feel as if he's arguing that high tax rates caused the economic boom of the 1950's. 

What Krugman fails to tell his readers is the "why" America was so prosperous during those years and why those high taxes failed to thwart that prosperity.

You see, unlike the rest of the industrialized world, America came out of World War II physically and economically unscathed.  We didn't have to rebuild our burned-out and bombed-out cities.  We didn't have to spend billions rebuilding our infrastructure; and, we didn't have to spend years clearing land mines and unexploded bombs.  In many cases, full recovery for those other countries wasn't reached until the 70's.  In fact, Germany was still rebuilding into the 1980's.  As a result, we became the manufacturer to the world; providing much of what the rest of the world was unable to make for themselves.  As a country, we accounted for more than 60% of the world's manufacturing in those years that Krugman calls the 'The Twinkie Era' (the 1950's).  America was, in fact, a net exporter with a very positive balance of trade.

Over time, those war-injured countries regained their manufacturing capabilities and our trade balances went negative as we began importing more and more foreign-made goods.  The importation of lower cost products forced our own manufacturers to compete with lower prices.  To achieve this, American companies sought wage concessions from the unions and from non-union labor.  If the concessions weren't achieved these companies had no other choice but to move their manufacturing operations offshore.  As a consequence, union membership fell from 36% of the labor force in the 1950's to about 12% today.  Over time, various U.S. Congresses and Presidents were forced to lower tax rates in order keep us cost competitive and create jobs; starting with JFK, a Democrat, in 1963 when he proposed and achieved a lowering of tax rates from the then-current 20-91% rates to rates of 14-65%. 

Lastly, there's something I like to call the Ross Perot Effect to counter Mr. Krugman's Twinkie Manifesto.   In 1962, Ross Perot started a computer software company known as EDS (Electronic Data Systems).  By 1984, that company had become so successful that General Motors paid Perot $2.5 billion to acquire it.  By 2008, EDS employed more than 139,000 taxable jobs and generated billions of dollars in taxable profits. In 1985, Perot then used his wealth to partner with Steve Jobs -- then on the outs from Apple -- to start another company called NeXT computer.  Thus creating more jobs and more tax revenues for our government.  Then, in 1988, he started another company, Perot Systems, which grew to employ another 23,000 highly-paid and tax-paying workers.  Additionally, over the lifetime of Perot Systems billions more in profits were taxed by our government.

The bottom line is that if we had the high tax rates of the 1950's, a guy like Ross Perot wouldn't have created as many taxable jobs and taxable profits in such a short amount of time.  In fact, if he was taxed 91% on his sale of EDS -- as Krugman seems to suggest -- NeXT Computer and Perot Systems may never have happened.  Ross Perot is just one of many wealthy who have been able to use their earned wealth to create more wealth; more jobs; and, ultimately, more taxes for the federal government.  In fact, many companies wouldn't have even gotten started if it hadn't been for wealthy, venture capitalists taking an initial investment in them.

Liberals, like Krugman, just don't seem to understand that old and simple axiom: It takes money to make money. Taking money away from the wealth creators is just plain stupid, and actually reduces tax revenues in the long run.

--- New York Times: The Twinkie Manifesto: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/19/opinion/krugman-the-twinkie-manifesto.html?ref=opinion

--- JFK Presidential Library: JFK on the Economy and Taxes: http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/JFK-on-the-Economy-and-Taxes.aspx

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Current Rise In Liberalism Is Actually Being Fueled By The Detrimental Effects of Liberalism

When times are bad, the masses turn to the government for help; and, as long as that government provides that help, it will survive and continue to grow.

This is what's happening in America today.  It doesn't matter if 23 million people are either unemployed or underemployed, the general masses are being satisfied by expanding government programs under Obama's reign; such as increases in medicaid, welfare, food stamps, and with new social programs like ObamaCare.  But, what's interesting is that our current expansion of liberalism in this country is a direct result of it's detrimental effects on our economy.  As our economy further weakens, the trend will only move towards more government dependency.  This is why the voters rejected Romney's fix for American Capitalism. We are literally seeing the destruction of capitalism and the movement towards socialism; right before our eyes.  Obama is, as promised, fundamentally changing America.  We are becoming the likes of Greece and Spain with a similar fate to theirs;  just years away.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Obama's Pre-Election Lie On Taxing The Rich

Before the election, Obama said that all he wanted to do is to return to the Clinton-era tax rates for the rich; arguing that they wouldn't miss the extra money and that the economy actually did well when those higher taxes were in place.

Well, now that the election is over, guess what?  The President has doubled-down on taxes for the rich.  No longer is he just calling for a return to the Clinton-era taxes for those making more than $200,000, individually, and families making $250,000 and up; resulting in a supposed $850 billion dollar increase in tax revenues, he now has added an additional $750 billion in new taxes on the rich by capping deductions and imposing a minimum 30% tax for those making more than a million dollars a year; referring to the later as the Buffet rule.

Further, he argues that the new taxes should be imposed immediately and that we can look at spending cuts and tax law revisions later.  Obama calls this a balanced approach. But, I'll bet money that he will never agree to any significant cuts; unless, of course, they are in defense.  This is the same kind of crap that the Democrats pulled on George H. W. Bush.  The Congressional Democrats got Bush to raise taxes, first, by promising to address spending cuts later.  But, no cuts were ever legislated on.  Thus, Bush lost reelection by violating  his promise of "Read my lips.  No new taxes!" 

--- CNN Money: Obama's opening bid: $1.6 trillion in taxes: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/obamas-opening-bid-1-6-175700494.html

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We Need Spending Controls On Obama -- Not Taxes On The Rich

Last month -- the first month of the federal government's new fiscal year -- the October deficit hit $120 billion; up 24% from $98 billion in the year prior.  On top of that, October's spending was up a whopping 16% or $42 billion from the prior year; from $262 billion to $304 billion. Together, those two percentages tell us that we are increasing spending while revenues are falling.  Or, in other words, the economy is stalling again and certainly not producing enough of the needed revenues to cover Obama's massive spending spree.

According to the number crunchers, taxing the rich would only result in about $85 billion a year in additional tax revenues; or, about $7 billion a month.  What good does it do to collect an additional $7 billion in revenues when this President keeps increasing his spending at rates that are 6 times that amount?  Even the dreaded "spending sequestration" -- which would cut federal spending by $10 billion a month -- wouldn't make a dent in the deficit when, in fact, you have year-over-year monthly spending increases of $42 billion.  You'd almost have to completely disband our military to offset the kind of increases that are we seeing and will continue to see if Obama is left unbridled.

The President is flat out lying when he says we need these higher taxes on the rich to solve our deficit problems and allow the country to spend more on other things; like teachers.  Obama spending is our deficit problem. Further, the U.S. Senate, under Harry Reid's direction, has not passed a single budget into law since Obama took office; giving Obama free rein to keep spending this country into oblivion.  Additionally, we are now approaching another debt ceiling showdown where it is expected that the President and the Democrats will ask for another trillion dollars plus in authorized debt expansion; thus pushing us well over $17.5 trillion dollars in federal debt in early 2014.  Obviously, his promise to cut the deficit in half was just another hollow campaign ploy that played well with a lot of stupid and gullible voters.

They say elections have consequences.  Well, this is one helluva consequence.

--- Reuters News: Budget deficit rises to $120 billion in October: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/budget-deficit-rises-120-billion-october-190237736--business.html

--- Washington Post: The Sequester, Explained:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/09/14/the-sequester-explained/

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Get Your Lab Coats: Illinois And California's Supermajority Legislatures Experiment

While much of the talk has been about the results of the presidential election, something more interesting happened on that same night in two of the most liberal states in the union.  Both, California and Illinois voted to give their state legislatures a Democratic, supermajority.  In essence, the Republicans were simply turned into stone; with nothing to say about anything.  Of course, both of these states are high on the list of the 11 most indebted in the nation; mostly because of liberal, Democratic agendas.  So it's a real head-scratcher as to why the electorate would have even considered ushering in such a large number of the very same politicians who got their states in so much trouble.

With the supermajority, neither of these legislatures have to worry about a single obstacle in preventing them from doing whatever they want to do.  In fact, both have like-minded, Democratic Governors in charge to facilitate the final passage of any of their proposed liberal legislation.  No more having to go to the public with some election day propositions to raise taxes or increase spending on education etc.  No more debates with  Republicans.   It appears a progressive Santa came early this year.

Now, it will be interesting to see what happens.  In both states, Democrats have resisted any Republican suggestions that spending cuts are needed to lower the debt.  So, with the Republicans completely sidelined, it is my guess that these two bastions of liberalism will simply see new taxes as a means to a end.  Don't be surprised that at least one of these states institutes its own, first ever, carbon tax on almost every thing that uses energy.  And, I wouldn't be equally surprised that the debt will continue to rise along with unemployment because the business environment will deteriorate rapidly.  I'll even bet that both states will come to Washington and an obliging Obama to bail them out of their massive debt problems.

Basically, I'm guessing that these two grand experiments in progressive/liberalism will result in two major fiscal disasters.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Give Obama And The Democrats Their Wish On Raising Taxes On The Rich

Last Friday, I caught the first 40 minutes or so of the Rush Limbaugh radio talk show.  Early in the show he seemed to agree with a conservative writer who had written the following:  "...just get out of the way, Boehner and McConnell. Give Barry & Co everything they want; and let a corrupt media chronicle it. Harry 'Dingy' Reid wants to change the filibuster rule so tell them "No Need!" we are just going to vote 'present'.  Rush followed up by saying "He has a point...'

Well, I'm not sure that we should give a blank check to Democrats to do anything they want; but, I do think we've lost a lot of ground on the issue of tax cuts for the rich.  It appears that the general electorate believes Barack Obama when he tells them that the rich should pay their "fair share" by paying higher taxes, and, that "they won't miss it [meaning the money]", and further, that the economy flourished under Clinton when taxes were higher for the wealthy.  This Obama win was clearly borne out by the fact that, in the exit polling, 60 percent said they favored higher taxes on the rich.  In California, 54% of the voters approved Prop 30 which primarily target the higher taxes on the rich.

Of course, anyone with a modest understanding of how our economy works knows that raising taxes on small businesses and the job creators in our country will only result in an even weaker economy than we have now.   Maybe another recession.

As far as the higher taxes under Clinton is concerned, their impact was dwarfed by the fact that we were in a complete tech revolution in this country and in the industrialized world.  Many falsely believe it was just because of the dot-com explosion but, in fact, it was in everything tech; including PC's, home software apps, video gaming, cellphones, medical equipment, and so on.  More importantly, a lot of people who had never bought a stock before were making big money buying almost anything tech.  Of course, all this created an economy that wasn't "apparently" being hurt by Clinton's higher taxes.  I say "apparently" because as soon as anything dot-com came to a screeching halt -- this following the burst of the dot-com bubble in the stock market -- the economy headed south; with Clinton eventually handing a recession over to "W" Bush.  A not-so-small point that Democrats and the media seemed to have forgotten about those supposedly golden Clinton years.

Personally, I say: Republicans step aside and quit trying to hold the line on keeping the Bush tax cuts for the high income earners.  Only, then, will American voters learn the lesson that tax increases on anyone have consequences.  Even if those consequences have to be another recession and higher unemployment.  Once and for all, let's take the "tax cuts for the rich" issue out of theoretical argumentation and prove which political party is actually right. Maybe, then, in the 2014 mid-term elections, the Republicans can retake the Senate and reverse the mess that will have been created with Obama's higher taxes and ObamaCare.  It could also pave the way for a Republican president being elected in 2016.

On last thing.  If higher taxes were so great for the economy under Clinton, why shouldn't we be calling for all the tax rates that existed under his presidency?  In other words, let "all" the Bush tax cuts expire.  Surely, this economy would take off like a rocket!

--- United State Senate Democrats: On Taxes, The Voters Have Spokenhttp://democrats.senate.gov/2012/11/08/on-taxes-the-voters-have-spoken/

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Petraeus and the Classic Femme Fatale Trap

Having served in the military and having had a high-level security clearance, I find it unfathomable to think that a top general, one so highly respected as General Petraeus, would have gotten himself in such a compromising position with an extramarital affair.   It's a violation of one of the first rules of security and a general violation of the Uniform Code Of Military Justice.  A violation that "could" easily lead to being blackmailed in exchange for our nation's secrets. 

This is actually a classic femme fatale trap that so many powerful men fall into. History is littered with them.  Delilah.  Salome. Mata Hari.  Even Monica Lewinsky.  It doesn't really matter if any state secrets are compromised in the process.  The fact that Petraeus has had to resign is, in itself, a weakening of this country's security.  Make no mistake about it, the General was a very important asset to this country.  If he wasn't, he wouldn't have even been considered for the CIA leadership post.  Sadly, this asset is now gone due to another femme fatale.  This time, the femme fatale is Paula Broadwell; or, as the dictionary historically defines her: "an irresistibly attractive woman, especially one who leads men into difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situations..."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Mexican Standoff On The Tax Cuts For The Rich Could Cause All The Bush Cuts To Expire

In the old West, when you had three bandidos confronting each other in anticipation of a gunfight, it typically resulted in nothing happening because each of those men knew that, if they drew first to kill one of the gunslingers, the other would kill them.  That failure to fight is commonly referred to as a Mexican Standoff.

In a strange way, a similar thing might just happen with regard to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on January 1st.  Our three bandidos, in this case, are the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and President Obama.  But, instead of thinking about who will draw first, in this scenario, we're talking about who will "cave first" on their particular stand on extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

The House of Representatives is majority controlled by Republicans and is in favor of either extending all the Bush tax cuts -- including those for the rich -- or, even making them permanent.  Over in the Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is all for Obama's push to extend the them for everyone but the rich.  In fact, following the reelection of Obama, Harry believes he now has a mandate from the people to raise taxes on the rich.  Further, Patty Murray, also part of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, has gone on record and threatened that, if the Republicans continue to push for keeping the tax cuts for the rich, her party is prepared to let them all expire; increasing heavy tax burdens on all Americans.  Then, too, the President -- a clear advocate for increasing the taxes on the rich -- says he will veto any bill that comes to his desk and doesn't include raising taxes on individuals making in excess of $200,000 and families with incomes above $250,000.

So, there's our standoff.

Unless the Republicans cave, it just might be possible that the Democrats of the Senate will allow all the Bush tax cuts to expire by not voting on any extension of any of the cuts; leaving Obama out of the "apparent" loop on this because there will be no bill for him to either veto or sign into law.  In fact, Obama might just secretly favor this inaction; thinking he could use it as a mid-term, 2014 election issue by blaming the Republicans for the increases.  At the same time, increasing all the tax rates would help him out of the deficit hole he's created.  Of course, raising taxes at this time would also send this country spiraling into recession.

I personally think that there are enough Democrats in the Senate who probably believe that raising taxes on the rich, during this weak economy, is a bad idea and they will force Obama, Murray, and Reid to accept a year's extension of the Bush tax cuts in their entirety.  But, we'll just have to see.

--- New York Times: Senator Murray Says Democrats Will Let Tax Cuts Expire: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/senator-murray-says-democrats-will-let-tax-cuts-expire/

Monday, November 12, 2012

GOP: Stop This Woe-Is-Me-ing Over The Romney Loss

Ever since the election, Republicans and their pundits and political analysts have done nothing but try to understand why Romney lost.  All too often, they have concluded that the party needs to be more inclusive. That Romney lacked believability.  He had RomneyCare around his neck and, therefore, he couldn't take on ObamaCare in an effective manner. Then, there's all the other silly conclusions that people have come to; too many to waste time on in this blog.

But, they are all silly conclusions.   Romney, like Hillary Clinton, just couldn't win against such a historically significant Obama fact: The first black president of the United States.  After all, Hillary was a seasoned U.S. Senator with experience at being in the White House for eight years.  She was very well known on the world stage; because, as the President's wife, she met many world leaders and traveled to many countries.  Her en vitae stacked higher than her opponent's: A less-than-two year Senator from Illinois.  Even so, she lost to Obama.

People keep voting for Obama on an emotional basis and not on his past or current job performance.  Believe me, if he was white, he would have lost in a landslide; and, Romney's loss was not as significant as the GOP makes it out to be.  Enough with the "woe is me attitude".  The fact is that, in many ways, the Republican party is the dominant party in America.  Of the 50 states, 30 of the Governors are Republican.  26 states have GOP dominated legislatures.  In the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans own 242 seats; and, the Democrats have only 193.  And, yes, the Republicans don't own the Senate; but, they should have been a lot closer if two tea party candidates, Akin and Mourdock, hadn't stumbled on abortion.

Then, there's the Presidency.  Since FDR and the beginning of  our 2 term limit, there have been 6 Republican Presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.  The Democrats, on the other hand, also had a total of 6 Presidents: Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.  But, of those Presidents holding two terms, the Republicans lead 3 to 2.  So, even for the presidency, Republicans have not only held there own but, in terms of reelection, have actually done better.

Right now, many Republicans are calling for a change of their principals and values to be more inclusive and more attractive and more electable.  But, I say that, if you look at the above facts, the Republicans have always done well.  One 2012 loss to Obama doesn't tell the true story.  The fact is that history has proven the American electorate easily tire of both political parties.  That's why neither political party has ever achieved an extended string of presidential power. Clearly, if history repeats itself, there will be a Republican President the next time around.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Perplexing General Petraeus Resignation

I can't remember the last time when such a well-known public figure outed himself as a two-timer on his wife but, General Petraeus, the head of the CIA, did just that.  And, it was done in the midst of an increasing controversy over the Benghazi consulate attack and the killing of four Americans.  Certainly, Petraeus' CIA was highly involved in this incident since the CIA dominated our presence in Benghazi.  The "annex" that is always being talked about -- just a mile away from the consulate --  was a  CIA installation.  Two of the four dead, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, were former Navy Seals under contract by the CIA and stationed at the annex.

Normally, an affair becomes public and the offender -- after the fact -- has to respond with some public affirmation, humility, and an apology.  But, because Petraeus came forward before any public knowledge of his affair, it almost seems like he was being blackmailed in some way; and, he decided to thwart the blackmailing by going public on his own.

This, then, leads to other speculation.  Was the threat of a public exposure of his infidelity being used to force him into "modifying" his upcoming Benghazi testimony before Congress?  Perhaps, take the fall for the Obama Administration? Certainly, the timing of Petraeus' disclosure and resignation would suggest something like that.  If so, was this an extension of the currently suspected coverup over Benghazi?  And, at what levels within the Obama Administration was this "blackmailing" effort being conducted?  Was President Obama involved?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

California Dreaming Turns To California Fleeing

On Tuesday night, 54% of California's voters approved Proposition 30 which would raise both sales and income taxes in a supposed attempt to "fix" the not-so-Golden State's debt problems.   The state sales tax will be raised by 1/2 percent and, of course, that cost will be borne by everyone in the state who buys anything.

Then there's an increase in income taxes; retroactive to include all of 2012.  Apparently, having taken a lead from Obama, the Democratic-supported Prop 30 will "only" raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires".   You know, that same old song:  Individuals making more than $200,000 and families making $250,000 and above.  The surtax will be progressive; starting at 1 percent on the low end and  incremented upwards to 3 percent for true millionaires.

Now, if Obama is also able to raise the federal tax on those same $200,000/$250,000 wage earners to 39.6% from 35%, it means that that those "rich" in California will see an "additional" increase of 4.6%. Then, add to that the 2013 0.9% tax increase for ObamaCare and the plus $200,000 crowd will see a rate increases of  ranging from 5.5% to 8.5%.  But, here's the thing.  California already has one of the highest income tax rates on high end wage earners at 9.3%; and, 10.3% for those making more than a million dollars.  So, overall, rich Californian's -- at the very minimum -- will ultimately have to pay a combined minimum tax rate of 50.8%.  53.8% for those truly making a million dollars or more.   Of course, both these rates assume that Obama will get his tax increases on the rich. So, if you do make $200,000, you will only get to keep  a little more than $98,000 of it.  For someone making a million dollars, their minimum tax bill will be $538,000.  Of course, this doesn't even include the sales taxes and real estate tax burdens and all the other taxes imposed on these very same people.  This, then, means that these income earners are no longer "unfairly" working for themselves.  Instead, they are primarily working in support of the state and federal governments and all their waste, corruption, and multitude of giveaways.

The problem with these high taxes is that it "will" force many talented and wealthy Californians to flee the state in seeking lower taxes.  Some amount of businesses will also leave. Those who are independently wealthy and not tied down to California by job, may actually move to places like Bermuda or Canada or some other country.  Besides being a brain-drain, ultimately, this will shrink the tax base by lowering the mean income; and, that means a lowering of tax revenues. In fact, all these new tax increases may actually result in less tax revenues than California is currently taking in.  Already, because of high taxes and over regulation, an estimated 3.4 million residents have fled the state since 1990.  I know this well; being a Nevada resident with no state income tax.  Many of the people in our particular neighborhood have moved here from California.

One last comment.  Despite the state's high deficits and debt, the Democrats who are in control of the State legislature have found it  impossible to lower any of the State's spending. This fact alone must infuriate those making high incomes and give them another incentive leave.  States that raise taxes and don't cut spending are just whistling past the graveyard; as was noted in my previous blog post, Obama Should Learn A Lesson From His Home State, where Illinois implemented a 67% across-the-board tax increase and their debt just continued to increase.


--- Wall Street Journal: California Voters Approve Higher Taxes: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324439804578104854095658918.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

--- Federation Of Tax Administrators: State Tax Comparisons: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/tax_stru.html

--- Fox and Hounds: The Great California Exodus: A Closer Look: http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2012/09/the-great-california-exodus-a-closer-look/

--- CNBC: Two Days After The Election:  Boeing Announces Big Layoffs in Defense Division: "Boeing announced a major restructuring of its defense division on Wednesday that will cut 30 percent of management jobs from 2010 levels, close facilities in California and consolidate several business units to cut costs.": http://www.cnbc.com/id/49729998

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Major Election Issue Not Being Talked About: ObamaCare

As a result of reelecting Barack Obama and maintaining the status quo in Congress, ObamaCare was assured of "not" being repealed or even modified.  It will go ahead, as is, and all the negatives of that law will be fully implemented before we ever see another presidential election.  This was the big loss for Americans since most oppose the law.  The average of the Real Clear Politics polling on this shows that Americans reject the law 48.6% to 41.4%.  Even the left-leaning, CBS/New York Times polling has opposition at 50%; and, support at only 42%.   And, that poll was heavily weighted towards Democrats. Rasmussen's last poll, in late October, had opposition at 54%; and, that's a whopping 15 percentage points higher than those who favored the law.  Even the exit polling after Tuesday's reelection showed that the voters opposed ObamaCare, 49% to 44%.

Without the stopping of ObamaCare with a Romney win, it will now continue on its path to destroying our current system and setting the stage for an eventual single-payer, government health care system.  Eventually, just as in Britain, we will wind up with a similar problem-ridden and health-care-delayed system that will just continue to push America into debt and jeopardize people's lives.

---  Real Clear Politics polling: Obama and Democrats' Health Care Plan: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

--- Politico.com:  Exit polls 2012: Split on ObamaCare: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83427.html

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Democrats Claim A Mandate To Raise Taxes On The Rich

Just two days, now, following the election, Obama and the Democrats have looked at the exit polling and have concluded that they have a mandate from the people to raise taxes on the rich.  If that logic is true, then, they have also received a mandate to repeal or replace ObamaCare.  That's because the same exit polling showed a majority of voters favoring a whole or partial repeal; 49% to 44%. 

Personally, I wouldn't mind raising taxes on the rich if ObamaCare could be repealed.

---  Politico.com: Exit Polling On ObamaCare: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83427.html

---  Politico.com: President Obama sees voter mandate on taxeshttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83502_Page2.html

Will Federal Spending Put Us At a Tipping Point By 2015

In 2011, the Democrats of the Senate Budget Committee put together a power-point presentation with regard to this nation's accumulated debt and spending.  The very first slide of that presentation showed a U.S. dollar with 40% of it being covered up by the word "borrowed"; meaning that for every dollar of spending, 40 cents is with borrowed money.  At the time of that presentation, our debt was still under $14 trillion but quickly approaching $15 trillion.  Today, our debt is 10% higher with it above $16 trillion.  This means that the 40 cents in that presentation is now 10% higher; probably around 44 cents.

Now, here's an important thing to understand.  Obama's own Treasury Department is now projecting that the federal deficit will hit $20 trillion by 2015.  Or, in other words, our debt will be 33% higher than it was in 2011 when 40 cents of every dollar was being borrowed.  If that becomes fact, it means that we will have already hit a disastrous tipping point where our government's operation will be majority run by borrowed money; 51 cents or greater for every dollar of spending. What that, then, means is that we will literately have to borrow money to pay off what we've already borrowed.  This is a death spiral.  It is how Greece became the economic mess it is today.

There's no single way that a country can get itself out of trouble when it reaches this kind of debt situation; especially when dealing with debt that is in the double-digit trillions of dollars.  One way is to print more money.  But, that will just cause massive inflation; forcing the economy and tax revenues to stall out.  Another way is to raise taxes.  But, raising taxes can, too, weaken the economy and result in lower tax revenues.  The best way is to cut spending.  But, nobody is going to want their pet spending cut. That's why we are seeing the riots in Greece as the government tries to implement austerity programs. 

The bottom line is that we are heading for serious trouble and its not far away.  Obama has literately steered this country into disaster.

--- Democrats Power Point Presentation on Debt and Spending:  http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=68c4deb6-ac22-4b0d-bd31-df69512f8607

--- Real Clear Politics: Debt to hit $20 Trillion by 2015: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2012/10/18/us_borrowing_amp_spending_is_at_a_crisis_point_293445.html

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Won But Gridlock Prevails

Last night, the nation voted and Obama won.  It was an emotional win; not based on any logic.  I say this because this man has been a complete failure in his first term.  He pushed a stimulus package that has only caused our rebounding economy of 2009 to get weaker by the year.  Job creation has primarily been for low-paying and part time jobs.  As a result, the middle class is falling apart.  Average incomes have fallen by more than 7% as laid off workers are being forced into finding and taking lower paying jobs.  The number of low income workers and those in poverty has doubled to over 60 million people.  Those on food stamps and collecting disability pay have reached never-before-thought-of highs.  We are a country in decline. We are moving towards being a country that looks more like Europe  --- a Europe that is in complete turmoil with weak and depressed economies and where the normals are high unemployment and a dependency on government.

The only saving grace from Tuesday's election was that gridlock prevailed.  If this country truly wanted what Obama was selling, it would have broken that gridlock and given the Democrats a dominate position in the House of Representatives.  But, the voters said no to this President's liberal agenda by leaving the GOP in charge of the people's house.  While some Republicans lost, an equal number won. This, to me, only proves that the votes for Obama were ones based on the emotion of maintaining an historical first of having a black man as president; no matter how badly that man has performed in office.

But, don't underestimate Obama in terms of forcing through his liberal agenda.  He will do it by by-passing Congress through the stroke of his pen on executive orders. He will do it through the powers already vested in the EPA, the Department of Interior, and through the new powers given to the Health and Human Services department as a result of ObamaCare.  He will also do it through the still-unwritten, unlimited regulatory actions that were provisioned under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.  He will do it anyway he can because, no longer, does he have the burden of winning a reelection.  And, as a result, America and America's values were the big losers in Tuesday's elections.