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:

--- 2014 Chevy Spark Makes Debut:

--- U.S. News & World Report: 2012 Fiat 500 (gasoline) Review & Pricing:

--- Center for Automotive Research (CAR): Project 2025 Auto Sales:

--- Social Security Administration: Average American Wage:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

--- Clyburg: Republicans Use Racial 'Code Words' To Attack Susan Rice:

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: Obama's Southeast Asia Trip All Style, No Substance:

--- Human Rights Watch: Cambodia: Obama Should Denounce Rights Abuses

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.


--- Target vs. Walmart:

--- United Food and Commercial Workers' Union: Local 881: Membership & Dues Facts:

--- Wikipedia: 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:

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:

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:

--- JFK Presidential Library: JFK on the Economy and Taxes:

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:

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:

--- Washington Post: 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 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:

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:

--- Federation Of Tax Administrators: State Tax Comparisons:

--- Fox and Hounds: 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.":

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:

---  Exit polls 2012: Split on ObamaCare:

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.

--- Exit Polling On ObamaCare:

--- President Obama sees voter mandate on taxes

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:

--- Real Clear Politics: Debt to hit $20 Trillion by 2015:

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.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Barack Obama: The Fortune Cookie of Politics

Way back in February of 2008, I wrote a blog post that compared Obama's promises of hope and change being akin to the false promises you might get from fortune cookies.  On this election day of 2012, what I said then is as true today. So, I think it's worth repeating.

Barack Obama: The Fortune Cookie of Politics

In many ways, Barack Obama's speeches are a lot like the messages inside a Chinese fortune cookie. Typically, the "fortune" inside that cookie, if written well, will apply to the wants of most everyone who reads it. It is this type of "universality" that gives Obama a broad appeal.

Whether or not the message of Obama, like the fortune in the Chinese cookie, is actually true or has any chance of being true is immaterial. People take from it what they "want" to hear. That is what his message of "hope" is all about. Hope is more of a feeling and, often, less of an actual reality. When I buy a lotto ticket, I "hope" that I will win. However, the chance of being hit by lightning is more likely.

The people that believe that Obama represents "hope" through "change" may actually be hearing the hollow message of a fortune cookie. If they truly looked at Obama's past actions, his beliefs, and his proposals, they would know that what he is selling is "high hopes" with little reality.  And, don't ever forget that the purpose of putting the "fortune" in the cookie is a "gimmick" to sell more cookies.  Nothing more than that!

Mayor 'Soda Jerk' Fails His Staten Islanders

By all accounts, Staten Island was ground zero when hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast.  It was where the eye came ashore; and, it was extremely hard hit.  People were without food, water, electricity, telephone and cell phone service, and gasoline.  Agencies like FEMA and the Red Cross were urging victims to call or use the Internet if they were in extreme need.  Of course, this is totally ridiculous if you don't have access to any kind of phone service or electricity.

For four days following the storm, Mayor Bloomberg failed this borough by not providing "any" relief.  Instead of sending much needed supplies and work crews into this community, the idiot Mayor sent people to clean up all along the route for the running of the now-cancelled Marathon.

It was only after an NBC news team filmed an impassioned plea for help that, finally, things got going on the fourth day after the storm:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There have been rumors that Bloomberg has presidential aspirations.  This failure in Staten Island and his silliness regarding soft drink sizes, breast feeding, salt and, now, putting a marathon before the rescue of his people, just proves that he will never be ready to hold the "Big Job" in Washington, D.C. 

America. Vote!

There is only one thing that separates a democracy from every other form of government and that is the right to vote in free and fair elections.  But more importantly, your vote guarantees that all Americans -- as Abraham Lincoln so deftly noted in his Gettysburg Address -- have a government that is "of the people"; "by the people"; and, clearly, "for the people".   For this reason, if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about how you're being governed.  That's because you handed your own destiny off to someone else.  At least by voting, you know you've "tried" to make a better country; even if the results aren't exactly what you wanted.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Obama's Lie: Returning The Rich To The Tax Rates Under Clinton

Over and over, again, Obama calls for the "rich" to pay their fair share and simply pay the tax rates that existed under Bill Clinton.  But, that claim is so false, in so many ways, that it is just laughable.

First, there's this outright lie. When Clinton left office in 2001, the top tax rate was 39.6%.  That's the same rate that Obama wants to return to.  However, that rate was only being applied to those taxpayers making $297,350 and above; adjusted upwards from $288,350 in the previous year (see tax table link below).  You see, under Clinton the threshold for paying that top rate was being adjusted, annually, to account for inflation.  That's why, in 2002, the number was upped again to $307,050; and, that is also why, by 2011, the income threshold had been adjusted to $379,150.  But, what Obama wants to do is to take that threshold back to $250,000 for marrieds and even lower for singles making $200,000 or more.

The other distortion -- if not an outright lie -- has to do with tax increases associated with ObamaCare.  Under that law, those making in excess of $200,000 will be hit with a 0.9% with a payroll tax increase. Automatically, this means that the former-Clinton tax rate of 39.6% will be increased to a 40.5% tax rate if Obama gets his way.  Further, ObamaCare adds a new tax to be born only by people making over $200,000.  That tax is the 3.8% surcharge on any capital investment profits; including any profit from the sale of a home.  Additionally, many of those in the $200,000/$250,000 tax bracket are the ones who have purchased "Cadillac" heath insurance policies.   ObamaCare imposes a 40% against any policy under the "Cadillac" criteria.

Lastly,  the rich are getting beaten around the head by new and higher taxes at the state level.  In Illinois, taxes were raised by 57%.  A new tax on the rich is on Tuesday's ballot in California.  Put all together, the rich are being massively targeted by taxes.  But, more importantly, these taxes are draining funds from the very people who create more tax paying jobs in America.  Increasing taxes on the rich to solely maintain and grow economy-sucking governments is just idiocy.  Just look at Greece and Spain at near financial collapse and their near 25% unemployment rates.

--- National Taxpayers Union: Historical Tax Rate Tables For Top And Bottom Rates:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why Romney Should Win Handily

Over the last couple of months, the presidential election polling results have come under attack from both the right and left.  The left is claiming that blacks and woman are being under represented.  The right claims that the polls are being skewed by the oversampling of Democrats and the undersampling of Republicans.  Many of the polls that have Obama ahead are projecting the kind of intensely partisan turnout that we saw in 2008; which is simply hard to believe.

I say, forget the top line, Obama-versus-Romney numbers, and focus in on some numbers that tell the real story.  I honestly think that some number of people, who are responding to the polls, are actually lying about their support of Obama.  As a result, Romney should win handily.  Here's why:
  • The Direction of the Country.  In almost every poll, on a 5.4-to-4 basis, people are saying that the country is heading in the wrong direction.  Yet, in those same polls, a majority would vote for Obama anyway.  This makes no sense.  People have to be lying.  I find it almost impossible to believe that those thinking the country is on the wrong track would actually vote for Obama so as to continue in that wrong direction.
  • The Decline in Obama Job Approval and its Relationship To Votes.  When Obama was swept into office, he did so with a higher than 60% job approval and with 53% of the vote.  In essence, this means that 88% of the people who approved of Obama actually voted for him.  Now, if that relationship were to hold true in this coming election, it would mean that Obama will only get 44% of the vote.  This based on his current 50% job approval in the Real Clear summary of polls (  Keep in mind that John McCain lost to Obama with 46% of the vote.
  • A Majority of Independents Side With Romney.  In 2008, 52% of all independents voted for Obama; this according to CNN's exit polling ( ) Today,  Romney is winning the independents by as little as 7 and as much as 12 percentage points; depending on the poll.  This means that if the turnout is anything like 2010, where almost as many Republicans voted as did Democrats, Romney could have a landslide win; nicely handed to him by the independents.
  • The Gender Gap Is Gone. In 2008, Obama won easily with women; winning by 12 percentage points (see above noted CNN exit poll data).  Now, Romney and Obama stand near even (see CBS story:  With that 12 point advantage gone and assuming that women will again vote in higher numbers than men, this can only be an advantage for Romney.
  • Youth Vote Could Be Down Severely For Obama.  In 2008, Obama garnered 66% of the youth vote (Pew exit polling:  He did so because they believed Obama could make a difference.  Given the fact that half of all college grads can't find work and the fact that youth unemployment is still extremely high at 12%, it is difficult to believe that Obama will repeat 2008.  Again, advantage Romney.
  • The Incumbent Rule Will Give Romney The Win In Tight States.  Proven to be historically true, the Incumbent Rule should give Romney 80% of the late deciders on election.  See my blog post of October 25th:
So, those are the reasons why Romney will probably win and I'm in the camp that says he could win big on Tuesday.  My guess is that the final popular vote total will be 52% for Romney and only 46% for Obama; this primarily thanks to woman and independents and the very dominant male vote.  I believe that this spread is more than enough to guarantee that Romney win the Electoral College count.

Lastly, if those being surveyed have been lying to pollsters, then, expect the exit polling to be way off also. 

The Employment Report Just Doesn't Add Up

Last month, the September Employment Situation Report said the unemployment rate dropped by 3-tenths of a percent to 7.8% while only adding 114,000 jobs to the economy.  This is surprising unto itself because you would need to add roughly 450,000 jobs add to our workforce of around 150 million workers in order to lower the unemployment rate by that much. Then, last Friday, the October report said that the economy added even more jobs.  This time 171,000.  Yet, the unemployment rate didn't fall.  Instead, it rose to 7.9%.  So, obviously, something is happening beyond just simply adding jobs for it to illogically fluctuate over the last two months.

Then, when you take a look at the number of unemployed, things get even murkier.  In August, the number of the "official" unemployed was 12.544 million workers.  In September, when the unemployment rate fell 3-tenths, the number of unemployed dropped  to 12.088 million.  On a net basis, this implies that 456,000 previously unemployed workers found jobs from August to September.  However, the report said that only 114,000 found jobs.  Similarly, in the October report, the number of total unemployed increased by 170,000; which, this time, is almost exactly equal to the 171,000 jobs added last month.

Then there's this other inconsistency.  According to the September report, 873,000 suddenly found work after not having looked for work in the prior month.  Yet, somehow, that number was not included in the job gains for the month.  More importantly, that 873,000 increase should have lowered the unemployment rate down to 7.2%.  But, it didn't.  Because, to do so, would have really raised a red flag.  Instead, that number,  along with the total mix of numbers, was used to so dramatically and conveniently lower the unemployment rate to below 8%.

Then, in October, another 578,000 suddenly found work.  Again, that number was not included in the number of jobs being added. What that 578,000 did is kept the unemployment rate from not going above that psychological impacting level of 8%; holding it at a convenient 7.9%.

The fact is that, conveniently, a total of 1.5 million people showed up in the last two employment reports as workers who suddenly found jobs; politically helping Obama in the last two months before the election.  If what I am implying is right, we should see a significant rise in the unemployment rate next month or the month after.  If so, it will prove that the numbers were manipulated for political reasons.  But, mark my words, nobody in the liberal media will say a word about it.  Instead, if Romney wins, that very same media will still be out trying to prove that, somehow, he stole the election through deceit and lies.


--- Market Watch: September Employment Report: 873,000 people in the household survey said they found jobs while the official job creation only stands at 117,000:

--- Bureau of Labor Statistics: October Employment Situation Report:  Workforce Increases by 578,000 while the economy only added only 171,000 Jobs:

--- Bureau of Labor Statistics: August, September, October Employment Situation table:

Friday, November 2, 2012

How Will Hurricane Sandy Impact The Economy?

Over the last week, I've heard a number of media types declare that there's a silver lining to hurricane Sandy; and, that is jobs.  Jobs to repair and jobs to rebuild.  But, this declaration simply ignores how many jobs will have been killed by this storm.

If you look at the Jersey shorelines, the boardwalks have been obliterated.  These "walks" were accesses to dozens of businesses with hundreds of workers.  Now, those buildings will be idled for months; maybe even years for some.  Other businesses, more inland, suffered severe flooding and may not be able to reopen until the water damage is corrected and inventories replaced.  All told, more jobs will probably be lost to the hurricane than will be created.  Then, too, any jobs that are created won't be lasting.  Once the construction work is over; the workers will go back to being unemployed.

The fact is that Sandy is "currently" estimated to have done about $20 billion in damage; and, certainly, some portion of that amount of money will be used to create jobs.  But, on the other hand, it is estimated that the economy will lose as much as $30 billion in business activity.  That, simplistically, could mean that for every 2 jobs created, 3 may be lost. 

In terms of the overall impact, the above cost totaling $50 billion isn't much when you consider that we have a $15 trillion economy.  In fact, the total impact of this disaster is less than 3-tenths of one percent. But, in an economy that is already weakening, the additive effect of this storm might be more much more significant than what the numbers are telling us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Obama Hyper-Fantasy: A Doubling Of Exports By 2015

Now, just days before the election, President Obama has produced a 20-page, glossy booklet of "the" things he will do to improve the economy in his next term.  He did this to squelch the complaints that, nowhere, can anyone find Obama's plan for a second term. But, as many have noted, all this booklet does is rehash much of what he promised to do in his first term.   One such "jobs" promise that appears in that booklet is a repeat of his 2010 State Of The Union commitment to double U.S. exports "by" 2015.

While this sounds like a real "jobs" winner, the reality of this actually happening is nearly impossible.  Just as had been the case with almost all of Obama's promises.

First of all, in order to double exports in just five years -- from a total number of exports in 2009 to the total at the end of 2014 -- you need to "compound" export growth by more than 18% per year.  So, this fact begs the question: Are our exports even close to meeting that growth demand?  Of course, the answer to that question is "NO".

From 2009 to 2010, exports only grew by 16.4%; from $6.3 trillion dollars worth of trade to $7.4 trillion.  Of course, this is a clear miss of that 18+% needed to double exports in just 5 years.  In 2011, exports only grew by 13.5% to $18.3 trillion.  Again, well off the required mark.  Then, there's this year.  In the first half, exports only amounted to $4.3 trillion.  This means that we are, at best, set to do about $8.7 trillion; or, a meager increase of slightly more that 4%.  Next year is looking to be even worse because our trade with Europe is deteriorating rapidly as most of those counties are either in or entering a state of recession and high rates of unemployment.  China, too, is projecting a slowdown of their economy.  This is why many of our main exporting companies, like Caterpillar, are projecting serious slowdowns in revenues and earnings in the last quarter of this year and going into 2013.

So, in each of the last 3+ years that Obama has been in office, export growth has been declining.   Just like our economy.  Yet, this President continues to tell the whopper that he will double exports under his watch. 


--- Bloomberg-Business Week: Keeping a Close Eye on Obama's Export-Doubling Pledge:

--- United States Exports: A 10-year Chart and Quarterly Statistics:

--- NBC News: Stocks finish flat after earnings disappoint (Caterpillar says: "said the global economy is slowing faster than it had expected"):