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