Christmas Eve

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Christmas Eve. The fight against Christmas has been quieter this year than in the last few years. I always find it fascinating listening to the atheists etc. who try a act like the season is offensive simply because they don't believe in Christianity. The best part is knowing that they don't mind giving and receiving gifts.

I can't help but wonder: what are you doing with those gifts if you don't believe in Christmas? There's one thing I've wondered as I've looked at the Christmas season this year given the recession we're still stuck in, (despite the administration's insistence that we're on the road to recovery).

Given that fact that so many people have lost their jobs and thus have less money to spend, I wonder how many of those people have started looking at the Christmas season differently? Perhaps one positive of this recession will be in the fact that people begin to remember, or maybe even for the first time realize, what the Christmas season is really about.

We're not very used to severe recessions, think about it. The last really big recession before this one was in the 1970's. That's over 30 years ago. As we try our best to stretch our dollars as far as we can the Christmas season gives us a great opportunity to look at what Christmas means to each of us personally.

Do you feel guilty if you can't give as much this year as you perhaps have in the past?.....If you do then you need to rethink your own concept of the Christmas season. After all, would giving someone a dozen hand picked flowers really mean less than a dozen flowers bought at the store?

Let me give you a true story to ponder from my own past. When I was 17 I was living with a friend and his parents who didn't have much money, as I didn't. They were willing to take me in and I paid rent to them as much as I could but it was tough.

Christmas day came around so my friend and I came up with a plan. We each took $1 and wrapped it up to give to each other. All of us had a good laugh at that one and it didn't cost anything. To his parents I gave a heartfelt letter of appreciation thanking them for all they had done for me even though they had no obligation to.

As it turned out, that letter meant more to his parents than I ever expected it to. At the time I was a bit disappointed that it was pretty much all I could give. I was told by my friends father, (RIP), that his mother had taken that letter out unbeknown to me just to re-read it. He told me that the simple letter that I was rather disappointed in when I gave it meant more to her than any gift I could have given.

That's the kind of message we need to remember this Christmas. A simple letter or a long overdue phone call to a distant friend or relative can mean more than the most expensive of gifts.

Santa's bag may not be as full this year but does that minimize the heart of the season? Does it really make a family get together any less joyful? By not having as much money to spend you begin to appreciate that which doesn't cost much money a whole lot more.

So this Christmas take a minute to just relax and enjoy the season. If it's been a bad year for you, you've lost a job, there's been the death of a friend or family member, or perhaps it's just been a pretty rough year in general, take a minute to just relax. Ease yourself of the stress and just enjoy this Christmas. You have most of the year to drive yourself crazy over all of your problems. Give yourself a break for just a few days, (at least today and tomorrow). If it hasn't been a bad year for you then the message is just as, if not more, important for you.

Make sure your children know that Christmas isn't about toys and gifts. Get your children to realize that Christmas is about family. The Christmas exchange of presents is about feeling good giving a gift more than getting one. Those of you with young kids know that it's the smiles on their faces that put a smile on your face more than anything you've received.

It's not the money you've spent on Christmas that makes it special, it's the time you get to spend with family and friends that make it special. Make sure you take a minute to think of our troops who can't be home with their families this Christmas because they are abroad helping to protect ours. I'd like to give a special Merry Christmas and thank you to them. Now why are you still reading this blog? Turn off that computer and go spend some time with your families.



DC Has The Worst (Omni)buses

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yes friends, Washington D.C. has done it again. 2,000 pages and $1.2 Trillion in new spending just before Christmas in the lame duck session. Congress is giving us another wasteful spending omnibus bill for Christmas. Perhaps it's better to show you the spending with the numerals instead of the word, it's a bit more powerful. That's $1,200,000,000,000 of our money, (which we don't have), going to things the politicians want that we don't need.

Both parties, as usual, are guilty here. They don't seem to understand that the old argument of, "without this money the government will shut down" blah, blah, blah....bull**it. You know what else? I for one don't think most of the country would mind if the government did in fact shut down and all of Congress went home until the new session starting on January 4th of next year.

Let me ask you something else. Were you even shocked when you heard about this massive spending bill? This is what Congress does every damn year. Those who actually pay attention to politics have been speaking out against this sort of thing for years. It's what gave rise to the Tea Parties and it was a big part of the landslide defeat of incumbent politicians this past November. Here are just some of the reasons that you should be outraged at this bill.

It's no wonder that Congress currently has the lowest approval rating EVER in the history of tracking it. Republicans, who railed against the spending when the country was criticizing President Obama are by no means innocent in this one. Personally, these Omnibuses are starting to make me feel like a snowman in the road. It's time for congress to stop driving these omnibuses right over the American people. They seem to forget that they are spending our money when you get right down to it and elections are never more than a few years away.


The Tax Cut Compromise Sparks Class Warfare....As Usual

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Well, it's dominated the news recently, President Obama and the Republicans in Congress have struck a deal on extending the Bush tax cuts. While there are a few objections coming from those on the right the bulk of opposition to this plan is coming from the left. As usual we're hearing the same arguments that the high-taxation promoting progressive liberals always use.

Obama's debt commission was unable to get the required votes to actually send it's recommendations to congress, (I told you they wouldn't). More on that in a little while though. There's certainly no shortage of articles out there from the left displaying their disappointment at President Obama for this compromise. The typical tax cuts for the rich sentiment that they always use even though those same tax cuts for "the rich" hit a large majority of small business owners that the left so often claims to care about.

Here's an article from Robert Kuttner off of Obama's propaganda blog the Huffing and Puffington Post that describes why bipartisanship is a bad thing and how Nanci Pelosi is right to reject it. Apparently he wasn't paying attention to the election in November. Here are some highlights:

"The economy will be fixed only with more public investment, more progressive taxation, and more regulation, but partisan compromise dictates less of each." - Robert Kuttner

By "public investment" he means more stimulus and if you still don't think the stimulus was a total failure than you're denial is astounding. More "progressive taxation", he would say that means more taxing of the rich but he actually means more taxing of everyone, which would reduce tax revenues as I've covered many times before, (The Laffer Curve). The last one here is my favorite, "more regulation", by that he means more government micromanaging of our economy. Just look at the last blog I did and you'll see I've already covered this one.

I've explained previously how the President's debt commission was a re-election rouse that was never going to accomplish anything. It was just meant to look like President Obama actually cares about the debt and deficits. Robert Kuttner in all his wisdom fell for it though.

"will very likely come out with a plan to narrow the federal deficit by slashing what's left of public investment. The whole tilt of this commission is somewhere between conservative Democrat and far-right Republican." - Robert Kuttner

Remember, public investment in his eyes means stimulus. He also links to a few other plans that you can view from his article. One of which he references here:

"One of these, Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, issued her own alternative plan, which increases social investment in the short run in order to get a stronger recovery going, then reduces the deficit over time with higher growth, progressive taxation and cuts in military spending." - Robert Kuttner

The higher growth is a projection that just assumes the progressive plan will actually cause growth. Sure, it'll grow government but not the economy, or have you been living in a cave for the last couple of years?

"One other progressive on the commission, former SEIU president Andy Stern, has held out hopes of a grand bargain but no bargain that might appeal to Stern seems to be forthcoming." - Robert Kuttner

Andy Stern is a Communist who calls himself a progressive. I'll prove that in a little while but we've got a few things to cover before then.

Here's another article, this one is from Bob Burnett, off of Obama's propaganda blog The Huffington Post, (remember, this is where Obama tells people to go for news, I'm just taking his advise).

"For months, Barack Obama knew that Republicans were cutthroats, who wouldn't hesitate to hold the working people of America hostage in order to secure a tax-cut "ransom" for the rich and powerful." - Bob Burnett

So all of those "rich and powerful" people that create all of the real jobs in this country are just holding Americans hostage and it's the progressives who are here to save you from those evil vipers. It's funny considering that every time the progressives are in control of our country we end up with a recession and a growing government and welfare state. Never mind that though, I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

"Negotiating out of fear is bad practice, in general, but wildly inappropriate in an era where Progressives are battling to maintain Democracy in America." - Bob Burnett

Well, Conservatives are battling to maintain our Republic and Constitution. Democracy means majority rules, right? Well, didn't a vast majority of Americans throw the Democrats out of office in November? Just as they did to the Republicans in '06 and '08. It seems a compromise with the Republicans is what a majority of Americans did want doesn't it? So, whose really fighting for Democracy here? As usual it isn't those that claim to.

The next two lines are not next to each other in the article but show something very telling as to how mad the left is at Obama.

"The good news is that we now know who are dealing with and have two years to take corrective action."

"I am confident we can do this, with or without Barack Obama" - Bob Burnett

See? They are going to push forward with the agenda that Americans overwhelmingly rejected in November "with or without Barack Obama". Looks like they'll be looking for a primary challenger if Obama doesn't change course.

There are plenty of other articles from the left out there saying similar things about progressive taxation etc. Some want to push a new deal system like a new unionized WPA, (Works Progress Administration). That was a new deal stimulus-esque job program where FDR used government jobs to help get Democrats elected in struggling districts. Add a union and I'm sure that will work out great. Wait a minute...isn't that pretty much what the stimulus has done?

To those of us that have done our research based on facts rather than biased ideology, we know that the tax cuts for the rich is an argument made again and again. Whether it's Calvin Coolidge, JFK (though the left is quieter about that one), Ronald Reagan, or George Bush, any tax cuts that actually lessen the tax burden on businesses that create jobs is always called tax cuts for the rich. Bill Clinton cut the capital gains tax also by the way, which helped those evil rich businessmen. This latest hissy fit by the left is no big shock and the arguments are nothing new.

In closing I'd like to get back to former SEIU union leader Andy Stern, the most common visitor to the Obama White House, and a member of the debt commission. In this video he's quoted as saying:

"Workers of the world unite, it's not just a slogan anymore, it's the way we're going to have to do our work" - Andy Stern

Now why would I call him a Communist? Look at that quote. Now I'd like to show you another:


The quotes seem very similar don't they? Well the quote in all capitals, (which is exactly how it appears in the book), is the very last line in the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx. Remember, Obama was influenced by the "Marxist Professors and structural feminist". Andy Stern's presence on the President's debt commission proves that Obama hasn't forgotten who he is. This was all expected and planned.

Next year, as I've said before, will be very telling. He will go around congress as much as possible using executive orders. Dick Morris covered this well. I'd link you to this story from his website but the site wouldn't load for me so I've just put the text here.

Via Dick Morris.com

Obama Using Executive Orders To Implement Radical Agenda

Does President Obama plan to move to the center in response to his overwhelming rejection at the polls on November 2nd? No way! Instead, he is moving to implement, through executive action, two of the most controversial items in his 2010 agenda -- a carbon tax and pollution permit system and a ban on the use of secret ballots in union elections. Through executive action by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Obama Administration is planning to effectuate both policies without asking Congress.

Never mind that he couldn't persuade even a top heavy Democratic Congress to pass either program. Or that public opinion polls show massive rejection of both measures. Or that each is a sure job killer by itself -- and together, they are even worse. This arrogant, ideologically-driven radical is determined to have his way and the public be damned!

The EPA is currently soliciting public comments for its plan to use the Clean Air Act of 1970 to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The Clean Air Act, as the name indicates, is designed to fight against pollution -- unhealthy chemicals that are belched into the air by smokestacks. It was passed to fight sulfur dioxide, particulates, nitrous oxides and other chemicals that cause human diseases. To use it to fight carbon dioxide -- which we all breathe without ill effects -- because of concerns about global warming -- is a perversion of the law.

Worse, because the Clean Air Act is designed to protect public health by measuring aggregate pollution in each geographic area, it limits economic development in communities where the pollution levels exceed prescribed standards. But carbon dioxide doesn't poison anyone. It makes no sense to ban factory expansion in areas where the nature of the industries is that there will be high carbon dioxide levels (like oil area of Texas and Louisiana). But that's what the EPA plans to do, virtually making economic growth illegal in large parts of the United States.

Meanwhile, Craig Becker, the former chief counsel of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) -- now the head of the NLRB -- has secured a 3-2 majority party line majority to repeal the Dana decision which mandates secret ballots in unionization elections. The NLRB will rule that if a majority of workers check off that they want a union on cards then the union will automatically be approved without a secret ballot vote of the entire workforce. Currently, if a majority of the workers sign the cards, a secret ballot vote is then triggered. Frequently, the union loses these elections, proving that the card check off is subject to coercion and bullying. The Democratic majority in the Senate wouldn't approve the card check change so the NLRB is planning to accomplish the same objective administratively, trapping workers into unionization they would reject if afforded the opportunity to vote by secret ballot.

Both the pollution permit/carbon tax and the forced unionization proposals will be job killers. The U.S. has maintained its 25% share of global manufacturing by replacing workers with energy driven machines. In the past ten years, the number of manufacturing employees has declined by 33% but our production has risen by 50%. But automation takes energy -- lots of it -- by taxing energy, we are eliminating the strategy that has preserved our jobs. And massive unionization of the private sector will also drive out our jobs. Since 1990, unionized manufacturing jobs have declined by 75%. But non-union manufacturing jobs have actually risen over the same period by 15%.

After he lost Congress in 1992, Bill Clinton, too, resorted to executive orders to maintain his momentum as president. With Congress unwilling to pass anything he proposed, the president canvassed the Administration for ideas that could be implemented by executive orders. A very productive period followed during which tobacco regulation, higher educational standards, affirmative action reform, and other key measures were implemented without asking Congress' permission. But Clinton's executive orders were on subjects on which Congress had not voted. They did not contradict the express will of the body. Obama is using the strategy to act in direct defiance of Congressional action. He is passing ideas Congress refused to pass, even when he had huge majorities.

Obama will live to regret these moves. Republicans in the House will defund these actions and insert legislative language making it a crime to spend appropriated funds to implement them. By this strategy, all of the controversial Obama legislation will be at issue during the budget fight -- taxes, Obamacare, cap and trade, and card check. The more these issues are inserted into the budget fight, the greater the chances of Republican victory.

So President Obama has not learned the lessons of 2010 and likely never will.

We'll soon find out, 2011 should be very interesting.


Spending vs. Investing, Social Security's Not So Secure, and Regulating Becomes Micromanaging

Friday, December 3, 2010

First of all Happy Hanukkah to all of the Jewish folks out there. Now let's get down to business.

Spending vs. Investing

Do you know the difference? Unfortunately, far too many people, (especially in Washington D.C.), don't. Unemployment rose in November to 9.8% despite increased retail sales. That's another thing that always bothers me when I hear it.

We're all supposed to act surprised when the retail sales increase in November and December. This is just a guess but it might have something to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's not recovery, it's called the holidays and retail sales always jump for the holidays.

I find the so-called economists fascinating that talk about government spending as if it's all an investment. That's not to say that it can't be done to a certain degree. Some government spending is necessary and could be seen as an investment, such as the military and national defense. The problem with far too many in Washington, (mostly on the Democrats side but that's by no means exonerating the Republicans), is that they see all government spending as an investment regardless of what the money is spent on.

You see this mentality routinely from those who say that the problem with the stimulus is that it didn't spend enough. If trillions of dollars aren't enough, do you honestly believe that there is a figure high enough to be enough in the eyes of the fools with that opinion?

Let's look at that stimulus spending for a moment. Did it help you? Did your rent or mortgage get paid off? Did your car payment go away? Did it save your job or do you believe it had anything to do with why you still have one? (If you still do).

Then we have the president's deficit commission. When President Obama issued an executive order to create the deficit commission he made a majority of 14 out of 18 needed in order for the proposals to make it into the Congress for debate. Obama knows that's unlikely given who the members are and what truly needs to be done in order to address our deficit problems.

Now, if President Obama knows that the deficit is unlikely to accomplish anything then why would he appoint one in the first place? The answer is simple, he has to make it look like he's actually trying to address the deficit. His propaganda blog Huffing and Puffington Post is on board.

Take this story for example.

"Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with labor unions, seniors organizations, and liberal members of Congress Thursday afternoon to develop an alternative proposal to the deficit commission's draft report released last week"

So, labor unions: (whose pensions are collapsing several states and who Obama has been bailing out with our money), seniors organizations: (I'll bet that means AARP who recently announced that Obamacare will make health care more expensive for it's employees), and liberal members of Congress, (keyword liberal, so much for bipartisanship) to develop an alternative.

If Obama believes in his own deficit commission then why would his strongest supporters, labor unions and liberal members of congress, be so against the deficit commissions proposals when we haven't even really had time to pick apart their suggestions?

Social Security

This also brings into play more Social Security propaganda. This is along the same line as MoveOn.org's propaganda that I showed you awhile back. Read this for a refresher of what I'm talking about. I showed you the propaganda on social security back in June and this recent Huffington Post story I've been talking about shows it again.

"Sanders said the Simpson-Bowles proposal to raise the retirement age for Social Security, when the entitlement program is solvent until 2037 and contributes nothing to the national debt, seems to be something of a non sequitur."

This is a lie, Social Security is not solvent and will not last until 2037. It's full of IOU's thanks to Lyndon Johnson, need proof? Here.

From Snopes:

"Q: Which political party took Social Security from the independent "Trust" fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically controlled House and Senate."

So the Democrats are the ones who started filling the Social Security Trust Fund with IOU's in the first place, I knew that but did you? Do you think Bernie Sanders or the labor unions know that? I'm not saying Republicans are innocent here but the left should stop trying to act like Social Security saints.

Think about this, they claim that Social Security is solvent until 2037. What about lost jobs? Every worker has money taken out of their paychecks to go toward Social Security. However, there have been millions of people in the last few years who've lost their jobs. No job means no Social Security tax, millions of people no longer paying that tax means less revenue for Social Security. Less revenue for Social Security means less time that it remains what they call "solvent".

The positions of those like MoveOn.org and others who agree are truly ignorant positions on this issue and prove the unwillingness to address this very real crisis.

Government Regulation Continues To Grow

Banks, health care, car companies, Wall Street, big business, small business, and now even more regulation for food. There are some misconceptions about the recently passed S. 510 bill regarding regulations for farming. Red Mass Group put out an article that eases some of the panic regarding the government getting too involved with our food supply. Here's the article. I worry about what else there will be that we find out about in time, like health care.

Here's what I worry about with the increased food regulations by the government. The problem I see with this is the fact that it's another step of government control. While this article may prove some of those more fearful of increased government control over farming wrong to some degree, with encroaching government it always starts with a foot in the door. Bits of control granted over time that ...lead to total control in the end.

Take the income tax for example, it started out small and only affected a small amount of Americans when implemented, since then it has only grown more and more over time. This next step gives the government more control and could lead to another farming crisis, the last thing we need. The government wont stop with this bill, it's just a foot in the door. Need proof? Just look at health care and the auto industry.

Think of government regulating like managing. No managing and there's chaos, too much managing and efficiency is crippled. Anyone whose worked for a micro manager before knows what I mean. It's harder to do your job with someone standing over your shoulder watching every move you make like a hawk or trying to do your job for you assuming you can't do anything yourself.

A manager has to trust the workforce to do it's job thus allowing you to be productive, innovative, and efficient. When there is an actual problem then it's management's responsibility to help respond to the problem.

Government regulation over our economy works in exactly the same way. If the government has too little control then those who are actually corrupt criminals get away with anything they want and everybody gets screwed. However, if the government has too much control then it can't manage the job and the economy can't be innovative and efficient. This creates an inability for the economy to grow.

That's exactly what's happening under the Obama administration. The government has increased regulatory power so much that the economy is in a stalemate. He even has a "regulatory czar" Cass Sunstein. After all, isn't that exactly what health care reform was? It's government regulation of health care. Thousands of pages of regulation, (just look at our 40,000 page tax code as another example of this), becomes thousands of pages of micromanaging.

Despite what all of Obama's supporters are trying to get you to believe you probably understand the micromanaging analogy of our economy because we've all worked for a micro manager and seen the adverse effects it's had on our various jobs. Go after the slackers, back off the productive workers, and it'll all work out. Unfortunately, being in the tank for the unions is the opposite of this.

Our economy is reacting predictably to all of this government micromanaging. If the government doesn't back off, (which under Obama, it won't), then don't expect the results to improve much. Despite all of the Spending this chart is very telling about unemployment under Obama. We've hovered between 9.5% and 10% for well over a year now.

If the tax cuts expire it will get worse. Throughout history higher taxes have never lead to vast economic growth. With the economy as weak and fragile as it is the taxes going up next year will turn this great recession into another great depression. Don't expect propaganda sites like The Huffington Post, (where Obama tells you to go for news), or groups like MoveOn.org to tell you any of that though. They're too busy telling us that Social Security is in good shape. I don't think you're that dumb, yet they clearly do.


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