Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: October 29, 2009


GDP Growth – Real or Memorex?

My guess is you’re looking at GDP numbers that are about as accurate as the stimulus saved and created job numbers the administration put out recently.  Or perhaps a better way of saying it is they’re as deceptive as those job numbers.

The GDP is the combination of consumer, investor and government spending.  We know pure consumer spending is down.  We know that investor spending is down.  And we also know that government spending is way up.  That spending has spending has urges some consumers to spend – cash for clunkers and the $8, 000 incentive for first time home buyers.  But a spurt of government spending which encouraged a spurt of consumer spending does not a recovery make:

The nation’s gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the three months ending in September, matching the economy’s average annual growth rate from the last 80 years. But the end of government programs to encourage spending on things like cars and houses, alongside employers’ continued reluctance to hire more workers, means the recovery may not last, economists say.

The recovery will happen when investors invest, businesses hire and finally, consumers buy – not for a quarter, but in a constant and increasing manner. Until that happens, until we see the job numbers begin to lessen considerably, this is just a lot of hoopla over a quarterly blip driven by government spending.

~McQ


Harry Reid: Good For Me, But Not Thee

Democrats have become rather adept at including things in bills which the Republicans don’t support but because of the overall bill in which they’re included, can’t vote against.   The hate crime legislation is a good example – it was included in a bill which authorized defense spending.

Apparently Republicans are trying to play the same game now:

Senate leaders remained at an impasse Wednesday over adding tax provisions to a bill that would extend unemployment insurance benefits to millions of jobless workers.

The impasse:

But Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remained at loggerheads on what other amendments the chamber might consider. Republicans have been pushing for amendments on the community group ACORN and on the E-Verify system that checks potential employees’ immigration status.

Turnabout is fair play in politics, but Harry Reid finds this all to be just a terrible bother:

Reid called those amendments “vexatious,” “argumentative,” and “not relevant.”

Of course when Reid is adding hate crime legislation to a defense appropriation bill, it isn’t at all vexatious, argumentative or “not relevant”. It was simply business as usual.

~McQ


Pelosi To Trot Out The House Health Care Nag Today

I think this is one of those “gift horses” one would really want to look in the mouth. It has a whole lot of government, but very little in the way of health care improvement.  I can’t wait to see the hokey name they dream up for the bill.  Whatever it is, the opposite will most likely be true.  And, as noted in other posts, it will leave a significant portion of the uninsured, well, uninsured, even though that was supposely the entire reason for all of this nonsense.

The final product in the House, reflecting many of President Barack Obama’s priorities, includes new requirements for employers to offer insurance to their workers or face penalties, fines on Americans who don’t purchase coverage and subsidies to help lower-income people do so. Insurance companies would face new prohibitions against charging much more to older people or denying coverage to people with health conditions.

The price tag, topping $1 trillion over 10 years, would be paid for by taxing high-income people and cutting some $500 billion in payments to Medicare providers. The legislation would extend health coverage to around 95 percent of Americans.

What do you get for your trillion dollars? Higher debt, fines and penalties galore, cuts in Medicare, etc. etc.

Of course this is the House version, and the Senate version would include prison time for those who “choose” not to participate and a hefty tax on those “cadillac” plans which dare to offer those paying for them better benefits than average.

Both, of course, will offer a form of the “public option”, aka, government health insurance, with the House bill making it a mandatory part of the bill while the Senate version has an opt-out clause for the states (but, of course, no “opt-out” clause for the individual).

I’m sure the House vote will be very close because a number of blue-dogs are going to be seeking cover in a “no” vote. So Pelosi will be closely counting noses before a vote is taken. In the Senate, it is more problematic for the Democrats. The usually dependable Olympia Snowe (dependable for the Dems) has said she won’t vote for a bill with a public option and that has been seconded by Joe Lieberman (who, as usual, is being called everything but a child of God by the left). Mary Landreau and Ben Nelson are also not in favor of such a provision. So Reid is short of the 60 votes he needs to end debate.

That leaves the Senate with the nuclear option – reconciliation. But that too has its perils and pitfalls for them.  Bottom line though is your future is being determined by a bunch of people who have no interest or desire in anything but gathering power for themselves.  They’re about to vote in a costly and bureaucratic nightmare which will, by all indications, make health care worse for the vast majority of Americans.

And, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can stop them.

~McQ

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