Free Markets, Free People

Quote of the day


Quote of the day: About those self-styled “elite” edition

The quote comes from Walter Russell Mead and is pretty self-explanatory needing little in the way of explanation or exposition from me.  Needless to say, I agree:

There was a time — as recently as early 2010 — when the Great and the Good, the Champions of the Conventional Wisdom and the Oracles of the Davoisie identified the UN’s forlorn climate change negotiations as the wave of the future and the last best hope of man. Let the futility and failure to which all this led be a reminder to us and to them: those who guide the world’s destiny aren’t nearly as discerning as they think they are. Between the American housing bubble, the European meltdown and the climate policy disaster, it almost begins to look as if the Establishment consists mostly of overpaid, egotistical blowhards.

Amen.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Joe Biden bumper sticker edition

You have to love this guy:

"If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,"

Of course, Osama bin Laden would be dead and GM “alive” if Chauncey Gardiner had been president (or VP for that matter … oh, wait).

But don’t tell Joe that.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: How big and intrusive has government gotten edition

The quote comes from a Heritage Foundation post on taxes and notes that today is “tax freedom day”, or the day in which what you earn from now on actually is supposed to belong to you:

In other words, for the first 111 days of the year, everything you earned went straight to Uncle Sam. Compare that to back in 1900, when Americans paid only 5.9% of their income in taxes and Tax Freedom Day came on January 22.

And in 1900, Americans felt that amount was outrageous.  But this puts in context the huge growth of government in the last century.

Here’s the problem though, it’s going to get worse – 2013 would be the year of the Obama tax increases if he’s re-elected and Congress doesn’t move to keep the current tax rates (which the left insists on calling the “Bush tax cuts” but which have, instead, been our current tax rates for years).

If those tax rates are allowed to expire, you can tack on another 11 days before we see “tax freedom day”.

That’s all due to Taxmageddon — a slew of expiring tax cuts and new tax increases that will hit Americans on January 1, 2013, amounting to a $494 billion tax hike. Heritage’s Curtis Dubay reports that American households can expect to face an average tax increase of $3,800 and that 70 percent of Taxmageddon’s impact will fall directly on low-income and middle-income families, leaving them with $346 billion less to spend.

Like sequestration, these tax increases are scheduled to happen on January 1st of next year.  Both are likely to have huge negative economic impacts.

On the tax side, Heritage’s Dubay points to immediate impact of some of the taxes that will become effective on that day:

If Congress fails to act, workers won’t have to wait very long to feel the effects. Every payday, they would see a jump in their payroll tax as it takes a bigger bite out of every paycheck. And that only reflects one of the direct hits they’ll face. They’ll feel the pain of other tax hikes they won’t pay directly, like the health care surtax on investment income and salaries over $250,000 — which begins in 2013 along with five other Obamacare tax hikes — because these hikes will slow job creation by taking away resources from businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs.

James Pethakoukis puts it into a chart for you:

041612

Says Pethakoukis:

If you combine all the other tax increases from 1980-1993, they add up to 3.3% of GDP, according to the brilliant budget team at Strategas Research. The coming “taxmageddon” of 2013 surpasses all those tax hikes combined! How could the Obama White House even toy with the idea, which it has, of letting them happen?

If they happen, can anyone guess what will happen to the economy?

So obviously, stopping this is a priority with President Obama, right?

That fact, though, isn’t making its way into President Obama’s talking points. He’s not mentioning that, absent action, Americans will pay higher income taxes, payroll taxes, and death taxes. He hasn’t spoken about the impending increase in the marriage penalty, the decrease in the child tax credit and the adoption credit, or how those who get tax breaks for education or dependent care costs will see them decreased. He hasn’t mentioned the new taxes under Obamacare, or how middle-income families will be forced to pay higher taxes under the Alternative Minimum Tax — a measure that was only supposed to impact “the rich.” Sound familiar?

Instead of dealing with Taxmageddon, President Obama wants to change the subject with a gimmicky policy like the “Buffett Tax.” The Senate obliged him yesterday by voting on this distraction. Fortunately, it was rejected. Still, while President Obama trains his fire on this class warfare policy, he ignores that if Taxmageddon strikes, the lower and middle class Americans that he says he is fighting for will pay substantially more in taxes to the federal government starting on January 1. Call it the unadvertised side effect of Barack Obama’s failed leadership.

So many “unadvertised” leadership failures in so few years.  Let this happen and watch the economy head toward the bottom again.  Of course, Obama won’t particularly care if he’s re-elected.  He’ll no longer be answerable to the American people.  He’ll have more “flexibility”.  He’ll be free to move more to the left.

A wonderful scenario and, in answer to the question in the title – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Do as I say, not as I do edition

The Democrats are a gift that just keeps on giving.  Hypocrisy R Us.  They make a career out of it.  You have a president who can’t get a single vote on the two budgets he’s submitted telling us why one which actually received a majority in one house of Congress is “out of touch”.

Then there’s the holier than thou, “we don’t take from special interests” ban on lobbyists and corporate contributions.  Or not.

LA Times headlines provide your quote of the day:

Democrats give special interests a role at convention

Organizers have found ways to skirt their own rules and give corporations and lobbyists a presence at the national event in September. The situation reflects President Obama’s difficulties in delivering on a vow to limit the influence of money in politics.

This is just wonderful stuff:

Despite the ban on corporate money, for example, convention officials have encouraged corporate executives to write personal checks, according to sources familiar with the fundraising. And they have suggested that corporations can participate by donating goods and services to the convention, and by giving up to $100,000 through a corporate foundation.

They have also quietly explained to lobbyists that while they can’t make contributions, they can help raise money from their clients — by soliciting personal checks from executives or in-kind contributions from corporations. Lobbyists who bundle high sums will get perks like premium credentials and hotel rooms.

Oh, how wonderfully clever.  You have to feel all the confidence in the world in an organization that imposes rules on itself and then finds way to skirt them, don’t you?  Of course, no surprise – remember how ObamaCare was passed.

Finally, another unsurprising twist:

Labor unions, meanwhile, are not specifically prohibited from giving.

Of course they’re not, because while any reasonable person would easily classify them as a “special interest”, the Democrats have simply decided not to.  Why?  Well corporations and lobbyists give to the GOP, so making them pariahs is politically expedient (even if they obviously don’t plan on spurning the pariahs they’ve created), but labor unions won’t give to the GOP so they’re left out of the “special interest” equation.

Ethics – don’t look to the Democrats if you’re wanting positive examples.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: But remember, blacks can’t be racist edition

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times – blacks can’t be "racists". Supposedly its because they "don’t have the power" to be racist. A key redefinition of a word that in reality has zip to do with who holds power.  It’s an attitude.  A belief in the superiority of one race over the other.  But that’s now how many try to define it today.

So, given the new definition of racism,  what former DC mayor and present DC Council person Marion Barry says here isn’t racist or racially motivated … got it?  You can ask Al Sharpton, he’ll back him up.

“We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops,” Barry said in remarks first reported by WRC-TV. “They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

Celebrate diversity and racial healing, ya’ll.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Unemployment reality check edition

James Pethokoukis provides us with the quote (a little context when you hear all the “sunshine and roses” employment reports):

[T]o restore the job market to the state it was in back in 2007, before the recession, would require the creation of 14.8 million jobs in today’s terms, a daunting task to say the least.

FRED supplies the graphic:

 

040212obamajobsgap

 

Enough said.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the Day: Obama’s new found love for the Keystone XL pipeline edition

And from none other than Mr. Etch-A-Sketch:

“Apparently, the slipping poll numbers have convinced him [Obama] to announce the lower half of that pipeline,” Romney said. “If we can get his poll numbers just a little lower, we may be able to get the other side, too. So let’s get that job done.”

A reminder, one more time with feeling – the portion that Obama is now for doesn’t need his permission or approval to be built.

Just to be clear.

This is a blatant and obvious political attempt to pretend he’s behind something that was going happen anyway.  But, of course, we knew that, didn’t we?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the day: Rutherford B. Hayes edition

President Obama fumbled a historical anecdote about as completely as one can when he tried to tie our 19th president to backward thinking.

Mark Steyn, as is does so well, looks at the real backward thinking one of the two:

But obviously Rutherford B. Hayes isn’t as “forward-looking” as a 21st-century president who believes in Jimmy Carter malaise, 1970s Eurostatist industrial policy, 1940s British health-care reforms, 1930s New Deal–sized entitlements premised on mid-20th-century birth rates and life expectancy, and all paid for by a budget with more zeroes than anybody’s seen since the Weimar Republic. If that’s not a shoo-in for Mount Rushmore, I don’t know what is.

Sign him up.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quotes of the Day–Green Jobs edition

Another “told you so”:

WHEN is a job not a job? Answer: when it is a green job. Jobs in an industry that raises the price of energy effectively destroy jobs elsewhere; jobs in an industry that cuts the cost of energy create extra jobs elsewhere. You will hear claims from Chris Huhne, the anti-energy secretary, and the green-greed brigade that trousers his subsidies for their wind and solar farms, about how many jobs they are creating in renewable energy. But since every one of these jobs is subsidised by higher electricity bills and extra taxes, the creation of those jobs is a cost to the rest of us. The anti-carbon and renewable agenda is not only killing jobs by closing steel mills, aluminium smelters and power stations, but preventing the creation of new jobs at hairdressers, restaurants and electricians by putting up their costs and taking money from their customers’ pockets. –Matt Ridley, City A.M., 15 December 2011

And:

The parallel-energy universe known as renewables, a place where dollars and economic theory know no bounds and make no sense, looks increasingly like a bubble set to collapse. Or, as I wrote here back in March of 2010: “That eerie hissing you hear may well be the air beginning to seep out of the green energy bubble. The sound is similar to the pfffffft and sshhhhsssssp noises we heard in the early days of the dot-com bubble collapse or the subprime mortgage meltdown.” –Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, 15 December 2011

But our rulers know better, don’t you know?  That’s why they do so well picking winners and losers (I assume I don’t need to deploy my sarcasm tag here):

Workers in Germany’s once booming solar energy industry face a shakeout of major proportions following declines in the price of solar panels over the past year. A decision by the German government earlier this year to phase out nuclear energy has done little to reignite the sector. The resulting power gap is likely to be filled by coal and gas rather than solar and wind energy. – Sarah Marsh and Christoph Steitz, Reuters, 15 December 2011

For instance:

Solon’s insolvency filing is likely to be followed by other high-profile German solar company failures, analysts said, as the blood-letting in the global industry intensifies. Shares in Solon plunged 58 percent on Wednesday after the solar module maker announced the filing late the previous day, becoming Germany’s first major casualty of a crisis in the sector.  “Solar managers and experts warned already about further bankruptcies,” a Frankfurt-based trader said. Christoph Steitz, Reuters, 14 December 2011

Like the man asked, “when is a job not a job?”  When it kills other jobs and has to be subsidized by government to continue to exist.

But, you know, that’s old fashioned thinking — just like it was when the dot.com bubble was building.  The laws of economics seem to always enforce themselves on an apparently unsuspecting or willfully ignorant elite don’t they?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Quote of the day–Warm up act edition

Say what you will about Karl Rove, but he knows politics.  He has an article in the WSJ today in which he talks about the president’s mistaken belief that he had the power to schedule an address before a joint session of Congress and how he was reminded what “co-equal branches of government” meant.

He then discusses why Obama had to move the speech and how it now ends up in non-primetime before the opening NFL game of the season.  Which brings us to our quote of the day:

The great danger facing Mr. Obama tonight is that the public simply tunes him out, viewing his pronouncements as either irrelevant or annoying.

It’s been a dramatic fall for a man who was, his supporters assured us in 2008, America’s best orator since Abraham Lincoln. Now he’s reduced to a warm-up act for a football game.

Amazing how that works, no?  Talk, talk, talk and no action and pretty soon, well, people begin ignoring you.  Imagine that.

Oh, and on the leadership issue?  Rove discusses some recent polling, compares it with some previous polling and then tells a simple truth:

There was one other telling number, buried in this week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll: When he was inaugurated, 70% felt that Mr. Obama had "strong leadership qualities." Today, only 42% feel that way. And when voters stop seeing a president as a strong leader, they generally stop seeing him as president.

Call it our second quote of the day.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO