Questions and Observations

Free Markets, Free People

Remember Taxmageddon? It’ll make Sandy look like a tropical storm

The basics:

A horrifying combination of expiring pro-growth tax policies from 2001 and 2003, the end of the once-temporary payroll tax cut, and just a few of Obamacare’s 18 new tax hikes, Taxmageddon will be the largest tax increase EVER to hit Americans. It’s nearly $500 billion in one year, starting January 1. That’s two months away.

What that means per person:

  • Families with an average income of $70,662: tax increase of $4,138
  • Baby boomers with an average income of $95,099: tax increase of $4,223
  • Low-income workers with an average income of $24,757: tax increase of $1,207
  • Millennials with an average income of $23,917: tax increase of $1,099
  • Retirees with an average income of $42,553: tax increase of $857
  • One result you can count on:

    The businesses that would pay the higher tax rates proposed by President Obama earn almost all the income earned by small businesses that employ workers. According to President Obama’s own Treasury Department, these job creators earn 91 percent of the income earned by flow-through employer-businesses. These are the biggest, most successful small businesses. They employ more than half the private workforce, according to an Ernst and Young study. Raising their taxes would destroy more than 700,000 jobs.

    Meanwhile the guy in charge?  Well he’s got other things on his mind:

    It is worth recollecting the array of attacks from the Obama camp that failed to carry the day. Romney’s approval rating is now higher than Obama’s and the Obama team tried portraying Romney as: 1) the “vulture” capitalist; 2) a tax evader and/or a felon for signing (or not signing) Bain documents after he left to run the Olympics; 3) killer of Joe Soptic’s wife; 4) outsourcer of jobs to China; 5) determined to take contraception away from women; 6) ready to give a tax cut to the rich and hike middle-class taxes; 7) egging on the auto industry’s demise; 8) willing to throw granny over the cliff on Medicare; 9) President George W. Bush’s political twin; and 10) Big Bird terminator.

    Taxmageddon?  Yeah, not so much.  Romeny wants that, apparently.  No mention of the 18 ObamaCare taxes by our man.  Wonder why?  Jobs?  See result of Taxmageddon.  But he’ll tell you he’s focused like a laser beam.  Or is that Uncle Joe’s job?  Sequestration?  What’s that?

    He does have a shiny new booklet out that he calls “a plan”.  Nothing new, but lots of pictures.

    No sweat though … after the 700,000 jobs are destroyed, he’ll talk some more about a “Department of Business”, okay?

    ~McQ

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    Excuses for not covering Benghazi–a helpful list for members of the Jurassic Media

    There are rising calls for more reporting on the consular attack in Benghazi. Our poor press is beleaguered, and certainly too busy covering Sandy and the election to respond.

    In fact, they’re so busy they apparently can’t think up good excuses for not covering Benghazi. At least, I haven’t seen any reasons disclosed publicly. They just don’t seem to see, hear, or say anything about it.

    To help them out, I thought I would come up with a nice, prefab list of excuses. If any members of the media are reading, please feel free to use these. I’m sure QandO readers will add even more in the comments:

    • There’s really no need to go on site, because there’s video of the whole thing, shot from a drone. I’m sure we’ll see it very soon, probably about November 8. No, I’m not the least bit curious about why the Obama administration hasn’t released it yet. Why do you ask?
    • I just can’t see publicizing the whole seven hour standoff thing. We have enough superhero movies already.
    • Can’t get over there. SwissAir has no business class seats left.
    • Can’t face increasing my carbon footprint with a trip that long.
    • No Starbucks in Benghazi, and I hear the one in Tripoli is always out of pumpkin spice for lattes.
    • All these ghost-shaped Halloween cookies I baked would go to waste if I couldn’t give them to trick-or-treaters.
    • Sorry, I missed your question because I just came from a meeting with Obama. Let me wipe my mouth and then hear it again.
    • Putting something that violent in front of the public is not to be done lightly. Hey, we’re consistent about that. We didn’t show the pictures of George Zimmerman’s beating either.
    • Dead ambassador? Oh, yeah, I heard something about that. Something about a video that caused a riot. What a shame. But gosh, that was six weeks ago. Old news.
    • I’m afraid of politicizing that story this close to an election. Yeah, I did report Romney’s premature comments on it, and asked him a dozen times if he regrets his remarks. So?
    • Too busy writing my story about how Hurricane Sandy depressed Democratic voting in Philadelphia, so Obama losing Pennsylvania was an act of God. Certainly not a repudiation of Obama. Nope. No way.

    Seriously, I thought the media could not be any more disgraceful in their slavish covering for Obama. More fool I.

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    Economic Statistics for 31 Oct 12

    The following US economic statistics were announced today:

    The MBA mortgage applications report is delayed due to Hurricane Sandy.

    The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index rose 0.2 points in October to 49.9, compared to September’s 49.7, which was the first negative index of the "recovery", as any score below 50 indicates economic contraction.

    The employment cost index in the third quarter rose 0.4%, with the year-on-year rate up 2.0%.

    ~
    Dale Franks
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    Economic Statistics for 30 Oct 12 (Updated)

    The following US economic statistics were announced today:

    The State Street Investor Confidence Index fell a steep 6.7 points to 80.6, as investors’ risk appetite plummeted.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index in July showed a 0.5% monthly gain On a year-over-year basis, the index rose 2.0%.

    In weekly retail sales, Redbook is still delayed, but ICSC-Goldman reports a 0.5% weekly sales increase, but the year-on-year pace fell to 2.7%.

    ~
    Dale Franks
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    Gallup does some myth busting

    What is spin and what is fact out there right now? Well, if I had to guess, we’re in the 80 to 90% factor when talking about spin. Both campaigns are heavily engaged in trying to convince the public that the election is as they say it is.

    One of the more persistent bits of spin has been “early voting has heavily favored Obama”.

    I’m not sure how those who were tossing that little nugget out there were so sure, but that’s been the story. And obviously, it’s intent was to calm the waters, make it appear that Obama was in control and that his base was enthusiastic and out supporting him at the voting booth.

    Except it seems it may have been just that – spin.

    Gallup weighs in today with this:

    Hmmm.  That doesn’t at all track with the Obama spin does it?  In fact, it’s not even close.   The report says 15% of registered voters have voted.  And at this point, at least according to Gallup, Romney leads 52 to 46.  If true, that points to two problems for the Obama campaign (beside the fact that their claim seems to be hogwash) – 1) enthusiasm and 2) GOTV effort.  Not so hot in either category, huh?

    Yes, I know, there are all kinds of things that can be said about this, with “whys” and “wherefores”, caveats and whatever.

    However, given this, one thing should be clear – when the Obama campaign again claims they’re leading in early voting, they’ll have to come up with something to counter this, won’t they?

    And, speaking of spin, one could argue that perhaps … perhaps … the early voting indicates the possible outcome and it’s percentage.

    Heh …

    ~McQ

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    Economic Statistics for 29 Oct 12

    The following US economic statistics were announced today:

    Personal Income rose 0.4% in September while personal spending rose 0.8%. The PCE price index jumped 0.4%, while the core rate was more modest with a 0.1% rise. On a year-over-year basis, the PCE price index rose 1.7% at the core and headline levels.

    The Dallas Fed general business activity index in October rose 0.7 points to –0.9, indicating a slightly slower rate of contraction.

    ~
    Dale Franks
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    Benghazi: Cowardice and incompetence

    A deadly combination. If this election is about “trust” as Obama likes to say, then I trust him about as far as I could throw him.

    This lady does about as good a job as you’ll see laying it all out:

    Interesting footnote and something the Obama campaign has apparently forgotten:

    A strikingly similar story from across the pond proves that honesty in the wake of terrorist attacks matters to voters.

    On March 11, 2004, an al-Qaida terrorist cell bombed the commuter train system in Madrid, Spain. Nearly 200 people were killed.

    The attack came just three days before Spain’s prime ministerial election. At the time, incumbent Jose Maria Aznar was enjoying a small lead in the polls. But the attack changed everything — and Aznar ended up losing to challenger Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero by five points.

    Today, the consensus is that Aznar lost the election because of his mishandling and misrepresentation of the Madrid bombings. Aznar and his party claimed the bombings were the work of a Basque separatist organization, despite evidence to the contrary. The theory is that because Spain had recently entered the Iraq War — something that was unpopular with the Spanish electorate at the time — Aznar believed that admitting al-Qaida was behind the attack would damage his re-election chances.

    The parallel between the Madrid bombings and the Benghazi attack is obvious. Like the Madrid bombings, the Benghazi attack happened in the midst of a heated campaign season and was followed by confusion, false assertions, and — worse — misrepresentations by the very political leaders asking for the electorate’s trust.

    At the very least, the Obama administration bungled its response to the Benghazi attack. And the more information about the attack that surfaces, the worse President Obama looks.

    Indeed. Keep this alive, because it illustrates explicitly why Obama is not someone this country can trust.

    ~McQ

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    Why I don’t believe the polls

    It’s rather simple really. And the Washington Post provides the answer today:

    In the last three releases of the tracking poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, Obama has trailed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney among independent voters by between 16 and 20 percentage points.

    That’s a striking reversal from 2008, when Obama won independent voters, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, by eight points over Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

    And if Romney’s large margin among independents holds, it will be a break not just from 2008 but also from 2000 and 2004. In 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush won independents by 47 percent to 45 percent over Vice President Al Gore. Four years later, Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts essentially split unaffiliated voters, according to exit polls — 48 percent for Bush to 49 percent for Kerry. (Independents made up 27 percent of the vote in 2000 and 26 percent in 2004.)

    It is more than a “striking reversal”, it is an indicator of what other major demographics are demonstrating as well. A big shift away from Obama. So one of two things has to be true – the polls showing these big demographic shifts away from Obama are wrong, or the polls showing this to be a tight race with Obama slightly ahead or behind have to be wrong. They can’t both be right.

    When you add in the “atmospherics”, it is hard to believe this is a tight race. The enthusiasm for Obama isn’t there (and certainly not at all like it was in 2008), apparently the major demographics aren’t there and finally, even in the polls that do show a close race, the trend continues to be up for Romney.

    It still isn’t clear what demographic model the polls are using, but as I said in the podcast last night, if it is skewed with D+ anything, it is likely wrong.  If I had to guess I’d say a poll that isn’t skewing at least R+1 isn’t even in the same galaxy as this election.  The atmospherics, demographics and momentum, whether the left or MSM wants to admit it or not, are on the side of the GOP.  My guess is this doesn’t end up being a close election and that Democrats are not going to be happy with the outcome.

    ~McQ

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