Our Only Answer is Bankruptcy

Our Only Answer is Bankruptcy

January 18th, 2011

Thomas Sowell, Investors Business Daily


(Thomas Sowell discusses abolishing the Fed on
Judge Napolitano’s show.
)
Government budget crises can be painful, but the political rhetoric
accompanying these crises can also be fascinating and revealing.
Perhaps the most famous American budget crisis was New York City’s, back
during the 1970s. When President Gerald Ford was unwilling to bail them out, the
famous headline in the New York Daily News read, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”
President Ford caved and bailed them out, after all. The rhetoric worked.
That is why so many other cities and states — not to mention the federal
government — have continued on with irresponsible spending, and are now facing
new budget crises, with no end in sight.
What would have happened if Ford had stuck to his guns and not set the
dangerous precedent of bailing out local irresponsibility with the taxpayers’
money? New York would have gone bankrupt. But millions of individuals and
organizations go bankrupt without dropping dead.
Bankruptcy conveys the plain facts that political rhetoric tries to conceal.
It tells people who depended on the bankrupt government that they can no longer
depend on that bankrupt government. It tells the voters who elected that
bankrupt government, with its big spending promises, that they made a bad
mistake that they would be wise to avoid making again in the future.
Legally, bankruptcy wipes out commitments made to public sector unions, whose
extravagant pay and pension contracts are bleeding municipal and state
governments dry. Is putting an end to political irresponsibility and legalized
union racketeering dropping dead?
Politics being what it is, we are sure to hear all sorts of doomsday rhetoric
at the thought of cutbacks in government spending. The poor will be starving in
the streets, to hear the politicians and the media tell it.
Party On
But the amount of money it would take to keep the poor from starving in the
streets is chump change compared to how much it would take to keep on feeding
unions, subsidized businesses and other special interests who are robbing the
taxpayers blind.
Letting armies of government employees retire in their 50s, to live for
decades on pensions larger than they were making when they were working, costs a
lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the streets.
Pouring the taxpayers’ money down a thousand bottomless pits of public and
private boondoggles costs a lot more than keeping the poor from starving in the
streets.
Bankruptcy says: “We just don’t have the money.” End of discussion.
Read
more
.

Hope, change, and helplessness

Hope, change, and helplessness

Thomas Lifson

The anniversary Barack Obama most dreads is approaching, providing stark evidence, even to his base, that he is way over his head when it comes to the responsibilities of governing.

That anniversary, of course, is, as Toby Harnden of the UK Telegraph reminds us:
…the same day he took the presidential oath a second time. It came in the form of a gravely worded executive order.
In it, Obama solemnly proclaimed: “The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order.”
The order was signed in the presence of a gaggle of retired senior military officers who had backed Mr Obama’s candidacy. One of them, Maj Gen Paul Eaton, declared January 22 a “blockbuster day”
It turns out that the presidency is a lot more complicated than Obama realized from his perspective as a mere talker. The devil is in the details, and in the case of Gitmo, little details like finding alternative places to keep dangerous terrorists are devilish indeed. Outright bribery secured a few slots overseas, most famously the 4 Uyghurs housed in perpetual vacation in Bermuda at US Taxpayer expense. No state in the United States was willing to risk housing these dangerous terrorists on its own soil, and the Democrat-dominated Congress refused to allocate funds for the purpose of tyransferring the prisoners to the mainland.
So Obama’s first executive order, regarded by his base as a solemn commitment, is now a colossal joke, evidence that he can’t accomplish even that over which he has executive powers. No doubt he would prefer that January 22nd come and go unremarked. But that isn’t in the cards, because there are actually lots of left wing Democrats who care passionately over the perceived injustices of holding enemy combatants until the war they launched is over.
Obama’s incompetence is what both left and right will memorialize in three weeks.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/hope_change_and_helplessness.html at January 02, 2011 – 12:21:54 PM CST

‘Barack Obama Was the Biggest Loser of 2010′

The World from Berlin

‘Barack Obama Was the Biggest Loser of 2010′

Obama leaves the White House on Wednesday, heading for his Christmas vacation on Hawaii.

Zoom
AFP

Obama leaves the White House on Wednesday, heading for his Christmas vacation on Hawaii.

After months of stalling, the US Senate has finally approved the New START disarmament treaty with Russia. The ratification is a major triumph for US President Barack Obama, but German commentators warn that it may be the last such success for a long time.

US President Barack Obama came to power promising a new era of bipartisan cooperation. But there has been precious little of that since he took office. Indeed, Republican opposition to Obama’s initiatives has been markedly vociferous.

Now, in a rare victory for the president, the US Congress has ratified the New START disarmament treaty, with Republican support. On Wednesday, the Senate approved the treaty, which had been stalled for months, by 71 votes to 26. At least 13 Republicans voted with the Democrats after being won over by Obama. The ratification is an important foreign policy triumph for Obama, who suffered a crushing defeat in November’s midterm elections.

The treaty, which Obama signed with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2010, involves Russia and the US cutting their stock of nuclear warheads by 30 percent and will also introduce a new mutual inspection regime. “This is the most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades,” Obama said. It replaces the START treaty, which was signed in 1991 and expired in December 2009.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Obama on the ratification. In a statement issued on Wednesday evening in Berlin, the chancellor said the treaty was an “important milestone in the development of a real partnership” with Russia. She also expressed her hope that further disarmament steps would follow the ratification of New START.

The two houses of the Russian parliament still need to ratify the treaty. The lower house, the Duma, might do so as early as Friday, the Duma’s speaker said Thursday.

On Thursday, German media commentators take a look at what the ratification means for Obama’s presidency.

SPIEGEL’s Washington correspondent Marc Hujer writes on SPIEGEL ONLINE:

“Barack Obama was the biggest loser of 2010. He allowed the angry Tea Party movement to grow powerful, he did not pass any decent laws despite his majority in Congress and he was aloof, elitist and indecisive. He had to accept a formidable, yet entirely understandable, defeat in the midterm elections as a result. No one expected much from Obama, at least not during the rest of this year.”

“Now, just days before Christmas, Congress has ratified the New START disarmament treaty with Russia. … Will Obama build on this victory? Is it Obama’s breakthrough as a president? Will it mark his comeback as a reformer? … Is a new era of cooperation beginning?”

“The opposite is much more probable, namely that the disarmament treaty will be Obama’s last significant achievement for a long time. In January, the new Congress will convene. The new representatives who won in the midterm elections will come to Washington, including those Tea Party activists who have little interest in making compromises with Obama. With them, Congress will move to the right …. Possibly the only reason why so many Republicans voted for Obama’s law was because they themselves fear the new era and see few chances of passing sensible, bipartisan laws in the new Congress.”

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

“All previous treaties between Washington and Moscow regarding strategic nuclear weapons are associated with names of a Republican presidents, such as Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Nevertheless, this time around, representatives of the Republican Party left no stone unturned in their bid to prevent the new disarmament treaty being passed by the Senate. Even though some of them may have had entirely legitimate concerns about the treaty on principle, or regarding its details, it was clear that the Republicans wanted to deprive Obama of one of his few demonstrable foreign policy successes. Half a dozen former Republican secretaries of state testified that the ratification of the New START treaty was in the national interest of the United States. But many senators were willing to put the supposed interests of the party over those of the country. How shameful!”

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“The ratification of the New START treaty is extremely important. The treaty guarantees that the number of nuclear weapons continues to fall, by an equal number on both sides, so that a dangerous imbalance does not arise. … It also refutes the accusation that the nuclear powers always demand that non-nuclear states do without atomic weapons, without disarming themselves. Even with the treaty, the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons remains just a hope. But a small step is better than nothing.”

“Barack Obama, who negotiated the treaty with Moscow, is justified in celebrating a major personal victory. Despite his serious defeat in the midterm elections, the US president invested a lot of political capital in order to get the treaty through the Senate. US voters are unlikely to thank him for it — they have other worries. But they should, at least for one day, feel a little proud of their president.”

– David Gordon Smith

INSANE! Reid: ‘But for Me, We’d be in World-Wide Depression.’

Senator Harry Reid boldly states that he is the savior of the world economy.   He is clearly frustrated that voters are not more appreciative of what’s he’s done for them.

Where would the world be without Harry Reid?
That’s The Question the World Needs To Ask, That’s right folks, according to Harry Reid, he alone saved us all from a world wide depression.
What Cave As He Been Living In? Is H. Reid totally Senile?
Please watch the interview and you decide.

 

http://www.breitbart.tv/reid-but-for-me-wed-be-in-world-wide-depression/

CEOs Threatened by Obama’s “Arrogant Ignorance”

CEOs Threatened by Obama’s “Arrogant Ignorance”

September 27th, 2010

Investors Business Daily

He doesn’t look or sound radical. President Obama, in fact, is so calm, almost regal, he makes government takeovers and redistribution schemes seem almost reasonable. But the facade is wearing thin.

Fortune 500 leaders who believed Obama’s moderate rhetoric, and even raised cash and voted for him, have soured on him. They now believe he’s bad for business and hostile to the American free enterprise system.

Even die-hard Obama fan Tom Wilson, head of Allstate, says the president could have used some executive experience on his all-academic economics team. Not a single former corporate executive is in Obama’s Cabinet or among his top economic advisers. “I think it was a hiring mistake for the administration,” Wilson told CNN last week.

Wilson also suggests Obama convene a summit with business leaders to clear the air. “I’d spend less time on the G-20 and more time on the U.S. 100,” he advised.

Problem is, CEOs have walked away from prior White House luncheons shocked at (1) Obama’s dismissive reaction as they try to explain the harm of his anti-business policies and (2) his shallow understanding of business and economic matters.

They’re not just put off by the president’s harsh depiction of “fat cat bankers” and other anti-business bashings. They’re more disturbed by his arrogant ignorance. “The truth is that not even the Franklin Roosevelt administration was as hostile to and ignorant about free enterprise as this administration is,” said publisher Steve Forbes.

Few before the election dared call Obama the “s” word. Independent voters, who ensured Obama’s victory, generally considered him to be a centrist or slightly left of center. Now they view him as extremely liberal. And by Democrats’ own polling, a solid majority — 55% — of all likely voters now think “socialist” is a more accurate way to describe Obama.

Hate to say we told you so. But we did.

Read more.

Barack Obama: The great jobs killer

Barack Obama: The great jobs killer

July 5th, 2010

By Wayne Allyn Root, Las Vegas Review-Journal

As former President Ronald Reagan might have said, “Obama, there you go again.”

The current occupant of the White House claims to know how to create jobs. He claims jobs have been created. But so far the score is Great Obama Depression 2.2 million lost jobs, Obama 0 — a blowout.

Obama is as hopeless, helpless, clueless and bankrupt of good ideas as the manager of the Chicago Cubs in late September. This “community organizer” knows as much about private-sector jobs as Pamela Anderson knows about nuclear physics.

It’s time to call Obama what he is: The Great Jobs Killer. With his massive spending and tax hikes — rewarding big government and big unions, while punishing taxpayers and business owners — Obama has killed jobs, he has killed motivation to create new jobs, he has killed the motivation to invest in new businesses, or expand old ones. With all this killing, Obama should be given the top spot on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

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Analyst: Obama has U.S. economy in ‘death spiral’

Analyst: Obama has U.S. economy in ‘death spiral’

July 5th, 2010

By Bob Unruh, World Net Daily

A new analysis of the U.S. economy shows that since 2007, the private sector has lost 10.5 million jobs while the public sector has added 720,000 jobs, creating a “death spiral” for the nation’s economy.

The study comes from The Free Enterprise Nation, a nonpartisan national membership/advocacy organization for individuals and businesses that make up the private sector.

The analysis was done using statistics about employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don’t wait until a collapse happens, get “Killing Wealth Freeing Wealth: How to Save America’s Economy and Your Own” now!

The recession of the last two years exacerbated the larger problem that already was in place, it revealed.

“Over the 10-year period between March 2000 and March 2010, the private sector lost over three million jobs, while the public sector gained nearly two million jobs,” the analysis concludes.

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“Historic” Rise in Taxation in 6 Mos.

“Historic” Rise in Taxation in 6 Mos.

Posted by Veronica (Profile)

Friday, July 2nd at 12:20PM EDT

53 Comments

We’ve been here before.

Americans For Tax Reform culled a few things from the List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions 2009-2020 off the government’s website:

In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect.  They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families.  These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).  The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  All the rates in between will also rise.  Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.  The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income.  The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.  The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.  The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax.  For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011.  The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011.  These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.  Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011.  They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit).  There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.  Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.  The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million.  These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.  The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000.  This will be cut all the way down to $25,000.  Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment.  In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place.  The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others.  Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available.  Tax credits for education will be limited.  Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.  Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.  Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.  The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA.  This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.”  This ability will no longer be there

Obama one of the best presidents evah! Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Obama one of the best presidents evah!

Rick Moran

Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Does Charlie Daniels play a real fast fiddle?

George W. Bush was no FDR, but Barack Obama could be.That’s the verdict of 238 of the nation’s leading presidential scholars, who – for a fifth time – rated Franklin Delano Roosevelt the best president ever in the latest Siena College Research Institute poll.

In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position – two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.

Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background.

“Most of the presidents came from elite backgrounds, and he certainly did not,” said professor Douglas Lonnstrom, who crunched the numbers. “He grew up without a father.”

I find this kind of thing fascinating. Not because they rank conservatives and Republicans lower, or that they made FDR #1 (that’s the narrative and they’re sticking to it). It’s that the nation’s public intellectuals operate so much in a cocoon that they don’t realize people are laughing at them when they make Barack Obama the 15th best president of all time, while giving him “high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination.” The evidence for any of that is so lacking that it obviously exists only in the minds of the respondents.

BTW – they rank Jimmy Carter 7 places higher (#32) than George Bush (#39).

Why Obamanomics Has Failed

Why Obamanomics Has Failed

June 30th, 2010

By ALLAN H. MELTZER, The Wall Street Journal

The administration’s stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.

But they want new stimulus measures—which is convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed. And so the U.S. was odd-man out at the G-20 meeting over the weekend, continuing to call for more government spending in the face of European resistance.

The contrast with President Reagan’s antirecession and pro-growth measures in 1981 is striking. Reagan reduced marginal and corporate tax rates and slowed the growth of nondefense spending. Recovery began about a year later. After 18 months, the economy grew more than 9% and it continued to expand above trend rates.

Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth.

Most of the earlier spending was a very short-term response to long-term problems. One piece financed temporary tax cuts. This was a mistake, and ignores the role of expectations in the economy. Economic theory predicts that temporary tax cuts have little effect on spending. Unless tax cuts are expected to last, consumers save the proceeds and pay down debt. Experience with past temporary tax reductions, as in the Carter and first Bush presidencies, confirms this outcome.

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