Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Government burden on our economy


How Washington Widens Gap Between The Rich And Poor

7 Comments
 Posted 
Critics of growing inequality who blame the market for distributing wealth unfairly and rewarding the rich at the neglect of the poor have it partially correct.
Everyone knows that in competitive markets, as in sports and academics, outcomes are not equal. The problem of flagging upward mobility is rooted in subpar economic growth and lackluster creation of the specific kind of job that leads to more and better opportunity.
Those who think government should fix this problem need to first recognize that Washington's current trajectory of regulatory and monetary policies has crimped economic growth and widened the gap between rich and poor.
While hidden, the costs of federal government regulations are now estimated at about $1.9 trillion annually — more than 11% of GDP and more than 50% of federal government spending. Which is to say that the real cost of the U.S. federal government is half again as much of the $3.6 trillion it actually spends, or almost a third of the nation's $17 trillion GDP.
The burden on the private economy is greater than official numbers suggest, and the costs of regulation are passed on to the consumer in higher prices.
The enormous hidden costs of regulation have been studied by John W. Dawson and John J. Seater in the Journal of Economic Growth. Their examination of the escalation of regulations, as documented in Federal Register since 1949, suggests that economic growth in the U.S. may have been reduced by as much as 2% annually.
Without that drag, the U.S. could be producing over $50 trillion in goods and services instead of its current $17 trillion, and average household monthly income could be four to six times its current $4,400.
Three basics about regulation, politics and the economy must be understood.
First, politicians perceive crises as opportunities to grandstand with supposed legislative fixes. But since new laws rarely fix the purported problems, politicians shift responsibility of their laws' rulemaking to unelected, unaccountable agency bureaucrats.
Second, regulatory costs are more burdensome for small firms than large enterprises.
Third, small companies create most new jobs.
Three major regulatory laws have expanded bureaucratic intrusion the most, having come about with the last two financial crisis-recessions and with restructuring 17% of the economy in health care reform.
The Sarbanes-Oxley law of 2002 was passed in response to the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the failure of Enron and WorldCom, which collapsed into bankruptcy due to fraudulent accounting practices. The SOX law, as it came to be known, created a daunting auditing regime imposed on every area of operations of all publicly listed companies on U.S. exchanges.
It added a minimum of $2 million to annual company costs, which was disproportionately more costly for small public companies and discouraged dynamic private companies from ramping up for IPO funding and stock exchange listing.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in response to the 2008 financial collapse. Although failing to fix either "too big to fail" or the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac duopoly, it did bring unprecedented expansion of power from Washington, rearranging the entire bank and financial-service regulatory chessboard — empowering new agencies and unelected bureaucrats to rewrite some 400 rules.
Four years later, nearly half those rules remain unfinalized, with 96 of the required rules — 24% of the total designated — neglected.
Like SOX, Dodd-Frank created enormous and prolonged regulatory uncertainty — prompting banks and financial institutions to shift resources and manpower to compliance, lawsuit defense and risk aversion, and away from loan origination and business.
On the heels of Dodd-Frank, President Obama and his party pushed through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — further expanding Washington's power in the guise of extending social welfare entitlements to provide health care for all. Turns out that ObamaCare and SOX have similar effects — causing small enterprises to limit growth and cap full-time employees to 49 to avoid costs of mandated health care coverage.
These three laws and their attendant regulatory expansion may have crimped more than 2% growth annually from the present recovery — thwarting both job gains and wage increases in unprecedented ways for average Americans.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's zero-interest-rate policy of the last five years has made the affluent wealthier, driving liquidity into stocks and hard assets — lifting prices to levels unwarranted by underlying normalized fundamentals. Here's how it works:
Most public companies reward highly paid executives with stock options and restricted stock, which create incentive to increase their company's stock price by boosting earnings. Even without top-line growth, management can increase per-share earnings through stock buybacks using corporate cash or issuing debt at cheap rates, courtesy of the Fed.
Fed-engineered money creation and low interest rates have helped create a stock market casino, prompting more and more companies to go all in with enlarged stock buyback programs to goose per-share earnings and elevate stock prices — wealth through financial engineering rather than increased productivity.
Artificially low interest rates have been equally beneficial for real estate investors, providing leverage to propel prices and transactions in an upward trajectory.
While the Fed says its policies have kept consumer prices in check for the working class, the real benefit has been inflating asset prices in the portfolios of the rich. Call them the 1% or the 2%, the rich are getting richer, courtesy of the ruling class in Washington, elected in large part by voters who have been fooled and left behind.
• Powell is senior fellow at Discovery Institute in Seattle and managing partner at RemingtonRand LLC.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Is all Politics local? Not when judges are in Obama's Control

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell
Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once said, "All politics is local." That may have been true in Tip O'Neill's day, but some elections are decisively on national issues — and the congressional elections this year are overwhelmingly national, just as the elections of 1860 were dominated by one national issue, namely slavery.
In 1860, some abolitionists split the anti-slavery vote by running their own candidate — who had no chance of winning — instead of supporting Abraham Lincoln, who was not pure enough for some abolitionists.
Lincoln got just 40% of the vote, though that turned out to be enough to win in a crowded field. But what a gamble with the fate of millions of human beings held as slaves! And for what? Symbolic political purity?
This year as well, there are third-party candidates complicating elections that can decide the fate of this nation for years to come. No candidate that irresponsible deserves any vote.
With all the cross-currents of political controversies raging today, what is the overriding national issue that makes this year's congressional elections so crucial?
That issue is whether, despite all the lawless edicts of President Obama, threatening one-man rule, we can still salvage enough of the Constitution to remain a free, democratic nation.
The 'Gift' That Keeps Giving
Barack Obama will be on his way out in two years, but if he can appoint enough federal judges who share his contempt for the Constitution's limits on federal government power in general, and presidential powers in particular, then the United States of America can continue on the path to becoming another banana republic, even after Obama has left the White House.
Obama understands how high the stakes are, which is why he is out fundraising all across the country — seemingly all the time — even though he has no more elections to face himself.
Obama came to power saying that he was going to fundamentally change the United States of America — and he intends to do it, even after he is gone, by giving lifetime appointments as federal judges to people who share his view that this country's institutions and values are fundamentally wrong, and need to be scrapped and replaced by his far-left vision.
If only Obama's critics and opponents understood this momentous issue as clearly as he does! The issue is whether "we the people," as designated by the Constitution, continue free to live our own lives as we see fit, and to determine what laws and policies we want to live under.


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/101314-721500-obama-is-counting-on-holding-senate-to-push-his-far-left-agenda.htm#ixzz3GcWT58UZ
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Writing from Victor Davis Hansen- Important viewpoint!


Obama Follows French Revolution To Transform America

At the end of the 18th century, there were two great Western revolutions — the American and the French. 
Americans opted for the freedom of the individual and divinely endowed absolute rights and values.

A quite different French version sought equality of result. French firebrands saw laws less as absolute, but instead as useful to the degree that they contributed to supposed social justice and coerced redistribution.
They ended up not with a Bill of Rights and separation of powers, but instead with mass executions and Napoleonic tyranny.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration is following more the French model than the American...
Read the entire article at Conservative Fifty-Plus Alliance

Monday, October 13, 2014

VOTING AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY

2012 we saw the election go to Obama. Most of our Tea Party Compatriots did not have a warm feeling about Romney many stayed home and did not vote. The better choice than Obama did not get elected and we stuck to our principles.
We are now at a point wherein the Democrats could lose control of the Senate.
We might have a situation similar to 2012. If we stick to our principles and some large number stay at home the Democrats could sweep to maintaining control of the Senate. Many people do not realize the a third of the Senate is up for grabs every two years. We can not wait another two years to dethrone Harry Reid. It is also important that we attempt to dethrone the D Party in our states and local governments.

I am not urging we move away from conservative views. An alternative could be vote by write in a conservative's name. This continues our problems and would give the control back to the Democrats.

Another option is contact the candidates by letter, telegram, E-mail, or in person . Tell them strongly that the only reason you will vote for them is if they adopt conservative principles. Plead with them to become openly right win; become bravely conservative.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola Yes, Bagpipes No

by Mark Steyn Steyn on America (full article here)

October 4, 2014 US Customs & Border Protection agents prepare to pat down a Canadian tourist discovered with a chocolate egg in his pocket 

In Texas the now deceased Thomas Eric Duncan has the distinction of being America's Patient Zero - the first but not the last person to develop Ebola symptoms in the United States. 

Is he a US citizen? No, he's Liberian. Is he a resident of the United States? No, he landed at Washington's Dulles Airport on September 20th, in order to visit his sister and having quit his job in Monrovia a few weeks earlier. 

So he's a single unemployed man with relatives in the US and no compelling reason to return to his native land. That alone is supposed to be cause for immigration scrutiny. In addition, visitors from Liberia have the fifth highest "visa overstay rate" in the United States. That's to say, they understand very clearly that all that matters is getting in. 

Once you're in, they'll never get you out. And, of course, Liberia is one of the hottest spots of Ebola's West African "hot zone". It's been all over the front pages, except apparently in The US Customs & Border Protection Staff Newsletter, where it rated a solitary "News In Brief" item at the foot of page 37. 

Just to give you an example of how hard-assed the boneheads of America's immigration bureaucracy can be when they want to: The legendary Gord Sinclair, longtime news director of CJAD in Montreal, had a ski place near Jay in northern Vermont, and he invited his engineer on the show to come down and visit him. 

"What's the purpose of your visit?" asked the agent at the small rural border post. "Oh, just a relaxing weekend at my boss' place," said Gord's colleague affably, and then chortled, "although I don't know if it'll be that relaxing. He'll probably have me out in the yard chopping wood all day." So the immigration agent refused him entry on the grounds that he would be working illegally in the United States.

(Read the full article here.)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Murdered Border Agent Brian Terry's Uncle Reacts to Timing of Eric Holder's Resignation in Light of Federal Court Decision

Cost of Surviving



Page C12 of the Sunday September 28, South Jersey Times has a unique tabulation reflecting how costs have affected middle class families. The indications beg the question; are we headed back to the misery index of 1980? For those who were not around or old enough to remember the index reflected the state of our economy. Those who do remember inflation was rampant. Items that had a unit price of $2.00, sold for $2.10 weeks later. Ten cents might not seem like much but over the course of a year the price increases are cumulative to the point of exasperation.

Currently we are hearing that inflation is not a current problem. All of the claims are made while the average wage is stagnant or decreasing. If inflation is not a problem, why has chicken breast price per pound gone from $1.99 to $2.49? The cost increase is twenty-five percent increase. The Health Care, which “you can keep”, has increased eighty five percent since 2000 to 2012. This was the period of RINO and Liberals. Child care has increased by thirty seven percent over the twelve years. All of the increases in cost have happened while the family net worth has fallen 17 percent during the 2010 to 2013 period.

When you examine the numbers since the last misery index of President Jimmy Carter the result shows that liberal policies have skewered the economy’s performance. Keep this in mind when you go to vote for the next election. Our cheap American Dollar Value attempts to make U.S. goods cheaper on the world market, while at home our costs soar. However liberal policies, such as health care, have reduced the number of workers, along with their income, as inflation is truly creeping in. Voters must remember the truth in November 2014.

See the full Associated Press article, on-line.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Liberal Mind Set

Copied from South Jersey times, September 25, 2014

Sugary Drinks
The liberal mind was behind the idea that government should limit the size of sugary drinks that people be allowed to buy in New York City, letter writer Ken Frank says. (Associated Press | Richard Drew)
  September 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM, updated September 24, 2014 at 3:55 PM




The liberal mind is a contorted illogical place. The liberal mind will defend to the death, the right of two men to join together in a new definition of marriage.  Yet, the liberal minds in New York City penned a law that prohibits the right of those same two men from buying a 17oz. soda or larger while dining.  

Liberal minds are behind the push to end smoking in work places, public places, and smoking all together, because smoking is bad for your health and the health of others.  However, out of that well intended, yet distorted mindset comes the push for the legalization of pot. Not only legalize it, but celebrate the idea of filling your lungs with it, holding it in your lungs till they're tortured, then release the smoke to the people standing nearby at public protests.

The liberal minds looks at the recent border crisis with children traveling many miles to illegally enter our country, and they bleed out of my TV set while decrying that we need to be more compassionate because we are dealing with children. Thus we need to ignore the law. The same liberal minds will time and time again vote to keep people in office that secure the right for mothers to prevent babies from crossing the threshold of life, never mind the crossing of borders, they are not let out of the womb to rest in their mothers arms.

The liberal mind is a convenient mind. It's the drive behind the counter-culture becoming the culture. The liberal mind has no long-term plan other than its own satisfaction. It makes no sense unless you contort and bend your thinking until you too are defending this senseless, soulless logic. There are dozens of examples like these. It's just too painful to contemplate them all.
KEN FRANK

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our President's FIRSTS


Quit trashing Obama's accomplishments.  
He has done more than any other President before him.  
Here is a list of his most impressive accomplishments:


1.      First President to be photographed smoking a joint.
2.      First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
3.      First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
4.      First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.
5.      First President to violate the War Powers Act.
6.      First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling  in the Gulf of Mexico.
7.      First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
8.      First President to spend a trillion dollars on "shovel-ready" jobs when there was no such thing as "shovel-ready" jobs.
9.      First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
10.  First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
11.  First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.
12.  First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees. 
13.  First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.
14.  First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space.
15.  First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer and to say that America is no longer a Christian nation.
16.  First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
17.  First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.
18.  First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.
19.  First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.
20.  First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).
21.  First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
22.  First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal).
23.  First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
24.  First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.
25.  First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists.
26.  First President to golf more than 150 separate times in his five years in office.
27.  First President to hide his birth, medical, educational and travel records.
28.  First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.
29.  First President to go on multiple "global apology tours" and concurrent "insult our friends" tours.
30.  First President to go on over 17 lavish vacations, in addition to date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends paid for by the taxpayers.
31.  First President to have personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.
32.  First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.
33.  First President to fly in a personal trainer from Chicago at least once a week at taxpayer
expense.
34.  First President to repeat the Quran and tell us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.
35.  First President to side with a foreign nation over one of the American 50 states (Mexico vs Arizona).
36.  First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they "volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences."
37.  Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion.