How Do You Know Obama’s Lying?

His lips are moving:

FACT CHECK: Are rich taxed less than secretaries?
@ The Associated Press

There may be individual millionaires who pay taxes at rates lower than middle-income workers. In 2009, 1,470 households filed tax returns with incomes above $1 million yet paid no federal income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But that’s less than 1 percent of the nearly 237,000 returns with incomes above $1 million.

This year, households making more than $1 million will pay an average of 29.1 percent of their income in federal taxes, including income taxes, payroll taxes and other taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay an average of 15 percent of their income in federal taxes.

Lower-income households will pay less. For example, households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will pay an average of 12.5 percent of their income in federal taxes. Households making between $20,000 and $30,000 will pay 5.7 percent.

The latest IRS figures are a few years older — and limited to federal income taxes — but show much the same thing. In 2009, taxpayers who made $1 million or more paid on average 24.4 percent of their income in federal income taxes, according to the IRS.

Those making $100,000 to $125,000 paid on average 9.9 percent in federal income taxes. Those making $50,000 to $60,000 paid an average of 6.3 percent.

And yet Obama wants to base his tax policy on his best buddy’s anecdote. Boy, I really hope we can vote this guy out of office next year.


Not a Pivot; Just a Head-Fake

I’m Back

About a year ago I was in the hospital bedridden due to a severe cellulitis infection in my right foot. My brain was working however, so I had Stephanie set up a politics blog and started writing. After I got better, I had to go to work, so my blogging practically stopped (though my kids have taken up the slack).

I love my relatives, but some of them have an inability to see through the administration (and media) line. So below, I’ve written a blog on what I think is wrong with the Obama approach towards our economic problems and the need for job creation. I hope somebody will read it (besides Stephanie and Matthew).

Not Really a Pivot, Just a Head-Fake

Obama promised in August to “pivot” to focus on jobs. Turns out he didn’t. A pivot is a change in direction (hopefully towards something NEW that works.) The pivot was a 360 degree pivot right back to the same old, tired policies that haven’t worked any of the previous times he tried it in the last 2.5 years.

To create long term, effective employment, you need to have people make something new and useful. The current administration isn’t interested in creating new jobs; instead, Obama is interested in paying off his loyal followers by subsidizing their jobs with federal money. If you are a public sector employee, your job will be protected. If you are a private sector employee, you will be taxed to finance the public sector. Real jobs don’t need direction or subsidies from the federal government.

Obama’s other ideas force choices against the best hires. You’ll get reimbursed (a little) if you hire a worker who has been out of work longer regardless if he is the best choice. It turns out that it is OK, according to the President, to hire the guys who have been waiting longer because the purpose of government expenditures in his mind, is to spread fairness.

Moreover the President intends to keep adding time available for unemployment payments, so if you have to get in the back of the line, he will cover you for almost 2years (now) – or even longer if he has his way. Paying long term unemployment insurance is a bad idea. This sounds harsh, but if you want more of something, you subsidize it.

Don’t Believe What He Says; Watch What He Does

Obama himself said that raising taxes during a depression is a bad idea, but now the way he wants to pay for the same failed, tired ideas is to RAISE TAXES. If we need to free up money, let’s cut some things that really aren’t necessary and are a waste of our spending. Additionally, if he reduced some of the regulations that strangle business initiative, more private money could go to pay people to MAKE THINGS. A colleague of mine has proposed reducing regulations by doubling the size of the limit to be exempted from any and all regulation. For example, if a particular report isn’t required if you company is less than 25 employees, let’s change that to 50.  We can apply this principal for all exemptions based on size of company or size of gross income.

Finally, the great prevaricator claims to want free-trade pacts with Korea, Columbia and others. But Obama hasn’t sent them forward for approval because he is demanding cash for favored friends (union workers). He took the credit for reaching an agreement with South Korea, but HE hasn’t finished the job and sent it to Congress for ratification.

I have several relatives and friends who hear what Obama says, but never look at what he does, and think he is doing great. Because I’m old and cynical, I think he is attempting to hide his true intentions behind rhetorical sleight of hand.

Politics or Leadership

A news/opinion feature I read today states that the whole American Jobs Act has been created so nothing will pass, thereby enabling Obama to demagogue the Republicans as cold hearted during the 2012 campaign. But in fact, it is Obama’s policies that are cold and cruel.  The real result of Obama’s economic and government policies is a decrease in income for most “working class” Americans (especially for minorities), an increase in poverty (especially for children), and MORE people without health care. This is despite (or perhaps because of) his $3 billion stimulus so far, which gave us nothing but crushing national debt.

He wants to take credit for anything good and nothing bad. He won’t lead, but he wants to pay off his sycophants and loyal followers for additional votes in 2012. I believe he is philosophically inimical to the “American” way of life, which values individual responsibility and vigor, and wants to increase the dependent state to add more people who are dependent on HIM and his liberal followers for the basic necessities of life. His only real goal is to ensure his continued power for another four years.

What the Heck Is Sarbanes-Oxley…

… and why was Newt Gingrich so hopped up on repealing it during the Ames debate?

I’m a teacher, so by and large, my knowledge in re: how one starts and maintains a business comes from my reading. Strangely enough, though, I actually have some personal experience with Sarbanes-Oxley (henceforth abbreviated SOX), so allow me to try to explain what it is and what it means for American businesses:

In brief, SOX is a regulatory law that was passed in 2002 in reaction to the Enron and World Com scandals. Its intent was to tighten the financial reporting rules for public companies so that investor confidence could be restored. But – of course – like any other law that is passed in response to an embarrassment or disaster, SOX had quite a few unintended consequences.

Many years ago – before I started teaching – I had a crappy office job with a relatively large construction business, and during my tenure there, said company had to go through the process of becoming SOX compliant. Oh, God, was that a nightmare of truly epic proportions. Number one, the company had to buy new reporting software to keep track of their payroll, inventory, etc. Number two, everyone in the office had to be trained on that new software. Number three, new employees had to be hired to complete all the extra paperwork. Each one of these steps no doubt cost the company in question a significant sum of money. It also caused the company president of 20+ years to quit because he couldn’t handle the stress.

SOX imposes additional compliance costs on businesses (an average of $4 million plus annually), makes it harder for new public companies to get off the ground — and by the way, it also didn’t do anything to avert the 2008 fiscal crisis. So yeah — I can see why Newt is not in love with it.

This right here is everything that is wrong with this country in a nutshell.

I just got this in my e-mail box…a lovely way to begin an evening this pure white hot rage…really makes a guy feel centered before he starts work on his thesis.

Read it…stare in awe at the audacity and hopelessly out of touch rhetoric.

> Dear friend,Top 10 tips
> More than 10,000 people have joined us in urging President Obama to make our cars cleaner. Strong fuel efficiency standards could be the most important policy ever enacted to reduce our oil dependence and global warming pollution.
> Our oil dependence is a big problem that demands bold solutions, which is why we’re calling for a 60 mpg standard. But small changes can also add up to a big difference.
> Read below for our Top 10 Tips to use less oil and shrink your carbon footprint. Then share the list on Facebook to help your friends reduce their impact too.
> 1. Keep up on your vehicle maintenance. On average, an efficient engine could cut your gasoline use by over 46 gallons per year, saving you $139 and reducing your carbon footprint by 900 kilograms per year.
> 2. Keep your tires inflated and invest in low-rolling resistance tires. With well-inflated advanced tires, you’ll save over $50 per year on your gas bills.
> 3. Drive efficiently. Driving at a steady, reasonable pace can reduce your fuel use by as much as 15 percent. That means over $175 per year in savings on gasoline, and over a ton of carbon removed from the atmosphere per person.
> 4. Get rid of unnecessary weight in your car. Your fuel efficiency drops by 1 percent for every 100 pounds of stuff that you keep in your car, so it pays to clean out your trunk.
> 5. Carpool. Social networking websites like eRideShare have made it increasingly easy and convenient to match up with people with similar commutes. And companies such as NuRide offer discounts at restaurants, free tickets to events, and other rewards to commuters who carpool, vanpool or find other green ways to commute to work. [1]
> 6. Consider telecommuting as an alternative to the daily drive to work. New technologies are making it easier and easier to do more of your work from home. Working from home saves Americans an average of 46 minutes a day on their commute, which adds up to over 100 hours a year that would otherwise be wasted in traffic—more than the total vacation time many of us earn in a year.
> 7. Be efficient with your shopping and other travel. When you can walk, walk. When you have to drive, plan ahead and try to hit multiple stores in one trip. Shopping locally saves the gasoline consumed by trucks and ships transporting goods, and shopping online saves the gasoline costs of driving to the store.
> 8. When you purchase a car, consider its energy costs and impact on the environment. This summer alone, a 60 mpg car would save the average consumer over $500 at the pump. Plug-in electric vehicles, meanwhile, offer superior driving performance and can be operated for just pennies per mile while producing no tailpipe emissions.
> 9. Prioritize public transportation and walkable, mixed-use communities when you choose a home. Online resources such as the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index can help you figure out which neighborhoods have the most transportation choices. [2]
> 10. Tell your political leaders that you want real transportation alternatives to get us off oil. The first step is for President Obama to set fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles at 60 mpg by 2025. The second step is for Congress and state leaders to pass legislation that will provide more transportation alternatives, and invest in electric vehicles. Follow our campaign at our Twitter and Facebook pages and help get this country off oil.
> Help us get the word out by sharing this list on Facebook.

> Thanks for all your support.
> Sincerely,

Ben Wright
> Environment Massachusetts Advocate

Now…I have no problem with people passing around prudent suggestions for fuel economy…in this market, they can serve to help us get through the crushing Obama administration’s love of market controls on the energy industry. But it crosses the line when the entire article leads off with “we’re pushing for 60 mpg fuel efficiency standards” and finishes with “tip number 10…call you congressman and tell him to enact tough fuel standards!”

How about NO?!!! How about a big fat NO THANKS, asshole.

60 mph standards? This, right here, is everything that is wrong with America today. Washington doesn’t belong to the people anymore…it belongs to the PACs. And the PACs know not one good God damned thing about how normal Americans need to function on a daily basis…they’re largely run by ivy-league educated majors in public policy, sociology, political “science” and, yes, that most practical of all majors…English. The kinds of people who think it’s a GOOD idea to tell Americans that they should telecommute (that would be quite the trick if you’re a construction worker or a sales clerk) to work and only live within walking distance of their jobs whenever possible have never lived as ordinary Americans. They were privileged from birth, for the most part.

Hey, guess what, you pie in the sky wackos…some of us have to deal with REALITY.

And the REALITY…is that the market has not provided us with a feasible, affordable method of transportation that runs at 60 mpg. Not even my father’s hybrid has that kind of efficiency, and he paid a lot for it because he thought it was technologically cool (he’s a dork like that). And’s not that the market isn’t providing these options because Americans are too stupid to demand what’s best for them. The market hasn’t provided that kind of option because the technology to make it affordable simply does NOT exist yet!

Recent history is LITTERED with examples of our government and the governments of Europe and China and Japan attempting to FORCE the market to provide what they think the people need, and the result is always disastrous for the market and for us. The bottom line is…Ivy Tower Massachusetts elitists want you all living in urban neighborhoods, eating only the food that’s locally available – especially vegetarian and organic diets now, because those are superior! – and working either from home or very near your home. They want you to give up your freedom to travel. They want you trapped in your district. And they want you to think it’s a GOOD idea. Obama’s people even tried to convince Congress to pass an energy law that would TAX YOU for each mile that you traveled by car (auspiciously so that those mileage taxes could be used to maintain our vast road network…you know…the network no one in their right mind would use if they had to pay taxes every time they did). And these folks who think they know what’s good for us, whether we like it or not, they have nothing but contempt for what we ACTUALLY want.

Here it is, liberal elitists…here is what we want.

FREEDOM! Freedom to drive wherever the hell we want whenever we want. Freedom to load up the car and travel on road trips just for the hell of it! Freedom not to feel confined to rigid train or bus schedules. Freedom not to be forced to travel with a set carpool group with whom we may…or may not!…get along. Freedom to work in the ways that make the most sense to us. Freedom! That’s what we want. That’s why we’re “addicted” to fossil fuels. WE DON’T WANT TO LIVE LIKE THEY DO IN EUROPE! In overcrowded city streets with no air conditioning and no cars and narrow roads. That isn’t who we are.

You want to save the planet. Even if I granted that CO2 emissions from cars posed a large hazard to our environment in the near term (and I don’t…but let’s put that aside)…I laud you for caring about your environment and I urge you to push for laws that make sense to the common American…not to look down your noses at him/her and assume that they’re just too selfish or too stupid to know what’s good for them.

Push for LESS government favoritism for certain businesses…not more. Get rid of oil subsidies…get rid of FARM subsidies (so that small farms again become economically viable increasing local food supplies)…get rid of tech subsidies for “green jobs” (so that the real energy industry demands can force the market freely…I assure you, the result will be better than overpriced hybrid cars for which you get a tax break)…tell your Representatives to push for unfettered free markets…that will spur growth in the energy sector, reduce the cost of your gas, and AT THE SAME TIME…push us forward into the oil-free transportation alternatives that ACTUALLY MAKE SENSE for the average American. Be patient, you college know-it-all…it won’t happen overnight…but the best things in life don’t happen quickly and society won’t accept changes that are forced on them by fiat without consideration for their preferences.

In short…grow up..get the hell out of our way…and get a real job. You know..something that doesn’t involve whining and moaning in Washington about how pathetic the rest of us are and demanding impossibly unattainable things of American society. Like the nonexistent 60 mpg car that doesn’t cost 45 thousand dollars.

Horrors! I agree with Arianna Huffington????

I just thought I’d throw this out there…this is a quote from Arianna Huffington’s appearance on Cristiane Amanpour’s Sunday show:

The bigger point here is that the Republicans have won the greater debating point on the debt crisis in America. You see, they have convinced Americans, including Senate Democrats that the only way to balance our budget is to cut spending. President Obama’s position should have been to convince Americans that the only way to fix the debt problem was to fix the joblessness problem. That was his point to make and he never even made it!

I *gulp*…agree?…with…Arianna…Huff…I can’t even SAY IT! As horrible as it is for me to admit this disastrous turn of events…I agree with her. That the Republicans have won the debate on spending and fiscal reform in America, that is. Not that her position was the better one. But you probably already knew that.

Whatever the particulars of the deal…the GOP has convinced the American people that the only way to fix Washington corruption and erase the debt is to stop overspending our growth rate, and the President – who never once took a strong position in this debate, never once argued rationally and persuasively about why spending increases and tax hikes had a better chance to work than spending cuts and tax breaks, and never once made a real budget proposal – has lost his power. Oh he’ll still get to talk on national TV whenever he feels like it and the networks will still treat him like a chief executive and his supporters will still respect him…sort of…(though I can never figure out why). But he has ZERO power to inform policy decisions from now until the day he leaves office, whether that’s in 2013 or 2017. He is politically impotent.

Now here’s the kicker…the reason he lost is that he never had a debating leg to stand on. Democrats won’t realize this…they’ll assume he was just a bad choice to lead them and try again with the next charismatic PR front in 2017, but that is the ultimate reason for his utter failure as a President. We could point to his condescending tone, his tendency to anger even his supporters with bully tactics and overzealous self-importance. We could say the problem was his inexperience on this grandest of political stages. But that’s not the problem. The reason he doesn’t defend his position effectively is because there is no effective defense.

Anyone with a third grade education and a lifetime of experience dealing with their own finances can tell you that stealing money from other people won’t curry favors with those people in the future, that those who have the money are the ones from whom you need favors if you don’t believe in your own ability to create wealth, and that spending money you don’t have will come back to haunt you in the end. And contrary to his sneering, condescending opinion regarding most Americans…most of us do have third grade educations and much, much more. And most of us know how to balance our own checkbooks.

The particulars of the debt deal aren’t important. It’s just a band aid on a severed arm. EVERYONE…from Boehner to Ryan to Harry Reid knows that more action will be needed after the next election cycle. Whatever the particulars are…don’t worry about it…it’s only temporary. We’ve won the debate…Democrats will now spend 18 months desperately fighting rearguard actions to protect the gains they made in 2009 and 2010…there’ll be no time for more harmful legislation. And even if Obama the suit wins office again in 2013, I doubt the same will be true of Congress and the Senate. Let’s just win some elections in 2012 and make this bloody band aid into a tourniquet. Since we’ve won the debate…it should be a hell of a lot easier to win the war.

Thomas Sowell on Tax Cuts

Dissecting The Demagoguery About ‘Tax Cuts For The Rich’
by Thomas Sowell

High rates drive taxpayers into shelters.

Mellon pointed out that, under the high income-tax rates at the end of the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1921, vast sums of money had been put into tax shelters such as tax-exempt municipal bonds instead of being invested in the private economy, where this money would create more output, incomes and jobs — thereby producing higher tax revenues for the federal government.

It was an argument that would be made at various times over the years by others — and repeatedly evaded by attacks on a “trickle-down theory” found only in the rhetoric of opponents.

Sowell remains a reliable spokesperson for the conservative movement.

Replies to Leftwing Debt Demagoguery

Debt Ceiling Demagoguery:
How the GOP Can Win the War of Words

by David Cohen @ the Daily Caller

Can’t millionaires and billionaires afford to pay higher taxes? Of course they can. We don’t care if raising taxes would cramp the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous — they can choke on their caviar for all we care. What we care about is that the rich, who have the ability to make the investments that allow businesses to create jobs, will have less money to invest.

If millionaires and billionaires have less money to invest, can’t government investment make up for it? There are very few things that government does efficiently, and creating jobs isn’t one of them. It was recently estimated that the stimulus cost us $278,000 per job created, and that we could have saved $427 billion by simply giving each of these people a check for $100,000. And the stimulus has added $666 billion (so far) to the debt burden on our children and grandchildren. Sure, the government could suck more money out of our struggling economy and pump some of that money back into the economy in government’s disastrously inefficient manner, but here’s a better idea: just leave the money in the economy in the first place…

Go and read the rest. I think this article does a good job summarizing our position on taxes.

The Consequences of Obama’s Policies (and Class Warfare Baloney)

Economic Stagnation Explained at 30,000 Feet
by Stephen L. Carter

The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire.

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t know how much it will cost,” he explains. “How can I hire new workers today when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?”

He’s referring not to wages but to regulation: He has no way of telling what new rules will go into effect when. His business, although it covers several states, operates on low margins. He can’t afford to take the chance of losing what little profit there is to the next round of regulatory changes. And so he’s hiring nobody until he has some certainty about cost.


Jet Industry Furious at Obama
@ The Daily Caller

Much has been made of President Barack Obama’s repeated demonizing of corporate jets and the people who fly on them in his June 29th press conference.

While pundits and politicians haggle over whether alterations in the depreciation schedule of corporate jets will actually have an impact on the deficit, those in the general aviation trenches are furious.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPO) President Craig Fuller told The Daily Caller that Obama’s comments have cast a pall over the industry, causing many who were considering buying a plane to back away from making a purchase.

“The industry has suffered terribly in the last two and a half years and it has just started to recover. Most of the signs were starting to look good,” said Fuller. “We are so angry as an industry and we have all come together to try to bring a more fair and balanced description to the debate.”

Again, as SABR Matt said, we conservatives aren’t fighting “tax increases on the rich” because we want to give Joe Millionaire a chance to swim in his money at night. We’re fighting tax increases because those rich folks are job creators.

Remember, kids:

Our Glorious Economic Recovery!

Worries Grow Over Jobs
@ The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. economy added painfully few jobs for the second month in a row, undermining hopes that the sluggish recovery was getting back on track, depressing financial markets and putting new pressure on policy makers to come to the rescue.

The government’s broadest snapshot of employment showed the nation added just 18,000 jobs in June. Private-sector hiring slipped to its slowest pace in over a year, and government continued shedding workers. May’s equally disappointing job-creation number was cut in half.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 9.2%, from 9.1% in May. The report also showed that even more workers dropped out of the job market.

Oops. Maybe it’s not so glorious after all.

Take Note, GOP Contenders:

“When Greenberg tested messages trumpeting the recent rebound, or blaming the economy on Republican mismanagement before 2008, the results were dismal, he says. Voters did not want to hear it. They responded more positively to messages about long-term fixes, like rebuilding the middle class and taking on China, or moving beyond the politics of blame.” – Time

Challenge Obama, but make sure you have positive ideas of your own.