Corporatism vs. Capitalism

This image makes excellent and foundational points about why increased regulations rarely solve problems.  Why?  Because when you peel back the layers, the large corporations turn out to be the authors and the beneficiaries of the regulations.

There are many ways to do that.  Even in business, requests for goods and services are often subtly tailored to steer purchases towards certain vendors.  The same thing happens in government.  The IRS exceptions or language for certain laws may not mention a corporation by name, but it just so “happens” that the preferred corporation is the only one meeting the criteria.

The winners are the large corporations and the politicians that they essentially pay off during the process.  The losers are the smaller businesses, the consumers and the taxpayers (of course those three overlap in places).

And once regulations are in place then two things are nearly certain: They will never disappear and they will continue to grow.

This also applies to the bailout / “too big to fail” nonsense.  What do you think would happen if you could go to Vegas knowing that you would get to keep any winnings but that taxpayers would pay for any losses?

When in doubt, always go with less government and less regulations.

Roundup

This is disappointing but not surprising: Great news: Congress unanimously repeals transparency requirement on stock transactions for … Congress – if you do this, you go to jail.  If Congress does it — and they have done it a lot — they get rich.

Even If It Saves Just One Life: Abortion Regulation NOW

Kermit Gosnell is charged with multiple counts of murder and his motley crue of poorly-trained, unprofessional staff has testified to the number of large, live infants he brutally murdered with the snip of scissors in his clinic. The time has come to have a national conversation about sensible abortion control.

Said the President after Sandy Hook:

“No law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. But if there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save, we’ve got an obligation to try.”

I agree. We need sensible abortion control. Think of how many classrooms of children lost their lives at the hands of Gosnell. The difference between Gosnell and some other abortionists is that Gosnell was caught. Gosnell didn’t use an AR-15 to snuff out the lives of these live infants. He assaulted them with scissors. Too many to count. There is a photo of one child (via the grand jury testimony) stuffed into a shoebox like a pet hamster. His little legs were too big so they hung out over the sides. Just one life.

Remember, the real issue in the Gosnell case isn’t that he killed babies 30 seconds too late and ran a filthy clinic.  Abortionists kill babies for a living, so why would anyone ever be surprised that they would bend the rules on timing, cleanliness, caring for women, etc.?

The real issue is the political and media blackout.  Deep down they know that he isn’t that unusual, so they can’t draw attention to the morally insignificant time between legal abortions and infanticide.

And they definitely don’t people to know that President Obama and Planned Parenthood are unequivocally on record for the right of abortionists to kill babies who survive abortions.  

Also remember not to let them preach to you about gun control until they address this topic and the media,  political and church silence.  If they really cared about children they would do something about this instead of consciously ignoring it.

And remember that according to the Left, all of these things and more are obviously racist, but Kermit Gosnell giving preferential treatment to white women when he killed their babies is not.  Check.

Speaking of the media hiding stories, have you heard about Connecticut ‘Married’ Homosexuals George Harasz and Douglas Wirth Face Trial for Allegedly Raping their Own Adopted Boys?  Didn’t think so.

Professor Calls Republicans Stupid & Racist – among other things.  Too bad for him that a student caught it all on camera.  I hope this gets other professors to think twice before being so transparently biases.  I watched some of it.  He’s quite the Liberal mouthpiece.  I would love to see retired conservatives audit classes like this and set theses guys straight.  Or at least ensure they have some adult supervision.

Remember, people pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to get indoctrinated like this.  You do not need his “information” to be a productive member of society or to keep a real job.

And the theological liberals abuse the word love, as the quote below hints.  It isn’t loving to lie about what God said in his word, to offer a beer to an alcoholic, to encourage someone with same-sex attraction to act on those impulses, or to encourage a scared mother to kill her child.

Planned Parenthood’s charming founder.

Ivy League school doesn’t accept Advanced Placement credits — good news or bad?

Via U News: Ivy League school no longer accepts Advanced Placement credits. Will this be a trend? – They tried to rationalize it from an education standpoint, but that is a joke.  The AP tests are standardized, which would mean that it wouldn’t matter what high school someone went to.  They either knew the material or they didn’t.  And the college pretends that they have something special to offer in basic classes like history, English, etc. that no one else has access to. Sure.

This is about money: They want you to pay $50,000 per year to take basic courses, which is ridiculous.

I highly encourage people to take dual-credit classes at their local community college.  The community colleges cost a fraction of the state schools, and if you are a high school student they cost almost nothing.  If you home school you can graduate high school with almost a year’s worth of credits.

The good news is that the college model is starting to crack.  It simply can’t stand another 10-20 years of cost increases that are multiples of inflation.  It is a bad move that they are taking away AP credits, but good news that they may drive people to more cost-effective solutions.

Roundup

 

Safeguards schmafeguards: “a little wave and they were gone” – the creepy, evil and inevitable expansion of euthanasia.  It isn’t a slippery slope in the fallacious sense.  It is a “cliff” in the sense that the reasoning used to justify the original euthanasia exceptions (reducing suffering, some lives not worth living, etc.) provide the foundation for the scope creep.

[Two 45 yr. old brothers born deaf] chose to be euthanized when they learned they were going blind. Dufour gave them each a lethal injection 11 days before Christmas.

In 2000, Holland became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia. Two years later, Belgium followed suit, legalizing euthanasia for people over 18. The law requires that the person wishing to end his or her life is able to make that wish clear, and a doctor must judge that the person is suffering “unbearable pain.”

It’s worth paying attention to how euthanasia works in countries where it’s legal. Because with the legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon, Washington and Montana, we’re on that  road as well.

And how it works is that once a law is in place, the safeguards in it are quickly swept aside–or simply ignored.

Euthanasia: an “ever-widening interpretation” of the law

Notice that the Belgian law stipulates that the person must be suffering unbearable pain. The twins were neither terminally ill, nor apparently in any physical pain. They probably were depressed–understandably–at the thought of losing their sight.

But since when is depression a capital offense?

. . .

And now the Belgian government is considering a law that would extend legal euthanasia to children–”if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate”–and people with dementia.

An incurable illness. Like, say, blindness? Epilepsy is incurable, too, and dwarfism, and developmental disabilities, and a host of other conditions.

. . .

A civilized society offers comfort, help and care in such a situation. One descending into barbarism offers simply death instead.

Coca-Cola has a new anti-obesity commercial.  Oddly, there are no fat people in it.  Friendly reminder: If you exert less effort than people have typically done throughout history and you consume lots of caffeinated sugar water instead of regular water, bad things might happen.  Sodas should only be used as treats, never a part of a regular diet. 

Chicago United Methodist Bishop Misrepresents Denomination’s Position – she lobbies for “same-sex marriage” even though her denomination explicitly opposes those. 

She isn’t qualified to be a Bishop. Or a pastor. Or a lay leader. Or even a member. She is on the anti-biblical side of the most straight-forward and important issue in her denomination today (because it is splitting the church). She is shaking her fist at God 24×7 in rebellion and mocking her employer. It is as if a salesman for HP publicly said that people should buy Dell. Good for them to expose how deceptive she is being.

NAIVE LEGISLTORS ON GUN CONTROL – Mike has a great summary of their mistaken positions.  Sample:

2) “At what point do you say, ‘No more innocent loss of life’?”

Hey, innocent people have been dying since the dawn of time; and they always will.  It’s part and parcel to the fallen nature of humanity.  I wonder if cavemen put strict stick and rock possession laws on their books when there were mass stonings and clubbings?  No, they probably served swift justice on the violators.
By the way, do legislators recall the details of the 9/11 attacks?  What brought down those twin towers in New York…airplanes.  Not guns — not clubs or rocks — but airplanes.  And what brought down those big airplanes?  Not guns.  Not potato cannons.  But box cutters.  When used skillfully, darn near anything is a viable weapon.

Also keep in mind that those shouting for no more innocent loss of life are 99% likely to be pro-abortion.

Let Freedom Ring – Great points about how the inability of any authentic (read: Bible-believing) Christian to say the inaugural prayer is not such a bad thing.  Now people can quit kidding themselves that the opposition has any desire for compromise or rationality.  Pick a side and go with it.  Here’s part of it, go read it all.

Let us be free from the false hope that heroic deeds and quiet agreeableness can atone for the sin of orthodox conviction.

Let us be free from the wishful thinking that good works and good manners can appease the Great God Tolerance.

Let us be free from the misplaced assumption that faithfulness to God can go hand in hand with worldly congratulation.

If it is “anti-gay” to believe that the normativity of male-female sexual union is taught by nature and nature’s God then let us wear a Scarlet Letter around our necks. Christ bore much worse.

If the culture of free love is going to hate those who believe marriage was made with God-given limits then let the opprobrium fall on us. We will despise the shame.

If henceforth we shall be considered the scum of the earth for believing what the Church has taught for 2000 years then let us be the scent of death to some. We shall be the aroma of life to others.

And lest anyone think this is a call to arms or a manifesto of malediction, it is not. If we are reviled, we shall not revile in return. If we are hated we shall pray to God for more love. If we are excluded from polite society, we will still include all Christ-exalting, Bible-believing, broken hearted sinners in the fellowship of the redeemed. And if we are esteemed by some as better off dead, we will not cease to offer the words of life.

We will not stop serving where we can. We will not stop repenting when we sin. We will not stop speaking the truth about our Lord and about his law.

There are likely far bigger disappointments to come than the one that dropped last Thursday. We did not choose this culture war and it is not about to leave us alone. The media, the academy, the government, the libertine elite–they may sully our reputation and shame our convictions, but they cannot steal our joy. We can pray more, sing more, and smile more than any of the party-goers making mud pies in the slums. We do not have to fit in down here so long as we fit in up there. We do not need a president’s approval if we have the affection of our King. Our hearts and our Bibles are wide open. Our salvation is firm. Let freedom ring.

Some excellent time management tips – I’d summarize lots of them with the O-H-I-O theme: Only Handle It Once.  Have a system to do something with whatever email or paper you come across.  I do that well sometimes.  When I don’t, I waste lots of time.

What should Christians think about global warming?  A good list of questions to ask.

  1. Is the earth warming?
  2. If the earth is warming, is human activity (like carbon dioxide emissions) causing it?
  3. If the earth is warming, and we’re causing it, is that bad overall?
  4. If the earth is warming, we’re causing it, and that’s bad, would any of the proposed “solutions” (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol, legislative restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions) make any difference?

I would add one: Are the people advancing the global warming / global climate change policies profiting from them?

A great set of graphs showing the growth of government spending and who really pays taxes — All the Numbers You Always Wanted on Government Spending (But Were Afraid to Ask).  Here’s an example.  Anyone think this is sustainable?

Government Keeps Growing

In 1902 (the first year for which data are available), government spending in America (federal, state, and local—all of it, combined) took up only 6.9% of the economy (GDP); in 2010 (the last year for which data are available), it was 41.0%.

In other words, in just a few generations, the government has gone from well under a tenth to representing more than two fifths of all economic activity in the country.

Growth of Government (Combined) over the Twentieth Century

Good doom.

In fact, the best doom I’ve heard of in a long time — Governor Walker’s Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions – Forbes.

In 1959 Wisconsin became the first state to allow collective bargaining by government employees. The projected cost of supporting Baby Boomer union retirees now threatens to bankrupt the state, as it does many others. Scott Walker ran for office promising change. The fiscal medicine he is administering may be bitter, but it looks like it is starting to work.  The state budget has been balanced.  The unemployment rate has been dropping and is now below the national average. Property taxes are down. Fraudulent sick leave policies—which allowed employees to call in sick and then work the next shift for overtime pay—have been ended. The government has stopped forcibly collecting union dues from workers’ paychecks.

It gets better:

Best of all, the myth that union bosses represent their members’ interests has been exposed as a lie. Now that union dues are voluntary, tens of thousands of union members have stopped paying them.  Membership in the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) has dropped by half. Membership in the state’s American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is down by over a third. Given unions’ influential role in most elections, the national implications of this trend are staggering.

Walker’s message is clear: The key to bringing balance back to public sector labor relations and balance state budgets is to break the iron triangle of closed-shop mandatory unionization, compulsory dues collection, and oversized campaign donations to politicians that promise to do the unions’ bidding. If other governors take his cue and take up the cause, that giant sucking sound you hear will be the air coming out of union bosses’ bloated political action budgets.

. . .

The power of private sector unions was long ago broken by many heavily unionized companies going bankrupt. While this was painful for both workers and shareholders, the economy motored on as nimbler non-union competitors picked up the slack. This approach is problematic for the public sector because bankrupt state and local governments cannot be replaced by competitors waiting in the wings. Yes, citizens can always vote with their feet, emptying out cities like Detroit, leaving the blighted wreckage behind. But isn’t Walker’s targeted fiscal retrenchment less painful than scorched-earth abandonment?

Chicago machine candidate Barack Obama rode into office to the tune of Hail to the Chief, promising the unions that backed him the gift of card check elections, ending the secret ballot that shields employees from union intimidation. He may well ride into retirement to the tune of On Wisconsin as the era of closed shop unionism comes to an end.

Hopefully this will embolden other governors to scale back the ridiculous, unsustainable union wages and benefits. If other states will follow the Wisconsin lead all at once then the unions won’t be able to channel all their $$ to just one state. Public sector unions should be illegal. You shouldn’t be able to donate a small amount to your boss so he can take a large amount from your ideological foes to give to you, and then repeat the process over and over.  And remember that many of those public sector union employees are indoctrinating the students in their Liberalism.

Coming soon to a country near you

It is just a matter of time for any entitlement state.  People will vote for free money (well, free to them, at least) and would rather see the country go down in flames (literally and figuratively) than give up some of their extravagant benefits.  Via Greek lawmakers approve austerity bill as Athens burns.  (Hat tip: Lone Wolf Archer
)

The Greek parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.

Yep.  That’s what unions and entitled people do.  Remember Wisconsin?

Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament.

. . .

“Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won’t be tolerated,” he told parliament as it prepared to vote on the new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a chaotic bankruptcy.

Papademos told lawmakers shortly before they voted that they would be gravely mistaken if they rejected the package that demands deep pay, pension and job cuts, as this would threaten Greece’s place in the European mainstream.

Too late, I’m afraid.

“It would be a huge historical injustice if the country from which European culture sprang … reached bankruptcy and was led, due to one more mistake, to national isolation and national despair,” he said.

It will be a greater historical injustice if politicians on both sides succeed in destroying the U.S. because they were too gutless and/or incompetent to cut entitlements while we still have time.

“We are facing destruction. Our country, our home, has become ripe for burning, the centre of Athens is in flames. We cannot allow populism to burn our country down,” conservative lawmaker Costis Hatzidakis told parliament.

The air in Syntagma Square outside parliament was thick with tear gas as riot police fought running battles with youths who smashed marble balustrades and hurled stones and petrol bombs.

Remember this important graph.  The real purpose of government — defense, keeping an orderly society and manage a reliable currency — could be more than paid for with our current tax receipts.  But the entitlement spending dwarfs those costs and ensure that entitlement spending will grow.

 

Remember the cycle: Politicians and public sector unions funnel cash to each other — cash that they got from taxpayers.  They have no reason to change anything, and every reason to grow.

We need to elect some adults who will do something about this.

Some good ideas for the college loan problem

Hey, if you want to get a degree in a field with little or no demand* then don’t be surprised if you end up with a lot of debt and no job.

The government has been the problem here, not the solution.  The part in bold is a must-read, as it gives a simple explanation of how the government has wreaked havoc with the student loan crisis and the housing crisis in typical “ignoring human nature and the law of unintended consequences” style.  Via Glenn Reynolds: Let’s put colleges on the hook for loans that their students can’t repay:

How do you solve the problem of young adults earning worthless degrees and a truckload of debt? Three ways. One: The Chinese way, which, while characteristically direct, is probably too authoritarian for most Americans’ tastes. Two: End federal student loans. Let kids take their chances with private lenders, who’ll need assurances up front before they lay out the cash that they’ll get a return on their investment after graduation. This idea would, I assume, die a grisly death after the first round of “all Jimmy/Sally wanted to do was go to State but he/she couldn’t get the money” stories. Three: The Reynolds way.

This is a simple case of inflation: When you artificially pump up the supply of something (whether it’s currency or diplomas), the value drops. The reason why a bachelor’s degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability is that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor’s degrees.

There’s something of a pattern here. The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them. One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers…

For higher education, the solution is more value for less money. Student loans, if they are to continue, should be made dischargeable in bankruptcy after five years — but with the school that received the money on the hook for all or part of the unpaid balance.

* that is, degrees such as Lesbian Astrology (it is possible I made that up) or Women’s Studies (sadly, I didn’t make that up).

The Isle of Deserta exercise, or how a bunch of 7th graders are better at setting up a society than our politicians

For 12 years, I taught Junior Achievement classes to nearly every grade from K-12, but the Junior High classes were my favorites (I was as surprised as you are).  They weren’t too cool to take part and had a lot of energy.  They were quick to pick up business concepts such as supply and demand and even the elasticity of supply and demand (e.g., insulin has inelastic demand because no matter how low the price goes non-diabetics won’t buy it, but iPods have elastic demand because the lower the price the more people will buy).  Even the non-egghead kids understood the concepts and actively participated in the lessons.

One of my favorite exercises was the Isle of Deserta.  The kids pretended that they had won a trip to an exotic vacation paradise and would describe what they would pack.  Once they got there they discovered that the island was deserted and they had to figure out how to survive (the exercise predated the Survivor TV show but had a similar concept).

They always created a consistently logical and workable society, but with the proper controls to ensure that it was sustainable.  They realized that it was better to split up jobs to those most qualified and interested, such as some doing the fishing / gathering and others doing cooking and cleaning, as opposed to having everyone fend for themselves.

When asked what they would do for those who could work but refused to, the immediate reaction was something like “Make them shark bait!”  But what about an injured person who couldn’t help?  “We’ll take care of them and give them food anyway.”  What if the person gets better but doesn’t want to work? “Shark bait!”

They intuitively knew that a society should care for the weak and needy, but that it couldn’t survive if able-bodied people shared in the benefits but not the workload.

Even the Bible notes that, although the false teachers pretend this verse isn’t there or isn’t from God:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

One of my favorite moments was when a girl went against her peers and insisted that everyone should get the same food and benefits regardless of how hard he or she worked.  She was most adamant about this point, so I let her share her minority view.

But at the end of the lesson when I went to pass out some candy for their overall good behavior (Jolly Ranchers, the official candy of Junior Achievement), she pleaded for extras because she had participated more than the others.  At first I thought she was kidding, but she didn’t catch the irony of her request.  I didn’t want to embarrass her, but it was a teachable moment to point out that she was now proposing a system that was the opposite of her previous submission.  I hope the lesson wasn’t lost on her, and that I cured her of her liberal inconsistencies!

The 7th graders intuitively understood the basics of human nature, especially when the situations were stripped of politics and sound bites.  It is noble and right to help the truly weak, such as widows, orphans and the disabled, but a system without controls and accountability is doomed to fail.  And a system full of entitlements, political payoffs and incentives not to do your best is doomed to fail more quickly.

I say with all seriousness that our country would be much better off if everyone, including every elected official, had to take Junior High level Junior Achievement classes.

Two easy pictures: How the welfare state begins and ends

It is disappointing to see how people think the Greece situation is some sort of anomaly that could never happen here. But it is only a matter of time. Look at the reactions in Wisconsin and Occupy Wall Street when the entitlement crowd was asked to give up a small part of their higher-than-market-rate benefits.

See Two Pictures that Perfectly Capture the Rise and Fall of the Welfare State:

These images are remarkably accurate. The welfare state starts with small programs targeted at a handful of genuinely needy people. But as  politicians figure out the electoral benefits of expanding programs and people figure out the that they can let others work on their behalf, the ratio of producers to consumers begins to worsen.

Eventually, even though the moochers and looters should realize that it is not in their interest to over-burden the people pulling the wagon, the entire system breaks down.

Then things get really interesting. Small nations such as Greece can rely on permanent bailouts from bigger countries and the IMF, but sooner or later, as larger nations begin to go bankrupt, that approach won’t be feasible.

Here are some lessons from the European crisis that would help us, if only the voters would come to their senses and elect some leaders with the courage to carry them out, instead of continually electing people who fail at basic economics:

1. Higher taxes lead to higher spending, not lower deficits. Miss Morandotti looks at the evidence from Europe and shows that politicians almost always claim that higher taxes will be used to reduce red ink, but the inevitable result is bigger government. This is a lesson that gullible Republicans need to learn – especially since some of them want to acquiesce to a tax hike as part of the “Supercommitee” negotiations.

2. A value-added tax would be a disaster. This was music to my ears sinceI have repeatedly warned that the statists won’t be able to impose a European-style welfare state in the United States without first imposing this European-style money machine for big government.

3. A welfare state cripples the human spirit. This was the point eloquently made by Hadley Heath of the Independent Women’s Forum in a recent video.

4. Nations reach a point of no return when the number of people mooching off government exceeds the number of people producing. Indeed, Miss Morandotti drew these two cartoons showing how the welfare state inevitably leads to fiscal collapse.

5. Bailouts don’t work. This also was a powerful lesson. Imagine howmuch better things would be in Europe if Greece never received an initial bailout. Much less money would have been flushed down the toilet and this tough-love approach would have sent a very positive message to nations such as Portugal, Italy, and Spain about the danger of continued excessive spending.

Why should you care about what is happening in Steubenville, Ohio?

Because it is A Model Of Economic Success.  Hint: Not because of “Green” jobs paid for by crony capitalism.

More than 300 new jobs have already come to the Steubenville area. And as many as 10,000 more are expected in the next three years. If jobs keep growing at this pace, every adult in Steubenville could be working by April.

Can you guess why? If you guess “green” jobs, nope, sorry

Two huge shale formations — the Marcellus and Utica — lay underneath a five-state region. Steubenville sits right on the epicenter of the Marcellus formation, ready to absorb all the new positions needed to open new and repurposed old wells.

Why, yes, fossil fuels. And people are relocating to…Steubenville, Ohio. Lots of people. For good paying jobs. Really good paying jobs. And the people really could care less about the “environmental impacts,” and the controversy over fracking.

“It’s peace of mind … knowing that when the money comes we’ll be able to put money away for college for the kids, pay off some debts,” said Monica Wetherell.

And let’s not forget something else

The boom doesn’t end with the drilling jobs. There were bright spots visible all over the town. A few weeks ago, Scaffidi’s restaurant needed only had 25 seats. Now, there are seven times more people coming in for lunch. The boom is also expected to mean more businesses, more teachers and more hotels. Everyone seems to be cashing in.

It is basic economics, folks.

Hey, I agree with the President!

It was bound to happen sometime.  I’m always looking for common ground.

This is going to leave a mark.  From July 3, 2008:

The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.  (Via Obama Admits He Is More Unpatriotic Than Bush!.)

So if adding $4 trillion in 8 years is really, really bad (and I think it was — Bush spent way too much!), and Obama has added $4 trillion in less than three years, then . . . ouch.

And it gets worse: Remember that Bush spent less than Democrats wanted and Obama would have run the debt even higher if not for those “evil” Tea Partiers stopping him.

I have a feeling you may be seeing this video in commercials.  Of course, the President will blame Bush, and bad luck, and ATMs, and Bush.

Update: Here’s a little collection of failed promises.  He must be very tired, because he insists he won’t rest until he solves the jobs problem.

Greetings from Mt. Perspective

Courtesy of commenter Sunday School Teacher:

The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so we created a breakdown of federal spending in simple terms. Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:

U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)

It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.

Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Amount cut from the budget: $385

As the Left likes to say — including false teaching “Christians” — budgets are moral documents.  And our current budget is immoral.  This simply can’t last.  As Ann Coulter notes:

The entire Democratic Party is currently promising to “save” Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in their present form. According to Obama’s own Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, in less than 10 years, spending on those three entitlement programs, plus servicing the national debt, will consume 92 cents of every dollar in the federal budget.

The Democrats are openly lying to voters. It is a mathematical impossibility for these programs to continue without major reform now, or complete bankruptcy later — and not very much later.

But Democrats’ real achievement has been in destroying the family, and thereby creating an endless supply of potential rioters.

When blacks were only four generations out of slavery, their illegitimacy rate was about 23 percent (lower than the white illegitimacy rate is now). Then Democrats decided to help them! Barely two generations since LBJ’s Great Society programs began, the black illegitimacy rate has tripled to 72 percent.

Meanwhile, the white illegitimacy rate has septupled, from 4 percent to 29 percent.

Instead of a “War on Poverty,” it should have been called a “War on the Family.”

The vast and permanent underclass created by the welfare state is a great success story for the Democratic Party, which now has a loyal constituency of deadbeats who automatically vote for the Democrats to keep their Trojan horse “benefits” flowing.

It’s the Democrats’ “heroin dealer” model of government.

Apparently, it takes a lot of government workers to minister to the poor, inasmuch as government employment has skyrocketed in tandem with the family’s disintegration. As long as Democrats are serving their principal constituency — recipients of taxpayer money — they don’t care what happens to the rest of society.

This is a great 1 minute video highlighting the immorality of the budget deficit: Making the youth and even the unborn (that is, those who aren’t aborted with the blessing of the Left) pay for these programs that are wildly counterproductive to those they claim to help.

Those pesky facts: Tax revenues increased after the Bush tax cuts

See Did George W. Bush’s tax cuts cause Obama’s trillion dollar budget deficits?:

According to the OMB’s own figures, the Bush tax cuts resulted in an explosion of revenue to the U.S. government.

That’s not to say Bush wasn’t a profligate spender — he was. But in virtually no cases were Democrats arguing that he spend less (unless you count national security).

In fact, fiscal conservatives opposed Bush’s absurd policies on spending, amnesty and the expansion of Medicare.

But no one in world history has ever spent money like Barack Obama.

These statements are indisputable.

Which is why they are certain to be rejected by the diminishing cadre of Obama-Democrat drones, who appear to be completely immune to facts, logic and reason.

Tax receipts

Federal receipts after Bush tax cuts

Straw man of the year: The “So you say you hate taxes?” list

As if we needed more evidence that Liberals literally fail at basic economics, this anti-Tea Party piece is floating around Facebook as if it actually proves something: So you say you hate taxes? … well here is the solution.  Here’s a sample of the 102 items listed (they really put a lot of work into this logical fallacy!):

1. Do not use Medicare.

2. Do not use Social Security

3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.

4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.

5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.

I imagine that most of you will quickly spot the straw man fallacy: The Tea Party never claimed to want taxes to be zero.  Never.  They even used the “backronym” of Taxed Enough Already.  Therefore, the “but taxes pay for good things” argument is meaningless.  It proves nothing.  It was just an extended-play, petty vehicle to demonize one’s ideological opponents.

And you’ll probably realize that just because we need taxes for some things — and the Tea Partiers agree that some taxes are necessary — it doesn’t mean:

  • That taxes should be raised
  • That the current tax proceeds are being used efficiently and effectively
  • The tax proceeds are being spent in Constitutionally correct ways
  • That increasing tax rates will increase revenues.  For example, lowering the corporate tax rates would keep more jobs here, resulting in more personal income and Social Security tax receipts.

Side note: The commenters on the Facebook page included the typical “tea bagger” pejorative.  It occurred to me that the anti-Tea Party people must be real homophobes.  After all, why would they consider it to be such an effective insult to refer to Tea Partiers by a term describing a gay sex act?

Our financial crisis is your fault!

You should have elected a luckier President.  See Obama Creates His Own Luck (emphasis added):

Today in Iowa, Barack Obama proved once and for all that he does not understand how the economy works:

At a town hall meeting on his campaign-style tour of the Midwest, President Obama claimed that his economic program “reversed the recession” until recovery was frustrated by events overseas.  And then, Obama said, with the economy in an increasingly precarious position, the recovery suffered another blow when Republicans pressed the White House for federal spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the national debt limit, resulting in a deal Obama called a “debacle.”

“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa.  “But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.”  Obama listed three events overseas — the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises — which set the economy back.

If the issue wasn’t so serious you could just laugh off this childish leader who blames everyone but himself.  Corporate CEOs would have been fired by now for the lack of results and the lack of personal responsibility.

Why “soaking the rich” doesn’t work

They are remarkably waterproof.  Game the rules all you like and they will find ways around them, or just move their capital to an environment that isn’t so hostile to it.  Politicians endlessly create and exploit loopholes but arrogantly assume that no one else is as clever as they are and will do the same.

Driven by a combination of bad planning, a lack of understanding of  basic economics and plain old coveting*, California is now doomed to fail.

See Californians flee to red states at Haemet.

In the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, 870,000 people left California.  Most of them went to red states, like Arizona and Texas, wherein jobs are more plentiful, taxes are lower, and housing prices are lower.

Problematically for California, the type of people who leave a failing state are the ones that a state most needs.  The educated, the wealthy, and the ambitious are the ones who will pack up and move, taking their human capital, their assets, and their earning capacity to other states.  Most of the people who stay are the ones who need the strong and able to carry them.  California is on its way to a death spiral, wherein everything it will need to do will only exacerbate its problems.

This why we need simplified tax structures.  Yes, some will take advantage of them, but they always will.  Having a tax code multiple times the size of the Bible is doomed to fail.  It just increases bureaucracy and wastes money.  We also need to get rid of public-sector unions and radically cut back the welfare state.

* Remember that one?  It made the top 10 list.