DOES OBAMA THINK AMERICANS ARE STUPID OR JUST EASILY DECEIVED?
The only explanation for the draconian, exaggerated messages being delivered by President Obama and his cabinet is that he thinks the American people are stupid—or at least easily deceived or bullied. Consider this: the dreaded sequester that is supposed to end life in the USA as we know it, amounts to maybe a two percent cut in government spending. In fact, compared to last year, it is virtually no spending cut! However, you’ll never hear this kind of explanation from Barack Obama and his White House henchmen. Instead you heard from Transportation Secretary LaHood that 5000 Air Traffic Controllers will need to be furloughed. Since there are about 25,000 such positions involved, how does a 2% cut in funding turn into the need for 20% of the staff to be furloughed, and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano’s claim that 5000 border agents would need to be sidelined, which, out of a 20,000 person force, amounts to a 25% cut in staff (due to a 2% cut in funding?).
Since a majority of Americans bought his plea for four more years—“Forward” to a continuation of low economic growth, high deficits and government giveaways—maybe they are getting what they wanted. If that were the case, they any cuts would be bad news for them. Here’s the fallacy. Government spending has grown over 30% in the past five years. Thanks to base-line budgeting, Federal spending increased over last year enough that the sequester cuts would barely effect most departments compared to their 2012 spending levels. But the country still operated in 2012—in fact with the Obama administration in charge—so what’s the big furor.
Nobody in the Obama media gang tells you these facts. The Pentagon projected that the budget for FY 2013 (at the time, two years out) would be $571 billion. Compared with that figure, the sum Panetta settles for ($525 billion) is $45 billion less. But last year’s actual FY 2012 budget was $531 billion. And compared with this figure, the proposal for FY 2013 is a cut of just $6 billion, or 1 percent. Can Defense keep us safe with just over $500 billion? I hope so, since it has done so in recent years. But this time it will be “devastating” according to outgoing Secretary of Defense Panetta. Why? Because he “wanted” $571 billion!
To believe this furor, Americans must ignore the fact that any manager with half a brain could manage through a slight spending cut, but because this is the Federal government involved, logic and common sense goes out the window. Too often the government leadership acts as if it only uses half a brain, doing the inexplicable across many departments to keep its wasteful bureaucracy growing. Such nonsensical actions serve to prove that the cataclysmic results promised could only happen “with intent to harm Americans”—and so they could be blamed on the GOP—and not the president. Here’s the issue: Barack Obama wants NO spending cuts. He wants MORE taxes so he can spend more money, and run up still larger deficits.
When there was an impasse over the budget ceiling, he had Jack Lew (the newly appointed Treasury secretary) propose the sequester, with the idea that it would be so distasteful to the GOP because of mandated Defense Dept. cuts, that they would cave in and accept Obama’s wishes. Now, after a time-lapse of a less than a year, Obama’s revisionist amnesia claims the GOP House created the sequester amidst plans to destroy the country, leave children, the poor and underprivileged without welfare, and force terrible hardships on Americans.
Author Bob Woodward, who chronicled the dysfunctional debt ceiling debate in his book The Price of Politics, has already gone on the record that Barack Obama’s White House staff was the originator of the sequester. It makes all of us fearful of what kind of retribution the White House might use against those who merely point out factual inaccuracies and distortions. The Obama administration’s positions and statements to the public are “scare-tactics” and “hogwash”—carefully crafted lies that can be sold to the gullible America people by Barack Obama.
In new economy, jobs lag behind recovery -- By Jim Tankersley THE WASHINGTON POST
WASHINGTON — There are two kinds of middle-class Americans struggling today. Some can’t find work or can’t work as many hours as they’d like. Others are full-time workers who can’t seem to get ahead.
In Tuesday’s State of the Union and its response, there wasn’t much for either group — at least when it comes to their biggest problem.
Both speeches talked about the need for faster economic growth. Once, that would have been enough. But not today.
In the past three recoveries from recession, US growth has not produced anywhere close to the job and income gains that previous generations of workers enjoyed. A point of increased growth today simply delivers fewer jobs across the economy and less money in the pockets of middle-class families than an identical point of growth produced in the 40 years after the Second World War.
From 1948 through 1982, recessions and recoveries followed a tight pattern. Growth plunged in the downturn, then spiked quickly. When growth returned, so did job creation.
You can see those patterns in comparisons of job creation and growth rates across post-World War II recoveries. Starting in 1949 and continuing for more than 30 years, once the economy started to grow after a recession, major job creation usually followed within about a year.
At the height of those recoveries, every 1 percentage point of economic growth typically spurred about 0.6 percentage points of job growth. You could call that number the “job intensity” of growth.
The pattern began to break down in the 1992 recovery, which began under President George H. W. Bush. It took about three years — instead of one — for job creation to ramp up. Even then, the “job intensity” of that recovery barely topped 0.4 percent.
The next two recoveries were even worse. Three-and-a-half years into the recovery that began in 2001 under President George W. Bush, job intensity was stuck under 0.2 percent. The Obama recovery is now up to an intensity of 0.3 percent, or about half the historical average.
Economists are still trying to sort out what broke those historical links between growth and jobs/incomes. Robert Shapiro, an economist who advised President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail and in the White House, traces the change to increased global competition.---------------------------
Unintended Consequences of Obama’s Plans Cripple the Middle Class
I’ll start by giving our president the benefit of the doubt—that he is actually hoping to make America a better place with his plans, his policies, his ideology and his actions. BUT, before I go too far down that road, I must question what his idea of “a better place” means, and how it actually works out in practice. I fear the answer is either “not so good” or “terrible!”
A few weeks ago I wrote about the sub-30-hour week, and how it will change the working life of millions of Americans. As thousands of employers hold employees below 30 hours to avoid Obamacare’s costs and red tape, there are a several unintended consequences of Obamacare that President Obama may have overlooked.
Sub-30-Hour Workweek—More Jobs, Less Pay
The first unintended consequence is that instead of helping the middle class, this will hurt them. Everyone whose 40-hour week becomes a sub-30-hour week, will take a de-facto 25% cut in pay. Sure, more people will be hired to make up for the hours of work lost, but they too will only earn about 70% of the old “full time pay.” And that was not too lucrative a job to begin with.
The second unintended consequence is that all of those people will be dumped from employer paid health care into the state exchanges or whatever Federal replacement plan develops as more and more states opt out of the exchanges under Obamacare. This will shift cost from the employer to the government—further increasing the Federal deficit.
The third unintended consequence is that American middle-class workers now must replace the lost 25-30% of pay (due to the sub-30-hour work week). These folks all need to find another (second) job with all the difficulty that involves—finding a second job is tough enough, then balancing two job schedules with personal life is harder yet. There are more unintended consequences, but those three are bad enough.
Instead of helping the middle class, the unintended consequences of the president’s plan has hurt them.
Tax The Rich, Slows Growth
The president has insistently made increasing taxes on the “rich” a centerpiece of his economic plans. He now has the power and leverage to do that. Then what? That money collected in taxes on the wealthy will be spent (or wasted) in Washington. That leaves less money to be invested—and investments are what lead to new jobs and economic growth. The government creates no new wealth. All new wealth is created in the private sector and the government simply takes part of that wealth and redistributes it
Capital gains taxes will also increase, which slows the velocity of money moving through the economy. Instead of selling a profitable investment and finding a new one, investors hold the ones they have longer, to avoid the higher capital gains taxes. Both result in less tax revenue. Slowing the velocity of money moving through the economy results in less tax revenue for the government. So do higher capital gains taxes. This unintended consequence is exactly the opposite of why the taxes were increased. Watch it happen
Next, economic growth will slow further, as will job creation, leading to less revenue from growth, still lower tax revenue and bigger deficits (instead of smaller ones).
The next Obama plan that will backfire is that the (unrealizable) projections on new tax revenue (discussed above) will be spent, but not materialize, thus adding to the deficit. This will threaten yet another downgrade in America’s debt rating.
The Wall Street Effect
The final unintended consequence is that the combined effects of these misguided policies eventually reverberate through the economy and impact Wall Street. Stocks have been climbing due to companies saving money and gaining sales outside the USA. Those two sources of earnings are about used up. Savings have been wrung out of most companies and further ones will cause new layoffs—another unintended consequence of these flawed plans.
Sales outside the USA are slowing now (Europe’s recession, China’s slowdown), such that half of the largest 40 US companies have publicly stated plans to curtail capital spending in 2013. Lower capital investment translates into fewer jobs.
Are you getting the theme here? Everything being done by the president and his administration to rejuvenate the economy and help the middle class is likely to have just the opposite effect. Of course neither he nor his staff want to hear this. We’ll all have to just wait, watch it unfold, then listen for excuses and finger of blame being pointed everywhere but where it belongs.
Unintended consequences are scary when the decision makers simply don’t understand what caused them. And that is the way it is as we enter 2013! Welcome to slow growth/no growth America in the New Year.
President Obama has set in motion forces that he can't handle
Neil Snyder, February 18, 2013
Barack Obama is a terrible president. That's obvious to everyone who isn't chronically ignorant or incurably liberal. By "liberal" I don't mean the classic definition of the word which has to do with being open-minded and objective. I mean the modern version of liberal: self-centered, emotional, illogical, and void of reason. Unfortunately, in 2012 ignoramuses and liberals represented the majority of those who voted. I'm not worried about offending them with my harsh words. My very existence offends them, and so does yours if you don't buy into their worldview.
From economic policy to energy policy to environmental policy to foreign affairs to national security to border security to you name it, the president failed the test, but we re-elected him anyway. Obama's misadventures in the Oval Office are becoming the stuff of legend. Benghazi and Fast and Furious are two of his more high profile blunders, but they aren't the only ones. If George W. Bush had committed just one of those offenses, the mainstream media would have demanded his head on a platter, but they gave Obama a free pass. The nation as a whole became complicit in the president's shenanigans because we didn't demand that he be held accountable.
President Obama has done one thing superbly well: he has demonstrated skill par excellence on a national scale as a community organizer. He is second to none when it comes to inciting, agitating, race baiting, stoking fears, and motivating the masses. If you discount voter fraud, more than anything else, those skills got him re-elected. But like a snowball gathering momentum as it rolls down a hill, the forces that he has unleashed will be impossible to stop without pain and suffering.
For example, Occupy Wall Street's demands for social justice dovetailed perfectly with the president's fairness campaign. Was that coincidence or was it by design? The answer should be obvious, but whatever the case may be, the OWS crowd eventually ran amuck in cities across the fruited plain until government officials finally took action to shut them down.
That's the way it is with unruly mobs. Once agitators get them started, you never know what will happen. But we do know this: President Obama is their champion, and they are still among us waiting in the wings for another opportunity to vent their frustrations. Will the next version of OWS be more malevolent than the first? Only time will tell, but I wouldn't rule it out.
OWS types aren't alone. In the United States today, large and growing numbers of people believe that their mere existence is their contribution to society. They think that those of us who have worked hard all of our lives owe them a living, and not just a living, but a very good living. The takers among us are easy pickings for a man with exceptional community organizing skills, and as I said, the forces that the president has unleashed will prove to be impossible to control. If they explode, there will be hell to pay.
Common sense is totally absent in their world. For instance, who would dare to suggest that the 1% who paid almost 40% of federal income taxes in 2010 should pay more because it's "fair" even though about 50% of our fellow citizens paid no federal income tax? The answer: Barack Obama and his merry band of malcontents. If George Orwell were alive today, he would be scratching his head and thinking about a mind-bending plot for another novel.
Takers have no misgivings about attaching themselves permanently to the government tit, and they feel no guilt or shame as they scream for more. Obama knows them and their predilections all too well, and he takes advantage of every opportunity to stoke the fires that burn within them. The president's mother and his grandparents should have taught him the basics -- things like if you play with matches, you will get burned -- because the fire that he's igniting can easily turn into an inferno. If it does, all of us will pay a very high price.
In due course, simple mathematics will dictate that we can't afford to keep able bodied men and women on the dole. Our current debt and deficit situation is so dire that something has got to give. Judging by a recent Gallup poll, most Americans agree with me, but metaphorically speaking, it may take a swift kick in a sensitive area to wake up our elected officials in Washington. Be that as it may, the day is rapidly approaching when no one can ignore our fiscal quagmire because the combination of Medicare, Social Security, and defense spending plus interest on the debt and paying freeloaders threatens to sink this nation.
Reneging on our national debt is out of the question since global pandemonium would ensue. Obamacare may help to reduce healthcare costs, but when evidence mounts that those "death panels" that we have heard so much about are real and that we are saving money by medicating patients and allowing them to pass away peacefully rather than treating their maladies, people will be hopping mad. Many of them will take to the streets to vent their anger. If you think that it can't happen here, you haven't been paying attention.
Social Security is a special breed of cat because it involves seniors, a powerful voting block, and it is regarded as a national promise that we must not break. Besides, people actually paid in to Social Security as did their employers so it's an annuity -- and not a very good one at that. Any politician who thinks that he can safely tamper with Social Security isn't playing with a full deck of cards. Even so, we can't solve our debt and deficit problems unless we make adjustments in Social Security and Medicare. It's the quintessential Catch 22.
Similarly, we need to cut defense spending without jeopardizing our national security, but defense reductions translate into job cuts and that creates another set of problems. No matter what we do, people will not be happy with the outcome, and many of them will vent their frustration in the voting booth and possibly on the streets.
This is the point: a perfect storm is brewing. I think we're heading for a chaotic and violent period in this country the likes of which no one alive today has ever witnessed. If I'm right, conditions will be ideal for criminals to ply their craft, and President Obama is pushing for gun control at precisely the wrong moment.
I believe that what I have described is realistic and unfortunately inevitable, and that brings me back to my back to the president. He has set in motion forces that he can't handle, and all of us are going to suffer the consequences so get ready for a wild ride.
Neil Snyder is the Ralph A. Beeton Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily. Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/02/president_obama_has_set_in_motion_forces_that_he_cant_handle.html#ixzz2LHyg7tyF
*************************************"The little book that could help save the US economy."
New Book: ROADMAP TO PROFITABLE GROWTH… GET IT NOW!
http://www.amazon.com/Roadmap-Profitable-Growth-John-Mariotti/dp/1479125083/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357746104&sr=1-1&keywords=Roadmap+to+Profitable+Growth and Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.com/Roadmap-To-Profitable-Growth-ebook/dp/B00B6BUL4W/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359262289&sr=1-2&keywords=roadmap+to+profitable+growth