Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mars Landing Video : Genius At Work

You have to watch this video even if you have seen it before - this is genius at work and something that is being forced out of our society by progressive politicians.

 If you need further proof, NASA's new mission is Muslim Out Reach. Is there anyone any where that could have predicted this?

Lacavorism - Farmers Markets Can't Meet Demand

New ideas are welcome, especially in food production, as we all need a cheap supply of food to sustain our life style in this country. Our heritage is innovation and industrial excellence.

The problem that crops up sometimes with new thought can be summed up the the saying, 'all things are possible, but all things don't edify'. New ideas need to be tried and tested, but if they don't work as advertised, try something else until something does work.

Source: Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, "Locavores or Loco-vores?" The American, September 18, 2012.

Locavorism -- a philosophy that encourages people to eat only locally produced foods -- is becoming a trend in many parts of the United States. Locavores challenge the globalized food supply chain and argue that locally produced foods are healthier and don't rely on large-scale monoculturing. However, these locavores disregard hundreds of years of trial and error and the many benefits derived from a larger food supply chain, say Pierre Desrochers, an associate professor of geography at the University of Toronto, and Hiroko Shimizu, a policy analyst and a research associate at the Institut économique Molinari in France.

•A larger food supply chain provides diverse products with better quality and lower prices.
•Furthermore, many new and better jobs have been created outside of farming because consumers had more money to spend on other goods.
•In addition, large-scale monocultures produce more food with less land and energy.

To understand why locavores are misguided, it is necessary to look at past examples of food production and why they failed.

•Subsistence farming -- one of the earliest forms of food production. This was a situation where food was produced for a single family. This did not contribute to economic development because people could not specialize in tasks and become more productive.
•Urban farming -- many types of food that didn't travel well or couldn't stay fresh were produced in large urban agglomerations. Some farmers would use about one-sixth of the city's area, and supporting technologies to grow more than 100,000 tons of produce.
•Both these forms of food production have disappeared due to an increase in technological capacity to produce foods cheaper and keep them fresh longer, as well as increased methods for cheap transportation.

Proponents of locavorism are in favor of polycultures, where large amounts of food are produced from nothing but soil, water and sunlight. These advocates point to the story of Takao Furuno, a Japanese farmer who produced rice, duck meat, eggs, fish and vegetables to feed 100 families, all on a six acre farm. However, proponents of this method fail to realize that Furuno has access to advanced technologies and money from very wealthy customers -- a privilege not every farmer has.

A popular alternative being talked about is the creation of vertical farms. However agricultural economist Dennis Avery writes a critique of these farms, arguing that it would cost billions of dollars to create skyscrapers to replace the American farmland. Furthermore, the buildings would incur massive electricity costs on top of the taxes and labor costs associated with being in a city.

Debt Crisis Coming & Who Cares? : Citizens? Congress? The President?

The bottom line in the debt debate is who is the strongest morally? Who will 'stand and be counted' in favor of sustainable growth through common sense cuts to spending and taxation no matter the consequences to their political careers?

Also, how many of our citizens are willing to deal with cuts in entitlements? At what point does the average citizen believe they will be in mortal danger if we don't act now to save the social network of entitlements?

Is it when the dollar is no longer the currency of record and the stock market drops 5000 points and every one's saving accounts disappear? Or is it when the social security check that always came at the end of the month doesn't show up, only a letter in the mail saying the department of revenue is out of money?

Do you think, then, the people that are blind to the problems that we face today will suddenly see the error of their demands to not touch their entitlements, those that were completely unwilling to accept less now so they will have a future benefits? Even under Paul Ryan's proposal, those 55 and older will have no change in their benefits, and yet those that demand the most are blinded by fear of losing their near term benefits, who cares about tomorrow.

The fact remains, fix the entitlement programs now or down the road there will economic chaos beyond our wildest nightmares. What then do you think will be the agenda of the entitled.

Debt Ceiling Fight Club
Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Debt Ceiling Fight Club," Reason Magazine, October 2012.

September 27, 2012
The debt ceiling debate continues to provide ample fodder for the Obama campaign about the irresponsibility of Republicans and their role in the ratings downgrade for U.S. bonds. However, despite popular belief, Republican lawmakers are not at fault, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.

•Standard & Poor (S&P) threatened to downgrade the U.S. rating if it didn't reduce the debt by $4 trillion, agree to a credible plan within three months, and guarantee the promise of the newfound fiscal discipline.
•However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 raised the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion.
•Furthermore, the debt reduction package only committed $900 billion in cuts and another $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions.
•Even if all the cuts were implemented, government spending would grow from $3.6 trillion in 2012 to $5.2 trillion in 2020 with a 10 percent increase in military spending.
•Additionally, the Budget Control Act did nothing to make Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security sustainable.

The ratings downgrade came from Washington's unwillingness to come together to create a true package that included serious reductions and long-term sustainability. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were unwilling to make serious cuts to many of the entitlement programs.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner argues that the long, drawn out debates need to be avoided in the future to prevent pain and suffering to the economy. However, the impacts that were thought to be associated with the debt ceiling debate did not materialize.

•Interest rates continued to stay low.
•This is proof that investors never feared the government would default on the debt.

However, it is important to realize the haste with which the government needs to act in response to mounting debt. Tough spending cuts need to be made. Many people see the country's low interest rate as a sign that the economy is doing well. However, the Federal Reserve is keeping those rates low to boost the economy. Moreover, other countries are in worse fiscal shape than the United States, which makes the economy look better than it is.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Class Warfare : Take From Productive - Give to Unproductive

This is a little long but very profound. Alex Green explains how class warfare works and is working in our politics. It has always been there in one form or another, but it's during this election cycle that it has become destructive to our way of life.

Is This 'Untruth' Keeping You From Getting Rich?
By Alex Green, Chief Investment Strategist, Investment U

I know it's a political year, but I don't generally like to talk politics. When I'm not making readers money, I'd like to at least make them happy. And when you talk politics, you often make half your audience – and sometimes more – unhappy.

Still, I'm shocked and surprised by an ominous development in this year's presidential election. No, not the personal attacks, negative ads, or over-the-top promises. Those have been staples in national elections for more than 200 years. What's new – and troubling, in my view – is that some see political gain in demonizing economic success.

I don't get it. As a kid growing up in a solidly middle-class family, I admired the businessmen, entrepreneurs, and professionals in my community who earned large financial rewards. I remember feeling that these folks must have studied hard, put in long hours, or taken big risks. I didn't envy them. I wanted to be like them.

Yet there was former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic Convention stoking the flames of resentment with his remark that some "want a you're-on-your-own, winner-take-all society."

I find this disheartening, in part because Bill Clinton is not a left-wing ideologue. Yes, he's a card-carrying liberal but in his two terms, he promoted free trade, slashed capital gains taxes, and reformed the welfare system.

I thought the class-warfare remarks were beneath him. For starters, capitalism is about voluntary exchange for mutual benefit. Businesses don't "take" money. Only government (which has a monopoly on the legal use of force) and criminals do that. Businesses merely collect the money that consumers and other businesses voluntarily trade for products and services.

Perhaps Clinton meant the rich "take" in that they don't pay their fair share in taxes. This is certainly a debate worth having – and opinions are bound to vary. But we should begin with the facts. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the top 10% of Americans pays almost 70% of all personal income taxes. The bottom 50% pays essentially nothing. What would George Orwell say about calling the 10% of Americans who pay 70% of the taxes "takers" … and stoking a sense of grievance among the half that pays nothing?

I'm also confused about the "you're-on-your-own" bit. No one objects to a social safety net for the truly needy. But when I reached the age of majority – after receiving a free public-school education and a library card – I expected to take care of myself.

If I couldn't take care of myself in a pinch, I knew I might have to lean on family or friends temporarily. If I couldn't find help there, I might have to count on churches or local charities for a while. And if that still weren't enough, maybe I would have to turn to the state government as a last resort.

I never imagined that some bureaucrat in far-off Washington cared about me… or even wanted to meet me. Some folks seem to mistake government for community.

My point is that class warriors aren't just attacking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (two men with whom I have my own differences). They aren't just vilifying the Republican party (a party fully deserving of some vilification). They are attacking the very notion of individual initiative and personal responsibility. Now that's new.

You might reasonably ask what this has to do with investing. My answer is everything. Investment begins with savings. Savings comes from earned income. An income high enough to permit saving comes from education and hard work. And the desire to get educated and work hard comes from a belief that the system is fair and these qualities will be rewarded.

To me, it seems particularly corrosive to tell people – for political advantage – that they don't have a fair shot… that the system is rigged… that Wall Street is corrupt… that the rich don't pay their fair share… and that, somehow, you have less because "millionaires and billionaires" have more.

This strategy may win votes in some quarters… But that doesn't mean we shouldn't call it what it is: a profound untruth.

Good investing,
Alex Green

Corporations Finding New Solutions for Heathcare

New independent ideas to get around the nightmare of ObamaCare might be just what is called for to save the system from government regulation. This new approach is definitely something to watch.

Big Firms Overhaul Health Coverage
Source: Anna Wilde Mathews, "Big Firms Overhaul Health Coverage," Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2012.

September 28, 2012
Sears Holdings Corp. and Darden Restaurants Inc. are planning a radical change in the way they provide health benefits to their workers, giving employees a fixed sum of money and allowing them to choose their medical coverage and insurer from an online marketplace, says the Wall Street Journal.

•The companies say the change isn't designed to make workers pay a higher share of health coverage costs.
•Instead they say it is supposed to put more control over health benefits in the hands of employees.

The approach will be closely watched by firms around the United States. If it eventually takes hold widely, it might parallel the transition from company-provided pensions to 401(k) retirement savings plans controlled by workers and funded partly by employer contributions. For employees, the concern will be that they could end up more directly exposed to the upward march of health costs.

•Neither Sears nor Darden would say how much money employees would receive to buy health insurance.
•Darden says its sum would rise as health care costs rise.
•Sears declined to disclose details of its contributions strategy.
•Darden did say that employees will pay the same contribution out of their own pockets that they currently do for approximately the same level of coverage.
•Employees who pick more expensive coverage will pay more from their paychecks to make up the gap.
•Those who opt for cheaper insurance, which may involve bigger deductibles or more limited networks of doctors and hospitals, will pay less.

The hope is that insurers will compete more vigorously to get workers to sign up, which will lower overall health care costs. Darden and Sears are both currently self-insured, meaning that the cost of claims each year comes out of company coffers.

The approach isn't directly tied to the federal health overhaul law, which largely goes into effect in 2014. That law will make it easier for employers to funnel workers toward purchasing plans in the individual insurance market, perhaps aided by an employer contribution. The exchange used by Sears and Darden still involves employer-backed group plans, not individual insurance, however, so it doesn't rely on the law's changes.

Regulation Demands Relegates US Industry to 'Also Ran' Status

It seems that the Obama administration is on a quest to strangle business in this country. Upon closer examination it isn't difficult to see the progressive socialist agenda being implemented and the havoc that it is causing.

Just imagine four more years of this and what will be left of our country for our kids, let alone how we will be able to cope with the destruction brought down on us by next year's ObamaCare's tax and spending nightmare.

How is it possible this is lost on so many people?

Regulation and the International Competitiveness of the U.S. Economy
Source: Steven Globerman and George Georgopoulos, "Regulation and the International Competitiveness of the U.S. Economy," Mercatus Center, September 18, 2012.

September 28, 2012
The goal of every country is to create economic competitiveness by strengthening its domestic industries to compete in global markets. While most discussions involving economic growth revolve around tax and spending policy, one area requires more concern: the burden of government regulation, say Steven Globerman, the Kaiser Professor of International Business at Western Washington University, and George Georgopoulos, an associate professor at the Department of Economics at York University.

Globerman and Georgopoulos look at two decades of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), academic studies and business surveys to assess if U.S. competitiveness has declined and whether regulation in the United States is more burdensome than regulation in other OECD countries.

The data obtained from the OECD measures competitiveness by looking at the productivity growth and other measures such as indicators of technical change, direct foreign investment flows in domestic markets, and the expressed intentions to relocate investments.

•According to the data, U.S. productivity growth has shrunk in the past 5 years.
•In 2011, two other OECD countries ranked higher in the United States in technical change and innovation.
•According to thousands of surveyed business leaders, two OECD countries were rated as a better environment for innovation.
•Furthermore, nine OECD countries were rated as having less risk of business relocation than the United States.
•According to a Harvard Business School survey of about 10,000 alumni, three-quarters expected U.S. competitiveness to decline and cited regulations as the reason for the decline.

Globerman and Georgopoulos also took surveys from the World Economic Forum (WEF) global competitiveness index survey and the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom to look at how business leaders felt about regulations in the United States.

•According to the WEF survey, only two OECD countries were ranked as having better property rights protections than the United States in 2011.
•Similarly, in 2005, four OECD countries ranked higher than the United States in regulatory quality. In 2011, 10 countries outranked the United States.
•According to the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom in 2005, the United States was ranked best in terms of financial freedom. In 2011, nine countries ranked higher.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ObamaCare Will Crush Our Economy January 1st, 2013

Just what our failing economy needs right now is more regulation and more taxes. ObamaCare will take nearly 1 trillion dollars out of our pockets. How will this effect our future? Remember this on November.

ObamaCare -- An Explosion of Regulatory Burdens
Source: Dave Camp, "ObamaCare -- An Explosion of Regulatory Burdens," House Committee on Ways and Means, September 11, 2012.

September 27, 2012
The Obama administration's health care law is already poised to cost billions in regulatory costs. However, few look to the burdens that the government and businesses will have in an effort to comply. Countless hours will be spent going over and finishing paperwork. Every hour spent on complying with the law is productivity and resources being taken away from businesses and hospitals, says Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.).

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Treasury have already issued thousands of new rules and regulations including: 40 notices, 17 regulations, 5 revenue procedures, 2 revenue rulings and 14 Treasury decisions. There are over 80 million hours of rules and regulations that American businesses and families have to comply with. Some examples of the annual burden in labor hours include:

•Return of the organization exempt from income tax under section 501(c), 527, or 4947(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code : 25,766,156 hours.
•Form 3800, General Business Credit: 5,307,500 hours.
•Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums: 40,189,456 hours.
•Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return: 4,366,381 hours.

These estimates come from the IRS and are approved by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. With all the time put in trying to comply with regulations, it is no wonder that over 70 percent of small businesses cited the new health care law as the biggest impediment to job creation.

Economic Growth Slowing : Progressivism At Work

No matter what the US government does these days, it is the problem and not the solution. History shows that a progressive socialist agenda is a sure formula for failure.

Little wonder then why Mr Obama is forging ahead with his progressive agenda for America. We all can see the results in our daily lives at the store or at the gas pump, let alone the  value of our homes or saving accounts.

Unemployment, food stamps, social Security, Medicare and Medicaide are all rising at alarming rates, sure signs that the progressive agenda of forced dependency is working. Mr Obama's "fundamentally changing" of America is here. Think about this on November 6th.

Government a Barrier, Not a Help, to Economic Growth
Source: Joel Gehrke, "55 Percent of Small Business Owners Would Not Start Company Today, Blame Obama," Washington Examiner, September 26, 2012. "Small Businesses and Manufacturers: Government a Barrier, Not a Help, to Economic Growth," National Association of Manufacturers, September 25, 2012.

September 27, 2012
Fifty-five percent of small business owners and manufacturers would not have started their businesses in today's economy, according to a new poll by the National Association of Manufacturers. The poll also reports 69 percent say President Obama's regulatory policies have hurt their businesses, says the Washington Examiner.

"There is far too much uncertainty, too many burdensome regulations and too few policymakers willing to put aside their egos and fulfill their responsibilities to the American people," says Jay Thomas, president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Here are the key findings in the poll:

•Sixty-seven percent say there is too much uncertainty in the market today to expand, grow or hire new workers.
•Sixty-nine percent of small business owners and manufacturers say President Obama's Executive Branch and regulatory policies have hurt American small businesses and manufacturers.
•Fifty-five percent say they would not start a business today given what they know now and in the current environment.
•Fifty-four percent say other countries like China and India are more supportive of their small businesses and manufacturers than the United States.

College Educations Over Rated AND A Debt Bomb

This is just another reason to get the government out of the education business or any business for that matter. Also, students need to be better informed as to why they want a higher education, and if they do get a degree, will it help them get a good job or will just drive them in debt.

As I have mentioned here in the past, a huge number of students have no business going to college in the first place. Some sort of tech school to learn a useful skill would probably be a better fit and make it much easier to find a job. Oh wait, working with your hands and maybe getting dirty, that's not cool.

But it's the draw of a 'college education' and pier pressure to go to the big university with all the cool people and parties. In the end when the partying is over, and after 5 years of your life gone, you find your self unemployed and living in your parents basement. Now that's cool.

Student Loans: Debt for Life
Source: Peter Coy, "Student Loans: Debt for Life," BusinessWeek, September 18, 2012.

September 27, 2012
The cost of going to college has skyrocketed and has resulted in more students taking out loans to pay for their education. Indeed, there is a lot of speculation that college debt is the next bubble after housing, says Peter Coy, economics editor at Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

•In 2010, student debt exceeded credit card debt for the first time.
•The accumulation of student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion.
•On average, two-thirds of college graduates ended up with student loan debt of $25,000.
•Under extended repayment plans, many students take 20 to 25 years to pay their loans, allowing interest to accrue.

As a means of attracting more students to attend school, colleges use the financial aid process to distort the cost of college for many. For instance, schools practice a form of legal price discrimination, where they use a family's financial statement to determine how much a student should pay for college. In this situation, a poorer family would have to contribute less than a wealthier family.

Most of the aid a family ends up receiving is in the form of loans. Some schools abbreviate "loan" as L or LN on financial aid letters as a means of creating some ambiguity on what the students are accepting when they accept a loan. The Education Department is attempting to remedy the situation by giving standardized forms that include information about how much debt a student will owe once they graduate along with the school's loan-default and graduation rates.

One other problem to the rising cost of college is the choices that students make. Some students end up staying in college longer than the typical four years, forcing them to take out more loans. Moreover, some students get degrees in subjects that there is a low demand for and don't require degrees in the first place.

Educators around the country are attempting to reduce the cost associated with getting a degree. One promising method of doing so is to create online classrooms where thousands of students can enroll and watch a prerecorded lecture on a subject.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hospital AND Doctor Costs Going Up, Up, Up

If you think the prices are high now just wait until after January 1st of 2013 when ObamaCare is due to start in earnest.

Will anyone care that their doctor has decided to quit and you can't find another doctor to take you on.  hmmmm  Oh well, as Mr Obama said if you are old or very young and have a disease that is out of the ordinary, Mr Obama said you have take a pill and - - - .

Higher Prices by Hospitals, Other Providers, Drove 2011 Spending Increases
Source: Julie Appleby, "Higher Prices by Hospitals, Other Providers, Drove 2011 Spending Increases, Study Finds," Kaiser Health News, September 25, 2012. "2011 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report," Health Care Cost Institute, September 25, 2012.

September 26, 2012
Spending on medical care for Americans with job-based insurance rose 4.6 percent last year, driven mainly by higher prices charged by hospitals and other medical providers, according to a new report by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonpartisan research group funded by insurers, says Kaiser Health News.

The growth came despite a sluggish economy, which some economists thought would translate into more modest spending growth. Still, last year's per enrollee increase ranks below the 5.8 percent increase in 2009.

It isn't clear from the data whether last year's uptick represents a return toward the higher averages of the past -- or whether it was an anomaly within a general slowdown, says David Newman, executive director of the institute. The institute noted the 2010 slowdown in its first report, which documented a 3.8 percent spending increase for privately insured Americans that year.

•The current report found that employers in the Northeast spent the most on health care last year, at $4,659 per enrollee, while those in the West had the lowest tab at $4,358.
•The data are based on 6 billion actual claims paid by insurers covering about 40 million people, representing one of the broadest looks at spending by employers for medical services.
•The data do not include spending for people covered by Medicare, Medicaid or for those who buy their own coverage.

The data can help those who negotiate for health coverage "to ask what justifies price increases that are two and three times inflation," says Newman.

•While the Consumer Price Index rose 3.2 percent between 2010 and 2011, for example, the average price for inpatient hospital care rose 5.3 percent.
•That increase occurred as admissions declined half a percentage point.

Wind Energy Subsides Must End Now

This is a no brainer - wind power was a fiasco from the beginning and most people with half a brain knew it. Wind and solar power was just an excuse to 'launder' tax money from the government to these industries and then have some of it come back to fund progressive campaigns. Woha - who knew?

Every wonder why every solar company that got federal funds has failed? Every wonder why the eco fascists haven't protested the wind mills that have destroyed millions of acres of productive land and are a complete eye soar? The eco fascists and the progressives have the same agenda and that is getting and keeping power to control the population. It's that simple.

Let Wind Power Tax Credit Expire
Source: Lamar Alexander and Mike Pompeo, "Puff, the Magic Drag on the Economy," Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2012.

September 26, 2012
The production tax credit for wind power is set to expire on December 31, but may be renewed by Congress for the seventh time. The subsidy is meant to give an uncompetitive industry an edge in the energy market but does so at great costs, say Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).

•The provision provides a credit against taxes of $22 per megawatt hour of energy generated.
•From 2009 to 2013, federal revenues lost to wind-power developers are estimated to be $14 billion -- $6 billion from the production tax credit, plus $8 billion courtesy of an alternative-energy subsidy in the stimulus package.
•If the tax credit gets extended, it would mean an additional $12 billion in costs over the next 10 years.

The subsidy for wind power creates an economic distortion called negative pricing. That is, while coal and nuclear plants generate low levels of energy when demand is low and a lot of energy when demand is high, the same is not true for wind power. Instead, windmills are constantly working and generating electricity whether utilities need the electricity or not, allowing wind producers to collect the tax credit for every kilowatt hour they generate.

Wind producers can even sell power when demand is low and still collect a profit because the pretax subsidy is higher than the average price for electricity. While this decreases energy prices in the short-run, there are severe consequences for other industries. The nuclear and coal industries, for example, will be driven out to be replaced by wind power.

But the main problem is that wind producers rely on the hand of the government to help them along the way. Without a subsidy, coal and nuclear power would thrive. This is important in a world where the United States provides 20 percent to 25 percent of electricity to the world.

Proponents of the subsidy argue that it sustains American jobs. However, the private sector would do better in creating jobs in another type of industry that is not wind with the added bonus of making it cheap and efficient.

Corporate Tax Rates Drives Out Business

This is too easy - the reason the progressive won't, can't, lower tax rates is this will allow their power base to evaporate and that is totally unacceptable. Without the ability to control the revenue flow through their fingers which allows them to direct where the funds go, they will be powerless to influence outcomes.

Worse for the progressive socialists, they have to watch revenues grow from allowing the private enterprise expanding and paying more taxes from higher profits. Success breeds success. 

Allowing private enterprise to flurious always works. History can't lie. Progressive socialism always fails. Just look around for the proof.

Corporate Tax Competitiveness Rankings for 2012
Source: Duanjie Chen and Jack Mintz, "Corporate Tax Competitiveness Rankings for 2012," Cato Institute, September 2012.

September 26, 2012
Despite anti-corporate sentiment running high in many parts of the world, few countries have increased corporate tax rates. On the contrary, many countries, including the United States, are considering proposals that would decrease the corporate tax rate. Both presidential candidates have expressed a willingness to bring down taxes on corporations, say Duanjie Chen and Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy.

•The combined federal-state tax rate on corporations is 40 percent in the United States.
•In 2012, the tax rate on new corporate investments is 35.6 percent in the United States.
•However, the average tax rate of 34 other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries is 19.4 percent.
•The average corporate tax rate of 90 other countries is 18.2 percent.

The presidential race has highlighted the importance of changing the corporate tax rate, as many companies have considered moving overseas in order to take advantage of lower corporate tax rates. President Obama has proposed reducing the rate from 35 percent to 28 percent while broadening the tax base. Mitt Romney has said he would cut the tax rate to 25 percent.

Policymakers in the United States should look to Canada's corporate tax reforms, which have brought more investment and spurred economic growth.

•The federal statutory tax rate was cut from 29.12 percent to 15 percent, while cutting the provincial rate from 13.3 percent to 11.1 percent.
•In addition, most federal and provincial were eliminated, and sales taxes on capital goods were removed.
•Moreover, Canada adopted more neutral capital cost allowances.
•Finally, the country scaled back special preferences under the corporate income tax.

Opponents argue that lowering the tax rate would also reduce the government's revenue. However, in Canada the governments lost hardly any revenue. Studies show that reducing corporate taxes boost domestic and foreign investments. Furthermore, lowering the tax rate to the world's average rate has the benefit of keeping the tax base and reducing profit shifting by multinational corporations.

In addition, studies show that combining cuts with a broadening of the base can prevent revenues from shrinking.

Taxpayer Ranks Fall : Dependency Class Growing

Who Knew? Millions dependent on the government for survival? Millions don't pay any taxes at all? A huge dependent class getting bigger and bigger?

The 'fundamental change' that Mr Obama wanted is happening right before our eyes, and we, as a nation, don't seem to notice. It's just business as usual or worse, we accept this to be the new norm. Less freedom, lower standard of living and no hope for a brighter future for our selves or our children.

Want to stop this nightmare before it over takes us completely? We have one chance and only one as the true catastrophic consequences of Obamacare on January 1, 2013 along with the highest tax increases in our history take effect. Our one chance is on November 6th and vote out the progressive socialists.

Choose to believe that America is still the greatest nation on earth and that we can reverse this down ward slide into economic disaster that will crush our future. This choice is easy, personal freedom to be what ever you want to be or complete dependency on others for your survival.

Make the choice. It's up to us. If you chose wrong, don't look around for others to blame, look in the mirror.

The Fiscal Costs of Nonpayers
Source: Will Freeland, William McBride and Ed Gerrish, "The Fiscal Costs of Nonpayers," Tax Foundation, September 19, 2012.

September 26, 2012
In 2010, nearly 41 percent of Americans, or 58 million altogether, had no income tax liability. These nonpayers took advantage of numerous credits and deductions in the tax code to exempt them from any tax liability, say Will Freeland, William McBride and Ed Gerrish of the Tax Foundation.

There are several economic and political implications of having so many people off the tax rolls:

•A 1 percentage point increase in nonpayers results in a $10.6 billion per year increase in transfer payments-programs that give direct assistance from the government to people, such as Social Security or unemployment insurance.
•Over the past two decades, the number of nonpayers has increased 20 percentage points.
•In 2010 alone, over $213 billion in transfer payments can be attributed to the increase in nonpayers.
•For every 1 percentage point increase in nonpayers, the percentage of debt of the gross domestic product (GDP) increases by 0.704 percent.
•This has increased the debt-to-GDP ratio by 14 percentage points in 2010 alone.

The increase in nonpayers can create a phenomenon called fiscal illusion where people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it is and thus demand more social services. As a result, when transfer payments increase, discretionary spending on defense funding and public investments get crowded out.

There are two main reasons for the increase in nonpayers.

•The first is the increased value of the standard deduction and personal exemption as a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which reduced taxable income for all taxpayers.
•The second has been the expansion of tax credits, which has reduced tax liability for millions of Americans.
•The combined budgetary cost of tax credits was around $224 billion in 2010.

The biggest concern stems from the impact that increased transfer payments have on Americans. Studies show that the increase in transfer payments, and the subsequent rise in taxation, hurt a nation's growth potential and employment opportunities. This is compounded by the fact that people have less incentive to work as the transfer of payments from the government increase.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ObamaCare Misses Millions of Uninsured : 100's of Billions More $$

ObamaCare (ACA) advocates have always said that cost will be reduced when their plan goes into effect. Really? How do costs become less when 10's of millions of new people become eligible for care, people that have no way of paying a cent for this care?

This program will cost 100's of billions more then the progressive socialist say it will and pay no mind to the fact that many of these on the list have no jobs and the economy collapsing. Just where is the money going to come from to pay for all of this insanity.

The Obama administration doesn't care about how it will be paid for, it's about establishing a huge dependent base that the progressive socialist believe will always vote for them to keep the benefits coming. But the problem is when the money runs out, who will suffer the most?

Believe the administration doesn't worry about that as it is a near future problem. What the administration's agenda demands is the more people that can be forced into dependency in the near term the more voters that can rely on this November as the progressive socialites begin the complete destruction of our way of life.

Can't happen here you say? You're too late for that thinking, as of January 1st, 2013, brings the largest tax hike in the history of our country for everyone, that's every tax payer, not just the rich that will hide their money. So who will pay this nightmare? Surely you aren't that stupid!

The Crisis of the Uninsured Is Far from Over
Source: Devon Herrick, "The Crisis of the Uninsured Is Far from Over," National Center for Policy Analysis, September 25, 2012.

September 25, 2012
The number of people who lack health coverage fell to 48.6 million in 2011 -- down slightly from 49.9 million the year before, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A bright spot in the new report is that about 407,000 fewer adults between the ages of 35 and 44 were uninsured in 2011, says Devon Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

However, the crisis of the uninsured is far from over. Moreover, it is unlikely to be resolved by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- the federal health reform law.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 30 million people will remain uninsured a decade from now when the ACA is fully implemented. One of the stated goals for passing the ACA was to boost access to health coverage. Yet, a significant number of people will remain uninsured even after the law is fully implemented.

•Consider, when they go into effect in 2016, penalties for going without health coverage will be far less than the cost of coverage -- if the penalties are enforced at all.
•A further concern is that up to 30 percent of businesses will likely find it to their advantage to drop their employee health plan when their workers have access to subsidized coverage in the state health insurance exchanges, beginning in 2014.
•Up to half of the uninsured were expected to gain coverage after states expand Medicaid eligibility to all legal residents earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,415 for one person, or $31,809 for a family of four). But this is unlikely to occur now that the Supreme Court has ruled that states are not required to expand state Medicaid programs.

Moreover, about 13 million foreign-born residents are uninsured -- accounting for one-quarter (27 percent) of those who lack health coverage. Nearly half (44 percent) of foreign-born noncitizen residents currently lack health coverage. Only immigrants who have been legal residents for more than five years qualify for public coverage, and most will not qualify for health insurance subsidies in the new health insurance exchanges.

The uninsured include diverse groups, each uninsured for a different reason. These groups include:

•Low-income families (19.2 million individuals).
•Middle-income families (nearly 14.7 million individuals).
•The young and healthy (about 19.2 million 18-to-34 year olds).
•Middle-aged adults (about 13.4 million 45-to-64 year olds).

Federal Reserve's QE3 : A Progressive Democrat Institution

The Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing (QE3) is just another attempt to keep the stock market level until the election, nothing more. The first two didn't work so why try another with the risk of inflation and or total collapse of the dollar which just fell another 6% against other currencties? What this looks like is the Fed has become just another arm of the progressive socialist Democrat party.

The Federal Reserves reputation has been completely compromised as a nonpartisan institution.

The Fed Doubles Down
Source: John H. Makin, "The Fed Doubles Down," American Enterprise Institute, September 13, 2012.

September 25, 2012
The Federal Reserve is working tirelessly to increase economic growth and reduce unemployment. According to a recent statement by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Fed's new conditional approach allows it to affect real variables like the level of unemployment by precommitting it to further action if goals are not met and precommitting it to maintain a highly accommodative policy stance, says John H. Makin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

At a glance, the FOMC statement looks like another round of quantitative easing:

•The Fed will purchase mortgage-backed securities at $40 billion per month.
•Additionally, the existing Operation Twist measures will continue as an attempt to push down long term interest rates.

However, the difference between quantitative easing and what the Fed says in the statement is that the FOMC will monitor economic and financial conditions and if the labor market does not improve substantially, the committee will "employ its other policy tools as appropriate until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability." This allows an extreme amount of flexibility for the Fed, which means that:

•The purchase of assets and use of other tools will continue until the labor market improves.
•Furthermore, it assumes there is no possibility of failure, as asset buying will continue until the market improves.
•Also, there is ambiguity about the response to asset buying in the case of a rise in inflation.
•Finally, the Fed expects that a highly accommodative stance will go on for at least three years.

The Fed's bold strategy represents a high-risk, high-reward type situation. If inflation doesn't rise and the economy picks up, the banks are in for good news as the Fed will be able to hold down short term interest rates. However, if the Fed tries to hold down long term rates while the economy is recovering, the risk of inflation is greatly enhanced.

Green Energy Production Failed BUT No Fossil Fuel Either

Again, this is not news - anyone with half an once of common sense knew this as the Obama administration jammed this nonsense down our throats. And it's not just wind power, it's the total failure of the solar industry which, again, was pushed by the progressive liberals as the wave of the future.

In a way they were right in saying wind and solar would the wave of the future in energy generation, it foretold the demise of the coal industry where thousands lost here jobs. Oh, and even knowing that the coal industry supplies over 40 percent of the electrical generation in this country, the progressives' agenda was on track to slow this countries progress into the future.

So, here is another good reason to veto for our progressive socialist leader, complete shut down of electrical generation for us and  future generations. No coal, No natural gas, No oil and No nuclear power.

Cool!  Really, living in card board box, if you can find one, won't be all that bad if you can place the blame on someone else, not the person in mirror. Oops, can't be that person, no mirror!!

Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry Is Withering
Source: Diane Cardwell, "Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry Is Withering," New York Times, September 20, 2012.

September 25, 2012
The wind turbine industry is struggling to sell its product, which, along with political setbacks, is forcing companies to scale back their operations and layoff employees, says the New York Times.

•The wind industry receives a tax break of $1 billion a year.
•However, the subsidy has become a wedge issue in the election, dooming any chances of an extension and at the very least delaying it.
•Furthermore, there has been reduced demand for electricity from wind energy, competition from cheap natural gas, and other Asian competitors.
•As a result, 10,000 jobs have disappeared since 2008, when the industry employed about 85,000 people.

The impacts of layoffs are not isolated to one area of the country or the world, but are being felt all across the industry. For example:

•Siemens recently announced it would lay off 945 workers in Kansas, Iowa and Florida.
•Katana Summit, a tower manufacturer, said it would shut down its entire operation if it could not find a buyer.
•Vestas, the world's largest turbine manufacturer, laid off 1,400 workers globally in addition to the 2,300 layoffs announced this year.
•Clipper Windpower, a manufacturer located in Iowa, is cutting its employment numbers down from 550 to 376.

As it stands, the tax credit subsidizes wind power by 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour, which has prompted many people to invest in wind power. However, opponents of the subsidy argue that the industry has had long enough to stand on its own feet and doesn't need the government's support anymore. And with wind representing such a small percentage of total energy generation, the taxpayers are not getting enough of a return on their investment.

ObamaCare Costs A Trillion $ : 88% More then Obama Said

WOW - Here is just another 'good' reason to vote for Obama. But with all this information at the disposal of the general public, why would they willing vote for someone that will insure their future demise? The sick, seniors and any other groups that depends on government for their health care.

Why do Lemmings plunge off the cliff? Easy, they are just following the nutjob in the lead!

$1.8 Trillion Shock
Source: Paul Bedard, "$1.8 Trillion Shock: Obama Regs Cost 20-Times Estimate," Washington Examiner, September 20, 2012. Wayne Crews, "Tip of the Costberg," Competitive Enterprise Institute, Fall 2012.

September 25, 2012
The Obama administration has passed a slew of regulations, including the new health care law, which together are poised to cost taxpayers and businesses more than originally assumed. According to estimates by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the cost of regulations will be about $1.8 trillion annually, nearly 20 times the $88 billion initially assumed, says the Washington Examiner.

The regulations are as onerous as they are numerous and will end up hurting many businesses. Some of the most expensive regulations include:

•The baseline for annual economic regulation: $373 billion.
•The baseline for aggregate annual social regulations: $406 billion.
•Regulations on the Department of Health and Human Services: $184.805 billion.
•Federal Communications Commission: $141.58 billion.
•Department of Homeland Security: $55.331 billion.

The roundup of the costs looks at the costs estimated by federal agencies as well as hard-to-calculate costs such as antitrust intervention, regulation of electricity networks and costs of constrained access to natural resources. The $1.8 trillion estimate is close to the $1.7 trillion estimate from the Small Business Administration, which the White House is eager to distance itself from.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Federal Chairman Drops Common Sense for Politics?

Again, its not about making the economy grow or keep it from collapse, it's about spreading more money into the hands of the big banks, just as the first and second QE's did so they would send some of it back into the hands of the progressives now in power.

This worked so well in 2008, why not now, given the banks are giving more to the Republicans then in 2008, the progressive Democrats may a well try it again. After all it's only money, someone else's money.

How Quantitative Easing Helps the Rich and Soaks the Rest of Us
Source: Anthony Randazzo, "How Quantitative Easing Helps the Rich and Soaks the Rest of Us," Reason, September 13, 2012.
September 24, 2012

In the face of slow growth, the Federal Reserve has pursued another round of quantitative easing to help alleviate economic concerns. However, the Fed's policy is simply a regressive redistribution program that has been boosting wealth for those already engaged in the financial sector or those who already own homes, but passing little along to the rest of the economy, according to Anthony Randazzo, director of economic research at the Reason Foundation.

The current round of easing would have the Occupy Wall Street movement up in arms with its policies that help the wealthy.

•Quantitative easing causes stock prices to rebound. This is at the crux of the trickle-down theory: that more wealth will help those lower on the economic ladder.
•Furthermore, most equity shares exist with the wealthiest 10 percent, which means that quantitative easing affects a narrow population of Americans.
•Additionally, quantitative easing will drive investors to invest in commodities, which raises the price of things like gas, meat and bread.
•Finally, the Fed has made it easier for corporations to borrow money by artificially making interest rates cheaper.

Crucially, it is time to realize that quantitative easing isn't the solution to the lackluster economic performance. The very issue that got us into the financial crisis (cheap loans that allowed businesses to leverage housing prices) is the same one that the Fed is endorsing in their policy.

The new plan will simply increase the number of bad, risky investments and increase income inequality. Even if banks begin to lend more, it won't help people out of debt or improve the housing market. It won't help clear toxic debt or change the number of foreclosures that need to be processed. In the end, it won't help the average American very much at all.

China's Economy Falling off? Bad for America

It is a fact that with the debt that China holds of ours, they are fenced in to making sure we survive this down turn, and we are just as sure to keep China's industries growing to keep our heads above the financial waters.

We need each other, as most industrial nations are intertwined in industrial production. It's how the system of free trade is supposed to work, only it would be nice if we weren't so far in debt to just about everyone. 

Why Americans Should Root for a Strong Chinese Economy
Source: Josh Boak, "Why Americans Should Root for a Strong China Economy," Fiscal Times, September 21, 2012.

September 24, 2012
With both political campaigns pointing the finger at China for bad trade deals that steal American jobs, it is necessary to step back and realize the importance of a strong Chinese economy. The U.S. economy is heavily intertwined with the Chinese economy, and a slowdown for them could mean a slowdown for the U.S. economy, says Josh Boak of the Fiscal Times.

American jobs and the entire economy are dependent on China:

•More than 800,000 jobs relied on the $103.9 billion in goods and services shipped to China.
•U.S. exports to China have increased by 541 percent in the last decade.
•China holds $1.15 trillion in debt, which enables government expenditures on social programs and the military.
•Chinese firms invested $4.5 billion directly into the United States through mergers or the opening of new factories.
•Furthermore, the one million Chinese tourists that came to the United States last year spent an average of $6,500 each. The Commerce Department estimate that in 2016, 3.25 million Chinese will come to the United States to tour.
•Ohio alone exported $2.7 billion to China, an 838 percent increase since 2000.
•Finally, Chinese demand for American cars increased exports to China by 457 percent, or $4.55 billion.

However, opponents of China's industries do have some valid concerns. For example, it is estimated that the United States lost 1.9 million manufacturing jobs after China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO). Compounding this problem is that China has been able to artificially lower the value of their currency against the dollar. The Obama administration is currently pursuing a complaint with the WTO against China for subsidizing their auto parts industry.

China's economy can feel the impact of stagnant American and European economies. Chinese manufacturing has declined for the past 11 months as demand for products have gone down. Chinese corporate profits and property values have fallen 1.19 percent in the past 12 months, which has impacted American growth. Rather than bashing China, Americans should realize the importance of China's role in the import of goods and the benefits that are derived from trading.

Energy Policy Effects All Life : China's Green Policy Fails

This is interesting in that America's energy policy today is to stop all fossil fuel exploration and use as soon as possible, and rely entirely on wind, solar and bio fuel. Realistically, this is not possible as the green technology is no where ready to take a major role in the domestic or industrial arenas.

This administrations energy policy is designed to limit prosperity and industrial advancement to bring this country into line with other countries in Europe. That this ideology will cause great suffering in the future, if accomplished, means little to the progressive socialists now in power.

The agenda here is to build a society of dependency that will for generations vote to sustain the progressives in power, and with nearly 49% of the population waiting in line for government handouts, it's coming to be reality.

The question now is will the voting poor and unemployed fall into line as the possessive believe they will, or will they fool the progressives and vote from a belief that they want our country to be better then it is, and that their off spring will have a future better then the one that now exists generated by the current socialists? The answer is this November.

The China Model and U.S. Energy Policy
Source: Lee Lane, "The China Model and U.S. Energy Policy," Hudson Institute, September 2012.

September 24, 2012
For the past 40 years, both Republican and Democratic presidents have pursued flawed energy policies that promised a breakthrough in energy independence. Yet despite past failures, a majority of Americans, as well as the lawmakers that represent them, support subsidies to promote the latest in alternative energy technology. This support can be partly attributed to the president and other politicians linking green energy to fears about the rise of China in the energy sector, says Lee Lane, a visiting fellow with the Hudson Institute.

However, China's institutions and economic growth are unsustainable, even with the rise of its alternative energy sector. China's growth from energy provides not an example, but a cautionary tale about its energy policy and larger model for economic growth.

The source of most of China's growth came from cheap surplus labor:

•Wages have been rising and the labor force will begin shrinking by 2015.
•The old-age dependency ratio will double by 2030, forcing China to expand social services.
•Furthermore, the effects of early reforms and first round of technology imports have been absorbed and total factor productivity growth has slowed.

Moreover, China's inefficient institutions will come to affect its economic performance in the coming decades.

•First, China's effort to "rebalance" the economy by boosting productivity and raising household consumption standards is failing.
•Second, China's emphasis on investing in state-owned enterprises discourages competitions and stifles innovation.
•Third, corruption within these institutions is rampant and costly to the Chinese government.

China's green energy sector is not immune from the overall economic problems the country faces. Even with its growing production of solar and wind power technologies, China still imports coal to provide 60 percent of its electricity. Furthermore, the environmental cost of sustained fossil fuel use will cancel out any effect that alternative energy will have for the economy.

As it stands, the United States has no reason to model China's strategy for alternative energy.

•First, U.S. wages are too high to match China's labor-intensive manufacturing sector, which is required of green technology.
•Second, the government has been shown to lack the capacity to implement the technology.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Medicaid Costing States Huge Revenue

Congressional Budget Office  (CBO) says the new ObamaCare act (ACA) will increase the burden for states to care for the millions of new participants in the health care program jammed down every ones throats.

Wait, this isn't news, this has been known from the beginning and just one of the many reasons every Republican voted against ObamaCare. Dumping the majority of the costs on the states is just a tool used by Obama to hide the real cost of 'single payer' health coverage.

Every thing Mr Obama said about ObamaCare has proven to be false and he knew this from the beginning. Mr Obama believes, and rightly so, no matter what he says, a huge number of the population will believe him and the main stream media will carry the lie as long as necessary.

Medicaid Expansion Will Become More Costly to States
Source: Drew Gonshorowski, "Medicaid Expansion Will Become More Costly to States," Heritage Foundation, August 30, 2012.

September 21, 2012
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government has given many options to state governments that seem attractive on the surface but may end up being very costly, says Drew Gonshorowski, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

•Under the ACA, states can choose to expand their Medicaid populations to include individuals below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
•The federal government will pick up 100 percent of payments for the first three years and then roll back its payments.
•The expansion would increase federal spending by $642 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office.
•This option is meant to induce states to choose to expand Medicaid because of the perceived low costs.

However, President Obama has already proposed a budget for fiscal year 2013 that reduces the federal match rate on the expansion, which would have several implications for states. Indeed, the proposed blended rate in the budget would cost states up to $3.4 billion a year.

Several scenarios were simulated to show the different results a state could experience if the federal match rates are reduced. In the first simulation, the 100 percent match rate as specified by the ACA is assumed. In the second scenario, a 90 percent match rate is assumed. The third scenario is reduced by 10 percent but keeps the same schedule as the ACA. In the fourth and final scenario, the match rate is reduced to the blended rate. Some examples are given on how they would affect individual states:

•Ohio would see increased spending by $407 million in the first five years under the first scenario, $1.3 billion in the second scenario, and $2.5 billion in the last scenario.
•Similarly, Illinois would spend $840 million in the first scenario, $2 billion in the second scenario, and $6.6 billion under the proposed blended rate.
•Finally, in Georgia, spending could increase by $200 million in the first five years. However, ithe match rate is lowered, costs could go up to $1.2 billion.

State legislatures must be cautious in assessing the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid. While the federal government makes claims of lowered overall costs, the proposed blended rates actually place a heavier burden on the states to pay for Medicaid.

Pensions Plans in States Failing : Reform to Hard

This is not hard to understand as most government agencies that are under water, and continuing to fail, are headed by progressives that believe there is no tax to high to implement to bring in more revenue to spend.

Just look what happened in Wisconsin under the direction Scott Walker, a Conservative. Now look at what is happening in Illinois and California under the direction of possessives socialist Democrats.

Pension Woe Mounts As States Forsake Reform
Source: Steven Malanga, "Pension Woe Mounts As States Forsake Reform," Real Clear Markets, September 12, 2012.

September 21, 2012
States are scrambling to find a solution to soaring pension debts. Since 2009, more than 40 states have reported enacting some manner of changes to their pension systems to save money. However, these changes do nothing and make governments spend more of their budgets on their pension system, says Steven Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

•From 2008 to 2010, unfunded pension and retiree health care benefits grew 38 percent to $1.38 trillion.
•Since 2008, pension liabilities have soared to an estimated $4.6 trillion, a $2 trillion increase.
•The average investment returns on all public pension funds was only 1.1 percent, compared to the anticipated 7.5 percent to 8 percent.

Many states have pursued feeble strategies to take care of their pension problems but have been met with fierce opposition from union lobbyists.

•California passed a watered down version of a bill that would have saved $50 billion over the next 30 years.
•Twenty-three states have raised the retirement age for new workers and increased the number of years those employees need to work before they access benefits.
•However, these reforms don't affect the current workforce.
•Similarly, New York created a less expensive pension system for new employees that would save $21 billion over the next 30 years. However, the savings don't mean much in the context of the $259 billion New York will have to contribute to its pension funds.

The reason states end up passing laws that only affect new employees is that many states write into their constitutions that no changes can be made to benefit levels of current workers. New Jersey is considering proposals to their constitution that would allow benefits to be cut to current employees.

Utah and Rhode Island provide examples of states that show promise in their pension system reforms.

•After the stock market decline of 2008, Utah's pension went from 95 percent funding to 87 percent.
•Furthermore, they closed down its defined benefit pensions to new workers and opened a 401(k) style retirement savings account.
•This reduced the risk that Utah would go bankrupt from 50 percent to 10 percent.
•Similarly, Rhode Island suspended annual cost-of-living adjustments for retirees.
•Furthermore, new employees were put in a system where they have small defined benefits and a 401(k) style plan.
•This is estimated to have cut the pension system's unfunded liabilities in half to $3 billion.

Job Creation Getting Worse ; Progressive's Agenda

Job creation is not what the Obama administration is all about - the Obama administration's agenda is to crush jobs and the economy to slow prosperity and bring America into line with the rest of the world.

Anyone that believes Barack Obama has our best interests at heart is terribly misinformed or just plan out of touch, or worse, mentally challenged.

The Collapse of Startups in Job Creation
Source: Tim Kane, "The Collapse of Startups in Job Creation," Hudson Institute, September 2012.

September 21, 2012
The entrepreneurial spirit that became the engine for economic growth is weak in the status quo. There are fewer new firms being created today than two years ago when the recession ended. In addition to the low number of startups, the number of workers hired by new firms has also decreased. At a time when growth and the addition of jobs are crucial to the economy, it is necessary to take a look at the lagging numbers, says Tim Kane, chief economist at the Hudson Institute.

•The number of new establishments a year peaked in 2006 with 667,000.
•That number dropped to 505,000 in 2010.
•The number of jobs created by establishments less than one year old has decreased from 4.1 million in 1994 to 2.5 million in 2010.

The drop in the number of jobs created is especially troubling considering the importance of new firms in creating jobs. Since 1977, newly born companies were responsible for creating a net three million jobs per year, with that number dropping to 2.928 million in 2008. Kane aimed to find the long-term pattern of startup job creation per capita.

•Between the 1980s and 1990s, there were 11 startup jobs per 1,000 people.
•The average rate for entrepreneurial job creation under the last three presidents was 11.3, 11.2, and 10.8, respectively.
•However, under President Obama the average rate dropped significantly to 7.8.

According to economic theory, this economy is more poised to offer better opportunities for entrepreneurs. First, there is more technology to use and explore. Second, the society is wealthier, which gives more people opportunity to use their money and explore start-ups. Finally, a shift to services requires less capital than the manufacturing or agricultural industries, making it easier for people to get their foot in the door.

But instead entrepreneurship is on the decline. There are several possible explanations for this:

•First, high taxes and uncertainty make it a hostile environment for people that want to become entrepreneurs.
•Second, the passage of the Affordable Care Act creates a regulatory environment that changes how employers engage their workers, thus requiring a couple years to fully understand the new changes.
•Third, the Internal Revenue Service has begun to crackdown on employers that hire contractors instead of workers, which forces new startups to pay for benefits they can't afford.
•Finally, the rise of occupational licensing mandated by local governments is hurting opportunities for poor and middle class Americans that want to create startups.

Genetically Engineered Foods : Subsistence Unchanged

How can so many people that are completely out of control, especially mentally, all seem to gravitate to California? Most states or cities that are run by progressive socialists Democrats are failures. Given this supposition, how will they save themselves from utter destruction?

Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods Is a Losing Proposition
September 20, 2012
Source: Gregory Conko and Henry I. Miller, "Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods Is a Losing Proposition," Forbes, September 12, 2012.

California is considering a proposition that would require food to be labeled if it is genetically engineered (GE). The law does nothing more than deceive people into purchasing non-GE foods, which aren't different from GE foods. Scientists agree GE foods are simply an extension of genetic modifications that have long enhanced what we already eat, say Gregory Conko, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Henry I. Miller, the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

Genetic engineering is safe and produces many advantages for people and the environment.

•Three billion acres of crops are genetically engineered.
•As a result, every year farmers spray millions of fewer gallons of pesticides and reduce topsoil erosion because varieties of GE foods are less susceptible to mold infections and fungal toxins.

The proposed law would hurt consumers in several ways.

•Compliance costs would inflate the costs of goods, meaning families would have to pay up to $350 to $400 more a year on groceries.
•Consumer choice would be reduced because the labels would create a perception that there is cause for concern, meaning retailers and restaurants would rid themselves of products that were GE, as was the case in Britain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require that special labels be put on foods that are GE. This is primarily because there is no change to a food's composition when it is GE.

Despite support for the proposition, the law is likely to be struck down by the court if it is approved. The first reason is that the federal law preempts state labeling rules that conflict with FDA policy. Second, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled over a decade ago that labeling mandates based on a right to know is a violation of the First Amendment.

Whether the proposition passes or doesn't, consumers already have the tools at their disposal to find out whether a food is GE. For instance, food producers can advertise that what they are selling is not GE, which gives consumers the knowledge and choice to decide between what they want to buy.

Economic Disaster Follows Progressive Agendas

Regulation is just another tool used by the Obama administration to slow the growth of this country. The Dodd/Frank financial bill is probably the single worst piece of legislation to ever be enacted to destroy economic prosperity in this country, the agenda of the progressive socialist Democrats now in power. 

Regulations coming from the EPA to completely destroy the coal industry is not far behind where thousands of jobs are lost and our electrical generation capabilities are strangled. More then 40% of all electrical generation in this country is from coal fired plants. There are many more examples of how the agenda of progressives socialist Democrats are undermining the American economy.

It's nearly impossible to believe that our president acutely wants to destroy our way of life. 

Little wonder we are holding our collective breaths until this November as that will be a defining moment in our countrys history.

The Economic Situation
Source: Bruce Yandle, "The Economic Situation," Mercatus Center, September 11, 2012.

September 20, 2012
The nation's economic situation continues to fail in some areas and deliver in others. Depending on the observer, the economy may be right where it needs to be or the pace of growth has been abysmal. In any case, the economy in 2012 is what can be considered a mixed-bag economy, says Bruce Yandle, a distinguished adjunct professor of economics at the Capitol Hill Campus program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Overall, the economic outlook is bleak -- the United States and many developed nations are not at pace with where they need to be. Developing countries are experiencing a significant increase in the share of world gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

In the United States, places like North Dakota, Texas and Utah are also showing signs of strong GDP growth. This is because those states are sites for the burgeoning knowledge economy, which is characterized by entrepreneurship, fast growing firms, a large base of scientists and engineers, and high levels of research and development.

One factor that continues to directly affect many consumers is the price of gasoline.

•Last January the average national price was $3.29 per gallon.
•This month, the average price is $3.84 a gallon -- a 16 percent increase in eight months.

In addition, overregulation of the economy is becoming a fixture in the everyday lives of many businesses. Many industries have had to adjust to an increase in regulations over the past decade.

•The paper manufacturing industry, for example, faced a 39 percent increase in regulations in 2010 from 1997.
•Over that same time, the chemical manufacturing and oil and gas extraction industries faced 26 percent more regulation.
•Finally, the rail transportation industry saw a 21 percent increase in regulations.

While there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of the economy, Yandle offers his take on the 2012-2013 economic outlook:

•GDP growth will range from 2 percent to 2.5 percent.
•Retail sales will rise as wealth is created.
•The unemployment rate will hover between 8.2 percent and 8.9 percent.
•Inflation will rise to 2 or 3 percent.
•There may also be an increase in interest rates by the end of 2013.
•Finally, overall gas prices may increase modestly.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ben Stein On Government Hypocracy : Good Stuff

Paradoxical Quote of The Day From Ben Stein: "Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... But not everyone must prove they are a citizen." Now add this, "Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens."

Think about it when you vote in November !

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Public Employee State Pensions Ready to Crash

Want a quick solution to this problem, look no further then Wisconsin and their Act 10 law.

Best Practices for Reforming State Employee Pensions
Source: Ivan Osorio, "Best Practices for Reforming State Employee Pensions," Capital Research Center, September 2012.

September 19, 2012
Years of overly generous pension commitments to government employees have wreaked havoc on state budgets. Plans for reform have been thwarted by fierce opposition from government employee unions. While the Obama administration's stimulus plan helped alleviate some of the pressures on state governments to fund their pensions, now it is time to take a serious look at the problem and make adjustments, says Ivan Osorio, editorial director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

The outlook of pension funds is dire.

•State and local unfunded pension liabilities nationwide are at least $1 trillion.
•Furthermore, there will be a nationwide state budget shortfall of $757 billion.
•Illinois, a state facing one of the more serious pension shortfalls, projects that the Teachers' Retirement System is likely to drop from 48.4 percent funded ratio to 18.8 percent.

In April 2011, a task force was created to identify the problems and potential solutions to states' budget problems. This year, the task force released its report, called the Racitch-Volcker report, and identified six structural factors that legislatures need to deal with:

•First, pension payouts based on final-year pay. This prevents employees from "spiking," or racking up overtime pay in their final year to increase their pay-outs.
•Second, collective bargaining. Unions provide a large amount of money to government elections to elect candidates that protect a union's interest. This effectively puts government employee unions on both sides of the bargaining table.
•Third, binding arbitration. Unions and local governments submit binding arbitration to avoid strikes, but this proves costlier than strikes themselves.
•Fourth, politicized pension fund boards. Board members make investment decisions that have political objectives unrelated to investment returns.
•Fifth, faulty accounting standards. The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has allowed pension managers to base their funding projections on optimistic expectations on investment returns.
•Finally, defined-benefit pensions. These guarantee benefits of a certain nature to retirees regardless of how the pension plan's investments fare. A defined-contribution pension like most companies have would allow benefits to fluctuate according to investment returns and wouldn't run the risk of runaway future liabilities.

In June, the GASB revealed new standards for accounting. The new standards are an effort to make it more difficult for managers of public pension plans to project unrealistic gains. Furthermore, the GASB standards will provide ammo against government employee unions because they can no longer point to optimistic numbers to support their desire to leave pensions untouched.

Medicare Headed for Collapse : Reform Now A Must

The progressives agenda is to keep the Medicare system that we have now and when it desolves into nothing they will blame the Repubicans. It's a win win situation giving them the votes they need now and they get more votes when the system collapeses.

And who will believe it was the Republicans fault, just enough to swing the elections. Right now we have nearly 49% of the population on food stamps and other federal mandates. How will that work out when it's over 50% or more of the population receiving a hand out?

Medicare Reform: Battling the Myths
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Medicare Reform: Battling the Myths," MarketWatch, September 13, 2012.

September 19, 2012
As the political hunting season begins, the Obama campaign is quick to misinform the public about the Republicans' plan for Medicare, arguing it would eliminate the program as we know it.

Specifically in regard to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) proposed reform to Medicare, opponents are calling it a voucher system that would put seniors at the mercy of insurance providers. But a look at the facts shows that this is not the case, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

It is worth noting that Ryan's first proposal for reform is vastly different from his second one. The first one, proposed in 2010, is a voucher system that gives beneficiaries a set amount of money to use for a particular purpose, like the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The problem with this is that vouchers may not offer enough funds for seniors to purchase adequate health care.

Because of this, Ryan proposed a new plan in 2012 known as "premium support." Some features of this plan are:

•Seniors who retire in 2023 or later choose from competing, government-approved health care plans at different prices and services, including the traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
•Seniors are not permitted to purchase a plan with less protection than Medicare, unlike the voucher system.
•And again, unlike vouchers, seniors can't put the money in things like health savings accounts -- they must choose a preapproved plan.

This plan is similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, which allows government workers to choose the best health insurance plan for them and keep it during their retirement. As competition grows among government plans, there will be lower costs for people as goods and services will be offered at cheaper prices.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that Medicare will rise from 3.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2013 to 4.3 percent in 2022 to 14 percent in 2085. Medicare in the status quo is unsustainable and without action the nation could face dire consequences.

Fracking for Natural Gas Working : Enviros losing Power?

What a crock of you know what! The enviro-fascists climate change idiots are on the the move now to stop fracking for natural gas, something that they demanded when they were out to eliminate coal and other fossil fuel resources.

Now that they see their wishes come true and the lose of power that come with success of their agenda, it doesn't work well for your agenda when what you wish for actually happens but brings along a unwanted situation.

The nightmare that is the CO2 climate change was a fraud from the beginning, but politicians saw as a way to gain a voter base. Even with the facts where shown to be a lie, it didn't matter, the push for more regulations and laws continued, and as a result we have $4 a gallon gas and electrical generations cost going through the roof.

No matter, with natural gas coming on line now driving down cost as a result of fracking, and is proving to be a source of energy for the next 200 years, the environmental nut jogs have taken up the cause to stop it's use.

As the have done with coal, still our major electrical generation resource with a hundred years of proven assets, and have met all EPA regulations on CO2, bogus for the most part, the enviros are stepping up the demand to stop fracking and insisting coal be eleminated entirely.

How will this work? No matter, it just feels like the right thing to do. The Progressive agenda at work.

A Good Fracking Story
Source: Bjørn Lomborg, "A Fracking Good Story," Project Syndicate, September 13, 2012.

September 19, 2012
Global warming alarmists are at it again, arguing that higher average temperatures and severe droughts are the worst they have been and a result of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, many of those alarmists would be surprised to learn that CO2 emissions are the lowest they've been in 20 years, says Bjørn Lomborg, an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

The cause for this stems from the switch to reliance on natural gas for energy.

•The United States used to generate only 20 percent of its energy from natural gas and over half from coal.
•Today, coal and natural gas make up 32 percent of energy production.
•Furthermore, natural gas emits 45 percent less carbon per energy unit.

The rise in the use of natural gas comes from technological advancements that have made hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, possible. Fracking has opened up untouched reserves of previously inaccessible shale gas. Aside from some environmental concern, it is difficult to overstate the benefit of fracking.

•Adjusted for inflation, gas has been the cheapest it has ever been in the past 35 years.
•Furthermore, CO2 emissions have dropped 20 percent despite adding 57 million energy producers.
•Overall, U.S. emissions have been reduced by 400 to 500 megatonnes a year, which is twice the total effect of the Kyoto Protocol on the rest of the world.

Many environmentalists incorrectly shift responsibility of the carbon reductions to the investment of alternative energy sources. Wind turbines in the United States reduce emissions by only one-tenth the amount natural gas does. The European Union, for example, has invested over $20 billion annually into solar and wind energy, but its per capita CO2 emission have fallen by less than half of what the United States has achieved.

The United States' investment in green technology has also yielded poor results. The low drop in emissions through wind power ends up costing taxpayers $3.3 billion annually, while the smaller reductions through biofuels and solar power cost $8.5 billion and $3 billion, respectively.

Fracking is not only cost-effective, but the benefits to the environment speak for themselves. Over 30 years of investment and technological innovation have yielded outstanding results and will continue to do so as producers tap into vast natural gas reserves.

Cities Revenue Falling : Time to Raise Mill Rates

Okay, cities are losing money as the total economy is heading down the drain - what to do to make up for the fall in property values? Some cities have a built in safety device that was implemented years ago and approved by citizens, which raised the values of property very high but taxed at a mill rate at a lower existing tax evaluation. The current taxed mill rate will be on the real value of the property, but the assessed values was tripled for future use. 

Why? This reason was explained that if the county or city needed more money all they needed to do was step up the value assessment with no need for a new valuation by the assessor. The evaluation done years ago had built in values that the assessor could use to raise the mill rate at any time and without notice.

This article hits home on pensions and healthcare cost that are rising and will continue to strangle most cities and states. Now all they have to do is raise taxes and make the situation worse. Neat.

Cities' Revenue Keeps Shrinking
Source: Vauhini Vara, "Cities' Revenue Keeps Shrinking," Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2012.

September 19, 2012
U.S. cities' revenue keeps falling because of the delayed effect of weaker property values now weighing on municipal finances, says the Wall Street Journal.

It typically takes cities 18 months to feel the effects of the broader economy, which means that many cities are now starting to feel the impact of the recession.

•Cities expect revenues to decline an average of 3.9 percent in 2012, the sixth straight year of revenue declines.
•As a result, many cities have had to reduce the number of workers, slash spending and delay infrastructure projects.
•But sales tax revenues rose 2.4 percent in 2012.
•However, it was not enough to offset the 2.1 percent drop in property taxes and the 0.8 percent fall in income taxes.

Most importantly, the rising costs of pensions and health care are making it increasingly difficult for states to maintain their budgets without making any cuts.

•Out of 324 cities that were surveyed, 77 percent said pension costs increased in 2012 from the previous year.
•Eighty-one percent said the same of health care costs.

In San Jose, California, Mayor Chuck Reed has attempted a solution to the city's pension problem by requiring workers to either contribute more to their pension or face fewer benefits. His measure was approved by the public and as a result the city's revenues are on the rise.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Federal Reserve's QE3 : More Borrowed Money After Bad

What's the definition of insanity, 'doing the same thing over and over and expect different results' fits this situation. Even though QE3 will only drive inflation higher and doing nothing for the economy, the fed still is going ahead with more debt. Insane? 

From some experts it's not about the economy, it's about helping Mr Obama's economy that is tanking. The Federal Reserve is doing the bidding of the Democrat party with tax dollars and putting a burden on future generations that will dictate their future.

Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing Results Are Mixed, At Best
Source: "Fed's Quantitative Easing Results Are Mixed, At Best," Investor's Business Daily, September 13, 2012.

September 18, 2012
The Federal Reserve has launched a third round of quantitative easing (QE) to help the ailing economy. Ben Bernanke, the chief of the Federal Reserve, defends the QE program, claiming it has boosted gross domestic product by 3 percent and led to 2 million jobs in the past. But the $3 trillion accumulated over the quantitative easing programs has done little to stimulate the private sector, says Investor's Business Daily.

•Oil prices are still hovering at $95 a barrel.
•Food prices are at record highs.
•Furthermore, the median household income fell 1.5 percent to $50,054 and is down 8.1 percent from 2007.
•Additionally, 46.2 million Americans live in poverty, or 15 percent of the population.
•Adding more money into the economy isn't the solution, as banks have $1.5 trillion in reserves and companies have $2 trillion stowed away.

The reason the Fed pursues quantitative easing is because the trillion dollar deficit makes it difficult to find buyers for bonds to finance the debt. The private sector is not enticed because the interest rates are too low, thus requiring the fed to buy government debt. This, in turn, distorts interest rates and market decisions.

Under this new round of quantitative easing, known as QE3, the Fed will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgages. Printing money is not the answer to the nation's economic woes; finding a solution to the fiscal cliff that America is about to go over should be the primary concern.

Medicare Fee for Service Going Down : Doctors Leaving?

Doctors will not have much choice but to take less money or leave the business. The number of new members to the system, millions, will demand more services from less service givers. Now, what about those that are paying their own way? Screwed?

Why destroy the entire system to make sure those that don't even want health insurance or have never thought about having it are forced to take it. What now?

The Regional Impact of the Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Payment Reductions
Source: Robert Book and Michael Ramlet, "What is the Regional Impact of the Medicare Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Payment Reductions?" University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, September 2012.

September 18, 2012
In July, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of the Medicare payment reductions as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The cuts are estimated to be $716 billion between 2013 and 2022, say Robert Book, senior research director at HSI Network, and Michael Ramlet, director of health policy at the American Action Forum.

There are several changes to payment rates and payment rules:

•The ACA decreases annual updates to Medicare's payment rates in the Medicare Fee-for-Service program by $415 billion.
•Furthermore, the ACA reduces payment in the Medicare Advantage program by $156 billion.
•Additionally, the ACA reduces disproportionate share hospital payments by $31 billion and $25 billion from the Medicare program.
•Finally, the ACA reduces Medicare spending through provisions such as the Independent Payment Advisory Board by $114 billion.

However, the impacts of the reductions range depending on the geography of the United States. Book and Ramlet took the available data from the CBO to assess the impact of spending reductions among the different regions of the United States.

First, they calculate the cuts on a state level based on the total cuts from each county in a state. Second, they assess the impact of the Fee-for-Service cuts by multiplying the CBO-projected cut for each year to obtain each county's Fee-for-Service cuts. Then the Medicare Advantage spending reductions were calculated by using data on previous Medicare Advantage benchmarks to calculate the projected benchmarks based on rules in the ACA.

Social Security Disablility/Unemployment Jobless Ready to Crash

Worse then have more and more people scam the system, it's the fact that most of these see no problem doing it. And with the system ready to go under in four years, what will be work ethic be for those that haven't seen any kind of gainful employment in three to four years? How will the feed themselves? Another federal program to feed the unworkable? Who's to pay for it? Where does the money from when the nation is broke?

Ask this question the next time you see your local Democrat office holder who believes there is no end to the money train. The only time they will acknowledge this is when they are out of the country living large.

117,000 Americans Get Jobless and Disability Benefits
Source: Josh Boak, "117,000 Americans Get Jobless and Disability Benefits," Fiscal Times, September 12, 2012.

September 18, 2012
As jobs become scarce, many people are increasingly reliant on unemployment benefits to stay afloat during tough economic times. But many Americans have taken advantage of the system to "double-dip," receiving unemployment and Social Security disability checks at the same time, says the Fiscal Times.

•About 117,000 Americans cashed in unemployment and Social Security disability checks in fiscal year 2010.
•In the same year, the average "double-dipper" received $7,316 dollars.
•Roughly 1,500 people got as much as $40,000 a year.
•Unemployment benefits cost taxpayers $128 billion a year.
•Social Security Disability Insurance is expected to become insolvent in four years.

To be considered disabled, a person must have a condition that prevents him or her from doing substantial gainful activity or work that generates more than $12,000 in income. No law currently prevents a person from receiving both a disability and unemployment check. Additionally, there is nothing in place that would reduce the amount of money a person gets if they are claiming to be unemployed and disabled.

Lawmakers are calling for a crackdown on people receiving both benefits. However, the Social Security Administration has stated that it is difficult to determine whether people who received unemployment benefits are also disabled. Furthermore, they stress that the process can be lengthy and may be costly to enforce.

The assistant labor secretary has also noted that there is a lack of budget and manpower to identify the possible savings from preventing double-dipping.

Federal Assistance to 'Poor' : Who Is Poor?

What this term 'poor' really means when defined by a progressive is a voter that receives enough voter information, monetary assistance, that is money and food stamps, to keep them poor and dependent and voting progressive socialist Democrat.

How Poor is "Poor"?
Source: Robert Rector, "How Poor is 'Poor'?" National Review Online, September 13, 2012.

September 18, 2012
This month the U.S. Bureau of the Census released its annual report on income and poverty. It showed no improvement in the conditions of impoverished Americans, says Robert Rector, a senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.

•More than 46 million Americans, or 15 percent of the population, were considered poor in 2011.
•This is an increase of 9.8 million people from 2006.

When the average American hears the term poverty, they conjure up images of destitution: people that can't provide food, shelter or clothing for themselves or their families. That is not the case, as most families that are in poverty have access to all essential needs, including health care.

•A family of four is considered poor if its annual income falls below about $23,000.
•About 80 percent of poor adults and 96 percent of poor children were never hungry at any time during the year.
•The average consumption of protein, vitamins and minerals is nearly the same for both poor and middle-class families.
•Additionally, 80 percent of poor households had air conditioning, two-thirds had cable or satellite television, 43 percent had internet, and one-third had wide-screen televisions.

When classifying a family as poor, the government doesn't include the benefits these families receive in the form of food stamps, public housing or other forms of welfare. In fiscal year 2011, the federal government spent $927 billion on several means-tested programs to help impoverished families. About one-third of the U.S. population received some sort of support from the government.

Instead of defining people as poor, it would be more apt to describe poor families in terms of how self-sufficient they are -- the ability to sustain an income above the poverty level without the help of the government. So while 46.2 million Americans weren't necessarily poor, they did lack self-sufficiency. Rather than focusing on helping poor families, the government should target policies that promote self-sufficiency.