Thursday, January 31, 2013

Global Warming Still Suckers Millions of $ and People

It boggles the mind to try and believe that so many people still believe man-made climate change, global warming, is responsible for the resent storms that have ravaged our coast. Given all the information from many sources that have proven that the information that has been so prevalent demanding that man-made climate change is a fact, is in fact, false - a fraud perpetrated to only make money.

People like Al Gore have made suckers of the public all the while making millions of dollars for personal enrichment. But why, after all of this, do so many people are still willing to bend the knee to this insanity. Low information or just plain stupid? Gosh - willingly accepting a lie without even a trace of disbelief. Little wonder the election last Noverber when the way it did.

Exaggerated Global Warming Claims May Lead to Poor Policy
January 31, 2013
Source: Bjørn Lomborg, "Climate-Change Misdirection," Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2013.

President Obama doubled-down on his commitment to "respond to the threat of climate change" during his second inaugural address, which included powerful references to the scariest and most salient examples of what we think to be global warming's effects. However, Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, takes exception to President Obama's rhetorical exaggerations and advocates for more sensible thinking in the global warming discussion.
Consider this:
  • The number of global wildfires has decreased by 15 percent since peaking in 1950.
  • A Nature in November study states that the incidence of drought has not changed substantially in the past six decades. The U.N. Climate Panel in 2012 notes that while droughts are more intense and frequent in some places, they are weaker and less frequent in other places.
  • Despite the massive damage inflicted, the United States is actually at the lowest point of hurricane activity, measured by total energy, since the 1970s.
  • The Nature in November study estimates that global damage cost as a percentage of gross domestic product will drop by 0.02 percent by 2100, despite global warming.
Lomborg is clear when he states that climate change is an important issue that should be addressed. However, he believes that the fear-mongering often employed by global warming advocates when they mention out-of-control natural disasters does not contribute to a useful discussion on how to formulate our response to changes in our climate. Instead, policymakers should consider these options:
  • Better building codes, improving infrastructure and eliminating subsidies for hurricane insurance could reduce hurricane storm damage.
  • Subsidies for wind and solar power cannot drive demand for renewable energy and need to be eliminated. The International Energy Agency estimates that wind energy will generate just 2.4 percent of the world's energy while solar will generate just 1 percent.

Green Energy - Electric Cars Aren't Ready - Maybe Never

Does anyone believe that the government picking winners and loser is a good idea? Mr Obama picking the solar industry as a winner, and as most everyone knows is, nearly all of these industries have folded. Even after billions of taxpayers dollars poured into companies, that the government knew that the companies were not viable, the government went ahead anyway to grant them the money.

Oh wait, who stood to gain when these companies collapsed, it just so happens that many of the owners and manages of these industries just happen to be 'bundlers' for the Obama campaign. Who knew? Where was the outrage from the media for Mr Obama out right theft of our resources? What a laugh - the media taking responsibility as journalists to find the truth is ludicrous.

Electric Cars: Still a Work in Progress
January 29, 2013
Source: Julie Halpert, "Why Americans Still Don't Drive Electric Cars," Fiscal Times, January 22, 2013.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been heralded as the newest revolution in the automobile industry that is both environmentally conscious and affordable. But so far a host of problems has plagued the new technology, says the Fiscal Times.
  • Many batteries struggle to hold their charge in the winter or charge quickly enough on a 120 volt charger.
  • The Obama administration wants 1 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015 despite anemic sales performance to date.
  • Only 9,819 Nissan Leafs and 23,461 Chevrolet Volts were sold in 2012.
  • The market as a whole accounted for merely 0.1 percent of the 15-million-car-per-year American market, up only 0.001 percent from 2011.
To bolster poor sales performance, Nissan is cutting the price for its Leaf S Trim model by $6,000 and moving production to Tennessee to reduce costs. Market research company LMC Automotive notes that a $20 per month reduction in the Chevy Volt's lease rate likely triggered its sales surge this year.
  • LMC predicts that in 10 years, only 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the market will be electric vehicles.
  • In order to encourage the market to grow, the government offers a $7,500 tax credit to anyone who purchases an electric vehicle.
  • Major setbacks to the growth of EVs include the fluctuating price of oil, whether new technology is developed that improves battery performance, how quickly a charging infrastructure develops and how EVs are perceived by the public.
An Indiana University study found that many adult drivers in 21 large U.S. cities feel the price outweighs the benefits, and that electric vehicles have short driving ranges and must be charged frequently.

The study found that drivers in some cities, like San Jose, Chicago and Boston, were more willing to invest in an EV while drivers in cities like Nashville and Detroit had little interest.

Despite concerns that the market will never grow significantly, manufacturers like Tesla are hopeful about the future. Tesla will hit the market with its Model S, the first mass-produced luxury EV, with a price tag of $52,400 after the $7,500 tax credit. Tesla has more than 13,000 reservations for the Model S and customers will begin taking delivery soon.

California Demands for Renewable Energy - Crazy

This can not come as a big surprise to anyone that California is already paying higher energy costs then any other state, and is headed into territory of high energy cost not ever seen in our county.

Just imagine how this will effect the average taxpayer that is already suffocating under huge taxes, and now they will have to pay even more for energy then anyone else in the country. How will they do this and survive?

Bottom line, if something doesn't change the heal long dash into the insanity of renewable resources as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, then the state will not survive given all of their other problems that are now driving the state into bankruptcy.

California's Push for Renewable Energy Will Raise Prices
January 31, 2013
Source: Benjamin Zycher, "CA's 33 Percent Renewable Portfolio Standard Will Raise Power Rates by 13 Percent," Pacific Research Institute, January 22, 2013.

A new report released by the Pacific Research Institute finds that California's 33 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) will trigger a substantial rise in energy costs for the state by 2020. The report, written by Pacific Research Institute Senior Fellow Benjamin Zycher, estimates that the mandate will cost California approximately $5 billion in 2020.
  • Set to take effect in 2020, the RPS mandate requires California electric utilities to obtain 33 percent of their power supplies from renewable wind, solar and geothermal sources.
  • Of the estimated $5 billion cost of the mandate, $1 billion will be incurred during transmission, $500 million will be incurred as backup and $3.5 billion will be incurred when generating the power through nonhydroelectric renewable resources.
  • Zycher predicts that the overall cost of the mandate will increase with consumption and that it equates to an implicit tax of 27 percent.
The increased costs of providing power will be borne by the consumer, either directly through higher energy bills or indirectly as higher energy bills are passed on to the end consumer. Zycher predicts that consumer costs will rise by 13 percent in 2020 due to the 33 percent RPS mandate.
  • California retail rates are already 93 percent to 131 percent higher than those in the Pacific Northwest and 70 percent higher than those in the Mountain region.
  • Compared with the United States, which includes the high cost energy markets of Alaska and Hawaii, California energy costs are 53 percent higher.
  • California produced only 12 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2010.
Forcing high cost energy into the market through central planning skirts free market economic principles. The need for a renewable portfolio standard cannot be substantiated by consumer demand and will force capital and manpower to be wasted pursuing this mandate.

California will not be able to compete with its neighbors if continues to mandate its 33 percent RPS standard.

Progessives' Hypocrisy : Bush A tyrannt - Obama A Saint

Truly, the progressive socialist liberal Democrats are not friends of this country as it was founded or any other way for that mattert. With a progressive professor stating on TV that "the Constitution has to be destroyed because it was written at a different time in our history, by old white men, and it has no relevance to the problems that we face today".

After reading this article, and understanding how bigoted and hypocritical the progressive left really is, the statements made by progressive Democrats are direct quotes, little wonder then why the main stream press doesn't print this duplicity as they are part and parcel to the same hypocrisy. 

Yet, given all of this hypocrisy, one has to wonder how a person can totally believing one thing and then totally denying the very same thing at a later date without a shred of doubt that they are being truthful. What?

How does this equate? The progressive socialist liberals do not see this as a problem for their agenda. They honestly believe this is not deviant behavior. And all of this is totally lost on a majority of the voting public? I guess so, as anyone that is awake can witness last November's results. Go Figure!

History Lesson: Under Fascist Bush, Democrats Feared Tyranny 
Larry Elder

Once upon a time, a group of people known as the "Democrats" expressed great fear of tyranny by government.This was a time long, long ago, when a man from a place called Texas, representing a people known as the Republicans, occupied the White House.

Leaders of the Democrats feared tyranny by the Republicans and called the man from Texas racist, oppressive and tyrannical.

To refresh your recollection, we offer a few examples from the distant past: Billionaire Democratic contributor George Soros. He said the George W. Bush White House displayed the "supremacist ideology of Nazi Germany" and that Bush's administration used rhetoric that echoed his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,'" Soros said, "it reminds me of the Germans." Soros later said: "The Bush administration and the Nazi and communist regimes all engaged in the politics of fear. ... Indeed, the Bush administration has been able to improve on the techniques used by the Nazi and communist propaganda machines."

Former Vice President Al Gore. He said: "(George W. Bush's) executive branch has made it a practice to try and control and intimidate news organizations, from PBS to CBS to Newsweek. ... And every day, they unleash squadrons of digital brown shirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President."

Former two-time Democratic presidential candidate and civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson. After Congress passed new anti-terrorism laws following 9/11, he said: "We are in danger. The extreme right wing has seized the government. Tonight, (John) Ashcroft and the CIA and the FBI and Homeland Security and the IRS can work together. So look out, because without a definition of who is a terrorist, anyone can be. ... Martin Luther King could have been. ... The right-wing media, the FBI -- they are targeting our leadership."

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He said: "What we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup or not. ... (President Bush) is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an emperor -- to create Empire America." An Iraq War opponent, McDermott said, "The President of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war."

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who sits on four Senate committees, including Armed Services and Commerce. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she said, "George Bush let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Energy Production Huge in United States : Obama Says --?

Who knew? This is something that has been known for a decade or more but the media didn't want to acknowledge it as the media is completely in the tank for the progressive liberal socialists that believes large energy resources are bad as they produce prosperity. 

Democrats demanding 'renewable' energy sources to produce all of energy needs for now and the future, really don't care if it's workable or not.  The problem with this thinking is that it's nonsense, a total fabrication of reality, but it's the new norm of bring the United States to it's collective knees as we have stolen the world's resources for the past two hundred years and now we have to suffer for it.

Just one example, coal produces more the 40% of all our energy needs right now, but the Obama regime has attacked the coal industry forcing more then 6000 out of their jobs. As a result, we are all paying more for energy and will pay much more in the future.

Obama understands this and likes it as he sees this as a good way to drive down peoples opportunity to prosper and thereby gain more control of the population. Mr Obama will not allow the XL pipe line, no new nuclear power plants, no drilling off our coasts, no new refineries and he will fight any expansion of 'fracking' of natural gas or oil as expanding fossil energy would to such an extent would grow the economy and give the citizens prosperity.

Prosperity, for the general population, is totally unacceptable. Progressive Socialism does not accept prosperity as a way of life.

United States Could Become the World's Largest Energy Producer
January 30, 2013
Source: Anthony Fenson, "America: The Next Energy Superpower?" The Diplomat, January 23, 2013.

America's growing energy production will have global impacts. Indeed, based on the evidence, the United States could become the world's largest energy producer within the next 20 years, says Anthony Fenson, a writer for The Diplomat.
  • Oil and gas company BP has estimated that due to unconventional sources the United States could be essentially self-sufficient by 2030 due in large part to the shale gas revolution.
  • The United States could become a liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter as early as 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • BP expects that as the world population reaches a projected 8.3 billion people by 2030 and real income rises significantly, an additional 1.3 billion people will require energy. This will result in a 36 percent higher demand, with 93 percent of this increase originating from developing nations.
Future U.S. gas exports could have a substantial impact on the Asia-Pacific region, which currently imports much of its gas from Australia. Rapid Chinese and Indian growth will require significant energy imports to satisfy domestic demand in the future.
  • BP reports that by 2030 approximately 99 percent of America's energy needs will be met at home, compared with only 70 percent in 2005.
  • The U.S. shale gas boom has already lowered household energy bills by an estimated $1,000 per year and has triggered new industrial investments that have boosted the manufacturing sector.
  • Natural gas-fired power plants produce half as many emissions and will be necessary to reduce the impacts of the predicted heavy fossil fuel use that will likely lead to a forecasted 26 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
  • BP expects oil, gas and coal to comprise roughly one-quarter of the global energy market while non-fossil fuels like nuclear, hydro and renewables will make up approximately 7 percent of the market each.
Global energy production will continue to rise each year. Renewables will grow an anticipated 7.6 percent a year, fossil fuels at an estimated 2 percent per year, nuclear power by 2.6 percent a year and coal at 1.2 percent a year. With large oil reserves, increased production of biofuels and growing natural gas from shales, the United States is in an excellent position to remain an energy superpower for the foreseeable future.

ObamaCare Says Smokers Not Welcome for Care: What?

Again, the progressives use their power to decide who should live and who should die. The progressive liberals are the perfect example of how life should be lived, but if you fall short of their expectation, you are told to stay away from the table of ObamaCare goodies. Washington elites setting the standards for life. What in the world happened to common sense? Smokers are expected to help pay the tab for ObamaCare but aren't welcome to the benefits.

Who exactly voted for more of the nightmare that has attached itself to our county back in 2008? Worse, who voted again for more of the same?

Penalty Could Keep Smokers out of Health Overhaul
January 30, 2013
Source: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Penalty Could Keep Smokers out of Health Overhaul," Associated Press, January 24, 2013.

Millions of smokers could be priced out of health insurance because of tobacco penalties in President Barack Obama's health care law, according to experts who are just now teasing out the potential impact of a little-noted provision in the massive legislation, says the Associated Press.
  • The Affordable Care (ACA) allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums starting next January 1.
  • For a 55-year-old smoker, the penalty could reach nearly $4,250 a year. A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.
  • Younger smokers could be charged lower penalties under rules proposed last fall by the Obama administration, but older smokers could face a heavy hit on their household budgets at a time in life when smoking-related illnesses tend to emerge.
Workers covered on the job would be able to avoid tobacco penalties by joining smoking cessation programs, because employer plans operate under different rules. But experts say that option is not guaranteed to smokers trying to purchase coverage individually.
  • Nearly one of every five U.S. adults smokes.
  • That share is higher among lower-income people, who also are more likely to work in jobs that don't come with health insurance and would therefore depend on the new federal health care law.
  • Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, lung problems and cancer, contributing to nearly 450,000 deaths a year.
Insurers won't be allowed to charge more under the overhaul for people who are overweight, or have a health condition like a bad back or a heart that skips beats, but they can charge more if a person smokes.

Several provisions in the federal health care law work together to leave older smokers with a bleak set of financial options, says Karen Pollitz, an expert on individual health insurance markets with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • First, the law allows insurers to charge older adults up to three times as much as their youngest customers.
  • Second, the law allows insurers to levy the full 50 percent penalty on older smokers while charging less to younger ones.
  • And finally, government tax credits that will be available to help pay premiums cannot be used to offset the cost of penalties for smokers.

Florida Reqiring Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients

How can something like this happen on Obama's watch? How will Obama, and his minions, stop this before welfare recipients stop using drugs and start look for work?

After all, having more people on drugs drags down the entire system which will force more people into government run 'single payer' health care, which by the way, is already showing signs of failure as states opt out of ObamaCare Exchanges. Who knew?


I-95 and I-75 will be jammed for the next month or so with druggies and deadbeats heading North out of Florida, because this is the first state in the union to require drug testing to receive welfare!

Hooray for Florida ! In signing the new law, Republican Gov. Rick Scott said, "If Floridians want welfare, they better make sure they are drug-free."

Applicants must pay for the drug test, but are reimbursed if they test drug-free. Applicants who test positive for illicit substances, won't be eligible for the funds for a year, or until they undergo treatment. Those who fail a second time will be
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Education Changes for Teachers by Training & Education

The first hurdle is to changing education in this country is to change the mind set of unions or get rid of them entirely. A good example is Wisconsin where the teachers were given the option to join the union. The result was the union couldn't get members to re-up that membership.

The teachers decided that they had better use for the $1000 they pay for union dues then giving it to unions to use for dubious projects that don't do anything for education or the teachers. Now teachers need to review who they are and what their jobs really mean to education.

Sounds simple enough but it's the foundation of all eduction, 'know thy self" is imperative.

How to Improve the Quality of K-12 Teachers
January 29, 2013
Source: Timothy Knowles, "New Pathways for Teachers, New Promises for Students: A Vision for Developing Excellent Teachers," American Enterprise Institute, January 2013.

To improve America's students, we must first improve its educators, says Timothy Knowles, the John Dewey Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute.

Knowles offers a comprehensive set of recommendations for how we can develop America's teachers.
  • Subsidize the cost of learning for teachers through loan forgiveness programs, increase starting teaching salaries, and evaluate teachers on the knowledge and skills they possess rather than simply on the degree they hold.
  • Because many new teachers feel underprepared for the classroom, a new system of preparation could require teachers to have a degree in a particular subject area rather than an undergraduate degree in education that does not endow them with a particular subject-matter expertise.
  • New placement strategies could create connections between universities and local districts that channel teachers into the school system more fluidly. These relationships would encourage institutional accountability for those that train teachers and develop pipelines for prep-to-placement.
  • By providing training for new teachers, evaluating teacher progress on more than just achievement scores and providing information about each school before employment, increased retention will minimize the turnover that harms the lowest-achieving schools most.
  • New teachers should be offered opportunities to expand their career outside of the classroom, receive compensation based on performance, and expand their knowledge base through job-embedded training and development.
  • The current accountability-based system must be reformed to account for multiple indicators of teacher success, examine a school's organizational capacity for improvement, hold higher education institutions accountable for the education they provide and incentivize student learning.
The recommendations in Knowles' report, if implemented, would be the first step toward ensuring that the way we have traditionally groomed teachers will change. If student outcomes are to improve, we must improve the quality of teachers. To do this requires a systematic and philosophical change in the manner in which we educate, train, recruit, evaluate, compensate and support our teachers.

Small Business' Seek Ways to Skirt ObamaCare

The real positive thing here is that the American way of doing business is always looking for a way to make a'profit', yeah I know that an evil term but innovation and original thought that accompanies their search for profit will save the day.

A Health Scare for Small Businesses
January 18, 2013
Source: "A Health Scare for Small Businesses," Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2013.

Even though the rule doesn't go into effect until early 2014, a business could be subject to the so-called employer mandate if, during 2013, it averages 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, according to recently released regulations from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service. This means employers will have to provide health coverage that meets government standards or potentially pay a penalty, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • Employers have the choice to calculate their head counts by averaging the full 12 months of 2013 or a consecutive six-month period during the year.
  • Many small-business owners haven't yet realized that the way they structure their firm in 2013 could determine their status under the law in a year's time.
  • The government issued the little-noticed regulatory guidance on December 28.
  • To avoid the health care law's penalties, many employers are considering hiring only part-time employees or deliberately curbing growth so that they have no need to hire.
Many small business owners believe the best solution is to hire independent contractors, who would be able to take on certain tasks without upping the company's headcount.
  • Typically, independent contractors are less expensive for employers, who don't have to pay taxes on wages or supply benefits, as they would for their employees.
  • Reliance on independent contractors has increased over the years, particularly in the recession, when employers sought less expensive labor.
  • In December 2012, 6.7 percent of payroll checks written by small employers went to 1099 workers, or those not considered employees of a company, according to SurePayroll, a Chicago-based payroll firm.
  • That's roughly double the 3.5 percent of payroll checks that went to 1099 workers in December 2007.
The trend is expected to accelerate this year given the framework of the looming health care law, employment analysts predict.

Insurance Compaines React From Fear of Government

This is just another result of ObamaCare and the 30 million new customers that will arrive for free health care. It's called - fear - fear that this influx of new patients will swamp the system and leave the insurance companies holding the bag while the government sails away scott free - as they intended all along.

Destroy the insurance companies and then force the taxpayers to pay the entire bill when the system is completely under the control of the government of progressive elite Democrats.

Fear is a great motivator for all kinds of unintended consequences and is the main 'stick' that the Obama administration uses to take over the country. Who voted for this last November?

Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits, Despite New Health Law
January 15, 2013
Source: Reed Abelson, "Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits, Despite New Health Law," New York Times, January 5, 2013.

Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration's health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.

Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own, says the New York Times.
  • In California, Aetna is proposing rate increases of as much as 22 percent, Anthem Blue Cross 26 percent and Blue Shield of California 20 percent for some of those policy holders, according to the insurers' filings with the state for 2013.
  • These rate requests are all the more striking after a 39 percent rise sought by Anthem Blue Cross in 2010 helped give impetus to the law, known as the Affordable Care Act, which was passed the same year and will not be fully in effect until 2014.
  • In other states, like Florida and Ohio, insurers have been able to raise rates by at least 20 percent for some policy holders.
  • The proposed increases compare with about 4 percent for families with employer-based policies.
The double-digit requests in some states are being made despite evidence that overall health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that costs may increase just 7.5 percent next year, well below the rate increases being sought by some insurers.

But the companies counter that medical costs for some policy holders are rising much faster than the average, suggesting they are in a sicker population. Federal regulators contend that premiums would be higher still without the law, which also sets limits on profits and administrative costs and provides for rebates if insurers exceed those limits.

Some consumer advocates and policy experts say the insurers may be increasing rates for fear of charging too little, and they may be less afraid of having to refund some of the money than risk losing money.

ObamaCare's New Taxes 'A Perfect Storm'

The conclusion here is that the people will see how much they are paying in new taxes and rebel against ObamaCare's new taxes. How foolish! The few that can actually read and understand their pay stub will in fact freak out when they see how much is actually taken out of their checks, but the majority will just roll over and wait to take the next kick in the head and wallet. 

Also, those that have direct deposit will not have a clue what they are paying in new taxes as they never go on-line to check what difference there is in their income, much less stop in at the bank or credit union to check. Most just go to the ATM for cash costing10% or more, then head out for life in the fast lane texting to the tune of hundreds of dollars per month.

Life is good - Everything is free, and to make sure it stays that way, allwe have to do is keep voting progressive Democrat. It worked great for the last 4 years, the next 4 will be even better as Obama promised us more of everything for nothing. He just said he will take all the money he needs to pay for all the free stuff from all those that are still working and give to those that aren't.

Oah Oh - wait a minute - I'm still working - maybe I should check my pay stub next week to see how much I'm giving in charity. Hey, hey this is right!! Who said they could that all this money away from me? I voted like I was supposed to.     Suckers!

As 2013 Begins, Get Ready For an ObamaCare Tax Onslaught
January 15, 2013
Source: Grace-Marie Turner, "As 2013 Begins, Get Ready For an ObamaCare Tax Onslaught," Forbes, January 1, 2012.

Given all the debate there has been over the fiscal cliff, many people have given little attention to the ObamaCare tax onslaught. The third wave of ObamaCare taxes began on January 1, the latest blitz before the tsunami of changes from the health overhaul law hits in 2014, says Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute.

The most controversial tax is the medical device tax, which will affect firms that make important medical equipment.
  • The tax will impose a 2.3 percent on profit from gross sales, even if the company has no profit at all.
  • It is expected to collect about $29 billion over the next 10 years, which will hurt research and development.
  • The medical device industry employs 400,000 people in 12,000 factories across the countries, but many companies say the tax will force them to relocate overseas.
Other ObamaCare taxes include:
  • Surtax on investment income -- individuals making $200,000 or more annually, or couples making $250,000 or more, must pay a new 3.8 percent levy on income from investments, including profits from the sale of a home.
  • Medicare tax -- The same group of people will have their Medicare payroll tax increased to 3.8 percent.
  • Flexible Spending Account tax -- sets a $2,500 cap on how much workers can set aside for tax-free medical costs.
  • Furthermore, itemized medical deductions will be tightened. The threshold for allowed deductions will increase from 7.5 percent to 10 percent.
Altogether, the tax increases amount to an approximate $1 trillion. Nearly every industry is affected as well, from health insurers and drug companies to even tanning salons.

As more of the regulations get implemented and taxpayers see how much they have to pay over the next couple years, there is hope that there will be new attempts to delay or get rid of the law altogether.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Environmental Regualion Over Reach : Tools of Progressives

As usual, the government in Washington, and in some cases state law markers, provide too much over sight from a distance. How law makers can determine what is prudent and wise when it comes to making rules and regulations that effect all of our lives can do so from building far from the supposed crimes and using information to formulate these regulations from individuals that have a strict bias, begs the lack of good sense.

But hey, these people making the rules are being paid to make these decisions, and by God that's exactly what they will do. That most of the rules don't make sense, is irrelevant. And when one looks closely, most of the regulations that defy common sense involve the environment. And also, who are the  instigators of insane environmental regulations, progressive socialist liberals. WOW! Who knew?

Overreacting to Environmental Crimes
January 28, 2013
Source: Marc Levin and Vikrant Reddy, "Engulfed by Environmental Crimes: Overcriminalization on the Gulf Coast," Texas Public Policy Foundation, December 2012.

Overcriminalization, the act of making too many actions or behaviors illegal, is a problem that plagues Gulf Coast states struggling to stay on the right side of environmental law. Indeed, nearly 1,000 laws have passed that criminalize various activities in the five states that border the Gulf of Mexico, say Marc Levin and Vikrant Reddy of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
  • Environmental crimes can be defined as crimes that relate to air, water, waste, land use or other commercial activity involving natural resources. Many of the crimes on the books can lead to imprisonment.
  • Texas has 263 environmental crimes, Louisiana has 286, Mississippi has 94, Alabama has 185 and Florida has 107 environmental crimes.
  • Some crimes, like the improper disposal of hazardous waste in Texas, are felonies carrying stiff sentences of up to 10 years in prison.
In each state, the attorney general, a state agency or district attorneys are responsible for prosecuting the expanse of applicable environmental laws. Unlike many prosecutable crimes, many statutes in the Gulf Coast states do not require the perpetrator to act with mens rea, or a "guilty mind," meaning that violators could unknowingly wind up on the wrong side of the law.

Levin and Reddy consider the overcriminalization of environmental crimes a scourge that disproportionately punishes criminal infractions even if no human is harmed. In many instances criminal sanctions are not necessary.
  • To adjust current policies, Levin and Reddy suggest reviewing all environmental laws to ensure that the punishment matches the crime.
  • Strengthening the mens rea requirements of environmental statutes so that only those who are willingly and knowingly breaking the law are punished would increase justice and equity.
  • Eliminating provisions that delegate the power to criminalize an action by the rulemaking authority of an agency would reduce the glut of criminalized actions.
  • Implementing a "safe harbor" provision that allows violators to come into regulatory compliance and avoid prosecution would encourage citizens to obey the law.
Business owners in particular, many of whom run afoul of environmental laws, would benefit from implementing these suggestions. Without any reform, residents of the Gulf Coast states could continue to unknowingly commit felonies every day.

Marginal Tax Rates Drives Lower Class Failures

More bad news for the middle and lower class - More suffering for the middle class, and the lower class, as these are the people that the progressives will use to gain more power, driving more unemployment with promises of longer time benefits , more food stamps, free phones, free child care, other social services that prohibit real life experiences as well as free citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. This is the very voter base of the progressive socialist liberal Democrats.

And you must believe, the progresses socialists do not care what happens to these classes, they are about getting and keeping power no matter who will suffer. The working class individuals are just tools, nothing more.

Low-Income Workers Suffer High Effective Marginal Tax Rates
January 22, 2013
Source: Salim Furth, "Effective Marginal Tax Rates for Low-Income Workers Are High," Heritage Foundation, January 8, 2013.

A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reveals that effective marginal tax rates have unintended consequences for low-income workers, says Salim Furth, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
  • A poverty trap created by benefits such as Section 8 housing and food stamps discourages low-income workers from earning more.
  • Each additional dollar low-income workers earn between $5,000 and $20,000 brings only an additional $0.15 in disposable income, which amounts to a marginal tax rate of 85 percent.
  • Low-income earners in the $10,000 to $23,000 range keep a smaller portion of their new earnings.
Policymakers need to think more carefully about the unintended consequences of the policies meant to aid low-income workers. For example, the argument supporting the minimum wage is weak because most increases in the minimum wage result in higher marginal tax rates and less income earned by the individual.
  • A 10 percent rise in the minimum wage increases take-home pay by less than 4 percent according to the CBO.
  • Lower minimum wages encourage free market competition and greater employment.
  • The Affordable Care Act adds to low-income workers' tax burden by raising the marginal effective tax rate for a single parent earning between $22,000 and $62,000 a year by phasing out premium credits as wages rise.
Despite our best efforts, we may never truly measure poverty correctly until we fix the way we measure poverty statistics. The Official Poverty Measure in use today was developed in the 1960s and does not accurately reflect the realities facing the poor today.
  • Furth also points out that the expiration of the temporary payroll tax cut will raise marginal tax rates another 2 percent for most wage earners.
  • Many benefits are considered in-kind, or non-cash, the benefits of which are not calculated correctly according to the CBO report.
As tax reform continues to take center stage in public discussion, policymakers should keep in mind the income earners on the other end of the pay scale that struggle to make ends meet.

Tax Increases Penalize, Crushes Low Income Citizens

What good news - everyone suffers under the progressive socialistic liberal agenda, an agenda that got a lot of very far left progressive Democrats elected and reelected this past November. Why would anyone, with even half of a brain, vote for more progressism?

Remember the statement from Mr Obama about how he will "fundamentally" change America? ObamaCare, which 70% of the population said they didn't want, that will control nearly every aspect of our lives. Well, now he has 4 more years of relentless attack on everything that is the American dream.

With all of the information that is available, to everyone on just how bad this administration has conducted itself over the past 4 years, the majority of the voting public still voted for more of the same.

What is this, some kind of death wish, or just plain ignorance of how we got here?

High Taxes Penalize Working Wives
January 17, 2013
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "Higher Taxes Penalize Working Wives," MarketWatch, January 4, 2013.

When couples marry, second earners are typically stuck paying higher marginal tax rates than if they were single. When President Obama signs his new tax bill, Americans at both ends of the income scale will be penalized for tying the knot, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
  • Low- and middle-income women will support the renewed extension of unemployment insurance while footing more of their health insurance bills because of Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies that phase out at 400 percent of the poverty line.
  • Seventy percent of poor families with children are headed by single parents who will be adversely affected as their unemployment insurance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and tax credits are phased out.
  • For married upper-income women, the new tax law will create a top tax rate of roughly 42 percent plus state and local taxes for a total tax rate of more than 50 percent.
Combined, the new tax law will place downward pressure on labor force participation rates as increasing numbers of Americans will exit the workforce. The bottom of the income scale will be impacted further as health insurance premium credits for married couples under the ACA will be determined not directly by income, but by the poverty line.

The poverty line for one person is $11,170 with an additional $3,960 for a spouse, making it far more likely that a second household income will place that household above the poverty line, raising their premium payments.

With less government support for health insurance payments for married couples, lower-income individuals will have good reason to remain single, as will upper-income individuals entering a higher-income bracket upon marriage.

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction Doesn't Work?

Eliminating the home mortgage deduction will be a hard sell to the general public given the decades of belief that it is a god send to the home owner. Even some CPA's that I know have indicted to pay off ones mortgage early is foolish.

According to this article though, which makes sense, getting out of debt early, especially out from under a mortgage debt, is the best way to begin ones climb to prosperity. 

The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction Is Inefficient
January 17, 2013
Source: Jeremy Horpedahl and Harrison Searles, "The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," Mercatus Center, January 8, 2013.

As the largest explicit tax deduction for households, the home mortgage interest deduction allows taxpayers who own their homes to lower their taxable income by the amount of interest paid on loans for a principal residence or a second home. While politicians believe this deduction greatly increases middle-class home ownership, reality proves otherwise, say Jeremy Horpedahl and Harrison Searles of the Mercatus Center.
  • The deduction is aimed at encouraging home ownership and increasing future taxable income.
  • Most middle-class taxpayers do not benefit at all.
  • Only taxpayers in the upper income brackets receive a large benefit from this deduction.
With growing federal deficits, the existence of deductions in the tax code necessitates a tradeoff between different government services and higher taxes. With a skewed distribution of beneficiaries toward the wealthy, most households would not be significantly harmed by removing the deduction.
  • The Office of Management and Budget estimates the deduction resulted in $72 billion in lost tax revenue in 2011.
  • For a household in the $40,000 to $50,000 income bracket, the average tax savings amounted to only $111.
  • By comparison, for households earning above $200,000, the average tax savings amounted to $1,784.
These statistics negate the argument made by defenders of the deduction who claim that it makes housing more affordable and accessible to middle-class families. In fact, an examination of the period from 1960 through 1997 shows that homeownership rates varied only slightly, between 62 percent and 66 percent, despite the deduction. Additionally, the mortgage interest deduction has negative economic impacts that further render it inefficient.
  • The deduction alters the natural allocation of resources toward high-income residential housing construction.
  • This misallocation skews the structure of the economy and distribution of income in favor of the wealthy, who also waste resources supporting lobbying efforts to defend the deduction.
  • The subsidy inflates the prices of high-income housing.
To fix these problems, the deduction could simply be eliminated, replaced with a tax credit for purchasing a home, or eliminated and offset by a decrease in the general level of income taxation.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hillary Positions Her Agneda Ahead of Security

Here is a good one for all to see and understand - Hillary really doesn't care that the four were murdered because of a catastrophic state department failure, of which she is in charge, it's important that the nation understands that the deaths of just four people isn't really important as against the prospects of her running for president and that she needs a clean slate to do so.

Realistically, she doesn't need a clean slate as the media and a majority of voters in the country really don't care what she did in the past, witness Mr Obama's past history didn't effect his first or second election as no one ever knew what his past was, and maybe worse, didn't care. Mrs Clinton will be nominated by the Democrat party on the first ballot.

As horrific as this seems, given the complete failure on all levels of government that is the Obama administration, it's the sign of the times, the new norm, take more from the productive to give to the unproductive. It just seems fair that way.

And after the entire system collapses due to 12 years of progressive socialists, Obama and then Hillary in the big office, the majority, as was the cries from the electorate last November, as to why we are in this mess in the first place, it will still be the old play book stand by, that dam Bush!

Believe, the progressive socialist Democrats will never take responsibility for anything they do, they will always have a 'strawman' ready in the wings to roll out to cover the failures. If it's not Bush it will be the Republican party, Christian zealots or what ever the progressive can make stick in the public's minds

 Sadly, the 'low information' public, the distracted and the ignorant buy into this strawman flim flam ruse every time. With nearly the entire main stream media that support the progressives, managed news becomes the back bone of the strawman and the order of the day. The idea of individual thought for decision making is lost. It's just too easy to go with the flow; to get along, go along.

Progressive's Seek "Fundamental" Change : 1776 Founders The Same?

Political Cartoons by Chuck AsayI like this - one thing that is constant in the arena of Obama politics is, when his lips are moving you know he is lying.

I believe the only time he has told the truth to us in the trenches is when he said "I won, get over it".

I also believe, as historians might agree, the situation we are in today is similar to what the founding fathers went through trying to break away from King George. It was suffocating rules and regulations, high taxes and overbearing demands, threats, for compliance.

And what is also similar is that a large portion of the population was not in favor of breaking away from the suppression and intimidation, in fact many joined up with the red coated arm of England to fight and die to remain under the boot of the suppressor.

That was more then two hundred and thirty years ago but it seems we are having to fight that war all over again, only this time, hopefully, it won't be bloody. Still, it is a war against a suppressive ideology of socialism that must be won at the ballet box. The alternative would be catastrophic failure of the  principles that the first war for Independence was fought, individual freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

How could we have come this far only to have to redefine our selves as though we never started. What happened? It's as though we lost our history of independence and principles that have guided us for all these years to heard of prosperity.  Go figure.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wind Energy Costs Local Communites Millions: Warrenties, Gone

Here is another photo concerning the wind mills that are going out of warranty this year - apparently this occurs more often then the main stream media would have you believe, the media doesn't cover it.

As stated previously, the cost to just repair the transmissions in these monster is $600,000 dollars let alone the cost to actually do the job.

When the lights come on now in the local community city halls, they will have to figure out why they decided to install these brutes, and that now they will have to pick up the tab to maintain them, suddenly the green mandate money from Washington isn't so green any longer. The easiest answer is to cut them up for scrap.

But hey, it's not that they weren't warned about the 'free stuff' from Washington. Numerous specials on Fox News and nearly all talk radio discussed this for years, how all of the green energy projects was a scam from the progressive socialists liberals to launder money back to the campaigns of Democrat candidates. Remember all the solar companies run by Democrat bundlers that have gone belly up?

As always, the witticism that applies here is, 'elections have consequences', or maybe better, 'what to do when you have a tiger by the tail?'

Unions Bargain in Secret on Public Wage Contracts

What possible reason could any politician use to defend unions demands to bargain in secret? This is astounding on it's face - tax dollars managed by the unions to make sure unions get every cent they can grab, all the while the taxpayer is left outside in the dark. Can this be?

What in the world is going on in our country? This is even happening in Wisconsin where Scott Walker just saw his Act 10 law upheld by the court of appeals on collective bargaining? Whaaaaat!?

End the Secrecy in Public Union Collective Bargaining
January 25, 2013
Source: Nick Dranias, Bryron Schlomach and Stephen Slivinski, "Airing Out the Smoke-filled Rooms: Bringing Transparency to Public Union Collective Bargaining," Goldwater Institute, January 17, 2013.

In 11 states, secret government union collective bargaining is law, a lack of oversight that should be corrected. This lack of oversight often leads to unions employing strong-arm tactics to receive higher wages and benefits at taxpayer expense, say Nick Dranias, Bryron Schlomach and Stephen Slivinski of the Goldwater Institute.
  • Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and Wisconsin all require collective bargaining to take place outside the watchful eyes of elected officials and the news media's watchful eyes.
  • About 2.5 million Arizonans, more than 40 percent of the state's population, live in municipalities that keep collective bargaining with government unions secret.
  • Arizona pays its hourly employees approximately 20 percent more than what workers earn in the private sector.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that state and local government employees earn 43 percent more than their private sector counterparts.
The monopoly unions exert over labor is strengthened by collective bargaining laws that enable this pay gap between public and private workers to exist. Because of these strong laws, government unions are able to extract compensation and concessions that are not found in the private sector.
  • Among these 11 states, most of which are right-to-work states, there are growing calls for increased transparency in the bargaining process.
  • The American Legislative Exchange Council has endorsed model standalone legislation that would improve transparency but opponents of this legislation label it as attempts at "union busting."
  • Seven states -- Oregon, Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and Maryland -- have strong transparency stipulations in place for some or all of their government unions.
Even when transparency in bargaining is enacted, government unions still have access to public records of government finance and can assess what the municipality can afford. Unions around the country have a lot to lose if transparency becomes the guiding principle for collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Dranias, Schlomach and Slivinski believe that all bargaining should take place at open meetings.
  • All meetings should be documented verbatim and those documents should be available as part of public record.
Taxpayers and budgets everywhere will benefit if transparency and accountability is required in government union collective bargaining.

Federal Spending Gone Crazy : Waste & Fraud Huge

Want to stop the waste from the federal government, stop the spending, it's just that easy. Just step back from the trough and say we won't do this anymore, we are going to start over from the beginning. Everyone roll up their sleeves, take out the sharp pencils and start cutting every program in the federal government.

Oh wait, can't do that - too many fingers on the scale, too many mouths too close to the trough. Too many pockets that need to be filled on a daily basis. Too many grasping hands for the free stuff and not enough back bones to say enough is enough, let alone a public that doesn't even have the slightest clue why we are sliding into financial ruin, or worse, a public that doesn't care. 

I don't understand what's happening to the general public in our country? Why is this so clear to me  but lost on so many of my fellow citizens that business as usual can not go on? Why is there no common sense left to apply to the problems that will surly bring down our way of life?

Is it possible that so many among us just don't care how bad things get, they just believe everything will always work out as they always have in the past? Really!?

Federal Dollars: Here, There, Everywhere!
January 25, 2013
Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Get States off the Federal Dole," Reason Magazine, February 2013.

The recent devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy caused governors of the affected to states to ask the federal government to foot the bill, a move that reflects the increasing centralization of power and responsibility, says Veroniqure De Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.
  • Since the New Deal, Americans have increasingly looked to the federal government for subsidies and control while surrendering their local autonomy.
  • More than 1,700 grants in fiscal year 2011 accounted for $515 billion in infrastructure, health and other program spending, a 160 percent increase from 1990, according to the Congressional Research Service.
  • From 2001 to 2011, federal spending as a share of total state spending rose from 25.7 percent to 34.1 percent.
Since 1975, the Government Accountability Office has illuminated the problems with grants, such as duplications, waste and inefficiency. The Office of Management and Budget echoes this position, stating that grant programs have poorer performance and restrict innovation with their strict requirements compared to other federal programs.
  • For example, Homeland Security grants that expanded first responder programs do not sufficiently weigh higher risk areas; this resulted in $200,000 for surveillance cameras in Dillingham, Alaska, and $1.5 million for decontamination tents in Grand Forks County, North Dakota.
  • As the prevalence of grants has expanded, lobbying activity has increased significantly as different stakeholders contend for a greater share of the available funds.
  • After 9/11, lobbyists for first responders and firefighters flooded Washington, D.C., to obtain a share of the influx of funds meant to shore up America's national security.
Grants are also used for political gain, which according to Vanderbilt University's John Hudak, are given more frequently to swing states than to all other states combined. Boston University economists Douglas Kriner and Andrew Reeves have found that this tactic is effective, leading voters to reward incumbent presidents who spend federal funds on their local issues.

Ultimately, the federal government should stop paying for state- and local-level programs and issues. With a massive burden of debt hanging over the federal government, America could copy her neighbor to the north. Canada has had great success cutting its debt levels. One strategy it used was cutting funding to provincial governments and distributing aid in three large block grants.
Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Get States off the Federal Dole," Reason Magazine, February 2013.

Government Over-Reach : Humor in Truth, The IRS

This is just good humor, but at the same time tells a story about where our government has taken us, and how we have stood by wondering what happened instead of understanding what is going on and doing something to stop it.
 
And what is the best way to stop the over reach, easy, vote out those that are over reaching. But wait, what happened in November of last year, a majority of voters did just the opposite, they voted for more of the same. Who knew?
 
(Author Unknown)
A father walks into a restaurant with his young son. He gives the young boy 3 nickels to play with to keep him occupied.
Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the nickels and starts
slapping him on the back. The boy coughs up 2 of the nickels but keeps choking. Looking at his son, the father is
panicking and shouting for help.
A well dressed, attractive and serious looking woman in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper
and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, neatly folds the
newspaper and places it on the counter. She slowly gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the
restaurant. Reaching the boy the woman carefully drops his pants, takes hold of the boy's testicles and starts to squeeze
and twist, gently at first, but then ever so firmly! After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the last
nickel which the woman deftly catches in her free hand. Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the nickel to the
father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.
As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking
her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before! It was fantastic! Are you a doctor?"
“No,” the woman replied, “I'm with the I.R.S.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ethanol Production to Rise : Starvation of Millions to Rise

Ever wonder how "fundamental" change will impact your life - well here is some informtion that will make a difference in all of our lives. With the draught from last year, and corn production down, now the prediction is for more draught this year, what a great idea for the EPA to raise the production mandate of ethanol this year by 13 billion gals.

The mere fact that millions will starve around the world becasue we are demanding some much of our corn production to manufacture ethanol, doesn't enter the discusion. This is about the progressive agenda of stopping fossil fuel production and at the same time driving the price of gasoline and food out of sight.

The agenda at work. With food and gasoline prices going up every day, requires families to allocate more and more resources to just eating and getting to work. Rest asured, it won't be long until families will have to change how they live and vote just to survive. How cool is that - Who Knew?

Corn-Based Ethanol Production Should Cease
January 24, 2013
Source: Mark Perry, "Production of Corn Ethanol as an Automotive Fuel Source Should Cease," MLive, January 16, 2013.

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) justification for mandating an increase in E15 production, a fuel comprised of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, is weaker than ever, says Mark Perry, a University of Michigan at Flint economics professor.
  • A recent American Automobile Association report found that using E15 causes accelerated engine wear.
  • Accelerated wear on the internal parts of a combustion engine results in costly repairs for consumers who believed they were being environmentally-friendly.
  • Ethanol produced from corn is the only widely-available biofuel that meets federal guidelines.
Enacted in 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard requires increasing ethanol production capacities and predicted that the biofuel industry would be booming by now.
  • As a fuel source, corn ethanol is far less efficient than gasoline, providing 27 percent lower fuel economy than traditional gasoline.
  • After a 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit companies receive to produce ethanol, it still costs 70 cents more per gallon.
  • With 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop being used to produce ethanol, retail food prices for the average American have increased.
While the ethanol lobby has claimed that the production of ethanol will move America toward energy independence, the National Research Council found that it requires significantly more water in its production process than gasoline, as well as requiring large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides that deplete water and soil quality.
  • The EPA refuses to rescind the ethanol mandate and has set production to increase from 13 billion gallons this year to 36 billion gallons by 2022.
  • By 2022, the nation's entire corn crop would be devoted to ethanol production.
  • Advances in cellulosic ethanol, which is made from wood chips, switchgrass and other sources, could reduce demand for corn.

Government Over Reach Ensures Unemployment Rise

The progressive socialist agenda of "fundamental change" is working to a tee - keep the boot of over regulation on the necks of business forcing them to lay off workers that will apply for unemployment and stay there for ever, growing the voter base for the Democrats.

 As the number of unemployed grows, as it is now with nearly 23 million receiving unemployment checks, 7 million on Social Security Disability, 47 million getting some sort of government handout like food stamps, how could things get worse for the unemployed. Just wait.  And on top of all this, they vote themselves more benefits, promised by the progressive liberal Democrats, which know there is no money for this.

As a result the country will continue to decline into a welfare mandate nightmare for everyone just like Europe. Does it matter? No, it doesn't as witnessed by the majority voting last November for more of the same.

Government Benefits Encourage Unemployment
January 24, 2013
Source: Richard Vedder, "The Wages of Unemployment," Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2013.

Unlike the first 250 years of the U.S. economy, which grew at an annualized rate of about 3.5 percent a year, the first dozen years of this century will have an estimated growth rate of about 1.81 percent, says Richard Vedder, an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.
The slowdown in growth is due to a shrinking percentage of Americans in the workforce today.
  • In 2000, there were eight more workers for every 100 working-age Americans than in 1960.
  • Since 2000, more than two-thirds of this increase has disappeared due in large part to government benefits becoming more generous.
Americans fleeing the workforce has a real impact on the economy -- 14 million fewer people work today than would have if the 2000 employment levels had continued. Instead of seeking employment, many Americans are choosing to take advantage of a multitude of government policies.
  • Thirty million more Americans receive food stamps today than in 2000 and the average benefit has risen over the past three years by $23.
  • The number of Americans receiving Social Security disability payments has risen drastically -- more than doubling in the 15 year period from 1990 to 2005, despite a decrease in the most dangerous industrial and mining jobs.
  • While in 2000 fewer than 3.9 million Americans attended college on Pell Grants, an estimated 9.7 million received the grants in 2011, though many four-year college graduates work in jobs the Labor Department has declared do not require a college education.
  • The extension of unemployment benefits, now far longer than the traditional 26 week length, means that many Americans feel less of a rush to return to the workforce after losing a job.
  • Higher marginal tax rates also mean workers take home less of their pay for the same amount of effort they once put in.
If government spending is reigned in and these benefits are trimmed back, Americans will have less of an incentive to stay home and might seek out employment. As long as these overly generous benefits persist, slow growth can be expected.

Health Care Quality In US Better Then Europe - For Now

The progressive agenda on health care, ObamaCare, is to be like Europe and Canada, wait in line for the elites in make the decision whether you live or die, ObamaCare Death Panels. If they decide you are not worth the time and money to keep you alive, they will assign you to procedures that have huge waiting times as this will ensure you will not make it into any kind of care that will help you survive.

At the same time they might decide that there is no hope for you at all, using a consensus sheet that predicts out comes of certain deceases, and deny any kind of treatment what so ever and thereby ensure your demise.

This, according to the progressives, makes sense, why spend money on people that will not be productive members of a socialistic society where every person is needed to work hard to ensure the survival of those that are incapable of work, and at the same time, making sure the progressive socialist government that controls all aspects of the citizens lives retains power.

Mr Obama speech last week was proof he has every intention of driving the county into the European style of socialism nightmare. If you think this is a stretch, look around to see how many people are ready to accept huge debt and a substandard living standard as the new norm. Look what happened last November where the majority voted to accept the new norm. Why would they do this? Self destruction? Can it be so many citizens are ready to give up self control?

Are all these people just uninformed, mentally lazy or just ready to lay down preparing for nation wide financial suicide? Remember Jim Jones in Africa where 900 members of congregation that drank the coolaide and died just because Jones told them to? There is a difference between Jim Jones and ObamaCare death panels or even the promises of good health care for everyone, but not much.

Facts about America's Health Care Quality that the World Doesn't Know
January 24, 2013
Source: Scott W. Atlas, "Facts about America's Health Care Quality that the World Doesn't Know," Fox News, January 15, 2013.

An oft-cited rationale for the Affordable Care Act is that Americans have poor access to quality health care. In reality, a variety of other factors, such as disease and lifestyle, are the real reasons why
Americans have lower life expectancies despite our advanced medical technology, says Scott W. Atlas, the David and Joan Traitel senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
  • Obesity is the epidemic linked to a greater risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
  • More than 33 percent of Americans are considered obese, compared to 17.1 percent of Western Europeans.
  • Japan has a very low rate of obesity, only 3.4 percent, and also the greatest longevity.
  • The United States also has a very high incidence of cigarette smoking, which negatively affects health outcomes.
Despite these burdens, American cancer patients survive at much higher rates that their European counterparts in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Indeed, for breast cancer, the mortality rate in Germany is 52 percent higher and in the United Kingdom it is 88 percent higher than in the United States. For prostate cancer, the mortality rates are even worse.
More Americans with heart disease receive medication or are operated on for their condition.
  • Americans have twice as many bypass procedures and four times as many angioplasties when compared to 10 Western European nations (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland).
  • Evidence suggests that Americans actually benefit from this extra treatment, with a longer five-year survival rate than Canadians who have a nationalized health system.
The United States also has a lower death rate from strokes, most likely due to modern therapy that expanded in America far quicker than it did under nationalized insurance.
  • Less than 50 percent of high blood pressure patients go untreated in the United States compared with the 66 percent to 75 percent that go untreated in Canada and Europe, respectively.
  • The United States is much more effective at controlling blood pressure through its better hypertension treatment delivery.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Plastic Bags Still A Big Issue : Facts Are Irrelevant

Plastic bags are still front and center with the brain dead progressives and with good reason, what an easy target to rail on that will gin up the base of low information and the ignorant voters. Little wonder as well why this is big in California. irrelevent

Plastic Bag Restrictions Offer Few Benefits
January 24, 2013

Source: Kenneth P. Green and Elizabeth DeMeo, "The Crusade Against Plastic Bags," Fraser Institute, January/February 2013. Pamela Villarreal and Baruch Feigenbaum, "A Survey on the Economic Effects of Los Angeles County's Plastic Bag Ban," National Center for Policy Analysis, August 16, 2012.

The panic surrounding plastic grocery bags is largely unfounded, say Kenneth P. Green and Elizabeth DeMeo of the Fraser Institute. Green and DeMeo refute the two main arguments made to support grocery bag bans.

The first claim is that the production of plastic bags pollutes the air.
  • Plastic bag critics claim it takes approximately 12 million barrels of oil to produce the 100 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States each year.
  • A 2011 study by the Environmental Agency of England that compared seven types of grocery bags including conventional plastic, biodegradable, paper and cotton bags found that traditional plastic bags have the lowest environmental impact of any of the bags.
  • The cotton bags that have grown in popularity with grocery shoppers are actually the least environmentally-friendly bag.
The second claim is that plastic bags pollute the water.
  • Hype over this claim is amplified by reports that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mountain of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean that has accumulated due to prevailing currents, is twice the size of Texas.
  • Angelicque White, an assistant professor of oceanography, states that the patch is definitely not twice the size of Texas, though she notes that the amount of plastic bags in the ocean is troubling.
  • Environmental group Grow NYC estimates that as little as 7.5 percent of human waste is comprised of plastic film.
Further scientific evidence suggests that alternative types of bags, particularly the reusable cloth bags, have health risks not associated with plastic bags. In 2010, Charles Gerba and colleagues at the University of Arizona discovered that bacteria harmful to humans thrive in the cloth fibers of reusable bags where food is stored.

The economic impact provides another reason to be skeptical of the trend sweeping America. A study by Suffolk University's Beacon Hill Institute suggests that as consumers carry more reusable bags, they will buy less, which leads to less corporate revenue, less employment and lower tax collections. Green and DeMeo also cite a 2012 study by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal that found that employment drops when a bag ban is instituted.

Porgressives Going for a Carbon Tax Again? America Under Attack

Be aware - Mr Obama is going after this country on every level to bring America down, and then "Fundamentally" change into a third world country dominated by tyrants. He believes America is wrong on all fronts. It must be punished and he is just the guy to do it. It's the progressive agenda in a nut shell.

This really isn't that hard to believe in that what Harry Reid and Mr Obama are doing, as we speak, is exactly that, driving wages down, prices up along with a debt that will never be paid off.

The next several generations, yeah, generations, not decades, will be under the boot of debt that was brought down on all of us by voters that had no clue of why the voted for Mr Obama, and many new legislators that are further left then Al Frankin, if anyone can believe that.

So who did actually vote for self destruction? Who voted to enslave their kids, and their kids, and their kids under a debt to the Chinese and others, that is so huge that having two meals a day will seem like old times in America. A real time to celebrate the power of Mr Obama and an all powerful government.

The Carbon Tax: A Devastating Proposition
January 21, 2013
Source: David Kreutzer and Nicole Loris, "Carbon Tax Would Raise Unemployment, Not Swap Revenue," Heritage Foundation, January 8, 2013.

Implementing a carbon tax may seem like an appropriate measure to both raise revenues and support an environmental agenda keen on reducing greenhouse emissions, but a new carbon tax would trigger a rise in unemployment while failing to deliver on its goal of raising revenue, say David Kreutzer and Nicolas Loris of the Heritage Foundation.
  • Most of America's energy needs are met through carbon-emitting fossil fuels, meaning that any new regulations would result in an increase in energy costs.
  • Higher energy costs disproportionately affect the poor, who spend a larger percentage of their monthly income covering utilities.
  • Businesses paying higher energy prices would pass those expenses on to the consumer, which would lower the power of consumer spending and ultimately lead to fewer jobs.
  • A 2012 analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) of a $25 carbon tax that rises 5 percent a year found that a family of four would incur $1,900 in additional expenses by 2016, while gasoline prices would rise up to $0.50 per gallon.
In addition to the EIA estimate that a carbon tax would result in a loss of more than 1 million jobs, a carbon tax is improperly targeted. Reducing or eliminating a developed country's greenhouse gases would only slightly reduce overall global emissions because developing countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are responsible for the most pollution.
  • BRIC countries desire cheap energy and would be unlikely to follow America's greenhouse lead.
  • The suggestion that a new carbon tax could be offset by reducing other taxes is unlikely to gain any ground as Washington struggles for sources of income.
  • An alternative suggestion holds that a carbon tax would eliminate any needs for the regulation of carbon dioxide. If this were true, cap-and-trade would have been successful.
After considering these facts, a carbon tax seems illogical, a conclusion echoed by two recent bipartisan resolutions that draw attention to the potential negative economic and environmental repercussions of implementing a carbon tax scheme.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Amtrak a Failure of Government Subsides

How many times does this subject come up, and every time the responses are the same, 'the public can't get by without the train and therefore it's subsides'. Hello! Railroads  that
are prosperous through market forces are working well. Amtrak is a complete failure! Who knew?

Here is the bottom line, once a federal supported program is instituted, it will never go away. It will just cost more and more because those running the program know they can spend tax dollars anyway they want without consequence, no matter how fraudulently they do it.

Nearly every government program now in operation is a failure - how about the post office?


Amtrak: The Bottomless Pit
January 23, 2013
Source: Daniel Hanson, "End the Amtrak Experiment," Washington Examiner, January 15, 2013.

In the world of Amtrak, the year you lose the least money is considered your most successful year, says Daniel Hanson of the American Enterprise Institute.
  • Amtrak posted a $361 million operating loss in 2012, its smallest operating loss since 1975.
  • The company has received more than $4.4 billion dollars in direct aid and loans during the past three years alone from the federal government.
Proponents of Amtrak argue that it provides an indispensable public service and that Americans should start to mimic Europeans in their use of passenger rail as their main mode of transportation.
  • Passengers took about 30 million trips on Amtrak with more than 10 million of these trips on the Northeast Corridor, which runs between Washington, D.C., and Boston.
  • Tickets range from $49 to $300. Most riders pay about $150 to travel from D.C. to Boston. This is only $25 more expensive than in 1997.
  • The federal government contributes almost $50 for each ticket purchased through its subsidies.
Despite massive federal subsidies over the last 40 years -- totaling $50 billion -- Amtrak's railway service along it Northeast Corridor is actually 15 minutes slower than a Penn Central train in 1969. The railroad also incurs inordinately vast expenses maintaining its tracks. While the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad only cost $1.2 million per mile and the entire interstate system that carries 60 times as many people cost $10 million per mile to build, Amtrak has received $6.1 million for each of the 730 miles it maintains.

Amtrak funding accounts for only a tiny fraction of the annual deficit (0.001 percent) and the federal budget (0.0004 percent), however, it has nothing to show for the federal funds it has received.

It has not innovated, lowered prices, provided faster service or moved toward self-sufficiency as a normal company competing in the economy would. Given its track record, federal subsidies for Amtrak should be eliminated and the free market's prevailing forces should be left to their own accord.

Retirees Face Disaster After Raiding 401K's to Survive

The progressive agenda is working - drive the majority of population into spending their retirement to just survive, and then when it comes to retirement they will be totally dependent on the government, Bingo! A huge voter base for decades to come.

But it's not just for future citizens, how about the 23 million that are now unemployed and the 48 million on food stamps, and given how Mr Obama's agenda does nothing to create jobs, there will be millions more by the end of Mr Obama's administration second term.

Who voted for more pain now and poverty in retirement last November? What went wrong during the election process? Low information voters or voters that couldn't be disengaged from their IPads and IPhones? People living free in the greatest country in the world but don't know it?

As the saying goes, 'when ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise'. The ignorant will suffer the most.


Americans Are Raiding Their 401(k)s in Record Numbers
January 23, 2013
Source: Michael A. Fletcher, "401(k) Breaches Undermining Retirement Security for Millions," Washington Post, January 14, 2013. Matt Fellowes and Katy Willemin, "The Retirement Breach in Defined Contribution Plans," HelloWallet, January 2013.

Americans are frequently breaching their retirement savings to cover current expenses, a problem that raises questions about the retirement security of millions, says Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post.
  • A new report from HelloWallet finds that 25 percent of workers dip into their nest egg to pay mortgages, credit card debt and other bills, with 33 percent of those in their 40s raiding their savings.
  • New data from Vanguard, the world's largest mutual fund company, indicates that 12 percent of workers have tapped their accounts or taken out loans against them.
  • With only one in five workers in the private-sector benefiting from a pension, these 401(k) breaches might have dire long-term consequences as Americans age.
Sparse wage increases and rises in the cost of living have driven more workers to tap their savings since the start of the recession. An all-time high of 28 percent of participants reported existing loans against their retirement accounts according to Aon Hewitt, a human resources consultancy that surveyed 110 large employers.
  • About 33 percent of U.S. households contribute to a 401(k)-type account, yet a recent study conducted by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research found that an average household had $120,000 in savings, which amounted to a mere $7,000 per year annuity.
  • Since 2006, employers have had a greater ability to enroll employees in 401(k)s and recently the annual contributions limits were raised.
  • While 401(k) plans are suited for the modern worker who changes jobs frequently, they are only beneficial if workers continue to contribute to them.
  • Thirty percent of lower-income workers, earning less than $50,000, have cashed out a retirement plan for non-retirement purposes, while only 12 percent earning between $100,000 and $150,000 and 8 percent of workers earning more than $150,000 a year have done so according to Matt Fellowes, formerly of the Brookings Institution who wrote HelloWallet's report.
Savings withdrawals prior to retirement will likely lead to depleted retirement accounts for a growing number of Americans who will then rely solely on government programs in their later years.
Source: Michael A. Fletcher, "401(k) Breaches Undermining Retirement Security for Millions," Washington Post, January 14, 2013. Matt Fellowes and Katy Willemin, "The Retirement Breach in Defined Contribution Plans," HelloWallet, January 2013.

Economic Feedom Declines : Progressives Are Winning?

With the attack on personal freedom and liberty from the Obama administration, it doesn't take a huge intellect to comprehend the agenda of forced dependence and therefore a decline of prosperity.

The fact that this is taking place without a huge push back from the citizens bodes poorly for out country. Remember the frog in the water before the heat was added? The frog says this isn't so bad but as the water gets hotter, all of a sudden the frog says hey this isn't good, I want out, but by then it's too late, his goose is cooked. 

What this says is, most of the voting public can't take time form texting and their IPads to see how the water is getting and hotter and hotter.

Elections do have consequences, and those who voted last November for decline in our country need to have some way of getting some good information on how the country is headed into a darkness that we may not have the fortitude to come back from.

I understand that being born in the great country and then growing up in the last two decades it is very hard to get your head around the fact our government is actually doing what ever it can to destroy the American dream of personal freedom that leads to prosperity. This just can't be, right? Wrong! It's happening now and a majority of the population agrees with the agenda of "fundamental" destruction.

Economic Freedom Declines in America for Fifth Straight Year
Source: Terry Miller, "In the Index of Economic Freedom, Liberalization Slips," Wall Street Journal, January 14, 2013. "2013 Index of Economic Freedom," Heritage Foundation, January 2013.

January 21, 2013

A new joint publication by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal depicts a world where economic freedom is decreasing.
  • Despite "democratic progress" following the Arab Spring in the Middle East, autocratic practices reminiscent of past dictators have led to significant economic freedom declines in Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.
  • Countries with lower economic freedom have weaker rule of law and create environments conducive to government corruption, political favoritism and oligarchical elitism.
  • More developed countries are also a cause for concern as they engage in redistributionist policies.
The income and wealth transfers that advanced democracies initiate reduce the incentives to work and invest. To quell this trend, policies that strengthen the legal protection of property rights and protect individuals from arbitrary regulations promote greater economic freedom.
  • Europe leads the way in economic freedom improvement under the auspices of a Eurozone collapse and austerity measures that have reined in public spending and taxes.
  • In the top 10, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Mauritius, Denmark and the United States all lost ground this year.
  • Notable countries considered "repressed" by the report include North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Congo, Argentina, Ecuador and Haiti.
  • Notable countries considered "mostly unfree" include China, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Philippines, Greece, Pakistan and India.
Declining global economic freedom has implications for health, education, poverty reduction and environmental protection. Bolstering trade, ensuring financial institutions are sound, reducing deficits and public debt, and minimizing taxes are all valid efforts in maximizing economic freedom.

Justice is Dimming for America : Social Elites Take Power


William O Douglas - SC Justice
Here is a message, actually a warning, from one of those that founded this great nation about the nightmare that is coming to our beautiful country, progressive socialism. The worst part is so many of us do not see this coming. They actually are willing to accept dependence as the new norm! What in the world are these people thinking when they voted for more Mr Obama who believes freedom is not a good thing.