Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Respond to failure with greater power?

I read a great quote from Evan Newmark, writing for the Wall Street Journal about the failed attempt to blow up an airliner travelling from Amsterdam to Detroit. His point was that the attempted bombing failed because of a faulty bomb, not because of anything our government did. This is one of those things our government is supposed to do, protect the American people from those who would harm us and yet again they have failed in that task. We have a reasonable expectation considering the amount of money and resources we expend on law enforcement, Homeland Security, TSA, the military and intelligence that we should be able to keep better tabs on people like Umar Abdulmutallab, people we know are bad news. Instead we pull people like me out of line to screen because we don’t want to offend anyone. Here is the quote I really liked (emphasis added):

Of course, the truth about Mr. Abdulmutallab is coming out — and soon it will be clear that the U.S. government failed to do what it was supposed to do.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The government fails all the time: WMDs in Iraq, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an insolvent Medicare system.

So why is it that many in our country — including most politicians — believe the government should be doing lots of new things when it can’t even get the old things right? Some of those old things like the protection of its citizens?

That is the crux of it. When the Left looks doe-eyed at the government as the solution to all of our problems, they conveniently forget that the government routinely screws up what is already supposed to do. If you have an employee that is incompetent at what they are currently doing, you don’t give them additional responsibilities. You fire them. Instead we are giving a bureaucracy even more power to supposedly reform health care, set compensation levels, regulate an unproven and amorphous threat called “climate change”.

This administration is epitome of what you get when you put a bunch of people who have never had a real job in charge of the United States.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Um, thanks. I guess.

It is a Christmas tradition that everyone in our culture understands. The ubiquitous Christmas gift that no one wants. Ugly sweaters. Gaudy ties. Bath sets from Wal-Mart. Of course fruitcake. Gifts that are given that no one wants but are given out of obligation to give something. Often you would be better off not giving anything at all.

Now we have the granddaddy of gifts that no one wants but is given anyway: Obamacare. The American people don't want it. It was passed with votes that were openly sold by Ben Nelson. There is no way to pay for it and it is going to bust the budget in spite of the open lies from Obama. The big difference is that with an ugly gift, you didn't pay for it and you can probably take it back to exchange it for something else. With Obamacare, it is a "gift" that you don't want but you have to pay for anyway. Kind of like someone stealing your credit card and ordering the mother of all fruitcakes with your money and then expecting you to be grateful. I hope we can keep the receipt on this monstrosity and take it back from where it came from after the 2010 elections.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Congrats to Senator Ben Nelson for selling out America to get some goodies for his home state of Nebraska. One of the most egregious examples of a politician getting bought out in American history. I hope the good people of Nebraska enjoy their pork, funded by the other 49 states and responsible for shackling America with a disastrous bill that puts us further down the road toward a single payer socialize medicine system.

SOLD: One U.S. Senator

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your government at work part 2

Only in Washington D.C. does this make sense. So we have passage of a $154,000,000,000 “jobs” bill. What do we get for the $154 billion that is going to “create” jobs?

$27 billion goes to infrastructure projects, typically short-term, closed ended projects. I am sort of OK with that. At least it will pay for people to do actual work on stuff that needs it. There is also a bundle of miscellaneous payments for a laundary list of stuff:

The bill would also designate funding for infrastructure-related projects, including transportation, school construction, rehabilitating Amtrak trains and wastewater-treatment modernization.

Ummmm. School construction? At least here in Michigan we are consolidating schools, shutting them down, laying off teachers. I just rode on Amtrak and the train was fine (and loses money every year) so that doesn’t strike me as a high priority issue (but I bet it is for some congressman who has the shop that will do the rehab in his or her district).

After that….

- $79 billion would be designated to help prop up safety-net programs, including a $41 billion, six-month extension of federal jobless benefits
- a $12.3 billion extension of subsidies for individuals who lost health-care coverage when they were laid off;
- $23.5 billion for the federal government to assume a larger portion of state governments' Medicaid costs.

So by my calculations, at least $114 billion of a $154 billion “jobs” bill is going to go toward transfer payments to pay for benefits for people who have lost jobs and their health care as a result. That is almost 75% of the bill that doesn’t do a thing for “jobs”. Why even call it a jobs bill? So instead of trying to “create” jobs to help them get back on their feet, we are going to make their unemployment more comfortable. In addition, instead of forcing states make cuts and run leaner, the Feds (who can print money) are propping up their excessive spending and making the states ever more reliant on the Federal government.

How about $154 billion in tax credits to encourage and make it easier for businesses to hire workers? Instead of supporting unemployed workers, why not let the real job creators (i.e. businesses in the private sector) hire people by incentivizing them to do so? We all know the answer to that. Taxation and regulation and Keynesian spending equals control and that is what politicians are in the business of. The more they control, the more power they wield.

Your government at work part 1

Q. What do you do when your economy is in the toilet and you are up past your eyeballs in debt?

A. Join a fund with other “developed” nations to provide $100 billion to combat “climate change”!

From the news this morning....

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Thursday proposed that major economies including the U.S. come up with $100 billion a year over the next decade for developing nations to fight climate change, an eleventh hour effort to break an impasse here on climate-change talks.

Someone needs to tell Mrs. Clinton that we are sitting on $12 trillion in debt already so piling more on top of that to combat something that is not only not proven but has been shown to be a carefully crafted ruse is not sound economics. It is more akin to political, economic and ultimately national suicide. We are hamstringing an already terribly weak economy with zero job growth (more about this later) by our debt so let's pile more on top of it.

Meanwhile, as China is badgering us to “do more” about "climate change", I read last night that they are building a 31 mile long sea-bridge at a cost of some untold billions of dollars. So I guess we should contribute more to a fake science while they contribute more to extravagant infrastructure projects. As they continue to buy up our debt and increase industrial capacity, we continue to make it harder and harder to succeed economically in America. This cannot go on indefinitely. In the long term we will eventually see the American military deterrent diminished and then who is going to stop China’s expansionist dreams? Who is going to defend Taiwan when China’s military catches up with ours and they hold our national debt?

Is anybody paying attention? “Climate change” is a sham, a farce. We are funneling transfer payments to developing nations that are going to do nothing to stop climate change, even if there was such a thing. No one can prove it is happening, no one is sure what causes it even if it is happening or what to do about it. This is money down the drain because you know that very little of it will escape the bureaucratic coffers of some “climate change” NGO. At the same time, the new regulations are going to cripple our economy while nations like China are booming. Climate change is the latest and so far best strategy for the goal of totalitarianism. Few things would make the far left in America and around the world happier than to see the U.S. toppled from her perch as the world’s only superpower.

I saw the truly alarming aspect of this whole issue today. I was just arguing about this with a co-worker and the problem is that it is very similar to discussing religion with someone who is not a believer. He thinks this is an issue of science when in fact it is an issue of economics and politics. Like abortion and other highly charged issues, the two sides are not arguing from the same perspective and that makes rational discussion hard to have. Let’s hope that the GOP can keep this stuff at bay long enough to make it to the 2010 elections.

Monday, December 14, 2009

J-Gram: Making Michiganders proud

Apparently being the Governor of Michigan requires you to also serve as the Apologist Czar. On the talk shows this weekend, Governor Granholm was dispensing more of her priceless economic wisdom. Here are some snippets:

"It would have been so much worse," Granholm said during a roundtable discussion that included former Massachusetts governor and Michigan native Mitt Romney and former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. "These companies would have been liquidated."
Granholm, as did President Obama during his weekly address, criticized Wall Street, saying tight credit was inhibiting a retooling of the Michigan economy. She said auto suppliers hoping to diversify have been shut out from the necessary loans. "That is wrong," she said.

On the first. So we were warned that if we didn’t spend almost a trillion dollars, unemployment might go over 9%. So we did and it went to 10%. So the economy got worse and it only cost us $787,000,000,000 and now Obama wants to spend more. We spent almost a trillion dollars in borrowed money and got nothing to show for it but higher unemployment and a higher national debt. Well done, please do spend more!

On the second. Um, one of the big problems that led to this recession is the housing bubble which was created by credit standards being too lax. So lenders, i.e. evil Wall Street, have rightly tightened up credit because they have so much bad debt already on their books. It would be enormously helpful if Jenny or any of the apologists for the Obama administration actually had a clue about how the economy works, how the credit markets operate, how capitalism itself functions. When you already have a huge book of bad loans, you don’t make more risky loans. You tighten up your underwriting and reduce your risk until the bad loans clear off your books. This is what happens when you have a Canadian governor.

The two headed mantra monster we hear daily is “It would have been worse if we hadn’t spent $787 billion” and “we inherited this mess”. These two prongs of Obama’s defenders are ridiculous. First, I don’t think there is a lick of evidence that the stimulus did anything at all to improve the economy. The argument that “it would have been worse” is impossible to prove and is nothing but political cover. Second, Obama didn’t “inherit” anything. He chose to run as President and regardless of the circumstances, his solutions or lack thereof are subject to scrutiny. Every President faces any number of crises. That is part of being President. As the President’s poll numbers show, the American people aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid anymore and these empty rhetorical excuses are ringing hollow.

Is it 2012 yet?