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Archive for December, 2012

A tale of two recoveries

Monday, December 31st, 2012

First let us review some history and economic theory. Now you have heard often enough that the recent recession was the “worst since the Great Depression.” This bit of disinformation is repeated by those with a poor grasp or history and/or really don’t care if their information is accurate as long as it furthers their political agenda.

The worst recession “since the Great Depression” was clearly the recession American suffered through in the late 1970s. Double digit unemployment, double digit inflation and double digit interest rates! The prime rate actually hit 21%! So even if you had a job, the cost of living was rising faster and higher than you could possible get a raise and forget about buying a house with interest rates around 20%.

So we have that lie out of the way, let us get to some actual facts. The last recession end way back in mid 2009. That is when economy when from negative GDP growth to positive GDP growth. You may ask what growth? In most of America, there are still far too many empty store fronts as small business are shutting down faster than they are opening. What growth we have had has been anemic at best. GDP growth has not been over 2% in the three and half years since the last recession ended and employment has been over 7.5% and has even hit 10% during that time as well. What you are experiencing is clearly the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

Let’s review, worst recession followed by a roaring recovering in four years. Not the worst recession, worst recovery on record with no signs of getting better. Why such a glaring difference? Well the nice folks at Forbes covered this nicely. Let us review the facts about Reaganomics vs Obamanomics.

Reaganomics had four key points.

1. Cut tax rates to restore incentives for economic growth (just like JFK)
2. Real spending reductions, nearly 5% of the federal budget
3. Anti-inflation monetary policy
4. Deregulation, which saved American consumers an estimated $100 billion per year!

This simple plan resulted in the longest peacetime expansion in American history. The American standard of living increased by close to 20% and the poverty rate declined every year.

Now let’s look at Obama’s economic, and we are being generous here, plan. It is the exact opposite of President Reagan’s plan, which was clearly very successful. In addition to the new Obamacare taxes, he is calling for a sharp increase in the federal tax rate on the Americans who already pay the majority of the federal income tax. In additions, Obama is calling for increases in:

1. The capital gains tax
2. Corporate dividends tax
3. The Medicare tax
4. The death tax

Instead of spending cuts, Obama and the democrat controlled congress opened with nearly a trillion dollars in new federal spending, most of which was borrowed money, further increasing an already high federal debt.

Then we have the double-whammy of an inflationary monetary policy (the Quantative Easing non-stimulus acts) and massive re-regulation in health care, finance, energy and pretty much anything else Obama thinks he can get away with.

Mr. Ferrara sums up the results of the two policies nicely:

As a result, while the Reagan recovery averaged 7.1% economic growth over the first seven quarters, the Obama recovery has produced less than half that at 2.8%, with the last quarter at a dismal 1.8%. After seven quarters of the Reagan recovery, unemployment had fallen 3.3 percentage points from its peak to 7.5%, with only 18% unemployed long-term for 27 weeks or more. After seven quarters of the Obama recovery, unemployment has fallen only 1.3 percentage points from its peak, with a postwar record 45% long-term unemployed.
Previously the average recession since World War II lasted 10 months, with the longest at 16 months. Yet today, 40 months after the last recession started, unemployment is still 8.8%, with America suffering the longest period of unemployment that high since the Great Depression.

This is the Obama Economy. The worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. To make it worse, Obama’s policies are likely to cause that record to be broken, rather than produce real, sustainable economic growth.

Update: From Forbes: One Year Later, Another Look at Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics  Here is the summary, it’s still Reagan for the win. Here are some of the highlights.

Let’s start with the GDP data. The comparison is striking. Under Reagan’s policies, the economy skyrocketed.  Heck, the chart prepared by the Minneapolis Fed doesn’t even go high enough to show how well the economy performed during the 1980s.

Under Obama’s policies, by contrast, we’ve just barely gotten back to where we were when the recession began. Unlike past recessions, we haven’t enjoyed a strong bounce. And this means we haven’t recovered the output that was lost during the downturn.

This is a damning indictment of Obamanomics

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, former Senator Phil Gramm and budgetary expert Mike Solon compare the current recovery to the post-war average as well as to what happened under Reagan.

If in this “recovery” our economy had grown and generated jobs at the average rate achieved following the 10 previous postwar recessions, GDP per person would be $4,528 higher and 13.7 million more Americans would be working today. …President Ronald Reagan’s policies ignited a recovery so powerful that if it were being repeated today, real per capita GDP would be $5,694 higher than it is now—an extra $22,776 for a family of four. Some 16.9 million more Americans would have jobs.

…As I’ve written before, Obama is not responsible for the current downturn. Yes, he was a Senator and he was part of the bipartisan consensus for easy money, Fannie/Freddie subsidies, bailout-fueled moral hazard, and a playing field tilted in favor of debt, but his share of the blame wouldn’t even merit an asterisk.

My problem with Obama is that he hasn’t fixed any of the problems. Instead, he has kept in place all of the bad policies – and in some cases made them worse.

Friday B-Movie Pick: Total Recall

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Total Recall

Not the Schwarzenegger classic, but the remake that left out Mars entirely. An OK flick if you judge it on its own, but it pales to the original. Not that it didn’t try and it did have some real hat tips to the original. They also roped in the Bladerunner look and feel for the streets of “the colony”, as they were calling Austrilia in the film. There was even a Mr and Mrs Smith reference thrown in. Fun to watch for the fight and chase scenes, as well as the leading lady eye candy factor (Kate Becinsale and Jessica Biel for the double w00t!). Ok for a rental, but not worth the added cost for the less than useless Ultraviolet crap you are forced to pay for in order to get a DVD/BluRay version.

Friday B-Movie Pick Archive

Quote of the Day Part II

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The tv talking heads are all aflutter about Obama “cutting his vacation short” to “address the fiscal cliff”.

Give me a break. They had 2 years to deal with this. They might as well say “Obama heroically crams for test”.

Andy at AoSHQ

Quote of the Day

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC program “Top Gear” tweeted the following:

“Americans. It took us 40 years to get rid of Piers Morgan. Pleasse don’t send him back.”

Another Math Post

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Yes, math is required, you should have paid more attention in school.

First, a spot on quick review of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations.


Here is the bottom line kids, our Dear Leader has no issues with going over that cliff.  Really, Barry doesn’t see any downside to it. He knows that tax hikes, even limited ones, are going to have a negative effect on the economy.  The across the board tax hikes on top of new Obamacare taxes are going to be even worse.  This way he can blame the Republicans, and the democrats with press credentials will back him on this, and then take credit for the budget cuts.

On to the math part, courtesy of  johngalt at Flopping Aces.

One of the persistent myths that left repeats is that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves.  This is one of those talking points that sounds simple, but is clearly false when you do the math.

As JG points out:

Given the period from 1994 to 1999, the growth period under Clinton, federal revenues increased by 1.3% for every 1% increase in GDP.

Given the period from 2003-2007, the growth period under Bush, with the lower tax rates, federal revenues increased by 1.7% for every 1% increase in GDP.

Pretty simple. Lower taxes results in an increase in GDP, which results in an increase in federal tax revenues. Note that most leftists will deny this and attack you personally for daring to bring actual math into the argument.

Let’s run with these numbers:

Applying those percentages in a comparison model, then, we can see that if given a starting point of $2.5 Trillion in revenues, and a growth of 3%(real GDP growth) in GDP, that under the Clinton tax rates, the following year’s revenues would equal roughly $2.598 Trillion. Under the Bush tax rates, that figure goes up to $2.628 Trillion. For a ten year period, the difference in revenue, assuming constant growth in GDP, becomes roughly $2.2 Trillion dollars difference in revenue

Now 2.2 Trillion dollars is about half of what our Dear Leader added to the federal debt in his first term.  If Barry really was worried about the increasing federal debt and the stagnant economy, he would be working really, really hard to avoid across the board tax hikes.  What is interesting, and not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention, is that Barry clearly isn’t interested in reducing the Federal debt, or improving the economy.

Some people out there in the MSM/DNC actually do the math and understand the problem.  It is a very small subset of the MSM, which includes the nice folks over at CNBC.  CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo interviewed democrat Senator Ben Cardin recently, and called him out on the democrat’s political posturing.

“That’s all you want to do. That’s it. It’s your way or the highway. Raise the rates on the rich. No other way. Your way or the highway. That’s it. That’s where we are. Thank you, Senator.”

“So how come you’re not moving forward? What’s the problem? Because the American people are so tired of this, and they are really tired of the lawmakers thinking that the American people are stupid. You can’t keep coming on the show every week saying the same thing: ‘It’s not a balanced approach.’”

“You’re talking about $1.2 trillion in revenue, but you’re not prepared to put anything on the table. People are not stupid!”

The best part was that after she committed this act of actual journalism, traders on the floor watching erupted in cheers and applause.  They do the math and know what is going on.

Friday B-Movie Pick: Genesis of the Daleks

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks

Reaching back to 1975, we find this classic from the Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, era. The Time Lords send the Doctor, Sarah and Harry back to the creation of the Doctor’s greatest enemy, the Daleks! It has that low budget mid 70s BBC look, but carries it off well. If you only know the new Doctor series (Numbers 9, 10 and 11), check this out.

Friday B-Movie Archive

SEIU taking lessons from ACORN

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

You remember ACORN, the vote fraud experts.  With confessions and convictions of vote fraud in at least 24 states.

Well, it seems that another arm of the democrat party, the SEIU (the major public service union) has been taking lessons from ACORN.

SEIU members have been caught committing vote fraud.

An investigation by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has led to a subpoena of SEIU’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and has implicated the prominent labor union in a voter fraud case that threatens to lead to criminal prosecution.

Then-SEIU Senior Organizer-in-Training Clarence S. Haynes, who is no longer affiliated with the union and whose whereabouts are currently unknown, voted in the hotly contested April 2011 election for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat despite not being a resident of Wisconsin and leaving the state shortly after voting, according to an October 19, 2012 affidavit prepared by Bruce J. Landgraf, the assistant district attorney for Milwaukee County.

It is not surprising that left fights sensible and common sense voter ID laws.

Update: democrat party officials in Maryland, NJ, NY and Massachusetts Face Prison Time for Voter Fraud

Color me completely and utterly unsurprised.  Don’t expect to read this in the NY Times or hear about it on the hard far left MS-NBC propaganda arm of the DNC though.

Friday B-Movie Pick: Casino Royale

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Casino Royale

Not the recent Bond franchise reboot, but the 1967 comedy version. A great cast including David Niven as the original James Bond, Woody Allen as his nephew Jimmy Bond, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orsen Wells, and a few other cameo shots by actors you should recognize. I’m a fan of the Austin Powers movies, but Casino Royale proves that you could squeeze every last drop of Mojo out of Austin, and the whole batch would not be as cool as David Niven’s mustache alone!

Friday B-Movie Archive


Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Today’s roundup post is by Jonah Goldberg:

Democratic senator hired an unpaid intern who was an undocumented immigrant but a documented sex offender. Apparently Senator Menendez needed an immigrant to do sex offending that Americans won’t do.

Meanwhile, Representative Jim Moran is “embarrassed” by the revelation that his voter-fraud-orchestrating son smashed his girlfriend’s face into a garbage can and pleaded guilty to assault. The girlfriend appears to be doing what she can to make the story go away. But don’t worry, the phrase “war on women” may still only be used to describe people who don’t want to pay for someone else’s birth control. No word if anyone on the left will be expressing their gratitude for the Violence Against Women Act for this.

Over in Michigan, defenders of the union protestors who tore down an Americans for Prosperity tent are heading toward trutherism, suggesting that it was all a set up, the canvas-and-rope equivalent of the Reichstag fire. No word yet if anyone is claiming the Jews inside the tent got advance notice.

Oh, and after months — nay years — of rhetoric from the president and his proxies about how taxes are simply a sign of neighborliness and the dues we pay to live in this great country, we learn that Obama’s staff owe nearly a million dollars in back taxes.

And the Republicans are losing to these guys.

HT to Mr Reynolds, who is correct in his assessment.   Just another example of how you would rarely loose money betting on Congressional Republicans to screw the pooch.

The Cult of Obama

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I refer to hardcore extremist Obama supporters as cultists. I prefer this term to “O-Bots” or “Moonbats”, because it is more descriptive of the behavior exhibited. You can observe them dropping their supposedly “core beliefs” as soon as they become in conflict with their devoted worship of our Dear Leader. The so-called “Peace movement” for example. Our Dear Leader followed the Bush timetable in Iraq, doubled down in Afghanistan, and started the unprecedented Drone War. Yet to the Obama cultists, Bush & Cheney are still “War Criminals” while Barry is making America “more loved” throughout the world. This is despite the growing military threat of Communist China, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs, Islamofascists taking over in the Middle East after the so called “Arab Spring, Russia walking away from missile defense treaties, and Al Qaeda murdering an US Ambassador.

I had one Obama cultists flat out deny that the US Congress has failed to produce a budget in over three years. That is an undisputable fact! No budget has made it through both houses of Congress in over three years. The House has passed several, but no budget has made it out of the democrat controlled Senate, including several submitted by President Obama! Not only did this cultist deny the reality of the lack of an actual federal budget, he went on to claim that the debt was growing at the same rate under Obama as it was under GW Bush. Let’s review that one. In the eight years of the GW Bush administration, the debt grew by $4 Trillion. There are even clips of Obama calling that level of debt growth “unpatriotic.” At the point I was having the “discussion” with Obama cultist, the federal debt had grown another $4 Trillion in less than four years since Obama took office. Even skimming a half Trillion that he “inherited” from the previous budget (i.e. the last federal budget passed and signed by the President, which was GW Bush at the time), that is still $3.5 Trillion in new debt in under four years! That is almost double the rate that our Dear Leader called “unpatriotic!” The reality of actual math wouldn’t sway this cultist from his belief in the Lightbringer. At that point I just stopped trying to have an actual intelligent discussion with cultist, who in other aspects of his life, is actually quite bright. There is an old saying about wrestling with pigs in the mud that applies here.

During the election cycle, there were Obama cultists, who “didn’t care” (their exact words) about the 300 plus dead Mexicans, and at least one US Federal agent,  killed by Obama’s Fast and Furious program, or the fact that all of Obama’s records, college, medical, etc. were sealed, but were livid over Governor Romney only releasing one years of worth of tax return. They were on their high hobby horses claiming criminal fraud. They also viciously attacked anyone who dared disagree with them over the slightest point of their claims, which, of course, had absolutely no evidence behind them what so ever. When the details of Governor Romney’s tax returns came out, showing that not only was there no evidence of criminal fraud what so ever (in fact, he deliberately over paid his federal taxes because of his own personal concepts of “fairness”), there was not one word of apology or even admission of “over stating” the issue from the cultists in question. They just moved their hatred of anyone who dared to question their deity to the next DNC sanctioned talking point.