September 22, 2012

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Mitt Romney is catching a lot of flak for his surreptitiously recorded remarks about 47 percent of voters automatically being in the Obama column because they don’t pay federal income tax and thus see themselves as beneficiaries of big government.

Since I’ve warned about dependency and raised the alarm that we risk becoming another Greece unless entitlements are reformed, one might think I agree with the former Massachusetts governor.

Not quite. I think Romney raised an important issue, but he cited the wrong statistic and drew an unwarranted conclusion.

Here’s what I said to Neil Cavuto about the controversy.

To augment on those remarks, here’s where Romney was wrong.

Yes, we have almost half of households not paying federal income tax, and I recognize that there’s a risk on an unhealthy political dynamic if people begin to think they get government for free, but those people are not…

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The Washington Post answers Reagan’s question

August 24, 2012

Obama’s economic recovery adviser

Ronald Reagan met Jimmy Carter in their one and only debate a week before election day in 1980. At the end, Governor Reagan asked a question of the viewers and with it, some say, decided the race:

Now, 32 years later (has it been that long??) The Washington Post has answered that question for us: No way, no how.

Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.

From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.

Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.

But wait, there’s more! The median net worth of families declined nearly 40%, from $126,000 to $77,000, a level not seen since 1992. Blacks saw their income decline more than twice as much as Whites and Hispanics, a grim achievement for the first African-American elected to the presidency. Households that derive most of their income from the self-employed now have to make due with almost ten percent less. The only people who have done better, not surprisingly, are those collecting government checks.

Read the whole thing; it’s a horror story as much as a news article, and its key point cannot be driven home hard enough — for the average American, the “recovery” has been worse than the recession.

I’ve seen it written before that recessions caused by financial crises, as was the last one, take longer to recover from than those arising from industrial slowdowns. And, I’ll grant, Obama did inherit a bad situation, once made worse by the mistakes of the late Bush administration — TARP, the initial auto bailouts, &c.

But Obama is responsible for his administration’s policies since taking office, and he owns in its entirety the nation’s economic performance since June, 2009, when the recession ended and the so-called recovery began.

And that is a record of doing exactly the wrong things, resulting in a miserable failure that shows no sign of improvement — and may well get worse.

If you aren’t doing better that you were four years ago, if in fact your situation is objectively worse, then why on Earth would you vote for Obama?

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because I want someone in charge who can see that the private sector is not doing fine.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


May 25, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

I remember the global cooling hysteria from the 70s; my feeling is that the global warming… er…. “climate change” movement will look even sillier in just a few years.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Seal of the C.I.A. - Central Intelligence Agen...

Seal of the C.I.A. – Central Intelligence Agency of the United States Government (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Despite what NCDC’s Thomas Peterson, Wikiwrangler William Connolley, and John Fleck would like you to believe as a “myth” (The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus), there was in fact serious consideration of the global cooling issue in the 1970’s thanks to this 1974 document from the CIA. – Anthony

The CIA Report and the Warning from Wisconsin

Guest post by David Archibald

In August, 1974, the Office of Research and Development of the Central Intelligence Agency produced a report entitled “A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems” – available online at: http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf Some interesting bits of the report follow:

“The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climate change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable…

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May 23, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

And this is from a “Conservative’ government?

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Global Warming Policy Foundation

Global Warming Policy Foundation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Energy Bill Is A Disaster

Press Release from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

London, 23 May:  With the publication of its draft Energy Bill, the government has announced its intention to reverse the course of energy deregulation.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation warns that any attempt to turn back the clock to the dark period of centralised energy planning will not only damage Britain’s economy, but will almost certainly end in failure, just like other attempts to impose a centralised system of energy controls have failed in the past.

Nigel Lawson, the GWPF’s Chairman, who as Energy Secretary was the architect of Britain’s energy market deregulation in the 1980s, warned:

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May 13, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

France plays two roles in America this year: as a goal for Obama and the progressives, and as a warning to the rest of us.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

One of my first blog posts, back in 2009, featured Veronique de Rugy in a video, warning that America should not adopt the statist policies that caused so much damage in her home country of France.

Sadly (but predictably), the politicians in Washington ignored Veronique’s sage advice. The burden of government has expanded since that video was released, including the adoption of costly Obamacare legislation.

But if there was a contest among nations for the worst public policy, France would still have a comfortable lead over the United States. For every bone-headed step in Washington to increase taxes, spending, and regulation, it seems there are two similar steps in Paris.

Obama wants to increase the top tax rate in America to 39.6 percent, for instance, but Hollande wants a top tax rate of 75 percent, making Obama look like a libertarian by comparison.

France also has a…

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April 4, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

Knowing the dislike between the Obama and the Clinton camps, I’m sure Obama would have included the former president, had he known.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

Actually, Bill Clinton must be something even worse than a social Darwinist. That’s because the title of this post is wrong. Obama said that Paul Ryan’s plan (which allows spending to grow by an average of 3.1 percent per year over the next decade) is a form of “social Darwinism.”

Proponent of social Darwinism?

But the proposal from the House Budget Committee Chairman only reduces the burden of federal spending to 20.25 percent of GDP by the year 2023.

Yet when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, following several years of spending restraint, the federal government was consuming 18.2 percent of economic output.

And by the President’s reasoning, this must make Clinton something worse than a Darwinist. Perhaps Marquis de Sade or Hannibal Lecter.

Here’s a blurb from the New York Times on Obama’s speech.

Mr. Obama’s attack, in a speech during a lunch with editors and reporters from The Associated Press…

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March 31, 2012

Phineas Fahrquar:

Ramirez is my favorite cartoonist these days. Always spot-on.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’ve repeatedly said that Michael Ramirez is a good political cartoonist (see here, hereherehere, here, and here), and he’s proved his worth in this cartoon that cleverly mocks the cavalier attitude that statists have about America’s founding principles.

And here are two more Ramirez cartoons, including one that also uses the theme of Obama vs the Founding Fathers.

Finally, for those who want some analysis of why schemes like Obamacare are inconsistent with the Constitution, here’s some good analysis by Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Philip Klein and Damon Root, and yours truly.

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