(Humor) Chuck Woolery solves America’s deficit problem!

March 5, 2012

I’ve seen this before (it came out around the time of Obama’s infamous deficit commission, as I recall), but a friend sent it to me this weekend, and it still makes me laugh. And, boy, do I need a good laugh this morning.

And I bet you do, too, so enjoy.

And yes, the albino squirrel sanctuary is real.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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I so look forward to voting for Marco Rubio, someday

July 8, 2011

Whether 2016, 2020, 2024 or beyond, Senator Rubio has “president” written all over him. The following is from remarks he gave in the Senate a couple of days ago in conjunction with Senator Ayotte of New Hampshire.

Rubio rightfully focuses on creating the conditions necessary to job creation as the best and only wise way to raise the revenue the government needs, along with the need to restore sanity to spending. And he righteously calls out the Democrats for offering “ideas” that are obviously bad, just to please their base in a game of cheap politics.

Twenty minutes long, and well worth your time:

Here’s a transcript of the key passage, courtesy of The Weekly Standard:

We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. Then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. That’s what we should be focused on, and that’s what we’re not focused on.

You look at all these taxes being proposed, and here’s what I say. I say we should analyze every single one of them through the lens of job creation, issue number one in America. I want to know which one of these taxes they’re proposing will create jobs. I want to know how many jobs are going to be created by the plane tax. How many jobs are going to be created by the oil company tax I heard so much about. How many jobs are created by going after the millionaires and billionaires the president talks about? I want to know: How many jobs do they create?

Emphasis added. Yeah, baby! 

RELATED: Previous posts on Marco Rubio.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rand Paul: good debut

February 3, 2011

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul made his first speech in the Senate a couple of days ago, and his thoughts on when and where to compromise on an issue were quite well-considered…

…and quite colorful. I wonder if he’ll get thwacked for “violent rhetoric?”

While I doubt I’ll often agree with him on foreign policy*, his stance on reducing the debt and deficit as a matter of principle for the good of the nation, and thus something that cannot be compromised on, is one to cheer**.

If this is any indication, I think it’s going to be fun watching this freshman class of senators and representatives make their mark on Washington. I don’t get the feeling they went there just to be back-benchers.

*Because “big-L” libertarians like Paul tend to be doctrinaire non-interventionists foreign policy, something I consider naive and shortsighted.

**As long as he doesn’t pull a bowie knife.


California: Brown’s austerity budget?

December 29, 2010

The LA Times has an interesting article today about incoming Governor Brown’s proposed budget – interesting mainly for what it hints at and leaves out, and secondarily for a bit of media bias. First, the proposal:

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is laying the groundwork for a budget plan that would couple deep cuts to state services, including university systems and welfare programs, with a request that voters extend temporary tax hikes on vehicles, income and sales that are set to expire next year.

The blueprint Brown will unveil when he takes office early next month also is expected to take aim at several tax breaks and subsidies that have been fiercely guarded by the business lobby in Sacramento, according to people involved in budget discussions with the incoming administration.

Among the breaks are multibillion-dollar incentives for redevelopment projects and hundreds of millions of dollars of “enterprise zone” credits meant to encourage investment in blighted neighborhoods. Also targeted is a recent change to state business tax formulas that has saved corporate California roughly $1 billion.

The combination of austere spending and extended tax hikes is designed to confront both parties and their allied interest groups with painful choices that Brown says are necessary to truly resolve the state’s massive budget problems. He intends to take swift action, using the political capital of a new governor to confront a deficit that could easily subsume his governorship.

In a symbolic gesture to garner the trust of a skeptical public, Brown has already pledged to cut his own office budget by 25%.

First promising sign: the Governor-elect recognizes we’re in a deep mess and cannot keep spending the way we have been for the past 25 years :

California state spending has outgrown the state’s tax base by 1.3 percentage points annually for 25 years. Simple arithmetic dictates that in lieu of constant tax increases, this perpetuates a deficit.

From 1985 to 2009 state GDP in California grew by 5.5 percent per year, on average (not adjusted for inflation). Annual growth in state spending was 6.8 percent, on average. Three spending categories have dominated this spending spree: public schools, cash assistance and Medicaid. Making up half of state spending, they are outlets for traditional redistributive welfare state policy.

(h/t Wyoming Liberty Group)

Back to the Times article, Brown plans to ask for cuts to California’s welfare, public school, California State University, and University of California allocations. He also wants to change or eliminate special enterprise zones (areas of lowered taxes to encourage local hiring) and the way a particular tax is calculated for businesses. Finally, he wants voters to approve an extension of onerous tax increases enacted a few years ago, which will expire with this fiscal year.

It’s a mixed bag, with something to tick off everyone. By one theory of politics, that means he must be doing something right. Teacher’s unions and the universities, for example, will hate the cuts to education. But, let’s be blunt here: CSU and UC students, even after recent fee hikes, are still heavily subsidized and charged nowhere near market rate for what they get. And higher education is a public good, not an unalienable right. If the state can’t afford to keep subsidizing it at current levels, then logic dictates cutting back. And it’s not as if public school performance in California has warranted giving the teachers unions more, instead of forcing some competition and choice into the system, as has New Orleans.

The proposals to cut back business enterprise zones will surely anger business communities, but the article mentions (but does not cite directly) studies arguing that those zones have not had the desired effect. Shouldn’t fiscal conservatives be open to the idea of ending programs that don’t work, even if they are ones conservatives sympathize with?

One of the greatest obstacles Brown’s proposals face is the extension of tax rates. California is already one of the mostly highly taxed states in the nation, one of the reasons businesses and people are leaving for other states that don’t punish success nearly as much. Here in the Golden State, if you make more than $47,055, but less than a million, you pay the second-highest rate, 9.55%. Sales tax in Los Angeles county is 9.75%, which is a 1.5% premium over the state rate of 8.25%. And auto registration fees (the dread car tax, which was part of why Gray Davis lost his job in 2003) is 1.15% of the car’s value. Brown is hoping that spending cuts will persuade a skeptical and angry public to extend these tax rates in a special election in return for deep spending cuts. We’ll see.

The devil, of course, is in the details, and Brown’s representative was deliberately vague, probably not wanting to show his hand in advance of what is sure to be a hard fight in the legislature. Here are some questions I have for the once-and-future governor:

  • Are these spending cuts permanent reductions in bloated state spending, or just a temporary cutback until the economy picks up, at which point we’ll go on a binge again?
  • When would the extended tax rates expire? When the economy recovers, will you consider tax cuts to stimulate economic growth?
  • Will you push for an increase in school choice to break the stranglehold of the teachers unions and make sure we’re getting value for the money we put into education?
  • What will you do to reform California’s regulatory environment, which helps make this state the worst in which to do business?
  • What will you do to curb the corrupting influence of other public-employee unions?

I’m sure there are a lot more questions, but these are a start — as is Brown’s plan. We’ll see what comes out in the details in the months ahead.

TANGENT: The article does a pretty good job with the basics, but still reflects the LA Times’ pro-Democrat, pro-progressive bias. When discussing portions of Brown’s proposal that the business community might not like, it mentions only opposition with no word about people who might be hurt by the changes. When talking about cuts to welfare and education, we get pity-words about students and the poor, with no attention given to the effectiveness of those programs — unlike we see in the discussion of enterprise zones.  Not egregious, not outrageous, but sadly typical.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


As comfortable as an old shoe

January 26, 2010

What do Democrats do when they get bad news about their economic policies? Why, slip right back into that old favorite, “blame Bush:”

The CBO has a new report predicting huge deficits, a slow economic recovery, and a $75 billion cost overrun on President Obama’s stimulus package.

…Democrats are taking a page out of David Plouffe’s playbook: Blame the other guy.

House Democratic leaders said a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) showing a $1.35 trillion deficit in 2010 was the result of policies put in place by President George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress…”90 percent of the projected deficit is due to the cost of the Bush economic collapse and Bush policies like his unpaid for tax cuts for the wealthy,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.).

It gets old to say this, but Democrats have controlled the Congress since 2007 and the White House since last year. And the stimulus package was their pet project, supposedly needed to keep unemployment at  eight percent. (It’s currently over 10%.) They’re the ones who pushed for it, and it is not just a failure, but a budget-busting nightmare.

Sorry guys, but, after more than a year in total control… You broke it, you own it.


$81 billion? I’m not impressed.

October 7, 2009

So, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the Baucus health care reform plan will shave a whopping $81 billion off the federal deficit by 2019. The Left is crowing with joy and the Right is quaking in its boots at the prospect nationalized health care with all the progressive trimmings.

Let me remind you of something: The CBO may have estimated a $81 billion-dollar savings over ten years, but the deficit for this year alone was estimated last March at $1.752 trillion. So, annualize that savings and you get… Let’s see, $8.1 billion divided by $1,752 billion is… carry the one…. A less than one-percent savings! Proof-positive of President Obama and the Democrats’ commitment to responsible public finance! Party on!  Party

What a bunch of malarkey. How stupid do they think we are?  Waiting

Remember this also, this bill hasn’t been written yet. This is a preliminary analysis that’s waiting for the final legislative language. And that’s just the Senate version. The House has its own bill and, assuming they insist on passing it, the two measures will have to be reconciled in a conference committee and voted on again. These so-called savings, pathetic as they are, could vanish as quickly as a snowflake in the Sahara. The “Baucus Bill” is a bad joke.

(Harry Reid, though, will do his darnedest to ram it through.)

So don’t start dancing in the streets, yet, little Lefties, and don’t be crying in your beer, my fellow Righties. Once the smoke clears from this bombshell, you’ll see that there’s still a long way to go. (Senator Snowe, for one, may hold things up until the final legislative language. You know, so the public can see it? Hey, didn’t the Democrats campaign on transparency?  Oh go on )

This fight to prevent an absolute disaster of a bill from becoming law is far from over.

LINKS: Gaius wonders if anyone does math, anymore.

UPDATE: As pointed out by Neo in the comments and Ed at Hot Air, the new taxes under the Baucus plan start three years before the “benefits” kick in. That takes any talk of deficit reduction from the ludicrous to the absolutely meaningless. As Ed points out:

However, Baucus has also included a little sleight-of-hand in this scenario. While the program itself would not start until 2013, the taxes start in 2010. That means the CBO compared seven years of expenses to ten years of revenue, which hardly makes for an apples-to-apples comparison, and will likely mean that the real analysis — which will contain a projection for the second decade as well as the first — will look much less positive for Baucus.

Do read the whole thing.


The Pelosi-Obama deficits

August 26, 2009

Forwarded by a reader, this Wall St. Journal editorial provides a very clear summary of the administration’s deficit and spending binge and the fantasies on which it’s based:

Earlier this year when President Obama was selling his first budget blueprint, he promised to end years of “borrow and spend” budgeting. Yesterday, reality struck.

Mr. Obama’s White House and the Congressional Budget Office told us that current U.S. fiscal policy is “borrow and spend” on a hyperlink. The good news is the deficit for 2009 will be “only” $1.58 trillion, about $250 billion lower than expected thanks to less need for TARP funds. But the Obama fiscal plan envisions $9 trillion in new borrowing over the next decade, which is $2 trillion more debt than the White House predicted earlier this year. The 2010 deficit also rises by about as much as the 2009 deficit falls from January, so even the TARP windfall gets spent.

We’ve never fretted over budget deficits, at least if they finance tax cuts to promote growth or spending to win a war. But these deficit estimates are driven entirely by more domestic spending and already assume huge new tax increases. CBO predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019—and then keep climbing after that. CBO says this is “unsustainable,” but even this forecast may be optimistic.

The Journal’s editors are being kind to use the word “optimistic.” The more fair description is “delusional.” The progressive’s “plan” to control the deficit assumes Congress will hold spending to just the rate of inflation for the next 10 years – here’s a bipartisan reality check. Even funnier are the progressives’ assumption that crashing federal revenues will not just recover, but reach historic highs, sort of like running your credit cards to the max on the assumption you’re going to get that big raise. And the economic growth they’re counting on to provide those revenues is sure to be crippled thanks to the taxes imposed by their health-care reform plans and cap-and-trade scheme.

Whatever they’re smoking, I want some of it.

As I’ve said before, there are only three ways to pay for the deficits the Democrats are running (and growing): borrowing from overseas, leaving future generations saddled with the debt and its interest (think credit cards, again); printing money, which inevitably will cause high inflation and make creditors angry as their debt becomes worth less – and thus less likely to loan more; or raising taxes on everyone to massive levels, thus breaking another of the Lightworker’s promises and again crippling economic recovery.

And, let’s face it, they’ll probably come up with a combination of all three.

November, 2010, can’t get here fast enough.  Praying