Category Archives: Economy

The Congressional Budget Oafs SOP

Debt, Economy, Healthcare

“Obamacare’s A Marketplace In The Same Way The Knockout Game Is A Game” offered this assessment of the modus operandi of the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs):

[Like] the pundits who bestow them with the “non-partisan” adjectival, the CBOafs (The Congressional Budget Oafs), protect the status-quo. This federal agency is as “independent” as the country’s columnists, who might as well register as lobbyists for the RNC or DNC respectively.
Typically, the CBO will first confirm government predictions of the great savings that will accrue due to this or the other wastrel, welfare program. Later, when it’s safer, they adjust their statistical sleight of hand.
Yes, getting reliable data out of the CBO is like frisking a wet seal.

Zero Care will impose $1 trillion in tax increases and $2 trillion in subsidies. Yet, the CBOafs initially scored the program positively. Only a day ago, not untypically, the CBOafs were touting the increasing (alleged) affordability of the Affordable Care Act (not for me). Right away, the CBOafs then pivot to warn of the “Heightening Risk of Fiscal Crisis.” Via Breitbart.com:

CBO Director Douglas Elmdorf testified that debt will exceed 100% of GDP within 25 years and continue to rise, a “trend that could not be sustained” and would eventually heighten “the risk of a fiscal crisis” before the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.

“Although the deficits in our baseline projections remain roughly stable as a percentage of GDP through 2018, as I noted, they rise after that. The deficit in 2025 is projected to be $1.1 trillion, or 4% of GDP, and cumulative deficits over the 2016 to 2025 period are projected to total $7.6 trillion. We expect that federal debt held by the public will amount to 74% of GDP at the end of this fiscal year, more than twice what it was at the end of 2007, and higher than in any year since 1950. By 2025, in our baseline projections, federal debt rises to nearly 79% of GDP. When CBO last issued long-term budget projections in the summer, we projected that, under current law, debt would exceed 100 percent of GDP 25 years from now, and would continue on an upward trajectory thereafter. That trend that could not be sustained. Such large and growing federal debt would have serious negative consequences, including increasing federal spending for interest payments, restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually heightening the risk of a fiscal crisis” he stated.

According to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the CBO, the revised economic projections “do not materially change” predictions that debt will exceed 100% of GDP in 25 years and “CBO’s current projection of debt as a percentage of GDP in 2024 is quite close to that used as the starting point for the projections in The 2014 Long-Term Budget Outlook [where the CBO also predicted that debt will be 100% of GDP in 25 years.]”


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State Of Disunion, 2015 (Master of Cliches & Cupidity)

Barack Obama, Economy, Media, Private Property

That TIME calls this State Of Disunion “a new vision” says more about this rag than about the dreadful cur that is Barack Obama.

He began his extravaganza by fudging on the economy, neglecting to mention that the indices he touts as terrific are a function of trickery; of omitting that more people than ever have dropped out of the workforce for good, are not working; are receiving state assistance, and that the bumper crops of ignoramuses graduating from colleges are without the prospect of a job.

Regarding those millions who’ve gained healthcare coverage: how many have lost it? How many like this family are paying exorbitant copays and deductibles?

Onan No. 1 takes credit for economic growth such as it is. The economy grew despite government and because of private sector productivity and industry.

The media should be expressing its collective disgust, as I am, that the same hollow cliches are tumbling from this moron’s mouth this year like years past: everyone “gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

One’s so-called “share” of private property is a result of one’s effort to accrue it, or the efforts and abilities of one’s kin, if property is bequeathed.

The same media that won’t scold this insufferable scold for his cretinous cliches won’t roar some truths in response to the many free goods BHO is offering. Those truths are that there is no free lunch. Someone pays, except that someone is invisible (and is certainly not sitting in the First Lady’s Box).

The Cuba comment about “ending the embargo” is fine; a very good thing, at last.

The text of the 2015 State of the Union is here.


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O Promises Usual Marxist Maneuvers

Barack Obama, Economy, Taxation

“I’m really looking forward to hearing a speech by someone who is involved in innovation, knows America’s place in the world market and has fiscal responsibility. And I hope that Obama is listening very carefully when Steve Jobs speaks tomorrow.”

That was magician Penn Jillette on the eve of Barack Obama’s first, much-anticipated State of the Union Address. Tomorrow is his sixth State of the Union address. Like those that came before, it’ll be written at an eighth-grade level, “as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test,” and showcase the man’s utter economic illiteracy.

This year, like yesteryear, Zero is treating us to a Marxist maneuver: promising to move money around, from those who make it to those who take it.

” … during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, [Obama] will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue generated by those changes would fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers, officials said.” (Business Insider)

I’m copying from a 2010 column mocking this moron for his obfuscations with respect to tax cuts vs. tax credits.

Obama’s “tax credits” are not tax cuts. Ask Wikipedia, the left-leaning online encyclopedia, according to which tax credits are “subsidies disguised as tax cuts. In other words, they are spending in the form of direct transfers from the treasury to individuals, except that they are administered by the tax authorities rather than the agencies usually responsible for welfare.”
A better definition of tax credits is social tinkering or engineering, as they target certain politically desirable constituents to the detriment of others. “Taxpayers can receive a raft of tax credits if they engage in various government-specified activities,” confirms Peter Ferrara, director of entitlement and budget policy for the Institute for Policy Innovation.

Then there is the “Stalinesque extravaganza” that ought to offend “anyone of a republican (small ‘r’) sensibility,” which is how John Derbyshire described the annual State of the Union address. “American politics frequently throws up disgusting spectacles. It throws up one most years in January: the State of the Union speech,” writes Derbyshire in “We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism,” in which John goes on to detail how “the great man” is announced, how he makes an entrance; the way “the legislators jostle to catch his eye” and receive his favor. (MORE: “Barry Soetoro Frankenstein: Spawn of the State.”)


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Fight Classroom Idiocracy With The Literary Canon

Economy, Education, English, Literature, Objectivism, Political Correctness, Pop-Culture

“Fight Classroom Idiocracy With The Literary Canon” is the current column, now on WND. The WND version has been scrubbed of the “salacious sex scene,” excerpted below, which happens to be required reading in some kids’ English class:

The fraught relationship between state and society carries over into classroom and town hall. Something of a commonplace in police state USA is the scene in which a citizen is arrested for speaking his mind to a public official, pedagogue or politician.

Our story begins with a dad, William Baer, a lawyer, I believe, who resides in New Hampshire, the state whose motto is “Live Free or Die.” For speaking out of turn at a school board meeting, Baer was cuffed and carted out of a forum of educrats and obedient parents, herded together at the Gilford high school. An arrest and a charge of disorderly conduct followed—Baer, after all, had exceeded the talk time allotted to him.

“It was basically, you make a statement, say what you want and sit down,” the dad told a local television station. “‘Sit down and shut up’ … [is] not how you interact with adults.”

In the background to the online YouTube clip of the event one can hear the dulcet voice of a female emcee, delighting in the petty abuse of power over a powerless parent.

Mr. Baer was protesting a novel which was required reading in his 14-year-old daughter’s English class: “Nineteen Minutes” by home girl Jodi Picoult. (One of Australia’s finest writers, also the copy editor of this writer’s last book, relates that every time he gets on a train or a bus, there seems to be some female or three reading a Jodi P. “masterpiece.”)

Easily more offensive than the salacious sex scene on page 313 of Picoult’s novel is the rotten writing throughout:

“‘Relax,’ Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach. ”
… She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer. “‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and he pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs.
… (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.
“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”

The book’s titillating topics—bullying, school shootings, teen sex and pregnancy—verge on the political. Inculcating kids early on with these cumbersome, constricted constructs serves to stunt young minds. The young reader is intellectually disemboweled, as he is steered into thinking along certain narrow, politically pleasing lines. …

… Without the literary canon, young minds are doomed to become as dim and sclerotic as those of the educators who assign them the piss-poor reading material aforementioned

Read the rest. “Fight Classroom Idiocracy With The Literary Canon” is the current column, now on WND.


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EU Government Is A Monopoly, Not Google

Business, Capitalism, Economy, EU, Europe

The economic sluggards of Europe don’t much like competition; it’s too much like hard work. Competition means that a business has to please the only real boss: a picky customer with many options. Google has raised the ire of the European competition and its proxy, the European Parliament, which “overwhelmingly backed a motion urging antitrust regulators to break up Google.”

“Google’s dominance,” writes Jörg Brunsmann for DW, “didn’t arise from the company employing unfair measures to push its competitors out of the market. It’s become a market leader because of its innovation.”

Put more precisely: Google has arrived at its market share by pleasing search-engine users.

I was part of a worthy group of Austrian economists who published “The Microsoft Corporation In Collision With Antitrust Law,” in The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies (Winter 2001, Vol. 26, No. 1.). In section (4) for which I was responsible (“Economic Freedom, Monopoly and the Government,”), I wrote:

Antitrust legislation considers a large market share or a concentration in the market to signify both monopoly and predatory practices on the part of a company. As such, the antitrust chimera is based on discredited theories about competition. Relying as it does on a model of ideal or perfect rather than rivalrous competition, the legislation aims at a market neatly carved among competitors (32).

The principle applies to Google.

In Austrian economics, moreover, a large market share does not a monopoly make. “The only true monopolies are government monopolies. A company is a monopoly only when it can forcibly prohibit competitors from entering the market, a feat only ever made possible by state edict. In a truly free market, competition makes monopoly impossible.” (From “Media Concentration Is Not A Threat to Free Expression, Government Is.”)


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Third World Jobs Created & Declining Labor Force Participation Rate

Economy, Labor

Paul Craig Roberts explains the parallel reality created by government so that, “Unemployment is measured according to methodologies designed to prevent its discovery. Inflation is measured according to methodologies designed to deny its existence. Jobs are reported that don’t exist, and GDP growth rates are announced that declines in real median family incomes and consumer credit make impossible. The poverty level income is set artificially low in order to minimize welfare spending.”

The lies conceal a declining labor force participation rate. The jobs created are third-world jobs. “Good jobs are replaced by low-paying jobs.”

The uncounted unemployed can be measured in the sharp 21st century decline in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate has declined because there are no jobs to participate in. But Washington, the financial media, and the bought and paid for economists lie. They say the participation rate is down because the baby boomers are retiring. However, as John Titus, Dave Kranzler, and I documented with the government’s own data in a recent column, the participation rate of baby boomers is the highest of all and the only one that is rising.

The reason is that with the Federal Reserves sole concern with the welfare of a small handful of mega-banks–the ones that sit on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank–real interest rates are negative. Therefore, retirees have no income from their retirement savings. (Generally speaking, retirees avoid stock investments, because they can lose a great deal from a major correction, and it can take more years than they have left for stocks to recover.) To supplement their Social Security pensions (a rigged CPI prevents or minimizes cost-of-living increases), retirees take the temporary, lowly paid jobs that are all that the US economy can produce. These jobs do not provide sufficient income with which to form a household.

As I have pointed out for a decade, or longer, the US economy no longer creates First World jobs. The US economy creates jobs for waitresses and bartenders, hospital orderlies, and retail clerks. The fact that the complexion of the US work force is becoming Third World is not considered a notable problem by the media or financial press, and economists seem immune to the facts.

MORE.


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