Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's the Economy, Stupid.

* The June jobs report came out and showed that the economy created only 80,000 new jobs. The second quarter averaged only 75,000 new jobs per month, generally considered to be rather lackluster (pathetic actually) by economists on all sides. Unemployment remained at 8.2%; although if you count those who have given up looking it is as high as 14.9%. (Per the Investor's Business Daily, 7/12/12, citing the Labor Dept. numbers.) Unemployment has remained over 8% for the last 3 1/2 years - not coincidentally the same length of time that Obama has been President. Obama proudly proclaims that the private sector has grown 4.4 million jobs while he has been President. But when Reagan inherited a worse economy and worse unemployment numbers, the economy grew 9.5 million jobs. And it did so with a smaller population. (Data from 7/9/12 IBD.) Obama initially said the 80,000 number was a "step in the right direction." He did not repeat that claim. But DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was "pretty happy" with the economy. And Obama's lead economic adviser Alan Krueger claimed that the economy is "continuing to heal."

* Remember when Obama said if he did not get the unemployment rate under 8% he did not deserve to be reelected? No wonder he's not talking about the economy. Nor is he talking about Obamacare, the highly unpopular bill that turned out to be one of the largest tax increases. Instead, he is making up stories about Romney and Bain Capital. I say making up because the liberal Washington Post has a fact checker which says most (if not all) of the Obama campaign's allegations are WRONG! This does not deter either Obama or his campaign from repeating the same falsehoods. It's the old Big Lie theory - say it loud enough and often enough and a whole bunch of people will believe it.

* As we know, Obama wants to let what are referred to as the Bush era tax cuts expire at the end of this year. This will result in an increase in your income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes and estate taxes. According to the lead editorial in the 7/9/12 Wall Street Journal, Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation reported that 53% of the tax increases will come from business. As the Journal notes: "Those are the businesses that aren't hiring people (already) as they wait out the tax and other policy uncertainties." But let me explain once again: Obama and the left do not care about the actual impact their policies have on people. They just care about the ideology.

* Disagree? Then explain the following. In a 2008 interview with Charles Gibson at ABC, Obama was asked why he would raise the capital gains tax when, historically, a raise in the rates has resulted in less revenue to the government. Obama: "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness." Again, the ideology over outcome. Still doubt it? One of Obama's close advisers, Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union, said this: "I think Western Europe...has made different trade-offs which may have ended up with a little more unemployment but a lot more equality." A "little" more unemployment is when some other guy is unemployed. Try telling someone who has lost their job, their home, and their ability to take care of their family, that at least the wealthy are paying more than they already do in taxes. I'm sure that will make the unemployed happy. Again, ideology over results. One last example. When the country was debating Obamacare the LA Times had an article about the Canadian government run healthcare system. They interviewed a doctor who acknowledged that there were long waits, and perhaps lesser care, but he justified it by saying it was, at least, more "equal." Again, ideology over results.

* You still doubt it? Then tell me why liberals cannot stand Republican Governors like Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, along with various other Republican governors, all of whom have turned around their states' economies. Lower unemployment because of lower taxes and less regulation. Deficits reduced or eliminated. Business moving in. After all, these governors inherited the same "Bush-era" economy that Obama blames everything on. Here's why liberals do not like these Republican governors - liberals do NOT care about results, just their ideology. The fact that Republican policies have benefited people in states with Republican governors is of no import. But the liberals in California will continue to vote in Democrats, notwithstanding cities going bankrupt, and the state being on the brink.

* Speaking of which, San Bernardino is the latest city to decide to file for bankruptcy protection. As noted by the 7/11/12 LA Times, part of the City's problems are "escalating pension costs (and) lucrative labor agreements." These ridiculously high public employee salaries and pensions are given to the unions as a reward by democrats, who receive much in the way of campaign contributions from these same unions. If you want fiscal solvency in your governmental entities, then you need to do what the Republican governors have been doing vis-a vis these unions. Or, if you care more about ideology than results, you can keep voting for more democrats.

* In the 7/6/12 LA Times was a report that retail sales grew only 0.1% in June. The Times notes that this was "the worst monthly showing since August, 2009." Hardly surprising. More people out of work means less people buying. Less people buying means stores will often have to lay off even more people. In a related story, the 7/7/12 LA Times lead business section headline was: "Engine of job growth sputtering." They quote one Chris Christopher, senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight: "There is no reason for small businesses to do well in this environment." Generally, small businesses are the drivers of job growth. The article goes to say that "about 30% of companies plan to reduce the number of employees in the next year, 48% plan to stay at the same level, and only 21% plan to hire new workers." Many businesses have said they have the money to hire, but will not do so until they see what is going to happen with all the new taxes (especially if the "Bush tax cuts" expire), and new taxes and regs under Obamacare. At a time when Obama should have been trying to stimulate the economy with tax cuts and less regulation, he instead spent two years getting Obamacare passed. The "ideology" of equality in healthcare over the negative impact on the economy, and over what will eventually be a negative impact on healthcare in this country.

* But some numbers are up. An increasing number of people are on Social Security Disability. Also way up are the number of people receiving food stamps (although the program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). According to the 7/5/12 USA Today the number of people on food stamps has skyrocketed to 46 million people as of April,2012. The USA Today notes that that means one in every seven Americans is on food stamps. Obama has no problem with these numbers - he buys votes with government handouts. The democrats are used to this approach (see above about public employee unions).

* So, we the people have a very real choice in this election. If you prefer things as they are, and do not mind if they get worse, so long as the wealthy pay more in taxes, then vote for Obama. Although maybe you can tell me why the top 10% paying 70% of the federal income taxes, with the bottom 50% paying no taxes is not fair enough. If, however, you prefer job growth, lower budget deficits, and less taxes then vote for Romney. If you are on the fence do yourself a favor. Look at how states run by Republican governors are doing compared to those run by Democrats. Do not let your beliefs (ideology) win out over results (reality).