Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Standing Up for Federalism

Harry: I can't believe we drove around all day, and there's not a single job in this town. There is nothing, nada, zip!

Lloyd: Yeah! Unless you want to work 40 hours a week! 

Several Republican governors (and at least one Democrat) are being ripped for saying they plan to refuse to accept hundreds of millions from Obama's "stimulus" bill to pay more unemployment benefits. Why on earth would they turn down all that money when they could use it to help the unemployed? Aren't they just being partisan (with the exception of Phil Bredersen - Democrat from Tennessee)?

They are rejecting the money because in exchange for the temporary funding, they will be required to permanently change their unemployment laws which will increase state taxes on businesses. For example, most states pay unemployment while they try to help you find a job, but you have to be willing to accept a full time job to stay on unemployment. The "stimulus" bill forces state governments to pay unemployment to many more people than they currently do, including to people unwilling to work full time. The bill also requires the state to pay people who quit their jobs because they moved and no longer want to make the commute. 

It's not hard to see that this will mean much higher payroll taxes, which discourages firms from hiring. This expansion of unemployment benefits also encourages people not to work. This is a classic example of how Washington usurps power from local government. They offer money (acquired by taxing the state's citizens) to the states with strings attached. "You can have your this money if you do what we say." Kudos to Bobby Jindal, Haley Barbour, Phil Brederson and others who are standing up for federalism and common sense. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Major Tax Hike on the Way

Here's the headline: "Obama's First Budget Seeks To Trim Deficit". How nice. We wouldn't want to put the words "higher taxes" in a headline about Obama, now would we?

Obama is planning to raise taxes on the "wealthy" and businesses. Apparently Obama has forgotten that we are in a recession. The administration has announced a White House summit on "fiscal responsibility." I wonder if Obama has to stop himself from laughing out loud when he says that phrase, considering he just signed the most fiscally irresponsible bill in our nation's history.  

Serious investors (i.e. those making over $250,000) will see their capital gains tax raised from 15-20% - that should really help the stock market, which has already dropped 10% in the month since Obama took office. Capital gains taxes reduce the incentive to invest. Investing is already a scary prospect - now investors have another huge reason to sit on their money, instead of using it to create jobs. Obama plans to raise total taxation by 19%. Considering the times we are in, this is economic malpractice.

As I've noted many times on this blog - taxes on corporations and small businesses hurt everyone - they don't just punish big bad business and people dressed like the Monopoly Man. Those taxes are passed down to you and I in the form of higher prices. Higher prices mean decreased demand for those goods and services, which means the companies have to lay more people off - maybe even you. 

If Obama really cared about the deficit, he wouldn't have signed a bill loaded with hundreds of billions in pork projects for Democrats in the House and Senate. This is all part of a plan to advance his health care agenda which will further erode our economy, reduce economic freedom, and introduce us to government-rationed health care. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More on Stimulus

Click here to read the Heritage Foundation's open letter to Congress, urging them (unsuccessfully) not to pass the stimulus bill. They note that this is by far the most expensive bill ever passed, yet it has been rammed through without vetting and without debate. 

This bill is the height of irresponsibility and is exactly what we should expect, unfortunately, when Democrats are in charge of the House, Senate, and the White House. The politicians who voted for (or signed) this bill owe an apology to today's young people and our children and grandchildren. 

Obama and the Democrats are being dishonest when they call this a stimulus bill. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this bill will weaken long-term economic growth! So if the federal government says it will hurt our economy, it must not be a stimulus bill. Instead it a massive give away - hundreds of billions of dollars going to the Democrats' various pet projects and causes. 

Most people don't care. They're just happy Obama is doing something about the economy and don't bother finding out just what that is. And when the economy recovers (as it will at some point), Obama can take credit, even though his bill will do far more harm than good. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

#13 Diversity

New post on Stuff White Christians Like: #13 Diversity.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Generational Theft

President Obama, addressing Congress:
All of you are committed to building a more responsible, more accountable government, and part of what that means is making sure that we're spending precious tax dollars wisely and cutting costs wherever possible. During this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts. So should Washington... Those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can they restore the vital trust between the people and their government.

The $787 billion ($3 trillion plus by the time we finance it) "stimulus" bill just passed by the House at Obama's request is the exact opposite of everything Obama said - it is not responsible, accountable, wise, or doing "business in the light of day." The Democrats promised to release the bill at least 48 hours in advance of voting on it. They broke that promise and not a single representative had read the 8 inch thick, 1071 page bill before they voted on it. Zero Republicans voted for it and 7 Democrats voted against it. They are trying to rush this through so opponents can't share what's actually in the bill with the public before it's too late. Unfortunately, the Senate will pass it later this week and Obama will sign it.

Obama and the Democrats seem to be arguing that if only we flush enough taxpayer money down the toilet, our economy will come back. Just a few items:

  • $300 million for "streamlined" golf carts
  • $8 billion for high speed rail connecting LA and Las Vegas (construction will begin in about 5 years, after the environmental impact study)
  • $180 million for "diplomatic and consular services"
  • $30 million to protect the habitat of an endangered mouse in San Francisco
  • $2.2 billion to ACORN - the leftist "community organizers" who systematically engage in voter fraud.
Very little of the money will do anything to stimulate the economy when we need it - now. Most infrastructure projects won't get going for a few years. Mostly the bill is a once in a lifetime Christmas list for Democrats and a way to make government much, much bigger (and the individual much smaller). This bill will add to our already crippling national debt and could cause crushing inflation. Many critics have called it "generational theft" - this money will be repaid by our children and grandchildren.

Obama claims this bill will "create or save" 3.5 million jobs. This comes to somewhere between $225k and $275k in tax payer money per job created, even if he's right. In addition, the bill lays the framework for socialized medicine and increases federal government interference in the doctor-patient relationship. It does away with President Clinton's welfare reform that led to dramatic reductions in dependency on welfare and child poverty.

But haven't huge stimulus packages worked before? No. They failed during the Great Depression, they failed in Japan in the 90's, and Bush's mini (in comparison) package also failed. Consider Henry Morgenthau, FDR's Treasury Secretary, and his analysis of the New Deal: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. ... I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot!"

The economy will turn around. It's just a question of how long it will take. Most of the spending will start kicking in after the economy is picking up again, and will then cause massive inflation. Inflation has to be fought by tightening the money supply, which will slow the economy back down. Oh, and did I mention that our projected deficit for a two-term Obama presidency is $8.4 trillion?

A better plan would cut the payroll tax or the corporate tax rate (among the highest in the world). This bill will only hurt our economy, erode individual liberty, and increase the tyranny of big government.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I've posted before about Craigslisting - a very funny blog detailing various adventures the author has on the classified ad site Craigslist. It's a little like prank phone calls, except he is messing with people that have posted an item on Craiglist. Here's one adventure that I found particularly funny: someone offering old wall art for sale discovers he may be the owner of a very important artifact and is pursued by prominent, competing "archaeologists" who will stop at nothing to obtain the piece.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Abortion Extremists

On Drudge: Florida woman goes to abortion clinic to abort her 23 week old baby. Baby is born alive. Baby is put in trash by workers at clinic and dies. 

President Obama thinks this should be legal

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

National Signing Day

After deciding to skip the 2008 season (I have no memories of it, didn't happen, you can't make me remember it, la la la), Rich Rodriguez and Michigan has put together a great recruiting class. According to Rivals, it's the 7th best in the nation, Scout says 13th. The high school seniors heading to Ann Arbor in the fall include the monster DE William Campbell (5 star, pictured), one of the very top recruits in the country. The Wolverines snagged more four-star recruits than you can shake a stick at, most notably Je'Ron Stokes (WR) and Tate Forcier (QB). They also picked up three four-star offensive linemen - a key weakness last season (I mean, what season?). 

My very early and premature prediction for '09 is 7-5 - a return to respectability at least, but not good. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Obama's Cabinet

The big news of the day: Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination to be health secretary because of his failure to pay over $100,000 in income taxes. Nancy Killefer, who was to oversee the performance of government programs for Obama also withdrew because of tax issues (the woman supposed to be identifying waste failed to pay unemployment taxes on her two nannies - which she required to look after her two teenagers).

There's a third tax cheat who should also go: Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner. Is it too much to ask that the person in charge of the IRS actually pays his own taxes?

As Larry Kudlow notes, Daschle said he wouldn't have been able to reform the nation’s health-care system “with the full faith of Congress and the American people.” Does Geithner have the full faith of the American people to reform our financial system? He was approved by the Senate despite opposition from 31 senators.

All this is just the latest embarrassment for the Obama administration. We still don't know all the details of Rahm Emanuel's dealings with Blagojevich. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had to withdraw his nomination to head the commerce department because of an FBI investigation into his dealings with a California financial services firm that was awarded a lucrative contract from the New Mexico Finance Authority after donating to political committees linked to the governor.

Hillary Clinton's nomination to Secretary of State looks completely non-controversial compared to all these upstanding citizens, despite alarming conflicts of interest. Out of the hundreds of millions donated to President Clinton's foundation, foreign governments have donated $46 million. People don't donate that kind of money without expectations of influence (granted they thought they were currying favor with a future President Hillary Clinton, not Secretary of State Clinton). Not that the Clintons have a history of helping unsavory characters when money or elections are on the line (cough! Mark Rich! cough! FALN terrorists!)

Sunday, February 01, 2009