Category Archives: Econ

Editor: Why Trump is Right About Paris Climate Accord

President Trump is going to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord tomorrow.
The elite media culture is going to completely lose their minds. International corporations who have invested in “climate change” regulations as a tool to lock out cheaper competition and innovators will display a phony panic.

UPDATE – For example, here is Apple CEO Jim Cook on the Paris Accord:

Apple products are made in China—which as part of the Paris Accord is conveniently exempt from carbon limits.

There are a few facts that you need to know.

1 – If everyone who wanted the Paris Accord actually agreed to it the result, in theory based on computer models that have never accurately predicted temperatures in real life, might affect the temperature by a tiny fraction of a degree over hundreds of years.

2 – But in reality the Paris Accord is based on junk science which is why Global Warming Alarmists have simply given up on debates with real scientists and climate realists as they always lose.

3 – Europe is already in deep violation of the Paris Accord as their CO2 production levels keep rising.

4 – But no one cares about Europe. The Paris Accord is about sticking it to the United States.

5 – Most of the world is not signed on anyways (or simply signed on and ignored it like China) so by complying with it all we are doing is hobbling our economy while others sit back and laugh at us.

6 – The Paris Accord would have required the United States to pay less productive countries direct payments because they produce less than us. The United States would be forced to subsidize third world dictators and tyrannical regimes like Venezuela who would use that money to murder political opposition etc. We are $20 trillion in debt.

7 – No matter what the media says, CO2 is not a poison or pollution. It is vital for life. Plants use it for food.

Forbes: Obamacare Insurers Lost Billions “Financial Bloodbath”

The Congressional Budget Office CBO predicted that profits from ObamaCare’s top insurance companies would generate $8 Billion for the “Risk Corridor” – the pool of money to help insurers that lost money in the program. So how did the CBO do?

Forbes:

The new data shows that the amount insurers who made money in the individual market were required to contribute in 2015 was $89 million but the claims by losers against that money for that year amount to $5.3 billion. This is a ratio of about 60 to 1.  The figures for the small group market are even worse: profitable insurers contributed a paltry $6 million to Risk Corridors. Losers in the small group market are owed $594 million for 2015.

It is hard to overstate how bad the 2015 data is.  Here are some ways of assessing the magnitude of the financial bloodbath.

  • Although the individual market was considerably bigger in 2015 than it was in 2014, contributions to Risk Corridors were only about 1/4 as much in the individual market
  • There was one insurer in the individual market who made enough money in the exchanges that it could contribute over $10 million into Risk Corridors.  There were 105 insurers in the individual market who lost enough money in the exchanges that they are owed over $10 million.
  • There was one insurer in the small group market who made enough money in the exchanges that it could contribute over $1 million into Risk Corridors. There were 61 insurers in the small market who lost enough money in the exchanges that they are owed over $10 million.
  • There were 24 states in which not a single insurer made a contribution to Risk Corridors in the individual market.
  • There were 33 states in which not a single insurer made a contribution to Risk Corridors in the small group market.
  • There are nine insurers (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas”, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois”, “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC”, “Freelancers Health Service Corporation d/b/a Health Republic Insurance of New York”,  “BCBSM, INC.”, “Highmark Inc.”, “Health Net Life Insurance Company”, “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma”, “Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.”, “Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative, Inc.”) that have each requested more than $100 million  in Risk Corridors money — more than all the contributions for 2015 put together.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas did so poorly it has requested $596 million in Risk Corridors money.  It likely won’t see a dime of it.  (This might explain why Blue Cross/Blue Shield requested a 58% rate increase for 2016).

 

Obamacare and the New Economics of Part-Time Work

Via the Mercatus Center at George Mason University:

Starting this year, the United States’ working population will face three major employment disincentives resulting from the very benefits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides: (1) an explicit tax on full-time work, (2) an implicit tax on full-time work for those who are ineligible for the ACA’s health insurance subsidies, and (3) an implicit tax that links the amount of available subsidies to workers’ incomes.

A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University advances the understanding of how much these ACA taxes will reduce overall employment, and why. It concludes that the reduction will be nearly double that projected by previous analyses. Labor markets ultimately will reduce weekly employment per person by about 3 percent—translating to roughly 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers.

Below is a brief summary of this important update. Please see “The Affordable Care Act and the New Economics of Part-Time Work” to read the entire study and to learn more about author Casey B. Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

__________ Key Findings  __________

Much of the ACA’s tax effect resembles unemployment insurance: both encourage layoffs and discourage people from returning to work. The ACA’s overall impact on employment, however, will arguably be larger than that of any single piece of legislation since World War II.

  • The ACA’s employment taxes create strong incentives to work less. The health subsidies’ structure will put millions in a position in which working part time (29 hours or fewer, as defined by the ACA) will yield more disposable income than working their normal full-time schedule.
  • The reduction in weekly employment due to these ACA disincentives is estimated to be about 3 percent, or about 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers. This is the aggregate result of the law’s employment disincentives, and is nearly double the impact most recently estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Nearly half of American workers will be affected by at least one of the ACA’s employment taxes—and this does not account for the indirect effect on others as the labor market adjusts.
  • The ACA will push more women than men into part-time work. Because a greater percentage of women work just above 30 hours per week, it is women who will be more likely to drop to part-time work as defined by the ACA.

Continue reading for the details.

Mercatus Mulligan-ACA-Employment-infographic

Government shutdown veiling an assault on separation of powers, oversight, and the budgetary authority of Congress

by Chuck Norton

UPDATE – Just as we predicted, Democrats in the Senate are floating a bill to allow the President to raise the debt limit in direct violation of Article I of the Constitution. The Democrats have written the bill so that it would take a super majority in both chambers to block the President from giving himself an unlimited credit card.

Congress is not a rubber stamp. What President Obama and the Democrats are doing is a frontal assault on separation of powers, Congress’s power and responsibility of oversight of the Executive Branch,  and the budgetary authority of Congress

Obama pointingThe Democratic Party is pining for a powerful post-constititional Executive Branch that can illegally line item veto, pick and choose who laws will and wont apply to – Chicago style, and seize power to legislate on its own.

Legislating On His Own

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, President Obama has taken it upon himself to change the law in ways he sees fit, a power that only Congress has under the Constitution. President Obama has given over 1,400 waivers to political allies be it groups or businesses which is illegal and corrupt.

The Grassley Amendment mandates that the Affordable Care Act apply to Congress just as it would to regular citizens; a law the President has waived under no constitutional authority whatsoever. He has done this in collusion with some in the congressional leadership and over the objection of some Republicans who believe doing so is unfair.

If a Republican president had behaved such a way Democrats and their friends in the praetorian media would be screaming for impeachment and enough Republicans would likely agree to get it done. Until this recent assault on the constitutional authority of Congress, Republicans have been somewhat timid in fear of being called “racist” by the praetorian media.

While Democrats would claim that Obama’s actions fall under the regulatory authority granted to the Executive Branch by Congress, regulatory authority is for the purpose of creating due process in carrying out the laws passed by Congress. It is not license to change the law or invent new laws unilaterally, nor is such authority permission to pick and choose winners and losers by deciding what parts will apply to who and who it will not. The President is seizing the power to legislate on his own and has been doing this more and more be it immigration laws, voting laws, domestic spying, and the list goes on.

UPDATE – Newt Gingrich: The President has decided that he wants to be “Legislator In Chief” – http://tiny.cc/wrtw4w

Many things are negotiable, equality under the law is not.

Assault on the Oversight and Budgetary Authority of Congress

Normally, under the regular order of appropriations and budgeting, committees in Congress will hold hearings on and then vote on how your money is spent, how much is spent, and review the stewardship of that spending after the fact with its constitutionally mandated power of oversight. This is how government is accountable to you and the representatives in Congress that you elect.

Through the committee and appropriations process the separate segmented appropriations measures are put together into a budget which sets the taxing and spending limits of various parts of the government. Next, the parts of the budget are reviewed and combined by certain standing committees in Congress such as the Budget Committee; that budget is then voted on by the entire House and Senate. Once passed the Budget is published and anyone can examine it. This is the process that Congress has generally used for the last 200 years and is why this process is called “regular order“.

Regular order makes sense. When you look at your budget at home, you look at each line item, see where your expenses are going and you make priorities to adjust your expenses so that you don’t over spend, right?

When President Obama was elected the Democrats began to refuse to even consider passing a budget, abandoning all regular order. Since the Democrats control the Senate no budgets have been passed.

The Democratic Party Majority Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, has said again and again that the House of Representatives has no right to pick and choose what it will fund and what it will not. Then Harry Reid and the Democrats started calling Republicans in the House hostage takers, anarchists, arsonists, terrorists, and every other “ists” you can think of. At the same time the Democrats have said they want an all or nothing blank check in the form of a continuing resolution instead of  a budget.

The Constitution of the United States says:

Article I Section VII – All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives

Article I Section VIII – The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

Article I Section IX – No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

The Constitution is clear that all bills dealing with revenue must originate in the House of Representatives; which also must pay the debts, set taxes, borrow money and as Section IX makes clear that the records must all be in a budget for the people to see.

By claiming that the House of Representatives does not have the right to do exactly what the Constitution instructs in plain English, the Democrats are trying to make an unconstitutional  “new normal” where there are no budgets, no oversight as we have known it for two centuries, and just write gargantuan blank checks in the form of massive continuing resolutions(CR) for President Obama to spend as he sees fit.

It is for these reasons that there is nothing clean about the Democrat’s demand for a “clean CR”.

Senator Mike Lee, who is well-known to be one of the top lawyers in the country, speaks of this:

Now Democrats are combining the two power grabs above by saying that Congress has no right to revisit Obamacare because it was passed (without a single republican vote) after Obama was elected and that only President Obama has the right and the power to (illegally) change the law on his own.

Of course the very idea Democrats and their friends in the praetorian media are pushing, that Congress can never revisit a law, is silly on its face. Social Security and Medicare are laws that have been on the books for decades and Congress has changed those programs many times.

It is the job of each new Congress to look at existing law and make changes where the people’s representatives see fit. The very notion that one Chief Justice or one President can decide Obamacare’s fate and that the Congress cannot is laughable and yet the praetorian media has been advocating this very point of view every night since the partial government shutdown.

In an effort to keep members of his own party in line President Obama has illegally changed the law by executive fiat to give Members of Congress and their staff a 72% subsidy if they buy the expensive coverage on the Obamacare Exchange, other portions of the law do not apply to Congress as well.

Strong Arm Tactics

Aside from constant smear tactics, name calling, and lies crafted in such a way to sound oh so reasonable, the President has ordered his administration to cause as much pain and disruption on the American people as possible.

The Obama Administration ordered federal police to close the open air WWII Memorial and went so far as to rent “barrycades” to keep visiting WWII vets out.

Republican Members of Congress assisted the aged vets in “storming” their own memorial. Park Rangers, who are veterans themselves, refused to lay a hand on our WWII heroes:

The Obama administration ordered Park Police to close even privately funded memorials, private businesses adjacent to them,  and even ordered elderly couples to be ejected from their homes which are adjacent to Lake Mead. In doing so Democrats have blamed Republicans for these outrages and for the most part the praetorian media has gone along with it. None of these parks or memorials were closed in the 17 previous government shutdowns since 1976.

The administration has threatened military priests who attempt to give Mass during the partial shutdown with arrest, and the administration has ordered that thousands of Department of Defense workers be furloughed in spite of the fact that the Defense Department has already been paid for with a separate continuing resolution. Of course President Obama has ordered the military to keep his personal retreat at Camp David open while cutting football and baseball coverage from the Armed Forces Television.

Speaker Boehner is outraged by the administration’s behavior:

President Obama has deliberately tried to spook the markets which affects the savings of millions of Americans in hopes to damage the economy even worse so that he can also blame that on Republicans.

The latest attempt to spook the markets is to threaten default on the national debt if the House of Representatives doesn’t give him all of the power that he wants. The 14th Amendment demands that the President make the scheduled payments on the debt. The Treasury takes in almost $240 billion a month which is much more than enough to pay the debt, Social Security etc. President Obama would have to willingly decide to default on the debt.

President Obama has also said that it is unprecedented for the Congress to attach strings to a raising of the debt ceiling. In fact, Congress has done so dozens of times as that is their enumerated power under the Constitution. When Obama was a Senator he favored just such a tactic himself. The President’s lie was so over the top that McClatchy News, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, and Fox News have all reported that the President’s claims are bunk.

The New Republic, a political magazine that favors the Democratic Party, has suggested that President Obama use the military against TEA Party activists. Other media outlets who have historically slanted reporting to favor the Democratic party have found President’ Obama’s rather obvious falsehoods a threat to their own credibility and thus are sending messages that their willingness to spin for him has limits.

NBC’s Chuck Todd grilled Jay Carney on why the White House won’t accept some of these individual continuing resolutions passed by the House to fund portions of the government that will put some people back to work:

A New York Times reporter has said that the Obama admin is, “most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

While Obamacare may offer an expensive policy, which is implemented more like a massive tax, in exchange for “deductible not met”, “claim denied”, & “procedure not covered”; this fight is about much more than Obamacare, it is about power. A massive swing of power from the representatives of the people to the President. This is genuine third world style authoritarian power play.

One might not feel the authoritarian chill as of yet, but just wait until the next debt ceiling or government spending fight that leads to a partial shutdown and the President decides to abuse the power of Obamacare to halt payments for medical visits and prescription drugs as leverage to get his way. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.

Editor’s Note: A reader sent a note asking, “What about the budgets that President Obama proposed and what about the budget that Harry Reid put up in March 2013?”

These are good questions but the answer is well known to those who have followed politics.

President Obama’s budgets got next to no support from his own caucus in the Senate as they were so outrageous that Democrats did not want to sign their name on it or be associated with it. Since the Senate Democrat Caucus would not back the House GOP budgets or the President’s budgets they died in the Senate.

After taking criticism for the abandonment of Regular Order for not passing any budgets for four years, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid put up an outrageous budget last March (2013) that was completely unserious, was opposed by four Democrat Senators, violated the Sequestor Law, and amounted to a political gag – as explained by The Hill:

The Senate-passed budget has $975 billion in new taxes, does not balance, and does not cut spending when the fact it turns off sequestration is taken into effect.

The Constitution is clear that tax bills MUST start in the House. Any tax increase that is not approved by the House first is a non-starter. Harry Reid putting up a budget that violated the Sequestor Law and imposes almost a trillion in new taxes was out of Regular Order. Of course Reid knew it, and so did those four Democrats who voted against such a stunt. Reid put up that “budget” to create the illusion of supporting Regular Order when the heat was on. This was no secret as press reports and political blogs reported as much.

UPDATE – Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accuses House Republicans of TREASON for not handing Obama a blank check CR

UPDATE – Obama Administration hires private armed thugs to ring Independence Hall http://tiny.cc/9ybr4w

UPDATE – ‘Gestapo’ tactics meet senior citizens and foreigners at Yellowstone as armed men on orders from the Obama Administration round them up and lock them up – http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x1442580353/Gestapo-tactics-meet-senior-citizens-at-Yellowstone

UPDATE – Senator Mike Lee: The best argument against Obamacare is the behavior of the Obama administration during the “shutdown”; DO WHAT I SAY OR ELSE:

Jeep starting Cherokee production in China

Bailouts rock….

Cherokee China

Truth About Cars:

The 2014 Cherokee could be the first Jeep produced in China in nearly 6 years. Jeep CEO Mike Manley said that the Cherokee was an “obvious choice” for local production, as Jeep looks to expand its customer base in China.

Manley noted that the Cherokee could double Jeep’s current 46,000 unit sales. Local production would allow Jeep to avoid import tariffs on the new model, which according to Jeep, has proved overwhelmingly popular in consumer clinics. Currently, the Compass accounts for just over 70 percent of Jeep sales in the country.

More from Chinese Car Times – LINK.

And while China has tariffs on our goods, they are suing us in the WTO to stop all of our tariffs (another treaty we should never have gotten involved in because international enforcement would be pretty much one way against the United States).


Washington Post
:

China asks WTO to block U.S. tariffs

China has turned to the World Trade Organization to help block U.S. tariffs on 22 types of Chinese products, including solar panels, pipes for oil wells, coated paper and steel wheel hubs.

The Chinese appeal to the WTO takes aim at the U.S. Commerce Department, which has recently imposed stiff duties on Chinese products. The department has cited Chinese subsidies, especially those funneled through state-owned enterprises, that it says give Chinese firms an edge over American competitors.

If There’s No Inflation, Why Are Prices Up So Much?

If the official inflation rate is next to zero, how come prices are going up so much?

Sarah Palin was blasted by reporters and the Wall Street Journal in 2010 for pointing this out and explaining how food and fuel prices would soon skyrocket.

As this very writer explained in 2010. under Clinton the Consumer Price Index was changed so that government would never have to face the “misery index” and a proper measure of inflation again. They removed “Food & Fuel” from the index, you know, because nobody ever buys that stuff anyways, and they weighted the formula towards housing….. that’s right folks, housing.

When the economy turns south or hits a bump new housing starts talk and housing prices fall, thus showing negative inflation. So when the economy is in trouble and inflation is going up, the government reads it as zero inflation. If we still measured inflation like we used to it would be about 9.3% every year for three years. Of course, every shopper knows this as they see the prices for themselves.

A year later, investment guru Jim Rodgers weighed in, confirming the wisdom of Sarah Palin and this very writer:

U.S. government inflation data is “a sham” and is causing the Federal Reserve to vastly understate price pressures in the economy, influential U.S. investor Jim Rogers said on Tuesday.

The U.S. central bank uses inflation data that relies too heavily on housing prices, Rogers told the Reuters 2011 Investment Outlook Summit, and he criticized the Fed’s $600 billion bond-buying program.

“Everybody in this room knows prices are going up for everything,” Rogers told the Reuters Summit.

Micheal Sivy:

Price hikes for a particular item here or there don’t qualify as inflation. If one thing gets more expensive but something else gets cheaper, that’s what economists call a relative price change. Inflation is a simultaneous increase in prices across the board. Some measures of inflation, such as the GDP Deflator, track price changes that affect businesses as well as those that affect consumers. But the Consumer Price Index is supposed to focus on inflation at the consumer level. And the CPI has recorded minimal increases over the past four years. Since the recession ended, the 12-month change in consumer prices has averaged 2% and has never been as high as 4%.

There are lots of other ways to gauge inflation, however, that give very different signals. Gold was $930 an ounce when the recession ended, and today it’s $1,583. So if you believe in the gold standard, prices have increased 70% in four years – or an annualized rate of 14.2%. Of course, many economists dismiss the gold price as an archaic indicator. So it may be more meaningful to look at price increases over a broad range of commodities. The Reuters CRB Commodity Index, which tracks the prices of coffee, cocoa, copper, and cotton, as well as energy, is up 38% over four years, or 8.6% at a compound annual rate.

Perhaps the most telling indicator – albeit a slightly facetious one – is the Big Mac index, popularized by the Economist magazine. McDonalds hamburgers are available in many countries and their prices reflect the cost of food, fuel, commercial real estate, and basic labor. The price of a Big Mac, therefore, can be used to compare the economies of different countries – or serve as a bellwether of inflation in a single country. Since the recession ended, the cost of a Big Mac in the U.S. has risen from an average of $3.57 to $4.37, or 5.2% a year.

So why haven’t these more rapid increases shown up in the Consumer Price Index? One reason is that the index itself has been modified in a variety of ways over the past 35 years. Fluctuations in home prices have been smoothed out, for example. And the index has been adjusted periodically to reflect changes in what people buy, particularly if they shift from more expensive items to cheaper ones. Such revisions to the CPI have tended to reduce the official inflation rate, on balance. Various estimates of what the annual rate would have been over the past four years if earlier methods of calculation had been continued come up with numbers in the 5%-to-10% range.

Several conclusions can be drawn from all this. First, there is no absolute and objective gauge of inflation. Any particular measure is simply one way of making the calculation, based on a host of assumptions. Second, a number of the costs that middle-class households face are going up considerably faster than the CPI.

Foreign holdings of U.S. debt hits $5.48 trillion

While we are raising your taxes and borrowing money from China to study Klingons….

AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in October, a sign that overseas investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite a potential budget crisis.

Total foreign holdings of U.S. Treasurys rose to $5.48 trillion in October, the Treasury Department said Monday. That was up 0.1 percent from September. Still, the increase of $6 billion was the weakest since total holdings fell in December 2011.

China, the largest holder of U.S. government debt, increased its holdings slightly to $1.16 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its holdings by a smaller amount to $1.13 trillion. Brazil, the country with the third-largest holdings, increased its total to $255.2 billion.

Government spends $100,000 studying to see if Jesus died for Klingons (not kidding)

And remember – YOU don’t pay enough in taxes according to Democrats…

Worf is not pleased
Worf is not pleased…

Jaci Greggs:

Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) latest report on spending by the Department of Defense shows, among other things, defense spending used for a lecture series involving fictional alien species.

“Did Jesus Die for Klingons too?” was just one session at a recent workshop funded by the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency:

Further, DARPA paid nearly $100,000 for a strategy planning workshop on the 100 Year Starship project last year included an interesting discussion involving the Klingons, a fictional alien species who were villains and then later allies of humanity in the Star Trek series. The session entitled “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” featured philosophy professor Christian Weidemann of Germany’s Ruhr-University Bochum who pondered the theological conflict to Christianity if intelligent life was found on other planets. (page 17)

At another DoD-funded gathering, the brainstorming sessions covered topics such as how to make deep space travel most efficient, how scientists would go about creating a “warp bubble,” and whether or not humans would need to wear clothing during space travel.

New York Times finally admits Reaganomics worked

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Warner Todd Huston:

After 30 years, The New York Times has admitted that Reaganomics worked.

The inadvertent revelation comes in a November 29th article by Binyamin Appelbaum chronicling the steadily falling tax burden Americans have experienced since the 1980s.

AEI columnist James Pethokoukis notes that the heart of The Times’ article is that in 2010 Americans “paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago.”

Pethokoukis points out that some tax hike advocates think this means that America’s tax burden is too low and time has come for a hike. But Pethokoukis disagrees.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I think the reduction in the tax burden — staring with the Reagan tax cuts — has been a huge competitive advantage for the U.S. We should keep that edge. Check out these numbers. In 1981, France’s per capita GDP was 81% of U.S. per capita GDP, Germany’s 83%, Italy’s 81%, Britain’s 69%.

In 2010, France’s per capita GDP was 73% of U.S. per capita GDP (down 8 points), Germany’s 81% (down 2 points), Italy’s 68% (down 12 points), and Britain’s 76% (up 7 points).

Pethokoukis reminds readers that Europe was closing the gap with U.S. wealth by 1980, but after Reagan’s tax cuts that trend stagnated and in other cases even began to reverse.

There are many great points made in the Pethokoukis piece and you need to go read them, but his last one is the funniest—or saddest, depending on your point of view.

4. Another bit: “Economists agree that taxes on business are passed on to investors, reducing profits, and to workers, reducing wages. Upper-income households bear the brunt of these taxes, and corporate tax collections have fallen sharply.” That is right. Taxes matter.

Funny, the NYT never mentioned this widely known economic fact when Mitt Romney was attacked for saying “Corporations are people.”

73% of new jobs created are government jobs…..

John Nolte is on a roll lately with columns that are just home runs as far as content and quality of analysis. Read this one carefully.

John Nolte:

While the media pants with exhilaration over a dip in the unemployment level that was created by over a half-million people giving up and dropping out of the workforce, a deep-dive into the employment numbers also reveals that it’s mainly government workers benefitting from what meager job growth we are seeing. Over the last five months, 73% of all jobs created were government jobs. Moreover, the unemployment rate for government workers plunged to 3.8% in November — which is considered full employment.

Even though deficits rule the day at every level of government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 847,000 new jobs created since June, a full 621,000 were government jobs. In November alone, 35,000 new government jobs were created.

In other words, as the labor participation rate plummets to a thirty year low — which means we have fewer taxpayers — we’re not only increasing the number of taxpayer-funded jobs, but the government is using the creation of these jobs to juice the employment numbers in a way that makes it look as though the job situation is actually improving.

Naturally, none of this would be possible without a compliant media working overtime to bring out the pom-poms and cover up what’s really going on.

Let me tell you something, if Obama had an “R” after his name and creating the exact same economic results, the media would make damn sure the public was familiar with what “labor participation rate” means. [Emphasis ours – Political Arena]

Youth Unemployment Highest Since WWII

Ben Shapiro:

Barack Obama has made quite a hubbub over the course of his presidency about education for young students, and jobs for young workers. Unfortunately, it seems he’s failed on both counts. According to a recent study produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now, there are now 6.5 million “disconnected” young people in America – “disconnected” being defined as neither in school nor employed, and “young people” being defined as 16-24 years of age. Young people now have the lowest employment rate since World War II.

In California alone, there are nearly a million young people who are “disconnected”: 850,000. Since 2000, that number has jumped a staggering 35 percent. Meanwhile, California’s overall employment rate for people aged 16-19 clocks in at just 18 percent; its high school graduation rate is a paltry 76 percent.

Average Wait Time for Surgery in Canada 17.7 Weeks

At least it is starting to improve after years of socialized medicine bringing quality down to the gutter. Largely because of the efforts of Prime Minister Harper and his TEA Party brand of economic conservatism have been introducing reforms and partial privatization back into the Canadian Healthcare System.

Fraser Institute:

CALGARY, AB—Patients face a median wait surgery wait times in Canadaof 17.7 weeks for surgical and other therapeutic treatments in Canada, down from 19.0 weeks in 2011, according to the 22nd annual edition of Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

On a national basis, median wait times have hovered between 16 and 19 weeks since 2000, following a marked deterioration in wait times during the 1990s when surgical waits grew steadily from 9.3 weeks in 1993 to 14 weeks in 1999. This year’s median wait of 17.7 weeks is 91 per cent longer than in 1993.

“While wait times have improved since last year, Canadians are still forced to wait more than four months, on average, for medically necessary treatment. Physicians, not to mention patients, consider this unreasonable,” said Nadeem Esmail, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the report.

One month after the election the job losses are staggering…..

As reported by the Daily Mail, Florida restaurant owner John Metz says he will offset the costs of Obamacare by “adding a five percent surcharge to customers’ bills and will reduce his employees’ hours.”

Obamacare is so filled with senseless mandates, bureaucratic overhead and taxes that it has already driven up the cost of family health insurance by $2,500 a year and this will just get worse as more of Obamacare is implemented.

Obamacare requires businesses or franchises with more than 50 workers must offer an approved insurance plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 for each full-time worker over 30 workers.

The program mandates that only employees working more than 30 hours a week are covered under their employers health insurance plan, chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster are already considering reduced worker hours.

“Obviously, I’d love to cover all our employees under that insurance,” said Metz.

“But to pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants don’t make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.”

From March of 2010 – John Deere: We will take $150 million hit from healthcare reform; Caterpillar: We will take $100 million hit just this year. UPDATE AT&T says ObamaCare bill will cost $1 billion per year!

Democrat campaign operatives had tried to paint those businesses reacting to as just a few actors disgruntled by the election and tried to fool people into believing that Obamacare makes healthcare more affordable.

A new web site called The Daily Job Cuts is attempting to catalogue the layoffs and business closings and even though they are making a worthy full time effort to list them all, they are still only able to report a fraction of the actual job losses.

In the last month:

Aside from the evil Papa Johns, Democrat political operatives need to be prepared to also ‘boycott’ these companies who are laying off thousands of people due to Obamacare and associated taxes: Olive Garden, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, Longhorn Steakhouse……

…..Google, Martha Stewart Living, Pepsi, PayPal, Groupon, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, Kraft Foods, Lockheed Martin, Sears, Lexmark, Yahoo!, Dupont, Boeing, Bristol-Myers, Cummins, Smithfield Foods, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NBC/Universal, American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, JC Penney, Wausau Paper, Procter & Gamble, Texas Instruments, Pierce Manufacturing, Panasonic, Xerox, Citigroup, Atlantic City Casinos, Majestic Star Casino, RIM (Blackberry), Vestas Wind Systems, Utah American Energy, Turkey Point Nuclear Plant FL, United Technologies, Gamesa Energy, Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, Stryker Corp (A big Obama Donor), First Solar, Solel Solar Systems, LuLu Publishing, New Energy Corp, Supervalue (Albertson’s), Dana Corp, American Coal, Gamestop, Commercial Appeal, Patriot Coal, Archer-Daniels-Midland, SAS, CIGNA, 169 Shaws Supermarkets, Judson University, ATI Career Training Centers,  …

But boycotting these companies may be tough if you get sick or injured:

Nebraska Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Aveo Oncology, Kaiser Permanente, St Jude Medical, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, St Lukes Cornwall Hospital, Emanuel Medical Center, GE Healthcare, WPS Health Insurance, Lower Bucks Hospital, United Blood Services Gulf Region, NY Center for Hospice/Palliative Care, CVPH Medical Center, Ameridose, Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY, San Diego Hospice, Glens Falls Hospital NY, Wake Forest Baptist Medical NC, Southwest Vermont Health Care, St Mary’s of Michigan Hospital, Orlando Health (hospitals), Carney Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Englewood Hospital, LSU’s 7 Hospitals, Westchester Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center, NCH Healthcare System, Peace Health, Northwest Community Healthcare, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, E.J. Noble Hospital, Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, St. Joseph Hospital, St. Josepth Hospital East, Community Memorial Health System, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Marian Regional Medical Center, Inland Hospital, Lawrence General Hospital, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, St Vincent Health System (hospital), Mercy Health Partners’ Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, Jordan Hospital, Brattleboro Retreat (psychiatric hospital), CVPH Medical Center Pittsburg, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center (hospital), Cook Medical.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to boycott Hostess or the closings of 10 Boston area Upper Crust Pizzas, or the 200 Gamestop outlets. All are closing. There are so many closures that we just don’t have the space…

MORE:

Abbott Labs, Activision, Adventist Health, Airlines SAS, AMD, American Cotton Growers, Arcelor Mittal, American Independence Museum, Ameridose, American Airlines, American Coal, Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Assc Milk Producers, Aveo Oncology, Bankia, Bechtel Power Corp, Bigpoint Games, Boston Scientific, Brake Parts, Brattleboro Retreat,
Career Education, Cigna, Commerzbank, Consol Energy in W.V., Covidien, Crouse Hospital Syracuse NY, CVPH, DEP in Tallahassee FL, DuPont, Eagle-Tribune, Emanuel Medical Center, Energizer Holdings, Ericsson, Exide Tech, First Energy, Gameforge Berlin, GenOn Energy Inc, Groupon, GT Advanced Tech, Harris’ Broadcast, Hawker Beechcraft, Hill Rom,
Hills Holdings. HMX Group, Iberia Airlines, ICM of Colwich, ING, Juniper Networks, Kinetic Concepts, Kratos Defense Security, Lightyear Network Solutions, Lonza, Majestic Star Casino, Major Wind Company, Medtronic, Mills Manufacturing NC, Momentive Inc, Monitor Group, Montco Behavioral Health, NBC, Nebraska Medical Center, Neovia Logistics Services, New Energy, Ormet, Panasonic, PayPal, Penn Refrigeration, Penske Logistics, Pepsi, Philips Electronics, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Research in Motion, Rheem Manufacturing, Sentry Foods, Shaw’s Supermarket, Shawano Foundry WI, Smith & Nephew, Smithfield Packing Co., Southeastern Container, SpaceX, SRA Intl Inc, St. Jude Medical, Sulake, Sun Media, TE Connectivity, TECO Coal Corporation, The Providence Journal Co, TMX Group Ltd., Turbocare, Oce North America, UBS, US Cellular, Volvo Trucks Pulaski County, West Ridge Mine, Westinghouse, World Media Enterprises Inc, WPS Health Insurance, Wright Patterson AFB, Wyodak Coal Mine, Yakima Reg Med Ctr Washington.

Special thanks to C. Steven Tucker for helping me to build this list.

Legendary Tony Robbins Destroys the Entire Obama “Tax the Rich” Narrative in Short Film (video)

Why is “tax the rich” false narrative not going to lower the deficit but will only lower the economy? Tony Robbins illustrated just how ridiculous the Obama “class warfare” model is in this short film. This is simply devastating…..

Obamacare rules tax investment and capital far more than Clinton era levels

So the only way to get a break, is to get favors legislated for you into the tax code. Or have the means to use lawyers and tax accountants to game the system as most possible, which isn’t an option for smaller players. Once again Democrats rig the game to favor the super rich and mega-corps but harm domestic small and medium sized investors, retirement funds and businesses.

Democrats say this is about deficit reduction, but these kinds of taxes harm long term economic growth by making disincentives to invest and risk. Democrats also wish to add in new spending far more than anything they could bring in with new taxes.

Reuters:

The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income.

The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

The tax applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives.

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals.

Both sets of rules will be published on Wednesday in the Federal Register.

The proposed rules are effective starting January 1. Before making the rules final, the IRS will take public comments and hold hearings in April.

Together, the two taxes are estimated to raise $317.7 billion over 10 years, according to a Joint Committee on Taxation analysis released in June.

To illustrate when the tax applies, the IRS offered an example of a taxpayer filing as a single individual who makes $180,000 in wage income plus $90,000 from investment income. The individual’s modified adjusted gross income is $270,000.

The 3.8 percent tax applies to the $70,000, and the individual would pay $2,660 in surtaxes, the IRS said.

The IRS plans to release a new form for taxpayers to fill out for this tax when filing 2013 returns.

The new rules leave some questions unanswered, tax experts said. It was unclear how rental income will be treated under the new rules, said Michael Grace, managing director at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP law firm in Washington.

“The proposed regulations surely will increase tax compliance burdens for individuals,” said Grace, a former IRS official. “There’s clearly some drafting left to be done.”

Editor: I debated Dr. Gilarducci just as Mark Levin did

by Chuck Norton

In the video below Mark Levin very gently takes apart Dr. Teresa Gilarducci. She works for George Soros now, but before that she was an econ professor at Notre Dame. She was also on President Clinton’s Social Security task force.

When she was at Notre Dame I debated her when I was an undergrad in front of an audience, as I was the only one between IU and Notre Dame who would take the partial privatization position point of view on Social Security. Her incredible hypocrisy, that Levin exposes so well in the video below, showed itself in true form in my debate with her as well. Her “logic” is entirely political, circular and based largely on denial and misdirection. She is sweet, attractive and charming, and well knows it as she uses that as a weapon in her arsenal.

Dr. Gilarducci thought she was going to be debating a “college republican” undergrad, what she got is a former radio talk show host who passed the state exams and used to sell retirement and insurance products.

I will not outline the entire debate, but in short I did two things.

First: I outlined the Galveston Plan which has worked wonders as a legal exception to Social Security. I also pointed out the government managed, but partially privatized retirement plan that Members of Congress have which has been a great success through thick and thin. Such a plan would serve as a good model to grow at least a small percentage of Social Security to at least attempt to have a growth to pre-fund our retirement benefits.

All she would say about these partially privatized plans is that the retirees wouldn’t get the money and even though retired Members of Congress and some in Galveston were already  getting great benefits now she insisted that soon that money would vanish because only government transfer payments can be trusted. She kept saying again and again, “Until you go to get your money at retirement and it’s not there.”

Ironically in the video below, the type of plan she insisted could never work because the “greedsters” in the private sector would steal it all, is the exact same plan that she has for herself for her own retirement by her own admission.

Second: Dr. Gilarducci had written some good papers on 401K reform. She argued that too much of the 401K investment is in the employers own stock, so if the employer goes under said employee looses a lot of their retirement. As a fix she proposed that 401K laws be changed to require diversity of investment to more reliably pre-fund such retirement plans. Social Security has much the same problem as all of the eggs are in one basket, there is no diversity of investment and people’s retirement’s are not pre-funded.

So I used her own words and arguments on how to have a reliable and secure 401k, but replaced the term “401k” with “Social Security”. I used those near verbatim arguments to make most of my case.

All through the debate she insisted that (what she didn’t realize were her own arguments in her own published work) were just bad arguments from a young undergrad who just didn’t know better and that is how she treated me……until the end when I dropped the bomb that many of the arguments she so cutely poo-poohed were actually her own published work. She was floored.

Mark Levin:

During my last few shows, including as recently as yesterday, I have alerted you to Obama’s desire to nationalize your 401-k plan and eliminate your mortgage interest deduction.

Some background on the former.  Back in October 2008, I got word that Professor Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School had testified before Rep. George Miller’s committee in support of a plan to nationalize private pension plans — in particular, 401-k plans.  I not only spoke about it on my show back then, but we tracked down the professor and I conducted the first interview on talk radio.  I will discuss this at more length on my program this evening, but I thought you might want to be among the first to listen to that interview again.  Please pass it along to as many people as you can.  See below.

http://marklevinshow.com/article.asp?id=2441845&spid=32364

Two-thirds of millionaires leave Britain to avoid 50% tax rate

It is an undeniable truth of life that wealth, capital and labor go where they are treated well. It is this economic truth more than any other that prevents socialism, communism, fascism, and kleptocracy from yielding positive economic benefits in the long term.

When you raise the tax rate, people will modify their behavior to avoid paying the tax, even if that means halting economic activity. As Ronald Reagan said:

The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

UK Daily Telegraph

Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50% top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.

In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50% top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50% top rate will be reduced to 45% from next April.

Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.

However, the number of million-pound earners is still far below the level recorded even at the height of the recession and financial crisis.

Last night, Harriet Baldwin, the Conservative MP who uncovered the latest figures, said: “Labour’s ideological tax hike led to a tax cull of millionaires.

Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue.

“Labour now needs to admit that their policies resulted in millionaires paying less tax and come clean about whether they would reintroduce this failed policy if they were in power.”

Mr Osborne argued earlier this year that the 50% rate was deterring entrepreneurs from coming to Britain.