American Elephants


Looks Like It’s Going To Be a L-o-n-g Recession! by The Elephant's Child

When the June monthly jobs report came out, we had remarks from the President in the Rose Garden.  The jobs report was dreadful.  Obama said that “what matters most to me as President, in the wake of the worst downturn in our lifetimes, is getting our economy on a sounder footing more broadly so the American people can have the security they deserve.”

“And that means getting back to a place where businesses consistently grow and are hiring, where new jobs and new opportunity are within reach, where middle-class families once again know the security and peace of mind they’ve felt slipping away for years now.” Well, businesses consistently grow and are hiring, opportunity within reach— that sounds good, but my America is not a “class” society.

The Treasury has 5 divisions for convenience of tax tables and judging how the poor are doing.  Americans move from low income, often to the highest income, and back again as they retire. Liberals are intent on sorting us into the poor and the rich and class envy.  If you are poor, you are supposed to hate the rich who oppress you, and liberals will redistribute the wealth of the rich to make the poor stop being poor— except that never, never works.  But this is a minor quibble.

It’s the “middle class families once again know the security and peace of mind they’ve felt slipping away for years” part that really gets to me.  It’s all George W. Bush’s (as usual) fault, because all this began long ago before Obama had anything to do with it and it is obviously not his (Obama’s) fault.

“We’ve always known that we’d have ups and down on our way back from this recession.” Well, no we didn’t.  Evidence from past administrations, Harding, Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan and — George W. Bush — have shown that targeted tax cuts and business-friendly policies can make recovery from recessions not only possible, but short.  Democrats have been telling themselves for years that their hero, Franklin Roosevelt, saved the country from the Great Depression with a program of government spending.  Keynesian economics. It didn’t work then and didn’t work now.

Obama goes on to blame natural disasters, spikes in gas prices, state and local budget cuts that “have cost tens of thousands of cops and firefighters and teachers their jobs.” This latter is pure hooey.  And he claims that the problems in Greece and Europe, along with uncertainty about the debt limit are what has made business hesitant to invest more aggressively. Uh huh.

There are over a million construction workers out of work so Obama is back to his “infrastructure” thingy.  Crumbling bridges, railways, highways. He wants more money to invest in infrastructure. He tripled the deficit Bush left so he could invest in infrastructure, but the money ended up wasted  and built nothing — nothing at all. But this time, he’s ready to invest some more.  “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves over the next several weeks and next several months.”

A line from Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins Jr.’s column this week comes to mind:  “If ever a president seems to have learned nothing from the times he’s living in, Barack Obama is it.  Economies around the world are foundering from an accumulation of policy excesses produced by the sort of straight-line, robotic thinking he’s applying…” Jenkins was writing about CAFE standards, but the observation applies.

So what has the president been doing to create the desperately needed employment?  He’s been demonizing the corporate jet industry which had experienced a modest recovery. Potential buyers have second thoughts when the president suggests increased future taxation or increased regulation, and the airplane sector has been one of America’s greatest exports. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers  point out that words have consequences for their industry.  Ed Driscoll lists some of the other industries that Obama has demonized, careless of the effect of his words (and the threat of regulation or taxation included). Remember when he demonized corporate meetings in Las Vegas and business in Las Vegas collapsed?

There’s no recession for Obama’s 454 White House aides. They will make $37,121,463 this year.  That’s up by seven staff members from the Bush Administration and up by $4 million in salaries from 2008.  Six-figure salaries for more than a third, but some 54% got raises averaging 16%, which pushed payroll costs up by 8%.  In the private sector, raises average 0.4% in these recessionary times. In his Twitter Town Hall, Obama denied any salary increases. Wasn’t there something about a government pay freeze?

There is an astounding disconnect with the real world and real problems, despite his words.  He has no grasp of the spiraling costs of the government of which he is chief executive.  He browbeats business and Congress but makes no connection between government action and the unwillingness of businesses to spend.  It’s going to be a l-o-n-g recession.



Betty Ford, RIP by American Elephant
July 9, 2011, 1:35 pm
Filed under: History, News, Politics | Tags: , ,

Former First Lady Betty Ford, widow of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, has died. She was 93.  An independent and  courageous woman, she shared the news of her breast cancer with the nation at a time when that sort of thing mostly wasn’t mentioned, and undoubtedly saved a lot of women’s lives. Later, she faced up publicly to her addiction to alcohol and pain pills — and founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage where thousands have been treated., a lasting legacy.

Hot Air called our attention to a video on the former First Lady, which is in a format we cannot post.  You will find it here.   Lest you be confused, Hot Air features one video and links to the one we link here, which is a more complete story.




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