American Elephants

Spinning the Numbers, by Your Government and Mine. by The Elephant's Child
August 7, 2009, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

The much anticipated jobs report was released today.  247,000 more jobs have been lost, but “the rate of job loss has dropped from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent”— because 422,000 quit looking.  This was heralded across the airwaves as a great sign of economic recovery.  This is known as spin.

The economy is still in the doldrums with 6.7 million jobs lost since December of 2007.  14.5 million are currently unemployed, with all sectors of the economy affected.

The president’s agenda, however, is focused not on jobs, but on passing, at all costs, a health care bill about which the biggest questions are how to pay for it, since the Congressional Budget Office has said bluntly that we can’t afford it.

Democrats are talking about a middle class tax hike (Robert Gibbs denies it, but they simply cannot squeeze enough money from “the rich” to pay for it).  They are talking about a value-added tax, which just raises the cost of everything.  They are trying to think of all sorts of things to tax, apparently unaware that people who do not have jobs aren’t able to pay a lot of taxes, and what taxes they do have to pay only harm them.

Democrats are also considering what taxes and mandates to inflict on employers, apparently unaware that raising the cost of doing business during a recession simply means more layoffs and more business failures.  But economics has never been one of the Democrats’ strong points.

And once they get the new airplanes approved, and the cash for clunkers out there to destroy the used car business, and the health care reform bill passed, then they want to pass a cap-and-trade bill which will raise not only the cost of energy, but of everything you buy.  They’re estimating that at something like $3,000 -$4,000 per household per year.

But you must take care, because they don’t want any criticism, and they don’t want to answer any unfriendly questions, and they especially don’t want to be told that they have to read the bills.

The Honduran Democracy Has Won. by The Elephant's Child
August 7, 2009, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, Latin America

The tiny democracy of Honduras has won. The imperial bullies at the State Department have stopped trying to return a would-be dictator to power in Latin America. State said that the United States would no longer threaten sanctions on Honduras for ousting its president Mel Zelaya for breaking Honduran constitutional law, nor insist on his return to power. No U.S. sanctions means the Hondurans have won.

The U.S. continues to condemn Zelaya’s ouster and still seeks mediation of the dispute by Oscar Arias, Costa Rican President. Hugo Chavez first called for invading Honduras, but it became clear that Chavez couldn’t project his power there, though his ambitions are undiminished. It’s not the end of problems, Honduras is still suspended from the OAS, its trade has been disrupted, Venezuela’s oil has been cut off, and its officials can’t get visas.

It was not a coup, but a legal action according to Honduras’ constitution. The U.S. is correct to remove the threat of sanctions.

Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Obamacare by American Elephant

Not specifically, but the principles are the same. Note how Democrat’s goal has ALWAYS been socialized health care for all, and they have ALWAYS lied about it to Americans, as Obama and congressional Democrats are doing today.

Obamacare Preview: Patients forced to live in agony after government refuses to pay for painkilling injections by American Elephant
August 7, 2009, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Health Care, Socialism | Tags:

Another story on the kind of cost cutting Americans can expect if Democrats pass their healthcare plans:

Tens of thousands with chronic back pain will be forced to live in agony after a decision to slash the number of painkilling injections issued on the NHS, doctors have warned.

The Government’s drug rationing watchdog says “therapeutic” injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known.

Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy. [read more]

Individual Liberty Requires Constant Defense Against the Encroachment of the State. by The Elephant's Child
August 7, 2009, 12:57 am
Filed under: Economy, Freedom | Tags: , , ,

Remember last year when the CEOs of the Big Three Automobile companies were called to testify to Congress and indignant lawmakers excoriated them for traveling to Washington D.C. by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies?

A lot has happened since them.  The government gave Chrysler to Fiat and kept GM for itself, turning management over to the unions, and shut down a large number of privately owned car dealerships except the ones in Barney Frank’s district.  The vaunted $800 billion Stimulus went mostly to failing state governments and Democrat supporters, so it hasn’t done much for jobs.

President Obama has handed the American people one trillion dollars in new debt, so far.  Since Obama was inaugurated in January, the national debt has grown to a startling $11,669 trillion.  That does not include the other legislation that the President wants passed like the climate bill or health care reform.   His budget is up a whopping 11 percent over last year even as tax receipts are down sharply.

You would think that with so much on their plate, Congress would rein in their spendthrift ways.  But there is no thrift to be found in either the halls of Congress or the White House.  They did cancel the F-22, our most advanced fighter, but not to be particularly budget conscious.  Congress, of course did not consider restraining their automatic pay raises, even as they forced CEOs to rescind their bonuses and give up their pay.

But Congress was quick to tack enough extra onto the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill for a couple of Gulfstream 550 jets (price tag about $65 million each) to keep available at Andrews Air Force Base to carry Members of Congress thither and yon. ( In 2007, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requested a military  to carry her to and from her home district in San Francisco without having to stop to refuel.  She tried to claim stopping to refuel as a security risk.  The Pentagon turned her down).

There is NO restraint!  Money is not a problem.  If they need more, they will just tax us, or Tim Geithner can print some more.  Easy come, easy go.

UPDATE: I understated.  Congress plans to spend $550 million to buy eight jetsThe Nancy Pelosi Air Force. This is to “help accommodate growing travel demand by congressional officials.” The Pentagon sought to buy one Gulfstream V and one business-class equivalent of a Boeing 737 to replace aging planes.  The Defense Department also asked two additional 737s that were being leased.  The House added funds to purchase those planes plus funds to buy two 737s and two Gulfstream V planes. The 737s each cost about $70 million.

The Pentagon said we didn’t request the additional planes and don’t need them, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary said.  “We’ve always frowned upon earmarks and additives that are above and beyond what we ask for.”

The 737s (C-40s to the military) are designed to be an office in the sky for government leaders.  All first-class leather seats, worktables, galleys, and a “distinguished visitor compartment” with sleep accommodations.  The Senate still has to approve the purchases.

Travel junkets make boring Congressional work more fun.  We have an absolutely out-of-control Congress here. The deficit is a larger part of GDP than it ever was during the Great Depression.

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