American Elephants

Cooperating With the White House Didn’t Work, Now Business is Talking Back! by The Elephant's Child

Vice President Joe Biden talked today about the three million jobs that have been “saved or created.” The question, of course, is how do you measure those “saved jobs?”

This is not from any actual measurements, but from estimates based on a “multiplier effect” that assumes that every dollar put into the economy somehow or other multiplies itself by 2.5 times, or something like that, which sounds highly dubious to me.  Why they assume that taking money out of your pocket, passing it through the government and putting it back into the economy makes it multiply itself, sounds too much like whatever those rabbits were doing in that top hat.

There were lots of clues.  Over a year ago, the White House announced that it would increase taxes on U.S. companies that operate overseas.  President Obama  wanted to end “tax breaks” for companies that “ship jobs overseas.” Someone made the suggestion that the President needed the cooperation of many big corporations if he was going to get universal health insurance, and that might be a bargaining chip.

Big Business obediently fell in line, they visited the White House, worked for ObamaCare, even made green comments.  Health care passed, and another round of unemployment benefits and more spending.  The House decided to pay for it with $14 billion in — taxes on companies that operate overseas.  Obama’s budget director Peter Orszag met with the Business Roundtable and explained that the Democrats needed the revenue.

The Business Roundtable took up Mr. Orszag’s invitation to send him their concerns.  They sent a 54– page report describing the” hundreds of actions and decisions” that Washington has taken to damage the economy.  Ivan Seiderberg, CEO of Verizon and chairman of the Business Roundtable told the Economic Club of Washington that he’d become “somewhat troubled” by a disconnect between Washington and the business community.”  Washington had created a “hostile environment for job creation and investment.”

Roundtable members thought they could advance their own interests by cooperating with Capitol Hill.  Some tried to buy political protection from regulatory agencies, wining and dining took place, but like the spurned wife  in the divorce court, they are now becoming aware of the clues that they should have noticed earlier.

The once-burned Chamber of Commerce went along with the stimulus, but has sent off an “Open Letter to the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and the American People,” titled Jobs for America.  “Ill–advised course of government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits, and job-destroying regulations,”they say.  And “Uncertainty is the enemy of growth, investment, and job creation.” It’s very nice to finally have American business join in.  We could have used more help before all the expansion, deficits and job-destroying regulations took place, but better late than never.

The White House does not understand that creating government jobs does nothing to grow the economy, for taxpayers pay for those jobs.  And more, the actions that the administration takes create more unemployment.  The “moratorium” on drilling in the Gulf is destroying somewhere between 35,000 – 50,000 high paying  energy jobs, and there are estimates of as high as 200,000 jobs around the Gulf.  And that’s only one example.  Consider the shut down auto dealers, lost jobs in suppliers for automobile companies.  The list goes on and on.

And worst of all is that uncertainty.  Business won’t hire, investment isn’t made, orders aren’t placed because nobody knows what Washington DC is going to do next.

There’s an Old Saying: If You’re Riding a Dead Horse, for Heaven’s Sake, Dismount! by The Elephant's Child

The Philadelphia case of two Black Panthers standing in front of a polling place during the last election, in November of 2008, dressed in para-military garb and berets and threatening voters with a nightstick has been in the news for over a year-and-a-half.  Intimidating voters and poll workers is very, very much against the law.

This was pretty much a straightforward example of voter intimidation, and the Justice Department prepared their case carefully, the defendants failed to appear, and the court issued a judgment, and was preparing sentencing.  At that point the Holder Justice Department ordered the case dropped.  Major news story, public outrage.  Then very recently, Attorney Christian Adams resigned from the Justice Department in protest, and made a public statement of the reasons for his resignation.   Here Todd F. Gaziano of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights describes the case, how it has developed, why it is a scandal, and the next steps — and why it is a very big deal indeed.

Here is the testimony of Attorney Christian Adams, who resigned from the Justice Department in protest, in a courageous step. His testimony comes in two parts, the 2nd part is available by clicking on the link in the video.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) has apparently been oblivious to the whole problem which has been all over the news for a year-and-a-half, and cheerfully had a town-hall meeting.  This is what ensued:

This might be described as defending the indefensible.  What is interesting is how well-informed the citizens are, and how poorly informed their congressman is.  Wonder how many votes he lost with that performance.

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