American Elephants

Private Sector Employment is Just Fine, Says Harry Reid. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama is winding up his presidential tour on his campaign bus — oops, I have that backward.  He’s out on his taxpayer-financed campaign tour on his new taxpayer-financed  presidential bus. He claims it is not a campaign tour because he is the president and he’s talking to the people about his jobs program. Uh huh.

The Senate could not pass Obama’s American Jobs Act, because Majority Leader Harry Reid could  not get enough Democrat votes to pass it. So the new idea is to divvy it up in little pieces and pass the pieces one by one. The first bit is a $35 billion bailout for state and local governments who have decided that they have more teachers and other public-service sector workers than they need. Well, can’t have state or local governments laying off members of the teachers’ union, or the firemen’s union or the police union.

Debating the bailout, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) argued that :

It’s very clear that private sector jobs have been doing just fine.  It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.

The states are afflicted with requirements to balance their budgets, something that doesn’t trouble the federal government.  Only 4.7 percent of government employees cannot find jobs — half the national unemployment rate.  Government employees have the lowest jobless rate of any industry.

And where do you find the highest income of any metropolitan region in the country? Not silicon Valley, and not the metropolitan areas where the occupy people are hanging out, shrieking about corporate greed, but in the hallowed halls of the federal government.  The median household in Washington D.C. is $84,500 a year, compared to a national average of $50,000.

If President Obama could forego his constant effort to pay back the unions for their support,  long enough to recognize that there are a lot of Americans out of work because of the policies he promotes, the real unemployment rate might come down out of the double digits.

Nevermind. Obama says “The Economy is not where it wants to be. We’ve made all the right decisions.” President Obama does not change his mind. Wealth is to be redistributed, not to the poor — but to government workers.

Jobs Are Created by a Growing Economy, Not Government Spending. by The Elephant's Child

In a brief speech to the Western Republican Conference in Las Vegas, Texas governor Rick Perry announced his upcoming “economic pro-growth package that will create growth and encourage investment in America.  The plan will involve major tax reform, entitlement reform, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and abolishment of earmarks, and a recommitment to energy exploration in the United States.”

Our long term growth requires a fundamental tax reform. Perry said. Therefore, his plan “starts with scrapping the three million words of the current tax code — starting over with something simple: a flat tax.  I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time”. 

Much of Perry’s  speech was dedicated to promoting his already released energy plan.  He pointed out the importance of energy independence and exploration in boosting economic growth.  The Environmental Protection Agency has played too large a role in American’s lives, he said.  More localized, state-based solutions to environmental problems would solve the problem of the EPA’s overreach.

“Let’s get Washington out of the way in order to save and preserve the American way.  Let’s do it.  Let’s roll,” he concluded.  

More Words of Wisdom from a Brit: by The Elephant's Child
October 19, 2011, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Liberalism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Daniel Hannan, member of the European Parliament for Southeast England is a marvelous speaker.  His speeches in the United States have left people in awe and wondering how come so many British politicians can speak so much better than out politicians can.  Certainly their “Question Time” in Parliament when the Prime Minister has to answer questions from the members is good training, but I rather imagine that their universities have something to do with it as well. Perhaps we could ship our politicians over for a short course?

It isn’t just speaking well though. As we know by now, a mellow baritone voice is not enough to compensate for an absence of thought.  Here’s something from Mr. Hannan that has stuck in my mind.

I have struggled for years to explain that politicians who cant about fairness don’t mean equal treatment or justice, or, indeed, any practical outcome whatsoever.  What they really mean is that they’re nice people, and they’re prepared to prove how nice they are with your money.


“The World Needs a Powerful United States that is a Beacon of Hope to the World” by The Elephant's Child

It can be helpful sometimes to listen to the views of nationals of other countries. Case in point, today’s column in the Telegraph from Nile Gardiner, Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator for the Telegraph.  This is his report to the British people, titled “Barack Obama’s disastrous first 1,000 days.”

Since taking office in January 2009, President Obama has ushered in a period of relentless economic decline for the United States. His administration has added $4.2 trillion to the national debt (now standing at $14.9 trillion), lost 2.2 million jobs, introduced a vastly expensive health-care albatross, and spent nearly $800 billion on a failed stimulus package. At the same time, house prices across the country have tumbled at an unprecedented rate, consumer confidence has plummeted, and millions more Americans are now dependent upon food stamps. International confidence in the US economy has fallen to its lowest levels in decades, with credit agency Standard and Poor’s downgrading of America’s AAA credit rating for the first time in 70 years in August this year. …

The biggest failure of this administration, and there have been many, has been its central belief that government knows best, and that the way to prosperity is to spend ever greater amounts of taxpayers’ money on the backs of hard-working Americans. As a result, the United States is a nation on a precipice, facing towering debts and the threat of a double dip recession at a time when 14 million Americans are already out of work. Ultimately, it is economic freedom, minimal government intervention, and greater individual liberty that can put America back on its feet, rather than endless bailouts, higher taxes and suffocating government regulation, all hallmarks of the Obama experiment. Ultimately, the world needs a powerful United States that is a beacon of hope to the world, rather than a basket case of failed liberal policies.

Do read the whole thing. Mr. Gardiner pulls no punches, but politely.


The Words of Obama’s Mouth Don’t Match His Record! by The Elephant's Child

On December 7, 2009, the Office of Information Policy in the Justice Department headed by Attorney General Eric Holder, convened a secret meeting on transparency in government.  The purpose of the meeting was to train Freedom of Information Act officers from federal agencies in how to respond to FOIA requests, including instructions on how to resolve disputes over what government documents can be made public.

Judicial Watch obtained a series of pre-conference emails in which Justice officials sought approval from White House media officials for closing the meeting to reporters.  OIP’s director said in one of the emails that she has “always held parallel meetings, one for agency’ees and then one that is open.”

Obama said on his first day in the Oval Office that he wanted people in the executive branch to respond to FOIA requests “with a clear presumption’ In the face of doubt, openness prevails.”

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton said:

Only in Washington would political appointees think it appropriate to keep secret a government workshop on transparency. 

Getting the records of the Solyndra scandal, finding out what happened and who knew what about the Fast and Furious debacle, has been a struggle.  Obama’s appointees have held back thousands of documents legitimately sought by congressional investigators.

Obama’s secretary of labor, Hilda Solis, has gutted the regulations that required labor unions to release information about the organization’s financial state, including the total compensation packages for union leaders.  The requirement that unions were required to report on positions for which the union is paid but nobody actually does the work are gone as well.  The biggest losers are union members.  Union members by very large majorities believe that union officials and executives should have to disclose their salaries and benefits as a way of making them accountable to their members.

Very big on openness until somebody wants information that you don’t want them to have.

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