American Elephants

Try to Remember When It Gets to November: by The Elephant's Child

It was three years ago that Obama signed the much celebrated $787 billion Stimulus Bill into law.  Friday was the anniversary.  So after three years, how do the results stack up? (From Investors Business Daily)

Obama claimed it would “create or save” up to 3.5 million jobs, and unleash a “new wave of innovation, activity and construction across America.” The stimulus would, he promised “ignite spending by businesses and consumers” and bring “real and lasting change for generations to come.”

Unemployment rate February 2009: 8.3%. February 2012: 8.3% unchanged.

Long term unemployed: the number of workers unable to find a job in 27 months or more has shot up by 83%. They number now 5.5 million.

Size of the civilian labor force: Declined by 126,000.  In past recoveries, the labor force climbed by an average of 3 million over the same time period.

Household income is about 7% below where it was in February 2009.

National debt: Up by 41%  or $4.5 trillion since February 2009. The latest Treasury figures put the national debt at $15.4 trillion, larger than the entire U.S. economy.

The deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion, the proposed deficit for 2012 is $1.3 trillion for the fourth year of trillion dollar deficits.

Over the past 3 years from Q1 2009 to Q4 2011, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has climbed only 6%, according to the Bureau of Economic analysis.

The original estimate for the Stimulus was $787 billion but the CBO says it has grown to $825 billion.  The official name was HR1: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Best measure: Obama’s latest budget request calls for another round of stimulus.  He wants $350 billion over the next four years for “short-term measures for jobs growth”


The One Chart to Doom them All: by The Elephant's Child

This chart from the Republican Study Committee bears a little study. (Click to enlarge). It kinda plays hob with the “It’s Bush’s fault” storyline. Stimulus didn’t work either.  And “Cash for Clunkers” was a real disaster. Recovery Summer didn’t recover, and it’s still headed down. The real unemployment rate is closer to 15%, but reality depends on how many people who want to be in the workforce are not, and that’s hard to measure.

We forget that more people are being added to the population of working age all the time, but unemployment rates are worst for young people with little or no experience, and the Democrats keep wanting to boost up the minimum wage to make sure that they can’t get a job.  It didn’t have to be this way. We have a national history of how to recover from recessions, and we have a national history of what not to do. Some people just are not prepared to learn the lessons of the past and are thus doomed to repeat them.

Over-Regulated America; A Problem the Left Cannot Recognize. by The Elephant's Child

“Americans love to laugh at ridiculous regulations.” So begins an article from The Economist on “Over-regulated America: The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation.” That’s certainly true enough. The big story on the radio and on the internet was the saga of a 4-year-old’s pre-school lunch packed by her mother, and the arrival of the regulator who took away her lunch and gave the child three chicken nuggets and some veggies she wouldn’t eat.

The food-police bit is getting out of control. Yes, some parents may send their kids to school with Cheetos, but that is the business of the parent, not the government.  Michelle Obama recently visited Little Rock Air Force Base to announced  a new Pentagon obesity nutritional awareness campaign that will change nutrition standards across the services for the first time in 20 years.  She wants them to eat their veggies. (You’ll notice this is a British paper).  Actually, they should probably increase the protein in their diet instead, and add a few more miles to the daily run.

Mrs. Obama cited an Army study that says more than one-quarter of 17-24 year-olds are too overweight to serve in the military. [Doesn’t that say that she’s changing the nutrition of the military people who are NOT too overweight or they wouldn’t be in the service?]

The Economist picks up on some of the funnier regulations like the Railroad Administration insisting that trains have a “F” on the front so you can tell which end is which, and the children’s lemonade stands shut down because they hadn’t the proper licenses. But this is making light of a serious problem. The article is more concerned with Dodd-Frank, and the disaster of badly written regulations and over-regulation.

The Small Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce have been vocal about the extent to which small business, the engine of job growth, is being seriously harmed by excessive regulation, and the threat of regulation yet to come. One of the biggest problems is ObamaCare. Regulations are issued, complaints ensue, waivers are granted to some, not to others. Threats of increased taxes, increased regulation create a business climate in which potential employers are unwilling to risk taking on the extra cost of another employee.

There are roughly 330 million people in the United States. Why do Progressives think that they can write regulations to cover every aspect of human life and business — and believe that it will work? Why does Michelle Obama believe that she should direct the diet of 1.45 million troops a day at 1,100 military dining facilities and decide what America’s schoolchildren should eat. Yet the Obamas believed that America’s problems derived from a lack of regulation. Liberty is not a dirty word.

What has made America great is liberty— the freedom to invent and create and grow. To dream and to attempt, to work towards our own goals. The elites have always feared the “common people>”

“The clear lesson of history is that individual liberty, the basic underpinning of American society, requires constant defense against the encroachment of the state.”
Walter Wriston

“Freedom is, to be sure, frightening.  There is no telling what values
someone will choose to hold. Decent and well-meaning
guardians of values were horrified by the monstrous principles
of the Declaration of Independence.
It is, of course, out of fear that the guardians preach
the inculcation of values, fear of knowledge and thought.”
Richard Mitchell

%d bloggers like this: