American Elephants

You Will Behave, and We Will Monitor Your Behavior. by The Elephant's Child

You can always tell when the Democrats have come up with a bill by the name. I thought the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was a pretty pretentious name as ObamaCare neither protects patients nor makes anything affordable. Now comes the prospective Senate Bill 1813 the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.” I reject anything named the 21st Century anything, but “Moving Ahead for Progress”— oh, puhleeze.

It gives the IRS the power to revoke passports belonging to those who are delinquent with tax debt in excess of $50,000. (That keeps a lot of Obama administration people safely at home). The potential law may also be used to measure your carbon footprint each time you get in your car.

The  legislation makes it mandatory for all new cars in the  U.S. to be fitted with black box-like recorders beginning in 2015. Called “Mandatory Event Data Recorders,” the devices would be capable of monitoring your speed, driving habits, braking habits, miles driven, location and distance of travel. Removal of the device would be a civil offense. The measurements would remain the property of the vehicle owner, but the government would have the authority to retrieve the data.

This is most probably another innovation of the Greens. They are very anxious to control your use of energy, and shutting down most sources of energy in favor of what they conceive of as clean energy continues unabated. Just wait till you get your Smart Meter and are connected to the Home Area Network.

The Crushing Weight of an Intrusive Government by The Elephant's Child

EPA Area Administrator Al Armendariz’s speech, captured on video, proposed the example of crucifying the first five people among the non-compliant to get everyone to fall in line. Supposed to be amusing. The video was quickly removed by the environmental activist who uploaded it. The White House is not pleased about the “crucify” bit. But what is important to notice, is not the immediate effect upon the non-compliant who quickly get in line, but the larger effect on the economy in general.

American business, Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, all the organized groups of small businessmen have complained publicly and privately about the fear and uncertainty created by government regulation and uncertainty about increasing taxes and healthcare mandates. Federal officials see that they have not added regulations for Widget Makers, or packaging people, or any of hundreds of different occupations and do not understand.

The Widget Maker, however, looks at the Gibson Guitar Company attack and expects that the next time it may be widgets. He sees no reason, no justified assault, other than a grasp for power. He reads about the waivers from ObamaCare being granted to unions and wonders how he can pay for sharply higher health care costs for his workers. You have a whole government with no understanding that small business is constantly worried about their ability to stay in business, get a business loan, and increase sales — and the government clearly informs him that they are not on the side of business, have no understanding nor respect for the free market, and no understanding of the problems that businesses face.

The Widget Maker watched when the government decided that the auto industry could not be subjected to our usually successful bankruptcy laws, and took over the industry, handing off portions to the unions and to Italian car makers,  putting the separate businesses who were linked to the car companies out of business, and putting their own buddies in the executive suite. That told thousands of businesses across the country that there was no limit to what this particular government felt free to do. Time to hunker down and avoid getting noticed.

Preliminary GDP reports mean that the growth outlook for the second quarter is even worse than expected, and the ratio  of Debt/GDP was 100.8%. Not a pretty picture, but the report is only preliminary and will be revised a couple of times, probably downward.  Businessmen keep an eye on this sort of thing as well. Hope is all very well, but businessmen worried about the bottom line will take the risk of hiring and growing when the risk seems promising.  The cost of hiring and growing has gone up sharply under the Obama administration.  This administration has no clue that is the result of their efforts.

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