American Elephants

Unveiling Presidential Portraits by The Elephant's Child

Today, the Obamas invited President George W. Bush and Laura Bush to the White House for the unveiling of the official presidential portraits.  The ceremony was warm and friendly, more so on the video, which is here, than in the transcript, which is here.  You will enjoy watching the video. George W. is charming, funny, and very gracious. I really miss that man.

The photos of the portraits below, are cropped, but you can get an idea. Mrs. Bush’s portrait is full length, and from the pictures, her dress may have been navy blue, or black, or possibly something else. The portraits are skilled, and it was charming of Mrs. Bush to thank the artist and mention his family.

These ceremonies are always more awkward when the portraits are of a previous president of a different party who you’ve just been blaming for everything for three years. But they mind their manners and do it nicely. Jonathan Horn at Ricochet dug up the speech that President Bush gave when unveiling the portraits of the Clintons. It’s short, but gracious, and a model to follow.

These portraits will be there for the ages, barring some awful incident, and Michelle has promised to save George W’s portrait, as Dolley Madison saved the other George W.’s.


A Tone-Deaf and Classless White House. by The Elephant's Child

America’s highest civilian award is the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In the ceremony last Tuesday, while presenting World War II Polish resistance hero Jan Karski with a posthumous medal,  President Obama  made a reference to” Polish death camps.”  It was Jan Karski who brought evidence of the existence of Nazi Death Camps to America.

You can’t go stumbling along in foreign relations without an understanding of history. Europeans have long memories, and Poland was a Nazi-occupied country, and a great many Poles were executed at Auschwitz and Birkenau. The presence of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland was a deep affront.  To suggest that the camps were Polish when awarding a medal, posthumously, to a resistance hero is more than tasteless. To assign the task — not of apologizing — but of saying oh, the President just misspoke, is a greater insult.

But then Obama is the one who notified the Poles with a midnight phone call on September 17, 2009, the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, that we were pulling the plug on our missile defense base they had stuck out their necks to host.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk responded: “I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction than issuing a correction and the spokesperson of the White House expressing regret. When someone says “Polish death camps,” it’s as if there was no Hitler. That is why our Polish sensitivity in these situations is so much more than just simply a feeling of national pride.”

Embarrassing incidents can be smoothed with a real apology.

ADDENDUM:Lo and behold. “The issue hasn’t gone away just because he wants it to,” and, as Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller reports, “in an undoubtedly ego-bruising development, he’s been forced to publicly apologize.” The Hill reported:

President Obama has penned a letter of apology expressing “regret” over using the phrase “Polish death camps” in a ceremony earlier this week, which has drawn heavy criticism from Polish officials.

“In referring to ‘a Polish death camp’ rather than ‘a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland,’ I inadvertently used a phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world,” Obama wrote in a letter released by the Polish government. “I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.”

Why Do People Move? It Really Isn’t Mysterious! by The Elephant's Child
May 30, 2012, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Taxes

Why do people move? Packing up all your stuff and moving to a new location is not an easy task, and it’s not fun. Trust me, I’ve done it a lot. It’s one thing if you decide you can finally afford your dream house, and quite another when you downsize.

But think of the boundless courage that sent the Pilgrims across months of the North Atlantic in a leaky ship, or even the Puritans, a little later, in the Winthrop fleet. Taking all your earthly possessions and leaving everything you have known to strike out for the completely unknown is something else entirely.  Americans continued to up and move — across mountains, looking for better farmland. They pushed into what is now Tennessee and Pennsylvania. And consider those who embarked on wagon trains to cross an unknown Indian territory bound for an unknown Oregon.

Fast forward to today. California, the ‘Golden State’ has, in the last two decades, lost four million more people than have come to California from other places. Lots of reasons. High taxes, if you don’t own a big chunk of Google or Apple, your chance of owning a home in the Bay Area is close to nil. Environmental extremism, with a goofy cap-and-trade law resulting in skyrocketing energy costs drives out jobs and business. Jerry Brown believes that green jobs will replace vanishing industry.

New York’s high taxes have made the Empire State a place to flee. In the past ten years, it has suffered an exodus of some 3.4 million New Yorkers, nearly a million more people than those who escaped East Germany for West Germany or West Berlin from 1949 to 1961 — an exodus that led the Communists to construct the Berlin Wall in 1961.

The outflow hasn’t stopped. New York State’s income loss for the state is $45.6 billion, according to the Tax Foundation. There is still plenty of immigration from abroad. It’s not surprising that most refugees have headed for sunny, income-tax free Florida. New Yorkers who leave an estate of more than 1 million get hit with a state death tax reaching 16%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo admits the problem, but hasn’t threatened New York’s status as “tax capital of the nation” with any substantive reforms.

I don’t know why it is so hard to understand, but people who live in high tax states are moving to states with no income tax. States with high energy costs and high taxes are losing businesses to low tax states with reasonable regulation. Some of the folks who are moving are the hated rich, and they seem to be rich because they  run their businesses — which they are also moving — efficiently, and find it more profitable to do business in states where taxes are low, energy costs are low, and the states are preferably right-to-work.

Oddly enough, most of the states with a business-friendly climate seem to be run by Republican governors who go for balanced budgets and low taxes.  Must be a coincidence.

The Green Lobby Wants to Destroy Modern Civilization. by The Elephant's Child

America has undergone a monumental change, and the major media are just waking up to it. The administration has apparently not heard. America is awash in fossil fuels. We have lots. All that bit about being dependent on foreign oil — nevermind. America has a boom in shale natural gas, and even Fortune magazine admitted it in a cover story.

So, naturally, as night follows day, the Sierra Club has announced a new battle plan called “Beyond Natural Gas.” This is a companion piece to “Beyond Coal,” in which the Sierra Club has been lobbying for rules to force the shutdown of America’s coal-fired power plants, the closure of coal mines, an end to the use of coal — which supplies just a little less than half the electricity in the country.

The theme was previously that coal was dirty, disgusting, dangerous, and we should rely instead on clean natural gas. Now that they have the closure of coal-fired power plants well underway, they are turning to eliminating natural gas. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune announced their goal this month.”We’re going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can.” They have rolled out a new website that says:

The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok. The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears, and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.

Sounds vaguely familiar. But this is no idle threat. The Sierra Club has deep pockets, with 1.4 million members, generous funding from liberal foundations, and the knowledge of just how to work the media and the politicians. The lobby has successfully helped to block new nuclear plants for more than 30 years, the “Beyond Oil” campaign helped to keep much of America off-limits to oil drilling, and its “Beyond Coal” campaign has all but shut down new coal plants, and is working on shutting down the old ones.

The Sierra Club was once a modest affair, founded by John Muir in 1892, to “make the mountains glad.”It is the oldest and arguably the most powerful environmental group in the nation.  But it is no longer my father’s Sierra Club. It used to offer  summer horse packing trips into the high Sierra, featured Ansell Adams’ beautiful photographs of Yosemite, and grew into photography books, animal books and all those nice things that make us love nature — that we can put on our coffee tables to show how ecologically with it we are.  It has grown into a radical environmentalist organization of 1.4 million members with leadership positions held by activists with radical ties. It has managed to maintain a “mainstream” image, but its goals are hardly mainstream.

The radicalism of radical environmentalism is way out there, and makes little sense. They essentially oppose modern civilization, and all its peoples.  They are attempting to shut down the power plants that power the wind farms and solar arrays that they, for now, favor.  How long will wind energy be acceptable when Congress offer special waivers to the wind farms for the eagles they chop up? The green energy bubble is bursting everywhere.  The Energy Tribune notes:

The EU’s ideologically-driven Energy Road Map prioritized ‘green’ renewable energy, diverting away from Russian natural gas dependency and harmonizing energy and environmental needs. The result: a devastatingly inept screw up that threatens continent-wide power outages even, as Die Welt recently reported, in Germany as early as next winter.

In short order, EU energy policies have created an unsustainable, publicly-subsidized, market-skewing ‘green’ energy bubble, eschewed a cheap fossil fuels policy and realistic alternatives to Russian gas imports. Together those failed policies have resulted in the double double-whammy of soaring of energy prices and, as is now being reported, diminishing European industrial competitiveness.

The Sierra Club gets no awards for consistency. They were all for natural gas when the price was $8 or more per million BTUs and the supply seemed to be limited.  But gas prices have fallen to $2.50, and natural gas may come to dominate U.S. energy production. Wind and solar and biofuel power may never be competitive. If the subsidies are removed, there will be no profit in wind and solar anyway. It’s ordinary people who will benefit if there is a plentiful supply of cheap natural gas. It will benefit industry and the economy, and there are somewhere around 600,000 jobs in the natural gas industry alone, not to mention the jobs provided by a thriving economy fueled by cheap, abundant energy from natural gas and coal.

Morning Cute III by The Elephant's Child

A Bison calf was born in Chicago at the Brookfield Zoo on May 16. the first birth of this species since the early 1970s. Feisty little girl. Zoo Borns is a great website for moments when you are tense, or down. Who can look at baby animals and not relax.

And there are so many species that I’ve never heard of. Great website to share with the kids. Zoos all over the world are cooperating in an effort to save endangered species.

Not Even Half by The Elephant's Child

This Recovery is the Worst Since World War II. by The Elephant's Child

Recovery? What recovery? In almost every speech, President Obama proudly claims that he inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression. He has added new jobs each month, and while we need to do more, we are heading in the right direction.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis which tracks economic performance for each recovery, compares the growth of gross domestic product for each recovery, and job growth for each recovery; there have been 11 recessions and 11 recoveries over the past 60 years. This recovery is near the bottom of all 11.

Average normal job growth is 6.5%.  Cumulative non-farm job growth is just 1.9% 34 months into the ‘recovery.’ Cumulative growth of GDP is just 6.8% 11 quarters into this ‘recovery.’ The average is 15.2%, and GDP growth is the worst of all 11 recessions.

The administration has tried every Keynesian method for achieving economic growth to no avail. The recovery remains one of the worst since World War II. The problem lies with the way the “stimulus” was carried out, the uncertainty of a looming tax Armageddon,  the anti business rhetoric, and the piles of new regulation. This is, I believe, the first President that has ever run for office opposing capitalism and the free market.

The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve has resulted in extraordinarily low interest rates — almost zero for the past three years. In a normal world, low interest rates wold lead to increased borrowing by individuals and businesses — increasing economic activity. What it has done instead is to help the government to borrow more cheaply, the big banks to recapitalize quickly, and homeowners to refinance at low rates.

The uncertainty concerning ObamaCare and what it will do to business and individuals, higher taxes on business combined with anti-business rhetoric from the administration, and the constant threat from EPA actions has discouraged the kind of borrowing and lending that low rated usually encourage. The low interest rates have meant historically low yields on savings, and encouraged riskier investments.

The president’s fiscal policy has increased expenditures by about $700 billion per year since 2008. The increased spending has had a temporary stimulating effect, but has resulted in an increase in the national debt of over $5 trillion. Where has all the spending gone? The money for the most part, was badly spent. Billions went to reward government employees, and the auto unions. More billions went to training programs that don’t work, (the government has 49 job training programs administered by nine agencies —  all ineffective), extended unemployment insurance that reduces the incentive to find work. That which was directed to infrastructure was mostly wasted because those “shovel-ready” jobs weren’t shovel ready.

In Obama’s first three years, 105 major federal regulations have added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.  32 new major regulations in 2011 increased regulatory costs by another $10 billion annually with an additional $6.5 billion in one-time implementation costs.

The mindset that says that innovation, growth,and  job creation come from government; and that the economy will perform better if government tells people what to do; is a real problem.  It’s not just the hubris that assumes that they know better, nor the contempt they have for the American people.  It is that they simply do not understand who Americans are.

We are a courageous people who picked up our lives and went forth to an unknown country in the hopes of more freedom and a burning desire for a better life. That’s true for the first immigrants, and the most recent. Those who were lacking in courage or content with things the way they were stayed put.

Those who didn’t find what they dreamed of on the East coast picked up and struck out for the West. Americans don’t need a lot of regulation, they don’t need to be told what to do, and they just want government to get out of their hair, and leave them alone to innovate, create, to try, fail, and succeed.

Do We Need a ‘Green’ Military, or a Military that Can Fight? by The Elephant's Child

The House Armed Services Committee’s proposed Pentagon Budget contains a provision that could bring a screeching halt to the U.S. military’s ambitious experimentation with biofuels.  This is a very good thing.

Actually, it was probably the president’s ambitious idea. President Obama seems to be a true believer in anthropogenic global warming, whether from conviction on his own part or from conviction urged by the support of Big Green is unknown.

The Army has been developing alternative fuel technologies for ground vehicles, such as a high-tech steam engine that can run on a variety of fuels, including biofuels. The  Army is contracting with Cyclone Power Technologies developer of the all-fuel, clean-tech Cyclone Engine, and Advent Power have been awarded a contract to develop a compact 10kW auxiliary power unit designed to increase operating efficiencies and decrease fuel usage of ground combat vehicles.

The committee sensibly voted to ban the Department of Defense from purchasing alternative fuels that cost more than traditional fossil fuels.

The Air Force has been test-flying a 50-50 blend of camelina and jet fuel in public displays of its high-performance Thunderbirds demonstration team. Camelina is a weedy plant in the mustard family.

The Navy has been testing a variety of biofuels in ships and aircraft, including its Blue Angels demonstration team. Along with camelina, the Navy’s tests include algae and waste grease. The Navy has spent a whole year in an all-out effort to launch a Green Strike Group by mid-June, in time to participate in the multinational Rim of the Pacific  (RIMPAC) maritime exercise. Every member of the Green Strike Group, including both ships and aircraft, must run on green fuel.

When the Commander-in-Chief supports clean green fuels, the military salutes and says yes sir.  But the world has changed, or rather our knowledge of the energy situation in the world has changed. America is awash in accessible fossil fuels. The Navy attended a “Sustainable Maritime Fuels Forum in Australia earlier this Spring, and toured local biofuel facilities. Yet Australia has become a fossil fuel powerhouse, with plentiful resources for hundreds of years.

Governments are picking winners and losers with their usual wisdom. One after another of President Obama’s “green investments” is going broke. Europe is backing away from wind and solar as fast as they can— even sunny countries like Spain. Both wind and solar rely on fossil fuel energy as the required 24/7 backup. The math doesn’t work. Without subsidies and mandates for fleets or utilities to purchase biofuels, there would be no market.

The House Armed Services Committee has it right. If all this alternative energy costs way more than our own traditional fossil fuel; subsidies and mandates from the government to attempt to force their  bright ideas on an unwilling military, that don’t, as yet work, is folly. Our military has enough problems with ill-advised downsizing,  presidential leaks, and failure to understand the military’s mission. They don’t need to be messing around with alternative fuels as well.

It is very odd that at the same time the military is being forced to downsize, and desperately needed replacement of needed equipment is cancelled, we are indulging in wispy ideas that small experiments in alternative fuels can be expanded to supply massive quantities of fuel to run the military. The math doesn’t work. Growing crops to compete with fossil fuel takes vast acreages of land needed for food; and is only conceivable if the price of fossil fuel is extraordinarily high. The president is trying to make that happen, but the people aren’t going to go along.

Memorial Day Began in the Aftermath of the Civil War. by The Elephant's Child

It was after the worst war in our history that we began to officially celebrate Decoration Day, when the graves of the fallen were decorated with flowers, and ceremonies of remembrance were held.  It was three years after the Civil War ended on May 5, 1868 that Major General John A. Logan, head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), declared that Decoration Day should be Observed, and the last Monday in May was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all across the country.

The first national observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.. The Arlington Mansion, the former home of General Robert E. Lee, was draped in mourning. Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant presided over the ceremonies, and after the speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

There were so many fallen, the traditional numbers were 618,222 — 360,000 from the North, 258,000 from the South. Demographic historian J.David Hacker combed through newly digitized census data from the 19th century, and recalculated the death toll and increased it by more than 20 percent — to 750,000. At that, Dr.Hacker made assumptions and the numbers are only an educated estimate. The data suggested that 650,000 to 850,000 died as a result of the war. He chose 750,00 as the midpoint. That meant 37,000 more widows and 90,000 more orphans.

Here is a fascinating photographic essay about the places of the Civil War 150 years ago, with 48 images. Photography was still in its infancy, but war correspondents produced thousands of images bringing the harsh realities of the frontlines  to those at home in a new way. Remember that the United States was only 85 years old at the time. Here are some of the people of the War, the generals and the ordinary soldiers, the slaves, the President, the heroes and the dead.

I lost four great, great uncles in the Civil War, two on each side. One in the battle around Richmond where he was badly wounded and died from his wounds. His older brother and brother-in-law drove a wagon up from South Carolina, near the Georgia border, across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to bring his body home. His brother was killed at Snickers’ Gap, the only Confederate to die in that exchange. Their younger brother was in the South Carolina Calvary and survived the war.

On the Union side, the Ohio soldiers fought in the war down the Mississippi valley. One, I know only as “Uncle Frank who was killed in the war” for I have a tintype portrait. The other, I believe from the dates, was wounded at Chickamauga and died from his wounds.

War is terrible, and none was ever more terrible than the War between the States. but the nation healed slowly, and remained a strong union. “As we here highly resolve, these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Good Intentions: Really Stupid Regulations. by The Elephant's Child
May 26, 2012, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Sports | Tags: ,

The Justice Department promised on Thursday to be “flexible” in enforcing the new rules that force public pools to buy and install lifts or ramps for the disabled, Pool operators have said this is an invitation to a flood of lawsuits against small business.

This marked a possible retreat for the department which earlier had ruled that under the Americans With Disabilities Act, all pools open to the public would  have to invest in elevators, ramps or lifts to accommodate the disabled.  Members of Congress threatened action, and earlier this month Justice extended the stay into next year. On Thursday, the department went further, saying the rules apply chiefly to new pools, while existing pools will only need to comply if it’s easy and cheap to do so.

“Readily achievable means that it is easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense” the department said.  “This is a flexible, case-by-case analysis, with the goal of ensuring that ADA requirements are not unduly burdensome, including to small business.”

The reprieve comes just before the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the traditional opening day for many outdoor pools. So they can cross their fingers and open?

“It is obvious that the Obama administration is quickly backtracking after giving little thought to the real-world impact of this one-size-fits-all mandate,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) who had tried to pass legislation halting the mandate.

There is as yet no amendment removing the language, which means it is still an active part of the bill. As usual, people with good intentions make silly regulations, because they cannot allow free people to make their own business decisions.

Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Minority Whip burbled: “For many Americans with disabilities, swimming pools are an important source of physical activity and emotional comfort.” Rolling back the rules, he said”would constitute a serious setback to American with disabilities, including many of our veterans —and I want you to think about this— many of our veterans were wounded while serving our nation overseas.”

And just think about it, many public pools have no disabled people among their customers, nor in their districts. It is a characteristic of the left that they believe themselves so clever that they can make wise rules for a huge country of some 330,000,000 people. Their intentions are so good, and the results of their hubris make such a mess of things.

More Regulation: No Credit Cards for Moms! by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear,  those wise elites in government really don’t think the ordinary folk who pay their salaries are very bright.  They are so anxious to protect us from ourselves.  Lawmakers apparently believe that Visa, Mastercard and Discover and  might not have the incentive to properly manage their own credit risk. If not aided by new regulations from Congress, people might run up more debt than they could repay — like the elected officials who have run up the national tab by$1.2 trillion just this year.

The Federal Reserve Board has issued the specific regulations called for in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD).  I love the way the acronym comes first, then they figure out the name. The name is a little odd for a regulation that prohibits private companies from acting independently.

Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke declared the new rules to be a milestone in the effort to ensure that consumers who rely on credit cards are treated fairly.

It’s that old bugaboo “consequences.” The law is widely interpreted as prohibiting millions of stay-at-home-moms, and stay-at-home-dads from obtaining credit cards of their own. The “ability to pay” regulation requires credit card applicants to have an independent source of income to open an account or else find a co-signer.

(a) General rule. (1)(i) Consideration of ability to pay. A card issuer must not open a credit card account for a consumer…unless the card issuer considers the ability of the consumer to make the required minimum periodic payments under the terms of the account based on the consumer’s income or assets and current obligations.

(ii) Reasonable policies and procedures. Card issuers must establish and maintain reasonable written policies and procedures to consider a consumer’s income or assets and current obligations…It would be unreasonable for a card issuer to…issue a credit card to a consumer who does not have any income.

Homemakers actually do most of the household purchases, and over 45,000 of them have signed a petition  of protest that has gone to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s really special being regarded as incompetent.

Obama Really Did Go On A Spending Binge, He Just Doesn’t Want You To Know. by The Elephant's Child

“Since I’ve been President, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly sixty years. Think about that. This other side, I don’t know how they’ve been bamboozling folks into thinking that they’re the responsible fiscally disciplined party. They run up these wild debts , and then when we take over we’ve gotta clean it up.”

The President of the United States actually said that.  Is this what Valerie Jarrett advised? Is he so unfamiliar with the  real numbers that he thinks he can get away with such a whopper? Did he read the Rex Nutting of MarketWatch attempt to portray the president as being downright stingy “Obama Spending Binge Never Happened?” and being unfamiliar with what the numbers actually were — believed it?

Right at the beginning of Obama’s term in office, Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, set up a daily economics briefing with his  Council of Economic Advisers. We have been told that Obama found it boring and shortly eliminated the meeting.  He clearly believes in the part of Keynesian economics that says to pump money into the economy to promote growth, because he is endlessly trying to stimulate the dead economy with more jolts of taxpayer money. Unfortunately, Keynesian stimulus has no record of success.

Mr Nutting uses a typical D.C. trick, often used by Congress. He speaks of annualized growth of federal spending. The trick is — where’s the starting point? Is it zero, or is it just the previous number? You have perhaps heard the frequent plaintive cry from Republicans about zero-based budgeting.  Let’s say the Orwell Agency’s budget last year was 1 billion. Congress wants to give them another 20 million. Instead of correctly indicating that the agency budget is now $1 billion, 20 million, they speak of the “annualized growth of the agency is $20 million, That much smaller number sounds ever so much better.  That’s the trick Rex Nutting is using.

Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Usually, the previous president will have signed a budget for the coming year into law around the end of the fiscal year. However, in 2008, Congress refused to pass the budget while George W. Bush was still in office (he might have vetoed?) and they sent to budget to Obama when he took office, and he signed it. But Mr. Nutting gives the whole 2009 budget to George W. Bush. It has TARP, the Auto Bailout, the Stimulus, Cars for Clunkers all Obama’s spending in it, but it doesn’t count under Mr. Nutting’s analysis. Then that number becomes the new base from which Obama’s spending  is counted.

Until Barack Obama took office in 2009, the United States had never spent more than 23.5% of GDP, with the exception of the World War II years of 1942-1946. Here’s Obama’s spending record.
— 25.2% of GDP in 2009
— 24.1% of GDP in 2010
— 24.1% of GDP in 2011
—24.3% of GDP (estimates by White House) in 2012

If Obama wins another term spending, according to his own budget would never drop below 22.3% of GDP. He established 2009 as the “new baseline,” and turned a one-off surge in spending due to the Great Recession into the new normal through 2016 and beyond.

Or to put it differently — From the Treasury Department — spending per day: President Reagan– $2.5 Billion.  President Clinton–$4.1 Billion. President Bush–$6.8 Billion. President Obama– $9.7 Billion.

President Barack Obama is spinning a fable. His record on the economy is dreadful. He has spent more than all the previous presidents put together, and he is fully responsible for that.

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