American Elephants

Requiring Picture ID to Vote? That’s Racist! by The Elephant's Child

Attorney General Eric Holder and his minions are incensed that some states would require voters to show a picture I.D. It is, they are quite sure that it is a return of the Jim Crow days when Southern Democrats tried to keep blacks from voting.

Fox reports today that President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign checked the identification of supporters attending Obama’s “framing” event at Cuyahoga Community College. Supporters picked up tickets beginning on Monday, but today, at the door, every ID was checked to match it with the name on the ticket. They did that for every person who came in.

Picture I.D, is also required at every Department of Justice building across the country. The Washington DC office requires picture ID. The grocery store does too, to pay by check.

The President is Surprised That Regulation Might Have Economic Effects. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama was interviewed in Sioux City, Iowa b a local news reporter from KTIV. He seemed to be surprised that a company might have been hurt by ObamaCare, his signature health care reform.

KTIV’s Matt Breen: “One of those businesses that I mentioned said very specifically, when they needed to close up shop and move their jobs back to Wisconsin, that it was a direct result of the health care reform that you initiated and that Congress passed.  How do you react to that?

President Barack Obama: “Yeah, that would be kind of hard to explain, because the only folks that have been impacted in terms of the health care bill are insurance companies who are required to make sure that they’re providing preventive care, or they’re not dropping your coverage when you get sick. And so, this particular company probably wouldn’t have been impacted by that. I know that there’s a perception sometimes that there’s all kinds of regulations coming out of Washington, the truth is actually we’ve seen fewer regulations coming out of my administration than the previous administration. But obviously, you know it’s tough running a small business no matter what. And we’re going to make sure that we continue to provide whatever financing help that we can provide.


Recent statistics  show that 106 major new regulations have added more than $46 billion per year in new costs on Americans, with $11 billion in implementation costs. Major regulations are those that have an estimated economic cost of at least $100 million per year, so these are indeed a big deal.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan, was called to Congress to testify about his investment bank’s loss of $2 billion, and noted that his bank has more than 100 regulators in his bank on a daily basis. Doing what? I don’t know. Looking over shoulders, counting the change? Sounds absurd.

President Obama, in common with many on the left, clearly does not understand the effects of his actions. All over the country, doctors are leaving their practices to do something else, unwilling to continue under the excessive regulation imposed by ObamaCare. Even before ObamaCare, medicine was imperiled by too much ill-considered regulation. Physicians want to treat patients. That’s why they chose it as a career.

I think the left thinks of regulations as beneficial controls that improve everything, without the slightest appreciation for the costs imposed, the reorganization that takes place, and the disruption to customary organizations.  The president’s comments are very revealing.

More Hidden Facts on Solyndra Surface. by The Elephant's Child

Newly discovered documents reveal that the bankrupt solar firm Solyndra fired nearly 800 more employees than it had reported previously when it filed for bankruptcy last summer, according to the Washington Free Beacon. The company initially reported that it laid off 1,100 workers in total. U.S. Labor Department documents unearthed by the San Francisco Bay Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,861 employees were let go in the days before the company collapsed.

The documents also show the Fremont company increased production in 2011, even though they had an unsold inventory of enough panels to power about 23,000 homes. These revelations will raise more questions about the $535 million federal loan guarantee from DOE, and the lack of supervision.

Obama recently stated that in his second term, he would make Climate Change a major initiative. Richard Epstein told us in 2008, in an Uncommon Knowledge interview that Obama does not change his mind.  His ideas are set in concrete. It seems Mr. Epstein was right.

Obama’s Big Economic Speech Offers No Hope, No Change. by The Elephant's Child
June 14, 2012, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Obama gave a big 54 minute economic speech today in Ohio. He came across as a demagogue: spinning, inventing, class warfare and  outright lies to misrepresent the past so that he could maintain his most important fantasy — that none of it was his fault. That’s the real  theme of his campaign: “It’s not my fault!”

Obama initially ran on a theme of “Hope and Change” and convinced people that he was going to end the partisan warfare in Washington and bring about a community of the people. That was all hogwash, of course; Obama is a man of the hard left. During his brief term in the Senate, he had the farthest left voting record. of the entire Senate.  We should have paid closer attention.

When I speak of “hard left,” I don’t think terms like socialism or communism or fascism are useful. I’ve begun to call it “The Big Government Project.” The left is perpetually discontented, and wants to fix everything. They want to decide what we should eat, how we should live, how we should work, what energy we should use and how, and when.

The flood of new regulations —106 new major regulations have added more than $46 billion per year in new costs on Americans — have been devastating in discouraging entrepreneurship. The regulatory burden harms everyone, but the hard left can only see that people might nor behave correctly without their firm managerial hand. They know that we require a better kind of light bulb, no matter if it costs $50, they think it will last for 20 years.

Business complaints about overregulation turn into claims that Republicans want dirty air and dirty water and don’t care about your children. That’s sheer demagoguery.

He further hauls out the old saw about “tax cuts for the rich,” claiming that Bush gave the rich such big tax cuts that it destroyed the economy, Tax cuts are measured in percentages, and the rich got a much smaller tax cut than anyone else. I trust you noticed that Obama speaks of “tax cuts for the rich” only in election years when he has time between campaign events hitting the rich up for their money.

When Obama first took office, he continually says, “we didn’t know how bad it was” until confronted with the true crisis that was, of course, all Bush’s fault. According to what I have read, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told the new president that they needed to set everything to one side and concentrate on the economy. The president said no, that wasn’t enough for him, he needed more, and embarked on health care.

Obama’s big policies were health care, the stimulus, and Dodd-Frank. They have each been complete and utter failures. ObamaCare has not even gone into effect and yet has done incredible damage to the healthcare system. We have a big modern state-of-the-art medical center, and 5 doctors  seen by my family have departed for different work, and there is now a real problem in trying to find a physician. The stimulus was essentially wasted, and Dodd-Frank regulates all the wrong things and ignores the hippopotamus in the room which is “too big to fail.”

Obama dreamed big dreams, he was going to end war, give everyone health care, stop the seas from rising and end our energy dependence on ‘foreign oil’, and none of it has worked. The state of the world’s energy has shifted, and the president hasn’t noticed.  Global warming has proved to be a fraud, but he’s still working on that.

His vision for the future — in his own words:

That’s my vision for America:  Education.  Energy.  Innovation.  Infrastructure.  And a tax code focused on American job creation and balanced deficit reduction.

This is the vision behind the jobs plan I sent Congress back in September — a bill filled with bipartisan ideas that, according to independent economists, would create up to 1 million additional jobs if passed today.

This is the vision behind the deficit plan I sent to Congress back in September — a detailed proposal that would reduce our deficit by $4 trillion through shared sacrifice and shared responsibility.

This is the vision he has sent to Congress twice, and which Congress has rejected unanimously twice.  I find the contempt Obama has for his audience quite breathtaking.

Here’s a new factoid from Keith Hennessey:  “For every net government job lost since employment peaked in January 2008, the economy has lost more than 11 private sector jobs.”

Video: Happy Flag Day, from Mitt Romney! by American Elephant

Nicely done. Patriotic, hopeful, inclusive. I particularly like that it starts out with a little dig at Obama’s divisiveness.

Trying to Avoid Responsibility is a Character Defect. by The Elephant's Child

How long will we experience “headwinds” rather than recovery?  It’s undeniably true that the American economy is vulnerable in part to forces outside of itself.  It’s also undeniably true that that’s been the case for decades.  This is still the worst recovery since World War II, made doubly worse since recoveries get sharper when recessions are deeper over that period.  If the man in charge is still complaining about headwinds two years later, it might be time to find another sailor to take the helm.

The Auto Bailout Obama Brags About —Just Went to the Union. by The Elephant's Child

In his round of campaign fundraisers (150 to date) President Obama celebrates the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler as one of his administration’s outstanding successes. The $23 billion the taxpayers lost was worth paying to avoid more massive job losses.  But if the administration had treated the United Auto Workers in the manner required by bankruptcy law, he would have saved taxpayers $26.5 billion.

The Treasury Department estimates that taxpayers will lose $23 billion on the auto bailout. Researchers James Sherk and Todd Zywicki found that the preferential treatment given to United Auto Workers accounts for the American taxpayers’ entire losses from the bailout.  Had the UAW received standard treatment in a normal bankruptcy proceeding, the Treasury would have recouped its entire investment. Benefits allowed UAW members to retire in their mid-50s with minimal out-of-pocket expenses for the remainder of their lives. None of the taxpayers’ losses came from “saving jobs” but instead from propping up the compensation of some of the most highly paid workers in America.

Overpaid workers with overgenerous benefits were a significant factor in the automakers’ decline. Detroit’s labor costs were 50% to 80% higher than other automakers like Toyota and Nissan. General Motors paid its unionized workers $70.51 an hour in wages and benefits, Chrysler paid $75.86 an hour. There were management mistakes, but these labor costs were a big reason why the automakers went bankrupt. Throughout the bailout, the Obama insulated the UAW from the sacrifices that unions usually make in a bankruptcy — at taxpayer expense. The UAW accepted huge pay cuts for new hires, but the administration kept the pay of existing UAW members at GM intact.

Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code enables reorganizing companies to improve their post-bankruptcy competitiveness by renegotiating union contracts to improve competitive rates. Thus GM still has higher labor costs than any of its competitors. UAW Employees at Delphi, a subsidiary of GM, got $1 billion of bailout funds to support their pensions. Delphi non-union retirees got nothing.

The $26 billion President Obama gave to the UAW is more money than the U.S. spent on foreign aid last year and 50% more than NASA’s budget. None of the money kept factories running.  It went, in true crony-capitalist fashion to Obama’s union supporters.

There’s a reason why we have bankruptcy laws. They’re designed to see that everyone gets a fair shot, everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same rules — oh wait…

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