American Elephants

The President Has a New Campaign Strategy: Just Lie! by The Elephant's Child

The President whose record is so bad that he can’t find anything to run on except attack ads, has found a new strategy. My record isn’t so good, but headwinds, Bush’s fault, do we really want to return to Republican’s disastrous policies that got us into this mess in the first place?

Well, yes. We absolutely do. Republicans policies were not disastrous. It’s called “The Big Lie.” If you tell a big lie and keep repeating it, the people, pretty soon, will start believing it.  Congress voted the other day on Obama’s tax proposal which involves raising the taxes on anyone making more than $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family, and continuing the Bush tax cuts for everyone making less.

The Bush Tax Cuts, which Democrats have tried to portray as just tax cuts for the rich, were across the board tax cuts with the largest cuts for the poor and middle class and the least for highest quintile. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire on January 1, which means that everyone’s taxes would go up.

Republicans are adamant about raising taxes on anyone now. You just don’t raise taxes in the middle of a recession, and we seem to be sinking back. Some say we are in a real depression. In Congress they voted against the proposal that the tax cuts would be extended for everyone but those making more than $200,000 and $250,000 (Obama’s numbers). So Obama can now claim that Republicans voted to raise taxes on the Middle Class.  It’s true in a smarmy way because they did vote against Obama’s quest to raise taxes on “the rich,” because they won’t agree to raise taxes on anyone. Here’s the new line:

You have a choice to make. It’s a choice between two very different plans for our country. Governor Romney’s plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top. Roll back regulations on big banks. And he says that if we do, our economy will grow and everyone will benefit. But you know what? We tried that top-down approach. It’s what caused the mess in the first place.

The whole thing is a colossal, humungous lie, and shows the presidents contempt for his audience. Extending the Bush tax cuts is not a tax cut. Everyone would pay just what they are paying now. Nothing would change. Cancelling the Bush tax cuts on those reporting $250,000 in income would raise taxes on 1.2 million small businesses who report their business income on their individual returns. These are the growing small businesses that are the engine of employment in the economy. Obama describes the Bush economy as ‘more tax cuts and deregulation’ which he calls the cause of the recession. Another whopper.

The agreed-upon cause of the financial crisis was the collapse of the housing bubble. See Gretchen Morgenson’s Reckless Endangerment, which gets to the heart of the mortgage crisis. And guess what Community Organizer was organizing his charges to demonstrate and protest banks to get them to issue more mortgages to people who couldn’t afford to pay them back. Obama didn’t cause the housing collapse, but he was complicit in the activities that ended up promoting it.

Republican ‘deregulation’ didn’t happen. Bush called 17 times for financial regulation, reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants, and Democrats refused each time. What brought the economy down was overregulation of the mortgage industry, forcing subprime loans, through the Community Reinvestment Act. The Bush tax rate cuts of 2003 sparked a 46-consecutive-month boom in small business job gains. Bush said:

In January 2003, I called on Congress to accelerate the tax cuts from 2001, which had not fully taken effect, and to pass further tax cuts that would encourage business investment and job creation.

He was right. The tax cuts took effect in May 2003, and by September the economy was averaging unemployment of 5.3% which is considered full employment.

Economist Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, said in the Wall Street Journal that we can fix our economy’s growth and jobs machine.

The president’s choices cannot be ascribed to a political tug of war with Republicans in Congress. He and Democratic congressional majorities had two years to tackle any priority they chose. They chose not growth and jobs but regulatory expansion. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act raised taxes, unleashed significant new spending, and raised hiring costs for workers. The Dodd-Frank Act missed the mark on housing and “too-big-to-fail” financial institutions but raised financing costs for households and small and mid-size businesses.

It didn’t have to be this way. The Romney Plan for economic reform, Glenn Hubbard says, can create 12 million new jobs in his first term alone. That’s 1 million more than I said we needed to get back to where we were in December 2007. The President is convinced that he can lie his way into a second term. It’s not an attractive position.

The New Jobs Report for July: Not Good! by The Elephant's Child

The first report on the July jobs estimate came in today from the BLS, and the report was another disaster for American workers.  Nonfarm payrolls rose 163,000 last month as the unemployment rate edged up to 8.3%. Team Obama predicted a 5.6 unemployment rate if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus plan.

These numbers are always confusing. The Obama administration is claiming a wonderful economic report with steady job growth. But July is the month when they do a big seasonal adjustment for births and deaths, and apparently they went for a bigger number than usual this month. 150,000 dropped out of the labor force. Here’s what you need to remember when you see these monthly figures. If you can keep these numbers in mind, you’ll know how we’re doing.

To get back to where we were in December 2007, we would need 250,000 jobs added each month for 66 months. We are missing 11 million workers — we need 11 million more people working  just to get back to what Obama keeps calling “Republicans’ disastrous policies.”

The Blue Angels Just Roared Past My Window. by The Elephant's Child

Sound of Freedom! It’s Seafair in Seattle, and the Blue Angels often roar up the valley below during their show and during their practices.  I love seeing them in close formation. The usual suspects write letters to the newspaper complaining about the noise. But I love it and hang out by an open window or outside so I won’t miss a pass.

Thanks to these amazing pilots who put on an incredible show to remind us of the skills of the members of our military.

It was only 109 years ago that the aviation age began. If you’d been there, at Kill Devil Hills, watching — who would have dreamed….

Death of a Dream by The Elephant's Child

The car dealers, private businesses whose only connection with GM was that they purchased their stock of cars from the company, were suddenly shut down by the administration. A few were rescued by powerful congressmen in whose district they had their business, but most were just out of luck. This was a very peculiar action, for no known reason. Many of the closed dealers had as many as 100 employees, others fewer.  The administration has made a colossal mess out of the Car Company bailout, and the taxpayers are losing billions, while Obama brags about GM being Number One.

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