American Elephants

Obama Wants Defense Cuts Which Will Endanger the Nation. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama said today that “the only thing” allowing sequestration to proceed  is Republicans unwillingness to raise taxes on “the rich.” Uh huh.

OBAMA: Nobody wants sequestration to happen. This was set up as an inducement for Congress to do the right thing, to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 billion [sic], and the only thing that’s standing in the way of getting this done right now is the unwillingness on the part of some members of Congress and folks in the Republican Party to give up on some tax breaks for folks like me who don’t need them.

Most “solemn responsibility” indeed. See here. He speaks about”running two wars on a credit card” with no mention of running wasteful stimulus, foolish alternative energy, and billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. He seems unaware that his policies have put the nation in deep financial trouble, and sequestration would put us in national security peril. His “Arab Spring” has turned incredibly dangerous, his precipitous pull-out in Iraq and Afghanistan has been deadly for the servicemen whose lives he claims to care about. It is a very dangerous world out there, and Obama has made it much more so.

His vaunted tax increase on “the rich” which includes some rich people as well as 1.2 million small businesses who report their business income as individuals. Those businesses are usually the engine of growth that brings an economy out of recession, but Obama has dumped on them with threatened tax increases, tax increases in ObamaCare, overregulation from the EPA and every other department of the government. This is not the time to raise taxes on anyone. There is an extreme risk that it will send the economy back into recession — we’re not far from that now.

The level of sheer incompetence is breathtaking.

Comes news that a State Department advisory board report made public today, shows that the Obama administration is studying cuts in U.S. strategic arsenals to “very low” levels and ultimately eliminating nuclear arms.

According to the report, the board studied “an end state defined by the narrower issue of a world with drastically reduced (and ultimately eliminated) nuclear arsenals, and associated reductions in security challenges which could drive nations to the acquisition and/or use of nuclear weapons.”

Another concept examined by the board was working to create a future that is “a cooperative world of ‘increased transparency and trust’ without ‘adversarial challenges’ in which [nuclear deterrence] is no longer necessary.”

The report said that the cooperative world scenario “may be unrealistic to achieve in an acceptable timeframe” and focused instead on how to cut nuclear arsenals.

The report calls for conciliatory policies toward Russia and dialogue involving “cooperative security” efforts designed to reduce the risk of a nuclear conflict.

Do read the whole thing.  “A cooperative world of ‘increased transparency and trust’ indeed. Perhaps the most frightening thing about Barack Obama is that he does not change his mind. He decided somewhere, maybe back in high school that war was bad and nuclear weapons shouldn’t be allowed, and he hasn’t learned anything since.

Obama wants to raise taxes on “the rich” which will do approximately nothing to reduce the deficit, and may move us back into real recession; and he will blackmail Republicans who feel that protecting the nation actually has value. As I said: The level of sheer incompetence is breathtaking.

More Bad News, And Nobody’s Doing Anything About It. by The Elephant's Child

July unemployment was up in 44 states.  More than three years after the economic recovery began in June, 2009, ten states still have jobless rates of 9 percent or higher. Nevada’s unemployment rate climbed to 12 percent, New Jersey’s rose to 9.8 percent and North Carolina’s rose to  9.6 percent.  The states with the highest rates Nevada, Rhode Island -10.8 percent,  California – 10.7 percent, New Jersey and North Carolina all voted for Obama in 2008.

The four states with the lowest jobless rates are North Dakota -3 percent, Nebraska – 4 percent, South Dakota – 4 percent and Oklahoma -5 percent, all solidly Republican states. Very Democratic Vermont a;sp had 5 percent. 19 states have lost a combined total of 91,000 jobs in  July. Since Obama took office only 16 states have seen a net gain in jobs.

The monthly gain has been just 122,000, which is below the number for population growth. The White House now doesn’t expect unemployment to dip below 7 percent until 2015.  The year before the recession began, the unemployment rate was below 5 percent.

There is a multiplier effect, but not where Obama thinks it should be. When drilling permits are not issued in the Gulf, restaurants do less business, some go out of business, businesses that supply oil rigs go out of business.  When the Keystone pipeline does not get approved, the suppliers who make pipe go out of business, new restaurants, hotels, offices along the pipeline never open. Empty storefronts proliferate. Businesses move and workers move. The unemployment rate in the Detroit metro area— Obama’s success story— is now 10.2 percent and has climbed in each of the past three months. Many articles predict that GM will go bankrupt again shortly. Maybe this time they can go through an orderly bankruptcy, and let bankruptcy judges handle it.

It didn’t have to be like this. And we can recover.

A new study from the Cleveland Fed says: “In general, recessions  associated with financial crises are followed by rapid recoveries,” but not the Obama recovery.  We were not destined for a long recession, and this is not “the New Normal” as Obama surrogates are trying to suggest.

The San Francisco Fed suggests that the housing collapse is not to blame for the weak recovery. If housing were the villain, the states that didn’t suffer such big home-price declines would be doing a lot better than those that did— and they’re not.

Three years on, and the current unemployment rate is 3.9 % — that’s the U-3 number which doesn’t mean much of anything because of the enormous numbers of people not included. The U-6 rate which includes people who want to work but have given up, and stopped looking. And that’s not really high enough. There are still people not included.

The important fact is that Obama appointed a commission to deal with the deficit, and he chose good, serious people. And they came back with a serious plan. But Obama did not follow through on the Simpson-Bowles Report. He did not push Congress to adopt Simpson-Bowles, nor did Congress adopt it.  Obama preferred to just wait, spend, and hope that the magic multiplier effect would start to work, or the economy would just change its mind and start recovering. Maybe Valerie Jarrett told him that it was safer to do nothing.  Who knows.

What is clear is that Obama chose to not listen to any of the suggestions about policies that have worked in the past. He just wanted to do more of the same. More stimulus, more green jobs, more solar arrays and more wind farms, and more shutting down of any access to our own vast supplies of energy. He does not change his mind. Besides, he’s too busy campaigning. Nothing has changed and there’s not much hope.

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