American Elephants


Not a Lot of Media Coverage of the Decline and Fall of the EPA by The Elephant's Child

gty_mine_wastewater_spill_03_jc_150811_4x3_992-e1439327486898-620x266Have you noticed that there is not a lot of media coverage about the big EPA toxic mine tailings spill? Have you noticed that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is not out in the Navajo lands consulting with Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye? The spill has been quietly upped from one million gallons to three million gallons, but that’s pretty complicated math and probably nobody knows.

This is very big and very bad news for the EPA and for the Obama Administration. It has been six days, and we still don’t know just what happened, just how toxic the surge is, and how long-lasting it will be. They have spoken of  toxic metals, lead, arsenic, cadmium (which I assume is responsible for the yellow color) and what else? There are lots of farms and ranches. How do they cope with water being trucked in, and what do they do with their livestock?

Perhaps the national press will take notice when the plume of yellow muck reaches the Grand Canyon National Park. I have been interested to see the utter contempt with which many seem to regard the Environmental Protection Agency.



Here’s Why the Unemployment Situation Won’t Improve Any Time Soon by The Elephant's Child

President Barack Obama has no idea how jobs are created.  There, I said it.  His advisors also  have no idea where jobs come from, or else he’s paying no attention. Let’s start with government jobs.  In his two+ years in office, Obama has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And the unconstitutional ObamaCare law requires the addition of another 1,054 IRS  auditors and staffers at a cost of something more than $359 million.

A new government job is paid for with new taxes (or borrowings) coming from you.  It’s back to the discredited Keynesian theory of money circulating through the economy creating a “multiplier effect”, but pay no attention.  It would be the same deal if the government hired someone to dig a hole and then fill it up, except they wouldn’t be creating all those regulations or other mischief. Government jobs don’t count except to the people who have them and who reportedly are paid at about twice the rate as their peers in the private economy.

Senator Coburn has recently released a report called “Help Wanted,” which looks at federal job-training programs and documents examples of waste, fraud and mismanagement in Obama’s programs.

Nine federal agencies are in charge of 47 employment and job-training programs.

The report concludes that with one exception none of the programs are effective at helping unemployed workers find new jobs.  All but three overlap with another program that provides similar services to similar populations.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus) allocated $90 billion for green job technology, including green-collar job training programs.  Vice President Joe Biden said that people who make $20 an hour before taking a training program can make $50 after training.  The problem: there have to be jobs. There were going to be all sorts of jobs for insulation installers, but check the yellow pages — experienced contractors already do that. A study from KIng Juan Carlos University in Spain found that for every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear due to increased energy costs.

Obama is enthusiastic about electric battery factories and subsidizes them, but news reports note a worldwide glut of battery factories, and little enthusiasm for electric cars. There are thousands of high paying potential jobs in the oil industry in areas that the federal government has barred from exploration.  There are hundreds of high paying jobs in the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico shut down by first, the Obama moratorium, and once the moratorium was “lifted” by a government refusal to issue permits.  The federal government has been held in Contempt of Court by a federal judge in Louisiana for that action.

The EPA is denying permits to the coal industry which accounts for nearly 50 percent of our power generation.  The Sierra Club has budgeted $18 million and hired 100 activists to promote a worldwide anti-coal campaign.  Environmentalists are mobilizing hundreds of anti-coal groups worldwide who are putting out the false message that coal is dirty, dangerous and unaffordable. Activists are currently tackling the Washington State Legislature to attempt to close a coal plant. If the U.S. does not expand its coal capacity, there will be big hikes in energy prices as the utilities attempt to switch their production of electricity to natural gas.

Obama said during the campaign that he intended “to bankrupt the coal industry.” He’s working on it.

George Will remarked that the existence of abundant and reliable energy “horrifies people who relish scarcity…Today, there is a name for the political doctrine that rejoices in scarcity of everything except government.  The name is environmentalism.”

Obama’s “future jobs,” are for the most part years away.  Any construction job requires design of the project, approvals, estimates, bids, purchase of property, environmental impact statements, lengthy court cases by environmental organizations, before anyone is hired or excavating, grading, materials purchased.  If it’s done by government, it can take a very long time. Constructing things are temporary jobs.

Obama railed at the Chamber of Commerce because businessmen were sitting on funds that they could be spending to create jobs. Many, if not most of those small businessmen report their business income on an individual return.  Obama did not raise taxes on”the rich,”  the category that includes all these businesses, but he insisted on calling it a “tax cut for the rich.” and he was angry about it, and loudly proclaimed that he’d raise it in his next budget — which he has done.  He cannot get it through his head that the uncertainty created by his administration about taxes, regulation, mandates, health care rules, EPA rules, and regulation pouring out of the administration is the reason why businesses are sitting on their funds.  For example, the administration just decided that restaurants should include calorie information on all their menus.

Obama believes that innovation comes from the government.  It doesn’t. He believes that startups should be nurtured by the government.  They shouldn’t.  He believes that businesses need government subsidies. Rent-seeking doesn’t make successful companies. He believes that governments can do a good job of selecting which businesses should succeed. Sigh. Obama doesn’t know how jobs are created, but he sure knows how to destroy them.




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