Archive for the ‘Is the cost of government high enough yet?’ Category
Posted by iusbvision on July 19, 2012
I have been waiting for this for a long time. When I was in college finishing my latest degree here at IUSB I was making many of these very same claims about global warming alarmist nonsense as the IAC report below. Leftist students and faculty pretty much told me that I was nuts, and I wasn’t a climate scientist so how would I know? Well it looks like I knew. It was easy. First of all it doesn’t take a genius to see when the scientific method is being ignored and second of all, what I am an expert on is politics and I know a political movement when I see one.
At the bottom of the article I posted a list of links that I wrote starting in 2007 saying many of the same things the IAC has pointed out below. I have reactivated IUSB Vision just for the purpose of posting this story. All of you PhD. laden academics who doubted me and called me all of those names behind my back should ask yourselves; why was a mere undergrad like me spot on and all of you who are supposed to be teachers wrong? And this isn’t this first time that happened is it? – Chuck Norton
President of the Heartland Institute Joseph L. Bast:
On June 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a statement saying it had “complete[d] the process of implementation of a set of recommendations issued in August 2010 by the Inter Academy Council (IAC), the group created by the world’s science academies to provide advice to international bodies.”
Hidden behind this seemingly routine update on bureaucratic processes is an astonishing and entirely unreported story. The IPCC is the world’s most prominent source of alarmist predictions and claims about man-made global warming. Its four reports (a fifth report is scheduled for release in various parts in 2013 and 2014) are cited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. and by national academies of science around the world as “proof” that the global warming of the past five or so decades was both man-made and evidence of a mounting crisis.
If the IPCC’s reports were flawed, as a many global warming “skeptics” have long claimed, then the scientific footing of the man-made global warming movement — the environmental movement’s “mother of all environmental scares” — is undermined. The Obama administration’s war on coal may be unnecessary. Billions of dollars in subsidies to solar and wind may have been wasted. Trillions of dollars of personal income may have been squandered worldwide in campaigns to “fix” a problem that didn’t really exist.
The “recommendations” issued by the IAC were not minor adjustments to a fundamentally sound scientific procedure. Here are some of the findings of the IAC’s 2010 report.
Alternative views not considered, claims not properly peer reviewed
The IAC reported that IPCC lead authors fail to give “due consideration … to properly documented alternative views” (p. 20), fail to “provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors” (p. 21), and are not “consider[ing] review comments carefully and document[ing] their responses” (p. 22). In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed.
No formal criteria for selecting IPCC authors
The IAC found that “the IPCC has no formal process or criteria for selecting authors” and “the selection criteria seemed arbitrary to many respondents” (p. 18). Government officials appoint scientists from their countries and “do not always nominate the best scientists from among those who volunteer, either because they do not know who these scientists are or because political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications” (p. 18). In other words: authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.
The rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers by politicians and environmental activists — a problem called out by global warming realists for many years, but with little apparent notice by the media or policymakers — was plainly admitted, perhaps for the first time by an organization in the “mainstream” of alarmist climate change thinking. “[M]any were concerned that reinterpretations of the assessment’s findings, suggested in the final Plenary, might be politically motivated,” the IAC auditors wrote. The scientists they interviewed commonly found the Synthesis Report “too political” (p. 25).
Really? Too political? We were told by everyone — environmentalists, reporters, politicians, even celebrities — that the IPCC reports were science, not politics. Now we are told that even the scientists involved in writing the reports — remember, they are all true believers in man-made global warming themselves — felt the summaries were “too political.”
Here is how the IAC described how the IPCC arrives at the “consensus of scientists”:
Plenary sessions to approve a Summary for Policy Makers last for several days and commonly end with an all-night meeting. Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report (p. 25).
How can such a process possibly be said to capture or represent the “true consensus of scientists”?
Phony estimates of certainty
Another problem documented by the IAC is the use of phony “confidence intervals” and estimates of “certainty” in the Summary for Policy Makers (pp. 27-34). Those of us who study the IPCC reports knew this was make-believe when we first saw it in 2007. Work by J. Scott Armstrong on the science of forecasting makes it clear that scientists cannot simply gather around a table and vote on how confident they are about some prediction, and then affix a number to it such as “80% confident.” Yet that is how the IPCC proceeds.
The IAC authors say it is “not an appropriate way to characterize uncertainty” (p. 34), a huge understatement. Unfortunately, the IAC authors recommend an equally fraudulent substitute, called “level of understanding scale,” which is more mush-mouth for “consensus.”
The IAC authors warn, also on page 34, that “conclusions will likely be stated so vaguely as to make them impossible to refute, and therefore statements of ‘very high confidence’ will have little substantive value.” Yes, but that doesn’t keep the media and environmental activists from citing them over and over again as “proof” that global warming is man-made and a crisis…even if that’s not really what the reports’ authors are saying.
IPCC participants had conflicts of interest
Finally, the IAC noted, “the lack of a conflict of interest and disclosure policy for IPCC leaders and Lead Authors was a concern raised by a number of individuals who were interviewed by the Committee or provided written input” as well as “the practice of scientists responsible for writing IPCC assessments reviewing their own work. The Committee did not investigate the basis of these claims, which is beyond the mandate of this review” (p. 46).
Too bad, because these are both big issues in light of recent revelations that a majority of the authors and contributors to some chapters of the IPCC reports are environmental activists, not scientists at all. That’s a structural problem with the IPCC that could dwarf the big problems already reported.
IPCC critics vindicated
So on June 27, nearly two years after these bombshells fell (without so much as a raised eyebrow by the mainstream media in the U.S. — go ahead and try Googling it), the IPCC admits that it was all true and promises to do better for its next report. Nothing to see here…keep on moving.
Well I say, hold on, there! The news release means that the IAC report was right. That, in turn, means that the first four IPCC reports were, in fact, unreliable. Not just “possibly flawed” or “could have been improved,” but likely to be wrong and even fraudulent.
It means that all of the “endorsements” of the climate consensus made by the world’s national academies of science — which invariably refer to the reports of the IPCC as their scientific basis — were based on false or unreliable data and therefore should be disregarded or revised. It means that the EPA’s “endangerment finding” — its claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and threat to human health — was wrong and should be overturned.
And what of the next IPCC report, due out in 2013 and 2014? The near-final drafts of that report have been circulating for months already. They were written by scientists chosen by politicians rather than on the basis of merit; many of them were reviewing their own work and were free to ignore the questions and comments of people with whom they disagree. Instead of “confidence,” we will get “level of understanding scales” that are just as meaningless.
And on this basis we should transform the world’s economy to run on breezes and sunbeams?
In 2010, we learned that much of what we thought we knew about global warming was compromised and probably false. On June 27, the culprits confessed and promised to do better. But where do we go to get our money back?
Related from this old college blog:
Inconvenient Questions Global Warming Alarmists Don’t Want You to Ask – February 18, 2007 – LINK
Top Scientists Say: You Are Not the Cause of Global Warming – October 22, 2007 – LINK
Global Cooling Continues; Global Warming Alarmists Still Issuing Death Threats – December 28, 2008 – LINK
UK Telegraph: 2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved – December 28, 2008 – LINK
National Climatic Data Center: Cooling in Last 10 Years – January 10, 2009 – LINK
The Debate is Over. Global Warming Alarmism is About Achieving Central Control of the Economy and Now They Admit It Openly – March 27, 2009 – LINK
Al Gore: Climate change issue can lead to world government – July 11, 2009 – LINK
EPA Tried to Suppress Global Warming Report Admitting Skeptics Correct – October 23, 2009 – LINK
New AP Article on “Global Cooling Myth” Spins a Bad Study – UPDATED: Look where they put THIS ground station… – October 27, 2009 – LINK
Professors Paid to Plagiarize – UPDATE: Global warming scientists hacked emails show manipulation of data, hiding of other data and conspiring to attack/smear global warming skeptics! – November 19, 2009 – LINK
National Association of Scholars on the “ClimateGate” Scandal – November 28, 2009 – LINK
Examples of the “Climategate” Documents – UPDATE: BBC Had the emails and files for 6 weeks, sat on story. UPDATE II – They carried out their conspiracy threat; much of the raw data from CRU destroyed! – November 28, 2009 – LINK
Scientific American thinks you are stupid: The dissection of a blatant propaganda piece for global warming alarmism. – December 6, 2009 – LINK
The Roundup: IPCC Authors Now Admitting Fault – No Warming Since 1995 – Sea Levels Not Rising. Senator Inhofe: Possible criminal misuse of taxpayer research funds. – February 23, 2010 – LINK
OOPS AGAIN: IPCC scientists screeching about the cataclysmic effects of sea-level rises forgot to consider sedimentary deposits… – April 23, 2010 – LINK
UN IPCC Co-chair: climate policy is redistributing the world’s wealth – November 18, 2010 – LINK
More Hadley Center Global Warming Horror Claims Debunked by Real Science – December 6, 2010 – LINK
ClimateGate One Year Later. Elite Media Still Lying – December 6, 2010 – LINK
More ClimateGate One Year Later – December 7, 2010 – LINK
IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT: Most global warming models are exaggerated, many scientists in it for the grant money or treat it like a religion – December 7, 2010 – LINK
How Global Warming Propaganda Works – December 8, 2010 – LINK
NASA’s global warming evidence page filled with lies, half truths and suspect data – December 10, 2010 – LINK
Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research: Halt economic growth, start government rationing. Global Warming Alarmists Party Fat in Cancun – December 21, 2010 – LINK
Global Warming Conference Delegates Sign Petitions to Ban Water and “Destabilize U.S. Economy” – February 15, 2011 – LINK
Global Warming Alarmist Quote of the Day – Former Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart: No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits…climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.
AAUP Seeks to Limit Transparency Over Climate Science – September 19, 2011 – LINK
Posted in 2012, 2012 Primary, Academic Misconduct, Alarmism, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Culture War, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Journalism Is Dead, Leftist Hate in Action, Regulatory Abuse, True Talking Points | Tagged: climate, environment, global warming skeptics, intergovernmental panel on climate change, joseph l bast, science | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on August 17, 2011
See the video at the following link:
Remember in 2009 the Congressman who yelled “you lie” at President Obama during an address to both Houses of Congress?
Obama claimed that his health care reform plan (now called Obamacare) would not allocate money for illegal immigrants.
According to Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), the Congressman who yelled out at Obama, nearly $8.5 million has been set aside for “seasonal farm workers.” Wilson says this group is made up of at least 25% illegal immigrants according to the Pew Research Center.
Now the Congressman says he was right. “It is clearly providing money that should be going to American citizens to illegal immigrants,” Rep. Wilson told FOX News today.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Lies, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on August 1, 2011
Please forgive the lack of updates as I described in our previous post we have not been in a position to do a lot of blogging lately. A new web site is coming as well for the editor.
As far as the budget deal we thought we have a few comments.
1 – We were never in danger of a default. The government brings in almost 200 billion a month in tax dollars which is more than enough to service the debt. Anyone who said that the August 2nd date would result in default is just lying straight up. Judging by how the elite media has been repeating this it furthers my personal observation that journalists are lazy and are, as a collective, the most uninformed people I have ever encountered.
2 – These polls that you here about in the news saying that the people want “republicans to compromise” are polls like the CBS News poll that had a sample which included only 25% Republicans, so the sample was rigged. Notice how the Democrats are not asked to compromise in the press? When the people were stone against Obama Care by a 60% margin where was the press pounding the polls than? Where was the compromise when the Democrats would not allow the GOP into the room and would only see the bill a few hours before a vote?
3 – “Reagan increased the debt limit”… Reagan did not have a House controlled by his own party. During that time we had the 24/7 nuclear triangle operating at the pinnacle of the Cold War and a government shut down at such a time would have undermined our efforts to posture and beat the Soviets.
4 – “We need to raise taxes on the rich”. First of all we have been “raising taxes on the rich” for decades now so why is it that John Kerry paid 12.34% on $5,072,000 worth of income? The dirty little secret is that the tax rate that the Democrats are talking about is the wage earner rate which is paid by high-end wage earners such as doctors and engineers, but it is also the rate paid by most small businesses that have employees. Most of the income that the “rich” bring is defined by the tax code as “unearned income”, so you could raise this tax rate to the moon and the multimillionaires and billionaires will laugh as it will not be they who pay it. For more details on why this is follow this LINK.
Using static models as the CBO likes to use the Democrats proposed tax increase would pay for all of 10 days of deficit spending. Of course since people do not operate in a static universe the result would be an impact on job creators and even less revenue growth to the government. Can anyone name a mainstream economic theorist who said to raise taxes during what appears to be a double dip recession?
4 – As far as spending cuts in the “deal”, we must remember base line budgeting. If we froze spending at current levels Washington would consider that to be a $9.5 trillion dollar “cut”, so all we are talking about here is a small reduction in the typical increases in spending. As far as spending cuts are concerned this is not a serious plan as spending under this deal will continue to skyrocket. Democrats and some leftist journalists are calling these “draconian cuts” and are simply engaging in the most dishonest demagoguery imaginable.
5 – But here is the rub, when we lose our AAA credit rating, which now appears unavoidable as both Moodys and S&P have said that neither the Boehner plan nor the Reid plan are serious about getting spending under control, it will cost us more than $100 billion a year in interest alone; when that is factored in there are no reductions even in the increases in spending. It gets worse. When you add the damage to the economy that loss of AAA will bring it makes all of this worse.
The loss of AAA will impact most unsecured credit, it will impact the value of the dollar (inflation), it will impact those who use short-term credit such as farmers who use seasonal loans and import/export businesses. It is going to damage the economy in such a way that most people will feel it. We did not lose AAA even during the great depression. The “deal” which passed is also easy to demagogue because the left will say that this deal IS the “Boehner Plan” (which is largely isn’t any more do to an almost total cave on spending cuts) and HIS plan caused us to lose AAA.
[Note: The first plans that were introduced by the Tea Party/GOP were much more serious and had a real chance of preventing the loss of AAA. While this is indeed a failure of government, is there any doubt that the Democratic Party is intent on blowing up our credit rating? The first proposals from the House had a chance of preserving AAA and the media/Democrats had a conniption fit calling called it extreme. Think about this folks, preserving AAA is now an extreme position according to much of the elite media and a political party. The Constitution does have limits and the GOP cannot run the government from the House. This is why elections matter.]
6 – The deal also includes a vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment to send it to the states. If this amendment resolution passes the Democrat controlled Senate and gets to the states it will be a great tool to begin to get this spending problem under control. If it looks like it will pass the Senate I expect the Democrat leadership will pull some stunt prevent the vote or prevent its passage. Government has a structural institutional incentive to spend more and more, so the only way to curb that is to make a structural change. Aside from a vote on this Amendment, which I will stress has not happened yet, this was not a tough deal or a Herculean compromise by any stretch.
This is a must see exchange between Marco Rubio and John Kerry on the debt limit debate. Be sure to watch every second as this is invaluable.
Kerry will think twice before trying to posture Marco Rubio again. Notice also, even though Rubio did not join the TEA Party Caucus he defends their position, which is to offer a plan that fixes the problem. Rubio uses a most interesting analogy to show why this is so important.
UPDATE – The latest version of the deal includes $2.1 Trillion in cuts over 10 years with half planned now and the other half planned by a “budget cut committee later”. Keep in mind that cuts in “Washington Speak” are not cuts, but rather a decrease in the increase in spending. So instead of a planned increase in spending over 10 years of $9.5 Trillion they will plan to increase spending by $7.4 trillion. The president gets his debt increase limit extended to well passed the campaign, deficit spending shoots up, no entitlement reform, no plan to balance the budget over the next eight years. There are some actual small cuts in discretionary spending, but entitlement spending that is on autopilot. Of course even this is a fraction of the increase in discretionary spending that has gone up since 2008.
LARGEST DEBT HIKE IN HISTORY…
$32.4 billion per page?
Borrowing to surge…
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, True Talking Points | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011
Great information to have and campaign on.
Via Yahoo News:
Some states offer attractive tax benefits for retirees. Then there are these ten tax hells, which have earned a place on our “do not live here for your second act” list either because of higher-than-average taxes across the board or because of policies that don’t exempt much retirement income from state taxation.
For retirees living on a fixed income, high income taxes, burdensome real estate taxes and hefty sales taxes on daily purchases can really eat into a nest egg. Choosing to relocate to — or stay put in — a state with a low overall tax burden can help stretch your retirement income.
State Income Tax: 3.55%-8.95%
State Sales Tax: 6% (localities can add another 1%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No
There are no exemptions for retirement income in the Green Mountain State, except for Railroad Retirement benefits (which are exempt in every state). Out-of-state pensions are fully taxed. Vermont exempts medical devices and prescription and nonprescription drugs from its 6% sales tax. But it imposes a 9% tax on prepared foods, restaurant meals and lodging, and a levies a 10% sales tax on alcoholic beverages served in restaurants. Real estate taxes have two components: school property tax and municipal property tax collected by towns and cities where the property is located. The Tax Foundation, a nonprofit tax-research group in Washington, D.C., lists Vermont’s property tax among the ten highest in the nation.
State Income Tax: 5.35%-7.85%
State Sales Tax: 6.875% (cities and counties can add another 2.65%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No
Minnesota offers retirees cold comfort on the tax front. Social Security income is taxed to the same extent it is taxed on your federal return. Pensions are taxable regardless of where your pension was earned. Income-tax rates are high, and sales taxes can reach 9.53% in some cities. Food, clothing, and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes. The North Star State does offer some residents 65 and older who have income of $60,000 or less the option of deferring a portion of their property tax. But this is a low-interest loan, not a tax-forgiveness program.
State Income Tax: 2.56%-6.84%
State Sales Tax: 5.5% (localities can add another 1.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes
There are no tax breaks for Social Security benefits and military pensions in the Cornhusker State. Real estate is assessed at 100% of fair market value. Residents 65 and older qualify for a homestead exemption on property taxes. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from state sales taxes. But Nebraska imposes an inheritance tax on all transfers of property and annuities.
State Income Tax: 5%-11%
State Sales Tax: None
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes
First, the upside: There’s no state sales tax in the Beaver State. But it shares the distinction with Hawaii of imposing the highest tax rate on personal income in the nation on taxable income of $250,000 or more. Although Oregon does not tax Social Security benefits, that’s the extent of its income-tax breaks for retirees. And Oregon has an inheritance tax that applies even to intangible personal property, such as investments and bank accounts, no matter where it is located.
State Income Tax: 1.25%-9.55%
State Sales Tax: 7.25% (effective July 1, 2011)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No
The Golden State has lost its luster for many retirees. Although Social Security benefits are exempt from state income taxes, all other forms of retirement income are fully taxed. Californians pay some of the highest income taxes in the U.S., with the top rate of 9.55% kicking in at $46,767 of taxable income. State and local sales taxes can reach 9.25% in some cities, although food and prescription drugs are exempt. Real estate is assessed at 100% of cash value, but taxes are capped at 1% of value.
State Income Tax: 2%-8.5%
State Sales Tax: 5% (counties can add another 0.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No
Like the majority of states, Maine exempts Social Security benefits from state income taxes. And residents can deduct up to $6,000 per person of eligible pension income. But remaining income in excess of $20,150 per year is taxed at a steep 8.5% rate. Residents of the Pine Tree State pay a 5% sales tax statewide on everything except food and prescription drugs. All real estate and personal property is subject to local property taxes (and, in some cases, state property taxes, too), but permanent residents can receive an exemption of $10,000 on the assessed value of their home. Maine is also one of only three states that do not allow cities and towns to impose their own local sales taxes.
State Income Tax: 0.36%-8.98%
State Sales Tax: 6% (localities can add another 1%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/Yes
The Hawkeye State offers no feathered nest for retirees. Although it allows single retirees to exclude up to $6,000 of retirement-plan distributions from state income taxes, and married couples can exclude up to $12,000, the rest is taxed at rates as high as 8.98%. Iowa taxes a portion of residents’ Social Security benefits, too, although it is in the process of phasing out the Social Security tax, which is scheduled to disappear in 2014. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from the statewide 6% sales tax. Real estate is assessed at 100% of market value, and most property is taxed by more than one taxing authority, such as cities, counties and school districts. There is a small homestead tax credit for residents who live in-state at least six months of the year.
State Income Tax: 4.6%-7.75%
State Sales Tax: 5% (counties can add another 0.5%)
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No
The Dairy State exempts Social Security benefits and military-related pensions from its state income taxes, but it taxes most other pension and annuity income the same way the federal government does. Retirees 65 and older can subtract $5,000 of qualified retirement income, including IRA distributions, from their Wisconsin taxable income, subject to income restrictions. Some Wisconsin state- and local-government retirees qualify for a tax exemption. But out-of-state government pensions are fully taxed. Food and prescription drugs are exempt from state sales taxes. Some homeowners may qualify for a school property-tax credit against their state income tax.
#9 NEW JERSEY
State Income Tax: 1.4%-8.97%
State Sales Tax: 7%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/Yes
Its nickname may be the Garden State, but New Jersey is no Eden for retirees. The Tax Foundation says New Jersey’s combined state and local tax burden is the highest in the nation, thanks in part to sky-high property taxes. But there are a few bright spots: New Jersey does not tax Social Security benefits and military pensions. It also allows residents 62 or older with incomes of $100,000 or less to exclude up to $15,000 ($20,000 for married couples filing jointly) of retirement income, including pensions, annuities and IRA withdrawals. Groceries, medicine and clothing are exempt from the 7% statewide sales tax. The state imposes an inheritance tax on the transfer of real and personal property worth $500 or more, but bequests to family members are exempt. Even with the bright spots, it’s an expensive place to live for retirees.
State Income Tax: 3%-6.7%
State Sales Tax: 6.35%-7%
Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: Yes/No
Connecticut can be inhospitable to retirees, depending on their income and where they earned their retirement benefits. Although some residents of the Constitution State can exclude their Social Security benefits from state income taxes, the exclusion applies only if their adjusted gross income is $50,000 or less ($60,000 or less for married couples). All out-of-state government and civil-service retirement pensions are fully taxed. Effective July 1, 2011, the sales tax rate statewide is 6.35%, with luxury items taxed at 7%. Connecticut residents pay some of the highest property taxes in the U.S., according to the Tax Foundation, but residents 65 and older qualify for an annual property tax credit or rent rebate.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on June 26, 2011
The government says that where there is oil drilling there are less of these lizards per mile. An interesting method of measurement as there are no shortage of deer and how much space in my home town is covered by parking lots and malls? Deer can be seen every day and is hunted just to keep the numbers from getting out of control.
Massive new oil shale finds have been found in Texas and parts of New Mexico, enough to increase domestic production by 25%. The Obama Administration, if recent history is a guide, won’t have that. The lizard is very skiddish and lives mostly under the sand, so most people have never seen one (hmm I wonder how hard that makes them to count).
The sand dune lizard is a small reptile that has become the scourge of the Texas Oil industry, not because it is dangerous but because the threatened species could put land ripe for oil exploration off limits.
“As far as I am concerned, it is Godzilla,” Texas land commissioner Jerry Paterson told ABC News. “[It’s] the biggest threat facing the oil business in memory,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. They believe the small tan-colored, insectivorous lizard could cost the oil industry and surrounding communities thousands of jobs.
About 63,000 Americans work in the oil and gas well industry as of September 2009, the most recent period available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. Most of those jobs are in Texas.
The federal government said the sand lizard is on the verge of extinction, and is expected to place it on the endangered species list soon.
If the species makes the list, its 800,000 acre habitat in the shinnery oak sand dune communities of southeastern New Mexico and southwestern Texas would receive protected status. That habitat happens to be right in the heart of Texas oil country.
“If the lizard is put on the endangered species list, then [rigs] would [be] shutdown,” Leslyn Wallace, a land manager at RSP Permian, told ABC News. That would cost many Texans their jobs.
But here is the rub, The eco-radicals in the government have used the Endangered Species Act as a weapon before to target the industries they despise. After the polar bear population had risen 30% the government decided to put the polar bear on the endangered species list anyways because of reductions in polar sea ice, which saw a cyclical low in 2007, but had already rebounded 27% in the following year and is still growing today.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on June 10, 2011
Veronique de Rugy is one of the most respected economists alive today.
IUSB Vision Editor Chuck Norton comments:
This came as absolutely no surprise to me. As with most taxes that are “designed to target the rich” they do no such thing and the “alternative minimum tax” is no different
The Democratic Party leadership pretends to be interested in genuine class warfare. You hear President Obama talk about “taxing millionaires and billionaires” yet the very policies he and much of the Democratic leadership advocate do no such thing.
Democrats have not been interested in taxing the genuinely rich and aren’t today. John Kerry made $5,072,000 in 2003 and had a total federal tax burden of 12.34%. The very wealthy enjoy a 16,000 page tax code that is filled with exceptions. Much of the income those like John and Teresa Kerry receive is defined as “unearned income” or earnings that are not taxable at the wage earner rate so even if the regular income tax rate was increased to 50% the percentage the Kerry’s would pay would only go up by a couple of points, if that.
Yet small business “sub-s corporations” (most domestic small businesses that have between 1-200 employees) are taxed at the wage earner rate and would be devastated by a 50% rate. Small businesses do most of the hiring in this country. Would someone care to explain how Democrats can claim to be for workers while being against their employers?
The truth is that very few people make over $250k in taxable wages. President Obama talks about taxing billionaires and millionaires (defined as those who make over $250k), but the way the tax code works the wealth of George Soros like billionaires is almost perfectly protected. If George Soros and the Kerry’s paid a percentage like small businesses must, who would fund the Tides Foundation and the Democrat’s 527 groups?
As you may be aware, Google made $3.1 BILLION last year and had a federal tax burden of 2.4%. Google throws fund-raising galas for Obama and the Democrats and have given the Democrats massive donations. Where are the “liberals” condemning the Google Corps of the world? How about GE, whose former CEO now works at the White House, earned 14.2 billion dollars and not only did they have a tax bill of zero, they received taxpayer subsidies.
Yet Obama has waged a rhetorical war against the Chamber of Commerce and who do they represent, you guessed it, most small and medium-sized domestic businesses. Obama blasted the Chamber of Commerce for daring to oppose his plan to tax such businesses at a rate of 39.6%.
Policies such as ObamaCare, tax increases, and other actions that cause regulatory uncertainty all but force the producers and investors to stop moving their money domestically. They have the option of just parking it or investing it inChina, all of which has the effect of transferring the tax burden away from the wealthy onto the working poor and middle class. Democrats are not interested in taxing the wealthy; they are interested in taxing the domestic producer class.
This brings us to Norton’s First Law: big Business loves big government because big government taxes and regulates the small and medium-sized competition out of the competition. This is a staple of modern “Alinsky” style Democrat strategy. This process is called “consolidation”. The goal of leftist philosophy is to control the wealth “rationally” from above so that less is “left to chance”. With all of these small businesses creating wealth that is chaos which is difficult to control. Through consolidation more of the wealth that is created flows through large corporations that are easier to control.
The Obama bipartisan deficit commission was tasked with the challenge of how to raise revenue, grow the economy and pay off the debt. After an exhaustive study the commission concluded that lowering tax rates, lowering the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code to encourage tax compliance, and to encourage more wealth to come back home (so it at least can be taxed), was the most prudent course of action. Reagan would have been pleased with those recommendations.
If you wonder why so many jobs have moved overseas and in some cases to places where governments are corrupt and workers are really exploited; now you are seeing the other side of the coin. The private sector and the jobs that go with it cannot be expected to pay for a government that costs $4 trillion a year and hope to remain competitive. If you want to see demand for American labor to rise, start by making it more economical for jobs to come home.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | 3 Comments »
Posted by iusbvision on May 29, 2011
Add Charlotte N.C. on the list of towns I will go out of my way not to spend a penny in. This is why once Obama and these Alinsky Democrats are put out of power the TEA Party need to turn it’s focus on local government.
Originally it was reported that the fine was $1400, now it may be as high as $4,000.
Every two to three years, Eddie Sales trims and prunes the crape myrtles at his church, Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church.
But this year, the city of Charlotte cited the church for improperly pruning its trees.
“We always keep our trees trimmed back because you don’t want to worry about them hanging down in the way,” said Sales, a church member.
The church was fined $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning, bringing the violation to $4,000.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I heard about it,” Sales said. “We trim our trees back every three years all over our property, and this is the first time we have been fined.”
The fine will be dropped if the church replaces each of the improperly pruned trees, said Tom Johnson, senior urban forester for city of Charlotte Land Development Division.
“When they are nonrepairable, when they have been pruned beyond repair, we will ask them to be replaced,” Johnson said. “We do that for a number of reasons but mainly because they are going to come back unhealthy and create a dangerous situation down the road.”
Except these trees are not unhealthy and are pruned very nicely as evidenced by the picture:
Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on May 27, 2011
Just when you thought the story of the lottery millionaire who was still legally allowed to receive food stamps was bad enough. A friend found this receipt in the parking lot of a store in Michigan.
UPDATE: This story has gone viral which we are glad to see.
The reader sent this to me is from Menominee, Michigan. The link says that a person found the receipt near the store, which matches what our reader in Menominee told us exactly. Notice that we wrote this before this story went viral and the email he sent me was sitting in my inbox for several days before I opened it. Of course I have no way of knowing in my acquaintance was the original person from Menominee, but it really doesn’t matter.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | 2 Comments »
Posted by iusbvision on May 13, 2011
Of course this is aside from his assault in Gulf Coast jobs with the illegal offshore drilling ban, the assault on Alaska jobs with the revocation of Shell’s oil rights, the assault on West Virginia jobs with the completely arbitrary revocation of mining permits, the assault on Nevada jobs with the political closing of the Yucca Mountain nuclear facility.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley responds on this blatant show of corruption from the Obama Administration.
[Editor’s note – The Democrats used every sex smear in the book trying to defeat this governor in the last election.]
More details from Newt Gingrich in Human Events:
In October 2009, Boeing decided to open a new production facility in North Charleston, SC to meet the growing demand for its 787 Dreamliner airplane.
The decision came after months of negotiations with the machinists union leadership at Boeing’s main production hub in Puget Sound, WA. Since 1995, there have been five work stoppages in the Puget Sound plant. The most recent strike, in 2008, lasted 58 days and cost the company $1.8 billion.
Still, Boeing negotiated in good faith with the union leadership for the Puget Sound facility to try and find a way to open the new factory there. In exchange, Boeing wanted a ten year moratorium on strikes so the additional capacity upon which the company was about to spend billions of dollars would be a sound investment.
Boeing and the union were unable to reach an agreement so the company looked elsewhere. They eventually settled on South Carolina, which is one of the twenty two “right-to-work” states in our country where workers cannot be forced to join a union.
The complaint filed last month by the NLRB on behalf of the machinists union alleges that Boeing located the new facility away from Puget Sound in retaliation for the 2008 strike, which is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act. It makes this accusation despite the months Boeing spent negotiating with the union to try and reach a deal to open the new facility in Puget Sound, and despite the fact that there is a clear legal precedent that allows companies to consider the impact of future strikes when deciding where to open new facilities.
It is the timing of NLRB’s complaint, in fact, which seems retaliatory in nature, not Boeing’s business decision.
The complaint comes a full seventeen months after Boeing announced the location of the new facility and thirteen months after the union leadership first asked NLRB to look into the issue.
Boeing has already begun construction of the new facility, hiring over 1000 people in South Carolina and investing $1 billion. This complaint puts all those jobs created and all that money invested at risk.
Unelected, Unconfirmed Bureaucrats Running Wild
This action by the NLRB is even more disturbing when you consider that it is being led by Lafe Solomon, the acting General Counsel for NLRB, who still needs to be approved by the Senate. He only holds his position because of a recess appointment by President Obama.
The president also used a recess appointment to place Craig Becker on the NLRB after Becker was rejected by a Democratic Senate in 2010.
As a recent Daily Caller article discovered, Becker’s past writings reveal a disturbing socialist bent that bear directly on the Boeing complaint.
Becker has previously written that the federal government should control and constrain the freedom of companies to direct their capital and resources as they please in order to rig labor negotiations in favor of unions. Becker has also written that the NLRB possesses the power to impose card-check policies on the nation without an act of Congress.
An Assault on the Right to Work
It is clear that President Obama is packing the NLRB board with left wing ideologues as a payoff to his union boss allies, so that the fix is in with regard to this case and others like it.
The move is consistent with an ongoing pattern in the Obama administration, in which they use the apparatus of big government to reward their allies and punish their opponents.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was exactly right when he characterized the complaint as “one of the worst examples of unelected bureaucrats doing the bidding of special interest groups that I’ve ever seen.”
If the NLRB is successful in overturning Boeing’s perfectly rational business decision, it puts tens of millions of future jobs in all 22 right-to-work states in jeopardy. It would make it effectively impossible for U.S. companies to open new facilities in right-to-work states if they are currently located in one that allows forced unionization.
Global Competition Is a Fact, Not a Theory
The Left simply cannot come to grips with the intensity of global economic competition and the demands it places on U.S. economic policies.
This blindness to reality was on display in the reaction to a recent USA Today article showing that Americans paid less taxes in 2009 than any time since the 1950s. The article has been used by the Left in recent days as a counter to the conservative case that tax increases would be devastating to any economic recovery, possibly driving us back into recession.
Their argument shows the Left is completely missing the point. In the new global economy, America is not competing against itself from 1990, 1970 or 1950.
We are competing against Germany, which today has only a 15% federal corporate income tax (and recently hit a 19-year low in its unemployment rate), compared to a 35% corporate tax rate in the U.S., the highest of any central government in the industrialized world.
We are competing against Singapore, which has a capital gains tax of zero, compared to a potential 35% capital gains tax in the United States.
We are competing against Switzerland, which caps the federal personal income tax rate at 11.5%.
We are competing against Canada, which just last week reelected an incumbent Conservative government that has pledged to cut the corporate tax to 15% and lower the personal income tax for families – all while planning to balance its entire budget by 2015.
Consider the case of the New York Stock Exchange. This icon of American free markets is now owned by a Dutch holding company.
That $10.2 billion takeover was driven by simple economic reality. As Walter Gavin, Vice President of Emerson, explains, the Netherlands has a tax code which makes it more profitable for the NYSE to be owned by a Dutch company than by an American one. In fact, according to Gavin, the United States lost almost forty companies to Amsterdam in 2010 alone thanks to their more business friendly environment.
This brings us back to President Obama and his union allies’ assault on South Carolina jobs and all twenty two right-to-work states in America.
If the NRLB’s complaint is successful, U.S. companies will simply increase their flight of capital and new facilities to places outside the United States. In the midst of a struggling economy, it will make it harder for businesses to operate in America, not easier.
The union bosses and their political allies in the White House aren’t going to save union jobs by attacking right-to-work states. They’ll simply prevent new jobs from being created here in America.
Posted in 2012 Primary, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Dirty Tricks, Economics 101, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on May 13, 2011
Remember when Obama said that science was going to have it’s rightful place restored in policy?
Well he shut down the facility in order to help Harry Reid’s re-election, but the permitting process to build a new facility will take 34 years.
There was nothing wrong with the old location besides the fact that Reid didn’t like it. What is our nuclear industry to do now? The Obama Administration has found yet another way to increase our energy costs.
Ed Morrissey and the NYT have more to say HERE.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011
The government goes on as if there is no $16 trillion debt with Social Security and Medicare near broke. Do we really need this crap?
Related: Dept of Education is a Failure: 82 Fed Govt Programs to Improve Teachers. Billions Spent With No Results. Bill Gates Foundation Concludes that Teaching Credentials Make No Difference
For those of you who wonder why so many women, Catholics and Hispanics voted with the TEA Party in 2010, this nonsense is one of the reasons.Democrats will not make priorities and the cuts we eed to keep the important programs going and pay the debt. The GOP will only do it if we keep their feet to the fire.
That’s the idea behind a $2 million project being unveiled Wednesday in the lunchroom of a San Antonio elementary school, where high-tech cameras installed in the cafeteria will begin photographing what foods children pile onto their trays — and later capture what they don’t finish eating.
Digital imaging analysis of the snapshots will then calculate how many calories each student scarfed down. Local health officials said the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is the first of its kind in a U.S. school, and will be so precise that the technology can identify a half-eaten pear left on a lunch tray.
“This is very sophisticated,” said Dr. Roberto Trevino, director of the San Antonio-based Social & Health Research Center, which will oversee the program.
The grant from the USDA will fund the study for four years. Trevino said the coming school year will be very experimental, with programmers fine-tuning the cameras and imaging software to accurately identify what’s a pear and what’s an apple. He expects the “prototype” to be in place by the second year.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 31, 2011
This is how some corrupt corporations make millions and scam the taxpayers. The AARP is supposed to be non profit. That means that they are not supposed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in profits, they are not supposed to be engaged in partisan politics and they are not supposed to be engaged in a huge conflict of interest. AARP has done all of this at the expense of their members and employees.
AARP and Many Others Hiking Premiums or Dumping Coverage Because of ObamaCare
Corrupt AARP Health Care Deal Puts Seniors at Risk
CBO: Obama is wrong, cuts in Medicare will result in benefit cuts. The corrupt AARP angle. UPDATED!
Ethics You Can’t Believe In: Special Interests Dominate Fiscal Responsibility Summit
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Economics 101, Health Law, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 14, 2011
By Bob Schneider
The Wisconsin Taxpayers have been raped for a very long time:
2010 Wisconsin Teacher Actual Wages
AVERAGE WAGE AND BENEFITS (remember this is for about 9 months of work)
Hartland Arrwhd $90,285 (highest paid teacher was $122,952-lowest was $64,942)
Men Falls $81,099
West Bend $82,153
Kettle Mor $87,676
Arrowhead – Bus Mng – Kopecky – $169,525
Arrowhead – Principal – Wieczorek – $152,519
Grmtwn – Asst Princ – Dave Towers – $123,222
Elmbrk – Burliegh Elemetary – Principal Zahn- $142,315 (for a primary school!!)
Madison – Asst Principal – McGrath – $127,835
UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN STAFF (2009 salary alone):
Michael Knetter – Prof of Bus – $327,828
Carolyn Martin – Chancellor Mad – $437,000
Hector Deluca – Prof of Nutritional Science – $254,877 (really??)
(source: Madison.com -as the UW removed salaries from being posted online in 2007- why if they are so low?)
How about some other “public servant job” ??? What do they make?
Madison Garbage men (2009 salary only):
Garbageman, Mr. Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay.
Garbageman, Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598
7 Madison garbage men made over $100,000
30 Madison garbage men made over $70,000
MILWAUKEE CITY BUS DRIVERS (salary only):
136 Drivers made more than $70,000
54 Drivers made more than $80,000
18 Drivers made more than $90,000
8 Drivers made more than $100,000
Top Driver made $117,000
(In contrast, the average private bus driver makes $9 to $13 an hour (about $20,000 yr) with no pension, or healthcare.)
Source of Data: http://host.madison.com/
Bob Schneider served on Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council. He is a recognized expert on Middle Eastern policy and a respected consultant on international business, foreign affairs and politics. Schneider is also a humorist whose writings are popular among the politically savvy.
Posted in Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Unions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 13, 2011
Solar and Wind are very expensive, harder to transmit, and inconsistent. Solar is so expensive that solar panels plants in the United States are closing and the work is going to China. China builds a coal plant every week.
All of this money going to these subsidies cannot be used for other things. Mandates on electric companies to get more energy from wind and solar are next to impossible to meet so those companies are fined, which forces energy companies to pass those fines to their customers, which helps to send more jobs overseas.
Reason TV asks, if all of these green energy mandates are going to make all of these 21st century jobs, how come in California that has totally backfired. The reasons above explain why and they are reasons that are explained in any first year macroeconomics class.
If you want to see lower energy costs and business to start coming back home there is only one solution. Throw out Democrats en mass. We have trillions in natural gas, oil and other resources that are off limits that we could use to help pay off the national debt and rebuild the economy. We also need a government that costs less than $2 trillion a year instead of the nearly $4 trillion it costs now.
Posted in 2012, China, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 9, 2011
So what about those CBO numbers again far left?
$105 billion hidden in the bill so that the GOP could never cut off funds for it, a $16 Billion slush fund, and unlimited budgetary authority to bail out state insurance pools. None of it known, none of it counted by the CBO and much of it unconstitutional.
Now you know why Nancy Pelosi had to say this:
UPDATE I – Michele Bachmann speaks.
The liberal media has been attacking my work to expose the truth about Obamacare. But all the major political fact-checking outlets–PolitiFact, FactCheck and the Washington Post Fact Checker–agree: the $105 billion hidden in Obamacare does exist! Get the facts: http://bit.ly/ggdOtv .
Today former Congressman Ernest Istook testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee about the $105 billion slush fund in advance appropriations liberals tucked inside Obamacare. The $105 billion bypasses the traditional yearly budgeting process and is spread throughout the 2,700 page legislation. It took the Congressional Research Service (CRS) seven months to identify all the disparate funds and it was not until February (11 months after the bill passed) that all of the funds could be totaled up.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) has been beating the drum to raise awareness of this unprecedented level of advance spending. But the liberal media has been attacking her for calling it “hidden” funding. In reality, Rep. Bachmann said that “practically no Member of Congress even knew that $105 billion of funding was” in the bill.FactCheck says that this funding was known to “those who read the bill … including members of Congress.” But does FactCheck really believe that any member of Congress read all 2,700 pages of the bill? Do they have any evidence at all that any member of Congress knew about the $105 billion figure before CRS published their report this February?
But more importantly, in their attempted take down of Rep. Bachmann, PolitiFact, FactCheck, and The Washington Post Fact Checker all confirm her underlying charge: the $105 billion exists. Poltifact writes: “We added up the spending Bachmann was referring to and got $104 billion — very close to her number.”
And a note to The Washington Post Fact Checker: Former Congressman Ernest Istook served in the House of Representatives, not the Senate.
UPDATE II –
UPDATE III – Speaker Boehner Blasts Democrats for Hidden Slush Funds in ObamaCare
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Dirty Tricks, Government Gone Wild, Health Law, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 4, 2011
How government union collective bargaining works.
What FDR understood and what the left does not want you to figure out is that “The Man” is the taxpayer because with Democrats in charge government unions are essentially negotiating with themselves, it is not adversarial at all, and the politicians are not negotiating to preserve their own money, they are negotiating (wink wink, nod nod) with YOUR money.
More from the Heritage Foundation – HERE.
Rasmussen Poll: 71% Believe Government Workers Get Better Pensions Than Those In Private Sector – LINK.
NPR and PBS execs make more than the President! They are funded by taxpayers! – LINK.
UPDATE – New York Times publishing bogus polls about unions and lying about the budget crisis:
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, True Talking Points, Unions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on March 2, 2011
52 programs funding entreprenurial efforts.
35 agencies for infrastructure.
26 agencies to fund telecommunications.
18 food assistance programs
47 job training programs
82 programs to improve teachers
…well you get the picture.
GAO report expected to show hundreds of duplicate programs
By Vicki Needham – 02/28/11 09:00 PM ET
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found hundreds of possibly duplicate programs throughout the federal government’s agencies, according to a report scheduled for release on Tuesday.
The GAO, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars, identified programs across the agencies including Defense and Energy departments, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday night.
Congress and the White House have targeted many duplicate programs for elimination, including several that are included in the House Republicans’ two-week continuing resolution, also in President Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget, that cuts $4 billion in spending through March 18.
The Journal reported these duplications from the GAO study:
1. Food safety: 15 agencies that implement several federal laws.
2. Defense: Duplication in the purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles, procurement and medical costs.
3. Economic development: 80 programs spread across several agencies that share goals.
4. Surface transportation: More than 100 programs run by five divisions within the Transportation Department.
5. Energy: Cutting ethanol production programs could save $5.7 billion each year.
6. Government information technology: 24 federal agencies handle IT.
7. Health: The Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are still working separately to update electronic health records.
8. Homelessness: There are more than 20 federal programs dealing with the issue.
9. Teachers: 82 programs and several agencies deal with teacher quality.
10. Job training: 44 employment and training programs.
Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Economics 101, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | 1 Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on February 25, 2011
Tons of news this much, too much to blog about individually but all important info so be sure to see February Round Up Post I as well!
I just finished February Round Up Post I and will be updating this post well into Friday.
>> Alaska state rep refuses TSA grope of her mastectomy scars, drives home from Seattle – LINK. All I have to say is that who ever runs for the GOP nomination in ’12 will have no chance of victory unless he/she promises to deal with the TSA problem. If anyone wishes to debate the merits of TSA with me go ahead and try in the comments. Good luck, your going to need it.
>> Glenn Beck: FDR’s “New Deal” Agencies vs. all of the new government agencies in just ObamaCare.
>> Planned Parenthood Campus Outreach: “Don’t try to use science or evidence. Science is not ultimate truth”
>>Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels with John Stossel on how ObamaCare mandates hurt Indiana.
>>Michael Reagan rips Chris Matthews for saying American’s have ‘limited memory’ for praise of Ronald Reagan. We all know that Chris Mathews mostly engages in mindless bomb throwing in a futile attempt to get ratings, but once in a while we tune in to see what hate TV is up to.
>> Alex Jones Goes Insane About Justin Beiber. Jones is a nut-ball who is trying to create a cult of personality for himself by taking advantage of those just getting started in trying to get involved with politics. He is a conspiracy theorist who, like most effective cult of personality leaders, tells 2/3rds truth and 1/3 half truths and lies. So when you question them they always point to the 2/3 that is true. While he makes some good points in this VERY animated rant, it doesn’t take long before Jones is off in the stratosphere of cookdom.
>>Wow. Rush Limbaugh to Democrats: America Does Not Want What You Have to Offer! This is one of the best monologues I have heard from Rush in a while – LINK (Via Rightscoop). There is a reason why Rush has as many listener as the ABC, CBS and NBC Nightly News combined; except that Rush’s audience still grows and their is still shrinking.
>> Video: Prof. Niall Ferguson takes CNN’s Elliot Spitzer to school on Obama, Egypt, and how the elite media Got it wrong – LINK. Walid Shoebat agrees with Prof Ferguson – LINK.
>> Dallas Target: Texas Resident Arrested on Charge of Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction – LINK.
Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 20, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Lubbock, Texas, was arrested late yesterday by FBI agents in Texas on a federal charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with his alleged purchase of chemicals and equipment necessary to make an improvised explosive device (IED) and his research of potential U.S. targets.
>> Paul Ryan: I didn’t like ObamaCare but I didn’t walk out!:
>> MRC: Twice in 24 Hours, ABC IDs Michael Reagan as ‘Conservative,’ Ignores Ron Jr Being a Liberal – LINK
>> History for Journalistic Dummies:
>> MEP Dan Hannan Letter of Warning To America:
>>Krauthammer: Government by Regulation …shhh – LINK.
>> People are fleeing some American cities – LINK.
>> James Cameron = Energy Hypocrite
>> Robert Redford = Energy Hypocrite
>>Arizona Muslim Found Guilty of Honor Killing Daughter – Elite Media Silent – LINK:
>> Herat province — Afghanistan, Sep.2007: This 12-y-old girl has been given in a forced marriage and she faces violence by her husband everyday. Family violence and child marriage is common across Afghanistan and tens of women every month commit self-immolation to get rid of their desolation.
She says: “Please help me get divorce, next time he will kill me, he injured me with a knife.”
>> Daily Beast – 12 Reasons Obama Could Lose in ’12 – LINK. Usually Daily beast just has unsubstantiated opinion and personal attacks. I was shocked to see a piece that actually makes an argument.
>> A comprehensive list of tax hikes in ObamaCare – LINK.
While I have my disagreements with Rand Paul on some issues, on this budget stuff he is spot on. – Editor
>> Rand Paul on David Letterman
>> Rand Paul on Fox & Friends
>> Rand Paul on Hannity
>> Rand Paul on George Stephanopoulos
>> Can Democracy be grafted into Islamic Countries. Andrew McCarthy makes an argument that in some cases the answer is no – LINK.
>> Chevy to spend $40 million on carbon offsets – LINK. This will help make Al Gore even more filthy rich while producing nothing.
>> Greek Unions & Communists Throwing Firebombs at Police – LINK. If you wanted to see a case against government trade unions this is it.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Young demonstrators hurled rocks and fire bombs at riot police as clashes broke out Wednesday in Athens during a mass rally against austerity measures, part of a general strike that crippled services and public transportation around the country.
Police fired tear gas and flash grenades at protesters, blanketing parts of the city center in choking smoke. Thousands of peaceful demonstrators ran to side streets to take cover. A police officer was attacked and his uniform caught fire in the city’s main Syntagma Square, and his motorcycle was burned.
At least two people were injured and another three arrested. One group of rioting youths smashed paving stones in front of the central Bank of Greece, but there were no immediate reports of any serious damage.
More than 30,000 protesters attended the Athens rally, which had been calm before the clashes. Protesters chanting “Don’t obey the rich – Fight back!” marched to parliament as the city center was heavily policed. A brass band, tractors and cyclists joined the rally.
The rally was part of Greece’s first major labor protest this year as Prime Minister George Papandreou’s Socialist government faces international pressure to make more lasting cuts after the nation’s debt-crippled economy was rescued from bankruptcy by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The 24-hour strike halted trains, ferries and most public transport across the country, and led to the cancellation of more than 100 flights at Athens International Airport. The strike also the closed the Acropolis and other major tourist sites.
State hospital doctors, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, lawyers and tax collectors joined school teachers, journalists and thousands of small businesses as more middle-class groups took part in the protest than have in the past. Athens’ main shopping district was mostly empty, as many small business owners shuttered their stores.
Unions are angry at the ongoing austerity measures put in place by the Socialist government in exchange for a euro110 billion ($150 billion) bailout loan package from European countries and the IMF.
>> US Gun Owners Purchased 14 million Guns Last Year – LINK.
Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Culture War, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on February 18, 2011
The video is of Dr. Thomas Sowell who is likely the greatest and most published economist alive. He is a free market guy so this is why you may not have heard of him. The use of Dr. Sowell’s materials is virtually banned at IUSB so do not expect to see him in class. The left is very hostile to Dr. Sowell especially because he is a black free market economist.
Via The Daily Caller:
Dr. Sowell appeared on Wednesday night’s “The Kudlow Report,” on CNBC to promote his book, “Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to Economics.” Host Larry Kudlow asked Sowell about the current outlook and his long-term predictions for the economic system as a whole in the United States. The senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution replied that politics plays into the answer.
I have never seen Dr. Sowell so concerned. As some of the good economists have said, this recession is different. Combine that with the fact that government has so effectively chased wealth out of the country and undermined economic confidence that unless we change government culture permanently and do it soon the United States may be done as an economic super power.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Economics 101, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011
This is one of the ideas that have been floated inside the Obama Administration.
Christian Science Monitor:
People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.
The most striking example is Hungary, where last month the government made the citizens an offer they could not refuse. They could either remit their individual retirement savings to the state, or lose the right to the basic state pension (but still have an obligation to pay contributions for it). In this extortionate way, the government wants to gain control over $14bn of individual retirement savings.
The Bulgarian government has come up with a similar idea. $300m of private early retirement savings was supposed to be transferred to the state pension scheme. The government gave way after trade unions protested and finally only about 20% of the original plans were implemented.
A slightly less drastic situation is developing in Poland. The government wants to transfer of 1/3 of future contributions from individual retirement accounts to the state-run social security system. Since this system does not back its liabilities with stocks or even bonds, the money taken away from the savers will go directly to the state treasury and savers will lose about $2.3bn a year. The Polish government is more generous than the Hungarian one, but only because it wants to seize just 1/3 of the future savings and also allows the citizens to keep the money accumulated so far.
The fourth example is Ireland. In 2001, the National Pension Reserve Fund was brought into existence for the purpose of supporting pensions of the Irish people in the years 2025-2050. The scheme was also supposed to provide for the pensions of some public sector employees (mainly university staff). However, in March 2009, the Irish government earmarked €4bn from this fund for rescuing banks. In November 2010, the remaining savings of €2.5bn was seized to support the bailout of the rest of the country.
The final example is France. In November, the French parliament decided to earmark €33bn from the national reserve pension fund FRR to reduce the short-term pension scheme deficit. In this way, the retirement savings intended for the years 2020-2040 will be used earlier, that is in the years 2011-2024, and the government will spend the saved up resources on other purposes.
It looks like although the governments are able to enforce general participation in pension schemes, they do not seem to be the best guardians of the money accumulated there.
The table below is a summary of the discussed fiscal-retirement situations (source):
*These figures do not include the costs of higher taxes, price inflation and low interest rates, which additionally devaluate retirement savings.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, True Talking Points | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on February 15, 2011
The Democratic Party has been caught several times taking illegal campaign money from the Chinese ( 1, 2). It seems that money has not gone to waste.
Jackie Walorski warned of this happening. It seems that she was correct.
WASHINGTON — Top Democratic fundraisers and lobbyists with links to the White House are behind a proposed wind farm in Texas that stands to get $450 million in stimulus money, even though a Chinese company would operate the farm and its turbines would be built in China.
The farm’s backers also have close ties with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who, at the height of his hard-fought re-election bid this fall, helped blunt congressional criticism over stimulus dollars possibly going to create jobs in China by endorsing a proposal by the Chinese company to build a factory in his home state. Although his campaign received thousands of dollars in donations from the wind farm’s backers and Reid stood on stage with them at a campaign event they hosted, his office declined to answer any questions about the wind farm’s organizers or their plans for Nevada.
The wind farm, first announced more than a year ago, would consist of 300 2-megawatt wind turbines, each perched atop a 26-story-tall steel tower and spinning three blades — each half the length of a football field. The farm would span three counties and 36,000 acres in West Texas land best known for its oil. Dubbed the Spinning Star wind farm, the project’s 600-megawatt capacity is, theoretically, enough to power 180,000 American homes and would be the sixth-largest wind farm in the country.
It is being planned by an unusual joint partnership between the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, a Dallas investment firm with strong ties to Washington and the Democratic Party, and A-Power Energy Generation Systems, an upstart Chinese supplier of wind turbines. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate the Chinese are bringing financing and the turbines.
What the Americans are supplying is the local know-how and political clout in Washington, where decisions on how to distribute billions in loan guarantees, stimulus grants and financial incentives are made.
The clock is ticking for Spinning Star: To claim the stimulus grant it must arrange its financing and begin work on the wind farm by Dec. 31. Besides the $450 million stimulus grant, A-Power’s SEC filings indicate the joint-venture also will pursue a Department of Energy-backed loan guarantee. According to the SEC filings, the project is waiting to hear if it will receive the loan guarantee before financing will follow to build the turbines.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on January 19, 2011
A move by the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke the long-standing permits for a mammoth coal mine in West Virginia sends a strong signal that President Obama plans to implement key parts of his agenda even though newly empowered Republicans can block his plans in Congress.
In the aftermath of the November elections, many political pundits predicted that the once-unchecked Obama legislative machine would turn it’s energies to federal rulemaking as a way to circumvent Republicans on Capitol Hill. And the EPA’s decision last week suggests that those forecasts were spot-on.
Much to the consternation of the West Virginia delegation in Congress, the coal industry, and the working people of the Mountain State, the agency took the unprecedented step of revoking a mining permit that it had issued four years ago to Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia.
The revocation prompted unusually harsh responses from West Virginia’s two Democratic Senators.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller sent the president a letter which read, in part:
“I am writing to express my outrage with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to veto a rigorously reviewed and lawfully issued permit at the Spruce Number 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. This action not only affects this specific permit, but needlessly throws other permits into a sea of uncertainty at a time of great economic distress.”
[Wow, take a look in the mirror Sen. Rockefeller. Who are YOU to lecture anyone about creating uncertainty in business especially after the failed and corrupt stimulus, the regulatory and tax burden that is ObamaCare, AND who are you to complain about regulators just doing what they want in spite of law passed by Congress especially after you said THIS – IUSB Vision Editor]
Sen. Joe Manchin issued a statement which appeared to mock the EPA’s permitting process.
“According to the EPA, it doesn’t matter if you did everything right, if you followed all of the rules,” Manchin wrote. “Why? They just change the rules.”
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on January 19, 2011
Notice how Clinton says that it will work because it means that everyone in the business will have to raise their prices the same so it all works out; no it doesn’t. Clinton is engaging in a false assumption that destroys smaller competition and benefits the biggest players in a market.
Cain is explaining that “big pizza” has a higher base percentage of profit, based on both volume and on economies of scale, that gives them lower costs and higher aggregate profitability compared to smaller competitors. While Godfathers has a profitability of 1.5%, “big pizza” has a profitability that is likely close to 6%.
So what does this mean? If Clinton gets his way “big pizza” will not raise their prices at all, on the contrary they will have a sale and keep that sale on till smaller outfits like GodFathers who are forced to raise prices and reduce service via layoffs can’t compete and shut down. At first the barely profitable stores close, then the better ones. The result is more and more markets where “big pizza” progresses its virtual monopoly in each market. With that competition taken out of the picture “big pizza” can charge whatever it likes and prices go up, and the pressure to keep quality up starts to evaporate.
This is why companies like Philip Morris lobbied Democrats to have tobacco taxes and regulations increased.
This brings us to Norton’s First Law:
Big business loves big government, which is why big business loves domestic taxes and regulation because it keeps the small and medium-sized competition out of the competition. It also causes inflation, so ultimately it is you who pays and the poor who are hardest hit. (Big business often gets loopholes written in the laws for themselves such as Nancy Pelosi trying to get a part of the tuna industry exempted from the minimum wage law).
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Health Law, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on January 2, 2011
The Obama Administration has announced that it plans to enact Cap & Tax (energy taxes) and the so called “death panel” and other provisions into the health care law by abusing the power of regulation given to him. Congress denied him these laws, so he is going to do it anyways. Congress and the courts denied him the “Net Neutrality” regulations of the internet.
It is just as we told you HERE:
This is the problem that occurs when Congress grants federal bureaucracy such wide regulatory power to enact as they see fit. The bureaucrats get such wide power to enact law through regulation that they in effect become, as Justice Scalia once described as, “a junior varsity Congress” that can pass laws that are even against the will of Congress and the people. This action takes the entire purpose of Separation of Powers in the Constitution and tosses it right out the window. While Congress does have some minor delegable authority under the Necessary and Proper clause in no way did the Founders ever intend to have a situation where all three branches of government are legislating on their own and against the will of the people.
This action shows that the Obama administration and some of the Democratic leadership have nothing but utter contempt for the overwhelming expressed will of the American people.
Imagine what would happen in the elite if George Bush did something so extreme, or Sarah Palin?
Posted in 2012, Alarmism, Chuck Norton, Energy & Taxes, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet? | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on January 2, 2011
You just gotta love public sector unions…
To hear them talk one might think they are all underpaid victims, like missionaries working in the third world…. so sad…./sniff.
The truth is that public sector unions are usually paid more then there private sector counterparts. They also get Cadillac level benefits that they pay little or nothing for and get pensions that are so fat that states have no idea how they can possibly pay them. So far what are the results, snow that doesn’t get cleared in New York, a federal government that spent $2.08 trillion more than it took in and we have little to show for it, and public schools that range from sub-par to unsafe failures. [Even the best American public schoolers do not measure well against other top 30 industrialized nations. So if you think “our public schools are really good” you are deluding yourself – Editor]
American Federation of Teachers president Rhonda “Randi” Weingarten has issued a statement slamming proposed cuts from the congressional deficit commission for not pushing shared sacrifice among the wealthy, but an AFT spokesman has told The Examiner that Weingarten will not be taking a paycut from the total $428,284 she received in salary and benefits during fiscal year 2010.
Weingarten wrote of the proposed budget cuts from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform:
While we’re grateful the commission’s chairmen understood the need to hold education investment sacrosanct, count on a vigorous fight from us over proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare that would hurt an already-ailing middle class. Shared sacrifice means holding millionaires responsible for their fair share of taxes and ending truly wasteful spending, not sawing off essential lifelines for the middle class, who desperately are trying to keep their heads above water in these precarious economic times. We can help solve the financial future of Social Security and Medicare by investing in putting our people back to work, so they can pay into these programs. Nothing is more important to the future solvency of the country.
Filings from the Department of Labor reveal that the American Federation of Teachers has disbursed $428,284 to Weingarten. Her gross salary is $342,552, but benefits and other disbursements raise that number to almost half a million dollars. She also earned a six-figure salary when she was president of Local 2 in 2009, during which she received $202,319. Neither of these sums, by the way, include her expenses.
*Click to Enlarge
When The Examiner called the AFT to ask whether Weingarten was planning on taking a paycut to demonstrate her belief in shared sacrifice, the spokesman said no. “No, absolutely not. She works 24/7 on behalf of union members and the people we serve. Making sure that people get a great education in public schools in America. She works to the bottom of her soul. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
I joked that, well, there is a price tag on that, and it’s apparently $428,284, but got no response.
The spokesman also asked whether The Examiner was equally critical of Goldman Sachs “who has received taxpayer dollars” (we have been), though it’s a bit odd that a spokesman for a teachers union that lobbies to funnel more taxpayer dollars toward its members would be so critical of Goldman Sachs for taking taxpayer dollars.
The lesson from the teachers union is clear: Shared sacrifice for thee and not for me.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/11/teachers-union-boss-takes-428k-demands-shared-sacrifice#ixzz19v9L6V70
Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Unions | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on December 28, 2010
Top Ten Charts of 2010
Posted December 27th, 2010
As 2010 draws to a close, The Foundry will be posting a series of Top Ten lists highlighting some of The Heritage Foundation’s most influential work. The Top Ten Heritage Charts are below, sorted by pageviews with the 10th most popular chart on top, and the most popular chart at the bottom. Turns out the most popular chart of 2010 is the same as the 2009 (with updated info) most popular chart. If we left out your favorite, let us know in the comments.
10. Recent Spending Hikes Are Not Limited to Temporary Emergencies
9. Federal Revenues by Source
8. Federal Government Revenues Have More Than Tripled Since 1965
7. Entitlements Will Consume All Tax Revenues by 2052
6. Taxes per Household Have Risen Dramatically
5. Obama’s Budget Would Create Unprecedented Deficits
4. National Debt Set to Skyrocket
3. Federal Spending Is Growing Faster Than Federal Revenue
2. Federal Spending per Household Is Skyrocketing
1. The Top 10 Percent of Income Earners Paid 71 Percent of Federal Income Tax
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on December 21, 2010
Does it get more straight forward than this folks?
Did you see the link behind him sustainability.asu.edu – go HERE to find out just what that means.
Van Jones was appointed to work in the White House. He is a self proclaimed revolutionary communist. The founder of STORM, a group which advocated revolutionary communism. Jones was “resigned” when Glenn Beck started reading what this man writes and playing his speeches on his show. White House communications director Anita Dunn was “resigned” after she told a group of people that the philosopher she turns to most is Mao. Mao is the greatest mass murderer in the last 100 years and was a founder of the Chinese Communist Party. We know what the economic goals of communists are. This also is another example which demonstrates that government does not regulate for our benefit. They regulate to pick winners and losers to empower and enrich themselves.
Posted in 2012, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Corporatism, Economics 101, Energy & Taxes, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on December 20, 2010
UPDATE – The Treasury just released new numbers. This is truly staggering. What do we have to show for all this madness?
CNS News reported:
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”
Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.
So much for that promise.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner:
Press coverage of the budget frenzy on Capitol Hill has suggested that pork-barrel earmark spending is still a bipartisan problem, that after months of self-righteous rhetoric about fiscal discipline, Republicans and Democrats remain equal-opportunity earmarkers.It’s not true. A new analysis by a group of federal-spending watchdogs shows a striking imbalance between the parties when it comes to earmark requests. Democrats remain raging spenders, while Republicans have made enormous strides in cleaning up their act. In the Senate, the GOP made only one-third as many earmark requests as Democrats for 2011, and in the House, Republicans have nearly given up earmarking altogether — while Democrats roll on.
The watchdog groups — Taxpayers for Common Sense, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers Against Earmarks — counted total earmark requests in the 2011 budget. Those requests were made by lawmakers earlier this year, but Democratic leaders, afraid that their party’s spending priorities might cost them at the polls, decided not to pass a budget before the Nov. 2 elections. This week, they distilled those earmark requests — threw some out, combined others — into the omnibus bill that was under consideration in the Senate until Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled it Thursday night. While that bill was loaded with spending, looking back at the original earmark requests tells us a lot about the spending inclinations of both parties.
In the 2011 House budget, the groups found that House Democrats requested 18,189 earmarks, which would cost the taxpayers a total of $51.7 billion, while House Republicans requested just 241 earmarks, for a total of $1 billion.
Where did those GOP earmark requests come from? Just four Republican lawmakers: South Carolina Rep. Henry Brown, who did not run for re-election this year; Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, who lost his bid for re-election; maverick Texas Rep. Ron Paul; and spending king Rep. Don Young of Alaska. The other Republican members of the House — 174 of them — requested a total of zero earmarks.
Talk to Republicans, and they’ll say it would be nice if there were no earmark requests at all, but party leaders can’t control everybody. “Brown’s retiring, Cao’s defeated, Paul is Paul and Young is Young,” one GOP aide shrugs. Still, the bottom line is that the House GOP’s nearly perfect renunciation of earmarks is striking. “For a voluntary moratorium, it was impressive that there were only four scofflaws,” says Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The Senate is a different story. But even though some Republicans are still seeking earmarks, Democrats are by far the bigger spenders. The watchdog groups found that Democrats requested 15,133 earmarks for 2011, for a total of $54.9 billion, while Republicans requested 5,352 earmarks, for a total of $22 billion.
If you look at the top 10 Senate earmarkers as measured by the total dollar value of earmarks requested, there are seven Democrats and three Republicans. (The leader of the pack is Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who requested $4.4 billion in earmarks.) The three Republicans are Sens. Roger Wicker, Sam Brownback and Thad Cochran. One of them, Brownback, is leaving the Senate, while the other two are from Mississippi, which is apparently earmark heaven.
IUSB Vision Editor Commentary:
Isn’t it interesting that the only time you hear about “deficits” from the Democrats and the elite media is when they want to raise tyour taxes? Then the Democrats drop a 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill in the hopper near the end of a lame duck session and what do we hear? The ….chirp….chirp….chirp… of crickets in the silence.
As the Deficit Commission has rightly pointed out tax rates need to be lowered for most individuals and businesses because the higher the rate the less the compliance, the higher the rate the more wealth goes overseas, the higher the rate the fewer will take risk, the higher the rate the less small businesses can hire. The simple truth is that the wealthy and upper middle class can take money and park it in a tax free growth account and leave it there. They have the option of not moving their money thus it cannot be taxed. It is for these reasons it is economic growth that generates real revenue, not high tax rates.
You heard the rhetoric all over the elite media and from the Democrat leadership, “If we don’t raise taxes on the “rich” the government will lose half a trillion dollars a year in revenue”. That entire narrative is a canard for the following reasons.
There are very few wage earners who make $250,000 a year.
The way the tax code is set up the majority of people who pay the top marginal tax rate and not individuals at all, but are Sub-S small businesses with 5 – 200 employees.
The half a trillion dollar number is generated from a series of formula’s that make up what is known as the “static Keynesian model”. These models not only are not accurate, but usually are not even clos,e as they do not account for changes in behavior that result from people changing the rules. For example: the government taxes every cheese burger 100 dollars. Since America consumes a billion cheese burgers a year the government estimates that the tax revenue will be $100 billion dollars.
Of course this leaves out the obvious, who would buy a cheeseburger of the government taxed each one $100? So along comes a Republican who proposes to lower the tax to $50 per cheese burger; along comes the media and the Democrats to cry that the tax cuts are costing the government $50 billion a year! Quite dishonest isn’t it?
Lowering tax rates resulted in increased revenue under Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton (second term tax cuts), and Bush II.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Economics 101, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 4 Comments »
Posted by iusbvision on December 20, 2010
Congress wouldn’t pass it. The government sued for the authority to regulate the internet and lost. So of course the Obama Administration has decided to do it anyway.
The regulations passed are not onerous but that isn’t the point. By declaring the internet to be phone lines the FCC has made a massive power grab of which this is only the first step. This is one of the important messages of this election; the American people have had enough of government officials who simply refuse to recognize any limits on their power.
Wall Street Journal:
Tomorrow morning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will mark the winter solstice by taking an unprecedented step to expand government’s reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a recent court ruling.
How did the FCC get here?
For years, proponents of so-called “net neutrality” have been calling for strong regulation of broadband “on-ramps” to the Internet, like those provided by your local cable or phone companies. Rules are needed, the argument goes, to ensure that the Internet remains open and free, and to discourage broadband providers from thwarting consumer demand. That sounds good if you say it fast.
Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net-neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.
Analysts and broadband companies of all sizes have told the FCC that new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices. Others maintain that the new rules will kill jobs. By moving forward with Internet rules anyway, the FCC is not living up to its promise of being “data driven” in its pursuit of mandates—i.e., listening to the needs of the market.
It wasn’t long ago that bipartisan and international consensus centered on insulating the Internet from regulation. This policy was a bright hallmark of the Clinton administration, which oversaw the Internet’s privatization. Over time, however, the call for more Internet regulation became imbedded into a 2008 presidential campaign promise by then-Sen. Barack Obama. So here we are.
Last year, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski started to fulfill this promise by proposing rules using a legal theory from an earlier commission decision (from which I had dissented in 2008) that was under court review. So confident were they in their case, FCC lawyers told the federal court of appeals in Washington, D.C., that their theory gave the agency the authority to regulate broadband rates, even though Congress has never given the FCC the power to regulate the Internet. FCC leaders seemed caught off guard by the extent of the court’s April 6 rebuke of the commission’s regulatory overreach.
In May, the FCC leadership floated the idea of deeming complex and dynamic Internet services equivalent to old-fashioned monopoly phone services, thereby triggering price-and-terms regulations that originated in the 1880s. The announcement produced what has become a rare event in Washington: A large, bipartisan majority of Congress agreeing on something. More than 300 members of Congress, including 86 Democrats, contacted the FCC to implore it to stop pursuing Internet regulation and to defer to Capitol Hill.
Facing a powerful congressional backlash, the FCC temporarily changed tack and convened negotiations over the summer with a select group of industry representatives and proponents of Internet regulation. Curiously, the commission abruptly dissolved the talks after Google and Verizon, former Internet-policy rivals, announced their own side agreement for a legislative blueprint. Yes, the effort to reach consensus was derailed by . . . consensus.
After a long August silence, it appeared that the FCC would defer to Congress after all. Agency officials began working with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman on a draft bill codifying network management rules. No Republican members endorsed the measure. Later, proponents abandoned the congressional effort to regulate the Net.
Still feeling quixotic pressure to fight an imaginary problem, the FCC leadership this fall pushed a small group of hand-picked industry players toward a “choice” between a bad option (broad regulation already struck down in April by the D.C. federal appeals court) or a worse option (phone monopoly-style regulation). Experiencing more coercion than consensus or compromise, a smaller industry group on Dec. 1 gave qualified support for the bad option. The FCC’s action will spark a billable-hours bonanza as lawyers litigate the meaning of “reasonable” network management for years to come. How’s that for regulatory certainty?
To date, the FCC hasn’t ruled out increasing its power further by using the phone monopoly laws, directly or indirectly regulating rates someday, or expanding its reach deeper into mobile broadband services. The most expansive regulatory regimes frequently started out modest and innocuous before incrementally growing into heavy-handed behemoths.
On this winter solstice, we will witness jaw-dropping interventionist chutzpah as the FCC bypasses branches of our government in the dogged pursuit of needless and harmful regulation. The darkest day of the year may end up marking the beginning of a long winter’s night for Internet freedom.
Mr. McDowell is a Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 2 Comments »
Posted by iusbvision on December 12, 2010
This is the third poll to say this. The first two were the Medicus Poll and the IBD Poll.
When we said nearly half of U.S. doctors might close their practices or retire early rather than live under the Democrats’ health overhaul, we were heavily criticized. The critics, though, were wrong.
Four in nine doctors responding to an IBD/TIPP poll sent out in August 2009 said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passed what has become known as ObamaCare. That means as many as 360,000 physicians have plans to be doing something other than treating the growing number of patients in this country.
The doctors also told us — 67% to 22%, with 11% not responding — that they expected fewer students to apply for medical school in the future if the plan became law.
Given these views, it’s no surprise that 71% were doubtful that the government would be able to cover the 47 million uninsured Americans with better care at lower costs, which ObamaCare supporters have promised.
Other findings from our poll of 1,376 doctors included: six in 10 agreeing that the Democrats’ plan would strip drug companies of the incentives they need to make lifesaving pharmaceuticals, and 65% believing that a government overhaul would lead to lower-quality care for seniors.
The critics said our poll was not credible, was “shabby” and “garbage.” They accused IBD of being partisan, pursuing an agenda, trying to sway gullible readers with shameless journalism.
Useful rhetoric for keeping the left stirred up, but it was nothing more than an attempt to poison findings the critics didn’t like.
Now a Merritt Hawkins survey of 2,379 doctors for the Physicians Foundation completed in August has vindicated our poll. It found that 40% of doctors said they would “retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care” over the next three years as the overhaul is phased in.
Of those who said they planned to retire, 28% are 55 or younger and nearly half (49%) are 60 or younger.
A larger portion (74%) said they plan to make “one or more significant changes in their practices in the next one to three years, a time when many provisions of health reform will be phased in.”
In addition to retirement, and finding nonclinical jobs elsewhere, those changes include working part time, closing practices to new patients, employment at a hospital, cutting back on the number of patients and switching to a cash or concierge practice.
A deeper look at the results reveals eight in 10 believe ObamaCare “will erode the viability of the private practice model” while six in 10 are convinced they will be compelled to “close or significantly restrict” their practices to at least one category of patient.
Over half (56%) said they believe the government takeover will affect the quality of care they are able to provide their patients and 86% said doctors weren’t “adequately represented to policymakers and the public during the run-up to passage of health reform.”
It’s significant that the Physicians Foundation survey was taken from the membership of the American Medical Association.
After initially indicating opposition to ObamaCare, that group supported the legislation. For that reason, Dr. Marc Siegel said Tuesday on Fox News that he would be “more worried about non-AMA members and what they have to say.”
We think that we already covered that concern with our 2009 poll.
Doctors simply don’t like what the Democrats have force-fed them. A large segment of the healing profession says it’s willing to close its doors rather than endure the problems that will be created by the overhaul.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the sort of outcome that’s expected when lawmakers leave common sense behind and work far outside their moral and constitutional authority.
Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Health Law, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Journalism Is Dead, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | Leave a Comment »
Posted by iusbvision on December 6, 2010
Via Reason Magazine –
The folks at e21 point out a new study by Daniel J. Wilson of the San Francisco Fed on the effects of the stimulus :
Wilson’s study makes an important contribution to this debate by focusing on state-by-state comparisons. A large portion of stimulus funding at the state level was based on criteria that were entirely independent of the economic situation that states faced. For example, the number of existing highway miles was used to calculate additional transportation spending.
The study uses this resulting variation in state-level stimulus funding to determine what impact ARRA funding had on employment — including both the direct impact of workers hired to complete planned projects, as well as any broader spillover effects resulting from greater government spending. Administration economists have repeatedly emphasized the importance of this indirect employment growth in driving economic recovery.
The results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker. Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome, it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.
Next time that Democrats tell you that ObamaCare will make the cost of health care cheaper, in spite of adding millions of people to government programs, because of “inherent efficiencies” in the government bureaucratic system, remember this.
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