Friday, February 27, 2009

Utah's Stimulus Breakdown

Utah, a state with a population of 2,643,330 (according to the 2007 census estimate), will receive $1.5 billion in economic stimulus money (and another $1 billion in so-called tax breaks).
Utah's public schools will get nearly $390 million and special education programs will get $105 million.

Utah Medicaid will get an extra $278 million and the Utah Department of Transportation, which already has a list of projects for the funds, will get $213 million for upgrades to roads and bridges.

Among other programs slated to get funds is the state's food stamp program for $89 million; $30 million for energy programs and $1.1 million to the attorney general's office to fight Internet crime.
The plan is that Utah will get 32,000 new jobs. According to the White House, Utah will use this money for the following:

-- Providing a making work pay tax cut of up to $1,000 for 890,000 workers and their families.
-- Making 24,000 families eligible for a new American Opportunity Tax Credit.
-- Offering an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to 74,000 workers in Utah who have lost their jobs in this recession, and providing extended unemployment benefits to an additional 14,000 laid-off workers.
-- Providing funding sufficient to modernize at least 43 schools.
-- Doubling renewable energy generating capacity over three years
-- Computerizing every American’s health record in five years.
-- Roads, bridges and mass transit systems projects.

The what's-in-it-for-Utah details of the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 can be found in the release by the Senate Democratic Party Committee.

Utah gets $567 for each resident; or $946 if you factor in the tax reductions evenly across all residents.

Stating it differently, its $49k for each new job; or $78k if you add in the tax cuts (to make it safe.)

The tax cuts will give the average bloke $8-10 per week. Will this be enough to affect the spending behavior for the average person? Will they go to a movie or dine out had they not had the extra money? Maybe; but probably not because they are not going to feel any richer.

Utah is getting the least amount of stimulus money per person per state, including the least amount of money per student ($344) -- 52nd place. Serves us right -- darn conservatives, Republicans, and child-producing Mormons. No shock to me since four of our five federal reps -- two Senators and three Reps (all Mormons BTW) -- voted against the package (the one voting for it was Democrat Jim Matheson (unfortunately, my rep).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Federal Budget ...Un-Freakin Believable

The numbers are staggering. Bailouts. Enormous Keynesian spending. Print-as-much-money-as-possible monetary policy.

Obama's first budget has a $1.75 trillion deficit for the 2009 fiscal year. That is equal to 12.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product -- the largest share since 1945 when the country ran a shortfall of 21.5 percent of GDP.

The projected 2010 US federal government budget is $3.552 trillion; found on page 114 of the "New Era of Responsibility" budget.

So how much will President Barack Obama's budget cost us? With a current US population of 304,059,724. Dividing the $3.552 trillion by the population, that gives us close to $11,833 per person in America. But not everyone pays taxes.

The number of US taxpayers is 138,893,908, those who filed tax returns in 2007. So each taxpayer is on the hook, in essence, for $25,573.

We also have to look forward to something like $989 billion in new taxes over the next decade, starting in 2011 -- mainly the evil rich people and corporations.

Un-freakin believable.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama: Pay Attention to What I Say, Not What I Do

Obama and many of those that love him are lured into his delivery, his eloquence, his charm. Many fail to look past his face value and explore the details of his rhetoric. What do we take from his speech last night to Congress in light of what he included in his "stimulus" spending bill?
I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are sceptical of whether this plan will work. I understand that scepticism. Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.

That is why I have asked Vice-President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort - because nobody messes with Joe. I have told each member of my cabinet as well as mayors and governors across the country that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend. I have appointed a proven and aggressive inspector-general to ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud. And we have created a new website called recovery.gov so that every American can find out how and where their money is being spent.
The $700 billion "stimulus" spending package is loaded with pork, items that have absolutely nothing to do with stimulating the economy.

With Obama (and his cronies), it is "do as I say, not as I do." Because what he does (what they do) is full of hypocrisy, graft and deceit. A new era; with hope and change? Not quite.

Biden...A Priceless Idiot

Who should be more embarrassed: Joe Biden for being Joe Biden? Barack Obama for selecting Biden as his VP? Or the people of Delaware for electing him to the Senate multiple times?

Perhaps it is hearing Biden will be put in charge to ensure the distribution of the economic recovery money is not just swift, but also efficient and effective.
"The fact that I'm asking my vice president to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and future to get this right," Obama said.
In response to a women's question about how the economic recovery program can help her failing business, the streetwise and brilliant Biden replied: it can help build a bridge over the river so people can get to your business and your costs will be lower due to smart electric metering.

Biden's just a idiot. The quote book on him after the campaign and four years in office will be priceless.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Temporary Bank Nationalization?

My good friend Matt from his Noise In My Head blog makes some great points about temporary bank nationalization.
Amazingly, even Alan Greenspan now supports this position, saying that “it may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring.” Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, says that it’s “amazing how compelling the logic of temporary nationalization is.”
By nature, I have little trust in anything our government officials say, namely politicians, when it comes to big things like bank nationalization, auto company nationalization, etc.

Certainly, the government has its role and there are things it and only it can do. But where they cross the line is perhaps where we have the biggest disagreements.

Government is "good" at military, law enforcement, infrastructure, the drug and food supply, even basic banking (few would argue against the FDIC).

They are "not good" at education, housing and urban development, healthcare.

With Citgroup talking with the White House about the federal government taking a 40 percent stake (10 percent short of nationalization), I wonder what this means in the long-term.

When does the government ever do something big like this and then back off later? Our government's history is that if something does not work, they will say "we did not invest enough." They will try and try again failed program after failed program, hoping to get them right eventually. Eventually never comes. Rarely will they admit it was a bad idea.

A temporary bank nationalization might be a good idea but the reality is that it appears nothing more than a cruel oxymoron.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Implictions of Governors Turning Down Stimulus Money

First, it is not really a stimulus package...it has some but its a spending package with some strange tax breaks integrated. There are certainly better ways to stimulate the economy in the short-term than this bill. Nevertheless, it passed and we have to live with it.

Second, can governors really elect not to take the money? Is it really an option?

The governors of Louisiana, Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas feel that some of the attached strings are too great.
Their states may not want to meet the conditions that accompany the money or expand programs that will have to be paid for by the state once the stimulus money runs out.

"You may get yourself out of a temporary budget hole, but create another budget hole in the next 24 months," said Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina
The key issue appears to be expand unemployment coverage and follow-on entitlements.

Are we seeing the seeds of state succession being sown? If the economy turns around in a year or so, no. But if this recession morphs into a depression and continues for years, then the possibility is a reality. People will only take thievery for so long.

The personal and corporate tax burdens are beyond anything I thought we'd ever experience. When you ad up federal, state, local, property taxes, licensing taxes, sales taxes, interest income tax, dividends, capital gains, it easily gets to over 50 percent for the middle class family. We have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the western world. Are these levels the right amounts? Are we getting a fair return? I think we are getting cheated.

I cannot get away with financial theft, why does the government get a free pass? The government has a role albeit somewhat limited IMO, but over the past 50 years, little by little for the most part, in large steps in others, they have exceeded their Constitutional obligations.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fairness Doctrine vs First Amendment

How do those in favor of the so-called fairness doctrine reconcile it with the Constitution's First Amendment which says in part that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."
The government is explicitly prohibited from playing a role in refereeing among those who speak or seek to speak. We are, after all, dealing with political speech -- which, as the Framers understood, cannot be left to the government to police.
If the federal government attempts to control the airwaves through it's FCC, which it may try without congressional or executive action.In Adam Thierer's piece Why the Fairness Doctrine is Anything But Fair, he examines three premise/reality combinations:

Faulty Premise #1: The "scarce" amount of spectrum space requires oversight by federal regulators.
Reality: Although the spectrum is limited, the number of broadcasters in America has continuously increased.

Faulty Premise #2: "Fairness" or "fair access" is best determined by FCC authorities.
Reality: FCC bureaucrats can neither determine what is "fair" nor enforce it.

Faulty Premise #3: The fairness doctrine guarantees that more opinions will be aired.
Reality: Arbitrary enforcement of the fairness doctrine will diminish vigorous debate.

New media is one of the great levelers in our modern society. If I don't like a particular TV program, I can turn the channel. If I do not like a particular radio program or host, I am not being forced to listen to it. If I don't want to read a particular periodical or newspaper, I don't have to buy it.

Only a deaf dolt would disagree with fact that mainstream media leans left. Conservative media is mainly relegated to AM radio. Even more center-oriented cable news programming like from Fox continue to trump the left-leaning cable networks like CNN and MSNBC. Few under 40 that watch ABC, NBC or CBS news, including those superficial, investigative news programs like 60 Minutes, 20/20 and Dataline.

I asked my students last night how many of them subscribe to a newspaper? None. In fact, I just canceled my last local newspaper subscription (Daily Harald) -- I just lost interest especially after they canceled our weekly supplemental paper covering just our schools and neighborhoods.

The Internet is the great leveler: for every Townhall, there's a Huffington Post. I am not forced to read what I don't want to read; there's plenty too chose from.

Any attempt to silence the airwaves is a clear violation of our first amendment. Just because liberal news media is losing to conservative does not justify suppressing legislative or FCC action. Let the free market dictate.

When it comes down to it, the fairness doctrine is nothing more than another anti-free market effort, more akin to Communist media control than not.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Happens Six Months After Homeowner Bailout?

If you are a home owner that is on the brink of foreclosure for whatever reason -- you are in a house too big and expensive for your income, you bought it with a short-term view that you would sell it a few years after buying it -- what will you do after Obama gives you a payment lifeline?

Obama is offering a $75 billion lifeline to millions of Americans on the brink of foreclosure.
The administration's $75 billion plan is designed to allow 7 million to 9 million homeowners to restructure or refinance their mortgages -- including relief for as many as 3 million to 4 million homeowners "at risk'' of foreclosure.

If your total monthly home payments (interest, principal and taxes) are greater than 31% of your monthly, pre-tax income you may qualify.

Normally it’s difficult to refinance if you owe more than 80% of what your home is worth. But under new rules you may be able to refinance up to 105% of the home’s value. Not all mortgages will be eligible. They have to be owned or insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or one of the other government-backed programs. High-value, “jumbo” loans may not meet the test.
If a person has missed his mortgage payments before this bailout, how many will continue to miss payments afterward? If GM and Chrysler can come back from more money, why can't the encumbered homeowner?

The bulk of the American people buy homes they can afford, furnish and upkeep. Convince these people why the people that spent money on extra bathrooms, game rooms entertainment rooms, wave runners, snow machines, ATVs, boats, RVs and vacation properties should be bailed out. Why is it going to be so much worse if we do not?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The "House Is Burning" Argument

I was chatting this morning with a friend of the liberal persuasion. We were discussing the new porkulus/stimulus/spending package -- the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- and the causes of the economic downturn.

One thing he said that did not sit right. He said this homeowners bailout is required because of the 'house is burning' argument. If your house is burning, you will help out. Not only because it is your neighbor, but the blight on the neighborhood will impact your home's value.

The house will be rebuilt. I am not worried about seeing a declining value due to an act of God. However, I do have a concern if he set the fire?

In the Obama homeowner bailout plan, these people set fires to their homes. Certainly the bankers have egg on their face, giving loans without proof of income. However, the people that got these sub-prime loans, interest-only loans, etc., knew they would not be able to cover their mortgages if interest rates increased or if they lost their jobs. The argument that they were forced into terms they did not understand does not hold. Ignorance is no excuse.

The Obama homeowner bailout plan is nothing more than textbook redistribution of wealth. Those that can pay will pay for those that cannot. The banks and lenders will be forced to accept the government's new terms, renegotiation not being an option for the lenders.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Unstimulating Stimulus Bill

Duke University’s Mike Munger gives an economics lesson about the Obama/Pelosi/Reid spending bill in an interview published by the Pope Center.

It supports the little understood fact that politicians must always be doing something...anything, regardless of the consequences. In this case, what they will being doing more harm than good for the country.

They will, however, succeed in making more people dependent on the federal government, while removing people's free agency.

When Barack Obama said that there was "no disagreement" that the federal government needed to act to get the economy moving, he obviously had a very limited circle of advisers. This package flies in the face of all reasonable economic sense on the erroneous grounds that the federal government needs to do something.

I wish they would cut taxes, reduce spending and get out of the business of the free enterprise.

Taliban's Free Reign in Western Pakistan

Pakistan has allowed for self-determination in the Pakistani Swat valley, making way for them locals to establish a Taliban sanctuary and suspending a faltering effort by the army to crush the insurgents.
Pakistani government officials insisted the truce with the Taliban and the switch to the Shariah, the Islamic legal code, were consistent with the Constitution and presented no threat to the integrity of the nation.

Pakistani officials have recently argued that a truce was necessary in Swat because the army was unable to fight a guerrilla insurgency and civilians were suffering in the conflict.
The sad part is that in local elections a year ago, the people of Swat voted overwhelmingly for the secular Awami National Party. The democratic losers, the Taliban, singled out elected politicians with suicide bomb attacks and chased virtually all of them from the valley resulting in hundreds of thousand fleeing the area.

"I, Pencil," The Free Market Just Works

In 1958, Leonard E. Read (1898–1983), the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote a famous essay, "I, Pencil." I cannot believe it has taken me this long to find this are read it, despite BS and MBA degrees.

It very simply discusses the genealogy of a common #2 lead pencil. The premise is that no single person on the face of the earth knows how to make it, even those at the pencil factory. But that's okay.

I stand at awe at how the free market system works. I know more than some and much less than others. But that's okay. The free market work; it just does.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents Graded

A C-SPAN survey of the last 43 US presidents yielded some interesting results.

The list of survey participants included historians and professional observers of the presidency -- at least they did not question the public at large. Few Americans could voice an educated opinion on the matter.

I take issue with the top ten. I would put Washington #1, Lincoln and Reagan in the top five, but would have had FDR and Wilson closer to the bottom ten.

Those voting were obvious liberals. Collectively Wilson and FDR are the founders of modern liberalism. They began the ramping up of the federal government and the beginning of people's dependency on government for their well-being. They did their best to remove self-reliance as the American way.

Some people will view greatness in a president as demonstrating accomplishment. I claim that if presidential accomplishments makes us more dependent on government, increases our tax burden, and discourages achievement, then that president was a failure.

Friday, February 13, 2009

$787 Billion Spending / Stimulus Passes

We'll my worst fear came true today...and I new it was going to happen. Congress gave final approval to a $787 billion economic stimulus package with a vote of 246 'for' and 183 'against,' with no Republicans in favor and seven Democrats opposed. This followed the passing of the Senate vote earlier in the week of 60 to 38, with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting 'yes.'

Our world changed in November, in large part to the pathetic Republican Party and their lousy candidate and campaign. It is tough to tell if Americans truly prefer liberalism and socialism outright or if they are just ignorant of the transition. My gut says the latter because most people, even highly intelligent people, are so far removed from politics and history. Too many vote because a candidate seems like nice a man/woman.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if and when the American people will say enough is enough? And if they finally realize it, will it be too late to do anything about it through the ballot box? Or will it require more severe means to get back to our founding roots and our God-inspired constitution?

These times are a changing; though very interesting to witness.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Obamanomics Equals Massive Government Growth

America, like many great societies throughout history, get what it deserves. It has evolved from a land of limited government, low taxes and free agency to one of large government, high taxes and burdensome policies that limit free agency.

The American people have place us in this condition. From the early days of the primaries, they voted for a wolf in sheep's clothing, allowing the MSM and ignorance to dictate our direction. Certainly there are socialists and communists in America but they are the minorities. It was not their vote that brought Obama to power, rather the ignorant that felt Obama was the change the country needed. They may wake up some day and realize what a demagogue can do to their personal lives in a way they never thought possible.

On Tuesday, the great one stated "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified." As Peter Ferrara stated in his Tuesday WSJ op-ed piece "Reaganomics vs. Obamanomics": Mr. Obama's economic policy is following not what has been proven to work but liberal ideology.

Obamanomics is pure socialism. It works at mediocrity. What has worked for America and capitalism? Reaganomics did.

-- Across-the-board reductions in tax rates to provide incentives for saving, investment, entrepreneurship and work.
-- Deregulation to remove unnecessary costs on the economy.
-- Control of government spending.
-- Tight, anti-inflation monetary policy.

Some who drink the Obama cool-aid will say "give him a chance." I hope his programs help but absolutely no doubt that the cost is something we can never repay -- financially, socially and ideologically.

Once government starts down the road of massive growth, it is very difficult to stop. Entitlements become permanent. History has proven this again an again. We still live in the shadow of the New Deal and the Great Society. Obamanomics (BHO) will trump FDR and LBJ.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Transportation Infrastructure -- Which Projects?

Yesterday, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a press release and You Told Us brochure on how important the Obama/Reid/Pelosi "stimulus" spending plan is to the country's transportation infrastructure.

It is well documented that the nation has roads, bridges, railroads, waterways/ports are in need of repair. One can even make a good case that investment in transportation system can create certain jobs associated with road construction and pay-off long term.

What the documents fail to do is address which projects we should do and which ones we should not to do. Anyone who knows politics knows the answer to this: the projects in Democrat districts, regardless of their merit, will get approved.

There will not be an open dialogue or analysis of the cost-benefit of the projects. Democrat districts will get the projects, Republican ones will not.

End result: re-election fodder for the Democrat candidate -- "look what I did for you..."

Again, not a national economic stimulus plan, rather a Democrat Party stimulus plan.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Stimulus In A New Light ... $9.7 Trillion

The simple math states that when combining the $800 billion (whatever it turns out to be) unstimulus package the care-less-about-the-nation/care-more-about-the-Democrat-Party Congress is contemplating, with the $3 trillion the Federal Reserve, Treasury and FDIC have lent or spent over the past two years, plus their pledge for up to $5.7 trillion more, will raise the government’s commitment to "solving the financial crisis" to $9.7 trillion.
This would be enough to send a $1,430 check to every man, woman and child alive in the world. It’s 13 times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office data, and is almost enough to pay off every home mortgage loan in the U.S., calculated at $10.5 trillion by the Federal Reserve.
The spending package will stimulate nothing more than liberal government programs whose main purpose is to enslave more and more Americas in the guise of government care. It will deepen the recession and drive us toward a depression as foreign investment in the US will diminish, businesses will see less motivation as taxation becomes over-burdensome, and the shackles of debt will limit our abilities to realize the American dream.

Just the Beginning...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Double Black Diamond Job Losses

A-Roid

In 2003, MLB, in their great wisdom, did an anonymous test for steroids and HGH, among others, hoped to understand if the league had a problem. 104 players tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the survey testing.

Today, we find out that one of those names was Alex Rodriguez. Four sources told Sports Illustrated that he tested positive for two anabolic steroids while a member of the Texas Rangers.

Arguably, he's the game's best player, right there with Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez.

Some say "let them do whatever." Others say "clean up the game." I am in the later category.

Players will always cheat. But cheat is the key word. They try to gain an advantage other than through open and generally acceptable nutrition and training programs.

A-Rod, along with Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, Clemens, Palmero, all have the numbers to enter into the Hall of Fame. However, because of their cheating, they are unlikely to garner enough votes to earn that privilege.

Certainly more names will come forth. Some will be be big names, others just wannabes. But it is sad commentary on the game and the sport -- my personal favorite.

The question really comes down to: will it effect the ticket gates and TV/radio viewers? This year, the economy will play a huge role but how much of this will be attributed to the doping? As more names come forth, the hit will be noticable.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Obama's Economic Advisory Board Are Internal Lobbyists

Obama's newly established economic advisory board, headed by Paul Volcker, is nothing more than giving sitting CEOs and chairs a direct ear to the president.

Obama has talked about the problem of lobbyists, yet he is integrating the practice directly into his administration. What better lobbyist than the firm's president, chair, CEO?

His board, that will remain in tact for at least two years, consist of the following:

-- Austan Goolsbee as staff director and chief economist
-- William H. Donaldson, SEC Chair, 2003-05
-- Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO
-- TIAA-CREF; Robert Wolf, chairman and CEO, UBS
-- David F. Swensen, CIO, Yale University
-- Mark T. Gallogly, founder and managing partner, Centerbridge Partners L.P.
-- Penny Pritzker, chairwoman, Pritzker Realty Group
-- Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO, GE (parent company of NBC News)
-- John Doerr, partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
-- Jim Owens, chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.
-- Monica C. Lozano, publisher & chief executive officer, La Opinion
-- Charles E. Phillips, Jr., president, Oracle
-- Anna Burger, chairwoman, Change to Win
-- Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer, AFL-CIO
-- Laura D'Andrea Tyson, dean, Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley
-- Martin Feldstein, professor of Economics, Harvard

Obama's a phony.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

From Hope to Fear Mongering

Is this the hope Obama promised: do this or else? Panic appears to have set in as he claims the failure to act on an economic recovery package could plunge the nation into a long-lasting recession that might prove irreversible.

How about doing what he and his Democratic colleagues are spinning as a stimulus package will be even worse. Something our grand children and beyond will be shackled with.

In his "The Action America Needs" op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, he says:

-- "We have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression." -- created by many of the current congressional leaders who had a huge role in getting here today.

-- "With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come." -- not the $900B plan currently on the table; this is not even wishful thinking but an outright lie.

-- "The notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive." -- tax cuts alone will not solve our problems because government spends too much. But tax cuts put money back into the hand of the investors -- the people that create jobs. Let's also not try to ramrod pie-in-the-sky green energy and socialized medicine programs into this stimulus plan. Let's fight those another day with a different set of arguments; not economic stimulus.

-- "I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change." -- okay we'll give you 53 percent; so the 47 percent have no voice? You won certainly and you'll try to do what you want; but that does not mean the 47 percent of us need to accept it without a fight.

-- "Our children still study in schools that put them at a disadvantage... Upgrading 10,000 schools with state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries and labs; by training our teachers in math and science; and by bringing the dream of a college education within reach for millions of Americans. " -- 40 plus years of Democratic education programs continue to fail; so let's do more of the same? Real stimulus.

-- "Protect health insurance for the more than 8 million Americans at risk of losing their coverage and to computerize the health-care records of every American within five years" -- Socialized medicine yet again; this has nothing to do with stimulus.

-- "Create the jobs that remake America for the 21st century by rebuilding aging roads, bridges and levees; designing a smart electrical grid; and connecting every corner of the country to the information superhighway. " -- The only real economic stimulus in the bill.

Bottom line is that government is too big. Wall Street was out of control. Goes to show that putting too much emphasis on those industries that do nothing meaningful -- finance and government instead of build and produce -- is a terrible thing. We need our bean counters and brokers but that should not be the top of the food chain. The scary thing is that government jobs are fast becoming top dog -- sure signs of Marxism where everyone is kept down and only the brass live the high life. Don't have to go to far to see this in practice.

Obama/Pelosi/Reid's bill need to fail because it has little to do with economic stimulus, everything to do with retrying failed social programs, repaying campaign contributors, and giving the federal government a tighter grip on the lives of Americans.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Obama Caps Bailed-Out Executive Pay

"If you lie with the devil, be prepared to play by his rules" or "can't have your cake and eat it to." Pick your cliche.

Today's announcement imposes $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money. Did these prima donnas think it would be otherwise?

It is obvious they either did not study or participate in a college public relations class. Perhaps they forgot. You don't take private plans to your congressional hearings. You don't give yourselves huge bonuses for your failed business models and execution.

Certainly it will impact the financial talent pool in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Some may elect to take their "skills" and move out of the country. In fact I expect it will happen, despite the political grandstanding. With the second highest corporate tax rate in the civilized world and a growing socialist government, I would expect to begin to see more and more business talent move their headquarters to more business-friendly nations.

The bailout was wrong to begin with. This earnings cap is one of the results of Obama's 'going Marxist' program. Take over the key industries, socialize the medicine. The blue print is well-known and well-demonstrated.

Did those that voted for Obama vote for the Marxist change inherit in his plans -- the plans of his party power-brokers ? I suggest that more people voted for anyone other than another Bush, and that person just happened to be a smooth talking Marxist.

Let's just say "beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Most politicians fit this mold; it just fits Obama to a tee.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Obama -- A Bad Judge of Character

The arrogance and delusion this Obama administration has. How can Obama's spokesman say with a straight face: "the bar that we set is the highest that any administration in the country has ever set?"

He goes on to say "I'd be happy to provide you with the names of the people that have already said that this administration has laid forward in executive orders the strongest ethics and accountability rules of any administration in the history of this country."

How about "did not do their homework," "the interviewees/appointees lied or withheld crucial information," "no big deal...just a little tax problem." The road once in the White House appears bumpy for one who claims to want to take the high road in a world of scum. Obama is learning that Washington and ethics are mutually exclusive.

-- Bill Richardson out as Commerce secretary.
-- Nancy Killefer, out as chief performance officer (there's a made up job we really need).
-- Tom Daschle out as Health and Human Services secretary.
-- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton would not have been confirmed if they were Republicans because of his tax problem and her husbands circle of donating friends from all over the world.
-- William Lynn, picked for No. 2 at the Defense Department, is a former lobbyist for a major defense contractor, Raytheon Co.
-- Mark Patterson, who was a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
-- William V. Corr, lobbied for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, is in line for the deputy for the health and human services secretary.

Obama's vetting process and judgment of character leave much to be desired. He's over his head; we all knew that beforehand. On the job training for the highest office in the world...not the best thing. I hope he gets it together but there is little hope because of the people he has placed around him.

Matt 23:28 comes to mind: "ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Voting In Iraq Is Great Progress

Obama has mentioned little about Iraq in his first few days. It is amazing to have such an political issue that dominated the media for years to virtually fall off the radar for the MSM.

This weekend provincial elections, the first in four years, has been pulled off with little violence. More than 14,000 candidates are competed for 440 seats in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces.

I was never in favor of invading Iraq, not because Hussein was not a despot and the world is better off without him but because of the quagmire and costs associated with foreign war. There are plenty of despots that are just as bad. But we are there and committed. And it has basically worked, although not without HUGE sacrifices of American lives.

From D&C 134:
1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.
2 We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.
3 We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.

The road to peace and democracy is still long. However, these peaceful elections show that given a chance, men are able to create a form of government that best suits their needs. Iraqis are building a new system of government in the heart of the Islamic Middle East. Free, peaceful elections are a major step toward that end.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

30 Years of Islamic Reign in Iran

I was a freshman in college in southern California when the Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi -- the Shah of Iran -- was overthrown by Islamic revolutionaries.

For 2500 years Iran operated under a constitutional monarchy. In Feb 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his fellow Islamic revolutionaries came to power. Iran is now "celebrating" 30 years of their middle-age form of government.

This period of time means a bit to me and my life. It is when I began to take an active interest in politics, especially international politics and foreign affairs. It was enhanced later in 1979 when 70 Americans were held captive in Iran for 444 days.

I attended school with Iranians. I ate with them. I saw them as any other people. But I did notice that opinions changed with respect to Iranians. They became shunned by many; opting to avoid unnecessary social interactions and certainly hiding their ethnicity.

Like most societies, most people are just like you and I. It is those in power that exercise power to their benefit and not to the benefit of the mass.
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
Iran is lead today by Chief of State, Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei (since June 1989) and Head of Government, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (since August 2005).

Time will only tell what Iran will do in the future with its nuclear aspiration and how America will respond. (War under a Democratic leadership is certainly a possibility as they will attempt to cover their current economic mistakes --spending, debts and taxes).