Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Only a liberal ideologue could say this with a straight face....

$200K Per Job? Timothy Geithner Says White House Jobs Plan Is Still a Bargain


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner didn't dispute a Harvard economist's estimate that each job in the White House's jobs plan would cost $200,000, but said the pricetag is the wrong way to measure the bill's worth.
And he also pointed out, in an interview today with ABC News' David Muir, that there is no other option on the table for getting the economy moving and putting more people back to work.

As if the only other option is "doing nothing" (of course, for the first 150 years of our existence we did nothing and it all seemed to turn out ok....):

"If the alternative plan is for Washington to do nothing, that's unacceptable," Geithner said. "If the alternative plan is to sit there and say we're going to cut our way out of this by just cutting spending, that would make the economy weaker. Or we're going to sit here and just complain about regulation. ... That will not do anything to help the average family now still suffering so much from the crisis." 

But somehow the government borrowing $200,000 per job (will have to paid back through taxes of the "average U.S. family) WILL HELP the average U.S.  family....?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Really? THIS is the smartest guy in the room...? NOT!!!

New gaffe: Obama hails America's historic building of 'the Intercontinental Railroad'

"We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," Barack Obama.
That's what the president of the United States flat-out said Thursday during what was supposed to be a photo op to sell his jobs plan next to an allegedly deteriorating highway bridge.
A railroad between continents? A railroad from, say, New York City all the way across the Atlantic to France? Now, THAT would be a bridge!
It's yet another humorous gaffe by the Harvard graduate, overlooked by most media for whatever reason. Like Obama saying Abraham-Come-Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party. Or Navy corpseman. Or the Austrian language. Fifty-seven states. The president of Canada. Etc.
And of course, who could forget this intelligent look:

 Yeah, this is the guy we were all waiting for....

And the NYT wonders why readers are leaving in droves....

In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs

(yes, you read that correctly.... )

"While no evidence has emerged that political favoritism played a role in what administration officials assert were merit-based decisions..."

On the face of it, it actually sounds reasonable, until you realize what you just read in the prevous paragraph:

"The government’s backing of Solyndra, which could cost taxpayers more than a half-billion dollars, came as the politically well-connected business began an extensive lobbying campaign that appears to have blinded government officials to the company’s financial condition and the risks of the investment, according to a review of government documents and interviews with administration officials and industry analysts."
Hmmm...  Admittedly, there are two authors of the article......

"While no evidence has emerged that political favoritism played a role in what administration officials assert were merit-based decisions, Solyndra drew plenty of high-level attention. Its lobbyists corresponded frequently and met at least three times with an aide to a top White House official, Valerie B. Jarrett, to push for loans, tax breaks and other government assistance. "

Wait a minute....  I'm getting mixed signals here.  Is this a political scandal or not...

“It was alarming,” said Frank Rusco, a program director at the Government Accountability Office, which found that Energy Department preliminary loan approvals — including the one for Solyndra — were granted at times before officials had completed mandatory evaluations of the financial and engineering viability of the projects. “They can’t really evaluate the risks without following the rules.” 
The Energy Department’s senior staff has acknowledged in interviews the intense pressure from top Obama administration officials to rush stimulus spending out the door. 

Yes!  I knew it!


Damien LaVera, an Energy Department spokesman, said administration officials realized the Solyndra plan posed some certain risks. The loan program was designed to help finance cutting-edge projects that could not otherwise find enough private-sector investors.
“But we did not just take what this company was telling us,” Mr. LaVera said. “We did the analysis on our own and decided it was a good bet.”

Yeah, it was probably just an honest mistake by an over zealous bureaucrat who only wanted to give a hand up to someone in the private sector.   I'm sure it had nothing what so ever to do with the "nearly $1.8 million on Washington lobbyists" or the fact that "George B. Kaiser, a billionaire from Tulsa, Okla., was a fund-raiser for Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign and the backer of a foundation that is Solyndra’s leading investor..."

No, I specifically remember Barack Hussien Obama promising to keep lobbyists out of the White House.  Yeah, that's it.  It was an honest mistake.  A half a billion taxpayer dollar mistake.  Easy come, tax some more....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Obama Nation....

Consumers paid more for range of items in August

Consumers paid more for gas, food, rent and other items in August, raising inflation pressures

On Thursday September 15, 2011, 9:28 am

Consumers paid more for a range of goods and services last month, pushing up inflation and squeezing Americans' purchasing power. 
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in August after jumping 0.5 percent in July. The core index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent. 
The Labor Department said food prices rose 0.5 percent, the biggest increase since March. That was due to higher prices for cereals and dairy products. Energy prices increased 1.2 percent. [emphasis added]

Huh....  Food inflation?  Who'd thunk.....?

More Obama-nation....

Mortgage default warnings surged in August

Report: Mortgage default warnings spiked in August, signaling potential new foreclosure wave

On Thursday September 15, 2011

Banks have stepped up their actions against homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, setting the stage for a fresh wave of foreclosures.
The number of U.S. homes that received an initial default notice -- the first step in the foreclosure process -- jumped 33 percent in August from July, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
The increase represents a nine-month high and the biggest monthly gain in four years. The spike signals banks are starting to take swifter action against homeowners, nearly a year after processing issues led to a sharp slowdown in foreclosures.

Jobless Claims Rise Again -- 428K Weekly First-Time Benefits Requests
Published September 15, 2011 | Associated Press

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped last week to the highest level in three months. It's a sign that the job market remains depressed.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 428,000. The week included the Labor Day holiday.

How much more Obama can this country handle?

Welcome to Obama-Nation....

Butterball to shutter Longmont plant; 350 jobs to be lost

Tony Kindelspire Longmont Times-Call
Butterball will close its plant at the end of the year, leading to the loss of 350 jobs. 
Rising grain and fuel costs are the primary reason for the decision to close the Longmont plant, Nalley said.
“Corn is a primary ingredient of our feed costs, so is soybeans,” he said. “Grain represents approximately 70 percent of the costs for us to produce a live turkey, ready to be processed. Grain has essentially doubled just since 2010.”    
In fact, costs for things such as corn, soybean meal and fat have gone up an average of nearly $65 million per year for the past five years, or $325 million total, the company said.   
“We've been looking at this, actually, for the past couple years, because costs have continued to go up,” Nalley said.  
The Longmont turkey plant dates back to 1951, when it opened as Longmont Foods. Rising fuel costs were another reason cited by Nalley in the decision to close Longmont. 
This year alone the company's fuel costs — primarily diesel — will have increased $15 million to $20 million over 2010, he said.  
Read the previous post to learn why this is happening.  Again, complicated problems, simple solutions.....  

It is difficult to believe this company survived Jimmy Carter, but not Obama.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Good News....? Not!

Another record month for U.S. ethanol exports

Top destinations in July were Canada, Brazil, and European Union. Through the first seven months of 2011, the United States has exported 588.5 million gallons of ethanol, or roughly 7.5% of total output during that same period. Year-to-date exports in 2011 are already more than the combined total of 2009 and 2010 exports. The U.S. ethanol industry remains on pace to export 800-900 million gallons of ethanol for the entire 2011 calendar year.
Exports of denatured ethanol in July topped 100 million gallons for the first time ever, coming in at 104.6 million gallons. For context, this is equivalent to the annual output of a typical large ethanol facility. Canada was the top export destination in July, receiving 33.8 million gallons of denatured product. Brazil imported 16.1 million gallons, while the United Kingdom (14.0 mg), United Arab Emirates (13.6 mg), and Netherlands (12.3 mg) rounded out the top five. Together, the top five destinations accounted for 86% of July denatured ethanol exports.

This U.S. government's instance on interfering with market forces is completely screwing the typical U.S. consumer (unless you don't eat food or use energy).

1) U.S. Government mandates the use of ethanol, which diverts corn supplies away from food/feed and into ethanol production.  Unfortunately, even this fake market created by the mandate is not enough to make ethanol production profitable, so;

2) the U.S. government must subsidize the manufacturing of ethanol.  Because it is corn based it yield 1.5 units of energy for every 1 unit of energy input into producing it (when taking into account the fuel burned by the grower, the energy used to transport and the fact that ethanol is less efficiently burning than petroleum based fuel.  So;

3) the price of U.S. corn doubles, then doubles again because it is short supply.  "Why is it in short supply," you ask?  We grow a lot of corn.  True, but the price of sugar is also increasing.  "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?", you ask.  Well, as it turns out, after all the subsidies, U.S. based ethanol is cheaper (falsely, so) than sugar cane based ethanol (which, btw, yields 7-8 units of energy for every 1 unit of energy it takes to produce it).  So, we import Brazilian ethanol, while Brazil imports U.S. ethanol.  Confused?  You should be.  

4) So producers (specifically poultry producers) are losing money hand over fist.  The government's response?  Spend $40 million tax payers money to "subsidize" the poultry industry.  BTW - $40 million is less than a half day of the industry's production, so all they are doing is throwing good money after bad.

5) So, you are getting ready to ask, "Why can't farmers just grow more corn?"  Maybe because growers have land in conservation and are being paid to produce NOTHING (or maybe something besides corn). 

Net effect?  

Everyone pays more for the ethanol, the food and the taxes to support this lunacy.

Anyone else feel like screaming?

And congress wonders why they have single digit approval ratings.
The lesson?  Government ought not try to pick winners and losers through tax policy, subsidies, set-aside, et. al....

Thursday, September 08, 2011

This is what happens when adults run things....

Here are some things you won't see in the MSM:
(Note:  I could have put links on each of these, but it's too time consuming and most of these links also contain links to the other references.)

Elmbrook School District - changing health care provider, savings estimated at $878,000;

Mequon-Thiensville School District - saving $49,000 on dental insurance coverage;

Marshfield School District - saving $850,00 by dropping WEA Trust;

City of Sheboygan - Mayor Bob Ryan says collective bargaining reforms will provide  enough savings to make up for the reduction in state aid;

Wauwatosa School District - tax levy decreasing, no programs will be cut, class sizes won't increase, thanks to the reforms in collective bargaining;

Manitowoc - Laid-off city workers may get their jobs back due to the wage/benefit reforms contained in Walker's budget. Changes to overtime rules saving the county $100,000;

Kaukauna School District - hiring additional teachers, reducing class sizes, enacting a merit pay system, and due to Walker's Budget Bill, Kaukauna's operating budget has moved from a negative $400,000 to a positive $1,500,000. Much of this savings was due to being able to drop WEA Trust.

Hartland School District - switched from WEA Trust and saved $690,000;

Hudson School District - saved $832,000 on health insurance due to ability to bid the insurance.

KSTP did a study of the savings in Sheila Harsdorf's 10th Senate District. They found that Ellsworth, Prescott, Menomonie, Somerset and Hudson school districts are all reporting large savings due to the changes signed into law by Walker.

Keep in mind, WEA TRUST is a union insurance company, a company that has obviously been ripping off the school districts for years, thanks to collective bargaining that prohibited school districts from seeking insurance coverage from any company other than WEA Trust. How much tax money would we have saved if school districts had been "allowed by the unions" to bid out their insurance over the years? I'd say probably many, many, many millions statewide. It's the union money train running off the tracks, finally, and Shelly and her union don't like it.


Walker just signed an Unemployment Insurance extension adding 13 weeks of UC benefits.

Passed a state budget on time, without tax increases, that leaves WI in the black for the first time in over 10 years.

Turned a $3 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus.

Cut bonding by nearly 20%.

Cut more than 1,000 government jobs, including 735 long-term vacancies.

In the first 6 months of 2011 WI showed job growth more than twice the national rate.

Protected our votes by requiring a picture I.D. at the polls.

Became the 49th state to recognize our 2nd Amendment right to carry concealed weapons.

Paid off WI's $60 million debt to MN under the former tax reciprocity agreement.

Paid back over $200 million to the Injured Patients and Families Fund. This is money that Gov. Doyle unconstitutionally raided from the Patients' Compensation Fund.

Walker expanded the prohibition against tax money being used to subsidize abortion.