Category Archives: Economy

Climate Schlimate, Paris Accord

Pulling out of the Paris Accord is best for America. The anti-capitalist anti-American community are pushing the narrative that man-made global warming is going to kill the planet, and that the United States is responsible, and should set the example by agreeing to it.

The [agreement] promises to damage the economy while surrendering American sovereignty over climate policy to yet another international, largely anti-American enterprise. Our climate policy — which incorporates health and economic policy — would be mandated by the terms of this agreement. It is a hard-and-fast agreement that targets the United States as the primary culprit and requires the United States to carry the primary burden in fixing what isn’t broken, in stopping what isn’t happening: Man-made climate change.

We are setting the example already, and don’t need to shift trillions of taxpayer dollars from our side of the planet to the other. Get back to me when the rest of the world, including China and India, can run their industrialized economies as efficiently and environmentally friendly as we do. Then tell me what the global temperature should be, and how to keep it from changing.

Democrats Squealing

The Democrats’ pushback to Trump’s budget proposal is nothing short of irresponsible and insane. They claim that the budget will actually kill people. They’ve been saying that since 1995. And since 1995, the budgets, and government itself, have done nothing but grow.

So you can see why the hysteria over a budget that comes to balance in 10 years. Something the Obama administration not only did not do, but stated that achieving a balanced budget was not even on their radar. Their plan was to grow government and expand government involvement in our lives way beyond the boundaries of the Constitution. The crown jewel to that end being Obamacare, eventually leading to single-payer.

When you compare where we were in 2007 to where we are in 2016, you can understand why Democrats are apoplectic and hysterical. Having done their best (with full cooperation from Republicans) to grow government, the notion of fiscal responsibility now comes as a shock1 they just can not accept.  After all, they’re not paying the bill. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will if something is not done now to stop it.

How have budgets grown since 2007?

Spending:  2007, $2.8 T 2016, $4 T +43%
Borrowing: 2007, $5.2 T 2016, $5.8 T +12%
National Debt: 2007, $8.95 T 2016, $19.54 T +118%

Not only has the spending and borrowing grown, but since Obama started spending in 2008, his administration managed to more than double the national debt.

This is how Obama said his budgets would grow the GDP.
2013, 6%
2014, 5.6%
2015, 5.8%

Today, Trump’s budget is projecting 3% growth in GDP, and the NYT characterizes this as “improbable economic growth.” How quickly they forget. 3%,  improbable. 6%, no problem. No, they didn’t forget. That’s just the bias of Fake News supporting their man.

Time to come back to reality. Obama’s budgets were scored by the CBO for GDP growth from 3.6% to 3.1%. But never came close, coming in around 1.5% growth in GDP.

Speaking of reality, look what the CBO has to say about unfunded mandates that already consume 56% of all federal spending. That’s up from 43% in 2006.

There is no evidence to suggest that the growth of health care costs, which have risen faster than GDP over the past four decades, is likely to slow significantly in the future. As a result, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will exert pressures on the budget that economic growth alone is unlikely to alleviate.

Just keep in mind that in 2007, people were not dying in the streets. What we are hearing now is the squealing that Jodi Ernst was talking about when describing her experience growing up on the farm.

1Just as much of a shock as Hillary losing.

Link: TRUMP’S BUDGET ASSUMES REASONABLE GDP GROWTH, LIBERALS GO BALLISTIC  |  Government Debt Chart  |  THE BUDGET AND ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: FISCAL YEARS 2007 TO 2016 

OPEC’s World Changing

Ever since the long gas lines of the 70’s and the invention of the Department of Energy under Jimmy Carter (which proved to be an exercise in futility), Americans have been held hostage to OPEC in the prices they pay for fuel.

Two headlines tell a story . . .

Finally, having the will to use the energy potential we have,  the United States can shift from being an energy buyer to an energy producer-seller. And OPEC doesn’t like the new competition.

Thanks to the Trump administration’s opening up of our own energy resources with the goal of energy independence, the global energy market has changed.

Nothing against OPEC, but it is they who have to adjust to market pressures. As for the United States? It’s America first.

Panhandle Pensacola

The City of Pensacola has been grappling with the problem of what to do about panhandlers, aka beggars, in the downtown area. The County has the same issues at intersections and on/off ramps all over the place.

The “problem” is the image portrayed in a City trying to attract residents and business when beggars are sitting and laying on the sidewalk, some with dogs. Not to mention the human problem of the situation they portray themselves to be in.

You might get the impression that there is no help for them, when there is. They just don’t choose to take advantage of it. And no one is making the case that making it easier for someone to stay on the streets is not humane, like Houston Mayor Annise Parker did in 2014. The panhandlers have made begging their livelihood, their “business.”

Always tuned in to how to get into your pockets, I don’t know how this idea has escaped the politicians?  Do what they are prone do, regulate. Regulate the Begging Industry right out of business. Like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama tried to do to the Coal Industry.

If begging is your business, you must have a Begging License, that’ll cost you. I don’t know, say $150 a year. And since the real estate for your business is the public sidewalk or right-of-way, you’ll have to pay rent to the city or county for that. How about $100 a week or $400 a month for “rent?”

See how getting off the street and seeking help is starting to look more attractive, not to mention financially rewarding?

But wait, there’s more. Small businesses have to pay 6% sales taxes to the State and 1.5% to  Escambia County every month. This requires verifiable record keeping. Failure to pay your taxes will result in shutting down the business, and possibly jail time.

All the city has to do is to think of them as small business operators and do, for government, what comes naturally. I bet the “problem” will go away. But, that will never happen. It’s easier to give in to threats of lawsuits from the Beggar’s Lobby than to take proactive steps to help get them off the sidewalk.

Link: City Council to take up panhandling, dog-friendly dining

aSide Order

Ex-FBI translator marries ISIS fighter she was ordered to investigate, court documents show

Giving new meaning to an ‘under-cover operation.’

A FBI spokesperson released this statement, “As a result of this case the FBI took several steps in a variety of areas to identify and reduce security vulnerabilities. The FBI continues to strengthen protective measures in carrying out its vital work.”

Add this to Hillary Clinton’s illegal email server, violations of the Espionage Act, DNC’s computer system hack,  and the so-called Russia-Trump campaign connection, FBI Director James Comey ought to be tendering his resignation.

This is a Trump Campaign Ad that CNN won’t run. They seem to be saying that the “fake news” shoe in the ad, fits them.

Where I come from, tax cuts leave money in the pockets of small business. They don’t put money there.

BLS ‘Secret News’

That the Bureau of Labor Statistics cooks the books in the way that they report unemployment is no surprise to those paying attention. So I’m not touting this news from last Friday’s report. What is newsworthy though, is that the media is not saying a word about it like they (and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich) did religiously, every Friday, while Barack Obama was in The White House.

Instead, they’re talking about Trump’s low poll numbers. (Everyone knows how they make and use poll numbers, and how Hillary was going to win, until she lost.) They’re hyping that, they’re hyping other irrelevant stuff like the ‘first 100 days’ and the Georgia special election for Tom Price’s Dist. 6 seat.

Not a peep about Friday’s report, that says . . .

The national unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point from February to 4.5 percent and was 0.5 point lower than in March 2016.

The U-6, the best government numbers on real unemployment, is down .6% in March 2017 from February 2017. And down a full percentage point in March 2017 to 8.9% compared to 9.9% in March 2016.

So while the media is excited to report about Trump’s so-called unfulfilled campaign promises, isn’t it weird how they miss this one?

Link: STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT — MARCH 2017  |  THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2017

The FairTax Will Fix What Ails Us

I’m afraid that the “tax reform” in the works is not going to be the game changer needed, the FairTax. The politicians are not willingly going to give up the Tax Hammer. It gives them too much power and lines their pockets with campaign cash. It is up to we the people to demand it.

Enactment of the FairTax would be the greatest transfer of power from the government back to the people since the Declaration of Independence. Instead of paying 39% of what you earn, you’ll pay 23% of what you spend, and keep all that you earn. Because your gross pay will be your “take-home” pay, the FairTax will be an economic generator and job creator for people, big and small business. All the while still generating the same amount of money to fund the government and its programs.

Just how can the FairTax be revenue neutral compared to the current income tax? Simple really, when you consider that the tax base expands from just those lucky ones who have jobs to everybody within our borders who purchases any new good or service.

With no tax returns to file, aside from eliminating the need for the IRS, the FairTax will end tax fraud like this; Three Indicted in Florida for Using Stolen IDs to File Tax Returns Claiming More Than $6.8 Million in Fraudulent Refunds.

Here’s a great presentation of the FairTax from the guy who wrote the book on it, Neal Boortz

Neal Boortz podcasts, like this one graciously lifted from yesterday, are available on ConnectPal for a paltry $4.99/month.

Effects Of Minimum Wage

There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment. The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase. An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases. The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages. Let’s look at substitution effects in general.

When the price of anything rises, people seek substitutes and measures to economize. When gasoline prices rise, people seek to economize on the usage of gas by buying smaller cars. If the price of sugar rises, people seek cheaper sugar substitutes. If prices of goods in one store rise, people search for other stores. This last example helps explain why some businessmen support higher minimum wages. If they could impose higher labor costs on their less efficient competition, it might help drive them out of business. That would enable firms that survive to charge higher prices and earn greater profits.

There’s a more insidious substitution effect of higher minimum wages. You see it by putting yourself in the place of a businessman who has to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone he hires. Say that you are hiring typists. There are some who can type 40 words per minute and others, equal in every other respect, who can type 80 words per minute. Whom would you hire? I’m guessing you’d hire the more highly skilled. Thus, one effect of the minimum wage is discrimination against the employment of lower-skilled workers. In some places, the minimum wage is $15 an hour. But if a lower-skilled worker could offer to work for, say, $8 an hour, you might hire him. In addition to discrimination against lower-skilled workers, the minimum wage denies them the chance of sharpening their skills and ultimately earning higher wages. The most effective form of training for most of us is on-the-job training.

An even more insidious substitution effect of minimum wages can be seen from a few quotations. During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist unions, which would never accept a black member, were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. In 1925, the South African Economic and Wage Commission said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would be likely to be employed.” Gert Beetge, secretary of the racist Building Workers’ Union, complained, “There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans.” “Equal pay for equal work” became the rallying slogan of the South African white labor movement. These laborers knew that if employers were forced to pay black workers the same wages as white workers, there’d be reduced incentive to hire blacks.

South Africans were not alone in their minimum wage conspiracy against blacks. After a bitter 1909 strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen in the U.S., an arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages. Union members expressed their delight, saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”
Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. During its legislative debate, its congressional supporters made such statements as, “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.” During hearings, American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Today’s stated intentions behind the support of minimum wages are nothing like yesteryear’s. However, intentions are irrelevant. In the name of decency, we must examine the effects.

The above, Minimum Wage and Discrimination, was graciously lifted from Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University.

 

Cost Of Socialism

So the revised cost of the border wall, before Trump works on getting it lower, is now $21.6 Billion. Up from $15 Billion. At this “cost,” that comes to $173 per household. Up from $120. OK fine. Where do I send my check?
 
That is far less than the $113 Billion a year we are paying now to sustain illegal aliens already here. And that translates to $904, per year per household.
 
The financial burden on education, health care, infrastructure, prisons, jobs and unemployment is not the only cost. That $113 Billion does not count the people illegals have killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted. That is the social cost you can’t put a price on.
 
Kudos to President Trump for doing what he said he would do. Enforce the law. Like he’s been doing since he was inaugurated.

You can’t blame Mexicans to want to escape their country, where the average wage is $4 per day. Venezuelans and Chinese are also flocking to enter the United States, legally.

Why is that?  Corruption isn’t the only reason Mexico is in sorry shape. It’s their quasi-socialist economic system. It doesn’t sustain, it doesn’t work. Mexico, like Venezuela, is rich in natural resources, like oil. Nothing a little capitalism can’t fix. What else can explain why the disparity on one side of the border is so great?

Mexicans are not happy with their government and the corruption in it. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s approval rating is 12%. But it’s their problem to fix.

Cost Per Household?

Who knew that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was a numbers guy? He figured out that the U.S.-Mexico border barrier that President Trump ordered this week could cost a projected $15 billion, once. That translates to $120 per household, based on the latest Census date of U.S. households.

Here is another number that Majority Leader McConnell should be concerned with. How much are illegal aliens already here costing U.S. households? That is $113 Billion. And that translates to  $904, per year per household.

But the pressure on education, health care, infrastructure, prisons, jobs and unemployment are not the only cost. That $113 Billion does not count the people illegals have killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted. All preventable crimes if the border were secure. Can Sen. McConnell put a price on that? Is Sen. McConnell suggesting that Mexico reimburse the U.S. $113 Billion per year?

Let’s see, a one-time charge of $120 or an annual charge of $904. Where do I send my check?

Granted, even after the border is as secure as possible, and the welcome mat for illegals has been pulled, that $904 number won’t go away in the short term. Once illegal immigration is no longer an issue, it will in the long term.

I know President Trump ran on Mexico paying for it. His bravado. That would be nice. But not necessary. Mexico pays for the wall that they have on their southern border. For as little as it would cost to build, just do it already.

Mexico will “pay” for it in other ways. Like by having to deal with their own unhappy people instead of shooing them here, across the border, and transporting them from their southern border to our southern border, only to send remittances back.

Remittances used to be Mexico’s second highest source of income. Second only to oil. With crude oil prices dropping, remittances are now their highest source of income.  And that amounts to $2 Billion per month leaving the U.S. economy. That’s how illegals “contribute” to our economy. Kind of like how multi-national corporations “contribute” to the economy by sheltering their assets from the onerous tax code.

The bold truth is, the U.S. is not Mexico’s welfare department. And the U.S. isn’t here to be their auxiliary country because of the corruption in their government and the drug cartels. A secure border would not only help keep Americans safer, but it might be the wake-up call Mexico needs to clean up their act.

And on that “big beautiful wall, with a great big door,” post a sign on the south side of the door.  “Para ingresar a los Estados Unidos, diríjase al consulado más cercano. Ellos están ahí para ayudarte. – For entry into the United States, please go to the nearest consulate. They are there to help you.”

Link: Trump’s wall could cost an estimated $120 per US household  |  The Bank of Mexico says money sent home by Mexicans overtaking oil revenues as a source of foreign income for the first time  |  HOW MEXICO FACILITATES ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION