Category Archives: Economy

Gov. Sarah Palin Rocks Pensacola

A week ago, Pensacola was preparing to welcome Gov. Palin outdoors at the end of the runway at the airport. It’s a good thing they changed the venue to the Civic Center for two reasons. The original thousand tickets got swallowed up in a few hours, and, it rained. I was among the 10,000+ people who stood in line in the rain to get in the Civic Center. Afterwards, I found out that the fire Marshall had declared the event full and not everyone that came could get in.

The anticipation and enthusiasm of the crowd was as good as it gets for any rock concert I’ve been too, and I’ve been to a lot in my day. Most of them I can remember, but I digress.

The big difference was that the people in line were sober, orderly, polite, of all ages, and anxious to see Sarah Palin.

She spoke of how John McCain and she will change and shake up things in Washington and get the economy going with lower spending, lower taxes, on energy, and that we will continue to win the war instead of merely end it. She listed contrasts between the Obama campaing and what they want to do and the McCain campaign and what they want to do. She effectively laid it out as a clear choice for voters.

She didn’t let Obama slide on some of his unsavory alliances or associations as relates to his judgment and character. She reiterated the Bill Ayers saga. Today for the first time, she also referenced two of his recent economic advisers who were also heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And from their roaring response, the audience knew who she was talking about without mentioning Johnson and Raines by name.

Having been to the last VP visit prior to the 2004 election, when Vice President Cheney held an event at PJC, the difference in turnout and enthusiasm was striking. I think if they were asked who you would rather have a cup of coffee with or go hunting with, Cheney or Palin? Palin would win by a landslide. 😆

Below was the scene when Gov. Palin took the stage. Just a 60 second sample of the excitement. My position was beside the media’s camera platform where there was zero commotion during the entire event.

Germany, Europe Have Their Own Financial Issues

Countries within the European Union are reacting individually rather than collectively, in propping up their banks amid worries that a run on the banks by depositors will lead to another 1929-like rush on the banks. Fresh in their memories is what happens after severe economic troubles. Someone nasty comes to political power. In their case, it was Hitler.

Sunday’s deal came hours after Merkel and Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck announced an unlimited guarantee for all personal savings and checking accounts. The move was aimed to shore up confidence amid a spreading global financial crisis, in a country in which failing banks bring up particularly bitter memories of the 1930s Great Depression, which helped the Nazis rise to power.

In a bid to head off a run on banks, Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck assured that German account holders need not worry about losing a “single euro” in the crisis. “This is to give a signal so citizens do not run to their banks and savings and loans tomorrow to withdraw their money,” he said of the guarantee.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying Italy would revive the idea of a common bailout fund for European banks at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. Germany shot back that it remained opposed to any such pooled funding for European bank rescues like the $700 billion bailout approved last week by the United States.

What's Wrong With This 'Bailout' Bill?

This bill had a lot of bi-partisan support. It also had a significant number of bi-partisan non-support. Just not enough to defeat it. My representative, Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) voted NO on both opportunities, last Monday and yesterday, when the bill was fast-tracked to the President’s desk, who signed it into law. Miller has proven to me that he is the kind of Republican, a real conservative, that we need more of in Congress. So kudos to him. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) also voted NO on the senate version. Good for him. Then there is Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) and former head of the RNC. Martinez voted for it. No surprise there. Regarding this bill, I have two objections to it.

1) It is unconstitutional based solely on the preamble of it:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Promote the general welfare does not mean insure the general welfare, and, there is no liberty when it is usurped by the government.

2) By its actions, the bill totally socializes the financial industry of the country. Whether, like Bush says, the bill will save us from a financial crisis is besides the point. The right solution would be one that does not socialize the entire economy and still solves the problem.

That we are supposed to have confidence, that the same people that created this problem can fix it in a matter of a week, if I may quote a famous politician, ‘requires a suspension of disbelief.’ Congress, President Bush, and Secretary Paulson have behaved more like used car salesmen than statesmen. No disrespect to used car salesmen.

I don’t have a solution. I’m not that smart. But I do know that going the socialist route is not the correct route. Manipulating the market made the problem. Now, manipulating the market and putting taxpayers on the hook is supposed to fix it? I don’t think so. The answer lies somewhere in letting some companies fail and/or reorganize and/or renegotiate their currently worthless paper, and not allow mortgages to be ’securitized.’

What do you think?

EPA, Not Enough Damage To Limit Corn Ethanol

Using corn-based ethanol as a fuel alternative has not accomplished what the ‘experts’ thought it would do. What it has done so far is to drive up the price of corn-based products world-wide. You’ve seen this in the grocery store in higher prices. Corn has gone from $2 per bushel to $8 per bushel, hitting the poor people in Central and South America especially hard.  It has caused the United Nations to complain that they can no longer feed the poor that they used to, let alone expand their aid program to feed the world’s hungry. It has also depressed the cattle and poultry industries, and any industry that uses corn as food, whether for people or animals.

Texas governor Rick Perry, (R-TX) puts it this way, ‘we do not want to be forced to choose between fueling our cars and feeding our families.’  In his state, higher corn prices are . . .

devastating the livestock industry to the point that Texas cattle feeders have been operating in the red since 2007.

Even our largest agriculture companies are taking a hit. Pilgrim’s Pride and Smithfield both posted huge losses this past year. Tyson’s bonds were downgraded. And New Way Pork, Texas’s largest independent pork producer, has been driven out of business by feed costs that have risen 50% since 2004.

In an effort to stop the bleeding, Gov. Perry asked the EPA to cut the grain-based ethanol mandate in half for one year.

Last Thursday, the EPA announced it was denying my request. Why? Because the agency’s agriculture and energy economists said the mandates are not causing sufficient damage to warrant action.

The EPA didn’t say how much damage to the economy they were hoping for.  But one thing is clear. Using food products for fuel is a huge mistake.

Perry says . . .

Supporters of the ethanol mandate have their hearts in the right place if they want to diversify this nation’s fuel supply. But artificially propping up an industry to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans is bad policy. And that’s what this mandate does.There are many sources of renewable energy in addition to corn-based ethanol. It is time America took steps to develop the technology to make use of these sources.

Only a bureaucracy like the EPA can argue with that. Time has come to inject this agency with a good dose of common sense.

related links:Texas Is Fed Up With Corn EthanolUnited Nations Warns Of Food Fight | New Study Recommends Against Burning Biofuels to Solve Global Warming