The Final Minority Report

Because Even Minorities Oppose Liberalism & Statism

Obama Promised to Lower Taxes, Will Raise Them Instead

Vindication of how dumb voters are and how dumber our politicians are when it comes to slogans and promises:

Only five months after Inauguration Day, the focus of Washington’s economic and domestic policy is already shifting. This reflects the emergence of much larger budget deficits than anyone expected. Indeed, federal deficits may average a stunning $1 trillion annually over the next 10 years. This worsened outlook is stirring unease on Main Street and beginning to reorder priorities for President Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. By 2010, reducing the deficit will become their primary focus.

Why has the deficit outlook changed? Two main reasons: The burst of spending in recent years and the growing likelihood of a weak economic recovery. The latter would mean considerably lower federal revenues, the compiling of more interest on our growing debt, and thus higher deficits. Yes, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors is still forecasting a traditional cyclical recovery — i.e., real growth of 3.2% next year and 4% in 2011. But the latest data suggests that we’re on a much slower path. Probably along the lines of the most recent Goldman Sachs and International Monetary Fund forecasts, whose growth rates average about 2% for 2010-2011.

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06/30/2009 Posted by | Free Market Economics, Government Debt, Liberal Business, Obama - Domestic Policy, Obama Budget, Redistribution of Wealth, socialized medicine, tax cheats, Useful Idiots | Leave a comment

How Does Obama’s Bullying of Investors Affect America?

A pithy observation:

Does Obama’s bullying of investors portend real problems for the US?
Johnathan Pearce (London) Globalization/economics • North American affairs

I have not written about the subject of the Chrysler bailout so far since, not being close to the action in the US, I did not feel I had much to say that was not already voiced by the US blogs. But it does occur to me that there is a general problem right now in the way that the US administration – and arguably the UK one as well – has been acting in respect of bailouts of certain industries, such as carmakers as well as banks. What do I mean? Well, this report (H/T: Instapundit) suggests there is real fear about the “Nixonian” tactics employed by Mr Obama’s administration against bond-holders who have been angered by the expropriation of their capital via the Chrysler bailout.

For those who have not been following this story, bond-holders have been pushed to the back of the queue, as far as potential recovery of capital is concerned, with the auto union membership getting preferential treatment. Maybe Mr Obama figures that investors can be rained on right now because it is more important to get the votes and support of traditionally Democrat-leaning car workers. With mid-term Congressional elections a couple of years away, he will have his sly, Chicago machine-politics mind working out how to garner important support in the event that the US economy is still sluggish by that time. But pissing off investors – such as, let it be noted, pension funds – is not smart. The US requires large amounts of capital for any economic recovery that may take place. Ask yourself one of the most basic questions any investor should ask: can I get my money back if I need to? If the answer is no or only maybe, and if there is the threat of governments robbing investors, then less investment occurs. The problems of such behaviour explain why, for example, Africa has been such a bad investment bet for so many years.

It is an ugly business. Part of the trouble with the automakers is that even if they had been put into a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, with the banks and bondholders put on a more even footing for any recovery of assets, there is still the issue of what to do about the enormous unfunded pension obligations that these heavy industrial companies have. It is the same with airlines and steel. I have heard it said of British Airways – to take a UK example – that is is a pension scheme that happens to have a lot of aircraft. The pension tail can wag the corporate dog. And that is a hideous issue to deal with against the background of an ageing population. So in fairness to US policymakers, running down Chrysler involves dealing with a lot of tricky contractual issues.

Even so, it strikes me that the Obama administration is showing a level of political ruthlessness and “bugger-the-investor” attitude that is hardly going to endear people towards investing in that economy. My fear is that Mr Obama is making the cynical calculation that memories will fade; after all, how many investors in the UK remember how the Blair government, in the form of the charmless Stephen Byers, the-then industry minister, shafted investors in Railtrack?

Like I said, an ugly business.

05/10/2009 Posted by | Former Obama Supporters, Free Market Economics, Government Debt, Liberal Business, Obey Obama, Redistribution of Wealth, TARP, tax cheats, Useful Idiots | Leave a comment

Obama’s Supporters Surprised He’s a Class Warrior (duh)

So…those who voted for (D) during the 2008 Presidential race were voting for a Dumbass?

Among those affected by such changes would be some of Mr Obama’s most powerful supporters in the election, such as Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, and other “Silicon Valley” executives whose profits are mostly made abroad. They were taken aback when the President blasting companies for “shirking” their responsibilities by avoiding tax.

New York Democratic congressman Joseph Crowley said closing the loophole would hurt Citigroup Inc., his New York district’s largest employer.

It has also dawned on wealthy Americans who flocked to the Obama campaign of “Hope” and “Change” that the president opposes the “trickle down” theories that have guided US economics since President Ronald Reagan was elected with a mandate to slash taxes.

He warned that by the time he was done with them, Silicon Valley and Wall Street would remain large parts of the US economy, but not “half of our economy”.

05/10/2009 Posted by | Disenfranchise Voters, Former Obama Supporters, Free Market Economics, Government Debt, Health Care, Liberal Business, Neutral Govt, Obama - Domestic Policy, Obama - Spending Bills, Obama - Stimulus Bill, Obama Budget, Obey Obama, Redistribution of Wealth, socialized medicine, tax cheats, Tax Cuts, Teleprompter, Useful Idiots | Leave a comment

The $400 Billion Disappearing Act, Via Obama and Fannie Mae

As usual, there is no such thing as accountability within the Obama Administration:

This morning, Fannie Mae (FNM) announced that it had lost another $23 billion in the quarter, and would have to call down $19 billion more in taxpayer support. It also said that it would face losses as far as the eye can see.

Do you know how much we’ve committed to backstopping Fannie and its partner-in-crime Freddie Mac (FRE)? $400 BILLION! Back in February that was doubled from the original $200 billion.

But the news of the quarterly loss is getting hardly any attention. Nothing here at the NYT business section, for example. Nothing at the blogs that were going nuts when AIG was revealed to have paid out bonuses back in March.

The problem is that the Fannie and Freddie disasters don’t fit into any conventional media narrative. At AIG you had Joe Cassano, lurking in the shadows, turning AIGFP into his own personal casino, while taking home gargantuan pay.

Fannie Mae? They help nice families get into homes. Their motto is something about helping the people who help house America. Who could be against that? Plus, the Fannie and Freddy story doesn’t help explain the idea that laissez-faire deregulation is what allowed Wall Street to go crazy. Fannie and Freddy had their own freakin’ regulator, OFHEO. Two companies with one regulator to look into both of them.

And then you have all the Democrats on the inside (Rahm Emanuel, for example) on the outside (Barney Frank), who have ties to the company’s worst years.

If AIG (AIG) ever has to ask for one more dollar to pay counterparties like Goldman Sachs (cue the ominous music!), there’ll be a fresh round of media outrage. Fannie and Freddie continue to blow through cash though, and it goes without a peep, depriving the public insight into one of the more important aspects of the housing bubble and the crisis.

05/09/2009 Posted by | Free Market Economics, Government Debt, Liberal Business, Obama - Spending Bills, Obama - Stimulus Bill, Obama Budget, Record Collections, Redistribution of Wealth, tax cheats, Useful Idiots | , , | Leave a comment

How to blow $6.5 TRILLION in 100 days – The Obama Way

FIRST, there is news that the Treasury Department REFUSES to keep tabs on how money is being spent:

It is safe to assume, however, that the investigations now in progress represent not even the tip of the iceberg. The most troubling feature of the SIG’s report is its documentation of reluctance on the part of Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department to make even modest efforts to protect the interests of the taxpayers. To take just one glaring example, Treasury has refused to require banks to account for what they do with the billions of dollars they receive in TARP money:

Treasury has indicated, however, that it will not adopt SIGTARP’s recommendation that all TARP recipients be required to do the following:

• account for the use of TARP funds
• set up internal controls to comply with such accounting
• report periodically to Treasury on the results, with appropriate sworn certifications

In light of the fact that the American taxpayer has been asked to fund this extraordinary effort to stabilize the financial system, it is not unreasonable that the public be told how those funds have been used by TARP recipients. Treasury is now conducting regular surveys of the banks’ lending activities; however, with the exception of Citigroup and Bank of America, Treasury has refused to seek further details on TARP recipients’ use of funds.

Not just failed, but “refused.” The report adds:

The American people have a right to know how their tax dollars are being used, particularly as billions of dollars are going to institutions for which banking is certainly not part of the institution’s core business and may be little more than a way to gain access to the low-cost capital provided under TARP.

SECOND, the Obama administration has proposed $6.5 TRILLION new dollars in debt OVER what we have already spent:

Barack Obama’s hundred days have not gone as badly as Napoleon’s. In money terms, however, they have been considerably more expensive. Since his inauguration on January 20, 2009, President Obama has proposed new spending programs that will add over the next 10 years $6.5-trillion (all figures U.S.) to the American national debt. That’s $6.5-trillion over and above the debt that would have been incurred had the existing policies been left alone. (Not that those existing policies were so great either.)

That’s $65-billion in new debt every single day of the first 100. Expensive.

And this figure is surely too low, because it is based on (1) almost certainly unduly optimistic assumptions about the growth of the U.S. economy over the next few years and (2) unduly optimistic assumptions about the costs of President Obama’s health-care ideas.

04/28/2009 Posted by | Free Market Economics, Government Debt, Redistribution of Wealth, TARP, tax cheats, Useful Idiots | Leave a comment

Letter to my Congressman

Congressman Lacy Clay represents my district. He’s never responded fully to a question. However, I consistently bug his office about federal government spending. The same goes to Claire McCaskill (but I do substitute the appropriate words to directly address her).
Here’s the latest question

Dear Congressman Clay,

As a long-time Missouri, and a first generation Mexican-American, I had two questions concerning the stimulus plan earlier this year and the upcoming votes on the Federal Budget.

(1) How does passage of the stimulus bill in February, which OVERTURNED Clinton’s welfare reform provisions of the mid-1990s, benefit St. Louis taxpayers?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/02/11/turning-over-the-rock.aspx

(2) How does the government’s pledge to spend more money this year (in terms of the stimulus package and the federal budget) than what the entire US GDP output was last year benefit St. Louis taxpayers?

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=armOzfkwtCA4&refer=home

PLEASE give an actual response. Your office has never returned this constituent’s questions about federal government spending.

Sincerely,
A St. Louis (and Federal) Taxpayer

04/03/2009 Posted by | Obama - Housing Bill, Obama - Spending Bills, Obama - Stimulus Bill, Obey Obama, Redistribution of Wealth, tax cheats, Useful Idiots | Leave a comment

Rangel: “Don’t Ask Questions About My Taxes”

I’m actually surprised that Rangel didn’t use the old mantra that it’s racist to question a black man. Seriously. At least he was honest about how he feels about reporters doing…ya know, actual reporting.

Our intrepid Hot Air TV special correspondent Jason Mattera is back on Capitol Hill! You’ve watched him corner smear merchants Jack Murtha and John Kerry, ask William “Cold Cash” Jefferson for bribe-freezing tips, and roam the Democrat National Convention in an orange Gitmo suit exposing far Left insanity. This time he catches tax cheat Charlie Rangel and confronts him about his mounting ethical and financial scandals.

Charlie Rangel’s message for Jason – and for all you bothersome taxpayers wondering about his shady rental property deals, publicly-subsidized Cadillac, and unpaid taxes:

“Why don’t you mind your goddamned business?”

03/10/2009 Posted by | tax cheats | | Leave a comment

Obama’s Treasury Secretary Needs Your Help

The Treasury Secretary is open to suggestions…to anyone. Including Obama.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Obama - Spending Bills, tax cheats | , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Cabinet Nominees Fail to Pay Taxes – Hope & Change?

Has someone else noticed a pattern here with Obama’s nominees to cabinet level, or the equivalent, positions?

  1. Ron Kirk (Democrat) – Mayor of Dallas, TX – Nominated to be the US Trade Representative – Fails to pay income taxes for three years.
  2. Tom Daschle (Democrat) – Former Senator of South Dakota – Nominated to be the Sec. of Health and Human Services – Fails to pay $128,000 in income taxes over two years.
  3. Nancy Killefer (Democrat) – Former Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget – Nominated to be the first chief performance officer – Fails to pay employment taxes on household maids for a year and a half.
  4. Timothy Geithner (Democrat) – Former Treasury official – Nominated to be the Treasury Secretary – Fails to pay income taxes for three years and fails to pay employment taxes on household maids for half a year.

Honorable Mention and Runner-Ups

  1. Bill Richardson (Democrat) – Governor of New Mexico – Nominated to be Commerce Secretary – Charged by a grand jury for accepting money in exchange for political favors back home.
  2. Charles Rengal (Democrat) – Representative from New York – Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee (responsible for writing the tax code) – Fails to pay $75,000 in rental income.
  3. Chriss Dodd (Democrat) – Senator from Connecticut – Chair of the Senate Banking Committee (Responsible for overseeing banks and mortgage insurance companies) – Fails to explain how he received a free cottage in Ireland after helping a felon-on-the-run get a presidential pardon from Clinton AND how he managed to get a low-interest loan from CountryWide Mortgage (a company he is suppose to be regulating and overseeing) when others could not.
  4. Jack Murtha (Democrat) – Representative from Pennslyvania – Chair of the House Defense Appropriations Committee (determines how much money is spent on national defense) – Has been accused of accepting lobbyist contributions to his campaigns in exchange for funneling defense contracts to his contributors.
  5. Rahm Emanuel (Democrat) – Representative from Chicago – Current Chief of Staff or Obama – Has been paying zero rent since moving to DC.
  6. Louis Susman (Democrat) – Banker from Chicago – Fundraised for Obama and “gave” $300,000 for the inaugural ball – Tapped to be the Amabassador to England which is a break from his promise to have nothing to do with “pay-to-play” politics.

It sounds like there just might be a corruption problem when it comes to Washington! And for those of you who want to say “but the Republican’s do it too!”, remember that

  • (a) Democrats are in charge of both the House, Senate, and the Presidency, and
  • (b) It’s a bit hypocratic to say that it is patriotic to pay taxes for programs that American may not want when it’s own political leaders aren’t even paying taxes, and
  • (c) Show me who within the GOP currently has the same amount of personal problems as the Democrats, and, on top of that,
  • (d) Congress (which is runned by Democrats) killed a bill that would have required the Ethics Committee to investigate lawmaker-lobbyist ties.

03/03/2009 Posted by | Obama - Cabinet, tax cheats | , | Leave a comment