by Patrice Hill at Newsmax.com
The so-called “Great Recession” has left Americans depending on the government dole like never before.
Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.
Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes.
The figures show the devastating results of the massive job losses last year and indicate that the economic recovery that began last summer is tenuous and has a long way to go before many Americans resume life as normal, analysts said.
Economic growth typically depends on consumer spending, which is fed by wages, rents, interest and other forms of income. But the tentative revival of consumer spending in the second half of last year appears to have been fed largely by an extraordinary flood of government spending, as growth in other kinds of income has disappeared.
“Governmental support was critical in keeping the economy, particularly consumer spending, from completely collapsing during the crisis,” said Harm Bandholz, an economist at Unicredit Markets. He said he is concerned that so much of the economic rebound is a result of government spending rather than a revival of private income and jobs. That situation is unsustainable, he said, because the government has had to borrow massively to prop up the economy and cannot continue that binge for long.
Here’s a little parody about Obama’s broken promises and failed policies we came up with set to the music from Poison’s “Something to believe in.”
Well I see him on the TV
Preachin’ bout the promised land
He tells me to believe what he has to say
And steals the money from my hand.
Some folks still believe him
But I can’t understand why
One long year of failed policies
And longer lines of the unemployed
Who thought they’d voted to bring jobs back
But learned he was only making noise
His stimulus bill spent all our cash
Cap & Trade made unemployment spike
Harry Reid held votes on Obamacare
Way on up into the night.
People back home, they cried out
“Stop this isn’t what we want”
He gave us chains we can believe in
Chains that bind our souls
Chains we can believe in
Chains that bind forevermore.
He promised us transparency
We’d see everything and more
But he got in the White House
And did everything behind closed doors.
He promised he’d cooperate
He’d change the way things are done
But he got off the train in DC
And continued as a partisan
He said he’d have no lobbyists
And then he brought them in
He gave us chains we can believe in
Chains that bind our souls
Chains we can believe in
Chains that bind forevermore.
Sometimes I wish we didn’t know now
The things we didn’t know then
I drive by empty homes on my street
Homes that were foreclosed on
He promised he would save them
But now the neighbors are gone.
But the CEOs on Wall Street
Got their bonuses again this year
And the poor guy who built their houses
He can’t afford to even dry his tears
And it just makes me wonder
How he chooses who loses and wins
He gave us chains we can believe in
Chains that bind our souls
Chains we can believe in
Chains that bind forevermore.
He’s taken away the high road
And now we’re only left the low
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know now
The things I didn’t then
He gave us chains we can believe in.
Telling the truth about President Obama’s administration and its policies tends to make enemies.
But the good news for us on the right is this iconic member of the liberal media may be finally shaking itself out of its hypnosis where the Obama administration is concerned, and finally looking for the truth.
Here’s the AP headline of the day:
“Ten months into President Barack Obama’s first economic stimulus plan, a surge in spending on roads and bridges has had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, an Associated Press analysis has found.
Really? Isn’t that what we tried to tell them back when Obama, Pelosi, and Reid were pushing their $787 trillion spending bill?
The AP even challenges the need for a second “stimulus” bill largely based on the same failed model as the first! It seems the news organization is no longer settling for the crumbs that fall in the wake of the omniscient oracle’s passing, because Obama is actively promoting this second round of spending.
There may yet be hope, even for the MSM!
Reuter’s headline today:
The only people who didn’t expect job losses were likely the Marxist, Socialist, oblivious-to-reality Liberal politicians, bureaucrats, and operatives in control who believe the best way to stimulate the economy is to destroy motivation and initiative by confiscating the fruits of producers’ labor and redistributing them to those who don’t produce.
“U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 85,000 jobs in December, cooling optimism on the labor market’s recovery and keeping pressure on President Barack Obama to find ways to spur job growth.”
Though the hard left will likely cling to the fact the unemployment rate held steady at 10%, the whole picture shows there’s little to be optimistic about in the job market. President Obama’s policies have led 661,000 to give up looking for work. That means they’re not even counted in the official 10% figure!
“If they were still looking for work and counted as the unemployed, the unemployment rate would have been 10.5 percent. This clearly isn’t your father’s recession. It is looking more like your great-grandfathers. Brother, can you spare a dime?”–Chris Rupkey, an economist with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
Taking the real unemployment number and combining it with the number of workers underemployed (working part-time but seeking full time employment), the bleak picture appears even more disastrous. Would be workers fitting these criteria make up 17.3% of America’s workforce, and actually rose from 17.2% last month.
During the height of the Christmas shopping season (that’s holiday shopping center to those who don’t believe freedom of religion applies to Christians), when more goods are purchased and shipped than at any other time of the year, real actually increased!
Even after all Obama’s “stimulus” programs!
Our Democrat Congress and White House quadrupled the deficit, set record budgets and national debt, and took over private corporations to save the economy and American jobs. But after nearly a year of suffering under Obamanomics, those saved and created jobs remain to be seen.
It may surprise many to discover which employment sectors are bearing the brunt of the damage inflicted by our Democrat leaders who so often proclaim they represent the “working people.” Those who believe such Leninist rhetoric might expect the “working class” to fare better than their white collar counterparts in the Obamaconomy. Given the President’s affinity for unions and their cozy involvement in setting Presidential policy these days, one might also expect sectors of the economy with a disproportionate number of union workers to fare better than less unionized sectors.
In 2005, blue collar workers were almost twice as likely to be unionized than white collar workers. But last month, the US economy added 50,000 jobs in the white collar professional and business services sector but lost a combined 80,000 jobs in the disproportionately unionized manufacturing and construction sectors.
Blue collar workers are suffering worse under Obamanomics than their white collar neighbors!
It’s been asked before, but with the release of this latest evidence of the failure of Obamanomics the time has come yet again to ask.
Where are the jobs Mr. President?
by John Allison III
After spending the summer and fall trying to cram an unwanted government takeover of the US health care system down the throats of the American people, he’s finally managed to get a bill passed in the House and its companion bill debated on the floor of the Senate. Now’s the time most would expect a final push, a strategic surge, a call on the very reserves of his energy and effort, to cross the finish line with legislation that could ultimately define his presidency.
But, instead of a network news health care infomercial starring the President, he decided to shift gears this week. Suddenly he’s stepped forward with a response to General McChrystal’s request for more troops in Afghanistan, decided to attend the climate change conference in Copenhagen, and Thursday held a “jobs summit” at the White House. Is he counting his chickens before they hatch? Does he believe he has this battle won, so he’s already tackling the next challenge? It’s just hard to imagine after he’s focused on little else for months now, that suddenly the issue no longer draws his attention.
Of course, it could be by design. All smoke and mirrors to confuse and confound.
Sort of like Nancy Pelosi’s Saturday at midnight vote to pass her vision of “reform” that places our health care decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats, or Harry Reid’s choice to hold the vote to move his bill forward on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, President Obama is now hoping to take the eye of the American taxpayer off the ball in the last seconds of the game.
His jobs summit isn’t so much about jobs, but it’s just one part of a plan designed to turn the heads of the majority of voters who oppose his vision for the health care system, distracting them long enough to let the bill squeeze through before they realize it.
Think about it…three months after McChrystal issued his request for 40,000 troops, three months of facing harsh criticism for “dithering” while American troops twisted in the wind, he comes forth with a decision that sends the health care story to the inside pages of newspapers across the country. Just one month after we heard the President wouldn’t be attending the climate conference in Copenhagen, Obama has suddenly done a 180 and decided not only to attend but to promise a 17% cut in US carbon emissions by 2020. And now the “jobs summit.”
Don’t be surprised to see the front page too crowded by all these announcements to adequately cover the health care debate over the next couple of weeks. Look for the mainstream media to fall in line and lead with these stories and others to give cover to Democratic Senators trying to tow their party line while their constituents are distracted.
Obama and his Democratic lackeys in the Senate know Americans don’t trust the government to administer the health care system, but THEY DON’T CARE! In their minds, we’re incapable of knowing what’s best for us.
They’re creating a diversion, hoping to distract us and force us to swallow their “reform.”
Don’t take your eyes off the health care debate until it’s dead!
Hat Tip: ARRA News Service
With the failure of the Democratic approach to economic “stimulus” becoming ever more apparent, it’s time to look at the current recession from a different angle. This chart shows that unemployment actually began its steep ascent soon after Democrats took control of the House and Senate in 2006!
The US unemployment rate has now reached a 26-year high of 9.7% under Obamanomics. According to Bloomberg, “The jobless rate rose to 9.7 percent; the so- called underemployment rate — which includes part-time workers who’d prefer a full-time position and people who want work but have given up looking — reached a record 16.8 percent.”
Last month the libs leaped for joy when the July unemployment rate dropped to 9.4% from the previous month’s 9.5%. They proudly proclaimed the success of Obama’s so-called “stimulus” package and the turning of the tide of recession that had been washing across the land. The mainstream media (MSM) fell all over themselves proclaiming the success of Obamanomics and the inevitable, impending period of peace, love, and happiness in the US.
Obama, his administration, and even the press seemed to forget that 9.4% was 120% of what he promised would be the peak unemployment rate if his “stimulus” was passed. And they blocked from their minds that the President had predicted a maximum unemployment rate of 9% if he wasn’t allowed to “rescue” the economy with his $787 billion payoff to left-wing special interest groups. Suddenly, 9.4% unemployment was deemed a blessing by the pens and keyboards of left-leaning journalists. Utopia was approaching, or…at least…that’s what they claimed.
Next week, President Obama will place VP Joe Biden before the microphone to propagate his lies. Biden is set to report on the number of jobs “saved or created” by the “stimulus.” The “stimulus” bill was intended to “create or save” 3.5 million jobs by the time it was finally passed. Instead, our economy has shed 3.1 million jobs since the inception of Obamanomics. Still, the VP will take the stage to lie and claim the administration saved us from inevitable destruction. The graph above gives evidence the effect of the “stimulus” was a huge waste of money accompanied by a net loss of jobs.
In fact, the only two sectors in which employment has been steadily growing since the “stimulus” was passed have been government and health care. Of course growth in government does little to actually improve the economy since the money to fund these jobs must first be taken from the economy. We can liken Obamanomics’ theory on economic growth to trying to fill a swimming pool by dipping bucketfuls of water out of one end, walking around to the other end, and dumping the buckets back in. According to liberal economic theory, the pool will miraculously become full!
So for now, there’s only one segment of the economy functioning in a healthy manner. And we all know the plans Obama has for the health care industry. If the President has his way, the entire industry will be an arm of government. Libs probably think that will certainly cure it’s disease of remaining healthy while all around it become ill. The reality is Obama now wants to put the last remaining health economic sector under the knife. Not an exploratory surgery to discover why it’s still healthy, but a surgery to “fix” it so it functions like all of its sickly siblings.
Luckily, Americans aren’t as stupid as the President thinks. More and more of those who voted for him are losing faith, standing up, and shouting this isn’t the change we wanted.
OPINION: August 24, 2009
By Congressman John Carter
There was an old country judge that had the highest criminal conviction rate in the state. When a reporter from the state capital came down investigate this judicial phenomenon, the judge explained that he simply instructed the jury to listen very carefully to what the prosecutor had to say, then make their decision. The reporter cried indignantly, “don’t you also tell them to listen to the defense?” The judge replied, “well, I used to, but it just confused ‘em.”
20 years as a Texas judge taught me a few things about listening to both sides of an argument. In most cases, both sides truly think they’re right. Then they start presenting arguments and evidence to try to prove their case. Naturally, neither side will present anything remotely supportive of their opponent, even if they know it’s true. So as a judge, you sit there and weigh the evidence presented by all with a grain of salt, knowing that either side is capable of stretching the limits of veracity and withholding relevant information if not in their favor.
That’s precisely the kind of case that all Americans are having to judge right now concerning the healthcare reform proposals being pushed by Democrats in Washington.
We hear it everyday in the press – the President says anybody who likes their current health insurance will get to keep it, while opponents say all private health insurance will be gone by 2013. Democrats in the House say their plans will control rising healthcare costs, while opponents say it will drive costs even higher. Opponents say the new system will eventually start denying care to elderly, and encourage euthanasia, while supporters say it won’t.
Who’s right? With our very lives at stake, along with 19% of our gross domestic product, being wrong could be deadly for us personally as well as our free market economy.
Let’s examine the evidence together. In looking at the both sides of this case, let’s leave out the emotion and political rhetoric, and try to look at just the facts on each major point.
To begin, we can only examine the bill passed by Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in late August, HR 3200. That will not be the final bill, if there is a final bill. The current House version would first be voted on by the entire House, where changes would be made, then reconciled with whatever the Senate passes, changed again, then brought to a final vote in both Chambers. But this Committee version is all we have in writing, so that’s what we must judge.
Can You Keep Your Current Health Plan?
The bill contains no provision that would specifically abolish any health plan. But it would require all individuals and employers to purchase health plans approved by a new federal agency starting in 4 years, or pay a heavy tax penalty. It is not enough to require a health plan be purchased – it must be a federally approved plan to avoid paying an 8% payroll penalty by employers or a 2% income tax penalty by individuals. The bill allows the new federal agency to set any requirements they like on what constitutes an “approved” plan. Whether a current individual plan could survive and be approved by this new bureaucracy is suspect, as is whether an employer will continue to offer any current plan under these circumstances.
Verdict: PROBABLY Not
Will This Help Control Health Care Costs?
This issue is one of the most clear. After extensive research, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is currently overseen by the Democrat majority, officially reported to Congress that not only would it not hold down health costs, it would push them even higher than doing nothing. The number one problem with American health care is high cost, and this bill would make it worse.
Does The Bill Encourage Denial of Care and Euthanasia for the Elderly?
There is no language specifically calling for denial of care or euthanasia. But language was added requiring Medicare to pay for “end of life counseling” that will include educating senior citizens on the option of pre-authorizing the cessation of life-sustaining care, and in states which allow physician-assisted suicide, education on that option as well. President Obama has made repeated references to avoiding costly treatments for elderly patients, and other nations that have adopted this same style health system do in fact limit medical treatments and encourage euthanasia for elderly patients. These facts, coupled with the creation of a new federal agency that will unilaterally determine what benefits are included in “approved” health plans AFTER the bill passes, is heavy evidence that the bill may encourage denial of care and euthanasia. But in this issue there is even more – a proverbial “smoking gun.” The very advocacy groups like the now-defunct Hemlock Society that have historically lobbied for legalized suicide were instrumental in adding the “end-of-life” counseling section to the legislation.
Does the Bill Use Federal Funds to Pay for Abortions?
There is nothing specific in the bill to fund abortions. However, the yet unspecified new rules for all “approved” health plans – rules that will be written by Obama Administration appointees AFTER the bill passes – could include abortion coverage. Over concerns on this issue, an amendment prohibiting abortion funding was submitted in the House, and subsequently voted down by Democrat members of the Committee. This provides substantial evidence that the new federal health plan rules could require abortion coverage by all health plans in the country, while the final decision remains unknown.
Is This the Beginning of Single-Payer Healthcare?
Like most issues concerning this bill, there is no specific provision that would mandate single-payer socialized medicine and the shutdown of private sector healthcare. But as early as 2003 then-Senator Barack Obama was advocating single-payer healthcare publicly, and has recently stated along with key House Democrats that this bill would lead eventually to single-payer healthcare, over a period of 10-20 years. All of these comments are on tape and available to the public.
Verdict: Likely Over Time
Will the Bill Increase the Federal Deficit and Federal Taxes?
No argument here from either side. The bill will cost $1.28 trillion in the first 10 years according to CBO, and raise taxes $818 billion on those who cannot afford to buy insurance, not counting surcharges on small business income.
Will the Bill Cost American Jobs?
No argument here either. The Obama Administration’s own White House Council of Economic Advisors has estimated 4.7 million Americans will lose their jobs if the bill passes, as employers who cannot afford health insurance or the 8% payroll tax penalty will have to fire their employees, move overseas, or go out of business.
There are many more issues to this bill than seven, but in my opinion the answers to just these are enough to reach a final judgment on HR 3200: NO.
HR 3200 is fatally flawed, does not provide the health reforms we truly do need in this country, and should be buried. It is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have examined since being elected to the House. It would destroy the finest quality health care system in the world, undermine the free market, throw Americans out of work, and violate the moral principles of the majority of this country in the process.
Examining all the evidence is not just important in determining action on legislation, but in writing that legislation to begin with. Like the story of the old judge who only listened to one side of a case, this bill was written without any consideration of opinions from anyone other than the liberal Democrat faithful, with a resulting faulty outcome.
We can do better. We don’t need the federal government to take over the healthcare industry, we just need some commonsense bipartisan reforms.
First, we are already in bipartisan agreement to make affordable health insurance available to folks with pre-existing health conditions who are presently barred from buying a health plan.
We can let small businesses and organizations join together to purchase group insurance at the same affordable rates as big business, allowing more small employers to offer coverage.
We can remove restrictions on buying health insurance across state lines, letting families in prohibitively high-cost states purchase affordable plans in other states.
To pass these reforms will require a simple concession from the Democrat majority. That is to agree to work with Republicans in a bipartisan effort, and listen to both sides of the case before reaching a verdict.
U.S. Rep. John Carter (TX31)
Secretary, House Republican Conference
Sometimes I think the President and his cohorts must think the words transparent and opaque are synonyms. It’s so often they practice the latter and claim the former they must be truly confused. Another case in point leapt out at me today as I perused the headlines.
We (conservatives) are making progress in our campaign to keep the government’s hands off our health care. Reuters is reporting public support for Obama’s plan for a government-run system is eroding. In April, 57% of adults polled supported the President’s reform plan. Today, less than half–49%–believe another government bureaucracy is needed to make our health care system more efficient and less costly. The number of Americans who disapprove of such a mess has risen from 29% to 44% since April.
For those of us who don’t want to see the health care system run by the same crowd who runs Social Security, Medicare, the Post Office, and the TSA’s airport security, this is great news. Support is slipping for Obama’s plan to seize control of another 1/6 of the American economy!
What’s the White House response to the faltering support? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the opposite of transparency!
An AP story released today with the too benign headline “White House Putting Off Release of Budget Update.” Buried inside one discovers this report is typically released around the middle of July. But Obama has decided to delay it’s release until the middle of next month. Why?
Let’s see, that will be after his deadline for Congress to pass his Socialized Medicine plan. After Congress leaves for its August recess.
The release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.
Unemployment is rising faster than the President predicted, the deficit is rising faster than he said it would, and the economy wasn’t stimulated by his so-called “stimulus” package. You can bet if this budget report contained good news, the White House would release it as quickly as possible to counter so much bad news. But instead, it’s being pushed back while Obama continues his propaganda campaign to create another monstrous bureaucracy to distribute health care in America. Why?
Because it’s bad news and it won’t complement his propaganda on health care reform! He’s hiding it because he knows it will impede his campaign to have the government decide which sick Americans get to go to the doctor, which surgery will benefit a patient enough to justify its cost, which patients are too old to receive life-saving treatments because some bureaucrat determines the cost-benefit ratio just isn’t there to perform costly treatments on someone who’s old enough they could die anyday from natural causes.
Obama’s idea of transparency is a blacked-out window. Write and call the White House and tell them we want to see the damned report NOW!
Feel free to copy and paste the text of my written submission to the White House or create your own:
I just read that your administration is delaying release of a budget report that is sure to include worse than your projected figures on the deficit and the state of the economy. I recognize this as a delaying tactic in your propaganda campaign to socialize the health care system of this country.
Your strategy in this case is precisely opposite of transparent. In fact it’s downright deceptive.
Release the report on time and be honest with the American people!
White House Phone Numbers
John Allison III
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