Friday, August 31, 2012

There's that math again - Here's Social Security trustee Charles Blahous at E21 with "Is it becoming too late to fix Social Security finances?"  "Social Security’s future, at least in the form it has existed dating back to FDR, is now greatly imperiled."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cars go 'clunk' - Zero Hedge: "More bad news imminent: August US auto production set to plunge by most in 16 months."
Back to these familiar walls

Paul Ryan: "College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life."

You made a mistake, dude.

Extra - Legal Insurrection: "Faded poster."
There goes the Flint vote - Mediaite: "Michael Moore: Start practicing the words 'President Romney'."  Heh-heh, now we can start the voucherization of America.  Bwa-ha-ha!
Barack Obama, mindreader

At every campaign stop, Obama's been lying about the $6,400 that seniors would allegedly have to pay if they opted for the old version of Ryan's reform bill.  But Obama realized that, eventually, the truth would catch up with him.  Not from the mainstream media, mind you, but it would come up in the debates.  So he's slightly modified his approach to the lie:
I do not think it is a good idea to set up Medicare as a voucher system in which seniors are spending up to $6,000 more out of pocket. That was the original proposal Congressman Ryan put forward. And there is still a strong impulse I think among some Republicans for that kind of approach.
They're evil, I tells ya!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paul Ryan, whippersnapper - The man from Wisconsin gave a great speech tonight.  However, I can't forget the words of my college roommate who noted that Ryan is the first Presidential or Vice Presidential candidate who is younger than me.

Now I feel old.
Oh, we're still talking about how Obama cut the work requirement in welfare?

So let's keep talking about how Obama is gutting the work requirement for welfare!
From a purely political perspective, the waivers were a spectacular screw-up.  Essentially, Obama may have lost his presidency to make a few antipoverty bureaucrats at HHS happy.
The MSM keep protecting their snowflake by claiming the waivers to let states bypass the work requirement in the welfare law are not what the Romney campaign claims.  Well, what were they?  After all, nobody questioned the 16-year-old law until Obama found some unique sidestep around the law.

It looks like to believe that Obama didn't cut work requirements, you have to believe he'll make welfare recipients work even harder.  It's quite a leap of faith:
Now, as we all know, it's usually the case that when executive agencies claim legally dubious new powers they only use them to do good things, especially when they promise not to abuse their new authority. But still I have to ask: Why claim authority to waive the work requirements if not to undermine them? HHS insists that the whole point is to strengthen the law’s promotion of work, and points to a requirement that any waiver must be tied to a plan to increase the number of people moving to work by at least 20 percent. But of course the easiest way to do that is just to enroll far more people in the program. And as Clinton pointed out in his 2006 op-ed, the biggest success of welfare reform was reducing the rolls. The Obama administration may not have actually gutted welfare reform. But it has put a big, sharp machete up to its belly.
I, for one, welcome our President's authority to fundamentally ignore current about five months.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Building the "We Built It" theme - Commentary: "Why "We Built It" is so effective"  "The president was only speaking from his heart when he gave his memorable critique of individualism. It wasn’t really a gaffe because it was just Obama discussing his core philosophy about society."
First and Main

NPR has been running a series of "man on the street" interviews with voters across the nation.  Last week, a restaurant owner in Wisconsin pretty much said she won't be hiring: "Wisconsin business owner relates to Romney's resume"
When it comes to the federal health care law passed under Obama, Wendt says she's not sure how it will affect her yet, since it hasn't been fully implemented.
"But, well, it won't be good," she says. "It'll cost more. Supposedly with a small business, if you have over 50 employees, then you need to do something — it'll affect those. I don't have 50 yet, I have 46, but you know what, I won't get 50. You know what I mean? If it means I'm going to have to pay. And a lot of small businesses just won't hire anybody else."
What a heartless woman.  Meanwhile, the Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight have rolled out a new ad with an "independent" businesswoman from Massachusetts whose catering gig grew to a $3 million business under Romney's business-crushing years as governor.
The future we choose

As we rapidly close in on a national debt of $16,000,000,000,000, Zero Hedge reminds us of the current trajectory of borrowing:
But wait. You aint's seen nothing yet. At this rate of growth, total US debt will surpass: 
$17 trillion on June 10, 2013;
$18 trillion on March 23, 2014;
$19 trillion on January 3, 2015; and
$20 trillion on October 16, 2015
And on, and on, and on...
Don't worry: Obama's plan to raise taxes on 2% of the population will bring our $1.2 trillion yearly deficits crashing down to...$1.15 trillion.  Forward!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The back-burner is getting crowded

From Opinion Journal: "Cheesecake Factory Medicine":
So get a load of Mr. Orszag's Tinker Bell alternative, which he called the "most important institutional change" after ObamaCare passed in 2010: the Independent Payment Advisory Board composed of 15 philosopher kings who will rule over U.S. health care.
Who are these Orszag 15? Well, nobody knows. The board was supposed to be up and running by the end of September, but the White House is avoiding naming names for Senate confirmation until after the election. No one knows, either, what this group of geniuses will propose, but that too is part of the grand Orszag plan.
Of course, Obama doesn't want America to know that he's appointing a board to slash Medicare so...he doesn't.  Add this to the "fiscal cliff," the Sequestration Transparency Act, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the next fight over the debt ceiling, entitlement reform, meeting with the Jobs Council, and selling off the government's stake in General Motors to the list of "things that can wait" until after the election.

It's called leadership, people.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Every word he says on Medicare is a lie including "and" and "the" - Obama spent his weekly address talking about Medicare and as Grace-Marie Turner details, nearly everything he said was false.

Extra - Yuval Levin: "They'll just lie."  "In other words, the ad pretends Obamacare does not exist, ignores the reality of the Romney Medicare proposal, and presents a series of flatly untrue claims in its place."  I'm sure the famously objective scribes at the New York Times will be pointing this out any day now.

More - NY Times executive editor/zombie Jill Abramson replies: "Brains........I mean 'sweeping conclusions.""

All-American hero - Fox News: "Astronaut Neil Armstrong dies at 82."  There's only one first.
Leaving it for the kids - Mark Steyn: "War on women? The real war is on children."  "We can't do anything about exploding rates of childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease, but, if you define "health care" as forcing a Catholic institution to buy $8 contraception for the scions of wealth and privilege, we're right on top of it. And above all, we're doing it for the children, if by "doing it" you mean leaving them with a transgenerational bill unknown to human history – or engaging in what Boston University's Larry Kotlikoff, speaking at the International Institute of Public Finance in Dresden last week, called "child fiscal abuse.""

The national debt is expected to hit the $16 trillion mark right before the Democratic National Convention, if not sooner.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Friday!

Let's ease up on the math tests:

He means Elizabeth Warren - Legal Insurrection: "Scott Brown surges ahead of Martha Coakley."  One poll was interesting but two polls may be a trend.

I don't know how the whole Cherokee issue is affecting perceptions of Warren but, as a citizen of the Commonwealth, she is running the most vacuous TV ads, full of eye-rolling platitudes like "Washington is sending billions to oil companies!"  Really?  Do they wire it or are we talking about suitcases stuffed with cash?  This past week, Warren's ham-handed attempt to tie Brown to the Akin controversy almost certainly turned away more voters.  This is a shrill and flailing campaign.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Climate (small) change - Watts Up With That?: "Antarctic peninsula was 1.3 degrees Celsius warmer than today 11,000 years ago."  So it's a cooling trend.
General Motors rejects your reality and substitutes its own

Here's a story via The Truth About Cars: an ad about the Chevy Volt has been banned in the United Kingdom because it's just making stuff up: "GM's alternate reality: UK calls Volt/Ampera ad misleading, bans it"
You can see this ad. Television viewers in the UK can’t.  The Chevrolet Volt  is sold in the UK as the Vauxhall Ampera, and its ad has been banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority. It says the ad is misleading. The ad claims a 360-mile range. GM is a serial offender when it comes to alternate realities, and this ad is the latest installment.
Of course this is coming from the company that is claiming "Detroit is back!" as it slowly slides back into bankruptcy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When your only answer is more government, every problem looks like a nail

Hit & Run: "Big Government ratchet turns another click"
What’s more, federal health care costs will consume a larger and larger share of the federal budget—and crowd out all other government functions in the process. If current trends continue, then by 2025 just four budget categories—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and interest on the debt—will gobble up every last federal dollar.
This, naturally, has alarmed many progressives. But don’t worry—as always, they have a plan.
According to The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus, “23 responsible Democrats—some of the left’s leading thinkers in the health-care field—have just come up with a set of answers.” And like a boozer who tries to drink himself sober, their answer is...wait for it...more government.
Easy peasy - free lunch for everyone.

Obama stole $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.  It's true.
4 for 4 - USA Today: "CBO projects $1.1 trillion deficit for this fiscal year."

Don't worry America: Obama extended the freeze on federal pay raises so we're on the way.
"This video is private"?  How very odd

I like this freak-out by Greg Sargent: "Obama to media: Romney's whole campaign is based on lies."  Because when he means "whole campaign" he really means only Romney's "work-for-welfare" spots and by "lies" he means things that are entirely true.

But then, a long time ago, there was some dude who took credit for moving people from welfare to work:
And never forget the dignity that comes from work.
We never shall, mysterious stranger!  Can we see your 2008 political ad?  Oh, it's private.  Now.
Harvard economists stirring up trouble again

Robert Samuelson: "Why Ryan might be right"
Overlooked in the furor surrounding Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal -- a plan, it should be recalled, that wouldn't start until 2023 and even then would affect only new beneficiaries -- is a just-published study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggesting that, well, Ryan might be right. The study finds that a voucher-type system might noticeably reduce costs compared to "traditional" fee-for-service Medicare. Three Harvard economists did the study, including one prominent supporter of President Obama's health care overhaul.
The study compared the costs of traditional Medicare with Medicare Advantage, a voucher-like program that now enrolls about 25 percent of beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage has cost less for identical coverage. From 2006 to 2009, the gap averaged 11 percent between traditional Medicare and voucher plans that, under the proposal by Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would serve as a price "benchmark."
Also worth noting: Ryan's plan would be voluntary.  If you choose to stay in the sinking ship of Medicare then, by all means, stick around until the IPAB makes the cuts for you.

Free choice in health care...the nerve!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A made-up number for a fake President - Wall Street Journal: "The $6,400 myth": "One of President Obama's regular attacks on Paul Ryan's Medicare reform is that it would force seniors to pay $6,400 a year more for health care. But merely because he keeps repeating this doesn't mean it's in the same area code of accurate."

In other news, Obama suck-up Jonathan Cohn informs us that the latest "distortion" from the Romney-Ryan ticket is that 15% of hospitals will become unprofitable under the Obamacare-Medicare raid.  What follows is the most ineffectual refutation of that "lie" I've ever seen:
An independent analysis of the Affordable Care Act suggested that some hospitals might not be able to adapt these reductions—and that, as a result, 15 percent would become unprofitable. If that happens, they might stop seeing as many Medicare patients, forcing seniors to wait longer for care. Or Congress might decide to ease up on the cuts, cause the law's total cost to rise.
The analysis comes from Richard Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary. He is smart and honest, so you should take what he says seriously. But plenty of smart and honest analysts take a different view.
And we prefer those analysts on the Obama campaign payroll, so you can stuff it Richard Foster.  It's not an exaggeration to say that Cohn all but advocates the bankruptcy of these greedy hospitals:
To be clear, Foster could be right that hospitals will struggle. But would 15 percent of hospitals losing money be a disaster? In most industries, it wouldn’t be.
You see, the Medicare raid to pay for Obamacare is a form of "tough love" to compel those hospitals to pare back unnecessary procedures that drive up costs.  The exact same compulsion for hospitals to reduce costs by applying market forces is "cutthroat competition."  Free choice = bad.  An unelected board slashing reimbursement rates to hit spending targets = good.

It's all about good intentions.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

All over but the shouting - I've been writing forever that entitlement spending will dwarf the entire federal budget and all the petty problems we squabble about on a daily basis.  Adding mightily to the argument is this long and well-sourced post over at Zero Hedge: "America's demographic cliff: the real issue in the coming, and all future Presidential elections."  Bottom line: the pressures of entitlement spending are growing exponentially at the very time we're already borrowing 32 cents on every dollar of spending.

Hat tip: Doug Ross.
Uncle Choo-choo is cuckoo - Hot Air: "Boston Globe: Biden's "chains" remark sign of tiresome double standard for Democrats."

Yet this will be the first and last note of outrage from the national media which just dismisses our demented Veep as "Crazy Joe."  A heartbeat away.

Friday, August 17, 2012


The fiscal cliff - The Weekly Standard discusses spending, taxes and entitlements and says "reform or bankruptcy: pick one."

Related - WashPost: "New rules expose bigger funding gaps for public pensions."  Governor Pat Quinn is trying to reform public pensions in Illinois - that went over as you might expect.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Biden promises inaction and Social Security's bankruptcy - This editorial from the WashPost takes the vice-president to task for making promises that arithmetic can't keep: "Mr. Biden's Social Security promise falls flat."
"Da scheppert nix" - Near the end of the Forbes article "General Motors is headed for bankruptcy again" there's a fascinating anecdote from The Truth About Cars about how the CEO of Volkswagen was rattled by a non-rattling steering column on a Hyundai.  More than anything, the Volkswagen chief's pique illustrates the difference between car companies gaining market share (VW) and those losing the market (GM).
God bless 'em - Obama says: "I'm with stupid."

Obama faces the hard-hitting press

In June, I predicted - in the wake of the "You didn't build that" gaffe - that Obama wouldn't have another press conference.

Well, it wasn't quite a meeting with the White House press corps, but Obama had interviews with People magazine and Entertainment Tonight.  No word on his favorite "Twilight" movie, though.

Extra - Commentary: "President's press abuse could backfire."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do you know who's "honest, straightforward and sincere?" This Paul Ryan guy - Big Journalism: "Erskine Bowles: Barack Obama scuttled the deficit commission, not Paul Ryan."  Uh-oh, somebody's in line for another Cory Booker hostage video.

We can't joke about slavery? What's this world coming to? - Powerline: "Douglas Wilder rips Biden for slavery reference."

Extra - Instapundit: "Nice to see an admission of a double standard."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh, we're talking about Medicare?  Let's talk about the Obamacare heist

Hey, Grandma!  Did you know that Obamacare is siphoning away $716 billion from Medicare?  Oh that might have escaped your notice.

What's more this three-quarter trillion dollar fund shift is going to be orchestrated by an unelected rationing committee called IPAB:
While Obama has shown appallingly little seriousness in dealing with our runaway deficit spending or the runaway entitlement spending that drives it, he does have his own plan to reduce Medicare costs. It relies upon the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a creation of Obamacare.
The IPAB is a board of 15 unelected and largely unaccountable bureaucrats who would be empowered to cut payments to Medicare providers. In Ryan’s own words, “Obamacare … puts a new rationing board in charge of Medicare next year to start price-controlling Medicare to deny access to current seniors.” 
What does the chief accountant at Medicare say about this?
Under Obamacare and the IPAB — according to the Medicare chief actuary — Medicare providers would be paid less than Medicaid providers by the end of this decade.  Good luck getting in to see medical professionals when they wouldn’t even get paid as much to see you as they’d get paid for seeing Medicaid patients.
By all means let's keep talking about the one thing Obama never mentions on the campaign trail.

Extra - The Corner: "Obamacare changed everything."

More - The WashPost agrees: "Romney's right: Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.  Here's how."  The key takeaway is that they argue that Medicare benefits won't be cut, just reimbursement rates to hospitals who "agreed" to this as part of the Obamacare package to get more customers.  (Do hospitals have a unifying body to make these decisions?)  But blithely saying "the hospitals will pay" does not change the simple fact that medical access will wither if doctors aren't paid.

Once again, Medicare's chief actuary doesn't buy it either:
Even more important, however, is that Medicare's own fiscal overseer doesn't think that the projections are likely to prove accurate. In the actuary's note at the end of the report, Richard Foster, the program's chief actuary, warns that "the financial projections shown in this report for Medicare do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range (as a result of the unsustainable reductions in physician payment rates) or the long range (because of the strong likelihood that the statutory reductions in price updates for most categories of Medicare provider services will not be viable)."
You can keep believing "somebody else" will pay but there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Ridin' this rocketship to Recovery-ville! - Zero Hedge: "Small business optimism hits 9-month low."  Meh.

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's sitting in the do-nothing Senate - Gateway Pundit: "Obama slams Paul Ryan for not passing farm bill he passed two weeks ago."  Let's be fair: should a President know the status of a farm bill before visiting Iowa?  That sounds like homework.
The facts on Ryan's Medicare proposal

American Enterprise: "Three things every voter needs to know about Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan"
1. No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.
2. Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. “Premium support”—that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals—is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will.
3. Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals. Is this “gutting Medicare” and “ending Medicare as we know it”? In reality, it’s the market giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.
The trustees of the Medicare program have said that the Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2024.  There was a time when a certain White House resident recognized this problem but now it's the silly season and it's all "Mediscare" all the time.

Extra - Hot Air: "Lifelike talking-points robot doesn't like being reminded that Ryan's Medicare plan won't affect seniors."  "Job one for Democrats: Lie your ass off in the interest of convincing seniors that Romney and Ryan are prepared to reduce Medicare benefits for everyone, regardless of age, instead of exempting people aged 55 and over as Ryan has promised."  On a side note: isn't Wasserman-Schultz a pistol?  She absolutely will not be pushed off her talking points.  Priorities USA?  I think they're John Birchers or something.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Say anything - George Will: "Obama’s desperate flailing about to justify four more years has sunk into such unhinged smarminess that Romney may have concluded: There is nothing Obama won’t say about me, because he has nothing to say for himself, so I will chose a running mate whose seriousness about large problems and ideas underscores what the president has become — silly and small."
In North Carolina - Legal Insurrection has an on-the-scene report: "Lines around the block at Romney-Ryan rally in High Point, NC."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What liberal media? - Newsbusters: "Media first ROFL spin on Ryan: too inexperienced to be President?"

Doug Ross: "As opposed to President Training Wheels, the All-Cook-County Community Organizer?"
Five fundraisers in one day - White House Dossier: "Obama to empty Chicago of money."  Wouldn't it be cool if he worked as hard on, say, producing a budget as he does on fundraising?

Friday, August 10, 2012

USS Wisconsin - The rumors are running hot that Wisconsin rep Paul Ryan will be Mitt Romney's choice for Vice President.  As a longtime fan of fiscal sanity, I would love to see Ryan on the ticket.
Those darn oil companies

Forbes: "ExxonMobil pays $3 in taxes for every $1 in profit."  Meanwhile, here in Massachusetts, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is continuing her "Empty Platitudes" tour with a new ad claiming that Washington is "sending" billions to the oil companies.  And by "sending billions" to the dreaded oil companies, Warren means that they're allowed to take the same tax deductions afforded to every business in America:
Technically speaking, the government allows tax deductions for oil companies, and most (but not all) of those are similar to the provisions that allow other businesses to write off the costs of doing business — only they’re specific to the oil-industry operations in this case.
One can certainly debate whether deductions are subsidies, but the president suggested rather clearly that the government is literally giving taxpayer money to oil companies. That’s not true, because the uncollected funds never counted as government revenue in the first place.
I beg to differ: when you have a President that says "you didn't build that" it's obvious that he's already counted your revenue as government property.
Damn, these Americans are stupid - Maggie's Farm: "The kind of thinking which drives me nuts."  Me too.
It's not really eliminating welfare-work requirements because some Republican governors asked for it

Mickey Kaus responds to the point and counterpoint on Obama's new "waivers" for work requirements made law in Clinton's welfare reform bill:
I had some serious doubts about Mitt Romney’s ad attacking Obama’s welfare “waivers”–until I read the New York Times editorial denouncing it. Now I know Romney’s ad isn’t as accurate as I’d thought. It’s much more accurate.
Specifically, he hoists the NY Times on their own editorial petard by noting that giving states the option to allow welfare recipients to be "exempted from the work requirements for six months" (could be longer) is exactly what Romney is claiming in his ads.

Of course the media is circling the wagons around their precious snowflake and the counter-argument of choice is that Republican governors are asking for flexibility with the work requirement, therefore (?) it's not really dropping the work requirement - which it is.  A better question might be: why alter a law that was bipartisan, worked fine, and was uncontroversial for two decades?  Oh, right, the election.

Extra - From Ace of Spades.
Let's vault into a hot meme - I know I'm hopelessly behind the cool kids on this one, but I thought it was hilarious: "McKayla is not impressed."

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The pursuit of happiness* (maximum: $5 million)

The latest brilliant idea in class warfare?  A maximum income.  You can make up to $5 million dollars but then everything above that is taxed at 99%.

[phone rings]
"Mr. Spielberg?  It's the studio.  Great news!  They've green-lighted "Jaws 5: The Revenge of Bruce."
"I don't know, Jennifer, my accountant says that I'm already up to $4.3 million for the fiscal year and I'm still pulling in merchandising cash from Tintin."
"But Mr. Spielberg, a movie would give jobs to hundreds of Hollywood phonies from actors to writers to set builders."
"Well, OK, but we need to find a lead who's under the limit.  [snaps fingers] Get me Tom Arnold!"

And scene.

Extra - Vodkapundit: "An idea whose time has come."

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

X the text - Kids today know they're not supposed to use their cellphones and they stopped buying cars.  The Truth About Cars: "Generation Why: Industry blames 4G Generation for 2 million missing car sales."
The "fairness" issue again

Hot Air: "Do the rich pay their fair share?"  Um, yeah.
In 2009, the top 20% of earners brought in an income about 10 times that of the bottom 20% of earners. However, they paid about 221 times as much in taxes.
The top one percent of earners made about 50 times as much money as the bottom quintile in 2009, but paid about 1,500 times as much in taxes
We already have a progressive tax system but it's never enough to feed the beast.  This is the ongoing infantilization of America where it's all candy and no consequences.  Somewhere along the journey we decided to make "somebody else" pay for everything because, hey, we can vote that way.

Flashback from Hit & Run: "Top 1% pay 37% of income taxes."

Monday, August 06, 2012

Non-Cherokee Elizabeth Warren lies about policies too

Living in Massachusetts, I'm not accustomed to the barrage of political ads that must come with living in Ohio or Florida.  But the Scott Brown-Elizabeth Warren race for the Senate is a hot one and the spots have been coming in a relentless stream.  Brown seems to be running on personality and bipartisanship; many of his recent ads feature Democrats like former Boston mayor Ray Flynn talking up Brown's ability to play well with others.

Warren, on the other hand, is playing what I call the "Candy for Everyone!" strategy: it's great stuff for all, paid by somebody else.  Her latest ad deplores the fact that China is spending 9% of GDP on infrastructure while, darn it, we're only spending 2.4% and "we can do better."  Hit & Run adds it up:
U.S. gross domestic product is about $15 trillion a year. Increasing infrastructure “investment” to the 9% Chinese level that Warren cites would mean an additional $1 trillion a year in government spending. That’s an immense spending increase. To put it in context, the entire federal government spent about $3.6 trillion in 2011, on revenues of about $2.3 trillion.
How will Elizabeth Warren pay for this extra trillion dollars in spending?  Well - heaven help me - I went to her web site and it's all gonna be covered by a "small" tax hike on the rich.  Just for context, repealing the Bush tax cuts on higher-income Americans is projected to raise $80 billion/year.  We are heading into the fifth straight year of a trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits, Medicare is going broke, Social Security will be underwater in twenty years, and the costs for Obamacare haven't kicked in yet.  There is no mathematical way that Warren can pay for all her goodies when we're already borrowing $4 billion every day.

But we can't say that, can we?  Instead, Uncle Moneybags is going to pave us a new road.  Hooray!
Paying for the Boomers - Robert Samuelson on today's kids who will not escape higher taxes and diminished benefits in the future: "Generation Squeezed."
Stick to the script

Back in June, I predicted that Obama wouldn't have another press conference.

Nice Deb: "No media grousing as Obama goes seven weeks without taking a question from the White House press corps."  Yeah, stay tuned.  I'm sure the media will start confronting their precious snowflake any day now.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Happy anniversary America - Zero Hedge: "On the one-year anniversary of the US downgrade": "As of July 31, 2012 - with two months left to go in fiscal 2012 - US Treasury funded debt was already up by $US 1.14 TRILLION over the year to date. But there is something here that very few commentators have wasted any ink on. A year ago, the budget “deal” concocted between Mr Obama and his Congress was ballyhooing a “plan” to cut $US 1.2 TRILLION off annual budget deficits over a DECADE. Now, the projection for the 2012 budget is that the US government will add that amount to the funded debt of the US Treasury over ONE YEAR. This would be hilariously funny if it wasn’t so tragic."  Emphasis in original.
The Ponzi scheme emerges - Business Week: "Is Social Security still a good deal for workers?"  Nope: "People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. It's a historic shift that will only get worse for future retirees, according to an analysis by The Associated Press."  As I've said before: the retirement program so good, they had to make it mandatory.
Seasonal adjustments - WashPost: "Wait, the U.S. economy actually lost 1.2 million jobs in July?"  Shhhhh...don't disturb the narrative.

By the way, if you're wondering about the quality of the jobs that were "added" to the economy last month, Zero Hedge has the top line: "Full-time jobs -228,000.  Part-time jobs +32,000."
Ironic - I was browsing through Amazon this morning and in my "recommended" section there were a bunch of survival-type books such as "Living Off the Grid" but they were only offered in Kindle edition.  Heh.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Tough time for the kids - PJ Media: "Millenials' jobless rate: 12.7%."
The pathway to even bigger budget deficits - In "The President's rosy scenario", Professor Greg Mankiw takes note that the Administration is estimating economic growth way out of line with the majority consensus of economists.  It's like depending on a big raise at work and spending the anticipated money now: "Of course, the Administration's optimistic forecast feeds directly into its budget projection.  If we get the slower growth that private forecasters predict, we will get less tax revenue and larger budget deficits than the Administration projects."

Friday, August 03, 2012

I heard Harry Reid is a pederast but I don't believe it - However, I would like to know how he amassed a net worth of over $10 million.  Also, I heard from some guy that all his charitable contributions go to the Communist Party and the Church of Scientology, but he won't release his tax returns so I'm forced to assume the worst.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Thumpa thumpa thumpa vocoder repeat

I consider myself to be quite the music aficionado so this surprises me not a bit: "Modern music really does sound the same."
The scepticism about modern music shared by many middle-aged fans has been vindicated by a study of half a century's worth of pop music, which found that today's hits really do all sound the same.
It's weird, but I used to love to go to Newbury Comics and browse through the rows of music to fill my collection.  Now I order oddball CDs from Amazon such as Fountains of Wayne and "Bachelor Pad Royale" lounge music.  You can have Rihanna, give me Julie London.

Nice work if you can leave it - Via Hit & Run: the former police chief at now-bankrupt Stockton, CA worked for eight months and retired at age 52 with a $204,000 pension.
The Blameshifter-in-Chief knows whose fault it will be if he doesn't get re-elected

It's yours!  NY Times: "Obama supporters barraged with pleas for cash"
“My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that’s not up to me — it’s up to you,” Mr. Obama said to his supporters in an e-mail late last week.
Accompanying the e-mail was a link to donate in exchange for a chance to attend his “birthday get-together” in August.
The Obama campaign has been blasting out birthday reminders with the regularity and intensity usually reserved for eight-year-olds.

Extra - Hot Air: "NYT notices Obama campaign's increasing desperation for contributions."