Site for Free Markets and Free People
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Vast Majority of Mainstream America Oppose GZ Mosque
Out of touch as usual.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Intel CEO Gives Us the "Bitter Truth:" Obama Destroying Economy
Credit Card Rates Surge
How much more consumer protection can credit-card customers stand?
Since the new financial regulations that disallow companies from pricing their risks appropriately, every consumer suffers.
This week the Journal reports that the average interest rate on credit-card customers surged to 14.7% in the second quarter, the highest rate since 2001. This is particularly remarkable given that other borrowers such as corporations and home buyers are enjoying historically low rates. In relative terms, the average credit-card rate is now at its highest level in more than two decades—11% above the benchmark prime rate, according to research firm Synovate.
Not only that, but because thousands of small business entrepreneurs fund their startups with credit card loans, it has almost certainly harmed the job creation as well. So the next time the Democrats talk about "consumer protection," grab your wallet because they are about to steal it.
Up next...our "protection" against rising health care premiums - expect to be pillaged...
Monday, August 23, 2010
The Obama-Pelosi Budget Explosion
The WSJ points out that since 2008, the Obama-Pelosi machine has already increased the federal budget by $4.4 trillion over the next decade (and as we all know, President Bush didn't exactly have a skimpy budget in 2008).
To appreciate the magnitude of this spending blowout, compare CBO's budget "baseline" estimate in January 2008 with the baseline it released Thursday. The baseline predicts future spending based on the law at the time. As the nearby chart shows, in a mere 31 months Congress has added more than $4.4 trillion to the 10-year spending baseline. The 2008 and 2009 numbers are actual spending, the others are estimates. As recently as 2005, total federal spending was only $2.47 trillion.
Keep that $4.4 trillion in mind the next time you hear Mr. Obama or Speaker Nancy Pelosi say they "inherited" this budget mess.
The GOP will likely re-take the House this fall and hopefully try to roll back a lot of this Democrat spending, although Obama has his veto pen handy. Still, another two years of Democrats and the U.S. will be, without a doubt, insolvent.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Obama: Don't Worry About Iran's Nuclear Reactor
That's a relief for Israel, I'm sure.
Friday, August 20, 2010
NJ Bureaucrats Should Be Criminally Prosecuted
In the summer of 2001, legislators in Trenton wanted to raise pension benefits 9% for state and local government employees. But there wasn't enough money in the pension system to fund the benefits and, only months before an election, the pols didn't want to raise taxes. So the legislature cooked the books, valuing the existing assets in the plan as of their market prices on June 30, 1999, before the dot-com bubble burst. Voilà, the two main state pension funds magically had enough cash to pay higher benefits.
...And get this: Congressman Barney Frank has been pressuring credit-rating agencies to give better grades to government issuers of securities, based on the fact that they've rarely defaulted in the past. Given the poor disclosure from states and cities, we don't know how Mr. Frank can even guess whether they will perform as well in the future.
...When Goldman Sachs settled its far more dubious recent case on similar charges to those New Jersey faced, it had to pay $550 million. But New Jersey paid nothing. The SEC is apparently loath to make taxpayers foot the bill for the sins of politicians and bureaucrats. We share that sympathy but wonder why it doesn't extend to shareholders in companies sued by the agency.
Good point. I think it's also fair to point out that if this were done by a company, its management team would be in jail right now. NJ's bureaucrats get to keep their power.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Happy Cost of Big Government Day
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Obama: Harry Reid is UnAmerican
Democrat "Stimulus Bill for Teachers" Not Being Used to Hire Teachers
Picture of the Day: Obama/Pelosi's America
Republicans Over Democrats, 48%-36%
1. Two and a half months is a long time and a lot can change
2. Just because someone calls themself a Republican, doesn't reveal what they stand for
3. Even if Republicans gain control of the house and the senate, then what? I don't know what the group, as a whole, is proposing. Yes, if Republicans win back congress, it stops Obama from sending the country down the drain, and that's a good thing. But what will happen? Will healthcare reform be repealed? Will tax cuts be extended? Will spending cuts happen? We really don't know.
4. My belief is that the worst still could be in front of us for the economy. If this happens, and republicans are in control, they will take the blame for the non-recovery.
Don't get me wrong. Obama has been and will continue to be one of the worst things ever to happen to the USA. So if Republicans win and total meltdown can be avoided, that's a good thing. But I still haven't heard much from most Republicans as to what they want to do, and will do, if they are elected. If there were a few more Chris Christies out there, I'd feel a little better but I'm not hearing anything yet. Change will be good in November but the question is how good?
Goodbye Avastin, Hello Obama Death Panels
Welcome to Obamacare, where your friendly government bureaucrats decide which medicines you should or should not have.
Obama Claimed Father Served in WWII
Kind of like saying he's cut taxes for 95% of Americans...oh, never mind.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Judge Blasts Obama's SEC in Citigroup Case
Monday, August 16, 2010
Obamas Vacation in the Gulf for 26 Hours
I don't really care where he goes with his family, but just seems like this whole event was choreographed for the public to see the man visiting the gulf.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Maxine Waters: I'm Corrupt Because of Bush...
Friday, August 13, 2010
Obama Thinks Islamic Victory Mosque A Great Idea at Ground Zero
WSJ: Get Off Obama's Back About His Golfing/Vacations
We wish Mr. Obama played more golf. Seven days a week, in fact. Imagine how much better off America would be—and how much more popular the President would be—had he taken the rising public protests against ObamaCare last summer as an opening to drop the subject and work on his handicap?
The more Mr. Obama and his White House team practice their putting strokes, the less time they'd have to pass more stimulus, overregulate more industries, or raise more taxes. The economy would recover more rapidly with less political handling.
So by all means, swing away, Mr. President. Work on that jump shot, polish your short game, practice your fly cast mending. Then watch GDP and your approval ratings rise.
10 Reasons Why Obama's Presidency is a Disaster
Why does the only serious reporting these days come from foreign papers?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Why Is OneUnited Bank Still Open?
The result of the Treasury’s investment was to transform OneUnited’s balance sheet from horrific to merely ghastly. Some numbers: at September 30, 2008 (that is, before the TARP investment but after the GSE blowup), OneUnited’s ratio of tangible common equity to total assets was minus-4.97%. At yearend (post-TARP), that ratio had ballooned to . . . minus-2.65%! It has since settled back to minus-2.95%.
Obamanomics and crony capitalism...no difference.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Gutfeld Opening Muslim Gay Bar at Ground Zero
Obama To Give $3B More to Unemployed Facing Foreclosure
OK, first of all, most foreclosures in this country have historically been because someone is unemployed. Second, if the unemployed are receiving benefits and now mortgage relief, why would they ever want to go back to work?
46% of Americans STRONGLY Disapprove of Obama
I was thinking about this when I saw the number, and I thought, wow! - he's likely to get over 50% at some stage, and then it hit me. Almost HALF THE COUNTRY STRONGLY DISAPPROVES OF OUR PRESIDENT. THAT'S A BIG NUMBER! It's not half the country that simply disapproves, it's half that STRONGLY disapprove, and that's why it's important.
George W. Bush, at his worst, had a strongly disapprove rating of 43%. And that was in November 2008, after eight long years, right after Lehman went bankrupt, and after the stock market had come 50% off it's mid-07 peak. And after being blamed repeatedly by Obama for causing the worst depression in 80 years. It doesn't get any worse than that, and GW's strong disapproval was still better than Obama's.
What does this say about Obama? I'm not sure. He brings out intense feelings in most of us - that's a nice way to put it. Another less nice way is that people simply hate what the guy is doing. And that's not good.
I've said from the beginning that Obama's toughest years will be 2011 and 2012, and I still believe that, unless he undertakes some radical damage control and starts to cut taxes and do things that go against his personal beliefs. My prediction is that he goes hunting for a third party candidate to split the opposition vote in 2012. Is there anything more scary than an Obama second term?
GE CEO Immelt Scolded Reporters for Obama Criticism
How's that for a balanced media? He should have been fired a long time ago anyway...
Saturday, August 07, 2010
Corruption at Fannie Mae?
Just in Time For Elections: "I Want Your Money"
Friday, August 06, 2010
Higher Capital Requirements Won't Impact Lending?
Financial industry analyst Tom Brown scoffs at this notion.
If you go through Elliott’s study in detail, you’ll see that that hypothetical 20-bp rate rise is accompanied by some highly iffy assumptions. Among other things, “administrative costs” are supposed to fall by 10 basis points (good luck with that), while “other benefits,” whatever those are, are supposed to improve by 10 bp. And the bank’s debt costs are supposed to fall by 20 basis points, even though (as Elliott himself notes) bank liabilities are mainly deposits that are guaranteed by the federal government and therefore are already as cheap as they’re likely to get. All of which is a long way of saying that Elliott seems to have made some unrealistic tweaks to his assumptions to arrive at his conclusion that boosting capital levels would raise borrowing costs by 20 basis points.
And of course, apart from credit becoming tighter and more expensive, foreign banks would very likely take huge market share in the U.S. because even socialist Europe knows that if they have lower capital levels than the U.S., it is good for their banks.
Private Payrolls "Lower than Expected"...Again
My guess is that Obama will add this 71,000 to his "saved or created" job pile for which he spent almost $1 trillion last year. Huge success.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
August Surprise - Massive Homeowner Bailout??
Alexis de Tocqueville famously said that "the American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
We could be in the midst of this disaster right now...
Blame Game: Tax Cheat Geithner Blames Bush...Again
Geithner again says that it was "Bush's tax cuts" that caused our deficits. Never mind that the deficit was barely 1% of GDP in 2007 and will be hovering around 10% of GDP for the second year in a row under Obama. This reasoning, of course, implies that all of the money that would have gone to the government will be back in the government coffers come January, so we should again have a surplus next year. Let's see if that happens...
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Judge Who Knocks Down Prop 8 in CA is Gay
The well known secret in this case is that the judge himself is gay.
Another Bailout For Irresponsible States?
Now, Democrats are repeating the bailout, further pushing out these tough decisions by states. Make no mistake - we will again be at this point next year...hopefully by then Pelosi, Reid and the tax-and-spend Democrats will be kicked to the curb once and for all.
Missouri: Landslide 70% Rejection of Obamacare
No, but really, they're going to like it...
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The Obamacare Flow Chart
McCain, Coburn Highlight Obama Stimulus Waste
1. Broadband Map That May be Obsolete by the Time it’s Complete ($350 million): $350 million was awarded to states from the Department of Commerce to build a map of its broadband Internet infrastructure, though it duplicates existing maps. Rather than spend $350 million on the project, one firm said it could map the whole nation for $3.5 million – one percent of the cost. Or, anyone with a computer could Google it – for free.
2. Empty Mall Gets Energy Award ($5 million): $5 million was awarded to the Oak Ridge Mall in Tennessee to provide geothermal heat – only the mall has few stores and customers.
3. Fossil Research in Argentina ($1.57 million): Researchers from Penn State will travel to Argentina to dig up plant fossils.
4. Anti-Capitalist Puppet Shows ($50,000): Puppet theatres with socialist, anti-capitalist messages were paid $50,000 to put on puppet shows.
5. Free Rides on Baltimore Water Taxi ($1.6 million): A program to offer free rides on the water taxi as a means of relieving road congestion got money despite it doing little to stop people from traveling in cars.
6. Digital Television Ad Campaign ($6 million): An ad agency was hired for $6 million one month before the switch to digital television—and reported creating three jobs with the money.
7. California Computer System ($60 million): In 2002, CA got $66 million to upgrade its computers for the unemployment insurance program. It spent the money on other things and just got another $60 million in stimulus for the same project.
8. Non-Competitive Contracts ($7.8 billion): Half of all stimulus contracts awarded as of the fall were not subject to full competition.
9. Mice, Alcohol and Drugs ($38,000): Studying the impact of alcohol and methamphetamines on mice and rats.
10. Tourist Railroad ($2 million): The Virginia & Truckee tourist railroad in Nevada will get more than $2 million for an extension.
Monday, August 02, 2010
Obama's EPA: Let's Regulate Dust
Democrat Congressman's Husband Buys Newsweek
Voters Blame Obama for the Economy
My, how things change. I have no idea which direction the economy will go, and it could very well improve for a period of time before it gets worse, but I'd expect more and more Americans to blame Obama for the poor economy as time goes on.