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Economics & Taxes Archives

Hugo Chavez died recently. He took a country rich with oil money and turned it onto a socialist paradise, complete with high inflation, shortages of food and electricity (to name just a few items), and soaring crime rates. Only in Venezuela.

Except perhaps, not only there. It just seems like President Obama, in trying to (as he said) “spread the wealth around”, he’s doing a lot of what Chavez was doing. As a result, we’ve had one of the most anemic recoveries in history. Soaking the rich to give to the poor only lasts as long as the rich stick around; it’s not a long-term solution. A job is the best social program, but that’s not been working out so well here. Instead, crippling debt from government borrowing and spending have led us to a place that is looking more and more like Chavez’s socialist “paradise”. Listen in for more details.

The Obama administration said the sequester cuts would hurt, and by golly, they’ll make sure they do. If a department tries to ease the pain, well, they’ll just have to set them straight. Just ask Charlie Brown. (Really.)

Mentioned links:

 Heart attack killed a suffering Hugo Chavez, head of Venezuela’s presidential guard says

Loved Or Loathed, Hugo Chavez Was The Ultimate Showman

Chavez death blamed on U.S.

Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised

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The sequester that went into affect March 1st has President Obama lying about who came up with it (he did), how bad the cuts are (not bad), and how evil the Republicans are for letting them happen (they aren’t).

Facebook made $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits in 2012. And by “pre-tax” I mean “no-tax”. Instead they are getting $429 million back from the government. This caused the Occupy Wall Street protesters to…yawn and go back to their iPads.

If you have pre-existing conditions, ObamaCare will help get insurance. That is until the funds run out real soon now.

Donna Brazile sung the praises of ObamaCare a year ago. This year, however, she’s puzzled as to why her health insurance premiums are going up. Cause, meet effect.

Mentioned links:

Obama pledges to veto effort to undo automatic spending cuts

Whose Sequester Is It Anyway?

Obama’s fanciful claim that Congress ‘proposed’ the sequester

Facebook Gets a Multibillion-Dollar Tax Break

Obamacare Funding Running Low For Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions

IRONY ALERT!

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In this episode, I have a one-track mind. In the President’s State of the Union address, he proposed increasing the minimum wage by about 25% to $9 an hour, as though this will somehow defeat poverty.

The fact is, according to the government’s own Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about one and a half percent of all American workers are getting the minimum wage and not living with their parents. And on average, even this group isn’t in poverty.

Further, raising the federal minimum wage raises the wages of far more people than just those at the minimum. This causes prices to rise in a way that erases much of the increased minimum.

And if labor costs more, in addition to prices going up, workers may be laid off, or businesses may slow down hiring. Is this what we want to do now? In this economy?

Make economic decisions on facts, not emotion.

Mentioned links:

SOTU PROPOSAL OPENS UP MINIMUM WAGE DEBATE

Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2011

Political Payback: Facts Behind Organized Labor’s Push to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage (PDF)

How to Think About the Minimum Wage

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The New York Times seems to have woken up from its 4-year slumber and realized that the Barack Obama is essentially pushing the same defense policies as Bush. Truly a shocker (to those who have not been paying attention.) Hey Times. Obama’s been making the same arguments he criticized for more than just last week. But I guess now that he’s been reelected, you’re free to notice it now.

In other news that the media has ignored, it was recently discovered that the Times and the Washington Post kept secret the fact that the US has a drone base in Saudi Arabia. The papers didn’t touch the story until the details had leaked out elsewhere. I compare that to how the Times dealt with secrets during the Bush administration. What a difference an administration makes!

And once again we play “Name That Quote”! This time, it’s a quote about ObamaCare(tm) that the speaker says will require more and more taxes, and even >gasp< Death Panels! No, it’s not Sarah Palin. See if you can guess who it is before I spill the beans.

Mentioned links:

Obama’s Turn in Bush’s Bind

Obama’s 262 Drone Strikes in Pakistan

The New York Times and National Security Secrets: Obama vs. Bush

U.S. NEEDS DEATH PANELS, SALES TAXES

Death Panels and Sales Taxes

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In this, the last episode for 2012, I have a special treat.

First, as the countdown to the Fiscal Cliff continues, tax increases seem to be the only way Democrats in Congress think that we can close the deficit gap. But Michael Barone points out that, no, tax increases alone will never be enough. It’s not the panacea that Democrats claim it to be. Another point is that higher tax rates don’t typically produce more tax revenue. So, what is the solution?

And the special treat is a guest contribution by Meryl Yourish. She and I contributed to the late, lamented Shire Network News podcast. She’s now a published author, but she agreed to do a special segment for my podcast. Meryl’s often noticed the many double standards that are applied to the country of Israel that don’t apply to its neighbors. That’s right; it’s Israeli Double-Standard Time!

Mentioned links:

Why tax hikes will never be enough

Federal Debt, Revenue and Expenditures as a Fraction of GDP

Video–Obama in 2009: ‘You Don’t Raise Taxes in a Recession’

October 2012 Employment Report – Not Particularly Good News

75 Percent of Obama’s Proposed Tax Hikes to Go Toward New Spending

Meryl Yourish – This Writing Life

Yourish.com

Darkness Rising: Book One of The Catmage Chronicles

Regarding the above-mentioned double standard (Yourish.com)

Bibi and the world’s double standard on Israel (Yourish.com)

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The National Health Service in the UK has something called the Liverpool Care Pathway, which is essentially a pathway to the grave. The LCP is what you might call the Death Panel Protocol. Its intent was to deal with terminally ill patients, but according to an article from the London Daily Mail, it has, like most government programs, expanded a bit, without, apparently, the knowledge of much of the public.

Jon Bon Jovi is a rock-n-roller from my era. Wasn’t much of a fan myself. However, in 2006, he started the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. According to Wikipedia, the group works with non-profit organizations and community leaders to help establish programs and partnerships that provide the basic needs of food and shelter. A couple years ago, he and his wife opened “The Soul Kitchen”, a restaurant where there were no prices on the menus, and customers who could pay were given an envelope to leave whatever amount they wanted. What if you couldn’t pay? Well, you could still eat there, but there was a condition. This is no freebie.

Mentioned links:

Now sick babies go on death pathway: Doctor’s haunting testimony reveals how children are put on end-of-life plan

Jon Bon Jovi’s charity restaurant opens in NJ

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Back with more topics than I’ve ever squeezed into 10 minutes or less, “Consider This!” is back with a new episode.

A friend of mine posted a graphic of Sen. Bernie Sanders with a  quote from him extolling the results of Social Security, with the tag, “Social Security has done exactly what it was designed to do.” Well sure, in the short term, big government social programs always look good. Think of how Social Security looked in the first 5 or 10 years. People who had paid little or nothing into it got monthly checks from the government. Wonderful.

John Hawkins at the blog Right Wing News polled conservative bloggers on who the GOP should choose at their 2016 nominee. The short answer? Marco Rubio was the clear winner. He was followed by Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan. The two who topped the list of those they least wanted to see on the ticket were Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. Then John asked, want to see something scary?

The government recently modified its determination of which states have the worst poverty rates. The new measure incorporates a controversial calculation of relative equality that demotes states that have wide gaps between wealthy people and people with less than one-third of state residents’ average income. This income gap is something that liberals have spoken out against, and believe they have an answer to. But with this new measure included, it’s interesting to see what state dropped to the rock bottom of the survey; California.

A government report released Monday warned that a sudden increase in taxes would result in lower consumer spending next year, and some analysts wondered if the concerns about what could happen might crimp spending throughout the rest of the holiday season. Um, yeah. The Obama administration is just now figuring out what conservatives have been saying, well, pretty much for a generation. In other news, the sky is indeed blue, and math still works.

What’s your take? Call me at 267-CALL-CT-0 (267-225-5280) or write me at considerthis@ctpodcasting.com. Or, since you’re already here, just comment on these show notes.

Mentioned links:

BERNIE SANDERS ON SOCIAL SECURITY

Right Wing News

Conservative Blogger Poll Results: Who Should The GOP Choose As Its Nominee in 2016?

Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select The Most & Least Desired 2008 Republican Nominee (Third Quarter Of 2007 Edition)

Polling Conservative Bloggers On The 2012 GOP Primaries

Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings

Stocks open lower on new fiscal cliff warnings

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Episode 21: The Post-2012-Election Analysis

Yes, the campaigning, the TV ads, the debates and speeches, and all the vote counting (well, except in Florida, where it’s tradition to drag that out) are now all behind us, and what do we have now? A Democratic President, a Senate controlled by Democrats and a House of Representatives controlled by Republicans. So basically, the same government we had before the election. The economy has been bouncing along anemically, millions have left the workforce, and of those remaining, a higher percentage of them are still out of work.

And votes for Obama were, explicitly or implicitly, a vote for ObamaCare, and with it the reduction of religious freedom as taking a stand for your beliefs against killing the unborn was considered less of an issue than making sure contraception would be dirt cheap for college students.

So what happened, or more to the point, didn’t happen?

It looks like the Obama campaign had the better “ground game”, as they call it. He got his base energized. Democrats were 38 percent of the electorate while Republicans were only 32 percent. I thought that the Chick-fil-A appreciation day was a harbinger of Election Day, but it was, apparently, only a measure of the evangelical support for Romney.

I won’t be a sore loser. The American people spoke, and congrats to President Obama and his supporters. It’s time to move forward. But forward to where? Listen in.

Mentioned links:

Exit Polls: Obama Gains With Latinos, Romney Gains With Evangelicals

On Second Thought…

30 Reasons Republicans Lost The Election

20 things that went right on Election Day

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This is the last episode before the election, so I’m making one final pitch.

From an economic standpoint, the choice is clear in this election; push on towards Greece, or hold on to economic freedom. Honestly, when you look at Greece, they’ve run out of money to pay for all the perks the Greek people have come to expect. There are people rioting in the streets, I suppose under the mistaken assumption that rioting puts money in the treasury.

While we’re teaching our kids to be thrifty and budget their money, we’re going to hand off to them debt in the double-digit trillions once they become taxpayers. A vote for Obama is a vote for just that bit of, frankly, immorality. And while we baby boomers are trying to collect our Social Security, they’ll be paying for that as well. Again, either we’re pushing towards Greece (the direction the Obama campaign describes as “forward”) or preserving economic freedom for our generation and future ones.

We have to cut spending. If you believe that, when it comes to revenue, the rich should pay more because they have more, then you should also understand that, when it comes to spending, those on whom we’re spending the most will have to bear their “fair share” of the cuts.

I am not calling for a ban on abortion, and, by the way, neither is Mitt Romney. However, if you think a million abortions a year is a bit on the high side, why would you vote for a party who is dedicated (according to their platform, both philosophically and financially) to making sure that abortion becomes equivalent of a civil right?

Mentioned links:

The Salvation Army disaster relief

Europe’s ageing population revolts at longer work and lower pensions

My blog post on the French pension protests of 2003

CBO: National Deficit to Hit Nearly $10 Trillion Over Upcoming Decade

The Sheep and the Goats, Matthew 25:31-46 (New International Version)

Democratic Platform “Opposes Any Effort” to Limit Abortions

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A single-topic show this time around, one that is designed for you to share on your social networks. The economy is a huge issue in this presidential election, and I give my reasons why I’m voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. There is so much riding on this, and the two parties really differ quite a bit on how they’ve shown they’ll handle it.

And if you’re one of those folks who was nudged this way, thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast, because a) it’s done in 10 minutes or less, and b) no yelling. Really, none.

Mentioned links:

United States Budget Dilemma (video)

More than 400 €1million homes put on the market in Paris since socialist Francois Hollande elected to power

The Truth About Taxes and Redistribution

Senate rejects budget measure containing Medicare overhaul

GOP Rep. introduces Obama budget, measure gets 0-414 drubbing

Instapundit, October 7, 2012

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