Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Not the Debt Limit - It's the Debt

As expected, Congress and the President reached an agreement to raise the debt limit. The full details are not yet available, but the only figure we need to know is that the agreement supposedly agrees to cut spending $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, back loaded into future years.

That’s $240 billion a year when the deficit is between $1 – 1.5 trillion. In short, Congress and the President are still spending about $1 trillion more a year than the IRS takes in.

Let’s look at it another way. Federal government spending is on auto pilot to rise 8% annually. Now it will be slightly less than 8%, perhaps 7%. The magic, or tragedy, of compound interest is that 7% annually doubles in a little less than a decade.

Assuming interest rates remain at the same low level, we will add $7.5 trillion to the existing $14 trillion national debt. If interest rates rise over the next decade, as basic economics teaches us they will, then the result will be an economic disaster for the United States. High interest rates, high inflation, and even higher unemployment will ensue. The only question is when.

That doesn’t include the damage still to be incurred by Obamacare and the rising prices in fuel and energy today, and the declining dollar.

$240 billion annually is only chump change in our current budget. Even a $4 trillion cut would only have reduced the annual deficit by $400 billion.

So who won?

The Republicans and the Tea Party – they changed the terms of debate in Washington, except that the passage of the final bill will be heavily dependent on Democratic votes.

The American taxpayer - at least for now - maybe. Wait till the new commission makes its report on Thanksgiving.

Who lost?

President Obama – he did not get his “balanced approach,” continues to sound like a broken record, and never showed leadership. He admonished House Majority Leader Eric Cantor not to call his bluff. The Republicans called the President’s bluff, and he folded. Once again the President showed he can talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

Senator Harry Reid and the Do Nothing Senate.

National security, since substantial defense cuts are on the way.

Credibility. President Reagan once agreed to tax increases for subsequent budget
cuts. Subsequent Congresses never delivered on the cuts, and President Reagan realized his mistake.

The big losers though are the American people since Congress did not succeed in substantially slowing the road to Greece.

The devil is in the details. If, apparently the new Committee does not come up with the specified reductions in spending or Congress does not approve them, then automatic spending cuts will take place in 2013 – after the election. The proposal initially seems to be a poison pill, designed to force the committee and Congress to act. Half of triggered cuts will come from the defense budget. Another chunk will come from Medicare providers.

The can, the ever expanding can, was kicked down the road, the ever shrinking road. Economic growth is essentially dead in the water.

This whole debate was politically unnecessary. The Democrats refused to raise the limit when they had total control of Congress last year. Senator Reid wanted the Republicans to have to share in the blame. In the meantime, both parties played to their base.

The $2.4 trillion is either a down payment on a larger cut or simply a lost cause.
The answer will come in November 2012.

Republicans need to win even bigger in 2012 than they did in 2010.

Memo to Media: These Are Not Right Wing Christian Extremist Terrorists

This list includes the non-Christian terrorists from Al Qaeda, 9/11, the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, the Buffalo 6, Fort Dix 5, London Subway Bombings, the Shoe Bomber, the Christmas Day Bomber, and the Times Square Bomber.

We could also add Anders Behring Brevik to the list since he is not affiliated with any Christian Church or religion.

We could also include the D.C. Sniper

Osama Bin-Laden

Ayman al-Zawahiri

Mohammed Atef

Mohamed al-Kahtani

Zakariya Essaban

Abu Zubaydah

Saif al-Adel

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Abu Ayyub al-Masri

Abd al-Rahim al-Naihiri

Ahmed Ressam

Omar Abdel-Rahman

Abdul Nidal

Major Nidal Malik Hassan

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo

Mohammed Atta

Marwan al-Shehhi

Ziad Jarrah

Nawaf al Hazmi

Khalid al-Mihdhar

Hani Hanjour

Hamza al-Ghamdi

Wail al-Shehri

Waleed al-Shehri

Fayez Ahmed

Majed Moqed

Salem al-Hamzi

Satam al-Suqami

Abdulaziz al-Omani

Mohand al-Shehri

Saeed al-Ghamdi

Zacarias Moussaoui

Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammed

Najibullah Zazi

Mahmud Abouhalima

Mohammed Salamryi

Nidal A. Ayyad

Abdul Rahman Yasin

Ahmad Ajaj

Abu Ali al-Haritha

Abu Al-Rahim al-Nashiri

Jamal al-Badawi

Mir Aimal Kansi

Ramzi Yousef

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Ramzi Bin al-Shibi

Ahmed Ressam

Anwar al-Awlaki

Abu Turab al-Urduri

Richard Reid

Umar Farouk Aboulmutallab

Faisel Shahzad

Mir Aimal Kansi

Muktar Said Ibrahim

Yasin Hassan Omar

Hussein Osman

Ramzi Mohammad

Whabi Mohammad

Ahmed Ibrahim A. al-Haznawi

Ahmed Abdullah al-Nami

Jose Padilla

Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer

Dritan Duka

Eljvir Duka

Shain Duka

Serdar Tatar

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

President Obama's Problems

First, he thinks he’s President, but has no idea of what the President does.

President Obama read the 2008 election results as a mandate to radically transform America.

The American public has tuned him out.

He’s pounding talking points into the sand.

Leadership is not reading the same talking points like a broken record.

Nor is leadership relying on focus groups.

Community organizing is not Presidential Leadership

He has burnt out the Bully Pulpit.

Some speakers grow on you.

Others wear on you.

He ignored the economy. President Clinton never forgot “It’s the economy, stupid.”

He’s ignorant of economics.

Demagoguery is not leadership.

Consensus is not achieved through trashing the opposition in divided government.

He’s become irrelevant to members of Congress of both parties in the legislative process.

He forgot about unification and consensus government once he achieved office.

President Clinton achieved reelection through triangulation. President Obama is currently running to the left of the Senate.

No balanced approach was sought in the Stimulus Bill.

Politicians in D.C., especially in the White House, live in a cocoon.

Representatives and Senators try to get out with the public. That too will drop after the crazy shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. The President does not meet with the public for security reasons.

The President is
A) Petulant
B) Narcissistic
C) Arrogant
D) Frustrated by having to cancel golf matches and fundraising events

The President has become Johnny One Note
A) Corporate Jets
B) Millionaires
C) Fairness
D) Balanced

He hasn't learned that the more he speaks on a subject, such as health care, the more unpopular it becomes

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Early Lessons From the Norwegian Tragedy

Once again the world has witnessed a tragic, incomprehensible mass killing by a mad man. I feel for Norway, but especially for the parents of the slaughtered teenagers.

Lessons are to be learned from this disaster, as with all these tragedies.

First, be careful about jumping to conclusions about the actors.

Initial speculation focused on Islamist fanatics. The dual attack, first the government center, and then Utoya Island, had some of the characteristics of Radical Islam, especially the planning.

That was wrong, as it was with Oklahoma City.

It is equally wrong though, as with the Times Square wannabe bomber, to immediately cast suspicion away from radical Islam. The reality in the United States is that school shootings are usually crazy students while the traditional terrorist attacks are from Radical Islamicists. Some are plotted overseas, e.g. 9/11, the Shoe Bomber, Christmas Day Bomber, and the Times Square Bomber. Some are home grown terror cells, and others represent what is often referred to as The Sudden Jihad Syndrome, as with Major Nidal, the Fort Hood Shooter. Some, as with the London subway bombings, are a combination.

That said, this was a right-wing nut job, as was Timothy McVeigh.

The mainstream media is beginning to overreact by, once again, castigating and pillorying the right –wing fanatics. They are a risk, as we also know from bitter experience, but they do not pose the highest terrorism risk – that remains the Islamic fanatics.

One of the greatest lessons from Norway was the ineffectual response from Norwegian police. Anders Breivik methodically went on his killing spree for 90 minutes, while the campers frantically cell phoned their parents and the police. The police claimed an inability to find a boat or helicopter that could get them to Utoya Island. Heads should roll in the police and the government for that failure.

We have learnt the hard way the need for emergency action plans, contingency plans,
and rapid response teams in law enforcement. No country should be so complacent in this troubled world of semi-automatic weapons, ammonium nitrate, IED’s, and crazed mad men (The assailants are almost always male) as to believe it’s immune or sheltered from random acts of violence.

Second, some crimes cry out for the death penalty. Let’s watch the upcoming debate in Norway.

As a personal matter, coming of age in the 1960’s as America was struggling to advance quality to all Americans in the Civil Rights Era, I resented Europe adopting a Holier than Thou posture, attacking the racism in America. The history of racism in post-World War II Europe is shameful. America was striving to right grievous wrongs in its past, while France and Italy are currently discriminating against Roma. The inability to assimilate immigrants, coupled with Islamist terrorist attacks, has fueled the growth of conservative, anti-immigrant political parties. Europe is currently witnessing a rise in anti-Semitism, reminding us that non-Germans were willing collaborators with the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Third, Europeans decry America’s Culture of the Gun, an image reinforced by the high crime rates and random acts of mass killings in America.

Yet Europe, gun free Europe, has suffered mass shootings, even in schools and government offices, in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and Norway in the New Millennium prior to yesterday’s shootings. China had an epidemic of crazed adults killing students last year with knifes, cleavers, and hammers. Nor should we forget Canada.

A Norwegian psychopath, who is trying to start a new crusade against Islam, by killing Norwegian teenagers and posting a manifesto, drawing heavily on the Unabomber’s manifesto, is no more rational than Timothy McVeigh blowing up a pre-school at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City as a protest against Ruby Ridge and Waco.

The perverted “logic” of some of these killers indicates more of a need for 15 minutes of infamy than to right a wrong. Anders Breivik's reasons are as crazy and irrational as Jared Loughner's in the January 8, 2011 Tucson shootings.

We live in troubled times in a universe of random acts of violence. We cannot prevent all of them, but improved security can reduce the risk.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why the Republicans Will Not, Can Not, and Shound Not Raise Taxes

All the Republicans have to do is vote to raise taxes as part of the budget deficit shrinking package. The obstinacy of Congressman Eric cantor and the Tea Party freshmen is viewed as stupid and mean by democrats and the mainstream media.

The Democrats are the party of government and the Republicans the party of the individual, or are the Democrats the party of the people and the Republicans the party of the rich? Sometimes it’s confusing, but not today.

The Republican sweep of 2010 at the national and state level was a vote to cut taxes and shrink the budget deficit.

The Republicans know that.

They also know their history. They know the legacy of President Reagan, and of President George H. W. Bush and of Senator Robert Dole. They know the story of the Pennsylvania Republicans who voted to raise taxes in the state legislature, and then were bounced from office. They witness the success of the Republicans governors and legislators in New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania in controlling costs without raising taxes. They see the future.

But let’s look at history.

President Reagan got a Democratic Congress to cut tax rates 25%, but later reached a deal with Speaker Tip O’Neil to raise taxes in the 1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, which raised taxes $98 billion over three years. He was promised three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases.

Of course, the taxes went into effect immediately, and the Democratic Congress never delivered on the spending cuts.

President Obama is currently promising $3 in unspecified future cuts for every dollar in tax increases by the Republicans. Sounds like déjà vu all over again.

President George H. W. Bush pledged in his 1988 Convention acceptance speech: “Read my lips. No new taxes.” Six powerful words penned by the wordsmith Peggy Noonan. “Read my lips. No new taxes” became his campaign theme. Indeed, “No new taxes” became a covenant with the America voters.

He breached the covenant two years later in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. He lost his base in the Republican Party, and reelection two years later.
President George W. Bush never forgot the tax lesson of his dad. He cut, but did not raise, taxes.

Senator Robert Dole, the Republican leader in the Senate, signed onto the tax increases, as he had often done for fiscal stability. The Senator was a moderate Republican, a stalwart of the party, but a young Republican Congressman Newt Gingrich labeled him “the tax collector for the welfare state.” It stuck.

Although he won the Republican nomination for President in 1996, he had to accept a true tax reducer, Congressman jack Kemp, as his running mate.

Today’s young Republicans remember the past.

They remember that they lost the Congress in 2006 because the Republican base was offended by the spending of the Bush Administration.

They know that if they raise taxes, the Democrats will simply spend the additional revenues, just like Lucy always pulls the football out from Charley Brown.

They know that if they agree to raise taxes, they will not only, once again, lose their base, but go far towards reelecting President Obama in 2012.

They are engaged in fight for the future of America - the state versus the individual.

These Republicans will not raise taxes, and the President knows it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carmageddon is Coming! What to Do? What to Do?

Carmageddon is coming! Only two days till Carmageddon. Are you prepared?

Only 2 days to go – to go to Togo’s off the 405.

If you are one of the rest of the world who haven’t heard, Caltrans is closing the ten mile stretch of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass between the Santa Monica Freeway (10) to the Ventura Freeway (101) for 53 hours, from Friday evening to hopefully 5 AM Monday morning. The road is closing for safety. Half the Mulholland Bridge overpass is being town down.

Mulholland’s fame lies with the Owens Valley Aqueduct and his infamy with the tragic failure of the Saint Francis Dam. Now his name is attached to the 405 closure.

The 405’s greatest fame is the fabled low speed chase of O.J. in a white Bronco.

So what if Southern California survived the 3 month closure of the 10 to rebuild after the January 17, 1994 Northridge quake?

Might this be the second coming of the y2k Millennium Bug?

So what of Homo Sapiens existed for 200,000 years before the 405

So what if civilization, born in the Crescent Triangle, survived thousands of years without the 405.

So what if Alexander the Great conquered the known world without the 405.

So what if the Roman Empire survived a millennium without the 405.

So what if the British Navy ruled the waves without the 405.

So what if the United States won World War II without the 405.

So what if Howard Hughes didn’t need the 405 to build the Spruce Goose.

So what if the 405 is not mentioned in the Old Testament, New Testament, or Quran.

So what if Southern California's air quality improves.

So what if this is the first time in 4 decades that the 405 is not jammed.

What would Buddha say?

This is Los Angeles, the self-centered center of the universe.

Half a million Angelenos drive this stretch daily.

The 405 is the working aorta of LA. The 5 suffers from eternal blockage.

Things to do this weekend to escape Carmageddon.

Wait for the Hollywood Calvary to head them off at the pass

Institutionalize any ignoramus heading up to the Sepulveda Pass not knowing of Carmageddon

Institutionalize Kim Kardashian who twittered the wrong date to all her fans

Do something radical – stay at home with the family

Make love, nor car war

Play Grand Theft Auto

Watch Leaving Los Angeles

Read the great novels of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy

Complete the Sunday New York Times Crossword

Wait in line for 5 hours to see the new Harry Potter movie.

Do like the Gubernator – fly over the 405 in a private jet

Fly over the 405 on a Jet Blue 737 between Burbank and Long Beach for $4

Head east to San Berdu

Cross the Orange Curtain to weekend in Orange Country

Follow the Raiders and Rams out of LA

Go to a Dodgers game

Learn how our ancestors survived without the 405 - Pull out the candles, shut off the power, turn off the AC, unplug the phone, toss the cellphone, and silence the internet

Blog it

Enter a pool, not car pool, picking the exact moment of greatest chaos

Cuss out the rich Nimbys in Bel Air, Brentwood, and Beverly Hills who blocked a cheaper and less obstructive alternative

Consult your freeway therapist

Check in for elective surgery; spend the weekend in the hospital getting breast augmentation.

Go to the Wilshire Temple Friday evening and pray for a miracle early Monday morning.

Head for the Slauson Cutoff and look for the fork in the road

Listen for the music of the spheres

Chill out; tailgate on the 405.

Commune with nature

Get a horse

Learn to walk


Dust off your skateboards

Charter a Hornblower yacht

Public transit

Kiss the Valley Girls goodbye

Zone out

Savor the moment

Get a life! It’s only a weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Plug for Jacks Firehouse in Philly

We visited last Wednesday the historic Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Eastern States, opened in 1829, was the prototype for over 300 penitentiaries which followed. It finally closed in 1971.

Originally built 1½ miles from the city, Philadelphia grew around it, surrounding it on all four sides. It is now a part of the Art Museum Neighborhood, 5 blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Forget Alcatraz! Al Capone was “luxuriously” imprisoned in Eastern States before Alcatraz. Willie Sutton, the infamous bank robber, was a prisoner until his escape.

The question was: Where do we eat after the visit?

A quick perusal of the neighborhood showed nothing exceptional. The information at the museum led us to Jack’s Firehouse, conveniently located across the street. The interior architecture of the old fire station reflects that of a century ago. The narrow restaurant had a beautiful mahogany bar in the middle. That was clearly not original to the fire station.

Little did we know that entered a famous restaurant, perhaps even more famous nationally than Eastern States. The award winning founder, Jack McDavid, regularly appeared on the Food Network’s “Grillin’ and Chillin’ with Bobby Flay.”

The food is traditional American, with a generous helping of local favorites (think Philly Cheesesteak) and seafood.

None of this really matters.

As we entered Jack’s Firehouse, a woman, who I shall refer to as the Hostess, was serving drinks behind (or within) the bar. She sat us at a table. We small talked with her before leaving, and then asked directions to the 76 from the parking lot up the block.

She provided great directions - the tunnel was the key, and that was it. Or so we thought.

The Hostess came running up as we were paying the parking lot attendant. She was holding my camera which I had left behind. Unbelievable! Let me add that the other wait staff were also very impressive.

Who says good help is hard to find? Certainly not in Philly.

That is service, service above and beyond the norm – service from a hostess at a bar or restaurant that will probably never see us again. Service that validates one’s faith in the American people.

Her generous act says much about her. It also speaks well of Jacks. The restaurants business has a high failure rate. Jacks has prospered since 1989.

Poor service is a major cause of restaurant fatalities. Poor service in turn is often a reflection of poor, often arrogant, management. Treat your employees well, and they will respond. They will go the extra step.

Treat your employees poorly, and they will be surly and lethargic.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thank God for Eugene, Oregon that Today is the 4th of July and not Flag Day

The City Council of Eugene, Oregon rejected a proposal to pledge allegiance to the Flag at the start of the Council meetings. After extensive deliberations it voted a compromise, a compromise which can display the worse of political compromises. The Pledge may be made at four council meetings a year, those preceding the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Flag Day.

But not this 4th of July – it is too soon.

Mayor Kitty Piercy called the Pledge of Allegiance “divisive.”

One Council member, Betty Taylor, “compared saying the Pledge of Allegiance to reading from the Communist Manisfesto.”

Berkeley has a reputation for being far-left, but even Berkeley is not this insane.

As we celebrate America’s independence on the Fourth of July, we do so with the exceptionalism and greatness of America. We celebrate not only the birth of America, but the American Spirit.

We pledge allegiance to the Flag - not to a political party, not to the government, not to a religion, not to the President, not to a king or queen, not to an ism, but to the Flag, which represents America.

America is different; it is the melting pot of the world.

We are not of one religion or ethnicity. We are not a race; nor of one skin color. Our ancestors, with the exception of the slaves, came to America to pursue a dream, the dream of a better life unavailable to them or their children in the old country.

We come from all continents, including Australia. We have always been a peoples of immigrants.

The Roman Empire embraced many, but it was still essentially Roman. The British Empire also welcomed the peoples of the Empire, but it was still a country of the Brits.

We are Anglo-Saxons, Irish, Italians, Greeks, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Scandinavians, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Iraqi and Persian, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic. We are all of these, but not of one for we are Americans.

We know our roots. We know where our parents emigrated from, but we are Americans.

The Flag is the unifying symbol of America.

The 13 stripes and 50 stars represent the unity and spirit of America - the 13 original colonies and the 50 states. It is also a symbol of freedom and decency.

The Flag flew from Fort McHenry and in the rubble of 9/11. It flies from our ships, is painted on our planes, worn by our military. It became the symbol of Northerners during the Civil War and has remained the symbol of America.

America has other symbols, especially Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam, but they are not the Flag.

It precedes by decades the Statute of Liberty, a wonderful, symbolic gift of the people of France.

Councilman George Brown voted against even the compromise because “It really doesn’t help move the city’s business forward. It does not unite us.”

Pledging Allegiance to the Flag and singing the Star Spangled Banner before athletic events does not improve the athletes’ performance, but that’s not the reason we do it.

We pledge allegiance to the flag before sporting events to affirm the unity of the country and our love for America. It says who we are.

We are sufficiently strong as a people and country that we protect the constitutional rights of protestors to burn the flag. We don’t like it, but we tolerate it.

The symbolism of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag is even more critical since an increasing number of communities are ending their 4th of July Parades and Fireworks for budgetary reasons.

Has Eugene not learnt anything from the Portland, Oregon Fire Department in March 2003? The Deputy Fire Chief ordered removal of the American flags from fire trucks for fear of inciting anti war demonstrators. The fire chief countermanded him the next day after a flood of protests.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

President Obama's June Economic Gloom

July has arrived. Enough of President Obama’s June economic gloom.

The June gloom could lead to the Summer of Recovery.

Last summer was the Summer of Recovery

Next summer may also be the Summer of Recovery

Instead, we witnessed the June economic gloom.

June started with a rise in the unemployment rate to 9.1%, and an anemic rise in jobs to 54,000 jobs in May.

Weekly new unemployment claims exceed 400,000, while hundreds of thousands have stopped looking.

The GDP growth is slow.

That is not a recovery

President Obama’s economic June Gloom was self-made.

President Obama’s early economics tour d’farce betrays his ignorance of economics
President Obama spoke at the Jeep plant in Toledo on Friday, June 3. He boasted about saving Chrysler, which has repaid the government investment. He ate two hot dogs at Rudy’s and bragged about the secondary impact on Chet’s, which closed two days later on Sunday, June 5. His advance staff screwed up.

He also said the economy was hitting some bumps in the roads, bumps so tough that even a Jeep Wrangler couldn’t get over them. The “humor” was met with boos by the Wrangler builders.

On June 13 in North Carolina he proposed a public-private partnership to train 10,000 engineers for high-tech jobs. Is the President unfamiliar with the great engineering schools in America, two of which are in Illinois (Illinois and Northwestern), that are producing tens of thousands of computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial, and biomedical engineers annually? Is he unfamiliar with Research-Triangle Park in North Carolina?

He extolled Cree’s in North Carolina for its green products. Over 50% of its employees are in China. It held a grand opening on December 8, 2010 of its Huizhou plant in China. President Swobada, Chairman and CEO of Cree, explains the company’s motto as follows “Cree Chip, China heart.”

President Obama ignored China and bragged about the company’s hiring of 375 new factory jobs with another 300 expected to follow. The President also forgot to mention that the Cree employment came after the federal government provided $39 million to the company, which comes out to $104,000 for the 375 workers.
When asked at another appearance at his Jobs Council about ‘shovel ready jobs in the Stimulus Bill,” he replied in a joking manner “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”

President Obama believes that the economic future of America lies in green jobs. That he will invest in, ignoring the needs of the American people today, and oblivious to the reality that American green manufacturers cannot compete with Japanese manufacturers, and that Spain's extensive investment in green has failed.

His crack about “shovel ready” was apparently meant as a self-deprecating humorous mea culpa, but it came across as flippant. He said that maybe those shovel ready projects weren’t so shovel ready after all.

The President in an interview with the Today Show said companies were not hiring because of automation, and not his policies: “There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

Imagine that, airlines and banks should not become more efficient. Neither should FedEx or UPS. They should model themselves after the post office.
Imagine that, he wants to take us back to the Stone Age for our economic growth.

The President’s remarks display a basic ignorance of economics and echo the Luddites of the past.

Wait, forget about the ATM’s and Luddites. On Thursday, June 23 he announced at Carnegie Mellon University the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership with 6 universities (Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Michigan, MIT, and Stanford) initially receiving $500 million to increase the number of advanced manufacturing jobs in the country. The idea is to develop techniques for creating new products more efficiently and creatively.

Sounds like automation and technology to me!

July may be a fresh economic start for the President.

President Obama’s economics team has bailed out on him. His words about the team 2 ½ years ago: “Vice President-elect Biden and I have assembled an economic team with the vision and expertise to stabilize our economy, create jobs, and get America back on track.” His brilliant Economic Dream Team may have been wrong, but they’re smart. They recognized that his recovery plan bailed. They are abandoning ship.

Larry Summers, his Director of the National Economic Council, is headed back to Harvard. Christina Roemer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors returned to Berkeley. Austan Goolsbee, the short term replacement at the National Economic Council and long term economic confidant of the President, will be back at Chicago. Peter Orszag left the Office of Management and Budget for Citigroup. Only Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury, is remaining, but he lacks a safe haven outside government.

The President views the Golden state as a piggy bank for reelection, but it’s his economic albatross. California generates 13.1% of the nation’s economy, but it shed 29,200 jobs in May. It’s an economic basket case with an unemployment rate of 11.7%, higher than Michigan’s. 2.1 million Californians are unemployed, with over 1 million out of work for 27 weeks or more.

President Obama delegated the budget negotiations to Vice President Joe Biden, the same VP who fell asleep during the President’s April 13 speech on the deficit.

It was well documented at the time that while he was going around espousing the “Shovel ready” expediency of the Bill, he did not know what it actually contained.

He delegated the Stimulus Bill to Congress, especially the House of Representatives, where a King of Pork, David Obey, drafted it. The primary purpose of the stimulus Bill was not to create jobs, but to buoy up state and local government expenditures, especially for the public employee unions. Only 6% was earmarked for jobs creation, shovel ready projects. The rest was transfer payments, which add nothing to the economy.

In short, the Stimulus Act was, at best, poor Keynesian economics. Or it displays the failure of Keynesian economics. Combined with the experience in Europe, the seductive Keynesian economics should be taught along with Communism and socialism as a failed economics theory – a costly failure.

Maybe the June Gloom is gone. Maybe oil prices will continue to fall. Maybe jobs will come back, fueling economic growth again.


Questions About President Obama's Recent Remarks on Deficit Reduction

Is the President posturing before he caves?

Is the President throwing red meat to his blue state supporters?

Is the President a true believer?

Is the President resorting to rank demagoguery?

Is the President simply pursuing his concept of fairness?

Is the President espousing Populism?

Is class warfare the President’s mantra?

Is the President being a hypocrite, as he shames Congress into continuing in session over the 4th while he fundraises and golfs?

Is the President piqued because the 67 minute news conference cut into his golf game and fund raising activities?

Does the President care that he is even upsetting Democratic supporters in Congress?

Is the President drawing a line in the sand on taxes such that he’s locked in?

Does the President believe that increasing taxes on the oil and gas industry will increase production of oil and gas in the United States?

Does the President believe that raising taxes on the productive segments of society will improve the economy?

Did the President, a political science major, take any economics courses in college?

Did the President drink too deeply of the chalice of the Reverend Wright and imbibe too much liberation theology?

Is the President this economically naive?