Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Blue Dogs who are dragged into Speaker Pelosi’s office should be aware of just how she is selling the health care bill. Yesterday, she told supporters it represented “real change,” because it meant “a cap on your [health care] costs, but no cap on your benefit.”
Yup. This is the kind of ass-backwards economics that is driving health care "reform" by Democrats. Doesn't Pelosi understand that what she is proposing is simply economically untenable? Apparently not. Here's a video of Ms. Pelosi selling her brand of economics.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
HT: Liberty Pen
Friday, October 3, 2008
Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez:
Secretary Martinez, if it ain't broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?
House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:
Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .
House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:
Rep. Gregory Meeks, (D., N.Y.): . . . I am just pissed off at Ofheo [Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight] because if it wasn't for you I don't think that we would be here in the first place. And Freddie Mac, who on its own, you know, came out front and indicated it is wrong, and now the problem that we have and that we are faced with is maybe some individuals who wanted to do away with GSEs in the first place, you have given them an excuse to try to have this forum so that we can talk about it and maybe change the direction and the mission of what the GSEs had, which they have done a tremendous job. . .
Read more wonderful quotes from those that brought us financial crisis
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The mob is agitated, but hardly blameless. While the punch bowl -- Alan Greenspan's extremely low post-9/11 interest rates -- was being held out, few complained about cheap loans and doubling home values. Now all of the sudden everything is the fault of Wall Street malfeasance.
I have little doubt that some, if not many, cases of malfeasance will emerge. But what we conveniently neglect is the fact that much of this crisis was brought upon us by the good intentions of good people.
For decades, starting with Jimmy Carter's Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, there has been bipartisan agreement to use government power to expand homeownership to people who had been shut out for economic reasons or, sometimes, because of racial and ethnic discrimination. What could be a more worthy cause? But it led to tremendous pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- who in turn pressured banks and other lenders -- to extend mortgages to people who were borrowing over their heads. That's called subprime lending. It lies at the root of our current calamity.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Pelosi and the Democrats are beholden to the radical environmentalists in their party. Hence, we get the obstruction and the usual straw man arguments regarding drilling for domestic oil supplies.
HT: Jimmy Cardoza at Liberty Pen
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Here’s another wonderful hack job from
the liberal blog Huffington Post
WASHINGTON — Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.
The study by the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.
Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.
"It's shameful that so many corporations make big profits and pay nothing to support our country," said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who asked for the GAO study with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.
An outside tax expert, Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in
At least they had the decency to quote Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute who nails the issue right on target. A good chunk of those “rich” people that Obama wants to raise taxes on are actually LLC or “S” corporations that create and maintain jobs. Maybe someone should tell Obama and Sen. Dorgan that thousands of professionals and business owners who used to report most of their income under the corporate tax responded to lower individual income-tax rates after 1986 and 2003 by reporting more income under the individual tax as partnerships, LLCs and Sub-S corporations. Moving business income from the corporate to the individual tax, not CEO pay for example, has raised the top 1%'s share on individual tax returns. But I digress. Here is the crux of Sen. Dorgan’s complaint:
Dorgan and Levin have complained about companies abusing transfer prices _ amounts charged on transactions between companies in a group, such as a parent and subsidiary. In some cases, multinational companies can manipulate transfer prices to shift income from higher to lower tax jurisdictions, cutting their tax liabilities. The GAO did not suggest which companies might be doing this.
"It's time for the big corporations to pay their fair share," Dorgan said.
So, Sen. Dorgan wants to create even more corporate tax bureaucracy in order to capture what parent and subsidiary companies transact. Perfect. And when has it been “unfair” for a company to try to save on their tax liabilities? That’s what I would call good corporate governance. Cutting tax liability is what tax credits, losses, and write-offs are for and provided by the tax code.
Oh, I can’t wait until liberal Democrats have full control of Congress and the White House, folks. We are going to see a lot more of these witch hunts against business. As Obama once said in a primary debate discussing an increase in capital gains taxes, it's all "in the name of fairness.”
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In life, sometimes it’s satisfying to know that there is some predictability to rely upon. After all, if the bus that takes you to work in the morning doesn’t have a regular predictable schedule, you will end up late to work one time too many and may get canned. So, it comes as no surprise that the predictable nature of Hugo Chavez has once again affirmed that all is well with the universe. You see, Mr. Chavez
has announced some new decrees
that his poor and hapless countrymen will now have
the headache of dealing with
. As I predicted several months ago on this blog, I knew Mr. Chavez was not going to let a rebuff of his socialist agenda by voters in December crimp his master plans to turn Venezuela into a socialist
Curiously, many of Chavez’s best friends in
Monday, July 7, 2008
Some of the theories that have been bandied about regarding oil prices and speculators have reached new levels of dogma. The
little poisonous gem
that I happened upon was a piece that I found (via
The Liberal Journal) on the Counterpunch website titled “Gas Price Gouging,” by Mike Whitney. Here’s an excerpt:
This is not about shortages or scarcity; it's about gaming the system to fatten the bottom line. The whole scam is being executed by the same carpetbagging scoundrels who engineered the subprime fiasco; the investment bankers. The Wall Street Goliaths are using the futures market to recapitalize their flagging balance sheets after sustaining huge losses in the mortgage-backed securities boondoggle. That's the whole thing in a nutshell. Now they're on to their next swindle; distorting the futures market with gargantuan leveraged bets on food and oil.
Yes, it’s the carpet-bagging investment bankers. And don’t forget the Illuminati and the Free Masons. They have a hand in everything. Here’s another zinger:
In fact, oil is being deliberately kept off the market to keep prices high. Consider this: if supply isn't keeping up with demand then why aren't there any lines at the gas stations like there were during the '70s?
Somebody needs to tell this fellow that the reason that there was rationing of gasoline and long lines to gas stations (that would then run out of gas) was due to the implementation of price controls by President Nixon. Once wholesale prices for gasoline rose beyond what a retailer could afford to buy (they had to make some profit to pay employees, taxes, utility bills, etc), gas stations ran out of gas. This meant that there was less refined gas to go around. Somehow, Mr. Whitney believes that the lack of rationing and long lines is proof that there is plenty of gas and that prices are being manipulated. The fact that prices are allowed to rise and that it is in effect a signal of the healthy elasticity of the market - there are no long lines - is proof that the mechanism of supply and demand is working as it should. Mr. Whitney does not understand basic economics.
While the futures market is a convenient scapegoat, it is simply a price discovery mechanism. Here’s one example of how the futures market works nicely: One of the reasons that Southwest Airlines has been able to be successful in recent years, while other airlines are faltering, is due to its prescient ability to lock in lower fuel prices with the futures market: It acts as a hedge against volatility and inflation. The futures market is not without risk. If a company bets incorrectly, they could lose money. It isn’t the perfectly gamed system that Mr. Whitney and others believe it is.
Note that many commodities have spiked in price over the last couple of years. It isn’t just oil. Does that mean that corn, wheat, copper, and fertilizer are being manipulated by speculators too? Should congress make laws to meddle in the trading of those commodities as well? The rise in oil is occurring globally, not just in the U.S. Attempting to stifle speculators in
So, what’s the answer? Why has oil jumped to its record highs? The primary answers are
the weak dollar
and good old supply and demand, folks. I know that this is not as sexy and as attractive as a conspiracy theory. But there it is. If the Fed ever decides to fight inflation and strengthen the dollar, commodity prices would fall like a rock. It’s as simple as that. Alan Reynolds of
the Cato Institute explains it best
There is no mystery behind the rise in oil prices. They rose too high too fast because of booming demand for oil for petrochemical products, electric power and shipping from many emerging economies (particularly
Now, I’m not saying that the futures and options markets have absolutely no effect on the global price of petroleum. All I’m saying is that its effect is greatly exaggerated for political reasons.
When Congress returns from vacation expect more heated rhetoric on this issue; there are currently at least ten bills submitted by Democrats attempting to address “speculation.” I blame congress for legitimizing the arguments put forth by bloggers like Mr. Whitney: No quarter is given to facts or to the unintended consequences that may follow bad legislation
Thursday, June 19, 2008
One of the talking points used by Democrats against off-shore drilling is that the oil companies are sitting on thousands of leases that are not being pumped for oil. They accuse oil companies of sitting on millions of barrels of oil and that oil companies should drill from those leased lands instead of opening up new areas for drilling.
Well, one of the best counter arguments I have read that trumps the Democratic response against offshore drilling and their claim that oil companies are sitting on unused leases was made by Bobo over at
the Bobo files
What they also have failed to inform the general public about these leases is that many of them cannot be drilled because there is no oil in them. The government makes these oil companies purchase these leases before they are allowed to survey them. The company geologists then survey, find there’s nothing in there, and now the big oil companies are stuck with these leases that they can’t do anything with..and…who pays the cost for those non-productive leases? We the people do as a pass through expense. It’s just another scam by the government and something they don’t want everyone to know about.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Washington Post: Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money -- more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another.
The financial condition of the world's most exclusive dining hall and its affiliated Capitol Hill restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops has become so dire that, without a $250,000 subsidy from taxpayers, the Senate won't make payroll next month.
The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Rules and Administrations Committee, which oversees the operation of the Senate, said she had no choice.
"It's cratering," she said of the restaurant system. "Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses."
Comment: The free-market trumps the welfare statists yet again. Finally, taxpayers won’t be footing the bill to feed these blowhards.
HT: Mark J. Perry