Tuesday, August 30, 2011

President Obama’s uncle had Social Security ID - BostonHerald.com

President Obama’s uncle had Social Security ID - BostonHerald.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Must Read!! The Ant and the Grasshopper

THE NEW ANT and the Grasshopper


This one is a little different ....
Two Different Versions ...
Two Different Morals


The ant works
hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper
thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm
and well fed.

The grasshopper has
no food or shelter, so he
dies out in the cold.


Be responsible for yourself!


The ant works hard
in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant
is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper
calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be
allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

and ABC show up to
provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper
next to a video of the ant
in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper
is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears
on Oprah
with the grasshopper
and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not EasyBeing Green...'

ACORN stages
a demonstration in front of the ant's
house where the news stations film the SEIU group singing, We shall overcome.

Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright
has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper's sake,
while he damns the ants.

President Obama condems the ant
and blames
President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the
for the grasshopper's

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid
exclaim in an interview with Larry
King that the ant has
gotten rich off the back of the
and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts
the Economic Equity &
Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of
the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number
of green bugs and,
having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government GreenCzar
and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper
and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house,
crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken
over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.

The entire Nation collapses
bringing the rest
of the free world with it.


Be careful how you vote in 2012.

I've sent this to you because I believe that you are an ant
not a grasshopper!

Make sure that you pass
this on to other ants.

Don't bother sending
it on to any grasshoppers
because they wouldn't
understand it, anyway

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Laffer: Obama Must Use Reaganomics to Save Economy

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 05:32 PM

By Martin Gould and Kathleen Walter

The only way President Barack Obama can solve the nation’s economic woes is to adopt “common-sense” Reaganomics, the policy’s architect Arthur Laffer claims in an exclusive Newsmax interview.

Laffer said the White House called him in the spring and asked him to speak to Obama’s former Council of Economic Advisors’ chairman Austen Goolsbee – and he had told him exactly the same thing.

“Reaganomics would fix any economy that’s in the doldrums,” Laffer said. “It’s not a magic sauce, it’s common sense.

“You’ve got to get rid of all federal taxes in the extreme and replace them with a low-rate flat tax on business net sales, and on personal unadjusted gross income. That’s number one.

“Number two, you have to have spending restraint. Government spending causes unemployment, it does not cure unemployment.

“Number three, you need sound money. Ben Bernanke is running the least sound monetary policy I’ve ever heard of," Laffer said.

“Number four you need regulations, but you don’t need those regulations to go beyond the purpose at hand and create collateral damage. The regulatory policies are really way off here.

“And lastly you need free trade," Laffer said. "Foreigners produce some things better than we do and we produce some things better than foreigners. It would be foolish in the extreme if we didn’t sell them those things we produce better than they do in exchange for those things they produce better than we do.”

In the interview the veteran economist said Standard & Poor’s was quite right in downgrading the U.S. credit rating – in fact it should have done so far earlier.

The agency had no choice and if the other agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, don’t do the same they won’t be doing their jobs, said Laffer, who gave his name to the Laffer Curve which demonstrates that the maximum amount of government revenue does not come at the point of maximum taxes.

“If you had a company that had revenues of $2½ million and expenses of $4 million, with no change in sight, $1½ million in losses each year as far as the eye can see and it had already borrowed $10 million, what would you rate that company? I surely wouldn’t rate it AAA.

“That is the U.S. situation today," Laffer said. "Taxes are about $2½ trillion, government spending is about $4 trillion and we have about $10 trillion in net national debt. I don’t see that as being a AAA country.

“If the S&P and the others were doing their jobs correctly, they should have downgraded a long time ago.”

Laffer said he has no doubt the country will win its top rating back, but only when economic policies are completely turned around. He said President Barack Obama’s administration’s only economic plan seemed to be to expand government ownership of the means of production.

“They have nationalized the health care industry pretty extensively. They’ve done that with home building as well. They’ve tried it with the auto industry as well. So they have moved very, very deliberatively and purposefully toward extending the government ownership of the means of production.

“That to me, if you read the tealeaves, is what they are doing. It is not what they are saying they are doing, but that is what they actually are doing.

“People don’t work to pay taxes, people work to get what they can after taxes. It’s that very private incentive that motivates them to work. If you pay people not to work and tax them if they do work, don’t be surprised if you find a lot of people not working.”

Laffer said the current economic woes started to form under President George W. Bush but have been made worse by Obama’s policies.

“There’s a wedge driven between wages paid and wages received and that wedge is the tax/government spending wedge,” he said.

“That wedge has grown dramatically in the last 4 ½ years…under W and a Republican administration and…under Obama. Bipartisan ignorance has led us to this very disastrously desolate state.”

Laffer had high praise for the role the tea party has played in bringing the problem of the deficits to the fore.

“The tea party is not the problem, the tea party may well be the solution,” he said. “They are critical to the future of the country in a positive way. They are the only fiscally sound people I know out there all the time.

“I don’t know that I would go as far as they go on a lot of issues but I surely respect their movement very much.”

And he said any one of the group of Republicans vying for the party’s nomination for the White House would make “ a great president.”

“Tim Pawlenty is spectacular. Newt Gingrich knows more about issues than anyone you’ve ever seen. Michele Bachmann is out-of-sight wonderful,” he said.

“Rick Perry is second to no one in this stuff. If you look at Herman Cain, he’s phenomenal.

“Oh and (Jon) Huntsman was a great governor of the state of Utah and is a phenomenally experienced intellectual competent man.

“When you look at the Republican candidates, you see a group of people who are absolutely outstanding in attributes.”

Read more on Newsmax.com: Laffer: Obama Must Use Reaganomics to Save Economy
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

Monday, August 8, 2011

News from The Associated Press

News from The Associated Press

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Depression, the Deficit Debacle, and the Debt-Ceiling Crisis—Posner

By Richard Posner

The economy faces a short-term problem, a medium-term problem, and a long-term problem. The short-term problem is the debt ceiling, the medium-term problem is the depression that the economy is still wallowing in (the orthodox description of it as a mere “recession” that ended in 2009 is misleading), and the long-term problem is entitlements for old people—Medicare, social security, and (to a lesser extent) Medicaid, which to a significant degree operates as medigap insurance for many old people. The three problems are intertwined. The third, the long-term one, may well be the most serious.

The debt ceiling—a dollar limit on debt owed by the federal government, which can be increased only by Congress’s enacting a statute raising the limit—is a dysfunctional method of legislative control over government expenditures. Without the ceiling Congress could still limit borrowing by the Treasury, but it would have to do so by passing a statute. The existence of the ceiling means that enacting a statute is necessary to permit borrowing above whatever amount was specified as the ceiling the last time it was raised by statute. It is harder to pass a new statute than to defeat a proposed statute, and so a determined legislative faction may be able to extort unreasonable concessions by threatening to block the enactment of a statute raising the ceiling. If the intended victims of the extortion balk, and a game of chicken ensues, the statute may not pass; and if as a result the debt ceiling is not raised, when as at present the government must borrow to have enough money to fulfill its expenditure commitments, very serious consequences can ensue. At present the federal government is spending about $300 billion a month, of which about $83 billion is borrowed. If it cannot borrow that amount any more, because every time it borrows (unless it’s just rolling over a loan) its debt rises, it will be unable to fulfill its spending commitments. It will not default in the technical sense because its tax revenues are sufficient to service the debt, but contractual debt (bonds and the like) is not the only unavoidable expense of the federal government: there are both the normal civilian and military costs of running the government and the huge entitlements on which a significant fraction of the population is dependent. Inability to pay these costs would be de facto insolvency.

The drastic curtailment of federal expenditures if the debt ceiling were not raised would have a devastating effect on the current very weak economy, because $83 billion in monthly spending cannot quickly be replaced by private spending; it’s not as if $83 billion were being shifted from the government to the private sector. It would mean taking a trillion dollars a year out of the economy. Maybe private foundations would take up some of the slack, but if so they would be diverting money from other recipients of the foundations’ largesse rather than increasing the net amount of cash available for consumption, unless they diverted money from overseas recipients.

There would be some long-run benefits from eliminating further federal borrowing. The benefits would lie mainly in forcing governmental economies and reducing the annual interest expense of the government. Rational-expectations economists would argue that foreseeing lower taxes in the future would stimulate consumers and businessmen to spend more than now. But consumers, investors, and businesses might be held back by uncertainty; and certainly the short- and medium-run dislocation of an already weak economy could be catastrophic. The reduction in government expenditures could not be matched immediately by an increase in private spending, so overall economic activity would plunge.

The current weakness of the economy cannot be overemphasized. Adjusted for inflation, GDP has fallen since 2007 by 0.4 percent. That means that per capita GDP has fallen significantly because of population growth and that current GDP is almost 10 percent below the GDP trend line of 3 percent a year. There is a better argument for the Fed’s stimulating inflation to reduce mortgage and other consumer debt in real terms than for Congress’s cutting government expenditures.

An irony in the present situation (and a powerful argument against Republican proposals to lift the debt ceiling for only six months in order to force reductions in government spending that would be necessary to induce House Republicans to support a further increase in the ceiling at the end of that period) is that the actual proposals for debt reduction are meager and probably illusory. Under the deal tentatively agreed upon yesterday the initial cut will be just $900 billion spread over the next ten years, which would amount to only $90 billion a year, or less than 10 percent of the annual deficit in the federal budget. And this is on the assumption that the deficit won’t grow. But it is quite likely to grow. True, if the economy recovers, tax collections will increase because incomes will be rising, and even without increased tax collections the deficit as a fraction of GDP (which is what’s important—not the absolute size of the deficit) will fall. But against this is the likely rapid increase in entitlements, primarily Medicare and social security, as the over-65 population continues its relentless growth. The only measure to slow this increase that seems politically feasible at present is to change the formula for calculating annual social security cost-of-living increases. A sure sign of the phoniness of the rival Democratic and Republican plans to cut government expenditures was that both rely heavily on a crackdown in Medicare “waste and fraud.”

The deal tentatively agreed to calls for further cuts (or tax increases) of about $1.5 billion, also spread over the next ten years, to be proposed by a bipartisan commission and take automatic effect unless Congress acts—as it could do: it could decide to rescind the cuts. Alterations in social security have been taken off the table; and the only cuts in Medicare that the negotiators are permitted to order are reductions in reimbursement of hospitals and physicians—that will have only an indirect effect on the expense of Medicare, by lengthening waiting time for medical services, and that will create pressure to rescind the reductions.

As with adjusting the social security cost of living formula, and the successful effort in the 1980s to raise the eligibility age for social security gradually, large-scale reductions in entitlements are feasible only if phased in gradually—which would have to be done anyway in order to avoid a serious jolt to the current weak economy. The problem is that Congress cannot make credible long-term commitments to reduce spending because it cannot bind subsequent Congresses. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that both political parties are much fonder of increased spending than of increased taxes, so there is built-in momentum for increased government debt. The Republican radicals in the House of Representatives recognize this problem and their frustration is understandable, but national insolvency is not an intelligent solution.


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