Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quick Quips – 6/26/10

YES! Finally! The Keynesian Dead End - Spending our way to prosperity is going out of style:
  The difference this time is that the Keynesian political consensus is cracking up. In Europe, the bond vigilantes have pulled the credit cards of Greece, Portugal and Spain, with Britain and Italy in their sights. Policy makers are now making a 180-degree turn from their own stimulus blowouts to cut spending and raise taxes. The austerity budget offered this month by the new British government is typical of Europe's new consensus…
  Meanwhile, in Congress, even many Democrats are revolting against Stimulus III. The original White House package of jobless benefits and aid to the states had to be watered down several times, and the latest version failed again in the Senate late this week. (See below.) Mr. Obama is having his credit card pulled too—not by the bond markets, but by a voting public that sees the troubles in Europe and is telling pollsters that it doesn't want a Grecian bath.
  What the world has now reached instead is a Keynesian dead end. We are told to let Congress continue to spend and borrow until the precise moment when Mr. Summers and Mark Zandi and the other architects of our current policy say it is time to raise taxes to reduce the huge deficits and debt that their spending has produced. Meanwhile, individuals and businesses are supposed to be unaffected by the prospect of future tax increases, higher interest rates, and more government control over nearly every area of the economy. Even the CEOs of the Business Roundtable now see the damage this is doing.
  A better economic policy will have to await a new Congress, which we hope at a minimum can prevent punishing tax increases. But for now the good news is that voters and markets are telling politicians to stop doing what hasn't worked. Be sure to read it all…

Why does it matter that among non-black respondents BHO's job ratings are -54%  vs. +39%? 
  This is hugely relevant to the 2010 elections. Most of the states with seriously contested Senate races or Democratic seats that seem almost certain to go Republican have below-national-average black percentages. Exceptions: Arkansas (where polls show Democrat Blanche Lincoln well behind), Florida, and Illinois.
  Similarly, when you look at the list of target House seats very few have substantial black populations. This is partly the result of the prevailing interpretation of the Voting Rights Act - supported and encouraging by most black Democratic politicians -which requires maximization of the number of "majority-minority" districts. When you put lots of black voters in those districts, you don't have many in adjacent districts.

The Democrats' Vision Problem - the wealth of poor Americans has skyrocketed in the last half-century!
  We are constantly told that the American working man is so much worse off than he used to be. And if you measure income one way, you can make that case.
  Indeed, the Democratic Party in recent years has become obsessed in looking at the economy only in that one negative way to justify its avocation: giving more stuff to the poor and middle class because they are "falling behind."
  The wealth of nations, according to Adam Smith, the founding father of the market economy, is not measured in GDP or cash reserves. Rather, it "consists in the cheapness of provision and all other necessaries and conveniences of life."
  By that standard, American wealth in general, and the wealth of poor Americans, has skyrocketed in the last half-century, and the government had relatively little -- though certainly not nothing -- to do with it. Read more…

Athens to Sacramento in Three Seconds: The self-imposed Greek financial tragedy has rocked the world economy and brought the European Union almost to its knees, but you ain’t seen nothing yet. The parallels between what has caused Greece to get to this point and the looming disaster in California go way beyond the surface. Whether California will have the same effect on America that Greece has had on Europe is yet to be determined.

A Beltway Public Service - Stimulus III goes down. World cheers.  In reality, Senate Republicans (plus Democrat Ben Nelson) did the economy a public service by blocking the "tax extenders" bill on a 57 to 41 procedural vote. The third and we hope final defeat of this medley of tax hikes and transfer payments—jobless benefits up to 99 weeks, extra Medicaid subsidies—shows the dysfunction of the Pelosi-Obama liberal coalition, which is rapidly running out of other people's money to spend. Read more…

Ben Franklin valued the1st Amendment & would be defending the Internet, free press, from tyranny: 
  The whole career of Benjamin Franklin, from very young to very old, stands for the proposition that the press should be free to criticize the government – that when criticisms sting the most, they are the most essential. It follows that he would oppose any bill giving any President the power to shut down any part of the press in a self-declared “emergency.”
  If old Ben were with us today, Poor Richard’s Almanack would be Poor Richard’s Internet. Ben would be happily publishing from his desk top to the world his opposition to all tyranny by all governments, especially tyranny over his beloved press. Read more…

FRAUD Watch! Uh oh > Witness: Blago given list of Obama favorites