News/Politics 11-28-12

What’s news today?

There’s a lot going on…

Let’s start with this from Forbes.

“Do You Live In A Death Spiral State?”

“Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal (censored). The first is whether it has more takers than makers. A taker is someone who draws money from the government, as an employee, pensioner or welfare recipient. A maker is someone gainfully employed in the private sector.

Let us give those takers the benefit of our sympathy and assume that every single one of them is a deserving soul. This person is either genuinely needy or a dedicated public servant or the recipient of a well-earned pension.

But what happens when these needy types outnumber the providers? Taxes get too high. Prosperous citizens decamp. Employers decamp. That just makes matters worse for the taxpayers left behind.”


Then to ZeroHedge for this.

“Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained what has become the painful reality in America: for increasingly more it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. This is graphically, and very painfully confirmed, in the below chart from Gary
Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (a state best known for its broke capital Harrisburg). As quantified, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.

We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day.”

“The punchline: 110 million privately employed workers; 88 million welfare recipients and government workers and rising rapidly.”

Say it with me now….. Unsustainable.


Which leads us to this, which we are also unable to afford.

From TheWashingtonExaminer.

“But Obama’s liberal supporters do have a second-term agenda, and it is a far-reaching one. That agenda, laid out a new article in the liberal magazine the American Prospect, is enough to set off alarm bells among conservatives in Washington and around the country.

In the piece, author Mike Konczal summarizes the work of some influential thinkers on the left who are asking the question: Now that Obama has been re-elected, and Obamacare is safe from Republican repeal, “what’s next for the welfare state?”

They divide the answer into three parts. The first is further expansion of the social safety net. The second is an array of programs to act as a “springboard” for the poor. And the third is an “escalator” to address income inequality by giving progressively larger government grants to lower-income Americans.”


What a difference a few years makes huh?

From CNSNews

“In 2005, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that a plan by Republican Senate leaders to end the use of filibusters against presidential judicial nominations demonstrated “the arrogance of power.”

“Rather than changing the Senate rules, shouldn’t we be concerned  about the largest deficits in the history of the world?” Reid asked at a March 15, 2005 event entitled “Rally to Save the  Courts.”

“Reid, now the Senate Majority Leader, has said he plans to try to change the filibuster rule in the incoming Congress to stop Republicans from using a  filibuster to prevent the initial debate of a bill. But Reid says he will not try to change the rule to stop the final passage of a bill with a filibuster.”

For his opponents it’s an abuse of power. For Harry, it’s only with the best of intentions. Sure.


The ACLU strikes again, from Reuters

“The American Civil Liberties Union and four servicewomen sued the U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday to end a ban on women in combat, calling the military the last bastion of discrimination by the federal government and saying modern warfare has already put women in the line of fire.

The civil rights group argued in a legal complaint filed in federal court in Northern California that the military policy barring women from roles primarily focused on combat solely because of their gender was unconstitutional.

Hundreds of thousands of women veterans returning from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are finding career paths off limits, sparking the challenge to a policy that has been in place officially since 1994 and unofficially for around two centuries.”


I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

From TimesOfIsrael

“A group of 24 Americans living in Israel, some of them victims of terror, on Tuesday filed a civil action lawsuit against the United States governmentover what they claim is its funding of Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The plaintiffs were being represented by the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, a legal advocacy group that combats terror organizations.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Washington, DC, contends that the State Department and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the Palestinian Authority, thus allowing for the funneling of funds to Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestine Liberation Front. It also accuses the White House of not complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians.

“I just want justice,” said Stuart Hersh, one of the plaintiffs, an elderly Jerusalem resident and victim of a terror attack on Ben Yehuda Street in the same city in 1997, which caused him brain damage and left him partially disabled. “I am against the American government indirectly financing Hamas — the very people who try to kill me,” Hersh said by telephone, adding that he differentiates between “humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people and supporting political agendas.””


And the last one, from TheWashingtonTimes.

“Moving to try to steal the immigration spotlight from Democrats, top Senate  Republicans on Tuesday introduced their own version of the Dream Act to grant  young illegal immigrants legal rights — though it wouldn’t give them a special  path to citizenship.

Sens. Jon Kyl, John McCain and Kay  Bailey Hutchison, all senior Republicans, introduced the bill as a way to  restart the immigration debate and to carve out a middle ground between sending  illegal immigrants home or granting them green cards, which is the intermediate  step to citizenship.

“We have got to get this ball rolling,” Mr.  Kyl said. “We have to have a discussion that is sensible, that is calm.”

Their bill would give young illegal immigrants a chance at legal status as  long as they are earning a college degree, serving in the military or, having  completed those steps, are holding down a job.”

7 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-28-12

  1. There have been a few years I grossed less than 29K as a single mother. I asked for help one time and was turned down. I didn’t qualify. I never asked again. Why do you suppose that was?


  2. Actually, America is involved with incipient economic decline due to the simple fact that the federal balance sheet is reliably estimated to be about $86.8 $trillion in the red, not the $16 $trillion that is frequently discussed.

    In A WSJ article by Chris Cox and Bill Archer yesterday, Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt Hiding the government’s liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can’t. they write:

    The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees’ future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

    At some point the bond traders recognizing reality will at the very least trigger a serious rise in interest rates and at worst trigger a general meltdown of Ameircan bonds that could trigger an economic depression. America can try to print more money and expand spending and entitlements, though economic reality will surely and brutally have its way.


  3. We need to be aware of all the threats to our ecology. A word of warning in a book by P.J. O’Rourke, All the Trouble in the World. 161;
    “Naturalist Norman Myers, in his 1979 book The Sinking Ark, claimed the earth could ‘lose one-quarter of all species by the year 2000.’”
    O’Rourke speculates that the real threat is to windshield bugs.


  4. More from O’Rourke, op. cit. p. 168

    “Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend… But they are almost unanimously in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century”. Peter Gaynne, Newsweek April 28, 1975

    “The cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people in poor nations… If it continues, and no strong measures are taken to deal with it, the cooling will cause world famine, world chaos, and probably world war, and this could all come by the year 2000.
    Lowell Ponte, The Cooling 1976

    At this point, the world’s climatologists are agreed on only two things. That we do not have …tens of thousands of years to prepare for the next ice age, and that how carefully we monitor our atmospheric pollution will have direct bearing on the arrival of this weather crisis. The sooner man confronts these facts… the safer he’ll be.”
    Douglas Colligan, Science Digest , February 1973.

    What happened? As I said before, there’s no money to be made in global cooling.


  5. Global cooling did succeed in closing some power plants and removing Freon from the markets. Du Ponte encouraged that, btw. Their patent on Freon was about to expire.


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