President Obama transforming America into Socialist Argentina

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has won two landslide presidential elections.  One could say she is more popular in Argentina than President Obama is in the United States.  Well, she was more popular than the American president.  That may be changing (see Argentina protests: up to 1.5 million rally against Fernández de Kirchner by Uki Goni and Jonathan Watts posted 11/9/2012 on the guardian).

The broad avenues of Buenos Aires were crowded on Thursday night by Argentina’s biggest and noisiest anti-government demonstration in a decade, as hundreds of thousands of protesters marched or banged pots to express frustration at President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

After a smaller rally in September, the noisy but peaceful protest – estimated at between 250,000 to 500,000 people – marks an escalation of opposition to the Argentinian leader, particularly among a middle class that is upset at inflation, corruption, media controls and suggestions Fernández may want to amend the constitution so she can serve a third term…

There was no single cause of discontent. Many in the middle class are angry at the highest inflation in a decade, estimated at a yearly 25% by private economists, currency controls that have created a black market in dollars, and one of the slowest economic growth rates in Latin America.

Banners and chants also took aim at recent corruption cases and Fernández’s efforts to limit the power of big newspaper and TV conglomerates…

… it marks a political low in Fernández’s decade in the presidential palace. Since succeeding her husband, Néstor Kirchner, in 2007, she has won two landslide election victories and pursued a policy marked by wealth redistribution, greater investment in education, confrontation with Britain over the Falklands and the nationalisation of the Argentinian assets owned by the Spanish oil group YPF.

With the economy faltering, Fernández’s approval rating has fallen below 40%, according to a poll this week, and many of those who joined Thursday’s protest have lost faith in her.

“I voted for Cristina but now I feel let down,” said one middle-aged marcher. “We need more security, more jobs; the government needs to stop lying to us.”

High inflation and slow economic growth.  Kind of sounds like the Carter presidency.  Where we called his high inflation and slow economic growth stagflation.  And measured it by the misery index.  Of course President Carter didn’t suffer any of these humiliating protests in his second term.  For he suffered a humiliating defeat in 1980 that made him a one-term president.

People have often wondered what a second Carter term would have been like.  Some say we saw in President Obama’s first term.  But perhaps it will be his second term that will be more like President Carter’s first term.  Or, perhaps, more like President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s second term.  For apart from confronting the British over the Falklands and nationalizing a Spanish oil group (though President Obama would like to nationalize health care) his policies are eerily similar to hers.  The middle class has suffered in the US under President Obama just as they have suffered in Argentina.  And someone in the Obama administration is lying to the American people about Fast and Furious.  And Benghazi.  They both also have low approval ratings despite their ability to win elections.  Of course if that was the other way around in the United States (Republicans winning reelection despite low approval ratings) there would be massive legal actions contesting those election results.

So if you want to see what the future of President Obama’s second term will be like you can look at what’s happening in Argentina.  Which the president is making us look more like with his record spending that have given us record deficits in each of his four years in office.  And a record amount of debt.  Perhaps this is the president’s own way to reform immigration.  Make the economy so bad that there are no jobs here to encourage people to come to this country.  In fact, some of the flow of immigration has reversed as Mexicans are heading back home for better jobs.  As the president has destroyed the US job market with his economic policies.

So if you hear a loud banging sound in Washington DC don’t worry.  It’s just the Argentine-style protest against our anti-capitalist president.

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The British Press slams President Obama following his Reelection

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

One of the harshest printed criticisms of President Obama doesn’t come from the US.  It comes from the UK.  From our friends in Britain.  Who have long been willing to tell kings that they aren’t wearing any clothes (see Under Barack Obama the US superpower faces four more years of decline by Nile Gardiner posted 11/8/2012 on The Telegraph).

The world needs powerful American leadership, the bedrock of which rest upon a sound economy, limited government and free enterprise, as well as a strong national defence. But it certainly won’t be provided by Obama’s imperial presidency. In his first term of office, an administration that worshipped bailouts and big government built up staggering levels of debt that threaten to saddle future generations with the profligate spending of their forefathers. Instead of hope, President Obama offered only the heavy fist of government intervention, rising taxes, increasing poverty and welfare dependency, and an increasingly bitter, angry and insular White House.

There is no reason to expect a different approach in Obama’s second term. His re-election will only embolden his deep-seated left-wing instincts, which are to “transform” the United States into a European-style social democracy. There is good reason why the Obama administration has been a wholehearted backer of the European Project – because it sees its ideals as a role model for America, not a warning.

Under the Obama administration, the very foundations of the world’s only superpower are being undermined by a $16 trillion national debt that has increased by 50 percent under President Obama – a staggering debt per taxpayer of $111,414. Incredibly, US per person debt is now 35 percent higher than that of Greece, according to a chart produced by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. As The Weekly Standard reported earlier this week…

At the same time, economic freedom has declined dramatically, with the United States falling to 10th place in the world rankings, with government spending now exceeding one third of total domestic output. Adding further to the $1 trillion federal budget deficit, the White House has pushed through a vastly expensive health care reform package that harkened back to the failed European social model rather than the American dream.

You’d be hard-pressed to read something like this in a major US paper.  Which explains why print media is going the way of the dodo bird.  In a nation that has conservatives outnumbering liberals 42% to 23% the masses aren’t going to read a paper that is nothing more than an extension of the liberal Democrat Party.  The fact that per capita debt in the US is greater than in Greece is BIG news.  For Greece is falling apart from the weight of a European-style social democracy.  The kind of thing President Obama wants to build in the US.  So that bit of news would have been useful for the people to form an informed opinion on the direction of a second Obama term.  But doing so would have been harmful to the liberal agenda.  So the liberal-leaning press didn’t report this.  And it wasn’t a factor in the 2012 election.

To get any news critical of Obama administration you have to go to FOX News, talk radio or our friends in Britain.  Where they will tear apart any politician.  Including Americans.  Such as George W. Bush.  So even if they endorse European-style social democracy and state institutions like the National Health Service they can still be critical of them.  It would be nice to have a little of that in the US.  A little of Bernstein-Woodward investigative journalism that investigates all politicians.  Not just the ones with an ‘R’ next to their name.

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President Obama to Raise Taxes but it won’t Help our Budget Woes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

It takes two things to make tax revenue.  Tax rates.  And economic activity.  For if you don’t have the economic activity it doesn’t matter what the tax rates are.  Because any given percentage of smaller amount of national income will be less than the same percentage of a larger amount of national income.  That is, higher incomes produce more tax revenue.  Not higher tax rates.  It’s simple arithmetic.  Something the Democrats talked a lot about in the recent campaign.  As if they understand this simple arithmetic.  Yet they don’t seem to understand that taxing a bigger pile of money produces more tax revenue that taxing a smaller pile of money (see Obama Wins 2012 Election: Why Your Taxes Are Going Up by Morgan Korn posted 11/7/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

Obama has vowed to raise the top income tax rate for individuals to 39.6% and let the Bush-era tax breaks end for the highest income earners. The majority of Americans — those who are lower to middle class — could also see a 2% tax increase if Congress allows the temporary payroll tax holiday to expire at the end of the year…

Len Burman, a professor of public affairs at Syracuse University and a co-founder of the bipartisan Tax Policy Center, believes higher tax rates play just a small role in resolving the nation’s budget woes.

“In the long term [Obama] is going to need to raise taxes on more than just the rich,” Burman says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. “The budget problem isn’t going to be solved without broader-based tax increases, preferably done in the context of tax reform and also serious entitlement reform. We’re not going to be able to solve this on the tax side alone.”

After World War II our veterans came back home and started making babies.  Giving us the baby boom.  And the baby boomers.  Who entered the workforce about 20 years later.  Causing a boom in the tax base.  Resulting in a higher national income.  And higher tax revenues.  Which LBJ put to good use with his Great Society.  Giving us Medicare that cost a small fraction of our incomes in payroll taxes.  It was nothing in the grand scheme of things.  While the benefits were huge for our seniors.

So the welfare state exploded.  Thanks to that increasing tax base.  And those veterans making so many babies.  But then something happened in the Sixties.  Those baby boomers did not return the favor and continue the baby boom.  Instead opting to have fun instead.  Enter birth control.  And abortion.  Birthrates fell.  In time fewer people entered the workforce than left it.  Causing the population to age.  And the tax base to shrink.  All while those new entitlement programs continued to grow.  So fewer and fewer people paid for more and more entitlements.  A recipe for disaster.  A recipe for what we have today.  Entitlement spending obligations greater than the current tax base can afford.  And you can’t fix that with higher tax rates or new taxes.  You need a larger tax base (i.e., another baby boom).  Or entitlement reform.

It would take another 20 years for a new baby boom to produce new taxpayers.  So that leaves entitlement reform as our only choice.  And the only serious attempt to reform entitlements was roundly dismissed by the Democrats when Paul Ryan put his plan on the table.  Which was the only plan.  The only problem with the Ryan plan was that politicizing it would benefit the Democrats in the upcoming election.  So that’s what they did.  For winning elections trumps everything for Democrats.  Even saving Medicare.

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Australia turns away from Nuclear Power because of Fukushima and Irrational Fear and Scaremongering

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

In the war to save the world from global warming one of the first campaigns was the battle against coal.  The backbone of baseload power.  One of the most reliable means to generate electric power.  Fed by a large domestic supply of coal.  You could always count on power being there in your homes with our coal-fired power plants feeding the electric grid.  But coal had to go.  Because they were melting the Arctic ice cap.  And raising ocean levels.  Not quite like they did during the Ice Ages when glaciers covered most of the Northern Hemisphere.  Until global warming pushed them back a couple of thousand miles or so.  At a time when only Mother Nature released the carbon boogeyman into the atmosphere.  But we ignore this historical climate record.  And only pay attention to temperature changes that suit the global warming agenda.  Because the real goal of the war to save the world from global warming is to expand government control into the private sector economy.

Australia wants to show the world that they take global warming serious.  They enacted a carbon tax.  To help fund their investment into renewable energy sources.  Which has increased the cost of electric power.  And if the carbon tax and higher utility prices weren’t enough they also are talking about raising their GST.  Of course the GST has nothing to do with climate change.  But it just goes to show that Australia is trying hard to raise tax revenue.  Which is perhaps the driving force behind their carbon tax.  Revenue.  On top of this there is a growing opposition to the only source of power generation that can duplicate what coal-fired power plants can do but without the pollution (see Meltdown fears crush case for nuclear power – Brisbane Times posted 11/11/2012 on Canberra Hub).

THE Fukushima nuclear accident has quashed consideration of nuclear power in Australia, with the government’s energy white paper arguing there is no compelling economic case for it and insufficient community acceptance…

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has said it should remain ”a live debate”. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said before he re-entered politics: ”I support nuclear power because I take global warming so very seriously … [it] should certainly play a role in Australia’s future mix of energy sources.”

Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop has said it should be considered ”in the mix” and Senator Barnaby Joyce has said: ”If we are fair dinkum [i.e., truthful] about reducing carbon emissions … then uranium is where it’s going to be…”

Labor argues nuclear power is not economically necessary in Australia, since the carbon tax and the renewable energy target are already shifting power generation to renewables.

There are some fundamental truths about power generation.  Coal, natural gas, and petroleum provide reliable and abundant electric power while being safe but they pollute.  Nuclear power provides reliable electric power without any pollution but can be dangerous.  Though for the half century or so we’ve been using nuclear power the number of accidents that have claimed human lives is statistically insignificant.

There have been about 68 people killed in nuclear power accidents   If you count the future cancer deaths from the  Chernobyl accident you can raise that to about 4,000.  Fukushima in Japan claimed no lives other than one apparent heart attack someone had carrying heavy things in the aftermath of the accident.  It was nowhere near as bad as Chernobyl.  But if it, too, claimed 4,000 lives in future cancer deaths that brings the total death toll from nuclear power to approximately 8,000 deaths for the half century or so we’ve been using it.  Sounds like a lot.  But you know what nuclear power is safer than?  Driving your car.  In 2010 the number of motor vehicle deaths was just over 32,000.  Again, that’s for one year.  Making nuclear power far safer than getting into your car.

The opposition to nuclear power is based on fear.  And politics.  Not the facts.  Yes, nuclear power accidents are scary.  But there are very few nuclear power accidents.  For a statistically insignificant risk of a nuclear catastrophe we’re giving up the only baseload power source than can do what coal can do.  Give us abundant and reliable electric power.  But without the pollution.  However, they oppose nuclear power.  Not because of facts but because of irrational fear and scaremongering.  And if we know they’re doing this for nuclear power can we not conclude that they’re doing the same thing in the war to save the world from global warming?  Especially considering how many thousands of miles glaciers moved long before man released any carbon into the atmosphere?  Yes.  We can believe they base their war to save the world from global warming on nothing but irrational fear and scaremongering.

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California goes Too Far and a Long-Time Californian Business may leave for Friendlier Climes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 11th, 2012

Week in Review

California loves intrusive government.  They have environmental regulations that are more demanding than the rest of the nation.  And more costly to business.  It is why gasoline prices are the highest in California.  It’s also why a lot of businesses are leaving California.  Even Hollywood is feeling the high cost of doing business.  And are shooting more and more movies on location where there are lower costs.  But Californians are okay with all of this.  They even just voted a massive tax hike to help pay for this intrusive government.  But along with these new tax hikes Californians did something else.  Something that goes beyond the pale.  Something that businesses may respond to with their feet.  And leave this governmental overreach into the private sector economy (see Porn stars angry at condom requirement, threaten to leave L.A. posted 11/7/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

AIDS activists called a requirement that porn performers wear condoms while filming a “referendum on the subject of safer sex.”

But with almost all the votes tallied and Measure B winning passage, many in the adult film industry were wondering what’s next for the industry — and whether they must now take their business out of Los Angeles County.

During its campaign against the condom requirement, the industry said 10,000 jobs would be at stake and that film companies might be forced to leave Los Angeles County, taking away an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars…

“It’s a dark day for porn…somehow measure b passed.” tweeted @FetishMoviesCom.

Under the measure, the cost of the law would be paid for by porn producers, who would have to purchase a public health permit, much like tattoo parlors. Violators would be subject to fines and misdemeanor criminal charges.

This is where they draw the line.  Porn industry jobs.  Probably because of that war on women thing.  Even though this is more a product of the political left.   Normally defenders of free speech and women’s rights.  And here they are.  Acting like Republicans.  Doing something that is not porn-friendly.  And possibly putting thousands of women out of work.  Talk about your war on women.

It’s a pity people didn’t feel this impassioned for all of those other anti-business policies of the state of California.  For they are killing a lot more jobs then will be lost if the porn industry leaves town.  But I guess some jobs are more important than others.  At least, to those in California.  Who seem to understand the porn industry better than business in general.  Then again, California is a blue state.  A Democrat state.  Who prefer regulating businesses instead of helping businesses.

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