Saturday, September 08, 2012

"It Could Have Been Worse" ~ Obama

Sept 6, 2012 episode.
"Larry David doesn't think you're better off than you were four years ago, but suggests you think about how f**ked you could have been without President Obama."

And it can get even worse over the next four years during which time a re-elected Obama will be saying, "It could be better, but I'm a second term President with nothing to loose by ignoring the whole damned thing."

Friday, September 07, 2012

Obama Acceptance Speech Checked for Facts and Lies

Barack Obama said in his acceptance speech Thursday night that he wanted to use the money saved by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to fund nation building here at home - to build roads, bridges, railroads, and schools. The problem is that it's wishful thinking - there is no peace dividend because the wars were financed with borrowed money, there are no piles of cash waiting to be spent on the promised goodies. What money there is and will be for the next many years will be needed to pay back the loans ... with interest.

Tonight's double feature with Biden and Obama featured more whoppers than all the Burger Kings combined. Here are a few that AP fact checkers, Tom Raum and Calvin Woodward, identified as not matching the facts (lies):

OBAMA: "I'll use the money we're no longer spending on war to pay down our debt and put more people back to work - rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and runways. After two wars that have cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, it's time to do some nation-building right here at home."
THE FACTS: The idea of taking war savings to pay for other programs is budgetary sleight of hand, given that the wars were paid for with increased debt. Obama can essentially "pay down our debt," as he said, by borrowing less now that war is ending. But he still must borrow to do the "extra nation-building" he envisions.
He made a similar statement in his State of the Union address, and it is no less misleading now than in January. And the savings appear to be based at least in part on inflated war spending estimates for future years.
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OBAMA: "We will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we'll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more."
THE FACTS: Some of the proposals the Obama administration has floated in budget negotiations with Congress would ask Medicare beneficiaries to pay more. Among them: revamping co-payments and deductibles in ways that could raise costs for retirees and increasing premiums for certain beneficiaries.
Obama even indicated a willingness to consider raising the eligibility age, currently 65, to 67. As word of some of the proposals leaked out, the president faced a backlash from fellow Democrats. He has since said he would not accept Medicare cuts as a part of a deficit reduction deal, unless it also includes higher taxes on the wealthy. Still, some level of increased costs for middle-class and upper-income Medicare recipients is likely to be part of any future deficit reduction deal.
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OBAMA: "We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports, and if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years."
THE FACTS: Obama has claimed an increase of some 500,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 29 months. But this is cherry picking by the president. From the beginning of Obama's term 3 1/2 years ago, manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 500,000, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing jobs have been on a steady decline for nearly two decades.
Even though there has been a modest uptick in manufacturing jobs this year, unless there is a major turnaround, it seems unlikely that Obama's goal of 1 million new manufacturing jobs can be reached by his target date of 2016.
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OBAMA: "And now you have a choice: We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here in the United States of America."
BIDEN: "Gov. Romney believes that in the global economy, it doesn't much matter where American companies put their money or where they create jobs. As a matter of fact, he has a new tax proposal - the territorial tax - that experts say will create 800,000 jobs, all of them overseas."
THE FACTS: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's proposal is actually aimed at encouraging investment in the U.S., not overseas.
The U.S. currently has a global tax system that is filled with credits, exemptions and deductions that enable many companies to avoid U.S. taxes and provides an incentive for corporations to keep their profits in other countries. Whether Romney's plan would spur investment in the U.S. is debatable, but it's not a plan aimed at dispersing profits abroad.
Experts differ on the impact of a territorial system on employment in the U.S. But Biden's implication that Romney's plan sends jobs abroad is not supported by the expert opinion he cites.
Kimberly Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Ore., said a pure territorial tax system could increase employment in low-tax countries by 800,000. But that did not mean U.S. jobs moving overseas. Clausing later wrote: "My analysis does not speak to the effects on jobs in the United States."
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BIDEN: "After the worst job loss since the Great Depression, we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs in the past 29 months."
THE FACTS: This seems to be a favorite statistic, because many speakers at the convention cited it. But it's misleading - a figure that counts jobs from when the recession reached its trough and employment began to grow again. It excludes jobs lost earlier in Obama's term, and masks the fact that joblessness overall has risen over Obama's term so far.
As well, in the same 29 months that private sector jobs grew by 4.5 million, jobs in the public sector declined by about 500,000, making the net gain in that period about 4 million.
Overall, some 2 million jobs were lost during the recession that began in December 2007 in President George W. Bush's term and ended officially in June 2009 with Obama as president.
Never since World War II has the economy been so slow to recover all the jobs lost in a downturn.
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BIDEN: "What they didn't tell you is that the plan they've put down on paper would immediately cut benefits to more than 30 million seniors already on Medicare. What they didn't tell you is the plan they're proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016."
THE FACTS: Biden wasn't referring to any Medicare plan of Romney or running mate Paul Ryan, but to the consequences of fully repealing Obama's health care law, which is unpopular with seniors even though it has sweetened Medicare in certain ways. A Medicare plan put forward by Ryan in Congress would have no immediate effect because it would apply only to future retirees.
Obama's health care law improved Medicare benefits, adding better coverage for beneficiaries with high prescription costs as well as removing co-pays for a set of preventive benefits. If the law is repealed, those benefits would be lost unless Congress decides otherwise.
Similarly, Romney's promise to restore Obama's $716 billion in Medicare cuts could have unintended consequences for the program. The cuts don't affect seniors directly, instead falling on hospitals, insurers and other service providers. Restoring the higher payments to providers would accelerate the depletion of Medicare's trust fund for inpatient care, from 2024 currently to 2016, unless Congress acts to stave that off.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Barney Frank - Just a Little Bit Tighter Now Baby

Rep. Barney Frank(D-MA), checked in at the front desk of the Marriott in Uptown Charlotte this morning while wearing a leather belt around his neck.


Don't let go now
Hold on baby just a little bit tighter
Hold on a-just a little bit tighter now baby
I love yo so much and I can't let go
Alive 'N Kickin'

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Bain Not So Evil Democrats Won't Invest

Government-worker pension funds are the chief beneficiaries of Bain’s economic stewardship.(Deroy Murdock - New York Post)

* Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund ($2.2 million)
* Indiana Public Retirement System ($39.3 million)
* Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System ($177.1 million)
* The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System ($19.5 million)
* Maryland State Retirement and Pension System ($117.5 million)
* Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada ($20.3 million)
* State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio ($767.3 million)
* Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System ($231.5 million)
* Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island ($25 million)
* San Diego County Employees Retirement Association ($23.5 million)
* Teacher Retirement System of Texas ($122.5 million)
* Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System ($15 million)
(...)
 Major, center-left foundations and cultural establishments also have seen their prospects brighten, thanks to Bain Capital. According to the aforementioned sources, such Bain clients have included the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
(...)
Is Bain really a gang of corporate buccaneers who plunder their ill-gotten gains by outsourcing, euthanizing feeble portfolio companies and giving cancer to the spouses of those whom they fired? If so, union bosses, government retirees, liberal foundations and elite universities thrive on the wages of Bain’s economic Darwinism.

Via Instapundit who says, "Republicans should challenge these lefty groups to divest, or shut up."