Seeking Liberty

Liberty is the Fruit from Which All Progress Grows

Jobs will come when government stops trying to save them

March saw the strongest job growth rate since May 2007, but the White House is warning Americans that we still have a “long way to go” before the unemployment rate gets back down to levels we’ve become accustomed to in the past three decades. According to Fox News:

Obama’s chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers said on a pair of talk shows that a year after the passage of the stimulus bill, the U.S. economy still has “a long way to go.”

Summers said pushing the unemployment rate down from its current 9.7 percent level won’t be easy.

No, it won’t be easy, particularly since the Democrats and the President have absolutely no interest in taking the steps necessary to encourage economic growth. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, taxes, , , , , , ,

Health Care Hang-Ups

Telecommunications giant AT&T will record a $1 billion charge for the first quarter of 2010 due to the tax implications of the recently passed health care legislation, according to the Atlanta Business Journal. According to the Journal:

In the filing, AT&T added, “As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company.”

So much for helping to rebuild our economy. The tax implications of this bill are already having a detrimental effect on employee compensation and retiree benefits. Before the legislation was even passed, Caterpillar, Inc. sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against this bill, which they estimated would cost the company over $100 million per year. Because America didn’t know fully what was in the bill before it was passed, both small and large businesses are only just now able to start coming to grips with what the legislation really means for them. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, insurance, taxes, , , , , , , , , ,

Fix the Balance Sheet, Fix the Economy

Just about everybody realizes that the Stimulus did did not stimulate our economy. In fact, it was probably quite counter-productive, since the borrowed debt and newly printed Dollar Bills have severely weakened the Dollar in comparison to other currencies like the Euro, Yen and Pound Sterling. Now, with the realization fully in the mind of the American people, President Obama and others are suggesting that we pull the repaid from the TARP program and unspent stimulus funds to spend it on “job creation.” Fortunately, some in Washington oppose these ideas.

Pardon me, but wasn’t this what the Stimulus Bill was for? Wasn’t it passed to stem the rising unemployment rate at no more than 8 percent? Shouldn’t the funds in the Stimulus Bill have already been spent “creating” jobs?

The answer, of course, is no. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, taxes, wealth, , , , ,

Reverse Course to Right Our Economy

Can we just admit that the Stimulus was an $800 billion mistake that did absolutely nothing to help the economy or stimulate jobs?

Can we admit that Keynesian economics are, at best, a scalpel being wielded as though a they were a machete?

Can we admit that no centralized government planning will ever lead to greater economic prosperity?

Because if you really can’t admit that, you really haven’t been paying attention.

For the past several years, we’ve been told that America needs more regulation, that the wealthy need to pay their “fair share,” that free market economics aren’t enough any more.  We’ve been told some companies and some banks are just “too big to fail,” and that we the taxpayers have to step in and “save” them from their failures.  We’ve been told that the managers of these companies, even the ones that have righted their boats, don’t deserve the high levels of compensation they earn.  That if these wealthy people weren’t so greedy, we’d all have more.

The media and the Democrats will tell you that the the CEOs and senior executives of these big corporations are giving themselves big bonuses and big pay-raises.  There’s just one problem with that concept: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, health care, socialism, taxes, wealth, , ,

To control spending, start with the basics

Nancy Pelosi likes spending your money.

If you’re reading this, you probably already knew that.  What you didn’t know is just how much and how carelessly Ms. Pelosi likes to spend your hard-earned tax dollars.  According to Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft for Congressional Delegations (CODELs). According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol.

Use of military aircraft aside, the expenditures also includes vast amounts of premium alcohol and special trips for family members.  A trip to Iraq also included large amounts of alcohol, a luxury officially denied to the uniformed men and women fighting Al-Qaeda and its surrogates there.

So much for the “most open and ethical Congress in history.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Government, taxes, , , , , , ,

Caulk won’t save our economy.

To improve our economy, President Obama wants us to spend tens of billions of dollars on… Caulk.

That’s right. The President believes that both our energy situation and the unemployment issues that far out-strip any projections made by his economic team can be solved by “weatherizing” our homes. All we need to do is hire hundreds of thousands of union laborers to add weatherstripping and caulk to lower our energy costs. This will have a ripple-effect that will resonate throughout our economy and kick-start the jobs machine. To do this, the Stimulus Package already signed into law provided billions of dollars for training workers to install caulk and other weatherizing improvements into people’s homes.

This is all part of President Obama’s “Green Jobs” initiative, which he extensively campaigned on and continues to hold up as the future of our domestic economy. He even went so far as to call insulation “sexy.”

I have a “sexy” idea for President Obama: Instead of focusing on “green jobs,” how about focusing on “jobs?” We can worry about the “green” part when we get back to that 8% unemployment level that he said his magical stimulus would prevent us from ever topping. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, environment, Government, politics, taxes, wealth, , , , , , , , ,

Time Magazine to small business owners: Take your medicine!

It seems the writers and editors at Time Magazine can’t comprehend why small business owners would not want to have the Democrat’s House Health Care “Reform” bill enacted into law. Why wouldn’t these small business owners want to increase their regulatory and financial burden? Don’t they realize that we have 5-10 million people who legitimately cannot afford health insurance? Don’t they realize that their profits and the future of their businesses are just gifts given them by our magnanimous Federal Government?

I apologize for the sarcasm, but the article from Time’s website is ridiculous:

When it comes to finding quality, affordable health insurance, few have it worse than small-business owners and their workers shopping for coverage on the open market. They are charged the most per person, have the least amount of choice and, as a result, are some of the most likely to be uninsured.

Lawmakers know this, which is why many of the key elements in the health care bill just passed by the House — and being considered in the Senate — are aimed squarely at small business. A wide array of economists and health-policy experts say insurance reforms (like prohibiting insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions), a new transparent marketplace to shop for coverage and a government-run insurance plan all have the potential to help small business.

Nowhere does the article cite any source for its assertion that “a wide array of economists and health-policy experts” say these reforms will be helpful to business. This is simply presented as accepted common knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, insurance, media, taxes, , , , , ,

SEPTA Employees demand higher pay, no loss of benefits as the rest of the nation tightens its belt

It takes real cajones for government employees to go on strike for more pay during a recession, when most people are losing their jobs or being forced to take pay cuts to keep their them. Leave it to the employees of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, or SEPTA, to do just that.

The strike by Transport Workers Union Local 234 will all but cripple a transit system that averages more than 928,0000 trips each weekday. The union represents more than 5,000 drivers, operators and mechanics of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

“There will be people waking up this morning needing to commute into work. And unfortunately, there’s not going to be service for them,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.

[snip]

Union workers, who earn an average $52,000 a year, are seeking an annual 4 percent wage hike and want to keep the current 1 percent contribution they make toward the cost of their health care coverage.

Maloney said SEPTA was offering an 11.5 percent wage increase over 5 years, with no raise in the first year, and increases in workers’ pensions.

The average SEPTA employee earns almost as much as an average Pennsylvania family just on their own, yet they want the taxpayers to foot the bill for an average $2,000 per year pay increase. Meanwhile most Americans are worried about keeping their jobs and falling wages as the recession continues, despite the wishful thinking of Congress, the President and certain media outlets. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: economics, Government, taxes, , , , , , , ,

I’m Hungry. Time for Some Pork!

Jamie Dupree has compiled a list of 186 earmarks, their sponsor and the amount as part of a Homeland Security Appropriations bill already approved by the House.

If you don’t follow Jamie on Twitter or read his blog regularly, you’re missing out on some very interesting stories in Washington.

Anyway, I pulled out my spreadsheet software and did a little math: These 186 earmarks total almost $420 million.

In other words, our most transparent, most ethical Congress in history has decided to spend $420 million of our tax dollars on vote buying, pure and simple.

Hmm. Turns out Senator McCain was right about that $800 billion in additional spending. No, actually, he was wrong. The spending is going to be a great deal more than that. I also loved Candidate Obama’s promise that, as President, he’d go through the earmarks “line by line to make sure we’re not spending money unwisely.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Government, politics, taxes, , , , , , , , , , ,

Government Employees are Overpaid

It seems the average Federal Employee earns over $75,000, while the average private sector employee earns less than $40,000. That’s a split of about 80%.

Remember that Federal workers do have a maximum pay level. A G-15 has a maximum “standard” pay level of about $127,000. Depending on where they live, a government employee can earn as much as 35% more than that, topping out at $153,200. An executive tops out at almost $197,000.

In Congress, your congressman or senator has a standard salary of $174,000, and if they are a party leader, their salary increases by $19,000.

So, the average Federal employee works fewer days, has better benefits, gets a taxpayer-funded pension, has incredibly low customer-service ratings and now we find out, is paid almost twice as much. And government employees almost never have to worry about being laid-off. Now the government wants us to fork over more taxes to fund their government health care scheme and pay for their overspending.

And these guys say private businessmen are greedy?

Filed under: Government, socialism, taxes, , ,