Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WaPo and Obama Administration shape numbers and claim fiscal restraint

United States Surpluses & Deficits Graph (in billions of dollars) Image Credit: The Washington Post / Hugh Hewitt (blog)

WaPo and Obama Administration shape numbers and claim fiscal restraint

The average person stumbling upon an article appearing in The Washington Post, yesterday, about the economy and Government spending would think that our current leadership was having success at being responsible with the citizens money that had been collected in taxes.

The article begins with the following quote excerpted from The Washington Post:

Obama team points to smaller deficit numbers

By David Cho - Washington Post Staff Writer - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The federal deficit is running significantly lower than it did last year, with the budget gap for the first half of fiscal 2010 down 8 percent over the same period a year ago, senior Obama administration officials said Monday."
Reference Here>>

While, technically, this statement may be true, it masks the fact that the larger truth is that this adjusted figure moved from being ten (10) times larger than the deficit created by the previous leadership in 2007, to just nine (9) times larger. The Washington Post does reveal the information of this fact in two areas in their article on the Obama Administration report, in a graphic (above) and not until the 13th paragraph of this glowing piece of how well this administration is really not spending that much!

Quote from the 13th paragraph of the same Washington Post article:

"The deficit figure released by the Treasury Department for March means that the federal government has been spending more than it collected for a record 18 consecutive months, dating to the Bush administration."
Reference Here>>

The graph shows the truth of the deficits and Government spending and it is astounding that the Washington Post does not make the lead of this article that the improved spending number of $1,288,000,000,000 (1.3 trillion) is a whopping NINE TIMES larger than $158,000,000,000 ($1.6 billion) of the 2007 deficits of the Bush Administration, the first year with a Democrat Party controlled House of Representatives.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt could not have summed up how wrong this article is in its reporting of the effects of the policies of Barack Obama and the reporting job by the Washington Post.

This excerpted and edited from the blog of Hugh Hewitt -

"This is a ruinous level of spending, the sort of wildly-out-of-control hosing of printed money that could lead to a national fiscal stroke. Happy talk about a hundred billion of possible savings here and there and a reduction in earmarks should not divert attention from the fact that President Obama has led the country over a fiscal cliff, and has no solution in the offing except for a commission that will recommend vast tax hikes the prospect of which already chills investment and job growth."

Reference Here>>

In short, we all should expect a higher standard of context and truth in reports issued from our current leadership and more importantly, reporting of this information by the Fourth Estate (MSM).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

When a Government takeover of a business sector ... nukes

Wheels keep turning: A production line at Holden's Elizabeth plant in Adelaide, Australia. Holden Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM and employs thousands of workers in South Australia and Victoria. Australian Industry Minister and Senator Kim Carr, says GM's bankruptcy, which is the biggest in US manufacturing history, will have no immediate effect on Holden Australia. "We've spoken directly with the company. Its future is guaranteed," he told ABC News. Caption & Image Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News)

When a Government takeover of a business sector ... nukes

Okay, okay, okay ... so now we all come to the point where we can understand why it does not make sense to anyone why a Government can not, and should not take over the running of a business enterprise.


When a free market enterprise goes belly up due to changing demand or poor management decisions, everyone who was involved in that business has skin in the game.

What happens when a Government owns a business enterprise? Everything ... including the culture the enterprise, gets twisted until it becomes unrecognizable.

This excerpted and edited from the New York Times -

Automaker Pensions Underfunded by $17 Billion
By NICK BUNKLEY - NYT - Published: April 6, 2010

The pension plans at General Motors and Chrysler are underfunded by a total of $17 billion and could fail if the automakers do not return to profitability, according to a government report released Tuesday.
If either company’s plan must be terminated, the government would become liable for paying benefits to hundreds of thousands of retirees. The effect on the government’s pension insurer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, would be “unprecedented,” the report said. The agency manages plans with assets totaling $68.7 billion, less than the $84.5 billion in G.M.’s plan alone.
The Treasury Department owns 61 percent of G.M. and 10 percent of Chrysler as a result of the
[FORCED] emergency loans the carmakers received last year. The government spent $81 billion bailing out the companies and others in the auto industry.
“In the event that the companies do not return to profitability in a reasonable time frame, Treasury officials said that they will consider all commercial options for disposing of Treasury’s equity, including forcing the companies into liquidation,” the report said.

In addition, the report said the government’s interests as a shareholder of G.M. and Chrysler could clash with those of pension participants and beneficiaries.
G.M. is scheduled to release its financial results for 2009 on Wednesday. Chrysler plans to provide an update on April 21.

Reference Here>>

We, at Maxine, will update when these financial results become available.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mr. President ... the question was about TAXES

The great elaborator: Obama gives 17-minute answer to health-care query in N.C. Image Credit: Polypore International, Inc.

Mr. President ... the question was about TAXES

On Good Friday - a day that Christians observe the day Jesus was paraded through the streets of Jerusalem along with two other criminals, dragging a cross on his back, a cross that he would later be nailed through the wrists and feet to, and then have this cross posted in the ground and hang from to die - Barack Obama took to a riser-stage in Charlotte, North Carolina at Celgard, a manufacturer of lithium battery components. The company is expanding through an economic-stimulus-funded grant.

During the Obama Administration's promotional event to highlight Government Spending, President Obama took a few questions from the audience and the following situation of note transpired.

Obama took a question on the new health care reform law and higher taxes and he produced one of the longest answers that had been documented (YouTube video below) ... and he produced this answer without actually answering the essence of the question.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. We're honored to have you here today. I'm Joyce Ravis (ph) from Lake Wiley, South Carolina. I work at Celgard. We have wonderful CEOs that take care of us and have really helped the company grow.

My question is, though, in the economy times that we have now, is it a wise decision to add more taxes to us with the health care, because it -- we are over-taxed as it is?

Time: 12:39 p.m. and 40 seconds, EDT

OBAMA: Well, let's talk about this, you know, because this is an area where there's been just a whole lot of misinformation. And I'm going to have to work hard over the next several months to clean up a lot of the misapprehensions that people have.

Here's the bottom line. Number one is that we are the only -- we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 15 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance. And the vast majority of those folks work; it's just that they don't happen to work for a company that is either big enough or generous enough to provide them any coverage.

So that's point number one: There is a moral imperative that is important.

FAST FORWARD TO END (full answer here)

Boy, that was a long answer. I'm sorry, but I hope everybody -- but I hope I answered her question.

Time: 12:56 p.m. and 54 seconds, EDT.

This overview excerpted and edited from The Washington Post -

Obama's 17-minute, 2,500-word response to woman's claim of being 'over-taxed'

by Anne E. Kornblut - The Washington Post
- April 5, 2010

Even by President Obama's loquacious standards, an answer he gave here on health care Friday was a doozy.

He then spent the next 17 minutes and 12 seconds lulling the crowd into a daze. His discursive answer - more than 2,500 words long -- wandered from topic to topic, including commentary on the deficit, pay-as-you-go rules passed by Congress, Congressional Budget Office reports on Medicare waste, COBRA coverage, the Recovery Act and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (he referred to this last item by its inside-the-Beltway name, "F-Map"). He talked about the notion of eliminating foreign aid (not worth it, he said). He invoked Warren Buffett, earmarks and the payroll tax that funds Medicare (referring to it, in fluent Washington lingo, as "FICA").

Always fond of lists, Obama ticked off his approach to health care -- twice. "Number one is that we are the only -- we have been, up until last week, the only advanced country that allows 50 million of its citizens to not have any health insurance," he said.
A few minutes later he got to the next point, which seemed awfully similar to the first. "Number two, you don't know who might end up being in that situation," he said, then carried on explaining further still. "Point number three is that the way insurance companies have been operating, even if you've got health insurance you don't always know what you got, because what has been increasingly the practice is that if you're not lucky enough to work for a big company that is a big pool, that essentially is almost a self-insurer, then what's happening is, is you're going out on the marketplace, you may be buying insurance, you think you're covered, but then when you get sick they decide to drop the insurance right when you need it," Obama continued, winding on with the answer.

Halfway through, an audience member on the riser yawned.

It was not evident that he changed any minds at Friday's event. The audience sat politely, but people in the back of the room began to wander off.

Even Obama seemed to recognize that he had gone on too long. He apologized -- in keeping with the spirit of the moment, not once, but twice. "Boy, that was a long answer. I'm sorry," he said, drawing nervous laughter that sounded somewhat like relief as he wrapped up.
But, he said: "I hope I answered your question."
Reference Here>>

Mr. President ... the question was about TAXES!