Friday, April 18, 2014

Fiscal Update, CBO Weighs In

So I've been highlighted an optimistic take on the federal fiscal deficit that is not from a clueless and/or n in the tank Obamabot (those are easy to find).  See here and here.

I have conceded that Grannis's take is probably more informed than mine, although I remain firm in my view that it is not the deficit but the debt that needs our focus, and that there the news remains terribly, awfully bad.

Well, the CBO has weighed in on the Lightworker's budget and IBD has the reportage.
President Obama's budget adds $6.6 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday.
That estimate is significantly worse than the $4.9 trillion in deficits predicted by the White House. The CBO used its own less rosy estimates of the economy to complete the analysis. 
So, Dear Leader's budget was only $1.7 trillion too rosy.  Shocker.  Read more for the gory details, but basically we are structurally spending $400-800 billion a year of money we don't have and we'll be taking the debt to 75% of GDP handily, precisely the levels that have gotten our quasi-socialist European friends into their current messes.

On top of all that new debt though, will be vastly higher interest payments as the Fed tapers and gets out of the interest rate manipulation business (we hope).  So, the debt scenario continues to look bad, we are running the risk of a debt crack up.  The good news, is that when you hit the wall, you are forced to make the choices you should have made all along, and small government will be a necessity rather than a option.  So, all us knuckle-dragging, right-wing nutters who would like to see more modesty in our government, like for instance a Bureau of Land Management that isn't armed to the teeth so that they can commandeer grazing cattle, should take heart.  When the day of the fiscal crack-up comes, there will be no money for a BLM, let alone a highly militarized one.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

As If To Prove the Point

Dear Leader is giving a news conference right now talking about how:
- Lots of people are signing up for ObamaCare
- Medicare spending has slowed due to the law
- Repealing ObamaCare would increase the deficit
- What Russia is doing is bad for Russia

…all of which is misleading or patently false, so I can't help but think of this, which just hit the inter webs yesterday…
How much do Americans trust President Obama? Not much,according to a Fox News poll
Sixty-one percent of respondents in the poll released Thursday said Obama lies at least some of the time on important issues. An additional 20 percent said he lies every now and then. 
Only 15 percent believe the president is completely truthful.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer of Recovery?


What is certain though, is that America's favorite summer pastime - grilling and eating delicious animal flesh is going to be more expensive

Oh well, we'll just have to grilled up some shrimp instead.  Wait.  OK, pork then, yummy pork.  Oops.

Hope and change, Baby!

Ankle Bracelet Wearing Sex Offenders Do Some Murdering

Don't worry, the authorities will protect you.
"Murder, rape suspects wore GPS ankle bracelets during crime spree"
Hey, now would be a good time for a refresher course on the case law precedents regarding the government's duty to protect you - short answer, there is no such duty.
“… a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.”
That is from Warren v. District of Columbia (1981).  BTW, don't ever read the details of that case over a bowl of Cheerios or any foodstuffs for that matter.  Oh, and for fun, how about another, related case.  This one is McKee v. City of Rockwall.
 There is no constitutional violation when the "most that can be said of ... state functionaries ... is that they stood by and did nothing when suspicious circumstances dictated a more active role."

Municipal Bond Market to Detroit: Yeah, That's What I Thought...

Kevin Orr, Detroit's liquidator bankruptcy administrator, received enormous pressure to try to screw Detroit's bond holders from unions and many others, which I am sure included the Obama administration.  This would have had an catastrophic impact upon the municipal bond market. 

The $3.7 TRILLION municipal bond market.  The municipal bond market, without which nearly every city and state in America would cease to function.

Well, Orr gave it a shot.  Predictably the muni bond market won.
Detroit’s proposed 74 cent recovery rate on general-obligation debt, almost five times more than its last offer, has sent yields to the lowest in 10 months and signals a broader rally in local government securities.
Notice what I bolded...five times!  When in life is a second offer ever five times the first offer?  Yeah, hardly ever.

The muni market has shown some muscle.  So, when is the Treasury market going to throw its weight around?

Millionaire Needs $25K Per Month to Contemplate Income Inequality

Hey, remember when John Edwards joined a hedge fund to learn about poverty (yes, it happened, I kid you not!).

Times have changed from those decadent days of rapacious hypocrisy, right?

Um, er...

Hey, I've got a new saying, "I'll believe that income inequality is a problem, when the people telling me it's a problem, start acting like it's a problem."  (OK, that's not really all that new.)

The Seed Corn of Tyranny Is Everywhere

Just three examples, because, well, no one has time to go through it all.

So Lois Lerner was trying to get the Justice Department to go after conservative/Tea Party groups exercising their First Amendment rights, Tim Geithner threatened the Chairman of McGraw-Hill (owner of Standard & Poor's) over its downgrade of US debt, and an armed-to-the-teeth Bureau of Land Management mobilizes over cattle or tortoises or something...

...and you don't think we are living under a gangsterized government?  We've been cowed too long into refraining from calling like it is (otherwise we are wing-nuts, right?) but how much more evidence do we need before we realize that Obama and his ilk are the seed corn of tyranny.  When what they want clashes with your rights, your rights seem to lose.

Let's get with the program, they will enslave us all if they could, and they're trying.

Inflating Away

Hey, remember all those times I said that inflation was coming.  First, was the "crapify" and then would come the outright prices increases.

Food prices increased 0.4% after posting a similar jump in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday. That's the largest monthly increase since September 2011. Beef, pork, poultry, eggs and milk have had the most dramatic price hikes as drought, a virus outbreak and rising exports have thinned U.S. supplies.
Of course, high level economics teaches us to ignore certain categories of prices as very few of us eat food, drive cars or require shelter.  That is why the Fed focusing its energy on crafting capital rules for insurers. 

Back to sleep.

I'm Pretty Sure Mike Bloomberg Is Not a Theologian

Two things Mr. Bloomberg:
1) I'm pretty sure God has little interest in human attitudes toward firearms
2) ...

- All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble

- But those who think themselves great shall be disappointed and humbled; and those who humble themselves shall be exalted.

- This is the one I esteem: He who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

- Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall

I'm sure the New York Times see not one bit of irony or dissonance in any of this...

P.S.  I' pretty sure a $50 million check and a "reorganization" does not a grass-roots movement make.

P.P.S.  All this talk of heaven and yet there is this: He added: “We’ve got to make them afraid of us.”

Shocking News

From a liberal or "radical progressive" as she terms herself...

Conservatives aren't evil or stupid, quite the opposite.

Don't believe it.  The wives, husbands, families and friends we've managed to attract and the work we do in our communities are all a Trojan Horse facade to get us power so we can keep brown people down and eat the children of the poor.

Bloomberg Hides Blue v. Red State Economic Disparity

So check out this headline:
"Tight Job Market in U.S. Cities Prompts Higher Pay"
Sounds awesome right?  So, if you are a struggling millenial in New York, Chicago, LA or Boston, this is good news, right?

Maybe not.  If you read the article, it's basically about Texas and maybe a few other states like North Dakota and Louisiana.  Savvy readers will note that these are energy states.  So the article is basically saying that oil states are booming, but the title says "cities."  And the cities argument is a little thin...
Forty-nine, or 13 percent, of the 372 metro areas reported jobless rates below 5 percent that month, the most for February since 2008, two months after the start of the recession. The lowest was 2.8 percent in Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, Louisiana, because of offshore-oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
13%?  Houma, LA?  Finally, Bloomberg helpfully gives us a map.  The map is hardly heartening to "city" folk.  It shows, broadly, California and Illinois are still disasters, the northeast is meh and places like super-cool and super blue urban Oregon are struggling big time. 

Contrast that with the soutwest (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri) and the deep South (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina). 

On the evidence, the reality is clear and the story ought to be "Blue state are struggling, Red states doing much better."  Nope, just "cities" are doing better.

Do we think this is a typical example of micro-bias at Al Hunt's Bloomberg News to give struggling millenials hope and to try to convince people that Obamanomics is turning the corner?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Russia Invades...?

Bloomberg is reporting that troops from Russia's 45th Airborne division have entered Ukraine territory. So, Putin has fomented a little unrest, Ukraine deploys troops to counter separtist shenanigans (phony and/or real) and Vlad has the excuse he needs. I'm sure he figured out that the time was now after he got off the phone with Obama...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Update On the Deficit Front

Recently I highlighted the counterpoint to my fiscal pessimism.  Well, I'm back to highlight Scott Grannis's latest update.  Grannis is upbeat on the fiscal situation.  First is his attribution of the cause - gridlock.  Yes, beauteous, magnificent gridlock, the kind of which we fervently hoped for and worked hard to achieve in the 2010 elections.  That was the "shellacking" that changed everything.  We all have our gripes with Boehner and "establishment Republicans" yadayada, but Grannis's take is the proof...Republicans have done a pretty darned good job of keeping growth in government spending at bay despite the Obamacrats fervent desires to the contrary.
This rather extraordinary achievement was not due to any of his {Obama} initiatives, however. As the chart above shows, the big reduction in the deficit has been the by-product of flat to declining spending in recent years and multi-year increase in tax revenues. Most of the reduction in spending can be credited to a deadlocked Congress (which has ignored Obama's repeated requests for ever-rising spending), and to declining costs for social safety nets (mainly unemployment insurance, which still remains unusually high).

Second, the restraint in federal spending is a boon to the economy, based on supply-side logic
Then, as now, a huge decline in government spending failed—despite the warnings of Keynesian-trained economists—to generate a depression, and failed to send the unemployment rate skyrocketing. Supply-siders, in contrast, have an answer for what happened that makes sense: when the government controls fewer of the economy's resources, the private sector has more room in which to practice that in which it uniquely excels: entrepreneurship, cost-cutting, risk-taking, and productivity gains.

So, the news is upbeat, but remember this is a deficit analysis, not a debt analysis.  I retain my pessimism on the debt front.  We are still running structural deficits, albeit small as per Grannis, and and our debt is dangerously close to being unpayable as it is.  Furthermore, we are rapidly bonding long hidden liabilities that have lurked in our entitlement programs.  We will need Grannis optimistic trajectory to hold for many years into the future to make the debt picture look brighter and reduce the risks associated with a debt crisis.

Hashtag Liberals Always Screw It Up

Two stories.

 1- The IRS's Dallas office was a pro-Obama propaganda outfit. One employee is accused by investigators of telling a caller that Republicans will "set women back 40 years."

 2 - More women are becoming stay at home moms because they can't find jobs.

Just to be clear the Dems have been running things since 2006...

I've talked about the Dems' remarkable feats before...

Oh, and how about those iconic liberal cities that suck for minorities...(hint: they are not designed to be good for minorities)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RIP, Jim Flaherty

Yes, NBfPB can achieve such geekdom that we mourn the loss, or at least acknowlege the loss, of a former Finance Minister.

Although this Bloomberg article is peppered with off-base assetions and contradictory logic aimed at calling Flaherty's tenure into question, there can be no doubt as to Canada's fiscal prudence and good example for the world in how to not go stupid-ass, belly up.  And Flaherty was instrumental.

God speed, Jim Flaherty.

A Rant: Dumb Sluts vs. Little Boys

Gosh bloody darn it!  

I'm the father of a football-crazy 10 year old boy and his hero-du-jour is Colin Kaepernick, who replaced Jameis Winston last week or last month (I can't keep up).  {Hey, I'm sorry, I've tried to get the kid to idolize Friedrich Hayek, Pope John Paul II, Alexander Hamilton, Margaret Thatcher and a host of others, but gimme a break, he's f**king's no sale.  Call me a bad parent, whatever}  Anyway, the kid spends his limited computer time trying to study and admire the football field exploits of these athletes, and all he seems to read about is jilted, vindictive, ignorant sluts.

Ugh.  Here is the latest semi-prurient non-story.  Let's sum up:  1) I banged him at least once already, 2) I went to his hotel room to drink booze and smoke pot, 3) I woke up naked and not knowing what happened, 4) I file a police report...

Good God!

Listen,  I bow to no one in my concern for young women's safety, well-being, and protection from predatory men (I'm a father of two precious and beautiful princesses, after all), but puhleeeeeze, ladies.  Grow up.  Wake up. Make some goddam decent choices in your miserable lives.

But, at the end of the day...if you are incapable of any bloody common sense, after you've made a series of idiotic choices...

Please, shut up!

You are crushing the dreams of millions of little boys by unfairly painting their temporary heroes as rapist pigs. 

Let's go after the real miscreants, let's lock the actual sexual abusers up and throw away the keys, but let's not teach our boys that the default mode of famous people is criminal sexuality when it's not. 

So here is my plea...grow up dumb, slutty football hoes!  You are ruining childhood for little boys.

UPDATE:  Apologies for the formatting.  This new browser (I uninstalled Firefox!) is not taking to Blogger very well...

Eric Holder Asks...

Q:  "...what attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
A:  Um, one that has been held in contempt...the only one ever...

Reminder - 17 House Democrats voted to hold our embarassment of an AG in contempt...

Curse and Glory of Federalism

In this one blog post is summed up both the genius and pitfalls of our federalist system.
MOVE TO TENNESSEE. NO INCOME TAX, AND OUR ESTATE TAX WILL BE GONE IN 2016. Wealthy New Yorkers Face 164% Estate Tax Rate. But only if you promise not to vote for the same kind of bullshit policies that ruined New York once you get here.
Make things nice and livable and the doofi that screwed up their home states - via stupidity or lack of vigilance or both - can move in and proceed to screw up your state.  That's how, for example, North Carolina got the likes of Bev Perdue who wanted to cancel elections.  Cary, after all, is the Consolidated Area of Relocated Yankees.

Somehow the people who move never see that the high taxes, crappy schools, crime and poor job market are a result of how they vote and they keep voting that way after they've fled all those things.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Energy Guru: Talk of Global Approaches to Energy Is Ridiculous

So, I've been saying that global warming is dead - from a policy perspective - for many reasons, one of which is that the rest of the world either doesn't believe the West or just doesn't care.

The WSJ has an interview with energy guru Vaclav Smil (I've been following Smil for over 10 years, which makes me way cooler than you).  Here is one apropos tidbit...

MR. BALL: Is there a big energy transition going on now?
MR. SMIL: There is and there isn't. Have you ever heard about Russians wanting to have more wind turbines and more solar? Have you had Turks being terribly interested about any of these things? Have you had people in Indonesia worrying about putting up more solar? There are hundreds of millions of people around this planet, and their leaders, who couldn't care less.
And, well, there are the Chinese
MR. BALL: What you've essentially described is that nothing fundamental is happening. Am I wrong about that?
MR. SMIL: It is and it isn't. Look at the Chinese example. They are building all these wind capacities and solar capacities, but in the past eight years they added one billion tons of coal production. It took the good old U.S. 150 years to gear it up to one billion tons. And they want to add another one billion tons of coal in the next six years. So it doesn't matter how many wind turbines are built.
The Chinese don't care, as I've said, but nor should they.

Funny How That Works

Hey, no way?!

The doctor that managed to scam extract $21 million out of Medicare for calendar year 2013 is the same guy that bankrolls scumbag NJ Senator Bob Menendez and took him on those, um, er, "off-shore drilling expeditions". 

Small world.