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Fact Free Policy Debates: Part II

unemploymentby Thomas Sowell

Words seem to carry far more weight than facts among those liberals who argue as if rent control laws actually control rents and gun control laws actually control guns.

It does no good to point out to them that the two American cities where rent control laws have existed longest and strongest — New York and San Francisco — are also the two cities with the highest average rents.

Nor does it make a dent on them when you point out evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic, that tightening gun control laws does not reduce gun crimes, including murder. It is not uncommon for gun crimes to rise when gun control laws are tightened. Apparently armed criminals prefer unarmed victims. [Read more...]

Wall Street Advisor: Aactual unemployment is 37.2%, ‘misery index’ worst in 40 years

unemployment-numbersby Paul Bedard

Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.

In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn’t being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.

“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more. [Read more...]

What about jobs?

unemploymentThe country needs jobs, not more jobless benefits. Congress and the White House have completely lost sight of this.

One blessing of the holiday season is upon us: The prospect that members of Congress will actually stay away from Washington for a few weeks, leaving what’s left of our liberties and livelihoods alone until the new year.

Glory, hallelujah, amen.

Of course, lawmakers will be back at it soon. And we’re already seeing signs that they have no idea how to address the serious problems average, struggling Americans face every day. [Read more...]

Minimum Wage Hammers Youth

youth unemploymentby Phil Kerpen

With Democrats cratering in the polls over their collapsing health care law, they are trying to pivot to the only part of their policy agenda that still enjoys broad public support: the minimum wage. But their advocacy and its popularity rest on the incorrect belief that a significant number of families live on the minimum wage. Instead, the primary impact would be to exacerbate a crisis of youth unemployment spurred largely by the last minimum wage increase.

A recent analysis by Ben Gitis of the American Action Forum found that just 1.9 percent of all wage and salary earners make the minimum wage or less. Just 0.3 percent of people in families with incomes below the poverty line make the minimum wage or less — and just 1.5 percent make less than $10.10, the level that Democrats have suggested for the next hike. Applying the most recent academic research, Gitis also found that such an increase would reduce employment by more than two million jobs. [Read more...]

Did the White House know about the false job numbers?

unemployment-numbersby John Crudele

Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified?

Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.

On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election. [Read more...]

The US job market is dead in the water and not getting better

US Jobs Graph

 

How do you know the August jobs report was pretty bad? When the best thing you can say is that it might have met Wall Street expectations if not for a temporary shutdown in the porn industry last month. (The motion picture and sound recording industry lost 22,000 jobs in August, according to the BLS.) Sure, the White House can argue, as economic adviser Jason Furman did right after the report’s release, that the “incoming economic data broadly suggest that the recovery continues to make progress.” But consider the following:

1. This was the jobs report that was supposed to reflect an economy kicking into higher gear. Goldman Sachs, for instance, was looking for 200,000 net new jobs. And whisper estimates were even higher. Instead, the economy added just 169,000 jobs vs. the 180,000 consensus forecast. [Read more...]

Worse than Carter

carterThe “labor force participation rate” hit a record low hit at 63.2 percent. This represents the percentage of Americans over the age of 16 who have jobs (even if it is part-time or just a temporary job), or are looking for a job. That is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job numbers released this past Friday.

So after Barack Obama has been in office for 4 and 1/2 years and spent trillions on stimulus, we have a record low number of Americans over the age of 16 who have any job at all or are even optimistic enough to be looking for a job. Almost 40% of the American population over the age of 16 is unemployed or so depressed that they’ve given up looking for work. That is not good news, despite Obama’s claims that we are heading in the right direction.

Jimmy Carter must be smiling because before last Friday, he held the record for the worst labor force participation rate. [Read more...]

The Unaffordable Careless Act

ObamaCare Side EffectsSmall businesses won’t grow, and more employees will work fewer hours. That’s just for starters.

by Karl Rove

Harvard (and later Columbia) sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote in 1936 about the “unanticipated consequences of purposive social action.” Pity that Barack Obama, an alumnus of both universities, either never read or took to heart Merton’s warnings. It would have saved Americans a lot of misery.

The president certainly did not promote the Affordable Care Act by promising it would mean more part-time and fewer full-time jobs. Yet that is one of its unanticipated consequences.

A major provision of ObamaCare requires companies to provide health insurance to any employee who works more than 30 hours a week or pay a $2,000 per-person fine. Not surprisingly, the number of hourly employees working 30-34 hours a week dropped by an average of 146,500 a month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number working 25-29 hours rose by 119,000 a month. [Read more...]

ObamaCare now even more unpopular … and with good reason

by Stephen F. HayesObamacare Opt Out

It’s been one year since the Supreme Court decision that allowed Obama administration officials to begin implementing the Affordable Care Act, and the frequency and volume of reports about the challenges facing those reforms—and the difficulties they are visiting on those who were supposed to benefit from them—are increasing dramatically.

Jeff Vernon, an employee of Scrambler Marie’s restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, told a local reporter that the owners were cutting his hours to avoid penalties under Obamacare. Businesses with more than 49 employees have to offer insurance to all “full-time” workers—defined as those who put in 30 hours or more each week. The result, for Vernon: $400 less in take-home pay every month. “That leaves me $27.50 for two weeks to live off of,” he explained. Vernon said the owners tried to avoid the cuts but didn’t have any other recourse. “They were real good about that,” he added. “The last thing they wanted to do was cut people. They don’t want to fire anybody.” [Read more...]

Americans Are Migrating to States with Lower Taxes and Less Regulation

by John Merline   red state blue state

Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states. [Read more...]

Carbon Taxes and Leprosy: The opportunity of a life time? Who are they kidding?

by George Landrith   carbon tax

It is not surprising that there are liberals in Washington proposing new stealth carbon taxes. What is surprising is that a few “conservatives” support the idea. Even more inexplicable is the fact that some have called the carbon tax a “once in a generation opportunity.”

Let me see if I’ve got this right. A huge, gargantuan tax increase — one that would make everything cost more — is a “once in a generation opportunity?”

Every single day for the last 30 years and every single day for the next 30 years, liberals will crawl over top of each other to be the first one to sign-on to a new energy tax. This is a deal that liberals will always be willing to give. [Read more...]

The truth about the minimum wage

by Gordon Jones   Minimum Wage

In early 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the constitutionality of ObamaCare (né the Affordable Care Act of 2009). One would think that the time for such a hearing might be before passage of the act, but that is the way we do things around here, and besides, that is not the point of this column, which (as you can see from the title), is about the minimum wage.

The point derives from an exchange between Utah’s freshman (very fresh at the time, only a day or two old) Senator Mike Lee and Walter Dellinger, heavyweight lawyer, professor of constitutional law at Duke University, Assistant Solicitor General, presidential legal adviser, and then Acting Solicitor General in the Clinton Administration. In the course of the exchange, Lee wondered why, if the Interstate Commerce Clause would support a requirement for everyone to buy insurance, it wouldn’t support a requirement that every citizen buy (if not actually consume) three servings of leafy green vegetables every day. (That was in the heady days when supporters of ObamaCare still thought it was a regulation, before Chief Justice Roberts discovered that it was actually a tax.) [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the ’88 Republican National Convention

“Our party speaks for human freedom, for the sweep of liberties that are at the core of our existence. . . . Together we’ve fought for causes we love. But we can never let the fire go out or quit the fight, because the battle is never over. Our freedom must be defended over and over again — and then again.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

At the end of a Super Bowl the winning head coach can rightly point to the day’s game plan, key plays, and stats. All these and more contributed to what was accomplished by the team – led by the coach.

At the end of his time in office, a successful two-term president can rightly point to the administration’s fundamental principles and key policies. All these and more produced the real-world accomplishments – led by the president. After eight years of concrete success and indisputable accomplishment President Reagan reported to the 1988 Republican National Convention. Prior to being elected Reagan had carefully and overtly taught — yes, taught — the country the key principles on which the Founders based the U.S. Constitution and preserved American culture. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan, “Our Noble Vision: An Opportunity For All”

“You cannot create a desert, hand a person a cup of water, and call that compassion. . . . And you cannot build up years of dependence on government and dare call that hope.” 

by Scott L. Vanatter

Before his first term was complete President Reagan restored the American economy and revived the American spirit. The power and focus of his words and his policies returned America to its true identity and destiny.

Soaring rhetoric must be supported by real accomplishment. Otherwise the words are empty, the sentiment is trite. Too often national leaders only give lip service to the lofty principles which Reagan carefully and continually taught. Worse, when some leaders overtly deprecate the Founding principles, America fails to preserve and advance our precious freedoms. Tyranny is never more than a generation away from falling on us. Americans need to continually self-inoculate against a creeping tyranny. [Read more...]

Charles Krauthammer: The right-to-work dilemma

“Higher wages or lower unemployment? It is a wrenching choice. . . . Think of the moral calculus. Lower wages cause an incremental decline in one’s well-being. No doubt. But for the unemployed, the decline is categorical, sometimes catastrophic — a loss not just of income but of independence and dignity.”

by Charles Krauthammer

For all the fury and fistfights outside the Lansing Capitol, what happened in Michigan this week was a simple accommodation to reality. The most famously unionized state, birthplace of the United Auto Workers, royalty of the American working class, became right-to-work.

It’s shocking, except that it was inevitable. Indiana went that way earlier this year. The entire Rust Belt will eventually follow because the heyday of the sovereign private-sector union is gone. Globalization has made splendid isolation impossible. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Election Night Speech

“I am not frightened by what lies ahead and I don’t believe the American people are frightened by what lies ahead. Together, we’re going to do what has to be done.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

On election night November 4, 1980 Ronald Reagan revealed that he had expected “a cliffhanger.” Perhaps the fact that he had previously worked as an actor colored the language he used that night.

CLIFFHANGER

He said he was humbled not just because of the large margin of victory, but also the mere fact of being elected. “Even if it had been the cliffhanger that all of us, I think, were expecting, it would have been the same way.”

Reagan said he would keep “the trust you have placed in me sacred and I give you my sacred oath that I will do my utmost to justify your faith.” [Read more...]

Obama’s Unprecedented Record of Failure on Jobs

“Every other employment indicator is worse today than it was in January 2009.”

Editorial: Investor’s Business Daily

November 02, 2012

President Obama holds up a printed copy of his jobs plan at a campaign event at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland on Thursday

President Obama wants four more years because, he says, things are getting better and this is no time to turn back. And the latest jobs report to be released before the election appeared to hold good news, showing the economy created 171,000 jobs in October.

But you don’t have to look very hard to see that Obama has the worst jobs record of any president in modern times.

Despite 40 months of economic recovery, the number of payroll jobs today is just 0.1% above where it stood when Obama took office, and it’s still 4.3 million below the previous peak. [Read more...]

If Obama Loses, Part II

Part II, Job Prospects?

by Scott L. Vanatter

In part one, I discussed whether racial recriminations or even riots will follow an Obama loss. Short answers, respectively, probably yes, and probably not. American has indeed progressed. Well . . . except certain liberal commentators.

Here in part two, after reviewing a bit of his history and current predicament, I discuss what Obama will do if he loses in November. In part three, I will delve into whether he will run for president again and if so, when?

Barack Obama made history when he was elected the first black man as president of the United States. It was a perfect moment in U.S. history, a perfect storm of a unique set of events, circumstances, and personalities. All combined to set up Obama to essentially coast to an easy victory. “Don’t worry,” he famously said a few weeks prior to winning, “We got this.” Obama is nothing if not confident.

[Read more...]

Obama has no idea how the economy works

If Obama Frownthe last four years were not convincing enough, President Obama proved during Tuesday night’s debate that he has no clue how the economy works. His stated economic proposals are nothing but reheated talking points from 2008, and they are as unrealistic now as they were then.

Despite his falsely professed faith in markets, the President shows by his actions and policy proposals that he really believes the only way economies thrive is when they are directed by government policy-makers and bureaucrats who are empowered to choose the “correct” economic outcomes. [Read more...]

Fact-checking President Obama

by George Landrith

Let’s fact check President Barack Obama’s debate statements. He spent a lot of time since the first debate and during the second debate complaining that what Gov. Mitt Romney said wasn’t true. Yet, the facts do not support Obama’s claims. Here is the proof on Obama’s poor record on truthfulness during the second debate:

The attack in Libya — a terrorist attack? Or a spontaneous protest that got out of hand because of an offensive internet video?

On the issue of Libya, Obama said, that the day after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, “I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

Romney challenged Obama’s characterization that he had identified the Benghazi attack as terrorism on day one. Obama doubled down. Just as Romney was about the snare Obama in his lie,  the the moderator erroneously sided with Obama and claimed that he had identified the attack as terrorism. After the debate, the moderator admitted that she was wrong and that Romney was correct. But let’s not rely on her retraction and correction, let’s go straight to the record. [Read more...]