Friday, November 30, 2012

FW: cliff


‘President Barack Obama made an opening bid in budget talks with Republicans that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a $50 billion economic-stimulus program and new power to raise the federal debt limit without congressional approval, a broad set of demands Republicans viewed as a step back in talks to avoid looming tax increases and spending cuts.


The proposal, offered by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as he made a round of meetings with congressional leaders in the Capitol Thursday, calls for increasing tax rates on incomes over $250,000, a one-year postponement of looming spending cuts in defense and domestic programs, and some $400 billion in savings over 10 years from Medicare and other entitlement programs.’


Monday, November 26, 2012

RealClearMarkets - The Fiscal Cliff? Let's Rush Off Of It

Today the federal government is collecting $2.67 trillion in revenue ($330 billion short of the Clinton-equivalent) and is spending $3.76 trillion. Yes, that's right; we are spending $987 billion more than if we increased the last Clinton budget for inflation and population growth. It sure looks to me like spending is the main culprit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration's handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to "Al Qaeda involvement" were stripped from his agency's original talking points -- while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.


Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.


"To me the question right now is who changed those talking points and why. ... I'd say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken it out," King told Fox News. "That, to me, has to be pursued."


Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fwd: 20.6%

'Federal spending under Obama has been 24 percent to 25 percent of gross domestic product. Even in World War II, revenues never reached that level. Since that war, the highest level was 20.6 percent of GDP in 2000, when the government was flush with tax revenues from the capital gains of dot-com founders.'

Re: Deficit

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 7:58 AM, <Larry Trout> wrote:

There is probably no one you could disagree more with on the deficit…


'Why don't our politicians and media get this? Because an entire deficit-cutting political industry has grown up in recent years -- starting with Ross Perot's third-party in the 1992 election, extending through Peter Peterson's Institute and other think-tanks funded by Wall Street and big business, embracing the eat-your-spinach deficit hawk crowd in the Democratic Party, and culminating in the Simpson-Bowles Commission that President Obama created in order to appease the hawks but which only legitimized them further.


Most of the media have bought into the narrative that our economic problems stem from an out-of-control budget deficit. They're repeating this hokum even now, when we're staring at a fiscal cliff that illustrates just how dangerous deficit reduction can be.


Deficit hawks routinely warn unless the deficit is trimmed we'll fall prey to inflation and rising interest rates. But there's no sign of inflation anywhere. The world is awash in underutilized capacity As for interest rates, the yield on the 10-year Treasury bill is now around 1.26 percent -- lower than it's been in living memory.


In fact, if there was ever a time for America to borrow more in order to put our people back to work repairing our crumbling infrastructure and rebuilding our schools, it's now.


Public investments that spur future job-growth and productivity shouldn't even be included in measures of government spending to begin with. They're justifiable as long as the return on those investments -- a more educated and productive workforce, and a more efficient infrastructure, both generating more and better goods and services with fewer scarce resources -- is higher than the cost of those investments'



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fwd: France

'THE threat of the euro's collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week (see article). But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.


The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President François Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when François Hollande became the country's first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.


As our special report in this issue explains, France still has many strengths, but its weaknesses have been laid bare by the euro crisis. For years it has been losing competitiveness to Germany and the trend has accelerated as the Germans have cut costs and pushed through big reforms. Without the option of currency devaluation, France has resorted to public spending and debt. Even as other EU countries have curbed the reach of the state, it has grown in France to consume almost 57% of GDP, the highest share in the euro zone. Because of the failure to balance a single budget since 1981, public debt has risen from 22% of GDP then to over 90% now.


The business climate in France has also worsened. French firms are burdened by overly rigid labour- and product-market regulation, exceptionally high taxes and the euro zone's heaviest social charges on payrolls. Not surprisingly, new companies are rare. France has fewer small and medium-sized enterprises, today's engines of job growth, than Germany, Italy or Britain. The economy is stagnant, may tip into recession this quarter and will barely grow next year. Over 10% of the workforce, and over 25% of the young, are jobless. The external current-account deficit has swung from a small surplus in 1999 into one of the euro zone's biggest deficits. In short, too many of France's firms are uncompetitive and the country's bloated government is living beyond its means.


Hollande at bay


With enough boldness and grit, Mr Hollande could now reform France. His party holds power in the legislature and in almost all the regions. The left should be better able than the right to persuade the unions to accept change. Mr Hollande has acknowledged that France lacks competitiveness. And, encouragingly, he has recently promised to implement many of the changes recommended in a new report by Louis Gallois, a businessman, including reducing the burden of social charges on companies. The president wants to make the labour market more flexible. This week he even talked of the excessive size of the state, promising to "do better, while spending less".'



Maybe the next big war ...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Conspiracy Theories

I think that people believe Conspiracy Theories because they see
themselves as victims. Because they view themselves as victims, they
have pent up resentment. This resentment causes people to quickly
accept rumors or partial truths as full truth.

One of my goals in life is to not see myself as a victim of anything,
which maybe isn't 100% possible. I think that this leads to a more
objective view.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mark Steyn: Reality doesn't need to win Electoral College

If you add up the total debt – state, local, the works – every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Lichtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama's second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election – that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it's time to do something about it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Time For Election-Shattered Republicans To Walk Back From The Ledge - Forbes

In a very offensive way, Romney's primary opponents and then President Obama sought to mock his promethean achievements with sickly wrong comments about him looting companies, destroying American jobs, and shipping others overseas in order to attain his riches. Romney did no such thing. Instead, Romney sold off pieces of companies that were poorly run to better managers, and then Romney saved and perpetuated jobs thanks to his incredible ability to take an ailing company and turn it into a profitable one.

2. The U.S. military should not be the world's policeman. We should have the strongest military in the world because we want to protect the United States.  After that, let's cease all initiatives meant to spread the false God of democracy globally, along with all the waste of taxpayer money meant to protect other countries on our dime.  Conservatives properly decry handouts of the entitlement kind, yet they ignore the massive entitlement that is the expensive protection of much of the world, not to mention the cost of maintaining such a massive military.  It's time to be consistent.

3. Abortion. Whatever your opinion on abortion, and whatever your opinion of Roe v. Wade, the reality is that abortion existed long before the Supreme Court ruled. Even if Roe v. Wade is overturned abortions will still be performed. Rather than seek laws meant to control behavior, it's time for both sides to stand down on this issue from a legislative perspective. 

4. Taxes. They're a price placed on work. They're what a federal government that has extended its reach well beyond what the Founders intended charge for productivity. We don't have a revenue problem; rather we have a spending problem. Republicans should nominate a candidate eager to reduce the price of work as much as possible, revenues be damned. 

5. Regulation. It inhibits the profit motive for distracting businesses that are in the business of profits. Worse, be it over finance, pharmaceuticals or energy, it doesn't work. Let's stop acting as though it does.

6. Trade. All of us are free traders. We get up for work every day in order to exchange the fruits of our labor for all the things we're not skillful at producing. Barriers to trade shrink global markets for our best companies, they reduce our standard of living for restraining the global division of labor that would produce the most at the lowest price, plus they're an imposition on our essential liberties whereby we're able to exchange what we have in surplus for that which we lack.

7. Sound Money. Modern money has been perverted given the horrifyingly misguided view that the mere creation of it is the path to wealth. In truth, the sole purpose of money is to facilitate both the exchange of goods and investment. In that certain sense, perfect money is that which doesn't change in value. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fwd: Election Evaluations Less than 1 page

From: Dean McClain 
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency.   It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.  The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America .  Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.   The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool.    It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

Source: Czech Republic newspaper,Prager Zeitungon

Brother Dean

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Case of the Missing White Voters

In other words, the reason this electorate looked so different from
the 2008 electorate is almost entirely attributable to white voters
staying home.

Barone: I was wrong–where it counted | Mobile Washington Examiner

How the GOP’s War on Voting Backfired | The Nation

When I went to vote, they asked for an ID, and it seemed like the most
natural thing in the world to present an ID. Do the liberals think
that people are too stupid to get an ID? The tone of the article
would suggest that.


From: Trout, Larry


Conservatives believe in Due Process, while recognizing it is not infallible.


‘Obama has said that the death penalty is used too frequently and inconsistently. However, he favors it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage."[78] Speaking as a state senator about the Illinois legislature's constant additions to the list of factors that render a defendant eligible for the death penalty, Obama said, "We certainly don't think that we should [...] have this laundry list that does not make any distinctions between the run-of-the-mill armed robbery that results in death and systematic killings by a terrorist organization. And I think essentially what the reduction of aggravating factors does is, it says, 'Here's a narrower set of crimes that we think potentially at least could deserve the death penalty.'"[79] In his own words, "While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes – mass murder, the rape and murder of a child – so heinous that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment. On the other hand, the way capital cases were tried in Illinois at the time was so rife with error, questionable police tactics, racial bias, and shoddy lawyering, that 13 death row inmates had been exonerated."[80]


On June 25, 2008, Obama condemned United States Supreme Court decision Kennedy v. Louisiana, which outlawed the death penalty for a child rapist when the victim was not killed. He said that states have the right to consider capital punishment, but cited concern about the possibility of unfairness in some sentences.’



From: Coffey, John


Governments have killed over a billion people.  I know that people are afraid of giving government too much power for fear that it will be abused.  So am I.   Just because it is used fairly now, doesn’t mean that it won’t be abused later.


How is it that people who inherently distrust the government think that the government is trustworthy to fairly execute people?


I wonder where Obama stands on this position?



From: Coffey, John R


I have always been close to sitting on the fence.   I don’t have strong emotional feelings against it, but I am not particularly for it.

The Death Penalty would have to pass 2 criteria for me to agree with it …


1.        It has to be shown that it a greater deterrent from other punishments.  In other words:  fewer lives are lost by having the death penalty.

2.       It has to be shown that the level of mistakes is very low.  My main objection to the death penalty is that the notion that once a person is executed, we can’t fix our mistakes.


From: Trout, Larry


‘California has executed just 13 convicts and its death row has ballooned to 726 inmates since 71 percentage of the electorate voted to reinstate capital punishment in 1978…


Federal and state judges have halted executions in the state since 2006 after ordering prison officials to develop new lethal injection procedures. Those lawsuits are still being litigated.’


I know you are against the death penalty…any thoughts.


Re: China

You can hardly take the rhetoric of any politician to be a reflection of what they will actually do.  Speeches are tailor made for the audience. 

On Nov 8, 2012, at 6:57 AM, <larry.r.trout> wrote:

'' Hu Jintao, the outgoing president, opened the 18th Party Congress.


It was a show of continuity in pointed contrast to the democratic swings of the West, whose political system, Mr Hu vowed, China would "never copy".


Ahead of the Congress, there had been hopes in China that Mr Xi's arrival in office would usher in a different era.


However, those hopes evaporated during a near two-hour address in which Mr Hu, 69, trumpeted the "epic accomplishments" and "superiority" of Chinese socialism and offered no hint of any change of policy.


"I listened with concentration but I did not hear anything new," said Chen Ziming, a liberal commentator who was arrested after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.'


Re: Catastrophe for Conservatives, But Not the End


I find your comments a bit appalling for the following reasons:

Let us say there is a law on the books that just isn't right, say for example how the federal government won't allow us to tap into the cleanest coal in the world in southern Utah. No Republican is going to say that we should just ignore the law, break it, or not enforce it.  Instead they would say that we should change the law by legal means.  On the other hand, the Democrats have flaunted the immigration laws and chosen to selectively not enforce them, and have actually sued states who tried to enforce them.  

Which laws are the Republicans specifically targeting Hispanics?  I don't see laws specifically targeting legal citizens.    

It is the Democrats who have tried to confuse the terminology by calling illegal aliens immigrants (and "undocumented workers") and constantly pushing the notion that the immigration laws are anti-Hispanic.  It is Democrats who have tried to game the system by deliberately not enforcing immigration laws and being against very reasonable voter ID laws.   This is a ploy to increase their voter base.  i.e. Obama said that he wants to give all illegals a path to citizenship.  

It is the duty of the government to control our borders, especially in the dangerous world that we live in.  

Let us consider a hypothetical scenario:  Let say that someone wanted to allow a hundred million people to come to the U.S. or have a completely open border (as the libertarians do).  I don't consider it impossible that a hundred million people would come to the U.S.  I think that this many would come if they had the means and it were possible to do so.  See this video.  The United States is, after all, the land of opportunity and plenty.  But I don't think that any reasonable person would say that we can absorb a hundred million immigrants per year.  It would overwhelm our resources and everybody knows that.  I have always been very concerned about population explosion.  Also see this video.

Given that this is the case, then we have to have laws that set a limit on many people can come here.  I am willing to consider changes to those limits, but the laws are absolutely worthless if we don't enforce those laws.  Therefore we have to have a means in place to enforce those laws and not ignore them.  People who break these laws are not people who are rightfully here, but criminals who should be deported.

What is troubling, if not an insult to us, is your assertion that controlling our borders, having rule of law, or even mentioning the words "illegal immigrant" are somehow targeting Hispanics and/or being racist, or that the laws are somehow "draconian."  What makes these laws Draconian?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Re: Catastrophe for Conservatives, But Not the End

On Nov 7, 2012, at 3:26 PM, "<david.j.wendel> wrote:

Yes, life goes on. But there's one comment you made that really surprises me:

>> How are the Republican alienating Hispanics? By wanting the laws of this nation to be enforced.

Most Latinos are law abiding citizens, but the laws of emigration that the Republicans want enforced, appear to be specifically targeting them.  There's just something distasteful when certain laws seem to be designed to target just one group of people.  Of course they're gonna get defensive about it. 

Especially since so many other laws seem to go unenforced, it appears to be arbitrary, which laws are enforced and which aren't.  Then along comes the Republican party, and they complain that EPA laws, and that restrictions on big money and big oil are unjust,  BUT emigration must be strictly enforced (because it targets Latinos (that would be their take on it)). 

To them, the message of the Republican party is Let's help everyone become as rich as they can be and get rid of laws that stand in the way of that, but let's throw the Latinos out of the country, and deny them of any opportunities.  From their point of view it's just downright racist to single out their minority for draconian measures. 

That is how the Republicans are alienating Hispanics.

David Wendel

The vast majority of Republicans have no problem with people who are here legally.  They also have no problem with people who vote legally, but I heard repeatedly Democrats say that Republicans want to deny voting rights and that Republicans are anti-immigrant.  Democrats win elections by lying about Republicans. 

Republicans do not arbitrarily pick and choose laws.   They want to get rid of laws that don't make sense while complaining about the Democrat's unwillingness to enforce the laws that do.  

John Coffey
Sent from my iPhone

Catastrophe for Conservatives, But Not the End

Obamacare is now here to stay. The United States will move inexorably toward socialized medicine, and the quality of health care for all will begin to decline irrevocably.

Federal spending, which stands at its highest level since World War II, will stay right where it is and perhaps increase. Dependency on government will become better established as a way of life. Government will intrude in ever more creative and pernicious ways into the daily lives of Americans, as Obama rules by fiat to the greatest extent possible and issues regulations affecting myriad aspects of our lives.

As more people become acclimated to receiving government largesse, fewer will be open to conservative ideas about self-reliance. Businesses will find it more difficult than ever to operate as the burdens of rules and paperwork weigh them down.

Some within Republican circles will argue, in effect, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." That Republicans must moderate their message to appease a public that has rejected conservative ideas.

But Republicans just did moderate their message. They ran Mitt Romney as their candidate.

Conservatives will have to think not how to water things down, but how to sell their program to people who have failed to embrace it.

John Coffey says: 

You can define Obama by the fact that he lectured bankrupt Europe for not spending enough.   Ironically, France lectured us about spending too much.  Republicans were afraid that the tax and spend policies will hurt the economy, which they will, but they had a much bigger goal which was the repudiation of European style socialism.   Because that failed, we have long past a tipping point where people will forever look to government to steal from their neighbors to get themselves freebies.  The founding principle of this country where government doesn't interfere with your life is permanently dead.

A commentator on the news remarked that the Hispanic vote played a big factor in the result, and further commented that Republicans have to stop alienating Hispanics, who he said are the fastest growing ethnic group.  How are the Republican alienating Hispanics?   By wanting the laws of this nation to be enforced.  The logical conclusion of the argument is that the only people who can get elected are those who want open borders.   The consequence of this, whether we like it or not, and whether it be good or bad, is that our culture will inevitably change.  This is not the United States that I grew up in.  That country has slowly disappeared.

Losing It All? - NR / Digital Articles - National Review Online

The strategy that paved a winning path

The many myths of the Obama campaign | Fox News

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Replace Obamacare > Publications > National Affairs

Of course, government health-care programs and policies are largely responsible for these rising costs in the first place. To begin, the design of Medicare is terribly flawed: Because the program pays providers of care based on the volume of their services, it creates a massive incentive for inefficiency and overuse. And because Medicare is the biggest payer in most health-care markets in America, that incentive badly distorts the economics of the entire sector. Furthermore, the Medicaid program inflates costs by (among other policies) having states control how the program is run while the federal government pays most of the bills. The result is that neither party has both the incentive and ability to keep costs in check.
The third driver is the tax exclusion for employer-provided insurance: The federal government does not count the amount that employers spend on health insurance for their employees toward workers' taxable income. This tax exclusion inflates costs by effectively rewarding higher-premium plans and by encouraging employer-purchased insurance, thereby preventing a real consumer market in coverage. The people who use the insurance (workers) are not the people who buy it (employers); many Americans thus have no idea how much is spent for the health care they receive. As a result, there is no clear relationship between cost and value, without which there can be no real prices, no real incentives for efficiency and quality, and thus no limitations on the growth of costs.

Re: Roanoke

If he loses then maybe he should run for the senate. 

On Nov 5, 2012, at 11:03 AM, <larry.r.trout wrote:

Wow, I was very impressed with how comfortable and presidential Romney sounded, in a very good speech he gave yesterday in Roanoke, Virginia.

I would recommend everyone find it at home  on YouTube and see if you agree.

Re: States

How is that a "Good Wow?"

In two days Romney is going to become a distant memory unless there are factors not reflected adequately in the polls, which is possible given how far off the polls were in 2004 and 1980. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 5, 2012, <larry.r.trou> wrote:

Good Wow…

Pennsylvania only 3.9 O

Michigan 3.8 O


Bad Wow…

Florida 1.8 R

Virginia .3 O

Colorado .6 O

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fwd: Fair Share

From: larry.r.trout

'"You got the top 2 percent paying almost half of all income taxes. Is that fair?"  Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz…

IRS figures show the top 1 percent of earners take home 16.9 percent of the nation's total income, but pay 36.7 percent of the nation's income taxes.

The top 5 percent take home a little more than 31 percent of total income but pay almost 59 percent of all income taxes.

And the top 10 percent earn just over 43 percent of the total income but  pay more than 70 percent of all income taxes.

"How are you going to make it fairer? If they pay 75 percent?," asks Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute. "If they pay 90 percent? If they pay all of it? Will that finally be fair?"

As it now stands, 90 percent of all Americans pay only 30 percent of all income taxes…

The president does not mention another factor in the fairness equation -- close to half of American workers  pay no federal income taxes at all…

And Kyl notes, "people who do not share in the sacrifice of paying taxes have little direct incentive to care whether the government is spending and taxing too much."

The administration often points to the ultra wealthy who sometimes pay lower rates because they have a lot of deductions. But the averages for all groups paint a more accurate picture.

The top 1 percent, for instance, pay an average tax rate of more than 24 percent. The top 5 percent -- a tax rate of a little more than 20 percent. The top 10 percent -- about 18 percent.

For the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers, the average rate is 1.85 percent.'

Friday, November 2, 2012

Obama leads in key states

Ohio                    2.4        O

Colorado              1.0        O

New Hamp           2.0        O

Iowa                    2.0         O


Florida                 1.2         R

Virginia                0.5         R


Wisconsin            5.0         O

Pennsylvania       4.6          O

Michigan              3.5         O


Two visions