Late last week we learned that the Barack Obama Administration’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was subjecting conservative non-profit organizations to ridiculous levels of additional, extra-legal scrutiny.
The Administration’s immediate, reflex response was to lie about it.
The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.
Except just “targeting” – may not be true.
Except just “during the 2012 election” and just “low-level employees” – isn’t true.
Did the Administration tell the truth back then? Not so much.
In (then-IRS Commissioner Douglas) Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.
“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.
These sorts of things are why my late, great Grandfather called the IRS “The Assassins” – and wouldn’t let you call them anything else.
This is one fundamental part of why we who want less government want less government – the less government there is, the less there is to be used against us.
The IRS is one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government, with fearsome powers that the Department of Homeland Security can only dream of having. (Does DHS subject Americans to mandatory annual questioning about their personal lives, family arrangements, finances, business practices, travel, etc.?)
It has a history of being used as a tool of political retaliation, not only by the Nixon administration but at least as far back as Franklin D. Roosevelt. An agency with that kind of power, with access to sensitive information on every individual, business, church, charity, and school in the country, must conduct itself according to the very highest standards. The IRS does not.
So this is great news:
All of which casts a sinister pall on this:
The better for Big Government to eat you with, my Dears. And will the Leviathan contain its overreach to the IRS? Of course not.
Because Congress in many areas hasn’t yet addressed the gaping hole of protecting our data from Big Government, we are left exposed and subject to hay-yuge, illegal power grabs.
Like President Barack Obama’s illegal Network Neutrality order. Which gives the government access to the Internet’s spine – and with it every website there is and all the data contained therein….
Like President Barack Obama’s illegal Cyber Security Executive Order. The amount of data compiled in Cyber Security execution is massive – and Big Government wants at it:
Part of the reason lawmakers have not passed even voluntary cyber reforms is that businesses and many Republicans fear optional measures eventually could become mandatory.
The executive order did not allay those fears… (T)he Republican head of the House Homeland Security Committee expressed misgivings about the policy’s potential for mission creep.
Another “good start” towards ever growing Big Government grabs.
A privacy section in the documents outlines steps agencies must take to protect personal information while carrying out these activities. When private sector information is collected and shared with the government, concerns often arise that customer information will be exposed or abused.
Like the Obama Administration shutting down bailed out car company dealerships based upon campaign contribution data. Like local governments in New York turning over for publication gun registration data. Like then-President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton’s illegally obtained 900 FBI files getting him out of an impeachment conviction.
And now the IRS’ panoply of assaults.
And does anyone seriously think that all of this is all there is?
Oh – and when the Leviathan isn’t taking our information, it’s using our coin to purchase it:
You want reform? Reduce the size, scope and sphere of influence of government – and they won’t have the juice to do most of these sorts of things.
Welcome to inter-governmental ideological interloping.
The wireless smart phone Xanadu we are all thoroughly enjoying – requires spectrum. Which is the airwaves our phones use to allow us to surf the Web, watch movies, text, telephone, etc. – all from the palm of our hand. And we need much, much more of it in the hands of the people making all this possible.
But there’s good news: The President’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently preparing the rules for an upcoming spectrum auction.
And then there’s bad news: The President’s Justice Department late Friday demanded that the FCC rig the auction rules – and engage in government quota spectrum set asides rather than simply run a simple auction.
As this guerrilla video explains, this government-picking-losers-at-the-expense-of-winners is terrible for the future of our ongoing wireless revolution.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio – and I – suggest that’s the way to go.
The World Wide Web is here in the U.S. arguably the least regulated sector – and almost inarguably the most successful.
And because the Web is a free speech-free market Xanadu, the Left is looking for any way possible to get the government’s hooks into it.
Let’s rage against the dying of the light, shall we?
It will look terrible. And slow. And shabby. And expensive. And broke.
Like the Post Office. Or the TSA. Or Amtrak. Or Social Security. Or Medicare. Or Medicaid. Or….
And it will be decidedly un-First Amendment friendly.
Which is just what the Left wants to see.
Less Government President @SetonMotley (God bless Twitter):
On whether to watch the State of the Union:
#SOTU or hockey? Only one is guaranteed to have a lot of bad goals.
On anticipating the #SOTU content:
#SOTU = Illegal Executive Order announcement list. #Fiats
On the President’s assertion the #SOTU would be debt-free:
He’ll propose tax increases MT @amandacarpenter: Obama says his plans won’t increase the deficit “one dime.”
Tax deform RT @amandacarpenter: Repeat after me: Tax increases are not tax reform.
@BarackObama is the Oliver Twist of tax increases.
@BarackObama said #sotu wldnt raise debt. And #ObamaCare would lower costs. And he would 1/2 the #deficit in his first term. And….
On the President hailing the economic “recovery”:
Didn’t the #economy just contract?
On the minimum wage hike:
If you have to wait for the gov to force your employer to give you a raise, you’re doing it wrong.
Minimum wage hikes = killed jobs.
Want to know why gigs go overseas? Not fictional tax breaks. High taxes, and regs like a $9/hr #minimumwage.
On the President’s alleged debt reductions:
Not cuts. Promised future reductions in increases.
Net debt? +$5 trillion on @BarackObama’s watch.
2008 fed budget: $2.7 trillion. 2012: $3.73 trillion. #YesWeCan cut spending.
On his assertion that government spending cuts hurt the economy:
Gov borrowing less means job creators can borrow more. That’s how spending cuts create growth.
On ObamaCare reducing health insurance costs:
#ObamaCare is actually skyrocketing #healthcare costs.
On “lurching from crisis to crisis”:
How about passing a budget? Isn’t that perpetual “crisis?”
We haven’t yet recovered from the #Stimulus crisis.
Democrat slogan: Any storm is a port. #DontLetACrisisGotoWaste
On more (non-)green (non-)energy government spending:
Translation: We will spend more real money on fake energy. #GreenEnergy #solyndra
Dept of Energy “jobs” = #Solyndra green “energy” nightmare messes. #CronySocialism
Solar energy is ridiculously expensive, and poisonous to the environment. #Win
Gov R&D stinks on ice. #solyndra Let the private sector do R&D instead.
On government money for roads and transportation:
Translation: #Bailout cities that have elected Democrats for decades.
High speed rail – nowhere to nowhere for billions of dollars.
Why should Topeka be taxed to build a road in Minot?
On Cyber Security and the Internet:
Bc it’s an opportunity for a huge power grab RT @DanIsett: Cybersecurity is pretty wonky stuff… surprised to hear it during #SOTU
I pledge #transparency the day before I issue an illegal #CyberSecurity #ExecutiveOrder.
#CyberSecurity – anyone notice that it’s the gov that is constantly being broken into? The private sector handles it mostly just fine
#CyberSecurity who would you rather have handling it? Comcast and Verizon – or the fed gov? #Outsource
Gov #Internet = #Amtrak #USPS
Best vote system improvement? #PhotoID
On the First and Second Amendments:
What will the fed gov do w/ #BackgroundCheck info after you pass? #2ndamendment
If only her teacher had been armed, she would likely still be with us. #Newtown #2ndAmendment
They deserve to be able to defend themselves #2ndAmendment RT @owillis: They deserve a vote.
Bc we still like the #Constitution MT @markos: Why are Republicans so afraid to cast a “no” vote on sensible gun regulations?
We deserve our #2ndAmendment rights.
Doesn’t a #budget deserve a vote?
So we have to provide abortion pills – but not a photo ID when we vote?
Except for Christians and Catholics here. #ObamaCare
#BordersFirst - then get back to me on “comprehensive.”
#MeansTest all applicants for amnesty/citizenship/visas/green cards. If they’ll be on a gov program, they don’t get in.
#HeadStart has cost tens of billions of dollars – and done NOTHING to improve scores.
Studies show that #HeadStart preschool does NOTHING for kids. Obama Admin study says so.
More yrs of perpetually, titanically failed gov schools.
College prices skyrocket higher the more gov $ is available. To get an 18th Century Lesbian Poetry degree.
On things international:
More words about international security – when actions are required. #Benghazi
Egypt? Syria? Libya? Al Q seems to be doing fairly well.
Impunity, actually #sotu RT @SeeTac7: Obama supporters think his message was about unity.
We aren’t citizens, we are subjects.
As terrible as President Barack Obama was in his first term, he can and will get worse.
When it comes to the Internet, the specter of his taxing it looms. Not to mention the scads of new regulations he will be illegally dropping anvil-style upon it.
As our video chronicles, great news abounds.
Please, enjoy. And let’s all work together to stop him.
The Left has long demanded the implementation of their definition of an “Open Internet” and “Internet Freedom.” Sounds great, right? Who could be opposed to that? Then again, who could be against a “Fairness Doctrine?” Or “Network Neutrality?”
All represent terrible government policy. But the Left is very good at naming very bad policies.
The American people – as a general rule and principle – want less government involvement in most things. The Left – wanting more in nearly all – must obfuscate their intentions. Concocting innocuous names for noxious plans is a staple.
Here’s what lead Media Marxist outfit Free Press means by “Internet Freedom” – as described on their website SavetheInternet.com (get it?):
Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers (ISPs) may not discriminate between different kinds of online content and apps.
No ISP is currently doing anything like this – but that couldn’t matter less to the Left. To “remedy” this non-existent problem, the Barack Obama Administration illegally imposed Net Neutrality – which makes the government the Regulator Overlord of every single website.
Since nowhere on the planet are governments messing with Internet freedom.
(T)he free speech rights of mobile device users are at risk. Private corporations and governments now have unprecedented control over the information we access and share via mobile networks, and too often this information is exploited.
As with Net Neutrality, private corporations have all along had this “unprecedented control” – and they haven’t exploited it.
While broadcasters and mobile phone companies have government-issued licenses for certain portions of the airwaves, other swaths are open, meaning that any company can develop a product —like a cordless home phone, Bluetooth headset, baby monitor or remote control — that utilizes this open space without any need for a government license.
Again, who keeps inviting the government?
To help the next generation of wireless technology take root, we need to ensure that spectrum held by companies like AT&T and Verizon is put to use in the public interest — and we need to make more spectrum available outside these companies’ control.
AT&T and Verizon – and T-Mobile, Sprint, Virgin, Cricket,… – desperately need more spectrum. To serve the “public interest” – by giving the public in what they are interested: faster, better wireless service.
The Left would stiff these public interest-serving companies – to give away more of this preciously finite resource. Even though there is already at public disposal more unlicensed spectrum than licensed.
For the Left, “Internet Freedom” means – free from charge.
(B)roadband access in the United States is far from universal. Millions of Americans still stand on the wrong side of the “digital divide,” unable to tap into the political, economic and social resources of the Internet.
This is fundamentally incorrect.
As of June, 2011, 95% of all Americans had access to broadband Internet from cable, DSL, fiber or other wired services. That’s up from 15% as recently as 2003, and zero percent in 1996, when high-speed Internet didn’t even exist.
This seems to be fairly universal access achieved in a remarkably rapid manner.
The basically regulation-less Internet has become a free speech-free market Xanadu. About as open as anything going – a bastion of freedom.
By Reality’s definition – not the Left’s. For the Left, “freedom” and “openness” come from greater government control.
But don’t worry – we’re going to mint a couple of $1 trillion coins, so it’ll be all good.
And we have not yet had the second Inauguration – from which Il Capo di Stato is considering excluding the media.
It’s going to be a very long four years.
It’s the New Year, the pre-dawn of President Barack Obama’s second term. In which he is free to be more “flexible,” and is resolved to engage in even more illegal, unilateral power grabs.
Long on the Obama-Leftist power grab hit list has been the Internet. Which pre-Obama was just about regulation-free — and thus became a free speech, free market Xanadu.
To paraphrase Apple, the president has a grab for that. Many, in fact. He spent much of his first-term non-golf-time illegally seizing large swaths of previously unregulated Internet space. And looming large in early 2013 are new, major illegal moves.
One is building on an earlier grab. The president’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2010 illegally imposed Network Neutrality. Several plaintiffs sued to undo it – early this year the D.C. Circuit Court will rule. No matter that outcome, the Obama Administration will likely overreach further still.
Should the court rightly dump Net Neutrality, the administration may absurdly begin regulating the Web as if it were landline telephone network — you know, that bastion of innovation lo these last seventy-plus years.
Meaning – again, without any legal authority whatsoever – President Obama will move the Internet from Title I to Title II….Title II opens up the Pandora’s Box of uber-regulation of the Internet. But wait – there’s more.
Under Title II, President Obama can also begin to tax the Internet – just as the Feds tax landlines, just as they already tax the living daylights out of your wireless Internet – checked your cell phone bill lately? It’s 17.4% – and climbing, an $8 billion total take in 2010 – and hurtling ever upward.
And if the court wrongly rules in favor of the administration?
Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, said on Thursday that a court victory for net-neutrality rules would embolden liberal members of his agency to adopt more Internet regulations.
“With a court victory under the Commission’s belt, I believe that the net neutrality order would be the first step, not the last, on our regulatory path.”
With President Obama, it’s “Heads I win – tails you lose.”
And how’s the president doing on Cyber Security?
GOP members in both chambers of Congress fear the cyber order will pile new regulations onto companies that operate critical infrastructure, such as water plants, financial systems and the electric grid.They argue that boosting the country’s cyber defenses requires a permanent legislative solution, not an executive order….
Not to mention that the Constitution requires legislation duly passed by both congressional houses and signed by the executive – not yet another Obama fiat.
All of this illegal, authoritarian Obama action. Only on the ‘Net. And it only gets us through about February – just barely past his second Inauguration.
It’s going to be a very long four years.
When the new plug-in sales share of the total market is only a pathetic 0.65%, this is hardly shocking:
Fuel-frugality aside, it seems the 2013 Chevy Volt and 2012 Nissan Leaf are proving to be expensive long-term investments.
One of the main questions every new car buyer should always ask themselves is what is the depreciation of the vehicle and therefore its potential resale value? Recent reports have suggested that electric cars don’t hold their value quite as well as their regular counterparts.
Of course all new cars lose roughly 20% of their value the moment they roll off the lot. But there are a lot of used plug-in-specific problems.
You don’t get the $7,500 federal bribe on the used ones.
The very-much-higher up-front retail price is rarely if ever made up in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.
(T)he vaunted Volt batteries are then (in used cars) closer to extinction….And how much does it cost to replace a plug-in battery? General Motors (GM) their own selves say the Volt’s is in the $8,000-$9,500 range.
And in case they’re fibbing (as post-bailout GM is wont to do):
Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally indicated battery packs for the company’s Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 apiece.
Plug-in cars are pathetic re-sells – because they are pathetic sells.
Good thing we’ve dumped more than $6.5 billion-in-government-subsidies-just-since-2008 into the plug-in car fantasy.
It’s working like a charm.
In the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, we have heard ad nauseum from the Left about making “The Rich” – the 1% (oops, they now mean 2%) – “pay their fair share” of federal income taxes.
When it comes to the nation’s Internet bandwidth-using 1%, however, many on the Left are demanding the 99% pay for the vast majority of the Elite’s extravagance.
The wealthiest 1% of the population earns 19% of the income but pays 37% of the income tax. The top 10% of earners pay 68% of the tab.
Bill Gates and I each get one vote – it’s not his fault he earns more money than do I. I don’t want him punished with a tax increase for his mistake of being successful.
Now, let’s look at who uses what percentages of Internet bandwidth.
The world’s congested mobile airwaves are being divided in a lopsided manner, with 1 percent of consumers generating half of all traffic.
The top 10 percent of users, meanwhile, are consuming 90 percent of wireless bandwidth.
Sounds a lot like the taxpayer breakdown. Only here these people are consuming – not paying. And here the Left gets decidedly disjointed.
Nearly everywhere on the planet, with nearly all things – if you use more of something, you pay more. You can’t leave the grocery store with ten steaks and pay the same as the guy who left with two.
We in fact already have usage-based pricing in wired and wireless services. You pay more for four hundred cell phone talk minutes than you do for forty. You pay more for four hundred cable channels than you do for forty.
So it would make sense that if you use more Internet bandwidth, you would pay more. You can’t let these 1%-er bandwidth hogs ride on the backs of the 99% – right, Leftists?
Well that’s confusing. What does the Democrat Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman have to say about it?
(C)hairman (Julius Genachowski) pointed out that…charging more for more bandwidth also meant charging less for less, so it could be consumer-friendly as well as a driver of innovation and consumer choice.
If it’s one-price-fits-all, you have to keep moving the price upward to get closer to covering the 1%. By so doing you price more and more of the 99% out of being able to get any Internet at all.
And why should a grandmother doing little more than emailing her grandchildren have her price hiked ever skyward – to supplement the selfish 1%?
All of this blatant obviousness is lost utterly on the Left.
(Public Knowledge Legal Director Harold) Feld said it was not an issue of only one model, but of whether “all the benefits of broadband Chairman Genachowski has articulated in the past ever happen in a world where broadband providers get a free pass on any pricing scheme or restriction….”
Free Press…Policy Director Matt Wood said that the FCC should be investigating (usage based pricing tiers), not endorsing them.
As rapidly amazing as has been the rise and evolution of the free speech, free market Xanadu that is the World Wide Web – imagine how much (even) better it would be were the purveyors of progress not constantly impeded by Reality-free Leftists.
President Barack Obama’s scant involvement with the Fiscal Cliff negotiations has been limited to his rigid insistence that the tax rate on the nation’s job creators be raised from 35% to 39.6%.
Tax reform – as a general principle and a way to raise revenue – is a presidential non-starter.
Now. Last year, the president said this:
“What we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking taxes — tax rates — but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base.”
Funny, that’s what House Speaker John Boehner just proposed. $800 billion over ten years in additional coin for the realm. By loophole-eliminating, code-simplifying – and thus job creating – tax reform. Not via job-killing tax rate increases.
And the President’s tax hikes will kill jobs – 710,000 of them. While only raising the same $800 billion over the next decade.
Do not misunderstand – this is not a defense of Speaker Boehner’s revenue raise. The Feds don’t have a revenue problem – they have a spending one.
2007 Federal Budget: $2.73 trillion. Deficit: $161 billion.
Note: This was the last all Republican budget – the House, Senate and White House were at the time all run by the Rs.
2012 Federal Budget: $3.796 trillion. Deficit: $1.327 trillion.
If we simply returned to 2007 levels of spending, our trillion-plus dollar annual budget deficits would all but vanish.
The fact remains – we desperately need tax reform. The president used to agree. The question is – what tax code status quo is the president trying to protect?
President Obama and his Democrats in fact love our arcane, bizarre, totally anti-Reality tens-of-thousands-of-pages tax code. (And our millions-of-pages of laws. And our millions-of-pages regulatory code.)
The harder it is for businesses to do business (and citizens to conduct their lives) – the better they like it. And the cryptic, dense codified inanity creates tons of room for them to pick their preferred private sector losers at the expense of its winners – and slosh them hundreds of billions of Taxpayer dollars while they’re at it.
This isn’t Crony Capitalism – this is Crony Socialism.
To choose but one example, let us look at “energy” Crony Socialism.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency accounted for $16 billion of the federal support, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while the fossil-fuel industry received $2.5 billion in tax breaks….
CBO said the $24 billion total is a small fraction of the hundreds of billions of the government’s various annual subsidies, which take the form of both grants and tax breaks.
[Excerpt emphasis ours.]
To one abysmal failure after another.
And the 2009 $787 billion “Stimulus” bill contained about $60 billion in additional “green” “energy” cash – ostensibly for “green” gigs. But as Newsweek then reported (emphasis again ours):
The working definition (of “green job”) paints a broad stroke: a job that’s good for the economy while simultaneously healing the earth. But that leaves lots open to interpretation – natural gas is technically a cleaner fuel than crude oil, but it’s still unsustainable.
Making it difficult, if not impossible, to measure whether eco-based jobs are being created and whether, as the administration has claimed, they’re the saviors of a sagging economy….
In large part, the very idea behind a green job ensures there will never be a full definition….
Well it appears the Obama Administration eventually arrived at a delineation.
This “green” “energy” government-money “investment” experiment has clearly been a multi-decade (ethanol, anyone?), trillions-of-dollars uber-failure.
Why would President Obama insist on job-killing, tiny-money-raising tax rate increases – while protecting such a gi-normous Taxpayer debacle?
A Leftist friend just wrote me to gloat about the Presidential election – saying I owe him beer. (I don’t – I lost a beer bet to him on the 1996 Presidential election.)
Behold my response:
I definitely owe the Chinese and others at least another $6 trillion four years hence.
And I owe a bunch of money to about 20 million illegal aliens now ensconced in ObamaCare coverage. And more for their welfare checks. And more for the English-As-a-Second-Language government educations.
I owe even more for citizens who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, and instead voted for a man who promised to “spread the wealth around.” I owe for their waste-of-time-and-money “Women Studies,” “English,” Liberal Arts college educations. I owe for their abortion pills, birth control pills, and condoms. I owe for their Obama Phones, their food stamps and their Social Security disability checks.
I owe them my health coverage getting much more expensive and demonstrably worse so that theirs can be “free.”
I owe them my work and my money getting scarcer, because it must be regulated and taxed away to create their Dystopia Utopia.
I owe a lot of people. It’s a long line – you can get in it.
It’ll look a lot like the line for health care. Or the line for welfare. Or the line for food stamps. Or the line for the post office. Or the line for the DMV.
The government’s already out of money, so their lines don’t move so well.
I soon will be, so mine won’t either.
But congratulations – your guy won the election.
We just recently had the all-time greatest Uniter-of-All-Americans, President Barack Obama, offering up:
“Voting is the best revenge.”
Which goes along with President Bipartisan on Univision in 2010 offering up:
“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends….’”
Which goes along with then-Candidate Bipartisan off the cuff on the campaign trail offering up:
“So it’s not surprising that they get bitter and cling to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who aren’t like them.”
“Cap-and-Trade was just one way of skinning the cat. It was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”
(Is he totally forsaking the Pet and Vet votes?)
Which goes along with President Pliable offering up to Russia President Dmitri Medvedev:
“On all these issues…this, this can be solved but it’s important for him (Russia Prime Minister Vladimir Putin) to give me space…. This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Network Neutrality: Like health care, the Tech sector is 1/6th of economy. Unlike ObamaCare, Net Neutrality never passed Congress – the President just imposed it, in December 2010. (Ditto the Administration’s power grab of wireless cellular phone networks, and a whole host of other unilateral Tech regulations.)
Energy Sector regulations: The Greatest Fraud on Earth is alleged “global warming.” Or “climate change.” Cap & Trade never passed Congress – so Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency and Departments of Energy and Interior are imposing it as if it did.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been a one-stop bureaucratic wrecking shop.
- Unilaterally making it much easier to form business-impeding, Democrat-supporting unions – and much harder to un-form them.
- Telling Businesses Where They Are Allowed to Locate
- Imposing Union “Propaganda” Mandates on Employers
And how unilaterally terrible would a second Obama term be?
Federal agencies are sitting on a pile of major health, environmental, and financial regulations that lobbyists, congressional staffers, and former administration officials say are being held back to avoid providing ammunition to Mitt Romney and other Republican critics….
The drop-off stands out not just compared to earlier years of Obama’s term but also compared to other years in which presidents are running for reelection….
Sources in regular contact with agencies say they’ve been told that new rules won’t resume until after the election, and many expect an avalanche of new major rules shortly afterward….
Much of the delayed regulation is tied to major Obama administration policies, not vestigial red tape. Both the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank require significant regulatory clarification in order to move forward….
Several people who work closely with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency at the Health and Human Services Department responsible for most of the outstanding health care regulations, say they’ve been told the delays are due to political considerations, not technical difficulties.
So a second Obama Administration term will have all the small-government, less regulation transparency and openness of the first – only more so.
With all of the success of the first Obama Administration term – only more so:
What voter wouldn’t want more of all of this?
Note: The original version of this piece had a quote from President Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett that we thought we had verified, but ultimately did/could not. It has been removed.
“President Barack Obama is to economic recovery and growth a biological weapon of mass economic destruction. If we want an America that revives and thrives, this president must be decommissioned.”
The Barack Obama administration has been engaged in non-stop global bungle-buffoonery. And that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt – it may be that these horrific anti-American Interest results are their intention.
An example: Allegedly, President Obama — given his partial upbringing in Islamic Indonesia – was going to have a better understanding of and relationship with the Muslim World.
But a year after the Obama-backed “Arab Spring,” at least twenty U.S. Embassies were attacked on this year’s 9-11 anniversary. In Benghazi, Libya, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were brutally murdered.
And as the Muslim World rose nearly as one against us, the administration issued pathetic statements/apologies, generated much sterner stuff against Governor Mitt Romney and lied their faces off about why it all was happening.
And all the while the President campaigned and raised coin for his reelection effort and blew off world leaders to instead meet with David Letterman and the ladies of The View.
Yet another global demonstration of Obama Administration fecklessness. The president extends to our enemies an open hand – and they crush us again and again with their clenched fists.
Not all the attacks on U.S. interests are violent. Sometimes the thugs dress up in suits and ties and head to Turtle Bay for a little United Nations (UN) America-abuse.
Looming before us is a prospective titanic international attack on American Internet interests. The Web wing of the UN is the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – and they in December will vote on whether or not to power grab much greater control of all things ‘Net.
The Obama administration has expressed their opposition to ITU Web-control passage. As on all things, Obama’s opinion has meant to the rest of the world exactly nothing.
U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer warned on Friday that a proposal to give a United Nations agency more control over the Internet is gaining momentum in other countries….
Powerful influence, Mister President.
(A) proposal by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association could force websites like Google, Facebook and Netflix to pay fees to network operators around the world.
Kramer said the idea of an international Internet fee is “gaining more interest in the African states and also in the Arab states.”
Oh – the same Arab states that are setting ablaze our embassies and consulates. Here again is another potential clenched fist to our face.
Clearly the vaunted President Obama persuasiveness is again failing him – and us.
(Kramer) said the United States delegation to the conference will have to redouble its efforts to convince other countries that the proposal would only stifle innovation and economic growth.
Seriously, genuinely – good luck with that. We absolutely need to stop this US-and-global-economy-crushing proposal.
The Obama Administration’s demonstrably degraded world standing has weakened our efforts to stop this UN power grab. Another problem is the administration has been on this issue utterly schizophrenic.
While proclaiming opposition to an international Internet takeover, they have stateside illegally imposed multiple Web takeovers of their own – like the all-encompassingly-bad Network Neutrality and forced-cellular-network-sharing.
So we have an enfeebled Obama administration standing on the world stage, asking the United Nations to – PLEASE!?! – “Do as we say – not as we do.”
Again, seriously, genuinely – good luck with that.
In Russia’s shadow, Ukraine – a former Soviet Union satellite – is deepening and entrenching its commitment to traditionally Western free market principles. And the economic results are – shocker – phenomenal.
Ukraine’s approach offers much from which we here in the United States can learn.
As we’ve seen on myriad occasions, President Barack Obama and his Democrats are much more comfortable bowing East than leading West. And dragging our economy further toward the failed Eastern model – government-centric, regulation-laden and stiflingly small.
And the economic results are – shocker – terrible.
We – and basically the entire planet predicated upon that Eastern model – have been mired in nearly four years of non-recovery “recovery.”
Westernized free market Ukraine, meanwhile, has exploded.
Ukraine’s economy grew by 4.2% in 2010 – and 5.2% in 2011. Our “growth,” meanwhile, was 3.1% in 2010 – and an anemic, plummeting 1.5% in 2011.
Ukrainian exports grew last year by 37% – that, by the way, is a gi-normous number of new domestic Ukrainian manufacturing jobs. In 2010, they exported €11.4 billion worth of goods to the European Union (EU) alone – and purchased €17.3 billion worth from the EU.
And Ukraine is reforming its energy sector to ensure even more efficient use of its ample coal, oil and natural gas reserves. Which strengthens its position as a European energy conduit – one Russia can’t use to hold the EU hostage.
Ahh, Russia. What can now at best be described as a Cold Adversary nation.
As Ukraine moves in all manners policy further away from Vladimir Putin’s Playhouse – what are we doing?
In a notorious March hot mic exchange with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President Obama asked of Mother Russia – electoral patience.
President Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Prime Minister Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
(Perhaps this is a reason why when the absurd United Nations recently reconvened President Obama took a complete pass on meeting with any world leaders. It rarely redounds to his – or our – benefit.)
“Transmit to Vladimir” – that would be Putin, the ex-KGB Russian puppet master pulling the strings of the man to whom President Obama is pledging greater “flexibility.”
“Flexibility” – to do what? Even more Russia-appeasing damage to our allies? Things like in 2009 selling out Poland and the Czech Republic on missile defense?
So despite this Presidential abuse of our other one-time confederates in its region, Ukraine remains steadfast in moving away from Russia – and towards free market liberation.
Ukraine also has a looming election – on October 28. And they are not asking for more “flexibility” – they are seeking to unleash even greater economic freedom.
Something we easily could – and should – emulate. If only our elected officials were smart enough to do so.
We have a federal government that is hemorrhaging our cash.
And a General Motors (GM) hemorrhaging our cash via its plummeting stock price.
We the Taxpayers are still stuck with 500+ million shares of GM stock. For us to break even, they must be sold at $54 per. They debuted post-bankruptcy at $33 per share and are now around $24 per share. This sets us up for an almost $15 billion loss – just on the stock.
And the government and Government Motors are joined together at our wallet – in pathetic matrimony. So which of these linked losers will first seek to get out from under the other?
So GM is filing for divorce. But…
…(Barack Obama Administration) Treasury officials aren’t interested in selling because it would mean posting a multibillion dollar loss during an election year….
Obviously “Bin Laden is Dead – and General Motors is on Life Support” doesn’t have quite the same rhetorical flourish.
GM has already gone through one Obama Administration-corrupted bankruptcy.
President Obama illegally carried forward through the bankruptcy the ridiculously exorbitant United Auto Worker contracts. Which were a hay-yuge contributing factor to GM going under in the first place – and are again, predictably, helping to wreck the bottom line…..
During the bankruptcy process, President Obama illegally paid off the UAW first and in full – before secured bondholders who should have been made whole before anyone else got a dime. Which was incredibly disruptive and destructive of the entire bond market. Economic uncertainty, anyone?
And – shocking – it appears not to have taken.
I wonder why?
90+% of GM auto loans are now of the Freddie Mac-Fannie Mae-esque subprime variety – made to people whom GM and everyone else know can’t pay them back.
In fact, no company registered more (non-)green (non-)energy patents in 2010 than GM.
And then there’s the phenomenal Chevy Volt.
Which actually makes the following good news.
Don’t misunderstand – GM still wants all the extra cushions to prop it up that the Obama administration has been thus far providing.
And for harmonic convergence…
Fiscal woes in Washington have not prevented the federal government from buying 29,000 new vehicles over the past six years. That brings the federal government’s fleet of cars to 449,000, nearly one for every seven federal employees….
GM’s profits fell 41 percent in the second quarter, with an operating loss of $361 million in Europe. In North America, GM’s profits fell from $2.25 billion to $1.97 billion.
So the federal government and Government Motors continue to fiddle with our money – while our wallet burns.
And when GM finally asks the feds to make a rational move – the Obama administration refuses. So as to prop up its re-elect efforts.
There’s only so much of this Obama “saving” General Motors that We the Taxpayers can afford to take.
Last week we cataloged how much General Motors (GM) likes firing people.
As we pointed out, 2009 was not a good year if you were a Republican-donating GM or Chrysler dealer.
(M)ultiple dealers who have been closed are found to have contributed millions to Republicans and mere hundreds to Obama….
“It became clear to us that Chrysler does not see the wisdom of terminating 25 percent of its dealers. It really wasn’t Chrysler’s decision. They are under enormous pressure from the President (Obama)’s automotive task force,” said attorney Leonard Bellavia.
And Europe has (again) become a GM employee graveyard.
GM intends to shed another 500 managers in Europe, adding to the 8,000 factory workers let go over the past three years as part of a massive though only modestly successful push to cut costs.
GM is serially throwing people over the side in part as a personnel bailing of the sinking ship. But it appears the Bad Ship Bailout is going down even faster than we knew – or they can address.
Sit back and take in the additional cavalcades of terrible Government Motors news.
Two weeks ago, Opel chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke presented numbers to Dan Akerson. Akerson fires him. Opel gets two interim chiefs in a week. Last Thursday, Opel’s new design chief Dave Lyon doesn’t even start his job….A day later, global marketing chief Joel Ewanick suddenly leaves. Instead of wishing him all the best for his future endeavors, GM spokesman Greg Martin puts a knife in Ewanick’s back: “He failed to meet the expectations the company has of an employee.”…
It all looks like (President Obama-appointee CEO) Dan Akerson is panicking. The GM stock is at an all-time low. GM is losing market share. When July numbers will be announced this week, GM won’t look so good, industry oracles say. Mass executions always are great to deflect criticism – for a while.
Speaking of that “all-time low” stock:
We are still stuck with 500+ million shares of the stuff. For us to break even, they must be sold at $53 per. They debuted post-bankruptcy at $33 per. They closed on Tuesday at $19.71 per. Setting us up for a nearly $17 billion loss – just on the stock.
Speaking of those “industry oracles”:
For GM earnings, analysts forecast 74 cents per share, down 52% from a year ago.
Akerson…is getting impatient with the slow pace of GM’s revival.
“Earnings…down 52% from a year ago” isn’t a “slow pace revival.” It is a free fall implosion. Remind you of anything else?
GM is “recovering” – like the entire Obama Economy is “recovering.”
Confusion abounds about where the government should and should not be involved with the Internet.
It really isn’t that complicated. Apply old principles to these new problems, and the government’s proper Web role becomes readily apparent.
Where Government Has No Internet Role
The Internet has rapidly developed into a free speech, free market Xanadu – without any sort of Net Neutrality regulations in place. About which the pro-Net Neutrality Left is willfully, stridently ignorant . And is stultified into incoherence when this absence of regulations is pointed out to them.
Private companies have spent hundreds of billions of their own dollars to build the ‘Net – and make this Web revolution possible.
Old Principle: This is no different than any other sector of the private economy where private money is spent on development.
The government doesn’t dictate to shopping malls how they can manage the traffic to their various stores. The government doesn’t prohibit stores from advertising within the mall to (hopefully) drive more folks their way.
Private property is private property – whether it is brick-and-mortar or virtual. And free speech is free speech.
The government has no Constitutional authority for Network Neutrality – period.
Where Government Has an Internet Role
Private Property Protection
Old Principle: Government stops thieves. Government does as much as it can – within Constitutional parameters – to do so.
If forty years ago I had a record store – or twenty years ago a compact disc (CD) store – and someone was stealing my inventory and then selling it, the government would have worked to desist them.
Case in point: The uber-larceny website MegaUpload.com and its illegal impresario Kim Dotcom.
The group was accused of engaging in a scheme that took more than $500 million away from copyright holders and generated over $175 million in proceeds from subscriptions and advertising….
Oh, is that all? But surely this blatant mega-stealing is universally opposed, right?
Hmmm. Well surely no one of high-level legitimacy justifies this sort of mega-fraud, right?
…Apple founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak…visited Dotcom in New Zealand recently….
“When governments dream up charges of ‘racketeering’ for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he’d just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is.
“Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes. Too bad for the U.S. government that DotCom lives in New Zealand, which is better on human rights.”
One wonders if “Woz” would be so dismissive were Dotcom ripping $500+ million worth of Apple product. Wait – we have that answer: Apple goes to town to protect their intellectual property whenever it feels it’s threatened.
Woz does inadvertently swerve into a point about the law – it needs to be updated. We must apply the old principle – government stopping thieves – to the new Tech problem.
But when Congress first tried, it was not the answer:
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)-Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)…(took) a bipartisan beating. Conservatives…joined with Leftists to savage the bill….
I too…opposed…this iteration of SOPA – it remain(ed) too overly broad.
Something similar and more finely, sharply crafted – must become law. And conservatives will need to reorient themselves when a better version of the bill comes along – and support it.
We await that better bill.
Many Leftists/Libertarians may remain stridently pro-theft. But most Americans are not.
They are genuinely interested in the rule of law, protecting private property – and not paying prices dramatically inflated by online heists.
Again demonstrating that they inherently know when the government should be involved in the Internet – and when it should not.
S. 3240 – the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 – is a bit of a mess.
But there is a decent proposed amendment thereto – Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s, “to improve access to broadband telecommunication.” Its reforms should become law – regardless of the fate of the flawed Farm bill.
Senator Warner’s amendment thankfully scales back the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) broadband Internet loan program. And finally – for apparently the first time – applies some sort of standard to how and to whom the loans are made.
The RUS broadband loan program has been a disaster. 85 percent of homes serviced by a government-subsidized Internet company already had access to three or more private broadband providers.
We are crushing private companies with government-funded competitors – who often then themselves go out of business. Leaving these people – who pre-government “assistance” had one or several broadband providers – without any. And taxpayers billions of dollars poorer.
Wisconsin uber-Democrat Senator Herb Kohl has just written a really silly letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Senator Kohl’s missive asks the Barack Obama Justice Department and FCC to…do what they’ve already been doing. For far too long.
Which is to “examine closely” Verizon’s $3.6 billion spectrum purchase from SpectrumCo. (Spectrum being the “airwaves” we need for everything wireless – including cell phones.)
This is simply a free market transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer. But it is a Tech Industry free market transaction – which means the government absurdly has way too much ability to block or jam up the deal. Verizon and SpectrumCo – in fact all Tech companies – are forced to play “Mother May I” with the Leviathan when they want to engage in mutually agreeable commerce.
And the Obama Administration is certainly, repeatedly availing itself of this anti-free market power.
Verizon and SpectrumCo announced their deal way back on December 2, 2011. Yet here we are in mid-May – five and a half months later – and the Administration still has not made a decision.
Why? Because the government ludicrously has 180 days to make it. And it routinely uses every last second.
And then some. The FCC self-extended by three weeks their review of the Verizon deal. Because the Commission demanded of the companies more than 50,000 documents – and they submitted some of them late.
Probably because they were too busy, you know, running their businesses.
And after forcing these companies to wait and waste all of this time, the Obama Administration can still outright block the sale. Which they did to T-Mobile’s proposed sale to AT&T.
Or they can approve it – but with pages and pages of often illegal forced restrictions/conditions – which will make the spectrum less useful and less valuable. They emplaced a litany of such compulsory capitulations on Comcast’s purchase of NBC-Universal.
Again, why must the Tech sector be subjected to this preposterous, excruciating process – when nearly every other part of the private sector is not? If Wal-Mart wants to buy chairs from K-Mart, they do not have to first go hat in hand to the Federales to get permission.
And even with all of these government delays, and reviews, and delays of the reviews – all of which are fabulously conducive to a well functioning free market – Senator Kohl writes the Obama Administration asking that they really put the screws to the deal.
Again, this is a really silly letter.
Why Tech Issues Matter in the 2012 Campaign and Beyond
The Tech sector has grown to be 1/6th of our national economy – equal to that of health care. Yet for most people, candidates included, it remains a niche and indeed alien policy sphere. This simply cannot continue to be the case.
Why Tech Issues Matter in the 2012 Campaign and Beyond will address a wide array of Tech policy areas – and show why we all should care. Both before and after the election.
WHAT: Why Tech Issues Matter Panel Discussion; Questions & Answers
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2012; 10:00am – 11:30pm
WHERE: HVC-215 Capitol Visitors Center U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C., 20515
10:00 a.m. Registration
10:15 a.m. Welcome
10:20 a.m. Panel Discussion
11:10 a.m. Questions and Answers
11:30 a.m. End
Emcee & Moderator:
Gautham Nagesh, CQ
Seton Motley, Less Government
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
Andrew Moylan, National Taxpayers Union
Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge
Thomas Gideon, New American Foundation
Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project
VIDEO WARNING: Lots and lots of offensive language.
Newt Gingrich famously called Barack Obama the “food stamp president.”
In the alternative, food stamps (and welfare checks) are called by some of their recipients “Obama Bucks” — as famously documented by Democrat Congressman Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra.
It resonated — and stuck — because in letter and spirit it’s true.
And why wouldn’t it resonate? It was already resonating before Obama’s inauguration — when one woman famously declared: “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. If I help him, he’s going to help me.”
I have all along the way thought of a 1995 melodic rap hit by the group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony titled “1st of tha Month.”
“1st of tha Month” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was nominated in 1996 for a Grammy Award.
Obviously, it resonated with a great number of people.
The song’s lyrics describe what some people do with their food stamps and welfare checks.
WARNING: Lots and lots of offensive language.
On April 1, we became the worst country on Planet Earth in which to open and run a business – from (at least) a corporate tax perspective. Our rate is 39.5 percent – the highest in the world. That is stealing.
And not only is the corporate tax rate obscenely high, the code is thousands of pages of nightmare mess. With its dizzying litany of deductions, exemptions and other a la carte specialty nuttery.
Business tax reform is a vital necessity. A much lower rate – and a much simpler code – would make the seas much calmer and a whole lot more amenable to job and wealth creation.
The reason there hasn’t been more of a public clamor for corporate tax reform is because most members of the public are employees, not employers. Relatively few Americans open businesses and actually experience the corporate tax code absurdities first hand.
Which is why a rewrite of the individual tax rate and code – which is just as expensive, complex and asinine – also needs to happen. To get more Americans on board the tax reform train.
But the vast majority of Americans don’t understand the inanity of the individual rate and code either – because the government has gone out of its way to hide it from them. By withholding taxes from our paychecks.
Every time we get paid, they bleed us blind – blindly. Most of us have no idea how much the government takes from us.
So here’s the solution: withhold taxes from every other paycheck. That way we’ll see just how much we lose to Leviathan.
Let’s take a hypothetical single guy with a $35,000 salary. Paid twice monthly. Who withholds exactly what he owes in taxes. And see how he does from one paycheck to another.
(We’re looking exclusively at federal income taxes and FICA. Your state results will vary.)
Income tax: $ 3,450.00
FICA: $ 1,980.00
Take home pay: $29,570.00
Paid-in-full paycheck (paid on the 15th of the month): $ 1,458.33
Taxes-withheld paycheck (paid on the 30th): $ 1,005.83
Difference: $ 452.50
How’s that for a bi-monthly visual aide for the cost of government?
You want transparency – this is it.
It would take exactly two pay periods for this guy – and just about everyone else – to start voting like Ronald Reagan.
A simple Congressional bill would effect this every-other-paycheck change.
It would be but the slightest adjustment for employers to cut the two different checks.
But it would fundamentally transform how We the People think about taxes. Both individual – and corporate.
On Wednesday, a General Motors (GM) lithium-ion battery exploded and caused a fire at a research facility near its Detroit headquarters. Most unfortunately, two people were taken to the hospital – one faces life-threatening injuries.
Lithium-ion batteries like this one are used by GM in the Chevy Volt. Making this just the latest in a long line of Volt fire problems.
“The headlines are not positive for lithium-ion and General Motors,” Dennis Virag, president of Automotive Consulting Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said in a telephone interview. “It does bring up the subject of the dangers associated with batteries.”
Indeed it does. Let us review these Volt dangers, shall we?
The Chevy Volt entered the market in December 2010. There were in 2011 (at least) six Volt fires. GM and the Barack Obama Administration acknowledged only one – a battery fire after a test crash.
The Obama Administration was in full GM damage control mode. Obama’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reviewed the one fireand – shocker – declared GM and the Volt good to go.
But what about the other fires?
NHTSA themselves had two other test fires.
In April, 2011 a Volt burst into flames. Twice.
A $800,000 garage fire in Mooresville, North Carolina led the local power company to warn its customers to stop using the Volt charging stations until they knew they were safe.
And there were throughout 2011 multiple overheating Volt power cords, reaching temperatures upwards of 158* Fahrenheit and causing second degree burns. Fire hazards – waiting to happen.
GM and the Obama Administration were aware of all of these incidents. Yet NHTSA investigated none of them.
And because GM and the Obama Administration repeatedly kicked this dangerous, flaming can down the road, GM has spent most of 2012 in full-on Volt repair mode.
In January, GM “called back” every single Volt ever sold in the U.S., to fix the allegedly already “fixed” battery.
“This is a customer satisfaction program, which is voluntary, that we’re choosing to do,” explained the automaker’s Mary Barra during a conference call Thursday morning.
But that didn’t fix the problem either. So in March Chevrolet announced they were replacing the power cords for nearly every single Volt ever sold in the U.S.
GM spokesman Randal Fox told Reuters …”It’s just an effort to offer a more consistent charging experience. It’s not a safety recall. It’s more of a customer-satisfaction program,” Fox said.
“Customer satisfaction program” must be the GM equivalent of President Obama’s “Let me be clear.” Only more perilous.
General Motors and the Obama Administration have spent the entire life of the Chevy Volt minimizing and obfuscating a hazardous Chevy Volt fire problem.
We still don’t know what that problem is.
What we do know is that two people were just grievously injured by a Volt-style battery explosion.
And that GM is still selling the Chevy Volt.
Less Government President Seton Motley’s remarks at Tuesday’s Tea Party Patriots Road to Repeal ObamaCare rally (though he sometimes goes extemporaneous):
“Are these mics hot?
“First, we are very pleased the Supreme Court decided not to wait to hear this case until after the election – when they would have more flexibility.
“Because there is plenty of unconstitutionality on which to rule right now – that cannot wait until more convenient times for ObamaCare proponents.
“The Constitution is the ultimate pre-existing condition.
“The Constitution ascribes the federal government limited, enumerated powers. Mandating that everyone purchase health insurance is, quite simply, not one of them.
“Neither is a virtual takeover of 1/6th of the economy – the entire health care sector. Which is what ObamaCare, in its essence, is.
“There are thousands of attacks on our freedom in ObamaCare. Attacks we’ve uncovered – and attacks not yet unearthed. Because the Democrats passed ObamaCare over two years ago – and we are still finding out what is in it.
“The First Amendment assault that is President Obama’s abortion pill-birth control mandate demonstrates yet again that ObamaCare, in totality, is an unconstitutional affront to our individual liberty.
“Our right to exist as sovereign, autonomous individuals – and not as subjects of a government collective.
“ObamaCare – and the impudent insolence of those who passed it – gave rise to the Tea Party, Andrew Breitbart’s army, and a whole host of like-minded freedom movements that represent the Great Awakening of the American people.
“We were the Silent Majority – we are no longer silent.
“We believe in our Constitutional government system. ObamaCare is well outside its bounds.
“It needs to go.”
He’ll fit right in. The Volt has proven to be a rich man, 1%-er vehicle – the average purchaser has an average income of $170,000 per annum.
And wouldn’t a President Obama Volt purchase be a conflict of interest? The total government subsidy per Volt sold – paid for mostly by the 99% of us – is more than $200,000. The federal check cut – just at the point of purchase to the purchaser – is $7,500. And President Obama is looking to up that to $10,000.
Should President Obama personally benefit from the government policies he’s put in place? Crony Socialism – of which the $85 billion auto bailout is perhaps the worst of the myriad, egregious Administration examples – is bad enough. Self-Crony Socialism is even worse.
Less Government President Seton Motley:
“President Barack Obama has pledged to again demonstrate his uber-rich, 1%-er status once he’s out of office – joining his wealthy, Leftist friends in the uber-thin ranks of Chevy Volt owners. So as to cash in on all the government money he keeps shoveling at the uber-expensive, uber-failed pseudo-vehicle.
“No item better represents the out-of-touch-with-Reality mega-rich – for which Occupy Wall Street claims to have disdain – than the Chevy Volt. A completely ineffectual, absurdly expensive, entitlement-minded, built-and-paid-for-on-the-backs-of-the-99% vehicle that only the super-wealthy can afford.
“Why isn’t Occupy Wall Street protesting the Chevy Volt? And demanding that President Obama not benefit from the $65+ billion and counting he continues to pour into the Crony Socialist auto bailout and the Volt?”
We the Taxpayers own more than 500 million shares of GM stock, on which we are currently poised to lose more than $13 billion. To go with the (at least) $14+ billion we’ve already lost on the auto bailout. Less Government tracks the looming loss – and offers the solution for how we can extricate ourselves from Government Motors – at www.BailoutCost.com.
No, not Clint Eastwood. Though one could be forgiven for thinking it.
Why go for the spokesman – when you can go straight to the Chevy Volt source?
President Barack Obama is, as we know, oh so thoroughly invested in General Motors (GM). Both monetarily ($50 billion) and metaphorically.
Obama is campaigning for reelection on the utterly failed “success” of the auto bailout. On which he once promised we’d make money– then had to begrudgingly up the (admitted to) loss from $14.3 billion to $23.6 billion.
So why shouldn’t Obama on his reelect ticket replace Vice President Joe Biden – who delivers him very little – with the Volt – which delivers him so much?
In oh so many ways, the bankrupt GM and its miserable Volt epitomize the bankrupt and miserable Obama Administration.
For an Obama campaign that has the real potential to go down in flames, why not have a running mate with (at least) six fires under its fan belt?
And keeping with the Obama Administration’s incessant obfuscations and outright distortions – about GM and all things - they covered up for half a year they one Volt fire to which they’ll cop. And have ignored entirely the (at least) five additional Volt fires.
Obama has been a Crony Socialist nightmare – including with all sorts of born-to-be-bankrupt green non-energy “energy” joints like Solyndra, Fisker, Beacon Power, Ener1, Energy Conversion Devices, Genesis Solar Project, (and on, and on, and…).
What better way to epitomize this on the Obama ticket than with GM and the Volt?
Obama eviscerated bankruptcy law and threw secured, preferred bond holders under the bus - to the benefit and illegal betterment of his campaign-contributing union allies.
And Obama – the Uber-Green Non-Energy “Energy” Overlord – had GM in 2010 register more green non-energy “energy” patents than any other company on Planet Earth (pardon me – Mother Gaia).
I wonder where all of that attending money will go?
Obama has been the Lord Overseer of the Age of Bailout. GM and the VP Volt represent this exquisitely.
The VP Volt costs We the Taxpayers more than $200,000 in government subsidies per vehicle sold.
But that’s clearly not enough. So Obama in his new phantasmagorical budget wants to up the per-green-car federal Taxpayer check to $10,000 (up from $7.500).
And even though Government Motors doesn’t make a penny on the $46,000+ Volt, they are seriously upping its advertising - in-kind contributions for Obama’s running mate.
In additional Crony Socialism news:
Obama wants to spend even more Taxpayer coin on natural gas engines. Guess who owns a huge chunk of the #1 natural gas engine manufacturer? Why, it’s uber-Leftist mega-donor George Soros. And guess who’ll be building the cars and trucks to surround said Soros engines? General Motors.
Oh – and to close the “green” car loop, the Volt and its electric brethren are, it turns out, less green than traditional gasoline mobiles.
We could go on, but the point is by now thoroughly made.
The Obama Administration was born in a “Hope & Change” fantasy.
It has since election been ensconced in disingenuousness and enshrouded in purposeful obfuscation. And incessantly driven to tilt at Leftist ideological windmills.
Like the Chevy Volt. Born of a Leftist fantasy – and wrapped and driven in dreams and lies.
Which is why the Volt is the perfect partner for Obama’s reelect. Two bankrupt, miserable failures – joined together.
The Dream Team - Obama-Volt 2012.
With elections pending, the Mullahs that lord over Iran aren’t taking any chances.
…Iran has begun blocking Internet services, Web security experts say, adding to concerns that government leaders hope to shut off Iranians from the rest of the online world…
…The action is blocking email and some Web access for as many as 30 million Iranians who use SSL-protected sites, reported CBR Systems & Network Security, a European technology organization.
Iran, which will hold parliamentary elections on March 2, has referred to Google and other search engines as “spying tools,” and it has throttled access to foreign web servers previously at politically sensitive times. The free-expression activist group Reporters Without Borders has branded Iran as an “enemy of the Internet.”
How many independent companies – the alleged enemy Net Neutrality allegedly seeks to allay – has Reporters Without Borders branded as an “enemy of the Internet?” That would be zero. Reporters Without Borders lists twelve entities – all governments.
Iran’s Communications and Technology Minister Reza Taghipour said Monday that a firewalled “national Internet,” which Tehran has been promising since as early as 2006, would be launched in the spring. Internet security analysts and open-Internet activists say the “national Internet” would act as a closed intranet sealing Iranians off from large chunks of the web. Similar systems are known to be in use in China and North Korea.
President Barack Obama, if you’ll recall, said that all this wondrous information at our disposal – for now – is:
Iran – and China, and Syria, and North Korea, and… – is what happens when government has unlimited, unfettered control of the Internet. Control the Obama Administration recently illegally commandeered with its Network Neutrality power grab.
What we’re seeing in Iran is an almost inexorable result of government Internet control - government neutralizes the ‘Net. To shut down any speech the government doesn’t deem fit.
Which is why the Obama Administration’s horrendous – and horrendously illegal – Net Neutrality power grab must be overturned. We should be condemning the government likes of the Iranian Mullahs for their Internet domination – not emulating them.
“I’ve Got Twelve Green Cars, But a Volt Ain’t One”
Less Government President Seton Motley:
“The Barack Obama Administration and its Government Motors minions have spent billions of dollars in the attempt to make the Chevy Volt the ‘Green Car of the Future.’ Its dismal sales tell us that the Chevy Volt has no future – unless the Obama Administration continues to prop it up with massive government money subsidies.
“We’ve seen Obama’s 2012 reelect campaign laundry list – I mean budget – and he unfortunately intends to not only continue the subsidies, but increase them.
“But not only does Obama’s Chevy Volt ‘Green Car of the Future’ have no (free market) future – it has no green. It can’t even make the cut for the 2012 list of ‘green’ cars. A compiling of pseudo-‘green’ mobiles that burn mostly coal – far dirtier than petroleum – to get their petroleum-substitute electricity. So the ‘green’ machines – aren’t so green.
“As for this but latest failing of the Chevy Volt; Obama loves rapper Jay-Z, so for the President I have a Government Motors remix of one of his biggest tunes: ‘I’ve got twelve green cars, but a Volt ain’t one.’”
We the taxpayers own more than 500 million shares of GM stock, on which we are currently poised to lose almost $13 billion. To go with the (at least) $12 billion we’ve already lost on the auto bailout. Less Government tracks the looming loss – and offers the solution for how we can extricate ourselves from Government Motors – at www.BailoutCost.com.
Congress is currently considering a patently absurd extension of the patently absurd payroll tax reduction. Which does nothing to aid our foundering economy, but does a great deal of further damage to the already on-the-verge-of-insolvency Social Security – to which these monies are supposed to go.
As a part of this process, also being bandied about are long-overdue spectrum auctions – government sales of the airspace we need for all things wireless. For cell phones, the Internet, etc.
We desperately need more spectrum, to be used to continue the free speech-free market Xanadu, unprecedented wireless revolution we have all enjoyed.
But the Left is again calling for even more handouts. Rather than sell the spectrum on a free market basis (licensed), they want to give a huge chunk of it away for free (unlicensed).
This despite the fact that there is already more unlicensed than licensed spectrum available. In other words – like with our income tax system and who does and does not pay – the handouts are already winning.
“The only facet of the economy that has at all worked the last three years – in the Age of President Barack Obama – has been the Tech sector. The Internet and cell phones have been the driving force behind the only part of the private sector that has been hiring rather than firing – growing rather than shrinking.
“Not coincidentally, the Internet and cell phones were three years ago virtually regulation-free. So of course the Obama Administration and the Left have worked ceaselessly to pile on illegal, oppressive and unnecessary new rules – like Network Neutrality and cell phone price controls.
“And now the Left is back – demanding we again play Socialism, rather than allow a free market auction of the spectrum we need for the wireless revolution to continue.
“Ummm, no. The Left and their ‘Let’s Give It All Away’ mentality have crippled our economy, and consigned us to languish in these wretched circumstances. The Left has led, they have failed – and now they must get out of the way. And let the free market again restore us to economic success.”
“The Era of Cheap Energy is over”
In his latest State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama declared he wanted to end the practice of allowing oil companies to keep more of their money.
So that we can instead increase the number and amount of checks We the Taxpayers write to the born-to-be-bankrupt, “green” non-energy “energy” likes of Solyndra, Fisker, Beacon Power, (and on, and on…).
Here’s Obama last Tuesday, running for reelection from the well of the House of Representatives:
“But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy,” Obama told Congress. “I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough.”
Again, let’s clear away just a bit of Obama’s all-encompassing obfuscation.
Letting oil companies keep their own money (tax credits) is not the same thing as cutting Taxpayer checks to farcical “energy” companies like Solyndra and Ener1.
And if Obama is in fact for an “all-out, all-in, all-of-the-above (energy) strategy” – why did he veto the already-State Department-approved Keystone Pipeline?
It is because Obama has decreed that the Era of Cheap Energy is over.
So it seemed a little out-of-policy-character for Obama when he last Thursday:
(P)roposed tax incentives for companies to buy natural gas trucks….
But fret not – it was for Obama totally in-political-character. It’s just the latest example of his Crony Socialism on parade.
Because guess whose company is the world’s leading manufacturer of natural gas engines? That would be uber-billionaire, uber-Anti-American, uber-Leftist donor George Soros.
One of the stocks Soros invested in recently is Westport Innovations (WPST), a global supplier of “solutions” that allow vehicles to operate on clean-burning fuels, such as natural gas. In fact, they are the world’s leading engineer of natural gas engines….
…Soros’s investment funds have pumped about $122 million into WPST, and he’s added to his control as recently as December and March, when he picked up over a million shares, bringing his total to 5.5 million shares.
No other major investor shares his rosy outlook for natural gas engines, and the stock has barely crept up during the time Soros has held it, leading many to suspect Soros knows of a major future development.
Could that development be Congress’s NAT GAS act? It seems likely.
Government Motors is in fact already working with Soros.
General Motors has entered an agreement with natural gas engine manufacturer, Westport, to co-develop small compressed natural gas engines that could find their way into future GM models….
CEO Dan Akerson “has made it pretty transparent this is an area we need to get back into in the North American environment.”
Certainly Obama-appointee Akerson and GM want to “get back into” yet another round of free government money.
So the Era of Cheap Energy is – at least temporarily – over. For at least as long as the Obama Administration lasts.
And all of the money we could be saving on actual energy is going towards inane, “green” non-energy “energy” – and into the pockets of Obama’s Cronies.
How’s that doing it for you?
The Obama Administration has been an anti-Constitutional, anti-rule of law, unilateral power grabbing nightmare mess.
Wonder why the economy remains a train wreck? This is why.
If the American people and their businesses are overrun with new government taxes and regulations, things get more expensive and less productive.
If these new taxes and regulations are delivered via a flurry of illegal activity – as they in large swaths have been by this Administration – you can add additional, capricious uncertainty to the mix.
None of this bodes well for We the People – trying to extricate ourselves from this government-created economic quagmire.
There is a near perfect correlation between the size of government – and the prices of private goods and services and the effectiveness with which they can be provided.
The bigger government is, the more expensive and inefficient the private sector is forced to be.
With each new tax and regulation, the cost of doing business goes up. Which (of course) means for We the People the prices for these businesses’ goods and services rise as well.
And of course, every second these businesses are forced to spend contorting themselves into pretzels of government compliance – is a second they can’t spend bettering their products and reducing their prices.
Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” mantra is nothing more than his (re-)announcing that he will do whatever he wants, whenever he wants – regardless of whether or not he has the legal authority to do so.
Hello, even bigger government and greater uncertainty.
And contrary to the Democrat-Media 2012 campaign mantra – it began happening well before the Tea Party 2010 election.
Much of Obama’s wish list – Cap & Trade, Card Check, Network Neutrality, anti-First Amendment campaign finance “reform,” and on, and on, and… – was so Leftist that even the pre-2010 Democrat Congress wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot vote.
Thus, Obama “Can’t Wait” – and has been illegally imposing it all and then some, via his Executive Branch Agencies, Commissions, Departments and Boards.
This isn’t how a Constitutional republic works.
One of the worst offending Obama Administration wings is the Federal Communications Commission – the FCC.
The Obama FCC has spent virtually their entire term tilting at Leftist ideological windmills – illegally expanding the government’s role in a wide array of areas old and new.
Rather than doing things it’s supposed to be doing. Things that favor and will maximize individual freedom – and improve Communications’ service and price – for We the People.
The Obama FCC wasted the better part of two years ramming through its illegal imposition of Net Neutrality. Which inserts the government into every facet of the heretofore government-free, fabulously successful World Wide Web.
They illegally imposed price caps on wireless phone and Web service.
And cramming them full of illegal capitulation “conditions.” Which are just more examples of the FCC writing law – when they and everyone else know that’s what Congress and only Congress is supposed to do.
For instance, Comcast has to for seven years comply with the FCC’s absurd Net Neutrality – regardless of the (almost inevitable overturn) outcome of the multiple Net Neutrality lawsuits filed against the Commission for its broader illegal imposition.
The examples of the Obama FCC Gone Wild are myriad.
And now, we desperately need more spectrum – the airspace wireless providers use to continue to expand their services to We the People.
Smart phone and tablet data use – driven largely by We the People watching videos – is going through the roof. More spectrum is vital to accommodating this great and growing surge.
It is Congress’ job to pass spectrum legislation – which then authorizes the FCC to auction it off. We are currently at the Congressional portion of the program.
So, how should the bill be crafted so as to maximize spectrum to the private markets – to the maximum benefit of all?
Not the Senate way. The Senate’s spectrum bill is a green light for the FCC to again Go Wild – and load down the purchases with all sorts of illegal regulations.
Just like they did with the Comcast-NBC merger.
The Senate version allows the FCC to choose winners and losers – by precluding some willing bidders from participating.
Meanwhile, some Senators in a letter chastised the House spectrum bill - precisely because it prevents the FCC from Going Wild.
Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) support the Senate version of the legislation but said the House bill would inappropriately tie the hands of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
As we’ve seen – with Obama’s FCC, it is quite appropriate to tie hands.
In fact, the last FCC could have used some binding as well.
The Commission was for the last spectrum auction left to its own devices – and they too Went Wild.
The auction was riddled with absurd rules, and force fed purchasers illegal regulatory capitulations. Google was allowed to muck it up with special stipulations – so as to slam available spectrum with Net Neutrality.
As a result, the auction was a gi-normous bust – it didn’t generate nearly as much coin as anticipated. Because prospective buyers were turned off by and turned away from the overly-regulated spectrum.
And first Verizon, then CTIA-The Wireless Association sued to unshackle the spectrum (though both suits were eventually dropped).
All of this sound familiar?
So the House, with its current spectrum legislation, should be forgiven – and in fact praised – for wanting to “tie the hands of the FCC.”
In short, we need unfettered, unafflicted spectrum auctions. And we need them in short order.
The spectrum auction legislation absolutely should strictly proscribe the FCC from illegally injecting Leftist policies – and the Crony Socialist choosing of who can and who can not participate.
The House has it right. The Senate does not.
Let’s get it done.
All 8,000 of them.
Straining mightily to avoid the word “recall,” General Motors (GM) is “ask(ing) owners to return (Chevy Volts) to dealers” in what is being called a “customer satisfaction program call back” – of every single Volt ever sold.
“The cars are covered by a ‘customer satisfaction program’ run by GM, which is similar to a safety recall but allows the carmaker to avoid the bad publicity and federal monitoring that come with a recall.”
How ingenuous and straightforward of GM. But what’s to be expected, given that GM and the Barack Obama Administration covered up their knowledge of the fires for at least half a year?
There were multiple Volt fires in 2011. Two private fires in April. Three government fires in National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing. And another private fire in November.
Remember: The two fires in April and the one in November involved Volts that were not involved in crashes. Yet GM and the Obama Administration are now claiming that the Volt fire problems only arise “days or weeks after a severe crash.”
Remember: There have been many different reasons cited as possible causes for the fires not caused by crashes. Is it the charging station? Is it the charging station cable? Is it the battery? These questions still seem to be outstanding.
GM started selling the Volt in late 2010. So the fire problem has been a problem from just about the outset.
Less Government President Seton Motley:
“The Chevy Volt is an unprofitable, unpopular, electric nightmare. A ‘Worst Product Flop of 2011’ winner. And with each passing day – despite GM and Barack Obama Administration cover-ups and withholdings of information – we learn more and more about just how combustible-ly unsafe the Volt is.
“From all appearances, GM and the Obama Administration have been sacrificing the safety of the American people on the altar of Leftist Green ideology. Continuing to only trickle out more damaging information of the inflammable dangers of the Chevy Volt – all the while continuing to sell it, and promote it as their warped vision of the future.
“GM and the Obama Administration first refused to admit there was a Volt fire problem. Then they said there was only one fire. Now they say it was three fires – but only after crashes. When there have been multiple additional fires involving Volts that were never in accidents.
“This is but the latest in a long line of examples of the Obama Administration being disingenuous about their plans and policies. And – like Fast & Furious, amongst others – the Administration’s disingenuousness about the Chevy Volt is placing We the People in danger.
“GM and the Obama Administration have repeatedly withheld information regarding the Chevy Volt fire problems. And they are doing it still. So how much confidence can We the People have in the safety of the Volt – based upon the ‘call back’ ‘fix’ they are now proclaiming? Answer: Hardly any at all.”
We the Taxpayers own more than 500 million shares of GM stock, on which we are poised to lose about $16 billion. Less Government tracks the looming loss – and offers the solution for how we can extricate ourselves from GM – at www.BailoutCost.com.