Then Thank God for the Koch Brothers

John Ransom
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Posted: Mar 12, 2013 12:01 AM

Donald6189 wrote: Sort of, but not quite on topic, just wondering if anyone has come up with a tshirt with the caption "The government went on Sequestration and all I got was this lousy economy!"? Sort of fits with the topic just not completely. - This Jobs Report Not Actual Size

Dear Comrade Don,

Actually it doesn’t fit with the topic, nor is it correct. It’s not even funny.

The economy was lousy before sequestration. Sequestration is aimed at improving the economy even though the politicians would have you believe otherwise.

The only problem I have with sequestration is that it didn’t start a long time ago and it isn’t big enough.

As Mark Twain once observed of his misshapen theatrical production Ah Sin

When this play was originally completed it was so long, and so wide and so deep--in places--and so comprehensive that it would have taken two weeks to play it…. [B]ut the manager said no, that wouldn't do; to play two weeks was sure to get us into trouble with the Government, because the Constitution of the United States says you sha'n't inflict cruel and unusual punishments. So he set to work to cut it down….I never saw a play improve as this one did. The more he cut out of it the better it got right along. He cut out, and cut out, and cut out; and I do believe this would be one of the best plays in the world to-day if his strength had held out, and he could have gone on and cut out the rest of it.

If Congress just had just half of the strength of that theater manager, I’d feel less cruel and unusual toward the government.

Half of sequester is aimed at money that is an increase in spending over what we are spending today rather than true cuts.

As Larry Kudlow explains:

For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of GDP (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget.

So the actual outlay reduction is only half the budget-authority savings. The rest of it will spend out in the years ahead -- that is, if Congress doesn’t tamper with it.

When I was growing up, I was taught by Keynesian economists that government could borrow about three percent of GDP to sustain the economy in bad times- otherwise borrowings would have a crowding-out effect in capital markets, leaving the private economy to compete with the government.

Assuming a $16 trillion in 2013, even 1970s Keynesians would have to admit that we overshot the mark by double.

But even so, let’s say that the crowding out in capital markets out wasn’t happening. The question then becomes should the government account for 40 percent of our GDP?

Heck. And. No.

Government spending doesn’t not deliver the return on capital that private investment does. When it accounts for such a large part of our economy, you’ll get poor GDP growth mostly.

That’s why I was deliberate in using the phrases “government spending” versus “private investment.”

Government does not invest; it spends.

Government does not say, “Let’s take a trillion dollars and make it turn into five trillion dollars worth of value.” If they did, you wouldn’t have guys like Obama making the case that tax rates should go up based on “fairness,” while admitting that higher tax rates will lower government revenue.

That would be like a computer company arguing that, yes, profits will go down on computer sales, but prices must be lowered based on “fairness.” Government instead says, “Let’s spend a trillion dollars on highways, because construction contractors need the work and that money will come back from construction contractors to fund political campaigns.”

The return on capital to the overall economy is both incidental and accidental when government spends money.

Private investment, in contrast does spending money- even political donations- with a return in mind.  That’s why we call it investment.

Here’s an idea even liberals will probably misunderstand: Intention has a direct effect on outcome, by and large. If a society invests with the idea of profit, a society- or economy- will enjoy larger profits than a society that spends money with the intention of taking care of political friends and allies- which is what government is all about.      

But it’s not just the deleterious effect that large government spending has on the economy to which I object.

A government that controls your mortgage, your student loan, your car loan, your retirement savings, your healthcare, your right to own property and to defend your liberties- with a gun if necessary- is a government that owns your liberty and just rents it back to you for a while at election time.     

Doug3370 wrote: This talk about murder is unfortunate. Are you really wanting to imprison 55 million murderers? Or execute them? And what about the poor mother who miscarries? Is that negligent homicide? Overblown words poison the conversation we must have with our fellow citizens who think differently. - This Jobs Report Not Actual Size

Dear Comrade Doug,

You tell me at what exact time life actually begins. Voluntarily terminating a pregnancy after that moment is murder. No getting around it.

It’s safe, legal and wrong.

Slavery was once legal too.   

DG wrote:I just read Mike Shedlock's column on this topic. He provides a good analysis of the details of the Jobs Report. Significantly, the data are showing employers are shifting towards part time workers away from full time workers. .- This Jobs Report Not Actual Size

Dear DG,

Yes. Shedlock adds a lot to the conversation on Finance, but if you don’t check out his articles on the employment situation every month- Mish's Complete Look at Employment Numbers- then you don’t really know what the employment situation is in the country. 

Swift Boat Captn wrote: And things were so great before Obama took over. Let's go back to the Chimp's economy that he started by turning surpluses into deficits then finished by losing 800,000 jobs per month and Wall Street on the brink of extinction. - This Won’t End End Well: Obama Giveth X and Taketh Away 7.6 Percent More

Dear Comrade Kerry,

In February 2007, when the terrible, evil George W. Bush was president, there were 2,427,000 more jobs than there are today.

In February 2007, when the terrible, evil George W. Bush was president, there were 5,167,000 fewer unemployed.

There’s more money in the system, going to fewer people than ever before.

The average American can’t afford to buy a new car now. Thanks GM/Obama.

The average American is watching as home prices climb for rich Americans, but stagnate for everyone else.

Top tier homes are selling- and have been selling since Obama became pope- outpacing middle tier and lower tier homes.

The rest of us have to make due with home prices that equal those seen in 1894…That’s 1894…not, 1994.        

“Whether real or manufactured by record-low foreclosures, bank supply withdrawals, and fed-subsidized cash REO-to-rent trades,” writes Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, “the sad truth is that jobs (and the GDP-enhancing multiplier effect that they create) are just not coming. Even Bob Shiller prefers the potential for 4% gains in stocks over housing risk in the medium-term as he points out that - inflation-adjusted - house prices are back at levels first seen in 1894... now that is a long-term investor. “ 

And just because the Dow’s making new highs, you think everything is wonderful. What happened to Occupy Wall Street?  

This is a system that was deliberately crafted by your buddy BHO.

Congrats Comrade Kerry!

You’re right: In America, you in particular, have a right to be stupid.  

VIDEO:

  

adendulk wrote: Well John ; as you write so brlliantly about all the negative points then with your self proclaimed genias status it would be easy for you to come up with a solution that all of us would and could be happy with Or are you like all the other nay sayers just possed of because the economy is slowly recovering, which is by the way the best way. - This Won’t End End Well: Obama Giveth X and Taketh Away 7.6 Percent More

Dear Comrade Ulk,

Thanks so much for the creative spelling, punctuation and sentence construction.

Obama’s problem- if we take him at his word, which is always dangerous- is that he’s president, not emperor.

Personally, I’m confident that if I were president for just one year, we’d have one of the most robust economies, not just in the world, but also in our history.

The economic problems that we face aren’t unsolvable and neither are the political problems that we face.

Smarter regulation of the financial services sector is paramount, combined with developing our domestic energy resources. New technologies in old energy sources that allow us to “sequester” carbon, develop domestic stocks and innovate will quickly turn us into an energy powerhouse worldwide.

“The use of new drilling techniques to tap oil and gas in shale rocks far underground helped add 158,000 new oil and gas jobs over the past five years,” writes the Wall Street Journal “and economists think that it has created even more jobs in companies supplying the energy industry and in the broader services industry.”

“This is probably the biggest stimulus we have going,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research told the WSJ.

According to the Journal “$145 billion will be spent drilling and completing wells this year, up from $13 billion in 2000.”

While it’s estimated that Canada may have as much as 2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves, “the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the [US] has 4.3 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources centered in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, said Helen Hankins, Colorado director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management” according to the Associated Press.

4.3 trillion barrels is 16 times the reserves of Saudi Arabia, or enough oil to supply the US for 600 years.

As I have pointed out all along, the Keystone issue isn’t about the safety of a pipeline. Obama and enviro-whacko friends know that if they allow Canadian tar sands oil to be developed via the Keystone pipeline, that the US will also start to develop their own tar-sands and shale oil. The US contains well over 600 years of known reserves and that would allow the US to be a net exporter of oil. If that happens, the green economy ruse that the left has sponsored, already reeling from bankruptcies and cronyism, would collapse. It would show that there is no shortage of oil and “green” energy can not compete with fossil fuels.

The only thing left then for those bitter climate clingers would be the shoddy science of Global Something-or-Another. 

Oil from tar sands, reports the BBC on the Keystone decision, “is so plentiful that full-scale development would seriously delay the transition to low-carbon alternative fuels,” which is the holy grail of the left.  And along the way, the U.S. would create at least 10 million new U.S. jobs, keeping around $500 billion per year here at home. Over twenty years that would be an additional $12.5 trillion in GDP even at a modest 2 percent growth rate. At 4 percent the numbers are closer to $15.5 trillion. 

And that’s just what I would do for our energy economy.

Think: Best. President. Ever.          

M.Hillinger__aka__QR wrote: "So 3.6 percent wage decrease plus 4 percent less savings…carry the two, divide the whole number…is… 7.6 percent less for you!" No it's not. Just because I didn't save it doesn't mean I didn't receive it. If I get I 10 dollars but see a 3.6 % (36 cent) decrease, I now get $9.64. Whether I choose to save 4% less of it (about 39 cents) or not has nothing to do with how much I originally received--it is still 3.6% less--not 7.6%. - This Won’t End End Well: Obama Giveth X and Taketh Away 7.6 Percent More

Dear Comrade Mikey,

Actually your math is waaaaay off.

It’s not your fault. You screwed up; you’re a liberal. You’re probably a product of public education, Catholic guilt, or protestant gilt.   

I played a trick on you and you fell for it.

Of course 4 percent less savings plus 3.6 percent lower wages doesn’t equal 7.6 percent less. It equals a lot less than that, actually.

Someone who is 35 years old with an average salary of $50,000 per year would be saving about $2,000 per year with that extra four percent. Assuming a 6 percent rate of return, that four percent would turn into about $160,000 by age 65, which is a net of $100,000. If you stretch out the investment time horizon to 75 years of age, the amount doubles to $320,000.

Like most liberals you have a problem with both math and common sense. You really think that the government needs the money more than people who need to save for retirement. 

Only a cow-pated idiot liberal would do math as you do, then think to lecture someone who is merely being funny.

I’ll tell you what‘s not funny, though. Your BFF, Obama, just stole $220,000 from people who will want to retire in 30 years. He stole it to support his government spending “habit.”

Get help before you force us all to rock bottom. 

Agitator wrote: how come there are no republican comedians?- Will Ferrell Isn’t Very Funny, Ha, Ha

Dear Comrade Agita,

Because I’m busy being finance editor. I can’t help it I’m so talented.

Jerome41 wrote: The Koch brothers also use their vast wealth to deeply influence and change public policy. Let's not pretend they're not like some small time contributor, or even like Will Ferrell. ? - Will Ferrell Isn’t Very Funny, Ha, H a

Dear Comrade Jerome,

Then thank God for the Koch Brothers.

If Obama’s folks can buy a tour of the White House for $500,000 then I think the First Amendment ought to extend to the Koch Brothers and me too. 

Seriously: Do people not know how to use question marks anymore? And words?

Lengld69 wrote: No, we need another party. Ron Paul would have beat the fraud. I truly believe the sorry republicans wanted the fraud to win. They are go along. The want what the fraud wants, new world order. They have to go if we are to survive. - Colorado GOP Elects Former “Fugitive from Justice” as Party Chair

Dear Comrade Lenny,

You mean Wrong Paul?

I think you have the wrong Paul.

Rand Paul? Certainly. Ron Paul? Ha! 

Corbett_ wrote: A man doesn't pay a speeding ticket or two and Ransom describes him as a "fugitive from Justice"? What a crock. - Colorado GOP Elects Former “Fugitive from Justice” as Party Chair

Dear Comrade Corbett,

I described him just as his Colorado Bureau of Investigations rap sheet apparently had him described: “fugitive.”

I wasn’t going to bring this up again, but I had so many rude Ryan Call supporters email me that I’ve decided to post the letter and his mug shot so you can decide for yourself.

so'loughlin wrote: Ransom: "We allow people to protect themselves with guns but won’t do a thing about regulating and controlling the crazed, crack-addled asteroids?" John we don't "allow" people to keep and bear arms, they have a right to. We allow liberal anti-gunners to whine about our right to keep and bear arms, but I do understand your tongue in cheek depiction of "the sky is falling crowd". - Guns Gone Mad and Asteroids Gone Crazy

Dear Comrade So’,

Apparently my “tongue in cheek depiction of ‘the sky is falling crowd’“ is the only thing you understand.

Literalist, like you, make me weary, teary and old.

Mercifully, that’s it for this week,

V/r,

JR