Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

4th June
2011
written by Arizona Kid

As we edge into Obama’s third year of his administration it’s important to draw some parallels to another trans formative President and compare some policies and outcomes. Both Reagan and Obama inherited an economy in trouble.  Reagan inherited a Democratic administration mess signified with high unemployment, high interest rates and high inflation. Obama inherited a complete melt down of the financial and housing markets which sparked a massive shedding of jobs by the private sector.

How both men approached the solution shows their ideologies and their willingness to risk it all to prove their points. Both administrations came in with a roar and lost major political ground in the mid term elections just two years into their presidencies. That’s were the similarities stop.

Reagan moved quickly to reduce federal spending on run away programs, federal spending on non-defense sectors. Obama primed the government spending pump by spending on government. The ballooning of the bureaucracy is growing to epic proportions.  An alarming stat from the WSJ:

Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.

Reagan took on the Federal Air Traffic Controller and Obama takes over GM to save the union heavy auto maker, fights Boeings ability to flee to right to work states.

Reagan runs up the deficit spending credit card to build up the military which eventually ended the Cold War. Obama talks about restoring our decaying infrastructure and resurrecting the Conservation Corp of the Great Depression era and ended up squandering $787 billion on bridges to no where, high speed rail systems that are getting shot down by governors in states that aren’t buying into the pork. Under Obama we saw ‘Cash For Clunkers’, ‘Cash for Cualkers’.  The Coburn-McCain report slammed the wasteful stimulus package for juicy nuggets like:

The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center was awarded $71,623 to study what the report calls, “Monkeys Getting High for Science.”

Bonnie Davis, a spokeswoman for The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said the “small grant has helped protect very important research that will have significant impact on public health in regards to cocaine addiction and the issue of relapse.”

Go a little further down the list and you’ll find even bigger spending. The California Academy of Sciences is receiving nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa to capture, photograph and analyze thousands of exotic ants.

PHOTO Republicans allege Obama's stimulus project has
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There’s also funding for yoga and hot flashes. Researchers at Wake Forest University have received nearly $300,000 to study whether integral yoga “can be an effective method to reduce the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes” in breast cancer survivors.

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Reagan reduced regulations which told the business community that the American market was going to welcome their entreprenurial spirit and encourage them to get back to work. Obama on the other hand flirted with Cap and Trade and used the long arm of the EPA to mandate coal fired energy production and attempt to move the country towards solar and other inefficient alternative energy sources.

As if our brief history lessons and comparisons aren’t example enough of how incredibly off the Obama administration’s policies are, let’s take a look at the United States health care industry. Health care makes up 20% of the US economy  and it’s just received a major governmental partner in virtually every aspect of it’s delivery, billing, R&D and administration.  Health care reform is the holy grail of Progressive politics.  Clinton tried and ultimately failed to get a health care overhaul bid through the legislative process. Obama  learned two valuable lessons from Bill, don’t let Hilary anywhere near the process and move quick while your political capital is at it’s peak.

Even with super majorities in Congress what came out of the Potomac meat grinder was a health care bill that was loaded with new bureaucracies, new government oversights and new hurdles to jump through. The ‘bending of the cost curve’ discussion was thrown out the window and replaced with ‘we are from the government and here to help’.  Why would we be skeptic of a Federal take over of 20% of our economy? Look no further than the US Postal Service for your answer.

Both Reagan and Obama have had two years to implement their plans. Both lost big in the mid term and both were under criticism for their policies. Reagan set the table for the private sector to roar back with 20 years of prosperity.  Even the stock market melt down of 1987 (bigger than the correction of 2009) rolled through as no more than a blip on the two decades of prosperity.  The policies Obama has put in to place have frozen the private sector. There is more money sitting on the sidelines in the private sector than any time in history. When small businesses or multinational conglomorates experience and uncertain marketplace they sit and wait. No one will put capital at risk until their is certainty. From the dry cleaner on the corner to the major pharmacutical company, the messages coming out of the Obama Administration point to the the private sector being a necessary evil rather than an important partner in our economic recovery.
If Obama sees another term look for America to experience a Japan like ‘Lost Decade’.
From a 1983 report on Reagan’s policies mid term:

Liberal media wrong about economy.

By Edwin Feulner – The Southeat Missourian

…..For better or for worse, more than two an one half years into the Reagan administration, the nations economic policies – while still a hodgepodge, confusing, and in some cases counterproductive are generally modeled along the lines Ronald Reagan proposed as a presidential candidate. Taxes have been reduced; government spending increases have been slowed; the regulatory burden has been eased somewhat. The mix would be far  different in an ideal world; but Washington is far from that.

In other words, whether Sam Donaldson of ABC-TV or Horbart Rowen of the Washington Post like it or not, the economic program is more similar than dissimilar to what we called Reaganomics three years ago.

If its working, it’s Reaganomics we can credit; if it’s failing, Reaganomics gets the blame.

Is the program working:……

-          Sales of domestic autos were at a 7.2 million rat in July, up by more than 40% over the 5.1 million rate of June 1982.

-          More than 74% of manufacturing, mining and utilities capacity was in use in June, up seven percent from November, when the recession was at its worse.

-          The University of Michigan index of consumer confidence soared to 93% in May-June, it’s highest level in 10 years. People are optimistic about their current and future economic situation and about the prospects for the economy as a whole.

-          Consumer spending, adjusted for inflation, surged 10% annual rate during the second quarter – the largest quarterly increase in two decades.

-          The civilian unemployment rate fell to 9.5% in July and August from a high of 10.8% last December – falling a full one-half percent in July alone. New claims for unemployment insurance, moreover, were down to 388,000 during the first four weeks of July. Lowest since July 1979.

-          New housing starts were at a 1.7 million unit annual rate in June, up 92% from a year earlier.

Much to the dismay of the gloom and doomers, inflation remains firmly in control. Interest rates are well below earlier peaks, as well.

The bottom line is that economic recovery is gaining momentum. Real GNP grew at an annual rate of 8.7% in the second quarter – far higher than forecast, and three times greater than 2.6% rate in the first quarter.

The limousine liberals in the news media have willed failure on the Reagan economic program from the beginning. The only thing that has failed, however, is their creditability.

19th January
2009
written by JHiggins

Having recently run for office, I can assure you that it’s not a process to be taken lightly. There were 14 hour days for 6 months straight. The campaign process becomes your life. Your marriage, family, business and community activities are put on hold as you look for every opportunity to get your message out to the voters. My race was brief, less than a year, I can’t image a 2 year presidental campaign. Obama and I  both have two children, both are 10 and 7 years old. The experience undoubtedly changed both of our families forever.

Why did I run?  Because I believe in our community and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams here. Lately, either because I’m more engaged or more aware, I’ve become more and more concerned about the decisions we are making as a community.  I often wonder if my children will not have the same opportunity here that I did. I’m see a lack of jobs for our graduating college students. I see a vanishing middle class and a community separated by the “retirees” and “struggling to survives.”

I serve on a number of non-profit boards and believe it is our responsibility to give back to the community any way possible. The one board that I’m most proud and involved in is Catholic Community Services. The agency has a $36m budget and 500+ employees. They do work for people from cradle to grave and cover all of southern Arizona. In the 5 years on the board I’ve watched the total people served  rise from 90k to over 120k per year.  We provide the safety net for thousands of kids, families and elderly, we are struggling to keep up on the demand for our services. Our health care clinic is over whelmed, our elderly services are at a breaking point. What I’ve seen first hand is that we can’t keep making the safety net bigger. At some point we must focus on the fundamentals of our community. We must focus on economic development, creating better paying jobs. We must bolster our middle class and provide hope for our children.

President Elect Obama published a letter to his children in this Sunday’s Parade and it struck a cord for me and my family. We read the letter to the kids as we tucked them in and we relived and reflected on the campaign process as a family.  Let us keep in mind that although we are quick to criticize our elected officials they are, for the most part, making a sacrifice to run and hold office.

Next Tuesday, Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President. On this historic occasion, PARADE asked the President-elect, who is also a devoted family man, to get personal and tell us what he wants for his children. Here, he shares his letter to them.

Dear Malia and Sasha,

 

I know that you’ve both had a lot of fun these last two years on the campaign trail, going to picnics and parades and state fairs, eating all sorts of junk food your mother and I probably shouldn’t have let you have. But I also know that it hasn’t always been easy for you and Mom, and that as excited as you both are about that new puppy, it doesn’t make up for all the time we’ve been apart. I know how much I’ve missed these past two years, and today I want to tell you a little more about why I decided to take our family on this journey.

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me-about how I’d make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn’t seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn’t count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that’s why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

I want all our children to go to schools worthy of their potential-schools that challenge them, inspire them, and instill in them a sense of wonder about the world around them. I want them to have the chance to go to college-even if their parents aren’t rich. And I want them to get good jobs: jobs that pay well and give them benefits like health care, jobs that let them spend time with their own kids and retire with dignity.

I want us to push the boundaries of discovery so that you’ll live to see new technologies and inventions that improve our lives and make our planet cleaner and safer. And I want us to push our own human boundaries to reach beyond the divides of race and region, gender and religion that keep us from seeing the best in each other.

Sometimes we have to send our young men and women into war and other dangerous situations to protect our country-but when we do, I want to make sure that it is only for a very good reason, that we try our best to settle our differences with others peacefully, and that we do everything possible to keep our servicemen and women safe. And I want every child to understand that the blessings these brave Americans fight for are not free-that with the great privilege of being a citizen of this nation comes great responsibility.

 
 

That was the lesson your grandmother tried to teach me when I was your age, reading me the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence and telling me about the men and women who marched for equality because they believed those words put to paper two centuries ago should mean something.

She helped me understand that America is great not because it is perfect but because it can always be made better-and that the unfinished work of perfecting our union falls to each of us. It’s a charge we pass on to our children, coming closer with each new generation to what we know America should be.

I hope both of you will take up that work, righting the wrongs that you see and working to give others the chances you’ve had. Not just because you have an obligation to give something back to this country that has given our family so much-although you do have that obligation. But because you have an obligation to yourself. Because it is only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.

These are the things I want for you-to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world. And I want every child to have the same chances to learn and dream and grow and thrive that you girls have. That’s why I’ve taken our family on this great adventure.

I am so proud of both of you. I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House.

Love, Dad  
7th January
2009
written by Arizona Kid

Talk about a tough time to become President of the US. Two wars, one of the worst economy’s in years, Isreali unrest, huge federal deficits and the list goes on.  Let’s hope Obama’s plan for small business works.

What Obama’s Proposed Tax Cuts Mean for Small Businesses – From Business Week

Posted by: Colleen DeBaise on January 05

Here’s a welcome report for entrepreneurs this new year: President-elect Barack Obama’s massive stimulus plan is expected to include three key tax breaks for small-business owners.

Details are still emerging, but the plan could include a longer window for businesses to “carry back” losses; an incentive to invest in machinery, equipment and other capital improvements; and a tax credit for job creation.

How soon can that get money into your hands? Faster than you might imagine. I spoke with Barbara Weltman, a tax attorney in Millwood, N.Y., who says an extension of a carry back period for losses could significantly help businesses that had been profitable in years past, but struggled in 2008.

Here’s how it might work: If you experienced a downtick last year, you can claim a net operating loss or NOL, which is essentially when expenses exceed revenues. Current tax law allows you to use that NOL to offset the past two years’ income, which could win you an immediate cash refund. Under the Obama stimulus plan, that carry back period would be extended, allowing you to use that NOL to reduce the past five years’ tax bills. That’s “a big deal,” she says. “It allows you to get an immediate cash infusion that you can use to help you survive now.”

If you do get a cash refund, another proposed tax break might spur you to plow that money back into your business. The Section 179 (first-year expensing) deduction for purchases of new equipment or machinery is expected to increase to $250,000. Currently, the limit for 2009 is $133,000.

Another piece of the Obama stimulus package could be a one-year tax credit for job creation. The president-elect has pledged to create 3 million new jobs to offset 2008’s steep losses. Republican Congressional leaders have indicated they would support tax relief, although size and scope would need to be worked out. The emergency package could be passed within weeks of Obama’s inauguration.

Reader Comments

Kai

January 6, 2009 01:36 PM

As a small business owner I think that Obama should focus on American small businesses to help get the economy on track. We as business owners may not provide a lot of jobs but we do employ the neighborhood citizens.

Rob

January 6, 2009 02:59 PM

“We as business owners may not provide a lot of jobs but we do employ the neighborhood citizens.”

Small business actually happens to account for over 50% (I’ve heard 57%) of people employed in the U.S. So thanks for helping out the economy, small business owners!

Dan

January 6, 2009 03:47 PM

The best thing the President could do for small business would be to fix health care.

Susan

January 6, 2009 04:11 PM

My family owns two businesses. At this point, there is no need to hire anybody else and so that credit doesn’t do us any good. We had a strong 2008 and so I don’t need any carry back extension. We invested heavily in machinery during 2008. Now that revenues have dropped by about 30 percent since the beginning of Dec. I am not entertaining the idea of buying any more equipment until the mood of our customers changes. So see we are now back to the customer and lack thereof. I don’t believe the consumer will budge one inch with the debt piling on in Washington. I think all those numbers are freaking people out. They feel poor already and the stimulus has even begun.

4th November
2008
written by JHiggins

The starting point for Barack’s presidency – From REDCATBLUECAT.BLOGSPOT.COM

When Barack Obama was elected:

The inflation rate was 3.7%
Unemployment was 6.5%
The prime was at 4%
The Dow closed at 9,625
The NASDAQ closed at 1,780
The S&P closed at 1,005
Oil was $60 a barrel.
U.S. monthly domestic oil production: appx 155 million barrels
U.S. proven oil reserves: 21.3 billion barrels
U.S. offshore proven reserves: 3.9 billion barrels

These were the facts as polls closed on 11/4. His domestic success or failure should be measured against them.

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