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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Today is Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Economy

Forecasts, reports, earnings.


Why are Americans and Washington bitterly divided? Big Government is Corrupt Government

 

Big Government and soaring government spending corrupt takers and their elected representatives in Washington. That makes makers despise the takers and fight bitterly to end the corruption and vote buying.

Washington has been divided by Moocher Nation Takers who demand more from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Foodstamps, Student Loans, Child Credits, Home mortgage interest credits, State Income Tax Credits, Green but not Clean energy subsidies, Farm Subsidies, Pell Grants, Fed funding for K-12, Government contracts and huge Corporate Tax Loopholes.

TAKERS prevailed as long as the pie was growing. Now, thanks to the soaring debt and sluggish economy, the pie is shrinking. Collaboration no longer is so easy.

So now TAKERS are up against the taxpaying Makers, many of whom also are Takers.

MAKERS fear the multi-Trillion-dollar wealth transfer known as ObamaCare, fiscal stimulus, quantitative easing at the Fed, Soaring state and Fed taxes and the Bankrupting of America.

MAKERS are seeing their highly educated, hard working, bright kids going unemployed and facing unemployment, lousy careers and lives without loving partners because of ObamaCare, the EPA, NLRB and Obama's wealth transfer agenda. Fear has become hatred.

Hatred breeds fear on the other side.

We have the hater-in-chief spouting hatred and refusing to lead.

And we see a desperate House trying to stop what its members and their constituents see as an historic attempt to "transform" America into Italy, Portugal, France, Spain and the U.K.

The TAKERS' greed for money and political power is up against the MAKERS' fear for their incomes, wealth and futures.

As long as there are only slightly more TAKERS than MAKERs, we will be bitterly divided. And Washington will be dysfunctional.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 10/04/13 at 06:19 AM
Congress 113thEconomyTaxesPermalink

Education is key to a less violent, more healthy and prosperous America

Without more and better educated people we have:

1. Fewer marriages and more broken marriages.
2. More unemployed and hard core unemployed who blame the educated for their plights.
3. More violence, killing, crimes and imprisonments.
4. More obese, unhealthy and self-destructive people who don't understand doctors' orders nor comply with them.
5. More indiscriminate hate, blame shifting and uninformed and thoughtless voting.
6. Weaker and more biased educators who care little about the kids they teach and more about their days off, health care and pension benefits and salaries.
7. Weaker, more self-centered politicians who get away with lying and blame shifting because there aren't enough educated Americans to keep them honest.
8. The Moocher Nation.
 
We won't solve any of our social and cultural problems until we overthrow teachers unions and start graduating kids who can read, comprehend, write and deal with reality.
 
As long as school boards, state legislatures, Congress and the President ignore America's biggest problem, no other problems will be resolved. Education can be improved without spending more money. Indeed, less spending on education, especially at the federal level, would improve eductional outcomes and our standard of living in so many ways.
 
Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/30/12 at 12:09 PM
EconomyEducationPermalink

House GOP in charge on fiscal cliff, debt ceiling; what it should demand from Obama

Divider-in-Chief Obama is sending America over the fiscal cliff he created and is trying to use to turn America into a one-party, Chicago style corrupt and bankrupt country. Sec. of Treasury Geithner, a leading liar for Obama, says the country will reach the debt ceiling on Dec. 31, 2012, Previously he had warned the ceiling would be reached in February.  All House GOP Members should sign a letter to Obama that says the debt ceiling will be raised for one year when: 

1. Obama/Reid present a budget for fiscal 2013 that cuts government spending to less than 19% of GDP and can pass through the House committees and House GOP. 
2. Obama/Reid present a budget with real and significant cuts in discretionary and entitlement spending and restoration of critical Defense Dept. budgets. 
3. Obama/Reid announce their support for the U.S. Constitution and pledge to enforce the Constitution and the separation of powers among the House, Senate, Supreme Court and WH. 
4. Obama/Reid present a budget that defunds ObamaCare exchanges, pork, powers to dictate and mandate health insurance benefits and makes all government agencies subject to Congressional oversight, budgeting and approval of top appointees to those agencies.

Gallup: Most Democrats are socialists, Republicans are capitalists

As Jennifer Rubin reports, a Gallup poll confirms that most Democrats are socialists and most Republicans are capitalists.

For Democrats, profits are all about greed. That's because the people who believe this in general have never risked anything or lost anything in their efforts to make profits. They think there is a straight line from startup to profitability and that once profitable, you've got it made. 
 
Not so. Most new ventures lose money, sometimes for years. Sports Illustrated lost money for decades before turning profitable. Amazon still is basically a dark hole because it's plowing all of its positive cash flow into building the company. Its socialist customers applaud its small profit margins. When and IF it starts to make money, Amazon's customers will be very angry. Discounted books and stuff are a right for them. 
 
As for profitability, look at Hewlett-Packar, Nokia, Dell and some of their suppliers like AMD, the chip maker. They're on the ropes due to changes in technology and consumer demand (iPads v. laptops). Socialists overlook the hard times that businesses and investors go through when markets change and they make mistakes.  
 
Successful companies weather their bad days while they restructure. See GE, IBM, CAT, Goldman Sachs, Macy's, etc. Unsuccessfull businesses go into chapter 7 bankruptcy. See Hostess, Borders, etc.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/30/12 at 08:01 AM
EconomyTaxesPermalink

Lindsey Graham, Saxby Chambliss: Hike tax revenues, cut entitlement spending, hold defense spending

Monetary economists say monetary policy, not fiscal policy, affects the health of the U.S. economy. Now we have Keynesian Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) saying they'd raise taxes or cut tax deductions and cut entitlement spending if that would be good for the country.

Would cutting entitlement spending, raising tax revenues and holding defense spending near current levels help or hurt the economy? Or would all of the "doing something" churning in Washington do nothing but roil the stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities markets and put more people out of work? Would all of this affect the budget deficit or national debt?

LINKS:

Lindsey Graham: I would violate Norquist's pledge, By Tim Mak, 11.25.2012

Why the fiscal cliff matters, By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 11. 23.2012

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/25/12 at 08:36 AM
EconomyTaxesPermalink

Larry Summers signals Obama wants new carbon, sweets, fat foods taxes after fiscal cliff tax hikes

Because he's so political and intellectually corrupted by power, it's hard to believe anything former Obama economic adviser, Larry Summers, says. But one thing he's saying probably signals Obama's plans to impose carbon and sweets taxes after using the fiscal cliff to hike taxes and cut defense spending. Nanny state Obama Democrats always are looking for new opportunities to tax, but it won't happen as long as Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives.

 
That Summers uses the Clinton administration's tax rate as an example of what works shows that he's willing to lie about what drove prosperity in the 90s, and it wasn't Clinton's tax rates or economic policies. It was both the internet and PC boom's and the economic policies of Reagan, Bush and Congressional Republicans. The economy boomed despite the high taxes. Today, we don't have a technology stimulus and there is no saying when one will come along again.
 
What Summers isn't saying is that the heavy regulations imposed and being imposed by the Obama Democrats and a lot of huge tax increases built into the fiscal cliff besides the higher rate on the top 5% to 10% are stalling the economy. Worse, the world economy is hurting, and there is nothing American politicians can do about that.
 
So we're not heading into a 90s type of economic boom that would make higher tax rates acceptable. We're at risk of another recession, and Obama Democrats are doing all they can to put us into a recession.
 

LINKS:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/25/12 at 08:00 AM
EconomyTaxesPermalink

Fiscal cliff: Would Obama tax hikes mean end of 47%, more pay taxes, end of GOP?

President Obama wants to kill the Republican Party by getting the House GOP to renege on its 20-year-old pledge to not raise taxes. There is a 25% to 35% chance he may get them to commit political suicide. If the House GOP caves on the fiscal cliff, a lot of economic conservatives will stay home in 2014. But there are some interesting questions about  the fiscal cliff and what would happen if we went over it next year.

1. Whose tax credits, tax loopholes, depreciation schedules, government contracts and government subsidies is Norquist protecting?
2. If we go over the cliff, what percent of working Americans will NOT pay income taxes? 47%, 35%, 30%, or what?
3. If we go over the cliff, wouldn't it advance future tax votes if more Americans had to pay the increased taxes and pressed Congress to NOT raise taxes again?
4. If defense is cut another $500 billion, what welfare programs, health benefits, retirement benefits and pork for contractors would be cut first?
5. What kind of security threat would it take to get Congress to reinstate most defense spending? Isn't the Middle East mess enough as it is?
6. Since the fiscal stimulus bill of 2009 and ObamaCare upped spending some $1 trillion over 10 years, maybe $2T, wouldn't it be easy to cut spending under sequestration?
7. If Sequestration made Obama stop picking energy winners and losers with his crony capitalism spending on his favored few ethanol and wind tower makeris, wouldn't we see revivals in petroleum exploration and coal? Wouldn't markets work?
8. With sequestration, would infrastructure spending increase and use up the increased tax revenues? Or would the need to pay down the debt, House refusals to spend on infrastructure unless defense spending was increased again cause more gridlock and help reduce all spending? 
9. While stock markets might drop 5% or so if we went over the cliff, would there be enough certainty for businesses to begin investing and hiring again as the economy recovered?

If we go over the cliff, I blame Obama more than the GOP. Obama Democrats are so greedy for political power that they'll do anything to win it, including putting lots of Americans out of work in the process. Obama Democrats are just like the Hostess union leaders who fund them.

The problem is that few trust or believe Obama Democrats or Republicans. That makes it hard to get anything done. The markets have to clear out the dead wood in a bunch of markets before there can be a recovery.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/24/12 at 09:51 AM
Congress 112thEconomyTaxesPermalink

President Obama’s jobs speech the same old song; what a disgrace!

President Obama's cry for help in a feeble campaign speech to a joint session of Congress probably hurt him politically more than it helped him. It will do nothing for the American economy.

What a disgraceful pander to public sector and construction unions. How empty can a presidential suit look and sound? Now we've see and heard one of the weakest and most self serving speeches a president has ever delivered in an appearance before Congress.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 09/08/11 at 05:52 PM
'12 PresidentCongress 112thEconomyPermalink

Mitt Romney’s 59 economic reforms

Mitt Romney introduced his economic reform plan today in USAToday. The 59 points follow:


Jennifer Rubin likes my 8 ideas for stimulating the economy and hiring

Every Friday, Jennifer Rubin, the Right Turn blogger on the Washington Post web site, asks her readers a question. On Sundays, she picks one or two answers posted by commenters on her blog and comments on the thread that she started.

This week's question: "What does [Rick] Perry need to do to maintain his momentum and begin to minimize doubts about his electability?"

This morning she picked two answers. My post about my eight ideas for stimulating consumer spending and hiring was one of the two answers she picked out of a bunch of good comments that followed her question. That thread is here. My slightly edited and expanded version of my comment, which I posted on this blog, is here.

Rubin summarized the answers this way:

I was struck by two important assumptions running through the answers. First, unlike many in the right blogosphere, the readers did not dismiss criticisms of Perry out of hand or characterize them as creations of the liberal media. They want to put Perry through the paces, and they understand there are real concerns about his candidacy. Second, it is apparent that readers are sick of platitudes and one-liners; they want detailed proposals and an explanation as to how the candidate’s background equips him to deal with our current national challenges. If Right Turn readers are representative of the Republican primary electorate, the party is in very good hands. The primary process is a time for not only choosing, but probing and testing.


How Eric Cantor Republicans can stimulate consumer spending, jobs

U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is promising to work with President Obama to stimulate consumer spending that is needed to create jobs, and he asked for comments on his response to Friday's dismal jobs report. I doubt that President Zero really wants to work with Cantor or the Republicans, because that would cost him the support of the House Progressive Caucus and the Hard Left.

I posted this comment, which I've edited and expanded a bit:

How to stimulate consumption that will cause businesses to hire more people:

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 09/02/11 at 09:40 PM
Congress 112thEconomyTaxesRead More

Tyler Cowen: U.S. in for long period of slow growth

Republicans and Democrats need to read Tyler Cowen's new 15,000-word book, The great stagnation: How America ate all of the low hanging fruit of modern history, got sick and will (eventually) feel better. It's a $4 ebook at Amazon and will be published in hard cover June 9. 
 
The highly regarded economist and blogger (http://www.marginalrevolution.com), blames the financial crisis on the reality that "We thouight that we were richer than we are." Further, he says we're still stuck with the dangerous optimism that we can grow out of what may become a double dip recession.  
 
That won't happen, he warns, because the low hanging fruit of innovation and great opportunities have been picked for 40 years and it will be awhile before a new development like free 18th and 19th century land, the rail roads, telegraph, phones, autos, air planes, etc. comes along.  
 
Thus, politicians can no longer credibly promise that tax cuts or more government spending will cause the economy to grow more than 2% a year. He predicts that as a result, Big Government growth will slow or even disappear and that our future depends on our ability to reform education and encourage our brightest to become scientist and engineers. He says we must celebrate scientists and engineers and give them the status of today's investment bankers, lawyers and physicians. 
 
Bottom line: No president nor Congress can claim to have the solution for our slow economic growth. To make such claims shows a lack of integrity and a total misunderstanding of where we are in the economic development cycle. 
 
Along the way, Cowen relates how America picked the low hanging fruit to become the most prosperous and powerful nation in the world. He explains that modern communications generated Big Governments around the world, that increased spending on education since 1970 has provided few benefits to kids and that increased government spending on health care is not stimulating growth. 10% of the book is filled with fascinating notes. There is no index. 
 
David Brooks calls the book the most debated book of the year. This week's Business Week has a glowing story about Cowen. Take a couple of hours and catch up on the thinking of one of today's leading and best informed libertarians and economists.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 05/29/11 at 02:30 PM
BooksEconomyTaxesPermalink

Mitt Romney says Obama’s extension of unemployment benefits, 2-year extension of tax rates bad deal

Presumed Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, writes in USA Today that the GOP's deal with President Obama will hurt employment and the U.S. economy over the long term. While the short-term deal looks like a pretty good compromise for Obama's re-election prospects and for tax payers, Romney is correct when he says the deal will not produce the desired increases in employment because during the next two years, politicians will be fighting over extending the deal instead of reforming our broken tax and spend culture. Meanwhile, Romney is showing that he is in Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-SC) camp and agrees with fiscally conservative tea party supporters. LiNK: Why tax cut is a bad deal, by Mitt Romney.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/14/10 at 07:23 AM
'12 PresidentEconomyTaxesPermalink

Democrats continue to demand more spending in deal to avert Obama tax hikes

President Obama and Colorado's Democrats in Congress apparently will agree to extend the Bush tax cuts and avert more Obama tax hikes only if Republicans agree to higher spending on extended unemployment benefits.

 Extending the unemployment benefits will ensure high levels of unemployment for years to come. Too many of the unemployed make more by avoiding low-paying jobs and staying on the dole. If the benefits were cut, unemployment rates would soon dip. How much they would drop if benefits weren't extended is hard to predict. At least I haven't seen any predictions on what would happen if benefits weren't extended.

Both Democrats and Republicans are playing to their bases in the deal that Obama announced last night, which is subject to approval by hard left Democrats who control Congress until next year.

Republicans are reasonably assuming that averting the Obama Democrats' tax hikes and new tax cuts that will be part of the deal will help the economy more than the additional spending will hurt it.

The tentative agreement to exempt estate, or death taxes, on the first $5 million in an estate and then tax the balance at 35% looks like a pretty good compromise, too. Of course, it would be smarter to completely eliminate estate taxes, but the redistributionists make that politically impossible.

Compromise has made America the wealthiest country in the world, and it's good to see a little compromise after two years of Obama's way or the highway.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/07/10 at 09:04 AM
ColoradoPoliticsCongress 112thEconomyTaxesPermalink

Do not fly until Big Government gets rid of scanners and becomes less intrusive at airports

Since 9/11, we've flown only once or twice a year, if that, because I don't like to go through security at airports. Big government is too intrusive. Politicians are spending billions scanning everyone and everything and making little kids and old folks go through ridiculous security checks. From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and the Congresses that have enabled them, the politicians have imposed airport security checking systems to protect themselves from public criticism if a plane is blown up, not just to protect the traveling public. To be politically correct, politicians force everyone to go through security. It is time to use racial, ethinic and other available techniques that screen people who are real threats, not everyone. We shouldn't be giving terrorists such a huge victory by letting them cripple our economy and take away our rights to privacy and to move around the country and world freely. No trip is so important that you have to get some place overnight. It is time for all travelers to drive or stay home until the politicians come to their senses. 

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 11/13/10 at 07:31 AM
EconomyEthicsTrustPermalink
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