Thursday, February 19, 2009

From Russia, with ... Love?

Pat Dollard | Young Americans | Blog Archive » Putin Warns The US Against Socialism

All I can say is, wow. Putin, at the World Economic Forum ...
Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a
speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”[Snip.]

Sounding more like Barry Goldwater than the former head of the KGB, Putin said, “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”

Putin also echoed the words of conservative maverick Ron Paul when he said, “we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”
Hat tip, American Thinker blog ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

US retail sales in unexpected jump - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Hey, did anybody hear this economic report last week? Maybe we won't be needing that "stimulus." Maybe Obama may not have to save us from Armageddon after all. I think this somewhat positive economic trend was under-reported and downplayed.

US retail sales in unexpected jump - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):

"There has been a slight glimmer of economic hope in the US, with an unexpected jump in retail sales.
Sales jumped 1 per cent last month. Most economists had been forecasting a drop of the same amount.
The increase followed six straight months of falling sales and has been put down to heavy post-Christmas discounting.
Petrol sales also increased strongly as a result of falling prices at the pump.
Individual retailers have reported a drop in sales over January, and many have been forced to sack workers to stay profitable.
Separate figures show new claims for jobless benefits have fallen slightly, but still remain above 600,000."

Monday, February 16, 2009

A trillion here, a trillion there ...

FrontPage Magazine: "At the cost of more than $800 billion, the just -passed stimulus bill stands as the largest single outlay item in history. So great is the amount involved that it exceeds the GDP of even such economies as Australia, Saudi Arabia and Argentina."

Monday, February 09, 2009

50 De-Stimulating Facts

50 De-Stimulating Facts by Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson on National Review Online: Chapter and verse on a bad bill.

By Stephen Spruiell & Kevin Williamson"

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
$380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program
$300 million for grants to combat violence against women
$2 billion for federal child-care block grants
$6 billion for university building projects
$15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships
$4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to the age of 24
$1 billion for community-development block grants
$4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”
$650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”


$15 billion for business-loss carry-backs
$145 billion for “Making Work Pay” tax credits
$83 billion for the earned income credit


$150 million for the Smithsonian
$34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters
$500 million for improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities
$44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters
$350 million for Agriculture Department computers
$88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building
$448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters
$600 million to convert the federal auto fleet to hybrids
$450 million for NASA (carve-out for “climate-research missions”)
$600 million for NOAA (carve-out for “climate modeling”)
$1 billion for the Census Bureau


$89 billion for Medicaid
$30 billion for COBRA insurance extension
$36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
$20 billion for food stamps

$4.5 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
$850 million for Amtrak
$87 million for a polar icebreaking ship
$1.7 billion for the National Park System
$55 million for Historic Preservation Fund
$7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”
$150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases
$150 million for “producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish”



$2 billion for renewable-energy research ($400 million for global-warming research)
$2 billion for a “clean coal” power plant in Illinois
$6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program
$3.5 billion for energy-efficiency and conservation block grants
$3.4 billion for the State Energy Program
$200 million for state and local electric-transport projects
$300 million for energy-efficient-appliance rebate programs
$400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments
$1 billion for the manufacturing of advanced batteries
$1.5 billion for green-technology loan guarantees
$8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program
$2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects
$4.5 billion for electricity grid

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Oppose the Stimulus

Top 10 Reasons to Oppose the Stimulus -- "As with medicine, the first rule of law making should be first, do no harm. The “stimulus” bill fails this test spectacularly." <<< go to the link!

Call the capitol switchboard at 1-866-928-3035 and ask to be connected to your legislator.

Also, fill out the form to send Washington a message:

From FreedomWorks: "Liberals are trying to ram through a "stimulus" package totaling more than $1.1 trillion, which means it will cost each American family over $10,000 a year. Or, another way to think of the massive size of this legislation – its cost is greater than the economies of Saudi Arabia and Iran combined.

Unfortunately, big-government advocates had the numbers they needed to pass this horrific spending bill in the House. But now it moves on to the Senate and if every Republican votes against the stimulus package – just like what happened in the House – it will fail!

Time and time again, the Republican leadership in Congress has pledged that its party will embrace a limited government agenda and support fiscally responsible policy. This trillion dollar debt package is a critical test of this pledge.

I am writing today to urge you to lead the fight against the trillion dollar debt plan being passed off as a "stimulus." Keynesian economics does not work, and the American people want to see leadership from conservatives who are willing to kill this bill in the Senate".

The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam | KUSI - News, Weather and Sports - San Diego, CA | Coleman's Corner

It amazes me how a scam can be propagated on such a massive and large scale on a citizenry that is largely un-skeptical and willing to dispense with so much of their freedom for the benefit of left-bent central planners in capitals around the world, some oligarchs and a slew of corporations that seek to benefit from this government-mandated and manipulated windfall. I guess the ozone-hole scare (amazing how we don't hear about that one anymore) was just the test-run for another government-run hoax and scare on a much more massive scale.

The following was written by John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel. It worth going to the link and reading the whole piece.

The Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam: "So today we have the acceptance of carbon dioxide as the culprit of global warming. It is concluded that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint which we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists to offset. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.

We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over.

And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it.

Global Warming. It is the hoax. It is bad science. It is a highjacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history."

Financial crisis shows why we should admire Freidrich Hayek - Philip Booth

Financial crisis shows why we should admire Freidrich Hayek: "The crash gives many more indications that Freidrich Hayek was right. Hayek argues that unregulated markets develop institutions that ensure that trust and reputation become valuable commodities. But who cares about trust and reputation when we believe that everything will be looked after by the regulators or by deposit insurance?

As far as a company is concerned, compliance with regulation has become more important than trust. The market has been allowed to generate crude economic efficiency, but trust has been crowded out by regulation.

Hayek suggests, too, that booms and busts are the product of poor monetary policy. Central banks hold interest rates too low. People consume too much and invest in business projects that would not be profitable at higher levels of interest rates. Resources then get mis-allocated. And then the whole things goes bang and we get a recession (in this case accompanied by a banking crisis)."

Required Reading: The Road to Serfdom. (Here is the Reader's Digest Condensed version)
Also, Socialism, by Ludwig Von Mises

The irony, is that government, in all its magnanimous desire to turn the rules of economics upside down by providing the illusion of a safety net and maestro, is prescribing the very poison that got the U.S. and global economy in this mess in the first place: meddling in markets, and eliminating the consequences of poor economic business decisions.