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Even when Congress tries to rein in spending, the welfare-state wealth-transfer machine finds a way to keep the gravy train rolling. Last month lawmakers thought they had killed the "heat and eat" scam, where $1 of state-funded "home heating assistance" triggers inflated federal food stamp benefits.
But now three states have upped the ante. In effect, they'll see your dollar, and raise you $20.
States are using what critics call a "perverse" legislative maneuver to partly undo congressional cuts to food stamps, despite efforts by some U.S. lawmakers to stop it.
The Washington Post reported Monday that three states so far are finding a way to avoid or minimize the cuts. The bill passed by Congress last month was supposed to save $8.6 billion over the next decade in food stamps. But New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have figured out how to trigger additional spending anyway.
The trick, as many states have discovered, is for them to devote a relatively modest amount of funding to home-heating assistance. Under the law, states that give a certain amount to families could then qualify those families for additional food stamp money.
The old threshold was one dollar. Congress upped it to $20, thinking that would stop the abuse. Nope. New York simply increased their home-heating assistance by a measly $6 million dollars, thereby triggering more than $500 million in extra food stamp funding this year. A more than 80 to 1 return! Not bad for government work…
Connecticut and Pennsylvania are playing the same game. Other states are expected to follow suit.
And just like that, poof!, $8.6 billion in budget savings gets wiped out.
The welfare state will never be sated. Not even after it devours every last dime we have. The culture of dependency is too ingrained, its proponents too entrenched. It perpetuates perverse disincentives no matter what the cost because its success is measured by how many people are "served" by it, not by how many are elevated out of poverty into self-reliance.
And of course it helps that those who are "served" religiously vote for the politicians who fervently proclaim the need for even more benefits.
keeps saying, they'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier
When a bureaucrat thinks he can order private companies to do his bidding, freedom dies. So how is this decree even constitutional?
The Port Authority on Tuesday ordered an immediate pay hike for airport workers toiling in jobs at or near the minimum wage.
Patrick Foye, executive director of the bistate agency, sent a letter Tuesday night to major airlines demanding that workers making $9 an hour or less receive an immediate $1-per-hour increase in their base wages, with an eventual phase-in to $10.10 an hour.
He also directed the airlines to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a paid holiday for airport workers, and grant the benefit retroactive to this year's MLK Day, which fell on Jan. 20.
"Providing an improved wage and benefits package to the thousands of hardworking men and women that make our airport systems the largest in the country is something that cannot wait," Foye, an appointee of Gov. Cuomo's, wrote the CEOs of Delta, JetBlue, American and United airlines.
The directive covers 8,000 workers at Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. It does not cover 4,000 employees at Newark Airport.
Foye acted as President Obama used his State of the Union Address Tuesday night to announce an executive order boosting the $7.25 minimum wage paid to federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.
Look, I'm not here to debate whether or not these workers deserve a raise. That's between them and their employers. Who, incidentally, aren't the airlines.
I'm asking what gives some Port Authority political hack the right to order a private company to arbitrarily raise wages. Maybe I missed that part of the Constitution?
The government is arrogating far too much power to itself. And this reeks of fascism. Unlike Obama, who at least pretends he cares what the voters think, this knucklehead isn't an elected official. He's not answerable to anyone!
What's next? Ordering tenants in Port Authority buildings (like the new Freedom Tower) to increase their employees' wages too? I'll bet the PA wouldn't be too pleased if a tenants' association decided to demand a cut in rent payments to offset such a decree! But really, somebody has to pay the bill. And Patrick Foye isn't that someone.
My guess is a not-insignificant number of those low wage workers will find themselves unemployed as a result of this idiocy. Because contrary to what many do-gooder liberals might believe, money does not grow on trees. And the companies which employee these folks aren't sitting on piles of extra cash.
Here's the math. 8,000 workers earning $9 per hour equates to 7,128 workers
earning $10.10 per hour. So Mr. Foye, what will you say to the 872 people
you just put out of a job?
You'd think the guy screaming about income inequality would pay his own employees an actual income.
You'd be wrong.
Obama's White House interns earn nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I guess basking in Dear Leader's munificence is its own reward. So long as you can eat rainbows.
Is the White House Internship a paid position?
No. White House Internships are unpaid positions. Applicants may contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance.
That is, you may beg. And if your groveling is sufficiently noteworthy, you may work you ass off licking Dear Leader's boots. Presumably they taste like chicken.
Is Congress any better? Hell no. The sponsors of Dear Leader's minimum wage legislation don't pay their interns either.
According to a new study by the Employment Policies Insitute (EPI), only four percent of the 210 lawmakers who pledged their allegiance to a bill raising the minimum wage pay their interns.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. EPI found that 96 percent of its House and Senate supporters give their interns a minimum wage of zero.
This includes the authors of the bill, Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin and California Democratic Rep. George Miller. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is another strong supporter of the legislation who doesn't pay her interns.
How do you spell hypocrite? Because I spell it D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t.
See also Booker, Cory.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has invited an unemployed 50-year-old Frenchtown resident to be his guest to the State of the Union address Tuesday night, as he continues to rail against the loss of federal emergency benefits that once provided aid to nearly 90,000 New Jersey residents who are out of work.
Gerri Battista, 50, was one 1.3 million Americans whose federal unemployment benefits lapsed on Dec. 28 when Congress declined to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
"Congress's failure to extend unemployment insurance is hurting people like Gerri — Americans who lost their jobs by no fault of their own and are eager to get back to work," Booker said in a statement. "For eight months, Gerri has been navigating today's still-challenging job market while also going back to school. Without unemployment insurance, she could not have stayed afloat as she looked for work."
Am I the only guy who sees the obvious solution here? Get Gerri a job as a
White House intern!
Mitch McConnell gave Dear Leader a blank check, and he blew through $500 Billion in just three months.
President Barack Obama has blown through more than $500 billion in deficit spending in the three months since passage of the deal proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on easing the debt ceiling battles that gave Obama virtually unlimited borrowing authority from October 17, 2013 through this February 7th.
So naturally, his henchmen are demanding to borrow even more.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress Thursday to quickly raise the country's borrowing ceiling to avert yet another political showdown over debt that could unnerve capital markets.
"We have, you know, a deadline looming in February. February 7th our borrowing authority runs out again. At that point, Congress has to act," he said.
Under current law the Treasury can borrow what it needs to cover the US budget deficit until February 7, when a fresh cap is set at the level of that day.
The Treasury has special accounting measures it can take to cover the deficit for several weeks.
But if the borrowing ceiling is not raised after that, either the government will have to slash spending or it could be forced into default on the debt.
Normal people would cut spending. Hey, it's what you'd have to do after you called Visa for the 14th time begging for a credit limit increase. Sooner or later they're gonna say "no."
Somebody has got to make Obama cut up his credit cards and get him into one of those debt counseling services. Pronto.
But I'm not counting on Congress to do that. They're just as addicted to deficit spending as he is.
Hey, does anybody here remember this guy?
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies… America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
I'll give you a hint. He used to be a Senator. And he ran for president. Twice.
"Leadership failure" indeed.
Really, the schadenfreude is delicious.
Alas, the libtard masses still won't take responsibility for their stupdity.
This week 1.3 million people will be losing unemployment benefits, which will be a disaster for them (just as food stamps are going away, too) and a drag on the economy overall.
WaPo has a map showing where the people losing benefits live. Wow, New Jersey is about to get slammed. What's up with that, Gov. Christie? Hasn't yelling at schoolteachers created more jobs?
LOL. That's The World's Worst Buddhist, aka "Maha," who seems to have to lost sight of the whole Peace and Love thing. Maha hates Tea Baggers. Blames us for all of society's ills. But has never stopped to consider that Obama is the reason for the malaise.
Want to create some jobs Maha? Repeal Obamacare. Deport illegal aliens. Cut corporate taxes. It worked under Reagan, and it'll work again even if the Kenyan usurper keeps playing golf on our dime.
But no, Maha sees curtailing lifetime unemployment benefits as akin to starving a million Irish to death.
When a million Irish died during the Great Famine of the 1850s, many in the English aristocracy said the peasants deserved to starve because their families were too big and indolent. The British baronet overseeing food relief felt that the famine was God's judgment, and an excellent way to get rid of surplus population. His argument on relief was the same one used by Rand Paul.
"The only way to prevent the people from becoming habitually dependent on government is to bring the operation to a close," Sir Charles Trevelyan said about the relief plan at a time when thousands of Irish a day were dropping dead from hunger.
Americans are dropping like flies? Do tell.
Let's try a little personal responsibility. You reap what you sow. You voted for government handouts, when you could have voted for individual liberty and economic growth. Sucks to be you, I guess. The fact is the government does not have infinite money. And you're not entitled to dime one anyway. Because the Constitution does not guarantee equality of outcome.
And your slam at Rand Paul is disingenous. He wants you to be less dependent on government, by showing you how to stand on your own two feet. Yeah, that's harder than showing up at the welfare office once a month, but in the long run it's more rewarding.
But commenter "Goatherd" takes the cake. He's holding out for a management position.
When I graduated from college unemployment in Florida, where I lived, was over 10%. It took me years to catch a break and get a job that offered any hope for advancement. There was a crisis and the non-profit I worked for went belly up. One thing I knew instinctively, was that if I took a job, delivering sandwiches or "any job" as our Randian overlords suggest, I would have thrown away any chance at ever finding a better life.
If you think spending too long a period looking for work, puts the "Mark of Cain" on your brow, try a little stint in "any job." People like Ryan have absolutely no idea how the world works, they don't have to, they don't live in it.
There is so much obtuseness there, I don't know where to start.
The non-profit he worked for went tits up. That seems implausible to me, given how the libtard elite love to fund the pipedreams of their minions. But in any event, delivering sandwiches was beneath him. Presumably because it offered insufficent opportunities for the raising of his consciousness. Putting food on the table was a secondary consideration, because Obama would provide. He must do Important Work, or wither on the vine.
As for his jibe at "people like [Paul} Ryan," take for example, me.
I started in "any job." Putting resistors into pc boards. 8 mind-numbing hours a day. Of course it helps that I didn't go to college to study "race" or "gender" or "activism" or any of the other useless liberal arts majors kids today are wasting their parents' money on. You reap what you sow. And I studied engineering and mathematics. Yeah, that stuff's hard. But guess what, hard work pays off.
I moved on up to running the solder machine. And soon enough I was talking to the professional engineers designing the circuit boards I was building. It helped that we spoke the same language. No that's not a cheap shot at the ESL crowd. We spoke engineer. And one of them suggested I utilize my math and logic skills in the then burgeoning field of computer science.
Did I work my ass off? You betcha. Was it easy? Nope. But it was totally worth every minute.
"Any job" is not the goal. "Any job" is the stepping stone. Because it instills in you the basic building blocks of success. Hard work. Perseverence. Responsibility. And most importantly, reward for your labor.
Why do I laugh at the Obama voters who lament their plight? Because they had a choice. They could have chosen the businessman, the person who spent his entire life creating opportunity. But no, they chose the demagogue, the man dedicated to fomenting class warfare. Because it's easier to envy the rich man than it is to work as hard as he works.
Alas, sooner or later you run out of other people's money. And when you do, yes, it's your fault. Not Paul Ryan's or Rand Paul's. And not mine.
Maha and his ilk chose poorly. Oops. Elections have consequences. And this
time the consequence is that their life sucks. Yeah, you guys "won." Look
up Pyrrhic Victory. You might learn something.
Forced to comply with Socialism on Steroids, companies aren't hiring full-time employees.
HealthCare.gov may be functioning better, but consumer and corporate acceptance of Obamacare may continue to bedevil the law, according to two recent surveys.
The Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook survey, a quarterly poll of corporate finance chiefs, found that a significant percentage of companies will hold back on hiring full-time workers because of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.
Nearly half of U.S. companies said they are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the law. One in five respondents said they are likely to hire fewer employees, another one in 10 may lay off current employees and 44 percent of companies said they will consider reducing health benefits to current employees in response to the health care law.
"I doubt the advocates of this legislation would have foretold the negative impact on employment," said Campbell R. Harvey, a professor of finance at Duke's Fuqua School of Business. "The impact on the real economy is massive. Nearly one-third of firms may either terminate employees or hire fewer people in the future as a direct result of ACA."
Small wonder then, that 4 out of 5 Americans now loathe Obamacare.
Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama's health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly.
An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that health care remains politically charged going into next year's congressional elections. Keeping the refurbished HealthCare.gov website running smoothly is just one of Obama's challenges, maybe not the biggest.
The poll found a striking level of unease about the law among people who have health insurance and aren't looking for any more government help. Those are the 85 percent of Americans who the White House says don't have to be worried about the president's historic push to expand coverage for the uninsured.
In the survey, nearly half of those with job-based or other private coverage say their policies will be changing next year — mostly for the worse. Nearly 4 in 5 (77 percent) blame the changes on the Affordable Care Act. . . . Disapproval of Obama's handling of health care topped 60 percent in the poll.
Hey, to make an omelet you gotta break a few eggs, right? And if some folks never work again, or most of us get screwed over in the name of "fairness," well that's just the price of progress.
Because as it turns out, when Obama promised to "fundamentally transform"
America, he meant he'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to
They say "social justice," I say "theft."
Irvington, NJ plans to seize mortgage contracts via eminent domain. Not houses. Not land. Investments. Investments they've decided are "overvalued." So they're gonna force the bank to take a haircut. At the point of a gun.
Like I said, theft. Here's how it'll work.
Irvington is the second municipality in the country to declare its intent to use eminent domain to purchase homes in foreclosure, behind Richmond, Calif. Support for the tactic is gaining traction nationwide in municipalities besieged by foreclosures. Irvington's neighbor Newark, as well as Brockton, Mass., Chicago, and Yonkers, N.Y., have floated or are studying the idea.
But the practice, which gives municipalities the power to circumvent mortgage contracts, acquire loans from bondholders, write them down and give them back to the bondholders, is controversial. It has drawn zealous opposition from Wall Street, real estate groups and some in Washington.
According to Cornell University law professor Robert C. Hockett, who helped devise the plan, eminent domain works because only government has the power to forcibly sidestep mortgage contracts.
The eminent domain plans focus on so-called private label security mortgages, or ones that are not backed by the U.S. government. And that worries some who believe the use of eminent domain could cause investors not to put money in mortgage-backed securities.
"By investing in this type of security, you risk the potential that a municipality, without anything you have control over, says, 'It's OK to take that contract and give it a substantial haircut.' That's the risk you take? It's unquantifiable," said Tim Cameron, managing director and head of SIFMA's asset management group. The group represents security firms, banks and asset managers.
Cameron said that the financial industry wonders if eminent domain could be a slippery slope and that it penalizes people who save and invest.
"Where do you stop?" he asked. "If we do it with homes, why couldn't we do it with credit cards?"
Of course it penalizes people who save and invest. And it penalizes schmucks like me who pay their bills. But it rewards deadbeats, and deadbeats vote Democrat, so there's that.
And the government of Yonkers, NY is interested too.
Chuck Lesnick, president of the Yonkers City Council, said it wants to use eminent domain. Lesnick said he's been talking with other officials elsewhere about the proposal.
"It's really an example of paying Peter without robbing Paul," Lesnick said. "We're allowing people to remain in their homes because of a government action, and it's not costing taxpayers any money."
Got that? He's paying Peter without robbing Paul. But robbing Tim? These guys don't give a shit about Tim. He's the banker. He's rich. This is Social Justice. People deserve to keep the houses they can't actually pay for.
It's mind-boggling to me. They're rewarding deadbeats. Government is supposed to ensure everyone is treated fairly in commerce. That means no free rides, and no rewriting the rules on-the-fly. But here comes Irvington, where instead of forcing people to honor the contracts they signed Big Government is arbitrarily gonna give 'em a mulligan.
You'd have to be an idiot not to rush on out and buy the biggest, baddest, most expensive house you can find. Who cares if you can't pay it back? The government will simply tell those mean bankers to cut your debt down to whatever pittance you decide you're willing to pay. And voila! You get a free house. And the do-gooders get to pat themselves on the back.
Meanwhile, all semblance of order and consistency in lending and investing is destroyed. And since bankers aren't stupid, they'll soon decide to never again lend money in Irvington. Not for houses. Not for cars. Not for furniture or big screen TVs. Why should they? There's no upside, and there's always the spectre of being completely wiped out at the stroke of some bureaucrat's pen.
Seizing mortgages is tyranny. And rewarding irresponsibility is a sure-fire
path to anarchy. America, we are doomed.
Attention Kulaks, hoarders will be punished!
During her confirmation hearing Thursday, Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, said she will pursue policies that hurt people who try to build up wealth, claiming that impoverishing savers serves the collective good of society.
"I understand that savers are hurt by this policy," Yellen said under questioning from Republican Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns about low interest rates.
Johanns told Yellen that her policies "are very, very hard on certain segments of our society."
"You know, explain to the senior citizen who is just hoping that a CD will earn some money so they don't have to dig into the principle," Johanns asked, "what impact you're having on a policy that says we're going to — for as far as the eye can see or foreseeable future — keep interest rates low."
"They are hurt by that policy," the senator added.
Yellen said she agreed. "But you know, if we want to get back to business as usual and a normal monetary policy and normal interest rates, I would say we need to do that by getting the economy back to normal."
She also suggested savers should be willing to see their wealth eaten away for what the Federal Reserve considers the greater good of society.
She argued that savers "play many different roles in the economy" and if they "take into account the broader array of interests they have in a strong economy, they would see that these policies — even though they may harm them in one respect — are broadly beneficial to them as I believe they are to all Americans."
When I read her testimony on Friday I was flabbergasted. It is the Official Policy of our government to discourage saving? I mean, sure they spend money like drunken sailors, but do they really want us to live beyond our means too?
Why yes, yes they do!
The goal is to "unlock" capital, and if it takes explicitly devaluing cash to do it, well, that's what Keynesians do. No matter that there is no sane place to invest that capital, perennially low interest rates reward borrowers. And the Obama Administration has shown a propensity to bail out dicey investments — Solyndra, GM and Chrysler, Goldman Sachs come to mind — so why wouldn't they throw as much money as they can grab at any cockamamie "investment" that comnes along.
Except, and this is key here, they've been doing that for going on 5 years now, and our economy still sucks. More of the same isn't going to change anything; it's just wishful thinking to believe otherwise.
Easy money encourages irresponsibility. Oh, now I get it. Irresponsibility is the sine qua non of Obamabot slackers nationwide.
Reaganomics: Build a billion dollar business in your parents' garage.
Obamanomics: Live in your parents' garage.
Apparently, all is going according to plan.
How else will your president ever get the unemployment rate down to zero?
The Star-Ledger was particularly ebullient yesterday — Unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent nationally, a 5-year low!
The Labor Department said today that the rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent in August. Unemployment remains historically high but is near a five-year low and is down from 7.9 percent at the start of 2013.
Isn't it great? Obama's policies are working!
Sadly though, Americans are not. Working, I mean. Only 148,000 new jobs were added last month, barely 3,000 per state. And buried in the Labor Department's numbers is this little gem: The number of Americans who left the labor force hits another all-time high.
The number of Americans who are 16 years or older and who have decided not to participate in the nation's labor force has climbed to a record 90,609,000 in September.
In January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, there were 80,507,000 Americans not in the labor force. Thus, the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 10,102,000 during Obama's presidency.
Ten million Americans have answered their president's call and are honorably doing their patriotic duty. But it's not enough. Dear Leader needs more of you to give up! If you are still trying to find a job, you are making your president look bad. And we all know what happens when someone makes your president look bad.
The time to act is now. Get out of the labor force comrades, and drive the
unemployment rate to zero!
U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August and much fewer in July than previously thought. Hiring has slowed from the start of the year and could complicate the Federal Reserve's decision later this month on whether to reduce its bond purchases.
The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, the lowest in nearly five years. But it fell because more Americans stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work fell to its lowest level in 35 years.
I'd make a snide comment but my sarcasm well has run dry. Sorry. Five and a half straight years of Hopey-Changey schadenfreude will do that to a guy. But know this — if you're still an Obamabot and you don't have a job, my sympathy well is dry too.
July's job gains were just 104,000, the fewest in more than a year and down from the previous estimate of 162,000. June's figure was revised to 172,000, from 188,000. The revisions lowered total job gains over those two months by 74,000.
Gee, who'da thunk it, another downward revision. I sense a pattern, don't you?
Hey, you know what would be great right about now? If we added 12 million newly anmestied illegal aliens to the job market! That's right, while Dear Leader slouches toward launching World War III, Catholic Bishops have taken up the mantle of "immigration reform." This Sunday they'll preach for amnesty at every Mass.
Because we don't have enough people chasing too few jobs.
On the other hand, if President Golfpants does invade Syria with his Nobel Peace Prize in tow, he'll be needing some guys for cannon fodder. Wouldn't it be a stroke of genius, the Army paints Damascus or Bust! on the back of their trucks and drives 'round to Home Depot to collect every Juan, Domingo, and Jose they can find. You're in the Army now! Bwahahaha!
Whaddaya know, my sarcasm well wasn't dry after all.
August was a great month, if you're the guy printing Pink Slips. Otherwise, not so much.
The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms surged in August to their highest in half a year, with industrial goods manufacturers the hardest hit, a report on Thursday showed.
Employers announced 50,462 layoffs last month, up 33.8 percent from 37,701 in July, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
The August job cuts were up 57 percent from the same time a year ago.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I keep forgetting whether this is
the Hope or the Change. Could one of you Obamabots help me out?
This just in, our economy still sucks.
Orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell sharply last month as demand for commercial aircraft plummeted and businesses spent less on computers and electrical equipment.
The Commerce Department said Monday that orders for durable goods plunged 7.3 percent in July, the steepest drop in nearly a year.
Durable goods are items meant to last at least three years. The drop suggests manufacturing continues to struggle after starting the year weak.
Economists focus on orders for so-called core capital goods, which exclude volatile aircraft and defense orders. Spending in that category fell 3.3 percent.
Number of the Week: Manufacturing Nowhere Near Regaining Lost Jobs
22%: The share of U.S. manufacturing jobs lost during the recent downturn that has been regained during the recovery.
But according to Dear Leader the recession ended in June of 2009.
Unless, you know, you live in the Real World and not in a White House Bubble.
It's an Obama World, we just live with the consequences.
What's the little-known fact about roughly one out of six of the private-sector jobs added in New Jersey last year?
They won't last. Employment in the temporary job market accounted for around 15 percent to 22 percent of the gains in the state's private sector last year, according to a Star-Ledger analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Experts say New Jersey employers are hiring more temp workers because of the state's sluggish recovery from the recession. The state's economy has grown slower than the national average, while its overall unemployment rate has stayed higher. One of the few bright spots has been in temp help, which has gained back all the jobs it lost, and then some.
"Right now, employers are looking to date. They're not looking to get married," said Patrick O'Keefe, a former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and now director of economic research at CohnReznick in Roseland.
Gee, I wonder what would prompt employers to refrain from hiring full-time workers? Oh, right, Obamacare. It exempts part-timers and temp workers from its mandates and penalties. Add in Dear Leader's socialist tax policies, which punish small business owners via an effective tax rate in excess of 50%, and even a blind man could see why hiring temp workers is the only way to go.
Government has priced full-time employees out of the job market.
But hey, the unemployment rate is down! And Obama gets to claim the credit!
Woo Hoo! Can you feel the Hope and Change yet?
But I'll bet they're still glad they voted for Obama:
Despite consumer confidence at a six-year high, the latest AP survey of the real America shows a stunning four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, are near poverty, or rely on welfare for at least parts of their lives amid signs of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream. Hardship is particularly on the rise among whites, based on several measures. Pessimism among whites about their families' economic futures has climbed to the highest point since at least 1987.
"Poverty is no longer an issue of 'them', it's an issue of 'us'," as 'the invisible poor' - lower income whites - are generally dispersed in suburbs (Appalachia, the industrial Midwest, and across America's heartland, from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma up through the Great Plains) where more than 60% of the poor are white.
More than 19 million whites fall below the poverty line of $23,021 for a family of four - accounting for more than 41% of the nation's destitute - nearly double the number of poor blacks and as one survey respondent noted "I think it's going to get worse."
Given his recent racial histrionics, I suspect Barack Obama views the dire plight of poor white folks as a feature. It's their turn to suffer, as a sort of payback for him having to hear the sound of car doors locking when he walked the streets of Honolulu on his way to meetings of The Choom Gang.
And because income inequality "frays the social fabric" dontcha know. So if he can't move everybody (or at least all of the Democrats) into the One Percent then by golly it'll be trickle up poverty instead.
The middle class used to be the mainstay of American politicians. Now we have President Obama, under whose leadership the middle class keeps shrinking, while the ranks of the poor keep growing. This is what fundamental transformation looks like: the rich keep getting richer while the rest of us keep getting poorer. If you aren't part of the 1% you're screwed.
Or as Instapundit likes to say, he'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please.
As for your next meal? Line up for some Government Cheese.
I'm told that if it's raining, and the girls have gone shopping or something, our Dear Leader will take a few minutes out of his grueling Martha's Vineyard vacation schedule to talk about why our economy still sucks.
For those of you keeping score at home, it'll be his twelfth attempt to weave a silk purse out of a socialist sow's ear.
Hey, he'll try anything to distract us from the swarm of scandals swirling around his presidency! And with nobody really buying into his Temper Tantrums for Trayvon tactics, he needs a Plan B, pronto.
Didja hear? George Zimmerman is changing his name to "Ben Ghazi." Obama and the media will never mention him again!
Here's an interesting factoid:
"The President gave his first economic speech at Knox College in June 2005. At
the time, the unemployment rate was at 5 percent with 7.5 million unemployed
(BLS). When he gives his latest economic speech there on Wednesday, it will be
with an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent and 11.8 million Americans unemployed
— Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Facebook
Current White House and CBO projections place the unemployment above 6% through 2016.
And here's another factoid. Remember "McJobs?" Obama's got 'em. They're pretty much all he's got to offer, too.
Today, in anticipation of another litany of teleprompter cliches from President Golfpants, John Boehner created a handy-dandy graphic that's so simple even Paul Krugman can understand it.
Now, let's talk about The Elephant In The Room. Debt. Here's an ominous chart. The blue line is our total debt, and the red line is our GDP. As you can see, this chart kind of speaks for itself...
It compares the growth of U.S. GDP to the growth of total debt in the United States. Yes, U.S. GDP has certainly grown at a decent pace over the years, but our total debt has absolutely exploded. 40 years ago, the total amount of debt in our system (government debt + corporate debt + consumer debt, etc.) was about 2 trillion dollars.
Today it has grown to more than 56 trillion dollars. Our debt has grown at a much, much faster rate than our economy has, and there is no way in the world that we will be able to continue to do that for long.
The term your brain is searching for is "debt spiral."
Unfortunately, all debt spirals eventually end, and they usually do so in a very disorderly manner.
So unless Obama utters the words "Weimar America," pay no attention to whatever his teleprompter tells him to say. Up to now he's shown no willingness to acknowledge the severity of our spending and borrowing problem. There's little reason to believe he's suddenly seen the light.
Yeah, that's sustainable.
With interest rates at or near zero what could be better news than surging inflation?
U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in June, pointing to an apparent increase in inflationary pressures that could make the U.S. Federal Reserve more comfortable about reducing its monetary stimulus.
The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index increased 0.8 percent last month.
A Reuters survey of economists had forecast prices received by the nation's farms, factories and refineries rising 0.5 percent last month.
A jump in gasoline prices fueled much of the increase and could weigh on consumers by leaving them less money to spend on other things.
But don't worry America, the Keynesian Kooks say this is good news.
The 12-month reading for core inflation at the wholesale level rose to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent. That actually could be good news for the economy because rising core inflation could be a signal of firming demand from consumers.
Higher prices and devalued money is actually good for you! Write it down so you don't forget while you're struggling to pay your bills each month.
It's a good thing Ben Bernanke is smarter than a 3rd grade economist.
But really, he's not. Because if he was honest about the inflation rate, if he calculated it the same way Arthur Burns did for Richard Nixon, he'd be touting an inflation rate of about 8% right now.
And so unemployment stubbornly stuck at record highs coupled with anemic economic growth the addition of high inflation creates a classic case of stagflation.
Pay no attention to the man behind the printing press, we're smack dab
in the middle of Stagflation II, Bernanke Boogaloo.
Were you better off before Barack Obama usurped the presidency?
Yes. Yes you were.
Is he doing anything about that?
American households have rebuilt less than half of the wealth lost during the recession, leaving them without the spending power to fuel a robust economic recovery, according to a new analysis from the Federal Reserve.
From the peak of the boom to the bottom of the bust, households watched a total of $16 trillion in wealth disappear amid sinking stock prices and the rubble of the real estate market. Since then, Americans have only been able to recapture 45 percent of that amount on average, after adjusting for inflation and population growth, according to the report from the St. Louis Fed released Thursday.
In addition, the report showed most of the improvement was due to gains in the stock market, which primarily benefit wealthy families. That means the recovery for other households has been even weaker.
"A conclusion that the financial damage of the crisis and recession largely has been repaired is not justified," the report stated.
Gee, if only the journolistas at WaPo had "discovered" this fact before shilling for Obama's re-election. But no, back then they couldn't possibly tell the truth about his economic policies. People might have voted for the businessman!
Everything Obama touches turns to shit. Everything. It's nice of his
media sycophants to finally notice.
He's not doing anything else this week, so why not pivot to another laser-like focus on creating jobs! Yes, just in time for golf season, President Obama is making the rounds of warm-weather climes to push the same old tired bullshit he's been shoveling for the past 5 years. Universal Pre-K! Higher minimum wages! More money for useless college degrees! Amnesty! A government program in every pot!
Then I suppose he'll take a side trip to North Dakota to explain why green energy is superior to shale oil and gas. This is if by "superior" he means "more opportunities for his cronies to loot the Treasury." Which when you think about it is pretty much the guiding focus of his administration. Not creating jobs, because the only job Barack Obama cares about is his own.
Good news America! The unemployment rate has dropped again! It's now at 7.5%, and employers are adding more jobs than ever!
U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.
The government revised up its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000. It now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.
Alas every silver lining has a cloud. Or 2.
First, the workforce participation rate remains stubbornly stuck at 63.3%, the lowest it's been since 1979. Because once you've given up, you've given up. And your president has likewise given up on you.
Second, and perhaps more ominously, ObamaCare is pushing more and more people into part-time work.
Many part-timers are facing a double whammy from President Obama's Affordable Care Act. The law requires large employers offering health insurance to include part-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. But rather than provide healthcare to more workers, a growing number of employers are cutting back employee hours instead.
Those evil Rethuglican Capitalists! Always working to undermine Dear Leader's Socialist Utopia! Oh, wait, it's state and local government that's shunting their workers into part-time purgatory?
Consider the city of Long Beach. It is limiting most of its 1,600 part-time employees to fewer than 27 hours a week, on average. City officials say that without cutting payroll hours, new health benefits would cost up to $2 million more next year, and that extra expense would trigger layoffs and cutbacks in city services.Nevermind…!
So take those upwardly revised job-growth numbers with a big grain of salt. Because thanks to ObamaCare everybody needs two jobs now, just to afford their mandatory health insurance. Or food. Take your pick. Just remember, the IRS won't put you in jail if you don't buy food.
UPDATE 03 May 2013 14:54:
Confirmed. All but 15,000 of the "new jobs" are part time jobs.
Read all about it at my other blog. (See? One way or another I'm gonna get you guys to click on over there!)
Your weekly food bill is about to get a lot bigger.
Be prepared to dig a bit deeper into your pockets in the weeks and months ahead because food prices for a family of four are expected to increase more than $4 a week this year, according to an analysis by an Upper Saddle River-based trade association.
Meat prices will face the biggest jump, accounting for nearly a quarter of the projected increase, but prices of all foods consumed at home will be higher, The Food Institute reported.
It's basic economics, said Brian Todd, president and chief executive of The Food Institute.
"Since civilizations began farming, we have been beholden to nature for good and bad crops, and even though agricultural is integrated globally, that continues to be the case," Todd said.
The projected increase this year is certainly due to higher costs for raw product being passed through the system as result of drought last year, as well as related costs for things like energy (even with recent drops in fuel prices) and labor, he said.
The survey, released Monday, is based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It shows that overall expenditures for food-at-home will increase $4.16 a week, to about $108, while food consumed away from home will rise $2.40 a week.
The increase is greater than in 2012, when retail food prices rose about 2.5 percent W about $2.80 a week on average — but well below 2011, when retail food inflation neared 5 percent, Todd said.
And if prices do rise 3 percent to 4 percent, as projected by the USDA this year, the increase would be greater than the prior 10-year average of 2.8 percent.
It's an Obama World. And we're stuck with the bill.
Maybe, and I'm just pointing out the obvious here, maybe if we didn't divert more of our corn crop to the ethanol boondoggle than we use for animal feed, the price of food just might not keep going up so much.
It's insane to burn corn in order to deliver meat and cornflakes to your local supermarket. Then burn more corn to bring the groceries home.
If only there was a humongous domestic supply of dino-juice, maybe in North Dakota, that we could tap into with a new pipeline connected to our network of refineries in Texas and Louisiana.
But instead we burn corn. And the price of energy is double what it was when
President Planet Protector took office. I'm amazed that's only translated into
a 4 percent increase in food prices. Which must be an average across
the nation. Because around here the prices are ridiculous.