Friday, June 24, 2011


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Drinking the coolaid...Barack Hussein Obama, hmm, hmm, hmm...

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Our Reactionary President

"Hope and change" turned out not to be a liberal call to consider new ways of solving problems. It was not even a conservative slogan to keep all that has worked well in the past.

Instead, Barack Obama proved to be an old-fashioned reactionary. He hoped to change things back to the politically correct 1960s and 1970s way of doing things -- whether it ever worked or not.

Strange as it sounds for a Liberal Fascist/Socialist to be a reactionary, it is nonetheless absolutely true. Remember, that the term "Liberal" was historically used to describe those on the right; the "Classical Liberals". Only after the term "progressive" was discredited by Woodrow Wilson and his disastrous administration, and FDR and Stalin appropriating the label for themselves has the terminology been corrupted.

Notice how they are now back to calling themselves "progressives" now that the word "liberal" has a negative connotation?!

The most dangerous president since Wilson, the most unethical since Clinton, and the most incompetent since Jimmy Carter...T

Barack Obama is the most reactionary president in the recent history of the United States. Obama seems intent on turning back the clock to the good old days of the 1960s and 1970s, when rigid political orthodoxy, not an open mind, once guided government.

Take the economy. The 1980s implosion of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union proved that state control of the means of production guaranteed poverty and worse. The current insolvent and fragmenting European Union, and the stagnant economics of the exploding Middle East, remind us that state socialism does not work.

Why, then, would Obama, in horse-and-buggy fashion, go back to such fossilized concepts as absorbing the nation's health care system, increasing the federal government's role in the economy by taking over automobile corporations, borrowing $5 trillion to spend on new entitlements, or proposing an array of much higher taxes -- all in a vain effort to ensure an equality of result?

Almost every key indicator of the current economy -- unemployment, deficits, housing, energy -- argues that Obama's reactionary all-powerful statist approach has only made things far worse.

In a bygone era without full workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and overtime pay, big unions ran the United States. Today less than 7 percent of Americans belong to them.

Yet President Obama wants to block the Boeing aircraft company from opening an assembly plant in South Carolina, on the grounds that it is a right-to-work state and new assembly workers might be free to reject union representation. The administration is now allowing union-backed Democrats in Congress to block free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea in order to limit competition with domestic unionized industries.

Apparently the decades-old idea that globalized free trade encourages competition, enhances productivity, lowers prices for strapped consumers and helps developing nations never existed.

Obama is still bragging about massive federal subsidies to the wind and solar power industries, while making it nearly impossible to obtain new leases for fossil fuel exploration. Yet for all the billions spent, the percentage of new energy produced by subsidized high-cost "green" projects has not changed much.

Meanwhile, revolutionary breakthroughs in the exploration for and recovery of natural gas, oil, tar sands, shale oil and coal deposits in just a year or two have vastly expanded the nation's fossil fuel reserves and the ability to produce clean energy from them.

It turns out that the U.S. may be the world's new Saudi Arabia when it comes to known reserves of all forms of gas, oil and coal. As our president still harps on solar panels and windmills, private enterprise on its own is exploring new ways of powering industries, homes and cars with cheap and plentiful natural gas -- hoping to free us from dependence on OPEC.

On illegal immigration, the president sounds like he's a calcified relic from the 1960s, as he evokes the southern border in terms of civil rights and racial prejudice. Those blinders explain why he recently suggested that Latinos "punish" their supposed conservative "enemies," and quite falsely claimed that the border fence was completed, despite the wish of his Republican opponents supposedly to add moats and alligators. All that rhetoric sounds like it came from a beads and bell-bottoms '60s campus activist, not the 21st century White House.

In the coming decades, the United States will need new legal immigrants -- those of all races and from all places of origin who are skilled and highly educated, or who have capital. The new critical benchmark to keep America competitive will be an immigrant's merit -- not just his race, family ties, proximity to the border, or his use as a pawn in partisan politics.

The United States is now a multiracial society, one never more intermarried and assimilated. Yet this administration still acts as if particular racial groups are forever ossified in amber, and so deserve particular racial set-aside spoils. The attorney general weirdly talks of "my people." The president himself offered a campaign video in 2010 targeted in part to those defined by their race, as part of a larger strategy to appeal to racial block voting. Promises of more federal entitlement money are still couched in thinly veiled racial terms -- as if there is no awareness that five decades of such Great Society programs have done much to ensure dependency and destroy the traditional inner-city family.

"Hope and change" turned out not to be a liberal call to consider new ways of solving problems. It was not even a conservative slogan to keep all that has worked well in the past.

Instead, Barack Obama proved to be an old-fashioned reactionary. He hoped to change things back to the politically correct 1960s and 1970s way of doing things -- whether it ever worked or not.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Uncertainty Is Not the Problem

Nice to see a REAL businessman speaking out against our socialist/fascist president's policies - at least to this day, he can still be open with his thoughts, as, after all, Obama's intellectual (sic) predecessors FDR and Woodrow Wilson simply had them imprisoned.

The author (who was an enthusiastic Obama supporter in 2008) makes the compelling and unassailable case that it exactly this president's open war against capital that has depressed our economy and will keep it so until he is consigned to the ash-heap of history.

After all, that is also exactly happened in the 30's and 40's under FDR...T

Many commentators blame our continuing economic woes on "uncertainty." They allege that recent and anticipated dramatic policy changes make business planning difficult, and that this is retarding growth and employment. This view is not wrong—but our main problem is not the uncertainty surrounding new policies. It is the policies.

Consider two uncertain situations. In the first, our business is waiting to find out the location decision for a customer's new industrial plant, so we know where to build our new supply facility. Until this is resolved, we will not invest in building nor will we hire staff. In the second situation, we know we are in for some pain, someone is going to make our business less productive and profitable, but we do not yet know how much. Planning is marginally more difficult, but the main reason we will not grow in the second situation is that investment is less attractive regardless of the precise resolution of uncertainty.

In the first case, uncertainty is the obstacle. Once it is resolved, we invest. In the second case, uncertainty is a small part of the problem. The large part is simply that bad things are happening. The day we are told "well, it's exactly a 30% hit to productivity and profits," all uncertainty is resolved—yet we will still not invest or hire.

The Obama administration's economic policies have defenders. For instance, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman will tell you the stimulus helped, and we didn't have enough. I disagree. I will tell you the stimulus was wasteful and politicized, and the American people, not being idiots, know they will have to pay for it eventually. People adjust their plans to account for the additional debt heaped on them, meaning lower investment and consumption.

I will also tell you Dodd-Frank, with its enshrining of too big to fail and its large regulatory costs, is an albatross. I will add that ObamaCare's gigantic new entitlement has hurt. I will throw in that massive additional regulatory costs being foisted upon business is an extra drain on the economy. I would definitely say that the disregard for law during the auto-company "bankruptcies" has long-lasting negative effects. I'd even throw in that the president's demonization of business has been harmful. Finally, I'd say the expected tax increases, even if only on the "super rich"—defined as anyone still gainfully employed—weigh upon us. So what does all this have to do with uncertainty and whether that's our problem? Consider a hypothetical.

Imagine, right now, we passed a giant additional wasteful stimulus. Imagine all the rules of Dodd-Frank were revealed and are even more stifling than we expected. Imagine we doubled the new health-care entitlement and expanded government control of health care more than previously predicted, but set all the details today. Imagine assorted government agencies passed more burdensome regulations than we anticipated, increasing both the cost of doing business and the drag of crony capitalism. But all uncertainty was resolved by passing them today.

Next imagine that the president promised, in no "uncertain" terms, to up his hectoring of business in perpetuity. Further, imagine we passed higher taxes going forward on everyone but, again, we settled it for certain right now. Finally, imagine we committed ourselves to no entitlement reform ever. Is all this good or bad? Well, uncertainty has been eliminated, but it sounds pretty darn bad.

Now let's go the opposite way and consider good policies surrounded by uncertainty. Imagine we will move from here toward free-market health-care reforms appropriate for a free people. We will reduce government spending and our debt, letting people spend their own money as they see fit. We will lower taxes across the board for individuals and businesses, and we'll reduce and simplify deductions.

Imagine even more that we'll make grown-up decisions and reform entitlements to levels we might possibly afford. Now imagine that while we know the direction of each of these policy changes, alas, we are very uncertain about how far these wonderful ideas will go. Imagine this uncertainty is even higher than it is around today's bad policies. Would these changes, uncertainty and all, make things better or worse? Well, it seems pretty clear that should these changes occur in any nontrivial fashion, you would have to duck to get out of the way of the ensuing economic boom, regardless of the uncertainty.

Focusing on "uncertainty" takes our eyes off the ball. We should not seek clarity about the many new drags on our economy. We should seek to have the administration cease and desist, then reverse them.

Mr. Asness is the managing and founding principal of AQR Capital Management
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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Baroque Obama

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This is Osama defined - pretentious, aloof, arrogant, and ignorant of all around him...Much like a Baroque french monarch: "Apre moi, le deluge!"...?!...T

Obama Tunes Out, and Business Goes on Hiring Strike
By Michael Barone

Last week, I noted that various forms of the word "unexpected" almost inevitably appeared in news stories about unfavorable economic developments.

You can find them again in stories about Friday's shocking news, that only 54,000 net new jobs were created in the month of May and that unemployment rose to 9.1 percent.

But with news that bad, maybe bad economic numbers will no longer be "unexpected." You can only expect a robust economic recovery for so long before you figure out, as Herbert Hoover eventually did, that it is not around the corner.

Exogenous factors explain some part of the current economic stagnation. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a slowdown in manufacturing. Horrendous tornados did not help. Nor did bad weather, though only a few still bitterly cling to the theory that it's caused by manmade global warming.

But poor public policy is surely one reason why the American economy has not rebounded from recession as it has in the past. And political posturing has also played a major role.

Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional supermajorities of 2009-10 raised federal spending from 21 percent to 25 percent of gross domestic product. Their stimulus package stopped layoffs of public employees for a while, even as private sector payrolls plummeted.

And the Obama Democrats piled further burdens on would-be employers in the private sector. Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill are scheduled to be followed by thousands of regulations that will impose impossible-to-estimate costs on the economy.

That seems to have led to a hiring freeze. The Obama Democrats can reasonably claim not to be responsible for the huge number of layoffs that occurred in the months following the financial crisis of fall 2008. And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did manage to help stabilize financial markets.

But while the number of layoffs is now vastly less than in the first half of 2009, the number of new hires has not increased appreciably. Many more people have been unemployed for longer periods than in previous recessions, and many more have stopped looking for work altogether.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the threat of tax increases and increased regulatory burdens have produced something in the nature of a hiring strike.

And then there is the political posturing. On April 13, Barack Obama delivered a ballyhooed speech at George Washington University. The man who conservatives as well as liberal pundits told us was a combination of Edmund Burke and Reinhold Niebuhr was widely expected to present a serious plan to address the budget deficits and entitlement spending.

Instead, the man who can call on talented career professionals at the Office of Management and Budget to produce detailed blueprints gave us something in the nature of a few numbers scrawled on a paper napkin.

The man depicted as pragmatic and free of ideological cant indulged in cheap political rhetoric, accusing Republicans, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who was in the audience, of pushing old ladies in wheelchairs down the hill and starving autistic children.

The signal was clear. Obama had already ignored his own deficit reduction commission in preparing his annual budget, which was later rejected 97-0 in the Senate. Now he was signaling that the time for governing was over and that he was entering campaign mode 19 months before the November 2012 election.

People took notice, especially those people who decide whether to hire or not. Goldman Sachs' Current Activity Indicator stood at 4.2 percent in March. In April -- in the middle of which came Obama's GW speech -- it was 1.6 percent. For May, it is 1.0 percent.

"That is a major drop in no time at all," wrote Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal.

After April 13, Obama Democrats went into campaign mode. They staged a poll-driven Senate vote to increase taxes on oil companies.

They launched a Mediscare campaign against Ryan's budget resolution that all but four House Republicans had voted for. That seemed to pay off with a special election victory in the New York 26th congressional district.

The message to job creators was clear. Hire at your own risk. Higher taxes, more burdensome regulation and crony capitalism may be here for some time to come.

One possible upside is that economic bad news may no longer be "unexpected." Another is that voters may figure out what is going on.
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Why Barack Obama may be heading for electoral disaster in 2012

Barack Obama President of the United States of...Image by London Summit via FlickrThis is what I have been predicting since his 101's day or so: A dangerous radical, a rank incompetent, or a fatal combination of both. Jimmy Carter finally gets a reprieve as the worst president in 100 years...T

On a recent visit to London I was struck by how much faith many British politicians, journalists and political advisers have in Barack Obama being re-elected in 2012. In the aftermath of the hugely successful Special Forces operation that took out Osama Bin Laden and a modest spike in the polls for the president, the conventional wisdom among political elites in Britain is overwhelmingly that Obama will win another four years in the Oval Office. Add to this a widespread perception of continuing disarray in the Republican race, as well as a State Visit to London that had the chattering classes worshipping at the feet of the US president, and you can easily see why Obama’s prospects look a lot rosier from across the Atlantic.

But back in the United States, the reality looks a lot different. Many political leaders in Britain fail to understand the degree to which the American people are deeply unhappy with their president’s poor handling of the economy. Nor have they grasped the epic scale of the defeat suffered by the president in the November mid-terms, and the emphatic rejection by a clear majority of Americans of the Big Government Obama agenda.

Just seven months ago, the United States was swept by a conservative revolution that fundamentally transformed the political landscape on Capitol Hill, and gravely weakened the ability of the president to pass legislation. This revolution is not in retreat but gaining ground, led by charismatic figures such as Paul Ryan, the Reaganite chairman of the House Budget Committee, entrusted with reining in out of control government spending. And as a Gallup poll showed, America is unquestionably a conservative country ideologically, but one that is ironically led by the most left-wing president in the nation’s history.

Ultimately, the 2012 presidential election will be decided by the state of the economy, and new data released this week makes grim reading for the White House. In fact you cannot watch a US financial news network at the moment, from Bloomberg to CNBC to Fox Business, without a great deal of pessimism about the dire condition of the world’s biggest economy. 66 percent of Americans now worry the federal government will run out of money in the face of towering public debts.

To say this has been an extremely bad week for the Obama administration on the economic front would be a serious understatement. As The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, home prices in the United States have sunk to their lowest levels since 2002, falling 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011. At the same time, employment growth is stalling, with only 38,000 Americans added to the workforce in May, the smallest increase since September. This compares with 179,000 jobs added in April. There has also been a steep slowdown in the manufacturing sector, and a downturn in the stock market on the back of weak economic news.

Bill Clinton’s labour secretary Robert Reich summed up the grim mood in a hard-hitting op-ed in The Financial Times, which took aim at both the administration and Congress:

The US economy was supposed to be in bloom by late spring, but it is hardly growing at all. Expectations for second-quarter growth are not much better than the measly 1.8 per cent annualised rate of the first quarter. That is not nearly fast enough to reduce America’s ferociously high level of unemployment… Meanwhile, housing prices continue to fall. They are now 33 per cent below their 2006 peak. That is a bigger drop than recorded in the Great Depression. Homes are the largest single asset of the American middle class, so as housing prices drop many Americans feel poorer. All of this is contributing to a general gloominess. Not surprisingly, consumer confidence is also down.

Unsurprisingly, the polls are again looking problematic for the president. The latest Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll shows just 25 percent of Americans strongly approving of Obama’s performance, with 36 percent strongly disapproving, for a Presidential Approval Index rating of minus 11 points. In a projected match up between Obama and a Republican opponent, the president now trails by two points according to Rasmussen – 43 to 45. The RealClear Politics poll of polls shows just over a third of Americans (34.5 percent) agreeing that the country is heading in the right direction, with nearly three fifths (56.8 percent) believing it is heading down the wrong track. That negative figure rises to a staggering 66 percent of likely voters in a new Rasmussen survey, including 41 percent of Democrats.

There is no feel good factor in America at the moment. But there is a great deal of uncertainty, nervousness, even fear over the future of the world’s only superpower. This is hardly a solid foundation for a presidential victory for the incumbent. Even though we don’t know yet who he will be up against, Barack Obama could well go into 2012 as the underdog rather than the favourite he is frequently portrayed as. On balance we’re likely to see a very close race 17 months from now. But there is also the distinct possibility of an electoral rout of the president if the economy goes further south. “Hope and change” might have played well in 2008, but it is a message that will likely ring hollow in November 2012, with an American public that is deeply disillusioned with the direction Obama is taking the country.
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