Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obama vs. Truman

What?! Obama relieves an Army General of command over some indiscreet comments, and now Obama is being compared to President Harry Truman? The community organizer being compared to the man who stood up to the commies in Korea? This is a joke, right?

The effete Ivy Leaguer Obama vs. “Give ‘em hell Harry” Truman? The “ditherer-in-chief “ Obama vs. Truman of “The Buck Stops Here” fame? Obama, the master of political double-speak vs. “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” Harry Truman. Obama, the America apologist-in–chief, the man who groveled to Iran only to have them laugh at him, the man who begged North Korea to talk to him, vs. Harry Truman, the man who nuked Japan in order to save hundreds of thousands of American soldiers’ lives?

Comparing Obama to Truman because of this one firing of a General incident is laughable. Comical. Ludicrous. Silly. A real howler. Worthy of the laughing dog rolling in the floor.

Can the people making this comparison be serious? Yes, they are, and that tells you all you need to know about the Obama sycophantic cheerleaders in the media.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Over a year ago, panicked career politicians in Washington hysterically yelled that we had to pass a trillion dollar “stimulus” bill using money we didn’t have in order to keep the unemployment rate under 8 percent. Now, unemployment is stuck at about 10%, and these very same people are telling us that it will stay there for the foreseeable future.

Nothing illustrates better the point that government doesn’t create jobs.

The main reason that the government can’t create sustainable jobs is that, contrary to popular opinion, the government doesn’t have any money of it’s own. The only money it has is what it takes from you and me in the form of taxes. The government can also borrow money, but then that has to be paid back some day, again using our tax money. The government can also simply print more dollar bills, but this causes inflation, which is just another way for us all to pay more for everything. Every dollar the government puts into the economy in the form of spending, it must first take out of the economy in taxes or borrowing or inflation. It’ s a net zero operation.

Private industry creates jobs. Government’s role is to create an environment in which businesses of all sizes can prosper, grow, expand, and hire people. Every tax, every regulation, every piece of paperwork imposed by the government just makes it harder and more expensive for companies to hire people.

The recently passed government health care bill is just the latest example of how Washington increases the cost of hiring people, thereby keeping unemployment high. As a result of this law, employee health care costs are going to go up for all companies. Higher employee costs means fewer employees.

Another way some of Washington’s actions results in higher unemployment is the minimum wage. Every time this is increased, fewer low wage workers will be hired, because it costs more. Mostly, this affects college students and teen-agers, many of whom would be glad to work for less than the minimum wage if they could find such a job. These people are not depending on this low wage as a means of supporting themselves, they just want to earn some extra spending money, some money for college, or to supplement the family income. The teen unemployment rate is currently at an astounding 26.4 percent.

If Washington wants to encourage businesses large and small to hire more people, it should make it less expensive for companies to put someone on the payroll. One of the best ways of doing this would be to reduce the payroll tax, which is a tax on jobs. By lowering this tax, businesses could hire more people for the same total amount, and that would surely encourage then to do so.

President Obama recently decreed a moratorium on new off-shore drilling, at an estimated cost of 40,000 to 120,000 jobs.

The “jobs” bill passed earlier this month by Congress raises taxes by $80 billion on small employers and U.S. based corporations. On January 1, Congress is set to let taxes rise on capitol gains, dividends, and small businesses. All of these increased taxes are sure to stimulate the economy and incentivize hiring, right?

Here is some interesting good news on the jobs front. Chinese firms last year acquired or announced they were starting more than 50 U.S. companies. One, in Spatanburg, South Carolina, will make cylinders used to print labels like the ones around plastic soda bottles. Chinese companies have invested $280 million and created more than 1200 jobs in South Carolina alone.

Some 33 American states, ports, and cities have sent representatives to China to lure jobs to America. The attractions here in the U.S. are lower priced land, reliable and cheap power, and tax credits.

Wait! You mean tax credits, not higher taxes, encourage companies to expand here and hire Americans?

Virginia knows this. It was recently announced that Northrop Grumman, a company I used to work for, will be moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Virginia, creating 300 new jobs for Virginians. The reason they moved is Virginia’s pro-business climate.

Meanwhile, Congress is gearing up to eliminate the cheap power incentive to foreign companies to come to America. Congress wants to pass “cap and tax”, a huge new energy tax that will dramatically push up the cost of all energy, especially electricity, thus killing thousands of jobs throughout America.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe, Plus a Burger And Fries

By declaring carbon dioxide to be a “pollutant”, the government has said that, in it’s view, every one of us is helping to destroy the planet by the simple act of breathing. And there’s nothing we can do about it ourselves; only the government can save us from our destructive nature. It’s very much akin to the concept of original sin. From the day we were born, we have been harming the planet by breathing. And we will continue harming it for as long as we live. In order to make amends for this fundamentally harmful aspect of human nature, we must all do penance by planting tress, driving hybrid cars, car pooling, making our houses “green”, etc. By doing as the government prescribes in this area, we can be redeemed from our sins against the environment.

Now the government is starting to go down the same path with the food you eat. The government wants to get control of what you eat, in order to save you from yourself.

You see, the government thinks that we eat a lot of unhealthy foods: salt, fat, sugar, meat, fried foods, candy, burgers, fries. All of this unhealthy food makes us fat, clogs our arteries, and raises our blood pressure.

After we get fat, not only are we affected negatively, so is the rest of society.

Big people cause cars to use more gas. When they get on an airplane, the extra weight causes the plane to consume more fuel. This added fuel being burned in vehicles and planes carrying fat people sends out more green house gasses into the atmosphere, increasing global warning.

And what about the rescue squad? They must carry oversized stretchers, another additional cost to society. Doors everywhere have to be made larger. Elevators have to be stronger.

You think I’m being facetious? You think no sane person could possibly be thinking like this? A high level bureaucrat in the Department of Health and Human Services has already made this very argument as to why overweight people are an undue cost to society.

There was a proposal to tax sugared soft drinks, in order to discourage people from buying them and getting fat. But if sugar is bad for us, what about the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables? It’s called fructose, but it’s sugar. Grapes are full of natural sugar. Peaches, pears, plums, apples and others all contain natural sugar. Oh my gosh, don’t dare give your child apple juice; it’s saturated with natural sugar!

People have been urged to eat a low fat diet for decades. It’s easy to go on a low fat diet; I’ve done it many times. And simple, too; don’t eat anything that tastes good.

New York City announced voluntary sodium-reduction targets for restaurants and food makers. It wants to lower Americans’ salt intake by at least 20% by 2014. Yes, New York City; not the World Health Organization, although don’t be surprised if they jump on the bandwagon. The targets are voluntary now, but the next step will be, of course, to make them mandatory. Do you like that crunchy dill pickle with your Reuben sandwich? That’s your government specified salt allotment for the month.

So after we eliminate all of the foods that are going to kill us due to sugar, salt, and fat, what’s left?

I predict that a law will be passed forbidding us to eat anything other than green bean gruel and weed juice. It’s for our own good, you know. We aren’t capable of making such an important decision as what to eat ourselves; only the government is smart enough to make that decision. We should be glad that the wise government is looking out for us in this manner.

An added benefit is that we will become so emaciated that we will breathe a lot less, thus helping to save the polar bears by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Discussion on Energy

“’If this had been onshore or in inland waters, shallow waters, this would have been a two-week deal at the outside,’ said Bill Abel, a veteran well control expert in Houston.”
Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2010

Energy is the driver of our high standard of living and our economy. Energy usage is what makes modern lifestyles possible.

Let’s look at just one example. As a child, I can remember my mother working hard on washday. This happened about once a week or so. She used an old-fashioned wringer washer, the type where the washing machine consisted of a tub with an agitator where the clothes were washed, and a mechanical wringer that squeezed the water out of the clothes. You had to feed the clothes into the wringer by hand and crank it by hand. The clothes were then carried out to the back yard and hung on the clothesline to dry.

After a load was washed, a drain hose from the washing machine was put into a sink and the dirty water was pumped out. Then, through another hose that was manually connected to the water faucet, the washing tub was filled again and the process repeated. It was all controlled manually, so one had to be there the whole time.

This was considered to be great progress over a washboard, which was backbreaking manual labor. That progress was made possible because the washing machine substituted electrical energy for human energy.

Nowadays, we put the clothes in the washer, push a button, and come back later to put the washed clothes into the dryer. Then we push another button, exerting almost no physical labor. The important point is that it’s all made possible by a readily available energy supply.

Here’s another personal example. One of my jobs as a kid was to keep the lawn mowed. Early on, the only lawn mower we had was a manual, reel type. You pushed it, and the wheels had a gear mechanism that made the bladed reel rotate to cut the grass. The person pushing the mower supplied all the energy. It took me hours to mow our modestly sized yard, and it was exhausting.

Then we got our first gas-powered mower. What a luxury!! I could mow the entire lawn in one hour. It was not self-propelled, but it was huge progress over the old reel type. Today, I have two self-propelled mowers plus a lawn tractor that enable me to do my five acres in the time it took me as a kid to do one small yard with a reel type mower. Again, this is possible because of a readily available, easily usable energy source.

As a side note, I challenge anyone who wants to reduce their CO2 emissions to mow their lawn with a reel mower.

America is blessed with vast energy resources. In total energy resources, America is number one!! We have more energy resources, coal, oil, natural gas, etc. than any other country in the world!! Russia is number two, and Saudi Arabia is number three.

Yet it seems as though many people in Washington treat our vast energy resources as a curse, and do everything possible to keep these energy sources from being used. People in Washington don’t want to build coal fired power plants, they don’t want to drill for oil, they’re afraid of nuclear power plants, they don’t want to develop oil shale, they don’t want to build refineries, they come up with schemes such as “cap and trade” to punish energy usage.

Then they tell us that, because we are so dependent on foreign oil, we must use less energy by driving tinny little cars, living in tiny houses, spending lots of money to “go green”, and paying much higher prices for gas and electricity.

The Federal Department of Energy (DOE) was formed over thirty years ago during the Carter Administration specifically because we were too dependent on foreign oil. DOE’s specific mission was to reduce this dependence. At that time, we imported 30% of our oil; now we import 60%. If we want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, why don’t we just drill for our own oil that we know exists? Eighteen billion barrels of untapped oil are estimated to lie under the waters of the outer continental shelf, but yet are declared off-limits by Congress. Ten billion barrels lie near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, also off-limits. Potentially hundreds of billions of barrels of oil are in layers of shale beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Yet the only place where we are allowed by Congress to get oil is in deep water off shore where the risks are the highest.

It’s time that we as a society start dealing in reality and rationality when it comes to energy.

We need to recognize that ample, cheap energy sources are an extremely valuable national asset that enables us to have the highest standard of living in the world and to have an economy that is the envy of the world. It’s all dependent on energy usage.

Also, we need Congress to stop being schizophrenic on energy policy, telling us on the one hand that we shhould be energy self-sufficient and then on the other hand doing everything possible to prevent that from happening. We need to develop all of our own energy resources in safe and environmentally responsible manners.

Jessee Ring
June 1, 2010