Tag Archives: Inflation

Understanding the real effects of the Democrat health care reform bill

Story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

The Congressional Budget Office figures the House program will cost $1.055 trillion over a decade, which while far above the $829 billion net cost that

[…]All this is particularly reckless given the unfunded liabilities of Medicare—now north of $37 trillion over 75 years.

[…]As for Medicaid, the House will expand eligibility to everyone below 150% of the poverty level, meaning that some 15 million new people will be added to the rolls as private insurance gets crowded out at a cost of $425 billion. A decade from now more than a quarter of the population will be on a program originally intended for poor women, children and the disabled.

[…]All told, the House favors $572 billion in new taxes, mostly by imposing a 5.4-percentage-point “surcharge” on joint filers earning over $1 million, $500,000 for singles. This tax will raise the top marginal rate to 45% in 2011 from 39.6% when the Bush tax cuts expire—not counting state income taxes and the phase-out of certain deductions and exemptions. The burden will mostly fall on the small businesses that have organized as Subchapter S or limited liability corporations, since the truly wealthy won’t have any difficulty sheltering their incomes.

This surtax could hit ever more earners because, like the alternative minimum tax, it isn’t indexed for inflation. Yet it still won’t be nearly enough. Even if Congress had confiscated 100% of the taxable income of people earning over $500,000 in the boom year of 2006, it would have only raised $1.3 trillion. When Democrats end up soaking the middle class, perhaps via the European-style value-added tax that Mrs. Pelosi has endorsed, they’ll claim the deficits that they created made them do it.

Under another new tax, businesses would have to surrender 8% of their payroll to government if they don’t offer insurance or pay at least 72.5% of their workers’ premiums, which eat into wages. Such “play or pay” taxes always become “pay or pay” and will rise over time, with severe consequences for hiring, job creation and ultimately growth. While the U.S. already has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world, Democrats are on the way to creating a high structural unemployment rate, much as Europe has done by expanding its welfare states.

Meanwhile, a tax equal to 2.5% of adjusted gross income will also be imposed on some 18 million people who CBO expects still won’t buy insurance in 2019. Democrats could make this penalty even higher, but that is politically unacceptable, or they could make the subsidies even higher, but that would expose the (already ludicrous) illusion that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.

Click here to read the rest of the article. It’s quite comprehensive and yet concise.

Who has the better economy? Canada or the USA?

Hans Bader at the Competitive Enterprise Institute reports:

1.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since the $800 billion stimulus package was signed into law.

The stimulus package has directly destroyed tens of thousands of jobs. A provision in the stimulus package that blocked 97 Mexican truckers from U.S. roads “caused Mexico to retaliate with tariffs on 90 goods affecting $2.4 billion in U.S. trade,” destroying 40,000 American jobs.

It also ignited a trade war with Canada. In response to vague “buy American” provisions in the stimulus package, “A number of Ontario towns, with a collective population of nearly 500,000, retaliated with measures effectively barring U.S. companies from their municipal contracts — the first shot in a larger campaign that could shut U.S. companies out of billions of dollars worth of Canadian projects.”

Yet, Obama had the audacity to claim that only passing the stimulus package would save us from “irreversible decline” and economic ““disaster”.

Obama’s policies echo those of Herbert Hoover, who helped spawn the Great Depression through his protectionism and tax increases.

Remember how Democrats used to complain about Bush and his “tax cuts for the rich”? Yeah, it’s strange how only people who pay taxes (59% of the public) can actually get tax cuts, isn’t it. But Obama has an even better idea: “tax hikes for the poor”.

The Washington Post reports on Obama’s new car tax: (H/T Heritage Foundation, Michelle Malkin, Stop the ACLU, Gateway Pundit)

A senior administration official said the new standards would raise the cost of an average car by $1,300, $600 of which could be attributed to the rules being announced today.

This is not to mention the electricity tax (cap and trade), the cigarette tax, taxing employee health care plans, and the rising cost of living caused by protectionism.

On the other hand, let’s take a look at Canada in relation to the United States, courtesy of the Cato Institute. (H/T Heritage Foundation)

The Cato Institute writes:

Spending: Spending by all levels of the Canadian government peaked at 53 percent of the country’s GDP in the early 1990s, then plunged to 40 percent in 2008. U.S. government spending has risen, reaching 39 percent of GDP in 2008. And with the stimulus package, that number is likely to jump even higher.

Government spending as % of GDP
Government spending as % of GDP

Debt: The Canadian government cut its debt from 71 percent of GDP in 1995 to 32 percent in 2008. Under President Obama’s budget plan, U.S. federal public debt will jump from 41 percent of GDP in 2008 to more than 60 percent next year.

Federal debt as % of GDP
Federal debt as % of GDP

Deficits: Canada has balanced its budget every year since 1998 — not by raising taxes, but by cutting spending. The United States balanced its budget for four years in the late 1990s, but now deficits are so large that it’s difficult to imagine that ever happening again.

Surplus / Deficit as % of GDP
Surplus / Deficit as % of GDP

Corporate Taxes: Canada has cut the corporate tax rate from 28 percent to just 15 percent, and most provinces have trimmed corporate taxes as well. The U.S. federalstate rate stands at about 40 percent, and the Obama administration is planning to increase corporate taxes.

Corporate tax rates
Corporate tax rates

It’s important to note that the Liberal party in Canada is socially progressive, but moderate on fiscal issues. Of course, now that the Conservatives have been running things, it’s gotten even better. It would be great if they could win a majority. The biggest problem in Canada right now is the fascist Human Rights Commissions, but there are candidates from the Conservative Party who intend to abolish the HRCs in BC and Ontario.

Angela Merkel opposes spending, China stimulates solar energy production

Story here, from the always-on-target Investors Business Daily. If you prefer a podcast, then here is your podcast.

Angela Merkel is the Chancellor of Germany. She also has a Ph.D in Physics.

First a little background:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s idea for a “global stimulus plan” has met with resolute opposition from Germany’s leader, Angela Merkel. Good to see that common sense isn’t dead, at least in Europe.

Brown, who’ll be hosting the leaders of the G-20 nations later this week as they seek a way out of the global financial crisis, has pushed what he calls a “global New Deal” of up to $2 trillion in added spending.

But he’s had trouble selling his idea to others — to put it mildly. Czech Prime Minister and EU President Mirek Topolanek called it “a way to hell.” Even Bank of England Governor Mervyn King trashed the idea.

And then Merkel jumps on the pile:

Now comes Merkel, who, as head of the world’s third-largest economy, has probably killed Brown’s big idea.

“I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money,” she said over the weekend. “We must look at the causes of this crisis. It happened because we were living beyond our means. . . . We cannot repeat this mistake.”

We need to listen to Merkel, because she knows what she is talking about. She has a perspective we don’t because of Germany’s tragic history in the 20th century.

After World War I, Germany tried to spend its way out of a recession brought on in large part by the onerous war reparations.

As Weimar Germany printed money, inflation soared (in 1918, $1 bought 4.2 German marks but by 1923, $1 fetched 4.2 trillion marks) and unemployment surged.

If you want a real stimulus, try being like the communist Chinese. I blogged about their sales tax cuts on automobiles before, and about how worried they are about our deficit spending, (along with everyone else in the G20). But look what I found over on Ace of Spades HQ.

They cite an article from semiconductor.net, and here is an excerpt:

…The Chinese government alerted all silicon, ingot, wafer, cell, and panel manufactures that it intends to announced a very aggressive Solar subsidy that is equivalent to $3 USD per installed watt, in cash, as an incentive to aid the Chinese population to install solar. Currently in China non UL, non CE, and non TUV panels can be purchased for under $2 per watt

…With the combination of lower panel prices, renewed Federal and State incentives, utility rebates, the finance freeze thawing out, and oil prices moving up, Solar is once again looking awfully attractive. When you take into consideration the increased value of your home upon a solar installation and the tremendous credits and rebates available, you can literally install solar for 20 cents on the dollar….

Why did we elect a socialist ACORN lawyer from the party that got us into to this mess in the first place?

John Campbell takes a shot at Obama’s budget

This is Representative John Campbell letting the Democrats have it with both barrels.

I found the video linked on his blog, where he has some advice for how to explain to your neighbors what this budget will really cost taxpayers.

Excerpt:

If you want to see what a 30% tax increase looks like, take your paycheck and multiply the total taxes deducted by 1.3.  Then, subtract that from your gross income and that will be close to your new net income. So, if you made $3,000 gross and $2,000 net, you will now only net $1,700. Oh, and that won’t include the cuts your employer has to make in order to pay for their tax increases. By the way, this budget includes all kinds of things that are minor in the grand scheme of things, but big to certain people. For instance, it would repeal the use of the ‘Last In, First Out’ (LIFO) inventory accounting method.  This will dramatically raise taxes on all retail businesses who carry inventory.

Gateway Pundit has a list of the top 10 facts about the budget here. On economist Robert P. Murphy’s blog, I found a link to this story in Bloomberg.

Excerpt:

The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have spent, lent or committed $12.8 trillion, an amount that approaches the value of everything produced in the country last year, to stem the longest recession since the 1930s.

New pledges from the Fed, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. include $1 trillion for the Public-Private Investment Program, designed to help investors buy distressed loans and other assets from U.S. banks. The money works out to $42,105 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. and 14 times the $899.8 billion of currency in circulation. The nation’s gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion in 2008.

Representative John Shadegg has a list of the taxing/spending records that Obama’s budget is breaking in a post on Red County. And remember, the Democrats caused this mess and the Republicans tried to stop them. More details from John Boehner and Mike Pence about what’s in Obama’s budget here. The Republican alternative budget is here.

CBO: Budget adds 4.8 trillion to national debt, China worried

Hot Air has this:

In a new report that provides the first independent analysis of President Obama’s budget request, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the administration’s agenda would generate deficits averaging nearly $1 trillion a year over the next decade$2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his spending plan just one month ago.

Tax hikes are mentioned here at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Open Market blog:

Obama’s budget would explode the national debt while increasing taxes. That’s the conclusion of the Congressional Budget Office, controlled by lawmakers who support Obama. “The President’s proposals would add $4.8 trillion to the national debt,” increasing “the cumulative deficit from 2010 to 2019 to $9.3 trillion.” The budget also adds $1.9 trillion in tax increases.

And the stimulus bill Obama claimed was needed to avert “disaster” and “irreversible decline“? It will shrink the economy over the long run, since its “increase in government debt is expected to displace or ‘crowd out’ . . . private capital.”

…The CBO’s conclusion confirms its earlier findings that the stimulus package will cut wages and the size of the economy in the long run, despite costing $800 billion. The stimulus package also gutted welfare reform.

The Heritage Foundation blog The Foundry has more. Here are just a few of their bullet points:

• He raises taxes not just on upper-income taxpayers as he promised, but on all Americans through his misnamed “climate revenues”, and as his budget indicates, this is just a starter program.

• The President calls for enormous increases in government spending on health care and climate change, but on a great many other programs.

• The CBO saw through perhaps the greatest chicanery ever in federal budgeting when President Obama first assumed the full costs of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in perpetuity, and then claimed he is cutting spending when he asserts a change in policy and those spending amounts disappear.

The more he spends, the more it looks like he’s going to have to print money to get out of this, or raise taxes on producers and destroy the economy completely. And all that makes China very, very worried. Here is an article from the leftist New York Times, headlined “China’s Leader Says He Is ‘Worried’ Over U.S. Treasuries”.

Excerpt:

The Chinese premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern on Friday about the safety of China’s $1 trillion investment in American government debt, the world’s largest such holding, and urged the Obama administration to provide assurances that its investment would keep its value in the face of a global financial crisis.

…Mr. Wen said he was “worried” about China’s holdings of Treasury bonds and other debt, and that China was watching United States economic developments closely.

If Obama prints more money, this would raise inflation and devalue the US currency, including the Treasury Bonds held by China.

But economists have cited several possible threats, led by the prospect that the dollar’s value will depreciate over time, lowering the value of China’s holdings.

“In the short run, the dollar is appreciating” because global investors see the American currency as a safe haven at a time of crisis, Bai Chong-En, who heads the economics department at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said in a telephone interview. “But we don’t know what’s going to happen in the long run. If the American stimulus package is financed mainly by borrowing, then that may affect the future value of Treasury securities.”

Some specialists also say that high inflation could erode the dollar’s value. Finally, some believe that China’s investment in American debt is now so vast that, should it need foreign exchange in some emergency, it would be unable to sell its Treasury securities without flooding the market and driving down their price.

“The only possibility, really, is that China will have to hold these bonds until maturity,” said Shen Minggao, the chief economist at Caijing, a Beijing-based business magazine. “If you start to sell those bonds, the market may collapse.

And Heritage Foundation is reporting that they are even talking about switching out of the US dollar as their reserve currency.

Sigh. I found an article by Victor Davis Hanson (H/T Stop the ACLU) where he explores why Obama is destroying the economy. He has three possible solutions, and he analyzes each of them.

  1. Clueless
  2. Not so clueless
  3. A mean streak

Personally, I vote for 1). And that goes for anyone voted for him. And I’ve read David Freddoso’s book, so that’s where I am coming from. But you can read the VDH article and make up your own mind.