Archive for Socialism

Number 32 With a Bullet

To the head:

On Monday the Tax Foundation, which manages the widely followed State Business Tax Climate Index, will launch a new global benchmark, the International Tax Competitiveness Index. According to the foundation, the new index measures “the extent to which a country’s tax system adheres to two important principles of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality.”

A competitive tax code is one that limits the taxation of businesses and investment. Since capital is mobile and businesses can choose where to invest, tax rates that are too high “drive investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth,” as the Tax Foundation puts it.

The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

One small correction: the authors of the study list Slovenia and Slovakia separately when everyone knows they’re the same thing. And is there really a Switzerland and a Sweden? Someone should clean that up.

Aside from that, however:

Any day now the White House and Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) will attempt to raise taxes on business, while making the U.S. tax code even more complex. The Obama and Schumer plans to punish businesses for moving their legal domicile overseas will arrive even as a new international ranking shows that the U.S. tax burden on business is close to the worst in the industrialized world. Way to go, Washington.

With the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate at over 39% including state levies, plus a rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically, the U.S. is almost in a class by itself. It ranks just behind Spain and Italy, of all economic humiliations. America did beat Portugal and France, which is currently run by an avowed socialist.

The new ranking is especially timely coming amid the campaign led by Messrs. Obama and Schumer to punish companies that move their legal domicile overseas to be able to reinvest future profits in the U.S. without paying the punitive American tax rate. If they succeed, the U.S. could fall to dead last on next year’s ranking. Now there’s a second-term legacy project for the President.

And people wonder why Recovery Summer V has been no more successful than Recover Summers I-IV. (People wonder, but the media seem not to.)

But get a load of this remedy. Are you sitting down?

Rather than erecting an iron tax curtain that keeps U.S. companies from escaping, the White House and Congress should enact reform that invites more businesses to stay or move to the U.S.

OMG! You are one bad-ass newspaper, WSJ. Next you’ll be arguing for a cut in the capital gains tax rate:

A rising tide lifts all boats, but Obama warned us that the tide would stop rising if he were elected president. One promise he kept.

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Cherokee Note Speaker

I clicked on this link to read about Liz Warren’s latest populist screed, and a Geico commercial featuring a pig named Maxwell started playing. Not kidding.

Of course, when you think about it…

It must be Maxwell’s high cheekbones.

Senator Elizabeth Warren says she picked up a lot of her feistiness from reading Nancy Drew novels as a kid. Today she believes the most important mystery to solve is how to get the American economy working for someone other than billionaires.

It’s a message she’s been taking all over the country, and she isn’t afraid to call banks, credit card companies and some employers cheats and tricksters.

“The biggest financial institutions figured out they could make a lot of money by cheating people on mortgages, credit cards and payday loans,” she told a packed auditorium at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she spoke alongside New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. [I bet that duo sold more tickets than did Simon and Garfunkel's Central Park reunion. Ed.]

The Democrat from Massachusetts even said the market is broken in many regards.

Actually, Lieawatha, they make more money on regular mortgages, credit cards, and loans. Especially when you figure in the enormous fines incurred by the “bad apple” financial institutions. The “market” sounds like it’s working fine.

But let’s [yawn] hear her out:

Warren was the driving force behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the 2008 financial crisis. The agency has returned billions of dollars to Americans who were wronged.

“Traffic works better with traffic lights,” she explained.

What about if the traffic cops are crooked?

The Washington Times, citing congressional investigators, internal documents, and interviews with employees, reports that workers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed 115 official grievances through the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) in 2013 alone.

Among the complaints are that managers retaliated against employees for comments or questions that they didn’t like by denying vacation time, refusing internal requests for promotion, and hiring unqualified acquaintances who would have to be trained by employees in lower positions.

“Certain managers have adopted an authoritarian, untouchable, unaccountable and unanswerable management style,” CFPB enforcement attorney Angela Martin told Congress earlier this year.

More seriously, according to the Times, Martin’s testimony alleged the existence of an entire department at the CFPB nicknamed “The Plantation” that is staffed almost entirely of black workers supervised by white managers with no obvious promotional track.

“There is an entire section in Consumer Response Intake that is 100 percent African-American, even the contractors, and it is called ‘The Plantation,'” Martin said. “And people tell me it’s very hard to leave The Plantation. You must be extremely savvy, or you must [have] somebody else [help you] to get out.

Not even the traffic cops in Ferguson, MO talk this way!

And this only makes our case better than we could ourselves: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

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The People Who Brought You the Weekend…and Low Productivity

I could not let Labor Day pass without my own tribute to the sacrifices made by the working men and women of this country.

I’m so sorry you had to sit through this:

Vice President Joe Biden railed against corporations in a combative Labor Day Parade speech in Detroit with union bosses and their members in attendance – speaking with such passion that even when he made up the name of a fictional historical American president the crowd applauded.

“Why do CEO’s now make 333 times more money than the line worker when back when [WAGER?] was president, they made 25 times what the line worker,” Biden said (10:40). “What happened? What happened?”

President who? Wager? President Way-gur? Did the vice president start saying “Reagan” and then realize halfway through that he shouldn’t? Or did he just make the name up?

But it wasn’t the text that tripped Biden up. It was the optics.

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Even on Labor Day, it’s not a good look to appear next to someone named “Jimmy” and “Hoffa”.

This is how you do populism for the folks:

We used to call that a “work shirt”. I don’t know what made it a work shirt, but it had to be blue. Check.

But what about the background guys, so heavily vetted by the Obama PR machine? AFSCME I get: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. SEIU in green shirts, instead of purple.

But what about the guy in the red shirt with the clenched fist? What’s that all about? I thought Obama was the first Post-Clenched-Fist™ president.

And the symbolism! Soviet Communism, anyone?

A-ha!

Now it all makes sense.

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“Whose Ass to Kick?”

Rush is having fun with Obama’s shock (shock!) over the VA scandal. (Boy, you should have heard how mad he was when he found out the stimulus didn’t work!)

But remember this famous occasion of Obama flashing his temper:

So, whose derriere will it be this time, sir? We just learned (below) that someone we’ve never heard of was forced to retire a month early, but surely there are other asses? Other boots to put into them?

But you know what else Rush and a caller said? What we said two days ago:

But you know why I think I overlooked this story?

It sounds so much like other stories of government-run health care, I assumed I already had covered it.

I followed with some recent nightmare from Britain’s NHS.

A caller, a vet, noted that the VA is a single-payer system. The nature of the vets’ health issues render their care too costly for private insurers.

Sound like anything else you know?

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Who’s Up for a Little Single-Payer News?

You haven’t eaten yet, have you? Good.

Just some headlines:

Mum who lost baby hits out at NHS staff shortages after two more newborns die at same hospital

One in 16 patients in NHS hospitals picks up infection, warns watchdog

Labour considers raising national insurance to fix £30bn NHS ‘black hole’

NHS bosses shut walk-in centres as A&E crisis deepens while desperate hospitals want to turn away patients

NHS faces strike threat as 500,000 healthcare staff to be balloted

‘I was accused of fraud, sexual impropriety and assault': Whistleblower cardiologist details decade-long NHS bullying campaign after he exposed deadly hospital failings

All of which demands this be asked:

Who would now dare put their trust in the NHS?

Well, one person:

‘This time next year I won’t have a baby. I’ll be famous instead': Four-months’ pregnant woman who had £4,800 boob job on NHS wants abortion so she can appear on Big Brother

These scandalous headlines come from the liberal and conservative press. They highlight some of the whopping lies Obama has spewed (bending the “cost curve”; universal coverage); they betray the folly of government-run health care being about health care rather than about government.

But the boob-job lady who wants to terminate her baby so that she can appear on Big Brother is the face of Socialized Medicine. She takes no responsibility for her actions—she’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the NHS. She takes silicon implants and returns an aborted fetus. And it’s all free, free, free! (If you call now, we’ll abort your twins for no extra cost!) She’s a monstrous extension of Sandra Fluke, who (as a 30-year-old, remember) wanted a Jesuit institution to cover birth control and abortifacients. It’s one thing to want that—it’s quite another to testify at a fake hearing to demand it.

All of these crushingly depressing headlines are as much a feature of socialized medicine as bed sores and MRSA epidemics.

In case you think I’m being unfair to Britain:

Sweden’s problem is access to care. According to the Euro Health Consumer Index 2013, Swedish patients suffer from inordinately long wait times to get an appointment with a doctor, specialist treatment or even emergency care. Wait times are Europe’s longest, and Swedes dependent on the public-health system have to wait months or even years for certain procedures, or are denied treatment.

For example, Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare reports that as of 2013, the average wait time (from referral to start of treatment) for “intermediary and high risk” prostate cancer is 220 days. In the case of lung cancer, the wait between an appointment with a specialist and a treatment decision is 37 days.

This waiting is what economists call rationing—the delay or even failure to provide care due to government budgetary decisions. So the number of people seeking care far outweighs the capabilities of providers, translating into insurance in name but not in practice. This is likely to be a result of ObamaCare as well.

Look at it this way, maybe we’ll all look as hot as Swedes.

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Oh, That’s “Social Justice”!

I asked the other day what the hell the term meant, and concluded: “’social justice’ would seem to mean a vicious cycle of liberal nonsense”, in which a do-gooding government would stick its nose into the marketplace of labor and management for the benefit of the former and the detriment of the latter (that’s the justice part), only to see its heavy-handed, anti-capitalist efforts lead to layoffs and economic sclerosis.

I kinda talk that way sometimes.

But God bless Prager University (and Professor Jonah Goldberg) for taking a crack at the question too.

The video won’t play for me, but here are selections from the transcript:

Try this at your next party. Ask your guests to define the term Social Justice.

Since everyone on that side of the spectrum talks incessantly about social justice, they should be able to provide a good definition, right?

But ask ten liberals to tell you what they mean by social justice and you’ll get ten different answers.

That’s because Social Justice means anything its champions want it to mean.

“The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families — to bring economic justice to the workplace, and social justice to our nation.”

In short, “social justice” is code for good things no one needs to argue for — and no one dare be against.

This very much troubled the great economist Friedrich Hayek.

This is what he wrote in 1976, two years after winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

“I have come to feel strongly that the greatest service I can still render to my fellow men would be that I could make the speakers and writers among them thoroughly ashamed ever again to employ the term ‘social justice’.”

Pro or con, good or bad, it still has no concrete meaning (which is Goldberg’s point).

So what the hell does it mean?

Hayek understood that beneath the political opportunism and intellectual laziness of the term “social justice” was a pernicious philosophical claim, namely that freedom must be sacrificed in order to redistribute income.

Ultimately, “social justice” is about the state amassing ever increasing power in order to, do “good things.” What are good things?

Well whatever the champions of social justice decide this week.

But first, last and always it is the cause of economic redistribution.

Well, “Professor” Goldberg, that’s what you say, you reactionary killjoy. Maybe it means flowers and butterflies to other people.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

That is precisely how a UN report on Social Justice defines the term:

“Social justice may be broadly understood as the fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth.

Social justice is not possible without strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

I repeat: “Strong and coherent redistributive policies conceived and implemented by public agencies.”

And it gets worse.

The UN report goes on to insist that: “Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.”

Translation: if you believe truth and justice are concepts independent of the agenda of the forces of progress as defined by the left, you are an enemy of social justice.

Yet again, if you scratch a liberal, you find a fascist underneath. (And probably need a tetanus shot.)

The self-declared champions of social justice believe the state must remedy and can remedy all perceived wrongs.

Anyone who disagrees is an enemy of what is good and right.

And the state must therefore coerce them to do what is socially just.

And that, as Hayek prophesized, is no longer a free society.

It is, rather, ObAmerica.

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Simple Truths

The Fed has pumped so much money into the economy, yet the economy is still… the economy.

What gives?

In her first Congressional appearance as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen cheered Wall Street with her promise to continue the easy-money policies of predecessor Ben Bernanke. But Judy Shelton warns in our pages that “when the low-grade fever of perpetual inflation becomes a full-blown economic malady—when the next financial bubble bursts with horrible consequences for the real economy—average Americans will pay the biggest price.”

While Ms. Yellen’s Senate testimony today is likely to attract more media attention, we’d say this week’s most important speech from the Federal Reserve system came last night in Texas. Before a gathering of financial executives, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher quantified how much money the central bank has been pumping into the economy. Mr. Fisher said that total reserves of depository institutions “have ballooned from a precrisis level of $43 billion to $2.5 trillion.” He added that “the amount of money lying fallow in the banking system is 60 times greater now than it was at year-end 2007. One is hard pressed to argue that there is insufficient money available for businesses to put people back to work.”

“It is my firm belief,” he continued, ” that the fault in our economy lies not in monetary policy but in a feckless federal government that simply cannot get its fiscal and regulatory policy geared so as to encourage business to take the copious amount of money we at the Fed have created and put it to work creating jobs and growing our economy. Fiscal policy is not only ‘not an ally of U.S. growth,’ it is its enemy. If the fiscal and regulatory authorities that you elect and put into office to craft taxes, spending and regulations do not focus their efforts on providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment rather than bicker with each other for partisan purposes, our economy will continue to fall short and the middle-income worker will continue being victimized, no matter how much money the Fed prints.”

Game. Set. Match.

This is why I don’t believe the US is a completely lost cause; why our best days are behind us. Federal government policy is completely at odds with “providing incentives for businesses to expand job-creating capital investment” or “creating jobs and growing our economy”. This administration wouldn’t know how to grow the economy if you held a gun to its head (metaphorically speaking, of course). Candidate Obama didn’t want to create wealth, he told Joe the Plumber, he wanted to spread it.

On that, and that alone, he has kept his promise. But if the dry rot hasn’t penetrated too deep, the house divided may still be saved. Put another way, if my faith is in capitalism, that faith has not been shaken. What we have had lately is crony socialism, quite a different thing.

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Whose ObamaCare is it, Anyway?

The one that is so onerous, so unworkable (so Constitutional, bitches!), that its very namesake has to undo it piece by piece—or the one that is to be celebrated for being so onerous, so unworkable?

No one’s calling this Constitutional:

‘ObamaCare” is useful shorthand for the Affordable Care Act not least because the law increasingly means whatever President Obama says it does on any given day. His latest lawless rewrite arrived on Monday as the White House decided to delay the law’s employer mandate for another year and in some cases maybe forever.

ObamaCare requires businesses with 50 or more workers to offer health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty, but last summer the Treasury offered a year-long delay until 2015 despite having no statutory authorization. Like the individual mandate, the employer decree is central to ObamaCare’s claim of universal coverage, but employers said the new labor costs—and the onerous reporting and tax-enforcement rules—would damage job creation and the economy.

[T]he new delay arrives amid a furious debate about jobs after a damning Congressional Budget Office report last week, only this time with liberals celebrating ObamaCare’s supposed benefits to the job market.

Well, which is it? Either ObamaCare is ushering in a worker’s paradise, in which case by the White House’s own logic exempting businesses from its ministrations is harming employees. Or else the mandate really is leading business to cut back on hiring, hours and shifting workers to part-time as the evidence in the real economy suggests.

The Left now dismisses employment as “job lock”. Never mind that 92,000,000 Americans are “job-locked-out”, now and probably forever, Democrats see work as a form of indentured servitude. How can they celebrate falling unemployment when each person who lands a job (the J-word) must leave his poetic and artistic ambitions behind? (Can someone slip the collected works of Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams into Nancy Pelosi’s hands? Or a Charles Ives CD?)

Changing an unambiguous statutory mandate requires the approval of Congress, but then this President has often decided the law is whatever he says it is. His Administration’s cavalier notions about law enforcement are especially notable here for their bias for corporations over people. The White House has refused to suspend the individual insurance mandate, despite the harm caused to millions who are losing their previous coverage.

We are left to wonder whether they are truly making this up as they go along—just lurching from crisis to crisis—or whether this catastrophic cluster[bleep] of a law (law?) serves a greater plan. Completely socialized medicine is one possible goal: running the private sector out of the health sector by changing the rules willy-nilly, until the only question is how much money is bled out, not profit gained. Certainly that is the effect of Obama’s policies (policies?), if not the intent.

But didn’t the Democrats just tell us their true intent? You don’t need a job to validate yourself, you need health care, subsidized by the government. People who work care about taxes; people who are subsidized by the government say raise ‘em high. People who work tend to see the virtue of small government; people who are subsidized by the government are…subsidized by the government. People who work might vote Republican; people who are subsidized by the government wouldn’t vote Republican if ordered to by Uday Hussein.

Never mind that the economics don’t add up—the Koch Bros. can’t support everybody—if it wins elections (as it did in ’08 and ’12), what is there left to discuss?

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We’re All Argentine Now

Ha, what a bunch of losers!

Argentines have grown used to food shortages and strict foreign exchange controls, but could running out of ketchup be the final straw? On Monday, McDonald’s Argentina apologised to customers citing a shortage problem for the lack of ketchup but that didn’t stop angry customers from using social media to vent their frustration- with some arguing the situation reflects the dire state of the Argentine economy under President Cristina Kirchner.

Jimena Blanco, senior Latin America analyst at Maplecroft, told The Independent: “The problem varies from week to week, product to product, but it’s largely related to Argentina’s foreign exchange controls.”

“In this case, it appears that the sachets are packaged in Chile,” she added. “McDonald’s Argentina may have the cash to pay for it in pesos – it’s the lack of access to dollars that’s usually a problem for Argentine companies.”

…Last year, Argentina saw shortages of basic products such as wheat, corn, tomatoes and cooking oil. Now it can add Ketchup to the list.

Collectivist kooks. Socialist saps. Nationalized nitwits.

Oh wait…

The new healthcare law will cost the nation the equivalent of 2.5 million workers in the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report released Tuesday.

It said the equivalent of 2.3 million workers would be lost by 2021, compared to its previous estimate of 800,000, and that 2.5 million workers would be lost by 2024. It also projected that labor force compensation would be reduced by 1 percent from 2017 to 2024 — twice its previous estimate.

Although the CBO projects that total employment and compensation will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the healthcare law.

The CBO is not saying employers will fire millions of workers because of the law.

It instead found that the healthcare law will create disincentives for people to work and that this in turn will cut into the labor supply, hurt the economy, lower tax collection and cause higher deficits.

Some people will leave the workforce or reduce their hours in response to lower wages because of the healthcare law, while others will leave or reduce their hours because they have insurance coverage and do not need to work full time to keep it, the CBO said.

“Disincentives to work”: not necessarily a bad thing. Work can kill (see below).

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One Promise He Aims to Keep

The promise:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody and that’s what Jim is talking about when he says, ‘Everybody in. Nobody out.’ A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”

“This is a two trillion dollar part of our economy and it is my belief that it’s not just politically but economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place–a universal healthcare system signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further to make it more rational…”

“By the way, Canada did not start immediately with a single payer system. They had a similar transition step.”

The promise kept:

Moody’s announced Thursday it was downgrading its outlook for health insurers from stable to negative based on uncertainty related to ObamaCare.

“While we’ve had industry risks from regulatory changes on our radar for a while, the ongoing unstable and evolving environment is a key factor for our outlook change,” Moody’s Senior Vice President Stephen Zaharuk said in a statement. “The past few months have seen new regulations and announcements that impose operational changes well after product and pricing decisions were finalized.”

The Obama administration has implemented a string of unilateral changes and delays to the healthcare law that has drawn complaints from insurers.

Such as:

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC on Wednesday that Obamacare has failed to attract the uninsured, and he offered a scenario in which the insurance company could be forced to pull out of program.

He said that so far, Obamacare has just shifted people who were insured in the individual market to the public exchanges where they could get a better deal on a subsidy for coverage. “We see only 11 percent of the population is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn’t really eat into the uninsured population.”

For Obamacare to work better, it needs more flexibility and choice of insurance programs, Bertolini said. “We need to make it a lot more simpler for people. There needs to be more choice. When you get more choice, you make it more of a market and you get more people in the program.”

It’s not hard to make Obama out to be the charlatan and ignoramus that he is. Anyone can do it (we do it). Just turn on your computer.

PS: File under Scenes From the Front Lines of Socialized Medicine (aka single-payer):

Pensioners with cancer are being written off as too old to treat, campaigners said yesterday.

They cited figures showing survival rates for British patients aged 75 and over are among the worst in Europe.

At least Britain’s death panels are NICE!

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The Mouse That Roared

The title refers to a movie (based on a novel) in which the Grand Duchy of Fenwick (whence comes our formal name, Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan) declares war on the United States. Expecting certain and immediate defeat, the Duchy expects to receive generous American largesse, a la the Marshall Plan. Defeat will never have been so profitable.

Barack Obama: the louse that roared.

With a record 20 percent of households on food stamps, former Florida Rep. Allen West says it’s time to stop saying President Barack Obama’s policies are failing.

They may be performing exactly as intended, he says.

West, a Republican, said he recently reread the Cloward-Piven strategy, proposed by two sociologists and political activists in 1966. The purpose of the strategy, offered to Democrats at the time, was to overload the welfare system so that people could be given “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”

Obama’s economic policies may be intended to do something similar, West hinted during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

“We’re seeing an incredible growth of the welfare nanny state; we’re seeing the poverty rolls explode; we’re seeing the food stamp rolls explode; we’re seeing more dependency on government largesse and programs,” he said. “We’re seeing a desperation and a despondency out there that’s being created by this administration.”

Other Republicans have said Obama’s Affordable Care Act is intended not to work properly, but rather to fail so a single-payer, government-run system can be installed.

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Mission Accomplished

As President Obama starts his sixth year in office, his job ratings remain near record lows and more voters think his policies have hurt rather than helped the economy. And even as voters continue to hold mostly negative views on the economy and the direction of the country, a new Fox News poll finds they see some improvement.

A third of voters say they like both Obama and his policies — a dramatic drop from 47 percent who felt that way in October 2012. In addition, 62 percent now say they dislike the president’s policies, up from 51 percent the month before his re-election.

The recession ended less than six months into his term; we’ve enjoyed four and a half years of recovery; things seem no better, even if the unemployment rate has fallen steadily; Obama won reelection. I’m sorry, where has he failed?

Ninety-two million Americans aren’t working; one-fifth of families are on food stamps; the “47 percent” is probably now closer to 52 percent; private health care is kaput; our once-great nation has been turned into a population of paupers. In baseball that’s what you call a five-tool player.

Or just a tool.

PS: Like I was saying.

While the administration publicly expresses full confidence in its health care law, privately it fears one part of the system is so flawed it could bankrupt insurance companies and cripple ObamaCare itself.

All going according to plan:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody….

A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”

“[I]t’s not just politically but economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place–a universal healthcare system signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further to make it more rational…”

“By the way, Canada did not start immediately with a single payer system. They had a similar transition step.”

The George Washington of USA-SSR.

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Rush Limbaugh, Right Again

Rush Limbaugh took a bit of heat a few weeks ago for daring to correct the Pope on economic theory. Capitalism, not socialism, not even charity, lifted the most people out of poverty, Rush averred.

Somebody—a lot of somebodies—owe Rush an apology:

More than one in five people live in extreme poverty globally, according to a new report, though China’s continued economic growth has improved the lives of millions.

The poverty rate in the world’s most populous country fell by nearly three-quarters in the last six years, from 26% in 2007 to 7% by 2012, the report by Gallup, a U.S.-based research company, said.

Such a trend is attributed to the economic reforms within the country in the last couple of decades.

Reform from what to what, CNN? No reply.

These substantial strides by China meant overall poverty across the globe was halved from 40% to 20% within two decades, according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have the highest levels of poverty, with the majority of the population in the region — 54% — living under extreme poverty. The statistics in Liberia and Burundi are even more dire, with 90% of the population classed in this category.

I’m not saying you want to be China, Africa, but there’s nothing stopping you.

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