Category Archives: Economy

SOTU Failure

In all truth, I was expecting the President’s SOTU speech to be much worse. The most irritating aspects were where the President portrayed failures such as job creation that doesn’t keep pace with population growth and reductions in energy demand due to economic decline as successes. The majority of his proposals were only mildly offensive such as his many proposals to create new special agencies to duplicate existing functions.

Of course, the most offensive aspect of the SOTU, is the media’s uninformed coverage.

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Hannity Gets Social Security Wrong

Sean Hannity does a lot of good work getting important information into the public conversation.  He’s not perfect, and he’s never claimed to be.

 On November 11, he spent at least several minutes re enforcing the common misperception of Social Security.

 Let’s get this straight; all money paid into Social Security is simply tax revenue for the Federal government. It doesn’t go into a special Social Security fund, and it certainly does not go into an account with your name on it. What you pay in today goes into buying new Stimulus Plan road work signs tomorrow. When it comes time for you to collect Social Security, you’ll be taking right it out of the pockets of your kids and grandkids like everyone else.

Yes, there is a Social Security Trust Fund and yes it doesn’t have any “money” in it. It would be criminally irresponsible of the Trustee if it did. What the Trust Fund contains is the safest investment in the world US bonds.  The Trust Fund was established in 1937 or so to handle the excess receipts. It’s not a trust fund of your receipts to be paid out when you retire. That’s Al Gore’s “Lockbox”.

So on the 11th, Hannity was yammering away about the Trust Fund being empty, and getting back “your money” that you paid into Social Security. He really couldn’t have sounded less informed. He needs to talk to Rick Perry.

Idiocracy

President Obama’s Three Point Plan for _______(fill in the blank)

1. He’s got these people.

2. The people are experts.

 3. They’re going to fix everything.

President Obama gives you his word.

The plan applies to every issue. Most recently it is an outline of his newest economic initiative – his “jobs summit”.

Is anyone shocked that after 10 months or so, the President admits that he and his Adminstration have no idea how to create jobs so they’re going to bring some “experts”?

Rachel Maddow IS a Genius!

Tonight on Maddow I learned that the people you see in advertisements MAY NOT ACTUALLY use the product they appear with! Apparently, some remnants of the Imperial Bush Presidency (or something) have created an advocacy group that uses stock images of people on its pages, instead registered supporters! Clearly, the Obama Community Advocacy Czar did not approve this website. 

I was shocked to learn this! Thank goodness for Ms. Maddow and her PhD. She is a credit to news journalists everywhere.

The Post “Sells” Access, Part 1 of 2, The News Media Miss the Real Story

Par for the course, the news media have missed the real story of the Washington Post “selling access’.

If an executive were to pay a lobbying firm to get that kind of access, it would cost a lot more than $25,000 in billable hours. $25,000 is the catering bill for a Washington insider dinner/cocktail party. A small party at that. The real story is not that the Post was selling access, but that financial conditions have deteriorated so drastically that the parties could no longer be expensed without a care. What were up to now limited to insider cronies are now available to the public. The Post finally gets a chance to practice the egalitarianism it has always preached.

Taking Responsiblity

The President frequently claims that he is not responsible for the economic hand he was dealt by events and largely this is true, excepting the admittedly small effect he had as Senator voting for ill advised programs that contributed to the economic crisis.

However, when promoting the ARRA (Stimulus Bill) he made very concrete claims that his bill would prevent further catastrophe which he described as including “Double digit unemployment” (at the Elkhart ‘town hall’ event). Most of the news media’s coverage was uncritical despite all of the ARRA’s obvious flaws. Now the President, along with many more knowledgeable people, is predicting exactly what he said his bill would prevent.

Experts and the Media

How does the media evaluate which experts know what they’re  talking about? Does Columbia offer a seminar on “Evaluating Experts”?

My fear is that the typical news media employee would not know why a Phd in Women’s Studies would not be qualified to provide expert commentary on gynecology.  This ignorance allows  them to report uncritically of President Obama taking over the financial and auto industries without the slightest hint of knowledge because he’s got “experts” helping him. As well as promote similar government intervention in healthcare and energy.

Who is watching the watchdogs?