Tag Archives: budget

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.

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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.

Is this Really a Jobs Strategy?

President Obama has identified companies who, in an effort to avoid high taxes and other costs in the U.S., have moved jobs overseas. The President’s solution is to raise taxes on them. What’s wrong with this strategy?

If a shareholder of a international company was given a chance to vote on whether the company would pursue a cost ineffective strategy or become a foreign company, what would be the likely outcome? This is the most extreme example, but I think it properly characterizes the choices companies affected by the President’s plan will have to make.

Democrat Science

Anthony Watts has a great blog centered on the science of global warming, Watts Up With That? http://wattsupwiththat.com/ .  One of commenters posted a link to an interview of Representative Waxman by Tavis Smiley   on NPR.  On April 26, a quote from Waxman’s interview became a subject of a WUWT post.

“We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap..”

Many commenters on WUWT have made that claim that the above quote shows such a stunning ignorance of geography, climate, and basic science that Mr. Waxman should be immediately removed from office and perhaps imprisoned for public malfeasance.

I disagree.

Mr. Waxman represents his constituency perfectly. I’m not aware of any reporting on NPR along the lines of “influential Congressman lacks basic science understanding of eight grader” or on any other major media outlet. Global warming media watchdog blogs like Climate Progress  http://climateprogress.org/ (a major source for NPR) haven’t made any clarifications either.

The facts are in for the Democrats: We need the Arctic ice to hold down the tundra, otherwise we’ll face a disaster. And apparently the only way to keep the Arctic ice holding down the tundra is to place high taxes on American carbon based energy.

Another Opportunity in Swine Flu?

Under the rubric of saving by spending more, perhaps the Obama Administration can use the swine flu crisis to advance two of their goals at once the expansion of Health Care and reducing the deficit.

By reducing controls on the southern border money can be saved that was previously wasted by the Bush Administration. Without doing any research, I would guess that at least $1,000,000,000.00 a year could be saved by eliminating Mexican border enforcement. This would completely offset President Obama’s 2010 proposed budget deficit in only about 1,000 years. Also, with a quick rewrite of some of the Federal Code decriminalizing illegal border crossing, Secretary Napolitano would not look so ignorant.

 Once the Mexican borders are opened, Mexicans would be able to benefit from universal health care which would prevent the spread of deadly and debilitating illnesses like the swine flu. Improved health reduces health care costs and increases economic productivity. And we would not need to waste money on screening travelers the way countries like Japan and Russia do.

This is the genius of the Obama Administration, the ability to see opportunity in crisis and to save money by investing and cutting wasteful programs.

Genius of the Obvious

 

The title of this post is not meant as an insult. It is meant to emphasize that what seems so obvious in hindsight requires genius to discern. Charles Krauthammer is a genius. No one hit wonder, he constantly clarifies and renders obvious the most salient aspects of an issue. In his column today, he skewers the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration claim of proposing two trillion dollars in deficit reduction by not continuing the Iraq troop surge for ten years, by asking why President Obama didn’t include the money saved by not having a “Stimulus” for ten years.

Genius.

Lost in the Memory Hole

 

One of the leading lights in the news media is Jon Stewart and his Daily Show on Comedy Central. This past week he discussed news coverage of the proposed Defense Department budget. Mr. Stewart could not believe that many of the news stories described the budget as a “cut” when it actually increased by 4%.

http://tpmtv.talkingpointsmemo.com/?id=2341839

Mr. Stewart’s analytical depth is inversely proportional to the breadth of his humor, but I wonder if he  remembers the school lunch “cuts” in 1995. Perhaps someone could check the tape of his 1995 MTV VJ talk show to see if he was equally outraged by that misrepresentation.