Archives For Politics

From today’s WSJ:

Peanut, cotton and rice farmers are big beneficiaries of price guarantees tucked into agriculture legislation under consideration on Capitol Hill. But another big winner may be producers of what is known as sticky rice, the kind used in sushi and other Asian dishes across America—and grown by a congressman who helped push for the provision.

The federal subsidy in the House bill guarantees farmers of Japonica Rice that if market prices drop below 115% of the average price of all types of rice, they will get a government payment to make up the difference. Japonica is the formal name for medium- and short-grain rice strains commonly called sticky rice.

Pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? Our politicians only care about themselves. There are no statesmen.

I know the stock market has little to do with who happens to be the President but it’s still interesting to look at. I’m no fan of Obama but the S&P 500 has performed nicely since he has taken office (yes, it pains me to write that) as illustrated by this chart that I put together:

S&P 500 TR Since Obama Took Office

From Money Magazine:

Since 2003, there’s been a 29% jump in Americans with little or no work experience getting disability payments, according to the Social Security Administration. Over the same time, there’s been a 44% increase in disability claims by people formerly in the workplace.

Disability claims among veterans are up 28% since 2008, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

All told, the federal government spent nearly $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some type of disability claim. That’s about 7% of the overall population, and 16% of the workforce.

The reasons?

• The recession – not sure how the recession disabled people.

• Aging population – older people tend to have more disability issues.

• Welfare reform – welfare centers are actually screening people to see if they have some sort of disability in order to get them off the welfare rolls. Wow.

• Medical advances – keeping soldiers alive (but disabled) who would have probably died in the past.

This can’t continue. The disability program is projected to run out of money in 2016.

Let me just say, ALL politicians do this. I’m not just poking fun of President Obama. That said, check out the meaning of President Obama’s proposed savings as laid out in the graphic via the Cato Institute (yes, Cato is a conservative think tank but numbers are numbers):

Obama's Proposed Savings

Better than nothing, I suppose.

“The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

Do you agree or disagree with Hazlitt?

Ugh! If we need any more proof that we’re too dependent on government, this list of “7 Spending Cuts You’ll Really Feel” should cover it:

1. Shrinking unemployment benefits. Some 3.8 million Americans estimated to collect unemployment checks between March and September will feel the pain the most. That’s because unemployment benefit checks are being pared by 9.4%. On average, it would mean a cut of $400 over that period. I know many will disagree with me but I have heard stories of people turning down jobs because they made more off unemployment (or unemployment made it easier to stay home rather than take a job).

2. Beef and chicken to cost more and even face a shortage.

3. Granny won’t get her lunch.

4. Your preschooler could be stuck at home. Some 70,000 children from lower income families will not be able to enroll for pre-schools and daycare centers run by Head Start programs this fall, thanks to at least $400 million in cuts. Unless you are using preschool as a daycare, take your preschooler to the library, art museum, teach them to write and cound on your own. You don’t need preschool.

5. National parks will close campgrounds or open late.

6. Longer lines at the airport.

7. Roofs blown off by Hurricane Sandy won’t get repaired. Isn’t this an insurance company’s responsibility?

Obama’s Circular Reference

February 14, 2013

Here’s a little humor for you. Those of you who don’t use Excel probably won’t get this.

Circular Reference