Obama’s Jobs Recovery — In Temporary Help Services

One Term Wonder

Symptoms of Government-Down, Borrow-and-Spend Economics

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

According to Barack Obama, “We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before. And guess what — it didn’t work then, it won’t work now. It’s not a plan to create jobs.” But only the most gullible members of the Democratic Party would find such words edifying. What really matters to the majority of Americans, a point all but ignored by the Obama-Biden Entourage, is the fact that since the beginning of the Great Recession, a total of 4,778,000 Nonfarm Jobs have been entirely wiped out, and what we have been waiting to hear is a coherent plan whereby they might be recovered, not the comedic rhetoric of a left-wing jester.

In reality what Mr. Obama’s words describe are his own government-down, borrow-and-spend, loot-and-plunder policies, which have not only failed to add a single net Nonfarm Job (see chart below), but have instead added more than $5 trillion to the National Debt in just four years, resulting in the first credit rating downgrade in U.S. history. Instead of inundating the nation with more empty rhetoric, what every American deserves to know is the truth regarding where we stand, and how furthering Mr. Obama’s government-down, borrow-and-spend policies would help to restore both America’s credit rating and American jobs.

An analysis of real facts and figures, supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, finds that during the Obama-Biden Administration a total of 316,000 Nonfarm Jobs have been lost, and regarding Private Sector Jobs, out of a mere 332,000 which have been recovered during the Obama-Biden Dynasty, every single one can be traced directly to the Temporary Help Services Industry. So when it comes to jobs, the pomposity we’ve all heard repeated over and over again by the Obama-Biden Crew and its cheerleading squad, including those prone to media-bias, is just that. A more substantive analysis begins.

Total Nonfarm Jobs

Examining the growth (decline) in Total Nonfarm Jobs [Private Sector + Government] since January 2001, it is clear that job creation is not something the Obama-Biden Administration should be bragging about. Here’s why (see chart below).

Total Nonfarm Jobs

  • From the end of January 2001 through the end of January 2008, a total of 5,557,000 Nonfarm Jobs were gained, during the Bush Administration.

  • During the last year of the Bush Administration, as a result of the Great Recession, from the end of January 2008 to the end of January 2009, a total of 4,462,000 Nonfarm Jobs were lost.

  • Thus, a total of 1,095,000 Nonfarm Jobs were gained during the Bush Administration.

  • During the Obama Administration, from the end of January 2009 through July 2012, a total of 316,000 Nonfarm Jobs have been lost.

  • Overall, we are still 4,778,000 Nonfarm Jobs in arrears, from a record high established by the Bush Administration at the end of January 2008.

Thus, in terms of Total Nonfarm Jobs, 1,095,000 were added during the Bush Administration, a rather pathetic record since we need to create 1,524,000 jobs a year (127,000 per month) just to keep up with population growth. In comparison, after nearly four years, and $5.3 trillion in new federal debt, not a single Nonfarm job has been added by the Obama-Biden Administration, but rather 316,000 have been lost. In spite of the policies of Obama-Biden, Nonfarm Jobs are still 4,778,000 short of the January 2008 peak, so gullible Obama-Biden loyalists need to find something else to showboat.

Total Private Sector Jobs

After cringing at the Total Nonfarm statistics above, gullible Obama-Biden loyalists will say that what they were really bragging about was their record on Private Sector Jobs (exclusive of Government). Okay, so let’s examine the growth (decline) of Private Sector Jobs since January of 2001.

Total Private Sector

  • From the end of January 2001 through the end of January 2008, a total of 4,016,000 Private Sector Jobs were gained, during the Bush Administration.

  • From the end of January 2008 to the end of January 2009, due to the Great Recession, a total of 4,662,000 Private Sector Jobs were lost, during the Bush Administration.

  • Thus, a total of 646,000 Private Sector Jobs were lost, during the Bush Administration.

  • During the Obama-Biden Administration, from the end of January 2009 through July 2012, a total of 332,000 Private Sector Jobs have been recovered.

  • Overall, Private Sector Jobs are still in arrears by 4,330,000 from a record high established by the Bush Administration at the end of January 2008.

So in terms of Private Sector Jobs, we have to hand it to Obama-Biden. While the Bush Administration lost 646,000 Private Sector Jobs over eight years, the Obama-Biden Administration has recovered 332,000 over the last four years. However, since we really need to create 1,524,000 jobs a year (127,000 per month) just to keep up with population growth, and since Private Sector Jobs remain 4,330,000 short of the January 2008 peak, the Obama-Biden Administration’s record isn’t really worth grandstanding. In fact, when government-down supporting, Obama-Biden loyalists discover the subsector in which these jobs were added, they should run as far away from their Party’s chosen platform as they can get.

Which Subsector(s) Gained Jobs?

Which areas of the Private Sector gained jobs during the Obama-Biden Administration? To know the answer, one must comb through all of the various industries detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in Table B-1, sector by sector. Were jobs gained in Mining and Logging, Construction, or Manufacturing? No. What about in the Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade, or Transportation and Warehousing? Nope. How about Information, Financial Activities, Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, or Other Services? Nope.

To be precise, the only sector of the economy where you’ll find any net jobs growth during the Obama-Biden Administration is under the Professional and Business Services category, and there only in the subsector named Temporary Help Services (under Professional and Business Services >> Administrative and Waste Services >> Administrative and Support Services >> Employment Services >> Temporary Help Services).

Temporary Help Services (NAICS 56132) – The temporary help services industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in supplying workers to clients’ businesses for limited periods of time to supplement the working force of the client. The individuals provided are employees of the temporary help service establishment. However, these establishments do not provide direct supervision of their employees at the clients’ work sites. So let’s examine the growth (decline) of Temporary Help Service Jobs since January of 2001.

Temporary Help Services Jobs

  • From the end of January 2001 to the end of January 2009, a total of 600,000 Temporary Help Service jobs were lost, during the Bush Administration. [Note: This accounts for nearly all of the 646,000 Private Sector Jobs lost over the period.]

  • During the Obama-Biden Administration, from the end of January 2009 through July 2012, a total of 576,000 Temporary Help Service jobs have been recovered. [Note: This accounts for all of the 332,000 Private Sector Jobs recovered during the period, minus losses in other sectors.]

So 600,000 Temporary Help Service jobs were lost during the Bush Administration, and the Obama-Biden Administration was able to recover 576,000 of them. In effect, since a total of 646,000 Private Sector Jobs were lost during the Bush Administration, among them, 600,000 or almost all were Temporary Help Service jobs. Since then, the Obama-Biden Administration has recovered a total of 332,000 Private Sector Jobs, and every single one of them, 576,000 minus losses in other sectors, were in Temporary Help Services.

Conclusion

From the end of January 2001 to the end of January 2009, a total of 1,095,000 Nonfarm Jobs were gained during the Bush Administration. In contrast, during the Obama-Biden Administration, from the end of January 2009 through July 2012, a total of 316,000 Nonfarm Jobs have been lost. Meanwhile, as Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their gullible loyalists boast about this great accomplishment, we are still 4,778,000 Nonfarm Jobs, and 4,330,000 Private Sector Jobs short of the record highs established by the Bush Administration at the end of January 2008. Even worse, since the population continues to grow, from the start of the Great Recession the real jobs deficit in the U.S. has increased to 11,760,000. That’s the record. Those are the facts. That’s the truth.

Like it or not, the only platform on the ballot this November which includes a plan and a promise to create more than 12,000,000 middle-class jobs over the next four years is the Romney-Ryan platform. In contrast, the plan and promise outlined by the Obama-Biden platform, to-date, includes more gloating, more lofty rhetoric, more special interest tax breaks, more deficit-financed subsidies, more uncertainty, more divisiveness, more government dependency, more government regulation, more borrowing and spending, higher health care costs, higher taxes, and with any luck a few more Temporary Help Service jobs.

It’s time to wake-up. It’s time to care. It’s time to do what’s in your best interests and that of your country. It’s time to stop believing in myths, and time to ‘Believe in America’.

“It is impossible to calculate the effect of deficit-financed government spending on demand without specifying how people expect the deficit to be paid off in the future.” ~ Theory of Rational Expectations

Chart Data | At Google Drive

Has Obama’s Loot-and-Plunder Theory Worked?

A 50-Year Retrospective

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” ~ Winston Churchill ::

Discussing his economic policies at a fundraiser in Oakland, California on July 23rd, Barack Obama, told supporters that, “We tried our plan, and it worked.” Yet, by the end of his first year in office, he had only managed to drag America, kicking and screaming, beyond the point of no return, as our National Debt, on a per capita (per person) basis, surpassed per capita Personal Income for the first time in more than 50 years (see chart above). As of June 30, 2012, after nearly four years of disservice to the nation, under the leadership of Barack Obama, every American now owes $7,958 more in federal government debt, on a per capita basis, than their personal income.

Per Capita National Debt to GDP

Equally alarming, as of June 30, 2012, the U.S. National Debt per capita reached a stunning 101.7% of Gross Domestic Product, an increase of 45.1% since the end of 2008. Looking back over the last half-century, no other President of the United States has done more to destroy our standard of living than Barack Obama. Now if that was his goal, then yes – it worked like a charm. However, this temporary condition will soon meet its demise.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within the United States. GDP per capita is considered an indicator of our nation’s standard of living. As of June 30, 2012, U.S. GDP per capita was equal to $49,672. The National Debt is the sum of all previously incurred annual federal deficits. Since deficits are financed by government borrowing, either from the public or from itself, the national debt is equal to all government debt outstanding. As of June 30, 2012, the U.S. National Debt per capita was equal to $50,502.

Thus, it may be stated that, as of June 30, 2012, the standard of living of the United States is negative. In other words, when taken as a whole, on a per capita basis, for the first time in more than a half-century, Americans now owe more in federal government debt than we produce. In effect, there isn’t anything left to address the growing mountain of state and local government, personal and business arrearages.

Granted that Barack Obama and a tiny remnant of gullible far-left loyalists have devised numerous excuses as justification for this atrocity, one way of accurately measuring the validity of such subterfuge is to simply compare the ratio of per capita National Debt to GDP over the last half-century. After all, it was Barack Obama who said of supply-side economics, a theory which has been deployed during most of the 1960’s through 2007, “We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before, and guess what — it didn’t work then, it won’t work now… It’s not a plan to lower the deficit…” Well, let us test this hypothesis on a relative basis, and see just how well his loot-and-plunder theory stacks up.

A quick study of the chart above, Per Capita National Debt to GDP: 1960 through June 2012, tells the whole story.

Testing Obama’s Theory

  1. At the end of 1960 per capita National Debt to GDP was equal to 54.4%.

  2. John F. Kennedy’s Tax Reduction Act of 1964 was signed into Law by his successor Lyndon B. Johnson. Under the ensuing era of lower tax rates, by the end of 1981, per capita National Debt to GDP declined all the way to 31.9%.

  3. Ronald W. Reagan’s Economic Recovery Tax Act went into effect in 1982, and even though government spending was higher than he would have liked, by the end of his term in 1988, per capita National Debt to GDP stood at just 51.0%.

  4. In 1993, Bill Clinton signed the Deficit Reduction Act, which turned out to be nothing more than a tax hike. By the end of 1996, per capita National Debt to GDP had increased to 66.7%.

  5. Then in 1997 the Republican-led Congress passed a tax-relief and deficit-reduction bill that was resisted but ultimately signed by President Clinton. One of the things the 1997 bill did was lower the capital gains tax. It was actually the 1997 tax cut, not the 1993 Clinton tax hike, which produced the boom of the 1990’s. By the end of the year 2000, per capita National Debt to GDP declined to 57.0%.

  6. In 2001, George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. By the end of 2001, per capita National Debt to GDP decreased to 56.5%, and later increased slightly to 58.5% in 2002.

  7. The following year, George W. Bush signed the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, which provided the tax rates in effect today. By the end of 2007, per capita National Debt to GDP held at just 64.2%.

  8. In 2009, Barack H. Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage, but was later revised to $831 billion. By the end of 2009, per capita National Debt to GDP increased to 85.2%.

  9. The following year, Barack H. Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extended long-term unemployment benefits and cut the employee’s portion of the Social Security payroll taxes by 2.0%. By the end of 2010, per capita National Debt to GDP increased to 93.5%. By the end of 2011 the ratio had increased to 101.0%, and by June 30, 2012, per capita National Debt to GDP notched up by another seven tenths of a percent to 101.7%.

Ever since Barack Obama implemented his plan, America’s standard of living has gone straight down the tubes. And since he said, “We tried our plan, and it worked…,” we are forced to conclude that his goal was to destroy America’s standard of living. If for some reason this wasn’t his goal, then a more honest assessment would have been, ‘We tried our plan, and it failed.’

When Barack Obama said, “We tried this trickle-down fairy dust before. And guess what — it didn’t work then, it won’t work now… It’s not a plan to lower the deficit..,” whose policies could he possibly have been referring to? A quick study of U.S. per capita National Debt to GDP ratios and per capita Personal Income to National Debt over the last 50 years leads to only one possible conclusion – his own.

Conclusion

Since per capita National Debt to GDP is at the highest ratio since the unsustainable heights attained during the second World War, and higher than at any time in the last half-century, and since Barack Obama has clocked the highest annual budget deficits in American history ($1,412.7 billion in 2009, $1,293.5 billion in 2010, $1,299.6 billion in 2011, and $1,326.9 billion in 2012), we can only conclude that his loot-and-plunder economic theory has achieved the worst results of any set of economic policies deployed by any American president, ever. The facts speak for themselves.

We tried Barack Obama’s loot-and-plunder theory, and it failed. And not only have Obama’s policies failed, but American’s are now worse off than at any time since the 1940’s. No one has managed our economy more recklessly than Barack H. Obama. Are you still a believer? Isn’t it high time we go back to what we know works, make some improvements, and implement some of the reforms proposed over the years, which were errantly pushed aside? Yes it’s time. And since Barack Obama has proved himself unwilling to bend to the will of the American people, it’s time we gave someone else the opportunity. It’s time to switch teams. It’s time to follow real leadership. It’s time to elect a true Conservative.

References:

Table 7.1 Selected Per Capita Product and Income Series in Current and Chained Dollars | Bureau of Economic Analysis

Debt to the Penny | Treasury Direct

Chart Data | Google Drive

Talk about Fairy Dust and Snake Oil!

:: Obama’s Loot-and-Plunder Theory on Social Benefits

– By: Larry Walker, Jr.-

Under Barack Obama’s economic theory, better known as Loot-and-Plunder Economics, income tax rates will necessarily skyrocket, perhaps by as much as 50% across-the-board. If you don’t believe it, just look at the facts and figures. For example, as of FY 2011, annual outlays on Social Security Benefits were 77.7% greater than they were in 2001, while outlays on Medicare were 148.8% greater (shown in current dollars in the chart above). Has Obama solved the problem through entitlement reform? Has he raised Social Security and Medicare taxes by 77.7% and 148.8% respectively? No, so what do you think is coming?

While Obama talks the talk, regarding taxing the rich and fairness, surely even he knows that his plan is not sustainable. It doesn’t balance the budget or grow the economy. The truth is that Obama has no plans for lowering income tax rates on the middle-class, but instead he created Obamacare, which is a nifty way of imposing a whole new set of taxes on those who can least afford health insurance, namely the middle-class. Got it? There will be no middle-class tax relief in a second Obama term, just new health care taxes (i.e. more pain).

So other than leading us all to the edge of a Fiscal Cliff, what else has Obama done for the middle-class? Well, he delivered a two-year Make Work Pay Credit (MWPC), which represented a $400 to $800 reduction in Social Security Taxes in 2009 and 2010, and followed this up with a two-year 2.0% Social Security Tax Cut. In other words, he gave us four years of temporary measures in an effort to stimulate the economy. But what did this really accomplish?

Two Things

#1 – The jobs deficit has grown to 11,760,000 under Obama’s watch, from 5,165,000 when Bush turned over the keys. So we can state without ambiguity that his attempts to stimulate the economy have failed. Sure, things might not be as bad as they could have been, but at the same time, things might not be as good as they could have been either.

The “jobs deficit” increases every month that employers create fewer than 127,000 jobs, the number needed to keep pace with population growth. As you can see in the chart below, the jobs deficit has increased under Obama’s watch, and has remained virtually unchanged since December of 2009. Aside from the jobs deficit, we are still 4,648,000 jobs short of where we were in December of 2007, partially due to the Great Recession, which ended in June of 2009, but namely due to Barack Obama’s loot-and-plunder economic policies, which were designed to prolong the crisis.

#2 – Not only has the unemployment rate remained above 8.0% for his entire term, but Obama’s ingeniously designed Social Security tax cuts have since created a $500 billion per year shortfall in the Social Insurance Fund accounts. Per the chart below, derived from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Table 3.14 – Government Social Insurance Funds Current Receipts and Expenditures, the gap between Social Insurance receipts and expenditures is now worse than ever, thanks to Obama. I guess we’ll find out whether or not work pays (i.e. the MWPC), a few years from now, when we discover that our Social Security and Medicare guarantees were squandered away during the Obama years. His looting of an additional $716 billion out of Medicare to fund Obamacare should be le coup de grâce (the final blow).

As you can see in the chart above, the point of no return was actually breached in FY 2001, when Outlays for Social Benefits equaled Insurance Contributions. This was primarily due to an escalation in the number of baby-boomers reaching retirement age. But instead of addressing the obvious dilemma, the federal government allowed it to fester into larger and larger annual deficits. Thus, the “Social Benefits Deficit” eventually reached $177 billion by Fiscal Year 2008. Then along came Obama, who instead of addressing the problem has handed out four consecutive years of Social Security Tax cuts (i.e. loot-and-plunder fairy dust).

In just three years Obama turned a $177 billion annual Social Benefits Deficit into a $500 billion per year morass. Free money! Obamabucks! What were the results? As you can see in the chart above, and in the related table, in Fiscal Year 2009 the gap between Government Social Benefit Expenditures and Contributions swelled to $376 billion, from $177 billion in 2008, or by 112.4%. Those were the consequences of giving both taxpayers and non-taxpayers a reduction in their Social Insurance responsibilities via the MWPC. In Fiscal Year 2010, with the extension of MWPC, the Social Benefits Deficit widened to $411 billion, or by another 9.3%.

As if that wasn’t enough, Obama devised an even more cunning way of plundering America’s future retirement security. Replacing MWPC with his 2.0% Payroll Tax Cut, in 2011, caused the Social Benefits Deficit to widen by an additional 21.4%, to $499 billion. That’s a half-a-trillion dollar shortfall. And it’s not over yet. Since the 2.0% Payroll Tax Cut was extended into 2012, we will find out where Social Insurance Benefits stand, at the close of the fiscal year, on September 30th. But so far, when added together, $376 billion in 2009, $411 billion in 2010, and $499 billion in 2011, equals a total Social Benefits Deficit of $1.3 trillion. That’s the amount Obama has added to the national debt by tampering with our future retirement security, and that’s just a fraction of the $5.3 trillion he’s added to the overall debt.

Summary:

Between FY 2001 and 2008, Contributions for Government Social Insurance grew by 39.3%, while Social Benefit Expenditures grew by 73.6%. But instead of raising a red flag and solving the problem, Barack Obama proceeded to loot-and-plunder contributions, at a time when the demand for benefits was soaring. This was an amateurish move. Between FY 2009 and 2011, Contributions for Government Social Insurance actually shrank by -6.9%, while Social Benefit Expenditures rose by 22.1%, creating a $1.3 trillion shortfall.

So while gullible far-left loyalists continue to fall for Obama’s pretense, that the Romney-Ryan Ticket and Supply-Side economics would gut Social Security and Medicare, if they took five minutes to look up the facts, they would discover that Obama, through his own brand of loot-and-plunder fairy dust, has already beat them to it. The snake oil Obama is pushing is the same stuff that prolonged the Great Depression. Everyone knows that the federal government didn’t end the Depression, World War II did. That is everyone except for Obama, the unlearned and a few far-left loons.

What folks should be engaged in is bipartisan criticism of the manner in which Barack Obama is destroying our future economic security. We should at least be able to agree that there has to be a more viable alternative. Supply-side economics worked in the Roaring 20’s under Coolidge, in the 1960’s under JFK, in the 1980’s under Reagan, and in the 1990’s through 2007 under Clinton and Bush. That’s right! But according to Barack Obama, “It never worked.” Don’t believe that lie. A quick glance at the following chart, Net Federal Outlays and Receipts since 1980, says it all. Trillion dollar annual deficits are a phenomenon which began with Obama.

Lest we forget, Bill Clinton’s famed tax plan was a package which included tax rates ranging from 15% to 39.6% (i.e. rates were higher at all levels across-the-board), in addition to the Republican-led Tax-Relief and Deficit-Reduction Bill of 1997 (i.e. what actually created the boom of the 90’s). But if you think Obama can cherry-pick just one smidgen of Clinton’s tax policies, apply it to only a fraction of taxpayers, those making more than $250,000 (the equivalent of $157,197 in 1993), and achieve the same results, then you’re not using your brain.

Loot-and-Plunder economics ends when everyone sees their taxes rise by 50% or more across-the-board. That’s the only way the federal government can continue to spend at current levels, and move even halfway towards balancing its budget. When you see the symptoms of a failed economic policy (above), and your candidate boasts, “My plan worked,” that’s when you run!

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Notes:

The third chart (above) purposefully excludes interest contributed towards Social Insurance, since such interest is paid from general government funds. The federal government long ago raided the Social Security Trust Fund spending every dime, and now owes the Social Security Trust Fund $2.5 trillion, per Note 24 of the United States Government’s Notes to the Financial Statements, for the year ended September 30, 2011. From time to time, the federal government pays the Trust Fund interest on its debt, but with trillion dollar deficits for the last four years, it is reasonable to conclude that every dime of the interest paid is borrowed, thus it makes no sense to double count. The chart also excludes administrative expenses.

References:

U.S. GAO | Fiscal Year 2011 Financial Report of the United States Government

Bureau of Economic Analysis | Table 3.14 Government Social Insurance Funds Current Receipts and Expenditures

Chart Data | Google Drive

Obama’s Loot-and-Plunder Theory on Steroids

:: Use It or Lose It: We Can’t Wait

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

According to unelected hoodlums within the Obama Administration, from 2003 to 2006, Congress set aside $473 million in earmark transportation funds that have never been spent. “These idle earmarks have sat on the shelf as our infrastructure continued to age and construction workers stood on the sideline,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a conference call Friday. “I’m taking that unspent money and giving it right back to the states so they can put it to work on the infrastructure projects that they need most — projects that will put people to work.”

So according to Mr. LaHood he’s going to take (i.e. steal) $473 million that was earmarked for infrastructure projects from 2003 through 2006, and send it right back (i.e. 6 to 9 years after the fact) to the states so they can spend it on the infrastructure projects they need the most (i.e. for purposes other than Congress intended). Aside from the fact that this proposal is felonious, the money Mr. LaHood is referring to no longer exists.

The idea of taking funds earmarked towards specific projects, which were deemed unworthy of pursuit during a previous administration, and shifting them towards other purposes today is felonious. What does the term “earmarked funds” mean? It means if Congress passes legislation to repair a certain bridge, the money to repair that bridge is “set aside”. But following Mr. LaHood’s gangster logic, ‘fictitious’ funds earmarked towards certain projects, six to nine years ago, may now be used to fund projects such as California’s Bullet Train to Nowhere. Perhaps a pair of handcuffs is in order.

Common sense dictates that if a bridge still needs fixing, and if the funds still exist and are not barred by the statute of limitations, then it should be fixed. But if the bridge doesn’t need fixing, if it was subsequently replaced by another project, or if the statute of limitations has expired, then the funds, assuming they still exist, should be returned to the Treasury. The notion of “use it or lose it” in this matter is felonious. According to Mr. LaHood, States now have around 45 days, or until October 1st, to identify projects for which they plan to use the money, or else they will lose it. In other words, the funds were not lost after sitting idle for 6, 7, 8 and 9 years, but suddenly there is an arbitrary 45-day deadline. Who passed that law? What is the statute of limitations for spending on earmarked transportation projects – 9, 8, 7, or 6 years? Is there one, or do bureaucrats just get to make up the rules as they go along?

Where’s the Money?

The following analysis from John A. Swinford on his blog, People, Places, News and Other Stuff, answers a key question: Where’s the money?

“Sounds reasonable, right? Hold on to your horses; remember this is a politician speaking. According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, “These idle earmarks have sat on a shelf…” Well, OK, they were authorized but not used. I get that, but what happened to the funding for those earmarks…where is the money…in a lock box or a savings account…or somewhere else? Secretary Hood claims the earmarks were authorized during a period between 2003 and 2006 but not actually spent and therefore, the cash is still available.”

“Before you buy that explanation consider the difference between a budget and cash accounting. If you go to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank website you can pull up the actual Federal cash receipts and outlays. In each of the years to which Secretary Hood refers, the cash deficits ran $378 billion, $413 billion, $318 billion and $248 billion respectively (in current dollars). OMG, Washington spent more cash than it took in…What a surprise… But if that is so how could there possibly be some extra loose cash sitting around. Answer… there is none. The only way to fund “Use It or Lose It” is what? You guessed it…more borrowing.”

In fact, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in real terms, the federal government operated at deficits of -1,955.2 billion from 2003 to 2008, and another -4,678.1 billion from 2009 to 2012 (shown in Constant FY 2005 Dollars). So not only was there nothing leftover, the money was never there to begin with.

The annual deficits shown in the chart above and listed below are shown in billions of constant (FY 2005) dollars. Note that the federal budget was nearly balanced in FY 2007.

  • 2003 -402.6
  • 2004 -427.9
  • 2005 -318.3
  • 2006 -239.7
  • 2007 -151.0
  • 2008 -415.7
  • 2009 -1,274.4
  • 2010 -1,153.0
  • 2011 -1,127.6
  • 2012 -1,123.1 (estimate)

The chart below summarizes receipts and outlays as percentages of Gross Domestic Product. Notice how the budget gap has widened dramatically since 2009.

Obama’s ideas on the economy are nothing more than classic Loot-and-Plunder, trickle-up, middle-out snake oil. In other words, borrow now – pay never. It didn’t work during the Great Depression, it hasn’t worked since 2009, it has never worked and it never will. Proposing to implement 1/16th of President Clinton’s 1990’s tax policies, while ignoring the fact that back then, income tax rates were higher on every American across-the-board, isn’t a serious plan for either growing the economy or balancing the budget. It’s a notion that most certainly fails to justify the felonious borrowing conjured up by Transportation Secretary LaHood just yesterday.

It’s time to return to supply-side economics which proved itself during the Roaring 20’s, the 1960’s, the 1980’s, the 1990’s and most of the 2000’s (through 2007). Obama has no plan to pay down the $5.3 trillion (in current dollars) which he’s added to the national debt, let alone the $16 trillion overall balance. Yet he seems to have no problem borrowing another $500 million under the guise that it’s somehow Bush’s fault. That’s right! Expect the extra $500 million in borrowing to magically be credited to George W. Bush, while Obama continues to promote the obvious lie that spending hasn’t increased on his watch.

But as each of the above charts show, whether in terms of current dollars, constant (FY 2005) dollars, or as percentages of GDP, Obama has allowed spending to skyrocket while revenues have continued to suffer due to a weak economy and high unemployment, symptoms of his failed economic policies. It’s time to put an end to this churlish presidency. Borrow It or Save It? We can wait – all the way to November 6th.

“The debt and the deficit is just getting out of control, and the administration is still pumping through billions upon trillions of new spending. That does not grow the economy.” ~ Paul Ryan

Addendum:

During 2008 the Highway Trust Fund required support of $8 billion from general revenue funds to cover a shortage in the fund. This shortage was due to lower gas consumption as a result of the recession and higher gas prices. Further transfers of $7 billion and $19.5 billion were made in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

^ Weiss, Eric M. (September 6, 2008). “Highway Trust Fund Is Nearly Out of Gas“. The Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2010.

^ “President Signs Bill Providing 9-Month Extension, $19.5 Billion for Highway Trust Fund“. The Washington Post. March 19, 1010. Retrieved August 15, 2011.

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References:

THE OLD WASHINGTON SHELL GAME? | John A. Swinford

Trickle Up Economics | Peter Schiff

Chart Data: Spreadsheet | Google Drive

Understanding Obama’s Loot and Plunder Theory

A.K.A. Trickle-up, or Trickle-sideways

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” ~ John F. Kennedy –

“Trickle-down theory” is a pejorative term in United States politics which refers to the idea that tax breaks or other economic benefits provided by government to businesses and the wealthy will benefit poorer members of society by improving the economy as a whole. In the real world, and called by its proper name, supply-side economics has never failed. In fact, in spite of the ignorance of a few, any improvement in our economy since the end of the Great Recession can be attributed directly to the remaining bands of supply-side tax policies left over from the Bush Tax Cuts, which are scheduled to expire on December 31st.

In the 1980’s what was known as Reaganomics was pejoratively referred to by RINO’s and the far-left as “trickle-down” or “voodoo” economics. But they were wrong. Supply-side economics worked then and it will work now. Yet according to our clueless president, Barack Obama, it’s just “fairy dust”. We have to remind the far-left, including our clownish president (act like a clown and you get called one), that the four pillars of Reagan’s economic policy were to reduce growth of government spending, reduce income taxes and capital gains taxes, reduce government regulation of the economy, and control the money supply to reduce inflation. Now if that’s just “fairy dust” to you, then perhaps like Mr. Obama, back in your college days, you took one drag too many off a marijuana cigarette.

Mitt Romney’s five-point plan is the closest platform on the ballot to Reagan’s four pillars. Romney’s policies would also cut the deficit, reduce income taxes and capital gains taxes, reduce the number of government regulations, and would create a Reagan Economic Zone to strengthen free-enterprise and the U.S. Dollar world-wide. We call this supply-side economics. What’s the alternative? Does Obama have a better plan? Economist George Reisman, a proponent of tax cuts, said the following:

“Of course, many people will characterize the line of argument I have just given as the ‘trickle-down’ theory. There is nothing trickle-down about it. There is only the fact that capital accumulation and economic progress depend on saving and innovation and that these in turn depend on the freedom to make high profits and accumulate great wealth. The only alternative to improvement for all, through economic progress, achieved in this way, is the futile attempt of some men to gain at the expense of others by means of looting and plundering. This, the loot-and-plunder theory, is the alternative advocated by the critics of the misnamed trickle-down theory.”

On the other side of reality is Barack Obama’s one-point plan, also known as Obamanomics, “trickle-up”, “trickle-sideways” or “loot-and-plunder theory”. Under the Obama hypothesis, the deficit isn’t cut, income and capital gains taxes are hiked on those making over $250,000 while remaining static on those making less, the number of government regulations on the economy continue to expand, and nothing is done to improve the U.S. trade deficit or to strengthen the dollar. In other words, his one-term plan lacks a growth catalyst. Raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy isn’t an economic growth strategy, not even according to its chief proponent, Barack Obama. It’s merely a futile attempt of some men to gain at the expense of others by means of looting and plundering.

The Ends of Obama’s Loot-and-Plunder Theory

There are many countries with top tax rates higher than the 35% paid by the wealthiest Americans. In fact, the U.S. is ranked #23 in terms of top marginal tax rates among the 96 countries surveyed by KPMG in 2011. In the U.S. the top rate kicks in at around $388,350 of taxable income in 2012. Workers are also mandated to pay social security taxes of 4.2% (10.4% if self-employed) on the first $110,100 in wages, plus another 1.45% (2.9% if self-employed) on an unlimited amount of earned income. The U.S. tax on capital gains is currently 15%. The top U.S. corporate tax rate also clocks in at a healthy 35%, in addition to a matching portion of social security and Medicare taxes (6.2% of the first $110,100 and an unlimited 1.45%) on wages paid.

Among nations with the highest tax rates in the world, Ireland ranks #10. Its top tax rate of 48% kicks in at about $43,900 USD of taxable income (including a Universal Social Tax of 7.0%). Other notable taxes include a capital gains rate of 30%, and a pay related social insurance tax of 4% (also 4% if self-employed, with a 10.75% employer match). But while its personal tax rates are high, it has among the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe at just 12.5%.

The country with the #1 tax rate in the world is the Dutch territory of Aruba. Its top marginal rate of 58.95% kicks in at around $165,000 USD of taxable income, but the 35% rate kicks it at around $38,500 USD. Other notable taxes include a capital gains tax of 25%, a 1.6% (9.5% if self-employed) health insurance tax, a 4.0% (13.5% if self-employed) pension and accident insurance tax, and a 3% national sales tax. While its individual tax rates are the highest in the world, Aruba levies a flat corporate tax rate of just 28%, which is better than in the U.S.

A quick analysis of nations with the highest tax rates in the world reveals one common thread. Once a populace is conned into loot-and-plunder theory and tax rates begin to rise, it’s not long before tax brackets fall to a level where top tax rates affect almost everyone except for those below the poverty line. The top tax rate of 48% in Ireland kicks in at around $43,900 USD of taxable income and a tax rate of 35% kicks in at around $38,500 USD in Aruba. And that’s not including social insurance, health care, and VAT or national sales taxes which always follow. Where loot-and-plunder theory ends is when every middle-class worker is forking over 40% or more of their income to the government.

Live by the sword, die by the sword. If you’re in favor of hiking taxes on businesses and the wealthy, then you’re in favor of having your own and everyone else’s taxes hiked as well. That’s the deal. That’s the choice. The only one on the ballot offering a 20% across-the-board tax rate cut on every American is Mitt Romney. The only one offering not to tax interest, dividends or capital gains for those making less than $200,000 is Mitt Romney. The only one offering to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax and the Death Tax is Mitt Romney. The only one offering to cut the top corporate tax rate to 25% is Mitt Romney. The only pro-growth, deficit reduction plan on the ballot is Mitt Romney’s. The only things standing in the way are the clueless clown and part-time president Barack Obama (no I’m not laughing), and the ignorance of a few.

“Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.” ~ John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session

References:

Oxford English Dictionary

“The General Benefit from Reducing Taxes on the ‘Rich'”.Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics. p. 308. ISBN 978-0915463732

Countries With the Highest Income Tax Rates | CNBC

Aruba Tax Rates

Ireland Income Taxes and Tax Laws 2012

U.S. Jobs Deficit Holds at 11,760,000 in July

Break Out the Fairy Dust –

“The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources and to a higher rate of economic growth is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.” ~ John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform

– By: Larry Walker, Jr. –

The U.S. Jobs Deficit declined by 30,000 in July, falling from 11,790,000 in June, to 11,760,000, based on yesterday’s Employment Situation Report. While May’s number was revised upward by 10,000, and June’s number was revised downward by 16,000, the economy added a mere 163,000 jobs in July. And since we need to create 127,000 jobs a month, just to keep up with population growth, this resulted in an overall decline in the jobs deficit of 30,000 compared to the month prior (see chart below).

Emboldened by the 30,000 net improvement to the jobs deficit, Barack Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney’s economic plan, stating that, ‘the idea that tax cuts would pay for themselves by way of a “massive boom in the economy” is “fairy dust” that the GOP has “tried to sell” in the past and hasn’t worked.’ But what’s ironic is that even July’s tiny increase in jobs can be attributed to nothing more than traces of fairy dust leftover from the Bush Tax Cuts of 2003. To state otherwise, would infer that allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire would have yielded a better result, and surely not even Obama believes that one.

According to U.C. Berkley Professor and President Obama’s former Chair of his Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Christina Romer, in a paper published in 2010, a tax increase of 1.0% of GDP, reduces output over the next three years by nearly 3.0%. I would add that a decline of 3.0% in output equates to a loss of around 12.7 million jobs. So does it take a rocket scientist to understand that a tax cut of 1.0% of GDP would have the opposite effect, increasing output over the next three years by nearly 3.0%, and adding around 12.7 million jobs? Call it voodoo, fairy dust, Reaganomics, supply-side economics or whatever you wish, but it’s really just common sense.

“Tax increases appear to have a very large, sustained and highly significant negative impact on the economy.” ~ Christina Romer (just prior to leaving the Obama Administration)

What’s wrong with a little fairy dust?

Obama’s misconception is steeped in the theory of Static Revenue Analysis, while Mitt Romney’s plan is based on Dynamic Revenue Analysis, or if you prefer “fairy dust”. Obama wants to raise taxes on the top 2% of income earners while doing absolutely, positively, nothing for the other 98% of Americans. Great plan Stan. On the other hand, Romney wants to cut personal income tax rates by 20% across-the-board on all Americans, eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains on those making less than $200,000, eliminate the death tax, eliminate the alternative minimum tax and lower the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. What’s wrong with that?

Under Obama’s static theory, the size of the economy, the number employed persons, personal incomes, and the amount of income tax collected are all fixed. Following are five common assumptions under his static theory.

  1. If you’re not working today, you will never work again.

  2. If you are working today and making $25,000 a year, you’ll be making $25,000 for the rest of your life.

  3. Since the official U-6 unemployment rate is currently 15.0%, it will remain so indefinitely.

  4. If taxes are cut, the rich will pay less in taxes (unproven).

  5. Because the government collected roughly $2.4 trillion in taxes last year, unless tax rates are hiked, it will collect roughly the same amount every year going forward, from exactly the same taxpayers.

Thus, under static theory, the only way the government can get more money, Obama’s ultimate goal, is by raising taxes, and any reduction in tax rates would result in a permanent reduction in revenue.

Under Romney’s dynamic theory, the belief is that the stimulative effect of allowing citizens to keep and spend more of their own money will result in growth in the size of the economy, the number of working persons, personal incomes and the amount of tax revenue. Following are five common assumptions under dynamic theory.

  1. If you’re not working today, you will eventually find a job and start paying income taxes.

  2. If you are already working and making $25,000, your income will eventually rise and you’ll end up paying more in taxes than you were before, albeit at a lower tax rate.

  3. The economy will reach full-employment.

  4. When taxes are cut, the rich will pay more in taxes (proven), and more people will become rich.

  5. An increase in economic output yields an increase in the number of working persons, which means more taxpayers, and thus greater government revenues.

What we should understand is that supply-side economics has always worked in the past and always will in the future. In the 1980’s it was called Reaganomics, but pejoratively referred to as “trickle-down” or “voodoo” economics. Today, according to Barack Obama it’s just “fairy dust”. How original. Call it what you will, it does work, and that’s more than can be said of Obamanomics.

In the 1980’s, the four pillars (i.e. fairy dust) of Reagan’s economic policy were to reduce the growth of government spending, reduce income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation of economy, and control the money supply to reduce inflation. Mitt Romney’s five point plan builds on Reagan’s four pillars, his policies also cut the deficit, reduce income and capital gains taxes, reduce the number of government regulations and create a Reagan Economic Zone to strengthen free-enterprise and the U.S. Dollar world-wide. What’s wrong with that?

Revised Jobs Benchmark

So where have Barack Obama’s policies gotten us? Well, extending Economist Paul Krugman’s job creation benchmark and updating it with the latest figures, we discover that to be meaningful, the number of jobs needed to return to more or less full employment by December of 2014, or within the next 29 months, is now 532,517 jobs a month, as follows:

In order to keep up with population growth, we would need to create 127,000 jobs times 29 months, or 3,683,000. Add in the need to make up for the jobs deficit and we’re at around 15,443,000 (3,683,000 + 11,760,000) over the next 29 months — or 532,517 jobs a month.

If we extend the target date to 5 years from today, then the number of jobs needed to return to more or less full employment by July of 2017, or within the next 60 months, is now 323,000 jobs a month, as follows:

In order to keep up with population growth, we would need to create 127,000 jobs times 60 months, or 7,620,000. Add in the need to make up for the jobs deficit and we’re at around 19,380,000 (7,620,000 + 11,760,000) over the next 60 months — or 323,000 jobs a month.

The Bottom Line: Since we only created 163,000 jobs in July, and since the jobs deficit declined by a mere 30,000, under the policies of Barack Obama, we are something in the order of 54 years away from full-employment [(323,000 / 30,000 = 10.8) and (10.8 * 5 = 54 years)]. In other words, we are NOT moving in the right direction, we aren’t moving at all. Due to a waste of 43 months under the failed policies of Barack Obama, we must now create 532,000 jobs each and every month to be on a track towards full employment within 29 months, or 323,000 jobs each and every month to be on track towards full employment within 5 years. Thus, since Obamanomics has pushed us so far away from the mark that most of us living today will never see full-employment again within our lifetimes; perhaps a little “fairy dust” is in order.

Photo Credit: Where’s the antimatter then? | Michigan State University

Data: Worksheet on Google Drive

Economic Dependence vs. Independence, Part 2

* Continued from Part 1 *

School #2 – Higher Income Tax Rates

Within the second school of thought, Barack H. Obama speaks as though something most of us believe in no longer exists, or is at threat of extinction. According to Obama, ‘the idea that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement’ is at risk, and that ‘this is the defining issue of our time’. But what he doesn’t understand is that like God, natural rights and divinely inspired ideals never change. The basic ideal Obama is referring to is called freedom. So is our freedom suddenly at risk of extinction? If it were, could it possibly be restored by raising taxes on the most productive members of our society?

“What’s at stake is the very survival of the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement. The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent; no debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while more Americans barely get by. Or we can build a nation where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. At stake right now are not Democratic or Republican values, but American values – and for the sake of our future, we have to reclaim them.” ~ Barack Obama, January 24, 2012. Blueprint for an America Built to Last.

Newsflash: We are still free. The American Dream has been in existence ever since our Founding Fathers penned the Declaration of Independence. There’s a reason it wasn’t named the ‘Declaration of Dependence’, for that is what we were delivered from. The Declaration of Independence in itself is the only blueprint America will ever need. It doesn’t guarantee anyone success, but it does allow us the freedom to succeed by any means we deem necessary. For those who want to do well enough to raise a family, own a home and put a little away for retirement, lower across the board tax rates are the way to go. But entrusting more of what money one is able to garner to a wicked and lazy servant, such as our current bloated federal government, is of no use towards that end.

Big government is like the servant who was given one talent, except instead of burying and returning it to his master; he spent it, then borrowed another in his master’s name, and spent that as well, returning to his master a bill for two additional talents. Under the second school of thought, we’re taught to take from those who are productive, to throw it away, and then borrow more in their name, eventually turning them from free men into indentured servants. So although no man can take our freedom from us, we can voluntarily give it away. How is an economy supposed to grow when resources are taken away from its most productive members, and squandered?

For this lazy and wicked government, one dollar is too many and a thousand is never enough, so why is it deserving of anything at all? We entrusted the federal government with a $2,600,000,000,000 surplus of Social Security savings, yet where is it today? It’s now part of the $16,000,000,000,000 national debt, the portion of which the government claims to have borrowed from itself. And who will the government get the money from to pay back what it has borrowed from itself? The government will return to those same productive members of the private sector and demand even more. How dare you! It’s time to identify those who are responsible and throw those worthless servants outside, into the darkness!

U.S. taxpayers will have given the current administration over $10,000,000,000,000 during its recent four-year term, and where is that? Did the government return it two-fold? Did we even get back the flaunted $1.79 we were promised for each dollar spent on unemployment benefits and food stamps? No. Not only has the government squandered every dime, but it has handed us a bill for an additional $6,000,000,000,000 in accumulated debt. You know we’re gonna identify and throw each and every irresponsible, lazy and wicked government servant out into the darkness, from the top down.

Conclusion

Under the morally correct theory, tax cuts lead to a smaller government and more private sector freedom, allowing productive men and women of all races and backgrounds to create wealth, by leveraging their own resources. But under the morally bankrupt theory, wealth is never created with resources handed out through redistributive schemes, as redistribution merely keeps its recipients poor and dependent, while robbing society’s most productive members of their capital.

Put another way, every man and woman is endowed by their Creator with certain talents, but not everyone achieves equal results – some produce thirty fold, some sixty, and some one hundred fold. This has been true since the beginning of creation. But then there are those rare birds, who not only squander the talents entrusted to them, but incur huge deficits along the way, some thirty, some sixty and some one hundred fold. Because these wicked and lazy servants seek to drag as many as they can latch onto down with them, they must be cast out.

The radical left thought it could rewrite American history, within a couple of years, by conning us into believing that we had lost something which, in reality, has always been in our possession. But radical left-wingers are severely misguided. Our freedom will not be taken away without a fight. America didn’t need a new blueprint. What we needed four years ago is the same thing we need today, someone to execute the blueprint written by our Founding Fathers 236 years ago. Therefore, the radical left-wing must be expelled. In conclusion, the centre-right philosophy is more in line with what America needs today: lower taxes, less government, and more economic freedom.

“In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.” ~ Jude 1:18-19

“He who has ears, let him hear.” ~ Matthew 13:9

Photo Credit: Baruch College Blogs – Remembering What Was Meant To Be Forgotten

Economic Dependence vs. Independence, Part 1

Two Schools of Thought

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” ~Matthew 25:14-18

One interpretation of the Parable of the Talents is that the master is an employer who hired three workers and paid them different amounts according to their ability. The first two workers were productive, doubling their employer’s investment. The third didn’t like the employers pay structure, and chose not to work, giving up a potential paycheck. In the age we live in today, the era of big government, government is the new master. An oversized government takes the eight talents from the employer in taxes, before it can employ anyone, redistributes one talent to each of the unemployed, and then squanders the rest on worthless thingamajigs. In the following year, bloated government returns, and demands of the employer another eight talents to do it all over again. Eventually the employer moves to Costa Rica to get away from its oppressive master, and big government goes bust.

School #1 – Lower Income Tax Rates

In the first school of thought, the words of former President’s John ‘Calvin’ Coolidge, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Ronald W. Reagan, and George W. Bush forever live, reminding us that high income taxes are the single largest barrier to job creation and economic growth. And if we don’t lack job creation and economic growth today, then what do we lack – higher taxes and more social welfare benefits? Perhaps we should listen more to reasoned voices from America’s past, and pay less attention to the failed Western European influenced bloviating of the present.

“There is a limit to the taxing power of a State beyond which increased rates produce decreased revenue. If that be exceeded intangible securities and other personal property become driven out of its jurisdiction, industry cannot meet its less burdened competitors, and no capital will be found for enlarging old or starting new enterprises. Such a condition means first stagnation, then decay and dissolution. There is before us a danger that our resources may be taxed out of existence and our prosperity destroyed.” ~ Calvin Coolidge, January 8, 1920. Address to the General Court beginning the 2nd year as Governor of Massachusetts.

“The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources and to a higher rate of economic growth is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.” ~ John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963. Special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform.

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much” ~ Ronald Reagan – 40th US President (1981-1989)

“He said, tax the rich. You’ve heard that before haven’t you? You know what that means. The rich dodge and you pay.” ~ George W. Bush – 2004

Across the board income tax cuts always deliver results, as they allow productive members of society, from all races and social classes, from the least to the most productive, to earn and keep more of their own money. As this phenomenon occurs, those affected are incentivized to produce, consume, save and invest more. The resultant growth spills over into the broader economy allowing nonparticipants to reenter the workforce, or enter for the first time. This concept was good enough for Coolidge, JFK, Reagan and G.W. Bush, whose across the board tax cuts delivered for each an era of relative growth and prosperity for millions of Americans. So what’s the excuse today? For answers, we return to the Parable of the Talents:

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” ~ Matthew 25:24-30

The radical left believes that if the servant who was given one talent had instead been given two or five, he might have been as productive as the others. Although some would think this a possibility, it wasn’t likely, for in the parable, each was given an amount according to his ability. The worthless servant simply proved himself to be lazy and wicked. But instead of casting him out into the darkness, the radical left, which has become a bastion of the lazy and wicked itself, believes it is the responsibility of the productive to provide sustenance for those unwilling to work.

The moral of this story is that when the free market is given liberty to place money into the hands of the fruitful, it benefits all who are willing to participate. So politicians who constantly clamor for higher taxes on more productive persons, including corporations, have it backwards. The lesson teaches us that when resource allocators are allowed to direct their own capital at will, jobs are created and the economy grows. It also teaches us that when wicked and lazy people are given an opportunity to succeed, they instead run and hide.

Taxes are too high!

The point is not that we are a nation of wicked and lazy people, but rather that income taxes are still, after all the lessons learned throughout American history, way too high. Yet the government demands more. Today, the minimum income tax rate in the United States is 10%. But add to that 13.3% in mandatory Social Security and Medicare taxes, and lowest rate is really 23.3% (25.3% in normal years) for most Americans. Even the poorest working person in America has 13.3% of their income confiscated from each paycheck (7.65% of which is paid by their employer). Compare this with Coolidge’s bottom tax bracket rate of 1.5% in the mid 1920’s, an era which predated the imposition of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and you begin to understand the dilemma. In fact, the top tax rate in the 1920’s was 25.0%, which is less than the 28.3% paid by most in the middle class today (a 15% income tax, plus 13.3% in Social Security and Medicare taxes).

These days, the American middle class muddles along after handing around 30.0% of its income over to the government, while those who are more productive are forced to give up as much as 45.0%. Yet the government demands more. If you take a moment to contrast the minimum income tax rate of 1.5% in the mid-1920’s with today’s minimum rates of 13.3% to 23.3%, you will understand the real disparity. Looking back through American history, it is clear that we suffer not so much from income disparity, as from an income tax disparity. In other words, we are much poorer than our ancestors.

In the mid-1920’s, our great grandparents worried about paying income tax rates ranging from 1.5% to 25.0%, while today we are forced to contend with taxes ranging from 13.3% to 45.0%. We worry about how much the government will confiscate beyond a virtually guaranteed minimum rate of 13.3% of the first $106,800 in earnings, which is 886.7% higher than our ancestors lowest tier. As things stand today, the government isn’t giving us anything; instead it is taking our talents and burying them under a pile of debt. So by lowering income tax rates across the board, the government won’t be giving anything to anyone, but rather proportionally reducing the amount it already takes from everyone.

The Exxon Mobil Fallacy

For example, many on the radical left routinely spout off, that since Exxon Mobil Corp made $42 billion in profits last year, more should be taken away from it and given to the government. While it’s true that Exxon Mobil earned net after-tax profits of $42.2 billion in 2011, the company actually made a profit of $146.7 billion before taxes. That is to say, once you deduct out $33.5 billion in sales based taxes, $40 billion in other taxes and duties, and $31 billion in income taxes, it was left with $42.2 billion (see income statement below).

In effect, Exxon Mobil paid 71.2% of its pretax profits, or $104.5 billion, in sales based taxes, other taxes and duties, and income taxes, before it was able to take home 28.8%, or $42.2 billion. If 71.2% isn’t enough for left-wing radicals, then how much is enough? Is profit a dirty word? Exxon Mobil is a producer, and the more leeway granted to the productive, the more wealth is created. If the government takes even more capital away from producers like Exxon, who would radical left-wingers propose it be given to? Is there another entity around that can turn higher profits than Exxon Mobil? Left-wingers have it all backwards.

The radical left surmises that we should take more away from Exxon and give it to the government, so that the government may in turn give a small penance to nonworking, nonproducing members of society, and squander the rest. They propose to take away more of Exxon Mobil’s resources and incentives because the company and its industry return large profits. But the morally correct thing to do is to take more away from the nonproductive, like our debtor-government in Washington, DC, and let companies like Exxon Mobil go gangbusters. Would you rather invest your money in Exxon Mobil’s stock, which is paying a better than $8 per share dividend, or in the U.S. Government, which is currently running a debt per U.S. taxpayer of $139,000 (subject to increase each second)? This should be a no-brainer.

Continued … Economic Dependence vs. Independence, Part 2

Photo Credit: Baruch College Blogs – Remembering What Was Meant To Be Forgotten

The Real Jobs Deficit | Moving in the wrong direction.

“Every time in this century we’ve lowered the tax rates across the board, on employment, on saving, investment and risk-taking in this economy, revenues went up, not down.” ~ Jack Kemp

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

A total of 3,514,000 Nonfarm jobs had already been lost by the time President Bush handed the keys over to Barack Obama, yet even though the Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009, an additional 4,889,000 jobs were lost during Obama’s first 11 months in office (see table). By November of 2009 the recession had eliminated an estimated 8,403,000 jobs. It was at this point that Nobel Prize Winning Economist Paul Krugman set forth a reasonable benchmark for a return to more or less full employment within 5 years.

According to Mr. Krugman’s theory, in order to keep up with population growth and recover the number of jobs lost would have required the creation of 300,000 jobs per month, through December of 2014. But, as I pointed out in Obama Jobs Scorecard – Part 3, today we find ourselves more than 5.4 million jobs short of this mark. However, the real jobs deficit is even more dire.

The Real Jobs Deficit

If we return to December of 2007, the month the recession began, and apply the Economic Policy Institute’s estimate — that we need to create a minimum of 127,000 jobs each and every month to keep up with population growth — we find that the real jobs deficit, since the recession began, is currently 11,742,000 (see table). As you can see graphically in the chart below, the jobs deficit hasn’t changed much since Paul Krugman set the benchmark at 300,000 jobs a month. Since then, as shown in the corresponding table, the jobs deficit hasn’t decreased at all, but has rather increased by 291,000.

Real Jobs Deficit

Last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy created a mere 69,000 jobs (only 77,000 in the month prior). Since we need to create 127,000 a month just to keep pace with population growth that means lately we’ve been falling even farther behind. In fact, at last month’s rate, the U.S. will find itself another 3,190,000 jobs in arrears after another 4 ½ years of Obama’s economic policies [(127,000 – 69,000) * 55 months]. So we need to keep a close eye on the next official Employment Situation Report, and each subsequent report through Election Day. Anything short of a 127,000 increase in Nonfarm payroll jobs adds to the current jobs deficit, while a greater result means we’re at least moving in the right direction.

The New Jobs Benchmark

If we tweak Paul Krugman’s original jobs benchmark with the revised figures, we discover that to be meaningful, the number of jobs we need to create to return to more or less full employment by December of 2014 is now as follows:

  • In order to keep up with population growth, we would need to create 127,000 jobs times 31 months, or 3,937,000. Add in the need to make up for lost ground and we’re at around 15,679,000 (3,937,000 + 11,742,000) over the next 31 months — or 505,774 jobs a month.

However, if we just simply write-off Barack Obama’s first 3 ½ years as a foolish, but costly experiment, and extend the target date until May of 2017, then we come up with the following:

  • In order to keep up with population growth, we would need to create 127,000 jobs times 60 months, or 7,620,000. Add in the need to make up for lost ground and we’re at around 19,362,000 (7,620,000 + 11,742,000) over the next 60 months — or 322,700 jobs a month.

In other words, we are worse off today than we were 2 ½ years ago. Every month that we create 506,000 jobs or more puts us on track towards full employment within 2 ½ years. Every month we create 320,000 jobs puts us on track towards full employment within 5 years. But every month we create fewer than 127,000 jobs increases the jobs deficit and pushes the goal of full employment farther away.

The Bottom Line: Due to the Great Recession, we already had a jobs deficit of 5,165,000 when Barack Obama was sworn into office, but since then the deficit has increased by an additional 6,577,000 (see table). In other words, we’re NOT moving in the right direction, no matter what Barack Obama says. So who’s going to get us out of this ditch — the same guy who just dug a hole twice as deep as the one we were already in — or someone else?

Data Table: Real Jobs Deficit Spreadsheet on Google Docs

Obama Jobs Scorecard, Part 3 : The American Dream

“53 Percent of All Young College Graduates in America are either Unemployed or Underemployed” ~ The Economic Collapse

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

It is a fact that the U.S. economy has lost a total of 4,884,000 Nonfarm jobs since the beginning of the Great Recession. But according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession officially ended three years ago. We would all like to believe that things aren’t so bad, that the glass is half full, but for many the American Dream appears to be fading away. The question we should be asking ourselves, three years into this economic recovery, is whether we are creating a sufficient number of jobs each and every month: (1) to keep pace with population growth, and (2) to recover the number of jobs already lost? Today, we will provide the answer.

The Working-Age Population

The Civilian Non-institutional Population, or as I prefer to call it, the Working-Age Population, includes persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia, who are not inmates of institutions (i.e. penal and mental facilities, or homes for the aged), and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-1, one month before the recession began, the working-age population totaled 232,939,000, and as of May 31, 2012 it had grown to 242,966,000. Thus, the working-age population has increased by 10,027,000 persons since the start of the recession, and by 7,931,000 since they keys were handed to Barack Obama (see chart below).

Since we know that the economy had already lost a total of 3,514,000 jobs during the last 13 month’s of President Bush’s term, that it has shed another 1,370,000 jobs since Barack Obama’s inauguration, and that the working-age population has grown by 10,027,000 persons over the same period, the question is how many jobs must we create each and every month in order to catch-up? And in light of the answer, how does anyone get away with a statement like the following: We’ve created 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine?

Krugman’s Benchmark

In Paul Krugman’s December 2009 article entitled, The Jobs Deficit, he proposed a rather useful benchmark for the level of jobs the U.S. must create each month to really matter. As of November 2009 we had lost about 8.4 million jobs from the time the recession began. He began with the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) estimate that we need to add 127,000 jobs per month just to keep pace with population growth. That very same month, EPI pointed out that when you put together the number of jobs lost since the recession, along with the number required to keep pace with the population, that in order to return to pre-crisis unemployment within two years we needed to add 580,000 jobs a month.

Krugman conceded that there was no way this was going to happen within two years. So he proffered a more modest goal: a return to more or less full employment in 5 years. According to his formula, in order to keep up with population growth over those 7 years (December 2007 to December 2014), “the United States would have had to add 84 times 127,000 or 10.668 million jobs.” Krugman stated, “If that sounds high, bear in mind that we added more than 20 million jobs over the 8 Clinton years.” He continued, “Add in the need to make up lost ground, and we’re at around 18 million jobs over the next five years — or 300,000 a month.”

So using Krugman’s 300,000 jobs per month benchmark beginning in December 2009, I have created the following chart showing where we are today (in red), versus where we would be if we were truly keeping pace with population growth and making up for the jobs lost due to the recession (in blue). As you can see, we are currently more than 5.4 million jobs short of where we need to be.

The Great Recession officially ended in June of 2009 (a fact that many seem to gloss over), and as of November 30, 2009 it had consumed 8,403,000 jobs. A total of 3,514,000 had already been lost when President Bush handed the job off to Barack Obama, but an additional 4,889,000 jobs were lost during Obama’s first 11 months. It was at this point that Paul Krugman set forth this reasonable benchmark. We have needed to create 300,000 jobs per month, since December 2009, to keep up with population growth, and to recover the jobs lost up to that point. However, where we find ourselves today is 5,481,000 jobs short of the mark.

Yet, it was on June 8, 2012 when Barack Obama declared, “We’ve created 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine.” However, what he was talking about was the number private sector jobs recovered since March 2010. What he conveniently forgot to mention is the fact that we also lost 5,135,000 Nonfarm jobs during his first 14 months in office. What about that Mr. President? In fact, had he bothered to include the number of public sector, or government jobs, his statement would have been more accurately stated as follows: ‘We’ve recovered 3,765,000 Nonfarm jobs over the last 27 months, but we lost 5,135,000 during my first 14 months in addition to the 3,514,000 lost under President Bush, so we have a long, long way to go.’

Yes it’s true, we have lost 1,370,000 jobs since Barack Obama was sworn into office, and that’s on top of the 3,514,000 jobs lost from the time the recession began until President Bush handed the keys to Mr. Obama. But the bad news is that not only have we suffered the loss of 4,884,000 Nonfarm jobs since December of 2007, but we must also account for the fact that during the current recovery, we are 5,481,000 jobs short of where we ought to be. At this point we need to not only make up for the 5,481,000 jobs we are short, but we need to do so while creating an additional 300,000 jobs per month by the end of 2014. In other words, if we apply Paul Krugman’s benchmark, we now have 31 months left to create 14,781,000 jobs (9,300,000 + 5,481,000). That means we need to seriously up the pace from last month’s gain of 69,000 jobs to 476,806 jobs per month.

When Barack Obama stood before a teleprompter this month, and gloated about how well his policies have done over the last 27 months of his 41-month term, he wasn’t being honest with the American people. His dishonesty regarding the economy, among other things, is why he deserves to lose this election by a landslide.

Labor Force Participation Ages 16 to 19

Like many Americans my age, I started working at the age of 16. Although my first job was only a part-time summer job, it was my first, and thus the beginning of my personal quest for the American Dream. My dream at the time was to open a savings account, buy a car (or at least pitch in on the gas), buy my own food and clothing, gain a sense of independence, and learn to be personally responsible.

There are kids who were 12 years old when the recession commenced, who are now 16 and looking forward to their first summer job, but if they can’t find work, they will miss out on some valuable lessons in the quest for the American Dream. There are others who are now 20 years of age who couldn’t find work four and a half years ago, and are still looking today. And there are yet others who were just starting college when the recession hit. We learned this month, that among recent college graduates, 53 percent find themselves either unemployed or underemployed. The dream is fading.

The Labor Force Participation Rate measures the Labor Force as a percentage of the Civilian Noninstitutional Population. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-1, the labor force participation rate for 16 to 19 year olds averaged 54.5% in 1976, when I was 16 years old (see chart above). It stood at 41.5% prior to the recession, but had declined to 38.5% by the time Barack Obama was sworn in. It has since continued in decline to an all time low of 34.2% as of May 31, 2012. So when I was 16, a young person had about a 50/50 shot at finding a job, but for today’s youth the chances are more like 30 out of 100.

The American Dream appears to be fading into the sunset, but according to Barack Obama, the private sector is doing fine. Apparently the economy is doing well enough in his eyes that last Friday was a prefect time for him to singlehandedly grant amnesty to the children of those who have crossed our borders illegally. Oh, give me a break! How does Obama get away with it? He gets away with it because Democrats let him. You all better wake up. You’re either part of the solution, or part of the problem. If you’re so stuck on a political ideology or party brand, that you can’t see the light of day, then God help you. God help us all. If you’re still on the fence, then what are you waiting for? It’s time for a plan that works, not four more years of lecturing, finger pointing and Constitutional violations.

The bottom line: After three and a half years of Barack Obama, we find ourselves 5,481,000 jobs in the hole. At this point we must not only make up this shortfall, but must do so while creating an additional 300,000 jobs per month. In other words, if we apply Paul Krugman’s reasonable benchmark, we have 31 months remaining to create 14,781,000 jobs (9,300,000 + 5,481,000). That means we need to seriously up the pace from last month’s anemic 69,000 jobs to 476,806 jobs per month. But that’s not going to happen until Barack Obama is sent back to Chicago.

Continued from…

Obama Jobs Scorecard, Part 2 : Beyond the Private Sector

Obama Jobs Scorecard, Part 1 : The Private Sector

Data:

Spreadsheets