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No, Obama does not have a jobs plan

By: David Harsanyi
10/24/2012 09:05 PM

Fear not, Barack Obama has an economic plan for America, and it’s all in a glossy brochure, called “The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security” — an antidote, we’re told, to the vagueness of Mitt Romney’s agenda.

This is what the president, according to a campaign official, believes will ensure that “every voter knows what a second term of an Obama presidency would mean for middle-class Americans.” So, in other words, a shiny substance-free pamphlet is a metaphor for the Obama presidency — because these 11 pages of fluff make Romney’s tax proposal look like an annotated edition of the Talmud.

Even if we accepted that this is a “jobs plan” at all — and one would have to stretch the imagination — there are perhaps two items even tangentially connected to the issue at hand. Members of the middle class will be pleased to learn that their children’s future will feature marginally smaller class sizes and work as a midlevel functionary in a green-energy factory. According to the president, the best way to grow the middle class outward (whatever that means) is to strive for more menial labor work in an unproductive manufacturing sector. Forward.

Obama supported cap-and-trade legislation, the sole purpose of which is to make fossil fuel more expensive, so let’s dismiss his contention that the administration would concern itself with expanding oil and gas work in a second term. Let’s focus instead on the green energy sector, which cannot sustain itself today — just look at the slew of clean-energy bankruptcies we’ve involuntarily invested in — or in the future. As The New York Times recently reported, “stimulus money is almost all gone, leaving many of these projects without a government benefactor and making them orphans in a competitive marketplace dominated by the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industries.” (Deep-pocketed industries will remain deep-pocketed if they continue to offer Americans things we value — you know, like energy.)

Another foundational element of Obama’s wholly unserious proposal is hiring more teachers — even though this isn’t a function of the federal government to begin with and even though, according to Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation, since 1970 the number of students in public schools has increased by 8 percent while the number of teachers has increased 60 percent and even though hiring more teachers would, at best, have a marginal impact on economic growth.

But we love teachers. Check the brochure.

Another component featured in the Obama plan is tax cuts for small business with a side order of fairness. This would impel the wealthiest among us to chip in just a little itty bit more to bring down the deficit. Here we are faced with two problems:

If you believe that Obama would use the extra $80 billion in revenue extracted from the rich to reduce the deficit, I have an 11-page glossy jobs pamphlet for you. And Obama’s tax on the rich would hit more than 1 million small businesses, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which would make his tepid supply-side policy item — the kind of policy he regularly mocks, incidentally — useless.

Still, according to a Bloomberg survey of selected economists, under Obama’s plan, “13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years.” That’s hundreds of billion in spending — deficit spending — aimed at creating a few unsustainable jobs without the benefit of any real private-sector growth.

Do the math, as they say.

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Obama’s Real Second Term Plan

You won’t recognize this country after his second term — the obvious reason he’s not telling you what he has in mind for it.

By Ned Ryun on 10.26.12 @ 6:08AM

Mitt Romney said it best in the last debate when he informed the President that, “attacking me isn’t an agenda,” which prompted the Obama campaign to immediately release what they call a plan for the second term. This 20-page repackaging of speeches notwithstanding, President Obama remains perhaps the only president in history to run for reelection who not only can’t talk about his record but also can’t discuss his real agenda for a second term.

Now it’s not that he can’t because he doesn’t have any ideas about what he wants to do. He does have big plans, but his vision of the future is profoundly different from that of most Americans. The America that Obama sees when he sits on the Truman Balcony at night and dreams about the next four years is radically altered reality for everyone. It should scare every American — unless you happen to be getting Obama’s free cell phone service.

Obama would like everyone to believe that his second-term policies will address what he sees as the great inequalities and unfairness inherent in the American system. He wants to level the playing field. What he can’t tell you — and what most Americans are realizing — is that leveling out America will reduce freedom, opportunity, income, innovation, and upward mobility in favor of a government-driven economy. With a government-driven society will come statism, and collectivism follows right on the heels of statism, which will destroy America.

Here’s the stark proof, keeping in mind that this is a mere snapshot of the “remaking” Obama has in store that will affect millions of American families and businesses. The President’s proposed budget projects will have federal spending soaring to $5.820 trillion per year, making Obama the biggest government spender in the history of the world. With all the talk from the President about spending cuts to satisfy independent voters, the sum of all of Obama’s spending over the next ten years could total more than $40 trillion that we simply don’t have.

We can’t afford Washington’s spending now. Do we really think only the wealthy will foot the bill for such dramatic increases in government expenditures? The President’s proposals will drive $100 billion in tax hikes next year and more than $2 trillion in tax increases over the next 10 years hitting every American.

With more than 40 million Americans on food stamps, welfare is the fastest-growing portion of the budget under Obama. Food stamp usage is up a staggering 46% and the cost of the program has increased by 72%. Over the next four years, the President is preparing to increase spending on these programs to enable the government to increase benefits and provide for an increasing share of the population.

The slow creep of dependency will see a smaller middle class and a larger dependent class of not just the poor but individuals and families who once could afford to live without the government’s help, but due to inflation, lower wages, fewer jobs, and higher taxes must turn to the government for some form of assistance.

When it comes to crippling regulations to burden private enterprise, the Obama Administration is leading the charge to squash industry in favor of increasing government’s power and reach.

New greenhouse gas regulations will cost $300 to $400 billion per year and increase gas prices. The President’s insane “cow tax” will hit more than 37,000 farms and ranches and 90% of American livestock production. Obama’s attempt to stop hydraulic fracking for natural gas has more than a dozen federal agencies developing new, expensive regulations to prevent energy companies from drilling. His war on the coal industry will continue, costing as much as $110 billion over the next two decades and killing more than 300,000 jobs in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. So much for energy independence, and so much for job creation.

Despite the President’s assurance that costs won’t go up and jobs won’t be lost over Obamacare, the 16,000 IRS workers who will administer the tax provisions of the program will be very busy hitting millions where it hurts. According to the Heritage Foundation, the Congressional Budget Office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face tax penalties would be making between $55,850 and $115,250. They will all see their taxes go up starting next year.

Obama will add a $123 billion surtax on investment income, and new taxes on dividends despite the fact that more than half of all Americans invest in the market in one fashion or another. The $86 billion increase in the Medicare Payroll Tax is also coming down the pike, along with a $60 billion tax increase for health insurance companies.

In another uniquely-Obama effort to allegedly reduce healthcare costs, the President is also going to increase taxes by $32 billion on people who already have comprehensive healthcare coverage — because they have coverage. Of course, people who have coverage now that’s not up to the government’s standards will find their plans eliminated and forced to purchase more expensive coverage. He’s even going to tax medical device manufacturers to the tune of $20 billion because apparently that will help make Americans healthier.

In Obama’s America, religious schools, hospitals and charities will be labeled as non-religious employers specifically because they serve the common good of society. Churches and other faith-based institutions will be forced to provide services and even hire employees based on government mandates rather than their own, deeply-held values and beliefs. If they don’t, Obama’s government will gladly step in with an expensive government backfill for the services.

Here’s the good news — we can prevent Obama’s America from becoming a reality. We can stop statism and collectivism from taking us from “one out of many” to one of the many nations whose governments’ thirst for power and control led to the decline of great societies and nations. The choice is ours November 6, and the results of the election, whichever way they go, will resonate for generations to come.

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Winners and losers energy policies …

We can and must rejuvenate our economy by developing America’s resource bounties

by Paul Driessen

Governor Mitt Romney strongly supports North American energy independence as the foundation of renewed US employment and prosperity. President Obama is waging war on fossil fuels, job creation, and efforts to end our economic recession and reduce dependence on Middle Eastern and Russian oil.

Romney’s emphasis on careful analysis and due diligence brought him and Bain Capital notable winners like AMC Entertainment, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and Staples. Obama’s focus on ideology, political calculation, cronyism and campaign contributors produced scandalous losers like A123, Abound Solar, Crescent Dunes, Ener1, Fisker, Mountain Plaza, Solyndra, Tesla, and a host of wind and biofuel projects that would collapse if their taxpayer subsidies were cut off.

Not surprisingly, US gasoline prices are double what they were the day Obama took office. Some 25 million Americans are without full-time jobs – leaving 23% of the workforce unemployed, involuntarily working part-time or at jobs where they are overqualified, making far less money than they did previously, or no longer looking for a job. Our 64% “labor participation rate” is at a 30-year low.

There are still 4.5 million fewer jobs than in 2007, even though our population has grown; the hourly wage of college-educated Americans age 23 to 29 fell 4.7% between 2007 and 2011; median household income plummeted $3,040 since the recession (supposedly, officially) ended in June 2009; and a record 45 million Americans are on food stamps.

Meanwhile, the ever-unstable Middle East is even more unstable. Terrorists murdered our ambassador to Libya. A pitiful anti-Islamist video excused riots in Egypt, where a Muslim Brotherhood leader is now president. More than 33,000 have died in a nasty Syrian civil war. Internecine conflicts continue in Iraq and elsewhere. The seemingly perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains poised to intensify. the Taliban and Al Qaeda continue to build power and launch vicious attacks, such as gunning down the US embassy’s Yemeni security chief in Sana’a. And we are importing oil from brutal human rights violators.

Outside the Middle East, the Putin government is using energy to pressure and blackmail European nations dependent on Russian oil and gas, while orchestrating anti-fracking campaigns to keep EU countries from tapping their abundant shale gas supplies. Politics, events and human rights violations raise further questions about Russia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Nigeria and Sudan. And many of these countries are among our most important oil suppliers – because we refuse to develop our own deposits.

Since oil is sold in a world market, producing more in the United States means we could import less from abroad, free up more oil for other nations, and push prices down. Exporting US natural gas and drilling, fracking and production expertise would make other nations less dependent on the Middle East and Russia, bring natural gas prices down further, turbo-charge economies, and encourage African countries to use gas to generate electricity, rather than “flaring” it as an unwanted byproduct of oil production.

Romney understands this. He is calling for more oil and natural gas production here in the United States, changes to excessive and counterproductive federal regulations that raise energy costs and kill jobs, and increased use of friendly Canadian oil to serve America’s consumers. He knows this will protect us against disruptions in Middle East oil supplies, reduce the flow of American dollars to totalitarian human rights violators, create American jobs, increase tax revenues, and jumpstart our sluggish economy.

President Obama, by contrast, continues to ignore reality and embrace policies based on hope, green dreams, and a determination to “fundamentally transform” America’s Constitution, economy, society and business system. He continues to waste billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize unreliable, unsustainable, inefficient, insufficient energy forms that are at best decades from competing in the free market – even as 80% of Department of Energy grants and loans went to companies owned or controlled by Obama contributors; DOE restructured its $465 million loan to Tesla, to make sure the electric-car company doesn’t run out of cash right before the election; and President Obama says malnourished, energy-deprived Africans should avoid fossil fuels and rely instead on wind, solar and biofuel power.

Many recipients of involuntary taxpayer largesse are donors to Obama and Democrat re-election campaigns; have electoral clout in crucial swing states, where corn growers and others benefit from ethanol, wind and solar schemes; or provide crucial propaganda and campaign services via government employee and labor unions and tax-exempt radical environmentalist organizations.

While Obama turns his back on the reliable fossil fuels that power America’s economic engine, he denounces and demonizes companies that produce this hydrocarbon energy, pay billions of dollars in taxes and support millions of American jobs. He singles out America’s oil and natural gas sector for discriminatory tax increases and excessive regulations, and makes more and more federal lands, waters and resources off limits to responsible exploration and development.

Environmental activists and the Obama Administration express outrage about subsidies for traditional, efficient means of generating electricity, which amount to $0.25-$0.44 (25-44 cents) per megawatt-hour for coal and natural gas and $1.59 per MWH for nuclear. But they are eerily silent about enormous subsidies for wind ($23.37 per MWH) and solar electricity ($24.34 per MWH).

They express equal outrage about importing petroleum from Canada’s oil sands via the Keystone Pipeline – but are silent about imports of thick, gooey crude from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. They brag about increased US oil and gas production on private lands, but insist that there be little or no drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rocky Mountains or even National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, which Congress set aside decades ago specifically to safeguard our national security by increasing exploration in areas with the best potential for oil and gas.

Lisa Jackson’s Environmental Protection Agency is imposing draconian restrictions on power plants and other CO2 sources, as another way of “skinning the cat” and hyper-regulating coal out of the US energy picture, after Congress rejected cap-tax-and-trade legislation. Meantime, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced the Managed Carbon Price Act, which analysts say will impose regressive taxes that will rise to $5.20 per gallon of gasoline by 2024 and equally hefty surcharges on other hydrocarbon use.

The impact on transportation, shipping, commuting, manufacturing, jobs and families is frightening to contemplate. So is the fact that these actions are coming even as Britain’s Meteorological Office released data showing that the world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago – and that average global temperatures rose an impossible-to-measure and statistically insignificant 0.03 degrees C per decade.

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and Japan plan to phase out nuclear power, thereby increasing their use of natural gas and coal for electricity – while China and India plan to build 900 new coal-fired power plants to electrify their growing economies. All will pump millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – dwarfing any reductions the USA might achieve by closing more power plants and further shackling our economy.

The Administration’s actions have been arrogant, irresponsible and autocratic. Win or lose in November, the White House, EPA, DOE and Interior Department will impose boxcars of punitive new regulations that have been put on hold until November 7.

We can dig ourselves out of this hole. We can and must rejuvenate and reinvigorate our economy, by developing America’s resource bounties.

We don’t need to “fundamentally transform” America’s economy, society and free enterprise system. We need to fundamentally transform the anti-hydrocarbon culture that pervades the Congress, White House, Executive Branch and radical environmental groups that have brought us to where we are today.

_____________
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death. 10/15/12

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US disowns Israel over Iran strike: No weapons or military backup

September 1, 2012, 10:04 AM (GMT+02:00)

US Gen. Martin Dempsey’s assertion Thursday, Aug. 30 that the US would not be “complicit” in an Israel strike against Iran, together with the drastic reduction in the scale of next month’s joint US-Israeli war game disclosed by TIME, add up to a blunt message from US President Barack Obama to Israel: You are on your own! See how you manage without special US weapons and US military backup, including a shield against missile counter-attack, if you decide to defy us and go through with a military operation against Iran.
Instead of the 5,000 US troops originally assigned for Austere Challenge 12, the annual joint exercise, the Pentagon will send only 1,200 to 1,500 service members. The missile interception systems at the core of the joint exercise will be reduced in number and potency: Patriot anti-missiles will come without crews and maybe one instead of two Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense warships, according to the magazine.

debkafile’s military sources: The Obama administration has put Israel on harsh notice that an attack on Iran to disrupt or delay its nuclear armament will be refused US missile backup – both in the course of the operation and to cover Israel’s back in the event of a counter-strike widening into a general Middle East conflict. The Netanyahu government will bear full and exclusive responsibility for the consequences of attacking Iran.

Obama, who has repeatedly pledged his commitment to Israeli security, is the first American president to cut Israeli adrift against a major threat to its security explicitly posed by Iran.

The US president has put his campaign for reelection next month at great albeit calculated risk. His rival Mitt Romney will not doubt follow up on the charges he made during his acceptance speech to the Republican convention Thursday that Obama threw “allies like Israel under the bus” and failed utterly to stop Iran’s centrifuges spinning.

Obama may find the Jewish vote and campaign contributions fading. For Romney an incumbent president  throwing Israel to the wolves against the ayatollahs is a dream come true.

Binyamin Netanyahu and his defense minister Ehud Barak must bear some of the onus for one of the most damaging ruptures US-Israel relations have ever faced – as will be discussed later. However, the prime cause must be sought elsewhere.

In the last month, Obama has undergone a change of face: The top US soldier and ambassador Dan Shapiro were told to start treating Israel like a pest and telling its leaders that the administration is fed to the teeth with their clamor for action on Iran.

This change did not come out of the blue. debkafile’s Washington and Moscow sources report it evolved from three events:

1. During this month, President Vladimir Putin severed Russia’s military ties with Iran and Syria as debkafile reported earlier: Obama reciprocated by cutting Israel down to size. Moscow informed Tehran and Damascus that there would be no more Russian arms supplies after the delivery of the last items in the pipeline. Putin therefore left both Iran and Syria high and dry amid war dangers in return for Obama cutting Israel off from advance military hardware at a time of peril.

The Russian and American leaders thus put in place the first bricks of an accord for resolving their disputes over a nuclear Iran and the Syrian crisis by the device of slashing the military capacity of Iran, Israel and Syria.

The Russian president took another step as a gesture to Obama: He pulled Russian warships out of the Syrian base of Tartus and the eastern Mediterranean, leaving only a floating dry dock.

In return, he counted on Washington forcing Israel to abandon any plans to strike Iran.

2.  But this exercise in symmetrical reciprocity ran into a major snag: Obama found a tough nut in Jerusalem: Binyamin Netanyahu held out for a pledge of US military action against Iran as his price for holding back. Despite the massive pressure Obama threw at the Israeli government, both through the highest ranking US political and military channels and by mobilizing the government’s most vocal opponents and anti-war circles at home, Netanyahu and Barak did not budge.

They understood, despite Obama’s concealment, that the secret US-Russian deal would in fact preserve Iran’s nuclear program at a point at which Iran’s leaders could have a weapon assembled and unsheathed at any moment.

The also realized that as long as Israel’s military option against Iran was alive, the Obama-Putin deal was stuck, because both Iran’s Ali Khamenei and Syria’s Bashar Assad would likewise refuse to fall into line.

When Romney said he would give America’s friends “more loyalty” and Putin “a little less flexibility and more backbone,” he was referring to President Obama’s request from Putin on June 18, at the G20 conference in Mexico, for more time against his promise to the Russian leader of “more flexibility” later.
To keep his deal with Putin in motion, the US president will have to tighten his squeeze on Israel’s leaders to forego an attack on Iran.

3. The Netanyahu government, for its part, committed three tactical errors:

  • One: They dragged out the dialogue on Iran with the US administration for far too long – three years or more – and come away for it empty-handed. If their purpose was to persuade the United States to carry the can against Iran, as many Israelis believed, they failed.  No Israeli leader has the right to procrastinate to this extent on action affecting its fundamental security, if not existence. Netanyahu fell into the trap of crying wolf by shouting year after year that Iran must be stopped – and doing nothing.

 

  • Two:  Israel’s deterrent capacity, already sapped by inaction, was further eroded by US General Martin Dempsey’s assertions that Israel lacks the capacity to destroy the Iranian nuclear program.

 

 

  • Three:  They failed to act expeditiously to prevent the political opposition using a campaign against an attack on Iran as a stratagem for bringing the government down.
    It has been four weeks since the former Mossad director Ephraim Halevi said that if he was an Iranian, he would be worried in the next twelve weeks.

 

That was on Aug. 2.

Thursday, Aug. 30, Halevi said: “It is important for Israel’s military threat to be credible.”

He was throwing down the gauntlet for Netanyahu and Barak to show they were serious about striking Iran – or else back down completely.

His timeline gives them another eight weeks to show their mettle.

During that time, they will be under heavy bombardment from Washington.

Source

ICE agents sue own agency over deferred deportations

By Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

A group of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents filed a lawsuit against their own agency Thursday, arguing that the Obama administration is not letting them fully identify and deport illegal immigrants.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says her department does not have the manpower or money to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA, so she issued a memorandum last year ordering immigration officials to focus their efforts on dangerous illegal immigrants. In June, Obama announced a program that will allow up to 1.7 million illegal immigrants brought to the USA as children to have deportations deferred for at least two years.

The 10 ICE agents suing Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton say those directives violate the Constitution and federal immigration law. “We are federal law enforcement officers who are being ordered to break the law,” said Chris Crane, an ICE agent and president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a union for ICE employees. “This directive puts ICE agents and officers in a horrible position.”

ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein did not comment on the lawsuit but said more than half of the nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants deported in 2011 had been convicted of crimes, the largest number in the agency’s history. He said that shows the decision to focus on the most dangerous illegal immigrants is a policy that works, and June’s decision to defer deportation for young illegal immigrants enhances that strategy.

A spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Obama may have overstepped his authority by ordering the deportation deferments, and Romney would forge a long-term solution with Congress instead of relying on Obama’s “stop-gap measure.”

“The courts will have to sort this out, but this kind of uncertainty is unacceptable as these young people brought here as children are seeking clarity on their long-term status,” spokesman Ryan Williams said.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in a Dallas federal court, requests that a judge strike down the two directives and protect the agents from any retribution for their lawsuit.

The suit is funded by NumbersUSA, a group that proposes lower levels of legal and illegal immigration, and the attorney is Kris Kobach, the secretary of State of Kansas who has helped Arizona and Alabama craft strict anti-illegal-immigration laws. His work on this lawsuit is not part of his official state duties.

The lawsuit was supported by some GOP legislators who have criticized Obama’s immigration plans as “backdoor amnesty.”

“These agent’s mission is to keep our borders secure, but the head of their agency is directing them otherwise, telling them to undermine their missions and contradict immigration law,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said the program actually helps ICE officials by allowing them to focus on the most dangerous illegal immigrants. “Deferred action is a major boost to law enforcement who do not have to waste time on honor students and can do the harder work of actually tracking down and deporting criminals,” he said.

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