Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Obama

Mortgage Summit: No New Ideas

Dogbert

Image via Wikipedia

When Kevin Hall, writing for McClatchy Newspapers, said “the Obama administration got what it was looking for at its summit on the future of housing finance,” he was very close to the truth: No matter who spoke at the summit or what “new” ideas might be proposed, nothing would change—the government would remain fully in charge of mortgage financing for the country.

Keep Reading…

Congressional Ethics an Oxymoron?

Unofficial seal of the United States Congress

Image via Wikipedia

USA Today seems surprised at the number of ethics cases making headlines recently, referring to the trials being faced by Representatives Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), noting that the number of such cases “has jumped dramatically in the past year.” In the first six months of 2010, “an independent congressional watchdog began 44 ethics investigations,” while the Office of Congressional Ethics has recommended that the House ethics committee “take action against 13 lawmakers.”

Keep Reading…

Behind Friday’s Jobs Report: The Real Numbers

Confusing numbers

Image by eltpics via Flickr

Buried in Friday’s employment report from the Department of Labor Statistics were two key numbers that reflected the slowdown in the economy so long denied by the administration: “private sector employment edged up over the month (+71,000). Thus far this year, [such] employment has increased by 630,000, with about two-thirds of the gain occurring in March and April.” (Emphasis added.) The other appeared in the final paragraph of that report: “The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +433,000 to +432,000, and the change for June was revised [downward] from -125,000 to -221,000.” (Emphasis added.)

Taken together, these two numbers reflect the slowing of the economy that has occurred ever since Vice President Joe Biden predicted back in April that “some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs a month.”

Keep Reading…

Geithner: Welcome to Reality

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

Image via Wikipedia

Claims that “we are on a path back to growth” by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Welcome to Recovery” appeared to be based on facts, proof, and hard evidence.

“A review of recent data on the American economy…show that large parts of the private sector continue to strengthen,” he said. “Business investment and consumption…are getting stronger, better than last year and better than last quarter.” According to Geithner, evidence of growth can be seen because

Keep Reading…

Temporary Unemployment Benefits—Permanent Welfare?

Horse And Handler Statue,  Department Of Labor

Image by paul_houle via Flickr

The White House on July 21 extolled the extension of unemployment insurance by the Senate, claiming it was “not only the decent thing to do but one of the most effective ways to boost our economy.” President Obama signed the extension into law immediately, saying that this was “desperately needed assistance to two and a half million Americans who lost their jobs in the recession…Americans who…will finally get the support they need to get back on their feet during these tough economic times.”

Keep Reading…

TARP Criticism Misses the Point

PaulsonHenry

Image via Wikipedia

When TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky criticized the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) as being ineffective, he blamed the Treasury Department for not setting clearer goals for that part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Only 390,000 homeowners “have seen their mortgage terms permanently modified since the $50 billion program was announced in March 2009. That is a small fraction of the three to four million borrowers who were supposed to receive assistance under the program.”

Keep Reading…

Great Depression II: Here We Go Again?

The Causes of The Great Depression / FDR Memor...

Image by Tony the Misfit via Flickr

The unremitting flow of negative news about the economy has finally caught the attention of the mainstream media, causing an increasing number of economists to make comparisons between today’s recession and the Great Depression.

David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff’s chief market economist, commented to his clients that the monster drop in new home sales in June compared to May was not exactly “a one-month wonder” but instead invited comparison of the current recession’s similarities with those of the Great Depression. He said they include:

Keep Reading…

Still Waiting for the Recovery

The emblem of Recovery.gov, the official site ...

Image via Wikipedia

The economy has gained either 2.5 million jobs or 3.6 million jobs since the Recovery Act was signed into law in January, 2009, depending upon which statistical “model” is used, according to Christina Romer, Chair of the White House‘s Council of Economic Advisers. When compared to the report issued earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, neither number is even close.

Keep Reading…

Fixing State Budgets will be Painful

Carly Fiorina (MBA 1980), former CEO of Hewlet...

Image via Wikipedia

Pew Research recently polled Americans about ways to bring state budgets into balance and found that respondents did not like any of the options. In its Congressional Connection poll released June 28, Pew Research asked if a federal bailout of financially troubled states should be considered. Barely one in four said yes. Nearly 60 percent said no, that the states should take care of their problems on their own.

Other options offered by Pew included cutting transportation funding, raising taxes, cutting health services, reducing spending for police and fire departments, and slashing the public school budget. Each of those options was also strongly opposed, often by majorities approaching 70 percent.

Keep Reading…

The Invisible Recovery

Screenshot from Hollow Man of Kevin Bacon as a...

Image via Wikipedia

On Friday Reuters reported that non-government payrolls rose only slightly in June and overall employment fell “for the first time this year…indicating the economic recovery is failing to pick up steam.” This report followed several others last week indicating weakness in consumer spending, housing, and manufacturing which “have heightened fears [that] the economy could slip back into a recession.”

Keep Reading…

Financial Reform: Expanding Hubris, Limiting Freedom

Chris Dodd

Image via Wikipedia

When the House passed the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill by a vote of 237-192, all it did was confirm for many the extraordinary hubris of legislators believing they could in fact “fix” the problems they themselves created which resulted in the Great Recession of 2008.

John B. Taylor,  professor of economics at Stanford University says, “The main problem with the bill is that is based on a misdiagnosis of the causes of the financial crisis…the presumption that the government did not [already] have enough power to avoid the crisis.”

Keep Reading…

Warning Label Goes Viral

Detail of Preamble to Constitution of the Unit...

Image via Wikipedia

When FoxNews.com wrote that a small publishing company put warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other founding documents of the American republic, the immediate response was negative, and viral. The disclaimer on the publisher’s reprints of Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and other historical documents reads: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.” The disclaimer goes on to warn parents to discuss the contents with their children before allowing them to read those documents.

Keep Reading…

50-year-old Book is Amazon Bestseller

Cover of "The Road to Serfdom: Text and D...

Cover via Amazon

When Glenn Beck urged his listeners, “Please, pick it up. The Road to Serfdom. Make it part of your essential library,” sales of Austrian Economist Frederick von Hayek’s book at Amazon.com pushed it to Number 1 the next day. Prior to the election of President Obama, “The book sold respectably at a clip of about 600 copies a month,” according to Bruce Caldwell, editor at the University of Chicago Press. “But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven’t slowed down since.”

When John Stossel, host of Fox Business, featured the book on his show on February 21, sales jumped again.

Opinions as to the remarkable interest in a book published in 1944 by an obscure economist vary, but most center on the book’s uncanny prediction that is now being fulfilled in the United States:

Keep Reading…

Jobs? What Jobs?

Henry Hazlitt

Image via Wikipedia

When CNBC announced that the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week while private employers added new jobs in May, this was “further evidence [that] the labor market was improving.” In more muted fashion, the Associated Press called it a “slow-motion recovery,” but a recovery nevertheless.

This was in line with Vice President Joe Biden’s prediction back in April that the economy would be adding between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs “in the next couple of months.” Similar sentiments were echoed by President Obama on Wednesday in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University:

Keep Reading…

Economic Forecast: Summer of Discontent

Frowny

Image via Wikipedia

After six straight months of gains in consumer spending the April numbers showed no change from March, according to the Commerce Department. This was a surprise to some who have been tracking such things as the University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence (higher), consumers’ expectations on the economy over the next 12 months (higher), moderate real job creation (higher), savings rate (higher) and manufacturing activity (higher).

Others remained sanguine, holding that “We do not expect household spending to flatline in the coming months,” according to Michelle Girard, senior economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.

Consumers themselves, however, are not a happy lot. According to Rasmussen Reports, only 35 percent of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, and those who are, aren’t planning on spending as much as they have in the past.

Keep Reading…

Biden Predicts Job Growth—but Where’s the Evidence?

Vice President Joe Biden takes the oath of off...

Image via Wikipedia

Vice President Joe Biden predicted job growth of 250,000 to 500,000 jobs a month in the next two months, according to CNBC on Monday. Biden was speaking at a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh, where he said, “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We’re going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up…All in all, we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs next month.”  Even though some have cautioned Biden about his excessive and premature enthusiasm, Biden continued:  “I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

However, the evidence and logic backing up Biden’s prediction are clearly lacking.

Keep Reading…

Rush Limbaugh as GOP Kingmaker?

Rush Limbaugh

Cover of Rush Limbaugh

Zev Chafetswriting an op-ed for the New York Times, concluded that radio show host Rush Limbaugh “is the brains and the spirit behind [the conservative] resurgence.”

The writer claimed that “when the Tea Party movement emerged, Mr. Limbaugh welcomed it”:

The movement’s causes—fighting against health care reform, reducing the size and cost of government, opposing the Democrat’s putative desire to remake America in the image of European social democracies—were straight Limbaughism. A very high proportion of Tea Partiers listen to Mr. Limbaugh. Sarah Palin’s biggest current applause line—“Republicans are not just the party of no, but the party of hell no”—came courtesy of Mr. Limbaugh. Glenn Beck…calls Mr. Limbaugh his hero.

Keep Reading…

SENATOR Rand Paul?

Rand Paul

Image by circulating via Flickr

If Rand Paul’s poll numbers are confirmed in today’s Republican primary in Kentucky, it will, according to the New York Times, “mark one of the most important moments yet for the Tea Party.”  Establishment Republicans such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney have endorsed Paul’s opponent, Trey Grayson. But it is Paul who is leading by double-digits in thelatest polls, and the polls also show Rand leading his potential Democrat challengers, state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo. That is, it appears likely that Rand Paul will not only win today’s primary but will go on to win the Senate seat now held by retiring Senator Jim Bunning in November.

Keep Reading…

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Clearly Opaque

days Elena Kagan since 2010

Image via Wikipedia

When President Obama named Elena Kagan as his nominee for justice of the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, he said she “embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law” as did Justice Stevens. Obama said Kagan is “one of the foremost legal minds” in the country, and is “a trailblazing leader.”

As was immediately pointed out by Conservative Action, the words “independence” and “trail-blazing leader” translate into “Liberal Judicial Activist.”  Conservative Action then went on to offer rebuttals to various “talking points” the administration is using to promote her nomination:

Keep Reading…

10,000 Commandments—The Hidden Tax

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Image via Wikipedia

When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the conclusions of its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” earlier this week, it came as no surprise to learn that the rules and regulations placed on the economy by illicit agencies of the “fourth branch of government” constitute an enormous burden that is largely uncounted.

What was surprising was the horrendous cost of that burden which constitutes an additional tax on the economy.

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.