Urgent Campaign Issues (1)

First in a series

The Presidential Campaign has been long on personal insults and promises of loony fantasies that will never happen but short on debate of real issues that will be critically important over the next eight years. 

The rich can not be taxed enough to pay for Mrs. Clinton’s promised programs and benefits.  Forced Deportation of 12 million men women and children is simply beyond the logistical and administrative capacity of the federal government. It won’t happen.  We’ll never see the government become the healthcare provider to every citizen, even though Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have both said they can make it happen.

Thus, we the people must demand that candidates focus on urgent matters that will have to be addressed over the next four to eight years, whether or not they wish to talk about them.

Let’s start with what is one of the most urgent problems. 

debt-chart-2015The recent growth in US government debt is obviously unsustainable.  There is no reasonable scenario under which this debt is ever paid off.  Interest on the debt is a major and rising federal expense, crowding out other priorities. 

Nobody can predict when the world’s investors will begin to balk at loaning even more to our reckless politicians.  But when the inevitable shift from investor confidence to no confidence in the US government comes, it will be sudden and without warning.  That’s how markets work.

Government borrowing isn’t always bad. But it should occur only in emergency or crisis situations, not as a routine policy that never stops.

We the people must demand that candidates propose serious, doable plans to transform annual budget deficits into annual surpluses.

Trump Thinks His Followers Are Idiots

A President’s character and integrity matters. A lot. Thus it’s a big deal when a Presidential candidate is caught in an blatant attempt to deceive his own supporters. 

trump-tweet-phony-megynIt seems that Donald Trump is still nursing a grudge against Moderator Megyn Kelly whose offense was asking him one difficult question in the first Fox News debate back in August.  When Fox News CEO Roger Ailes declined to meet his demand that Kelly not be allowed to help Moderate Thursday’s debate Trump announced that he would not show up.

Trump was busy on Twitter during the hours leading up to debate time, attempting to discredit Fox News and Megyn Kelly.

One of his nasty tweets, shown to the right, is a combination of two major deceptions:

  1. It says Saudi Prince Al-Waleed is “the co-owner of Fox News,” a description meant to plant the perception in the mind of the reader that the Prince is an equal partner with another owner and thus participates in programming decisions. But in fact he owns about 6% of the stock in 21st Century Fox Corporation, parent company of Fox News, Fox Sports Channel, Fox Business Channel, the Fox Entertainment Network, a movie studio and several other properties.  21st Century is traded on the NASDAQ so anyone can buy shares of its stock.  But a stock holder has no authority over management of, or content produced by any of its divisions any more than an Apple stock holder decides what features will be in the next iphone.
  2. The photo, purporting to be of Megyn Kelly posing with Prince Al-Waleed, is a Photoshop Hoax.  Her image was lifted from this Hollywood Reporter web page, (reproduced below) and placed into a photo of the Prince and a woman in a burka.

The millions of voters who support Mr. Trump have legitimate grievances against President Obama and the governing establishment, including the Republicans they helped to win majorities in the House and Senate.  The Trump campaign is designed to channel their anger after the GOP has failed to acknowledge or address these grievances in any meaningful way.  He deserves credit for calling out the tyranny of political correctness and thought control inflicted upon the nation by the progressive movement and it’s media toadies.

But unfortunately, the Trump campaign quickly degenerated into a classic cult of personality.  As we explained here and here his signature campaign promises are unworkable fantasies.  Yet, if one believes the polls, his fans willingly forgive or ignore his manifest lack of honesty, integrity and realistic ideas.  We can only hope a more honorable GOP candidate emerges who can identify with these aggrieved voters and expose Trump for the fraud he is before he wins the nomination and thus awards the Presidency to the Democrats for another four years at least.

megyn-mag-photo-context-530

Trump’s Birther Scam Against Cruz

Nothing in the Constitution or the law supports Donald Trump’s accusation that Ted Cruz is disqualified by birth from the Presidency.Cruz-and-little-trump

After Mr. Trump spent a week casting doubt on whether Senator Ted Cruz meets the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” requirement to be President, Mr. Newton B Schwartz, a Texas attorney reacted by filing a lawsuit in Federal Court.  The suit alleges  that Senator Cruz is not a natural born citizen, and does not qualify for the office of President.   Mr Schwartz asks for an immediate Supreme Court ruling.

There is no Constitutional or legal basis to disqualify Senator Cruz from the Presidency.  This is a manufactured  “issue,” and is nothing but cynical mischief-making by Trump who’s dominant skill is driving the ignorant and manipulable media herd (including the awestruck Trump groupies at Fox News) to suddenly stampede in any direction he chooses.

natural-born-clause-b

The Constitution recognizes only two sources of citizenship:
  • Birth: One who is automatically a citizen at birth.
  • Naturalization: A person who is not an American citizen by birth can apply for citizenship and, after completing a process called “naturalization” become a citizen. A Naturalized citizen can not be President.
Nowhere in the Constitution is there a distinction between a “natural born” citizen by birth and some other, lower class of citizen by birth.  One is either a natural born citizen at birth or not a citizen at birth.  There is no “in between.”
The Constitution empowers Congress to enact laws setting forth the circumstances of citizenship by birth.  Under the last Congressional action in this regard, The Immigration and nationality Act of 1952 are seven categories of citizen by birth or “natural born” citizen. One of those categories is a person born outside the United States to one parent who is not a citizen and one parent who is a citizen and has lived in the US more than ten years, the exact circumstances of the birth of Ted Cruz.

 

Mr Schwartz’s 28 page lawsuit is a slap-dash document, littered with typos.  It’s “case” against Senator Cruz is woven into many pages of Mr. Schwartz’s irrelevant opinions on topics as diverse as abortion, the age of the earth, Japanese internment during World War II, Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious doctrines, and Donald Trump’s other “birther” campaign, against President Obama.

But, Mr. Schwartz urges the court to rule as soon as possible, hopefully before the Iowa Caucus on February 1.  And, he does go out of his way to eliminate any potential barriers to a quick, clean decision by the court.  His suit seeks no money, not even legal fees.  The only facts he presents are simple, agreed to by Cruz, and indisputable.  Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was a citizen by virtue of having been born in Delaware and a father who was a non-citizen, Cuban immigrant.  Thus, the court would not have to sort through competing versions of the facts and could simply rule on the law. 

It remains to be seen if the Supreme Court agrees that it can and should come forth with an instant ruling.  An early ruling would certainly diminish Trump, vindicate Cruz and further elevate voter perception of this remarkable Senator from Texas.

 

https://ari.aynrand.org/blog/2015/10/15/donald-trump-and-the-anatomy-of-cronyism

The Last Public Appearance by Dr. King

Below are excerpts from Dr. Maritn Luther King’s last speech, given in Memphis on April 3. 1968.  The following day he was assassinated. 

First, Dr. King’s narrative of a previous attempt to take his life

I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood–that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they…allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. 

I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School.

And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the Whites Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

Next, he mentioned his flight from Atlanta to Memphis earlier that day.  The flight had been delayed by a bomb threat:

I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say that threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

The final paragraphs are called prophetic and indicate that Dr. King did not expect to live much longer:

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now.

I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Dems’ War On The 1% Wounds The Middle Class

Our previous article used recent data from the IRS to debunk claims by Democrat party candidates that the wealthy don’t pay their “fair share” of income tax.  We also exposed some of the harm done to the middle class when Democrats encourage and nurture rage and resentment toward high income taxpayers, most of whom are small and medium sized businesses.

Several tweets and emails complained that we were ignoring the alleged benefit of increasing tax rates on the high income “one percent” – making them pay more to reduce the deficit and fund for government programs.

Well, thanks to the same IRS data we are now able to determine just how much extra tax revenue resulted from the most recent tax increase on the highest income taxpayers.top-bracket-rate-increase

Try to remember all the way back to the end of 2012.  President Obama had just won reelection. He and Congressional Democrats had manufactured a crisis they called The Fiscal Cliff.  If new legislation were not enacted immediately there would be a tax rate increase on every taxpayer, from lowest income to highest.

After weeks of negotiation in Congress, Democrats got what they wanted, increases only in top bracket tax rates as shown in the table to the right.  The top tax bracket applies to income over $465,000.

When the tax increase agreement had been negotiated in Congress and was about to become law President Obama delivered a victory speech on New Years Eve 2012.  The transcript is still here on the White House web site.

Here’s an excerpt:

Little ObamaLast year in 2011, we started reducing the deficit through $1 trillion in spending cuts. Those have already taken place. The agreement being worked on right now will further reduce the deficit by asking the wealthiest…to pay higher taxes for the first time in two decades, so that would add additional hundreds of billions of dollars to deficit reduction. (emphasis added)

A White House web page, published January 2, 2013 says the agreement “cuts the deficit by $737 billion by asking the wealthiest to begin to pay their fair share.” 

So how did this work out?  Were there “additional hundreds of billions of dollars” from the one percent? 

It turns out the over-$500,000 income earners did pay $8.4 billion more in 2013 than 2012, reducing the government’s deficit by about 1%, from what would have been $687 billion down to $679 billion.  Obviously, a tiny fraction of what the President predicted.

But, there were fewer taxpayers earning over $500,000 and the share of tax revenue they provided declined slightly, from 36% to 35%.

Democrats either conceal or never learned the historical reality that higher tax rates are a disincentive, discouraging entrepreneurs and investors from taking the risks that are inherent in starting or expanding businesses and creating jobs.  Government doesn’t cover losses but if the investments, risk taking and hard work pay off the IRS participates in any profits or gains as if it were a partner.

As the table above shows, the largest increases were to capital gains tax rates.  A capital gain is the profit from selling a capital asset for more than it cost.  Capital assets include stocks, bonds, real estate and businesses.  The tax is due and payable when an asset is sold.

How did top bracket taxpayers respond to Obama’s punishing capital gains tax hikes? Remember, the gain is not “realized” and thus is not taxed until the asset is sold.

In 2012 they sold enough assets to generate $505.7 Billion in capital gains. 

In 2013 they sold enough assets to generate $336.6 billion in capital gains, a 33% reduction. 

Thus, there was no significant tax revenue increase from top bracket taxpayers, even though there was a sharp increase in top bracket tax rates.

The bottom line:

The 2013 tax hikes on “the wealthiest” produced the same results as previous attempts to victimize high income entrepreneurs and investors: 

  • The promised benefit, a flood of free money to the government, all on the backs of “the one percent” didn’t materialize.
  • The middle class suffered from lack of economic opportunity because high tax rates discourage and reduce entrepreneurial activity that creates jobs and economic opportunities.

Democrats’ Ugly War On Small Business

For nearly a century Democrats have encouraged voters to indulge the ugly and self-destructive emotions of rage and resentment against “the rich.”  Denouncing the rich has been a core Democrat Party campaign strategy.  When they won elections Democrats harmed the economy and the non-rich by using government power to express these futile emotions through the tax code.

In the 2016 Presidential race Democrats are plowing the same old ground.  There has been almost no media exposure of the Democrats’ most recent debate, but resentment and loathing of men and women who are and always have been the heroes of the American economy, was a prominent theme.

Hillary Clinton assured the audience:little-hillary-flipflop

You know, the American president has to both keep our families safe and make the economy grow in a way that helps everyone, not just those at the top…Look, I have said I want to be the president for the struggling, the striving and the successful. I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share, which they have not been doing.

Senator Sanders bellowed:little-sanders-cnn

First statement is, we tell the billionaire class, “they cannot have it all.” For a start, they’re going to start to pay their fair share of taxes.

Later on, when the debate topic was jobs and middle class angst, Mrs. Clinton contradicted herself:Dem 2016 Debate

I also want to create jobs and I want to be a partner with the private sector. I’m particularly keen on creating jobs in small business…I want to do more to help incentivize and create more small businesses.

After a look at the relevant numbers we’ll show how Mrs. Clinton’s promised tax increase contradicts her promise to create more jobs and more small businesses and why punishing the rich with tax hikes is more harmful to the non-rich, middle class than to the despised wealthy.

2013-fair-shareEach year the IRS publishes exhaustive tables of statistical data.  While most economic headlines are about estimates that are  usually called “studies” extrapolated from indirect sources of data, the IRS publishes accurate, precise data drawn directly from tax returns.  The most recent IRS data, just published, is from the 147 million 2013 tax returns, that were submitted in the spring of 2014.

Democrat candidates always tell us the top one percent don’t pay their “fair share.”  So let’s go to the IRS data and look at what those candidates never disclose: what share of total tax revenue the highest income taxpayers actually do pay.

The pie charts show that in 2013 a tiny fraction of taxpayers, a little less than one percent, earned over $500,000. Yet their share of taxes paid was 35%. 

Put another way, ONE out of every 136 taxpayers pays $350 of every $1,000 the IRS collects. 

The national media, captivated by Donald Trump’s campaign of childish insults and loony, impossible to implement schemes hasn’t bothered to ask Mrs. Clinton or Senator Sanders what share of taxes paid would be “fair.”  But whenever Democrat candidates have been asked their answer has always been the same:  MORE!

What do we know about these highest income earners and how do they earn their wealth?  As the chart below shows, most of them – 89% – are business owners.

These businesses are organized – in IRS speak – as “pass through entities.”  They are sole proprietorships, S-Corporations, LLCs and partnerships and do not submit business tax returns like large corporations.  Instead all business revenue, expenses and profits “pass through” to the owners’ personal tax returns.  According to census data 55% of all business employment is in pass-through companies.business-owners

Typically, these owners keep a portion of profits for personal/family consumption and leave a portion in the business to reinvest in improvements, upgrades and expansions or to pay down debt. But both portions are combined and reported on a single tax return which does not differentiate.

Most of these 951,000 high income taxpayers are the owners of of the “middle market” businesses that create nearly all the new jobs in America.

Middle market is generally defined as a business with annual gross sales in the millions.  They’re bigger than “small businesses” with less than $1 million in sales and – typically – a dozen or fewer employees, but smaller than “big business,” the huge corporations with annual sales of tens or hundreds of billions and thousands of employees. One survey found that middle market businesses  average 367 employees.

Should the rest of us, the 99% who earn less than $500,000, be for or against taxing away more of the profits of these businesses?  Is there a downside that Democrats’ emotionally charged campaign slogans don’t disclose as they encourage us to resent these business owner taxpayers? 

Yes.

These high income business builders don’t react to tax hikes by moving their families into smaller homes or buying cheaper cuts of beef.  When government shrinks their after-tax income they react with shrinking investments in start-ups and expansions that generate new jobs and raise the demand for employees which results in higher wages.    This is why Mrs. Clinton’s call for targeting these specific business owners for higher taxes directly contradicts her promise to help business create jobs.

In a rational world the government would set lower, not higher tax rates on these entrepreneurs and investors.

How about a zero or near-zero tax rate on small and middle market business owners? Nothing the government could do would juice the economy and increase the demand for employees more rapidly.  But no politician would dare suggest it because most voters have been indoctrinated in the economics of envy and resentment.

So, instead of freeing entrepreneurs and investors to do what only they can do, government tries to run the economy via subsidies of politically favored companies and restrictive regulations of out-of-favor sectors like oil and natural gas production.  For many decades Democrats have won elections by attacking entrepreneurs and investors for “greed” and promising to punish them with even higher taxes.

In our next post we’ll look at the actual results of the most recent tax hikes on “the one percent.”

 

Stupid Media Endlessly Promotes Trump

One of Donald Trump’s favorite applause lines is “Our leaders are very very stupid.”

trump-cartoonBut few of our current leaders have made more headlines with stupid or unworkable ideas than Mr. Trump.  Yet the national media, even in hysterical opposition, treat Trump’s bar stool grunts as if they were feasible strategies that could actually be implemented.

As of this writing his most recent ananity was a crude eruption, contrived to turn the December 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, California into a Trump campaign advantage.

For four days TV news was a Donald free zone,  breathlessly presenting speculation, rumors, and a few facts from San Bernardino.  We saw live coverage of police and FBI press briefings that revealed almost no news.  The sanctimonious talking heads chattered endlessly, attacking gun ownership and scolding us for imaginary retaliation against innocent Muslims.

Finally, Trump decided he’d been ignored long enough and threw a grenade into the debate with another of his shock-and-jaw announcements, this time issued in writing, as a press release:

(New York, NY) December 7th, 2015, — Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

Trump’s campaign manager was asked if the ban applied to Muslim-Americans, including US troops, returning from overseas business, vacations or deployments.  It applies to “everyone” was the imprecise answer.   Predictably, the media herd actually took this vapid nonsense seriously and, as if Trump had cracked a whip only they could hear, they stampeded, en masse to their cameras and keyboards to denounce him for bigotry, trashing “our values” and – most absurd of all – “handing ISIS a recruiting tool.”

Almost none of the shrieking heads asked how this wacky idea could be implemented when passports do not document religion.  The few who did ask heard the usual, stream of consciousness deflections, from the celebrity candidate who obviously had given the matter no thought, and wasn’t about to.

MSNBC host Willie Geist tried to pry some substance out of the recalcetrant, blowhard. Would airline representatives, customs agents or border guards ask a person’s religion?

“They would say: ‘Are you Muslim?'” Trump replied.

“And if they said, ‘yes,’ they would not be allowed in the country?” Geist asked.

“That’s correct,” Trump said.

So there is!  We’ll keep Islamic fanatics bent on mass murder from entering the country simply by asking them if they’re Muslim!  And Trump expects us to believe they’d admit to their religion, even though doing so would keep them out of the US and derail their mission!

Typically, Mr. Trump revised his response several times without clarifying it.  For example, this was the exchange with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

WALLACE:  Let’s talk practically about how your plan would work.  Someone wants to come to the U.S.  How do you find out if they’re Muslim?  Do you ask them?

TRUMP:  No, you do more than that.  You have a surveillance system and you check things, you have papers, and you have documents, and you go through a process, which we don’t do well right now.

Surveillance system? Trump’s administration will surveil billions of people all over the world and identify all the Muslims in case one of them applies for permission to visit America?  Since passports do not indicate religion the obvious follow-up question was, what are these “papers” and “documents” that expose Islam’s believers?  Probably because he knew the response would be hundreds of meaningless words ending with “we have to do it! We have to make America great again,” Wallace gave up and didn’t bother.

Obvious to anyone outside of cable news and liberal publications a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” is impossible to implement even if a President Trump could overcome enormous resistance from Congress and the courts.  And there most certainly would be resistance. While the Constitution’s First Amendment, including the right to free exercise of religion, doesn’t protect people in other nations it does protect anyone who is present in the US, including non-citizens and even illegal immigrants.  The perfectly reasonable and valid Constitutional argument would be made that if one had to renounce his religion in order to enter the country he would not be free to practice that religion, while here.

Trump’s Muslim shut-down is in the same fantasy category as his constantly repeated promise, to deport all of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the US.  Trump never acknowledges, perhaps because he doesn’t even know, that the President doesn’t have the authority to round up and haul millions of people to the border without first proving that each one is a non-citizen, without permission to live here.  Each individual must have a court hearing, wherein he is defended by a qualified immigration attorney, who has spent several hours preparing his case, which must be heard by a qualified immigration judge.  Only after the court rules can he or she be put on a bus or a plane back to Mexico or wherever.  If the court rules against him he is entitled to an appeal.

The existing system of fifty seven federal immigration courts handled approximately 171,000 deportation hearings in 2014.  We did the math.  Trump’s deportation hearings would take about 70 years.  If they all exercised their rights to appeal the time would more than double. Most would die of natural causes before the this government could ramp up the infrastructure to deport them.

And, what if Mexico or another nation refused to accept deportees?  Does Trump have a contingency plan?  Of course not!

Some of our leaders are indeed very, very stupid.  But not as stupid as the national media that awards Trump and his absurd schemes undeserved credibility and more ink and air time than all the other candidates combined.

The Christmas Miracle

From “The Message” Bible, a translation from the original Greek and Hebrew Manuscripts to contemporary American English.

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Luke 1:

26-28 God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

“Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.”

29-33She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

34Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

35The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
will be called Holy, Son of God.

Luke 2:

1-5: About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken  throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7: While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

8-12: There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14: At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,

Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18: As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20: Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

Obama’s Deceptive Jobs Numbers

UPDATE: The jobs report for October shows the labor force participation rate unchanged at 62.4%.

The Labor Department’s September jobs report shows that private sector employers added 118,000 jobs in September.  Government added 24,000 for a total of 142,000.  The unemployment rate, at 5.1% was unchanged from August.

President Obama immediately claimed victory during his hastily called press conference that day:

little-obama-prayer-bkfstWe learned today that our businesses created another 118 new jobs in September which means we now have had 67 straight months of job creation, 13.2 million jobs in all. And an unemployment rate that has fallen from a high of 10% down to 5.1%.

The President hopes 13.2 million (private sector) jobs sounds like a big number to busy people who don’t have the time to verify the data behind everything he says.  But is it?

67-months-tableAs the table to the right shows, the past 67 months  have not been at all remarkable.  In fact, despite Obama’s attempt to regale us with statistics, it turns out we’re living through a period of sub-par job creation.  The record of the past 67 months ranks 33 out of all 67 month periods since the end of World War II.

What about the President’s boast that the unemployment rate has declined from a high of 10% to 5.1%?  It turns out that under the policies of the Obama era – for the first time ever – a falling unemployment rate is a symptom of economic deterioration.  How can this be?  This chart tells the story.ark-of-participation-oct-15

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of the working age population that is “in the labor force” either by holding a job or qualifying to be classified as “unemployed” by actively seeking a job every week.  As the chart above shows the participation rate has fallen precipitously since the end of the recession.

The official unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed.  When people are unemployed for a long time they tend to become discouraged and don’t look for work often enough to be counted as “unemployed.”  They are then reclassified from “unemployed” to “out of the labor force.”  The unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October 2009. 

  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as October 2009 the current unemployment rate would be 8.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as June 2009, the last month of the recession, the current unemployment rate would be 9.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as January 2009, President Obama’s first month, the current unemployment rate would be 9.9%.
  • If today’s labor force participation rate were the same as in January 2008, the month before the recession began, the current unemployment rate would be 10.6%

Obama’s declining unemployment rate is due ENTIRELY to reclassifying jobless people from “unemployed” to “not in the labor force.”

This decline in labor force participation, due to workers becoming discouraged after long term unemployment, is unprecedented.  Nothing like this has ever happened since 1939 when the government began reporting these monthly statistics.

Why is this happening now? The short answer is big government:

  • Explosive growth in regulations,
  • the highest taxes on businesses in the developed world, and,
  • the Obamacare mandates that impose new costs on employers, punishing them financially for hiring more people.

The quadrennial Presidential election campaign is a season when people who usually ignore politics pay at least some attention.  It is imperative that our fellow voting citizens understand this jobs crisis and it’s causes.  Republicans must nominate a candidate who is NOT comfortable with the big government status quo, who is driven to scale back government intervention in the economy, and who can explain, in soaring Churchillian speeches why America is in decline and what it will take to turn our situation around.

 

President Reagan’s Inspiring Veterans Day Message

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