Wednesday, July 18, 2012

With a record like this...

Some interesting numbers on how the economy has fared under President Obama.  Admittedly, there are some economic numbers that are better such as mortgage rates and the level of consumer debt, but the reasons that these are better are somewhat dubious...government bailouts and other government assistance have helped to improve these numbers artificially.

The stats:

Jobs

2008 2009 2010 2011 January
2012
April/May
2012
Unemployment rate 5% 7.8% 9.7% 9.1% 8.3% 8.2%
Broader unemployment rate "U-6" 9.2% 14.2% 16.7% 16.1% 15.1% 14.8%
White unemployment rate 4.4% 7.1% 8.7% 8.1% 7.4% 7.4%
Black unemployment rate 9.1% 12.7% 16.5% 15.7% 13.6% 13.6%
Hispanic unemployment rate 6.5% 10% 12.6% 12% 10.5% 11%
Total private-sector jobs 115.6 M 111 M 106.8 M 108.2 M 110.5 M 111 M
Total government jobs 22.4 M 22.6 M 22.5 M 22.2 M 22 M 22 M
Median weeks unemployed 9 10.7 20.1 21.7 21.1 20.1   


Income

2008 2009 2010 2011 January
2012
April/May
2012






Disposable personal income per capita $33,229 $32,166 $32,481 $32,667 -- $32,677
Personal bankruptcies 1,074,225 1,412,838 1,536,799 1,362,847 -- --
Poverty rate 12.5% 13.2% 14.3% 15.1% -- --
People receiving food stamps -- 32 M 39 M 44 M 46 M 46 M


Federal government

2008 2009 2010 2011 January
2012
April/May
2012
Federal discretionary spending as percent of GDP 7.9% 8.9% 9.4% 9% -- 8.5%
Federal mandatory spending as percent of GDP 11.1% 15% 13.3% 13.5% -- 14.4%
Annual federal deficit $458 B $1.41 T $1.29 T $1.3 T -- $1.33 T
Cumulative public debt $5.14 T $6.37 T $7.81 T $9.39 T $10.45 T $10.95 T


Based on these statistics, unemployment has jumped dramatically; disposable income has dropped; bankruptcies are up; more people are receiving food stamps than ever before; and the Federal Government is on an out of control spending binge!

It's time to bring back a political question that was used rather effectively several years back.....  Ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?  The numbers would seem to answer with a resounding "NO!"







Great article on UN ATT

This article by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton articulates very well why the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty should not be ratified.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To beat, or not to beat: that is the question!

The latest media over-hype is over whether Mitt Romney will pick Condoleezza Rice as his VP.  The buzz seems to be that if he does, social conservatives will stay home en masse, thus giving the election to President Obama.  I understand why social conservatives don't want Condoleeza Rice as the VP pick - she is pro-abortion and it signals that Romney is not nearly the conservative that he claims to be (that's a surprise?).  However, if we cut off our collective nose to spite our face and stay home because of this issue, we will have another four years of President Obama, and our country cannot afford that socially, culturally or fiscally.  Social conservatives need to pay attention to the big picture on this election.  Abortion is an abomination, but we risk seeing this country irreparably damaged if we let Barack Obama have four more years in the White House.

When conservatives say stupid things...

It drives me up a wall when I hear liberal commentators say idiotic generalizations about Republicans, tea-party members or conservatives in general, but what makes me even more crazy is when I see a fellow conservative make just as idiotic of a statement.  This weekend, one of my favorite conservative commentators, Michelle Malkin, did just that.  On Fox News, Ms. Malkin was drawing a comparison between Mitt Romney and his supporters and President Obama and his supporters.  Her purpose was to talk about which of the two candidates is "qualified" to handle the economy.  Ms. Malkin said this...

"The Romney types, of course, are the ones who sign the front of the paycheck, and the Obama types are the one who have spent their entire lives signing the back of them."
With all due respect to Michelle Malkin, this statement was just plain WRONG!  I understand the comparison she was trying to draw between the candidates.  I hope that she was trying to draw a comparison between people like the President who have spent most of their lives promoting government control over the economy and those such as Mitt Romney who have been in the private sector creating jobs.  Unfortunately, her comment ended up as a comparison between job creators and those who work for someone else.

Stooping to the level of class warfare is, in my opinion, never acceptable from a conservative.  So many people spend their time trying to paint conservatives as "elitist" or "rich" or whatever else, and when prominent conservatives make statements like this, it just feeds that stereotype.  The fact is, there are people on BOTH sides of the political spectrum who sign the front of the paychecks and I can guarantee that there are just as many conservatives as there are liberals who have spent their entire lives signing the backs of paychecks. (Personally, I have spent more time signing backs than fronts!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Obama slaps business owners in the face

President Obama had his disdain for business owners and self-initiative on full display this weekend at a campaign event.  It absolutely amazes me that a sitting President would actually try to tell business owners that they don't deserve credit for building their business because they obviously did not do it on their own!  Every business owner in the U.S. should push to make sure this man does not get re-elected!

The quote speaks for itself:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)
     If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
     The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

U.N. Treaty Is a Real Threat

Recently, I have been seeing several "articles" in conservative publications going on about the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and how dangerous it is.  I have held off writing anything about the treaty simply because too many of the articles I had read contained very little in the way of facts.  Most of the articles just simply rattled on about how the treaty was a U.N. plot to usurp the Constitution and take away our 2nd Amendment rights without detailing at all what was so nefarious about the treaty.

Please make no mistake - I am not a huge fan of the U.N. and I am a very strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment; however, I don't willingly see a "new world order" plot around every corner either.  So I embarked on a bit of research myself.  What I found, unfortunately, has backed up the alarm cries that I have heard so far.  If the U.S. were to ratify the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, it could have very serious implications for our 2nd Amendment rights.

The ATT seems innocuous on its face.  It purports to be an “International Arms Control Treaty” to fight against “terrorism,” “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates.”  All of these are very laudable goals that deserve our support.  Unfortunately, when you read more information about the treaty and the underlying ideas behind it, the treaty definitely is NOT so "laudable."

Just a few of the reasons I see this treaty as a danger to U.S. interests:

1)  It could very possibly prevent us from aiding our allies such as Taiwan and Israel
2) The treaty supporters have been very open about pushing for domestic enforcement of the "international" regulations - meaning giving the U.N. full information on domestic gun ownership in the United States and member nations.
3) Supporters of the treaty have made it quite clear leading up to this conference that they believe governments have a legitimate reason to own arms, but private citizens do not.


There are a number of other reasons to oppose this treaty, but as opposed to re-stating all of the reasons, I will just post a couple links to the better articles I have read on it.....

Heritage Foundation Blog Article 

Heritage Foundation WebMemo 

Fox News 

The New American 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Makes The United States Great?

Leading up to this Independence Day, I have seen several posts on the internet that have posed the question, "What makes America the greatest country, and are we really?"  I have read quite a few responses to that question - many being the standard answers you would expect of freedom, liberty, etc.  There have been, however, far too many posts that have been rather disturbing.  I have been amazed at the number of people who replied that the United States is not the greatest country in the world.  Those responses have cited statistics comparing us to other countries, or complained about the current state of politics and "corruption" in our Federal government.  I have to be honest...I think those who give those responses just don't get it.  They just don't understand what actually makes the United States great.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012