And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill’ Category

I have been getting wind of this for some time but never in detail so just sat on it waiting for a more official notice.  Heritage Foundation doesn’t report on rumors so here it is Dear Readers just what we tax payers have grown to expect from our government.  At this time I can only refer you to a statement by Thomas Jefferson.  (And for you purest I also included the source of Jefferson’s quote 🙂  since the last time I used a quote I  got all kinds of comments refuting the source I had given).

AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787.—The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd, vol. 12, p. 356 (1955).

A related idea was later expressed by Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac in a speech to the French national assembly, January 16, 1793: “L’arbre de la liberté… croît lorsqu’il est arrosé du sang de toute espèce de tyrans (The tree of liberty grows only when watered by the blood of tyrants),” Archives Parliamentaires de 1787 à 1860, vol. 57, p. 368 (1900).

And much earlier Tertullian had said: “Plures efficimur quotiens metimur a vobis; semen est sanguis Christianorum (We multiply whenever we are mown down by you; the blood of Christians is seed),” Apology, trans. T. R. Glover, pp. 226–27 (1931).

NOW READ WHAT CONGRESS IS UP TO!   Sincerely, BB

 

Now Congress Wants to Exempt Itself from Obamacare

April 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

 

Newscom

Newscom

No argument for Obamacare’s repeal can top the simple fact that Members of Congress do not want it to apply to them.

Today’s Politico reports that the House and Senate congressional leadership—both Democrats and Republicans working in cahoots with Obama Administration officials—have been secretly negotiating for months trying to find a way to exempt Members of Congress and their staffs from being forced into Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges.

Beginning on January 1, 2014, these exchanges, to be run by the federal government or the states (under federal rules) will offer federally “qualified” insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Ordinary Americans must either sign up or face a tax penalty. Senator Max Baucus (D–MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has now famously described the Obama’s Administration’s implementation of this process as an oncoming “train wreck,” and Henry Chao, an Administration official involved with the implementation of the law, just hopes that Americans can avoid a “third-world experience.”

According to the Politico story, there are two major reasons why Members of Congress want to exempt themselves and their staffs from the terms and conditions of the law:

  1. They fear higher health care costs. Congressional leaders fear that being forced into the Obamacare exchanges will result in higher health care costs for themselves and their families and their aides. “The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer—in this case the federal government.” This is also true for millions of ordinary Americans. They could also lose their employer-based coverage, and they could also face higher costs. Also contrary to the President’s promises, independent analystsexpect health insurance premiums to rise sharply, particularly for younger workers and their families.
  2. They fear the impact on Capitol Hill employment. “There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a ‘brain drain’ on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.” Given the insane spending and record deficits, it’s hard to imagine how a Capitol Hill “brain drain” could produce even worse government. But ordinary Americans who run businesses are also faced with anxieties, particularly whether they will be able to hire or retain valued employees or reduce full-time workers to part-time employees in order to avoid Obamacare’s mandatory costs.

For veteran Capitol Hill watchers, shenanigans behind closed doors to enable Congress and its staffers to escape Obamacare come as no surprise. After all, the national health care law was fashioned through repulsive backroom dealing (the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” etc.) that set a record for arrogance and contempt of popular opinion. Favored businesses and unions got special exemptions (more than 1,200 waivers) from Obamacare’s insurance rules. So consider today’s Politico revelation just marquee for a rerun of a tiresome old movie: one set of rules for Congress and another set of rules for the rest of us.

If Congress quietly wants to exempt itself from Obamacare, that’s great—so long as it includes the rest of us in that midnight amendment.

(Remember Dear Reader that Obama has already exempted the labor unions and other cronies so why not themselves?!!~  these people are beyond repulsive IMO.  The Tea Party is revving up for the 2014 election with the theme to throw them all out and get decent people in Congress.  Unfortunately we stuck with Obama regardless of how many laws he breaks or how many impeachable offenses he commits because there is no way the first American Black President will be impeached.  But we can damned well change Congress! and put more sane conservative people in who will uphold our constitutional rights and govern as our country should be governed.  This means first repealing Obamacare, then Dodd-Frank and that is just a start of what needs done in Washington.  Things a decent and sincere  Copngressman or woman will do.  Sincerely, BB)

 

 

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I hope you read this article.  It reinforces my own rant on the next post down.  BB

We Americans believe that we are the truly free people in the world, but this since Obama is a myth,  a lie!  We are not at all FREE because the one thing that made us Free–our capitalist system— has been almost destroyed by Obamanation.  Thru the overwhelming intrusion of the Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and Obama’s pandering to the unions with his radical liberal stacked National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) our economy and the business (capitalism) that fuels it has been so handicapped as to be crippled.  The United States now ranks 10th. in the world in the list of  free economies.   Hong Kong and Singapore rank as 1 and 2!    How did we get here?  Why are We the People willing to accept this situation?  When will the workers of America realize that it is in our best interest for the FREE Market to truly be free?   Have any of you ever gotten a job from a poor man?  NO! NO!  It is the rich man who invests in companies which then provide the jobs for all of us to get ahead.  Damnit anyhow.  I am so tired of hearing “tax the rich” and “spread the wealth around”.  The government taxes the rich means the rich do two things:  stop investing  and creating  American businesses  and 2.  move their money out of the United States.  People do you remember the tax payer bail out of Chrysler and the Unions by Obama?  Well don’t look now but Chrysler is now producing JEEPS in China.  Yes!  They took our tax payer dollars and politely moved their operation to a freeier  less government intrusive and union demanding China.  (But don’t you union guys worry because your pensions and benefits have been protected.  Of course your kids and grandkids will not have a decent life and will be paying for your demands,  but who cares , right? )

Well, my rant for today.   Read the following article and weep.  sincerely, BB

 

e America’s Ranking in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom

When we talk about “economic freedom,” what do we mean—and why does it matter?

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state.

Since reaching a global peak in 2008, sadly, economic freedom around the world has continued to stagnate.   (Now refresh my poor memory:  what happened in 2008?  Oh yes, Obama and the Democrats took over the government!  that’s what happened!  BB)

Today launches the 19th edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, produced by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The 2013Index was edited by Ambassador Terry Miller, director of Heritage’s Center for International Trade and Economics; Kim Holmes, Ph.D., Heritage’s Distinguished Fellow; and Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., Heritage’s president.

What are the reasons for the worldwide sluggishness? As Ambassador Miller writes in The Wall Street Journal, “Particularly concerning are the rise of populist ‘democratic’ movements that use the coercive power of government to redistribute income and control economic activity.”

While “corrupt political and legal environments cause underdevelopment in poorer countries,” Miller writes, “unfortunately, economic favoritism and cronyism exist in advanced democracies, too.” Americans are well aware, and the overall U.S. score has been dropping since 2009. From 2009 to 2010, the U.S. declined from being a “free” economy to “mostly free.” This year, it ranks 10th in the world.

 

The Most Free

1. Hong Kong
2. Singapore
3. Australia
4. New Zealand
5. Switzerland
6. Canada
7. Chile
8. Mauritius
9. Denmark
10. United States

One reason for America’s lack of freedom is that its scores on regulatory efficiency—which include business freedom and labor freedom—have dropped. The editors point to the fact that “over 100 new major federal regulations have been imposed on business operations since early 2009 with annual costs of more than $46 billion.”

Miller explains that what happens in Washington affects not only every corner of America, but of the world:

It is no exaggeration to blame the recent slowdown in economic liberalization around the world on the lack of U.S. leadership. Trade flows—the engine of world growth—have declined as the U.S. economy has stagnated. Protectionism threatens consumers and businesses with higher costs and restrictions in supply. Ill-conceived banking regulations such as the Dodd-Frank law generate uncertainty and anxiety. And investment freedom declines in the face of higher costs and new legal and tax liabilities such as those introduced by ObamaCare. These misguided U.S. policies hurt Americans first, but others feel the harm as well.  (READ this paragraph again and again until you understand it!  Dodd-Frank and Obamacare  are bad news for Americans!  BB)

North America continues to be the world’s freest region, though Mexico was the only economy that improved its Index score over the last year. The region boasts two “mostly free” economies (Canada and the United States) and one “moderately free” economy (Mexico). It leads the world in terms of rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and open markets, but is getting worse where government spending is concerned.

About the Index

Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad areas of economic freedom: rule of law; regulatory efficiency; limited government; and open markets. Based on an aggregate score, each of 177 countries graded in the 2013 Index was classified as “free,” “mostly free,” “moderately free,” “mostly unfree,” or “repressed.”

The broader areas are broken down into 10 measures: property rights, freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom.

The New Website

The updated website, launched today, is interactive:

  • Compare up to three countries of your choice on all 10 measures of economic freedom with an interactive, color-coded chart feature.  (Do this now to see how America has fallen in all areas since Obama!  BB )

Each country’s profile includes quick facts such as its population, gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment rate, and the amount of foreign investment flowing into the country—and you can embed this data in your blog or website.

Visit the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom

In case you missed these during the year I am posting Heritage top 10 2012 research papers here in one place.  They are all as relevant now as when they were published; in fact some even more so.  The United States is well on its way to total destruction as a free nation.  Our one chance at salvation was to elect Mitt Romney for President and we didn’t.  Obama won by a slim margin, but he  and the Democrats take that as a mandate to do as they please and because they still control the Senate and Harry Reid is at the helm there is nothing in the federal government to stop them.   The only forces now fighting Obama and Obamanation are the states and some very brave companies and individuals  who are trying thru the courts to hold off or hold back the onslaught of our demise.    I think you need to know what all of these reports say in order to perhaps  minimize the  personal damage the federal government will do to individuals in the coming years.  Sincerely and Happy New Year my Friends, BB

Top 10 Heritage Research Papers of 2012

Todd Thurman

December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

federal spending 2008 – 2012As the year comes to a close, we reflect on 2012 by offering highlights of the top 10 most-read research papers by Heritage scholars.

1) The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick Tyrrell
February 8, 2012
The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.

2) Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013
By Curtis Dubay
April 4, 2012
If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013.

3) High Gas Prices: Obama’s Half-Truths vs. Reality
By Nicolas Loris
February 23, 2012
Higher gas prices drive up production costs for goods reliant on transportation, and more money spent at the pump means less money spent at restaurants and movie theaters.

4) Federal Spending by the Numbers
By Alison Acosta Fraser
October 16, 2012
The federal government has closed out its fourth straight year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits, and the imperative to rein in spending has never been greater.

5) Red Tape Rising: Obama-Era Regulation at the Three-Year Mark
By James L. Gattuso and Diane Katz
March 13, 2012
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans.

6) The Ryan Budget: Confronting the Nation’s Spending Crisis
By Alison Acosta Fraser and Patrick Louis Knudsen
March 21, 2012
In the few months since Washington’s dramatic debt ceiling confrontation, America’s fiscal situation has only worsened. Federal spending is set to soar past previous record-shattering levels, endangering the economic future of the nation.

7) Auto Bailout or UAW Bailout? Taxpayer Losses Came from Subsidizing Union Compensation
By James Sherk and Todd Zywicki
June 13, 2012
The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses.

8) Government Employees Work Less than Private-Sector Employees
By Jason Richwine, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012
The stereotype of the under-worked government employee is frequently invoked in criticisms of public-sector employment. But does the average public employee really work less than the average private employee?

9) Tax Policy Center’s Skewed Analysis of Governor Romney’s Tax Plan
By Curtis Dubay
September 23, 2012
Their conclusion is the result of a series of carefully made choices. These choices, not the underlying nature of the Romney plan, cause them to arrive at their selected result. This finding is harming the debate on tax reform.

10) Welfare Reform’s Work Requirements Cannot be Waived
By Andrew M. Grossman
August 8, 2012
Under the guise of providing states greater “flexibility” in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform.

Americans elected him so now Americans can just suck up what is ahead for them.   Obama’s most destructive hit to our freedoms are in his administrations massive issuance of regulations.  The government  intends to control everything in your life and have made much headway during Obama s first term.  With nothing and no one to stop him these next four years he will put into effect regulations that will take decades to  overcome.  This following article from Heritage Institute explains a few laws that Obama has already broken where regulatory law is concerned.  We can look forward to many more instances of this kind.  Any other president would have been impeached for this type of behavior, but then this President can lie and cover-up and Americans just keep on loving him.  BB

Administration Ignores Law, Delays Exposing New Regulations

After three years of hyper-regulation, the Obama Administration has noticeably slowed its rulemaking in recent months. A variety of major rules have been parked in prolonged “review” by the White House, while the regulatory agenda required by statute has failed to materialize—twice. This flouting of the law is disturbing enough, but it’s made worse by the mounting regulatory uncertainty that has ensued.

Congress mandated a regulatory agenda from each agency in 1980, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The statute calls for release every April and October of a summary of all rules likely to have a “significant economic impact” on a substantial number of small firms. Subsequent executive orders extended the requirements to all regulations under development or review by some 60 departments, agencies, and commissions.

President Obama has ignored both the April 2012 and October 2012 agenda deadlines. The last agenda from the Administration, with 2,676 regulations, was published in fall 2011. The President’s neglect of the law contradicts his promise of an “unprecedented level of openness in government transparency.”  (AND, breaks the LAWS of the United States of America!  BB)

Notice of upcoming regulatory actions is an essential tool of government transparency and accountability. The agenda enables citizens to participate in the rulemaking process, businesses to plan, and Congress to engage in oversight. The stakes are especially high now because of the hundreds of rules yet to be finalized relating to the Dodd-Frank financial regulation statute and Obamacare.

The Administration has postponed action of late on some of its most ambitious regulations. For example, stricter standards on ozone emissions have been shelved until 2013. The original proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency would cost $90 billion or more annually and, potentially, jeopardize millions of jobs.  (Remember the Carbon Tax flak awhile back?  Go to my topics and read up on just what the Carbon Tax is and how Obama and friends will benefit from this and how We the People will pay thru the nose for our energy.  Even breathing the air will cost us!  BB)

Also on hold are various regulations to control power plant emissions of so-called greenhouse gases that would dramatically increase energy costs, as well as the designation of coal ash as a “hazardous substance”—estimated to cost $79 billion to $110 billion and thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri and Ohio.  (Obama’s war on coal in these states has caused thousands of job losses and dozens of coal fired power plants to close down:  all this costs you more  for your energy.  BB)

There is ample reason to believe that this recent “draw-back” of rulemaking portends a regulatory tsunami in the coming year. Of particular note is the large number of proposed regulations that are piling up at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the department within the Office of Management and Budget which reviews rules before they are published in the Federal Register.

According to OIRA data, a whopping 78 percent of the 151 regulations awaiting review have been pending at the office for more than 90 days—thus exceeding the maximum time allotted under executive order.

Among the most costly:

  • A Department of Transportation rule to require a rear-view camera and video    display for all new cars and trucks, at an estimated cost of up to $2.7 billion.
  • Revisions to the so-called Boiler MACT rules that impose stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators. The EPA pegged the cost of its original proposal at $9.5 billion, but independent analysts estimated the cost to be as much as $20 billion.
  • Energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers as well as commercial refrigeration, which would apply to virtually all equipment used in retail food stores. This is estimated by the Department of Energy to increase manufacturing costs by $500 million over four years.
  • Department of Labor restrictions on worker exposure to crystalline silica (fine particles of sand common to mining, manufacturing and construction). One analysis submitted to OIRA by engineering and economic consultants estimated compliance costs would be $5.5 billion annually, the loss of 17,000 “person-years” of employment, and $3.1 billion of economic output each year.

It would be good news for both the economy and consumers if the rulemaking delays are a result of more thorough cost analysis or consideration of regulatory alternatives. But there’s no indication that the Administration has embraced a newfound skepticism toward red tape. The evidence instead suggests that a multitude of major rules are simply awaiting release next year.

No one knows for certain, of course. But that very uncertainty is itself damaging to the economy. That is one important reason Congress requires the Administration to disclose its regulatory intentions in semi-annual agendas. President Obama should follow that law.

Read the full report: Obama’s Regulatory Agenda: Calm Before the Superstorm

It has been said and it is true that people get the government they deserve.  Republicans stayed away from the voting polls in droves this year of our Lord 2012 and we got another four years and at least 6 decades of evil.  BB

I loved the debate last night!  Romney was really out there and every bit the President we need.  He was respectful of the President but did not tolerate inaccuracies and came right back with the truth.  Obama reminded me of nothing more than a little boy who was being scolded by his Daddy.  He looked down and wouldn’t look Romney in the eye because he couldn’t; he couldn’t refute the truth of the facts Mitt Romney was putting forth to counter the lies Obama was telling and the  dismal facts of Obama’s administration’s mistakes and blunders and bad policies.  Then Obama allowed his nasty ego to show  when he let us see how upset and affronted he was to have anyone dare to question and confront him.    If there had been just five more  minutes left Obama would have exploded in a nasty temper tantrum.  I expect to see this tantrum in the next debate! because this  egomaniac  holds a grudge and will just have to come back, and in public.  We will see the real Obama next time..    In the meantime Heritage has some great articles on  debate questions and facts and follow up that I hope you will read.   I am printing just one article here but do go to their site and read several of their articles.  In fact, if you do not subscribe to the Heritage Foundation you really should.   BB

10 Questions for the First Presidential Debate

Tonight’s debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney is supposed to focus on domestic policy, with a major concentration on the economy. Health care, the role of government, and philosophy of governing are also on the agenda. The Heritage Foundation’s policy experts have submitted 10 questions they would like to see asked in the debate.

1. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” In reality, President Obama’s signature health care law contains 18 new or increased taxes and penalties that will cost taxpayers $836.3 billion over the next 10 years, many of which fall heavily on the middle class. In fact, almost 70 percent of those responsible for paying the fiercely debated individual mandate are below 400 percent of the federal poverty level.Should these tax increases be stopped to protect middle-class Americans from their damage? If yes, where would the money needed to help pay for Obamacare come from?

2. Millions of baby boomers are starting to retire, and spending on Social Security and Medicare as these programs are currently structured is simply unsustainableWhat is your plan to solve the looming entitlement program spending crisis?

3. Medicare as we know it today is facing severe financing problems that are unsustainable and putting future generations’ Medicare benefits in jeopardy. Over the long term, Medicare has made $37 trillion worth of promises to seniors that it cannot keep and the hospital insurance trust fund will be empty by 2024. Worse, the President’s health care law will cut Medicare by $716 billion over the next 10 years to pay for new spending in Obamacare. As Medicare’s solvency hangs in the balance, what structural reforms, if any, are you willing to make to preserve Medicare for future generations?

4. Everyone talks about shoring up our battered American DreamHow would you define the American Dream and what do you think are the most serious threats to it?

5. The Health and Human Services Department recently rewrote the law governing welfare to weaken its work requirements. Meanwhile, the number of people relying on food stamps has doubled under the current Administration. Should all able-bodied recipients be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid in public housing, food stamps, and cash assistance?

6. The federal government is currently spending much more than it has, and annual budget deficits over $1 trillion have become the norm.What is your plan to stem the tide of deficits and rising debt?

7. One of the few bright spots in America’s economy has been energy production, particularly on state and private lands.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy production decreased 13 percent on federal lands in fiscal year (FY) 2011 when compared to FY 2010. What would you do to reverse course on energy production on federal lands?

8. Congress—most notably the Senate, which hasn’t produced a budget in over three years—is sorely lacking in its basic responsibility of budgeting.What would you do to ensure the fundamental process of budgeting is restored?

9. President Obama has previously stated that, in the most important 5 percent of cases before the courts, it matters more what is in a judge’s heart (what has come to be known as his empathy standard) than what the rule of law requires. Is this the correct standard by which to evaluate judicial nominees? If not, what standard would you apply?

10. Former Attorney General of Mexico Victor Humberto Benítez Treviño estimated that approximately 300 Mexican citizens have been killed using Fast and Furious weapons in addition to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Should Eric Holder resign as Attorney General because of his failures related to Operation Fast and Furious, including his failure to properly supervise the operation? If not, why not?

Watch the debate with Heritage tonight—you can watch it live, streaming on our Debate 2012 page. On the page, you can also follow our experts’ live blog and chime in on Twitter.

There are few men who just always seem to make a great deal of sense when they speak and John Stossel is one of my favorite.  He cuts right thru all the chaff and gets right to the meat simply and clearly.  The following article is not new news but is a great sumation of where we are now and why and how we got here as well as a simple solution.  The solution really is simple and it amazes me that our government officials can’t seem to understand it.  As for our President….well Educated Idiot may be applied if you want to give hijm credit for being a decent human being.  I don’t,  so I will just label him as evil.   BB

Uncertainty Paralysis 
By John Stossel
Wednesday, June 06, 2012

President Obama would do us all a big favor if he’d ask himself this: “Would I start or expand a business without knowing what regulations or taxes government will impose next year?”

If he’d just stop and ask that, he’d have a sense of what’s wrong with the economy. He’d understand why a country that must create 120,000 new jobs each month just to absorb newcomers created only 69,000 last month.

Past recoveries were quicker. Something is different. What could it be?

Let’s remember that the economy — which is to say, us — is already burdened by byzantine bureaucratic impositions. Every week, the feds add another thousand pages of rules and proposals for rules. Local governments add their own. My mayor, in New York City, even proposes micromanaging the size of the drinks restaurants may sell.

On top of the existing mountain of red tape, the Obama administration has piled on more, with more to come. Obamacare was less a specific prescription than a license for the Department of Health and Human Services to write new rules, lots of which are yet to be written. No one knows how the bureaucrats will micromanage health insurance.  

Then there’s Dodd-Frank, the 2,300-page revamp of finance industry regulation. Again, the bill left the rule-writing to regulatory agencies. Who knows what they will come up with?    (All these little clerks at their desks trying to justify their jobs!  BB)

Every year, Congress makes thousands of changes to tax laws. And no one can guess what will happen in 2013 if the 2001 and 2003 rate cuts expire.  

There is an irresistible temptation for politicians to “do something” whenever real or imagined problems appear. The number of on-the-fly programs in recent years (from attacks on unpaid internships to Cash for Clunkers) has been astounding. This uncertainty kills job creation. If you cannot tell what will happen next week, next month, next year, why make a significant commitment? The next law or executive order might make a mockery of your plans.

America faces a humongous debt, and its trajectory is upward. If nothing changes, the whole budget would be consumed by interest payments. No politician wants that — if only because there’ll be no money to buy votes.

How will the problem be dealt with? Higher taxes? Massive inflation? Some combination? Where does that leave someone today who might, in a more stable policy environment, be eager to launch some big, long-term investment project?

In the dark, that’s where.

Economist John B. Taylor of the Hoover Institution summed it up aptly: “Unpredictable economic policy — massive fiscal ‘stimulus’ and ballooning debt, the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing with multiyear near-zero interest rates, and regulatory uncertainty due to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms — is the main cause of persistent high unemployment and our feeble recovery.”  

Historian Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute calls it “regime uncertainty.”

We should have learned the lesson during the Great Depression. Today’s problems are nowhere close to the 1930s, but there is a similarity in Franklin Roosevelt’s policy fog. Higgs writes:

“The insufficiency of private investment from 1935 through 1940 reflected a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns. … The willingness of businesspeople to invest requires a sufficiently healthy state of ‘business confidence,’ and the Second New Deal ravaged the requisite confidence… .”

The solution? Taylor finds it in the writing of Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek: the rule of law. “Stripped of all technicalities,” Hayek wrote in “The Road to Serfdom,” “this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand — rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive powers in given circumstances and to plan one’s individual affairs on the basis of this knowledge.”

If we are ever to get out of this hole the politicians have dug, we must disabuse them of the conceit that they improve our lives by spending more, guaranteeing investments or “jump-starting” industries.

Only when politicians butt out, leaving us with simple, predictable rules, can the economy grow for us all.

John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “Give Me a Break” and of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.” To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM 

Once again, thank you for sending us your e-mails. We can’t respond individually, but we read and consider all of them. Send your question, comment, or complaint tojohn@theprojecttorestoreamerica.com orwendy@theprojecttorestoreamerica.com.

(I often learn for the emails.  BB)
*** Mr. Hinkle’s article that you carried was most interesting. I particularly appreciated its logical, reasonable tone. In an era where any issue becomes a matter of ideological bias, he made a very reasonable case.  

This doesn’t discount the development of other sources of energy. If there was a perfect market system without subsidies for oil companies and renewable energies, then perhaps price would determine investment choices. Oil of course has other consequences such as triggering wars and it is a contributor to greenhouse gases. Thank you, Jim 

Bidwell comment: Jim, if oil companies and renewable energy firms did not get subsidies, then yes, the price of the various energy sources would determine investment choices. Price would dictate the energy sources we develop and use, and energy would be like any other market good.

You can make the same case for healthcare. If the government didn’t subsidize healthcare, all of our healthcare costs would come down because healthcare would be like any other market good. All in all, government funding and involvement manipulates markets, and American consumers end up paying more (and sometimes for less effective products).     (YES!!  This goes for education and any thing else.  The government gets into it and the prices go sky high!  BB)

*** Why can’t the government pay for infrastructure and so on by selling natural resources (like oil)? Sincerely, Walt 

Bidwell comment: Walt, you are a smart man. If you are like John Heffern and me, you are very excited about the possibility of fracking and shale oil. With this technology, high pressure water is used to frack rocks, and the rocks release oil and natural gas. With some research and development, natural gas will be able to power cars and trucks while we become one of the leading exporters of oil. This might all happen within the next few years…

That is, if the government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and others do not stand in the way of this technology. If the government doesn’t impede innovation and growth, our country can become preeminent again, will be able to afford state of the art infrastructure and plan accordingly for the future.  

 


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BB’s file cabinet

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