The Intransigent Conservative
Friday, February 1, 2013
View the story "Friday’s Florilegium (2/1/13)" on Storify
Friday’s Florilegium (2/1/13)
· Fri, Feb 01 2013 19:57:57
Investor’s Business Daily Editorial opines about Obamanomics.
“According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the economy ‘unexpectedly’
in last three months of 2012, the first decline since early 2009.
The Obama administration, naturally, tried to look for scapegoats
, this time settling on Hurricane Sandy and Republican-induced uncertainty over the ‘fiscal cliff’ outcome.”
“Liberals were also quick to blame alleged spending cuts…
An interesting theory
. Except that while the BEA says defense spending declined in Q4, overall federal spending was up $31 billion compared with Q4 2011 and
up $98 billion
compared with Q3 2012, according to monthly spending reports out of the Treasury Department.”
“The lack of good excuses might explain why Obama and Co.
are so desperate
to put a positive spin on the numbers.
“Democratic Party communications director Brad Woodhouse actually tweeted that this was ‘
the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you'll ever see.
“That's one way of looking at it… Another is that slow to non-existent growth has become the new normal thanks to
Obama's growth-choking policies
, with the economy consistently underperforming expectations.”
As GDP Falls, President Obama Runs Out of Excuses http://bit.ly/TcLtzKIBDeditorials
Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook also expounds about the lack of fourth quarter growth.
“The federal government reported Wednesday that
the U.S. economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012
, but not to worry. The report is better than it sounds, the stock market is rocking, and in any event the Federal Reserve will take the news as another reason to keep both feet pressed firmly on the monetary accelerator.
Bad economy=more Fed cowbell=higher stock prices. Risk on, baby.
“The government spending decline deserves a word because the Keynesians are using it to call for more ‘stimulus.’ The national income accounts include a Keynesian bias that equates higher government spending with growth, no matter how wasteful the spending.
Thus the spending blitz of 2009-2010 gave a fillip to GDP, though not a sustainable one
“The real story is that the Keynesians promised that the stimulus would kick-start the economy to a higher growth plane. It
. Growth has sputtered in each of the last three years, and for all of 2012 was only 2.2%. That's barely above 1.8% in 2011, which was below 2.4% in 2010. The biggest loser in all of this should be the notion that temporary bursts of government spending can produce durable economic expansions.”
“The Keynesian explanation is that we're still recovering from the financial panic, though it's worth recalling that in January 2010
the Fed predicted that growth in 2012 would be 3.5% to 4.5%, not 2.2%
As Contractions Go . . . http://on.wsj.com/TZibX2Opinion & Commentary
(former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Chief of Staff for Senator Richard Lugar) writes that claims to support a '
' over a '
' for making spending cuts become excuses for doing nothing.
“Targeted reductions would be welcome, but the current federal budget didn't drop from the sky. Every program in the budget—from defense to food stamps, agriculture, Medicare and beyond—is in place for a reason: It has advocates in Congress and a constituency in the country.
These advocates won't sit idly by while their programs are targeted, whether by a scalpel or any other instrument
. That is why targeted spending cuts have historically been both rare and small. And in a government as closely divided as today's, there is virtually no prospect for meaningful targeted spending cuts.”
“Each reduction of 1% in the $3.6 trillion federal budget
would yield roughly $36 billion the first year
and would reduce the budget baseline in future years. Even with modest reductions, this is real money.”
“So let's give up the politically pointless effort to pick and choose among programs, accept the political reality of current allocations,
and reduce everything proportionately
. No one program would be very much disadvantaged. In many cases, a 1% or 3% reduction would scarcely be noticed.
Are we really to believe that a government that spent $2.7 trillion five years ago couldn't survive a 3% cut that would bring spending to ‘only’ $3.5 trillion today?
Jeff Bergner: The Case for Across-the-Board Spending Cuts http://on.wsj.com/114JuBcWSJ Politics
Henry I. Miller
(Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at the Hoover Institution) writes that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson epitomizes the “
erosion of transparency in government, wasteful spending, burdensome regulation, and waning trust in the integrity of the public sector
” that continues to depress economic growth.
“Jackson – who has just announced her resignation —
seems unaware that regulation has costs, direct and indirect
; that regulators should strive to limit the intrusiveness of oversight to the level that is necessary and sufficient; and that her agency has myriad deficiencies in both policies and personnel.”
“A recent analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimated that
the annual cost of compliance with EPA regulations alone is more than a third of a trillion dollars
“Some of the most onerous policies introduced on Jackson’s watch include stricter gas-mileage standards, an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent and more stringent ambient air standards under the Clean Air Act. Particularly damaging was an EPA rule finalized in February 2012 that created new emissions standards for coal- and oil-fired electric utilities.”
“Because many EPA policies and actions
torture both statutes and common sense
to a degree that approaches malfeasance, it’s no surprise that
the agency is regularly reined in by the federal judiciary
“In one analysis by the Office of Management and Budget, of the 30 least cost-effective regulations throughout the government,
the EPA had imposed no fewer than 17
“EPA Administrator Jackson recently announced that she would resign in February — but only after yet another agency scandal, one that involved her personally. Under various aliases, she has maintained several secret government email accounts that she uses to conduct agency business,
apparently to obscure her involvement in various agency actions
“In so many ways, EPA pollutes the cause of transparent, effective government.
It’s hard to imagine a successor to Lisa Jackson who would be a worse steward of the environment
, but I’m sure President Obama will do his best to find one.”
The EPA's Lisa Jackson: The Worst Head of the Worst Regulatory Agency, Ever - ForbesLisa P Jackson speaking at the press conference where she was nominated as EPA head. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) President Obama and his mi...
Lee Smith asks if the Obama administration does not hold itself accountable, how can our adversaries know they will pay a price when they kill Americans?
“One thing Hillary Clinton got right in her testimony before Congress last week:
‘When America is absent,’ she said, ‘there are consequences.’
But the administration she served has chosen to be absent, and we are seeing the consequences play out, from North Africa to the Levant, where the unchecked flow of weapons, experienced jihadist fighters, and Salafist ideology is reshaping the regional balance of power—
and tilting it against the United States
“Obama’s desire to disengage from the Middle East was driven at first by his politically useful cartoon version of Bush’s Iraq, a ‘quagmire’ that he wished to avoid at all costs.
But now, at the beginning of his second term, Obama seems to fear U.S. intervention of any kind
. Indeed, his administration’s reluctance to do any follow-up work in Libya after the initial bombing left a weak, democratically elected, non-Islamist Libyan government to fend for itself,
which has produced a region-wide catastrophe
“Indeed, two years into the Arab revolutions, it is perhaps most accurate to understand the uprisings across the region not as fights against corruption or struggles for dignity or democracy.
Rather, the Arab Spring is a series of astonishingly successful battles against Arab security services
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/obama-vacuum_697833.html?nopager=1TWS—White House vacuum in the ME, from... http://fb.me/1QPpQXsmOLee Smith
Karl Rove writes that demography isn't destiny, because nothing is permanent in politics—
and assuming that it is will likely make liberal Democrats overreach again
“Many are arguing these days that President Obama has forged a new majority coalition of women, minorities, young people and upscale cultural liberals so large and durable
that he can do what no president has done before
—pursue a very liberal agenda
without serious opposition or defections
from his own party.”
“By some measures, voters are less liberal today than they were four years ago. In the 2008 exit poll, 51% said ‘government should do more to solve problems’ while 43% felt ‘government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.’
In 2012, 43% said ‘government should do more’ and 51% believed ‘government is doing too many things.’
“Voters age 18-29 were those most likely to move away from Mr. Obama between 2008 and 2012, and Republican identification generally increases as people graduate college, start work and begin families. Of those who were 18-29 years old in the 1972 election, 47% were Democrats, 26% Republicans and 28% independents.
By 2012, these same voters (now ages 58-69) were roughly 37% Democratic, 34% Republican and 29% independent. They backed Mr. Romney by 51%-47%.
About that 'Permanent Democratic Majority'...http://on.wsj.com/UEJmV1Karl Rove
Frank Newport (Gallup's Editor in Chief) publishes the lists of the top 10 most conservative, most liberal, and most moderate states in the union. There is not much surprise in Gallup’s findings: “
The most conservative states are in the South, Midwest, and Mountain West, while the most liberal are on the East or the West Coast.
“The top 10 conservative states are all red states that vote reliably Republican in national elections, all located in the nation's Southern, Midwestern, and Mountain West regions.
These include (in addition to Alabama, North Dakota, and Wyoming) Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Arkansas.
There is not, however, a perfect correlation between ideology and party. Three of the 10 most Republican states -- Kansas, Montana, and Alaska -- do not rank among the most conservative states. And Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas rank in the top 10 conservative states but not the 10 most Republican.”
“Overall, Americans in 2012 remained slightly more likely to identify
as conservative (38%) than as moderate (36%) or as liberal (23%)
, a pattern that reflects the general consistency in ideological self-reports over recent years.”
“In 2012, 69% of conservatives either identified as Republican or leaned Republican,
meaning that three in 10 did not follow the predicted partisan pattern
Alabama, North Dakota, Wyoming Most Conservative States: http://www.gallup.com/poll/160196/alabama-north-dakota-wyoming-conservative-states.aspx?utm_source=add_this&utm_medium=addthis.com&utm_campaign=sharing#.UQuw-w4qAiY.twitterGallup Biz Journal
Jonathan Easley reports that Fox News personality and radio host
Geraldo Rivera is contemplating a run as a Republican candidate for Senate in New Jersey in 2014
“Rivera could face a tough primary challenge, however, with reports suggesting that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick of Westfield, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno are all weighing bids for the GOP ticket.
“No official Republican contenders have emerged so far, and none have much of a national profile.
New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican senator since the 1970s.
Geraldo Rivera "truly contemplating" running for New Jersey Senate. http://bit.ly/12cLpE2Jonathan Easley
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