Archive for February, 2009
The women over at Smart Girl Politics wrote this and I thought it deserved passing along:
The principles on which our nation was founded seem to be deteriorating daily. Our government, comprised of elected officials sworn to represent us, has abandoned its sovereign duty to the people. Our voices, already muffled by the roar of a liberal media, are falling on the deaf ears of an uncompromising Congress. In an economic crisis created in large part by irresponsible government interference, it seems our government’s answer is more of the same. If big government was the cause, how can bigger government be the solution?
In the 1760′s the British Government began to use taxation as a tool to suppress prosperity and limit the liberties of its people. Much like our own, the British government abused its power and submitted, not to the citizens, but to the special interests and political gain. On December 16, 1773, American colonists decided, as have we, that enough is enough. In a bold act of protest, the Sons of Liberty filled the Boston Harbor with more than 45 tons of East India Company tea.
The Boston Tea Party put into motion the events that would ultimately lead to the American Revolution and on July 4, 1776, our founding fathers would adopt The Declaration of Independence. This document not only announced our independence from Britain, but it asserted our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition to these, the Declaration of Independence ensures our right to protect ourselves from a government that becomes destructive and to alter, abolish, or recreate a government that has ceased to fulfill the duties for which it was created.
In the shadow of failed bailouts that have been squandered away by greedy CEO’s and uncooperative labor unions, our government has passed legislation that will prove to be the largest and most costly expansion of government in history. With trillions of dollars gone and wasted, we have stood and watched the America we love slip away; the America that has flourished in a system of free market capitalism and thrived in a democracy centered around states’ rights, it is our duty to act. We will stand by and watch no more.
This Friday, all across this nation, “we the people” will be invoking the spirit of our forefathers and joining our voices in an effort to drown out the chatter of mediocrity. We will have a Tea Party of our own. In fact, we will have many. We will speak out against the infliction of a debt that will cripple future generations. We will protest the use of fear by our leaders to impose upon us their liberal agendas. We will respond to the threat of socialism that intensifies as wealth is seized and redistributed. We will reclaim our exceptionalism that sets up apart and provides every man, woman and child with the opportunity to achieve the American Dream . We will reject the class warfare and victim mentality that eats away at peace and prosperity. And once again, we will empower the people…and the people will prevail.
Here is the list of Tea Parties scheduled for Friday, February 27th. Look for your city and then try to go out! For more information on the parties look here at The Nationwide Chicago Tea Party site!
- Boston – Friday, February 27, 2009 noon, The Barking Crab Restaurant, 88 Sleeper Street, Boston
- Hartford, CT – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, State Capitol
- New York City – Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, City Hall Park, New York
- Philadelphia – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Independence Hall
- Washington D.C. – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 2:00pm White House on the Lafayette Square Park side
- Pittsburgh – ***May be postponed due to rain *** Friday, February 27, 2009 12 pm – 1 pm, Market Square
- Atlanta – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm at the Georgia State Capitol Building ~ Downtown Atlanta Washington Street Exit
- Fayetteville – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Liberty Point Resolves Marker, downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street
- Asheville, NC – Friday, February 27 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Pritchard Park, Corner of Haywood St. and Patton Ave.
- Columbia, SC – TBD
- Greenville, SC – Friday, February 27, 2009 6:00pm, on the banks of the Reedy River and on the walking bridge just west of Main Street
- Orlando – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm on Lake Eola across from Panera Bread
- Tampa – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Federal Courthouse, 801 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
- Gainesville FL – Friday, February 27, 2009 2:00pm – 6:00pm, Ale House, 3950 SW Archer Rd
- Fort Meyers Beach – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:30am – 1:00pm Bowditch Park, 50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach
- Sarasota – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Island Park and Marina Jacks, Bayfront Drive (41) and Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
- Nashville – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm Legislative Plaza
- Shelby County Alabama – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, entrance to Eagle Point Neighborhood, Highway 280
- Jackson, Miss – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:30pm, On the steps of the Capital Building in Jackson
- Cleveland – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, 1 Public Square
- Chicago – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 12:20pm at
Daley Plaza Civic Center, 50 W Washington St.
- Lansing, MI – Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm – 1:00pm, State Capitol bldg
- St. Louis – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 12:00pm The Steps of Arch, Wharf Street
- Springfield, MO – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Lake Springfield Park
- Kansas City – Saturday, February 28, 2009 10:00am – 2:00pm J.C. Nichols Foundation, 47th and J.C. Nichols Parkway K.C. MO
- Wichita, Kansas – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:30am – 12:30pm, Farm Credit Bank Building, 245 N. Waco
- Omaha – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12:00pm, Douglas County Courthouse, 16th and Farnam St, Omaha
- Davenport, Iowa – Saturday, February 28, 2009, 12:00pm – 1 pm, Corner of Brady & Locust Streets, Davenport
- Austin – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Capitol steps
- Dallas – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Victory Plaza at the American Airlines Center
- Fort Worth – Friday, February 27, 2009 3pm to 7pm at the Cowtown Bar & Grill, 7108 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth
- Houston – Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am – 2:00pm, Fondren Green at Discovery Green Park, in front of Amphitheatre
- San Antonio – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12 pm, Alamo Plaza
- Oklahoma City – Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am – 12:00pm, State Capitol Steps, Oklahoma City
- Tulsa – Friday, February 27, 2009 11 am to 1 pm, Veteran’s Park, 21st & Boulder
- Phoenix – Friday, February 27, 2009, 10:00am – 11:00am, State Capitol, 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix
- Tempe AZ – Friday, February 27, 2009 noon, Tempe Beach Park, west of the Mill Avenue Bridge
- Denver – Friday, February 27, 2009 10:00am – 12:00pm Colorado State Capitol Building – West side steps 200 E. Colfax Ave.
- Seattle – Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:15pm – 1:15pm, Westlake Park, 410 Pine St. by the big arch
- Portland – Friday, February 27, 2009 9:00am – 10:00am Pioneer Courthouse Square @ the corner of Broadway & Morrison (in front of the STARBUCKS), 715 SW Morrison St
- San Diego – Friday, February 27, 2009 9-10 am, Just north of the Star of India on San Diego Bay
- Sacramento CA – Friday, February 27, 12 Noon, California State Capitol, North Steps, L Street, Sacramento
- Los Angeles – Friday, February 27, 2009, 9:00am – 10:00am, Santa Monica Pier
- Orange County – Friday, February 27, 2009, 9:00am – 10:00am, Huntington Beach Pier
The Fairness Doctrine certainly isn’t. I have written about this before, and like I said then it is being brought back around again. I think this is a collossal mistake across the board. If we are going to selectively start applying the Constitution then we are opening some very gray doors. The Fairness Doctrine sounds very much like something that would violate the First Ammendment. The very same Ammendment that is used to basically censor religion already.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws “respecting an establishment of religion” or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, laws that infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to peaceably assemble, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Note the bolded part. Free Speech. Freedom of the Press. These are the types of things being tampered with here.
James Gattuso at the Foundry has some information about the Durbin Bill that has been introduced to counter the measure put forth by DeMint.
Interestingly, the Durbin amendment doesn’t actually address the Fairness Doctrine itself. Supporters of such a direct attempt to reimpose the doctrine know that such an direct attempt to return to the speech-muzzling rules of the past would be doomed to fail. Notably, even President Obama has declined to support such a step. Instead, the measure would simply require the FCC to promote “diversity” in media ownership and to ensure that broadcast stations licenses are used “in the public interest.”
But who’s to say after all what constitutes proper “diversity” and what is in the “public interest?” Would diversity be enhanced if there were less time devoted to conservative views? Would the “public interest” be served by increasing airtime for Bill Press and Air America?
Just a few days ago the pro-regulation advocacy group Free Press issued a report entitled “The Fairness Doctrine Distraction,” outlining just such a strategy. The problem, the group has long argued, is an imbalance in talk radio – specifically too many conservative voices. But the solution is not the Fairness Doctrine per se. The solution is stricter ownership rules governing who can hold a broadcast license, stricter “localism” and other public interest requirements, and strict rules on the Internet to enforce “neutrality” there.
So I have been meaning to write about all these different things but alas a sick child at home kept me from getting the full story written. So I will do a few quick synopses just to get these done with so I can stay more current.
Obama appointed Biden to administer the Stimulus Bill this week. I find this most curious since Biden is the one who said that there is a 30% chance the bill will fail. So obviously he has some doubts about this one. Part of me wonders if Biden is going to be the scape goat if it does fail. If he is the one overseeing it and it does not succeed will the blame fall more on him, or more on Obama?
Then there was the happening Address to Congress. Long – 52 minutes long. Beck had some great points to be made about saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. There are numerous instances where Obama said one thing was going to happen, yet in reality they are doing it anyway. The transparency is not there. The funding does not make any sense. Economists have been trying to crunch numbers about all these new programs that were mentioned and the costs are astronomical. Another interesting comment refers to the promise to cut the deficit in half by 2013. Stephen Moore commented in the same Beck interview shown below that, The Congressional Budget Office has also said that if nothing were done at all the deficit would fall by 70% in the same time span. But instead by spending an addition trillion dollars now, it will change to 50%. Here is the CBO estimate of the budget for 2009.
That’s all for now . . . . .
I am back after having family visiting for the past week. I decided to take a break from the weighty issues of politics for the time that they were here. But now they have gone and I am back to typing.
Mortgage bailouts are on the list of things that I just don’t fully understand. When the whole mortgage industry started going down we knew that foreclosures were going to be going up. This trend started with the demise of the Sub-prime loans and increased difficulty to get “Jumbo” loans. This part of the market started to have issues about two years ago. I know because I spent some time looking into these loans right as the banks started to cut back on offerings.
Personally a sub-prime loan, one with an ARM and a 3 to 5 year term was never an option for me. I have heard too many stories of people losing their homes at the end of the ARM due to massive increases in the mortgage payment to reflect the new interest rate. Maybe you thought you would move, perhaps thought interest rates might go down, and maybe you even missed the part in the contract that specifically told you what date your payments would increase and what your interest rate might jump too. I don’t know. But the risk to me is not worth it. A standard conventional loan was the best option for me. And as far as jumbo loans go all I have to say is that if you need a $600K loan on your home then you should have sufficient income to make the payments in the first place, AND assuming you were avoiding PMI that would mean that your home was actually $750K and you would have put down $150K. Now really if you could handle that then you should be able to afford the payments OR you should not buy that house.
So now I understand that some people have faced tough times at work and lost their homes. Now what is better to do though, put your home on the market, even potentially taking a loss on your home to sell it and downsize or to default on your loan and land in foreclosure? The other problem in housing has been super inflation in certain housing areas. California and New York are prime examples. Home values are not reflective of what would be considered average income. If owning your home is the American dream then how do you explain my 1600 sq ft home that I rent in the Bay area would cost $900K. My larger, newer home in a great neighborhood in Alpharetta, GA sold for $225K. No wonder California is one of the top 5 states for foreclosures. When jumbo and sub-prime loans were super easy to get it was not hard for people to get in over their heads on a home loan. I do disagree with the columnist who suggests that just because they have a $700K loan that they are not poor. We are not considered poor, but we certainly do not need a loan that size. What we did though is choose to Rent instead of buying a home just because. Rent here is absurd as well, but when you couple that with what the person who owns the home paid for the home, rent is high to cover their mortgage. It is a no-win situation.
Owning a home is not the American dream. Having a house to live in should probably be the way it is worded. A shelter, a safe place to come home to. But not everyone should own their home. Live within your means. Don’t buy a $700K home because you think it is what you have to do. I will miss the mortgage deduction on our taxes, but not nearly enough to buy a home whose mortgage would be double my already high rent. And according to wordnet this is the definition of the American dream: the widespread aspiration of Americans to live better than their parents did. No where does that mention home ownership.
So now on to the bailout for foreclosures. Obama has shared his plan for a $75 billion mortgage foreclosure bailout. So we are going to help people who overbought. I do acknowledge that Obama did address that there are multiple facets to what created this situation – the lenders, the banks, the homeowners, etc. This is not solely the banks creation. People signed these documents. Taking advantage of the buyer is hard to assess. What were the lenders supposed to do, offer IQ tests to make sure that the home buyer was capable of understanding what they were agreeing to? That hardly seems like it would be acceptable or even possible. But how would you propose pre-qualifying people based on their ability to understand what they were doing?
While we are doing all this refinancing and assistance to the homeowners in question, will this have any impact or effect on their credit? It seems like they are going to be getting a freebie on a situation that was preventable. Should it be treated more like a credit consolidation where there is some impact on credit worthiness?
So back to my original question, if ultimately I am going to end up helping to pay for your bailout through tax increases does that mean that a part of your home will really be mine?
In response to the statements from Obama at tonight’s press conference: Most economists, almost unanimously, recognize that even if philosophically you’re — you’re wary of government intervening in the economy, when you have the kind of problem we have right now — what started on Wall Street goes to Main Street, suddenly businesses can’t get credit, they start paring back their investment, they start laying off workers, workers start pulling back in terms of spending — that when you have that situation, that government is an important element of introducing some additional demand into the economy . . . That’s why the — the figure that we initially came up with, of approximately $800 billion, was put forward. That wasn’t just some random number that I plucked out of — out of a hat. That was Republican and Democratic, conservative and liberal economists that I spoke to, who indicated that given the magnitude of the crisis and the fact that it’s happening worldwide, it’s important for us to have a bill of sufficient size and scope that we can save or create 4 million jobs. . . And I think that there was an opportunity to do this with this recovery package because, as I said, although there are some politicians who are arguing that we don’t need a stimulus, there are very few economists who are making that argument. I mean, you’ve got economists who were advising John McCain, economists who were advisers to George Bush — one and two — all suggesting that we actually needed a serious recovery package.
Taken from the ad placed by LOTS of economists:
“There is no disagreement that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.”
— PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA, JANUARY 9 , 2009
Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance. More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s “lost decade” in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. To improve the economy, policy makers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.
- Burton Abrams, Univ. of Delaware
- Douglas Adie, Ohio University
- Ryan Amacher, Univ. of Texas at Arlington
- J.J. Arias, Georgia College & State University
- Howard Baetjer, Jr., Towson University
- Stacie Beck, Univ. of Delaware
- Don Bellante, Univ. of South Florida
- James Bennett, George Mason University
- Bruce Benson, Florida State University
- Sanjai Bhagat, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
- Mark Bils, Univ. of Rochester
- Alberto Bisin, New York University
- Walter Block, Loyola University New Orleans
- Cecil Bohanon, Ball State University
- Michele Boldrin, Washington University in St. Louis
- Donald Booth, Chapman University
- Michael Bordo, Rutgers University
- Samuel Bostaph, Univ. of Dallas
- Scott Bradford, Brigham Young University
- Genevieve Briand, Eastern Washington University
- George Brower, Moravian College
- James Buchanan, Nobel laureate
- Richard Burdekin, Claremont McKenna College
- Henry Butler, Northwestern University
- William Butos, Trinity College
- Peter Calcagno, College of Charleston
- Bryan Caplan, George Mason University
- Art Carden, Rhodes College
- James Cardon, Brigham Young University
- Dustin Chambers, Salisbury University
- Emily Chamlee-Wright, Beloit College
- V.V. Chari, Univ. of Minnesota
- Barry Chiswick, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
- Lawrence Cima, John Carroll University
- J.R. Clark, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Gian Luca Clementi, New York University
- R. Morris Coats, Nicholls State University
- John Cochran, Metropolitan State College
- John Cochrane, Univ. of Chicago
- John Cogan, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
- John Coleman, Duke University
- Boyd Collier, Tarleton State University
- Robert Collinge, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio
- Lee Coppock, Univ. of Virginia
- Mario Crucini, Vanderbilt University
- Christopher Culp, Univ. of Chicago
- Kirby Cundiff, Northeastern State University
- Antony Davies, Duquesne University
- John Dawson, Appalachian State University
- Clarence Deitsch, Ball State University
- Arthur Diamond, Jr., Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha
- John Dobra, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
- James Dorn, Towson University
- Christopher Douglas, Univ. of Michigan, Flint
- Floyd Duncan, Virginia Military Institute
- Francis Egan, Trinity College
- John Egger, Towson University
- Kenneth Elzinga, Univ. of Virginia
- Paul Evans, Ohio State University
- Eugene Fama, Univ. of Chicago
- W. Ken Farr, Georgia College & State University
- Hartmut Fischer, Univ. of San Francisco
- Fred Foldvary, Santa Clara University
- Murray Frank, Univ. of Minnesota
- Peter Frank, Wingate University
- Timothy Fuerst, Bowling Green State University
- B. Delworth Gardner, Brigham Young University
- John Garen, Univ. of Kentucky
- Rick Geddes, Cornell University
- Aaron Gellman, Northwestern University
- William Gerdes, Clarke College
- Michael Gibbs, Univ. of Chicago
- Stephan Gohmann, Univ. of Louisville
- Rodolfo Gonzalez, San Jose State University
- Richard Gordon, Penn State University
- Peter Gordon, Univ. of Southern California
- Ernie Goss, Creighton University
- Paul Gregory, Univ. of Houston
- Earl Grinols, Baylor University
- Daniel Gropper, Auburn University
- R.W. Hafer, Southern Illinois
- University, Edwardsville
- Arthur Hall, Univ. of Kansas
- Steve Hanke, Johns Hopkins
- Stephen Happel, Arizona State University
- Frank Hefner, College of Charleston
- Ronald Heiner, George Mason University
- David Henderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
- Robert Herren, North Dakota State University
- Gailen Hite, Columbia University
- Steven Horwitz, St. Lawrence University
- John Howe, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
- Jeffrey Hummel, San Jose State University
- Bruce Hutchinson, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Brian Jacobsen, Wisconsin Lutheran College
- Jason Johnston, Univ. of Pennsylvania
- Boyan Jovanovic, New York University
- Jonathan Karpoff, Univ. of Washington
- Barry Keating, Univ. of Notre Dame
- Naveen Khanna, Michigan State University
- Nicholas Kiefer, Cornell University
- Daniel Klein, George Mason University
- Paul Koch, Univ. of Kansas
- Narayana Kocherlakota, Univ. of Minnesota
- Marek Kolar, Delta College
- Roger Koppl, Fairleigh Dickinson University
- Kishore Kulkarni, Metropolitan State College of Denver
- Deepak Lal, UCLA
- George Langelett, South Dakota State University
- James Larriviere, Spring Hill College
- Robert Lawson, Auburn University
- John Levendis, Loyola University New Orleans
- David Levine, Washington University in St. Louis
- Peter Lewin, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
- Dean Lillard, Cornell University
- Zheng Liu, Emory University
- Alan Lockard, Binghampton University
- Edward Lopez, San Jose State University
- John Lunn, Hope College
- Glenn MacDonald, Washington
- University in St. Louis
- Michael Marlow, California
- Polytechnic State University
- Deryl Martin, Tennessee Tech University
- Dale Matcheck, Northwood University
- Deirdre McCloskey, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
- John McDermott, Univ. of South Carolina
- Joseph McGarrity, Univ. of Central Arkansas
- Roger Meiners, Univ. of Texas at Arlington
- Allan Meltzer, Carnegie Mellon University
- John Merrifield, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio
- James Miller III, George Mason University
- Jeffrey Miron, Harvard University
- Thomas Moeller, Texas Christian University
- John Moorhouse, Wake Forest University
- Andrea Moro, Vanderbilt University
- Andrew Morriss, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Michael Munger, Duke University
- Kevin Murphy, Univ. of Southern California
- Richard Muth, Emory University
- Charles Nelson, Univ. of Washington
- Seth Norton, Wheaton College
- Lee Ohanian, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
- Lydia Ortega, San Jose State University
- Evan Osborne, Wright State University
- Randall Parker, East Carolina University
- Donald Parsons, George Washington University
- Sam Peltzman, Univ. of Chicago
- Mark Perry, Univ. of Michigan, Flint
- Christopher Phelan, Univ. of Minnesota
- Gordon Phillips, Univ. of Maryland
- Michael Pippenger, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks
- Tomasz Piskorski, Columbia University
- Brennan Platt, Brigham Young University
- Joseph Pomykala, Towson University
- William Poole, Univ. of Delaware
- Barry Poulson, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder
- Benjamin Powell, Suffolk University
- Edward Prescott, Nobel laureate
- Gary Quinlivan, Saint Vincent College
- Reza Ramazani, Saint Michael’s College
- Adriano Rampini, Duke University
- Eric Rasmusen, Indiana University
- Mario Rizzo, New York University
- Richard Roll, Univ. of California, Los Angeles
- Robert Rossana, Wayne State University
- James Roumasset, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
- John Rowe, Univ. of South Florida
- Charles Rowley, George Mason University
- Juan Rubio-Ramirez, Duke University
- Roy Ruffin, Univ. of Houston
- Kevin Salyer, Univ. of California, Davis
- Pavel Savor, Univ. of Pennsylvania
- Ronald Schmidt, Univ. of Rochester
- Carlos Seiglie, Rutgers University
- William Shughart II, Univ. of Mississippi
- Charles Skipton, Univ. of Tampa
- James Smith, Western Carolina University
- Vernon Smith, Nobel laureate
- Lawrence Southwick, Jr., Univ. at Buffalo
- Dean Stansel, Florida Gulf Coast University
- Houston Stokes, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
- Brian Strow, Western Kentucky University
- Shirley Svorny, California State
- University, Northridge
- John Tatom, Indiana State University
- Wade Thomas, State University of New York at Oneonta
- Henry Thompson, Auburn University
- Alex Tokarev, The King’s College
- Edward Tower, Duke University
- Leo Troy, Rutgers University
- David Tuerck, Suffolk University
- Charlotte Twight, Boise State University
- Kamal Upadhyaya, Univ. of New Haven
- Charles Upton, Kent State University
- T. Norman Van Cott, Ball State University
- Richard Vedder, Ohio University
- Richard Wagner, George Mason University
- Douglas M. Walker, College of Charleston
- Douglas O. Walker, Regent University
- Christopher Westley, Jacksonville State University
- Lawrence White, Univ. of Missouri at St. Louis
- Walter Williams, George Mason University
- Doug Wills, Univ. of Washington Tacoma
- Dennis Wilson, Western Kentucky University
- Gary Wolfram, Hillsdale College
- Huizhong Zhou, Western Michigan University
Additional economists who have signed the statement
- Lee Adkins, Oklahoma State University
- William Albrecht, Univ. of Iowa
- Donald Alexander, Western Michigan University
- Geoffrey Andron, Austin Community College
- Nathan Ashby, Univ. of Texas at El Paso
- George Averitt, Purdue North Central University
- Charles Baird, California State University, East Bay
- Timothy Bastian, Creighton University
- John Bethune, Barton College
- Robert Bise, Orange Coast College
- Karl Borden, University of Nebraska
- Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University
- Ivan Brick, Rutgers University
- Phil Bryson, Brigham Young University
- Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University
- Edwin Burton, Univ. of Virginia
- Jim Butkiewicz, Univ. of Delaware
- Richard Cebula, Armstrong Atlantic State University
- Don Chance, Louisiana State University
- Robert Chatfield, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Lloyd Cohen, George Mason University
- Peter Colwell, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Michael Connolly, Univ. of Miami
- Jim Couch, Univ. of North Alabama
- Eleanor Craig, Univ. of Delaware
- Michael Daniels, Columbus State University
- A. Edward Day, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
- Stephen Dempsey, Univ. of Vermont
- Allan DeSerpa, Arizona State University
- William Dewald, Ohio State University
- Jeff Dorfman, Univ. of Georgia
- Lanny Ebenstein, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
- Michael Erickson, The College of Idaho
- Jack Estill, San Jose State University
- Dorla Evans, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville
- Frank Falero, California State University, Bakersfield
- Daniel Feenberg, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Eric Fisher, California Polytechnic State University
- Arthur Fleisher, Metropolitan State College of Denver
- William Ford, Middle Tennessee State University
- Ralph Frasca, Univ. of Dayton
- Joseph Giacalone, St. John’s University
- Adam Gifford, California State Unviersity, Northridge
- Otis Gilley, Louisiana Tech University
- J. Edward Graham, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- Richard Grant, Lipscomb University
- Gauri-Shankar Guha, Arkansas State University
- Darren Gulla, Univ. of Kentucky
- Dennis Halcoussis, California State University, Northridge
- Richard Hart, Miami University
- James Hartley, Mount Holyoke College
- Thomas Hazlett, George Mason University
- Scott Hein, Texas Tech University
- Bradley Hobbs, Florida Gulf Coast University
- John Hoehn, Michigan State University
- Daniel Houser, George Mason University
- Thomas Howard, University of Denver
- Chris Hughen, Univ. of Denver
- Marcus Ingram, Univ. of Tampa
- Joseph Jadlow, Oklahoma State University
- Sherry Jarrell, Wake Forest University
- Carrie Kerekes, Florida Gulf Coast University
- Robert Krol, California State University, Northridge
- James Kurre, Penn State Erie
- Tom Lehman, Indiana Wesleyan University
- W. Cris Lewis, Utah State University
- Stan Liebowitz, Univ. of Texas at Dallas
- Anthony Losasso, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
- John Lott, Jr., Univ. of Maryland
- Keith Malone, Univ. of North Alabama
- Henry Manne, George Mason University
- Richard Marcus, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Timothy Mathews, Kennesaw State University
- John Matsusaka, Univ. of Southern California
- Thomas Mayor, Univ. of Houston
- W. Douglas McMillin, Louisiana State University
- Mario Miranda, The Ohio State University
- Ed Miseta, Penn State Erie
- James Moncur, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa
- Charles Moss, Univ. of Florida
- Tim Muris, George Mason University
- John Murray, Univ. of Toledo
- David Mustard, Univ. of Georgia
- Steven Myers, Univ. of Akron
- Dhananjay Nanda, University of Miami
- Stephen Parente, Univ. of Minnesota
- Allen Parkman, Univ. of New Mexico
- Douglas Patterson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University
- Timothy Perri, Appalachian State University
- Mark Pingle, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
- Ivan Pongracic, Hillsdale College
- Richard Rawlins, Missouri Southern State University
- Thomas Rhee, California State University, Long Beach
- Christine Ries, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Nancy Roberts, Arizona State University
- Larry Ross, Univ. of Alaska Anchorage
- Timothy Roth, Univ. of Texas at El Paso
- Atulya Sarin, Santa Clara University
- Thomas Saving, Texas A&M University
- Eric Schansberg, Indiana University Southeast
- John Seater, North Carolina University
- Alan Shapiro, Univ. of Southern California
- Frank Spreng, McKendree University
- Judith Staley Brenneke, John Carroll University
- John E. Stapleford, Eastern University
- Courtenay Stone, Ball State University
- Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, UCLA
- Scott Sumner, Bentley University
- Clifford Thies, Shenandoah University
- William Trumbull, West Virginia University
- Gustavo Ventura, Univ. of Iowa
- Marc Weidenmier, Claremont McKenna College
- Robert Whaples, Wake Forest University
- Gene Wunder, Washburn University
- John Zdanowicz, Florida International University
- Jerry Zimmerman, Univ. of Rochester
- Joseph Zoric, Franciscan University of Steubenville
The world will not end or anything, but we will have a decision tonight. The Senate is voting today at 5:30 pm EST on the Stimulus Bill – the pet name I am most fond of at the moment is the Generational Theft Act.
Looking at Rasmussen polling, The latest national telephone survey (as of 2/4) found that 37% favor the legislation, 43% are opposed, and 20% are not sure. Support has fallen in the last two weeks. Even among the Democrats. As of 2/9 62% of U.S. voters want the plan to include more tax cuts and less government spending. Going to the other extreme, 72% of voters oppose a stimulus plan that includes only new government spending without any tax cuts. The president has said that inaction on the rescue plan will lead to catastrophe. Voters are evenly divided on that point: 44% agree with him and 41% do not. 12% of voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job, and 54% rate their performance as poor in a Rasmussen Reports survey released last week.
This alternative plan outlined here makes much more sense.
It has one (single, lonely, effective) plank. IMMEDIATELY CUT ALL PERSONAL AND CORPORATE INCOME TAXES IN HALF FOR ALL TWELVE MONTHS OF 2009.
No new government offices. No frisbee parks. No swimming pools.
The “lost revenue” to the government would amount to about $800 billion, equal to what congress is recommending. However, that lost revenue would remain with you, the person who earned it. So we got to thinking:
How would cutting our withholding in half effect our daily lives?
Thus, the TCOT CHALLENGE was born.
Below we’d like you to tell us what an extra 200, 300, 400 or more dollars a week would change in your world. What would you purchase? Where would you go? How would you invest it? If the government says that spending money drives this economy, what better way to reverse a down turn that pumping and immediate $60 billion into the economy every month. Hey, you earned it, why shouldn’t you decide how it should be spent. We want to know specifically, how would PORKULUS (the current stimulus plan) benefit you personally in 2009? And would TCOT Plan or PORKULUS benefit you more?
Here is an example of how one family would use their hard earned cash: http://michaelpatrickleahy.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-one-member-of-tcot-would-use-tax.html
After you let us know what you think–be sure to let us know what state you’re from–go to this link http://moveovermoveon.posterous.com/media-links and send this website to the media outlets everywhere, but especially Maine and Pennsylvania. Blog about it, tweet about it or link it on your Face Book. Help the north east main street media let their senators, Collins, Snowe, & Specter, know that we are very unhappy that they have chosen to compromise our future. It is, after all, “for the children.”
These three are the Republicans planning on voting for the bill. Please call them and let them know that you are against the bill. Sample scripts are available here if you need ideas on what to say.
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)
DC Phone: (202) 224-2523 Fax: (202) 224-2693
ZIP CODES: 04101, 04102, 04105
So maybe it was really the Democrat Retreat but it was a big love fest for Obama and even Pelosi. Man, she has him really into her. But I digress. So Obama took his first trip on Air Force One to go speak at the Democrats Annual retreat. His speech was a massive cheerleading, campaign style speech touting the benefits and need for the bill affectionately know by many as Porkulous or Spendulous. One of his key points being that the American people want this. This seems to be just a diversion from actual facts as seen in polls mentioned below:
The latest survey shows that only 37% of Americans favor the current bill. Two weeks ago, the support was at 45% and last week it was at 42%. That’s an eight point drop in just two weeks. The most interesting numbers are among the “independent” voters, who oppose the bill by a full 50% and favor it by only 27%. Furthermore, overall opposition to the bill has gone from 34% two weeks ago to 43% today – an increase of nine percent. For the first time, more Americans oppose the Democrats’ pork-laden vote-buying bill than favor it. – Obama stated in his speech that there is a lack of earmarks in the bill, well that is only partly the case. The WHOLE bill seems to be one giant earmark being more of a Christmas wish list for the Democrats.
The Rasmussen poll also showed that more Americans favor a tax cut-only bill than favor what the Democrats have proposed. Such a bill enjoys a 45% approval to a disapproval of only 34%. Among “independents”, those numbers are 46% approval and 35% disapproval. Only Democrats still overwhelmingly approve of the Democrats’ attempt to load us and our children up with a trillion dollars’ worth of debt.
Supporting tax cuts is massive. Fifty-seven percent believe that tax cuts help the economy while only 17% believe they hurt. About the same number of people (56%) believe that they pay more than their fair share of taxes.
Here is a link to current stimulus information and is constantly updated.
The text of Obama’s campaign style speech is below, in case you don’t feel inclined to watch the video. Not all the youtube videos included the praise and adoration of Pelosi and her cronies at the beginning either. I would also point out that when it came time to move onto the question and answer sessions – cameras were turned off. Transparent? No. Curious? Yes.
It’s great to be here with so many friends. I’m glad to see the House Democratic Caucus is getting by just fine without my Chief of Staff. I want to thank John Larson for inviting me here tonight. This is John’s first conference as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, so we’re both new at this.
I want to acknowledge the great Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who has proven to be an extraordinary leader for the American people. I want to thank Nancy, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn and the entire caucus for your hard work in passing an economic recovery plan that is so desperately needed for our country.
You acted with a discipline that matches the urgency and gravity of the crisis we face. Because you know what’s at stake. Every weekend you go home to your districts and you see factories that are closing and small businesses shutting their doors. You hear from families losing their homes; students that can’t pay tuition; seniors who worry about whether they can retire with dignity, or see their kids and grandkids lead the better life that must be America’s promise.
So you went to work, and you did your job. For that, you have my appreciation and admiration. As we meet here tonight, we know there is more work to be done. The Senate is still acting. And after it has its final vote, we will still need to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills. I urge you to complete that work without delay.
Look, I value the constructive criticism and healthy debate that is a foundation of American democracy. I don’t think any of us have cornered the market on wisdom, or that good ideas are the province of any party. The American people know that our challenges are great. They’re not expecting Democratic solutions or Republican solutions – they want American solutions. And I have said that to those who have criticized the plan.
But what I have also said is – don’t come to table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped create this crisis.
We’re not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that in eight short years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin. We can’t embrace the losing formula that offers more tax cuts as the only answer to every problem we face, while ignoring critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, the soaring cost of health care, failing schools and crumbling bridges, roads and levees. I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV – if you’re headed for a cliff, you have to change direction.
The American people are watching. They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay and distractions. They did not vote for the false theories of the past. They did not vote for the status quo – they sent us here to bring change, and we owe it to them to act. This is the moment for leadership that matches the great test of our time.
If we do not move swiftly to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, an economy that is in crisis will be faced with catastrophe. Millions more Americans will lose their jobs. Home will be lost. Families will go without health care. Our crippling dependence on foreign oil will continue. That is the price of inaction.
This isn’t some abstract debate. Last week, we learned that many of America’s largest corporations are planning to layoff tens off tens of thousands of workers. Today, we learned that last week, the number of new unemployment claims jumped to 626,000. And tomorrow, we’re expecting another dismal jobs report on top of the 2.6 million jobs we lost last year.
For you, those aren’t statistics. They are constituents you know and families that you care about. Now, I believe that legislation of such magnitude deserves the scrutiny that it’s received, and you will get another chance to vote for this bill in the days to come. But I urge all of us to not make the perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary. The scale and scope of this plan is right.
So just as past generations of Americans have done in trying times, we can and must turn this moment of challenge into one of opportunity. The plan that you’ve passed has at its core a simple idea: let’s put Americans to work doing the work that America needs done.
This plan will save or create over three million jobs – almost all of them in the private sector.
This plan will put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges; our dangerously deficient dams and levees.
This plan will put people to work modernizing our health care system, not only saving us billions of dollars, but countless lives.
This plan will put people to work renovating more than 10,000 schools, giving millions of children the chance to learn in 21st century classrooms, libraries, and labs – and to all the scientists in the room today, you know what that means for America’s future.
This plan will provide sensible tax relief for the struggling middle-class, unemployment insurance and continued health care coverage for those who’ve lost their jobs, and it will help prevent our states and local communities from laying off firefighters, teachers, and police.
Finally, this plan will begin to end the tyranny of oil in our time. It doubles our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and biofuels in three years. It saves taxpayers billions of dollars by making federal buildings more energy efficient, and it saves the average working family hundreds on their energy bills. After decades of empty rhetoric, that is the down payment that we need on energy independence.
You know, there’s a lot about running for President that is difficult – I don’t miss sleeping in a different bed every night, or not seeing my kids as much as I’d like. But the best thing about being a candidate is that you get to see the country, and you get to know the character of the American people.
Over the last two years, I visited almost all fifty states. I’ve been in so many of your districts. I’ve passed through towns and cities, farms and factories. I know that people are hurting. I’ve heard their stories, and I’ve sensed their deep frustration. But I also know that these struggles have not diminished the strength and decency of the American people.
We hold within our hands the capacity to do great things on their behalf. It starts with this economic recovery plan. And soon, we will take on big issues like addressing the foreclosure issue, passing a budget, tackling our fiscal problems, fixing financial regulation and securing our country. We must not approach these challenges as Democrats – we must overcome them as Americans. That is why we must work in a serious, substantive, and civil way to build bipartisan support for action.
I promise you that my door is open, and my Administration will consult closely with you – the peoples’ representatives – as we take on pressing priorities like energy and health care; education and infrastructure.
Already, you have made a difference. I’m pleased that in my very first days in office, I signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to make sure that all of our daughters have the same opportunity as our sons. I signed the Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide coverage to 11 million children, and to make a down payment on comprehensive health care reform. I know it wasn’t easy – it was a long time coming, and I appreciate your hard work over several years on behalf of America’s children.
Tonight, I am confident that if we continue to work together, we can fulfill the promise of health care that is affordable for all Americans. We can create that new energy economy. We can provide a world-class education for our kids. We can unleash the talent, and innovation of the American people to compete in the 21st century. We can do all of that.
Now, we have a choice to make. Future generations will look back, and they will ask what we did when we confronted this crisis. What will they say?
Will they say that – once again – we failed to make the tough choices that lead to progress? Or will they say that this was the time that we came together, that we found our stake in one another as Americans, and that we voted for bold and aggressive action?
Together, we hold in our hands enormous responsibility. We also have an enormous opportunity.
We can write that next great chapter in American history. If we stay focused on the big picture; if we never forget the people who we are fighting for; if we represent the strength and dignity of the American people, then I know we can answer’s history’s call and renew America’s promise.
So if I was not sure before, post from a few days ago where Pelosi said that Republicans across the country actually support the massive obsurd bailout bill, well – NOW I am sure the lady is looney.
At a briefing with Washington reporters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked if pushing that stimulus package for signing-in time for Presidents Day was perhaps rushing things a bit. The California representative took her recession anthem to a thoroughly depressing, ridiculous new level.
She predicted that if legislators didn’t hurry with the plan, more Americans would lose their jobs than there are Americans — 500 million. (Listen for yourself on the video below.) “I don’t think we can go fast enough,” she added.
According to the Census Bureau’s Population Clock, total U.S. population this afternoon is coming up on 306.8 million. Meaning that without the Great Change Agent’s economic plans, unborn generations of fellow citizens already have hopeless lives laid out for them even before their conception.
Please fellow citizens of California – let’s get this woman out of office. Even the Democrats could find a better person to be the Speaker of the House. I mean really. She is nutty.