Author Archives: citizenwells

CBO raises 2014 budget deficit by 14 billion, Lowers GDP from 3.1 to 1.5 percent, Red ink to rise in coming years if Washington doesn’t change current laws, Lower tax revenue

CBO raises 2014 budget deficit by 14 billion, Lowers GDP from 3.1 to 1.5 percent, Red ink to rise in coming years if Washington doesn’t change current laws, Lower tax revenue

“The number of people receiving health coverage through public exchanges under President Obama’s health-care overhaul will total roughly 25 million by 2018, will add more than $1 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade and could very well create a small contingent of workers unwilling to work for fear of losing federal medical aid.”
“One of the CBO’s most intriguing estimates is that by 2017 there will be 2 million fewer full-time jobs on the market than there would have been without Obamacare, and that figure could climb to 2.5 million by 2024.”…Market Watch February 4, 2014

“What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending – that’s the whole point! Seriously.”…Barack Obama

 

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From Market Watch August 27, 2014.

“CBO forecasts $506 billion budget deficit for 2014″
“The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday raised its estimate of the federal government’s budget deficit for the current fiscal year as it slashed its growth forecast, and warned red ink was due to rise in coming years if Washington doesn’t change current laws.

In an update of budget and economic projections for 2014 to 2024, the nonpartisan CBO said the U.S. government’s deficit for fiscal 2014 will be $506 billion, or 2.9% of gross domestic product. The new estimate is $14 billion more than the agency’s prior estimate for the year, issued in April.

The new estimate is largely a result of lower-than-expected revenues for the year — particularly receipts of corporate taxes. CBO now estimates that all revenues will be 0.9% below its projection in April. Corporate tax revenues will be $315 billion in 2014, compared to a prior estimate of $351 billion, CBO said.”
“The agency lowered its projection of GDP growth for the year, to 1.5% from 3.1%, “reflecting the surprising economic weakness in the first half of the year.””
“But there are fiscal pressures on the horizon. The CBO said deficits will start to rise again after 2015, and approach $1 trillion in 2024.”

Read more:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cbo-forecasts-506-billion-budget-deficit-for-2014-2014-08-27?dist=countdown

 

Obamacare negatively impacts employment and health care costs, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reflects Philadelphia Fed survey, 48.6 percent raises costs a lot in 2014, 25.9 percent employ fewer workers

Obamacare negatively impacts employment and health care costs, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reflects Philadelphia Fed survey, 48.6 percent raises costs a lot in 2014, 25.9 percent employ fewer workers

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

Reported at Citizen Wells August 22, 2014.

From the Philadelphia Fed August 2014.

“In special questions this month, firms were asked qualitative questions about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how, if at all, they are making changes to their employment and compensation, including benefits (see Special Questions). Over 18 percent of the firms indicated that the number of workers they employ was lower because of the ACA; 3 percent indicated higher levels. The same percentage (18 percent) indicated that the proportion of part-time workers had increased. Regarding health insurance benefit coverage, 41 percent said their coverage was unchanged, but 52 percent indicated modifications to their offerings. Among those modifying their health insurance coverage, higher deductibles (91 percent), higher worker contributed premiums (88 percent), and higher out-of-pocket maximums (77 percent) were the most cited changes.”

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has just presented their survey.

“How would you say the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has affected your firm’s health care costs in question 1 above?”

“Raise costs a lot”

“Effect of ACA in 2014″

48.6 percent

“Expected effect of ACA in 2015″

54.7 percent
“How, if at all, are you changing (or have you changed) any of the following because of the effects that the ACA is having on your firm?”

“The number of workers you employ (including full-time, part-time, etc.)”

“Lower due to ACA”

25.9 percent

“The proportion of your workers that are part-time, contract or temporary”

“Higher due to ACA”

16.5 percent

“Prices you charge to customers”

“Higher due to ACA”

35.3 percent

http://www.dallasfed.org/microsites/research/surveys/tmos/2014/1408/specquest.cfm

Over one third of these companies are passing on the higher cost of Obamacare to their customers!

 

Chicago crime rate drops, Illinois concealed carry applications surge, Robberies down 20 percent, Homicide rate at 56 year low, Guns protect weaker people from stronger people armed or unarmed

Chicago crime rate drops, Illinois concealed carry applications surge, Robberies down 20 percent, Homicide rate at 56 year low, Guns protect weaker people from stronger people armed or unarmed

“Weaker people, whether at school, at home or elsewhere are best protected from stronger people, with ill intent, by guns and proper security measures.”…Citizen Wells

“Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA – ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.”…Heinrich Himmler

“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”…George Washington

 

Guns protect weaker people from stronger people, armed or unarmed.

A point missed or ignored by the media and the left.

The police officer in Ferguson, MO was protected from further harm by a gun.

From the Washington Times August 24, 2014.
“Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge

An 86-year-old Illinois man with a concealed carry permit fired his weapon at an armed robbery suspect fleeing police last month, stopping the man in his tracks and allowing the police to make an arrest.

Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.

Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.

Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.

“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”

As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.”

Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/24/chicago-crime-rate-drops-as-concealed-carry-gun-pe/?page=2

 

Janet Yellen employment concerns, NY Times protects Obama, Chicago Suntimes Philadelphia Fed and Duke Fuqua School of Business blame Obamacare for unemployment and part time jobs

Janet Yellen employment concerns, NY Times protects Obama, Chicago Suntimes Philadelphia Fed and Duke Fuqua School of Business blame Obamacare for unemployment and part time jobs

“Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,”…Keith Hall, former BLS chief

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

Janet Yellen, despite the fact she has tap danced around the real employment problems in this county, today in Jackson Hole did address some of the problems with employment in this country.

“Consider first the behavior of the labor force participation rate, which has declined substantially since the end of the recession even as the unemployment rate has fallen. As a consequence, the employment-to-population ratio has increased far less over the past several years than the unemployment rate alone would indicate, based on past experience. For policymakers, the key question is: What portion of the decline in labor force participation reflects structural shifts and what portion reflects cyclical weakness in the labor market? If the cyclical component is abnormally large, relative to the unemployment rate, then it might be seen as an additional contributor to labor market slack.

Labor force participation peaked in early 2000, so its decline began well before the Great Recession. A portion of that decline clearly relates to the aging of the baby boom generation. But the pace of decline accelerated with the recession. As an accounting matter, the drop in the participation rate since 2008 can be attributed to increases in four factors: retirement, disability, school enrollment, and other reasons, including worker discouragement.8 Of these, greater worker discouragement is most directly the result of a weak labor market, so we could reasonably expect further increases in labor demand to pull a sizable share of discouraged workers back into the workforce.”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20140822a.htm

The NY Times, as it often has, reports on the Yellen speech and quotes one of the most ludicrous papers as an excuse for the lack of employment.

I was just going to pull up the NY Times Yellen article from this afternoon and got this message:

“The requested URL “http://www.nytimes.com/” cannot be found or is not available. Please check the spelling or try again later.”

I will try again later.

***  Update 7:03 PM article back up ***

“Ms. Yellen’s optimism that Fed policy can increase employment and wages is also challenged by a growing body of economic literature purporting to show that the decline of employment is caused largely by factors that predate the recession, and that cannot be addressed by continuing to hold down interest rates.

The economists Stephen J. Davis, of the University of Chicago, and John Haltiwanger, of the University of Maryland, argued in a paper presented Friday at the conference that employment had declined because the labor market has stagnated in recent decades. Fewer people are leaving or losing jobs, and fewer are taking new ones.

“These results,” they wrote, “suggest the U.S. economy faced serious impediments to high employment rates well before the Great Recession, and that sustained high employment is unlikely to return without restoring labor market fluidity.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/business/yellen-on-federal-reserve-policy.html

Read the rest of the article.

You will be amazed.

 

From the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, December 11, 2013.

“——————————————-
DUKE UNIVERSITY NEWS
Duke University Office of News & Communications

http://www.dukenews.duke.edu

——————————————-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013
CONTACTS: Kevin Anselmo (Duke’s Fuqua School of Business)
(919) 660-7722
kevin.anselmo@duke.edu
or
David W. Owens (CFO Magazine)
(617) 790-3000
davidowens@cfo.com

CFO SURVEY: AFFORDABLE CARE ACT COULD CURTAIL HIRING

Note to editors: For additional comment, see contact information at the end of this release.
Watch professor John Graham discuss the results (or use this link
http://youtu.be/F4oj8d5F9Jo). You may also post this video on your website. Names of CFOs who took part in the survey and agreed to speak with media are available by request.

DURHAM, N.C. — A significant percentage of U.S. chief financial officers indicate that because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they may reduce employment growth at their firms and shift toward part-time workers.

A majority of finance chiefs also believe the full Social Security retirement age should be raised to help close the budget shortfall.

Despite these issues, underlying economic conditions are expected to improve in 2014 and, except in Europe, corporate charitable giving remains strong

These are some of the findings from the latest Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, which concluded Dec. 5. The survey has been conducted for 71 consecutive quarters and spans the globe, making it the world’s longest running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives. Presented results are for U.S. firms unless otherwise noted.

EMPLOYMENT EFFECTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA.
One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”

Read more:

http://www.cfosurvey.org/14q1/PressRelease.pdf

From the Philadelphia Fed August 2014.

“In special questions this month, firms were asked qualitative questions about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how, if at all, they are making changes to their employment and compensation, including benefits (see Special Questions). Over 18 percent of the firms indicated that the number of workers they employ was lower because of the ACA; 3 percent indicated higher levels. The same percentage (18 percent) indicated that the proportion of part-time workers had increased. Regarding health insurance benefit coverage, 41 percent said their coverage was unchanged, but 52 percent indicated modifications to their offerings. Among those modifying their health insurance coverage, higher deductibles (91 percent), higher worker contributed premiums (88 percent), and higher out-of-pocket maximums (77 percent) were the most cited changes.”

From the Chicago SunTimes August 21, 2014.

“Thanks a lot, Obama.

Add the Affordable Care Act – or, specifically, the big-business Cubs’ response to it – to the causes behind Tuesday night’s tarp fiasco and rare successful protest by the San Francisco Giants.

The staffing issues that hamstrung the grounds crew Tuesday during a mad dash with the tarp under a sudden rainstorm were created in part by a wide-ranging reorganization last winter of game-day personnel, job descriptions and work limits designed to keep the seasonal workers – including much of the grounds crew – under 130 hours per month, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge.

That’s the full-time worker definition under “Obamacare,” which requires employer-provided healthcare benefits for “big businesses” such as a major league team.”

Read more:

http://www.suntimes.com/29402267-761/cubs-cut-grounds-crews-hours-to-avoid-paying-health-benefits-sources.html#.U_fDd_nxrVr

 

 

State employment rates lower in 2014 than 2007, Pew Charitable Trust Aug 19, 2014, Employment rates for 25 to 54 year olds lower, 3.7 percent drop, Safety net programs strained

State employment rates lower in 2014 than 2007, Pew Charitable Trust Aug 19, 2014, Employment rates for 25 to 54 year olds lower, 3.7 percent drop, Safety net programs strained

“11.4%: What the U.S. unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were back to January 2008 levels.” …James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, June 2013

“For now, the absence of young adults from the housing market continues to put a dent in the homeownership rate, which dropped to 64.8% in the first quarter, compared with 65.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to U.S. Census statistics. The rate was as high as 69.2% in the fourth quarter of 2004. For those younger than 35, the rate has fallen noticeably faster. It slipped to 36.2% in the first quarter, from 36.8% in the fourth. The homeownership rate for this group was as high as 43.6% in the second quarter of 2004.”…Market Watch May 12, 2014

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

From the  Pew Charitable Trust August 19, 2014.

“Percentage-point Change in Employment Rate, CY 2007 to FY 2014″

StateEmployment

“In 2007, leading up to the Great Recession, 79.9 percent of people ages 25 to 54 in the United States had a job. In the 12 months ending June 2014, five years after the recession ended, only 76.2 percent of people in that age group were working.

The latest rates show a slight improvement from fiscal 2013, when 75.9 percent of people in their prime working years had a job nationally. At that time, employment rates were below prerecession levels in 35 states.

Still, at 3.7 percentage points lower than before the recession, the employment to population ratio for prime-age workers shows that the U.S. labor market remains weak. This finding has significant budgetary consequences for states:

Without paychecks, people pay less income tax and tend to buy less, reducing sales and business income tax revenue.
Unemployed people frequently need more services, such as Medicaid and other safety-net programs, increasing costs at a time when state governments may have less tax revenue.
A state-by-state comparison of calendar year 2007 with fiscal 2014 shows:

No state reported employment rate gains for 25- to 54-year-olds.
29 states had statistically significant decreases.
The largest decline in the employment rate was in New Mexico, where 69.9 percent of prime-age workers had jobs in fiscal 2014 — 9.2 percentage points lower than in 2007.
Among the least affected were Vermont and Nebraska, which recorded the smallest observed changes in their current employment rates of 83.3 and 85.2 percent, respectively.
Although unemployment figures receive more media attention, the employment rate is a preferred index for many economists because it provides a sharper picture of changes in the labor market. The unemployment rate, for example, fails to count workers who stopped looking for a job. By focusing on 25- to 54-year-olds, trends are less distorted by demographic effects such as older and younger workers’ choices regarding retirement or full-time education.”

Read more:

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/multimedia/data-visualizations/2014/fiscal-50#ind3

 

Thanks to commenter bob strauss.

 

Blagojevich appeal update August 19, 2014, US court of appeals seventh circuit decision, Empress Casino Joliet Corp v John Johnston et al, Quid pro quo between racetracks and Governor Blagojevich

Blagojevich appeal update August 19, 2014, US court of appeals seventh circuit decision, Empress Casino Joliet Corp v John Johnston et al, Quid pro quo between racetracks and Governor Blagojevich

“Why wasn’t Rod Blagojevich, Governor of IL, prosecuted before Tony Rezko, a businessman?”…Citizen Wells

“Why was Tony Rezko’s sentencing delayed?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

 

 

We are still awaiting a decision from the US Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on the Blagojevich appeal.

Yesterday the court of appeals presented their decision on Empress Casino Joliet Corp v John Johnston, et al.

Some of the most damning wording for Blagojevich is the following:

“The summary judgment record contains considerable evidence that, if credited, would support the allegation of a quid pro quo between the Racetracks and Governor Blagojevich. When Blagojevich did not immediately sign the ’08 Act into law, Racetracks executive Johnston stated to a colleague in an email: “We are going to have to put a stronger bit in his mouth!?!” Johnston complained to Blagojevich’s chief of staff Monk that the delays in signing the bill were costing Johnston $9,000 per day. A factfinder could conclude that Blagojevich was talking about Johnston’s commitment to pay $100,000 when he informed Monk that he would “like some separation between that and signing the bill.” After the FBI recorded Monk and Blagojevich scheming about getting Johnston to pay, Monk met with Johnston and, according to Monk, delivered the message that the bill would not be signed until he paid.”

http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2014/D08-15/C:13-2972:J:Wood:aut:T:fnOp:N:1400418:S:0

From Chicago Law Bulletin August 18, 2014.

“Reviving a lawsuit accusing racetrack owners of offering a bribe to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a federal appeals court has addressed when political horse-trading crosses the line “from the merely unseemly to the unlawful.”
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule on the merits of the claim that Blagojevich in 2008 signed legislation favored by the racetrack industry in return for the promise of a $100,000 campaign contribution.
But the court ruled there is enough evidence — if true — to support a finding of a quid pro quo exchange between Blagojevich and the industry.
And assuming such an exchange took place, the court continued, it directly harmed four riverboat casinos in northern Illinois by leading to the implementation of the Horse Racing Act.”
“The casinos do not allege that members of the Illinois General Assembly were offered or took any bribes to pass the bill, the panel wrote.
And deeming officials’ support of legislation to be illegal merely because campaign contributions were solicited and received about the time the legislation was enacted, the panel wrote, would leave the officials open to prosecution for conduct long thought legal.
Such an action, the panel continued, quoting McCormick v. United States, 500 U.S. 257 (1991), also would lead to prosecutions for conduct “that in a very real sense is unavoidable so long as election campaigns are financed by private contributions or expenditures, as they have been from the beginning of the nation.”
It’s a different story, the panel wrote, when it comes to the 2008 renewal legislation.
Evidence that Blagojevich signed the bill in exchange for the promise of a $100,000 contribution included the criminal trial testimony of Blagojevich’s former chief of staff, Alonzo Monk, and Johnston’s admission that he offered the bribe, the panel wrote.
Johnston received immunity from prosecution, and Monk pleaded guilty to corruption charges.”
Read more:
This transaction is the only time I recall the appeals court judges stating that Blagojevich was clearly involved in a quid pro quo activity. During the initial oral arguments phase and in the lastest decision they otherwise question whether or not he was involved in traditional political activities.
This fact coupled with the earlier irregularities in the Blagojevich trials and subsequent delays in producing the transcripts leads me to believe that Blagojevich will get a reduced sentence.

 

NC unemployment rate up to 6.5 percent and labor force drops .3, Labor force participation rate plummets 4.1 percent since Jan 2009, How are dropouts paying bills?

NC unemployment rate up to 6.5 percent and labor force drops .3, Labor force participation rate plummets 4.1 percent since Jan 2009, How are dropouts paying bills?

“11.4%: What the U.S. unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were back to January 2008 levels.” …James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, June 2013

 

“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.

Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013

 

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″

 

 

I rarely watch News 2 News out of Greensboro, NC. Yesterday, at a family member’s house I heard Julie Luck of News 2 describe the recent news about the NC unemployment rate for July. I was reminded of the Valley Girl speak of years ago.

The News Record did a little better.

“North Carolina’s unemployment rate inched higher for July as the state’s labor force declined by nearly 15,000 over the course of a month, state officials said Monday.

The jobless rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.5 percent in July after being flat for two months, according to a report by the Commerce Department. North Carolina’s unemployment rate was higher than the national rate of 6.2 percent.”
“”The number of employed decreased almost 20,000, when it’s seasonally adjusted, which is quite a bit,” said Kurt, an associate professor of economics at Elon University.

Still, Kurt noted the numbers look better than they did a year ago when the unemployment rate was 1.6 percentage points higher. Total private sector jobs have grown by about 94,000 since July 2013.

“When you compare it year to year, it’s not a bad report,” he said. “Overall, the last year has been good for North Carolina.””

Read more:

http://www.news-record.com/news/n-c-jobless-rate-inches-up-to-percent-for-july/article_16f57002-26fc-11e4-a89d-001a4bcf6878.html

From above:

“Overall, the last year has been good for North Carolina.”

Really?

The labor force participation dropped 1 percent in the past year.

It dropped .3 percent the past month.

The labor force participation rate in NC plummeted 4.1 percent since January 2009.