Category Archives: Financial crisis

What it’s like to be poor and make terrible decisions, Poverty thoughts, Obama economy, Smoking a stimulant for exhausted, Lot of poor financial decisions, Poor exploited units of human capital

What it’s like to be poor and make terrible decisions, Poverty thoughts, Obama economy, Smoking a stimulant for exhausted, Lot of poor financial decisions, Poor exploited units of human capital

“In the Triad, a number of studies have ranked the area among the nation’s worst in terms of poverty and food hardship.”

““You have the people that were barely making it with 40 hours. Now, they’re below 30 hours and have the same household bills,” Sturdivant said. “And at the end of the day, if they go out and get another part-time job, they still won’t have insurance.””...Greensboro News Record September 2, 2013

“This commentary does not oppose CHD funding of genuine, grassroots community organizations, run and supported by individual members of a parish or diocese. There is potential value and virtue in the collective voice. However, when the CHD funds Alinsky-style, church-based community organizations as in the best interest of the poor and supports organizations which advance other agendas, it divests the poor of their right to an authentic voice. This process tends to treat the poor as exploited units of human capital, rather than as human beings created in the dignity of God’s image.”…report to the Catholic Bishops 1997

“And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes”

“Winston sprang to attention in front of the telescreen, upon which the image of a youngish woman, scrawny but muscular, dressed in tunic and gym-shoes, had already appeared.

‘Arms bending and stretching!’ she rapped out. ‘Take your time by me. One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four! Come on, comrades, put a bit of life into it! One, two, three, four! One, two, three, four! …'”…George Orwell, “1984”

 

 

I have much empathy for the poor and those struggling in this country. Especially in the Obama economy.

I was recently reminded of the drop in savings in this country over decades. We are programmed to spend.

The TV screen of “1984” is a reality. We are taught how to think, what to do and what to spend our money on.

We leave our schools ill prepared for survival in any economy.

Many of the poor are so because of bad choices. We all make them. And yet immigrants have come to this country for hundreds of years and fared well.

Despite the facts, it can happen to any of us. The Great Depression humbled many.

At the end of the day, I still believe we should help those in need. A real safety net, not way of life. Teach how to fish and sometimes provide a fish.

From Zero Hedge November 23, 2013.
“What It’s Like To Be Poor – And Make Terrible Decisions”

 

“What It’s Like To Be Poor – And Make Terrible Decisions”
“There are many reasons why the poor are ‘poor’ or why the middle-class is deteriorating into a state of being ‘poor’ but as this first-person account of the self-defeating feedback loops of poverty’s trap harrowingly suggests, escaping that social strata (as we noted previously) is becoming ever more difficult. Of course, a George Carlin noted previously, “the only true American value is… buying things,” which leaves the ‘poor’ increasingly losing hope. “Rest is a luxury for the rich,” the author notes, “planning is not in the mix,” as she explains why poverty has forced her to “make terrible decisions.”

Authored by @KillerMartinis (Killer Martinis blog) via The Burning Platform blog,

Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts

There’s no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it’s rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.

Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.

When I was pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel for some time. I had a minifridge with no freezer and a microwave. I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2. Had I had a stove, I couldn’t have made beef burritos that cheaply. And I needed the meat, I was pregnant. I might not have had any prenatal care, but I am intelligent enough to eat protein and iron whilst knocked up.

I know how to cook. I had to take Home Ec to graduate high school. Most people on my level didn’t. Broccoli is intimidating. You have to have a working stove, and pots, and spices, and you’ll have to do the dishes no matter how tired you are or they’ll attract bugs. It is a huge new skill for a lot of people. That’s not great, but it’s true. And if you fuck it up, you could make your family sick. We have learned not to try too hard to be middle-class. It never works out well and always makes you feel worse for having tried and failed yet again. Better not to try. It makes more sense to get food that you know will be palatable and cheap and that keeps well. Junk food is a pleasure that we are allowed to have; why would we give that up? We have very few of them.”
“Nobody gives enough thought to depression. You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm,” which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov.” I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image.” I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on b12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.”
“I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding.

I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.”

I urge you to read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-23/what-its-be-poor-and-make-terrible-decisions

 

 

US and NC economy and jobs much worse than reported, Bernanke exposed the fragility of the US economy, Media under reports, Financial markets ignore, It is about people and families

US and NC economy and jobs much worse than reported, Bernanke exposed the fragility of the US economy, Media under reports, Financial markets ignore, It is about people and families

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

“The Labor Force Participation Rate in NC has dropped 1.6 percent in 2013.”…Citizen Wells

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

 

 

 

 

I have tried to report the reality of the economy and jobs situation in the US and my home state of NC.

Even though I write about and comment about politicians, I am pretty much apolitical.

After all, what happens in this country is about people, their families and their lives.

I was touched recently by this ad in Craigslist.

“IM LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE OVER PAYMENTS ON MY WHITE 2008 KIA SPECTRA. THE PAYMENTS ARE AROUND $225 PER MONTH. IT IS IN GOOD CONDITION WITH AROUND 80,000 MILES ON IT. I RECENTLY LOST MY JOB AND CAN NO LONGER MAKE PAYMENTS. MAKE A REASONABLE OFFER AND IT IS YOURS!”

This is not a statistic.

It is a real person who has lost a job.

I know and I am certain that you know people who have been affected by the job market and economy.

From Citizen Wells September 20, 2013.

The article from Independent Review Journal, in a series of graphs, paints a picture of the true state of the economy and the changes in the past 5 years.

  • There are 12.6 percent more part time jobs and 4.6 percent fewer full time jobs.
  • Even with part time workers being counted the stated unemployment rate is 7.3 percent instead of 5 percent.
  • The labor force participation rate has plummeted 3 percent.
  • The average length of unemployment has risen from 17.7 weeks to 37 weeks.
  • Median household income has dropped $ 5,000.

Read more:

http://citizenwells.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/us-economy-healthy-obama-democrat-economic-policies-helped-12-6-more-part-time-jobs-high-unemployment-labor-force-plummeted-average-length-of-unemployment-more-than-double-median-household-in/

I would like to thank Zero Hedge for this article.

“What Bernanke Did”

“What Ben Bernanke did by not Tapering was expose the fragility of the US economy for all to see. His actions, Mises Institute’s Peter Klein explains in this brief clip, based on the premise that the US economy was not capable of sustaining any reduction in the $85 billion per month stimulus free-money, means once again “the economy is so dependent on artificial stimulation from the central bank… that the economy is in another artificial boom just like the artificial boom we have been trying to get out of.” Critically, for all those proclaiming the US as a “cleanest shirt,” Bernanke proved them wrong (and exposed the fallacy of data such as the unemployment rate and jobless claims as having any value – as we have explained).”

Read more:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-21/what-bernanke-did

 

 

Obama lies March 2, 2013, Obama lies hypocrisy exposed in NC, John Hammer Rhino Times, Sequester Bob Woodward, Does Obama have any Chicago friends not in prison?

Obama lies March 2, 2013, Obama lies hypocrisy exposed in NC, John Hammer Rhino Times, Sequester Bob Woodward, Does Obama have any Chicago friends not in prison?

“If the Bush tax cuts were only for the wealthy, as the media has been telling us now for years, why, if the tax cuts are allowed to expire, is it going to be disastrous for the middle class? Tax cuts for the wealthy are not going to affect the middle class whether they expire or not. Is it possible that the media has been lying to us all this time and the Bush tax cuts were for the middle class as well as the wealthy? It seems like even the Democrats would have to admit that is the case, if they were honest.”…John Hammer, Rhino Times

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

“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren

 

In print in NC.

From John Hammer of the Rhino Times February 28, 2013.

“I can’t believe the level to which President Barack Hussein Obama has
sunk with this whole sequester mess. First of all it was his idea. He
can blame it on the Republicans all he wants but this was his idea.
Even noted liberal writer Bob Woodward has written that it was Obama’s
idea.”

“The federal government is on line to spend $3.8 trillion this year.
The sequester will limit the federal government to spending $3.715
trillion, so apparently the only thing in that entire budget that can
be cut are air traffic controllers, Transportation Security
Administration agents at airports, Border Patrol agents, education
funding and other services that directly affect people.

The truth is that nobody is really talking about cutting anything. For
one thing the federal government doesn’t have a budget. It has not had
one since the first year Obama took over as president. There is no
budget, so federal agencies just keep growing. All the sequester does
is cut back on the rate of growth a little bit.

Why should the federal government grow every year? If all the federal
services that were provided in 2012 were provided at exactly the same
level by employees being paid exactly the same amount of money would
that cause massive problems for the people of the country?

The sequester doesn’t even come close to doing that. It just calls for
across-the-board cuts that reach a level of $85 billion. Last year the
federal government spent over $2 billion providing cell phones to
people who could not afford them. I didn’t know that owning a cell
phone was an inalienable right like life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness, but evidently it is important enough for the federal
government to spend $2 billion on Obama-phones. Of course, that was an
election year. The federal government might not have to spend quite as
much on Obama-phones since all those votes have been cast.

Imagine for just a moment if the sequester meant that the Air Force
One pilot would be furloughed and the Obamas could not fly anywhere
they wanted at any moment. Imagine if just one week a month the Obamas
couldn’t fly anywhere because they didn’t have a pilot.

Or what if the sequester caused Obama’s favorite golf course to be
closed on Sundays. Or isn’t it possible that with the sequester the
White House chef would be laid off?

In fact, it is somewhat amazing that the American people are going to
be so inconvenienced by the reduction in anticipated spending that
this sequester brings, but the president will not be inconvenienced at
all.

Imagine – according to Obama the federal government can’t survive on a
mere $3.715 trillion without making drastic cuts to services that many
Americans use.

In 2008, the last budget of the George Walker Bush administration
total federal spending was $2.9 trillion. Obama has increased spending
during his four years by nearly $1 trillion. If the federal government
went back to the 2008 budget that would cut almost $1 trillion from
the current spending pattern (as noted, there is no budget). But were
things really so bad in 2008? I remember flying in 2008 and there were
no long delays because of a lack of air traffic controllers. The
national parks were open, and children were being educated. So four
years ago Bush was able to run the country on $1 trillion less, but in
2013 Obama can’t run the country on $85 billion less?

If Obama wanted to he could cut $85 billion from projected federal
spending and no one would notice except for the overpaid, underworked
administrators who would be laid off. The federal workforce is a huge
pork barrel. You have employees who work really hard and do an
outstanding job, and you have entire departments who do nothing
useful. Obama doesn’t want to eliminate the entire departments who do
nothing useful because that would be evidence that the federal
government doesn’t need to raise taxes. He is going to do everything
in his power to make the reductions in projected spending as painful
as possible.

One report said that although Air Force One will not be touched by the
reduction in the rate of growth that the Air Force might stop
providing planes for congressional junkets.

It is extremely hard to write about the sequester without writing
about cuts, but in reality there are no cuts. Imagine a child who
really wants a pony for Christmas and begs and pleads for a pony for
months. Christmas morning comes and there is no pony. Now can that
child say that she lost a pony? Can she say that she had a pony and it
was taken away from her? Not according to most people. But if a
federal department is expecting an increase and that increase is
reduced that is considered a cut.

Only in government can someone get 10 percent more than the previous
year and call it a cut in spending.”

“Most people in the country don’t read Under the Hammer, and far too
many simply take what is presented in the mainstream media as fact. It
is a sad day for journalism but, just like ABC editing Michelle
Obama’s comments, the reporting on the Obama administration is as much
fantasy as fact.

Even Bob Woodward felt the need to step up and remind primarily
reporters that Obama was the one who came up with sequester idea and
supported it.”

“Jackson was co-chairman of the Obama presidential campaign in 2008,
but if you are reading articles about Jackson going to prison you
don’t often see that job mentioned or any reference to what a close
relationship Jackson and Obama had at one time.

Jackson’s sister and Michelle Obama were good friends when they were
growing up. Jesse Jackson Sr. has said Michelle was over at his house
all the time as a teenager.

Does Barack Obama have any friends left in Chicago who aren’t in
prison? Obama’s close friend Tony Rezko, who was kind enough to help
Obama buy his house in Chicago, is in jail for fraud. Former Gov. Rod
Blagojevich is also in prison. Obama claimed credit for getting
Blagojevich elected governor. He used to say that he ran the campaign.
However, now Blagojevich is just some guy from Chicago that Obama may
have bumped into a few times.

Really, you look at Obama’s friends and you have to wonder what kind
of man we have elected as president. One of his best buddies is Bill
Ayers, who is an unrepentant domestic terrorist. Ayers participated in
bombings in that killed people and got off on a technicality. Back
when Ayers was running from the law, I’m sure he had no idea that one
day he’d be a good friend with the president of the United States.

Consider also that Obama’s brother, George Obama, lives in abject
poverty in Kenya. George Obama lives in a hovel made of old pieces of
metal and cardboard. In an interview he said he lived on $1 a month.
His brother is the most powerful man in the world and privately worth
millions of dollars, yet Barack Obama won’t send his brother George
$10 a year to double his income. It’s frightening to think of what
kind of man is running the country.”

Well worth reading more:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Articles-Columns-c-2013-02-27-214943.112113-Under-the-Hammer.html

European record unemployment, 11.9 percent in 17 nation euro zone, Spain 26.2 percent, January 2013, Euro zone forecast to shrink 0.3 percent

European record unemployment, 11.9 percent in 17 nation euro zone, Spain 26.2 percent, January 2013, Euro zone forecast to shrink 0.3 percent

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

“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,”…Barack Obama May 2008

 “…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

 

From the NY Times March 1, 2013.

“Euro Zone Unemployment Rises to Record”

“The unemployment rate in the euro zone edged up in January to a new record, official data showed Friday, as the ailing European economy continued to weigh on the job market.

That, and new data showing a decline in inflation in the euro zone, could prompt the European Central Bank to take steps to stimulate the economy when its Governing Council meets this week, analysts said.

Unemployment in the 17-nation euro zone climbed to 11.9 percent in January from 11.8 percent the previous month, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

For the 27 nations of the Union, the jobless rate in January stood at 10.8 percent, up from 10.7 percent in December. All of the figures were seasonally adjusted.

A separate Eurostat report showed price pressures easing in February. In the euro zone, the annual inflation rate came in at 1.8 percent, down from 2 percent in January and below the European Central Bank’s 2 percent target.

The jobless data “suggest that wage growth is set to weaken from already low rates” and further depress consumer spending, which has already been damped by government austerity measures, Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Economics in London, wrote in a research note.”

“In absolute terms, Eurostat estimated Friday that 19 million people in the euro zone and more than 26 million people in the overall Union were unemployed.

Spain’s unemployment rate in January was 26.2 percent, and Portugal’s was 17.6 percent. Austria, at just 4.9 percent, had the lowest rate, followed by Germany and Luxembourg, both of which had 5.3 percent unemployed.

Greece’s unemployment rate in November, the latest month for which Eurostat has figures for the country, was 27 percent.

France, with the second-largest euro zone economy, after Germany’s, had a 10.6 percent jobless rate in January. In Britain, not a euro member, the jobless rate stood at 7.7 percent.”

Read more:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/business/global/euro-zone-unemployment-rose-to-new-record-in-february-as-inflation-eased.html?_r=0

Do not be fooled by the Obama controlled media reports. With the millions of people dropping out of the US labor force, unemployment here is much closer to that of the Euro zone.

Sequestration begins, March 1, 2013, Congress fails to reach agreement, More Obama failure and blame, $85 billion spending sequesters

Sequestration begins, March 1, 2013, Congress fails to reach agreement, More Obama failure and blame, $85 billion spending sequesters

“Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”…Barack Obama 

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

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

 

More Obama spending failures and blaming others.

From the Washington Times March 1, 2013.

“Sequestration process begins: Congress fails to reach agreement on budget fixes before deadline”

“The federal government careened into the $85 billion spending sequesters Friday, embracing some of the biggest budget cuts in American history — though it will take weeks for most of the pain to be felt.

Most lawmakers said they had hoped to avoid the across-the-board cuts but couldn’t come to a consensus on how to do so. Senators defeated two last-ditch efforts Thursday and then House members skipped town for the weekend, leaving it to President Obama to begin carrying out the cuts, which he said he would do just before midnight.

He has scheduled a Friday morning meeting with congressional leaders to talk about the situation, but no action is expected.
In the short term, the White House has directed federal agencies to curtail travel, cancel any bonuses they aren’t legally obligated to pay, and begin writing plans for how to furlough employees.

Those furlough notices will go out in coming weeks, and federal contractors and state and local governments will have to adjust to lower federal funding.
It’s pain that few in Washington wanted. But lawmakers were unable to settle on a more palatable alternative, making the sequesters, in effect, a bad idea whose time has come.”

“Mr. Obama chastised senators for failing.

“Instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families,” he said. “They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.””

“Some of the pain the administration has warned about may not be true.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaking in the White House briefing room this week, pointed to a school district in West Virginia that he said was laying off teachers because of the sequester. But school officials there said it had nothing to do with the sequester.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/28/sequester-imminent-after-senate-fails-act/

Sequestration impact on Federal Education Programs, Automatic across the board reductions in discretionary programs, Obama stimulus and failed energy spending helped create huge deficit

Sequestration impact on Federal Education Programs, Automatic across the board reductions in discretionary programs, Obama stimulus and failed energy spending helped create huge deficit

“Why was Obama in constant contact with Tony Rezko in 2004 when Rezko was conspiring with William Cellini to use TRS, Teacher Retirement Fund, assets for political gain and personal enrichment?”…Citizen Wells

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

“…and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”…Margaret Thatcher

Much is being said about the impact of sequestration on federal education spending.

From the NEA.

“Impact of Sequestration on Federal Education Programs – State-by-State

Across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration” are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013 unless Congress acts.  These cuts – nearly $3 billion for education alone —  would result in:

  • Services cut or eliminated for millions of students.
  • Funding for children living in poverty, special education, and Head Start slashed by billions.
  • Ballooning class sizes.
  • Elimination of after-school programs.
  • Decimation of programs for our most vulnerable—homeless students, English language learners, and high-poverty, struggling schools.
  • Slashing of financial aid for college students.
  • Loss of tens of thousands of education jobs—at early childhood, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.

http://www.nea.org/home/52610.htm

Sequestration defined.

From Idea Money Watch.

Q. What is sequestration? (Pronounced se″kwes-tra´shun)
A. Sequestration is a fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit. It first appeared in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act of 1985.

Simply put, sequestration is the cancellation of budgetary resources — an “automatic” form of spending cutback. (Learn more here.)
 Q. Why is sequestration important now?

A. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) established a 12 member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction  (or “super committee”)  charged with reducing the deficit by an additional $1.2 – $1.5 trillion over ten years. The BCA also included a sequestration hammer should the super committee fail, a provision intended to “force” the super committee to act.

Despite the threat of sequestration, the super committee failed. Announcing its inability to reach an agreement on November 21, 2011, the members of the bipartisan committee stated  that “after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.”

So, as established in the BCA, sequestration was triggered when the super committee failed to reach an agreement. Sequestration generates automatic cuts for each of nine years, FY 13-21, totaling $1.2 trillion. Sequestration was originally scheduled to take effect on Jan. 2, 2013. However, it was delayed for two months – until March 1, 2013, by the deal struck on New Year’s Eve, called the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Now, without Congressional action to prevent sequestration, the first round of cuts will take place on March 1, 2013.

The 2013 cuts apply to “discretionary” spending and are divided between reductions to  defense ($500 billion) and non-defense ($700 billion). 

Q. What must occur in order to avoid sequestration?  


A.
 Sequestration can only be avoided if Congress passes legislation that undoes the legal requirement in the BCA and that President Obama will sign before March 1, 2013.

While advocacy efforts to prevent sequestration are beginning to spring up, the strongest efforts focus on preventing the deep cuts to defense spending.


Q. Can the Executive Branch reconfigure sequestration cuts?


A. 
No. The cuts are automatic, across-the-board reductions to all discretionary programs unless exempted by the BCA. (A list of exempt programs is available here
.) The Executive Branch will have no authority or ability to redistribute the cuts.

http://www.ideamoneywatch.com/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60&Itemid=72

$ 3 billion in education cuts because our spending is out of control.

How did that happen?

Here is part of the reason.

A $840 billion Obama stimulus program.

From The Foundry October 18, 2012.

“The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.”

“So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

  1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*
  5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)
  7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  10. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
  12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*
  13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*
  15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*
  24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*
  26. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  27. Vestas ($50 million)
  28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)
  29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  30. Navistar ($39 million)
  31. Satcon ($3 million)*
  32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*
  33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.”

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/

WE warned you.

Obama is doing to the US education system what he and his cronies did to Illinois.

From Citizen Wells March 29, 2012.

“Obama, Blagojevich and their cronies used the citizens of Illinois, Teachers Retirement System, hospitals and taxpayer dollars for their own benefit.”

“2003: “Of the five funds, the one in the sorriest shape is the Illinois Teacher Retirement System, which provides the pensions for suburban and downstate teachers. Its ratio of assets to liabilities stood at a mere 52 percent last year, so poor that it was considered among the five worst-funded plans in the country.”

“In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew to $442 million by 2005.

In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.”

“In addition to lining their own pockets, the money gained through the scheme was funneled to the campaigns of Blagojevich and Obama. Prosecutors have identified two $10,000 payments that were made to Obama’s US Senate campaign through straw donors Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof, which originated from a kickback paid by investment firm, Glencoe Capital, to secure approval for a $50 million deal.
Aramanda and Maloof also each gave Obama $1,000 for his failed run for Congress in 2000. Once Obama became a US Senator, Aramanda’s son was granted a coveted intern position in Obama’s Senate office in Washington during the summer of 2005, based on a request which the Obama’s camp has admitted came from Rezko.”

“Mr. Obama also recently pointed to his work on the Illinois pension issue as a model for what he would do as president to promote minority-owned companies.”

Read more:

https://citizenwells.wordpress.com/tag/obama-doing-to-us-what-he-did-to-illinois/

Small Business hiring plans plunge, September another month of low expectations and pessimism, Rising health care and energy costs, Federal taxes

Small Business hiring plans plunge, September another month of low expectations and pessimism, Rising health care and energy costs, Federal taxes

“With a 63.7% labor force participation, “conditions in the labor market are considerably worse than indicated” in July’s report”…economist Joshua Shapiro, WSJ August 3, 2012

“Since the Democrats took control of both houses of congress in January 2007, the number of people who could only find part time work has gone up 215 percent”…Citizen Wells

“Student health care costs have doubled, tripled and in some cases increased over 1000% in 2012. Premiums for employer provided family coverage rose $2,370 since 2009, Obamacare penalties to hospitals will average $125,000 per facility in 2013 and gasoline has risen over $2 per gallon since Obama took office.”…Citizen Wells

From the National Federation of Independent Business October Survey.

“Hiring Plans Plunge: Small Business Optimism Drops 0.1

Expectations for the Future Remain Low

September was another month of low expectations and pessimism for the small-business community, with the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index losing 0.1 points and falling to 92.8. The recession-level reading was pulled down by a deterioration in labor market indicators, with job creation plans plunging 6 points, job openings falling one point and more firms reporting decreases in employment than those reporting increases in employment. Since the commencement of NFIB’s monthly surveys in 1986, the Index has been below 93.0 a total of 56 times; 32 of which have occurred since the recovery began in June 2009.”

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT   READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Small business optimism index

“Highlights

  • Capital Expenditures: Small-business owners are still in “maintenance mode,” with the frequency of reported capital outlays over the past six months falling 4 points to 51 percent. Of those making expenditures, 34 percent reported spending on new equipment (down 7 points from the previous month), 16 percent acquired vehicles (down 5 points), and 14 percent improved or expanded facilities (unchanged). Four (4) percent of owners acquired new buildings or land for expansion (down 2 points) and 12 percent spent money for new fixtures and furniture (unchanged). Overall, there was a substantial reduction in capital spending activity. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next three to six months fell 3 points to 21 percent. While the number of owners who characterized the current period as a good time to expand facilities went up 3 points (seasonally adjusted) to seven percent, this is only half of the 14 percent of owners who said the same in September 2007. The net percent of owners expecting better business conditions in six months rose 4 points to two percent after posting a 6 point improvement last month, albeit still registering a pessimistic collective view. Not seasonally adjusted, 15 percent expect an improvement in business conditions (up 1 point), and 20 percent expect deterioration (down 4 points). A net one percent of all owners expect improved real sales volumes.
  • Sales: Weak sales continue to be an albatross for the small-business community. The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales over the past three months was unchanged at a negative 13 percent, cementing the 17 point decline since April and affirming weak GDP growth for the second quarter. Twenty-one (21) percent still cite weak sales as their top business problem—historically high, but down from the record 34 percent reached in March 2010. Seasonally unadjusted, 23 percent of all owners reported higher sales (last three months compared to prior three months, down 1 point) and 30 percent reported lower sales (up 1 point). Consumer spending remains weak and high energy costs continue to “tax” consumer disposable income. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales was unchanged at one percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted), down 11 points from the year high of net 12 percent in February. The weak reading is unlikely to trigger orders for new inventory or business expansion. Not seasonally adjusted, 24 percent expect improvement over the next three months (down 4 points) and 31 percent expect declines (up 3 points).
  • Job Creation: Job creation plans showed that small-business owners created fewer jobs in September than in the two previous months. Not seasonally adjusted, 10 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 3 points), and 11 percent plan reductions (up 2 points). Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs fell 6 points to four percent, a historically weak reading, especially in a recovery. Essentially, hiring is keeping up with population growth, but not exceeding it. Seasonally adjusted, 10 percent of the owners reported adding an average of 2.2 workers per firm over the past few months, and 13 percent reduced employment an average of 3 workers. The remaining 77 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-one (51) percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 41 percent (80 percent of those trying to hire or hiring) reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions. The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings fell 1 point to 17 percent of all owners. The only region of the country that saw any positive job growth was the West North Central states, largely because of energy production. “

“Consumer spending has barely advanced this year, and consequently so has job creation. Employment is still 4 million lower than it was in the first quarter of 2008 (first quarter). The population grows about 1% annually. A few more jobs are needed to take care of that, and that seems to be about all we are getting. The percent of owners reporting hard to fill job openings fell 1 point to 17% of all owners, no help for a lower unemployment rate. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners planning to create new jobs fell 6 points to 4%, a historically weak reading, especially in a recovery. Owners remained pessimistic about the future in September and consequently hiring plans remain weak. Reported job creation for the past few months was negative. More workers let go than hired, signaling a weak BLS jobs report for September, around 100,000 new jobs overall.”

“Uncertainty has cast a cloud over the future for small business owners, making it difficult to make commitments to new spending and hiring. In a recently released NFIB Problems and Priorities survey, owners rated the severity of 75 business issues. Uncertainty about the economy ranked second while uncertainty about government policy ranked fourth. For perspective, securing long term funding was 56th and finding qualified workers 32nd. With a 50/50 election, according to the polls, and very different sets of policies that might be put in place, owners are unwilling to put their own capital on the line until the future path of the economy and economic policy becomes clearer.

MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM: 2012
1.  Rising Cost of Health Care Insurance
2.  Uncertainty over Economic Conditions
3.  Energy Costs
4.  Uncertainty over Government Actions
5.  Unreasonable Government Regulations
6.  Federal Taxes on Business Income
7.  Tax Complexity
8.  Frequent Changes in Federal Tax Laws and Rules
9.  Property Taxes
10. State Taxes on Business Income”

Read more:

http://www.nfib.com/research-foundation/surveys/small-business-economic-trends