Archive for the ‘Regulations’ Category

It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:

A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)

Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.

Is a politician who won’t repeal Obamacare, who’s proposed raising taxes and who’s voted for Cap and Trade “a conservative champion” just because Sarah Palin says so?

By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.

The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.

The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.

That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.

This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.

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Thanks to George Will’s response to Chris Wallace’s question about climate change, we have clarity on the issue:

Here’s a partial transcript of Brother Will’s response:

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: …I’m one of those who are called deniers. And the implication is that I deny climate change. It’s impossible to state with clearer precision the opposite of my view, which is that, of course the climate is changing. It’s always changing. That’s what gave us the medieval warm period. That’s what gave us, subsequent to that for centuries, the little Ice Age. Of course it’s changing. When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science, says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it. So I think, frankly, as a policy question, Chris, Holman Jenkins, Kim’s colleague at the “Wall Street Journal” put it perfectly. The only questions is, how much money are we going to spend? How much wealth are we going to forego creating in order to have zero discernible effect on the environment?

There’s actually another question worth asking in light of President Obama’s recent golf outing in California:

Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the DEPArtment of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.

“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”

This means that the CCS technology the administration is pushing for would increase electricity prices initially, but that prices would come down a bit once better technology is developed. But electricity prices would still be higher than they are now.

It’s disgusting that President Obama insists that he’s the champion of the middle class. The middle class will get hit hardest by this rate increase. While it isn’t technically a middle class tax increase, there’s no question that this is another Obama administration policy that hurts the middle class.

President Obama is the champion of the middle class the way Bonnie and Clyde were bank security advocates.

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Earlier today, I wrote this post about whether unions deserve most of the credit for building America’s middle class. Apparently, the DFL is feeling more than a little defensive about what I wrote. It’s apparent because Paul Thissen, the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, responded with 3 defensive-sounding tweets to my post. Here’s Speaker Thissen’s first tweet:

Do innovative cos take advantage of govt basic rsch? Do business & employees benefit from a broadly educated populace?

Here’s Speaker Thissen’s second tweet:

do workers get to jobs and companies move product without public roads? Do middle class economies exist without clean water?

Here’s Speaker Thissen’s final tweet:

your black & white, either/or world view may serve you rhetorically but no one in real world operates by it.

First, let me address the subject of whether “workers get to jobs and companies move products without public roads.” They do in Indiana. While government funds the building of highways through gas taxes in Minnesota, it’s indisputable that that’s an archaic way of funding highway maintenance. Indiana, not Minnesota, is the future of highway funding. PS- Privatization works in improving highways. Indiana’s proof of that.

Next, Speaker Thissen apparently thinks, like many leftists, that Republicans oppose all forms of government. That’s silliness. They’ve read too many of ABM’s smear campaign messages for their own good. (Then again, the DFL are puppets. ABM is their puppeteer.) Minnesota’s Constitution requires funding of public schools so there’s no question about whether taxpayers will fund government schools.

Third, isn’t it possible that Speaker Thissen is living in an either/or, black or white world? Based upon his past actions, there’s no question that Speaker Thissen thinks that the nanny state isn’t intrusive enough. He’s voted for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. He’s voted for middle class tax increases, too, as recently as last May. Those are indisputable facts. He’s voted for legislation that would prohibit people from owning certain types of dogs in Minnesota.

It isn’t that Republicans hate government. It’s that we’ve seen government expand into areas that government shouldn’t intrude into. We’ve seen the DFL elitists in the Twin Cities tell people in northern Minnesota that they don’t have the right to make a living even if they live by Minnesota’s environmental regulations. Yes, that’s what Conservation Minnesota is pushing. Here in central Minnesota, another of the DFL’s environmentalist allies, the Sierra Club, is pushing for shutting down of the Sherco power plants.

There’s no question whether Speaker Thissen will defend these special interest organizations. There’s no question because he’s defended them in the past. Considering his ambitition to succeed Gov. Dayton as governor, and his need for substantial campaign contributions from environmentalists, there’s no question Speaker Thissen will continue defending these black or white organizations.

Finally, let’s cover Speaker Thissen’s question about whether middle class economies exist without clean water. Not that we’d want this but yes, middle class economies have existed without clean water. Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s middle class thrived with some of the nastiest water in the nation.

Like I said, however, that shouldn’t be the goal we shoot towards. The linkage between clean water and robust job creation is questionable at best. There’s no disputing whether those things can co-exist. They’re co-existing right now. What’s equally indisputable is that the DFL’s special interest allies love moving the goalposts on industries, especially the mining industry, by increasing the regulatory restrictions on Minnesota’s biggest industries.

Last year, Speaker Thissen didn’t hesitate in pushing a bill that limits silica sand mining even though it would kill Minnesota jobs. Here’s what Rep. Pat Garofalo said about the bill:

You’re gonna actually tax an industry out of existence with a tax on silica mining. I actually had a liberal activist say to me they thought that by raising taxes on silica mining, they would somehow impact the fracking in North Dakota. (Laughter in background) Spoiler alert. They’re gonna get the sand from other states. Doesn’t matter. It’s gonna have no impact whatsoever on other states’ ability to do fracking of natural gas and oil but it will kill jobs here. And it’s not business groups saying that. It’s not small businesses saying it.

We’ve heard from the local 49ers. We’ve heard from the local unions. In fact, members, this is how totally delusional this tax increase is: Mark Dayton actually labeled the House DFL silica sand tax “ridiculous.” So when a tax increase is so high that Gov. Dayton labels it ridiculous, you know you’re checked out for lunch.

Speaker Thissen, the question isn’t whether government will exist. The question is whether the DFL will continue to insist on limiting Minnesota’s economic growth through their abuse of Minnesota’s regulatory system. At this point, there’s little disputing whether the DFL will tell the environmentalists no every once in awhile. They won’t.

The only question is whether Minnesotans will reject the DFL’s vision of ever more intrusive government. Let’s hope they answer that question with an emphatic yes this November.

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Each time that the jobs report is released, the White House posts its spin about what it means. This is from the most recent post about the jobs report:

As our economy continues to make progress, there’s a lot more work to do. Though December’s job growth was less than expected, we continue to focus on the longer-term trend in the economy – 2.2 million private sector jobs added and a 1.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the course of 2013. Today’s numbers are also a reminder of the work that remains, especially on one of our nation’s most immediate and pressing challenges: long-term unemployment.

What’s interesting is that chronic unemployment doesn’t happen during robust economic recoveries. This chart will cut through the Obama administration’s spin:

According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s statistics, the increase in GDP for the 17 quarters after the 1981 recession was 23.1%. For the 17 quarters since the end of the recession in Q2 of 2009, the gain in GDP has been 10.3%. You can’t see the 17-quarter gain for the Reagan recovery because the growth literally went off the chart.

This isn’t a nostalgia post. Quite the contrary. It’s a comparison between President Reagan’s pro-growth, low taxation, low regulation policies and President Obama’s policies of crippling regulations and major tax increases. The statistics speak for themselves. This chart speaks for itself, too:

According to that graphic, the annualized GDP growth under Reagan topped 7% for 5 straight quarters, with a high of 9.3% for Q3 of 1983.

At the same time during the Great Stagnation under President Obama, annualized growth rates were 3.9%, 3.8%, 2.5% and 2.4%. In short, the Great Stagnation’s statistics indicate that economic growth has been pathetic. President Obama won’t face the voters again but the people who voted for his economic policies will face the voters next November. Every person who voted for the Obama budget is a Democrat. They can talk all they want about preventing another Great Depression with the stimulus but that’s speculation at best.

The recession Reagan inherited was deeper and had more perils to be fixed. America’s industrial infrastructure was crumbling. People were speculating whether the Big 3 automakers would forever trail the Japanese. Those same people wondered if Japan and Germany would be the new economic superpowers.

The Kemp-Roth tax cuts included capital gains tax cuts, which helped Detroit rebuild their assembly lines. In less than 3 years, Detroit was humming with activity.

That was only part of America’s problems. They faced high unemployment and even higher inflation. Thanks to President Reagan’s pro-growth tax and regulatory policies, millions of jobs were created. The unemployment rate dropped dramatically because people got great jobs, not because people quit looking for work. Inflation dropped, too.

Five years after the banking crisis, the economy is still struggling. The jobs being created are mostly part-time jobs. Median household income has dropped. Regulatory burdens are adding crippling compliance costs. Instead of using their profits to create jobs, small businesses are spending that money complying with Washington’s insane regulations.

Reaganomics worked because it gave businesses an incentive to take chances. That’s the only time-tested method for lifting people out of poverty and for turning the middle class into entrepreneurs. President Reagan understood that. President Obama doesn’t.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, these graphs and charts are worth a few chapters in a book because they show which policies worked and which policies are failing.

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About 6 minutes into this video, Harry Reid said some things that Republicans should tattoo into Sen. Reid’s forehead:

Here’s what Sen. Reid said:

SEN. REID: The rich keep getting richer. The poor keep getting poorer and the middle class is under siege. This country can’t allow the gap between the fabulously wealthy and those that are just getting by to let their incomes going up and the middle class going down.

A little history lesson is in order to emphatically drive this important point home. In 2009, the Democrats controlled (dominated might be more descriptive) Washington. They passed a pork-filled stimulus bill that didn’t jumpstart the economy. Shortly thereafter, they passed a budget funding the government for the rest of FY2009. Since then, the budget blueprint hasn’t changed. After the Democrats’ shellacking in 2010, government has been funded through continuing resolutions. That means that, prior to a month ago, the government was funded by the Democrats’ FY2009 budget.

In short, Sen. Reid’s diatribe was unwittingly an anti-Democrat rant. He disparaged the Democrats’ budget blueprint.

Here’s another history lesson for the less-than-informed. As a youth, Harry Reid was an amateur boxer. It’s possible that Harry took a few too many shots to the head during his boxing career.

As usual, Charles added the requisite clarity to the situation:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, I think when you heard Harry Reid talking, it sounded as if the Democrats had been out of office and were railing against the current administration. Income inequality has risen dramatically under this administration. The Fed, with the blessing of the administration, is pumping $1,000,000,000,000 a year into the economy, which goes right into the stock market…

I’ve said for quite some time that there’s really 2 economies right now. There’s the Wall Street economy, which is assisted by K Street lobbyists and the Democrats’ crony capitalist policies. That economy is going strong. After all, it’s impossible to do poorly when a) you’re borrowing money without paying interest and b) you’re getting the benefit of a well-funded army of K Street lobbyists.

The other economy is struggling. It’s best called the Small Business Economy or the Main Street Economy. It’s struggling because it’s getting buried beneath an avalanche of regulations and tax increases. As the name suggests, this economy isn’t doing well because they a) don’t have an army of lobbyists or b) aren’t part of the Obama administration’s crony capitalist economy.

The DC suburbs and New York City are doing well. The stock market frequently hits new record highs. Meanwhile, people dealing with the Main Street economy are telling pollsters that they think we’re still in a recession.

During the coming campaign, Republicans should highlight this fact daily. They should remind people that the Democrats’ policies have been the policies that’ve directed this economy. Republicans should tell President Obama and Sen. Reid that, if they want to talk about income inequality, their first conversation should be with the man they see in the mirror each morning.

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Rep. Jim Newberger’s op-ed in this morning’s St. Cloud Times highlights how out-of-state special interests, with allies within Minnesota, want to make electricity more expensive and less abundant. Rep. Newberger’s op-ed highlights the lies the Sierra Club is willing to tell to get their way:

First, the Sherco power plant is not “dirty,” nor does it produce “slime” as recent Times submissions have opined. I have lived 1 mile downwind from the Sherco plant since 1998. Every morning, I look out my window and see the plant. I have never seen plumes of black smoke coming out of four smoke stacks, as portrayed in some of the environmentalists’ propaganda.

The truth is Sherco has two stacks and the color of the “smoke” is clear white. And I have yet to find “slime” in my yard,or on my car or home.

Second, Sherco meets the strict federal standards for clean air and will be spending millions to make its operation even cleaner.

The Sierra Clubs’ lies aren’t surprising considering the Sierra Club’s agenda:

Our goals include:

  • Retiring one-third of the nation’s more than 500 coal plants by 2020
  • Replacing the majority of retired coal plants with clean energy solutions such as wind, solar, and geothermal
  • Keeping coal in the ground in places like Appalachia and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin

In short, the Sierra Club’s goal is to take America back to the stone ages. Wind, solar and geothermal aren’t capable of replacing coal. What’s worse is that that’s just the tip of the Sierra Club’s anti-civilization agenda:

“No state has adequate protections in place. Even where there are rules, they are poorly monitored and enforced. Thanks to the multiple federal exemptions, we can’t even count on the federal government to keep us safe! Together, though, we can change that! No industry, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can withstand the righteous passion of the American people. The out-of-control rush to drill has put oil and gas industry profits ahead of our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our futures. If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.”
—Allison Chin, Sierra Club president, July 28, 2012, at the Stop the Frack Attack rally

These nutjobs think that natural gas isn’t clean enough? That’s insane. Let’s remember that the Sierra Club passionately opposed the building of the Alaskan Pipeline in the 60′s and 70′s. Back then, the Sierra Club’s president wrote an op-ed in Outdoor Life. In his op-ed, the Sierra Club president predicted doom and gloom for the Barrows Caribou, stating the Pipeline would forever disrupt the Barrows Caribou’s migration routes. “And for what?”, the Sierra Club president asked. “For a few years worth of oil?”

These environutters’ predictions have consistently missed their mark. In fact, they’ve missed to such an extent that it’s impossible to take them seriously. The Sierra Club’s latest campaigns are just the latest campaign against modernity.

Finally, what’s worst is that they can’t prove their accusations. The people making the accusations aren’t scientists. The vast majority of the executive board for the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club are nothing more than activists. John Hottinger used to be the Senate Majority Leader. Several executive committee members are from the Blue Green Alliance. Javier Morillo-Alicea is the president of SEIU Local 26.

In other words, the Sierra Club’s executive committee is filled with progressive activists. Their expertise on the environment is nonexistant. If reporters did their jobs, these activists/faux experts wouldn’t have any credibility.

What they’re experts at, though, is organizing campaigns. That’s their specialty. It’s foolish to let these faux experts set environmental policy. I’m confident that, if questioned by a real expert, like Mike Beard, these Sierra Club Executive Committee members probably couldn’t speak beyond their chanting points.

The best thing for conservatives to do is a) expose these political activists for the frauds they are, b) write frequently about these activists’ anti-jobs, anti-middle class agenda and c) get politically active by commenting on regulations when regulatory agencies open themselves for comments.

Just complaining about these environmental extremists isn’t sufficient. Defeating them is the only acceptable response. If conservatives do their due diligence, they’ll defeat these anti-jobs activists. If conservatives leave the battlefield unattended, they’ll lose. Worst of all, families will lose. The DFL, the Sierra Club and their allies want high energy prices.

It’s time to win this fight.

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John Dickerson’s article insists in the opening paragraph that Republicans are committing political suicide. That isn’t what’s happening. Republicans are forcing House and Senate Democrats to vote again for a bill that’s just barely more popular than pneumonia.

During the periodic budget fits that have seized Washington for the last several years, President Obama and his team have made a consistent claim about negotiating with Republicans. No matter what the president tries, or whom he negotiates with, the White House can never make progress because congressional Republicans are controlled by a hard-right faction that refuses to compromise or accept anything less than total victory.

According to Obama, that is what killed the famous “grand bargain” talks with House Speaker John Boehner in the summer of 2011, and it’s what killed the so-called Supper Club negotiations on the budget this summer with Republican senators. Now the GOP is handing the president more evidence for his claim. Republicans, including staunch conservatives, admit that a small band of ultrapure conservatives have forced the larger congressional GOP membership into a witless act of blundering self-destruction.

During the periodic budget fits that have seized Washington for the last several years, President Obama and his team have made a consistent claim about negotiating with Republicans. No matter what the president tries, or whom he negotiates with, the White House can never make progress because congressional Republicans are controlled by a hard-right faction that refuses to compromise or accept anything less than total victory.

Dickerson’s article should be ignored because he apparently thinks that President Obama represents the political mainstream. He doesn’t. He’s a far left ideologue.

Let’s look at the things President Obama stands for and against. President Obama thinks that Congress is a nuisance to be ignored when they don’t do what he tells them to do. He didn’t get cap & trade passed so he’s implementing it through the EPA’s rulemaking process. He didn’t get Card Check passed so he tried ‘passing’ it through the NLRB. The American people spoke loudly that they didn’t want the PPACA. He shoved it down America’s throats.

President Obama’s EPA doesn’t want more new coal-fired power plants built. That isn’t enough, though. They’re putting in regulations that will silence natural gas power plants by 2035. That fits with Steven Chu’s goal to make energy prices in America as expensive as they are in Europe. That, in turn, fits with then-candidate Obama’s goal of a Cap & Trade policy that would require “electricity prices to necessarily skyrocket.”

Dickerson isn’t focusing on what’s really hurting negotiations. It isn’t that Republicans are unreasonable. It’s that President Obama’s policies are disasters. Immediately upon taking office, President Obama insisted on passing a stimulus bill to jumpstart the economy. When that failed, the Fed started their quantitative easing policy to prop up a terrible economy. Without the Fed’s help, this struggling economy would be a total disaster.

Then there’s the impact that the PPACA has had on the economy. It’s stalled a struggling economy while turning the United States into Part-Time Nation. Economic growth is struggling. If not for hiring tens of thousands of part-time workers and hundreds of thousands of people dropping out of the workforce, the unemployment rate would be near 10%.

With those statistics in mind, it’s fair to ask why Dickerson isn’t questioning President Obama’s economic credibility, especially considering the fact that President Obama’s economic record of lackluster economic growth and stagnating job growth.

If Dickerson wanted to write a fair article, he’d question why President Obama insists on sticking with his failed economic policies.

While Republicans are pursuing a potentially politically dangerous strategy, it must be said that they’re proposing better economic policies than Democrats. They aren’t proposing economic policies that will drive up electric rates. They aren’t proposing reckless spending policies, either.

If Mr. Dickerson insists on criticizing Republicans’ strategy, I’ll highlight the fact that President Obama’s economic policies are hurting hundreds of thousands of Americans across the heartland and on Main Street.

President Obama’s stubbornness is unforgivable. (Except, apparently, in the media’s eyes.)

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One of the things I cited about why our economy is going through the Great Stagnation in this post was the Obama administration’s overregulation. This article is another stunning example of how the Obama administration is using federal regulatory agencies as a weapon against the people:

When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.

While the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force were the people who stormed the gold miners near Chicken, AK, it was the EPA pulling the strings behind the scene:

The EPA has refused to publicly explain why it used armed officers as part of what it called a “multi-jurisdictional” investigation of possible Clean Water Act violations in the area.

A conference call was held last week to address the investigation. On the line were members of the Alaska Congressional delegation, their staff, state officers, and the EPA. According to one Senate staffer, the federal agency said it decided to send in the task force armed and wearing body armor because of information it received from the Alaska State Troopers about “rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area.”

This information should frighten every law-abiding citizen in the United States, whether they’re in the Lower 48 or whether they live in Alaska:

The miners contacted by the task force were working in the area of the Fortymile National Wild and Scenic River. The federal designation, made in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, protects 32 miles between Chicken and Eagle, Alaska. It is a remote area, close to the Canadian border and the town of Boundary. The nearest city of any real size is Fairbanks, 140 miles to the northwest. It was unknown to everyone in the area that there is a rampant problem with drug and human traffickers.

This also came as news to the Alaska State Troopers, whom the EPA said supplied the information about drugs and human trafficking, and at least one U.S. senator.

Saying that the EPA has abused its authority isn’t enough. They’ve used intimidation as a tactical weapon against law-abiding citizens. Not only that, when confronted by honest law enforcement officers, they lied in their attempt to rationalize their actions. What’s worse is that they lied by saying the Alaska State Troopers had told them that the miners were involved in human trafficking.

Now the troopers are pushing back, saying that they didn’t provide that information. That leaves a question that won’t be easy to answer. Since we know that the EPA’s story is a lie, what other explanation is there for a criminal task force to arrest these miners while wearing full body armor?

In other words, what’s the real story?

Who thought of raiding this mining operation? What motivated the raid? Who authorized the armed raid? Who put the raid together? Was this part of the EPA’s intimidation tactics?

We know that the EPA thinks intimidation is a legitimate tactic:

Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a “crude” analogy he once told his staff about his “philosophy of enforcement.”

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean,” he said. “They’d go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they’d crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years,” he said.

Thanks to the Obama administration’s heavy-handed, thuggish regulatory environment, companies are refusing to expand. Others are abandoning the United States for countries that have more business friendly regulations.

The EPA didn’t “crucify” the miners. They just used guns and body armor to intimidate them. When powerful government agencies are used as weapons against companies, it isn’t surprising that the economy stagnates.

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Heidi Schierholz’s op-ed for CNN strips away the administration’s spin that the economy is recovering. It isn’t. Here’s Ms. Schierholz’s explanation:

According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, if the labor market were healthy, the labor force would number about 159.2 million. But the actual labor force numbers just 155.8 million. That means about 3.4 million “missing workers” are out there — jobless people who would be in the labor force if job opportunities were strong.

Given the weak labor market, they’re not actively looking for work and so aren’t counted. If those missing workers were actively looking, the unemployment rate would be 9.4%.

The White House has repeatedly said that the key to growing the economy is to grow the middle class. Here’s a recent example of their spin:

While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.

The flaw in the administration’s thinking is that increasing demand for products is the key to growing the economy. It isn’t that this strategy hasn’t worked in the past. It’s that it isn’t working this time. That’s because small businesses are getting hit with this administration’s extraordinary burden of regulations.

While Wall Street prospers thanks to their army of K Street lobbyists, small independent businesses have gotten hammered. This administration’s hostility towards small and medium-sized companies is frightening.

We need 8.3 million jobs to get back to the prerecession unemployment rate, considering the 2 million jobs we are still down from the start of the Great Recession in December 2007 plus the 6.3 million jobs we should have added since just to keep up with normal growth in the potential labor force.

Over the past three months, we’ve added 175,000 jobs a month. At this rate, it will take six years, until the middle of 2019, to return to a healthy labor market.

Repealing the PPACA and aggressively increasing fossil fuel energy production would transform today’s economy from the sluggish millstone of the Great Stagnation into a rapidly expanding economy that creates 250,000-350,000 full-time jobs a month for 3-5 years.

It’s time to be blunt with this administration. Job creation stinks. Economic growth is stagnant. Wages have shrunk. Employers have shrunk employees’ hours to avoid the penalties of the PPACA as much possible. If the Fed wasn’t pumping in $1,000,000,000,000 a year into the economy, we’d be in another major recession.

The reason we are having such a sluggish jobs recovery is not complicated — there is simply not enough work to be done. Economists refer to this as weak aggregate demand. Another way to say this is that demand for goods and services hasn’t picked up enough for businesses to ramp up hiring.

There’s a simpler way of putting it. When families have little disposable income, they can’t afford much more than paying their rent or mortgage, heat or cool their homes and feed their families. That won’t lead to a strong economy.

Check back later today for the second in this series.

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This op-ed starts with a hypothetical situation:

[W]hat would happen if two trillion cubic feet of natural gas were found under Eveleth this afternoon?

Next, Terry Stone speculates about the DFL’s reaction to this discovery:

Well, you can bet that the environmentalists would protest the press conference. Then they will claim that gas production, fracking, fracking sand production and pipeline construction cause haze over Voyageurs National Park. Friends of BWCA will claim that fracking water disposal will contaminate the pristine waters of the BWCA, even though it is on the other side of the continental divide. They will claim that the lights atop the drilling rigs will be seen all over the BWCA.

Labor unions will protest because the storage facilities are being built by the lowest bidder; a non-union shop from Georgia. (Congressman) Rick Nolan will claim that he wants the jobs of gas production but he can’t support the present plan because it doesn’t assure zero impact on ground water. (U.S. Sens.) Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar will introduce a bill to protect land owners from getting rich. (Minnesota Sen.) Tom Bakk will introduce a bill to place a tax on gas production in Minnesota and place it under the Taconite Taxing District of the IRRRB.

The Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership will sue to stop any gas production. They will claim that the production area is inside the buffer zone of their newly proposed International Heart of the Continent Biosphere Reserve that includes Quetico, Superior National Forest, Voyageurs and the BWCA.

The state legislature will revisit the narrowly dodged moratorium on fracking sand operations in Minnesota. The environmental front group, Save our 10,000 Lakes will hold protests at the capital during the special session to evaluate the impact of a population boom on the Iron Range. They will claim that fracking pollutes well water and that fracking chemicals cause genetic mutations and cancer.

While this is technically speculation, it’s informed speculation because it’s the DFL’s reaction to the PolyMet and Twin Metals mining projects last summer. The only difference between this speculative solution and last summer’s reaction is that last year’s response was led by Alida Messinger and Conservation Minnesota.

Either way, the DFL’s response is predictable and disastrous to Minnesota families. Stone’s op-ed then finishes with the economic reality of the DFL’s policies:

Under the sway of DFL liberal politics, Minnesota is screwed. Whether it’s pulpwood in endless supply, copper in world-class deposits, the world’s largest volume of liquid fresh water, 17,000 lakes or fracking sand in nearly unlimited quantities, Minnesota will find a way to screw the golden goose before it even hatches.

Average household income of GOP Chisago County: $67,075. Average household income of DFL International Falls: $30,094. The annual cost to your family of voting DFL: $36,981.

The median household income in Minnesota is just a bit under $60,000, meaning International Falls’ median household income is approximately half of the statewide average. That’s because the DFL’s anti-job growth policies stifle economic development.

The DFL has tried to put the Iron Range (mining and logging), Ely (precious metals mining) and Southeastern Minnesota (silica sand mining) off-limits. The effect of the DFL’s policies is exposed by the income disparity between International Falls and the statewide average.

This will forever be the case because environmentalists write the DFL’s economic development policies. That’s why families in International Falls and the Iron Range consistently get the shaft without getting the mining jobs they need to prosper.

Follow this link for more on the income disparity.

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