Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

This is my first post since getting out of the hospital today but it isn’t the first chance I’ve had to talk about the Pence-Kaine. It’s indisputable that Hillary is leading in most of the polls. What’s disputable, though, is whether Mrs. Clinton’s lead is that solid.

I’m betting Mrs. Clinton’s lead is shakier than they’ll publicly admit. I’m betting that because Tim Kaine’s performance was the most pathetic debate performance I’ve ever watched. I’m betting that because Sen. Kaine came across as mean-spirited and phony. Sen. Kaine came across as a puppet with bad lines. Politically speaking, Sen. Kaine didn’t have the benefit of touting a positive case. 70% of the nation thinks that we’re heading in the wrong direction. Sen. Kaine’s job was to take that information, then tell people that life was positive and getting better. Check this exchange out:

PENCE: Well, first, let me say, I appreciated the “you’re hired,” “you’re fired” thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines.
Look, what — what you all just heard out there is more taxes, $2 trillion in more spending, more deficits, more debt, more government. And if you think that’s all working, then you look at the other side of the table. I mean, the truth of the matter is, the policies of this administration, which Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine want to continue, have run this economy into a ditch. We’re in the…
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
PENCE: … slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression.
KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?
PENCE: There are millions more people living in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton at his side…
KAINE: And the poverty level and the median income…
PENCE: … stepped into the Oval Office.
KAINE: … improved dramatically between 2014 and 2015.
PENCE: You — honestly, Senator, you can roll out the numbers and the sunny side, but I got to tell you, people in Scranton know different. People in Fort Wayne, Indiana, know different. I mean, this economy is struggling. The answer to this economy is not more taxes.

That’s the problem that the Clinton-Kaine ticket can’t escape. Their spin can’t eliminate the truth that the Obama economy stinks. It stinks because it’s trying to bankrupt entire industries like coal-mining and fracking for oil and natural gas. It stinks because Obamacare is the craziest thing in the world:

If Donald Trump takes the fight to Hillary on the economy and how the Obama economy is built on how well-connected people are, he’ll win this election. Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Kaine can’t point to the pathetic economic growth as proof that they’re on the right side of that issue.

Sen. Kaine’s first attempt to make a first impression fell flat. It’s long past time to worry about Mrs. Clinton’s first impression on the nation. Saying that she’s a polarizing figure is understatement.

Donald Trump wasted a valuable commodity this week — time. The week started right, with him winning the first third of the debate. Then he forgot his purpose and started chasing ghosts. The lesson that his advisors need to teach him is that he needs to focus on things that will help him connect with blue collar workers. The other thing that Mr. Trump must highlight is the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play scandal and the FBI’s faux investigation.

By highlighting the FBI’s faux investigation, Mr. Trump would connect with Bernie Sanders’ voters that think that the system is rigged. The FBI’s faux investigation would play well with suburban voters who think Mrs. Clinton isn’t trustworthy. It’d be great if he could flip those voters. At this point, Mr. Trump’s campaign would probably be satisfied if it drove Mrs. Clinton’s turnout with suburban voters down.

The Clintons are disgusting, immoral people who’ve lived in the mud their entire lives. Spending 5 more weeks there to win the presidency means nothing to them. Trump’s path to victory is to highlight the things that matter most to people. When in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump should highlight Mrs. Clinton’s statement that she’s going to put coal companies out of business. Wherever he goes, he needs to highlight his plan for energy independence, then contrast that with Mrs. Clinton’s green energy policies.

Part of Mr. Trump’s presentation on green energy should highlight the rigged game that Solyndra tapped into. Mostly, though, Trump should highlight the fact that coal-mining and fracking jobs are just waiting to be filled. Ask people if they want to subsidize Mrs. Clinton’s and President Obama’s special interest allies or whether they’d like to keep doing what’s worked for the last half-century.

If Trump gets back on message, he’ll put pressure on Mrs. Clinton because people want change. They don’t want Mrs. Clinton’s more-of-the-same policies.

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Let there be no mistake about what the DFL wants to do. Their goal is to run St. Paul … again. The last time the DFL held the majority in the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate and there was a DFL governor, taxes were raised on small businesses, then partially repealed and property taxes skyrocketed. We were told by Rep. Thissen that the DFL’s House Education Omnibus Finance bill “calls for historic investment in education.” The DFL made that boast before the Princeton School Board raised property taxes by 25.16%. The DFL made that boast before the St. Cloud School Board raised their levy by 14.75%.

Gone is any pretense about finding middle ground. The DFL wants to shove another item from their ideological wish list down Minnesotan’s throats. The DFL isn’t interested in serving the people. The DFL is interested in winning one ideological victory after another. TakeAction Minnesota, an arm of the DFL, stated things quite clearly how they anticipate passing their ideological checklist in this fundraising appeal:

Notice that TakeAction Minnesota named 4 politicians, essentially telling us that they are hard left ideologues, aka true believers. The names of those true believers include the ethically challenged Ilhan Omar, Alberder Gillespie (who wants to be “a powerful, progressive voice for her community on education funding, paid sick leave and other issues”, Zach Dorholt (who voted for forced unionization of in-home child care providers, the tax increases mentioned earlier and for the $90,000,000 Senate Office Building when he was part of the 2013 DFL legislature) and Lindsey Port. Mrs. Port thinks that government should tell businesses what they should do.

The candidates mentioned in TakeAction Minnesota’s fundraising appeal are as hard left and as anti-jobs as they get. They aren’t capitalists, either. This quartet thinks that the government solutions are the best solutions and that private citizens, acting in their own self-interests, are a danger to their social engineering plans.

Minnesotans need to ask themselves this question: do they want legislators that a) ignore the will of the people and b) think that people making their own decisions are a threat to the DFL’s social engineering agenda? If they’d rather make their own decisions, they need to vote for Republicans. It’s that simple.

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Democrats don’t hesitate in lying if they think it helps win elections. It isn’t debatable whether the Democratic Party is a reprehensible, morally repugnant political party. The Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz doesn’t bear a striking resemblance to JFK’s Profiles in Courage Democratic Party.

Russ Feingold is a frequent practitioner of dishonest messaging, deploying fearmongering frequently to scare people into voting for him. Lately, his fearmongering vocabulary has included the term creative destruction. Kevin Binversie’s article slaps Feingold around pretty good, starting with Binversie saying “Once all that done, they’ll kindly tell Feingold he’s got the definition of ‘Creative Destruction’ all wrong; which is something I’m fairly certain he and his campaign know very well. He clearly loves the talking point because it sounds spooky and makes Johnson look uncaring; even a former Rhodes scholar like Russ Feingold couldn’t get something like that wrong time and time again. He’s just banking on an economically ignorant public and media to never call him out on it.”

Feingold is deploying what I’d call the ‘Jonathan Gruber economic illiteracy strategy.’ Gruber, it’s important to remember, frequently talked down about the American people in terms of their understanding of the economy.

This might be Binversie’s hardest slap against Feingold:

The best example showcasing “Creative Destruction” at work is how we’ve changed the way we listen to music. For years, we bought vinyl records, then 8-tracks. After 8-tracks came cassette tapes, followed by compact discs, until they too were replaced with digital music files like mp3s.

Are jobs lost as a result of “Creative Destruction?” Yes, but they often are replaced by jobs in the industries connected to the newer technologies. This tends to be a good thing, unless Feingold and his staff mourn to end of the buggy whip industry.

Perhaps an uppity reporter, if such people still exist, should ask Feingold how he’d prevent creative destruction from happening. After he finished stammering through that, I’d personally ask him if it’s wise to stand in the way of creating the jobs of the future.

After Hillary’s speech, I wrote this post to talk about Hillary’s flop. This morning, John Hinderaker wrote this post. While I didn’t watch the speech, I read the transcript. John apparently tried watching it and found it to be unwatchable, which I think is something that’s sweeping the nation.

Truthfully, some of the things that Mrs. Clinton said weren’t tethered to the truth. One of the things she said that I found repulsive was when she criticized Trump, saying “Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting? Troops on the front lines. Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger. Doctors and nurses who care for us. Teachers who change lives. Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem. Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.”

Clearly, Mrs. Clinton is setting this up as a straw man argument. What Trump was referring to was that the US needs a real leader to point the nation in the right direction. For the last 8 years, we’ve dealt with an ideologue who didn’t respect the Constitution. If Hillary is elected, she’d be more of the same. She’s already said she’d be more lawless with regards to illegal aliens. For all her talk about the Founding Fathers, Mrs. Clinton doesn’t respect their Constitution.

As for Mrs. Clinton talking about police officers, I find that sickening. Why hasn’t she told Black Lives Matter thugs to stop assaulting police officers? Apparently her love of police officers is just a situational thing? I wrote this post to highlight how thuggish Black Lives Matter is. One thing that this article shows is Hillary’s disrespect for officers:

Former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman: ?“Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

Unnamed former Secret Service agent: “Hillary never talked to us .?.?. Most all members of first families would talk to us and smile. She never did that.”

Former FBI agent Coy Copeland: Within the White House, Hillary had a “standing rule that no one spoke to her when she was going from one location to another. In fact, anyone who would see her coming would just step into the first available office.”

Mrs. Clinton, when did you develop this respect for the military and police officers?

That’s the point of my posts. The speeches were mostly fiction. Democrats essentially spent the week humanizing a robot. In light of this news, this part of her speech sounds ridiculous:

Now, I don’t think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs.

The Bloomberg article starts with these pathetic statistics:

The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the second quarter after a weaker start to the year than previously estimated as companies slimmed down inventories and remained wary of investing amid shaky global demand.

Gross domestic product rose at a 1.2 percent annualized rate after a 0.8 percent advance the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent second-quarter increase.

Q1-2016 started terribly. Q2-2016 was almost as big a disaster. Why would we think that President Obama’s policies are the right policies? (Personally, I think that President Obama and Vice President Biden don’t have a clue about how to build a thriving economy.)

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During his speech to the delegates attending the Democratic National Convention, Vice President Joe Biden was at his BSing best. At one point in his speech, Biden attacked Donald Trump, saying “lack of empathy and compassion can be summed up in a phrase I suspect he’s most proud of having made famous, ‘you’re fired,’. How can there be pleasure in saying ‘you’re fired?’ He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle class? Give me a break!” That’s when Biden deployed “his own well-used tagline: “That’s a bunch of malarkey!”

In another part of the speech, Biden praised Hillary, saying “Everybody knows she is smart. Everybody knows she is tough. But I know what she is passionate about. I know Hillary. Hillary understands. Hillary gets it.”

When Biden praised President Obama, he went way overboard, saying that President Barack Obama was “the embodiment of honor, resolve and character, one of the finest presidents we have ever had.” What a bunch of malarkey.

First, if Hillary is so smart, why did she expose her emails to Chinese, Iranian and Russian hackers? If Hillary’s so smart, why did Russia experience a revival after Ronald Reagan killed it? Why did the Muslim Brotherhood take control of Egypt? If Hillary’s so smart, how did Christopher Stevens not get the security he needed?

Next, saying that President Obama is “one of the finest presidents we’ve ever had” isn’t just dishonest. It’s verifiably false on issue after issue. Obamacare was supposedly President Obama’s “signature accomplishment.” Today, Americans were forced out of policies that they were satisfied with and into policies with ever-increasing premiums and skyrocketing deductibles.

President Obama’s stimulus didn’t revive the economy. It’s been the most anemic economy since WWII. In June, 2012, the workforce participation rate was at a 30-year low of 64.3%. Four years later, the labor force participation rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 62.6 percent, near its 38-year low.

In terms of keeping Americans safe, President Obama is a failure. Police officers are getting assassinated, thanks in large part to President Obama’s unwillingness to call out #BlackLivesMatter activists and Al Sharpton for the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ hoax. In terms of preventing terrorist attacks and terrorist attacks increasing thanks in large part to President Obama’s unseriousness in destroying ISIS, he’s failed the US and the world.

If that’s the resume of “one of the finest presidents we have ever had”, I’ve got something to say to Vice President Biden: that’s a bunch of malarkey.

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Had Donald Trump given the speech that Donald Trump Jr. gave at the Republican National Convention, the party would’ve been united by mid-February and Donald Trump Sr. would’ve locked up the nomination on March 1. The GOP presidential nominee spent most of his time projecting an image of strength. Tuesday night, Donald Trump, Jr., projected strength and policy expertise that his father hasn’t shown yet.

Early in his speech, Donald Trump Jr. said “The other party gave us public schools that far too often fail our students, especially those who have no options. Growing up, my siblings and I we were truly fortunate to have choices and options that others don’t have. We want all Americans to have those same opportunities.” The crowd immediately responded with enthusiastic applause.

The applause got louder when Trump Jr. said “Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class, now they’re stalled on the ground floor. They’re like Soviet-era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers, for the teachers and the administrators and not the students. You know why other countries do better on K through 12? They let parents choose where to send their own children to school. That’s called competition. It’s called the free market. And it’s what the other party fears.”

That was just the start of the policies Mr. Trump Jr. rolled out. The next policy goal was hard-hitting if you read Mr. Trump Jr.’s speech:

The other party gave us a regulatory state on steroids. Dodd-Frank was a thousand pages long and it’s already spun off 22,000 pages in regulations. Imagine trying to digest all that before you even open your doors for business. That doesn’t help consumers. What it does is destroy small business in favor of big businesses who can afford the vast number of lawyers and accountants needed to comply. Dodd-Frank is consumer protection for billionaires.

If Donald Trump Sr. puts Donald Trump Jr. in charge of making speeches explaining how regulators kill jobs, Mrs. Clinton won’t be able to fight that, especially in Rust Belt states, the Midwest and in the Mountain West.

Then Donald Jr. took a machete after Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy/national security credentials:

Let me tell you something about risk. If Hillary Clinton were elected, she’d be the first president who couldn’t pass a basic background check. It’s incredible.

If Donald Jr. wants a career in politics, it’s easy seeing him succeeding. Tuesday night, he fired up the crowd while telling the nation watching on TV what a Trump agenda would look like.

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Apparently, this nation has undergone a significant transformation from being a confident nation that loved free trade to being a nation that thinks the middle class gets screwed over by every free trade agreement. It’s sad to see the Party of Reagan getting duped into believing that we’re a nation that can’t compete by our party’s nominee.

Let’s unclutter this argument. Do you trust Donald Trump more than you trust Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman? That’s what this comes down to. Ronald Reagan took over a struggling economy, cut taxes and dramatically reduced regulation while negotiating trade deals. As a result of President Reagan’s economic policies, the US economy created over 20,000,000 jobs in 8 years. In September, 1983, the economy created 1,100,000 jobs.

Compare that with Donald Trump’s record of failed businesses and bankruptcies. That’s right. That isn’t a comparison. That’s more like Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It isn’t much of a fight. That’s before getting into Milton Friedman’s lecturing Phil Donahue on the virtues of capitalism and free trade:

Here’s what Milton Friedman told Donahue:

In the only cases in which the masses have escaped the types of grinding poverty that you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, and where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.

Anyone that thinks that Trump knows what’s best compared to President Reagan and Dr. Friedman isn’t dealing with reality. The biggest reasons why jobs have moved overseas are the overtaxation and overregulation, the increase in regulatory compliance costs here in the United States and the lowering of marginal tax rates in other countries. Add into that Obamacare and this administration’s war on cheap energy prices (think Solyndra and Hillary’s statement that she was going to shut down coal plants) and it isn’t surprising that companies are leaving.

Without question, we’ve hesitated to call trading partners out when they’ve broken the agreement’s provisions. That’s proof of political spinelessness. It isn’t proof that trade agreements are counterproductive.

Anyone that trusts a man who opened a casino in flush economic times, then saw that casino go bankrupt, more than they trust the greatest president of the last 125 years and one of the most accomplished economists in modern history is a blithering idiot. I’ll trust President Reagan and Dr. Friedman over Donald Trump any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

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Last year, Rep. Paul Thissen’s partisanship paved the way for the legislature’s special session. Without his throwing a daily hissy fit about Republicans, the legislature wouldn’t have needed a special session to finish the biennial budget. Thanks to Rep. Thissen’s whining, there was a special session. Though this AP article doesn’t mention Rep. Thissen, it’s definitely got his fingerprints all over it.

For instance, the final paragraph of the article starts with “DFLers called the House bill partisan and said it elevated projects in Republican districts above others that were ranked higher priorities. They cited was Eastman Hall, which was ranked lower on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities wish list than projects in Hibbing, Rochester, Winona and Bemidji, which are in DFL district and were not included in the bill.”

The truth is that the Senate DFL, not the House GOP, is to blame for the bonding bill logjam. The Senate DFL’s bill called for $1,800,000,000 of bonding. That’s $750,000,000 more than the biggest bonding bill in Minnesota history. Because the Senate DFL’s bonding bill was that expensive, Republicans couldn’t take it seriously.

Republicans couldn’t take it seriously because the DFL’s bonding bill keeps running up debt which requires high taxes:

Moody’s 2015 State Debt Median Report ranks Minnesota debt burden as moderately elevated compared to other states: Minnesota’s net tax-supported debt (NTD) per capita is $1,538 compared to the national median of $1,012; NTD as a percentage of personal income is 3.2% for Minnesota versus a national median of 2.5%; and NTD as a percentage of gross state domestic product of 2.69% is above the national median of 2.21%. However, Moody’s estimates Minnesota’s fiscal 2014 debt service ratio (net tax-supported debt as a percentage of operating fund revenues and pledged revenues) to be 4.2% versus a fiscal 2014 median of 5.3%. This ranks in the top (or most favorable) quartile of state rankings.

Rather than letting the private sector grow the economy, the DFL’s preferred path is to have the government borrow money to pay for what essentially is a sugar high economic bump. The DFL is incapable of thinking that the private sector doesn’t need help in growing the economy because the DFL thinks that the government has to be involved in everything.

Until the DFL stops thinking that the economy won’t grow if the government isn’t spending tons of money, Minnesota won’t have a strong private sector economy.

Dan Wolgamott’s op-ed in tomorrow’s St. Cloud Times isn’t a portrait in honesty. Then again, that isn’t my expectation from Wolgamott.

It isn’t that Wolgamott told some outright whoppers. It’s that he omitted the most important details from his op-ed. Wolgamott started by criticizing retiring Sen. John Pederson. In the interest of full disclosure, John represents me in the Minnesota Senate. I consider him to be a friend, too. But I digress.

The opening paragraph of Wolgamott’s op-ed says “Once again, Republican Sen. John Pederson has turned his back on our community. He cast the tie-breaking vote last week to defeat the Senate bonding bill, which would’ve created 39,000 jobs across the state and invested more than $24 million locally in job creation, veterans and making our area safer.”

Wolgamott’s missing integrity is exposed by the fact that Wolgamott didn’t mention the fact that the bonding bill that Sen. Pederson voted against was the biggest in Minnesota history at $1,800,000,000. That’s more than $750,000,000 bigger than the biggest bonding bill in state history. It’s bad enough to pass the biggest bonding bill in state history if it’s bigger by $100,000,000. It’s quite another to attempt to pass a bonding bill that’s almost twice the size of the biggest bonding bill in state history.

Then there’s this cheap shot:

Unfortunately, Pederson chose partisanship over progress and voted against $19 million for needed upgrades and safety measures for the St. Cloud correctional facility. He voted against $1.5 million in economic development money for Friedrich Regional Park in St. Cloud. He even said no to veterans, $3.5 million for the St. Cloud Armory.

Let’s turn the tables on Wolgamott. Is he saying that he wouldn’t have hesitated in voting for a bill that’s that big? Would he hesitate in voting for a bill that would tax the ‘state credit card’ to the max?

Those are examples of deception by omission. This is an example of outright BS:

As your next state senator, I will be a tireless advocate for our community, and the priorities we share, over partisan games and gridlock.

Last year, I wrote this post to highlight Wolgamott’s willingness to spend recklessly:

It’s time for us to invest in our roads and bridges, which is why St. Cloud needs better leadership than State Sen. John Pederson. As made clear in two recent articles in the St. Cloud Times, Pederson has some thoughts on the state’s transportation network. As the Republican lead on the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee, he could play a vital role in providing St. Cloud the comprehensive transportation investment we need.

Instead, Sen. Pederson backs a plan that not only shifts money away from our schools and services for our most vulnerable residents, but relies heavily on borrowing for our roads and bridges, putting the costs on the state’s credit card. This plan depends on action to be taken by future legislatures. However, there is no guarantee future legislatures will make those decisions. Instead of stability, this is another example of politicians promising something in the future to justify ducking their responsibilities now.

Back then, Wolgamott advocated for a middle class tax increase to pay for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. That’s besides Wolgamott’s advocating for additional middle class tax increases to pay for transit projects.

To summarize Wolgamott’s limited history, he’s advocated for middle class tax increases to pay for fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Wolgamott has advocated putting nearly $2,000,000,000 on Minnesota’s credit card rather than fixing Minnesota’s economic fundamentals. Those aren’t solutions. They’re gimmicks.

Finally, does Wolgamott really think that Sen. Pederson wouldn’t have voted for a responsible bonding bill that included fixing the St. Cloud Armory and the St. Cloud prison? If Mr. Wolgamott is peddling that BS, then he isn’t honest enough to represent St. Cloud in the State Senate.