Saturday, April 28, 2012

As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead - The Daily Beast


As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead

California's slow-motion tragedy could end up as a national one, warns Joel Kotkin.

Barack Obama learned the rough sport of politics in Chicago, but his domestic policies have been shaped by California's progressive creed. As the Golden State crumbles, its troubles point to those America may confront in a second Obama term.

From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state. In 2009, he praised its green-tinged energy policies as a blueprint for the nation. He staffed his administration with Californians like Energy Secretary Steve Chu—an open advocate of high energy prices who's lavished government funding on "green" dodos like solar-panel maker Solyndra, and luxury electric carmaker Fisker—and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who thrived as CEO of a regulated utility which raised energy costs for millions of consumers, sometimes to finance "green" ideals.

Obama regularly asserts that green jobs will play a crucial role in the future of the American economy, but California, a trend-setter in the field, has yet to reap such benefits. Green jobs, broadly defined, make up only about 2 percent of jobs in the state—about the same proportion as in Texas. In Silicon Valley, the number of green jobs actually declined between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, California's unemployment rate of 10.9 percent is the nation's third highest, behind only Nevada and Rhode Island.

When Governor Jerry Brown predicted a half-million green jobs by the end of the decade, even The New York Times deemed it "a pipe dream."


President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Iowa Field House, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Iowa City, Iowa. , Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Obama's push to nationalize many of California's economy-stifling green policies has been slowed down, first by the Republican resurgence in 2010 and then by his reelection considerations. But California's politicians, living in what's become essentially a one-party state, have doubled down on green orthodoxy. As the president at least tries to cover his flank by claiming to support an "all-in" energy policy, California has simply refused to exploit much of its massive oil and gas resources.

Does this matter? Well, Texas has created 200,000 oil and gas jobs over the past decade; California has barely added 20,000. The state's remaining energy producers have been slowing down as the regulatory environment becomes ever more hostile even as producers elsewhere, including in rustbelt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, ramp up. The oil and gas jobs the Golden State political class shuns pay around $100,000 a year on average.


When Governor Jerry Brown predicted a half-million green jobs by the end of the decade, even The New York Times deemed it "a pipe dream."


Instead, California has forged ahead with ever-more extreme renewable energy mandates that have resulted in energy costs roughly 50 percent above the national average and expected to rise substantially from there. This tends to drive out manufacturing and other largely blue-collar energy users.

Over the past decade the Golden State has grown its middle-skilled jobs (those that require two years or more of post-secondary education) by a mere 2 percent compared to a 5.3 percent increase nationwide, and almost 15 percent in Texas. Even in the science-technology-engineering and mathematics field, where California has long been a national leader, the state has lost its edge, growing just 1.7 percent over the past 10 years compared to 5.4 percent nationally and 14 percent in Texas.

A recent Public Policy of California study shows that since the recession, the gap between rich and poor has widened more in California than in the rest of the nation. Lower-income workers have seen their wages drop more precipitously than those of the affluent. And the middle class is proportionately smaller and has shrunk more than elsewhere. Adjusted for cost of living, it stands at 47.9 percent in California compared to nearly 55 percent for the rest of the country.

Meantime, many Californians have been departing for more affordable states, with a net loss of four million residents to other states over the past 20 years (while continuing, of course, to attract immigrants.) Of those who remain, nearly two-in-five Californians pay no income tax, and one in four receive Medicaid.

There are some people are prospering in California, including many of the affluent supporters who Obama courts on his frequent fundraising forays here. Tenure-protected academics from the University of California constitute his third-largest donor base, while Google ranks fifth and Stanford twelfth, according to Open Secrets.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

If Politicians’ Honesty Set the Standard for Others | The Beacon

If Politicians' Honesty Set the Standard for Others

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If engineers were no more honest than the typical politician, all of the bridges would fall down.

If accountants were no more honest than the typical politician, every firm would go bankrupt.

If merchants were no more honest than the typical politician, Paris would not get fed; nor would any other city.

If preachers were no more honest than the typical politician, everyone who took their sermons to heart would go straight to hell.

If physicians were no more honest than the typical politician, all of the patients would die.

If carpenters were no more honest than the typical politician, every house would collapse.

If spouses were no more honest than the typical politician, every marriage would be on the rocks.

If used car dealers were no more honest than the typical politician, no one would risk buying a used car.

If electricians were no more honest than the typical politician, we would all be electrocuted.

If soldiers were no more honest than the typical politician, both sides would lose every battle.

And so forth.

So, the questions naturally arise: Why does anyone place any confidence in anything a politician says? Why does anyone expect anything but deception and predation from these dishonest reprobates? Why does anyone seek social improvement or economic salvation from the programs these ne'er-do-wells devise and implement? Why, indeed, do people continue to tolerate politics at all? (This last question presupposes, of course, that those who wish to use the political process to commit a de facto crime—that is, an act that, if committed privately, would be seen as plainly criminal—will be entirely in favor of politics because using the government as their agent-perpetrator offers a way to legalize their crimes. My question pertains to the noncriminal element of the population.)

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Doug Ross @ Journal: Hilarious: 1,800-word article on John Edwards trial doesn't mention the word 'Democrat', but manages to mention 'Republican' 5 times

Hilarious: 1,800-word article on John Edwards trial doesn't mention the word 'Democrat', but manages to mention 'Republican' 5 times

Erstwhile presidential candidate and world-class philanderer John Edwards is profiled Wednesday in a monumental Atlantic article entitled "Why the John Edwards Trial Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think."

Jury selection in the federal criminal trial of John Edwards begins Thursday April 12th in a Greensboro, N.C., courtroom. As the world now knows, Edwards chose to cheat on his cancer-stricken wife during his 2008 presidential run. Two wealthy political supporters then spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting Edwards's mistress as part of a failed effort to keep the affair quiet. Prosecutors decided that the financial support constituted unreported, excessive and thus illegal campaign donations, and indicted Edwards for his role in the arrangement.

Author Hampton Dellinger does yeoman's work in avoiding the D-word over the course of the 1,800-word tome, which could be applied copiously to the dirtbag, douche, and dimwit in question.

However, Dellinger does manage to slip in the word Republican a scant five times.

In one respect, Edwards was right. There really are two Americas: the Democrat-media elites who think they are our betters, and the rest of us.

Update: Tom Blumer notes that the author ran for Lt. Governor in NC as a... Democrat.

Hat tip: JTT.

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Bookworm Room » The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left

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Huge Fight at St. Louis College Video

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why “unprecedented” stuck « Don Surber

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The Gateway Pundit » Blog Archive » FAIL. Obama’s Favorite Green Energy Success Story – Spain – Halts All New Renewable Energy Projects

FAIL. Obama's Favorite Green Energy Success Story – Spain – Halts All New Renewable Energy Projects

Remember how Barack Obama repeatedly lectured us on how we had to be more like Spain?

YouTube video

Obama loved Spain's green energy policy despite the fact that every job created in the sector cost 2.2 private sector jobs.

Gabriel Calzada's full study can be found here:

Now there's this…

Spain announced this week that they would halt all new renewable energy and co-generation projects.

Renewable Energy reported, via Steven Hayward at Power Line:

For over a decade, the Spanish government has prevented utilities from charging consumers the true costs of electricity. In other words, the final price paid by both large and small electricity buyers has been kept artificially low, in an arguably misguided attempt to contain inflation, protect consumers, and maintain the competitiveness of Spanish industry.

But it doesn't matter. Obama is set on forcing the same failed policies on the United States. After all, he has donors to take care of.

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TaxProf Blog: Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013

TaxProf Blog

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April 6, 2012

Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013

The Heritage Foundation, Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013, by Curtis S. Dubay:

If President Obama and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013. ... This impending tax increase is mostly the result of the expiration of many long-standing policies that all expire at the end of 2012. ... Taxmageddon is a $494 billion tax increase that strikes at the beginning of 2013. Under current law, tax policies in seven different categories will expire, and five of the 18 new tax hikes from Obamacare will begin:

Table 1
Almost 34% of the tax increase from Taxmageddon comes from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. These cuts are best known for reducing marginal income tax rates, but they also reduced the marriage penalty, increased the Child Tax Credit and the adoption credit, and increased tax breaks for education costs and dependent care costs:

Table 2

For further details, see here.

April 6, 2012 in Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink


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Taxmageddon? Actually, what would happen is the U.S. would return to the tax rates and policies of the Clinton era. Hardly a time of over-taxation. I do remember, however, full employment, peace, and general prosperity.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Apr 6, 2012 10:41:36 AM

Does anyone expect a compromise before the election?

Does anyone expect an era of good feelings after the election, regardless of who wins? Even if the Democrats do not control the White House, they will control the Senate unless there is a change in the filibuster rule.

It's interesting how much economic optimism we have today. Stay tuned: eight months down the road, the picture will have changed.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 6, 2012 10:59:55 AM

Here's an idea: why not wait until the last minute to attempt to pass a bill to stop these massive increases and throw everything into chaos and then pass a bill that no one has read and that has hidden, unknown other taxes in it that are detrimental to taxpayers. That has never been done, right?

Posted by: FastTalker | Apr 6, 2012 3:32:18 PM

Look for a wave of well-off boomers to retire early before 2013. We can see the writing on the wall.

DW and I (currently earning mid 6-figures) will stop working and paying taxes mid 2012, have enough non-taxable assets to live on for at least 2 presidential terms. Thumbing our noses at the entitlement state, and hope to starve the beast. You think 2007 was a disaster, wait for 3Q 2012!!!

Posted by: alpha ralpha | Apr 6, 2012 3:33:58 PM

Please correct your erroneous post ASAP. The Bush tax cuts expired December 31, 2010. The Obama/Reid/Pelosi tax cuts (Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 ) were enacted in December 2010 to take effect January 1. 2011.

Posted by: AC | Apr 6, 2012 4:19:45 PM

Why aren't the marginal rate reductions on the 28 and 31 percent brackets (to 25 and 28 percent, respectively) classified as "pro-growth policies"? One of the premises of the chart seems to be that lowering marginal rates encourages growth, so why doesn't this apply in this context? The same argument applies to the creation of the 10 percent bracket. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Puzzled | Apr 6, 2012 5:07:18 PM

It's no coincidence that Presidential elections fall on the opposite side of the calendar from tax filing.

Posted by: PacRim Jim | Apr 6, 2012 5:43:32 PM

It's Obama's jobs program for accountants.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 7, 2012 6:20:49 AM

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