Developments relating to the Solyndra debacle continue to surface as newly-surfaced internal government emails reveal that an Obama administration appointee at the Department of Energy (DOE) — and major Obama fundraiser — pushed to expedite a $535-million loan guarantee to the now-defunct solar firm. The emails expose "a disturbingly close relationship" among the White House, top campaign donors, and prominent Solyndra investors, according to a senior congressional Republican.
Steve Spinner, an adviser to the Department of Energy, actively endorsed the loan after agreeing to avoid any "active participation" in the application process, because his wife, Allison, was working for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm which represented Solyndra. Due to his wife’s association with the company, the DOE had ensured that Spinner would refrain from engaging in "any discussions" relating to the loan details because of a "conflict of interest." In a September 23, 2009 email to a DOE ethics officer, Steve Spinner described active participation as "solicitation, due diligence, [and] negotiations."
Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera affirmed that Spinner was "authorized [only] to oversee and monitor the progress of applications, ensure that the program met its deadlines and milestones, and coordinate possible public announcements," because of his wife’s relations with Solyndra.
On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery.
The household income index (HHI) — created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder — has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.
As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains “why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.” And even the assumption that the economy really is growing is still unclear. Henry Farber, a Princeton University economist, observed, “As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended.
Nearly half the American population lives in a household that receives a payment from the federal government. That’s the latest alarming news from the Wall Street Journal’s Sara Murray, who tracks the federal subsidy programs for the newspaper. According to Murray, the number has steadily increased the last few years, and to some degree coincides with another datum: About half of Americans pay zero income tax.
Democrats in Wisconsin’s State Assembly have asked for the removal of a portrait of Governor Jeremiah Rusk, who in 1886 had ordered the state militia to keep peace during the Bay View Rolling Mill Strike. Seven people were killed during that strike, and labor unions in Wisconsin have gotten their Democrat friends in the legislature to push for taking Rusk’s picture down: "He ordered the National Guard to fire on people who were marching for an eight-hour workday, even though some of those marchers were children. He is the last person we should be honoring in the state Capitol."
John Jagler, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald replied: “We have bigger things to be talking about.”
Democrats are trying to link Governor Rusk’s actions 125 years ago to present Governor Scott Walker’s actions to limit what could be subject to collective bargaining for public employees’ unions. Representative Sinicki said: "When Governor Walker proposed his collective bargaining bill, instead of going to the table and trying to negotiate something, he bypassed that whole process and called out the National Guard because he knew there was going to be trouble on this. That is the way I feel about the Republican leadership right now."
Nobody in the Western world has been willing to admit that it is the socialist policies of their governments that have led to the dire economic problems the world now faces. Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, revealed how severe the crisis is after the decision was made by the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put 75 billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession.
The Daily Telegraph quoted the governor: “This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever. We’re having to deal with very unusual circumstances, but to act calmly to this and to do the right thing.”
“The world economy has slowed, America has slowed, China has slowed, and of course particularly the European economy has slowed,” he said. “The world has changed and so has the right policy response.”
How did we get into this mess? By following the siren song of the socialists who think that the private sector and the taxpayer can pay for more and more socialist programs. And they think that whipping the capitalist horses that drive the economy is the way to get them to support more and more socialist spending. Obamacare is the program that will finally kill the American Golden Goose. Americans will be reduced to a survivalist economy.
Sam Antonio interviews Tony Demott, State Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty in Michigan.
The U.S. economy added 103,000 new jobs in September with the unemployment rate holding steady at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported October 7. Most U.S. stock indexes rallied on the news in the early morning hours of the announcement, as the job growth was better than expected and stronger than the average of the past three months.
The 103,000 new jobs figure included the return of some 45,000 striking Verizon employees to work. But even discounting the Verizon striking workers, the total increase 94,000 new private sector jobs in September was still above average compared to the past three months. Government employment continued its downward trend in September, with 34,000 jobs cut. While the U.S. Postal Service cut their payroll by 5,000 in September, nearly all of the reduction in government jobs occurred in state and local governments. State and local governments, many of which are required to have balanced budgets, have cut employment by more than 500,000 as the recession reduced tax revenue. Other than the U.S. Post Office, federal employment remained steady.
Most economists estimate that the U.S. economy must add approximately 100,000 new jobs per month in order to keep pace with growing population. This is why the economy added approximately 100,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate remained stable at 9.1 percent.
The BLS also revised upward new job creation estimates for July and August, writing: "The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +85,000 to +127,000, and the change for August was revised from 0 to +57,000."
Writing for the left-wing blog ThinkProgress, Matthew Yglesias noted his difficulty in coming up with a suitable slogan representing what the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators really wanted.
My view is that the best demand of all … is “free money for the rest of us.” There are a lot of different specific ways this can be implemented, but the ... Powers That Be … have been willing to provide all manner of free money to players in the banking system. Debt cancellation is a form of free money for the indebted. But why give free money only to banks? And why give free money only to the indebted? Why not free money for everyone? “Everyone,” of course, includes the indebted. But it also includes ordinary people who didn’t happen to avail themselves of the credit binge. It’s an idea so good that it sounds almost silly.
"Everyone knows” that you can’t just hand out free money to everybody. Except actually you can … in the short term, free money for everyone impacts prices … [but] it would do so in a useful way. I don’t know what the best way to turn this into a slogan is, but the point is that if the different institutions that together constitute “the government” worked together, they could put more dollars into our hands. Creditors won’t like it because doing this will devalue their existing debt claims, but so what?
One of the signs prominently held up by one of the idiots at the Occupy Wall Street mob scene read “People Not Profits.” Obviously, this numbskull doesn’t understand that without profits we would all be living in poverty, as they do in Cuba. But neither the Cuban nor Soviet governments even remotely gave up on profits. The Soviets used slave labor to mine the gold in Siberia to pay for the Communist government’s need to import goods, and the Cuban government earns profits by maintaining beach resorts for foreign tourists.
But the sign “People Not Profits” is an indication of the lack of any understanding of how an economy works. And all of these ignoramuses went to public schools where the failures of socialism are never taught. Another sign read “Fight market dictatorship.” The very essence of a free market is that it is totally democratic and the very opposite of dictatorship. A free market encourages competition, not monopoly dictatorship. But these idiots marching on Wall Street don’t know anything about markets because what they have to sell nobody wants. Not even Chinese communists believe in such nonsense.
Another sign read, “People of the world rise up!” The only people who might be tempted to rise up are Alinsky’s “have nots” who want to take from the “haves.”
Finally, a well-known economist has said something about the Social Security system that no one else has said: sell federal land to pay those who have been taxed for Social Security but want to opt out of the system. Our much admired and respected Walter Williams wrote in his column of October 4, 2012:
Here's what might be a temporary fix: The federal government owns huge quantities of wasting assets — assets that are not producing anything — 650 million acres of land, almost 30 percent of the land area of the United States. In exchange for those who choose to opt out of Social Security and forsake any future claim, why not pay them off with 40 or so acres of land? Doing so would give us breathing room to develop a free choice method to finance retirement.
Great idea! But who in this tottering capitalist system has the ability to understand this simple solution to a pressing problem? Certainly not our socialist president, who believes the federal government ought to own more land, not less.