One of the expert witnesses testifying before Ron Paul’s Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology Subcommittee on Tuesday was Dr. Lawrence H. White, professor of Economics at George Mason University. His testimony reinforced the case for Paul’s bill, HR 1098, the “Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011” by outlining its benefits in introducing freedom of choice into the realm of currencies.
White compared competition in currencies to competition in package delivery services among Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the U.S. Postal Service. That competition has lowered costs, accelerated delivery, increased reliability, and in general allowed better overall services to be provided for their customers. It also weeds out weak competition and rewards the most successful. He went further to explain that financial consumers today rely on banks to provide other services such as checking accounts, credit cards, and travelers checks — why not choices in currency? He noted, “Although Federal Reserve Notes … should of course be protected from counterfeiting, there is no good case for them to enjoy monopoly privileges in the market for currency.”
Taking a notably different tack from fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “fiercely attacked President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan Tuesday,” according to Politico. While House Republicans have taken what Rutgers University political science professor Ross Baker, in an interview with Congressional Quarterly, called a “tactically polite” approach to Obama’s $447 billion bill, McConnell came out swinging against it.
Making his first public comments on the bill, McConnell said, “The first thing to say about this plan is it’s now obvious why the president left out the specifics last week. Not only does it reveal the political nature of this bill, it also reinforces the growing perception that this administration isn’t all that interested in economic policies that will actually work.”
Anyone who doubts the bill is a political exercise need only consult a calendar and the latest opinion polls. With roughly 14 months to go until voters select the next President, Obama knows that unless he is perceived to be doing something about the stubbornly high unemployment rate, his already less-than-certain bid for reelection is almost surely doomed.
Ninety years ago — in 1921 — federal income tax policies reached an absurdity that many people today seem to want to repeat. Those who believe in high taxes on "the rich" got their way. The tax rate on people in the top income bracket was 73 percent in 1921. On the other hand, the rich also got their way: They didn't actually pay those taxes.
The number of people with taxable incomes of $300,000 a year and up — equivalent to far more than a million dollars in today's money — declined from more than a thousand people in 1916 to less than three hundred in 1921. Were the rich all going broke?
It might look that way. More than four-fifths of the total taxable income earned by people making $300,000 a year and up vanished into thin air. So did the tax revenues that the government hoped to collect with high tax rates on the top incomes.
Released on Tuesday, the Census Bureau’s annual report flashed a dismal economic outlook, showing that U.S. poverty has exceeded 46 million people — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — and the number without health insurance spiking from 49 million to almost 50 million. As unemployment continues to hover around 9 percent, many Americans are financially exhausted, as the overall poverty rate reached 15.1 percent, up from the 14.3 percent recorded the previous year. The number of Americans now below the poverty line is the highest number recorded since 1959, when the Census first started analyzing such data.
Bruce Meyer, a public policy professor at the University of Chicago, warns that poverty levels may further escalate, as the demand for food stamps rises and a "staggeringly high" number of Americans are becoming unemployed for more than 26 weeks. Professor Meyer notes that more than 6 million people are categorized as "long-term unemployed," and are more susceptible to falling into poverty.
Last year’s median household income was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decrease from 2009.
Growing dissatisfaction with the nation's economic woes appeared to trump fears of cuts to Social Security and Medicaid in special elections for U.S. House seats in New York and Nevada, as Republicans held on to a seat in a solidly Republican district in Nevada and trounced the Democrats in an overwhelmingly Democratic district in the Empire State.
Republican Bob Turner 70, a retired cable television executive, defeated better-known and better-funded New York Assemblyman David Weprin to become the first Republican elected to represent New York's 9th congressional district since 1920.
While Weprin, 55, had not conceded by early Wednesday morning, the Associated Press showed the unofficial count had Turner leading 54 to 46 percent with 84 percent of the precincts counted. The two men squared off in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who resigned in June ....
Help protect free enterprise by supporting these measures to eliminate the powerful chokehold unions have over employers and employees via the NLRB that costs our nation jobs, hurts small businesses, and discounts and undermines right-to-work states.
Analysts are warning that serious chaos could ensue as a coalition of radical activists, leftist organizations, self-described “revolutionaries” and anti-capitalist agitators — some of whom are reportedly linked to the Obama administration — plots to “occupy" Wall Street starting on September 17. Under the banner of a “Day of Rage,” critics and supporters say the protests could be just the start of something much bigger — and the list of targeted cities in the U.S. and around the world is still growing.
The real goals of the effort remain murky. But despite the apparent socialist and collectivist bent of many participants, even some constitutionalists have expressed tepid sympathy after organizers released a statement blasting the American “kleptocracy” run by “banksters.”
“We must stop their influence, their motives, and their tricks, from continuing to destroy our democratic republic,” concluded a “tactical plan” released last week by one of the organizations affiliated with the movement. The group, known as US Day of Rage, also called for an end to the influence of money in politics.
As promised in his address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Barack Obama on Monday sent his proposed economic plan, the American Jobs Act, to Capitol Hill and urged legislators to “pass it immediately.” He maintained that the bill “could add a significant amount to our Gross Domestic Product, and could put people back to work all across the country” and that it would not “add a dime to the deficit.”
By erasing burdensome regulations, the oil industry could create one million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million by 2030, according to an analysis released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The report, prepared by Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting and funded by API, also projects that oil production could grow by 10.4 million barrels a day and increase government revenue by $803 billion by 2030.
Lifting regulatory burdens and uncorking key regions of the United States to oil exploration and development would curb gas prices, ease U.S. dependence on hostile nations, and create hundreds of thousands of jobs every year, API noted. Abrogating terrain and coastal restrictions would mean granting access to regions that are currently "off-limits" to drilling, including oil-rich areas in Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, and the Atlanta and Pacific coasts.
With the United States’ official poverty rate now at a seventeen year high of 15.1 percent — and an actual poverty level that may be substantially higher — the absurdity of President Obama’s advocacy of so-called ‘green jobs’ is increasingly clear.
The continuing decline of the economies of the West, in general, and of the United States, in particular, is often measured in cold statistics; according to press reports, the skyrocketing poverty rate means that approximately 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011 — a jump of 2.6 million over the 2009 statistic. As the Washington Post reports:
The total number of people living in poverty — defined in 2010 as at or below an income of $22,314 for a family of four — is now at the highest level in the 52 years the statistic has been collected.
The continued rise in poverty was just the latest manifestation of a troubled economy that has left 14 million Americans out of work and caused unemployment to hover above 9 percent for 25 of the past 27 months.
While record numbers of Americans live in poverty and millions more are unemployed and underemployed, the utopian schemes of Obama and others to inaugurate a new, “green” economy is laid bare for as one more empty promise.