What Is Different?

Power Line – Unemployment in the Great Recession

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Looking at this chart, what occurs to me is the difference between the current recession and the one of 1981. Look at the 1981 recovery and ask yourself, “what did they do then that resulted in such a strong recovery”, and is what we are doing now going to work as well?

But Obama Wants Us To Adopt It Anyway?

Green Inc. Column – Fraud Besets E.U. Carbon Trade System – NYTimes.com

Carbon trading is a system that caps the amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, that companies may emit each year. Companies exceeding their quota can buy extra certificates from those companies that succeeded in shrinking their carbon footprint by adopting environmentally friendly technology or modifying production in other ways.

The system is the main tool used by the European Union to meet its ambitious pollution-reduction goals.

[…]

But since the start of the system in Europe, coal-burning utilities have earned windfall profits, while the prices of credits have never been high enough for long enough to force utilities and businesses to replace conventional power with significant amounts of renewable energy or other clean sources.

Meanwhile, in Blue/Green Oregon;

Kulongoski, Oregon lawmakers seek to scale back energy tax credits | Politics & Elections – – Oregonlive.com

SALEM — Big wind energy projects no longer need state incentives, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said today, as lawmakers explored a plan to rein in the soaring costs of Oregon’s tax breaks for green energy.

At a meeting with newspaper editors from across the state, Kulongoski said the $11 million in state tax credits routinely given to 10 megawatt-plus wind farms has “run its course.”

“Do they need the state to subsidize them? No,” Kulongoski said.

His comments came shortly after state officials released a revised price tag of the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which has grown at a brisk pace: $235 million for the current two-year budget cycle, growing to an estimated $374 million for 2011-13.

Those numbers are far higher than estimates from a year ago and have prompted a top-to-bottom review of the incentives. Legislators say the subsidies sap money from public schools and other state services.

At Kulongoski’s request, lawmakers in 2007 expanded the incentives to try to entice wind, solar and other green energy projects to set up shop in Oregon. Since then, the cost of the incentives has grown by 50 percent per year — faster than any other program in state government. Investigations by The Oregonian found that state officials intentionally downplayed cost estimates and that millions of dollars have been wasted on projects that went bankrupt or never performed as promised.

Subsidies are part of the package that Obama wants under the rubric of a “jobs bill”. It didn’t work in Oregon, why do they think it’s going to work nationwide>

Obama’s Governing Problem

FT.com / Comment / Analysis – America: A fearsome foursome

Just over a year into his tenure, America’s 44th president governs a bitterly divided nation, a world increasingly hard to manage and an America that seems more disillusioned than ever with Washington’s ways. What went wrong?

Pundits, Democratic lawmakers and opinion pollsters offer a smorgasbord of reasons – from Mr Obama’s decision to devote his first year in office to healthcare reform, to the president’s inability to convince voters he can “feel their [economic] pain”, to the apparent ungovernability of today’s Washington. All may indeed have contributed to the quandary in which Mr Obama finds himself. But those around him have a more specific diagnosis – and one that is striking in its uniformity. The Obama White House is geared for campaigning rather than governing, they say.

In dozens of interviews with his closest allies and friends in Washington – most of them given unattributably in order to protect their access to the Oval Office – each observes that the president draws on the advice of a very tight circle. The inner core consists of just four people – Rahm Emanuel, the pugnacious chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, his senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, his communications chief.

Can you imagine what the headlines would be in the New York Times and Washington Post if President Bush had cut himself off from all but a handful of advisers?

But the problem with Obama’s White House is that his inner core are all accomplished politicians, they know how to have meetings and score points. But they have no idea and have no experience with actually governing. They went into the White House with the belief that Obama had been elected King instead of President. They thought that they could accomplish things simply by ordering them to be so.

Obama himself has had only one political race where he had a credible opponent, and he lost. His other races, for the State and U.S. Senate were won by behind the scenes maneuvering to eliminate the opposition. His Senate career was unremarkable. He has never had to persuade, cajole and compromise. He doesn’t know how, and that’s what you do in Washington DC.

He’s in a box. He can’t get anywhere if he doesn’t get some new advisers, and he is not going to get anywhere if he gets rid of them. I think that he has goals, but he doesn’t really have any idea of how to achieve them.

When The Nanny State Is Just Not Big Enough!

H.R. 4601: To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish the Office of the National Nurse (GovTrack.us)

Text is not available, but this just sounds like a pretty bad idea. I know there is a nurse shortage, but I doubt whether a Federal bureaucracy is going to take care of that.

It just seem to Nanny Stateish  to me.

Unless, of course, they’re going to be ‘naughty’ nurses. In that case I’m for it.

Control The Texts, Control The Learning.

What a great idea from David Wu (D-Authoritarian) Eliminate the jobs in the textbook publishing field; and insure government control of the information in the text. It’s a win-win for Democrats. Allow politically connected ‘non-profits’ to insure the right ideas are included; achieve absolute conformity of thought and eliminate jobs in the private sector. (I’m sure that some of the workers will make the transition to government bureaucrat.)

To authorize grants for the creation, update, or adaption of open textbooks, and for other purposes

(a) Grants Authorized- From the amounts appropriated under subsection (i), the Secretary is authorized to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible entities to carry out the activities described in this section, including creating, updating, or adapting open textbooks. The Secretary shall award grants in a manner that will result in the creation of a comprehensive slate of high quality course materials for introductory courses in a variety of subject areas.

(b) Eligible Entity- In this section, the term ‘eligible entity’ means–

(1) an institution of higher education;

(2) a professor or group of professors at an institution of higher education; or

(3) a nonprofit or for-profit organization that produces open textbooks.

Oh Boy!

Just what we need! Textbooks controlled by the government.

What will be included? What will be left out?

One thing is for sure; anything that support “Global Warming” will be in ‘inconvenient’ information will be out. Politically correct ‘information’ will be in.

And it will all be decided by those friendly bureaucrats in Washington DC; with the input from politically connected ‘non-profits’ like ACORN.

Control the texts, impose conformity and control is easy.

What He Said.

RealClearMarkets – A Federal Budget That Insults All Budgets

The government has no resources. Everything it spends was created by private individuals and still belongs to taxpayers. All government can do is take from the industrious, the inventive, the hard-working and the frugal to dispense on the inefficient, the lazy, or the irresponsible. Government spending bites the very hand that feeds it.And these resources no longer exist. We’re now over $12 trillion in debt. Including future unfunded liabilities and those Washington assumed as a result of assorted bailouts and other mischief, the average family owes $471K and counting courtesy of government. The resources are gone.

Democrats wasted them on silly, self-defeating welfare programs and Republicans wasted them on silly, self-defeating foreign policies. Sometimes in fits of bipartisanship, they combined to waste them on even greater concepts. Government has no remaining resources, but to our peril it does have a printing press.

No matter what grandiose terms our elected leaders couch it under, there are only three ways to pay for this largesse. Certainly they can deprive productive enterprise of the resources necessary to generate economic growth via confiscatory taxes. But the disincentives ensconced in progressive taxation render it self-defeating. Washington can borrow, thus diverting capital from those endeavors actually prospering society. Another economic retardant. Or, they can inflate their way out of the mess by debasing our currency.

But remember; “Things appear to be the darkest just before they go completely black.”

It’s going to be like the 2008 crash. No one will see it coming until it’s here. Then it will seem obvious.

Yeah, it’s Bush’s fault. As well as every President since Herbert Hoover. We heard the story of killing the golden goose but never understood it.

Homeland Security Jobs At A Volunteer Fire Department?

More Executive Pork – Jamie Dupree on wsbradio.com

There is always a lot of talk about the Congress approving those dreaded ‘pork barrel’ items, which send taxpayer dollars to sometimes questionable projects in a certain state or city. But there isn’t much of a focus on pork doled out by the Executive Branch.For example, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday a series of grants for a dozen fire departments around the country, all funded by the economic stimulus law of last year.

“Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced more than $23 million in Fire Station Construction Grants (SCG) funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)–designed to support the nation’s first responders while creating jobs and stimulating local economies,” read the DHS release.

Included are: Klamath County Fire District 1 (OR) – $4,997,804 and Gates Rural Fire Protection (OR) – $1,582,821

Those twelve projects total $24.47 million. There are thousands and thousands of more items like that which are funded by various federal agencies each year.

But compared to “Legislative Pork” – these projects get little attention in the news.

I would like to give more publicity to these kinds of decisions, but the various government agencies don’t make it easy. It’s something that probably needs a little more sunlight.

I wonder what kind of “jobs” are supposed to be created at a Volunteer Fire Department? Gates consists of a small store, a Mexican restaurant and a trailer park. The population is in the 2 digit range and the locally employed population is in the single digits.

Authority? We Don’t Need No Steenking Authority!

EPA to regulate pollutant without seeking congressional approval

The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to regulate another pollutant without congressional approval last week.

The agency established new standards for nitrogen dioxide, a red gas identifiable by a strong odor. It’s an extremely common pollutant expelled by cars and burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Nitrogen dioxide is a weak greenhouse gas, but notable for its effect on the human respiratory system. Its emissions have been tied to breathing problems in children, especially those with asthma.

“Improving air quality is a top priority for this EPA,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “We’re moving into the clean, sustainable economy of the 21st century, defined by expanded innovation, stronger pollution standards and healthier communities.”

[…]

EPA spokesman Dave Ryan told The Daily Caller that the regulation was needed because scientific studies had shown that the previous nitrogen dioxide standard wasn’t enough, though he didn’t point to any specific studies. Long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide is widely believed to exacerbate respiratory problems.

By the EPA’s reading of the Clean Air Act they are allowed to do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whoever they want to do it to. The only thing they have to do is to claim they are fighting “pollution” and are removing a “health hazard”.

They do not even have to provide any proof that there is a hazard or to consider the costs of their regulation.

Say Hello to the Greenstapo.

Help For Unions; Screw Everyone Else!

White House considers pro-labor policy for government contractors

The Obama administration is considering a proposal that would heavily favor government contractors that implement policies designed by organized labor.The “High Road Contracting Policy” would give preference to companies that adopt practices above and beyond existing labor laws. Multiple sources have confirmed the discussions, which are part of the White House’s attempt to spur economic growth through procurement reform and are driven by the Center for American Progress and the Service Employees International Union.

The proposal would advantage contractors that provide hourly workers with a “living wage”, health insurance, an employer-funded retirement plan and paid sick days. Contracting officers would weigh a company’s labor policies as a criteria for awarding the contract, along with the standard metrics: price, past performance and the ability to meet the contract’s requirements.

This is sure to spur economic growth for the Union bosses and those who are forced to kick back part of their wages to them.

But it’s a big “Screw You!” to the majority of the private sector employees who choose not to join unions.

Sounds like classic “Chicago Style” politics to me.

Heck’ava Job Obama.

Obama unveils 2011 budget with $3.83T in spending

US deficit to hit record 1.56 trillion dollars in 2010

TaxProf Blog: President Obama’s Budget Contains $1.9 Trillion in Tax Increases

US consumer spending is weaker than expected in December

Construction spending drops sharply in December

US economic rescue failing to meet key goals:auditor

Conclusion: We Are So Screwed