Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Democratic Party Suicide


Bill and I talked about this the other night... how long before Obama dooms his opportunity for a second term?

Bill was under the impression that the General Motors situation would be his undoing... neither pleasing the left or the right wingers. I'm not so sure. I think there has to be two or three major blunders... and I think they will happen because of Obama's conviction that the U.S. voters and taxpayers strongly support his energy and climate notions... and are willing to pay the price for them.

Polls are unreliable sources of information for politicians to run a country. People will say what they think is the correct response to questions until it comes time to write the check. But when the reality comes that voters and taxpayers are going to pay much more for much less... the responses change... big time.

Obama is on shaky ground with many of his supporters because of the General Motors handling. He is neither all the way in nor all the way out. He is just enough in to claim that he tried and just enough out to be ineffective in accomplishing anything more than wasting money. But there are enough Obama supporters who will say that he did the best anyone could given the situation... whether that is factual or not.

The single action that will be the suicide of the Democratic Party will be the passage of the Cap and Trade... or Cap and Tax... or Cap and Scam... legislation. There is simply no good that can come out of this.

  • It will have no effect on climate, the red herring used to justify the legislation.
  • It will slap every consumer in the face with enormous energy costs that are wholly unnecessary, destructive, and avoidable.
  • It will place U.S. manufacturers at an enormous disadvantage to Third World competitors.
  • It will destroy more jobs than the supposed "green" jobs it creates and suppress the economy for decades.
  • It will replace reliable energy sources with unreliable energy sources that have no access to the energy grid without even more costs.
  • It will not achieve energy independence.
  • It will replace the efficiency of the marketplace with the inefficiency of centralize control.
Other than that, it will have no effect on U.S. businesses and citizens... and no effect on the Democratic Party.

It is obvious that Obama is nothing more than a "mouthpiece" for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. His schedule of television appearances, as Bill points out, is so extensive that he has no time to lead... to understand and direct appropriate actions. Obama reflects the two central tenets of the Democratic Party marionette masters:
  • Tax
  • Spend
It has always worked for the Democratic Party in the past because they were able to convince enough non- or low-productive voters that they were better off with this approach. It will not work with Cap and Whatever because everyone loses. It is the logical extension of the Democratic Party under Obama, Pelosi, and Reid... leading to an illogical and destructive conclusion.


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CO2 Cap and Trade

There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956)
“The Divine Afflatus,” A Mencken Chrestomathy, chapter 25, p. 443 (1949)
... and one could add "not all human problems really are."
It was beautiful and simple, as truly great swindles are.
- O. Henry
... The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.
The Independent (UK)

Tracking Interest Rates

Tracking Interest Rates


SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)