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Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Case Study In Gov't Destructiveness

I generally try to avoid heaping praise on Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for the happy state of economic affairs here in the Commonwealth.  After all, if it weren't for all the tens of thousands of federal jobs - and federal-related jobs - in northern Virginia (a booming business still) and in Hampton Roads with the military industrial complex there, Virginia would probably be doing little better than the rest of the country (outside Texas).

But maybe I should be more willing to give credit where it's due.  Especially after reading this:
Two governors and their diverging political fortunes
By Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner

Maryland and Virginia both enjoy the honor of having their sitting governors also being named to top national party posts. But the similarity between Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell ends there.

The political trajectory of McDonnell -- who was just named head of the Republican Governors Association -- is clearly on the upswing, while Democratic Governors Association chief O'Malley's trend line is going down.

the governors' diverging fortunes today are not the result of lucky -- or unlucky -- timing. They were preordained by statewide policies they themselves pursued.

In 2007, O'Malley pushed through a $1.4 billion tax increase, the largest in Maryland history. His "millionaire's tax" failed to raise more revenue, but did succeed in driving many wealthy taxpayers out of the state.

In contrast, McDonnell cut spending to eliminate a $4.2 billion budget deficit without raising taxes and defeated a $2 billion state income tax increase proposal. Today, O'Malley's state still faces a $1.1 billion shortfall for 2013. Virginia has a budget surplus.

The Old Dominion has also surged past the Old Line State in a number of independent business-friendly rankings, including CNBC's and the latest Pollina Corporate Real Estate study, both of which named Virginia the "Best State for Business," no doubt leading to Northrop Grumman's decision to relocate its corporate headquarters across the Potomac River.

O'Malley defended the Obama administration's out-of-control spending, borrowing, and demands for tax increases, claiming the president "hasn't gone far enough on reinvestment and stimulus and recovery."

In contrast, McDonnell predicts that Obama will have a hard time winning Virginia again in 2012: "His message is more taxes, more regulation, more unionization and more government. That's not gonna sell in most places in Virginia."

Unlike O'Malley, McDonnell's prudent fiscal stewardship is now bearing fruit. His rising political star came about the old-fashioned way: He earned it. [link]

Do Unemployment Checks Create Jobs?

Doug Powers addresses the question.  James Taranto tackles the issue.  Left-wing media mock right-wing media over the suggestion.

So, let's go at it: Does pumping hundreds of millions of dollars through unemployment checks (and, for that matter, sundry forms of welfare checks and food stamps) create jobs?

The answer, if we were to get beyond the political persuasions of those making the assertion, is YES.

Those dollars go into circulation and the local grocery store benefits.  The car dealership benefits.  The landlord.  The butcher shop.  Your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.

And that would be fine if that were the only question asked.  We'd simply have Obama issue us all a check for $100,000 annually and we'd all be in high cotton.  And America would prosper like never before.

As long as no one spoiled the fun by asking where the money was coming from.

Which Democrats, oddly enough, never do.

So I'll ask: Where does all that stimulus money come from?

And I'll answer the question as well: Nowhere.

Which brings Standard & Poors into the discussion.

Because the government is printing money like mad to stimulate the economy and create jobs - which it can, admit it - and, with insufficient revenues coming into federal coffers, the mountain of cash printed is offset by the national debt.

The national debt that all now agree - even Obama - is beyond out-of-control.

Something must be done to provide a better answer to question 2 than "nowhere."

So the Democrats come up with a plan to render a source for those welfare dollars - higher taxes.  Particularly on "the rich."  And on corporations.

Which forces a third question: What impact does the seizure of funds from either of those two sources have on job creation?  Answer: Let's start with this simple truism - it sure as hell ain't poor people out there doing the hiring.  It's the rich, and the corporations - large and small.

Thus ...

In order to create jobs Obama takes from the rich and gives to those in need who turn around and stimulate the economy with their welfare dollars by paying for services rendered by those (richer) among us who can't hire anyone because the government has confiscated any available profit in order to create jobs.

Uhhhhh ...

Is it any wonder that the rich are taking their profits - and their jobs - to Communist Freaking China?

Is it any wonder that one in seven Americans are now on food stamps?  That nearly half of us depend in some way on a monthly government check?

And is it any wonder that the government printing presses are running day and night to generate enough dollars to keep up with this madness?

Worst of all, it's not going to change.  S&P speaks truth to power and is hauled before the Grand Inquisitor for having done it.

And, while one side of yesterday's New York Times editorial page demands that Republicans in Congress agree to higher taxes in order to reduce the national debt (and make S&P go away), on the other side of the same editorial page, the New York Times demands that the federal government spend money on a dizzying array of new "job creation" schemes, that will drive up the national debt. 

Schemes that will provide us with more of the same - jobs created, jobs eliminated.

Scotty, beam me up.

A final question: What happens when we're all on government relief?


"Not with a bang but a whimper."

* No, I'm not forgetting the role that the states play in food stamp and unemployment check disbursements.

A Wise Man Once Said ...

"I never comment on whether I'm carrying a handgun or not . . that's why it's called concealed."