Friday, August 05, 2011

Cruising the Web

President Obama pretends that he would like the free-trade agreements passed by Congress. They've been hanging around for 2 1/2 years. But all he does is mouth platitudes. We don't see him putting any effort into getting the agreements through Congress. The Republicans would support the agreements. It's the Democrats who are blocking them because of their fealty to the labor unions. They don't care that the agreements could add thousands of jobs to the economy. The labor unions will always trump the country's interests for the Democrats.

This dialogue between Jake Tapper and Jay Carney is just wonderful.
Tapper is starting to sound like a right-wing terrorist. How dare he press the press secretary on what President Obama is doing on jobs?
TAPPER: Well, what is the president doing? We know that he went to a -- -- he went to fundraisers last night. What's he doing today?

CARNEY: Jake, that is --

TAPPER: What is he doing --

CARNEY: The president -- as the president has worked --

TAPPER: We hear him hectoring Congress about all the stuff that needs to be done to help create jobs --

CARNEY: That's right. And Congress --

TAPPER: -- and then he flew off to Chicago. What is he doing today?

CARNEY: The president is having meetings with his senior staff. The president has called on Congress to move quickly on things that have bipartisan support and are in Congress's lap, the trade --

TAPPER: The same stuff he was doing a couple months ago, calling on Congress to pass things.
Read the rest. Tapper just nails Carney that Obama does a lot of calling on Congress but nothing really for all that he claims that he's focused like a laser on creating jobs. Finally, Carney is forced to admit that "the White House doesn't create jobs." Let's remember that when Obama tries to take credit for any growth in employment. Oh, wait. He's already done that.

Ace reminds us of how just back in April Joe Biden was predicting that "we're going to be creating somewhere between 100[,000] and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict." And he notes the switch how when they're talking about jobs being created it's the President who gets credit; when they're talking about jobs not being created, it's all up to Congress.

Just hold on. Some of the redistricting maps that have been drawn may get redrawn if the state's legislatures change hands in 2012.

This could probably be a regular feature: Obama's energy policy kills jobs.

The Washington Post's Charles Lane takes the Democrats to task for all their ugly rhetorical excess calling the Republicans terrorists. he compares it to "Obama-is-Hitler" posters at rallies in 2009. The difference is that whatever posters that appeared were being held by anonymous individuals. The Republicans are terrorists line is being used by Democratic politicians and members of the media. I do like Lane's calling out Tom Friedman for labeling the tea party as the "Hezbollah faction" of the Republican Party. Meanwhile, Friedman also argues that we should not demonize actual Mideast radicals because they are
“change agents who are seen as legitimate and rooted in their own cultures.”

“They may not be America’s cup of tea,” Friedman instructed. “But we need to know about them, and understand where our interests converge — not just demonize them all.”
As Lane writes,
Shouldn’t progressives extend the Tea Party that same courtesy, given that they are at least, you know, Americans?
Nope. It's typical of liberals to show more deference to foreign opponents who despise us and want to harm us and our allies than their actual American political opponents.

Ace of Spades does a splendid job
of answering Stanley Greenberg's supposedly brilliant poll analysis to show that the American people like liberal policies when they're asked about them in isolation. Apparently, it's just Democrats that they don't like. As Ace points out, asking people in isolation if they like all sorts of great-sounding things is all well and good, but you have to look at the tradeoffs for adopting those policies. Once people realize how much Democratic policies would cost, they're not so interested in them.
Consider this analogy: Ask me if I'd like a very top-line sportscar. I'd say yes. Ask me if I'd like to do 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds. Yes again. Ask me if I'd like road-gripping $3,000 racing tires. Yes, I do. Ask me if I'd like that turbo charged. Yup.

Okay, I said yes to all of those things. So, if I want all of those things, why do I not own a Ferarri, or a Corvette?

Answer: Because you didn't ask me if I'd be willing to pay $150,000 or at least $70,000 for them. You didn't ask me about all elements of the bargain at once -- including price.

Because no car dealer is actually offering me these things for free. He's offering me a car in exchange for $70,000 or $150,000, and I may wish to keep that money for other purposes. (In fact, I might not even have that money at all.)

So to just ask this laundry list of "Do you want...?" is as absurd as the conclusion that every man in the country must own a Corvette or Mustang or refurbished Jaguar Mk. II simply because he agreed, in the abstract, that the things you were talking about sounded nice.

They did sound nice. I genuinely want those things. But I don't have the money, and if I did, I'd spend that money on other things which I want more.
Of course, an understanding of tradeoffs is basic economics, a concept that liberals seem to have trouble with.

Charles Krauthammer lays out his proposals for a grand bargain for the super-duper debt committee. Basically, they can build on what the Bowles-Simpson Commission already laid out. There were some good ideas in there even though President Obama ignored the report of the commission that he himself had created. Perhaps the new committee can revisit those proposals.
Stephen Moore also thinks
that such tax reforms might be the only chance the government has to institute a policy that would lead to greater job growth.


Michelle Malkin takes Matt Damon
to school. One more example why we shouldn't pay attention to Hollywood stars when it comes to public policy.

Jay Cost explains why
there will be no primary challenge to Barack Obama. And then he explains why the left won't abandon Obama.

A quirk in the way that the Massachusetts lottery was established allowed people who were willing to invest big would have much greater odds of winning. This is reminiscent how Voltaire and some associates realized that a French lottery to send Paris municipal bonds was promising more money in awards than the cost of the tickets being sold. They put together a syndicate to buy the tickets and Voltaire alone won over a million francs which helped set him up for life. That is why Ambrose Bierce write,"Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."

3 comments:

Rick Caird said...

It appears Ambrose Bierce is bad at math himself. The Florida lottery has odds of about 22,000,000:1. That means that if the pot goes over $22 million, it is a good bet, if you assume one winner. If you want to assume two winners, then the pot would need to exceed $44 million. It would not be hard to compute the odds of multiple winners based on the size of the pot. Then it is trivial to determine when the odds are in your favor and when they are not.

The point is that playing the lottery is not always a bad bet.

Imhotep said...

From S&P's statement about the credit downgrade of the United States of America"

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. As our downside alternate
fiscal scenario illustrates, a higher public debt trajectory than we currently
assume could lead us to lower the long-term rating again. On the other hand,
as our upside scenario highlights, if the recommendations of the Congressional
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction--independently or coupled with
other initiatives, such as the lapsing of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for high
earners
--lead to fiscal consolidation measures beyond the minimum mandated,
and we believe they are likely to slow the deterioration of the government's
debt dynamics, the long-term rating could stabilize at 'AA+'.


http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/SPdowngrade.pdf

Pat Patterson said...

I too noticed the sleeve rolling up rhetoric but the trade treaties is a mystery to me. As you say he has been overly sensitive to labor's concern but he also seems unaware that there is a very vocal minority of Tea Party people that are opposed to any free trade agreement. So he's promising to renege on promises made plus play into the hands of people who are still posting videos of secret FEMA bases and APCs on train sidings.