Unemployment Rate Explained

Conservatives woke up two days after one of our best debates since Bush/Kerry to hear that despite slower job growth than economists were expecting, the unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8%.  This is magically .1% lower than it was when Obama took office.  Most Americans don’t understand the details of the jobs report, but they understand 7.8%.

If you’ve ever played the game “which of these is not like the other”, the 7.8% rate would qualify.  Economists expecting 142,000 new jobs (the actual number was 114,000 according to the Establishment Survey) expected the rate to stay the same or go up to 8.2%.  However, there are two surveys used to measure the rate as I will explain later.

This is pretty wonky stuff and I don’t want to lose you, so let me get to the point then we will discuss the details.  The reason the rate dropped is because the economy added 583,000 part-time jobs.  But the U-6, which measures unemployed and under employed remained unchanged at 14.7%.  In other words, 583,000 people got part-time jobs they didn’t want.  Why?

Now for the background.  In 2012 we saw some major changes to the way unemployment benefits are paid out.  First, for anyone who loses their job after the beginning of the year, states only pay for 26 weeks.  Second, in states with high unemployment the federal government cut back payments from 99 weeks to 73 weeks.  They cut to 63 weeks for low unemployment states.  So here is the question:

What do you do when your unemployment benefits run out and you still can’t get the job you want or need?  Well, in my family’s case when I was a kid, my Mom got two part-time jobs while my Dad kept looking.  We had to eat.

Can Obama take credit for the 7.8% unemployment rate?  Only if he wants to take credit for cutting off the government’s new pseudo-welfare program of never ending unemployment benefit extensions and forcing some of the 47% to get off the government dole, even if it means flipping burgers for the King during the day and the Clown at night.  How does that sound for the narrative of Obama’s soon to be released “I fixed jobs” ad.

Actually, based on many of the revisions up from previous months, government jobs make up the majority of the growth.  How about that, they can work for the King and the Clown at the same time.  But of course this time I’m not referring to fast food chains.

But even the part-time job growth leaves many rightfully scratching their heads.  Did unemployment really just have its biggest one month drop since 1983?  If the economy is really about to come roaring back, why did Bernanke just promise QE-Infinity where he prints $40 billion a month to pump job growth?  Perhaps Bernanke is a terrible economist and should be canned.

Well, there is one more discrepancy to be mentioned in this jobs report.  The 7.8% rate is based on two surveys.  The Establishment Survey asks 390,000+ businesses about their hiring and extrapolates a national figure based on that.  The Household Survey asks 50,000 households if they are employed, searching, or gave up looking.  The Establishment Survey gave us the 114,000 job number.

The Household Survey indicated that 873,000 more people are employed.  That’s a little bit of a variance.  So although the surge in part-time/temporary hires certainly makes sense, the 7.8% figure is still suspect.

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The Trainwreck that is Obamanomics

The Economy is off the rails

American capitalism is the engine room of the global economy. Sadly, the guy in the engine room doesn’t know how the machine works. All he knows is how to toot his own horn. This is the real difficulty of the next four years if President Obama wins another term.

What should worry you is that Romney and Ryan are making little headway in the polls. Obama has the advantage of being the incumbent. George W. Bush had the same advantage, and in spite of negative perceptions abroad and demonization in the media at home, he still won in 2004. Obama has a lot less against him.

Romney needs to focus on the economic issues, not get himself embroiled and lost in skirmishes on foreign policy issues. He needs to do two things. First, he needs to clearly spell out the trajectory four more years of Obamanomics will take us through.

Spell it out:

Step by step.

Failure by failure.

Cent by cent.

The Fraser Institute in Vancouver points out that Canada is more economically free than America. Where is America? Between Qatar and Kuwait. If that is not a warning bell then I don’t know what it is.

Obama sold himself on the economic issues in 2008, which made the economy even worse. Investors and businesses took even more drastic decisions in response to the Obama gloom rhetoric. Having set up the premise that the global economy was in a more severe state than it actually was, he set himself up as savior. He promised he would come in on wings of angels, as Hilary herself told us, to save the world.

And it worked! As an election promise, as a selling point, it worked. As a presidency, it has failed miserably. He got four years and he’s blown it. The engine is going off the rails.

Does this look like a competent driver to you?

The debt piles up. The jobless are piling up. The government is bloated even more. People, as Romney rightly said, are increasingly dependent, and voting for Romney would feel to them like turkeys voting for Christmas.

If Obama stays in situ, then the engine will break down beyond repair. America cannot afford the load he is trying to pull, and nor can the global economy.

Romney and Ryan need to focus. If they can’t get this message home, and if they can’t inspire America to get this engine moving again, then they don’t deserve the job in the driving seat.

Fraser report can be found here: http://www.freetheworld.com/release.html

Is Mitt Romney a Bold Conservative?

Mitt Romney is going to have a hard time selling his tax plan.  Not because it’s a bad plan, it is actually a very good plan which I have enthusiastically endorsed.  But it does call for tax cuts and guts special interest group power.  It also makes the tax code simpler.  I think Reagan would approve of Mitt Romney’s tax plan.  Then, Romney came out with his energy plan.  I think it is getting harder to deny that Mitt Romney is actually a bold conservative.

Let me contrast Obama and Romney on energy with two pictures.  These two pictures show practical economic common sense versus pure ideology.  They show why every person concerned about our economic future should vote for Mitt Romney and not Barack Obama.

Romney's energy plan

Mitt Romney’s energy plan is a real all of the above approach.  He lets states control the energy resources on federal land within their borders, effectively giving states the choice whether they want jobs, energy independence for their state, and vast economic growth, or they can continue with the failed Obama subsidized green energy idea.

The key to this graphic is the figure in the upper left hand corner.  3.6 million jobs.  Of course, that is solely based on the energy sector and doesn’t take into account economic multipliers and the effects of using energy to drop unemployment below 8%, the increased tax revenue involved, or the additional spending power of families who no longer have to pay close to $4 a gallon for gas so that Saudi princes and Libyan terrorists (who Obama tried to befriend) can get rich off of our commutes.

Romney also doesn’t forsake green energy, but includes it as part of his all of the above approach.  He also includes increased nuclear energy, which is clean and efficient.

Contrast this with Obama’s rebuttal.

Obama doesn’t like Romney’s energy plan because it would cost 37,000 jobs in the US Wind industry.  Can you see what the big problem is here with Obama’s ideology?  Romney’s plan would provide 3.6 million jobs.  Obama complains that in the process 37,000 wind energy jobs would be lost.  Do the math, should we abandon the Romney energy plan to save those 37,000 wind jobs?

Two more key problems with this graphic:

1. Was Obama concerned with saving energy jobs when he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline?  The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that Obama’s decision to cancel the Keystone Pipeline cost 250,000 jobs.

2. Notice the verbiage.  Obama-Biden supports 75,000 jobs.  In other words, Obama’s green energy plan is based on government subsidization of the industry.  Instead of the Romney plan that would create 3.6 million private sector jobs supported by private enterprise, Obama wants us to support his government program where taxpayer foot the bill and get 75,000 jobs.  That’s a pretty weak rebuttal, Mr. President.

In the meantime, we have already gone through four years of Obama’s energy plan and we know it doesn’t work.  We have actual, historical evidence that it doesn’t work.  Forget Solyndra for a moment, what about the jobs Obama has created through his green energy initiatives?  The Gateway Pundit estimates a pricetag of $4.8 million per permanent job.  That isn’t how much each employee makes, that is what the government has spent per new employee.  That is unsustainable.

Wouldn’t you prefer a plan where private companies invest the money to hire people to produce energy that actually works and has practical significance for the American consumer?  The Obama plan is to take tax dollars to produce energy we don’t use on a large scale so that we are stuck buying our gas from people in the Middle East who don’t particularly like us.  I’d much rather buy American.  For Obama, the environmental lobby make that an impossibility.

Mitt Romney has proven that he is not just the anti-Obama.  He is not just a status quo politician who will keep from making things worse.  The Romney-Ryan tax plan and energy plan are not tired RINO talking points.  They are bold change.

 

Obamacare Forces Company To Alter Expansion Plan

Cook Medical recently opened a new plant in Canton, IL. According to Pete Yonkman, executive vice president of strategic business units, the medical devise manufacturer has invested about $30 million renovating an abandoned facility. When it becomes fully operational, the plant should employ about 300 workers.

Pleased with the results, Cook Medical was going to use the new Canton plant as a model for expansion. The plan was to open five facilities in the mid-west, over 5 years with each of the new plants employing about 300 workers each. Score one for the private sector.

Except last week Cook Medical announced they tossed that plan into the wet bowl.

What the hell happened — why the briefing bummer? Obama-care, of course.

More specifically, within Obama-care there is a provision that hits medical devise manufacturing with this itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny little tax of 2.3% — so we can insure the healthy and give out free birth control prescriptions, don’t you know. After Cook’s bean counters counted the beans, the company realized this itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny little 2.3% tax was going to cost them $20-30 million per year. Again, that’s per year — before the expansion.

Well, Cook’s management, keenly aware of their itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny need for profit, decided they needed to pull the plug on the five plants because there just isn’t enough cash left after the tax man’s shakedown. So that’s two or three years of planning expenses, five shiny new facilities, and 1,500 workers — American workers — flushed.

Does that mean Cook won’t expand? Of course not. But it does mean Cook will transition into expansion “Plan-O” — as in Overseas. Some mumblings about Ireland, Denmark and Australia were heard during Cook’s disappointing announcement.

But remember, as Democrats like to preach, taxes don’t drive the rich from cities and don’t drive businesses overseas.

Yeah, right.

Follow I.M. Citizen at IMCitizen.net

A Contrast in Style

In a desperate move to shift American politics away from the economy, Obama took a controversial idea from Sen. Marco Rubio and made it his own.  In fact, he made it so much his own that he decided to leave Congress out of the law making process altogether.  Obama enacted the Dream Act by Presidential, unconstitutional executive order.  But the real story in the President’s announcement was the blunder of a press conference where a reporter shouted out a question and was quickly shut down by Obama.

The question was whether this unilateral decision, dubbed the right thing to do by Obama, was right for the American workers.  Obama was visibly upset about the question and asserted his right to speak without interruption.  Meanwhile, MSNBC reporters wet themselves with excitement at the opportunity to declare Obama to be the only President to have ever been heckled, and of course to tie it in to his race.

But of course we know that other Presidents and candidates have been heckled.  George W. Bush saw it as evidence of a free society that treasures the freedom of expression and dissent.  I thought it was an interesting contrast to watch Bush’s reaction to two shoes being thrown at him by a foreign reporter in Iraq compared to Obama being questioned while passing down dictates from on high.  I’ve posted them both here.  You can decide which President handled it with more class.

 

Obama’s Popularity Problem

Facebook, the popular IPO that was going to turn millions of online junkies into billionaires overnight, has turned out to be a bust.  Obama could be heading in the same direction.

In 2008, one of the things that drove voters to the polls was Obama’s slick ad campaign and pure popularity.  He was like the cheerleading captain on prom night.  The title was wrapped up before the campaign even began.  But this time around, there is rumbling in the clique and Obama is in danger of losing that edge.

In Kentucky, Obama nearly lost his primary battle to nobody.  The finally tally came in as Obama 58%, nobody 42%.  Even for a Democrat in Kentucky, that’s a pretty sad showing for an incumbent.  In Arkansas, Obama lost a significant share of the vote to Democrat John Wolfe who ran on repealing Obamacare.  Wolfe should have some convention delegates from his performance, but embarrassed Democrats have already threatened to strip the delegates.  It would be kinda like if the quarterback was caught kissing the girl at the library.

Obama is so unpopular that even populist RINOs like Colin Powell haven’t decided to support him yet in 2012.

Obama still runs a pretty good and slick ad campaign.  Although as I’ve highlighted previously, he must lie profusely to find anything that doesn’t sound completely embarrassing to say.  For example, he found a way to turn 2.5 million jobs lost into millions of jobs gained.  I can’t blame him for making up his record instead of running on reality.  If being born Kenyan sells more copies to his racist liberal friends, then I suppose he won’t hesitate to be a tax cutting, job creating President in his ads if it will win more votes.

One final note, and on a somewhat different subject, I’d like to give a shout out to Bill Maher.  Maher, one of Obama’s biggest donors, is a comedian with a BA from Cornell in English and History.  I guess that’s better than the fake school I graduated from (Liberty University) where they only teach one side of every issue and the students are mind numbed robots.  I guess that’s why the Liberty debate team has claimed their fourth national CEDA championship in a row after taking nine consecutive ADA championships. I don’t think Cornell even placed.  Bill, saying that Liberty is not really a college because it is a private Christian university was basically the equivalent of saying the University of Florida hasn’t had a football program because Tebow was their quarterback.  Oops.

Debunking Obama’s First Ad

With Obama’s first campaign ad of 2012, he has made one thing clear.  He cannot win by being honest about his record.  In his new ad, Obama makes four dubious claims that can easily be debunked.  The ad makes Obama sound like some sort of super President who has changed the country for the better, but it accomplishes this with misrepresentations and outright lies.

Here is the ad:

Go

The first claim that Obama makes is that “some said our best days were behind us”.  This is an easy and unverifiable claim to make.  Who said that?  “Some”.  Actually, no one has said that.  Obama’s deceitful ad shows a picture of the TEA Party, but offers no sources.  Why?  Because there are none.  Obama could have said “Some say blacks are inferior” and showed a picture of the TEA Party and it would be just as dishonest as what he has portrayed here.  This lie is an unfair, intentional smear against his perceived enemies.  The President of the United States is treating an American political group as his enemies.  Frankly, it is the sort of thing one would expect from a Central American dictator, not the President of the United States.

“Today the auto industry is back”.  If by back he means relocated to Italy, that would explain his positive portrayal of what he did with Chrysler.  If by back he means that the taxpayer investment into GM and Chrysler has somehow been paid back, then this too is pure dishonesty.  Yes, the heavily subsidized industry may be pumping out vehicles again, but what about the amount of debt it took to get them there?  This claim is political massage of the facts at best.

“Our troops are home from Iraq”.  If by home he means Afghanistan, then yes this is accurate.  While Obama drew down troops in Iraq, he turned around and surged in Afghanistan.  Obama is correct about our troops being out of Iraq, but even that wasn’t by design.  Obama had planned to keep 3,000-5,000 troops in Iraq until 2013, but could not negotiate a simple immunity agreement to keep Iraqi police from arresting our troops.  This bit of political pandering to the anti-war crowd is dishonest.  It is one more example of Obama taking credit for something beyond his control and contrary to his intention.

“Instead of losing jobs, we are creating them”.  Mix this with Obama’s chart of 4.2 million jobs created and this is the biggest whopper in the ad.  Obama has not created 4.2 million jobs.  His net job growth is negative 2.5 million.  That is a 6.7 million job gap between his claim and the truth.  Contrast Obama’s job performance with Bush, who actually netted a positive 1 million jobs.  In fact, Bush’s most significant job losses were after Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over congress.

Sandwiched between platitudes, Obama filled his ad with outright lies and misrepresentations.  Surely Obama knows that these ads will be fact checked and easily debunked.  Unfortunately, this ad demonstrates his opinion of the American voter.  Yes the ad is full of lies.  But in his opinion the majority of Americans will fall for the platitudes and never check the facts.

Then again, he’s already fooled us once.

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