By Doug Magill
Things the local media have not bothered to report recently:
Well, They’re Not Our Union Employees.
Aside from illegally ignoring bankruptcy laws and destroying secured creditors, the government has allowed its automobile companies to busily dump employees. Over 100,000 people lost their jobs when dealerships were closed in the United States in 2009, and recently GM announced it was cashiering managers and factory workers in Europe. The Chairman and CEO of the company, Dan Akerson claims that European operations are hurting performance. This is not a surprise, as GM’s European companies have been problematic long before Obama decided to use the company’s problems as an excuse to reward union donors. Akerson also claimed that pension obligations were affecting the performance of the stock. Wait a minute, aren’t bankruptcies usually a means to get out from under contractual obligations that are no longer affordable? And weren’t union pensions and health care costs the main drivers of GM’s pre-bankruptcy problems? Not in Obama’s world. You see, GM’s pre-bailout problems were just delayed as UAW contracts were kept in force through the bankruptcy process. So, we used billions of taxpayer dollars to pay off donors, screw creditors, and the same problems remain. Get used to this story being repeated over and over again. And, by the way, GM’s stock debuted post-bankruptcy at $33. As of now it is hovering just below $19. For us (the taxpayers) to break even it needs to get to $53. The government owns over 500 million shares.
Falling in a Big Way.
Irony notwithstanding, Roswell, New Mexico, is the site of an attempt at a new aerospace record. “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner jumped from a balloon capsule at an altitude estimated to be greater than 18 miles (96,000 feet) this morning and parachuted safely to a landing . Official observers estimated his free-fall speed to be over 530 mph and his free fall time was almost four minutes. The current record-holder, Joe Kittinger, jumped from 102,800 feet (19.5 miles) in 1960 as part of an Air Force program. Baumgartner jumped from 71,000 feet in March, and plans on setting a new record with a 125,000 foot (23 miles) jump in August or September. He hopes to exceed 690 mph on that jump and break the sound barrier. Kittinger’s jump achieved 614 mph. Baumgartner ‘s project is funded by Red Bull.
Wait, That’s My Stuff.
Amidst the silliness of whether Mitt Romney should release tax returns from prior years the media trolls tend to ignore that our image-constructed president has a few things that he isn’t in a big hurry to disclose to the press. Things like his state senate papers, his academic transcripts, his medical records, copies of the inflammatory ant-Israel remarks at a party for the radical Palestinian Khalidi, the back room Obamacare deals and numerous Freedom-OF-Information Act requests that have been stonewalled by the administration. See the full list at:
Well, They Don’t Donate To Me Anyway.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) focuses determinedly on what makes small businesses successful. And what causes them problems. A number of tax provisions are set to expire at the end of 2012 (funny how that happens to be after the election). A great number of them affect small businesses. According to the NFIB, “22 percent of small business owners said uncertainty is the single most important external impediment to growth.” And, “75 percent of small businesses are organized as pass-through entities meaning they pay taxes on their business income at the individual rate.” Which means that almost a million small companies, the ones that generate most of the economic and employment growth in the country, would be adversely affected by these tax changes. Many voters don’t realize that pass-through income is the main source of capital to expand these companies. When a small company’s profits are passed through to the owner, he pays taxes on them as if he had received the income, but he usually leaves that money in the company to invest in new plants or equipment. He never sees the money, doesn’t spend it, and doesn’t get any benefit from it other than growing his business and hopefully seeing some of that returned when he ends up selling it someday. See how this affects one small company in Willoughby, Ohio:
But It Does Make the Neighborhood Smell Better.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article which claimed that power plants that use biomass have been the recipients of at least $700 million in federal funding – just since 2009. There are however a number of problems with this approach. Long-term viability is a concern, of course. Many companies are formed just to take advantage of federal loans, grants, and tax credits for these kinds of projects (see Obama, Crony Capitalism, Federal Waste and Fraud, Green Energy). As their business plans don’t pan out due to the lack of markets or a market-clearing price (see Economics 101), many of these companies go bankrupt and cost employees jobs while the federal funds have been transferred into the pockets of Obama donors. And, the biomass companies in particular have problems meeting environmental pollution standards. According to the WSJ, “Yet of 107 U.S. biomass plants that the Journal could confirm were operating at the start of this year, the Journal analysis shows that 85 have been cited by state or federal regulators for violating air-pollution or water-pollution standards at some time during the past five years.…” Many states require renewable energy, including biomass, as part of their supplies, even though they are demonstrably uneconomic. And, not necessarily all that clean.
I Didn’t Say What I Said and Even if I Did You Didn’t Hear It.
As the president attempts to recast his appallingly dumb yet telling comments about small business owners not really building anything, a nerve has been struck in those who look at things in ways that are imaginative yet pointed. Check out this web site:
Al Said He Did It, and I Trust Al.
One of the more egregious comments the president made recently was the oft-repeated though false claim that the government invented the Internet. He compounded the gaffe by claiming it was so people could make money. Gordon Crovitz has an excellent explanation of how the Internet really got started:
Doug Magill is a freelance writer and voice-over talent wishing he could think of things like didn’tbuildthat.com. He can be reached at email@example.com