Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Obama's Minimum Wage Fallacy

Over the past few weeks President Obama has been on a tour of the nation making speeches and amping-up therhetoric in his efforts to raise the federalminimum wage.  As is typical for this president, he has done as much as he can “on his own” (presidential speak for governing via the issuance of Executive Orders.) On February 12, 2014 the President issued an Executive Orderrequiring the minimum wage to be paid employees of companies doing contract and sub-contract work with the federal government be raised to an initial $10.10 per hour. “Initial” being a key word in the previous sentence. The exact wording of this XO leaves the door wide open for future pay hikes:
“Sec. 2. Establishing a minimum wage for Federal contractors and subcontractors.  …shall be at least
(i) $10.10 per hour beginning January 1, 2015; and
(ii) beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor”
Yes, the $10.10 per hour is just a beginning. After that it’s apparently an amount to be determined at the discretion of whatever the Labor Secretary believes to be “fair.” We do not know who will be the Secretary of Labor come 2016 but it’s reasonable to assume it will be an individual who shares the President’s and Thomas Perez’s (current Secretary of Labor) fundamental views on the “fairness of pay.” Indeed all of this President’s cabinet positions are occupied by far-left-of-center ideologues; it is inconceivable that if a change were to be made, he would fill this seat with someone who may side with employers over employees. (In other words, federal contractors, get ready to shell out even more come 2016.)
Federal contractors having been dealt with via XO, the President is now is forced to deal with the pesky obstacle of our constitutional legislative bodies, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, in order to realize his vision of raising the federal minimum wage for all employers and not just those getting a check from the Department of the Treasury to make or help make payroll.
In the aforementioned tour stops, the President continues to state, “Raising the minimum wage will lift millions out of poverty,” most recently before a fawning audience at the University of Michigan. While the constant mantra of “everybody deserves a fair shot” and “we don’t believe in opportunity for just a few at the top” are great for soliciting crowd response, the issue here isn’t how loud you can get a gathering of college students to yell, it’s what are the real-world truths and what policy tact should we pursue in order to legitimately help America’s laborers? The data simply does not support the notion that raising minimum wage lifts people at the bottom of the economic ladder out of poverty. In fact, it does the opposite. Poverty does not drop with minimum wage hikes it increases dramatically every time the minimum wage is raised.
First there's the ‘non-factual-analysis-common-sense’ test of this. Raising the minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $10.10 per hour would be a gross increase of $2.85 per hour before taxes and other deductions. If we assume zero deductions and a 35 hour work week, $2.85 x 38 hours = a weekly increase of $99.75. Again, not taking any deductions into account.  About one hundred additional dollars a week is going to "lift a family out of poverty"? The very notion is ridiculous and the statement an insult to any thinking person's intelligence.
The statistical and factual analysis makes the President's statement even more ludicrous.
The Fair Minimum Wage Acts of 2007 and 2012 have raised the federal minimum wage by 70 cents per hour, three times. In 2007 the minimum wage was $5.15 per hour, in 2008 it was raised to $5.85, in 2009 to $6.55 and in 2010 to $7.25.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Labor;
- in 2007 there were 37.3 million people living in poverty
- in 2008 39.8 million
- in 2009 43.6 million, and
- in 2010 46.2 million
In 2012 the Census Bureau reported the number living at or beneath the federal poverty threshold (individual filing singularly, $11,670/annual income; couple filing jointly $15,730) rose to 46.5 million. (2013 numbers are not out yet.) Raising the minimum wage seems to put people -- millions of people-- into poverty.  
Considering the number of times the President has made this statement (that “Raising the minimum wage will lift millions out of poverty”), we are left with two possibilities. Either our President is ignorant of these facts, or, he is not ignorant of them at all but is intentionally lying to advance an agenda that will add to the woes of the poor.
I choose to believe the latter. The fact is that most in this nation are not aware of this adverse relationship between minimum wage hikes and numbers living in poverty. Stating, “We need to raise the minimum wage to help the poor” soundsgood. Therefore there is little political risk in continually making this false claim. In fact not only is it not politically risky it’s actually quite politically shrewd. The perception that Democrats are in favor of the poor and underclasses and Republicans favor the wealthy and upperclasses is quite real, alive and well. A Democrat President running around the nation banging the "raise the minimum wage to help the poor" drum only adds to the misconception that he and his political party are the one's "looking out for" those in lower economic classes. As just demonstrated, it’s the polar opposite of the truth but a masterstroke of manipulating the ignorant masses.
Not only does the President sell the “I’m looking out for the little guy” myth but in each of these stops and speeches he’s careful to demonize Republicans in congress for their opposition to minimum wage increases. Screaming about Republican resistance to raising the minimum wage advances the other misconception about Republicans only caring for the rich and looking out for big business. “They don’t want to see the little guy get ahead, they’re only concerned with protecting the one percent.”
It’s a shame that we have a President so willing to divide our nation and a greater shame that he’s do so using completely false information. Not misleading, not half-truth – false. By opposing minimum wage hikes the Republicans are actually the ones protecting millions from falling into or deeper into poverty; by supporting such hikes the Democrats are dooming the poor. And our President is preying on the ignorance of those very same impoverished and working poor to try and assure they stay that way. After all, who cares if they’re perpetually poor so long as they’re perpetually voting Democrat?


In a statement posted on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management website (BLM), federal officials denied any expansion of holdings along the Red River after Breitbart Texas brought the matter to national attention. The nuanced denial has drawn critical reactions from a number of elected Texas officials. 

BLM spokesman Paul McGuire said “The 140-acres in question were determined to be public land in 1986 when the U.S. District Court ruled on a case brought by two private landowners, each seeking to adjust boundary lines for their respective properties.  The BLM was not a party to any litigation between landowners. The 140-acres were at no time held in private ownership.”
Jerry Stickland in Office of the Texas Attorney General took exception to the BLM’s statement. In response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas, “In 1994, the BLM said that depending on the outcome of the Red River Boundary Compact, there might be an additional 90,000 acres of land under BLM's control despite the fact that most if not all of that acreage was owned, used and cultivated by Texans.”
“The Red River Boundary Compact was ratified by Congress in 2000 and BLM now appears to have re-raised the possibility of seizing 90,000 acres along the Red River during recent field hearings. Texans still deserve to know what, if any, additional land BLM intends to federalize. The BLM should definitively state that it has no title and does not seek any claim to the 90,000 acres along the Red River—and until it does, Texas will be forced to pursue all available legal options,” Stickland concluded.
Commissioner Patterson told Breitbart Texas, “The Red River situation is very unusual when it comes to river boundaries between states.”  He explained that in most cases, the states retain ownership up to the middle of the river.  However, because of an odd set of circumstances in this case, the BLM actually appears to own the area from the center of the river to the southern vegetation line.
Texas State Senators Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) both represent farmers and ranchers who are potentially affected by this potential BLM land grab. The Senators called on Governor Rick Perry and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in letters to come to the assistance of their constituents who are deeply troubled by the possible loss of private lands.
The Senators also contacted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to requestlegal assistance.
Rep. Stickland is leading a contingent of concerned Texas Legislators and other officials to the Red River Region near Wichita Falls on April 28.

Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX



It's California’s latest spending rush--and this time it involves carbon. For years, the Wall Street Journal has been reporting that cap and trade's real purpose was to create another revenue stream for politicians while dodging accountability for raising taxes. Now Senate President Darrel Steinberg is suggesting that cap and trade revenues be used to finance the state’s $68 billion "bullet" train. 

One problem: The cap-and-trade revenues must be used to reduce carbon emissions. According to one analyst, the train's construction will do just the opposite; it will increase emissions.
An initiative that was once intended to reach green programs (e.g. solar subsidies) has morphed into a seemingly generally-accepted accounting principle of looting and raiding internal accounts to backfill the budget won. And with the state legislative analyst’s prediction that cap and trade will raise between $12 billion and $45 billion by 2020, it’s no wonder those sticky political fingers keep making their way back to the carbon cookie jar.
Just last week Journal revealed Senate President Darrell Steinberg’s proposal for a "long-term investment strategy" to divvy up the revenues from California's cap and tradeprogram, which requires businesses that emit more than 25,000 carbon metric tons annually to purchase permits for the privilege. About 90% of the permits are being given away for free while the rest will be auctioned off. Thus far the auctioned portions have generated $1.5 billion.  
Last year Governor Jerry Brown last year “borrowed” nearly all of the auction proceeds for general-fund expenses. But the train doesn’t stop there. According to Journal, Mr. Steinberg now plans to raise Mr. Brown by spending future cash flows on his personal favorites: 40% for "sustainable communities" (i.e., affordable housing in urban areas); 30% for mass transit; 20% for high-speed rail; and 10% for roads and bike paths.

Krauthammer: Justice Department clemency initiative is 'lawlessness'

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that a new Department of Justice plan to offer clemency to thousands of nonviolent federal inmates is “lawlessness” on the part of the Obama administration.
On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole unveiled the plan offering a path to release for potentially thousands of federal inmates -- most jailed ondrug charges -- provided they meet a specific set of criteria. Among the steps: theoffenders must have been convicted of a nonviolent crime with no links to organized crime and have served at least 10 years of their sentence with good conduct. The applicant must also be someone subject to a “substantially lower sentence” for the crime under current federal law.
Proponents argue the move puts the current prison population more in line with current sentencing guidelines, and helps address the problem of overcrowding; there are currently 216,000 individuals incarcerated in federal facilities across the country.
Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor, said that it’s not so much the plan that’s problematic, but the Obama administration's pattern of behavior regarding many policy changes. 
“If it were just this alone, you would say yes. On the merits it's not a bad idea, there was over-sentencing in the past," he said. "But we know what he's done with immigration reform. ...Legislation comes from Congress, it doesn't come from the White House. Why can't the president obey the Constitution, execute the laws faithfully, and let Congress change them? Which is what he ought to be doing.”
Krauthammer added that while those who apply for clemency meet the standards put before them, it’s important to take into account the details of their conviction as well. “There is one thing we ought to consider: many of these people, many who end up with sentences like these, have plea bargained, so they really should've gotten much tougher stuff.”
“They could have been a dealer but in order to get a prosecution they would get anadmission that the person either used or was small time or wasn't involved in a gang," Krauthammer continued. "So you've got people who may be pretty bad apples in this crowd, that you want to be extremely careful about releasing. Yes, some of them were over-sentenced, but I hope this is not going to be a mass clemency done for political reasons and for show reasons.”

Good News: IRS Pays $1 Million in Bonuses to Employees Who Owe Back Taxes

This is Crazy That our Elected officials would allow this Crap! Well maybe not, They are in Obama and Holders pocket!

Americans have no shortage of reasons to resent the Internal Revenue Service. The agency is responsible for confiscating an annual percentage of each citizen's earned wealth on behalf of the state (and it's never a bad time to reiterate this point about "fair shares"). It is now tasked with enforcing Obamacare's hated individual mandate tax -- although with blanket exceptionslike this, it's unclear what there is to enforce at this stage. And it has been embroiled in a high-profile targeting scandal, in which agency higher-ups exploited their power to deliberately harass and abuse organizations opposed to the government's ruling party. The scandal has flared up again in recent weeks, as the House of Representatives weighs contempt charges for Lois Lerner amid additional developments coming to light regarding the IRS' internal culture, Lerner's political biases, and possible collusion from the Justice Department andCongressional Democrats. Against that sordid backdrop, we have this:

 The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday. More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The bonuses were awarded from October 2010 through December 2012. George's report said the bonus program doesn't violate federal regulations, but it's inconsistent with the IRS mission to enforce tax laws.

So while the IRS was slow-rolling and auditing conservative groups, it was bestowing generous, taxpayer-funded bonuses upon employees who'd been flagged for disciplinary issues, including more than 1,100 who owed back taxes.How many ordinary Americans have received any form of bonus during this "recovery," which has been so tepid that Democrats are being urged not to mention it? How many taxpayers would earn "performance" bonuses after getting into trouble at work, or openly violating core tenets of their company's mission? Perhaps most galling is the fact that these unwarranted bonuses don't violate any federal regulations. An incredulous Mary Katharine Ham floats a modest proposal:

 Surely in the untold reams of regulations, they could codify that they shouldn’t give piles of money to people charged with collecting your piles of money who then neglect to pay the proper piles of money to the organization for whom they’re charged with collecting piles of money! Lord knows they can’t use common sense, so it must be a law. Pretty sure they could find my lawnmower gas tank in violation of some federal regulation if they tried, but this? No prob, moving on.

Will this public embarrassment -- at a moment where the public is even more suspicious of the IRS than usual -- trigger some painfully obvious reforms within the agency? Perhaps, but never underestimate the power of bureaucratic inertia to do the wrong thing.


Pelosi: GOP Budget Takes Food Away from People of Color

More Liberal Stupidity Coming from an outright Dumbass! She is always doing this Crap!

It's never to early to play the race card in an election year for former House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Today Pelosi took to Twitter to do that very thing using a Pew Research Center survey to make her point.
Over 50% of food stamp recipients are people of color. The takes food out of their mouths: http://goo.gl/kzQ4vH 

Over 40,000 People Are Registered to Vote in Both Virginia and Maryland

Holy Crap, It looks like more Potential Voter Fraud!
As midterm elections quickly approach, many are starting to think about voting and potential fraud at the polls. And once again, we find that there is cause to be worried about voter fraud here in the U.S. It appears in a new report that 44,000 people are registered to vote in both Virginia and Maryland.
A vote-integrity group crosschecked the voter rolls in the two states and found far too many people registered in both states. The group, known as The Virginia Voters Alliance, is going to expand their research into surrounding states like Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Georgia.
The group found that the number of voters who actually cast ballots in both states was only 164 in 2012, but that is still far too many. And the problem of potentially having thousands of people casting multiple ballots is the real issue.
The Virginia Voters Alliance also worked with the Privileges and Elections committees of the state House and Senate. They found 31,000 dead voters through the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. The president of the organization said that dead voter registration is a prime target for voter fraud.
A simple solution for this issue is a voter ID law. Not only should people be required to show ID at the polls, but voter registrations should be cross checked more frequently. Hiring an outside group to do this, not only will help with voter fraud, but provides business to a non-governmental group. These numbers need to be greatly reduced before November.