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Monday, November 30, 2009

Pelosi/Dean: "More Stimulus Equals More Jobs." Huh?

Democrat leaders are continuing to prime the pump for another stimulus bill sometime early next year. Over the weekend, both Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean chimed in with the most recent talking point: More Stimulus equals More Jobs:

Pelosi via The New American:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) figures that most Americans wouldn’t mind “absorbing” more "stimulus"-spawned government indebtedness if the additional government spending means increasing employment. “So if somebody has the idea that the percentage of GDP of what our national debt is will go up a bit, but they will now — and their neighbors and their children will — have jobs, I think they could absorb that,” Pelosi told bloggers during a conference call on November 24.

Speaker Pelosi thinks that it's a “false choice” to make Americans or their representatives choose between jobs and higher deficits, but when pressed to choose, she believes Americans would rather have jobs.

Of course, Pelosi's analysis overlooks the fact that the money spent by government to "create" jobs must be siphoned out of the economy, destroying jobs. This is true even when the "stimulus" money is created out of thin air through the Federal Reserve, since the infusion of this new money into the economy dilutes the value of already existing money, causing prices to rise. Pelosi may claim that choosing between higher deficits and jobs is a false choice, but in reality government spending (including stimulus spending) and debt are destroying jobs that Pelosi claims need to be created through more government spending and debt.
And Dean via PoliJam and Fox News:
Seeming to be oblivious to the recent media reports that showed that the stimulus job numbers that had been touted by the White House have been grossly inaccurate, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean lauded the stimulus package while appearing on Fox News Sunday.

Dean slammed Republicans for attacking a program that he claims has been “unbelievably successful in saving jobs” and added that he is “more optimistic” that small businesses will be helped by the Democratic health care reform bill.

Of course, statistics show that the stimulus has created little by way of jobs. But the package can certainly be found to have added to the nation’s growing deficit, as well as be seen as burdening the future of our country as they are left with a huge debt that must be tackled.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boomerang Kids

The last few months have seen a number of stories on the nonexistent job market for teens and recent college grads. A recent Pew study has quantified the effect of the poor economy which, for many young adults, is meaning a shorter Thanksgiving commute:

"The journey home for Thanksgiving won't be quite so far this year for many adults," said researchers Wendy Wang and Rich Morin, who wrote the report. "Instead of traveling across country or across town, many grown sons or daughters will be coming to dinner from their old bedroom down the hall."

Pew's survey and analysis of government data found that the share of adults 18 to 29 who lived alone declined from 7.9 percent in 2007 to 7.3 percent this year. Drops of that magnitude were also seen during or immediately after the recessions of 1982 and 2001.

Roughly one-third, or 35 percent, of boomerang kids said they had lived independently at some point in their lives but had to move back in with their parents. About half of the grown children worked full- or part-time, while 25 percent were unemployed and 20 percent were full-time students. ...

According to the latest Pew survey and census data:
  • About 20 million people ages 18 to 34 live at home with their parents — roughly 30 percent of that age group. That's up from about 18 million, or 27 percent, in 2005.

  • About 12 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 said they were forced to move in with a roommate because of the poor economy.

  • Fifteen percent of adults 18 to 34 said they had postponed getting married due to the recession. That share increases to 21 percent for adults ages 25 to 34, when many people tend to get married.

  • Fourteen percent of adults 18 to 34 say they delayed having a baby.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Health Care Overhall Will Cause Rate Hikes in NH

Anyone who follows this blog, or with a modicum of common sense, probably already knew what today's Portsmouth Herald is reporting but here it is anyways (emphasis ours):
In a new internal study, New Hampshire's largest health insurer says that reform proposals under consideration in Congress will lead to premium increases for a majority of its individual and small business customers in the state.

"We support reform because the current (health-care spending) trajectory as a nation and state is unsustainable," said Douglas Wenners, the president and general manager of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "But we believe you have to get to the root causes of medical cost increases and this (reform legislation) does that." ...

Anthem NH is the for-profit subsidiary of Well Point, the nation's largest private health insurer. According to 2008 state figures, Anthem has almost 55 percent of the health insurance market with more than 320,000 members. Anthem officials said the report was prepared in response to inquiries about how reform might impact premiums in the state.

The impact of reform, Wenners explained in an interview with the Herald, depends partly on demographics, premium group size, and health status of premium payers. Some young and healthy individual market members will see major premium increases of up to 93 percent — while other members who belong in a group plan and have average health could, with government subsidies, see a decrease in premiums as much as 9 percent.

The report says "purchasers of average age and average health are expected to face higher premiums post-reform, and we specifically expect a majority of small employer purchasers to face higher premiums post-reform."

Anthem, which insures 5,000 groups with fewer than 10 employees, said that more than 50 percent of New Hampshire small businesses would see significant premium increases under reform.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Straightening out the mess

Following the revelations of phantom Congressional Districts receiving federal stimulus dollars, the Administration and the Recovery.gov team have rushed to correct the glaring errors. Today's Foster's Daily Democrat provides some background on New Hampshire's 4th, 6th, and 22nd Districts:
The errors also explain why Recovery.gov listed New Hampshire as having congressional districts "4" and "27." In both cases, there was a mix-up between the location of the actual work and the home state of the company doing it.

In the case of district "4," the contractor is Keene-based Environmental Alternatives Inc., a subcontractor of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company, which was directly contracted by the Department of Energy for nuclear material stabilization and disposition in Richland, Wash. The report should have indicated Washington State's 4th Congressional District, Fitch said.

Recovery.gov listed the project as saving or creating no jobs but receiving $1,033,809.

In the case of district "27," the contractor is Litchfield-based Big Land Properties, LLC, which was directly contracted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Section 8 housing assistance at 1490 Meadows Apartments in Albany, N.Y., in the state's 27th Congressional District, Fitch said.

The website had the project saving or creating 2 jobs and receiving $124,774.

There was another error, but this time the work reported being done in New Hampshire's "6th" district actually happened in the Granite State. The project contractor, Metcalf & Eddy of Wakefield, Mass., incorrectly listed the project happening in the district where the company is located in the Bay State. The report should indicate New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District as the company was contracted by the Environmental Protection Agency to perform remediation using in-site chemical oxidation services at the Ottati & Goss site in Kingston.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Second Stimulus

More evidence today that Congressional Democrats plan to push another massive stimulus bill as they start pulling out all the stops ahead of next year's elections.

As the first $787 billion continues to fail to stimulate job growth, all while generating pages of negative press for the Administration and supportive Democrats, this today from the AP:
House Democrats are looking at swelling deficits further, at least temporarily, on a jobs-producing bill in response to double-digit unemployment and a sense within their ranks that the party needs to do more to put people back to work.

But many of the ideas on the table so far are extensions of last February's $787 billion economic stimulus package — such as unemployment benefits and subsidies to help the jobless pay for health insurance. They maintain the social safety net for the 15.7 million Americans out of work but they don't directly create new jobs.

Aware that the February stimulus bill has not prevented unemployment from reaching 10.2 percent and of public opinion polls showing the free spending measure is losing popularity with voters, Democrats are wary of putting a stimulus label on their new package."

I wouldn't characterize it as a second stimulus," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday. "I don't want to be as broad as that, I want it to be very targeted on jobs."
Interesting argument there from the Majority Leader. If this second stimulus is supposed to targeted on jobs, what was the first trillion dollars targeted on? You know, the one the was supposed to keep unemployment below 10%?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Jobs Confusion

Despite claims of honesty, transparency, and good government from the Administration, this first round of stimulus job numbers has been nothing close.

Just yesterday, the Administration cut 60,000 jobs from their original guesstimate. ABC reports:
The Obama administration, under fire for inflating job growth from the $787 billion stimulus plan, slashed over 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program because the reporting outlets had submitted "unrealistic data," according to a document obtained by ABC News. ...

One recipient – Talladega County of Alabama – claimed that 5,000 jobs had been saved or created from only $42,000 in stimulus funds.

"The administration committed from the start to be upfront with the American people about the impact of the Recovery Act. Overall, the recipients provided good information on the impact of the Recovery Act across the country," Rob Nabors, deputy director at OMB, told ABC News Monday. "The test that we used when examining the data for accuracy was, 'Is that reasonable?' When the answer was no, we acted accordingly."
And now this gem from the Recovery website, check out how many jobs were saved in New Hampshire's nonexistent 00th, 4th, 6th, and 22nd districts.

h/t to Grant Bosse for catching this first.

Monday, November 16, 2009

YOU'RE INVITED: Talk Turkey About Spending Luncheon

This Saturday (November 21st) STEWARD will host the FIRST forum featuring all five Republican candidates for US Senate.

A follow up to last month's wildly successful Chowderfest, the "Talk Turkey About Spending" Luncheon will take place at VFW Post 1698 (26 Peabody Pl) in Franklin, NH from 11 to 1.

The event is free to attend and will include a Thanksgiving style lunch as well as some great conversation with fellow conservatives from around the state.

Space is limited so please visit stewardofprosperity.org/turkey or call 603-415-2600 to RSVP!

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A New Record!

Though not one we should be celebrating. From the Boston Globe:
The US government deficit hit a record for October as the new budget year began where the old one ended: with the government awash in red ink.

Economists worry that if such a deficit continues it could push up interest rates, further dragging on the fragile economic recovery.

The Treasury Department said yesterday that the deficit for October totaled $176.4 billion, the fifth-largest monthly deficit ever and the 13th straight month to show a deficit - another record.

The deficit for the 2009 budget year set an all-time record in dollar terms of $1.42 trillion. That was $958 billion above the 2008 deficit, the previous record.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Stimulus (Debt) Equals More Unemployment

Real Clear Markets provides a look at the three-month moving average (TMMA) of changes in total employment in relation to stimulus spending and the debt incurred:

As the financial crisis gathered momentum in late 2008, the TMMA fell continuously, reaching a bottom of 853,000 jobs lost per month in January 2009. Then this indicator began improving. By June 2009, when stories about "green shoots" were common in the financial press, the TMMA was "only" 230,000. However, it then began falling again. The October BLS numbers pushed the TMMA down to 589,000 jobs lost per month.

Economic growth is supposed to create jobs. However, the U.S. economy shed twice as many jobs (1,332,000) in the third quarter of 2009, when GDP grew at a robust 3.5% annual rate, than it did in the second quarter (691,000), when the economy contracted at a 0.7% rate.

How can this be? To paraphrase the 1992 Clinton campaign, "It's the bonds, stupid!"

The massive sales of U.S. Treasury bonds to finance "stimulus", bailouts, and other government spending is sucking capital out of the private sector and destroying jobs. Once again, the October 6th BLS report tells the tale.

The BLS "household survey" showed job losses of 589,000, while their "establishment survey" showed a reduction of payrolls of only 190,000. This shows that most of the damage is being done in small business, "under the radar screen" of the BLS.

Small businesses-especially new small businesses-account for essentially all net job growth. However, business creation and expansion requires capital, and more and more of the nation's capital is being commandeered by the U.S. Treasury in the name of "stimulus".

The FY2009 Federal deficit was $1.4 trillion. This was almost a trillion dollars higher than FY2008. The capital to buy this additional debt had to come from somewhere, and much of it was squeezed out of business. Here are some indicators, both statistical and anecdotal:

• During FY2009, "Gross Domestic Private Investment" fell by 25% (almost $500 billion/year). It would have needed to grow by 5% to keep the unemployment rate from rising from an already-too-high 6.2%.

• Many venture capital firms are informing entrepreneurs that there is no money available for new startups. The firms say that they must husband their capital to meet the needs of their existing portfolio companies.

• The 500 largest U.S. non-financial companies now hold more than $1 trillion in Treasury bills, amounting to more than 10% of their total assets. Corporate cash flows are rising, but the money is being invested in government bonds, rather than growth.

• Banks have cut credit card credit lines by 25%, or $1.25 trillion. Because small businesses are often financed with personal credit cards, this has a direct impact on small business survival and growth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Funny (Sad?) Explanation for Incorrect Stimulus Numbers

As we discussed earlier, the recent round of stimulus job numbers appears to have included a number of mistakes that hyper-inflated the supposed number of jobs created by the package. It turns out part of that mistake was due to an employees inability to calculate percentages and failure to catch a pretty obvious mistake.

The AP reported the story originally:
President Barack Obama's economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan. Trouble is, only 508 people work there.

The Georgia nonprofit's inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government's latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an "extensive review" to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.
And the folks at Political Math broke down the error:
This is pretty funny. Or horrifying. Depends on how you want to look at it.

Several days ago, I noted on Twitter that there were a lot of “saved” jobs that weren’t saved at all but actually cost of living increases. About 24 hours after I noted this, there was an Associated Press article about that very phenomena.

Coincidence? Almost certainly. But I’ll flatter myself anyway.

But the laugh riot comes several paragraphs into the article as they look into why Southwest Georgia Community Action Council was able to save 935 jobs with a cost of living increase for only 508 people. The director of the action council said:

“she followed the guidelines the Obama administration provided. She said she multiplied the 508 employees by 1.84 — the percentage pay raise they received — and came up with 935 jobs saved.

“I would say it’s confusing at best,” she said. “But we followed the instructions we were given.”

“Confusing at best”? The multiplication of percentages is “confusing at best”? It seems obvious to me she should have multiplied 508 people by the amount the increase (.0184) and gotten 9.3. But she forgot that you have to divide the percentage by 100 before you multiply.

The fact that she had “saved” more jobs than there were people in the organization should have been a tip-off. But this is a pretty common problem with people who don’t have a very good grasp on mathematics… they don’t recognize obvious mathematical errors, they just plug in the numbers and go with whatever comes out.

And this, children, is why you pay attention at school. So you don’t get in the national news for doing something really stupid and then blame it on the instruction manual.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The New Hampshire Eagle Times

Despite significant economic and budgetary issues, the State of New Hampshire has decided to join the newspaper business, reports today's Nashua Telegraph:
The state of New Hampshire last week agreed to guarantee 75 percent of a $250,000 loan from an Upper Valley bank to the new owner of the Eagle Times, an unusual deal because it involves a daily newspaper and the government it covers.

The Executive Council on Wednesday unanimously approved without debate the “working capital loan guarantee,” which would be administered by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority.

Under the deal, the BFA and the state would be liable to pay up to $187,500 to Connecticut River Bank if Eagle Printing & Publishing LLC defaulted on the $250,000 line of credit it would receive from the bank.

Eagle Printing is the entity created by a small Pennsylvania-based newspaper chain which bought the Eagle and a handful of weekly papers out of bankruptcy in September.

Some Strings Attached

The AP reports that the next round of education stimulus spending will have significant strings attached. Specifically, schools will be required to adhere to President Obama's imposed educational goals:
The Obama administration is ready to hand out more stimulus dollars for schools, but this time, strings are attached. ...

Now [Secretary of Education] Duncan is making it tougher to get the rest of the dollars because the administration wants states to adopt President Barack Obama's vision of reform.

States will have to fill out a far more detailed application that demands information on Obama's broad goals — tougher academic standards, better ways to recruit and keep effective teachers, a method of tracking student performance and a plan of action to turn around failing schools.

For example, states will be required to identify their lowest-achieving schools by name and tell the department how, or whether, officials have tried to turn the schools around. ...

Similar strings are attached to a separate $5 million competitive grant program in the stimulus, nicknamed the "Race to the Top" fund, that Obama was promoting in Wisconsin last week.Obama has already coaxed several states to rewrite education laws and cut deals with unions as they compete for the grants.

And states can't even apply for them yet; those applications are expected later this week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A New Look at the Same Bad News

Here is a new look at the failed promise of Obama's stimulus bill, courtesy of the Independent Institute:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Unemployment tops 10%

It was announced this morning that the Nation Unemployment rate had reached 10.2%. Steward founder Fred Tausch had this to say on the new:
“Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter sold us a false bill of goods. They promised the stimulus would put Americans back to work, but instead the unemployment rate has climbed to its highest level in a generation. The joblessness situation is a tragedy for those who continue to look for steady employment, and it’s a tragedy for taxpayers who will now have to pay for the failed $787 billion ‘jobs’ program.”
The Associated Press provides a look at the then and now of this recession:
Here, by the numbers, are some other ways the work force has changed since September 1982.


110.7 million: Size of the work force in September 1982

154 million: Size of the work force in October 2009


10.7 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in October 2009

8.1 percent: Adult female unemployment rate in October 2009

9.5 percent: Adult male unemployment rate in September 1982

8.4 percent: Female unemployment rate in September 1982

ANALYSIS: The greater disparity between men and women in this recession reflects the heavy impact of layoffs in male-dominated fields, such as construction and manufacturing. Industries with higher female employment, namely education and health care, have actually added jobs during the recession.


15.5 percent: Unemployment rate in October 2009 for those without a high school diploma

11.2 percent: Rate for high school graduates

4.7 percent: Rate for college graduates

3 percent: Unemployment rate in March 1982 for college graduates (at the time, figure was reported once a year)


6.8 percent: Proportion of unemployed with college degree in September 1982

14.7 percent: Proportion in October 2009

ANALYSIS: College graduates still have much lower jobless rates than those with less education, but they are more likely to be unemployed than in 1982. Job cuts in the financial industry and in high-skilled manufacturing, such as the aerospace industry, have caught up with them, according to Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution. And companies in all sectors are more willing to cut middle managers than in previous recessions, he added, which also affects college graduates.


16.6 weeks: Average length of unemployment in September 1982

26.9 weeks: Average length in October 2009, a record

ANALYSIS: More than a third of the jobless in October were unemployed for 6 months or more, compared with less than 18 percent in September 1982. One reason is that layoffs were more likely to be temporary back then, as manufacturers furloughed workers until demand returned. But last month only 10.9 percent of the unemployed were on temporary layoff, compared with 22.2 percent in 1982.


15.7 percent: Black unemployment in October 2009

19.7 percent: The rate in September 1982

ANALYSIS: While unemployment among African-Americans is higher than the nationwide rate, it is much lower than in 1982. That reflects both good and bad trends, according to Roderick Harrison, a senior research scientist at Howard University. On the positive side, there is a much larger black professional middle class that is less subject to layoffs than was the case 26 years ago, he said. But on the negative side, more African-American men have dropped out of the labor force after giving up looking for work, Harrison said — that means they aren't reflected in the unemployment statistics.


Michigan: 15.8 percent

West Virginia: 15.6 percent

Alabama: 13.8 percent

Ohio: 13.1 percent

Illinois: 12.2 percent


Michigan: 15.3 percent

Nevada: 13.3 percent

Rhode Island: 13 percent

California: 12.2 percent

South Carolina: 11.6 percent

ANALYSIS: Manufacturers in the rust belt were hit particularly hard in the early 1980s, putting Midwestern states such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois in the top 5. While Michigan again has the nation's highest unemployment today, states like Nevada and California are suffering from the housing bubble.


4 percent: Teenagers' proportion of the labor force in October 2009

7.7 percent: Proportion in September 1982

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crist Walks Back Stimulus Support

As the stimulus bill's popularity continues to slip, particularly in light of the fabricated claims related to its effectiveness, at least one high profile Republican is walking back earlier support for the legislation. Given Tuesday's election results and the emergence of a vocal, fiscally conservative wing of the Republican Party, this will be an interesting story to watch as Gov. Crist seeks the Senate nomination.
Charlie Crist on CNN yesterday said he didn't endorse the stimulus package. A snippet:

WOLF BLITZER: Let me interrupt for a second, governor. For a second, do you have any regrets about endorsing the economic stimulus package?

CHARLIE CRIST: Well, I didn't endorse it. I — you know, I didn't even have a vote on the darned thing. But I understood that it was going to pass and I wanted to be able to utilize it for the benefit of my fellow Floridians.

Didn't endorse. Got it? No siree. Yet here's that what Crist said Feb. 10 in Fort Myers when he introduced Barack Obama amid chants of "Yes, we can!":

CRIST: "We've had to cut about $7 billion the past two years and we haven't raised taxes and we're still in balance. But to be candid, it's getting harder every day. It's getting harder every day and we know that it's important that we pass this stimulus package. It is important that we do so to help education, to help our infrastructure, and to help health care for those who need it the most — the most vulnerable among us. And let me finish by saying, Mr. President, we need to do it in a bipartisan way. This issue of helping our country is about helping our country. This is not about partisan politics. This is about rising above that, helping America and reigniting our economy."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When the New York Times...

begins to question the Administration, you know something must be up. Today's paper contains another interesting look at the questionable stimulus job numbers from a source that isn't commonly heard questioning President Obama:

In June, the federal government spent $1,047 in stimulus money to buy a rider mower from the Toro Company to cut the grass at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas. Now, a report on the government’s stimulus Web site improbably claims that that single lawn mower sale helped save or create 50 jobs.

Earlier that same month, when Chrysler got a $52.9 million stimulus order for new cars for the government, the struggling automaker claimed that the money did not save a single job.

Those two extremes illustrate the difficulties in trying to figure out just how many jobs can be attributed to the $787 billion stimulus program. Last week the Obama administration released reports from more than 130,000 recipients of stimulus money in which they claimed to have saved or created more than 640,000 jobs, but a review of those reports shows that some are simply wrong, while others contain apparently subjective estimates.

A spokesman for Toro said the 50-job figure was not accurate, making it one of a number of reports with apparent errors. In many other cases, though, claims of jobs created are simply judgment calls, often by recipients trying to follow complex federal guidelines.

Manchester Voters Say Stop the Spending

Tired of watching local and state budgets increase at a time when everyday Americans are struggling to make ends meet, voters in Manchester voted to stop the spending by supporting a tax cap in the state's largest city. The Union Leader reports:
"The people of Manchester have spoken," said Mike Biundo, a former Republican state representative who led the push to put the proposal on the ballot.

The proposed amendment to Manchester's City Charter passed with a solid 54.4 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. The tally was 9,433 in favor and 7,906 opposed. ...

Proponents describe the cap as a "fail safe" that will stop the aldermen from forcing taxpayers to keep digging deeper every year. The cap would keep Manchester's tax rate from growing faster than the rate of inflation, as determined by the National Consumer Price Index-Urban. City spending would be similarly limited.

It would be possible to get around the cap, if 10 aldermen vote to override it. Many aldermen have noted, though, that getting 10 votes is not an easy thing to do.

Mayor Frank Guinta said the cap's passage, combined with a Republican victory in the mayor's race, represented a "strong statement in support of fiscal responsibility."

That, ultimately, is exactly what many voters said they were looking for.

"I do see a lot of wasteful spending," said Michael Biron, a Republican voter in Ward 8. "They should learn how to spend the money better."

Not all of the cap's supporters were Republicans. Heidi Jones, a Democrat who picked Alderman Mark Roy for mayor, said the proposal just felt right.

"Taxes are going up so much," said Jones, who voted in Ward 3, "and we don't see any benefit from it."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NH Revenues Continue to Come in Low

For the fourth straight month, New Hampshire tax revenues have come in significantly below the rosy projections of Democrats in Concord. The AP reports:
The state received almost $12 million less in October than projected.

Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said there was one bright spot. She said taxes on property sales came in right on target for the first time in many months. The tax is an indicator of home sales.

The state received $204 million during the month. Since July, the state's tax receipts have come in almost $38 million below projections, but Hodgdon said the total does not reflect $6 million the state expects to receive soon.
Hodgdon did not elaborate on this phantom $6 million. Nor did she comment on the ongoing JUA legal battle which is likely to blow another $110 million hole in the budget.

NHGOP Chairman former Governor John H. Sununu released this statement on the news:
The huge shortfall in October’s revenue collections is another indication of the deception built into Governor Lynch’s disastrous budget. The Democrats’ bloated revenue estimates and reckless spending have forced New Hampshire into a fiscal crisis.

The Democrats have spent the last few months trying to cover up their budget disaster and distract from their fiscal mismanagement. However these repeated monthly revenue shortfalls, coupled with the irresponsible use one time money and attempted theft of $110 million from the JUA fund, confirm that their budget was one of the most irresponsible budgets in New Hampshire’s history.

Monday, November 2, 2009


The Washington Examiner has some choice words to describe the Administration's stimulus job numbers:
When Vice President Biden greeted a group of labor leaders two weeks after President Obama took office, he said, “Welcome back to the White House” — a not-so-oblique reference to their lack of access during the previous eight years under the Bush administration. Judging by the White House’s claims of having “created or saved 650,000 jobs” with the $787 billion economic stimulus program, it appears those labor leaders taught the administration a thing or two during their visit. How else to explain the obvious featherbedding by White House officials in tallying the job numbers released Friday?

Featherbedding occurs when paychecks are issued for nonexistent employees and the money goes directly into union coffers. Thousands of the jobs Obama officials say were saved or created by the stimulus program are no more real than those invisible positions invented by unions to bulk up their treasuries. We know this to be the case because as Obama’s chief economist, Christina Romer, admitted several weeks ago, “It’s very hard to say exactly because you don’t know what the baseline is, right, because you don’t know what the economy would have done without [the economic stimulus program].”

Even if we take at face value the White House claim that it created or saved all these jobs with approximately $150 billion of the economic stimulus money, a little simple math shows the taxpayers aren’t getting any bargains here: $150 billion divided by 650,000 jobs equals $230,000 per job saved or created. Instead of taking all that time required to write the 1,588-page stimulus bill, Congress could have passed a one-pager saying the first 650,000 jobless persons to report for work at the White House will receive a voucher worth $230,000 redeemable at the university, community college or trade school of their choice. That would have been enough for a degree plus a hefty down payment on a mortgage.

Actually, taxpayers would be better off with such a deal, too, compared with the reality of the Obama stimulus program. Among the top 10 stimulus contracts awarded, there is the one for nearly $339 million that allegedly created or saved 41.19 jobs, or about $8.3 million per position. It was even worse with the $258 million contract to Brookhaven Science Associates in New York, where 25 jobs were saved or created, at a cost of $10.3 million per position. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the ranking House minority member of the Joint Economic Committee, said it best: “What we know for certain is that 2.7 million payroll jobs have been lost since the Obama stimulus was signed into law, hundreds of thousands of more jobs are being lost each month, and America is so deep in debt, China and France are lecturing us to get our financial house in order.”