It’s getting tougher and tougher to keep track of all the Barrack Hussein Obama administration’s disastrous economic policies. Not that the lame stream media will mention this but guess what, the taxpayers are getting shafted again by one of Obama’s campaign payback shakedowns. When will these stupid goddamn liberals learn, big bloated federal bureaucracy cannot fix economic problems. Big labor union agreements combined with decades of poor leadership drove the company off the cliff. It’s not the taxpayers responsibility to bail out incompetent morons. The company like any other business should have been left to the mercy of market forces to correct the problem. If bankruptcy and reorganization where the answer so be it, the federal government should not rewarding bad business practice. In effect Barrack Hussein Obama choose one group of workers over another group. Who is to say if that tens of billions of dollars was left out of politicians hand it wouldn’t of led to the start of fifty new Apple computers or Microsoft type start ups providing thousands more modern high tech jobs. After World War II we where the only industrial giant left, in the ensuing 60 plus years the rest of the world has grown up and rebuilt there industrial capabilities. While big labor fought to maintain the status-quo countries like China, Brazil and India developed the ability to manufacture the same products with much cheaper labor costs. These manufacturing jobs cannot be sustained without the big labor unions accepting major wage,benefit and bargaining cuts. The Obama payback just delayed the inevitable, big industrial manufacturing is going to flee offshore as long as big labor is allowed to strangle these companies. I challenge anyone to name one successful economic initiative implemented by the Obama administration. The stimulus is a trillion dollar failure. Programs like “cash for clunkers” only succeed in driving up the price of used cars for the average citizen,. Obama, Pelosi and Reid’s energy policy has driven fuel prices to record highs and cost tens of thousands of jobs in the oil business. Obamacare is driving medical costs up and driving doctors into new career paths. His Green policies like support for ethanol has led to massive spikes in food prices and added regulatory burden to companies struggling to stay afloat. What did people expect to happen when they voted for a guy who has never held a real private sector job or ever been involved in creating one.
General Motors Will Never Repay Taxpayers
Obama’s spin on GM’s latest profit report is pure baloney
Shikha Dalmia | May 24, 2011
The Obama administration, and its media backers, have seized upon news that General Motors made a $3.2 billion profit in the first quarter of 2011 as proof positive that its auto bailout is a success. President Obama is so buoyed that he is reportedly planning to make the bailout a major part of his reelection campaign.
But by this standard, Charlie Sheen’s comedy tour ought to be declared a smash hit. Sheen’s backers will lose relatively less money on him than taxpayers will on the bailout.
No sooner had GM made its announcement than Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne dashed off a stinging rebuke to naysayers (like me) who had dared doubt the wisdom of the bailout. Likewise, the auto czar Ron Bloom credited the turnaround to the president’s “tough love” approach.
No doubt, $3.2 billion is a big number. But an even bigger number is $60 billion. That’s what this administration and the last one together sank into GM (not to mention another $20 billion or so they dumped into Chrysler). When President Obama gave GM this money, he insisted that it was not a handout but an “investment” that would cost taxpayers “not a dime.”
But if there was ever any doubt that this wasn’t going to happen, this earning report dispels it.
For starters, included in the $3.2 billion figure is the net $1.5 billion that the company generated from the one-time sale of Delphi, its auto parts supplier, and Ally Financial, its financial arm. Subtract that, and its performance looks much less impressive, especially compared to its rival Ford that really didn’t receive a dime from taxpayers yet made $2.6 billion last quarter—or nearly a billion more than GM.
But cold, hard cash is not the only help that GM got. Usually when companies declare bankruptcy, their tax liabilities increase since they have no more losses to write off. But GM got Uncle Sam’s special bankruptcy package that allows it write off up to $45 billion of old losses going forward. That puts its total bailout at up to $75 billion*. Even that’s not all. The Treasury gave GM $10 billion of the $60 billion as a loan; the rest was through the purchase of equity. (It has more or less paid back the loan.)
The equity means two things: One, GM has zero interest payments, something that gives it a distinct advantage over competitors. Ford, by contrast, had to pay $251 million in debt-service costs. Despite this, GM’s real per vehicle margin was over $1,000 less than Ford’s, thanks to the heavy incentives it was forced to give buyers. (If the administration can call this success, can it please call me the next American Idol?)
And two, taxpayers have no guaranteed return as they would have with a loan. Therefore, market valuation of GM’s stock will determine what they will recover. They got back $20 billion when the Treasury sold half of its equity when GM floated its first post-bankruptcy IPO in December. But that still leaves a $30 billion shortfall (excluding the $45 billion tax break). To get this back, the federal government would have to sell its remaining 365 million shares—about 26.5 percent of company equity—for about $55 per share. But after GM posted its latest earnings report, its stock price dropped to $31, a few dollars below even its IPO price of $33.
Nor are things going to look up for taxpayers going forward. One reason GM’s first-quarter profits were even as high as they were was that low gas prices boosted the sale of SUVs and trucks, GM’s (as Ford’s) most profitable products. But with gas prices rising, customer demand is expected to shift to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. GM’s small cars such as Chevy Cruz and Malibu have certainly done well in recent months, but their profit margins are small because GM’s labor costs are still too high.
GM slashed these costs during bankruptcy to $58 per hour, comparable to Toyota’s $56. But the problem, notes Henry Payne, editor of Michigan View, is that Toyota is not the industry cost leader anymore; smaller Asian transplants such as Hyundai and Kia with $40-per-hour labor costs are. To compete with them, GM needs to extract more concessions from its labor unions during contract negotiations this September. But United Auto Workers President Bob King has declared that workers have already sacrificed enough to keep GM solvent and now expect givebacks.
Given such realities, Bloomberg’s survey of 21 auto analysts put the average projected price for GM at $42.85 per share a year from now. This means that, outside of miracle, taxpayers will lose anywhere from $13 to $19 billion on their principal and another $15 billion on taxes for a grand total of up to $28 to $34 billion* in losses. And that’s just for GM. Chrysler is whole different—and equally sordid—story. Even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged last month: “We’re going to lose money in the auto industry.”
Let’s hope that next time this administration decides to rescue someone, it’s Charlie Sheen. He might be less high maintenance than GM for taxpayers.
In yet another blow to the transparency or lack of in the Barrack Hussein Obama administration the Boston Herald was denied access to the media pool during Obama fundraiser. Obama’s paper thin skin is typical of most liberals they sure can dish it out but the howl like whiny jackals when there idiocy is challenged. Remember a few weeks ago when Biden’s people locked the Orlando Sentinel Reporter Scott Powers, in 2010 Baltimore Sun reporter Justen Fenton was held up by Biden’s staffers. There have been so many instances of Obama whining about his critics it has become non story. Any other past president this whiny would of gotten hammered by the press, but the media elites are so in bed with this clown they just say “yes sir” when they get there marching orders. Every chance he gets Obama whines about Fox News even though ABC,NBC,CBS,CNN,PBS & NPR along with just about every major paper virtual parrot the White House line. Kind of makes you wonder is Obama just a tiny insecure little man or a guy who even doesn’t believe in his failing leftist agenda.
While Harry the Hypocrite and his fellow Democrats cry about the big oil companies profits old Harry is helping to screw the taxpayer again. As usual the Democrats are playing the game of “Its ok when we do it, but bad whenever our opponents do it”. Kinda like during the presidential campaign when Obama received twice the dirty money from “Wall Street” but yet they still bashed Republicans as those evil takers of Wall Street money. Harry and his friends “Do as I say, not as I do” politics are a joke. While they whine and cry and demand transpareny from corporate america they turn around and fight against transparency for there big unions supporters. They advocate for laws like the “Fairness Doctrine” aimed at muzzling conservative talk radio but have no problem with 95% of the media that happens to tilt in there favor. During the recent debate on what fat to cut out of the federal budget old Harry just could not bear to see his “Cowboy Poetry” earmark cut but raising taxes was ok. With the price of gold and other minerals skyrocketing why should’nt the companies many whom are foreign not be asked to pay there fair share. Its bad enough that friends of the Obama adminstration like G.E. don’t pay any taxes but why are we letting foreign corporate mining interests slide by scott free?
Minerals Mined on Federal Land Spared Taxes, Aided by Senator Reid
By William Lajeunesse
While Democrats rip into oil and gas companies for failing to pay their “fair share” because of tax breaks Congress gave them, another special interest break they’re not talking about is the billions of dollars worth of gold, silver, uranium and other minerals that mining companies take off federal lands for which they pay nothing.
“They don’t pay a dime, not a penny for the gold and uranium they remove from public lands,” says Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “Virtually every other country in world charges a royalty on hard rock minerals. It is absurd that we don’t do this.”
Both mining and oil companies pay corporate taxes, and both get generous write-offs in the tax code.
But mining companies get two huge subsidies oil companies do not: leases and royalties.
Mining entities pay no more than $5 an acre for land from which they extract billions of dollars worth of minerals. By contrast, multinational oil and gas firms are required to competitively bid against one another just for the right to drill on specific leases. Those bids typically pay taxpayers from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on how much oil a company believes is in the field.
A royalty or fee represents an annual percentage the federal government charges based on the value of the resource extracted from public lands. For oil and other fuel sources, the numbers are in the double-digits.
The government receives 12.5 percent in royalties for onshore oil and gas while the royalties for offshore drilling amount to18.75 percent. For coal, that number is 8 percent for underground mining and 12.5 percent for surface mining.
For gold, silver, uranium and copper mining: 0 percent
Reformers in Congress tried to raise the last figure but failed.
In 1993, the House passed a bill imposing an 8 percent royalty, but Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., helped kill an agreement in the Senate. In 2007, West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall helped pass a bill in the House that imposed a 4 percent royalty on gross revenue on existing operations and 8 percent on new operations. Again Reid stepped in, saying the House bill “won’t stand over here.”
“When you talk about collecting a royalty off the top, irrespective of production costs, that is an unsustainable situation,” said Carol Raulston of the National Mining Association.
In 2008, according to the National Mining Association, about $20 billion worth of metals were sold in the U.S. from mines here covered by existing law. With a 4 percent royalty, that translates into at least a $4 billion in payments for minerals owned by U.S. taxpayers.
“This is a pirate story with the public lands profiteers robbing the American people blind,” Rahall said in November 2007. “The robbery of American gold and silver must stop.”
But it hasn’t.
Since taking office, Reid has received $750,000 in campaign contributions from the mining industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That number includes $127,000 from Nevada’s two largest gold producers in the 2010 election. Together, those two companies had profits of $5 billion last year yet they paid taxpayers nothing for minerals taken off public lands.
“Senator Reid through the years has aligned himself with those interests to thwart mining law reforms time and time again,” Ellis said.
While Ellis and others blame Reid, the mining association is happy to have him in their corner.
“Senator Reid is one among many who don’t want to see domestic mining killed off in this country,” Raulston said.
According to Yahoo Finance, three of the 10 most profitable industries in the U.S. right now are in mining, including copper, gold and silver, which enjoy a 47 percent net-profit margin. Oil and gas exploration, by contrast, ranks 50th with a net margin of 11 percent.
Yet oil and gas are singled out, particularly by Reid.
“We should all agree, in the interest of fairness, common sense and saving taxpayer money that we can cut out corporate welfare to those big oil firms who need it the least,” Reid said last week.
“Senator Reid has always been open to reasonable hardrock mining reform that protects jobs while ensuring the industry pays its fair share,” a Reid spokesman said. “However, I’d want to change the subject too if I had to defend billions in government giveaways to big oil corporations with gas prices so high in Nevada and across the country.”
President Obama weighed in on Saturday, noting that the “American people shouldn’t be subsidizing oil companies at a time when they’re making near-record profits.”
Gold and silver both closed last week near record highs.
What Corruption Looks Like: FCC Commissioner Takes Job At Comcast Months After She Voted To Approve Its Deal With NBC Universal
A lot of folks are shaking their heads after learning that FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving her post to take a lobbying job at Comcast just a few months after she voted to approve Comcast’s massive purchase of NBC Universal. Now, let’s be clear: there’s nothing illegal in her taking this job. While she can’t lobby the FCC for two years, she can lobby Congress or other parts of the government. And, it doesn’t mean that she’s corrupt at all. But it’s this kind of move that makes people trust our government less and highlights why so many people believe that our government is corrupt.
When you have a massive revolving door, in which the people voting on important deals for companies are likely to get massive salary increases in jobs from those same companies a few months later, it’s certainly going to make plenty of people assume corruption, even if there isn’t any. So even if it’s not corruption in the classical sense, it’s hard not to see this as a form of regulatory capture. Baker’s term is up in June, but it had been expected she would be re-nominated and would stay. But, making this decision so soon after voting on such a huge deal for the FCC certainly raises some questions about when she started talking to Comcast about a job and when she even decided she was looking for a different job.
By Robert Romano – So much for Barack Obama’s vaunted transparency.
Americans for Limited Government (ALG) is appealing the Department of Labor’s refusal to turn over all documents related to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on enforcement of 185 laws the Department is required to follow. And the organization is still waiting to hear back on key items in the request.
This is nothing new with the Obama Administration. Recently, Crossroads GPS created an online repository for pending FOIA requests with the Obama Administration, called Wikicountability.org.
This included the request that covered the Department’s implementation of an online enforcement database, which should have included prosecutions of corruption in labor unions, ALG says, but was not.
“That data should be in the database, and the question is why not,” ALG President Bill Wilson explained, saying the request was being “stonewalled” by the Department. After all, the prosecution of union corruption is a key item of the Department’s enforcement responsibilities.
He speculated on the possibility that “they don’t want that information to be public because it makes union officials look bad. It may be embarrassing, but we want those documents; the public has a right to know.”
ALG filed the FOIA request in August 2010, the first to the Office of the Secretary (OSEC), which produced no initial response. This compelled the organization to file two follow-ups to the FOIA requests: one to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management in Feb. 2011 and the other to the Department’s Office of the Solicitor (SOL) in Mar. 2011.
ALG Counsel Nathan Mehrens explained, “We initially requested information from the Department in order to better understand how the Department is communicating its enforcement statistics through its online enforcement database.”
He added, “This database is mysteriously missing certain critical information such as the number of union officials who were prosecuted by the Department for stealing from union members.”
The follow-up to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management again hit a stone wall. On April 18, they finally replied that “A search was conducted within the Office of the Secretary. No records were found responsive to your request.”
But then the Solicitor’s office did find responsive documents — through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP). According to the appeal, “Based on the evidence received from OASP it is clear that senior personnel from OSEC have in their possession federal records that are responsive to Appellant’s FOIA request. As such, the assertion from OSEC that they found ‘no documents responsive’ to Appellant’s request is either incorrect or the OSEC did not perform an adequate search for responsive records to Appellant’s request.”
Either way, Mehrens said “This shows that the Department’s FOIA processing mechanisms are not working properly. It is also not the only time we’ve been told that there are no records, despite evidence to the contrary.”
This proves the Department is not living up to Obama’s vow for transparency in his Administration, when he said on Jan. 21, 2009, “Let me say it as clearly as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
Mehrens explained, “This was followed up by further guidance from both the President and the Attorney General on how the government was to handle releasing information to the public in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.”
In that guidance the federal government was instructed to quickly turn around information requests and that it should have a bias toward disclosure and not attempt to redact information merely because of technicalities. So much for that.
In the end, it appears Obama talked the talk of transparency, but when it comes to walking the walk, is falling far short. It’s a failure of leadership.
Wilson said the Administration was “two-faced on transparency,” concluding, “This is not the kind of transparency we were promised by Obama. Based on our two years of work requesting records from the Obama Administration it appears that not everyone has received the message. It’s time for the Administration to stop stonewalling legitimate requests.”
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.
Read more at NetRightDaily.com: http://netrightdaily.com/2011/05/obama%e2%80%99s-%e2%80%98transparency%e2%80%99-a-failure-of-leadership/#ixzz1MGAhrG2U
Harry Reid must be off his meds again, he’ back with this “Dream Act” delusions. This may be one of the dumbest bills ever proposed by the Democrats and that’s saying a lot. Why Obama, Reid and Pelosi want to reward criminal behaviour is the big question. I guess the Democrats are so hell bent on getting re-elected that there is no limit to the damage they are willing to reap on our country. This legislation is just another pathetic attempt to corner a voting block, hell the Democrats don’t even care if illegal alien criminals are allowed to vote, hell they fully support it. The public hands down is against this insanity but old cowboy poet Harry just keeps on trying. When most taxpayers are just scrapping by these days the thought of giving FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION to these illegals and anchor baby spawns is crazy. This kind of legislation just encourages more violations of our sovereign borders and rule of law. Instead of opening the flood gates the federal government should be sweeping our cities and deporting the millions of job stealing criminals who our here illegally. There are plenty of folks out there who are willing to legally emigrate and actually want to become flag waving American citizens.. With lunatics all over hell bent on killing Americans is it too much to ask who’s coming through the door?
Harry Reid: ‘We Need The People Of America To Rise Up’ in Favor of Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
By Eric Scheiner
(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is calling on Americans to ‘rise up’ and express how important the DREAM Act is to them.
Reid made the comments at a conference on Wednesday in support of the measure that would allow qualifying illegal aliens obtain legal residence status.
“As was said yesterday in El Paso by the president, we need the people of America to rise up and indicate to each of us how important this legislation is,” Reid said.
“I believe that the people in America need to understand that these young men and women who want to be educated, who want to be able to serve the military. It’s good for everybody.”
Senator Reid along with Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) say the Senate will bring the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act to the floor for a vote. The measure previously failed to pass during the lame duck session of the last Congress when both chambers were under Democratic control.
The bill would allow qualifying illegal aliens to obtain legal residence status.
President Barack Obama addressed the previous failure of the DREAM Act and called for it’s future passage during his speech on immigration in El Paso, Texas yesterday.
Once again Barrack Hussein Obama is pushing to reward millions of criminals with Amnesty. This rewarding criminal activity for the sake of political favor is repulsive. This flood of criminals has driven down wages and cost the taxpayers billions of dollars. Thousands of folks line up everyday in front of our embassies all over the world trying to get there opportunity to emigrate hear and Obama’s amnesty is a slap in the face those people who play by the rules. The 11 million plus illegal aliens who violated our nations borders are nothing but criminals who do not deserve to live hear. We should be screening all those who want to come here so we can choose the best and the brightest who can add to our nation. The vast majority of illegal aliens are here just to reap economic benefits, they could care less about the country. Many in fact despise our country and western values and have no intention of melting in. Obama’s delusional if he thinks our borders are secure, the Border Patrol certaintly don’t think so.
Like most of the Obama administration facts there usually gathered from “cooked books”, these clowns are incapable of telling the truth. Every thing Obama say’s is usually colored by who his audience is, regardless of the facts. As Commander-in-Chief he has failed miserable at protecting our nations sovereignty The violence in Mexico is spilling over our borders and American citizens are being murdered while Obama’s actions so far are pathetic and bordering on criminal behavior. His total failure to deploy the military is a dereliction of duty, no other country would allow this violence along there border to go unchecked. Every thing Obama say’s or does is political he has been in campaign mode every day of his disastrous presidency.
Washington (CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s commitment to providing legal status for illegal aliens is reflected in the time he has spent focusing on the country’s immigration laws in recent weeks, the White House said on Monday, one day before the president is set to deliver a national address on immigration in El Paso, Texas.
El Paso is across the border from Juarez, Mexico, a city where 3,111 civilians were murdered last year–more than in all of Afghanistan.
In recent weeks, Obama has met with current and former elected officials, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities – all of whom agree with his position on the matter – to promote comprehensive immigration reform.
Proponents call the proposal a “pathway to citizenship” for the roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the country, but critics call it “amnesty.”
“It will reflect his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. “We weren’t able to achieve it in the first part of the president’s term but it remains a priority of the president, even though it’s hard. He takes on hard things because he believes they’re important to get done. Hard things often need bipartisan support.”
“One thing I would note,” Carney continued, “is there was bipartisan support at the highest levels of the Republican Party – including the president, George W. Bush, including Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s nominee in 2008.”
The proposal has even less support today, however, with McCain and other Republicans having largely reversed themselves on the issue.
Obama is likely less concerned about pushing the proposal than about appealing to a political base in the lead up to his 2012 reelection campaign, says Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, a pro-border enforcement group.
“If Bush couldn’t get an amnesty bill passed, any bipartisan consensus for an amnesty bill now is not possible,” Dane told CNSNews.com.
Dane wondered why the president has only talked about the matter with people who already agree with him.
“Where are the true stakeholders in immigration policy – the American people?” he asked. “They will pay the cost for immigration policy, but they don’t have a seat at the table with the far-left, big business and special interests.”
Obama will visit El Paso Tuesday to deliver remarks about immigration reform, before traveling to Austin for two fundraising events for the Democratic National Committee.
El Paso is one of nine Border Patrol sectors along the almost 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border, running from the Gulf Coast to the Pacific Ocean. Located directly across from the Mexican city of Juarez, it has been among the more dangerous border areas in recent years.
Carney declined to say whether Obama would raise any new aspects during the visit. He did indicate that “border security” would be on the agenda – but “not border security alone.”
“The number of border agents today is double what it was in 2004,” he said. “We’ve got triple the number of intelligence analysts working the boarder. We’ve deployed unmanned aerial vehicles that now patrol the border from Texas to California. We are screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments to seize guns and money going south, even as we go after drugs coming north.”
Carney also stressed the economic impact of immigration.
“It is simply foolish as a matter of policy when we think about global competition, economic competition that we face in the 21st Century, to educate some of the smartest, most creative entrepreneurial young people from around the world in our universities, the finest in the world, and then not let them stay and start businesses to launch startups, to create jobs in America,” he said.
“[New York] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg noted this fact – in recent years over 25 percent of high tech startups in the United States were founded by immigrants. We’ve been deporting 50,000 jobs.”