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Willisms

« June 2009 | WILLisms.com | August 2009 »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 633 -- Federal Budget Growth.

Leaps Upward-

Federal budget growth this year is just amazing to look at in comparison to past years:

growthleapsupward.gif

People were upset about big spending Republicans, so we elected Democrats. This as their solution.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Trade Deficit Down.

Posted by Will Franklin · 29 July 2009 04:50 PM · Comments (7)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 632 -- Trade Deficit Down, Because Trade Down.

Texas Still #1 Exporting State, 7 Years Running-

The trade deficit is down, but all trade is down. Exports, included:

tradedeficitdown.gif

The Washington Times opines:

If the U.S. trade deficit were to disappear, do you think that would be a good or bad thing? For years, many in the media and the political world wailed about the U.S. trade deficit, but it is rapidly disappearing -- and the consequences are going to be disastrous.

The table shows the U.S. trade deficit dropped 52 percent between January and May of this year, as compared to the January-through-May periods of the two previous years. During the same interval, exports of goods and services dropped 19 percent and imports dropped 28 percent. The U.S. trade deficit might disappear within the next year.

Anti-trade forces in each party, mostly on the left, are doing a terrible disservice to civilization. What is Ron Kirk doing to fix this, other than pandering to unions?

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama Jumped The Shark.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 July 2009 11:38 AM · Comments (2)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 631 -- Obama Has Jumped The Shark.

The President Has "Acted Stupidly"-

The Obama machine is shedding all kinds of gears as it careers wildly off the credibility highway:

obama_index_july_27_2009.jpg
Overall, 49% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove.

Buyer's remorse. Shark jumping. All of that.

Obama's agenda is not popular, plain and simply. He is becoming less popular, personally, as a result.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Hiking Minimum Wage Hiked Unemployment.

Posted by Will Franklin · 27 July 2009 04:41 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 630 -- Raising The Minimum Wage Led To Higher Unemployment Among Young People.

Minimum Wage Boost = Unemployment Boost-

After Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, they promptly voted to raise the minimum hourly wage in this country.

The fruits of their, *ahem*, "labor":

minimumwageboostedunemployment.gif
In 2007, Congress voted to increase the minimum wage, raising it in three $0.70 increments from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour. The first increase took place in July 2007, the second in July 2008, and the final increase will take effect on July 24, 2009. This final installment represents a 10 percent increase in the cost of hiring minimum wage employees.

Be prepared for another big jump in the unemployment rate.

This minimum wage increase will artificially increase costs for struggling businesses at exactly the wrong time. And as a result, it will cost 300,000 teenagers and young adults their jobs.

Change!

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Healthcare Waterloo.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 July 2009 09:10 AM · Comments (9)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 629 -- Obama's Healthcare Waterloo.

Hands Off-

Obama claimed that health care would not lead to federal budget problems. Hmm:

increaseddeficits.gif
# According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Democrats’ health care proposal includes over $1 trillion in new spending between now and 2019. * The plan includes more than $820 billion in job-killing tax increases on small businesses and families making as little as $18,700 per year over the next decade.


* But even these massive new taxes aren’t enough to pay for the Democrats’ plan.

* CBO found the Democrats’ plan will increase the federal deficit by $239 billion over the next 10 years. What the Democrats don’t tell you is that the bill is not fully implemented until 2015, hiding the true costs and deficit impact of this government takeover of health care.


* CBO also confirmed that the Democrats’ rate of spending will lead to “a substantial hole that would need to be filled by the other provisions if the overall legislation were to be deficit neutral at the end of the 10-year window and into the following decade.”As the graph below shows,if the Democrats' health care spending continues at those rates, it could cause a massive spike in the federal deficit – reaching as high as $1.6 trillion over the next 20 years.

Credibility.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Immigration.

Posted by Will Franklin · 23 July 2009 02:58 PM · Comments (4)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 628 -- Immigration Down.

Still A Pressing Political Issue?-

Fewer immigrants, legal and illegal, are coming to the United States from Mexico:

mexicanimmigration.jpg
The number of Mexicans moving to the USA has dropped sharply since the middle of the decade, according to a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Figures from various sources, including the Census Bureau, show that 30% to 50% fewer Mexicans came here — legally or illegally — in 2008 compared with 2006, says Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the non-partisan research center, who is a co-author of the study.

....

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials attribute the falling numbers to tougher border enforcement. The number of Border Patrol agents has ballooned to about 19,000 now from 9,800 in late 2002.

"Our smart enforcement is deterring people from coming in," says CBP spokesman Steven Cribby.

Last year, 653,035 of the 705,005 people caught breaching the southern border were Mexican, he says.

It is probably a combination of factors. The down economy. Boosted enforcement. Maybe a little of something else.

I wonder if border security and immigration-- which have been such dominant issues over the past two or three Republican primary cycles-- will drop off the map now that Obamacare, cap and trade, and other Democrat-led pushes are on the frontburner.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: GOP Brand.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 July 2009 08:44 AM · Comments (587)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 627 -- The Republican Brand.

Why Republicans Lost Power-

Heritage has a good graph:

federalspending.gif
Federal spending has increased 221 percent since 1970, nearly nine times faster than median incomeThe income level at which half of earners make more and half make less., which rose just over 32 percent.

Barack Obama and the Democrats are not particularly popular. Republicans just lost their brand because they spent like drunken sailors:

partoftheproblem.gif

Of course spending will go up to keep pace with inflation and population growth, but this graph looks at inflation-adjusted dollars. Republicans lost power because they became indistinguishable from Democrats, and as long as you're voting for Democrats, you might as well get the real thing.

The only problem is that the rejection of big spending was misinterpreted as a demand for even bigger spending.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: The Obama Jobs Deficit.

Posted by Will Franklin · 21 July 2009 02:36 PM · Comments (2042)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 626 -- Jobs.

Worst Employment Situation Since Early 1980s-

This economy is getting bad. Although there are a few low-tax states (like Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, etc.) with unemployment rates below 8%, and a couple states still under 7%, 15 states now have unemployment rates over 10%, and the national rate is rapidly closing in on 10%. Several states are seeing some of the worst unemployment rates in a generation:

joblessjune.png

One of Obama's biggest communications mistakes early in his administration was to claim that the stimulus was required to prevent what we are currently seeing from happening. He also made the claim that if we passed the stimulus, we would see a very concrete number of jobs created:

obamajobsdeficit.gif

It is hard for the President to blame this on Bush or anyone else when Obama urgently said that the stimulus package would prevent it.

Obama's job deficit is quickly becoming a credibility deficit. We can't afford Obamacare, we can't afford cap & trade, and we can't afford higher taxes. Right now what we need are real Republicans to stand up for free markets, limited government, and individual liberty. We need expanded free trade. We need stimulative, permanent tax cuts. We need entitlement reform. We need Obama to suffer a major midterm defeat in 2010, the way Clinton did in 1994.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: WELFARE-- Texas Versus California.

Posted by Will Franklin · 20 July 2009 11:14 AM · Comments (715)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 625 -- Welfare, California, & Texas.

Texas Is A Donor State, California Is A Welfare State-

Chuck DeVore out in California has a great graph that illustrates the problems of Obamanomics:

caliwelfarnia.png

California has 12% of the U.S. population and 32% of the U.S. welfare cases. Texas has 8% of the U.S. population and only 3.1% of the U.S. welfare cases. In Texas, we consider these numbers a sign of our state's success. Oddly enough, a lot of people in California just might consider their numbers a sign of success, as well. To a "progressive," that graph right there is the goal.

Ideas matter. We need should-be Republicans to snap out of it and stop electing Democrats. We also need a lot of our elected Republicans to snap out of it and stop acting like Democrats, so Republican voters actually have a choice.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Poll Numbers.

Posted by Will Franklin · 17 July 2009 08:34 AM · Comments (3226)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 624 -- Rick Perry Gains Six In Rasmussen, Now Up By 10.

KBH Remains In Free Fall-

The latest Rasmussen numbers in Texas are out. Governor Rick Perry is up by 10 points, up from a 4-point lead in May:

Incumbent Governor Rick Perry has jumped to a 10-point lead over Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in an early look at next year’s Republican Primary gubernatorial contest in Texas.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely GOP Primary voters in the state finds Perry ahead of Hutchison 46% to 36%. Five percent (5%) prefer some other candidate, and 14% remain undecided.

In early May, the two candidates were separated by just four points, with Perry ahead 42% to 38%.

The "gender gap" effect I wrote about earlier this week is somewhat apparent in this poll. While KBH was expected to run away with Republican women, Perry is up bigtime among men, and he holds his own among women as well.

Rasmussen Poll July.png

This makes four straight public polls in which Perry leads Hutchison. It definitely reinforces the "Free Fallin'" video I made last month:

Since I made that video, there have now been TWO public polls showing double digit leads for Perry over Hutchison.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Entitlements.

Read More »


Posted by Will Franklin · 16 July 2009 09:18 AM · Comments (492)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 623 -- Entitlements.

Taxes To Rise Bigtime-

Heritage has the scoop on where tax rates will go without entitlement reform:

taxhikesduetoentitlements.gif

Their version is much larger and more pretty and interactive.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Short-Circuiting Creative Destruction.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 July 2009 09:14 AM · Comments (72)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 622 -- Dealership Closings.

Dealership Closings-

Heritage did some great work on the controversy over the Chrysler dealership closings, and whether those were politically motivated:

regressionanalysisdealerships.gif

This chart is sort of grad schoolie, but here is the gist:

The bankruptcy process is intended to provide failing firms with both the incentive and ability to make their enterprises viable. In regard to dealer terminations, the process seems to have worked the way it was supposed to--with General Motors and Chrysler shrinking dealer networks, thereby confronting a problem that had long been known and which they had previously been unable to address adequately.

Political interference in this process, or any process so dominated by the government, is of coursealways a concern. In this case, however, claims that the method by which dealers were selected was biased appear to be unfounded, with no correlation between political contributions and terminations. Instead, the real danger of interference comes from efforts in Congress and elsewhere to overturn these painful but economically necessary choices made in the hopes of returning automakers to profitability.

Two more charts:

autodealerdonors.gif

and

dealerschrysler.gif

Congress should not meddle with this issue. It initially appeared that the closings of Chrysler dealerships were politically-motivated, but that theory just does not hold up under scrutiny.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Poll Numbers.

Posted by Will Franklin · 14 July 2009 09:14 AM · Comments (859)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 621 -- Texas GOP Gender Gap.

Gender Gap-

Over the past generation or so, when people talk about a gender gap in politics, they mean that Republicans are not doing well with women voters.

In 2004, there may have been a gender gap in the other direction. John Kerry had a problem winning over male voters, while Bush held his own among female voters.

In the Rick Perry versus Kay Bailey Hutchison race, there may be a similar pattern emerging. According to the latest UT poll, Rick Perry is up by 17 among men, and up by 8 among women:

utpoll.gif

The common wisdom earlier this year was that Rick Perry would have a difficult time keeping up with Kay Bailey Hutchison among women. Not so. It looks like Rick Perry is surging ahead among men, all while outperforming his competition with the ladies. I was at the Texas Federation of Republican Women event in Austin earlier this year-- KBH's turf, right? Wrong. Governor Perry dominated. This video captures a bit of that domination:

Among "Strong Republican" voters, Rick Perry leads by 18. No wonder the "free fallin'" video last month got under their skin so much.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Pork & KBH.

Posted by Will Franklin · 13 July 2009 09:53 AM · Comments (2468)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 620 -- Pork Spending Spoils.

Uneven Pork-

I've written this countless times, now. Pork is not the #1 spending problem facing the federal budget. It is, however, an important symbol of out-of-control spending. It is also politically damaging. I contend that pork was a large contributing factor to the Republican downfall in and Democrat takeover of Congress.

Not surprisingly, those with seniority get more pork:

earmarksgotoseniority.jpg
If an earmarked project is so important, why doesn’t it get funding through the normal competitive process? If a project has such a high return, wouldn’t private investors swoop in to earn the big profits? The “high return” claim is a commonly used gambit by big-spending politicians. Economist Martin Sullivan calls it the “liberal Laffer curve.”

It is interesting that the Senior Senator from Texas has been issuing a fairly steady stream of press releases about new pork projects around Texas this week. She also voted to protect Senate earmarks and voted with the Democrats this week against prohibiting no-bid contracts.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Stimulus Dollars Distributed Predominantly To Obama's Political Supporters.

Posted by Will Franklin · 10 July 2009 04:04 PM · Comments (3237)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 619 -- Stimulus Dollars Distributed Along Political Lines.

Uneven Stimulus-

USA TODAY has an interesting piece on the disparity between Obama counties and McCain counties in terms of stimulus dollars:

obamapoliticsasusual.gif
The imbalance didn't start with the stimulus. From 2005 through 2007, the counties that later voted for Obama collected about 50% more government aid than those that supported McCain, according to spending reports from the U.S. Census Bureau. USA TODAY's review did not include Alaska, which does not report its election results by county.

Chicken. Egg. Whatever. It is a problem on many levels, no matter when it started, what the motive, etc.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obama's Stimulus Is A Failure.

Posted by Will Franklin · 9 July 2009 04:39 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 618 -- The Failure of Obama's Stimulus.

Jobs Still Being Lost-

This graph has been bouncing around out there, but it is a profound political lesson: lower expectations whenever you can, and never set yourself for this sort of failure:

joblessnessspikes.gif

Not 100% of this spike is Obama's fault, but I think it is becoming crystal clear that his stimulus plan was a massive failure. It did not create wealth, only redistributed it and paid for it with debt. It crowded out free enterprise and made people more dependent on government. Not a good plan for jump-starting the economy.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Conservatives Not Fading Away.

Posted by Will Franklin · 8 July 2009 09:51 AM · Comments (3)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 617 -- Americans Want Real Conservatives.

Conservatism Alive & Well-

While some Republican candidates saw the elections of 2006 and 2008 as reasons for "moving to the center," the smart money is on an eventual conservative revival.

Although Republicans have faced serious setbacks at the ballot box and via scandals, conservatives and conservatism are doing just fine:

moreconservativenotliberal.gif

Philosophically-speaking, people these days are more conservative, not less conservative. Republican voters punished their party for being too wishy-washy and too RINO-tastic.

In Texas, we have a possible race for Governor between a real conservative who totally gets it versus a RINO who wants to expand S-CHIP government health care from a safety net for poor kids into a full-fledged middle class entitlement. When our conservative Governor said no to a major expansion of government unemployment insurance, she criticized him. While earmarks are a small portion of the mammoth federal budgets, they are electorally very problematic-- the RINO in the Governor's race is the #1 earmarker in Texas and was even named "Porker of the Month" by Citizens Against Government Waste. Let's not get started on her pro-bailout votes-- plural (including one THIS year regarding an auto company bailout). I could go on for hours about the Senator's bad votes and perplexing comments.

What happens in Texas, doesn't stay in Texas. If the conservative wins, it will have national repercussions within the Republican Party. If the RINO wins, watch your wallets, because the GOP at the national level will move even more sharply to the left. This race will impact presidential politics. It will impact local politics all over the country. The race in Texas matters.

The Republican Party has to stand for something, or our brand just becomes "Democrat-lite." If we're Democrat-lite, why not just go full bore Pelosi Democrat-Deluxe?

The Texas gubernatorial primary-- assuming KBH actually goes through with it-- will be an important test of the direction we can expect from our party in the coming years. If you would like to help keep the GOP on the right path, your $10 online contribution to Governor Rick Perry will make a much bigger difference to the campaign than most people even realize. Ten bucks is momentum. It is a statement.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Debt.

Read More »


Posted by Will Franklin · 7 July 2009 09:48 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 616 -- Unsustainable.

America's Long Run Fiscal Course-

In 2007, we knew things were looking bad over the long run in this country, fiscally-speaking. Now, they look almost hopeless:

projections_of_federal_debt.jpg
The three largest entitlement programs-Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security-will drive federal spending (other than interest on the debt) in coming decades. Robert Sunshine says, "If current laws do not change, federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid combined will grow from almost 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent by calendar year 2035 and to more than 17 percent of GDP by 2080. By 2080, if there are no changes in policy, the federal government would be spending almost as much, as a share of the economy, on just its two major health care programs as it has spent on all of its programs and services in recent years."

Who will step up and lead on the issue of unsustainable entitlements? It will burn those who attempt to make real change. It will bring their poll numbers down. They will face opposition from within the Republican Party. They will be told not to touch Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid-- or, worse, to expand them instead.

Leaders wanted. The sad reality is that there are only a handful of leaders in the GOP right now even capable of leading on this issue. When even Texas' Senior Republican-ish Senator, Mrs. Popular, attacks our sitting conservative Governor for his opposition to expanded government unemployment insurance and his opposition to brand-new middle class health care entitlements, you know something is not right with her, philosophically. She is not alone. There are far too many Republicans-In-Name-Only who would rather give the people bread and circuses than guarantee the blessings of liberty.

To really clean up the mess depicted in the graph above, we're going to need a Jim DeMint or a Tom Coburn type in the White House (although I don't see either of them getting there), plus strong GOP majorities with few, if any, RINOs in both the House and Senate. Maybe even 60 non-RINO Republicans. A really daunting task, especially after the past two election cycles. To prevent the disaster headed our way, we need to act sooner rather than later, and we need to stop piling on additional spending and debt that will make solutions even more difficult to achieve. Unfortunately, voters won't notice the big fiscal train headed our way until it is too late-- at which point a lot of people will feel a lot of pain.

And a lot of us will have to fight the urge to say, "I told you so."

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Obamanomics.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 July 2009 08:34 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 615 -- Obama's Economy.

Bazillions Of Jobs "Saved" Doesn't Mean Much-

The Obama economy is starting to sink in, and it is not pretty:

chart-stimulus-swindle.jpg

In all fairness, Obama legitimately did "inherit" a panoply of problems. But the Obama stimulus, Obama cap and trade, Obama socialized health care, and all sorts of other Obama plans are not helping. They are impeding recovery and growth, in fact.

Eventually, the excuse, "I inherited this mess" wears thin. Obama is already wearing it thin with Americans. Eventually, some of his allies in the press will begin to feel like abused girlfriends and leave him, as well.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Energy Industry Under Attack.

Posted by Will Franklin · 3 July 2009 08:24 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 614 -- Energy Industry Under Fire.

Anti-Energy-

Democrats are rampaging through Congress and working their hardest to ruin America's oil and gas industry.

API has the scary numbers:

energyindepth.gif
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2009 - U.S. oil and natural gas production would drop significantly if Congress passes legislation to place additional federal regulations on the use of a widely used well-completion technique known as hydraulic fracturing, according to a new study. Jobs could be lost, government revenues would fall and the U.S. would be less energy secure.

If Congress were to place additional federal regulations on top of the state and local regulations that govern the oil and gas industry practice of hydraulic fracturing,the number of new U.S. wells drilled would plummet 20.5 percent over a five-year period, IHS Global Insight’s study, “Measuring the Economics and Energy Impacts of Proposals to Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing,” found. Lower development activity would potentially reduce natural gas production by about 10 percent from 2008 levels by 2014, and leave the United States more reliant on imported sources of natural gas and oil.

“Hydraulic fracturing is a safe, proven, 50-year-old technology that is critical to developing the natural gas used to heat homes, generate electricity, and create basic materials for fertilizers and plastics,” said API President Jack Gerard. “More than one million wells have been completed using this technology. Unnecessary regulation of this practice would only hurt the nation’s energy security and threaten our economy.”

Additional restrictions on use of types of hydraulic fracturing fluids would cause an even more dramatic decrease in production of both natural gas and of oil, the report found. By 2014, gas production could fall 4.4 Tcf or 22 percent, while oil production could slip 400,000 barrels per day or 8 percent.

Elimination of the use of hydraulic fracturing would be catastrophic to the development of American natural gas and oil, with a 79 percent drop in well completions, resulting in a 45 percent reduction in natural gas production and a 17 percent reduction in oil production by 2014, the study found.

The intentions are typically good, but not always. A lot of this is not even just environmentalism. It's spiteful, punitive anti-oil/gas-ism.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Democrats Are Super Liberal & Everyone Knows It.

Posted by Will Franklin · 2 July 2009 08:57 AM · Comments (3)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 613 -- Democrats Are Way Too Liberal.

Left-Wing Overreach-

Americans view Democrats as entirely too liberal:

tooliberal.gif

The worm has turned. Or is turning. The shine is coming off of Obama. Republicans are not exactly surging yet, but people are done with the Democrats.

-------------------------------------

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Carbon Dioxide.

Posted by Will Franklin · 1 July 2009 04:09 PM · Comments (0)