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Willisms

« September 2010 | WILLisms.com | November 2010 »

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 886 -- An Imaginary Spending Explosion? Not.

Jolting Upward, Not Imaginary-

This is about a week belated, but Chuck Blahous just completely dismantles Paul Krugman's recent argument that federal spending hasn't really gone up:

federalspendingpostwwii.gif
As the chart above shows, federal spending reached historic levels in 2009 – to be surpassed again in 2010 – a peak in relation to the overall economy not seen since World War II. In 2009, federal spending soared to 24.7% of GDP, a figure not even closely approached since 1946.

Moreover, as the graph above shows equally clearly, these levels of spending were not solely the result of a gradual, inevitable evolution in the size of government, but instead represented a sudden surge of spending in response to the recession. From 2008 to 2009, federal spending increased by 4% of GDP in a single year. The spending increase that Dr. Krugman says “never happened” was in fact the biggest single-year spending increase since 1952.

Lest anyone believe that the rise in government spending as a percentage of GDP was largely a function of a decline in GDP itself, it should be noted that the absolute size of the spending increase over 2008-09 was also of historic magnitude – exceeded since 1952 only by 1975 (a year in which rapid nominal spending growth was partially fueled by high price inflation).

This recent spending surge is the largest reason why the federal deficit has arisen from 3.2% of GDP in 2008 to roughly 10% in each of 2009 and 2010. Once again, it bears recollection that these are the highest levels for federal deficits since (sound familiar?) World War II.

It is delusional to assert that the major increase in spending was/is merely imaginary.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: .

Posted by Will Franklin · 26 October 2010 03:03 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 885 -- Washington Spending.

Let's Get Real On Spending Reform-

Hrrmmph:

The blue parts of that chart are the parts Republicans have said they won't cut. The red slice, well that's fair game. Klein writes:

Even if you were to eliminate this entire slice of the budget (meaning you're willing to gut the Department of Homeland Security and defund all other federal agencies and departments) it wouldn't even eliminate half of last year's deficit.

So, yeah. Change.

2009budget.gif

We need to tackle these entitlements.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Rules America.

Posted by Will Franklin · 25 October 2010 05:48 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 884 -- Texas.

Texas Rules America-

New state job numbers came out this morning. Texas has created more than 2/3 of all manufacturing jobs created in America over the past 12 months. From September 2009 to September 2010, Texas employers created more than 152,800 net new jobs as a whole, far more than any other state.

No wonder, then, the Texas foreclosure rate is so much lower than in other big states around the country:

foreclosures.gif

Pleased to see the profusion of articles in recent days touting the Texas success story.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: States That Raised Taxes In Response To Recession Are Struggling More Than Other States.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 October 2010 04:35 PM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 883 -- States That Hiked Taxes During Recession Lag States Like Texas In Job Creation.

Texas Rules America-

Texanomics strikes again, with another great graph showing Texas and other states that have not raised taxes compared to states that have raised taxes in response to the recession:

changeinemploymentaug09to10.gif

The Texas model is working. Texanomics is working. Obamanomics isn't.

If you aren't "reading" Texanomics.blogspot.com regularly, you should be.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas For The Win.

Posted by Will Franklin · 21 October 2010 10:40 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 882 -- Texas For The Win.

Texas Rules America-

This week has been a banner week for Texas on the "study" circuit.

The Milken Institute released its "Best-Performing Cities Index," which ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth; Texas completely dominated the list:

bestperformingcitiesmilken.gif

Texas cities comprised 3 of the top 4, 5 of the top 10, and 11 of the top 25. Total "pwnage."

National Review notes the Texas domination and argues that the Texas model should be America's model for recovery:

Texas is a model of governmental restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 in the U.S., and 17.3 in Texas. Back in 1987, levels of spending were roughly similar in these places. The recessions of 1991 and 2001 spiked spending everywhere, but each time Texas fought to bring it down to pre-recession levels. “Because of this policy decision,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes, “Texas’ 2008 spending burden remained slightly below its 1987 levels — a major accomplishment.”

Investor's Business Daily, too, takes note of the difference between the paths of Texas and California:

texashasleftcaliforniainitsdust.gif

In Texas, the payroll count is back to pre-recession levels. California is nearly 1.5 million jobs in the hole. Why such a difference? Chalk it up to taxes, regulation and attitude.

The contrast between America's two largest states, in terms of both population and economic heft, is as stark as it has ever been. Texas is leading the country out of the recession; California is holding it back.

By August, the job count in Texas had rebounded to where it was when the recession officially began in December 2007. California's payroll was still 1.46 million below the pre-recession level. The nation as a whole was down by 6.42 million jobs. In other words, California, with one-eighth the nation's population, accounts for more than a fifth of its job deficit left over from the downturn.

Some of this flurry of activity was set off by the Texas Public Policy Foundation study comparing Texas and California:

A key reason for Texas’ strong economic performance is due to Texas keeping its tax, spending, and regulatory burdens low—and staying away from the personal income tax. For instance, state and local government spending in Texas has remained steady at around 18 percent of the state’s private economy, whereas California’s has increased from 19 percent to almost 26 percent since 1987.

Texas is the model for America's economic recovery.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: U.S. Dependence On Government At All-Time High.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 October 2010 12:15 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 881 -- Dependence On Government Grows.

Record Highs-

We're creating a dependency culture, a society with government as father figure. This is no good. No good at all:

govt-dependence.gif
The number of Americans who pay taxes continues to shrink—and the United States is close to the point at which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits they receive. In 2009, 64.3 million Americans depended on the government (read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health care. Starting in 2015, the Social Security program will not receive enough taxes to pay all the promised benefits—which will be hard for all job-holders, but devastating for roughly half the American workforce that has no other retirement program. Add in last year’s preposterously named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, spiraling academic grants, flat-out farm socialism, the swelling ranks of Americans who believe themselves entitled to “free” government benefits—and now the government takeover of the nation’s health care system—and the very nature of this country’s republican form of government is called into question.

Blech. The nation is on the wrong track.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: It May Take Ten More Years Just To Return To Peak Employment Levels.

Posted by Will Franklin · 14 October 2010 04:12 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 880 -- It May Take Ten More Years Just To Return To Peak Employment Levels.

U.S. Won’t Recover Lost Jobs Until March 2020 At Current Pace-

America is in trouble:

tenyearstorecoupjobs.gif
The U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs in September, far worse than expectations for no change in employment. More Census-related temp jobs ended, as expected, but state and local governments slashed staff far more than predicted.

So far in 2010, the U.S. has added just 613,000 jobs — for a monthly average of 68,111.

Employment bottomed in December 2009 at 129.588 million — two years after peaking at 137.951 million. At this year’s pace, the U.S. won’t recoup all those 8.36 million lost jobs* until March 2020 — 147 months after the December 2007 high.

That would obliterate the old post-World War II record of 47 months set in the wake of the 2001 recession.

The current jobs slump also is the deepest of any in the post-war era, with payrolls down as much as 6.1%. They are still 5.6% below their December 2007 level.

No wonder the Chilean miner situation is so compelling. We need some freaking good news.

Not-so-incidentally, Texas has bounced back best toward pre-recession employment levels, of all the states, according to the good folks at Texanomics:

rebound.gif

We need more Texas-style free market solutions and fewer socialist edicts from Washington, D.C.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Congress Spending Too Much.

Posted by Will Franklin · 13 October 2010 03:46 PM · Comments (0)

Early Voting Locations In Texas.

Guide to All Texas Early Voting Locations provided by RickPerry.org Guide to All Texas Early Voting Locations provided by RickPerry.org

Find your early voting location by county or city. Remember, you can vote at any location in your county during early voting (October 18-29). On election day itself (November 2, 2010), though, you'll have to vote in your specific precinct.

Posted by Will Franklin · 13 October 2010 09:57 AM · Comments (1)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 879 -- Congress Ratchets Up Spending.

Spend, Spend, Spend-

In just two years, Democrats have ratcheted up spending 21.4%:

congressionalspending.gif
Spending rolled in for the year that ended September 30 at $3.45 trillion, second only to 2009's $3.52 trillion in the record books.

....

Once again domestic accounts far and away led the increases. Medicaid rose by 8.7%, and unemployment benefits by an astonishing 34.3%—to $160 billion. The costs of jobless insurance have tripled in two years. CBO adds that if you take out the savings for deposit insurance, funding for all "other activities" of government—education, transportation, foreign aid, housing, and so on—rose by 13% in 2010.

As for the deficits, the 2010 total was $1.29 trillion, down slightly from $1.42 trillion. That's a two-year total of $2.7 trillion, or more than the entire amount during the Reagan Administration, when deficits were supposed to be ruinous. Now liberal economists tell us that deficits are the key to restoring prosperity.

Republicans were thrown out for spending too much. Democrats cranked up that spending into overdrive. There is a clear choice in 2010. Vote Republican.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Democrats & Republicans Are Different On Spending.

Posted by Will Franklin · 12 October 2010 09:44 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 878 -- Democrats Propose Only One Dollar In Spending Cuts For Every Fifty Dollars In New Spending.

Spend, Spend, Spend-

Congress keeps spending, without requisite offsets.

The National Taxpayers Union has the details:

billsforspending.gif
In the 22 months since the 111th Congress first convened, NTUF has read, reviewed, and researched nearly 10,000 pieces of legislation. We've developed cost estimates for 2,418 of them - this means that they could increase, or decrease, federal spending by at least $1 million on an annual basis - while the others had no cost or a cost estimate has not yet been obtained.

As the accompanying graph shows, NTUF scored 1,413 House bills as spending increases and 103 bills as spending cuts. In the Senate, there were 859 bills to increase spending and 43 bills to cut it.

There is a difference between the parties, however. Republicans have proposed far more spending cuts than spending increases-- more than two times more trimming than new spending-- while Pelosi's Democrats have only proposed one dollar of cutting for every 50 dollars in new spending:

netspendingbyparty.gif

Both parties together, the House looks like this:

* Number of increase bills for each decrease bill: 13.7 to 1
* Spending increases per dollar cut: $6.21
* Percent of increases offset by cuts: 16.1%

The Senate is where Republicans could improve. In the Senate, Republicans are proposing more cuts than Democrats, yes, but their proposals would still result in net spending increases:

senatespending.gif

There is a clear difference between the parties on fiscal responsibility. Senate Republicans, however, need to follow the lead of House Republicans when it comes to spending.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Global Warming.

Posted by Will Franklin · 11 October 2010 11:16 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 877 -- Global Warming?

Texas Data-

Headlines across Texas this week warned of doomsday global warming, but what do the data actually say?

Not exactly conclusive of a great warming trend:

texastemperatures.gif
...over the last 100 plus years Texas temperatures exhibit a cooling trend equal to a minus 0.10 degree Fahrenheit per century. For the second graph below, the temperature trend for the last 15 years is a minus 2.7 (-2.7) degrees Fahrenheit per century. What about the warmest decade "evaaar!", ending on December 31, 2009, you may ask? Welllllll.....Texas temperatures declined during that time span declined at a minus 7.3 (-7.3) degrees per century rate.

Okay, why does the USA Today headline say otherwise? Unfortunately, the climate scientists the "objective" reporters quote base their Texas "temperatures" on the fictional, speculative, computer climate model predictions, not the actual Texas temperatures.

Read more here.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Texas Leads Nation.

Posted by Will Franklin · 8 October 2010 12:09 PM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 876 -- Has Texas ALWAYS Grown Faster Than Rest Of America?

Texas' Growth Accelerated When Republicans Took Over-

Liberal trial lawyer Bill White has acknowledged out on the campaign stump that, economically, Texas is performing better than the rest of the country. His comeback, basically, is that Texas has ALWAYS performed better than the rest of the country, since Texas has existed.

The facts say otherwise.

For example, on jobs, Texas has now had a lower unemployment rate than the United States as a whole for 44 consecutive months. Before that, not usually:

reversal+of+fortune.gif

Indeed, it was rare for Texas to have a better unemployment rate than the rest of the country until after Republicans in Texas took not just every statewide office, but the legislature (finally, in 2002), as well. Notice how-- other than the late 1980s/early 1990s-- the differential is at its worst just as Republicans finally took over the Texas legislature in January of 2003. Notice how it improves, improves, and improves, until it really accelerates in favor of Texas as soon as Democrats took over the U.S. Congress (and Republicans maintained big leads in the Texas legislature).

Jobs, while important, are not always the single best metric to use, though, for judging the actual health of the economy. So what about overall economic growth?

Yes, Texas has been growing for decades, as Bill White says. But it is just not true that Texas has always had higher economic growth than the rest of America. Let's look at some more Texanomics graphs of gross state product from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s:

1980s-

gsp80s.gif

Texas certainly grew in the 1980s, but not nearly as fast as many other states, including Ohio, Michigan, and California.

1990s-

gsp+90s.gif

In 1994, Republicans won every single statewide elected office in Texas and have held them ever since.

2000s-

gsp00s.gif

In 2002, Republicans finally took over the Texas legislature and elected a Republican Speaker.

It's not just the partisan breakdown. It's what Texas did in the 2003, 2005, and 2007 legislative sessions. Sweeping tort reform, cutting government spending by billions, big tax relief, and unprecedented transparency in what government spends. Huge Rainy Day fund surpluses, one of the lowest debt burdens per-capita in America, the highest bond rating in state history, four new Congressional seats in this Census, one of the lowest bankruptcy and foreclosure rates in the country, and the healthiest job and housing markets in America followed.

The conservative Texas model is beating the liberal California model, and it's not even close; but it wasn't always that way, and it didn't happen by accident.

We don't need a liberal trial lawyer like Bill White to reverse tort reform, raise taxes, and otherwise make the Obama agenda easier to ram down our throats. We don't need the most mysterious liberal in the world running our state:

Texas is America's last best hope. Why ruin that?

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Government Growth.

Read More »


Posted by Will Franklin · 7 October 2010 11:29 AM · Comments (0)

Trivia Tidbit of the Day: Part 875 -- Government Growth.

Ticking Upward-

Government at all levels just keeps growing. We need a fundamental shift in how we approach revenues and expenditures.

Downsizing Government has the numbers:

governmentspending.gif

We've got to get this under control.

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

Previous Trivia Tidbit: Midterms.

Posted by Will Franklin · 1 October 2010 03:30 PM · Comments (0)