The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 8

April 28, 2010

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”   
– White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel  

Note to our readers: This the 8th installment of a series called “The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency.” Intended to illustrate just how Obama’s policies fail us, and the Constitution he swore to uphold, it is based on The 10 tenets for establishing and maintaining democracy, written by William J. H. Boetcker and originally published in 1942. To read previous installments, just type or copy “The Abject Failure” into the search box to the right of this article, then click “Search.”  

The more research I did to support this particular tenet, the more I realized that this tenet is, perhaps, the most complex to explain and properly cover:  

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.  

Photoshop by Josh Johnson

 Let me be clear about this: The United States is teetering on the edge of financial oblivion and it would be both factually incorrect and misleading to suggest the blame for this lies at the feet of the Obama administration.    

Neither the mainstream media nor Congress, nor most of the Presidential administrations over the past 40-50 years have been totally honest with the American public about this. But the numbers don’t lie, even if the politicians do: The amount of money the United States is committed to in either social programs or entitlements over the next decade is well over $100 Trillion (yes, with a “T”). Our own Alan Speakman of Grand Rants has written about this on a number of occasions. For a harsh look at the truth, read these pieces by Alan:   

This debt is principally the result of entitlements funded by Congress while you and I were not paying attention.  “Who’s going to win the playoffs?” became more of a concern to us than “What is Congress doing with our tax dollars?”  “What’s the number one song on the hit parade this week?” surpassed “Can we, as a nation, afford to do this now?” in importance. So, in a way, if you want to know who is most directly responsible for the economic crisis, we can all start by looking into a mirror.  

Even in years when administrations claimed to have a balanced budget, the deficit was, in fact, building in the background. Both political parties share the blame for this.  

In order to fully understand the nature of the beast preparing to devour our entire economy, here is a “quick-start” video to help get you up to speed. I urge you to watch it in its entirety.  When the video has finished, then please click on the link to read the rest of this installment to see how the Obama administration is heading in exactly the wrong direction… and why they are doing so intentionally.  

Read the rest of this entry »


Most Truthful and Transparent Adminstration Ever

April 27, 2010

 

If this is true, heads should roll, and the first head should be Obama’s.

The Department of Health and Human Services published a report last Thursday from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary which outlined the unsurprising fact that the recently passed healthcare bill would actually be more expensive that the White House had been promising, and would in fact cost consumers more.

However: according to the American Spectator, HHS withheld that report for several weeks before issuing it to the public.

The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama’s health care “reform” law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius’s staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.

“The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote,” says an HHS source. “Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think.”

The analysis, performed by Medicare’s Office of the Actuary, which in the past has been identified as a “nonpolitical” office, set off alarm bells when submitted. “We know a copy was sent to the White House via their legislative affairs staff,” says the HHS staffer, “and there were a number of meetings here almost right after the analysis was submitted to the secretary’s office. Everyone went into lockdown, and people here were too scared to go public with the report.” [Emphasis mine]

We need to find out more from the Spectator’s HHS source. That person should come forward and speak out so that the entire country can finally see how corrupt this administration truly is.

While this probably does not qualify as treason or bribery, blatantly lying to the public (and possibly to Congress) about a bill so very damaging to America both now and far into the future, surely falls under the rubric of high crimes and misdemeanors…

Both Confederate Yankee and Sweetness and Light are covering this as well, and Gateway Pundit has video of some of the “unintended” consequences of the bill, now that it has been passed.

Oops.

Stoutcat


We Are Coming…

April 27, 2010


Awe-inspiring video from the San Antonio Tea Party crowd for the 2010 elections:

Lives. Fortunes. Sacred Honor.

I’m there. Are you?

Stoutcat


How Much More Pathetic Can GM Get?

April 26, 2010

 

GM is still running that stupid ad, trumpeting the company’s payoff of its “government loan” (with interest! Five years ahead of schedule!)

However, more and more lawmakers are showing concern with GM’s blatant attempt to mislead the public. Along with Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sens. Tom Carper and Richard Shelby have also voiced their discomfort with GM’s message.

“It sounds like they’re kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in the other to do that,” Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said at the hearing. 

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressed similar concerns Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying it’s “misleading” for the administration to claim the company has paid back its loans. 

Fox News also reports that GM could be in trouble with by playing fast and loose with the truth:

The GM ad could potentially land the company in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission over its truth-in-advertising laws, which prohibit ads that are “likely to mislead consumers.” 

…General Motors admits that the company is repaying the loan with other government money, but says a year ago “nobody thought we’d be able to pay this back.”

And of course, that’s the problem, isn’t it? It’s almost as if General Motors honchos don’t want to admit that paying one loan back with another loan (from the same source) isn’t paying the loan back at all. It’s just transferring the liablity from one bucket to another within the same well.

How many more politicians will call Whitacre out for his lies? How much more can the unions gouge out of GM via all those loans? How much lower will Whitacre and the unions sink General Motors before the company loses all claim to any kind of credibility at all?

My guess is that they’ll ride GM right down to the ground before “retiring” with vaults full of taxpayer money, causing eventual failure for a company deemed “too big to fail.” And you and I will pay for Ed Whitacre’s golden parachute.

Stoutcat


Explaining Cronyism the Goldman Sachs Way

April 23, 2010


From the excellent and under-appreciated Allamon Cartoon blog:

Stoutcat


GM True Lies Redux: A Time to Boycott?

April 23, 2010

In yesterday’s post about GM’s touting of their TARP payback (with interest!), I asked the following question:

“Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?”

Clearly, I’m in good company, as American Thinker‘s Joseph Ashby arrived at the same “shell game bordering on fraud” conclusion (UPDATE: HotAir calls “shell game” too):

“So how did a recently bankrupt company which is still hemorrhaging money pay back a multi-billion dollar loan five years early? Could it be that the mountain of bailout cash was much more than turned out to be necessary?

“It’s hard to conclude that the repayment is anything other than a political and marketing ploy where the federal government receives “repayment” with the very same loan money handed out starting in 2008…

“Over-lending on a loan to achieve quick initial repayment (and thus inflate the loan’s perceived value), in the private economy, is called fraud. Where did GM come up with the money? It’s a question that merits asking.”

Ashby then links to FoxNews, which splashes cold water all over GM’s initial triumphant “pay-back” announcement in an article outlining Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) letter yesterday to tax-cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

“It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle…”

“The bottom line seems to be that the TARP loans were ‘repaid’ with other TARP funds in a Treasury escrow account. The TARP loans were not repaid from money GM is earning selling cars, as GM and the administration have claimed in their speeches, press releases and television commercials.” [emphasis mine]

TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky supports Sen. Grassley’s conclusion:

“I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn’t from earnings. … It’s actually from another pool of TARP money that they’ve already received,” [Barofsky] said Wednesday. “I don’t think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money.” 

Barofsky told the Senate Finance Committee the same thing Tuesday, and said the main way for the federal government to earn money out of GM would be through “a liquidation of its ownership interest.” 

Grassley criticized this scenario in his letter. 

The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government’s ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment.”  [emphasis mine]

I’m torn, here. GM is, at best, deliberately misleading the public; at worst, the company is outright lying to us. I want to suggest a boycott of GM cars (for those who would actually consider buying a GM car in the first place), but if nobody buys their cars, they’ll never pay back the TARP money.

…Hell, they’ll never pay it back anyway. Go ahead and boycott ‘em!

Stoutcat


GM’s True Lies

April 22, 2010


If you watched any television last night, you probably saw this commercial:

“We have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”

CEO Ed Whitacre is telling us the truth, but not the whole truth. What about the other $45 billion that American (and Canadian) taxpayers gave General Motors last year, which was originally part of that loan? Why doesn’t he mention that still-outstanding amount as he so proudly touts the payback of less than 14% of GM’s unsettled debt? When do we get that money back?

[crickets]

MarketWatch is a bit more realistic about Whitacre’s announcement:

Yet for all the fanfare, this is icing on the cake — and there’s still no cake.

The federal governments of Canada and the United States are the majority shareholders in General Motors, and will be until the carmaker issues new shares to the public. We still don’t know when that will be, and Whitacre didn’t offer any new clues.

And the Associated Press reports:

The White House pointed to GM’s repayment of the loan and Chrysler LLC’s posting of an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010 as concrete signs that the bailout of the U.S. automakers was working.

In a report, they noted the American auto industry lost more than 400,000 jobs in 2008 and analysts estimated another 1 million would have been lost had GM and Chrysler liquidated. In the past nine months, the White House said the industry has added 45,000 jobs, the strongest job growth in the industry in nearly a decade.

Sorry, but given the record the White House has in their predictions, as well as their ability to accurately account for jobs “created or saved”, I’m going to take that assertion with a huge shaker of salt (until that’s outlawed, too).

Unless GM is engaging in financial shell games of a kind that would put Bernie Madoff to shame, how is it possible for a company which posted a $4.3-billion loss for the half year after “emerging” from bankruptcy last summer,  lost $30.9 billion in 2008, and has laid off nearly 65,000 workers over the past year expect to a) build good cars that consumers want to buy, b) keep up payments to unions and union healthcare trust funds, and c) pay back their debt to American taxpayers?

Just asking.

Stoutcat

H/T: BBCW


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