Archive for the ‘recession’ Category

From Damian Paletta at the Wall Street Journal

The Social Security Administration has begun warning the public it cannot guarantee full benefit payments if the debt ceiling isn’t increased.

When asked by the public, the agency is notifying beneficiaries that “Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk,” according to a person familiar with the agency directive.

The warning was assembled after the agency consulted with the Treasury Department, which would play a lead role in determining how the government handles payments if the borrowing limit isn’t raised soon.

“Our employees started receiving questions from the public, so the agency worked with Treasury to provide an answer they could use when asked about the debt ceiling by the public,” a Social Security Administration spokesman said.

In 1937 the Roosevelt administration had to defend the Social Security Act and did so by stating before the Supreme Court that the inanely named FICA was simply a tax with no contract of benefits accruing to the payers and thus legal under government’s taxing authority. Sounds ;ike Justice Roberts” reasoning in the Obamacare fiasco, doesn’t it? The 1937 case was .

Obama is trying to fulfill the Cloward-Piven Stategy which is actually a blueprint for despotic communism. The idea of a equal living income for everone has a major flaw, who pays?

When sales increase in any given “seasonably adjusted” period, the apologists won’t say unexpectedly (even though it would be) because all is sweetness, light, pixie dust, and unicorns in the opinion of the Obama-centric JournoListers. After all He is the Won!

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) — Sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in December for the first time in four months, capping the slowest year on record for builders.

Please note: “the slowest year on record” Isn’t that the honest lede?

This Economics 101 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity gives seven reasons why the political elite are wrong to push for more taxes. If allowed to succeed, the hopelessly misguided pushing to raise taxes would only worsen our fiscal mess while harming the economy.

The seven reasons provided by the video against this approach are as follows:
1) Tax increases are not needed;2) Tax increases encourage more spending;3) Tax increases harm economic performance;4) Tax increases foment social discord;5) Tax increases almost never raise as much revenue as projected;6) Tax increases encourage more loopholes; and,7) Tax increases undermine competitiveness

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I can’t understand how Trade Unions and others like the Mine Workers can stand with government unions. I have sent much of my like in “Right to Work” states and have specifically requested trade union sub-contractors for building projects because I have watched unions like the IBEW train, certify and produce exceptional tradesmen ofttimes working with less than “prime” candidates. To me someone who has gone through a trade union’s training is much preferred over someone simply “licensed” by government. The mining, seafaring and manufacturing unions whose primary objectives are the safety and just treatment of their members are also good organizations. This i not to say I believe in union protectionism. I believe that unions should have to sell their product to the members and their worth to their consumers. “Look for the union label” used to mean higher quality, and it still should.

Government unions (and now the UAW with their cozy relationship and funding running back and forth with corrupticrat politicians) are the ones that draw my ire and the following video sums it up in a nutshell. The Government Unions have become the way to make the taxpayer fund big government politicians at the expense of the taxpayers.

I’ve been told for my entire life that public-school teachers are underpaid. Even if that was true at one time, is it true any longer?

Public school teachers are at the forefront of protests against state budget cuts and restrictions on collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, and elsewhere.

Teachers have a lot to lose. According to Department of Education statistics, in 2007-2008 (the latest year available), full-time public school teachers across the country made an average of $53,230 in “total school-year and summer earned income.” That compares favorably to the $39,690 that private school teachers pulled down.

And when it comes to retirement benefits, public school teachers do better than average too. According to EducationNext, government employer contribute the equivalent of 14.6 percent of salary to retirement benefits for public school teachers. That compares to 10.4 for private-sector professionals.

Those levels of compensation help explain why per-pupil school costs have risen substantially over the past 50 years. In 1960-61, public schools spent $2,769 per student, a figure that now totals over $10,000 in real, inflation-adjusted dollars. Among the things that threefold-plus increase in spending has purchased are more teachers per student. In 1960, the student-teacher ratio in public schools was 25.8; it’s now at a historic low of 15.

Among the things all that money hasn’t bought? Parental satisfaction, for one. Despite public teachers’ much-higher salaries, parents with school-age children in public schools report substantially lower satisfaction rates than parents with children in private schools. In 2007, the percentage of parents with children in assigned public schools who were “very satisfied” with the institution was 52 percent. For parents whose children attended public schools of choice, that figure rose to 62 percent. Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were “very satisfied” 79 percent of the time.

It’s little wonder that parents with little or no choice report the lowest-levels of satisfaction (about 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools). Despite all the extra resources devoted to public school teachers and students, student achievement has been absolutely flat over the past 40 years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is “the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.” When it comes to 17-year-old students (effectively, high-school seniors), nothing has changed since reporting began in the early 1970s. In 1971, 17-year-old students averaged 285 points (out of 500) in reading. In 2008, that had risen to 286. For math in 1973, the average score was 304 (out of 500). In 2008, it was 306.

Public school teachers make about $14,000 a year more in straight salary than private school teachers; when you add in benefits, the gap widens even more. They teach fewer students than ever before and taxpayers at all levels spend increasing amounts of money on education. Yet for all that, the best you can say is that we’re spending more than three times as much money as we were 40 years ago for exactly the same outcomes.

The National Governors Association says that states are looking at $175 billion in shortfalls over the next two years. Local governments are in the red too. As legislators look for places to cut or reduce spending, there’s no question that public school teachers have a lot to lose in terms of compensation.

And there’s no question that, even if there were no budget emergencies, the nation’s public school system is failing to return much of anything on an ever-growing pile of tax dollars.

Reason looks at the facts and intersperses the data with some now-familiar scenes of teacher protests, set to a particularly apt piece of music.