September 9th, 2011


Jobbed Bill

Jesus, I just LOVE how my bosses seem to think I have nothing I'd rather do than spend 12.5 hours a day at work.  One guy complaining about the overtime, the site manager said, "But you're making money!"  Yeah, anything else that doesn't make you money isn't worth shit, right?


This entry is going to be a bit short.  Those of you who enjoy the Peter G Brand Barbed Ire will find it in my post-mortem on the Republican debate.  This concerns Obama's announced jobs bill, and my complaints about it are very simple and belaboring them is overkill.

That said....

Obama brought out his American Jobs Bill to hopefully get the country back on its feet before Election Day it's too late.  The plan actually navigates the middle of the two parties philosophies, cutting taxes and increasing spending.  There's bits in there about giving bonuses to companies that hire people who were unemployed, for example, as well as extending unemployment benefits.

Unfortunately, I can't get excited about this.  The numbers just aren't adding up.  The first bullet point is the plan to cut payroll taxes in half.  Now, if you're going to do a tax cut, this is how you do it (I remember Bush Sr. pushing through a tax cut and saying how great it was for the American people.  Five seconds with my calculator showed me that the tax cut would give me an increase of $2 every two weeks.  Yes, thanks to President Bush, I was farting through silk).  Unfortunately, it runs into two problems.  The first is this includes cutting how much is taken in for Social Security, which is already insolvent and is about to see a huge increase in payouts as more Boomers come of age.  The second thing is how Congress can't balance the budget with what they are taking in, and with the decrease in payroll taxes, this is supposed to help?

The proposed bill is full of things like this.  For example, Obama wants to curtail the rising cost of Medicade, but says nothing about the costs that will shoot up once Obamacare kicks in.  And he claims that, despite taking in less money and spending more, the bill will balance out perfectly.

Jesus Christ!  It's like Reagnomics 2.0!  This 80's nostalgia is really starting to piss me off.
Ben Stein for Prez

The 9-7-11 Republican Debate Post-Mortem

And now, part two of my analysis of the Republican debate.  The play-by-play is only the first half.  Remember, these are career politicians.  So they lie.  The question is, what did they lie about, and what kind of lies did they tell?  The Sine Timore Research And Chili Cookoff Staff ("We laugh at death") has crunched the numbers and brought them to me.  Here's the results:

Let's start with the Man Of The Hour, Rick Perry.  He said, "Ninety-five percent of all the jobs that we've created have been above minimum wage."  I don't know about you, but since minimum wage jobs are what most start-ups do, that buried the needle on the bullshit meter.  Someone cried, "Citation needed," and Perry's campaign pointed to only 5.3% of all jobs in Texas pay the minimum wage according to federal statistics for December 2010.

Pop quiz:  what's the flaw in that?  If you answered, "That's ALL jobs!", congratulations! You win a year's supply of oxygen!  Data for new jobs isn't collected, so there's no telling what the actual number might be.  Another flaw you may have noticed is that there is a difference between "minimum wage" and "just above minimum wage," like how McDonald's pays a dime more than MW.  51% of all Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year.  30% make more than $50K.  Not counting salaried employees, 9.5% of Texas hourly workers make minimum wage or less, tying with Mississippi for highest in the nation (source:  Texas Workforce Commission).

Oh, hello, Mitt Romney.  Would you like a little ass kicking?  I have to believe you would, since you boasted that, "At the end of four years, we had our unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent. That's a record I think the president would like to see. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president has created in the entire country."

Oh, dear.  Someone is playing fast and loose with numbers.  Unemployment in the country is currently at 9.1%  Romney's 4.7% looks pretty good until you learn that Romney inherited an unemployment  rate of 5.6%.  In other words, in four years (2003 to 2007), he lowered unemployment by less than one percentage point.  Actual numbers:  over his four year term, employment grew from 3.23 million to 3.29 million.  That's 60K jobs, 15K per year.  Anyone want to place any bets about that being more jobs than Obama's created?

Well, that was fun.  Back to Perry.  "What I find compelling is what we've done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade."  He mentioned that Texas has reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 58% and ozone by 27%.  Not bad, huh?

However, Perry is taking credit for someone else's work, specifically, Lyndon B. Johnson and George Bush Sr.  Those reductions were REQUIRED under the federa Clean Air Act (the section on ozone was redone in 1990).  Not only that, but the feds took away some of Texas' air pollution permits for not complying with federal regulations.  A wake-up call?  Buuuuuull shit, buddy.  The Texas lege passed (and Perry signed) a bill that would delay enforcing stiffer clean air regultions for two more years.

And who can forget this little back and forth:

PERRY: "Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt."

ROMNEY: "Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor."

PERRY: "That's not correct."

ROMNEY: "Yes, that is correct."

The envelope, please?

Romney was correct!  Wait...what the hell am I so excited about?

Shrub was governor of Texas for six years, 1994 to 2000.  Employment under him grew by 1.32 mil.  Perry has been gov for eleven years.  Employment under him grew by 1.2 mil.

As for Perry's assertion, well, we've already seen math is not his strong suit, but he was relatively on the mark.  Dukakis had two terms in Massachusetts, 1985 to 1979 and 1983 to 1991.  Employment went up by 500K during those years, averaging out to 41K a year.  As previously established, Romney created 60K jobs in four years, 15K a year.  As I believe the saying goes, "Close enough for government work."

That was fun.  We must do this again some time.