Economy

Get government out of the way: Ending subsidies and bailouts for crony industries will lower consumers’ costs

all the things

From dire warnings about imminent hyperinflation to the leftist dismissal of the risk of any inflation at all to Internet memes showing near-empty grocery carts now costing ONE BILLION dollars, the debate over rising prices won’t be settled anytime soon. Some prices have gone up, some have gone down, yet government measure of inflation hasn’t budged much in the last few years.

There has been a graph floating around for a few months now showing the difference in price increases and decreases for consumers over the last 10 years. It appeared first in an April New York Times story about how we define poverty. It then showed up on Twitter this morning with some annotations highlighting government’s role in those increases or decreases. Here’s a slightly better looking version:

prices

At the very least this shows a clear correlation between government subsidies and tax credits and consumer price increases.

College tuition is paid for largely by student loans, which were absorbed by the federal government in early 2010. State governments also provide funding for the schools themselves. Tuition has subsequently increased over 40% over the last 10 years, and in some places has doubled.

Obama is selling out Americans for his environmental legacy and ego

Unconcerned with the credibility problems he has with the public, President Barack Obama is telling Americans to ignore the “misinformation” and “spin” coming from critics who say that his latest round of anti-coal regulations will hurt the economy:

“You should expect that there’s going to be a heated debate in Washington,” he said. “A lot of efforts to put out misinformation and to try to make sure that spin overwhelms substance and that PR overwhelms science.”
[…]
“I promise you, you will hear from critics who say the same thing they always say. That these guidelines will kill jobs or crush the economy,” Obama said. “What we’ve seen every time is that these claims are debunked when you actually give workers and businesses the tools and incentive they need to innovate. When Americans are called on to innovate, that’s what we do.”

Do you remember when the stimulus bill was going to save the economy from the throes of the Great Recession? Remember when Obamacare was going to cost less than $1 trillion? Remember when you could keep your health plan if you liked it? Remember when you could keep your doctor? Remember when GDP was growing?

Americans to Obama: No, the Obamacare debate isn’t over

Obamacare may be off the frontpage, as yet another Obama administration scandal has dominated the headlines, but the law remains immensely unpopular with Americans, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll:

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that public opinion continues to run deeply negative on the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature effort to cover the uninsured. Forty-three percent oppose the law, compared with just 28 percent in support.
[…]
The poll does have a bright spot for the administration: Those who signed up for coverage aren’t reeling from sticker shock. Most said they found premiums in line with what they expected, or even lower.

But even that was diminished by another finding: More than one-third of those who said they or someone in their household tried to enroll, were ultimately unable to do so. For the White House, it’s an uncomfortable reminder of the technical problems that paralyzed the HealthCare.gov website for weeks after it went live last fall.

The numbers are roughly consistent with the past three Associated Press-GfK polls on the law dating back to December. Overall, more than 50 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare, according polling data compiled by Real Clear Politics, making President Obama’s declaration that the Obamacare “debate is and should be over” look laughably absurd.

More bad news for Obama: Nearly half of unemployed Americans have given up looking for work

Thanks Obama

More bad news for President Obama: According to a Harris Poll behalf of Express Employment Professionals (EEP), nearly half of unemployed Americans have “completely given up” looking for work.

The poll confirms what millions of Americans are experiencing under five years of President Obama’s big government policies:

Bob Funk, CEO of EEP, said, “When I see that 47 percent of unemployed Americans agree that they have given up on looking for work, I’m shocked because that suggests the economy is much worse than many people realize. Our economy isn’t recovering fast enough if our fellow Americans have lost confidence in the job market.”

As reported by National Review earlier this month:

In April, the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest numbers, which easily beats expectations of around 215,000 hires. The unemployment rate dropped to an encouraging 6.3 percent, but not because of that impressive headline number.

Rather, the labor-force-participation dropped 0.4 percentage points, to 62.8 percent. After a few months when it appeared to be holding steady or rising, it’s now dropped back to the lowest level since 1978. Why? It could be the incipient effects of Obamacare reducing “job lock,” or it could be the expiration of unemployment benefits, or it could just generally be frustration with the labor market, especially among the long-term unemployed.

Why America needs to reverse Obama’s policies in one chart

US Economy Less Entrepreseurial

According to a study from the Brookings Institution, business dynamism, the process by which firms continually are born, fail, expand, and contract, as some jobs are created, others are destroyed, and others still are turned over, has declined in the last 30 years.

As you can see from the chart above, firm creation took a sharp nosedive from 2005 to 2009, while firm failure jumped sharply during the same period. In 2008, the two flipped. More firms are now failing than are being created.

Brookings dug into differences at the state- and metropolitan-level and found:

Firm entry rates were lower in each state and all but one metro area compared with three decades ago, and job reallocation rates were lower in each of the states and in all but a dozen metros during the same period.

The Washington Post has an interactive state map here.

More from the study:

Overall, the message here is clear. Business dynamism and entrepreneurship are experiencing a troubling secular decline in the United States. Existing research and a cursory review of broad data aggregates show that the decline in dynamism hasn’t been isolated to particular industrial sectors and firm sizes. Here we demonstrated that the decline in entrepreneurship and business dynamism has been nearly universal geographically the last three decades—reaching all fifty states and all but a few metropolitan areas.

Today in Liberty: Americans reject Obama’s “change,” Supreme Court passes on gun rights case

“The phone records of innocent Americans do not relate to terrorism, whatsoever; and they are not reasonably likely to lead to information that relates to terrorism. Put simply, the phone calls we make to our friends, our families, and business associates are private and have nothing to do with terrorism or the government’s efforts to stop it.” — Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

— Primary day in North Carolina: Voters in the Tar Heel State will head to the polls today to cast their votes in their respective party primaries. Among the most watched races is the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, where Greg Brannon is hoping to pull state House Speaker Thom Tillis into a runoff. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) visited the state yesterday to stump for Brannon. “As we stand here, the debt clock is spiraling out of control,” Paul told a crowd gathered in Charlotte. “Send us a champion. Send us a hero. Send us a dragon slayer,” he added, referring to Brannon. Public Policy Polling’s final survey, released yesterday, shows that Brannon has picked up steam, but Tillis is hovering at the 40 percent mark needed to avoid the runoff.

Today in Liberty: Chinese economy to pass United States, conservative Millennials more likely to vote this fall

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— First quarter GDP figure disappoints: Though the stock market finished strong yesterday, the first quarter GDP figure was nothing to be happy about. The economy is still sputtering along, folks. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first report for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 today,” the Heritage Foundation notes. “It showed the economy grew at an anemic 0.1 percent from January to March. The more meaningful measure of growth, private-sector GDP, rose by a still meager 0.2 percent.” If healthcare spending hadn’t skyrocketed by almost 10 percent in the first three months of the year, first quarter GDP would have been in the negative. Rick Santelli’s reaction? “Holy cow.”

Harry Reid doesn’t actually give a damn about the economy

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is dead set on bringing to the floor a measure to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per house. He scheduled a vote on the proposal despite a warning from the Congressional Budget Office that it will cost the economy at least 500,000 jobs:

Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 2223, a bill from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. The vote could come as early as Wednesday.

The vote will be a major test of unity for Senate Democrats, who have made the wage hike central to their populist agenda for the midterm elections.

So, there’s that. They’re going to hold a vote on raising the minimum wage. Virtually every Republican will vote against it. On the ropes politically, Democrats will use the vote to claim that Republicans hate poor people. Because populism.

Here’s the thing, though. While Democrats are pushing a feel good measure that will hurt the economy, they’re having an internal debate on whether or not to bring another to the floor that would actually create jobs:

CNN: ABC/WaPo Poll A “Low Point For Obama, For His Entire Presidency”

See Video

In a panel discussion this morning on CNN’s New Day, John King brought up the new Washington Post/ABC News poll which found President Barack Obama’s approval rating falling across the board.

“The one constant if you look at history to track, to get a sense of where we’re going is the president’s approval rating. [The] ABC News/Washington Post poll out just this morning, the President’s job approval rating [is] at 41 percent,” said King. “In the ABC/Washington Post poll, that is the lowest of the Obama presidency.”

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball agreed, telling King that the poll “is absolutely a low-point for Obama, for his entire presidency.”

Senate Democrat blasts Reid’s anti-Koch brothers rhetoric

Joe Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) isn’t all that fond of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) vicious attacks against Charles and David Koch, billionaire brothers who donate to conservative and libertarian causes.

“It’s us in the middle that have to start making something happen here in Washington to move this country forward. People want jobs. You don’t beat up people,” Manchin said this morning on Fox and Friends. “I don’t agree with their politics or philosophically, but you know, they’re Americans who are paying their taxes. They’re not breaking the law. They’re providing jobs.”

Manchin, who hails from a red state, has frequently bucked from Democratic leadership on big issues, including further energy regulation and certain aspects of Obamacare. Reid, however, has tried to demonize the Koch brothers from the Senate floor, using them as part of the Democratic Party’s election year strategy to change the subject to anything other than the unpopular healthcare law and the still struggling economy.


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