18 Economic Facts Foil Obama’s Fantasy

By Kevin A. Lehmann

Barack Obama in bold and brazen fashion is claiming the US economy has improved since his inauguration. I hate to foil his fantasy, but the president needs to stop day dreaming.

Despite what the lamestream media is telling us, the unemployment crisis is far worse now than it was when Obama took office.

Home values have plummeted, health insurance premiums have increased, gas has gone through the roof, the number of Americans living in poverty is exponentially increasing and the national debt has increased by a whopping four and half trillion dollars.

The following are 18 statistics that prove that the economy has not improved since Barack Obama became the president of the United States . . .

#1 Today there are 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment. That is an all-time record high.

#2 When Barack Obama was elected, the percentage of unemployed Americans that had been out of work for more than 52 weeks was less than 15%. Today, it is above 30%.

#3 There are 1.2 million fewer jobs in America today than there were when Barack Obama was inaugurated.

#4 When Barack Obama first took office, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.

#5 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is hovering close to an all-time record high.

#6 During the Obama administration, worker health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent.

#7 Since Barack Obama has been president, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has increased by 90 percent.

#8 Since Barack Obama has been president, home values in the United States have declined by another 13 percent.

#9 Under Barack Obama, new home sales in the U.S. set a brand new all-time record low in 2009, they set a brand new all-time record low again in 2010, and they set a brand new all-time record low once again during 2011.

#10 Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by more than 6 million.

#11 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 32 million to 46 million.

#12 The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to Americans has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.

#13 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” is now sitting at an all-time high.

#14 When Barack Obama first took office, an ounce of gold was going for about $850.  Today an ounce of gold costs more than $1700 an ounce.

#15 Since Barack Obama became president, the size of the U.S. national debt has increased by 44 percent.

#16 During Barack Obama’s first two years in office, the U.S. government added more to the U.S. national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined.

#17 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

#18 The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.

When evaluating the health of the American economy, short-term economic numbers don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes they go up and sometimes they do down.

Instead, the key is to look at the long-term balance sheet numbers. When you do that, it quickly becomes apparent how appalling our economic decline has been.

The size of federal government debt is exploding, state and local governments all over the country are drowning in debt, our collective national wealth is decreasing and our ability to produce new wealth is also being reduced as our economic infrastructure is systematically gutted.

Obama is not the only one to blame. The truth is that the Federal Reserve has much more power over the economy than Obama does. But the American people are constantly told that the Federal Reserve is “not political” and that we should not “criticize” the Fed.

Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama have all greatly contributed to the mess that we are in, but they are not solely responsible for it.

Nevertheless, the outcome of the presidential election in November will be heavily influenced by how the U.S. economy performs during the rest of 2012.

Until next time . . . Wake Up America!

For more go here.

Obama Administration Supports Rogue IRS Regulation in Order to Please Europeans

By Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve written several times about a proposed IRS regulation that would force American banks to put foreign law above U.S. law. I’ve repeatedly warned that the scheme, which would force financial institutions to report the deposit interest they pay to foreigners, is bad economic policy, bad regulatory policy, and bad banking policy.

My arguments have included:

But these points don’t seem to matter to the Obama Administration, which is ideologically committed to the anti-tax competition agenda of Europe’s welfare states. This is why the White House supports all sorts of destructive policies, including not only this misguided regulation, but also the creation of something akin to a world tax organization that will have power to block free-market tax policy.

A new article in the Weekly Standard explains what’s at stake.

Early last year the Treasury Department published its “Guidance on Reporting Interest Paid to Nonresident Aliens,” which would require banks to report to the Internal Revenue Service the interest paid to foreign depositors with a U.S. bank account. While the Treasury and the regulatory apparatus insist that the cost and inconvenience of adhering to this regulation is next to nothing, the rule may cost the U.S. banking system hundreds of billions of dollars in lost deposits, in turn costing our economy billions of dollars, while providing no discernible benefit to banks, depositors, taxpayers, or the U.S. economy. …a much bigger problem—for banks and the economy—than the compliance costs is the threat of a massive capital flight. The United States is a very popular place for foreigners to park their savings, for a variety of reasons. For starters, we offer a stable government that can be trusted to keep its hands off deposits—something that appeals greatly to residents of Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, and any number of other unstable countries. …As a result, a staggeringly large amount of savings from abroad is currently held in U.S banks. While the Treasury asserts that “deposits held by nonresident alien individuals are a very small percentage of the [total] deposits held by U.S. financial institutions,” that very small percentage amounts to more than $3.7 trillion, according to a 2011 Bureau of Economic Analysis report, hardly a pittance. The massive amount of foreign savings here is a boon to the U.S. economy. Banks lend against these deposits, mainly to companies here in the United States. Jay Cochran, an economist at George Mason University, studied the impact that the more limited 2002 reporting requirements would have had on the banking system, estimating that it would have resulted in nearly $100 billion in deposits leaving the U.S. banking system. A reporting regulation that covers all foreign accounts would likely result in two to three times more capital flight. The impact would be harmful not just for the banks but for the broader economy. The decline in profits in the banking sector alone from a roughly quarter-trillion-dollar capital flight would be in the range of $5-10 billion—which makes a mockery of the notion that the costs of the regulation are under $100,000.

For more information about this wretched proposal, here’s a video I narrated on the topic.

To put it bluntly, the Obama Administration is pushing this regulation because it thinks the anti-tax competition agenda of Europe’s welfare states is so important that it is willing to risk the health of the American economy, undermine the soundness of U.S. financial institutions, disregard the rule of law, and abuse the regulatory process.

Indeed, this proposal is even worse than the increasingly infamous Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

And that’s saying something, because with each passing day, it is more and more obvious that FATCA is a destructive law that will significantly harm the American economy. But at least it’s a law, one that was approved by Congress and signed by the President. And the costly FATCA regulations being developed by the IRS are for the purpose of enforcing the law.

The interest-reporting IRS regulation is also costly and destructive, to be sure, but what makes it so perverse is that it is – at best – completely gratuitous. It is being advanced solely for reasons of ideology, regardless of the law and consequences be damned.