For Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat, the “fiscal cliff” fight came down to one thing: the unemployment checks the government will still be able to send to thousands of his constituents.
“When I go to church on Sunday, I know that I will see people with the assurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail,” he said.
Tag Archives: jobs
As Nancy Pelosi famously said, “You’ve got to pass the bill, so you can learn what’s inside…” Democrats are finally getting around to reading the ObamaCare law. And they’re surprised at the findings. Unknown taxes, hidden fees. Who would have guessed that within those 2,000 pages of hastily put together legislation would be ‘job killing taxes’ (as emphatically stated this Monday by Al Franken, D-MN)?
Well of course it’s true. Those of us who urged caution and debate anticipated this massive bill would impact people far more than House and Senate leaders would admit.
So here we are, as more parts of the law are being enacted, and Congress has just now learned about some of those unexpected fees. Acting as though they were blindsided, sixteen Democratic Senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for delays because they have just now realized that the medical technology field will be severely impacted by taxes levied through the new law.
It’s true, some of the Senators, including Franken, did express concerns when the bill was written about these very taxes. Unfortunately, these same senators did not see the problems as significant enough to vote no on the bill. Today as ObamaCare and its funding methods are about to become actuality they are responding to their constituents and finally, questioning elements of this new and expensive law.
You can read the letter below as provided by the Wall Street Journal.
A Madison, Wisconsin hospital has joined the ranks of employers directly affected by ObamaCare cuts. About 50 people face unemployment, as Meriter Hospital announces layoffs. These cuts are a direct result of the decreased in payments they will receive as a result of the Medicare cuts contained within ObamaCare.
WKOW: On Tuesday, Meriter spokesperson Mary Reinke said in a statement that about 4 percent of the hospital’s 3,500 positions would be eliminated. That’s 140 positions cut, but 50 employees affected, because many of those positions are currently vacant. Some of those 50 employees among various departments will be offered jobs elsewhere in the company.
Reinke says the layoffs are a pre-emptive move to offset cuts to Medicare reimbursements put in place by the federal Affordable Care Act.
While 140 positions will be cut only 50 employees will be directly affected because the hospital had already begun leave vacant positions open in expectation of the ObamaCare restrictions.
The decrease in Medicare reimbursement will affect all hospitals but the smaller, more rural hospitals, which have a higher Medicare population will feel a greater impact.
Reinke says the layoffs are a pre-emptive move to offset cuts to Medicare reimbursements put in place by the federal Affordable Care Act.
Meriter Spokesman: Changes are inevitable.
WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports
From the Huffington Post:
The Community College of Allegheny County, PA will cut the hours of its part time employees due to the upcoming ObamaCare program. College President Alex Johnson sent an email announcement that these cuts would affect 200 adjunct professors and 200 other employees.
Employees who work at least 30 hours per week are considered full time under the ObamaCare plan. Because the plan will retroactively look at past scheduled hours the changes will take place n the new year.
From HP: “While it is of course the college’s preference to provide coverage to these positions, there simply are not fun
ds available to do so,” David Hoovler, executive assistant to the president of CCAC, told The Huffington Post. “Several years of cuts or largely flat funding from our government supporters have led to significant cost reductions by CCAC, leaving little room to trim the college’s budget further.”
Of course. Employees who voted for President Obama in the election should not be surprised at these cuts. These are dollars and cents decisions made by businesses who have to manage their budgets.
CBS New reported today on the Wal-Mart employees who plan to protest on Black Friday. You can read the whole article but let me just share a few snippets:
Dan Hindman has worked at a Wal-Mart near Los Angeles for four years. The former employee of the month, who makes $9.80 an hour, says he is scheduled to work on Black Friday but does not plan to show up.
“Wal-Mart needs to learn that it’s not fair how they treat us,” Hindman says.
The protesters want minimum hourly pay raised to $13, more full-time work and less-costly health care. Next year, their insurance premiums will jump by as much as 36 percent, as Wal-Mart scales back its contribution.
He says his schedule was cut to 15 hours per week when he joined a group of Wal-Mart employees who favor unionizing. He lost custody of his four-year-old son when he could no longer support him.
“So I lost my son and I’m kind of regretting working for Wal-Mart, but I have to provide, you know?” says an emotional Hindman. “It’s the biggest retailer in the world, and you can’t help me provide for my son? It kills me, dude. It really tears me apart, big time.”
Dude. Seriously? You are blaming Wal-Mart for your woes?
The first time I heard about the Wal-Mart protest I admit to feeling a bit sorry for the guys. After all, they might only get half of Thanksgiving Day off. But, then I remembered, this is nothing new. Wal-Mart and other stores have been turning back their opening time for the Black Friday sales for years. And there is a good reason they do it. People come. Simple enough. But they are also trying to adapt to the internet shoppers, finding a way to bring customers in to their stores while fighting against the ease of online shopping.
When you took the job you knew the store would be open. How is it any different from bank employees knowing they can’t be closed more than three days in a row so they have to be open on the Friday after Thanksgiving? No different from firefighters, policemen, and hospital workers who signed on knowing that their employer was open 24/7. They might have to work an undesirable shift. No different from the guy who works at a 7/11 or Circle K…heck, what about a 24 hour drug store? When you agree to work at these places you do so with the knowledge that there are days you will be scheduled when you’d rather be home. It’s life.
To the second part of your complaint: You think you should be paid more to do an unskilled job? Why? If you want to make more money you can either take a more challenging job that others don’t want or you can go back to school and/or get some training. Nobody says you have to get a college degree, there are many training programs available and even some OJT programs that pay as you learn. Wal-Mart and other department stores should pay what the market will bear. Remember, there are 30 MILLION other people out looking for work. Why should Wal-Mart pay your sorry butt more money just because you don’t think it’s fair?
Every job I’ve had has had a salary range. When I got to the top of the salary I had to make a decision did I want to stay in that position with little chance for increase or did I want to make a change, take supervisory classes or learn a new skill?
Is it Wal-Mart’s fault that you aren’t working enough hours to care for your child? It used to be that single parents often had to work two jobs to take care of themselves and their kids. Sure it’s tough. But good grief, it’s not the store’s fault that you need to make more. Get out there and find a second job. This is real life. Don’t sit there waiting for somebody to come bail you out.
Hostess Brands, maker of the Twinkie and Snowball, returned to bankruptcy court today prepared to begin liquidation of all assets. Instead they announced that the company will enter mediation for one last try with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union.
Whether this was a brilliant marketing ploy or truly ‘a one last chance’ opportunity, it may be that the Twinkie will survive!
The BCTGM workers represent one-third of the Hostess workforce. All 18,500 jobs will be permanently eliminated if the Baker’s Union refuses to reconsider their position. They have only 24 hours to make their decision.
From the Hostess Brands Website: Hostess Brands Inc. announced today that it will follow a request from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to enter a confidential mediation on Tuesday with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM).
Today’s hearing to consider Hostess Brands’ motion to wind down the Company and sell all of its assets has been adjourned until 11 a.m., EST, on Wednesday.
Production remains shut down.
While the “progressive” Party Pravda is dutifully focused on distracting Americans with stories about the tragic resignation of former CIA Director David Petraeus, the White House goes merrily along with its anti-growth, anti-business, anti-energy, radical fringe leftist “progressive” agenda. The Barack Obama administration is now making plans for the next phase in fundamentally transforming America into a second rate European style slow growth high unemployment socialist state.
Nothing has changed from the last two years of Obama’s reign of terror. In Harry Reid, Obama retains a “progressive” Democratic Senate majority leader who shares his radical fringe leftist ideology. In the House of Representatives, Obama faces a Republican majority led by Speaker of the House John Boehner. For the past two years, the House has refused to budge on tax hikes, one of a number of lusted for items on the “progressive” Holy Grail wish list.
Since Obama ran a class warfare, racial and gender dividing, hit man Chicago style smear re-election campaign, nothing but more of the same can be reasonably expected in his second term.
Evidence, in first meeting on Tuesday, he meets with Mary Kay Henry-SEIU, Lee Saunders-AFSCME, Dennis Van Roekel-NEA, Rich Trumka-AFL-CIO, Neera Tanden-Center for American Progress, John Podesta-Center for American Progress, Bob Greenstein-Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Laura Burton Capps-Common Purpose Project, Max Richtman-National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Justin Ruben-MoveOn, and Deepak Bhargava-Center for Community Change.
These are Obama’s ideological soul mates. Their priorities are to further their radical fringe leftist “progressive” agenda.
On Wednesday, Obama meets with Mark Bertolini, president, chairman and CEO of Aetna, Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO at Xerox, Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and CEO for American Express, David Cote, chairman and CEO at Honeywell, Mike Duke, president and CEO of Walmart, Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO for General Electric, Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, Robert McDonald, president and CEO at Procter & Gamble, Alan Mulally, president and CEO for Ford Motors, Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO at PepsiCo, Ginni Rometty, president, chairman and CEO of IBM, andJohn Watson, chairman and CEO for Chevron.
These are the huge multinational corporations that have supported Obama while he has repeatedly accused Republicans of being in the pocket of huge multinational corporations.
Can you say “too big to fail”?
Before he bothers to meet with Congressional leaders to discuss how to reach a “compromise” that will result in the United States avoiding the fiscal cliff, Obama has arranged his schedule so as to meet with his ideological Marxist brethren as well as his financial backers and yes men.
Together, they will calculate how to insist on their “my way or the highway” demands while appearing reasonable to low information voters who obtain their “news” from “progressive” Party Pravda sound-bites and headlines.
There will be little to no real negotiations with House Republicans. They will be told what they have consistently been told by this administration. “We won. We are going to do it our way.”
When America goes over the fiscal cliff, Obama and his mob of ideological lunatics will sing a full throated chorus of “It’s all Republican’s fault” and get away with it because the “progressive” Party Pravda will march in lockstep with their Marxist overlords and tell the public what Obama wants them to believe.
Unless something changes, nothing will change. Without changing this equation, there will be no hope in America.
Are Layoffs Vindictive or Caused by Policy?
Wednesday after the election a number of companies announced they would be laying off employees. Some businesses said they would close completely. Others are cutting back staff from full time to part time work.
Through the week the numbers have grown. Big businesses. Mom and Pop small stores. And everything in between. All have been impacted. But it’s not just one cause; by reelecting President Obama the Affordable Care Act will continue to influence business growth, a gridlock remains in congress and the very possible Department of Defense cuts hurt not only the direct military employment but also the Defense contractors, and Obama’s War on Coal will now be doubled down.
None of this was a surprise. Those paying even a slight amount of attention could see these cuts were imminent. If Obama was reelected there would be a layoff tsunami of giant proportions.
Still, rather than accept this as unavoidable change necessary for the programs they voted liberals are now blaming vindictive Republicans. They are tweeting out that corporations are firing workers in revenge of the election. They are shouting from their social networks that store owners who are closing are un-American and spiteful. That small businesses are laying off employees out of retribution. That, for no other reason than they did not want Obama to win.
It is sad that these naive left wing voices are so loud. It is obvious that they have never been more than just a worker in a shop, never had to balance a budget, never had to meet a payroll. They believe that Republican business owners want to ‘hurt Obama’ by keeping unemployment artificially high. They truly believe this is being done solely as payback for the election. They refuse to believe that Obama’s destructive policies are at fault.
Bless their hearts. They just don’t know any better.
If you get laid off, before you go, ask the people getting laid off with you if they voted for Obama. If they say yes, say nothing.
In case you haven’t heard, these companies announced layoffs and closures since Wednesday. Is it just the beginning?
With the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ looming at the end of the year, many companies had warned that if President Obama were re-elected, they would be forced to lay off workers. Company officials listed the skyrocketing price of health insurance and the taxes contained in Obamacare as a primary reason for job cuts.
Some job cuts are also the result of the likelihood that Congress will be increasing taxes thereby raising the cost of doing business. Other staffing cuts are also an attempt to avert the “fiscal cliff” and the economic reality caused by spending cuts and increased taxation in the Obama-favored budgetary tactic known as sequestration.
And three days after the re-election of the President, many big companies have already kept their promise. Among them are:
- Energizer, which is restructuring its company, and as a result, announced it expects to lose about 1,500 jobs.
- Boeing, who expects to shrink their executive staff by roughly 30% at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit.
- US Cellular, who is moving manufacturing plants out of Chicago, and as a result will cut roughly 640 jobs in the area. Overall, the company estimates it will cut 980 jobs, about 12% of its workforce.
- Power tool giant Husqvarna, who is cutting around 600 jobs, a move that they expect will save them roughly $33 million per year.
- Darden Restaurants, which owns popular chains like the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse. They are expected to cut back the hours their employees work to 28 hours per week. The Obamacare law defines full time employees as working 30 hours a week. The law requires full time employees to have employe-provided healthcare, or the company must pay a fine.
- Murray energy corp will layoff more than 120 employees to avoid expenses due to Obama regulations and taxes
- Welch Allen will layoff 275 employees (10% of their workforce) as a “pro-active response” to taxes in Obamacare
- Dana Holding Group – auto parts manufacturer will make numerous cuts in response to $24 million in costs due to Obamacare
- Stryker will be eliminating 5% of its workforce (1,170 jobs) due to additional taxes in Obamacare
- Boston Scientific will be dropping between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs and shifting operations to China to avoid Obamacare taxes
- Smith & Nephew will drop 770 jobs
- U.S. Cellular will eliminate 980 jobs
- UtahAmerican Energy will cut a huge number of jobs as “204 American coal-fired plants” are shut down by 2014 – basically maiming the coal-mining industry
- Lockheed Martin is expected to notify 123,000 employees of coming layoffs
- Consol Energy to layoff 145 employees
- much, much more coming…
These are just a few of the big companies affected. Many other smaller companies are also saying they will have to either cut back employee hours or fire some of their employees. Other companies are closing plants in an attempt to save money.
Target has already announced the closing of several locations, including a store in Kissimmee, Florida. Kmart is another company that has announced its intention to close several stores.
These announcements come on the heels of two very grim days for the stock market. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 2.4%, which is the fifth worst single day drop in history. The S&P 500 also fell 2.37%. The markets continued to plummet on Wednesday. The Dow fell another 0.94%. And the S&P fell another 1.22%.
Investors cite concerns over Europe’s struggling economy and President Obama’s re-election. It is believed that Obama does not have a serious plan to regrow the economy or control the United State’s burgeoning debt.
When one thinks of energy, the thoughts about economic growth rarely come into play. In fact, most take it for granted. It charges our iPhones, laptops, and Kindles, but it also is the lifeblood that keeps our economy growing. It’s also the critical element that keeps our health services running. It allows us to channel our resources elsewhere – to be more productive during the day. However, we’re starting to see a shift occur through the policies of the Obama administration. This radical reconfiguration of our energy infrastructure will be disastrous in the long run, and some in the media don’t seem to care.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Thomas Pyle, President of American Energy Alliance, Robin Millican, Policy Director for Institute for Energy Research (IER), and Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER on October 26 to discuss this issue further – and how it’s currently shaping the outcome of the 2012 election. I mentioned the study Professor Gabriel Calzada conducted on Spain’s green energy investments and how he predicted a bubble, which seems to be bursting on the Iberian Peninsula. Most disconcerting was the fact that for every green job created – 2.2 jobs were lost as a result. In fact, Professor Gabriel Calzada found himself targeted by liberals and the Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s bastion of progressivism, as a consequence of his study concerning Spain’s green energy economy. Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome in Spain, President Obama plans to use it as a model and apply it here, which would enter a more aggressive phase if he were reelected on November 6.
- Financial aid to Germany’s solar industry has now reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as $240,000 US.
- In 2008, the price mark-up attributable to the government’s support for “green” electricity was about 2.2 cents US per kWh. For perspective, a 2.2 cent per kWh increase here in the US would amount to an average 19.4% increase in consumer’s electricity bills.
- Government support for solar energy between 2000 and 2010 is estimated to have a total net cost of $73.2 billion US, and $28.1 billion US for wind. A similar expenditure in the US would amount to about half a trillion dollars US.
- Green jobs created by government actions disappear as soon as government support is terminated, a lesson the German government and the green companies it supports are beginning to learn.
- Government aid for wind power is now three times the cost of conventional electricity.
However, one area that is salient to American voters is coal. Obama’s War on Coal has been brutal for thousands of families who live in states along the Appalachian Trail. With new greenhouse gas regulations the EPA is doling out, it’ll prevent the creation of new plants and is scheduled to shut down 10% of existing coal plats that are operational today.
Pyle warned that there will come a time when the economy will begin to grow again and the energy infrastructure that President Obama and the environmental left envision for America will not be adequate to meet the demands of commercial expansion. There’s no special switch we can turn to get our power back to appropriate levels for economic development. Furthermore, it doesn’t help our long-term energy development when government shuts down coal mining, offshore drilling, or puts the kibosh on the Keystone Pipeline. As a result, the Gulf States, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming are suffering under Obama’s war on energy.
While the Environmental Protection Agency has the reputation of being a ‘protector,’ they have recently become the heaviest portion of the boot that is on the throat of American enterprise. One thing the United States can never compete in again is the labor market. However, with the derivatives from oil/gas/and coal such as petrochemicals, smart phones, computers, Kevlar, shaving cream, toothpaste, and gum – we can still retain our economic vigor. However, EPA regulations are making it harder to produce such products for American and international markets.
Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Policy for IER, noted how the air is cleaner and the water is better. In fact:
Since 1990, nationwide air quality has improved significantly for the six common air pollutants. These six pollutants are ground-level ozone, particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10), lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Nationally, air pollution was lower in 2008 than in 1990 for:
- 8-hour ozone, by 14 percent
- annual PM2.5 (since 2000), by 19 percent
- PM10 , by 31 percent
- Lead, by 78 percent
- NO2 , by 35 percent
- 8-hour CO, by 68 percent
- annual SO2 , by 59 percent
Additionally, the EPA has affirmed this claim.
As a result, life expectancy has increased dramatically – which is an effective metric at gauging the socioeconomic health of a nation. Yet, the EPA feels that more needs to be done, despite that fact that states have their own safety and health provisions, which are tailored to accommodate the environments of each respective state. However, given the dependency mentality of the Obama administration, the EPA insists on a one-size fits all model. I guess the principles of federalism have taken a back seat.
Concerning coal, we have 497 billion short tons, which is enough to power the country for over 500 years – at our current levels of energy use. When you incorporate Alaska into the picture, it dwarfs the lower forty-eight, with 10.38 trillion short tons for our use. As a result, the United States is the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of coal. And not all coal is used to generate electricity. Thirty-eight percent of coal can be used to make jet fuel. Fifty percent of all freight loads carried in the country are comprised of coal. In fact, 25% of all rail revenue is derived from coal transportation. What happens if that were to disappear, which is what the Obama administration wants as the end game in this power play.
We current use 1 billion tons of coal a year. China uses 4 billion tons a year. As a result, even if coal were to cease of an arm of the American economy, the effects on global CO2 emissions would be de minimis at best. Kish noted how coal consumption has increased in Europe. The reason is simple. It’s cheap. It works great, and is good for electricity.
Pyle touched upon the moral aspect of energy, which is seldom reported on in the press. He reiterated the fact how 40% of India’s population don’t have access to affordable energy. Kish noted how villages in Africa keep their kids to school, although they would like to send them there, because every available hand is needed to collect biomass to keep the home warm, to cook, and possibly fend themselves from predators at night. If those kids were able to go to school because they had affordable energy, and access to it, increased economic activity from their education would have a ripple effect upon their community. Energy allows people to savor and spend their time more efficiently and purposefully. Until the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy had flat lined around age thirty for years, which saw a dramatic increase when people were able to utilize their time more efficiently due to proliferation of energy resources.
An example of the economic benefits in expanding our energy development can be seen in North Dakota. Dan Kish recently visited the state, of which 97% isn’t owned by the government, and noticed the economic boom that has occurred from extracting the shale oil from the Bakken formation. Williston, North Dakota has the busiest McDonald’s in the country. A entry-level worker could earn up to $90,000 in his first year alone working the rigs. In fact, five to ten years ago North Dakota wasn’t even a player in oil production. Now, it’s ranked #2 – behind Texas – producing 18 million barrels of oil in March of 2012. In all, between 2008-09, it’s proved reserves have increased from 543 million barrels to 1046 million barrels. Some farmers, who’ve sold their land rights, are earning as much as $150,000 a month from the royalties. Although, the monetary values is based on volume, but it’s possible.
As a result, North Dakota’s unemployment rate remains at 3%, the GDP per capita is well above the national average at $50,096, it’s spurred a budget surplus of $ 1 billion dollars, and increased the workforce from 5,000 in 2005 to 30,000 in 2012. Here’s to prosperity.
We have the resources to be energy independent. Pyle mentioned that in 1944 it was estimated that America’s proven oil reserves amounted to about 20 billion barrels. However, from 1945-2010, the United States production exceeded 176 billion barrels of oil. That’s because proven reserves tend to increase in volume as we continue to explore for more energy resources. Case in point, the Bakken Shale. However, the boot of the EPA and government regulation seems to be aimed at halting this process. It’s because government, especially the one we have now, is set on breaking the independent arms that are harvesting these resources to the will of the state. It’s about centralization of energy distribution. It’s trickle down government incarnate.
Last May, IER Policy Director Robin Millican spoke at an Americans for Prosperity rally in McLean, Va. There she said that the military has become victim to these government policies. In her speech, she noted how the Department of Defense signed a $12 million dollar contract with two biofuel companies to produce 450,000 gallons of the advanced liquid. In short, it’s incredibly expensive. This ludicrous expenditure is grounded in the words of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus who said “We are doing this for one simple reason: It makes us better fighters…our use of fossil fuels is a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy ability to protect America and project power overseas.” I’m sure the environmental left enjoys this change in course, but as Millican pointed out, the federal government has a portion of land in Alaska called the Naval Petroleum Reserve which is specifically set aside to meet the energy demands of the military. Yet, we are going to pay companies to make fuel for our armed forces that is four times more expensive than standard fuel.
Additionally, Millican also delivered some remarks about the $500 million dollar loan allocated to Solyndra. A company principally financed by George Kaiser, who was also a huge bundler for the Obama campaign in 2008. In all, big government breed corruption, crony capitalism, and dependency. She aptly pointed out that these subsidies are not meant to better society, but are goodie bags to the politically connected. She says, “look no further than a government funded program that relies on a stamp of approval from a group of unelected bureaucrats who have no technical experience.” The process in determining which system maximizes efficiency is not rigorous and comes down to nothing more than corporate welfare. Continuing with the narrative of waste this administration has incurred due to its quest for clean energy initiatives, Millican detailed the Section 1603 program that has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties. Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.
Relating to AFP’s media campaign, Millican discussed the $529 million dollar loan to Fisker, which produced the $100,000 dollar Karma automobile that is principally made in Finland. Is this investing in America? Ms. Millican astutely pointed out that renewables only constitute 1.5% of our entire energy consumption, but get the majority share of the funds allocated from Congress.
If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States on November 6, it’ll be partially due to Americans’ disgust towards Obama’s war on energy – specifically coal. The war on coal has affected thousands of families who live along the Appalachian Trail. An aspect the Obama campaign should’ve taken more seriously since Virginia and Pennsylvania are both battleground and coal-producing states. Currently, the small town of Grundy, Va is under siege by federal regulators who are preventing them from expanding their runway at the local airport because of coal. It’s a three-year battle, which is really an assault on the American Dream. The expansion of the airport would allow corporate jets to land, which could possibly spur economic development in Grundy and the surrounding counties.
Debra McCown reported on Grundy’s war with federal regulators back on October 17. I wrote, in a previous post, that since “the original airport was built on a piece of land made flat by surface mining by United Coal Co., which gave the land to Grundy,” the government won’t allow them to expand the runway. It’s big government run amok.
McCown also reported in The American Spectator on October 22 “more than 5,500 people turned out Sunday afternoon at a mountaintop park in remote Buchanan County to show their support for coal.” She noted how the mood of the crowd exuded a certain dubiousness since most of these workers have an uncertain future, especially if Obama is reelected. McCown quoted Jerry Shortt, who said, “the only promise Obama kept was to kill coal.” “Jerry Shortt [is] a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day — and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent,” according to McCown.
She also noted that the EPA regulations that will be the harbingers of death for the industry.
First, new air emissions standards prompted utilities to announce the closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants, cutting the demand for coal and costing jobs. In some cases, utilities chose to convert those units to natural gas, which because of new technology for extraction has become relatively cheap and plentiful. Rules for coal-fired boilers have also affected factories and other facilities that use industrial boilers.
Second, a new proposed EPA rule would require any new coal-fired power plants to be constructed with technology to control carbon dioxide emissions — technology that’s not been fully developed. With this proposal, even state-of-the-art coal burning technology, like that being used at the new power plant that just opened in nearby Wise County, couldn’t be permitted, utility officials have said.
On the water pollution side, coalmines are now subject to new restrictions in obtaining the permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Targeted specifically at mountaintop mines in Appalachia, according to industry supporters, the change effectively prohibits modern surface mining and has also created significant problems for deep mining.
With the state in a statistical dead heat, the policies from the Obama administration to gut this business, and leave the families of those involved with coal mining in destitution – might be a deciding factor in how Virginia might vote on November 6.
The Washington Times’ Ben Wolfgang reported on October 23 that Obama’s crusade to destroy coal has put Pennsylvania in play. More than anything, if Romney wins PA on November 6, it’ll be a very short election night. While West Virginia was never going Democratic, Democrats there have eviscerated the Obama administration over recent coal miner layoffs.
The Miller Creek surface mine facility has been in operation for decades, and the company had planned to construct the new “King Coal Highway” as part of a reclamation project after mining is complete. Coal mine employees, Consol said, would eventually have been assigned to the highway project, once the coal supplies had been exhausted.
Democrats in the state, already angry with the administration’s “war on coal,” unloaded on the EPA on Tuesday afternoon.
“I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.
For those affected, it’s called a “regional genocide.” For government, it’s a shift towards a cleaner future, despite the data suggesting otherwise. At the end of the day, it’s about government controlling more of the means of production through our energy consumption.
It’s down to the wire and still there are some undecided voters. If you know them ask a simple question, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” It’s the simple question Ronald Reagan asked voters following four challenging years under the Carter administration.
How is your grocery budget? Are you spending more for the everyday items? What’s the cost of bacon, Detergent? Coffee? Coke? Safeway ad Oct 2008: Betty Crocker cake mix .58, braeburn apples .88/lb, Progresso soups $1.00
Are you paying so much more for gas that you’ve had to adjust your schedule? Are you driving less? Taking fewer trips? Average gas price October, 2008 $2.82 USA Today
Do you know someone who is looking for a job? Or someone who had to take a lesser paying job because they couldn’t find anything else? Maybe they’re working two jobs to make up for it? 30% part time workers want full time jobs. NYT
Are you finding your family with less cash and changing activities to those that don’t cost as much? Summer 2012 movie attendance lowest in decades. Hollywood Reporter
What’s the value of your house? Are you upside down? Home values down average 16% since 2008. Progressive Policy Have you lost your home? Do you know someone who is struggling and trying to decide whether to stay in the house or just walk away? Did the president promise to cut through the red tape but the loan people didn’t get the same message? Roughly 4 Million families have lost their homes from 2008 to 2012. NYT
Were you excited that you would be getting ‘free’ preventative health care procedures through your health care until you learned that your insurance costs would increase ten percent or more? Premiums for health insurance have increased an average of $2370 from 2009 to 2012. ABC News If you know a senior are they worried about the upcoming cuts to Medicare necessary to fund the new ‘Affordable’ Health Care Act? Obamacare will cut Medicare $716 Billion. Washington Post
What about those college age kids you know? After being told they must attend college to get a job are they now working part time at the fast food restaurant and living with a roommate (or worse, back home) because they’re now having to pay back those college loans but the job market is so tight businesses can hire workers with great experience rather than the inexperienced college grad? 53% college grads are jobless or underemployed. The Atlantic
Has there been an opportunity for a new business or industry in your area but the EPA, NEPA and its increased powers through executive order are holding it up maybe forever? EPA regulations could mean over 880,000 coal-electric jobs lost per year. Daily Caller
Do you know someone in the military who, mid-career, suddenly has found himself unemployed with no benefits? Or a worker for one of the many defense contractors who are hearing rumors of cuts as the DoD loses one-third of its budget? Defense industry bracing for additional $500 Billion in cuts. Reuters
Barack Obama campaigned on Hope and Change. Are you feeling it? Do you want more of the same?
If you don’t want a repeat of the past four years it’s important you take the time to vote. . .and take a friend.
Clearly, our federal government isn’t big enough. In a Monday morning interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, President Obama suggested that a new Secretary of Business be created. Of course the new Secretary will need a whole new government department of bureaucrats to go with his or her position.
“We should have one Secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA or helping companies with exports” the President said in the interview. Oddly, the federal government already has a Commerce Department and Secretary to go with it. Perhaps instead of consolidating some of the tasks from department under a new one, the President should be considering re-focusing the existing departments at a time when the government must shrink to match revenues.
The Commerce department’s mission as stated on its own front page is “to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad.” The divisions of the Commerce Department don’t look as though they are all focused on those goals. The current offices within the department include:
- Office of Business Liaison
- Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Native American Affairs
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
- Office of Acquisition Management
- Office of Administrative Services
- Office of Budget
- Office of Civil Rights
- Office of Financial Management
- Office of Human Resources Management
- Office of Privacy and Open Government
- Office of Program Evaluation and Risk Management
- Office of Security
- Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- Office of the Chief Information Officer
- Office of the Executive Secretariat
- Office of General Counsel
- Office of Inspector General
- Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
- Office of Policy and Strategic Planning
- Office of Public Affairs
The Interior Department already handles Native American affairs making an office in Commerce unnecessary. If there are specific business concerns of Native American businesses, the office of Business Liaison should be tasked with understanding those details.
The Department of Justice and Health and Human Services both have civil rights divisions. Perhaps Commerce doesn’t need one too. It is curious that the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is in Commerce – why not Health and Human Services?
It would appear that the government doesn’t need an additional highly-paid bureaucrat with many other taxpayer funded staff running around doing what the Commerce Department should be doing. Instead, an organizational leader would recognize the confusing set of offices in Commerce and re-focusing that department on the needs of American business here and abroad.
The President created a jobs council in his first term – a group he met with zero times in almost four years. Will the Secretary get the same treatment or will Obama use an unlikely second term to push his agenda of higher taxes while continuing to ignore the business community? In an interview after a campaign rally in New Hampshire, the President cleared up any confusion when he told the “Morning Joe” hosts that if voters elect him to a second term he will have a clear mandate for raising taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal.
From a different perspective, if another department were created to focus on .. commerce, why would the Commerce Department need to continue to exist?
Some propose that the myriad offices within and without Commerce are necessary to help businesses navigate the whole of regulations that affect their businesses. Perhaps the real answer is to simplify those regulations to reduce the need for businesses to need such guidance.
The usually left leaning Arizona Republic today boldly announced its endorsement of Mitt Romney for President. Citing a desperate need for job creation, managed debt and a need for true health care reform the editorial staff of the Republic carefully explained desire to see the United States return to the super power of which it is capable.
From the Republic: We believe the nation’s best opportunity to escape the compounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who believes in the free market’s capacity to heal its own wounds.
That leader is Romney. The nation’s economy now is in desperate need of the kind of jobs-creating animal spirits that President Romney would encourage.
The economy indisputably will benefit, perhaps significantly, from a flatter, fairer system of taxation along the lines proposed by Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.
It will benefit, too, from a regulatory environment that does not smother small businesses with punitive, anti-competitive, hoop-jumping requirements that favor their bigger competitors. We expect a Romney administration to foster that kind of growth-oriented, business-friendly environment.
But, more to the point, we expect better job growth in a Romney economy mostly because Mitt Romney does not fear or dislike a free-wheeling, growing, free-market economy.
We cannot say the same of President Obama.
The editors remind the reader that President Obama has worked diligently to promote the view government not individuals grow the economy casting aside the long held belief that small business is the backbone of the country.
The reason Obama’s infamous “You didn’t build that” comment on July 13 in Roanoke, Va., resonated among his political opponents wasn’t because it revealed some great secret.
It resonated because it validated a suspicion that the president has done little to dismiss. He has consolidated federal power and reach in health care, banking, the auto industry and energy production. He has fostered the view that all good economic things flow from Washington.
It’s an interesting review. The state of Arizona continues to struggle with the poor housing market, foreclosures, and unacceptable unemployment numbers. Most analysts put the state in the red column so perhaps the Republic is just hoping to gain approval and perhaps subscriptions among its readers. Never the less, an endorsement by the newspaper of record for the of Arizona is still a coup for the Romney-Ryan team.
You can read the entire editorial at the Republic’s website AZCentral.
Who would have believed that Barrack Obama would be using the same speeches, the same words in 2012 that he used in 2008? Were his plans so wondrous that we should continue them on another four years? Or were they so ineffective that instead of accomplishing them in one term he is now begging for more time? (Remember how those ‘shovel ready’ projects were not so shovel ready?)
Here’s a strong ad comparing Obama’s words as senator to those this year as president. Watching the president singing the same song begs the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” One might guess even the president doesn’t think so.
There’s an election in three weeks. Do you want more of the same?
Share this with your friends. Remind them that the Obama of 2012 has no new ideas and still believes that his thus far failed programs will work.
Did you watch the news last week? A miracle fell into the lap of the president. Three precious weeks before the hotly contested presidential election the ‘newly unemployed’ claims dropped to an unexpected low.
Coupled with the surprising unemployment decline these numbers were heralded by the left as a sure sign this was truly the beginning of the recovery and there were high-fives all around the MSNBC offices. To get unemployed numbers 40,000 less than expected was truly manna from the heavens and fed into the Democratic narrative of an improving economy. These good numbers quickly were incorporated into stump speeches by the left.
But…hold the applause… within a few hours it was reported that one ‘large’ state had not reported all its information. The large state soon revealed as California, a state with critically high unemployment. No, it wasn’t a holiday that interfered but perhaps one government worker was on vacation and didn’t get all the paperwork done. Additionally, multiple economists questioned how the unemployment percentage could be real. Businesses reported only 114,000 real jobs created while an extrapolated 800,000 people found work.
No matter. Democrats across the country gleefully reported these flawed statistics touting their candidate as ‘the one’ who could get us through this trouble he had inherited.
Job numbers released this morning took a sharp swing on the pendulum back the other direction. As CNBC sadly headlined, “Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Proves to be Short-lived.” The timing for those errant numbers last week are suspicious in the least. But those who watch these unemployment claims each week point to an alarming trend of underreporting. The released figures have been revised upward each week for more than 40 weeks in a row.
Of course, it’s anticipated that President Obama will choose to ignore this week’s numbers. He’ll continue to spin that with more time and more tax payers’ money he will figure out how to fix this mess our country is in.
Still we are left with a significant question: Is it possible for this data to be tinkered with? It will be interesting to see how the numbers are reported once our new administration takes over in 2013.