Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Prop Goes The Weasel

obama, obama jokes, cartoon, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, conservative, tea party, economy, jobs, unemployment, benefits, speech, props

Rested and refreshed from his extended luxury vacation in Hawaii, Barack Obama surrounded himself with a rainbow coalition of jobless paupers yesterday to give a speech about the importance of extending "emergency" unemployment benefits in an economy which he claims is booming after five years of his stewardship.

If those mutually exclusive propositions aren't enough to run your brain through a blender, then consider Mr. Obama's additional claims that unemployment benefits actually create jobs, and that there's no need to find any matching budget cuts to fund his proposed $6 billion extension of payments for another 90 days - even though cutting back his wife's vacation budget might put a pretty good dent in it.

Standing on a podium surrounded by the long-term unemployed (all of whom managed to dress better than the Hope n' Change editorial staff could unless we actually rent some decent clothes),  the president spoke of those around him as if they were the cast of Les Miserables, using their pitiful unemployment checks to purchase humble crusts of bread for their starving children and shuffling around in their unheated hovels while "working their tails off" looking for jobs.

Which, incidentally, they aren't likely to find as long as this president continues to wage his successful "war on employment" - unless they're lucky enough to get one of the minimum wage, part time positions which seem to be the only jobs the Obamaconomy can sustain.

Of course, the real purpose behind the president's speech had nothing to do with either jobs or unemployment benefits, but was really about making cost-conscious Republicans look like the kind of hard-hearted bastards who would deny Bob Cratchit a lump of coal and kick Tiny Tim in the nuts.

Fortunately, the mainstream media won't be fooled by the president's transparent political lies, and will finally report the truth of the matter clearly and accurately.

Assuming that a polar vortex causes Hell to freeze over.


TrickyRicky said...

Stilton, you nailed it in the very first paragraph. He can't have it both ways. If his wonderful economy is booming, why is there a need to extend the unemployment benefits. Oh, yeah I forgot, with a compliant lapdog media and a nation full of slobbering morons who worship the lint in his navel, he CAN have it both ways, and always does.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Did the Soviet Union win the cold war and I just somehow missed it?

Colby said...

Well, you know it's tough bouncing back from that humongous, record setting depression that Bush made. It could take a few decades of gubmint handouts to get this country's economic structure where BO wants it to be, and that is where 51% of the voters are supported by 49% of the workers. At what point will Atlas Shrug?

I know if I was a rich person (i.e. - make more than $50k per year) living in NY, I'd be packing my bags for Texas or Wyoming right now. The socialists are now in charge there, and have their sights firmly set on the producers.

That being said, I realize it is tough getting a decent job in this economy, but I'm guessing most folks on the dole are not exactly burning up the streets looking.

Reiuxcat said...

When he mentioned the person that wore a coat in her house because the thermostat was set so low, I laughed my a$$ off.

I've been wearing sweatshirts inside my house during the winter for more than five years because of the negative effect His O'liness' energy policies have had on my pocket book.

I would like to see the number of people on unemployment and then compare that to the number of unemployed reported monthly. I'm sure there is a large difference.

John the Econ said...

Brilliant again, @Stilton. The economy is "booming", and yet we need another "temporary" extension to unemployment benefits.

Dear GOP: When will you idiots ever figure out that the only reasons that the Democrats propose these things is to keep shovelling cash to their base, and to make you guys look like look like Scrooge when you refuse to extend "temporary" for "forever"?

And again we're sold the magical Keynesian multiplier that says that more people with other people's money to spend improves the economy. If that's the case, the economy should have been wonderful as far back as 2009. And yet, they'll fight to the death against the idea that people keeping and spending their own money that they themselves have earned improves the economy. I guess nothing good happens unless that money is seized and filtered through Washington first.

And when you throw in the President's "immigration reform" agenda which will flood the legal marketplace with millions more people willing to work part-time at minimum wage, I expect many more extensions to these "temporary" benefits. I guess the goal is to extend "temporary" long enough so that most of these people will be on Social Security.

Meanwhile, more of us "rich" folk are considering quitting just so we can get on Medicaid. I had a conversation yesterday with my sister who works with an associate who after receiving a modest inheritance, just decided to throw in the towel. No, he's not quite millionaire rich, but after doing the math he discovered what I've long been warning people about for some time now; that if you're debt-free and have to buy your own health insurance, you are better off having a lower income and getting on Medicaid than keeping a full-time job, paying taxes, and the 5-figures that insurance now costs most independent people.

Coincidentally, this showed up in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

Millionaires on Medicaid: Got a house worth $802,000, lots of savings and a nice car? You might still qualify for benefits.

I suspect that this year, millions of other middle-class Americans are going to discover this, and ask themselves why they're bothering with a full-time job. Under Obama-Keyensian theory, if we're all unemployed and collecting benefits of some sort, the economy will wonderful.

What is that going to do tax receipts? But don't worry; the Progressives have a plan to deal with this. This is why I predict that about a year from now (well after the '14 elections) the Value Added Tax will become the next "solution" to our economic woes. If we won't work for them, they'll just tax what we spend.

It's No Gouda said...

Stilton: Given the weather the last few days, I'm pretty sure Hell HAS frozen over and it was probably colder than Hell in Paradise.
Of course, those are both small towns in Michigan, Hell in the lower peninsula and Paradise in the upper.
Thee was another humorous note on the local news last night. It was so cold in Chicago that the Lincoln Park Zoo had bring their Polar Bear inside.

rickn8or said...

John the Econ, and if the VAT doesn't work, there's always that ol' "Imputed Income" tax for us people stupid enough to pay off our mortgages...

Shoulda never listened to Dave Ramsey! Debt-free? What was I thinking??

Pete (Detroit) said...

Actually, there *is* a small town named "Hell" in MI, and it freezes most winters. Not always w/ the drama on the town's sign, tho...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@TrickyRicky- And keep in mind these aren't just ordinary unemployment benefits, they're emergency unemployment benefits. But at what point does the status quo stop being an "emergency" and simply become the dismal "new normal?" I'd say that ship sailed long ago.

@Sunnybrook Farm- It sure looks that way, doesn't it?

@Colby- My feeling is that if able-bodied people can't find a job after a certain amount of time, they should go on a program like the WPA which would give them work of some kind and a sustenance wage (enough to survive on, but not enough to be comfortable longterm). Clean parks, repair roads, carve the next Mount Rushmore - whatever.

But no, Obama does everything possible to take the incentive out of either hiring OR looking for work.

@Reiuxcat- Anyone who pays their own utility bills is pretty familiar with the idea of dressing more warmly when it colds (yes, even indoors). Unlike Barry, who keeps the Oval Office so warm that one official said "you could grow orchids in there."

I read an article yesterday which quoted a former Obama official as saying that there's only one job available for every three people actively looking for a job (so we're not counting the tens of millions of people who have given up). With that in mind, consider the fact that Obama is still pushing for more education funds to create more job applicants, while at the same time discouraging the creation of jobs.

Even Paul Krugman should be able to see the flaw in that logic. Just kidding - Krugman and logic are two words which never go together.

@John the Econ- I'm currently wrestling with the same situation you describe: I own my home outright, have some assets banked (I used to be a Chippendale's dancer), but very little actual income in any given year. And about $20k for insurance for my family of three.

If I enter the Obamacare system, I'd probably receive about a $16k subsidy...and be able to use the money I save on other things (thereby inject magical Keynesian funds into the economy! Wow!)

BUT...that cash goes away if I actually do something like, oh, work to earn a living. The disincentive factor is huge.

I haven't made up my mind what to do yet; I'm morally opposed to Obamacare or the idea of taking a subsidy. On the other hand, I'm tired of feeling like Elmer Fudd after he's run off a cliff and stands suspended in mid-air for a moment before he turns, literally, into a "sucker."

Do I pay ridiculous amounts for my insurance (subsidizing others) for my moral principle, or do I take the money and rationalize?

Do I risk profit-making enterprises, or do I protect my (allegedly) "free" subsidy money?

These aren't questions any of us should have to be asking ourselves, but Obamacare makes it unavoidable.

And finally, I agree with you roughly a jillion percent that we will soon be looking at either a VAT tax or some form of asset tax. The "millionaires on Medicaid" rationale will be used as one of the swords to push it through.

@It's No Gouda- I'm hoping there will be some thawing happening soon; this cold spell is brutal for much of our country. Fortunately, millions of people can at least rely on getting heat thanks to coal powered energy plants. But not for long.

@rickn80r- Oh yeahhhhh, I'd forgotten about the "imputed income" scam. And now that you've reminded me, it's really annoying that the clock says it's coffee time and not "coffee" time.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pete(Detroit)- And it's currently only 17 degrees in Intercourse, PA. Which isn't really germane...but the 12 year old in me likes going to the weather page that offers the "10 Day Forecast for Intercourse."

American Cowboy said...

Reading the comments about VAT I must say I also think that or some variation of it will be enacted.

What I have argued many time about with others is the idea of a flat rate sales tax. Most states already have them, plus municipalities enact their own. So why not repeal ALL taxes, at ALL levels, and have ONE flat rate federal sales tax of say 8-10% with only food and medical cost exempt? No state or city sales tax, no income (productivity) tax, no deductions, after all would we need all sorts of deductions if we could keep 90% of our productivity (income)?
I don't believe the argument that sales tax hurts only the poor in this scenario, because the "poor" would not pay anything on the most needed things to live, food and medicine, The "poor" likely would not be buying the luxury yachts, the BMW's, the multi-million dollar mansions (thing hollywierd play actors). Just a few thoughts FWTW.

Mike Porter said...

Have you ever witnessed the controlled demoliton of a large structure? The general strategy here being to afix shaped charges to critical supporting elements and detonate them in a particular sequence - the resulting implosion is clearly preceded by a cluster of explosions. This, I believe, is the 'booming' that president anus breath is referring to, with the economic implosion being not that far behind.

As to taxation, as I've said before, the last thing we need is a federal level sales tax, be it VAT or otherwise. Such a thing represents a bottomless trough from which to fund an endless array of abuses. The very fact that employers are required to withhold income taxes is already a step too far. A good compromise here would be an income tax billed to the wage earner directly, with the understanding that, should the fedgov continue to misbehave then it logically follows that We The People will then be doing the withholding until said misbehavior ceases.

Hmmm, must have been daydreaming again...

It's No Gouda said...

Stilton: Wwhen you're lookin' up the waeather forecast for Intercourse you should realize that you gotta get past Blue Ball before you get to Intercourse. Yeah, I know, it's another 12 y.o. observation. ;-)
Cowboy: Your idea of a National Sales Tax isn't all bad, but I just shudder at the idea of giving the idiots in DC another way to screw us over. I'm afraid they'd just keep hikin' up the rate until it was about 50%.
I alwasys remember P.J. O'Rourke's obsevation: "Giving money and power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." What could possibly go wrong?

It's No Gouda said...

Mike Porter: I like your idea. I'd also go along with a suggestion made by Mark Levin; the tax due date should be the day before Election Day instead of April 15.

John the Econ said...

@rickn8or, good call there. Yes, the "imputed tax", which last openly reared its ugly head during the Clinton years pre-GOP Congress is a wealth-stealing scheme only a true Progressive could love; It taxes you on the "theoretical" income you could be making off a particular asset, like you home. So if you own your home outright, the state could say "If you had to rent that house, it would likely cost you $1,000-a-month, so we'll count that as income since you don't have to pay rent, and you could theoretically rent your house out if you wanted to actually make that income. After all, we let you deduct your mortgage interest, didn't we? It's only fair!

This is evil.

BTW, I love Dave Ramsey. He and those who listen to his debt-free philosophy are less likely to be enslaved. And the left just hates that.

@Stilton, don't feel bad. As I've been telling my Progressive friends for years: "Your problem isn't that I disagree with you. Your real problem is when I join you." Quite frankly, I feel that I can do more harm to the Progressive agenda by depriving them of my income and using my newly found free time to annoy them than by any other means. It's the kids who have no assets and little employment opportunity to acquire them that I feel somewhat sorry for.

And I'd much rather work for a living. But clearly, the Progressives aren't interested in that. They want featy.

@American Cowboy, I've long been an advocate of the "Fair Tax", which eliminates the income tax and only transparently taxes products and services are they are consumed. (As opposed to the VAT, which taxes goods and services every step of the way) The Fair Tax would therefore encourage wealth-creating activity while discouraging wasteful consumption, which is what our current dysfunctional system is doing.

Unfortunately, the status-quo (both left and right) will have nothing to do with this. The income tax wields way too much power for Congress. And the left will never give up the income tax as a punishment mechanism and wealth redistribution tool.

@Mike Porter, well described. And considering what we've discussed above, about our new health paradigm and absurd taxation regime that actually encourages people do not work and instead seek out benefits could only be supported by someone who actually wanted to destroy the current economy, which is what the Marxists have always wanted to do.

John the Econ said...

Which Paul Krugman should I believe? The one that writes textbooks?:

"Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of "Eurosclerosis," the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries."

...or the one that shills for Obama in the New York Times?:

"Here's the world as many Republicans see it: Unemployment insurance, which generally pays eligible workers between 40 and 50 percent of their previous pay, reduces the incentive to search for a new job. As a result, the story goes, workers stay unemployed longer." Paul Krugman, New York Times

PRY said...

The flat tax aint gonna happen, BO is never going to care what happens to 'the poor', the truth about Benghazi,the IRS, the NSA, the State dept's coverups will not be allowed out, Americans held prisoner in foreign countries
will continue to chill, Iran's creation of nuclear weapons, Israel's situation, the Keystone Pipeline, creating an environment where jobs are created, enforcement of existing immigration laws, securing our borders, and any of a hundred other issues that calls for immediate attention will continue to be ignored.

Because the president, the MSM, and all progressives in and out of DC are in charge, and their lust for power is ALL they care about.

Remember, all blood-thirsty dictators were just progressives who got their way. Ask the jillion people who died under the rule of people exactly like this!

Anonymous said...

Stupidly conservative - grossly unfunny.

Yeah, Obama can just help people get jobs the way he can raise and lower gas prices at will.

Jarlsberg: the cheese that stinks.

Stan da Man said...

Anon, Thank you for sharing.
And you are, actually, factually, correct - it is NOT the president's job to find people jobs (although the Fed is the only employer with a growth rate that can compare to either SSI disability or food stamps) nor does he directly control the price of gasoline (not that I recall anyone accusing him of that, here, EVER, but you are indeed correct).
Personally, I'd be happier if, in both cases he just got the EFF out of the WAY and let producers PRODUCE and MAKE cheap gas, or alternatives, and oh, yeah JOBS by the way...
But hey, that's just me.

Marine4ever said...

Oh, nothing much... just standing around with my hands in my pockets hoping for a change in the weather. The odds of that happening are WAAAY better (and a lot more appealing) than that other hope and change thingy.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@American Cowboy- SOME weird-ass new tax is likely to be coming soon, because it's the only way to forestall the inevitable crash we've been set up for. In other countries, they sometimes do something swift and simple like an overnight asset grab of 10% or 20% of everything you've got in the bank or in a retirement account. Want to bet it couldn't happen here? Hell, the media would applaud it!

@Mike Porter- I love your controlled demolition analogy for what Obama and the Left are doing to this country. They don't have to blow up everything at once - just blow out the critical supports and let the rest of the system collapse of its own weight.

@It's No Gouda- You're exactly right that even a small National Sales Tax would metastasize quickly into something a lot bigger and nastier.

@It's No Gouda- I really like the idea of Tax Day just before Election Day, and I'll also mention again that I'm against payroll deductions and think that everyone (not just the self-employed) should get the "pleasure" of actually writing out checks to the IRS and see all that money leaving their savings accounts or household budgets.

@John the Econ- I'd like to work for a living, but being in the creative field, income has always come in unpredictable fits and starts. Although there aren't as many starts lately, which is why I'm having more fits (ba-da-BOOM!)

But seriously, if I was to go with the Obamacare subsidy that they system says I should get, I'd be looking at an extra $50k (or more) in my pocket three years from now. And I must admit, I can think of a lot of ways to spend that kind of money that would be more fun than paying for insurance which I don't use to any significant degree.

Like I said, I'm wrestling with this one - which only reinforces your point: the real problems will hit the system when the earners say "enough" and join the allegedly free ride.

And GREAT comparison quotes from Krugman. What a d-bag he is...

@PRY- Agreed, right down the line.

@Anonymous- Holy cow! My doorbell rang, but when I answered it there was NO ONE THERE! But there was a paper bag on my doorstep and it was on fire! So naturally I stomped on it and...oh no! It was full of dog poopy! Was that your work, you little scoundrel?

And by the way, I've never said that Obama or any other president could create jobs...but he sure as hell can prevent jobs from being created, and has: with Obamacare, with his energy policies, with his monetary policy, with regulatory abuses, and on and on.

He doesn't have to create diddly squat - he just needs to get out of the way of the American economy. Which he decidely won't.

By the way, next time you post, go ahead and click the Name/URL button and share an imaginative screen name like "BarrysAssMonkey" so you don't seem like quite as much of an ill-informed cowardly chickenshit.

And for your information, Jarlsberg has the richest bouquet of any fromage.

@Stan da Man- Hey, when you're right, you're right. And I don't honestly think anyone on these pages has ever accused Barry of being able to do anything.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Marine4Ever- Imagine how depressing it would be if our weather only had the chance of improving every 4 years, with no guarantee that it would do so?

Forget the polar vortex - it's the leadership vortex that has left so many out in the cold.

REM1875 said...

" Chest and Nuts roasting by an open fire, the other side freezing off..."
I just got my lowest utility bill -ever! Course the fact that the 3 of us literally worked shifts stoking the fireplace like a tinder box on a steam engine and the gas and oil bill for the chain saw is higher than for the vehicles means nothing.
That lady wearing the coat in the house should try keeping her firewood outside cause having to wear the coat outside(and scarf hat and gloves)makes coming inside seem warmer.
Ahh but not to worry, I hear the epa is coming up with a plan to 'help' those of us who heat with fire wood next year, if not sooner.

REM1875 said...

John the econ -yes the clinton plan to tax us as if we were receiving rent on the homes we own. Remember the arsenal liscence, tax and no knock-no warrants from the atf for those who own 10 guns or 1000 rounds of ammo? Economic development zones in the middle of ghettos where our retirement funds were to be invested?
scHrILLARY has not forgotten you can damned sure bet. With 20 unmedicated, untreated years to improve her plans I can only imagine.
The things nightmares are made of.

mlester101 said...

Off topic but I want to profusely thank a "Mr. Bleu" and finger Stilton as coconspirator in the theft of what was a deadline saving idea: "serfing". I have credited when possible the idea to Mr. Bleu (whoever you are). Had I known your real name I would have written it on the cartoon itself but please accept my sincere thanks and should you seek legal action, like Fareeh Zakaria I will blame it on an underling. To quote Martin Bashir, Silton would be an excellent candidate. (see attached)

John the Econ said...

@mlester101, brilliant cartoon. The Obamas and their ilk are creatures of academia, who subscribe to a Platonic-sense of superior entitlement. They honestly don't see anything wrong with lecturing the rest of America over its alleged greed and pleasure-seeking while indulging in everything possible at the expense of those who have far less.

Speaking of indulgent hypocrisy, anyone else follow the antics of self-appointed carbon-cop Leo Di Caprio? He's signed up for a trip to space with Richard Branson.

Why do Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Branson lecture us about carbon consumption while plotting trips to space?

Again, another fine example of rich liberals who admonish soccer moms as environmental criminals for running their daily errands in their minivans, but think little of their own carbon footprints.

Although I think he's a marvelous actor, I also include him on my list of liberal hypocrites I'd like see shot into space, but never to return.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@REM1875- Yes, the Obama administration is now coming after wood-burning stoves and furnaces and, perhaps, fire itself. Ironically, the colder it gets, the fewer options they want people to have to keep from freezing to death.

And by the way, the "economic development zones" you mentioned sure sound a lot like Barry's new "promise zones." Though if I were the president, I'd really be trying not to use the word "promise" anymore.

@mlester101- Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for world-class cartoonist Mike Lester (whom I'm glad to call a friend). Besides doing great conservative editorial cartoons, he creates the funniest new strip in the newspapers, "Mike du Jour."

Mike, I really like the way you brought the "serfing" idea into tight, funny focus. For readers who may not remember, our own Bruce Bleu made the serf reference that Mr. Lester is referring to.

By the way, readers, when you check out the cartoon be sure to read the comments from angry liberals. Hilarious!

@John the Econ- Actually, DiCaprio's rocket ride won't affect his carbon footprint because (wait for it) in space...there ARE no footprints!

Just kidding. Like almost all Libs, DiCaprio is a strong proponent of "do as I say, not as I do."

mlester101 said...

Thank you, thank you. And for my next theft I will be stealing John the Econ's brilliant idea of shooting liberals in space never to return. Thank God you people can't draw...

John the Econ said...

Mike, I'm honored. And you're right; I would have loved to have been a political cartoonist, but I can't draw worth a damn...

Bruce Bleu said...

I want to thank you for your kind words, and don't worry about my legal staff... I appreciate what you did with my idea. The only way you could irritate me is to be a duplicitous douche and use me out of context. Judging by your website, I think that is impossible.
Here's another idea for you. This morning I posted on Earloftaint regarding the GOP's new savior from New Joisey, Obese-Wan Kenobi. Please make us proud by "slapping down" the pillsbury dough-politician!
I just got a new PC, and I'm having difficulty with Winders 8 allowing me to generate an e-mail to you. FYI, my grandfather's brother was half of the company that made high quality optics for the scientific community and Ray-Ban sunglasses, (nudge nudge, wink wink).