Category: Government

Happy Memorial Day?

Memorial DayI don’t know why we offer a wish of Happiness on Memorial Day, unless it is to balance out the despair we should feel over the loss of our friends and family over the years on the field of battle.  I don’t mean to sound morose, but it seems like a day like today should be entered into with quiet respect for the sacrifices of the dead and the living, both those who served and their families.

Many of us, I believe, do not spend this day contemplating the things that this day is meant to make us think about.  For most of us, this is a day off of work, an opportunity to spend time with our families, to hold a picnic or just …


Independence… An Illusion?

independence day celebration july 4 1776 AmericaI bring you Independence Day greetings, intentionally a day late. I hope that your celebration yesterday was everything you hoped it would be!

I say intentional because I didn’t want to spoil yesterday’s festivities with the rant you are about to endure.

For over two hundred years we have celebrated the day that the Second Continental Congress finally agreed to tell King George that enough was enough, and that we (the 13 British colonies in North America) were ready to form an independent government and discontinue the disproportionate transfer of resources back to the motherland.

This came from men who were themselves fiercely independent. They could not have imagined running their businesses, their homes, their very lives under the direction and scrutiny of anyone other …


Think College is Critical? Bureau of Labor Statistics Projections Suggest Otherwise

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has on its site information on the 30 occupations where the most jobs are expected to be added between 2010 and 2020. (See Table 6. The 30 occupations with the largest projected employment growth, 2010-20, or click here to see the table.)

The BLS projects that these 30 occupations will add approximately 9.3 million new positions by 2020. These positions would be completely new additions to the existing workforce and not dependent on attrition of the current workers.

They are listed in order of the number of new posts expected, with the top spot being registered nurse, which is no surprise, with an expected growth of almost 712,000 new positions. At the bottom of the list is medical assistant, with …


The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff

I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).

Of course the argument against doing so is the superior one—essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the …


Predictions for the Next Four Years (Part 1 of 2)

Well, Barack Obama will be President for a second term. It is now time to take a look around, and prepare for what is likely to happen next. Based on my observations and what I’ve learned over the years, these are my predictions:

No Housing Recovery

Commentators have been calling the bottom of the housing market – and screaming with increasing urgency that it was time to buy – since 2007. The Fed has cut interest rates to nearly zero, and through quantitative easing has flooded the financial system with new money. This will continue for the near future, especially since QE-infinity was announced earlier this year. There remains no recovery in the housing market, and there won’t be a recovery.

Bad monetary policy has …


Mandates Of The 2012 Election

Mandate, checklist, expectation, assessment, pollI had really hoped to get some thoughts out regarding priorities in this election this past week, but between the disaster caused by hurricane Sandy (including impacts to family and friends in the region) and finishing up fall chores, it just would not happen.  After the election and before the convening of the next Congress in January we will speak to the legislative priorities that must be addressed in Washington (beyond the typical lame-duck activities that will go on at the end of this Congress).  -Ed.

Today some brief thoughts about how the victors of the 2012 election will spin our confidence in them into mandates.  We often hear how such-and-such an office-holder has a “mandate” from their constituents, typically based on real issues discussed …


Waechter’s Final Pre-Election Weigh In: No Matter How You Vote, the Economy Will Not Improve

I cast my ballot early. I didn’t vote third-party and therefore my vote isn’t being wasted. It also isn’t going to matter.

Since 1990, the United States has run aggregate trade deficits above $8 trillion. This is funny, because in 1990 the M2 metric of currency supply was only $3 trillion. There should be nothing but dust coming out of the ATM machines. We have purchased entire merchant-fleets full of foreign goods, and paid for it by quite literally printing money.

Foreign countries, being more blatant about their currency devaluation policies, have been willing to go along with this arrangement. The result is this dynamic: The US prints dollars to buy goods from China, and the Chinese central bank prints yuan to buy the dollars. …


2012 Election Issues That Matter: Life

Political Issues Important, That Matter, 2012 ElectionAs this election draws to a close, and although many have already gone to the polls, I’d like to ponder some of the issues that matter in this election. Some matter more to the general population than others, and we will cover as many as we can between now and November 6. The intent is not so much to compel you to vote for a particular candidate, but to provide some food for thought about the issues and why they are important.  -Ed.

Of all of the issues that fall before us this year, “Life” has the most significance to me.  All of the other issues pale in comparison, and my innermost desire is to do everything I can to ensure that everyone is able …


2nd Presidential Debate: Complete Re-Cap & Analysis Of A Dynamic Evening

Following a week and a half of Democrats either piling criticism on President Obama’s first debate performance or making excuses for it, few could question that tonight the Country’s microscope was squarely focused on our 44th President.  Would he over-correct and turn voters off by being too aggressive?  Would he be able to effectively go on the attack in the Town Hall format?  How will he handle personal questions from the very people struggling due to “his” anemic economy?

After the dust settled tonight, not only were these questions and the 11 questions the audience asked answered—we might have just gotten the answer to the biggest question of them all.  Let’s jump right in.

President Obama (Art Smith)

Last night’s debate proved to be much …


Vice Presidential Debate: Recap and Analysis

Though few would have predicted it two weeks ago, going into tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate the real pressure to perform was squarely on the shoulders of Joe Biden.  This prospect was clearly one that Republicans across the Country have been giddy about in the days leading up to this debate—but tonight the meltdown they were hoping for didn’t happen.  Joe Biden performed well, avoided any big gaffes, and the two candidates essentially dueled to a near draw.

Paul Ryan (Justin Arnold)

As mentioned in our prior debate analysis, we focus on themes because they are the messages that each candidate comes in with for a reason.  These are the issues and messages they have determined will move the needle in their favor and each candidates …