The headline is that the jobless rate fell in November to 7.0% from October’s 7.3%, and the participation in the labor force (the number of Americans working at some capacity or looking for work) rose in November to 155,294,000 from October’s 154,839,000.
However, the headline ignores the fact that the Democrats’ government shutdown for much of October led to a large number of Federal employees being furloughed (some 450,000 were out of work for the duration), which both contributed to October’s rise in unemployment and that lowered number in labor force participation. Comparing November’s data with September’s, the month immediately preceding that shutdown, provides a much more useful comparison. In September, the unemployment number was 7.2%; the November still seems a significant drop. However, September’s labor force participation was 155,559,000 Americans: that force had shrunk by 265 thousand Americans by the end of November. The lower participation contributed significantly to the headline unemployment rate “drop.”
Dunstan Prial at Fox Business, noted that
The Treasury Department on Monday announced that the government has sold its remaining shares of General Motors, and that losses from the 2009 auto industry bailout total about $15 billion.
In a conference call, Treasury officials said the government has recovered about $39.9 billion of the $49.5 billion earmarked for GM under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) approved by Congress as the company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy nearly five years ago.
The folks at Power Line addressed this in Presidential term aggregates; I thought I’d graph the GDP rates in each year of the last five Presidents’ terms. The data for the graph were collected from here.
Aside from the fact that economic growth is poorer in Obama’s administration than it was in any of the preceding four Presidents’ terms, stretching back over 32 years, President Barack Obama’s performance year by year (first year compared to each of the others’ first year, second year compared to second year, and so on) generally has been poorer, also. It’s certainly true that Obama’s first year was a continuation of President George Bush the Younger’s last, but so has each of those Presidents’ first years been continuations of their predecessors’ last years. And President Ronald Reagan’s first year was a continuation of President Jimmie Carter’s last year—which was 3.8 points lower at 8.8% and declining from Carter’s prior years.
We’re well familiar with President Barack Obama’s view of the law: it’s just a political guideline, which he’ll enforce—or not—at convenience. See Obamacare and its Employer Mandate and Cancelled Insurance Policies, for instance.
Here’s another example. Covered California, California’s state-run ObamaMart, has given out personal contact data—names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses—on tens of thousands of Californians who went to the CC site just to check out coverage possibilities. None of these browsers had given permission to release these personal data in any way, shape, or form. Nevertheless, these data were given to insurance brokers, among others, so those brokers could cold call this additional list of sales pitch spam victims.
On the People’s Republic Of China’s new Air Defense Identification Zone (which the PRC demands that all aircraft intending to fly through it check in with the Chinese government first), an airspace grab that goes with its grab of the East China Sea below, the Obama administration has had this response.
National security spokesman Patrick Ventrell:
pointed to White House press secretary Jay Carney’s remark that “the US government does not accept or recognize China’s newly declared” defense zone.
State Department spokesman Marie Harf:
[W]e’ve been very clear that we’ve called on China not to implement the ADIZ, and we’ll continue to do so.
…is shaping up. Never mind that a budget deal might actually otherwise be beginning to come together; many in the Democratic Party leadership are perfectly willing to shut down the government if they don’t get their way. Again.
And in so many words. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D, MD) opposes even a continuing resolution to keep government funded if it doesn’t address the existing sequestration cut schedule. But he won’t offer spending cuts elsewhere to offset them—just increase the damned spending. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) has said she’ll oppose any sort of budget deal that doesn’t include an extension to unemployment benefits to pay folks for not working (which also is her tacit admission that President Barack Obama’s economic policies have been a dismal failure these past five years).
This is a preview of
The Next Democratic Party Government Shutdown
. Read the full post (167 words, estimated 40 secs reading time)
The government of The People’s Republic of China wants, in all seriousness, to build a city in the state of New York that is devoted to the purposes of that government. This city is to be called China City of America, and it’s intended to include family housing, a college with student residences, and offices for representatives of every province in China, among other structures—and we taxpayers would foot the bill for 20% of this $300+ million dollar project (an early number that’s likely to grow, as all such project costs do).
Illinois has a deeply bankrupt pension system—it’s in the hole by $100 billion: a state is in the hole by $100 billion, not a nation—a pension system that’s the worst off in the country.
Their solution? A bill just passed that in total is claimed to save $160 billion over 30 years and fully fund the systems by 2044. That’s a bit over $5 billion a year on that $100 billion arrearage. And it naively, if not cynically, assumes that future state legislatures won’t change the thing for all of those 30 years.
Some specifics, with my comments: the bill
Romain Hatchuel, Square Advisors LLC Managing Partner, has an excellent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, but I want to comment on one small part of it:
In his November investment commentary for bond giant Pimco, [billionaire investor Bill] Gross asks the “Scrooge McDucks of the world” to accept higher personal income taxes and to stop expecting capital to be taxed at lower rates than labor.