Sunday, July 26, 2009

Post Office Eliminates Mail Delivery To Balance Budget and Save Jobs

July 25, 2009: The Washington Post reported (link) that “the Postal Service, which is projecting a $6 billion shortfall by the end of September despite a recent postage rate increase, will go to Congress this month to seek emergency relief, looking to cut home mail delivery from six days a week to five. Already, the Postal Service has cut hours at hundreds of post offices across the country …. It has consolidated routes …. Still, said Postmaster General John E. Potter, the service is in "acute financial crisis."

July 26, 2011 -- The Obama administration’s head of the Postal Service announced today the elimination of delivery service.

The Postmaster General stated that she regretted having to take this drastic action, but said that the Postal Service had no other alternative in light of continued decline in mail volume and escalating budget deficits. This fiscal year, the Post Office is slated to lose upwards of $20 billion, despite reducing mail delivery to once a week 7 months ago and a budget infusion of $15 billion from President Obama’s discretionary TARP Fund.

In a press conference yesterday, the Postmaster General said “I hope that once mail delivery is eliminated entirely that the Postal Service will be able to balance its budget within 3 years, given the 25% budget increase Democrats passed this year for the Department.” She went on to say “I am proud of the efforts of the Obama Administration and the Democrat Congress to preserve the thousands of Post Office jobs, since the loss of even some of them would hurt the economy, and although I regret having to permanently discontinue mail delivery service, the Post Office is working hard to identify additional efficiencies to finally balance our budget.”

President Obama issued a statement today, saying “I do not stand with those who would do nothing to finally stop the Post Office budget deficits and those who are indifferent to saving the thousands of jobs there. As I have said before, I am committed to balancing budgets and saving jobs. As for the loss of delivery service, this is a time for shared sacrifice and we must all do our part in these difficult times.”

John M Greco

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The American Medical Association Endorses the Ultra-Liberal House Democratic Health Care Reform Proposal – Is This a Surprise?

The American Medical Association has just endorsed (link) the House Democrats’ health care reform proposal, unveiled last week, and regarded by everyone I have read as the most ultra-liberal of all proposals announced thus far. So ultra-liberal, in fact, that no one I have heard or read gives it much chance of becoming law, let alone even passing the Democrat-controlled House.

Tevi Troy writes (link) at The Corner blog at National Review Online that this proposal “raises taxes, imposes both individual and employer mandates, and creates a government-run health-care plan. This is not surprising, as the House [Democrats’] Leadership’s strategy appears to be to pass a bill that is as far to the left as possible in order to have maximum leverage when negotiating with whatever compromise comes out of the Senate.”

It is hard to believe that a majority of the AMA membership would support this House Democrat proposal, once given a chance to read it. So it is somewhat surprising to have the AMA leadership release this quick endorsement, supporting a plan hatched by the radically-liberal Pelosi and containing the Trojan Horse government run “public option” plan that will surely and shortly eradicate private insurers, leaving all healthcare in the hands of liberal federal government bureaucrats and all doctors as de facto federal employees. And what sentient doctor thinks there's a snowball's chance in hell that Democrats would move one inch toward much-needed reform of malpractice liability law, a very high priority for most doctors?

One factor that must be huge here – the tendency of all large, ostensibly non-political organizations, from philanthropic foundations to professional societies like the American Bar Association, to become progressively more liberal over time, as liberals, executing one of the key directives from their playbook, slowly take over internal staff bureaucracies and elected leadership positions, and then isolate and suppress less-organized and less politically-astute internal opponents.

John M Greco

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Obama “Stimulus” Spending?! Because the First $789 Billion Didn’t Work

Last Friday, July 9, in a discussion on the Obama Administration's just-floated idea to use TARP money for Small Business Administration loans, Larry Kudlow said on his CNBC show: “This [TARP money] is one of the greatest slush fund operations of all time. This TARP money was never intended for this purpose.” Kudlow then stated he believed such a move was another indication that Obama and his people are “panicking” over the continuing economic struggles and the rising unemployment rate, which the Obama team said would never get anywhere near as high as it now is if their massive “stimulus” spending plan was enacted. Well, their plan was enacted, and now things are much worse. And now some Obama people are talking about a second “stimulus” spending plan, because the first didn’t work.

Guest Joe Lavorgna, chief US economist for Deutsche Bank, had the guts to admit he was wrong in succumbing to the big-government-spending-is-the-solution fallacy and hysteria, saying: “The stimulus package, which I initially was all for, has not played out the way I thought. I think a second stimulus package would be really terrible... The first one wasn’t very effective – it’s vulgar Keynesianism as you [Larry] said before.” Even now, though, he says “not very effective.” How about “not effective at all”? From common sense and the opinions of realists, the economy in general and the banking system in particular have stabilized because of the massive Milton Friedman monetary stimulus and the long-called-for significant softening of the “mark-to-market” accounting rule that was destroying banks’ technical solvency.

The hubris and vanity of the liberal elites leads to their fatal attraction to command and control. They believe they know better than the masses who didn’t attend their Ivy League schools. For them, the ‘stimulus” was never about the economy, it was about ever-bigger government pursuing the liberal agenda. But for the saps who were snookered into believing massive government spending and further government control would help the economy, it was a triumph of hope over common sense, of quasi-religious faith in central planning over all human experience, of Obamamania over rational thought.

JM Greco

Previous related posts:

The So-Called “Stimulus” Is “About Politics and Power, Not Sound Economics”

Re: The "Stimulus": Economics As the Dismal Science -- Keynesians Say 1+1=3, Milton Friedman & Common Sense Say No Way

"Great Powers" Historian Paul Kennedy Warns Against the Planned Economic “Stimulus” Package That We’ll Need Foreigners To Pay For

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coleman Brought a Squirt Gun to a Knife Fight In the Minnesota Senate Recount Battle

Well, the Minnesota senate race recount is finally over, and what most people, including me, thought would happen happened. Vicious, no-holds-barred ultra-liberal Democrat Franken out-recounted incumbent Republican gentleman-Norm Coleman. It’s hard to understand even now Coleman’s puzzlingly restrained behavior while the Franken Democrats were stealing the election via a selective recount in Democratic strongholds. Coleman may have thought Minnesota Democrats were above bad behavior, but the joke’s on him, and unfortunately also on us.

This Democratic tactic has been tried twice in the recent past in high profile races – in the 2000 Presidential election, of course, and in the 2004 Washington state governor race. Bush fought hard and finally prevailed, but in Washington state the Republican caved. Coleman seems to have taken an above-it-all approach, counting on the courts to invalidate Franken’s shenanigans, even though such an approach in the Washington governor’s race didn’t work and even though a leading Democratic strategist from that contest was called in early as a Franken advisor.

Coleman won the initial count by over 700 votes, and then also won the first recount by over 200. But as in the Washington governor’s race, that did not deter the Democrats. Votes were selectively “found” in majority Democratic precincts. Democrat Franken’s team seemed to have out-hustled, out-maneuvered, and out-smarted Coleman’s. Franken was recently declared the winner by 312 votes.

Among the many disturbing reports, one from the Wall Street Journal (link) particularly astounded me for the brazenness of the state’s Canvassing Board, led by the ultra-liberal Democrat Secretary of State, who was elected with significant help from the ethically bankrupt left-wing ACORN organization. In one heavily Democratic precinct the hand recount showed fewer votes than had been recorded by the machine on election night, so the Board went with the higher election night count, netting Franken 46 votes. But in another heavily Democratic precinct, the opposite occurred, so the partisan Democrat Board went with the recount, there netting Franken 37 votes. As the WSJ noted, Franken “benefited both ways from the board's inconsistency.”

Another aspect was how local precinct officials decided which “votes” were valid under the law. John Hinderaker at Power Line blog (link) notes:
It turns out, not surprisingly, that the counties that are careful about applying election laws are Republican-leading counties, while the lax ones … are heavily Democratic. What this means, in practice, is that thousands of votes are counted in Democratic counties that would not be counted if the same voter lived in a Republican county…. Thus a deep irony arises: if a uniform standard of strict compliance with the absentee ballot statute is applied, Coleman wins. If a looser standard of substantial compliance with the statute is uniformly applied, Coleman also wins. The only way Coleman loses is if a strict standard is applied in Republican counties and a lax standard is applied in Democratic counties. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened so far.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board (link) supplies the coda:
Mr. Coleman didn't lose the election. He lost the fight to stop the state canvassing board from changing the vote-counting rules after the fact. This is now the second time [citing the 2004 Washington state governor race] Republicans have been beaten in this kind of legal street fight. If the GOP hopes to avoid repeats, it should learn from Minnesota that modern elections don't end when voters cast their ballots. They only end after the lawyers count them.
John M Greco

Previous posts on this subject:

In Minnesota, If It’s Close, They Will Try to Steal It

Democrats Gaining in Their Attempt To Steal Minnesota Senate Election Via Rigged Recount

Minnesota Canvassing Judge Slams Criticisms of Bias, But Does Not Rebut a Single Allegation of Serious Mischief in the Coleman-Franken Recount

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Will Unemployment Rate & Socialized Medicine Stall Obama’s Radical Liberalism? – “It’ll Be Close”

The unemployment rate has soared past what Obama and his new brain trust said it would be without their massive and budget-busting “stimulus” spending, which is essentially pork for ultra-liberal interest groups (like unionized state government workers and Medicaid recipients). Prominent Dem pol Ed Rendell, currently governor of Pennsylvania, says on national TV we need much more stimulus spending, but this time aimed at “shovel-ready infrastructure projects” that will translate into jobs. My God, this was exactly how the first stimulus spending plan was sold to the public, and now Dems are saying that’s not how the money is being spent, that we didn’t do what we said we would do, but if we do it again, we Democrats will get it right the second time around.

On health care reform, the noble struggle continues to convince the large swath of politically inattentive Americans that Obama’s ultimate goal is nationalized government-run health care operated by liberal federal bureaucrats. The Trojan Horse ploy is to introduce a government-run health plan that would “keep private insurers honest,” but would surely and shortly put all private plans out of business. A Wall Street Journal editorial today (link) again hits this theme hard. We surely need responsible health care reforms, but socialized government-run health care isn’t one of them. In Canada or in Britain, if you’re old or really sick, medical care is often if not always low speed, low tech, and low quality, but if you’re among the 80% or so who’re basically pretty healthy and only go in on occasion for minor and preventive care, the system is great because it’s real cheap.

As Mark Steyn said today on the radio, hearing from a remorseful Obama voter, lots of his supporters thought they could "get the cool without the consequence," but now know better. And in response to a report that independent voters are beginning to “edge away” from Obama, Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds today writes: “He ran as a different kind of politician than he’s governing as. He hopes to ram through stuff that will cement his position before the rubes catch on. It’ll be close.”

John M Greco