Where have all the workers gone? If you don’t have a job, but you’re no longer looking for work, guess what? You’re not counted among the unemployed. The Washington Post reports that if the same percentage of adults were in the workforce now as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent. While if you go back to when George W. Bush was sworn in, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent. I guess this means that if everyone stopped looking for work, Obama could claim the unemployment rate was 0.
Obama having trouble raising big bucks. The headline in The New York Times read “Obama Sees Steep Dropoff in Cash from Major Donors.” It looks like the big givers aren’t opening their wallets as they did in 2008. This time, most donors are giving less than $200 each. While the total lags behind the record amounts he collected in 2008, Barack Obama’s war chest is predicted to hit $1 billion this year — far more than Mitt Romney will have on hand. The President has already appeared at more than 100 fundraisers in the past year.
Obama is busy raising campaign funds. Although Barack Obama condemned “the corrosive influence of money in politics” in his State of the Union speech this year, it turns out that he wants to get his hands on as much of it as possible. A new book by Brendan J. Doherty, The Rise of the President’s Permanent Campaign, says that Obama has held more re-election fundraising events since taking office than the combined total of all five of his predecessors in the Oval Office. Doherty found that as of March 6, Obama had held 104 fundraisers.
Thanks for the laugh, Jay. Jay Leno cracked me up last week with this observation in his opening monologue: “President Obama released his tax returns. It turns out he made $900,000 less in 2011 than he did in 2010. You know what that means? Even Obama is doing worse under President Obama.”
Our do-nothing Senate. One of Barack Obama’s most popular campaign themes this year will be to denounce a “do-nothing” Congress. But in fact, the Republican-controlled House has passed plenty of important legislation, including tax cuts, jobs bills and a budget. It’s the Democratic-controlled Senate that’s been sitting on its hands. A report from the Secretary of the Senate said last year’s group is among the least productive in 20 years, with fewer bills passed, fewer roll-call votes taken and fewer amendments introduced. I guess we should be glad we’re not getting all of the government we’re paying for.
Green Company Goes Into The Red. When the Department of Energy agreed to lend Solar Trust of America $2.1 billion, Secretary Steven Chu said the solar project would create “1,000 direct jobs [and] 7,500 indirect jobs.” It turns out the actual number of new jobs will be closer to zero. Last week, Solar Trust declared bankruptcy.
Congress finally agrees on something. Since no Democrat was willing to submit President Barack Obama’s latest budget to the House, Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) decided to do it for them. He sponsored an alternative budget proposal based on Obama’s budget plan. What happened? Not a single legislator voted for it! That’s right, no one on either side of the aisle would say “aye.” The measure got a bipartisan rejection: 0-414.
That’s some valuable trash. Here’s a stat that will blow you away. At least it did me. In the United States, we dispose of several million cellphones a year. One million cellphones contain more than 35,000 pounds of copper, 770 pounds of gold, 75 pounds of silver and 33 pounds of palladium. By the way, a computer’s circuit board contains four times as much gold and twice as much copper as a cellphone.
This gives new meaning to April Fools’ Day. On the first of next month, Japan cuts its tax rate on corporate profits from 39.5 percent to 36.8 percent. So what, you ask? When that happens, it means that the United States will have the world’s highest corporate tax rate. Our combined Federal and State levies of 39.2 percent will be higher than taxes charged in Russia, China, Sweden and Denmark. Oh, and Japan plans to cut those taxes by another 2.3 percent in three years. Hey, aren’t we supposed to be the pro-capitalist country?
Cutting back at Fannie and Freddie. In a well-publicized effort to slam the barn door a few years too late, the Administration of President Barack Obama proudly announced that it is capping the pay of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bosses at half-a-million bucks a year. That’s an improvement over the past few years, when Fannie and Freddie chief execs pocketed several million dollars a year. But it’s a far cry from what Congress should do: Dismantle both unConstitutional boondoggles.