Friday, July 25, 2014

Obama's Border Anarchy: All Illegals Will Be Permitted to Stay

The White House has clearly created the current extreme border crisis which is beginning to resemble a refugee crisis.  Obama has caused this crisis by making it clear that he will not enforce deportation of young illegals, he is ignoring asylum fraud, and is now even considering bringing young people direct from Honduras.  Essentially, no immigration law will be enforced.   Of course, word of this lax enforcement (or non-enforcement) has gotten out to all of the Central American countries and they are coming in droves.  It's working for them!

All of these illegal immigrants are being released pending court hearings and 97% of them are not showing up.  They are disappearing into the shadows.  Basically, the "system" is completely and utterly broken with the aiding and abetting of our Anarchist President.  

Then he's going around making speeches that it's the Republican's fault in not passing a new immigration law when the president is ignoring all of the existing immigration laws!!  How can voters NOT see that??

The President deserves to be impeached for this alone.  The irresponsibility of this administration is stunning.  What the hell is this idiot trying to do other than create complete anarchy?  Communities throughout the Southwest are being massively inconvenienced, hospitals and schools burdened and our national security is being compromised.  That's why the administration is trying to transport illegals to cities away from the border -- to "spread them around."  Why have a border at all??

Regarding the widespread Asylum fraud, a note from the Washington Times,
 According to the Judiciary Committee’s numbers, 65 percent of unaccompanied children’s asylum applications are approved by the initial asylum officer so far in 2014.
There are no unusual circumstances in Central America that require mass asylum. There are no tyrannical dictators persecuting their peoples. All of these asylum requests are fraudulent. And for asylums officers to approve ANY of them is just another example of lax immigration law enforcement that is CAUSING the massive throngs at our border.

Now the Anarchists in the White House are hatching a plan to bring more people from Honduras due to violence there. From the New York Times
The Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal.
If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds.
I hate to tell those idiots in Washington, but there has been violence in Honduras, El Salvador and most Central American countries for decades. There is nothing new here. Most of these countries are essentially failed states due to passive and incompetent populations that lead to incompetent governments that bring nothing but poverty and stagnation. Everyone there is ignorant. Corruption is rampant. Law enforcement is a joke. And we suddenly want to bring those people here? Hell, with that rationale, let's allow the entire country of Mexico come here because of the drug cartel violence! What the fuck is wrong with the idiots in Washington?

They all deserve to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

It might be a slightly different story if our economy were booming and jobs were plentiful.  But Obama's Ultra-Big Government policies, his policy of ignoring the legislature and no reform of anything, ever higher government regulation and intrusion, including the ruin of our nation's healthcare insurance markets (drastically higher insurance prices)  and higher taxes continue to hurt our country's job market.  Our economy is not creating menial jobs for these people. 

With this backdrop, Obama's creating a huge surge of no-skill or low-skill people into our country-- people that have nearly nothing to offer.  Then, he's arguing that their wage should be $10 per hour when they aren't worth half of that.  These people are being transported around by the Federal Government to communities that don't have jobs for them.  Then, local communities are forced to treat these illegal's visits to local emergency rooms for medical care and, suddenly and without warning,  crowd them into classrooms even though they don't speak a word of English. To hell with local budgets or planning!  Naturally US Taxpayers will be paying the rent for these illegals.  They don't have even a penny.  Could it get any more fucked up?

We are witnessing a trouble-making Communist activist in the White House creating anarchy at our borders, compromising our national security, burdening local communities without consultation and intentionally overwhelming Federal border patrols (who are Federal employees).  All of this is being supported or unopposed by the Democratic Party.  Remember that in November.  Punish them!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ObamaCare Continues to Fall Apart

Every week brings a new setback in the implementation of the Incredibly Shrinking ObamaCare law.   I guess that's what happens when arrogant bureaucrats, who think they are smarter than everyone else, hastily slap together a lengthy, poorly conceived,  unpopular law without reading it,  pass it in the middle of the night, with zero members of the political opposition supporting it -- all to give their 'black' President a single political "victory."  That victory was won at a time when nothing was being done to help the millions of unemployed suffering in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.  At least Bush was smart enough to lower taxes in the face of the dot.com recession. That worked.

Last week, conveniently announced during the latest burst of international chaos, the HHS suddenly found the pretext to grant exemptions for 4.5 million persons from their wonderful law in five territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands.   The territories had originally lobbied to be included in ObamaCare coverage.  Then the scope of disaster became real.  Prices skyrocketed and insurers bolted.   In short, it was a total disaster in those territories.

And of course it's essentially illegal for the Obama Administration to ignore enforcement of his own law.  The law is the law!  That it doesn't work is not relevant.  To change the law, the law must be modified by the legislature -- which the President unconstitutionally ignores.  Obama is one fucked-up dude.  One day Obama might find his ass impeached and out of office.  That day might come with a big victory by the Repubs in the Senate.

Then, yesterday the nation's 2nd highest court, the Fourth Circuit Court of DC said that: "the ACA unambiguously restricts...subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges 'established by the State.'"  That means that the Federal government had no legal right to grant taxpayer subsidies to the 36 states that refused to create a healthcare exchange.  It's a ruling that affects millions of people who think they are getting substantial subsidies.  And 90% of Obamacare enrollees are receiving subsidies.

The law remains as unpopular as ever as it's 2nd rate coverage "options" at astronomic prices turns out to be a hardship for everyone in the nation.  I can't even count the number of exemptions granted by fiat "fiddling" by this administration. Every exemption is an admission that the law doesn't work.  If the law was so good, why is everyone trying to squirm away from it?  If it's so good, why did 36 states not want the healthcare exchanges?  If it's so good, why were employers nationwide given an exemption from providing insurance to their employers?  

Even the individual mandate was sneakily struck down on a late Friday afternoon in March 2014 in an internet posting by the HHS stating that if an uninsured claims a "hardship" in obtaining insurance coverage, he or she is exempt from individual mandate.  No documentation required.  From Fox,
individuals can now qualify for a "hardship exemption" -- meaning they would not have to pay a penalty for not buying insurance -- if they "experienced another hardship in obtaining  health insurance." 
The document does not define what "another hardship" means, and suggests the administration might not be a stickler when it comes to proof either. It says anyone seeking this exemption should "submit documentation if possible."
So, basically all of the mandates (employers and individual) are gone.  The whole law is officially in a state of disaster now since it depends on all people to be covered by a policy since all pre-existing conditions must also be covered by insurers.   Now, we're back to square one where all individuals could avoid buying (and paying for) insurance coverage until they they are sick.  When they need coverage, they can take advantage of the mandated coverage of pre-existing conditions.  Obviously, this can't stand.  It's the entire heart of the law.  Expect fraud galore.  Expect insurance companies, who made the mistake of getting bed with this administration, to get screwed.  But they'll jack up rates ever higher thanks mostly to the Obama administration.

Remember that ObamaCare is the President's only "victory," -- a Pyrrhic victory.  This is no way to run a nation -- unless it's Nigger Nation. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blacks -- Mostly Black Men -- Remain a Huge Burden to US

Americans remain relatively ignorant of the still horrific state of Black American 'culture.'  

I don't know why, because every night on our local news, I watch a parade of surveillance clips of black men caught committing nearly all of the crimes reported (that have videos) on our local news.  Usually it's about 75% black perpetrators.  Some times, ALL of the criminals shown are black.  The news readers NEVER mention the race of the perpetrators.  No news network does. No news network reported "Flash Rob" crimes for example.  Maybe it's because they were entirely a black phenomena?  No news network or newspaper reported that the recent spate of "Knockout" crimes were entirely a black phenomena.  I'm surprised it got any air time at all.  The news syndicates in this country are propagandists in what they fail to report!

But the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that, nationwide, blacks are committing crimes at 7 times the rate of whites.  Blacks make up 13% of the population but commit the majority of violent crimes in this country.  It's even worse than that.   It's mostly black men who are committing the crimes, so it's only 6.5% of the population doing nearly all the damage.

African Americans, especially African American men, continue to be a huge burden to this country. (Add Obama and Holder to the list)   It's true that there has been some progress for African Americans in the past 50 years and that's great.  But, much of the propaganda or rhetoric of the "improvement" of black America is not exactly true.  In fact, some of the statistics "documenting" improvement are flawed or exaggerated.   It has to do with the large numbers of black men and young black men in prison/jail that aren't counted.   From Becky Pettit in the NYT, "imprisoned black men aren’t figured into most statistics about the standing of African-Americans. The consequence, she says, is an overstatement of black progress in education, employment, wages and voting participation."

Here's some examples showing how the large number of imprisoned are affecting statistics about Black American "culture":
  • Reported high school completion rate for blacks of 66% is overstated since the high numbers of young black men in prison/jail are not being counted and 2nd rate GEDs (counted as high school completion) are also inflating the numbers. There hasn't been any real progress in decades.
  • Black male unemployment is reported at 10.7% (4.9% for white males). But about 0.8 million black men are in jail/prison (at huge cost to taxpayers) and are not counted by the BLS. If they were added to the ranks of unemployed, the black male unemployment rate would be about 20%.
  • If inmates were counted, she estimates, the black high school dropout rate would soar to 19 percent and the share of dropouts who are employed would plunge to 26 percent (link)
  • The celebrated voter turnout among young blacks in the 2008 election would drop to roughly 20 percent, about where it was in 1980 (link)
    Here are other dire statistics detailing the horrible "culture" of African Americans:
    • They receive 3 times the benefits given to whites but remain unhappy as 'welfare' just keeps people more comfortable in their poverty.
    • Black are committing crime at 7 times the rate of whites (page 11 of link)
    • Blacks (mostly black men) committed 52% of all murders, 57% of the gun murders and committed 66% of the drug related homicides (1980 to 2008) or about 7 to 8 times the crime rate of whites. (table 7 at this link)
    • Black men comprising only 6.5% of the population, are committing more than 50% of all violent gun crimes. If you want to drastically reduce gun homicides and other gun crimes in this country, seize all the guns from black men!
    • From the BJS (page 11), in 2008, the offending rate for blacks (24.7 offenders per 100,000) was 7 times higher than the rate for whites
    • By the time they turn 18, one in four black children will have experienced the imprisonment of a parent.
    • More young black high school dropouts are in prison or jail than have paying jobs.
    • In 2008, one in nine black men was incarcerated on any given day.
    • Blacks make up about 40% of prison population but only 13% of the population. Whites are only 34.7% of the prison population but 77% of the population. Blacks are therefore about 7 times more likely to be in prison.
    • Comparing all males aged 20 to 34 yrs old, black rates of incarceration in 2010 is 10 times that of white Americans. (link)
    • Some 37% of blacks aged 20 to 34 without a high school diploma are in prison right now!
    • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that black women accounted for 35.4% of all abortions in 2009 but only represent 12.5% of the population. Abortion rates for black women is 4 times the rate of those for all other women. Sadly, no one wants to adopt black babies.
    • Blacks are nearly 70% of new HIV infections or about 7 times the rate for whites (link)
    • Washington DC has higher HIV infection rates than most African countries (and DC is only 58% black) (link and here)
    • Black gonorrhea infections are 18 times those of whites.
    • 72% of newborn black babies are born to a family without a father. (link)
    • Over 80 percent of black children have been abandoned emotionally and, usually, economically by their fathers. (NYT)
    • No one wants black people on juries.

      Sunday, July 20, 2014

      90% of ObamaCare Enrollees Receive Sudsidies

      Never mind that Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare are all in deficit with costs exceeding payroll tax collections by over $1/2 Trillion this year alone. And never mind that all three programs are projected to have even larger deficits for as far as the eye can see. There is no effort to reform these programs since Democrats won't even admit that there's a problem. Democrats continue to hide their heads in the sand about the demographics crisis that has steadily reduced the worker-to-beneficiary ratios.

      So, as if that's not enough, Democrats and Obama will worsen an already bad situation. ObamaCare is now subsidizing 90% of it's victims customers at taxpayers expense. In another exposed lie, ObamaCare WILL increase the deficits. Every claim made by Obama to sell ObamaCare are all proven false -- proving once again that liberals impose their agenda by using lies and tricks.

      Obama, of course, wants millions more on the Federal Government feeding trough so that those people will vote for the irresponsible Democrats to continue their benefits. But when 90% receive subsidies, who's going to pay the bill? I feel sorry for the top 10% who pay the vast majority of taxes as it is and will also suffer due the drastically higher ObamaCare costs. Obama and Democrats are the most irresponsible people ever.
      From the LA Times,
      "Consumers who make less than four times the federal poverty level, or about $94,000 for a family of four, qualify for subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums in most places."

      That assistance helped lower premiums for consumers who bought healthcare coverage on federal marketplaces by 76% on average...Premiums that normally would have cost $346 a month on average instead cost consumers just $82, with the federal government picking up the balance of the bill.
      $94,000 per year is the cut off for subsidies!! It wasn't that long ago that this administration called those people well off!

      Now, a family of four making $94,000 needs assistance!! How screwed-up is that? And that's partly because the cost of healthcare insurance rose nearly 40% last year alone!! The cost of ObamaCare IS a hardship to nearly everyone. Thanks Obama, Reid and Pelosi!! With friends like that, who needs enemies? The truth is that they are the enemies.

      Obamacare is doubling down on a broken system where everyone is using other people's money allowing high healthcare insurance cost increases. No one has incentive to improve efficiency or conserve resources. It's like everyone is playing with 'funny money.' The result: healthcare costs in the US are MUCH higher than the rest of the world by 3 to 10 fold.

      And government spending, on the margin, has been a big driver of cost increases. Now that government will be spending unlimited and unrestrained money on Medicaid, Medicare, and ObamaCare, the gov't will drive prices even higher. Unlike individuals, the government is completely and totally insensitive to prices, and prices WILL go up and the US deficits will continue higher until ruin arrives. It can't have a happy ending because prices will never go down.

      Some of the right reforms, instead of ObamaCare were to:
      • repeal Obamacare and give uninsured vouchers to cover high deductible policies (rather than ruining the health insurance market and raising costs dramatically!!). 
      • block grants of a fixed amount of federally budgeted monies given to the States for healthcare programs -- with restrained increases.  This will help restrain price increases.
      • promote health savings plans which allow consumers to buy very high deductible policies which give the consumers some 'skin in the game.' 
      • change the tax incentives to shift consumers from their employer's plans to their own plans so that their coverage is portable. Changing jobs won't affect their coverage as is the case now.
      • tort reform and expanded high risk pools to cover the few remaining uninsured (after people covered by their employers shift to their own portable policies.

      Tuesday, July 15, 2014

      Why Listen To Any Stock Market Analyst?


      Take a look at the graph of corporate earnings estimates from so-called analysts on Wall Street.  Notice, how they routinely spin a happy story until reality intrudes.  It's a bit like economist's estimates of GDP.  Why trust stock market analysts?  Don't!


      Monday, July 14, 2014

      Chile and 30 Other Countries Run Their Social Security System Better than US

      Republicans Steve Forbes in 1996 and George Bush in the 2000 presidential campaign advocated for allowing workers to put their Social Security money in private accounts with more choice in how to invest that money.   Al Gore, repeating Democratic 'talking points,' called it a "risky scheme.'  Climate alarmist Al Gore was another "Mr. Wrong" like our current 'misstra know-it-all' Obama.  Both are idiots.  It is those guys who are members of the flat earth society.

      Fortunately, Chile and 30 other countries didn't listen to Al Gore and those countries and citizens are enjoying much more robust retirement programs that provide retirees MUCH higher retirement income with no deficits to burden taxpayers.  Chile and 30 countries privatized pension contributions and now are enjoying investment performance that outperform our system by far.   From IBD,
      The study of 28,000 households done by a consultancy affiliated with the Catholic University of Chile, showed that male workers who contributed just 10% of their salaries to their retirements for 40 years or more on average earned retirement checks worth about 87% of their top salaries. No 401(k) account needed.
      That's because in 1981 Chile Labor Minister Jose Pinera replaced the country's bankrupt social security system with this famous system of private accounts.   It redirected workers' existing social security taxes to a new market-based system of investing choices that let workers make their own decisions in a program run by private companies.
      The study shows Chile's private pensions over three decades have yielded returns six times higher than what workers got under Chile's old social security system — which, by the way, was similar to ours.
      In contrast, US social security returns are paltry compared to the amount paid in. Chileans get 6 times the amount of retirement income compared to a system similar to ours. Also, in Chile, the chart below shows that most of the payout of benefits come from investment returns on investments -- not contributions. Even when the market turns down, the pension fund continues to buy investments and, in effect, dollar-cost averages their investment purchases. Notice how the huge financial crisis in 2008/2009 was a temporary blip in profits.


      But don't expect anything good to happen in the U.S.   Democrats are against all market-based solutions and demagogue the issue by falsely warning that markets are far too dangerous to entrust workers' pensions to them.   As usual, these people are wrong. These are the same people who assured lied to you that ObamaCare would improve your lives.  

      These people refuse to acknowledge the power of markets.  Although it's been known for 30 years, Democrats put their heads in the sand and refuse to even acknowledge the reality that there are fewer workers for each beneficiary now and into the future for both SS and Medicare.  Both programs are sharply in deficit forever. 

      It's the Democrats that are putting people's retirement security at risk.  Because there is no "lock box" for SS or Medicare, (those monies were spent years ago by your corrupt politicians) these benefits are paid out of current tax revenue.  What happens when there is a future financial crisis and the US Government can't raise money in bond markets (after racking up staggering amounts of debt causing the country's credit rating to collapse)?   Benefits will be paid, but a cup of coffee might cost $500 since the gov't will surely inflate their way out of their own mess.

      Citizens in Chile have no such worry.

      Stock markets don't go to zero and, in fact, are the ultimate inflation hedge since companies earnings increase with inflation.  Yeah, share prices might go down for awhile, but eventually rise given a long enough time frame.  Privatizing Social Security is threatening to Democrats because it makes the government mostly irrelevant.   That is the Democrats worse fear. 

      Sunday, July 13, 2014

      Why Would Anyone Listen to an Economist?

      One chart shows that most economists are useless.  Most are wrong. Take a look at the black line showing shrinking estimates for 2014 GDP.  It's happened every recent year too.


      "Of all the economic bubbles that have been pricked, few have burst more spectacularly than the reputation of economics itself." – From The Economist, July 16, 2009



      Saturday, July 12, 2014

      CYNK: A $4B Market Cap But No Revenue, No Product and No Assets

      Remember 1999, when investors were piling into any Nasdaq internet stock without discrimination or reason?  Maybe those days are back. 

      Cynk Technology has no revenue, no assets and one employee wearing the hats of President, CEO, CFO, Treasurer, Secretary and the entire board of directors.  Investors have piled billions of dollars into this penny stock with reckless and "bubblicious" abandon.  Maybe it's because it has the word "technology" in it's name?  Oh, lest I forget, it has no technology either.

      The stock traded at $0.06 per share on June 17. Yesterday, the stock closed at $13.90 per share. That means that in one month the value of CYNK went from $17.5 million to $4.05 billion.  That's about a 23,000% rise in price in one month.  With no revenue. And no assets.

      Add this to the latest "tells" showing how the stock market is in bubble territory.  But like in 1999, it could last longer than most expect despite the obvious silliness.   But it all ended in tears.

      Friday, July 11, 2014

      The BIS Warns Banks and Investors Again

      In 2007, the Bank of International Settlements, the BIS, was the only major institution in the world to accurately predict the impending global financial crisis.  The BIS is the central bank of central banks and they are a voice of reason in a sea of fiat money hyper-liquidity.  See my Sept 2103 blog called  "The Man Who Predicted the Last Crisis Says Excesses Worse Now.

      They are back in 2014 with stark warnings against investor complacency, central bank policy errors and the potential for bursting bubbles.  From the BIS (thanks to Zero Hedge),
      The Bank for International Settlements has warned that "euphoric" financial markets have become detached from the reality of a lingering post-crisis malaise, as it called for governments to ditch policies that risk stoking unsustainable asset booms.
      While the global economy is struggling to escape the shadow of the crisis of 2007-09, capital markets are "extraordinarily buoyant", the Basel-based bank said, in part because of the ultra-low monetary policy being pursued around the world. Leading central banks should not fall into the trap of raising rates "too slowly and too late", the BIS said, calling for policy makers to halt the steady rise in debt burdens around the world and embark on reforms to boost productivity.
       In its annual report, the BIS also warned of the risks brewing in emerging markets, setting out early warning indicators of possible banking crises in a number of jurisdictions, including most notably China.
       "Particularly for countries in the late stages of financial booms, the trade-off is now between the risk of bringing forward the downward leg of the cycle and that of suffering a bigger bust later on," it said.

      Thursday, July 10, 2014

      Financial Crises in Bulgaria and Portugal

      This note is a warning of financial stress in periphery countries in the house of cards that is known as Europe.  Stress typically starts in the periphery and works it's way to the core.  I've commented before that European bank capital levels still make the European financial system a systemic risk.  It was just a matter of time before kicking the can didn't work anymore.

      In Bulgaria in the past two weeks, there were outright bank runs (mass depositor withdrawals) at First Investment Bank AD and Corporate Commercial Bank AD, the country’s third- and fourth-largest lenders by assets.    The most ridiculous thing is that the IMF issued an all-clear on Bulgaria's financial system just a month ago saying that, among other things, that Bulgarian banks are “stable and liquid.”

      A full-fledged financial crisis emerged this morning in Portugal with the suspension of share sales of Espirto Santo Financial due to their substantial ownership of bankrupt bank Espirito Santo SA.   The highly incredible IMF said reassuringly this morning that

      *IMF: POCKETS OF VULNERABILITY REMAIN IN PORTUGAL BANKING SYSTEM
      *IMF SAYS IT DOESN'T COMMENT ON INDIVIDUAL FINL INSTITUTIONS
      *IMF: PORTUGUESE BANKING SYSTEM ABLE TO ENDURE CRISIS

      Maybe this is nothing to worry about, but with bubbles brewing everywhere -- especially in China and sputtering economic growth in the entire world, this may be the beginning of the end of a long period of "extend and pretend" by governments and their liars spokesmen.  Debt is sky high now everywhere, business is contracting and the financial systems in Europe and Asia (with few exceptions) are houses of cards.  The US is the cleanest "dirty shirt" in the world when it comes to the banking system.

      How UK Socialists Kill Their Golden Goose

      The EIA, the US Energy Information Administration, has given the UK Socialists a blistering drubbing for imposing confiscatory taxes on oil and gas companies which will further ruin their already declining domestic energy production.  The UK Socialists try to ignore the Laffer curve as higher taxes will actually hurt government tax revenue and their balance of trade.  Oil and gas revenues used to be the UK's golden goose in the 70s and 80s when the UK was an oil exporter.

      Socialists, who eventually run out of other people's money, are desperate for revenue and have ratcheted-up taxes on the (formerly) prosperous offshore oil and gas business with tax rates up to 81%.   Worse, this tax rate goes up and down too often creating policy uncertainty thereby hurting long-term business confidence.

      To give you some reference, the US Federal government royalty rates (tax rate) on all offshore field production is 18.75% and has been steady for years.  Stability of policy, including tax policy, is a recipe for success.  Unsteady and shifting policies are not.

      Back to the UK, here's some commentary from the Energy Information Agency,
      Recent increases in tax rates for the oil and gas sector, coupled with technical issues, have contributed to sharp declines in UK oil production. Higher tax rates have made the UK fields less competitive, which were already strained by high operating and decommissioning costs.

      Since 2011, there have been a number of tax changes that affected production (or investment) in the United Kingdom [...] The tax rate for fields that are subject to petroleum revenue tax (PRT) increased to 81% of their profits (from the previous 75-percent rate), and fields that are not subject to PRT now pay a 62-percent tax (compared with the 50-percent rate in the past).

      As a result of the significant increases in taxes, the UKCS projects have become even less competitive. Increases in operating costs coupled with higher taxes have resulted in decreased investment in both brownfields and new exploration. Even without the increased taxes, operating costs in the UKCS were prohibitively high, exacerbated by the high decommissioning costs of old facilities, which also discourage investors.

      Almost immediately after the new tax rates were implemented, development on several start-ups was suspended, including Statoil's Mariner and Chevron's Bressay fields. In addition, Centrica launched a review of all of its exploration activities, as many projects were deemed uneconomical under the new rates
      The UK used to be a big petroleum exporter since the 1970s, but that has gone away as the big fields declined and more expensive marginal fields have come on line.  The UK has been a net oil importer now since 2005 and that is set to further worsen with the higher taxes.  Because of less attractive economics for the smaller fields, the UK should be LOWERING taxes, not RAISING them.

      Indeed, former Wood Group chairman Sir Ian Wood said investment is likely to fall by half later this decade, and called for a complete overhaul of the tax and regulatory regime.

      Big government, excessive regulation, welfare, welfare dependency and bloated government costs paid for by high taxes on the prosperous has ruined many a country.  The results are a stagnated economy, limited employment opportunities and limited upward mobility.  This is how Socialism ruins societies.  They soak the "rich"-- those who have the wherewithal to build businesses that create employment and growth.  This is also the story of the poor performing economies in Western Europe.

      This, of course, is the direction that Obama and Democrats want to go.  When will people see that they need to be run out of town on a rail?