Thursday, November 22, 2012

Corrupt World of African-American Politicians

In the early 20th century, Booker T.Washington said:
"There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs - partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose their grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."
Jesse Jackson Jr. (D, Illinois), was just re-elected overwhelmingly to Congress while mostly out of sight, no campaigning to speak of,  spending time in hospitals suffering from "bipolar depression," and under Federal investigation.  It is reported just after the election (of course) that he is seeking a plea bargain deal that will likely involve some jail time. See the story at CBS News.

Yeah, I guess the Federal investigation would depress me too. It's also depressing when his constituency overwhelmingly sticks with "their man" despite the FBI investigation. I know that there are better African American candidates than that!  Come on people!

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Jackson Jr's father, the "so-called reverend" (who is not ordained) Jesse Jackson Sr., is famous for using complaints of racism against major corporations as a method of extortion and blackmail in order to reap millions for himself and his organizations.

Black politicians are routinely elected and re-elected regardless of record, regardless of qualifications, regardless of corrupt and criminal wrongdoings and regardless of criminal indictments and even jail time.  Just look at the sorry record of Black Democratic voters and the politicians they support in Washington DC and Detroit:

Corruption in Washington DC
Just look at Washington DC, a bastion of Black and Democratic voters who re-elected Marion Barry despite his crack cocaine addiction and arrest for cocaine possession by a FBI sting. He served 6 months in jail.   Nevertheless, he was eventually re-elected mayor.

The current mayor of Washington DC., Vincent Gray has his hands full with a rash of corruption.  From ABC News
Gray is running a city notorious for shady politicians. In the past four years half of D.C.'s top government officials have been under investigation by either federal authorities or the D.C. board of elections. Two have resigned, two have served prison time and two have been closely connected to staff members who pled guilty to felonies.
More from US News
The crisis of corruption in Washington's local politics reached a peak Wednesday night, with the resignation of D.C. City Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown hours after being charged with bank fraud.
Thursday, prosecutors in D.C. superior court filed a second charge against Brown for unlawful cash campaign expenditure, according to NBC Washington.
Brown's resignation came on the heels of others.  Last month, D.C. councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. resigned after being charged with stealing $350,000 in city funds. Also in May, two former aides to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray pleaded guilty in a probe of the mayor's 2010 campaign.
Corruption in Detroit
Now, let's go to Detroit, another city without a Republican and nearly without a white person (only 10% white).  Their current Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick is facing jail time for extensive corruption.  From American Interest
The 41 year old Kwame Kilpatrick may well be the worst and most destructive American of his generation; his two terms as Mayor of Detroit are among the most sordid and stomach churning episodes in the storied history of American municipal corruption. Now under federal indictment for, essentially, running Detroit City Hall as a criminal enterprise, Kilpatrick reportedly turned down a plea bargain that included a 15 year prison term.

There is something profoundly wrong with an American political culture that accepts chronic misgovernment in major cities as OK. It is not OK; the people who do these things may call themselves liberal Democrats and wear the mantle of defenders of the poor, but over and over their actions place them among the most cold blooded enemies and oppressors of the weak.
Charlie Rangel: Poster Child For Corruption
Charlie Rangel, Representative from New York remains a Congressman despite his numerous ethics violations and obvious corruption. Get this, he's a avid supporter of Fidel Castro (like Maxine Waters), giving Castro a bear hug in 1992 while his African American audience gave them a standing ovation!  Like Jesse Jackson Sr, he has made a career of baseless charges of racism for political (if not financial) advantage. Idiots!  Among his many problems reported from 
  • In September 2008 the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Rangel's failure to report (and pay taxes on) $75,000 in rental income which he had earned from his beach property in the Dominican Republic.  
  • Rangel also owed back taxes for at least three years, and he was illegally renting four rent-subsidized apartments in New York City -- at less than half of their market value -- while claiming his Washington, DC home as his primary residence for tax purposes. 
  • In December 2008, reporters learned that Rangel had paid $80,000 in campaign funds to an Internet company run by his son for the creation of the congressman's Political Action Committee website.
  • On March 3, 2010, Rangel stepped down from his post as the Ways and Means Committee chairman under pressure from Republicans
  • On July 29, 2010, House investigators accused Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards
  • On the eve of Rangel's ethics trial in November 2010, it was reported that during 2009-10, the congressman had improperly used $393,000 from his National Leadership political-action committee to pay for his legal defense -- yet another breach of House ethics.   Apart from the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show that Rangel used $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team.
  • On November 15, 2010, When Rangel appeared before a House ethics subcommittee and tried to delay his trial, claiming that he could not afford to hire an attorney after having incurred nearly $2 million in legal fees during the previous two years. Having said that, Rangel walked out of the proceedings. 
  • The next day, the ethics subcommittee convicted Rangel on 11 of the 13 counts against him, thereby setting the stage for a full ethics panel to hold a sanctions hearing, where it would recommend a punishment. 
  • On November 18, 2010, the House ethics committee voted 9-1 in favor of censuring Rangel and requiring him to pay any unpaid taxes on unreported rental income from his vacation home in the Dominican Republic.
  • On December 2, 2010, the full House of Representatives voted 333 to 79 in favor of censuring Rangel for financial misconduct, thereby making him the 23rd House member ever to be censured -- and the first since since 1983. 
Despite the censure, Rangel was able to defeat the Democrats who made a bid to take his House seat in 2012 and won his District's Democratic primary by a margin of 45.7% to 39.1 over his closest opponent, Adriano Espaillat.   Pathetic!

Black People Just Don't Get It
Obama was re-elected despite a very poor record and an agenda for "more of the same" during his 2nd term.  African Americans, suffering much worse unemployment than any other group under Obama's first term voted to re-elect him and "more of the same" by a margin of some 95% of the black vote.  Talk about depressing voter behavior.   Idiots!

As a group, they will fall off the cliff with their disastrous choices and then blame everyone else for their problems.   Apparently this will never change.  Meanwhile, educational standards for African Americans in Detroit and Washington fall to abysmal levels assuring that the next generation of African American voters will remain as clueless and hopeless as ever.

I'm fed up with this nonsense as anyone would be.   Black people are doing more than their part to ruin the US with their ignorance and "cultural baggage." The more "handouts" Obama gives them, the more he's assuring that no change will be required.  You can be assured of more stagnation under Obama, since he doesn't have a clue about pro-growth policies, which will surely keep down the weakest members of the society.  Obama voters only have themselves to blame.

Black people support their corrupt leadership until their leaders are put in handcuffs and put into jail---which happens all too often--but maybe not often enough.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The West Lapsing Into Totalitarian Slump

Janet Daley has written a riveting editorial today "We're Headed For Economic Dictatorship" complaining how the economies of The West are stagnated with excessive government intervention.  It's the case where the medicine is now worst than the disease.  Europe and the UK are much further along the path of totalitarian government malaise than the US. They are broke and their banking systems are completely insolvent.  The US is broke, but it's banks are not quite as leveraged as their European peers.

In the US, it's possible that a period of stagnation was inevitable.  The US government created the original crisis through excessive credit growth during the past few decades that ultimately reached it's limit.  And, regarding private debt, it did indeed reach a limit.  If credit is borrowing growth from the future, then the future is already here and now.   We had our booming 1980s and 1990s and weaker 2000s.   Now comes payback--meaning stagnation or no growth.

However, we're nearly 5 years into the crisis with moderate deleveraging primarily through mortgage bankruptcies.  I make the claim that "Pro-Growth Policies the Only Way Out" as a "hopeful" call for some improvement in the economy, but that candidate didn't win the election.   See also my blog: Blog Series #2: Solutions to Big Problems.

It's entirely probable that the very medicine being applied to "help" the economy is actually hurting.   Now the government sector is borrowing against future growth by spending vastly beyond it's means and doling out money to as many recipients that it can find. Since the government is not spending on productive things, it's just wasteful and manipulative. Worse, government rule making, rule changing, and renewed regulations leave every businessman sitting on his or her hands waiting in vain for an end to it.    No one is smart enough to say "enough!"  Unlimited government spending and resources and unlimited free money courtesy of the Fed has enabled all of this "meddling" by "control-freak" nanny-bureaucrats who wrongly think that they know best.

So Government steps in to fill a void in business activity, a void that government itself created by mal-administration and poor policies.  So, Gov't ruins the economy, then steps in to control the inevitable decline of the nation's finances and prosperity.  Unrest that has already emerged in many countries in Europe is coming to a country near you!

So, in this no growth environment, the politics become all about redistribution of a shrinking pie.  No one seems to understand how to grow the pie anymore.  Economic illiteracy abounds in the public and in the halls of power.  Very few politicians on the Left understand how to create growth.  They are too busy crowing about the end of Reaganomics and how tax increases won't hurt the economy even if it's a weak economy. WRONG!  They are idiots!

From Janet Daley at The Daily Telegraph:
In the absence of growth in the the long term we can say good-bye to the technological innovations which have been spurred by competitive entrepreneurial activity....and the social mobility that is made possible by increasing the reach of prosperity so that it includes ever-growing numbers of people. In short, almost everything we have come to understand as progress. Farewell to all that. But this is not the end of it. When the economy of a country is dead, and its political life is consumed by artificial mechanisms of forced distribution, its wealth does not remain static: it actually contracts and diminishes in value. If capital cannot grow – if there is no possibility of it growing – it becomes worthless in international exchange. This is what happened to the currencies of the Eastern bloc: they became phony constructs with no value outside their own closed, recycled system.
Democratic socialism with its “soft redistribution” and exponential growth of government spending will have paved the way for the hard redistribution of diminished resources under economic dictatorship. You think this sounds fanciful? It is just the logical conclusion of what will seem like enlightened social policy in a zero-growth society where hardship will need to be minimized by rigorously enforced equality. Then what? The rioting we see now in Italy and Greece – countries that had to have their democratic governments surgically removed in order to impose the uniform levels of poverty that are made necessary by dead economies – will spread throughout the West, and have to be contained by hard-fisted governments with or without democratic mandates. Political parties of all complexions talk of “balanced solutions”, which they think will sound more politically palatable than drastic cuts in public spending: tax rises on “the better-off” (the only people in a position to create real wealth) are put on the moral scale alongside “welfare cuts” on the unproductive.

This is not even a recipe for standing still: tax rises prevent growth and job creation, as well as reducing tax revenue. It is a formula for permanent decline in the private sector and endless austerity in the public one. But reduced government spending accompanied by tax cuts (particularly on employment – what the Americans call “payroll taxes”) could stimulate the growth of new wealth and begin a recovery. Most politicians on the Right understand this. They have about five minutes left to make the argument for it.
Other Signs of Impending Government Totalitarianism 
From ZeroHedge guest post, "Americans Are Being Prepared For Full Spectrum Tyranny"
When a country is quietly preparing for war, the first signs are usually revealed by a disclosure of armaments. If stockpiling is taking place without a warranted threat present from a legitimate enemy, there is a considerable likelihood of aggression on the part of that nation. America has gone well beyond the psychological process of militarization and has begun the extensive arming of particular agencies whose primary purpose revolves around the domestic. 
The DHS, for instance, placed an order for over 450 million rounds of hollowpoint .40 cal ammunition in April of this year:
And it placed an order for over 7000 new semi-automatic combat rifles chambered in .223 (5.56 by 45mm NATO) immediately after:
While local police through federal programs (like the 1033 Program) are being given millions of dollars in free military equipment, including body armor, night vision equipment, APC's, aircraft, first aid supplies, weapons, surveillance equipment, Kevlar helmets, gas masks and filters, vehicles, etc.:
All of this equipment, though issued to state agencies, is still heavily tracked and regulated by the federal government, making it clear that these “gifts” come with strings attached:
And finally, new FAA regulations will soon allow the dispersion of tens of thousands of predator drones with armament capability in the skies of the U.S. over the course of the next few years:
Now, anyone with any logic would ask who it is that the government is arming itself and local police to fight against? Al Qaeda? Let’s not be na├»ve…
Don't expect any explanations from the government either.  You have a President who refuses to explain the fiasco in Benghazi and hopes the public loses interest---which it probably will.  Thus the march to totalitarianism, if true, goes virtually unnoticed and unexplained.

Cap and Trade: All About Taxing, Not Warming,

The State of California recently and unilaterally adopted Cap and Trade, really a Cap and Tax scheme,  for 600 large companies in the state.  Let's be perfectly clear, Cap and Tax is all about collecting taxes and will do nearly nothing to halt global warming.

Citizens be warned, the same is true regarding adoption of Cap and Trade scheme at the national level---it's strictly about taxation which will harm the economy and increase the size and reach of the Federal Government.   Worse, it doesn't work!

And it won't work even if every country on the planet did it and there is zero chance that China or Brazil or India will commit economic suicide to adopt this sort of scheme.

Forget That It's All About Taxation For a Moment

'Cap and Trade' would try to cap carbon emissions at current levels . And it would involve large scale taxation and extra government bureaucracy to enforce it.  But capping emissions at anywhere near current levels means that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would continue it's ascent unabated.

Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere because the oceans, plants, and the land are not absorbing the emitted carbon dioxide fast enough. The issue is that man is releasing about 7.3 gigatons per year in total carbon into the atmosphere. But photosynthesis absorbs 1.7 gigaton/yr and the ocean is absorbing 2.2 gigatons/year. This means that 3.4 gigatons/yr of carbon is accumulating in the atmosphere. Ultimately the ocean will absorb all of that carbon given enough time (centuries). So we have an imbalance between the ocean's absorption and our emissions.

Figure 1.  Worldwide carbon balance in gigatons per year (from Howard Herzog at MIT, 2001)

If you do the math the, to stop the rising accumulation, we must reduce carbon emitted by about 50%. This amount would steady atmospheric concentration of carbon (not reduce it). See my blog Global Warming Made Easy for a slew of good graphs and figures for easy reference. So Cap and Trade would "potentially" reduce the rate of growth of carbon emissions but do nothing to reduce it. Also refer to my blog Global Warming Alarmism.

Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions Enough to Matter is a Herculean Task

To reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% would mean that you'd have to do the following:
  1. Convert all automobiles to electric, then
  2. Build enough additional nuclear and wind power plants to supplement existing power plants to power the electric cars--it's not quite as much as you might think if cars recharged at night
  3. Scrub the flue stacks of all the big existing conventional power plants to remove Carbon Dioxide and inject it in subsurface salt water reservoirs
The cost to do this is extremely expensive! I figure that it would cost up to $10 trillion dollars to do all of the above. This would have to replicated around the world just to steady carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at a cost of up to $40 trillion.

Expect No Help From China, India, Brazil or Any Developing Country

There is no chance at all of developing economies adopting such expensive measures. China is one of the biggest CO2 emitters (if not the biggest) and will not go along with any real emission reductions. There would be no chance that India or Brazil would sacrifice their economy on the altar of global warming given that it's not nearly as alarming as advertised.

After decades of alarm-ism, there is still not one power plant with carbon capture in existence in the world--anywhere in the world! The US has 10,000 power plants alone. We don't even know exactly how best to do it.

It just won't happen. Period. Remember, after $40 trillion, CO2 in the atmosphere would not decrease---it would remain elevated but theoretically not increase further. So, presumably, and a big presumption, that temperature rises would stabilize at the higher level.

Mass Transit Options And Mitigate Effects of Warming

It would make more sense to use US natural gas in a nationwide push for CNG buses and mass transit to reduce our carbon footprint. It makes economic sense first of all. If you believe as I do, that if buses came every 3 to 5 minutes, people would use them and relinquish their personal automobiles. This in combination with increased gasoline taxes would be very effective at curbing CO2 emissions. This is much more practical. Where's this debate in the media? Where is our Energy Department on this subject? Why do we even have an Energy Dept? They can't do anything!

It will take billions, not trillions to build seawalls or gradually relocate coastal cities to higher ground. I don't believe there is an immediate panic in terms of ocean levels but it's worth keeping an eye on.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Germany Abandons Nuclear Power

One of the many problems with "The Left" is that they govern their actions more with emotion than logic.  Running a country based on emotional, rather than rational decisions, will generally prove to be a mistake.

Hysterical, Not Rational Decisions
Witness the hysterical reaction of Germans who demanded and succeeded in shutting down (eventually) all of their nuclear reactors in response to Japan's Fukushima accident.  They have shutdown 8 of the oldest reactors right away with a plan to shut down all of the remaining reactors by 2022.  This move borders on hysteria as Germany has no risk of tsunami or earthquakes to wreck it's reactors.  Fukushima's single problem was that it's emergency diesel generators were not mounted high enough in the facility to avoid the unusually high tsunami wave.  And yes, I could also understand shutting down any reactors with the same design as Chernobyl.   But I doubt if Germany is using Russian nuclear designs, but I'm not sure.

But remember, logic has no place in this discussion!

Angela Merkel gave into the Green party and green movement to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster and will pay dearly to do so.  The people have a right to choose, as long as they understand the cost of doing so.  The other factor is that the people have their heads in "pie-in-the-sky" energy alternatives: dreams promoted by "green" propaganda.

Instead, they have embraced uneconomic alternative "green" energy providing subsidies for alternative energy producers.  Yes, wind power is promising (but intermittent) for the country who borders on the North Sea, but Solar power of ANY kind is extremely unrealistic given the country's latitude (52 degrees North) and frequent cloud cover.  Are they going to damn the Rhine or any other river for power production?  I don't think so.  So, what else is there?   There isn't anything else!

I ran into a young German engineering student on vacation in Bangkok, who was proud that his country is shutting down the nuclear plants.  He was excited that he was going to be working on a project to bring solar power from North Africa to Germany. The plan, which he said already has failed to find private investors for obvious reasons, is to use mirror arrays to focus sunlight to make steam and power. That power has to transmitted 1000s of kilometers, under the Mediterranean and across Southern Europe to Germany.  The cost of the submarine power cables and their installation already makes the project uneconomic.  Second, all of the N. African countries are in the throes of violent revolutions which promises to worsen.  Third, those solar generated steam power plants are not even close to being economic compared to conventional power plants even in America.  It is highly unlikely that private money will ever chase these kinds of projects.  It's truly "pie-in-the-sky."

Even fossil fueled power plants with carbon capture are highly likely to be substantially more cost effective than most "green" energy.

Once Built, Nuclear Power Plants Provide Virtually Free Power
 It's a pity about the phase-out, because nuclear power is virtually free once the facility is built and operational.  The cost of nuclear power is primarily the capital cost of the facility (including the cost of decommissioning).  The cost of the nuclear fuel is small.  To shut down the nuclear reactors eliminates nearly "free" electricity.

Here's a breakdown of Germany's Electrical power production from Wikipedia

Expect A Cost Disaster
From Yahoo News:
Germans already pay some of Europe's highest electricity prices, averaging about 24 euro cents (31 US cents) per kilowatt hour compared with about 13 euro cents in France or 14 euro cents in Britain, according to EU figures.  [Electricity costs in the US range from about 5 US Cents to about 15 US cents with 9.5 US cents per kilowatt hour on average]
Germans have long been paying a surcharge on power bills, which guarantees producers of alternative energies a return on their investment above market rate. That's widely credited with boosting renewable energies and making Germany a leader on so-called green technologies.
The country's four main grid operators said Monday that households will from January see a nearly 50 percent rise in the tax they pay to finance the switchover — from €3.6 cents to €5.3 cents ($6.7 cents) per kilowatt hour. A typical family of four will pay about €250 ($324) per year under the tariff.
"The surcharge has more than quadrupled since 2009. It has crossed the tolerable level of pain," said Economy Minister Philipp Roesler. He urged a quick reform of the subsidy system, saying it has spiraled "out of control."  
 The tax totaled €17 billion ($22 billion) in 2011 and analysts expect it to top €25 billion next year — or about 1 percent of the country's economic output.
 That is set to keep increasing as government plans call for generating 40 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and up to 80 percent by 2050. Reaching those ambitious targets will likely require investments of up to €300 billion ($390) over the next decade, according to analysts' forecasts.  [these goals do not appear to be even close to realistic]
No Realistic Alternatives
As I mention above, other than wind power, which is intermittent but close to being cost effective, there are no alternative energy supplies that are attractive without subsidies.  So, expect more taxpayer money spent on unrealistic plans and expect more and more power to be imported into Germany from the European grid ---substantially supplied by nuclear power plants in France and Belgium!   The good news is that the "green" subsidy cost is being passed onto the consumer---not hidden in some national budget category.  This way, people know where their money is going.  But expect more of the cost to be "hidden" from the public in the future as the costs will rise higher than the people can bear.

The German people are already discovering the cost of their "dismissal of reality" and the remaining nuclear power plants may not be shutdown by 2022 after all.  A return to conventional power plants with and without carbon capture will be likely under any realistic administration.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Social Security Trust Fund is a Fraud

You know there's nothing in the $2.6 Trillion Social Security "trust fund" don't you?  Hat tip to a Forbes article called "What Happened To The $2.6 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund?" on this subject.

Yes, the social security trustees have assured you that the program is self-funding until 2025 or thereabouts with assets of $2.6 Trillion. The problem is that there's nothing there but IOUs (government bonds). The cash money has been spent long ago.

Why else, at the height of the last debt ceiling "crisis" in 2011, Obama said that he's not sure that the checks will go out, that "there simply may not be enough money in the coffers to do it"?   If there were $2.6 Trillion in an account somewhere, then the checks most certainly would go out regardless of the debt ceiling talks.

The President's own White House Office of Management and Budget director Jacob Lew intentionally misleads by writing in the USA Today in February 2011 that:
Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries.
According to the most recent report of the independent Social Security Trustees, the trust fund is currently in surplus and growing. Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years
When more taxes are collected than are needed to pay benefits, funds are converted to Treasury bonds — backed with the full faith and credit of the U.S. government — and are held in reserve for when revenue collected is not enough to pay the benefits due. We have just as much obligation to pay back those bonds with interest as we do to any other bondholders. The trust fund is the backbone of an important compact: that a lifetime of work will ensure dignity in retirement.
It's basically all a lie.  There is no trust fund with any real cash assets--that budget category is just full of IOUs (bonds). Those bonds need to sold for cash to pay benefits (The the same mechanism as deficit spending).  

Bonds held by the government are a liability not an asset!  Another way to look at it is, how well off are you if you owe $1 million to yourself?

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program depending on current payroll deductions to pay current benefits.  Social security payroll taxes now automatically roll into the Federal Government's general fund and bonds are put in the "trust fund" as an accounting gimmick. It's already paying out more than it takes in, so it's a net drain on the nation's finances and will be for the next 20 or so years.   Social Security benefits are already adding to our deficits now to the tune of $36 billion in 2010 and will increasingly do so for the next 20 years as more and more baby boomers retire.

So, for Congress and the President to not include discussions of Social Security along with Medicare and Medicaid in our current budget crisis is derelict.  Let's see, Lew, the director of Budget and Management knows nothing about budgeting and management or is just another"liar'.  But the President had it right--the money isn't there.

The fact is the President hasn't mentioned ANYTHING about spending cuts or reform of ANY of these ENTITLEMENTS since his re-election and during any public speaking about the "fiscal cliff".  He continues to provide ZERO leadership in the most important national discussions.  In fact, he's already distracted and flown off to "look presidential" in Thailand and Myanmar.  It doesn't matter, his input has already proven to be irrelevant.

Monday, November 12, 2012

JFK Cuts Taxes To Spur Economy and Lift Revenues

Not only is persistent and long-term unemployment a national tragedy, but slow economic growth affects the ability of the nation to fund national defense, to show leadership in the world, and it hinders private long-term investments that perpetuates productivity and economic growth.

A Strong Economy Enables Strong Defense

From Washington Examiner editorial

"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen told CNN in 2010. "That's why it's so important that the economy move in the right direction, because the strength and the support and the resources that our military uses are directly related to the health of our economy over time."

John F. Kennedy Cuts Taxes in 1963 To Spur Private Economy, Improve National Security and Ultimately to Raise Revenue

About the speech from Ralph Reiland at American Spectator:
President John F. Kennedy delivered a major address to the Economic Club of New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on December 14, 1962.  The unemployment rate that month was 5.5 percent. The annual inflation rate was 1.3 percent.
President Kennedy began his address to the Economic Club of New York by stating that.....national security "will not be determined by military or diplomatic moves alone," he stated. "It will be affected by the decisions of finance ministers as well as by the decisions of Secretaries of State and Secretaries of Defense, by the deployment of fiscal and monetary weapons as well as by military weapons, and, above all, by the strength of this nation's economy as well as by the strength of our defenses."
To strengthen the economy, Kennedy called tax cuts on business and all income groups, a less expansionary government, a simplified tax code that downsized loopholes and special privileges, and the removal of obstacles to private initiative.
The "most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand -- to cut the fetters which hold back private spending," he asserted.
In contrast, a course of "increasing federal expenditures more rapidly than necessary," he warned, "would soon demoralize both the government and our economy."
Kennedy called for "an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes" in order to reduce "the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our current tax system" -- a federal tax system that "exerts too heavy a drag on growth," "siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power," and "reduces the financial incentive for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking."
Kennedy's bottom line? "In short," he stated, "to increase demand and lift the economy, the federal government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the initiatives and opportunities for private expenditures."
And the impact of tax cuts on deficits? "Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other," he declared.
The"paradoxical truth" is that "tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now."
Despite Much Higher Tax Brackets, Only Taxes of the Top 1% Were Higher in 1960 than Today

Top income tax brackets in 1960s were up to 91% but effective taxes are similar to taxes today EXCEPT the top 1% who did indeed pay about 31% vs 25% in income taxes (not that different from today).  See the table below which shows all Federal taxes allocated to various income brackets.  Only the top 1% paid slightly more income tax in 1960 but corporate and estate taxes hurt that top group disproportionately.  Why do you think JFK wanted to reduce tax rates?  It was because high total taxes on the top 1% and especially corporate taxes were hurting business!

From a Tax Progressivity study at Berkeley (click to enlarge):

Total Federal Tax Rates By Income Group from 1960 to 2004
(P20-40, for example, means the income group  from the 20 to 40 percentile)
Have a look below and compare total Federal taxes in 1960 and in 2004 from the same study (click to enlarge). The study allocated income, estate, corporate and payroll taxes to the various income groups.  Corporate and Estate Taxes were a huge portion of Federal Taxes in 1960. For the bottom 99%, Social Security Payroll taxes have made taxes higher now for most people compared to 1960.

Federal Tax Rates in The United States in 2004 and 1960
Maybe I need to devote a blog to the subject of taxes in 1960 versus today?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medicare and Medicaid Enrollees Exceed Full Time Workers

If you ever needed to know, in a nutshell, the fundamental problem faced by the Congress and President when it comes to budgets and government expenditures, then a report in and WHPTV should make it much more clear.  We're running out of workers to support all the others!!
In 2011, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there were 70.4 million people who enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month. There were also 48.849 million people enrolled in Medicare. That gave Medicaid and Medicare a gross combined enrollment of 119.249 million in 2011.
At the same time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 112,556,000 people worked full-time in the United States in 2011. Of these 112,556,000 full-time workers, 17,806,000 worked for government (at the federal, state or local level) and 94,750,000 worked for the private sector.
The gross combined enrollment of 119.249 million in Medicaid and Medicare in 2011 outnumbered the 112.556 million full-time workers employed in both the private sector and in government in 2011.
By the way total Medicaid enrollment for the fiscal year of 2006 was 58,714,800.  So, enrollment in Medicaid has risen 11.7 million in just 5 years.

So, if the Federal budget was balanced (which it's not), this would mean that 94 million full-time private sector workers must support themselves, their families and pay for their own healthcare, PLUS
  • support 108 million total Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries (back out 11 million to avoid double-counting those in both programs), and 
  • nearly 47 million getting Food stamps and 
  • pay most of the taxes to support nearly 18 million government workers
  • pay the lion's share of all the other functions of government 
Regarding that 3rd item, government workers only have a job because you've taken most of the money from the private sector to pay for them!

I'm not trying to criticize the programs but I question the rapid rise of Medicaid enrollees, the rapid rise of Food Stamp recipients, the rapid rise of Social Security Disability recipients.  I also post this to show how the number of working Americans is now in the minority of people receiving substantial benefits. And Obama wants to expand Medicaid spending?  With 70 million of the nation's poor in Medicaid, why do we need ObamaCare?

You can see that we're running out of workers to pay for all of this!   There's not enough workers to tax!!  As of today, you'd have to raise taxes 50% (including corporate and other taxes) to balance the budget to actually pay for all of this!  I think everyone knows that there are not enough wealthy to "soak" either.

We need more workers and taxpayers.  I don't see it happening anytime soon when regulations and taxes are set to increase.  A pro-growth agenda was the only possible way out and we're not going to get it.  A new agenda from a new President might have been the thing that kick-started the economy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Benghazi-gate Smells Even Worse

Suddenly CIA Director General Patraeus has resigned due to an "affair" and he will not be testifying at House and Senate Intelligence committee hearings next week.  Acting director Michael Morrell will testify instead.

Fox News reports that the investigation was underway since September.  What is the FBI doing investigating and intercepting emails from the Head of the CIA?  Who authorized the investigation and why?

Maybe it was because Petraeus "threw Obama under the bus" as reported by the Weekly Standard?  Recall that Petraeus or someone at the CIA had tweeted that no one in the CIA had hindered response to pleads for help by our men under attack in Benghazi Libya.  The tweet could imply that they knew who did.

In  my blog "Obama Received His 3AM Call...and Failed",  I highlight the various and evolving "stories" the White House, Obama and Susan Rice used to try to explain the causes and responses (or lack of responses) to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 others on the night of September 11, 2012.  This despite that it was clear to everyone in the administration from the first hours that it was a planned terrorist attack. Why the lies?

Now, suddenly Petraeus is not going to testify to the intelligence committees?   It sounds more and more "fishy."  Maybe they should subpoena him to testify?  When you survey the major media outlets, none seem to make any connection between the timing of his suspicious resignation and his upcoming testimony.  Thanks a lot "Free Press!"

In the Weekly Standard article by Bill Kristol on October 27, 2012 asks 10 important questions of the President  that are still not answered.
The president was, it appears, in the White House from the time the attack on the consulate in Benghazi began, at around 2:40 pm ET, until the end of combat at the annex, sometime after 9 p.m. ET. So it should be possible to answer these simple questions as to what the president did that afternoon and evening, and when he did it, simply by consulting White House meeting and phone records, and asking the president for his recollections.
1.) To whom did the president give the first of his "three very clear directives"—that is, "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to?"
2.) How did he transmit this directive to the military and other agencies?
3.) During the time when Americans were under attack, did the president convene a formal or informal meeting of his national security council? Did the president go to the situation room?
4.) During this time, with which members of the national security team did the president speak directly?
5.) Did Obama speak by phone or teleconference with the combatant commanders who would have sent assistance to the men under attack?
6.) Did he speak with CIA director David Petraeus?
7.) Was the president made aware of the repeated requests for assistance from the men under attack? When and by whom?
8.) Did he issue any directives in response to these requests?
9.) Did the president refuse to authorize an armed drone strike on the attackers?
10.) Did the president refuse to authorize a AC-130 or MC-130 to enter Libyan airspace during the attack?
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has asked the White House these questions, and awaits a response.
Is all of this secrecy and spinning to cover up mistakes or lack of response capability?  Or was there a failure in leadership at the White House, the Defense Department or CIA?  The American people deserve to know all of the answers to Bill Kristol's questions.  This whole affair smells "fishy" to me.  Why not to others?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

An Obama Win Means a Race To The Cliff

I see where Obama has been projected to win re-election.

Obama's Agenda
President Obama ran AGAIN with basically no agenda except raising raising taxes on the more well-off.  Yeah, there were a few promises made during debates but they sounded hollow.  Under duress from critics that he didn't have an agenda, the Obama campaign two weeks before the election put together a pamphlet which was a re-iteration of talking points or "same'ole same 'ole."

But you know Obama's heart and soul is all about expanding government, more government programs, more government intervention in the economy.  He really does believe that government creates jobs and is the solution to your problems!  He is 180 degrees away from the idea that the "government IS the problem."  Americans expect their presidents to govern from the center but Obama has so far refused to pivot to the political center even after his "shellacking" .  The American people have once again voted for the wrong man--but this time they voted for a well-proven failure.

Goodbye Pro-Growth Policies
I posted an agenda which I feel is a very good agenda for the first 100 days and 6 months for ANY administration in 2012. I wrote it thinking that Mitt Romney would win the election, but it's really a great and bold agenda for any administration. I said in that blog that if Obama won, I would leave it posted as a sort of "monument of ideas" to use as a benchmark to judge the next president's performance. But when you read that agenda, you will rightly see that the chances of the Obama administration doing anything close to those "pro-growth" prescriptions is slim to none.

The West Is Lost
The Western World is now "fast-walking" or even "jogging" toward collapse with Europe likely to first tip over into financial chaos. It may happen sooner than you think.  With Obama, the hapless amateur remaining at the helm, you can expect the following:
  • With the House of Representatives remaining Republican (along with 60% of governorships) and the Senate remaining Democratic, gridlock will remain a reality.  
  • Now we face a fiscal cliff with divided government.  Even if Republicans compromise on higher taxes, without entitlement reform, higher and higher deficits await.  Ironically, maybe the fiscal cliff is the only way to cut spending.  Otherwise, spending will never be cut.
  • No entitlement reform will happen under Obama.  But maybe I'll be surprised!   I want that kind of surprise!
  • Expect a recession at some point for any number of reasons including a financial crisis in Europe or a fiscal cliff.  With the US already running Trillion dollar deficits, then are we to expect mult-Trillion dollars deficits?    It's unthinkable to me.
  • More debt rating downgrades
  • A wall of new regulation hurting the economy (EPA, Obamacare) and exacerbating the possible fiscal cliff recession
  • More spending, more money printing, more regulation, more inflation, more stagnation, more poverty, more totalitarian "big brother."  For example, all of your medical data will soon be in the hands of Federal Government.  A government big enough to give you everything you need is government powerful enough to take away everything that you've got.
  • More taxes and a stagnated economy--forget any "pro-growth" policies.  Obama doesn't understand one iota of anything "pro-growth"
  • More hostility toward oil and gas (forget his inconsistent rhetoric) and more persistence with unrealistic "green" energy despite it's utter failure
  • More division and the wrong type of national leadership
  • ObamaCare administrative nightmare will be attempted to be implemented but will be a fiasco instead
  • Expect new attempts at disastrous "cap and trade" and the thuggish and unhelpful "card check"
  • More dollar weakness and a risk of rapidly rising inflation--even a chance of hyperinflation by the end of Obama's 2nd term thanks to Bernanke and "dovish" replacement from Obama.
  • With Obama's election, there's a suddenly increased chance of a new and bigger financial panic within the next 4 years.  There was a small chance that Romney's pro-growth strategy might have worked. 
I'm sure many of you think this is hyperbole, but most of the bullet items are the reality of Obama's first administration.  Why would you think the next 4 years would be different?

I fully expect Obama to double-down on his failed "statist" ideas which will rightly go nowhere with the Republican House.   Even if the House of Representatives compromise with the President on increased taxes and entitlement reform, taxes will be "front loaded" and spending cuts will be"backloaded" and therefore the spending cuts will never happen. 

Financial calamity and economic collapse can erupt unexpectedly.   Expect the unexpected.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Real Reasons For Income Inequality

You could say that US income inequality is due "failed policies of the past..." and you'd be right.  But the blame extends back decades over at least 5 administrations--both Democratic and Republican.

The US Government and Federal Reserve policies are the root cause of income inequality---especially those in response to the recent recession. And because these policies persist, expect more inequality and more bubbles.  The policies that hurt the bottom 99% but help the top 1% include inflation, the housing and stock market bubbles, bank bailouts and quantitative easing---all directly help the wealthy and hurt the less well-off.

Capitalism is the Best Of All Other Alternatives
There's some truth that unbridled Capitalism tends to concentrate wealth, but noticed I said "unbridled" which is not an accurate adjective of modern US capitalism. There are plenty of regulations--even inappropriate regulation of businesses and banks. And businesses are taxed heavily. The great wealth of Rockefeller and Carnegie was redistributed by private charitable trusts to universities, arts and other worthy charities. Who do you think re-distributes wealth better, the federal government or these charitable trusts?

And if you don't like wealth inequality in capitalism, you should try Communism!  Recently the New York Times reported that China's leader Wen Jiabao's family has amassed a $2.7 billion fortune.  True to the corrupt nature of the Chinese communism, the New York times website was immediately blocked (presumably NYT newspapers are banned too).  The scandal involving Bo Xilai shows the massive corruption there and you can bet that that family is also wealthy beyond belief.  Or how about the thugs in Russia, Azerbaijan, Cuba and Belarus?   How about Royal families in constitutional monarchies or in the Middle East whose net worth soars into the 10s of Billions of dollars?  We're talking about serious wealth disparity!

Here's the real reason's for our income inequality:

Inflation Hurts the Poor and Helps The Wealthy
The bottom 50% of the population suffer the most from inflation as they hope wages or pensions keep up with price increases.   They don't have access to credit to buy real estate or other inflation hedges.  Due to the magic of leverage, wealthier middle or upper class individuals can actually profit from inflation.

Creating Inflation is now the official policy of the US Federal Reserve. They are targeting 2% inflation which will cause prices to double every 36 years.  Bernanke is now trying to create either inflation and/or ignite another bubble!

Inflation is the Disease not Deflation
The whole idea of maintaining ANY inflation is wrong.  Inflation is the disease not deflation.  Deflation is considered bad because, in modern times, it occurs as a reaction to the unwinding of a previous bout of inflation!  Before there was a Federal Reserve and their constant pump priming of money supply, "hard money policies" coupled with disciplined budgets and spending by Congress(except during wars), steady prices are the norm of economic history.  A fixed supply of hard money will cause prices to generally decline.  Wars and gold discoveries sometimes caused bouts of inflation but prices would drift down again later.

Deflation is Good!
Productivity causes prices of commodities and goods to decline.  This is reason people denigrate the Gold Standard because they think declining prices is a "bad" thing.  It's not true.  You like the fact that prices of computers drop, right?  Don't you love when prices of flat-screened TVs decline?  Don't you want lower rent prices?  Don't you want lower prices for food?  Everyone wants lower health care or lower education costs!  You would have declining prices if you eliminated the Federal Reserve and got the Federal Government out of the private economy! 

Bubbles Enrich the top 1% The Most
From Mike Shedlock at,
In 2000, there was an internet boom of epic proportion followed by an equally large bust. Who benefited from that? Clearly it was not the 99%.
From 2002 through 2006 there was a housing boom, the biggest the world had ever seen. Who benefited from that? Clearly it was not the 99%.
By the time those on the bottom end of the totem pole took part in the credit expansion boom, they were destroyed by it. 
Many one-percenters amassed fortunes during the housing boom. Some lost it all back. Others made fortunes betting against the bubble. Still others went broke betting against the boom too early.
Government policies over many administrations stoked the housing bubble:  affordable housing programs that lowered loan underwriting standards for Freddie and Fannie mortgage loans, tax incentives for taking on personal and mortgage debt (interest deduction), home equity loans, and finally zero capital gains taxes on housing capital gains.  Yes, if you lived in a house for a short period of time within 2 years of the house's sale, you were EXEMPT from capital gains taxes.   Is it any wonder that in the 2000s, the TV show "Flip This House" became popular?

Banker Bailouts
Bailouts of banks immediately goes into the hands of the 1% not the 99% plus it goes into the very hands who created the crisis to begin with!  Don't we know or learn anything??   Short term bridge loans might have been appropriate in 2008 to assist banks that were actually in trouble, but a clean sweep of the executive suite should have been required.  Most of the banks that received TARP money didn't actually need it as we're finding out from Sheila Bair

Quantitative Easing
The Feds quantitative easing and "high powered money creation" immediately goes directly into the hands of the 1% (banks) not the 99%.  

Zero Interest Rate Policies
Zero interest rates, interest rates well below the inflation rate,  hurt lower income "mom and pop" retirees who want to keep their money in safe CDs or money market funds.  CDs and MMs are paying nothing!  Mom's and Pop's are therefore getting poorer.  

Worse, Bernanke is keeping interest rates some 2 full percentage points below the rate of inflation. Commentators crucify Greenspan for creating the housing bubble by keeping interest rates too low in the early 2000s but Bernanke is just as bad or WORSE.  AND Bernanke wants even more inflation!

Government Spending Causes Inflation
Government spending and subsidies cause inflation in areas such a Medical and Educational costs.  College education costs have soared as student loan debt has soared.  Don't be surprised if student loans are the next bubble that bursts.  And yes, the Government has had it's hand in the student debt creation.  Increases in Medicare and Medicaid spending supports rising medical costs.  Out-of-control government spending causes inflation.  The Federal Reserve causes inflation.

The US Government and Federal Reserve policies are mostly the root cause of income inequality---especially in response to the recent recession.  All of the emergency policies of Bernanke should have already been reversed as they are perversely helping the richest Americans and setting up the next big wave of inflation that will hurt the least well-off.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bloomberg And Climate Change Politics

I hear that New York mayor Mike Bloomberg is endorsing Obama saying that Obama has "taken major steps to combat climate change.."  Huh?   Obama has done nothing on climate change, so I have no idea of what the mayor is talking about.

First of all, blaming a single hurricane on climate change is ridiculous and hysterical.  There has been no notable change in Hurricane frequency or intensity in recent decades. I think most meteorologists would agree.

Second, presumably Bloomberg is endorsing Obama because Obama is friendly to a cap and trade carbon trading regime.   Cap and Trade not only will NOT solve the climate change problem, it's a boondoggle for Big Government Cronyism and would stifle the economy further. Implementing cap and trade would be a huge disaster for this country.

But Cap and Trade Won't Work 


Importantly, cap and trade would try to do what it implies: tries to cap carbon emissions at current levels (it won't even do that however).   And it would involve large scale taxation and extra bureaucracy. But capping emissions at anywhere near current levels means that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would continue it's ascent unabated.

Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere because the oceans, plants, and the land are not absorbing the emitted carbon dioxide fast enough.  The issue is that man is releasing about 7.3 gigatons per year in total carbon into the atmosphere.  But photosynthesis absorbs 1.7 gigaton/yr and the ocean is absorbing 2.2 gigatons/year.   This means that 3.3 gigatons/yr of carbon is accumulating in the atmosphere.  Ultimately the ocean will absorb all of that carbon given enough time (centuries).   So we have an imbalance between the ocean's absorption and our emissions.

Figure 1.  Worldwide carbon balance in gigatons per year (from Howard Herzog at MIT, 2001)
If you do the math the, to stop the rising accumulation, we must reduce carbon emitted by about 50%.  This amount would steady atmospheric concentration of carbon (not reduce it).   See my blog Global Warming Made Easy for a slew of good graphs and figures for easy reference.    So Cap and Trade would "potentially" reduce the rate of growth of carbon emissions but do nothing to reduce it.

Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions Enough to Matter is a Herculean Task

To reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% would mean that you'd have to do the following:
  1. Convert all automobiles to electric, then
  2. Build enough additional nuclear and wind power plants to supplement existing power plants to power the electric cars--it's not quite as much as you might think if cars recharged at night
  3. Scrub the flue stacks of all the big existing conventional power plants to remove Carbon Dioxide and inject it in subsurface salt water reservoirs
The cost to do this is extremely expensive!  I figure that it would cost $5 to 10 trillion dollars to do all of the above.  This would have to replicated around the world just to steady carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere at a cost of up to $40 trillion.

After decades of alarm-ism, there is still not one power plant with carbon capture in existence in the world--anywhere in the world! The US has 10,000 power plants alone. We don't even know exactly how best to do it.

It just won't happen. Period.  Remember, after $40 trillion, CO2 in the atmosphere would not decrease---it would remain elevated but theoretically not increase further. So, presumably, and a big presumption, that temperature rises would stabilize at the higher level.

Cap And Trade Taxes Would Fund Obama's Big Government "Trickle Down"

Obama, next term, would LOVE to tax business for "cap and trade" which would increase the size and cost of the Federal bureaucracy to implement the new tax collection.  Then, because you can guarantee that it will be incredibly complicated and onerous, the administration can give "waivers" in exchange for political contributions and support.  Then, they will "redistribute" the tax payer money to money-wasting Solyndra-like entities, political cronies and the politically-connected---especially those outfits with Union labor!  Then the politically "favored" can make campaign donations back to reward the hand that fed it.  It has little to do with reducing greenhouse gases--because cap and trade won't reduce emissions (except that the economy will slump further--which will indeed reduce CO2 emissions)!!   The only thing they care about is staying in power by "redistribution".  It's the most cynical thing in the world.  That's Obama's trickle-down.

Oh, and while taxes go up and government spending continues rising even more, the economy stagnates.  Then, for "some reason" tax revenue "unexpectedly" disappoints and the Bureaucrats will argue that they must raise taxes again.  Rinse, repeat.   How do you think Europe ended up with 50% tax rates, no self-defense (military) and still massive debt and deficits??

Mass Transit Options And Mitigate Effects of Warming

It would make more sense to use US natural gas in a nationwide push for CNG buses and mass transit to reduce our carbon footprint.  It makes economic sense first of all.  If you believe as I do, that if buses came every 3 to 5 minutes, people would use them and relinquish their personal automobiles. This in combination with increased gasoline taxes would be very effective at curbing CO2 emissions. This is much more practical. Where's this debate in the media? Where is our Energy Department on this subject? Why do we even have an Energy Dept? They can't do anything!

It will take billions, not trillions to build seawalls or gradually relocate coastal cities to higher ground. I don't believe there is an immediate panic in terms of ocean levels but it's worth keeping an eye on.

This country needs less hysterical and cynical politicians, otherwise we're going to go to the ashbin of history.  Let's hope nobody does anything on cap and trade legislation either!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Examples Of Typical 2012 Presidential Polling Skews

This is a followup to my blog entitled "It's Over For Obama; Romney Will win"

Gallup Demographic Information For Recent Elections

As I indicated in the first blog, Gallup has found that this year, 49% of the electorate as Republican and 46% Democrat.  In 2008, the electorate was 54% Democratic vs. 42% Republican.   Republicans outnumber Democrats by 3 points this year which is 15 point swing from 2008!

Gallup indicates that voter split was 48% for Dem and 48% for Republican in 2004--or evenly split (no skew).   This year is 3 points more favorable for Republicans this year than 2004.

Refer to their table titled "Demographics of Likely Voters.." in the link above.  Their survey was based on a survey of 9,300 voters from all 50 States.

Now Compare Three Typical Polls From Yesterday

Politico has Obama up by 1% but they sampled 38% Democrat, 34% Republican and 23% Independent--skewed at least 4 points to Democrats or 8 points different than Gallup's information. They have Obama up by 1 point even with the 4 to 8 point skew.  But with their sampling, it really means Romney is likely up by 3 to 7 points.

IBD/TIPP has Obama up by 1.3 points also, but they sampled 38% Democrat, 31% Republican and 32% Independent for a 7 point skew to Democrat and fully 10 points of skew compared to Gallup.  Romney, then, is likely up by 6 to 9 points then.

CBS News Poll has Obama up by 1 point.  Their sample was 36% Democrat, 31% Republican and 33% Independent for 5 points of skew to Democrat and 8 points of skew compared to Gallup meaning Romney is likely ahead 4 to 7 points.