Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Expect Food Prices to Keep Rising, Industry Says

From Reuters:

By Rene Pastor, Reuters

WASHINGTON — Americans who dug deeper into their pockets for groceries last year will face sticker shock again this year when shopping for food, experts said Thursday.

Consumer food prices are expected to rise 3.0% to 4.0% this year after a 4.0% gain in 2007, said USDA Chief Economist Joseph Glauber at the U.S. Agriculture Department’s annual outlook conference.

He added that “overall retail food prices for 2008 to 2010 are expected to rise faster than the general inflation rate.”

“There’s going to be real food inflation in this country,” said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive of U.S. beef processor Smithfield Foods (SFD).

Read the rest of the article here.

So my big question is with all the Obama – and even John McCain fans – this is all about, among other things, attempting to use up grains to create ineffective bio-fuels. The other part is that our farm industries are so subsidized that I heard somewhere that this is the first year we are actually going to have to import wheat for consumption. So add to this the massive tax increases that an Obama presidency would cause and you will see something that will make the Carter years look like paradise.

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From Glenn Beck Newsletter – click here to sign up for free newsletters.

**SPECIAL REPORT: The facts your liberal friends need to hear**
This is the first special report in a week-long series with author Jonah Goldberg, investigating how Liberal Fascism is trying to control your life from the cradle to the grave. Don’t miss part two tonight on TV: “The new New Deal–what Barack and Hillary have in store” at 7 pm and 9pm ET, only on Headline News. And look for another special report in tomorrow’s newsletter.

The facts your liberal friends need to hear
By Jonah Goldberg

Liberals, perhaps more than anyone, believe that we should be vigilant against the threat of fascism. Now, they also believe that fascism can only come from the Right–I think they’re wrong. But, what liberals – and everyone else – very much need to understand is that whatever direction fascism comes from, it’s popular. Fascism succeeds in democratic countries because it convinces people that it’s the wave of the future, it’s progressive, it’s young, it’s vital, it’s exciting. Fascist promise to fix what’s broken in our democracy, to heal our wounds, to deliver us to promised lands. So if you think fascism comes from the Right, fine. But at least keep in mind that it won’t sell itself as dull, or uptight, or old-fashioned.

Let me take a moment to give you a concrete sense of what I mean.

Fascism appealed to youth activists. Indeed, the Nazis and Fascists were in major respects youth movements. In 1931, 60 percent of all German undergraduates supported the Nazi Student Organization. “Their goal,” the historian John Toland wrote of the young idealists who fed the Nazi rise to power, “was to establish a youth culture for fighting the bourgeois trinity of school, home and church.”

Meanwhile, middle and lower class Germans were attracted to the economic and cultural populism of Nazism. The Nazi party began as the German Worker’s Party. The Nazis economic rhetoric was eerily similar to John Edwards “Two Americas” talk. The Nazis promised to clamp down on Big Business – particularly department stores, the Wal-Marts of their day – and end the class struggle. Theodore Abel, an impressively clever American sociologist, gives us insight into why working class Germans were attracted to Nazism. In 1934 Abel took out an ad in the Nazi Party journal asking “old fighters” to submit essays explaining why they had joined. He restricted his request to “old fighters” because so many opportunists had joined the party after Hitler’s rise. The essays were combined in the fascinating book Why Hitler Came Into Power. One essayist, a coal miner, explained “Though I was interested in the betterment of the workingman’s plight, I rejected [Marxism] unconditionally. I often asked myself why socialism had to be tied up with internationalism-why it could not work as well or better in conjunction with nationalism.” A railroad worker concurred, “I shuddered at the thought of Germany in the grip of Bolshevism. The slogan ‘Workers of the World Unite!’ made no sense to me. At the same time, however, National Socialism, with its promise of a community . . . barring all class struggle, attracted me profoundly.” A third worker wrote that he embraced the Nazis because of their “uncompromising will to stamp out the class struggle, snobberies of caste and party hatreds. The movement bore the true message of socialism to the German workingman.”

Nazism’s appeal to the professional classes was just as strong. Raymond Dominick, a historian specializing in the history of German environmentalism, found that by 1939, 59 percent of conservationist leaders had joined the Nazi party, while only 10 percent of adult males had. Forty five percent of medical doctors had joined and roughly one quarter of teachers and lawyers had. The two groups of professionals with the highest rates of participation in the Nazi Party? Veterinarians were first and foresters were a close second. Dominick found a “unique nexus between National Socialism and nature conservation.”

The Nazis and Italian Fascists won-over big business, cultural elites, the youth and the lower-classes because they portrayed themselves as heroically on the side of progress, protecting the environment and the poor. Fascists preached unity, togetherness and an end to division.

Liberals need to ask themselves where do they hear this rhetoric the most?

I’m not saying that merely being for the environment, the poor or national unity makes you a fascist. But what I am saying is that if you’re concerned about spotting fascism on the horizon you can’t just look at people you don’t like. That’s like only looking for your lost car keys where the light is good. Huey Long reportedly said that if Fascism comes to America it will be called “anti-Fascism.” Liberals can still make their arguments that fascism comes from the right. But until they understand that wherever fascism may come from, it never arrives save in a form that the best and the brightest are willing to accept with open arms.
And if liberals don’t know their history, they won’t be equipped to spot it when it comes knocking.

Jonah Goldberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller Liberal Fascism.

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Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, left, ...“Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest.”
National Review (Editorial, “Romney For President,” National Review, 12/11/07)

Today, The Washington Post Revealed Sen. McCain Is Not Interested In Social Issues:

Sen. McCain: “It’s Not Social Issues I Care About.” “McCain seems distinctly uninterested when asked questions concerning abortion and gay rights. While campaigning in South Carolina, he told reporters riding with him on his bus that he was comfortable pledging to appoint judges who would strictly interpret the Constitution in part because it would reassure conservatives who might otherwise distrust him. ‘It’s not social issues I care about,’ he explained.” (Juliet Eilperin and Michael D. Shear, “Contenders Highlight GOP’s Ideological Struggle,” The Washington Post, 2/3/08)

Others Have Noted That McCain Doesn’t Care About Social Issues:

A Former McCain Aide Previously Said “His Heart Isn’t In This Stuff.” “‘Yes, he’s a social conservative, but his heart isn’t in this stuff,’ one former aide told me, referring to McCain’s instinctual unwillingness to impose on others his personal views about issues such as religion, sexuality, and abortion.” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

  • Former McCain Aide: “But He Has To Pretend [That It Is], And He’s Not A Good Enough Actor To Pull It Off. He Just Can’t Fake It Well Enough.” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

Sen. McCain Tries To “Placate” Conservatives. “Will McCain’s understandable effort to bend a little here and bow a little there to placate the most conservative elements of his party, who play a disproportionate role in the nominating process get him all twisted up before he ever gets to face the general electorate that polls suggest admires him so?” (Todd S. Purdum, “Prisoner Of Conscience,” Vanity Fair, 2/07)

Couple Sen. McCain’s Lack Of Interest In Social Issues With His Lack Of Understanding Economics:

Sen. McCain: “The Issue Of Economics Is Not Something I’ve Understood As Well As I Should.” “Like Mike Huckabee, who joked recently that he ‘may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night,’ McCain suggested to reporters Monday that American consumer culture offered a short cut to expertise. ‘The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,’ McCain said. ‘I’ve got Greenspan’s book.'” (Sasha Issenberg, “McCain: It’s About The Economy,” The Boston Globe, www.boston.com, Posted 12/18/07)

  • Sen. McCain: “I Still Need To Be Educated.” “On a broader range of economic issues, though, Mr. McCain readily departs from Reaganomics. His philosophy is best described as a work in progress. He is refreshingly blunt when he tells me: ‘I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.'” (Stephen Moore, “Reform, Reform, Reform,” OpinionJournal.com, 11/26/05)

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McCain dodges on past rationale for opposing tax cuts


Jonathan Martin


Posed with a tough question about his shifting explantion for opposing the original Bush tax cuts, McCain completely dodged.

When he originally opposed them, he did so saying that they were skewed in favor of the rich.

Now he says he voted against them because he wanted to get spending under control.

He didn’t really reconcile the difference, choosing instead to harp on his usual message about spending being out of control, the cause for GOP losses in ’06 and why “our base became disenchanted.”

Oh, and he noted a couple of times that he was part of the Reagan Revolution and has the support of Phil Gramm and Jack Kemp (both coming in for their second mention of the night).

None of this gets at his past language regarding the Bush tax cuts, but there was no follow up.

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In case you missed it, Senator McCain returned to class warfare rhetoric tonight when discussing the sub-prime crisis:

McCain Said There Are Some “Greedy People In Wall Street” That Need To Be Punished. MCCAIN: “I think that we’ve got to return to the principle that you don’t lend money to people that can’t pay it back. I think that there’s some greedy people in Wall Street that perhaps need to be punished. I think there’s got to be a huge amount more of transparency as to how this whole thing came about so we can prevent it from happening again.” (CNN, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Simi Valley, CA, 1/30/07)


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Sen. McCain’s Energy Legislation Would Hit Consumers

“What is not widely understood is that [Sen. McCain] is currently sponsoring legislation that, in the name of fighting global warming, would dramatically raise the tax on all carbon-based fuels, including gasoline, home heating oil, coal, and to a lesser extent, natural gas.” (Roy Cordato, “McCain’s Costly Tax On Energy,” National Review, www.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/10/08)

McCain-Lieberman Energy Legislation Would Hike Taxes On Consumers:

McCain-Lieberman Would Dramatically Raise Taxes On All Carbon-Based Fuels, Like Gas For Your Car And Home Heating Oil. “What is not widely understood is that [Sen. McCain] is currently sponsoring legislation that, in the name of fighting global warming, would dramatically raise the tax on all carbon-based fuels, including gasoline, home heating oil, coal, and to a lesser extent, natural gas.” (Roy Cordato, “McCain’s Costly Tax On Energy,” National Review, www.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/10/08)

McCain-Lieberman Would Lead To Higher Gas Prices, Anywhere From 26 Cents To 50 Cents To 68 Cents Per Gallon:

American Council For Capital Formation Study: McCain-Lieberman Could Hike Gasoline Prices By 50 Cents Per Gallon.  “A study by an economic research institute, the American Council for Capital Formation, underscored these findings, estimating that under S. 139: … By 2020, gasoline prices would increase 30 to 50 cents per gallon.” (H. Sterling Burnett, “Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” National Center For Policy Analysis, 11/18/04)

The EPA Estimated Sen. McCain’s Plan Would Hike Gas Prices By 68 Cents Per Gallon. “The EPA has estimated what the McCain energy tax would mean to consumers. Since the bill’s provisions are phased in, the full cost of the tax would not be felt for a number of years. But in a letter to Senator McCain dated July 2007, the EPA estimated that the tax will be about $.26 cents in current dollars per gallon of gasoline by 2030 and $.68 cents per gallon by 2050.” (Roy Cordato, “McCain’s Costly Tax On Energy,” National Review, www.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/10/08)

U.S. Energy Information Administration: McCain-Lieberman Would Hike Gas Prices 19%. “The increases in gasoline prices projected to occur (is) 9 percent in 2010 and 19 percent in 2025.” (“Analysis Of Senate Amendment 2028, The Climate Stewardship Act Of 2003,” Energy Information Administration, 1/6/07)

McCain-Lieberman Would Lead To Higher Utility Costs For Consumers:

Under McCain-Lieberman, Consumer Electricity Bills Would Rise By Nearly 20%.  “Electricity prices across the main S. 280 cases are 6 percent to 14 percent higher than the reference in 2020 and 16 percent to 25 percent higher in 2030 as the allowance prices rises throughout the forecast. Consumers’ total electricity bills in 2020 in the S280 Core case are $18 billion (5 percent) higher than in the reference case, with a range of 2 percent higher in the Fixed 30 Percent Offsets case to 8 percent higher in the No International case. By 2030, the increase in consumer bills above the reference case ranges from $33 billion (8 percent) to $75 billion (18 percent).” (“Energy Market And Economic Impact Of S. 280, The Climate Stewardship And Innovation Act Of 2007,” Energy Information Administration, 8/07)

McCain-Lieberman Would Increase Natural Gas Prices By Sixteen Percent. “A new analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows the McCain-Lieberman bill will increase natural gas prices 16 percent over the next seven years.” (Bonner R. Cohen, Op-Ed, “Drilling For Natural Gas,” [Baton Rouge, LA] Sunday Advocate, 7/13/03)

U.S. Government Analysis Shows That McCain-Lieberman Would Harm The Economy:

According To Energy Information Administration Figures, Manufacturing Jobs Would Decline 300,000 By 2030 If S. 280 (McCain-Lieberman) Were Enacted.

· If S. 280 were not enacted, manufacturing jobs would stand at 12.5 million in 2030. (Energy Information Administration Website, www.eia.doe.gov, Cell AB1768)

· If S. 280 were enacted, manufacturing jobs would stand at 12.2 million in 2030. (Energy Information Administration Website, www.eia.doe.gov, Cell AB1768)

U.S. Energy Information Administration: McCain-Lieberman Would Decrease United States GDP By $776 Billion In The Short Term. “The cumulative losses in actual GDP are about $776 billion (1996 dollars) in the SA.2028 (McCain-Lieberman)…. The peak, single-year impact on actual GDP under SA.2028 occurs in 2025, with a loss of $76 billion (1996 dollars), or about 0.4 percent of GDP. The largest percentage change in actual GDP, 0.5 percent, occurs in 2011, where the estimated loss in actual GDP that year is $57 billion…” (“Analysis Of Senate Amendment 2028, The Climate Stewardship Act Of 2003,” Energy Information Administration, 5/04)

The EPA Estimates Sen. McCain’s Plan Could Reduce United States GDP By As Much As $5.2 Trillion By 2050. “The effect on the economy of the McCain tax would be similar to any other broad-based tax. In the EPA’s own words: ‘The present value of the cumulative reduction in real GDP for the 2012-2030 period ranges from $660 billion to $2.1 trillion…the cumulative reduction in the present value of real GDP for the 2012-2050 period ranges from about $1.6 trillion to $5.2 trillion.'”  (Roy Cordato, “McCain’s Costly Tax On Energy,” National Review, www.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/10/08)

McCain-Lieberman Has Been Rejected By The Senate Before:

McCain-Lieberman Was Introduced In 2003, And Sought To Require A Reduction In Greenhouse Gas Emissions By All Power Plants And Industries. “Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) will unveil a plan this week to require all U.S. power plants and industries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, setting the stage for a conflict with the Bush administration and the new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.” (Eric Pianin, “Fight Ahead On Emissions,” The Washington Post, 1/7/03)

In 2005, McCain-Lieberman Was Reintroduced – And Was Soundly Rejected By Senate Republicans And Democrats, 38-60. 49 Republicans and 11 Democrats voted against McCain’s “greenhouse gas” amendment to the energy bill. (H.R. 6, CQ Vote #148: Rejected 38-60: R 6-49; D 31-11; I 1-0, 6/22/05, Lieberman and McCain Voted Yea)

McCain-Lieberman Was Reintroduced In 2007, And Is Known As Bill S. 280. “Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) reintroduced the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (S. 280) today with his longstanding ally, Senator John McCain (R-AZ).” (Sen. Joe Lieberman, “Lieberman, McCain Reintroduce Climate Stewardship And Innovation Act,” Press Release, 1/12/07)

Criticism Of McCain-Lieberman:

Climate Expert Fred Singer Called McCain’s Legislation “Worse Than Kyoto.” “The McCain-Lieberman proposal is also clearly contrary to the clear mandate delivered by the Senate in 1997. In reality, McCain-Lieberman would be worse than Kyoto since it would require a unilateral reduction of emissions, even if Kyoto fails to go into force — a situation that appears increasingly likely since Russia, an essential country, appears to be leaning against ratifying it.” (S. Fred Singer, Op-Ed, “Energy-Rationing By Another Name Still Spells ‘Kyoto,'” Investor’s Business Daily, 10/31/03)

McCain-Lieberman Is “Kyoto By Another Name.” “Who does Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) think he is fooling?  McCain’s Climate Stewardship Act, cosponsored with Sen. Joe Lieberman (D., Conn.), is a political roadmap back to the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations global-warming treaty that the Senate preemptively rejected by a vote of 95-0 in July 1997.” (Marlo Lewis, “Kyoto By Another Name,” National Review, 6/16/04)

Detroit News Columnist Thomas Bray: 2005 McCain-Lieberman Plan Would Ultimately Result In A Huge Indirect Tax On The American People.  “Aside from the crucial question of whether a government bureaucracy is smart enough to do so, even environmentalists confess that Kyoto or McLieberman measures would have been a small first step in clamping a huge indirect tax on the American and world economy.” (Thomas Bray, Op-Ed, “Public Rejects Giving Control Of Energy Use To Government,” The Detroit News, 6/26/05)

Sen. McCain’s Energy Policy Could Devastate The Auto Industry. “Higher energy costs will, among other things, raise the cost of manufacturing big-ticket items in American factories. And higher gas prices will likely raise demand for those classes of automobiles that tend to be manufactured overseas. Somehow, I think Michigan voters will be less than thrilled about this, should anyone bother to inform them.” (Roy Cordato, “McCain’s Costly Tax On Energy,” National Review, www.nationalreview.com, Posted 1/10/08)

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Trying to defend against his own admission of economic ignorance, Senator McCain is now saying that he wouldn’t need a Vice President with economic experience. However, in November, he was saying the exact opposite.  Yet another straight talk detour.

McCain Said That Because Of His Experience On The Senate Commerce Committee, He Wouldn’t Need A Vice President With Economic Experience. “Noting that he also later ran the Senate Commerce Committee, Mr. McCain said in the interview that he would feel no need to select a vice president with expertise in economic policy to balance his own foreign-policy experience.” (David Leonhardt, “Fiscal Mantra For McCain: Less Is More,” www.nytimes.com, The New York Times, 1/26/08)

However, In November, McCain Said He Would Choose A Vice-President Who Understands Economics Because He Doesn’t. “On at least one occasion, McCain has raised the matter himself. On Nov. 10, while traveling through New Hampshire on his Straight Talk Express bus, McCain was asked what he would seek in a vice presidential candidate if nominated. After mentioning the ability of a potential running mate to replace the president, McCain said, ‘You also look for people who maybe have talents you don’t, or experience or knowledge you don’t, as well.’ ‘What are those qualities that you don’t – that you wouldn’t mind complementing?’ asked David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times. McCain paused. ‘Uh, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but, somebody who’s really well grounded in economics,’ he said.” (Sasha Issenberg, “McCain Tested On Economy,” The Boston Globe, www.boston.com, 1/26/08)

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