Obama and Family on Multi-Million Dollar Christmas Vacation in Hawaii (What is This…the 8th Vacation in Two Years?)

December 30, 2010

President Obama and his family are enjoying a delightful Christmas vacation with friends and family in the chief executive’s home state of Hawaii.

 

Nobody questions a president’s right or need to take take away from the White House, but an investigation by Hawaii Reporter has turned up some eye-opening information about the costs and other aspects of the Obama get-away.

 

Just consider these estimates on part of the costs of the latest Obama Hawaii trip:

 

* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

 

* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

 

* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

 

* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

 

* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

 

* Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

 

TOTAL COST: $1,474,200

 

But that $1.47 million figure leaves out a number of signficant costs that simply could not be calculated by Hawaii Reporter:

 

* Rental of office building in Kailua on canal

 

* Security upgrades and additional phone lines.

 

* Costs for car rentals and fuel for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel (Secret Service imports most of the cars used here to escort the president).

 

* Surveillance before the president arrives.

 

* Travel costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President.

 

White House spokesmen insist Obama’s vacation expenses are in line with those of previous presidents, which may well be true, but, since the government refuses to disclose many important details about any presidential journey, nobody can know for sure.

 

There appear to be reasons to suspect the Obamas’ trip could have been done for less, according to Hawaii Reporter.

 

“They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station – just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now,” according to Hawaii Reporter.

 

“The president visits the military base daily to workout, bowl with his kids or enjoy the more private beach there. He also could have stayed at a home 15 minutes away on the beach fronting Bellows Air Force Base as President Bill Clinton did.”

 

But Obama and friends opted instead to secure use of three luxury beachfront places, including the “Winter White House” – or Kailua home that the president rents two weeks a year.

 

That facility, Hawaii Reporter, noted, normally rents for an estimated $3,500 a day or $75,000 a month, according to the web site Gadling.com.

 

The latter describes the place as a “7,000 square foot home [that] features 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ bathrooms, a media room with surround sound, a kitchen suited for a master chef, a dining room and great room, a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a lavish island spa. The ocean lanai and garden lanai showcase ornate landscaping and stunning views of Kailua Bay and Mount Olomana.”

 

From:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2010/12/president-and-family-multi-million-dollar-christmas-vacation-hawa


Thank You, Obama! US Ends 2010 With $13.9 Trillion In Public Debt; Future Generations on the Hook as Far as the Eye Can See

December 21, 2010

Now that all recent bond auctions have settled, and with no further bond auctions scheduled until the rest of the year, we can look at the final tally of US total debt: the number – $13,879,785,000,000.

 

This represents a $1.568 trillion increase in total US debt held by the public for 2010, and $4.388 trillion since the collapse of Lehman.

 

This is in essence the cost to US taxpayers to keep the financial system solvent, as the US has become the biggest marginal leveraging actor in the world.

 

Of course, since this money does not have to be repaid any time soon, nobody seems to mind, especially not the politicians in Washington.

 

As we have said before, and pro forma for the Obama tax deal, we expect total debt issuance in 2011 to accelerate once again, and to hit just under $2 trillion, putting total US debt at the end of next year at around $16 trillion.

 

We also fully expect the Fed to monetize the bulk of that issuance. We can’t wait to hear the positive spin on this one.

 

From:  http://www.zerohedge.com/article/us-end-2010-139-trillion-debt-total-debt-incurred-great-financial-crash-44-trillion

 


The Obama-messiah Giveth, and the Obama-messiah Taketh Away…

December 19, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 13.4 million taxpayers may be getting unexpected tax bills because they were awarded too much money under President Barack Obama’s Making Work Pay tax credit, a government audit said Thursday.

 

The tax credit, which expires Jan. 1, was designed to increase take-home pay by about $8 a week through new tax withholding tables. The credit was capped at $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly.

 

However, the credit put millions of taxpayers at risk for not having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks, resulting in a tax bill when they file their returns, said the audit by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

 

Those at risk included people with multiple jobs, married couples who both work, Social Security recipients who also work, and young workers who are also claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.

 

“The Making Work Pay credit is a key tax credit designed to increase spending and stimulate the economy,” George said. “However, many taxpayers who are accustomed to receiving refunds when they file their tax returns may have owed taxes and incurred penalties in 2009, and may yet again in 2010, because they were advanced more of the credit than they were entitled to claim.”

 

From:  http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j8W-0UCvLxjV7_KakiT8cxJMCNlQ?docId=81831a5c6bc947f6bc1b07e648bc9809


Only 23% of Voters Feel U.S. Is Heading in the Right Direction

December 16, 2010

Just 23% of likely U.S. voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, December 12. Down three points from last week, it’s the most pessimistic finding since January 2009.

 

 Confidence that the country is moving in the right direction is down to 42% among Democrats from 59% the week before Election Day.

 

 Among all voters, confidence in the nation’s current course had been hovering around the 30% mark since last November except for a brief burst of enthusiasm, largely among Democratic voters, just after Congress’ passage of the national health care bill in late March.

 

 Seventy percent (71%) of voters say the country now is heading down the wrong track, the highest level found since March. Following passage of the health care bill, this number fell slightly but has since returned to levels found prior to the passage of the bill.

 

 Forty-nine percent (49%) of those in President Obama’s party feel the country is on the wrong track.  Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans and 76% of voters not affiliated with either political party agree.

 

From:

 

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track

 


Thank You, Obama! Food Prices Rise Sharply – And There’s More to Come!

December 16, 2010

For the first time since 2008, inflation is hitting consumers in the stomach.

 

Grocery prices grew by more than 1 1/2 times the overall rate of inflation this year, outpaced only by costs of transportation and medical care, according to numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Economists predict that this is only the beginning. Fueled by the higher costs of wheat, sugar, corn, soybeans and energy, shoppers could see as much as a 4 percent increase at the supermarket checkout next year.

 

“I noticed just this month that my grocery bill for the same old stuff – cereal, eggs, milk, orange juice, peanut butter, bread – spiked $25,” said Sue Perry, deputy editor of ShopSmart magazine, a nonprofit publication from Consumer Reports. “It was a bit of sticker shock.”

 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer

From:  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/16/MN571GQRDL.DTL

 

 


Obama’s New Tax On…Rainwater!?

December 14, 2010

Would President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency really force Americans to pay a tax on “rainwater runoff” from homes and small businesses?

 

You bet they would.  In fact, the EPA, under radical environmentalist Lisa Jackson, is proposing regulations to do just that. 

 

Take a look at the EPA’s own Federal Register filing, where the EPA generally describes the initiative it’s proposing:

 

…requirements, including design or performance standards, for stormwater discharges from, at minimum, newly developed and redeveloped sites. EPA intends to propose regulatory options that would revise the NPDES regulations and establish a comprehensive program to address stormwater discharges from newly developed and redeveloped sites and to take final action no later than November 2012.

 

This is bureaucratic-speak for having the EPA force cities and counties to limit stormwater runoff to levels the EPA deems acceptable.  Limiting “rainwater runoff” will mean forcing homeowners and businesses to pay new taxes in order to rein in rainwater, and that’s no pun intended. 

 

Think about just how big-government this is.  A Washington, D.C. bureaucracy plans on forcing your local county or city to slap new taxes on you and me because this big-government bureaucracy wants to micro-manage rainwater across the entire country.  Already, several counties and cities across the United States are moving to pass new taxes and fees in anticipation of the new EPA rules, including cities in states as disparate as Florida, Ohio and Kansas.  

 

But really, this new EPA outrage is part of the pattern of the Obama Administration.  Cap-and-trade is bogged down for now in the Senate (though they’ll try to bring it back this year), so the liberals try to use an un-elected bureaucracy to pass their radical agenda.  First, they declared that greenhouse gases are a “threat” to the environment and to health, so they’re pushing new regulations that will in effect pass cap-and-trade without Congress having to act.  Now, they’re pushing this new “rainwater runoff” tax.

 

Just last month, Americans for Prosperity launched a national effort to stop this big government over-reach by the EPA.  We’re calling it the Regulation Reality Tour™, and we launched it in Arkansas with events across the state.  On April 19 we will begin the second leg of our tour in Colorado, with a third leg launching in Indiana and Ohio in early May.  I hope to see you on the road as we take on Obama’s EPA!

 

Our goal is simple: educate Americans on the threat to their freedoms and our economy from the EPA’s arrogant, nutty agenda.  The EPA’s head, Lisa Jackson, attended the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen where she stated her intention to “transform” the way the American economy works using her bureaucracy.  I was there in the room and heard her say it. 

 

EPA is such a runaway bureaucracy at this point that only Congress can stop them.  Thankfully, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has a proposal to do just that.  Murkowski has a resolution of disapproval—which would stop EPA in its tracks—that has been gathering steam, but we need your help to put her over the top. 

 

 CLICK HERE to take action and tell your senators to support S.J.Res. 26.  Make sure they know you will hold them accountable if they don’t help pass Murkowski’s resolution.  Any lawmakers who won’t stand up to stop the EPA are complicit in the onerous regulations they are trying to pass.

 

Spring is here.  All things begin anew.  And that includes renewing the fight for our freedoms.

 

PS:  I just finished a father/son trip with my 16-year-old twin boys.  It was great fun.  On the airplane especially, my sons talked about what they wanted to do in the years to come.  Hearing them talk about their futures, I was reminded of something Ronald Reagan said – freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.  As usual, President Reagan was right.  Let’s make sure we keep doing our part to ensure that our generation passes on to our children and grandchildren the same freedoms we enjoyed.

 

Read more: http://americansforprosperity.org/040610-obamas-new-tax-onrainwater#ixzz184X4EvYA


Obama’s Stimulus Created ZERO Permanent Jobs, Says FED…

December 9, 2010

Now, apparently, we know what that big “O” stood for that graced every pro-Obama campaign ad before his election.  It was a promise of what was to come from his economic policies. Nothing.  — Spencer

 

Obama’s Stimulus Created ZERO Permanent Jobs, Says FED…

 

According to recovery.gov, the President’s website designed to track the stimulus plan, the $800 Billion plus porkulous bill passed in February 2009 is responsible for 3,348,813 jobs. 

 

But according to a new analysis conducted by the San Fransisco office of the Federal Reserve, the president’s projection is off by only 3,348,813 jobs. 

 

That’s correct The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created exactly zero permanent jobs.

 

Those of us who are still unemployed or even those who simply watch the unemployment numbers know that the stimulus bill was a failure, but what this study shows is that we could have saved the $800+  billion.

 

Jobs would have been almost the same and the federal deficit would have been in better shape. I say almost because the plan did create short term jobs but they are long gone.

 

The study also kills the Democratic party argument that we would have fallen into a depression without the Presidential porkage because for all intents and purposes, based on the effect of the plan, there was very little help to the economy:

 

The study results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year.

 

Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker.

 

Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome – which it didn’t — it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.