John Ransom

I don’t trust climate “science” because people like you make things up, apply double standards, hyperventilate and cover-up the fact that climate guru Al Gore and other politicians seek to pass legislation that will make them rich under the “settled science” of climate change. You can’t blame people for having second thoughts about global warming when all the solutions proposed benefit a narrow group of people.      

And you call me a hypocrite?

Don’t ask me to believe in your phony philosophy when you won’t.

Because if you really believed in your own arguments, you’d be more outraged than I am that guys on your side are more interested in making a buck than in sound policies.  

Supercarp wrote: I'm trying to understand the rationale for not believeing that global warming is happening. If you think that all the people who believe it stand to gain monetarily, that is very far from the truth. I don't see how a person can be concerned about the economic future of our country for our children and not be concerned about the future of the planet. - Caught Red-Handed on Climate Change

Dear Comrade Carp,

We’re all concerned about the future of the planet. Just because we disagree with you doesn’t mean we aren’t. 

I question why sketchy, poor science is allowed to front for the global warming crowd if their arguments are so valid. They put forward what are essentially hypothesis like they are conclusions and shout down anyone who asks questions about it.

We see scientists making claims that “polar bear cannibalism,” for example, is on the rise because of global warming.  Or that every extreme weather event is the result of global warming, as if we have never had extreme weather events.

General Ritter von Leeb once remarked of Hitler on his march to power: “A businessman whose wears are good does not need to boost them in the loudest tones of a market crier.”

If the arguments are so sound, why the hyperbole?           

More Freedom wrote: Ransom is too generous to our politicians here. The net present value of federal government promises is well over $100 trillion. This is more than the value of everything we own (both public and private) in the US. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288304576170974226083178.html

- Surviving the Government Super Storm

Dear Freedom,

You are getting GDP confused with debt.

I’ve written extensively about the implied liabilities that the federal government has underwritten, like student loans, mortgages, the entire US banking system, social security.

But the article you commented on had nothing to do with that.

Instead, the article concentrated on what we can do to restore GDP growth in the US, which would then allows us the ability to pay down some of this debt.       

Doug3370 wrote: It must be kept in mind that population cannot indefinitely maintain an internal growth rate of 2 percent. Or 1 percent, for that matter. With a current population of well over 300 million, we have to wonder. Our farmland is not expanding at 2 percent a year. Our climate is not improving at 2 percent a year; in fact, it's getting worse. Before looking to expand the population, we might see if we can do better with the ones we've got now. Some educational reforms, perhaps? Better communication on the risks and drawbacks of obesity, and how it can be avoided? - Surviving the Government Super Storm

Dear Comrade Ugh3370!

Ugh. This is liberalism at its worst.

Underneath the pseudo-scientific jargon- “that population cannot indefinitely maintain an internal growth rate of 2 percent”- are posing pseudo-socialist solutions that pretend that the government controls (or should control) all things like population growth and obesity.

Want the population to grow? Pass a law.

Want people to slim down? Pass another law.

Then pass more laws to deal with the consequences of the laws you passed in the first and second instance. Hire lobbyists and raise taxes so you can pay the lobbyists to make contributions to you candidacy so that you can pass more laws when laws numbered 1-5 don’t work.

Repeat process.      

Cody7 wrote: Everyone seems to enjoy the attacking of unemployment payments as if this is the one thing that is destroying the US economy. Try living on $214 dollars a week. That's what unemployment pays in Arizona. That's the maximum. Try sending out over 10 resumes a week for 2 years and getting zero responses. I am a Collection Manager with a Masters in Finance, but I am over the age of 65. Get the picture now. There must be thousands of people over the age of 45 that have been unemployed for more than 2 years. So please stop this baloney about all of us freeloaders destroying the economy. - Surviving the Government Super Storm

Dear Comrade Cody,

Data suggests that unemployment payments contribute to unemployment

“We find fairly robust evidence suggesting that the actual generosity of UI [Unemployment Insurance] does matter for regional unemployment,” wrote authors from the Swedish Ministry of Finance and Uppsala University. “Increases in the actual replacement rate contribute to higher unemployment as suggested by theory. We also show that removing the wage cap in UI benefit receipt would reduce the dispersion of regional unemployment.”

I’ve been unemployed before, like most everyone has, and appreciate your plight. But unemployment payments make it harder for you to get a job because they inflate the number of unemployed which damps demand for goods and services that might create gainful employment for you.

I’m not sure why liberal economists and social scientists refuse to yield the settled science on unemployment insurance.

But it’s probably because so many of them are instead studying polar bear cannibalism.  

Also, ten resumes a week really doesn't seem like much. You can send ten a day in between episodes of Gilligan's Island.   

I asked a researcher familar with Uppsala University about your job search. "There are winner's" she said, "and then there is this guy." ["Det finns vinnare," sade hon, "och sedan finns den här killen"]       

AJhil wrote: I'm a liberal gentleman & I didn't weep. You're just another conservative true believer who swallows right wing fallacies without doing rudimentary fact checking. Otherwise you'd know that in the l930s the average American male had a life expectancy at birth of 58 years (62 for women) primarily because of high infant & early childhood mortality during that period. Men who survived to adulthood (age 21) had a 54% chance of going on to reach age 65, and those who did could expect to collect SS benefits for an additional 13 years! By 1940 8.3 million Americans were 65 or older & qualified for SS. Your calumny of FDR is pure BS. (By the way, FDR himself didn't set the age limit. The Committee on Economic Security did.) - The Democrats Want You to Die

Dear Comrade AJ,

Wash the numbers however you’d like but life expectancy for people who get social security has gone up.

Let’s look at the numbers- which you copied and pasted almost directly from the Social Security Administration web site.

Life Expectancy Tables by Decade from SSA

 

 Decade

Male

Pct Age 21 Reaching Age 65

Female

Pct Age 21 Reaching Age 65

Male

Life Expectancy aged 65

Female

Life Expectancy aged 65

1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990

53.9
56.2
60.1
63.7
67.8
72.3

60.6
65.5
71.3
76.9
80.9
83.6

12.7
13.1
13.2
13.8
14.6
15.3

14.7
16.2
17.4
18.6
19.1
19.6

You can see from the table above that life expectancy has gone up. However, that is offset by the fact that people are paying into Social Security longer. The big problem is that population growth has slowed as even it’s creators- including Roosevelt- knew it would.

One of the earliest pieces of literature that contributes to the history of Social Security is Time Magazine’s Pie from The Sky, an account of a House Committee hearing called to deal with “reforming” Social Security. The hearing was held four years after passage of the Act and before even a single check was written to old age beneficiaries. The Time article is stunning not because it gives us a quaint, sun-dappled and leaded window into the Norman Rockwell past, but because it provided a pinpoint, spotlight prediction of the acrimonious future of a failed federal program.

It predicted, amongst other things, that by 1980 the “the bond interest” on Social Security “will in turn have to be met by the Treasury, through other taxes.” That is, that the insurance “scheme” was really just a Ponzi scheme that would collapse in time if other taxes to fund it weren’t raised in the future. In fact, the prediction was off by just three years. The solvency of the program was addressed in landmark legislation pushed through by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neil in 1983. That legislation though only amounted to a twenty-year truce in the Social Security war. The truce ended at the turn of this century.

The Time article also said that the federal government would borrow the money accumulated from the Social Security “reserve” to finance deficit spending and ultimately the public would have to pay the bill:

“[L]ast week came a fresh round of ammunition from Liberal Economist John T. Flynn. Writing in Harper's on "The Social Security 'Reserve' Swindle," plain-talking Mr. Flynn declared:

"Obviously the government cannot pay adequate pensions if it insists on 'borrowing' most of the old age taxes and spending them to support the government. The whole thing is a disguised tax levied upon the lowest income groups under the pretense of old age pension premiums. No government would dare support itself out of a payroll tax if it honestly proclaimed its purpose.”

Time wrote that already, in 1939, the president and Congress were considering a fifty-percent increase in Social Security taxes to finance expanded benefits, even as qualified beneficiaries doubted that they’d live to see any benefit from the program. “But for old folks,” wrote Time, “Social Security, which will not begin paying monthly old-age insurance benefits for those over 65 until 1942, is still pie in the sky.” 

Tun Tavern wrote: The GOP fought like crazy against giving everyone health care...But fight like crazy to give everyone guns...So which party is it that wants death? Given that my side isn't willing to bow down to the bible, do you REALLY think we'll bow down to the constitution? Both the bible and the constitution are merely ancient texts fetishized by a dying demographic. What we can't subvert, we can circumvent.- The Democrats Want You to Die

Dear Comrade Tun,

Ask yourself that question after listening to this public service announcement from the Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke –

You Have A Duty To Protect Your Family  


Archie1954 wrote: Sometimes I wonder if only the article is foolish or if the author is too. This is one of those cases. Benghazi is an example of systemic failure, not the failure of the person in charge but the failure of the American way of missing the point constantly and consistently. Why would an American diplomatic agency be functioning with moderate security in a country which has just been ravaged by Western nations with US support and weapons? Why indeed? Because for some reason Americans simply can't come to the realization that the citizens of these nations don't like being killed by bombs, they don't appreciate their infrastructure being bomber back to the stone age, they dislike the Americans strutting on their graves afterwards. ­- Caution: These Politicians May Not Be Human

Dear Comrade Archie,

As you correctly point out any administration can lose people to terror attacks.

But that’s not what’s in dispute here.

The question is why the Obama folks lied about the entire affair.

The only systemic breakdown here is the systemic breakdown of liberal ideology that thought Libyans would be strewing the road with flower petals for Americans as Obama became their “Great Liberator.”

There’s a material difference between winning a Nobel Peace prize and being a true peacemaker.

It’s too bad Obama hasn’t found that out yet.  

Jon Stewart said (Jon Stewart Rips Republicans At Benghazi Hearings): Look, I’m not saying Hillary Clinton or the State Department are blameless here. We need a thorough inquiry and a critical analysis of the serious misjudgments, bureaucratic inaccuracies and pure incompetence that led to the Benghazi tragedy. But this here committee weren’t it. - Caution: These Politicians May Not Be Human

Dear Comrade Stewart,

You used to be funny. But now you’re just kind of a d!©k.  

Canetoad wrote: John, have you factored in the costs of reducing environmental, economic and social regulations. How do you account for the external costs of reducing regulation, such as increases in health care costs due to increased pollution or loss of productive fisheries due to unregulated agricultural runoff. Let's factor in the cost of the GFC, which came about partly because of inadequate regulation. In case after case the costs of reducing regulation far outweigh any short term savings to our economy. While you say we need "some regulation", you fail to elucidate what regulation and how it will affect the bottom line and what the external costs of reducing said regulation would be. -Obama's Real Cost: $19 Trillion in Missing GDP

Dear Comrade Toad,

I’m not writing a whitepaper here. It’s just an op-ed.

You can elucidate and calculate the cost of “GFC.”

But if you wanted to actually do anything about the global financial crisis Dodd-Frank wasn’t the solution.

“In the aftermath of the crisis, the banking sector has become more concentrated, and the risk posed by too-big-to-fail banks has, if anything increased,” Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and former Clinton administration advisor, told the Senate Banking Committee in August according to the New York Times.

The law contains over 3900 pages that if stood end to end would reach three times the height of the Empire State building. Even still, it will be years before regulators fully decide how to interpret the new rules and regulations. That process will require even more pages to explain. In fact, the law firm Leonard, Street and Deinard maintains the web site Dodd-Frank.com with 20 bloggers dedicated to helping clients understand- or predict- the complexities of the law.

The cost is easier to pin down. The Congressional Budget Office says that new fees imposed by Dodd-Frank on clients will cost $27 billion, while new regulatory offices will cost another $6 billion. Deposits and insurance will cost an additional $15 billion.     

Especially hard hit, says the ABA, are the community banks that don’t have the personnel resources to devote to compliance issue required under Dodd-Frank. “Managing this tsunami of regulation is a significant challenge for a bank of any size, but for the median-sized bank, with only 37 employees, it is overwhelming.”

“The weight of these new rules creates pressure to hire additional compliance staff instead of customer-facing staff,” says the ABA. “It means more money spent on outside lawyers, reducing resources that could be directly applied to serving a bank’s customers and community. In the end, it means fewer loans get made, slower job growth, and a weaker economy.”

Dodd-Frank also requires banks to hold on to more capital, leaving less money for loans and for shareholders. Suddenly banks aren’t such an attractive investment anymore, not because of the risk involved, but because government is the new sheriff in town and has reduced the amount of profit potential for a bank. And let’s be clear: Profits reduce risks for banks; losses increase those risks.  

Oh yeah: What was the point of Dodd-Frank?

It was supposed to make too-big-to-fail go away.

Dodd-Frank has put too-big-to-fail on steroids. 

E. James wrote: John, another good column, but we who read it are the "choir".- Obama Says "Nevermind" on Deficits

Dear E,

So are you saying I should run for US Senate? Or should you?

I say you. 

McGovern wrote: By the way, I miss the normal Sunday morning digest of progressive comments torn to shreds by Ransom. And Doctor Roy replied: Maybe the progressives are getting so smart that not even Ransom can deal with them.- Obama Says "Nevermind" on Deficits

Dear Comrade Doctor,

Not so fast. "Not even Ransom can deal with them"?

Ha! The great and powerful?  

Maybe a day late, but I made up for it.  

That’s it for this week...oh, and see you on the radio

V/r,

JR


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.