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Topic: General Economics

The Top 10 Clients Of The Export-Import Bank

Posted on Mar. 23, 12 | 09:27 AM by Barney Keller | Topic: General Economics
As part of the ongoing debate over the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, The Club for Growth today released a list of the Top 10 clients of the Export-Import Bank. The Club for Growth strongly opposes reauthorization of the bank and has issued a “Key Vote” alert in opposition:
The Club for Growth’s Top 10 Clients Of The Export-Import Bank 

1.             Solyndra (Source)

2.             Mexican drug cartels (Source)

3.             An Oil company with ties to the Russian Mafia (Source)

4.             Enron (Source)

5.             Air India (Source)

6.             For a company called First Solar to export solar panels…to itself (Source)

7.             The China National Nuclear Power Corporation (Source)

8.        For a Spanish company to sell windmills in Honduras (Source)

9.             Now-bankrupt company Abound Solar (Source)

10.      Boeing, which receives more than 44% of all Export-Import Bank handouts (Source)

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Quote of the Day

Posted on Feb. 10, 12 | 09:58 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
From Steven Landsburg's book, The Big Questions:

Your kids look to you for guidance, while your congressman looks to you only for votes.  So, quite sensibly, you think a lot harder and more clearly about what you’ll tolerate from your kids than what you’ll tolerate from your congressman.

HT: Don Boudreaux

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Economics for the Long Run

Posted on Jan. 25, 12 | 02:17 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
Economist John Taylor has a great op-ed in today's WSJ.  Excerpt:

As this election year begins, a lot of people are wondering what we can do to restore America's prosperity and create more jobs. Republican presidential candidates are offering their ideas, and at his State of the Union message on Tuesday President Obama presented his. I believe the fundamental answer is simple: Government policies must adhere more closely to the principles of economic freedom upon which the country was founded.
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Club for Growth's Andy Roth Discusses Presidential Candidates Economic Plans With Neil Cavuto

Posted on Jan. 09, 12 | 05:12 PM by David Keating | Topic: General Economics

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All The Emperors Are Naked

Posted on Jan. 06, 12 | 06:37 PM by David Keating | Topic: General Economics
Brian Wesbury has another excellent analysis out, this time he explains why the payroll tax holiday, unemployment extension, doc fix is such a dumb bill and that our rules have no clothes.

Some excerpts:

Any business that ran this way would be out of business.  Government, because it has so much control and power, can avoid the inevitable for a little longer.  But eventually the game comes to an end.  And that’s exactly what is happening in Europe right now.  The Welfare State has come to its logical conclusion – bankruptcy.

Spain, for example, just admitted its deficit is 8.5% of GDP, not the 6% that it was publicizing.  So, it is proposing a package of tax hikes and spending cuts equal to 1.5% of GDP.  This will leave the deficit at 7% of GDP, even though it had promised under new rules to get it down to 4.5%.

Governments seem unwilling to deal with issues that are relatively straight-forward.  It’s not hard to understand.  Spending needs to be paid for by taxes, but taxes undermine the incentives to produce and invest and push business to other countries.  Eventually government spends so much that the economy cannot support it (no matter how much tax rates rise) and bond buyers go on strike.  Many European countries have reached that point.

The United States is not there yet.  However, it is slowly and surely approaching that day if nothing changes.  Politics as usual is not working.  It produces inane bills like the one described above.  Every piece of the bill just passed points to a government that has run out of any self control.
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Greedy Innkeeper or Generous Capitalist?

Posted on Dec. 22, 11 | 12:39 PM by David Keating | Topic: General Economics
Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein review accommodations in Bethlehem when Jesus was born:

The Bible story of the virgin birth is at the center of much of the holiday cheer at this time of the year. The book of Luke tells us Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem because Caesar Augustus decreed a census should be taken. Mary gave birth after arriving in Bethlehem and placed baby Jesus in a manger because there was “no room for them in the inn.”

Over the centuries, people have come to believe that because Jesus was born in a stable, and not in a hotel room, Mary and Joseph must have been mistreated by a greedy innkeeper. This innkeeper only cared about profits and decided the young couple was not “worth” his best accommodations. We have heard this narrative of the Christmas story repeated many times in plays, skits and sermons.
This narrative persists even though the Bible records no complaints at the time and there was apparently no charge for the use of the stable. It may be that the stable was the only place available. Bethlehem, like other small towns, was overflowing with people who were forced to return to their ancestral homes for the census - ordered by the Romans for the purpose of levying a tax.
If there was a problem, it was caused by the unintended consequences of this government policy. But this source of the problem has been ignored in favor of a more palatable complaint, that capitalism and capitalists are greedy, uncaring, and maybe even evil.
But a different narrative makes even more sense. The innkeeper was generous to a fault – a hero even. He was over-booked, but he charitably offered his stable, a facility he built with unknowing foresight. A facility he was able to offer, while the government officials who ordered the census slept in their own beds with little care for the well-being of those who had to travel regardless of their difficult life circumstances.

Read the rest of their excellent analysis here.
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S&P 500 Returns in a President's 3rd Year

Posted on Dec. 06, 11 | 10:00 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: General Economics
Here is how the S&P 500 has performed in the third year of recent presidencies: 

President Year S&P Return
Nixon 1971 14.3%
Carter 1979 18.4%
Reagan 1983 22.5%
Bush I 1991 30.6%
Clinton 1995 37.4%
Bush II 2003 28.7%
Obama 2011 1.9%

HT: Strategas
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Cool new video from

Posted on Oct. 13, 11 | 04:14 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: General Economics
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Steve Jobs, RIP

Posted on Oct. 06, 11 | 04:55 PM by David Keating | Topic: General Economics
With all that is written about Steve Jobs today, Brian Wesbury adds an interesting perspective about him as an entrepreneur and how important entrepreneurs are to our daily lives and our nation's economy.

Steve Jobs made our lives better, and made a good living for Apple's employees, distributor's employees and supplier's employees to mention a few.

As Brian concludes in his post:

Profits indicate success for an entrepreneur and in this measure Steve Jobs was a massive success.  Taxing away these profits, making profits evil, or regulating entrepreneurs with political motivation subtracts from the benefits that entrepreneurs bring to society.

The world needs more Steve Jobs, not fewer. The world is celebrating his life today and mourning his passing.  I will always remember him as an entrepreneur– the one who didn’t give up until he found a way to get his products in my hand and convince me that they could help make me more productive.  He did that. Steve Jobs, RIP.

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How Many New Jobs, Mr. President?

Posted on Sep. 09, 11 | 03:23 PM by David Keating | Topic: General Economics
A Club for Growth Member and businessman sent me this excellent email about President Obama's "jobs plan" today:

If a businessman wants to create a middle-class job paying $20/hour, it costs perhaps $40/hour with benefits and mandates, office space and other associated costs.  That’s $80,000/year, to create a $40,000/year job. 
So, every $100 Billion we spend on jobs ought to create 1.25 million new jobs.  Right? 
Obama’s newest centralized-control program wants to spend $450 billion on stimulus (again, even though the previous efforts failed).  How many people in his administration think it’ll create 5.6 million jobs.  That’s the number that the private sector can create with this sum, if the government just leaves us alone.

I looked at the Administration's "fact sheet" on the plan.  One would hope a fact sheet on a jobs bill would have some estimate of the jobs they hope to create.  The closest thing to any estimate is a claim that it would prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs.

Yet I could not find any estimated number.  But clearly it won't generate 5 million jobs.

A good case can probably be made that it might cost jobs.
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Economic Freedom & Quality of Life

Posted on Jun. 30, 11 | 02:12 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: General Economics
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