Posts Tagged ‘washington’

DC’s Hot Housing Market

5 May 2012 – 16:16 CDT

The nation’s capital has yet to amass skyscrapers — defining itself instead with such iconic structures as the Washington Monument and blocks of squat-but-serious-looking federal building. But city officials want to change that situation, saying Washington is running out of commercial property and needs Congress’ help to keep their economy humming.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray has asked GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton about possible ways to amend the city’s general height restriction of 130 feet.

Gray, a Democrat, and others say the city needs minor height variances and perhaps an allowance on the maximum number of occupants inside apartments, offices and other buildings to keep pace with the robust local economy, including a hot housing market. (emphasis mine)

While the rest of the country struggles to recover from Washington’s idiocy (Frank-Dodd, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc), DC’s housing market is booming according to the mayor.  While the rest of the economy shrinks, Washington D.C. and the federal government grows.

What of the news that unemployment fell to 8.2%, which President Obama and his talking heads are sure to tout as a huge success of their policies?  Watch the other hand, because cleverly, a single number doesn’t tell the whole story.  Says Business Week:

The [unemployment] rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in August to 8.2 percent in March. Part of the reason for the rapid decline is that some people have given up looking for work. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren’t counted among the unemployed.

Increase the federal payrolls.  Combine an increase the federal welfare, disability, and other benefits programs with hopelessness, and folks give up looking for work.  The unemployment rate goes down.  Writes Chuck Devore over at Big Government in his piece, Number of Americans Paid Not to Work Growing Faster Than Number of Taxpayers:

The number of Americans drawing checks from the federal government via Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income Program swelled from 7.0 million in FY 2007 to an estimated 8.0 million in FY 2012, with the growth rate in the program doubling at the onset of the recession. This program is expected to cost taxpayers about $52 billion in FY 2012.

The argument from Obama and the left will be that things are just starting to turn around, that they just need more time to get the economy fixed.  Say, around 4 years or so.  Hampered by Republicans and their rich friends, Obama and the Democrats have more ideas to get the economy growing and get more Americans back to work they just can’t do because Republicans keep blocking them.

Mark Levin warns us in Liberty and Tyranny that statists never turn from their collectivist, socialist policies, no matter how much the evidence may stack up against them, no matter how miserably their ideology fails.  They always need more time, more power, more of your liberty to “level the playing field” for the poor and the middle class.

This November, the choice is clear.

Debt Commission as a ‘suicide mission’

25 April 2010 – 12:35 CDT

Maybe this was obvious to everyone else, and I’m just a little slow.  The debt commission finally makes sense to me now, after seeing this:

Co-chairman of debt commission calls job ‘suicide mission’

It wasn’t created to reduce the debt or the deficit, we all know that.  The answer to that problem is really simple: knock off the insane spending.  The problem for Washington is that when spending cuts come, who gets the blame?  Congress (specifically, the House) controls the purse strings.  The president makes a number of spending “recommendations” and many of the funded agencies are run by the executive branch.

The “debt commission” is little more than a way for the Whitehouse and members of Congress to cover their asses, and to give themselves a a chance to point at someone else and blame them for any proposed spending cuts or tax hikes.  When it inevitably comes to light how incredibly unpopular the VAT tax is, members of Congress will throw up their hands and say things like “A bi-partisan, independent panel said we must do this, don’t blame me!”

Welcome to the new era of transparency and ethics in government.

The idea of a value-added tax has generated a lot of controversy in Washington in recent weeks, as top officials connected to the Obama administration have openly discussed its implications. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insists the president is not considering it, but Obama himself appeared open to the idea in an interview last week.