Barrynomics: Keynes Unchained

What a difference 8 years can make – if you’re interested in holding public debt.  The Obama administration leaves office just inches away from a $20 trillion dollar debt, when in 2009 that administration inherited $10 trillion in debt.  It took the US a couple hundred years to get to $10 trillion; Obama created almost that much debt in 8 years.

debt-2

Trillion-dollar deficits became the norm from 2009-2012, as “stimulus” spending was touted as the fix to everything that ails the economy.  A question never asked in those conversations might be “If federal spending fixes recessions, and federal spending goes up every year, without fail, why do we ever have recessions?”

Because the answer would be “I don’t know”, and historically there’s no correlation between increased federal spending and increases in GDP – even with federal spending as a component of GDP.  As shown below, federal expenditures continue to increase, debt increases, and GDP bounces all over the place, but in a downward direction.

Finally! Evidence that federal spending fixes everything.

Finally! Evidence that federal spending fixes everything.

In fact, in 2014 it was predicted that the shorter-term positive impacts would inevitably give over to negative growth impacts:

“In contrast to its positive near-term macroeconomic effects, ARRA will reduce output slightly in the long run, CBO estimates — by between zero and 0.2 percent after 2016,” the analysts said in their new report.

They said the cause is all of the borrowing for the $830 billion program, which dramatically boosted the federal debt.

“To the extent that people hold their wealth in government securities rather than in a form that can be used to finance private investment, the increased debt tends to reduce the stock of productive private capital. In the long run, each dollar of additional debt crowds out about a third of a dollar’s worth of private domestic capital,” the CBO estimated.

As icing on the Obama administration’s economic cake, GDP in the 4th quarter of 2016 came in at a whopping 1.9%.  For 2016, the annual rate came in at 1.6%, down from 2.6% the year before, which seems to correlate to the CBO estimates above.  So instead of going out with a bang, Barrynomics goes out with an agonized whimper.

What is interesting, though, is that there’s a correlation between incomes and deficits – but in an unexpected direction.  As deficits get bigger (meaning gov’t spends more than it takes in), incomes decrease, at precisely the time when deficit spending is supposed to improve negative income trends through stimulus spending.

So stimulus spending has a negative effect on incomes? That's not the America Joe "Recovery Summer 2009" Biden described to me. He told me I'd be able to buy a Camaro soon!

So stimulus spending has a negative effect on incomes? That’s not the America Joe “Recovery Summer 2009” Biden described to me. He told me I’d be able to buy a Camaro soon!

The smaller the deficits, the larger the incomes.  The bigger the deficits, the smaller the incomes.  Even if federal spending during recessions is designed to offset income reductions through job losses, etc, it apparently does not have that effect.  At all.

Which runs entirely counter to the basic ideas espoused by Keynes, and that federal spending (including significant deficit spending) could dampen recessionary effects in the short run, and in the longer run help grow the economy.

biden-camaro

Want to go for a ride, big fella?

But there’s no real way to account for the disparate impacts of that spending, which has to grind through the political mill and get disbursed through the bureaucracy via changes to funding, grants, etc, which then has to be actually spent by the receiving agencies.  That spending can’t ramp up to full speed on a dime, and if it’s a larger multi-year project, any benefits of that spending (through new hires and their subsequent income increases, impacting aggregate demand) would be delayed, at best, for an unknowable period of time.

Finally, because the civilian labor force participation rate is at historical lows (below), and seems to correlate to the drop in GDP, it seems that any incentives one has to drop out of the labor force – increases in unemployment benefits, expanded entitlement spending, etc – might have as its final result an unanticipated reduction in economic growth.

A reduction that would apparently come as a surprise to both Keynes and Obama.

 

gdp-and-civ-labor-force

 

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Recovering From Obama’s Decade of Recovery

The improbable Trump presidential win has led to the most obvious of questions, which is – what can Trump do for the economy?

To answer that, let’s take a look at what’s left of the economy after 8 years of Barry’s version of “economics”, which seemed to largely consist of increased federal spending (to new record levels), massive increases in the regulatory state, and condemnation of those who pay over half the income taxes the federal gov’t seems to so happily gobble up.

It turns out that federal spending and the growth of the federal government does not increase GDP, even when federal outlays are a component of the GDP metric.  The spike in spending in 2008 (these are YOY percentage changes) and again in 2010 reinforce that conclusion – even if you assumed a causal relationship between spending in 2008 and the return from negative GDP in 2008/2009/2010, that conclusion becomes demonstrably false after 2010’s spending, which almost matches 2008, and GDP for that year is flat and decreases afterwards.

gdp-and-fed-spending

 

There’s virtually zero correlation to federal spending and economic growth, especially in this “recovery” as it pertains to job growth.  As an example, let’s look at YOY job growth by job category, October 2015 to October 2016 (from our friends at BLS.gov):

You can almost *taste* the deliciousness of job growth here. Almost.

You can almost *taste* the deliciousness of job growth here. Almost.

Health care and social assistance are largely funded by tax dollars – Medicare and Medicaid are an enormous component all health care spending, so the jobs “created” in health care, are, in part, funded by taxes.  Pensions, in the category below, includes Social Security, disability insurance, workers compensation, etc.  Health care in the category below, includes Medicaid, Medicare, and everything in between.  Over half the 2016 federal budget – $3.854 trillion – is consumed in these two categories.

 

2016-spending-snap

So while federal spending in the largest job-creating categories means that, well, we’re borrowing 40% or so of every dollar spent to create jobs in areas that are already funded by tax dollars, means we’re chasing a negative feedback loop if we think federal spending can simply fund an infinite amount of jobs, and/or increase incomes.

In fact, if you take a look at federal expenditures and median household incomes, there’s almost an inverse impact on incomes – federal spending goes up and median household incomes stay the same, or actually decrease.  When spending goes down, in 2013-2014, incomes actually go up.  Which should tell you all you need to know about using federal spending to increase incomes.

Not really a strong argument for Keynesian economics, that.

Not really a strong argument for Keynesian economics, that.

So, despite 8 years of the 2009 Recovery Summer, what were Obama’s results after assuring us that we needed to spend trillions we didn’t have, else the economy would crash?  A fairly wrecked economy that’s stumbled forward for 8 years – 8 years! – with incomes staying fairly flat, and frequently dipping into negative growth rates.

As Fortune points out in a recent article, it can be argued that for the first time in modern history, there has been no economy recovery.  At least according a Gallup study (linked from the Fortune article), titled “An Analysis of Long-Term US Productivity Decline“:

Rothwell (the study’s author – ed.) goes on to argue that regulatory and tax reform is the main culprit for America’s economic woes, and that the healthcare, housing, and education industries have been particularly harmed by the government. He points to statistics showing that despite rapidly rising costs in all three of these industries, the quality of the products and services offered has stagnated.

Growth in government spending just exacerbates the negative trends.  As an example, new firms per capita are half of what they were in 1981 – and new firms, and new jobs, are the engines that drive future business growth.  From page 73 of the study:

ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITY HAS DECLINED

The escalating cost of healthcare may also have implications for the creation of new firms or startups. There is always an element of risk in creating a new business, but the rising costs of healthcare magnify that risk. In previous decades, an employed worker could quit his or her job and pay for healthcare expenses out-of-pocket if necessary. Now, out-of-pocket expenses for the non-insured are extremely high, so an employed worker who quits to start a business likely gives up a valuable healthcare plan and may have to impose those costs on his or her own fledgling business at a time when revenue is dangerously low. Provisions in the Affordable Care Act were designed to make it easier for the self-employed to purchase health insurance, but even in 2014, 23% of self-employed workers between the ages of 18 and 64 lacked health insurance, compared with 13% of wage and salary workers. For those who are self-employed and have insurance, only about half get it through their businesses.93 Whatever the reasons, people are much less likely to either be self employed or start firms with at least one employee. The number of new firms with at least one worker per capita has fallen by about half since the late 1970s. Although the downward trend has been going on for decades, it accelerated over the Great Recession and has not inched back up.

new-firms

If the United States is to recover from Obama’s Recovery Decade ™, a good place to start would be the dismantling of federal spending onditch a permanent basis, and a re-set in Congress in terms of what it can and should be doing to foster economic growth.  Instead of a decade of piling on regulations and costs in a recession, maybe it could start lifting those weights off of businesses’ backs, and see what happens.

Because whatever Obama’s been trying for 8 years is a perfect recipe for keeping the economy, and the people who do all the work in it, permanently in the ditch.

 

 

 

Leviathan Shrugged

pacific-rim-kaiju-otachi-more

Hmmm – I wonder what a boat filled with taxpayers tastes like?

As Americans set course on a journey that would net them two presidential candidates who are the least liked in what appears to be all of history, one or two or thirty things come to mind, regarding the general irrelevance of which party wins the presidency.  Let’s start at the top.

It does not matter who the next president is:  Federal spending will continue to grow faster than the pace of inflation, or population growth, GDP growth (even with federal spending as one of its components), or the growth of my 401k.  Just taking the last 25 years or so, what is reliably and consistently growing, so much so that if it were an investment option, people would be buying it like cakes that are really hot?

Spending.  Spending is king.

fed-spend-and-gdp

“But wait!” gasps the Keynesian.  “Federal spending is needed during recessions to jump-start the economy, and reduce unemployment”.

Sure – but those dollars spent come from somewhere, in the form of taxes and borrowing, and when that happens, those dollars aren’t available for capital spending, investment, savings, etc, all of which actually creates jobs in the private sector.  It doesn’t have the net effect of taking dollars from the private sector to spend them via the public sector, which gains nothing, other than votes for office and an increase in the debt and deficit.

Unemployment increases and decreases independent of expenditures - not because of them.

Unemployment increases and decreases independent of expenditures – not because of them.

The reality is that the unemployment rate is more closely tied to the dwindling labor force participation rate than it is to federal spending – which runs counter to the standard Democrat response to any kind of recession, consisting of mostly “let’s spend even more money than usual under the guise of helping”.

spend-unemp-and-lbr-force

Participation rate goes down at roughly the same pace as unemployment, independent of increases in federal spending.

In fact, if you go back to 2000, the labor force starts dropping dramatically when, exactly?  Let me check – ah, that’s right, as soon as Barack Obama assumed the presidency.  That drop in participation accounts for nearly all the unemployment reductions since the recession started.

Recovery 2009 never looked so good! Thanks Biden!

Recovery 2009 never looked so good! Thanks Biden!

But it does, of course, get worse.  If you look at unfilled job vacancies, going back to 2001 – we still have (slightly) fewer unfilled vacancies as of 2015 as we did in 2001 or so.  Yet federal spending doubled during that time.  If you use vacancies – jobs available – as a barometer of growth, we’ve doubled federal spending for no net gain in available jobs.

unfilled-gigs-and-spend

All of which is just another reason why the person occupying the White House can speak to different policies, preferences, and budget priorities, but every year, spending goes up.  The deficits, once deemed unpatriotic due to their size by Obama, yet doubled under his presidency, and the subsequent debt, are just choices being pushed onto future generations.

Or, better stated – a reduction of choices, for them.  Because they will be footing the bill for what we spend now, and they didn’t even get a chance to vote on the lesser of two evils, whoever you might end up choosing to vote for on Election Day.  The less they have to spend, the less free they are, to make their own choices.  We are choosing for them.

In other words, Leviathan, in the form of the federal government, doesn’t care who wins.  Leviathan will continue to feed off the labor of the citizens (those still working, anyway), and the borrowed future earnings of those not even born yet.  The only way to kill this beast is to starve it, and no modern president, or presidential candidate, seems interested in taking that one sane step forward.

 

 

The Power of No

What happens when you have the power to deny, to say “no”?  Then you are in control.  The person denied has no control, no power, no other option.  The power to say “no” is like being an umpire in a baseball game.  You can complain all you want, yell, kick some dirt (if you’re a

When good people hear the word "No". OK, marginally good people.

When good people hear the word “No”. OK, marginally good people.

former Yankee manager), or throw second base, but 99.9% of the time, you will not get what you want.  You’ll go back to the dugout (and like it), or you’ll get ejected.

Those are your two options.  That’s it.  Neither option satisfies the complaint.

In markets, competition means choices for the buyer, of whatever product or service they’re interested in acquiring.  With competition comes incentives for the business to provide a better service at a lower price, in order to gain more market share.  Choice erases the power to say “no”, because if you don’t like what you’re offered, you can take your business elsewhere.  Now the customer has the power to say “No”.

But what if you’re the only game in town?  A monopoly?  Those are generally illegal, which is why the government spends so much time enforcing antitrust laws.  In fact, they helpfully define them:

Many consumers have never heard of antitrust laws, but enforcement of these laws saves consumers millions and even billions of dollars a year. The Federal Government enforces three major Federal antitrust laws, and most states also have their own. Essentially, these laws prohibit business practices that unreasonably deprive consumers of the benefits of competition, resulting in higher prices for products and services.

But what the DoJ does not do is enforce antitrust laws against the US government, which has the market cornered (so to speak) on cornered markets, especially for health care, in Medicare and Medicaid, and other recipients of federal…care.

In fact, for some on the receiving end of the government’s monopoly on health care for their particular demographic, not being able to shop for better coverage means you’re stuck with whatever the government gives you.

In some cases, that means much more than sub-standard care.  It means catastrophically bad care, which is why only the US government could be the entity providing “care” to veterans, and have them die on their watch.  In the very place that’s been created and funded specifically for their needs.

Who has had the responsibility and oversight for this organization, the Veterans Administration?  Politicians.  More specifically, a politician who sat as the Chair of the Veterans Affairs committee from January 3, 2013, through January 3, 2015, and still sits as a member today?

Bernie celebrating his victory over Hillary Clinton.

Bernie celebrating his victory over Hillary Clinton.  (Ahem)

Bernie Sanders.  The politician that wants to expand the size of government, in order to expand its power – its power to say “no” to the people it’s supposed to represent.  The same politician who failed to oversee his own agency’s power to deny care.

But it’s not just veterans that fall before the power of “No”.  Medicaid and Medicare, both bright, shining examples of your government working for you (sort of), has a long and distinguished history of saying “no” to applicants, to people appealing decisions, and have gotten pretty good at saying “no”.

In fact, let’s take a look at the sweet KPIs HHS is compiling on appeals.  Looks like there might be one or two people out there unhappy with the one, single choice they have for health care, in Medicare (below).  For example, through FY2015, the average processing time for appeals decided (both for or against the person appealing) was 547.1 days.

That's a hot new trend in government service.

That’s a hot new trend in government service.

Now I’m no rocket surgeon, but a year and a half or so of waiting for the lumbering apparatus of those entrusted with tax dollars to disburse them to those who need them seems like, maybe, just a bit longer than is reasonable?  Especially if death is a more probable outcome if an issue goes untreated, thanks to your friends at HHS?  Especially considering those people on Medicare are typically retirees and the elderly?

So how does HHS measure itself against these appeals to power?  What do the results of these appeals look like – what are the outcomes? From the chart below, more than half are Unfavorable or Dismissed.  The power of “no” in action.

Kind of a "read 'em and weep" chart here.

Kind of a “read ’em and weep” chart here.

Even if one does receive a favorable appeal, there is one final, telling stat, the Average Processing Time.  A stat that if it was shown at a high enough leadership level internally in an organization other than one run by the USG, would result in one of the following:

  1. Firings of leadership.
  2. Money thrown at the problem to alleviate the downward trend and mediate loss of market share.
  3. Both #1 and #2.

Even if a favorable outcome is decided, the person appealing might have have outcomes other than favorable already.

As far as trends go, this is Not A Good One.

As far as trends go, this is Not A Good One.

Bernie Sanders, in order to fix what he thinks is wrong, wants the government to increase spending by 2X the current debt of the United States, or another 18 trillion in entitlements of one kind or another, but specifically in single-payer.  Given the examples above, and the power ceded to a government agency that can then tell you what you can’t have, how can Bernie argue on one hand that this is good for all Americans, while on the other, he’s removing choice from the equation?  How are people empowered when they have no choice?

Were veterans empowered while they sat on secret waiting lists for the care they deserved more than anyone else?  Or were they trapped in a

The Power of Choice - you're free to choose the one option.

The Power of Choice – you’re free to choose the one option.

system, one with no options, and left to suffer the consequences?

No.  If you can say no, that’s when you know you’re in charge.  Bernie wanted to be in charge of the biggest government apparatus in history, one with the largest and most expansive power, ever, to say “no”, and he effectively sold this idea to tens of millions of people.  The same politician who decided, on his own, that there are too many types of deodorant for sale, was telling everyone exactly what he thought of their power to choose.

Which begs the question:  Why let anyone make choices for you?

 

 

 

 

Vermont’s Useful Idiots: Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch

A week ago, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Peter Welch traveled with President Obama’s entourage to visit Cuba.  While

Chicks dig the beret.

Chicks dig the beret.

there, they called for an end to the 54-year embargo of the country – which is a call for free trade, incidentally, and since Cuba is one of the final, dying vestiges of communism still barely kicking on the planet, you’d think the inherent irony in these calls would be enough to create some kind of sub-atomic irony explosion, ending all life on the planet as we know it.

Instead, we get two tired, pampered old men, acting as useful idiots, parading publicly for the benefit of dictators:

President Barack Obama also called for an end to the 54-year ban, in a joint news conference Monday with Cuban President Raul Castro. Obama added that how Cuba addresses human-rights concerns will influence how quickly Congress ends the sanctions.

In case Barry’s missed it, the US has asked Cuba to address human rights concerns for 54 years.  That’s why the embargo has been in place and hasn’t been lifted.

Welch said the House would vote overwhelmingly to lift the blockade if the issue were to come to the floor. Leahy said the Senate would do the same.

Well.  Considering Leahy has been in the Senate for, oh, eleventy gazillion years, why hasn’t he made that happen yet?  The issue of the blockade has come to the floor of both houses, repeatedly, for decades.  It’s like Leahy’s a bystander of history on this subject.

What Leahy doesn’t note is that despite the embargo, the US is one of Cuba’s largest exporters.  Despite Leahy’s and Welch’s rhetoric, trade has been happening between Cuba and the US, along specific, designated lines, so as not to enrich the dictatorship, and to benefit the Cuban people.

At present, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is still in effect and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth largest exporter to Cuba (6.6% of Cuba’s imports are from the US).  However, Cuba must pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed.

As an example, Cuba imports 6.2% of its X-ray equipment from the United States:

X-ray machines benefits Cubans, not a dictatorship.

X-ray machines benefits Cubans, not the dictatorship.

But let’s not let facts get in the way of simpering obeisance to dictators and murderers:

Leahy and Welch, in a conference call with reporters, said ending the embargo would help improve human rights in Cuba.

“The impact of this embargo is on average Cubans,” Welch said, adding that sanctions have failed to pressure Castro to improve his human-rights record.

Human rights won’t be improved by an embargo or a lack of one.  Cuba is free to trade with any other country on the planet, and does so, and that trade still has not stopped the Castro regime from murdering, imprisoning, torturing, and shattering Cuban lives for decades.  The US is not the only country on the block, and to hang Cuba’s horrifying human rights record around the US embargo is not only wrong factually, financially, and economically, it gives cover to the Cuban regime to keep right on what they’ve been so successfully doing since 1960 – staying in power.

But the Leahy and Welch lunacy doesn’t stop there.  Of course it doesn’t.  You see, they both think that we could actually learn from dictators:

Both Vermont lawmakers said there is a lot that America can learn from Cuba, citing the country’s medical system, low infant mortality rate and high literacy rate.

Cuba’s medical system?  Are Leahy and Welch flying there for their own medical care?

Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the United States.  But note that Cuba is a country of 11 million people.  The United States has cities that large, with a total population over 300 million people, and has millions immigrating into the United States annually.  Comparing infant mortality rates (as reported by a Cuban regime very interested in propaganda) is laughable; it’s like comparing tacos and oranges.  If you ask a pregnant woman in the United States if she’d like to fly to Cuba to deliver her baby, what kind of response would you be likely to hear?

A literate Cuban with permanent restrictions as to what he or she can read is not an accomplishment; it’s an insult to human rights, and to cite literacy statistics from dictators is being complicit in their repression.  What good is literacy if all you can read is communist propaganda, internet access is severely restricted, and books are burned publicly, by the regime?

I guess we do have a lot to learn from Cuba.  Where even the literature on human rights gets trampled by the state, along with the rights

This is what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights looks like, on fire.

This is what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights looks like, on fire.

themselves.

But wait:  There’s still more exciting opportunities in idiotic usefulness to be gleaned from two-thirds of our congressional delegation.  To wit:  Let’s introduce crony capitalism to Cuba!

Leahy also spoke about the economic possibilities that ending the embargo could bring Americans. Vermont’s renewable-energy industry could see significant opportunities in Cuba, and the senator said he planned to bring a trade mission of Vermonters to Cuba early next year.

Well, if it’s not working here in the US, let’s just export the fail to Cuba!  Problem solved.  What’s next, we’ll ship some type of blight to Cuba?  City tap water from Flint, Michigan, perhaps?

Considering the rampant failures of renewable-energy “initiatives” – which are more like cattle-calls to the public trough (I’m looking at you here, Solyndra) – I would think the Senator would want to introduce successful and productive initiatives to the Cuban people, instead of just more of what Castro, et al, have done for decade at the cost of Cuban freedom and human rights.

But any ode to Castro would be incomplete without some romantic re-writing of history, and ignoring the deaths of thousands who’ve died trying to escape that low mortality rate and high literacy rate:

Leahy has long advocated for the opening of relations with Cuba. Both he and Welch have sponsored legislation to lift the ban on Americans traveling to Cuba. Leahy has visited about eight times. This is Welch’s third trip.

The Vermont senator said he was excited to be on the historic trip and see something he has wanted for so long finally happen.

"Your scuba-diving adventure boat is ready for you, Senator Leahy!"

“Your scuba-diving adventure boat is ready for you, Senator Leahy!”

“When I went to bed last night, I was about as happy as I’d been in a long long time,” he said. Leahy added that he and his wife, Marcelle, were hoping to visit Cuba to go scuba diving.  

I hope Leahy doesn’t see any sunken Cuban rafts during his scuba adventures off the shores of Castroland.  And the potentially unfortunate viewing of, perhaps, the remains of a Cuban seeking freedom from oppression.  Might spoil his trip.

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Organologists: When Barry and the Vermont Triumvirate Collude, Er, Collide

President Barack Obama, renowned scientician and climate, er, “community” organizer, is proposing $1 billion in spending to “help communities prepare for the

I hope Democrat boats weren't anchored here.

I hope Democrat boats weren’t anchored here.

effects of climate change and to fund research and technology to protect against its impact.”  From the article:

“The president announced the “climate resilience fund” during a meeting with farmers and ranchers in Fresno, Calif., who have been severely affected by a drought in the state’s San Joaquin Valley.”

What the president failed to mention is that the drought in California is almost entirely man-made. Due to restrictions put in place to protect a sardine-sized delta smelt (which sounds like an off-the-menu budget at In-N-Out), California is experiencing an enormous drought, ones previously only seen before the novel and unique idea of irrigation was largely adopted.  From the article:

  • California’s water storage and transportation system designed by federal and state governments includes 1,200 miles of canals and nearly 50 reservoirs that provide water to about 22 million people and irrigate about four million acres of land throughout the state.
  • In May 2007, a Federal District Court Judge ruled that increased amounts of water had to be re-allocated towards protecting the Delta smelt – a three-inch fish on the Endangered Species List.
  • Because of this ruling, in 2009 and 2010 more than 300 billion gallons (or 1 million acre-feet) of water were diverted away from farmers in the Central Valley and into the San Francisco Bay – eventually going out into the Pacific Ocean.
  • This man-made drought cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, inflicted up to 40 percent unemployment in certain communities, and fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland.
  • Unemployment remains at a regional average of 17%. With current precipitation at near-record lows, the same regulations will be imposed pushing unemployment even higher.

In other words, Mr. Gorbachev is, oh, wait – Barry is tearing down these aqueducts, by spending a billion to study why there’s a drought in a location very proximate

Look!  I spotted a smelt!

Look! I spotted a smelt!

to what we call “deserts”, and mentions nothing about the forced withholding of water from thousands of farms that are suffering under the onslaught of progressive California thought. That climate change, warming, cooling, or meandering, has been and continues to be studied worldwide, is of no consequence – we’re talking legacy here, the legacy of a man who seems to enjoy nothing more than taking an airline flight to unique and out of the way places to play golf, where that noisesome miracle of irrigation ensures that Barry only hits off freshly clipped Kentucky bluegrass, every single time.

So as not to be outdone in the colossally useless expenditures of tax dollars and borrowed money, Vermont’s Congressional delegation/climatologists are echoing the president’s call to spend more money to study that frightening and newly developing threat, often referred to by older, actual native-born Vermonters as “the weather”.  But let’s let the scientitiously-enhanced baldies speak for themselves, in no particular order (from the Freeps):

Bernie:  “I hope that he would be as forceful as he can to make it clear that we are facing a global crisis, that bold action is needed, and that the United States can and should lead the way on this issue,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee. “When you are addressing what the scientific community believes is the greatest crisis facing our planet you have got to make it a major, major priority. You just can’t walk away from it.”

Even though the scientific community is throwing serious science sand in the gears of the climate warming hoax.  Oh, and if the economic community thinks that spending trillions we don’t have will crash the US economy, will Bernie make cutting spending a “major, major priority”, and fail to “walk away from it”?  Oh, I forgot – he’s never held a real job.  So he couldn’t possibly understand economics.

Leahy:  Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he hopes and expects Obama to continue his advocacy in his State of the Union address.

Leahy’s hopes and expectations were miraculously fulfilled.  It’s almost as if he knew Barry was going to say something!  And people ask why we keep him around as Senator?

But for the cake that as yet lacks sustainable, solar-powered goodness in the form of gluten-free icing, I present to you, the Captain of Team Capitulation, Peter Welch (last seen standing and applauding Barry for making this same statement in the SOTU):

Welch:  The other member of Vermont’s congressional delegation, Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, said Obama should tell members of Congress that he’ll work with them in areas where there is bipartisan agreement, such as energy efficiency. But he should continue to use his executive authority where “climate change deniers” block congressional action.

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time,” Welch said in a statement. “I hope the president clearly defines in his speech the imperative to act.”

Peter, perhaps unknowingly, and if it is unknowingly then he should be removed from office immediately, is telling both the President and the Vermonters that put him into office that his job is no longer necessary.  If Barry’s going to do the right thing, and Congress is only getting in his way, then hey – just use “executive authority” and go around that annoying, pesky, legislative work frequently being seen not to come out of the greatest deliberative body in history, aka: the US Senate.

It's not like abdication if we cede power to the executive, right?  Right?

It’s not like abdication if we cede power to the executive, right? Right?

To sum it all up:  Our Congressional delegation is quite happy to continue to receive checks for their fine work, as long as Barry does whatever it is he feels like, without the actual authorization required by the Constitution, in terms of, y’know, Congress passing a law and the President signing, and then enforcing it.  So why are Patrick, Peter, and Bernie down in DC, at all?  Can’t we just send down 3 rubber stamps instead, since they seem to be so completely and publicly uninterested in upholding their oath?  I’m quite sure it would be cheaper, and no doubt Barry would approve – with the stroke of an autopen.