Friday, February 24, 2012

Top 10 Reads of the Week - February 24, 2012

Ominous Numbers for Obama - Gene Epstein [Barron's]
Will the economy (stupid) again determine the outcome of a presidential election? Based on two important economic measures that I've examined and their relationship to the presidential races since 1956, Obama supporters have cause to worry.
All but the most recent of those races featured an incumbent, whether it was a sitting president (nine races out of 13) or a vice president seeking to move into the Oval Office (four out of 13). Based on consumer spending and unemployment—the two variables I tracked—Obama probably would have lost had he run for re-election this past November.
The numbers have improved since then, but not enough to tip the odds in the president's favor... Read the Rest

Taxing Medical Progress to Death - Michelle Malkin [National Review Online]
Two years ago this month, as public debate over Obamacare raged, former president Bill Clinton rushed to the hospital because of a heart condition. He immediately underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. It was a timely reminder about the dangers of stifling private-sector medical innovation. No one listened.
Stents don’t grow on trees. They were not created, developed, marketed, or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers. One of the nation’s top stent manufacturers, Boston Scientific, warned at the time that Obamacare’s punitive medical-device tax would lead to worker losses and research cuts. The 2.3 percent excise tax, the company said, “would be very damaging to Boston Scientific, and the medical device industry as a whole. In a nutshell, it would raise costs and lead to significant job losses. It does not address the quality of care but the political scorecard of savings.”... Read the Rest
A Tax Reform to Restore America's Prosperity - Mitt Romney [Wall Street Journal]
When generations of immigrants looked up and saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time, they surely had many questions and doubts about the life before them. Yet one thing they knew without a doubt—in America anything was possible, and their children would have a better life.
That deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America. Today that promise is threatened by a faltering economy and a lack of presidential leadership.
We have record-breaking unemployment and deficit spending, and a tax code that looks like it was devised by our worst enemy to tie us in knots. These three afflictions are interconnected. I have a plan to address them and achieve three goals: more jobs, less debt, and smaller government... Read the Rest
For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage - Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise [New York Times]
It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.
Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data... Read the Rest
What's Their Problem With Romney? - Ann Coulter [AnnCoulter.com]
As governor of one of the most liberal states in the union, Mitt Romney did something even Ronald Reagan didn't do as governor of California: He balanced the budget without raising taxes.
Romney became deeply pro-life as governor of the aforementioned liberal state and vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill. (Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich lobbied President George W. Bush to allow embryonic stem cell research.)
Romney's approach to illegal immigration in Massachusetts resembled what Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona is doing today, making her a right-wing heroine.
Romney pushed the conservative alternative to national health care that, had it been adopted in the 49 other states, would have killed Obamacare in the crib by solving the health insurance problem at the state level.
Unlike actual Establishment candidates, Romney has never worked in Washington, much less spent his entire life as a professional politician. He's had a Midas touch with every enterprise he has ever run, including Bain Capital, the Olympics and Massachusetts... Read the Rest
Chart of the Week
From Don Surber Blog





Obama Stimulus Turns Three. What Has It Achieved? - John Merline [Investor's Business Daily]
Without any fanfare whatsoever from the White House, February 17 marks the three-year anniversary of the day President Obama signed the much ballyhooed stimulus into law.
At the time, Obama claimed that it would "create or save" up to 3.5 million jobs, and that "a new wave of innovation, activity and construction will be unleashed across America." The stimulus, would, he promised""ignite spending by businesses and consumers" and bring "real and lasting change for generations to come."
So three years later, how do the stimulus results stack up? Here's where various indicators stood in or around February 2009, and where they stand today... Read the Rest

Aren't High Gas Prices What Democrats Want? - David Harsanyi [Real Clear Politics]
Gas prices are spiking. That's great news, right? We have to wean ourselves off the stuff. At least that's what we've been hearing for years. Oil is dirty. We import it from nations that hate our guts (like Canada!). And moreover, we're running out. Oil is "finite." Finite much in the way water is finite.
So why aren't Democrats making the case that the spike in prices is a good thing? Isn't this basically our energy policy these days? How we "win the future"? If high energy prices were to damage President Barack Obama's re-election prospects, it would be ironic, considering the left has been telling us to set aside our "dependency" -- or, as our most recent Republican president put it, "addiction" -- for a long time... Read the Rest
If Economy's Improving, Why Is Dependency Growing? - Eric Singer [Investors.com]
The government is at full throttle to present the economy as improving especially in light of the upcoming election. At the same time, there has been a stunning rise in dependency as most recently presented by the Heritage Foundation.
Heritage defines dependency as significantly depending on the government for help in two of the following basic expense items: housing, food, shelter, income security or higher education.
At the end of 2007, Heritage conservatively estimates there were 59.4 million Americans significantly dependent on the government.
By the end of 2010, this number had risen to 67.3 million, an increase of nearly 8 million. It is likely that another two or three million were added in 2011, for a net increase of 10 million to 11 million over the past four years... Read the Rest
Stupid' and Oil Prices - Editors [Wall Street Journal]
'The American people aren't stupid," thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let's hope he's right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.
To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?... Read the Rest
Obama's Failure to Lead - Douglas Feith and Seth Cropsey [National Review Online]
In recent days, President Barack Obama has been stressing that his national-security record will help him get reelected. In a January interview with Time magazine, in his State of the Union address, and elsewhere, he not only recalls, with justifiable pride, the killing of Osama bin Laden, but also claims credit for “restor[ing] American leadership in the world.” 
In common parlance, leadership abroad means something along the lines of identifying the U.S. national interest and enlisting foreign partners to join us in achieving it. What Mr. Obama means, however, is more or less the opposite... Read the Rest
The Funniest Thing I Saw This Week

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