On June 6th I published a Modern America article titled, "Supply Side Economics." In it I discussed President Bush's federal income tax cuts that mostly benefited the wealthy. Now I have some things to say about the Estate Tax.
You might not even recognize it by its true name, since Republicans refer to it as the Death Tax. This is a familiar tactic, replacing the name of something with one of their misleading slogans, which they repeat endlessly. The idea you're supposed to get here is, you pay taxes on everything you earn throughout your life, and then you have to pay taxes on it again when you die and leave it to your heirs, due to The Evil Death Tax.
This is a silly distortion. You don't pay taxes after you're dead. You don't do anything in this world after you're dead. When your survivors receive an inheritance from your estate, it is they who pay the taxes, because this is income.
Still, it would seem fair if we could leave a little something tax-free for our children when we pass on - maybe the family home or farm, or some cash to help them put our grandchildren through college. That's why the Estate Tax provides for a $1 million exemption from taxation. I say that's plenty, but there are reasonable people who believe this exemption should be raised some - say, to $2 million.
But in 2001, Bush and his Republican Congress passed a bill to phase out the Estate Tax, with total elimination scheduled for 2010. The bill has a sunset clause, so the tax would revert to its pre-2001 state in 2011 (up to $1M exemption) if no more legislation is passed. But Paris Hilton needn't worry. Republicans are working right now to make Estate Tax elimination permanent, so that she and others like her can inherit vast fortunes without paying any taxes.
Thus, with yet another tax break for the rich, it will be even easier for the wealthy elite to perpetuate their dynasties. This is all part of Dubya's campaign to cut taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations, while gutting our social programs.
Soon 10,000 West Virginia veterans will face increased medical costs, because the Bush administration has not adequately funded the Veterans' Administration. Wonder what happened to the 'support our troops' slogan?
Monday, June 27, 2005
On June 6th I published a Modern America article titled, "Supply Side Economics." In it I discussed President Bush's federal income tax cuts that mostly benefited the wealthy. Now I have some things to say about the Estate Tax.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
June 25, 2005 6:42 PM
The three-point-eight billion dollar Coalfields Expressway project in southwest Virginia has effectively been halted.
That's because the Federal Highway Administration is withdrawing funding.
The agency cited delays and escalating costs in pulling the money from the 51-mile highway, a four-lane road from Wise County, Virginia, through Dickenson and Buchanan counties to link with the West Virginia Coalfields Expressway near Paynesville, West Virginia.
Highway administration officials say the project is behind schedule with no anticipated date for the start of construction of the first eight-mile section.
About 80 percent of funding for the roadway project would come from federal money.
Virginia's initial plans, developed as part of a public-private partnership under Governor Jim Gilmore, called for the expressway to be finished by 2012. The state hopes the road would be an economic godsend for a region with high unemployment and a shrinking population.
WCHS NEWS LINK
June 25, 2005 9:39 PM
Voters went to the polls today and rejected Governor Manchin's attempt to repair West Virginia's ailing retirement system by selling billions of dollars in bonds.
With 66 percent the state's 19-hundred-and-65 precincts reporting, the pension bond measure was failing 47 percent to 53 percent.
The governor had wanted voters to amend the state's constitution so up to five-and-a-half billion dollars in bonds could be sold to aid the teachers, judicial and State Police pension programs.
The teachers' system would receive more than five billion dollars of the money.
The governor's office did not have an immediate comment on the vote.
The defeat leaves in place a 40-year payment plan that relies on ballooning outlays from the state budget to aid the pension plans. This year's payment takes about 350 million dollars from general revenue: the final, 2034 payment is estimated at 742 million dollars _ about one-fourth of this year's budget.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Very good article by Rick Wilson
June 23, 2005
· Americans are taking economic hits from all directions
American workers got an overall pay cut last year for the first time in 14 years. Wages increased by just 2.5 percent, while prices increased by 2.7 percent. The pay cuts happened despite an economy that grew by 4 percent last year, higher than the 3 percent historical average.
Although the pie is growing, the share going to workers is getting smaller. According to the Los Angeles Times, while real wages fell, “corporate profits hit record highs as companies got more productivity out of workers while keeping pay raises down.”
The same paper reports that “For now, workers’ wallets are being pummeled by something of a perfect storm of economic forces: a weak job market, rising health insurance premiums and inflationary pressures.”
It’s a different story for CEO's of major corporations. A study by the Wall Street Journal reports that “the median salary and bonus for chief executives in office at least two years soared by 14.5 percent last year to $2,470,600.” The increase is the largest since the study began in 1989.
It’s even better if you're the CEO of a major oil company. Now that’s a shock. Who could have seen that one coming? The Center for American Progress reports that oil company CEO's as a group were the highest paid executives in 2004, with compensation packages, not including stock options, of $16.6 million. That’s an increase of 109 percent over the previous year.
Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, at this writing, average gas prices are around $2.30 per gallon, up 49 cents from last year.
Here’s something to make you feel warm and fuzzy when you pay for your next fill-up using an installment plan: we can at least take comfort in the fact that gas prices didn't go up as far and as fast as the pay of oil company CEO's.
I guess that’s the Bush administration’s version of shared sacrifice during wartime.
In the same spirit, the administration and its allies in Congress are pushing for drastic cuts in vital programs in order to pay for even more tax giveaways for the rich. This Robin Hood in reverse policy is more important to these people than education for children, training for displaced workers, or police and fire protection for communities.
Also on the chopping block is the earned income tax credit (EITC), which benefits hardworking families — including tens of thousands of military families. Every year, the EITC lifts millions of children out of poverty. In the most recent year for which we have numbers, the EITC helped more than 139,000 West Virginia families and brought almost $233 million to the state’s economy.
And after grandstanding about the tragic case of Medicaid beneficiary Terry Schiavo, the same extreme Republicans in Congress who did the posturing now have the gall to propose cutting billions from the program that can literally make the difference between life and death for millions of Americans, including over 373,883 West Virginians.
Holy hypocrisy, Batman!
This country urgently needs a new direction, one in which the common good of all is at least — or even almost — as important as the private profits of a privileged few. If that sounds a little radical, it’s pretty mild compared with the Preamble of the Constitution, which talks about things like forming a more perfect union, establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for the common defense, and promoting the general welfare.
And the folks at the top might want to consider taking the advice of Shakespeare’s King Lear: “Take physic, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayst shake the superflux to them And show the heavens more just.”
**Wilson, executive director of a West Virginia social action group, is a Gazette contributing columnist.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Is he serious?
Click for image 1
Dr. Zane Lawhorn, pictured above, is another no-name Republican contesting Senator Byrd's seat. But unlike Hiram "Bucky" Lewis, Dr. Lawhorn has actually put a lot of work in this, well, so far it seems so. His website consists of a multitude of pages of information and promises. He has a poll on each "issue" page for research. It looks like he is trying to scan the field to see what his chances are. But is he running because he feels Capito will not, or does he thinks he is better than her or Lewis?
A quick scan of his website will reveal that he is already using campaign slogans and gimmicks to woo voters. First example:
"I will 'get-er-done' for West Virginia because I am not concerned about building a 'political career'."
Another example of his political slogan:
Click for image 2
Yeah buddy, git-er-done! (as others say it)
Another thing to think about is the following image he links on his website:
Click for image 3
Does he not know who is opposition is? I mean seriously, someone contact his staff (or himself) and ask that question. What does he mean "it's time to elect a Senator that will obtain billions of dollars of funding for West Virginia"? Has this guy been in the dark? Did he just move here from Ohio or something? Interesing, but on to the next issue.
If you take a look at his "7 promises" page, you will notice that he has promised a "clean campaign based on the issues". Well, let us see how well this Republican can stick to his word.
And most of his promises were fullfilled by Senator Byrd. He will need something more solid to work with if he plans on being a strong contender. And bingo, he may have found it. Take a look at this tactic:
"I promise I will not accept a Senate health insurance plan for myself or my family until the 300,000 + citizens of West Virginia without health insurance has access to their own health insurance. Why should our elected officials have health insurance coverage when their citizens don’t?"
Interesting enough and it may be a clever tactic that West Virginians will listen to. But as for how it measures up against the weight of Byrd's triumphs for West Virginia? It gets squashed and suffocated.
Senator Byrd has proven himself as a trustworthy, caring man time and time again. If he decides to run in 2006 (duh), he will win his seat.
capito2006.com has been registered as of November 2004, but a closer investigation shows that it may have been registered by the opposition.
Whois information of registered domain name:
Domain Name: capito2006.com
Administrative, Technical, Billing Contact:
Record created on Nov 4 2004.
Record expires on Nov 4 2005.
Domain Service Provider:
A quick google shows that Stephen Skinner is a lawyer in WV and I think "former" lawyer with Nichols & Skinner, L.C. Other Google information provides information that he is a huge supporter of the GLBT section of the Democratic Party; and a press release issued by a Stephen Skinner in the Eastern Panhandle of Charles Town, which urges others to be aware of fraudulent calls from Republicans.
Other than that, I have not encountered a "Stephen Skinner" that works along side Capito.
Representative Mollohan confronts the slacking behavior in the Ethics Committee.
The slacking behavior of the Ethics Committee to fill these vacancies looks to be another tactic by the majority party to hault the investigations on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. So Mollohan lays some rules down.
June 21, 2005
HOUSE RULES REQUIRING A NONPARTISAN PROFESSIONAL ETHICS COMMITTEE STAFF MUST BE COMPLIED WITH
In recent weeks a number of Members have made the point that the House of Representatives needs to have a functioning, effective Ethics Committee. As the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, I could not agree more. Why, then, is the Committee not proceeding to fill the many vacancies in its staff, so that the Committee can begin to address the heavy workload that it is now facing?
The reason is that an issue has arisen within the Committee that is, in essence, whether the House Rules on the staffing of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct will be complied with. My position on this matter is very straightforward -
The House Rules on committee staff are clear and unambiguous,
Those rules require that the Committee have a nonpartisan professional staff that is selected by vote of the full Committee, and
In staffing the Committee for the 109th Congress, it is critically important that the Committee comply with those rules.
The rules relating to the Ethics Committee staff are set out in clause 3(g) of House Rule XI, and their full text is set out in an attachment to this letter. Those rules provide that the Committee staff is to be "assembled and retained as a professional, nonpartisan staff," and they further provide that -
all members of the professional staff "shall be appointed by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the committee."
1. "each professional staff member shall be professional and demonstrably qualified for the position for which he is hired";
"the staff as a whole and each member of the staff shall perform all official duties in a nonpartisan manner," and
"no member of the staff shall engage in any partisan political activity directly affecting any congressional or presidential election." [Emphasis added.]
These rules were authored by the 1997 House Ethics Reform Task Force, and the report of the Task Force highlights the importance of these rules to the proper functioning of the House ethics process:
In order for the Standards Committee to function effectively, its professional staff must operate in a completely nonpartisan manner, and each member of the staff must have the trust and confidence of all Committee members. A nonpartisan staff is also essential to engendering confidence, both within and outside the House, in the impartiality of the Committee as a whole.
Unfortunately, the Chairman of the Committee has been insisting on implementing an entirely unprecedented proposal on Committee staffing that disregards these key rules. His proposal asserts that the Chairman has the unilateral power to appoint as "Majority Staff Director" of the Committee an individual who is a shared employee of his personal office and the Committee - an appointment that would be made without any vote of the Committee, let alone complying with the rule's requirement for a majority vote of the Committee, and without regard to the rules' clear requirements for staff of professionalism and a nonpartisan background. There could hardly be a worse time to inject partisanship into the Committee staff, in total disregard of both the terms of the rules and the consistent manner in which those rules have been implemented over the past seven years.
After you review the applicable rules, I believe you will be as impressed as I am that this is not a complicated matter, and it does not involve any question of interpretation of the rules. Instead, this is a simple matter of applying the terms of the rules according to their plain meaning. I have repeatedly made my views on this matter known to the Chairman of the Ethics Committee, but with this issue remaining unresolved after several months, I believe it is important that each Member be apprised of the basic questions that are at issue here. I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have on this matter.
Alan B. Mollohan Member of Congress
Monday, June 20, 2005
This little town in McDowell County also held its municipal election Tuesday, and a slot on its board race ended up being closer than Bluefield's at-large race and Bramwell's contest for mayor.
Two siblings, Scotty A. Chapman and Theresa L. Bridgeman tied with 56 votes for the fifth seat on the board. The canvass will determine whether either brother or sister received an extra vote or two, to change the results."
Interesting enough is that voters gave 56 votes per candidate. But knowing that they are siblings is adding to the plot.
There were also elections in Bluefield and Bramwell that had "too close to call" stats.
"So Bluefield had two votes shifting the election; Bramwell had one - and who knew what would happen, or who might be mayor, after the canvass. What could be more exciting?"
"The Senate rejected the Cantwell amendment (earlier post) that proposed a 40% reduction in oil consumption by 2025 from the baseline forecast by the EIA.
The bill, co-sponsored by Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Reid (D-NV, Minority Leader) and Durbin (D-IL) went down 47–53, basically on a party-line vote with four exceptions.
One Democrat (Stabenow, MI) voted against the bill; three Republican senators (Chafee, RI; Snowe, ME; and Specter, PA) voted for it."
Back to the drawing board for the sponsors.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Just recovered from data error in the template. Not sure what happened, but some of the newer information was lossed. Nothing that can't be fixed or readded though.
For all you diehard MA fans (yeah that's right) I will get everything back up to par tonight. So the rooster, the Byrd image, the hit counter, etc will be back shortly.
(1) Been working on getting mcydems.org up and running. Got an alternate host since the national YDA is ignoring me. I have been advised that it should be available in 24-48 hours. As you see now (at this time being anyways), the default godaddy reserved page for mcydems.org is no longer available. This is due to the servers swapping. Don't fret, all should work out well and McDowell County Wyoung Democrats [dot] org will be up and running sometime Sunday. Nice day for it to arrive, wouldn't you say?
(2) Also added Draft Mark Warner to the suggested links list. Mark Warner has been receiving national attention for quite some time now and it seems he is gathering much support. I've kept my eye on him and will continue in the coming months. I am sure most of you moderate and Traditional Democrats thought about a Warner/Manchin ticket. Who knows? If Manchin doesn't tick off any more people and happens to turn WV around for the better, a second term as governor may not happen. But let's not pump up anyone's ego here. Save West Virginia today and the nation tomorrow.
(3) Before observing the poll, I would have never imagined more than 5 Neoconservatives would dare enter the realms of traditional territory. Interesting. I wonder if they really believe Capito will win or are they just voting to keep the results from being in the 90 percentile.
Not a scientific poll
(4) Brandon has been working very hard on getting the MCYD Bluegrass Show organized. It is coming together slowly (rather quickly though in the last couple days), and should be ready sometime in August. More on that will be posted on mcydems.org by Monday (hopefully, depending on the server availability).
"Byrd still only leads Capito by a less-than-comfortable ten points in the polls. Ten points! That's nothing a good Karl Rove-sponsored $14 million television ad campaign can't handle."
( I was going to edit Capito's pic, but decided not. Maybe another day.)
Heh, $14 million dollars wasted down the drown. I love how these Neoconservatives are packing on weight to this campaign. It's like the snowball affect. It rolls and rolls, picking up more and more crap, then when it gets too big it breaks apart, but not before crashing into an obstacle. And this snowball's obstacle is Byrd. Do they think he will be an easy defeat? Well, I really don't hear Rove, Bush, Limbaugh, and the other high profile Conservatives spending their 2 cents. Most of the gibberish is the lower pundits and wannabe journalists. *cough* Surber *cough*. Ahem, gettin' a cold I think.
It is 5:06 am, lots was done tonight, more to do tomorrow.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
BRAC, Pentagon Wrong
The BRAC team concluded that the Pentagon's stats about Charleston's 130th is incorrect.
After concluding a daylong fact-finding tour, analysts from a federal panel reviewing whether the West Virginia National GuardÂs 130th Airlift Wing should be downsized admitted on Monday just what Guard supporters have been saying all along.
West Virginia National Guard Adj. Gen. Allen Tackett has contended that the base can now handle 16 C-130s and has the resources to expand to 24.
With the exception of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who had to attend to Senate business, the stateÂs full congressional delegation Â Sen. Robert Byrd and Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, Allan Mollohan and Nick Rahall Â were on hand for the BRAC analystsÂ visit Monday. Also greeting them were Gov. Joe Manchin and Charleston Mayor Danny Jones.
Mollohan said it was Byrd who had Âmarshaled together this delegationÂ in support of the base.
ÂWeÂre here to back up the unit,Â Byrd said. ÂWeÂre united in this delegation.
But we are not through yet. More chit-chat between committees must be conducted on whether or not the DOD would save money by transferring these base jobs.
Over 1000 jobs is reported to be connected to the 130th Airlift Wing.
Thank God for Senator Robert C. Byrd, who has yet again showed his compassion and willingness to fight for West Virginia.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Good or bad? You decide.
Tracking animals that get slaughtered for food and sold around the globe is very important when concerning issues like Mad Cow and other diseases and contaminations. This concept may help pinpoint and quarantine future outbreaks.
Money. How much will this cost the farmer/cattle breeders? Will it raise the cost of meat; thus costing consumers more? How much will it cost the federal and state government?
Is there a better way to deal with diseased meat?
What will this open doors for next?
Sunday, June 12, 2005
I fixed some of the code bugs in our template. One being the comment line that placed the comment option too far down (on the post below it), which made a mess and confused guests.
And members, if you have a personal blog please send me an email (the one listed in the team section) if you would like it linked on Modern America, mine is listed on the side bar.
And please feel free to email me about anything.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
West Virginia has seen a great deal of action from the executive branch and the legislative branch of government this year and so far it seems that Governor Manchin is sticking to his words of turning West Virginia around. Many people in West Virginia have placed their faith in him, as his victory of 60+ percent proved. And his "honeymoon period" showed that the legislature of West Virginia is willing to help and try out his way of governing.
During his first few months in office he has gotten many of his proposed bills passed, including bills that deal with tort reform, toughen ethics laws, and reorganize certain state agencies. There were also many bills passed that can be considered as progressive economic legislation for West Virginia. And along with those bills, Manchin visited Japan in hopes of strengthening business relations to bring in more jobs and economic stimulants. Indeed, Manchin is doing something to change the course of West Virginia�s economic plateau. But, the current concern of West Virginia and its stability is the sale of bonds to secure pension benefits.
West Virginia has been facing the problem of $3+ billion debt for some time now and Manchin says it is time to deal with it. Voters will start going to the polls Friday to decide whether West Virginia should sell up to $5.5 billion in bonds to make up for the $3 billion+ debt. West Virginia's constitution forbids the state from taking on debt, so voters must amend it each time the state sells bonds.
Manchin wants to sell the bonds as part of his plan to erase funding gaps in pension plans for teachers, troopers and the judiciary. The bonds would replace a court-ordered repayment plan that Manchin says is costing the state budget too much. Under the current plan, the liability payments to the pension funds would increase ever year. This year the government is responsible for $350 million which equals 11.2% of the State�s budget. That payment will then increase each year until 2034 when the payment will reach $724 million.
Although many favor this action, some are opposed to it. Senator Steve Harrison, R-Kanahwa, says he does not buy the "refinancing mortgage" analogy. He says that there is no real estate for collateral to back up the loan. He and many others feel that this is too much of a gamble for the state of West Virginia and the chances of failure and the wellbeing of West Virginia are too much to risk. Another infamous name throwing his opinion, and possibly weight, around is Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy. Blankenship says that he is not sure if he will get involved in this issue, but is definitely against the selling of bonds.
Governor Manchin and his administration want to let everyone know that careful consideration has been placed into this idea. Basically, he is telling everyone that it is not as much as a gamble as others will have you believe. Of course the stock market will affect the bond rates, but everything will be handled by qualified, capable professionals who have experience in handling large bond sales and investments in West Virginia. There will be a multitude of professional consultants, finance advisors and lawyers working along side the bond counsel, underwriters, trustee and state treasurer.
So far, the lack of awareness about the proposal seems its biggest opponent. An advertising campaign aimed at promoting the proposal will not begin until mid-June, but as most polls conducted show, more are for the sale of bonds than against it, however the undecided percentage is quite large.
You can judge a man's leadership abilities by his handshake. If not too old, nor too young his grip defines his strengths. If it is firm, strong and deep pocketed within the other's hand, do not mess with him unless you like a challenge. If it is limp, soft and barely holds the other's fingertip, then take him out, he is ripe for the picking.
The latter qualities or similar qualities signify a weak, unbalanced, feminine-like man. Usually, these types have a nervous break-down when toppled. Take one of these guys out of his throne, and he'll go home crying to his wife or "significant other" and possibly transform into a blabbering fool consumed by depression.
Do not misunderstand my personality. In a perfect world, this type of man could rule or lead perfectly. But in reality, in our cut-throat, survival of the fittest, wits VS wits world; these people will not cut it. It takes strong leadership, not emotional wrecks and weak sympathizers.
But then again, a strong handshake could symbolize "George Milton"(Of Mice and Men).
Monday, June 06, 2005
What’s going on with the economy? President Bush says things are going great, while others say we’re doing terrible. Who’s right?
Ronald Reagan was a proponent of a theory called ‘supply side’ economics. Here’s some background from The Ronald Reagan Years: The Real Reagan Record:
"[A] drastic reduction in the deficit...will take place in the fiscal year '82." - President Reagan, news conference, quoted in The New York Times, March 6, 1981. (In fiscal 1982, the first full year of Reagan's presidency, the government ran up a record budget deficit of $128 billion.)
Early in his presidency, Reagan chose as his economic advisors a group that espoused a radical economic theory called "supply-side." The supply-siders told Reagan that if he gave tax cuts to the top brackets (the wealthiest individuals) the positive effects would "trickle down" to everyone else. Tax cuts, they argued, would produce so much growth in the economy that America could simply outgrow its deficits. Reagan bought into supply-side theory, which is why in 1981 he predicted that there would be a "drastic reduction in the deficit."
However, Reagan soon discovered that his supply-side advisors were wrong. Tax cuts, instead of reducing the deficit, had increased the deficit, drastically. After 1981, Reagan made no more rosy predictions regarding the deficit.
"Reagan's theory was really 'trickle down' economics borrowed from the Republican 1920s (Harding-Coolidge-Hoover) and renamed 'supply side.' Cut tax rates for the wealthy; everyone else will benefit. As Reagan's budget director David Stockman confided to me at the time, the supply-side rhetoric 'was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate.' Many middle-class and poor citizens figured it out, even if reporters did not."- William Greider, magazine article, "The Gipper's Economy"
This is in sharp contrast with one of the Republicans’ favorite Saint Ronnie of Reagan myths; that is to say, that his tax cuts triggered unprecedented prosperity. As a matter of fact, federal income and payroll taxes were higher when Reagan left office than they were at the beginning of his 8 years in office.
George W. Bush is also a supply-sider, but unlike Reagan, he has not learned from his mistakes. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion in fiscal year 2002 alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said. This explosion of ignorance is typical of the Bush administration’s ideology-before-reality mindset.
In early 2001, the President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) announced that if the first round of Bush's $2.1 trillion income tax cuts were passed quickly, it would result in the creation of 800,000 additional jobs by the end of 2002 due to the tax cut alone.
And, once again, in February 2003 the President's CEA assured that the adoption of a second round of Bush tax cuts would create 1.4 million additional jobs - 510,000 in 2003 and another 891,000 for 2004 - all solely attributable to the tax cuts.
All total, that amounts to a Bush promise of 2.2 million jobs created between 2001 and 2004 as a direct consequence of passage of the $2.1 Trillion tax cuts mostly for the rich.
Based on his own goals, how has Bush’s plan worked? David Lazarus recently wrote an excellent article that helps us find the answer to this question.
At a May 31 news conference, Dubya said, "Our economy is strong. I say it's strong because we've added over 3.5 million new jobs over the last two years, and the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent.”
But this president hasn't been in office for just two years. He's been in the White House more than four. Since January 2001, when Bush took office, the U.S. economy has added only about 800,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department. To put that in context, about 2.1 million jobs were added to the economy annually over the previous two decades, including intervals of recession. During Bush's tenure, just a tenth of that number of jobs has been created each year.
And I’m not impressed with his chest thumping about the 5.2 percent unemployment rate. It was at a 30-year low of 3.9 percent when he took office.
Do the math. Where are the other 1.3 million jobs Bush promised? Why can’t he meet his objective of 2.2 million jobs over a 4 year period, when average growth was 2.1 million per year over the past 20 years?
The answer is clear: Supply side economics don't work. The theory has never been anything more than an attempt to find moral justification in stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
This is what’s going on with the economy, and how we’re really doing.
The bond between West Virginia and Japan continues to grow stronger, Gov. Joe Manchin and first lady Gayle Manchin told students at Buffalo High School on Thursday while the Manchins were in Japan.
The Manchins spoke from Nagoya, Japan, near Toyota's headquarters through video conference technology. The Manchins; Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.; and business leaders in the state are touring Japan on a trade mission. The Manchins say they want the trip to Japan to result in attracting more Japanese industry to West Virginia. Which is very likely to happen.
"We are building off of the automotive success in West Virginia," Joe Manchin said. "Most companies here are active in the home entertainment industry and other technologies. We are learning how diverse they are. We hope to build off that."
Japan has made significant contributions to the state of West Virginia, the Manchins said Thursday. The Toyota manufacturing plant began operations in 1998 and has been a success in all accounts. The success of the Toyota plant in Buffalo sets a precedent for other companies about the business environment of West Virginia, Joe Manchin said.
"If Toyota can do that, maybe they can, too. It is opening doors," Joe Manchin said. "You have given us another tool to sell West Virginia."
Japanese industry accounts for 18 companies in West Virginia, with more than $2 billion in investments made in the state. Japan holds potential for many technology-oriented businesses outside of automobiles, as well, Joe Manchin said.
"A lot will happen in the next few years with developing technology," Manchin said. "You are seeing the development of the hybrid car and home entertainment."
Aside from the business investments Japan has in West Virginia, the Japanese government began funding the Japanese language class at Buffalo High School, located about a mile from the Toyata Plant, about five years ago, 2 years after the Toyota Plant began operations. Evidently, Japan has interests in West Virginia, and a positive business relationship is building.
I am a little confused, but as it seems to be, I may be wrong about the Poll Theory. While our honorbale Senator Byrd is still kickin' Republican butt and still showing Capito how it is done, the recent poll stats produced may just be true. However, it is over a year away from the election, and poll stats at this point are absolutely useless other than tryin to persuade Capito to run. So, I guess my theory is not that far off.
Don Surber , Southern Appeal and so many other Fascist Cons...I mean, Neoconservatives out there are on the early attack against Byrd. If you skim through their blogs you can find harsh, disrespectful, evil, childish and idiotic remarks pertaining to the Great Senator who has proven himself time and time again. They show no respect for anything he has done, but I expect no less from them.
But to rub their stupidity in their faces, I quote an article from the WV Gazette.
June 06, 2005
# Keep 'em flying
It’s heartening that West Virginians of many sorts are teaming up in a spirited attempt to save the National Guard’s top-rated 130th Airlift Wing at Yeager Airport.
Immediately after the Pentagon announced its intent to strip the unit of its cargo planes — which would wipe out its reason for existence and imperil the 1,000-plus jobs it provides to the Charleston regional economy — protest rallies were held, and local civic figures launched a “Keep ‘Em Flying” resistance effort.
The Kanawha County Commission, Charleston City Council, Charleston Area Alliance and Yeager Airport board each donated $25,000 to the grassroots group.
Iraq war heroine Jessica Lynch — who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by a strike team delivered by one of the Charleston unit’s planes — volunteered to be a spokesman for the campaign. “It’s important for all West Virginians to have the base here,” she told reporter Rick Steelhammer. After many surgeries for fractures she suffered in a combat ambush, Lynch still walks with a cane, but says, “I feel great, spiritually.” The 2003 Sunday Gazette-Mail West Virginian of the Year is to enter West Virginia University this fall to become a kindergarten teacher.
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., has taken a forceful role in the drive to save the 130th. At first, the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which has authority to reverse the Pentagon decision, refused to visit the Charleston unit. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced that she arranged for West Virginians to get 30 minutes before BRAC when it meets June 28 at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina, where the West Virginia planes would be transferred. Then Byrd scored two breakthroughs — persuading BRAC to send a team of analysts to Yeager June 14, and persuading the BRAC chairman to visit the 130th before a verdict is reached.
“West Virginians deserve a chance to make their case to the commission before it makes any decision,” Byrd said, “and having the chairman come to Charleston is a step in the right direction.” The senator added that “getting the 130th off this realignment-and-closure list will not be easy,” but “our job is to give them a convincing case to keep the 130th open.”
Byrd said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld “had his facts wrong, plain and simple,” when he added the 130th to the downgrading list. For example, Rumsfeld said the 130th space at Yeager Airport can’t handle more than eight C-130 cargo planes — but numerous more C-130s were flown to Yeager Sunday during a rally, to prove the base’s capacity.
Also Sunday, investigative reporter Paul Nyden revealed that the quality of training at overcrowded Pope AFB has been rated as dismal by military studies.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., cosponsored a bill in Congress to delay base closures until a Quadrennial Defense Review is released next year. “It will cost taxpayers much more money to operate the 130th’s planes out of Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina than it does to operate them out of Charleston,” Rockefeller said. “I believe that matters to taxpayers, and I believe it’s about time the administration began to show some fiscal restraint.”
Rockefeller added that the 130th Airlift Wing “is one of the top outfits in the entire Air Force. The unit has been repeatedly cited for its excellence.” The 130th has performed extensively in the Iraq war.
The Yeager Airport wing, under National Guard direction, ranks among America’s best in military readiness — but the Pope base, under the Air Force, ranks near the bottom. News reports say Air Force planes were maintained poorly, partly because former Air Force official Darleen Druyun gave contracts illegally and was sent to prison for it.
The 130th is a valuable asset to central West Virginia. It’s encouraging that so many state figures are united in striving to save it.
You see, Capito tried her darndest to get someone to come and look at the Airfield. And she did this just for "props". It was a political move, not an action to help West Virginia. She thought that if she "saved the day" then she would definately get a chance to run against Byrd.
However she failed, and it took Senator Byrd to save the day. He stepped right in and got not only someone to reconsider moving the planes, but he persuaded BRAC to send a team of analysts to Yeager June 14, and persuaded the BRAC chairman to visit the 130th before a verdict is reached. WOW. You see, this is the kind of man Senator Byrd is. A man of action and a man of results. He cares about the people of West Virginia, not money, fame and the chance for a higher office.
People, I suggest you reflect on EVERYTHING Byrd has done for WV before you turn your backs on him. That goes for you too Surber. Oh, and "Southern Appeal", unfreeze your cold hearts.
Friday, June 03, 2005
In a piece from the Charleston Daily Mail, they yet again are trying to persuade Capito to run against Byrd. She has not proclaimed her fight for the Republicans for simple reasons. She is scared.
She knows she can't beat Byrd, and a run against him would cost her a job. She would lose the seante race and her House seat. Then her sorry butt would be on the streets. But heck, ex-con Daddy or coke-head Sis will take care of her.
The reasons they run these polls are to get Capito to run. Republicans are delusional and think they have a chance on ousting Byrd, so they are willing to sacrifice everything to attempt it.
They conduct these polls like the RMS Strategies Poll released today that reports that 46 percent of 401 registered voters in West Virginia would vote for Byrd if the election were held now. I'm not sure where they conduct these polls, but obviously it is in Capito Country, and even so, it shows she will not win. By conducting polls in Republican neighborhoods, you are diluting the statistics. Unless...you seriosuly want to conduct a poll showing how many Republicans will even vote fot Byrd.
"In the poll, Byrd received a 62 percent very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion from voters in the state, compared to 33 percent who gave him an unfavorable rating.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they hold a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Capito while 19 percent gave her an unfavorable rating."
Again, I am not sure where they are getting this information, but Senator Byrd is known all over the state, Capito is not. She is a knight in rusty armor only in her congressional district, again, Byrd is a Knight in shining armor in the entire state, country and possibly... the world.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
WV: Byrd, Capito Race Too Close To Call
by Jeremy L
Aside from it being a full year and a half in the future, this race has gotten the Republicans in WV more active than ever. Maybe it was the notable gains of Benjamin to the Supreme Court and Ireland to the Secretary of State�s office that has induced the surge of energy, hope and organization, or maybe not, but their new activity is evident.
Polls are being conducted, and it is my belief that these possible "diluted" statistics are designed to persuade Capito to run. Besides the polls relating to this possible race, the media is publishing OPEDs on it, citizens are submitting letters to the editors about it and blogs are a blazing with the info smashing or praising each candidate.
Researchers are 95 percent certain that results won't be more than plus or minus 4.9 percent off the actual mark.
In the poll, Byrd received a 62 percent very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion from voters in the state, compared to 33 percent who gave him an unfavorable rating.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they hold a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Capito while 19 percent gave her an unfavorable rating.
This is very interesting to me, considering that Byrd is known through out the state and Capito is mainly known in her congressional district. Is it possible that these polls are being conducted around more Republican-leaning areas? If so, then Capito definitely does not have a chance, considering those statistics. But if they are accurate, fair results, then this possible future race is going to be interesting.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
The Clarksburg, West Virginia FBI Fingerprint Lab was featured in the May issue of National Geographic, in their monthly ZipUsa segment. Part of the story is available online here:
"...it's here, thanks to the powerful West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, that the FBI put its National Crime Information Center, its Brady Act gun check headquarters, its Uniform Crime Reports data center, its Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, as well as super-sophisticated computers to keep it all humming."
This is great positive recognition for our state, on an international scale, thanks to Senator Byrd. Still, some republicans obsess about replacing him with Smelly Moore Capito, because Senator Byrd has had the courage to question Dubya's actions, particularly when he lied us into the war in Iraq.
I personally believe that Senator Byrd is the finest Native Son this state has ever produced - except for my father, of course.