Biden’s Got Something for Everybody!

He’s issued Executive Orders in just ten short days that equal more than the total number of EO’s issued by the three previous U.S. presidents combined. And “EO Joe” is just getting started. He’s got a plan for everything. But, remember: he told the world from the Oval Office, “I don’t know what things are in these Executive Orders I’m signing. Kamala told me that they’re all good. That’s good enough for me!

Now that Americans know not only the contents of those orders but the immediate and long term impact on our nation they are making already and will continue to make, it’s more frightening to think about what’s ahead that he’s going to do than worry about what damage he’s already done.

And there’s “COVID-19 Relief” waiting on the horizon: with lots of money — YOUR money.

“COVID Relief Biden Style”

President Biden’s plan for federal coronavirus relief resembles the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama after the 2008 financial crisis. It uses several federal agencies to separately distribute financial assistance to persons unemployed, in poverty, or otherwise with low incomes, on top of the dozens of programs already in place. Predictably, it will result in a disappointing economic recovery as long as it lasts.

The plan includes a $100 weekly unemployment bonus, on top of the $300 bonus passed last month, which itself is on top of about $400 in weekly state unemployment benefits. It also includes additions to rental assistance, food stamps, health insurance assistance, and direct payments to households, all of which are available only if the recipient remains unemployed or otherwise with sufficiently low income. Biden also proposes to more than double the federal minimum wage.

These types of assistance have been studied, with some authors finding no “statistically significant” adverse effect on hiring, work behavior, or earning power. But expect, as Obama’s team did 12 years ago, Biden’s team to claim that the adverse effects are zero for the individual programs and their combination.

Theirs is a “fallacy of the heap,” a logical fallacy that was well known to the ancients, long before economics was a profession. The fallacy states that removing a single grain of sand from a heap of sand still leaves us with a heap of sand—the same with the second grain of sand, and the third, and so on. Therefore, according to the fallacy, any number of grains of sand can be removed without removing the heap itself.

Every introductory economics teacher has to confront this fallacy. Invariably the class includes a student pushing back on the law of demand that raising prices reduces demand, “Raise the price of a car by a penny, and that will not stop anyone from purchasing the car.” The teacher has to say, “OK, let the seller of the car raise the price $10,000, just one penny at a time. Each penny increase does not affect sales — therefore, a $10,000 price increase has no effect on sales,” and the fallacy is apparent.

The same holds for incentives to hire, work, or earn. Incentives to work may remain after adding a bit to food stamps, or rental assistance, or any of the other programs. But eventually, the absence of incentives will be apparent, especially among people whose incentives were already substantially reduced.

This is why the ARRA never came close to delivering the recovery promised by the Obama administration (in particular, by Jared Bernstein, who is now slated to be a member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers). The 2009 recession was particularly bad for unmarried people and others not receiving the most generous assistance from the ARRA.

This time, as vaccination and other measures begin to reduce the harms from the coronavirus, the economy’s fundamentals will be pushing toward recovery. Simultaneously, the Biden plan holds it back about 5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels (in addition to the 3 to 4 million reductions in employment from the December 2020 relief package). The Congressional Budget Office projects that the minimum wage provision by itself will cost more than 1 million jobs.

Biden’s plans for health insurance may do the most to reduce work. The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) created what is now the most important credit against the personal income tax: credits for premiums paid for individual health insurance plans sold on the ACA “exchanges.” The rules determining eligibility and amounts for the credits create two kinds of disincentives to work.

The most important, but often forgotten, is a specific tax on full-time work created by the ACA rule prohibiting the large majority of full-time workers from receiving credits because of their employment status (regardless of how much or little that job pays). These workers become eligible for the credits if they leave employment or switch to part-time employment. The second disincentive applies to the very few workers who purchase health insurance on the ACA exchanges: their credit is phased out with their income.

Take Mike Smith, who, in 2010, was working long hours in California as a district manager for a national auto parts retailer. Despite wanting to help care for his grandchild and elderly in-laws, Smith kept the manager job into his 60s because he and his wife wanted the health insurance that came with it.

They both retired in 2014 because the ACA gave them heavily subsidized health insurance, for which they would have been ineligible if Smith had remained in his district manager job. Why spend their own money on health insurance when taxpayers would now pay most of the premiums for them?

In other examples, workers at many schools, restaurants, and municipal offices were having their hours cut, so the new law does not recognize them as full-time workers. Biden would increase these disincentives to hire, work, and earn.

The words of wisdom still stand: Subsidize something, and you’ll get more of it. As a result, expect the Biden economy to have additional unemployment, additional poverty, and lower incomes for a longer period.

Biden Attacks The Fossil Fuel Industry One More Time

“Listen to my words: I am not banning fracking. Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me,” Biden said in a speech in Pittsburgh on August 31, 2020.

How many times did he say that during the campaign? I don’t know the exact number, but he said it often. And as politicians do — especially Democrat politicians — Biden knew Americans are stupid and will believe what candidates promise during their campaigns, knowing they have little or no intention to fulfill those promises. Biden used that age-old adage in politics: “Promise what you need to promise to win an election. After you’ve won, the people will forget your promise.”

Biden’s done that one more time.

Speaking at the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed President Biden would follow through with campaign promises to ban new fracking on federal land. “President Biden promised to end all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands when was a candidate,” a reporter asked. “Does the administration still have that commitment today? To end that lease?”

“We do, and our team will review the leases. We just have only been in office for a few days,” Psaki said.

Biden’s Executive Order pen went to work and did just that: put a “Moratorium” on the issuance of fracking permits on federal land.

What does that really mean? In the “real” world, placing such a Moratorium is simply an excuse for the Biden Administration to try and solve the fracking problem pleasing both sides. By calling it just a moratorium on new permits allows them to say, “We didn’t ban fracking: just new permits. And that is only temporary.” Simultaneously, they can claim to their climate change freaks, “We did it! We banned fracking!”

“Politispeak” is all this rhetoric amounts to. There’s NO truth in how they phrase it. The truth is Biden doing so will cost western states hundreds of millions of dollars and at least one million jobs!

Wednesday, January 27,  Western Energy Alliance filed a lawsuit in Wyoming federal court challenging President Biden’s executive order banning oil and natural gas leasing on federal public lands. The complaint challenges Biden’s order as exceeding presidential authority and constituting a violation of the Mineral Leasing Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.

“The law is clear. Presidents don’t have the authority to ban leasing on public lands. All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands, and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf. Drying up new leasing puts future development as well as existing projects at risk. President Biden cannot simply ignore laws in effect for over half a century,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “Biden’s ban is an overreach meant to satisfy the environmental left, but it would seriously harm the livelihoods of tens of thousands of westerners and put at risk millions more as state services become unfunded.”

The suit claims:

  • The Executive Order conflicts with existing laws
  • Biden’s ban would result in $33.5 billion in lost GDP in his first term.
  • President’s action risks over $8.8 billion in conservation funding
  • If extended, over the next 20 years, the Biden Ban would result in $639.6 billion in lost GDP, $286 billion in lost wages, $151 billion in lost state tax revenue, and job losses climbing to 343,088 annually, according to the Wyoming Energy Authority study.
  • The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law on August 5, 2020. It directs up to $1.3 billion annually toward addressing the $13 billion maintenance backlog at national parks. The funding comes from royalties and leasing revenues paid by companies to the federal government from oil and natural gas on public lands. The law also directs $900 million annually to the Land Water Conservation Fund from offshore leasing and development.

That’s just Wyoming! Do you know which state will take the largest and the most immediate financial hit with the “Biden Ban?” New Mexico. A massive amount of the state’s revenue from royalties from gas and oil wells in those federal lands. 60% of the state’s public school revenue comes directly from those royalties. Thursday, the state public school administration stated that the state public schools would be forced to close without those revenues.

Summary

This administration’s actions in just ten days have already resulted in catastrophic and unnecessary horrors for thousands of Americans. And the fear of future lost jobs, homes, businesses, and the huge increases in the cost of energy to ALL Americans are actually putting about 10 million Americans into a place of uncertainty about their futures. That uncertainty has not been felt since the Obama Administration. (Hmm… that actually explains a lot)

Scariest of all is the understanding that the President and Vice President have made abundantly clear their number one objective is to fulfill every promise they made to the far-left in Congress and the climate change syndicate who pumped tens of millions of dollars into the Biden Campaign.

I guess we can justly change the President’s name to “Quid Pro Joe.” He’s been called that before. But, at that time, the name was just a jab at this alleged Ukraine blackmail scheme. But now, Biden will wear it because he’s earned it.

And he’s not even close to finished yet: certainly much more is ahead.

To Hear the Friday, January 29, 2021 “TNN Live” Show, Click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WUMoZ_11Q3ntXDQustIQWhyZEs_2Fvpa/view?usp=sharing

 


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