Reminder: Government Successes Tend to Look a Lot Like Failures, Pt 2

Wrecked Car

Wrecked Car, Original Photo Compliments SXC.hu.

While we’re told that the auto bailouts were a wild success, the numbers tell a different story. Not a surprising story and some would still argue that the jobs and salvaging two-thirds of the American auto industry was worth the cost. No matter where you end on that particular conversation, the truth is this: this “success” cost far more than it was originally envisaged.

Government “successes” are rarely match up to the way real world successes might be measured.

The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That’s 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.

In a monthly report sent to Congress on Friday, the Obama administration boosted its forecast of expected losses by more than $3.3 billion to almost $25.1 billion, up from $21.7 billion in the last quarterly update.

The report may still underestimate the losses. The report covers predicted losses through May 31, when GM’s stock price was $22.20 a share.

On Monday, GM stock fell $0.07, or 0.3 percent, to $20.47. At that price, the government would lose another $850 million on its GM bailout.

Of course, when you’ve got the Free Money Fairy in your pocket, you don’t always feel the need to worry over little things like budgeting properly.

Read the rest. 

Call Me Crazy, The Strawberry Pie Edition

Call me crazy, and I’m still not gonna vote for the guy, but this is a cute picture. 

And I don’t much care what Michelle Obama thinks. So there.

(Yes, I’ll probably get tired of this particular game pretty soon. Just not quite yet.)

Call Me Crazy, The Blago Edition

Call me crazy, but I think the Democrats are really going to start hating Blago by the end of this election cycle.

The rest of us will just enjoy the free entertainment.

The Mark of Mitt

Here’s a little ha ha to get your day up and running. I mean, it’s a little late for that, but my morning coffee is just finally starting to kick in.

…[I]t’s not just that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid any taxes since 1975 and that Bain Capital is the planet’s largest distributor of E. coli which it manufactures in petri dishes offshored to Mitt’s safe deposit box in the Cayman Islands, but that Mitt will kill your loved ones five years after his minions lay you off. Just because he can. He doesn’t have to meet you. You might show no outward signs of ill health. You might even have a job and health insurance. But you bear the Mark of Mitt, and decades later when you keel over and expire it’ll be because he once laid off your brother, or your cousin, or your hairdresser’s sister, or someone who once heard something from someone who knows Harry Reid.

Very funny stuff from Steyn.

You Love Lech Walesa…

…you know you do.

“I wish you to be successful, because this success is needed to the United States, of course, but to Europe and the rest of the world, too,” Walesa told Romney at the end of their meeting Monday.

I Do Not Think That Means What You Think it Means, The Presidential Edition

President Obama

President Obama, Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Somewhere over the last three years (give or take a few months) someone changed the definition of “worked” and failed to inform me. That’s the only (polite) take-away from this:

“Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked,” he added later in the speech.  “That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

Obama made these comments in Oakland, Calif., where the unemployment rate was 13.7 percent in May 2012. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent — up from 8.1 percent in May — for the second straight month.

If by “worked,” he means “successful,” then it would be tough to find folks to agree with his idea of success. Higher unemployment, lower job participation, higher prices, collapsed housing market, and rising energy costs certainly don’t feel like success.

Or maybe he meant “worked” as in “found jobs”– but that’s even harder to justify since “working” is exactly what many people aren’t doing these days thanks to a stalled economy and a sinking sense that America’s future under Obama’s stewardship hasn’t exactly been polished to a pretty, pretty shine.

Which is funny, because he seems to think that we’re feeling good about our collective future.

“Because we’re leading around the world, people have a new attitude toward America. There’s more confidence in our leadership. We see it everywhere we go,” President Obama said at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno.

While I’m sure that Russians and the Chinese are feeling more confident in “our leadership,” it wouldn’t be because they have American’s best interests at heart. That smile you see, that applause from those corners, would only be their cheering our economic pain from the sidelines. Citizens of this country are far less pleased by our leadership– and not just for President Obama, but congress is seen, rightly, as spectacularly toothless and untrustworthy. The congressional job approval numbers are staggeringly bad. Even the Supreme Court has taken hits recently.

As for the question of whether our country is headed in the right direction, we, the people, seem decidedly nervous.

In fact, if President Obama truly believes that things are going well, then it is one more reason to vote for someone else. If he believes that, he’s delusional. Don’t get me wrong: I’d like for our leadership to be positive about the potential for our future and a true believer in the potential of Americans. I just don’t want that positivity to come at the expense of a realistic view of our current circumstances in the same way that I don’t want a doctor to tell me that the unstaunched flow of arterial blood is a sign of how great things are.

Candidate Reagan was relentlessly upbeat about the future of the country, but his optimism was always delivered with an understanding that we couldn’t get to that shining city on the hill without changing course. Obama’s upbeat speeches are simply an attempt to ignore and deny his own abysmal job performance.

Which is why, when most of us are worried about jobs and the economy, so many of Obama’s surrogates would really rather talk about immigration, gay marriage, and Planned Parenthood.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can tell you this: my priorities are rock solid. I’m not forgetting that this election is about all the folks who can’t find jobs, the mountains of debt that just keep piling up, and the fear that four more years of Obama’s leadership will leave us in even worse straights.