Climate Change Takes a Vacation

The last 12 months have seen the largest global temperature drop since 1875. This brief trend certainly isn’t dispositive of most AGW claims but it certainly doesn't help their argument. The most infamous Hansen Hockeystick trend (itself a product of dodgy math), presented in Inconvenient Truth, isn't much longer.


The Idiocracy Candidate

Here’s a few key parts Obama’s economic plan. If you’re poor, lazy and/or stupid, he’s your guy. (The fair trade part is so bad it's not even worth discussing).

Create Fund to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosures: In addition to taking important steps to prevent mortgage fraud from occurring in the future, Barack Obama will establish policies to help Americans currently facing foreclosure through no fault of their own. For instance, in communities where there are many foreclosures property values of innocent homeowners are often also negatively impacted, driving them toward foreclosure, too.Obama will create a fund to help people refinance their mortgages and provide comprehensive supports to innocent homeowners. The fund will also assist individuals who purchased homes that are simply too expensive for their income levels by helping to sell their homes. The fund will help offset costs of selling a home, including helping low-income borrowers get additional time and support to pay back any losses from the sale of their home and waiving certain federal, state and local income taxes that result from an individual selling their home to avoid foreclosure. These steps will ensure that individuals who have to sell their homes will be able to quickly regain stable financial footing. The fund will be partially paid for by Obama’s increased penalties on lenders who acted irresponsibly and committed fraud.

I certainly don’t think banks are innocent in this but most homeowners certainly aren’t either. Any one who thinks it’s realistic to get a $300,000 mortgage for less than $1000 a month doesn’t need a bailout they need a refresher course on reality.

Create a Universal Mortgage Credit: The tax code is supposed to encourage home ownership with a mortgage interest deduction, but it goes only to people who itemize their tax deductions. Like so much in our tax code, this tilts the scales toward the well-off. The current mortgage interest deduction excludes nearly two thirds of Americans who do not itemize their taxes. Barack Obama will ensure that anyone with a mortgage,not just the well-off, can take advantage of this tax incentive for homeownership by creating a universal mortgage credit. This 10 percent credit will benefit an additional 10 million homeowners, the majority of whom earn less than $50,000 per year. Non-itemizers will be eligible for this refundable credit, which will provide the average recipient with approximately $500 per year in tax savings.

Yes, the 11.5 minutes it took us to claim our mortgage information in our tax return was a real killer. You truly are the next Jonas Salk, Obama.

Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimated in 2004 that it took more than 28 hours for an individual to complete his/her tax filing, and that half of the taxpayers filing the “easy” forms ended up paying a tax preparer to do it for them. Barack Obama will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than 5 minutes. Currently, the IRS receives Americans’ financial information directly from employers and banks. Obama will ensure that the IRS uses this information to give taxpayers the option of a pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return to the IRS or online. This will eliminate the need for Americans to hire expensive tax preparers and to gather information that the federal government already has on file. Experts estimate that the Obama proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

Honestly, who would think further empowering lazy, incompetent, union IRS workers to do our taxes will reduce “work and aggravation” for taxpayers?

Create Automatic Workplace Pensions: Currently, 75 million working Americans – roughly half the workforce – lack employer-based retirement plans. Even when workers are given the option of joining employer-based plans, many do not take up the option because it requires considerable work to research plans and investment portfolios, and enroll in the plan. Barack Obama’s retirement security plan will automatically
enroll workers in a workplace pension plan. Under his plan, employers who do not currently offer a retirement plan, will be required to enroll their employees in a direct-deposit IRA account that is compatible to existing direct-deposit payroll systems. Employees may opt-out by signing a written waiver. Even after enrollment, employees will retain the right to change their savings levels, reallocate investment portfolios or end contributions to the account. Obama’s plan will give options to the self-employed and new small businesses to access new easy-to-enroll savings plans and direct the IRS to deposit tax refunds into those savings plans for people who choose to save some of their refunds. Under the Obama plan when employees change jobs, their savings will be automatically rolled over into the new employer’s system to ensure continued savings. Experts estimate that this program will increase the savings participation rate for low and middle-income workers from its current 15 percent level to around 80 percent.

Not blowing your income on that new set of wave runners is hard. Choices in general are hard. Obama’s going to take those away from you so you can discover other inconveniences in your life he can promise to take away in his second term.