Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rejecting the Keystone Pipeline: An Act of Insanity

From Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post:

"President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It isn’t often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and — beyond the symbolism — won’t even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his reelection that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances.

Aside from the political and public relations victory, environmentalists won’t get much. Stopping the pipeline won’t halt the development of tar sands, to which the Canadian government is committed; therefore, there will be little effect on global-warming emissions. Indeed, Obama’s decision might add to them. If Canada builds a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific for export to Asia, moving all that oil across the ocean by tanker will create extra emissions. There will also be the risk of added spills."

HT: Warren Smith

96 Comments:

At 1/24/2012 8:43 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

..also from the very same Wash Post:

Five myths about the Keystone XL pipeline

1. global warming - not true

2. reduce dependence on foreign oil - not true

3. hundreds of thousands of jobs - most likely not true

4. set back the green economy - not true

5. will sell the oil to china - probably true no matter where pipeline ends up

5 myths

the truth is that the hype from both the pro and anti pipeline folks is wrong.

the oil will likely be exported and bought by the highest bidder who, in theory, will not be buying oil from another source...that.. in theory will result in more overall supply at the world level and reduce prices... which..in theory would lead to more jobs.

The problem we have IMHO is that both sides demagogue the issue according to their ideological beliefs and in the end it's not about truly understanding the issue but about which ideological side will win based on how well they can misrepresent the issue.

MP is doing his part for sure.

bonus question: where does the oil from Prudhole Bay go after it gets to Valdez and does it help reduce our foreign oil dependence and produce hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans?

 
At 1/24/2012 9:07 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"2. reduce dependence on foreign oil - not true."

Canadian oil is a more secure source of oil than Venezuela. We don't have to worry about disruptions from friendly neighbors to the north.

"3. hundreds of thousands of jobs - most likely not true"

I dont know anyone making the "hundreds of thousands" claim. Thousands or tens of thousands, yes. We can't afford to forego any jobs under the reign of President Wrecking Ball. That's 90% of the issue here.

"5. will sell the oil to china - probably true no matter where pipeline ends up"

If it goes to China, we are that much more dependent on giant tankers like the Exxon Valdez and offshore drillers like BP. Also, see #2.

This was a no-brainer, but Obama sided with his fellow extremists at the expense of the working man Democrats so disingenuously claim to represent.

 
At 1/24/2012 9:16 AM, Blogger rjs said...

re: "The pipeline would have created hundreds of thousands of American jobs."

a study by Cornell showed there would only be between 500 and 1400 temporary construction jobs for americans, & only 50 full time long term jobs, because the other jobs would be taken by those canadians already employed by TransCanada...

http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/globallaborinstitute/research/upload/GLI_KeystoneXL_Reportpdf.pdf (40pp)

 
At 1/24/2012 9:23 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Who cares about how many jobs it could create? If the goal, as our Dear Leader has said so many times, is to create jobs, who cares if it's 50 or 50,000?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:03 AM, Blogger GC said...

who cares if it's 50 or 50,000?... because this extreme distortion of the truth as it relates to jobs calls into question everything else that is touted.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:04 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The U.S. doesn't have a growth-at-any-cost policy, which leads to suboptimal growth (e.g. China in the extreme case).

However, many U.S. environmentalists seem to discount or ignore economics, which also leads to suboptimal growth.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:06 AM, Blogger Paul said...

And these would be jobs that don't cost the taxpayer a cent. Compare to Obama's wretched stimulus that cost the taxpayers somewhere between $180,000- $300,000 per job.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:18 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

... the pipeline the administration is fighting will create 20,000 jobs with no new government spending. Detractors who have argued that these jobs are only temporary, that just 50 permanent jobs will be created, miss the point. Economic activity doesn’t exist to create work, but to create wealth. TransCanada isn’t building the pipeline to provide jobs, but to provide energy - oil for people to power their cars, lower their shipping costs and raise their standard of living.

If constructed, Keystone will deliver 303 million barrels of oil into the United States per year. That’s 830,000 barrels perday. This wealth is the purpose of the project; the jobs are part of the means. If TransCanada could build a pipeline without lifting a single finger - that is, create wealth without work - that would be great. Society would benefit at no cost. -- Washington Times

 
At 1/24/2012 10:24 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Alberta's oil and gas industry supports more than 271,000 direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and financial services. The province has an unemployment rate of 5.6%. There are also some 960 American companies involved in Alberta energy, supplying equipment and technology, among other things. As an example, Mr. Liepert says, "dozens of Caterpillar tractors, made in Illinois and Michigan and costing $5 million a piece" work the oil sands. He says the region is on track to create more than 400,000 direct American jobs by 2035. The Bakken region of North Dakota, where private land ownership gives drillers relief from federal obstructionism, shares a similar, if smaller, story. Oil production there is booming, and North Dakota unemployment is 3.3%.

TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline, if the U.S. ever issues the permit, will mean $20 billion in investment. The company says the construction phase will require 13,000 direct hires and indirect new jobs could total 118,000 in the U.S.

But Keystone XL is only a fraction of the potential that could be released if Mr. Obama changed his energy policy. In a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and released last week, the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, "support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue." -- WSJ

 
At 1/24/2012 10:24 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The U.S. doesn't have a growth-at-any-cost policy, which leads to suboptimal growth (e.g. China in the extreme case).

Yeah we do. It's called the stimulus policy. We spent how much to create jobs? And how many jobs did we "save" or "create?"

PeakTrader, from your comments, you seem to be a pretty smart guy, but can you honestly look around at all the government waste (stimulus plans, massive subsides, tarriffs, tax deals, etc) and claim with a perfectly straight face that we don't have a growth-at-any-cost policy?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:25 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: the jobs - I agree.. any new job is good.

re: the politics - dumb move by Obama

re: oil into the US... yes..and out/export also

the oil is going to be sold to the highest bidder on the world market.

what are they afraid to admit this?

I'm betting the oil from Prudhole Bay is sold on the world market also, right?

bonus question:

it has been stated in the not too distant past that we did not have enough refinery capacity and that was the reason why gasoline was in short supply.

Now we are told that the refiners in Texas need more work..

but the oil they refine ..will be exported.

can someone explain this apparent paradox - politely without insults?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:28 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Stopping the pipeline won’t halt the development of tar sands, to which the Canadian government is committed; therefore, there will be little effect on global-warming emissions. Indeed, Obama’s decision might add to them. If Canada builds a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific for export to Asia, moving all that oil across the ocean by tanker will create extra emissions. There will also be the risk of added spills."

===============================

Yup, and we pretty much know what oil tankers burn, and what the risks of spills are: we should be able to quantify this.


And, if the oil is sold in Asia it will have some effect on the global market, reducing the amount we pay others for crude, (Compared to the non-production scenario, actual price reductions probably will not occur due to rising demand.)


As Larry points out, no one really wants the lowest cost (nad therefore greenest) answer: they want their ideology to win - even if we are all worse off for it.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:31 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

The U.S. doesn't have a growth-at-any-cost policy, which leads to suboptimal growth

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Is there some reason one would want groswth that costs more than it is worth? Growth at any cost would imply that such a thing was both possible and acceptable.

That would be just as bad an idea as environmental purity at any cost.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:32 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

moving the oil across the ocean by tanker..

tell me again what happens to the oil once it's gets to Texas...

does it get refined and put on a tanker also?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:36 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

it has been stated in the not too distant past that we did not have enough refinery capacity and that was the reason why gasoline was in short supply.

==================================WWasn't that a temproary condition caused by some events like hurricanes, a refinery fire, and other refinery repairs?

Refineries produce a lot of stuff besides gas, and they will do a balancing act on what they produce vs the prices people will pay. If some chemical plant is willing to pay a premium for hexane or toluene, that is going to affect the availability and price of gas.

Cheaper gas might mean more expensive paint, and the net gain is zero.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:42 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

but I thought we were maxed on refinery capacity, no?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:46 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

And how many jobs did we "save" or "create?"

=================================

No one knows because there is no "control" population. Some kind of multivariate analyses might eventually give you a range of values.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

but I thought we were maxed on refinery capacity, no?

================================

No refineries have been built in a long time, but some have been merged, closed, and expanded.

You won't have more refinery capacity than you can sell the product from for very long. Therefore we are always near "maxed out" on active capacity, but we are never maxed out on owhat we "could" bring on lene, at the right price.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:52 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

But Keystone XL is only a fraction of the potential that could be released if Mr. Obama changed his energy policy. In a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute and released last week, the energy consultancy Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, "support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue." -- WSJ

=================================

I do not doubt this is more or less true, but I would have a lot more confidence in how much more or less true it is, if it was not published by the Petroleum Institute.

 
At 1/24/2012 10:53 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Larry,

The Fed index on petroleum refinery production shows record levels of production.

If I recall correctly, after Katrina and the subsequent hurricanes since, many refineries were destroyed or shut down. Many have since reopened.

We are competing win a global marketplace for oil. And you are right that oil will be sold to the highest bidder, but also remember the other end of that equation: oil will be bought from the lowest seller. So the two kinda cancel each other out.

However, I think your paradox is missing a crucial element. Despite what you may hear, the overwhelming majority of our oil-based products are made from oil extracted here in the US. SO, you assumption that we turn around and export that oil is only half-true. We keep lots of it for ourselves. Additionally, a lot of the oil we export comes back to us in the form of refined products.

Does that make sense?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:53 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

let's put this another way.

are there currently refineries that are not operating that would be if the Keystone pipeline was sending oil that way?

or if the refineries are already maxed..how will they process the Keystone oil?

Bonus Question - where are those refineries currently sending their refined product?

are they currently exporting it?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:55 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Wood MacKenzie estimates that pro-development policies could, by 2030, "support an additional 1.4 million jobs, and raise over $800 billion of cumulative additional government revenue." -- WSJ"

yup. they're talking about oil on Federal Lands and Offshore and if we open it up guess where it will go?

the same place that Keystone Pipeline oil will go - overseas to the highest bidder...

correct?

 
At 1/24/2012 10:55 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

No one knows because there is no "control" population. Some kind of multivariate analyses might eventually give you a range of values.

The CBO keeps releasing reports about all the jobs created or saved to date. The Obama administration keeps touting these numbers. Of course, it's all smoke and mirrors. If you read the CBO reports, it usually begins with a sentence that is in essence "Assuming the stimulus created jobs, how many jobs did it create?"

 
At 1/24/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

rejection of the pipeline may also have been an act of political patronage.

buffet's burlington railroad is a key beneficiary.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html

 
At 1/24/2012 11:15 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Jon, growth-at-any-cost means the economy will spend whatever it takes to support output and employment, even if it leads to a fall in living standards.

That didn't happen in the U.S., which became increasingly more efficient, at least from 1982-07 (i.e. producing more output, or raising living standards, with fewer inputs).

 
At 1/24/2012 11:16 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" buffet's burlington railroad"

I saw that.. and the fact that it costs $3 more per barrel to ship by tank car rather than pipeline.

wow!

 
At 1/24/2012 11:23 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Of course, Obama's stimulus was the wrong response.

For example, when there's excess private goods from a fall in demand, you can't stimulate the economy spending more on public goods, e.g. infrastructure.

You cut taxes enough (e.g. $5,000 per worker) for households to catch-up on bills and pay-down debt (i.e. strengthen their balance sheets), which will increase their monthly incomes to buy more private goods (and also strengthen the banking system).

And after the economy is jolted into a V-shaped recovery, or a virtuous cycle of consumption-employment takes hold, taxes can be raised to slow and sustain the expansion.

Significant tax cuts worked under Kennedy in '61, Reagan in '81, and Bush in '01.

 
At 1/24/2012 11:23 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/24/2012 11:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" You cut taxes enough (e.g. $5,000 per worker) for households to catch-up on bills and pay-down debt (i.e. strengthen their balance sheets), which will increase their monthly incomes to buy more private goods (and also strengthen the banking system)."

and the ones that lose their jobs?

that's the big problem in a deep recession, isn't it?

if those jobs continue to peel away, isn't it possible the economy would go into a spiral into a depression?

hasn't "stimulus" been the fairly typical response to most recessions including under Reagan?

If we hire more soldiers or more DOD contractors... isn't that the same thing as spending money on teachers and road builders?

 
At 1/24/2012 11:39 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, it becomes a virtuous cycle of consumption-employment, where consumption generates employment and employment generates consumption, etc.

 
At 1/24/2012 11:45 AM, Blogger Tom said...

A representative of the pipeline workers union estimated workers needed for the 1,700 miles of pipeline and 17 pumping stations. His numbers came out to about 26,000 man-years of construction labor, or about 13,000 workers for 2 years each. Dig a little deeper and you find that Obama's case is BS.

 
At 1/24/2012 11:52 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

If we hire more soldiers or more DOD contractors... isn't that the same thing as spending money on teachers and road builders?

No. Remember Larry, real productivity, real prosperity, comes from supplying what people demand. Jobs are a means, not an end in themselves. People work to live better. Creating jobs is very easy. All Congress would have to do is pass a bill that bans labor saving devices. No shovels, no machines, none of that. Then everyone would have a job. But we'd be back in medieval times, in terms of living conditions.

One of the typical data points people like to point to is WWII. It cut short the Depression, didn't it? Employment was almost down to zero. Well, yeah, people had jobs. In the Army, Navy, etc. Everything was geared towards war. Rationed meat, rationed eggs, no luxuries like nylons or oil. Pretty perverse to call that prosperity.

One of the very first things we teach in economics is that everything has trade-offs. No such thing as a free lunch, to use the old saying. When the government launches a stimulus plan, it is detracting resources (land, labor, capital,) from otherwise productive means. Because of that, there are fewer goods and services produced that people want, so consumption shrinks further, the the cycle repeats itself. If you want evidence, look at the Great Depression. A recovery was starting to take hold before FDR came into office. When he came in and he enacted his "reforms", the US slipped right back into Depression.

The tl;dr version of this is: Productivity comes from the production of what people demand. When you take resources away from this noble goal and devote it to unproductive means, then you are only perpetuating the problem, not solving it.

 
At 1/24/2012 12:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Oh.. I think there are jobs... no question about it..and the politics of that aspect are totally bad for Obama... no question..

but seriously.. after the pipeline is built and operating... how many permanent jobs?

anyone know?

 
At 1/24/2012 12:05 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"they're talking about oil on Federal Lands and Offshore and if we open it up guess where it will go?" -- Larry

Let's see. the export of oil and refined products will go toward reducing or eliminating our trade deficit. The money generated by this same activity will find its way into our economy creating jobs, opportunity and wealth. Just look at how Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are suffering from the export of their oil resources.

 
At 1/24/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I'd be careful with that conclusion, Che. A trade "deficit" doesn't suggest we are losing money. Likewise, a trade "surplus" doesn't suggest we are making money. The US has massive trade decifits, but no one would think to call us poor, and China has massive surplus but noo ne would call them rich

 
At 1/24/2012 12:48 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"but seriously.. after the pipeline is built and operating... how many permanent jobs?

anyone know?"

that's a complex question that cannot be easily answered.

where and how is it refined?

how much lower will overall prices become? (save money on energy and create jobs spending it elsewhere)

also:

'how many jobs does it create" is not the only consideration.

how much additional energy security do we get?

how much less business do we have to do with unsavory and unpredictable nations like venezeula and the middle east/persia?

how much less leverage do states like iran have over us by threatening shipping lanes?

trying to cast this as a purely jobs issue is far too limited a set of criteria.

 
At 1/24/2012 12:52 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well.. we DO KNOW how many pipeline jobs for the Alaskan Pipeline, right?

 
At 1/24/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

larry-

no.

how would you know that? how can you tell which jobs were created with the extra money consumers had from lower energy prices?

 
At 1/24/2012 2:03 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Really, it's all academic. I can come up with a mathematical model, put in some inputs and say "Bam, all these jobs will be created." Here's the best part: there'd be no way to prove me wrong.

We know jobs would come from this. Someone would have to build the pipeline and maintain it. The real question we should be asking, but is only hinted at, is what is the value of these jobs? What is the benefit that will come from this pipeline. There's the obvious one (oil), but what else? And then we have to look at the costs. Again, obvious is environment, but what else?

It is this dialogue that is missing from this whole conversation on both sides. The issue of jobs really is a red herring. It doesn't matter the jobs, but the value of them. It is better for the economy as a whole to create 50 valuable jobs than 5,000 non-valuable jobs.

 
At 1/24/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"what is the value of these jobs? What is the benefit that will come from this pipeline."

We know a pipeline needs to be built. We know the North Dakota fields would use the pipeline rather than Warren Buffet's railroad. We know the refiners like Valero welcome the pipeline. We know all this will generate economic activity.

"It is this dialogue that is missing from this whole conversation on both sides."

No, it isn't. Only the shills like Larry are glossing over the jobs issue.

 
At 1/24/2012 2:50 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Why does it matter how many jobs are produced? Certainly jobs and wealth will be produced, and most of us think that is a good thing. Also, although the oil will be sold on the open market, it will obviously be cheaper for the U.S. to buy it when it comes out of the pipeline locally than to buy it when it comes off the boat in Asia. While oil is a commodity, there are still non-trivial expenses involved in transporting it. Having another local supply has to be a good, and cheaper oil has to be a good.

Obama just doesn't like people making money. He has been pretty clear on that.

 
At 1/24/2012 2:51 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

there no glossing over.

there are existing pipelines all over the world

we know there are two kinds of jobs.

direct and indirect and I'm reacting to the claim of "hundreds of thousands".. merely asking for some reasonable range since it is a claimed benefit.

I concur with the direct jobs..no question and I concurred that th politics of it are bad for Obama.

 
At 1/24/2012 2:52 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his reelection that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances."

well, obama really admires fdr, and as mencken once said of the 32nd president: "If Franklin Roosevelt thought there was a cannibal vote in the United States he would immediately start boiling a missionary on the White House lawn."

 
At 1/24/2012 2:52 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Obama just doesn't like people making money. He has been pretty clear on that"

yes indeed. blow that dog whistle.

 
At 1/24/2012 3:06 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I fully understand Larry's skepticism of the number of jobs claimed. He certainly isn't glossing over anything at all. In fact, he's making a very good argument. If the government were to say hundreds of thousands of jobs, we'd jump all over that (as we did with the stimulus). We should be doing the same here. The number of jobs is immaterial.

I don't think I was clear with my objection to all this. We are easily looking at the "seen" costs and benefits of the pipeline, but are jumping over the "unseen", and those are most important. One side is touting "jobs jobs jobs" the other is "environment, environment, environment" (forgive me for generalizing). But I don't hear anyone mentioning, save for brief sentences here and there, the other costs and benefits.

 
At 1/24/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Look, we're spending all our time here arguing about immaterial aspects of this problem. Let's move past the jobs thing. I have a solution. I think we all can agree with this statement: the pipeline project will create X jobs.

The real question we need to ask is "what is the value of this pipeline?" The answer to that question is "who is willing to pay for it?" If private companies are willing to invest their time and money and effort and resources into this project, then it probably has value. If no one is willing, and it requires a major third party (such as the government) to get involved, it probably isn't valuable. Of course, there are exceptions to this general statement (hence the phrase 'probably'), but it is one hell of a good benchmark.

 
At 1/24/2012 3:19 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I'd be careful with that conclusion, Che." -- Jon

Trade deficits need to be financed. And while the U.S. has historically been an attractive place to invest, that has been changing rapidly under this administration. I would be careful in assuming that what's past is prologue.

 
At 1/24/2012 3:28 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"..we DO KNOW how many pipeline jobs for the Alaskan Pipeline, right?"

Historical note: Obama's halfwit sidekick Joe Biden voted against construction of the Alaska pipeline in 1973. 15 billion barrels later, Obama cancels the Keystone pipeline.

"I'm reacting to the claim of "hundreds of thousands".. merely asking for some reasonable range since it is a claimed benefit."

No you aren't. Like always, you are trying to cover Obama's ass for this indefensible action.

"blow that dog whistle."

Ooh, is there some racist angle you've uncovered, Larry?

 
At 1/24/2012 3:43 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Trade deficits need to be financed.

Not really. When Honda came to the US and built a manufacturing plant, that is considered an import and counted towards our trade deficit.

Here's a piece written by Prof. Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek on trade: http://cafehayek.com/2011/11/wherein-lies-trades-benefits.html

Rather than spend all our time and waste space here discussing this topic, you can email me at jmurphy8289@gmail.com if you want to talk more. I'm more than happy :)

 
At 1/24/2012 3:44 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: dog whistle..means more than racism... donja know....

the whole anti-Obama rhetoric is fun for the guys who never voted for him to start with...

I would have voted for Romney if the GOP had half a brain but no..they had to run a neocon geezer with a bimbo VP so that killed that...

I'd be very worried about a second term for Obama given the clown show "competition" this time around too.

:-)

saying that Obama is against jobs is just more "anti" blather.. that 1/2 the voting population - ignores though the red meat types love it.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" the pipeline project will create X jobs.

The real question we need to ask is "what is the value of this pipeline?"

any activity that creates jobs would seem to be a no-brainer... but it does not work out that way....not just with this Prez...

1. - buying/selling human organs

2. - making all drugs legal

3. - prostitution

4. - child pornography

....... to name a few

hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs... prosperity..!!

I'm not equating pipeline jobs with the above.. but pointing out that no every calculation is about just jobs.

having said this.. I admit, once again, that the politics of this are against Obama, in part, because he has not given a reason that is acceptable to most people.

so he's made a mistake...that probably will cost him.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:04 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"they had to run a neocon geezer with a bimbo VP so that killed that..."

That line of reasoning is always amusing. You instead went with the socialist community organizer and the half-wit sidekick Joe Biden. You went with the team that proudly declares food stamps and unemployment checks create jobs, ATM's and the internet destroy them. Palin might be a "bimbo," but I guarantee she has a better understanding of how wealth and jobs are created in the real world. Well played, Larry.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Re: Bimbo and the Geezer...

anyone but.....

you ought know that tune, eh?

;-)

we have a community organizer because people were looking at Hillary and comparing her to the Bimbo... but we did not count on Obama running down Hillary.. eh?

We'd be in 5 wars with our own version of EVa Peron if we had taken that path.

thank GAWD there were enough of us to outvote the fools who voted that way.

;-)

 
At 1/24/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please! You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!

 
At 1/24/2012 4:11 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

:-0

thenk you. thenk you very much.

;-)

 
At 1/24/2012 4:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Hillary became Sec of State - the Bimbo - yet another BIMBO FAuX News analyst.

We report. You decide!

 
At 1/24/2012 4:16 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"When Honda came to the US and built a manufacturing plant, that is considered an import and counted towards our trade deficit." -- Jon

Huh? The building of a manufacturing facility in the U.S. is not considered an import, it's a capital investment. If the building of manufacturing facilities were considered "imports", China would be running a massive trade deficit with the rest of the world.

As for Boudreauxs letter, I am not arguing for protectionism or that trade surpluses should be a national goal. Obviously, the access to goods produced more cheaply and efficiently abroad has benefits for our economy. But the fact remains that those goods must be purchased with something.

If a country has a stable economy and sound economic policies, it should be able to finance a current account deficit through inflows of capital without the need for a sharp jump in interest rates. That has been the case with the U.S., so far. It would be folly to ignore the risks associated with always relying on inflows of foreign capital to finance a current account deficit. Like I said, the U.S. has historically been an attractive place to invest, but foreign investors may change their minds, lose confidence and start to demand significantly higher interest rates in order to persuade them to continue to invest here. This risk is increased by the economic policies of the current administration.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:21 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"...in part, because he has not given a reason that is acceptable to most people."

Alinskyites know better than to reveal their agendas to the masses.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I'm not equating pipeline jobs with the above.. but pointing out that no every calculation is about just jobs."

Thanks for clarifying you're not equating the Keystone pipeline with child pronography.

 
At 1/24/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Thanks for clarifying you're not equating the Keystone pipeline with child pronography"

thank you. see I'm not so bad after all, eh?

 
At 1/24/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Look! Another Obama "green" job opportunity!

more jobs!

Zero emissions from liquid air

 
At 1/24/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger Marko said...

As for the dog whistle, I didn't say Obama is against jobs, I said he is against people making money. You are right that this is code words - I should have been clearer and said that Obama is against the idea of some people making more profit than other people. Is that better?

An easy example is what he said in a debate in 2008 - he wanted to raise capital gains taxes even if it has been shown that such a raise would lover revenue, because of fairness. Here is the quote and a link to the transcript (note he mentioned people paying more taxes than their secretary - I thought that Buffet came up with that one - I guess not!):

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down.

So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year -- $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/DemocraticDebate/story?id=4670271&page=1&singlePage=true#.Tx8pdKVSRAA

 
At 1/24/2012 5:05 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Sorry - to clarify, Obama is blowing the dog whistle - he thinks it is unfair for some to make more money than others. He also implies in that debate that there are racial reasons for this :

"talking about how we need to restore a sense of economic fairness to this country, because that's what this country has always been about, is providing upward mobility and ladders to opportunity for all Americans."

 
At 1/24/2012 5:18 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"As for the dog whistle, I didn't say Obama is against jobs, I said he is against people making money. You are right that this is code words - I should have been clearer and said that Obama is against the idea of some people making more profit than other people. Is that better?"

well..not really. He's all in favor of people making money.. and a lot of them donate to his campaign.. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates.. George Soros.... I threw that in for "effect"

"An easy example is what he said in a debate in 2008 - he wanted to raise capital gains taxes even if it has been shown that such a raise would lover revenue, because of fairness. Here is the quote and a link to the transcript (note he mentioned people paying more taxes than their secretary - I thought that Buffet came up with that one - I guess not!):"

I think he's looking for equity.

He simply believes in the progressive tax system.. not unlike his predecessors - even Ronald Reagan... 7 Top Republicans Who Taxed the Super Rich

"GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28
percent, the revenues went down."

isn't this disputed? it does not always work, right? things went to hell in a handbasket under "W".

"So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?"

we have to fund govt including DOD.

and we have to agree on how much govt should cost and then what is an equitable amount for everyone.

The argument that only people who earn wages should pay taxes..or that they should pay more taxes than those that earn money from investments is still debated.


"OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."

but Obama's view is not that different from Reagans, right?


"We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year -- $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair."

that's supporting a progressive tax system - again all of his predecessors also supported it.

what's changed is that there are now challenges to that concept and especially so with non-wage income...but it's been personalized with this particular PResident when he is not the only PRez who espoused belief in a progressive tax system that included taxing investment income.

 
At 1/24/2012 5:29 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/24/2012 5:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/24/2012 5:32 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1/24/2012 5:36 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Ronald Reagan on taxing the rich

 
At 1/24/2012 5:42 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"isn't this disputed? it does not always work, right?"

It's undisputed when it comes to capital gains, Gibson's point.

"not unlike his predecessors - even Ronald Reagan.."

And then you proceed to link to a Reagan statement about the tax reform act of 1986, which lowered the top marginal rate to 28%.

"but Obama's view is not that different from Reagans, right?"

It's completely different.

"but it's been personalized with this particular PResident..."

He brought on the contempt all by himself.

 
At 1/24/2012 5:45 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Ronald Reagan on taxing the rich"

He wanted to close the loopholes, and in return bring the top marginal rate down. Can you comprehend how that's different from Obama's schemes?

 
At 1/24/2012 5:58 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Ronald Reagan on taxing the rich

do we agree on what he is saying here?

 
At 1/24/2012 6:01 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"do we agree on what he is saying here?"

Completely different circumstances. We have 47% of the public paying no taxes at all today, a large % of them actually are net beneficiaries of government largesse. Their "fair share" is surely more than zero.

 
At 1/24/2012 6:32 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I thought Reagan was pretty clear in what he supported and he supported the rich paying more than those who had less income.

that's the same position that Obama has.

Both Presidents support the concept of progressive taxes.

But Obama gets judged with a different standard.

Most of the deductions and credits were in place when Reagan was President with the exception of the child credit which was done in 1997.

but it's clear to me that Reagan supported a progressive tax system while Obama is accused of being a socialist for doing the same.

 
At 1/24/2012 7:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"but it's clear to me that Reagan supported a progressive tax system while Obama is accused of being a socialist for doing the same"...

I wouldn't call Reagan a real conservative, a constitutional conservative either...

Still Reagan was quite bit more conservative that the guy in the Oval Office now...

From the Forbes opinion section by Paul Roderick Gregory: Is President Obama Truly A Socialist?

By “socialist,” I do not mean a Lenin, Castro, or Mao, but whether Obama falls within the mainstream of contemporary socialism as represented, for example, by Germany’s Social Democrats, French Socialists, or Spain’s socialist-workers party?

By this criterion, yes, Obama is a socialist.

(skip)

The November 2011 Declaration of Principles of the Party of European Socialists (PES) summarizes the European socialist agenda. I condense its main points and compare them with Obama’s statements and legislative initiatives...

 
At 1/24/2012 8:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

this is just more anti-Obama Blather.

This guys says Obama is a socialist because he favors universal health care and progressive taxes.

By that criteria - every single industrialized country in the world from Singapore to New Zealand to China to Australia is "socialist".

so basically you're saying that virtually every country in the world is socialist and only 3rd world countries are not.

Reagan supported progressive taxes but no one called him a socialist.

Reagan supported Social Security and Medicare (universal health care) and no one accused him of being a socialist.

Name the things that Obama supports that Clinton or Bush I or REagan did not support also?

be specific instead of the right wing echo chamber narrative...

it's dog whistle politics..and you know it.

 
At 1/24/2012 8:14 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"By that criteria - every single industrialized country in the world from Singapore to New Zealand to China to Australia is "socialist"."...

Well duh!

"Reagan supported progressive taxes but no one called him a socialist.

Reagan supported Social Security and Medicare (universal health care) and no one accused him of being a socialist
"...

I always did but then again I don't have to pander to anyone...

"Name the things that Obama supports that Clinton or Bush I or REagan did not support also"...

Mandated purchase of government run health care...

"it's dog whistle politics..and you know it"...

Its a sad thing that what has passed for education over the last thirty years or so shows up as an example of abysmal failure, yeah you larry g and your fellow travelers...

 
At 1/24/2012 8:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Mandated purchase of government run health care..."

Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and a pile of Republicans supported it.

right? Is Gingrich a socialist?

Romney?


"it's dog whistle politics..and you know it"...

"Its a sad thing that what has passed for education over the last thirty years or so shows up as an example of abysmal failure, yeah you larry g and your fellow travelers."

well what's said is the disreputable double standard you use for one President.

For anyone to say that the entire industrialized world is "socialism" ... you kinda set yourself apart from the real world.

You're entitled to your opinion but individual mandates for health care is the OPPOSITE of socialism my friend.

you might say it's fascism... but forcing individual responsibility is the opposite of taking money from one person to give to another.

the individual mandate says - each person will be responsible and that others will not be made to pay for your irresponsible behaviors.

by your standards.. requiring car owners to have personal insurance is "socialist".

;-)

 
At 1/24/2012 9:14 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Reagan supported progressive taxes but no one called him a socialist."

Perhaps because nobody except you was dumb enough to confuse Reagan's policies with Obama's. Reagan supported tearing down the welfare state, Obama has massively expanded it.

"..but forcing individual responsibility is the opposite of taking money from one person to give to another."

Obama and Obamacare do plenty of that. That's his whole appeal to the millions of bottom feeders who support him. His SOTU will be laced with that very theme.

 
At 1/24/2012 9:16 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"by your standards.. requiring car owners to have personal insurance is "socialist"."

Obamabots love that strawman. Doesn't fly. Federal vs. state, you don't have to drive a car, public roads.

 
At 1/24/2012 11:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and a pile of Republicans supported it.

right? Is Gingrich a socialist?

Romney?
"...

And your point is what? You're even more dense today than usual larry g...

I find these two lines incredibly foolish: "well what's said is the disreputable double standard you use for one President"...

What standard did I set and then change?

"For anyone to say that the entire industrialized world is "socialism" ... you kinda set yourself apart from the real world"...

For you not to see it for it is isn't my fault...

What's that all about? I mean I know you didn't read Gregory's (just like you didn't read Curl's piece) column so now you are in your usual process of making up bizzare lines of nonsense in an attempt to do what?

Rationalize your mistake of who you supported in '08?

"You're entitled to your opinion but individual mandates for health care is the OPPOSITE of socialism my friend"...

That's just sad!

"the individual mandate says - each person will be responsible and that others will not be made to pay for your irresponsible behaviors"...

You've not even bothered to read that so called health care act in part or all of it so now you're making it as you go along... Seriously sad larry g...

Well I can only think of one other reason why you don't get it, you were raised in the age of where education was propaganda and I wasn't...

 
At 1/25/2012 6:20 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and a pile of Republicans supported it.


right? Is Gingrich a socialist?

Romney?"...

And your point is what? You're even more dense today than usual larry g...

my point is the rank hypocrisy of selecting out one leader to pummel as a socialist when his views are not that different from Reagan, Gingrich, Romney, Clinton, and the leaders in ever other industrialized countries in the world including Australia and our Keystone neighbor to the north.

If you really did believe he was a socialist - you'd point out that, in your view - the entire industrialized world is also socialist to make clear your view of who is and is not a socialist and why.


I find these two lines incredibly foolish: "well what's said is the disreputable double standard you use for one President"...

What standard did I set and then change?

if your view is that all these countries and all GOP candidates and Reagan are socialists then your view is commendably consistent - whacked out - but consistent and far better than those who selectively use the socialist label for Obama but insist he's a "different" kind of socialist.


"For anyone to say that the entire industrialized world is "socialism" ... you kinda set yourself apart from the real world"...

For you not to see it for it is isn't my fault...

I see it. I see it!


What's that all about? I mean I know you didn't read Gregory's (just like you didn't read Curl's piece) column so now you are in your usual process of making up bizzare lines of nonsense in an attempt to do what?

I DID read it and it's the same anti-Obama blather that seeks to select him out as a "socialist" for the same views held by many other people and countries.


Rationalize your mistake of who you supported in '08?

HA HA HA.. I should have chosen the geezer and bimbo?

you're kidding right?


"You're entitled to your opinion but individual mandates for health care is the OPPOSITE of socialism my friend"...

That's just sad!

"the individual mandate says - each person will be responsible and that others will not be made to pay for your irresponsible behaviors"...

You've not even bothered to read that so called health care act in part or all of it so now you're making it as you go along... Seriously sad larry g...

I have indeed and the part that you yourself cited about having to buy insurance is an INDIVIDUAL MANDATE - in effect in every industrialized country in the world and the OPPOSITE of wealth transfer socialism.


Well I can only think of one other reason why you don't get it, you were raised in the age of where education was propaganda and I wasn't...

I get it. do you?

are you so focused on your opposition to one person that nothing else matters?

 
At 1/25/2012 8:39 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Huh? The building of a manufacturing facility in the U.S. is not considered an import, it's a capital investment.

They are the same thing. In the National Accounts, any source of direct foreign investment, such as building a factory, buying stocks, bonds, or even buying land, is considered an import and thus contributes to our trade deficit. Please do not fall into the trap that trade deficits are bad and mean we are losing money or that surpluses are good and that we are making money. It's that dangerous thinking that leads to the fallacy of protectionism.

By the way, I apologize for the late response on this.

 
At 1/25/2012 8:50 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

The term "trade deficit" usually refers to the "current account," which summarizes the exports and imports of goods and services.

Investments and capital flows are part of the "capital account," and not the "current account."

The two accounts (current and capital) have to balance for the overall "balance of payments." Therefore a "trade deficit" is offset by a "capital account surplus" (capital inflow) and a "trade surplus" is offset by a "capital account deficit" (capital outflow).

 
At 1/25/2012 10:00 AM, Blogger holcombhe said...

AN ARTICLE YESTERDAY STATED THAT THE PERSON THAT BENEFITED MOST FROM MR OBAMAS TURN DOWN OF THE PIPELINE IS SAID TO BE WARREN BUFFETT. STRANGE THING IS THAT BUFFETT AND OBAMA WERE IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE RICH NOT PAYING ENOUGH IN TAXES THE LAST FEW DAYS. COULD THEY HAVE WORKED AN UNDER THE TABLE DEAL? DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD INVESTIGATE?

 
At 1/25/2012 10:28 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

How any of you can support members of either party with such passion when it is obvious to even a casual observer that (1) they don't give a damn about the "proletariat" (which presumably all of us are members, and (2) they are clearly all chrony-capitalist-fascists.

Obama. W. Newt. Biden. Mitt. Palin. Frank. Paulson. Hillary. Geithner. Holder. Rumsfeld. Frank. Dodd. Boehner. Etc. Etc.

All, to a man/woman, are self-serving human garbage. You think they give a sh*t about you? Wake up. Getting elected in this country has become the equivalent to hitting the Lotto. And why? Because THEY WANT IT THAT WAY, and we are stupid enough to pay for it.

 
At 1/25/2012 10:51 AM, Blogger ALPHADAVE said...

I wonder if some of that oil will now be transported to U.S. refineries via rail. I would bet so. Hmmm, Burlington Northern Santa Fe has rail lines stretching from the Alberta border to Oklahoma and then to the Gulf. Didn't Berkshire Hathaway purchase Burlington Northern last year? I wonder if there's a connection between his kissing Obama's butt all year and Obama's rejection of the pipeline. Sounds like a Dick Cheney Halliburton-type deal.

 
At 1/25/2012 12:13 PM, Blogger Chux said...

It doesn't matter if you or the govt thinks this project isn't viable or not. What IS important is that you have two companies, one Canadian and one American, who both are willing to risk THEIR money because they think it is. All the govt has to do is to tell them where they can build it and then get out of the way. There they go again picking winners and losers instead of letting the supposed "free market" make the choice. But that's right....there's no free markets anymore - just interventions. Surely the union labor that would stand to benefit hugely on this deal can't be happy with the head nut of the DemocRATS now. But what did they honestly expect from such an obvious BIG govt huckster with friends who own railroads like Warren Buffett?? A fair shake & an honest free market based decision? From these socialists??

 
At 1/25/2012 12:13 PM, Blogger Chux said...

It doesn't matter if you or the govt thinks this project isn't viable or not. What IS important is that you have two companies, one Canadian and one American, who both are willing to risk THEIR money because they think it is. All the govt has to do is to tell them where they can build it and then get out of the way. There they go again picking winners and losers instead of letting the supposed "free market" make the choice. But that's right....there's no free markets anymore - just interventions. Surely the union labor that would stand to benefit hugely on this deal can't be happy with the head nut of the DemocRATS now. But what did they honestly expect from such an obvious BIG govt huckster with friends who own railroads like Warren Buffett?? A fair shake & an honest decision? Not with these Socialists....

 
At 1/25/2012 12:55 PM, Blogger 0th3rs said...

I'd much rather see the oil moved across land than ocean because of easier cleanup.

Obama is not in the real world. Or he is deliberately subverting America.

 
At 1/25/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger Damfino said...

How about we build some refineries in N. Dakota or NE Montana? This would create even more jobs, and more permanent jobs, allow a MUCH shorter pipeline that doesn't go through our national park treasures in northwest S. Dakota, geographically diversifies our national refining capability, lessening price spikes whenever a hurricane is headed for the gulf, and adds population, political clout, and wealth to these sparsely populated states. Don't they use petroleum products in the northern U.S.? Why must it be piped at huge expense to Louisiana?

 
At 1/25/2012 1:43 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

" Why must it be piped at huge expense "

most think because they want to export the refined product.

here's another question:

two parts:

1. has Nebraska agreed to an acceptable route?

2. are there any other existing pipelines already in the areas that are said to be vulnerable to the proposed Keystone?

If there are already other existing pipelines in that area that would seriously undercut one of the reasons for delay.

 
At 1/25/2012 5:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon Murphy: "They are the same thing. In the National Accounts, any source of direct foreign investment, such as building a factory, buying stocks, bonds, or even buying land, is considered an import and thus contributes to our trade deficit. "

Actually, that's not quite right. The Balance of Payments consists of a current account and a corresponding capital account. The two, by definition are equal and opposite, and balance each other.

Buying government bonds with the money recieved in exchange for goods and services is a way of claiming future tax revenue, and the other items are a form of direct investment that is, in effect, one way in which imported goods and services get paid for.

 
At 1/25/2012 5:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Damfino: "How about we build some refineries in N. Dakota or NE Montana?"

Who is "we"?

 
At 1/27/2012 1:30 AM, Blogger beasleyjack17 said...

Your article is a joke! the keystone pipeline is a another special interest project for the GOP.
Exxon mobil is right behind the koch brothers as funding machines for the GOP, nice try,But it won't produce the 20,000 jobs...Small correction­, it's 16,000 job hours a year spread over two+ years netting under 8,000 jobs at best. The breakdown of field vs administra­tive jobs which will be overseas is not mentioned. Keystone one and two have both had over twenty leaks each this year alone and they carry crude not bismuth which must be pumped under much higher pressure 1500 psi and is extremely abrasive to the pipeline's inner walls.
and do you think 6000 jobs and more money in exxon's and the koch bros pockets is going to help us?
you got to be full of it, along with the other cranks that believe in fairy tales.

 
At 1/27/2012 2:12 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Why would Obama be against the pipe line?

Sorry, but the only real reason is that he has some grand plan to "share the wealth" of the United States by bankrupting the country and allowing the rest of the world come in and pick our bones

We have had it to good for too long, haven't we Mr. Obama?

 
At 1/29/2012 9:13 PM, Blogger serman2 said...

What would Ron Paul do?

 

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