Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s recent stop in Kentucky to try and convince businesses to move south to the Sunshine State was met with predictable derision from the political establishment.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer used Scott’s visit to remind people of the Florida governor’s baggage from his past tenure as CEO of the Columbia HCA hospital chain, which purchased Humana’s “Galen” hospitals in the early 1990s.
Scott in 1995 moved the company’s headquarters and its 1,000 jobs from Louisville to Nashville, citing Kentucky’s high taxes. He was forced to resign in 1997 in the midst of a $1.7 billion settlement related to Medicaid fraud.
“And now, this guy is coming to Kentucky and saying, ‘Trust me?’” Fischer said. “I don’t think so.”
But Scott isn’t preaching “trust me.”
He’s in competitive mode, promoting the Sunshine State’s warm business climate – including lower taxes, less regulation and the freedom to say “no” to paying union dues without losing your job.
“You don’t have to worry about your taxes going up because the credit rating is not one of the worst in the country,” Scott said, rightly noting that’s “what’s happened in Kentucky.”
Scott’s not the only one who’s touting Florida.
“Friendlier tax codes make it a little easier for us to do business there,” said Chris Yeazel, owner of 1st Choice Aerospace, which has decided to expand in Scott’s state rather than at its Hebron location.
The decision by the company, which repairs interior items on commercial aircraft, means 40 new jobs and a $7 million investment will go to the Sunshine State instead of Kentucky.
It’s fair game for Scott’s critics to question his integrity.
However, Scott isn’t the only governor to come and contrast his state’s attractiveness with Kentucky’s slower economic growth.
Then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry came to Murray last year and said he didn’t “worry about” Kentucky.
“I can promise you: I get up every morning and I’m nervous about what (Gov.) Bobby Jindal’s doing in Louisiana, and I know for a fact that Rick Scott’s over there in Florida looking at his tax code, his regulatory code; he’s trying to pass major tort reform in Florida today. It makes me nervous,” Perry said. “You think (Tennessee) Gov. Bill Haslam’s not sitting down there, kind of looking up here going ‘which of these businesses am I going to come get this time’ because he’s a right-to-work state, he doesn’t have a personal income tax.”
Neither is 1st Choice Aerospace the first company to invest in another state while citing uncompetitive policies.
Chegg, Inc., a California-based textbook rental company, announced earlier this year it was closing its Shepherdsville-based fulfillment center.
Rob Chestnut, Chegg’s general counsel, told Louisville Business First: “Kentucky’s business climate has had us very unhappy for quite some time.”
The story’s headline read: “Where will Chegg Inc. move its inventory? Anywhere but Kentucky.”
Some recent data also casts serious doubt on Kentucky’s competitiveness.
A new Truth in Accounting report indicates that our commonwealth has the nation’s fourth-highest taxpayer burden.
Frankfort owes $53 billion in bills, has $13 billion in assets, which leaves $40 billion in debt and results in a $32,600 burden for each taxpayer – up from $23,800 in 2009.
Compare that with Florida’s taxpayer burden of $1,100 or neighboring Indiana’s $700 load.
Each Tennessee taxpayer would actually receive a $1,300 surplus if the Volunteer State’s $2.4 billion surplus were divided among them.
Such economic strength is attractive to companies looking to expand.
They don’t want to arrive in a state only to be forced to bail out a public-pension system through higher taxes.
Will Fischer and his fellow politicians urge Kentucky’s business owners: “Don’t leave; trust us to fix these problems”?
How many will respond: “I don’t think so”?
A White House report on oppressive occupational licensing requirements reads more like it came from a Rand Paul administration than the current President’s coal-hating crew.
“There is evidence that licensing requirements raise the price of goods and services, restrict employment opportunities, and make it more difficult for workers to take their skills across state lines,” the report states. “Too often, policymakers do not carefully weigh these costs and benefits when making decisions about whether or how to regulate a profession through licensing.”
Then again, sometimes they do.
For example, Kentucky’s licensing requirements for auctioneers previously were the third-most stringent among states – requiring two full years of experience to become a principal auctioneer, compared to the national average of three months.
However, the state’s Board of Auctioneers in Elizabethtown wants to double the number of Kentuckians – currently more than 2,000 – interested in the profession.
“The more, the merrier,” Ken Hill the board’s executive director said. “We don’t have enough now; we’d like to bring in some new blood.”
Hill convinced the board to reduce some entry costs and the experience requirement to a single year.
Barriers remain, including more than a week of required intensive classroom training which cannot be accessed online and is only available at two locations at costs exceeding $1,000.
Still, Hill is moving toward a common-sense licensing approach that he believes achieves “a balancing act” by protecting consumers from fraudulent auctioneer-actors and “fly-by-nighters” without insulating current auctioneers from more competition.
But there’s much about occupational licensing policies that remains unbalanced.
For instance, burdens placed by arbitrary regulations on military families were a primary motivating factor in the White House’s unusually relevant and frank report.
First Lady Michelle Obama in all of her school-lunch-changing glory has recognized that onerous licensing schemes affect the ability of service members and their spouses to find employment.
Military spouses are 10 times more likely to have moved across state lines in the past year than their civilian counterparts and “have a difficult time obtaining a new license each time they move,” the report said.
Eliminating arduous requirements for military spouses – 35 percent of whom work in professions requiring state credentials – would have a disproportionately positive impact on Kentucky, which ranks ninth-highest among states in the number of active duty military personnel stationed within our borders.
The report also notes that states can better serve returning veterans by using their excellent military training to bypass licensing policies that place “heavy burdens” on their ability to become civilian paramedics, truck drivers, nurses or welders.
The legislature, which has demonstrated an openness to helping military families, could do even more by recognizing that 60 percent of veterans responding to a 2012 survey indicated they had trouble translating their military skills into what Kentucky’s licensing boards consider sufficient – and significant – job experience.
The fact that only 15 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations looked at in an analysis by the Washington-based Institute for Justice are credentialed in 40 states or more indicates job-licensing schemes are more about cabals of incumbents seeking to keep competitors out rather than any meaningful public protection.
“These regulations don’t exist because citizens are storming the gates of the legislature begging for fences to keep out those wanting to break into the field,” said the Institute for Justice’s Dick Carpenter, who advised the White House on its recent report.
Kentucky compared to all of its neighboring states has, by far, the largest percentage of its workforce licensed, indicating there’s plenty of work that Obama’s Democrats and Paul’s Republicans could do in Frankfort to remove yet another barrier to entering and flourishing in the commonwealth’s fields of labor.
President Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union speech on Tuesday in front of a Republican controlled Congress. White House officials reported on Saturday that the President will introduce a tax package calling for billions in tax increases on top earners in an attempt to fund new tax credits and other projects the White House claims will help the middle class. President Obama has been touting how he wants to revamp the tax codes and close loopholes in hopes of keeping the American economy growing, and help grow the middle class.
In preparation for Obama’s second to last address, he has been traveling the country and unveiling White House proposals including free community college to qualified students, paid sick leave and improving online security following the Sony Pictures cyber-attack.
The Obama administration said that closing loopholes for the wealthy would generate revenue of $320 billion over 10 years; the new tax breaks that Obama plans to propose would cost $235 billion over 10 years. The increased taxes would help fund the free community college plan. The highlight of the president’s proposal is his increase on the capital gains and dividends for couples who make more than $500,000 per year to 28 percent. President Obama is hoping to move the revenue earned into several measures which include:
- A credit of up to $500 for families in which both spouses work. The administration says 24 million couples would benefit from the proposal, which would apply to families with annual income up to $210,000.
- Expanding the child care tax credit to up to $3,000 per child under age 5. The administration says the proposal would help more than 5 million families with the cost of child care.
- Overhauling the education tax system by consolidating six provisions into two, a move that could cut taxes for 8.5 million families. Republicans have been open to the idea of consolidating education tax breaks.
During Obama’s radio broadcast, he gave a preview of whom he selected to sit in the “presidential box” during his speech. He has invited a woman who expanded her business through federal loans, an Afghanistan war veteran and student who is repaying his loans and obtained healthcare through federal programs. I’ll call on this new Congress to join me in putting aside the political games and finding areas where we agree so we can deliver for the American people,” Obama said.
Following his speech, he will speak at Boise State University in Idaho on Wednesday and then travel to the University of Kansas. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has warned the president again that he needs to abandon his “go-it-alone” approach and hopes that Tuesday can be a fresh start for working together. President Obama is not expected to make any major foreign policy announcements but will probably call for Congress not to increase sanctions against Iran.
Here we go again. The latest jobs report came out last week- and it’s pure fraud and fantasy. Lies and propaganda passed off as “good news.” The reality is this new jobs report is a DISASTER for America and our middle class.
The “facts” released by our “honest and transparent government” report 248,000 new jobs created, beating expectations by a mile. The “facts” report unemployment dropping to 5.9%, the lowest rate since 2008.
It’s as if Obama is saying, “If you like your job, you can keep it.”
But you can’t. It’s no more truthful or realistic than “If you like your insurance, you can keep it.” Same fraud. Same lies. Same propaganda. Same “Banana Republic” mainstream media reporting lies, fantasy and propaganda as truth.
Here’s the REAL facts about the latest jobs report:
First the reason unemployment dropped to the fantasy level of 5.9% is that 315,000 more Americans dropped out of the Labor Force last month.
Where did they go? Most of them dropped off unemployment to get on welfare, food stamps or disability. Job categories used to be listed as policeman, fireman, scientist, butcher and baker. Now we should add “government dole.” Millions of people get up late, watch Judge Judy and Dr. Phil and get off the couch for the first time all day to open the mail to find their government check. This is the Obama economy. Obama uses the fact that millions of Americans are not working as a reason to lower the unemployment rate.
Where will America get the money to pay for all these welfare, food stamp, disability and Social Security checks for citizens who will never work again? We’re already broke. This just adds to the crushing unsustainable $18 trillion debt.
This isn’t good news. It’s a disaster.
Adding to the misery, the Labor Force Participation rate just dropped to the lowest in 36 years. There are now 92.6 million working-age Americans NOT working.
This isn’t good news. It’s a disaster.
Like those late night infomercials say- “But wait. There’s more!”
How can 248,000 new jobs be a good thing if average hourly wages are stagnant or dropping? Because they are. That fact was buried in the latest jobs report.
Even the Americans lucky enough to have a job are drowning in quicksand. As Democrat Bill Clinton just admitted, “The average American is making less, adjusted for inflation, the day I left office.”
The middle class isn’t getting richer, it’s getting poorer. Even Bill Clinton understands that under Obama the middle class is struggling to survive…and struggling to pay bills…that’s if they still have a job.
This isn’t good news. It’s a disaster.
The bad news is coming in waves. The media forgot to tell you that inside last week’s jobs report was this nugget of reality- the only people being hired are your grandparents. 230,000 of the new jobs went to those in the 55 to 69 year old age group. In the prime working age group of 24 to 54 years old, 10,000 jobs were lost.
Holy freaking batman! What is happening? It means grandma and grandpa are desperate and willing to take grandson’s low wage job to survive until Social Security kicks in…or perhaps they need to work until the day they die, to supplement Social Security. But that’s very bad news. The U.S. workforce is now the oldest in history. If grandpa or grandma has to work (out of desperation) until the day he or she dies, there will never be any decent jobs for the grand-kids.
This isn’t good news. It’s a disaster.
But I’ve saved the two worst bits of news for last. What good is the news of 248,000 new jobs, if they are all part-time or low wage jobs? 4 of the 5 new jobs were in the lowest quality categories.
Obama is creating a nation of desperate, government-dependent minimum wage workers. If you lose your $100,000 job, get ready to clean toilets, flip burgers, mow lawns, or work at The Gap. Because that’s all that’s available among the new jobs.
That’s if there are any jobs at all. I believe the numbers of new jobs are pure fraud. Made up out of thin air. Want proof? The government’s own JOLT report came out on Tuesday. It says that monthly hiring has plummeted. Dropped off a cliff.
It was down 294,000 positions last month- that’s the worst drop since 2010…and the third worst number since the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.
So now I ask you…how could there be good news about jobs created…at the same time the government’s own report shows a severe halt to hiring? Somebody’s cooking the books folks.
And how come the mainstream media only reports on the fraudulent report showing jobs created…but never mentions the other report showing plummeting hiring? Good question. The media is obviously in on the fix. The media has a conflict of interest. The media is big business. The media is owned by billion dollar companies. Their advertisers are billion dollar companies. Their own media companies are publicly traded on Wall Street. They are in on the fix. They desperately want you to believe all is well, so their advertisers keep spending…and so their stock prices don’t plummet. They need to keep the Ponzi scheme going. Can you spell “BANANA REPUBLIC”?
Welcome to Obama’s America- where up is down…where bad news is reported as good news…where old is the new young (because only old people work anymore)…where minimum wage is this President’s obsession because minimum wage jobs are the only jobs in the Obama economy…where it’s good news that people stop working and join the welfare rolls because they are now more likely to vote Democrat…where as Nancy Pelosi claims, “Food stamps, unemployment and welfare are the best ways to grow the economy.”
Oh…my…God. This Obama crowd is pure crazy. Either idiots, insane or communists. My educated guess is…a combination of all three.
This folks is an unmitigated disaster. This folks is “the murder of the middle class.”
This latest jobs report is pure fraud.
NEW YORK – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for most of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest private employer.
Starting Jan. 1, Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move, which would affect 30,000 employees, follows similar decisions by Target, Home Depot and others to eliminate health insurance benefits for part-time employees.
“We had to make some tough decisions,” Sally Wellborn, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of benefits, told The Associated Press.
Wellborn says the company will use a third-party organization to help part-time workers find insurance alternatives: “We are trying to balance the needs of (workers) as well as the costs of (workers) as well as the cost to Wal-Mart.”
The announcement comes after Wal-Mart said far more U.S. employees and their families are enrolling in its health care plans than it had expected following rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Wal-Mart, which employs about 1.4 million full- and part-time U.S. workers, says about 1.2 million Wal-Mart workers and family members combined now participate in its health care plan.
Read more on Fox Business.
The Treasury Department tightened tax rules Monday to deter U.S. companies from moving their legal headquarters to lower-tax countries, part of a White House effort to slow a wave of so-called corporate inversions that effectively reduce federal revenues.
Treasury officials took action under five sections of the U.S. tax code to make inversions harder and less profitable, removing some of the appeal that has made the transactions more common in recent years, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.
In an inversion, an American company reincorporates for tax purposes in a tax-friendlier country such as the U.K. or Ireland, typically while maintaining much of their operations in the U.S. Most recent inversions sprang from mergers of a U.S. firm with a smaller foreign firm after regulatory steps taken during President Barack Obama’s first term curbed other types of inversions.
The Treasury rules will make it harder for companies that invert to use cash accumulating abroad—a big draw in recent deals. In addition, the government has made it more difficult to complete these overseas mergers.
The tax changes took effect immediately, officials said, and applied to all deals that hadn’t closed by Monday.
Mark Levin, a popular conservative radio talk show host and author of “The Liberty Amendments” has an awesome idea for Republicans. He lays out a scenario for how to explain the Obama economy in a large assembly room. The Democrat Party has always made issues to be very personal in order to reach the hearts of voters rather than both their hearts and their minds. It is time for Republicans to start pressing on the important issues and stop running from the liberal media and the Obama watchdog service.
Obama’s policies are killing our economy. They have failed. The media will not tell you this of course. To admit Obama and his policies have failed is to admit liberalism has failed, and that is something our media will go bankrupt before doing.
There is no chance in hell they would treat a Republican president in this manner. Ask George W. Bush.
The Obama economy has been far from great during his presidency. It hasn’t even been average and his administration continues to tout his economic plan as this big job creator. We were supposed to see 5% unemployment and major growth thanks to his $800 billion stimulus from his first term. Wait, the shovel-ready jobs that weren’t so shovel-ready after-all had to have been George W Bush’s fault. Or something like that.
President Obama and his liberal policies have taken a poor situation and made it worse, much worse. He arrived at a fire with a hose full of gasoline and expected something very different than what has occurred. His policies have hurt our economy. Those who have been hurt the most are the Millenials.
Generation Opportunity, a national non-partisan organization advocating economic opportunity for young people through less government and more freedom released their Millennial Jobs Report for July 2013 and it isn’t positive.
- The effective (U6) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds, which adjusts for labor force participation by including those who have given up looking for work, is 16.1 percent (NSA).
- The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.8 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
- The (U3) unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds is 11.6 percent (NSA). The (U3) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is 20.9 percent (NSA); the (U3) unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics is 12.4 percent (NSA); and the (U3) unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women is 10.8 percent (NSA).
President Obama’s policies and EPA regulations are killing jobs. Companies are not hiring as they normally would because of the government’s foot being placed on their necks. Businesses are laying off workers because of Obamacare. This is not politics or sending a personal attack message towards the President. This is simply how business and an economy works. Sadly, this President has no idea how an economy works.
The Obama Administration continues to act as if the economy is improving. They look at the new national unemployment rate for July, which is supposedly 7.4% and say that things are looking up and more people are starting to go back to work. This is simply not true. They are using a rate that doesn’t measure our true unemployment numbers. They never mention how many people drop out of the workforce and have given up because they can’t find work. You can’t drop the unemployment rate from 7.6% to 7.4% when the economy is barely creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth. People gave up searching for a job. That is why the unemployment numbers decreased. These numbers fail to tell the big picture and the reality of our situation. The reality is that America is worse off under President Obama and his policies have done nothing except turn full-time workers into part-timers. We have seen 953,000 jobs created in 2013 thus far and 77% of those have been part-time. This is unacceptable.
Where is the recovery Mr. President? We simply don’t see it.
The labor force participation rate, which measures the number of working age Americans (16-64) actively working or looking for work is the lowest it’s been in more than 30 years. For the month of July it measured at 63.4%. Nearly half of all Americans are not paying income taxes. For the first time in history, there are more Americans collecting welfare (101 million, or about a third of the country) than there are adults working full-time in the private sector (97 million, or less than half of adults). This is completely astounding, but welcome to Obama’s America. Change? You got it. Hope? Too many have lost it.
The people who have been hurt the most under Obama are young people, Hispanics, Black Americans, and single moms. Sadly, these are who he promised he would help the most. At least the campaigning Obama promised this. A much different guy from the one trying to play President.
Mr. President: Stop spending so much of our money, start reducing the enormous amounts of burden you place on businesses, and take some lessons from the actions of another President, Ronald Reagan. He created more jobs in one month than you have all year, but then again sir, you are no Ronald Reagan.
President Obama has not learned from his mistakes from his first term. He is going around campaigning and advocating for the same failed policies. He will not wake-up and realize that big government economic policies are a complete failure. His ignorance will once again, unfortunately lead to many American’s experiencing very tough times. What is sad is that the media will continue cheer-leading for him because they must prove to everyone how right they were in helping to get him elected…again. This only hurts America. Barack Obama has hurt America.
President Obama has been trying to push all of the scandals his administration has been part of under the rug lately and focus on the economy. The one he blamed on President George W Bush his first term and now the one he blames on distractions and phony scandals. Yeah, that one. Our economy has definitely seen much better days.
The President has been out giving speeches about the economy and talking about his so-called solutions, but there is a big problem with the words coming out of his government-loving mouth. He is advocating for the same failed economic policies from his first term. He is doubling down on failure and choosing not to learn from history.
If he were to look at President Ronald Reagan’s record on how to fix an economy, perhaps he would be able to persuade more in the House and Senate to accept his policies. Instead, he wants to be the big man on campus who makes everything equal for all and poverty a way of life for all Americans.
Ronald Reagan inherited an economy back in 1981 much worse than President Obama did in 2009, but he got to work with common sense solutions. Reagan faced a 10.8% unemployment rate early on in his first term while Obama dealt with a 10% rate at its highest. There was a major difference with their policies though. Reagan greatly reduced taxes and regulatory burdens, decreased non-defense discretionary spending, and decreased inflation by printing less money. Obama increased government spending, increased taxes, nationalized industries, added an enormous amount of regulations, and interfered with the markets where businesses could not expand or hire new employees.
President Obama talks about jobs and says we have work to do on improving the economy, but it’s his policies that have harmed this country. He comes from the government/academic class rather than the entrepreneurial class and has a much more static view of the world. He is lacking in the comprehension skills area of how to create jobs and wealth. The government does not create wealth, it absorbs it. The government does not create jobs, but they certainly can help eliminate them. It’s as if he has been out of the country for the last five years with his remarks on how the economy is doing. He has nobody to blame for how the economy is doing but himself and his failed policies. The main problem is that he is choosing to ignore facts, evidence, and history on how to improve an economy as he touts more of the same on his current campaign travels or economic travels rather.
The President continues to preach about how he is for the poor and middle-class, but the ones who are and will suffer the most from his policies are those who have the least. Reagan knew that economic growth creates opportunities for everyone including those who have the least. Obama cannot grasp this fact. He continues to live in a Utopian world where everyone earns the same, no crime exists, the government does everything for everyone, and we all sit around our camp-fires singing Kumbaya taking care of our beautiful pink unicorns provided to us by the evil, wealthy 1%.
Obama cares about the poor so much that he made millions more throughout his Presidency. He has to learn that taking the foot of government off the backs of those who create economic growth is the only way to improve lives for everyone. We need less Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi policies, and more Ronald Reagan policies. Reagan’s policies led to a recovery that created 3 million jobs in his first year. In his first year of “recovery” Obama’s policies created a net loss of 201,000 jobs. In the second year of recovery Reagan’s policies created another 4.1 million jobs, Obama only 1.4 million. In years three Reagan created 9.7 million jobs and Obama 3 million.
President Obama needs to take a step back and look at Ronald Reagan’s economic record to see what real success looks like. He continues to ignore history and his record while he panders to his base with promises of equal opportunity and that we’ll find an ocean of tomorrows. He is providing nothing new and zero solutions while blaming Republicans for not going along with his failed policies. These policies have helped contribute to 48 million Americans on food stamps or 15% of the population and 22 million un/underemployed. He needs to focus on reducing the burden on those who actually create the jobs and stop touting more of the same failed policies.
America needs jobs. We need growth. We need leadership and we need to get back on a principled path, but we certainly don’t need more government spending. President Obama should seriously look at his economic agenda and ask himself if it will help him not to become the worst President in American history. Time will certainly tell, but in the meantime, millions of Americans continue to suffer under his leadership.