Sunday, October 14, 2012

GHEI: Obamanomics Hasn’t Worked

A second term would produce economic results no better than the first

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, once told Fox News that President Obama’s $833 billion stimulus was “wildly successful.” As the Election Day draws near, it’s important to have a clear view of the impact of the president’s major legislative achievement second only to Obamacare.

According the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus cost more than the Iraq war. The only thing it succeeded in doing was to push the country deeper into the fiscal hole, leaving us stuck with the weakest recovery since World War II. Mr. Obama promises more of the same in a second term.

It can’t work. British economist John Maynard Keynes was the father of the theory that government spending could create prosperity. Since his death in 1946, this damaging idea has resulted in the transfer of trillions of dollars of wealth away from the people who earned it and into the hands of bureaucrats. Such redistribution of income cannot result in economic growth.
Spending for the sake of spending makes no sense when it comes to a family budget, and federal budgets are no different. That extra government spending must either be financed by higher taxes or by increased debt. Higher taxes mean that taxpayers will have a lower net income, forcing them to reduce their spending. All debt has to be repaid eventually — and the most likely scenario is higher taxes will hit in the future when the debt comes due. Either way, there are no long-term gains to the economy. The only lasting result is increased debt and a larger government which weigh down the economy.

The stimulus bill, known as the American Reconstruction and Recovery Act (ARRA), provides strong evidence that Keynesian solutions are nothing more than a spending shell game. Stanford’s John Taylor, in a study published in the Journal of Economic Literature, followed the stimulus money. He found “if there had been no temporary stimulus payments to individuals or families, their total consumption would have been about the same. And if there had been no ARRA grants to states and localities, their total expenditures would have been about the same.” That is, the economy would have done at least as well had Mr. Obama’s legislation failed.

This lack of impact should have come as no surprise. When the federal government tried to spend directly, it found a dearth of the “shovel-ready” projects that were supposed to stimulate the economy. When the feds gave money to the states, those governments used the money for current obligations, either borrowing less or increasing savings, leaving their spending where it was. Families were just as smart, socking away their small, temporary windfalls as a cushion in these uncertain times.
Here we are, almost four years later, with the most optimistic projections of economic growth at less than 2 percent, with the lowest labor participation rate in many decades and a broad unemployment rate of 14.7 percent. The stimulus was a failure, and it was destined to be a failure.

Nita Ghei is a contributing Opinion writer for The Washington Times.

Read more: GHEI: Obamanomics hasn't worked - Washington Times

Then and Now Democrats

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Christians Flee Bosnia Amid Islamization

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (BosNewsLife)-- Christians are massively leaving post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina amid mounting discrimination and Islamization, according to a new report released Friday, October 12.

"Many believers leave the country since war raged 20 years ago," said Netherlands-based advocacy and aid group Kerk in Nood, or 'Church in Need', in the report obtained by BosNewsLife.

There are just 440,000 Catholics left in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure, the group said.

The report came on the heels of talks between the cardinal of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic,and European Council President Herman van Rompuy about difficulties faced by Bosnia's Christians.


Puljic reportedly complained that while dozens of mosques were build in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches.

"The cardinal already waits 13 years on permission to build just a small church," Church in Need said. Authorities so far refused to return hundreds of nationalized church buildings, despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to do so, according to Christian officials.

Additionally tens of thousands of people, many of them Catholic Croats, have been prevented from returning home following the war, Church in Need said. These obstacles violate the Dayton peace accords that ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, which split the nation between a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation.

"Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism," Puljic said, who added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were "persecuted for centuries" after European powers "failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire."...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Navy's P-8 Sub Hunter Bets On High Altitude, High Tech

So far, I am not a fan of the P-8...

Navy's P-8 Sub Hunter Bets On High Altitude, High Tech; Barf Bags Optional

Published: October 2, 2012

Navy's P-8 Sub Hunter Bets On High Altitude, High Tech; Barf Bags Optional
The Navy's jet-powered P-8 Poseidon patrol plane boasts plenty of advances over the P-3 Orion turboprops it will replace, but for the sensor operators the favorite feature will be very basic: They won't throw up as much.
The P-3's notoriously rough ride at low altitudes and the gunpowder-like stench from the launch tube shooting sonar buoys out the back meant that, "typically, every mission or two you'd have somebody get sick [and] start throwing up into their air sickness bag," said Navy Captain Aaron Rondeau, a P-3 veteran who now runs the P-8 program. "We haven't seen that much with the P-8."

With its more modern and less rigid wing, "it's a much smoother ride than the P-3," Rondeau explained, and the buoys are now launched by compressed air, without the old system's stink. And that just means, he said, that "If your aircrews aren't sticking their heads in barf bags, they can do their missions better."

Not everyone really cares whether the operators barf in the back and believe in the P-8's higher-altitude approach. "I don't think it will work as well," noted naval expert Norman Polmar said bluntly. "It's rather controversial."

In particular, after some waffling back and forth, the Navy decided to leave off a sensor called the Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD), which can detect the metal hulls of submarines -- if the plane flies low enough. MAD was crucial to the P-3's traditional low-altitude tactics. Significantly, the P-8 variant that Boeing is building for the Indian Navy will still have it; only the US Navy P-8 will not. Both Rondeau and Boeing argue that the P-8 can more than compensate with more sophisticated sensors and by using its superior computing power to interpret their data.

So with the P-8, the Navy is not just replacing a sixties-vintage propeller plane with a more modern jet, derived from the widely used Boeing 737. It's also betting on new technology to enable a high-altitude approach to both long-range reconnaissance and hunting hostile submarines.

Traditional "maritime patrol aircraft" like the P-3 spend part of their time at high altitude but regularly swoop down, sometimes as low as 200 feet above the waves, to drop sonar buoys, scan for subs with the magnetic anomaly detector, launch torpedoes, and simply eyeball unidentified vessels on the surface. But jets like the P-8 are significantly less fuel-efficient at low altitudes than turboprops like the P-3.

"There's a misconception," said Rondeau. "Some people think that that means P-8 can't do low-altitude anti-submarine warfare [ASW]. We can, and it's very effective down low, [but] we will eventually get to the point where we stay at higher altitudes."

For some of the new sub-hunting technologies, Rondeau argued, going higher actually gives you a better look. Today, for example, one key tool is a kind of air-dropped buoy that hits the water and then explodes, sending out a powerful pulse of sound that travels a long way through the water and reflects off the hulls of submarines, creating sonar signals that other, listening-device buoys then pick up. (The technical name is Improved Extended Echo Ranging, or IEER). Obviously, an explosive buoy can only be used once, and the sonar signal its detonation generates is not precisely calibrated. So the Navy is developing a new kind of buoy called MAC (Multistatic Active Coherent), which generates sound electronically, allowing it to emit multiple, precise pulses before its battery runs down.

"It will last longer and you're able to do more things with it," Rondeau said. And because a field of MAC buoys can cover a wider search area, he said, "we need to stay up high... to be able to receive data from all these buoys and control all these buoys at the same time."

An early version of MAC will go on P-3s next year and on P-8s in 2014, but only the P-8 will get the fully featured version, as part of a suite of upgrades scheduled for 2017. The Navy is deliberately going slow with the new technology. Early P-8s will feature systems already proven on the P-3 fleet and will then be upgraded incrementally. The P-8 airframe itself is simply a militarized Boeing 737, with a modified wing, fewer windows, a bomb-bay, weapons racks on the wings, and a beefed-up structure.

This low-risk approach earned rare words of praise from the Government Accountability Office, normally quick to criticize Pentagon programs for technological overreach. "The P-8A," GAO wrote, "entered production in August 2010 with mature technologies, a stable design, and proven production processes." (There have been issues with counterfeit parts from China, however).

"We had to have this airplane on time," Rondeau said: The P-3s were getting so old, and their hulls are so badly metal-fatigued, that they were all too often grounded for repairs.

So far, Boeing has delivered three P-8As to the training squadron in Jacksonville, Florida. They were preceeded by eight test aircraft, some of which have just returned from an anti-submarine exerise out of Guam. The first operational deployment will come in December 2013, to an unspecified location in the Western Pacific. There the Navy will get to test its new sub-seeking techniques against the growing and increasingly effective Chinese underwater force.