Obama has hired 101 new federal employees A DAY since taking office

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KRIS-TV (How many public employees does it take to watch a backhoe dig a hole?)KRIS-TV (How many public employees does it take to watch a backhoe dig a hole?)

You may have noticed some economic difficulties across the country in recent years among family, friends, neighbors, colleagues. One sector is doing quite nicely, however, under Barack Hussein Obama.

In the 1,420 days since he took the oath of office, the federal government has daily hired on average 101 new employees. Every day. Seven days a week. All 202 weeks. That makes 143,000 more federal workers than when Obama talked forever on that cold day in January of 2009.

Under Obama the total federal workforce has surpassed two million for the first time since the first Clinton term, now sitting about the 2.2 ,million level.

Now comes a new poll revealing that Americans know what’s going on. A majority of Americans believes government workers make more money than private sector workers, according to the new Rasmussen Reports poll. Sixty-one percent of private sector workers believe that.

Surprisingly, Republicans, independents and Democrats are united in agreement that government employees have it better than private sector workers although, predictably, Dems are slightly less sure.

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Companies Race to Beat Tax Increases for 2013

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The wealthy look set to enjoy a windfall in the closing weeks of the year as companies push money out the door to beat the higher tax rates advocated by President Barack Obama.

More than 150 companies, from Costco Wholesale Corp. to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), have declared special dividends totaling about $20 billion this quarter to avoid anticipated tax increases in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Others, including law and private-equity firms, probably will pay bonuses, partnership distributions and commissions early for tax reasons, according to Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“We’re going to have a big jump in household income in the fourth quarter” said Crandall, whose company is a subsidiary of ICAP Plc, the world’s largest broker of transactions between banks. “It’s going to be in excess of $50 billion.”

Much of that will go to upper-income Americans, the very people Obama has targeted to pay higher taxes, including Las Vegas Sands controlling shareholder and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson.

Business Confidence

Reports in Europe today showed French business confidence and industrial production unexpectedly declined as President Francois Hollande grapples with a budget deficit and an economy that is on the verge of recession.

U.S. households probably will have their incomes squeezed next quarter as a temporary payroll-tax cut expires and emergency unemployment benefits are scaled back, Feroli said.

And unlike the year-end boost to incomes, the hit to paychecks in 2013 will affect spending and the economy — for the worse — because cash-strapped Americans will feel the pinch, he added. He reckons that budget belt-tightening on the federal, state and local levels will shave two percentage points off growth next year. The economy will expend 1.7 percent in 2013, after climbing 2.2 percent this year, according to Feroli.

Automatic Cuts

Obama has said an increase in tax rates on income above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples must be part of a deal to prevent the rest of the more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases from taking effect in 2013.

Under the president’s proposal, the top statutory tax rate on ordinary income would reach 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent, and the top rate on capital gains would be 23.8 percent, up from 15 percent. The maximum rate on dividends would go to 43.4 percent from 15 percent.

The government stands to benefit from higher revenue in the short run as companies and investors position themselves ahead of the end of the year. In the long run, the government might suffer, said Eric Toder, co-director of the Tax Policy Center in Washington.

The IRS will collect taxes on dividends that might not have otherwise been paid out when 2012 tax returns are filed. The Treasury Department also will enjoy higher revenue from capital gains taxes as investors unload shares to lock in profits before a possible rate rise in 2013.

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BREAKING NEWS: Tennessee says, ‘No!’ to state-run insurance exchange

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For those of us against Obamacare, this is a great move for Tennessee:

Tennessee governor Bill Haslam announced Monday that Tennessee will not set up a state-run insurance exchange under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Haslam made the announcement during a speech to Nashville’s Downtown Rotary Club. According to the Tennessean, the governor said he decided not to go through with setting up a state-run exchange “because he’s received insufficient information about how it would operate from the federal government.”

The Volunteer State looked like it might be on track to set up an exchange, despite the legal prohibition for such a move under the Tennessee Health Freedom Act. Tennessee accepted more than $9 million in federal funding earmarked for creation of a state exchange over the last two years. Federal dollars began flowing into the Volunteer State under Gov. Phil Bredesen and continued unabated under Haslam.

The insurance lobby pushed hard for a state run exchange. Grassroots activist groups, including the Tennessee chapter of the Tenth Amendment Center, countered that pressure with a full court press of their own.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Tennesseans all across the state, Gov. Bill Haslam has seen the light and will not implement the state exchange in Tennessee,” Tennessee TAC state coordinator Lesley Swann said. “But we still have a fight ahead to prevent the expansion of the state’s Medicaid rolls. We must continue to stay vigilant to ensure that Tennessee stays true to the values our founders gave us in the Constitution. Tennesseans should make their own decisions on health care. That is simply not a constitutional role of the federal government.”

While Haslam’s decision appears more pragmatic than principled, and he still has failed to acknowledge that the Tennessee Health Freedom Act should make refusing implementation of the PPACA a slam dunk, TAC national communications director Mike Maharrey says Haslam made the right call, adding that the growing number of states refusing to set up exchanges creates a real problem for federal bureaucrats.

“This is a good first step. The feds depend on state cooperation to make these huge programs work. If a large number of states refuse to set these exchanges up, it puts and increasing burden on the federal bureaucracy, one I’m not convinced they are really prepared to deal with. It will definitely gum up to works, and it sets the stage for more aggressive state action to block implementation of this unconstitutional act.”

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