Report On Cabinet Over-Regulation

9 May 2016

Report: Ten Thousand Commandments

Noting the highlights….

•The federal regulatory cost reached $1.885 trillion in 2015.

•Federal regulation is a hidden tax that amounts to nearly $15,000 per U.S. household each year.

•In 2015, 114 laws were enacted by Congress during the calendar year, while 3,410 rules were issued by agencies. Thus, 30 rules were issued for every law enacted last year.

•Many Americans complain about taxes, but regulatory compliance costs exceed the $1.82 trillion that the IRS is expected to collect in both individual and corporate income taxes from 2015.

•Some 60 federal departments, agencies, and commissions have 3,297 regulations in development at various stages in the pipeline.

•The top five federal rulemaking agencies account for 41 percent of all federal regulations. These are the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services, and Transportation.

•The 2015 Federal Register contains 80,260 pages, the third highest page count in its history. Of the seven all-time-highest Federal Register total page counts, six occurred under President Obama.

•The George W. Bush administration averaged 62 major regulations annually over eight years, while the Obama administration has averaged 81 major regulations annually over seven years.

Agencies do not answer to voters. Yet in a sense, regulators and the administration, rather than Congress, do the bulk of U.S. lawmaking. Years of unbudgeted growth of the federal regulatory enterprise are worrisome when no one can claim with certainty that regulatory benefits exceed costs. But agencies are not the only culprits. For too long, Congress has shirked its constitutional duty to make the tough calls. Instead, it delegates substantial lawmaking power to agencies and then fails to ensure that the regulations deliver benefits that exceed costs.110 Thus, agencies can hardly be the only ones faulted for suboptimal or damaging regulation or for not ensuring that only good rules get through.

The last paragraph appears in the last section, and is accurate in that the multitude of regulations are not routed through Congress as it should be. This is a good extensive report.


Amazon Taking a Bite Out of Local Retailers

9 May 2016

How Amazon’s growth causes retailers to close stores

The giant internet retailer said on April 27 that it will create 2,000 full-time jobs by opening two more fulfillment centers in New Jersey.

Together, the two facilities will bring Amazon’s total physical footprint in the Garden State to 2.5 million square feet of space, if you count three existing centers.

The irony is that Amazon made the announcement the day after a news report that retailers were prepping to lay off 37,000 workers this year, due largely to the shuttering of brick-and-mortar stores.

The 37,000 is the most in one year since the 2008 recession – and more than double the number of layoffs in 2015.

In July 2015, it surpassed Walmart in market capitalization to become the nation’s most valuable retailer.

It is an interesting dynamic… the internet retailer versus the local brick and mortar stores.

The internet retailer is a more efficient operation, which means less people are needed to run it.  It helps the bottom line because it is cheaper, and there is less effort made by the consumer to get the product.

The brick and mortar stores, while not being super efficient, offer face to face communication to get our needs met – and it puts more people to work – which is also important.

Illegals in California Permitted to Get Professional Licenses

9 May 2016

Immigrants in U.S. illegally are given a shot to return to their professions

In Mexico, Marco Nava was a trained cosmetologist working in a salon. He specialized in hair styling and coloring. But for eight of the nine years since he came to the United States illegally he toiled in the shadows, working as a field hand harvesting grapes near Porterville.

These days, Nava is back in an air-conditioned barbershop doing what he loves thanks to a year-old California law that allows immigrants in the U.S. illegally to apply for state licenses as barbers, cosmetologists, auto mechanics, security guards and other professions.

The law also covers professionals including doctors, nurses, psychologists and pharmacists.

Advocates for strict immigration enforcement, including William Gheen, said the state cannot adopt measures that conflict with federal laws that make it illegal to hire someone who is not in the country legally — or even help them get a job.

“California lawmakers should be focused on helping the American citizens they have sworn to serve instead of illegal invaders that take U.S. jobs and taxpayer resources and corrupt our elections,” said Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee.

A big problem in the way the government operates is its selective enforcement of the laws. This should not be permitted to happen. They should first become legal immigrants.

Trump On Government Debt

9 May 2016

Trump just exposed America’s dirty little secret: Schiff

Last week, Trump joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week to discuss a wide range of topics including U.S. debt, interest rates and replacing Fed Chair Janet Yellen. It was Trump’s comments about potentially renegotiating the more than $19 trillion in U.S. debt and the sensitivity surrounding higher interest rates that raised eyebrows.

While some observers argued that Trump’s approach could be tantamount to a debt default, Schiff told CNBC the GOP nominee was fundamentally correct in his observation.

“Trump just admitted on CNBC that America has too much debt to afford a rate hike, and that he wants our creditors to accept less than 100 cents on their Treasuries,” the Euro Pacific Capital CEO explained on CNBC’s “Futures Now” last week. “In other words, Trump knows a U.S. government default is inevitable.”

Schiff has long been opposed to the Fed’s so-called easy money policies. He insists that rather than helping the economic backdrop, the excess liquidity has created fragile asset bubbles so fragile that may send the U.S. spiraling into a recession worse than what occurred during the financial crisis.

“[Trump] recognizes that we have a bubble and he wants to make America great again,” Schiff said, adding that of all the candidates he has the best understanding of how bad the problems are.

“To get great again we need to recreate what made us great in the first place, and so we’re going to have to let interest rates go up,” Schiff added. “A big part of that is admitting that we aren’t going to be able to re-pay the debt.”

If there is one thing on which Trump knows his stuff, it is money issues.

Krispy Kreme Purchased By European Conglomerate

9 May 2016

Krispy Kreme Being Taken Private For $1.35 Billion

Krispy Kreme is being taken private by a unit of private equity firm JAB Holding Co. for $1.35 billion, the companies said on Monday.

For JAB, the Krispy Kreme buy comes months after its $13.9 billion acquisition of Keurig Green Mountain. The European private equity conglomerate also has controlling stakes in coffee chains like Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee , Espresso House and Jacobs Douwe Egberts and bagel shop Einstein Noah Restaurant Group.

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by Krispy Kreme’s board of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter. The company will continue to operate out of its Winston-Salem, North Carolina headquarters.

Thankfully operations will continue as normal in the U.S.

Skull and Bones Records from Bush 43 To Be Released

9 May 2016

1,650 Pages of George W. Bush’s Skull and Bones Records Are Set to Be Publicly Released

Mark your calendars: In July, the National Archives intends to publicly release over 1,000 pages of records from the George W. Bush administration pertaining to Skull and Bones, the Yale secret society that counts both the former president and his former president father as members.

A brief Skull and Bones primer for the uninitiated: the society, founded in 1832, meets in a windowless brick building on Yale’s campus known as “The Tomb.” Members are sworn to silence about what goes on inside, and are bound by tradition to leave the room whenever a non-Bonesman mentions the group’s name in their presence. Despite this shroud of secrecy, rumors have leaked out about occult-style rituals and Busch Light-soaked traditional college parties alike. In addition to the Bushes, the society counts Time magazine founder Henry Luce, conservative icon William F. Buckley, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, W.’s 2004 presidential opponent, as members.

For those of you who get into this secret society vibe.

U.S. Army Troop Count Lowest Since Pre-World War II

9 May 2016

Army shrinks to smallest level since before World War II

The Army’s latest headcount shows that nearly 2,600 soldiers departed active service in March without being replaced, an action that plunges manning to its lowest level since before World War II.

During the past year the size of the active force has been reduced by 16,548 soldiers, the rough equivalent of three brigades.

End strength for March was 479,172 soldiers, which is 154 fewer troopers than were on active duty when the Army halted the post-Cold War drawdown in 1999 with 479,424 soldiers, the smallest force since 1940, when the active component numbered 269,023 soldiers.

The latest official demographics from the Defense Manpower Data Center shows that in addition to the 479,172 soldiers who were on active duty April 1, the Army’s reserve forces totaled 548,024 soldiers, for a total force of 1,027,196 soldiers.

The drawdown master plan calls for a Total Army of 980,000 soldiers on Sept. 30, 2018.

I am OK with this – especially with how much we are in debt – as long as they can get the job done when circumstances warrant.