Jobs created in June? Try jobs *lost*

**Posted by Phineas

If this is true, then the economic news isn’t just bad for Obama, it’s devastating:

The birth-death model, which approximates the amount of jobs gained through new businesses created too recently to be counted in the formal survey, added 124,000 positions, meaning that without the estimation the total count would have been a loss of 44,000.

So much for that claim of 80,000 jobs created in June and NPR’s pathetic spin.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

This is why California can’t have nice things: idiotic local governments edition

**Posted by Phineas

The new flag of California?

There are so many levels of “dumbass” in this, I scarcely know where to begin. If encouraging banks to issue unsafe mortgages that are then bundled by the US government and sold into the securities market lead to a national financial crisis, how much stupider is it to seize underwater mortgages under eminent domain and leave the public holding the bag?

Answer: Lots.

Eminent domain allows a government to forcibly acquire property that is then reused in a way considered good for the public—new housing, roads, shopping centers and the like. Owners of the properties are entitled to compensation, which is usually determined by a court.

But instead of tearing down property, California’s San Bernardino County and two of its largest cities, Ontario and Fontana, want to put eminent domain to a highly unorthodox use to keep people in their homes.

The municipalities, about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles, would acquire underwater mortgages from investors and cut the loan principal to match the current property value. Then, they would resell the reduced mortgages to new investors. …

For a home with an existing $300,000 mortgage that now has a market value of $150,000, Mortgage Resolution Partners might argue the loan is worth only $120,000. If a judge agreed, the program’s private financiers would fund the city’s seizure of the loan, paying the current loan investors that reduced amount. Then, they could offer to help the homeowner refinance into a new $145,000 30-year mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which has a program allowing borrowers to have as little as 2.25% in equity. That would leave $25,000 in profit, minus the origination costs, to be divided between the city, Mortgage Resolution Partners and its investors.

“Investors.” As if anyone is going to buy a devalued mortgage that was seized by the government in an utter ravaging of private property rights? What’s to guarantee the government won’t seize it from the next investor latest sucker in the name of “helping people?” Only a fool would buy one of these, and, since successful investors aren’t fools, that means the public will be left on the hook when the inevitable defaults occur.

In the linked post (1), Ed Morrissey describes some of the many problems with this:

Furthermore, it will hand a carte blanche to local politicians looking to curry favor with residents — and we can expect them to use it as often as they think they can get away with it.  Nothing sells like populism, and nothing in populism sells better than “sticking it to the banks,” even when the “banks” really means lots of investors, large and small, who bought mortgage-based securities for retirement funds and the like.  On top of that, the process heightens the moral hazard of government intervention, which then encourages people to take irrational and damaging risks by expecting private gain with public loss.

Ed’s right, this is the spawn of the Supreme Court’s horrid Kelo decision, which ruled that a city could take real property from one private citizen and give it to another private citizen in the hope of higher tax revenue under a twisted notion of “public purpose.”  Now the county of San Bernardino and the cities of Fontana and Ontario want to extend that perverse principle to financial instruments –private property nonetheless– and shaft one set of citizens in favor of another, because the latter are voters.

I’m sure, at some point in the process of coming up with this bright idea, someone invoked the Orwellian magic words “fairness” and “social justice,” which makes it all better.

Respect for property rights is essential to ordered liberty and the economy’s well-being. All this will really do is drive troubled city and county finances further into train-wreck territory as real estate lending comes to a halt or investors demand sky-high interest rates to compensate for the risk. Hiding behind the emotional blackmail of “helping people,” these schmucks are instead going to salt their own economic fields, crippling any chance of real growth. It is a stupid, stupid plan that should never see the light of day.

Which means Sacramento will likely love it and adopt it for the whole state.

Footnote:
(1) The original article is behind a subscriber pay-wall.

PS: Graphic courtesy of The Open Clip Art Library.

#NC8: Rep. Kissell [D] loses support of local black leadership caucus PAC

As I wrote a few days ago, NC8’s Larry Kissell already has an uphill battle going into the fall election what with being an elected Democrat in a district that has been redrawn in such a way that makes it more favorable for a Republican to win.  In an attempt to appeal to those voters, Kissell will vote next week to repeal ObamaCare, voted to hold Atty Gen. Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, may skip out on attending the DNC here in Charlotte, and has announced he will not endorse Barack Obama.  This, unsurprisingly, has ruffled the feathers of a local black leadership caucus PAC – which announced yesterday it will not support Kissell in his bid to stay in office:

WASHINGTON A Democratic Party feud emerged Thursday as African-American backers of U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell pulled their support after his decision not to endorse President Barack Obama and his plan to vote to repeal the health care law.

The N.C. 8th Congressional District Black Leadership Caucus political action committee, meeting in Hamlet, announced it would not endorse Kissell, a Biscoe Democrat, and discussed whether to back a write-in candidate.

“He has refused to endorse or support the president, has said he will vote to repeal the health care bill, and will just do anything that he can to be antagonistic to the president,” said caucus member Walter Rogers of Laurinburg. “We will not endorse or support Larry Kissell in his bid for re-election.”

Four years ago, Obama helped Kissell oust five-term Republican Robin Hayes when a flood of black voters in the 8th District rushed to the polls to elect the nation’s first African-American president.

A lot has happened in the past four years. Reapportionment reshaped the 8th District, making it even more Republican – and white. Registered black voters dropped from nearly 30 percent to 19 percent in his new district.

Kissell said Thursday that some of the people who are criticizing him for taking an independent position are the same people who criticized his predecessor, Hayes, for blind loyalty to the party and President George W. Bush.

Surely Mr. Kissell doesn’t expect any sort of consistency from leftist supporters, does he?

The Laurinburg Exchange has more, including some of what was said and alleged at the Hamlet meeting:

8th District Democratic Party Chair June Mabry urged patience at the meeting, suggesting that some subtleties of Kissell’s comments to the press have not been reflected in recent reporting.

Mabry said that she was told by Kissell Chief of Staff Leanne Powell, who was present at the interview during which Kissell is reported to have said that he would not be endorsing Obama, that Kissell actually said that he “doesn’t endorse anyone, but that he will be voting for president Obama.”

Attempting to be a voice of moderation at the downtown Hamlet meeting, Mabry encouraged those in attendance to withhold judgment until Kissell gets a chance to explain himself.

“But there’s only one person that can tell you that, and it’s not me,” said Mabry who “is working with (Kissell’s) scheduler” to set a meeting with the Representative.

“I called again today and they did not get a schedule to me, and I will continue calling him every day because quite frankly he made the statement to the press and he needs to answer you about what that statement was,” Mabry continued.

Mabry said that the 8th District will release a statement once its executive committee has had a chance to convene with Kissell and formally discuss the matter.

Nearly a dozen PAC members from the district took turns bashing Kissell, with some even speculating that the Representative may be a “plant from the Republican party.”

LOL. Yeah. A “plant” they supported … until recently.

If you’re experiencing a feeling of schadenfreude right about now over Kissell’s campaign woes, don’t worry. You’re not the only one. ;)