Looking For The Truth? Look At The Statistics: 1% Tax Increase Lowers GDP 2-3%Apr. 24, 2010
One of the most insightful and oft-quoted stock market analysts in the country is Virginia's very own Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist and managing director of Capitol Securities Management. His April 22 Early Morning Commentary quoted a profound statistic:
As per Bloomberg, next week the Treasury may sell an unprecedented $128 billion in notes which some believe might be the peak in issuance as the economy strengthens. At this juncture, primary dealers are estimating the Treasury will sell a record $2.4 trillion in debt in 2010 as compared to $2.11 trillion in 2009.
Regarding 2011, Treasury has stated the obvious that 2011 issuance will be based upon tax receipts and projected budget.
Will revenue and growth projections meet expectations? As written several times and as per the National Bureau of Economic Research, a tax increase of 1% of GDP lowers real GDP roughly 2% to 3%. In other words higher taxes lower GDP. Perhaps the only absolute is that taxes are going up next year.
Will revenue assumptions meet expectations, especially given that as per the IRS a record 47% of society will not pay federal taxes in 2009? Never have so few carried the burden of so many.
The NBER is a non-partisan, highly respected institution (it is the official arbiter of when recessions start and when they end). The highlighted statistic — not to mention the frightening aspect of Treasury debt — is something to heed: Raising taxes decreases economic activity, including job creation, tax generation (to reduce annual state and federal deficits and cumulative national debt), and, it reasons, access to health care.
So, exactly what has the Left done to us (against our collective will)? It has rammed through some of the largest tax increases in history through the health care bill, not to mention the plethora of other faults it encompasses. Is this ignorance? Demagoguery? Or just plain egalitarian socialism, where the playing field is leveled — so that everyone has horrible health care and chronically high unemployment? Maybe all of the above.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Left has lied, impugned and tried to discredit the Tea Party movement (ironic since in the same breath they say it is an inconsequential and contrived flash in the pan). One of the lies is that the movement should "thank" President Obama for lowering taxes for 95 percent of Americans, which is Orwellian. Be that as it may, there is no disputing what is scheduled to happen in several months as the Bush tax cuts sunset as well as the onset of the new health care law taxes.
So, who's actually telling the truth and what will be the actual outcome for the economy? Hint: Statistics don't lie.
Viva Barcelona: Another Adult Stem Cell SuccessNov. 19, 2008
Buried in the back of all the papers today, barely rating a mention on television or radio was news from Barcelona, Spain of a huge victory. Not one for the city's famed soccer team, though it, too, is doing very well this year (atop La Liga). But, rather, a medical victory. Claudia Castillo, a 30-year-old Colombian mother of two and Barcelona resident, suffered from tuberculosis (see Bloomberg's objective report, here). The disease damaged her lungs and collapsed one of them. It prevented her from caring for her children, much less even walking any substantial distance. At first, doctors thought they would have to remove the damaged lung. Instead, as if from a "House" scene, one doctor proposed a radical idea — a windpipe (trachea) transplant to revive the damaged lung's functionality. The problem was the inherent risk of rejection. The doctors turned to stem cells. Adult stem cells.
After finding a donor windpipe, doctors stripped it of all its cells (WebMD has a layman's explanation, here). In the meantime, they took bone marrow from Castillo herself and created — from her own source — the millions of cartilage and tissue cells needed to connect it to her lungs, thus minimizing, if not excluding, any rejection risk at all. Basically, a transplant via stem cell. So far, so good. She even went out dancing recently and can walk regular distances without problems. More important, she can care for her children again. According to reports, her lung capacity now is normal for a woman her age. The results are published in the UK medical journal The Lancet (click here).
This surgery, though not a sure success — many experts think it will take three years to see if the results have permanance — is a major breakthrough by any standard. Perhaps rivaling the first heart transplant. It could end up helping thousands. However, it hasn't been played up in the media. Where it has, there's been a curious bit of lack of reporting. The Associated Press, for example, in an article by Maria Cheng, did not once mention that the stem cells were "adult," leaving a misleading impression by significant omission(see an in-depth commentary, here, on stem cell facts and myths).
But the fact is, adult stem cell research has led to scores of advances, cures and treatments. Embryonic stem cells, nada. While Senorita Castillo won't ever play futbol for the famed blue and red of Barca, that type of score is one very familiar to its fans. It's also become an accustomed reality to those in the know about medical research, despite what liberals and their media allies would have us believe.
Here's an idea of the route adult stem cells have over the unproven embryonic stem cells: