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NEWS and OPINIONS by BILL STANLEY

Fiat Loses $14,000 On Sale Of Each 500e Electric Car

(21 June 2014) The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said this about the Fiat 500e electric car, "I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000. If we just build electric vehicles, we’ll be back in ... Washington asking for a second bailout because we’ll be bankrupt by Christmas." If he increased the price, he would sell fewer and get pummeled for not meeting the government mandated fleet-average miles-per-gallon (mpg). The fuel efficiency standards were put in place by Czar Obama in 2011, and there are separate mandates in California. The 2014 Fiat 500e base price is $32,300. The standard Fiat 500, which has a 4-cylinder engine and gets 40 mpg on the highway, starts at $16,195. Czar Obama provided a bailout for Chrysler, a U.S. company. Since January, it has been 100% owned by Fiat, an Italian company. By the end of the year, Fiat Chrysler will be a Netherlands company with headquarters in London. (Source: 23 May 2014 FOX Business)

Fewer Transit Riders Despite $1 Trillion In Federal Tax Subsidies

(14 June 2014) Transit carries only 1% as much travel as highways. However, 20% of federal gas taxes go towards transit. The subsidies have not increased ridership, which has fallen since 1970, despite $1 trillion in federal subsidies. (Sources: 13 May 2014 Cato Institute, 20 May 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)

National Debt Continues To Soar

(14 June 2014) In May 2003, Obama called on the Senate to resist Bush's "unprecedented $300 billion deficit" that "underscores the recklessness of the George W. Bush administration and the Republican Congress". During the 2008 campaign, Czar Obama said, "The first thing you do when you're in a hole is what? ... You stop digging. So the first thing that we're going to have to do is to stop adding to our deficit." During the 64 full months of Czar Obama's reign, the national debt increased by $6.88 trillion to $17.52 trillion, at an annual rate of $1.29 trillion. The increase in the last 12 months was $0.78 trillion. During Bush's 95 full months, the debt increased $4.98 trillion at an annual rate of $0.63 trillion. Obama's rate is 2.05 times Bush's. Bush was bad ... Obama is horrible.

LA County Biggest Loser Of Jobs Since 1990

(13 June 2014) Los Angeles County has lost more net jobs than any large metropolitan area in the nation from 1990 to 2013. (Sources: Anderson School of Management, 1 June 2014 Townhall)

Federal Grants To States Have Increased 18% ... 35% For Medicaid

(13 June 2014) Medicaid constitutes nearly two-thirds of federal grant money issued to the states. Since 2008, federal Medicaid grants have increased 35% and grants to other health programs have increased 21%. Total non-health federal grants have decreased 5%. (Sources: May 2014 Pew Charitable Trusts, 28 May National Center for Policy Analysis)

Medicare Reimbursement Cuts ... Closure Of 18 Rural Hospitals

(13 June 2014) 60% of funding for rural hospitals comes from Medicare. The rest comes from Medicaid and private health insurance. Cuts for Medicare reimbursement funding and the Oct. deadline for upgrading to electronic medical records are a grave concern to rural hospitals. 18 rural hospitals have shut their doors since the beginning of 2013, more than the combined total in the prior 10 years. (Source: 28 May 2014 Fox News)

GE To Create Jobs

(29 May 2014) General Electric has committed to create 1,000 industrial jobs within 3 years ... in France. (Source: 28 May 2014 Reuters)

France Forgot To Measure Before Purchasing Trains

(29 May 2014) The French government's rail system ordered 341 new trains and then discovered they were too wide for nearly 1,300 of the 8,700 railway platforms. It will cost $68 million to widen the stations. (Sources: Wall Street Journal, 22 May 2014 USA Today)

Expensive Solar Electricity

(28 May 2014) For power plants entering service in 2019, electricity produced by natural gas is estimated to cost $66 per megawatt-hour, compared to $130 for solar. (Source: 20 May 2014 Real Clear Markets)

A Couple Billion Dollars For Obama Care Website And State Exchanges

(27 May 2014) As of 28 Feb., the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had obligated $834 million for HealthCare.gov information technology contracts and interagency agreements. In addition, Czar Obama has spent hundreds of millions on federal grants to states for their own exchanges. 4 state exchanges on the edge of collapse have used $474 million of federal taxpayers' money so far ... Nevada (will transition to federal system by 15 Nov.), Massachusetts (looking for another $121 million in federal funding to develop its new state-based exchange), Maryland (attempting to build a new one on its own), Oregon (gave up on its state exchange entirely and moving to the federal HealthCare.gov system). (Sources: Health and Human Services, 14 May 2014 Daily Caller, 20 May Daily Caller, 21 May Reuters)

Czar Obama Claimed Obama Care Would Cut The Average Family's Premium By About $2,500 Per Year

(26 May 2014) Virginia insurance carriers were the first to publicly release premiums for 2015. Anthem HealthKeepers Inc., offered by WellPoint, is raising its premiums on individual plans by an average of 8.5% for 110,000 people. CareFirst Blue Choice, Inc. is increasing its rates 14.9% for 32,000 members. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc. is raising its premiums 3.3% for 10,000 residents. (Sources: 11 May 2014 Wall Street Journal, 20 May 2014 National Center for Policy Analysis)

What Happens When Low-Education, Low-Skill Employees Demand More Pay?

(26 May 2014) As of March 2010, there were 1500 kiosks in 400 McDonald's restaurants in France to substitute and supplement employees. The kiosks have allowed McDonald's to avoid some of the high payroll costs of dealing with France's minimum wage ... 12.22 an hour in U.S. dollars. McDonald's has kiosks in more than 7000 restaurants in Europe. As soon as 2016, Panera's 1,800 restaurants will replace all of their cashiers with kiosks. A sushi-chain in Japan has robots making food that customers order on a touch screen. A conveyer belt delivers the food, and a computer tracks customer purchases and automates their bill payment. (Sources: Kiosk Europe, 18 May 2011 Neowin, 14 May 2014 Daily Caller)

GM Recalled 18.67 Million Vehicles In 4 Months

(25 May 2014) Starting 13 Jan. 2014, Government Motors (GM) has recalled 18.67 million vehicles, equal to 6.7 times their 2013 U.S. sales. (Source: 21 May 2014 USA TODAY)

UK To Discontinue Solar Subsidies

(25 May 2014) The UK Dept. of Energy and Climate Change will discontinue its ratepayer-funded subsidies to new large-scale solar electricity producers by next April. They were supposed to last until 2017, but there has been growing opposition to solar panels littering the countryside and driving up electricity costs for households and businesses that were forced to subsidize the developments. (Source: 13 May 2014 Daily Caller)

Suppliers Do Not Like Government Motors (GM)

(24 May 2014) 411 suppliers rated their relationships (16 categories) with the 6 companies that account for more than 85% of all light vehicle sales in the U.S. Toyota (318), Honda (295) and Nissan (273) were ranked 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Ford (267), Chrysler (245) and GM (244) were at the bottom. Overall, 55% of the suppliers characterized their relations with GM as "poor to very poor", worse than the 48% last year. (Sources: Planning Perspectives Inc., 12 May 2014 Detroit Free Press, 12 May Reuters)

Only 7% Of Black High School Seniors Proficient Or Better In Math

(20 May 2014) Students of Asian / Pacific Island descent were the most prepared for college, with 47% proficient or higher in both math and reading. Only 7% of blacks tested at grade level in math and just 16% were considered proficient in reading. The gap between black and white students was larger in 2013 than in 1992. (Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 14 May 2014 CNS News)

Only 25% Of High School Seniors Proficient In Math

(20 May 2014) 92,000 students were tested. 38% were proficient in reading ... slightly lower than the 40% in 1992. (Sources: National Assessment of Educational Progress, 7 May 2014 Associated Press)

EPA Reduces Stupid Requirement

(13 May 2014) The EPA dramatically lowered its mandate for the amount of cellulosic biofuels, e.g. produced from grass and wood, that must be mixed with gasoline and diesel fuels. The EPA did so retroactively for 2013, reducing the requirement from 6 million gallons to 0.81 million gallons, the amount actually produced. (Source: Washington Times)

New Medicaid Patients Having Trouble Finding Doctors To Accept Taxpayers' Money

(13 May 2014) In 2013, the acceptance of new Medicaid patients by doctors in 5 specialties in 15 metropolitan areas was only 45.7%, compared to 55.4% in 2009. Dallas had the lowest acceptance rate ... 23%. (Sources: Merritt-Hawkins, 8 May 2014 Heritage Foundation)

Another Czar Obama Stimulus Green Company Halts Production

(12 May 2014) After its own electric vehicle program collapsed, Tanfield Group (British company) formed American Smith Electric (U.S. subsidiary). Despite $32 million in federal stimulus funds and status as one of Czar Obama's favorite "green" companies, the firm has halted production. It built just 439 of the promised 510 experimental electric-powered trucks and buses for commercial use. It promised Missouri a minimum of 202 new jobs in return for up to $1.4 million in state tax credits, but hired only 54. Promised plant expansions in Chicago and New York have not occurred. $36,084 are owed Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology for work performed as a subcontractor, $192,000 are owed to Consolidated Electrical Distributors for equipment and goods and hundreds of thousands of dollars are owed the Kansas City government for lease payments since last November on 90,000 square feet it rents at the Kansas City International Airport. Smith Electric lost $17 million in 2009, $30 million in 2010 and $74 million in 2011. (Source: 5 May 2014 Washington Examiner)

Thank Texas We Don't Have Much Higher Gasoline Prices

(12 May 2014) Daily oil production (millions of barrels): Texas 2.87, federal off-shore 1.31, N. Dakota 0.93, California 0.56, Alaska 0.54. (Source: Jan. 2014 Energy Information Administration)

Czar Obama Hates Oil And Natural Gas, Not Just Coal

(12 May 2014) From 2009 to 2013, crude oil production on non-federal lands increased 61% while production on federal lands decreased 6%. Natural gas production increased 33% on non-federal lands, but decreased 28% on federal lands. From 2006 to 2011, the average time to process an application to drill on federal lands increased from 218 days to 307 days. (Sources: Congressional Research Service, 16 Apr. 2014 House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce)

$150 Per Gallon For Non-Petroleum Fuel

(12 May 2014) The price of conventional jet fuel is $2.88 per gallon. The Dept. of Defense (DOD) bought 1500 gallons of alternative jet fuel made from algae oil for $150 per gallon. (Sources: Government Accountability Office (GAO), 7 May 2014 Washington Times)

National Debt Continues To Soar

(11 May 2014) In May 2003, Obama called on the Senate to resist Bush's "unprecedented $300 billion deficit" that "underscores the recklessness of the George W. Bush administration and the Republican Congress". During the 2008 campaign, Czar Obama said, "The first thing you do when you're in a hole is what? ... You stop digging. So the first thing that we're going to have to do is to stop adding to our deficit." During the 63 full months of Czar Obama's reign, the national debt increased by $6.88 trillion to $17.51 trillion, at an annual rate of $1.31 trillion. The increase in the last 12 months was $0.68 trillion. During Bush's 95 full months, the debt increased $4.98 trillion at an annual rate of $0.63 trillion. Obama's rate is 2.08 times Bush's. Bush was bad ... Obama is horrible.

Federal Taxpayers May Fund Wind Electricity Twice Rejected By N.J.

(11 May 2014) Fishermen's Energy wants to install 5 windmills off the coast of Atlantic City. The N.J. Board of Public Utilities twice rejected the Chinese-backed project, concluding the Chinese company did not demonstrate financial integrity and deeming it too risky for ratepayers. Nevertheless, the federal government has awarded $47 million for the $188 million project. (Source: 7 May 2014 Washington Times)

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