Chinese women retire 17 years earlier than us, but moronic scolds want to hike pension age even higher

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, pontificated about plans to cut Social Security on Thursday, last week, at the Urban-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, Washington, DC.  Brady wants to cut Social Security by not only raising the retirement age to 70, but also imposing means testing to cut benefits. He advocated “creating a true cost-of-living for seniors,” meaning using the chained-CPI cost-of-living adjustment formula to further reduce benefits. Chained CPI is lower than the CPI used to adjust everything else.

Brady’s only accomplishment, other than public office, was serving as an executive at the Rapid Cities (ND) Chamber of Commerce before he moved to Texas..

In addition to gutting Social Security he pushes for lower taxes, deficit reduction and Continue reading “Chinese women retire 17 years earlier than us, but moronic scolds want to hike pension age even higher”

China has destroyed our factories and jobs because of its unfair import VAT policy, not just currency manipulation

BL-US-china-tradeAlmost 80% of the Senate (78-20) just voted for a measure that would cite foreign nations for manipulating the value of their currency, although the enforcement of any penalties was not and will not be addressed. But the real purpose of the vote was to give Democrats license to vote for Fast Track authority without seeming to be enemies of the middle class worker and the small businesses of the United States. The illusion will probably stick, as many hail this “bipartisan” action as the way to markedly reduce unfair trade practices – particularly by China.

Even the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s CEO, explained: “… economists say such ma­nipu­la­tion is no longer prevalent and that the longtime poster child of currency ma­nipu­la­tion — China — has gradually stopped doing it.” So much for reality, when politicians have a chance to curry favor with big multinational benefactors for campaign cash and future lush (two martini lunch, anyone?) private sector jobs.

Continue reading “China has destroyed our factories and jobs because of its unfair import VAT policy, not just currency manipulation”

NY Times Wong says I’m right

More on swine flu battle in China. This is from NY Times:

By EDWARD WONG
Published: November 11, 2009

CHANGGANG, China — Few farmers in this southern village gave much thought to the epidemic that had begun spreading rapidly in the United States early this summer until the authorities sealed its 100 residents off from the outside world for about a week. It turned out that a visitor from California had shown symptoms of the swine flu virus, or H1N1, when he arrived for a funeral.

The village of Changgang was quarantined for about a week. Quarantines and medical detentions are among the aggressive measures that Chinese officials have taken to slow the transmission of H1N1, which quickly spread worldwide after being diagnosed first in North America.

To protests from around the world, China isolated entire planeloads of people entering the country if anyone on the plane exhibited flulike symptoms. Local authorities canceled school classes at the slightest hint of the disease and ordered students and teachers to stay home. China was virtually alone in taking such harsh measures, which continued throughout most of the summer.

Now, Chinese and foreign health officials say that some of those contested measures — more easily adopted by an authoritarian state — may have helped slow the spread of the disease in the world’s most populous country. China has not had to cope with a crush of cases, and it began administering a vaccine for swine flu in early September, the first country to do so.

Foreign officials also say that China demonstrated an unusual openness to sharing information about H1N1 with its citizens and other governments, in contrast to its secretive approach to the near pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, a few years ago.

That is not to say that China has been spared. On Tuesday, Health Ministry officials reported an “explosive” growth of H1N1 on the mainland because of the onset of winter, with 5,000 new cases in the previous three days pushing the total to more than 59,000.

At least 30 people have died here after contracting H1N1.

Exact data on the virus are hard to pin down; many more cases are suspected than confirmed, and countries often use different methods to identify cases. Still, the indications in China are much more positive than those in India. Like China, India has more than a billion people, many living in poor, rural conditions, and was exposed to the virus after it had been identified in the West. The Indian Health Ministry has reported 505 deaths.

The United States, where the virus was spreading before it was identified in the spring, has reported more than two million cases and about 4,000 deaths in a population of 300 million.

More on flu battle efforts pay off in China

U.S. = 4,000 swine flu deaths; China = 53


The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been playing games with the press by changing the way it has reported Swine Flu deaths and hospitalizations. The impression given was that swine flu is nowhere near as dangerous as other countries believe – nations that used quarantines, for example.

The original reporting of swine flu estimated all cases. That was then changed to hospitalized cases. In early September deaths and hospitalizations prior to 9/1/09 were excluded from reports in a “reset.” Recently, most of the hospitalized cases were eliminated from totals because suddenly they were not applicable.

The truth can sometimes even be found in reports by the Associated Press, as the following dispatch reveals:

LONDON – Health experts say extraordinary measures against swine flu — most notably quarantines imposed by China, where entire planeloads of passengers were isolated if one traveler had symptoms — have failed to contain the disease. Despite initially declaring success, Beijing now acknowledges its swine flu outbreak is much larger than official numbers show.

China’s official count of nearly 70,000 reported illnesses with 53 deaths is dwarfed by estimates of millions of cases with nearly 4,000 deaths in the United States, a nation with about a third of China’s population. Dr. Michael O’Leary, WHO’s top representative in China, says there has been a dramatic spike in Chinese swine flu cases recently and those reported by the government are only “minimum numbers.”

“We have new cases occurring all the time,” he told The Associated Press last week. “There’s always more deaths than we could possibly know about.”

So, the argument is that the United States has about 80 times as many swine flu deaths as China, which has four times the population, and that means that the Chinese authorities are hiding the deaths – not that quarantines work?

We have made no effort on a federal level to contain this disease, and it has been the CDC hiding deaths by misleading the press and changing report methods that is at blame. It is reasonable to say our government has caused unnecessary deaths, and the government of China has acted for the safety of its citizens.

The question is why? The only answer is protecting the economy from the results of less shopping because people are concerned about catching a sometimes fatal disease. Remember “Jaws?” Don’t close the beaches because it will hurt tourism.

China fights flu

Commies buy American Hummer name and may close its Shreveport, Lousiana, factory in 2012

Hummer, the off-road vehicle that once epitomized America’s love for hulking trucks, is now in the hands of a Communist Chinese heavy equipment maker.

General Motors Co. and Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. finally signed the much-anticipated deal to sell the brand today.

Tengzhong will get an 80 percent stake in the company, while Hong Kong investor Suolang Duoji, who indirectly owns a large stake in Tengzhong through an investment company called Sichuan Huatong Investment Holding Co., will get 20 percent. The investors will also get Hummer’s nationwide dealer network.

Hummer’s Shreveport LA plant is set to produce the vehicles through 2011, so the likelihood is closure by the commies in 2012, according to reports. There is no truth to rumors that the brand name will be changed to “Hummel”, as that is already trademarked by a figurine outfit.

China taxes imports heavily, saving jobs and their economy

One of the dirty secrets that big business and government leaders hide when praising so-called international free trade and globalization, is that it only applies to the stupid American taxpayer.

The reason is simple – the Value Added Tax (VAT), which is used in Europe, China, etc. to promote exports and restrict imports, so that jobs and manufacturing stay in their countries.

Take this example. An American company sets up a factory in China. It builds a bicycle and ships it to the U.S. There is a VAT of 17%, but because it is an export, the money is refunded, so there is no tax. It arrives in America, and since we lowered tariffs, it gets here tax free.

Now, in the opposite case. We build here, tax profits, and when it arrives in China, their government gets a 17% VAT, plus tariffs.

That’s why our jobs are going overseas to factories in foreign countries, where our products are always hit with VAT and nothing is collected here for their products coming into the country.

Big business opposes the VAT for America. It would force them to use much more American labor and manufacturing resources.

Big retailers would have to pay more for imports because of the VAT, and they would then have to decide between buying imported or local products.

And in China they don’t need a million nickel and dime taxes because of the VAT, which supplies about half of all the money to run the national and local governments.

China started to implement VAT in 1984 on 24 specified taxable items.

In December 1993, the State Council of China created “The Provisional Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on Value Added Tax”,which was put into effect on January 1, 1994.

The official China ministry description of the VAT outlines the revenue sharing:

“VAT is administered by the State Administration of Taxation (the import VAT is collected by the customs on behalf), and the revenue from it is shared between the central government (75%) and local governments (25%). VAT is the major source of fiscal revenue for the Government of China, particularly the central government. In 2002, the revenue from VAT is 814.1 billion yuan, accounting for 47.61% of the state total tax revenue of the year, which is the first biggest tax in China.”

The Provisional Regulation of P.R.C on VAT, requires the tax should be paid by enterprises or individuals who sell merchandise, provide processing, repairing, or assembling service, or import goods within the territory of the People’s Republic of China on the added value derived from their production, selling merchandise, providing industrial repairing or assembling service. Exports receive rebates, because most other countries apply their VAT on imports (except the U.S.)

The VAT is very similar in Europe, India, Mexico, Canada and in almost every other country in the world

French may take Iraq, America French fried

Remember when France decided not to support our war and occupation of Iraq?

And some media neo-cons derided French culture? And some called french fries, freedom fries?

It was fashionable at the time to promote the idea that we were helping Iraq, building relationships, and bonding in a way that meant guaranteed oil and great trade relations.

During this past week, China and BP won the only oil contracts awarded so far by Iraq (see previous post), and on Thursday French Prime Minister Francois Fillon visited Baghdad with a delegation of officials and businessmen to raise France’s profile in Iraq.

“Iraqis were keen to remove themselves from American guardianship, and that is because they want to do business with other investors that they know well, among them the French,” a French aide told journalists.

Iraqi spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said: “Our country wants France to be a strategic partner, particularly in trade, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has indicated his desire to see bilateral relations grow significantly.”

The French arrived some 48 hours after US troops withdrew from cities under a security pact initiated by Iraq.

An aide to the French premier said there is plenty of international corporate interest in business deals with Iraq.

“Security is the major worry for the French,” he said. There was no offer to send troops from France to Iraq, where some 4,300 Americans have died so French business vultures can pick the Iraqi carcass.

Among those travelling with Fillon and Finance Minister Christine Lagarde were the heads of oil major Total, the Lafarge building materials group and European aerospace giant EADS. After meeting Maliki in Baghdad, Fillon traveled to Sulaimaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan to meet President Jalal Talabani who, the French prime minister said, will make a state visit to Iraq in November, according to AFP.

Several agreements were signed during Fillon’s visit, including technical cooperation in domestic security and the military sector, an aide said. There are some nice tanks and planes from America that France could take apart for new ideas for their military.

France undertook to help Iraq in its application to join the World Trade Organisation and to support proposals for a trade partnership between Iraq and the European Union.

Where’s Hillary while the French and others eat our lunch? Probably, answering calls from her New Democrat and DLC buddies, who voted for the Iraq invasion.

America, Frances, Iraq, what’s the difference when your view is global?

The good news is that we can’t be accused of colonizing Iraq for our interests, because so far, we did it for France, BP and China, who are now in the position to reap the benefits of our sacrifices.

Our guys are killed, Iraq’s oil goes to China, Britain

This news today from Wall Street Journal:

BAGHDAD (Dow Jones)–A consortium of BP PLC (BP.LN) and China’s CNPC Tuesday won the contract for Rumaila oil field – the largest oil field in Iraq and one of the largest in the world, the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said. The consortium had been seeking $3.99 remuneration for each extra barrel of oil produced but after last-minute negotiations Tuesday morning accepted the Oil Ministry’s terms of $2 a barrel. The companies had bid to increase output in Rumaila to 2.8 million barrels a day. The field is currently producing 1.1 million barrels a day and is estimated to have reserves of around 17 billion barrels.
This is the first contract awarded in Iraq’s first oil and gas field tender open to international companies in nearly three decades. -By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires

Few of the readers of this blog recall the 100,000 troops from China who assisted the United States in holding down the violence in Iraq during recent years. Readers don’t remember because there are no troops to recall, no aid for the cause, but now they reap the profits.

Oddly, the Chinese and British Petroleum (BP) were willing to accept less than a few dollars a barrel in payments, while U.S. oil companies were looking to get in the mid $20s. Sounds like American oil companies were way too greedy in their demands. What were they thinking with such ripoff bids? They must have thought they were bidding for rights in U.S. national parks or offshore.

In reviewing the fact that most bids were refused for oil development today (except BP and China) there is an interesting analysis from the Houston Post, in a town where oil firms are divine:

 

As much the licensing round’s cheerleader and key driver, al-Shahristani has also been its scapegoat. His critics have pointed to Iraq’s inability to even reach its prewar production levels as evidence that he has failed in his job. Others gripe that the bidding round will open the door for an economic occupation of the country at a time when it is pulling away from the U.S. military presence that many in Iraq likened to military occupation.
The poor showing could further strengthen critics’ arguments that he put too much emphasis on the bidding round while ignoring easy repairs to the sector that could have been carried out over the past couple of years.
The minister, however, has insisted he was working for the country’s best interest.
Iraqi officials have estimated that based on crude oil at $50 per barrel, the companies could earn around $16 billion in total. Iraq, meanwhile, would get over $1.7 trillion. As part of the contracts, the companies have to provide so-called “soft-loan” signature bonuses to the government that total about $2.6 billion.
The company response to the bidding sends a clear signal to Iraq, said analysts.
It says “the companies will still be there, but they’ve made it clear what their baseline is, and that they can’t go into the red even to get access to Iraqi oil,” said Ciszuk. “The risks are just too great.”