The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard…
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On Sabre/Farelogix Merger, DOJ Mustn’t Undertake a Misguided Antitrust Boondoggle

The U.S. travel technology firm Sabre may not ring an immediate bell, and perhaps you’ve not yet heard of its proposed acquisition of Farelogix, but it looms as one of the most important antitrust cases to approach trial since AT&T/Time-Warner. The transaction’s most significant aspect is the way in which it offers a perfect illustration of overzealous bureaucratic antitrust enforcement, and the way that can delay and also punish American consumers. Specifically, the transaction enhances rather than inhibits market competition, and will benefit both travelers and the travel industry by accelerating innovation.  That’s in part because Sabre and Farelogix aren’t head-to-head market competitors, but rather complementary businesses.  While Sabre serves customers throughout the…[more]

January 13, 2020 • 03:53 pm

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By the Numbers: Obama's Economic, Jobs and Deficit Performance Is the Worst On Record Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, February 05 2015
Obama's economic record can only be labeled one of failure.

Given what we know now, only Barack Obama could attempt to characterize his economic record as one of achievement rather than historic failure. 

Only Obama could attempt to characterize his record on deficits, which dwarf those of any other president that preceded him, as a successful one.   

And only Obama could characterize today's record federal spending and incoming tax receipts as "senseless austerity." 

First, the sluggish economy. 

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that despite the highest level of consumer spending in almost a decade, the U.S. economy grew just 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014.  For the entire year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew just 2.4%.  That marks the ninth consecutive year of GDP growth below 3% on an annual basis. 

To put that into proper perspective, the average U.S. quarterly growth rate since World War II has been 3.3%.  During a post-recession recovery, which in this case began all the way back in June 2009, growth is typically higher than that average due to the "bounce" effect.  Yet under Obama, we've rarely witnessed a quarter above that 3.3% average, and not once over an entire year.  According to the federal government's economic growth records, which date back to 1930, America has never endured a stretch equaling the current nine-year streak without GDP growth exceeding 3%. 

In terms of jobs and income, never in our history has median income actually declined during a post-recession recovery.  Yet Obama has achieved that dishonorable distinction.  He offered himself as a transformative political figure, but this couldn't have been what he had in mind. 

Meanwhile, the percentage of the U.S. population with jobs has fallen to lows not seen since 1978, before women fully entered the workforce.  And despite the promises made at the onset of his trillion-dollar wasteful "Stimulus," unemployment exceeded 8% for the longest stretch in recorded U.S. history. 

Accordingly, Obama's economic record can only be labeled one of failure. 

Regarding his record on federal deficits and debt, Obama's attempted triumphant tone is even more shameless. 

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, outstanding public debt now totals $13 trillion.  On the day he entered the White House, it was $6.3 trillion, less than half today's total. 

Prior to 2009, the year Obama entered the White House, the largest nominal deficit in U.S. history was $459 billion in 2008. 

During Obama's tenure, deficits have reached $1.41 trillion in 2009, $1.29 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, $1.1 trillion in 2012, $680 billion in 2013 and $492 billion for 2014.  Even accepting for the sake of argument that the 2009 deficit is attributable to Bush - even though Obama governed for 3/4 of that fiscal year and introduced such spending initiatives as the failed "Stimulus" - he must still account for the subsequent trillion-dollar deficits over which he alone presided with a Congress controlled overwhelmingly by his party. 

By way of comparison, for the record, the last deficit during a year in which Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress was a puny $161 billion in 2007. 

Moreover, the claim from Obama and his apologists that his deficits resulted from the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghan wars is flatly false.  The Bush tax cuts arrived in 2003, yet 2007 witnessed a record peak in federal revenues.  Accordingly, the federal beast was hardly starved.  And as for the two wars, spending on them actually peaked in 2007, yet the deficit was miniscule. 

While deficits have indeed declined over the past two years, credit more properly flows toward the Republican House that provided some obstruction.  Never since the Korean War has federal spending declined for two consecutive years, but that has occurred following the budget sequestration agreement that Obama claimed would wreck the economy. 

So what is Obama's proposed course as he winds down tenure, staring at a Republican Congress elected to interrupt his agenda?  Higher taxes and more spending.  After proposing a budget that spends $4 trillion and increases taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars, Obama told CNN's Fareed Zakaria that it's now time to put an end to "senseless austerity." 

Fortunately, according to a new Rasmussen survey, the American public maintains dramatically different priorities: 

"President Obama is expected to propose a near-$4 trillion federal budget that includes tax and spending increases, but most voters still prefer to cut spending and don't see a need for higher taxes.  Just 16% of likely U.S. voters favor a federal budget that increases spending, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Fifty-four percent (54%) like a budget that cuts spending, while 21% think spending levels should remain about the same." 

That might not, standing alone, cause Obama to reconsider.  But at the very least, it should encourage and fortify leaders in Congress who retain the power to stop him. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was the first African-American soloist to appear at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Perhaps if Democrats had not spent the last three years calling Trump a Russian stooge and traitor then they would have some credibility today. However, the special counsel investigation and the unceasing march to impeach Trump for whatever they find now makes them impossible to take seriously. Despite their best efforts there was no public outcry for impeachment and no break in the ranks by Republicans…[more]
 
 
—Joseph Moreno, Former DOJ Federal Prosecutor
— Joseph Moreno, Former DOJ Federal Prosecutor
 
Liberty Poll   

Should witnesses be called for the Senate impeachment trial, which could take weeks or even months, or be restricted to the record and evidence already produced by the House?