Archive for the ‘Responsible Spending’ Category

Obama’s SOTU: We Must, We Might, I Want

February 13, 2013 Leave a comment

“…and I want a fire truck, and a baseball glove, and a cowboy hat!”

So seemed to go President Obama’s State of the Union wish list. It sounded like Christmas with captive parents in the form of the Congress and a few Supreme Court Justices. Repeatedly, he went so far as to challenge Congress to pass bills, that he would immediately sign.

Interestingly, but hardly surprising to me, was the president’s line that the government should work for the many, not the few.

Why else was this State of the Union such a collassal waste of time for anyone who bothered watching it? Read more here for my thoughts and a few jabs…

Who’s got a bad case of the “gimmes”?


Danger – Cliff Ahead!

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Reid/Pelosi, Boehner/McConnell

Another day, another fiscal-cliff deal gone down the drain. John Boehner, already taking heat from the right for his softening stance on raising taxes, has come out with another offer to the president and the left. Called “Plan B”, the plan formerly had the support of Nancy Pelosi. Plan B would set the lower limit for raising taxes at the $1 million level. Plan B is very similar to the same bill that had Senate Democrats’ support in 2010.

For her part, in an interview with Andrea Mitchell, Pelosi now says she only supported the plan to “smoke out the Republicans”, and see at what level they would consider raising taxes. Pelosi was negotiating purely in bad faith, it seems. She did not have anything serious to bring to the discussion, and she was merely wasting time. That, or she is negotiating from the standpoint of “getting an inch, and taking a foot”. Whatever her motive was, it is plain to see how destructive and pointless it was.

Mitch McConnell says he would support the Plan B design, but he would do so with reservations. McConnell would rather have a bill that did not raise taxes on anybody. With Boehner’s support of this newest plan, numerous other House members raised objections to the new tax considerations, but they seem to recognize that without any plan, taxes would greatly rise. The gambit now is to “shield” as many people from the massive tax increases as possible. Sean Duffy, Jim Jordan, and Raul Labrador all seemed lukewarm at best to the prospect of voting for any tax increases, with Labrador refusing to even share his criticisms.

Called out for his part (or non-part) in the fiscal-cliff talks was Harry Reid. One Republican adviser said Reid has been on the sidelines for the cliff negotiations. Reid has also claimed that, despite numerous revisions to their positions, and despite the most recent offer, Republicans “…have threatened to abandon serious negotiations”. Perhaps more proof that he is merely running interference for the White House, Reid also claimed that President Obama has not heard from Boehner since Boehner’s new offer on Monday.

President Obama has balked at every offer the Republicans have proposed so far. Threatening a veto of everything has him in the position of a win-win situation. On one hand, if nothing happens, and taxes explode, he can continue to spend, thanks to the new revenues. On the other hand, if the Republicans cave in, he can both claim he negotiated the excellent deal, and privately, he can tell his sycophants he made Boehner and the Republicans submit. White House officials are also now claiming that the President will refuse to negotiate with Republicans out of principle. That of course, will allow President Obama (and Reid) to claim they attempted to negotiate, but were simply prevented from passing any legislation by the blocking Republicans (yet again).

To the left, the worst thing to come of failed fiscal-cliff talks is that President Obama has to postpone leaving for his Christmas vacation. They face: finally getting huge tax increases, yet again, furthering the narrative of a blocking, do-nothing, Republican party, and they get huge military cuts. Merry Christmas, America.

Tuesday’s Gone (or Why the Left Will Lose)

November 4, 2012 2 comments

Tuesday the nation goes to their polling places, and makes the most important decision they have ever made. If that sounds hyperbolic, it should not. The current president has shown himself more than willing to accrue bills and pass them on to future generations than any other president. This president has shown more wanton disregard for American life and liberty than any other as well. Obama, more than any other president, has sought to insert differences were there are none, incite hatred where there was none, and prevent the normal activities of Americans from occurring.

Stephanie Cutter

Obama campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter

The left wasted any chances that they had winning a presidential re-election a few years ago. The people represented by Democrats, took a backseat to the left’s dream of massive healthcare overhaul, and the passing of Obamacare, with numerous legislative tricks, near-bribes, and threats. After the Democrat-controlled Congress forced Obamacare through, they held “town hall” meetings that scared them, as many of the taxpayers slowly began to learn of the implications of Obamacare: new, massive government oversight, huge new tax bills, mandatory compliance, just to name a few.

As if ignoring some of their most loyal voters was not enough, Democrats seemed to find all new special interests to kowtow to, with the Obama inauguration. The country saw massive amounts of money given to unstable businesses under the guise of support of “green energy”. Later the country learned of the owners’ and CEOs’ ties to the Obama administration. Big campaign bundlers saw money thrown at their businesses, even after it was known that the business models were completely unfeasible.

Seeing the old supporters’ devotion die away, Obama seems to have decided to build new coalitions – all with their own price tags, of course, but none  paid by Obama, himself. Why would he spend his own capital when he has a massive taxpayer base to draw from? The green lobby, the illegal immigrant communities, and the newly built (and reliant) throngs of welfare and food stamp recipients. Threaten them with the loss of their goodies, and you have a reliant, reliable, voting base. If you can create more of them, than supporters that you have lost as a result of the welfare costs, it works out – it is a wonderful, government, pyramid scheme.

The left’s standard-bearers are often surly, abrasive, and falsely aggrieved. Harry Reid is happy to share rumors from nameless sources to smear Mitt Romney. Nancy Pelosi sponsors and supports legislation with unknown contents. Asked tough questions, both Stephanie Cutter and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz keep straight faces while spewing lies and feigning ignorance. Jay Carney parrots the same talking points he is given, usually not even attempting to answer the questions asked of him.

The president formerly campaigned on the transparency he would usher in – the most transparent administration ever, he promised. Asked questions about the most recent scandals, Obama tells us frequently, “It’s being investigated, and I cannot speak on it…” Then he sends proxies, like Jay Carney, out to the podium to say nothing to the press pool. The president has repeatedly balked at providing details on scandals, like Fast & Furious and the Benghazi slaughter. Instead of telling the American people any details, everything is an ongoing investigation, or that the records are “sensitive.”

If the country had a true, fourth estate, instead of a complicit puppet of the administration, we might expect some forced answers. Instead, many reporters seem perfectly happy to tow a party line for Obama, asking the lightest and most worthless of questions. The reporters want to retain their access to the White House, so it is best not to ask any tough questions that may endanger that (worthless) access.

Finally, the left plays a dangerous game with Americans when it comes to disaster relief. Obama visited Joplin, Missouri, but it was after a trip to Europe, six days later. When the BP oil disaster occurred, it showed the administration’s true colors. We saw the Obama response, finally, after 14 days of nothing. Just in the last week, we have seen the president’s response to hurricane Sandy. FEMA runs out of water, citizens are using hallways and stairwells as latrines, others in New York are rummaging through garbage for food, and Obama campaigns. For a president that espouses and so willfully uses the power of the federal government, to NOT do so in this situation is inexcusable.

David Axelrod

Senior Adviser to the President, David Axelrod

If it is still unclear, my point is this: the American left is morally, and monetarily bankrupt. In their hurry to jump over each another to make their sound-bytes, and to score points against their “enemies” on the right, the left either sold or lost their souls. To gain the support of their new, special-interest friends, they abandoned their old supporters, the people who made up their fathers’ Democratic Party. The new, more progressive left, clashes with a pragmatic America, that would rather have jobs and income than welfare and hand-outs. The new left abandoned their old ideals, and seemed to become a fully Keynesian, tax-and-spend monster, whose appetite for “goodies” could never be sated. The left is now more excuse, than execution.

After Tuesday’s landslide, the left will face two choices: continue with their big government planning and spending (which they have attempted and seen wholly rejected by Americans, since 2010), or reject the past few years, and once again embrace some sort of pragmatic and realistic reforms that help the country as a whole, not just their friends and sycophants. Given THIS sort of rhetoric, I fear the left still has not learned its lesson.

The Nonsense Nobel Winner

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Paul Krugman

I found Friday’s Op-Ed column in the New York Times, by Nobel Prize winner in economics, Paul Krugman, both misleading and trite. While I do not know how much he might be paid for this column, he makes the case this week that he is overpaid, no matter the amount. He has used his personal soap box in this column, repeatedly to attack what he believes are Mitt Romney’s beliefs, impugns the GOP’s belief in small business creators and owners, and repeats the progressives’ favorite lie, that the GOP just does not care about the common-man, the middle class in America.

Krugman mentions the newly released video of Mitt Romney, where Romney says that 47 percent of the country is now “unreachable”. Romney says he is not interested even trying to reach 47 percent of voters, not because they are middle-class working stiffs, as Krugman would have you believe, but because that 47 percent have already decided who they are voting for. There are 47 percent of people who buy into the Obama message of dependence and victim-hood. To Romney, it would be a matter of wasting time and resources, going after a demographic that simply is not interested in Romney’s philosophy. Perhaps that is a novel concept – getting a good return on an investment – for progressives, having seen the past three years of waste after waste perpetrated on the American people by Democrats, while they swear that any time now the economy will sputter to life once again.

Krugman goes on to say the GOP should think better of the 47 percent, setting up a false dichotomy – that either the GOP should love them, as the left does, or that the GOP hates them. To Krugman, there are no other options. I find it funny, though, that the left’s love for them means giving them healthcare bill that saddles them with a crippling new tax, and that will necessarily raise their insurance premiums by allowing their children to remain on the parents’ policies until age 26. The left are also the ones that think a lifetime dependent on the government is a wonderful thing. That is a warped type of love…

Krugman goes on to bemoan a tweet by House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, on Labor Day. Krugman’s issue is that Cantor praised people who took chances to build their own businesses, and did not quite give organized labor the due deference Krugman thought it should receive on “its day”. The horrendous tweet Krugman named?

That is pretty terrible. Eric Cantor had the gall to compliment people who have worked hard, and built their own businesses — and he did it on Labor Day, too! Doing far more damage was Krugman’s pointing it out, and then warping what Cantor meant, to fit into Krugman’s own purpose. Krugman found fault with Romney’s RNC speech too – the mortal sin? Romney never once said the word, “worker”! Obama, in contrast, said “worker” many times, Krugman tells us – and apparently that, and not the actual effects of policy mean something to Krugman.

Krugman also took Romney to task for his opinion about immigrants. Romney said in his remarks that immigrants have come to America “…in pursuit of ‘freedom to build a business’.” Krugman criticizes Romney for not mentioning the workers again. So, according to Krugman, unless Romney mentions them, he cannot stand them – again, another false dichotomy.

Eventually, Krugman stumbles onto a decent point, but then he becomes guilty of drawing a false conclusion from it. He blames big money for the Republican’s “disdain for workers”. He claims that the big money has “bought” the entire right-wing, and are now running it as they please. Krugman goes on to blame also Ayn Rand and adherents to her philosophy. It is the owners and operators of businesses, Krugman tells us, who are all responsible for economic activity.

While Krugman spews forth many points, and many things that he considers self-evident “facts”, he is off base most of the time, and even when he approaches what might be considered a cogent point, he seems to swerve suddenly back into the left-wing weeds. He does little more than attack Mitt Romney with false issues (citing Romney’s lack of mentioning a group as some sort of failing or sign that he hates the unsaid group). At other times, Krugman projects the actions of the left onto the right (big money buying sway? I wonder if Krugman’s ever heard of George Soros?) Finally, Krugman tries to tie the whole column together with the hackneyed point that the entire right-wing has become a party of wealthy, non-thinking, idiotic, drones – if that is not projection, I do not know what is.

The inane Op-ed column can be read here:

Wisconsin Wins – What Can We Glean From Them?

June 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Walker and Kleefisch

Celebrating, Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch

Yesterday’s monumental wins by Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch are still being celebrated today by the right, and bitterly bemoaned by the left. As the left put their faith in exit polls shared by media sources MSNBC and others, the races looked like they would be fairly close. Despite the president’s reluctance to show his support for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (until an 11th hour tweet), maybe it was somehow possible Barrett still had a good chance to keep the race close.  As it turns out, the race was not really that close at all, and for all their spending, democrats were left with a big bag of nothing, going 0-2 in the recall races.

As an analytical guy, I think that there are some very strong, very significant, takeaways from this special recall election.

  • The Wisconsin voters did not buy the rhetoric that having public employees pay a fraction of their own insurance costs would somehow put them into the poor house. The voters, who typically pay more for their own insurance, and had to then pay a lion’s share of public sector employees’ costs had enough. After the past few years of burgeoning governments, and massive spending by both state and federal governments, voters let their votes speak for them: enough is enough. The left would be careful not to neglect the message that progressive policies, and its empty rhetoric, is now at an all-time nadir.
  • Despite media sources’ best efforts to sell the president as a friendly every man, and someone who’s infinitely more capable than his administration and his track record shows, he has still only has lukewarm support among some big names, even on the left. The biggest story of this election is the revelation that Bill Clinton, patron saint of democrats, still has a distaste for Obama. In the last presidential election, against Hilary, a shocked Bill Clinton revealed that the Obama campaign “played the race card on me…and they planned to do it all along.” Is it the result of two massive cults of personality, butting heads? The result of the greatest contemporary democratic president (Clinton) and the man who’s billed as the greatest democratic president (Obama)?
  • We also learned that state democrats and other Barrett supporters were angry at the Democratic National Committee for not spending any funds against Walker and Kleefisch, but that the DNC helped in other ways. I wonder if the “extensive resources” mentioned in the Kos article is in any way tied to the out-of-state buses taking people to polling places? Could this be a result of the national DNC attempting to save and pool money for the lackluster Obama campaign throughout this summer and fall? Might the national elections this fall mirror these attempts to unfairly sway elections, but on a much, much larger scale?
  • Lastly, the distinct lack of enthusiasm on the left may continue to spread as college graduates struggle to find jobs where there are none, and high school students, who will generally do odds jobs or other minimum wage work, see those jobs evaporate as over-qualified adults take the positions. The distinct lack of job creation, coupled with an influx of new workers, added to a stagnant economy overall, does not bode well for Obama’s re-election hopes. As he admitted himself, if he could not turn around the economy, he would be a one-term president.

Leadership for Dummies

May 27, 2012 1 comment

I was recently reading a book by British author, economist, and historian, Niall Ferguson, called “Colossus“, where he compared the British Empire to the American pseudo-empire. Ferguson made it very clear that the American version was far differing in its outcomes than the British, which had numerous factors working in its favor. One of the most glaring differences was that British citizens were far more willing to move to colonies and conquered areas, both to build and develop a British-style administration and to improve infrastructure over decades, where American citizens would rather simply stay put.

David Landes

David Landes

There were a number of factors Ferguson cited, in a list by historian David Landes, that are tactics that second- and third-world countries’ economies and legal systems should use to improve and grow. Upon reading this list, I grew dumbfounded as many of the things enumerated within that list, are the polar opposite of the policies of President Obama and his administration, in the last three years in the United States. Instead of moving “Forward” (if you will forgive the use of the already hackneyed campaign slogan of Obama’s), the president acts in ways that are completely contrary to common sense and pro-American beliefs. I post the list below (also posted in one of Ferguson’s previous works, “Empire“) along with my thoughts as I read the tactics:

1. secure rights of private property, the better to encourage saving and 

This item put me in mind of the egregious Gibson guitar raids in the summer of 2011. Secure rights of private property? Hardly – the U.S. government twice raided the Gibson factory, citing a law from  1900 (more commonly known as the Lacey Act, found here with amended text), that was originally written to protect the trade of feathers for hats. Amended and broadened in 2008, the law now includes plants. Despite legal sales, approved by Indian and Malagasy authorities, the U.S. Feds raided and seized Gibson wood stocks anyway.

2. secure rights of personal liberty...against both the abuses of tyranny
and...crime and corruption

Can we honestly say the administration has done this? My mind goes to the loss of Brian Terry’s life, as a result of the “Fast & Furious” scandal, a flawed, illegal, haphazardly executed gun selling operation. Refusing to apologize to Terry’s family, A.G. Holder still balks at producing the papers Congress is requesting from his D.O.J. Another example that is also connected to this program, is the ongoing scuttlebutt that the program’s design was to negatively effect the power of the 2nd Amendment.

3. enforce rights of contract;

I do not feel like there is much more to say than bringing up the government take over of the student loan program, and its take over of healthcare in the country. The government came in, and while promising one thing, delivered everything but.

4. provide stable government...governed by publicly known rules;

Have we seen a good example of this from Democrats? Between their “deemed to have passed” legislation, and a completely “tabled” Senate (also led by Harry Reid and Democrats) – can we honestly call this a “stable government”? With state Congresses fleeing the states to prevent votes on hotly contested legislation, who needs rules and stability? There are plenty of easily understood rules, but if the people in charge choose to ignore them, what do we have?

5. provide responsible government;

Responsible government? Again, I’d like to bring up “Fast & Furious”. Eric Holder continues to serve as Attorney General, and the threat of contempt of Congress does not seem to phase him. Another thought is the numerous, unanswerable czars of the president’s and the regulatory agencies (think: E.P.A.) that are using their power (with little, if any) oversight and accountability.

6. provide honest government...[with] no rents to favour and position;

How could I not think of the Solyndra mess? Loaning millions of dollars to the business, only to saw it wasted, as the company blew through it, at its (well-known and purposely overlooked) high burn-rate, and where it was later revealed that a big investor was George Kaiser, one of President Obama’s campaign bundlers. As far as no favor to position – how about the benefit of being a Congressional member? Access to a legal way to get in on nearly impossible-to-join IPOs and investments, that normal Americans were held out of?

7. provide moderate, efficient, ungreedy hold taxes down
[and] reduce the government's claim on the social surplus

While the cry of the left is “Well, Bush did it too!”, when they defend Obama’s questionable actions, whatever Bush may have done does not hold a candle to the extent of Obama’s odious actions. Obama has expanded the deficit more than any other president in history. How would he and his party seek to pay for their bills? Taxes, of course. Create some new ones, and expand the old ones – simply tax, tax, tax, then they can spend, spend, spend. The administration raided Medicare Advantage funds to help pay for Obamacare (to the tune of $204 billion).

So, if the list contains directions for a well-maintained and least troublesome government, why would the president do anything otherwise? If I were a cynic, I might offer Rahm Emmanuel’s quip, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Create a crisis, and then ride in to save the day. The only problem is that there are far too many crises, and too many unaccountable people, following their own rules, in Washington.

The Man Of a Million Double Standards (part 1)

March 20, 2012 Leave a comment

The Obamas

This week, the news brought us the usual reports of violence, danger, and other assorted evils beyond our southern border. To hear the number of times news anchors frighten American listeners with the tales of Mexican citizens and government officials’ beheadings and murders, you could be forgiven for wondering if the anchors are mixing up stories of the Middle East violence with that of Mexican drug cartels. Violence may never have been as elevated as it is in northern Mexico at this moment, partially thanks due to lackadaisical administration starting with Janet Napolitano and stretching to Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. From officials like these, we are told the border with Mexico has never been safer — the same border through which thousands of guns were: purchased in the United States, given to Mexican drug traffickers, transported haphazardly, and promptly lost in Mexico. Of course, the repercussions of that entire fiasco are still being felt – thousands of Mexican citizens are being threatened and killed, and travel advisories are issued for Americans to steer clear of entire Mexican towns. They simply aren’t safe, we are told. Unless, you are a 13 year old member of the Obama family, with  dozens of Secret Service agents on a spring break jaunt. Then, you might be ok. Showing what can only be described as a “Rosie O’Donnell-esque” double standard when it comes to firearms (they’re fine if they are protecting someone near and dear to them, but you dumb Americans really are not to be trusted with such things…)

Now, I have no issue with the First Daughter having a vacation, and even taking friends along (and I certainly do not wish them to travel without adequate safety precautions) – what I do take issue with, is a president who tells the American people, with a straight face, that we need to engage in “shared sacrifice”, and get this country back to work. A president who, after ordering that, sends his family on an international trip for fun.

So this is not just a Democratic understanding; this is an understanding that I think the American people hold that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle-class folks who are working hard every day, from the most vulnerable in our society — we should not be asking them to make sacrifices if we’re not asking the most fortunate in our society to make some sacrifices as well.

Is there a dearth of culture here domestically, Mr. President? Is spending dollars here at home (and stimulating the American economy) not needed any longer? There are plenty of Americans still feeling the sting of your inability to reinvigorate the economy, and Harry Reid’s continuous Senatorial budget failings. You could have actually followed your own advice, and even earned some kudos from some Americans, but instead, you have apparently decided, like so many other Americans, that your onerous advice and rules should not apply to you and your family. The average American cannot afford to send their junior high school family member on international spring break trip, and they surely could not pay for the required security detail necessary (I doubt you could either – am I wrong to assume it is taxpayer-funded?)