Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2012, Humor, Intelligence, Liberalism, Politics, Taxes | Tags: Face the Nation, Longtime Host Bob Schieffer, Presidential Aide Dan Pfieffer
President Barack O’Blameless sent out aide Dan Pfieffer to explain that the president was absolutely not to blame for anything whatsoever, and that the White House had only learned that there was an Internal Revenue Service when everyone else did, and they were all shocked, shocked, and they didn’t know anything about Benghazi either. What was needed now was a little cooperation from the Republicans who were trying to make partisan mountains out of partisan molehills. Republicans were just trying to go on fishing expeditions. Breach of public trust, false allegations, partisan swamp. Inexcusable, top-down investigation yadda, yadda.
Bob Schieffer was not having any of it. You sound exactly like the Nixon administration. Mr. Pfieffer, this is the executive branch, and the president is supposed to be in charge of it. The President is right out there when it’s something good, claiming credit, so how come he took three days to comment? Why are you here? Where’s the White House Chief of Staff? Serious problems, I shouldn’t make fun, but really! “Is this president out of touch?” Highly amusing, not convincing.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2012, Law, Statism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: A Crooked Agency, Partisanship Gone Rogue, The IRS Scandal
I don’t think I have ever heard anything quite a shocking as Steven Miller’s testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday on the targeting of organizations that might have been able to raise money to oppose the reelection of Barack Obama.
” I do not believe that partisanship motivated the people who engaged in the practices described in the Inspector Generals’ report. …Foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection. …We provided horrible customer service. It’s my belief that what happened here is not illegal, but it was unappropriate. It’s my belief that what happened here was not illegal, but I suppose that there are some facts that might come out that would indicate otherwise, but it’s not my area.”
So he said he is accountable and pushed up his previously announced retirement by a couple of weeks. Mistakes were made. Always the passive voice. In an earlier day he might have been run out of town on a rail.
So the United States Treasury Department is crooked. The agency within that department that collects taxes and has the legal power to investigate citizens’ and businesses’ financial affairs believes that they are free to conduct their investigations in a manner which will determine the results of a national election. But that’s not illegal, it’s just trying to be more efficient. Not inappropriate. You cannot trust the Internal Revenue Service. They are not only untrustworthy, but they do not understand what is wrong with what they have done.
The President of the United States, in complete defiance of manners, custom, and the separation of powers defined by the Constitution, which he took an oath to defend, called out the Supreme Court of the United States in the middle of a State of the Union Speech to tell them they were wrong in their Citizens United decision that said corporations has the same right to donate money as unions did. So it starts right at the top, in spite of any allegation of innocence.
Targeting of pro-life groups began in 2009. An IRS agent told the Coalition for Life of Iowa that approval of their application for tax-exempt status was withheld. They were told to send a letter to the agency signed by the entire board—under perjury of the law—stating that they do not picket, protest or organize any other groups to picket or protest any Planned Parenthood clinic.
The Obama administration was aware of the IRS scandal five months before the election. Ace of Spades notes that it’s about a union: the National Treasury Employees Union (NETU). Anything indicating conservative leanings like “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” were not only denied tax exempt status to which they were entitled, donors to right-leaning think tanks names were illegally given to their opponents, but other agencies were directed to investigate such groups. The Tax Professor’s blog includes a long list of links for those who want to understand what the IRS is up to more clearly.
Meanwhile, you might want to investigate the Cayman Islands or other tax sheltering venues.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2012, Intelligence, Law, National Security | Tags: Hidden Till after the Election, Unaware of Problems?, Who Gets Blamed?
All of the scandals, with their talking points and lack of answers to questions — all of it, which apparently the President was completely unaware of until he found out right when the rest of us did — the purpose of every bit of it, was to cover up unpleasant facts that might have been detrimental to the President’s reelection. Mull that one over.
We are expected to believe that the President of the United States whom everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees is a skilled politician, and who never seems to forget politics for a moment, who has been widely accused of conducting a permanent campaign, and seems to enjoy making campaign speeches above anything else — that political person was unaware that there was a disruption in Benghazi with a dead Ambassador and three more dead Americans that might reflect badly on his campaign if the facts were known.
Although he had made his contempt for the Tea Party and Republicans in general widely known, he was completely unaware that some “low-level” folks in a back room in Cincinnati were working hard to keep any possibility of donations to the Romney campaign put off till after the election. This is the same man who was inadvertently caught on a live mike telling President Medvedev to let Vladimir know that he would have more options after the election. This was also the same president who ordered defense contractors not to issue pink slips or make any announcement of coming unemployment until after the election (in direct conflict with the law that required them to announce) and he promised to pay their fine or waive the fines.
But being entirely aware that these actions might be seized on by the other side to make him look bad, went to great effort to put anything unpleasant off “till after the election” — but he was entirely unaware of the activities of the IRS that were directly related to his reelection effort. Here’s the president’s statement:
I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. And as I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you’re from — the fact of the matter is, is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust. That’s especially true for the IRS.
First, we’re going to hold the responsible parties accountable. Yesterday, I directed Secretary Lew to follow up on the IG audit to see how this happened and who is responsible, and to make sure that we understand all the facts. Today, Secretary Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS, because given the controversy surrounding this audit, it’s important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.
Second, we’re going to put in place new safeguards to make sure this kind of behavior cannot happen again. And I’ve directed Secretary Lew to ensure the IRS begins implementing the IG’s recommendations right away.
Third, we will work with Congress as it performs its oversight role. And our administration has to make sure that we are working hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed. Congress, Democrats and Republicans, owe it to the American people to treat that authority with the responsibility it deserves and in a way that doesn’t smack of politics or partisan agendas. Because I think one thing that you’ve seen is, across the board, everybody believes what happened in — as reported in the IG report is an outrage. The good news is it’s fixable, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to work together to fix it.
All very impressive, except that the Commissioner of the IRS was due to leave in June anyway, so requesting and accepting his resignation is just another cover-up. And we have a long history of this president never, ever being responsible for anything. Was it Jay Carney who tried to blame the IRS scandal on Bush, because the commissioner was a Bush appointee?
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2012, Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: "The Progressive Influence", A Government Beset, Internal Revenue Service
Once a scandal emerges, more people feel free to talk, or want to proclaim themselves on the correct side of the controversy. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gets to handle all the financial information of citizens and businesses who pay taxes because they don’t give out information to anyone, whether government official, press, or private citizen. Apparently the IRS office that handles applications for tax-exempt status has felt free to release the applications and tax returns of citizens, organizations, and businesses that do not hew to the reigning party line freely.
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted and harassed conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle gave them nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending. The initial spin was that the perpetrators were low-level people in some back office in Cincinnati. It seems that groups that seemed to be associated with the Tea Party, patriotism, the Constitution, the Declaration, were pro-Israel, expressed any opposition to the Federal Government, the National Debt, the Budget Deficit.
ProPublica, undoubtedly on the advice of attorneys, wants to get out ahead of the scandal and admit that they received, and made public information from applications or returns, assuming that they were newsworthy. Oddly, they did not target any groups with the word “progressive” or who received millions from the Sandler Foundation or George Soros” Open Society Foundations. ProPublica was initially given millions from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure” meaning very liberal. The group has won two Pulitzers for their investigative reporting — attacks on oil companies, the health care industry, opposition to fracking, and coal, of course:
Throw in a couple of investigations making the military look bad and another about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and you have almost the perfect journalism fantasy— a huge budget, lots of major media partners and a liberal agenda unconstrained by advertising.
ProPublica is not the only Soros-funded organization stacked with members of the supposedly neutral press. There’s the Center for Public Integrity, which received $651,650 from the Open Society Institute in 2009 alone. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) which received close to $1 million from Open Society from 2003-2008. They lean to stories on climate change, illegal immigration and the evils of corporations.
We are constantly told that journalists are neutral, and it isn’t true. They bemoan the influence of money in politics, yet make no mention of the influence of money in journalism. They need be more up front about their connections, their funding and who sits on their boards. There is a reason why they are losing money, losing subscribers and losing advertising.
And trust for the IRS is gone. Everybody lawyer up. Obama seems unconcerned. He does not take this seriously, any of this. He has never felt, as far as I can tell, that the words he says particularly matter. What he says today doesn’t necessarily stand. He might say something different tomorrow. Whether it’s because he doesn’t think you will remember, or that he doesn’t think you’ll care, I don’t know. He got a full four Pinocchio’s from the Washington Post for his claim that he identified the Benghazi attack at the time as a terrorist attack.
All these scandals are inflating into vast bubbles, and the more you find out, the more questions there are.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Health Care, Politics, Statism, United Kingdom | Tags: Inexorably Rising Costs, ObamaCare Exposed, Understanding Insurance
There has been a flood of articles recently on the forecasts of increasing costs for healthcare. The Society of Actuaries has said that health claims will shoot up an average 32% under ObamaCare. Some states will see claims rise as much as 80%, while only five states could see them drop a little. The reason is that millions of the uninsured will get coverage, or be forced to get coverage, and that will cause them to double their health spending. That will create upward pressure on premiums.
Many employers will dump their coverage for workers once ObamaCare kicks in, and those people will be more expensive to insure than people already in the individual market. In other words, higher premiums for almost everybody, and the “Affordable Care Act” will become much less affordable.
Back in 1960, people paid almost half the nation’s health care tab out-of-pocket. By 22012, that figure had dropped to just over 10% with the rest paid by government health programs or increasingly generous (tax subsidized) workplace health benefits. Natural reaction by ordinary people: when it’s free, you use more of it. And today there are far more inducements to use health care than there have ever been.
There have been campaigns for fitness, campaigns against obesity, with the intent of addressing “rising” health care costs, but is the awareness of fitness, good health, strength, diet, dental health, not to mention all the diseases that may strike that are causing the rising.
Saturday and Sundays on the radio are given over to paid programming for alternative medicine and alternative potions. “Health Food stores” offer goods free of any suspected unhealthy ingredient; and all things “natural,” and “organic” for you and your pets.
Each special ingredient is the one thing that, taken religiously, will give you a longer, healthier life. The latest seems to be green coffee beans, it was white tea for a while, and pomegranate seeds before that, and some Inca berry. And if all that weren’t enough, the First Lady of the United States and the Mayor of New York will remind you that they are keeping official tabs on what you do.
This intense focus on your potential health will drive you to ever-increasing use of the health care establishment. Increasing prices? The administration responds with a yawn. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in charge of administering ObamaCare and its mandates and waivers, said those who are paying more will get more generous coverage, so what’s the big deal.
“Some of these folks,” Sebelius said, referring to those hit by ObamaCare’s price spikes, “have very high catastrophic plans that don’t pay for anything unless you get hit by a bus. They’re really mortgage protection plans, not health insurance.”
Astonishing. The HHS Secretary, a former state Insurance Commissioner, does not understand the principle of insurance.
Insurance operates on the principle that you pool the cost of the big risks that don’t happen often, but would be difficult for most people to pay. It is the big catastrophe that makes insurance a good deal. Insurance for every little thing that you could reasonably easily pay for out-of-pocket raises the cost of everything because you are paying administrative fees in addition to the cost. If you expect to spend $10,000 for groceries next year, you wouldn’t buy grocery insurance, nor would you expect your auto insurance policy to pay for new windshield wipers or oil changes.
What Obama and his administration are attempting to force down everyone’s throats is not insurance, it is massively expensive prepaid health care.
Attempting to drive down all out-of-pocket spending simply pushes up the cost of health care in its entirety. At the same time it creates an incentive to use more health care. That’s not all the incentives though. As increasing use raises the cost of health care, the government will be forced to devote more effort towards cutting costs, and forcing doctors and suppliers to cut their costs — seeing more patients in less time, ordering fewer tests, using fewer supplies, cutting back on personnel, and destroying the quality of medicine.
The incentive for doctors and hospitals becomes not only cutting costs, but finding a way to be adequately reimbursed. This is where Britain’s National Health Services (NHS) find themselves. Old people die sooner because of inadequate care, linen not changed, drinking water not supplied. Doctors retire early, fewer of our best and brightest go into medicine. Doctors have to be imported from other countries. We are already seeing the effects of the tax on medical devices. They are laying off workers, cutting back. The United States leads the world in new technology in medical devices, but when they are forced to cut back, it is innovation that gets cut.
ObamaCare began with a lie, that medical costs were rising inexorably. Not true. Costs were declining as new diagnostic tools and new medicines saved lives and expense. Democrats, behind the closed doors where they were constructing the plan, were not concerned with improving American health care, they were concerned with gathering in more Democratic votes by more voters dependent on Democrat largesse. Their admiration for Britain’s National Health Service spoke of the ability of NHS to capture British votes for the Labor Party, while Democrats told themselves how wonderful it would be when poor people could get health care for free.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Energy, Health Care | Tags: Debt Up $5 Trillion, Our Debt is 103.8% of GDP, The Economy is Not Improving
It has been widely reported today that economic growth for the fourth quarter didn’t exactly come in — up, as promised — but the economy shrank. The average forecast among 50 economists surveyed earlier this month was for 1.6% GDP growth, which is not anything to celebrate, but the economy “unexpectedly” declined 0.1%, the first decline since early 2009.
The economy shrank last quarter. The deficit topped $1 trillion last year. U.S. debt shot up $5 trillion over the past four years, and joblessness is at 7.8%. Not only that, but our debt is now 103.8% of our Gross Domestic Product.
The Obama administration’s automatic response — “it’s the Republicans fault.” Oh please. That’s getting tiresome.
So there you go. Nice going, Mr. President. But why were you running around late last year telling everyone how great the economy was doing? Liberals were quick to blame “spending cuts.” Jared Bernstein, a former Obama economic advisor complained the “austerity at [a] time when we need a fiscal push” is the problem. Oh right, another stimulus is just what we need, the others have worked so well. Brilliant!
I don’t know just what cushy jobs all the departing Obama economic advisers have found, but I’m sure they are big money ones. Remind me never to invest in any company they are advising.
Did nobody notice that the moment election results were announced, the Dow Jones Industrials promptly dropped by 300 points? Did nobody notice the massive layoffs by American business in advance of the end of the year? a) it doesn’t matter. b) that’s a lot more people without jobs or c) it’s the Republicans fault?
There are things happening all over the country and all over the world that one might notice. Millions of people are picking up their lives and their businesses and moving out of California to any place with lower taxes and less regulation. Ditto, Illinois. Ditto, New York.
Texas, which has cut back on spending significantly, is a magnet for those departing other states, and Gov. Rick Perry is talking about refunding taxes to the citizens. Republican governors in other states are slashing spending, enacting right-to-work laws, and reforming entitlements, and making at least part of the U.S. economy healthier.
France’s new Socialist president put in a 75% tax rate on the rich, which was promptly overturned by the courts, and he has promised to reinstate. Gerard Depardieu has departed via Belgium for somewhere in a Russian dependency. Former French President Nicolas Sarcozy may move to London. And many wealthy French already have.
Democratic Party communications director Brad Woodhouse tweeted that this was “the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see.” Uh huh. Slow to non-existent growth has become the new normal. Joblessness has been over 7% practically forever.
The AP suggests: “…defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.” That has worked so well so far. This is not a learning administration. They only know one song.
In a recent interview NAACP CEO and president, Ben Jealous told the MSNBC host that Black Americans are doing far worse than when President Obama first took office. White people are doing a bit better, Black people are doing far worse. The Labor Department reports that black unemployment was at 12.7 % when President Obama took office. As the employment rate for the nation dropped below 8%, black unemployment increased to 12.9% and then to 14% in December.
The flow of regulation has increased exponentially since Obama began his second term. Big business has found themselves targets of media attacks and government regulations. The combination of big media and big government would make any executive or entrepreneur think long and hard about starting a business or trying to grow.
The United States has 497 billion tons of recoverable coal in the United States — enough to provide electricity for 500 years at current consumption rates — coal has the potential to be an important resource for cheap energy far into the future. President Obama famously promised to bankrupt the coal industry, apparently because of a misunderstanding that the CO2 from coal-fired plants contributes to “global warming.”
Hasn’t been any warming in this century, and may not be any for another 30 -35 years. CO2 has increased in the atmosphere, but there has been no warming. None. Coal-fired generation in the U.S. has decreased from a 48% share of the generation market in 2008 to a 35% share in the first six months of 2012.
It is just not promising, not promising at all.
Filed under: China, Economy, Election 2012, Foreign Policy, Media Bias, Politics, The United States | Tags: Media Bias, Poor Record, The Fact-Checkers
Do you remember Polifact’s “Big Lie of the Year?” Well, of course the fact-checking record of the fact checkers is not exactly pristine. It remains highly tinged with partisan bias, and a distinct lack of self-awareness. This was a big one, though.
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
The public, of course, did not express collective outrage. That was Polifact pretending more attention that existed. And they did not accurately represent what Mitt Romney said in the ad:
[Mitt Romney] Says Barack Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs.
Here’s what Reuters reported on Thursday:” Fiat and its U.S. unit Chrysler expect to roll out at least 100,000 Jeeps in China when production starts in 2014 as they seek to catch up with rivals…”
Mitt Romney was also scoffed at for mentioning dangers in Mali.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Law, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: Direct Costs to You, Hidden Till after the Election, Regulatory Excess
Republicans complain about “Big Government” all the time, but I’m not sure that the threat is well understood. We need a government because anarchy is not good. In this country we have assigned certain tasks to government. Making and enforcing a basic framework of laws is necessary to make the country function and become livable. We are a nation of laws.
It is not enough for government to do those certain assigned tasks, they always want to do more. Way more. You might think they would proudly do their assigned functions extremely efficiently, and so well that the citizens would rise up and applaud. Well, no.
Some governments have constitutions that explain what the people are allowed to do but the government can do whatever they darn please, and they do. The government of the European Union isn’t exactly elected as we understand the word, and they don’t really have to report to anyone. So they have gotten all silly about the shape that bananas must have, and requiring farmers to write the hen’s name and address on the eggs they sell, and not paid very much attention to what should be their primary function — efficiently managing the government’s money, and the relations between the states.
Perhaps those folks we elect, and we really have to start looking closely at their qualifications, don’t really understand the process of making laws. The two houses of Congress are inclined to make a big general law of thousands of pages that nobody reads, but here’s the troublesome part. They assign the particulars, figuring out the nasty details and how much it will cost and how much it will interfere in the lives of the citizens who elected them, to an agency. The government is swarming with agencies, offices, bureaus and whatnot, and the first thing you know there are ten different agencies all doing the same thing, and nobody knows if any of them are doing a good job. And we pay for all the duplication.
Congress does not want to be blamed for regulations. So that’s the part they pass on. But regulation costs — big time. Wayne Crews who investigates regulation for CEI estimates the cost of regulation to the American economy is around $1.8 trillion a year. But the costs come right down to us all at the level of our household budget.
During the first three years of the Obama Administration, 106 new major federal regulations added more than $46 billion a year in new costs for Americans, That is almost four times the number and five times the cost of the major regulations issued by the Bush administration during their first three years. President Obama announced, with the usual fanfare, in January 2011 a new get-tough policy on overregulation. He acknowledged that “rules have gotten out of balance” and “have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” He promised a comprehensive review. Thirty-two new major regulations appeared that year, increasing the costs by $10 billion annually along with $6.6 billion in one-time implementation cost.
The White House put a whole slew of regulations on hold during the campaign. There were quite a significant number of things that had to wait until the election was over. No sense letting the public know about things they wouldn’t like. How many new regulations will business have to deal with? Nobody knows. The administration has failed to issue a report, required by law, that would set out Obama’s regulatory agenda — due every April and every October. Spring and Fall 2012 are still missing. The reason? There are as many as 4,100 rules in the pipeline, and the administration kept them bottled up for “review” until the president was safely re-elected, because many of them will cost jobs. Couldn’t have that right before the election.
Here’s one example, courtesy of ObamaCare, governing vending machines and restaurants, requiring them to display nutritional information. The regulations were expanded to include grocery stores and virtually all food service chains. The estimated cost: $1.1 billion with 1.4 million additional paperwork burden hours.
The National Association of Manufacturers has pointed out that new EPA regulations in the pipeline could total up to $1111 billion by govt. estimates and $138 billion by industry estimates. Construction costs could total another $500 billion. Jay Timmons, CEO of the manufacturing group warned of a” devastating ripple effect” that could be felt throughout the economy if federal rules are not relaxed or delayed. Some manufacturers are likely to close their doors for good. Can’t have those Ohio voters finding out about that until after the election.
The Federal Register, published every week day and containing all proposed rules and regulations, most of which govern business activities — the left is very suspicious of business — was 81,000 pages in 2011 alone. Few of these regulations meet the “necessary”criteria, but they can surely have a devastating effect on the economy, and they will raise the cost of everything. Regulations are not free, and not necessarily needed.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2012, Freedom, Law, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: Democrats Don't Criticize, Republicans Can't Stop, The Compliant Media
Have you noticed that Democrats do not criticize their own? Republicans, on the other hand can’t stop.
Democratic candidates do not make gaffes. They occasionally misspeak, but if so, it was nothing worth mentioning, just a slip of the tongue, nothing to see here, just move along.
The Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schulz said remarkably false and offensive things at every opportunity, yet they were not gaffes, nor did she misspeak, for she is an official of the Democratic party and cannot be in error. No one ever acknowledged that she might have said anything awry.
Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Obama Campaign Manager, came out with blatant lies about Governor Romney, was called on it, and continued to lie. Unacknowledged. When a Democrat is criticized, the party rallies round.
President Obama frequently faces the problem of saying one thing today, and quite the opposite on a previous YouTube video that appears on the internet promptly. Fortunately the president never makes a gaffe, the things that Republicans claim he said are just Republican lies and anyway that ‘s what he pays Jay Carney for, to explain away the inexplicable.
You may have noticed in the recent election campaign that Mitt Romney made all sorts of ridiculous claims about the economy, which is recovering nicely, unemployment, which is recovering nicely, and did not recognize that General Motors was once again No. 1 and Obama ordered the killing of bin Laden. Mitt Romney, a rich plutocrat, was doing what Republicans always do — promising more tax cuts for the rich.
President Obama spent little time on the economy which is recovering nicely, and concentrated on the really important issue which was how rich and uncaring, Romney was, how mean, woman-hating (he kept them in binders, and wouldn’t let them have contraceptives), plutocratic, rich, sends jobs to China, rich, corporate raider, uncaring, racist, is mean to animals, makes his dog ride on the roof of his car, fires people, and he is really, really rich.
Republicans were deeply disappointed in the outcome of the election. They believed that voters cared about jobs and the economy, which they apparently did. But voters thought that President Obama cared about them, and after more than a year of being told how mean Mitt Romney was, voters thought maybe he didn’t.
Republicans immediately saw clearly that they lost the election because they didn’t appeal to Hispanics. And Romney committed all these gaffes, and let Obama talk about his dog on the roof. Republicans went through the long list of things Mitt Romney shouldn’t have said. They also blamed Paul Ryan, John McCain, Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Karl Rove, Tea Party activists, Moderates, RHINOs, Republicans, Conservatives, Establishment Republicans, Republican voters, the Religious Right, those who were too concerned about social issues, and those who don’t care enough about social issues.
It has been 70 days since election day, and Republicans are still busy blaming each other. It’s what Republicans do. Democrats are always convinced that an electoral loss and the accompanying accusations are an indication that the Republican Party is over, failed, done, and Democrats will win forever and consign Republicans to the proverbial ash heap of history.
Republicans can’t help the blaming and dissension. It comes naturally. Republicans care about the free market, free people, small and responsive government, and low taxes for everyone. Republicans are deeply worried about the profligate spending of the Obama administration. They do their worrying in public. Because they care so much about these things, they each have different ways of dealing with the problem. Arguing in public is what citizens are supposed to do; not plot behind closed doors, cooking up and passing bills that no one has seen or read. It is what the Founders intended.
This is also why we have three divisions of government. Democrats hate to be disagreed with, but they are supposed to argue and debate with their opposition. The debate is supposed to be slow and deeply considered, not “my way or the highway.” President Obama’s latest political slander is a case in point. The president cannot stop campaigning and dividing.
But it seems as if what’s motivating and propelling at this point some of the House Republicans is more than simply deficit reduction. They have a particular vision about what government should and should not do, so they are suspicious about government’s commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research. So they’ve got a particular view of what government should do and should be.
That is not a case of ‘misspeaking. That is saying that because your opponents have the nerve to disagree, they should be slandered as uncaring. Obama has presided over four years in which 46 million Americans have descended into poverty, with no sign of a recovering economy. Let’s see how Jay Carney deals with that.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Health Care, Politics, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: President Barack Obama, Spendaholic!, There is No Spending Problem
It has often been said that there are only so many stories, and we just keep repeating the same ones over and over. In children’s books there is always the ugly duckling who, teased and bullied, grows up to be a swan. Another version is the Cinderella story, the beautiful girl in rags, cleaned up, is discovered by the prince and becomes a queen, or the ordinary boy who one day pulls Excalibur from the stone and is recognized as Arthur the King of Britain.
I suspect that this is Obama’s story. He always knew that he was destined for something transcendent, and now he is there — in the center of the world’s stage, destined for true greatness. He has assembled a team of wise courtiers to cope with lesser matters, and he is reforming his cabinet to go forth and accomplish his goals, defeat the Republicans utterly, give them no quarter, provide a least a trillion more for Obama to spend in proving his transformational generosity and importance.
Although he has held the nation’s highest elective office for four years, James Freeman suggests, it is if someone else has been presiding over the record federal spending and deficits. Just this last week, as the federal government bumped up against its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, Mr. Obama demanded the ability to borrow even more. He spun it this way: “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed.”
An amazing statement, not only for its sheer arrogance, but because there in no spending reform over which Barack Obama will negotiate in good faith. His goal is to defeat Republicans completely, not negotiate with them. He does not grasp the notion of being president of all the people, though he sometimes treats national unity with a rhetorical flourish. He has attempted at every opportunity to go around Congress, and accomplish his goals by executive order, so they are his very own accomplishments, unsullied by constitutional or legal restrictions.
Congress, of course, can pass any laws it chooses to, but they do not become law without the president’s signature. It wasn’t Congress that was pushing funding on Solyndra, nor Congress who denied the Keystone XL Pipeline. Can Obama possibly get away with blaming congressional Republicans for his spending increases that they opposed?
But there is no spending problem. Obama has said so. There is only the threat of a Republican House not extending the debt ceiling enough. Senator Jeff Sessions has pointed out that the president proposes growth in spending over and above the Budget Control Act baseline, of approximately an additional $1 trillion.
He wants more than $170 billion in stimulus spending, including $26 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $50 billion for transportation spending, and $90 billion for an extension of the payroll holiday (which is considered on budget spending.) The unpaid for “doc-fix” to Medicare reimbursements is $394 billion.
Stimuluses don’t work. Extending unemployment benefits keeps the unemployed from finding work. If the transportation spending is California’s train to nowhere, we don’t need that; if it’s roads and bridges we’ve been there once too often. More payroll holiday? Social Security is already in enough trouble without depriving it of more funding. And when you pay doctors less, fewer doctors will see Medicare patients. Policies have consequences, and bad policies have bad consequences.
The goal of the Left is power. They tell themselves that reducing “inequality” will help the poor, but we’ve been down this path before. The aim of community organizing was to get banks to make more loans to people who could not afford to pay them back. When you get someone into a home where they cannot afford to pay back the mortgage, they also cannot afford to keep up the property and such homes gradually become slums. You cannot take enough money away from the rich to make the poor completely comfortable. It doesn’t work.
What does work is a growing, healthy economy. Jobs become more plentiful, people go back to work, and when government is smaller and less intrusive, people can manage their lives just fine. Freedom does work. We have the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression specifically because of the Obama administration’s policies, of relying on Keynesian economic stimulus which didn’t and has never worked, and an assortment of other bad liberal ideas.
Small business, 50 employees and up, is the engine of growth in an economy. The Obama administration has deluged them with regulations, taxes, rules, overcriminalization, health care costs and complete uncertainty. They don’t know how to plan, they don’t dare hire or expand because they don’t know what to expect. Will the economy tank? Will the next EPA regulation increase costs too much? Will some department suddenly decide that my operation is somehow illegal? We have seen examples of all of these things.
Those who don’t understand the limits of power, the consequences of their actions, or the results of their arrogance and ignorance — are guaranteed to fail. Those who do not understand human nature and man’s need for individual liberty do immeasurable damage.
Roosevelt made the Great Depression last far longer than it should have, with bad policies, and with his policy of “bold experimentation.” Obama said in a recent aside that maybe he would try some bold experimentation just like FDR. I’m afraid that he meant it.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Election 2012, Law | Tags: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Obama's Economic Team, Unemployment Benefits
Another Cabinet Secretary is departing. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced her resignation today. President Obama thanked her, expressed his reluctance to see her go, and described her as a particularly valuable member of his economic team.
Yesterday, I watched a video in which she praised the extension of unemployment benefits — because more unemployment benefits helped to create jobs. ? There’s a lot of strange and weird magic going on in the president’s economic team’s deliberations. Add an entitlement— create a job?
Republicans always worry about extending unemployment benefits, because statistics show that people are more apt to go out and find, or create, a job for themselves, when the unemployment benefits run out and doing something becomes a necessity. This is not a lack of compassion on the part of Conservatives, but simply a recognition of human nature. I’ve known any number of people who, upon losing their job and receiving unemployment benefits, promptly went on an extended vacation, figuring that they’d look for a job — later.
Democrats are fixated on Keynesian economics, and not even Lord Keynes’ real ideas, which he later recognized didn’t work. The idea that if you just inject money into society in any old place, that it will increase demand and thus get the economy working again has never worked. It didn’t work for FDR, and hasn’t worked for anyone else, but they still — believe.
ADDENDUM: The media reports I hear on the radio about Ms. Solis’s departure always begin with “The Highest-Ranking Hispanic” in the Obama Administration. Could the media possibly give up on “diversity” and racial division? It isn’t race that matters, it is accomplishments or lack of accomplishments, and the content of their character.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Election 2012, Health Care, National Security, Taxes | Tags: 7.8% Unemployment Rate, Long Slow Decline, The Real Rate is 10.7%
Friday’s jobs report, we are told, is evidence of slow and steady progress. The 155,000 new jobs created in December documents nothing so much as the continuing decline of the Obama economy.
The unemployment rate of 7.8% appears to be the same as when Obama took office, that’s good, isn’t it? It is only 7.8% because the size of the work force has declined so much. Millions have given up looking for work and aren’t being counted as unemployed. If you account for the enormous drop in labor participation, the real unemployment rate would be 10.7%.
Here’s how you tell that it is spin. To break even (not even to make progress), just to break even, the economy would need to create 200,000 new jobs each and every month. So it isn’t slow progress, but slow decline.
The great pool of long-term unemployed was a staggering 4.8 million people in December. Average weekly earnings for working people has declined about 1% over the past two years. When the tab comes in from all the companies that are laying off people because they can’t afford to pay for their health insurance under ObamaCare rules, or switch them to part-time so they don’t have to, at the end of January, it’s not going to be pretty.
Democrats don’t understand incentives or consequences. And Obama believes that he can just tell people that everything is getting better, the economy is looking up, just takes a little more time, and they will continue to believe him. Hey, it worked in the election. So with an economy that he must really know is faltering, what does he do?
He forced tax hike through Congress that his very own favorite economists say will slow growth and cost jobs. He’s continuing to push forward on ObamaCare even though it’s scaring prospective employers from adding new jobs out of fear of its exorbitant new costs. The EPA has a whole stack of expensive, unnecessary and economy damaging regulations about to be released. And he has no intention of cutting back on spending at all. He said so. So he went back to Hawaii to finish his vacation. He’ll be back in time for his inauguration.