Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, Statism, Taxes | Tags: Getting Poorer, Median Point in Wealth, Recovery? Not in Net Worth.
From the New York Times via Paul Caron, the taxprof:
Median household net worth has fallen 36% since 2003. The typical household is now worth a third less.
Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.
Funny, President Obama keeps telling us how much the economy has recovered, and all the new jobs.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, History, Law, Politics, Progressivism, Statism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Separation of Powers, The Imperial Presidency, The U.S. Constitution.
House Speaker John Boehner told his colleagues on Wednesday that the House of Representatives will sue the executive branch of the government to defend the Constitution’s separation of powers. The Speaker, said the Wall Street Journal, is showing more care that the laws be faithfully executed as the Constitution demands than is President Obama.
The Congress, Mr. Boehner said in his memo to the House, is suffering institutional injury under Mr. Obama’s “aggressive unilateralism” which is a pretty fair description of his governing philosophy. When the president suspends or rewrites laws across health care, drug policy, immigration laws, and so much else— elected legislators are stripped of their constitutional role.
The basic reason behind this step is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for regular political order. For example, he has unilaterally revised, delayed or reinterpreted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on his own thirty-eight times.
Everyone would prefer that the Congress and the President would settle their disputes through the customary political debates and arguments. House members represent the people of their district by population, and are closest to the public for they must face reelection every two years. A senator represents a whole state. The president represents all the people of the country. It was designed by the Founders to slow things down, so that poorly considered laws were not enacted in haste, in the hopes that would result in better law.
In the current climate, potential laws are not getting through Congress. The lapdog media would blame it all on the Republicans, but the blame lies directly in the hands of the Majority Leader of the Senate—who refuses to allow laws passed by the House to even be voted on. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.
The Founders did not consider the possibility that a future president might pay no attention to his oath of office, or just take the law into his own hands. They assumed that a president’s honor and character would mean that even when he disagreed, he would abide by the rules.
“The major reason to involve the judiciary in this case is Mr. Obama’s flagrant contempt for the regular political order,” said the Wall Street Journal.
This president does not feel restrained by the Constitution that he swore to uphold. When Congress will not pass the laws that he wants, as he has said, “I’ve got a phone and a pen.” He will just take action on his own by “executive order.”All presidents have used executive orders from time to time, but none have ever used executive orders to rewrite laws duly passed and signed into law.
Far from a partisan caper, this implicates the foundation of the U.S. political architecture. The courts generally presume that individual Members of Congress lack the “standing” to make a legal challenge, but Mr. Obama is stealing inherent Article I powers that no party other than Congress can vindicate. Mr. Boehner said he will seek a House vote authorizing the lawsuit and put it under the direction of the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group.
A single Congressman may not have standing, but Congress has the institutional standing to sue the president and are thus asking a constitutional question that has not been joined at the courts. More than a few judges and Supreme Court Justices seem to be concerned that Mr. Obama’s conduct is undermining the rule of law and political accountability. Just this week, the Supreme Court slapped down the EPA for defying the plain language of the law in the name of anti-carbon policy. More rebukes may be coming with cases about recess appointments and the ObamaCare contraception mandate.
Last summer, Mr. Obama proclaimed that “in a normal political environment” he’s ask Congress to fix laws such as ObamaCare, but since the House disagrees with his priorities, he’ll just go ahead and fix them himself without legislative consent. But then again, the president can hardly get through normal comments to the press without proclaiming that he is the President of the United States or The Commander in Chief. President Bush often said that “he was the Decider,” but that was not a proclamation of his importance, but a humble expression of the weight of the decisions that he must make. There’s a significant difference.
Thanks to Mr. Boehner, the courts will get a chance to weigh in on whether Mr. Obama or his successors can exercise imperial powers.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Election 2014, Health Care, Immigration, Intelligence, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The United States | Tags: Everybody's Outraged, It's Not Real-It's a Tactic, Silencing the Right
This one made me laugh. We have always said that for liberals, it’s feelings that matter, not facts or principles. In fact they have said that they don’t have principles—that they react on a case by case basis. They respond to events. And it is certainly an overdose of feelings that leads to the total excess of outrage. Not a day goes by without a new outrage.
The source of all the outrage is simple. When the unknown Illinois state senator spoke to the Democratic Convention in Boston in 2004, they were thrilled. He was so—elegant, tall and slim, with a dazzling smile and a warm baritone voice. His story was so inspiring. His father herded goats in Kenya, and his grandfather was a humble cook for the British. It was better than Abe Lincoln and his log cabin and splitting rails. They were thrilled. When Obama was elected to the presidency of the United States, he promised to transform America, make it fulfill all their dreams, and they knew that the future would be better and better.
Well, it didn’t work. Things didn’t keep getting better. The Republicans kept criticizing, and fighting back against every little thing. Obama was stuck with the worst economy ever because of Bush’s recession, and Republicans tried to blame it all on him. It wasn’t Obama’s fault. Republicans just needed to shut up, to stop criticizing, to give Obama a chance. Obama promised better health insurance: if we liked our insurance we could keep our insurance, we could keep our doctor if we liked our doctor, and if would cost us way less. Then the IRS and the VA and trading terrorists for a deserter, and Russia invaded Crimea, and ISIS invaded Iraq. Just one thing after another, and rather than admit that their dreams of a new world were misplaced, they started scheming about how to silence Republicans. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United that affirmed the right of corporations to have a political voice, it seemed possible that there was no way to shut them up. They would keep right on spoiling everything.
If they can just get people fired up, angry, outraged— they can get Republicans banned, blocked, opposed, held up to ridicule, fired, and above all convince the people that Those on the Right are evil, beyond redemption and must be voted out of office. It’s just another leftist tactic.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Immigration, Law, Politics, Regulation, The Constitution | Tags: All About Immigration, Economics Professor David Brat, Eric Cantor Defeated
This is a very big deal. House majority leaders have been defeated in general elections on rare occasions, but in a primary? The last was in 1899. Eric Cantor’s defeat in a primary is clearly all about immigration, which is, I believe, a deeply misunderstood issue. And it will awaken any slumbering members of Congress.
The usual number of illegal immigrants given is eleven million, but nobody really knows. We have lately had an astonishing influx of unaccompanied children and mothers with children. The word circulating in Central American countries is that the U.S. currently won’t deport children, hence the influx. The estimate is that there will be 90,000 children this year. This of course is enhanced by the president’s attempt to override Congress’ rejection of the Dream Act— which is widely publicized in Central America.
The Technology giants want more H-1B visas. They claim they cannot find enough STEM graduates to fill their needs. This is palpably untrue, because we have large numbers of STEM graduates who cannot find jobs. It is also true that they can get immigrant technology workers for less, and the nature of their visas makes them compliant. The Technology companies are awash in cash, it wouldn’t hurt them to start training their own workers if they are not satisfied with their applicants. The Chamber of Commerce is also demanding more immigrant visas in hopes of driving wage costs down, and telling business not to support Republicans if they don’t cooperate. Business does not agree.
Democrats believe that being welcoming to illegals will enhance their electoral chances with Hispanics. Some Republicans buy into this argument, assuming that amnesty will give them more votes from Hispanics.
Polls, on the other hand, show that Immigration policy doesn’t even rank among the top three political issues that Hispanics care about most, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Hispanics care about education (57%), jobs and the economy (52%) and health care (43%) are the important concerns. Just 32% said immigration.
The American people deeply resent the open borders policy of the Obama Administration. We have laws, and Americans deeply believe in the law and the Constitution. America, for years has had enormous success with welcoming immigrants and turning them into proud American citizens. We have been blessed with the energy, entrepreneurial enthusiasm and contributions of immigrants, and they have not only prospered, but become the proudest advocates of American liberty. We work hard at turning our immigrants into citizens, in contrast to most European countries who have accepted large numbers of immigrants, but never really accepted them. You don’t, for example, become a German by immigrating to Germany.
I remain a big-tent Republican. I don’t expect Republicans to march in lockstep as the Democrats do. You cannot be a thoughtful person and march in lockstep to party demands.We have only the past to guide us and the future is an unknown. The Founders intended for us to argue and discuss and fight over our ideas as we search for a solution to the problems we face.
I have found the battle between the “Republican establishment” whoever they are, and the Tea Party (who are not some wild-eyed radicals, but your next-door neighbors) offensive. The Tea Party has chosen some excellent candidates, and some lousy ones. The Republican party now has a deep bench of very successful young governors whose success in their states is a beacon to those who hunger for jobs and economic improvement. They have accomplishments to brag about, proven competence and experience.
Parts of the Tea Party are more conservative than the established party. We must not, however, get into a battle over just how pure conservatism must be. If we want to win elections, we have to be a welcoming big tent, not an exclusionary clique. If you haven’t noticed, often members of the same family can’t get along. I don’t think you will find Republicans who want to re-write the First Amendment, nor many who do not believe in the rule of law— though we may disagree with quite a few activist judges.
Americans are worried about jobs and the economy. They will be more agreeable to immigration reform when the number of people of working age who are so discouraged they have given up looking for work starts significantly declining. We have a president who does something to destroy jobs with one hand, as he talks about how much he wants to create job opportunities on the other.
Congratulations to David Brat. He seems to be a well-qualified candidate. We always need more free-market economists.
ADDENDUM: More information. Although David Brat was supported by the local Tea Party, he got no support from the national Tea Party. He did get the support of Democrats. There was no Democrat contest, and Democrat and liberal media were urging their Democrat voters to vote for Brat to help defeat Cantor. In 2012, the vote was 45,000, but jumped to 65,000 yesterday. Virginians were angry with Cantor’s poor response to constituents. They felt he was too involved with House politics and failing to support his district. We will learn more eventually. Eric Cantor has responded graciously, and stepped down, as that was the most positive thing he could do for Republican politics. David Brat emphasized the immigration issue, portraying Cantor as favoring amnesty.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Election 2014, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Military, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Five High Risk Taliban Leaders, POW or Deserter?, Private Bowe Bergdahl
The Bowe Bergdahl story is an interesting one. For the Obama administration it is an opportunity to prove how very much they care about our military, returning, at great price, one of our boys who has been a prisoner of war among the terrorist Taliban in Afghanistan. He has been a captive for five long years, and his family longs for his return. They are grateful that he has been rescued, and the entire town of Hailey, Idaho will turn out to welcome home their hero. Call this the political boasting story. Susan Rice was once again dispatched to the Sunday shows to tell the happy story.
The second story is that the White House and the president, embattled with the media proliferation of macabre stories about the mistreatment of veterans at our nation’s VA Hospitals. The bonuses and advancement of administrators were measured by wait times. The Obama administration set a goal in 2011 of 14 days as the longest a veteran should have to wait in order to see a doctor or nurse. A little bit of fudging led to more and there was an enormous scandal with 40 dead veterans, destroyed wait lists. All over the headlines in every venue, and then information about the Indian Health Service started appearing, and it was clear a major distraction was needed. It was needed so fast that the minor law about giving Congress 30 days notice about releasing any detainee from Guantanamo couldn’t be observed. Five Taliban leaders, called extremely dangerous terrorists, were traded for Bowe Bergdahl. Obama summoned Bergdahl’s parents to the White House for a Rose Garden announcement of the good news that Bowe would be coming home.
Third story, told by the warriors of Private Bergdahl’s former army unit: the guy sneaked out at night, deserted his unit, leaving behind his uniform and weapons. He had previously sent his stuff home. They searched for him for several months, enduring fire fights with Taliban, and 6 good men were killed in the effort to get Private Bergdahl back. His unit blames him for those deaths, considers him a deserter, and suspects he was working with the Taliban. Obama mysteriously promoted Private Bergdahl to Sergeant First Class, and successfully changed the headlines in the media from the VA scandal to the return of a prisoner of war.
Fourth story: Those with some knowledge of the military are appalled. Trading five high-risk Taliban prisoners for a captive who may have been working with the Taliban endangers Americans everywhere. If kidnapping an American will get five prisoners out of Guantanamo, no one is safe in Afghanistan or anywhere in the Middle East. America becomes a patsy that can be played. The Taliban leaders who have been released will return as soon as possible to the battlefield and to killing Americans. No one familiar with the Middle East believes that they will be detained for long in Qatar.
Fifth story: Obama’s naive belief in diplomacy as the solution to any foreign policy problem— is a problem. The exchange does not make Obama seem strong and in command of the situation, but unusually weak, and willing to do anything to get rid of bad publicity. Our allies cannot count on the United States, and see Obama’s disinterest in foreign policy and contempt for the idea of projecting power, or speaking firmly and following through is obvious. He believes he was elected to get us out of Bush’s Wars, believes they were a disaster, and does not see any accomplishment to be maintained. Joe Biden was sent to get a status of forces agreement in Iraq, but could not manage it, so we left anyway. Now he has notified the Taliban of when we will leave, and will not attempt to preserve what was won at such cost.
That’s my take, you can take your pick, offer other choices, or tell me I’m way off. We’ll see how it develops. Honor and ethics don’t seem to have a role in the story.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, History, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Date of Statehood, How We Grew And When, The History of the U.S.
This interactive map of the United States provides a refresher course in how the country developed from 1790 til the present. Try to ignore the Pepto-Bismol pink and dried mustard colors. Bet you didn’t pay attention in high school anyway.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Freedom, Law, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Does It Mean What It Says?, The House of Representatives, The Importance of the Constitution
Trey Gowdy received a standing ovation from his colleagues for this short speech. This happened back in March, but bears repeating. Congressman Gowdy has said something that has badly needed saying. It is not partisan, but simply recognizes the legal limits of our Constitutional form of government.
This is the president who is widely referred to by the media as a “professor of Constitutional Law.” He was a part-time lecturer in civil rights law at the University of Chicago, in a course in which he usually taught, we are told, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals — not Constitutional Law at all. Whether the president is acting out the rules for radicals, or just his own imperial view of the office of the presidency, Congress has been forced into being complicit in allowing the law to be ignored.
Trey Gowdy was here introducing a law to force compliance from the president.
Filed under: Politics, Economy, Media Bias, Freedom, Democrat Corruption, Taxes, Capitalism, Election 2014 | Tags: It's Not Carbon Dioxide, Climate Is A Statistic, No Warming 17 years 9 Months
Harry Reid needs help. He gets a little more loony every day. He announced yesterday that Charles and David Koch are “one of the main causes of climate change.”
“While the Koch brothers admit to not being experts on the matter, these billionaire oil tycoons are certainly experts at contributing to climate change. That’s what they do very well. They are one of the main causes of this. Not a cause, one of the main causes” Reid said.
He called them “multizillionaires” and claimed they are the richest men in the world. (They’re not by any measure) Far left liberal billionaire Tom Steyer challenged the brothers to a public debate on climate change. Steyer’s successful hedge fund Farallon Capital Management made a lot of money investing in coal mines in Asia and Australia, but he opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and has promised $100 million, $50 million of his own and $50 million raised from others, to the Democrats if they promote the cause of Climate Change and environmentalism.
It is interesting to consider just why Democrats are so interested in demonizing the very philanthropic Koch brothers. The Kochs are Libertarians and donate to causes that endorse low taxes, light regulation and free markets. Hardly a radical agenda. They also donate heavily to cancer research, and the hospitals that are so engaged. They also create a lot of jobs, 60,000 in the U.S. and 100,000 worldwide.
Steyer is a member of the shadowy dark money club— the Democracy Alliance— dues are around $30,000, and they support Democratic causes and Democrat politicians.Their attention has reportedly turned from support for Democrat causes to simply winning elections. Not a lot of room here to attack the Koch brothers, nor anything to attack them for except that they disagree. But that is cause to be attacked these days. You are not allowed to disagree with Democrats.