American Elephants


Stay Classy, Democrats! by The Elephant's Child

Briege over Skagit River

This is becoming annoying. One span of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 collapsed when a trucker with an oversize wide load hit a structural member of the bridge when trying to move over to accommodate another truck. The bridge was inspected within the last 6 months, and passed inspection.

The Chicago theme we’ve heard before — “Never let a crisis go to waste“— immediately prompted Democrats to blame Republicans. On Twitter, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axlerod, blamed Republicans for the collapse of a portion of the I-5 bridge in Mont Vernon, Washington. He tweeted:

Axlerod

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Seattle). (better known as Baghdad Jim) accused Republicans of “throwing American infrastructure…under the bus.”

McDermott cited the incident as proof Republicans were blocking infrastructure investment to hurt President Obama politically. McDermott, possibly the most politically partisan member of the House, added: “Well, they have clearly spent the whole last five years trying to tear the president down, but they have done it by throwing the American infrastructure and the society under the bus,” McDermott said in an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton. (Now there’s a dramatic interview!)

“We have the most long-term unemployed that we have had since the 1930s and there’s no excuse for that,” McDermott continued.”There is plenty of work in this society that needs to be done and all it means is that the Congress has to step up, put the money up, and we can have it.” He suggested that lawmaker could find extra money to pay for transportation projects by raising the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal gas tax.

Brilliant. Why didn’t anybody ever think of that? Washington’s gas tax is already 37.5 cents-per-gallon, New York’s is already 50.6 cents, California’s 48.7, Illinois’ 39.1. Surely some people remember that we already allocated large quantities of public money for infrastructure as part of the Recovery Act, only to have President Obama giggle and announce that he guessed there weren’t really any of those “shovel-ready” projects after all.

The Left always believes that if you just take money out of taxpayers’ pockets and, after passing it through government bureaucracies, put what’s left back into use by paying Union employees to work on a project. A portion of the money paid will thus return to the government in the form of Union dues used to elect another proud member of the Left. It does not foster growth in the economy, government projects take years to come to fruition after the necessary environmental reviews and permitting processes.

If the permits take too long, you can just have those workers dig holes and fill them up again.



Not My Fault! Not My Fault! Not My Fault! by The Elephant's Child

You have heard of the Big Lie technique. You repeat something over and over, and pretty soon everyone will believe it. This is Barack Obama’s  strategy for the battle with the Republicans over the debt ceiling.

He wants the public to believe that the huge deficits of recent years are all the work of Congress (only the Republican House of course), and that now Congress must “take responsibility for the mess it made. ” Oh, please.

On Saturday the White House declared “there are only two options to deal with the debt limit. Congress can pay its bills or it can fail to act and put the nation into default.”

At his Monday press conference “Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize more spending, it simply allows the country to pay for spending that Congress has already committed to.”

The problem is those irresponsible Republicans and Speaker John Boehner, and those radical Tea Party wackos who want the federal government to fail to send out Social Security checks.

Congress can’t spend a single cent unless the president signs a bill to do so. The biggest spending binge was in 2009 when Democrats were in charge of both houses and Obama asked for and got a massive stimulus bill.  Outlays soared from $2.98 trillion in 2008 —to $3.53 trillion in 2009, and $3.46 trillion in 2010 — fiscal years ending in September.

Congress appropriates to fulfill the president’s budget. Obama’s budgets asked for the deficit spending he now claims was not his fault. The Big Lie is objectionable because it has become common knowledge that nothing, nothing is ever Obama’s fault.



The Most Depressing Morning — Ever. by The Elephant's Child

Republicans are angry and trying to understand what went wrong. We thought we had momentum and believed that Romney would be able to create the jobs that are so badly needed. Republicans need some time to think through what happened and why. Lots of initial hysteria.

After the three debates, I think the Republicans felt that they held a winning hand and wanted to avoid unnecessary controversy. Republicans are always inclined to be too damn polite.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a skilled demagogue. He was out at every campaign appearance telling the American people that recovery was just slow because George W. Bush had created such a disastrous financial crisis, but things were recovering slowly and getting better all the time. He had created 5½ million new jobs, saved the auto industry, created a new clean green energy economy, decimated al Qaeda, and yes — he killed bin Laden.

Republicans, the bad people,  were trying to take away women’s right to contraceptives and right to abortions. He saved women’s right to equal pay by signing the Lily Ledbetter law. And his surrogates worked hard to remind voters that Republicans were racist — which was obvious in their code words and disrespect for the President. He could have accomplished so much more were it not for the racist Republicans blocking him at every chance. And Mitt Romney was an out-of touch rich man who shipped jobs overseas.

Every word in those two previous paragraphs is a lie, except Obama did sign the order for the SEAL raid on bin Laden’s hideaway.

If you repeat a lie often enough, it will be accepted as truth. It is a standard technique of demagogues. George Bush did not cause the financial crisis, and tried 17 tunes to get a recalcitrant Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but Barney Frank and the Democrats refused to even consider it. The recession was the result of the housing bust and the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The recession ended in June of 2009. The economy would have recovered, if Obama had not, with every policy driven us back towards recession. The economy is not recovering. Obama did not create 5½ million new jobs, but only somewhere around 300,000, and massive layoffs are coming. As economist Alan Reynolds explained:

Barack Obama does not understand economics and apparently refuses to listen to those who do.

The “War on Women” was all a lie. No president can deprive any woman of either contraceptives or abortions — that is up to the Supreme Court. Women’s right to equal pay has been established law for 60 years. The Lily Ledbetter law does not change that at all, but is payback for trial lawyers, offering them more business. Mitt Romney is a good and honorable man, deeply concerned about the state of the economy and the rampant unemployment, who believes that he could help to turn the economy around. He is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet.

And there’s the problem. Republicans did not take on the demagogue directly, did not directly refute Obama’s falsehoods, because they were reluctant to really attack. Voters apparently believed what Obama delivered with a dazzling smile. Every word Obama uttered was celebrated, enhanced, embroidered by his fawning media who for the most part quit practicing journalism years ago.

The Benghazi scandal should have put an end to the Obama administration. Far, far worse than Watergate which ended a presidency, but much of the electorate has never even heard of Benghazi. The fawning media has avoided any mention of it. Exit polls supposedly suggest that the public trusts Obama more on foreign policy, while his policies have left the Middle East in shambles, and demonstrated that no Americans in harms’ way can look to their own government for help or protection. Stunning.

Obama won reelection no mandate, and without ever telling the American people what he wants to do in a second term. Though that is clear. He will try to do what he didn’t get done in his first term, and complete the transformation of America into a socialist country. The Republican House of Representatives will resist, and he will attempt to put his program into effect by going around Congress. He has no respect for the separation of powers, and does not feel restrained by the Constitution or by the laws passed by Congress.

The stock market has given Obama’s win a huge thumbs down, dropping by over 300 points. Massive layoffs are coming due to ObamaCare, Obama’s defense cuts, Obama’s War on Coal. Huge tax increases are coming as Obama insists on “taxing the rich” which will decrease tax revenue, and damage any potential job creation.  The EPA will attempt to establish “cap and trade” through regulation. And ObamaCare will kick in on January 1, with new taxes and more job losses.

It is unlikely that Obama will make any effort at bipartisanship. He has been the most divisive president ever, making no attempt to work with Republicans at all.

I despair for the country. I think we’re in for a very bad time.



Straw Men, Prevarications, Falsehoods and Plain Old Lies. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama’s class warfare scheme seems to be working.  Polls indicate that people think that the rich should pay more taxes.  Of course they want more taxes paid by someone else.

The rich have more choices than the rest of us because they are not dependent on all their income like most of us are. If the government plans a tax on expensive yachts, they can easily fly to the Bahamas and buy their boat there. They can invest in a growing company that pays no dividends and wait for years to cash in the investment when capital gains taxes are lower.

The “Buffet Rule”, as defined by Obama, is that people making more than $1 million a year should not pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle-class families pay.  This is the familiar” straw man argument,” that Obama uses so often. He creates an imaginary villain — a straw man — and then rails against him.

The Americans in the bottom 20 percent of earners, the lowest quintile paid a minus 3.8 percent of the total federal income tax burden. In other words they got money back from the government, more back in credits than they paid in.  Those in the middle quintile, the center of the middle class who had an average income of $44,000, paid 3.9 percent of the total federal income tax burden. In other words they paid about $1 out of every $25 dollars of income taxes paid nationwide.

Those in the fourth quintile, with incomes ranging from $58,000 to $102,000 paid about one dollar paid 15.1 percent of the total federal income tax burden.  The eighty percent of Americans whose income placed them in the first four quintiles of income earners combined paid about $1 our of every $9 that is paid in federal income taxes nationwide.

The top earners, with income of at least $1.974 million, the tippy-top 0.1 percent of earners, paid more toward the workings of the government than the bottom 80 percent did.  That’s in spite of the fact that the bottom 80 percent collectively made more than six times as much money as the top 0.1 percent did.

A member of the small group that belong to the top 0.1 percent of earners paid roughly $1,147,616 in annual income taxes. When the fat cats, the filthy rich, are paying more taxes than 80 percent of the population is collectively paying, Obama’s straw man ploy becomes a little pathetic.

Warren Buffett is a special case. He has made his money as an investor, and as a long term investor at that. His firm, Berkshire-Hathaway is a major tax shelter. He receives only a modest salary. And is notably donating most of his wealth to Bill Gates Foundation in charitable deductions.

Berkshire Hathaway is embroiled in a tax battle with the IRS, where the IRS is trying to collect millions in back taxes. There is something particularly phony about the Buffet Rule.

Unfortunately, this is an old trick of the left, and it usually works. The left, from the moment that the Bush tax cuts were debated proclaimed loudly, in unison, “Tax cuts for the rich.” The left depends on the public believing that Republicans are mean, cold people who protect the rich and pick on poor people.  Explanations are lengthy, and are easily trumped with short, bumper-sticker phrases like “Tax cuts for the rich.” Hard to get people to read a long explanation when you are easily swayed by a frequently repeated phrase.  Sigh.




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