American Elephants

President Obama Refers to His Speaking Ability as “A Gift.” Perhaps We Should Think of It Instead as Sleight of Hand. by The Elephant's Child
June 18, 2009, 10:21 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

President Obama, Gerald Seib says in the Wall Street Journal today, is anxious for people to know that he isn’t a “heavy-handed meddler.  “I think the irony…is that I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government,” the President said Tuesday in a White House interview:

You set up some rules of the road, ensure transparency and openness, guard against huge systemic risk that will lead…government potentially having to step in to avoid a depression, and then let entrepreneurs and individual businesses compete and do what they do.

And so it’s puzzling to me sometimes to hear the standard conservative  critique of what we’re doing, when essentially every step we’re taking involves cleaning up the mess we found when we arrived here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Light touch?  Ensure transparency and openness? Not a “heavy-handed meddler?”  It is becoming increasingly clear that one must ignore what President Obama says, and concentrate on his actions.  He says what he wants his audience to hear, or what he thinks they want to hear.  It means nothing, and may change at any time.

It is neither transparent nor open when each new vast program is hastened through the system with the insistence that it is urgent.  We must appropriate another $xxxx billion with no input from those who disagree, no clarification of what is actually in the bill.  The $787 billion stimulus bill was passed in a hurry, quick, quick, to get it done so we can save the economy.

Yet six months later, only 5 percent of the money has been expended, the “shovel-ready” projects weren’t shovel ready at all and unemployment has climbed sharply.  President Obama now says that unemployment will probably pass 10 percent next year, but in many states it has long since passed that level.  President Obama  has promised that he will “create or save” 600,000 jobs, but this is a meaningless figure drummed up by his economists from the amount of money spent that “ought” in theory, to equal X number of jobs.

And among the provisions hiding in the 1,073 pages of the stimulus bill is a provision for a Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board (or RAT Board as it is called by the few who are aware of it).  The bill gives the RAT Board the authority to ask that “an Inspector General conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.” All very transparent,  just don’t question what we are doing.

Here is a list of 100 stimulus projects that are, if not a waste of taxpayer money, pretty questionable, from Senator Tom Coburn’s office.   How about $800.000 for a backup runway for the airport to nowhere better known as the John Murtha airport that serves 3 flights a day, and 20 passengers.

How about Economist Martin Feldstein’s statement that the cap-and-trade policy promoted by the Obama administration that is simply a stealth strategy for a long term tax increase that will rise in each year without the need for further legislation.  It is estimated by the CBO to be the equivalent of raising the average family’s tax by 50 percent, hit the poorest families hardest, and do nothing whatsoever about CO2, which is, contrary to Waxman/Markey, a natural gas that we breathe out, a natural fertilizer, and absolutely essential to life on earth.

Now, President Obama says we must rush to enact health care legislation to cover the 46 million people without insurance (who are not folks that are without insurance, but people who could afford it if they wanted— income over $70,000,  people who are not citizens, people who are between jobs and people who are already eligible for some other program). There are estimated to be around 10 million people who do not have insurance, many of whom don’t want it.

The health care legislation being drafted by the house adds $600 billion in new taxes, and $400 billion cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Doctors are increasingly refusing to take new Medicare and Medicaid patients now because the government only reimburses them for 70 percent of their normal fees.  Doctors have to maintain offices and staffs, or they have no time to doctor.

The Ways and Means Committee is working on a Value Added Tax (VAT) to help pay for their health-care legislation. A VAT taxes each financial step from raw material to final purchase, and raises the cost of everything.  All those transactions that were never taxed before now cost more.

Didn’t I hear some transparent promise that 90 percent of people would see no increase in their taxes?  But President Obama assures us that he is not a “heavy-handed meddler.”  It’s just that he cannot keep his hands off.

Then. there is new regulation for the financial sector of the economy, just to guarantee that nothing like this ever, ever  happens again.  Except that they are not addressing the sector of the economy — the government —that caused the financial meltdown.   Congressional interference will continue.  After all, Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd who refused to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who pushed legislation forcing banks to loan to unqualified buyers, are now in charge of  the health care bill,  the financial regulation,

So all this foolish spending  means inflation down the road.  On top of that, increased costs of everything, and new taxes on top of that.  Transparent.  Uh huh.

Way Better than the Original! by The Elephant's Child
June 18, 2009, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Music, YouTube | Tags: ,

Perpetuum Jazzile a capella choir from Slovenia. Beautiful!

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