American Elephants

Why Democrats Don’t Care About the Debt. by The Elephant's Child
March 9, 2010, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: ,

The prospects are chilling.  The Washington Post reports: “President Obama’s proposed budget would add more than $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.” CNN adds a footnote:  “Of that amount, an estimated $5.6 trillion will be in interest alone.”

Predictions from the Congressional Budget Office are even more disturbing — a deficit of about $1.5 trillion this year — a post-World War II record at 10.3 percent of the overall economy, which will continue to climb inexorably.

What we do not hear from the White House is any sense that these numbers are troubling, or that they intend to do anything to rein in the deficit or reduce the national debt. Don’t these numbers trouble the administration? Most Americans would assume that they do.

They would be wrong, says Dennis Prager, national talk show host and columnist:

They would be wrong not because the Democratic party and the president are economic illiterates or bad individuals, but because the Democratic party and the president are leftists, and most Americans, including most Democrats, do not understand the Left. They may understand liberalism, but President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and most Democratic representatives and senators are not liberals; they are leftists. Few Americans understand the difference.

They do not realize, for example, that there is no major difference between the American Democratic party and the leftist social democratic parties of Western Europe. They do not know that, from Karl Marx to Barack Obama, the Left (as opposed to liberals) has never created wealth because it has never been interested in creating wealth; it is interested in redistributing wealth.

Therefore, unprecedented and unsustainable debt that will negatively affect most Americans’ quality of life, render the dollar increasingly undesirable, and undermine America’s prestige and power in the world — these developments do not particularly disturb the Left. They may trouble the president, the Democratic party, and their allies on some political level, but that pales in comparison to the Left’s zeal for what it really wants: a huge government overseeing a giant welfare state and a country with far fewer rich Americans.

Achieving those goals is far more important than preventing a decline in the American quality of life. The farther left one goes on the spectrum, the more contempt one sees for the present quality of American life; the Left regularly mocks many of the symbols of that life, from the three-bedroom suburban house surrounded by a white picket fence to the SUV, or almost any car, in the driveway (Americans should be traveling on public buses and trains and by riding bicycles, they believe)….

And as for America wielding less power in the world, the American Left considers that to be a positive development. They think it is the world community as embodied in the United Nations that should wield power throughout the world, not an “overstretched,” “imperialist,” and “militarist” United States.

I used to believe that the Left and the Right had similar goals for America, that they just differed in the means they wanted to use to get there. I was mistaken. The Left has a very different vision of America than those who hold to America’s founding values, most especially individualism and small government. Their vision is one in which a once-in-a-lifetime chance to establish a giant welfare state dominated by the Left is worth any price — even America’s steep financial decline.

Unique and Cutting-Edge Information from the Stimulus Bill. by The Elephant's Child

We have heard endless encomiums about the fabled Stimulus bill.  We have seen and heard the debates about whether it has accomplished anything at all. Information about where the money actually went and how it was spent seeps out very slowly.

$615,000 went as a National Leadership Grant to digitize the Grateful Dead Archive  at the University of California at Santa Cruz Library.

The grant will enable the UCSC Library to digitize materials from its Grateful Dead Archive and make them available in a unique and cutting-edge web site titled:  “The Virtual Terrapin Station.”

The Critics Were Wrong! Bush Was Right! by The Elephant's Child

Bret Stephens has written a powerful column in the Wall Street Journal today, celebrating the accomplishment of yesterdays’ Iraqi election.

In 2002, a presidential election was held in Iraq. Saddam Hussein won it by a margin of 11,445,638 to zero. “Whether that’s because they love their leader—as many people said they do—or for other reasons, was hard to tell,” reported CBS News’s Tom Fenton from Baghdad.

You can’t say they aren’t fair and balanced over at CBS.

Another election has now been held in Iraq, this time involving 19 million voters, 50,000 polling stations, 6,200 candidates, 325 parliamentary seats and 86 parties. In the run-up to the vote, the general view among Iraqis and foreign observers alike was that the outcome was “too close to call.” Linger over the words: “Too close to call” has never before been part of the Arab political lexicon.

But democracy has finally arrived, first by force of American arms, next by dint of Iraqi will. It’s a remarkable thing, not just in the context of the past seven years of U.S. involvement, or the eight decades of Iraq’s sovereign existence, but in the much longer sweep of Arab civilization.

It is a strong essay, and Mr. Stephens, the most graceful of writers, encompasses the entire moral history of the war and its detractors.

And yet throughout all of this, Iraqis somehow held fast to their idea of a democratic country. How was that possible? How could they not behave according to type, as inveterate sectarians and anti-Americans? Didn’t they perhaps miss the political clarity that dictatorship uniquely provides?

Do read the whole thing.  If you keep fine pieces that you run across, as I do, this one is a keeper. Mr. Stephens ends with a memorable quotation from the late Michael Kelly who lost his life on the march-up to Baghdad.

As an accompaniment, Charlie Rose interviews General David Petraeus here, about, not only Iraq elections, but the situation in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the entire area.  Long, but worth your while.

World-Class Fantasy, Not So Classy Reality. by The Elephant's Child

Here in Seattle, a favorite phrase of politicians is “Don’t you want Seattle to be a world-class city?” On the national scene , it’s just like the first lines of this article:

President Obama has repeatedly insisted that there is no reason why Europe or China, rather than the United States, should have the world’s fastest trains, and since coming to office he has committed the country to developing a high-speed rail network of its own.

So there is some kind of contest among nations to see who has the fastest trains and the winner gets…?  It is, of course, absurd.  Just as creating a “world-class city” is absurd. Should you doubt that, please explain just what a “world-class city” is.

Nick Gillespie of The Reason Foundation, explains some of the problems with President Obama’s dreams of high-speed rail.  We don’t talk in sensible debate, considering the advantages and disadvantages; but in myth and story — campaign mode — snake oil.  Exaggeration and falsehoods are used to get one’s way over objections of opponents, or to persuade the innocent, but reasoned discussion?  Not likely.

The president came to office with a program of how he was going to change America to suit — himself.  Faced with a steep recession and dramatic unemployment, he hasn’t changed his plans at all.  Throw a lot of money at an ill-considered stimulus plan organized by Congressional Democrats to suit their constituents and supporters, but don’t even think of altering or delaying your big plans for remaking America.

The big mistake was assuming that Americans interpreted all the talk about “hope and change” the same way you did.  They didn’t.

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