American Elephants

Mourning in America. by The Elephant's Child

A reprise of Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America commercial, from Citizens for the Republic.


Those Who Don’t Learn from History — Are Doomed! by The Elephant's Child

Politicians are largely there because they have a talent of some sort for politicking, that is, for meeting and greeting and seeming nice to their constituents.  And once we have voted, we yawn, hope they do the right thing, and go back to our own affairs.  We,  all too often, don’t look hard at their qualifications. Sometimes we get lucky and elect someone who has business experience or is knowledgeable about economics or who really understands taxation or medicine or foreign affairs, or even history.   Over the years we have ended up with a surprising number of congressmen who have never done anything except get elected to office.

IN the 1930s, earnest congressmen thought they could solve America’s Great Depression by punishing foreigners with a protectionist measure called the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.  They were tragically wrong.

Fast forward to 2010, and the House Ways and Means Committee has drummed up a new bill.  They think that we’re losing jobs due to the overall trade deficit, that the overall trade deficit is driven by our trade deficit with China, and that our trade deficit with China is driven up by the exchange rate. Each part of their analysis is false.

The U.S. trade deficit was at its highest in 2006, and unemployment was 4.6 percent.  In 2009, the deficit was only half as large, but unemployment had doubled.  The connection is not what congressmen seem to think.  The American economy runs on consumption.  Consumer spending creates jobs and increases imports, and the trade deficit as well.

The bill in its present form would give the Department of Commerce discretion to be selective, or move closer to mandatory, across-the-board tariffs. Wrong plan. Won’t create jobs.  Congress will do almost anything to avoid recognizing that the problem is their spending.

And please, study up, and learn from history.

Welcome Back, Carter by American Elephant

It’s no longer just Republicans comparing Obama to the nation’s erstwhile worst president ever; while conservatives have been warning of that dangerous similarity since the 2008 campaign, Democrats are just now beginning to admit similarities as well.

Indeed, it seems clear to this humble elephant that the past four years of disastrous Democrat congressional control, especially the last two years under Obama, have been nothing more than a devastating attempt  by narcissistic, so-called “progressive” ideologues to repudiate what they see as one of the greatest wrongs in American history — the golden age of freedom, opportunity and prosperity ushered in by Ronald Reagan’s sweeping victory over that most miserable failure, Jimmy Carter — and return America to what they believe are the good old days of limitless, centralized, top-down “progressive” command and control government.

Unfortunately, as always, so-called “progressives” refuse to see that it’s these very policies that have failed yet again, refuse to admit that 300 million people making individual choices (otherwise known as the free market) cannot be simultaneously controlled from Washington and prosper. Freedom, they can’t seem to understand, requires actual freedom in order to succeed — and the American people stubbornly insist that it must. No, while Democrats are finally beginning to see similarities between Obama and Carter, they believe now, as they did then, that the policies aren’t the problem — the problem is only with the messenger.

One would think that after so many failed messengers, they would begin to get a clue. Alas, they do not. They don’t change their policies when they have clearly failed — they simply change the name, get a new spokesman, or slap a new logo on them.

Yet more conclusive proof that “progressives” not only must be thoroughly routed from office this November, and again in 2012, because they haven’t learned a damn thing,  but as such that they will be back to destroy the country, yet again, if ever we let them.

Another Speech to the Same Old UN. by The Elephant's Child

President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly this morning, nearly two years, he reminded them, after his election as President of the United States.

Nine years ago the destruction of the World Trade Center signaled a threat to the world, and “two years ago a financial crisis on Wall Street devastated American families  on Main Street.”

The global economy suffered an enormous blow during the financial crisis, crippling markets and deferring the dreams of millions on every continent.  Underneath these challenges to our security and prosperity lie deeper fears; that ancient hatreds and religious divides are once again ascendant, that a world which has grown more interconnected has somehow slipped beyond our control.

It’s a really, really,  big challenge that he has faced, and here is what he has done.  He has rescued our economy from potential catastrophe, and joined with other nations to spur growth and restart job creation. He has reformed Wall Street and the system of global finance so this can never happen again.  The global economy has been pulled back from the brink of disaster. We have resisted protectionism and are exploring ways to expand trade and commerce.  Modestly, he has saved the world.

This is pleasant hooey. The financial crisis was not caused by Wall Street, it was caused by the U.S. government.  He has not rescued the economy, and whether the reform of Wall Street accomplishes anything remains to be seen.

The causes of the financial crisis have not been addressed, and the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have not been reformed and are free to do it all again.  Congress has dreamed up a protectionist bill to punish the Chinese that is a very bad idea, and free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea are still sitting in the President’s inbox.

That’s what goes on at the United Nations. Heads of State come to address the General Assembly, and each tells the assembled Ambassadors  how much he is doing for world prosperity, human rights, ending war, encouraging tolerance, ending nuclear proliferation, feeding the hungry and so on and so on.  And each nation continues to address their own self interest, and nothing changes.

The President’s agenda has not changed in the slightest in response to changes in the world; he’s still talking about talks with Iran, Peace between Israel and Palestine, and democracy in the world not because the United States dictates it, but because people demand a say in how they are governed.  He apparently has no recognition that his actions often belie his pleasant assertions, nor that the real world is going in a different direction.

Everybody seems to recognize that the UN needs to be reformed, but there is no drive to reform anything, and everyone tells the members how really swell they are and how noble the intent of the United Nations.  And they promise to come back next year for more of the same.

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