American Elephants

Lots of Accusations; Not Much Accuracy. by The Elephant's Child

Obama is flailing around trying to justify another four years. He cannot run on his real record, so he just makes it up, sure that nobody will know the difference anyway. And there is undoubtedly some truth to that. Most people have busy lives and don’t obsess over political stuff like some of us do. But when an election comes around, they don’t know much about the issues or the candidates. They are easy prey.

Today, at the Iowa State Fair, Mr. Obama attacked Paul Ryan for failing to pass the Farm Bill that was so important to Iowa farmers suffering from the Midwest drought. The House passed the Farm Bill a couple of weeks ago, but it is being held up by Harry Reid’s Senate.

As soon as Romney announced his choice of Paul Ryan, Obama attacked Ryan over Medicare, and the Democrats have made commercials with the claim

Romney-Ryan: Ending Medicare as we know it
to pay for a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires.”

Agitprop from the president who has taken $716 Billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. If seniors  lose their doctor, they may have a hard time finding a new one. The $700 billion is in reimbursement payments to medical providers, and doctors can’t afford to take on many Medicare patients. This is a truly shameful lie from the Obama team.

No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way by Paul Ryan’s plan. It protects seniors on Medicare and those who will soon go on Medicare. Those who are younger would get premium support so they can have their choice of a number of plans, and if they still want traditional Medicare, they can have that instead. Ryan’s plan should be popular when people learn the facts.  Ryan’s plan means the market is giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices that they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.

The Obama campaign has wrongly accused George W. Bush (always to blame) and Paul Ryan of Causing the “Great Recession.” A curious economic argument as part of an attack on Paul Ryan.

Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy. Now the Romney-Ryan ticket would take us back by repeating the same, catastrophic mistakes.

Whoah! In 2007,  the federal government ran a tiny budget deficit of 1.2% of GDP. The deficit would not have exploded without the Great Recession. It wasn’t the Bush tax cuts that Democrats hate so much, Obama wants to keep those, except to the usual millionaires and billionaires bit. Obama wants more spending and more debt. The most recent budget from Obama would add another $6.4 trillion to the federal budget deficit over the next decade — elevating debt to around 76% of the economy — when pre-recession, it was only 37%.

James Pethokoukis explains his take on the Great Recession here. It’s the collapse of the housing bubble’s negative effect on wealth, exacerbated by the Fed. You can blame Bush for spending too much, you can blame him for failing to reform the tax code, but you can’t blame unnamed “reckless policies,” Pethokoukis says, for crashing the economy.

We might mention the dismal record of Obama’s spending, but the Center for Freedom and Prosperity at AEI has taken care of that for us.

Can we try to keep the campaign about policy and our competing visions for the country, and leave off the wild accusations and gutter politics?  Didn’t think so.

Paul Ryan Speaks About America’s Global Role. by The Elephant's Child

Paul Ryan addressed the Alexander Hamilton Society on June 2, 2011.  Lest any perceive him as a “wild-eyed radical,” as some Democrats are attempting to do,  here he brings his budget expertise and innate good sense to address foreign policy.  Bret Stephens wrote about this speech in today’s Wall Street Journal,” because Paul Ryan’s views on America’s role in the world are no longer a matter of one Wisconsin congressman talking.” Here’s what Mr. Stephens says the speech tells us about Mr. Ryan:

First, that he’s an internationalist of the old school; in another day, he would have sat comfortably in the cabinets of Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. Also, that he believes in free trade, a strong defense, engagement with our allies—and expectations of them. Also, that he wants America to stay and win in Afghanistan. Furthermore, that he supports the “arduous task of building free societies,” even as he harbored early doubts the Arab Spring was the vehicle for building free societies. …

Thus this speech begins not with a cliché but with a contention: “Our fiscal policy and our foreign policy are on a collision course.” It proceeds, briefly, to demonstrate the point quantitatively: Defense spending in 1970 consumed 39% of the federal budget but takes only 16% today. In the proverbial guns-to-butter ratio, our veins are already clogged.

Next there is history. Why can’t the U.S. simply cede the cumbersome role of world policeman to somebody else? Didn’t Britain do as much in the 1940s? It did. Yet, “unlike Britain, which handed leadership to a power that shared its fundamental values, today’s most dynamic and growing powers do not embrace basic principles that should be at the core of the international system.”

That’s not a novel insight, exactly, but it’s something that needs to be said and is said only rarely. Similarly with Mr. Ryan’s next point: American exceptionalism isn’t a type of jingoism. Instead, it derives from the fact that it was the first nation born of an idea, and from an idea that is true not only for Americans. “America’s foundations,” he says, “are not our own—they belong equally to every person everywhere.”

Bret Stephens whole piece is here, but may be behind a subscription barrier. Do take the time if you can to listen to the whole speech. It’s very  thoughtful and a very impressive speech about America’s global role, and what we need to do to maintain it.

Erskine Bowles Talks About Paul Ryan: by The Elephant's Child

Erskine Bowles at the University of North Carolina, Lambeth Lecture 2011

Democrats are attempting to pile on and declare Paul Ryan as a wild-eyed, dangerous radical: but that theme is apt to come back and bite them; because that is, quite specifically, just what Paul Ryan is definitely not. Not radical, but serious about serious problems that the President and the Democrats in Congress are not prepared to face up to — or deal with.

Ryan has produced two House budgets, voted on and passed. The Senate, under Harry Reid, has refused to produce or pass the legally required budget for over 1,200 days.

Erskine Bowles was most recently co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Alan Simpson.  Better known as “Simpson-Bowles”— the sensible budget plant that Obama ignored. Before that Bowles was president of the University of North Carolina, and before that, he was Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff. He is a Democrat.

Have any of you met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you this guy is amazing, uh. I always thought that I was OK with arithmetic, but this guy can run circles around me. And, he is honest. He is straightforward. He is sincere.

And, the budget that he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion…just like we did.

The President came out with his own plan and the President came out, as you will remember, with a budget and I don’t think anyone took that budget very seriously. Um, the Senate voted against it 97 to nothing. He, therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework and, in the new budget framework, he cut the budget deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. And, to be candid, this $4 trillion cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, if you looked at it on a 10 year basis and compared apples-to-apples, it was about a $2.5 trillion cut.”

President Obama has sent two budgets to Congress, late, both were rejected unanimously. I suppose if you put a budget on the table, the state of the economy appears in print. To be avoided at all costs. The president is probably putting that off until after the election. He does not want to cut the budget deficit.

It Begins… by American Elephant
August 14, 2012, 10:43 am
Filed under: Humor, Japan, News | Tags: , ,

Fukushima ’caused mutant butterflies’

Genetic mutations have been found in three generations of butterflies from near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, scientists said Tuesday, raising fears radiation could affect other species.

Around 12 percent of pale grass blue butterflies that were exposed to nuclear fallout as larvae immediately after the tsunami-sparked disaster had abnormalities, including smaller wings and damaged eyes, researchers said. [more]

Just sayin’

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