American Elephants


A Vast Self-Inflicted Tragedy Has Struck Greece. There Are No Easy Answers. by The Elephant's Child
July 5, 2015, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Communism, Economy, Socialism, Statism | Tags: , , ,

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Well, the matter of Greece. Janet Daley describes the problem in The Telegraph.

There is no point any longer in trying to make sense of this. It has gone beyond sense. It is now incomprehensible in the strict technical meaning of the word. The “options” available are all catastrophic and delusional in varying degrees and combinations, and nobody is actually going to get to choose between them anyway – at least, nobody in Greece. To the extent that they have had any involvement – or culpability – in this matter, the Greek people must come to terms with the consequences of electing Russell Brand to head their government. Voters do have some responsibility for the choices that they make. That is what distinguishes mature democracy from the students’ union. But given the price that they are paying for that moment of mad frivolity, it seems harsh to condemn, especially as the prospect of fiscal rationality had already been ruined by the fecklessness of previous governments and external forces beyond their control.

It’s a marvelous example, once again, of the failure of socialism. We have seen it over  and over, and the empty stores in Venezuela were only a harbinger of the empty stores, already, in Greece. Spare the empathy, the Greeks brought it upon themselves. A new book from James Angelos:The Full Catastrophe, looks at the widespread tax evasion and benefit fraud. How about an island where everybody pretends to be blind? Or  doctors who earn only €12,000 a year — yet live in the most exclusive neighborhood in Athens?

It was rumors of the ‘Island of the blind’ that brought journalist James Angelos to Greece. Turned out that 61 of the supposedly blind residents of Zakynthos, were quite happily driving around the island, and an astonishing 496 of the 680 blind residents were not blind nor partially sighted. It was all a scam that could be traced back to one ophthalmologist and one official who cost the government €69 million. Being blind got you €724 paid in benefits once every two months, and a reduction in utility bills.

When the government called for those claiming disabilities to present themselves at government offices so official records could be updated, 36,000 failed to show up.That scam saved the government €100 million a year. When they began to check the rolls, they found that 8,500 unlikely pensioners claimed to be over age 100.

Neighborhoods of opulent mansions with their own pools were apparently occupied by virtual paupers who were living on a paltry €12,000 or only €8,00 since they were allowed to declare their own incomes for tax purposes. Official records showed that just over 300 homes in Athens most exclusive neighborhood  had swimming pools, and had paid the tax for the luxury. When the bureaucrats looked at Google Earth, it appeared that the real number of pools was closer to 20,000. But well-to-do home owners promptly bought camouflage tarpaulins to conceal their existence from tax inspectors flying over.

The picture of a pensioner crying in the street when he learns that his pension has been reduced to €120 is heartwrenching. Stores are empty, medicine short, and the government is projected to run out of cash this week. Nobody plans to rescue them. Much of Southern Europe is already coping with floods of refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Bureaucrats like to buy votes with their empathy. We care about  you and we will give you stuff. But bureaucrats need to stay in power, so they exert more and more control, which needs larger departments and higher salaries for the bureaucracy. And so it goes. Inflating and inflating the balloon with the inevitable result.



Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Comments On The “Moral Case” Obama Makes for ObamaCare by The Elephant's Child
June 11, 2015, 6:37 am
Filed under: Freedom, Politics | Tags: , ,

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal responded to a question on Mike Gallagher’s June 10 syndicated talk-radio show about the “moral case” made this week by President Obama for ObamaCare. The Wall Street Journal reprinted it in their  “Notable and Quotable” column.

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Let’s call his remarks exactly what they are. He made the moral case for socialism. Let’s not sugarcoat it, that’s exactly what he believes. He doesn’t hide it, he doesn’t pretend, we shouldn’t either. This isn’t new. Those who favor socialism always make the moral case for it. The truth is, maybe they actually believe in it, but in the real world, socialism harms, it weakens the economies of countries that have tried it. It just does. Weaker economies hurt everybody in them. Socialism kills incentive, opportunity, freedom. It is the opposite of what America is all about. Look, socialism always harms the people it claims to help the most. It handicaps them, leaving them weaker, less self-determined, less free. We should have this debate out in the open. His “moral case” for ObamaCare is actually immoral. Spending money you don’t have is immoral. Borrowing more money than you can pay back is immoral. Lying to the American people is immoral, so it’s ironic he chooses to use the terms “moral case” or “moral imperative” to make the case for what I think is a very flawed law. The Supreme Court, I hope, rules the correct way. We need to repeal this, replace this. Mike, we cannot measure success by how many people are dependent on government. That’s what President Obama wants. That is the opposite of what America stands for.



What Recovery? by American Elephant
September 7, 2010, 10:03 am
Filed under: Economy, News, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

New ad from the NRSC. Pretty much nails it.



So Much for Hope! by American Elephant
August 28, 2010, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Election 2010, News, Progressivism | Tags: , , ,

U.S. birthrate lowest in a century.

The United States birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in at least a century as many people apparently decided they could not afford more mouths to feed.

And before Obama blames Bush, which seems to be the only thing he is capable of:

The situation is a striking turnabout from 2007, when more babies were born in the United States than in any other year in the nation’s history.

I can’t think of a more objective measure of how much hope Americans are feeling — and the truth is that Obama has not brought hope, he has destroyed it, as he destroys everything he touches.

(h/t HotAir)



217 Democrats Vote to Destroy America by American Elephant

Happy Dependence Day!

Mark Steyn sums up my feelings well, with far fewer expletives. Read his piece. I know many people don’t understand how destructive this bill is. Steyn’s piece is a good starting place. We can either be a nation of free independent people, or we can be a nation of welfare recipients. We cannot be both. It doesn’t work.  Our founders (and others) understood what Obama and the rest of the socialists do not:

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”

~ Alexander Tytler

Obama and the Democrats have just lurched us towards decline. We were a very abundant, very generous nation. Democrats and Obama are using greed and selfishness to try to skip straight to dependency, Dependency on Democrats. It truly is evil.

I’ll write more when I recover my optimism. The Elephant’s Child chose today to have computer problems. She’ll hopefully be back tomorrow.

Until then, America WILL overturn or repeal this. If not because we still cherish liberty, than at least because the punishment in higher premiums, higher costs, higher taxes, less employment, less opportunity will start long before any supposed benefits.



Nancy Pelosi Tells C-Span: “There Has Never Been A More Open Process” by The Elephant's Child

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),  responding to C-Span’s letter to congressional leaders asking to film the debate on the health care bills in which the President’s promise of “transparency” was quoted, said firmly — when she emerged from the secret meetings behind closed doors:

“There has never been a more open process for any legislation.”

Do write that on a 4 x 5 card and tack it up where you can see it every day until the next election.

She also “hinted” that holding informal negotiations — likely without TV cameras — might be the “most practical” way to push the legislation through.

“We will do what is necessary to pass the bill.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), assistant to the Speaker said the healthcare bill had been “subjected to unprecedented level of public scrutiny.”

“We don’t even know if there’s going to be a conference committee,” he said, alluding to the likelihood that Democrats will reconcile the two bills behind closed doors.



Promises, Promises, Hollow Promises. by The Elephant's Child

As Democrats seek the biggest expansion imaginable of the government nose in the relationship of Americans to their doctors and their health care, the biggest selling point has been the need for everyone to have health insurance.  The long-held goal of “universal health care” will, according to the Congressional Budget Office, still prove elusive.

As many as 23 million people could still be without insurance by 2018, says the CBO.

The ranks of the uninsured would include many who choose not to get health insurance although they can afford it.  Starting in 2014 individuals would face fines if they do not buy insurance, some may still refuse.

About a third would be illegal immigrants. States spend millions caring for them at hospitals, where emergency rooms accept patients regardless of coverage.  Democrats support covering illegals, but haven’t yet admitted it. An annoying fact is that illegal aliens get “free” medical care when American citizens don’t.

Oh well, promises, promises.  There must be some reason why a small percentage of Americans still think that ObamaCare is a good deal.




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