American Elephants

Doorbell by The Elephant's Child
January 15, 2013, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear! Here’s the Way Things Work. by The Elephant's Child
April 25, 2011, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, History, Taxes | Tags: , ,

When people start talking about billions and trillions, many people just don’t want to hear.  They don’t understand the numbers, and they don’t want to be scared by something they don’t understand — big numbers.

The Big Budget Battle boils down to something very simple. Republicans blame the deficit and the national debt on spending.  The government has done too much of it.  The Democrats blame the deficit and the national debt on a lack of revenue. They just haven’t taxed enough — and they think the whole thing was caused by the Bush tax cuts anyway. James Capretta explains:

To Democrats, the solution to our budget problem has two components. First, massive and steady tax hikes, not just over the next few years but every year for the next quarter century to match the explosion in entitlement costs. Second, they want stiff government cost controls on the entire health sector, not just on public insurance programs.

For years, the only thing that stood in the way of Democrats’ securing these changes were unenlightened and intransigent Republicans. But when Democrats secured once-in-a-generation majorities in the 111th Congress, Republicans were no longer in a position to stand in their way. So Democrats took the opportunity not only to pass Obamacare — the largest entitlement expansion in two generations — but also to try to reshape the long-term budget picture according to their big-government vision.

The CBO  has said the total tax increase over the next 10 years will exceed $800 billion.  But Democrats were looking for a perpetual cash machine that would go beyond just a near term tax hike. They’ve returned to bracket creep. The tax hikes associated with ObamaCare — .0.9 % on wages and 3.8% on non.wage income — were sold as hitting only those with incomes over $200,000 and $250,000, but without indexing for inflation, more and more people will find themselves paying much higher taxes for Medicare. All you nice middle class folks may find yourselves classified as “rich ” before you know it.

The second part is giving the government a mandate to enforce limits on all spending for health care. Raising taxes and rationing care. But why are Democrats so desperately opposed to cutting spending?

Democrats’ success at the polls has always depended on giving things to people. Welfare, benefits, government health care, housing, tax credits, Pell grants,  extended unemployment, school lunches, school breakfasts, the list goes on and on.Many of the ‘gifts’ don’t work out so well, but their intentions were good.  Democrats believe that a good intention earnestly expressed is a policy.

Republicans success at the polls depends on principles. They ask you to believe in things like liberty, the free market, individual rights, competition, private property, low taxes,  the Constitution, responsibility and American exceptionalism. They don’t promise to give you much of anything except opportunity and freedom to follow your dreams.

Democrats ask Americans to become ever more dependent.  Republicans ask Americans to stand up to be counted.

Where Is Your Congressman? by The Elephant's Child

No Town hall meetings?  Absent from office hours?  Just where is your Congressman?  They have a lot to answer for, and a lot to explain!

(h/t: The Foundry)

Who’s Extreme? by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: National Review)

Is Being Out-of-Touch Disqualifying? And If Not, Why Not? by The Elephant's Child
June 11, 2010, 9:52 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , ,

We often speak about our representatives in Congress being out-of-touch with the real people at home. This little exchange is a great demonstration. It seems impossible that any person serving in the United States Congress could possibly be unaware of the public’s concern about government spending. What on earth goes on in this gentleman’s head?

In general, I suspect that members of Congress have not yet fully absorbed the extent to which their statements can be excerpted and recorded for history. It’s hard for busy people to keep track, but little instances such as this one should determine elections. We won’t get the best and the brightest politicians, but we should have some basic standards that eliminate those who are so out of touch. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA)

The expression on Mr. Bernanke’s face is priceless.

Chris Christie’s Garden State Smackdown by American Elephant
May 14, 2010, 6:35 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Politics, Taxes | Tags: , ,

Republicans? Are you paying attention? New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is holding class — giving lessons in how to govern, how to deal with the press, in short, how to do your jobs. This is exactly what Americans are desperately looking for. Unapologetic, common sense, conservative leadership.

Not pandering. Not equivocation. Leadership.

Every Republican politician in the country should be required to watch this video. I’m sending it to a few myself.

(h/t HotAir)

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Lots of Talk, Little Action. by The Elephant's Child
April 28, 2010, 10:03 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Economic freedom helps to create jobs.  For over a decade, the Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the Index of Economic Freedom. Now there is more evidence from a state-level study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis.  The authors state:

Our results suggest that policy-makers concerned with employment should seriously consider the degree to which their own labor market policies, as well as those of the national government, may be limiting economic growth and development in their respective states.

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his own labor and property.  In a society that is economically free, individuals are free to work, produce, consume and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state, but unconstrained by the state.

In economically free states, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.                                          (click to enlarge)

The stimulus was supposed to bring back the jobs and keep unemployment below 8.8 percent. The reality is something quite different.   Long- term unemployment has been growing significantly, and the stimulus bill and other “job bills” didn’t change the trend.  There are another 5.8 million  workers who want employment but are excluded from BLS unemployment statistics.

Texas significantly continues to outperform the rest of the American economy, especially California.  The reasons can be summed up in three little words:  unions, taxes and spending. The role of unions, particularly public unions is huge in California.  Texas has a relatively low rate of unionization — about a third of Californias.

Texas has had a good long run of small-government, low-tax conservatism.  Texas has a trillion-dollar economy that would make it the 15th largest national economy in the world if it were a country.  By one estimate, 70 percent of the new jobs created in the United States in 2008 were created in Texas.  That’s economic freedom, and it works.

The Obama administration had spent lots of words on job creation, but the legislation passed has favored unions, higher taxes, and lots of spending.  For example, the Democrats’ student-loan “reform” which was tacked onto the health-care reconciliation bill caused student lender Sallie Mae to close a call center in Killeen, Texas, eliminating 500 jobs.

The health-care bill itself will eliminate many jobs.  Higher taxes, higher premium costs, an ineffective small business credit, and the high cost of complying with health care regulations will hinder growth of small business and make increased hiring unlikely.

The inclination and beliefs of the administration lean toward big government.   Few in the administration have any significant experience in the business world, and they do not grasp the fact that government jobs are just another drain on the pocketbook of taxpayers.  They are jobs, but it simply doesn’t count as job growth.

Try explaining that to a Democrat.

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