Filed under: Freedom, History, Liberalism, Politics, The Constitution | Tags: Debunking Liberal Lies, Economy, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, Taxes
Rush Limbaugh’s speech to CPAC has been widely discussed today, particularly in light of Michael Steele’s odd remark when he referred to Limbaugh as an ‘entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.” Steele has since apologized. But the discussion, such as it is, from both sides of the political divide, has widely missed the point.
Rush did as fine a job as I can remember ever hearing, of articulating basic conservative principles and belief in America. He tweaked liberals, of course, but as a matter of disagreeing with their basic principles and the results of their policies.
Let me tell you who we conservatives are: We love people. When we look out over the United States of America, when we are anywhere, when we see a group of people, such as this or anywhere, we see Americans. We see human beings. We don’t see groups. We don’t see victims. We don’t see people we want to exploit. What we see — what we see is potential. We do not look out across the country and see the average American, the person that makes this country work. We do not see that person with contempt. We don’t think that person doesn’t have what it takes. We believe that person can be the best he or she wants to be if certain things are just removed from their path like onerous taxes, regulations, and too much government. …
We don’t want to tell anybody how to live. That’s up to you. If you want to make the best of yourself, feel free. If you want to ruin your life, we’ll try to stop it, but it’s a waste. We look over the country as it is today, we see so much waste, human potential that’s been destroyed by 50 years of a welfare state.
Rush said that “more people than you know live their lives as conservatives in one degree or another. And he said:
Spending a nation into generational debt is not an act of compassion. All politicians are temporary stewards of our country. It is not their task to tear it down and rebuild it in their image.
The differences come in definitions of what is policy and what is principle. Principle involves inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; adherence to the Constitution; the rule of law and respect for the history of America. Principle says all men are created equal and you can make of yourself what you will, that we’ll help you if you’re down, but we expect you to stand on your own two feet if you can. Policy says that people who are more successful need to support those who made poor choices,because it is not fair for some people to be more successful than others.
Rush reminded us that Barack Obama is spending wealth that has not yet been created. If it was about paying for it, he wouldn’t do it because we can’t afford it. It isn’t about paying for it, it is about control.
You might keep that in mind.
Filed under: Economy, Freedom, The Constitution | Tags: Congress, Democrat Corruption, Taxes
Daniel Mitchell, economist with the CATO Institute, has done a fine job of explaining the current economic crisis and what should be done about it. He is always worth your time. Scroll down for his previous videos. (They can be seen here, and here.)
(h/t Hot Air)
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, History, Liberalism, Military, Taxes | Tags: Democrat Demagogues, Economy, Republicans, Taxes
President Obama, irritated by Republican lack of cooperation in passing his porkulus bill, hopped on Air Force One on Thursday for the less than 150 mile trip down to Williamsburg to speak to the Democrat caucus about the urgency of rescuing the economy. A pilot estimated the cost of the gas for Air Force One at $30,000 for this short trip.
Obama discarded his prepared speech, we are told, to say the same old things about crumbling roads and bridges and levees , factories closing, tens of thousands laid off, and warned of catastrophe if his bill is not passed instantly. He whined about the debt left for him — “wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the oval office” — by the Bush administration, and reminded everyone, once again, that he won the election.
So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point. No, seriously. That’s the point.
There, as they say, is the rub. President Obama’s “stimulus” has aptly been called “The New, New Deal.”
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933, he had an economy in bad shape left to him by the Hoover administration. FDR was inaugurated on March 4, and proclaimed a bank holiday the next week. Five days later he began his first One Hundred Days. March 29, Congress passed a bill creating the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) making jobs for approximately 250,000 young men. April 19, he announced that the U.S. would abandon the gold standard, devaluing the dollar internationally. May 19 Congress passed a bill creating the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority).
And so it went, commissions and authorities and boards and corps — the WPA, the ERA, SCS, REA, NLRB, and so on and so on. [Read Amity Schlaes excellent The Forgotten Man] All these programs put people to work, working for the government. Nothing worked to improve the economy or lessen the impact of the Depression. Democrats are generally sure that the first hundred days fixed everything, but the facts show otherwise.
Most acknowledge that World War II ended the Depression, but ignore the circumstances. The Draft began in October of 1940. By the summer of 1941 President Roosevelt asked that the term of service be extended beyond 12 months, and many reluctant soldiers threatened to desert. The December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor brought thousands of Americans volunteering for service.
Able bodied young men were swept up in the draft, and women and draft rejects turned to new or re-tooled factories for employment. Military pay wasn’t much, and although thousands of new jobs were created at home, wage and price controls were instituted.
Many products were rationed to allow for a flow of goods for the military. Rationed products included tires, cars, bicycles, gasoline, fuel oil and kerosene, solid fuels, stoves, rubber footwear, shoes, sugar, coffee, processed foods, meats, canned fish, cheese, canned milk, fats and typewriters. Other things were just unobtainable. If a store got in a case of Hershey bars, long lines developed instantly. People at home remember the bags of shortening which contained a gelatin pill of yellow food coloring and butter flavor so you could create margarine. Soldiers remember Spam and Chipped Beef which they came to loathe.
More people were at work, but wage and price controls kept the economy stable. There was nothing on which to spend money. Factories which once made consumer products were making war materials. Gasoline and car rationing meant that you couldn’t go much of anywhere, and there was nothing to buy. In every Five & Dime store, a woman sat at a table in the front of the store darning silk stockings.
What people could do was save money. There were War Bond drives everywhere. Kids brought their money to school to buy Savings Stamps to fill up Savings Books, and when the book was full, you got a $25 War Bond. Celebrities conducted War Bond drives in every venue including spontaneous appearances on the back of flag- festooned trucks on the street.
For all of Roosevelt’s good intentions, all of his spending did not act as stimulus. The make-work, government-paid jobs that he created put groceries on the table, but did not help the economy to recover.
The government action that did help the economy to recover was the government’s massive purchase of goods. The government bought tanks, trucks, aircraft carriers, destroyers, rifles, cannon, canteens, Higgins boats,boots, backpacks, walkie-talkies, rubber boats — an unimaginable stream of military supplies from the “Arsenal of Democracy” not only for our army, but also for the armies of our allies.
The government was not taking money out of one pocket and putting it back in another, as was the case with make-work government jobs and government-paid projects. The government ordered products to be built, created, invented by private enterprise, which in turn hired workers and designers and engineers to create new products. It put certainty into the economy. Companies could be created, workers hired, products invented because there was a market that would pay for them. Accepting risk was once again worthwhile.
Tax cuts work because they present the same certainty. If your taxes are cut, you know that you will have X number of dollars more income, for sure. When the government spends, it operates on the assumption that the money will enter the economy and create a “multiplier effect” (the source of many economist arguments) as it moves around the economy. The history of spending seems to suggest that most of the “multiplier effect” is bunkum.
People’s savings from the war created a pent-up market ready to buy consumer goods they were deprived of during the war. New cars, new appliances, meat, butter, shoes — there was a hunger for long-unavailable products and plenty of jobs in industries re-tooled to produce them.
So in answer to President Obama’s sneering assertion that “spending is stimulus”— Nice try, but that simply does not seem to be the case. And we arrive back at the Democrats’ lack of interest in consequences and enthusiasm for good intentions.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics | Tags: Internal Revenue Service, Liberal lies, Taxes
Nobody likes paying taxes. Many, who have their taxes withheld at work, are more or less unaware of paying taxes and appreciative of the size of their refund, thinking of it as a sort of gift rather than an overpayment of the amount actually due. Folks who are their own bosses suffer through paying quarterly taxes, and are very conscious of how much they pay. “Withholding” was designed to make paying taxes less noticeable and therefore more pleasant. It apparently works, for the taxes most resented in all cases are those taxes of which one is most aware.
Our relationship with the collectors of taxes is therefore complicated. Some live in terror of the IRS, possibly because of the extra charitable donation they claimed. But the collectors only collect. Our argument should be with those who raise our taxes so casually. That’s those folks in the House of Representatives whose ideas of “fairness” are so very, very strange.
Which brings us to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel, who is in trouble with the Ethics committee for, among other things, not paying his taxes.
And we have the case of Timothy Geithner. Timothy Geithner is Obama’s Treasury Secretary-designate. He was most recently President of the New York Federal Reserve, and before that he was at the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF does not withhold state and federal income taxes or self-employment taxes — Social Security and Medicare — from its employees’ paychecks. Because this might be confusing, the IMF goes to great lengths to explain to their employees just what their tax liabilities are. Each employee receives a IMF Employee Tax Manual. For the purpose of calculating their quarterly tax returns, each employee receives a quarterly wage statement. Then, there are year-end wage statements. Each employee is required to file for an Annual Tax Allowance Request.
Although employees are expected to pay their taxes out of their own money, they receive an allowance to cover those tax payments. The employee fills out a form with their basic information — marital status, dependent children and so forth, and the IMF estimates the taxes due and gives the employee a corresponding allowance. At the end of the form are the words, “I hereby certify that all the information contained herein is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I will pay the taxes for which I have received tax allowance payments from the Fund.”
Geithner signed the form. He received all the paperwork and the allowance. He just did not pay the social security and medicare taxes from 2001,2002,2003 and 2004. In a 2006 audit the IRS discovered that he had not paid in 2003 and 2004. He was assessed $17,230 including interest. which he paid. The Obama transition team uncovered the fact that he had failed to pay in 2001 and 2003, at which point he dredged up another $25,970. There was also an additional $4,334 plus interest for some other infractions. Mr. Geithner did his own taxes.
The Obama administration said that it was “a common mistake.”
Charlie Rangel neglected to pay taxes on the rental income from some houses he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Does this matter? Mr. Geithner is an important economist who, as Secretary of the Treasury, would be in charge of the IRS, as well as the complications of the economic recovery. Mr. Rangel is the most influential person in Congress related to taxing and spending.
Is this a big deal? Or just a common error like most people make at one time or another? Ordinary hypocrisy? Something embarrassing to be overlooked? Cause for dismissal? It does matter, doesn’t it?
Filed under: Economy, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: Bad Ideas, Democrat Demagogues, Taxes
During the presidential election campaign, some voters were startled to hear for the first time that at least a third of Americans pay no income taxes whatsoever.
The Tax Foundation notes that in 2006, 45,600,000 tax filers paid no income tax at all. Under today’s law, in 2009 47.000,000 (representing probably 96 million individuals) will pay no income tax.
The Foundation maintains that under Obama’s plan 63,000,000 filers will pay no taxes or 44% of all returns. So pretty close to 1/2 of Americans will pay the taxes for the other half as well as themselves.
Obama said repeatedly that 95% of Americans would get a tax cut under his plan. Economist Alan Reynolds, when asked where they got that figure, said simply “They made it up.”
In 2006, IRS figures show that the top 10% of all filers ($109,000 and over) paid 71% of all taxes.
I’m inclined to think that everyone should pay some taxes, and participate in our society. No matter how compassionate you feel towards those who make less in our society, it is not healthy for only a handful of people to pay the taxes for the rest of us.
Now a new report from the OECD that our taxes are the most progressive in the world — we already collect the most from the wealthiest 10% and extract the most compared to their share of the country’s income.
Will Obama continue with his plans to tax the top earners still more? Most economists are suggesting that the current crisis is not a time to raise taxes — any taxes. Yet he seems to be determined to go after those he categorizes as “the rich.”
Filed under: Economy, Election 2008, Energy | Tags: Big Brother, Energy, Regulation, Taxes
More desperately important reasons to vote for McCain/Palin and do everything in your power in these last two days to make sure as many other McCain/Palin voters get to the polls as possible:
From an interview in San Francisco (naturally) last January:
And, in the same interview, he admits freely that his plans will necessarily cause electricity prices to skyrocket:
Obama wants to drive prices up. He thinks Americans must change their evil energy consuming behavior, and that it is governments’ place to force them to do so. He believes the American free market, where we use electricity when we want it, turn on lightbulbs at our leisure, buy things we want and use them when and how we want — you know, the economic model that has lifted billions of people around the world out of poverty — must be fundamentally changed:
But we will have to subsidize energy for the poor! So not only are your personal energy costs going to skyrocket, you’ll be paying more taxes to subsidize energy for the poor.
And to what end?
As the video says, so that one day in the very distant future, the government will wave its magic wand and create a way to power the economy without oil, without natural gas, without coal, without nuclear — without any of the carbon producing, “dirty” energy sources that currently account for 90.4% of America’s electricity needs. That’s just electricity, it doesn’t even include America’s transportation energy needs.
And until the day when government can somehow make the solar and wind that currently supply 2.4% of our electricity needs, supply all the energy we need for electricity and transportation, you and your family, and your children, and their children, and their children’s children ad infinitum will have to suffer far higher energy prices, higher taxation, higher regulation of your personal behaviors and consumer choices….
THIS is what Obama means when he says he wants to bring about “fundamental change.” A level of Statism that has never, ever been known in this country. The government will tell you what, where and when you can travel. They will dictate through taxation and regulation how much energy you can use, what products you can buy, what temperature you can keep your house, what you can eat!
It is all implicit in his self-described vision. And it is contrary to almost every principle America is founded upon. Is Statism the change Americans are looking for? It’s the change they’re about to get!
Tell me where I’m wrong.
UPDATE: Sarah Palin responds to Obama’s vision for the coal industry:
(h/t Hot Air)
Filed under: Economy, Election 2008, Politics | Tags: Democrat lies, Economy, Fannie Mae, Financial Crisis, John McCain, Taxes
Two great new ads about the real Barack Obama from NeverFindOut.Org. Pretty devastating if you ask me. Just wish the McCain campaign were running more like them.
Donate here to help them out if you can.
Filed under: Conservatism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Environment, Europe, Liberalism, News, Politics, Science/Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: Congress, Economy, Energy, Environment, Media Bias, Taxes
Denmark is usually cited as the world’s most successful wind-power pioneer. Denmark is a small, flat, windy country with a population of around 5.5 million people. Researchers have put a value on Danish wind energy. They believe that wind power cut $167 million (1 billion kroner) off Danish electricity bills in 2005. Danish consumers, on the other hand paid 1.4 billion kroner for subsidies for wind power.
The trouble with wind is that it doesn’t always blow when you need the electricity, and often blows when you don’t need it. Wind power cannot be stored. Thus you must have electricity constantly available as backup for the times when the wind isn’t blowing.
Denmark relies on their neighbors, Norway and Sweden, and takes their excess production of electricity, and conversely sends it’s excess wind-power generated electricity back to the neighbors. In 2003, the scale of subsidies caught the attention of the media, which claimed that the subsidies were out of control. When subsidies were cut back, the building of wind turbines ground to a halt.
One of the big problems seems to be that where wind is, there are not transmission lines. Often, the wind is far from the grid. Transmission lines run about a million dollars a mile. Most of Denmark’s electricity comes from plants that burn imported coal.
There are some lessons here, which suggest that the “experts” in Congress should get out of the way and let the market find the way. Congress doesn’t do well with making the rules for energy.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, News, Politics | Tags: Debunking Liberal Lies, Democrats Lies/Dirty Tricks, Economy, Envirowhackos, President Bush, Taxes
The law of supply and demand really is very simple.The price of any good or service is determined by how much people want it and how available it is. The more available it is, the less it will cost; the less available, the more it will cost.
The price of oil, for example, is skyrocketing because demand is skyrocketing. As trade is raising the standard of living in countries like China and India, more people are using more energy, so the demand increases and the price goes with it.
Republicans understand this.
That is why when Republicans were in charge they offered tax-breaks to oil companies if they would do certain things to increase the supply of oil and gasoline.
Democrats either don’t understand the law of supply and demand, or they simply don’t care. I suspect its a combination of the two.
Democrats have just passed another “energy” bill that does absolutely nothing to increase the supply of energy or bring the prices of energy down. On the contrary, they have voted to raise taxes on oil companies and take away the incentives to increase supply.
This means the price of gas will go up as oil companies pass their increased tax burden on to the consumer, and will go up even more as they scale back their efforts to increase supply.
Democrats did this despite the news that gas prices could reach $4 per gallon in some places next summer because of the increasing demand on crude oil. Lets be clear about that, the increased costs Democrats voted for would be on top of the $4/gallon price.
But the stupidity of the bill doesn’t end there.
The Democrats’ bill would also increase subsidies for ethanol and other “biofuels”. The problem with this (well, there are many problems with this), but the biggest problem is that when government creates artificial demand for ethanol, then the companies that make ethanol increase the demand for corn (which is used to make ethanol).
So, the price of corn goes up.
Not only does this raise the price of foods made from corn — i.e. cereals, tortillas, etc. But animals also eat corn. So the price goes up on chicken, eggs, milk, beef, you name it.
Virtually all the inflation you’ve noticed at the supermarket can be attributed to the increased cost of oil and the increased cost of corn because of “biofuel” subsidies. And Democrats just voted to increase the cost of both gas and groceries even more.
But the stupidity doesn’t end there!
The new taxes on oil companies only apply to domestic oil companies. Which means this bill will lower the amount of oil and gas we produce ourselves, and increase our dependence on foreign oil!
Plus, ethanol and other “biofuels” cost more to produce than oil, require far more land to produce than oil (it would take every single acre of farmland in the United States plus another 50 percent to make enough ethanol to replace oil), take far more energy to produce than oil, and deliver far less energy than oil. All of which means “biofuels” are actually worse for the planet!
Keep all this in mind when President Bush vetoes the bill. No doubt Democrats will demonize him for doing so, but they will be lying, as usual.