Category Archives: Liberals

President Obama’s Prison Visit & the Folly of the Left

Today President Obama became the first American President to visit a prison while in office. The core of his visit was to promote his newest campaign, reforming the criminal justice system. Now this is an issue many conservatives can actually get behind with prominent GOP members such as Rand Paul questioning the logic and wisdom of the current sentencing system. But as Barack Obama has done so many times before he takes an issue where bipartisan progress could be made and turns it into a leftist wet dream. In this case he is advocating increased spending on early childhood education. What? Anyway…

President Obama Visits Federal Prison

President Obama Visits Federal Prison

Buried inside his long wordy statement was a tremendously insightful glimpse into the leftist mind. The President said we should all look at the conditions in prison and be grateful that there but for the grace of god go we. WRONG. The president, like the institutional left, seems to think each of us is equally bad and but for luck we could have ended up in prison. WRONG. The vast majority of Americans are not in prison because they decided to NOT COMMIT CRIMES! Those who are there decided to break the law or hang around with those who did. They are not there because they learned to count watching Sesame Street and not in Pre-K, but because they lacked the self control to obey the law. Life isn’t easy for most people. Almost everyone has been in a bad place at one time or another where there was an easy way out that was not legal. The difference is the vast majority of people chose not to commit a crime. Many of us on the right would agree life in prison for a first offense drug dealer and 20 years for a bank robber is not fair and sentencing needs to be re-balanced. But the left has fundamentally believes there are no bad people and nobody is responsible for their own action.

The solution to crime is not more unionized teachers babysitting Pre-K or hot school lunches for all. Crime reduction will only be achieved when parents as well as the community teach people right from wrong, good from bad and to accept personal responsibility for your actions. America is a nation where the quality of an individual should not be judged by the size of one’s wallet and where we believe in second chances and redemption. But there are consequences to actions and while second chances are noble, repeat felons are not “unfortunate”, they are just bad and should be treated very humanly in prison. Sorry Mister President, your prison photo-op was a flop, but rather insightful.

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Filed under Barack Obama, crime, justice, Leftist Myths, Liberals

Democrats Engineering Economic Disaster as Foundation of 2012 Election Strategy

As much of the financial world waits with anticipation the outcome of the so called Budget Super Committee whose report is due in just seven days, the back room strategists for the Democratic Party and Team Obama 2012 are giddy with anticipation of the economic train wreck to follow. The plan is elegant in its simplicity; allow a budget disaster which will have dire economic consequences and then cast the “obstructionist” republicans in congress for the resultant economic consequences. They have not had to be overly covert in their strategy as their pet tools in the media have been gladly echoing the White House talking points. Indeed this is the only strategy left for the leftists in Washington as the American public has rejected every element of their tax, spend and government control agenda. What is unfortunate is this destroy America strategy may well work.

Senate Democrats Ploting Stratewgy With President Obama and Vice President Biden in the Oval Office (White House Photo)

The scheme is largely the work of New York Senator Chuck Schumer who is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s political war monger in chief. Throughout more than a decade in the senate and 18 years before that in the house, Schumer has gained a reputation as a narcissistic publicity hound. With an anemic legislative record comprise almost entirely of attaching his name to bills constructed by others, Schumer has developed the finely honed skills of a political ambulance chaser. If the media is there, so if Chuck with political incendiary bombs to toss at his opponents. Credit needs to be given as he has built a successful political career by blaming opponents for everything while personally accomplishing very little.

The first stage of the “Blame the Republicans” was to create the ruse of Republican control of Congress. Forgotten is that the democrats remain in full control of the senate where Senator Harry Reid has been the Majority Leader since January 2007. Not only have the Democrats controlled the senate for the past 5 years, for almost 2 years that had the lofty position of 60 seats constituting a filibuster proof majority allowing them to proceed without Republican cooperation. Reid’s period as Majority leader is most notable for the senate never producing a single years worth of budget authorizing bills but rather relying on an uninterrupted stream of continuing resolutions. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer have succeeded in one of the most audacious Orwellian “Big Lie” strategies, and the media has embraced their message and are now full partners in the narrative.

Team Obama has been quick to join in on this destroy the American economy and blame republicans game. President Obama won the White House by promising a new political climate in Washington. Credit must be given to him he has kept his promise, as while it was almost inconceivable that the political acrimony of the final Bush term could be exceeded, Obama has done just that. I must admit as with the Democrats in the senate, Team Obama 2012 has had no choice in this strategy, everything else they have proposed has been soundly rejected by the American people. His signature achievement, Health Care Reform is opposed by more than 60 percent of Americans and is largely responsible for Democrats suffering the second biggest loss in the 2010 elections for the House of Representatives. If he were to again propose Health Care, he would be lucky to get 35 votes in the senate his own party controls. One component of that package, the SMART long term care insurance was withdrawn by his own administration when they admitted it was irreparably insolvent. In his first year in office he said in an interview 8 percent unemployment was intolerable and if he did not improve the situation his administration would be “a one term affair”. With unemployment stuck in the 9 percent range, his administration’s economic record is the most dismal since the Carter administration.

Unfortunately the GOP in congress handed the Democrats a political life jacket this past August by agreeing to $1.5 trillion in mandated cuts, divided equally between defense and entitlements, in exchange for raising the national debt ceiling. I’m not even going to get into the constitutionality of a 12 member joint senate house committee with automatic sending authority, which is questionable at best. But politically it set up an artificial Thanksgiving deadline which stood almost no chance of being achieved. Team Obama and Senators Reid and Schumer saw the opening almost immediately. President Obama initiated immediate class warfare and demanded tax increases on the “rich”. Schumer and Reid pronounced the republicans obstructionist while not allowing votes on more than 2 dozen bills passed by the house. In the single biggest act of political hypocrisy in memory, Reid prevented the Presidents own “Jobs Bill” to come to a vote in the senate less Obama be embarrassed by the repudiation it would have received by his inability to get even senate democrats to support it. As the same time President Obama was flying around the country on Air Force One blaming the do nothing republicans, while raising millions in campaign contributions from his “1 percent” supporters.

Team Obama 2012 Capital Hill Leads: Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Dick Durbin

So here we stand with a week until a train wreck which will further damage the American economy, potentially even resulting in further downgrades in the credit rating of US government securities. Give the democrats credit, they may have out foxed republicans and have kept President Obama in the race for a second term. But what cost are the Democrats prepared to make the American people pay for their political games? They could not win the battle of ideas in the 2010 election where their tax and spend policies were rejected. Today they are prepared to drive the economy over the cliff in order to manufacture an issue that could preserve their own jobs in 2012. Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama; three who are prepared to further devastate the American economy to preserve their own political viability. They may well win, but will not be able to escape the shame that will forever tarnish their reputations.

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Filed under 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Budget, Congress, Constitution, Health Care, Leadership, Liberals, Media, National Debt, Obama Administration, Politics, Republican Party, Spending, Taxes, The Grand Old Party, The White House, United States House of Representatives, US Senate

The Reality of National Debt

After years of uncomfortable silence, the nation’s political discourse is now full of, if not dominated by, discussions of the crisis created by the national debt. This is long overdue as the seeds were planted for this over decades. Headlining the news today is the social unrest created in Greece as they have finally reached the edge of the financial cliff and faced with the prospect of going over that rim, are trying to find a solution which apportions the pain across the population. It is easy for American commentators to dismiss the situation in Greece as a flawed comparison which could never happen in the United States. Indeed Greece is a small country with a population of just 11.3 million, as part of the euro zone it had limited monetary control and is not considered a strong economy. The United States is still the largest economy in the world, both in nominal terms, but also more importantly on a per capita basis among the major economies and among the most diverse economies in the world. The US Dollar is the international reserve currency and considered the safest in the world; the one international investors seek in times of financial and political risk. Most importantly the Greek debt has passed 125 percent of GDP while the US is at a much more manageable 75 percent. While all this is true, it overlooks some of the challenges we face in the US in resolving the debt crisis, the liabilities within the social Security System which are not counted in the national debt calculation and the potentially devastating effect of an international exodus from the US dollar if investors lost faith in our ability to manage our finances.

Greek People Take to the Streets to Protest Government Cuts

What the Greek situation today does illustrate is the significant social strains which will be places on American society in the event we do not find a long term solution to our fiscal situation. Somewhere around 2026, just 15 years from now, the majority of Americans who as of now depend on Social Security for a majority of their retirement will get a shock when their benefits are cut by 30 to 40 percent when the Social Security runs out of money. The social implications of this should be alarming to policy makers as it will place at risk the basic structure of American society. On one hand we will potentially have a massive displacement of older Americans, many of whom will be facing homelessness or massive restrictions of basic needs of life which we as a people have found to be unacceptable. On the other hand there will only be between 2.0 and 2.5 workers in the workplace to support each of those then receiving benefits and any tax increase to support those receiving benefits could easily double their total effective tax bill, a situation which would be socially, let alone politically unacceptable. The massive cuts in all spending and unavoidable tax increases would likely send Americans to the street.

Back in 1985 Ronald Reagan’s commission on Social Security proposed relatively modest adjustments to the cost of living increases in Social Security, many of which simply better reflected the actual cost of living for seniors, as well as a gradual increase in the retirement age. This represents the inevitable truth of Social Security, when created you received benefits at 65 when life expectancy was just 62. Then Senate Majority leader Bob Dole courageously endorsed the commission’s recommendations and as a result saw the Republican majority reduced to a minority in the 1986 midterm elections as the Democratic demagogues portrayed it as forcing seniors to eat cat food. Thus the myth of Social Security being the “third rail” of American politics was born, a myth reconfirmed in 2005 when President Bush half heartedly attempted to allow private investment and management of social security. Policy makers today can only wish they had options as painless as those Bob Dole chose to champion.

At its core, the federal budget deficit is a reflection of the fight for America’s self identity in the coming decades. President Obama is in fact a social-democrat, progressive, socialist or whatever you want to label those who seek a dramatically expanded a European style role for government. If you choose to support this view it is impossible not to dramatically increase taxes to pay for those services. This will also result in a change in the nature of American society to one where government replaces the entrepreneurial private sector as the leader of society. Those of us who believe that government’s role should be limited to national and domestic security and providing only a social safety net enough to ensure our citizens are not neglected must recognize the time has arrived to stop the inertia of government spending. This means revitalizing the private sector and true capitalism. We must restore the concept of moral hazard to the private sector: if your business is not successful and well managed then it should fail to be replaced by those who can. We must stimulate the private sector not with shovel ready dreams but with tax cuts to spur investment (a dramatic acceleration of capital depreciation on new investments as an example), reductions in government regulations and eliminating regulatory activists such as the NLRB (if Boeing wants to build a factory in South Carolina, it is no concern of the federal government, period). And raising the debt ceiling should be done to a reasonable ceiling, then prevented from increasing the next time we fail to live within our means.

The riots in the streets of Greece should be seen as a somewhat blurred and distorted by the filter of time look into our future if we stay on our current track. Over the past few years I have resisted supporting some of the more emotional movements calling for reductions in government. I believe we as Republicans must present a free market alternative to Obamacare rather than simply call for repeal. The responsibility of governing calls for the adoption of real solutions not just opposing the socialist programs of the left. We must show true fiscal stewardship of all elements of government spending such as defense (the elimination of programs even the Generals don’t want like the F136 “alternative” engine for the F 35). Every American must embrace less government spending even in their home town, not just the rest of the country. This will not be a one program Silver bullet but rather a line item by line item review of spending. While I truly fear the empty rhetoric we hear from all sides in Washington today, I have tremendous faith in the American people. When challenged the people have always faced sacrifice and restraint with strength and resolve. What is needed is the courage of leadership to make the case to the people those real solutions exist and a path to stability is defined. What we need is detailed reforms, not empty rhetoric; what we need are real leaders, not blow hards and demagogues. It truly is time to man up.

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Filed under 2012 Election, American Leadership, Barak Obama, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Free Markets, Health Care, Liberals, Obama Administration, Politics, Social Security, Spending, Taxes

What Lessons Should GOP Take from NY 26 Loss?

While it is easy to portray the loss in NY 26 as simply as a missed opportunity in a three way brawl with two well funded Democrats, there are some deeper lessons for 2012. Clearly the Democrats have a strategy that worked and they will try to repeat in any district they can of planting fake Tea Party candidates in races. The mainstream media totally ignored the fact that the “Tea Party” candidate had run three times previously as a Democrat and as late as the 2010 election cycle had made contributions to the Democrats. Only a grass roots uproar and efforts to expose the frauds by conservative groups prevented this from being totally successful. That said, there is a lesson for the Tea Party that any third candidate efforts are likely to elect Democrats in almost any race.

The Democrats also test ran their Mediscare campaign with great success where they characterized Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, and specifically its proposals to reform Medicare as an effort that would leave old folks sick on the streets. This is classic Democratic scare tactics where they make no proposals of their own how to solve the nation’s problems but run against the GOP by a well orchestrated scare campaign. They have been using it effectively since they won back the senate in 1996 on republican plans to reform social security. Twenty five years later those reforms seem modest compared to those needed now to restore solvency to the retirement plan, but nobody since has seriously faced the reality which was seen a quarter of a century ago that social security was going bankrupt. Today, the senate democrats, the majority party, are making no budget proposal of their own but rather want to force a vote on the House GOP budget which will be defeated by their majority but they hope to force senate GOP to vote for those cuts. Even faced with a financial crisis the Democrats would rather a vote they can use for politics over one that solves the nation’s problems.

Now is a time of serious problems which require serious efforts to avoid an even deeper crisis. It seems we never g take the fight back to the Democrats. Hade the 1995 GOP plan to reform social security been adopted there would be no need for the significant cuts we face today. These changes are nothing compared to what we will face in a decade if nothing is done. The spending reductions in the Ryan budget are nothing compared to the impact on the economy if we experience a full debt crisis in a decade if the Democratic budget deficit grows unchecked. While the Bush deficits were indefensible, the Obama solution has been to double them. The lesson of NY 26 is we need to take the fight to the democrats first and paint a very real picture of how scary the future will be if we do not restore fiscal responsibility. There are no easy solutions, but it is solutions which America needs.

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Filed under 2012 Election, Barak Obama, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Liberals, National Debt, Obama Administration, Spending, Taxes, The Grand Old Party

The Question of Tax Breaks for the Oil and Gas Industry

Today we see the spectacle of five CEO’s of the major oil companies being marched in front of the klieg lights to be grilled before the Senate Finance Committee. The democrats are demanding the repeal of tax breaks for the Oil and Gas industry to reduce demands for spending cuts to achieve deficit reductions. Some Republicans will be defending the continued bail out of the oil and gas industries. Unfortunately there is far more at stake here than the hyperbole of Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would let on. Indeed the questions raised by the current energy price escalation and the deficit crisis are complicated and not easily answered. but key to America’s economic and strategic future.

21st Century American Energy Security is Central to Our Future

As a fiscal conservative I am opposed to any industry subsidies as they are just tax payer bail outs disguised as tax reductions. It drives me crazy to see so called conservatives arguing for industry specific tax breaks, regardless if they are for the oil & gas industry, farm price supports or the General Motors bail out. Simply put in a free market companies should manage themselves based on the market based supply and demand forces. When they interfere with those forces by way of collusion (price fixing) then the Justice Department should perp walk them straight to prison. Let the market do its thing, period. It has taken me years to come around to the Flat Tax but the excessive use of industry specific tax and fiscal bail outs based solely on which industry has the best lobbyists is just uncontrollable. It’s time to have a lower flat tax rate with very few deductions (based on GAP accounting, not legislative gibberish) and let companies succeed or fail based on their performance. Not only would this be simpler and less costly (my apologies to all the soon to be unemployed tax accountants and lawyers) but this would allow businesses to plan long term in a stable tax environment.

Don’t be confused by the words spoken at the hearings today, this is simply political theater of the round and an embarrassment to the concept of free enterprise. Yes these CEO’s are coming as an extension of their lobbying efforts to continue to get a bail out for their industry. The Leftist will vilify the corporations over their profits (god forbid anyone makes profits) and talk about the pain of consumers paying gas prices of more than $4 a gallon. Republicans will forget their free market roots and defend the ongoing bail out an industry with combined profits of more than three times the total tax break. All throughout the klieg lights will flash and CNN, Fox News MSDNC and CNBC will provide live coverage of the drama of pre written statements being read. As I said, theater of the round.

All the while maybe the most strategic question to the United States in the next decades will be totally ignored, sustainable energy self sufficiency for America. The politics of this subject have been so blurred than it is dizzying. I am proudly conservative and as such believe in self sufficiency and self reliance, of the individual and the nation. Being conservative does not mean being pro any industry nor does it mean being anti environment. America should be aggressively pursuing clean renewable energy sources. We should be developing domestic oil, gas and coal. We should be developing next generation nuclear energy sources. There is no single solution to our energy problems but there is a common enemy. By allowing our reliance on foreign energy to continue we are continuing our dependence on people who don’t like us. I would rather see solar cells on the roof of every home in my town than continue sending almost a TRILLION DOLLARS a year to Hugo Chaves in Venezuela and to the Saudis’ to pay for Madrasa schools to teach your Arabs to hate us. Really, it’s time to wake up and stop this Washington theater and let loose the ingenuity of the American entrepreneur and private sector and develop the technologies which will allow us to be totally energy self sufficient.

Those of us on the right must step back and think what it really is to be a conservative. I opposed the General Motors bail out since it prevented a poorly run corporation from failing. If the oil and gas industry cannot make money from producing oil and gas inside the largest energy consuming market in the world, welcome to Chapter 11. Pass a flat corporate tax which is based on sound accounting, fair and predictable. Government should limit itself to preventing illegal market abuse, there is nothing Conservative about price fixing and anti competitive practices if they really occur. As for the Senate Finance Committee, I think they have a deficit problem to deal with.

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Filed under American Leadership, Budget, Congress, Conservative, Energy, Free Markets, Liberals, National Debt, Politics, Spending, Taxes