Archive for the ‘Budget’ Category

A Video You Must Watch

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Confronting Our Worst Fears About the GOP

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Peas in a Pod

It should come as no surprise to conservatives that we’re being shafted on virtually every issue by some gang-of-eight or other assembly of Republicans who simply will not stand up to the Democrats.  Normally, I don’t spend much time guessing at their motives, instead tending to examine the results of their positions. I don’t necessarily assume that our GOP establishment opponents are evil, but merely misguided.  This view has been changing, because the more closely I examine their positions, the more baffled I become by any logical standard of measurement.  The problem is that discovering their motive has become increasingly important to the prospect of defeating them.  If we understood what it is that they’re after, we might find it somewhat easier to beat them or make them irrelevant. Sadly, I have begun to conclude that my worst fears may be true.  The GOP’s establishment wing clearly runs the show, leading us to perpetual defeat. It is time to ask ourselves why by considering the issues on which they’ve abandoned conservatism.

My first question must go to folks like Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan(R-WI) on the issue of immigration reform: “Are you stupid?” I know this will seem a bit blunt to some people, but it’s a sincere question.  The Senate Gang-of-Tr8ors bill offers to create between twelve and thirty million new citizens over the coming decade.  We already know that the overwhelming majority of them will be Latinos of Mexican origin, and that their tendency is to vote for the Democrats by a seven-to-two ratio or worse, once they become eligible.  What sort of complete and utter moron must one be to believe this could in any way redound to the benefit of the Republican party, conservatism, or even our nation’s future?  Given the stance of Ryan and his cohorts, we are left to conclude that there can be only two things driving their position.  Either they are among the most pathetically irrational and moronic persons, or they must know what will happen and wish to gain that result.  There are no alternatives.

On the issue of the budget, the establishment Republicans insist that we must support Paul Ryan’s pathetic, tinkering attempt at reform, even though it establishes no concrete foundation of reform, instead promising to reduce the rate of growth of the deficit, but not arresting it entirely, never mind addressing the mounting debt.  More, when you call members of the House or Senate to demand an explanation as to how the official National Debt count has been stuck for two months running, despite the fact that the government is taking on more debt, none of the Republican members seem all too interested in finding an explanation.  Once again, we are confronted with the question: Are these people simply oblivious?  Why aren’t they screaming at the top of their lungs? Here you have an administration that is exceeding the statutory debt limit by billions of dollars, and in order to disguise it, they’ve stopped the debt clock. Other than the frozen clock, they’ve continued business as usual.  What good is a sequestration of funds?  What good is a debt limit fight if the guys who must engage have already surrendered?  Do you believe for one moment that Paul Ryan or the rest of the RINO phalanx in Washington DC is unaware?  Do you believe they are so incompetent as to miss the significance of these Treasury Department actions?  It is either true that they are so incompetent that we must for the good of the nation replace them, or they are willing to let Obama do what he’s doing, in which case we must be rid of them for the same reason.

I have said many times that it doesn’t really matter whether they’re simply foolish or guilty of collusion, but I’ve come to change my view on this.  One can’t forgive negligence born of incompetence, but one must punish willful misdeeds more harshly as a warning to other would-be scoff-laws.  It’s a matter of intent.  Are the establishment Republicans in Washington DC, under the “leadership” of John Boehner(R-OH,) Mitch McConnell(R-OH,) and all the other big-government Republicans simply guilty of foolishness and incompetence, or is their behavior evidence of malice?  This is the ugly question we must ask ourselves, because we may choose one or the other alternative postulate, but never both.

It’s now clear to me that the Republican party as expressed by its “leaders” in Washington DC is in open collusion with the Democrats and President Obama.  There is no other way to explain their willingness to go along, knowing what the results will be.  On Benghazi, they help the Democrats obfuscate, and on the IRS scandal, they gum up the works, but on legislative matters of significance, they are lending an assist to Democrats: On immigration, the budget and debt ceiling, the funding of Obama-care, and a range of somewhat less significant issues at the moment, they are not merely capitulating, but assisting the Democrats.  They must be either the largest collection of stupid people in any government on the planet, or they intend the results their efforts are obtaining.  It cannot be both.

A conservative must now ask with pointed clarity: Does it matter if John Boehner or some lunatic Democrat wins his seat in 2014?  Does it matter in the least if Lamar Alexander or some Tennessee Democrat wins that Senate seat in 2014?  The answer is yes:  The prospective Democrat in either case is at least being honest about his or her  intentions, in the main, at least to the degree that by running as Democrats, we voters may make an accurate guess about what sort of legislation will result.  This cannot be said of the RINOs in the GOP.  By running as Republicans, there has been at least the implicit idea that such candidates will oppose statism, but that simply hasn’t been the case. If ever there had been a time in American history when the willingness of voters to be true to themselves was the most critical aspect of their political activism and engagement, now must be that time.  We must admit in the open what we have long suspected: The establishment wing of the GOP consists of traitors to every value and ideal we hold sacred, because they are in open collusion with those who are actively seeking the destruction of our country.

Make no mistake about it: They want the destruction too.

 

 

Would Gang of Tr8ors Support Tax-Payer Amnesty?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Let’s Ditch All of This

For those who insist upon the rule of law, and who therefore find it abominable that any legislator would support a program of amnesty, it’s impossible to understand how they don’t see the real danger of their immigration proposals.  If those who have violated our laws will not be held accountable, forced to leave the country, to be placed in a position at the end of the line, behind all those who have followed the law, why would any person follow the law from the moment some sort of amnesty is enacted?  Since legislators are generally a thick-skulled, treacherous, intransigent lot, I thought it would be better to place this in terms they might understand somewhat more readily.  Among the things representatives, senators and presidents love best is to spend tax-payers’ money.  We have every conceivable evidence to demonstrate this is true, to the outlandish extent that they are willing to spend money they first must ask the Federal Reserve to lend into existence.  Their willingness to borrow notwithstanding, I wonder what would happen if some crafty Senator like Ted Cruz(R-TX)(ahem, hint, hint) were to introduce a bill that would provide for a blanket tax-payer amnesty on an indefinite basis, much like has been passed in the Senate for illegals under the Gang-of-Tr8ors Senate Amnesty bill.

How hard could it be, after all?  If giving away a pathway to citizenship to scofflaws is expected to ultimately attract some forty-five million new voters, just imagine how many voters our politicians could attract with this plan, and without any worries about messy citizenship paperwork.  Of course, you needn’t concern yourselves with the fact that every person in the country would thereafter decide to stop paying their taxes, because we all know how thoroughly serious a matter it is to elected Democrats and Republicans alike to ensure they send the money they owe to Uncle Sam.  Think of the cost-savings!

If you think it sounds a bit far-fetched, it’s only because you know politicians would never offer to you, their citizen captives, what they will offer to the new class of wage-slaves they hope to import.  Still, I believe this is an important point of order to be raised among the intelligentsia in Washington DC:  If amnesty is good for the goose, should it not be likewise good for the gander?  I’m not talking about some petty amnesty that will let tax-payers walk on a portion of their bill, one time, for all time.  I am describing here an amnesty that would apply across the board to all tax-payers, each and every time they owe taxes, and for the full amount.  Why not?  Will legislators insist that this is impossible, in part because it will encourage lawlessness, driving tax receipts for the Treasury inexorably downward?  Pish-posh, that’s not going to happen, because we have as an example the Senate’s Gang-of-Tr8ors bill that they assure us will have no such effect on the subject of immigration.

Do they want safeguards?  Perhaps we should offer such safeguards as they’ve delivered in their Gang-of-Tr8ors bill.  On the second Tuesday of next week, we will promise to pay our full tax bills in exchange for amnesty now.  We can authorize an “electronic fence” around the US treasury that will be funded by all the new tax-payers this amnesty will provide, right Senator Scrubio(RINO-FL)?  I think we could provide assurances to the members of the House and Senate that such an amnesty would never create an empty Treasury, and that legalized anarchy in revenue would not prevail.  Indeed, in order to cut government costs of administration, we should hire 10,000 additional IRS bureaucrats to assist with the amnesty.  It seems they need more staff, being tied-up as they are with all of those audits of Tea Party and Conservative groups.

Wouldn’t it create vast new economic growth?  Imagine all the new economic activity born of such an amnesty!  Except for the part that we would be assuring the Congress that tax-bills would naturally continue to be paid on time, and in the full amounts owed, [wink-wink,] we know that the tax-payers who were granted amnesty under such a plan would plow the money into new business endeavors, hire more of those illegal aliens who won’t be illegal any longer, and otherwise create an economic boom!  Just imagine: We will have permanently eliminated all tax-cheating!

This all seems too sweet for politicians to pass-up, but I suspect that they’re a bit more realistic about dollars and cents than they are about handing out citizenship, work visas, and “green cards.”  It is for precisely the reasons that such a plan is unworkable with taxation and revenue that it is equally preposterous in the field of immigration and border security: Having destroyed all legal barriers, there is no longer any reason to comply with the law, and not a single soul with the minimal sense nature gave to a starfish will be inclined to comply.  Why comply when non-compliance carries no penalties and no downside?

I think some enterprising Representative ought to raise this as an amendment to any House bill, (which should be roundly defeated in any case, even absent such provisions,) because I would simply like to see the look on some dim-witted representative’s face, perhaps the budget committee chairman’s, as he tries to explain why amnesty would be great for illegal aliens but horrible for the US tax-payer.  I would like to see any of these people justify this in virtually any other context.  Sadly, they will avoid this question like the plague, but you should not.  Ask them:

“Senator Maverick McLame, can we get some of that blanket amnesty for tax-payers?”

In the House:

“Chairman Ryan, wouldn’t your argument about economic growth apply even more thoroughly to tax-payer amnesty?”

Rubio, in the corridor:

“Senator [SC]Rubio, is it true that you said “tax-payer amnesty” isn’t simply code for “tax-cuts?”

In a hurry to get to a “We like Weiner Anthony” rally, Schmuckie Schumer(Dementocrat-NY)  is caught on the run:

“Senator Schmuckie, does the proposed tax-payer amnesty bill steam your Weiner?”

They’ll be in a hurry to get somewhere, so talk fast. I guarantee they will.

Obama Openly Hints at Dictatorship

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Dictator Obama

In a speaking engagement that looked suspiciously like a campaign stump speech, on Wednesday, Barack Obama implied that if Republicans attempted to tie the debt ceiling to the budgetary negotiations, he might ignore them, stating “We’re not going to play that game.”  All along, Obama has shown a willingness to exceed his constitutional authority.  Since the Debt Ceiling debacle of 2011, there’s word circulating in leftist circles that under the 14th Amendment, there is some authority for the President to ignore Congress in order to satisfy the payment of our debts, but no such authority exists in the 14th Amendment.  This is a troubling proposition, and the fact that our Prevaricator-in-Chief  now makes these kinds of implications portends potentially lethal danger to our republic.  Obama has made little secret of the fact that he detests the prohibitions on excessive government authority in the US Constitution, but ladies and gentlemen, if he hasn’t gone too far already, this should be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

To help you understand what this ludicrous, malevolent narcissist has in mind, let’s first view his speech to the Business Roundtable on Wednesday.  The most interesting remarks come after the 13:00 mark, but the whole of the speech offers insight into the maniacal thinking of this man.  He is going to destroy this economy to exact his revenge, and none should be in the mood to let John Boehner make deals with this sort of mindset:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPLufmf50sg]

As to the proposition that the 14th Amendment provides some authority for the President to circumvent Congress, this is a preposterous claim.  The relevant sections of the Fourteenth Amendment states:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article

Notice that section 4 was intended to deal specifically with war debt accrued by the Union in fighting against the confederacy during the civil war.  The leftists who advocate on behalf of section 4 as a proscription against a debt ceiling are lunatics.  It not only requires the setting aside of the context of the amendment, but also ignoring the subsequent section, that specifically empowers Congress to enact legislation pursuant to this amendment.

In Article I, Section 8, the following are to be found among the specifically enumerated powers of Congress:

The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current coin of the United States;

Notice that all of these powers that are in fact granted to Congress in financial and fiscal matters fall within the context of the following statement, concluding Section 8:

;—And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

There is no mention of a Presidential role in this process, apart from his ordinary Article II authority to veto or approve legislation.  Nothing in Article II provides the President authority to coin money, borrow money, or appropriate funds. No imaginary, tortured rationalizations of the 14th Amendment permit him to touch this apart from signing or vetoing legislation that comes before him. If he attempts what the leftists are suggesting, he is in open violation of the constitution, and this must be confronted.

Naturally, given the track record of Barack Obama, there’s little to suggest that he wouldn’t merely claim the authority, act on such basis, and then simply let Congress try to stop him in court.  This would essentially create a window in which we would be reliant upon John Boehner and the Republicans to stop him, but the tepid leadership we’ve seen to date suggests they would present no obstacle to this imperial president.

My friends, there is nothing so dangerous as a demagogue acting as chief of state, and his inclinations toward dictatorial actions provide plenty of cause for concern.  Not only must we rid ourselves of John Boehner, but we must also be willing to make a stand against this president in the name of the constitution.  Our nation is dying a slow death, but rather than acting responsibly, Barack Obama is rushing to be the first man to throw a shovel-full of dirt on its grave.  John Boehner is weak and tepid, a pallbearer to our premature national funeral, and he seems more concerned with his own political survival.  We are in deep trouble, but we must stand on behalf of our constitution, or risk losing it.

 

Boehner Must Go

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Holiday Spirit?

Back in the days of the early Cold War, Senator Joe McCarthy spent a good deal of effort trying to uncover crypto-communists, people in government and in popular culture who hid behind labels like “liberal” and “progressive,” but who were secretly working directly or indirectly for the world-wide communist movement.  The media (being dominated by crypto-communists) set out to destroy McCarthy’s reputation, and their friends in the historical community helped to blot all of the communist betrayals from future generations.  Today, we have a putative Republican majority in the House of Representatives, but for the second time in less than two years, the Republican leadership in the House is working to undermine its conservative members while offering deals on the “fiscal-cliff” to Barack Obama, both publicly and behind closed doors.

These so-called “”deals” are only good for President Obama, but they are disasters for our Republic and its future.  No conservative can possibly believe that any of the deals being discussed publicly are anything but destructive, and yet here is our Republican House leadership, the last firewall against the predations of Obama, and he’s making deals, planning for defections, with the intention of getting it through the House primarily with Democrat votes!  I believe this is evidence of more than mere incompetence because what these repeated sell-outs evince is a thoroughgoing contempt for the Republic.  I no longer believe Boehner is merely weak or foolish.  I don’t believe there’s a sober human being alive who could be this incompetent. Instead, I believe he is either a crypto-socialist plant of the leftist variety, or he has been compromised in other ways.  Either way, for the good of the country, John Boehner must go.

Never have I seen a Speaker of the House work so unashamedly for his adversary and against his own party.  This isn’t the behavior one should expect from a Republican, never mind somebody who claims to be a conservative, but if Boehner succeeds in throwing a deal to Obama, it will be on the strength of only a few hands-full of Republicans.  It will be the moderates who will pass this deal out of committee, and there will be a sudden bloom of support from across the aisle.  There’s no point in extenuating the matter.  When the election for Speaker occurs in the next Congress in January, we must get sufficient abstentions to ditch this jerk.  As Ned Ryun writes at RedState, it will take 218 votes to re-install him as Speaker, and that means we must work to prevent Boehner from obtaining that number.  It’s a long shot, but it’s our only chance to rid ourselves of this man, and the problem is that Cantor is no better.  We are going to need to say no to a number of these DC establishment Republicans, and we have just four weeks to bring sufficient pressure to do so.

On Wednesday, Boehner held a press conference during which he took several questions.  His answers indicated that he has already surrendered.  He talked about taxing the rich, saying:

“Now the revenues we’re going to put on the table come from…guess who?  The rich.”

What has happened to the so-called leadership of the Republican party?  Here, John Boehner adopted the language of the left, providing a de facto endorsement of it.  Boehner isn’t interested in fixing any of this, but is instead leading his party to doom.  As we know from earlier in the week, he dumped four conservatives from influential committees because they were not “loyal.” To whom or to what does a conservative owe his loyalty?  John Boehner?  Forgive me, but my representative does not owe his loyalty to John Boehner.  He must be faithful to the US Constitution and loyal to his home district, but not to freaking John Boehner, particularly when it means abandoning these higher principles.

This sort of damage is not accidental.  Either Boehner is corrupt and compromised because those FBI files (or their contemporary equivalents) have come back to haunt him, or because he’s simply a leftist who obtained his office and position as a Republican by playing a role.  One might have concluded that he is merely a fear-driven political animal acting due to a faulty perception of his political survival, but that doesn’t explain his behavior with respect to the conservatives in Congress. No, I suspect that Boehner is compromised, and that he is acting as an agent for the left, but even if it’s not that simple, the effect is precisely the same: The destruction of the United States as we have known it. You may be satisfied to leave him in place, but I am not.  For the good of the Republic, and in faithful service to that writ of our supreme law that had formed it, John Boehner must go.

 

Another Bite at the Apple: The Desperate Need for Welfare Reform

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Insensitive?

In the immediate aftermath of the election, I suggested to readers that the key driver in Barack Obama’s re-election was one particular sub-group of the electorate in which Romney got creamed.  I pointed to single mothers as the key group that killed any chance of a Romney victory, and the reason I suggested was simple enough to understand: “Free stuff.”  In short, this particular segment of the populace views big government as a “sugar daddy,” and by extension, it’s chief advocate, Barack Obama was the chief beneficiary of this view.  I had known that the number of programs and benefits available to women who fit that description was quite amazing, but I had no idea the extent to which this is true. The simple truth of the matter is that unless and until conservatives devise a method by which to change this formula, they are going to lose national elections.  The problem they will face in so doing is the screed of the left about a “war on women,” but apart from weak-kneed leadership, afraid of such attacks, if something doesn’t change, the country is already lost.

The following image is a chart put together by James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute, and it demonstrates how a single mother is subsidized by the state, or how Eve, once tempted from her pedestal, became a ward of the state:

The first thing that should strike you is that a single mother of two earning only $29K is subsidized to the extent that she has the same effective lifestyle as a similar woman, unsubsidized, earning $69K, because net, the two have around $57K in income and benefits.  Effectively doubling her meager gross by virtue of the welfare state’s programs, the woman earning $29K is in pretty good shape.  People have lamented to me over the years about people who use foodstamps, but who also load their groceries into awfully nice cars, and the question had been: How can this be? Here’s part of the answer, inasmuch as relieved of the costs of food, medical care, and a tax burden, among other welfare-state benefits, what income is present is freed-up for the purchase of that nicer car.  It’s no wonder she has an iPhone 5, because under this construct, she can afford it, since taxpayers are subsidizing to some degree virtually everything else.

Leftists and those of the moderate middle wonder why we conservatives claim that such programs are a disincentive to work, but the facts make it clear.  What is the point in bettering oneself if it actually can be a detriment to income, as the chart above makes perfectly clear.  At certain thresholds, by earning the next marginal amount, benefits available drop off to the extent that it’s punitive to earn more.  This explains well why in certain lines of work, we have the phenomenon of women roughly matching the description, who quit or get themselves fired once they’ve been there a certain period of time, and it’s because they need to keep earning, but they also need to prevent themselves from crossing these thresholds, or “welfare cliffs.”

The challenge to conservatives is to reverse this without being accused of waging a “war on women.”  The first thing we need to admit is that such a situation is a travesty, both to the women trapped by this process, and to those who are working outside the blanket of this lavish welfare state.  It should never be the case that our people are faced with the choice of placing reason in adversity to morality.  Let me try to explain it this way: If you’re that woman earning $29K, you’d be nuts to earn enough money to push you over the cliff.  It would diminish and damage your lifestyle, and the lives of your children.  At the same time, you would [hopefully] know that to continue to languish on these programs is wrong, but when you look around, you notice everybody around you is doing it, so how wrong can it really be?

This dichotomy is the difficulty we face.  We have provided this system, and it is entirely socialistic.  Viewed from a big-picture perspective, it’s constructed precisely to create a very socialistic outcome: The net wages and benefits are flat from wage or salary levels of $29K to nearly $70K. The woman who earns $29K is the economic equal of the woman who grosses $40K more.  This is an astonishing revelation to many people, who had no idea how thoroughly perverse with socialism this system had really become.  Is there any wonder that welfare-to-work initiatives have failed in recent years, to the largest extent?  Is there any wonder that job training programs seem to have been largely fruitless?

It’s easy enough to identify the problem once you have the facts before you, but then the question becomes: Whatever shall we do about it?  If Congress simply slashes these benefits, they fear they won’t be re-elected, but if they don’t do something soon, they won’t be re-elected anyway because this will have become the daily reality for far too many people to ever reverse it.  The problem is that if we don’t reverse it, it’s going to bankrupt us, and that day is coming all too soon. All of this subsidization is being accomplished with borrowed money, and it simply is not sustainable.  It’s always difficult to convince people that their best long-run interests are better served by giving up a little in the shorter run, and the evidence is quite obvious when one examines how few people ever put money away for retirement or savings in any form. Part of the reason they’re unable is because the money they’re earning today is being taxed to subsidize others, so that the total effect of this problem is much worse and much more widespread than the superficial conclusions one might draw.

We need a real, thorough examination of our welfare state, but under the current administration, we’ll be lucky if we can merely restrict its growth.  This administration knows where its bread is buttered, and it’s not going to yield any ground on this without a brutal fight.  The truth may be that this has already doomed us to a financial and monetary collapse of epic proportions.   When that happens, it won’t matter any longer because this will come to a screeching halt, and both the single mothers in this scenario will pay a terrible price along with every other American.  The left has worked very hard to dissociate any stigma previously attached to such subsidies, so we’re going to need to make more than a financial argument, because this is a problem in largest measure of desperate moral concern.  We need adults in the room, but right now, Congress is acting as the elves in Obama’s portrayal of Santa Claus, and the states have become the sleigh, Rudolph, and his eight four-legged friends. It must stop, but in truth, one way or the other, it will stop.  The question is whether it stops in a sudden crash, or instead because we decide wisely to apply the brakes. The choice is still yours.

For now.

The DC Role-Playing Game Continues Over the Fiscal Cliff

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Knuckle-draggers…

It’s as though it were a written script.  All the players are carrying out their performance with practiced expertise.  Given our past experiences with the leadership of both parties, one might guess that the outcome of the “fiscal cliff” crisis had been preordained.  It’s beginning to nauseate me to watch this same old crowd play the same old game without any hesitation.  Those of us who’ve watched these sorts of situations in the past have come to expect this sort of performance, as exemplified most recently the Debt Ceiling Deal of August 2011.  All of the actors know their lines, and the end of the plot will go as planned, while they throw in some plot twist for your entertainment.  As it seems we’re to be the endless butt of the insiders’ jokes, we might just as well prepare ourselves to be disappointed once again.  These people aren’t serious, and the leadership on the Republican side is downright hostile to conservatives, so we shouldn’t be surprised if they’re readying themselves to put another one over on us.  One can almost imagine the script, knowing the deal’s final composition has been determined already:

Boehner: “We’ll need to pass our own plan first, to blunt criticism from the knuckle-draggers.”

Obama: “I know, and I’m going to need to let Harry do most of my talking. Now John, just don’t be too rough on me in the press.  Throw in some of those tears-it drives your base berserk!  We’re still on for a round after the inaugural, right?”

McConnell: “I’ll let it leak to the press that I laughed at your offer.”

Reid: “Perfect! I’ll come out and say that the Republicans want to starve children and feed the rich their supper.”

Boehner: “Come on Harry, do you always have to lay it on so thick?”

Pelosi: “I just want to know if you’ll let me hold that gavel for a couple more years in 2013. We got rid of that dreadful Allen West, didn’t we?”

Biden: “Hey Barry, can I sit at the Resolute Desk while you’re in Hawaii? It’ll help me build my image for 2016.”

(Joint laughter.)

Obama: “Okay, John, let’s go with your plan.  You make the tough stance to get your folks aboard, but don’t blow it this time. They need to believe you gave it your all before caving.  The tears will help.”

Boehner: “Yessir, this ship is going down, and there’s no sense in getting people unnecessarily riled up. Let’s keep them busy with the deck-chairs, and when it all goes, they’ll never know what hit them.  Permit me to say, Mr. President, that you’ve been masterful this year.”

Obama: “Okay, we know what we have to do. We’ll say we did all we could. Questions?”

Boehner: “How long until we pull the plug?  Do we go all the way this time, ’cause I’d like to get sauced on New Year’s Eve.”

Pelosi(Laughing joyfully): “Oh, champagne! The bubbles always make me laugh.”

Reid: “I think we should keep them guessing, at least right up until Christmas.  We can probably work up another ‘Grinch’ deal with you as the star this time, Mitch.”

McConnell(Grumbling): “Why do I always have to be the heavy?”

Obama: “Because nobody’s going to buy a crying ‘Grinch.’ Other questions?”

Biden: “Has anybody checked out a 7-11 lately?”

All others: “Shut up, Joe!”

 Ladies and gentlemen, that queasy feeling in the pits of your stomachs can be explained not as some sort of premonition, but perhaps a little more like Déjà vu.  If it seems as though we’ve been here before, it’s only because we have, but in this case, even the names haven’t changed, because there are so damnably few innocents.  For those who may have forgotten how conservatives were betrayed in 2011, during the extended Debt Ceiling debacle, let me remind you that Speaker Boehner watched the House pass “Cut, Cap & Balance” knowing it would be killed in the Senate where he had already worked out the framework of a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Barack Obama.  In short, while we were prodding our members to stand fast, he had already pulled the rug from beneath us, and as was disclosed during the aftermath, it was done at the urging of Mitt Romney because he didn’t want to have this fight impinging on what he assumed would be his Presidential campaign, a strategy history now proves had been a failure.  At the time the deal was struck in July of 2011, I along with many other conservatives urged the Congress to stand fast, because we knew that this was an election issue any Republican nominee ought not give away.

The truth seems to be that there is never a “good time” to do the hard things in Washington DC.  There’s always another election “right around the corner,” and there’s always another excuse to kick the can down the road a bit more.  Rational people will have known that there’s really no time like the present to take up these issues, and if the House of representatives won’t exercise the power we’ve given it, there’s not much point in having this collection of perpetual losers on the payroll.  If Boehner and his bunch aren’t up to the fight, either due to coziness with Democrats in the DC establishment, or merely as a result of cowardly political calculations, we must at long last send them home.

The so-called “fiscal cliff” and any sequestration is really a small divot compared to the disaster looming with more unbridled spending.  Republicans complain that the media complex will blame them, and it most assuredly will, but it will also blame them if they go along and the economy flat-lines as the result of tax increases on the productive segments of our economy.  It’s long past time to simply acknowledge that the media is going to blame Republicans, right, wrong, or indifferent, and there’s no point in wasting time with all of this whinging about the state of the media.  The media is what it is. It’s awful. Life’s hard. Get helmets.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any leaders currently serving in Washington who are willing to stand up and make a case. Instead, they’re looking to cut deals, any sort of compromise at all, and they’re willing to poke you in the eye while they reach for your wallets [again.]  Whether things are quite so collegial as my imagined exchange above, the fact remains that when all is said and done, more will have been said than done [again.]

This is the way things are(or aren’t) done in Washington. As you sip your coffee, watching the Sunday shows, know that somewhere behind the scenes, Boehner and the boys are cooking up another sell-out, and the script is already written.  As your country, your children, and the prospects of both are being bankrupted, you don’t need to wonder whether disaster can be averted. It won’t be.  Our leaders will cut a deal that will permit them to carry on the charade a little longer, purchasing only one more installment of delay for the coming disaster borne by their inaction.

Note: The site had been experiencing some difficulties with the comment system.  I now believe it to be repaired. Thank you for your patience.

 

 

 

Obama to Stand Down On Military Pay and Benefits

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Forgetting Them Again

My son-in-law is getting set for deployment to Afghanistan. His departure is imminent, and while I am proud of the young man’s continuing service to this country, this being his second deployment, I am startled by the manner in which the current administration treats all our soldiers.  The truth is that the Obama administration doesn’t even like the military, and except for instances in which they can be used as a campaign prop, they haven’t any regard for the men and women who volunteer to serve this nation.  One Obama-friendly group has come out with its proposal for trimming military pay and benefits, and it’s shocking to realize how little regard they have for our service-members based on what they’re advocating.  The Center for American Progress, a completely maniacal left-wing cohort of Obama’s, largely funded by George Soros, has actually suggested that our government should cut the pay and benefits of soldiers dramatically.  It’s disgusting.  It’s despicable.  It’s another example of how the left doesn’t understand or appreciate our military men and women, but if Obama is re-elected, it’s probably the blueprint for what will happen.  It’s time to consider the disastrous consequences of another presidential stand-down.

They’ve actually proposed cutting military retirement, and they’ve also proposed changing the rules for when one can begin drawing a military retirement.  Rather than commencing retirement benefits upon retirement, the madcaps at the Center for American Progress are pushing the notion that benefits shouldn’t commence until 60.  I want those of you who haven’t served in the military to think about this very carefully.  If a young man or woman serves twenty years in the military, on average, it’s not like working in the civilian world for two decades.  The abuses of one’s body, the toll it takes on one’s family, and the miserable conditions under which two decades of life are conducted is something for which there are no direct analogs in the civilian world.  One person I know, a police officer, who works hard and is dedicated to public safety, likened his profession to the military, and I stopped and corrected him.  There is a vast difference, and it comes down to this: Our service-members live under martial authority.  It’s not like being a cop, much as I respect so many in that profession.

Let’s be blunt about it: If you are a police officer, and you arrive at a scene, and your Sergeant or Lieutenant tells you to carry out some ludicrous order that puts you in danger, you can refuse.  The worst thing that can happen to you is that you will be fired.  In garrison, or on the battlefield, a soldier really has no such discretion, because failing to follow orders can get you dead.  You see, in the military, there really isn’t room for such discretion, and those who volunteer to serve have set aside the ordinary right to refuse all of us in the civilian world enjoy, in favor of the mission set forth by their commanders, but since they do not get to pick the term of their enlistments according to who is in command at the time, either nationally or locally, they simply must comply.

To get capable, smart, qualified people to do the jobs we ask our service-members to do in peacetime at their miserable rate of pay is hard enough, but multiplied and magnified by the rigors of war-fighting, and a simple existence under martial authority, we need to offer an enticement.  That’s why we offer at least somewhat enticing retirement benefits, but this is also why the left, despite all their previous anti-draft protesting, is very much pro-conscription:  They wish to be able to force people to serve in these conditions.  Imposing the pay and benefits cuts that CAP proposes would assure that the United States would either impose a draft to fulfill its defense needs, or simply cease to defend the nation.  Either is acceptable to leftists, but in truth, they’d like to have both.

Remember, if a young person 17-21 volunteers for military service, assuming they carry out a twenty year career, that means they will return to the civilian world in their late thirties or early forties, and despite the propaganda to the contrary, most will be effectively starting over.  You see, very few specialties in the military actually translate directly to civilian uses.  Working on artillery pieces doesn’t really translate to working on Fords.  Some of the underlying skill-sets may, but the truth is that it’s not a simple transition in most cases.  There aren’t really many positions for infantrymen in the civilian world.  Therefore, you have a group of people transitioning into a civilian workforce who may well have delayed their higher education, and otherwise set aside those developments in order to protect us.  Then, having completed two decades, they exit the military into a civilian workforce where they may be at significant disadvantage.  There is discrimination against veterans in many cases, and they step into this world precisely in what ought to have been their peak earning years.   The Center for American Progress thinks we should delay their retirement benefits until they’re sixty.  The truth is, we should pay them upon retirement because it’s the ethical thing to do in helping them catch up, and in order to thank them for their honorable service.

I’m not going to touch the part about active military pay, lest I launch into a stream of profanities over CAP’s proposals, but I think it’s time we understand, all of us, that when we ask young men and women to serve, we’re asking that they do so in our stead.  How much is that worth?  As my son-in-law prepares to fly to a distant and God-forsaken land, to help a people who may not want it, and to defend them against their own, knowing that most deaths in that country are the result of our alleged allies turning on our people, I can’t help but reflect on my own military service, and all the things I saw.  I wonder if the day will ever come when the American people will universally understand what it is we ask of these young people, and whether there will ever be a time when the left is willing to pay the costs of maintaining the defenses of the liberties they so blissfully enjoy in brutally indifferent ignorance.  If Barack Obama is re-elected, the undue suffering of our men and women in uniform will increase dramatically.  As I prepare to see my son-in-law depart on another deployment, we must take care of affairs here at home.  We must prevent this.

As Though The Appointments Sell-Out Hadn’t Been Bad Enough… Another Budget Surrender

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Too Afraid to Fight

Early Wednesday, I brought you the story that had erupted in Washington over Republican capitulation on Presidential appointments on Tuesday evening. While Ted Cruz was winning the Republican run-off for Senate in Texas, the House Republican leadership was busy selling us out, but it didn’t end with the matter of Presidential appointments. They also came to an agreement on another temporary spending extension that will carry the budget problems until after the elections by virtue of yet another continuing resolution, as the Heritage Foundation reports.  Let’s get real: If we can’t win by standing for the constitution, let’s just quit, surrender the country, and simply lie down and die.  This is another example of the preternatural fear exhibited by Republican Congressional leadership over the prospects of a government shutdown.  I don’t understand why, because this nation has survived many shutdowns, including at least three major ones during Reagan’s administration, and at least one during Clinton’s. Of course, it is the shutdown of 1995 that leadership fears, because in that instance, Bob Dole over in the Senate undercut Gingrich because Dole was seeking the Presidency in 1996.  Now, the leadership is selling-out for Mitt Romney’s sake, but if this continues, we will have a repeat of the 2006 disaster.

Somebody should tell Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell that they don’t answer to Mitt Romney, but more, Mitt Romney should make a case on behalf of budgetary discipline, but just like last summer, Romney didn’t say a word about the deal-making over the Debt Ceiling until it was finished, only then remarking on it. This is precisely the sort of spineless approach I have feared from Mitt Romney, and from any Congress that would work with him.  If this is what it will be like in a Romney administration, I’m not interested.  More, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high since it’s now apparent that Boehner and the boys in the House simply don’t have the stomach for a battle.  As usual, the GOP establishment is in collusion with liberals to screw the rest of us for the sake of politics.

Here’s the list of problems Heritage offered with this latest continuing resolution(CR):

  • It stifles the economy by adding to the uncertainty among investors and employers, making them reluctant to pursue growth-producing, job-creating activities.
  • It erodes public confidence. Congress’s repeated failure with such routine matters as annual spending bills breeds cynicism about how lawmakers are handling more than $3.5 trillion of the economy’s resources each year.
  • It weakens Congress’s ability to budget at all. Each repetition makes fiscal mismanagement the norm. Past vices become present-day habits, and the chance of Congress restoring stable budgeting practices grows more remote. Without them, Congress will be unable to address the huge entitlement spending challenges that are growing larger and more imminent.
  • It risks an economic breakdown sooner than expected. Former Senator Judd Gregg (R–NH) has warned that “once reality sets in that there is going to be no improvement in leadership, whether on the fiscal cliff or on long-term deficits and debt, people and markets will react. They will not wait until January. Historically, September has been a good time for such a reaction.”

More than any of this, however, I believe it simply “kicks the can down the road” again, in search of a more favorable time to address the impending catastrophe.  By “more favorable,” they mean a time when there is no impending election, but I have news for these establishment weasels:  There’s always an election pending, and this is precisely why we never actually address these issues.  Kicking the can down the road is much less painful to politicians, but it does precisely nothing to repair our nation, and it helps to promote an eventual collapse of our system.

Congressional Republicans ought to wake the Hell up.  Mitt Romney’s campaign didn’t appoint them to office.  We elected them.  They’re in office to represent our interests, but not Mitt Romney’s electoral aspirations. This is not a winning strategy, but merely a plan for perpetual retreat. We can’t afford this sort of leadership any longer, and if this is what Romney offers, we’re better off without him too.

 

Obama’s October Surprise Courtesy of John Boehner

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Will He Have the Last Laugh?

We’ve been set up again.  Mark my words:  The debt ceiling issue will come again, this time, as Democrats’ October Surprise.  Senator Rob Portman(R-OH) has completed a new study, and has discovered that the Debt Ceiling will be reached just in time for the election.  Obama will use this issue to bludgeon Republicans on the eve of the election.  You can bet there will be no short-term deals, and no negotiations, and these big government liars are going to drive their base to the polls, and not only to re-elect Obama, or stave off the loss of the Senate, but also to re-take the House.  Granny will again be pushed off the cliff by “Paul Ryan,” with an impersonator of the Republican nominee may be, nodding approvingly in the background.  Not only did Boehner manage to get nothing for his debt ceiling sell-out, but he also walked his entire party into Obama’s trap.

Those of you will remember how John Boehner poked and prodded and cajoled Republican freshmen to forsake their voters’ strong opposition to any increases of the debt ceiling, but what you may not remember is how Whiner of the House undermined his own party’s bill by seeking a deal with Harry Reid to undercut Cut, Cap and Balance before it could even be considered in the Senate.  To say that this situation is dangerous is an understatement.  While Boehner succeeded in making a deal, what he really did was to set us up.  Just days short of the election, Barack Obama will rail against Republicans, and in this situation, it will be nearly impossible for him to lose.  He will demonize House Republicans, and he will associate them with the GOP nominee.

In that situation, if the GOP makes a deal, they will lose.  Obama will be seen as the winner, an their own district electorates will throw them out, or sit out the election in disgust.  Their only chance is to stand, but if they don’t learn a new message and learn it fast, they’ll be painted as uncaring monsters who want to stop Granny’s Social Security check, starve children, and lay off teachers.  You might wonder how I could assert all of this, but the answer is simple: We’ve seen it all before.  This is one more ignominious result of the glaring failure of John Boehner and Republican leadership in Congress to make politically smart decisions.  They should have had this fight last summer, but they’re so fearful of bad public relations that they were willing to make a deal that may well doom them.

If the Republican leadership doesn’t go on the offensive now, and stay there, we will lose big in November, and our country will be ruined.  When it is, you can thank [then] Minority Leader John Boehner, who will undoubtedly cry in response.

Obama’s OMB Director Jeff Zients Caught Hiding the Truth – Video

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

President's New Budget Liar

Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients testified before Congress on Barack Obama’s proposed budget.  House Republicans spent a good deal of time and effort trying to get a straight answer on when our budget would balance by grilling Zients on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, Zients is another Obama liar.  He has no intention of telling you when, under Barack Obama’s budget proposals, the budget would balance, because under Obama’s ludicrous budget offering, it never does.  Let me say this again.  Under Barack Obama’s budget proposals, they merely slow down the rate at which debt is accumulating, in theory, but in practice, it will not slow down since they are assuming rosy interest rates on new and existing debt, and his administration is rigging the numbers.

Here are two videos of Congressmen trying to get a straight answer from this newly-appointed Presidential Budget Liar, who will not admit on camera that the budget will never balance under these proposals.  Never.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjklHhh5toI] [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDXeQZmXV3g]

You can take what you want from all of this, but what is clear is that Obama is not interested in upholding his oath, but instead merely running our nation into the ground in opposition to his oath.

Fox in the Henhouse: Obama’s Undermining of US Defenses Escalates

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

"I...Am So In Love With You..."

Barack Obama’s defense policies appear to be the most foolish, irresponsible, and negligent in modern American history.  This president is cutting our defenses to the bone, and he knows it.  Not satisfied with wreaking havoc with our conventional forces, he’s now examining the elimination of our strategic nuclear arsenal to as few as three hundred warheads.  That’s fewer than China, and many fewer than Russia.  If the United States gives up this deterrence to attack, we are effectively naked to such designs as other nations may have on our country.  Three hundred nuclear warheads?  While it sounds like tremendous destructive capacity, and it is, it does not offer the sort of strategic deterrent that our current nuclear arsenal comprises, and against a nuclear giant like Russia, it’s wholly insufficient to prohibit them from nuclear blackmail or outright nuclear attack if the relationship with them sours further.  This policy proposal is a national suicide pact, and Barack Obama knows it.  Let it be stated forthrightly: He is destroying the United States.

We are already at our lowest levels in decades, and the problem is that while most of us think of nuclear weapons and warfare in a global apocalyptic vision, the facts are much different.  A nuclear warhead in the range of one megaton is a terribly destructive device, but it is enough to wipe out one large city.  Across the vastness of the Russia, or China, it is a small impact.  More, since priority targets are generally opposing nuclear weapons sites, it is impossible to cover all targets even at our current level if it came to that.  I am not here making light of nuclear weaponry, except to say that such diminished levels as three hundred warheads means we would then have a force insufficient to deter a nuclear-armed Iran, if they can be deterred at all.  From the article linked above:

John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and undersecretary of state for international security during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview that the administration’s plan to cut nuclear force to as low as 300 “alone is sufficient to vote against Obama in November.”

“Congress should urgently adopt a resolution rejecting the idea that any of these levels is consistent with American national security,” Bolton said. “Let’s just see who is prepared to support Obama.”

This is only the start. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney went even further:

“No sane military leader would condone 300 to 400 warheads for an effective nuclear deterrent strategy,” McInerney told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Going down to 1000 to 1,100 is risky enough and frankly in today’s world, very risky. The purpose of our nuclear force structure is to deter any adversary from even thinking that they could minimize our attack options. Such thinking is very dangerous and will only encourage our adversaries to make bold decisions.”

This is an intentional attack on our strategic defense infrastructure, and President Obama must be held accountable even for suggesting it.  I am much beyond the polite discussions of policy in bureaucratic terminology here.  These cuts are a disaster that may ultimately cost millions upon millions of Americans their lives, never mind the future of the Republic itself, as a viable political body.  The fox is in the hen-house, and many Americans still see him as an off-kilter hen.  Let us not pretend that Barack Obama is here exercising the best interests of the United States, or the oath of his office to defend and protect the constitution.  Recent actions by this president demonstrate he has no love of our constitutional system, and this is an egregious abandonment of his duties as commander in chief. Also from the article:

Kenneth deGraffenreid, a former Reagan administration National Security Council official, said in an interview that the plans for sharp nuclear cuts are “part of the administration’s purposeful decline of American military power.”(emphasis added)

Some people wonder why I become frustrated as they watch their football games, or their reality TV shows, but otherwise check out on the whole question of our nation’s affairs.  Ladies and gentlemen, this cannot be permitted, and John Boehner had better get off of his whining duff, and step up to the plate.  Mitch McConnell had better be all over the TV, and he’d better stop using weasel-words, if he remembers how to speak plainly any longer, because our nation is under attack from within.  It’s time we stop mincing words to disguise this fact from our people and from ourselves.  President Obama is no friend to this country, never mind its allies, and this strategic proposal for what is essentially unilateral nuclear disarmament makes of our nation a sitting duck.  This is not simple incompetence.  This is not mistaken thinking.  This is not a case of good intentions leading to unintended consequences.  This is a monstrous betrayal of the American people by a leftist ideologue who hates the country he is sworn to lead, defend, and protect.

House Republicans Now Regret Debt Ceiling Deal

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Now The Claim They Didn't Know

What a bunch of liars!  Everybody with the discerning capacity of a gnat knew that the Debt Deal was a loser, and that the triggers and targets and sequestrations would all result in only one thing:  Massive defense cuts while the Obama spending machine chugs along.   Now that it has come to pass, some House Republicans are now expressing “buyers’ remorse.”  My suggestion to these simpering would-be Republican leaders is that if they think they now feel badly about the way this has turned out, just imagine their poor voters.  These members of Congress who were elected precisely to stand firm on this issue should understand something more:  If they think they’re feeling buyers’ remorse, they should see how their voters feel about having elected them. They feel badly?  Not badly enough!

This foolishness is their way of trying to repair bridges to voters, particularly the Tea Party, but I think it’s pathetic and will not work.  I think the voters who elected these members, all of them, should remember that these are the people who sold us out to Barack Obama on the basis that they needed to do so in order to save their own electoral skin.  As I discussed at the time of the “deal,” the entire episode was a display of sickening surrender by House Republicans, whipped into submission by a weak Republican leadership that is more willing to discipline its own members than to fight the leftist front.

Cowardice was the approach of the time, and it was all about their unwillingness to do the hard work of leadership.  It is this same troop of alleged “stalwarts” who shafted Newt Gingrich in 1995 over the government shutdown, as they went with Dole rather than Gingrich.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is who the whiners in our House leadership is comprised of today.  Nobody on the conservative side of this argument should forget that these folks had a chance to stand up to the Republican leadership, and to stand against Obama and the Senate, in order to stave off this growing disaster.

Our military is now bearing the vast majority of the cuts under the auspices of this programmed sequestration and now we see Congressmen from defense-heavy districts complaining, after having voted for this pig in a poke.  They took what they thought was the easy way out politically, to try to safeguard their own necks, all because they were unwilling to fight.  To suggest that we need new leadership in the House of Representatives is to undersell the point:  We need new leadership everywhere among the Republicans, in the House, the Senate, and in committees.

Consider the case of Buck McKeon(R-CA), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.  He backed the deal, and helped round up the freshmen members, and pushed them to support this plan, yet now he complains bitterly that the deal is no damned good.  Interviewed for The Hill article, he said:

“I voted for it because I was told the supercommittee couldn’t fail, because sequestration was so bad that they would have to come together on that,” McKeon said. “Well, obviously it didn’t work, so now we find ourselves in a very difficult situation.

“Can I go back knowing what I know now, and change my vote then? We don’t get that luxury around here.”

This is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee complaining that if he knew then what he knows now, he’d have changed his vote.   If Buck McKeon were in easy shouting distance of me, I’d point out to this bonehead that THE ENTIRE CONSERVATIVE BASE OF THE PARTY KNEW, and was telling he and the Speaker, and the Majority leader all of this in no uncertain terms.  What sort of dismally bankrupt logic permits this man to now pretend that he didn’t know. He’s lying!  He did know!  They ALL knew!  The rare few members whose arms they could not twist certainly knew.  The members who they cajoled and prodded into joining them in surrender knew.

What then is this business about not knowing then what he knows now?  Somebody who lives in Chairman McKeon’s district should please let him know I’m calling him out on all of this. I may be nobody, but even this nobody knew!  Obviously, the Tea Party in his home district must be making a fuss, otherwise this useless whiner wouldn’t be out in the media whining about not having known how this would go.  How can any serious leader in the GOP claim not to have known?  The answer is that there are not now many serious leaders in the GOP in the House, so if the truth would be told, every last one of them who has been there over three terms should be bounced out of town on their asses at the next possible electoral opportunity.

Forgive me please, ladies and gentlemen, for becoming a bit hacked-off about all of this.  It’s unconscionable that the leadership of the Republican party in the House of Representatives would tell us with a straight face, and plenty of simpering, that they hadn’t known.  Boehner needs to go. Cantor needs to go.  McKeon and every other one like him needs to go.  I think we should question the sincerity of any member of the House, never mind the leadership, who claims that he or she hadn’t known.  In fact, I’m certain of it.  We told them.  We demanded Cut, Cap and Balance, and while it passed the House, it was already being undercut by the Speaker’s own negotiations.  No sir, they all knew.  All of them.

 

Could This Be Another Reason Dems Want Romney?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

 

Bain Alum and New OMB Director

The Wahington Examiner reports that Barack Obama has hired Jeffrey Zients to run his Office of Management and Budget(OMB.)  Zients is a former Bain guy, and some are now wondering if it’s possible that Zients knows where all the Romney skeletons are buried from early in his career with Bain.  While Zients’ time at Bain doesn’t directly overlap with Romney’s time there, it happens to fall neatly between.  The suggestion floating around is that he might know things about Romney, or even more generically, about Bain, that would serve as a potential hammer over the head of Romney should he get the GOP nomination. The Examiner’s take on the story that this hiring will disarm Obama with respect to Bain, since he’s now hired a Bain guy, but I find that unlikely.

Ladies and gentlemen, your guess is as good as mine, but this is what’s out there as we slip and slide our way closer to the South Carolina primary.

 

Rand Paul Returns a Half-Million in Unspent Budget to Treasury

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

What Fiscal Responsibility Looks Like

Politico is reporting that Senator Rand Paul(R-KY) has returned one-half million dollars to the treasury unspent.  This was roughly 16% of the allocated operating budget for his Senate offices, and it represents an unusual act in terms of ordinary government practice.  In most government operations, every last dime is spent, right down to the penny, in order to justify a demand for even more in the budgeting process for subsequent years.  The freshman Senator from Kentucky, and son of Texas Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul said the following at a news conference in Louisville, presenting a symbolic check to the tax-payers:

“I ran to stop the reckless spending. And I ran to end the damaging process of elected officials acting as errand boys, competing to see who could bring back the biggest check and the most amount of pork.”

He continued:

“I hope this sets an example for the rest of government – at all levels,” he added. “We can carry out our duties in a fiscally responsible way. Government can be both smart and efficient. We are proving that – and trying to convince the rest of Washington.”

That’s fantastic. If we could only get the rest of Congress to match this, we could save something in the range of a quarter-billion dollars.  Of course, I won’t be holding my breath and neither should you.  There is talk of Paul possibly seeking the presidency in 2016, but that’s been speculation.  In any event, it is nice to see at least one Senator is living up to his promises to cut federal spending, and while the amount is trivial in the context of a $1.5 trillion federal deficit, it’s also true that it’s another half million that our children won’t be forced to repay someday.  Of course, this is a symbolic act in terms of the news conference, but I think it’s a positive development that for a change, a member of the Senate took the notion of making cuts even when it hits their own operations budget.

This stands in stark contrast to a FoxNews report that Barack Obama has requested an additional $1.2 Trillion in money we don’t have.

Allen West Says Election 2012 Will Be “Bloodbath”

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

 

Congressman Allen West

NewsMax.TV conducted an interview with Allen West(R-FL) in which West questions Mitt Romney’s credentials as a true conservative, and he points out several of Newt Gingrich’s best accomplishments, referring to Gingrich as “the smartest person” among those now in the contest.   West wasn’t willing to endorse any candidate yet, but he sees the race coming down to Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich.  He also described at length why it remains important for the GOP to battle against Obama’s illegal “recess appointments” that weren’t, but he wouldn’t commit to the notion of impeachment.  Representative West also pointed out the need to take great care in any cuts to our national defense.

While he said he likes Ron Paul’s views on economic liberty, he expressed serious concerns about Paul’s foreign policy positions.  He went on to severely criticize Barack Obama’s lack of leadership, and he made several excellent observations about the reckless behavior of the Obama administration.  West remains a very popular Congressman nationally.  You can watch the entire video at NewsMax.

 

Boehner Surrendered More Than Legislation Today

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Doing What He Does Best

This is a crying shame, and conservatives ought to be weeping, while Tea Party patriots ought to be throwing a fit.  John Boehner has managed to lead the House Republicans directly into the jaws of yet another defeat, and in the end, when he surrendered, he did so because losing is all Boehner really knows how to do.  The Republicans in Congress capitulated to Barack Obama and Harry Reid again on the matter of the payroll tax cut extension.  House Republicans didn’t learn the lesson of 2006, so a mere five years later, they still think they can conduct themselves as candidates throughout their terms, considering only short-run political expedience. The problem with GOP leaders in the House is that each time they go to the mat, but then subsequently cry uncle, they’re harming themselves and the country.  This so-called compromise was nothing but a surrender that merely weakens the Republicans, but more importantly, the country.

John Boehner suffers from an inability to lead.  He simply doesn’t understand leadership, or he’s not intellectually vigorous enough to exercise it.  Either way, he’s a perpetual loser, and we shouldn’t dare hope he will accomplish anything useful during the term of this Congress.  Consider him either intellectually or morally incapacitated, and save yourself some trouble fretting over the endless string of defeats House Republicans will suffer because John Boehner doesn’t know how or isn’t willing to lead.

In this context, leadership would have meant sending his members out to have town hall meetings, and to send them forward to every media outlet on which they could find time, and make the case first to their own core of support, and get their buy-in followed by a more active support.  Instead, Boehner sat back and waited for it to happen, and he knew it would, but it’s fair to say he helped engineer this defeat.  He’s bent upon the notion of trying to restore order within his caucus, and he’s willing to become minority leader to do so.

This latest flap was more than political circus, but that’s how it has been portrayed, and given the surrender of the Republicans, that’s how history will now record it.   The truth is that big issues had been at stake, but due to a little bad press, the Republicans wet their collective diaper and ran home.  Boehner will offer that this happened because they’re only “one-half of one-third of the government.”  The facts suggest otherwise.  Did he try to rally the conservative base?  Did he seek out support in such ‘friendly media’ where his own declarations haven’t already poisoned those wells?  No.  He stayed in the back rooms, smoke-filled no longer, and had his head handed to him on a silver platter.  He knew it was coming, and indeed, he invited it.

The first thing he did to invite this had been every previous surrender going at least as far back as the debt ceiling vote, when he actually worked on a backroom deal with Reid to undercut the House bill known as “Cut, Cap, & Balance.”  From that moment on, Democrats knew they had a patsy who would do anything to avoid a little negative press.  In the end, he and his Republican members must now share in the blame for the credit rating downgrade we suffered as a result.  Had he instead remained willing to let everything shut down, he might have forestalled the downgrade, because the rating agency might have concluded at least one party had gotten serious about budget control.  Politically, he would have taken a hit in the short run, but the truth of the matter is that Democrats would have relented once their base started screaming loudly, or rioting, because they had not gotten their hand-outs on time.  There’s no sense making a stand if you’re going to fold at the first sign that somebody’s calling your bluff.

Democrats read Boehner’s moves as clear telegraphing of a bluff, and they called without blinking.  Ever since then, the Obama looks at Boehner and thinks: “There’s my b*t*h.”  The tears certainly don’t help with that impression.  Since that first monumental cave-in, each subsequent instance has been repeated, only more quickly, each time with with less pressure than the last, as conservative and Tea Party members of the caucus are now demoralized.  They see things slipping away, much as they did in 2005-2006, and it’s all for lack of effective, committed leadership.

On this basis, I have written a letter I am sending to my own member, and I want from him a pledge to support somebody other than Boehner and his crew for leadership, whether they maintain the majority in 2012 or not.  The way things are going with Boehner, you’d better plan on “not.” As it is, due to his vote on the Debt Ceiling matter, I am already eying potential primary challengers for my own Representative.  If he’s going to continue to support the sorry leadership of John Boehner, it’s best to get rid of him, too.

Now, for those of you who weren’t paying attention, let me explain what has happened:  The House approved a version of the extension much to the liking of the Senate, and it does not include the Keystone XL pipeline provision, meaning tens of thousands of jobs and a fresh conduit for oil will not be had by Americans any time soon.  While you must certainly lay the greater portion of blame on the actions of Obama and Reid, the truth is that Boehner shares in this too.

I realize some will say “but, but, he’s right: Without the Senate, what could he do?”  The answer is always the same: Stand on principle.  Be willing to take the bad press. Be willing. The problem is that this sort of thing makes its own bad press that goes on long after the terms of surrender were signed.  You see, when Boehner plays brinksmanship, but then walks away with nothing, it gives ammo to the opposition that this had only been a political game.  This is why the Republicans took a beating from Bill Clinton in 1995:  They ultimately flinched first in this game of chicken, making it look for all the world as though they had been merely posturing right along.

Instead, had Boehner rallied every member of the House Republican caucus to stand firm, and held out indefinitely, shutting down government, they could have gone to voters saying: We had to be the responsible party, and we had to put our foot down against irresponsible and reckless spending proclivities of the President and the Senate.  The people who would have been angry at them would likely have been people other than who had elected them.  If they can’t withstand some bad press now, when will it be better?  If they will not stand on principle now, when the country is on the verge of a greater depression, if not in it, when will they find the guts to do it?

The answer: Never.  John Boehner and his kind are so consumed by holding onto power, and holding onto office, that they cannot dare to risk it all in order to stand for the principles on which they were elected.  One begins to wonder if this is because they’re not hip-deep in all of the crony capitalism and insider trading about which we’ve been hearing, because it’s not as though House members have it so good solely on the basis of their salaries and benefits.  One quickly begins to wonder if the monetary inducements to hold office aren’t greater in fact than appears on the surface, because I do not think I could trade my principles for the salary they’re paid.  No, there must be something more to it, or these are the most morally corruptible people on the planet.

It’s time we hold them to their promises, and the principles they declare while campaigning.  For me, that’s going to entail spelling it out for my own representative. I’d suggest you do the same, but what we had better do is say it, and mean it, lest they get the same idea about us as Democrats now have about them and their lack of spine.

 

Ten Reforms to Save America: Reform Number Six

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Time For Change?

One of the problems that has always plagued us is the clear disconnect between taxation and electoral responsibility for those who legally raise them.  It’s not accidental that Tax Day is April 15th, a full six months before election day. I want Americans to hold elected representatives responsible for the fiscal condition of the country, and the taxes that condition will naturally necessitate.  Since our Federal elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even years, I think we should move tax day to the first Monday in November.  The truth is that for quarterly filers, this won’t make so large a difference, and in the main, it would seem a symbolic measure, but I think that it’s a worthy symbol.  After all, many voters go to the polls thinking about what they want, but for a change, I think it would be better if when they start marking their ballots, they instead should be thinking about the costs.

Of course, this presents another problem that needs to be reformed.  For some of those voters, the day they file their tax return is an occasion for celebration rather than a day of mourning.  Some of that is because a fair number of people over-withhold throughout the year in order to avoid getting hit with a big tax bill, but more of it is because some people get refunds in excess of what they had withheld in income taxes altogether.  You might ask yourself how it is possible that one can receive a refund higher than one has paid in, but Congress has an answer:  The Earned Income Tax Credit.  Effectively, all you need to do is earn a minimal amount of income.  It doesn’t take much income to qualify, and then you are eligible to receive a credit that may be more(and usually is) than the amount of income taxes you’ve had withheld.

One of the constant scams is people who receive various welfare benefits will work a couple of months out of the year, at a low wage job or two, and this will be enough “earned income” to make them eligible for free money.  Some recipients actually refer to it as their “IRS Bonus check.”  I kid you not.  This program is also why we have 47% of tax return filers who pay no net income taxes.  For this segment of the population, there is no stigma attached to tax day, because for them, by the time April 15th rolls around, they’ve long since submitted their returns, gotten their refunds including their credit, and they’ve spent it.

Some of you will doubtless think I’m joking, or that I have somehow concocted this as some sort of literary device, but I assure you that it is real, and that like so many extensions of the welfare state, it acts as a disincentive to work.  Therefore, along with moving tax day, I submit that we make another law: No tax refunds of any ind in excess of what has been withheld.  It’s contrary to the notion of welfare as a hand up, and it’s opposed to the notion of the tax code as a program to raise federal revenues.  So long as we’re stuck with the 16th Amendment and the grotesque tax system it birthed, nobody should be receiving money as a net gain from the system of taxation, and besides: We’re constantly reminded that everyone should have some skin in the game.  I think that’s true, but when I say “everyone,” I actually mean it.  Combining these two reforms as one single step will cause more serious evaluations of candidates by voters.  If we’re going to save the country, it’s one more thing in the laundry list that we’ll need to fix.

 

Downgrade 2.0 on the Horizon?

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

There They Go Again

Just when you think the fools in Washington DC could scarcely do more damage to our country, they show up with the latest crisis and debacle to prove your theory wrong.  This one has been coming since the day John Boehner and the boys cut the deal with Harry Reid and his henchmen.  It’s been in the works since Barack Obama decided his best re-election strategy would be to run against a “do-nothing Congress.”  (We should be so lucky.)  The lines are drawn, and now the super-duper, mega-whopper debt committee is having trouble agreeing to the cuts that were promised when the deal was made back in August.  Surprise, surprise!   Gomer Pyle could have seen this coming, but clearly, John Boehner and Eric Cantor did not.   This game stands to create financial havoc with another debt rating downgrade just in time for Thanksgiving, and just like the last round, it’s being engineered so that the Republicans either agree to a ridiculous deal, or have one thrust upon them via the “automatic triggers” built into the deal to which they agreed back in August.  Either way you slice it, it’s a lose-lose for GOP, and as usual, conservatives will get the blame, and this is the reason why we cannot afford more establishment Republicans.

Consider the cuts in question.  At present, the deal required that they cut $1.2 Trillion from the next ten years of federal spending.  This means lopping off a mere 3.5-4.0% of the projected Federal spending over the period, but perhaps less, depending upon whose projections you believe.  This is a small amount in that gargantuan sum of money, and yet what the Obama administration and the Democrats intend to do is to see most of it come from defense cuts.  The salient point in this discussion is that none of the cuts under consideration even seriously begin to reduce the Federal expenditures now forecast in excess of revenues.  Worse, Democrats are playing fast and loose with the terminology, counting tax hikes as “spending cuts.”  More bizarre is the fact that Republicans are now largely accepting that characterization.

What this means to you and I is that by cutting the deal back in August, not only did Republicans get a black eye by getting the blame for the first downgrade, but all they have done is to postpone the bad news into the on-rushing Holiday season, when the bad news will multiply, and they’ll find themselves playing the scapegoats again, this time less than twelve months before the next elections.

Back in July, I warned you about this deal, and that in fact, more had been said than done.  As it turns out, virtually everything I expected would happen has now happened.  The Balanced Budget Amendment went down to defeat in the House.  The Republican leadership in the House has revealed that its bargaining position is awful, and it’s all because when they had the chance to make a stand back at the end of July, they failed.  They played to political expedience, and short-run damage control, but now the bill has come due, and it’s going to be paid at our expense, and at the expense of the defense of our nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll tell you what I believe:  Until we clean up the Republican party and the insiders, the deal-makers, and the surrender-monkeys, we’re not going to make much progress.  Each and every time one of these people who promises to stand tough ultimately folds, we need to send them home.  No “ifs, ands, or buts.”  Our country can’t afford any more of this brand of tepid leadership.  No more pastels.  We need bright, bold colors, and we need them fast.  How do we expect to hold onto the House next fall, never mind capture the Senate or the White House, if our alleged leadership can be so easily talked into a suicide pact with the devil?  It’s something we will all be forced to consider, as the Democrats force a crisis and at least one more time, Republicans will take the blame.  Can you imagine the laughter over at the White House?