For starters, it completely recasts the struggle between the political parties. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT WHAT THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ALLIES REALLY WANT TO DO IS RAISE TAXES. They might agree to some tinkering around the margins on entitlements for show. But in their heart of hearts they believe the solution is higher rates of taxation.
The problem is THEY DON'T HAVE THE GUTS TO SAY SO IN PUBLIC. They know that's the surest way to permanent minority status. And so they are hoping for a more indirect route to their goal, USING GUILE TO LURE GULLIBLE REPUBLICANS (SEE HERE) INTO AGREEING TO THEIR APPROACH WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO SELL IT TO A TAX-AVERSE ELECTORATE.
The Ryan plan blows this kind of plotting by Democrats to smithereens. There's no tax increase in the Ryan plan, and there's no debt crisis. What's required is far-reaching entitlement reform and serious spending discipline. By staking out that position, Ryan and his comrades have improved their leverage immensely. There's no need to agree to tax hikes to solve the budget problem. What's needed is for Democrats to get serious about spending reform, as Ryan has.
I think tax increases was what the Democrats were planning on doing when they went into the spending spree they did in 2009. They were planning on simply letting the “Bush Tax Cuts” expire and using a carbon tax to bring in an extra trillion dollars per year. But the recession killed letting the tax cuts expire and ClimateGate ruined the carbon tax. I also think they were taken back by the early rise of the Tea Party which saw through their subterfuge in March 2009. Things did not work out as they had hoped.
Obama’s support among blacks declines
….His job approval among blacks is sliding.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/04/obama-black-support-slips-hispanics-too.html
Once monolithic, blacks' support for the first African American president is still....
....immense. But FOR UNCLEAR REASONS IT'S DECLINED ABOUT 7% from well above 90% to 85% in March. That's a new low since Obama's inauguration 26 months ago.
Equally ominous for Obama in 2012, HIS APPROVAL AMONG HISPANICS, THE NATION'S FASTEST-GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC, HAS ALSO FALLEN TO AGAIN TIE HIS TERM LOW OF 54%. That's a drop of 11 points from its early high of 65%....
…. But any decline within the Democrat's strongest base group is ominously important because his overwhelming support in that sector of voters helps cover his crumbling support in other groups, such as Hispanics and whites, where he now has only 39% approval.
Predictably, OBAMA'S BIGGEST GROUP OF SUPPORTERS ARE DEMOCRATS (80%) AND LIBERALS (74%) AND THE LEAST LIKELY ARE REPUBLICANS, AN IMPRESSIVELY MINUTE 14%.
Gallup finds Obama LEAST POPULAR AMONG OLDER AMERICANS, MARRIED PEOPLE, THE LESS EDUCATED, THE MORE AFFLUENT AND THE MOST RELIGIOUSLY CONSCIENTIOUS. Women (50%) prefer him slightly more than men do (44%)…..
And to paraphrase a joke that Reagan used to like, his support is crumbling among those with their eyes open.
Financial Crisis is almost here
The two parties are having a heated debate over the Republican plan to slice $61 billion off Uncle Sam’s projected $3.6 trillion budget. IF THE REPUBLICANS GET THEIR WAY, THE DEFICIT WILL FALL FROM 9.5 PERCENT OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT TO 9.1 PERCENT. If they don’t, they’ll probably shut the government for a couple of days. Then they’ll compromise on, say, a $40 billion budget cut, having proved they gave it their best shot.
Arguing over lowering our deficit by just 0.4 percent of GDP when we need to run massive surpluses to deal with the baby boomers’ impending retirement is, PICK YOUR METAPHOR -- REARRANGING THE TITANIC’S FURNITURE, NERO’S FIDDLING, CUSTER’S LAST STAND.
Unless you are a Democrat and then the metaphor is “extreme cuts, will kill seniors, cruel, etc.”
Hope and change is dead
Even among the nuzzling press here in Washington, the shine of President Obama has worn off.
HOPE AND CHANGE HAS CRASHED UPON THE CRAGGY SHORES OF REALITY.
Gitmo is still open and open for trials - a perfect double backflip rare even by Washington standards.
And then there were Mr. Obama’s worldly-wise assurances that peace would reign and everybody would love us if only we had a sophisticated, multilingual president who had lived abroad, on other continents, with roots in the Muslim world.
Instead, HE HAS SHEPHERDED US FROM FEARED AND LOATHED TO JUST LOATHED. AND, OF COURSE, MOCKED….
Perhaps the new slogan should be hopeless and chained?
Confronting health issues of climate change
If physicians want evidence of climate change, they may well find it in their own offices. PATIENTS ARE PRESENTING WITH ILLNESSES THAT ONCE HAPPENED ONLY IN WARMER AREAS. Chronic conditions are becoming aggravated by more frequent and extended heat waves. Allergy and asthma seasons are getting longer. SPATES OF INJURIES ARE RESULTING FROM MORE INTENSE ICE STORMS AND SNOWSTORMS.
It appears Stephen Foster foresaw global warming over 150 years ago when he wrote: “It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry The sun so hot I froze to death; Susanna, don't you cry.”
Emotion vs Rationality
On Monday we witnessed the beginning of two campaigns to shape the direction of the nation's future. President Obama declared that he would seek re-election in 2012, kicking off his pursuit of a second term with a web ad geared toward recruiting grassroots workers who would try to keep him in the White House.
In Congress, a much different campaign was launched by the Republicans, with Chairman of the Budget Committee Paul Ryan's release of the 2012 Republican budget. COMPARING THESE TWO OPENING SALVOS FOR NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION, AMERICA'S CHOICE CAN BE BOILED DOWN TO A SIMPLE CHOICE BETWEEN THE EMOTIONAL PLOYS OF THE LEFT, AND THE COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTIONS OF THE RIGHT.
And yet the left keeps trying to fool themselves into thinking they are the party of reason.
Obama’s Marie Antoinette moment
OBAMA NEEDLED ONE QUESTIONER WHO ASKED ABOUT GAS PRICES, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle.http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/politics&id=8056167
"If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know," Obama said laughingly. "YOU MIGHT WANT TO THINK ABOUT A TRADE-IN."
This obviously is an embarrassment to the Democrats, but the MSM is covering up for him. The Associated Press scrubbed it from their coverage of the event.
Reforming Medicare for the Real World
After House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a plan to overhaul Medicare, DEMOCRATS ANNOUNCED THAT DESPITE SOME IMPERFECTIONS, IT WAS A BRAVE AND THOUGHTFUL ATTEMPT TO GRAPPLE WITH A PROBLEM THAT HAS BEEN IGNORED FOR TOO LONG.
JUST KIDDING. THEY SAID IT WAS THE WORST THING THEY'VE SEEN SINCE SEX AND THE CITY 2.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi accused Ryan of offering "a path to poverty for America's seniors." Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said his proposal would not reform Medicare, but "deform it." The White House faulted Ryan for "placing a greater burden on seniors."
The chief outrage, in their minds, is his proposal to restructure Medicare for Americans currently younger than 55 while KEEPING THE OLD VERSION FOR OLDER FOLKS. Instead of guaranteeing a certain set of benefits regardless of cost, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD PAY A FIXED PREMIUM so recipients could choose their own packages.
The amount provided for premiums would not shrink as time goes on. It would grow at the rate of inflation. Seniors wouldn't get less help than they do now; they just wouldn't get more.
The Republicans were smart to grandfather in everyone over the age of 55, but don’t expect that to stop the Democrats from trying to use the reform to scare current recipients by telling them they will lose their Medicare. The Democrats aren’t serious about the deficit.