Do President Obama and Democrats want to cut spending? THERE'S NOT MUCH EVIDENCE THEY DO. THEY HAVE ACQUIESCED TO SOME CUTS—BUT ONLY UNDER POLITICAL DURESS.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703992704576305332480567882.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
The importance of the spending issue escalated last Thursday with the start of budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans under the direction of Vice President Joe Biden. The 2012 budget, an increase in the debt limit, and long-term reform of entitlements are all on the table.
The parties have very different goals. WHILE REPUBLICANS WANT A CAP ON SPENDING, DEMOCRATS FAVOR A CEILING ON THE DEFICIT. The distinction is significant. A spending cap is straightforward. But A CAP ON THE DEFICIT CAN BE SATISFIED BY RAISING TAXES, WHICH DEMOCRATS PREFER.
To be sure, Mr. Obama frequently pays lip service to tackling spending. "We've got to comb through the budget and find every dime of savings that we can," he said at a town hall meeting last month in Reno. "We'll check under the cushions. Any program that's not working, we need to eliminate."
BUT NEITHER THE WHITE HOUSE NOR CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS HAVE INITIATED ANY NET REDUCTIONS IN SPENDING. NOT ONCE SINCE THE ELECTION. Their strategy is to defer to Republicans, then denounce whatever cuts Republicans come up with.
In fact, the Democrats considered cuts of $30 billion in a 3.7 trillion dollar budget to draconian.
Democratic ideas of spending cuts
IT'S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN. DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS HAVE RE-INTRODUCED A SMALL BUSINESS –JOBS BILL THAT HAS NO HOPE OF HELPING SMALL BUSINESS. Pandering to labor union interests, filled with Democrats’ flawed understanding of what creates private sector jobs, and crammed full of recycled regulations from the failed Waxman-Markey Energy bill, H.R. 870 is dangerous legislation that uses buzz words rather than sound business principles to encourage small business growth and job creation.
The legislation, thinly disguised as a jobs creation bill, panders to the tired, failed policies of Democrats’ left-wing, extremist base. THE BILL FOCUSES ON “GREEN JOBS”, CONSTRUCTION OF “WIND TURBINES AND SOLAR PANELS”, ENFORCES INEFFECTIVE BUT RESTRICTIVE PENALTIES ON CHINA TRADE and determines which industries will be rewarded by handouts from the government by identifying which industries Democrats believe provide jobs that are “actually needed”…..
…..The bill is filled with bits and pieces of entitlement benefits and government handouts from other pieces of failed Democrat legislation. For example, there is funding for state Head Start programs and funding for emergency food stamp subsidy programs (p. 5).The, bill reeks of socialism in the form of “Employment Opportunity Grants”, (p.3) thinly disguised as federal government handouts to reward businesses that support left-wing ideological efforts….
Nonsense that will go nowhere.
IPAB v Constitution
I’ve already written a bit about IPAB, Obamacare’s rationing board. Now I go at IPAB hammer and tong in the current issue of NATIONAL REVIEW. (By the way, for an unusually revealing photograph of IPAB’s newly-appointed members, click on the picture of the magazine at the top right-hand corner of NRO’s homepage.)http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/266717/ipab-v-constitution-photo-stanley-kurtz
While I have plenty to say in the article about rationing, Obama’s evasions, and the political path from IPAB to a single-payer system, the constitutional issues are front and center in this piece. IPAB IS AN AFFRONT TO THE CONSTITUTION. IPAB’S ATTACK ON THE SEPARATION OF POWERS DOCTRINE NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED IN THE COURTS, BUT SHOULD ALSO BE PLACED IN THE POLITICAL FOREGROUND BY REPUBLICANS. The best way to convey Obamacare’s radicalism to the public is to show how the price-setting powers of this central-planning board require suspension of our ordinary constitutional processes….
IPAB is something all Americans will become familiar with if Obama’s plan is allowed to stand. It is the ‘death panel’ that Sarah Palin warned us about.
Here’s how the IPAB works
Here’s how IPAB works: IT’S A PANEL OF 15 PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTEES WHO ARE TASKED WITH REDUCING MEDICARE SPENDING. The panel is given certain spending targets, beginning in 2014. At first those targets are on a sliding scale, but BY 2018 SPENDING GROWTH IS LIMITED TO THE RATE OF GROWTH OF GDP WITH AN ADDITIONAL PERCENTAGE POINT TACKED ON.
ANY DECISIONS IPAB MAKES ABOUT MEDICARE SPENDING AUTOMATICALLY BECOME LAW. TO OVERRIDE IPAB REQUIRES A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE IN THE SENATE, a high legislative hurdle. Alternatively, Congress can pass its own Medicare plan that meets the same spending target. THERE’S NO ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS ALLOWING DOCTORS OR CITIZENS TO CHALLENGE THE BOARD’S DECISIONS. Since Medicare comprises about 13 percent of the federal budget, that’s an awesome amount of power to be placing in the hands of unelected bureaucrats.
In order to assuage fears that the board would go on a rationing tear, the commission was supposedly given a narrow mandate. IPAB CAN’T ADJUST PREMIUMS OR MEDICARE’S COST-SHARING MECHANISMS, SUCH AS COPAYMENTS AND DEDUCTIBLES.
IT CAN, HOWEVER, ADJUST THE RATES AT WHICH DOCTORS ARE REIMBURSED. But Medicare reimbursement rates are already well below market rates, and consequently doctors are treating fewer and fewer Medicare patients as they lose money on them. Doctor access is already a huge problem for Medicaid for this same reason: Over half of all specialists in many major metropolitan areas are refusing to take on new Medicaid patients, according to a 2009 survey by Merritt Hawkins and Associates on physician wait times. As it is, MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENT RATES ARE SET TO DROP BELOW MEDICAID’S IN THE COMING DECADE—AND THAT’S WITHOUT IPAB….
Medicare as we know it is already dead. It can’t continue the way it is today. The choice right now comes down to the Ryan Plan or the Obama Plan. Ryan allows the market to keep the costs down. Obama’s plan tasks the IPAB to do it. Seniors favor the Ryan plan right now.
We no longer need to kill Bin Laden, claims Barack Obama
Barack Obama has claimed it is no longer necessary to kill Osama Bin Laden to win the war against al-Qaeda.
In an unprecedented departure from the current wanted 'dead or alive policy,' the U.S. President-Elect said that simply keeping bin Laden holed up in a cave was enough to keep America safe.
'MY PREFERENCE OBVIOUSLY WOULD BE TO CAPTURE OR KILL HIM,' HE SAID.
'BUT IF WE HAVE SO TIGHTENED HIS NOOSE THAT HE'S IN A CAVE SOMEWHERE AND CAN'T EVEN COMMUNICATE WITH HIS OPERATIVES THEN WE WILL MEET OUR GOAL OF PROTECTING AMERICA.
'I think that we have to so weaken (his) infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function.
'I'm confident that we can keep them on the run and ensure that they cannot train terrorists to attack our homeland.
MR OBAMA'S COMMENTS MARK A SIGNIFICANT MOVE AWAY FROM THE POLICY PURSUED BY PRESIDENT BUSH SINCE THE AL-QAEDA ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11 AND WHICH HE HIMSELF ENDORSED DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN.
In a presidential debate in October, he said: 'We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.'
Mr Obama's comments, made in an interview with CBS, came in the wake of a new audio message purporting to be from the al-Qaeda leader.
Simple logic: beyond comprehension
Years ago, when my young son and I visited a dude ranch in Montana, a local rancher told us he butch ered his cows for meat. My son, Scott, who was only 7, was horrified. "YOU KILL YOUR OWN COWS AND EAT THEM?" HE ASKED WITH URBAN DISGUST.
The rancher answered with country logic, saying something like, "WELL, HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM YOU EATING COWS THAT OTHER PEOPLE BUTCHER?"
The exchange came back to me after yet another attack on the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation on al Qaeda terrorists. It's a tiresome refrain under any circumstance, but especially now that the intelligence infrastructure built after 9/11 has paid such obvious dividends.
Indeed, CRITICS CAN SMUGLY MOUNT THEIR HIGH HORSE OF DISGUST ONLY BECAUSE SOMEBODY ELSE WAS WILLING TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK FOR THEM. At least my son was a child when he showed a lack of knowledge about his hamburgers. So-called sophisticated adults have no excuse not to understand who and what is protecting them nearly 10 years after 9/11.
Numerous reports, including one from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, that WATERBOARDING STARTED THE DAISY CHAIN THAT LED TO THE COURIER THAT LED TO OSAMA BIN LADEN'S HIDEOUT, QUALIFY AS A DISTINCTLY INCONVENIENT FACT FOR HARD-LINE LIBERALS…..
Liberals don’t want to think about this.
The Solution to our problems
OBAMA'S WORST ENEMY IS OBAMA, and his downfall will commence when voters awaken to the fact that many of his current "crises" -- and all the most critical ones -- are self-inflicted. They don't simply come out of nowhere, in the form of "events," unforeseen and random, but are GENERATED THROUGH ACTS OF OMISSION OR COMMISSION BY NONE OTHER THAN OBAMA HIMSELF. This creates an opening that must not be overlooked by the GOP candidate, whoever that may be.
The gas crisis is something that, in its impact on the daily life of voters, should have a serious effect on Obama's chances in 2012. So you'd expect some effort at a solution on his part. But look as long and hard as you like -- that is something you will not find.
WHAT YOU WILL FIND IS AN INSISTENCE FROM OBAMA AND ALL CONCERNED THAT THERE'S NOTHING TO BE DONE, THAT OIL PRICES ARE A PRODUCT OF FORCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF EVEN THE MESSIAH, THAT "WE CAN'T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF THE PROBLEM." This is nonsense. Faced with the same predicament in 2008, George W. Bush brought oil prices down simply by announcing that new drilling areas would be opened up. Prices dropped, an outcome that Obama would have us believe is impossible.
THE PROBLEM LIES IN OBAMA'S LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF HOW MARKETS WORK….
As the Pogo cartoon said many years ago; “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
MSM: Fair and balanced?
The Media Research Center held its 2011 Gala and DisHonors Awards event this past Saturday. The DisHonors awards recognizes and roasts the liberal media’s worst moments, with winners in several different categories and an overall ‘winner’ with a ‘Quote Of the Year’.
In the “OBAMAGASM AWARD” category, the winner was NEWSWEEK EDITOR EVAN THOMAS who said, “Reagan [at the 1984 D-Day commemoration] was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is, ‘We are above that now. We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial. We stand for something.' I MEAN, IN A WAY, OBAMA'S STANDING ABOVE THE COUNTRY, ABOVE — ABOVE THE WORLD. HE'S SORT OF GOD. He's going to bring all different sides together.”
Next time a liberal talks to you about Fox News, read them this
60 Minutes spikes the ball for Obama
What a waste of 60 Minutes. Actually, it was more like 42 minutes, but Kroft gave us nothin.’
I will say this was exactly as I predicted, but that would be way too easy. The activist old media is easier to predict these days than a Laker loss to the Mavericks.
EVERY QUESTION I SAID KROFT WOULD NOT ASK, WAS NOT ASKED.
WAS IT AN ASSASSINATION OR CAPTURE MISSION?
Why all the different versions coming out of the White House?
ARE YOU GLAD THE CIA WATER BOARDED KHALID SHEIK MOHAMMED TO GET THE INTEL? You don’t get the intel, you don’t get bin Laden.
Secret prisons and Gitmo? Not asked.
And finally—THE DEPT. OF JUSTICE IS PROSECUTING A NAVY SEAL FOR GIVING A TERRORIST A FAT LIP; WILL YOU TELL ERIC HOLDER TO STOP THIS PROSECUTION?(Don’t say he can’t.)
I was asking a lot to think that Kroft and 60 Minutes might actually do its job.
Instead we got questions like these:
“How much of it was gut instinct?”
You can’t ask those kinds of questions to a “kinda of a god.”
2012: The fight ahead
….OBAMA’S POLITICAL ADVISERS REALIZE THIS AND THEIR STRATEGY IS SIMPLE: THE ELECTION IS ABOUT THE FUTURE -- THEIR CONSTANT REFRAIN OF “WIN THE FUTURE” IS SOPHOMORIC, YET REPETITION WORKS IN MESSAGING. The second mantra is that Republicans are extreme, scary. Defense of the Obama record will be minimal. The economy will dominate other issues including terrorism (barring a new event), bin Laden or social issues; the May 6 jobs report, showing robust employment gains, was a welcome bookend for the best week in Obama’s presidency in a long time. The conversation in the fall of next year will be about jobs, gas prices, debt and the role of government.
That’s why THE CURRENT BATTLE OVER THE BUDGET AND DEBT CEILING IS IMPORTANT. Any resolution is likely to be short term and cosmetic. The argument, however, sets the table for the 2012 agenda and dialogue, with both sides believing they have an advantage.
‘Create a Narrative’
The Democrats are trying to “create a narrative,” says House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, “IF YOU GO TO THE REPUBLICANS THEY’RE GOING TO FEED YOU TO THE WOLVES IN A DOG-EAT-DOG SOCIETY.”
This “narrative of shared scarcity,” RYAN SAYS, WILL BE TRUMPED BY THE REPUBLICAN STORYLINE. “WE WANT TO HAVE GROWTH. WE WANT AN UPWARDLY MOBILE SOCIETY…..”
Obama has gone from Hope and Change in 2008 to “Fear and Loathing” in 2012. It’s not pretty, but then neither is his record.