Democrats and Taxes
Obama’s into big stuff, says chief of staff Bill Daley on ABC’s This Week.
"I do firmly believe that ONE OF THE WET BLANKETS ON THIS ECONOMY AND ON COMPANIES, ON THE SYSTEM RIGHT NOW IS A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM, WHETHER THE LEADERS CAN GET TOGETHER, WHETHER THEY CAN SOLVE BIG PROBLEMS," Daley said.
So let’s define the “big, wet blanket problem” in which Obama and his Chicago friends now find themselves:
THEY ARE ADDICTED TO BIG TAXES, BIG SPENDING AND BIG GOVERNMENT, and none of it- NONE. OF. IT. - has a darn thing to do with what’s best for the public and the economy.
ALL OF IT- ALL. OF. IT. - HAS TO DO WITH FUNNELING MONEY INTO DEMOCRAT PARTY COFFERS.
And it's sitting like a wet blanket over our economy. And Daley's right. Democrat leaders can't solve it. They couldn't solve it when they ran the tax scam in Chicago and they can't solve it now…
A very simple explanation of what the deficit debate is all about.
Democrats Can't Keep Their Story Straight on
James Pethokoukis has done a great job over the weekend of documenting the Obama Administration's turnabout on the debt ceiling deal. AS A DEAL GOT CLOSER AND CLOSER TO FRUITION, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, EITHER AS A FORM OF POLITICAL POSTURING, INCESSANT IDEOLOGY OR PANDERING TO THE LEFT-WING BASE, DECIDED TO PUSH MUCH LARGER TAX INCREASES THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT.
In short, Obama sees a need for a permanently bigger government and a lot more tax revenue to fund it. Had Obama agreed with his own debt commission and Republicans, a big agreement was possible. Or he could have proposed real reforms to entitlements. But he declined and there wasn’t a mega-deal. Don’t blame Boehner for that.
The democrats want a megadeal so that they don’t have to vote to raise the debt ceiling again before next year’s elections. The Republicans should use this fact as well to get the spending cuts they want.
Hispanic support for Obama plunges
President Barack Obama is hosting a White House meeting for Hispanic advocacy groups Monday, just a week after a Gallup poll of Hispanic VOTERS REVEALED POTENTIALLY LETHAL NEWS FOR HIS RE-ELECTION CHANCES.
The Gallup poll showed that OBAMA’S SUPPORT AMONG HISPANICS FELL ALMOST A THIRD IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS, DOWN FROM 73 PERCENT IN DECEMBER 2009 to 52 percent in June 2011. That’s very bad news for Democrats, because Obama’s re-election strategy depends on a Hispanic landslide in swing states such as Florida and Virginia.
But IT IS GOOD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS, who are trying to boost their share of the overall Hispanic vote up to and beyond 40 percent.
Obama’s coalition is falling apart. Young voters (especially those without jobs or those who are underemployed), Hispanics, and women support has eroded significantly in the past eighteen months.
The job market is defying history
A dismal June employment report shows that employers are adding nowhere near as many jobs as they normally do this long after a recession has ended.
UNEMPLOYMENT HAS CLIMBED FOR THREE STRAIGHT MONTHS AND IS NOW AT 9.2 PERCENT. THERE'S NO PRECEDENT, IN DATA GOING BACK TO 1948, for such a high rate two years into what economists say is a recovery.
The economy added just 18,000 jobs in June. That's a fraction of the 90,000 jobs economists had expected and a sliver of the 300,000 jobs needed each month to shrink unemployment significantly.
THE EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW GROWTH IS CONFOUNDING ECONOMISTS, SPOOKING CONSUMERS AND DISMAYING JOB SEEKERS. Friday's report forced analysts to re-examine their assumption that the economy would strengthen in the second half of 2011.
They had expected improvement in June after a bleak jobs report for May. They figured that hiring in May had been artificially weakened by temporary factors — a run-up in gasoline prices to $4 a gallon and factory disruptions caused by Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis.
But the June numbers were even worse than May's, even though gasoline prices are falling and factories revving up again.
AP needs to be talking with more conservative economists rather than liberals ones and they won’t find them quite so confounded. In fact Progressive solutions don’t work to bring an economy out of a recession. Progressivism is about dividing the pie, not making it bigger. But anyone who thinks Obama will be reelected isn’t paying attention.
It is rare as a Fox News commentator that you have the benefit of feedback from high ranking elected officials. And it is particularly rare as a Fox News Democrat to get feedback from high ranking Democrats, who typically either ignore Fox or make it their business not to comment on the substance of its programming. But I did have such an opportunity this weekend when I ran across Chuck Schumer at a party, appropriately enough, in Southampton, New York recently.
Senator Schumer offered a comprehensive critique of Fox News Democrats and what he believes their responsibilities and obligations are.
THE NEW YORK SENATOR ARGUED WITH GREAT PASSION THAT DEMOCRATS ON FOX NEWS HAVE AN OBLIGATION, AND INDEED A RESPONSIBILITY, TO STICK TO THE PARTY LINE AS OUTLINED AND ARTICULATED BY HIMSELF AND HIS COLLEAGUES, otherwise, in his view, THEY NO LONGER SHOULD BE CALLED "DEMOCRATS" and should not identify themselves as members of the Party either.
Specifically, Senator Schumer said that since Fox News, in his opinion, has as one of its principle objectives, building support for the Republican Party, anyone who appears on the air as a Democrat, particularly in the political debates Fox News organizes, has an obligation (in his mind) to articulate Democratic talking points. IT WAS HIS CONSIDERED OPINION THAT DEMOCRATS WHO DO NOT DO THIS, WHO SPEAK THEIR MINDS, AS I TRY TO DO, WERE NOT ONLY NOT "DEMOCRATS" ANYMORE, PER SE BUT SHOULD ALSO NOT BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH BY FOX NEWS CHANNEL.
As a history buff, this position seems to be more something you would find in Stalin’s USSR rather than the “big tent” Democratic Party.
The Church of the Holy Progressivism
…. MODERN PROGRESSIVISM, AS A CONSTRUCT, IS A CHURCH -- one whose practice is reminiscent of the Dark Ages and one that can truly be called an "opiate of the masses." It comes complete with sin-tax collectors who seek to extract more wealth as you more excessively engage in the sin of success. These same people, whom they call "legislators," also serve the function of alms collectors, bound to the highest calling of securing and distributing food stamps, healthcare services, and income. There are the inquisitors, called the media, who will put to the rack anyone who questions the church's intent or challenges its claims. And the figurehead and Grand Inquisitor, Barack Obama, works to maintain his flock's devotion to a greater "social justice," with sermons so moving that they cause his disciples to incoherently yell, cry, or even feel thrills running up their legs.
AND IF PROGRESSIVISM IS INDEED A CHURCH, I GUESS THAT WOULD MAKE PAUL RYAN A MODERN-DAY GALILEO….
…. The resulting furor in the PROGRESSIVE BACKLASH WAS UNMISTAKABLE. Unable to deny the severity of our debt, they immediately began an attack on the wealthy. Essentially, THEY PRESENTED OUR DEBT PROBLEM AS NOT A DEBT PROBLEM, BUT AN INCOME PROBLEM. The Huffington Post suggests that "when a family finds itself in difficult financial circumstances," it can either reduce spending or increase income. They suggest taxing the wealthy to achieve the latter….
Obama increased spending by $700 billion per year above what it was during the Bush years or actually the past 20 years. In the coming debate, the Democrats need to agree to $7 trillion in cuts before we even look at tax increases coupled with more cuts.
Progressivism: Here’s the real history
….American industrialization piled factories onto an agricultural society, accelerating urbanization. As it had in Europe, IT DISPLACED PEOPLE, WHICH PROVIDED FERTILE GROUND FOR POLITICIANS SELLING SOCIALISM IN VARIOUS FORMS AS A MEANS FOR RELIEVING THE ECONOMIC DISTRESS. In Europe, the socialists were immediate beneficiaries of the Industrial Revolution. In the United States, the Civil War displaced additional people, especially in the South, and fed political corruption. POLITICAL REFORMERS CLUSTERED AROUND THE IDEA THAT THE SOLUTION TO SUCH LARGE-SCALE PROBLEMS HAD TO BE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Approaching the end of the 19th century, the came to call themselves Progressives and eclipsed Americas' acknowledged socialists. They accomplished their first national political successes with passage of the Interstate Commerce Act, the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the Forest Reserve Act, which began government control of commercial carriers, of corporations, and of natural resources, all before 1900.
THE FIRST PROGRESSIVE PRESIDENT WAS REPUBLICAN THEODORE ROOSEVELT; THE SECOND, WOODROW WILSON, A DEMOCRAT. Both effectively forwarded Federal government control of the U.S. economy. HERBERT HOOVER, CONTRARY TO POPULAR IMPRESSION, WAS A PROGRESSIVE AND AN ACTIVIST IN EXPANDING GOVERNMENT'S ROLE; FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT RAN AGAINST HIS SPENDING BUT MANY OF HIS DEPRESSION POLICIES WERE ROOTED IN HOOVER'S, resting in both cases in expansion of government in the economy. Though the legend of Hoover's laissez-faire approach toward the Great Depression still lingers, the truth is much more interesting. Neither president's policies succeeded in relieving the Depression; recovery was built on the growth following World War II….
Progressivism to me is a throwback to the times of the divine right of kings. They were sanctified by God and answerable only to God. The Progressives haven’t abandoned elections---yet, but they don’t hold the electorate in high esteem.
Several law professors and senators, and even Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, have suggested that section 4 of the 14th Amendment, known as the public debt clause, MIGHT PROVIDE A SILVER BULLET. This provision states that “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned.” THEY ARGUE THAT THE PUBLIC DEBT CLAUSE IS SUFFICIENT TO NULLIFY THE CEILING — OR CAN BE USED TO PERMIT THE PRESIDENT TO BORROW MONEY WITHOUT REGARD TO THE CEILING.
Both approaches provide the false hope of a legal answer that obviates the need for a real solution.
That sounds right to me. Indeed, I found relatively little in Tribe’s op-ed with which to disagree. HE NOTES THAT AN INTERPRETATION UNDER WHICH ANY ACTION WHICH THREATENS DEFAULT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL WOULD SWEEP TOO BROADLY, and notes the implications for executive power of any argument that would allow unilateral borrowing.
,... the argument that the president may do whatever is necessary to avoid default has no logical stopping point. In theory, Congress could pay debts not only by borrowing more money, but also by exercising its powers to impose taxes, to coin money or to sell federal property. If the president could usurp the congressional power to borrow, what would stop him from taking over all these other powers, as well?
Tribe concludes quoting Justice John Marshall Harlan II, “the Constitution is not a panacea for every blot upon the public welfare,” and suggests the solution to the current impasse is not to be found in the constitution, but in the political process
It would seem to me the act’s wording, “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law ... shall not be questioned” ends the argument since the debt must be authorized by law. What we are talking about is new debt that obviously has not been authorized yet.
Solar Power’s fatal flaw
….From the study commissioned by the University of Juan Carlos and the Juan de Mariana Institute, since 2000 SPAIN SPENT €571,138 TO CREATE EACH "GREEN JOB", including subsidies of more than €1 million per wind industry job. Two thirds of jobs were in construction, fabrication and installation, one quarter in administrative positions, marketing and projects engineering, and JUST ONE OUT OF TEN JOBS HAS BEEN CREATED AT THE MORE PERMANENT LEVEL OF ACTUAL OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE RENEWABLE SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY. The programs creating each green job also resulted in THE DESTRUCTION OF 2.2 JOBS ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY FOR EVERY "GREEN JOB" CREATED. In the end the price of electricity paid by the consumer in Spain will have to be increased 31% to be able to repay the historic debt generated by the deficit produced by the subsidies to renewable. [See Resources below.
Once the panels are constructed, THE COLD, HARD REALITY OF SOLAR ENERGY'S 33% EFFICIENCY SHINES AS HOT AS THE MIDDAY SUN. One can clearly see the massive government subsides required to keep solar plants operating while never achieving anywhere near breakeven return on investment. Environmentalists still proudly promote the green advantages of solar while glossing over the facts:
Solar projects include a natural gas generation system to supplement the grid when the sun doesn't shine.
Solar turbines require the same amount of water as a thousand households to run.
SOLAR ARRAYS HAVE A HUGE FOOTPRINT -- OVER FIVE SQUARE MILES OF HABITAT TO POWER 140,000 HOMES.
This same economy-of-scale farce holds true for small domestic solar panels. These installations require massive government subsidies and legislation, forcing the grid to buy electricity from solar providers -- which, in turn, increases the cost of electricity to every consumer….
The technology just isn’t there yet. We should invest in research and development but not in actual requirements to use “green” energy.