Obama’s Budget: Almost $1 Trillion in New Taxes Over Next 10 yrs, Starting 2011

Obama’s Budget: Almost $1 Trillion in New Taxes Over Next 10 yrs, Starting 2011

President Obama’s budget proposes $989 billion in new taxes over the course of the next 10 years, starting fiscal year 2011, most of which are tax increases on individuals.

1) On people making more than $250,000.

$338 billion – Bush tax cuts expire
$179 billlion – eliminate itemized deduction
$118 billion – capital gains tax hike

Total: $636 billion/10 years

2) Businesses:

$17 billion – Reinstate Superfund taxes
$24 billion – tax carried-interest as income
$5 billion – codify “economic substance doctrine”
$61 billion – repeal LIFO
$210 billion – international enforcement, reform deferral, other tax reform
$4 billion – information reporting for rental payments
$5.3 billion – excise tax on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
$3.4 billion – repeal expensing of tangible drilling costs
$62 million – repeal deduction for tertiary injectants
$49 million – repeal passive loss exception for working interests in oil and natural gas properties
$13 billion – repeal manufacturing tax deduction for oil and natural gas companies
$1 billion – increase to 7 years geological and geophysical amortization period for independent producers
$882 million – eliminate advanced earned income tax credit

Total: $353 billion/10 years

The Budget as Class Warfare

The Budget as Class Warfare

By FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | 2/27/2009

From the moment he launched his presidential campaign, it was clear that Barack Obama had big plans for the country he proposed to lead. Barely a month into his tenure, President Obama has put a price on that transformational vision: $3.5 trillion.

 

That is the projected cost of the 2010 budget that the Obama administration unveiled yesterday in a sprawling, 134-page blueprint. Echoing the soaring rhetoric that is the president’s trademark, the budget heralds “a new era of responsibility,” vows to restore “America’s promise,” and outlines a fulsome list of spending priorities that spans everything from education, health care, infrastructure, and defense to “alternative energy,” while making room for subsidies like, for instance, a “Nurse Home Visitation” program that will pay trained nurses to visit low-income and expecting mothers.

 

All of which compels the question: How to finance the president’s pricey wish list – particularly in the midst of an economic slowdown that shows no immediate sign of reversal? Here is where the administration’s lavish budget becomes something other than the much-needed medicine for the nation’s ills that it affects to be.

Although the words “tax increase” appear nowhere in the draft budget, that seems to be the administration’s preferred method of payment. To be exact, the president is proposing to raise taxes on families making over $250,000, who make up approximately 2 percent of the top income earners, in the process repealing two of the tax cuts passed under President Bush. Starting in 2011, the administration would raise the top two income-tax rates from 33 to 36 percent and from 35 to 39.6 percent. Overall, the president’s budget features $1 trillion in tax increases on higher earners over the next decade. According to President Obama, these increases “restore a basic sense of fairness to the tax code.”

 

But there is another, less generous way to describe them: class warfare. Under the administration’s scheme, two percent of income earners will be forced to subsidize what the budget calls “95 percent of working families,” including the 40 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes whatsoever – a redistributionist power grab in all but name. As it applies to politics, one definition of fairness holds that the government should be neutral between its citizens, regardless of the size of their paycheck. Plainly, that is not the definition favored by the Obama administration. And that’s just of one the flaws of the administration’s two-percent solution.

 

Supposing this soak-the-rich policy was justified, would it be sufficient to cover the costs of the administration’s budget? The answer, it seems, is “No.” After crunching the numbers, the Wall Street Journal concluded that even after increasing taxes on the top two percent of Americans, the administration would still fall far short of its funding ambitions. Indeed, using statistics from 2006, the latest year from which tax figures are available and one that preceded the economic downturn, the Journal concluded that even a “tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue. That’s less than half the 2006 federal budget of $2.7 trillion and looks tiny compared to the more than $4 trillion Congress will spend in fiscal 2010.”

 

In other words, raising taxes on the highest earners won’t pay for the Obama budget. Either the administration will have to scale back its spending proposals or it will have to seek money from taxpayers making less than $250,000. In all the thoroughness of its hundred-plus pages, the budget released yesterday somehow neglected to mention that little detail.

 

In its defense, the administration assures that its tax increases will be supplemented by future economic growth, which will allow for the reduction of some spending. Unfortunately for this theory, the administration’s projections of 3.2 percent growth are almost certainly exaggerated; private sector forecasters suggest that decidedly less vigorous growth, around 2 percent, is more likely. All the more reason to think that the administration will elect to increase taxes to meet its budget aims.

 

The administration’s preference for raising taxes is nevertheless curious, conflicting as it does with its pledge create jobs in dire economic times. As the conservative Heritage Foundation points out, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, as the administration intends, will mean that 709,000 fewer jobs will be created between 2011 and 2016. Similarly, Heritage estimates that there would be 270,000 fewer job opportunities in 2011 if President Obama increases taxes on capital gains and dividends. Yet, according to the proposed budget, he intends to do just that. With so many Americans looking to the new president as a savior in a time of crisis, it would be a dark irony indeed if it turned out that his tax policies were stalling economic recovery.

 

The best that can be said for the administration’s budget is that it is not a political fait accompli. As a nonbinding recommendation to Congress, it will be revised, redrafted and repeatedly dueled over in the months ahead. On the other hand, Democratic majorities in Congress are unlikely to temper the administration’s excesses – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s biggest gripe against the White House is that it didn’t move to raise taxes fast enough – and the resulting spending plan may well prove worse than the one released this week. In a worst-case scenario, the administration’s bloated $3.5 trillion budget – tax hikes and all – may yet be recalled as model of fiscal responsibility in the Obama years.

Obama’s Biggest Radical

Obama’s Biggest Radical

By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | 2/27/2009

When Barack Obama nominated John P. Holdren as his Science Adviser last December 20, the president-elect stated “promoting science isn’t just about providing resources” but “ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.” In nominating John Holdren, his words could scarcely have taken a more Orwellian ring.

Some critics have noted Holdren’s penchant for making apocalyptic predictions that never come to pass, and categorizing all criticism of his alarmist views as not only wrong but dangerous. What none has yet noted is that Holdren is a globalist who has endorsed “surrender of sovereignty” to “a comprehensive Planetary Regime” that would control all the world’s resources, direct global redistribution of wealth, oversee the “de-development” of the West, control a World Army and taxation regime, and enforce world population limits. He has castigated the United States as “the meanest of wealthy countries,” written a justification of compulsory abortion for American women, advocated drastically lowering the U.S. standard of living, and left the door open to trying global warming “deniers” for crimes against humanity. Such is Barack Obama’s idea of a clear-headed adviser on matters of scientific policy.

First Lab on the Left

All of these positions are consistent with a man who began his career as a “dissident scientist.” Peter Collier remembers Holdren working by day at a national laboratory and by night writing for Ramparts, the intellectual journal of the New Left. Holdren has authored numerous books and journal articles with his mentors Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the infamous doomsayers who predicted overpopulation would force most of the world’s population to perish during the 1980s “great die-off.” Holdren has gone on to a distinguished academic career in his own right. A longtime professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Teresa Heinz Kerry used her late husband’s tax-exempt billions to endow a chair at Harvard for Ehrlich’s disciple; Holdren is now the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, where his (and her) ideas influence the next generation of policymakers. Holdren himself has a background in political “philanthropy,” serving for 14 years on John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation‘s Board of Trustees, steering its grants to far-Left organizations. He also pursued the intersection of science and diplomacy by joining the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, an organization founded during the Cold War by former nuclear scientist and fellow traveler Joseph Rotblat. Pugwash hewed to the Communist Party line and was subsequently feted by Czechslovakian and Polish Communist leaders.

The Neo-Malthusians

Holdren gave a clear indication of his philosophical views in the 1977 book Ecoscience, which he co-authored with Paul and Anne Ehrlich. [1] In its pages, the authors noted, “The neo-Malthusiasn view proposes…population limitation and redistribution of wealth.” They concluded, “On these points, we find ourselves firmly in the neo-Malthusian camp” (p. 954).

Economist Thomas Malthus is one of the most literally anti-human theorists in human history. He viewed overpopulation as the fount of all woe, but one which could be staunched with enough blood. In “An Essay on the Principle of Population” Malthus wrote, “All the children who are born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the death of grown persons…if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction, which we compel nature to use…and court the return of the plague.” Like their intellectual forebear, Holdren and the Ehrlichs proposed their own acceptable sacrifice to the environment.

Compulsory Abortion for American Women

The trio prescribed a rigidly enforced, government-imposed limit of two children per family. Holdren and the Ehrlichs maintained “there exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated.” Hiding behind the passive voice, they note, “it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.” (Emphasis added.) To underscore they mean business, they conclude, “If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” (pp. 837-838). Moreover, if the United States government refuses to take proper measures, they authorize the United Nations to take compelling force.

“A Comprehensive Planetary Regime”

Holdren believed a world government might play a moderate role in the future: setting and enforcing appopriate population levels, taxing and redistributing the world’s wealth, controlling the world’s resources, and operating a standing World Army.

Such a comprehensive Plenetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable…not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes…The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade…The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits…the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits. (p. 943.)

Part of the power wielded by this “Regime” would be in the form of a World Army. The trio wrote that the United States must destroy all its nuclear arsenal. But this would not render us defenseless against Communist aggression. “Security might be provided by an armed international organization, a global analogue of a police force…The first step necessarily involves partial surrender of sovereignty to an international organization” (p. 917, emphasis added).

Far from distancing himself from this wooly-headed notion as he matured, Holdren explicitly reaffirmed it in his 1995 Nobel Prize acceptance speech on behalf of Pugwash, declaiming, “The post-Cold-War world needs a more powerful United Nations, probably with a standing volunteer force — owing loyalty directly to the UN rather than to contingents from individual nations.” As recently as last January, he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) the world needs “a universal prohibition on nuclear weapons, coupled with means to ensure confidence in compliance.” (Emphasis added.)

U.S. Blood and Treasure for the UN

The redistribution of blood and treasure were high priorities for Holdren, et. al. They advised the “de-development of overdeveloped countries…should be given top priority” (p. 926), and such nations — e.g., the United States and the developed West — should “divert their excess productivity into helping the poorer people of the world rather than exploiting them” (p. 931).

How much wealth redistribution would be sufficient? The authors favorably cited a proposal that “the rich nations devote 20 percent of their GNPs for ten or fifteen years to the task of population control and development of the poor countries.” They comment, “We believe an effort of this magnitude is not only justified but essential.” (p. 925). Reaffirming the goal in his 1995 Nobel speech, he stretched this to a program “sustained over several decades.” (Emphasis added.)

He detailed the mechanism for global socialism just two years ago. In a February 2007 report of which he was a coordinating lead author, urges the United Nations to undertake “a global framework” that is “more comprehensive and ambitious” than the Kyoto Protocol. Holdren states the UN must mandate “A requirement for the early establishment of a substantial price on carbon emissions in all countries, whether by a carbon tax or a tradable permit approach.” Although he prefers a global carbon tax presided over by a United Nations-strength IRS, he is open to a stringent global cap-and-trade program. However, that program must contain: “A means for transferring some of the revenue produced by carbon taxes upon, or permits purchased by, countries and consumers with high incomes and high per capita emissions to countries and consumers with low incomes and low per capita emissions” (pp. 70-72). (Emphases in original.)

Every Man a Duke

His thirst for economic redistribution (read: socialism) is not limited to foreign affairs. In a chapter of Ecoscience entitled “Changing American Institutions,” Holdren and the Ehrlichs call for a “considerably more equitable distribution of wealth and income” in the United States, offering in passing, “Possibly this would be achieved by some formal mechanism” (p. 875). Might that mechanism perchance be government force? The text praises an economist’s plan to limit American achievement at a $100,000 maximum annual salary, or just under $350,000 in 2009 dollars, adjusted for inflation (p. 850). Such would be the most socialistic proposal made in modern times. Even Huey Long allowed men a million dollars a year, in 1934.

“The Meanest of Wealthy Countries”

But the intervening years have not been pleasant ones for such as Holdren. In a 1995 article co-written with Paul Ehrlich, he lists among the factors preventing a “sustainable” world such “Underlying human frailties” as “Greed, selfishness, intolerance, and shortsightedness.” These, he expounds, “collectively have been elevated by conservative political doctrine and practice (above all in the United States in 1980 92) to the status of a credo.” 

Holdren blasted his country last January before the AAAS as “the stingiest among all” wealthy nations in its development of the Third World, making us “the meanest of wealthy countries.” He summed up his view of the U.S. budget by favorably quoting Robert Kates: “Too much for warfare, too little for welfare.”

Making You Poorer For Your Own Good

The function of such welfare is twofold: to enrich citizens of the Global South and to impoverish Americans for their own good. In a 2006 paper, Holdren noted that reducing “GDP per person” — that is, cutting your personal wealth — also reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions. True, it is “not a lever that most people would want to use to reduce emissions”; “People are not getting rich as fast as they think, however, if GDP growth is being achieved at the expense of the environmental underpinnings of well-being” (pp. 15-16).

Holdren addressed the economic costs of his massive restructuring of the economy some 32 years ago, acknowledging it “will entail considerable retraining and temporary unemployment in the workforce” (p. 853). Yet he continues to support economy-crushing energy taxation. In a 1997 press conference, he surmised that if alternative energy sources were to get a foothold, either they “would have to get a great deal cheaper, which seems unlikely, or natural gas would have to get considerably more expensive. The latter is actually a good idea.” One is hardly encouraged to learn that last December, environmentalist Dr. James Hansen sent a four-page letter via Holdren to “Michelle and Barack.” (Hansen wrote it as surgeons in Vienna placed a stent in his wife’s chest following an unexpected heart attack.) His personal note to “John” states, “When gasoline hits $4-5/gallons again, most of that should be tax.” Five months earlier, Holdren rated Hansen “one of the most distinguished climate scientists in the world.”

Anti-Military, Anti-Christian Statements

Dr. James Hansen may be in Holdren’s good graces, but neither the military nor the Apostle Paul are. Holdren and company warn, “Civilians should realize that peace and freedom from tension are not viewed as an ideal situation by many members of the military-industrial-government complex. By and large, professional military officers, especially field grade and higher, hope for an end to international tensions about as fervently as farmers hope for drought” (p. 918).

And in their eyes, what soldiers are to war, Jesus is to the climate. “The Christian concept of life in this world, as voiced by Saint Paul, that ‘here we have no abiding city,’ for example, conceivably could help explain why some people show rather little concern for the long-term future of the global environment or for the well-being of future generations” (p. 807).

P.S.: He’s Frequently Wrong

With a values system like this, it should come as little surprise that Holdren is frequently mistaken about his alleged field of specialization, environmental science — often tremendously so. As with Ehrlich, he has been predicting global catastrophes since the 1970s, beginning with the global cooling scare. Modern critics have noted his role in Paul Ehrlich’s famous wager with Julian Simon: Holdren chose five metals that he believed would be more expensive in ten years’ time due to scarcity, while Simon predicted each would be less expensive. A decade hence, Ehrlich’s group was $1,000 poorer (a chance to reduce their carbon footprint, perhaps). Holdren advised Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth, a film that by one scholar’s count contained 10 pages of  falsehoods, exaggerations, distortions, and ignored evidence.

And there is the little matter of his prediction a billion people will die within the next 11 years.

Paul Ehrlich recorded that in 1986 Holdren predicted “carbon dioxide-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.” Holdren reiterated this view in Newsweek just two years ago. When he faced Senate questioning this February 12, only one man, Sen. David Vitter, R-LA, dared to ask him about his failed predictions. The Washington Post reported Holdren’s response as a brilliant riposte, artfully parrying the query. On the contrary, the transcript shows Holdren actually reaffirmed that he still believes one billion people may die within the next 11 years from a climate-related drought:

Vitter: So you would stick to that statement?
Holdren: I don’t think it’s likely. I think we should invest effort – considerable effort – to reduce the likelihood further.

Vitter: So you would stick to the statement that it could happen?
Holdren: It could happen, and …

Vitter: One billion by 2020?
Holdren: It could.

Vitter managed to show Holdren was wrong on yet another front: just two years ago, he wrote that current emissions levels could cause the a 13-foot rise in sea levels. Under cross-examination, Holdren admitted science’s most dire estimates are now half as much as Holdren pronounced just two years ago. Yet this “expert” will have the ear of the president in setting scientific policy.

Criticizing Holdren = “Crimes Against Humanity”?

Holdren reacts to correction the way a rattlesnake reacts to sudden movement: with velocity and venom. As long ago as the early 1970s, he and Paul Ehrlich engaged in a campaign to silence fellow radical Barry Commoner, a onetime fringe presidential candidate, because the latter viewed technology as more damaging than overpopulation. More recently, he co-authored a scathing, 11-page attack against Bjorn Lomborg for having the temerity to question Green-Left orthodoxy. Yet that pales in comparison to his view of some global warming “deniers.”

Last July 3, as an advisor to the Obama campaign, Holdren appeared on the radical program “Democracy Now!” hosted by Amy Goodman. Goodman asked him about comments made by his friend Dr. James Hansen (see above). Specifically, Hansen said, “large energy companies are guilty of crimes against humanity, if they continue to dispute what is understood scientifically and to fund contrarians, and if they push us past tipping points that end up destroying many species on the planet and having a huge impact on humanity itself.” Goodman asked Holdren if he agreed “the CEOs of large energy companies are guilty of, should be tried for crimes against humanity?”

Holdren replied: “I couldn’t really say. I’m not qualified to assess what the heads of oil companies, past or present, have done in this domain. My understanding is that Exxon, in particular, did fund a variety of small think tanks to generate what amounts to propaganda against understanding of what climate change was doing, the human role in causing it. Whether that sort of activity really constitutes crimes against humanity is something for people more embedded in the legal system than I to judge.” He went on to say heads of oil companies now were more “enlightened” on carbon emissions, so “I guess I would find the statement that all oil company CEOs, past and present, are guilty of crimes against humanity is maybe a little bit over the top.” (Emphasis added.)

In other words, he hedged his bets, pleaded that he was not a legal scholar, but still held out that at least some of the CEOs may well be guilty of crimes against humanity. His reply to whether American citizens should be tried for a capital offense because they exercised their First Amendment rights to disagree with him was a firm maybe.

DDT: A Truly Malthusian Policy

The lack of correction has led to a correlative lack of introspection. This author could find no retraction of his 1977 statement, “In our opinion, no biologist has made a greater contribution to humanity in this century than Rachel Carson” (p. 854). Carson’s primary contribution, through banning the DDT on erroneous grounds, has been the preventable death of 50-90 million souls in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

In a way, Holdren’s support for Carson is a microcosm of his entire philosophy: a deadly and ill-conceived policy based on false evidence of potential harm, whose catastrophic impact has been the opposite of that intended — never retracted, never regretted, never reconsidered. Such a reflexively self-reverential tone is unhelpful in any public servant. John Holdren’s globalist, redistributionist, Malthusian views could prove more damaging for the world than those of his hero.

ENDNOTES:
1
. Unless otherwise noted, all page citations are from Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and John Holdren. Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment. (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1977).



Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving.

OBama orders $20M tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA

 

Why is it that so few Americans let great speaking ability hide Obamas real agenda??????

Obama orders $20M tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA

 

This is the news that hasn’t made the headlines…

 

By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza . The “presidential determination” which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States was signed on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.

 

Few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.

 

A review of Barack Obama’s most recent actions since he was inaugurated a month ago:

  • His first call to any head of state as president was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.
  • His first one-on-one interview with any news organization was with Al Arabia television.
  • He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted.
  • He ordered all overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.
  • He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and 9/11.
  • Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to and live in the US at American taxpayer expense.

          To verify for yourself: www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2009-02-04-E9-2488

My Muslim President Obama

The following is from today’s Forbes

 

Commentary Forbes
My Muslim President Obama

Asma Gull Hasan 02.25.09, 12:00 AM ET

I know President Obama is not Muslim, but I am tempted nevertheless to think that he is, as are most Muslims I know. In a very unscientific oral poll, ranging from family members to Muslim acquaintances, many of us feel, just as African-Americans did for the non-black but culturally leaning African-American President Bill Clinton, that we have our first American Muslim president in Barack Hussein Obama.

I know it’s odd to say this. At first, I thought I was the only Muslim engaging in this folly, and I am reluctant to express it lest right-wing zealots try to use “Muslim” as a smear and cite my theory as proof of an Islamic traitor in the White House or some such nonsense. But, since Election Day, I have been part of more and more conversations with Muslims in which it was either offhandedly agreed that Obama is Muslim or enthusiastically blurted out. In commenting on our new president, “I have to support my fellow Muslim brother,” would slip out of my mouth before I had a chance to think twice.

“Well, I know he’s not really Muslim,” I would quickly add. But if the person I was talking to was Muslim, they would say, “yes he is.” They would cite his open nature and habit of reaching out to critics, reminiscent of the Prophet Muhammad’s own approach, and also Obama’s middle name, Hussein. Most of the Muslims I know (me included) can’t seem to accept that Obama is not Muslim.

Of the few Muslims I polled who said that Obama is not Muslim, even they conceded that he had ties to Islam. These realists said that, although not an avowed and practicing Muslim, Obama’s exposure to Islam at a young age (both through his father and his stint in Indonesia) has given him a Muslim sensibility. In my book, that makes you a Muslim–maybe not a card-carrying one, but part of the flock for sure. One realist Muslim ventured that Obama worships at a Unitarian Church because it represents the middle ground between Christianity and Islam, incorporating the religious beliefs of the two faiths Obama feels connected to. Unitarianism could be Obama’s way of still being a Muslim. (And let’s not forget that the church Obama worshiped at for so many years had a minister who reminds most Muslims of their own raving, excitable ministers. Even if Obama really is Christian, he picked the most Muslim-esque minister out of the bunch to guide him.)

The rationalistic, Western side of me knows that Obama has denied being Muslim, that his father was non-practicing, that he doesn’t attend a mosque. Many Muslims simply say back, “my father’s not a strict Muslim either, and I haven’t been to a mosque in years.” Obama even told The New York Times he could recite the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, which the vast majority of Muslims, I would guess, do not know well enough to recite.

I think many of us Muslims see Obama as Muslim, or at least of Muslim heritage, because his background epitomizes one of the major Muslim experiences–a diverse upbringing that eludes any easy classification as specifically one religion or one culture. So many of us Muslims around the world have Islam in common, but an altogether different culture from one another. Many Muslims share a culture with a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist community but not the same religion. When faced with such diversity, there are no hard and fast rules for Muslim identity.

The Qur’an speaks often of the umma, or the worldwide community of Muslims. In the early days of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad led the small umma. Every decision, every effort, everything was for the umma–people who were often unrelated by blood but had become related by choice as Muslims. In those early days, many Muslims had gone against the wishes of their own families in converting to Islam, pitting brother against sister, father against child. Perhaps that’s why the concept of umma became so dear and is still echoed today–in my opinion, echoed more than that Western favorite jihad–in Muslim homes, whether those homes are in the United States or in Palestine.

Perhaps it is my–and most Muslims’– loyalty to the umma that is behind our insistence on seeing Obama as Muslim. Islam survived and continues to survive because Muslims believe we have to respect and take care of each other, as members of the umma. If we were to start excluding members, or revising our broad guidelines for admittance, the very essence of the community feeling that is important in Islam, that gives me and other Muslims comfort everyday, would be undercut. So when Obama says he’s not Muslim, my umma mentality says I know better. Once you have a Muslim parent, especially a dad, you’re in. Whether you like it or not, Muslims all over the world see you as one of them.

I work with my father, and, once, we were seeking business with a white American man who had married a Muslim woman. Noticing how much fond attention my dad paid to this man, I asked him why he liked the man so much. My dad responded that, in his marriage to a Muslim woman (who wasn’t related to us), “He’s our brother-in-law!” So if that white, middle-aged man can be my brother-in-law, then Obama can certainly be my Muslim president.

Asma Gull Hasan is the author of Red, White, and Muslim: My Story of Belief.

 

Limbaugh defends Jindal

Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial and housing crisis; meltdown

This  video clearly shows that George Bush tried to warn Congress starting in 2001, that this economic crisis was coming, if something was not done. But Congress refused to listen, along with the arrogant, Congressman Barney Frank. This video says it all.
 
The  liberal media reportedly did not want this video on You  Tube; it was removed. 
This link is of the same  video but is routed through Canada . Everyone in  America needs to see this before it is yanked off the airwaves again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1

Not All Talk Is Cheap


Not All Talk Is Cheap
By the Editors

We would wager that President Obama’s speech will go over well. Much of it sounded good to us. The president says that he does not believe in big government and, indeed, wants to abolish ineffective government programs. He seeks to avoid as much as possible bailing out irresponsible homeowners, bankers, and automakers. He promises to stand up against protectionism. He claims that nobody making less than $250,000 a year will pay a single dime more in taxes. He favors tax-free universal savings accounts for retirement. He is, judging from the speech, uninterested in promoting social liberalism. And even where we disagreed with what he said, he usually made a cogent, reasonable-sounding case for his position.

He lost us, however, on “nobody messes with Joe.” People don’t mess with Joe Biden because they’re busy ridiculing him. As for the centrist tenor of his remarks, we confess to being among the cynics about whom Obama has so often warned. We do not see how Obama’s cap-and-trade plan to fight global warming, or his plan to tax small businesses for health-care coverage, is compatible with his tax-cut promise in any but the most technical sense. We think Obama’s focus on high-school and college graduation rates, while popular, is precisely wrong, a distraction from the more important task of seeing to it that young people know more and gain more skills. We suspect that Obama’s hope that ailing automakers survive while unwinding unwise commitments would be more likely to come true if his administration permits orderly bankruptcies. We worry that government attempts to nurture the industries of tomorrow have typically failed.

Obama’s comments on foreign policy were platitudinous, and brief: Iraq got a sentence; Afghanistan shared one with Pakistan. Obama’s heart lies elsewhere. We were told that the U.S. should “not shun the negotiating table,” as though the last administration had. Perhaps someone can brief Obama on the progress of the six-party talks about North Korea. 

We wonder whether our cynicism may catch on in the months ahead. Obama’s many nods to the residual conservatism of the public may be sincere, but they do not seem to be reflected in his actual program. Nor does the balance of power on Capitol Hill seem likely to result in the moderation of that program.

Obama is often said to be a figure full of promise. Republicans should hold him to account for his best promises, and point out the unpleasant implications of his worst ones. 


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Y2E3NGU4NTlmN2NlMGQ0MzZmYjA4MDZjZGI3MmIzYWE=

MSNBCer Says “Oh God” Before Jindal Response

FACT CHECK: Obama’s words on home aid ring hollow

 FACT CHECK: Obama’s words on home aid ring hollow

 



Feb 25, 3:15 AM (ET)

By CALVIN WOODWARD and JIM KUHNHENN 

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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama knows Americans are unhappy that the government could rescue people who bought mansions beyond their means.

But his assurance Tuesday night that only the deserving will get help rang hollow.

Even officials in his administration, many supporters of the plan in Congress and the Federal Reserve chairman expect some of that money will go to people who used lousy judgment.

The president skipped over several complex economic circumstances in his speech to Congress – and may have started an international debate among trivia lovers and auto buffs over what country invented the car.

A look at some of his assertions:

 

OBAMA: “We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values.”

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn’t said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

“I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed.”

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it’s not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn’t afford.

“I think it’s just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans,” Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.

OBAMA: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany’s Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.

OBAMA: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.

OBAMA: “We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don’t mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won’t be 10 years from now.

OBAMA: “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn’t only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

OBAMA: “In this budget, we will end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them. We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.”

THE FACTS: First, his budget does not accomplish any of that. It only proposes those steps. That’s all a president can do, because control over spending rests with Congress. Obama’s proposals here are a wish list and some items, including corporate tax increases and cuts in agricultural aid, will be a tough sale in Congress.

Second, waste, fraud and abuse are routinely targeted by presidents who later find that the savings realized seldom amount to significant sums. Programs that a president might consider wasteful have staunch defenders in Congress who have fought off similar efforts in the past.

OBAMA: “Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.”

THE FACTS: While the president’s stimulus package includes billions in aid for renewable energy and conservation, his goal is unlikely to be achieved through the recovery plan alone.

In 2007, the U.S. produced 8.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydroelectric dams, solar panels and windmills. Under the status quo, the Energy Department says, it will take more than two decades to boost that figure to 12.5 percent.

If Obama is to achieve his much more ambitious goal, Congress would need to mandate it. That is the thrust of an energy bill that is expected to be introduced in coming weeks.

OBAMA: “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”

THE FACTS: This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.

The president’s own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, “It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.”

Beyond that, it’s unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it’s clear when jobs are abolished, there’s no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of how many jobs would be lost without the stimulus.

Associated Press writers Tom Raum, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Dina Cappiello contributed to this story

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