State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New Normal

State of the Union: Mammoth Government is the New
Normal

January 27th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

In his 2011
State of the Union Address
, Barack Obama gave himself five more years of
trillion-dollar deficit spending, a $678 billion income tax hike, a Social
Security tax increase, and the permanent extension of ObamaCare – and he gave
Republicans medical malpractice reform and a joke about a salmon.
Since his inauguration, the president has gone on a two-year spending orgy
unrivaled since the days of Lyndon Johnson or FDR. Faced with a national
backlash against towering debt, he has come up with a “compromise”: Americans
should accept the big government expansion he has forced down their throats and
move on. This follows the president’s familiar pattern of forcing through costly
and unpopular measures, then promising “discipline” after the fact.
The most reported aspect of the speech was Obama’s pledge to freeze
discretionary, non-military spending at their current levels – exempting such
major programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Homeland
Security.
At the risk of stating the obvious, which perhaps no one has yet stated,
there is no “savings.” As President Obama would say, “Let’s be
clear”: Savings is when you reduce the amount of money you are spending. The
president’s proposal is to spend the same amount of money. The only “savings”
would come from the fact that inflation
unleashed by deficit
spending
and quantitative
easing
will devalue the dollar – but this is hardly a cause for cheer.
History shows that spending freezes rarely freeze anything. The most
ambitious attempt was the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which attempted to
control deficit spending by future Congresses, but many of the same politicians
who voted for the bill decided they would not abide by its terms the next year.
Deficits continued to mount. To give a more recent example, last year Congress
approved slightly more
than half
of the whopping $11.5 billion in spending cuts Obama requested
last year.
The amount of the budget actually affected is rather modest, indeed. It would
apply to approximately
12 percent of the budget
. Alec Phillips, an analyst with Goldman Sachs,
estimates that if every Congress for the next five years holds to current
levels, it would “save” $200 billion. The New York Times noted its
higher estimate of “$250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3
percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is
expected to accumulate
over that time.” Obama’s plan would cost
half-a-trillion dollars more
than returning
to 2008 spending levels
, as proposed by the most moderate Republicans. Sen.
Rand Paul has proposed a half-a-trillion
dollar spending cut
this year, which includes cutting food stamps
and eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National
Endowment for the Arts. Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Senator Jim DeMint
introduced a bill to cut
$2.5 trillion
over ten years, eliminating the aforementioned programs as
well as Amtrak and the president’s “high-speed rail” and rolling back spending
to 2006 levels. Obama’s freeze is small beer in its own terms and hypocritical
when paired with his calls for new spending.
The State of the Union made only passing reference to the greatest budgetary
crisis facing us: out of control entitlements (and most of his “solutions” are
bad ideas; see below). “Mandatory” spending alone exceeds projected federal
revenues – the amount of money the government took in all year. If we eliminated
100 percent of discretionary spending – privatized the Post Office, dismantled
the military, and fired every federal prosecutor and judge – we would still run a
deficit
.
Nonetheless, the president instructed us, “The final step to winning the
future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.” As though we
are not already buried under a mountain of debt. As though this were not a
mountain of his own making. As though it were not one he wished to greatly
enlarge
.
What Obama intends to freeze is big government. His proposal to hold-the-line
comes after he jacked
up federal spending by 84 percent
. After inflating the federal government
beyond the free market’s carrying capacity, he now wishes to maintain the status
quo.
As usual Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, had the best analysis of Obama’s spending
freeze, calling it “a plan for deficit preservation.” The day
after the State of the Union speech, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
predicted the deficit for 2011 will be….
Read
more
.

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

 Glenn Beck reviews FDR’s agencies created under the New Deal and then lists the agencies created under Obama. He preludes this by referring to how FDR and Obama both talked about how they were for the small business owner, when in fact, they actually only cared/care about big business and big government.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l42aCY1BBeI

The Tea Parties’ Big Sin

Posted By Mark D. Tooley On June 22, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 3 Comments

Evangelical left activist Jim Wallis of Sojourners has become the virtual house evangelical for the Obama administration.  He is the ostensible chieftain of a supposedly populist uprising of social justice religionists whose “biblical principles” demand ever larger Big Government.  So, naturally, Wallis is threatened by the Tea Party movement, whose support extends well beyond Wallis’ constituency of liberal clergy and campus activists.

Recently Wallis editorialized against the Tea Partiers from a “Christian” perspective, and invited Sojourners supporters to jump in with their own critique.  He also opined against Libertarians, whom he regards as almost interchangeable with Tea Partiers.  The sin of both groups, in Wallis’ eyes, is their hostility to Big Government, which Wallis of course equates with God’s Kingdom.

Wallis reluctantly admitted that the biblical Book of Revelation “depicts the state as a totalitarian beast,” but only as a metaphor for ancient Rome.  And it may serve as a “clear warning about the abuse of governmental power,” he further granted curtly  “But a power-hungry government is clearly an aberration and violation of the proper role of government in protecting its citizens and upholding the demands of fairness and justice.”

Power-hungry governments are an “aberration?”  Wallis has been a campus and religious activist for the Left for over 40 years but seems blithely unaware of the 20th century’s worst horrors, orchestrated by unlimited government.  Hitler’s Holocaust, Stalin’s purges and orchestrated famines, Mao’s own orchestrated purges and murderous Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s Cambodian genocide, the Marxist Ethiopian regime’s orchestrated famines, the countless barbarities and mass murders of other post-colonial African dictatorships, not to mention hundreds of thousands killed by North Korea’s communists and by Saddam Hussein’s Baathists, along with many thousands murdered by Vietnam’s and Cuba’s communists.  Totalitarianism in the 20th century created a relatively new historical phenomenon:  governments without limits murdering millions of their own people in pursuit of utopia.  Governments in the 20th century killed more millions of their own peoples than all of that century’s wars and natural famines combined.

Tyranny through an unlimited state was refined in the 20th century, thanks to what Churchill called “perverted science” and the Hegelian/Marxist ideology that demanded that all society yield to state supremacy.   But the 20th century did not invent tyranny or uncontrolled government, of course.  Tyranny and excessive state power have been the norm for most of human history, typically under kings or other oligarchs, who subsume economic, political, religious, and cultural power unto themselves.  The Jewish and Christian tradition has, at its best, struggled against tyranny, arguing for limited governmental powers subject to transcendent law.  The ancient Hebrews were originally governed by judges and were permitted kings only grudgingly.  There were more wicked than good kings, and even the good kings often behaved badly, with seemingly all the prophets themselves murdered for inveighing against them.

The Early Church acknowledged that God has ordained the state to maintain order.  But the Apostles did not attached messianic importance to the civil state.  With an intrinsic understanding that all humans were imaged after God with innate dignity, Christianity and Judaism assumed limits on traditional state power, whose pagan forms demanded worship of itself.  The Church, at its best, resisted tyranny and defended the weak from the strong, i.e. primarily the state and its friends.  Anglo-American proponents of liberty, influenced by the Puritans, believed that human depravity mandated strictly limited government.  James Madison famously argued for divided state powers, since men are not “angels.”

Traditionally evangelical Christians across the centuries have argued for lawful, limited government.  They have themselves been pioneers in philanthropy, private social reforms, and entrepreneurship that flourish when government is restrained.  So Wallis and the Evangelical Left essentially want their targeted constituency to abandon their own potent traditions in favor of reliance on and submission to state authority.  “To disparage government per se — to see government as the central problem in society — is simply not a biblical position,” he insisted.  No, biblical religion does not advocate anarchy.  The state is divinely commissioned, but for limited, prescribed purposes, primarily centered on order, the rule of law, and civil freedoms.  There may or may not be reasonable arguments for an expansive welfare and regulatory state.  But they are not found directly in the Bible.

Amusingly, Wallis cited Romans 13, where St. Paul described the state’s role in “preserving the social order, punishing evil and rewarding good, and protecting the common good.”  Wallis, who is a pacifist, does not typically quote this passage, which describes God’s having called the state to “wield the sword” to “execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  All governments everywhere “wield the sword” not only through their militaries but also through their collection of taxes to pay for the vast social services that Wallis insists in their central mission.  Force is apparently acceptable to Wallis in defense of the welfare state.

Wallis chided the Tea Partiers for their complaints about taxes. But who pays more taxes, Wallis’s campus activists, or the small business owners who form much of the Tea Party?  Wallis claims “most of us would prefer smart and effective to ‘big’ or ‘small’ government.”  But he is just striking his frequent post-ideological pose.  When has Wallis ever argued for reducing government, except for its military, police and intelligence functions (ironically,  the very functions prescribed by St. Paul)?

“Democratic accountability is essential to preventing the market from becoming a beast of corporate totalitarianism – just as it is essential for the government,” Wallis concluded.  But why is he concerned only about “corporate totalitarianism” but not the far more dangerous government kind?   He harrumphed that “God’s priorities should determine ours, not the priorities of the Chamber of Commerce,” with the elitist disdain for the private sector so common on the Religious Left. More spitefully, Wallis surmised that the Tea Party movement has racist overtones, though “likely not” every Tea Partier is racist.   “Need I say that racism — overt, implied, or even subtle — is not a Christian virtue,” he intoned sanctimoniously, evidently forgetting that slander and judging hidden motives are also not very “biblical.”

Wallis urged a “dialogue” about “Just how Christian is the Tea Party Movement — and the Libertarian political philosophy that lies behind it?”  But maybe there should also be a dialogue about Wallis’ Sojourners movement, which seems to judge religious orthodoxy almost exclusively by its commitment to Big Government.

Obama’s trip to Ohio cost ‘between $500K and $1 million'; Spoke for just 10 minutes…

Obama Jokes About Biden’s “Big F-ing Deal” Comment

 

Posted by Mark Knoller

President Obama at the groundbreaking for 10,000th Recovery Act-funded road project in Columbus, Ohio, June 18, 2010.

(Credit: CBS/Mark Knoller)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Trumpeting the 10,000th road project funded by his Recovery Act, President Obama borrowed two of three words made famous in March by Vice President Biden.

This is a “big….deal,” said Mr. Obama, pausing for effect between the two words between which Biden had inserted an expletive in an overheard whisper three months ago.

“Today I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery,” the president said. “That’s worth a big round of applause.”

The White House staged the event here in the political battleground of Ohio, where Democrats face tough congressional races this fall, including a fight to win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Republican George Voinovich.

Flanked by construction workers in helmets and yellow safety vests, Mr. Obama tried to score political points via the many jobs programs funded by the Recovery Act.

“More than 100,000 Ohioans are at work today as a result of these steps,” he said.

But even before Air Force One landed here, Republicans were trying to put their own spin on the president’s visit.

House GOP Leader John Boehner, who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, said the administration’s stimulus program has fallen short of its promises. He cited new numbers from the Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services that showed the state’s unemployment rate “remained above 10 percent for the 14th consecutive month in May:”

The White House yesterday launched a campaign called “Recovery Summer,” in conjunction with thousands of new jobs programs funded by the Recovery Act being initiated. But Boehner portrays the campaign as bogus.

“This will be no ‘recovery summer’ for the more than 100,000 Ohioans who have lost their jobs since the ‘stimulus’ was enacted,” he said in a written statement meant to undermine Mr. Obama’s visit.

In his brief remarks delivered in the middle of a street closed for his appearance, Mr. Obama asserted the recession is easing.

“Our economy, which was shrinking by six percent when I was sworn in, is now growing at a good clip, and we’ve added jobs for six out of the past seven months in this country,” he said.

But at the same time he said he was “under no illusion” that the recession was over.

“There are still too many people here in Ohio and across the country who can’t find work; many more can’t make ends meet,” he said.

The project he came to spotlight is funded by $15 milllion from the Recovery Act to rebuild roads in the area around Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The White House says the program will create over 300 construction jobs.

Mr. Obama spoke for just ten minutes and was on the ground in Ohio for just over an hour. And though his appearance was billed as official and not political, he did use his remarks to deliver attaboys to some of the Democratic politicians here including the Governor, who is up for re-election.

“You also got one of the best governors in the country in Ted Strickland,” the president said at the start of his remarks.

Strickland faces a challenge for his job in November from former GOP Congressman John Kasich, who was not at the Recovery Act event. Neither was Boehner.

The trip Columbus probably cost taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.

Air Force One alone bills out at $100,000 per hour, and the round trip is nearly two hours. Adding to the cost are military aircraft to carry limos and secret service vehicles, Marine One on standby, Secret Service, local police and other factors

BP Bailout: Heresy In Louisiana

BP Bailout: Heresy In Louisiana

by Capitol Confidential

The Louisiana oil crisis continues unabated. Oil continues to pollute the Gulf and the Obama Administration continues to fiddle while Louisiana suffers.

In addition to being angry with BP and the Obama Administration’s weak response, activists have taken to the street to protest Louisiana’s Senators’ support for a BP bailout. Apparently both Louisiana Senators decided to cater to the special interests and voted for the Durbin Amendment to the Financial Reform bill that would increase the profits of companies like BP by shifting the cost of credit transactions away from them and forcing consumers to pay for them instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R622FPS2ZOo&feature=player_embedded

Both parties are responsible for the passage of the Durbin Amendment to bailout BP and other big retailers.

But Louisiana voters are more sensitive than most to the impact of the vote. The House and Senate Conference is now formally meeting on the Financial Reform bill and activists from Louisiana are right to demand this egregious giveaway be removed from the bill.

Wanted: Oil Spill Czar

Wanted: Oil Spill Czar

Posted By Michelle Malkin On June 18, 2010 @ 12:03 am In FrontPage | 7 Comments

Here is the Obama Disaster Management Theory: In times of crisis, you can never have enough unelected, un-vetted political appointees hanging around. Nearly two months after the BP oil spill, the White House will now name an oil spill restoration point person to oversee recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. Too many czars have already spoiled this administration’s credibility. Might as well pile on another.

The new oil spill czar is not to be mistaken for the old oil spill czar, U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who was officially designated the “National Incident Commander of the Unified Command for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico” on April 30. Allen was appointed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano 10 days after the disaster, which Napolitano claimed the administration had been on top of since, um, “Day One.”

Fifty-six days later, President Obama has deemed the leadership skills of Allen, Napolitano, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, environmental czar Carol Browner, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the rest of his self-declared “all hands on deck” crew insufficient. The new disaster czar also comes on top of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling,” created by executive order on May 22 and “tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills that result from offshore drilling.”

As I’ve noted before regarding Obama’s czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It’s fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making. While past administrations dating back to the Nixon era have designated such “superaides,” none has exploited and extended the concept as widely as Obama has (we’re up to the 40th appointed czar, by Washington-based watchdog group Judicial Watch’s count).

It’s government by proxy and government by press release all rolled into one.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the latest commissar will have the power to oversee government efforts “to increase the health and the vitality of the species there, the wildlife and the natural beauty that we all know is the Gulf of Mexico.” This will make the power-grabbing environmental lobby happy. And the new czar appointment will feed the photo-op-hungry news cycle. But instead of rushing to move “past the cleanup and response phase of this disaster,” shouldn’t this czar-crazy regime concentrate on the immediate mitigation tasks at hand?

Folks in the Gulf don’t need any more Romanov-style apparatchiks or blue-ribbon crony panels to show them the way toward relief. Florida public officials and foreign shippers say the protectionist Jones Act is preventing vessels from abroad from providing cleanup aid. And Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal has exposed White House obstructionism and delays in approving the construction of barrier walls to stop the oil spread.

After waiting weeks for approval, Jindal received a green light from the White House to put up just five barrier islands — a minuscule amount of his plan. Tired of waiting for approval of the rest of his plan, Jindal this week ordered the National Guard to circumvent the Beltway foot-dragging and start building the walls immediately.

Executive leadership doesn’t need to be outsourced when the executive in office knows how to lead. While Obama squawks, Jindal acts. While Washington appoints more gasbags, the National Guard is dropping sandbags.

The president’s czar fetish is his crisis crutch — a desperate, public relations habit that he can’t break. What 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue needs is a visit from retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, the Hurricane Katrina military relief coordinator who offered timeless and timely advice for the disaster-stricken: Don’t get stuck on stupid.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

The BP Oil Disaster: Big Government’s Dream Come True

The BP Oil Disaster: Big Government’s Dream Come True

Posted By Rich Trzupek On June 17, 2010 @ 12:59 am In FrontPage | 52 Comments

If you thought President Obama’s address to the nation this week would have focused on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that is destroying the Gulf Coast economy, you would have been only partially correct. The president did mention what he called the “menacing cloud of black crude,” but the heart of his remarks was a political speech that attacked the president’s political enemies while pushing for a stock “green” agenda, including cap-and-trade legislation, that had no obvious connection to the menace in the Gulf Coast. What was supposed to be a leveling with the American people about the oil crisis became an impromptu pitch for Big Government.

The president’s political feint, while disappointing to anyone who was hoping for solutions to contain the ongoing disaster, was not entirely surprising. A significant portion of the Left is almost giddy about the disaster, because in their minds it demonstrates that industry is dangerously under-regulated and thus provides the all the evidence they need to further extend the long arm of government into aspects of the economy and industry that aren’t even remotely related to oil drilling.

Thirty one years ago the Three Mile Island incident, which didn’t actually hurt anyone [1], effectively shut down the nuclear power industry in the United States. Environmental activists hope to achieve much more in the wake of Deepwater Horizon: to not only stop American off-shore drilling, but to use the disaster to apply a bureaucratic strange-hold on American industry in general. The focus of the president’s address to the nation about the spill proves the point. He didn’t appear half as worried about the disaster in the Gulf as he did about passing cap and trade.

He probably won’t get that legislation, judging by the disgusted reaction of lawmakers [2] on both sides of the aisle, but there are other ways to sabotage the energy sector and the administration is hard at work doing just that. Last week, the Obama administration’s already over-the-top Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules to regulate non-utility power generation that go beyond extreme and enter the realm of the ludicrous. But, with the shadow of Deepwater Horizon hanging over America, the EPA has a very good chance of pushing them through. An oil spill, it seems, excuses every bureaucratic excess that progressives can imagine. Scores of sources – from the boilers that provide heat to college campuses to the boilers that power ethanol plants, paper mills and food processing plants – will find it impossible to comply with EPA’s proposed boiler regulations and these rules will give bureaucrats unprecedented authority to decide how these industries are run.

The proposed rules are supposed to set new limits on emissions of potentially toxic materials from power plants. The regulation is generically known as “Boiler MACT [3],” with the acronym standing for “Maximum Achievable Control Technology.” However, what USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has proposed goes well beyond the toxic realm, with the Agency attempting to use these rules as a back-door way of regulating greenhouse gases and to give Big Government a role in making operational decisions.

A little history is in order. When the Clean Air Act first came into being in its present form in 1970, the EPA was directed to develop rules limiting potentially toxic emissions based solely on risk. That is, if the Agency determined that a particular compound was being emitted in quantities sufficient to present an actual health hazard, then the EPA should develop rules to limit emissions of such a compound. Using this approach, the EPA developed rules to limit emissions of seven potentially toxic materials. This upset environmental groups, who accused the EPA of shirking their responsibilities. That wasn’t true, the Agency simply couldn’t find significant risk anywhere else, but not matter: the environmentalists demanded change, and change they got.

When the Clean Air Act was amended in 1990, the EPA was directed to limit emissions of 188 potentially toxic materials [4], using a technology-based approach. Very little actual science went into selecting those 188 (now 187) compounds, but the list made the Sierra Club and similar groups happy and that’s all that mattered. Under the new approach, the Agency was directed to evaluate how industries were controlling toxics, to determine the top twelve per cent doing the best job and to use these top twelve per cent to set the standard for each compound. Thus, the philosophical question behind controlling potentially toxic air pollutants shifted from “what should we do?” to “what can we do?” The EPA calls those the requirements developed using the top twelve per cent approach “MACT” and scores of industries [5] have their own MACT, outlining the way each is supposed to control potentially toxic materials and setting numerical emissions standards.

Boiler MACT, covering the industrial sector, was first proposed in 2003 under the Bush Administration. The Sierra Club challenged it in court and EPA was directed to rewrite it. The problem that the Sierra Club had with Boiler MACT did not so much involve substance as it did style. They weren’t happy with the form of the regulation, or how the universe of regulated sources was defined. No surprise there, George W. Bush’s EPA could have proposed shutting down every coal-fired power plant in the United States and the Sierra Club would have still said that he didn’t “go far enough” to protect the environment. That’s always the green mantra when a member of the GOP occupies the White House. None-the-less, everyone expected that the “new” version of Boiler MACT would look a lot like the old one, just with more data to back it up, more justification with regard to affected sources and reformatted (but still impossible for an average Joe to understand) language. And, up until recently, that’s what EPA staffers led the regulated community to believe would happen.

But Jackson’s EPA proposed something quite different and disturbing. It effectively abandoned the “top twelve percent” formula, choosing instead to use laboratory detection limits to set limits in many cases. In other words, under EPA’s proposal industrial boilers many potentially toxic pollutants will have to be controlled so tightly that they won’t be able to find what they’re looking for. That’s one step removed from setting emissions limits at zero, and just about as unrealistic and unachievable a goal.

The proposal also requires industrial boiler operators to implement a government-approved energy management program. This program will contain multiple elements, including: a review of available architectural and engineering plans, facility operation and maintenance procedures and logs, and fuel usage; a list of major energy conservation measures; a comprehensive report detailing the ways to improve efficiency, the cost of specific improvements, benefits, and the time frame for recouping those investments; and a facility energy management program developed according to the EPA’s Energy Star [6] guidelines for energy management.

One can argue, and Lisa Jackson’s EPA surely will, that getting the government involved in energy efficiency – i.e., how boilers are run – can affect the amount of potentially toxic emissions a facility puts out, but that’s a very thin argument, especially when the rule in question already contains draconian limits. Energy efficiency requirements are rather a backhand way of achieving the Obama administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, without having to go through the tiresome process of addressing “climate change” directly. Further, we’re only talking about industrial boilers here. The EPA is still formulating MACT rules that will affect the big, electricity-producing utility boilers [7] that are far more significant in terms of size and greenhouse gas emissions than the industrial sector.

Can there be any doubt that this radical EPA will ask the power industry to accept equally unachievable limits and submit to even more government control? As far as this administration and progressives are concerned, the disaster in the Gulf is justification enough for every excess that Big Government can dream up.

Obama’s plan to stay in power? Another Bailout.

Obama’s plan to stay in power? Another Bailout.

June 15th, 2010

Obama using Government Money to maintain control?

Today, Patrick Buchanan came out with a scathing attack on Obama’s most recent bailout proposal.

Obama calls it an “emergency” measure to prevent “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters.” Yet, none of the 20 million state, county or municipal workers can lose their job unless an elected legislature and a chief executive agree that they should go.
Obama is calling for a taxpayer rescue of the political class to which he belongs, to spare it the painful duty tens of thousands of business executives have had to perform. Private employees — 25 million of whom are out of work, underemployed or have given up looking for jobs—may be expendable, but government workers are not.

Buchanan sees right to the heart of the issue, which is not about saving jobs but about saving those who support Obama the most.

Government workers enjoy far greater job security than private-sector workers. At the state and local level, their average pay and benefits, about $40 an hour, far exceed the $27 per hour in the private sector. The federal worker has it even better, receiving $30,000 a year more in pay and benefits than the average worker in the private sector.
Obama’s proposal is thus about taking care of his own and the Democratic Party’s political base.
Consider. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Teachers, the Transport Workers Union of America and other government unions in the AFL-CIO are all powerhouses of the Democratic Party.
Obama is proposing a $50 billion payoff for his own voters.

Read the Entire Story

Yesterday, the Daily Record reported that Obama handed out more than 400 million dollars to federal employees in 2009, 80 million more than 2008.

What does this all mean? It means Obama is getting scared about the upcoming election in November. He knows that many people are angry, and he is fighting back. If he can make sure that the millions of government employees throughout the country, local and federal, are dependent on him, then they will vote for him. This means that we are going to have to fight even harder to claim victory in November. Even though Obama might be scared, he has a lot of tricks up his sleeves, including using government money to achieve political control. We must remain vigilant and make sure that this November, his party and his policies gets the beating it deserves.

Economic Cluelessness

Economic Cluelessness

Posted By Larry Elder On June 11, 2010 @ 12:20 am In FrontPage | 14 Comments

While in high school, I was standing at a bus stop next to a gas station. A kid tossed a candy wrapper on the station lot. Somebody yelled, “Hey, pick that up.” The kid, with a straight face, defended himself. He said, “I just created a job.” Someone would be hired, he explained, to pick up the trash, and this would be good for the economy.

Don’t laugh. The kid probably works for the Obama administration.

Congress is now considering yet another “stimulus” package. But did the administration’s previous one work? Of the $787 billion stimulus package, President Obama said it would “save or create” 3.5 million new jobs. Has it?

The National Association for Business Economics polled 68 private-sector members. Seventy-three percent said the employment at their companies was neither higher nor lower as a result of the stimulus package.

What about the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office? A February 2009 Washington Times article said:

“President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

“CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.”

What do normal, regular, real-world people think? In December 2009, a Rasmussen poll asked likely voters whether the “stimulus” helped, hurt or did nothing.

They agreed with the private-sector economists and the CBO — the stimulus did not work. And more felt it did damage than thought it helped: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30 percent of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38 percent believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.”

Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and commentator Ed we-need-health-care-reform-and-I-don’t-care-how-much-it-costs Schultz think one way. Believers in the free market and limited government think another. As between these two camps, which one better understands how the real world works?

Zogby International asked questions about economics of nearly 5,000 people. George Mason University economist Dan Klein co-authored a report on the responses given to eight basic economic questions.

(Correct answers and “not sure” responses were ignored — only flatly incorrect responses were counted.) Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes. Whether the restrictions are good or bad is a separate issue. But restrictions on any good increase the price of that good — whether houses or horseshoes. Do minimum wages increase unemployment? The answer is yes. Whether one accepts this as a worthy trade-off is a separate question. Is our standard of living higher than it was 30 years ago? It is. Whether we are “addicted” to oil or facing cataclysmic “global warming” is a separate issue. The other questions involved licensing, rent control, the definition of a monopoly, the definition of exploitation, and whether free trade leads to unemployment.

Respondents self-identified as progressive/very liberal, liberal, moderate, conservative, very conservative, or libertarian. Who did better?

“On every question,” wrote Klein, “the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31 percent) was more than twice that of conservatives (13 percent) and more than four times that of libertarians (7 percent). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61 percent) was more than four times that of conservatives (13 percent) and almost three times that of libertarians (21 percent).”

Maybe those with more education performed better? No, the report said. “We work with three levels of schooling: (1) high school or less; (2) some college (but not a degree); (3) a college degree or more. In our data, economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college.”

The left blames the financial collapse on “greed,” ignoring the role played by government involvement — Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, the Community Reinvestment Act and elsewhere. Leftists point to “insufficient regulation” on Wall Street for reckless behavior, rather than to the players’ assumption that too-big-to-fail would protect them.

On the BP Gulf oil spill, Obama wants to find “whose ass to kick.” He’s called for a moratorium on new offshore drilling. But why do we drill offshore for oil more than a mile deep? Is it that on-land and safer, shallow water areas are off-limits — thus pushing companies to extract oil from more dangerous places? Have the restrictions on clean nuclear power altered how and where we obtain energy?

Republicans, in the eight-question economics poll, averaged 1.61 incorrect answers. Democrats averaged 4.59 wrong answers. So in the President’s search for “ass to kick,” start here.

Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, “What’s Race Got to Do with It?” is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at http://www.WeveGotACountryToSave.com.

Obama to Tea Partiers: See! The Gulf Disaster is What Smaller Government Will Get You

Obama to Tea Partiers: See! The Gulf Disaster is What Smaller Government Will Get You

By Doug Powers  •  June 12, 2010 11:29 AM

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

When you’re stuck in quicksand, the first pointer in the survival manual is not to flail — President Obama hasn’t read that manual:

The president also implied that anti-big government types such as tea party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.

“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”

Is the president saying that he didn’t react quickly because he was trying to placate Tea Party activists, thus blaming them for the slow response? Obama almost makes it sound like he let the Gulf die to make a point against those who are for smaller, more responsible government, doesn’t he?

Besides, the whole argument is bogus, desperate, and perhaps eventually counterproductive for Obama.

Dan Riehl:

Patently false. If the Tea Party mentality held sway, we’d be drilling in ANWR and closer to the shore in shallower water, so this disaster would never have happened. He’s opening the door for even more attacks over how government overreach creates problem like this.

On top of that, it was Obama who was talking about more drilling just before the rig explosion. Is he now saying that was a bad idea, he simply pushed for pure politics? Americans are smart enough to know there’s a big difference between how the government reacts in a major disaster, or a war, versus how it encroaches into their lives more and more on any given day.

‘Nuff said.

**Written by guest-blogger Doug Powers

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