December 16th, 2012 § § permalink
My 5 favorites from John Hawkin’s Right Wing News – The 40 Best Political Quotes For 2012 (Fourth Annual):
27) A 2,700-page law is not a “law” by any civilized understanding of the term. Law rests on the principle of equality before it. When a bill is 2,700 pages, there’s no equality: Instead, there’s a hierarchy of privilege micro-regulated by an unelected, unaccountable, unconstrained, unknown, and unnumbered bureaucracy. It’s not just that the legislators who legislate it don’t know what’s in it, nor that the citizens on the receiving end can never hope to understand it, but that even the nation’s most eminent judges acknowledge that it is beyond individual human comprehension. A 2,700-page law is, by definition, an affront to self-government. — Mark Steyn
24) That’s to say, the unsustainable “bubble” is not student debt or subprime mortgages or anything else. The bubble is us, and the assumptions of entitlement. Too many citizens of advanced Western democracies live a life they have not earned, and are not willing to earn. Indeed, much of our present fiscal woe derives from two phases of human existence that are entirely the invention of the modern world. Once upon a time, you were a kid till you were 13 or so; then you worked; then you died. That bit between childhood and death has been chewed away at both ends. We invented something called “adolescence” that now extends not merely through the teenage years but through a desultory half decade of Whatever Studies at Complacency U up till you’re 26 and no longer eligible for coverage on your parents’ health-insurance policy. At the other end of the spectrum, we introduced something called “retirement” that, in the space of two generations, has led to the presumption that able-bodied citizens are entitled to spend the last couple of decades, or one-third of their adult lives, as a long holiday weekend. The bit in between adolescence and retirement is your working life, and it’s been getting shorter and shorter. Which is unfortunate, as it has to pay for everything else. This structural deformity in the life cycle of Western man is at the root of most of our problems. — Mark Steyn
19) If you tried to hold a series of potluck dinners where a majority brought nothing to the table, but felt entitled to eat their fill, it would probably work out badly. Yet that’s essentially what we’re doing. In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop. Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote. — Glenn Reynolds
6) The real story is that our social safety net was supposed to be like one of those, ‘Take a Penny, Leave a Penny’ tills that depend on the honor and neighborliness of a community. And we don’t have that community. What we have is a fragmented mess of givers and takers who are not the same people. — Daniel Greenfield
4) The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else. The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog. — James Taranto
Read all 40 here.
March 4th, 2012 § § permalink
Indeed, Carbonite still advertises on the show of Ed Schultz, who makes unhinged attacks on the Tea Party and conservatives daily, and called conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham a slut (for which he later apologized).
President Obama looks down on drilling almost as much as he does on people clinging bitterly to their guns and religion.
At a recent campaign event, he mocked Republicans for their alleged three-point energy plan, every point of which he said is a call for more drilling. When the hilarity died down, he assailed all this prospective oil and gas exploration as “not a plan,” but “a bumper sticker,” a cynical and witless attempt to demagogue soaring gas prices. Pity the fools who propose such asininity and the simple-minded souls who believe it.
In practically his next breath, though, the president bragged that “under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.” The “under my administration” is particularly rich. It implies that the lights have been on late at night at the Energy Department — compact fluorescents, no doubt — figuring out how to make America a pin-cushion for the great and good work of those much misunderstood oil companies.
Afterward I thought again of something that has been on my mind the past five years or so. Longer, actually, but more so with time. In a way the argument between conservatives and progressives is that for the left, everything is about politics. Because they seek to harness government and the law in pursuit of what they see as just and desirable ends, everything becomes a political fight. Conservatives fought that narrow, constricted, soulless view of life: “We are not only political, we have other spheres, we are human beings.”
Make no mistake: America is in a media war. It is an extension of the Cold War that never ended but shifted to an electronic front. The war between freedom and statism ended geographically when the Berlin Wall fell. But the existential battle never ceased.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the battle simply took a different form. Instead of missiles the new weapon was language and education, and the international left had successfully constructed a global infrastructure to get its message out.
Schools. Newspapers. Network news. Art. Music. Film. Television. . . .
If the political left weren’t so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, overtaxing, anarchistic, controlling, rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic, unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant—and if the political left weren’t hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family’s life—the truth is, I would not be in your life.
If the Democratic Party were run by Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, if it had the slightest vestige of JFK and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, I wouldn’t be on the political map.
If the American media were run by biased but not evil Tim Russerts and David Brinkleys, I wouldn’t have joined the fight. . . .
If America’s pop-cultural ambassadors like Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo didn’t come back from their foreign trips to tell us how much they hate us, if my pay cable didn’t highlight a comedy show every week that called me a racist for embracing constitutional principles and limited government, I wouldn’t be at Tea Parties screaming my love for this great, charitable, and benevolent country.
I am a reluctant cultural warrior.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Mr. Speaker, there’s really no way for you to get enough delegates before the convention, so this, as you said, could be a long fight if it’s going to be successful for you. When we have seen this happen in the past — 1952 for the Democrats, 1976 for the Republicans, 1980 for the Democrats — it means that party loses in the general election. Are you worried that this kind of long fight is going to put your nominee at risk?
GINGRICH: No. George, I’ll be glad to swap history credentials with you. Four years ago, I believe it was, that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went all the way to late June before their race ended. And yet that seemed to actually be more advantageous to then-Senator Obama than Senator McCain having gotten the nomination early. So I think it all depends on which year you’re talking about and how it evolves, what happens.
February 3rd, 2012 § § permalink
January 14th, 2012 § § permalink
That his Republican rivals, of all people, have brought this charge is actually an unintended gift. If Romney becomes the nominee, Democrats will escalate the assault. Romney now has the chance to defuse these attacks — or show that he can’t. Defending his economic views in today’s anti-Wall Street climate will test his political skills as little else.
So now the question is, will America, Inc. ask this former turnaround CEO to prevent the bankruptcy of U.S. Government, Inc.? Isn’t a Bainful turnaround exactly what America needs?
Monty Pelerin’s World – 24 Numbers Behind The So-called Recovery”
#21 The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records. Just check out the following progression….
October 2008: 30.8 million Americans on food stamps
October 2009: 37.6 million Americans on food stamps
October 2010: 43.2 million Americans on food stamps
October 2011: 46.2 million Americans on food stamps
People are less dissatisfied by what they lack than by what others have. And when government engages in redistribution in order to maximize the happiness of citizens who become more envious as they become more comfortable, government becomes increasingly frenzied and futile.
Charles Murray on America’s new upper class:
The members of America’s new upper class tend not to watch the same movies and television shows that the rest of America watches, don’t go to kinds of restaurants the rest of America frequents, tend to buy different kinds of automobiles, and have passions for being green, maintaining the proper degree of body fat, and supporting gay marriage that most Americans don’t share. Their child-raising practices are distinctive, and they typically take care to enroll their children in schools dominated by the offspring of the upper middle class—or, better yet, of the new upper class. They take their vacations in different kinds of places than other Americans go and are often indifferent to the professional sports that are so popular among other Americans. Few have served in the military, and few of their children either.
Worst of all, a growing proportion of the people who run the institutions of our country have never known any other culture. They are the children of upper-middle-class parents, have always lived in upper-middle-class neighborhoods and gone to upper-middle-class schools. Many have never worked at a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day, never had a conversation with an evangelical Christian, never seen a factory floor, never had a friend who didn’t have a college degree, never hunted or fished. They are likely to know that Garrison Keillor’s monologue on Prairie Home Companion is the source of the phrase “all of the children are above average,” but they have never walked on a prairie and never known someone well whose IQ actually was below average.
November 26th, 2011 § § permalink
From Monty Pelerin’s World:
# 1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. — John Adams
# 2. If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. – Mark Twain
# 3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. — Mark Twain
# 4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. — Winston Churchill
# 5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw
# 6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. — G. Gordon Liddy
# 7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. — James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)
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June 15th, 2011 § § permalink
America has a looming rendezvous with destiny. You can’t tax your way out of it, you can’t inflate your way out of it, you can’t quantitively ease your way out of it. The only door that leads anywhere is the one marked “Massive Government Cuts”. There is not enough money on the planet for what the Permanent Governing Class is doing. If Americans decline to grasp that central truth, this country will die.
The NLRB decision and what they are saying to an American economy as to where and how they can do business is outrageous. This is not the Soviet Union circa 1970s or 1960s or ‘50s,
The idea that we have a federal agency telling an American business in a supposedly free market that it can’t grow a business or start a business in another state is one of the most outrageous things I have seen.
The Light Bulb Police - Wall Street Journal Editorial:
Fluorescent lights also carry their own environmental risks because they contain small amounts of mercury and other toxic materials. The EPA website contains three pages of consumer directions about what to do if you break a CFL bulb in your home: “Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more. Shut off the central heating and air conditioning system. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with a metal lid.”
The economic miracle that has been the United States was not produced by socialized enterprises, by government-unon-industry cartels or by centralized economic planning. It was produced by private enterprises in a profit-and-loss system. And losses were at least as important in weeding out failures, as profits in fostering successes. Let government succor failures, and we shall be headed for stagnation and decline. via Monte Pelerin’s World
April 23rd, 2011 § § permalink
In Canada, I too committed the crime of “offending” certain approved identity groups. And there is no defense to that: Truth, facts, evidence are all irrelevant. If someone’s “offended”, that’s that: You’re guilty. And increasingly, in Canada, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Scandinavia, the human right not to be offended trumps all.
Every central planning scheme drives up costs and limits services. The government cannot distribute anything without making it more expensive.
In 2008, the most recent year for which full data is available, the infamous top 1% – those earning over $380,354 – paid 38.02 percent of federal income taxes, according to an analysis of IRS data by the Tax Foundation. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent of income earners – the group that, according to the liberal world view, is subsidizing tax handouts to the wealthy – shouldered just 2.7 percent of the federal income tax burden. And keep in mind, in 2008, the higher income earners share of taxes slipped from the previous year’s 40.4 percent due to the economic downturn.
Obama borrowed more in the month of February alone ($223 billion) than did the spendthrift George W. Bush during the entire 2007 budgetary year ($163 billion).
There are many arguments against progressive taxation economically, but it is also true that it erodes the health of our democratic institutions. Rather than shared responsibility, we have a growing number of people who rely on others to pay . . . as they become increasingly disconnected from the cost of government.
The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, estimated this week that 45 percent of U.S. households paid not a single dollar in federal income tax for 2010. And The Fiscal Times reported this week that “for the first time since the Great Depression, households are receiving more income from the government than they are paying the government in taxes.”
If you were borrowing (as the United States government does) 188 million dollars every hour, would your bank be reassured by a 12-year plan.
March 27th, 2011 § § permalink
Public policy plays an important role here — one that’s especially relevant as state governments seek to cut spending and reduce the power of the public employee unions that seek to raise spending and prevent accountability.
The lesson is that high taxes and strong public employee unions tend to stifle growth and produce a two-tier society like coastal California’s.
The eight states with no state income tax grew 18 percent in the last decade. The other states (including the District of Columbia) grew just 8 percent.
The 22 states with right-to-work laws grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew just 6 percent.
The 16 states where collective bargaining with public employees is not required grew 15 percent in the last decade. The other states grew 7 percent.
President Obama (via Mark Steyn):
That’s why building this international coalition has been so important. It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.
Over the years, our current President has demonstrated an adherence to three important philosophical schools of thought. For one, he would clearly appear to be a proponent of economic collectivism, the assumption that the overall economic wellbeing of everybody – “the group,” if you will – is more important than the economic rights and liberties of the individual.
Milton R. Wolf:
The free market is the most powerful engine of human prosperity in the history of mankind and today’s Democrats stand desperately in its way to appease those who are enriched by big government at the expense of everyone else.
You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear- neutral. I now support the technology.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
For two years now, I have been arguing . . . that President Obama’s economic policies were a throwback to the 1970s, and so were going to produce the same result as the 1970s—the worsening cycles of inflation and recession known as stagflation. With last week’s reports regarding the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index, those results are now here.
This follows a long-term trend that has been flashing red for inflation for quite some time now. First gold started to rise, eventually to record highs. Then the dollar started to fall, now near record lows. Then commodity prices started to soar, with oil now zooming over $100 a barrel.
March 6th, 2011 § § permalink
According to the Department of Labor, most union members today work for state, local and federal government. Close to 40 percent of public employees are unionized. As such, they represent a powerful political force in elections. If you’re a candidate for governor, mayor or city councilman, you surely want the votes and campaign contributions from public employee unions. In my view, that’s no problem. The problem arises after you win office and sit down to bargain over the pay and working conditions with unions who voted for you.
Put simply, public employees have some major advantages over their private-sector counterparts. They are guarded by generous civil-service protections—the most significant of which predate public-sector unionism, having been put in place, ironically, to combat the inclination of urban political machines to use the public sector as a powerbase. And most government employees work in non-competitive fields where their employer has a monopoly, so their jobs are not threatened by competitors, and are not dependent on their ability to work efficiently and so keep their employer competitive.
When they organize—merely as an interest group, quite apart from formal collective bargaining—they have several more immense advantages. By leveraging their numbers and resources, their organizations can become major players in politics. At election time, public employees can therefore play a large role in choosing their own employers or bosses (by getting certain people elected and not others), which of course no private-sector union can do. At all levels of government today, public-worker unions are among the biggest political donors. Between elections, they can use that political power to influence those elected officials and the political process more generally to improve their pay, benefits, or conditions, and also to increase demand for their services through legislation that increases the size or role of government or that prevents competition. In all these ways, public workers have enormous powers that private workers could not dream of, and all without actual formal collective bargaining.
This is why Franklin Roosevelt said that “collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” It is why George Meany (the first president of the AFL-CIO) said it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
Number of healthcare reform law waivers climbs above 1,000
The conservative think tank said the average annual compensation for a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher would exceed $100,000 in 2011. As of July 1, 2011, according to the school district, that figure will be $101,091.
MacIver’s claim is True.
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February 27th, 2011 § § permalink
First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government’s competence and proper scope, but also because the party’s base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama’s “move to the center” is fictitious.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
More importantly, it’s not as if Big Labor is balancing out the rest of “big money.” Does Krugman know that all of the top ten industries contributing to the 2010 elections gave more money to Democrats than to Republicans? That’s right: Lawyers, Health Professionals, Securities & Investment, Real Estate, Insurance, Lobbyists, Pharma, Government Unions, Entertainment, and Electric Utilities all favored Democrats in 2010.
One of the great 21th century presidents was against unions for public employees who have civil service protections. No, not Ronald Reagan. It was Franklin Roosevelt who said, “Action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.
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January 16th, 2011 § § permalink
This McCarthyism of the left – devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data – is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas. It expresses limitless contempt for the American people, who have reciprocated by reducing liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral weakness and bad sociology.
While Paul Krugman and other liberal commentators continue to exploit this weekend’s tragedy by making hay out of supposedly extreme rhetoric on the right, perhaps they would do well to examine some of the rhetoric that has come from the left. On October 23, the Scranton Times reported that Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., said this about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott: “That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.” Kanjorski did not win re-election in November. Perhaps the former Congressman was not sincere when he suggested Scott be shot, nonetheless this remark is a far more literal and explicit call to violence than the relatively benign (and bipartisan) matter of putting targets on a map.
From the media’s treatment of this event, the last thing we learn about liberalism is that the insidious notion of collective culpability is an integral part of liberal ideology — it is, indeed, the leftist “cult of collective culpability.” This is based on the liberal obsession with diminishing the idea of personal responsibility in all aspects of people’s lives and actions.
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December 19th, 2010 § § permalink
If Obama Wins in 2012 …… he will do so because of what happened in Washington yesterday. The tax-cut deal passed. The $1 trillion omnibus spending bill died in the Senate because of united Republican opposition. The administration announced its strategy in Afghanistan was, with many caveats and warnings, working. If the economy grows consistently going forward; if Republicans hold the line on spending for Obama; and if the fight against the Taliban and to stabilize Afghanistan continues apace, Barack Obama may indeed win in 2012 because the second half of his first term will prove to be the third term of George W. Bush.
ON FACEBOOK, DAVID BOAZ WRITES: “The distinguished economist Alan Blinder says it’s a ‘Christmas present’ when the government doesn’t raise taxes on the rich. So I’ve got a present for Dr. Blinder: I’m not going to steal his car.”
The Constitution’s commerce clause empowers Congress “to regulate commerce . . . among the several states.” If this clause permits Congress to punish the inactivity of not engaging in commerce – refusing to purchase health insurance – then Congress can regulate anything, making a mockery of the American project of limited government.
Colbert I. King:
Warning: If the Democratic left does to Obama in 2012 what it did to incumbent President Carter in 1980 via Ted Kennedy’s damaging Democratic presidential primary challenge – or what the Republican right did to incumbent President George H.W. Bush in 1992 with Pat Buchanan’s entry into the GOP primary – the Democratic party as a whole will find itself paying a steep price for years to come.
Sabotage the nation’s first black president and the Democratic Party might as well bid farewell to its most loyal base of supporters: African Americans.
Walter Russell Mead:
The bankruptcy of the big blue states would symbolize the bankruptcy of Democratic party policies to wide swathes of the voting public. Tensions within the Democratic Party would explode: unionized public sector workers would simply not be able to emerge from this kind of crisis without savage layoffs and agonizing cuts in their pay, benefits and pension packages. All the promises (mostly) Democratic politicians have made to them over decades will be exposed for the hollow frauds they were. . . .
The fiscal meltdown of the big blue states, if financial Armageddon actually arrives, will be the biggest domestic crisis for the American people since the Depression, and the biggest crisis for the Democratic Party since the Civil War.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich has said some astonishingly stupid things throughout his career, but a comment in Sunday’s “The Bipartisanship Racket
” might get on his top ten list.
So, in Rich’s view, the impact on political thought in this nation by Fox and the conservative talk radio hosts is greater than the combined influence of ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, HBO, HLN, Hollywood movies, MSNBC, NBC, Newsweek, New York magazine, NPR, PBS, Reuters, Showtime, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles, the Miami Herald, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Time magazine, and USA Today.
November 27th, 2010 § § permalink
Dennis Prager: Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals:
The unhappy gravitate toward the left. Life is hard for liberals, and life is hard for conservatives. But conservatives assume that life will always be hard. Liberals, on the other hand, have utopian dreams.
Utopians will always be less happy than those who know that suffering is inherent to human existence. The utopian compares America to utopia and finds it terribly wanting. The conservative compares America to the every other civilization that has ever existed and walks around wondering how he got so lucky to be born or naturalized an American.
Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list. From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at its best to major harm at its worst, with general uselessness being the norm.
The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That’s why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.
Republican gains in state legislatures were even more impressive. They will control the redistricting process in four of the five states in this region. The exception is Illinois, where Rod Blagojevich’s successor as governor, Pat Quinn, held on by a few thousand votes — helped perhaps by the refusal of some Democratic county clerks not to send out military ballots in the time required by federal law. They did manage to send unrequested ballots to inmates of the Cook County Jail, though.
They don’t go through the exercise of putting themselves in the place of someone who thinks differently from the way they do. But how would it feel to be intelligent, informed, and well-meaning and to think what conservatives think? Isn’t that the right way for an intelligent, informed, and well-meaning person to understand other people? If you short circuit that process and go right to the assumption that people who don’t agree with you are stupid, how do you maintain the belief that you are, in fact, intelligent, informed, and well-meaning?
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November 7th, 2010 § § permalink
Victor Davis Hanson:
At the root of that truth is simple human nature—that people wish to further their own interest more fervently than the more abstract public good (e.g., why the renter does not wash the rental car, or why the public restroom is treated differently from its counterpart at home), and can be encouraged to invent, create, and discover which helps the less fortunate, lucky, healthy, or talented.
When Charlie Gibson pressed presidential candidate Obama on his desire to hike capital gains taxes when historically such policies have decreased aggregate federal revenue, a startled Obama insisted that the punitive notion, not the money, was the real issue, “Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Barack Obama has done quite well without understanding how and why American capital is created, and has enjoyed the lifestyle of the elite in the concrete as much in the abstract he has questioned its foundations. Does he finally see that the threat of borrowing huge amounts to grow government to redistribute income through higher taxes risks greater impoverishment for all of us, despite the perceived “fairness”? That suspicion alone explains why trillions of dollars sitting are on the sidelines despite low interest, low inflation, and a rebounding global economy. In short millions of profit-makers believe not only will it be harder to make a profit but far less of it will remain their own—all the while the president will deprecate the efforts of those who simply wish do well.
Dennis Prager: Why I Now Vote Party, Not Individual
There is a third reason to vote Democrat: More and more Americans are employed by the government, and more and more Americans receive significant material benefits from it. So one does not have to have left-wing values or believe in the demonization of conservatives to vote Democrat. All one has to do is vote according to where one’s livelihood comes from.
As we head to the polls, it’s a good time to recall the wisdom of Milton Friedman. “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.”
We should never lose sight of the fact that not every Russian was a Communist and not every German was a Nazi. But enough of them were, so that tens of millions of innocent people died before the reigns of terror ended. And just because a Muslim isn’t cold-blooded enough to be a killer of women and children doesn’t mean they disapprove of those who are. Otherwise, why have so many of them cheered on Arafat, bin Laden and Ahmadinejad, and why have so few, even here in America, spoken out against the butchers who act in the name of their religion?
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October 17th, 2010 § § permalink
When Democrats got control of Congress in 2007 they acted to save the planet from the incandescent light bulb, banning it come 2014. For sheer annoyingness, that matches Congress’s 1973 imposition of a 55 mph speed limit, which was abolished in 1995.
Nothing did more to energize conservatism in the 1970s than judges and legislators collaborating in the forced busing of (other people’s) children to achieve racial balance in (other people’s) schools. This policy expressed liberalism’s principled refusal to be deterred by the public’s misunderstanding of what is good for it. Obamacare is today’s expression of liberalism’s kamikaze devotion to unwanted help for Americans, the ingrates.
Chris Christie sure has a knack. The New Jersey Governor keeps shocking the political class on behalf of taxpayers, most recently by terminating work on a new passenger-train tunnel that was supposed to run under the Hudson River into Manhattan. To govern is to choose, or ought to be. And the reason New Jersey and so many other states can’t afford new “infrastructure” is because the politicians who’ve been running the state have blown the budget on everything else. For years, Democrats in Trenton have steered ever-more state revenues to government employees and their pensions, while squeezing state spending on the core purposes of government such as roads. Mr. Christie is telling them that the jig is up, and that a government that tries to do everything ends up doing nothing well.
The tunnel flap is a microcosm of the crowding out of public works caused by liberal governance around the country.
The tragedy here is that the U.S. does need better roads and more modern public works. Many such projects would be worth the money by contributing more to general economic efficiency and growth than they cost. But they’ve been crowded out by the liberal vote-buying politics of transfer payments and government union payoffs.
Here’s a modest proposal that Mr. Christie might consider making to his many liberal critics. If Democrats in Trenton and government unions will agree to his recent pension reforms, then he’ll go ahead with the tunnel. Liberals need to choose between their dreams of an endless welfare state and the more basic obligations of government.
Sen. Tom Coburn: For Republicans, the Moment for Reform Has Arrived
For Republicans, the most important question leading into November is not how many seats we might gain, but what will we do if we gain them. Having lived through the rise and fall of the 1994 Republican Revolution I’m convinced that if the Republican Party does not reform itself this time, it will die. It will no longer exist and I won’t be a part of it.
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October 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Meg Whitman is representative of an emerging Republican type — what you might call the austerity caucus. Flamboyant performers like Sarah Palin get all the attention, but the governing soul of the party is to be found in statehouses where a loose confederation of über-wonks have become militant budget balancers. Just as welfare reformers of the 1990s presaged compassionate conservatism, so the austerity brigades presage the national party’s next chapter.
Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana who I think is most likely to win the G.O.P. presidential nomination in 2012, is the spiritual leader. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is the rising star. Jeb Bush is the eminence. Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Rob Portman, a Senate candidate in Ohio, also fit the mold.
Elizabeth Powers writing in The Weekly Standard, Sept. 27:
The processor of my husband’s iPad . . . is designed by Apple in Cupertino, California, and manufactured by South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co. Another South Korea-based company, LG Display and Japan’s Seiko Epson Corp. make the LCD display while Taiwan-based Wintek Corp. makes the glass overlay necessary to detect touches of users’ fingertips. . . . For the amazing integration of production and markets to work and bring an iPad to your local retailer, all a country needs are the legal protection of property rights (including intellectual property or shares in a corporation), the outlawing of monopoly protection, a good internal transportation and communication system, secure labor, supplies, and customers. Not to put too fine a point on it, is it any wonder that there is probably not a single component of any high tech product owned by readers of this review that was made in South America or (excluding Israel) the Middle East?
Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it’s wrong for the rich to be “given” more money. Sunday’s New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don’t get it.
As I’ve said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some — by force — and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.
That’s the moral side of the matter. There’s a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.
A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone’s loss.
Compulsive micromanagement became the style of the Democrats. The same thing happened with the 1980 Eagle Claw rescue mission planned to free the American embassy hostages held by Khomeini’s “students.” Obsessive tinkering and interference by Jimmy Carter and his aides helped delay the mission, assuring that it ended in failure. One classic line was uttered by Warren Christopher . When told by a Special Forces officer that his men would burst into the embassy and kill any armed man they saw, Christopher responded, “Couldn’t you shoot them in the shoulder or something?
September 5th, 2010 § § permalink
Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.):
“I want to congratulate Joe Miller on his remarkable victory tonight and offer him my full support,” said Senator DeMint. “He pulled off the upset victory of the year because he ran on principles and because Alaskans, like all Americans, want to stop to the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country.”I applaud Senator Murkowski for gracefully conceding this race and for doing her part to help Republicans in Alaska move forward.
If you think it’s offensive for a Muslim group to exploit the 9/11 atrocity, you’re an anti-Muslim bigot and un-American to boot. It is a claim so bizarre, so twisted, so utterly at odds with common sense that it’s hard to believe anyone would assert it except as some sort of dark joke. Yet for the past few weeks, it has been put forward, apparently in all seriousness, by those who fancy themselves America’s best and brightest, from the mayor of New York all the way down to Peter Beinart.
Marc A. Thiessen
Much attention has been paid in recent days to a poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showing that 18 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that President Obama is a Muslim. But the results of another Pew poll on religion released last December were far more shocking. It turns out that 36 percent of Democrats claim to have communed with the dead, and that 19 percent believe in casting a curse on someone using the “evil eye.” Think about that: According Pew, more Democrats believe in the “evil eye” than Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.
The fact is you can find 20 percent of people anywhere who believe in almost anything. As The Post’s Aug. 22 Outlook section noted, 20 percent of Americans believe that space aliens have made contact with humans on Earth.
An Israeli saying (now decades old) captured the essence: If the Palestinians were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no conflict. If the Israelis were disarmed tomorrow, there would be no Israel.
Milton Friedman (maybe)
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’s be a shortage of sand.
As we try to cut through the confusion, we would do well to take a cue from Lee Iacocca, former President and CEO of the Chrysler Corporation, who once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Here is the thing: A number of Western governments have contracted more fiscal obligations than they can conceivably cover. It is this immense burden of government debt that will drive global economic events in the years to come.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds:
Filthy. Parasites. Disgusting, overbreeding candidates for sterilization and extermination. Possessed of false morals and a “breeding culture.”
Hitler talking about the Jews? Nope. This is Discovery Channel hostage-taker James Lee talking about … human beings. Compared to Lee, Hitler was a piker, philosophically: Der Fuehrer only wanted to kill those he considered “subhuman.” Lee considered all humans to be subhuman.
Lee was a nut, an eco-freak who said he was inspired by Al Gore’s environmental scare-documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” His badly written “manifesto” underscores his craziness. He hated “filthy human babies.”
August 30th, 2010 § § permalink
Another neo-socialist, Representative Barney Frank, placed love for statism in the proper euphemistic context. He summarized the Byzantine and corrupt practices of the Leviathan with the mundane utterance: “Government is the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”
If you believe that, then you’ll buy that printing money results in economic stimulus. Rep. Frank is wrong, however. Government is the name for the things our elites do to us.
It is no coincidence that those who imagine themselves so much wiser and nobler than the rest of us should be in the forefront of those who seek to erode Constitutional restrictions on the arbitrary powers of government. How can our betters impose their superior wisdom and virtue on us, when the Constitution gets in the way at every turn, with all its provisions to safeguard a system based on a self-governing people? To get their way, the elites must erode or dismantle the Constitution, bit by bit, in one way or another. What that means is that they must dismantle America.
Wall Street Journal’s Notable & Quotable. – On the inherent unfairness in life.
I want to say something. I know this is not going to go down well among those who have knee-jerk reactions and I know this is not going to go down well among people who have this notion that fairness is the overriding objective of any society. I’ve made the point throughout my career, the undeniable truths of life, many monologues on this program, that life is not fair by definition. Life isn’t fair. I mean, it just isn’t, and there’s no way that you can change certain aspects that make life unfair to make them fair. Life is not equal. Sometimes people earn more than others. Some people have children when other people can’t. There’s nothing unfair about that. That’s just the way it is.
Unspeakable tragedies happen to some families; they don’t happen to others. Some people live a long time; some people don’t. There’s no explaining any of this. Nobody’s in charge of this. There’s no government that can change this . . . the vast majority of things that occur in the process of living life are unequal and unfair.
Victor Davis Hanson:
The wages of atheism and socialism that one sees in a shrinking, entitled, and static Europe so far have not taken over here. When people protest in the United States it is more often about too much federal spending, not too few entitlements, as is true in Europe.
It is always the task for conservatives to insist that money does not grow on trees, that government programs must be paid for, and that promising unaffordable benefits is reckless, unjust and a long-term threat to maintaining free institutions.
Warner Todd Huston:
As the 3,000 postal workers marched against proposed cuts in the U.S. Post office, tucked at the bottom of the Detroit Free Press piece was a quote by post office employee Kim Sauceda, of Tallevast, Florida.
People have gone from being very confident and sure that this is a lifetime career to now not being so sure.
August 17th, 2010 § § permalink
For those of you who believe in a Market Economy, check out The American Thinker web site.
Here’s a great sample:
The Case For Capitalism By Sally Julian
Wherever people are dependent and unable to work for themselves, the human spark that desires private property is killed, and life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Enough time as a dependent, and the human becomes degraded and abased. After the fall of the Soviet Union, CNN filmed what had happened in one of the Soviet collective farms. Anyone there was offered a farm of his own. Only one family, who must have had some distant memory of what private property meant, took them up on the offer. They worked from dawn to dusk. The rest of the collective farm members were often drunk and slept until noon while the tractors rusted in the field. The motivation to work collectively vanished. The expectation in these communities to share everything went against human nature.
A market economy based on private property, buttressed by the rule of law, is truly the best environment for mankind. People will work harder and with ingenuity if they know they have earned rewards from that labor. When the rewards are given to them for nothing, there is frustration and despair. Capitalism benefits more people than any other economic system. To work for oneself and reap the rewards is a basic human aspiration.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of its blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of its miseries.
“We have been ruled by men who live by illusions … the illusion that there is some other way of creating wealth than hard work and satisfying your customers.”
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. … You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down … you cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
July 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Victor Davis Hanson:
We know now there is no shelf life to “Bush Did It”. If unemployment hits 12% two years from now we will be told we are lucky to have Obama saving us from the 20% rate that would have otherwise followed from the Bush legacy. It will be as if in 2006 Bush was still blaming Clinton for eight years of appeasement that led to 9/11. It will never cease; we accept that now. In 1944, FDR was still running on the Hoover depression of 1929. So it shall be again.
The Pentagon report on the Fort Hood shooter runs 86 pages with not a single mention of Hasan’s Islamism. It contains such politically correct inanities as “religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor.”
Of course it is. Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism is not only a risk factor. It is the risk factor, the common denominator linking all the great terror attacks of this century — from 9/11 to Mumbai, from Fort Hood to Times Square, from London to Madrid to Bali. The attackers were of various national origin, occupation, age, social class, native tongue, and race. The one thing that united them was the jihadist vision in whose name they acted.
Cynthia Tucker (at 5:15) – she seems to always, always and only, to see issues through race:
Michael Steele is a self-aggrandizing, gaffe-prone incompetent who would have been fired a long time ago were he not black. Of course the irony is he never would have been voted in as chairman of the Republican party were he not black.
A leader is perhaps most impressive when he changes minds. NJ Governor Chris Christie may be the nation’s most prominent spokesman for an increasingly potent idea — that public-sector unions are ripping us off.
One of the world’s oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth.
Even when the state tries to steer only part of the economy in the name of the “public good,” the power of the state corrupts those who wield that power. Hayek pointed out that powerful bureaucracies don’t attract angels—they attract people who enjoy running the lives of others. They tend to take care of their friends before taking care of others. And they find increasing that power attractive.
To change our fate, the best possible solution is real reform that improves incentives and inspires confidence—worlds different from today’s sterile debate about whether a conspicuous short-term deficit encourages or inhibits recovery. Fed Governor Kevin Warsh put it nicely in a speech in Atlanta this week, when he cited veteran Washington economist Charles Schulze to the effect that “it is not the wolf at the door but the termites in the walls that require attention.” Tackle the termites and jobs and growth will return.