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Political News and Commentary from the Right

Fred Thompson: Ask not what your country can spend for you,…

…but what you can spend for your country.

If you’re one of those who believes all the government “experts” and politicians touting the bailouts and stimulus packages, you can learn something from this lecture by Sen. Fred Thompson.

If you’re like me and already believe the current and soon-to-be administrations’ policies are going to leave our children with a crushing debt that will be impossible for them to repay, you’ll enjoy the wit and sarcasm Thompson uses to present our argument.

The video is more than 8 minutes long, so you may want to let it load then come back and replay it.  But it’s well worth the wait.  Enjoy.

The only thing that’s ever going to get our economy back on track is for Americans to once again embrace the idea of personal responsibility.  If you screw up, you suffer the consequences.

To hear the politicians today, you’d think there’s chaos in the streets and people dropping dead like flies in a fumigated apartment.

If we’ll learn from the mistakes that brought us to this point, and commit ourselves to not repeating them, our economy will come back stronger than ever.  There’s no doubt it’s going to be painful for some, especially those who’ve grown accustomed to spending more than they earn.  But if we choose this path, our economy will be fundamentally sound, not a castle built on sand.

It’s really simple.  We either bear this burden now, or we push it down the road for our children to inherit.  Then the problem will be many times worse than it is.

Do we want our children to inherit an economy that can be toppled by the slightest breeze?  Or, do we want to leave them a solid foundation on which to build their future?

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The Generational Theft Act of 2009–Michelle Malkin

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekly Radio Address 12-6-08

It’s time once again for President-elect Obama’s weekly radio address. So here it is.

After the recent announcement that over 500,000 jobs were lost in November, the economy is once again the focus of this address. This time though, he stresses the point that his economic team will develop a plan that will help main street and Wall Street. That’s the first time I’ve heard that. He’s always slammed Wall Street before this. You know, help the poor screw the rich (what he considers rich.)

You’ll also hear a broad overview of his plan for the recovery. If he’s successful in getting it implemented, it’s going to make Roosevelt’s New Deal look puny. He plans on dumping tons of money to fix roads and schools, upgrading federal buildings to make them more energy efficient, get broadband access to everyone, and put more computers in the schools. Whew! That’s a lot to accomplish.

I have one question. Where’s the money coming from? Look out ladies and gentlemen, it has to come from somewhere.

I was wrong, I have another question. How is he going to stem the tide of illegal aliens coming into the country so that American citizens get all these jobs?

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Obama | , , , | 2 Comments

Top Stories Today

Obama discusses economic plan to save, create jobs
By ANN SANNER, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO – President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday he’s asked his economic team for a recovery plan that saves or creates more than 2 million jobs, makes public buildings more energy-efficient and invests in the country’s roads and schools.

“We won’t just throw money at the problem,” Obama said in his weekly radio address and Internet video. “We’ll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve — by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world.”

Obama’s remarks come after the Labor Department announced Friday that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years.
Obama said his plan would put millions of people to work by “making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.”

View full article

White House: Constructive auto talks with Congress
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Facing massive job losses, the White House and congressional Democrats are negotiating a deal to provide about $15 billion in loans to prevent Detroit’s weakened auto industry from collapsing.

The White House said it was in “constructive discussions” with lawmakers in both parties to dole out the assistance as House and Senate staff aides worked through the weekend drafting bailout legislation that is expected to come to a vote next week.

View full article

December 6, 2008 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Radio Address 11-22-08

It appears the President-elect’s radio addresses will continue to be posted to YouTube. Here’s this week’s address.


The address is primarily a rehash of his Emergency Economic Plan laid out in his Blueprint for Change. I previously analyzed the plan in this post. However, the campaigning Obama has evolved into the soon-to-be-in-office Obama. Gone is the Obama who, if elected, would immediately turn the tide and repair our diseased economy. Welcome to the elected Obama who now says we’re going to feel more pain, things will get worse before they get better. Well, at least we now know he is facing the reality of the situation.

He goes on to say that he’s already directed his economic advisers to come up with a plan to create 2.5 million jobs by January 2011. In his Blueprint for Change, he states he already has a plan to save 1 million jobs that might soon be lost and he states he already has a plan to create another 7 million jobs over the next 10 years. That was the if-you-elect-me-I-will Obama. The soon-to-be-in-office Obama now says details of the plan will be worked out in the next few weeks.

This sounds so Roosevelt-esque. I’ve said it before though, and I’ll say it again, Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t get us out of the Great Depression. It did put people to work and boost morale, but real economic recovery didn’t begin until WWII. Take a look at this chart.

economic crisis, credit crisis, obama, change,
Click to view larger image.

The market peaked in October 1929 and didn’t reach that peak again until November 1954. That’s during a time when people took whatever job they could find. Our economy is in for a long hard road I’m afraid, and New Deal style programs aren’t going to solve the problem.

It remains to be seen if Americans today will take a job “rebuilding our crumbling roads, schools, and bridges” after they’ve lost their jobs in air conditioned work spaces. Most people who’ve tried to hire folks from the unemployment office to work manual labor can tell you things are different today. I’ve tried and been told “it’s not worth it.” For this program to really work, there will have to be an ultimatum–take the job or no check! The options will have to be work or starve.

The President-elect refers to schools that are failing our children. I teach in the schools and I can tell you there are teachers who are failing our children, but the problem is much deeper than that. I won’t make excuses for bad teachers and administrators, but I will say that many good teachers are driven from the schools by apathetic children and uncooperative, unmotivated parents.

If you haven’t been in a high school lately, take a walk through and look at the shape your local school is in. If you see graffiti or property destroyed, guess who is causing the destruction. The students, because so many of them have no respect for themselves, authority, or anything else. Now, guess where that attitude comes from. The parents, who have become so accustomed to government handouts that they don’t respect themselves or anyone else. I’m all for ensuring teachers are doing their jobs, but if you want to really fix the problem with schools you’re going to have to change the culture of the students, and their parents. That’s not going to happen with more government handouts.

Obama says he wants cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. In the past, bipartisanship generally means the minority party succumbs to the will of the majority. Call me a cynic, but I don’t think that’s going to be one of Obama’s changes.

Brace yourselves ladies and gentleman for a long, hard road on the economic front. We the people have overspent to get ourselves into this mess, buying things we couldn’t afford and over-leveraging ourselves to a point that demands a swift kick to the backside. Our political leaders should have seen it coming, and most probably did, but they looked the other way because their only concern was getting re-elected. How we survive this mess, and if we survive it is up to us. Obama can’t save us, no politician can. He’s bracing us for this now that the election is over.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

I do believe that.

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Obama | , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Radio Address

It appears this will be a weekly occurrence, President-elect Obama’s weekly radio address has been posted on YouTube. I’ll post them all here under the topic heading, “Radio Address.” Here’s the video:

Our President-elect began by praising President Bush for initiating a meeting of the G-20 nations’ leaders to address the ever-growing global economic crisis. I don’t know what they’re going to accomplish. I’m going to hazard a guess that there will be a lot of finger-pointing and laying of blame. Most of those fingers will likely be pointed at the U.S., laying the blame on our country.

This is one pill the Democrats have always had a hard time swallowing–when you’re the most powerful nation on the face the Earth, the majority of the rest of the world is going to hate you. How many times have we heard them say we need to restore our world standing, make the world like us again? Ultimately, I expect these leaders to devise a plan to spend a lot more money on a lot more government programs and come away without really accomplishing a thing.

I was completely surprised to hear Obama say one thing though, Americans are going to have to sacrifice as we work ourselves out of this crisis. That said, I think his definition of sacrifice is different than mine. In my opinion, that sacrifice will involve driving older cars, living in smaller homes, eating out less, giving up luxury items like boats and other toys, not going on vacation, buying off-brand groceries and clothes, etc. I have all ideas his definition is to pay more taxes.

In fact, he rehashes part of his plan to work through this crisis that will require massive increases in government spending. His ideas sound similar to FDR‘s work programs of the Great Depression. The difference between then and now is the work ethic of the American people. In FDR’s time, we didn’t have the entitlement programs that encourage people not to work. It was either work or starve.

One thing I hear mentioned over and over is a plan to create jobs by rebuilding our transportation system. In my experience, there are a lot of people in this country who would rather sit at home, watch Oprah and draw a government check than work on a road construction crew. It’s hard, hot, and physical work.

He states that we’ve neglected rebuilding this infrastructure for far too long, but haven’t we all been inconvenienced by road construction on busy freeways? I’m just not buying this idea that we haven’t been addressing the problem of crumbing roads. I know in my state we’ve seen plenty of road construction that seemingly never ends.

I hope he can inspire the American people to truly make the sacrifices that will be required to not only survive this crisis, but to emerge from it with the same can-do spirit that our elders had. That spirit involved not only a willingness to work and achieve, but a desire to do so. In my opinion, that’s what we’ve lacked in this country for a long time. We have far too many people too willing to accept a hand-out instead of accepting a job. I’m afraid that spirit will never return as long as there’s a government check in the mailbox.

Another problem we’ll have to address if he implements this New Deal style program is the illegal alien situation. What good is it going to do American workers if the majority of these jobs go to illegals? And, if he implements it on anything close to the scale he’s indicating, we’re likely to see an increase in the number of illegals flooding our country in response. If this occurs, the problem will be compounded, not resolved.

I fear his recovery plan is flawed. Let’s not forget that Roosevelt’s measures didn’t end the Great Depression. In fact, the only thing they accomplished in the short term was to improve Americans’ morale. What finally pulled us out of the Depression was WWII and our role in the subsequent rebuilding of Europe and Japan. Hopefully it won’t take that to get us out of this mess.

Well, he’s going to get his chance. Let’s see what he can do.

November 16, 2008 Posted by | Obama | , , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Emergency Economic Plan

We have until January 20, 2009 before Obama takes office so I thought I’d examine his plan in detail in the interim. Feel free to download his Blueprint for Change to verify his positions and his plan.

Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills.

Exactly what is a windfall profits tax anyway? Here’s the definition I found on Wikipedia:

A windfall profits tax is a higher tax rate on profits that ensue from a sudden windfall gain to a particular company or industry.

Wikipedia defines a windfall gain as unexpected income, but I haven’t found any evidence where the Democrats were pinned down on their definition. The August 4, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal, What is a ‘Windfall’ Profit?, offers some interesting reading on this topic. According to the article, Exxon-Mobil would be the primary target of this tax though its profit margin is a reasonable 10%. Most Americans have been outraged by the run-up in prices at the pump, but a 10% profit margin certainly shouldn’t qualify as unreasonable. This part of the plan seems targeted to take full advantage of Americans’ ire and sets a dangerous precedent. What will be the next industry targeted for windfall profits?

Now, with oil prices dropping sharply, it appears this measure would accomplish very little anyway. Wait a minute…isn’t that what happened the last time we had a tax like this? Did you know that we had one before and it didn’t work?

Sure enough. In 1980 the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act was enacted in response to a sharp increase in oil prices. Though the 1980 act differs from the version proposed by Obama, the impetus for both are quite similar. The 1980 tax was predicted to load the governments coffers with almost $400 billion by the time it was repealed. Actual proceeds of less than $100 billion fell far short of that estimate. Why? Because the free market did what it’s doing now–corrected itself. This initiative is long on promise, but will no doubt fall short on the predicted government revenue. You can read the report by the Congressional Budget Office here.

I felt cheated every time I filled my tank with gas and even boycotted Exxon-Mobil stations as a personal protest, but I’m not ready to give the federal government the right to set limits on profits of private industry. Who pays for taxes on corporations anyway? Consumers, that’s who! Any increased operating costs (including taxes) will be passed on to you and I. This part of Obama’s plan will likely result in higher expenditures for energy on everyday Americans.

That was more involved than I thought it would be, so I’ll try not to be so long-winded on this next part!

$50 Billion To Turn our Economy Around and Prevent More than 1 Million Americans from Losing Their Jobs
State Growth Fund: $25 billion in a State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education and housing assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. The fund will also ensure sufficient funding for home heating and weatherization assistance as we move into the fall and winter months.Jobs and Growth Fund: $25 billion in a Jobs and Growth Fund to replenish the Highway Trust Fund; prevent cutbacks in road and bridge maintenance and fund new, fast-tracked projects to repair schools – all to save more than 1 million jobs in danger of being cut.   

Let’s see, $25 billion is $500 million per state but of course it won’t be evenly distributed so let’s just look at it on a per capita basis. Assuming a population of 300 million Americans, we’re talking about $83 per person. Do you know anyone who can stretch that amount so far to keep crises in health care, education, housing, etc.?

And take a look at the second part too. Where did the money from the Highway Trust Fund go anyway? If our government spent this money wisely in the first place, it might not need this infusion of cash. According to the September 6, 2008 Washington Post article, Highway Trust Fund is Nearly Out of Gas, Congress loaded the last transportation bill with 6,000 earmarks costing us $24 billion.

Obama’s emergency economic plan promises a lot, but are those promises realistic? I don’t think they will be. Right now our economy has a wound that will heal itself if left alone. The remedies he proposes have potential side-effects that are worse than the illness.

November 6, 2008 Posted by | Economy | , , | Leave a comment