America, You Asked For It!

Political News and Commentary from the Right

Take a Good Look…

…at what President Obama has done to the national debt.

And it doesn’t matter how many times he repeats the lie that his Obamacare will not add to the deficit, it will unless he breaks another promise not to raise taxes on the middle class. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has already pointed out it will. And the scary thing is that so many are still on board with this plan that promises rationed care, government control, the death of the private insurance companies, taxpayer funded abortions, a new Health Care Czar with as yet to be determined powers over our very lives, and new direct government access to our bank accounts. Even 40% supporting such a plan is too much and it means we’ve got to work much harder to convince the last holdouts.

Here’s the link to the Heritage Foundation article where I found this chart.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Health Care | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Screwed by Cash 4 Clunkers?

Four days after it came to life, the allotted funds were expended.  Our elected enlightened ones never expected so many to line up to take advantage of free cash from Congress.  Wait a sec…could this be a parallel we’ll see if Obamacare comes to life?  Let’s save that for another article.

When I first heard of Congress’ Cash-for-Clunkers (C4C)  scheme I didn’t like it, but for the wrong reasons.  I guess I made the mistake of literally interpreting the word “clunker” in the title.  Why I thought our government would be so transparent as to title their program to clearly communicate its intent I’ll never know.

I wrongly assumed that scammers would rush to junk yards, pay a couple of hundred dollars for piece of junk, drag it or pull it to a dealer, and use it for a $4500 downpayment on a shiny new car.  Voila!  Scam the government.

Well, it turns out the genius’ in Congress thought of that and included requirements to stop such abuses before they happened.  But in the process, this intrusion into the free market, like all government programs intended to fix problems the government created, spawns several more catastrophes we’ll feel the effects of down the road.

Let me start by saying I’m debt-free.  My home, my cars, and everything else I own are paid for, free and clear.  This didn’t come to be by luck or accident, but by sacrifice and well-laid plans.  Thanks to C4C, a key strategy I employed in those plans will no longer be available to me or others who might wish to take a similar path in order to enjoy a life free of monthly payments and negative net worth.

You see, the last new vehicle I purchased was in 1988.  I was 21 at the time.  Two years later I needed to sell that vehicle after enlisting in the Marines.  I was upside down and had to pay an extra $300 to relieve myself of ownership of that ride.  I swore that would never happen again, and it hasn’t.  Since that day, I’ve never owed more on a vehicle than what it was worth.

To avoid that undesirable predicament, I purchased older vehicles with high miles–that I could pay cash for.  The first was a 1982 Ford Courier with just under 100,000 miles that I paid $700 for at a Southwestern Bell equipment auction.  It was ugly as hell, but well-maintained.  I drove it for two years, and taught myself to work on it.   When the starter went out, I bought a book, some tools, a new starter, and replaced it.  I sold this truck and bought a full-size 1980 Chevrolet pickup for $1500.   It took me where I needed to go for two more years.  I repeated this numerous times over the years and haven’t had a car payment for a vehicle on which I was the primary driver for the past 19 years.

Thanks to the social engineers in DC, a life without car payments may no longer be possible after my current vehicle wears out.

If this program is still in place (Remember the words of Ronald Reagan, “The closest thing to eternal life on Earth is a government program.”) when I’m in the market for my next car, it will artificially add $3,500-$4,500 to the price of every car I’d otherwise be interested in purchasing.  At best, a comparable vehicle to one I’d have purchased a year ago with $2,000 won’t sell to a private buyer for less than $4,500.  It won’t last me any longer than the one I’m driving now, but thanks to the government it’ll cost me more than 3 times as much to drive it.  And the difference between paying $2,000 and $4,500 will force many to finance these cars when they could have paid cash if our intrusive government would have just let the market work.

But $4,500 likely won’t touch one of these cars either, because our genius’ in Washington are also drastically depleting the supply of such vehicles.  Though the cars taken on trade in the C4C program must be driveable, our government is mandating they be rendered inoperable and destroyed.  So far, a quarter of a million driveable used vehicles have been taken off the road.  The most basic law of economics, supply-and-demand, guarantees an increase in price will result from this program.

These cars will no longer be worth buying at their government-inflated prices.  That will leave me with the choice of buying even older cars or buying a new car.  Of course, if too many people turn to buying those (really) old clunkers, that really are gas-guzzlers, I’m sure our brilliant social engineers in DC will change the rules to take away that option also.  Eventually, that will leave me with no choice but a new vehicle that I’ll almost certainly be forced to finance.

I’ve spent my adult life carefully plotting to keep from having a car payment.  Silly me, I considered this responsible.  Now the Socialist social engineers that run our government have identified folks like me as part of the problem.  They’ve designed and implemented a scheme intended to strip from me the freedom of living life without car payments.  They’ve determined that I no longer have the right to be debt free.  That it’s only fair that I too am forced to purchase a vehicle that I’ll have to finance.

After all, in our Obamatopia, if anyone must make a car payment, it’s our collective responsibility to share that burden.  You see, if we’re all forced to buy new cars, the newly acquired taxpayer owned auto companies can continue selling unaffordable cars with affordable payments for a little while longer.  In effect, by forcing me to buy a new car, it will lower the payment of those who got themselves over-extended by buying cars they couldn’t afford.

You know, back to that spread-the-wealth thing Obama loves so much.

The House of Representatives has already voted to spread another $2 billion of your wealth to help screw me and others like me over.  This should take another half a million good, operable, used vehicles off the road and into the scrap heap.  Luckily, the US Senate is balking at handing another $2 billion to the auto companies and taking the next step to permanently increasing the cost of new and used cars by $4,500.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has threatened to veto any extension of the program and Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) says he’s weighing options and will fight if there’s a chance to stop it.  But Republicans aren’t the only obstacles to expanding one more government giveaway to subsidize the American auto industry.  Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Twitter tweeted today, “We simply cannot afford any more taxpayr $ to extend cash for clunkers. Idea was to prime the pump, not subsidize auto purchases forever.”  Other Dems are opposed because they say the program doesn’t mandate enough increased fuel economy.

Bottom line, if these Senators hold the line and refuse to make C4C a permanent program, and if I can make my 12-year-old car with 140K miles last another couple of years, I just might be able to keep living life without car payments.

But not if President Obama has anything to do with it.

August 1, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , , , | 10 Comments

Down, down, down he goes…

Is it his insistence on imposing government-run healthcare on a leery populace? Or could it be that calling the cops stupid for arresting his loud mouthed friend?

It doesn’t matter.

Just a few months ago, liberals were digging the grave for the conservative movement.  Certain they’d permanently prevailed on the heels of Obama’s historic election, they set about ramming their Socialist agenda down the throats of all Americans in an attempt to bury conservatism forever.  Using tactics more common among union thugs and other organized crime, they seized control of private industry, spent hundreds of billions on wasteful projects to line the pocket of special interests, and cut the legs from under an already staggering economy.

All of this happened with virtually no support from Republicans in Congress. Liberals everywhere warned Republicans were further alienating themselves in the eyes of the American public, calling the GOP “the party of NO.” Some RINOs trembled with fear while those of us who truly believe conservative principles make our country stronger and more prosperous insisted the path back to victory wasn’t to fall in step with our liberal foes, but to charge headlong into the center of their ranks. Ignoring warnings from Dems and RINOs alike, real conservatives in the Republican party stood our ground and took the fight to the enemy. Rather than retreat we went on offense.

It took a few months, but now we have them on the run! Blue Dog Democrats are feeling the pressure from their constituents and our constant bombardment of their complicity in quadrupling the national deficit to squander our hard-earned money on legislators’ pet pork projects. Harry Reid announced yesterday the Senate would not meet Obama’s mandate to rush a health care bill through Congress by the August recess. Then Obama stepped on his own land mine when he called a good cop stupid. Their battle plan is being shredded and their troops are beginning to desert!

The best of news came today in the form of Rasmussen’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll. I’ve been following this poll for a couple of months now and until today, Obama had always enjoyed a higher approval than disapproval rating. Today that all changed.

For the first time in his Presidency, more likely voters in America disapprove of his job performance than approve. As of today, 49% approve and 51% disapprove of Obama’s leadership.

It looks like America wasn’t ready to swallow Obama’s “change” after all.

July 24, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Help Grade Obama’s First 6 Months!

I received an email from Michael Steele and the RNC with an opportunity to help let the world know just how much Americans hate Obama’s Socialist movement. Rate the President on his performance over the past six months on:

  • Economy
  • National Security
  • Transparency & Ethics
  • Media Spin
  • Rewarding Special Interests
  • Taxes & Spending

Here’s the email from Michael Steele:

Dear John,

It’s now been six months in office for our learn-on-the-job Chief Executive.

And this is your opportunity to give Barack Obama a six-month report card. How is he doing on the economy? How about national security, health care, and the other crucial issues that America faces?

You can assign your own grades to President Obama here, and check out the results from fellow Republicans across the country.

Let Barack Obama and his Democrat allies know how YOU rate their handling of the difficult challenges we face. Do it today!

Sincerely,

Michael Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S. John, you and the Republican Party are all that stand between the Obama Democrats and further erosion of our liberty and security. That’s why I hope you’ll take this opportunity after grading Barack Obama to help support principled, commonsense Republican candidates who will offer America’s voters a better way forward by making an online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to the RNC today. Thank you.

Take the opportunity to give Obama his grade today!

July 23, 2009 Posted by | GOP, Obama | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

11 Most Costly Disasters in History

Received via email from my friend Kim Maginn:

*I just found an earlier version of this post on Pride of America dated 2/20/09.

# 11. Titanic – $150 Million
The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 10 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ‘ s dollars).

# 10. Tanker Truck vs Bridge – $358 Million
On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany. The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.

# 9. MetroLink Crash – $500 Million
On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

# 8. B-2 Bomber Crash – $1.4 Billion
Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ‘ re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

# 7. Exxon Valdez – $2.5 Billion
The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world ‘ s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ‘ s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef.

# 6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig – $3.4 Billion
The world ‘ s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world ‘ s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ‘ s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion.  Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.

# 5. Challenger Explosion – $5.5 Billion
The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today ‘ s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today ‘ s dollars).

# 4. Prestige Oil Spill – $12 Billion
On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain . Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea.  According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

# 3. Space Shuttle Columbia – $13 Billion
The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA ‘ s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ‘ s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million.   In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics..

# 2. Chernobyl – $200 Billion
On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

# 1. 2008 Presidential Election – Clearly the WORST DISASTER in the history of the United States! $800 Billion in the first two months………..

And the cost continues to grow!

July 13, 2009 Posted by | Obama | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Obamanomics Supporters – Cracks in the Dike

by Larry Elder at Townhall.com

While the media stopped to cover Michael Jackson’s death, several tremors rocked the foundation of something that actually affects us all — Obamanomics.

First, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who supported the President over his Republican rival, criticized Obama’s spending, saying “we can’t pay for it all.” Powell said: “I’m concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them. … One of the cautions that has to be given to the President — and I’ve talked to some of his people about this — is that you can’t have so many things on the table that you can’t absorb it all.”

Second, a few days ago, respected British economist Tim Congdon dusted off a 2003 paper — written pre-Obama spending — by the Federal Reserve’s senior economist. It warned of the nation’s growing debt and deficit, calculating their impact on long-term interest rates. The Fed’s conclusion? “A percentage point increase in the projected deficit-to-GDP ratio raises the 10-year bond rate expected to prevail five years into the future by 20 to 40 basis points. … Similarly, a percentage point increase in the projected debt-to-GDP ratio raises future interest rates by about 4 to 5 basis points.” In plain English, this means, as Congdon puts it, a “debt explosion.” Applying the 2003 paper’s calculations and assumptions to our debt and deficit numbers under Obama, Congdon sees the “horrifying” consequences of bank bailouts and increased public spending.

Third, billionaire/Obama supporter Warren Buffett warned of impending inflation caused by increased government spending.

More

July 9, 2009 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How’s the stimulus working for you so far?

by Neal Boortz at Townhall.com

Well now. Our economy is really lunging forward, isn’t it? What a ride! Are you holding on?

We’re billions of dollars further in debt (trillions?) and the economy is still stagnant. TARP, the stimulus bill, massive debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay .. and what has this all brought us? Banks aren’t lending, businesses aren’t hiring – let along expanding – and consumers aren’t buying. Oh, to be sure, the malls are crowded. Turn up the thermostats and see how long that lasts. Those aren’t shoppers, they’re just your neighbors trying to stay cool while watching the latest absurd teen fashion and freak shows.

Do what the initials SNAFU mean? That word was created to define government action, or inaction as the case may be. In 1942 Time magazine carried this revelation: “Last week U.S. citizens knew that gasoline rationing and rubber requisitioning were snafu.” Well .. if there was ever a SNAFU, our economy would fit the description. To fully understand this, you have to know what the acronym stands for. Go ahead … Google it.

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July 6, 2009 Posted by | Economy | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Nobel Prize for Economics

by Rich Galen on Townhall.com

How much do Members of the U.S. House and Senate make? Are they suffering as are regular people? Do they feel the pain of tax increases and new regulations?

In reverse order: No. No. And $174,000 per year.

In addition Members of Congress get a tax break on their housing, have health care completely paid for by you and me, and have a pretty good retirement system although the other benefits are so good you can’t get them to retire much before their 113th birthday, on average.

That $174,000 is for the rank-and-file, show-up-for-work four-days-a-week members of the House and Senate. You want to be really aggravated? The Speaker of the House, who happens to be Nancy Pelosi, and who happens to be one of the wealthiest members of Congress, makes $223,500.

And she gets to fly home on an Air Force jet which the rank-and-file, show-up-for-work four-days-a-week members of the House and Senate do not get to do.

I do not mention this because I am particularly angry with Members of the House and Senate – at least not any more than usual. I mention all this because of California.

The California fiscal year ended at midnight last night, June 30. They ain’t got no money.

California – the state which is held in such high regard by the Obama Administration that they just shoved through a global warming bill which is largely based on California standards – is more than in fiscal distress. It is bankrupt. Bust. Broke. Penniless. Insolvent.

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July 2, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Obama | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The California Albatross

by Meredith Turney on Townhall.com

Within a matter of weeks, the great state of California will be out of money. For months state leaders have warned of the yawning $24 billion budget deficit; even exploiting the deficit they created in a failed attempt to scare voters into increasing their taxes in the May special election. The proposed tax increases and budget gimmickry were soundly rejected by voters, sending a clear message to Sacramento that Californians will no longer finance the bloated, inefficient government’s insatiable appetite for more tax dollars. Now the day of reckoning is upon California, and how the Golden State resolves this massive problem will impact the entire nation.

The fate of the world’s 10th largest economy is inextricably linked to America’s overall economic fate. Could America’s already fragile economy absorb California’s debt? With the federal government already trillions in debt, what’s another $24 billion? The problem is not the amount of debt, but the precedent it will set if the federal government is forced to bailout one of the country’s largest states.

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June 18, 2009 Posted by | Bailout | , , , , , | Leave a comment

53% say Obama’s “stimulus” hurts economy

According to the latest Rasmussen poll, 53% of Americans believe increasing government spending has an anti-stimulus effect on the economy, hurting instead of helping it.  The poll of 1000 likely voters conducted June 7-8, is more evidence of the trend in recent polls that the American people are beginning to recognize that Obama’s change isn’t what they believed they were voting for last November.  Only 27% remain dedicated, die-hard fans of the President’s stimulus strategy, still clinging to the fallacy that drastic spending, quadrupling the deficit, and enslaving future generations of Americans with debt will somehow revitalize the economy.

The number of Americans who correctly believe tax cuts stimulate the economy continues to grow.  A full 58% accept the evidence history provides and stand on the opposite sides of the fence.  Last month only 55% believed this irrefutable fact.  So in less than a month, Obama’s radical changes to our American way have led 3% to lose faith in his approach to saving the economy and embrace that of his predecessor, the Left’s nemesis President George W. Bush.

Obama recently realized his plan isn’t working, but mistakenly believes it’s because he hasn’t spent enough of the money, or spent it fast enough.  So, he announced he’ll be accelerating the pace of his spending spree–blowing more money faster.  But another recent Rasmussen poll shows Americans don’t think this is such a wise idea.  When asked if the government should cancel the rest of the new government spending in the President’s monstrous $787 billion “stimulus” package, 45% said the administration should stop this madness now vs. only 36% who thought the President should go ahead and waste $787 billion.

When asked in this poll if the tax cuts included in the “stimulus” package should be canceled, only 20% believe the government doesn’t take enough of our money, while a full 55% believe the tax cuts should stay in place.  So again, in this second poll we see a majority of Americans who apparently believe tax cuts stimulate the economy.

These two polls substantiate our report on the developing trend of more people finding Obama’s policies less and less attractive.  Though the President continues on his march toward the Socialization of the US economy, legislators who face re-election next year are sure to be watching these polls and should begin to resist more and more of the President’s “change” as we go forward.  If the GOP plays their cards right and can manage to convince voters they’ve turned the corner and returned to their principle of sound fiscal policy, we just might see an encore of the ’94 voter revolt against the party that has long been (and has now demonstrated that, in spite of their promises, it remains) the tax and spend party.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Obama | , , , , , , | 5 Comments