Thursday, April 28, 2011

- I Hate Rap... But This Is Cool




The thing I really love about this is that these guys are offering the actual representations being made by both sides - and it's not a bad song.

I particularly like that Hayek's arguments have Keynes on the ropes, but the media and the government proclaim Keynes the winner anyway, which is just like in real life. Why do they do that? Two reasons.

First, Keynes empowers the powerful. He gives more authority to politicians, and rent seeking hacks like Krugman who believe that all economic activity should be directed by commands issuing from Economists. I think the video makes that clear. But the second reason that they didn't mention in the video is the Keynesian endpoint. That's the moment when all the economic volatility has been sold short by Kenyesianism. When we have a problem after that, there will be no way to control it - no outside source to tap to force a correction. And since the government will already be deeply entangled in economic decision making, the economy will take much longer to respond than if it were allowed to operate unimpeded.

The result will be cataclysmic, even compared to what we've seen in the past. And pretty much everyone I know agrees that a point like that approaches rapidly. We may differ on when - but no one thinks we can go on like this forever. No one with any credibility anyway.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

- Krugman's Public Image

I ripped this off from a corner post by Andrew Stiles. It shows Sean Duffy (R) WI, defending the Ryan budget plan in a town hall meeting, being confronted by a liberal activist in the crowd. The reaction of the crowd to Krugman being named as a "Nobel Prize winning Economist' gives me hope for America.




Andrew comments on the ridiculous titles the lefties are putting in the videos (among other things) and how their view of the world isn't matching reality.

Read it here.

- Let's Forget Trump Now



I personally never thought the birther issue was such a big deal. I didn't know any better than anyone else whether Obama was really born in Hawaii, but I didn't care. I was convinced that he was not 'loyal to a foreign nation' to the extent that the status of his birth would change my mind. No one ever disputed that John McCain wasn't born in the United States, but I didn't think it should disqualify him either. My wife is an immigrant - born in Transylvania, but would almost certainly make a better President than either of those guys. So I never thought it was such a big deal.

I think he's a terrible president, and as a lover of liberty, I object to his positions on almost everything. but I don't think we should toss him out because of which hospital he was born in. (Which is really all the document tells us.) I was actually born in an elevator. That doesn't tell you a thing about me.

The reason he finally released it though I do find VERY interesting. He hid it because it let him describe all of his opposition as crazy. And he's been long accustomed to a fawning, lick spittle press corps, but the media fawns over Trump too. I suspect Obama's massive and notoriously frail ego wanted to finally put this to bed so he could take back his news media fans from Trump.

Now this transcript thing is being raised by Trump. Trump is all aghast that Obama, a mediocre at best student, could end up at Harvard in spite of his unremarkable academic performance. Personally I think this is just indicative of Trump's detachment. Is there anyone out there in the real world who can't figure out why "Barak Hussein Obama" rose to such great heights without meeting the lofty standards that others must to get into Harvard Law School? What could it possibly be I wonder.

I think the media will get bored with Trump long before they admit that being black is an advantage with regard to race - so Obama is probably safe on this one. I don't expect to see him release any transcripts.

And for that matter - who cares if he does? The man was elected fair and square. If you want to indict someone's intelligence, it's those people who you should be looking hard at if you ask me.

Trump's trade policies would be suicidal, his manner would be disastrous, and his vision is as crazy and muddled as his haircut. I'm hoping we can forget about him now and get on with a real discussion.

- Global Warming Redux


A few years ago I wrote that the global warming movement was jumping the shark and that the slowing economy will decimate it as a political force in America. that was a prediction... not Jonah goldberg is looking at the results:

...telling voters that they have to pay high gas prices in order to ineffectually fight climate change would be honest but incalculably dumb, politically. Recent polling shows that Americans care about the economy more -- a lot more -- than global warming. Skepticism about the existence of a problem or its scope has been rising in the U.S. and Europe. When a Pew poll in January asked voters what their biggest priorities were, climate changed ranked second to last. Only obesity was deemed less of a priority.


If I said that I don't want to say I told you so you wouldn't believe me... nor should you. I actually love telling these green imbeciles how wrong they were. No one on the left is more wrong headed about how the world actually works, or is proposing a more thoroughly destructive set of policies for the future. They deserve to be disheartened and if they're unhappy then the outlook for the rest of us is actually better than it would otherwise be.

I've said a million times that the whole purpose of a recession is to teach liberals how the world really works. It's good to see that at least some of that information is getting through.

- Sing It Brother Steyn



Sometimes a society is simply too stupid to survive.


If only the Brits treated Asians like we do here in America, where they do to well on standardized testing to be considered a protected minority - whatever their numbers. There are lots of cultures too stupid to survive (at least - without huge subsidies.)

The song in Question:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

- Emperor Obama's New Clothes



The fawning DC press corps would have us all believe that the country (apart from a few tea party neanderthals motivated purely by racism) are firmly behind Obama and his new vision for America. But the media armor is slipping.

This email came from a buddy of mine and I think shows reality a little better than the press does:

You know the honeymoon is over when the comedians start.

The liberals are asking us to give Obama time. We agree . . .. and think 25 to life would be appropriate.

--Jay Leno

America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.

--Jay Leno

Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

--Conan O'Brien

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser.

--Jay Leno

Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers, and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners.

--David Letterman

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A: America

--Jimmy Fallon

Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.

--Jimmy Kimmel

Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for Clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.

--David Letterman

Saturday, April 23, 2011

- Politically Motivated Law Enforcement


America’s stupidest law claims another victim.

A gun shop in Nassau County (The suburban part of Long Island which sidles up against Brooklyn and Queens) has been raided by those brave members of law enforcement interested in protecting the private citizenry. Did they sell guns to known gunrunners or see them shipped to Mexican drug cartels in the murder of US citizens? No – the ATF under Obama did that. What this gun shop did was they committed the heinous crime of selling rifles which had a pin in the stock. This pin prevented the otherwise adjustable stock from being adjusted.

But the pin wasn’t the problem in and of itself. What made the rifles so dangerous was that the pin could be removed. And if that pin were removed it would make the stock slide back and forth to adjust for the particular body dimensions of the shooter. You may be asking, “How does this put the public at risk?” Well an adjustable stock is considered one of the ‘evil features’, which causes a firearm to be considered a dreaded ‘assault weapon’.

These rifles operate no differently than any other rifle. They are no more powerful or dangerous than other, perfectly legal firearm. In fact, since the stock were pinned in place, they were no longer adjustable, and therefore weren’t actually assault weapons at all. The fact that they could be modified by the owner to qualify as assault weapons is the only assertion here.

But right or wrong, thanks to an overly ambitious DA who obviously has an anti-gun bias, this gun shop is more than likely finished. At the very least they will have an lengthy and expensive legal defense to mount The end result will probably be that one more gun shop is eliminated – which was very likely the whole point of the prosecution in the first place.

No one believes the public was put at risk here. The Assault weapons ban was designed to expand prosecutorial discretion to the point where it can be used to advance political ends. It was never really intended to protect innocent people. It was always designed to be a tool for the political harassment of gun owners. And that’s obviously what’s happening in this case.

If you make the law vague enough, then anyone is a criminal so long as someone in authority says they are. That was the point with the Assault Weapons Ban, and is clearly the case with this prosecution.

Friday, April 22, 2011

- Obama Blames Speculators


Obama has decided that all this energy price inflation is the fault of speculators.

Who could have ever seen that coming.

Oh wait a minute...I did...here, here, and especially... here.

Liberals are so predictable. No no, it' can't be supply and demand... it must be some mustache twirling villain. What simpletons they are.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

- Bi-Winning The Future!



Am I the only one who noticed the similarity between Charlie Sheen’s motto” WINNING!” [ insert un-medicated webcam leer] and Obama’s motto “Winning The future!” [ insert teleprompter directed politi-smile]? How ironic that these two walking caricatures have become such important cultural icons in 21st century America.

We all know Charlie of course. He’s a second generation B list actor, born with a silver spoon in his nose, who’s spent his life knocking around the elite watering holes and methadone clinics that Hollywood has made fashionable. His principle occupation (like all actors) has been to look good for a living, which isn’t exactly the kind of activity that encourages personal growth. Every few years he manages to keep his fly closed long enough to make a movie or TV series. But as soon as he cashes the check, he’s off to Vegas again, Heidi Fliess and her modern day camp followers in tow, for one more episode in what seems to the rest of us like a life-long bender.

And after spending 30 years in a lifestyle which has to be about as low stress as anything America has ever produced, this pre-adolescent attention grabber is going to presume to tell the rest of us about winning. As if he would know. His instructions to the rest of us on how to succeed, reminds me of that old joke about how you become a millionaire in the Wine business. Step one, get a billion dollars, step two… buy a winery.

If Washington DC is like Hollywood for ugly people, you can begin to imagine the similarity I see between Charlie Sheen and Obama. Obama wasn’t born into the entertainment elite, but he did have something which gave him the same kind of ‘start at the 50 yard line’ advantage in politics. He was born black. And for the last 40 years in America, being black has not been a disadvantage, like it clearly was in the past. On the contrary – driven by the desire to make all outcomes equal, liberals have turned being black into a profound advantage – especially in those areas that they dominate like academia and the political classes.

Obama is walking and talking proof of that. He hasn’t really done anything in his life. He has no real accomplishments that aren’t the type that Charlie sheen could also lay claim to. His academic career, carefully guarded by his political handlers and their allies, is a closely held secret – so one can only assume that it’s unremarkable. His career in politics has been mostly of the Chauncey Gardner variety – where he voted present and that was more than enough for his fans. Even his presidential bid was marked not by his brilliance but by his opponent’s electoral ineptitude. Just like Charlie, ‘looking as he does’ was more than enough for him to succeed.

In other words, both Charlie and Obama have never had to face any real challenge in their lives. Nothing they’ve ever done has required any character, or forced them to make genuinely difficult choices where they would be the ones to bear the burden of error. They are both a product of the carefully coddled elite, each in their own area.

This may sound trite, but one of the ways I try to assess people is by imagining how it would be if our plane crashed in the mountains somewhere. Not everyone has wilderness survival skills so I try to discount for that. My thoughts are more along the lines of wondering if they would make good decisions. Would they help make reasoned judgments about where to set a shelter or could they be counted on to help do some of the work. Would they be desperate to be in control of everything or would they defer to others more knowledgeable? Would they whine and complain about the cold, the wet, the smell, the general lack of comfort – or would they stay positive and try to contribute what they can?

In a circumstance like that I think most people would see Charlie coming. He’d gripe constantly about wanting a soy latte to give him a little boost. If his assistant survived (they no doubt travel together), then his sole contribution would be to order them to fetch kindling or whatever while Charlie reclined to ponder how he can use 'something like this’ in his acting. Overall, he’d be about as helpful as any 5 foot 10 toddler would be – since that is essentially all he is. A great big, totally dependent, child.

For Obama, it would probably be a little different. He’d be no more actual help than Charlie Sheen, but he wouldn’t know it. Soon after the crash he’d want to organize the survivors into various groups for completing tasks. He’d place himself in the executive role of course, while other less managerially capable survivors were tasked out to more menial work. He’d have a group for deciding how to distribute the food, and a group for deciding who slept close to the fire. Everyone would vote on everything of course – everything except the questions to be voted on.

And in no time there would be a set of rules for distribution of all available resources that took everyone’s ‘proper’ position into account and awarded them resources based on how important it was that they survive. Obama would make that decision himself, but all the rest would be voted on. He would be the merit-less leader; capable of doing nothing except telling other people where when and how to use their skills to the best benefit of him.

This would probably work fine so long as the time in the forest wasn’t too long, or didn’t involve to much actual hardship. But if things began to get genuinely difficult people would get sick of Obama doing nothing except giving orders. And when that pressure begins to be felt by everyone, he would look like a burden rather than a benefit. Hungry people don’t care about being politically correct as much as they do about getting food. And Obama’s elitist rule would not play well. Eventually he’d seem to them like the kind of officer who is shot by his own men. When it came time for cannibalism, I’m sure he’d be the first one pushed into the communal cooking pot.

Anyway – my point is, both Charlie Sheen and Barak Obama, are mostly legends in their own minds. By any objective measure neither has accomplished anything - so in response, they have summarily rejected objective measurement. They’ve turned instead to their own egos to measure their success or failure in life. And surprise of surprises, according to them they are the greatest people that any of us have ever met. Critics of this idea would say that getting elected President was an objective accomplishment and in response I’d say, not if you’re Barak Obama.

But governing the country certainly is, and in that objectively measured area, we do get a more accurate look at Obama’s merits. Economic growth is anemic, housing is disastrous, unemployment is lofty, the dollar is withering, and the living standard of Americans (thanks to soaring gas and food prices) is falling faster every day. The ‘city on the hill’ for the age of Obama is turning out to be a housing project. Obama is turning all of America into Cabrini Green. Blame his starting position on whoever you like, but by any objective measure, he has failed to improve things.

So here then are America’s 21st century cultural icons. The deranged coke addled actor, and the inept black President… neither offering a very promising way to ‘win the future’. While they both proudly claim that the path forward is simple. "All we need" they say, "is a expertly managed mix of 'taxes on the rich', 'Windmill subsidies', and Tiger's milk."

Here in the real world, winning is still possible. But not if we continue to expend all our energy ignoring reality. Obama needs the equivalent of a political rehab. He needs to realize that just claiming that he’s ‘winning the future’ ala his election speech last week, isn’t enough to actually win anything. He isn’t actually doing anything more for the country than Charlie Sheen is.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

- Medicare Will Be Changed (one way or another)



According to one poll, 80% of Americans don't want to change anyhting about Medicare. More than anything else, this speaks to the determination and popularity of the Democrat "pretend it isn't happening and it will all go away" style of fiscal management.

Polls can say anything the sponsors of the polls want them too of course, but if this is an accurate representation of the will of the American people, then we absolutely deserve the slavery that's coming.

But like most things, there are two sides to this story. And the upside is that while it will make every American a slave to the government, it won't do it for very long. Apparently 'unsustainable' is one of those words with a malleable definition for Democrats, like 'permanent', 'temporary', 'essential/non-essential', and 'is'.

The thing these 80% need to learn is that we can either reform Medicare and turn it into something that works mathmatically, or we can follow the Democrat's plan and have the entire country collapse. (yes - inevitably those are the only choices.) One way or the other, they will not be getting infinite free medical care.

- More Gun Control Kabuki



The battle by Democrats to shove additional gun regulation down the throats of American citizens continues to be one of those fascinations for me. As even a cursory glance of recent electoral history can clearly tell you, Americans don't want it, but Democrat pols just can't leave it alone.

And it's not just contrary to the clearly stated will of the people, it also has a negative impact on their safety, is openly opposed by the single most powerful (certainly the most unified) lobbying group in the country, and even the supreme court has said that the most extreme forms of gun regulation are out and out unconstitutional.

But even with the people, the courts, and powerful lobbyists all lined up foursquare against additional regulation, since it's still directly in the interests of Democrat politicians, they just can't let it go.

The thing about people like Lautenberg, and the other anti-gun pols mentioned here is they know what the anti-gun debate is really about. It's about power. They know that if the people have that power, then they don't. And that is not a vision of America that works for them. They want to be able to force the American people to do things their way - and so long as private citizens have the right to be armed, that isn't going to be possible. So they'll keep trying to whittle away their rights in the hope that one day it will be so hard to legally get and keep a gun, that no one will do it.

What do they want to be able to force American citizens to do? Who knows - anything, everything. Any look at the history of socialism will give you some truly chilling ideas. And our socialists are no different than the socialists who came before them.

The good news however, is that this Washington Post article, talking up this nameless regulatory drone sounds more like he's being groomed for a future congressional bid than anything else. Yes it shows that the leaders of the Democrat party as still having an cursory interest in stealth gun control - but honestly, this should come as no surprise.

As the man said, "people in hell want ice water - it doesn't mean they're going to get it." Gun control is as close to political kryptonite as it gets for Democrats. Except for NJ, CT, and the urban centers in NY, IL, and CA - gun control is a surefire ticket to electoral oblivion. And thanks to genuine advocates in TX, TN, and much of the rest of the country, even the stealth mechanisms won't get too far.


And the thing that's really unique about the gun debate is that in the end, it's all kabuki anyway. The government can pass all the laws they want but the people in this country won't give up their firearms - ever. They know that whatever the rhetoric may say, the gun control debate is not about public safety - it's about control. "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands." is not just a motto - it's a mission statement. When America's pro-gun community says molon labe, they mean it.

The fact that most Democrat pols know but probably don't want to acknowledge, is that the order to confiscate privately held firearms in America will probably be the last act of the very last American president. So most of what they do now is just posing to ensure that the anti-gun dollars keep flowing.

It's all just kabuki.

Monday, April 18, 2011

- Our Man Derb



Few people write with the kind of logical irreducibility of John Derbyshire. And since that's so he often finds himself saying things which utterly and complete enrage the left, right down to their core. And he's therefore been on the receiving end of the kind of leftists vitriol that few people other than Sarah Palin ever see.

Rage at his positions and I'm quite sure he couldn't care a whit one way or the other. If he didn't know from where he was speaking, he'd have probably kept his mouth shut - or at the very least said so first off. I've always gotten the impression that he's perfectly willing to wait patiently for the truth to come smack you in the face and wake you up. I've never asked him how he felt about the personal attacks that come hand in hand with leftist scorn.

But speaking for my own impressions, where our man Derb is concerned I find them totally off the mark.

John is, I'm very proud to say, a friend of mine. And I think this video brings out at least a little of his personal charm that people might have trouble finding in his writing. I find him to be polite, quite jovial and much more soft spoken in person than you would probably expect.

The left has called him all sorts of nasty things and even his kids call him squid-ward. But I think this speech shows that the moniker is mostly undeserved.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

- Reduce Spending In The Tax Code



The title of this post is a quote from Obama's budget speech.

Our current president is not know for his straight talk, or his simple clarity. Like most successful Democrats he seems to believe that how the message is delivered, means much more than the actual message itself. but I've got to tell you, even from a man well known to twist and bend the meaning of his words near to the breaking point, this has to be one of the most brazenly disingenuous things an American elected official has ever said.

Tax hikes. He means Tax hikes. But since he thinks that's the 'wrong message', he calls it "Reduced spending In the Tax code" as if when the federal government takes 35% of your pay, they're actually spending 65% by allowing you to keep anything at all. The sense of entitlement for that idea is really astounding. It's as if we're all already wearing the chains he would so like to forge for us.

He's going to bring us a military defeat in North Africa, and scenes of refugees being lifted off of the Kabul embassy by helicopter. He's alienated most of our friends, emboldened our enemies, and given us $5 a gallon gasoline. He's punished the most productive Americans and rewarded the least productive, and still complains that he hasn't done it as much as he would have liked.

All we have to do to get him out of the Whitehouse, is not nominate another McCain. That's all. Ignore his personal polling. No one wants to say they don't approve of the black president personally, for fear of being called a racist.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
Even Jon Stewart, reliable Obama supporter that he is, had his BS alarm go off at this one:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

- Budget Visions Are A Moral Referendum



The 2012 budget talks have been ongoing for just a few days now, and they’re already full of distortion, exaggeration, hyperbole, partisanship and lies – on both sides. Such is the way of the world in Washington where telling lies to the general public is really just ‘focusing on their core competency’.

But if you are interested in cutting through the BS I think I can summarize this pretty well. There is a real choice here after all. The Republicans would like to go one direction with our future and the Democrats, another. So here is my attempt to describe the two options that American people will have, absent any ‘commentary’ – which I will exclude from the primary discussion of competitive visions, but throw in afterward.

In essence, this is about a difference in how we view medical care. Both sides agree that the tax code is unfair and needs changing, and even social security isn’t a real mystery on how to cope with. Increase the retirement age, apply means testing and social security is fixed. The only difference is in where to draw the lines. Even the rest of the budget can be fixed with a nip and a tuck. Democrats want to eliminate aircraft carriers, and Republicans want to eliminate ethanol subsidies. These are not intractable problems.

But Medicare, and Medicaid are real issues. They are the primary drivers of our federal insolvency, and between left and right we have two very different visions on how to address them. And this budget debate is really about that. Both sides agree that something has got to give – but that’s not politics it’s mathematics. And Obamacare for all the BS we went through over it, was never a real plan. It was just a way for Democrats to move the starting line for the debate about the budget. The money was always the real discussion. So here then are the two visions of America’s fiscal future.

The Democrat Vision

The Democrats plan (as defined by the President’s speech) is to raise taxes substantially on ‘the rich’. That group will naturally include many people who are not actually rich, but it will focus on increasing the tax burden on the upper end of income earners. The president believes he can do this without having any negative affect on economic growth. All past evidence honestly examined, would indicate that isn’t the case, but even if the President is right, ‘the rich’ don’t have nearly enough income to make up the full difference.

And since that’s so, there is a second portion to the President’s plan which involves controlling medical costs. The president will empower a panel of government employed ‘experts’ to decide what medical procedures should cost, and who should be allowed to get them. They will examine who gets what, when and how much, and then fix the prices for various procedures, and ration some others to make sure that the government doesn’t let it’s costs get out of control. In essence what the Democrats imagine for our future, is an America where the government makes the medical decisions for everyone and pays for them by taxing upper income earners. They want to make politics the central issue in decision making instead of money.

The Democrat and Republicans both agree the tax code is unfair as it is, but they see ‘unfair’ very differently. The Democrats think the way to make the tax code more fair is to increase the top rates on the top earners, making it more ‘progressive’. Since this will really only be taking money from ‘the rich’ and giving it to the poor and middle class, they do not believe this will have any net negative economic consequences for the country as a whole.

The Republican Vision

The Republican plan, as defined by the ‘Ryan’ proposal, deals with medical costs very differently. It operates on the central belief that since cost is not a part of any medical decision under the current plan, there has been no market pressure to keep prices low. They believe that if the market is brought to bear through competition, it will put downward pressure on prices.

They make competition a part of medical decision making by making government medical insurance a voucher system. People will no longer have an unlimited supply of money for medical care, and because that’s so, they will manage their own costs like they do with the food they buy or the energy they consume. The Republican plan can be characterized in this way: Not everyone will be eating filet mignon for every meal anymore, but no one will be going hungry. It’s their belief that in this way they can force prices down enough so that everyone can get what they need, and costs will be controlled.

Like the Democrats, the Republicans also think the tax code is ‘unfair’. They look at our progressive tax code and see that the top 10% pay 70.3% of the income taxes and the bottom 40% pay nothing. Paying very little (or sometimes nothing) also, are those large corporations like GE and Goldman Sachs who have close ties to Washington. And since the people actually paying the top rates are often small business owners, they believe that the higher tax rates at the top end act as a disincentive for economic growth, and therefore hurt everyone else too.

They believe that a ‘fair’ system would be one which eliminates the kind of tax loopholes that let a company like GE pay nothing in 2010, and which applies the same simple rules to all citizens, more or less equally. Top earners will still pay more than those at the bottom, but no one will pay nothing. They are proposing a greatly simplified income tax, and an elimination of both the tax loopholes at the top, and the excessive transfer payments at the bottom. In this way they hope to broaden the tax base, while lowering the rate. They will collect the same amount of money, but they will get it from different sources. GE and Goldman Sachs will pay a lot, small businesses owners will pay more, the middle class will pay a little, and the poor will pay something. But because everyone is paying, they will each have to pay less.


So there then is the difference. The Republicans want to let market competition control costs, while the Democrats want to have those costs controlled by government experts. This is the real difference in the future of America that we voters are being asked to decide.

Commentary:

For those liberals reading this, I’m trying to be fair minded about this so please give me a chance and read on.

By now I’m sure you can imagine that I prefer the Republican view – let me tell you why.

Central to the Democrat vision of medical cost control is price fixing. And the reason they believe that plan will meet our needs is because they honestly and sincerely believe that ‘this time it’s different’. But in exactly 100% of the uncountable times that top down price controls have been tried - in all of human history from the dawn of time to now - it has failed to do so. There are no exceptions. Price controls ‘do not work’. I don’t view that as a political opinion, but as a fact, supported by 100% of all the available evidence. And that pushes me toward the regrettable conclusion that the Democrat vision, however hopeful and ‘feel good’ it may be, is inevitably doomed to failure.

I say regrettable, because the Democrat view is loaded with hope. They hope to find a way to take a limited resource and divide it so expertly that everyone will have all of it that they need. But any honest view of past evidence would indicate that this won’t work. It never has – and worse than that, it’s the same basic idea that has gotten us in the fiscal position we’re in today. Their top down ‘empowering the experts’ plan has resulted in more innocent human suffering than virtually any other idea. It will do for American medical care, what centralized farming did for the Chinese.

On the upside however, the Democrat plan allows us to pretend that everything will work out just fine for everyone, and that allows us to feel like we're making a 'better' choice. It will involve dramatically increasing taxes, and many of the people it will be increasing taxes on wouldn't be called rich by most people. But according to the Democrat vision, while 'the rich' (and to be honest probably much of the middle class) will pay much much more taxes, they will still have ‘enough’ as defined by government Democrats. They don't want to make people destitute, they just don't want them to have nearly as much as they do now. And in the meantime, the poor will still get all the medical care they ‘need’ (again - as defined by government Democrats).

The Republican plan offers no such illusions. It doesn't empower us feel wonderful about ourselves. In fact, the first thing the Republican plan does is remind us what we ‘cannot do’. Central to its vision is the belief that we cannot divide a limited resource into equal portions, each of unlimited size. The Democrat plan won’t let us do this either – but since it pushes the expert rationing out into some future decision, it allows us to temporarily delude ourselves into believing that that we actually will.

But while the Republican plan takes away our ability to feel good about ourselves, it has the advantage of actually meeting our needs. The Republican plan will work because it takes the sentence ‘money is no object’ out of medical decision making, and that will put downward pressure on prices. The Democrats believe that this will be unfair somehow, and will mean that poor people get nothing while the rich get everything. They don’t trust the market to solve this problem. But in exactly 100% of the uncountable times that markets have been tried - in all of human history from the dawn of time to now - it has succeeded in doing so. It doesn’t sound as politically appealing as getting anything you want while presenting the bill to someone else, but it will work.

In essence then, I view this decision about our future as a referendum on the morality of the American people. We can choose what makes us feel good about ourselves but is absolutely doomed to failure, or we can choose a less self congratulatory view that will achieve all of our goals. And I believe that if we are a moral people, we’ll be more worried about meeting our needs than rewarding our egos. If however we choose to simply ‘feel good’ about our decision making, then we no longer really deserve to be a free people anymore. We'll be voting to put the chains on ourselves. And that will irrevocably lead to exactly the kind of failure as a nation that we right deserve.

I don’t honestly know if we are a moral people anymore. Actually, based on my own observations, I’m a little afraid to even ask the question. But history won’t wait for my apprehension. One way or the other – for better or worse - we’re now going to finally find out what we Americans are really made of.

Friday, April 15, 2011

- Draft Ryan: 2012



Look - the GOP presidential candidates we're seeing now are profoundly unremarkable. There are things I like about each of them, but on the whole they each have such a glaring weak spot that I don't think they'll be able to take down an incumbent. Besides, like it or not, we will be living and dying on this budget in 2012, so we might as well have someone who can speak with this kind of courage and conviction.

We vote for people who remind us of ourselves - or at least how we'd like to think of ourselves. Ryan is young, he's handsome, and even his enemies say he's smart. He's the one I'm seeing so far, that would have a serious chance of unseating Obama.

We're not going to find the next Reagan. But that doesn't mean that we have to go with the next McCain. If we're going to get beat, then lets at least get beat because America has chosen the path of fiscal suicide of it's own free will - not because we failed to offer them a real alternative choice.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

- That Looks 'Balanced' To Me



Here is Yuval Levin with the definitive takedown of the Obama speech:


Obama offered a kind of “Robert Bork’s America” description of the Ryan budget, filled with ludicrous distortions, and then argued that he could achieve the same fiscal goals by different means. What means? Apparently there are four: First, discretionary spending cuts that amount to an extension of the cuts in this year’s budget. Second, defense cuts that will be decided after yet another review. Third, health-care cost reductions that will be achieved by giving even more power to the panel of experts created by Obamacare to make one-size-fits-all rationing decisions and by assigning that panel even more ambitious goals than the ones that the actuary of Medicare and Medicaid says the panel is already very unlikely to meet. And fourth, greatly increasing taxes.


There is so much really awesome stuff here that it's touch to post an extract. But this is too good to leave out:



And yet, for all of its profound inadequacy—its dearth of self-awareness and excess of self-righteousness, its distortions of facts, its contortions of language (“spending reductions in the tax code”? really?), its lack of specificity, its unseriousness—this speech is on the whole a good sign. I fully expected the Democrats to respond to the Ryan budget by simple undiluted demagoguery—that is, with the “Paul Ryan’s America” part of this speech alone. And some Democrats in Congress have certainly done that, with all the usual preposterous dishonesty of the Democrats’ Medicare playbook. But this speech did not limit itself to that. Its demagoguery was diluted some. It accepted Paul Ryan’s definition of the fiscal problem, and it accepted more or less his broad outline of what a solution would look like in fiscal terms—in terms of deficit and debt reduction. And so it defined the debate going forward as a debate about how best to achieve the Republicans’ fiscal goals.



Click on the text to read the whole awesome thing.

- A Truly Presidential Speech



This one's for you frithguild.

- Pelosi Is Still Bat-$#!t Crazy



This video has inspired a lot of comment (Including one oblique reference in another freenj post by frithguild.

I only have this to add:

Obviously Nancy is still nuts. It hasn't occurred to her that everything she says to others in this video could just as easily be said to her. While I can't imagine disagreeing with anyone more, her political opinions are legitimate because the in fact are opinions. But her belief that she is somewhere near the political center while the Republicans (and specifically the Tea Party) are somewhere off on a radical edge is just crazy.

The moment I think should define Nancy Pelosi was when she grabbed that comically large gavel and marched though the basically polite Tea Party protesters with the members of the congressional black caucus on her way to 'deem' Obamacare as approved. In her mind, she was weaving and winding her way through a sea of bed sheet wearing rednecks and their burning crosses, to set oppressed people free. She even went so far as to claim to have heard racial epithets, which the dozens of news cameras present later revealed were never uttered.

But that was only the way she imagined it. In reality, she was on her way to use an obscure parliamentary rule to usurp the clearly stated political will of the American people, by seizing control of 1/6th of the US economy.

In the end, the Pelosi congress won't be remembered for it's compassion or it's sense of justice, but for it's determination to deny reality and delude itself and the rest of America. She lives in a fantasy world that has as little to do with reality as she can manage.

Monday, April 11, 2011

- The Markets And The Debt Ceiling



Politicians are only in politics in the first place because they believe in taking the path of least resistance. They don’t really ever do any difficult things - even when it’s in the best interests of the country. And Republicans are almost as bad as Democrats. I say almost because the Democrat have taken the additional step of convincing themselves that the ‘right path’ and the ‘easy path’ are actually the same thing. We should keep that all this in mind when thinking about the discussion we’re about to watch concerning the debt ceiling.

There will be hyperbole enough on this issue coming from Washington, so let me first address a few facts:

A US debt default would be catastrophic. It would mean the end of our living standard (maybe forever), and before it’s all over, it would mean the end of the Republic. There won’t be any thunderdome involved, but for the effect a default would have on our living standard there might as well be. Six months after a US debt default, there will be 30% unemployment, widespread rioting, and martial law. That should give you some sense of scale. The upshot is that a debt default is NOT a reasonable option.

But the good news is that although the Democrats would like to make you believe that’s the issue at hand, it actually isn’t. No one is actually talking about a default.

Not raising the debt ceiling will not be the same as a debt default. If we fail to raise the debt ceiling, we could instead use the money that Team Obama is currently handing out in the form of entitlements and transfer payments to pay interest instead. This would be catastrophic for all the people who are recieving those payments now. And it’s quite likely that the government will be cut so drastically that it will reduce economic growth in the near term – even if it has a beneficial effect over the longer term. There will be a whole lot of people getting Medicare, Social Security and unionized no bid government contracts who will be seriously impacted, not to mention general motors, who might have to actually sell some cars.

This would be tough for Republicans who will have certainly been responsible (by definition) and will therefore be 'blamed' in the media. But the political consequences of this option for Democrats will be disastrous. The Democrats have made their way in the world by taking from earners and giving the money to non-earners. So instead of just getting a check from the govenrment, their supporters would all have to go get real jobs instead. The media will be ballistic, and the Democrat base will see that as a profound betrayal. Socialism in America might not be at an end, but it will certainly take a long breather.

The Tea party and conservatives on the other hand are the ones who pay for government stuff – not collect it. In many cases that’s what made them conservatives in the first place. So for someone like me for example, the only difference I’ll see will be that instead of my tax money being given to some union hack, south Florida doctor or welfare mom, it will be sent to a Chinese bond holder instead. I won’t get to keep any of it either way – so what do I care? My mom might end up having to move in with us, but with the inflation we’re seeing, she might have to move in with me already anyway.

The point is, a failure to raise the debt ceiling won’t be anywhere near as bad as an actual debt default, because the people who drive our economy won’t really be affected by it. We’ll continue to work hard and make a living, and the govenrment will continue to take a bunch of that living and give it away to someone else. But don’t kid yourself, if we’re making up a room for my mother then it is absolutely a serious issue (even more so if you’re my wife) so it is by no means the path of least resistance for pols.

So what are our viable options? Democrats think raising the ceiling is an absolute. If they had it their way there wouldn’t even be a debt ceiling. And the only threat that the Republicans have to hold over them in negotiations involves circumstances which are genuinely apocalyptic. This isn’t the cat food and dead puppy nonsense the Dems were talking about before – this will be really serious. And if the Democrats don’t believe that the Republicans are willing to face that, (and I wouldn’t believe it if I were them) then they can continue to demand more free stuff for all their supporters and the debt ceiling be damned. However, they are the ones for whom time will eventually run out. So all the Republicans need to do is to negotiate slowly, and they have the advantage.

How will the markets react if the ceiling isn’t raised? Well the markets will definitely react to it but they will not treat it as a defacto default. Interest rates will rise substantially, which will actually be more reason NOT to allow the limit to be raised. The Democrats will do all they can to present it as the apocalypse, but it simply isn’t so. Interest rates will rise substantially because the risk of repayment for US debt will be measurably higher. So the stakes will be higher, but it won’t be the end.

Personally I don’t think they’ll do it. I don’t believe anything has really changed in Washington, so I think the debt ceiling will be increased. A part of me hopes it won’t, but then I think of people like Nancy Pelosi who is crazy enough to convince herself that not paying the Chinese would be a good idea, and I back off from it. If I believed that the Democrats would understand the consequences to a debt default I’d say ‘shut it down’, but the reality is they are economically illiterate enough to blow it all up if we let them – so we have to keep the merry go round spinning.

But don’t believe that the markets will collapse if the debt limit isn’t expanded – they won’t. They’re more durable than that. It will change things, but not catastrophically. So don’t believe the network newsmen, Democrat hucksters and Obama administration economic hacks when they tell you otherwise.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

- The Imaginary Girl On The Railroad Tracks



Liberals hate real life. Much of it is dull, it’s often disappointing, and it smells bad. So in order to avoid these unhappy consequences they make up a fictional world instead. And they populate it with pretend villains, pretend victims, and then cast themselves eternally as the hero.

The villains in their stories are ‘the winners’ of the real world. “They won because they cheated”, is how the liberal mythology goes. So as you would expect, the victims are anyone who seems to have lost. If anyone, anywhere has done better than you, then there will be a bit of liberal mythology to explain why it was horribly unfair. None of this has anything to do with real life of course. But that’s just fine with liberals.

Liberals love their made up stories. They always involve pride and nobility where one of their villains tries to do something evil, but the hero rides in to save the victim. It’s one long ‘girl on the railroad tracks’ adventure with liberals. Sometimes the girl tied to the tracks is a minority, or sometimes she’s an animal, or even the climate of the whole earth. And in some of the stories from their past, the girl on the tracks was ‘the working man’.

Liberals don’t actually like ‘the working man’. His work is dull, often disappointing, and it smells bad. But they like the girl on the railroad tracks so that’s what they focus on. And if the things they do in real life don’t actually untie the girl from the tracks in time to save her, then it must because there is some other villain who has just tied her up again. Liberals never get tired of these fantasies. They tell them to each other eternally, even though they aren’t actually true.

Right now liberals are trying to claim that the unionized government worker is the girl tied to the tracks, and that the evil taxpayer is going to drive a train over her. But in reality, organized labor is nothing more than a gang of political thugs trying to intimidate and bully politicians they disagree with. In real life they aren’t noble victims, they are the thieving and conniving villains.

Hopefully the American voting public can tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

- Extreme Budget Disgust



In the midst of my recuperation from food poisoning this week, I got a note from my buddy Tim, following up on a work issue that I’d let slide. He hadn’t heard of my illness at that point yet, so I explained that I’d spent more than few minutes unconscious on the kitchen tile and that I’d get to our outstanding issue as soon as I felt up to it. That was fine with him and he wished me well; exactly as you would expect if you knew him. But as an after thought, he included an insightful little quip about the threatened government shutdown.

He and I have spent more than a few minutes talking about inflation, hyperinflation and the key moments in the transition from one to the other. He was particularly interested in my best ideas on identifying that final ‘threshold event’ that should send you running for the mountain hideaway with your car full of ammo, gasoline and MRE’s. If you look at the history of Zimbabwe, the model for all ‘inflation ad absurdum’ economic basket cases I think it’s easy to identify. The ‘Holy $#!’ moment comes when the government can’t pay the soldiers anymore, and instead of an Army they instantly transform into a bunch of young (mostly single) guys with guns.

Anyway – Team Obama’s ‘emergency survival plan’ for the government shutdown involved not paying the troops – and Tim was calling my attention to the parallel. It’s not quite the same thing obviously. Even in a worst case shutdown the troops would have been paid eventually – when the congress got their act together. We aren’t that close to the fiscal cliff edge yet. But I had to admit it did raise some interesting questions in my mind.

I mean – if you aren’t going to pay the troops during a government shutdown doesn’t that by definition mean that they’re non-essential? How exactly can that be? Does that mean they can simply turn in their blackberry’s, walk off the job and come back to the battlefield when the dollars start flowing again? Surely we don’t just abandon all our FOB’s and let the troops work on their tans or get a pickup game going until the deal gets done do we?

No – of course not. Pay or no pay, we continue to require that they work. And if that’s so, then by any definition of the word, aren’t they in fact…‘essential’? Doesn’t that even meet the lofty ‘definition of the word is' scholastic metric so cherished by Democrats? I don’t mean to be too literal about it, but maybe some Liberal could explain to me when the words ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ end up meaning exactly the same thing.

Actually, maybe the moment we should be worrying about is when things are so desperate for the government that they no longer view the troops as ‘non-essential’. But even then I don’t expect we’ll be paying them right?

How about this: instead of requiring that the troops all work without actually paying them, how about we instead require that the people who make congress’s jobs all cushy not work at all. Send home all the congressional staffers, chauffeurs, secretaries, pages, pilots, waiters and other assorted camp followers. Don’t even let them volunteer their time. That should get the congress-critters working on a deal. In fact, let’s send home the Whitehouse and congressional security details and the entire secret service while we’re at it. Put that in the plan and we’ll never have another government shutdown again.

Not that I really mind a shutdown. To quote my man John Derbyshire in one of his more perfectly succinct moments: “Most of what government does is actually harmful, so we’d all be better off if they did a little less of it.” Maybe it was my poorly timed illness, but I was pretty much ambivalent on the shutdown until I heard Harry Ried speaking to the press about it. After that, I was absolutely convinced that we desperately needed a shutdown, and immediately.

How in the hell did a dim witted loser like Harry Ried end up as one of the most powerful men in the country?! How could it be so easy to make your way in Washington, that a condescending, disingenuous A-hole like him can slip on his kabuki mask and people will take him seriously? Why is it that the crowd doesn’t simply burst into uproarious laughter every time the man opens his mouth? How can 1/3 of the electorate have such a loose grasp on reality that his stupid, self congratulatory ideas can sound like they are in the broader interest of the nation?

Honestly, I was disgusted. But not with Washington as much as with myself. I mean, if a jackoff like him can end up the most powerful man in congress just by spending other people’s money and telling obviously transparent lies, then I’m convinced that I’ve gotten into the wrong business. If Harry Ried is the standard, give me two decades in congress and people will be praying to statues of me in Temples across the country.

And that view of how low the bar is set for those in government is only confirmed by our community organizer in chief. After two years in the most powerful position in the world, I think we can definitively say that the man can’t do anything – ANYTHING, except read from a teleprompter. His policies are failing on literally every single front, and he’s made the lives of all Americans measurably worse in virtually every way. He’s spent his whole life coasting through academia and local politics, surviving on white guilt and affirmative action. It’s a miracle he can dress himself. In fact, his lack of merit is so obvious that another friend of mine commented the other day that for all it has obviously helped Obama, he wished that he had been born black too. Just look at how easy that would have made life.

If you’re the kind of person that can get past the man, and judge these dimwit politicians not by their manner but by their deeds, it only makes them look worse. If you want results, Democrat politics is NOT the place to look. Every policy, every initiative, every reaction, and every incentive they have ever enacted, has made life worse for most Americans not better. These useless, flatulent, self congratulatory hacks have all spent decades doing nothing but peeing in America’s soup bowl, calling it white wine, and swearing that it will tastes ‘different this time’.

And what’s absolutely worst of all, is that they are so enraptured with their own self importance, that even staring fiscal oblivion in the eye, they still can’t bring themselves to put their vanity aside and act in the best interests of the people elected them. Their worldview is so universally wrong, and so completely distorted, that ‘You’re all going to have to learn to live with it.’ has become official Whitehouse policy. They pretend that 1% off the top of their comically inflated budget is ‘extreme’ and that old people will eat cat food, babies will burst into flames, and that puppies will be kicked into volcanoes if they are forced to surrender even an iota of power.

If I wasn’t so sick already – this would have done it for me.

In congressional invertebrate years I’m still a relatively young man. (Anyone with a 4 or less at the beginning of his age is) So it might not be too late for me. I joked in an email to some friends by asking them if they wanted to contribute to my congressional campaign fund. I mean if these idiot losers can do it, how hard can it be? Of the four guys I sent it to, three offered to send money and one offered to run my campaign. That alone should tell how truly desperate America is for a little intelligence in Washington.

Friday, April 8, 2011

- Don't Drink The Water



Several years ago, while waiting to change planes in New Delhi, I met a lovely couple of nature photographers from Zimbabwe who were on their way to film the tigers in Bhutan. They had heard my accent and pegged me as American, and since that was a comparative rarity in the New Delhi airport, it started what turned out to be a friendly and interesting chat.

They had never been to New York, and I had never been to Africa, so we exchanged cross cultural notes. I told them about the subway lines that would stretch to Detroit end to end, and how 50,000 worked in the Trade Center every day. They told me about Rhodesian history, and what it was like being a white refugee in South Africa. They liked American tobacco hated American beer, and didn’t think much of American politics, but always liked the Americans they met. I told them I felt exactly the same way.

At one point I asked, “Tell me something, what kind of health precautions do you have to take in south Asia if you’re coming from Africa?”
“Well Bhutan requires some shots” said the woman, ”but it’s no big deal – we travel in a lot of wild places so we get them a lot.”
“No I mean – we Americans are kind of hot house flowers. Do you have to worry about dysentery like we do?”
“Oh yes – but that’s no big deal.” He said.
“Yes, in Africa lots of people think of it as a really effective way to lose weight.” she chimed in.

I was a pretty experienced third world traveler by then, and had been back and forth to Mexico a dozen times. I had never gotten sick. This was all in the age before hand sanitizer. And if you wanted to stay functioning in the third world, you had to learn very quickly what you can and can’t do. Ironically, in spite of all my experience I did pick up something mild and annoying a few days later in Nepal, and had to deal with it for the next two weeks as I traveled through Indonesia. But it was no big deal... I just ended up losing a little weight.

(I still maintain that even though my life has been filled end to end with stupid risk taking, and I've had guns put to my temple at various times in my life by both soldiers AND junkies, the most frightened I've ever been was using the public men's room in the Kathmandu airport.)

I was reminded of that couple this week, because Tuesday morning at about 4:00 AM, I found myself unconscious on my kitchen floor with a lovely case of salmonella poisoning. At least that’s what my symptoms seemed to indicate...you never really know for certain unless you die from it. Well, that’s overstating a little. But in most cases you’re over the worst of it quickly enough so that there isn’t much chance to tell what specific bacteria caused the problem. Given modern medicine, you almost certainly won’t die from Salmonella, but speaking from my personal experience, you’ll probably wish you would.

This was much more serious than what I caught in Nepal. It involved some symptoms I'm sure you'd rather I not detail, but also a really severe pain, and a headache that made it all but impossible to lift my head off the floor. I'm over the worst of it now, but it was several days of tough going. We're pretty confident what the bacteria was, but we aren’t 100% sure where it came from. There is a certain tomato in my past that’s the chief suspect. And more than anything else we’re relieved that I got sick and not my daughter – who shared the offending meal with me. Like most dads I’m saying, “however bad I feel, better me than her.”

So I’m not having my most productive week on any level. I’m largely recovered, but I still don’t feel my best so lots and lots of things have had to wait. I have work that must be done, and it has to be done before I commit the time to tell you all what a cherry picking imbecile that Paul Krugman has become. (The guy apparently cares nothing for his intellectual legacy.) In fact relating this story is only possible because I’m waiting for my morning data load to finish.

So my apologies for not being so visible. I’ll get back soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

- That Will Really Help Troop Morale



Obama pledges to Veto Troop Funding Bill.

- Charles Murray At The AEI



On the recommendation of my friend John Derbyshire, I took a look at this very compelling video about the state of America's social cohesion.

I always try to pay attention to what goes on at AEI. Bruce Kovner, my former boss, was the chairman for a few years and to my knowledge is still on the board. My friend Roy Lennox has also been deeply involved with them for years. I have nothing but respect for Charles Murray, and would probably give it a listen anyway - even if it wasn't an AEI sponsored speech.

But this is unusually compelling stuff, and it fits well with my own observations about the future America.


%%%%%%%UPDATE%%%%%%%

Here are John's typically irreducible comments on the video.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

- Grassroots Activism At $500 Per Week


This is the left's version of Grassroots - paying people $500 per week to be activists.


For those 'Tea Party' astro-turfers - I'm still waiting for my check.

- We Should Be Raising Taxes



There is some talk about how we can’t balance the budget with cuts alone, and that we will need to raise taxes in order to make up the difference. In effect, I think this is correct but still misleading. Let me explain.

The current tax code punishes productive behavior and rewards unproductive behavior. Do nothing, and you’ll get a vast wealth of government give-backs. You won’t live like a billionaire, but compared to global living standards you’ll be firmly in the ‘middle class’. If averages can be believed, you’ll have cable TV, air conditioning, a cell phone, three meals a day, free medical care, and probably a car. This is high living compared to your average Indonesian villager.

On the other side, you have vast multinationals like GE, who have figured out that if they push all their really productive activity offshore, they can get away with effectively paying nothing in taxes. This is a good thing as far as GE customers are concerned, but not nearly as good as putting GE on a level playing field with their smaller competitors would be. And let’s not mince words here – GE has a deeply intimate relationship with the government at every level, and both political parties, so their 'zero' tax number is evidence that they've used that relationship to game the system to their benefit.

So those people who do better than most, but not well enough to buy government access, are the ones who bear the real burden of our tax code. Those upper middle class programmers, accountants, salesmen, and small business owners are picking up the whole tab. Even the 'middle class' get more in government benefits than they actually pay in. Under our current tax code they aren't productive enough to be really punished.

All of this is a great argument for a DRAMATICALLY simplified tax code that rewards savings and investment and only punishes consumption. Unfortunately, congressmen of all stripes will fight this tooth and nail. Giving kickbacks to their contributors (be they union bosses or real estate developers) is one of their biggest percs and the way they ensure that campaign money keeps flowing. So while a simple, consumption based tax code is what we need, we’re never going to get it.

If we were to simplify the tax code and base it upon consumption, we would get much more rapid economic growth. Unemployment would fall, business would boom, and everyone would get richer. But that would mean taking power away from the government and they won’t give that up – ever. Instead we’ll have 45% of the population paying nothing in federal taxes and the large multinationals paying nothing either – just like we have now.

The ‘tax cuts for the rich’ canard that Democrats endlessly tout is childish and silly. The morality of a progressive tax code was always dubious anyway, and can really only be justified from the liberal 'envy based' worldview. But to set that argument aside, the rich don’t have nearly enough money to pay for all the things that the poor would like to get for free. So when Democrats say 'tax breaks for the rich' what they are really talking about is making the worst aspects of our current tax code even worse. They are talking about narrowing the tax base and not just making it less fair, but much less effective as well.

In fact it’s really the poor who should have their tax rates raised. No one should be able to ride for free on the backs of others without paying some other price. It should be difficult, embarrassing and profoundly uncomfortable to receive government benefits. And even when the benefit is delivered, it shouldn't be enough so that you can sustain yourself forever without being productive. You should still have to kick something in, in order to eat the free cheese.

But to be fair, reducing the complexity of the tax code on the high end would help too. GE shouldn't be paying nothing - or more specifically, GE shouldn't be paying less than their competition just because they can afford lobbyists. I have no objection to setting the corporate tax rate to zero so long as it's that way for every corporation. Then we can rely on the free market to push the benefit of that down to consumers in the form of lower pricing.

But like I said, there is no reason to believe that we’ll be seeing those things happen. Instead we’ll continue the tax code status quo that benefits elected officials most, and tax payers, least. It’s just one more example of how the people we elect to office (from both parties) have interests which are directly opposed to the rest of us.

Monday, April 4, 2011

- The CNN Reaction To The Plain Truth



This is too funny. Look at the air gasping reaction of the two CNN babes to a guy who apparently doesn't know enough about media or politics to lie nicely when he's on the news.

This is the obvious truth about Libya, too plainly spoken for CNN.

Simply Brilliant.

- Unicorns For Obama: 2012



... the only thing I would change is that the unicorn should really be jumping off a cliff.

- Three Thoughts On Reelecting Obama



The thing that strikes me first and foremost about Obama’s reelection campaign is that the press can’t hide him from the American people anymore. I’m convinced that he was elected the first time because the press represented him as a moderate centrist. And since they were unable to demonize John McCain with any credibility, they trashed Sarah Palin (the runaway slave from the entitlement plantation) instead.

But after Obamacare, I can’t believe the people will buy that view of him. The press will try of course – you can’t expect them to REALLY be non-partisan. But I think it’s one of those ‘fool me twice’ moments for the American people.

The second thing that occurs to me is more hopeful than thoughtful. I’m hoping that now the American people realize that there is enough at stake that they are willing to brave charges of racism from hyperbolic leftists. Do anything contrary to Obama’s interests and someone will call you a racists. This is one absolute constant in the liberal MO. But if we’re lucky, there are enough people who learned from this recession to see that we can’t afford another 4 years of a ‘big labor’ Whitehouse.

The people who vote against Obama won’t actually be racist of course – or well I don’t know – I suppose there is a Klan member out there somewhere who managed to fill out a voter registration card. But you can be assured, racism charges won’t be restricted to actual racists. It’s the last club in their all but empty golf bag, so they won’t be holding back on the charge like they did last time. We know liberals will bend break, and trample the rules to win. And a racism charge is really no big deal to them.

It’s too early to get too deep into this... he’s only just announced. I’m sure there will be many more chances for stirring prose in the months ahead. But I do have one more thing to mention.

As a third thought, I find myself thinking about my late mother in law. Irene was a very smart cookie. My father in law was the artisan of the family, but she was the one who ran the business and invested the profits. He did the hot dirty work of making the things they sold from their foundry, but she was the one who really ran it. She was a Reagan Republican right down to the ground, and she put her family first before anything else…even herself.

As some of you know, we lost her last year to cancer. Like most people, she knew she would die of it way in advance of her actual death. They had made a very nice living and had more than enough financial resources to put up a good fight with the latest in medical care. But she decided against it. In her mind in exchange for a few more months for her (spent largely in hospitals), her daughter and granddaughter would face a much less certain future. That didn’t seem like a good deal to her, so she kept her treatment to a minimum, and let the cancer do what it was certain to do eventually anyway.


I’m certain that she didn’t see this as settling for something or sacrificing herself for the sake of her family. In her mind she was probably getting exactly what she wanted. I never had the chance to ask her, but knowing her as I did, I’d say it was probably an easy choice for her. In fact – I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that to her it was so obvious that she never considered it at all.

Liberals don’t think that way. For liberals it’s all about them. If a few more months of unlimited entitlement for them means that future generations have to live in utter squalor, that’s no big deal. They believe that their selfishness is nothing while anyone who doesn’t put them first and foremost is evil. This is Obama’s base – the entitlement generation. The people of the free cheese. They’ll burn the world to keep away a momentary chill.

This is the real battle we’re fighting this election. This is the question that will define America’s soul. Will we think of future generations and the life of misery we would create for them by following Obama and the unions off the cliff, or will we decide to sacrifice a bit ourselves for the sake of our children. I’m not going to pretend it will be easy – we’re all too far down the road for that. But I hope we haven’t yet becomes the slaves that Obama and the left hope we have.

- The Next Underground Railroad



Ok fine... you whiny children on the left want to stare the economic apocalypse in the face and complain about 'tax cuts for millionaires and big oil companies'... fine. Lets talk about it.

You want those higher taxes to fund transfer payments from millionaires and oil companies to you - well the government has the guns, so you'll get you're higher taxes if you want them so badly. You'll get your 'free' government cheese. But you'll get it without a job because the money they take from us makes it impossible to hire you.

you want a job, go talk to the government about it. You can experience the great pride that comes with producing nothing but rules for other people. You can swing the whip instead of being struck with it. You can have the pleasure of spending the wealth that others have created. You can run the plantation instead of working in the fields for other people's benefit, like you have us doing. But none of this works without us. We built it, and without us, it's all going to come falling down around you. So enjoy your mint julep while you can massah, because it won't last much longer.

You can order us at the point of a gun to hand over money that we've already made. but you can't order us to make any more for you. Oh - we'll still make money. But we're going to do it in the Cayman Islands, and Singapore and in places and ways that you can't get any of it. We have no intention of spending our lives carrying you around on our backs. So long as we are still free to choose, we'll choose something else.

You believe that you're entitled to the bulk of what we earn. We don't, and until you make us fully into your slaves it's our view that counts. Some of you may be dreaming of that day - when you can sit in your government plantation while we toil endlessly on your behalf. But it isn't going to happen. We may be powerless against the threat of government force, but we're still free to run.

Then next underground railroad goes to the tax havens. It's not run by evangelists and ministers this time. It's run by accountants and lawyers who will help us be free of you.



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So You Want To Eat The Rich...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

- Choosing BOTH Sides in Libya


On top of all the other utter confusion coming out of the Whitehouse with regard to Libya, we have now decided that we're going to be on 'both sides'.

Mark Steyn:

According to the New York Times, “Members of the NATO alliance have sternly warned the rebels in Libya not to attack civilians as they push against the regime of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.” We dropped bombs on Qaddafi’s crowd for attacking civilians, and we’re prepared to do the same to you! “The coalition has told the rebels that the fog of war will not shield them from possible bombardment by NATO planes and missiles, just as the regime’s forces have been punished.”

So, having agreed to be the Libyan Liberation Movement Air Force, we’re also happy to serve as the Qaddafi Last-Stand Air Force. Say what you like about Barack Obama, but it’s rare to find a leader so impeccably multilateralist he’s willing to participate in both sides of a war. It doesn’t exactly do much for holding it under budget, but it does ensure that for once we’ve got a sporting chance of coming out on the winning side. If a coalition plane bombing Qaddafi’s forces runs into a coalition plane bombing the rebel forces, are they allowed to open fire on each other? Or would that exceed the U.N. resolution?

Steyn calls attention to all the pointlessness of letting someone as incompetent and absent a moral compass as Barak Obama be in charge of his own military. Don't miss this piece.

Friday, April 1, 2011

- Meanwhile In Libya



Obama's rebel forces are in full out retreat.

This leaves Obama with three options - he can step it up with ground troops, he can surrender and abandon the rebels to their fae, or he can send in a set of black hawks with some special forces troops, to snatch or kill Ghadafi in the middle of the night.

If you think this sounds like Jimmy Carter, then I congratulate you on your accurate recollection of history. Obama will try to shift the blame to the UN or Nato, or France or whoever, but Americans hate a loser. And Obama isn't any more competent at this, than he is at anything else.

At this rate, even John McCain will be able to beat Obama in 2012 - but hopefully we can do a little better than that.