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LOVE THAT DEBT – DETAILING THE CLINTON SURPLUS MYTH

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 9, 2010

The number is: 19,600,000,000,000.

No, it isn’t the number of times President Barack Obama uses the word “I” or “me” during the course of the work day. It isn’t the amount of times Democrats blame George W. Bush for all that is wrong in any given week. It isn’t the amount of money being spent each month on dye for Paul McCartney’s hair.

It is what the national debt of the United States will be five years from now under Obamacratic rule.

From Reuters:

The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.

“The president’s economic experts say a 1 percent increase in GDP can create almost 1 million jobs, and that 1 percent is what experts think we are losing because of the debt’s massive drag on our economy,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp, who publicized the report.

He was referring to recent testimony by University of Maryland Professor Carmen Reinhart to the bipartisan fiscal commission, which was created by President Barack Obama to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, which said debt topping 90 percent of GDP could slow economic growth.

The U.S. debt has grown rapidly with the economic downturn and government spending for the Wall Street bailout, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic stimulus. The rising debt is contributing to voter unrest ahead of the November congressional elections in which Republicans hope to regain control of Congress.

The total U.S. debt includes obligations to the Social Security retirement program and other government trust funds. The amount of debt held by investors, which include China and other countries as well as individuals and pension funds, will rise to an estimated $9.1 trillion this year from $7.5 trillion last year.

By 2015 the net public debt will rise to an estimated $14 trillion, with a ratio to GDP of 73 percent, the Treasury report said.

An exasperated blogger at Reuters, who goes by the name of johnchick, posted the following rhetorical question: “How can any Administration raise the debt by 20-30% in a couple years?”

To which another blogger responded with the following:

You should ask George Bush, Cause he was the first to do it. And he is largely the origin of the current fiscal mess that the U.S. is in. Bushie inherited a surplus from the Clinton Administration and quickly turned that into the largest yearly deficits that the U.S. has ever seen. And his Conservative ideology ruined the American Economy in the process.

The U.S. is now going the way of the DoDo.

And the world will be a better place for it.

To begin with, it’s an absolute riot to hear lefties complain about out-of-control federal spending. Most of them, given the chance, would spend more taxpayer dollars on big-government bailouts and stimulus packages. To a lefty, the failure of a liberal policy or initiative is tied directly to its funding.

George W. Bush, who might as well have been a drunken Democrat with the country’s checkbook, made no friends on the conservative side of the aisle when it came to government spending. By the time he left office in January of last year, he was able to put on his resume that he had presided over what was the biggest growth of federal spending in the nation’s history. Like all misguided Republicans, he failed because he embraced liberalism.

Right now, Barack Obama is on pace to make George Bush look like a veritable pinchfist. Obama is apparently determined to make America collapse under its own weight, just as is happening across Socialist Europe right now. At the current rate, America’s publicly held debt will hit an unbelievable 90% of the Gross Domestic Product in a decade. That would be the highest percentage since the Second World War.

The difference, however – and it is a significant one – is that the post-war economic boom contributed mightily to the dramatic fall of that debt-to-GDP ratio.

Today, it’s all about entitlements (i.e., what the government can do for you). Federal spending, as a percentage of the GDP, was nearly 25% last year – the highest in this nation’s history. (It’s projected to shoot up to near 26% this year). And even though President Bush did spend recklessly in terms of total dollars, during his first seven years in office, federal spending as a percentage of GDP was very consistent with all post-war administrations: ranging from 18.11% to 19.38%. (His final year, arguably his most fiscally liberal, it jumped to 20.65%)

It simply isn’t possible to tax ourselves out of the economic disaster that looms with Obama at the helm.

On paper, tax rates would have to be raised to economy-crushing, unheard of levels.

But in reality, no economy could survive such a thing.

It would be the end of America.

And that’s where we’re headed.

So, while no conservative will ever condone the ridiculous Democrat-like spending that went on during the Bush administration, the fact that revenues to the government did go up following the 2003 Bush tax cuts only reinforces the fact that conservative principals – when applied correctly – actually do work. Unfortunately for Bush, spending like a lib in conjunction with those tax cuts was akin to having two fully loaded double whoppers and cheese fires with a diet soda.

Libs cannot have it both ways.

If out-of-control government spending is deleterious to a healthy economy, then it doesn’t matter who is occupying the Oval Office when it happens. The argument that the economy can reach a point where the only way to cure the ills of out-of-control spending is with more out-of-control spending is Leftocrat doltism at its finest.

And let’s be perfectly clear, there was never a true surplus under President Bill Clinton.

Indeed, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the numbers do not, in any way, back up such a claim.

For example, the surplus announced in 2000 – $230 billion – was really a nifty bookkeeping stunt. It was not a genuine surplus, because only the “public debt” was accounted for.

Remember, there are two components to the national debt: public debt – which includes such things as savings bonds and treasury bills – and intergovernmental holdings, which includes income tax revenues and governmental borrowing from itself.

During the last years of the Clinton administration, the public debt did go down, but intergovernmental debt increased by a greater amount.

Not once during Clinton’s time in office did the national debt decrease.

It is not possible, by definition, to have a surplus if the national debt keeps increasing.

First of all, the official Clinton “surplus” numbers, which can be seen here, via the Congressional Budget Office, are as follows:

Fiscal Year 1998 – $69.3 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 1999 – $125.6 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 2000 – $236.3 Billion surplus.

Please note that these very numbers were also reported by CNN.

Now, if you go to the Bureau of the Public Debt website, which is part of the United States Department of Treasury, you’ll find a link that reads “See the U.S. Public Debt To The Penny.” (You may need to scroll down a bit)

Once you click on that, you’ll be brought to page that gives you the current total national debt (divided into two subgroups: “Debt held by the Public” and “Intrgovernmental Holdings”) along with a search application that enables you to type in the dates of your choosing to see what the total national debt was on that given date.

The important thing to check are the FISCAL YEAR parameters. (The fiscal year always begins on October 1st and runs through the end of the following September).

For instance, if you type in “October 1, 1999″ in the first box and “September 30, 2000″ in the next box, you will be asking to see the total national debt figures for Fiscal Year 2000. You’ll note, after typing in those parameters, that if you scroll all the way to the bottom, the total debt held by the public at the end of Fiscal Year 2000 was “$3,405,303,490,221.20.” You’ll also notice that Intragovernmental Holdings total was “$2,268,874,719,665.66.”

These are official Department of Treasury numbers.

Adding those two numbers together gives you a grand total of “$5,674,178,209,886.86.”

That is what the total national debt was at the end of FISCAL YEAR 2000. The National Debt is thus calculated by adding the Public Debt and Intragovernmental Holdings together.

Compare the total public debt of FY2000 to that of FY1999.

President Clinton did technically pay down the PUBLIC NATIONAL DEBT from FY1999 to FY2000.

FY1999 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,636,104,594,501.81

FY2000 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,405,303,490,221.20

It was paid down by a total of $230,801,104,280.61 – amazingly close to the announced $236 Billion surplus for that year. But it was done so by borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund (primarily) which ran a surplus that year. The Social Security Administration is required by law to buy government securities with its surpluses (convenient, isn’t it?). That money was thus used by the government to do its business without having to get it from the public. Hence, the public debt was “paid down.”

I fully concede the point that President Clinton paid down the PUBLIC debt, but not the national debt.

Unfortunately, that $230 Billion “pay down” does not take into account Intragovernmental Holdings, which is as much part of calculating surpluses and debts as the Public Debt is.

Intragovernmental Debt ROSE in FY2000.

FY1999: $2,020,166,307,131.62

FY2000: $2,268,874,719,665.66

That’s an increase of $248,708,412,534.04

The difference between how much of the public debt was paid down compared to the growth of the Intragovernmental debt was: – $17,907,308,253.43

That means FY2000 resulted in a true deficit of almost $18 Billion under Bill Clinton.

Granted, it is miniscule compared to the yearly deficits of the Bush years and what is waiting for us with the Obama regime, but it was not a surplus.

Those pesky facts.
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Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, George W. Buah, National Debt, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

REVELATION: BAM IS A PARTISAN. BAM NOT UP TO THE TASK.

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 7, 2010

When ObamaCare became the law of the land in February, the majority of Americans did not approve.

Not that it mattered.

Obamacrats knew what was best for the citizenry; and if you would have asked any one of them, they’d have told you so.

While conservatives, Republicans, tea-partiers and sane-minded Democrats (few as they were) unceasingly crunched the numbers to expose a sham of a plan that would all but bankrupt the United States – and ensure mediocre health care for practically all Americans – Democrats sidestepped the land mines of reality and transformed the debate from substantive to emotional.

As Republicans were going through the two-thousand page monstrosity to illustrate how destructive the bill would be to both the economy and the medical industry, Dems were ushering out some of America’s uninsured,  presenting sob-story after sob-story, sad-sack tale after sad-sack tale, woe-begotten heartstring-tugger after heartstring-tugger, in an attempt to convince the American people that government-run mandatory health care was an absolute necessity before the bodies started to pile up.

Dems were countering cold-hard facts and analysis with syrup and schmaltz.

Ultimately, thanks to major Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress – and some last-minute vote-buying – two thousand pages of vastly unread government control became law, contrary to the will of the American people.

Welcome to the Obamacratic States of America.

Amazingly, Democrats truly believed that once ObamaCare cleared the final hurdle and officially hit the books, the American people – those cretins, those self-involved, unrefined, God-fixated, gun-loving ninnies – would turn their thinking around, see the wisdom in President Obama’s big-government vision, accept the price tag, and move on.

We didn’t.

More than ever, the American people are opposed to ObamaCare – as well as everything else President Obama and his out-of-touch collection of retro-revolutionaries and college campus theorists have been doing.

Let’s summarize some of the highlights from Obama’s Big Book-O-Accomplishments: A Stimulus Bill that has done absolutely nothing except guarantee that money will be taken out of the pockets of the American people; an unemployment rate hovering at near 10%; a private sector that has all but stagnated while the number of government jobs increase; nonexistent leadership in the face of mounting international challenges (e.g., Iran, North Korea); the inability to do anything except deflect blame for everything wrong to the previous administration; the lack of understanding of the dangers of espousing moral equivalency (e.g, Israel and the Palestinians); the ineptitude and lack of leadership in not having the feds take control of the Gulf oil spill efforts; the capacity to transform the mightiest nation on the face of the Earth – the protector of goodness and liberty – into a bastion of weakness and appeasement; and his refusal to hear anything other than his own out-of-touch, arrogant brand of leftist crapola have all contributed to a Presidency that almost makes Jimmy Carter’s palatable.

Not only is President Obama turning out to be a gravely ineffective and embarrassingly incohesive, Americans now feel the first “post-partisan” President is anything but.

Of course, we all knew that by the Spring of 2008.

Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times writes:

One of the 2007-08 Obama presidential campaign’s changes that Americans believed in by the many millions was his oft-repeated promise to work with all sides no matter what and change the harsh political tone of Washington.

Good luck with that tired professed aspiration. George W. Bush promised the same thing a decade ago. That worked well for several minutes.

Well, Bush is gone and the majority parties have switched places. Now Democrats run the whole D.C. show.
And after almost 17 months of Democrat Obama’s White House administration, it appears Americans have given up on his promised bipartisanship, or even on less partisanship. It’s an impressive squandering of good will from his inaugural glow.

A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds 61% of likely voters believe the nation’s capitol will see more, not less, partisanship during the next year. Which includes, of course, the unfolding midterm election campaigns leading up to Nov. 2.

Michael Goodwin of the New York Post says that O just isn’t up to the job, writing:

The high point of his presidency came the day he took office. Since then, a majority of Americans has opposed virtually all his major policies and he has prevailed on several only because of large Democratic congressional advantages.

The problems are growing, but he’s not. If he were, we’d see green shoots of improvement.

Instead, the White House is going backwards at home and abroad and shows no ability to adjust. Like a cult, it interprets every reversal as proof of its righteousness and of others’ malignancy.

What started out as a whiff of rookie incompetence has become a suffocating odor. It’s hard to find a single area where Obama’s policies are a convincing success.

To be fair, one thing most Americans will probably be able to agree on is that Barack Obama is magnificent – unbeatable – as a campaigner. Indeed, he has been in campaign mode ever since announcing his candidacy for the Presidency a million years ago.

That’s quite an accomplishment, to be sure.

And with few exceptions, the lamestream media are still eating it up.

But many Americans – even those who rode the original Bam-o-licious disciple train – are growing tired of his baby-carrying, whistlestop schtick. Young girls just aren’t fainting anymore at his mere presence. And with each body of water he trods upon, Obama’s ankles are growing increasingly more wet.

The teleprompters are finally starting to get some recognition.

Still, no one – and this is hardly debatable – can bow to foreign heads of state and dignitaries like our own Bam.

Although Secretary of Defense Robert Gates could give him a run for his money.

Secretary of Defense Gates taking a page from the Obama Appeasement Chronicles.

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Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Democrats, Economy, leftism, Liberalism, Moral Clarity, Obama Bonehead, politics, stimulus bill | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHY NOT A CENSUS EVERY YEAR?

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 4, 2010

And just think … ObamaCare hasn’t even taken effect yet. And the Bush tax don’t expire until after this year.

If the economy continues to improve like this, we ought to reach “sick” by Christmas.  Lucky us, the Messianic Age will be shifting into overdrive soon.

The “good” news, as peddled from the top, is: Unemployment is down (from 9.9% to 9.7%) and over 430,000 new jobs hit the books in May.

But numbers can be very deceptive.

Many Americans have simply given up looking for work all across Obamanation; And of the 431,000 jobs created, a little more than 90% of them were government census jobs.

Only 41,000 private sector jobs were created in May – about 150,000 less than expected.

The President, in Maryland (on his way to Louisiana), spewed optimistic: “This is the fifth month in a row that we’ve seen job gains. And while we recognize that the recovery is still in its early stages, and that there are going to be ups and downs in the months ahead – things never go in a completely smooth line – this report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day.”

If he wants to see a “smooth line,” he ought to look at his poll numbers.

The President believes the economy is getting stronger by the day, but in May, private sector job growth dropped by 81% from the previous month. 

I’d hate to see what “getting worse” looks like.

The sad fact is that the temporary census-taker jobs responsible for Obama’s “stronger economy” were literally unproductive. Nothing was created. The economy was not made stronger by paying temporary government workers to count people. Taking private money out of the economy and (in effect) redistributing it to government employees has stimulated nothing.

The creation of government jobs is never – repeat never – an indication of how well the economy is doing. How can it be? Private businesses haven’t the ability to print money. Private businesses haven’t the ability to expand the tax burden on the rest of us. With each government job created, that’s more private sector money being removed from the economy. While the private sector has the ability to create genuine wealth, the government only has the ability to confiscate and redistribute it.

That’s what the Obama Stimulus Bill was all about: creating government jobs.

Note to the President: Why not have a census every year? We’ll be down to 8.5% unemployment quicker than you can say, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
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LIBERAL WORD GAMES

Posted by Andrew Roman on May 1, 2010

In the absence of being able to piece together a coherent argument opposing Arizona’s new illegal immigration law, liberals have been reminding us that America is a nation of immigrants – that being opposed to immigration is akin to being opposed to America itself. New York Senator Chick Schumer recently recounted the famous words inscribed on the plaque at the Statue of Liberty – from Emma Lazarus’ sonnet “The New Colossus” – about the poor and tired huddled masses.

That’s all well and good, but like most things out of Schumer’s pie hole, it has substantively nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Libs, of course, have cornered the market in both intellectual dishonesty and selective disclosure, so for them, it isn’t necessary to make the distinction between legal immigrants and illegal ones. That would get in the way of a good sound bite. In libspeak, to be opposed to illegal immigration is to be opposed to all immigration – just like being opposed to the redefinition of marriage means hating gays, or being opposed to race-based quotas means hating minorities.

I’m anti-incest, but I don’t hate my sister.

Earlier today, the President of the United States spoke out against those – like me – who have voiced their dissent at the Obama administration and its Big-Government-Is-Better-For-Everything approach to running the country.

From Fox News:

President Obama took aim Saturday at the angry rhetoric of those who denigrate government as “inherently bad” and said their off-base line of attack ignores the fact that in a democracy, “government is us.”

Obama used his commencement speech at the University of Michigan to respond to foes who portray government as oppressive and tyrannical — and to warn that overheated language can signal extremists that “perhaps violence is … justifiable.”

“But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad,” said Obama, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree. “When our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it ignores the fact that in our democracy, government is us.”

To begin with, no one on the right has ever said – or believes – government is inherently bad. I would invite any lib to point to one prominent Republican or conservative who has ever asserted, implied or hinted at the fact that government is inherently bad. It’s that familiar tactic, that old liberal chestnut – the “all immigration is bad” play – that keeps the Left thinking they’re intellectually up to snuff with the thinking class.

Rather, those of us on the right believe big government is inherently bad.

The Framers’ vision of limited government will suit me – and everyone else – just fine, thank you.

Second, isn’t it funny how opposing Obama somehow equates to a threat of violence? To stand up against Obamacratic policies cannot possibly be the result of liberty-loving Americans legitimately questioning and petitioning the actions of their government. To resist Barack Obama is to summon the demons that dwell in the deep recesses of the conservative soul – those that could be prone to violence, or incite others to it.

There is nothing “overheated” about defending liberty from the encroachment of big government.

Incidentally, by definition, “extremists” – regardless of what side of the aisle they are on – don’t need anything special to act as such.

They are extreme.

They are the ones who go against convention, regardless of tradition or institution. They are the ones who act outside of the mainstream. They are the radicals.

Kind of sounds like the current administration, doesn’t it?

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SALT AND THE NANNY-STATE

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 23, 2010

Because salt is such a killer, it ought to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the Institute of Medicine.

After all, life is so delicate and precious.

Yet, destroying an unborn human life is somehow a woman’s absolute right; and her ability to do so, on demand, should be protected.

Salt can lead to strokes, high blood pressure and heart disease and should therefore be subjected to FDA restrictions (i.e., what the federal government says). Abortions, by contrast, are an act of homicide against the innocent … and government has no right to interfere with that choice.

Interesting logic.

So, if I own a food processing plant, or a restaurant, and I want to make my chicken francese to be on the salty side because I, and my customers, enjoy it that way, I won’t be able to prepare it without first checking to see if it passes the government smell test (or should I say “taste” test?). That’s because too much salt kills millions and millions of innocent people each and every day, and unless the government steps in, more will die. 

In fact, everyone will die.

As we’ve come to find out during the first fifteen months of the Messianic Age, government always knows best.

And yet, if I have a sixteen year old daughter who gets pregnant, she should have the right, without my permission, to have that baby scraped out of her uterus on demand. That, I’m told, is an issue of “reproductive rights” and “privacy” and “health care.”

Yeah, okay.

(I know it’s difficult to make heads or tails of these things without a Liberal/English dictionary).

And so, the war against salt moves forward.

From Fox News:

U.S. regulators are planning a push to gradually cut the amount of salt Americans consume, saying less sodium would reduce deaths from hypertension and heart disease, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The effort would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in processed foods, the newspaper reported. The plan is to be launched this year but officials have not set salt limits.

The government plans to work with the food industry and health experts to reduce sodium gradually over a period of years to ratchet down sodium consumption, the newspaper said, citing U.S. Food and Drug Administration sources.

U.S. researchers said in a recent study that working with the food industry to cut salt intake by nearly 10 percent could prevent hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and strokes over several decades and save the U.S. government $32 billion in healthcare costs.

… and banning automobiles will prevent 45,000 deaths on America’s roadways. And regulating Twinkies, Ring Dings and other packaged snack cakes will contribute to slimming down America’s waistlines. And restricting loud music through headphones will cut back on the number of people who wind up hearing impaired. And banning sex for people with arrhythmias will help cut back the number of people who come and go at the same time. And banning swimming pools will dramatically cut down on the number of accidental drownings. And placing an embargo on stepladders will keep the number of cranium-crunching spills to a minimum. And restricting sleep will significantly reduce the number of sleep-apnea deaths. And doing away with electricity will prevent an incalculable number of bathtub electrocutions.

The beat goes on …

And while this may not be the time to go debunking long-held beliefs, there are credible studies that suggest salt is not the killer it is cracked up to be.

In 2008, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study called “Sodium Intake and Mortality Follow-Up in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.”

As summarized at Scientific Blogging:

High-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, contrary to long-held medical beliefs, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets.

“Our findings suggest that for the general adult population, higher sodium is very unlikely to be independently associated with higher risk of death from CVD or all other causes of death,” says Dr. Hillel W. Cohen, associate professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein.

The ultimate goal of nanny-staters, big-government meddlers and thwarters of liberty, presumably, is to do away with death altogether.

For many human beings, “life” isn’t simply the act of being physically alive. The ability for one to choose how to live their own life – to make decisions for themselves, to enjoy their own little pleasures, such as eating what they want – is “life.” Indeed, there are big-government nanny-staters who prize their own versions of “life” so much – free of risk, free of salt, free of fat, free of God, free of smoke, whatever – that they feel their choices should be everyone’s choices. Sure, they insist that the freedom to choose is a good thing … as long as the all-knowing, all-feeling, all-sensing federal government sets the parameters.

That isn’t life.

My father-in-law, as an example, dropped dead at the age of 61 of a heart attack. He was hard-working farmer who called himself an unabashed steak and potatoes man. He enjoyed “real” food. He was not a pâté and crackers kind of guy. He didn’t do salads and fruit cups. He liked meat. And if given the option of living another twenty years on a diet of low-sodium baked salmon, spinach salads and sugar-free lemon jello, he’d have taken the steak and the 61 years without blinking an eye. To him, life wasn’t life if he couldn’t enjoy the little things that gave him pleasure – like food. He made his choices. For him, eighty unhappy years would not have been more desirable than sixty happy ones.

We are all free to make such choices … or we should be.

Besides, knowing that smokers generally don’t live as long as non-smokers, and taking into account that obese people generally live shorter lives than thinner people, and understanding that the overwhelming vast majority of human beings who do live long lives – including the most healthy among us – will eventually require health care and medications toward the end of their days (and will collect more social security than those who die younger), what exactly is the real benefit of having the heavy hand of government telling people how much salt they can use in their pasta sauces?

Why is all this necessary? And what is next? Does anyone honestly believe that government will stop with salt?

Remember, the loss of liberty is incremental .. and getting it back once it’s gone is a bitch.

Informing the public is one thing – and I’m all for that.

Controlling it is another.

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BYE BYE BUSH TAX CUTS – BAM: IT’S PERFECTLY FAIR

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 22, 2010

Remember when the President redefined the word “earmark” so that he could look back at the American people and say (in that smooth-as-Ex-Lax community-organizing way of his): “There are no earmarks in this bill”?

Remember when the President said he would be giving tax cuts to 95% of the American people (without actually cutting a single tax rate, mind you) when all he was actually doing was siphoning money from the wealthiest Americans and redistributing it?

Remember when this was going to be the most transparent administration in history?

Remember blah, blah, blah, yadda-yadda, ishkabibble, do-re-me?

In Barack Obama’s world, there are no parameters, no guidelines, and no standards that he does not define. He creates the rules as he goes along. He sets the terms of the game.

It is the liberal way.

Nothing is bigger than he. America’s future is endowed by its Obama.

If, for instance, he needs to say that health care costs will be magically cheaper for everyone by adding thirty million people to the insurance rolls without increasing the pool of doctors, BOOM! It is suddenly so.

If it suits him to say that the science behind global warming is settled, SHAZAM! It is settled.

He says it, so it is truth.

Take the Bush tax cuts, for instance.

Barack Obama, in a CNBC interview, said that America cannot afford to keep the Bush tax cuts in tact. He says that it is “perfectly fair” to return to the tax rates of the Clinton era. (See the video here, via the great Freedom’s Lighthouse blog)

No matter how you slice it, by definition, that is a tax hike.

Of course, Barack Obama will not look at it that way. He is simply allowing the rates to return to what they once were.

The fact is, tax rates will increase with Barack Obama at the helm. It doesn’t make a difference if those tax hikes are the result of new legislation enactment or allowing previous legislation to lapse. Tax rates will go up with Barack Obama steering the ship. He can shape it, explain it, rationalize it, justify it and manipulate it any way he pleases, but the bottom line is: Letting the Bush tax cuts lapse is, definitionally, a tax increase.

Of course, according to Obama, this action would only affect the “rich” – defined by the Annointed One as anyone making over $250,000 a year. They would see their Bush-era tax cuts lapse, because the President has decided that they can afford it.

The “rich” make enough money.

How can Barack Obama say that it is “perfectly fair” to return to Clinton-era tax rates when not everyone will be doing so? What is “fair” about it? Why is it that those who are the most successful – the ones who, in many cases actually put the rest of us to work – are being singled out? How is this good for America?

It’s Obama-style fairness: the push for equality, liberalism’s most important value. In Obamistan, it’s always best to bring those who are at the top down than to encourage people and create incentives for those at the bottom to go up.

In his CNBC interview, the President also said that 98% of “workin’ families” got “tax cuts.”

Really?

What tax cuts are these?

Does he mean the money sucked from the “rich” and redistributed to “workin’ families” to the tune of eight dollars a month?

Is he kidding?

Those are not tax cuts … but because he says they are, tax cuts they shall be.

The Congressional Budget Office officially scores those “cuts” (i.e., refundable credits) under “direct spending.”

When the President said, “I don’t think we can afford it,” it would have been nice if the “journalist” interviewing him would have followed up with, “You mean, like the bailouts and health care reform?”

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AS LONG AS YOU CAN USE THE WORD “TERRORISM” AND “TEA PARTY” IN THE SAME CONVERSATION …

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 21, 2010

Friedn to conservatism, columnsit Kathleen Parker

I suppose the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker is considered one of those mainstream-media-friendly “sensible” conservatives – the kind that doesn’t reflexively fall back on all of that “Constitution” and “Founding Fathers” stuff like many of the hate-peddlers that populate the right.

She isn’t scary like the throngs of sign-carrying tea-partiers who keep the shivering libs constantly having to unravel the knots in their collective panties.

She’s like David Frumm with big blue pearls – almost cuddly.

She poses no real threat.

She is one of those “reasonable” center-right voices that the mainstream media news outfits can summon when needed so they can say, “Of course we’re balanced. Of course we present both sides. We had Kathleen Parker talking with Bob Schieffer just the other day.”

Parker, indeed, may be one of those folks you’d love to split a knish with, but she doesn’t speak for conservatives or conservatism.

She is one of those tepid, non-wave-making, clever wordsmiths who believes it is a grave mistake for the Republican Party to espouse tried and true conservative principals. Such a strategy, according to her right-light way of thinking, would be alienating to too many. All of that ‘Declaration of Independence” stuff, and the whole thing with the guns and the Second Amendment, and always bringing up the Constitution and the Framers, and that God mumbo-jumbo … it’s just too much. To the Kathleen Parkers of the world, a shift toward the center is the way to draw the masses into the big tent of a mushier and more pliable GOP – as John McCain successfully proved in November, 2008.

*cough*

Speaking with Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday, the following exchange took place:

SCHIEFFER: And you write this morning about some of the rhetoric that’s coming out from the right side, especially from the tea party, and you point out that you think it may be dangerous.

PARKER: Well, I think we have to be cautious. I’m not saying that the tea partiers are bad people or dangerous, but I think that the zeitgeist now – with all this heated rhetoric, and some of these words that are pretty loaded: “reload,” “targeting,” all that sort of thing – you know, there’s a danger there. I just think we have to be very vigilant. I do think there’s a lot of anger and it could become something else.

SCHIEFFER: I saw some of this really nasty rhetoric that shows up on the internet, where you don’t know who said it. There really is no accountability – the internet being the only place, the only vehicle that will deliver news that has no editor.

PARKER: It’s sort of like terrorism. You know, we don’t know where to aim our bombs, and we can’t go after a country because there’s no one place to focus on it, and it’s the same thing with the internet. You don’t know who to go after.

(see the video, direct from Newsbusters.org here)

Where to begin?

First of all, it might help if Parker stopped sounding like a typical, off-the-rack, inconsistent, speak-before-you-think liberal. (Unless, of course, she secretly is one).

Talking about the tea partiers, she told Bob Schieffer “there’s a danger there.” Yet, she insisted she was not calling tea partiers dangerous.

Huh?

Tea-partiers who, in her mind, pose a potential threat would have to be, by definition, “dangerous.” She cannot have it both ways. One cannot say that the tea partiers are not dangerous and then, in the next sentence, say that there is a danger there. It’s like voting for something before voting against it. It nothing but mushy-in-the-middle RINO-like double-speak. If, indeed, the tea parties could evolve into “something else,” as Parker believes, then the participants must be dangerous.

Second, Americans are angry. They should be. They see the freest, most accommodating nation the world has ever known – the beacon of liberty for the entire world – being transformed into a Marxist-flavored nanny-state. They see those things that have made the United States the greatest country ever to grace God’s green earth being beat down by big-government-loving leftists who spit on the free market and have contempt for rugged individualism.

What’s not to be angry about?

But being angry doesn’t mean violence is the inevitable next step, does it? What indications are there that the kind of “danger” Parker fears lurks ahead?

Has Parker actually been to any of these rallies? Has she seen the people who attend these events? Has she noticed how well-behaved and civil these gatherings have been? Has she taken note of the lack of violence and ugliness at these tea parties?

The tea parties, in fact, have been peaceful gatherings in the true spirit of the First Amendment. The tea-partiers even clean up after themselves – something that Inaugural Day attendees didn’t bother doing when The One was anointed fifteen months ago.

Have the tea parties, in any way, shape or form resembled the anti-war demonstrations of the Bush years? Have there been arrests and violence connected to the tea-parties akin to, say, the “Bush=Hitler” protests that we saw during the “W” era? Where are the books written by tea partiers that depict the assassination of Barack Obama? What conservative think tanks or organizations have sent out memos wishing for the death of a Democrat governor, as was done with New Jersey’s Republican Governor Christie by that state’s liberal teacher’s union? What conservative groups have had members chain themselves to the fence of the White House, as did some “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protestors recently? What Republican presidents have had comedians wish for the death of liberal commentators at official functions?

It's called legitimate dissent, Kathleen

Third, does Parker really want to say that posting nasty rhetoric on the internet is somehow similar to perpetrating a terrorist act? Is that the best a so-called conservative columnist can come up with who wishes to appease her mainstream media overlords? Is that what it takes to keep those invitations to the most important cocktail parties in Washington coming? Using the word “terrorist” and “tea partier” in the same stream of thought?

I’m curious …

Did Bob Schieffer ever question Frank Rich or Paul Krugman on “nasty rhetoric” when the internet was rife with “Die Rush Limbaugh” posts after Rush was taken to the hospital several weeks ago? Did the “I hope Dick Cheney gets cancer” blog entries, or the “Put Bush out of this nation’s misery” posts somehow elude the ever-vigilant Bob Schieffer? Were the swastikas too small on the protest signs for Schieffer and Crew to notice as the anti-war left succumbed to their Bush Derangemnt Syndrome?

To be fair, I don’t think anyone would disagree that anonimity is a powerful badge of courage in the cyber world. A large percentage of what we all see and read on the web simply would not be out there if a name and town were attached to everything that was written. And that goes for commentary on both sides of the aisle.

That being said, Parker’s language is disconcerting.

In agreeing with Bob Schieffer, she said it was difficult to know who is behind the anti-Obama rhetoric because “you don’t know who to go after.”

“Go after?”

Now that sounds dangerous.

_________________________________________

H/T to the great Weasel Zippers blog.

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ARROGANT BAMMY’S NEXT REFORM

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 20, 2010

“Disgust” isn’t even the right word anymore. I feel almost inadequate to the task of maintaining this blog because the appropriate words escape me. How many different ways can one express contempt at the way this administration does things? How many variations of a single theme can one articulate before it loses its effectiveness? How often can one say that he or she weeps for the future of this most magnificent nation before its impact becomes meaningless?

If Ronald Reagan saw America as the shining city on the hill, Barack Obama is erecting iron gates around that city.

If Ronald Reagan reminded us how splendid this nation of liberty is, Barack Obama is reinventing America as a nation of equality – the left’s most important value.

If Ronald Reagan believed in the power of the individual, Barack Obama believes in the power of government.

These days, a mere fifteen months into the Messianic Age, one cannot swing a dead beaver without smacking into yet another Barack Obama initiative meant to extend the reach of government into the private sector. With every turn, with every step, this President pushes for some new transformation – he uses the word “reform” – some new way for the heavy hand of government to involve itself in our lives.

Obamacrats hate the free market system, carry disdain for the Constitution, look down on Americans who voice dissent, believe they have a mandate to reshape this country into their Marxist-light soft tyranny, and operate with a degree of arrogance and detachment that is almost beyond comprehension.

Sure, I can use the word “disgust,” but it is utterly insufficient. Even armed with a thesaurus and a respectable way with words, it is difficult to accurately convey my repulsion at what this President is doing to the United States.

In two days, the Messiah-In-Chief will arrive in New York to deliver what will essentially be a verbal beat-down to Wall Street. His so-called “financial overhaul package” proposal will be yet another cavalcade of regulations and restrictions placed on the private sector – more government say-so in areas they have no business being involved in.

It is absolutely sickening.

During the Bush years, all we heard from the left is how totalitarian “W” was – that he was the anti-freedom President. All we heard was how he and his right-wing cronies wanted to run everything and control our lives. Swastikas accompanied Bush’s face on protest posters. Comparisons to Adolf Hitler were commonplace. And despite today’s round of phony righteousness from the left at how some people dare refer to the Obama administration as a “regime,” back in the day, mainstream media tongue-flappers used that word to describe the Bush administration, including MSNBC’s own beacon of saliva-projection, Chris Matthews.

Yet, what seems to elude leftocrats is the fact that, by definition, conservatism means less government, less involvement, less control. It is Barack Obama and his bureaucrat fat cats – and that is precisely what they are – who want to dip their stinky little fingers in everyone’s cup cake.

Where are the Bush-era freedom lovers now?

The answer: Barack Obama is on the bridge. Therefore, the narrative needed to change.

Under George W. Bush, the encroachment of conservative oppression and fascism needed to be fought off by freedom-conscious dissenters. Under Barack Obama, Bush-era cowboy-style, money-hungry, out-of-control capitalism needs to be tamed by the soothing and nurturing hands of government.

The “financial overhaul package” will hit the Senate floor this week.

Democrats, of course, say these “reforms” are essential.

Republicans, thus far, are unanimously opposed.

And just for kicks, here’s a tasty little wrinkle to the story: No one in the White House bothered to inform the Mayor of New York that the President was coming to his city on Thursday to essentially beat New York’s bread and butter into government-controlled submission.

Arrogance, thy name is Obama.

Maggie Haberman of the New York Post writes:

Mayor Bloomberg learned from reading about — not from the White House — that President Obama is heading to the Big Apple on Thursday to talk about Wall Street reform at Cooper Union.

“I just saw on the blogs this morning he was coming, so I haven’t talked to anyone in the White House,” Bloomberg told reporters.

As it happens, Bloomberg has an Earth Day event scheduled at the same time as Obama’s speech.

The whole thing suggests that City Hall wasn’t given a heads-up about the visit.

Bloomberg has been less than warm and fuzzy about the proposed Wall Street crackdown by the Obama administration — saying it could hurt the city disproportionately.

“There’s no [government] regulation that will ever match self-regulation if it’s done correctly,” Bloomberg told reporters. “Just because the government can never keep up with everything. These are complex worlds we live in. That’s not true only of finance. That’s true of everything the government regulates.”

I assure you, I am no fan of Mike “Screw The Term Limits” Bloomberg, but he is right in opposing Barack Obama on this one. The result of the Obama iron boot to the throat of America’s financial center will be a whole lot of corporations – whose tax dollars are essential to New York City’s, and ultimately America’s, well-being – saying “bye-bye” and finding other places to operate … perhaps outside of America.

And what perfect timing.

Just as it was announced that there has been fraud at big bad Goldman Sachs – one of those evil corporations hell-bent on crushing average Americans like me – the President coincidentally announced he would be going to the epicenter of Western capitalism, New York City, to tell them how badly Wall Street needs reform.

There are no coincidences in politics.

When it comes to the Goldman Sachs investigation, Bloomberg said, “My concern is for all the people who work on Wall Street. My concern is for our police officers and firefighters and teachers and everybody else. They get paid by the taxes the financial industry and many others, but to a great extent the financial industry, generates in this city.”

The next Obama “shovel-ready” project may be the burying of Wall Street.

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SURPRISE, SURPRISE: REAL INCOME DROPS UNDER BAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 13, 2010

From the, “No, Really?” file …

The Washington Times is reporting today that real personal income in the United States has dropped 3.2% since Barack Obama became the Big Cheese fifteen months ago. (It’s only been fifteen months?) This figure excludes government payouts (e.g., Social Security, food stamps, welfare in general) – all the things Democrats rely on to keep a sizeable chunk of the citizenry dependant and, thus, in their corner.

Not that it should actually come as any shock to anyone.

“This is hardly surprising,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. “Under President Obama, only federal spending is going up; jobs, business startups, and incomes are all down. It is proof that the government can’t spend its way to prosperity.”

Joseph Curl at the Washington Times points out that when the Messiah was still a mere campaign-trail cliché machine, the soon-to-be President “often derided (President George W.) Bush for what he said were dramatically falling incomes for workers.”

“American families, since George Bush has been in office, have seen average family incomes go down $2,000,” Mr. Obama said in a September 2008 speech on the economy in Green Bay, Wis.

It isn’t my wont to rain on people’s parades, but an insertion of the truth right about now seems to be in order. Real income increased almost 13% during the eight years of Bush – which included an inherited Clinton-era recession and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

I can almost guarantee you won’t hear that coming out of Obama’s mouth.

The bureau, which doesn’t compile statistics on “family” income, reported that per capita income rose during Mr. Bush’s two terms, from $29,159 to $32,632 (using 2005 dollar values as a base). During Mr. Obama’s 15 months in office, per capita income has dropped nearly 1 percent to $32,343.

It must be a plot.

In fact, it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that a certain well-organized segment of the population – specifically the racist, caucasion-loving, diety-digging anti-Obama ranks – have voluntarily taken pay cuts, or agreed to leave their jobs altogether, in order to make the President look bad.

No one on the left would put it past them.

Just one question for the President and Crew: How exactly does increasing taxes help this situation?

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TARGETING INTERNS – WHO THE HELL DOES THIS PRESIDENT THINK HE IS?

Posted by Andrew Roman on April 9, 2010

Unbelievable.

(Actually, quite believable).

There is ostensibly nothing – absolutely nothing – the current administration will not endeavor to involve itself in (except competent national security). Perhaps a better way to state it is that this administration believes nothing should be beyond the reach (and direct influence) of government.

Nothing.

With an audacity remeniscent of a chorus of crunching jackboots slowly approaching from just over the hill, Obamacrats – the same folks that recently turned over the student loan system to the federal government simply because they felt like it – is on a no-holds-barred course of seizing and controlling as much of the private sector as it possibly can.

I am well aware of how that sounds, but I assure you, this is not paranoia.

These are not radical right-wing talking points.

If you want radicals, just look to the White House and Capitol Hill.

America has never seen anything quite like the way this administration operates. The will of the people be damned, and to hell with the Constitution, never has a President ever attempted, in such a short amount of time and in such a brazenly agenda-driven anti-American way (yes, anti-American), to imbue the heavy hand of government in everything possible. Not like this. The President, in fact, seems to have made it his central focus to thrash whatever maxims of American liberty repulse him (which, being a disciple of Saul Alinsky, means just about everything). He’s doing so with a deaf ear and an iron mallet of relentless leftism – the master overseer of the largest, most intrusive and controlling government monster ever to occupy this part of the North American continent.

This is just the latest episode of “Power To the State!”

It seems that Bammy and Crew have decided that they are not happy with the concept of the unpaid internship. In fact, the Labor Department is now looking into the legality of having someone serve as an intern, without pay, at any for-profit enterprise in the United States; and if the President gets his way, these private sector unpaid internships – meaning free-market, free-enterprise agreements made between private business owners and willing individuals (almost always college students looking to gain critical experience as well as college credits) – will go the way of betamax machines, rotary telephones and (eventually) American liberty itself.

From Fox Nation:

“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” said Nancy Leppink, deputy administrator of the department’s wage and hour division, according to a story in the New York Times.

It’s easy to view the action as the inevitable mischief of Democrats, irritating but not fatal. Such an attitude, however, overlooks what a blow this policy can represent to young people trying to establish careers.

Back in our parents’ or grandparents’ days, interns were mostly thought of as physicians-in-training. Eventually, an internship came to mean an initial training experience, perhaps unpaid, for people on the cusp of entering the workforce. This stepping stone to a hoped-for paid job became commonplace in many industries and a rite of passage for the college set, especially Ivy Leaguers.

These temporary positions became popular partly due to prosperity. During the past half century, many U.S. college students enjoyed the luxury of trying out different fields whereas previous generations had to make career choices quickly.

In other words, the Chief Executive of the United States is telling (nay, dictating to) this nation’s young people – America’s future, I’ve heard the President call them – that they will no longer have the option (the right to choose, you might say) of volunteering his or her time with a privately-owned, free market enterprise. The point of such internships, of course, is to afford prospective interns the opportunity to gain vital experience that will, in turn, make them productive and valuable assets in the work force. Yet, the President of the United States has decided, by whim and whisper, that he will put the kibosh on a system of learning, training and invaluable networking that has helped sustain the very existence of America’s free-market system by literally helping to provide for its future in the best and most efficient way possible.

Not that Barack Obama is particularly enamored with free enterprise.

Incidentally, one needn’t receive money to be “paid.” Experience is often a more valuable commodity in the work force at that early stage of a person’s professional life. Unpaid internships are wonderfully important resume fillers. Bosses look for things like that.

The real question is: How in the world is doing away with unpaid internships good for America? How does eliminating such a thing benefit this country’s young people looking to prepare for their futures?

This is simply unbelievable.

(I keep saying that. Actually, it’s very believable).

Mr. President, these are individual choices made by free Americans! Stay the hell out of it!

Erick Erickson at Red State points out, if Obama gets his way, young people will still have the option to volunteer with the government.

Phew!

If you want to work as a Congressional or White House intern, for Organizing for America, or any other non-profit, they’ll let you do it. But if you want to actually work for a business that produces goods and services in the free market? You’re screwed as is the business. And guess what? Existing workers will be spread more thinly and college kids will wait longer and longer for jobs.

My next question (in a long list of thousands) would be to ask whether or not this policy applies to non-profit organizations as well. Would these new anti-intern laws pertain to left-wing “community organizing” groups, too? Or will some enterprising Capitol Hill Democrat try to devise a workaround of some sort to allow the likes of ACORN (or whatever it’s called now) to indoctrinate – er, take on interns?

Or is this just a blatant, in-your-face, no-need-to-cloak-it assault on the free-market system?

Honestly, there can be no other purpose here than to intentionally hamstring free enterprise.

The President of the United States does not – repeat, does not – have the authority to curtail rights guaranteed to the people of the United States in the Constitution – namely, the freedom of assembly (and, by extension and definition, the freedom of association). How is it possible for the Chief Executive to say that it will be against the law for me, or anyone, to volunteer my time anywhere I damn well please (assuming that institution is not engaging in illegal activity)?  Do I not have the right to charge an individual or company for my services, if I so choose? And if I decide to charge nothing for those services, do I not have that right as well?

These are choices that I make, as an individual.

This has nothing to do with the President, Congress, the government, the cleaning lady or anyone other than the privately owned enterprise that wants to have an intern, and the individual who wishes to be an intern.

No one is being taken advantage of, no one is being cheated, no deception of any kind is taking place.

We leave that to the government.

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS ON OBAMACARE, FOUR DAYS LATER

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 25, 2010

For the thinking person, it is akin to trying to lay out the pieces of a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle on a small bridge table without stacking or overlapping any of the pieces.

No matter how he or she may try – or even wish it – it simply cannot be done.

For the utopian, however, it doesn’t matter if the table top is too small. It doesn’t matter if common sense dictates that it is a physical impossibility to lay out that many puzzle pieces on a table of that size. There will always be time to figure it all out later. Right now, the imperative is to dump all the pieces out, regardless of consequence, for the sake of getting them on the table.

Eventually, when the utopian realizes, much to his or her chagrin, that the pieces actually will not fit on the table top – or even better, that a plan to figure out how best to do it has not yet been formulated by a czar of some sort – desperate (and deceitful) action will inevitably follow. He or she will manipulate data and swindle observers to create the illusion that all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, indeed, fit.

It’s something Democrats actually do all the time by putting out only those pieces that are the most colorful – the ones that suggest to the observer that a gorgeous final product waits. They are the puzzle pieces that are the most pleasing to look at, the most suggestive. So while the utopian is able to fit maybe 200 or 300 on the table at best, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about appearances. No one will know that the rest of the puzzle is stashed away, out of sight. And if someone does, it will be too late. To the casual observer, there exists the promise of a beautiful finished puzzle based on what he or she is allowed to see by the utopian. The reality, however, is that the puzzle will never be completed.

It doesn’t need to be.

Wrapping my brain around the passage of ObamaCare is much like that.

The pieces don’t fit.

Not for the thinking person.

And what makes it all the worse is that those who forced this nation into adopting this horrifically catostrophic transformation don’t even know what they’ve passed. They’ve not read the thing. They have no idea how many pieces to the puzzle there really are, nor what the final picture is going to look like.

On one hand, it thoroughly befuddles the mind to think that the road to American mediocrity set in motion with the passage of this bill last Sunday – the latest move by leftists to transform this nation into Europe West – is something anyone with properly firing synapses could champion; especially when it comes to what was the greatest health care delivery system in the entire world.

On the other hand, the very notion of American exceptionalism repulses the Left.

The toxicity of what Democrats did on Sunday evening by passing what is the first step toward an inevitable single-payer health system (i.e., government-run health care) won’t be obvious in a week or a month. But make mistake no about it, there is no way that the passage of ObamaCare will not lead to a single-payer system. It’s as inevitable as saying that if one fires a shotgun into a pumpkin at point-blank range, there is no way that pumpkin seeds will not scatter everywhere.

That’s because liberals are not interested in excellence.

To them, there is no value more important than equality.

And if they can create a nation – once the envy of the entire world in terms of its medical delivery system – where everyone, regardless of who they are, can be put on waiting lists for mediocre medical care, they will feel good about themselves. They will feel as if they’ve accomplished something.

Literally, Sunday’s vote was the most dramatic transformation this country has undergone in my lifetime – and we are (and will be) all the worse for it. The United States was changed (i.e., tansformed) forever, based on a radical ideology that is embarrassingly hinged on false statistics and fairy-tale premises. A system that was largely favorable to the American people has been wiped out by the hunger pains of tyranny – and it didn’t have to be.

A last minute sell-out to a weasel of a man – congressman Bart Stupak – that all but tossed the term “pro-life democrat” onto the history’s compost pile forever did in the world’s greatest health care delivery system.

My Lord, what have they done?

That rickety old bridge table gets smaller every time I walk past it.

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PELOSI CALLS UPON ST. JOSEPH

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 20, 2010

If this wasn’t Nancy Pelosi, I might shake my head a little harder, a little faster.

It’s at the point now that Pelosi should only warrant mention on this blog if she actually does something noteworthy – like speak coherently or juggle pomegranates with one hand. Truly, if this wasn’t something coming out of the mouth of the most inept and incompetent House Speaker in my lifetime, I might actually be surprised.

I’m not.

Pelosi, apparently, is summoning higher authority in the hope that it will be enough to get ObamaCare passed.

From the woman whose purpose (among others) as a militant Leftocrat is to ensure that as many abortions take place as possible – in the name of “reproductive rights,” mind you – comes the revelation that Nancy Pelosi has been praying to Saint Joseph in the hope that he might sprinkle a little magic dust on the process.

On Friday, Madame Speaker said the following:

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph, the worker – particularly significant to Italian-Americans. And it’s a day where we remember and pray to St. Joseph to benefit the workers of America. And that’s exactly what our health care bill will do.

Along with a whole lot of blah, blah, blah about how the bill is gaining momentum and will be historic (there’s that word again), Pelosi went on to say that she has received letters representing “sixty leaders of religious orders” supporting this “life affirming legislation.”

Life affirming legislation?

It’s obviously no great analytical accomplishment on my part to showcase the absurdly obvious, but that’s still one hell of a ballsy assertion considering that the Catholic Church is adamantly opposed to abortion, and the bill that would become law – the original Senate version – would allow taxpayer dollars to fund the killing of the unborn.

If by “life affirming” Pelosi means everyone except those who have yet to emerge from the womb, those who’ll be dead soon, and those considered disabled, Pelosi may be on to something.

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YOU CAN’T DO THAT, DEMS

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 11, 2010

Too bad for the Dems.

It must truly stink when your efforts to be as underhanded as humanly possible hit a snag. It has to be heartbreaking when, despite your best efforts to bask in grand deceit, there just isn’t enough “bend” available in the process of warping the rules to get your way.

For what it’s worth, things just got a little bit tougher in the Democrat quest to pass the entirely unpopular, thoroughly unwise and profoundly misguided health care reform bill.

What some pro-health care Obamacrats wanted to do was have the House of Representatives pass the original $871 billion Senate bill – complete with all of its bribery and pro-abortion language – and then have that bill sent back to the Senate for further modifications (reconciliation) before it went to the President’s desk for his signature.

But it doesn’t work that way, according to the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office.

If the House approves the original Senate bill as is, that bill must be signed into law by the President before any reconciliation can take place. In other words, the bill that passed the Senate – the one with the abortion funding provisions; the one that included the “Louisiana Purchase”; the one that included the “Kansas Kickback” – must be okayed by the House of Representatives without any changes and sent to Barack Obama for passage before “reconciliation packages” can be crafted to modify it.

In short, it must already be law before anything else can be done to it.

David M. Drucker of Roll Call writes:

The Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that President Barack Obama must sign Congress’ original health care reform bill before the Senate can act on a companion reconciliation package, senior GOP sources said Thursday.

The Senate Parliamentarian’s Office was responding to questions posed by the Republican leadership. The answers were provided verbally, sources said.

House Democratic leaders have been searching for a way to ensure that any move they make to approve the Senate-passed $871 billion health care reform bill is followed by Senate action on a reconciliation package of adjustments to the original bill. One idea is to have the House and Senate act on reconciliation prior to House action on the Senate’s original health care bill.

Information Republicans say they have received from the Senate Parliamentarian’s Office eliminates that option. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package.

The problem, of course, is the House does not like the Senate version of the bill. And House Dems will have to trust that once it becomes law, the Senate would be willing to revisit it and work on those elements that dissatisfy Pelosi’s gang.

That’s alot of blind faith.

In other words, it comes down to having to trust Democrats.

I don’t think Democrats can even do that.

But fear not.

This is the Democrat Party we’re talking about. They have not yet begun to cheat.

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BECAUSE IT WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE GAME … THAT’S WHY

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 8, 2010

It’s all about legacy.

It’s all about making the kind of fundamental change that cannot – and will not – be overturned. It’s all about the willingness to take the political hit now, suffer significant losses, and figure out how to come back sometime down the road.

If victory can be secured now, many will be more than willing to get knocked down and tend to what will be undoubtedly be an ugly wound, knowing full well that time is a great healer.

The fact is, once the changes (i.e., fundamental transformations) are enacted – once seventeen percent of the American economy falls under the heel of the federal government – the chance of seeing things reversed is nil.

And that’s the point.

They’re not stupid.

They know that entitlement programs don’t go away. They never ever disappear.

They know that once ObamaCare becomes law, there’s no way in hell it will be wiped off the books. Once Bammy signs it, the fight in the opposition will effectively die on Capitol Hill. All that will follow will be a whole lot of blah, blah, blah about how it is now the law of land and must be implemented as effectively as possible, along with a boatload of doubletalk about controlling the rate of growth, and so on and so forth.

It sounds so antithetical to the game of politics. Why would one side deliberately pursue legislation that is tremendously unpopular and be willing to fall face first on a sword that will all but guarantee major losses for their party?

Because of the big picture.

If history is any sort of guide, it simply isn’t possible for ObamaCare to be a temporary measure. Once the rot of liberalism sets in, it is a victory for the left that forever changes the playing field. Indeed, the right may win future elections because of Obama’s gross miscalculation, but the default position will be further left. passing ObamaCare is a permanent move toward Camp Socialism.

That’s why the President will take his tired act on the road once again to try and sell something to the American people that they do not want – despite the fact that he said there is nothing more to say about the health care debate.

Unless he says it, I guess.

From Fox News:

With the fate of his signature legislative initiative far from certain, President Barack Obama is taking his last-ditch push for health care reform on the road.

In a speech Monday in Philadelphia, Obama will try to persuade the public to back his plan to remake the nation’s health care system, while also urging uneasy lawmakers to cast a “final vote” for a massive reform bill in an election year.

Obama’s pitch in Philadelphia, along with a stop in St. Louis Wednesday, comes as the president begins an all-out effort to pass his health care proposals. Though his plan has received only modest public support, Obama has implored lawmakers to show political courage and not let a historic opportunity slip away.

I must ask the same question I asked last week: If the bill is such a good idea, and if it will do much to solve America’s health care problems, and if the American people will unquestionably benefit from the bill’s passage, and if it will keep health care so affordable for everyone without compromising quality, why do the Democrats need “courage” to pass it?

I don’t give a damn how “historic” this bill is supposed to be.

President Obama’s election was “historic,” wasn’t it?

Look where that got us.
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PELOSI MAKES EVEN LESS SENSE THAN NORMAL

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 1, 2010

It’s unclear whether or not it will take a couple of hundred screeching yodelers yelling it from the mountaintops to make her see, or whether having someone beat her with a ten foot Gallup poll will finally do the trick.

Neon signs, subliminal messages and psychotropic drugs are also possibilities.

The question remains: What exactly is it going to take for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to realize that the American people do not want this health care bill passed?

What else has to happen – aside from plummeting popularity, collapsing poll numbers, the ouster of Democrats from office in key states, the tea party movement, and the fact that ObamaCare could not be passed when the Dems had super majorities in both Houses – for this women to get the hint?

Unfortunately, even if she could answer these questions, it is uncertain whether or not the public at large would be able to understand her.

No matter what she says – no matter what comes out of her mouth – she makes less sense than subtitles for an audience of blind people.

Indeed, there is an ever-growing need among Dems to somehow make ObamaCare a bipartisan animal. That way, when it crashes and burns as the utter and complete failure it will be – and the economy is all but destroyed, and more and more people are dependant on government – Dems can point fingers at the other side and accuse them of being obstructionists for not letting the bill go far enough.

It’s the same mentality that affords us such clear-minded thinking as, “The reason more kids are failing school than ever before is that we don’t spend enough on education” and “The reason poverty still exists is we haven’t spent enough on welfare programs.”

Of course, I’m not convinced that Nancy Pelosi is quite that complex. I actually think hers is more of a “Shut Up And Be Happy With What You Got” approach.

She is now peddling the idea that the health care bill is already a bipartisan venture – that the GOP has already left its mark on ObamaCare and should now agree to let the bill move forward to its inevitable passage.

Kim Hart and Jordan Fabian from The Hill write:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.

“They’ve had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint.”

Yes, dear friends … from the party that brought you the toe-tapping, “I voted for the bill before I voted against it,” comes the latest donkey hit “Bipartisan without bipartisan votes.”

It’s got a great beat and you can definitely dance to it.

It should be noted, for the record, that the “public option” wasn’t “stripped from the bill” because of Republicans, as Pelosi contends.

That doesn’t even make sense.

The Dems have had an inescapable majority in Pelosi’s House of Crud throughout the thirteen months of the Messianic Age. What possible effect could the GOP have had on the bill or its contents?

Honestly … What part of the 2000-plus page health care bill is a Republican creation? Which sections are GOP babies? What exactly was the GOPs contribution to the bill during the ‘who-did-it-and-ran” health care “debates” late last year?

What utter nonsense.

This is all about Pelosi’s impotent leadership coupled with a very unpopular agenda.

To top it all off, Madame Speaker also said that Democrats need ‘courage” to pass health care.

If the bill is such a good idea, and if it will do much to solve America’s health care problems, and if the American people will unquestionably benefit from the bill’s passage, and if it will keep health care so affordable for everyone without compromising quality, why do the Democrats need “courage” to pass it?
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SOROS UNSATISFIED

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 1, 2010

George Soros

I don’t doubt for a moment that billionaire George Soros is feeling a touch unsatisfied with the first thirteen months of the Messianic Age.

It hasn’t exactly been fuzzy bunnies and swaying daisies.

For Soros – and other lefties – it’s been more like intestinal polyps and impacted molars.

For one, the banks were never nationalized. Soros desperately wanted it to happen.

Second, America never “unified” under the new boy Socialist king the way many had envisioned. Despite Bam’s wish to be the “great uniter,” it never materialized.

That’s because the “rest of us” – the thinking class – never bought into it.

And thank God for that.

The word “unity,” in a political context, is only a gimmick.

It is the most disingenuous word in politics.

What Soros really means is that more people didn’t fall in line with Obama’s liberal agenda. That’s really what “unity” means when a candidate says it, no matter which side of the aisle it comes from – getting everyone to think like he or she.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about “unity.” I’m a “clarity” guy.

Of course, America’s “disunity” is not really the fault of President Obama or his widely unpopular agenda, accoring to Soros. Yes, it take two to play pinochle, but it’s really the rest of us that are to blame.

Said Soros:

“He wanted to be the great uniter and he wanted to carry the country, sort of bring it together. But the other side has absolutely no incentive to do it. So it takes two to tango. So that approach has failed.”

He’s right.

I have more of an incentive to lick my fingers after manually cleaning out the bathtub drain than “unite” in the lobby of Club Marxist.

It is no secret that most of the country – a significant majority – does not buy into the Obamacratic vision of nanny-statism and intrusive government.

But, like Howard Dean, he’s making the barren-brained mistake of thinking that what has happened in places like New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts – namely the ass-kicking of failed big-government liberals – is a sign from the electorate that those in power are not being liberal enough.

But Obama “got the message” when Massachusetts elected Scott Brown, a Republican, as Ted Kennedy’s successor, Soros said.

“I hope that, actually, now, he’s [Obama’s] taking the health care back to Congress and overcoming the filibuster — the 60 percent vote requirement,” Soros said. “I think that’s the right reaction. So he’s sort of taking a tough stance. And that may be the turning point. It depends on how he follows it up.”

It makes perfect sense.

The people of bluer-than-blue Massachusetts – liberalism’s uterus – were so behind the proposed government take over of 17% of the American economy that they elected someone who ran almost exclusively on being the “41st Republican,” namely Scott Brown.

Sure.

Maybe the electorate was angry – furious, even – that Obama hadn’t proposed more of the economy being sucked up by the government.

Maybe this entire trend of toppling Democrats is America’s way of saying that they are sick of the free market, and if liberals can’t get the job done, they’re willing to punish America with a little infusion of liberty from the right.

At least Obama saved America from a deep recession or depression.

Seven billion jobs saved or created, I think the count is up to, as of this morning.

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IT’S BEEN A PORKTABULOUS YEAR

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 18, 2010

However you chose to commemorate the one year anniversary of the passage of Barack Obama’s $787 billion porkulus package yesterday – a dinner party with friends, a bowling night, an appendectomy – my hope is that you were afforded the opportunity to stroll down Stimulus Lane and relive some of the magic of the last twelve months. My wish is that you were able to get a true sense of how your hard-earned tax dollars were appropriated and put to work for the good of the country. My desire is that you were able to see for yourself that not an electron of waste nor a morsel of pork – according to the President – can be attributed to his almost one-trillion dollar spendulous extravaganza.

So, how exactly did you spend your Recovery Act Commemoration Day?

Assuming your festivities began with the President’s reaffirmation of its unparalleled success in rescuing the American economy from the ruinous Bush regime – and saving twenty billion jobs and keeping unemployment below twenty percent – I can only assume that you and yours must have pitched one hell of a wang dang doodle.

Personally, I ate pasta salad and snaked the bathroom sink.

How the President’s approval rating ever dipped below 72% is beyond me.

Of course, Senate Republicans – in their never-ending crusade to discredit the otherwise all-feeling, all-knowing, ever-compassionate Barry-O – continue to stop at nothing to portray the stimulus bill as an abject failure and a colossal waste of taxpayer money.

Bastards.

At the Republican.Senate.Gov blog, a list (complete with links) has been compiled highlighting some of the more “stimulating” aspects of the Obama’s porktabulous spend-a-thon.

Along with such economy-saving initiatives as sending $250 stimulus checks to prisoners, funding the construction of a turtle tunnel in Florida, and putting money aside to study cactus bug sex, these tasty projects made the list:

$219,000 TO STUDY THE SEX LIVES OF FEMALE COLLEGE FRESHMEN:
“Five hundred Syracuse University freshmen will divulge the details of their sex lives as part of a women’s health study called ‘The Women’s Health Project,’ being conducted by Michael Carey, SU professor of psychology and medicine. Carey has found himself the target of nationwide criticism from conservatives since he received $219,000 in stimulus funds for the study, which looks at the sex patterns of college women.”

$15,551 TO STUDY DRUNK MICE:
“The Rodent Study At Florida Atlantic University In Boca Raton Used $15,551 In Stimulus Funds To Pay For Two Summer Researchers To Help Gauge How Alcohol Affects A Mouse’s Motor Functions.”

$1 MILLION TO STUDY ANTS:
“Half A Million Dollars Went To Arizona State University To Study The Genetic Makeup Of Ants To Determine Distinctive Roles In Ant Colonies; $450,000 Went To The University Of Arizona To Study The Division Of Labor In Ant Colonies.”

$500,000 TO STUDY “SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE FACEBOOK”:
“A $498,000, Three-Year Grant” To Study “Social Networks Like Facebook.” “Millions of Internet users have been enjoying the fun — and free — services provided by advertiser-supported online social networks like Facebook. But Landon Cox, a Duke University assistant professor of computer science, worries about the possible down side — privacy problems. … To delve deeper into these issues and begin the search for alternatives, Cox recently won a $498,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.”

$54 MILLION IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR THE NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN:
JONATHAN KARL, ABC News: “The Napa Valley Wine Train, To Tourists A Great Way To See America’s Most Celebrated Wine Region, To Others Exhibit A In What’s Wrong With The Stimulus.” SEN. TOM COBURN: “What that is, is a situation where you see the wealthy or well connected get taken care of and the community suffers.” KARL: “He’s talking about the Napa Valley wine train relocation project, 54 million stimulus dollars to build a new rail bridge, elevate and relocate 3,300 ft of tracks and put flood walls around the train’s main station.”

You can imagine that as a New York Mets fan, I am simply thrilled to know my tax dollars are also helping to pay for a spring training baseball complex for both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.

And a pox upon me for neglecting to mention the removal of cracks and potholes in Montana tennis courts – as pork-free as any recession-busting, economic recovery project can get.

As is the study of honeybees.

Or the study of malt liquor and marijuana consumption.

And just think … not all of the stimulus money has yet been spent.

Just wait until they get to studying the effects of crushed ice on nasal mucus, and the long term ramifications of neglected toe jam.

Happy Birthday, Trillion-Dollar Excrement-Fest!

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FOOD STAMP NATION

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 12, 2010

Stigmas can be good things. 

They are boundary setters. They are value enforcers. They are reality checks. 

For instance, there should be a stigma attached to teenage pregnancy. Unfortunately, over time, the notion of a single teenage mother getting on the dole, often times with no father in the picture at all, has become far less shameful. That a two parent home is best for a child has seemingly evaporated into the air of antiquated thinking. Having a baby at the age of fifteen is just not that unbecoming anymore – especially when government policies all but make such reckless behavior profitable. 

That’s not to say that teenage girls who become pregnant should be rounded up and locked away in a dungeon somewhere, but the loss of the stigma attached to an out-of-wedlock birth at such a tremendously young age has made society worse, not better. 

Of course, some things are in no danger whatsoever of having their stigmatizing reputations stripped away – such as deadbeat dads, animal abusers, and child molesters; nor should they. 

But other things that were once stigmatizing have become almost fully-accepted facets of modern society – like food stamps, for instance. 

Whereas at one time, trying to get food stamps in cities like New York was akin to trying to draw milk from a cinder block, today the powers that be can’t hand out enough of them. Jason Deparle and Robert Gebeloff of the New York Times report that “neighborhood groups recruit clients at churches and grocery stores, with materials that all but proclaim a civic duty to apply — to ‘help New York farmers, grocers, and businesses.’ There is even a program on Rikers Island to enroll inmates leaving the jail.” 

How delightful.

In our best B. B. King voices, we can all sing, “The stigma’s gone, baby …” 

“I’ve seen a remarkable shift,” said Senator Richard G. Lugar, an Indiana Republican and prominent food stamp supporter. “People now see that it’s necessary to have a strong food stamp program.” 

The revival began a decade ago, after tough welfare laws chased millions of people from the cash rolls, many into low-wage jobs as fast-food workers, maids, and nursing aides. Newly sympathetic officials saw food stamps as a way to help them. For states, the program had another appeal: the benefits are federally paid. 

But support also turned on chance developments, including natural disasters (which showed the program’s value in emergencies) and the rise of plastic benefit cards (which eased stigma and fraud). The program has commercial allies, in farmers and grocery stores, and it got an unexpected boost from President George W. Bush, whose food stamp administrator, Eric Bost, proved an ardent supporter. 

“I assure you, food stamps is not welfare,” Mr. Bost said in a recent interview. 

Still, some critics see it as welfare in disguise and advocate more restraints. 

This is one of those “I’m-having-a-tough-time-picking-up-my-jaw-from-the-floor” moments. 

Mr. Bost assures us that food stamps is not welfare. But if getting government assistance (i.e., a handout) is not, by definition, welfare, then what is it? How is getting non-social security government money to pay for food different than, say, getting government money to pay for clothes? Or rent? 

I’m not even sure why food stamps would be considered “welfare in disguise.” 

What does that mean exactly?

What is a more obvious form of welfare than food stamps?

It hasn’t been earned. It is, quite literally, a “give me” from the government helping “low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.”

But in the real world, that’s just not the case.

As one caller – a grocery store manager – on Thursday’s Dennis Prager Show explained: 

I work in a store – I manage a store – that brings in approximately $100,000 a month. It’s an inner-city grocery store. And 75% of the money – my rough estimate – comes from food stamps. The horrible thing is, people buy gum with food stamps, pop; children come in every day before school with their food stamp card and buy two and three dollars worth of potato chips and candy bars. This is not isolated. This is all over this city. I’ve talked to other people who work in these stores. 

There’s a woman who comes in – this is an anecdotal thing – comes in at least twice a week and buys seventy dollars worth of candy bars which she goes to her job and sells so her daughter can get a prom dress.  

This is the kind of stuff that burns me up. 

 

Some children, I honestly believe, do not know that you can buy food with money. I think some children think the only way you can get food is with this plastic card.  

The stigmatizing term “food stamps” has been replaced by the ever-embraceable, perfectly reasonable sounding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).” 

Dennis Prager astutely commented, “When you say to people, ‘No matter how you behave, you get rewarded,’ they won’t behave well.” 

If that isn’t an undeniable truth, then no such thing exists. 

From the New York Times article: 

The drive to enroll the needy can be seen in the case of Monica Bostick-Thomas, 45, a Harlem widow who works part-time as a school crossing guard. Since her husband died three years ago, she has scraped by on an annual income of about $15,000. 

But she did not seek help until she got a call from the Food Bank of New York City, one of the city’s outreach partners. Last year, she balked, doubting she qualified. This year, when the group called again, she agreed to apply. A big woman with a broad smile, Ms. Bostick-Thomas swept into the group’s office a few days later, talking up her daughters’ college degrees and bemoaning the cost of oxtail meat.  

“I’m not saying I go hungry,” Ms. Bostick-Thomas said. “But I can’t always eat what I want.” 

Poor baby. 

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JUST SHUT UP, OKAY? YOU’RE NOT NEEDED HERE

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 4, 2010

It was embarrassing enough for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to uninvitedly get up in front of the nation and tell owners of recalled Toyota vehicles to stop driving their cars, only to come back later and recant. Indeed, it was beyond moronic for him to advise the owners of eight recalled Toyota models to take their cars off the road until their accelerator pedals could be looked at, only to reappear hours later and explain that he really didn’t mean what he said. LaHood’s big mouth did nothing more than throw a monkey wrench into an already troubling situation.

But that’s okay. He’s from the government, and he was only here to help.

Of course, opening his mouth and letting out a whole lot of jackass is not the real issue here.

The issue – as always – is the demonstrable inability of Obama-style, big government to stay out of the way of its citizenry.

This Toyota recall is a private sector issue being handled by the company itself – as it ought to be. The company will adhere to the rules of the free market system by making its corrections, withstanding any financially losses that will inevitably come (if they can), and winning the trust of the public by coming back with a better product. It’s how free enterprise works.

This is not a government problem.

Besides, who in hell is Ray LaHood to open up his pie hole about a situation he clearly knows nothing about and confuse the hell out of everybody?

Because he’s the Transportation Secretary?

So what? Who gives a raccoon’s nipple?

All Mr. LaHood did was create a serious uproar and send a whole bunch of Toyota owners into a state of befuddlement and frustration before realizing that the taste of feet on his tongue is rather unpleasant.

Was it necessary for the Secretary of the Transportation Department – which serves “the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future” – to come out publicly and tell drivers what to do with their own cars? Is there a “grease monkey” clause in the DOT mission satement I missed? Without LaHood, would American Toyota drivers have neglected following up on their recall notices? Would they not have known to be careful but for the grace of the federal government telling them to?

This nanny-state mentality does no one any good.

It is a perfect illustration of how government intervention into private sector matters causes more problems than it solves.

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WHAT DID BAMMY REALLY INHERIT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 4, 2010

"It's yours." "No, it's yours."

It’s fairly common.

Talk radio hosts will field phone calls from liberal callers who, when asked to offer their take on President Obama’s skyrocketing deficit numbers, will inevitably, unfailingly, reflexively bring up George W. Bush. (I think it’s a law now). After all, as is made evident on a daily basis by this administration, there wasn’t anything in all of recorded human existence impervious to W’s gross mismanagement and downright destructiveness, particularly during the dark wilderness that defined America’s “BB” days (Before Barack). The inexpungible mark President Bush left on this nation was (and is) so ubiquitous, even eight disastrous years (God forbid) of Barack Obama can (and will) be overlooked by rational people, because no man – not even a Messiah – could ever hope to salvage anything from the splintered wreckage left by W.

Barack Obama’s budget, even by conservative estimates, will catapult America’s deficit to levels never seen before – and yet somehow, astoundingly, Democrats are talking about fiscal responsibility. It’s like a Weight Watchers class going out for chili dogs and cheeseburgers after the meeting.

And while this administration continues to count on the stupidity of the American public to buy into their “let’s spend our way out of debt” approach, they have no problem continuing to cite the deficits they inherited from George W. Bush when confronted with challenges to their own spend-and-more-spend agenda.

“Look at the hole Bush dug us into before we got here,” they say.

“You best look at what Bush did before you start pointing fingers this way,” they’ll exclaim.

But as political analysts Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write at Townhall.com, Obamacrats are not telling the whole truth.

President Obama was disingenuous when he said that the budget deficit he faced “when I walked in the door” of the White House was $1.3 trillion. He went on to say that he only increased it to $1.4 trillion in 2009 and was raising it to $1.6 trillion in 2010.

As Joe Wilson said, “You lie.”

Here are the facts:

In 2008, George W. Bush ran a deficit of $485 billion. By the time the fiscal year started on Oct.1, 2008, it had gone up by another $100 billion due to increased recession-related spending and depressed revenues. So it was $600 billion. That was the real Bush deficit.

But when the fiscal crisis hit, Bush had to pass TARP in the final months of his presidency, which cost $700 billion. Under the federal budget rules, a loan and a grant are treated the same. So the $700 billion pushed the deficit — officially — up to $1.3 trillion. But not really. The $700 billion was a short-term loan, and $500 billion of it has already been repaid.

So what was the real deficit Obama inherited? The $600 billion deficit Bush was running plus the $200 billion of TARP money that probably won’t be repaid (mainly AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). That totals $800 billion. That was the real deficit Obama inherited.

So what, pray tell, happened once The One set up shop in the White House?

Then … he added $300 billion in his stimulus package, bringing the deficit to $1.1 trillion. And falling revenues and other increased welfare spending pushed it up to $1.4 trillion.

So, effectively, Obama came close to doubling the deficit.

It’s interesting to note that while the President continues to claim he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit, he takes full credit for rescuing America’s financial institutions.

I admit to being quite impressed.

Being able to speak so well out of both sides of the mouth is no menial task.

It is the TARP money – $700 billion – that is credited with saving the banks, which is more than half of the deficit Obama says he inherited from Bush. To date, as Morris and McGann point out, $500 billion of that has been paid back.

It takes real talent to do what Obama does. He blames Bush for the deficit created by TARP, but takes credit for the results.

Too clever.

The fact is, President Obama is the proprietor and general manager of the largest deficit and largest budget on record – and no matter how many pins lefties keep sticking their little “W” dolls, it won’t change the fact that Obama owns it now.

It is all his.

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PUBLIC-SECTOR JOBS … IT’S GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME!

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 2, 2010

Hypothetically speaking … 

As a small business owner, if the federal government was offering me “stimulus money” for the purpose of keeping an employee or hiring someone new, I’d have no choice – economically or morally – but to give it back.  There is simply no way on God’s green earth that I, or any other small business owner, would (or could) actually use so-called stimulus cash to put someone to work or keep someone on the payroll.

It doesn’t even make sense, does it?

I run a business out here in the private sector – or as I refer to it, Obama’s toilet. How am I  – or anyone else in the trenches – supposed to benefit from such a moronic, ill-conceived handout program?

To me, the idea of expanding government by hiring people is bad enough. But the thought of having my neighbors relinquish more of their hard-earned money so that I could temporarily “save” an employee’s job in my private sector business, assuming such a dumb thing would ever work, is inconceivable to me. 

And if, in some alternate universe, I could retain an employee based on a government handout, how in the world would that be a good thing? 

How does taking from the earners make for a healthy economy? 

Honestly, listening to liberals speak is sometimes like having someone run a  cheese grater along the back of your leg. 

It hurts. 

Assuming the economy is limping along – which it would have to be to warrant a stimulus money infusion – how does paying someone with other people’s money to keep someone else employed help my business? How does it generate capital? How does it keep me a viable competitor in the market place? In other words, if I am not seeing any real-world increase in business – if the only boost in income is artificial – what happens when the handout dries up? Do I then fire the person whose job I was supposedly “saving?” Do I keep that person on and raise prices during an economic downturn? 

Do liberals ever think ahead? 

Of course, the vast majority of jobs supposedly “saved” or “created” by President Obama’s stimulus bill were government jobs. 

Thus, what President Obama really accomplished was sucking money out of the economy – always a bad move during tough economic times – and redistributing it in the form of paychecks. 

Sounds like a winning plan, doesn’t it? 

Well, brace yourselves. The future looks very bright ahead … for high-paying, non-private sector jobs, that is. 

Susan Adams from Forbes.com, writing for ABC News

While companies large and small continue to shrink their workforces, the federal government remains on a steady hiring course across the country. 

Uncle Sam will hire 600,000 people over the next four years, a 50% increase over the previous four, reports Max Stier of the Washington-based Partnership for Public Service, a group that promotes government jobs. 

Six-hundred thousand over four years? 

Despite popular notions to the contrary, an increase in the number of public-sector jobs is not something to be tripping the light fantastic over. It is no indicator of recovery. I’m not sure why this concept eludes leftists. It’s unclear to those who tend toward rational thought why such monumental wastes of taxpayer dollars, like the construction of light rail systems where they aren’t needed, are seen as positive, productive endeavors.

In what universe? How exactly?

(Those leftists love their light rail systems, don’t they?)

Next to President Obama’s policies, I don’t know that there is anything quite as empty as the cars in Seattle’s never-used, taxpayer raping trains.

There’s nothing like confiscating money from private citizens to pay the salaries of people who hold jobs that would never exist in the private sector.

Please don’t misunderstand me.

I’m not talking about jobs that almost everyone agrees are best handled by government – military, police, fire protection, etc. Yes, there are legitimate functions of government.

Rather, I’m talking about useless government expansion for the purpose of “putting people to work.” 

When the government outpaces the private sector in both job growth and pay – which it has been, and will continue to do under President Obama – the word unsustainable comes to mind. 

And with projected record deficits of well over a trillion dollars ahead – that’s just the deficit, not the total debt – it won’t be long before those making over $150,000 … then a $100,000 … then $75,000 … will all become America’s wealthy class –  and subject accordingly to Obamacrat tax increases. 

Congratulations! 

Under President Obama, we’ve made it

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WHEN YOU LOSE KRUGMAN, WELL …

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 21, 2010

When you’re on the left, and you’re President of the United States, and your perceived ability to save human kind from itself by virtue of your existence has faded like belief in the Tooth Fairy, and only one year into what was to be a magical Messianic Age is the cold hard reality that America is not nearly as gullible as you had thought (or hoped), and when even the persistently annoying Marxist agenda-peddler Paul Krugman of the New York Times is slinging daggers at you, it may be time to re-evaluate.

Krugman, like other lefties, is caught in the whirlwind of his own tizzy-fit, anguished and frazzled, woebegone and farklempt, devastated and relegating himself to the painful truth that President Obama is not the one we’ve been waiting for. On that score, Krugman and I can agree – but his is a disappointment in the fact that Obama has not been able to yank the nation into the periphery of common sense, where the far left lives. His disenchantment is in the reality that the brilliant rhetoric-huckster from the golden campaign-trail days has been replaced by an over-teleprompted, over-exposed, over-rated political laggard without a scintilla of executive experience and no idea how to lead.

The stimulus bill wasn’t big enough. The President didn’t blame George Bush enough. The banks got off too easy. Blah, blah, blah …

His – *gulp* – doubts are being confirmed.

He writes:

Health care reform — which is crucial for millions of Americans — hangs in the balance. Progressives are desperately in need of leadership; more specifically, House Democrats need to be told to pass the Senate bill, which isn’t what they wanted but is vastly better than nothing. And what we get from the great progressive hope, the man who was offering hope and change, is this:

“I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on. We know that we need insurance reform, that the health insurance companies are taking advantage of people. We know that we have to have some form of cost containment because if we don’t, then our budgets are going to blow up and we know that small businesses are going to need help so that they can provide health insurance to their families. Those are the core, some of the core elements of, to this bill. Now I think there’s some things in there that people don’t like and legitimately don’t like.”

In short, “Run away, run away”!

Maybe House Democrats can pull this out, even with a gaping hole in White House leadership. Barney Frank seems to have thought better of his initial defeatism. But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.

I’ll reiterate that there isn’t a chance in hell that House Democrats sign onto the Senate version of Obamacare – or “LeftCare,” as talk show host Dennis Prager calls it. To Krugman, and others of the far leftist creed, House Dems need to summon the courage to be able to awaken the frightened inner socialist within – their conscience, he would say – forget about Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, and do what’s right for the American people. To Krugman, doing something is better than doing nothing – vastly better, he says.

And if it all can be blamed on George W. Bush, all the better.

But simply “doing something” for the sake of doing something is precisely what 52.7% of Americans did in November, 2008 by electing the enormously under qualified and unmistakably overwhelmed candidate for the world’s most important elective office.

A year and a day into the Messianic Age, it’s all worked out so wonderfully, hasn’t it, Paul?

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YEAH, OKAY … BLAME THE BANKS, GREED, WALL STREET, WHATEVER

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 19, 2010

Actually, Barack Obama is very transparent. There’s really nothing cryptic or mysterious about him – except maybe his college transcripts. He is a floundering leftist without a single intelligible plan (other than punishing achievement and the free market), without a single accomplishment to speak of, and void of any sense of what it means to be Commander-In-Chief.

And those are his strengths.

His first year in office has been a case study in impotence and infirmity. Still, he is driven by an enormously overpowering, yet completely translucent, conceit. He’s grossly misread the American people, taking them for fools, assuming that his mere existence would be more than enough to push through his radical leftist agenda. But other than catapulting America’s deficits to unseen levels, he has nothing to show for his first year other than his flair for downplaying the importance of national security, and a record-setting number of rounds of golf.

President Obama knows that his big and bold plans for transforming America aren’t popular. He sees growing dissatisfaction and anger spreading across the country. But part of him truly cannot believe that his plummeting poll numbers have anything to do with him specifically. He is convinced the American people simply don’t grasp the reality of the situation (as he sees it), namely that he inherited so many catastrophic problems from his predecessor – perhaps the worst any President has ever inherited at anytime in history – that even his messianic skills aren’t sufficient to the task. Thus, he has abandoned his pie-in-the-sky, messianic aspirations (for now) and has fallen back into a posture of predictable, transparent desperation.

When all else fails, pull out the old standby: the anti-capitalist card.

Let’s get populist. Let’s go after greed:

Mike Allen at the Politico writes:

Reflecting his new tone, Obama last week announced a new fee on big banks by vowing, “We want our money back, and we’re going to get it.”. At a House Democratic retreat a few hours later, he said leaders need to be “fighting for the American people with the same sense of urgency that they feel in their own lives.”

In his weekly address on Saturday, he declared: “We’re not going to let Wall Street take the money and run.” Saluting Martin Luther King Jr. in remarks to a Baptist congregation the next day, Obama railed against “an era of greed and irresponsibility that sowed the seeds of its own demise.”

I hate to use a hackneyed phrase, but you cannot make this stuff up. Deficits have never been higher. Unemployment has gotten worse under this President. The President is on a course to spend this nation into near financial oblivion for generations to come – and wants to add to it with his proposed government takeover of health care – and yet, he whines and cries about Wall Street taking the money and running?

What? Is he serious?

Who takes more money out of the pockets of Americans than the federal government?

Yes, Americans want their money back – but not back in the hands of the unaccountable, irresponsible, expansion-happy feds. How dare Barack Obama talk about an era of “greed and irresponsibility” when it is our government, under Bam, spending and spending unheard of amounts of money, putting future generations on the hook. 

Can anything be more transparent than big government liberalism and the games leftists play?

Sure, blame Wall Street. It’ll strike an emotional chord with those who have been raised to be class warriors – those weaned on modern liberalism’s teet. After all, it sounds good to go after big executives, CEOs, rich people and other selfish pinchfists. Go ahead and blame corporate America. It sounds so right to slam big companies. They don’t care about the “little guy.” They only care about fattening up their highly-paid cats at the common man’s expense. Why not blame greed itself? It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Especially when a bend-over-and-grab-the-ankles-for-the-big-unions President says it.

At the rally for (candidate for Massachusetts Senator, Martha) Coakley, (President Obama) added: “Bankers don’t need another vote in the United States Senate. They’ve got plenty.”

Good God, Mr. President, is that really the best you’ve got?

“Bankers have plenty?”

What is he? In an eighth grade debating class?

Blame money, capitalism, free markets, corporations, Wall Street or George W. Bush all you want, Bammy; you are the reason the Democrats are dissolving like a graham cracker in a bowl of milk … and the reason the next Senator from the State of Massachusetts will be the Republican, Scott Brown.

You’re damn right today’s election in Massachusetts is a referendum on this administration.

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IF YOU BUY SOME FOOD, I’LL TAX YOUR BAG …

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 3, 2010

It isn’t only the fishes in the deep blue sea who will be thrilled. It won’t only be the oaks and maples who will breathe a sigh of relief. And don’t think that power lines everywhere won’t be doing their electrified happy dance at hearing the news. The District of Columbia has decided that they’ve had enough of polluted rivers, besieged tree branches and inundated power lines. They’re even standing up for poor storm drains.

God bless America’s capital city. They’ve put a five cent tax on each plastic bag DC shoppers use when they go shopping.

The new tax went into effect on New Year’s Day.

From the great Breitbart website:

“I signed this law in July to cut down on the disposable bags that foul our waterways,” said Mayor Adrian Fenty in a statement last month, saying that one particularly urban waterway, the city’s Anacostia River, has been particularly befouled by the plastic shopping bags.

“Our research shows that plastic bags are a major component of the trash in the Anacostia River,” said Maureen McGowan, interim director of the city’s environment department.

“By taking disposable bags out of production and out of the waste stream, everyone who goes to the store can help keep the waters clean,” McGowan said.

And Fenty noted that part of the money collected will be spent toward cleanup of the Anacostia.

“We want everyone to know that you can save the river, and five cents, if you bring your own reusable bag to the store instead,” the mayor said.

To prepare for the change, the city government has distributed some 122,000 reusable shopping bags to elderly and low-income residents who complain that their limited spending power will be further hampered by the levy.

Of course, it only makes sense to have taxpayers pay for other people’s shopping bags.

But if the goal is to genuinely keep thsoe pesky plastic bags from destroying Mother Earth, how about this idea … why not have the store pay shoppers five cents for each plastic bag they bring back from previous shopping trips? After all, those plastic bags are, too, reusable, aren’t they? The store can then be given some sort of tax credit for helping to keep the planet safe from the plastic menace. I’d be willing to bet that kind of incentive would yield better results than the “tax our way to cleaner rivers” approach.

Oh wait … democrats … taxes … taking money out of people’s pockets … never mind.

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THIRTEEN AGs SAY “NOT SO FAST” – LET’S TALK CONSTITUTION

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 31, 2009

One can predict some of the words and phrases Obamacrats will use: obstructionists, partisans, ideologues, Obama-haters, so on.

No soothsayers needed. Pretty standard stuff.

Defenders of the Constitution will be attacked as corporate marionettes, accused of bending over for insurance companies and pharmaceutical interests. Republicans in general will be (and have been) accused of viciously and callously standing in the way of fundamental human decency by endorsing what will undoubtedly lead to the deaths of billions and billions of Americans. The bodies of the uninsured will litter the streets of the United States as heartless right-wing fat cats step around their rotting corpses, laughing the sinister laugh of the victorious, as they visit their own doctors where all the real medicine is kept.

Left-wing blogs will explode with mendacious outrage and rice-pudding indignation. The words “Nazi,” and “corporate shill” and “desperate” (among others) will soak up enormous amounts of bandwidth as pajama-clad basement-dwelling blogosphere leftocrats rat-a-tat away, condemning the patriots who fight to bury Obamacare by standing up for the Constitution.

It’s what so many of us who have questioned the absurd claims of ObamaCare have been waiting for. It’s what so many of us who have questioned the constitutionality of it all have been hoping would come to fruition.

It’s a very good first step.

As many as thirteen state Attorney Generals – all Republicans – have said that the Nebraska sweetheart deal won by Senator Ben Nelson in exchange for his support of this health-care reform monstrosity is unconstitutional and must be removed from the bill.

From the Associated Press, via Fox News:

Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska’s political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday.

“We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision,” they wrote.

There is also a great deal to explore regarding the constitutionality of mandating citizens to purchase a free-market service or good – in this case, health insurance – from a private entity, as presecribed in the bill.

One thing at a time, though.

The letter was signed by top prosecutors in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state. All are Republicans, and McMaster and the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are running for governor in their respective states.

Last week, McMaster said he was leading several other attorneys general in an inquiry into the constitutionality of the estimated $100 million deal he has dubbed the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina raised questions about the legislation, which they said was amended to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s support.

“Because this provision has serious implications for the country and the future of our nation’s legislative process, we urge you to take appropriate steps to protect the Constitution and the rights of the citizens of our nation,” the attorneys general wrote.

Here’s the funny part … House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina called the letter was “a political ploy.”

Damn right it is.

“This threat stinks of partisan politics,” he said in a statement. “If Henry McMaster wants to write federal law he should run for Congress not governor.”

If it stinks, I like the smell. I hope it comes out in a candle.

I can’t even begin to tell you how comical it is to hear a Democrat decry “partisan politics.” What on earth could be more partisan than having a holdout Senator or two vote for a bill not on its own merits, but as a result of party-unifying bribery? (Is anybody in there, Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu?)

Surely Mr. Clyburn is aware that all Senate Democrats voted for the bill. By definition, isn’t that partisan politics?

Clarity, please.

Clyburn needs to think before he speaks. He snidely remarks that South Carolina Attorney General McMaster should run for Congress if he wants to “write federal law.”

Clever.

Perhaps Clyburn ought to think about actually representing the people – you know,do his job – if he wants to remain in Congress.

At last look, nearly six in ten Americans don’t want this bill passed.

Nice work, Pubs. Don’t let up.

See what happens when they actually set their minds to something?

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AND IF THIS WERE A REPUBLICAN HIT-AND-RUN …

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2009

When Harry met Nancy

The function of a journalist long ago metastasized from being one that reports what is happening in as objective a manner as possible to one who fancies himself (or herself) a kind of modern day crusader, desirous of righting the wrongs around them, revealing injustices, and saving the planet from second-hand smoke, greenhouse gases, God, and conservatives (quite possibly in that order).

Interesting is how the glossy veneer of the mainstream media’s troubling charade continues to remain uncompromised – amongst themselves. Their facade of impartiality is still foisted onto the American people daily, but because they exist primarily within their own forest, they almost always miss the trees. They distinguish themselves as straight down the middle, detached from affiliation, objective purveyors of whatever they deem to be news, ready to involuntary activate the “neutral” switch when the situation calls for it. (Recall the famous line attributed to theater critic Pauline Kael in 1972 after Richard Nixon’s landslide victory: “How could Nixon have won? I don’t know anyone who voted for him.” Whether the quote is apocryphal or not is irrelevant, because the sentiment, as it pertains to the relationship between the main stream media and the rest of the country, is spot on). Media bias is not self-evident primarily because the mainstreamers find themselves in a fraternity that is overwhelmingly liberal (i.e., normal).

The concept of mainstream media objectivity is certainly pleasant enough – much like calorie-free milk chocolate or world peace – but not very realistic.

Some can adhere to it.

Most cannot.

Think of how the mainstream media would be covering this wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am health bill that passed the Senate earlier today if Republicans were in charge. Try and imagine the level of outrage and indignation that would be leveled at GOPers had a bunch of sweetheart deals been brokered for Republican pet projects in order to get this unread, unreviewed, two-thousand page legislative atrocity passed. How many times do you think the word “tyranny” would have been tossed about by the punditocracy? How often would the American people be hearing about “the least transparent administration in history” or the “cloak and dagger” way the President is running his ship? Would the media stand for it? Or bend over for it?

Now that reconcilliation is next on the docket, how, pray tell, would the media handle a not too far-fetched scenario being suggested by John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, where the tag-team tandem of Pelosi and Reid all but thumb their noses at the process of trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill in conference, sidestepping protocol, tradition and accountability? How would the mainstream media report on GOP attempts to breach every code of conduct, foregoing the normal process of coming up with a compromise between the two houses, so that a bill could be rushed through to passage without the opportunity for the American people to know what’s in it?

John Fund of the Wall Street Journal writes:

Look for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to try to circumvent the traditional conference committee process by which the different versions of health care reform passed by each house will be reconciled. If so, it will be the latest example of violating principles of transparency and accountability in the single-minded pursuit of legislative victory.

Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi would love to come up with a way to bash heads in private and skip any public discussion that further reveals just how incoherent and unworkable both the bills are. Luckily, there is a subterfuge readily available that wouldn’t require the House to swallow the Senate’s bill unchanged but also ducks the traditional give-and-take of the conference committee.

When Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they increasingly did not send bills through the regular conference process. “We have to defer to the bigger picture,” explained Rep. Henry Waxman of California. So the children’s health insurance bill passed by the House that year was largely dumped in favor of the Senate’s version. House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel and other Democrats complained the House had been “cut off at the knees” but ultimately supported the bill. Legislation on lobbying reform and the 2007 energy bill were handled the same way — without appointing an actual conference.

Rather than appoint members to a public conference committee, those measures were “ping-ponged” — i.e. changes to reconcile the two versions were transmitted by messenger between the two houses as the final product was crafted behind closed doors solely by the leadership. Many Democrats grumbled at the secrecy. “We need to get back to the point where we use conference committees . . . and have serious dialogue,” said Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama at the time.

But serious dialogue isn’t what Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid are interested in right now. Look for the traditional conference committee to be replaced by a “ping-pong” game in which health care is finalized behind closed doors with little public scrutiny before the bill is rushed to the floor of each chamber for a final vote.

Now that the Democrats have got their Senate bill passed, just in time for turkey and mistletoe, be prepared for a cavalcade of lies about how “the American people want this change,” and “Last November, the American people chose to move in a new direction,” and whatever else they’ll say to stir the stomach acids of a bamboozled American public. Brace yourself for a whole lot of nauseating “blah, blah, blah” and gut-churning “yada, yada, yada.” Expect to hear the word “historic” a few thousand times, and waist-deep-in-the-fertilizer deceptions about how the deficit will actually be lowered thanks to the eventual passage of this disastrous bill into law. Get ready for dancing Democrats to find their way to every camera within spitting distance, sporting that look of sweet victory, claiming that the American people are the real winners. (Barf bag manufacturers might make a killing over the next few days).

It will be as disgusting a display as one could imagine – donkey faces all aglow in the fleeting hours before Christmas as they move that much closer to grabbing 16% of the American economy and crushing our liberties.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

There isn’t a device in all the world capable of measuring how utterly unfathomable and unAmerican Congress’ actions have been up to this point in getting this bill passed.

It is stunning.

Absolutely stunning.

The most transparent administration in history?

Horse crap.

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THE PEOPLE SAY: SMALLER GOVERNMENT IS BETTER

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 18, 2009

Many on my side of the aisle like to use the phrase “smaller government” when upholding one of the foundational tenets of conservatism. I prefer to use the term “limited government” (i.e., restricting the federal government to only those functions clearly expressed in the Constitution). The distinction is very important.

“Smaller” government does not necessarily mean that the feds are limited to involving themselves to only specific areas of public life. Rather, it could still mean a far-reaching, overly intrusive, finger-in-everyone’s-pie brand of governance – but at a seemingly curtailed, more reasonably palatable level. It could mean prescribing cutbacks in specific areas, or being less involved in areas they shouldn’t have been meddling in in the first place – potentially good things, of course, depending on where those cuts happen – but it is not the same as keeping government confined to its Constitutional charges.

And while it may be a matter of semantics when it comes to collecting poll data, a new Rasmussen survey shows that the American people – by a margin of 2-1 – prefer “smaller” government.

And yes, that’s a good thing.

From Rasmussen:

Sixty-six percent (66%) of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes over a more active government with more services and higher taxes. That’s the second highest finding of the year: In August at the height of the congressional town hall controversies over the health care plan, 70% felt that way.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% prefer a government with more services and higher taxes. Eleven percent (11%) aren’t sure which is best.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Republicans and 63% of voters not affiliated with either major party like a smaller government better. Democrats are more narrowly divided: 51% favor a smaller government, but 37% opt for a larger, more activist government.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of liberals chose a government with more services and higher taxes. Eighty-six percent (86%) of conservatives think a smaller government is better.

Six in ten also say that tax cuts, instead of increased government spending, are a better way to create jobs.

One would think this latest polling data is worthy of a rousing “hip hip hooray!” or even a “Yeah, baby!” from those of us on the steadily-recharging right. However, when I see these kinds of poll results, I am wont to proceed with caution.

Indeed, people can say anything they want all day long. They can make philosophical assertions for all the tally-takers, poll masters and statistical inquisitors they wish. But unless they put their votes where their poll questionnaires are, it’s hard to go sis-boom-bah over this.

The fact is, people like their “stuff.”

They want their “services.”

And they’ll go down scratching and clawing to keep them.

Many, for instance, are quick to condemn the installation of railroad crossing lights in some rural county far, far away, but will burn down the courthouse if their own neighborhood playground funding is slashed.

Platitudes and theories are dandy in water cooler debates, but how much Americans are really willing to do without in the name of conservatism, no one can really know.

Rob at the great Say Anything blog writes:

Maybe we’re seeing a new shift in the American electorate. Maybe this is that awakened “sleeping giant.” I could be persuaded to believe that, but in the past most Americans are only nominally against big government spending. When you talk about spending (and the debts and deficits that spending creates) in general terms it’s hard to find a single American who isn’t in favor of less. But when you start talking about specific spending, well suddenly that’s a different matter.

Yep.

Please don’t misunderstand. As I said earlier, this is a good thing. This is generally a “thumbs up” kind of story.

Just keep talkin’, Obamacrats.

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THERE’S PORK … AND THEN THERE’S PORK

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 12, 2009

The epoch of earmarks had seen its last days, the American people were told. Government waste was a thing of the past, Americans were advised. Fresh sounding, twenty-first century words like “transparency” and “post-partisan” were peppered into the national dialogue from a guy with great dulcet tones. Things were going to be different. Even people on the right were excited about the dawning of the new age.

Remember what the new guy told us: We were the people we were waiting for.

He was going to be everyone’s president, we were assured. He was going to hear our voices too, he promised. The Transformation Express was boarding on Track Forty-Four, and everyone was invited to grab their slice of the American pie.

But quicker than someone could say TARP, the new guy in charge – The One, we called him in the early days – started doing things that didn’t seem quite right. He spent three-quarters of a trillion dollars on door knobs, hiking trails, the study of rabbit feces, and new computers for government offices, all in the name of stimulating the economy. Not particularly stimulating. Without batting a lash, he mortgaged the future of those yet to be born, burdening them with epic costs so that their predecessors could avoid having to tough it out. He commanded government to take over segments of the private sector – like the auto industry – and made it his primary task to annex 16% of the American economy. He said earmarks were a thing of the past, then redefined the word so that he could let himself off the hook. He said over three million jobs would be created on his watch, only to see at least that many lost.

And now, the most fiscally irresponsible administration in this nation’s history is officially back in the earmark business to the tune of nearly $4 billion. That may not sound like much in today’s trillions-happy environment, but four thousand million is four thousand million … and that’s our money.

Richard Simon from the Los Angeles Times writes:

Reporting from Washington – Getting into the holiday spirit, the House of Representatives on Thursday approved a spending bill loaded with goodies for the folks back home.

Trails for Monterey Bay. An arts pavilion for Mississippi. Bus shelters for Bellflower.

In all, the bill contains 5,224 earmarks costing about $3.9 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group.

Though Democrats say they have cracked down on pork-barrel spending, critics attacked the bill as excessive.

“Clearly, the earmark culture has not been swept away,” Brian M. Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, blogged Thursday.

The $447-billion bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled House with no Republican votes and moved to the Senate, combines six spending bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The measure brings total earmarks in this year’s spending bills to 7,577 at a cost of about $6 billion, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. The Pentagon spending bill, the last of the annual appropriations bills, is expected to contain more earmarks than the omnibus bill, said Steve Ellis of the taxpayer group.

In the event you are keeping a score card at home, some of the other pet projects in the bill include a half-million dollars to help build a trench, thirteen-and-a-half million for the creation of a bus lane, a quarter-million for textile research, and almost two-hundred thousand for weather forecaster training.

Oh yeah … I almost forgot two-hundred thousand for the Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation in San Diego.

Thank God for that.

“When are we going to say, ‘Enough is enough?’ ” asked House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who does not seek earmarks. “I don’t know how worthy any of these projects are, but I do have to ask a question: Are they more important than our kids and grandkids who are going to have to pay the debt?”

It is the very essence of modern liberalism – to act without regard for what happens next. It is what the great Thomas Sowell calls being stuck in “stage one” thinking – failing to consider the ramifications of a policy decision that, for the moment, serves to make the boo-boo feel better.

It is closely related to “Do Something” Disease, which is a mutated strand of “Change For The Sake of Change” Syndrome.

It is a weakness of liberalism best exemplified in how Barack Obama has approached the economic crisis from the outset. To him, Americans aren’t capable of handling tough economic times. We aren’t resilient enough to brave a recession. We cannot face whatever hardships might lie ahead. We need the government to step in and make things better. We need him to tell us everything will eventually be all right. It is imperative that we make our kids and grandkids pay for it tomorrow so that we might live more comfortably today.

Mr. President, that is not America. It never has been.

Not only can Americans handle the most difficult of times, we do so with the understanding that it is our charge – our purpose – to make things better for the next generation. We weather the toughest of storms because there is no other alternative. We roll with the best life has to offer and we bear the brunt of the worst,  aware of the immorality in mortgaging the future of our children, our civilization.

For example, what would we think of a parent who secured credit cards in his or her child’s name only to max them out?

I resent the fact that this president has engendered that sense of weakness in a nation built on rugged individualism. That he is willing to make things more difficult for yet unborn generations so that today can feel better may be the most disgraceful thing yet to come from the Messianic Age.

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JUST PROTEST, BABY

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 3, 2009

Democrats are clearly fed up. The time has come for them to let it be known that something must be done … and now! The “job creation” thing really hasn’t worked out for them (not counting the billions and billions of new jobs created by the Stimulus Package), and the fact that over three million jobs have actually been lost since the ushering in of the Messianic Age – along with a nearly three point spike in unemployment – these are difficult times for donkeys.

So what does a political party with control of the White House and both houses of Congress do when they still cannot get things done their way?

They protest themselves, of course.

Jessica Yellin, CNN National Political Correspondent, writes:

Congressman Bobby Rush

Members of President Obama’s own political party are charging that the White House and the Democratic Congressional leadership are not doing enough to help the unemployed and are threatening to organize a march on Washington of jobless Americans.

“Obviously there’s something that’s not getting through to them,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Illinois. “And we’re going to let the White House and everybody who’s concerned know that we have got people in our districts who are depending on us to deliver for them.”

Rush and Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Candice Miller, R-Michigan, chair the new Congressional “Jobs Now Caucus,” which is comprised of 112 Democrats and 17 Republicans.

Of course, the “everybody concerned” that Congressman Rush is referring to includes himself, his Democrat colleagues and President Obama.

The real question is: Will his pleas fall on his own deaf ears? Or will he finally pay attention … to himself?

It is clear that he and his colleagues are damn serious about this because they’ve created a brand new “caucus.”

Unemployment, look out.

It would have been fascinating to be a fly on the wall during the genesis of the idea to organize a march against themselves: 

Kaptur: What can we do, Bobby? We really suck.

Rush: Hmm … Hey, I know! Let’s do a protest!

Kaptur: Wow! Sounds great! But against ourselves, Bobby?

Rush: You get the markers, I’ll get the poster board. To the mall!

Meanwhile, just for good measure, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, issued this predictable statement:

“We continue to work with all members of the caucus and with the Administration to build on the recovery package and other initiatives to help create jobs and grow our economy after years of mismanagement by the Bush administration.”

In other news, Democrats are still clueless.

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QUICK THOUGHTS ABOUT LAST NIGHT’S SENATE VOTE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 22, 2009

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana - the $300 million baby

A little perspective, please.

Don’t let the left’s seizure of the word “historic” after last night’s vote in the Senate convince you that it was anything more than routine. Last night’s 60-39 vote was not historic. It did not make government-run health care a reality. It was nothing more than a procedural vote allowing the matter of health care reform to be formally discussed on the floor of the Senate after Thanksgiving. I’m not even sure that there were many who actually believed that it wouldn’t muster sixty votes.  ($300 million can buy alot).

Face it, last night’s vote really wasn’t one that Republicans could win anyway. Did anyone really think that any Democrat was going to deny anyone in their own party the opportunity to talk about this on the Senate floor?

It simply wasn’t as critically earth-shattering as many have made it out to be.

Certainly, I didn’t like it one bit. Indeed, it would have been a pleasant surprise had the winning side fallen short of sixty, but I didn’t expect it to.

One thing is certain: The ultimate passage of this bill would be a disaster for the United States of America. It must be stopped. There is still time. But last night’s vote, to be quite honest, was being built up far more than it needed to be.

The process has only just begun.

More disturbing, however, was some of the commentary from Democrats.

Just before the vote, Senator Chris Dodd spoke of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, saying it would pay Kennedy the highest compliment of all if they were able to fulfill “that quest of achieving the goal that all Americans aspire for, and that is a national health care plan that serves every one of our citizens.”

“Every one of our citizens?”

Really?

Hmmm … Call me unnuanced, but that smells an awful lot like government-run health care, doesn’t it?

And of course, Harry Reid himself said, ”Today we vote whether to even discuss one of the greatest issues of our generation – indeed, one of the greatest issues this body has ever faced – whether this nation will finally guarantee its people the right to live free from the fear of illness and death, which can be prevented by decent health care for all.”

He’d be almost adorable if he wasn’t so frightfully irritaing.

The Senate Majority Leader obviously believes that the federal government can legislate immortality. Death can be prevented? And all it takes is a merely “decent” health care bill? That’s quite incredible. What if it were a “fantastic” health care bill? Or a “sensational” health care bill? Would they also have the power to bring back the dead and make them well again?

Or maybe Reid meant to say that the fear of illness and death can be prevented.

Really?

So, if the Senate passes this bill, and it is eventually signed into law, no one will be afraid anymore? No one will fear death? That which has plagued humanity since its inception – the fear of death – will be erradicated by passing a “decent” health care bill?

Stunning.

Why didn’t we elect a Messiah sooner?

And by the way … nice job, Senator Landrieu. $300 million is a nice chunk of change.

You go girl.

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THE TEN YEAR DUPE, PART TWO

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

Harry Reid, fudging the damn numbers

I’m not sure how many people would sign on to a program that required them to work full-time for a period of four years before being paid; or one that would require four years of insurance payments on a car before being handed the keys; or one – as Senator Mitch McConnell puts it – that required four years of mortgage payments before one can move into a house, but I’m going to venture out on a limb and say not too many.

Just as the House version of the health care bill did two weeks ago, Harry Reid’s incarnation – over two-thousand pages strong – employs that old accounting chestnut: The Ten Year Dupe.

It’s pie-in-the-sky liberal voodoo at its cooked-books best.

Recall that earlier this week, Reid assured Americans that the Senate’s version of government-run health care would be a money-saver. Like the Pelosi bill, it would be cost-effective and still be able to insure billions and billions of health-care starved people without costing Americans an extra cent. In fact, there’d actually be some money leftover to pour into other meaningful things, like doorknobs at inner-city housing projects, the study of orgasms among college girls, and the continued examination of radioactive rabbit feces.

Over ten years, according to Reid, the whole kit-n-kaboodle would cost “only” $849 billion. (In today’s trillion-happy world, that’s chump change).

But we’ve all seen this movie before … and there are too many who still don’t get it.

Although tax increases would be implemented upon the bill’s passage into law, actual spending won’t begin until the fifth year of the bill’s application, 2014; and even then, it will be relatively miniscule. For instance, only $9 billion is slated to be spent that year. However, in 2016, spending reaches $147 billion. By 2019 (the last year of Reid’s ten year projection), it’ll hit $196 billion.

Thus, actual spending of any significance would only take place during the last six years of Reid’s health care debacle.

But, if one were to look at the actual numbers over a fully implemented ten year period, which would start in 2014, the cost is more than twice the $849 billion espoused by Reid – in the neighborhood of $2 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Ten Year Dupe.

As many as seventeen new taxes will be enacted to help fund everything. As much as $800 billion, according to the CBO, will be sucked from Medicare during the first decade of full implementation and put somewhere else. Plus, hefty penalties for those individuals, families and businesses who fail to comply with guidelines will be imposed.

Let freedom ring.

Seeing as there will be four years of revenue collection before spending really begins – which means four more years of our ongoing American health care holocaust – where is all of that money going to go until it is ready to be spent? Where do four years of taxes and fines get stashed until the government begins saving American lives? Will there be a health care reform fund established? Will there be a secret shoe box hidden at an undisclosed location? Will convicted Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana allow the government to borrow his freezer?

Or the do words Social Security Fund mean anything to you?

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JOBS ARE A SIDE ISSUE – THAT’S WHY OBAMA IS FOCUSING ON JOBS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 19, 2009

For sheer incoherence, this may very well be on par with “I was for it before I was against it,” although not nearly as quotable. However, for the unrivaled capacity to redefine things at will, the award has to go to Barack H. Obama, Chief Executive.

No one else is even in his league.

He may certainly be the best sounding fertilizer peddler since Barney Frank on peanut butter, but there isn’t a soul – not even William Jefferson Clinton himself – with the hypnotizing ability to change the rules of the game on a dime as Barack Obama can.

The purpose of Obama’s Stimulus Bill, you recall, was to revitalize the economy and put Americans to work. It all sounded so divinely FDR. It is all anyone heard from clucking Obamacrats leading up to the bill’s who-did-it-and-ran passage in February – that the $787 billion dollar spending spectacular would create somewhere around 4 million jobs, and the unemployment rate would top off at around 8%, and America would finally live up to its promise because only government can save.

Blah, blah, blah.

The reality is the unemployment rate has been steadily rising and currently stands at over 10%. The confidence of the American people is plummeting. And although the President continues to sing the praises of his illusory “job recovery,” there aren’t too many people buying it.

Job recoveries are hard to wrap your arms around when less people are working.

Besides, if there are any jobs being “created” or “saved” by Obama’s Spendulous Bill, the bulk of them are government sector jobs, which means taxpayer dollars are being sucked out of the economy so that they can be redistributed to others as salary.

FDR, indeed.

To top it off, the government’s assessment of the Stimulus Bill’s success has been embarrassingly incorrect. There has been job creation in non-existent districts; there have been more “jobs saved” than actually exist at given places of employment; and no one seems to be sure what the criteria is for any of it.

This is where Obama’s sheer incoherence will score him some “ah-ha” points with the mainstream media (who have been a bit worried that their savior is losing some credibility even among hardcore Obamacrats).

It turns out that all along, according to Obama, the number of jobs created wasn’t particularly relevant – a mere “side issue,” as he calls it.  Rather, job growth was his real number one priority.

See? Problem solved.

From Fox News

“I think this is an inexact science. We’re talking about a multitrillion-dollar economy that went through the worst economic crisis since 1933. The first measure of success of the economic recovery is, did we pull ourselves back from the brink? We did,” Obama said. “The question now is, can we make sure we’re accelerating job growth? That’s my No. 1 job. Nobody’s been more disappointed than I have to see how high the unemployment rate has gotten. And I spend every waking hour, when I’m talking to my economic team, about how we are going to put people back to work.”

How exactly does one track job growth without counting jobs?

Recall that last week Obama credited the Stimulus Bill for putting a million people back to work. Or for keeping them at work. Or whatever it was supposed to do. Why would the President make it a point to mention how many jobs the Stimulus Bill was responsible for if it was only a “side issue?”

What about the “multi-trillion” dollar debt poised to be left as an “Obama Was Here” calling card for countless future generations?

And I love the line about accounting being “an inexact science.”

How bleeping convenient.

Is projecting how “cost effective” and “efficient” government-run healthcare will be an inexact science too?

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HOW TO WIN? LET DEMS KEEP TALKING

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 13, 2009

All it takes is shining a spotlight on liberals, and affording them the opportunity to step out from the security of their abstractions, to get people to open their eyes. Once lefties are forced to go beyond bumper sticker rhymes and pretty protest signs and actually elucidate the details of their destructive plans and schemes, Americans begin to see the light.

For years, the notion of having the federal government responsible for the health care of the American people, to many, didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Inasmuch as most folks didn’t invest too much time or energy digging into the matter, on its surface, it really didn’t sound particularly offensive. As a concept, it simply didn’t trouble most to think of someone else (i.e., the federal government) footing the bill for their health care costs. In fact, since November, 2001, Gallup consistently found that a majority of Americans believed that health care was the responsibility of the federal government.

That is, until now.

For the first time since Gallup began asking the question eight years ago in an annual poll, more Americans now say that health care is not the responsibility of the federal government.

How about that?

For eight years, Gallup has been posing the following question:

Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have heath care coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?

In this year’s poll, 50% said no, compared to 47% who said yes.

Gallup Health Care Poll

As recently as three years ago, nearly 7 in 10 Americans said that it was the responsibility of the federal government to provide health care coverage for all Americans.

Of course, that was prior to the Messianic Age.

According to Gallup:

The reason behind this shift is unknown. Certainly the federal government’s role in the nation’s healthcare system has been widely and vigorously debated over the last several months, including much focus on the “public option.” These data suggest that one result of the debate has been a net decrease in Americans’ agreement that ensuring all Americans have healthcare coverage is an appropriate role for the federal government.

If I may be so bold …

The reason is pretty clear to me: Liberals have had ten months to yak about it – and thus expose it for unsustainable, liberty-eroding, financial disaster that it is.

To that end, I invite all ObamaCare-supporting liberals – from the garden variety, off-the-rack, big-government types to the slobbering post-Clinton, anti-Bush, transformation-happy, Marxist wanna-bes – to keep finding hot microphones to speak into. I encourage all socialized-medicine enthusiasts who have made a lifetime’s work out of repeating insipid platitudes and vapid bromides (without ever having to fully explicate their feel-good, pie-in-the-sky utopian aspirations) to continue yapping into any camera they can find.

I want all Obamacrats to keep on talking.

Let the debate go on.

We’ll all ears.

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THE OBAMA MILLION-JOB-FARCE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 13, 2009

obama jobs savedLet’s say, for instance, you brought your car to a local mechanic and ultimately wound up getting horrible service. Aside from the aggravation and frustration, you’d probably feel as if you’ve been swindled out of your hard earned money.

Now for the sake of this discussion, let’s say that a year later, despite your better judgment, you decide to give that mechanic one more try, only to have a similarly negative experience. In both instances, the customer service was dreadful and you were made to feel like an inconvenience. To top it off, you were overcharged and made to wait far longer than you should have.

Would you ever go back?

How about an accounting firm charged with balancing the books for your small business? Let’s say for three years running, the firm had so mismanaged your ledgers – and ultimately your tax returns – that the IRS decided to audit you.

Do you stick with them, figuring the fourth year to be the one where everything will finally be set right?

Or do you kick them to the curb (which you probably should have done two years ago)?

And what about the federal government?

Let’s say they passed into law a $787 billion Stimulus bill that was supposed to, by definition, “stimulate” economic growth by creating as many as 3.7 million new jobs across the country. And let’s say after nine months or so, with only a percentage of the money “infused” into the economy, the federal government started claiming that their hyper-spending was working – that the money they “invested” in America was saving or creating a whole lot of jobs, just as promised.

And let’s say not too long after the federal government made such a claim, news reports started coming out refuting those government assertions as being “wildly exaggerated.”

Not “marginally incorrect.”

Not “inappreciably erroneous.”

Not “slightly off.”

But “wildly exaggerated.”

And let’s say that during this time period, unemployment figures were still on the rise.

And let’s say those miscalculations by the federal government were only one in a long line of grossly inaccurate claims made by them, ultimately costing the taxpayers trillions of dollars, creating an endless labyrinth of government bureaucracy, and rewarding inefficiency with more of the people’s hard earned money.

Would you then feel confident enough to trust them to run your health care delivery system?

(Keep in mind that the current government-run health delivery systems – Medicare and Medicaid – have been disgustingly mismanaged by the same federal government).

On one hand, President Barack Obama is now claiming that his Spendulous Bill has saved or created one million jobs. One million jobs. All the while, the unemployment rate is as high as it’s been in one-quarter century … and rising.

On the other, the Boston Globe – not exactly a buttress of conservatism – says that the messianic claims being peddled by Bammy, at least in Massachusetts, are “wildly exaggerated.”

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.

One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’

In other cases, federal money that recipients already receive annually – subsidies for affordable housing, for example – was reclassified this year as stimulus spending, and the existing jobs already supported by those programs were credited to stimulus spending.

“There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds,’’ said Susan Kelly, director of property management for Boston Land Co., which reported retaining 26 jobs with $2.7 million in rental subsidies for its affordable housing developments in Waltham. “It’s hard to figure out if you did the paperwork right. We never asked for this.”

Other examples from across the country illustrating the fairy-tale that is the Obama Million-Job-Farce include two Colorado child development centers that reported saving or creating 292 jobs. In actuality, the vast majority of the money was used to give cost-of-living raises. In all, only three new jobs were created.

Stimulus Package VermontIn Washington, 34,500 jobs were supposedly saved or created – 24,000 of which were teaching positions. Stimulus money was used to cover paychecks, hence the claim of having “saved” the jobs. Unfortunately for the Bammy-Number-Crunching Machine, none of those jobs were in danger of going away because the money needed to cover those salaries would have come out of the state general fund. Those teachers were already contracted to finish the school year.

In Danville, Virginia, $35,000 is said to have created or saved 50 jobs. That’s quite a claim. In truth, the money didn’t create a single job – nor did it save any – but it did improve fifty already existing jobs. It went for raises, training, and playground repair.

In the Columbus, Ohio School District, where 36 school administrators were supposedly on the brink of being laid off, it turns out that no one was on the brink of being let go. There were only two options for officials to choose from on the form they were required to fill out for receiving stimulus money: “created” or “saved.” Since the jobs already existed, the only choice left was “saved.”

Stimulus money is said to have saved the jobs of 473 teachers in North Chicago. Unfortunately, the district only employs 290 teachers.

As talk show host Mark Levin said on his radio program yesterday, if Barack Obama were on the witness stand and made the million jobs claim under oath, he’d be a perjurer.

And yet, the federal government will somehow suddenly get it right and be trusted to manage the health care needs of Americans.

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TAKE ‘EM AWAY, BOYS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 12, 2009

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama spoke with Jake Tapper of ABC News.

Tapper: Do you think it’s appropriate to have a threat of jail time for those who refuse to buy insurance?

Obama: You know, what I think is appropriate is that in the same way everybody has to get auto insurance – and if you don’t, you’re subject to some penalty – if you have the ability to buy insurance, and you choose not to do so, forcing you and me and everyone else to subsidize you, there’s nothing wrong with a penalty.

obama and tapperTo begin with, the federal government does not mandate that drivers carry automobile insurance.

Second, automobile insurance is required only if one chooses to drive. It is up to the individual whether or not they do so. Driving is not mandated by the government. Those, for example, who live in major metropolitan areas with no need for a car are not required, by law, to purchase automobile insurance.

It’s a fairly simple concept.

Third, the very idea that President Obama – or any leftist – would suddenly have any objection to the practice of one group subsidizing another is about as comical as listening to Rosie O’Donnell discuss foreign policy, or Michael Moore offer advice on grooming.

Where exactly does this indignation come from? And how can anyone take it seriously?

Sane-minded, clear-thinking Americans are now to believe that Barack Obama, all of a sudden, opposes subsidies?

What?!

The entire damn health care bill is a multi-trillion dollar subsidy plan!

Finally, answer the bloody question, Mr. President.

Say it this way: “Yes, I think the threat of jail time is appropriate.”

Tapper: As the Senate puts its final bill together, they should know, does the President think jail time is an appropriate–

Obama: I’m not sure that’s the biggest question that they’re asking right now. I think I put out the principal that penalties are appropriate for people who try to free ride the system and force others to pay for their health insurance.

And if it isn’t the “biggest” question they’re asking, so what? Isn’t it a fair inquiry, even if it’s the second biggest? Or the fifth biggest? Isn’t it even just a little bit appropriate for lawmakers to know whether or not American citizens are subject to being arrested and thrown in the can for not purchasing health insurance?

To hear America’s most leftist president ever – a man who believes redistribution of wealth is a moral obligation – talk about punishing people who “free ride” the system is downright creepy. Maybe that gap in the time-space continuum I keep talking about has finally appeared. Perhaps the earth has a slipped off its spindle. Maybe I’m stuck in a medically induced coma.

In truth, it is President Obama who is forcing Americans – even those yet to be born – to pay for the health insurance of others.

And do these “appropriate penalties” apply to illegal aliens? Public housing dwellers? Welfare recipients?

Fair questions, no?

So, to summarize …  In Bammy’s world, law abiding Americans should be incarcerated because of his socialist, government-solves-all-problems vision for the United States. Hard working, tow-the-line, free citizens of the United States should be thrown in jail because Obamacrats believe the greatest health care delivery system in the world should be completely turned on its head to more resemeble ineffective, heavily-rationed European models.

And his approval numbers are crumbling, why?

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BILL SAYS “WE ARE WINNING” – ALSO, EASTER BUNNY FOUND ALIVE

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 11, 2009

Bill Clinton

The Secretary of State's husband

Last Saturday, President Barack Obama not only referred to me (and millions of others like me) as one of the “teabag people,” but also as an “anti-government extremist.” (Admittedly, there was strange kind of honor in that). He did so behind closed doors after he made his much publicized visit to Capitol Hill to encourage House Dems to vote for the two-thousand page Pelosi-ObamaCare debacle that eventually wound up passing by five votes later that evening.

After a slew of “hip-hip-hoorays,” a little back-patting, and some congratulatory spit-swapping, focus soon turned to the next hurdle in America’s transformation – the Senate.

And who better, only three days after the “historic” House vote, to talk up the positives of a government-run health care system to a room full of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Senators than the husband of the Secretary of State himself, Mr. Hillary Clinton?

And so it was that yesterday, Bill and the gang did lunch.

To Clinton, however, people like me (and millions of others like me) weren’t just “teabag people,” as Bammy called us. We were actual “tea baggers” – a term with a diversity of colorful and quaint meanings.

Making it all the more interesting was the assertion that the “tea baggers” – according to the first black President – were all “inflamed.”

(Ouch).

And why?

I’ll get to that in a moment.

Carol E. Lee and Carrie Budoff Brown of the Politico write:

With the issue he has positioned to be his crowning achievement as president at a crossroads, Barack Obama once again called on his former rival to help him follow through.

Former President Bill Clinton told a room full of Democratic senators Tuesday that passing health care reform — which he failed to do 15 years ago — is not only a moral issue but also “an economic imperative.”

Clinton argued that even “the most cold-hearted person” ought to support health care reform simply from an economic standpoint. He reminded Democrats of the political momentum their failure to pass reform in 1993 delivered the House of Representatives to the Republicans the following year.

“The point I want to make is: Just pass the bill, even if it’s not exactly what you want,” Clinton told Democrats. “When you try and fail, the other guys write history.”

Actually, Bill, when Democrats fail, America wins … but that’s a separate issue.

And so the question of the hour is: Why are the tea baggers inflamed?

The answer: Because Democrats are winning.

That’s right, in case you weren’t paying attention to reality – or someone slipped a rather strong hallucinogen into your Ovaltine – the Democrats are winning, according to Number 42 … and I, as a tea bagger, am inflamed because of it.

(I had a line about selling some ocean front property in Wyoming, but it’s slipped my mind).

Not only are Democrats winning now, they have been winning since the health care debate began.

Think back to the spring and summer for a moment.

Whether it was the overwhelming turnout of limited-government, budget-conscious Americans at tea parties all across the country, or the exuberance of spirited protestors who showed up at town-hall meetings to voice their oppostion to ObamaCare, the real reason they did so, according to Mr. Bill, was because the Democrats were (and still are) winning.

(And because they were inflamed).

Honestly, it must be something hard wired in liberal DNA that makes them think this way.

It’s appears to be a universal affliction, although I refrain from jumping to any conclusions.

Still, the evidence is hard to resist.

For instance, in the recesses of the liberal brain, although temperatures have been dropping across the globe for several years now – and NOAA lists last month as the third coldest October on record – global warming still threatens the planet.

To a leftist, although every bit of evidence available points to the Fort Hood killer being a radical Islamist carrying out jihad, it is unclear whether or not religion was a factor in the mass murder.

It is therefore no surprise (or it shouldn’t be) that although the President’s poll numbers continue to plummet, and support for the Obama agenda continues to flounder, and with Democrats getting bounced in last week’s elections (hello New Jersey), and with a huge majority in the House that still saw the health care bill pass by only five lousy votes, Democrats are clearly winning.

Okay, Bill.

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PRESIDENT UNITY AT HIS BEST

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 9, 2009

founding_fathers

The Founding Fathers - anti-government extremists

Validation is a good thing – particularly when it comes from the President of the United States. I’m not certain I would have ever been able to summon the nerve to openly admit that I am, in fact, an anti-government extremist, but thanks to President Hope-and-Change, I now know I have the courage to own up to it. I know I need not shy away from it any longer. If gratitude could be measured in terms of minutes, I have fifty years worth of thanks I’d like to lavish on the President.

(Standing up).

Liberation can be quite liberating.

Yes, my name is Andrew Roman and I am an anti-government extremist.

(Hugs all around).

During his Saturday visit to Capitol Hill to encourage donkeys to vote for the government-run health care bill, President Unity showed why he is, in fact, President of all the American people – inlcuding me. He demonstrated with keen insight the accuracy of what leftists and other children have been saying all along – namely, that those who divide the American people live on the right.

It’s where hate thrives, prejudice blossoms, and bigotry prospers.

While conservatives tear apart, Obamacrats unify.

Jackie Calmes of the New York Times describes what Bammy’s visit on Saturday was like:

Mr. Obama, during his private pep talk to Democrats, recognized Mr. (Bill) Owens election (New York-23) and then posed a question to the other lawmakers. According to Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who supports the health care bill, the president asked, “Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care? All it will do is confuse and dispirit” Democratic voters “and it will encourage the extremists.”

Teabag” people?

Anti-government” people?

Such couth. Such class.

Well done, Mr. President.

I assume his teleprompters were out for an electronic high colonic when he once again afforded his unscripted elegance a chance to shine.

If being a “teabagger” means that one is against saddling future generations with trillions and trillions of dollars of debt to “fix” a system that was not broken to begin with, sign me up.

If being an “extremist” means that one does not support the dependency of the American people on government-run health care, I’m there.

If being “anti-government” means that one is on-board with the Founders vision of this nation as one of limited government – which would, by definition, be impossible with a federal takeover of 16% of the American economy – then wrap me in a right wing label, attach an “ist” or a “phobe” to my name, call me a hateful, uncompassionate bastard and begin the personal attacks.

And by the way, their names were Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton – and they were anti-government extremists.

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HOUSE PASSES PELOSICARE – NAUSEA SETS IN AMONG LOVERS OF LIBERTY

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 8, 2009

Indicted Congressman

Joseph Cao, Louisiana - the ONE Pub to vote yes

That it was technically a slim margin of victory really doesn’t matter at this point.

I’ve already read on multiple blogs and websites a good deal of commentary taking a slightly optimistic spin on “how close” the vote was, and how it was “closer than expected.”

Blah, blah, blah.

It may make for interesting speculation on what lies ahead in the Senate, but the fact is, the bill passed the House – and the United States of America is that much closer to a screwing it shan’t recover from.

It is impossible to overstate it. This was bad. Very bad.

There’ll be a heavy bombardment of self-congratulatory kibbitzing from the left for a while, but attentions will now turn toward Harry Reid and the Senate – where the margin for error will be far less than the small but workable cushion Nancy Pelosi had to work with last night. Indeed, she lost 39 Dems, but ultimately, she could afford it.

Last night, the House of voted 220-215 in favor of the measure that has long been the central focus of the national dialogue – health care reform; and for the life of me, I cannot figure out how on Earth anyone with even a marginally functioning brain could have voted for this thing in good conscience. What the hell were these people thinking? There have been a myriad of detailed studies and analyses, even from non-conservatives, showing how passage of such a monstrosity would not only be an unprecedented financial disaster, but would unquestionably lead outright to a system of government-run health care – which, of course, is precisely what Democrats want.

Anyone who believes that the donkeys don’t want the government to run the health care show in America should invest a few moments researching the matter on You Tube, or visit any number of conservative blogs who have done the work the mainstream media won’t. There are a host of Dems who are on the record as saying that their ultimate goal is to see a single-payer (i.e., government-run) system in place – including the President.

Dems are not the least bit interested in preserving competition in health care. If they tell you they are, they’re lying.

Do those who are now applauding this debacle as some sort of moral victory for America realize that there is not a single government entitlement – absolutely none – that has ever run at or below projected costs? Not one! The federal government has shown itself time and time again to be a maximum of inefficiency in how it runs almost everything. It couldn’t even handle Medicaid and Medicare, and yet 220 members of Congress – including one dumb Republican (Joseph Cao, Louisiana, who won his seat running against the indicted one, William Jefferson) – believe that this time it makes perfect sense to hand over 16% of the economy to the feds?

This morning, Dems are jumping for joy, slobbering all over each other, exchanging hugs, congratulating themselves – all together sickening. The word “historic” is being bandied about as if the Berlin Wall has come down again.

I’m not sure they’re wrong.

America is one step closer to being forever transformed, just as the President so desperately wanted.

Disgusting.
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TEN YEARS OF OBAMA/PELOSI CARE – CRUNCHING THE REAL NUMBERS

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 6, 2009

Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi

From the “Who Didn’t See This One Coming?” file …

Like a big-government liberal salivating at the thought of siphoning more of my paycheck, or an Obamacrat pecking incessantly at my liberties, it’s been gnawing at the sensibilities of clear-thinking Americans for the better part of ten months. It is imperative, the American people have been told time and time again, that health care reform happen as soon as humanly possible. It’s something that needed to happen yesterday, so the story goes; and if not for the racists and money-hoarders on the other side who use talk radio as the vehicle to spread their vitriol, everyone would be already be covered with top-flight, inexpensive, world-class health-care.

According to Washington’s Holey Trinity – Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid  – the American people cannot afford another nanosecond of having to deal with the current capitalist, greed-uber-alles health care delivery debacle that leaves millions and millions to die while fat cat insurance companies roll in the dough. Recall that the health care “crisis” was recently called a “Holocaust” by Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. Recall that those who spoke out against the government takeover of health care at town-hall meetings all across America were said to be swastika-carriers by the Speaker of the House.

(You gotta love that German National Socialist imagery).

As critical as the passing of a health care reform bill is supposed to be to the welfare of the American people, none of it (oddly enough) is to actually be implemented until either 2013 or 2014, depending on the version of bill. (So much for urgency). Three years, it seems to me, is a mighty long time, especially when a “crisis” as far-reaching as this is afoot, but I’m obviously missing something. Still, considering the “seriousness” of the situation, potentially, we’re talking about alot of dead bodies littering the streets.

Proponents of Democrat health care reform have been feeding the American people the notion that all plans to completely overhaul the system are not only going to save trillions and trillions of lives, but it will be cost-effective. In fact, according to the Holey Trinity, it won’t cost Americans an extra nickel.

Senator Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid

Of course, being one of the unsophisticated lock-steppers awaiting his daily marching orders from my talk radio overlords, that never made an iota’s worth of sense to me – nor did it to tens of millions of Americans who spent the better part of the summer and autumn speaking out in opposition to such a blatant erosion of liberty. It ate away at common sense. Without increasing the amount of doctors in the country while (supposedly) adding thirty million Americans to the insurance rolls, the idea that costs would not increase was about as coherent as Joe Biden sober.

Making things all the more deceptive for clarity-loving, clear thinking Americans was the fact that, according to all versions of the bill, revenues for the overhaul would begin to be collected almost immediately.

In short, taxpayers would begin footing the bill now, while the health care “Holocaust” would be allowed to fester for three years under the Pelosi version of the bill (four years under Reid’s version) until the actual rescuing of suffering Americans by the federal government could begin.

Naturally, members of the exalted Trinity (and their mouthpieces) would find every opportunity to gravitate toward hot microphones demanding that those of us in the skeptic’s camp do the math and see that over the next ten years, everything, indeed, checks out cost-wise.

“We’re telling you, it all works out,” they would say.

“Here’s a calculator, do the math. It’ll cost no one a penny extra,” they would contend.

“Look at how things shape up over an entire decade! Your concerns are unfounded!” they would claim.

But here’s the reality of the situation: The only way to conduct an honest analysis of the costs of the Holey Trinity’s attempt to nationalize the American health care system is to run the numbers for a ten year period that includes both spending and revenue collection.

And when the real numbers are crunched … it is not pretty.

Benjamin E. Sasse & Jefferey H. Anderson, in comparing the House version of the bill with the Senate version of the bill, write in the New York Post:

Each bill is routinely “scored” for its 10-year costs from 2010-19. Yet this includes several years when the spending wouldn’t yet have kicked in. According to the Congressional Budget Office, fully 99.9 percent of the Pelosi bill’s costs would hit from 2013 onward. Similarly, 98.3 percent of Reid’s spending would come after 2014.

If you start the tally when the bills’ spending would actually start, then the bills’ real 10-year costs become clear — and are remarkably similar.

The CBO reports that, in their true first 10 years, the House bill would cost $1.8 trillion, and the Senate bill would cost $1.7 trillion. Pelosi would raise Americans’ taxes by $1.1 trillion over that period, while Reid would hike them by $1 trillion.

And the House bill would siphon about $800 billion from Medicare to spend it elsewhere, while the Senate bill would suck out about $900 billion.

And if we discount the bills’ claims to divert hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare (which is already on the edge of insolvency), the CBO says the House bill would raise our national debt by about $650 billion in its real first decade, while the Senate bill would up it by $740 billion.

So, the bills would either sock older Americans by taking huge sums of money from Medicare — or hit future generations with huge tax hikes to cover the shortfall.

Whether it’s our grandparents or our grandchildren, someone is going to pay.

If there aren’t alarms blaring in your head after ingesting those nuggets, it may be time to have a work crew brought in to clear away any cranial cavity blockages.

Numbers have a funny way about them.

Is there anyone who truly believes that the elderly are not going to have their health care substantially rationed under government-run health care? Or that future generation upon gfuture eneration will not be paying for this mess long after the Holey Trinity have moved on to the next world?

Count on both.

Seniors will see their health care – to the tune of $900 billion – quite literally, given to someone else. In other words, benefits will be extracted from a segment of the electorate that is not particularly smitten with President Obama – seniors – and redistributed to that portion of the electorate that still is – the young and the poor.

The only thing as certain as the astronomical costs and sub-par medical care this bill will bring is the fact that not a single member of Congress will ever trade in his or her own health care plan for anything they bestow upon the masses.

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OBAMACRATIC MATH

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 4, 2009

obama calculatorPresident Barack Obama and his party may have taken it on the chin last evening, but when it comes to defying the laws of science (i.e., walking on the water), and defying the tenets of reason (i.e., health care costs will not go up despite adding tens of millions to the insurance rolls), no one can touch him.

Add to that list, his ability to defy the laws of mathematics.

I admit to not knowing much about the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council. It doesn’t come up in conversation much here in New York City’s forgotten borough, Staten Island – although my Big Apple tax dollars are being funneled that way, so perhaps I should pay better attention.

A quick look at their website reveals that they are an “advocate for the poor since 1965.” Their mission statement says, in part, that they are “making the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 a reality in Southwest Georgia by helping socially and economically disadvantaged persons help themselves through a variety of programs.”

Good for them.

For those keeping score at home, there are a total of 508 people employed by the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council

That’s 508 total jobs.

But thanks to President Obama’s magical, all-healing, all-curing, all-saving $787 Stimulus Package, a total of 935 jobs were saved there.

That’s 935 jobs.

Yes, President Obama somehow saved 427 more jobs than actually exist at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council.

Now that is success.

I know there is no Nobel Prize for Mathematics, but there needs to be one.

Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press write:

The Georgia nonprofit’s inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government’s latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an “extensive review” to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.

About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren’t saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.

That type of accounting was found in an earlier AP review of stimulus jobs, which the Obama administration said was misleading because most of the government’s job-counting errors were being fixed in the new data.

The administration now acknowledges overcounting in the new numbers for the HHS program. Elizabeth Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House recovery office, said the Obama administration was reviewing the Head Start data “to determine how and if it will be counted.”

But officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.

“If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job,” HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.

Huh?

I didn’t realize that giving someone a raise qualifies as having saved that job. Is that the same accounting technique that counts someone who may have been out of work for even one day as being included among the millions who have no health care insurance? Or those who smoked cigarettes for even six months as a teenager as being included among those who died from cigarettes?

And what does a “portion of your job” mean?

I’m confused.

Did the Stimulus Plan only save fractions of jobs? And if so, wouldn’t that mean that there were actually more than 935 jobs to begin with that enabled a total of 953 jobs to be saved in a place that really only employs 508?

And what if someone didn’t get a raise, but remained employed. That doesn’t count as a “saved job”?

We should ask President Obama. He’ll know what to do.
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THE END OF THE “BLAME BUSH” ERA?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 3, 2009

poll numbers dropI’m always after interesting little tidbits.

Take this little morsel from Rasmussen: In one month, the percentage of people in the United States who blame former President George W. Bush for the nation’s economic woes has dropped six percentage points – from 55% to 49%.

Here’s a tastier nugget: The percentage of people who say President Barack Obama is more to blame for the ailing economy has jumped eight – from 37% to 45%.

Obama’s closing in.

And all of this in spite of a liberal media complex that all but greases itself up and bends over for the man.

Another delectable scrap to chew on is the fact that back in February – during the first month of the Messianic Age – just under half of all Americans said they trusted their own judgment more than the president’s when it came to economic issues – something that, in and of itself, is tremendously troubling. Today, however, that percentage has surged to 63%.

Talk about a right turn.

It’s actually a novel idea … trusting your own judgment. I wonder what Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Paine, Franklin, Hancock, Hamilton, Jay, Livingston, Chase and Madison would have thought of that concept.

(Inexplicably, 27% of Americans say they still trust the President’s economic judgment more than their own).

And if this next little statistic doesn’t perfectly illustrate the difference between left and right, then nothing ever will.

According to Rasmussen, “Eighty-four percent (84%) of conservatives trust themselves more, but 56% of liberals have more confidence in the president.”

More than half of the left place more trust in the president – and thus, the government – than themselves. I’m not sure whether to nod and sigh, or scream and vomit.

And I’d love to know who these sixteen percent of conservative are that put more trust in Barack Obama than themselves. Still, the fact remains, the overwhelming vast majority of conservatives believe in themselves – the individual – more than an elected official.

Conservatism 101.

No further analysis necessary.

Three more little gems to gnaw on:

– 62% of voters oppose the passage of another economic stimulus package this year.

– Just 42% now support the health care reform plan proposed by Obama and congressional Democrats. Most voters expect the plan, if passed, to drive up health care costs and hurt quality and expect a middle-class tax hike to pay for it.

– For nearly four-out-of-five voters, the bigger problem for the country is not their unwillingness to pay higher taxes. It’s their elected representatives’ refusal to cut government spending.

In other news, America is a center-right country.

Can we remember that?

(Say it with me, now) Yes, we can!
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STIMULUS CRAP

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 29, 2009

stimulus package hatHow about that?

The economy grew by 3.5% during the third quarter. Needless to say, it was unexpected by “experts.”

Yahoo News went so far as to say that the recession was over.

Happy days must be here again.

I would advise, however, that before anyone starts wetting their inseams with glee, a little perspective is in order.

Think of a restless boy on a dose of Ritalin. As the drugged child settles down and begins his excursion into the cognitive abyss, the doctor walks by to see the “out of control” lad pacified at last. He’s quiet now – in that just-recently-lobotomized sort of way. He still needs tending to, but things are finally calm. The doctor also sees a frazzled parent slumped back in the chair, relieved to finally find a few moments peace. The “Leave It to Beaver” theme plays in the parent’s head.

As heart rates decrease and tensions abate, both doctor and parent arrive at the same conclusions: Ritalin, good. Peace, good. Rambunctious boy, bad.

And the long term effects of the dope-instead-of-parenting approach?

Who cares?

As long as it’s quiet.

This, my dear readers, in a nutshell, is a good place to start when trying to understand the Obama economy – drugged and artificial.

Here’s the bottom line … despite the orgasmic reports of an economic third quarter that has put to bed the worst recession in seventy-years (which only a few days ago, according to Joe Biden, was a full-fledged depression), the reality is, this is no recovery. This is not the beginning of a long term trend based on investment and genuine growth. Rather, it is the temporary result of an infusion of the drug known as government intervention. Take away the Cash-for-Clunkers program and the Homebuyer Tax Credit – fleeting “fixes” that spurred temporary consumer activity – and all that’s left is an absolute failure of a stimulus program that increases nothing except the tax burden for generations to come. In other words, when the Ritalin wears off, the child will be out of control again.

These moronic lefty contrivances are not genuine economic stimulators. Obama’s gargantuan deficits will not encourage private-sector investment. The President’s “there-isn’t-a-tax-I don’t-love” approach will not promote economic growth. His “to-hell-with-the-free-market” modus operandi will never stimulate a damn thing.

And exactly what proof is there that Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package – which, incidentally, has only been 20% implemented, and most of that in non-stimulating capacities – had anything to do with the so-called recovery? Because Joe Biden said so? (Remember, this was a depression not too long ago) Because the state-level recipients, who wouldn’t dare levy a negative word at the money-givers, said so?

This morning, on her nationally syndicated radio program, Laura Ingraham spoke with former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin:

Ingraham: (The Stimulus) has been, without a doubt, exposed as a farce … We have lost jobs. They predicted three million. We now see an exodus, when you add it all up, of six-and-a-half million jobs from the United States.

Holtz-Eakin: And remember, when it became obvious that this was not going to work, they invented a new term – “jobs saved” – something that has, literally, no foundation in fact, and (can) never be verified, in order to sell (the success of the Stimulus).

“Jobs saved” is just as easy to verify as “souls saved.” I mean, there is just no way to do this.

And then there’s this …

According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration’s “economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.”

The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

It is interesting to note that the CBO let out its economic soothsayers back in February, predicting that by the end of this year, we’d see some kind of economic recovery even if Obama and the Cats did absolutely nothing. They also pointed out that all the debt that will result from Obama’s astronomical spending spree could trigger a re-recession – or a double-dip recession – when the bills come due.

It’s pretty easy to grasp.

Government spending does not create economic growth. It would seem to be self-evident seeing as the government gets its money from the private sector through taxation. This is so basic that “one-plus-one-is-two” is labyrinthine in comparison.

Perhaps someone ought to slip some Ritalin into the Congressional water cooler.

Incidentally, isn’t it a delicous coincidence that the “worst recession since the Great Depression” would come to an end on the 80th anniversary of the event that is considered to have triggered the Great Dpression itself – the Stock Market crash of 1929?
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GREEN FLOWING FROM THE APPLE

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 27, 2009

Sick NY StateThe idea is a simple one – an oft-cited concept worth repeating here.

If something is taxed, the result will be less of whatever that something is. (Conversely, subsidizing something means there will be more of it).

From the perspective of the consumer, if income is taxed, then, by definition, there will be less income for the individual. From the perspective of the tax collector, ironically, the same holds true – raising income taxes (as has been shown repeatedly) actually decreases the amount of total tax revenue to the state.

It’s this thinking that is behind exorbitant cigarette taxes, “fat” taxes, or any other varieties of “sin tax.” If taxes on these items increase, there will be generally less consumption of those items. (Theoretically, taxes could increase so much that consumption on any item could reach zero).

On the other hand, the opposite will prove true when taxes are cut. Hence, back-to-school no-sales-tax days are instituted to bring more people into the stores.

Naturally, the demand for “sin tax” items, such as cigarettes won’t vanish completely; and there are, arguably, other economic justifications for piling on such levies. So while  these taxes can still be a reliable source of income for the government (which is why the tax per cigarette pack isn’t $100), the principle is still valid.

All of this applies not just to goods and services, but to people as well.

If, for instance, you continue to tax the wealthy, you will not only get people with less wealth, but ultimately, less wealthy people. And seeing as it is the wealthy who not only create jobs but supply the overwhelming vast majority of the tax revenue, hiking taxes is never a good thing if prosperity and a healthy economy are on the docket.

The same can be said with respect to the middle class – which is why it is a staple of every political campaign, regardless of what side of the aisle the candidate is on, to emphasize that “middle class tax cuts” are a priority.

Keep all of this in mind as we temporarily turn our attentions to the bluest of the blue states – New York.

According to a new study by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, during the nine year period from 2000 to 2008, the state of New York has been losing people – or as Andy Soltis writes in the New York Post, “New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers.”

A whole lot of tax revenue is going bye-bye.

More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City — meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out.

“The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource — people,” the report said.

And what is the primary cause of the Empire Exodus? According to the report, it is the “state’s high cost of living and high taxes.”

And no, it isn’t just the rich that are making bee-lines out.

What’s worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes.

Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found. And it should be no surprise that the city — and Manhattan in particular — suffered the biggest loss in terms of taxable income. The average Manhattan taxpayer who left the state earned $93,264 a year. The average newcomer to Manhattan earned only $72,726. That’s a difference of $20,538, the highest for any county in the state. Staten Island was second, with a $20,066 difference.

It all adds up to staggering loss in taxable income. During 2006-2007, the “migration flow” out of New York to other states amounted to a loss of $4.3 billion.

That’s not chump change.

Meanwhile, the population of New York City, based on a 2008 estimate, went up by over 300,000 people since 2000. In terms of population, the city is getting larger.

The problem is, with higher-income people comprising the bulk of the escapees, more and more of the people coming in to replace the money-makers will be reliant in some way on government assistance.

In Manhattan, an income of $72K for a family of four doesn’t stretch very far.

Take a guess how that problem will be addressed.

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THE COMPETITIVE OPTION

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 27, 2009

pelosi wasserman

Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman

I’ve decided that, in the spirit of Nancy Pelosi’s renaming of the “Public Option” to “Competitive Option” or “Consumer Option” – evocative of dropping “War on Terror” for “Overseas Contingency Operation” – I would, too, try to make things more palatable for the American citizenry by renaming some of the other “less-than-favorably-perceived” realities that permeate American life. After all, substance is altogether irrelevant in the think tanks and policy barns of the American leftocracy.

Rather, it’s all in the name.

In other words, if it sounds unobjectionable, it can’t be all that bad.

To that end, I thought I’d have a go at some Tuesday morning inanity – for kicks.

Thus, with the light of liberalism to guide me – and drawing from the deep well of contemplation that characterizes the American left – I submit some of these changes now.

The scourge of cancer (the second leading cause of death in the United States) shall now be referred to as Spirited Cellular Reproduction. I call for murder (prohibited by the Sixth Commandment) to be forever known as a Natural Resource Stabilizer. Child molestation shall henceforth be called Age Neutral Gratification. And I ask that everyone come together and start referring to rape as Vigorous Intimacy Awaiting Approval.

They’ll be easy enough to remember after you say them a few times – like pronouncing the name of Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the first hundred or so tries, it’ll just roll off the tongue.

Did I make it all better?

This, of course, is the liberal modus operandi: Don’t call it crap – although the shape, size, color, consistency and smell all suggest it. Don’t think of it as waste – although more useful things have dropped out of the backsides of horses and cattle. Pretty bows, silky ribbons and rainbow colored wrapping paper will not change the fact that inside the box is a load of excrement just waiting to attract a bevy of migrant flies.

In an appearance at a Florida senior center, the Democratic leader referred to the so-called public option as “the consumer option.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., appeared by Pelosi’s side and used the term “competitive option.” Both suggested new terminology might get them past any lingering doubts among the public—or consumers or competitors.

Desperation, thy name is liberalism.

It is unclear whether Pelosi will follow through on changing her title from “House Speaker” to “High Priestess of Washington.”

Unofficially, of course.
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EMPIRE STATE FAT TAX, ROUND TWO

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 21, 2009

paterson and sodaFrom the “You Deserve What You Get” file …

The enormously popular Governor of New York, David Paterson, is going to try again. In that elder George Bush style, Paterson – who pledged not raise taxes – is going to raise taxes … again. Sounding cranky and a bit tired, the Governor, in a radio interview, said he is going to reintroduce his “fat tax” on sodas and other sugary beverages in his next budget.

New York’s Legislature already rejected a Paterson “fat tax” proposal earlier this year – an 18% tax – and instead opted to tax the wealthy some more.

But next year will be a new day.

This latest “fat tax” chatter began after Paterson heard an audio clip of Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries saying that a soda tax (as well as a boost of out-of-state tuition fees) could be a viable way to help close the $3 billion budget gap facing New York – an alternative more appealing than pursuing the education and health care cuts Paterson proposed.

That’s when  aclearly annoyed Paterson responded.

Brendan Scott of the New York Post writes:

“I promise I will put (the soda tax) back in my budget address and give the Legislature another chance to do it,” Paterson said during an interview on WNYC. “But you can’t keep voting down the ways to create revenues and then saying you don’t want to make cuts.”

The problem, as Paterson sees it, is that the soda tax wouldn’t be put into effect until next year when the new budget is created. Indeed, he’s all for it, but he needs to figure out a way to start slicing and dicing this year’s budget.

While Paterson said he would be open to another soda tax proposal next year, he rejected Jeffries’ claim that such new taxes could help close the $3 billion gap in the state’s current budget.

“He’s right about different ways we can enhance revenues if the Legislature will agree to it,” Paterson said. “But he’s totally wrong because I’m talking about payments that must be met by Dec. 15.”

“I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this before people understand and are persuaded that we have to act now,” the governor continued.

Meow.

It’s always government, government and more government, isn’t it?

Albany has been unable – or perhaps, more fittingly, unwilling – to trim the fat in New York. (What blue state is?) The fact is, New York is so over-regulated – which translates into being “over-taxed” – that its budget cannot be anything but out of control. After all, who is going to make sure the never-ending maze of regulations and codes are enforced? People cost money. Money comes from taxpayers. That means bigger budgets.

Here’s a suggestion perfectly suited to today’s proponents of government-run, rationed, mediocre health care (which, theoretically, a “fat tax” could help pay for):

Forget the “fat tax.”

How about taking a page from the Robert Reich “Let’s Tell The Truth About Health Care Reform” Songbook and propose a “fat subsidy?” In other words, pay people to get fat – not unlike the federal government pays some farmers to grow corn and soybeans, which are processed into fattening food ingredients such as corn syrup and vegetable oil that could get taxed by a “fat tax.” (Yes, in the United States we tax food on the consumer end while subsidizing it on the production end).

With a fat subsidy, people will die sooner and thus save precious medical resources for the rest of us who fall within whatever guidelines the government creates for us (for our own good).

Makes sense, no?

Or…

As one blogger put it, “We could let adults make, live with, and pay for their own lifestyle choices.”

Talk about radical.
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WHITE SMOCK CROCK

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 7, 2009

From the “Nothing Is Real” and “Manipulation 101” files …

office of president electRemember the Office of President-Elect? It was created by Barack Obama for the short-lived pre-Executive branch of government he established prior to his anointment on January 20, 2009. It had a sort-of Easter Bunny meets the Super Friends feel to it. It came out of nowhere – kind of like cohesive English from Joe Biden’s mouth. There was no precedent for it, no Constitutional directive, absolutely nothing that authorized such an invention – save for his ego. Yet, before anyone knew it, the Office of President-Elect had an emblem and official stationary.

Sure, it wasn’t real, but it sounded innovative and fresh – and Obama looked quite presidential reading those cue-cards from behind that cool logo.

Remember when President Obama invoked Winston Churchill while attempting to garner support for his anti-waterboarding position, supposedly quoting the great leader to the effect that “we don’t torture?” It was a pivotal moment for the young Commader-In-Chief.

Of course, Churchill never said anything of the sort, particularly in reference to fighting the Nazis during World War II, but it didn’t keep Bam from saying he did.

After all, if Churchill, a hero to the war-happy right, is against torture …

churchillChurchill did, in fact, comment on how he was opposed to torturing civilian prison inmates, but there is not a word Churchill ever spoke or wrote that came close to suggesting he was against doing whatever was necessary to secure victory during war – including torture (which British interrogators did, thank goodness).

Sure, it wasn’t real, but out-of-context quotes from dead white guys are always effective against close-minded, short-sighted, right wing gun nuts.

Had Obama been anyone else but Obama – and particularly if he were a Republican – the unbiased, always-objective, straight-down-the-middle mainstream media might have actually tapped the President’s brain on these little ditties, as well as a myriad of other messianic manipulations and Obamacratic fairy tales. 

It actually took a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live to get the “drive-by media” to actually do a little work – but not because they attempted to pick apart and dissect Obama and his assertions, as they did regularly with George W. Bush. Rather, they attempted to defend the President, lest they lose their spot in Obama’s bed.

Face it, when CNN takes the time  to fact-check an SNL bit highlighting Obama’s ineffectiveness, there’s a whole lot of trouble in River City.

So, what then would the cackling masses have been saying if a Republican President of the United States had gathered a group of professionals together from across the country for a White House photo-op and handed out costumes to help reinforce a policy position?

A fair question, I believe.

On Monday, as has been widely written and talked about, in his ongoing crusade to peddle his health care reform initiatives, i.e. government-run health care, President Obama invited physicians from “all fifty states” to the White House for a pep-rally and photo shoot.

What could be more of a boost to a President trying to keep his socialist health care agenda afloat than to have a small army of supportive contributors – er, professionals – by his side, on the lawn of the People’s House, singing the praises of rationed, aspiring-to-be-mediocre medical care?

Nothing … in theory.

However, as it turned out, some of the doctors who came to the event were not properly attired – not in the way prescribed by their Obamcratic hosts.

You see, this White House Rose Garden event had a motif.

It was to be a White Coat Extravaganza (stethoscope and headgear optional).

Luckily, the White House was more than happy to accommodate the physicians who came in ordinary, every day clothes. (Taxpayer bucks hard at work).

Charles Hurt from the New York Post writes:

handing out smocksPresident Obama yesterday rolled out the red carpet — and handed out doctors’ white coats as well, just so nobody missed his hard-sell health-care message.

In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.

A sea of 150 white-coated doctors, all enthusiastically supportive of the president and representing all 50 states, looked as if they were at a costume party as they posed in the Rose Garden before hearing Obama’s pitch for the Democratic overhaul bills moving through Congress.

The physicians, all invited guests, were told to bring their white lab coats to make sure that TV cameras captured the image.

But some docs apparently forgot, failing to meet the White House dress code by showing up in business suits or dresses.

So the White House rustled up white coats for them and handed them to the suited physicians who had taken seats in the sun-splashed lawn area.

All this to provide a visual counter to complaints from other doctors that pending legislation is bad news for the medical profession.

“Nobody has more credibility with the American people on this issue than you do,” Obama told his guests.

Yes, Mr. President.

You’ve hit the nail on the head.

No one has more credibility with the gullible, easily manipulated, visually-hypnotized American people on the issue of health care reform than a small group of Obama supporting doctors who were asked to show up in stereotypical, archaic white lab coats for a cheesy photo op.

Indeed, these are precisely the people I want (and expect to be) endorsing a government-run health care plan – physicians who let the White House dress them up.

Incidentally, do doctors actually wear white lab coats anymore? My doctor comes into the examination room with his Yankees shirt on – which frightens me a bit as a Met fan.

Just think for a moment if George W. Bush (or any Republican), in attempting to sell a military operation to the American people, invited a group of service personnel – both active and retired – to the White House to show support. Then imagine staffers at the Bush White House handing out military uniforms to those who may have shown up in civilian clothes so that TV cameras could “capture the image.”

Think it might have made the news … times ten?

The only question would have been whether or not enough black magic markers were available to the general public for the purposes of drawing black Hitler moustaches on the face of the President; or whether or not there were enough swastikas in all the world to use on all the anti-Republican protest posters that would pop up across the map.

(Perhaps House Speaker Nancy Pelosi best knows the answer to that one).

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RACISM WINNING?

Posted by Andrew Roman on September 16, 2009

In the event you missed it, a little more than half of the United States is officially racist.

That little morsel comes from the folks at Rasmussen, who reported yesterday that 55% of Americans oppose President Obama’s health care reform plans – a new high (or low, depending on your perspective). And since opposing Barack Obama’s hard left policies, according to the likes former President Jimmy Carter, is based on the fact that Americans cannot accept a black man occupying in the Oval Office, there is no other conclusion to draw.

A week ago, 44% supported the proposal and 53% were opposed. Following the speech last Wednesday night intended to relaunch the health care initiative, support for the president’s effort bounced as high as 51% (see day-by-day numbers). But the new numbers suggest that support for health care reform is now about the same as it was in August.

And just think … if these free-market-killing, big-government proposals had only come from a white man, health care reform might have already passed both houses of Congress and tens of millions of neglected people would now be able to get rationed, mediocre health care.

I can only imagine how many swatiska-brandishing, negro-hating Americans are sitting around their dinner tables discussing the matter, saying, “I could really go for this big-government, expanding bureaucracy approach if only the guy pushing it wasn’t so dark.”

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BAM’S BOOM ON THE CRASH-BAM-BOOMERS

Posted by Andrew Roman on September 8, 2009

It’s one thing to raise the ire of Republicans. It’s all in a day’s work for big-government, nanny-state leftists to get conservative blood boiling.

But when you get demolition derby drivers mad at you, then it’s time to step back and re-evaluate.

President Obama may be a lot of things to a lot of people, but according to Tory Schutte, head of the Demolition Derby Drivers Association, the President is an “anti-demo-derby guy.”

Ada Calhoun from Time.com writes:

There’s at least one group of people who are happy Cash for Clunkers is over: demolition-derby drivers. Participants in these events, in which drivers smash into one another until there’s only one engine left running, don’t enjoy the sight of old cars going out of commission without making a pit stop at the county fairground.

Schutte says, “He’s targeting the cars we’ve been using.”

The demolition derby, it can be said, is the original “cash for clunkers” program – and a damn successful one at that. Cars destined for the automotive hereafter are temporarily spared the inevitable by enthusiasts who prepare them for one final metal-twisting, body-crunching hurrah.

It’s the free market system at its best.

Cars must be stripped of all extraneous parts, including windows; any reinforcements other than roll bars and contestants will get disqualified. Gas tanks must be moved to the backseat and covered with scrap metal. Doors must be welded or chained shut.

Drivers, who are not allowed to ram driver’s-side doors, have to wear helmets. Many accessorize with neck braces.

Many demo-derby drivers, including some recently interviewed in Delaware County, New York, are confirming that Obama’s wonderfully dead “cash for clunkers” program has put a hurting on them.

From Time.com video:

Some folks here say the government’s recent “cash for clunkers” was no friend to the demolition derby. They say the program took too many crashable cars out of play.

-“It’s very hard to find good cars. Everybody’s getting rid of them.”

-“We’re going down to North Carolina. The guy I got this off of – I bought it in Michigan.”

-“It’s gonna be hard to find cars for the next few years.”

Do what you must, Mr. President.

Appoint contemptible people to fill one of your twenty-thousand “czar” positions. Continue your (destined to fail) all-out assault on the free market with your Marxist-flavored attack plans. Keep doing what you’re doing to feed your increasing disapproval numbers.

But do not screw around with the demolition derby.

Respectfully.

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WHEN BIDEN SPEAKS, FACT CHECKERS SCRAMBLE

Posted by Andrew Roman on September 4, 2009

Our Vice President

Our Vice President

In terms of the news cycle, there is very little I look forward to as much as hearing anything the Vice President of the United States has to say. Call it a guilty pleasure – or a grievous mental defect – but knowing Joe Biden has spoken publicly somewhere – and that there could very well be sound bites from his visit – is a source of great excitement for me. It’s reminiscent of those anticipatory tinglings I would get as boy knowing a new album by a favorite musical group was about to be released, or a new movie was set to hit the theaters. When “Crazy Uncle Joe” opens his mouth, I am not only assured of having something to write about on the blog, I know that the bulk of what he says will be based on everything other than reality.

That’s what makes it so much fun.

Take Biden’s harebrained, la-la-land assertion that the Obama $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February is proving to be a success. Next to Elvis sightings and the Sports Illustrated prediction that the New York Mets would win the World Series this year, it’s hard to pinpoint anything more epically mythical.

He’s so adorable when he’s just being Joe, isn’t he?

Ben Feller of the Associated Press writes:

Defending a costly plan to revitalize the economy, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday said the government’s sweeping stimulus effort “is in fact working” despite steady Republican criticism and public skepticism.

“The recovery act has played a significant role in changing the trajectory of our economy, and changing the conversation in this country,” Biden said. “Instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession.”

Nearly 200 days into the effort, Biden delivered an upbeat report card about the $787 billion rescue effort that President Barack Obama pushed through Congress. He quoted estimates by private analysts that the plan has created or saved 500,000 to 750,000 jobs so far. But many million people remain out of work.

The effectiveness of the two-year program is a matter of sharp political debate, and Biden sought to counter critics with a listing of tangible results.

Of course, Joe is a little light on some of the actualities of the spendulous recovery farce, but that never kept him from filling his pie hole with one or more of his own feet.

As of Monday, a little less than 15% of the stimulus bill has been spent – a total of about $85 billion. And the vast majority of it, up to this point, has not been spent on anything remotely stimulating.

Recall how the bill was sold to the American people back in February – as being the necessary life preserver for a nation on the brink of financial ruin. It was the only way to save the United States from destruction – and it had to be done quicker than immediately. There was no time to waste. America’s very existence depended on it.

Seven months later, with some economic indicators suggesting the recession may be slowing (stabilizing housing prices, a vibrant stock market, etc.), in a nation that was only a few short months ago flirting with elimination, the question is … how much has actually been spent on bona fide “stimulus?”

Arkady Kamenetsky (of the great Indy Mind blog), writing at the Examiner.com website breaks it down:

Let us examine some of the major recipients of taxpayer moneys for brevity we will examine those departments receiving more than 20% of allocated funds.

Railroad Retirement Board: Small chunk of change and unclear where the funds are going.

Social Security Administration: 13 billion spent upgrading computers and one time payments. Not stimulating as there is no direct impact to job creation.

Veterans Affairs: .5 billion spent on upgrading facilities, payments, state grants and benefits to veterans. While not stimulating, entirely justifiable given the neglected veterans in this country.

Department of Labor: 18 billion spent on providing education and worker training to workers and “easing the burden of the recession” by assisting and expanding access to health care. Not stimulating, no direct impact on job creation or tax benefits. Providing education to workers is not the responsibility of the federal government and easing the burden of the recession can create a dangerous precedent of reliance.

Department of Justice: 1 billion spent on providing training, equipment and support for crime prevention including the hiring of additional police offers. Stimulating as it provides jobs to those seeking employment as police officers, however police are the responsibility of municipal governments. In other words we here in Boston should be not be paying for cops in Wichita, Kansas.

Health and Human Services: 28 billion spent on upgrading hospital’s IT programs, research and state grants, Medicare payouts. The biggest recipient of taxpayer moneys has also the most vague and hard to navigate web-page, giving no clear answer as to what the money is being spent on. According to the information there, it appears that the money is being used to advance Obama’s theory regarding electronic record keeping and the health industry. Whether or not upgrading our hospitals will impact us beneficially is to be determined, but this appears to be non stimulating spending and egregious spending at that.

It is also worth mentioning the Department of Education which has spent 14 Billion on state grants, school modernization, Pell grant funding and possibly preserving education jobs in states where funding is critical. Largely not stimulating as most of the money is being used on things that simply have no impact on our economy what so ever and do not belong in a federal stimulus package.

Arkady also points out that in February the Congressional Budget Office predicted a slow down of the recession by the end of this year without the benefit of any messianic intervention. And while there is obviously no way of knowing how accurate that prediction would have been, free market economies are funny things. They’re cyclical – not unlike the climate. They have a strange way a straightening – or correcting – themselves with minimal government meddling. (See the Recession of 1921). Because panic (like the one that swept across this country last fall) often spawns the dreaded and quick-to-metastasize “do something” disease – even among conservatives – governments tend to grow, liberties tend to erode, and problems tend to be prolonged (See the Great Depression).

Commenting on Biden’s remarks that the “wasteful spending” dog didn’t bite, Christopher Flavelle and Amanda Michel at ProPublica write:

wasteful spendingThe government did allocate millions of stimulus dollars for tiger and lion cages at the National Zoo, as we reported in May. And the Florida Department of Transportation got $3.4 million to build tunnels for migrating turtles—a project praised by local residents but held up by Republicans as just the kind of wasteful-spending story the vice president wanted to avoid.

In July, we reported that more than $100 million in stimulus dollars were being spent on airports with fewer than one flight an hour, while many of the country’s busiest airports were getting nothing at all. Last month, the watchdog for the Department of Transportation did indeed bite, calling for a full audit of stimulus airport grants.

Last week, The Associated Press reported that some of the country’s busiest border checkpoints were getting no stimulus money while small checkpoints had been allocated millions of dollars. Among the checkpoints getting money – $199 million, or five times more than any other station – is one at Nogales, Ariz., the home state of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the AP said.

And regarding Biden’s assertion that the spendulous money was to “bring relief to those hardest hit by the recession,” Flavelle and Michel write:

As ProPublica reported last month, a county-by-county breakdown of contracts, grants and loans showed no relationship between where the stimulus money is going and either unemployment or poverty.

The stimulus bill specifically calls for infrastructure funds to be directed at “economically distressed areas.” So far, at least, the numbers suggest that isn’t happening. States with higher unemployment are also spending and completing transportation projects more slowly, according to a stimulus spot check conducted by the ProPublica Reporting Network.

Imagine that.

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HOW ABOUT THAT PUBLIC OPTION?

Posted by Andrew Roman on August 28, 2009

Democrat Arlen Specter says, "I will consider it."

Democrat Arlen Specter says, "I will consider it."

Following his diagnosis of brain cancer, would Senator Edward Kennedy have ever considered entrusting his life to the type of health care that would have been available to him via a “public option” delivery system?

While Obamacare proponents religiously espouse the necessity of implementing government-run health care, assuring the masses with phantom logic that the quality of care will not suffer, the question remains: Exactly how many of those on Capitol Hill who support it – and will surely vote for its passage – will be willing to dive right in and secure their own chunk of the public option?

What better way to amass support from the electorate than to stand up and proclaim that what is good enough for “the people” is damn well good enough for those elected to serve the people?

Imagine the likes of Chuck Schumer and Barbara Boxer slinking up to a battery of microphones somewhere, cameras rolling, shutters a-clickin’, declaring incontrovertibly that they have such unflagging faith in the success of Obamacare that they pledge to sign up upon the bill’s passage.

True, many of these pro-Obamacare lip flappers can more than afford to pay for their own healthcare outright, but if they are honestly intent on convincing the public at large that the quality of care available through a government-run system will be just as good – something beneficial for all Americans – a little signature on the dotted line could go a long way.

However, I’d be willing to bet a vital body appendage that not one socialized-medicine supporting Senator on the Hill would dare give up the coverage he or she has now for what would be offered to the uninsured in America through such a plan. (What is that total up to now? A hundred million now?)

Recall this exchange between Fox News’ Chris Wallace and newest donkey Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania:

WALLACE: Senator Specter, as you well know from your town halls, this is one of the issues a lot of doubters are asking, so let me put it directly to you. You support the public option. If it passes, will you, Arlen Specter, go on it?

SPECTER: I will consider it. I think members of the House and Senate ought to have exactly the same plans, the same options, as any citizen.

Bear in mind, Chris, the public option is an option. It is one choice you can make. And I think my situation ought to be the same as any other citizen.

Note Specter’s clever political latchhooking: “I think members of the House and Senate ought to have exactly the same plans, the same options, as any citizen.”

It’s interesting (and no accident) – that it wasn’t worded the other way around – that “citizens out to have the same plans, same options as members of the House and Senate.”

Isn’t the point of a “public option” to accommodate those who “cannot afford” to purchase health insurance? If one is to believe Democrat portrayals of the American health care system as one in peril, with bodies of medically deprived citizens potentially littering the streets of America, what other “options” do these people really have? They certainly haven’t the means of some of America’s more affluent public servants.

Sure, Specter may eventually have the “public option” available to him in a technical sense should the bill ever become law, but that doesn’t mean he would ever take it.

If, God forbid, Senator Specter is afflicted with a life threatening illness, is there anyone alive who believes that he will see the “public option” as good an alternative as his current one?

By the way, if you turn to page 109 of your Democrat/English dictionary, you will see that the phrase, “I will consider it” translates to “Not a chance in hell.”

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