Views on the News

Views on the News*

February 7, 2015


Democrats want to end the kind of "mindless austerity" that has seen federal spending soar 18% since he took office in January 2009, back when a billion seemed like an immense number.  During the 2,205 days of his Presidency (still 716 to go), Obama has more than doubled the national debt held by the public to almost $13 trillion, and that's not austerity.  Obama says he wants to give Americans what they want.  So his nearly $4 trillion budget foresees, among other things, $74 billion more in federal spending next year, an end to sequestration's automatic cuts in spending growth, free community college, a vast infrastructure spending program and $1.5 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years.  Because few people oppose other people paying more taxes, Obama aims his increased levies at the richest 2% and businesses, although his idea of taxing inheritances would hit anyone with anything left for family bequests.  There's a substantial problem with Obama's plan: That's not at all what Americans want.  A new Rasmussen Reports poll out with the budget finds that just 16% of likely voters favor a budget with new spending.  A majority (54%) want a federal budget that cuts spending.  This new survey also found that 57% do not believe it's necessary for the Obama administration to raise taxes.  Only 26% believe tax increases are necessary.  "I want to work with this administration," said Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  "I hope that we can find common ground, but the President has to demonstrate that he's interested in governing, not just posturing."

(Turns Out, Americans Aren’t Buying What Obama’s Selling” by Andrew Malcolm dated February 3, 2015 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/020315-737583-rasmussen-poll-shows-that-few-want-more-spending-and-taxes.htm?ntt=malcom+bbuying+what+obama%27s+selling )

President Obama has taken to touting his "middle class economics" as a big success.  That's difficult to believe, given the latest GDP numbers, and impossible when you look at his complete record.  Obama is correct that we can compare two very different economic visions: One is called Reaganomics and the other is Obama's "middle class economics."  To get the economy moving again, President Reagan cut taxes, simplified the tax code, reined in regulations, kept spending under control, and generally treated government as more of a problem than a solution to many of the country's troubles.  Obama promised to set the country on a new and different course, and has been doing a bang-up job of it ever since. He boosted spending, raised taxes, vastly complicated the tax code, unleashed federal regulators and massively expanded the entitlement state with ObamaCare.  And how did these two visions work out?  In the first five years of the Reagan recovery, the economy grew 4.6% a year on average.  Under Obama, it's been a paltry 2.2%.  Employment had climbed more than 18% by this point in Reagan's recovery.  Under Obama, it's a mere 7.2%.  Looked at another way, the growth gap between Obama's economic policies and Reagan's is now $2.4 trillion in lost GDP and a stunning 14.4 million in lost jobs.  Obama hasn't just under-performed Reagan, he's underperformed every President since the Great Depression.  Change will come only if enough Democrats realize Obama's failures and vote to override his attempts to veto sound policies.  More likely, we'll have to wait until we get someone in the White House who understands what it takes to produce real, sustained economic growth, and not just "underlying" suggestions of it.

(“Reagonomics Beats Obama’s ‘Middle Class Economics’ by a Country Mile” dated January 30, 2015 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/013015-737309-obama-has-presided-over-weakest-recovery-in-modern-times.htm )

The budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2014 was only $484 billion, but will rise to $583 billion in 2015, after which it is supposed to return to below the $500 billion mark.  That was one of the more ballyhooed aspects of the now-released budget from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Fiscal Year 2015 as the Obama administration attempts to put on a facade of fiscal responsibility.  There’s only one problem, and that is it bears little resemblance to how much money the U.S. Treasury will actually need to borrow to pay for all of the obligations of the federal government over the coming years.  In fact, in the 2014 Fiscal Year, the national debt rose by almost $1.1 trillion, not $484 billion, representing a $592 billion disparity between the headline deficit number and actual borrowing.  Not included in the $484 billion are off-budget borrowings, including $133 billion for direct and guaranteed loan accounts (mostly student loans), $1 billion for “Net purchases of non-Federal securities by the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust,” “checks outstanding, accrued interest payable on Treasury debt, uninvested deposit fund balances, allocations of special drawing rights, and other liability accounts,” and a $278 billion “Change in debt held by Government accounts” representing cumulative surpluses in the Social Security, Medicare, and other government trust funds, according to OMB.  Further complicating matters, there is interest owed to those same Social Security, Medicare, and other government trust funds that totaled $158 billion, plus another $40 billion of interest that was paid to the Federal Reserve for its holdings.  The additional interest owed to the trust funds requires real borrowing to be honored, therefore it represents a real liability to taxpayers.  That’s why it’s ultimately included in the national debt.  This is merely an accounting sleight of hand, a decision by Congress long ago to include certain types of spending and borrowing on-budget, and others off-budget, all with the effect of disguising the true, dire state of the nation’s finances, and it’s done by administrations of both parties.

(“How a $484 billion deficit turned into $1.1 trillion of new debt” by Robert Romano dated February 4, 2015 published by NetRightDaily at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/02/484-billion-deficit-turned-1-1-trillion-new-debt/ )


Nothing frustrates me more than for someone to rant on and on about something while never really specifying the desired outcome that he or she is seeking, or for someone to imply that I somehow owe him something without specifically telling me what it is.  This tactic of never specifying or articulating an actual wrong or debt is used so that the accused will be forever indebted to the accuser.  The race industry and their cohorts in the Democrat Party have been ranting and raving about black injustice ever since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and have yet to articulate exactly what the injustices are or what can be done to correct them.  With the constant attempts to find racism under every rock and behind every door, I actually believe that the race-baiters left over from the Civil Rights movement have a nostalgia for the days when there was real racism and discrimination in America.  The American people are bombarded with trumped up charges of racism (some turn out to be complete hoaxes) to the point that we have developed race fatigue.  With the constant claims of racism 24/7, I wonder: what exactly does the race industry want from white America?  The American government has spent billions of dollars on social programs for poor blacks and other minorities.  We have affirmative action, free education grants, free housing, food, and medical care.  America has black CEOs, tenured college professors, journalists, mayors, governors, state representatives, senators, attorneys general, and the President of the United States.  If any one of us were to walk into any large corporation, we would see a diverse workforce.   The question remains, what do the race-baiters really want and more importantly, how do they plan to go about getting it?

(“What exactly does the race industry want from white America?” by Patricia L. Dickson dated January 30, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/01/what_exactly_does_the_race_industry_want_from_white_america.html )

The centerpiece of a national security strategy is to isolate and exploit an enemy’s vulnerable “center of gravity.”  Carl von Clausewitz, the 19th-century Prussian military philosopher and father of modern military theory, defined center of gravity as “the source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act.”  Conventional wisdom inside the Pentagon and among defense intellectuals is that the vulnerable center of gravity of today’s enemy is its extreme Islamist ideology.  The numerous attacks we have seen around the world suggest that this ideology is not a vulnerable center of gravity, if it ever was.  Dedication to an ideological cause does not appear to be in short supply.  Our political masters need to distinguish between ideology and the enemy’s true vulnerable center of gravity: hope.   Hope is the belief that ideology will prevail. Hope drives motivation or, in the psychologist’s jargon, a “response initiation.” To the extent that hope is present, a terrorist will translate belief into action.  As hope is removed, even the most ideologically attuned enemy will become passive. As Clausewitz advises: Strike the center of gravity and the enemy loses the will to act.  The history of war suggests hope is a fuel that induces young, post-adolescent men to turn ideology into action, and hope rises with the perception of military success.  Hope extends wars and makes them bloodier through the euphoria that comes with a rush to share in the glory. Hope gives young men surety and confidence.  It provides a moral sanctuary and is the glue that binds soldiers together in war. Soldiers, and, by extension, terrorists, simply won’t fight if there is no hope.  Think of hope as a material formed in a crucible over time by a series of successful terrorist strikes against the West and Western-affiliated countries in the Middle East.  Since violent actions filled this crucible, only a violent military counter-response can crack the crucible and empty it of hope.  A visible defeat will crack the crucible, so the question is how to do it with enough drama and speed that terrorists the world over lose hope and become passive.

(“To stop the terrorists, take away their hope” by Robert H. Scales dated January 28, 2015 published by The Tampa Tribune at http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-commentary/to-stop-the-terrorists-take-away-their-hope-20150128/ )


* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news.  I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning.  Updates have been made this week to the following sections:

·    Links at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/links.php  

·    Crime at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/crime.php  

·    Asia at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/asia.php  


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY