RTCS

Views on the News

March 26, 2011

Views on the News*

The first-quarter economy is slowing and inflation is rising and consumer confidence is plummeting… I thought the Great Recession was officially over! A month ago, economists were optimistic about the potential for 4% growth, but now they are marking down their estimates toward 2.5%. Behind this, consumer expectations are falling while inflation fears are going up. A recent CNBC All-American Economic Survey revealed that 37% of respondents expect the economy to get worse in the next year. Respondents expect prices to climb 6.6% over the next year which is double the 3% inflation registered in the December survey. Supporting the CNBC poll, the early March consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan dropped sharply, with the reading for consumer expectations falling 14 points. So if the economy ending in the March quarter slows to less than 3%, it would mark the fourth-straight sub-3% GDP reading. Despite the strength in the manufacturing sector and rising corporate profits, that reading would underscore the softness of this recovery cycle. The main cause of today’s consumer angst is undoubtedly the jump in gasoline prices. The food commodities have jumped 37% over the past year, so there’s more coming at the retail price level. The consumer price index has registered three consecutive outsized monthly gains, and is running 5.6% at an annual rate through the three months to February. Meanwhile, the producer price index has spiked for three straight months and is up nearly 14% at an annual rate for the three months ending in February. Inside the PPI, wholesale food is up 22% during the three-month period through February. The dollar looks weaker and weaker, and the Fed keeps creating new dollars, and inflation is rising. Many believe this ultra-easy-money and cheap-dollar approach will cause the economy to boom, but they said the same thing about the $800 billion spending stimulus. The Keynesians are wrong and the recovery remains soft, and it may be getting even softer as of the winter-quarter results.

(“Q1 slowdown: caveat emptor” by Larry Kudlow dated March 21, 2011 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/21/q1-slowdown-caveat-emptor/ )

Since the beginning of 2009, oil prices have almost tripled, gasoline prices are up about 50%; basic food prices, such as corn, soybeans, and wheat, have almost doubled around the world; cotton and copper prices have reached all time highs; major rises in sugar, spice, and wheat prices have been creating food riots in poor countries, where basic goods inflation is rampant; and inflation is in part financed by the flood abroad of excess dollars created over the last couple of years by the Federal Reserve. Led by the biggest jump in food prices since 1974, inflation at the wholesale level soared 1.6% in February, a sign of even more to come. Put simply, wholesale prices, often a trigger for consumer price rises, have taken off. Food prices today are the highest on record, rising at double-digit rates. Meanwhile, gasoline tests the $4-a-gallon level, the dollar is weakening and gold is near its all-time high. At this pace, prices for the basics used by businesses will double in less than a decade, pushing millions of Americans down the economic ladder as they struggle to keep up. It starts with a government spending way beyond its means, producing a $1.6 trillion deficit this year and $1 trillion-plus deficits through 2020. Since 2008, federal spending has surged 28% to a forecast $3.8 trillion this year. Thanks to the slow economy, tax revenues have lagged. By buying hundreds of billions in U.S. Treasury debt, the Fed has helped the Democrat-led Congress hike spending to record levels over the past three years. It did so with a "Quantitative Easing" program under which the Fed has snapped up $1.7 trillion of government-issued debts, creating money out of thin air. At first, the enormous Fed credit creation of 2008-2010 could not be fully absorbed by a U.S. economy in recession. But much of this new Fed credit has flooded stocks, bonds, and commodities. The excess credit went abroad, too, causing a fall in the dollar and creating bull markets and booming economies in the developing world. At the same time, inflation intensified, with riots and political turmoil as a result. Meanwhile, the White House and Democrats in Congress not only refuse to stop spending, but continue their regulatory and tax assault on the economy, creating uncertainty and confusion for businesses. There's too much money chasing too few goods. Global prices for key consumer and industrial goods, from oil to wheat, are now at or nearing record highs. The reason interest rates are so low today, the 10-year Treasury remains below 3.5%, is the Fed's debt-buying binge. When it stops, as it likely will in June, interest rates will surge with no easy way out, but it starts with spending cuts and ends with the Fed turning off its money presses and if it doesn't, and if inflation takes hold, welcome back to the dismal '70s.

(“Inflation Rears Its Ugly Head” dated March 16, 2011 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/566286/201103161918/Inflations-Siren.htm

Fiat Money, Fiat Inflation” by Lewis E. Lehrman dated March 21, 2011 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/fiat-money-fiat-inflation_554098.html )

 

Whenever Obama was in campaign mode, he speaks of the middle class as "under assault," but what he doesn’t mention is that the Democrats are the ones doing the most harm struggling to disenfranchise them by ignoring the basic rights of human liberty and of property that are guaranteed under our Constitution. The 18% real rate of unemployment during Obama's first two years in office has not done much for the middle class. At the same time, there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class to the underclass. ObamaCare, financial services reform, mortgage reform, education reform, tax reform: in all of these areas, the administration's efforts have been to create and expand services for the poor at the expense of the middle class. Whether it is the free health care promised to tens of millions of new Medicaid recipients or mortgage principle reductions ("cramdowns") promoted at every turn by his Justice Department, Obama acts like a political general in the class war -- the war of the government services-dependent poor and unionized public sector against the middle class. Whether it is benefits for the underclass or more power for public sector unions, Obama is intent on cementing power based on the loyal support of the underclass and unionized labor. The recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report on consumer prices is a telling indication of the effects of Obama's policies on the middle class. Gas prices hit the middle class disproportionately hard. The food prices are also up substantially above the "core rate" of inflation. The passage of ObamaCare was supposed to lower the cost of health care for practically all Americans, but instead health care costs for the middle class are way up. It's not just energy and health care, educational expenses are up 4%, twice the rate of core inflation. As Obama understands all too well, one of the hallmarks of all socialist countries is the absence of an independent middle class, and throughout history communist leaders eliminated the middle class of citizens who were not dependent on government for their welfare.

(“Obama’s War on the Middle Class” by Jeffrey Folks dated March 23, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/obamas_war_on_the_middle_class.html )

 

More than three years after we entered the worst economic slump since the 1930s, a strange and disturbing thing has happened to our political discourse: Washington has lost interest in the unemployed with no end in sight. No jobs bills have been introduced in Congress, no job-creation plans have been advanced by the White House and all the policy focus seems to be on spending cuts. Gallup reported in its new survey, 10.2% of American workers were unemployed and 9.7% were working part-time but wanted a full-time job. That equals an underemployment rate of 19.9%, or approximately one out of every five workers. These were the Bureau of Labor Statistics' state-by-state unemployment rates that painted a much gloomier and more realistic picture of the failure of President Obama's economic policies to create jobs for unemployed Americans. The BLS numbers showed that half of all the states, as well as the District of Columbia, had unemployment rates of 9% or higher, much higher. It might not be so bad if the jobless could expect to find new employment fairly soon. But unemployment has become a trap, one that’s very difficult to escape. There are almost five times as many unemployed workers as there are job openings; the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 37 weeks, a post-World War II record. In short, we’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Layoffs and discharges spiked during the crisis of 2008-2009 but have fallen sharply since then, perhaps reducing the sense of urgency. At this point, the U.S. economy is suffering from low hiring, not high firing, so things don’t look so bad, as long as you’re willing to write off the unemployed. Yet polls indicate that voters still care much more about jobs than they do about the budget deficit. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the labor force will not return to normal levels until at least 2016, meaning the unemployment rate will stay above normal for years to come. When Obama talks about winning the future, remember that the clear and present danger to the prospects of young Americans isn’t the deficit; it’s the absence of jobs.

(“The Forgotten Millions” by Paul Krugman dated March 18, 2011 published by The New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/opinion/18krugman.html?scp=1&sq=the%20forgotten%20millions&st=cse

National Unemployment Numbers Don’t Reflect States’ Realities” by Donald Lambro dated March 17, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2011/03/17/national_unemployment_numbers_dont_reflect_states_realities )

 

Although for decades now, the federal government’s own official reports have been showing that Social Security would not be able to pay all promised benefits to the baby boomers without dramatic, unsustainable tax increases, but no politician is willing to propose any solutions to this known problem. Last year, Social Security began running a cash deficit.  Under what the government’s actuaries call intermediate assumptions, those deficits will continue until the Social Security trust funds run out of money to pay promised benefits by 2037.  After that, paying all promised Social Security and Medicare benefits will require eventually almost doubling the current total payroll tax of 15.3% to nearly 30%. Under what the government’s actuaries call pessimistic assumptions, the Social Security trust funds will run out of money to pay promised benefits by 2029.  After that, paying all promised benefits to today’s young workers would eventually require raising the total payroll tax rate to 44%, three times current levels, and ultimately more. Social Security operates as a pure tax and redistribution system, with no real savings and investment anywhere.  Even when it was running annual surpluses, close to 90% of the money coming in was paid out within the year to pay current benefits. Even the remaining annual surpluses were not saved and invested.  They were lent to the federal government and spent on other government programs, from foreign aid to bridges to nowhere, with the Social Security trust funds receiving only internal federal IOUs promising to pay the money back when it is needed to pay benefits.  Those federal IOUs are rightly accounted for in federal finances not as assets but as part of the Gross Federal Debt, subject to the national debt limit.  That is because they do not represent savings and investment but actually additional liabilities of federal taxpayers. Such a pay-as-you-go tax and redistribution system does not earn the investment returns that a fully funded savings and investment system would.  Consequently, over the long run the system can only pay low, inadequate, below-market returns and benefits. That is why studies show that for most young workers today, even if Social Security does somehow pay all its promised benefits, those benefits would represent a real rate of return of around 1% to 1.5% or less.  For many, the real effective return would be zero or even negative.  There is a better way that is proven to work in the real world.  Workers could be allowed to save and invest what they and their employers would otherwise pay into Social Security in personal savings, investment and insurance accounts.  Studies show that at standard, long term, market investment returns, for an average income, two earner couple, over a career the accounts would accumulate to close to a million dollars or more.  Even lower income workers could regularly accumulate half a million over their careers. Those accumulated funds would pay all workers at all income levels much higher benefits than Social Security even promises, let alone what it could pay, two to three times as much, and possibly even more.  Retirees would each be free to choose to leave any portion of those funds to their children at death. Another virtue of these personal accounts is that with workers financing their own benefits through their own savings and investment, they can be free to each individually choose their own retirement age.  Moreover, they would have market incentives to choose on their own to delay their own retirement ages as long as possible, because the longer they wait the more they would accumulate in their accounts, and the higher benefits those accounts could pay. As a result, millions of workers with less physically taxing jobs would choose on their own to delay their retirement well into their 70s, a result that could never be imposed politically.  But other workers whose jobs required heavy physical labor or who for other physical reasons could not work past their early 60s could retire early.  With planning, they or their employers could make additional contributions to the accounts over the years to finance more benefits in that earlier retirement.  This is a far superior solution to the question of the retirement age than the political system imposing one, uniform, unworkable retirement age on all. Workers under the proposed plan were empowered to choose to save and invest in the accounts just half the Social Security payroll tax.  Despite reduced deposits into their individual retirement accounts, the Chief Actuary concluded that the accounts offered a much better return such that all workers would choose to opt in to the personal account plan. Over the long term in the pro-forma scenario, the accounts result in breathtaking reductions in government spending, because the payment of Social Security benefits is shifted out of the federal budget altogether, financed instead through the accounts in the private sector.  This would result in the largest, most dramatic reduction in government spending in world history. Because of this, the personal accounts alone under Ryan-Sununu eventually closed the long term Social Security financing gap entirely, without any benefit cuts or tax increases.  Indeed, since the employer half of the payroll tax continued to be paid, while the payment of the benefits was shifted to the personal accounts, the Ryan-Sununu plan eventually resulted in very large Social Security surpluses, which allowed for major cuts in the remaining payroll tax.  For these reasons, the Chief Actuary of Social Security scored the plan as achieving full solvency for Social Security. In 1981, the South American nation of Chile, then with a Social Security system just like ours, with the same problems, adopted a personal account option similar to Ryan-Sununu, with astounding success.  Virtually all workers chose the accounts within 18 months, and for 30 years now they have paid less into the accounts and gotten higher benefits, while their economy boomed with all the increased savings and investment.  They included a safety net guarantee of former Social Security benefits, which has never suffered a loss or cost due to failure of the personal account to beat the old system. In America itself, such a system was tried in 1981 as well, for local government workers in Galveston, Texas, who still enjoyed an option under the law then to choose an alternative to the current system.  Just as in Chile, for 30 years now they have paid much less into their personal account savings and investment system than required by Social Security, but receive much more in benefits.  The mostly parallel Thrift Savings Plan retirement system for federal employees has similarly worked spectacularly well now for nearly 30 years. Despite positive experience in the nation of Chile and in Galveston, Texas both proving personal accounts work better than a government run retirement savings plans, proposals to reform Social Security are rejected.

(“A Winning Plan for Social Security Reform” by Peter Ferrara dated March 17, 2011 published by Forbes at http://blogs.forbes.com/peterferrara/2011/03/17/a-winning-plan-for-social-security-reform/ )

 

In 1964, the American welfare state was still relatively small, consuming only 1.2% of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP); the American family was still intact, with 93% of children born into stable families; but then President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty happened. In 2010 and $16 trillion later, thanks to big government, poverty is winning. To put it in perspective, federal and state welfare spending on these 77 programs currently totals approximately $953 billion. More than 40 million Americans currently receive food stamps, poverty is higher today than it was in the 1970s, and 40% of all children are born outside of marriage. The 2009 stimulus removed work requirements from the food stamp program and increased eligibility requirements, which has contributed to this increase. As a result, the Obama administration has almost doubled spending on food stamps since taking office, increasing spending from $39 billion when he took office to approximately $75 billion this year. Since he moved into the White House, President Barack Obama has only doubled down on the War on Poverty’s failure with his fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget proposing increased spending on programs for the poor 42% above FY 2008 levels. Looking past the current recession, President Obama’s budget would spend over $10.3 trillion on means-tested welfare programs over the next 10 years. As successful as the 1996 welfare reform law was (and it did decrease welfare rolls and child poverty rates, it reformed only one of the more than 70 federal anti-poverty programs. Worse, President Obama’s failed economic stimulus bill completely gutted the 1996 welfare reforms. If conservatives are serious about reducing federal spending in a way that protects families and encourages self-reliance, it is high time they turned their attention back to welfare reform. A common-sense approach to reform would include:

·    Account for welfare spending - Congress should require the President’s annual budget to detail current and future aggregate federal means-tested welfare spending with estimates of state contributions to federal welfare programs.

·    Get costs under control - The next step in welfare reform is to control the explosive growth in spending. Once the current recession ends, aggregate welfare funding should be capped at pre-recession (FY 2007) levels plus inflation.

·    Promote work, not government dependence - Building on the successful 1996 model, welfare reform today must continue to promote personal responsibility by encouraging work. Food stamps, one of the largest means-tested programs, should be restructured to require recipients to work or prepare for work to be eligible to receive benefits.

The chairman of the Republican Study Committee Representative Jim Jordan will introduce a bill that incorporates many of these principles. Among other items, it would require disclosure of total means-tested welfare spending, place an aggregate cap on welfare spending, and extend work requirements to the Food Stamps program. If we want to avoid becoming a European-style welfare state, we must abandon President Obama’s War on Poverty surge and return to the type of common-sense welfare reform that proved so successful in the ’90s.

(“How Many Trillions Must We Waste on the War on Poverty?” by Conn Carroll dated March 17, 2011 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/17/morning-bell-how-many-trillions-must-we-waste-on-the-war-on-poverty/

Welfare reform plan aims to cap spending” by John Rossomando dated March 21, 2011 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/21/welfare-reform-plan-aims-to-cap-spending/ )

Obama has a war on coal which hinges on the assumption that 100 new nuclear reactors will be built in the U.S. in the next few years, and without the power from those 100 new nuclear reactors, Obama’s plan will cause the lights to go out, and you cannot rule out half of our electricity supply and pretend otherwise. Obama said to Iowa voters in October 2008 that he was “not a proponent” of nukes, and it is unlikely that anything has changed his core position. Nuclear energy provided 19% of U.S. electricity in 1990, and it provides 20% today. That doesn’t mean that he will promote any new reactors, it just means that he knows he can’t shut down the existing fleet, additions to which have been stalled since 1978. Meanwhile he plans to add no coal, and shut down the existing coal fleet. Now we have also established that he will say anything, regardless of the reality. Was it his NRC reversing course on recertifying the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant this week? Just a “pause,” like the pause nukes have been in for three decades? Obama’s supposed pro-nuclear stance is occasional and purely rhetorical, with the sole exception a promised loan guarantee for two nuclear projects… representing one-fiftieth of the nuclear capacity that Obama’s own economic assessments include in order to produce their phony “cap-and-trade” numbers. Once elected, Obama cancelled a loan guarantee for a second U.S. plant to produce uranium fuel for nuclear reactors even though, as a Presidential candidate, he said during a campaign stop in a nearby town that he supported that same loan guarantee. His support for nuclear power is contingent upon finding an “acceptable” place for and manner of storing spent fuel, or finally recycling it. Soon thereafter, Obama canceled the high-level nuclear waste repository that had been decades and $13 billion in taxpayer funding in the making. The truth is that President Obama is waging an aggressive war on coal, and even stepping it up against gas, demanding a vast new reactor fleet begin construction yesterday. His assumption that 100 nuclear reactors would be built in the near future was insincere and facially absurd and is now utterly implausible as a practical matter. All of which says he must place his war on coal and gas on hold. He is not doing so. Instead, he is doubling down on the anti-coal demagoguery. Obama is a committed anti-energy ideologue, because energy liberates you and abundant reliable energy runs counter to Obama’s ideology, and given his war on coal-fired electricity, nothing he has done reveals that he will promote increased nuclear power to replace coal and then gas.

(“The truth about Obama and nuclear power” by Chris Horner dated March 18, 2011 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/18/the-truth-about-obama-and-nuclear-power/

Nuclear Power’s Unchangeable Plight” by Steve Chapman dated March 20, 2011 published by Rela Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/20/nuclear_powers_unchanging_plight_109276.html )

 

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010, and in just the year since, the law known as ObamaCare is so disliked that Congress is doing everything it can to defund and repeal it as soon as possible. Despite Obama’s continued pride in his signature health care legislation, a new CNN poll shows that 58% of Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling health care. The Republican House passed a repeal of ObamaCare in January, but the bill was blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate.  Four House committees are now drafting a replacement bill for ObamaCare.  The House also passed legislation defunding ObamaCare in March, which was likewise blocked by the Senate Democrats.  Republican leaders are committed, however, and say that they will be defunding the health care law through the appropriations process this year. These are the top ten failures of ObamaCare, starting with those that have had the most serious effect n the economy, jobs, and the American people:

1. Explodes the Budget Deficit - One year ago: Obama said, “This legislation will also lower costs for... the federal government, reducing our deficit by over $1 trillion in the next two decades.  It is paid for.  It is fiscally responsible.” Today:  ObamaCare is projected to cost at least $2.4 trillion when it is fully implemented.  Instead of Obama’s promise to reduce the deficit, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that ObamaCare will increase the federal deficit by $260 billion through 2019. 

2. Kills Jobs - One year ago: Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said that the health care bill “will create 4 million jobs and 400,000 jobs almost immediately." Today: The only jobs that have been created from ObamaCare are the 159 new government agencies and the tens of thousands of new government bureaucrats who have been hired to deal with all the new regulations and taxes from ObamaCare.

3. Lose Your Own Doctor and Health Plan - One year ago:  Obama said, “If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance.  No government takeover.  Nobody is changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it.  If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.  If you like your plan, you can keep it.” Today: New regulations could force as many as 87 million Americans to lose their current health care plans and their own doctors.

4. States’ Budget Deficits Grow to Possible Bankruptcy - One year ago: Obama said, “It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms, because we need to implement them responsibly.  We need to get this right.” Today: The states, which already have a collective $175 billion budget shortfall this year, are faced with such huge new mandatory costs from ObamaCare that some are on the verge of bankruptcy.

5. Higher Insurance Premiums - One year ago: Obama said that the law will “lower the cost of health care for our families.” Today: Some Americans have already had a spike in the cost of their insurance premiums of an astounding 20% to 60%. 

6. Crushes Businesses - One year ago: Obama said that the law will “lower the cost of health care” for businesses. Today: While the economy is barely growing at all, companies are facing a government mandate to provide health care for their employees, costing at least $50 billion to employers because of these new mandates.

7. Fewer Americans Have Access to Health Insurance - One year ago: Obama said, “And we have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their health care.” Today: Employers are facing huge increased costs or fines, and so will be forced to find ways to make fewer employees eligible for health benefits.  Experts estimate that as many as 35 million American workers will lose health care benefits because of the higher cost put on companies from ObamaCare.

8. Senior Citizens Lose Medicare Coverage - One year ago: Obama said, “We’re not going to mess with Medicare”. Today: The health care law cuts nearly $530 billion in Medicare over the next decade, with $200 billion coming from the Medicare Advantage.  As one in four seniors is currently enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program, approximately 7 million of them will lose access to the popular program. 

9. Overburdens Small Business - One year ago: Obama said, “This year, we’ll start offering tax credits to about 4 million small businessmen and women to help them cover the cost of insurance for their employees.” Today: Obama has already conceded that a provision that mandates that small-business owners file a 1099 tax form for any business transaction over $600 in his law is so onerous to small-business owners that he asked Congress to fix it. 

10.        Tax Hikes - One year ago: Obama said, “Millions of people will get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.” Today: ObamaCare includes more than $813 billion in total tax hikes over the next decade, including the penalty for not having health insurance, and taxes on health plans ($60 billion), medical devices ($20 billion), and prescription drugs ($27 billion).   

President Obama promised they we would like ObamaCare once we understood it, but the more we learn about it the less we like this legislation, and it is so bad that reform will not fix all the problems, so the best birthday present it deserves is repeal.

(“Top 10 Failures of ObamaCare After One Year” by Emily Miller dated March 23, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42461 )

The Left's hypocrisy on matters of war and peace is sickening and this latest incursion into Libya is no exception. An evil Arab dictator has been in power for decades. He personally controls his country's vast oil wealth. A sponsor of terrorism, he has provoked the West to take military action against him in the past. Islamic fundamentalists despise him as much as the West does. When his people rise up against him, he murders them ruthlessly. The United Nations Security Council has passed resolutions condemning him. An American President, intent on promoting democracy in the Middle East, demands that the dictator abdicate. When the dictator fails to leave, the American President authorizes the use of military force. Our "allies," including Great Britain, are asked to help. The endgame for the use of force is unclear. No, we're not talking about Moammar Qaddafi and Barack Obama, we're talking about Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush. As a Senator, Barack Obama emphatically stated in December 2007 that “the Constitution does not give the President the authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack unless it is needed to stop an actual or imminent attack on the United States.” Very simply, President Obama's actions don't match candidate Obama's rhetoric, but the administration twists words and facts to try and hide any discrepancy. In domestic policy, this game has been played plenty of times: Obama makes a promise; Obama breaks the promise; Obama plays Clintonian word games to pretend he kept his promise. Nevertheless as President, Obama’s decision to have the United States intervene militarily in Libya as part of a United Nations coalition is not in the best interests of the U.S. and this “wag the dog” adventure was made for political reasons. It was made because he wants to get elected to a second term in 2012 and sees bombing Libya as a means of helping him do so, not because of any abiding need on the part of America. There is a growing realization that the President can't be trusted. His assurances that America's military role in Libya will be limited in scope and duration carry little weight after the lies and evasions of his top aides. Not even a week into our war on Libya, the White House has already peppered Americans with a handful of falsehoods, equivocations and misleading statements. Libya posed no strategic or economic threat to the United States prior to this intervention. Obama confuses global approval with national interests. Nations have interests; nations do not have friends; and nations only have allies as a matter of ephemeral convenience. When the Democrat Party is in power, it routinely commits America to war. When Republicans are in power, Democrats engage in shameless demagoguery and paint the Republicans as bloodthirsty warmongers. Republicans have always been reticent to commit American forces to combat operations, and have acted decisively when they have. Democrats and liberals commit American forces to war promiscuously because they are arrogant and cocksure that their gassy ideals about "democracy" and the "international community" are correct and everybody else is stupid. The Powell doctrine held that any U.S. military incursion into a foreign country must meet three criteria of success: it must enjoy broad international support; employ overwhelming force; and deploy a clear exit strategy. Despite firing 95% of the missiles in the initial attack and flying 65% of the sorties over Libya, Obama is insistent that the U.S. is not in charge and he seems to be distancing himself from any blame or responsibility of the results. What are the concrete American interests in Libya? Who knows how this will end? Surely not Obama; like virtually all military interventions instigated by the Democrats, the Libya involvement is not well thought out at all, but they will make it up as they go along, then rewrite history to justify their actions based on the results.

(“Libya and the Left’s Sickening Hypocrisy on the Use of Military Force” by Michael Filosof dated March 20, 2011 published by American thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/libya_and_the_lefts_sickening.htmlWe Don’t Know What We Are Doing” by David Warren dated March 20, 2011 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/20/barack_obama_united_states_libya_war_109284.html

Obama and the attack on Libya” by Jerry Philipson dated march 21, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/34672

Led into war by a president who can’t be trusted” by Timothy P. Carney dated March 24, 2011 publishe by The Washington Examiner at http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/03/led-war-president-who-cant-be-trusted )

 

* 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 issue sections:

·  Budget at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/budget.php

·  Energy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/energy.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com