Views on the News
April 16, 2011
Views on the News*
There was a last minute budget compromise that was a small step in the right direction, but in the greater scheme of events the Continuing Resolutions were a sideshow distracting the American public from the more basic question on what is the role of the federal government. The only reason the federal government is struggling to fund itself this year is because the Democrat Congress failed to create, much less pass, a budget last year. The United States is over $14 trillion in debt. The federal government’s budget deficit grew by $222.5 billion in February, the largest one-month increase in history. Economists are forecasting the deficit for the year will be the biggest imbalance on record. The United States is drowning in debt, but the federal government continues to grow and add more debt burden. A budget deal that delivers $38.5 billion in cuts does very little to address these much bigger problems. The opportunity of defunding the implementation of ObamaCare, defunding abortions by Planned Parenthood, defunding climate control by the EPA, defunding agriculture subsidies, defunding subsidies in public broadcasting, defunding the Head Start early learning program, defunding the “Race to the Top” spending boondoggle, defunding AmeriCorps, deep cuts in foreign aid, and reclaiming unobligated funds from prior spending programs are still options for future cuts. It is ironic that during a government shutdown when “non-essential” activities must stop, the Democrats resort to demagoguery and threaten to defund the soldiers in combat which is the most essential of federal responsibilities. The good news is that this budget showdown has set the stage for Republican leadership in future budget discussions. The next step is to champion Paul Ryan’s fantastic “Path to Prosperity,” a FY2012 budget proposal to cut “$6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget” and offers sound solutions to save Medicare, repair Medicaid, simplify the tax code, and set appropriate budget priorities. Meanwhile President Obama is trying to sell himself as a born again fiscal conservative with his plan to continue class warfare, increase government dependence, increase spending, and raise taxes to pay for his failed ideas... and of course, to get re-elected. As Sarah Palin accurately reminds us, “There is a leadership vacuum in the White House right now, but that’s nothing that another good old-fashioned election can’t fix.”
(“No more pale pastels” by Jedediah Bila dated April 10, 2011 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2011/04/10/my-statement-on-the-budget-deal-no-more-pale-pastels/ )
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan is trying to have “an adult discussion” with the American people about the kind of sacrifices needed to avert economic collapse, and as a nation of adults we appreciate candor and boldness from our elected representatives. The Republican, and the TEA Party, agenda is not only ascendant, it’s driving the debate over reshaping government at every level. Ryan also realizes that we are a nation of addicts hooked on government largesse, and he has taken on the role of addiction interventionist. Breaking our deep dependence on government will take patience and perseverance. His budget is rooted in a sobering reality: that without fundamental change, America faces “economic collapse.” Ryan’s plan is above all a gradual and measured solution to our fiscal problems - one that offers continuity and security to help us avoid a truly extreme crisis. He proposes to have the federal government spend $5.8 trillion less over the next decade than it would under current law. He would reduce the accumulated deficits by more than $4 trillion over that period, and continue such reductions in the years that follow. He would thereby quickly begin to reduce the size of the federal debt relative to the economy, and over the coming decades would not only balance the budget but actually begin to pay off the principal of the debt. He would do that by reducing domestic discretionary spending, reforming the tax code to broaden the base and lower rates, block-granting some federal welfare programs (including Medicaid) to the states, repealing ObamaCare, privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cutting back farm subsidies and corporate welfare, and reforming Medicare for those now younger than 55 from an open-ended entitlement into a system of premium supports to subsidize the purchase of private insurance. Ryan’s plan means the end to Medicare as we know it, because current course and speed would end America as we know it! This adds up to an extraordinarily comprehensive and ambitious conservative policy agenda, more so than any Republican budget we have seen before, including those proposed by the Gingrich Congress in the ’90s and by Ronald Reagan in the ’80s. Ryan doesn’t tackle Social Security, but he does propose fundamental reforms of Medicaid and Medicare. Underlying the Ryan budget is a vision of security and stability, of gradual reform of the welfare state in the face of changing circumstances. The document is full of calls to save the social safety net and “[fulfill] the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans.” Its basic aim is to avoid sudden or radical breaks, because predictability and security are essential both for enabling growth and for instilling confidence in consumers, producers, investors, and creditors. Any former addict will tell you that the first step to recovery is to admit that there’s a problem, but many Democrats won’t even do that, and are blasting Ryan for his bold proposal. Top Republicans said they plan to use the momentum from the budget fight to take a hard line with President Obama in the fiscal fights of the months ahead. These upcoming debates are not going to be about whether we’re going to reduce the cost and size of government, but how much. The country knows it’s in serious trouble with Republican Governors Scott Walker in Wisconsin, with John Kasich in Ohio, with Rick Scott in Florida, with Chris Christie in New Jersey, and with Mitch Daniels in Indiana all talking drastic spending cuts. Meanwhile even Democrat Governors Jerry Brown of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York are wrestling with spending, and inevitably wrestling with the unions who elect them. Obama is also trying to claim credit for cutting spending, too, even though he fought it much of the way, but any serious entitlement reform is conspicuous by its absence. Conservatives need to be patient with the Republican leadership as it tries to balance budget and political realities. It takes time to beat addiction, trust needs to be restored, and new behaviors need to emerge, but for the country to get on “The Path to Prosperity,” it will also have to commit to “The Road to Recovery.”
(“The GOP’s winning streak” by Jim VanDeHei and Mike Allen dated April 10, 2011 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52870.html
“Ryan Budget Aims to Help a Nation of Government Addicts Recover” by Gary Bauer dated April 11, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42844
“The Radical Gradualism of Paul Ryan” by Yuval Levin dated April 18, 2011 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/radical-gradualism-paul-ryan_557012.html )
Spiraling food prices, record energy costs and federally mandated health insurance reflect this Administration's slavish ideological devotion to the centralized planning of key sectors of the American economy and the inevitable abysmal results are already beginning to disprove the promise of the socialist dream. The current results of Obama's indoctrination of America into progressive collectivism are: global food costs have risen an astonishing 29% in the past year; retail prices for gasoline have doubled in the 26 months since Obama was inaugurated; and the Democrat majorities in Congress passed a mandated health insurance bill that is not only unconstitutional, but also riddled with exemptions, political payoffs while adding 159 new boards, commissions and programs. The current quagmire of budget deficits coupled with the viral growth of the federal government continues to be carefully planned and executed. We can especially thank the silent and complicit MSM for allowing this radical Administration and Obama's handpicked shadow government, the thirty-nine unconfirmed czars now running the Federal bureaucracies, to eviscerate trillions of dollars of earned capital. The first and second quartiles (the two lowest socio- economic populations) are more far more dependent on government subsidies then 26 months ago. Using the silent complicity of the MSM, these progressive collectivists want an uncontested control of the six key sectors of the American economy: food, energy, healthcare, auto manufacturing, higher education and non-military government workers. The Marxist economic model is based on the economic and sociopolitical theories of 19th-century philosopher Karl Marx. Marx proposed that all human struggles could be traced back to the capitalist system and its unequal distribution of private wealth. The Marxist model of economics seeks to correct social and economic inequalities through public confiscation of private property. This model supports a completely public economy, in which the state controls and manages all wealth and property for the benefit of people rather than for profit. The Marxist socialist model eventually, if implemented according to Marx's design, gives way to a completely classless system known as communism. More and more people are opening their eyes to see this socialist utopian scenario unfolding and rejecting the direction and the politicians who endorse this failed vision.
(“Inflating Our Way to a Government-Controlled Economy” by Lee DeCovnick dated April 11, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/inflating_our_way_to_a_governm.html )
President Obama’s support among blacks and Hispanics has fallen to new lows according to a Gallup poll because inflation is rising and is felt first by the poor. Black support declined by 7% and among Hispanics by 11%, farther than at any point since his inauguration. The poor, including and especially blacks and Hispanics, are being hardest hit by increasing energy costs. The poor, the elderly, and minorities are being hurt, not just by energy prices, but across the board. There are concerns that inflation is back, despite very low Fed rates. Fuel and food prices have been defined out of the calculation of “core inflation” by the Fed. Inflation is the one piece of news that the administration’s allies in the media cannot conceal. The daily news from the supermarket cash register speaks, and the gas station is more eloquent than anything that the New York Times can print. Inflation is going to keep rising because of the pressures of supply and demand, and when raw materials cost more, products cost more. Goods are the one thing that cannot be conjured into existence by the dream-merchants and the ideologues. In President Obama’s case, with his simultaneous attempts at socialized medicine, cap and trade, and Mideast foreign policy, we may have seen the high-water market of his left-wing ideology. That may still be popular among the intellectuals, but it has been in practice disastrous for the poor, and especially catastrophic for blacks and Hispanics. Barack Obama can’t sustain Hope and Change all by himself because he will need to the people he hasn’t been waiting for to pay the bills.
(“The Attack of the Cash Register” by Richard Fernandez dated April 7, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2011/04/07/the-attack-of-the-cash-register/ )
The Democrats command the loyalty of most American Jews, but the Democrats have been penetrated by those who hate tolerance, democracy, and respect for sovereign nations. The Left has played American Jews for suckers and Obama is no exception since he is supported by an inner circle of ideological fanatics some of whom were born into Jewish families, but somehow never got the point of civilized behavior. Jews are among the most abused peoples in history. Jews should therefore be the most alert to the rise of hate preachers, the kind of thing that the MEMRI website translates into English every day. A small minority of Americans and Europeans, Christian and Jews and non-religious, have long been aware of the rise of neo-fascism from the Left and Islamic reactionaries. The majority are sound asleep, in psychological denial, or just afraid to speak up: Like lambs to the slaughter. It is a dreadful thing to behold. Jews get suckered by utopian promises. Jews may yearn for peace because they have felt the ravages of war and persecution. They may easily be taken in by false hopes that all it will take is a little bit of compromise, a little peace talk, for everything to turn out all right in the Middle East, but there is no excuse for willing stupidity. The New York Times covered up the worst crimes of Hitler and Stalin when its correspondents knew exactly what was going on there. Those facts are known beyond reasonable doubt. Today the NYT-wits are covering up Iranian nukes and the spread of Islamic fascism, when they again know exactly what is going on. At some point collusion becomes a crime. Media collusion is what keeps corrupt political machines alive. Ordinary Americans have allowed one of our political parties to be taken over by the totalitarian Left, the people who instantly try to control your free speech, because they know that if you can be made to shut up about politics you can be rendered helpless. We live in an age of corruption, and an age of cowardice among free peoples, but the silence of American Jews on the fate of Israel is the most ominous reality today.
(“The Silence of the Jews” by James Lewis dated April 10, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_silence_of_the_jews.html )
A Republican presidential primary favorite is emerging among the ranks of congressional Republicans: none of the above, since none of them excite the American voters. The dissatisfaction with the likely GOP field, long whispered among party activists, operatives and elected officials, is growing more audible in the House and Senate. Both sides of the Capitol have revealed widespread concern about the lackluster quality of the current crop of candidates and little consensus on who Republican senators and House members would like to see in the race. Everybody is looking for a Ronald Reagan, and nobody can see anyone even close. The characteristics that set Reagan apart were: articulate, personable, experienced, a connection with the voters, with a positive vision of the future, and a plan with steps to achieve that vision. Potential GOP candidates are all trying to demonstrate their personality, their ability to speak articulately, their experienced, and a connection to the voters. Unfortunately these potential GOP candidates do not inspire anyone with their vision or plans beyond the next election. Barack Obama was elected with his glib tongue, and once his visions and plans for the future became visible he was rejected by the voters in 2010. Republicans need to learn from Obama’s experience and not make the same mistake themselves. A successful GOP candidate must articulate what the United States will look like in 2030, how to achieve this vision, and how the American people can help. Republicans need to elevate the Presidency above the level of American Idol, and return it to back into the American ideal!
(“GOP lawmakers sour on 2012 field” by Jonathan Martin dated April 11, 2011 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52893.html )
President Obama has often blamed the Bush administration for what has gone wrong in America, but now it seems that by keeping many of the Bush policies in place, and even expanding some, President Obama is implicitly admitting that Bush was right all along. The same day that the President announced his re-election campaign, Attorney General Eric Holder did a sharp about-face on the controversial and unpopular decision to try suspected terrorists, most prominently Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, on American soil, possibly even in lower Manhattan. Obama even signed an executive order to close Gitmo, touting this as a fulfilled campaign promise. Even though Holder still supports civilian trials for terrorists, his boss all but acknowledged that George W. Bush was correct in not bringing the detainees to the U.S. Despite his effort to demonize personal wealth and argue incessantly that the "rich" don't deserve a tax cut, Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for all Americans and touted the move as "a good deal for the American people." The President's usage of a Bush blueprint isn't isolated to domestic issues, either. Obama has firmly embraced the notion of the previous administration that the U.S. will play a role - a military one, if necessary - in fostering democracy in the Middle East. In point of fact, both Obama and Biden opposed Bush's war in Iraq and its tactics, but since taking office, they've praised it. This was more than simply supporting a Bush doctrine; they were actually trying to take credit for it. Obama did everything in his power to cast Bush & Co. as cozy with big business, yet Obama's been accused of getting too close to companies such as General Electric, which paid no federal taxes last year. The prior administration was routinely accused of being insular and operating with a bunker mentality. Obama promised an unprecedented amount of sunlight, but the current White House has been as transparent as a wool sock. Bush wasn't perfect and he certainly wasn't out for any awards, because he was more concerned with doing the right thing and was frequently pilloried for his principles
(“Obama’s actions validate George W. Bush’s presidency” by Andrea Tantaros dated April 7, 2011 published by New York Daily News at http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/04/07/2011-04-07_barack_obamas_actions_validate_george_w_bushs_presidency.html )
* 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:
· Domestic Policy at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/philosophy.php