RTCS

Views on the News

July 23, 2011

Views on the News*

The current administration has done so much damage to this country that a virtual re-transformation may be required to return America to its Constitutional roots and to remove unconstitutional appendages. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence begins by explaining the need for dissolving the political bonds with England:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Considering the damage being done to our country by the current administration, we have our marching orders. It is not only our right; it is our duty to fight a tyrannical, despotic government that holds sway over us, no matter under what label it hides, even when that government is wearing the garb of the United States of America. That we are indeed suffering under “a long train of abuses and usurpations” is no longer in doubt; no longer to be denied; no longer to be endured. So the question becomes “What to do?” The time has come to reboot America; the time for talk is done. What we need most are politicians who take their oath of office seriously, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic….” but words are cheap and only actions count… something lacking in the current administration.

(“Time to Reboot America” by Jim O’Neill dated July 15, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/38521 )

 

For the American Left, those who have made it their work to enshrine Leftist or Leftist Lite ideology into American life and law, the end is nigh and Barack Obama is on his way out. Ronald Reagan accurately predicted a similar fate for their more heavy-handed Communist cousins, and now their own demise is clearly in progress, and Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson have left Barack Obama holding the bag. The entire idea of Communism was, in Reagan's words, a "form of insanity, a temporary aberration" in history. Famously, Reagan, against the most assured "wisdom" of the day, believed that to challenge Communism directly was to win, because the insanity was ultimately unsustainable. From Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman , JFK and particularly Lyndon Johnson, the working assumption was always that you could endlessly increase government spending and the size of government and that all would be just dandy. America is fast reaching the end-game here. What has gone on for decades is now patently unsustainable and is, in fact, collapsing right in front of our eyes. The core assumptions of the American Left, as with the core assumptions of the Communist Left, are slowly but surely taking that final ride to the ash heap of history. American history. Barack Obama is the president left holding the bag for Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom, FDR's New Deal, Truman's Fair Deal, JFK's New Frontier, and LBJ's Great Society. Ronald Reagan said "We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order." That is exactly what is happening today with the American Left. It took nine years from Reagan's "ash heap of history" speech in 1982 until the Soviet Union collapsed, dissolving on December 31, 1991. President Obama, whether he abruptly walks out of future meetings or not, is now immortalized as America's first black President, and the last President from the hard-core American Left.

(“Gorby Obama and the Collapse of the American Left” by Jeffrey Lord dated July 19, 2011 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2011/07/19/obama-and-the-collapse-of-the )

Barack Obama acts as though the United States is his personal chattel to do with as he pleases, and no one (including members of the coequal legislative branch) and nothing (including the Constitution) dare get in his way. He masquerades as a mere bystander in all this instead of the primary mover in accelerating this financial catastrophe and the primary obstructer of the reforms necessary to avert it. Such petulance isn't Obama's only unbecoming conduct concerning these negotiations. He recently attempted to horrify seniors that their Social Security payments would be withheld if Republicans didn't compromise. Reaching the debt ceiling wouldn't prevent the government from spending money, only from spending more than it takes in, which means it could decide which payments to honor and which to forgo. There are plenty of expenditures less urgent than benefits to seniors, but Obama chooses to scare seniors anyway. This same principle applies to Obama's refusal to exercise calming Presidential leadership when Moody's announced that the government's credit rating is under review for a potential downgrade. It is true is that if we don't radically reduce our overall spending and structurally reform our entitlement programs at some point in the near future, we will be unable to honor our obligations. Obama should have immediately assured Moody's and the rest of the world that no matter what happens in these negotiations, the United States will honor its debts, but just as he does with seniors, Obama prefers to ruthlessly leverage international fear as a negotiating weapon in his mission to remake America. Whether or not he accepts this reality, Obama owns this economy and the alarming explosion of the debt in recent years. He is the one whose reckless policies have greatly exacerbated our dire financial condition. He is the one whose unconscionably wasteful and irresponsible economic policies have tanked the economy and suppressed employment. He is the one who, along with his party, has not presented a budget in 800 days. He is the one who formed a bipartisan deficit commission and then ignored its findings. He is the one who hasn't presented a concrete budgetary plan. He is the one who refuses to reform entitlements despite objective evidence that if we don't, the nation will go belly up. Yet he is the one who is pointing all the fingers of blame against the Republicans as if they were the culprits. It is time that the President and the Democrat Party who are "creating the mess" were put back on their heels and exposed for their wanton fiscal destruction.

(“GOP: Please Do Call His Bluff and Man Your Battle Stations” by David Limbaugh dated July 17, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44882 )

 

Most of President Obama’s Cabinet secretaries have spent almost every day of their adult lives as academics, government staffers, or elected officials. That doesn’t make them bad people, but it means they have no firsthand experience with how their policies affect businesses’ investment and economic growth. There is no substitute for the private-sector demands of hiring and firing, managing cash flow, and putting capital to work. Critics might contend that putting former private-sector CEOs in the President’s Cabinet places the fox in the henhouse, but it’s unlikely such executives would expose themselves to the headaches if they weren’t genuinely motivated by the call to service. All successful CEOs have achieved financial security. They view any government role as temporary, are driven by the challenge of improving organizational performance, and focus on completing the job with their reputation intact. Bureaucrats behave very differently than a private-sector manager because their motivations are different. Permanent bureaucrats, no matter how senior, worry about their next job. They worry about getting the boss angry; they worry about getting their employees angry, for nothing is more vicious than an office full of disgruntled bureaucrats; they worry about getting the voters angry; and they worry about bad press, which could result in any and all of the above. That’s a lot of worries that might easily distract from actually developing good policy. Few in his Cabinet can distinguish a well-crafted and necessary rule from a waste of time and money. With unemployment at 9.2% and rising, Obama needs experienced business advisers in the White House. The United States has a choice because our constitutional foundation is designed to resist tyrannies of all kinds. We’ll always have bureaucracies, but bureaucracies led by bureaucrats might be too much of a bad thing, and countries that have tried this approach have suffered for this economic disconnect.

(“A glut of bureaucrats” by John E. Sununu dated July 18, 2011 published by The Boston Globe at http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2011/07/18/a_glut_of_bureaucrats/ )

 

Obamanomics has produced the weakest, most anemic recovery since the 1930s, when another generation's big-government planners turned their great recession into the Great Depression. President Obama has unarguably fumbled the ball with his increased taxes and regulatory burden; he has grown government with his wildly increased spending and outright take-overs; and he has weakened the dollar with his "quantitative easing" printing press. The devastation caused by Obamanomics is now undeniable with 2 million net private-sector jobs have been lost; unemployment has increased by 1.5%; long-term unemployment is the worst ever on record; the dollar is 12% weaker; the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 37%; the Misery Index (unemployment plus inflation) has increased by 62%; and the national debt has exploded by an alarming 40%. Obama is on pace to saddle America with more job-killing debt than all the first 43 presidents - combined. Meanwhile Obama is trapped in the mistaken belief that America's problems can only be solved by growing our government ever larger. Almost a century ago, Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt converted a great recession into the Great Depression with their big-government schemes. Today, Mr. Obama has turned our Great Recession into the Obama Depression with his own - now old, tired and discredited - big-government schemes. Meanwhile, Obama cannot see beyond his socialist ideology to: unleash the free market, unshackle entrepreneurs and workers from big-government controls and we, the free people of the United States, can rescue our economy and create our own 21st century American Miracle.

(“’German Miracle’ Barack Obama doesn’t see” by Milton R. Wolf dated July 13, 2011 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/13/german-miracle-barack-obama-doesnt-see// )

With homeownership plunging among minorities, Democrats and community organizers are pushing banks to revert to the easy-credit requirements that got us into the crisis. Attorney General Eric Holder has sued several banks based on groundless charges of discrimination. They're now under court order to change their lending policies to qualify more credit-poor borrowers. They've even been ordered to scrub clean the bad credit histories of minority borrowers who've defaulted on mortgages, thereby allowing them to re-qualify for loans. When these politically mandated loans go into default, which they likely will, the housing market will take another blow. Home values will drop further still, and taxpayers will get struck with the tab when banks buckle from carrying even more bad debt. As punishment for alleged racism, Holder's also making lenders fork over millions to inner-city groups that exist to shake down banks for easy loans. The administration isn't just re-socializing mortgages. The newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which opens its doors July 21, plans to crack down on banks that deny business loans to minorities. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, banks for the first time must report data on minority business lending to the government. The effort to ease credit appears orchestrated. Have we learned nothing from the last crisis, which isn't even fully behind us? Democrats and their accomplices in the media have rewritten history to make it seem as if "fat cat" Wall Street bankers and "predatory lenders" caused the crisis. Reckless federal housing policies designed to close the racial mortgage gap led to government generating more than two-thirds of the subprime and otherwise risky loans that crashed the system by 2008. The biggest predatory lenders were in Washington, at HUD, Treasury and Justice, where they mandated that Fannie and Freddie and private lenders actually "target" low-income minorities for subprime loans. That's really how we got into this mess, but all that was bleached out of the official report by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which was set up by the same Democrat politicians who helped push Fannie and Freddie over the subprime cliff. If Democrats get away with their cover-up, they'll get away with their new assault on underwriting standards, and that could be the final blow to the Obama recovery.

(“Reckless Redux for Subprime Loans” dated July 14, 2011 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/578384/201107141854/Subprime-Loans-Reckless-Redux.htm )

 

Both the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are independent, unaccountable regulatory agencies just being formed and already out of control. Like so much of President Obama’s legislative achievements, ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank over-promised, under-delivered, and cost far more than promised. ObamaCare established the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel of bureaucrats appointed by the President and tasked with holding total Medicare spending to predetermined spending targets. The panel’s name suggests it’s merely an advisor to Congress, which has traditionally been in charge of Medicare spending, but its “recommendations” have the force of law unless Congress holds down spending enough to meet the target or eliminates the board, which it can only do with a supermajority vote in the Senate. Rather than serve in an advisory capacity, IPAB is really designed to take over Congress’s job. IPAB is intended to take tough decisions about Medicare spending out of the purview of politically motivated legislators and turn those decisions over to a board of independent, unelected bureaucratic experts. Health wonks, in other words, convinced Congress to put a panel of health wonks in charge of the nation’s biggest health insurance program.  The creation of the board violates the separation of powers doctrine. Congress cannot delegate away its legislative responsibilities under the Constitution. ObamaCare doesn’t just create IPAB; it also sets in place a series of barriers designed to make it extremely difficult to repeal, so if Congress wants to get rid of IPAB, it will have to jump through a complex set of hoops first. The Dodd-Frank financial reform act was a knee-jerk reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 that the Government Accountability Office’s calculated would require $1.25 billion in new spending to implement. It included an army of 2,800 newly minted federal bureaucrats to codify “too-big-to-fail” enabling the government to guarantee “systemically important” banks. It also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), headed by a single regulator and given sweeping, unchecked authority, and imposed hundreds of new regulations which make compliance very costly for small community banks. Dodd-Frank plunged these banks and the small businesses that depend on them into even greater uncertainty, authorizing bureaucrats to write the details of over 300 new rules and inviting them to study over 100 more. The House Financial Services Committee reported this month that even a year later just 21 of these rules have been written; 62% have yet even to be proposed. Dodd-Frank has been an expensive exercise in command and control by the federal government. The solution for ObamaCare and its IPAB is the same as for the catastrophic Dodd-Frank Act and its CFPB: repeal them both and replace them both with new laws that address the real underlying problems and not just create a big government bureaucracy to administer to the unruly masses.

(“IPAB: The Roach After the Nuclear Blast” by Peter Suderman dated July 13, 2011 published by Reason Magazine at http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/13/ipab-the-roach-after-the-nucle

To Create Jobs, Repeal the Dodd-Frank Law Immediately” by Newt Gingrich dated July 20, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44957

The crony-capitalist triumph” by Nita Ghei dated July 20, 2011 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/20/the-crony-capitalist-triumph/ )

 

The Obama Administration’s energy policy is all about providing special government (taxpayer) favor for energies that consumers would otherwise reject as too expensive and/or unreliable. Ethanol, wind power, and on-grid solar power, indeed, have been artificially constructed by government largesse and face a downsizing along with the federal budget. In the real world, recent news headlines offer good news about the future of consumer-driven energy - the oil, gas, and coal that continue to improve and represent our sustainable energy future. Oil and gas from offshore Arctic areas and from dense shale rock formations are two frontiers that need to be addressed by best practices, technical, legal, and otherwise. The idea for the collaboration came from the BP oil spill, which is remindful of what the late sustainability expert Julian Simon emphasized: Our problems can make us better is we learn from them, even better than if the problem had not occurred. Many more stories are the regular fare in the real energy world. There is a technology boom going on from the wellhead to the burner tip with oil and gas in particular, all part of the natural market process. Maybe Obama and his energy advisors should decamp outside of the Beltway to better see where the real consumer-driven markets are headed, and they might have some more appropriate federal budget cuts to recommend as a result.

(“Energy Reality Headlines” by Institute for Energy Research dated July 21, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/38711 )

Isolationism, what some have called Fortress America, arrives at water’s edge each generation because war fatigue, monstrous expenditures, casualties and the cri de coeur that we cannot be the world’s policeman contribute to the belief from the Left and the Right that we should turn inward and concentrate on building America instead of nation-building abroadThis clarion call does not make political distinctions. It can be heard from the Ron Paul Libertarian wing of the Republican party and from the liberal acolytes of Barack Obama, if not President Obama himself.  Prompted by the belief that our goal in Afghanistan is vague and an appropriate exit strategy nonexistent, and that the Libyan operation violates the War Powers Resolution and remains an ill-advised venture, an antiwar cry across the country is gaining currency. The danger of isolationism is that it encourages complacency.  Presumably if there aren’t any interests abroad, there isn’t a need to maintain an active military force.  History doesn’t repeat itself exactly, but its broad outlines are often duplicated.  It now appears as if the scenario unfolding at this time resembles the 1930s, a period when the U.S. opted out of worldwide commitments.  One can only hope that an attack like the one at Pearl Harbor isn’t necessary to awaken the sleeping giant. As our history has shown, building military readiness after dramatic retrenchment is painful.  It is far better to add on to existing resources than starting anew.  President Obama seemingly has convinced himself that American interests can be channeled through multilateral organizations, as the Libyan venture suggests.  The United States to spend less on military matters than we do at the moment and hope that others will fill the vacuum left by our withdrawal is a hope-and-prayer strategy that serves as a gateway for our enemies, and signal that we do not possess the will to stand by commitments to our allies or defend our interests abroad.

(“Recurring U.S. Isolationism and Its Implications” by Herbert London dated July 17, 2011 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=44879 )

 

* 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:

·  Politics at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/intro/politics.phpj

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

·  Immigration at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/immigration.php

·  Welfare at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/welfare.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

www.ReturnToCommonSensesite.com