Views on the News
November 13, 2010
Views on the News*
Obama and the Liberal Elite still have no clue why they lost the election, because they are unable to accept that their policies were bad and roundly rejected by the voters. The election results represent a sharp rebuke to President Obama, who interpreted his 2008 "vote for change" as a mandate for changing everything and all at once. The unusually revealing exit polls spell it all out: how he re-energized the Republican Party, lost the independent center, and failed to overcome the widespread sense that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Obama came across as a young man in a grown-up's game, impressive but not Presidential, but turned out to be a politician, and not a leader, managing American policy at home and American power abroad with disturbing amateurishness. Indeed, there was a growing perception of the inability to run the machinery of government and to find the right people to manage it. A man who was once seen as a talented and even charismatic rhetorician is now seen as lacking real experience or even the ability to stop America's decline. Jobs have long represented the stairway to upward mobility in America, and the anxiety over joblessness became the dominant concern at a time when financial security based on home equity and pensions was dramatically eroding. Meanwhile the public sensed that healthcare was a victory for Obama, and maybe for the Democrats, but not for the country, and contrary to Democratic hopes, public support for the measure has continued to drop to as low as 34% in some polls. A significant majority, some 58%, now wish to repeal the entire bill, according to likely voters questioned in a late October poll by Rasmussen. It also seemed tone-deaf to the public's concern with unemployment, the cost of government, and the sense that America was declining in its ability to compete in the world. The open purchasing of votes through the provision of special exemptions for five states and for unions, and concessions to many of the special interests in the Democratic Party, especially trial lawyers, symbolized the corruption of our politics. The 2009 omnibus spending bill alone contained 8,570 special earmarks like those that had so enraged the American public in the past. When lawmakers had no time to even read the bills, it gave the impression that what was important was passing anything, no matter how ineffectual. Obama had promised he would change "politics as usual," and he did change it all right, but for the worse. Today the polls indicate that the President has reached a point where a majority of Americans have little confidence that he will make the right decisions for the country. There isn't a single critical problem on which the President has a positive rating. Despite a historic defeat in the midterm elections, Obama seems every bit as committed to his destructive agenda as he was before the election and is not looking for "common ground." He said that every election "is a reminder that in our democracy, power rests not with those of us in elected office, but with the people we have the privilege to serve." Obama sees the election results as a referendum on the stagnant economy and not a repudiation of his policies, even though he made the economy worse with no improvement in sight. It is he, who crammed through ObamaCare and other offensive agenda items against the express will of the people. Obama obviously thought that power rested with him, not the people. He saw to that by breaking all the rules to push the measures through. When asked whether he has any regrets about doing so, he said no. He regrets the process wasn't "healthier," but "the outcome was a good one." Again, the end justifies the means, and the people don't know what's good for them. His interpretation of the voters' message is odd. The overwhelming message I heard was that people are scared to death of this mounting debt and the socialization of health care and other sectors of the economy. When we have a President who believes that the government, not the private sector, creates jobs and who believes that extending unemployment benefits ad infinitum is not only the compassionate thing to do but also the healthiest thing for the economy, nothing else need to be said. The public disillusionment has now hardened and the love affair with Obama is over, and unemployment, underemployment, and collapsing home equity will be the leading factors in 2012.
(“America’s Love affair With Obama is Over” by Mort Zuckerman dated November 5, 2010 published by US News & World Report at http://politics.usnews.com/opinion/mzuckerman/articles/2010/11/05/mort-zuckerman-americas-love-affair-with-obama-is-over.html
“Obama Doesn’t Seek Compromise; Neither Should We” by David Limbaugh dated November 7, 2010 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=39810 )
A rebirth of the American Revolution signals a turn away from the statism of the progressive movement and an embrace of individual liberty as the cornerstone of American society. That would imply a shift in economic policies that could usher in an extended period of prosperity and above-average gains for equity markets. The American people consistently have been voting for politicians who promise less government and more liberty, and firing those who either break their promise or advocate more government and less individual freedom, with growing conviction ever since the landslide election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The 2010 election results, fueled in part by the spontaneous rise of the Tea Party movement, was just the latest, if not the most resounding effort by the American people to deliver this message to their elected representatives. This interpretation of the election results is corroborated by a poll commissioned by FreedomWorks:
o 70% said they supported balancing the budget through meaningful spending reductions;
o 69% supported eliminating earmarks and wasteful spending;
o 61% supported preventing looming tax increases on all Americans;
o 60% supported instilling constitutionally accountable government; and
o 54% supported rolling back and replacing the government takeover of health care.
The basic premise that free people are capable of ruling themselves propelled the formation of a republican form of government, but it also applied to a deeper and truly radical claim - that individuals could be trusted to manage their affairs through voluntary exchanges and the creation of voluntary organizations with no intermediation by government officials. The leaders of modern progressive movements have pursued the use of government power to protect individuals from poor decisions and to intermediate between them and businesses. In the process, they have necessarily empowered government bureaucrats to intrude in ever more ways into the day-to-day lives of the average American. A majority of voters understood all too well that the most rapid increase in discretionary federal spending in history and the piling up of debt had failed to produce a discernable economic benefit, and that they were voting against the promise of higher tax rates, job destroying regulations and loss of liberty that were to follow. The 2010 election was also a rebellion against passage of a health care bill that mandates the purchase of a commercial product as a condition of being a lawful resident of the United States. Exit polls indicate that nearly half of those voting opposed this assertion of government power, which makes clear that those in power no longer consider the American people worthy of their liberty, but rather see them as subjects who must be cared for by those with the superior intelligence of the ruling class. If the 2010 election signals the rebirth of the American Revolution, this rally may be just the next leg up in the an extended period of rising equity values driven by a surge in prosperity that began with the 1983 implementation of the Reagan reductions in tax rates. The original American Revolution launched a commercial society like none that could even be imagined at the time of the nation's birth. Wherever liberty is on the rise, prosperity follows and guided by a trust in the people, and a renewed respect for the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the principle of a government with limited and enumerated powers, the political process can find a path to increase step by step the liberty of the American people.
(“A Rebirth of the American Revolution” by Charles W. Kadlec dated November 8, 2010 published by Forbes Magazine at http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/08/constitution-elections-federal-government-opinions-contributors-charles-w-kadlec.html?boxes=opinionschannellatest )
The Federal Reserve plans to inject $600 billion of the most caustic debt imaginable into the economy to enable deficit spending by buying treasury bonds and ultimately in the hope of generating inflation. The primary goal is to erode the value of the dollar, and we get to watch our currency and wealth literally dissolve before our eyes. Only a desperate government would consider debasing its own currency. The resulting inflation will be an insidious tax on every American who will suffer as wages lag behind increasing prices. This strategy of monetary sabotage will punish savers and creditors, but Keynesians simply will not tolerate anything that impedes deficit spending. Since deflation hamstrings spending, they will stop at nothing to reverse deflationary pressures. In spite of the fact that the government intrusion in the market was the root cause of the mortgage crisis, Keynesians continue to affirm that capitalism and central planning can coexist which is patently false. You can have either a centrally planned economy or a free economy, but not both. Like all Keynesian economic theories, our mixed economy has failed in its real-world application. It is unworkable due to the extreme market distortions caused by policymakers and regulators who continually demand more control to "fix" the problems their social engineering schemes caused in the first place. Justifications for more interventions are just excuses to continue incrementally taking over the economy and demolishing any remnants of capitalism. There is one ray of hope, however! Americans are beginning to shrug off the fallacy that government spending and other interventionist measures improve the economy over the long term. Many now understand that it is the government that is causing the increasing amplitude and frequency of boom and bust cycles. They also recognize that floating prices in response to competition for limited capital resources is a far better regulator of economic activity than these central planners could ever dream of becoming. World Bank president Robert Zoellick has actually called for putting gold back into global money, in order to use it as an international reference point to measure market expectations over inflation or deflation. Since Bernanke first hinted at quantitative easing in late August, commodity indexes have jumped nearly 20 percent, gold has hit a new record high over $1,400 an ounce, and the dollar has fallen nearly 10 percent against the euro. The discontent has also gone global with the governments of China, Brazil, Japan, Germany and Russia expressing concern that the Fed's money printing will distort the world economy and lead to a trade war. Whatever remedial action is taken, there are very scary times ahead that will test the steadfastness of even the most ardent supporters of capitalism and limited government. Panic-stricken policymakers will undoubtedly act irrationally in trying to prevent the inevitable plunge off the cliff. Total tax revenues historically average 18% of GDP no matter how high the tax rates are set and when interest expenses also equal 18% of GDP, then every dollar collected by the government will be consumed by interest alone.
(“The Keynesians Get Their Wish” by Peter Raymond dated November 6, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_keynesians_get_their_wish.html
“The World Against Bernanke – we just don’t need QE2” by Larry Kudlow dated November 9, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryKudlow/2010/11/09/the_world_against_bernanke_-we_just_don%E2%80%99t_need_qe2
“Fighting the Fed” dated November 9, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/553265/201011091902/Fighting-The-Fed.htm )
ObamaCare will be very difficult to eradicate because to get rid of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), both houses of Congress must pass repeal legislation, and President Obama would certainly veto any repeal bill that somehow found its way to his desk, and that there is virtually no chance that his veto would be overridden. The three-stage vaccine with which the GOP can stop the spread of PPACA has already been proven effective -- in Massachusetts of all places. It will come as a surprise to many that RomneyCare was not the first "universal coverage" law to be inflicted on the long-suffering citizens of the Bay State. In 1988 that state's legislature passed a health care bill containing many of the provisions that later reappeared in the 2006 boondoggle signed by Romney. That "reform" program was signed into law by then-governor Michael Dukakis, who gave it a prominent place in his résumé during his unsuccessful bid for the presidency. "DukakisCare" is all but forgotten because a group of newly elected state legislators defunded the program, delayed its implementation and, for all intents and purposes, killed it after Republican William Weld was elected governor in 1990. The three phase process used to eradicate “DukakisCare” can be used to achieve the same result with ObamaCare:
· For the newly empowered GOP, however, the most difficult is the first stage of the vaccination process may be the first, getting solidly behind the defunding project. Their vociferous denunciations of PPACA notwithstanding, many House Republicans have expressed reservations.
· Assuming the Republicans can absorb this reality and summon the courage to face down the President on funding, they can move to the second stage of the vaccination process.
· Cut the budget ($610 million) of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the entity that conducts research on the comparative effectiveness of new medical technologies, to FY 2008 levels or eliminate it altogether.
o Eliminate other programs or agencies designed to centralized medical decision making: That includes the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS) ($10 billion through 2019), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (avoiding taxes on health plans of about $500 million a year), funding for Shared Decision-making and Quality Measurement Development ($75 million), and the new NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) ($220 million) should be cut because it duplicates existing research.
o Eliminate programs requiring "such sums as needed" as slush funds such as grants to establish Shared Decision Making Resource Centers, the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, and the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's Center for Shared Decision Making.
o Eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Committee, set up to restrict the kind of care and treatments Medicare patients can receive.
o Eliminate or waive medical loss ratio requirements where are a back door to controlling the definition of what is medical care.
o Add an amendment that bars HHS from restricting access to what it rules is the "least costly alternative" treatment.
o Eliminate funding to hire 16,000 IRS employees ($1 billion).
o In addition to the power of the purse, the new House majority will also have subpoena power that can be used to delay implementation.
· The third and final stage of the vaccine must, of course, be administered in 2012. The event that enabled Massachusetts legislators to finish off the 1988 universal coverage bill was the replacement of Michael Dukakis with Republican William Weld.
Cynics will argue that, even if Obama can be given the bum's rush in 2012, that doesn't guarantee the success of this three-stage vaccine, but repeal is a long rigorous process that must begin soon if total repeal is possible in 2012.
(“How the GOP Can Stop the Spread of ObamaCare” by David Catron dated November 5, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/05/how-the-gop-can-stop-the-sprea
“A Roadmap to Repeal and Reform” by Robert M. Goldberg dated November 10, 2010 published by The American Spectator at http://spectator.org/archives/2010/11/10/a-roadmap-to-repeal-and-reform )
The elections codified what polls and candidates have been espousing for months: that Cap-and-Trade and similar Democrat proposals are enormously unpopular amongst the American people, so it is effectively dead as a 2011 legislative priority. Cap-and-trade proposes the worst of all worlds. It set unrealistic energy reduction standards that supposedly would lower global temperatures by tenths of a degree. Given the state of our economy, Democrats who voted for this bill rightfully appear completely out of touch with the voters. While Democrat members of Congress refused to employ a cost-benefit analysis, the American people did, and they ensured that cap-and-trade and its many iterations are legislatively dead. Acknowledging the cap-and-trade law is no longer a legislative priority, Obama also said he's not giving up on the idea of restricting Americans' output of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile in a little reported move, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on October 21st that it will be ending carbon trading (its only purpose for existing) this year. Despite ending carbon trading, the CCX isn’t vanishing altogether, but instead will transition into the murky world of dealing in carbon offsets, which has its own questions on fraudulent practices, so the future of that market is quite uncertain. It's been said that a socialist thrown out the window will come back through the front door as an environmentalist. Unable to tax or hamper efficient forms of energy through the legislative process, Democrats will use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact their favorite policies - effectively subverting the will of the American people. The EPA has proposed dozens of rules and regulations that will affect nearly every industry, from truck manufacturers to energy producers. Renewable Electricity Standards (RES) illustrate how junk-science-based environmental laws might be passed in the "chunks" that Obama prescribes. RES would breed EPA regulations that manipulate consumers into buying what they don't need and can't afford: "green" electricity. Data from the President's own Energy Information Administration show that panaceas like wind and solar power are lies. Analysis by the Heritage Foundation exposes the betrayal hiding within green dreams (2016 prices in 2008 dollars per megawatt-hour).
· Conventional coal power: $78.10
· Onshore wind: $149.30
· Offshore wind: $191.10
· Thermal solar: $256.60
· Photo-voltaic solar: $396.10
Wind and especially solar power are economically ruinous fantasies. Furthermore, even if proliferated, wind and solar will have zero impact on global temperatures. If Obama's EPA people continue the treachery of burdening coal and gas generated power producers to make wind and solar look attractive, then energy costs will "skyrocket," just as Obama promised. If the objective is affordable, dependable electricity for the prosperity of its citizens, the federal government is working against achieving that goal. Just as cap-and-trade’s goal was to reduce America’s coal consumption, the EPA has proposed numerous rules: the Cooling Tower Rule; the MACT Rule; the Clean Air Transport Rule; and the Coal Combustion Residuals Rule to put coal companies out of business. At minimum, utilities companies will pass on billions in compliance costs to consumers, raising Americans’ energy bills. One thing for sure is that the global warming mob will be back, with their old agenda and new deceit, in 2011, and given that Republican politicians have a long history of squishiness on environmental issues, the rest of us will need to be prepared to continue the battle against Marxist / socialist and economy-killing energy rationing and taxes.
(“Voters repudiate Democrats’ energy agenda” by Christopher Prandoni dated November 4, 2010 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/04/voters-repudiate-democrats-energy-agenda/
“Skinning the Carbon Cat with EPA” dated November 4, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/552801/201011041852/Skinning-The-Carbon-Cat-With-EPA.htm
“If Al Gore’s Chicago Climate Exchange Suffers Total Failure, Does the MSM Make a Sound?” by Steve Milloy dated November 6, 2010 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/if-al-gores-chicago-climate-exchange-suffers-total-failure-does-the-msm-make-a-sound/
“The EPA’s ‘Climate Change’ Tyranny” by Chuck Roger dated November 7, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_epas_climate_change_tyranny.html
“The Renewable Electricity Standard Con” by Kenneth Haapala dated November 13, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_renewable_electricity_stan_1.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:
· Education at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/education.php