RTCS

Views on the News

November 29, 2008

 

Views on the News:

We are witnessing a new hysterical style, in which the Baby Boomer “me generation” that now runs America jettisons knowledge of the past and daily proclaims that each new development requires both a radical solution and another bogeyman to blame for being mean or unfair to them. For that, the politicians need lots of hype, and that is being generously supplied by the media. Amid all the political and media hysteria, national output has declined by less than one-half of one percent. In fact, it may not have declined even that much, or at all, when the statistics are revised later, as they very often are. We are not talking about the Great Depression, when output dropped by one-third and unemployment soared to 25%. Much of our current panic is psychological, and hyped by instantaneous electronic communications and second-by-second 24-hour news blasts. For people on the left, all professions are a means to an end, not ends in themselves. That end is the social transformation of society, meaning the promoting of “social justice” as the left understands that term. For most liberal news reporters, therefore, the purpose of news reporting is not to report news as objectively as possible, but reporting to promote social justice and the social transformation of society. For most liberal judges, the primary purpose of being a judge is to promote social justice and transform society, to promote social justice. For most university professors, and many high school teachers, outside of the natural sciences and math, the same holds true, to produce young people who will wish to engage in society, transforming work for social justice. For most liberals in the arts there is no denial of their having an agenda, stating quite candidly that the purpose of the arts is to challenge the (conservative) status quo, to raise political and social consciousness by advancing a “progressive” political and social agenda. Even the natural sciences are increasingly subject to being rendered a means to a “progressive” end, recommending “solutions,” if adopted, will serve the goal of undermining corporate capitalism. Even before inauguration, the “Drive-by” Media has already begun their liberal spin by blaming everything on Bush or 'circumstances beyond Obama's control' while writing articles about how heroically Obama handles them… extending the myth! The giddy liberal Mainstream Media has already resorted to hyperbole and exaggeration to label each new” Clinton retread nomination as "brilliant" and "genius." What we are talking about is a golden political opportunity for politicians to use the current financial crisis to fundamentally change an economy that has been successful for more than two centuries, so that politicians can henceforth micro-manage all sorts of businesses and play Robin Hood, taking from those who are not likely to vote for them and transferring part of their earnings to those who will vote for them.

 

Marxist elements within American society endeavor to bring about revolutionary change with an ideology and methodology built on Critical Theory and Gramscian cultural Marxism. Critical Theory goes beyond traditional social analysis and seeks social transformation or revolution to foster conditions favorable to Marxism that will bring about the downfall of capitalism. Critical Theory is an anti-capitalist theory advocating destruction of free market democratic values, social and political structures and policies to further human emancipation. It is an outright rejection of western civilization and an endorsement of a Marxist, utopian society. The components of this progressive-socialist-Marxist attempt to take over the West include: 1) destruction of a free press, 2) educational revisionism, 3) infiltration of government and political systems, 4) destruction of the military and intelligence services, 5) development of an anti-globalist, anti-war philosophy, and 6) creation of a one world government. As part of its silent cultural revolution in America, the radical Left has successfully allied with the print and broadcast media and Hollywood to aid in the assault on traditional values and help spread propaganda and disinformation. Schools and universities have become politically correct tools of the Left, teaching "social justice" rather than encouraging the development of critical thinking skills though the analysis of diverse points of view. Students are schooled in the "correct thoughts" and historical revisionism reigns supreme. In recent years, the "Shadow Party," a nationwide network of unions, non-profits groups and think tanks that subscribe to leftist ideology and receive funding from billionaire George Soros, has infiltrated the Democratic Party. Their goal is to take control of U.S. politics using a strategy that includes think tanks, training centers and media centers. In the last decade, when economic globalization took hold under U.S. dominance, the Left embarked on an intensified anti-capitalist campaign to counter American economic and military influence. The anti-globalist/anti-war movements consist of a large network of non-profit organizations designed to weaken the U.S. position in the world and undermine the government using disinformation, propaganda and acts of civil disobedience. In their adherence to the Gramsican formula for anti-capitalist social transformation, the progressive-socialist-Marxists have co-opted with the United Nations to advocate world governance in the interest of "world peace, human rights and environmental preservation." This is the desired end result of their efforts to undermine American heritage, destroy Christianity and conspire against free-market democracy to achieve global taxation, the end of sovereignty, a world military and an international criminal court. The United States is at a critical juncture in its history faced with threats from international Marxists, an internal socialist movement and global jihadists. Once any of these elements achieves significant positions of power within the United States, they will proceed with their plans to destroy Western civilization. Our freedom, sovereignty and way of life could be extinguished by any of these forces that are acting against our democratic republic.

 

Treasury Secretary Paulson went before Congress and said that if he wasn’t immediately empowered with his plan to buy $700 billion worth of troubled assets we would all be held responsible for the cataclysmic consequences of not “doing something.” As you read this, our government is committing enormous sums of money above and beyond normal spending, solely to stimulate the economy and prop up failing companies and markets. These additional sums are huge by any reasonable measure, with estimates as high as $3 trillion in an economy with a GDP of about $15 trillion. Here’s the bottom line: Instead of making things better, increased spending will only drive our economy further into the ground. The original justification for granting unprecedented authority to the Treasury Secretary was to prevent a financial meltdown that could drag us into a Depression-like scenario. What began as a poison housing market is now multi-faceted economic turmoil with deleterious effects in virtually all economic sectors, but the global credit crisis and its resultant ills were not caused by the bad housing market alone. The idea of regulating systemically significant financial institutions is based on the fundamental misperception that regulation can prevent them from taking the huge risks their protected status would permit, but this New Deal notion should be discarded. This financial crisis is also the direct result of ill-conceived, hastily-crafted legislation, slow and ineffective use of "emergency funding" and a crisis of confidence over the lack of leadership in Washington. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) coerced banks into making loans based on political correctness, and little else, to people who can't afford them. Enforced like never before by the Clinton administration, the CRA regulation destroyed credit standards across the mortgage industry, created the subprime market, and caused the housing bubble that has now burst and left us with the worst housing and banking crises since the Great Depression. The CRA should be abolished, along with the government-sponsored enterprises that fueled the secondary market for subprimes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But powerful Democrats in Washington want to protect the CRA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, spinning the subprime scandal as the result of too little regulation, not too much. Now Paulson decided that the plan wasn’t troubled assets anymore, but was taking positions in major banks. Then we learned that the plan to buy troubled assets had been entirely abandoned and that we should stay tuned for the new plan involving consumer credit markets. Now Henry Paulson wants the Federal Reserve to be able to regulate and ultimately take over any failing financial institution that it considers crucial - including hedge funds! Congress gave Secretary Paulson the $700 billion in two installments of $350 billion with the first having been used and the second has not. Now we learn that the new plan is no plan for the remaining $350 billion of the original $700 billion. The money is to be available for “flexibility.” With all due respect, I don’t think “flexibility” and “$350 billion in taxpayer dollars” belong in the same sentence. Last week Paulson stated in an interview on CNBC that “the financial markets have been stabilized.” That’s good news, but the question then becomes: If the threat of an all-out financial calamity dragging us back to the 1930s has subsided, should the unprecedented authority to prevent it subside as well? If this was such a dire emergency back in September, why is Bush leaving half of the money to his successor? If the financial markets, though still troubled in many ways, are stable, Congress needs to remove the authority for the second $350 billion dollar installment. In just eight months, we have made a fundamental change in our financial system and our form of government, without much debate or with no real foresight. I think that we have lost something in our national character; we have become so fearful of the present that we are willing to mortgage our future, to risk the kind of calamity that could far surpass the present one. Timothy Geithner is "a primary architect of the Bush administration's response to the financial crisis" and "has worked closely with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. to devise responses to the most critical events of the market turmoil." In his current post, Geithner organized the Bear Stearns bailout and was Paulson's primary cohort in the American International Group (AIG) and TARP bailouts. In choosing Geithner, Obama almost might as well have nominated Hank Paulson to another term! The Geithner nomination will be "more of the same" of the worst aspects of the current Bush administration - more bailouts, more lack of transparency in the bailouts, and more corporate welfare. The old adage “if you don’t like government problems just wait till you see government solutions” has never been truer.

 

In promising to intervene in the economy in ways not seen since the ‘70s, Obama is implicitly promising to take us back to a decade in which stocks were flat in nominal terms, and well down in real terms due to dollar debasement. A politician is a person who says one thing, does the opposite, and fails to acknowledge the contradiction. A leader is a person who does the right thing, no matter the consequences. Every president must decide, on balance, which he will be. It is great politics to bail out the automakers, but just don’t mistake it for leadership. A Zogby poll of Obama voters confirmed what many of us had suspected for months - that millions of Americans who supported the Obama candidacy knew essentially nothing about him - but that doesn’t dismiss the fact that Obama sold people on the idea of “change.” However now the left-wing reaction to all the Clinton retreads being named to the Obama administration is causing some “buyer remorse” questioning whether this is really “change” or just “change back” to the failed policies of past administrations. From autos to energy to banking, President-elect Barack Obama is promising to intervene in the economy in ways that Washington hasn’t tried since the 1970s, favoring some industries and products while hobbling others. Under his financial policies, banks seeking government assistance would be forced to lend and halt foreclosures. Automobile companies would be pushed to change their product lines to more advanced, fuel-efficient vehicles. Billions of federal dollars would promote solar, wind and biomass energy, while dirty coal power could be priced out of business.” Looked at from an historical perspective, notwithstanding market strength over the last two sessions, it’s no surprise that stocks are buckling at present. FDR was a quasi-mythical creature who not only didn’t end the Great Depression but probably greatly prolonged the nation’s economic agony with his New Deal programs and a menagerie of other foolish measures. Yet Obama apparently either doesn’t know his history or doesn’t care because he has proposed “a monster new 'new deal,'” supposedly a two-year plan aiming to create or protect 2.5 million jobs with massive deficit spending.

 

Republicans must excite, energize and mobilize their base, while reuniting old coalitions and forming new ones. Republicans must provide bold and innovative leadership to recapture that sense of optimism and opportunity. Rasmussen found that 59% of voters still agree with Ronald Reagan's assessment that, more often than not, government is the problem, not the solution. Another survey, taken immediately after the election, found that 63% believe that tax cuts are the best economic stimulus, compared to just 20% who want more government spending. A Club for Growth survey targeted 12 congressional districts that voted for President Bush in 2004 but overwhelmingly elected Democrats in 2008. That survey found:

·        81% of voters said "Republicans used to be the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and limited government, but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just like the big spenders they used to oppose."

·        By a margin of 66% to 23%, those surveyed preferred a candidate who would cut federal spending over one who would increase spending to "bring home the bacon" to his district.

·        73% said the best economic policy is giving everyone the opportunity to create wealth through their own efforts rather than using the tax code to "spread the wealth."

·        71% said government should not guarantee mortgages to help people avoid foreclosure.

·        66% want the death tax to die in two years, as scheduled; just 20% want to see it resurrected.

·        61% said the highest tax rate anyone should pay is 35% or less; only 18% supported higher rates.

These positions are overwhelmingly supported by Republicans of all varieties, but somehow our leaders in Washington lost their focus. America is a center-right country, both economically and socially. The majority of Americans support domestic energy development, low taxes, and allowing people choice in their retirement planning and their children's education. The majority of Americans also support marriage between a man and woman, restrictions on abortion, protecting common religious expressions such as "one nation under God," and Second Amendment freedoms. These policies naturally flow from the basic Republican principles of limited government, economic opportunity and personal responsibility. Such policies represent the three legs of the Reagan Coalition: economic conservatives, social conservatives, and national-security conservatives. Unfortunately, Republicans have not been true to Republican principles. Federal spending has been at utterly disgraceful levels for years. The past eight years have seen a massive expanse of federal power into areas formerly left to the states or to individuals. The plain truth is that some of the things that President Bush and the Republican majority did gave conservatives a bad name, and so the GOP lost the voters' trust. These repeated and constant failures sapped the energy out of the GOP base. Republicans have failed to communicate new and innovative ideas to persuade new voting blocs that GOP principles are something they should support. Hispanics, working women and Reagan Democrats can all be persuaded to vote for the GOP. Republicans must have solutions that reach these voters where they are. And there are solutions that represent Republican principles that can win their support. On these and many other issues, the Republican Party embraces what the majority of Americans believe, and the Democratic Party opposes those same positions.

 

Top 10 Things President Bush Should Do Before Leaving Office:

·        Remind America of the success President Bush has had fighting the War on Terror:

o       Protected the United States from further attack.

o       Liberated Afghanistan from the Taliban.

o       Regime change in Iraq.

o       Assistance to countries around the world combating home-grown terrorists.

o       Comprehensive detention, interrogation, surveillance, and other counterterrorism policies.

·        Use recess appointment to fill every single open position in the federal courts.

·        Rescind executive orders concerning the Antiquities Act designations of lands by the government.

·        Lift a Reagan-era restriction requiring visitors to federal parks to unload weapons while in these parks.

·        Continue to push the Outer Continental Shelf planning process so that newly opened OCS acreage can be leased for future oil drilling.  

·        Issue the final leasing regulations for oil shale leasing in the Western United States.  

·        Repeal Clinton Executive Order 13166, which requires all recipients of federal funds to function in multiple languages upon demand, helping to make English the official language.

·        Pardon Tom Delay and others prosecuted in the Texas redistricting case since they were indicted in 2005, but the case has not been pursued for years.

·        Pardon U.S. Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

·        Fix the Clinton-created loophole that is used to let illegal aliens continue to receive benefits, unreported.

·        Deny all federal funds to those cities, that either officially or unofficially, providing sanctuaries enabling illegal aliens who commit crimes to escape deportation.  

 

If you are sick and tired of government and politics as usual, read my web site with its individual issue analysis and recommendations at: http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com Remember this site is updated every Saturday. Individual issue updates this week include:

 

This Week’s Best Articles:

·        “You want change? Try these ideas” by Norma White dated October 21, 2008 published by Amarillo Globe-News at http://www.amarillo.com/stories/102108/opi_opin3.shtml .

·        Take It Back” by Jim Imhofe dated November 21, 2008 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTNhNGY4MGRkZTI2OGYyMTc2MWYwNzBkODIwMjI1NmM= .

·        Not Everything Can Be Too Big to Fail” by Peter J. Wallison dated November 22, 2008 published by The Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122731217473649399.html .

·        Is Obama Embarking on Bill Clinton’s Third Term?” by Austin Hill dated November 23, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/AustinHill/2008/11/23/is_obama_embarking_on_bill_clintons_third_term .

·        Our party failed, our principles didn’t” by Mark Hillman dated November 23, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/MarkHillman/2008/11/23/our_party_failed,_our_principles_didnt .

·        Obama Scores A’s in Politics, Flunks Leader Test” by Kevin Hassett dated November 24, 2008 published by Bloomberg at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=amI2XKsFI0bI&refer=home .

·        Paulson’s True Successor” by John Berlau dated November 24, 2008 published by The American Spectator at http://www.spectator.org/archives/2008/11/24/paulsons-true-successor .

·        Bridge Loans to Nowhere” by Jayme Evans dated November 24, 2008 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/23631 .

·        Our Lost Checks and Balances” by Bruce Walker dated November 24, 2008 published by American Daily at http://www.americandaily.com/article/23634 .

·        “’Jolting’ the Economy” by Thomas Sowell dated November 25, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/11/25/jolting_the_economy .

·        Why Reporters, and Judges and Professors are Biased” by Dennis Prager dated November 25, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2008/11/25/why_reporters_--_and_judges_and_professors_--_are_biased .

·        Top 10 Things President Bush Should Do Before Leaving Office” dated November 25, 2008 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=29624 .

·        This is Obama’s Market, Good and Bad” by John Tamny dated November 25, 2008 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2008/11/like_it_or_not_this_is_obamas.html .

·        Why the proposed $700 billion stimulus plan could drive the country to economic ruin” by Arthur Laffer dated November 25, 2008 published by The Daily Beast at http://www1.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-11-24/reagans-economist-bashes-obama/1/ .

·        GOP Strength Rests in Its Core Beliefs” by Ken Blackwell dated November 26, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/KenBlackwell/2008/11/26/gop_strength_rests_in_its_core_beliefs .

·        Barack Obama and the FDR-Great Depression Myth” by Michael Fumento dated November 26, 2008 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=29646 .

·        Obama-Crazed Media having Hallucinations” by Brent Bozell dated November 27, 2008 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=312587712596195 .

·        The Teflon President-Elect” by Larry Elder dated November 27, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/LarryElder/2008/11/27/the_teflon_president-elect .

·        The Hysterical Style” by Victor Davis Hanson dated November 27, 2008 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGMzODEwMTJlNDBmYjRiYzRmMmY3ZTdhODkwMDAzNWM= .

·        Five Hard Truths for RINOs” by John Hawkins dated November 28, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/JohnHawkins/2008/11/28/five_hard_truths_for_rinos .

·        Shadow World: Resurgent Russia, The Global New Left, and Radical Islam” by Janet Levy dated November 28, 2008 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/11/shadow_world_resurgent_russia.html .

 

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY