Views on the News

December 27, 2008


Views on the News:          

Barack Obama wants to use the recession to remake the U.S. economy, "Painful crisis also provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of ordinary people."  Rahm Emanuel, his designated chief of staff said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," so they will use this crisis to "transform our economy."  The Obama Administration’s stimulus package, which was $175 billion on the campaign trail, quickly grew to $500 billion in November, then Nancy Pelosi suggested $600 billion, and Obama’s advisors are now considering a $1 trillion “stimulus” bill over two years.  President-elect Barack Obama plans to sign a massive "stimulus" plan of government spending almost as soon as he takes office January 20th.  However it seems that his recovery plan is more about liberal politics and liberal economic agendas than reigniting the American economy.  In his December 6 radio address, Obama committed to a bold recovery plan founded on strategic public investment to "help save or create" 2.5 million jobs "while rebuilding our infrastructure, improving our schools, reducing our dependence on oil and saving billions of dollars."  Obama favors an FDR approach to recovery stressing public investment which arguably extended the recession into the Great Depression, while Ronald Reagan stressed private investment to successfully pull the economy out of a major recession.  Elements of the plan include a "massive effort" to make federal buildings energy-efficient, a project that would save taxpayers billions each year; the "largest new investment in national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s"; a "sweeping" program to upgrade and repair the nation's schools; and a new push to extend broadband to every corner of the country.”   The Oslo Declaration passed on December 18th, which calls for countries around the world to devote four to six percent of their gross national product toward reviving education as a remedy for economic woes.  It is important to note that many of the suggested education expenditures would provide new sources of perpetual funding, rather than a stop-gap measure to “stimulate” the economy until American markets recover.  This Obama stimulus package will be "Christmas-treed" with all sorts of special-interest projects more suited to buying votes than to creating jobs or repairing infrastructure.  Obama's nearly trillion-dollar plan will not merely repair bridges, fill potholes and fix up schools; it will also impose a utopian vision based on the belief that an economy is a thing to be planned from above.  Obama and Emanuel want us to believe that their blueprint for reform will bring recovery from the recession.  If the United States wants to retain a broad middle class in a global economy, it has little choice but to finance a public social contract, from healthcare to lifelong learning to pensions above Social Security that will be vital to providing the security that families need to prosper.  Yet this country has recovered from past recessions without undertaking a radical social and economic transformation.  In fact, Obama’s reform may very well impede recovery.  Government interventions, such as the cartelizing of industry through the National Recovery Administration, "will upset the confidence of the business world and weaken their existing motives to action."  In other words, investors will not take the risks necessary for recovery if their profits and freedom are subject to unpredictable government action.  Obama wants to act quickly, in the name of stimulating the economy, with plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars the government does not have to convert the economy from carbon-based fuels to "green" alternatives.  Even if that were a good idea, which it is not, it would not bring recovery.  Any money the government spends must be taxed, borrowed or conjured out of thin air by the Federal Reserve, and that will reduce sound private investment.  Obama has no real wealth to inject into the economy; he can only move around existing money while inflation robs us of purchasing power.


Democrats were accused of putting their Political Party first before the interests of the country, and now the Obama administration is preparing to prove this partisan orientation.  The Obama-Biden Transition Project, is being formed as a 501(c)(4) tax exempt organization, which Obama advisers say will maintain a full staff and fundraising capabilities after Obama takes office.  The "Transition Project" has been shrouded in mystery, as much of the transition work has been undertaken by the official Obama transition operation, which is largely funded by tax dollars through the Government Services Administration.  It is being created to build the next big donor pool in Washington to support Democrat causes, and will be used for quasi-political, issues-oriented work.  The heavily subsidized ethanol industry is the latest to seek a federal bailout, despite the fact that ethanol never made much sense economically or environmentally.  The Environmental Working Group and five other groups came out against such a bailout last week, saying subsidies "for corn-based ethanol have produced unintended, yet potentially catastrophic, environmental consequences, with little or no return to taxpayers in energy security (or) protection from global warming."  President-elect Obama finally has a job for Vice President-elect Biden as “czar” of Obama's "middle-class task force," which will stir up class envy and resentment as another Marxist Saul Alinsky political strategy.  One of the first things Democrats want to do in the new administration is to conduct a partisan witch hunt to investigate or prosecute Bush administration officials for anti-terror "war crimes," as a form of political vengeance.


The latest chapter in the media’s love affair with Obama comes as prominent journalists, no longer content to cheer the president-elect from the sidelines, have decided to join his administration.  It is no secret that the mainstream press has long favored Democratic candidates; a widely reported poll showing that journalists voted for Kerry over Bush by a margin of 68% to 25% in the 2004 election is just one of many similar studies dating as far back as 1964.  Barack Obama’s campaign, however, set a new standard for media favoritism.  So slanted was the coverage toward the Illinois Senator that a July 2008 Rasmussen Reports survey found that 49 percent of likely voters believed reporters would favor Obama in their campaign coverage over his Republican rival John McCain.  This “revolving door between journalism and Democratic politics” allow them to dispense with the pretense of objectivity that they seldom honor as working journalists.  Meanwhile the Mainstream Media is trying to rewrite history to blame the financial crisis on the Republican administration, ignoring the Clinton misuse of the Community Reinvestment Act and Democrat enabled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac distorting the housing credit system.  What the Mainstream Media won’t tell us is that the federal government's Hope for Homeowners program was billed as strong medicine for the twin ills of rampant foreclosures and sagging home prices, but early returns are in, and the program is, at this point, a flop with only 312 applications, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Hope Now, a government-backed alliance of mortgage lenders, is on track to keep 2.2 million homeowners out of foreclosure in 2008, but banking regulators said that about half of the loans modified in the first three months of the year fell back into delinquency within six months.  The share of people who get most of their news from the Internet increased from 24% to 40% in the last year according to the Pew Research Center survey, further undermining the Mainstream Media reach and impact.


The most important component of a revitalization of the Right will be new ideas and a more compelling agenda.  Step one will be to rebuild strong state party organizations.  Step two will be to rebuild the party's small-donor base.  Step three will be to push the party to the cutting edge of political-communications technology, using the Internet to communicate directly with voters and donors.  Finally, and crucially, step four will be to convince voters Republicans have fresh ideas that translate conservative philosophies into policies that address contemporary problems. 


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:

 “New Deal Stacked Again” by Bethany Stotts dated December 21, 2008 published by Accuracy in Media at http://www.aim.org/aim-column/new-deal-stacked-again/ .


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY