Monday, March 29, 2010

Killing the Golden Goose Part Two--The Economy

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), President Obama's FY 2011 budget will create almost $10 trillion in cumulative deficits over the next ten years. That is $1.2 trillion more than the Administration projected. Oops.

Oh yeah, I want these folks running my health care.

By 2020 the federal debt will reach 90% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP is the sum total of our national output). 90%. Imagine if your personal debt totaled 90% of your annual income--you would not be able to feed and house and clothe your family and meet the monthly debt service, never mind ever reducing the 90% debt burden. Your debt to income predicament would be unsustainable. As is the country's.

When Mr. Obama brought his hope and change to the presidency the federal debt hovered at a little over $6 trillion. That is equal to $56,000 per household. One year later the debt stands at $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household) and is headed to over $20 trillion by 2020. In other words, in 2020 each household's share of the debt will be $170,000. That's change all right. Change to the tune of a 200+% increase in the national debt.

Government estimates are notoriously optimistic--often undershooting reality by over 100%--and there is no reason to think these projections will be any different. The process is fraught with potential surprises and inevitable spending increases. And the problem with the CBO's estimate is that health care has not yet been factored in. And by that I mean that though the actual expense of health care will be exorbitant to be sure, the greatest cost to American society may in fact be the number of people who will no longer be around to pay taxes thanks to Obama"Care."

The reckless immaturity of this Administration is stunning. Time to repeal Pelosi's Puppet Congress and get down to the real business of the people, like defense and national security. The primary purpose of government our Founders intended. We've got a great deal of work to do but so many before us have done so much more. It is indeed during these times we find what we are made of--the times that try men's souls.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Killing the Golden Goose Part One--Pharmaceutical Companies

Dr. Arthur Laffer, one of the great economic minds of our generation recently published a piece whose title he adapted from a quote by Steven Landsburg: "Economics Can Be Summarized In Four Words: People Respond to Incentives."

Companies are just like people.

In the early 1990's when BillaryCare was on the table, the Clinton Administration decided they needed a villain (sound familiar?) so they began a vicious attack on the pharmaceutical industry. The only problem was, the pharmaceutical companies were busy developing drugs like Lipitor that prevent costly and serious health problems such as strokes and heart disease. BillaryCare failed and the drug companies continued to invest billions in Research and Development.

Victims of cancer and diabetes, AIDS, epilepsy, leukemia, high cholesterol, even impotence are healthier and happier for it. A prescription that prevents surgery (or death!) is certainly a good trade from an economic viewpoint but also from a humanitarian perspective. Tax credits for R&D and trademark protection from generic competition for a period of time allows the companies to recoup the billions of dollars in investment required to develop efficacious drugs that benefit you and me. And reinvest those profits to develop future drugs.

Imagine a world where incentives to invest and discover new drugs is replaced by a world that penalizes the same and you peak into our future under ObamaCare.

Karl Rove sheds some light on that scenario in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal: "Drug companies will start raising prices to pay billions in new taxes they will have to pay starting next year. New taxes on medical devices and insurance companies will show up in higher prices and premiums before long."

In other words, when these companies are penalized with higher taxes, for example, we can kiss innovation and discovery good-bye. People and companies respond to incentives. Not onerous penalty after onerous penalty.

When Roger Baldwin, founder of the American Civil Liberties Union first went to Russia in the late 1920's, he wrote home to his mother (according to Amity Shlaes in The Forgotten Man) "Everybody is poor together. There is much discontent, much regulation of life, but not much terrorism or repression except of the old upper classes."(71)

Allow me to translate. What he is saying is, "Let's all be poor together and while we may not enjoy it, we'll make sure the ones who aren't poor don't enjoy one minute of their lives either. If they do, we'll terrorize them."

This, my friends, is Obama Care on parade. Slay the Golden Goose. Then gloat about it and pat yourself on the back, all the while.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's "Go Time" for Health Care--Let's Go!

American history is filled with near misses, twists of fate, daring feats of courage and victory in the face of insurmountable odds. Our Founders stared tyranny in the face and said "no thank you" then launched a bold Revolution and one of the greatest experiments in government the world has seen: The United States Constitution. America has been a force for good through two World Wars and countless natural disasters and man-made crises.

We come through. We do the right thing. We right the port other words, we can be counted on in the end.

Our liberty is under attack again. I suppose we were naive to think the covetous Marxists would remain at bay for long. They can't help themselves. They want what we have and they are the kind of people who will do whatever it takes to get it. Everything except work hard, create value and boatloads of money.

So despite our good nature, our tolerance and "live and let live" approach to life we will have to draw some boundary lines, dig some trenches and go to war with the left. The people who want to take our liberty. Like the Marxists and Nazis who precede them in history they have not hesitated to use propaganda and lies and trickery to impose their agenda. They have already shown a willingness to do whatever it takes and call it something else.

And so we must win in the arena of ideas as we have these past months. We must win at the ballot box in the fall and produce appealing candidates that espouse conservative values and we must be willing to get down in the muck and mire and match them blow for blow or trade the best country in the world for a failed European Socialist experiment in the name of political correctness.

So friends this is not a time for faintness of heart. This is a time for bold action. For conviction. And for endurance.

It's a point of pride. I can't let people like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, not to mention the Boy Wonder, get the best of me. Nor the American people.

Friday, March 19, 2010

There Is Indeed a Difference Between Health Coverage and Health Care

Do we any longer know what this health care "reform" bill is about? The hysteria and arm twisting and personal nature of the fight between Obama and those who don't support the bill (which I guess means the majority of the American people) is, perhaps, the first truly historic event in this much heralded "historic presidency."

Whenever the swirl of hysteria takes over, my training as a portfolio manager forces me to step back and try to discern the salient facts--the pivotal issues, the bottom line, if you will, to make an informed decision.

So, since, Obama's health care benefits don't kick in until 2014, I have to assume the urgency to get this done isn't about providing health care to the uninsured. Oh yes, and can we just stipulate right now that even though Obama doesn't have his own bill (though he keeps referring to one) and it is fairly clear from his Fox News interview that he didn't read the version of the bill passed by the Senate and that since the House is planning to DEEM the Senate Bill passed without voting on it, while simultaneously passing their own amendments to the Senate bill to send to Obama for signature that (take a deep breath) Sunday's Congressional vote will be a vote where no Representative has any idea WHAT they are voting on? And no intention to any longer consider the limitations of the Constitution? Welcome to Club Obama--the land of the virtual bill that is whatever Obama wants it to be no matter what we or the Constitution says! So for argument's sake let's just assume we are all talking about the same bill. I know it is a great deal to ask but these are those kinds of times.

And since, Obama's health care bill increases taxes on the middle class astronomically and we begin paying the taxes immediately, while--stay with me here--the "benefits" don't kick in until 2014, should we assume since the tax portion is more urgent than the health care portion that this is really about taxes?

But then we hear the bill calls for the hiring of 15,000 new IRS agents (and oh by the way allows the government to take over the Student Loan program for some reason) and the evidence would show that health care is certainly NOT at the forefront of the President's agenda. It looks more like a GIGANTIC power grab to me. Recent examples? Obama has taken over the auto industry, banks, soon health care and student loans, is beefing up the IRS. I bet we can assume energy is next by the way.

Yeah, come to think of it power does seem to be at the top of the President's agenda.

So when your friends--the "independents" and democrats who voted for Obama, complain that while they now have health care coverage but can't seem to get any care you might want to remind them there was plenty of evidence this plan wouldn't work. Just ask the 33,000 Canadians who came to the U.S. for health care last year because they couldn't get what they needed from their own socialist plan, or the patients in Massachusetts who have to wait 63 days to get an appointment with their primary care physician or 70 days to see their OB/GYN (how does that work? Self delivery?). They could have told us how they like their "free coverage." If this was actually about health care that is.

So we'll all hold our breath for Sunday's vote and the slimy, fence-straddlers will miraculously come down For the bill. It will be tough. They will tell the cameras what a hard decision it was but that the $1.2 Trillion (and rising) bill to cover 32 million people will be well worth it. We'll see. We just need to trust as Joe Biden told a crowd right before he revealed that once it is passed we will have control over the insurance companies.

Come to think of it, Joe may be on to something. Perhaps that is what this is about after all. Control. Over each and every one of us.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The First Black Irish, Or Is That Irish Black President

Honestly, I am satiated. Completely.

Filled to the brim with the historic nature of everything Obama. Now we hear Obama is the first Black Irish president. Oops, so sorry. I keep getting that wrong. The first Irish Black president in American history. Even more historic.

According to Political Intelligence, he told a recent gathering of Irish Catholic women in Scranton, PA, "My family story is familiar to Irish-Americans: a distant homeland, a journey across an ocean in search of opportunity, determination to grab hold of hope and the American dream," the half-Kenyan/half-Kansan man wearing the green tie said before reminding his crowd that St. Patrick was a former slave.

"Another reason why the story might be familiar is it turns out I have Irish heritage," Obama went on.

"Of course!" a woman blurted out.

"One of my earliest American ancestors came here from a tiny village in Ireland," Obama said. "It never hurts to be a little Irish when you’re running for the presidency."

Please pass the barf bag.

But, Obama raises narcissism to a new level. When Bret Baier remarked during the President's first Fox News interview that he received 18,000 emails regarding their interview, Obama replied that he received 40,000 emails each day. Oh yeah? Well I get 60,000 email response to my blog each day. So there!

Is this the leader of the free world?


He seems more like the kid everyone loved to hate in middle school. The whiner, the one who cried when he didn't get an A on a test, the one who lied about everything so everyone would love him. The one we all thought was a sniveling idiot.

But just as Ronald Reagan had his Margaret Thatcher, Barack O'bama has his Nancy Pelosi. Unlike Lady Thatcher, Ms. Pelosi brings nothing to the table except a mean spirit and a quasi-medical expertise, in things plastic. Ms. Pelosi is determined to pass this historic bill for this historic president, even if she has to disregard the Constitution in the process. Enter Louise Slaughter, author of the Slaughterhouse rule--the right to "deem" passage of the bill without voting on it, despite what the 200 plus year old Constitution says. According to the Friday, March 19th Wall Street Journal:

"Yesterday, Democrats defeated 222 to 203 a GOP resolution that would have required them to vote up-or-down on the text of the Senate's Christmas Eve bill. Big Labor hates that bill's tax on high-cost health coverage, and rank-and-file Members are so embarrassed by its kickbacks that Democrats are resorting to the procedural trick of "deeming" it passed instead. Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually told reporters this week that "nobody wants to vote for the Senate bill," but she'll do what it takes to impose it anyway."

How could the Constitution possibly stand in the way of the historic reign of Barack O'bama and Nancy Pelosi?

Meanwhile the Minions are romping around Capitol Hill claiming that the Head Leprechaun, will actually reduce the deficit through health care spending of $1 Trillion dollars (to insure 30 million people mind you) we don't have. Except that they forget to tell you the claim is based on ten years of taxes to fund the bill and only six years of expenses. Plus, many expenses are not included, accounted for in other places it seems and much of the claimed savings are actually shell-game savings, which is the kind of accounting for profits that landed Bernie Madoff in prison.

Historic if I do say so.

No really. This brazen chicanery is indeed historic. Doubling down on health care is the Democrat's Waterloo. The battle is just beginning. And it will be chronicled blow for blow in the history books. It will be historic all right, but not in the way O'bama intends.

Trust me, the good guys win. I know because I deemed it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If (pick one: George Bush, Ronald Reagan) Said Half the Stupid Things Obama Says

If liberals were intellectually honest we would be hooting it up over the latest Obama gaffes.
Never mind Joe Biden's, they're too predictable and regular and, well, easy. The late night hosts like Letterman and Leno would be having a field day with Obama if they could only face the fact that their man is a dunce.

In Strongsville, Ohio yesterday the President said during his health care rah rah speech: "Your employer, it's estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3000% which means they could give you a raise." I am no math wizard but I did spend 20 years in the investment business managing billions of dollars and if I am not mistaken the most an asset or price can decline is 100%. To follow the President's, well I can't in good conscience call it about train of thought? If it were possible for something to fall 3000% it would mean that in the case of health insurance, the insurance companies would now owe the premium holder something over $100K annually for the privilege of providing them insurance. No wonder the Dems will do whatever it takes to get this bill passed--even if it means tossing the Constitution. When you've just spent trillions of dollars you don't have, those kind of savings really stand out. 3000% savings, yes please!

Absurd? If so, why isn't the media and the satirists and the self important comedians yukking it up over such a claim?

Or how about in Obama's Fox News interview with Brett Baier today? Brett asked the President which sweetheart deals (like the Louisiana Purchase) were still in the health care bill. Rather than answer the Q, the President held up a finger and said, Now wait a minute, Brett. And then he lucidly explained in defense of the Louisiana Purchase: "...It also affects Hawaii which went through an earthquake so that's not just a Louisiana provision, that is a provision for every state that is going through a natural disaster."

Did I miss something? What Hawaiian earthquake classified as a natural disaster just occurred?

Perhaps it happened in one of the "57 states" Obama campaigned in.

Boy Wonder. Unhinged.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Unconstitutional Slaughter of the American People

I don't mean to be unkind. But, I think I am a little testy watching the Constitution being ripped to shreds by warmed-over Woodstock radicals who were brought up on the "end justifies the means" philosophy of the 1960's. So forgive me if I offend you when I say, "Have you taken a look at Louise Slaughter?" She is the chairman of the House Rules Committee. The one who is drafting the Slaughter Rule that will allow Nancy Pelosi et al to "deem" the Senate bill passed in the House without an up or down vote. Without transparency. In complete rejection of the Constitution and the checks and balances designed by our Founders, celebrated by generations of Americans.

Ms. Slaughter looks as bitter and pinched as the cadre of criminals she joins in Pelosi and Reed and Emanuel. Sour, ex-hippy types, demanding the bill become law, despite the will of the American people, against the votes of their own party. In complete defiance of democracy. With reckless disregard for everything America stands for.

I don't know where it stops. The abuse of the Constitution that is. For years that sacred document has been compromised, chipped away at, but this is a blunt force wham! of catastrophic proportions. For me, it is enough. This is my Gettysburg. The battle that must be won. Or else.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt did more damage to our Constitution in the name of a crisis than anyone before or since. His almost four terms in office and coddled place in history has, I believe, done more to embolden this crowd than anything. They think we will fall for it. Have fallen for it. They think we don't understand what they are doing. That once passed, we will acquiesce to the bill and accept their version of the truth (read: lie). They have only their best interests at heart as they squander our future and the future of our children in the name of ideology, that at its roots is contrary to everything this country is. And they are using our money to accomplish their goals of enslavement to the State. Which means to them.

These are the spoilers that hate everything free and successful. You can see it in their faces. No matter how much they have been plumped and altered. Mean-spirited determination.

I don't care what any of the pundits say. Passed or defeated, this fight is not over. It can't be. Our liberty and the future of this great country is at stake. That precious document, the Constitution has been rent in two. And it is time for those of us who understand the true meaning of the destruction to put it back together.

Take a good look at Louise Slaughter and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Let their faces of defiance and arrogance be our motivation to reclaim the America our Constitution guarantees.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Adolescent Ruling Class

"Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred. "
James Madison, Federalist 20

In the late 1920's Benito Mussolini was a popular figure around the world. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine and the intellectuals loved him. You remember the intellectuals--those who think a great deal about a great many things and are experts though they have never actually done anything. Well they loved the guy, just as they were enamored of the Soviet Union.

They had missed the adventure of the great frontier of the American west; the hard work of taming the wild west was complete. They needed a new frontier to become vital. They needed a problem in the need of change. Hope for the farmer and the American worker. Change. Hope. Hope and Change.

Sounds vaguely familiar.

They were an educated class and had a way with words. They even had their own criminal celeb: Alexander Berman, who shot the American industrialist, Henry Frick three times and and stabbed him twice over his "treatment" of his workers. Because they knew better. They knew best what was right and wrong for the average American, for the country. They were adolescents, feeling the strength of their growing power, raw power bottled up by youth--optimistic, and deluded by phony altruism--power unloaded by education. Change for change sake was the ticket.

They believed that the Soviet Union had it right. They traveled to Stalin's Russia to learn from the collective society he was creating. Amity Shlaes details the intellectual pilgrimage in The Forgotten Man, "Joseph Stalin had two reasons to host the guests. The first involved winning over American labor. ...The second motive was more immediate. The Soviet revolution was failing. Communism needed Western cash to survive. (50) ...Stalin, like the czars before him, had a flair for developing show projects that drew attention away from economic flaws. (51)

Though in its infancy, communism was already flirting with bankruptcy. As is often the case with intellectual exercises, the reality didn't pencil out quite like the theory.

So, we have the best health care system in the world. Bar none. But it is not good enough for the intellectuals. Under the mantle of hope and change we ignore the facts. We ignore history. We push ahead on the basis of a theory. No, that's not right. We push ahead because Nancy and Barack and Rahm and Harry told us to. They know better. Because they are very, very smart. They went to some of our country's best schools. So we should trust them. And as Nancy so articulately phrased it, ""But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it."


The Founder's anticipated the intellectual need to tinker and change when advocating a firm Constitution . Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 26, "...we may travel from one chimerical project to another; we may try change after change; but we shall never be likely to make any material change for the better."

So, I'll say it again. And I'll speak loudly and slow enough so the intellectuals can hear me and understand my words: "Nancy, Barack, Harry, and you too, Rahm, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY HEALTH CARE."

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Nation of Quiet, Peace Loving Men

In the classic film The Quiet Man, Sean Thornton (John Wayne) moves to Ireland after unintentionally killing a man in the boxing ring. His muse, Michaleen Flynn, describes him to another as a "quiet, peace loving man," come home from America to forget his troubles.

And if I had to characterize Americans I would say they are by and large quiet, peace loving men and women happy to lead their lives in private, away from the prying and covetous eyes of government. Our Founders were like that, too. They wanted and tried to get along with the King but eventually they tired of his abuse and took an irrevocable stand.

Thank God they did.

I asked my class of college freshman to read the Declaration recently as an example of an argument essay. Their comments were insightful. Read it again. Refresh your view. What struck them was the respectful, though firm language employed. What struck me was the seemingly modest list of grievances that prompted the revolution.
  • "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good." We have a government hellbent on passing laws that a super-majority of Americans think are against the public good: health care, amnesty, cap-and-trade.
  • "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures." So we have legislation being negotiated in the dark of night, behind closed doors, with the locks being changed by the party in power (the Democrats) to keep out the opposition party (the Republicans). Our leaders have changed Senate rules to stifle debate, have contemplated changing the House rules, all to a purpose to ram through an ideological hostile takeover unlike any this nation has ever seen. And most certainly not Constitutional, if that matters any more.
  • "He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone..." President Obama's shameful display during the State of the Union where he politicized the Supreme Court with a mis-characterization of their ruling can be viewed as nothing other than an attempt to intimidate the Court and turn public opinion against them. He showed a profound contempt for the separation of powers so necessary to our form of government.
  • "For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:" For my part I can't remember the last time I was taxed with my consent.
I would like to ask every member of Congress to start their day with the following from the opening paragraphs of the Declaration. Maybe then, they would understand the purpose of the government they have been entrusted to steward.

"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..."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Pelosi Think Method

Professor Harold Hill, the shyster salesman, of Music Man fame developed the famous "think method" to teach youngsters to play musical instruments. His theory argued if the children simply thought a musical tune, they would be able to play it. An ingenious way for a musical ignoramus to charm money out of tight-fisted Iowa parents enamored with the idea of their children mastering the fine art of making music. The "think method," as winningly described by the fraudulent "professor" captured the imagination of the gullible Iowans and lined his pocket with cash.

Fast forward to Nancy Pelosi. Ignoramus extraordinaire. Today she announced that the House plans to deem the Senate's version of the bill passed without even taking a vote. In other words, Nancy Pelosi, is employing the "think method" to passing health care. If I only imagine the bill passed, it will be passed, is what she is effectively telling the world. Though I lack the votes or the support of the American people, I am going to simply "think" it into law. No vote. No bill, in fact. Just the power of positive thinking.

What a gal.

Obama's Hostile Takeover

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. "
Federalist 10, James Madison

In the late 1990's I managed a large portfolio for a German re-insurance company. I loved visiting my client in the quaint city of Cologne. Church bells, spires, street markets with handmade goods including colorful steins and wooden nutcrackers, baked goods that looked like works of art in shop windows. Though I was working I felt like I had been transported to a surreal fairyland. Except for one thing. The persistent double-digit unemployment.

I asked my client about the cause of Germany's relentless unemployment. His reply? Why would business hire when we are forced by government to provide enormous benefits and little flexibility in firing poor performers? He explained further that it was better to hire consultants or temporary workers to fill in the gaps.

Over a stein later that afternoon he shared a personal story about his sister who was one of the permanently unemployed. She would have it no other way, he confided. Why would she? She received health care benefits and a monthly check from the government and she didn't have to work.

Looks to me like that is where we are headed. In 2007, according to the National Taxpayers Union, an independent, non-partisan organization, the top 1% of earners paid 40.42% of all taxes. The top 50% paid 97.11%. In other words virtually 50% of all American households paid no income tax. 50%. Yet they vote. And they vote regularly on the local level and through their representatives on a federal level on the question of taxes. This is exactly what the Founders wanted to guard against when they wrote the Constitution.

James Madison warns in Federalist 10: "The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets." (emphasis mine.)

Enter Obama and his hostile takeover of health care, despite the will of the people set firmly against him. Another effort to take a shilling out of your pocket and put into another--in this case Obama's. The following facts are excerpted from the January 13th speech delivered by Paul Ryan, a member of Congress and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"In 1966 the cost of Medicare to the taxpayers was about $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that it would cost $12 billion (adjusted for inflation) by 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was nearly nine times that--$107 billion. By 2009 Medicare costs reached $427 billion, with Medicaid boosting that by an additional $225 billion."

"...The federal takeover of health care...would subsume approximately one-sixth of our national economy. Combined with spending at all levels, government would then control about 50 percent of total national production." (emphasis, again, mine)

If that isn't a hostile takeover, I don't know what is.

(for a complete transcript of Ryan's speech, go to and order your free copy of Imprimis.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

In my college composition class we were discussing the question of plagiarism. The word means to kidnap another's work. I asked how many knew which current elected official had a plagiarizing scandal of his own. Their responses were entertaining but not the subject of this posting. The answer is, of course, Joe Biden. Biden, as you may recall, in his 1987 bid for president lifted the speech of British politician, Neal Kinnock. Oopsie. And if that were the only incidence we might assume an honest mistake. But it is not. He failed a law school course because of a copied paper (see A pattern of "kidnapping" others' work, a history of lapses in integrity. This from the #2 man in American politics.

We don't know about Obama's academic history. We don't know because all of his transcripts and papers are sealed. Which tells us a great deal about him but not exactly a great deal about his truth barometer. So we must draw conclusions from what we do know. The promises he has made since entering public life, since his election as president, stand in stark contrast to his policies and the reality of results. The correlation between what Obama says and what Obama does is frequently negative. In other words, his words mean nothing. Like the boy who cried wolf.

So as his health care soliloquy drags on, don't fall for the dogmatic accusations and falsehoods. Think logically. Know the truth.

It is time to stop listening because the boy has cried wolf just once too often.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Really Good" Jobs Report Courtesy of Harry Reid

Thank goodness for Harry Reid. No, I mean it. Without Harry I would have thought Friday's unexpected (yet again!) jobs report was bad news. I was trained in the old fashioned school of economics where full employment is a good thing and high levels of unemployment is not so good. So, I was more than pleased to hear Harry Reid tell the nation, “Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good.”

Really good. What a relief. I must remember to tell my unemployed friends what a great day Friday was for America. They will be so pleased.

Perhaps Washington needs to understand the economic implications of "spending ourselves into prosperity." We need to understand that it never has and never will work. The laws of economics prohibit it. The laws of physics. The laws of logic. The laws of living as a grown up in a cold, cruel world. Leaders in Congress: You can't spend money you don't have. Mr. President: You can't borrow or print money indefinitely. At some point the borrowing spigot will dry up or the money you are printing at breakneck speed will be worthless.

At one point even FDR understood this. Amity Shlaes writes in her book The Forgotten Man, Roosevelt scribbled in his copy of Road to Plenty, a treatise on progressive economic policies in the early 1920's advocating (among other things) increasing government debts and deficits: "Too good to be true--You can't get something for nothing."

True enough. And you can't create jobs from nothing. What business owner in their right mind would increase employment in this environment. Never mind that the economy is stalled, business owners are used to contending with business and economic cycles. They understand how to manage their business through the ups and downs of a free market economy. It is the uncertainty of future tax and regulatory policy that stops them dead in their tracks. The Obama Administration has shown an utter disregard and even hostility toward business. This was most apparent during the first Jobs Summit (remember that debacle?) when Obama imperiously ordered the group of businessmen/women gathered to come up with plans for jobs growth. One intrepid soul dared mention that the uncertain tax and regulatory proposals rumbling through Congress were freezing up employers (my words) and causing great uncertainty. Radio Silence. And despite the President's laser beam focus on jobs, he moved gamely on to health care once again despite the Scott Brown, Virginia, New Jersey election mandates against health care "reform."


The sheer lunacy and dare I say immaturity of our leaders in Congress and, the President himself, is troubling. While the economic health of our country hangs in the balance, we have a President so concerned with his personal legacy we now know he will do ANYTHING to pass health care un-reform. Including trampling on the will of the people, Congressional rules and the Constitution.

Meanwhile, his party, the party of the people, celebrates when another 36,000 fellow citizens hit the rolls of the unemployed. A big day in America, indeed.

"The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Lady Margaret Thatcher

Friday, March 5, 2010

Obama's Scarlet "A"

It seems to me we just can't skirt around the abortion issue any longer. Not with Obamacare staring us down, and a yee-haw Congress ready to push through something, anything, so long as they can call it health care reform and spend another $3-6 Trillion dollars we don't have.

The abortion issue has to be confronted because as it stands, the plan--despite Obama's obfuscation--does indeed federally fund abortion. Meanwhile three of our elite Navy Seals are in military court being tried for punching a terrorist. Am I the only one who sees the tragic irony in this?

These Seals captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq. You remember him, the notorious creep who masterminded the murder and public display of the corpses of four security guards working for Blackwater. Dangled them from a bridge while the crowds cheered below. Apparently if we follow the logic of the left it is A-OK to annihilate said terrorist in the womb but once he is out in the fresh air terrorizing and killing our citizens in a most barbaric manner we mustn't punch him in the gut. Mustn't. Very bad behavior. Naughty naughty Navy Seals.

But I digress.

So here's the deal. The way I see it, abortion is bad. It is, quite simply, murder. Abortion snuffs out the promising life of the weakest among us, those who cannot speak or fight for themselves. A precious new life, sucked into a hose and disposed of like trash. Life and death is God's business. He gives and takes it according to His will and I have no interest in coming between God and his will. Nor am I interested in paying for it.

I can already hear the cacophony of objections about Choice and A Woman's Right and frankly, those tired arguments don't interest me; they are hollow and disingenuous. We don't have the right to choose who lives and dies. Sorry. I just don't buy it. And the more we blur the line of what words and actions actually mean, the further we fall into that mucky abyss of double standards and dangerous group think. The kind that cheers when dead bodies hang from a bridge.

There is nothing about this health care plan that will be good for the country or good for our health. And in my mind at the top of the list of why this is a very, very bad idea is the increase in the availability of abortions by funding them with taxpayer money.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"All liberty is individual."
Calvin Coolidge

In Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man, the author recounts Calvin Coolidge's 1924 landslide victory. Because of his natural aversion to publicity Coolidge "sent a clerk to read aloud his State of the Union address." (17) No 60-90 minute performance on network TV, Coolidge didn't crave the limelight, he had a job to do and he intended to do it. No fanfare, no applause. Coolidge maintained profound respect for the individual and the Constitution and believed his role was defined by both.

Enter Roosevelt.

If Rahm Emanuel is the modern day model of a politician who "never lets a good crisis go to waste," Franklin Roosevelt was the original master of that philosophy. The politician who created and mastered interest group politics. The president whose second inaugural address admitted he sought "unimagined power." Whose policies required "perpetual experimentation." The Depression was the ideal crisis for Roosevelt to create a constituency of dependent citizens. In doing so he found he had to make a scapegoat of others. So businessmen and and businesses became his target. According to Shlaes, "The polarization made the Depression feel worse."

Enter Obama. The parallels between then and now are chilling. On March 1st Rasmussen published a poll that reported "58% of Americans say the economy is causing more family stress." It isn't just the unemployment rate, it's everything. Global warming, health care, the cost of energy, terrorist trials in New York, terrorist attacks, rising taxes, partisan politics raised to a new level, no hope, no change, just gray skies as far as the eye can see. CEO's are bad, banks are bad, pharmaceutical companies are bad, Republicans are bad, public opinion is bad. No hope. No change. Just a great deal of bad news. And a great deal of polarization.

Enter a modern day Coolidge. Please.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Obama's Fourth Amendment--Confiscation Smonfiscation

Here's what I want to know. It's simple really. I would like someone who voted for Barack Obama to explain how his policies jive with the Constitution. Particularly I need to understand how the proposed health care bill and the corresponding taxes imposed on citizen's (well some of us anyway) don't infringe on my fourth amendment rights.

For those of you who haven't read the Constitution (and I would venture that is most of Obama's supporters) the fourth amendment reads as follows:
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (emphasis mine)
I need to have one of the intellectually blessed among you to explain how usurious tax rates (to fund a program not authorized by the Constitution, by the way) are not confiscatory and therefore not in violation of my fourth amendment right? I don't want to be old fashioned. Nor do I want to seem at all ungenerous but it is my money after all and if the Constitution still holds I have the right to keep what's mine.

Well at least that is how I see it. Until one of you sets me right.