Views on the News – 1/21/2012
By: David Coughlin
Obama has said he is unrepentant about his policy agenda and intends to treat us to more of the same in a second term, and we can endlessly debate whether he is such a devoted ideologue that he’s blind to policy failures, or whether he’s willing to sacrifice the economy and the fiscal integrity of the U.S. for his perceived higher good of radical redistribution, or whether he really intends to do harm, but these are moot questions now. Under any of these possibilities, the fact remains that he is hell-bent on accelerating his present course, not reversing it, on dictating, not working within his Constitutional constraints, much less building a bipartisan consensus. Hubris and defiance are his trademarks, not humility. By “change,” he means more of his unpopular, failed agenda. He has also said many times that he believes his goals are so important that he intends to implement them with or without Congress, through executive or administrative usurpations. He has done more than talk; he has acted in contravention of the Constitution and intends to continue in that vein. What he might do in a second term is frightening to those who believe in freedom and equality of opportunity, that our current pattern of discretionary and entitlement spending is not just unsustainable but also guaranteed to destroy the country, and that we cannot preserve our freedom if we persist on a course of unilateral disarmament. So, call me an alarmist if you will, but I think it’s almost irrational not to be very concerned about an Obama second term. Even if you don’t subscribe to some of the horror scenarios of death panels and the like, you can’t deny his intention to continue to press forward with his radical green agenda despite the fact that it won’t work to reduce global temperatures and despite the public’s opposition to it. There is no logical explanation why he refuses to restructure entitlements or his refusal to lead his party’s Senate to pass a budget after 1,000 days. Obama shouldn’t get more than 10% of the vote in November, and even those who want to punish the “wealthy” should understand that once you completely gnaw off the hand that feeds you, you will starve, too.
(“Everything is at Stake, All Right” by David Limbaugh dated January 13, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2012/01/13/everything_is_at_stake_all_right )
It is clear that Barack Obama’s main campaign theme is going to be about “fairness,” and like those words “hope” and “change” that can mean many different things to different people. No one can ever accuse Obama of clarity. He is a consummate sloganeer, but the results of those slogans hardly represent anything resembling fairness, or success. There is no real fairness and those who see the obstacles and overcome them do so because of an innate desire to achieve their goals. In a speech in December he talked of everyone engaging in “fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share.” It sounds nice, but it has nothing to do with hard work, self-improvement, personal motivation, and good values. For all this talk of fair share and fair play, Americans have lived through three years of Obama and have nothing to show for it beyond massive unemployment, lost homes, dislocation, food stamps, graduating into the world with a national debt that is equal to the Gross Domestic Product. Obama’s belief in the redistribution of income is hardly fair. Taking money from decent, hard-working Americans and giving it to those who won’t work or came here illegally hardly fits the description of fairness. It is, however, the classic definition of “economic justice” which gave us the 2008 financial meltdown when bad housing loans nearly destroyed the banking system. Americans got burned by Obama’s “hope and change” mantra in 2008 and those who fall for his “fairness” mantra in 2012 will suffer a similar fate. As for me, I am going to cast my vote for a man who made his wealth within and because of a system that rewards risk and the ability to pick more winners than losers, and more importantly I am going to avoid a President who has proven to be the biggest loser this nation has ever seen.
(“Obama’s ‘Fairness’ is Pure Communism” by Alan Caruba dated January 16, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/43949 )
This is a Presidency that appears to be winding down from an exhaustive and tumultuous three years of turmoil as the West Wing desperately focuses almost entirely on cooking up an attack campaign strategy to keep Obama from becoming another one term President. Everything the President says and does from now on will be by political design to save his job and hope enough voters accept his blame-pointing excuses about why the economy remains lackluster and weak and unemployment is still unacceptably high. The seven operative words in Obama’s explanation for his disappointing presidential performance is that “we are moving in the right direction.” That isn’t a policy position, but it’s the best excuse he and his advisers can come up with for the time being. That’s cold comfort for Americans who are suffering under his rhetorical placebos that he is still prescribing as a substitute for common sense tax cut policies that will get the economy growing again. The daily Gallup tracking poll reports this week that the national underemployment rate is 17.9% when you factor in long term unemployed Americans who have given up looking for work and people forced to take low-paying, part-time jobs when they need full time employment but can’t find it. The second tragic poll number is what Gallup calls its Life Evaluation question that basically asks, “How are you doing?” 44% of the people they polled said they were “struggling.” The third poll Gallup tracks is its “satisfaction” question which regularly asks Americans, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?” and a tiny 18% say they are satisfied. There is no long term blueprint to accelerate economic growth; no plan to open lucrative global trading markets for American exports; no initiatives to unlock job-creating venture capital that’s sitting on the sidelines in a state of investment paralysis because of uncertainty over Obama’s plans to raise taxes in a weak economic environment; and no proposals to turn the energy spigot on wide open by boosting oil and gas exploration, drilling and production to bring down fuel prices. Even some of the administration’s very own economists are now admitting his policies have not adequately dealt with the anemic growth and employment crisis that grips our country in the third year of his Presidency. One of the dirty little secrets that is buried in the Bureau of Labor Statistics data: the nation’s full labor force has been shrinking under Obama. The number of people who are employed has “fallen over the past couple of years and has been basically flat-lining for a year.” The White House never mentions this, nor the fact that there are now nearly 2 million fewer jobs in our economy than when Obama became President. The 18% satisfaction number says Obama “could join Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush as one-term Presidents denied a second term during a struggling economy.”
(“Lethargic Obama” by Donald Lambro dated January 14, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2012/01/13/lethargic_obama )
Republicans need to focus on one issue at a time, explain publicly why their solution is better than President Barack Obama’s, and set up so much pressure that Democratic senators fall in line behind them. If they persevere, they can persuade voters to elect a GOP president and Senate in November. “The America’s Choice” agenda is really all about a strategy to break through the communication barrier and compete with the Presidential bully pulpit. Five items really differentiate the Republicans from Obama:
· The size and role of government - President Obama wants a large government, intrusive and controlling, and he wants to expand his control of the private sector.
· Government regulations - This administration has created far too many regulations, that have served to retard recovery and impede economic growth.
· Healthcare – President Obama wants to take over one-sixth of our economy, which will do great harm to our healthcare system as well as blow a hole in our already horribly broken budget.
· Energy exploitation – President Obama is all about limiting the use of our domestic energy resources.
· Tax reform – President Obama is playing class division and punishing success.
All GOP members of Congress have to unite behind solutions to these five issues, and take them to the American public. It is critical that there is a definite plan to address these issues and a Republican President and a filibuster-proof Congress to implement real solutions.
(“Republicans Must Embrace 5 Principles to Conquer Democrats” by Martin Gould and Ashley Martella dated January 12, 2012 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Johnson-Obama-Democrats-Americas/2012/01/12/id/424033 )
There now appears to be an inevitability surrounding Mitt Romney and the Republican nomination for President, but the chances are that Romney would be the last Republican President, as the Party may fly apart under his rule. The forces arrayed against the conservative challengers from the Romney money machine, the Party establishment, and the so-called conservative and mainstream media appear too formidable to overcome; particularly as the conservative movement cannot coalesce behind one candidate. The Republican Party will have succeeded in once again nominating a moderate under the guise of electability. There is a growing awareness and unease among many that the best days of the United States are behind it and the future is indeed grim. An overwhelming 70% of the populace is of the opinion that the nation is headed in the wrong direction and that the “American dream” is no more. There is also a growing consensus, as epitomized by the TEA Party movement, that only a dramatic 180 degree course reversal can save the country. At no time in the past 150 years has the nation needed more a bold and decisive leader that could not only initiate change but be honest with the American people. Yet the current governing class and in particular the Republican establishment is treating this election cycle as if it were no different from any other during the past sixty years. Their reaction to the TEA Party movement is indicative of this mindset, as they choose to denigrate and dismiss this grassroots uprising as just another passing crusade by conservative ideologues. The campaign strategy of Mitt Romney mirrors that of all the past moderate nominees chosen by the Party. The formula: speak the language of the conservative majority in the Party, claim only a moderate can get elected, divide the vote among the conservatives running for the nomination, mobilize the media to destroy any real conservative challenger, and overwhelm these same challengers with money from the deep-pocket establishment contributors. If there is one lesson to take from the Obama 2008 campaign, it is that relying on words and image can result in choosing a man that is a disaster for the country. Mitt Romney, by his actions in Massachusetts both campaigning for the U.S. Senate and as Governor, has shown himself to be more than willing to compromise with the Left and the Democrats. This may be the last hurrah of the Republican establishment. The conservatives and libertarians will vote for Romney in November, but only because he is not Barack Obama. There will be no enthusiasm, which will hurt the down ballot contests for the U.S. Senate, the House and state governorships. Despite the factors weighing against Obama in this upcoming election, it will be a much closer contest that it should be; perhaps a razor thin victory for Romney. If Romney were to lose the election, there will be a grass-roots revolt against the Republican Party which will spell its demise. If Romney wins and the nation, through the mis-directed policies of Romney and the Republicans in the Congress, continues on its current path of compromising and nibbling around the edges of the nation’s problems, then Romney will be the last Republican President and the specter of the Democrats re-assuming power will be a reality. If Romney wins the election, there is always the possibility that he has learned from the campaign and governs as a conservative for limited government, low taxes and economic growth… we can only hope!
(“The Last Republican President?” by Steve McCann dated January 17, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/mitt_romney_the_last_republican_president.html )
The official slogan for the era of Obama should be: “Dude, where’s my welfare” which embodies the swelling number of Americans becoming dependent on government handouts under Obama. There were high hopes when Mr. Obama got elected that he would be viewed as a transformational figure, but he has transformed millions of people into wards of the state. When he took office about 62 million, or 19.8% of all Americans, received government assistance, and now in 2010 it was about 68 million, or 21.8%. ObamaCare is set to increase that figure by tens of millions. The government’s main function is now wealth redistribution: coercing money from some people and giving it to other people, in the form of food stamps, Section 8 housing, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Social Security Disability, unemployment benefits, government pensions, etc. According to the White House’s own statistics, in 2010 welfare spending accounted for a whopping 66% of all federal government spending. When Obama took office, that number was 61%, which was monstrous enough. In the 1950s, wealth redistribution accounted for a manageable 15 to 20% of total government spending. Things have gotten so bad that all of the taxes Americans pay to the federal government don’t even cover welfare spending. Using the Obama administration’s statistics, total tax receipts are about $2.2 trillion; and total federal spending on welfare programs is $2.3 trillion. Another way of looking at it: Every penny you pay in taxes just goes toward welfare spending, so your tax money is simply redistributed to someone else. Everything else the government spends its money on, like law enforcement, transportation infrastructure, defense, embassies, national parks, space exploration and environmental protection, has to be paid for by borrowed money. Woe to the society where a critical mass of people receive income and benefits that they never earned. That’s the tipping point, when more voters receive benefits from the government than there are voters paying for those benefits. Then it becomes practically impossible to reverse the entitlement state. Long-term economic growth slows, and the standard of living stagnates. Welfare spending is fueling calls to raise taxes on the top income earners. “Most people won’t keep working hard for the greater good if they don’t receive the fruits of that work.” When you think of people on welfare, you usually think of the poor, but two-thirds of all welfare recipients are middle class and rich. As of 2007, households in the lowest income quintile received just 36% of all transfer payments. That’s largely due to Social Security and Medicare. So he concedes that making more people dependent on government, whether they be rich, middle class or poor, is a high-priority strategy to pull more people into Obama’s party. It’s a vicious circle since more welfare means more dependency, which means more voters for welfare, and so on. The slogan for the Great Depression and FDR was “Brother, can you spare a dime,” and now for the Great Recession and Barack Obama, it should be “Dude, where’s my welfare?” because what FDR started, Obama completed.
(“Dude, where’s my welfare?” by Patrick Chisholm dated January 12, 2012 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/12/dude-wheres-my-welfare/ )
The record of President Obama’s first three years in office is in, and the record shows that President Obama, with his throwback, old-fashioned, 1970s Keynesian economics, has put America through the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. The recession started in December, 2007. When President Obama entered office in January, 2009, the recession was already in its 13th month. His responsibility was to manage a timely, robust recovery to get America back on track again. Based on the historical record, that recovery was imminent, within a couple of months or so. Supposedly a forward looking progressive, Obama proved to be America’s first backward looking regressive. His first act was to increase federal borrowing, the national debt and the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars to finance a supposed “stimulus” package, based on the discredited Keynesian theory left for dead 30 years ago holding that increased government spending, deficits and debt are what promote economic growth and recovery. That theory arose in the 1930s as the answer to the Great Depression, which, of course, never worked. That was the beginning of President Obama’s Rip Van Winkle act, pretending not to know anything that happened over the previous 30 years proving the dramatic, historic success of the new, more modern, supply side economics, which holds that incentives for increased production are what promote economic growth and recovery. Indeed, that Rip Van Winklism pretended not to remember the 1970s either, when double digit inflation and double digit unemployment proved Keynesian economics grievously wrong. As should have been long expected, Obama’s trillion dollar Keynesian stimulus did nothing to promote recovery and growth, and almost surely delayed it. That is because borrowing a trillion dollars out of the economy to spend a trillion back into it does nothing to promote the economy on net. Indeed, it is probably a net drag on the economy, because the private sector spends the money more productively and efficiently than the public sector. The National Bureau of Economic Research scored the recession as ending in June, 2009. Yet, today, in the 49th month since the recession started, there has still been no real recovery, like recoveries from previous recessions in America. Instead of a recovery, America has suffered the longest period of unemployment near 9% or above since the Great Depression, under President Obama’s public policy malpractice. Even today, 49 months after the recession started, the U6 unemployment rate counting the unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers is still 15.2%. The unemployment rate with the full measure of discouraged workers is reported as about 23%, which is depression level unemployment. Today, over 4 years since the recession started, there are still almost 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. That includes 5.6 million who are long-term unemployed for 27 weeks, or more than 6 months. Under President Obama, America has suffered the longest period with so many in such long-term unemployment since the Great Depression. The experience of the American economy is reported in full at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as cited above – recessions since the Great Depression previously have lasted an average of 10 months, with the longest previously 16 months, and the deeper the recession the stronger the recovery. Exactly none of President Obama’s policies have been well designed to restore economic recovery and traditional American prosperity. They have consistently been the opposite of everything that Reagan did to end the American decline of the 1970s, and restore booming growth for 25 years, and that is why Rush Limbaugh is saying Obama deliberately wants to trash the economy, thinking the resulting dependency will lead a majority to continue to vote for the liberal political machine.
(“The Worst Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression” by Peter Ferrara dated January 12, 2012 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/01/12/the-worst-economic-recovery-since-the-great-depression/ )
President Obama has done a great many things to undermine our nation and his failed policies have only deepened our economic troubles, expanded our debt, coarsened our dialogue and divided our citizens, but his policies have been especially damaging and painful to the Black American community, for no modern President has served the black community as poorly as Barack Obama. Obama’s historic Presidential victory provided him with a splendid opportunity. He had the bully pulpit and the opportunity to use it to talk about important matters. Obama could have advanced an important message to the Black American community about education, independence and initiative. Instead, Obama chose to reinforce the ties of dependency and, to quote Margaret Thatcher, “to entrap, to demoralize and then ignore” the plight of Black Americans in the United States. During his term as President, Obama has produced a woeful record of poorly conceived policies combined with equal parts of failing to lead. Obama has made a mockery of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of race relations. Reverend King urged advancement based on “content of character” rather than “color of our skin”. Americans, and especially blacks, once had hoped that Obama’s historic rise to the Presidency would signal a new rebirth of effort and interest in the “content of our character’’ but that hope is now lost. Ironically, years ago, as a candidate, Obama seemed more determined to address the “character content” issue and received widespread praise for a speech when he said “if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers are missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.” Sadly, once elected, Obama never again has taken up the “character issue,” but instead Obama has pushed a mishmash of policies and ill-considered schemes that are making the problems with the Black American community much worse. Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. argued against Black Americans being, “completely drained of self-respect and a sense of ‘somebodyness’“, Obama encourages the “hatred and despair of the black nationalist“, advocating dependency and class warfare, creating expectations that only government entitlements can create wealth, and that government has the right to redistribute wealth. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for “normal and healthy discontent” to be “channeled through the creative outlet“, but Obama does not believe in free enterprise, or the American Dream or the ability of entrepreneurship to improve one’s lot in life. Nor does Obama believe, as did Dr. King, that in the Black Community, “our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America” and when Obama espouses policies of dependency, he dooms another generation of Black Americans to the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Obama is the “wooden ventriloquist” of the Democrat Party apparatchik, interested only in herding Black Americans, like sheep, to the polls, certain that despite his destructive policies, Black Americans, somehow, will vote for him again. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s bold vision for Black Americans, a vision of hope, a vision of equality and occupying an equal place in the execution of the American Dream must await a new generation of Black leaders because one thing is clear, Obama ain’t it.
(“Obama Has Failed Black Americans” by Lurita Doan dated January 16, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/luritadoan/2012/01/16/obama_has_failed_black_americans )
Much of the reasoning that Neville Chamberlain used to arrive at his policy for dealing with the Third Reich is eerily similar to the Obama administration’s reasoning about Islamism, and just as it was a failure last century, Obama will be a failure in this century. No, Islamism is not Nazism. Islamism is the belief in the religious and cultural superiority of Islam, and Nazism is the belief in the racial and cultural superiority of Aryans, and both believe in the right of domination. The parallel between Islamism and Nazism unfortunately fails in another important respect: Islamism is a hydra-headed monster and has no identifiable or centralized leadership like Hitler and the Nazi Party for Nazism. The unfortunate aspect of a lack of a centralized and locatable center of Islamism is that Islamism does not present a consistent geographic or leadership target. The Islamic world is a Petri dish for Islamists and Islamism. The point here is that Chamberlain’s reasons for appeasing Nazis and Obama’s reasons for accommodating Islamism are quite similar, at least initially, but Obama takes the reasoning a significant step farther. From bowing to the Saudi king to the error-filled paean to the Muslim world in his Cairo speech to purging government security agency pamphlets of any reference to Muslim terrorism to the sharia-correct burial of Osama bin Laden to making sure that Guantánamo guards wear white gloves when handling the Koran to forcing American troops in Afghanistan to burn translations of the Bible, the Obama administration is operating under the quaint belief that patting the Ummah on the head will attrit Islamism and dampen its righteous imperative to dominate the world. The problem is that Islamism is a latent imperative imbedded in Islam and accommodation is a catalyst for Islamism. Obama’s policy of accommodation and engagement is increasingly looking like appeasement. Obama does Chamberlain one step better. The Obama administration buys into the Friedman doctrine that once Islamist elements in the Islamic world are actually in the driver’s seat, they will moderate their actions and beliefs. Chamberlain eventually recognized the failure of his policy of appeasement. Obama and Secretary Clinton have doubled down by insisting that taking accommodation one step farther to empowerment, the experience of governance itself together with the transformational dialogue unique to the Obama administration, will exorcise the Islamist elements in the Ummah is a naive conceit with fatal implications for this country.
(“Obama and the Will of Allah” by Jesse Weed dated January 15, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/obama_and_the_will_of_allah.html )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).