Views on the News – 2/25/2012
By: David Coughlin
In 2008, Presidential candidate Obama promised to fundamentally change America and he has succeeded beyond anyone’s dreams, because he has replaced the Declaration of Independence with his own Declaration of Dependence. The most recent published reports show dependency is up 7.5% past two years under Obama. According to the reports, one in five Americans [20%] relies on the federal government for everything from housing, health care, food stamps, college tuition, retirement assistance, even believe it or not, cell phones. Just last year alone, the federal government paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. Government dependency jumped 8.1% in the past year alone. This can not be blamed on Bush. This is the result of Obama’s economic policies and it is by design. The “hope” of people is to keep receiving assistance, and the “change” is from an independent nation to a dependent nation. The average individual who relies on Washington receives benefits valued at $32,748. Compare that to the nation’s average disposable personal income $32,446. In November the President is expecting at least 40% of the vote. People who depend on the government for their survival will vote for the candidate who will promise to keep those checks coming. The President and the Democrat Party need these people to retain power. The Democrat Party is the party of dependence. It is not the party of compassion as it is your money they are using. 70% of the federal government’s budget goes to individual assistance programs, compared to 5% for national defense. In fact his budget wishes to increase dependency. In the continuing “war on poverty”, the federal government sent a record $2 trillion to individuals in fiscal 2010, up 75% from what it was when Bush took office in 2001. With his continued attempts to treat the Constitution as bird cage liner, his continued attempt to rule by dictate, using czars to circumvent the “advise and consent” clause of the Constitution, the continued demonization of his “enemies” by him and his surrogates, this President is in a class by himself turning a self-sufficient nation of individuals into a client state of parasitic zombies.
(“Obama’s Declaration of Dependency” by Anthony J. Bazzo dated February 17, 2012 published by Bazzo Manifesto at http://bazzman.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-my-opinion-obamas-declaration-of.html )
When faced with an issue they do not care to discuss the Obama administration is doing what any adolescent would do, changing the subject, with the usual co-operation of the mindless mainstream media, and doing all it can to shift attention and obfuscate its economic track record. Thus, in reaction to the uproar over the recent unconstitutional ObamaCare abortion pill, sterilization and contraceptive mandate, they are promoting the inane notion that the Republicans are determined to deny women access to contraceptives. This threadbare ploy is an absurd plot to portray conservatives as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals out to kidnap women and force them back to the evil days of the Dark Ages. When confronted about the state of the economy, the same Obama Obfuscation Alliance (the mainstream media, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama re-election machine) regurgitates the transparent assertion that the Obama team was kept in the dark about how dire the economic situation was when “the chosen one” became President. However during the 2008 campaign, Obama and his teleprompter often claimed this was the worst economy since the Great Depression and in speeches just after his inauguration he never failed to remind the American people that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and he would rescue the economy as well as create untold millions of jobs along with lowering the sea levels. It is the contention of Obama and his fellow-travelers that only government can jump start the economy and job creation. Massive government spending, regulations and higher taxes are essential. Barack Obama knows that the federal government spent over $8.2 Trillion of which $3.1 Trillion had to be borrowed to cover the deficits. Surely with all that “pump priming” during the Obama 28 months the economy grew rapidly as job creation lagged behind… well, not quite. The average annual growth of the Gross Domestic Product has been a paltry 2.3%. There is a world record in which Barack Obama and his idol, Saul Alinsky, should be most proud: In his four years as President he will have accumulated over $5.5 Trillion in federal debt held by the public (monies owed to domestic and foreign bondholders). When he was inaugurated the debt stood at $6.3 Trillion, it will be nearly $11.8 Trillion by the end of his term, an increase of nearly 87%. As a matter of fact Obama is so taken with this triumph that he plans to add another $4.0 Trillion in debt during his next term in office while continuing with his wildly successful job creation program. It is hard to fathom why the Obama Obfuscation Alliance would not be out trumpeting these overwhelming economic accomplishments, but they seem reluctant to do so. Therefore it appears certain the American people will be regaled with the further adventures of those dastardly Republicans and malevolent conservatives as they conspire with the oil companies to pollute the air and water, eliminate food stamps for the children, establish a theocracy, relegate women to a permanent state of being barefoot and pregnant, re-institute slavery and plot with the rich to allow them to make even more money on the backs of the poor while not paying their fair share of taxes… in effect, anything but the Obama economic record.
(“The Obama Obfuscation Alliance” by Steve McCann dated February 20, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/the_obama_obfuscation_alliance.html )
Many Republican House members, and the bloggers and TEA Partiers who cheered their victory in gaining a majority in November 2010, seem to be seething with discontent and eager for confrontation. They believe, reasonably, that that victory represented a repudiation of the vast expansion of government by the Obama Democrats. They want to see those policies reversed, and pronto. Such impatience is unbecoming in those who call themselves “constitutional conservatives.” The Republicans who seek changes in policy need to exercise prudence in framing issues in order to gain a favorable verdict from voters in the election coming up this fall. They want to turn back the Obama Democrats’ advance into what Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s called “soft despotism.” Tocqueville, after describing in “Democracy in America” how Americans avoided the perils of equality by forming voluntary associations, engaging in local government and believing in religions that disciplined their pursuit of self-interest into a pursuit of virtue, painted the picture of a darker future: “Thus, taking each individual by turns in its powerful hands and kneading him as it likes, the sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrial animals of which the government is the shepherd.” That is what House Republicans are fighting to reverse. With their Republican Presidential candidates at odds, with mainstream media disparaging them at every turn, these reformers need to exercise prudence and not give in to passion that could defeat their purpose, stay critical, highlight the real problems that this country faces, identify solutions that fix the underlying problems, and explain the benefit that Americans will experience once this change is made… and don’t fear radical solutions when the problems are major.
(“Prudence is Key to Reversing Obama’s ‘Soft Despotism’” by Michael Barone dated February 20, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/2012/02/20/creators_oped )
Understanding President Obama is easy… just read the speeches and look over the budgets and you will see a left-wing progressive who rejects many of the mainstream political and economic ideas of post-World War II America. The real Obama is not a pragmatist or a frustrated moderate or a well-intentioned but weak politician forced by political circumstances to take positions he’d rather not. The truth lies in the new budget Obama unveiled last week, his budget last year, and from the “reducing the budget” speech in April 2011, the address to a special session of Congress on jobs in September 2011, the speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, last December, and the State of the Union address last month, and the real Obama comes into focus. Only occasionally do you have to read between the lines to discover what he truly thinks. This is what the President not only believes but is committed to:
· America is an unjust and deeply unfair country - He’s emphasized it in every speech.
· There is no debt crisis - If he’s worried, he hasn’t let on in any serious way.
· Government spending is better at spurring the economy than private investment -The key phrase in all his speeches was “through our government,” which for Obama means Washington-directed programs, not incentives for private investment.
· Tax reform should flush loopholes and special breaks out of the tax code, broaden the base, and raise tax rates for the well-to-do - This isn’t bipartisan tax reform in which cutting income tax rates for everyone is one of the most important aspects.
· When the rich get richer, the middle class and poor get worse off - Obama doesn’t believe in a growing economic pie.
· Conservative, free market economics is a plague - Obama doesn’t believe capitalism works, and can’t explain the Reagan years, when the economy recovered from a recession and boomed.
· Medicare and Medicaid are not big problems - The President’s fiscal commission headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson identified Medicare and Medicaid as key areas for improvement, but Obama conveniently ignores their conclusions.
· The investor class is not tax sensitive – Obama does not accept that the investor class will change their financial behavior as a reaction to tax changes.
At the National Prayer Breakfast, the President revealed his Messiah delusion by justifying his policies with a special “What Would Jesus Do” blessing, so voters can now decide how long this fantastic delusion should exist… if at all past November.
(“The Real Obama” by Fred Barnes dated February 27, 2012 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/real-obama_630040.html )
At the very same time that the shale revolution is saving the economy hundreds of millions of dollars per day, directly creating tens of thousands of jobs, decreasing the need for foreign oil, and spurring growth in manufacturing that will lead to billions of dollars of new investment and still more jobs, the President is bashing the oil-and-gas sector. Not only that, but in Obama’s new budget, he continues to insist that “clean energy” will drive America’s future competitiveness. Obama is ignoring the essentiality of domestic oil and gas production, and he’s doing so at a time when gasoline prices are spiking because of the specter of a military strike against Iran. All energy sources should be forced to compete on a fair field with no favor. Let’s eliminate all energy subsidies, but contrary to the President’s narrative, if that were to occur, it’s the wind and solar industries, not the oil-and-gas sector, that would immediately go into cardiac arrest. As for the claim that fossil-fuel subsidies are what “impede investment in clean energy sources,” the hard reality is that over the past few years, the oil-and-gas sector has out-innovated the solar and wind sectors. For instance, in 2006, the average domestic natural-gas well had initial production rates of 400,000 cubic feet per day. Today, the average well drilled in the Barnett Shale in Texas has initial production rates of 1.4 million cubic feet per day. No similar improvement has been seen in the “clean energy” sectors, and thus the tsunami of low-cost natural gas has made wind and solar even less attractive. The “clean energy” subsidies championed by Obama resulted in a run on the Treasury but precious few jobs, and we’ve already seen plenty of government-funded wreckage: Solyndra, Beacon Power, Range Fuels, Ener1. Domestic oil production, which has been steadily declining for decades, is on the upswing; several analysts believe that by 2016 or so, production could hit 8 million barrels per day, a level not seen since the mid-1980s. Last year, natural-gas production was about 23 trillion cubic feet, worth about $92 billion. That’s the highest gas production ever achieved in the U.S., eclipsing the previous record of 21.7 trillion cubic feet produced back in 1973. Surging gas production is driving down prices and over the last five years, some 158,000 new oil and gas jobs have been created. Rather than embrace what’s happening in shale gas and shale oil, Obama continues to vilify the very industry that’s helping spur economic growth, and America doesn’t need more slogans about “clean” energy; it only needs more cheap, abundant, reliable energy.
(“Obama Vilifies Fossil Fuels” by Robert Bryce dated February 22, 2012 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/291639/obama-vilifies-fossil-fuels-robert-bryce )
In the State of the Union address, Obama claims credit for killing Osama bin Laden and also for “restor[ing] American leadership in the world,” but leadership abroad means something along the lines of identifying the U.S. national interest and enlisting foreign partners to join us in achieving it, but Obama means the exact opposite. Before entering office in 2009, Obama and his administration’s top foreign-policy intellectuals wrote extensively in favor of a less assertive, less militarily capable, less independent United States. This prescription fit their characterization of America’s post–World War II history as a story of bullying, selfishness, militarism, and violations of the rights of others. In the academic circles Obama inhabited before entering politics, historical, classic American leadership is criticized for being arrogant and overreaching. President Obama often speaks of leadership, as all politicians do, but he inclines to the progressive foreign-policy school’s definition, embracing constraints and subordinating U.S. interests to the permission of multilateral bodies, as he did when he waited for the approval of the Arab League and United Nations before supporting the anti-Qaddafi rebellion in Libya. Obama favors “an American leadership that recognizes the rise of countries like China and India and Brazil. It’s a U.S. leadership that recognizes our limits in terms of resources, capacity.” Knowing one’s own limitations is good and can help advance one’s interests, but that’s different from shackling oneself or deciding to act only with lots of company. If leadership means joining the crowd, then it’s an Orwellian inversion of vocabulary. When ordinary Iranians rose up in the largest protests ever to challenge the Khomeinist regime, and regime forces murdered dissidents in plain view, President Obama remained passive. His response was consistent with the sense of guilt he voiced in his Cairo speech, and with the view that America lacks moral authority to act as leader of the free world. He had committed himself to “engagement” with Iran’s rulers and evidently feared offending them. President Obama hopes sanctions will pressure Iran to resume diplomacy, but there is no realistic prospect that Iran’s leaders can be negotiated out of their determination to obtain nuclear weapons. President Obama’s idea of leadership has proven barren also in other spheres. China makes aggressive territorial claims, invests in a major military build-up and refuses help on crucial issues such as North Korea and Iran. The Obama administration has made major cuts in the U.S. defense budget without first persuading our NATO allies to increase their defense spending commensurately. The President delivered a major speech on the Arab Spring in May that proposed no diplomatic initiatives. France and Britain, not the United States, led the belated action to oppose Qaddafi, so today the Arab League and Turkey, not the United States, are the principal outside powers influencing events in Syria. President Obama’s quarrels with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have produced no progress toward Palestinian-Israeli peace, while bringing U.S.-Israeli relations to their lowest point in many years. Obama has grounds to claim credit for killing bin Laden, but only as a tactical success, while strategically he has abandoned American leadership as a national security policy.
(“Obama’s Failure to Lead” by Douglas J. Feith & Seth Cropsey dated February 24, 2012 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/291868/obama-s-failure-lead-douglas-j-feith )
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).