Views on the News – 4/21/2012
By: David Coughlin
Conservatives across the nation should be of good cheer since the United States remains a center-right nation, and this November, voters will choose common sense over fiscally reckless extremism in what will be a landslide conservative victory. Republicans will retain the House, gain the Senate and win back the presidency with a 2-to-1 Electoral College margin. The reason is that President Obama’s disastrous performance in office featured fiscally reckless extremism unparalleled in American history. In three short years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has climbed from 20% to 24% while the national debt has exploded from $10 trillion to $15.5 trillion. By the end of his term, Obama will have increased the national debt by a staggering 67%. Add to this record President Obama’s continual disrespect for the Constitution, his unceasing regulatory attacks on free enterprise and small businesses, his rhetoric of class warfare, his deceptive demagoguery and his spendthrift economic policies that have fattened the wallets of his political cronies but created so few jobs that millions of Americans have simply dropped out of the labor force. The most recent Rasmussen poll shows Mitt Romney ahead of President Obama, 48% to 44%. Obama’s support has softened significantly since 2008, and opposition continues to grow on all sides. Since the 2008 election, a Rasmussen poll found that Obama has lost the support of 9% of the voting population, and much of that loss is permanent. Defectors include disappointed voters under 30 who supported him by a 2-to-1 margin in 2008 but can’t find a job in today’s lackluster economy, disaffected Catholics turned off by his high-handed tactics and virtually every small business person in the country, to say nothing of disillusioned Democrats opposed to his individual healthcare mandate. But the polls are missing one key ingredient: the intensity of feeling and the level of determination among the 28% of American voters (66 million people) who consider themselves part of the TEA Party or are supportive of it. Reports that the TEA Party movement has lost steam are entirely the creation of a mainstream media that wants the movement to go away. To these people, 2012 is not “just another election;” it is the defining political battle of our lifetime. Most of these 66 million TEA Partiers will vote in November, but they will do much more than vote. They will also make unprecedented personal sacrifices in time and money to help get out the vote. To a person, these 66 million Americans believe that if Barack Obama is re-elected, the constitutional republic as we know it will be destroyed. They are determined not to let this happen on their watch. When the 9% President Obama has lost across the board is subtracted from his 2008 results in each state, the dimensions of the coming conservative landslide become apparent. When it comes to political return on investment, local TEA Party groups provide the biggest bang for the buck and will be the difference makers in November’s election.
(“The coming conservative landslide” by Michael Patrick Leahy dated April 18, 2012 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/18/the-coming-conservative-landslide/ )
This should be the most important election of our lifetime, but it’s clear that something is seriously wrong because the dialogue coming from both parties is as dysfunctional and corrosive as it has ever been in a campaign and offers little in the way of real choice. This has been a relentlessly nasty, divisive and vapid race. The result has been a declining level of confidence, both domestic and international, about our leadership role. Our political system, once the ideal, is now a subject of widespread ridicule. The very fact that 2012 is being carried out as if it were no different from any other election, at an extraordinary moment, when profound international challenges loom, and serious national crises have gone unaddressed, speaks to the ultimate disconnect between the people and their elected leaders. Enthusiasm about voting in the election is down across the board, according to Gallup’s latest poll. Mitt Romney’s negative rating vastly exceeds his positive with roughly 50% of voters view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably in the most recent ABC News/ Washington Post poll, while only 34% are favorable. Voters have no clear sense of what Romney stands for, what his administration will mean and why his candidacy is at all relevant to the electorate’s deep-seated and systematic angst and fear about their economic futures. Three-quarters of voters now believe that our elected leaders in Washington govern without the consent of the people, a majority of Americans think that the nation is in decline and believe that their children will not be able to achieve the American Dream, according to Gallup. The American people want a government that will, at the very least, be a neutral arbiter that allows everyone to reach their full potential – without favoring any strata, particularly the very rich and powerful. Neither party is addressing these issues seriously, nor offering any overarching vision of national purpose. Instead, lawmakers on the left and right continue to offer an approach that is out of touch with our increasingly disenfranchised and disillusioned electorate. We cannot simply slash spending and cut taxes across-the-board without frank recognition that many Americans are still struggling and rely on the social safety net. One party talks about redistributing our way out of our current problems, advocating bigger and more intrusive government, higher taxes on the rich and an expanded social safety net, irrespective of costs. The other wants to cut our way to a stable economy without a plan to balance the budget any time soon, or a serious plan to rein in entitlement spending. Congressman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan certainly does propose cutting tax rates and revamping Medicare to curb costs for future retirees, but its across-the-board tax cuts are accompanied by deep cuts in entitlements and spending on key social programs for the poor, as well as a reduction in Social Security benefits over time. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama acts like a political short order cook, doing and saying whatever it takes to get reelected, with no vision for why his second term will be different than his first. The President has proposed no serious budget to address our national problems, and is now substituting campaign attack politics for constructive solutions, using tough sounding speeches, rank populism and political soundbites. Populism has become the substitute for policy as Obama demonizes Big Oil, Wall Street and the banks, the Supreme Court and just about anybody who doesn’t support his candidacy. Obama promised in 2008 to help unite America and commit us to a higher purpose. Now, he selectively demonizes segments of U.S. society and business, attacks Republicans and fails to offer comprehensive policies to get America moving forward on a bipartisan basis. Addressing these concerns will require an explicit commitment from our political leaders to uphold core values that are not Democrat or Republican. They are American values. Specifically, it will require candidates who have the passion, the commitment and the urgency of voice that can unite people of different views to achieve fundamental national goals, whether it is our broad sense of national purpose, economic expansion, fiscal discipline or, most of all, job creation. In short it requires a candidate who offers hope, optimism and most of all, leadership. The Presidential candidates must make a clear contrast between the liberal big government welfare state and the conservative limited government entrepreneurial state, or this 2012 election may be a lost opportunity.
(“The empty election” by Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen dated April 13, 2012 published by Politico at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0412/75084.html )
President Obama sometimes sounds like a politician from another dimension or an alternate universe, disconnected from reality and seeing and hearing things that do not exist. All that was missing was a Rod Serling voice-over announcing, “You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination.” For instance, the President denounces the Ryan budget as “thinly veiled Social Darwinism,” implying that his budget would cut the budget, but in reality, Ryan’s budget increases federal spending by more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Ryan does spend roughly $352 billion less over 10 years on domestic discretionary spending than would the President, but the President suggests that this means that children could no longer go to college, the weather service would be abolished, and roads and bridges would crumble into dust. Then the President suggests that Ryan wants to “end Medicare as we know it,” but Ryan has not proposed any changes to the program for current recipients. It is true, of course, that Ryan would restructure Medicare for those under age 55 to give recipients a choice between the traditional program and a voucher that would allow them to purchase private insurance, but, his plan, drafted together with Democrat Senator Ron Wyden, hardly slashed Medicare spending. The President manages to leave out his own proposal for Medicare, which is to have an unelected 15-member board further reduce payments to physicians. Even Medicare’s own actuaries warn that those cutbacks could lead to hospital closures and reductions in access to care or the quality of care. All this is not to say that the President is not committed to deficit reduction, at least rhetorically, but the total savings from his cuts amount to less than $100 million! Back here in the real world, President Obama’s proposed budget never actually achieves balance, and the closest he would get is in 2018, when he projects a deficit of only $575 billion! Taxes are another area where the President has difficulty squaring rhetoric with reality. For example, the President continues to sell his proposed tax hikes as being about people like him or Warren Buffet paying a little bit more, but in reality, his proposed tax increases fall on families and small businesses earning as little as $250,000 per year. Cue Mr. Serling: “We’ve moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. We’ve just crossed over into the Obama Zone.” To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, listening to President Obama speak requires a “willing suspension of disbelief!”
(“President of the twilight Zone” by Michael Tanner dated April 13, 2012 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/04/13/president_of_the_twilight_zone_113839.html )
The U.S. Constitution, which has guided American society for over two centuries, inspiring nations worldwide and serving as a model for governance, is under serious threat today, and ironically, that threat comes from the very individuals charged with protecting the Constitution — federal, state, and local government officials. All these public officials take an oath to support the Constitution and to refrain from actions or laws that interfere with individual rights and liberties specified in the Constitution. Yet President Obama and officials all along the way down to local police chiefs are today actively engaged in the daily shredding of the U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration has expanded its executive branch powers under a comprehensive czar system and myriad executive orders. Meanwhile, Congress quietly passes questionable legislation with the potential to limit personal freedoms — and U.S. agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), engage in activities that raise serious concerns about constitutional violations. Even local law enforcement officials have become increasingly intrusive and hostile to civil liberties. The Constitution’s unprecedented fundamentals — separation of powers among the three branches of government with its enumerated powers and checks and balances, the principle of limited government and the concept of a government that exists solely to represent the interests of the governed, were exquisitely designed to protect the natural liberties of the people and prevent government tyranny. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, guarantees specific personal freedoms, limits the government’s power in judicial proceedings, and reserves all unspecified power for the states and the time to reaffirm and reinvigorate these constitutional principles, to limit government power, and to preserve individual liberties is the November election.
(“Shredding the Constitution” by Janet levy dated April 18, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/shredding_the_constitution.html )
The relentless encroachment of socialism upon America’s economic, cultural and governmental landscape is like a bad dream to most red-blooded Americans, and can only be defeated by a determined long term effort to undo the damage done and rollback the underlying enablers. When society changes it can seem like the ineluctable drift of evolution or chance. In the case of America’s ongoing continued expansion of government powers, spiking taxes, and shrinking military, it’s all part of a planned elitist push into socialism. One need not believe in secret conspiracies when contemplating this shift. Socialism is a European phenomenon, beginning after the French Revolution with writers from Paris and London forming the core. The definition of socialism is: “a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production.” While most believe Karl Marx (1818-1883) was the father of socialism, he wrote very few specifics on the topic. In fact, one of Marx’s most signal shortcoming was his failure to describe his own working economic system. Instead, it was Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924), first leader of the new USSR who developed the economic theory. Lenin’s attempts at creating a profit-free economy were a spectacular failure, only bettered by Joseph Stalin’s larger failure. Suffice it to say that no version of socialism has ever provided long term economic growth or security anywhere in the world, because it lacks a cohesive economic theory. Marx’s main interest in writing was to foment revolution, because without the collapse of capitalism, the promised paradise of total government control would never have room to occur. Knowing this, American leftists have long done whatever they could, in small and large ways to help birth the revolution upon American soil. We are now at a tipping point when the future of our free market capitalism and constitutional republic may be irrevocably destroyed. America is infiltrated by Marxists active so long in undermining our institutions and ideals that socialism is now in our collective DNA and they seek an end to private property, representative democracy and rule of law and only an educated voter can make a change to undo the damage done already and prevent further damage from happening in the future.
(“Why America is Devolving Towards Absolute Government Control” by Kelly O’Connell dated April 15, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/46002 )
Obama embraces European Socialism pure and simple and he is lying when saying he does not want to redistribute wealth. In 2008, Obama summarized his plan to make the tax code fairer by saying “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Obama may not be cut out of the same cloth as Lenin, but he is a socialist and socialism is his agenda. Marxism spawned Socialism. Marxism produced the foundation of European welfare state socialism. The European model tried to nationalize Socialism, as with the Bolshevik revolution, but with less success. After the failure of nationalization through revolution, European socialists realized that free enterprise in private hands produced capital (money) which they could then steal through taxation and then redistribute to all through social programs, thereby achieving socialism. The European welfare state takes one half of national output to provide state health care, pensions, extended unemployment benefits, income grants, and free higher education. Fairness is the mantra of socialists. Fairness in healthcare, fair share of tax payments, fair prices for all through state controlled markets, fairness for the environment through green energy, racial fairness through enforced civil rights, fairness in gender equality and protection of homosexuality through tough hate crime laws, to name a few. All of this fairness must be executed and enforced through an all-powerful centralized government by controlling everyone to be able to provide all of life’s needs from the cradle to the grave. Redistribution is the cornerstone of socialism. This is Obama European Socialism pure and simple and he is lying when saying he does not want to redistribute wealth. And herein lies the reason why Obama hates the Constitution. The Constitution of the United States of America is the death blow to socialism. The Constitution limits government and empowers the individual while protecting individual liberty. Socialism is not compatible with a limited government and free citizens who govern themselves, so either Obama goes in November 2012, or America abandons free market capitalism and condemns itself to a socialist, centrally controlled oligarchy.
(“Obama and Redistribution of Your Wealth” by Joseph Harris dated April 12, 2012 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2012/04/12/obama-and-redistribution-of-your-wealth/ )
Thanks to liberal’s vicious attack on the Republican challenger’s wife claiming that she has “never had a real job”, the conservative base of the GOP is now united, to call out this vicious, liberal attack on motherhood and families. Hilary Rosen’s attack on Ann Romney by saying that, although she raised five children, she “never worked a day in her life” perfectly fits the definition of a gaffe, which is a statement that reveals what the spokesperson really thinks but turns out to be embarrassing when it is publicly discussed. This goes beyond attacking the wife of a Presidential candidate, because this is a vile attack on conservative women nationwide. Ann Romney, mother of 5 boys and a survivor of multiple sclerosis and breast cancer, is a testament to the many mothers who made the selfless service of putting their families first. According to the logic of the left, if you choose to raise a child instead of aborting one, you are less of a woman. We have seen countless, vicious and character attacks on women of conservative ideology. Sarah Palin, for example, was criticized and scorned by the liberal left for raising a child with Down syndrome while pursuing her career. Black conservative women are CONSTANTLY being targeted for their belief in the pro-life movement, small government and for their opposition to President Obama’s policies. It is an outrage that lefties attack women instead of having a constructive dialogue about the core issues affecting Americans today. The REAL war on women is the economic plight that they are experiencing due to big government spending, high unemployment rate, a raking deficit and a President who is opposed to job creation that will benefit many women in the U.S. today. The left’s war on women affects the family as a whole. It is indeed the demonizing of the mother figure, the husband that supports her, and the children that have grown to admire her. Obama’s approval ratings among women, especially stay-at-home-moms, has plummeted as this current Democrat display has backfired on the supercilious left and reveals their own genuine war-on-women. This Democrat War-on-Women must be stopped and the best way to put it to a stop is at the ballot box in November by electing Republicans who respect women, motherhood, morality and the sanctity of the family.
(“The Left’s War on Women is Actually a War on Families” by Demetrius Minor dated April 13, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/demetriusminor/2012/04/13/the_lefts_war_on_women_is_actually_a_war_on_families )
We have to stop treating the symptoms of “Too Big To Fail” and instead cure the disease. Focusing on the word “fail” leaves the word “big” and all the negative repercussions that fact has for the financial services industry and our economy. It does nothing to cure the market distortions, the skewing of regulatory policy and actions, damage to consumers and the cumulative effect of regulatory burden enacted on all banks, large and small, in regulatory attempts to control the disease of “too big to fail.” Several third-party studies, some by the Federal Reserve System itself, point to the many market advantages that too-big-to-fail banks enjoy over all other competitors. Even former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, whom many credit with spurring the creation of too-big-to-fail in the first place, testified that banking regulators should consider breaking up financial institutions considered “too big to fail.” Greenspan went on to state, “If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big.” He also said “In 1911 we broke up Standard Oil — so what happened? The individual parts became more valuable than the whole. Maybe that’s what we need to do.” We did the same to AT&T, and the pattern repeated. The parts became more valuable than the whole and spurred competition and the communications revolution — adding tens of millions of jobs to our economy. Japan taught us how the disease of too-big-to-fail can stagnate economic and financial systems. ”Too big to fail” is a cancer on our economic body, and it is spreading and getting worse. As long as these too-big-to-fail creatures survive and get bigger, America’s financial markets, consumers, regulatory apparatus, and ability to have truly free markets will be distorted and will diminish over time, ultimately killing our economic future. Teddy Roosevelt understood that treating the symptoms of asset concentration, which creates too-big-to-fail, would not cure the disease. So he decided he would cure the disease and bust up the “trusts” (the term used in T.R’s day in place of “too big to fail”). This unleashed the full potential of America’s economic power on the world by breaking up the business oligopolies that were strangling America’s economy in his time. In the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, Independent Community Bankers of America must work with Congress to stop the 21st century “trusts” from repeating history and choking Main Street to death.
(“Stop Treating the Symptoms, Cure ‘Too Big To Fail’ Disease” by Camden R. Fine dated April 17, 2012 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://news.investors.com/article/608064/201204171629/too-big-to-fail-carries-high-cost.htm )
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).